If You’re Going to Create a Superconference, Then Do It Right: The Case for Florida State to the Big Ten

Posted: December 6, 2012 in Big Ten, College Basketball, College Football, Illinois Fighting Illini, Sports
Tags: , , ,

The irony of writing a blog that’s largely known for being focused upon conference realignment and Big Ten expansion is that I’m personally not someone that has a preternatural need to see the kingdom of Jim Delany get larger and larger.  Back when I originally starting writing about the topic three years ago, I only really saw a necessity for the Big Ten to add 1 more school to create a conference championship game and wasn’t a large proponent of expanding to 14, 16 or beyond.  All of the superconference ideas with an emphasis on pods and market shares interest me greatly from a business perspective, but the number of potential expansion candidates out there that make me perk up as fan is pretty small.  If the Big Ten needed to go up to 16 to get marquee schools such as Texas or Notre Dame, then that would have been one thing, but expanding simply for the sake of market share can backfire in the long run.  Nebraska certainly qualified as a school that I’d go out of my way to actually watch play football, so I was content with the thought of the Big Ten staying at 12.  I completely understand the latest moves by Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany to add Maryland and Rutgers to move the league up to 14 members as a way to stay ahead of the ever-changing demographics of this country, yet that’s largely the business side of my brain coming to that conclusion.

Of course, Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis did nothing to temper the expectations that the Big Ten continues to be on the prowl by calling 14 members “clumsy” and how the conference doesn’t “want to get outflanked”. Delany has stated that the Big Ten is “inactive but alert” regarding future expansion.  In my last post, I went through the Big Ten’s various expansion options (almost entirely focused upon ACC schools).  For Florida State, I stated the following:

Personally, I’d take a hard look at Florida State because they are so extremely valuable in a key state (especially if the Big Ten is seriously considering Georgia Tech and don’t want them to be a lone outpost), yet the tea leaves are saying otherwise.

On the same night that I put up that post, Chip Brown from Orangebloods.com had this interesting tidbit (via Warchant.com):

But it should be getting more and more clear after Maryland’s departure from the ACC, Florida State is not sitting around playing solitaire.

According to Warchant.com, the Florida State site on the Yahoo!/Rivals network, FSU officials are now exploring conference options and have put out feelers to the Big Ten.

That small line about Florida State putting out feelers to the Big Ten (even though the article overall has a Big 12 slant) has stuck out at me as much as anything that I’ve seen regarding conference realignment over the past three years.  As we have seen time and time again with the kabuki dance of switching leagues, the proper order is that a school contacts the conference that it wants to switch to first as opposed to the other way around. To say the least, my line of thinking is really starting to shift here.

Remember back in 2010 how Missouri was repeatedly the most oft-mentioned expansion target for the Big Ten, but then the true intentions of the league were to really go after Texas and then Nebraska?  Missouri was effectively used as a stalking horse by Jim Delany to cause instability (or create the perception of instability) in the Big 12 to shake loose one of the most valuable brand names in college football.  Now look at the most oft-mentioned targets of the Big Ten in this current phase of realignment: Georgia Tech and Virginia.  Both are fantastic academic institutions in fast-growing states, but they aren’t exactly power punches on the football front.  They’re really extensions of the pure demographics plus academics strategy that drove the Maryland and Rutgers additions.  With the Big Ten at 14 members, we’re possibly looking at the last 2 open spots that the league will ever have to get up to 16.  Are Georgia Tech and Virginia who the Big Ten wants to grant those last precious spots to?  The academic side of the league would obviously love it, yet there’s something missing on the athletic front (which in turn impacts the financial front).

What we now have is the perception of instability in the ACC just like there was a perception of instability in the Big 12 in 2010 through 2011.  If the Big Ten is seriously considering further raids of the ACC, then why wouldn’t it go after the biggest whale possible?  Why wouldn’t it make the move that would both the bean counters and the fans would love?

Is getting Florida State the true intended end game for the Big Ten?

Outside of geography, the only real reason that has been given by numerous people, including me, as to why the Big Ten would conceivably pass on Florida State is academics (and specifically the lack of membership in the AAU).  That assumption might be faulty, though, especially if Florida State were to come in together with an elite academic school such as Georgia Tech or Virginia. Besides, Florida State is ranked #97 in the U.S. News rankings compared to Nebraska at #101, so it’s nowhere near the academic stretch for the Big Ten in the way that Louisville was clearly outside of the ACC’s prior academic standards.  Beyond academics, out of all of the schools in the ACC, Florida State provides (1) the best on-the-field football program, (2) the largest state by population, (3) the highest national TV value, (4) the most regional TV value for the Big Ten Network, (5) the best football recruiting grounds and (6) arguably the best football fan base (neck-and-neck with Clemson).  Basically, FSU hits every non-academic metric that you could possibly want in an expansion candidate.  Tallahassee and the rest of the Florida Panhandle are definitely Southern in culture (which could clash with the Northern Big Ten culture), but much of the rest of the state of Florida where FSU alums and fans reside has one of the largest concentrations (if not the largest concentration) of Big Ten alums outside of the Midwest.  It’s not an accident that after the Rose Bowl, the Big Ten has its top bowl tie-ins with the Capital One Bowl (Orlando), Outback Bowl (Tampa) and Gator Bowl (Jacksonville) and just signed up for a partial Orange Bowl (Miami) tie-in once the new playoff system starts.  Much like New York City and Washington, DC, there are potential synergies for the Big Ten in the state of Florida that really go beyond the applicable school that’s being added.

In the same way that Texas A&M fans started complaining so much about the Big 12 that it eventually pushed the school’s administration to approach the SEC, Florida State fans have been rumbling about moving out of the ACC for months.  So, if Florida State is truly an unhappy camper that’s ready to move (and to be clear, it needs to start coming from the university president level instead of the fans or even trustee members on a power trip), it would be foolish for the Big Ten to automatically pass on the Seminoles on the basis of academics.  AAU membership is obviously highly desired, but the Big Ten would let in non-AAU school Notre Dame in a heartbeat.  The Big Ten also admitted Nebraska even though the existing members knew full well that NU’s AAU status was in jeopardy (as the school was kicked out of the organization only months after joining the conference with both Michigan and Wisconsin voting against them).  In other words, the Big Ten has demonstrated a willingness to look past the AAU issue for the right school, and Florida State may indeed be the right school in this situation.

Now, as with anything in conference realignment, it takes two to tango.  The Big Ten could want Florida State all day long, but it means very little unless the interest is reciprocated.  That’s what makes Florida State “putting out feelers to the Big Ten” so intriguing.  At the very least, that indicates some interest on the part of FSU.

I’m not going to insult the intelligence of Florida State fans and alums that might be reading this, so I’ll be objective here: even though I’m a huge Illinois fan and Big Ten guy, my personal opinion is that the SEC would be the best conference for FSU if it were to move from the ACC (and I’m sure that would be the choice of most Seminoles fans).  The SEC fits Florida State geographically and culturally while also providing a juggernaut football league.  If FSU has offers on the table from the Big Ten and SEC at the same time, then I’d be hard pressed to advise the school to turn down the SEC when taking my Big Ten goggles off.  However, Mr. SEC (probably the closest thing to my SEC counterpart regarding conference realignment) has noted that the SEC is on the precipice of creating a new TV network with ESPN and would prevent any consideration of newly doubling up in existing SEC states for financial reasons.  In the case of Florida State, the value of in-state rival Florida is so great that a potential SEC network could easily get basic carriage in the state of Florida based on the strength of the Gators alone, which means that FSU is worth much less to the SEC than it would to the Big Ten or Big 12.  (The Big Ten saw this on a smaller scale when looking at Pitt as an expansion candidate.  In terms of academics and institutional fit, Pitt was and still is a great match on paper for the Big Ten, but it’s a school that wouldn’t bring in a single cent of additional BTN revenue since Penn State already delivers the entire state of Pennsylvania by itself.)  Now, the SEC certainly might see value in adding Florida State simply to prevent the Big Ten or Big 12 from encroaching on the most important TV market and football recruiting territory in its footprint as a defensive measure, but let’s assume for the purposes of this discussion that the SEC isn’t a viable option for FSU.

So, if the SEC is out of the picture, why would the Big Ten possibly let the Big 12 walk off with possibly the most valuable school that has been willing to move in conference realignment over the past three years?  That would create two power conferences (the SEC and Big 12) that combine the recruiting bases and TV households of both Florida and Texas, which would be dangerous for the Big Ten to allow to occur in the long-term.   While I could understand how the SEC would be more attractive to FSU than the Big Ten, I don’t see how Jim Delany would lose in a head-to-head battle with the Big 12 over the school if it came down to that.  The only real advantage that the Big 12 provides over the Big Ten is access to the state of Texas.  That’s not insignificant, but it’s not outcome determinative in my eyes (as evidenced by Nebraska and Colorado willingly giving up their ties to that state).  On the fronts that university presidents care the most about, the Big Ten has all of the trump cards.  The Big Ten was projecting over $43 million per year in conference revenue in 2017 when it was talking to Maryland.   Now think about what that figure would look like when you add the households in the state of Florida to the Big Ten Network (which has over 5 million more people than the states of Maryland and New Jersey combined with a population base that is a lot more attuned to college sports, to boot).  Those are figures that the Big 12 can’t match, even if FSU could procure a lucrative third tier rights deal that the conference allows.   The Big Ten also has a clear academic prestige advantage over the Big 12.  In terms of geography, the Big Ten is even slightly less inconvenient than the Big 12, where Columbus, Bloomington, West Lafayette and Champaign are actually all slightly shorter distances to Tallahassee than both Morgantown and Austin among the closest existing members of those leagues.  I would assume that both the Big Ten and Big 12 would add 1 other Southern ACC member (likely Georgia Tech or maybe Miami for the Big Ten or Clemson for the Big 12) to pair up with FSU, so the Seminoles wouldn’t be a lone geographic outlier in either case.  (To be sure, I’m not going to sugarcoat the geography issue for FSU with respect to either the Big Ten or Big 12 – it’s definitely not optimal in either case.  That being said, the ACC stuck Florida State in a division with Boston College and Syracuse while not having the Noles play its closest conference counterpart of Georgia Tech annually, so that conference hasn’t exactly mitigated FSU’s travel distances even with a large contingent of Southern schools.)  All in all, the Big Ten can offer more money and better academics compared to the Big 12 with similar geographic challenges, so this shouldn’t be a matter of Florida State actually preferring the Big 12 over the Big Ten.

I don’t know whether Florida State is truly serious about wanting to leave the ACC.  As I’ve said in other posts, I’m not a believer in the impending destruction of that conference like many others that follow conference realignment.  There are still a host of academic and geographic advantages that the ACC provides to its member schools and if it was tough for Maryland to leave at an emotional level (where that school was a completely natural and contiguous expansion for the Big Ten and they didn’t have any true blood reciprocal blood rivals), one can imagine the potential disconnect with a school like FSU.  However, Florida State fans might be at the point where they have an “Anywhere but the ACC!” attitude, which is a tough train to stop for a school’s administration.  As I’ve been thinking more and more about the Seminoles looking around as a free agent (which is how an FSU official described the process in the event that the Maryland exit fee from the ACC gets reduced or thrown out), it’s the first time since I began following conference realignment that I have actually wanted the Big Ten to create a superconference in a scenario that didn’t include the game changing choices of Texas and/or Notre Dame.  The Seminoles provide the best combination of an off-the-field financial windfall off-the-field and increased on-the-field competitiveness and fan interest of any school that the Big Ten could plausibly add at this time. As a result, Florida State is a school that would make a 16-team league worth having and I hope that Jim Delany and the Big Ten university presidents are feeling the same way.

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

(Image from Posseup Sports)

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Comments
    • GreatLakeState says:

      This is your best post FTT.

    • shrub says:

      Here’s an interesting article about the Big Ten Network trying to get on basic cable.

      Big Ten may keep Rutgers and Maryland off network

      Good news, Rutgers and Maryland fans, your schools will be joining the Big Ten in 2014, bringing a nice influx of that cold hard cash into your athletic departments. It’s just too bad you might not be able to watch all of their games once they’ve joined the Big Ten.

      Yes, that’s right, according to Sports Business Journal, the Big Ten is considering keeping Maryland and Rutgers games — both football and basketball — off of its own Big Ten Network in an effort to get local cable companies to place the network on their basic tiers.

      However, it will be pretty interesting to see whether New York cable companies even bat an eye when threatened with the possibility of losing Rutgers games.

  1. GreatLakeState says:

    MgoBlue!

  2. Dammit Frank, I was just settling into the flow of the last post.

  3. greg says:

    Go Hawks.

  4. [...] If You’re Going to Create a Superconference, Then Do It Right: The Case for Florida State to t… VT Reply With Quote [...]

  5. Isaac says:

    No way the B10 takes Florida State. There’s plenty of good reasons to take them, but the B10 won’t do it.

  6. gregenstein says:

    Good call Frank. From a Penn State perspective, I’d rather see Miami than Georgia Tech. I’m indifferent on Tech, but I HATE Miami, which means it would be a game I’d like to see. I can’t help but think Miami would be the better move financially while Tech would be a better institutional fit.

    • niner5 says:

      No way the B1G passes on adding the Atlanta market…it’s far more important financially than Miami would be after you factor in FSU gets you Florida overall.

  7. zeek says:

    Florida State would basically be the Big Ten’s version of Texas A&M.

    It’s an intriguing possibility to say the least. I’m not sold at all on Georgia Tech’s value, but combined with Florida State, it probably works out in the long run.

  8. gfunk says:

    Now this is a campaign I can support, big time. Throw in GT and end the quest for 16. Also, as I have argued previously expand the CIC’s mission and build some academic-athletic facilities in Fla or Ga and get the dormant baseball powers in the BIG competitive again. No reason this can’t be done. BIG northern baseball teams can return to their home campuses by late March after starting their seasons on pace with the more competitive teams down south.

    Let’s do it, pimp this campaign until the BIG office is overflowing with support for this move.

    FSU will become AAU within 5 years of BIG membership.

    BIG alum, who are aplenty in FSU will support this move en masse.

    Can you imagine the following rivalries:

    FSU vs Neb (some incredible history between these two)

    FSU vs Mi

    FSU vs tOSU

    FSU vs PSU (after 2017)

    FSU vs Wisky

    GT vs Iowa (they recently played each other in the Orange Bowl)

    GT vs FSU (battle of the southern BIG)

    Yes, GT and FSU do not dominate their in-state SEC brethren. But the talent in these states will put BIG schools on their radar.

    And damn it, the BIG needs some warm weather environs. I cannot overstate how much of a disadvantage the weather has been for BIG football on the recruiting trail.

    And if 18, God forbid, becomes the BIG magic number – ND and UVa will have to consider a BIG offer.

    • Hodgepodge says:

      Re: baseball in the south, I’m not sure that the B1G would have to do anything so outlandish and expensive. The easiest route might be to have northern B1G baseball team members sign up for online courses during spring semester so spending several weeks on end in the south would be a breeze. The way things are going, online courses are going to be the bulk of non-scientific courses (which require more hands-on training than most other disciplines), so extended road trips for students will be much easier from the standpoint of being disruptive of their studies.

    • Bucknole says:

      I wish this would happen. UF would absolutely hate the move. FSU has beaten UF twice and South Carolina and Notre Dame over the past few years, and getting out from under the UF umbrella would prove to be a defining moment for the university. The only thing I wold like to help people understand is that FSU is held back financially by the state and the powerful UF lobby. The acceptance rate and freshman SAT scores would probably fall right in the middle of the B1G.

  9. Hawkeyeskin says:

    Great article Frank! FSU to the B1G please! Show this to Delany!!

  10. zeek says:

    http://floridastate.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1445638

    Florida State’s athletic department announced Wednesday it would sell Orange Bowl tickets at a 50 percent discount to Seminole Boosters, season ticket holders and FSU students.

  11. Elvis says:

    Makes a ton of sense. If the Big 10 would go to Ga Tech, then the geographic argument is gone IMHO.

    I think FSU fans are certainly at or close to anywhere but the ACC.

  12. GreatLakeState says:

    Congrats Frank. This headline is sure to make you the bell of the ball (or wicked stepsister) on Rival, Bleacher Report & Scout sites from sea to shining sea.

  13. Elvis says:

    Also think the Big 10 could go to 18 (9 game conf schedule) and add some combo of FSU/UVA/Ga Tech/ND/UNC/ etc.

  14. Purduemoe says:

    Boiler Up!

  15. Mike B. says:

    Let’s talk about the important stuff Frank: would this mean we could get the Chief back? ;-)

    • Chas. says:

      Even though the Board of Trustees at the University of Illinois are politically-correct cowards that would never admit a mistake and reintroduce Chief Illiniwek, this is the most intriguing aspect of the dawn of the superconference that Andy Staples suggested with his CASH proposal three years ago: leaving the NCAA. If there are 4 16-team leagues, the can effectively render the NCAA moot and from their own governing committee. No NCAA, means no ridiculous hostile and abusive tag on our beloved symbol of integrity.

      Frank you forget to mention one relatively easy to waive, but key factor in the B1G’s CoC/P expansion deliberations: geographic contiguity. While from an athletic standpoint, FSU and Chief Osceola may be welcome, they would huge outlier that may prevent their inclusion beyond the academic bar which has already been lowered.

      • How has the academic bar been lowered? Was PSU a research juggernaut and AAU member before being in the B1G? I recall they where pretty meh academically when they joined.

      • 91Nole says:

        Just a point on Chas’ comment that we FSU fans are compelled to make. It’s not Chief Osceola. It’s just Osceola. The Seminole Tribe of Florida, who support FSU’s use of the Seminole name, is strong on that point since Osceola was never a chief. So it’s Osceola and his horse Renegade who are our symbols, not mascots. Another key distinction. A bulldog is a mascot. A tiger is a mascot. Osceola and Renegade are symbols for FSU.

        From the standpoint of Big Ten vs. Big 12, I think I could see preferring Big Ten as well. I saw in a recent article that FSU has become a top 25 research institution and tapping into the CIC would certainly be beneficial to being stronger in research. Also, the current school president, Barron, is keen on moving FSU up in the academic rankings and likely has a goal of AAU status for the university. He’s stated his preference for the academic nature of the ACC vs. the less so status of the Big 12 (they’ve lost 4 of their AAU members! Colorado, Nebraska, Texas A&M, and Missouri were all AAU) but I could see him being interested in the Big Ten for their academic strength. As an FSU fan personally, I guess I would slightly lean towards Big Ten, for some of the reasons noted above, though playing so many games in cold weather for our Florida kids would be tough. Then again we do have BC, Pitt, and VT in the ACC and it gets cold in those places.

        • Brian says:

          91Nole,

          Southerners exaggerate the weather issue. The last couple of weeks in November may be colder than you’re used to, but before that is just standard fall weather. And as you said, you already play several games up north. The biggest issue would be an outdoor CCG at night in December, but the B10 doesn’t play night games in November and the CCG is indoors so far.

        • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

          “I saw in a recent article that FSU has become a top 25 research institution”
          -I’d be interested in seeing the original article if you have a link. All the data I’ve looked at puts them just inside the ‘top 75′ range (and that is nothing to be ashamed of).

  16. OrderRestored83 says:

    add

  17. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    GEAUX LSU Fightin’ Tigers!

  18. Marc Shepherd says:

    Here’s my question, assuming it happens: Does Delany do an immediate two-fer (as he did with Maryland and Rutgers), or does he grab Florida State, and then wait to see what shakes loose?

    Everyone is saying that Georgia Tech is the obvious #16, but maybe the destabilizing effect of grabbing FSU will cause a better option to shake loose.

    • zeek says:

      Georgia Tech is going to have to happen at the same time.

      I think that’s the only way to get all the academics on board; it’s to sell it as a 2 for 1.

    • Mike says:

      If Florida St is #15, then I would prefer Miami as #16.

      • Bucknole says:

        Georgia Tech and FSU makes more sense. FSU probably has more alumni in South Florida than Miami, and Miami’s football program has serious problems and no facilities. With GA Tech and FSU, you get some of the Atlanta market, and a market in Florida second only to UF.

  19. zeek says:

    Florida State really mirrors the SEC’s move on Texas A&M and the ACC’s decision on Louisville.

    It doesn’t matter if you’re going out of your region or taking a school that’s not the primary force in a region.

    If the value is there, it can work. I really do think the Georgia Tech chatter is all tied up to Florida State.

  20. Mike says:

    Exerpt from Pres Barron’s email comparing the ACC to the Big Ten:

    http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/sports_college_fsu/2012/05/fsu-president-criticizes-big-12-academics-in-email-to-fans-affirms-acc-position.html


    1. The information presented about the ACC contract that initiated the
    blogosphere discussion was not correct. The ACC is an equal share
    conference and this applies to football and to basketball ­ there is no
    preferential treatment of any university with the exception of 3rd tier
    rights for women’s basketball and Olympic sports. FSU is advantaged by
    that aspect of the contract over the majority of other ACC schools.
    2. Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska and Texas A&M left the Big 12, at least in
    part because the Big 12 is not an equal share conference. Texas has
    considerably more resource avenues and gains a larger share (and I say
    this as a former dean of the University of Texas at Austin – I watched the
    Big 12 disintegration with interest). So, when fans realize that Texas
    would get more dollars than FSU, always having a competitive advantage, it
    would be interesting to see the fan reaction.
    3. Much is being made of the extra $2.9M that the Big 12 contract (which
    hasn’t been inked yet) gets over the ACC contract. Given that the Texas
    schools are expected to play each other (the Big 12 is at least as Texas
    centered than the ACC is North Carolina centered), the most likely
    scenario has FSU playing Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, and West
    Virginia on a recurring basis and the other teams sporadically (and one
    more unnamed team has to join to allow the Big 12 to regain a championship
    game), we realize that our sports teams can no longer travel by bus to
    most games ­ the estimate is that the travel by plane required by FSU to
    be in the Big 12 appears to exceed the $2.9M difference in the contract ­
    actually giving us fewer dollars than we have now to be competitive with
    the Big 12 teams, who obviously do not have to travel as far. Any
    renegotiated amount depends not just on FSU but the caliber of any other
    new team to the Big 12.
    4. Few believe that the above teams will fill our stadium with fans of
    these teams and so our lack of sales and ticket revenue would continue.
    5. We would lose the rivalry with University of Miami that does fill our
    stadium
    6. It will cost between $20M and $25M to leave the ACC ­ we have no idea
    where that money would come from. It would have to come from the Boosters
    which currently are unable to support our current University athletic
    budget, hence the 2% cut in that budget.
    7. The faculty are adamantly opposed to joining a league that is
    academically weaker ­ and in fact, many of them resent the fact that a 2%
    ($2.4M) deficit in the athletics budget receives so much attention from
    concerned Seminoles, but the loss of 25% of the academic budget (105M)
    gets none when it is the most critical concern of this University in terms
    of its successful future.

    His case for not joining the Big 12 isn’t as strong if you sub in the Big Ten.

    • bullet says:

      The problem is that his Big 12 info isn’t correct. He didn’t look very informed when he wrote this in May.

      • Mike says:

        It’s his line of thinking I’m looking at. Sub in the Big Ten numbers and the case for moving is just as compelling to FSU as it was for Maryland.

      • Pointed says:

        Not only were his statements full of half-truths, it was very shortsighted to be so critical. It’s almost like he wanted to make sure FSU could never get into the Big 12 by insulting all of the Big 12 schools.

  21. zeek says:

    Joe Schad ‏@schadjoe
    Every ACC President and Notre Dame attaches name to statement promising committment to league

    ———————————

    Welp, it’s over. Shut down the blog.

    • bullet says:

      Do you think so? The fact that they issued this statement means something, but I’m not sure what. That they are all staying? Maybe. That they don’t trust each other and think the others are moving? Maybe. That they just want to get through football recruiting season without negative impacts? Maybe.

      The Big 12 informally did the same thing and 15 months later A&M and Missouri had left.

      • gfunk says:

        “We are fully committed to the Big 12.” — Missouri Chancellor Brady Deaton
        “We are fully committed to the Big 12.” — Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin
        “I am not leaving Miami.” – Nick Saban

      • zeek says:

        Naw, I was being snarky.

        The ACC is on the verge of losing another 2-4 schools and possibly more.

        If they survive without losing schools for the next 2-3 years, I’ll be surprised.

        The Big Ten wants to get to 16 before 2016-2017.

    • ohiomarc says:

      Insert dismissive wanking gesture here.

    • Hodgepodge says:

      They’re committed until the very day they are not.

    • frug says:

      http://espn.go.com/college-sports/story/_/id/8721127/atlantic-coast-conference-speculation-more-defections-totally-false

      We, the undersigned presidents of the Atlantic Coast Conference, wish to express our commitment to preserve and protect the future of our outstanding league. We want to be clear that the speculation about ACC schools in negotiations or considering alternatives to the ACC are totally false. The presidents of the ACC are united in our commitment to a strong and enduring conference. The ACC has long been a leader in intercollegiate athletics, both academically and athletically, and the constitution of our existing and future member schools will maintain the ACC’s position as one of the nation’s premier conferences.

      It was initiated by the presidents of FSU, Clemson, UNC and V-Tech.

      • Andy says:

        But not Georgia Tech or Virginia. Perhaps they’re the ones looking at moving at the moment.

        • frug says:

          My mistake, G-Tech was one of the initiators. Of course, none of this really matters since it is non-binding and the fact they had to release this statement shows exactly how weak the ACC has become.

      • Hodgepodge says:

        The common tie between those teams is that they are usually the ones most likely to be competing for the top football recruits (Miami would be in that group too, but they are in a bit of a situation right now).

        One could argue that the reason why these schools pressed the issue is that their coaches and ADs recognize the fact that it is prime recruiting season right now, and anything that might raise questions in the minds of recruits is not a good thing.

  22. Andy says:

    Dennis Dodd ‏@dennisdoddcbs

    Slive says “we will probably have something to say in January” re: SEC Network. First time I’d heard that.

  23. brindelin says:

    From last thread, FSU is a big TV draw two of the top three games overall and three of the top 7. Granted alot of that is due to being in the Championship game but there are 5 championship games rated below their lowest game.

    Also the teams they played in the top two weren’t exactly huge tv draws based on this data. Although VT did have Vick.

    • BOWL YEAR TEAMS RATING
    1. Rose Bowl 2006 Texas-USC 21.7 *
    2. Orange Bowl 2001 Florida State-Oklahoma 17.8 *
    3. Sugar Bowl 2000 Florida State-VT 17.5 *
    4. Championship 2007 Florida-Ohio State 17.4 *
    4. Championship 2008 LSU-Ohio State 17.4 *
    6. Fiesta Bowl 2003 Ohio State-Miami 17.2 *
    6. Fiesta Bowl 1999 Florida State-Tennessee 17.2 *
    8. Championship 2010 Texas-Alabama 17.1 *
    9. Championship 2009 Florida-Oklahoma 15.8 *
    10. Sugar Bowl 2004 LSU-Oklahoma 14.5 *
    11. Rose Bowl 2004 Michigan-USC 14.4
    12. Rose Bowl 2000 Wisconsin-Stanford 14.1
    13. Rose Bowl 2001 Washington-Purdue 14.0
    14. Rose Bowl 2007 USC-Michigan 13.94
    15. Rose Bowl 2002 Miami-Nebraska 13.9 *
    16. Orange Bowl 2005 USC-Oklahoma 13.7 *
    17. Rose Bowl 1999 Wisconsin-UCLA 13.3
    18. Rose Bowl 2010 Ohio State-Oregon 13.18
    19. Sugar Bowl 2001 Miami-Florida 12.9
    19. Fiesta Bowl 2006 Ohio State-Notre Dame 12.9
    21. Rose Bowl 2005 Texas-Michigan 12.4
    22. Orange Bowl 2006 Penn State-Florida State 12.3
    23. Rose Bowl 2009 USC-Penn State 11.7
    24. Sugar Bowl 1999 Ohio State-Texas A&M 11.5
    25. Fiesta Bowl 2002 Oregon-Colorado 11.3
    25. Orange Bowl 2000 Michigan-Alabama 11.3
    25. Rose Bowl 2003 Oklahoma-WSU 11.3
    28. Rose Bowl 2008 USC-Illinois 11.1
    29. Fiesta Bowl 2001 Oregon State-Notre Dame 10.7
    30. Fiesta Bowl 2009 Texas-Ohio State 10.4
    31. Orange Bowl 2003 USC-Iowa 9.7
    31. Orange Bowl 2004 Miami-Florida State 9.7

  24. Eric says:

    I definitely don’t want superconferences or Florida State in the Big Ten (if we are going to expand again, I’d actually prefer smaller schools as I don’t want to make Big Ten championships harder again (we’ve already reduced them a lot with a CCG and 12 teams)).

    With that said, I think Florida State and Georgia Tech to the Big Ten allows for the easiest of pod systems as you could have 2 pods with 2 kings (Ohio State and Michigan in one, Penn State and Florida State in the other) always be in separate divisions. I’d see it looking like this:

    Pod A: Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Rutgers (east coast exposure in New York)
    Pod B: Penn State, Florida State, Maryland, Georgia Tech
    Pod C: Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota
    Pod D: Indiana, Illinois, Purdue, Northwestern

    Pods A and B would always be in separate divisions, but there would be no locked crossovers and they’d always play each other as their crossover divisional games (same with C and D). With 9 conference games, you play everyone outside of your pod exactly 1/2 the time (either 2 years on and 2 years off or 1 year on and 1 year off, probably the former).

    The biggest issue with the set-up would be whichever division had pod C would definitely be the tougher one. That said, I think the scheduling advantages would be such that they’d go for it anyway.

    • Read The D says:

      @Eric- Your set up makes the most sense out of any I’ve seen on this board. Co-sign.

    • bullet says:

      You bring up a good point. More teams, fewer championships.

    • ohiomarc says:

      This is almost ideal, imo. Spitballing here….to try to alleviate some of the SOS discrepancies, maybe Indiana and Purdue could switch with Wisconsin and Minnesota? You’d end up with:

      Pod A: Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Rutgers
      Pod B: Penn State, Florida State, Maryland, Georgia Tech
      Pod C: Nebraska, Iowa, Indiana, Purdue
      Pod D: Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Northwestern

      • Eric says:

        It works better for competitive balance, but hurt rivalries. Purdue-Illinois want to play each other and I’d be hesitant about separating the western teams so much and breaking up their rivalries (or potential rivalries too). That said, I could see that arrangement happening too.

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      I really think competitive imbalance (i.e., the weakness of Pod C) is the reason this wouldn’t be done.

      • zeek says:

        You are correct.

        The pods will each have 1 king if we do go to pods. There’s no way around that.

        • Eric says:

          Pods with 1 king each means we need locked crossovers though and creating a schedule where everyone plays everyone else often gets difficult. I hope they’d avoid that, especially since ohiomarc’s suggestion essentially gives them that as well and would still leave more flexibility than 1 king in each division (since there are no locked crossover, mine would preserve more rivalries than his, but at the expense of competitive balance).

          • 91Nole says:

            Everyone is worrying too much about pod strength. That sort of thing waxes and wanes. You could set up the perfect pods on strength today and 5 years from now they’ll be out of whack. Stay with Eric’s original setup, which makes the most sense geographically and rivalry-wise and run with it. Relative pod strength will not remain constant over time.

    • Black dutch says:

      Uhhh…Pod D looks a little easy. Can’t imagine the rest of the schools would be happy about that.

      • Black dutch says:

        I’ll throw my first glance suggestion in…

        Pod A: Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa, Purdue
        Pod B: Ohio State, Penn State, Maryland, Rutgers
        Pod C: Florida State, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Illinois
        Pod D: Wisconsin, Nebraska, Northwestern, Minnesota

    • Pezlion says:

      They’re not going to throw away the OSU-PSU game, which has been far and away the second most important game to the league.

      Also, as a Penn State fan, I have no interest in being in the southeast bracket. Penn State will be kept with Rutgers.

      • Eric says:

        My fear is you are right about Ohio State-Penn State. For 14 teams alignments though (and despite the talk of 16 teams, I think we’ll be here for awhile), keeping Ohio State-Penn State almost mandates a set-up with locked crossovers. I’m hoping the conference can get away from those but the only realistic set-up I can see to accomplish that involves the 3 eastern teams being paired with the 4 western most teams (which would separate Ohio State and Penn State).

        As for not wanting to be in a bracket with all ACC teams, I can sympathize and see your point. I equally hate every alignment that has Ohio State in an eastern pod. I at least want most our locked games to be against Midwestern teams we’ve been playing forever.

    • Brian says:

      Eric,

      “I definitely don’t want superconferences”

      Too late for that, unfortunately.

      “or Florida State in the Big Ten (if we are going to expand again, I’d actually prefer smaller schools as I don’t want to make Big Ten championships harder again (we’ve already reduced them a lot with a CCG and 12 teams)).”

      I don’t think RU and MD will have a major impact on B10 titles. Adding NE did, but more by eliminating co-champs than NE winning a ton of titles.

      “With that said, I think Florida State and Georgia Tech to the Big Ten allows for the easiest of pod systems as you could have 2 pods with 2 kings (Ohio State and Michigan in one, Penn State and Florida State in the other) always be in separate divisions. I’d see it looking like this:

      Pod A: Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Rutgers (east coast exposure in New York)
      Pod B: Penn State, Florida State, Maryland, Georgia Tech
      Pod C: Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota
      Pod D: Indiana, Illinois, Purdue, Northwestern

      Pods A and B would always be in separate divisions, but there would be no locked crossovers and they’d always play each other as their crossover divisional games (same with C and D).”

      I understand the desire for a system like this, but you just can’t do it. A > C > B >>>> D. Half the time you’d have this:

      A+C = 1 – OSU, MI, NE, MSU, WI, IA, RU, MN
      B+D = 2 – PSU, FSU, GT, MD, NW, PU, IL, IN

      The 6th best team in division 1 is similar to #3 in division 2. Two crossover games wont fix that.

      The other half of the time you have this:

      A+D = 1 – OSU, MI, MSU, NW, PU, RU, IL, IN
      B+C = 2 – NE, PSU, FSU, WI, IA, GT, MD, MN

      Now, the 6th best team in division 2 is like the 4th best in division 1. Two crossover games won’t fix that, either. Pod C teams always get screwed and the Pod D teams always have it easy. Pod A has it worse than Pod B, too.

      “With 9 conference games, you play everyone outside of your pod exactly 1/2 the time (either 2 years on and 2 years off or 1 year on and 1 year off, probably the former).”

      That’s the beauty of the system, but you need to balance it better.

      This is more balanced but loses some rivalries:

      A – OSU, MI, MSU, MD
      B – NE, WI, IA, MN
      C – PSU, RU, NW, IL
      D – FSU, GT, PU, IN

      A is tougher than B, but C and D are similar.

      “The biggest issue with the set-up would be whichever division had pod C would definitely be the tougher one. That said, I think the scheduling advantages would be such that they’d go for it anyway.”

      I don’t. The differences are too large. It’s cleaner without locked rivals, but I don’t see the B10 relinquishing locked rivals. There are just too many games they want/need to keep.

      • 91Nole says:

        There was a time when Pod B under Eric’s scenario would have been far and away the strongest pod. Go back 15 years ago when FSU was perennially top 5 and Penn State was still in their heyday. Even Georgia Tech won a share of a national title in the early 90′s. None of those other pods would have come close. Today it’s completely different, though Penn State was stronger this year than I thought they’d be. Tides will shift again and pod strength will wax and wane as well. There is no perfect pod alignment that keeps all schedule strengths equal every year.

        • Brian says:

          It’s not just competitive balance, it’s also brand and media coverage balance. You have no idea how much complaining would happen when all the footprint media focus on an OSU/MI division and ignore everyone else. It already happens with them separate, and I see plenty of complaints from MSU and WI fans, and even from NE and PSU fans a little bit.

    • You can’t have Pod D be that weak. Move Wisconsin there and move Illinois to Pod C.

    • Nebraska Nate says:

      At first, I though this was a rediculous idea, but the more times I read it, it makes some sense. I understand you’re trying to protect geography, which I agree with (as a Nebraska fan that loves to travel well to road games), but Pod D is weak! Other than that, it’s a good idea. (Although I argue that Nebraska is also a “king”, with more championships than 1970 than any other school…)

  25. Mike says:

    If you put FSU in an Eastern pod with Penn State, Rutgers and Maryland and make Georgia Tech (or Miami) its permanent cross over, then FSU’s 8-game football schedule consists of those 4 teams each year, plus at least one of Michigan, OSU or Nebraska, plus 3 other teams that FSU won’t care about.

    It’s not the SEC, but I think that is a more attractive conference schedule for FSU than what they currently get in the ACC and certainly better than what they would get in the Big 12.

  26. Read The D says:

    If FSU wants to leave and it comes down to a choice between B1G and B12, B1G will win.

    The only advantage the B12 would have is if Bowlsby said to FSU, bring 5 of your friends and we’ll put you in your own 8 team division with WVU and Iowa St.

    That could reduce travel and create a sense of geographical fit for FSU. They could even bring USF and/or UCF if they really wanted. (I doubt they would want to)

    Fox should really work on a B12 network. They already have deals with most schools other than Texas and if they could get it on in Florida too that could make everyone some money.

  27. jj says:

    Great piece.

    I am convinced that fsu and gt together are very doable. They will clearly be different in some cultural ways, but maybe that’s a good thing. Rutgers and MD will be too.

  28. greg says:

    Another analysis of B1G v. SEC assistant spending.

    http://bigten.xofan.com/Iowa/b1g-money-small-spenders/

  29. dtwphx says:

    What if anything could it take for UF to leave the SEC to join the B1G?
    - would the CIC play a roll?
    - if GT and FSU were also in, would that be enough local schools for travel purposes?
    - if GT, FSU, and Miami joined, would that be enough? or too many florida schools.

    This has probably already been posted some time in the last 3 years:
    http://www.theatlanticcities.com/arts-and-lifestyle/2012/04/invisible-borders-define-american-culture/1839/

    I found the clear division between Florida and the “deep south” very striking.
    I found equally striking the division between Virginia and North Carolina.

    For me,
    a safe 16 is: Missouri and VT (VT has higher enrollment than UVA, and UVA won’t join the SEC)
    a stretch 16 is: GT and FSU (not enough critical mass in FL)
    a homerun 18 is: VT, GT. FSU, and UF; or GT, FSU, UF, and Miami.

  30. anevilmeme says:

    For expansion 16 and 20 are the only numbers that make sense, they can be broken into 4 pods. If 16 is the goal FSU/GT makes more sense than Va/NC. If 20 is the goal those 4 plus Duke and either Miami or ND.

    Not really a fan of 20.

    • Richard says:

      ??? 18 with 6 pods of 3 actually works perfectly fine. Granted, it would be harder to understand, but that would be true of 4 pods for the casual fan as well.

      • Andy says:

        OK, I laughed.

        • Andy, are you laughing at Missouri’s #46 team recruiting class ranking on rivals for the 2013 cass? That is a great sign that you all will be able to keep up in the SEC.

          • Andy says:

            We’re about to hire one of the highest regarded and will be highest paid offensive coordinators in the SEC as well as at least one more assistant. The recruiting class is in flux right now but should improve dramatically soon. Rankings don’t mean anything until signing day.

  31. Mike says:
  32. ohiomarc says:

    Preach it, brother! I’ve been on the FSU & GT bandwagon for a while now, so I’d love it if this ever came to fruition. So, will it? Unfortunately I’d doubt it. Maybe it’s the cynic in me, but I just have the feeling the B1G either stays put at 14 or decides to go to 16 by adding Virginia and GT or some other yawner combination that’ll further water down the conference’s football product.

  33. drwillini says:

    One glaring omission Frank: What impact will this have on our Chief?

  34. zeek says:

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/blog/dennis-dodd/21292915/big-east-deal-could-be-worth-as-little-as-60-million-per-year

    “t is no secret that the league’s existence might hinge on that value of that TV deal. It is known that Houston has a provision in its pending deal with the Big East that it can get out of its agreement without penalty if certain revenue projections aren’t achieved. Each incoming Big East member has negotiated its own deal regarding conference withdrawl, sources told CBSSports.com

    For example, Boise State can reduce its buyout to leave the Big East if there is a drop of 25 percent in current aggregate total revenue. Also, Boise State can have that fee reduced if less than 70 percent of the new TV contract goes to football. Houston, San Diego State, Boise State and SMU, among others, enter the Big East on July 1. Commissioner Mike Aresco said TV negotiations are ongoing and put no date on their completion.”

    @bullet

    There’s some food for thought in there. They need to hit some pretty strong benchmarks to keep Boise State and Houston (and possibly SDSU and others) happy.

    If it has to be 70% for football, that means only 30% for basketball.

    If it comes in at the low end, you’re talking about around $20 million for all basketball schools.

    Are the basketball schools really going to be okay with that? Basically getting $1 million or a little more each; I guess it’s better than they would do otherwise, but maybe Frank’s idea of a basketball superleague could get more…

    As for Boise State, Houston, and SDSU, is $3 million for football enough (I guess Houston would get $4 million for both)?

    • loki_the_bubba says:

      It would be interesting to see what kind of deals Navy, SMU, Memphis, and ECU put in place also.

      • dtwphx says:

        But what conference do Houston, SMU, Memphis, UCF, and ECU have to go back to
        if they want to get out of the BigEast?

        • loki_the_bubba says:

          Houston and SMU could end up in a 16 team MWC with SDSU and Boise. Memphis will be happy playing Big East basketball. I’m not sure UCF and ECU would want to back out. It’s mostly the western teams that have rumors being whispered.

        • BruceMcF says:

          ECU and UCF would stay committed to the Greater Conference USA, aka Little Big East (since the alternative is the Lesser Conference USA) unless the Former Big East, aka ACC, comes calling.

    • bullet says:

      Its been widely written that Boise got a get out of the BE free card (WVU wishes they had that) if it is less than 70/30. I think the bb schools are already getting around $1.5 million. I’m sure they wouldn’t be happy with a cut.

      • zeek says:

        They might have to take a cut.

        They lost Syracuse, Louisville, Pitt, and WVU. That’s an awful lot of marquee basketball to be losing.

        They’ve kept UConn and are adding Memphis, but I’m not sure that’s enough with the basketball schools to get much more than $1.5 million for that basketball product.

        • bullet says:

          They’ve still got Marquette, UConn, Villanova, Georgetown, St. John’s. Memphis and Temple are more than a replacement for Pitt and WVU. SU and UL are the difficult replacements. And they’ve expanded their market. That matters when you have something worth marketing.

          • bullet says:

            And what would GT,VU,SJ,Seton Hall, Providence, Marquette, DePaul be worth combined with Butler, Dayton, Xavier, St. Louis + 1 other school (Richmond, Boston U., Detroit)? That’s the other question. Will the bb schools continue in the hybrid if they have to play more UCFs and it lowers their revenue.

          • zeek says:

            Yeah, it’s intriguing.

            It could blow up everything if they could do their own thing and get more per school…

          • Floyd says:

            Memphis and Temple >Pitt and WVU? Please tell me that you were joking.

    • bullet says:

      The CUSA schools are delighted to be in the BE. The MWC schools had to sacrifice their bb programs on the alter.

  35. GreatLakeState says:

    I wonder if any B1G Bigs read this blog?

  36. loki_the_bubba says:

    MWC presidents are meeting this weekend. Realignment is one of the topics to be discussed.

    http://blogs.rgj.com/packblog/2012/12/05/unr-president-marc-johnson-discusses-wolf-packs-place-in-conference-realignment/

  37. A.B. says:

    I am a big fan of the concept here. I do think that the FSU and Miami model would be better than the FSU and GT model. I think Frank is right on with his assessment that GT does not have the muscle to establish the B1G in Atlanta. I could actually see GT destabilizing as a sports program and suffering from the decision. SEC and ACC loyalty in Georgia maybe too strong for the little brother Georgia team to survive a B1G transfer. (about the equivilent of the BiG 12 taking NW to get the state of Illinois, when the Illini are the dominant program)

    On the contrary, what about FSU and UNC? If the Tarheels could be pried away from the ACC I would argue that this would do the most for the B1G. UNC would carry North Carolina with it and carry significant mid-Atlantic weight. FSU would bring Florida with it. At that point the B1G becomes a true player in both regions.

    • zeek says:

      Georgia Tech is more likely to be rolled into this as a way of selling the academics about this kind of expansion.

      I highly doubt that they would sign off on FSU-Miami.

      FSU-Georgia Tech though would be an intriguing duo to both the CIC side of things as well as the football side of things. The academics matter to this discussion.

      • Richard says:

        Miami has the same academics as ND. You really should get FSU&Miami to solidify FL. Adding GTech is little better than adding Tulane (which is about as close to the FL panhandle as Atlanta is).

  38. GreatLakeState says:

    Consensus has been reached on the ESPN forum. Fans of the B12/ACC and SEC all want us to stop talking about taking FSU and go back to talking about taking the two schools no one else is interested in. GT/UVA.

    • bamatab says:

      I don’t know why any realignment knowledgeable SEC would care if you took FSU. It would take extenuating circumstances for FSU to be considered by the SEC. From Slive and the SEC presidents viewpoint, I think they would love for the B1G to take FSU & GT. That move would help loosen some combination of UNC, UVA, and/or VT for the SEC to sweep in and grab.

      • zeek says:

        If the Big Ten goes to 16 with FSU/Georgia Tech, they’re probably going to consider 20 if UNC and UVa come back to the table.

        Who knows where this stops if the Big Ten actually does pull the trigger on FSU…; we’ll have to look at 18 and 20 immediately.

        It could be a free-for-all.

        The SEC could offer to take 4+ schools from the ACC as well…

        • bamatab says:

          I don’t see a 20 team conference ever being realistic in college football. I’m guessing that 16 teams has always been Delany’s goal from the onset of his expansion talks (I sure don’t think that the new B1G logo was a coincidence). I think Richard got the 18-20 team B1G talk going on this board and it has gone from there. I could be wrong, but I wouldn’t bet on anything past a 16 team conference.

          • Agreed. At some point you have to put the breaks on expansion. 16, imo, stretches the meaning of a conference to the very edge. At 20 it’s just two conferences that hooked up, especially if we’re yanking a majority of schools from the ACC to get there.

          • zeek says:

            But, my point is simply that there are schools that you don’t say no to; regardless of the number that you’re at…

            If you’re at 16, and then Notre Dame comes calling, do you think the Big Ten says no?

          • bamatab says:

            @zeek – Maybe if ND came up and begged and pleaded to get in, Delany may have to listen…I guess. But even in that scenario, I just don’t see him going past 16 (I think Delany has come to terms with the fact that ND is no longer an option for the B1G). But I definitely don’t see Delany and the B1G presidents going past 16 for anyone else, including UNC. Anything past 16 just causes way too many issues and as MikeP stated, it becomes more of a governing body than a true conference. It might sound good discussing it on this blog, but in reality it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense IMO.

          • Ross says:

            I agree Bamatab, 16 is pushing the limits. Anything above that just seems ridiculous to me. At that point, let’s say it’s the B1G, what would you do? Have 9 of the original 10 B1G teams together and the other 9 on the other side, never to play each other? That’s basically the NFL.

          • Richard says:

            Actually, besides being harder to understand the pods, 18 isn’t so different from 16 as pretty much all the major rivalries for the B10 could be kept at 18 with 6 pods of 3 as well as with 16 with 4 pods of 4.

        • MikeP says:

          @Zeek, this is a very important point. If you take FSU and GT/Miami, I think you have to have a plan in place for the impending free-for-all. In other words, where is the end game? Notre Dame and North Carolina are likely kings, free to join whenever they want, but what about the Virginia schools or Duke?

          As you approach 20+, I think you have to start treating this less as a conference and more as a governing body. That would be a very interesting transition and raises a new slew of issues.

      • bullet says:

        I don’t think you ignore a king if he comes to your door. There are no more than 12 out there. Just because FSU adds more value to the Big 12 or Big 10, doesn’t mean they don’t add value to the SEC. Now maybe the SEC doesn’t want another king. It makes it that much harder for LSU, Auburn, UGA and Tennessee to stay at the top and for S. Carolina and Arkansas to succeed. If the SEC isn’t interested in FSU, that is the primary reason, not a gentlemen’s agreement and not the value of Virginia in a cable network vs. FSU. Those other two would contribute, but wouldn’t be why. And FSU may not want to go to the SEC, although its the only conference that really fits them.

        • bamatab says:

          Come on now. I think it is pretty obvious that if the SEC really wanted FSU, they would’ve been here in the place of Mizzou. The whole reason that FSU wants out of the ACC is because it knows it can’t compete with its neighboring SEC schools over the long haul. FSU would jump to the sec before the invite could leave Slive’s lips.

          • bullet says:

            You didn’t hear the FSU president commenting on how much he was glad he was in the ACC and wasn’t in that mess (referring to the SEC and all the Cam Newton stuff-this was before UNC and Miami, of course)? Not everyone wants to be in the SEC. The reason Missouri is in the SEC is that UNC, UVA, VT and FSU laughed at Slive when he told them he had 15 minutes to get more teams. He didn’t even try to call OU or Texas. Missouri was the best they could do.

            Do you think they really wanted 2 western teams so that Missouri had to be in the east? FSU absolutely did not want in the SEC last year. Now? Who knows?

          • bamatab says:

            bullet – The reason the ACC is even unstable right now is because FSU knows it can’t compete with their SEC neighbors long term with the current ACC revenue. It is no coincidence that the very summer follow the SEC expansion, that some of those in power at FSU were seriously considering if going to the Big 12 was a better move than staying in the ACC. It became evident when the SEC took two schools from new tv markets, what the SEC had in mind in regards to new tv revenue. If the SEC had shown FSU their projected earnings, you can bet that FSU would’ve jumped (just look at their motives right now for proof). And just because the FSU president made some off handed remark about the Cam ordeal, that doesn’t mean that when push comes to shove, that they’d risk their long term livelyhood based on that remark.

        • zeek says:

          The SEC has pretty much made the determination that they have enough football prowess.

          They want markets. They want places to send Florida, Alabama, LSU, Georgia, Texas A&M, South Carolina to in order to unlock value and build more markets into their sphere of influence.

          The SEC passing on FSU is similar to the Big Ten passing on Missouri.

          It’s not a slight; it’s just not a need.

          Just as the SEC picked up Missouri for its own needs, the Big Ten could do the same in going after FSU (or the Big 12, whoever).

          • Andy says:

            That comment made zero sense. Missouri offers the SEC and the B1G basically the exact same thing. An AAU school with above average athletics and two largish markets.

            Yeah the B1G is sort of in St. Louis if that’s what you’re getting at, but Missouri’s ratings are 5 or 6 times higher than Illinois’s ratings in St. Louis (look at the numbers, it’s true).

            Either league taking Missouri was about getting a solid all around pick that is neither weak nor especially strong in any major category.

            Pretty good sized market
            Decent AAU-level academics
            Decent football
            Decent basketball
            Decent fan support

            It made no difference who got it, SEC or B1G, either league was going to get the same thing out of it: a solid B+ addition and expanded markets for their conference network.

          • zeek says:

            No Andy, what schools offer in different areas is different based on what those conference have.

            If the Big Ten is focused on the East, then a school that’s a fit in many ways in the Midwest isn’t going to be a priority.

            Likewise for the SEC, if they’re focused on markets, then a school that’s a king isn’t a priority if it’s in the fully delivered footprint.

          • Andy says:

            These are all your opinions of course. Not facts.

            And I’m 99% sure you’re wrong.

          • Andy says:

            To be clear, of course now that they can’t get Missouri then Rutgers was apparently their next option. But that wasn’t what they were originally going for.

          • bullet says:

            Zeek is right. The SEC had brands. They needed markets. B1G found a major brand and took it, but their issue was demographics and they got that with Rutgers and Maryland. Big 12, after losing Nebraska, needed brands and got two high profile programs in tiny or duplicate markets in WVU and TCU. SEC could have had WVU, but they already had Alabama, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Auburn, Tennessee, South Carolina & Arkansas. They didn’t need another South Carolina or Arkansas, so they got Missouri in a big market. Missouri would have been more of what the B1G already had, just like WVU would have been more of what the SEC already had.

            Its the same with FSU. FSU is more valuable to the B1G or Big 12 than to the SEC. Its a no brainer for the Big 12. Fit is an issue for the B1G. For the SEC, there are tradeoffs. I’d still take them in a second if I were making the SEC decisions and they were interested (and I was willing to go to 16, which they clearly are).

          • Andy says:

            But the B1G doesn’t have Missouri. St. Louis is about 15% B1G. KC is even less than that.

            Some of you are acting like the B1G wouldn’t gain markets by adding Missouri but that’s simply not true.

          • Richard says:

            Andy:
            “And I’m 99% sure you’re wrong.”

            Except that the B10 has said that it wanted to get in to large growing population centers, which MD & NJ are. A state with the characteristics of IN or MN or WI isn’t attractive enough as it already has plenty of those.

          • metatron says:

            “AAU level academics” – The AAU is a measure of research prowess more than it is actual teaching ability. That said, the best and the brightest end up in research-oriented institutions.

          • Andy still trying to sell the B1G on Missouri for some reason. Not sure why we have to keep discussing them as they won’t be invited to the B1G.

        • I think that FSU fits well with a SUB conference that includes GT, Miami, Penn State, Rutgers, UMD, OSU, and Michigan….what’s not a fit there? FSU & Miami have ALWAYS played these teams, and have a more substantial history with these teams than any SEC school ex UF.

        • gregenstein says:

          Everyone needs to remember that, in order to stage a Conference Championship Game, you must play a “round robin” within your division, and so must the other division. Therefore, the maximum number of teams in a division is 8 unless the B1G goes to a 9 game schedule, which would be a requirement for an 18-team conference. 16 is the max until we actually see a conference east of the Rockies go to a 9 game schedule.

          • Cornholio says:

            You my like to play with yourself, greg, but I don’t see how a team could do that.

            Conferences with 18 teams, split in two division, and play 8 games within conference is a round robin. Ditto that with 20 teams/9 games.

      • FranktheAg says:

        I agree. I think Slive would be fine with FSU / GaTech to the B1G or B12. The end game for the SEC is UNC, plus one of UVa or VaTech.

  39. zeek says:

    Let’s be real here folks:

    1) If the ACC was really trying to make a statement about its stability, they would be publicly discussing a grant of rights. Recall the Big 12 discussions, they started out at 6 years, and it was messy with some schools saying they wanted more and some saying they wanted less. Eventually it all got ironed out…

    2) The fact that they chose a statement of commitment and have still not even publicly aired a discussion of a grant of rights is even more telling. That statement isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on…

    • GreatLakeState says:

      Rittenberg at ESPN has a blog post up, concerning this very thing.
      http://espn.go.com/blog/ncfnation/post/_/id/73626/acc-solidarity-no-match-for-b1g-money

      • Mike says:

        From the article…


        But the Big Ten eventually will become a 16-team league, and odds are the additional schools will come from the ACC. If you want to speculate about the Big Ten’s next expansion targets, look at big markets with good recruits and lots of Big Ten alumni.

        He never mentions the state of Florida in his post, but it fits his description.

        • zeek says:

          In fairness, all of the ACC’s schools from Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia now fit the description.

          It’s just hard to figure out which direction the Big Ten is actually interested in…

        • GreatLakeState says:

          I agree. That sounded like a Florida dog whistle. Rittenberg is from Chicago and, like Greenstein has great B1G sources. Not that they would spill the beans to him, but maybe
          he’s picked up something. Of course, it may be none of the above.

          • GreatLakeState says:

            When I refer to Florida, I’m referring to the state, not UofF, which isn’t going anywhere.

      • Andy says:

        As I posted above, Slive said there would be an announcement on the SEC network in January. If it is as lucrative as many are predicting that could be a major factor in all of this as well.

        If the B1G and SEC are both offering in the $40M range, ACC schools making $15M are going to feel the pinch.

        • frug says:

          Minor nitpick, but Slive said it could be announced as early as next month.

          • Andy says:

            okay, sure, but why would he say anything unless it’s imminent?

          • ccrider55 says:

            To stir the pot…?

          • frug says:

            Yeah, Slive has given “as early as” statements before.

            If it was imminent he would just say that it would be announced next month.

          • Andy says:

            Why does he want to stir the pot?

            What’s your point exactly?

            Do you think there won’t be an SEC network announcement relatively soon?

            What reasoning do you have behind this thought?

          • Andy says:

            Maybe you’re projecting. I see a lot of half assed stir the pot-kind of posts on this forum. Maybe you’re percieving Slive to operate as you do.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Sheesh. Have memory issues? Or persecution complex? I’ve stated often there will be an SEC network and it will be extremely successful. Conference networks are far more important than individual tier 3 rights. They significantly increase the attractiveness of said conferences.
            Perhaps Slive was just reminding those who may have wandering eyes that the SEC is in the game. Don’t move prematurely.
            Or perhaps it’s a warning that moves are coming, find your shelter sooner rather than later.
            Either way it was an unnecessary statement, suggesting a possible future statement. Judge Slive had a purpose for making it.

          • Andy says:

            I suppose. But I don’t see any reason to doubt that he believed what he said. I find it odd that he’s being questioned as if he’s being dishonest. Really doesn’t make sense to me. That is all.

          • frug says:

            No one said he was being dishonest. He was telling the truth. He might be able to announce network next month, but he might not.

        • Andy, since you already mentioned it why did you need to mention it again?

    • LetsGoPitt says:

      Why are we so sure that the GOR is ironclad? When you boil it down, isn’t it a just a contract that can be negotiated?

      • Brian says:

        LetsGoPitt,

        Of course it can be negotiated. But the starting value is something like $250M. That’s a little different than MD fighting their $50M exit.fee which only recently rose and is unlikely to stand at full value. The GOR value was established on the open market.

        • Gailikk says:

          HOw is the gor at 250 mil. As a school in the division wouldn’t it be the yearly payout (20 mil) times the years remaining (10 or 12 I think)? And if the Big 12 doesn’t have 100% revune sharing, doesn’t that mean a school might make 18 mil/year and thus have a lower buyout? Im asking not trying to be snarky here.

      • m (Ag) says:

        I’m not a lawyer, but it seems to me that it would be difficult for a court not to grant the school that signed a GOR a share of the TV revenues in from the old conference if they moved. They weren’t intended as gifts.

        If Kansas went to the Big Ten, the Big 12 could still air their home games, but I think they’ll have to give Kansas that an equal share of TV revenue.

        • frug says:

          The GOR the Big XII signed specifically stated if a school left they would leave their share of the conference distributions with the Big XII (conference distributions were classified as a media right that was assigned to the conference)

          • LetsGoPitt says:

            We have seen that media analysts have said the exit fee MD is fighting may be unenforceable As it could be construed as punitive. How is being made to leave media rights and distribution not the same? Only difference between GOR and an exit fee is that a GOR hasn’t been challenged in court yet.

          • Richard says:

            I’m not a lawyer but I reckon that you aren’t either.

            The analogy I would make is that an exit fee is like a clause in your lease agreement that you have to pay $1M if you break the lease;your landlord would lose economically if you do, so you would have to pay something, but $1M would be punitive.

            A GOR would be like you giving your landlord (or girlfriend) a Ferrari. You’d have a much harder time getting it back as you willingly gave it away.

          • m (Ag) says:

            A GOR is a business arrangement, not a gift that you give without expectation of anything in return.

            Schools pool their rights in exchange for an equal share of the sale of that pool of rights. As long as schools continue to contribute to that pool they shouldn’t be prevented from receiving their share, regardless of the conference they are a member of.

  40. drwillini says:

    Easy to sort out guys:
    Delaney and Slive sit down. Both agree that 16 is the final stopping point. B1G adds UF and GaTech. SEC adds FSU, UNC and VaTech/UVa.

    B1G gets UF, a huge football prize and great instiutional fit, and a another school with great insitutional fit and a travel partner for UF. B1G gets a big share of the Florida market, and a small share of Ga. Effectively the B1G is adding two schools with great fit to get a big piece of the Florida market.

    SEC gets new territory of UNC and VA, which is really their only outlet to expand, and gets them all. They have to give up a bit of Florida, but they were going to have to do that anyway if it is assumed that B1G was serious about FSU. Don’t think they are threatened by B1G getting GaTech. Effectively they give up the #1 in Florida, get a close #2, and two new states that would have been potentially split with B1G.

    I think this is win/win for all.

    • zeek says:

      UF is like the 3rd most valuable school in the country; probably behind only Texas and Ohio State. Absolutely no way do they do that.

      • zeek says:

        Nobody’s going to leave the Big Ten or SEC; probably ever…

        • Never mind the fact that these are actual schools with faculty, students, alumni, and a whole slew of individual and institutional interests. UF would have zero interest (aside from the faculty maybe) in the BigTen, and it doesn’t matter what Slive and Delany might want.

          What’s being proposed sounds like fantasy football.

          I repeat:

          Rule 1a: No one is leaving the BigTen.
          Rule 1b: No one is leaving the SEC.

          • zeek says:

            Yeah, I agree.

            Once a school becomes entrenched in a situation like the Big Ten or SEC; it’s not going to be possible to detach.

            Think about a school trying to leave the CIC; the faculty would stage 24/7 protests.

            There’s also the alumni and fans and such; entrenchment is impossible to overcome.

          • If UF tried to leave the SEC for the BigTen, their fans might actually murder the president. :P

          • metatron says:

            I still think Missouri would bolt.

        • bullet says:

          Not until after they expand to 20.

          • bullet says:

            Noone’s leaving the SEC or B1G until they expand to 20. Then its inevitable.

          • zeek says:

            bullet, I really think you overstate the travel/regionality considerations in the long-run. For Texas, yes that’s a primary consideration, but the East Coast schools have been travelling to Miami and to Boston for a decade now.

            As these schools integrate into the CIC and other functions, they’re going to find it almost impossible to leave.

            And yes that includes a Big Ten at 20 teams. There’s no point in splitting up when the aggregate is so much more powerful as a collective.

            That’s especially true on the research side; who’s going to up and walk away from a collective that can claim $12-13 billion in research expenditures.

            This isn’t the WAC. This is like the NFL of research, and these schools are deepening their collaborations.

          • bamatab says:

            No one outside of Mizzou would ever leave the SEC for any reason what so ever outside of the SEC burning to the ground due to mass sanctions over half of the members like the SWC. The SEC is part of the south’s (and its people’s) identity to a point far beyond any other conference in regards to culture. Even Vandy would never leave the SEC.

            Plus, until proven otherwise, a 20 team conference is a pipe dream. But even if it was an option, no SEC schools outside of Mizzou would ever leave the SEC…ever.

          • bullet says:

            The larger you get the more different you get. In the SEC Georgia and Florida weren’t very different from Ole Miss 30-40 years ago. The states and schools are very different now. Its regionality and rivalries that soften those differences. And it also slows change over what all of this is about. $$$$$. If you get big enough, some schools are going to do exactly what the MWC schools did in 1998, what the SWC 4 did in 1995, what the Pac schools did in 1959, what the ACC schools did in 1953, what the Big 8 (then 6) schools did in 1928 and yes, what the SEC schools did in 1933. The most valuable schools will decide it doesn’t make sense to subsidize the Mississippi States anymore and will take off and create a new, smaller, more profitable conference.

            They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Its all happened before and it will all happen again. Anything over 12 is unstable and going to 20 is a mortal wound. The only question is how long it takes.

          • zeek says:

            bullet, the problem with your assumptions is that the money is different.

            If all else was equal, sure, you’d be right.

            But money is glue, and the money we’re talking about $50 million+ per team, is too big and too much of a game changer.

          • bamatab says:

            bullet – Oh I agree that going to to 20 is a huge risk to the conference long term. I don’t ever see the SEC going past 16 teams. But as it stand right now and for the foreseeable future, they are not to the point where their identity is something that is not apart from the SEC. The people of those states (with maybe the exceptions of maybe Atlanta and the southern part of Florida, but not really even to that point yet) still consider themselves as southern in culture and tradition.

            If 16 teams does end up failing over the long haul and the SEC does split up, UGA & UF will still be aligned with Tennessee, Bama, USCe, and probably Auburn. Maybe the western half of the conference splits from the Mississippi schools and out. But those other schools won’t separate anytime soon.

          • frug says:

            @bullet

            The difference is in those cases not everyone was paying for itself.

            In the Big Ten (for instance) everyone except Northwestern brings more to the league that they take. With the success of the Big Ten Network it is now easier for future schools to do the same (think Maryland and Rutgers).

            As long as new additions continue to bring more money to the table, further expansion doesn’t guarantee that current conferences will go the way of the Southern Conference.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Bullet:

            I guess that 10 is to big. That was the predecessor to the PAC’s size was when it dissolved (over the pay for play scandles that the Kings were involved in, not the Kings “subsidizing” anything). As long as you see the lessers as being subsidized, rather than as enablers of even greater prosperity, there cannot be harmony within a conference of any size (excepting a one member conference). It only breeds conflict and distrust.

    • bamatab says:

      drwillini – As zeek & manifestodeluxe stated below, UF isn’t leaving the SEC for under any circumstance. Being apart of the SEC is a whole different ordeal for fans in the south (as I’m sure is the case to some extent in the B1G). It’s become the very identity of the fans of the SEC schools. The UF alumni and fans would burn that place to the ground if that ever happened.

      Plus, Slive and Delany aren’t sitting in some room dividing up the ACC together. It may turn out that the SEC gets the schools it wants, and the B1G gets the schools it wants. But it won’t be because they planned it out together.

      • Aaron Morrow says:

        “Slive and Delany aren’t sitting in some room dividing up the ACC together”

        This sounds awesome. Completely unworkable for North Carolina, but I could see a gentleman’s agreement where Virginia joins the Big Ten and Virginia joins the SEC.

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      Did you ever hear of anti-trust? Delany and Slive aren’t going to sit down and divvy up the market between themselves, even imagining they had the authority to do so (which they don’t).

      Besides that, Slive is not in a position of weakness. Why would the SEC voluntarily give up Florida? In your plan, what is he getting in return, that Delany has the power to give? Delany can’t force UNC/UVA to join the SEC.

    • Andy says:

      There are some seirously odd thoughts on this forum sometimes, but UF to the B1G has to be up there among the craziest I’ve seen.

      • metatron says:

        People are only looking at television deals. A university’s biggest money-makers are their alumni and their donations – that’s why Notre Dame can’t join the Big Ten; their coffers would dry up overnight.

  41. zeek says:

    Brian Murphy ‏@murphsturph
    Aresco on additional expansion: Western team is a priority for us. 14th team will be Western football-only member.

    Any guesses as to who?

    UNLV or Fresno State would be high on the list right? I’m assuming that they get a no out of BYU…

    • frug says:

      Air Force is number 2 behind BYU.

      After that you could make a case for any of UNLV, Fresno, Nevada and San Jose St.

    • bullet says:

      Football only rules out Rice. Maybe Tulsa? Doesn’t have to be Fresno.

      • zeek says:

        My guess was just that they wanted a school that would make it easier on SDSU and Boise State for travel purposes and recruiting purposes.

        Hence, something California based or something in Nevada.

        • dtwphx says:

          re: The BigEast adding a western football only school
          I wonder if a school like UTEP would help Houston and SMU attendance and interest,
          and also help BSU and SDSU on the off chance they happen to stay.

        • m (Ag) says:

          My guess is a 2nd California school is priority #1, it gives SDSU a natural rival and ensures Boise State (as well as any future western ‘big fish’: BYU or Hawaii) a guarantee of 1 game in California every year.

          I also like the potential of UTSA as the only college program in a large Texas city.

  42. Marc Shepherd says:

    Here’s a chilling scenario for you. The Big Ten takes Florida State. Then Jim Delany goes to Notre Dame, and says:

    “Look at the future. The Big 12 is eventually going to take Miami and Clemson, and they might not stop there. The SEC is eventually going to take NC State and Virginia Tech. It’s only a question of when. You’ll be left in an ACC that’s a shadow of the league you joined, something like a watered down Big East. You’ll be locked into playing 5 football games a year in a conference that has lost all of its good football schools. We’re going to 16 teams and stopping. This is your last chance.”

    • zeek says:

      Honestly, if Florida State comes, I think it has to be with Georgia Tech (and I realize that I sound like a broken record).

      The only way to get a non-AAU (with roughly similar credentials as Nebraska in terms of research) is to pair them with a sterling candidate like Georgia Tech.

      If you take them as a combo unit, the vote is likely to pass. ND and FSU at one time? Not a chance.

    • greg says:

      ND responds to that “chilling scenario” by asking “Can we still get in the playoff? We can? Then have fun in your conference.”

      I don’t know why all these people want to attempt to scare ND into a conference that they don’t want to be in.

      • zeek says:

        Agreed, the Maryland/Rutgers additions show that the Big Ten has officially moved beyond thinking about a Notre Dame future.

      • @greg – I agree. Worst case scenario is that ND has to place non-football sports in a league that looks like the Big East football lineup from 2003. That’s good enough for them to maintain independence.

        Frank

        Sent from my iPhone

        • frug says:

          Unless they consider it unacceptable from a scheduling perspective. Remember, Swarbrick himself stated that without the ACC deal ND absolutely could not put together an acceptable schedule.

          • greg says:

            As long as the ACC exists to give them games later in the year, it will be acceptable. Maybe they don’t get FSU/Miami/VT/GT and get stuck with games against Wake/NCSU/VA/BC. Its still better than getting stuck with Tulsa and Western Michigan late in the year.

          • bullet says:

            Worst case, I think Notre Dame ends up with the Big East it committed fully to last September (just with the ACC name), shortly before abandoning it. At that pace, Notre Dame will join the Big 10 or Big 12 around August next year since its fully committing to the ACC in December this time.

          • frug says:

            What if the “ACC” that is left is something like USF, Wake Forest, ‘Cuse, BC, UConn, Cincinnati, Temple and some combination of UCF, Houston and SMU? You think ND is going to consider that acceptable?

          • frug says:

            My point is, Frank’s “worst case scenario” is not the worst case scenario.

          • Richard says:

            It’s acceptable enough. Basically, I don’t think ND will be giving up football independence for at least a few more decades. Good for them. They don’t add new markets or growing population centers. We’ve already added a king that brings little/no new market in UNL. Been there, done that.

          • frug says:

            If something like that was acceptable they would have just stayed in the Big East…

          • Richard says:

            Maybe, maybe not. The new ACC would still have all those small academically elite private schools that ND loves to play (which the new BE does not).

            In any case, if the new ACC isn’t acceptable, ND may hold their noses and join the Big12 as a partial member (& the B12 has said they’d be happy to take them as such).

            Of course, after their GOR runs out, the SEC and Pac will fight over the southern B12 schools, but that’s a decade or so down the line.

            Notre Dame: the destroyer of conferences; wreaking havoc where ever she roams. . . .

          • bullet says:

            If the ACC loses 8, the new ACC is probably BC, SU, Louisville, Pitt Wake Forest, Duke + new members UConn, Temple, Cincinnati, USF, UCF and Navy for football + probably Georgetown, Villanova and St. John’s. So that is fine for Notre Dame for at least another decade of independence. If they lose 10, Pitt and either Duke or UL is gone. That’s good enough for them.

            The only part of that that might drive them into a conference would be the fear that everyone stops at 16 and they have noplace to go. After a 12-0 regular season, I think it takes at LEAST another decade before the fan base really accepts giving up independence.

          • frug says:

            @Richard

            In any case, if the new ACC isn’t acceptable, ND may hold their noses and join the Big12 as a partial member (& the B12 has said they’d be happy to take them as such).

            When has anyone outside of Texas (or Texas mouthpieces like Chip Brown) every said the Big XII would accept ND as a partial member?

    • manifestodeluxe says:

      Did anyone else read this in Emperor Palpatine’s voice from Return of the Jedi?

      “Oh, I’m afraid the deflector shield will be quite operational when your friends arrive…”

    • Andy says:

      Marc, the trouble with your scenario is it would include ND + FSU to the B1G, VT and NCSU to the SEC, and Clemson and Miami to the Big XII.

      That leaves the ACC with UNC, Duke, UVA, NCSU, GT, Boston College, Pitt, Syracuse, Louisville, Wake Forest, plus, say UCon and Cincinatti. How much do you think those 12 teams are worth per year? I’d say $10M per school, tops. Meanwhile the SEC and B1G are making $40M and the Big 12 is making 25.

      So why would UNC, UVA, Duke etc ever stick around for that? They wouldn’t.

      VT and NCSU are not going to go to the SEC unless the B1G takes UNC and UVA or Duke. Those schools will end up in either the SEC or the B1G. They won’t be left on the table.

    • Gailikk says:

      I think the answer to this is simple. Can Notre Dame get a playoff spot every couple of years (say 1 out of 3) for the championship or will they be locked out of it. If Notre Dame thinks they can’t compete for titles as an independent (and after this year they aren’t going to believe that) than they might join.

  43. zeek says:

    To me, 20 is the absolute upper limit. I don’t think you would ever see a 22 team or 24 team conference; at that point it’s just too detached and too large. I think you can get away with 20 teams in 4 pods; anything more and you’re talking too disjoint. With 20 teams, you can still play every team in a 3 year span (with a guaranteed crossover game if you look at 10 game schedules).

    16 is a barrier that could be crossed for the right schools. No one would say no to certain schools.

    Think about the CIC; you don’t think they’d love to have 21 institutions pumping out $12-13 billion in research annually?

    Right now 18 and 20 are a pipe dream, but once you’re at 16, they’re a reality.

    • bullet says:

      CIC and Big 10 don’t have to be synonymous. See U of Chicago.

      In any event, if you get too big, you are simply the AAU minus the ivies and MITs.

      • zeek says:

        It’s just how it is bullet. For whatever reason, academics are tied to football in the Big Ten.

        • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

          FWIW UIC was a guest member of the CIC for years before being booted when Nebraska
          was admitted. There is precedence for non athletic members (even beyond U of C).

          • zeek says:

            Well, that seems to show though that they’ve tightened the ranks to just Big Ten + Chicago. Doubt we see anyone other than Chicago invited.

            The only other possibility that exists is Johns Hopkins joining for lacrosse (men’s/womens’) and then joining the CIC as well.

            (That would be the coup of the century though).

          • Richard says:

            Lacrosse just isn’t worth that much (tiny attendance) and JHU is a small school.

            I think the only member worth adding to the CIC (and Big10 hockey league) would be NYU if they started to play top-level hockey. Potentially BU for hockey (they’re AAU now), though housing their non-hockey sports is a concern. Those 2 are the only 2 privates around B10 territory who are around the public flagships in the B10 in size.

          • zeek says:

            Yeah, Richard, but I’m looking at JHU’s $2 billion in annual research…

          • Richard says:

            There’s that, though I’m of the opinion that the B10 is ultimately a sports conference foremost. The CIC does some coordination, and “joining the club” confers benefits, but adding JHU to the CIC doesn’t mean too much if they bring nothing in athletics to the table (otherwise, UIC & it’s medical school would have been kept in).

    • bamatab says:

      Again, I haven’t seen anyone from the B1G presidents or Delany state that anything more than 16 was an option. Hollis specifically stated 16 had advantages over 14, and Delany from the beginning hinted that 16 was the goal (again, take a look at the B1G logo for a hint to the final goal).

      Anything more than that causes too many issues with money distribution, finding enough bowl games to send its eligible members to, and the overall uncertainty that it would cast over the collegiate sporting world which could drawing the concern of the federal government.

      Heck, it’s not even a certainty that a 16 team conference is viable over the long term. I think a 20 team conference becomes far too cumbersome and outstretched. Instead of having a conference of close nit schools, it would become a far flung group of long distance schools with little in common as far as culture and long term goals.

      • rich2 says:

        A flippant but a much more on target assessment of the current mess caused by our Big 10 leadership — http://mgoblog.com/content/unverified-voracity-starts-and-ends-canada. Pretty much on target.

        • frug says:

          You know they said the same things about PSU right?

        • GreatLakeState says:

          That’s a good blog (along with Maize n’ Brew) but veers into cult territory in regards to Hoke, who, with exception to Mattison, is never going to be confused with Meyer, Saban or even Miles.

        • cutter says:

          Brian Cook who runs MGoBlog was that the University of Michigan Alumni Club meeting last night. Cook participated in a two-hour Q&A session that included conference expansion. I was at that meeting.

          One thing to keep in mind about Brian is that he’s strictly a fan and he brings that point of view to his comments about expansion. In his mind, it’s pretty simple–Maryland and Rutgers don’t have good football programs, therefore expanding to 14 teams is a bad idea. If it doesn’t create a positive buzz in his mind, then he just doesn’t care. Period.

          He really doesn’t look at it from any other angle. I actually felt that his linking the article about how the athletic advisory committee wasn’t consulted about expansion was pretty flippant on his part. First off, these are business decisions that for a lot of good reasons, don’t get aired in public while negotiations are taking place. Secondly, these decisions are made by the university presidents who have absolutely do have the academic part of these moves in mind.

          As far as the quality of football is concerned, if the conference goes to a nine-game schedule and Rutgers/Maryland replace one of the less than stellar opponents on the non-conference schedule, then it’s a better overall situation for the fans. It’s not the same as having a Big Ten/Pac 12 scheduling agreement, but when you eliminate a MAC level program from the OOC schedule and replace it with RU or MD, then that’s an upgrade IMHO.

          • I have respect for Brian Cook, but his Ohio State counterpart is probably Mr. Bucknuts. Like you say, Cutter, the angle they’re coming from is totally different from what school presidents (or even the majority here) are coming from. That’s why the analysis here seems, to varying degrees, to accept Maryland/Rutgers as a good-to-not-terrible thing while it was universally panned in the sports press.

      • rich2 says:

        Didn’t you realize that the minute we receive the extra funds from the BTN due to more expansion, our football prestige will skyrocket? Didn’t you know that since the BTN aired in fall, 2007, the image of Big Ten sports, especially football, has improved at a faster pace than the growth in revenues generated by the BTN? If we could only grow to B24, I bet we will have a winning record in the bowl season (we won’t this year because we are not big enough or have enough alumni or tv revenues — but someday soon, Bamatab, some day soon).

      • frug says:

        it’s not even a certainty that a 16 team conference is viable over the long term.

        Well it’s not even a certainty that 12 team conference is viable over the long term either. The oldest one has only been around for 20 years.

    • Richard says:

      Yep, 20 is a hard limit, but 18 is a soft limit as well. Going from 16 to 18 only means pods that are harder to understand. Going from 18 to 20 means breaking actual rivalries (like OSU-PSU & the Little Brown Jug game).

      • gregenstein says:

        It also means locking in a 9 game conference schedule and only playing the other half of your conference if you happen to reach the CCG. No crossover games. So yeah, 20 is not really viable and 18 I would consider to be the “hard limit.” 16 is more your soft limit. B1G won’t give up OSU vs Mich, OSU vs. PSU, Mich vs. Neb, or PSU vs. Neb to make any particular conference work. B1G won’t give up OSU vs Mich, OSU vs. PSU, Mich vs. Neb, or PSU vs. Neb to make any particular conference work. Any realistic conference alignment needs to guarantee to the TV execs that the King vs. King games will continue, hence the current crossover games.

        Plus, as long as Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan, and Nebraska can fill their stadiums with cupcakes, they have little incentive to give up those games for the good the of the conference. The conference would have to make a ridiculous amount of money off of the added inventory to justify it.

        I can only see them going past 16 if 2 Kings come knocking on the door. Up until 16, there’s a chance for a Virginia, Georgia Tech, or Syracuse if a singular King presents itself.

        • Chuck says:

          You can play everyone in the conference every 3 years if you put the teams in 5-team pods and then rotate which pods play each other each year. This is kind of like the NFL. One year the winner of the pod a/c division plays the winner of the pod b/d division for the B1G championship, the next year the pods are rotated… I kind of like this better because it guarantees that the championship game has two teams that haven’t played each other.

        • Richard says:

          Of those TV games you listed, Michigan-UNL has no tradition and PSU-UNL barely has any tradition. Those 2 would more than be made up for by annual UNL-Miami, UNL-VTech, PSU-VTech, FSU-VTech, and FSU-Miami games. That’s why it makes all sorts of football & revenue sense to expand by adding FSU, Miami, VTech, and UVa to go to 18 (using the 6 pods of 18 model that I detailed below).

  44. Wes Haggard says:

    Frank, good post. And if FSU really wants to move, the B1G is the only logical choice. Think BTN. Think BIG bucks for FSU and a terrific national schedule. Georgia Tech may simply be the “Maid in Waiting” traveling companion to give FSU a comfort zone. And all the posturing about moving to the Big 12 may have been just that, posturing, trying to get an invitation to a real league like the B1G or the SEC. The Big 12 has very little opportunity to have a Big 12 network (see LHN) and all the real money for all schools in the conference that provides. That fact alone will make a thinking man leary when the BTN is beckoning. And the BTN is a conference network and will treat all schools equally. Is not UNC a catch in FSU’s throat. Ask Nebraska, CU and A&M if Texas was a catch in their throat?

    Next question may be which schools the SEC picks up. UNC? UVA? NCSU? VT? Only two could receive membership.

    And if FSU and GT and say UNV and UVA go. Would there be any pickings left for the Big 12? Or would the remaining schools become basket ball, Big East brethren?

    FSU to B1G. I can see that happening. Logical, like A&M to the SEC.

    • Wes Haggard says:

      Would it not be really strange if FSU and GT do go B1G. UVA and UNC go SEC. Crazy. CRAZY thought, Larry Scott creates an Eastern POD for the PAC with Notre Dame, Clemson, Virginia Tech and North Carolina State. Relignment is my favorite topic and like wine makes my wife say crazy things, relignment has the same effect for me. Love it.

      • ccrider55 says:

        Chance slightly above zero, but to remain above zero I’d say two of UVA, Duke, UNC would be required to get traction with PAC presidents. An eastern, basketball centric pod to supplement AZ and UCLA and create interest in a P16N during basketball (and baseball) season.

        • Andy says:

          Yeah, 3000+ mile plan rides to 75% of their conference away games sounds lovely.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Andy:

            FB: 3 games in pod. 6 games out of pod, 3 at home.
            66% of FB games at home or within home pod.

            I was responding to a way out there scenario. Note my slightly above zero chance statement. Only suggesting it is not completely impossible, as is the likelihood that the final conference makeup the longhorns are seeking can be found in your offering.

          • Andy says:

            So 3 road games per year 3000+ miles away. In football. Basketball would be a different story entirely.

        • Andy what’s your point? If the ACC is $10+ million behind in TV money plus the CIC benefit (which dwarfs TV money) and the SEC won’t invite FSU why would they not go? Wait…don’t answer that.

          A number of ACC schools and pods would probably be created which would make the B1G make a lot of sense for FSU. Right now as expressed by Frank is that FSU is currently matched up against BC and Syracuse in football scheduling. So they wouldn’t have a hard time wrapping their heads around traveling to GT, MD, Rutgers. Illinois isn’t much further of a flight than Columbia. Plus, again, the fact is that the SEC likely won’t take them.

    • MikeP says:

      If FSU and GT went to the Big 10, would the Big 10 really let the SEC cut a hole in the conference along the East Coast? If UVa and UNC went to the SEC, GT and FSU become outposts rather than a contigious strategy. I know we’re running into diminishing returns past 16, but if the B1G’s laying flags in Florida and Georgia, I don’t think it’s smart to concede NC and VA.

      If we’re assuming FSU and GT to the Big 10, I think Delany needs UVa and UNC — 18 schools be damned.

      • Andy says:

        18 is a huge stretch. There is a limit. You can’t take everyone. You have to choose.

      • zeek says:

        There is a definite possibility that he would take FSU-Ga Tech and then build a bridge to them; yes.

        • Andy says:

          When you’re talking about a Big 18 or a Big 20, then you’re basically talking about a B1G/ACC merger. It’s not even the Big Ten conference anymore, or evena conference at all. It would be a big bloated association. It’s never been tried and it sounds extremely messy. I would be genuinely shocked if Big Ten presidents want to push it that far.

          • The SEC wants an ACC merger Andy…for crying out loud… Yes thank you for coming over here and reminding us how valuable Missouri is, how the B1G made a huge mistake by not taking them, and how much better the SEC has managed their expansion comparative to all other conferences…the broken record continues.

          • Andy says:

            what the hell are you even talking about.

            You flame every post I make and the vast majority of what you say makes zero sense.

  45. Andy says:

    Okay, so now the thinking on here seems to be something along these lines:

    B1G

    Florida State/Georgia Tech/Maryland/Rutgers
    Ohio State/Penn State/Indiana/Purdue
    Michigan/Michigan State/Illinois/Northwestern
    Nebraska/Wisconsin/Minnesota/Iowa

    SEC:
    Georgia/South Carolina/North Carolina/Virgninia
    Florida/Tennessee/Vanderbilt/Kentucky
    Alabama/Auburn/Ole Miss/MSU
    LSu/Texas A&M/Missouri/Arkansas

    Big XVI:

    Miami/Clemson/NC State/Virginia Tech
    West Virginia/Pitt/Duke/Iowa State
    Oklahoma/Oklahoma State/Kansas/Kansas State
    Texas/Texas Tech/TCU/Baylor

    Pac 12 no change

    • Andy says:

      FWIW, I think it will be something like this:

      B1G

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

      SEC:
      Georgia/South Carolina/North Carolina/Duke
      Florida/Tennessee/Vanderbilt/Kentucky
      Alabama/Auburn/Ole Miss/MSU
      LSu/Texas A&M/Missouri/Arkansas

      Big XVI:

      Florida State/Miami/Clemson/NC State
      West Virginia/Pitt/Virginia Tech/Iowa State
      Oklahoma/Oklahoma State/Kansas/Kansas State
      Texas/Texas Tech/TCU/Baylor

      Pac 12 no change

      • zeek says:

        Still not sure the Big 12 has to do anything.

        Despite Chip Brown’s declarations, the Big 12 (especially Texas and Kansas/KState/Iowa State) have a lot of incentives against expansion.

        • Andy says:

          zeek, sometimes you make sense, and sometimes you seriously don’t.

          This blog is gushing over how great it would be for the B1G to get FSU, and suddenly the Big 12 is better off without them. Come again?

          If the Big 12 can grab up Florida State, Miami, Clemson, and Virginia Tech they will do it. Period.

          The ONLY reason they aren’t expanding is because they currently CAN’T get schools like that. Saying they don’t need to expand is just a way of making themselves feel better. Especially Texas. Their fnas like to puff their chests up and act like everything is going according to plan, when in fact they lost 4 pretty good AAU schools and replaced them with the horned frogs an dmountaineers, because that was the best they can do. And right now the best they can do as far as expansion is *maybe* BYU. Air Force reportedly turned them down.

          But if the ACC collapses you’d better believe they’ll grab what they can as fast as they can.

          • zeek says:

            Those 4 schools really don’t want to expand.

            There’s 10 schools in the Big 12; if 4 are that deadset against expansion (especially if that quartet includes Texas), then it’s not a slam dunk that they want to expand…

            Kansas, KState, and Iowa State especially like having 2 games guaranteed in Texas through the 4 games against the Texas schools.

            UT itself has said that they prefer a smaller, more closely knit (and closely controlled) configuration…

          • Andy says:

            It’s easy for them to say that now when there are no good options. They’re basically arguing against Louiville, BYU, and Cincinatti at the moment. Not a tough position to take.

            Some package like FSU, Miami, Clemson and VT would be an entirely different story.

          • bullet says:

            Dodds said he would be for expansion with “the right two.” FSU fits that. He is clearly not fond at all of 14 or 16. The general belief is that OU/OSU/TT/WVU are gung ho about expanding. Texas prefers not to. KU/KSU/ISU are concerned about divisional alignments. BU and TCU just want to know the $. I’m sure FSU plus just about anyone gets 10 votes. FSU/Miami/Clemson/VT would be a little tougher sale. There have been a lot of publically voiced concerns about 14. But if SEC and B1G go to 16, Big 12 probably scoops up 4-6 as well.

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          Not only that, they aren’t under any imminent pressure to make a move. Assume any conceivable combination of four schools going to the Big Ten and SEC. The ACC will replenish with UConn and Cincinnati, and they’ll still have 12 football schools, all with nowhere to go. The Big 12 can take its sweet time, or just stay at ten for the foreseeable future.

          • Andy says:

            They *could* do nothing, but if they have a shot at taking some of the better ACC schools and it would improve their money and competitive strength why on earth would they wait?

  46. loki_the_bubba says:

    Breaking news out of South Bend…

    Student tickets for the NCG were awarded today. AND MY DAUGHTER GOT ONE!

  47. twk says:

    Interesting argument for the Big Ten to pursue FSU, but I see that as just making the best of a bad situation. By taking Maryland, the Big Ten has wounded the ACC, and opened it up to further raids. That might have been worthwhile if UVA had come along with Maryland, or, if, instead of taking Nebraska two years ago, the Big Ten had added Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina, but that’s not what happened. Maybe it was never going to happen, but now, by poaching Maryland, the Big Ten has set in motion a scenario which, in all likelihood, ends up with North Carolina and either UVA or Virginia Tech going to the SEC.

    That might not happen any time soon. In fact, if I’m Mike Slive, I would call up the presidents of UNC and one of the Virginia schools and tell them not to rush into anything, and give the ACC a fair chance at success or failure becuase if (and when) the ACC collapses, those two schools will have a place in the SEC. The unspoken part of this conversation (or perhaps Slive isn’t that subtle and voices this clearly) is that if either of the two schools leaves the ACC for the Big Ten, the SEC will immediately offer a spot to their in-state rival. Can you see UVA succeeding in the Big Ten with Virginia Tech in the SEC (or switch it, and put Va. Tech in the Big Ten with UVA in the SEC–bad deal for VT). UNC wouldn’t want to see NC State elevated in stature by being the sole SEC school in North Carolina.

    Slive and Delaney are playing poker, and it looks to me like Slive has Delaney right where he wants him.

    • Richard says:

      This is why the B10 should try to take UVa & VTech to make VA (which these days has closer ties to B10 state MD & the rest of the East Coast megalopolis than to neighbor NC to the south) Big10 territory.

      I think UVa is an easy get; they treasure academic eliteness and disdain the “SECness” of the SEC. VTech would be tougher as their t-shirt fans probably prefer the SEC, but I’ve heard that VTech’s presidents #1 priority is to stick in the same conference as UVa (for academic reasons).

      • BruceMcF says:

        Except UV/VTech doesn’t happen unless the ACC is looking substantially more shaky than it is today.

        Which suggests that the whole GTech noise could just have been shaking the tree to see if any fruit would fall. If the Big12 can be induced to make a move to avoid being left behind, that makes it far more likely that the Big Ten can move into Virginia.

    • Psuhockey says:

      I don’t think the SEC appeals that much to UNC and even less to Virginia. Academics matter at these universities ( at least the perception at UNC). UNC is embroiled in the worst academic scandal in years and will not want to jump into what their faculty and administrators view as a jocks only conference. These schools also sponsor more sports than SEC teams so they would have multiple teams left out in the cold. UNC will not leave for any conference unless the ACC folds and it would take a massive realignment for that to happen.

      • Richard says:

        Right, but I don’t think it’s worth it for the B10 to wait for UNC when it’s possible to get FSU, Miami, VTech, & UVa.

      • twk says:

        The reluctance of UNC and UVA to move is actually one of the advantages that the SEC. The SEC can afford to sit back and wait as long as it takes. While the academics at both schools might lean to the Big Ten, the folks on the athletic side know that the only financially sound decision is to go to the SEC. Even Roy Williams knows that the future is in the SEC. Making the other choice, and letting their rivals take those SEC slots, would be suicide. If the ACC limps along for an extended period of time, that’s fine by the SEC, they are in no hurry. But, whether it’s the Big Ten making an unexpected move for schools like FSU and GT, or the Big XII somehow prying a couple of schools loose, the ACC will probably be poached again sometime in the foreseeable future.

        • Richard says:

          “While the academics at both schools might lean to the Big Ten, the folks on the athletic side know that the only financially sound decision is to go to the SEC.”

          Uh, the B10 will bring in as much or more athletics revenue than the SEC (and a lot more research money).

        • Chelsea J. Rockwood says:

          Even Roy Williams knows that the future is in the SEC.

          For football yeah, indisputable. But for b-ball? Nah, Ole Ball Roller Roy knows that an SEC schedule is a guaranteed 16-2 conference mark. It’s just Florida, Kentucky, and everyone else is sucky.

          • bamatab says:

            And according to their boards, they don’t want their baseball program to die on the vine. Apparently their fans value their baseball and football programs more than their Olympic sports and lacrosse

      • mushroomgod says:

        SEC greatly appeals to the sports fans, and to all of those who value the southern culture (ie..the rednecks). These two groups favor the SEC something like 85%-15%…if you doubt it read their boards.

        Harder to tell about the administrators/academics, since they don’t blog a lot……I’d ay will this group it’s probably 65%-35% in favor of the BIG.

    • Drew says:

      IMO Delany clearly wins that situation. NC State will never be Carolina. The presitge is just not there and it’s not like SEC money will be making a huge difference when Carolina is receiving B1G money.

      • twk says:

        NC State has some basketball history, but that’s beside the point. The game, financially, is won and lost on the football field. NC State in the SEC, with UNC in the Big Ten, would consign UNC to irrelevance in the most important sport, financially.

        • Richard says:

          ??? You do realize that the B10′s TV money is and will be as good as if not better than the SEC’s, right?

        • frug says:

          Huh? You do realize that the Big 10 is the wealthiest conference in the country, don’t you?

        • mushroomgod says:

          “Irrelevance” is a bit harsh as an assessment, esp if VIR came in with UNC. They would then have good recruiting grounds in NC, as well as VA and all the way up the eastern seaboard….now it will be hard to compete with the SEC going forward if they are going to be allowed to oversign at will, lie about medical redshirts and the like, and pay players at the Cam Newton level.

          • bamatab says:

            FYI…The SEC has limited the oversigning ability of the schools. Also I believe they have also curtailed the medical redshirt ordeal a lot since I haven’t seen it done in the last two years (at Bama anyways). And every SEC schools isn’t paying players at the Cam level. But if the B1G folks think Meyer is some sort of angle in regards to recruiting, then they are being extremely nieve. He’s just as apt to pushing the recruiting envelope as Saban is (neither pulls Cam type stuff, but both push the envelope with the boarderline stuff).

          • FranktheAg says:

            First, the SEC has a hard cap of 25 for recruit signing. If you want to exceed that, you must utilize early enrollees who come in during January. I’m not aware the B1G has a standard that rigourous but perhaps you can elaborare on that Mushroom?

            Second, are you claiming the B10 doesn’t utilize medical redshirts?

            Third, when it comes to paying players, the B1G has one of the all-time champs in tOSU (for both football and basketball mind you). Michigan has been on probation recently and the problems at PSU are well documented.

          • manifestodeluxe says:

            Here is the current BigTen oversigning rule apparently:
            http://oversigning.com/testing/index.php/2011/01/25/oversigning-and-the-big-10-conference/

            It should be noted that the BigTen was also one of the conferences pushing for the four year scholarship rule (with some exception… not sure every school is on board). It’s optional, not required, but I think every school does it.

            Regarding medical redshirts: We’ll see how Urban Meyer does things, but no, I haven’t seen the same medical redshirt stories coming out of the BigTen that sometimes come out of the SEC.

            As for the last part, as an OSU fan I take at least some offense to that. There’s some definite truth here, OSU did cheat and paid the price. But as for “all-time champs”… no. Just, no. Moreover, Michigan’s recent probation had nothing to do with paying players, it was because RichRod was squeezing in more practices than the NCAA allows (for all the good it did him). PSU’s documented issues weren’t pay-related, even if they are reprehensible.

            Now, Michigan and the Fab Five in the early 90s? That’s different. That’s Cam-level type stuff. Or Reggie Bush type stuff. Or Alabama circa 2000 type stuff. The stuff OSU was pinned for — actually found to be true by the NCAA, not alleged in SI and ESPN and never substantiated — isn’t even in the same league, and certainly doesn’t make them an “all-time” anything.

          • Brian says:

            FranktheAg,

            “First, the SEC has a hard cap of 25 for recruit signing.”

            Not just the SEC. They passed their rule and then rammed it through the NCAA so everyone has it.

            “If you want to exceed that, you must utilize early enrollees who come in during January.”

            A silly NCAA rule in my opinion (Why count against the prior class if they couldn’t have played that year?), but perfectly legal. The B10 does that too.

            I’m not aware the B1G has a standard that rigourous but perhaps you can elaborare on that Mushroom?”

            The B10 has the most rigorous rule in the nation. They actually regulate oversigning, not just apply a cap. Oversigning was totally banned before 2002 in the B10. You can now sign up to 3 extra players beyond the 85 limit, but the B10 office has to be told how you got back to 85 and it is rarely done according to the B10 VP in charge of it.

            So if you start at 85, then 15 graduate, 2 go pro, 1 is too hurt to continue and 2 transfer, the B10 would cap you at 20 recruits that year. You could go up to 23, but you’d have to give a written explanation for all 88 players and how you got down to 85.

            This is one reason why the B10 averages so many fewer recruits per team than other conferences. The B10 also shies away from JUCO players more than other conferences, which also has an impact on the total number.

          • bamatab says:

            “This is one reason why the B10 averages so many fewer recruits per team than other conferences. The B10 also shies away from JUCO players more than other conferences, which also has an impact on the total number.”

            The effect of which is showing in the football product that is being put on the field.

          • bullet says:

            Georgia and Florida don’t oversign like the West has. And the SEC West has started to dominate the conference. That may shift back now that the West has to start being closer to following the spirit of the rules.

          • FranktheAg says:

            Thanks Brian. Didn’t know that.

          • FranktheAg says:

            Bullet – UGa has 33 recruits committed today. Taking a similar approach tat A&M is doing and bringing in a big group in January.

          • bullet says:

            Someone posted the 5 year averages here a while back. UGA and Florida were right at 25. Arkansas, Alabama, LSU, Ole Miss and Mississippi State and Auburn were well over 25. Almost all the Big 10 schools were 20-25.

            I imagine UGA is catching up and doing the January admissions. They were down to 71 scholarship athletes in September due to transfers and players kicked off the team (like LSU’s QB).

          • Brian says:

            bamatab,

            “This is one reason why the B10 averages so many fewer recruits per team than other conferences. The B10 also shies away from JUCO players more than other conferences, which also has an impact on the total number.”

            The effect of which is showing in the football product that is being put on the field.

            Of course it is. The B10 is at the same disadvantage as USC compared to the P12. The difference in quality depth is very important.

            http://oversigning.com/testing/index.php/recruiting-numbers/

            Average recruiting class size for 2002-2010 (to average out weird years):
            SEC – 25.2
            B12 – 24.3
            BE – 23.9
            P10 – 23.1
            ACC – 22.1
            B10 – 22.1

            3 players per year adds up, and that’s without looking at individual schools. Not all SEC school oversign, for example.

            SEC school averages:
            AU 28.1
            MSU 27.4
            SC 26.9
            AR 26.6
            MS 26.3
            AL 26.1
            KY 25.1
            LSU 24.9
            MO 24.2
            TAMU 24.0
            TN 24.0
            UF 23.3
            UGA 23.0
            VU 21.2

            There’s a big gap between Vandy and everyone else, and between the East and the West.

            Remember, the annual limit is 25. With a redshirt year, that’s up to 125 players to find 85. AU is getting up to 35 more recruits to choose from than Vandy is.

            By comparison:
            PU 24.2
            MN 24.1
            MSU 24.0
            IL 23.8
            NE 23.3
            WI 22.7
            IN 22.4
            IA 21.9
            MI 21.7
            PSU 20.3
            OSU 20.0
            NW 18.9

            So OSU is/was competing nationally with 5 fewer recruits per year than LSU and 6 less per year than AL. I’m guessing Meyer will have a little more turnover than Tressel, though.

            To be clear, I want to make these points:
            1. Oversigning is not against NCAA rules
            2. Not all oversigning represents a recruit or player being mistreated
            3. There can be good reasons for inflated numbers, like coaching changes and players turning pro
            4. Not every school has the same academic mission (no Vandy recruits fail to qualify, some schools are more open to JUCOs, etc)
            5. Oversigning isn’t the sole reason for SEC success

          • manifestodeluxe says:

            “5. Oversigning isn’t the sole reason for SEC success”

            It isn’t the sole reason. But when you hear the media swoon over the SEC, usually one of the first things you hear is, “SEC teams are just deeper than teams in other leagues.” They like to pretend like this is just some weird phenomenon, or that the SEC is just better because it’s the SEC. That depth is what oversigning provides, especially when combined with the high end recruiting (read: many 4-5* recruits) done by the top schools in the conference.

          • bullet says:

            Petrino took it to a new level with something like 39 one year. After that the SEC implemented its rule. Its not just running players off. A big part is signing players who they don’t think will qualify. They are taking a chance on players who really have no business in a 4 year college, and, if they lose the bet, have a relationship that might help get them to sign after a couple of years of JC football. Of course, that also means that players who do qualify might get their scholarships yanked after signing date for players who qualified late. Les Miles took that to a new level by doing it in August(not in person, of course) to a player after he had already moved into the dorm.

          • bullet says:

            Part of Baylor’s problems in the 90s had to do with marginal recruits. They would be very close to Texas and Texas A&M on signing day with their number of blue-chippers. But none of those players would qualify. The other schools shied away from them for that reason. And almost all of them who eventually made it to a 4 year school ended up somewhere other than Baylor.

          • joe4psu says:

            @bullet,

            “Petrino took it to a new level with something like 39 one year. After that the SEC implemented its rule.”

            I think that’s the Houston Nutt rule. :)

      • bamatab says:

        UNC’s concern wouldn’t be financial, but the football prestige that NCST would probably develope over time being the SEC school in NC. And from reading their boards, that concern is real. The B1G football product is nowhere near the level of the SEC right now. The majority of the kids in the states that UNC recruits in (NC, SC, UGA, FL) want to play in the SEC. Just look at UGA’s freshmen RB duo for proof of that. Their concern is that if NCST is in the SEC, they would eventually become the destination place for the kids in their recruiting area, and thus surpass UNC in football prestige. Just look at the up tick that aTm’s recruiting has already taken. And while UT is still the top destination spot for Texas kids, UNC is nowhere near UT’s prestige when it comes to football recruiting.

        • Psuhockey says:

          UNC cares as much about football as Kentucky cares about football. It is a basketball first school, with students and t-shirt fans who barely care about football. I think I saw more interest in their baseball team when I was down their versus their football team.

          • bamatab says:

            UNC cares enough about its football program that they don’t want to get passed by NCST. They still put around 60k people in the seats of their football stadium. Even though basketball is their number one sport, $25.58 mil in revenue can still be attributed to their football program. And those numbers would grow (so would NCST’s) is they entered the SEC.

            Also from looking at their message boards, their t-shirt fans sure do talk a heck of a lot about foobtall to be barely caring for it.

          • vp19 says:

            It’s going to get to the point where the ACC is going to fall so far behind in football revenue that its members will have to find new homes simply to avoid irrelevancy. If UNC will eschew the far better cultural and educational fit of the Big Ten merely to thwart NCSU from landing in the SEC for superior football recruiting (meaning former UNC basketball player Jim Delany can’t land his alma mater), this could result in all sorts of weird new addresses for ACC emigres.

            UVa and UNC in the SEC? Does that mean Virginia Tech and NCSU, barring a sudden rise to AAU status and Big Ten qualification, head out to the Big 12 alongside Clemson and Florida State as Texas vassals? And what about Delany — might he have to settle for Duke and Georgia Tech (assuming Pitt is a non-starter)? Do most of what’s left in the ACC (Wake, Miami, BC, Syracuse) merge with Connecticut and the remnants of the Big East?

        • “Just look at the up tick that aTm’s recruiting has already taken.”

          Yes, with 33 commitments with three months to go, just look at where TA&M’s recruiting has gone since joining the SEC.

          (Sorry, couldn’t resist the oversigning jab. :))

          • bamatab says:

            In the SEC, you either crap or get off of the pot. And aTm sure ain’t getting off of the pot. :)

          • m (Ag) says:

            I try not to follow recruiting too much, but A&M can sign something like 10 recruits this month; Junior college graduates or students who graduate high school early. They enroll next semester and count towards last years limit.

          • FranktheAg says:

            I do follow A&M recruiting closely.

            A&M will have 8 players (and maybe 9) enroll in January, thus by NCAA rule, those players count against towards the 2012 class and not the class that will enroll in May. A&M signed a small class in 2012 when the coaching change from Sherman to Sumlin occurred.

            In February, A&M will sign 25 players for the 2013 class and will not exceed this as the SEC will not allow it. That number is probably less than some B1G schools will end up signing since the conference doesn’t enforce and hard cap like the SEC (as far as I know).

          • manifestodeluxe says:

            The BigTen has a soft rule, where you can oversign 1-3 players but there’s some sort of penalty for the next class. I can’t remember it off the top of my head. But, that said, if there are schools that take more than 25 this year it won’t be much more.

            Even regarding the early enrollees, 33 with potential for more is a pretty huge number. I was mostly just poking the bear for kicks, specifically Alan or Bamatab, but still not sure the spirit the early enrollee rule was there so you could add 50% more recruiting class.

          • bamatab says:

            It’s not technically oversigning, it is backcounting against the previous recruiting class’ total. Say you only signed 20 kids last year, you can sign your 25 for this year’s class plus 5 more to complete last year’s class. There is still a hard 25 per class limit.

          • manifestodeluxe says:

            @bama:

            Technically, no, it’s not oversigning. And I get the backcounting, OSU has done that a couple times. I remain unsure how Meyer will handle this, since we have a lot of offers out this year with not a lot of spots remaining. But backfilling eight or more players? I suppose it could be worse, but that seems like a huge number to me.

    • dtwphx says:

      I think there is a lot of poker going on.
      I wonder if the B1G pronouncement that they’re willing to go to 16 or above is a threat to the SEC. The B1G wants the SEC to know that if Silve tries to sneak 2 teams out of the ACC without having it implode, the B1G will take 2 teams and ensure that the ACC disintegrates.
      Maybe the B1G expansion beyond 14 is a threat.
      Maybe Delaney really wants to stay at 14. (if you neglect Loh’s comments, I guess)

      • Richard says:

        I think that the B10 is indifferent to the ACC disintegrating and the SEC may actually welcome it, removing the only competing southeastern conference.

      • mushroomgod says:

        I’d be fine if the BIG stays at 14 if the SEC did as well……

        As a BIG an, I’d be OK with 16 if Slive(sp?) and Delany would sign a blood oath that 16 would be the limit, and then divide up VA, UNC, V Tech, NC State and/or GT. GT would be pretty crazy but nowhere near as insane as FSU/Miami. I hope and trust that neither of those schools will ever be in the BIG.

        My biggest fear with 16 is that it will become a realignment arms race that puts us at 18-20, which f#### up the BIG and SEC as well as college sports generally.

        • mushroomgod says:

          I would also say that running the ACC out of business is not in the best interests of college sports generally………..

  48. BigTenFan says:

    If Delany can pull ND/FSU/UNC, he would be a fool not to pursue 20. If he can’t get all three, then 16 should be the stopping point. If you grab ND/FSU/UNC, then fill the final three spots with GT/Duke/Virginia, every single addition is incredibly valuable and that expansion makes the B1G the premier athletic conference in the country, bar none. Plus the football pods work out well for everyone but Illinois/NW:

    Great Plains Division
    Nebraska
    Wisconsin
    Iowa
    Minnesota
    Illinois

    Great Lakes Division
    Ohio State
    Michigan
    Michigan State
    Purdue
    Indiana

    Northeastern Division
    Notre Dame
    Penn State
    Rutgers
    Maryland
    Northwestern (I know, NW in the NE Division, haha – it gives ND a game in Chi town & Rutgers/NW is like Chicago Vs. NYC in a way, the TV networks would love that)

    Southeastern Division
    Florida State
    North Carolina
    Georgia Tech
    Virginia
    Duke

    Those pods are geographically regional, relatively competitively balanced, & maintain almost all important rivalries.

    If Delany can get ND/FSU/UNC, 20 is fully sustainable, I have no doubt about that. But he has to get all three to make it viable IMO.

    • BigTenFan says:

      I should also add, create a massive footprint for both the BTN & recruiting as well as adding a boatload of academic elitism (with the exception of FSU). Further, the B1G would be cemented as the best basketball conference in the country forever, which provides a bunch of content for the BTN.

      In terms of football, this expansion would be like creating a mini-nfl. The bottom line is that we are heading the way of super conferences, so if you are going to do it, do it right.

    • Andy says:

      Or if we’re going for crazy stupid megalamaniacal scenarios, how about a B1G/SEC arms race:

      SEC:

      Texas/Texas A&M/Texas Tech/Oklahoma/Oklahoma State/LSU
      Alabama/Auburn/Ole Miss/MSU/Georgia/Georgia Tech
      Tennessee/Vanderbilt/Missouri/Arkansas//Kentucky/West Virginia
      Florida/Florida State/Miami/South Carolina/Clemson/NC State

      B1G

      Nebraska/Kansas/Iowa/Iowa State/Minnesota/Wisconsin
      Michigan/Michigan State/Illinois/Northwestern/Indiana/Purdue
      Ohio State/Penn State/Rutgers/Pitt/Boston College/Syracuse
      North Carolina/Duke/Wake Forest//Maryland/Virginia/Virginia Tech

      Then we burn down the NCAA headquarters and roll around in our big giant piles of money.

  49. Roses1961 says:

    Interesting, as always.

    In the aftermath of the Maryland and Rutgers additions, a comment by Jim Delany caught my attention. He said that when the topic of further expansion came up, he had been authorized–or perhaps restricted is the better word–to only pursue AAU institutions in bordering states.

    The problem, of course, is I have no idea if that is a true statement or something he intended as a plant or diversion. And what’s true today may not be true tomorrow.

    My gut reaction when the Maryland/Rutgers thing broke is that the B1G is–pardon the expression–throwing a Hail Mary to get Notre Dame on board.

    The potential synergy of combining the B1G network with Notre Dame is incredible. Demographically, the NE is the most heavily Catholic in the country. According to the Council of Catholic Bishops website, CT is 36.6% Catholic, DE 29.7%, NY 37.1%, NJ 41.0%, MA a whopping 42%. Maryland is 17.8%. Think about all the TV sets that Notre Dame in the B1G could turn on.

    It is my understanding that Notre Dame feels it is America’s team. They want to play all over the country against their traditional rivals and in the markets they designate. With Rutgers opening the New York market, Maryland the DC market. Take all the traditional rivalries ND has with the Big Ten, add those markets, add ND and one other traditional rival team to the B1G (Georgia Tech, maybe Miami), let ND play their California game(s) non-conference and you’ve got a juggernaut on your hands–a license to print money.

    Currently, ND gets paid for their home games. Imagine the leverage if most of the home and away games are thrown into one conference–a conference housing roughly a half-dozen traditional rivals. Now what could the B1G/ND alliance pull for a new TV contract?

    Also, it would make ND’s other sports much easier. Less travel, etc.

    Both Notre Dame and the rest of the B1G would be so much richer for it that I simply don’t understand when people say “It’s all about the money.” If it was all about the money, ND would have been in the B1G yesterday. ND and B1G are worth more together than the sum of their parts.

    • Psuhockey says:

      I think Notre Dame has always been the target, but I think the BIG has finally realized they are never coming. I don’t think Delany ever thought they would get such a sweetheart deal with another power conference. That’s why he moved so quick after on Rutgers and Maryland. The ACC would have to completely fold to flush ND out and I doubt that happens. UNC will do everything in their power to keep the conference viable and they will be able to do it. The bulk of ACC schools are not football schools and running top notch basketball programs is significantly cheaper. I think if the BIG grabbed GT and FSU, the rest of the conference would continue on.

  50. GreatLakeState says:

    I think the only way the Big Ten gets UNC is if they go to 20 (which I think they will do). UNC would much rather be in a B1G version of the ACC (Penn St, Rugters, Maryland, UVA, GT, etc.) than the SEC. The problem for Delany (if they don’t go to twenty) is that the only AAU options, other than UNC, won’t draw flies to a television set. And without viewers clamoring for it, BTN will be dropped. Delany obviously knows this, which is why I think he will go with FSU. They are the only ‘available’ football King on the east coast. After the Maryland/Rutgers adds, he can’t risk alienating B1G fans/alumni with two more schools ‘the base’ has no interest if playing/following.

  51. Eric says:

    For all the talk of maneuvering on these moves, I think there’s actually very little. The Big Ten said they were looking at expansion and Missouri expressed their interest. The Big Ten looked at them and others, but went with Nebraska when the chance came up. They felt threatened later when the ACC took Pitt, Syracuse, and Notre Dame (taking football games away from the Big Ten as well as their other sports) and Penn State dropped down with sanctions. To keep the northeast divided (which allows the naturally strongest conference to be a little bigger overall), they took Maryland and Rutgers. If that in turns opens other things up, they’ll look at the possibilities, but the move was made more as a defensive one than one trying to change further things.

  52. Richard says:

    This is why going to 18 with FSU, Miami, VTech, & UVa makes sense:
    You’d have at least 13 games a year between kings & kings or kings & near-kings. No conference, even the mighty SEC, would be able to match that.

    With these 6 pods of 3 (you play the schools in the 2 neighboring pods at least 2/3rds of the time, and sometimes annually), all the traditional B10 rivalries would be played at least 2/3rds of the time (obviously the major ones would be played annually):

    A: OSU, IU, PU
    B: Michigan, MSU, Illinois
    C: Minny, Wisconsin, Northwestern
    D: Iowa, Nebraska, Miami
    E: UVa, VTech, FSU
    F: UMD, PSU, Rutgers

    Each school would play the school above and below them in the same column annually except A-F would have these annual pairings: OSU-PSU, IU-Rutgers, PU-UMD

    These would be the divisions the first 2 years (line would mean cross-over game):

    OSU-PSU
    Wisconsin-UNL
    Northwestern-Miami
    Minny-Iowa
    PU-UMD
    IU-Rutgers
    Michigan FSU
    MSU VTech
    Illinois UVa

    These seasons would feature FSU-PSU, FSU-UNL, FSU-Miami, FSU-VTech, PSU-UNL, PSU-Miami, PSU-VTech, Miami-VTech, Miami-UNL, UNL-VTech, OSU-PSU, Wisconsin-UNL, Michigan-Wisconsin, OSU-Wisconsin, and of course, OSU-Michigan (15 guaranteed marquee games).

    The next 2 years:
    Michigan-OSU
    Miami-FSU
    Nebraska-VTech
    Iowa-UVa
    MSU-IU
    Illinois-PU
    Wisconsin PSU
    Northwestern Rutgers
    Minny UMD

    Guaranteed top games: Michigan-Miami, Michigan-UNL, Michigan-Wisconsin, UNL-Miami, UNL-Wisconsin, Miami-Wisconsin, OSU-FSU, OSU-PSU, OSU-VTech, FSU-PSU, FSU-VTech, PSU-VTech, Miami-FSU, UNL-VTech, Michigan-OSU (15 guaranteed marquee games).

    The next 2 years:
    PSU-VTech
    MSU-Wisconsin
    Illinois-Northwestern
    UMD-UVa
    Michigan-Minny
    Rutgers-FSU
    OSU Nebraska
    PU Miami
    IU Iowa

    Guaranteed top games:
    OSU-Michigan, OSU-PSU, PSU-Michigan, FSU-UNL, FSU-Miami, FSU-VTech, FSU-Wisconsin, UNL-Miami, UNL-VTech, UNL-Wisconsin, Miami-VTech, Miami-Wisconsin, PSU-VTech (13 guaranteed marquee games).

    • Richard says:

      Yes, yes, I know, AAU, etc., but Miami & VTech are close (with B10 backing within a decade of joining), and FSU is a major research institution in a massive growing state which can get there if their legislature doesn’t keep cutting funding.

      However, the Big10 is ultimately an athletics conference, and I can’t see how you should turn down FSU, Miami, VTech, & UVa if the opportunity presents itself. 3 of the 4 are even pretty good cultural fits.

    • GreatLakeState says:

      Exactly right. Those would be my choices as well, but I can’t believe the GT loving Prez Posse wouldn’t demand the Yellow Jackets.

  53. Craig Z says:

    How does FSU compare to UF in popularity within Florida? Are they close or a distant second?

  54. Richard says:

    Good analysis (old) of TV value of ACC schools from an FSU board:
    http://www.tomahawknation.com/2012/5/15/3021181/is-fsu-really-the-most-valuable-team-in-the-acc

    To compare with what I project the average B10 payout will be during the next TV contract ($30-40M for 1st & 2nd tier), I would roughly double the ACC per-school value figures.

    Notes:
    1. Obviously, FSU leads everybody.
    2. Miami is actually almost the same as UNC.
    3. FSU, Clemson, Miami, and VTech make up the top 4 in the ACC in football value (of course).
    4. Duke, UVa, UMD, NCSU, & GTech are roughly equal value in terms of pure ratings.

    I think it behooves the B10 to take the 3 of the 4 top football schools in the ACC who footprints are large enough and academics are close enough to be worth it, leaving 1 spot for an academic school (I prefer UVa to lock down VA).

  55. [...] the Tank is now fanning the fires with respect to a Florida State move to the Big [...]

  56. Justin says:

    There are really logical options for the Big Ten to get to 16.

    Option 1 – take 2 of Pitt, Syracuse, Boston College to create the dominant northern conference.

    Why do ths? You build a natural extension of the big ten into the northeast. Culturally, this makes the most sense. You essentially double down where you are strong, and increase the carriage fees in your home region. Adding Syracuse and Pitt makes the B1G the strongest basketball conference.

    Why not? You dilute the football product, don’t open up new recruiting territories and don’t ad new Tv markets.

    Option 2 – Add Virginia and Virginia Tech.

    Why do this? You locko down the state of Virginia, a fast growing state demographically with fertile high school talent. UVA and VT are natural rivals of Maryland, and cement the B1G as the dominant conference in the mid Atlantic. VT adds another top 20 program, and UVA is a top academic school. This is arguably the best approach in terms of geography, markets, academics and football.

    Why not? Two schools from Virginia effectively cedes North Carolina to the SEC when the ACC implodes. But in some ways it makes sense for the b1g to take Virginia and te SEC to take North Carolina – which is a better cultural fit with the SEC.

    Option 3 – Take 2 of Miami, Georgia Tech or Florida State

    Why? This would a home run in terms of football, recruiting territories and TV markets. IMO, the most logical addition in this scenario is Florida State and Miami, as the B1G would have the bet claim on Florida with 2 of the 3 powers.

    Why not? Geography it s a major stretch, and would the B1G take FSU from an academic standpoint? Even with FSU and GT, the SEC remains the top conference in these states. Does te b1g really want to expand to take the ACCs position as the second conference in these sates?

    Conclusion – I believe the best option is to take UVA and VT. It’s a natural extension of the last expansion of adding Maryland. It captures one of the fastest growing state in the country, a fertile recruiting state and locks the SEC out of DC forever.

    • Richard says:

      I would be fine with stopping at 16 with UVa+VTech, but if you do that, 17&18 with FSU+Miami is less of an outlier. Plus, FSU+Miami are probably more willing to be 15&16, in which case you add the VA schools at 17&18 to form a TV and football juggernaut. I’m OK with ceding UNC to the SEC because
      1. While they have the academics and are a bball king, a football power they are not.
      2. They feel that they are more southern anyway while both VA and FL have heavy northern elements. It’s noteworthy that both Miami and VTech have experience being in a northern conference (the old BE) and fan interest did not flag because of that.

      • Phil says:

        I don’t know enough about the dynamics in Virginia to understand why you would add UVA and Vtech. Comments I have read seem to imply that VTech actually gets you the football interest and eyeballs in the state, and you add Virginia becuse they are a really good school and you can’t get UNC (and UVA’s academics kind of make up for VTech not being a complete fit).

        However, if school #16 was not going to add a market (as the 2nd VA school wouldn’t), what about a Virginia Tech and Pittsburgh addition instead? Pittsburgh totally fits the B1G except for the market issue noted above. Maybe I think too militarily, but adding Pittsburgh locks up NJ/PA/MD for the B1G, completely isolating the northern ACC schools and insuring another power conference like the Big12 can’t encroach upon your territory by taking Pitt.

        • Richard says:

          I’m more interested in locking up VA than locking up PA. Pitt in the B12 isn’t going to threaten B10 supremacy in PA. One of the VA schools in the SEC would threaten B10 supremacy in VA.

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          Sorry, but Pitt is just ridiculous. There aren’t a lot of Pitt fans in NJ/MD. And in PA, Pitt is the second-best football school. It neither adds nor solidifies any market for the B1G. No one has suggested that Pitt would be high on the expansion list for any other conference, so it doesn’t make sense as a defensive add either.

        • Brian says:

          Phil,

          The Pitt idea isn’t bad, but it doesn’t really gain anything for the B10 now. The ideas behind adding both UVA and VT are:

          1. Neither UVA nor VT dominates VA. VT is more popular in FB in VA because it’s been better than UVA for a while. The popularity is regional, though. VT dominates the west and towards DC, but UVA does well on the coastal side.

          2. The academics will insist on a great school as a counterbalance to them “stooping” to add VT.

          3. Keep the SEC out of the B10′s perimeter. The SEC would never dominate PA by getting Pitt or OH by taking UC, but they could own VA.

          Combine those factors, and taking both VT and UVA makes sense.

      • GreatLakeState says:

        I just can’t believe the powers that be at UNC would even consider the SEC without either UVA or Duke. I think they are much more likely (if not interested in the B1G) to happily be a big fish in a little pond of basketball schools (BE and ACC castoffs). Other than that, I agree with you.
        The Florida schools would probably be the easiest first ‘gets’.

        • BruceMcF says:

          This is an important point ~ we know that should the ACC lose any more teams, it has a ready reserve in Cincinnati and UConn.

          So the ACC could lose FSU and Miami to the Big 12, without necessarily shaking lose UNC for the SEC, and VTech and UVA to the Big Ten, still without necessarily shaking lose UNC for the SEC. If SEC internal politics block taking GTech and Clemson, AND Tobacco Road sticks together, then the SEC stands pat, the ACC takes UConn and Cincinnati, and the ACC is bent but not broken.

          So there are possibilities that lay something between the ACC surviving in its present form and the ACC completely collapsing. There’s a forum discussion preference for drama, and collapse of an existing conference is dramatic, but if there weren’t countervailing forces, we’d have the Super 16 conferences in place already.

    • mushroomgod says:

      Just from observation….it looks like V Tech and its fans/culture is to VA very much as A&M and its fans/culture is to Texas………….that is, schools like VA and TX are better institutional fits for the BIG than V Tech or A&M.

  57. ZSchroeder says:

    2 things that lead me to think 18-20+ may be possible.

    1. Delany wanted to partner with the PAC 12 to play a “B1G vs ACC Challenge” type football scheduling agreement (along with scheduling in other sports). I personally was very excited about this as it would build up more rivalries between the two conferences which would come together again at the end of the season with the Rose Bowl and would get teams that just don’t make it to the Rose Bowl into the action. It also exposed the Big 10 to fertile recruiting grounds. Delany expressed this as one of the reasons that the Big 10 expanded again, he felt the PAC 12 partnership would have brought some of the same benefits of expansion, without expansion.

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/blog/dennis-dodd/21060282/delany-pac-12-scheduling-agreement-might-have-made-expansion-unnecessary

    2. I agree with other posters here, that if Big 10 were able to grab Georgia Tech and Florida State, and then North Carolina and Virginia came available the Big 10 may have to grab them as they are too valuable. This would also mean you would have contiguous states all the way from Nebraska to Florida. So the Big 10 would be 18, this doesn’t work well for pods, but what if the conference was split in half for football, 9 and 9. You play the other 8 teams in your group, then you are scheduled another team from the other 9 to play in a Big 10 West vs Big 10 East Challenge. You wouldn’t play the other 9 very often, but it would likely create an interesting Championship game, since the likelihood of a rematch would be far lower then in the current system. I think folks forgot that Nebraska beat Wisconsin earlier in the season, it’s hard to get motivated to play a team again that you already lost to (I’m not saying that is the only reason for the loss, but probably factored in). Also see Nebraska v Washington in their bowl game last year.

    Conclusion

    Okay splitting a tradition rich conference in half would be hard. Under the scenario above 6 new member would make up the east, how do you pick the other 3? Penn State is somewhat of a geographic outlier and doesn’t have as much history in the conference in comparison to others and moving Nebraska to the East would be difficult geographically, so maybe you shuffle Penn State over, that would still require 2 more schools to move to the east and give up traditional rivalries. Or it would require the addition of 4 more teams. That would allow an 11 team conference of the old Big 10 core, plus Nebraska, and basically an annex of the best of the ACC. Nebraska and Iowa wouldn’t play Florida State or North Carolina very often in the conference, but they already don’t play them often! You again would play 8 of the other 10 teams the way the Big 10 functioned for 20 years, and play a 9th game against the other side of the conference. It would have given you all the benefits of the PAC 12 and Big 10 partnership plus Delany would be shopping around a third of the best football schools in the country when renegotiating.

    I know this is extreme, but it creates a huge conference that still functions in some ways as two separate tradition and rivalry rich divisions.

    • ZSchroeder says:

      This would also ease the pain of leaving the ACC for key schools as most rivalries are kept in place. The teams left out would be recent additions for Louisville, Syracuse, Pitt and Boston College, and Wake and Clemson would be left behind. In basketball you could play everyone once. This would also be quite the academic group, even with the addition of 4 non AAU schools.

      Big 10 Midwest

      1 Ohio State
      2 Michigan
      3 Wisconsin
      4 Iowa
      5 Michigan State
      6 Nebraska
      7 Minnesota
      8 Illinois
      9 Purdue
      10 Indiana
      11 Northwestern

      Big 10 Atlantic

      1 Penn State
      2 Florida State
      3 Duke
      4 North Carolina
      5 Virginia Tech
      6 Virginia
      7 Maryland
      8 Georgia Tech
      9 Rutgers
      10 Miami (FL)
      11 North Carolina State

      • GreatLakeState says:

        That would be a monster, no doubt about that. Can’t imagine the SEC would sit idly by and watch this transpire, however.

  58. Brian says:

    I think many of us need to step back and look at the big picture. There are tradeoffs being made every time you expand, but people are ignoring them.

    Gains so far:
    1. FB brand with NE
    2. Expanded footprint to populous states with MD and NJ
    3. Grew the CIC with large research schools
    4. Gained the money from a CCG
    5. Gained NE/PSU, NE/MI and NE/IA
    6. MI/MN and OSU/IL restored as annual games

    Losses so far:
    1. WI/IA, MSU/PSU and MI/IL as annual games
    2. Frequency of play (75% to 40% to ?)
    3. Midwestern feel of the conference (once RU and MD join)

    I think almost everyone agrees NE was worth it. MD and RU were taken for long term reasons so their additions were less popular, but I think they’ll be accepted in hindsight as wise moves for the schools if not the athletic conference.

    Future expansion is going to continue to trade money, maybe brands, and footprint for rivalries and frequency of play against the old B10 teams. There is a point where the gains stop being worth the costs to most people. Clearly 12 wasn’t that point for the COP/C, and 14 probably isn’t it either, but 16 likely is. Beyond that we are really talking about two allied groups rather than a conference. The B10 already tried that approach with the P12 and it fell apart.

    I think many people look at this as a game to win with no consequences. You can’t just keep growing with no limit. I believe we are headed to 4.5 power conferences (ACC in BB only). The B10 and SEC may go to 16 eventually, the P12 will probably stay at 12 for a while, and the B12 will probably grow back to 12 eventually. That’s fitting based on where the population is in the US. The ACC will be the eastern remnants of the current BE and ACC.

    This brings up several big questions:
    1. Which 2 teams does the B10 get?

    This is where the FSU talk suffers for me. This only happens if the ACC core stays together.

    http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20121201/SPORTS/312010071/Bryce-Miller-Big-Ten-likely-look-south-new-teams?nclick_check=1

    The former ISU president had some interesting comments about it. Basically, he said look for AAU schools that expand the footprint, and named GT and UNC. IL’s chancellor also said it starts with academic fit and contiguous geography helps.

    I think the B10 will first consider UVA, UNC and maybe GT and VT. The schools have to want to join, too, which is the other problem. I think the VA and NC schools stay in the ACC, so the B10 looks at GT + 1. The 1 is either FSU or Miami, I think. The pending NCAA sanctions hurt Miami’s cause, but they’re a better school than FSU. I’ll guess GT + Miami, but not with any confidence. More likely they stay at 14 until something major changes (like the B12 taking FSU and Clemson).

    2. Which 2 teams does the SEC get?

    Since they have a network coming, they need markets more than brands. That means no FSU or Miami or GT or Clemson unless they run out of options. If the ACC core holds, the SEC is hemmed in. They can do the inverse of the B10 taking GT by getting Pitt and/or UC, but I don’t see that. With their self-imposed ban on Miami, FSU, GT, Clemson and UL, there aren’t any good options left. They stay at 14 until something changes.

    3. Which 2 teams does the B12 get?

    They almost have to pick from the ACC, but those schools have to want to go. FSU and Clemson? If they go, that may trigger a chain reaction as GT and Miami suddenly want out. That could push the B10 to 16. Otherwise, everyone could stay where they are for a while.

    4. Who’s left for the ACC?

    Good question. I think the ACC core sticks together and adds 2 FL schools

    UNC, NCSU, Duke, WF, UVA, VT, Pitt, UL, Syracuse, BC, USF, UCF

    Of more interest to me is the the future breakup of the superconferences. Is there a point where the money is big enough that the athletic conferences will drop their financial dead weight? That would make for a whole new game, but I don’t think it will happen. Maybe a school that gets the death penalty will get the boot, but it’s unlikely that anyone gets kicked out otherwise.

    • ZSchroeder says:

      This is why I think a 22 team conference (functioning in Football as two) may make sense as it restores many of the traditions you have pointed out, but adds TV sets, leverage, and CIC connections.

      • Brian says:

        ZSchroeder,

        I’ve proposed the B22 for that reason, but not seriously. I don’t think the COP/C wants a merger, and that’s what it would be.

        • ZSchroeder says:

          This wouldn’t be a merger, it would be the Big 10 taking a few nibbles at a time until they can bite off the whole thing.

    • My school is in the Big Ten. I’m hoping that we add the following 6 schools – going to 20; a mix of AAU and non-AAU schools.

      FSU, GT, Miami, UVA, UNC, ND

      “At a certain point you’re no longer a conference, you’re more of an association,” – Jim Delaney

      Personally I love the idea of separating from the NCAAssociation.

      I believe that FSU, Miami, GT, PSU, OSU, Minn would agree.

      By the way, if B1G separates from the NCAA, would Miami, PSU & OSU’s sanctions carry over? I know that PSU has been punished by B1G already.

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        The NCAA is a voluntary membership organization. The only reason the sanctions hold is because the members agree to abide by them. If the B1G schools create a new organization, the sanctions are over unless everyone jointly agrees to preserve them.

        I did not agree with the Penn State sanctions [and I'm a Michigan fan]. But no university president or A.D. outside of Pennsylvania has spoken out against them, so I think there would be a broad consensus to keep the status quo, even in a hypothetical NCAA replacement.

        In terms of “what schools the B1G should add,” you need to be realistic. It’s not whether YOU want Notre Dame; it’s whether you can envision a scenario where ND would want the B1G.

        • OrderRestored83 says:

          As a Notre Dame guy, I can honestly say I don’t think I will ever see (in my lifetime atleast) Notre Dame join a conference for football. I’m not one of those independence or die guys, if joining a conference is what we have to do to continue to compete for National Titles then its what we have to do…..but as long as there is an angle for us to compete without joining a conference, I’d rather see us continue to be independent. I’m not a Big Ten hater (most of the older fans that I know aren’t) in fact I enjoy the pageantry involved in the big matchups. I attended both Notre Dame/Michigan games these past two seasons and they were amazing. I think a few issues will keep Notre Dame independent regardless of what the Big Ten does.

          1: The endowment for Notre Dame is such that money is not something that can be used as leverage. The millions gained by joining a conference such as the Big Ten might be offset by the millions in donations that would stop because of it.

          2: The Big Ten is so large now that the conference schedule would restrict rivalires important to us such as Navy, Southern Cal, Stanford, and to a lesser extent Boston College, Pittsburgh, and a very fresh but potentially budding new rivalry with Miami (although this is of very minimal importance compared to rivalries with the others I mentioned).

          3: One of the major draws for the Big Ten is the Billions of dollars on the academic side through the CIC research coop. This however is not a draw for Notre Dame because of the CIC’s acceptance of Stem Cell research. Notre Dame is very staunch in its stance against Stem Cell research and would abstain from the coop altogether. So there would be minimal gain on the academic side by joining.

          All in all, I think Notre Dame would just be an odd fit in the Big Ten; as the B1G expands though…..I hope they leave room in their scheduling for Notre Dame/Michigan and Notre Dame/MSU possibilities. Losing those games would be a shame on both ends.

          • Read The D says:

            “Notre Dame is very staunch in its stance against Stem Cell research and would abstain from the coop altogether.”

            *Embryonic stem cell research. I don’t think the Catholic church has a problem with adult stem cell research. I know that’s what you meant, just wanted to clarify.

          • OrderRestored83 says:

            @ Read The D,

            Yes, I’m sorry, embryonic stem cell research. Thank you for clarifying that!

    • zeek says:

      But there are 3 conferences with very little in the way of deadweight.

      In the Big Ten and SEC, even the smallest members give you something (i.e. Northwestern and Vandy have significant academic cachet along with being located in prime real estate… think about how hard Michigan State and Iowa mine Chicago for students).

      The Mississippi schools and Indiana schools likewise bring a state (Indiana brings good basketball) and the kings need wins.

      Let’s not forget where all those Michigan/Ohio State all-time wins come from; you have to fill up on wins against the teams on the lower rungs to get fattened up 10-12 win records annually. I don’t think they ever want to create an “NFL” where 8-9 wins is acceptable for a school like Ohio State or Michigan.

      As for the Pac-12, the only deadweight in that conference is Washington State, but they have a pairs philosophy and someone has to lose games.

      Now, the ACC is a completely different story. You have too many schools in one region of the country (7 in the Carolinas and Virginia), and the remaining 7 schools only really deliver Florida and a handful of markets.

      Take BC and Wake Forest; I’m not sure either does that much nowadays for that conference. Boston isn’t a place to recruit students and it’s probably the worst large metro TV market in the country for college football…

      • bullet says:

        I’d say there is one with little deadweight. The issue in the Pac 12 is geography. So to get to 12, they need WSU, OSU, Utah and 2 schools in Arizona. The SEC would do fine without Arkansas, Mississippi schools, South Carolina, Missouri and Vanderbilt. A&M, LSU, Alabama, Auburn, UGA, Florida, Tennessee, UK and two of the others would almost certainly get a larger TV contract per school than the 14 member conference. The B1G is the only one as it mostly has 1 school per state, only 1 private and all large states except for Iowa and Nebraska.

        • zeek says:

          As far as the SEC goes, all those schools bring states at least…

          As far as the Pac-12; they always liked the pairs philosophy so it is what it is. Plus, with them it doesn’t matter because no one could poach their schools if they wanted to, all those schools look to the West Coast (including Colorado).

        • FranktheAg says:

          @bullet

          What makes Arkansas, Missouri, South Carolina and Vandy deadweight for the SEC. Yet, Iowa, Northwestern, Minnesota, and Wisconsin not deadweight for the B1G?

          • bullet says:

            Minnesota and Wisconsin have more people than South Carolina and Arkansas and a 100 years more history. Iowa and Northwestern are marginal like Arkansas and S. Carolina.

    • bullet says:

      They don’t kick anyone out. The best secede as happened with the creation of the Big 8, Big 12, ACC, SEC and MWC.

      I think its clear the B1G is looking to become B16, although I really don’t see enough value in schools that fit. Does it really make sense to have a 2 school wing just because Georgia and Florida have a lot of people with one of those schools 2nd tier in its own city (3rd if you count the Hawks, Falcons and Braves)?

      If the B1G adds two, UVA needs to be one. They make sense. UNC gets added if they are willing, but I just don’t see that being a good fit. Their athletics are good and broad. Their academics are excellent. They are the same type of school. But as some of those maps show, North Carolina’s ties are to Atlanta and the south, not to DC and the north.

      So if Georgia Tech and non-AAU Florida schools and UNC are out, whose left? Duke-not without UNC. Pitt-only if noone else is acceptable since, while they are a good fit, they add no value. Syracuse-a school that PSU quit playing in the 80s because their program had declined so much and a good school but one that is de-emphasizing research? Syracuse is a Minnesota-once a power, now an also ran. Louisville would be a better bet and UL isn’t acceptable. BC-a school that seriously struggles when it doesn’t win and sits in a pro market would be a bad choice for both sides. UConn-non AAU and not close. I think I would take UConn of that group, although the presidents might take Pitt.

      • bullet says:

        This also brings us to the question of whether anyone pulls the trigger. The B1G is the giant with the biggest earnings and therefore the biggest gun. Will they add Georgia Tech without a UVA bridge? Will UVA move first? So if the B1G doesn’t move first, will the SEC? If they are willing to take Duke to get UNC or want UVA more than VT, I don’t see them moving first. They only move first if Virginia Tech is someone they want.

        So it gets down to the Big 12 and FSU. FSU needs to decide the $ are too much bigger in the Big 12 and the risk of doing nothing is too high. And they need the SEC to tell them they aren’t interested. Then, they might be the one who starts the dominos. But even then, other schools have to decide to go with them or the situation stabilizes for awhile.

        • Brian says:

          bullet,

          That’s pretty much where I came down, too. The VA and NC schools won’t move first (or ever in my opinion), and the SEC doesn’t want the southern 4 ACC schools. It’s up to the B12 to steal at least 2 (FSU and Clemson, probably) to get things started.

          With those 2 gone, GT would be low hanging fruit for the B10 I think. The issue would be #16. ND doesn’t want it and I’m not sure the B10 wants Miami. They may not have a choice, though, as UVA and UNC probably hold firm. That leaves the B10 to decide if GT/Miami is worth it or not. I tend to think the B10 passes, but maybe not.

          At the same time the B10 is working for 2 from the ACC, the SEC will be talking with UNC and others (NCSU, Duke, VT, UVA) to see if there is mutual interest. I think the ACC core also rejects them, preferring to stay in a strong hoops and mediocre FB league. After surveying the scene, the SEC also decides to stand pat.

          I just don’t see the ACC core crumbling right now, and that stops the B10 and SEC at 14 or maybe 16, with the B12 maybe at 12.

      • acaffrey says:

        Not sure if Penn State stopped playing Syracuse because “their program had declined so much.” The last five years the teams played, Syracuse was 42-16. The five years prior to that, Syracuse was 25-30. The five years after the teams stopped playing, Syracuse was 42-15. If anything, it was the opposite. The trend was away from Syracuse being an easy win for PSU.

        More likely, as with PSU dropping the Pitt series a year after dropping Syracuse, PSU wanted to get acclimated to the Big 10 schedule more than anything else. Both of those series ended with Syracuse (1991) and Pitt (1992) being home–i.e. the end of a home and home sequence. In 1993, PSU had to move forward with 8 conference games and 3 OOC games… big change for a former independent (i.e. 11 OOC games).

        Also, my understanding was that, with the B1G schedule, PSU needed home games and needed its OOC opponents to agree to something other than mere home-and-home arrangements. Pitt and Syracuse were unwilling to be on the road disproportionately.

        Here is a REAL interesting tidbit though. Look at the three teams PSU was played OOC in 1993: USC, Rutgers, and Maryland. Not sure whether it was just happenstance or whether PSU just always liked those schools. Kind of funny that both ended up in the B1G ultimately. Notably, Maryland visited PSU every year from 1986 to 1993, except 1993. Rutgers visited PSU from 1992 to 2003, with no home games. Those schools were just less interested in having home games against PSU (maybe because PSU travels so well?), which was what PSU needed. BTW, for historical scores, see one of my favorite sites: http://www.jhowell.net/cf/scores/PennState.htm#1990.

        Not saying that Syracuse makes sense for the B1G, of course. Private. Smaller research, etc. Not sure basketball alone can carry the day (although MSU, Indiana, etc., visiting the Carrier Dome has always been compelling TV). The optimistic Syracuse fan notes the parallels between the current trajectory of the football team and the early 1980′s (trying to undo the stink of a horrible coach). The realist is skeptical. Either way, nobody is taking Syracuse to beef up football these days.

        • bullet says:

          The story I heard was that PSU dropped SU because they were weak and had no fan support at the time. That may have been incorrect. But schedules are made in advance and PSU had won 16 in a row in 1986 and played them through 1990. SU may have improved, but too late to be continued on PSU’s schedule.

          • acaffrey says:

            Schedules back then were not made so far in advance.

            There were hard feelings though. Paterno blamed Syracuse for Penn State not getting into the Big East. Dave Gavitt is on record as saying that Syracuse voted for Penn State and was an advocate. We all know this issue as the one factor that has led to almost all of this conference realignment discussion. Had Penn State ultimately ended up in the Big East… who knows where this all goes.

          • spaz says:

            PSU stopped playing Syracuse because Cuse refused to schedule PSU in basketball. Because of this, PSU said they’d play the Orangemen in football but only with an uneven home/away (I think 6 home/4 away was tossed out there) and Cuse turned it down, only willing to do a straight home and home. So, they didn’t renew the series after the then current deal. PSU happened to join the Big Ten in the meantime, which didn’t allow for space for the series anyway.

    • Eric says:

      Good post and I agree entirely.

      One thing I think people forget is that the college conference is very unique. Few other places do you have people cheering for all conference teams so hard. That’s do to a lot of factors, but is likely to dwindle in future given a) bigger conference where we are less familiar with other teams and b) playoff where strength of conference becomes less of a factor than in 2 team system.

    • Richard says:

      Actually, if you go to 18 with my 6 pods of 3 each, almost all the original 10 Big10 teams (besides Iowa, but they get UNL & Miami yearly and a lot of FL exposure) would play each other almost as often as they do in a 14-team conference, all the major rivalries would be played annually, and almost all of the trophy games of any signifigance (so not the PSU-Minnesota “rivalry”, for instance) would be played at least 2/3rds of the time. Each pod would virtually never play the pod “opposite” it, but Michigan, MSU, & Illinois virtually never play FSU, VTech, & UVa these days anyway.

      For the Big10, I think 18 is kind of the soft limit as, other than the pods being harder to figure out (and it seems that 4 pods of 4 may be too much for casual fans anyway), there’s almost no difference between 16 & 18. 20 is a hard limit, and would require breaking up major rivalries, so you really don’t go there unless you have to do so to add a ND, Texas, or UF.

      • bullet says:

        So why would you go to 18 when 16 leaves that 18 option and 18 leaves an unpleasant 20 option if ND decides to say yes.

      • BruceMcF says:

        In what sense are six team pods actually pods, as opposed to being divisions?

        Three six team divisions, nine conference games, play through both opposing divisions over three years would be more more cross conference connection than two nine team divisions, nine conference games, play through the opposing division over nine years.

        But four, four team divisions playing a nine conference game schedule could play through the entire conference every two years, or in a mix of two and three years, if a pair of four team divisions have locked cross division games.

        • bullet says:

          Richard’s talking about THREE team pods. Six pods. They would combine 3 pods, mixing and matching to get different 9 team divisions each year.

          • BruceMcF says:

            Aha ~ yes, that is a pod. Though if you have six, three team pods, forming the pods into pairs to make six team divisions gives more flexibility for locked cross-pod games.

    • jj says:

      Tossing someone would be the true death knell for any sense of decency.

      • jj says:

        I also agree that people get caught up in the “conquest” type stuff. It’s not a zero sum game.

      • bullet says:

        Big East dumped Temple. Pac effectively dumped Idaho. 5 schools withdrew and they eventually added back the Oregon schools and WSU.

      • cfn_ms says:

        Of course, part of the reason a lot of schools were willing to leave their leagues is you can’t toss anyone out. If the Big 12 could have tossed ISU and Baylor, if the ACC could have tossed Wake, if the Big East could have tossed some of their lower-end basketball schools etc. those leagues would have had stronger remaining cores. No big power (except seemingly Texas) wants to be stuck carrying water for a bunch of deadweights or near-deadweights.

      • BruceMcF says:

        I doubt that so many universities currently in the Big Ten will be so confident that they could never be on the one on the chopping block to allow for tossing a school just for media marketing. It would have to be something seen as a serious and ongoing failure by the school getting tossed.

        Plus you start to work on tossing a school out, you better have the numbers in hand before it becomes public, since otherwise that’s a good way to make a long standing enemy inside your conference.

    • mushroomgod says:

      One point here………….nothing PREVENTS schools like Wisky and Iowa or Illinois and OSU from playing OOC games against one another……if we’re playing 4 OOC games, not every one HAS to be a bunny………..

      • Richard says:

        Indeed. If MSU insists on playing Northwestern annually & Illinois insists on the Illibuck game at least 2/3rds of the time, Northwestern-Illinois may have to be OOC 1/3rd of the time with 18 teams. Personally, I wouldn’t have a problem with that. It could even be held in Chicago; Soldier Field?

      • Brian says:

        mushroomgod,

        “One point here………….nothing PREVENTS schools like Wisky and Iowa or Illinois and OSU from playing OOC games against one another”

        I don’t know how the B10 feels about that. I doubt they would prevent it, but they may advise against it so schools can get exposure nationally instead.

        “……if we’re playing 4 OOC games, not every one HAS to be a bunny………..”

        OSU is aiming to play only AQ teams OOC in the future, so it’s not an issue of bunnies. Visiting other parts of the country to see alumni and gain exposure is important, though.

        • drwillini says:

          The years that Purdue and IU only played one conference basketball game they played a non-conference game at the Hoosier Dome in Indy.

        • Richard says:

          B10 teams have played each other in football OOC before. This isn’t an unprecedented act. Also don’t know why the league would be against it; I’m sure they’d much prefer it to Purdue giving HaH’s to Marshall or IU giving HaH’s to UMass.

  59. ParkGOblue says:

    I’d do this tomorrow if I were a B1G university president. This would be an unbelieveably great addition… snatch GaTech and Florida State out from the ACC, give the finger to the SEC, and get an income windfall! Except for travel (and who would mind visiting Florida in November??) I don’t see a downside.

    • GreatLakeState says:

      I’ve thought of this as well. For northern schools, it would be like a mid-season bowl game, and let’s face it, this ‘go up north to play in the tundra’ thing is waaay overblown. Only the last two or three games of the season are in cold weather and FSU/GT could schedule to avoid that.

      • M1EK says:

        Tallahassee is NOTHING like Miami, guys. Not in the same universe. Tallahassee is more like Alabama than it is like South Beach. Weather and culture both.

        • Elvis says:

          Today (Dec 7th) in Tally it is in the 70s and sunny. Beautiful day…beautiful week.

          I think for midwestern teams, the blue/aqua beaches 1-2 hours away would be heaven.

          But I might be wrong.

    • mushroomgod says:

      The downside is that the SEC and BIG will NEVER 1 up each other……the SEC can match ANY move the BIG makes, and more……so you end up with the insanity of 18 or 20 or 22 team leagues.

  60. gulfcoast says:

    One thing I have not seen mentioned on here about FSU is the role of the state government of Florida. I seriously doubt that the state will allow FSU to be stuck on the outside looking in. Virginia Tech was allowed entry into the ACC because the state government in Virginia put pressure on the University of Virginia to strongly advocate Va.Tech’s membership. I feel like the state of Florida would also put pressure on UF to promote FSU’s membership to the SEC. And FSU also happens to be located in the state’s capitol, so the FSU president and trustees are right there rubbing elbows with the lawmakers. The state universities are basically tax payer investments and I don’t see how they would allow one university to strive (UF) and the other major university to die on the vine (FSU).

    • zeek says:

      SEC is too strong to be bullied.

      As is the Big Ten; it’s not like Iowa’s legislators could force the Big Ten to take Iowa State.

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      FSU is in no danger whatsoever of “dying on the vine.” The newly-approved playoff guarantees the ACC a seat at the table until at least 2026. FSU’s path to a major bowl game is actually easier in the ACC than in the Big Ten, because the ACC is a weaker league.

      Sure, FSU would stand to make more money in the Big Ten, but the ACC is not on its deathbed. They could remain where they are for a long time to come.

      • bamatab says:

        The issue isn’t that FSU would “die on the vine” in the ACC. The issue is that their AD would be passed financially by their SEC neighbors to the point to where they wouldn’t be able to compete with the constantly growing arms race. The SEC schools that neighbor FSU are in a constant mode of facilaties upgrades (it never stops), and that will only grow in the future once the SEC starts getting the new SEC Network and bowl revenues. And in the next 10 or 20 years, you’ll see HC salaries grow to the point where it dwarfs the $3mil – $5mil a year that it’s at now (not to mention the asst coaches). That is FSU’s concern, and it is a valid one.

        • Jericho says:

          Maybe. But there’s got to be a point of diminishing returns. There’s only so much you can spend and then the marginal value of each extra dollar only adds so much. The question is where that cut-off lies? Is FSU already above it, or is it still higher?

    • marc says:

      That’s never been an issue. UF has sponsored FSU’s membership with the SEC every time it’s come up for a vote (about a dozen times over the last 40 years). FSU is in the ACC because the last time UF sponsored them, they changed their mind and went to the ACC.

      FSU will never be on the outside looking in.

      The State of Florida also isn’t just a 2 program state anymore.

      If the legislature is going to get involved, it would be to make sure that UCF and USF don’t get burned by realignment.

      Those two programs are legitimately at risk right now.

  61. Stephen says:

    If you add both Georgia Tech and Florida State, you get a bit of a synergy effect. I’ve heard that Florida State has a fair number of fans in the southern part of Georgia, and I’d assume that there are a decent number of Georgia Tech grads living in Florida.

    Also, with those two schools, you set things up very nicely for a future North Carolina and Virginia addition, if you decided to go to 18.

    People are saying that the Big 10 would lose its identity as a Midwest conference, but you could instead make its identity as a conference of athletic and academic giants and emphasize the BIG (which they’re already doing). Georgia Tech is a smaller school, but it is in one of the largest urban areas in the country, in a top-ten population state. Florida State is in top-5 state and has a big-time football and overall athletic program.

  62. GreatLakeState says:

    Face it. Most of the SEC sychophants in the media hate the Big Ten. This guy thinks the B1G can grab a chunk of the NYC market.
    http://www.newsday.com/sports/college/college-football/big-ten-can-make-an-imprint-in-the-ny-market-1.4301274

    • GreatLakeState says:

      Re-reading it, I guess it’s mostly Delany who thinks it’s doable, but still encouraging.

    • zeek says:

      It’s not that they hate the Big Ten; it’s that the college football media is sort of caught up in the here-and-now of who’s winning right now.

      No one’s going to take issue with the fact that the SEC is far ahead of the pack competitively, although a part of that is that the conference is the least balanced (fewest upsets in terms of how far ahead the top 5-6 programs are against the bottom 7-8).

      The media isn’t really adapted to look 25 years down the road, 50 years down the road.

      • zeek says:

        Nobody wants to read about how conferences are setting themselves up for a future that will look vastly different from the past.

        If the Big Ten has to get to 16 or 18 or 20 teams to do so, then it should do so.

      • acaffrey says:

        And nobody is looking at 120 years down the road, when people are more interested in virtual planet exploring than following other people’s athletic pursuits.

      • FranktheAg says:

        Zeek says “although a part of that is that the conference is the least balanced (fewest upsets in terms of how far ahead the top 5-6 programs are against the bottom 7-8).”

        This just isn’t based on fact. Here are the 6 best this year: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, LSU, A&M and USC.

        Now, to believe your comment we’d have to believe Arkansas (one year removed from a top 5 finish), Auburn (two years removed from a Nat’l championship), Tenn (long history of success in the 80′s, 90′s and 00′s) can’t compete with those six teams who had success this year.

        The SEC easily goes 10 deep with programs that can have BCS level success. I’d add Mizzou and Ole Miss into the mix as competitive programs.

        • Brian says:

          FranktheAg,

          It is based on fact.

          The top 6 were undefeated against the bottom 8 this year. No other conference was so stratified. The SEC hasn’t had a major upset since Ole Miss beat Tebow in 2008, and even then MS was 2nd in the West. Other conferences have upsets more frequently.

          • FranktheAg says:

            For one year Brian. Stating there is a tier of 6 programs far better than the next best four is incorrect unless you discount all but one year of data.

          • Brian says:

            FranktheAg,

            “For one year Brian.”

            I think this year was an extreme example, but the trend holds. Where are the big upsets? We’re talking about 1 in 5 seasons. That’s 1 in 245 games. I realize not all of them could be upsets, but that’s still rare.

            OSU dominated the B10 like nobody else lately but got upset by IL in 2007 and PU in 2009 and 2011. USC used to get upset regularly. OU and UT get upset.

            “Stating there is a tier of 6 programs far better than the next best four is incorrect unless you discount all but one year of data.”

            How about this?
            SEC W% from 1992-2011
            FL 77.1%
            TN 65.8
            AL 64.0
            GA 61.9
            AU 61.4
            LSU 59.9
            AR 47.9

            There’s a 12 percentage point drop from #6 to #7, and that equals 22 more wins over 20 years.

            SEC W% from 2002-2011
            LSU 72.9%
            FL 68.7
            GA 67.9
            AU 67.1
            AL 63.9
            TN 52.4

            There’s an 11.5 percentage point drop from #5 to #6, and that equals 10 more wins over 10 years.

            SEC W% from 2007-2011
            AL 79.1%
            LSU 69.8
            FL 66.7
            GA 63.4
            AU 56.1*
            AR 52.5
            SC 51.2
            TN 41.5

            There’s an 11 percentage point drop from #4 to #6, and that equals 5 more wins over 5 years. I skipped AU because of the Cam Newton year. Remove that 9-0 and AU falls to 43.8% and #7.

            No matter the time scale, there’s always a drop of 1+ W per season.

    • Brian says:

      GreatLakeState,

      Interesting article.

      “Demographics matter,” Delany said. “I think it matters to be in New Jersey and Maryland and around D.C., Philadelphia and New York. It matters to us for it to be contiguous. It matters for it to be flagship universities.”

      Contiguous and flagships matter. So no FSU and no GT? No VT? Looks like the B10 stays at 14, then.

      • Brian says:

        Also this:

        “Not counting Rutgers and Maryland, Delany said there are 600,000 Big Ten alums living in the New York and Washington, D.C., areas. The Big Ten also views that as a rich recruiting ground for out-of-state students. Not athletes, but the ones who pay tuition.”

        That’s a lot of built in fans to prime the pumps.

  63. M1EK says:

    I feel as though many here don’t understand Florida schools well enough to really judge here. FSU has NOT been a big-time school for very long – not in terms of number of alumni – they exploded a few decades ago in size but before that were a non-entity.

    The Tallahassee area is VERY Southern – not at all like South Florida, which is Northern in character. The character of the school is more like Texas A&M than Texas.

    Combine those two facts and I’m not sure FSU REALLY has the profile of “ton of grads in a big media market” that the Big Ten would need to make this work. They don’t have a ton of grads at all, and they don’t overwhelm the Miami or Tampa markets either.

    • zeek says:

      The issue that I would take with that characterization is that they’re no different from UF in terms of where their student body comes from…, yes they’re in Tallahassee, but the student body mix is similar to UF’s… (supermajority drawn from the area between Orlando and South Florida).

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        The academic relation of FSU to UF is similar to that of Michigan State to Michigan: FSU students tend to be kids that aren’t good enough to get into UF.

        (Of course, both Michigan schools are better than their Florida counterparts, but it’s a similar relationship.)

        • jj says:

          As someone that went to both Michigan and Michigan State, i cannot stand this statement – which I hear all the time. Shockingly enough, some people choose to go to the “little brother” school for all sorts of reasons. Give it a rest.

          • Andy says:

            As someone who went to Michigan for grad school, I can firmly say that it’s a cut above Michigan State from what I’ve seen. Clearly all of the metric bear that out as well.

            That doesn’t mean there aren’t good students at MSU. I went to Mizzou for undergrad even though I got into several other schools that were “better”.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            You “hear it all the time” because it’s generally true. What do you think is the percentage of kids who can get into both, and choose MSU? I’m not saying it never occurs — there is practically nothing involving human behavior to which the word “never” applies — but I don’t think there is any denying that Michigan is the better school, and that most upper-achievers will prefer Michigan if they have the choice.

          • jj says:

            I know several. So believe whatever makes y’all feel better. I just can’t stand elitists attitudes. It’s shallow and shortsighted.

            If I’m hiring a business person I tend to lean toward msu grads because they tend to be better grounded and rounded, particularly socially.

            He’ve had good and bad from all schools – from Cooley to Harvard. If you think the school makes the man, you’re an idiot.

          • jj says:

            And msu has never that I’m aware of had race based admissions like um, which unquestionably reduce access to higher qualified asians, middle easterners (which there ate a lot of in mi) and whites, over others. Not that I really want to discuss the topic but don’t tell me that all people end up where test scoring says they should.

          • jj says:

            Andy,

            of course, taken as a whole UM is objectively a “better” school than MSU. that’s not the issue.

            when people phrase something like – the people at school X couldn’t get into school Y so that’s why they are there are just plain wrong. I hear this all the time from people that couldn’t get into a community college let alone the school they are dismissing.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            Sure, you could go to Cooley and become a billionaire; you could go to Harvard and become a failure. But if you compared the Cooley and Harvard graduating classes 20 years afterward, you’ll find that the Harvard kids (on average) did better. Surely you don’t dispute that. I mean, there IS a real reason why the kids who have the chance, WANT to get into the better schools. The school doesn’t make the man, but going to the better one certainly helps your chances.

        • Phizzy says:

          Actually, I think most academics would rank the University of Florida over Michigan State University.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            What I meant is that Michigan > UF and MSU > FSU, not that MSU > UF (which it isn’t).

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            -According to my composite rankings (BCS schools only):
            5 UM 1380.7570
            21 Florida 1098.2724
            26 MSU 1066.0273
            45 Florida St. 714.1528

        • Read The D says:

          Of course…

        • jj says:

          @ Marc

          You’re the one that said the kids at FSU “weren’t good enough to get into” FLA.

          • jj says:

            I’m gonna let this go, I’m sorry if I came off harsh. I’m an attorney and the law is just a field full of asswipes who think that they are hot shit because they went to school X and that people who went to school Y are idiots. I f’ing hate those people. Not saying you’re one, I’m just sensitive about it I guess.

        • Gitanole says:

          Florida State is a Top 100 research university and a true state school. Florida State and UF were founded by the same act of legislation and are in fact twin universities. For about half a century the schools were segregated by gender, with Florida State being designated for female students and UF for male students. Both universities have been co-educational since 1947. At that time Florida State re-instituted football and other sports for male athletes.

          The vestiges of the old ideas about gender roles may still be seen today in the strengths of the universities. Florida State is traditionally strong in the humanities, the arts, education, psychology and social work. Its law and engineering schools, though acclaimed, are newer programs that were founded after the school went co-ed. At UF pre-med, agriculture and engineering are longstanding programs.

          Students choose to go to Florida State because it is a good school for their major. That’s pretty much the same reason students choose to go anywhere. Unlike Michigan State and Michigan, there is not a huge difference between Florida State and UF in tuition cost.

    • acaffrey says:

      I dunno. I was just in Miami last month. As a Notherner, I felt more like I was in Mexico (where I was in April) than New York (where I grew up) or Michigan (where I live). I think the cultural differences of where the demographics of South Florida are heading is vastly understated.

      • acaffrey says:

        Awkward. I just mean that South Florida may presently be “northern” than “southern,” I think that the trajectory of that area is to be less “northern” and more “Latino.” It’s not headed towards southern, but it’s not headed toward northern either. It’s a great destination and outstanding for recruiting (today), but will it be like that in 15 or 30 or 75 years?

        • Hodgepodge says:

          Miami is a bit of a different animal because of all the Cubans, Haitians, and South American expats. Fort Lauderdale/Naples north to Orlando/Tampa is definitely more northern than southern and more northern than Latino.

          • acaffrey says:

            That’s true. I stayed north of Fort Lauderdale. Got that feeling.

            It also seemed like L.A. to me. So much going on, I wonder if they need football. Speaking out of my arse, but I wonder if the Dolphins might someday move.

  64. [...] If You’re Going to Create a Superconference, Then Do It Right: The Case For Florida State to t… [...]

  65. IUPUDad says:

    I think that FSU makes great sense for the B1G’s next move as an isolated academic compromise, but I would bring UVa as the subsequent move, rather than GTech. I think that UVa has a much better chance of delivering Virginia for the BTN than GTech has of delivering Georgia. I then would go head to head with the SEC and target both UNC and Duke. Two basketball brands of that magnitude would bring great value, and the Duke/UNC combo would appeal to UNC. I think those basketball brands combined with FSU and the large number of B1G alumni in the state would give the BTN great leverage in Florida. Duke and UNC would also help with NYC. Duke and UNC are also terrific research institutions.

    Part of the appeal to these schools could be a plan to go to three all sport divisions (where the two division winners with the best records meet in the football championship game). The Atlantic division could consist of FSU, PSU, UNC, UVA, Duke, and Maryland. (The remaining 12 teams could be divided by time zone.)

  66. acaffrey says:

    Not sure about the Butch Jones hire. He followed Kelly at Central Michigan. He followed Kelly at Cincy. How will he do following Dooley?

  67. I read an interesting comment elsewhere that Maryland, Rutgers and Nebraska would all be fully vested in the BTN in 2014 if all of the new areas (NY, NJ & DC) are added as footprint states to the BTN. This could explain the huge numbers that Maryland was given by Delany when they where discussing the move. Could this make sense? Otherwise I have a hard time seeing how you could justify a longer buy-in to the BTN for UNL and then give Rutgers and Maryland $43+ million a year right off the bat.

    Also I love the idea of FSU in the B1G! Nebraska and FSU matchups in football would be great as long as Nebraska keeps stepping its game up.

    • zeek says:

      The differences are because each team negotiates its own deal to join the Big Ten; various reporters like Thamel have said that they’re different for each school. Delany or someone else did say that each team would have their own form of payout increases.

      Most likely Maryland > Nebraska > Rutgers in terms of favorability of the deal.

      It wouldn’t surprise me if it looked like this:

      Nebraska (in terms of % of a full payout)
      11-12: 57%
      12-13: 62%
      13-14: 68%
      14-15: 75%
      15-16: 83%
      16-17: 91%
      17-18: 100% (new TV deal in place)

      Maryland (they’re receiving interest-free loans as well; possibly to “complete” their payouts to the numbers leaked to SI)
      14-15: 80%
      15-16: 85%
      16-17: 90%
      17-18: 95%
      18-19: 100%

      Rutgers
      14-15: 40%
      15-16: 50%
      16-17: 60%
      17-18: 70%
      18-19: 100%

      —————————————-

      This is obviously completely idle speculation so take it for what it’s worth, but this is how I imagine it will play out…

      Maryland got the most favorable deal (because they had the best bargaining position). Nebraska got a decent deal as well, and Rutgers obviously was in the least favorable position.

      Delany said they use a proprietary formula to come up with the buy in…

      • zeek says:

        Also, the deals are more favorable for Maryland especially and Rutgers (in terms of length of years) because of two big kick ups:

        2014: playoff money starts

        2017: new TV deal

        Nebraska had the longest buy in because they joined 3 years before the first of those two events.

        None of the teams can get full payouts until after 2017 when the new TV deal kicks in…

      • Richard says:

        Zeek:

        Do you have any links to Thamel or Delany saying that the new schools all have different buy-in schedules?

        I’m a bit skeptical that that is the case (other than the interest-free loan to UMD to tide them over), considering the all-for-one-one-for-all culture of the B10. By market value, OSU should get several times what Northwestern does in TV payout, yet that is not the case.

        • zeek says:

          The Pac-12 did the same thing with Utah and Colorado (Utah’s scale was a lot lower to start than Colorado’s).

          The all-for-one-one-for-all culture has nothing to do with the buy in scale; once you’re at 100%, you’re at 100% like the other 11 members currently. That has nothing to do with the starting point (just as Colorado got a much more favorable deal than Utah).

          • Richard says:

            The Pac may have, but do you have a link that the B10 had different buy-in schedules? I had not heard of anything like that, and I follow Thamel & the reporters who cover expansion pretty closely.

          • zeek says:

            Yes Richard. Delaney said he had a proprietary formula for calculating the revenue that each addition gets.

            It seemed to use their original base from their original league and then scales them towards 100% over time.

          • zeek says:

            Think of it like this:

            Nebraska received no less than they would have gotten in the Big 12.

            Maryland will receive no less than they would in the ACC.

            Rutgers will receive no less than they would in the Big East.

          • Richard says:

            OK, I had never heard of Delany speaking of such a thing. If you can provide a link, that would be appreciated (if not, doesn’t matter).

          • zeek says:

            Richard, I found it:

            “According to Delany, Rutgers’ financial deal will be different from Maryland’s, with each school finally receiving a full share of the hefty Big Ten payouts by Year Six.

            “All of the deals are a little bit different,” he said. “What will happen is, in six years, everyone who comes in — whether it was Nebraska, Rutgers or Maryland — six years hence will be in the same place. But in the transition they’re all a little bit different. They will be made whole at a certain time. Everybody’s different because everybody is coming from a different place.””

            http://www.nj.com/rutgersfootball/index.ssf/2012/11/big_ten_welcomes_rutgers_as.html

          • zeek says:

            My guess is that Rutgers will receive significantly less because the Big East currently gives them significantly less.

            They’ll be scaled up from around $5-6 million per year to the expected $40-50 million per year by 2020.

            Maryland will be scaled up from $17-18 million per year to the expected $40-50 million per year by 2020.

            Nebraska is being scaled up from $10-11 million per year to the expected $40 million per year by 2017 (since they joined in 2011).

          • Richard says:

            OK, thanks, Zeek.

    • Nemo says:

      @danimation707

      Just saw this on the Business of College Sports:

      http://businessofcollegesports.com/2012/12/03/grants-of-television-rights-not-increased-exit-fees-are-the-solution-to-realignment-frenzy/

      I’m not sure that this is totally accurate, but it could help explain why the ACC is scrambling furiously as FSU shops around… The Exit Fee may be unenforceable….

      Nemo

      • acaffrey says:

        Speaking of sneaky, conspiracy theories… suppose rumors have been planted to show that the ACC’s reputation has been substantially damaged. Multiple Presidents have had to make statements. Every President signed that thing the other day about allegiance to the ACC. How do you quantify the loss of reputation/perception when a founding school leaves?

        If Vanderbilt left the SEC for the B1G, wouldn’t that damage the SEC’s reputation substantially. They might be able to add more money by picking a new team, but the SEC would lose their best school. They would lose a member from long ago. And so on. Would the Big XII start sniffing around? Would the B1G then turn its attention to Florida–after all, it is possible for an SEC team to leave. Vandy did it.

        When Miami left the Big East, that caused a scramble for the other spots. When teams started flirting with the B1G, the Big XII almost disappeared. How do you quantify that or measure it?

        The first team leaving causes a ton of damage.

        • Jericho says:

          I’d agree. The fact that so many people on this board and other boards are talking about the imminent demise of the ACC speaks to the fact that the ACC suffered harm when Maryland left. The real question is how to prove in any tangible number what that harm actually is.

          Also, depsite the fact that Louisville is arguably better than Maryland in both money sports (football and basketball) is irrelevant. The mere fact the Big 10 took Maryland over Louisville suggest Maryland is worth more. The fact that the ACC is not in a position to get a fresh new TV deal does mean that value was not lost. The question is if a 14 team Maryland ACC would get more money than a 14 team Louisville ACC. You could get valuation experts to testify on this.

          Considering the Big 10 is talking about imminently being able to distribute over $40 million PER YEAR PER SCHOOL suggest to me that $50 million isn’t completely out of whack as a one time fee. This is a billion dollar industry. Damages are hard to calculate. An amount not that far off your yearly distribution does not seem overly punitive.

          There’s a good argument for both sides.

          • zeek says:

            You make a good point there in terms of how much value a school brings to a conference.

            Louisville is an easy plug in for Maryland for the ACC’s TV deal because of the way that TV deal works.

            There’s no loss of eyeballs by switching Louisville in against Florida State or Clemson; as far as brands go, there’s no loss in terms of the eyeballs that a matchup on ESPN or ESPN2 would get.

            For the Big Ten with a TV network, it’s all different, the additional value of Maryland is the cable households in D.C. and Baltimore (a top 10 and the #26 TV markets) along with those national matchups.

            For the ACC, that’s lost value if they did plan to create a network.

          • cfn_ms says:

            In fairness, though, some of the remaining teams have benefited from league instability. A&M, Missouri and Colorado have gone on to greener pastures after Nebraska walked. Rutgers, West Virginia and now Louisville improved their position after Pitt and Syracuse walked. I’m pretty sure a school’s obligation isn’t to the league as an institution, but to their fellows… and net-net, I don’t think the damage from any of those was enormous (since gains for some balance out losses for others).

            With respect to the ACC, I suspect the story is the same. Either they don’t lose anyone (in which case no real damage was done) or it’s a mix of some gaining while others lose.

    • Richard says:

      I thought UMD got a no-interest loan to help them with their current fiscal troubles. So there will still be a buy-in; it just would occur later.

      • Nemo says:

        I keep hearing about this “interest free” loan from the B1G, but I can’t confirm that. It was my understanding that MD was responsible for the way it was handled and its payment and that it is “covered”. Just how it is to be covered has not been disclosed. I may be wrong, but it is the assumption I am working on. As President Loh is a law Prof, I presume he knows how he is going to handle this. And, one argument advanced is that either there will be a “buy down” or that it is actually a penalty and not enforceable. There is a blog called Sports-Law blog and that point is made there as well. His view is there will be an agreement in the end that lowers the amount. I guess the lawyers will handle it no matter what.

  68. Andy says:

    Why does everyone keep talking about a Big 18 or Big 20 or Big 22 as if it were the Big Ten somehow conqueering the atlanti c coast?

    Functionally, that’s not what it would be at all. If you’re offering actual full membership to all of these ACC schools then it isn’t a concquest.

    It’s a merger.

    It’s like that Pac 12/Big Ten partnership that fell through, except even more complete.

    It would be more akin to the formation of the Big 12, which saw the death of the Big 8 and the Southwest Conference and the creation of an entirely new conference.

    Except with a “Big 20″ it wouldn’t even be a “conference” anymore. It would be more of an association. Because in any given year you’d only play 40% of the league.

    This talk is crazy and I’m not sure it means what some of you think it means.

    • zeek says:

      The Big Ten will tip its hand when it moves to 16.

      If the move to 16 is UVa + 1, then it’s likely a full stopping point for the foreseeable future.

      On the other hand, if the Big Ten goes straight for something like FSU/Georgia Tech, then there will always be the potential move for a bridge back to Maryland…

      • duffman says:

        I think if the additions are Georgia Tech and Florida State it means the ACC is done and North Carolina and Virginia are joining the SEC. FSU is too big of a loss for the ACC to take and remain a viable football conference.

        • bullet says:

          I don’t think they believe that FSU leaving makes them non-viable. The problem for the ACC is if Virginia Tech and Clemson believe that.

        • Richard says:

          It’s hard to see the ACC surviving without FSU, but don’t automatically assume that UVa goes to the SEC.

    • GreatLakeState says:

      I think it would have to be a BTE and BTW situation where the winner of each division plays in the championship game at the end of the year. This allows the BTE (basically the original Big Ten) to play each other during the season with a BTW cross over. PSU would go east, the question is who the other team would be. The logical one is OSU. I actually think Michigan would volunteer. The fact is, the B1G needs to increase its footprint dramatically to draw the necessary recruits and eyeballs to make BTN a national entity. Traditionalists want things to remain as they were in 1975, but college football has become nationalized in the last twenty years and Delany (a well as the presidents, who see federal dollars drying up) see the writing on the wall.

    • Richard says:

      Only in your world is 9/17 or 9/19=40%, Andy. Plus, saying that 16 is just right but that 18 is way, way too horribly much is just silly. Anyway, I fully expect you to change your tune when the SEC expands to 20, Andy.

      • Andy says:

        I was talking about a Big 22 when I said 40%. A Big 20 would of course be 47%, which still isn’t much of a “conference”.

  69. A.B. says:

    Love this topic and the future potential for the B1G.

    However after looking at things, I don’t think FSU is the answer. I think it’s Miami. Nate Silver’s NT Times article lists the strongest fan bases and it is Miami that is high on that list. Additionally Miami has the academics that fit the B1G expectations better. Of the two Miami has national identity AND academics to fit. They are close to being another Nebraska, but with academics this time. I was surprised by the lack of national FSU fan base. The only question I have is the depth of fan base in the state of Florida specifically. If that were significantly skewed towards FSU, then maybe it adds to FSU’s value.

    As the second school I wish GT would bring Atlanta, but I think that is wishful thinking. The Rambling Wreck is simply that in the number of TVs is grabs in Georgia.

    Which brings me back to North Carolina if they’ll have the conversation. They simply don’t fit in a conference other than the ACC or the B1G. If they recognize the national trend (which seems obvious) then you’d think they’d make the leap. And UNC brings a nice growing market to the B1G.

    On the SEC side, I think they are also playing the TV sets game. Which knocks out FSU, GT and Clemson, they’ve got those markets. VA Tech feels like a natural fit. and I think they target NC State to get into that NC market….and Duke just doesn’t fit with the SEC.

    Which leads to the BIG WINNERS in this scenario….the Big 12. FSU (or Miami) and Clemson become absolute trophies for the Big 12. They stabilize the conference and allow a conference championship game. They bring national identity outside of Texas and Oklahoma. And they afford the Big 12 the super conference option. If the Big 12 then jumps to 16 BYU, Boise State, Georgia Tech and maybe UVA or Louisville round out a 16 team super conference.

    Which leaves the remaining ACC and Big East to pull together a 5th, almost good enough, conference. And I’m guessing ND is there to play basketball.

    Which leaves the PAC to struggle. They’ll still have very good teams, but the population density and time zone issues force them to either settle at 12 OR try to pull in 4 more from some weak options like New Mexico, Air Force, Fresno State and Colorado State….or try to convince UVA, Duke, Boston College and Pittsburgh to make 3000 mile sports trips to the west coast….which seems far fetched at best. I think the PAC saw this a couple of years ago and tried to preempt this strike, but couldn’t get TX on board.

    • GreatLakeState says:

      Florida is too crucial a recruiting ground to cede to the B12 or solely to the SEC. I think they have to take a Florida school for eastern expansion to be deemed a home run. I would forego GT for Miami and FSU, which would ease FSU’s concerns. FSU/MIAMI UVA/VT UNC/DUKE (or ND if willing) would be a perfect expansion that would appease everyone.

      • zeek says:

        (I’m a broken record but…)

        No way the academics will allow that to happen.

        If they’re going to allow another non-AAU, it’s going to be paired with a sterling AAU candidate with impeccable research credentials.

        • GreatLakeState says:

          I’ve said a dozen times that the only way the B1G would take FSU is with GT. FSU/Miami is simply my preference.

          • zeek says:

            Ah, well interesting preference I suppose.

            I sort of am coming around to the idea of Atlanta as a travel destination, but Miami is so much more “ownable” as a city that it makes me pause.

          • GreatLakeState says:

            Thank you. It is an interesting preference and one shared by a fair number of people here. Is it likely to happen? No. But only one of the hundreds of scenarios discussed her is going to be correct. Please stop toying with us. Please tell us exactly what they are going to do so we can all get on with our lives.

          • ccrider55 says:

            GreatLakeState:

            No regard for those of us who now include this as part of our lives :) .

          • zeek says:

            Hah.

            We need a Nate Silver statistical model or something like that.

      • Jericho says:

        Is there any evidence to suggest that having a single Florida school in a 16 school conference will drastically boost the recruiting efforts of the other 15 schools in the State of Florida?

        Not only does the geographic problem remain, but it would take FSU roughly 6 years to play all the other schools in Florida. That can’t really be much of a selling point to recruits or their families.

    • cfn_ms says:

      I’d be VERY hesitant to put much weight into a google search result algorithm about two schools’ comparative fanbases when one school (Miami) shares the same name as both a city and an NFL team while the other (FSU) doesn’t.

      wrt Pac-12, I question whether there will ever be anything close to a requirement to get bigger or else. Presuming not, I’d anticipate the league being fine indefinitely with 12.

  70. Craig Z says:

    E. Gordon Gee was just on a station in Columbus and said he thought super conferences would be here within five years. He also implied they would break away from the NCAA.

    • zeek says:

      He knows that the Big Ten is going to expand again; everybody does. There’s way too much talk of 16 teams nowadays.

    • I like Gee, but he has a real tendency to talk off the cuff and say some dumb things. I wouldn’t put too much weight on what he says on The Fan.

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        Gee may be a blabbermouth, but he sits in meetings and hears stuff that you and I do not. He didn’t get where he is by being stupid. There is a basis for the things he says, even if he shouldn’t be saying them.

        • zeek says:

          These guys have no doubt looked at models of 16 teams, 18 teams, and even 20 teams.

          Perlman himself said that he saw some much bigger conference models than the 12-16 that everyone was talking about…

          Maryland’s president said he was shocked by the Big Ten’s expansion plans.

          These guys have no doubt looked at the same expansion scenarios that we have. If Gee think that the Big Ten is going to be at 16 within 5 years, then it’s likely to be at 16 within 5 years.

          • bullet says:

            So I’m guessing he doesn’t define 14 as a “superconference.”

          • ccrider55 says:

            Remember the slip up by the Cal AD a year or two ago? She mentioned then that everyone was working on how get to a to 4 x 16 in the next five years? I thought she was just blowing smoke.

        • I would never call Gee stupid, not by any stretch. He just has a tendency to say things he shouldn’t or to exaggerate. Without hearing the context of the conversation in question, I wonder if this is one of those times. The idea of breaking away from the NCAA has always seemed ludicrous to me.

          • ccrider55 says:

            The breakaway has been discussed, as a future possibility, for some time now.

            Perhaps some of this conference reshuffling is partially intended to “influence” the NCAA to be more responsive to the D1 concerns? As the realignment progresses so does the feasibility of creating a new governing body. A power play, with teeth?

          • bullet says:

            NCAA Prez. Emmert discussed it quite a bit even last year. The schools are looking for a solution, whether that be breaking away or a new division or something else. He was very matter a fact about it. He was clear that something will be different. He didn’t seem to think breaking away was inevitable, only one possible result.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Looks like progress needs to be seen, not just talked about.

          • I know it’s been discussed, I just took it as hypothetical. Gee’s statement (again, out of context) sounded more… definite.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Exactly. A definite, rather than a theoretical possibility.

          • morganwick says:

            What “D1 concerns” are the NCAA supposedly not addressing?

          • zeek says:

            The fact that they’ve completely destroyed college basketball? Let’s start there.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Umm…arbitrary and capricious nature in the application of rules/sanctions as another?

          • frug says:

            @morganwick

            The $2,000 stipend and 4 year scholarships to begin with.

          • morganwick says:

            “The fact that they’ve completely destroyed college basketball?” I know this is in jest, but I’m not sure how the NCAA has done that (yet – keeping my fingers crossed they don’t go to 96). If anything, it’s the schools and conferences that have ruined basketball with football-focused conference realignment.

            “Umm…arbitrary and capricious nature in the application of rules/sanctions as another?” Which side of the issue are the big schools on? Do they want the NCAA to crack down harder, do they want more freedom to do what they want, or do they just want consistency and transparency either way?

            “The $2,000 stipend and 4 year scholarships to begin with.” Not familiar with the latter issue. Maybe vaguely familiar. Is that the NCAA moving towards or away from making an athletic scholarship good for four years? And same question as above: do the big schools want the NCAA to move to not-really-paying players in order to legalize and regulate what they do anyway, or do they want the NCAA not to move in that direction so they don’t have to siphon off some of their money?

            Jim Delany has an interesting quote in this article that can be read as a PR ploy, but can also be read as any potential split not necessarily being between the big and small schools, but between those schools that care about academics and the ideal of the student-athlete and those with a win-at-all-costs mentality (or among the smaller schools, those that want to level the literal playing field). And that would be far more catastrophic than a straight top/bottom split (unless it manifested as one anyway).

          • frug says:

            The larger schools are in favor of granting an up to $2,000 per year stipend to student athletes. The smaller schools (who can’t afford the stipends) are pushing the NCAA to prohibit the stipends which they feel would put them at a competitive disadvantage.

            Similarly, the larger schools back 4 year scholarships but the smaller schools are trying to block their implementation.

          • cfn_ms says:

            On an ultimate level, the fact that major 1-A powers are subject to rules voted on by a supermajority of low-level 1-A non-AQ’s and 1-AA schools is fundamentally silly and is almost certain to change when the power schools force the issue.

            That’s why the stipend failed, and eventually they’ll force a new governance structure as well as presumably a new 1-A with about half the membership of the current 1-A, MAYBE close to 2/3, and among other things presumably stipends, larger roster sizes, and a number of other changes that go away from the “let’s restrict everyone so the small schools can sort of financially compete” mold that the current rule structure tends towards.

    • Brian says:

      Craig Z,

      I think they are much more likely to split DI-A again rather than leave the NCAA. It’s too much of a hassle to set up your own governing body when one already exists.

      • Richard says:

        Agreed. I think that the Big 4 conferences + the ACC + the BE (because the top dogs still need guarantee games) will be the new Div I on top of FBS, which is on top of FCS. 2 games vs. FBS schools will count towards bowl eligibility.

  71. mushroomgod says:

    Congrats to M. Ball for winning the Doak Walker award……seems like a great kid……

  72. Hodgepodge says:

    An interesting group of tweets from Adam Rittenberg:

    Rittenberg/Bennett ‏@ESPN_BigTen

    Rittenberg/Bennett Rittenberg/Bennett ‏@ESPN_BigTen Thought it was telling that he mentioned Penn State in answer. Had heard some chatter about Penn State possibly looking elsewhere.

    Rittenberg/Bennett Rittenberg/Bennett ‏@ESPN_BigTen Delany … “the driving force is demographics, but when you look at it, you can’t help but think this is good for Penn State as well.”

    Rittenberg/Bennett Rittenberg/Bennett ‏@ESPN_BigTen Asked Jim Delany last month if he had concern about teams leaving B1G. “No. Not in my view. But I do think that you need to build …” cont

    Rittenberg/Bennett Rittenberg/Bennett ‏@ESPN_BigTen RT @jaypo1961: (cont)…That is why Rutgers/Maryland were added to league. Alvarez: 1 other school wanted in. Turned down (academics).

    Rittenberg/Bennett Rittenberg/Bennett ‏@ESPN_BigTen RT @jaypo1961: #Badgers AD B.Alvarez tells athletic bd Delany thought Penn State might leave BIG if no expansion into northeast.

    • GreatLakeState says:

      Wow. Good catch.

    • bamatab says:

      I wonder who the one school was that was turned down due to academics? I’m wondering if it was FSU.

      • Hodgepodge says:

        That would be the most obvious guess considering the blurb Powers wrote about FSU reaching out to the B1G. BC and Syracuse would also be slight possibilities because although they are well regarded academically, they aren’t research-focused. Besides them, I don’t know, maybe Louisville?

        • zeek says:

          UConn or Louisville makes more sense to me than BC or Syracuse.

          • bamatab says:

            I could see SU or BC trying to sneek into the B1G before they are left without a life boat.

            But honestly if I were a betting man, I’d put my money on FSU since they are at the center of most of the rumors of school looking around.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Perhaps they can’t yet be taken until most of the rest is clear, FSU being close to the keystone that would really break things open? Academics a convenient hesitation point?

          • bamatab says:

            I don’t know because FSU just about as to be the next school to leave to loosen up the other schools.

          • ccrider55 says:

            That’s what I mean. Do you chance opening the flood gates before you are sure of the result?

      • Pat says:

        FWIT. I attended a Michigan alumni function last week in the Detroit area and the hallway scuttlebutt among some well healed alumni was that Delany had been denied permission to pursue FSU by the B1G presidents due to academics. However, he had approval to offer UVA, UNC and GT. Interestingly enough, there was chatter that BC and Syracuse were still on the table given the right scenario. Many seemed to think BC’s hockey program could capture eyeballs in New England.
        From reading this blog, it sounds like FSU might be getting ready to take another run at the B1G.

        • That’s kind of crazy if accurate.

          • GreatLakeState says:

            In other words, any further expansion is merely going to water down the conference.

          • bamatab says:

            I think until the B1G presidents prove otherwise, non-AAU schools should probably be considered non-starters. I realize that Neb is no longer AAU, but they were at the time and the B1G presidents could still hide behind it (since most people on the outside probably had no idea that Neb was fixing to lose it) to justify taking them.

            The only scenario that I see where SU & BC are option is if ND is in play, and ND requires them to tag along.

        • BruceMcF says:

          Yes, “denied permission to pursue” …

          … “But, no no no, THEY pursued ME, I didn’t pursue THEM!”

          And then … “in discussions with GTech, they will agree if FSU is part of the deal”.

        • Brian says:

          Pat,

          I could see that as being true. The COP/C take the academic fit very seriously. It may not be a death knell for non-AAU schools, though. I take that to mean they gave him the freedom to offer those 3 whenever he wanted without asking them for permission. For a non-AAU school, he’d have to present a case for making an exception. They may see FSU as too far from acceptable to allow, but maybe someone else is closer without being AAU (Miami?, VT?, other?). Delany would just have to sell the COP/C on it.

          School – AAU / ARWU / USNWR / Total R&D $ / Fed $
          UNC – yes / 30 / 30 / 15 / 9
          UVA – yes / 54-67 / 24 / 75 / 54
          GT – yes / 54-67 / 36 / 25 / 25

          Miami – 59 / 68-85 / 44 / 74 / 61
          VT – 91 / 68-85 / 72 / 47 / 70
          FSU – 94 / 86-109 / 97 / 84 / 82

          I could see them accepting Miami or VT potentially while saying no to FSU. Miami is a much better undergrad school while VT is much better in research. Both are better than FSU in the other category, too. Other than AAU status, Miami and UVA rank similarly. Miami is small and private, though.

        • metatron says:

          Good to see the Presidents aren’t completely insane.

        • psuhockey says:

          So they would take Syracuse and or BC, both non-AAU, but not FSU. Plus as recently as 2010, Syracuse ranks 198 and BC 197 in total research expenditures while FSU ranked 93. Considering Syracuse and BC and not FSU doesn’t make too much sense.

      • He didn’t say this was recent, right? I’m guessing it was OU, pre-Big 12 GOR.

        • bamatab says:

          I think the statement implied that it was during this most recent round of expansion that ended with UMD & RU joining. I’m pretty sure he wasn’t talking about OU.

    • zeek says:

      Sounds like Delany scaring them into expanding (or coming up with a justification).

      I really find it hard to consider Penn State thinking about leaving considering how integrated they are.

      Just look at Pegula giving $88 million to build out their hockey for the BTHC among other things.

      • zeek says:

        Now of course, it’s moot because it’s impossible to consider with Maryland/Rutgers, so I guess there is that.

        They took the odds from a nearly negligible percentage down to 0%.

      • Eric says:

        Over the short run it certainly wasn’t going to happen, but if you give it 10-20 years, I could see scenarios where Penn State decides it wanted to be in an east coast league. That’s gone with Rutger and Maryland and I can understand it even if I disagreed with expansion.

      • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

        FWIW Rittenberg’s interpretation isn’t what Alvarez actually said…

        “That northeast corridor, all the way to the south, continues to grow Jim felt that someday, if we didn’t have anyone else in that corridor, someday it wouldn’t make sense maybe for Penn State to be in our league.”

        “That they would go into a league somewhere on the east coast. By doing that, it keeps us in the northeast corridor.”

        He was talking long term (50 years down the road), he wasn’t referring to the current disgruntlement among PSU fans.

    • J says:

      That’s from here. Don’t think this was linked yet.

      http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/sports/182573751.html

      • Hodgepodge says:

        I’ll throw this in here because it’s not worth a new topic, but PBC came back with this gem today: “Texas just took a tangible step to become the 15th member today.”

        Even the NW fans have turned on him at this point.

        • Hodgepodge says:

          Before I start, let me say that I think PBC is most likely WAY off the mark here, but it did get me thinking. There may be a way for Texas and the B1G to get around the grant of rights issue, and not only would it cost anyone any money, but it would make a fair amount of money for both UT and the B1G schools.

          We know that Texas can’t leave the Big XII until 2025 or else they forfeit their tier 1 and tier 2 TV rights to the conference. However, UT still has its Tier 3 rights. Hypothetically, UT and ESPN could decide that the LHN model is not going to work – a thesis for which there is ample evidence. UT could then work with the BTN to become the host of their tier 3 broadcasts. In return, the CIC could grant UT membership.

          That would allow the BTN to increase its carriage in Texas, which in turn makes more money for each B1G school. The increase in carriage rates across Texas might or might not make more money than the $11 UT is guaranteed from the ESPN deal, but I’d guess the BTN could make it so UT doesn’t lose money on the deal while each B1G school still makes some money. Texas would also continue to be a Big XII member so they wouldn’t be forfeiting any tier 1 or 2 money. At the same time, UT wouldn’t be a member of the B1G, so there would be no sharing of B1G TV money with UT.

          In 2016, the B1G could negotiate with ESPN/Fox/NBC/whomever on their next tier 1/tier 2 TV contract and add the provision that the B1G could renegotiate the contract in 2025 should the B1G expand at that time. In 2025, then, UT could fully join the B1G.

          I’m not knowledgeable enough on contract law to say whether everything I just posited is possible, but from my untrained eye it certainly appears to be. I definitely don’t think it is probable, however, considering it would take considerable bending on both the part of the B1G and UT and there is likely still a “Tech problem.” Anyway, just food for thought.

          • ccrider55 says:

            BTN=Fox
            LHN=ESPN

          • Hodgepodge says:

            Yes, I realize that, which is why I added the proviso that ESPN and UT would have to agree that LHN isn’t going to work (and this dissolving the contract).

          • zeek says:

            @Hodgepodge

            Yeah, the Northwestern fanbase is really skeptical of him on the Rivals site where he posts.

            He’s pretty much the crazy uncle on expansion now.

            Yeah, he had a source in the Big Ten offices in 2009-2010, but his information is way out of date, and his stories about ND and Texas are just ridiculous now…

          • acaffrey says:

            You are overthinking it. A grand of rights only applies to the rights that the school has–home games. So Texas would have value to the B1G for their road games alone. Texas @ Indiana might not have much juice, but Texas @ Michigan certainly would. In a 100-year commitment, why not invest in something that matters? Like the last 87 years of Texas.

          • bullet says:

            And you would give up Michigan at Texas. So a Michigan conference game would be lost. Its nonsensical to invite someone during the middle of a GOR.

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            You could always schedule only the worst conference games at UT and make all their big games be road games. That might reduce the cost of buying out the GOR. They’d have to really want it, though.

          • bullet says:

            And they could always schedule Ohio State to play at Michigan every year for the extra 5,000 seats, but its not going to happen.

          • metatron says:

            Grants of Rights can still be bought out, God knows we have the money and we can certainly make more money with UT than the Big XII can. Or alternatives can be worked out; Texas’ conference away games (like Notre Dame’s) would be up for negotiations, with caveats that whoever buys the rights would get them when they free up.

            But, the real question is how much is that worth to the Big XII universities? It would bring possible destruction on them, but if Texas leaves anyway, it’s a moot point. This reminds me of a small-market team with a superstar near free agency, except these are schools and they’ll be ruined either way. Depressing.

          • zeek says:

            metatron, there has to be a seller though.

            If the Big 12 doesn’t want to sell Texas’ TV rights (as they shouldn’t, since they’re golden handcuffs), then you have to sue for them, and that’s an extremely uncertain process…

          • acaffrey says:

            How would you “lose” Michigan @ Texas? You don’t have it now. You might have Michigan @ someone less interesting. But it is not Texas.

            As long as the TV contract $$$ stays the same for all schools somehow and every game is televised somewhere, who cares what network the game is shown on? Michigan-Texas would never be BTN anyway, at least in the current scheme. You think ESPN or Fox is going to screw the B1G over when it will be adding Texas?

            The Big XII game of the week… the Big 10 matchup between Michigan and Texas gets pretty awkward. But the Big XII would take it.

            Instead of getting to $43M for the existing schools… let them get by on $40M apiece and invest in Texas.

          • bullet says:

            You would lose Michigan at Texas because it would be a conference game. For 4 Big 10 teams, the Big 12 would own 1 of their 8 conference games (the 4 who play at Texas). Unless the Big 12 chooses to disband because all 10 have other places they want to go, the idea is just a non-starter for the life of the GOR. What happens in 13 years is anybody’s guess, but the Big 12 has decided to stay together for at least that long.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Bullet:

            I agree that it is currently a nonstarter, but not for the life of the GOR. It may be that the potential value of 4 UT B1G games is enough to offset a few years of 4 teams substituting an extra home OOC games when scheduled to play in Austin. The value of UT would be greater in the B1G than in the reduced B12. I have no idea at what point cost/benefit is balanced, but I’m sure it isn’t the full length of the GOR.

          • Richard says:

            Re: global warming:

            The Great Lakes region will be fine (the Great Plains, not so much), but the Pacific Northwest actually would weather the new climate the best.

            Time to annex UDub? :)

      • danimation707 says:

        I wonder who the third school is that was turned down by the B1G for academic reasons per Alvarez?

        • metatron says:

          UCONN if I had to make a guess. Even if there wasn’t one, it’s still preferable to say there was and pretend there’s serious demand to get in.

          • Richard says:

            Seems like there are a bunch.

            If you believe the rumor mill, OU was turned down because of academics & Tennessee was interested in joining but the B10 would take them only if UK joined but UK balked because they wanted to dominate the SEC in basketball. OK, that last one was a little hard to swallow.

            In any case, unlike Frank, I’m perfectly fine with turning down OU even if they could escape from OK St. as they’re in a small state that isn’t growing & have little hope of even sniffing the AAU soon.

            ‘Cuse, UConn, & (especially) BC, I think, would be mistakes (though ‘Cuse at least could be justified if ND came along).

            However, FSU really should not be turned down due to academics since, as the the second major university in a massive growing state, their research and academic stature should increase through the decades. Really, the 2 biggest concerns I have about FSU are
            1. Culture (Do they really believe in the Yankee idea of self-abnegation for the greater good as being noble? Do they really buy in to the Midlands values of egalitarianism and fairness?)
            2. Global warming. Higher temperatures, rising sea levels, & more fierce hurricanes are coming, and those climate changes will not treat FL kindly.

          • Gailikk says:

            I actually wanted to touch on Richards comment about climate change and long term effect. I read a lot about this and the best author with a good perspective is Brian Fagan out of UCLA. In either case the predicted problems of the future are water. Every one thinks that the south will always grow but according to the numbers the south west will get very dry very quickly in the next 20 years, so don’t be shocked by a shrinking population there. Also the south in North carolina, Virginia, Georgia, and South Carolina will have major water problems. And this is all important to business’s since if you want to start a company you have to ask the water company how much water you can get and that limits your growth, if you can only have enough water for say 100 people.
            That creates a problem for prospective business’s since if you want a large company you need them to have the water to stick around. Well if the drying continues in Texas then don’t be surprised if companies start to move out. The funny thing is, the places that have plenty of water are the midwest and northeast.
            Just my thoughts

          • metatron says:

            I’ll take the Vol’s and Sooners in a heartbeat. They ain’t too different for my tastes.

            I approach this issue from a different angle: you guys are concerned about population, I’m concerned about bandwagon viewers. Look at Oregon, they’re a big time program right now and it’s because of their flash and national attention.

            I’d prefer to pick programs with pedigrees because they’ll always have their fans and they’ll always draw more when they win. There’s nothing bigger than a “They’re back” story on ESPN.

          • bullet says:

            Sounds like wishful thinking. I don’t think there is anyplace in the country with more water than Tennessee. The southeast is fine. Atlanta is having problems, but that is due to short-sighted planning.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Bullet:

            You aren’t really saying there isn’t a growing problem are you? I recall many Texas cattle herds being culled recently due to drought. Checked the Ogallala Aquifer lately? Still being depleted. A few blogs ago I (half) jokingly suggested the PAC might consider approaching some southern Canadian schools to grab land in the future citrus belt.

            Some still insist the Sahara Forrest is suffering a temporary dry spell :) .

          • Richard says:

            Re: global warming:

            The Great Lakes region will be fine (the Great Plains, not so much), but the Pacific Northwest actually would weather the new climate the best. Time to annex UDub? :)

          • bullet says:

            @ccrider

            He started saying the south would stop growing and started talking about Virginia and the Carolinas. As I said that’s just wishful thinking. California, Arizona and Nevada are a totally different issue. Anyplace west of I-35 is already an arid zone. That basically includes San Antonio and Austin who rely on the Edwards Aquifer. Lubbock and much of Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska use the Oglalla. Houston, however, gets more rain than Seattle. Atlanta gets more rain than Houston.

    • mushroomgod says:

      Man… aHUGE “I told you so” from your humble correspondent…..

      • GreatLakeState says:

        Uconn’s joining?!!

      • zeek says:

        The odds went from negligible to 0%.

        Let’s not blow these statements out of proportion.

        Yes, they were concerned about the ACC taking the whole East Coast, but to act like Penn State was anywhere close to leaving the Big Ten (evidence: still a 15 year GOR in place along with Pegula putting down $88 million to fund a hockey program to compete against Minnesota/Wisconsin/etc.).

        • mushroomgod says:

          Come on zeek, admit it…you were wrong, I was right. I said get PSU an eastern travel partner or they were outta here.

          You said a thousand times there was NO possibility PSU could leave the BIG because of the GORs. NADA, 0% chance…

          Now we know Delany was worried about it happening.

          • frug says:

            Did we read the same article? Where did Delany say Penn St. was going to leave? Much less before the expiration of the GOR.

          • frug says:

            http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/sports/182573751.html

            Here is the statements Rittenberg was referring to.

          • zeek says:

            First off, I’ve been talking about Maryland/Rutgers to the Big Ten for a while (one of the earliest to push for it on this blog). I’m one of the ones who was pushing it early as a way to get to 14 without Notre Dame or Texas. It always made sense as a way to maximize the value of the kings in the mega markets of DC and NYC.

            You were the one who was saying nonsense like “Maryland is a southern school, they’ll never want to join the North”…

            Second, there is absolutely no way that Penn State could have left the Big Ten within the next 15 years. Nobody is going to challenge a GOR. It doesn’t matter what Alvarez says about Delany trying to scare everyone into expanding (if he used that as a justification).

            Third, you haven’t answered about Pegula. No one spends $88 million on an ice hockey program to push the Big Ten Hockey Conference forward without guarantees that they’d be able to play against the marquee Big Ten programs over the long haul.

            The odds went from negligible to 0%. The odds were always negligible that they’d leave the Big Ten.

            You’re trying to spin a 5% chance into “I said get PSU an eastern travel partner or they were outta here.”

            Give me a break.

          • acaffrey says:

            The GofR is overblown. All it takes is for someone to pay a school a share of the TV revenue without getting the TV rights. And, again, the conference would get the rights to away games. Why not give Texas $30M/year for the last 10 years of the GOR and enjoy 90 years of having the Texas product? What’s a better investment–$300M for Texas or hoping that Rutgers/Maryland capture their respective markets? And with each successive year, the GofR becomes that much less of an obstacle. What happens to the Big XII when the GofR only has 8 years left on it and Texas is not quite ready to sign back up? 7, 6, 5, 4.

          • manifestodeluxe says:

            @mush:

            The thing you need to keep in mind is, according to Alvarez, Delany was worried about that “someday it wouldn’t make sense maybe for Penn State to be in our league”.

            Someday. Meaning, perhaps, with GOR was up. Especially with the ACC attempting to wrap up the entire eastern seaboard, and their (I believe) fledgling research cooperative. If anything, I doubt Delany was concerned about PSU getting snatched up anytime soon. But perhaps in 25 years or whenever the current GOR is up? Maybe. Probably still doubtful, but Delany made sure it’s all but impossible now if it wasn’t already.

  73. morganwick says:

    Uggh. As much as your reasoning makes sense, there’s no point for conferences to exist if they’re going to go this far afield geographically. They just become completely arbitrary. I’m on the verge of losing interest in college sports if the NCAA doesn’t put a stop to this madness by moving to a promotion/relegation system for football. And yet, that STILL might not stop the madness because of the value of basketball to the BTN.

    • Brian says:

      morganwick,

      Relegation is a pipe dream. It will never come to American sports. Every school needs their guaranteed cash flow from TV . They have long term construction projects dependent on it. They can’t afford to risk getting bumped down to the minor leagues.

      • morganwick says:

        Good! Maybe if they had the threat of their gravy train getting cut off they wouldn’t spend their money like blind rats and might actually focus on academics or getting better on the field. Maybe the money train that is college football might actually benefit schools instead of causing them to all go insane and think of themselves as sports franchises. For the record, the EPL gives “parachute payments” to relegated teams for a few years even if they only spent one year in the league, which is why the Championship (second-level) playoff for the last promotion spot is called “the richest match in the world”.

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      You have the relationship between NCAA and the schools backwards. The NCAA doesn’t just wake up one day and decide which schools to promote/relegate. The schools and the conferences decide for themselves what affiliations they want to have. Obviously, if enough fans feel as you do, and stop watching football, it would get their attention. I don’t know about you, but if Michigan-Florida State became an annual game, I would certainly watch.

    • metatron says:

      Relegation is a really bad system though – the best teams consistently win and get stronger; the worst teams constantly float between leagues and can never sign anyone.

      It’s a nice idea that a local club can rise to the top, but really, that will never ever happen.

  74. hihoze says:

    Really well written article….but….if the B1G actually got FSU and GT, that would leave ND in a conference they’d have to get out of. I suspect what the B1G is doing is causing instability in the ACC by luring FSU, GT, UVU etc with a real goal of grabbing all of the New England TV market with Boston College (plus their hockey team) along with Notre Dame in an ACC like deal for it’s national following in every TV market. BC & ND are a perfect fit for the B1G in every way. The B1G goes to B16 leaving UNC & VT for SEC16 and FSU, UM, Clemson, GT, NCS & UVA for the BigXVI. That makes perfect sense to me because the SEC and BigXII have a collaboration like the B16 and the PAC12.

    • Ross says:

      BC and ND are hardly perfect fits for the B1G, not sure where you are coming from on that point. BC is a small, private, religious institution with, other than hockey, pretty poor athletic programs. In addition, it’s in a pro market. It has almost nothing going for it outside of academics and appeal to Notre Dame. ND on the other hand has shown a constant refusal to join a conference, and, other than being a football/sports king, actually has little in common with B1G teams.

    • acaffrey says:

      How can two private colleges be a “perfect fit for the B1G in every way”?

      And why would Notre Dame have to get out of any conference? As long as their spot at the playoff table exists for football, and their other sports are not in the Mac, I think they’ll be OK with the also-rans, whomever that is.

      If you assume that FSU, Va Tech, Ga Tech, Clemson, Virginia, and NC all left for greener pastures. That would still leave an “ACC” of Pitt, BC, Louisville, Wake, NC State, Syracuse, Duke, and Miami. Add in UConn, Temple, USF, and Navy.

      North: BC, Pitt, UConn, Temple, Syracuse, Navy
      South: Louisville, Wake, NC State, Duke, USF, Miami

      Add in ND for other sports. Maybe allow Navy to be football only to offset ND. Or allow G’Town basketball for some DC juice.

      Isn’t that at least as good as the current Big East for ND purposes? Probably as good for football purposes too.

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        That’s about the smartest statement of ND’s position that I’ve seen. Even if the ACC is decimated, they’re left with a conference as good as, or better than, the Big East used to be, and Notre Dame was quite happy to be in the former Big East (until it turned into Conference USA).

        • acaffrey says:

          ND 6 games:

          1. Navy
          2. Temple, Syracuse, or UConn
          3. Pitt or BC
          4. Louisville, NC State, or USF
          5. Duke or Wake
          6. Miami

          Then

          1. USC
          2. BYU
          3. Michigan or MSU
          4. Purdue or NW
          5. Stanford or Air Force or Army
          6. Someone big… Penn State, Texas, etc.

          Run the table with that and you are at least #4. That’s all the Irish need.

  75. seminolecpa says:

    Sorry to be a late contributor to this discussion. I may be in the minority among FSU alum and fans but to me, from a FSU point of view, if FSU were to get an invite to the B1G it is a no brainer for us.
    Sure there are lots of us that seem to be holding out for an SEC bid and are meh about the Big12, but in my opinion a B1G invite (especially if it includes Georgia Tech) far exceeds an invite to the SEC.

    Our biggest issue with the ACC currently, in my opinion, is revenue and the corresponding ability to keep pace with schools in our area (UF for example). Entry into the B1G would not only solve this problem (and in my opinion possibly help us surpass some of our competition), it also allows us the opportunity to differentiate us from being just another “southern football school”. Membership in the SEC only at best levels the playing field and more likely has us playing catch up. Add to the whole deal the potential boost to our academic reputation and I think it is a win all around for FSU.

    From the B1G conference perspective imagine the ridiculous boost to television coverage by the BTN adding the Atlanta and Florida markets to the mix.

    For the record let me add that in no way am biased by locale (as in I do not live anywhere in the B1G footprint)

    • zeek says:

      Well, we’re all trying to figure out exactly what the parameters would be.

      Most of us assume that it would have to be an FSU/Georgia Tech package to make all the different factions in the Big Ten happy…

      In the future, we’d assume also that the Big Ten would try to get to 18 to bridge Florida/Georgia to Maryland to make it a full connected footprint.

    • Transic says:

      seminolecpa

      Would you accept GT, UVa and Duke as partners? If we’re going to “build that bridge” between you and Md, I think this is the best that could be done. UNC may not want NC State to go to the SEC, so they’d go there themselves. VT would be nice but they’re not AAU. Fla. State *might* be the only exception to the “rule” that the presidents would allow. If I were making divisions, I would put you with Ohio State along with GT, Duke, Michigan State and Indiana.

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        That’s the wrong question, isn’t it? It’s not what people like us would accept, but what it would take to pry loose two of the biggest academic prizes in the ACC, UNC and UVA. Those programs aren’t sucking wind, the way Maryland was. They aren’t in desperate need of a Big Ten cash infusion.

        Also, as Frank has repeatedly noted, UNC is the kingpin program in the ACC, a position they wouldn’t have in the Big Ten. Of all the ACC members, UNC is probably the least likely to make the move that kills the conference.

        You’d probably need a scenario where the Big Ten takes FSU and GT, the Big 12 takes Miami and Clemson, the SEC takes Virginia Tech and NC State, and THEN UNC/UVA come to the Big Ten with hat in hand.

  76. zeek says:

    RT @BFeldmanCBS: ND power: Those 100,000+BCS ticket requests all came w/ $25 just to get in tix lottery-so NotreDame pulled in over $2.5 MIL

  77. zeek says:

    According to the Big Ten bloggers on ESPN, there’s some momentum towards the East-West split:

    What would the crossovers look like?

    East
    Michigan (MSU)
    Ohio State (Wisconsin)
    Penn State (Nebraska)
    Indiana (Minnesota?)
    Purdue (Illinois to keep Purdue Cannon?)
    Rutgers (Northwestern?)
    Maryland (Iowa?)

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

    —————————————————————–

    I think it makes more sense now than the original East-West split when the conference was at 12 teams.

    The sliding over of Michigan State is what’s changed the game because I think you end up with the #4, #5, #6, #7 programs all in the West (Nebraska, Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan State) as a counter to having #1, #2, and #3 in the East.

    As for the crossovers, I put Iowa and Northwestern against Maryland and Rutgers because those are probably more favorable opponents (Iowa has a good brand, and Northwestern is a good visit aka Chicago).

    I don’t think anyone’s going to mourn the loss of the Iowa-Purdue rivalry…

    • zeek says:

      One team that gets a raw deal is probably Penn State. Having Michigan, Ohio State, and Nebraska all on the schedule annually would be an incredibly raw deal…

      Maybe have only 1 guaranteed cross-over in Michigan/Michigan State and have no others? Everyone else has 0…?

      • Ross says:

        I just don’t see the E/W split happening. The top three brands together is not something those three schools will be happy about. Plus, with only Nebraska anchoring the West there is only one way there can be a King vs. King CCG. Maybe promoting the NY/NJ penetration is more important than having a CCG between traditional powers, but I think the competitive imbalance will keep this from happening.

        • Hodgepodge says:

          As an OSU fan, I welcome having PSU and UM in the same division with OSU. If OSU can’t beat them in the division, they don’t deserve to be in the championship game anyway.

      • Brian says:

        zeek,

        All of OSU, MI and PSU get screwed. So do PU, IN, RU and MD. You’re piling losses on the bottom 4 and hurting the top 3 by having them beat each other up.

        • bullet says:

          Didn’t they used to do that in the 11 team Big 10?

          • Brian says:

            No, because there weren’t divisions to favor half of the teams.

            OSU had PSU and MI locked, but not WI. MI had OSU and MSU, but not PSU (except the first 10 years when PSU was also locked). PSU had OSU and MSU, but not NE or MI (see note above). In addition, the little guys didn’t have to play all 3 every year, either.

    • Brian says:

      zeek,

      “According to the Big Ten bloggers on ESPN, there’s some momentum towards the East-West split:”

      Those two know next to nothing about this stuff. I’m not saying they’re wrong, but they’ve never shown they have great sources for this stuff.

      Also, this isn’t an east/west split. If it was, MSU would go east and PU would go west.

      “What would the crossovers look like?

      East
      Michigan (MSU)
      Ohio State (Wisconsin)
      Penn State (Nebraska)
      Indiana (Minnesota?)
      Purdue (Illinois to keep Purdue Cannon?)
      Rutgers (Northwestern?)
      Maryland (Iowa?)”

      MI/MSU is a given

      OSU/WI and PSU/NE seem likely, but could be switched.

      The other 4 could be anything, but my choices would be:
      RU/NW (keep the big city folk together)
      MD/IL (still gets MD some Chicago access for recruiting)
      PU/IA (the “rivalry” that won’t die)
      IN/MN (give both a winnable game)

      —————————————————————–

      “I think it makes more sense now than the original East-West split when the conference was at 12 teams.”

      It may make more sense now, but it still doesn’t make much sense.

      “The sliding over of Michigan State is what’s changed the game because I think you end up with the #4, #5, #6, #7 programs all in the West (Nebraska, Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan State) as a counter to having #1, #2, and #3 in the East.”

      4-7 can’t balance 1-3, though. That’s the problem. You want the CCG to be 1 vs 2, with 3 and 4 getting in some, too. This split means the best case scenario is #4 in it every year while 1-3 beat each other up. It’s dumb, dumb, dumb. This is the top and bottom versus the middle.

      • zeek says:

        I just think the media people are going to want it.

        This isn’t the Big 12 where UT was in Texas and the Red River game happened there.

        If I’m Mark Silverman, I tell Delany to give me Michigan@Rutgers/Maryland, Ohio State@Rutgers/Maryland, and Penn State@Rutgers/Maryland every two years guaranteed…

        • zeek says:

          Obviously the BTN isn’t the only constituency that has to be pleased, but you have to admit that it’s a definite possibility Brian.

          • Brian says:

            zeek,

            “Obviously the BTN isn’t the only constituency that has to be pleased, but you have to admit that it’s a definite possibility Brian.”

            I’ve never denied it’s possible. I explicitly said the B10 bloggers might be right. I did say it would be a dumb decision, though, and I stand by that.

        • Brian says:

          zeek,

          “I just think the media people are going to want it.”

          They want lots of things. They don’t always get them.

          “If I’m Mark Silverman, I tell Delany to give me Michigan@Rutgers/Maryland, Ohio State@Rutgers/Maryland, and Penn State@Rutgers/Maryland every two years guaranteed…”

          You’re failing to balance W/L records for RU and MD with having kings come to town. Fans won’t be excited if their team is 4-8. What you want are good MD and RU teams with a king coming to town. Having the kings in town helps them with ticket sales, but it doesn’t help TV as much. I think the B10 is more likely to give RU and MD the NE treatment, and perhaps the PSU treatment too.

          NE treatment:
          Make sure RU and MD get the best crossover games to excite their fans in the first few years. They’ll have 2 kings and a prince in division (PSU/OSU/WI or PSU/MI/MSU), so add a third king and a prince as crossovers assuming there are 9 games. If the B10 sticks with 8, they get 8 years with a king or prince as a rotating crossover (MI/OSU, MSU/WI, NE, IA).

          PSU treatment:
          PSU demanded to play MI for the first 10 years despite MI not being one of their locked rivals. I could see the B10 choosing a rotation that isn’t equal so the name teams from the other division play in the east more in the first decade or so.

      • It all goes into what do people mean by “balanced divisions”. Does it mean making sure that 2 kings are in each division at the top or does depth matter the most? Preserving rivalries is also mixed in.

        The East/West split (which was along the lines of what I had been advocating) has 3 kings in the East, but the West still has a lot of competitive depth based on historic records.

        If you want the most historically balanced divisions while keeping 2 kings in each division, then the alignment ought to be what was the rumored change to the Legends and Leaders division with Maryland and Rutgers being added to the Leaders and Illinois switching over to the Legends. That really screws over Wisconsin as being out of place, though.

        If you want to keep the most rivalries with 2 kings in each division, then Wisconsin ought to be switched over the Legends instead of Illinois. Of course, the Legends then appears to be much tougher than the Leaders by historic standards.

        To me, I’d prioritize geography and preserving rivalries over competitive balance (which is something that shifts from year-to-year), but I know many people think competitive balance ought to be the top consideration.

        • Brian says:

          Frank the Tank,

          “It all goes into what do people mean by “balanced divisions”. Does it mean making sure that 2 kings are in each division at the top or does depth matter the most? Preserving rivalries is also mixed in.”

          Balance only matters in terms of the CCG. Therefore, it’s balance at the top that is key. It helps to balance the middle and bottom, too, of course. This also applies to media coverage balance. If you have 2 kings in each division, then one won’t get ignored by most people.

          “The East/West split (which was along the lines of what I had been advocating) has 3 kings in the East, but the West still has a lot of competitive depth based on historic records.”

          Yes, but depth with no top teams isn’t helpful for the CCG. That’s the problem.

          “If you want the most historically balanced divisions while keeping 2 kings in each division, then the alignment ought to be what was the rumored change to the Legends and Leaders division with Maryland and Rutgers being added to the Leaders and Illinois switching over to the Legends. That really screws over Wisconsin as being out of place, though.”

          That’s one way to get there.

          “If you want to keep the most rivalries with 2 kings in each division, then Wisconsin ought to be switched over the Legends instead of Illinois. Of course, the Legends then appears to be much tougher than the Leaders by historic standards.”

          Yep.

          “To me, I’d prioritize geography and preserving rivalries over competitive balance (which is something that shifts from year-to-year), but I know many people think competitive balance ought to be the top consideration.”

          Competitive balance is the most important, because it drives media coverage. Nothing is worse for fans than feeling their team is being ignored.

          You can get all of those benefits with a division change you didn’t mention:

          Move OSU, WI and IL to the West and move MI and MSU to the East with the newbies.

          In order of locked rivals:
          West – OSU, NE, WI, IA, MN, NW, IL
          East – MI, PSU, MSU, PU, IN, RU, MD

          Competitive balance: YES
          2 kings and a prince on each side

          Geography: Yes, mostly
          The eastern and western blocks are preserved. The middle 4 are split as in almost all configurations. I don’t see any inherent advantage in a more pure split.

          Rivalries: Yes, mostly
          Regain – WI/IA, PSU/MSU
          Add – NE/WI, OSU/NE, MI/PSU
          Lose – MI/MN, OSU/PSU, MI/NE, PU/IL

          You could also switch NW and IL for PU and IN to give OSU some neighboring schools to play.

          • bullet says:

            If you are going to keep locked rivals, you could switch from the current NW/SE to a SW/NE. Switch IU and NW in your plan:
            SW OSU, NE, WI, IA, MN, IU, IL
            NE UM, PSU, MSU, MD, RU, PU, NW

        • BuckeyeBeau says:

          There is now another factor relating to the split: Delany has clearly intimated that the B1G wants to have as many kings as possible show up in the NYC and Washington, DC areas for games. I think Delany and the BTN are expecting to penetrate the NYC and DC markets by bringing our “brands” physically to play games in the NYC and DC metro areas. Rutgers and Maryland aren’t going to get the BTN on basic cable; Ohio State, Michigan, Nebraska and PSU are going to do it.

          So, if MI, Ohio State and PSU are all in the east, then that is three guaranteed “king games” a year @ Rutgers & Maryland (combined). You also get 1-3 king vs. king games @ PSU every year (assuming the Nebraska cross-over rivalry is maintained). That is a good inventory of “king games” that are played “out east.”

          If this is the new thinking, this is a paradigm shift from trying to get an annual king vs. king for the B1GCCG in Indy. I think Delany, et. al., now realize that the CCG has a low ceiling moneywise even if you get a king vs. king game every year. Plus, with all the factors (including sanctions and unexpected clunker games), it is simply impossible to “plan” the “best” CC game. The CC game will be what it is going to be and the money will be — within a broad range — roughly the same every year.

          By contrast, penetrating the new markets on the eastern seaboard is where the real money is and, for that, you need your best brands to be showing up on a regular basis.

          For this discussion, I am assuming MSU stays west, Wiscy and IL go west, MI goes east, crossover game between the Michigans is established and the two Indianas stay east.

          As a further thought, if FSU/+1 were to be added, the B1G would shift Michigan to the west (giving the west two kings) and the east would still have three kings to show up @ Rutgers and @ Maryland. Plus the B1G would now have another set of king vs. king games. Maybe PSU agrees to give up its crossover game with Nebraska. Then you have permanent rivalries of FSU vs.Neb, tOSU vs. Michigan and PSU vs. ? I’d go with Wiscy. There was never any fire between MSU and PSU. Make it MSU and GaTech (or whoever comes along with FSU).

          • Brian says:

            BuckeyeBeau,

            “There is now another factor relating to the split: Delany has clearly intimated that the B1G wants to have as many kings as possible show up in the NYC and Washington, DC areas for games.”

            No, he hasn’t said that. He wants them there frequently. That’s doesn’t automatically mean he wants them there as much as possible. There are shades of gray here.

            “I think Delany and the BTN are expecting to penetrate the NYC and DC markets by bringing our “brands” physically to play games in the NYC and DC metro areas. Rutgers and Maryland aren’t going to get the BTN on basic cable; Ohio State, Michigan, Nebraska and PSU are going to do it.”

            Obviously that’s the plan. Use the B10 fans already in place to bolster the ratings and attendance, making the games seem bigger and better to build the local audience. If RU games start becoming cool to attend, locals will come out of the woodwork to go. But that only works if RU and MD win some games. You won’t win new fans with them getting crushed all the time because you keep rolling top teams through town. You have to balance marquee games with winnable games.

            “So, if MI, Ohio State and PSU are all in the east, then that is three guaranteed “king games” a year @ Rutgers & Maryland (combined). You also get 1-3 king vs. king games @ PSU every year (assuming the Nebraska cross-over rivalry is maintained). That is a good inventory of “king games” that are played “out east.””

            There are many ways to get a lot of kings to come to MD and RU. You don’t have to put 3 kings in one division to do it. Also, PSU isn’t really out east. Many of their fans are, but PSU is several hours inland. New York and DC are both 4 hours away. If fans haven’t been coming to OSU/PSU games before, they won’t be now either. maybe more media will come, but I doubt it.

            “If this is the new thinking, this is a paradigm shift from trying to get an annual king vs. king for the B1GCCG in Indy.”

            They still want that. Fox certainly does, too. Based on the attendance the last 2 years, that’s the only way to get a sell out. It would probably help the ratings, too.

            “I think Delany, et. al., now realize that the CCG has a low ceiling moneywise even if you get a king vs. king game every year.”

            Say what? It’s making $24M per year. Is that low? I don’t know why you’d look at the past two years and draw that conclusion anyway. WI/MSU didn’t sell out even with the Rose on the line. That’s a them problem, not a CCG problem, until proven otherwise. This year was unusual with a 7-5 3rd place WI in the game. Neither WI nor NE fans were excited for the game. The CCG has never had a king/king game, so why would anyone conclude it wouldn’t do well even with such a match-up? Let’s wait until OSU and/or MI play in it to see what the CCG is like. Or maybe let the CCG have some serious postseason implications.

            What Delany really wants is to maximize the value of every conference game. That means locking the best games, but not making schedules so hard that teams suffer from overexposure. How much better would NE look if they didn’t get stuck playing MI, MSU, OSU, PSU and WI both years so far? That takes a toll. RU and MD wouldn’t survive it.

            “Plus, with all the factors (including sanctions and unexpected clunker games), it is simply impossible to “plan” the “best” CC game. The CC game will be what it is going to be and the money will be — within a broad range — roughly the same every year.”

            Of course it will, it’s paid according to a contract. So is the regular season. But the B10 needs both to succeed for the next contract to be better.

            “By contrast, penetrating the new markets on the eastern seaboard is where the real money is and, for that, you need your best brands to be showing up on a regular basis.”

            Nobody is saying they shouldn’t. But “regularly” and “as frequently as possible” are not the same thing.

            There’s tons of options, and I’m trying to save a detailed discussion of them for Frank’s post on the subject this week, but here’s some highlights.

            Games for RU/MD based on their division mates (assumes 9 games):
            1 eastern road game (RU/MD or PSU is locked no matter what)

            3 kings = 1.58 king home games per year
            2 kings = 1.33 king home games per year

            So all this worry will gain RU or MD 1 extra home game against a king every 4 years. That’s 1 extra eastern king game every 2 years overall. In exchange, you screw up divisional balance and distort media coverage of the conference.

            As for the rest of the B10, there a lot of tradeoffs to be made. The eastern division teams would get more king games, but at the expense of the western teams. Is NW happy about dropping from 1.4 to 1.0 king home games per season? How about IA, WI, MN and IL? That’s a major sacrifice, especially since IN and PU will reap the benefits as well.

            I think the math says it isn’t worth it. Instead, give them special scheduling treatment for the first few years. PSU got MI for the first 10 years despite MI not being a locked opponent for them. RU and MD could play all 4 kings their first several years if the B10 schedules it that way. They don’t have to be in the same division.

    • Richard says:

      OK, guys, I don’t think competitiveness is a reason to be against E/W because in the short-term, #3 has been nuked down to about a #7 and I don’t think the B10 stays at 14 in the long-term anyway.

      The western schools not getting one of OSU/Michigan each year is a bigger concern, but if you plan to expand to 16-18 by 2016, with a 9 game conference slate, 3 Western schools get Michigan (including Minny to preserve the LBJ game), 3 others get OSU, and UNL gets PSU.

      • Brian says:

        Richard,

        “OK, guys, I don’t think competitiveness is a reason to be against E/W because in the short-term, #3 has been nuked down to about a #7 and I don’t think the B10 stays at 14 in the long-term anyway.”

        1. PSU hasn’t dropped that far yet, and we don’t know how long they’ll be down. They were top 4 this year, certainly.

        2. Just because you expect 16+ doesn’t make it fact. Nobody expected the B10 to stay at 11 for 18 years. You have to plan for the current configuration to be permanent until it’s proven not to be.

        3. You also think the B20 is a good idea, so your opinion is questionable.

        • Richard says:

          Thought. I’ve reformed my stance. Now I believe that a Big18 with FSU, Miami, VTech, and UVa added is ideal.

          • Brian says:

            Noted. Rivalries trumped adding UNC and Duke, I assume.

          • Richard says:

            Pretty much. To end the annual appearance of the OSU-PSU game & to ask Minny to give up the LBJ game would require some pretty sexy (and unrealistic) additions (ND & Texas or UF & UGa)

    • Eric says:

      Like that better then keeping the current divisions (although still prefer putting the eastern 3 with the western 4).

      I don’t think any crossovers there then though except keeping Michigan/Michigan State.

      • StevenD says:

        I like the idea of having a Central Division (the states of Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois) and a Frontier Division (the west 4 and the east 3).

        This preserves all the big rivalries without fixed crossovers. With an 8-game conference schedule, it would take seven years to play each team in the opposite division twice. With a 9-game schedule, it would take five years.

      • Brian says:

        Eric,

        Your plan would be OK except for these things:

        1. One division does most of the travel and thus will complain vociferously about it.
        2. It puts MI and OSU together.
        3. It keeps both OSU and MI out of the east coast, and they are more useful there than NE.

        • BruceMcF says:

          Geographically, North / South with a not very squiggly line between the two could give

          North: Rutgers, PSU, MI, MSU, NWU, WU, Minnesota
          South: Maryland, OSU, Indiana, Purdue, Illini, Huskers

          But I WANT the game against TTUN to be for the division championship and the trip to the championship game as many years as possible. Which means putting MI and OH in the same division. Swinging the border north around Happy Valley and south of Columbus would give:

          North: Rutgers, OSU, MI, MSU, NWU, WU, Minnesota
          South: Maryland, PSU, Indiana, Purdue, Illini, Huskers

          Adding two REALLY southern schools, eg FSU and GTech, would pop the border south of both Happy Valley and Columbus:

          North: Rutgers, PSU, OSU, MI, MSU, NWU, WU, Minnesota
          South: FSU, GTech, Maryland, Indiana, Purdue, Illini, Huskers

          • Mike says:

            @Bruce – IMHO you are a little too newbie heavy in the South. How about a straight east-west split? Nine games, one rotating A and B crossover game.

            Surf and Turf*
            A: Nebraska, Florida St, Miami, Wisconsin
            B: Iowa, Northwestern, Illinois, Minnesota

            Industrial
            A: Ohio St, Michigan, Penn St, Michigan St
            B: Indiana, Purdue, Rutgers, Maryland.

            *I prefer Miami over Georgia Tech. It makes the Kings balance out.

          • BruceMcF says:

            Yes, when you go generally North / South, South will be newbie heavy, because there were few expansion targets north of a halfway line across the original Big Ten. Just as if you go generally East / West, East will be newbie heavy.

            But in any event, since they all omit the Hawkeyes, they are all wrong anyway … if the border swings north of Chicago and then fades a little south again, its:

            North: Rutgers, OSU, TTUN, MSU, WI, MN, IA
            South: Maryland, PSU, Indiana, Purdue, NW, Illini, Huskers

            And with two southern additions:

            North: Rutgers, PSU, tOSU, TTUN, MSU, WI, MN, IA
            South: FSU, GTech, Maryland, Indiana, Purdue, NW, Illini, Huskers

    • vp19 says:

      I think when all is said and done, Illinois will shift to the west, a few guaranteed crossovers will be altered, and you’ll end up with this:

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

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

      Goodbye to Michigan State-Indiana and Iowa-Purdue; instead, the Indiana schools each get a guaranteed crossover with an Illinois school. Iowa gets Rutgers, enabling the Hawks to maintain ties to New Jersey for recruiting, and Michigan State gets Maryland for access to the D.C./Baltimore area.

      • Brian says:

        vp19,

        “Goodbye to Michigan State-Indiana and Iowa-Purdue; instead, the Indiana schools each get a guaranteed crossover with an Illinois school. Iowa gets Rutgers, enabling the Hawks to maintain ties to New Jersey for recruiting, and Michigan State gets Maryland for access to the D.C./Baltimore area.”

        I don’t see those being the crossovers, but we’re all guessing.

        OSU/MI, PSU/NE, WI/MN, MD/IL, RU/NW, PU/IA, IN/MSU

        I don’t see Delany relinquishing MSU/IN or IA/PU. Besides, I think RU/NW is a natural pairing (NYC vs Chicago) and getting MD/IL also give MD some Chicago access. Yours are more balanced, though.

        • vp19 says:

          What’s so sacrosanct about Michigan State-Indiana and Iowa-Purdue? There’s hardly any juice to those “rivalries,” as fans of all four schools will readily admit. At least under my plan, the Illinois-Indiana and Northwestern-Purdue rivalries are restored — and since none of the four travel particularly well, you might as well guarantee them a game in the state next door.

          Iowa has recruited New Jersey for years, while Maryland would probably like playing Michigan State, the closest available Legends school (they met regularly in the late 1940s, the first few years of the Jim Tatum era, and of late have had a basketball rivalry of sorts).

          • Brian says:

            vp19,

            “What’s so sacrosanct about Michigan State-Indiana and Iowa-Purdue?”

            Nothing, really. MSU/IN is a trophy game, though.

            “There’s hardly any juice to those “rivalries,” as fans of all four schools will readily admit.”

            Agreed.

            “At least under my plan, the Illinois-Indiana and Northwestern-Purdue rivalries are restored”

            That’s true, although those aren’t exactly strong rivalries either.

            My thinking, such as it is:
            1. Minimize change
            Especially if all they do is move IL west, keeping all the crossover rivalries intact and letting the newbies play NW and IL works well.

            2. What rivals make the most sense for RU and MD?
            NYC versus Chicago is a natural rivalry and more RU fans seem likely to travel to Chicago than to rural IN. It also allows MD to also get some Chicago recruiting access. That’s important for hoops if not for FB.

            3. Delany’s ego
            He doesn’t like to admit failure on his part (see the division names), so this way wouldn’t have to admit the previous pairings sucked.

            “and since none of the four travel particularly well, you might as well guarantee them a game in the state next door.”

            As I’m sure NW alumnI will tell you, NW has a nationwide fan base. They’d probably show up better at RU or MD than at PU. NW alumni don’t stay in town after graduating.

            “Iowa has recruited New Jersey for years,”

            So? IA recruits IL much more strongly so games near IL should be more important. PU recruits NJ as much as IA does and is closer to NJ. By your reasoning, that should be the pairing. I think the B10 is much more likely to consider what would help integrate RU and MD than who would benefit the most from getting to play them.

            “while Maryland would probably like playing Michigan State, the closest available Legends school (they met regularly in the late 1940s, the first few years of the Jim Tatum era, and of late have had a basketball rivalry of sorts).”

            No west school is close to MD (MSU is 600 miles), nor does anyone recruit there much. It might become a hoops rivalry, but there is no FB rivalry there. I’d be fine with pairing them, I just don’t think it will happen. I think giving them IL access makes more sense, especially since I’m also giving it to RU.

            YMMV

  78. Biological Imperiative says:

    Frank, you may have already addressed this issue, but on shaggybevo, I believe, a poster who said he worked for the CiC said that the contiguous states issues is not in the Big 10 charter or rules but it is in the CiC rules; making it impossible for Florida State or Texas for that matter to ever join the Big 10 or the academic side. Have you ever heard of that twist?

    • zeek says:

      That’s just a myth right now; we really don’t have concrete evidence that there is any rule binding the conference to contiguous expansion.

      Also, the very fact that Texas has been chased for so long is strong evidence to the contrary.

      I feel that the Texas-case disproves that myth…

      • bullet says:

        Somewhere a person actually quoted the rule with its section number in the by-laws.

        But as said below, rules can be changed.

        • bullet says:

          I doubt very seriously they change the rule for FSU. Florida or Georgia Tech or UNC, yes. FSU, no. I saw a quote somewhere that the ACC bluebloods view FSU as West Virginia people who took the wheels off their trailers. I don’t see the academics making the stretch, especially with all the discussion about how the presidents didn’t want to take another “Nebraska” who was AAU and only got kicked out by 1 or 2 votes. FSU is a geographic and academic stretch for the Big 10. I would be surprised.

          • bullet says:

            Not only that, they are both academically and athletically #2 in their state. That’s not true for any Big 10 state. They are #1 in both.

        • BruceMcF says:

          And the Big Ten commissioner has been quoted that the Presidents have given him permission to seek out discussions with contiguous AAU schools.

          I’d guess that doesn’t mean he cannot RECEIVE communication from others, but those limits are fairly constraining ~ eg, UVA and Kansas, but not FSU, Miami, GTech, VTech.

    • Bruce in Ohio says:

      Even if it is a rule, they could just change it if they want to. No problem.

      • BruceMcF says:

        Thing is, it gives opponents of that move a position to defend. And supporters of the move have to reveal that they have a non-contiguous target in their sites at a point when under the expansion game, they would prefer to keep things quiet.

        Its not a hurdle that is absolutely too high to clear, but its a hurdle.

  79. djjonsey says:

    This link to an Eleven Warriors article from May lays out what
    has transpired thus far.
    Texas is a prize Delany wants like the DC market.
    The loophole is a new broadcast deal with NBC and or CBS.
    Texas has had talks already with the BIG i hte last few years.
    LHN has been a bust. some articles suggest regret signing a deal with ESPN.
    http://www.elevenwarriors.com/2012/05/11451/b1gs-master-plan

    • metatron says:

      I don’t think Texas would ever join the Big Ten again, not with their media rights locked up.

      Besides, have you seen their marching band? Their “uniform” is ludicrous.

      • zeek says:

        That and the Big Ten has started to pursue it’s endgame.

        It’s one thing to talk about a 12 team Big Ten constrained to the Pennsylvania to Nebraska area (I realize that’s a large territory to be “constrained” to).

        But it’s quite another to talk about a 14 team Big Ten that planted two flags on the East Coast and is considering “Eastern” secondary headquarters.

        That’s clearly a sign that the Big Ten is pushing its chips all in onto the East Coast. The focus is entirely on schools from Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia and possibly Florida.

        I don’t foresee Texas or even Notre Dame coming up in Big Ten expansion talk at all from now on…

        • metatron says:

          That doesn’t follow at all though, I just think there are too many factors against Texas to join.

          Notre Dame, on the other hand, should be thrilled at these moves. Think about it, they could possibly play in Washington every year and Chicago/New York every other year. What if they win the conference? That’s two games in California.

          • zeek says:

            A workable Big Ten-Pac-12 alliance with the Big Ten at 12 was really the last chance for ND to join; maybe include their games in that alliance and stay at 8 game Big Ten schedules even at 14.

            Now it’s gone; we’re going East without them…; they’re going to always have a safe place in the ACC to just play a couple games annually and stick their non-football sports.

          • metatron says:

            I guess. Their shtick was to play a strong strength of schedule with national appeal.

            That’s kind of hard to do when you’re playing the also-rans of college football.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            I don’t think Notre Dame is “thrilled at these moves.” They switched from the Big East to the ACC to find a more stable home where they could retain football independence, and now they find that the ACC is less stable than they expected.

            There are two keys to understanding Notre Dame. One is that Independence is practically a religion to them. (Even agreeing to play five ACC teams a year was likely a tough pill for them to swallow.) The other is that they are a national program. Many Catholics consider Notre Dame their “home team,” and of course there are Catholics almost everywhere.

            So for Notre Dame, being committed to play a mostly Midwestern schedule is a drawback. They had three annual Midwestern games before they joined the ACC (Michigan, Michigan State, and Purdue), and they’ve cancelled the Michigan series going forward. This allows them to keep their ACC commitment while playing Purdue, Navy, two California schools, and a smattering of national teams every year. Rice, Texas, Arizona State, and BYU are among the non-ACC, non-Big Ten schools on Notre Dame’s future schedules, and they’ll be adding more teams like that.

  80. djjonsey says:

    The BIG also has the greatest potential for growth.
    Texas, Oklahoma, NC, Virgina, GT and now FSU have had talks or are having talks with BIG.
    You may see a 20 team conference. Huge dollars in most of the major and mid major markets.
    Yes. It is sad that regional cultures, rivalries, and most importantly traditions have slowly faded away
    since the SWC disbanded. But, money talks.

  81. greg says:

    Shroom, you were also adamant that Maryland would never join.

  82. metatron says:

    Not that I ever believe this would happen, but I feel like indulging.

    1 Michigan
    2 Michigan State
    3 Purdue
    4 Minnesota

    1 Ohio State
    2 Northwestern
    3 Illinois
    4 Indiana

    1 Penn State
    2 Notre Dame
    3 Rutgers
    4 Maryland

    1 Nebraska
    2 Texas
    3 Iowa
    4 Wisconsin

    I didn’t really want to do an “all expansion pod”, but I think Notre Dame should be with the other three and it’s not a bad group all things considered. The numbered schools should be permanent cross divisional rivals with each other in a nine-game schedule.

    This is open for suggestion. I tried to be fair, but as a Michigan fan, I can’t decide for other fan bases what they’d want.

    • Richard says:

      What did Minnesota do to get stuck away from all their western neighbors?

      No Floyd? No PU-IU? No ND-PU? No Michigan-ND?

      Yeah, good luck with that.

      • metatron says:

        Ah damnit, I knew I forgot something. I had all of those protected originally, but I moved everything around.

        I feel like we should just draft this out, first come first serve. Pick a school and a pod.

  83. mrcardinal1202 says:

    There is no way in my mind that the Big 10 gets FSU. One must think that there is a dark horse in this race with Virginia Tech. I think they go to the Big 10 with Noter Dame because those are two prominent football schools. That would toughen up the Big 10 in order to toughen up its conference ranking. In a down time for the conference. North Carolina and Virginia go to the SEC to toughen up its academics and too create a more competitiveness in the basketball conference for Kentucky.

  84. Transic says:

    There may just be one more space for a “football king”. If that’s FSU then that’s fine by me. VT would be fine but presidents would not allow two non-AAU’s to join. So the plan would be to bridge between the rest of the Big Ten and FSU with 3 AAU’s. The best that I can come up with is UVA, Duke and GT. GT/FSU is the southern part. Duke/UVA give Md back some basketball rivalries and also opens up the Virginia recruiting areas to PSU/Rutgers. UNC would rather be selfish and jump over State to the SEC if they can’t save the ACC.

    18 is an awkward number but still workable. Unless UNC joins then I don’t see how 16 is possible without creating gaps in geography, passing up a football brand or taking non-AAU’s. Therefore, FSU would have more than one partner.

    I go back and forth on divisions but this is what I can come up with now:

    RU/PSU/Md/UM/PU/DU

    OSU/FSU/MSU/GT/IU/UVA

    Minn/UW/UNL/NW/ILL/Iowa

    Crossovers – OSU/UM, IU/PU, DU/NW, MSU/UNL, PSU/FSU, Minn/RU, UW/GT, ILL/UVA, Iowa/Md

    • Richard says:

      FSU is worth a lot, but not worth such a convoluted arrangement or picking up GTech.

      If we’re only allowed 1 Non-AAU, I’d take VTech with UVa to lock down VA.

      • Transic says:

        If 16 is the absolute limit then OK. It was a stab in the dark to gauge how the people would react. I thought I’d make the best of the match-ups based on the profiles of the schools involved. Locking down Virginia would, in a way, reflect current political trends. Then the SEC goes ahead and claim the state of NC for that conference. The question then becomes can the B1G pry them without other moves made elsewhere. Just because Maryland moved doesn’t necessarily mean the rest move until one or two more move out. Does UVa want to continue playing VT in a hypothetical 16-team B1G? Is VT willing to lose games against UNC, NC State, Clemson, FSU and Miami to go to the B1G?

        The current thinking is that the ACC goes into nuclear meltdown if FSU were to leave. Frank’s blog entry reflects that. Still, Maryland left but that’s due to special circumstances related to Maryland. There are so many ways this could end, even including the conference going on with its current membership.

      • spaz says:

        I disagree. If we are only allowed 1 AAU, I’d much prefer FSU over Va Tech — better football, access to a huge and growing state. We can get access to Virginia (the state) with just UVa, we don’t need Va Tech as well. I don’t really see the need to waive the “no AAU” guideline for Va Tech.

        Of course, it depends on the endgame. I don’t like FSU/Ga Tech if we plan to stop at 16. If the powers that be are convinced that 18-20 is going to happen, then FSU/Ga Tech makes a ton of sense as an intermediate step.

        • Richard says:

          I’d rather lock down a state than “gain access” (unless it’s a giant state like TX or FL).

          Again, unless basketball becomes as important as football. If that happens, the value of the football powers (FSU, VTech, & Miami) are relatively less.

  85. Gitanole says:

    Great analysis, Frank. I’m glad you pointed out that Florida State does not represent a departure from the Big Ten’s academic footprint.

    ‘US News’ ranks Florida State at #97. As you mention, that edges Nebraska (101). It also ties or bests several AAU member schools.

    Missouri (97)
    Colorado (97)
    Iowa State (101)
    Kansas (106)
    Buffalo-SUNY (106)
    Oregon (115)
    Arizona (120)

    Eric Barron and the trustees have made a goal of AAU membership and Florida State is on course.

    • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

      USNWR rankings & AAU rankings have almost nothing in common. They are based on completely different metrics.

      The two most recent AAU additions; Georgia Tech & Boston U. were #31 & #37 on the internal AAU list. FSU was at #94 (tied with an unnamed current AAU member). Thirty two non-AAU schools (including USF) were ranked higher than FSU. Nebraska was #109. It’s fantastic that the FSU trustees have made a firm commitment towards drastically improving the school but let’s be clear about what hurdles must be cleared before FSU is in serious discussion for AAU membership.

      • Gitanole says:

        I’m aware of the nuances. I’m also aware that both measures weigh STEM subjects more heavily than the humanities and liberal arts, and graduate education and research over, say, quality of undergraduate experience. I’m also aware of the ultimate futility of trying to quantify ‘academic excellence’, which is a thing that can’t really be quantified.

        My point stands. Florida State is a distinguished institution that ranks competitively with other distinguished institutions. Accepting Florida State as a member would represent no departure for the B1G where academic standards are concerned. Meanwhile, the benefits for the league in all areas would be as Frank has outlined them.

        • Richard says:

          Given the gigantic state that it’s in, FSU really should be higher up in the AAU metrics than it is. There are 4 states with 19M+ in population (the rest aren’t that close, having less than 13M in population each). Of those, CA has 6 of their public schools in the AAU. TX has 2 of their public schools in the club. Even NY has 2 SUNY schools in the AAU despite SUNY being quite young. In FL, there’s no public school challenging the top 2 in the academic pecking order, so by all rights, FSU should be able to rise in the metrics fairly fast. The only wildcard is the FL legislature. If they keep not valuing education and university funding, FSU will face a headwind.

        • Brian says:

          Gitanole,

          “My point stands. Florida State is a distinguished institution that ranks competitively with other distinguished institutions.”

          Yes, that’s true. But it’s not elite. It all depends on how large of a group you are considering. Out of all schools, FSU is pretty good. Compared to the top 50, it’s not. The COP/C are academic snobs of the highest order, so them rejecting a school for academics doesn’t mean that school isn’t a good school. You don’t have to make the Supreme Court to be a good judge, either.

          “Accepting Florida State as a member would represent no departure for the B1G where academic standards are concerned.”

          Yes, it would. The last non-AAU member to be accepted was MSU 60 years ago, before the CIC even existed. FSU and NE aren’t much different except for NE having been in the AAU, granted. The ARWU still has NE a tier ahead of FSU, though.

          Nobody is saying FSU is a bad school, but the COP/C view the B10 as a special club and membership requirements are strict.

      • BruceMcF says:

        Yes ~ what impresses the most politically influential faculty is research prowess, not undergraduate teaching strength, because research prowess has far more to do with how they became influential faculty than undergraduate teaching does.

  86. drwillini says:

    The big thing that constrains existing rivalries in conference expansion is the limit of 8 or 9 conference games. Why is that? BCS teams want the flexibility to schedule FCS games with home only or lopsided contracts, and perhaps manage a national nonconference rivalry game that get TV exposure. So you either sell tickets for a game that you will most likely win and therefore help you out in national rankings, or you get national exposure on TV.

    Hypothetically speaking, if you assume the conference armedgeddon route, these two strategies of nonconference scheduling make less sense. You don’t need the guaranteed FCS wins, because your post season depends on winning your pod. Therefore the best nonconference schedule would prepare you for the conference play, and some might think that tougher pre-conference play (ala Tom Izzo) is the best strategy. If the polls are now meaningless, and its all settled on the field, more conference games could be the answer.

    If the armegeddon scenario results in more national TV exposure for the four superconference teams – which it should, there is less reason to schedule the national rivalry games. I think we re already seeing this.

    So it could be in many best interests to go to the 4 superconferences, with pods and a post season 16 team playoff, and a 10+ game conference schedule. The biggest beneficiaries of this, in my opinion, are the fans. Larger conferences with more conference games will provide more good games and fewer of these pointless BCS/FCS matchups. Since fans pay the bills, Adam Smith is smiling.

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      That’s not a likely scenario. The university presidents remain adamantly opposed to a 16-team playoff. It took decades of arm-twisting to get them even to a 4-game playoff The TV deal for the new playoff lasts till 2024, so we’re talking about a decade before we could even have the conversation about expanding it.

      You’ve also misunderstood the reason for the limit of 8 or 9 conference games. It’s not because schools want guaranteed wins against FCS opponents (although, for some schools, that is a part of it). It’s because they want to play 7 or 8 home games. When you’ve got an enormous stadium that always sells out (e.g., at Michigan, Tennessee, USC, Penn State, etc.), you want 7 home dates a year.

      If you go to 10 conference games, that means you’ve got 5 conference road games. That you can’t get to 7 home games unless the whole non-conference slate consists of body-bag games. Most of the good programs don’t want to do that. And many can’t, if they have an annual out-of-conference rivalry (Iowa/Iowa State, Florida/Florida State, South Carolina/Clemson, etc.).

      • BruceMcF says:

        Yes, that’s the drag. OSU makes, conservatively, $4m for a home game. Pay a MAC or C-USA school $1m to come and play, OSU nets $3m a game. Play a home and home series, they average $2m/game, and have travel costs on top.

        The offsetting element is the importance of strength of schedule in getting into the championship game. With the top four teams picked for a four team playoff, schools that play the equivalent of a strength of schedule boosting home and home series might be more appealing than under the current system where getting into the slot to play the SEC champion is such a lottery.

        • Brian says:

          BruceMcF,

          $4M is very conservative. It’s almost $7M is ticket sales alone. Add in required donations for season tickets, bigger donations for better seats, concessions, etc and the number is much larger. Of course you should subtract expenses if you want to talk profit, not revenue.

    • Brian says:

      drwillini,

      “The big thing that constrains existing rivalries in conference expansion is the limit of 8 or 9 conference games. Why is that? BCS teams want the flexibility to schedule FCS games with home only or lopsided contracts, and perhaps manage a national nonconference rivalry game that get TV exposure.”

      Wrong. Not everyone is looking for I-AA games. Schools with large ADs need the revenue from 7 home games to fund those ADs, though. In addition, schools try to get national exposure by playing OOC in other parts of the country. Beyond 9 conference games, you can’t reconcile these desires.

      “Hypothetically speaking, if you assume the conference armedgeddon route, these two strategies of nonconference scheduling make less sense.”

      No, they don’t. You still need the revenue.

      “If the armegeddon scenario results in more national TV exposure for the four superconference teams – which it should, there is less reason to schedule the national rivalry games. I think we re already seeing this.”

      I don’t. OSU is adding difficult OOC games, not dropping them. Teams with locked OOC rivals aren’t dropping them.

  87. Psuhockey says:

    It’s interesting to me that the Big Ten is being so open with their plans to expand to 16 teams. Couple that with the release of the potential financials in the Maryland deal and it leads me to believe that they are trying to disabilize the current conferences. If they had two candidates ready to go, they would just add them without any word like Maryland and Rutgers. Either the ones they want aren’t available as things are currently setup or they are trying to flush out a king to come to them like with Nebraska did.

    • MikeP says:

      That puts all the recent AD interviews in a new light. Maybe they were, but I don’t remember them being this open about the process after Nebraska joined.

      • dayooper63 says:

        MikeP, I have thought that as well. In some ways, I wonder if Fox started all of this when they decided to buy into the YES network. Did Fox go to the B10 and say we can get you NYC if you pick up Rutgers. Take another school, within reason, to get to 14. Maryland was the throw in. Now, Fox and the BTN want to get to 16, so they are doing everything in their power to destabilize the ACC and try to shake loose ND, UVA, UNC, ect.

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      The thing is, I don’t think the Big Ten can get the 15th and 16th schools it _really_ wants without another conference moving first. Florida State would accept a Big Ten invite in a heartbeat, so the fact that it hasn’t happened suggests it won’t, without something else shaking loose. UVA and UNC are close to the top of the pecking order in the ACC, so they don’t have a good reason to make a move right now.

      • vp19 says:

        And we don’t know what the Big Ten really wants for #15-16. Were it up to the presidents, they would probably go with Virginia and North Carolina for pure academics and all-around athletics. Big Ten athletic directors would likely prefer Florida State and a second southern school (Georgia Tech?) for their football prowess. Each of those options has advantages and drawbacks, particularly UVa/UNC. While Charlottesville people probably could live with Virginia Tech going to the SEC in a chain reaction, Chapel Hill folk might not want to ship N.C. State to the SEC as a price of Big Ten membership, even though the SEC is a conference most non-casual Tar Heel fans loathe and wouldn’t enter themselves. Plus, UNC is an alpha dog and won’t jump conferences unless faced with no other choice. From a UVa standpoint, being allied with UNC is important, moreso than it is from a Chapel Hill point of view.

        • zeek says:

          It’s amazing how much the ACC’s Tobacco Road situation parallels the Big 12 South dynamic.

          OU and UVa have similar motivations in terms of being with their rivals Texas and UNC. It’s history repeating itself all over again, only this time Maryland played the role of Nebraska, and the whole dynamic is now taking place at the Big Ten’s doorstep rather than far away…

        • dayooper63 says:

          There are so many scenarios to why there is no movement.

          First and foremost, it takes time to complete. It sounds like UMD was first approached in early to mid October about moving to the B10. It was announced at the end of November, and Delany reported it was done very quickly to complete it before the rumor mills hit. They still could be discussion and working out the details.

          It could be they gave ND one final ultimatum and are waiting their reply. We are going to 16/18/20 and we are not expanding past that. It’s now or never.

          It might be that FSU is in the plans, but the desired entry partner is resisting. GT’s President, from what I understand, is pretty pro ACC. They may be waiting on GT to make a decision.

          They may be trying to smoke UVA and UNC. I think those 2, along with Duke, are the heart of the ACC and will be hardest to dislodge.

          It may be as simple as they are waiting how the exit fee situation pans out.

          As long as they have it set when the next media rights deal comes up, they will be set.

          • metatron says:

            Well, that’s the thing. We could stop at 16 or go beyond for Notre Dame.

            It’s a bit like the Sibylline Books: Notre Dame made it known to the Big Ten that they didn’t want to join a conference of over twelve members. So when they balked, Jim Delany burnt the books and added Nebraska. So it goes on. At some point Notre Dame will have to decide their fate, and each moment they hem and haw costs them more and more.

          • zeek says:

            metatron, it’s worth noting though that the more East Coast that the Big Ten goes, the more it becomes what Notre Dame wants.

            Maybe they’d prefer a 20 team Big Ten over a 12 team Big Ten (with them in both configurations for this exercise).

          • metatron says:

            I doubt it zeek. More teams means infrequent opponents and I’m sure Notre Dame would rather play Michigan than not.

          • Richard says:

            metatron:

            Considering that ND is dropping the Michigan series, it doesn’t seem like that rivalry’s a top concern to the Domers.

      • Bucknole says:

        Probably need to find out what will happen to the $50mm payment requirement with MD.

  88. zeek says:

    Personally, I believe that the Big Ten will have to add one more non-AAU before all is said and done.

    Unless UVa and UNC want to come as a pair to 16, there’s no real alternative that works without a non-AAU school.

    As much as the academics will like UVa and Georgia Tech, that combo isn’t going to be a blockbuster for TV…

    You almost have to consider Virginia Tech or FSU for their football brands and ability to deliver large markets.

    • bullet says:

      I’m not sure FSU would pass the B1G’s requirements. They are far away and not AAU. USNWR is not what they consider a relevant ranking. Alabama and Auburn are rated higher than Nebraska and I can’t believe they would take them. In the ARWU, FSU is ranked 201-300. Schools with them include RPI, Suny Buffalo, Notre Dame, Kansas and Missouri. But also include LSU, UAB, UConn, Central Florida, South Florida, Cincinnati, Colorado at Denver, Houston, Kentucky, Oregon, South Carolina and Washington State.

      • zeek says:

        Yeah, outside of Miami, only really Virginia Tech looks like it fits as a non-AAU by the typical research metrics… as well as being nearby…

        • bullet says:

          I’ve really been struck by how much the ACC resembles the SWC.
          ACC 5/14 private. SWC 4/9. ACC 3 big metro area schools with big commuter components and pro competition (Pitt, GT, MD/LOU) with 2 privates (Miami/BC) having the same issues with the pros. SWC 1/9-UH, but 3 privates had the same issue with pro competition. ACC only 6/14 traditional non-big city flagships. SWC 4/9. ACC had 8 schools in one small area (Washington to Clemson). SWC had 7 (Texas triangle-DFW/SA/HOU).

          SWC was struck by scandals hitting nearly every school and hitting SMU, TCU, UH and A&M very hard. ACC has had 3 in the last year-GT, UNC, Miami.

          • Richard says:

            Yep. They’re similar in another structural weakness as well:

            The footprint where the ACC was dominant (MD+VA+NC) matched the population totals of where the SWC was dominant (TX+AR). Both were dwarved by the population footprints of the Big10, Pac, and SEC. When the SWC lost AR, the SWC collapsed. Losing MD may start the same process for the ACC.

    • Andy says:

      zeek, UVA and GT to the B1G wouldn’t really be that bad.

      If it happens at all any time soon, I’d say it’ll likely be
      UVA and GT to the B1G,
      UNC and Duke to the SEC,
      VT, NCSU, Clemson, FSU, Miami, and Pitt to the Big XVI

    • Brian says:

      zeek,

      The obvious answer is to not expand if you don’t like your options.

      But if they d