Excommunication of the Big East: 7 Catholic Schools Will Split

Posted: December 14, 2012 in Big East, Big Ten, College Basketball, College Football, DePaul Blue Demons, Sports
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When I was attending DePaul for law school a decade ago (it makes me feel ancient to say that) and the Blue Demon athletic program was toiling away in Conference USA, the university looked at joining the Big East as an aspirational goal in the same way that Rutgers looked at the Big Ten or Utah looked at the old Pac-10 for many years.  The Big East was the home of the schools that DePaul either saw as urban Catholic school peers (such as Vincentian counterpart St. John’s) or academic leaders (Notre Dame and Georgetown).  When Conference Realignment circa 2003 reared its head and opened up spots in the Big East, DePaul couldn’t run to that league fast enough.  While the non-Catholic Big East schools at the time such as Syracuse and Pitt were attractive partners in terms of pure athletics, it was the Catholic school base that was DePaul’s draw.  The belief was that no matter what happened, DePaul would be linked to those major Catholic schools going forward.

Now DePaul is moving forward with Georgetown, Villanova, St. John’s, Seton Hall, Providence and Marquette in breaking off from the Big East and forming a new basketball conference.  There are some formalities that need to take place on figuring out the process of how this will actually occur, but it’s conceptually a done deal.  I’m not someone that was ever a large believer in the inevitability of a split between the Catholic schools and football members of the Big East.  Ever since the initial ACC raid of the Big East in 2003 of Miami, Virginia Tech and Syracuse, the hybrid model of the league was still a net positive for all of its members even if a lot of fans complained about it.  The Catholic schools benefited from having a power conference image via the Big East’s AQ status in the BCS system despite not playing FBS football, while the all-sports members got direct basketball access to the major markets of New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and Washington.  They were all worth more together than they were worth apart.

The equation changed with Notre Dame, Rutgers and Louisville leaving, though.  The network effects of those brand names (well, at least with respect to Louisville and Notre Dame for basketball) coupled with the Catholic schools were eradicated.  With the value of the Big East’s new potential TV deal plummeting in the marketplace due to defections, the Catholic schools believed that they weren’t receiving a clear financial benefit from the hybrid anymore.  Maybe they would still a little bit more by sticking with the Big East, but it wouldn’t be enough to make it worth it to continue to be subject to the whims of football-driven realignment.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: stability can trump even money in conference realignment.  The Big East Catholic schools finally got tired of getting dragged through the mud on account of a sport that they didn’t even play at the top level.  Even an extra $1 million per year in TV money for staying in the hybrid is fairly small in the scheme of things if you have a choice between controlling your own league or other conferences poaching your league controlling you.

Ultimately, I believe the new basketball league using the Big East Catholic schools as a basis will be successful within the parameters of what can be reasonably expected out of non-football conference.  If the new league moves forward with poaching Butler and Xavier from the Atlantic 10, who have apparently already agreed to join with St. Louis University, Dayton, Creighton and VCU under consideration for the 10th spot or possibly 3 spots to form a 12-team setup), then it’s an attractive proposition to the TV networks.  ESPN, for example, can throw $20 million to $30 million per year at this conference (which would be less than what ESPN currently pays the Big East for basketball in a pitiful contract that was signed for a rock bottom amount in the mid-2000s) and that would constitute a pay raise for the Catholics on a per school basis.  It’s not exactly a stretch to believe that ESPN would rather do that to get the bulk of the Big Monday games that they would have wanted, anyway, while completing avoiding the need to pay for Big East football games that the network doesn’t have any use for.

To be sure, the Catholic schools would not have bolted if the Big East had the composition that it had when this year’s college football season started.  A split was always a very last resort and that moment came when Louisville got invited to the ACC.  Staying in the hybrid for the sake of continuing to play UConn was no longer enough (even if new incoming members such as Memphis were strong in basketball).

The one good thing out of all of this is that the Big East Catholic schools will be going from a league with no institutional identity to a new conference with as strong of an institutional identity as any other out there.  Institutional fit is a hallmark of the Big Ten, Pac-12 and other stable conferences and that will serve the new league well.

This Big East basketball season is going to take on the air of the last year of the Southwest Conference, where no one knows whether many of schools will ever play each other again.  I’ll have more on this as the story continues to develop.

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

(Image from The Sports Bank)

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  1. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    GEAUX LSU Fightin’ Tigers!

  2. frug says:

    I’m not someone that was ever a large believer in the inevitability of a split between the Catholic schools and football members of the Big East.

    Looking back, I think this was inevitable.

    The Big East was never going to be able to put together an attractive enough financial package to hold onto its most valuable assets on the FB side, meaning eventually the FB side would become a drag on the BB side. Perhaps they could have stuck together a few years longer with better management (getting an outsider as commissioner instead of Marrinato), better foresight (taking ESPN’s $130 million deal last year) and better luck (the Big XII collapsing in 2010 or 2011), but I simply can not envision any scenario where the Big East would have survived past the end of the decade.

    The hybrid served its purpose during its existence, but that time has passed.

  3. metatron says:

    The Big East has just been one sad affair after another.

    Time was, UCONN would just go independent and ask to join this new basketball league. Now they’ve invited everyone and their cousin Bob to save a dying product.

  4. Brian says:

    Thanks for a new post, even if I don’t much care about the BE split.

    I think the Catholic schools are going to be in for a rude surprise when they are on their own. I’m sure they’ll get paid just fine, but I think they’re expecting more attention than they’re going to get from fans nationally. Georgetown and Villanova are the only big names, and they aren’t what they used to be. The others mean next to nothing to most people. This isn’t the 80s anymore, but I’m not sure they understand that.

    • metatron says:

      They keep more of their money. It makes sense to me.

    • zeek says:

      Perhaps, but with the financial reasons for staying with the football schools gone and two of the remaining ones (UConn and Cincy) having publicly tried to get into the ACC, what’s the point of keeping this thing going?

      The Big East’s football schools’ basketball is going to get considerably less public attention with the loss of all those big names, so if it’s just to be in a conference with UConn, Memphis, Cincy, and a few others, what’s the point?

      If you look around your neighborhood, and it’s entirely been replaced with C-USA schools, then you should expect the conference as a whole to get C-USA levels of public attention.

      Whether that’s better or worse than a more publicly known A-10 isn’t really the issue for them, since it’s not really going to be that much more in the limelight.

      If you replace UConn, Cincy, and Memphis with Butler and Xavier, that mostly mitigates the difference.

    • bullet says:

      Marquette has a national title not that long ago. They aren’t as big a name, but they are more successful lately.

      I’ve long thought the hybrid was a drag on both sides. DePaul used to be a power. Then they got in the 16 team Big East. That’s another thing about superconferences. Not only do you win less often, but a middle of the pack team may be in 10th place. That’s a little hard to sell to a recruit. I think the schools will be more successful than they have been. Another reason to not fear adding Detroit and Boston U. There’s enough strength with GT, VU, Marquette, Xavier, Butler, Dayton (if added). Take the markets. Take solid but not great programs for 11 & 12. Also St. Louis & Creighton stretch the footprint, even though they have great support and stronger programs than Detroit or the Boston alternatives.

      • Mike R says:

        BU just got into the Patriot League which suits its interest just fine. The PL is an academic prestige move, and they get to keep playing big-time hockey in Hockey East. So they’re not moving.

        In the near term, I think program strength (e.g. Creighton, Dayton, St. Louis) should trump market size because schools like Detroit, which historically do not invest in athletics and don’t seriously market their programs, will fail to deliver their home base. If this conference really wanted to make a splash they could add a western wing with Creighton and Gonzaga, and take a flyer on BYU.

        Suitors like ESPN, Fox Sports 2 or NBC Sports will pay for quality winter-spring inventory (a Creighton-Georgetown or Gonzaga-Villanova game) but not nondescript basketball even among schools situated in bigger markets.

        • bullet says:

          Detroit looks a lot like Seton Hall did in the 70s. I didn’t remember Boston U moving. Its gotten hard to keep track of the last year or so. That still leaves Northeastern or Holy Cross if they want to move up from the Patriot (not likely). Northeastern had a run of good years in the past decade.

          • Richard says:

            NCAA tournament credits will be the main source of revenue to the all-basketball BE schools, so they will take a well-supported program with the resources to compete and go far in the Dance in a small market over a program with small attendance (and thus not the firepower to be able to compete in recruiting) in a big market any day.

            If the BE was starting over completely fresh, Seton Hall & Providence would not get in.

          • bullet says:

            They’ve got enough strength with adds like Xavier, Butler, Dayton to afford a solid but not great program like Detroit Mercy. Its not like adding a St. Bonaventure, Fordham or Duquesne.

          • Richard says:

            That’s like saying that the SEC got enough strength with adds like TAMU & Mizzou to take in a school like Louisville. Just as the SEC has no reason to ever choose Louisville over UNC, the BE basketball schools have no reason to ever choose Detroit over SLU or Creighton (or VCU or Richmond).

          • dtwphx says:

            A Nate Silver BigEast expansion analysis:

            I’m thinking it’ll be Xavier, Butler, Creighton in order to keep the sagarin ratings up with the major conferences. It doesn’t hurt that they have good fan support and aren’t in markets that overlap.

          • @dtwphx – Yup. Those schools make both competitive sense and financial sense, which is about all that you can ask for in expansion. I’d think that the optimal candidates are those 3 schools (Xavier, Butler and Creighton) plus SLU (almost perfect institutional fit in a large market) and Dayton (great fan base). The one potential issue with Dayton is that it is so close in proximity to Xavier, but that area’s support for college sports is top notch. It’s the reason why the NCAA has made Dayton into the permanent site for the “First Four” round of the NCAA Tournament.

          • Richard says:

            . . . if they stop at 10.

            The basketball schools may decide to stop at 10 for the time being, knowing that they would be THE destination league for basketball schools with no FBS-level football program.

            If they expand to 12 or 14, SLU, Dayton, Richmond, VCU, and maybe even Gonzaga would be candidates.

            If I was the basketball schools, however, I would wait to see which basketball-only schools with good support turn in to perennial NCAA tournament teams (Gonzaga is already there, but very far away; SLU, Dayton, & Richmond have to turn in to perennials; VCU has to prove that it isn’t a flash in the pan; Wichita St. & Bradley have the support but need to make the Dance more frequently).

            Actually, the decision between Creighton, SLU, and Dayton is tough; Creighton had a good run early last decade and has the best support but is farthest away in a small market; SLU has the biggest market; Dayton would allow you to save on travel costs but is also in a small market and hasn’t done much in the past few years.

      • maguro says:

        DePaul didn’t go directly from national power to Big East doormat, there was about a decade of Conference USA mediocrity in between.

  5. Wals says:

    I hope the new conference can stay at ten but I think it will likely be twelve. Butler is a fine school but I fail to see why Dayton isn’t a stronger candidate. Butler: don’t see them as a lock to get an invite.

  6. vp19 says:

    In retrospect, one wonders how the history of eastern college athletics might have changed if the ECBL/Atlantic 10 (which predated the Big East by a few years, and whose history is generally overlooked because it had no New York City presence) had been able to corral Syracuse and Boston College as members. That might have been the nucleus for a genuine all-sports league, one that might have been able to lure Maryland from the Carolinas-centric ACC, and gone in an entirely different direction. The Big East would have formed as a conference of schools more on the same page, although Connecticut would have been an outlier (this was decades before the Huskies played major college football), and that harmony would have let it better withstand the football-oriented conference shifts over the past 20 years.

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      Good observation, Vincent!

      The A-10 of the 70’s and 80’s, much like the Southern Conference of the early 20th century, had a surprising list of big-name programs under its watch: Penn State, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Rutgers, Pitt, and UConn. Temple was also a long-time member of the A-10. Villanova, of basketball prominence, was a member as well, and now-FBS member UMass is a member to this day.

      No doubt, had an all-sports league been formed early enough (say, in the early 80’s), based around Penn State, Va. Tech, WVU, Rutgers, Pitt, UConn (if it had had FBS football in the early 80’s), Temple, Boston College, and Syracuse, then we’d likely be looking at a very different college sports landscape today. Instead of the ACC poaching Big East schools, this league would have poached Maryland. Miami would have joined this league in the early 90’s. Florida State likely would have chosen this league over the ACC at that time as well.

    • Quiet Storm says:

      I remember the old “Eastern 8″ basketball conference. It was actually a pretty good league back in the day. It does make you wonder how an Eastern all sports conference would’ve turned out if all of the football schools had been able to align in the Atlantic 10. Ironically Villanova still fielded a D1 football team back then and might not have disbanded the program in ’80. Even with all of the success the Big East had it tends to get overlooked how much work had to be done to keep the conference in tact. Football became a factor within the first 2 years of its inception and only created more problems over the years.

      Former Syracuse AD Jake Crouthamel, who helped start the conference put together a short conference history in 2001 that provides some insight into how football kept changing the conference. A split was inevitable but they held it together for 34 years.

      Part 1: http://www.suathletics.com/sports/2001/8/8/history.aspx

      Part 2: http://www.suathletics.com/sports/2001/8/8/history2.aspx

    • Dr. Frankenconference says:

      Another noteworthy “what if” involving Eastern college sports has to do with a non-football Division I conference that existed generally to the south of the A-10’s territory and, at various times in its history, included future Big East schools, future ACC schools, and even one future SEC school — the Metro Conference. Here are some articles that delve into missed opportunities for the Metro to become an all-sports conference or even the first superconference in college sports:



      While most of the talk about the Metro venturing into football happened in the late 1980s, I personally wonder if the best time for the Metro to rise up to being an all-sports conference might have actually been around 1983, when the conference began an eight-year streak of consisting of eight schools that all had independent Division I-A football teams.

  7. Michael in Raleigh says:

    I still expect the incoming Big East members to follow through, with the exceptions of Boise State, San Diego State, and perhaps Navy. BSU and SDSU already have a home conference that ultimately will be of comparable-enough value to make it worth staying for the sake of travel costs. The Mountain West will also allow those schools not to have to put all their non-football sports in separate league. The MW is also in better interests for basketball than the Big West since it has UNLV, New Mexico, Utah State, and Nevada.

    Navy sure has lost a lot of incentive for joining the Big East, but it’s hard to get a read on what they’re hoping to get out of conference membership vs. independence.

    As for the other incoming members, there’s nowhere better for them to go. I’ve read many who say Houston and SMU may renege on their agreement to join. My question is, then, “Where would they go instead?” Houston and SMU are still better off with the remaining/incoming Big East members than they are with C-USA schools who didn’t make the cut. They’re also better off being in a far-flung, eastern-oriented league that at least has large markets and Final Four-caliber basketball programs (UConn, Cincinnati, Temple, Memphis) than in a far-flung, western-oriented league that has few large markets and good but not great basketball.

    ECU ought to come out a big winner here. With seven members now leaving, the Big East truly needs warm bodies to fill out its all-sports roster.

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      So, barring further defections to the ACC, the Big East all-sports roster should at least include these teams:


      I suppose pleading with Navy to still join is the next highest priority. After that, sifting through choices like UMass, Buffalo, Southern Miss, Marshall, UAB, and Rice would be the next order of business.

      • dtwphx says:

        I still think UTSA would be the best choice for a FB only invite, on pure upside potential, assuming Air Force or BYU are not available.
        This is mostly due to their facility (Alamodome). They can and are booking home and home games with upper tier programs, mainly due to the fact that they can host indoor games in Texas in September.

      • morganwick says:

        It’s funny how Temple and UConn will now be relative geographic outliers in what now amounts to “C-USA II”.

    • zeek says:

      I think you’re on the right track as to the eventual result.

      I wouldn’t be surprised though if Boise State and SDSU decide to stick it out…

      This “best of the rest” idea may really be the only way that they can create a league between the Big 5 and other 4.

      Plus, it’d probably help keep the peace between those 4 if you have a conference above them; who knows how much upheaval you’d have if this grouping scattered. At some point, the best programs in those conferences would want to group up again.

      • bullet says:

        But they aren’t bound to this lineup. Without the bb schools constraining their choices, its possible, but not likely, there could be differences.

        • zeek says:

          They might not be bound to it, but all of those schools have either location or football/basketball going for them on that list.

        • bullet says:

          Do UConn, Cincinnati and USF make the choices? Do the TV networks? Do the 2013 class + those 3? Maybe they look at some MAC schools.

          Original CUSA was Houston, Tulane, Memphis, Cincinnati, Louisville and Southern Miss. Maybe USM gets pulled in (lousy time to go 0-12).

          • zeek says:

            Will there even be spots open though?

            If all those schools stick it out, you’re already looking at an almost-complete conference.

            Maybe you just take Fresno State or a Nevada school as a partner for Boise State and SDSU, but that’s pretty much it.

          • bullet says:

            Don’t they have 13 now? There’s one spot open even if everyone splits.

            I just find it hard to believe it is worthwhile for Boise and SDSU now. Everyone else is likely to want to stay, but its not 100% certain that’s the lineup they end up with. A few schools could get together and have different ideas.

            And, of course, the ACC could decide to add more schools, either to get to 16 or to get back to 12 or 14.

          • zeek says:

            I think it has value to Boise State and SDSU.

            SMU, Houston, UConn, Cincinnati, USF, UCF are all more high profile than the MWC opponents, maybe not that much more high profile, but they’re in fairly big Eastern (or Central) markets.

            Memphis, Tulane, and Temple all have good locations as well.

          • BruceMcF says:

            Well, it seems that UConn and Cincinnati are trying to offer the choice to one or another TV network so they can decide whether it can go ahead or not.

          • morganwick says:

            “I just find it hard to believe it is worthwhile for Boise and SDSU now.”

            You find it hard to believe, or you’re engaging in wishful thinking that the new conference will make some semblance of geographic sense?

            At this point the Mountain West might be a better basketball than football conference with the Nevada schools, New Mexico, and Utah State. Football-wise, it’s the same conference Boise just left in the WAC with Air Force added… but that might still be a better conference than Conference USA’s Equivalent to the MWC’s Effect on the WAC. Would you rather take Houston, USF, UCF, Cincinnati, and UConn, or Nevada, Fresno State, Air Force, and Hawaii? Probably the former… but maybe not by enough to counteract the large distances travelled (especially since the Big West is a very California-centric conference with freaking Hawaii the only other conference school outside the state), or to avoid a BYU return to the Mountain West tipping the scales in that direction. The Big USA probably should aggressively look west, which probably means trying to grab BYU themselves, raid the Mountain West again, or go after UTEP, if they’re serious about keeping Boise.

            San Diego State might be more tempted to go back to the Mountain West; otherwise, their options would be to stick with the status quo (where they would essentially be to the Big West what Gonzaga was to the WCC until recently), or put the rest of their sports in the Big More-South-Than-East, which would be a pretty good basketball conference with Memphis, Cincinnati, Temple, and UConn, but they’d have to travel long distances to play pretty much everybody. The former looks pretty good until you realize how little the Big West is on TV and that San Diego State hardly has the brand name of Gonzaga, so the Aztecs might be better off in the Mountain West, where they still have short travel distances and where none of the schools are quite of the caliber of a Memphis or UConn, but they’re still good enough that they can sell their basketball to NBC and CBS and appear on reasonably national TV on a semi-regular basis. And if they do that, that might be enough to drag Boise with them.

          • bullet says:

            Did you just agree with me? It sounds like it, but I’m not really sure.

            Boise and SDSU travel across the country, sacrifice their bb programs and make .5 to 1.5 million more in TV money BEFORE travel expenses and bribes to the BW. And they sacrifice regional rivals which generate $ at the gate. The BE schools just don’t have any attraction to SDSU. Cincinnati, Memphis, Tulane? Are you serious? Maybe they blow the doors off UNLV if you happen to be Southern Miss, but if you are SDSU, UNLV is better.

          • BruceMcF says:

            You’ve just stepped through the reasons why UConn and Cincinnati are proposing the new line-up rather than proposing to keep going with what they had on tap ~ what they had on tap was a substantial downgrade from the MWC this year as a basketball conference and only a modest upgrade as a football conference.

            As linked by zeek in the comments of the previous post, when it veered into the Big East implosion: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/news/20121213/big-east-basketball/

            The Big East, as one of the major basketball conferences, had accumulated 113 units over the six years prior to the 2011/2012 for NCAA tournament participation, and that earned the Big East $27.3m. The BBall only schools made more money from NCAA tournament participation than they did from the BBall-only share of the TV contract.

            The “unit” here is similar to someone buying into a wind farm organized as an LLC for a share of the power generated per quarter, and getting a payout based on what that electricity brought on the market: each NCAA appearance generates a unit, which has a lifetime of six years, and the total tournament TV revenues in a year, after the NCAA has covered its costs, are handed out in equal shares to each unit.

            So with the remnants of the Big East looking at a TV contract worth maybe $40m annually for the “Best of the Mid-Majors”, the difference between a conference able to earn $5m annually in NCAA units and one able to earn, say, $15m annually is actually a rather big deal in terms of whether it makes financial sense for Boise State and SDSU to make the jump.

            Which explains why they would add UNLV and New Mexico to the teams raided from the MWC and certainly retain Memphis among the teams raided from C-USA, while putting UCF on the “possibles” list.

          • Richard says:

            Divided 10+ ways, though, and the extra $10M may not cover travel costs.

            The juggling of football vs. basketball vs. distance vs. markets/urban centers will be interesting.

          • BruceMcF says:

            But its an increment on top of the TV money, and we know know that if the league gets going it will be getting appreciably less TV money than the Big East was getting, but also appreciably more than the Mountain West gets.

            Because if it cannot attract appreciably more TV money than the MWC gets, it doesn’t happen.

            BYU may well have the yes/no on the deal. With BYU, the non-football divisions are:

            West: SDSU, UNLV, New Mexico, BYU, Boise State
            East: UConn, Temple, Cinci, Memphis, USF

            .. and with division-centric scheduling, the incremental extra cost of Olympic sports traveling is not as high as it would be with pure round robin scheduling. Indeed, since the travel budgets for the MWC are already high by east-of-the-Mississippi standard, the biggest travel cost sticker shock could well be Memphis.

  8. Purduemoe says:

    Boiler Up!

  9. Marc Shepherd says:

    I think Boise State and San Diego State will stay in the Big East. The departure of the seven Catholic basketball schools doesn’t affect them in any way, since they were joining only for football. If you assume that it made sense for them to join in the first place, this news shouldn’t change the calculation for them at all.

    Even the watered down Big East will be a higher profile conference than the Mountain West. The Big East won’t get the TV deal it could have had, but it’ll still get a better deal than the Mountain West. Meanwhile, Boise will get to play games every year in Texas, Florida, and the major East Coast media markets.

    I am less sure that Navy will still join.

    • cutter says:

      Dennis Dodd feels there’s a possibility BSU and SDSU are going to head back to the Mountain West Conference. The MWC currently has ten teams (including these two programs), so bringing them back into the fold would make sense numbers wise. Brigham Young is also being contacted about future membership as well.

      The other members of the Mountain West include Air Force, Colorado State, Fresno State, Hawaii (Football Only) Nevada-Reno, New Mexico, UNLV and Wyoming.

      Dodd also points out that the projected revenue from the Big East was $8M to $10M per team when Boise State announced its entry into the conference. They’re now looking at perhaps less that.

      See http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/story/21391349/hoops-exodus-leaves-big-east-football-schools-facing-big-questions

      • cutter says:

        Whoops–I need to amend this. The Mountain West is adding two members in 2013: San Jose State and Utah State. That means the MWC will have 10 members regardless of what happens to Boise State and San Diego State. If those two schools join, then the conference will be back to 12 total.

        So here’s the basic decision Boise State and San Diego State have to make regarding their future conference alignment.

        They can go with the new Big East with the following lineup: Central Florida, Cincinnati, Connecticut, East Carolina (Football Only for now), Houston, Memphis, Navy (Football Only), South Florida, Southern Methodist, Temple, Tulane. However, they have a pretty good idea that if the ACC loses members, then some of these teams may end up there instead.

        Or they can go into a 12-team Mountain West that will include Air Force, Colorado State, Fresno State, Hawaii (Football Only), Nevada-Reno, New Mexico, San Jose State, UNLV, Utah State, Wyoming

    • Jericho says:

      It may be the cumulative effect. Rutgers and Louisville have also left, leaving schools like East Carolina and Tulane to come in. No one from the original Big East football is left (unless you count Temple) and no one from the revamped Big East is left except UConn, USF, and Cincinnati. There’s a pretty good argument one can find similar competition by rounding up a Mountain West with BYU, Boise St. and SDSU (along with Air Force, Colorado St, Nevada, New Mexico, Hawaii, etc…). And the latter league can be all sports.

    • BruceMcF says:

      But when the Rutgers and then Louisville raids was followed Boise State and SDSU saying that they were sticking with it, I never understood that as REALLY promising to stick with it, but rather what you would say as you wait to see what kind of money is involved.

      There are still organizational details that are up in the air wherein the devil resides ~ for instance, if the mechanism of the departure of the Catholic schools is dissolution of the league, then there are open issues whether you can charge exit fees to exit a league that has already ceased to exist, and that effects the financial trade-off.

    • BruceMcF says:

      @Marc Shepherd: If Cincinnati and UConn shared your optimism, they wouldn’t have had to float the conference idea that they did ~ UConn, Cincinnati, South Florida, Temple, from the dregs of the Big East, Memphis, Boise State, San Diego State from among the previously incoming schools, UNLV, New Mexico from the MWC, and “possibly BYU or Central Florida”.

    • morganwick says:

      Much like the Mountain West was no longer the conference Boise intended to join when they bolted to the Big East, the same goes for the Big East now. If Boise returns to the Mountain West, it’d be primarily because the Big East lost its institutional access advantage of “BCS conference” status, combined with the loss of Louisville to the ACC, but the departure of the Catholic schools might end up being the proximate cause because they were contributing a large portion of the Big East’s remaining value as well as the underpinning of their brand name. Boise needs to think of what the Big East looks like now as a brand new conference, and in that sense, it made about as much sense for them and San Diego State to join C-USA+ as it did for Louisiana Tech to be a member of the WAC.

  10. OrderRestored83 says:

    Rally sons of Notre Dame….sing her glory and sound her fame!

  11. Phil says:

    I think of Depaul making north of $1mm a year in the Big East for a basketball program that never made the tournament, while much better programs like Xavier made a fraction of that, and the the phrase that comes to mind is that they “stepped in s**t” not that they were “dragged through the mud”.

    • bullet says:

      You obviously don’t remember the Ray Meyer days. Xavier made it to the tourney only occassionally back then while DePaul was a regular in the top 20. They were frequently the highest seed to lose in the 1st or 2nd round! (they got in the tourney a lot, at least once as one of the #1 seeds, but never got very far).

      • greg says:

        DePaul had some late 70s success before early 80s flameouts. I was growing up in Chicago and idolized Dallas Comegys, Tyrone Corbin, etc. Corbin has a comp sci degree and worked at IBM in the offseason for a while when he played in the NBA, now of course the Jazz head coach.

        The last nine years of Meyer’s career, with great regular season records followed by tourney disasters:

        1975–1976 DePaul 20–9 NCAA Sweet Sixteen
        1976–1977 DePaul 15–12
        1977–1978 DePaul 27–3 NCAA Elite Eight
        1978–1979 DePaul 26–6 NCAA Final Four
        1979–1980 DePaul 26–2 NCAA First Round
        1980–1981 DePaul 27–2 NCAA First Round
        1981–1982 DePaul 26–2 NCAA First Round
        1982–1983 DePaul 21–12 NIT Runner-Up
        1983–1984 DePaul 27–3 NCAA Second Round


        • Mack says:

          But if you go back that far didn’t that lousy Houston team that the 7 are complaining about making the final 4 several times?

          • bullet says:

            3 years in a row with the Dream and Clyde the Glide, plus a couple times in the 60s with Elvin. Their 82 team had 4 guys who played in the NBA.

      • Phil says:

        I remember Depaul’s glory days. It’s just that none of it happened while they were collecting Big East money.

  12. OrderRestored83 says:


  13. Eric says:

    Frank, what do you think about the Big East name itself? Before the news yesterday, it sounded like the 7 Catholic schools would get it, but the way it is working out, it feels to me like the football schools will.

    • jj says:

      If I were the bb schools I’d sell it to the fb schools and start over.

      • zeek says:

        On the other hand, shouldn’t the name have a lot more value to the basketball side of things?

        As far as the football side goes, it just seems like a joke considering how its football side has decayed so much (see Leaders/Legends).

        As far as the basketball side goes, the name still has brand value; it’ll still evoke the Big East’s basketball heyday if associated with the Catholic 7.

        • greg says:

          If there was any justice in the world, the name would stick with hoops. The name conjures up Big Monday, Georgetown, etc. Or “bad” football.

        • dtwphx says:

          The BigEast name might have the most value to the football side’s basketball schools.
          They’ve got some good teams, and it might give certain shools (Houston, UCF) a few years of a free pass to improve their programs to where the new BigEast would be of close enough caliber to the old.
          Good: UConn, Temple, Cinci, Memphis
          Potential: Houston(history), UCF(fan support)
          Someone has to lose: SMU, Tulane, USF

          • BruceMcF says:

            Its got more negative baggage than positives for a football program without a big brand name of its own. The associations in BB are the Garden and lots of tournament appearances. Whatever way the organization proper goes, the only value-added direction for the name is to follow the basketball teams. Whether it makes the BEST sense for them depends on the footprint they end up with.

      • Transic says:

        I have always associated the name “Big East” with bb. Let the bb schools have the name.

        • Jericho says:

          I have always associated the name Big East with actual Eastern schools.

          • BruceMcF says:

            Then on headcount, the name belongs to the Catholic BB schools, which have at least five actual Eastern schools to two for the Remnants of the Big East FB schools.

          • dtwphx says:

            Re: BigEast name, it depends on your definition of east.
            In Arizona, everything east of the Mississippi seems to be though of as “out east”.
            I have no problem thinking of the nBE (-BSU-SDSU) as an east coast league.

          • morganwick says:

            Given that even the Catholic schools include Marquette and DePaul, it probably makes the most sense to consider the Big East’s domain as “east” of the Mississippi and north of the Ohio and Potomac Rivers. In that sense, the Catholics might still go further west than you might expect if they add SLU and/or Creighton, but in any case Cincinnati is as “Eastern” as they, or Xavier or Dayton, are, and if you ignore north/south borders so are USF, UCF, and maybe even Memphis.

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      Allocation of the Big East name is almost peripheral to the larger issue of NCAA Tournament credits and dividing up the exit fees that other departing schools have already paid (or are on the hook to pay).

      I have a tough time seeing which group would benefit more by keeping the Big East name. Whichever way you go, it’s a tarnished brand. The remaining conglomeration of football schools is neither big nor east, but they do have one remaining BCS auto-bid, and football dominated the revenue stream, so I think they’ll want to keep it.

      I am guessing that the Catholic schools would prefer to create a new identity, and if the football schools want to call themselves the Big East, they can have it.

      • bullet says:

        I don’t think its tarnished for basketball. I think it has more value to them. Only UConn of the fb schools has been in the BE for more than 7 years and noone from the BE fb conference from 2004 has been there continuously (Temple got kicked out and came back).

        • zeek says:

          Agreed. The basketball branding of Big East still seems to be strong.

          They’ve had a lot of bids the past couple of years and that’s what people will remember, especially if it goes to the basketball schools themselves.

          It’s the football branding that’s weak in terms of the Big East name.

      • morganwick says:

        I doubt football is even relevant, so I think it makes the most sense for the Catholics to get NCAA Tournament credits. The new conference will have more teams who have played together as members of Conference USA than have played together – or at all – as members of the Big East, so I’m not sure it should even be legal for them to keep the credits.

        As for the name, regardless of who could use it more, I think the name would be better served being with the Catholics, where it could claim some semblance of continuity with the Big East of old and might be rehabilitated without its fatal flaw of constant football dreams. What the Catholics wish they could do would be to kick out the interlopers rather than themselves; they’d be tempted to keep UConn, Temple, and maybe even Memphis that way, but that would just open up the fissures of another self-destruction.

        Ideally, all of Notre Dame’s exit fees (see below) and most of Syracuse’s would go to the Catholics, all of Rutgers’ exit fees and most of Louisville’s would go to the remnants, and Pitt’s would be split evenly.

  14. David Brown says:

    Here is the thing to watch…. Beyond Xavier, Butler, etc The next step. That could involve 1: The Mountain West. It is not a stretch to think that Nevada, Fresno St, Air Force, Colorado St (Who will likely be getting a new facility), and Utah St, could break away and be joined by San Diego St, Boise St, BYU, Houston (Who is getting a new building), and a few others, and creating a new Conference, with a bigger TV deal and NO New Mexico or San Jose St. 2: The PAC deciding to pick up Boise St & San Diego St. 3: Cincinnati leaving the Big East for the Big XII or ACC. With the Bearcats adding a high profile Coach in Tommy Tuberville (Leaving the Big XII, for a theoretically worse Conference (Big (L)East), and a worse Stadium to attract recruits (35,000 Nippert Stadium) then at Jones AT&T Stadium). A logical question would be you why would he do it (It can’t be all about money can it)? I am willing to bet he has been assurred, that Cincinnati will be getting a better a New Stadium & Conference soon enough. 3: Certain other Schools moving such as Florida St, Clemson & South Florida? It will be intertesting.

    • Richard says:

      “2: The PAC deciding to pick up Boise St & San Diego St.”

      Not happening.

      “A logical question would be you why would he do it (It can’t be all about money can it)?”

      Why not?

      “I am willing to bet he has been assurred, that Cincinnati will be getting a better a New Stadium & Conference soon enough.”

      No, Tubs was assured that he wouldn’t be fired by TTech (and would have several more years of job security) if he left before they could fire him.

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      All of those sound dubious to me. Boise and San Diego St. joined the Big East to get Eastern time zone exposure. A new, primarily west coast conference with all second-tier football schools wouldn’t improve their lot.

      Although the Pac-12 acknowledged that they’re monitoring Boise and SDSU, those schools would be revenue-dilutive. The Pac-12 certainly does not need another California school, when it already has the four best ones, and Idaho is a tiny market.

      The Big 12 has a sweetheart TV and bowl deal, and they only have to split it 10 ways. If they expand, it’ll have to be a blockbuster, and Cincinnati doesn’t cut it. They don’t have a substantial national following, and in their home state they’re a distant second in popularity. Would the Big 12 take Florida State and Clemson? They’d have to seriously consider it. But Cincinnati? I don’t think so.

      I do agree that Cincinnati and UConn (not necessarily in that order) have the next tickets into the ACC, but only when the ACC feels the need to expand, which it doesn’t right now. We’re probably going to be in a fugue state for a while until we find out how much of that $52 million exit fee Maryland really has to pay.

      • ccrider55 says:

        “Although the Pac-12 acknowledged that they’re monitoring Boise and SDSU…”

        Scott was politely responding to a reporters question specifically about those two schools. I’ll translate: no Fing way, and if I ever suggested them I’d be looking for a new job the next day.

        • cfn_ms says:

          I’d say he meant one of a few things:

          1) “I’m being polite/nice.” Nothing more or less. Possible IMO but I suspect not.

          2) “I’m actually serious about these schools.” Irrelevant if so (if he couldn’t sell presidents on OK/OK St no way in hell can he sell them on those two)… and I really doubt it.

          3) “I’m sending a message to Pac-12 presidents about how crappy our expansion options are now that the Pac-16 and then the Oklahoma schools options fell through”. DING! DING! DING! I think we have a winner on this one.

          • BruceMcF says:

            I’d vote (3). “Seriously folks, things looks so limited that I’m actually monitoring Boise State and SDSU!!!”

          • ccrider55 says:

            If the presidents wouldn’t accept OU and brother, what makes you believe they’ll be inclined to even entertain the idea of adding a fifth school in CA and a truck driving school in a state with 2/3 the population of the Sacramento metro area?

            When is the B12 adding NDSU and UTSA?

          • ccrider55 says:

            Actually I take one part back. I’m sure they are monitoring both, as they are all those involved in the makeup and structure of D1. It would seem stupid to not be aware of conference related moves that may foretell or be a result of moves nationwide, especially involving schools relatively near by.

          • cfn_ms says:

            To clarify point 3, I’d think it’s a combination of trying to emphasize to them “hey, this situation is YOUR fault” as well as MAYBE (and I do mean maybe) trying to create interest in reviving the OK/OK St idea at some point in the indeterminate future. Although of course I’m completely speculating here.

    • Jericho says:

      I’m pretty sure Tuberville was all about the money

    • morganwick says:

      “1: The Mountain West. It is not a stretch to think that Nevada, Fresno St, Air Force, Colorado St (Who will likely be getting a new facility), and Utah St, could break away and be joined by San Diego St, Boise St, BYU, Houston (Who is getting a new building), and a few others, and creating a new Conference, with a bigger TV deal and NO New Mexico or San Jose St.”

      Why? Nevada, Fresno, and Utah State already helped kill off the WAC; what makes you think they’re going to abandon what’s about as stable a situation as they’ve had for some time? If Nevada, Fresno, Air Force, and Utah State did split, why would they take Colorado State (which has no history of athletic success, new facility or no) and not UNLV (Nevada’s in-state rival and quite possibly not a trivial reason they agreed to join the Mountain West to begin with) or New Mexico (which Frank once saw as a long-term value play for the Big 12)? Why would they take Houston? Why would Houston leave a football conference about as good as what they’d be joining but a better geographic fit? Are UNLV, New Mexico, Wyoming, and San Jose really so much a drag that literally half the conference would pick up stakes and leave, including two teams that were Mountain West members (and thus committed to UNLV, New Mexico, and Wyoming) before this whole mess started? Especially when, if they really could get Boise, San Diego State, and BYU, they could add them to the conference they already have?

      I don’t see South Florida moving at this point; they’d provide too little value to whatever conference would recruit them and probably are in as good a home as they’re likely to get.

  15. ZSchroeder says:

    No way Pac ever picks up Boise State or San Diego State. Boise doesn’t fit the mold of Pac schools, and the California market is already wrapped up.

  16. manifestodeluxe says:


  17. warrior001 says:

    in terms of fan interest the C7 need to add Creighton, Xavier, and Dayton. The 2011 attendence numbers show these teams have far and away more support than the likes of VCU, Butler, SLU


    • morganwick says:

      Butler seems to be on the path towards becoming Gonzaga East. As with Gonzaga, the Horizon League was always going to drag them down by limiting their number of national TV appearances and marquee games. Moving to the A-10 helped, but joining the Catholic schools could prove to be a mutually beneficial partnership, akin to joining the old Big East. Butler has more potential to join the other three schools you mentioned than VCU or Saint Louis.

  18. A.B. says:

    I am most interested in what this does for the overall trend towards super conferences.

    At first I thought this might be the death nail for the Big East, but now I am wondering if this move didn’t just provide the Big East with the opportunity to become for the first 16 team conference.

    A few months ago the Big East was bringing in partial members. One of the big reasons was the fact that in sports aside from football they were ridiculously crowded. Those seven basketball only schools made it very difficult for more programs to join and figure out scheduling, etc.

    Fast forward to this announcement. Today the Big East is looking at Cincinatti, UConn, South Florida, Temple, Boise St, San Diego St, Houston, SMU, Memphis, Central Florida, Tulane, East Carolina and Navy. That’s 13 football programs.

    Put those 13 programs into a regional pod format.

    A Temple – Cincinatti – UConn – Navy
    B Houston – SMU – Tulane
    C. S. Florida – C. Florida – E. Carolina – Memphis
    D. Boise St – San Diego St.

    How difficult would it be to identify 3 schools to fill out that pod system? They would gain a national schedule, expand their recruiting lands, possibly have enough muscle for a respectable TV contract and have the weight to still be a blip on the radar with the big boys.

    For instance if pod D added Air Force and Colorado State and Pod B added Southern Miss….or maybe they realign a bit and go for someone like a Miami (Ohio) or they grab West Point to lock up the academies. Either way this could become a bigger player.

    Taking this a step further. If this happened I think the ACC could be the big loser.

    Can you imagine if the B1G Ten, Big 12 and SEC took FSU, Miami, Georgia Tech, UNC, Virginia Tech and NC State? Then the ACC looked to refill from the Big East. But now the Big East is more stable…and the Big East members less inclined to join an unstable east coast only conference?

    Or even worse for the ACC…what if the B1G Ten, Big 12 and SEC moved for those six and then the Big East made an aggressive move to snatch up Boston College, UVA and Duke….then let Boise and San Diego St. out the back door to grab Wake Forest and Clemson. We could see the end of the ACC and long term stabilization of the Big East.

    I think the danger to the ACC might be growing with the Big East changes.

    • Jericho says:

      Those schools would still go to the ACC over whatever is left of the Big East. Orange Bowl tie-ins, major playoff money, etc…

      As Frank often says, shit rolls down hill. Any of those sschools would gladly bump up to the ACC. Even a weakened ACC.

      • A.B. says:

        I don’t think it’s that simple. If six major ACC schools go, I think that destabilizes the ACC contracts to a level that might not be attractive anymore. And if your conference is more stable, then why not cherry pick the leftovers as well. Either way, I think the merger of the ACC and current Big East players maybe in our near future.

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          Sorry, but I think it IS that simple. The ACC plus UConn and Cincinnati, minus the six schools you named, still has a better brand than the new Big East.

          The SEC, Big Ten, and Big 12, are in positions of power. They’re not just grabbing up random schools to create the illusion of strength in numbers. There’s a floor below which the ACC can’t go, because at some point they’ll have nothing left that the stronger conferences really want.

          In its history, the ACC has lost a grand total of two schools: South Carolina and Maryland. The Big East has lost seventeen. Most of the ACC’s additions, if not all of them, have improved its product. The Big East keeps adding schools like Tulane and East Carolina that dilute its product.

          Even supposing repetitive losses, there’s no plausible scenario where the ACC is seen as a weaker and/or less stable product than the Big East.

          • BruceMcF says:

            The ACC, minus those schools, plus UConn and the Bearcats, may or may not be an AQ major conference. If they are not, they would definitely be the premier mid-major conference in the nation.

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      Are you kidding me? Even in your disaster scenario (i.e., the ACC loses practically all of its decent football schools), it would still have a better collection of basketball brands than the Big East does. North Carolina, Duke, and Notre Dame are better names, by a mile, than the top three in the proposed Big East.

      The other factor, realistically, is that this wouldn’t happen all at once. Let’s say the ACC loses two good football schools to the Big 12, Big Ten, or SEC. They’d replenish immediately. Do you doubt that UConn and Cincinnati would accept an ACC bid in a heartbeat? Of course they would.

      I won’t spell out the next step, but let’s just say that the ACC plus Cincinnati and UConn, minus the good football schools, is still a better league than the Big East is likely ever to be. Too many of the proposed Big East schools are just bottom feeders added to create the illusion of numerical strength. Take out UConn and Cincinnati, which clearly will have the first two tickets out. You’re left with Boise and a bunch of schools that have never done anything, or haven’t in many decades.

    • BruceMcF says:


      A Temple – Cincinatti – UConn – Navy
      B Houston – SMU – Tulane
      C. S. Florida – C. Florida – E. Carolina – Memphis
      D. Boise St – San Diego St.

      There’s no need to go to the discussion forum pod silliness just to satisfy the lego block impulse, that is one team shy of a perfectly fine East/West lineup:

      East: Temple, UConn, Navy, ECU, USF, UCF, Cincinnati
      West: SDSU, Boise State, Houston, SMU, Tulane, Memphis, X

      Since the above is still upslope of Conference USA, the choices (setting aside incoming schools) are: UTEP, Tulsa, and Rice.

      Or else, Temple decides to go for the stability of a non-FB conference and ongoing associate membership in the MAC, which have an open spot for a good fit East Coast associate FB member, and then its:

      East: UConn, Navy, ECU, USF, UCF, Cincinnati
      West: SDSU, Boise State, Houston, SMU, Tulane, Memphis

      That’s even better from Boise State’s perspective: five games in conference, three games cross conference, guaranteed one or two east coast away games every year. Just promise them that the schedule rotation will never make Cincinnati their only East division away game.

      The Bearcats play in that league, I’m much more likely to watch some of their games than if they play in the current Conference USA.

      Of course, we will see if (D) exists at all. Its not entirely clear whether the Big East v3.0 absent Boise St & SDSU is uphill or downhill of the MWC absent Boise St. & SDSU, and since shit rolls downhill, if the BE3.0 is now in fact downhill of the MWC, then Boise St. & SDSU stay put.

      A Temple – Cincinatti – UConn – Navy
      B Houston – SMU – Tulane
      C. S. Florida – C. Florida – E. Carolina – Memphis

      Still no need to go with that discussion forum pod silliness, its possible to recruit up to a two division 12 team format with only one school:

      East: Temple, UConn, Navy, ECU, USF, UCF,
      West: Cincinnati, Houston, SMU, Tulane, Memphis

      Same picks: UTEP, Rice, Tulsa, though the eastward shift of the Western Division might also bring MTSU into the mix.

    • zeek says:

      That’s an interesting angle. Form a coast-to-coast league with a GOR.

      Why would they have to do it outside of the current Big East framework though? The basketball schools are leaving, and there’s still the matter of exit fees and NCAA credits that exist in that framework.

      • Jericho says:

        A grant of rights sounds terrible. At least for UConn. No need to tie itself down to a clearly inferior conference. If it can really make more money, schools will join without a grant of rights. And it still allows UConn to bolt if an offer ever came along.

        There’s also the lingering procedurial question. How does this league get formed? Does UConn and Cincy vote to desolve the Big East (in which case what happens with all the Big East stuff like the name, NCAA credits, BCS appearance, etc…) or are all these schools going to get stuck paying exit fees to get out of the Big East to form this new conference? The latter seems impractical as $10 million exit fees are enormous for non-BCS level schools. So the Big East would have the be dissolved, which means that they need to figure out quickly how viable this is and what happens with a dissolution. It’s possible by voting to dissolve the league that UConn ends up worse off than if it just stuck with the leftovers.

        • zeek says:

          Could occur in reverse though.

          What if Boise State and SDSU say they’ll only join with a GOR?

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            They already DID join without a GOR. The latest defections don’t change anything, because the seven Catholic schools don’t play FBS football, and Boise/SDSU joined ONLY for football.

          • zeek says:

            I mean, what if they say they’ll only stick with this thing if there’s a GOR.

            Everyone in that conference can basically leave with no exit penalty since it seems obvious that they won’t meet the various promises that they made to the schools that are joining.

            I just meant that Boise State and SDSU could leverage that situation.

          • Jericho says:

            Then you tell them thanks, but no thanks. They can stick with what they have. Do you really see public schools turning down better leagues? I don’t think either program is exactly in a position of strength.

          • bullet says:

            Boise is the only program in the nbe in a position of strength. They are the difference between the nbe and MWC.

          • zeek says:

            I’m with bullet on this.

            Boise State (and SDSU) provide the crucial differentiation that allows this group of football schools to still call itself superior to the C-USA.

            If however, those two go back to MWC, then it’s basically just murky as to which conference is better.

            If they actually want to have a “best of the rest” then Boise State is a requirement.

          • zeek says:

            Er, I meant superior to the “old C-USA”…; Boise State is the differentiator there.

          • Richard says:

            Depends on what you consider “the latest defections”. Louisville and Rutgers going certainly does change things and if the TV contract is hurt by that and the Catholic schools leaving, the western schools may require a GOR in order to join.

          • morganwick says:

            Depends on what you mean by the “old C-USA”. Obviously, without Boise State this conference essentially added UConn (and technically UCF and SMU) and lost a bunch of other schools from the pre-Big-East-raid C-USA. But if you took Boise out, and you asked those schools whether they’d rather be in the conference they’re in now or in what C-USA is now, I think they’d still take the conference they’re in now. They’d prefer to have Louisville with them, and obviously all of them thought they were joining a BCS conference, but even as a mostly lateral move it’s hard to say they’d do anything differently. Even without Boise State this conference might still rival the Mountain West for the richest contract among the Group of Five, and all they have to do is look at the Big 12 to see what happens when one school pulls too much of a conference’s weight.

        • BruceMcF says:

          The Grant of Rights might be part of getting more money (on a per-team basis).

          • JW says:

            Or UConn throwing the steering wheel out the window in their game of chicken with the ACC… Part of the rationale for Louisville over UConn was that the latter would still be around should they need to add another.

          • dtwphx says:

            Cinci and UConn aren’t the only options for the ACC.
            WV will be available in 13 years…

          • BruceMcF says:

            Also note that a Grant of Rights will be able to be resolved by a large enough majority of full members. In the Big 12, its a 3/5 supermajority of 6.

            Putting together the conference that Cincinnati is proposing is like setting up a package deal for the ACC ~ if you get absolutely exploded by the SEC/BigTen/Big12 in combination, you can take a selection of 6 of these ten to rebuild.

    • jj says:

      Could work. The Big East “brand” is a total disaster. No one outside of expansion junkies has any idea what it stands for or who’s in it. If they know anything, it’s that it’s a clear second fiddle to the “real” conferences and everyone leaves if given the chance. Could it be rebuilt? Maybe, but why bother. If you look it up on wikipedia or reads like the worst soap opera ever.

      • zeek says:

        That’s pretty much why they should let the basketball schools buy the name off of them. It has a lot more value to the basketball schools since the Big East name has been highly respected even through the turmoil as they’ve gotten many NCAA bids and challenged as a top conference.

        For the football side of things, that name is tainted beyond repair.

        • BruceMcF says:

          Quite: first it meant one thing, then it meant another, and would have been OK if the musical chairs had stopped there for long enough … and now it just means “who in the hell is in that conference, again?”

    • Read The D says:

      It is an interesting idea but the first thing that I think of is logistics for the non-revs. You really need travel partners to keep costs down and East and West divisions seem like a must. The problem is most of the schools are fairly isolated from one another.

      Gonzaga might be interested for basketball only and Hawaii might be interested for football only. BYU or another MWC school would round out a Western division.

      UCF makes the most sense for the Eastern side to me.

      This would basically be the Big East trading SMU, Houston, ECU, Tulane and Navy for UNLV and New Mexico.

    • morganwick says:

      So basically, they’re going to screw Houston, SMU, and Tulane, even though Houston and SMU might have two of the five strongest football fanbases in the conference, to go after a couple of basketball schools and BYU, even though even if BYU is willing to give up independence the Mountain West might be a more likely choice to grab them, keep UNLV and New Mexico, and possibly grab Boise and San Diego State as well.

      I guess it makes sense if your focus is basketball, even though the whole reason you have to do this is because your old conference didn’t value basketball enough, and the whole reason you’re including Boise is because of their football program.

      If I’m pursuing a basketball-centric strategy I target Utah State to make it all the more likely I can bring BYU on board; if I’m pursuing a football-centric strategy I screw USF, UCF, and either Tulane or Temple and go after Nevada hard.

  19. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Athlon’s Way-Too-Early 2013 Top 25.


    By conference.

    SEC (6): #1 Bama, #4 LSU, #5 Georgia, #6 Florida, #7 Texas A&M, #11 South Carolina.
    Pac-12 (6): #3 Oregon, #10 Stanford, #18 UCLA, #21 USC, #24 Oregon State, #25 Arizona State.
    B1G (4): #2 Ohio State, #19 Nebraska, #20 Michigan, #23 Wisconsin.
    Big 12 (4): #9 Oklahoma, #13 OK State, #14 TCU, #22 Texas.
    ACC (2): #12 Clemson & #16 Florida State.
    Big East (2): #15 Louisville? & #17 Boise State?
    Ind: #8 Notre Dame

  20. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    My impression of Boise State and San Diego State is that they are mercenaries and will stick with the Big East (CUSA 2.0) as long as they make more money in it than they would in the Mountain West.

  21. Carl says:

    PSU < Ducks

    • BruceMcF says:

      It IS premature, because it is not yet established whether the existing conference will be dissolved with assets distributed, the basketball members will depart (likely with the rights to the name) with the FB remaining in the existing conference as such, or the football members depart, leaving the basketball members in the existing conference as such (likely WITH the name).

      Whether the actual organization with those rights will be an organization playing football in 2013 is not yet settled. If not, it would have to be GRANTED AQ status as the de facto inheritors of the hot mess that BE FB has become.

      • morganwick says:

        All of that isn’t likely to affect the 2013-14 academic year, I don’t think.

        • BruceMcF says:

          If they dissolved the league, it WOULD affect 2012/2013, since the end of June 2013 is the last they have the votes TO dissolve the league. So the league would not EXIST in 2012/2013, and the NCAA would have to decide whether to treat some successor as the inheritor of agreements.

          The fact that they announced they are leaving might mean that the threat of dissolving the league worked in terms of forcing the an agreement to at the very least forward the unit revenues earned by the basketball schools as members of the Big East to their new league.

          But they still might not have sorted that all out yet: this might be earlier in the negotiation phase.

  22. bullet says:

    Nice profile of BE current, future and potential basketball programs.

    Most people are dismissing Detroit or Boston area schools. VCU gets mentioned while Richmond, with a longer history of success, doesn’t. If they look back to what they did when they were formed, Detroit and Boston area schools have a decent shot.

    • jj says:

      Detroit could work. It’s a tiny school, but they get some local love when they are doing well. Oakland is trying to be a contender, but Detroit Mercy has the more marketable name and history. I’d love to see it. Then again, I’m a homer.

    • Read The D says:

      That’s a good point. I don’t think Gonzaga and St. Mary’s work. They’re nowhere near each other. The new Catholic Conference would need to create an entire western division.

      Something else to remember is that somebody HAS to lose. Getting the best 12 catholic basketball schools sounds nice, but profiles will rise and fall. Historic success and tradition is more important than recent success.

      • Stew says:

        I’m surprised at some of the names coming up. You would think that after this whole realignment mess, the C7 would want to align with similar schools to avoid going through all of this again. To me that means urban Catholic schools without FBS football – Xavier, SLU, Duquesne, Detroit, maybe Holy Cross. Similar schools, good markets, maybe a chance for stability.

        • Richard says:

          For stability, they really only need schools that will never play FBS-level football. After that, they should get the best-supported programs possible, regardless of whether they’re Catholic or not, as those schools will never leave & the new basketball league will get the biggest chunk of its revenue from NCAA credits (so programs that don’t win or have support are a negative even if they are in big markets).

    • Richard says:

      I agree that Richmond should be considered. Yes, they are a small private rich-kids school, but that’s what allows it to have a larger endowment than Wisconsin, PSU, Illinois, UCLA, Cal, every SEC school besides TAMU, and every past, present, and future BE member besides Pitt and ND.

  23. Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

    BTN has a new survey up, this time about preferred division alignment with the current (14 team) setup…


    • zeek says:

      Wish I could select East-West but with Michigan State in the West instead of Purdue.

      I really don’t like the idea of a division with a top 3 of Nebraska/Wisconsin/Iowa and no clear #4 going up against Michigan/Ohio State/Penn State/Michigan State…

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        If they go East-West, I think you’re right that Michigan State is a better West candidate than Purdue.

        But I’m really hoping they pick the “Inner/Outer” (or, as I call it, burger and buns) configuration, which I’m convinced is the best. Inner/Outer is more competitively balanced, and it requires no protected rivalries. That means you play the schools in the opposite division more often.

        The only objection I’ve seen is travel, which seems to me over-blown. Rutgers isn’t going to take the bus to Michigan. Once you’re on a plane, the time/cost differential to fly to Wisconsin rather than Detroit is negligible.

        • zeek says:

          The one reason I don’t like Inner/Outer is that I really think you need Michigan or Ohio State with Maryland and Rutgers.

          You really want one of those two along with Penn State alternating visits to D.C. and NYC.

          • BruceMcF says:

            And since its the NYC market that is the harder sell, that gives Rutgers with MU, OSU.

            Old Firm: OSU, MU, MSU, NW, Illini, IA, Rutgers
            New Firm: UNL, PSU, WI, MN, IN, Purdue, Maryland

          • Brian says:


            You get the OSU and MI access by scheduling crossover games. See the link I posted below.

      • bamatab says:

        Maybe you could do a Northeastern – Southwestern division setup with similar west – east schools with the exception of Michigan & MSU in the east, and Illinios & Purdue in the west. You’d have OSU, PSU, UMD, RU, IU, Purdue, Illini in one division; and UM, MSU, Neb, Wiscy, Iowa, Minn, NW in the other. The conferences would be divided with an imaginary line almost straight from right above PSU to right below Neb. It divides the 4 kings up evenly. And regionally it makes some sense, but you’d have to keep permanent cross-division games for OSU/UM, Illini/NW, and maybe Neb/PSU.

        I guess from a competition standpoint, it looks lopsided in the Northeast’s favor in terms of stronger football programs (even though the kings are divided up evenly). But I think over time if UMD & RU can use their new B1G association to their advantage in recruiting (like aTm seems to be starting to do) and keep their instate talent from leaving (both states, but especially New Jersey, have enough instate talent to supply their state schools with enough talent to field good programs), they could have the potential to build their football programs up to at least the leval that Wiscy, MSU and Iowa have recently (especially with UMD with their Underarmour ties, and Rutger’s recruiting grounds).

        I guess the more I think about it, the B1G probably doesn’t want to invest the time to let UMD & RU to build their programs to even out those divisions, or even risk the possibility they they could build up their programs. I still like the Inner/Outer divisions since they make the most sense to me (a B1G outsider) from a school/region grouping standpoint.

        • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

          bamatab – I think the B1G ought to adopt a Southeastern/Northwestern division setup.

          NE Division: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, Northwestern, Michigan State & Michigan.
          SE Division: Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers, Maryland, Indiana, Purdue & Illinois.

          I like the idea of Northwestern in a Northwestern Division.

          Also, in the B1G CCG after Ohio State wins, Buckeye fans could chant S-E-D, S-E-D, S-E-D!

  24. Bob Marley says:

    The East-West configuration makes the most sense. Putting BTN into the basic cable of NYC and DC metro areas will require frequent visits by Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State to Maryland and Rutgers. The West teams will be happy with the money and unhappy with the infrequent games.

  25. Aaron Morrow says:

    Is Notre Dame better off in the ACC or with the other Catholic schools in the Big East Without Football? For that matter, is Notre Dame a big enough pull for basketball that the other Catholic schools would want it?

    • zeek says:

      Far better off in the ACC.

      1) Main reason for doing the ACC deal was to help lock up games in October and November

      2) Much higher quality non-revenue sports league (ND is only keeping football/ice hockey out of the ACC)

      They still need both of those needs taken care of, and the Catholic 7 configuration won’t help them with those two issues.

      • Aaron Morrow says:

        Seriously, I have no idea about the current state of college non-revenue sports in the Big East and the ACC (save ND hockey). Thanks!

        • zeek says:

          None of the Catholic 7 run large, expensive athletics departments because none of them have football to power those kinds of departments.

          That’s really an issue for Notre Dame for all of the rest of their sports (excluding football, basketball, ice hockey for the moment which are all going to be taken care of either way).

          And of course, the 5 games being scheduled for football is a big deal as well given how hard it is to come across quality competition in October and November given that the leagues are all deep into conference play for football.

        • BruceMcF says:

          Cross is upset, the original Big Ten move left under the six required for an AQ in both the Big East and ACC ~ in the Big East after working to get a Big East Lacrosse championship and waiting out the two year’s probation before getting an AQ. All of the remaining Lacrosse programs will be in the BB conference side of the divide.

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      The other Catholic schools would let ND into their conference in a heartbeat, but as Zeek noted, the ACC is a much stronger league, not only in basketball but in the other olympic sports. They also get into the Orange Bowl rotation, something the Catholic schools can’t give them.

      • Richard says:

        The other Catholic schools may want ND in a vacuum, but after ND leaving, they have little incentive to take the Irish back. ND’s basketball program isn’t strong enough to overcome the feelings of betrayal. Plus, the basketball schools want stability, and ND is always liable to leave again to help their football program.

        • morganwick says:

          Notre Dame’s ideal conference for their football program is one that’s stable enough to allow them to keep their football independence. Because the Big East Catholics don’t play football, they’re about as rock solid as Notre Dame can hope for, and they will never bug the Irish into joining their conference for football. I don’t see any reason Notre Dame would ever leave that conference except to end their football independence, and for that reason I think Notre Dame and the Big East Catholics have to have each other on speed dial just in case the ACC implodes.

          • Richard says:

            Uh, they just left a conference even though they didn’t give up football independence (and it had nothing to do with the stability of the BE as the Catholic basketball-only schools would always have been around regardless). ND’s football independence won’t be threatened by non-football issues. However, football issues (like being able to find opponents in October & November) may force them to move their non-football sports to another conference in exchange for some set games in football (just like the deal they did with the ACC). If ND did it once for football reasons, how can you assure the basketball-only schools that ND won’t do it again?

          • morganwick says:

            It had everything to do with the stability of the Big East. No one in their right mind would call the Big East as stable as whatever the Catholics will form just because the Catholics were there, so why would the mere presence of the Catholics make the Big East stable enough for that not to be a factor?

          • Richard says:

            Because worst comes to worst & the BE dissolves, the Catholic schools would have formed a league (as they are doing now).

            Again, ND joined the ACC for football reasons (November scheduling and bowl access). Why wouldn’t they leave the Catholic schools again? They’d still be concerns going forward just as they were when ND joined the ACC.

      • dinodrex says:

        I think this would give ND the ultimate independence in football it wants. No pretending that it will actually play 5 conference football games. Strong enough basketball in major markets with its alumni and fan base. Less travel for non-revenue. At a minimum ND should threaten to leave to get down to 3 conference football games per year.

        • morganwick says:

          Except ND arguably wants five ACC opponents just to fill out their schedule. On the other hand, they could get the Michigan rivalry back…

          • Also remember that ND has access to *all* ACC bowls outside of the Orange Bowl (which ND has a separate tie-in with). That’s not an insignificant trade-off for playing 5 ACC games (especially when they’re already play 3 or 4 ACC teams per year. Even if the ACC suffers more defections, it will still be a better all-sports conference than the Catholic league and it offers a full slate of bowls for ND.

  26. Brian says:


    For a reasonably thorough look at divisions and scheduling, check that link. Long story short, the best option is the edges versus the middle. It’s the one alignment that works with 8 games and doesn’t require a locked rival. That’s important if you want to see the other 7 teams frequently.

    • jj says:

      And you dissed me when I brought it up months ago! I can see other things working, but this is probably the cleanest solution.

      • Brian says:

        I’ve dissed every plan at some point. I don’t like this as a solution, but it seems least offensive especially if the ADs won’t commit to 9 games. I take their silence on the issue as a bad sign, and no other plan that makes sense can work without locked rivals.

        The whole argument is based on frequency of play, though, and maybe the B10 is OK with playing twice in 12 years.

        • bullet says:

          How important is Northwestern/Illinois? If that one can be sacrificed, you can have IL, IU, PU, IA, UNL, MN, WI in the west with no cross-overs. That one, of course, has 3 kings in the east.

          • zeek says:

            It’s not that important to the younger fans/alumni; most of them focus a lot more on the Iowa-Northwestern series than the Illinois-Northwestern series, especially since Northwestern has taken a lot of wins off of Iowa since the 90s.

            But among the older fans, I’d imagine Illinois is the main rival.

            I’m not sure the league will want to do away with that one though; it’s a pretty natural rivalry for both teams. It’s not as important as some of them but I’d imagine that the conference wants to keep the intrastate rivalries alive.

          • Richard says:

            It will definitely have to be played annually, though it could be played OOC (Illinois wants to play in Chicagoland every year anyway, and NU definitely doesn’t require 7 home games a year).

          • frug says:

            Illinois would put up a major fight if the conference tried to drop UI-NU.

            Not only have they been trying to build it into a big rivalry over the past couple of years (Northwestern’s “Chicago’s Big Ten Team” campaign really got under their skin) but they want to play in Chicago every year and without NU as annual game they would have to give up an OOC every year instead of every other year (which would be even harder if they go to a 9 game schedule)

          • @frug – Oh yeah. Dropping Illinois-Northwestern would be a non-starter for the Illini. I’m not saying that Illinois has the most political clout in the Big Ten, but that’s one where they’ll push their weight around. Plus, Chicago is still the nerve center of the Big Ten and Illinois has the largest number of alums in that market by far – they need to play there every other year at a minimum.

        • jj says:

          I agree that freq of play should be the goal. I haven’t done the math, but 16 and pods seems to work better than 14 for that objective. If that’s the case, let’s just go get 2 more and be done with it.

          • zeek says:

            That’s the main reason why I’m favorable to 16.

            Going to pods and loosening up the number of teams that you play annually to a max of 5 or 6 should help to increase frequency of play.

          • Brian says:


            It depends on how you view it. Pods and 16 will play teams more frequently, but at the the cost of playing fewer teams all the time. You can’t play more teams more often with the same number of games, obviously.

            9 games, 14 teams (no locked rival):
            6 – 100%
            7 – 43%

            9 games, 14 teams (1 locked rival):
            7 – 100%
            6 – 33%

            9 games, 16 teams (no locked rivals for simplicity):
            3 – 100%
            12 – 50%

            I’d rather play 6 teams annually and 7 43% of the time than 3 annually and 12 50% of the time, but others may disagree.

      • StevenD says:

        As much as I enjoy referring to this divisional alignment as Bread/Cheese or Buns/Burger or Outsiders/Insiders, I think the best names for these divisins are: the Central Division and the Frontier Division.

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      @Brian: Thanks for pointing that out. It’s about the most comprehensive analysis I’ve seen, and it focuses on the issues athletic directors are likely to care about the most. Obviously, they could come up with something strange — who ever guessed Leaders and Legends? — but the post is backed up by reasons that make sense.

      There are two issues the poster doesn’t discuss in much detail. One is whether the Big Ten wants to improve its strength of schedule to maximize their chances of getting a team into the playoff. The other is whether it wants to maximize the number of teams it places into the bowl season.

      Historically, poll voters tend to favor wins (no matter the opposition) over “respectable losses.” That’s why Michigan (with 4 losses) is ranked lower than Northern Illinois, even though Michigan lost to the top 3 teams in the country, and Northern Illinois didn’t face a ranked opponent until it beat Kent State in the MAC Championship Game.

      On a schedule with locked rivals, where strong teams always meet strong teams from the opposite division, you increase the likelihood that your conference champion will have multiple losses, and won’t make the playoff. That’s the situation you have today, where Michigan/OSU and Nebraska/PSU are locked in.

      The same factors are at work if you go to 9 conference games. Even in a relatively weak year, the Big Ten went 34-14 in its non-conference games this season. Three teams barely made a bowl, at 6-6, aided by going 3-1 or 4-0 in the non-conference. Now, it’s fairly obvious that if you go to a ninth conference game, many teams will have an extra loss. At the margins, the Big Ten will lose some bowl appearances it would’ve had.

      Now, I personally don’t give a damn about Minnesota vs.Texas Tech in the Meineke Car Care of Texas Bowl. The question is, if the minor bowls exist, does the Big Ten want to increase its chances of reaching them? Or does it want to increase regular-season inventory at a cost of losing a bowl team or two per year.

      • Brian says:

        Marc Shepard,

        I’d guess the B10 would prefer playoff spots to minor bowls if they have to choose. The addition of two teams that won’t normally challenge the top teams also means that 9th game won’t be as hard as it used to be.

        But honestly, nobody has any idea what they think about these issues since they won’t say anything. OSU is shifting towards an all-AQ OOC schedule, so clearly they are favoring SOS for a playoff over squeaking into a bad bowl. I wouldn’t expect IN to make the same choice.

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          @Brian: I basically agree with that. A perennial loser like Indiana can load up on the Little Sisters of the Poor, and still have at least a shot at a bowl. A likely national championship contender like Ohio State can choose to schedule more difficult games.

          What I’m trying to suggest, is that with 8 conference games you can have it all. The top of the conference can build up their SOS, while the bottom of the conference can focus on just making any bowl. If you add a ninth conference game, you increase the risk of missing the playoff AND you relegate the rest of the conference to lower-tier bowls AND you knock 1-2 teams a year out of the bowls completely.

          • BruceMcF says:

            And possibly improve the number of Big Ten bowl wins per year.

          • Brian says:


            I get what you’re saying, it just doesn’t worry me. Mathematically the 9th game is an average B10 team, so a 7-5 sort of team. Yes, half the teams have to take a loss in those games. That doesn’t mean they would have won their OOC game, though. Based on history, the B10 would shift from about 9-3 to 6-6 for that week of games. If that turns some weak 6-6 teams into 5-7 teams, I can live with that. I’d much rather keep some more rivalries alive than worry about 3 extra losses and their consequences.

          • bullet says:

            The Big 12 managed to have 9 of 10 teams bowl eligible and only one of them was 6-6 with a 9 game schedule. 6-6 isn’t that tough a standard.

          • BruceMcF says:

            How many AQ schools did they play OOC, as a percentage?

          • bullet says:

            Their schedule was pretty similar to the B1G and SEC.

    • Brian says:

      What’s to explain? He’s a proven liar and convicted felon. He made claims before, which the NCAA investigated, and he was found not to be credible. Did he get some things on the side at OSU? Probably. It wouldn’t be hard to prove he owned 3 cars at once, but he couldn’t do it.

      • Andy says:

        On a side note, boy a lot sure did come out of that guy who happened to ride on the back of the rented mizzou travel plane a few times with all the other boosters who just happened to also be a drug dealer. I remember about 300 posts getting all worked up about that. Boy that sure did turn into something, didn’t it?

        Oh wait, it was nothing and nobody ever mentioned it again, just like I predicted.

        • OrderRestored83 says:

          You are batting about 1 for 25. Congratulations.

        • Brian says:

          We never said anything would come of that event. We said it was a dumb idea to put themselves in that situation, and it still is.

        • ccrider55 says:

          Things tend to get spoken of and then let go, unless someone decides to get involved in a debate. All the schools I’ve attended, supported, or admired have had some “dustups” or incidents that through no

        • ccrider55 says:

          Things tend to get spoken of and then let go, unless someone decides to get involved in a debate. All the schools I’ve attended, supported, or admired have had some “dustups” or incidents that through no intentional act brought along some negatives. If brought up I just have to admit, yes, that’s embarrassing, and move on.

        • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

          Congratulations on quickly learning the SEC way! – “If everyone keeps their mouths shut, it’ll go away”. No matter how much you want to deflect, having a drug dealer receiving comped tickets from players remains a massive red flag.

          People conveniently forget that Maurice Clarett was kicked off of the Buckeye football team for the things he was involved with. If there really is a problem at Missouri it is still going to require someone willing to talk to the NCAA before ‘it turns into something’. Just because no one is talking doesn’t mean everything is hunky dory.

          That being said since you’re trying to wave your little epeener around let’s discuss some of your recent ‘top 20′ claims regarding the flagship university of America’s meth belt:

          After Frank’s last post you claimed Mizzou is “top 10 in wins over the last 5 years. Top 20 over the last 10 years. In the upper 30s overall but that’s because of a span from 84-96 that averaged about 3 wins per season”.

          #18 Missouri – 48-19.716
          #24 Missouri – 81-47 .633
          All Time:
          #55 Missouri – 628-522-52 .544

          Now of course that doesn’t include the incomplete 2012 season so you are welcome to show us how the 5-7 record this year actually pushes Missouri into the ‘top 10′, ‘top 20′ & ‘upper 30’s’ ranges that you claim.

          (18)90-99: #49 Missouri .60% 43-28-1
          (19)00-09: #82 Missouri .55% 45-36-5
          10-19 #76 Missouri .60% 39-25-8
          20-29: #33 Missouri .70% 54-21-7
          30-39: #142 Missouri .39% 32-52-9
          40-49: #45 Missouri .61% 60-37-4
          50-59: #97t Missouri .45% 43-53-5
          60-69: #4 Missouri .76% 77-22-6
          70-79: #62 Missouri .52% 59-55
          80-89: #77 Missouri .42% 45-64-4
          90-99: #78 Missouri .39% 43-67-3
          (20)00-09 #42 Missouri .56% 70-54

          There was only a single decade where Missouri finished higher than #33 in wins. You keeping trying & cherry pick a specific range in the 80’s & 90’s implying that outside of those years Missouri was a consistently strong team, yet the actual numbers show otherwise. Those years in the 80’s & 90’s are actually far closer to Missouri’s historical average.

          The reality is that outside of the 60’s Missouri has been at best a mediocre team.

      • bamatab says:

        Actually he ducked the NCAA and wouldn’t talk with them. Since the NCAA doesn’t have subpoena power, they couldn’t get him to talk. Here is a link to a recent article that talks about it: http://www.cleveland.com/livingston/index.ssf/2012/12/years_after_his_career_with_oh.html

        “As evidence mounted of a lifestyle better suited to a Turkish sultan than a scholarship athlete from an impoverished background, Clarett lashed out at Ohio State, hinting at lavish booster payments and alleging academic fraud. Yet when NCAA investigators arrived on campus to talk to Clarett, he ducked them,. Without subpoena power, the NCAA could never follow up on his charges.”

        Despite what some on this board want to believe, the SEC isn’t the only conference where this type of stuff occurs. It happens at all of the king schools, and at most of the prince schools. The SEC may have more schools in the conference that are willing to do it to some extent (or can do it for that matter), but other conferences have schools that are more than willing to do it as well.

        • Brian says:


          That’s after being caught filing a false insurance claim and making other provably unfounded claims. It all started when he wanted to attend a friend’s funeral and OSU couldn’t just wave a magic wand to make it happen. He didn’t want to hear about procedures and NCAA rules, so he threw a tantrum and started throwing accusations around.

          I have no idea how much he got under the table, I’m sure it was some, but he’s never proven anything and it shouldn’t be that hard if he wanted to prove it.

          • bamatab says:

            This latest story came up during in a spring practice class where the players of the UFL team he was on were giving accounts of their lives out of football, and a Forbes writer was there and published it in his book that he was writing about the coach of the team, so I don’t think he wasn’t telling this latest story to get at OSU.

            The writer of the article that I linked above seems pretty convinced that he was really living a lavious lifestyle while at OSU. And if I remember correctly, wasn’t there some teamates that were quoted back then, that corroborated at least some of his story?

            The reason he never proved it when the NCAA was investigating it was because he didn’t want to prove it. He was ducking them, and I seem to remember the NCAA investigator even saying that he would return their phone calls. If I were a betting man, I’d bet he was paid off be a booster to keep quite. But you can’t convince me that he wasn’t getting major benefits, just like you can’t convince me that Cam didn’t get paid to go to Auburn even though it couldn’t be proven.

            Again, the SEC didn’t invent paying players, and they are the only ones that do it.

          • Brian says:

            The players that backed him up were all in Tressel’s doghouse for various things, IIRC. At least one had been kicked off the team.

            And please note that I never said nothing happened, just that he’s a lousy source and has never backed up a claim he made. The insurance company did have subpoena power and they found him to be lying. Car titles are public records, so someone could have gotten those if he owned 3 cars. More likely, he was loaned some cars or had access to them.

            The point is, his accusations should never be taken at face value without corroboration. I’m sure they contain kernels of truth, but I don’t know how much or which parts.

          • bamatab says:

            brian – Point taken. I see where you’re coming from.

          • manifestodeluxe says:

            “The players that backed him up were all in Tressel’s doghouse for various things, IIRC. At least one had been kicked off the team.”

            I’m pretty sure at least two were Marco Cooper and Ira Guilford. Marco was kicked off the team in 2001 after he was pulled over by campus police and they found a pharmacy and loaded handguns in his car. Ira Guilford was booted from the team after he and Louis Irizarry were arrested for robbing someone (Irizarry did time, then finished his career at Youngstown St). I understand that you’re not going to get alter boys to come forward for this kind of stuff, but the story done had basically grabbed the bottom of the barrel to corroborate Clarett’s story.

            I’m sure he got money. I highly doubt three brand new luxury cars. His false police report/insurance claim was on a Chevy Impala that was a couple years old for starters.

        • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

          bullet – I hate to let facts get in the way of your narrative, but here are the facts.

          Football Bowl Subdivision Universities Punished for Major Violations, 2001-2010


          “While critics often complain that the NCAA picks on less-prominent sports programs and goes easy on the highest-profile institutions, the results from the 2000s don’t necessarily back that up. More universities in the Big Ten Conference (eight) were punished for major violations than in any other league, followed by seven in the Big 12 and Southeastern Conferences and six in the Pacific-10 Conferences, all of which are among the six leagues in the Bowl Championship Series that are typically seen as college sports’ biggest players.

          The other two major conferences — the Atlantic Coast and Big East Conferences — had four and two members punished, respectively.”

          If you adjust for recent conference realignment, here’s the numbers by conference.

          B1G: 11 schools with 12 violations.
          P-12: 8 schools with 11 violations.
          SEC: 8 schools with 10 violations.
          B-12: 6 schools with 8 violations.
          ACC: 4 schools with 4 violations.

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            bullet – I’m shocked!

            “University of Texas-Austin Big 12 2002 Violation of honesty standards and bona fide outside employment and a failure to monitor.”

            This is pulled from the link above.

          • bullet says:

            Don’t recall that. Texas had one in the 80s, although it was minor compared to the other stuff going on in the SWC. Don’t recall any real big ones at LSU.

            10 years is not what it takes to make a king or create a reputation for violations. But as I said, if you look at major violations over all time, there’s not much difference between the 5 major conferences. But, there is a difference between Georgia Tech getting a major violation for a player receiving $300 of free clothes from an agent and what Miami and UNC have done. Or SMU paying players, UK sending cash by fedex (in fairness to fedex it might have been UPS who sloppily broke open the package). But they are all “major” violations. The SEC has had more than its share of Miami/Dwayne Casey/Jan Kemp caliber violations.

        • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

          If you are a college athlete of a popular team at any school in the country you have access to hook-ups that are not allowed under NCAA rules. That’s true even at unusual suspects like where I played (Stanford).

          The difference is that schools like Ohio State actually investigate, report & combat the shady side of boosters instead of utilizing them as a secure network to funnel benefits to players.

          Despite what SEC apologists want to believe there is absolutely no comparison between what happens at the vast majority of schools & the cesspool that is the SEC (West). Ther is no moral equivalency here no matter how hard you try to spin it to make yourself feel better.

          You and I both know there are only three guaranteed things in the world…death, taxes & a successful run by ‘Bama being followed up by NCAA sanctions. It’s the never ending cycle..

          • bamatab says:

            @Scarlet_Lutefisk – Wait a minute now. You’re using as school whose coach was hit with a multi-year show cause (which will keep him out of college coaching for many years) for hiding major violations from not only the NCAA, but also his AD, as an example of investigating, reporting, and combating shady practices? Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. And they sure didn’t investigate Clarret on there own desire to clean up anything. He flipped out on them and started make accusations to the press, which forced the NCAA to investigate, which forced OSU to kick him off because he drew way to much attention to himself.

            And as far as Bama having a never ending cycle of being hit with sanctions goes, we had one run in my lifetime during the late 90s – early 2000s where we were hit with sanctions due to boosters. That doesn’t equate to a never ending cycle. And no one within the coaching or recruiting community has ever made serious accusations against Saban for any major recruiting violations. Maybe violating the bump rule, but nothing major. BTW…SEC east is no different in their recruiting practices than the SEC west. Urban knows how to play the recruiting game with the best of them (I’m not saying he commits major violations, but he knows how to play the recruiting game right along with Saban, Miles & the rest.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            Yes Ohio State is currently under sanctions. It is also under those sanctions because it discovered problems within the athletic department & self reported them to the NCAA. That doesn’t excuse what has happened in the least but it is an important illustration of the difference in how such problems are handled.

            “And they sure didn’t investigate Clarret on there(sic) own desire to clean up anything.”

            To be blunt…horseshit.

            “And no one within the coaching or recruiting community has ever made serious accusations against Saban for any major recruiting violations”

            And we both know that is a red herring. Alabama (and other schools) worked hard to insulate it’s coaches from the boosters. That is part of what I was referring to with ‘secure network’. A manufactured gap ensures plausible deniability between the athletic department & heavy lifting of the boosters. It’s certainly possible that Saban is completely unaware of how things work behind the scenes (although it’s unlikely he’s that naive).

            I was speaking primarily about the ‘name’ schools & IRT the east specifically about Georgia & Florida (which made a concerted effort to change how they conducted business after the problems in the 80’s). For some reason Tennessee being in the east had completely slipped my mind, mea culpa on my part. KY doesn’t count as far as football is concerned (although ironically enough it’s the one outside of the Alabama schools I have the most direct experience with seeing deliberate violations).

            Snipped from another post….
            “Since Bama was hit with major sanctions in Feb of 2002 (a little over 10 years ago), USC, OSU, PSU, UNC, & Miami (which I think we all can agree is about to get hammered) have all been hit with major violations.”

            As has bama. They were on probation during both of the previous BCSCG they participated in & the 05-07 games didn’t vacate themselves.

            You can lie to yourself all you want but the way things are handled in the SEC are not the same as how they’re handled most everywhere else.

          • bamatab says:

            “Former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel, who was forced to resign in May, committed the ultimate sin for a college coach when he withheld information about the scandal from OSU officials and NCAA investigators. In fact, according to the NCAA’s infractions report released Tuesday, Tressel had four opportunities to reveal his knowledge of the scandal to the NCAA, but never once told the truth.”

            That is an excerpt from this ESPN article: http://m.espn.go.com/ncf/story?storyId=7373708

            Not once, not twice, but four times Tressel tried to cover it up. OSU didn’t cooperate until the NCAA got involved. They didn’t bring it to the NCAA. And you can say whatever you want about the Clarret deal, but there are enough articles about it that it is pretty obvious what all took place.

            The probation and vacated wins from the 2007 ordeal was from athletes selling their text books, not because of boosters.

            You don’t have a clue as to what UGA or UF does when it comes to recruiting, so you’re just talking out of you tail on that issue. They have booster just like Bama, Auburn or anyone else. All kings and most princes do. And the coaches or the institutions themselves have no way to stop a booster from breaking the rules if they so choose. OSU has them (which is pretty evident by just looking at the Clarret ordeal), and even a small private prince like Miami has them (just look at their current situation).

            I said in an earlier post that I wasn’t going to continue harping on this, but I let you bait me into it. If you want to continue bury you head in sand and continue to think that the B1G is some baston of squeeky clean recruiting and booster practices, then so be it.

          • bullet says:

            UGA has made a major effort to clean up things after the embarrassment of the Jan Kemp scandal. Mark Richt is as good as they come among college football coaches as far as character. This is the guy who got minor infractions from the NCAA because he gave part of his personal bonus to his assitants.

          • bamatab says:

            Richt is a good, Christian guy, but he is almost too “good” of a guy. His players have constantly gotten arrested over the years. Here is an article that talks some about it: http://blogs.ajc.com/jeff-schultz-blog/2012/07/19/richt-georgia-have-been-hurt-by-too-many-recruiting-risks/

            Personally I have a hard time believing that that he can keep his boosters in line, when he has such a hard time keeping his players in line.
            Meyer had similar issues with keeping his players out of legal trouble when he was at UF. Here is an article that talks about his players legal troubles: http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2010-09-17/sports/os-florida-gators-arrests-list-20100915_1_frankie-hammond-second-degree-misdemeanor-charge-misdemeanor-possession

          • Brian says:


            “OSU didn’t cooperate until the NCAA got involved. They didn’t bring it to the NCAA.”

            That’s a lie. OSU reported the emails to the NCAA once they discovered them.

            “And you can say whatever you want about the Clarret deal, but there are enough articles about it that it is pretty obvious what all took place.”

            Well if the media said it, it must be true. Do you want a list of all the media stories saying how dirty the SEC is?

          • manifestodeluxe says:

            “That’s a lie. OSU reported the emails to the NCAA once they discovered them.”

            To expand, the emails were discovered during an internal audit and immediately reported. That’s how the NCAA got involved. That’s also why ESPN tried to sue OSU to release basically every email related to/sent by Tressel over something like a four year period (which they lost).

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            “…You don’t have a clue as to what UGA or UF does when it comes to recruiting, so you’re just talking out of you tail on that issue…”

            @bamatab -You make make claims regarding the motivations for Ohio State officials and then have the audacity to say I’m theone talking out of my tail? If someone needs to re-evaluate their objectivity on this matter, it isn’t me. There’s no need focus on the side issue of other schools (Georgia, Florida whoever) as that was really more of an aside so you didn’t feel like I was dogpiling the Tide (and I really did forget about the Vols). We can narrow the topic to just Alabama/Ohio State, we can even include Auburn since this is probably the only topic in which anyone would actually want to include Auburn (& since I have family there in addition to bama).

            In the meantime take your strawmen & stuff them. I never stated that B1G schools in general or Ohio State specifically are ‘squeaky clean’. I made pains to say that every school has issues including Ohio State. A player at any school who sticks his hand won’t have something put in it, and yes that certainly includes Ohio State (or even Div 1AA schools no one has heard of for that matter). Now what I did say was that there are very real differences in how the schools try to handle the problem of rogue boosters (or ‘harness’ them instead in some cases). I stand by that.

            You ever notice that fans of certain schools always use the same argument? It’s never “look there is a problem but this is what the school is doing to try & fight them” instead you get “well yeah we’re dirty, but you are too!”. I’ve spent time with both ‘Bama & Ohio State boosters and compliance; again, it’s not the same.

            Ah but hell you read some articles and so you know what really happened behind the scenes, despite most of the claims in those articles being debunked long ago.

            You’ll probably choose to dismiss my experience and that’s fine (random internet dude credibility coupled with me being an ass and all, I know), just stop making claims about what you ‘know’ happens at other schools based on poor journalism.

            FWIW the Pryor & Co violations weren’t about boosters either ( touching on your textbooks comment).

            Specifically on some of the Clarett stuff – You are spot on that this latest story wasn’t a case of him seeking attention or trying to score points with anyone. It was just a reporter being present during a function in which he was talking to teammates.

            That being said I do know that most of the money flowing in his direction happened after he had been suspended from the team. I know for a fact that the Escalade came after he was dismissed from the team, he was driving a POS American Sedan (Monte Carlo? I don’t remember exactly) while he was playing. He was being floated cash from groups on the west coast (he had buddied up with a couple of rappers living the thug life & somehow became entangled with a guy who allegedly had Israeli mob connections) with it being implied that he would pay them back after he cashed his NFL lottery ticket. At least some of his downward spiral afterwards can be attributed to the stress of ducking the dudes who wanted paid.

            BTW I’m actually somewhat amused at the thought that a back-up RB in the UFL is living a lavish lifestyle. :)

            Anyways that is way too much discussion on what is essentially a tangent to the board topic.

    • cfn_ms says:

      1) He’s probably telling the truth.

      2) I honestly just don’t care. If he got a lot of $$$ under the table… so what? I just have a really hard time giving a crap about this. Every year I get more cynical about the whole “amateurism” ideal, so if it turns out he got big bucks in Columbus, honestly, good for him. Better than producing big-time on the field and walking away with jack squat.

      • bamatab says:

        Just a FYI…College football isn’t amateur sports, and hasn’t been for a long time despite what the college folks want to say.

        • ccrider55 says:

          Anything that charges is business. That doesn’t preclude that the participants be amateur. There does seem to be a perception that some conferences are less concerned about those particular rules than others. I wonder why that perception persists?

          • Mark says:

            How many Big 10 teams are ineligible this year? How many SEC teams are ineligible? How the Big 10 can pretend to be superior to any league in terms of cheating is beyond me. The Big 10 housed the worst scandal in NCAA history and did nothing about it. As long as the cash keeps coming in . . .

          • bamatab says:

            ccrider55 – I wasn’t suggesting that college football was no longer an amatuer sport due to the fact that the schools were making money off of it. I was suggesting that it’s no longer amatuer because some of the players are getting “compensation” for playing (and have since college football became popular).

            “I wonder why that perception persists?”

            I don’t know, hypocritical butthurt maybe? No but seriously, I think some of that perception has to do with the microscope that both the local and national media pits on the SEC and the football programs. Plus, I admit that there is probably a larger portion of SEC schools that “play the game” to this extent than in other conferences. In the SEC, schools like Ole Miss & Miss St may do it, where schools
            like Purdue & Northwestern may not. But schools like OSU, Michigan, PSU, & Neb are doing it. Heck, over the recent years it’s been proved that schools like Miami, UNC, USC, Oklahoma, OSU have done it to some extent. The only reason more hasn’t come out over the years is because it is so hard for the NCAA to build cases and prove this stuff since they have no real subpoena power.

            Now I realize I’m outnumbered on this blog, and I won’t try and debate my views on this subject too much further since it would just turn into harping. But schools all over (not just in the SEC) have been playing the game for a long time in football (and we won’t even get into basketball), and it won’t stop anytime soon.

          • bullet says:

            My Dad had a co-worker who claimed he was paid 10k a year to play football at Arkansas in the 50s. In today’s $ that’s probably close to 6 figures. We know UK sent 20k in a package to a bb player (Can you seriously imagine putting 20k cash in a package?).

          • bullet says:

            The reason for the perception is the way SEC schools have stretched the rules, the frequency the powers have gotten on probation (as opposed to the bottom dwellers) and the magnitude of the problems when they did get caught.

          • bamatab says:

            bullet – What schools have been hit with major sanctions (significant loss of scholarships and/or post season bans) over the last 10 years? I can think of far more non-SEC teams that fall into this catagory than I can SEC schools.

          • BruceMcF says:

            In most sports, when teams are made up of a combination of amateurs and players trying to work their way up to the fully pro level, that’s called a semi-pro team. In the NFL minor leagues, for some reason they pretend to be amateur teams, as if the presence of amateurs on the team magically transfers to the large numbers of those serving an underpaid professional internship.

          • bullet says:

            Tennessee. Auburn is under investigation right now. Alabama just got off during the Shula era.

            Alabama has probably been in trouble in the last 40 years more than any major power (maybe USC is close). And Alabama has been in trouble much less than Auburn who is one of the all-time leaders in major violations. Florida could never win an SEC title before Spurrier because it always got vacated.

            And you had the Jan Kemp scandal at UGA in the 80s. UK’s badly sealed fedex envelope around 1990. Jackie “probation” Sherill getting MS St. on probation just over 10 years ago. Ole Miss has been on probation in the BCS era. New member A&M got caught paying players during the their Jackie Sherill era and is tied with Auburn for 3rd for the most all time major violations.

            If you look at major violations there’s not a big difference, but the SEC has had some whoppers, just as the SWC had in its closing days-SMU, TCU, A&M.

            Sure it happens all over. One year in the early 90s 5 of the 10 Pac 10 schools were on probation in the same year. But the SEC does things bigger.

          • frug says:


            It doesn’t really have anything to do with your primary point, but Oklahoma has probably been in trouble more than any super power over the past four decades. They have 6 major violations since 1973 (though “only” 3 were for football).

            That said, Stoops has completely remade the team’s image over the past dozen years (the only major incident was the Rhett Bomar situation and look how quickly he handled that)

          • bamatab says:

            bullet – Since Bama was hit with major sanctions in Feb of 2002 (a little over 10 years ago), USC, OSU, PSU, UNC, & Miami (which I think we all can agree is about to get hammered) have all been hit with major violations. So no matter if you take a 10 year snapshot, or the whole picture throughout history (as Alan proved), the SEC isn’t even at the top of the list in major violations.

            I’ve never made out on here that the SEC was some innocent player in college football. My only point has been that the perception that the SEC schools are any worse than any other schools from other conferences is a false perception, and history proves that.

          • bullet says:

            I forgot about OU. I agree with you on your comments.

            I was thinking Nebraska, Ohio St. (current problems are exception), Michigan (fab 5 was one time period), Penn St (have they ever had on the field problems?), Notre Dame, Texas (some relatively minor ones).

          • bullet says:

            History doesn’t disprove my point at all, which is that SEC schools have cheated “bigger.” History proves your point, as I said, that the major conferences all have about the same number of major violations. The SEC is not alone. But the NCAA only has major and minor and there is a broad range of major.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            “…Penn St (have they ever had on the field problems?…”

            @bullet – Prior to the reaming due to the Sandusky scandal PSU did not have a compliance department as such.

            No, I’m not joking. It was essentially just Paterno telling the NCAA not to worry, everything was fine.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            Forgot to mention…

            bamatab if you are looking for a fan base who seriously has their heads buried in the sands when it comes to peception vs reality regarding what goes on behind the scenes, PSU is your textbook example.

      • Andy says:

        Now there’s an honest answer.

        • Purduemoe says:

          The SEC probation frequency dropped way down after Slive came on and told the schools they needed to stop telling in each other. At least that is what I have seen mentioned on SEC message boards.

          • bullet says:

            There is a tendency for the NCAA to nail a particular conference. I think there is a lot of telling on each other. One gets in trouble and tries to get another school in trouble. One time it was the SWC. They moved to the Pac. Then the SEC.

  27. TM says:

    I have a unique view on how divisional alignment should be done. It has lots of good positives such as no more haggling over who should be in what divisions, no long layoffs in playing schools in the opposite division no matter how big the conference gets, competitive balance and yearly intrigue into who plays who. I call the idea “Seaded Divisions.”

    There would be 2 divisons, each made up of 7 schools (or 8 schools in a 16 team conference). The membership in each division would change each year. For lack of better names, let’s call them the Odd Division and the Even Division. Whomever wins the conference championship game would be the highest sead for next year and would be placed in the Odd Division. The loser of that game would be seed #2 and be placed in the Even Division. Based on win-loss records and tiebreakers, the other schools would be placed in decending order into the appropriate divisions. The Odd Division would have seads 1-3-5-7-9-11-13-15 and the Even Division would have seeds 2-4-6-8-10-12-14-16. For a 14 team league, you’d play the other 6 schools in your division plus 2 (or 3) in the other division. For a 16 team league, you’d play the other 7 schools in your division plus 1 (or 2) in the other division. Designated rivals would play each other regardless if they’re in the same or opposite division for the upcoming year.

    The divisions would need to be reseaded shortly after the conference championship game so the next year’s schedule could be generated. This short turnaround could cause some issues such as people planning trips, reserving hotels, etc. One work-around is to resead for 2 years down the road instead of the next year. Or an alternative work-around is for each school to already have the majority of their home games set on the calendar before they know who they’ll play – a good software program would help with these scheduling parameters.

    A plus with “Seaded Divisions” is that the schools will be able to play all members on a more regular basis as the home-and-home schedules would be eliminated and the Big Ten office could fine-tune the match-ups based on the length of time the 2 schools last played each other.

    Another plus is that “Seaded Divisions” by their nature promote competitive balance. The best through worst teams are evenly spread out in each division each year.

    Another plus is dispersment of the kings. Right now, the Big Ten has 4 kings (UM, OSU, PSU and NU). This works great if there are 4 pods to spread out competitiveness. But what if an FSU or ND join? Then which pod do they join? It wouldn’t be competitively balanced if a OSU and FSU were in the same division.

    Another plus is for a larger conference. “Seaded Divisions” would work good for an 18 team league with a 9 game conference schedule with 1 designated rival: play the other 8 teams in your division and 1 from the other division. If no designated rival, then “Seaded Divisions” would work for a 20 team league and 9 conference games: play the other 9 schools in your division.

    One could argue that this would be too confusing for fans. Which division is my team in this year? Perhaps. But effective marketing would influence this. Schools would be promoted as being in the Big Ten, not as being in the East Pod or the Legends Division or whatever. Instead the fans’ question would be become, “Who’s on the schedule this year?” They would understand that if they win most/all their games, they’d be in the conference championship game.

    I think yearly reseading will keep the Big Ten fresh and exciting. Fans would enjoy new matchups each year with the knowledge that you only have to wait up to 2-3 years to play somebody not on this years schedule.

    • Alex says:

      You’re crazy. I like you, but you’re crazy.

    • BruceMcF says:

      As long as you are doing floating divisions, why not float them the way floating divisions normally work in the rest of the world ~ promotion and relegation?

      20 teams, two ten team divisions. The Championship division plays for the championship. The Qualification division plays for entry into the Championship division the following year. The Champion of the Qualification division replaces the last placed team in the Championship division, and the runner-up plays off at the home of the second last placed team for entry into the Championship division.

      • wmtiger says:

        That doesn’t work with our system, the conference is strengthened by the ‘good’ teams beating up on the ‘bad’.

      • frug says:

        That would violate NCAA rules.

        TM’s proposal would not.

        • BruceMcF says:

          Yeah, I know, under NCAA Rules its the 7th, 8th and 9th place out of ten teams in the lower tier Sunbelt that win promotion to the next higher tier Conference USA. Its a violation to have that decided on the field.

          It is, of course, a moot point whether either in compliance with NCAA rules, since there are strong reasons why no program that you’d want to join a conference would agree to play under either system.

  28. zeek says:


    There will be wheeling and dealing on the exit fees.

    It’s in the interest of the 10 schools (including UConn, Cincy, USF) to take the exit fees and split them up 10 ways as opposed to after July when there’ll be more takers on all of the collected exit fees.

    That may give them an incentive to settle Rutgers, Notre Dame, and Louisville quickly and at lower amounts as well.

    • BruceMcF says:

      Regarding wheeling and dealing on exit fees, the bylaws (11.02 (a) (ii)) state that the fee drops down to $5m again if the BCS “or successor thereto” notifies the Big East that at some future date it will not longer be an AQ conference.

  29. duffman says:

    Repost from last thread

    24 team basketball conference or (2) 12 team conferences to have the extra NCAA vote?
    or (2) 16 conferences with football only members in the north or east

    East Division
    St. John’s
    Seaton Hall
    Rhode Island
    St. Joe’s
    St. Bonavanture

    West Division
    Saint Louis
    George Washington

    • Richard says:

      OK, one thing to keep in mind is that the top basketball-only schools would want
      1. Only other basketball schools with strong support, because NCAA tournament units are their biggest moneymakers, which means they’ll want schools who will earn those credits or at least have a strong SOS, and only schools that have strong support have the firepower in recruiting to gets wins and a strong SOS. Long way of saying that there’s no way that a program like Marquette (which draws >15K in attendance) or G’town (>11K in attendance) would want to be in the same league as Fordham (<3K in attendance) or Duquense (~3K in attendance)
      2. They don't want any schools that play football. If they wanted to deal with that headache, they would have stayed in the BE.

      For that matter, if they wanted to play a bunch of schools who were bad in basketball, they would have stayed in the BE.

      Also, why the heck are the VA/DC schools in the west when Creighton & Wichita St. are no farther from the western schools than the VA/DC schools are?

      Where's Richmond?

      • Richard says:

        So if you toss out the FBS-level football schools and schools who can’t draw over 5K in attendance, here’s your list:

        St. John’s
        Seton Hall

        Saint Louis

        Wow! That list looks strangely familiar. . . . wonder where I saw it before . . .

        Add Creighton (which actually has better support than any school you listed; 6th in attendance in the entire country, in fact, even while regularly playing such renown programs such as Evansville & Indiana St.), and you could even split it in to divisions:

        St. John’s
        Seton Hall

        Saint Louis

        • duffman says:


          I see your point and am not disagreeing with it. The reason I was pushing for 2 (or even 3) pure basketball conferences was to get more representation in the NCAA to counter the football strong conferences. Throw in the WCC and you could get 4 solid voting blocks since the NCAA tournament brings so much money they could not be ignored.

          It could also act as a collective for the basketball schools that also had a football school like a Uconn, Cincinnati, and Memphis (you could probably throw in Army, Navy, and Air Force as well ) and others to get to 8 or 12 football teams who are below the say 64 yet above the FCS level. As I proposed long ago you have 3 levels of football instead of 2.

          FBS A = ACC + B1G + B12 + PAC + SEC
          FBS B = everybody else (with their own playoff)
          FCS = current FCS with their own playoff

          The odds of Cincinnati or Uconn playing for a BCS MNC seems pretty slim but the odds of them playing for a FBS B MNC seems pretty good.

          • duffman says:

            And an added thought,

            Just like football can not be strong top to bottom each conference needs teams that fit the Kentucky or Indiana mold that help the win count for a Florida or Ohio State. The lower drawing schools in a pure basketball conference become the cannon fodder to assure the teams at the top have enough wins to make the tournament.

          • Richard says:

            Basketball doesn’t work that way. In football, racking up wins is important; in basketball, the RPI heavily emphasizes SOS.

          • duffman says:


            The B12 has shown playing yourself is rewarded by the computers. Kansas had the #1 SoS in the computers and their schedule was B12 schools + South Dakota State + Rice + Northern Illinois. If they have done it in football they can do the same in basketball. The bottom feeders in a perceived basketball conference will get SoS love.

          • Richard says:


            1. Schools you are suggesting like Fordham and Duquesne are no where nearly as good in basketball as KU is at football.

            2. Your strategy may work if a conference plays 22 conference games, but get back to me once you get a conference to adopt that type of schedule.

  30. Eric says:

    Thinking again about the Big Ten divisions, here is a list of 3 star + plus recruits from each of the states except New Jersey (and we can see their minimum from the map though).


    1. Ohio (79.3)
    2. Maryland (48.3)
    3. Pennsylvania (42)
    4. Illinois (37.8)
    5. Michigan (33)
    —New Jersey, based on map on link above falls no lower than here, likely higher
    7. Indiana 20.5
    8. Iowa 11
    9. Wisconsin 9
    10. Minnesota 7.8
    11. Nebraska 4.3

    If we go east-west, 5 of the top 6 states for recruiting are going to be in the same division. The east would also have 3 of the 4 biggest names and a much larger population base with a lot of big markets on its side. East-west is almost guaranteed to make the eastern side the side that is followed more long term (not that the west won’t be better some years).

    I still personally like east-west better than the current divisions, but this is a very big knock against it in my opinion.

    • Richard says:

      I figure there will be expansion to 16/18 in a few years, so . . . eh.

      I’m in favor of East/West for up to 6 years.

    • BruceMcF says:

      So in terms of recruiting, NewFirm / OldFirm A is more unbalanced:
      OldFirm: OSU, MU, MSU, NW, IL, IA, Rutgers
      NewFirm: PSU, UNL, WI, MN, IN, Purdue, MD

      … than OldFirm/NewFirm B:
      OldFirm: OSU, MU, WI, MN, IN, Purdue, MD
      NewFirm: PSU, UNL, MSU, NW, IL, IA, Rutgers

  31. Richard says:

    I just thought of something:

    Creighton draws better for its baseball than the vast majority of schools do for their basketball.

    Because of that (and because their travel costs would increase a ton), they may be the most reluctant of the target schools to join.

    The BE Basketball 12 could be
    Seton Hall
    VCU/Richmond (I think Richmond is a better institutional fit & am leery of VCU being able to keep winning if/when Smart leaves)


    These would set up nice pairs for traveling.

    Then again,
    SLU or Dayton could be on the outside looking in if Creighton comes in.

    Because Creighton would need a traveling partner if they come, I would go out on a limb and say that SLU gets in but one of Creighton/Dayton gets left out.

    18 game conference slate. Everybody plays each school in their division twice for 10 games. Everybody in the other division once for 6 games. Last 2 games are inter-divisional and determined by last years results (best vs. best, middle vs. middle & worst vs. worst) for TV and RPI purposes.

    This would actually cut down on travel costs compared to a 10-school league.

    If the league was smart, they would make inter-divisional games Th-Sa, F-Su, or Sa-M pairs. Intra-divisional games can still take place on weekdays. 4 inter-divisional weekends split between 6 intra-divisional weekends.

    • duffman says:


      That is why I had the original members in my original post. It was full of “pairs” to have at least 1 close rival like Marquette paired with Depaul, Butler with St. Louis, and Dayton with Xavier. If you put Creighton in maybe they get paired with SLU then pair Butler and Dayton while pairing Xavier with Cincinnati.

      • Richard says:

        Again, if they had wanted to be with football schools, they would have stayed in the BE.

        Also, they won’t have representation issues; the NCAA already splits schools by what level of football they play (if any), not by what league they are in.

    • Mike says:

      My initial impression is that Creighton would join with out reservation.

  32. HawksNation says:

    What makes the most sense to me would be a 12-team league.

    The Catholic 7 + Saint Louis, Creighton, Dayton, Xavier, & Butler.

    A tight-knit all-Catholic league with a reasonable footprint flush with major media markets (one very similar to the B1G). I believe this league would offer excellent stability and the excellent fanbases of schools like Creighton, Dayton, and Xavier will assist in garnering TV money.

  33. duffman says:

    Basketball conferences :
    American East = 9 members
    Atlantic 10 = 16 members
    Atlantic Sun = 10 members
    Big East = 10 current left – South Florida is the only outlier
    Big Sky = 11 members
    Big South = 12 members
    Big West = 10 members
    Colonial Athletic = 11 members
    CUSA = 12 members (could be a FBS B football conference)
    IND = 2 members
    Ivy = 10 members
    Great West = 5 members
    Horizon = 9 members
    MAC = 12 members (could be a FBS B football conference)
    MEAC = 13 members
    Missouri Valley = 10 members
    MWC = 9 members (could be a FBS B conference)
    Northeast = 12 members
    OVC = 12 members
    Patriot = 8 members
    SoCon = 12 members
    Southland = 10 members
    SWAC = 10 members
    Summit = 9 members
    Sun Belt = 11 members (could be FBS B conference)
    WCC = 9 members (a future catholic basketball west version if they grow to 12)
    WAC = 10 members (could be FBS B conference)

    Just as we are seeing consolidation in football so might we see consolidation in college basketball to get some economies of scale where you have 12 – 16 members per basketball conference. The 12 member conferences could be the ones with the strongest product and the 16 member conferences could give the smaller schools strength in numbers.

    Maybe you have 4 – 8 “power” conferences in basketball with a redistributed Big East + A10 + WCC + some collection of strong southern privates into the anchors for 4 regions of college basketball.

  34. zeek says:

    The only issue I think I have with consolidation of basketball conferences is that the money doesn’t seem to be there to justify it to a large extent.

    When the A-10 (one of the higher quality leagues) is getting $350k per team from TV, that makes it tough to justify expansion on the basis of TV…

    College basketball expansion to me is like the (way old) SoCon or the 90’s WAC as far as football goes; if the money isn’t there, it’s hard to make 16 team conferences work for the smaller schools. All it does is exacerbate travel issues which is a legitimate cost that has to be taken into account (unlike for football schools where travel costs are dwarfed by football/TV revenue to such a large extent).

    • BruceMcF says:

      12 in two divisions with some geographic sanity gives a 16 game conference schedule with home and away in division, home or away cross division, five of eight road games in-division, 96 games in the network inventory. That’s about the same conference inventory as a 10 team 18 game home and away round robin with 90 conference games, and 12-24 (depending on home&home vs payday) extra OOC home games.

      As long as the additional two have enough profile that adding their games doesn’t water down the perceived quality of the inventory.

    • duffman says:


      Basketball is a whole lot cheaper to travel and sponsor than football. Realignment in football is not about expansion it is about contraction. The reverse would be true for basketball in the sense of creating strong local clusters as opposed to the broad reaches of football realignment. When I say 16 team conferences they would be collections of 2 adjoining 8 team divisions. In essence you would have 2 local divisions that play at the end as a regional. The issue with the WAC is how spread out it was and trying to travel and support football which was a much higher dollar expense.

      • zeek says:

        That’s not it.

        I’m talking about the costs of sending non-revenue sports to farther locations in a far-flung conference.

        Creighton sponsors 14 sports (including basketball). That’s 13 other sports to be flying around the East if they join the Catholic 7 for example.

        Of course, the TV deal for that conference will be supportive because the Catholic 7 are putting together a strong group.

        But for a conference like the A-10? How can they justify going to 16 if it involves members that far away. The money isn’t there.

        • Mark says:

          I think the A-10 deal actually varies by school – Tier 3 rights so to speak. The $350k is for the league wide games, but each school has at least 10 games left over. The more popular schools are able to sell these games to increase the money – Xavier has a deal with Fox Sports Ohio, etc. There are also significant NCAA credits in a conference like the A-10 that probably far exceeds the TV money. Add in the gate on home games and these programs are probably closer to break even than the majority of BCS conference schools.

          • BruceMcF says:

            How many NCAA championship appearances have they had in the last six years? Only need 25 or so to be clearly ahead of that kind of TV money.

        • BruceMcF says:

          If the Division is geographically reasonable, for the non-revenue sports played across the conference, you’d be inclined to set up division-heavy scheduling. In soccer, a twenty two game schedule might be home and away with three division rivals, home or away with the balance of the division, home or away with half the opposite division, six OOC regular season games and two mid-season tournament games. That’s two cross division road trips a year.

      • bullet says:

        For whatever reasons, they do seem to be getting larger-A10 & Colonial have supersized. Others seem to be aiming for 12. It could have to do with the sports requirements. With 8-10 schools, its hard to have 6 members for the non-rev sports and schools offer different things.

        • BruceMcF says:

          Yes ~ C-USA has Women’s Rowing with SMU, Tulsa, UCF, plus incoming member Old Dominion{+}, and also Alabama, Tennessee, and Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma and Texas (though there is also a Big 12 championship).

          Of course, none of these went to the national championships last May, with the 16 team field made up of five each from the Pac-12, Big Ten and Ivy League, and UVA from the ACC.

  35. metatron says:

    So why exactly is Nevada not a serious candidate for the P12?

    It’s not a rhetorical question, I legitimately don’t know much about the school.

    • bullet says:

      Its a small school drawing about 20k fans in a lightly populated state. Most of the population is hundreds of miles away in Vegas. They only moved up from the Big Sky in I-AA about 1996.

      • metatron says:

        Okay, that’s less impressive.

        • Richard says:

          UNLV actually has a better case. The Pac could take UNLV & UNM in a world where basketball becomes as valuable as football.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:


            Nevada didn’t even make it into the MWC until this year.

          • duffman says:

            Aside from waiting for better schools in TX, KS, and OK I think the destruction of the PCC in the 50’s would not want the stigma of schools from a state with legal sports gambling. I may be way out on this one but I am guessing guys in their 70’s with legal and academic backgrounds might be more sensitive and that would affect their decisions.

    • zeek says:

      It’s two fold.

      1) What bullet said.

      2) They have no real moves available other than to wait for Texas + 3.

      Getting 4 schools in the Central time zone and two kings (Texas/Oklahoma) is their end game.

      • cfn_ms says:

        I’d say Texas/Oklahoma + whoever is their end game. Doesn’t HAVE to be x number of Central schools, that’s more what Texas/Oklahoma would want as opposed to anything the Pac-12 themselves really care about.

        • ccrider55 says:

          Sorta agree, but believe some schools will always be a no go. If Baylor was acceptable there would have been a 16 team conference two years ago, and Utah would still be looking to move up.

  36. vp19 says:

    Today marks an anniversary of sorts, for it was precisely three years ago that the Big Ten set the latest round of realignment in motion. A good feature about it is here: http://www.kansascity.com/2012/12/14/3966152/conference-realignment-frenzy.html?storylink=digger-topic

    • zeek says:

      Pretty amazing that within 3 years of the Big Ten announcement the WAC and Big East have completely fallen, and the MWC has basically become sort of become to the Pac-12 what the MAC is to the Big Ten.

      But then again, all of the moves to date have been fairly sensible.

      The Big Ten, SEC, and Pac-12 all expanded their footprints with large state schools and an eye to cable $.

      The Big 12’s footprint has become Texas + much smaller states, and the ACC has finished absorbing most of the Big East and given ND a safe haven.

      The next moves are a lot harder from here; it’s almost like the easy moves are all off the table now. Going beyond 14 for the Big Ten and SEC in particular involves a lot of tradeoffs depending on the schools pursued.

  37. Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

    Does the dissolution of the Big East finally open the door for a best of the rest ‘All American Conference’?

    The former Big East FB schools are currently untethered, does it make more sense for the most valuable C-USA & MWC teams to split off and join them for a 16-18 team conference with self contained divisions in the east & west?

    • BruceMcF says:

      The conference they have proposed is UConn, UC, Temple, USF, Boise State, USDS, UNLV, New Mexico, Memphis and BYU/UCF (I presume when they say “BYU or UCF”, they mean, “We’d like BYU, but if they turn us down, we’ll go with UCF”). What six schools could you add to that which would increase the total market value of the conference ~ football and basketball combined ~ by 3/5. If you can’t add 3/5 again to the market value of the league, why add 3/5 again to the membership?

      There might be two that would increase the net value of the league ~ and from the perspective of an AD, travel costs and complications for non-revenue sports might enters into that ~ for a six team West and a six team East. That is two that add 1/5 to the value of the league. A big part of that is whether BYU says yes or no ~ if they say yes, then USF may be a reasonable add for the Eastern division and you are just asking what is the best add for the Western division.

      But they have to maintain “clearly the best of the mid majors” position in football and a solid position in basketball. That is the juggling act that destroyed the Big East. Perhaps a ten team all sports conference can hang together where a larger hybrid league could not.

      • Mack says:

        Does a proposal that includes New Mexico (a team that has won only 1 MWC game in each of the last 4 years) and UNLV (a team that draws only 15K per game) pass the smell test? Both are weaker in everything (TV, fan base, recruiting) than most of the future BE schools not on the list (Navy, Houston, UCF, SMU, ECU, Tulane). If this was serious the MWC names should be Air Force, Nevada, Colorado State. Looks like all smoke and no fire.

        • Richard says:

          UNM and UNLV are both strong in basketball. That’s the juggling act that Bruce spoke of.

          • Mack says:

            Since football pays the bills, the Big East needs the best football teams if it is going to remain the 6th best conference. Will Boise State or SDSU stick with UCONN and Cincinnati if two MWC bottom feeders are added? Boise State can create a better conference by taking the top of the MWC with a couple of Texas teams. A new conference will get rid of the bad MWC TV deal, the olympic sport issues, etc.

            There are legal issues with invites the Big East has made. Schools left out will sue the Big East for damages since these can be paid out of the exit fees collected. The Catholic schools do not want legal issues with ECU/SMU/etc. They want to take the money and run and leave the Big East mess to the football members.

          • bullet says:

            Noone will sue or win if they did. UConn sued the ACC in 2005, got it kicked out, and look where they are now.

          • Mack says:

            The BE sued TCU and got $5M claiming the invite was binding (also got $20M from WV on the notice clause). The invite is a direct contract between the BE and SMU, ECU, UCF, Houston, etc. No one will sue because the BE will honor all the current invites.

          • BruceMcF says:

            Football pays a lot of bills, but it also generates lots of bills to pay. And if the majority of the revenue for the new “Prince of Mid-Majors” football conference will come from football, it can expect 30% to 40% to come from Basketball if it can also be a Major basketball conference.

            But to do so, the in-conference strength of schedule has to be strong enough to generate NCAA tournament invitations.

            As far as current Sagarin basketball rankings (I leave 10yr averages to Nate Silver), the 11 names set forward (BYU/UCF “possible”) are:

            Cincinnati 87.78 (14) Big East
            SDSU 85.09 (28) MWC
            UNLV 85.09 (29) MWC
            New Mexico 83.86 (35) MWC
            Temple 83.77 (37) A-10
            Memphis 83.14 (41) C-USA
            UConn 82.14 (52) Big East
            Boise State 80.81 (62) MWC
            BYU* 79.53 (77) West Coast ~ possible
            UCF* 79.12 (78) C-USA ~ possible
            USF 77.39 (97) Big East

            Assuming conservatively UCF rather than BYU, that’s a simple conference average of 82.8, a weighted average of 82.99, compared to weighted averages of:

            84.77 Big Ten
            — 82.99 Proposed New Conference —
            82.37 Current Big East
            82.16 ACC
            81.41 Big 12
            80.46 MWC
            80.29 Pac-12
            79.74 SEC
            78.35 A-10

            In football, well, its a conference of no kings, three to four princes, three to four contenders, and three to four pretenders. Current ratings, again:

            78.62 BYU* (34) Independent ~ possible
            77.12 Boise State (42) MWC
            74.89 Cinci (45) Big East
            73.86 SDSU (50) MWC
            71.57 UCF* (60) C-USA ~ possible
            63.29 USF (93) Big East
            62.64 UConn (100) Big East
            61.68 Temple (104) Big East
            56.68 New Mexico (135) MWC
            56.65 Memphis (136) C-USA
            54.43 UNLV (147) MWC

            That’s a weighted average strength of 64.96-65.57 (UCF vs BYU). Take Sangarin’s Top 10 conferences (well, Top 9 and Independents as a Group ~ when NMState and Idaho State join I-A Independents, their weighted strength will drop):

            1 BIG 12 (A) = 82.35 82.07 ( 1) 10 82.25 ( 1)
            2 SOUTHEASTERN (A) = 81.16 80.89 ( 2) 14 80.99 ( 2)
            3 PAC-12 (A) = 79.62 78.60 ( 3) 12 79.06 ( 3)
            4 BIG TEN (A) = 75.79 75.05 ( 4) 12 75.23 ( 4)
            5 I-A INDEPENDENTS (A) = 73.43 73.68 ( 5) 4 73.41 ( 5)
            6 BIG EAST (A) = 70.06 69.43 ( 6) 8 69.47 ( 6)
            7 ATLANTIC COAST (A) = 68.91 69.24 ( 7) 12 69.13 ( 7)
            — 64.96-65.57 Proposed New Conference
            8 WESTERN ATHLETIC (A) = 64.24 64.47 ( 8) 7 64.38 ( 8)
            9 SUN BELT (A) = 63.72 63.55 ( 10) 10 63.59 ( 10)
            10 MOUNTAIN WEST (A) = 63.31 64.09 ( 9) 10 63.90 ( 9)

            Splitting the Automatic Access Majors and Mid-Majors, just as they aim to do.

    • bullet says:

      That’s what it sounds like in their statement of a “national football conference.”

      • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

        For the record I hadn’t seen the SI story claiming UC & UConn are floating the idea when I posted. I was actually working under the assumption that those two would be be in the ACC to replace defections.

        It’s just that if some sort of east/west mega merger between the best of the leftovers is to actually occur this is by far the best opportunity.

  38. Arch Stanton says:

    Butler just played like an invite to join the Big East Catholic schools’ new conference was on the line!
    88-86 over Indiana, in overtime.

    • BoilerTex says:

      As a proud Butler grad, I certainly hope so but do they get an invite being the token Protestant school? I think they fit in much better with the CYO than the A10. Let’s hope they get the kiss on the ring.

      • zeek says:

        I think they’re almost a lock for an invite to join the Catholic 7.

        Butler is like the Boise State of basketball. They have the strongest brand right now of the non-Big 5 schools.

        • Richard says:

          Xavier and Gonzaga (and UConn & Memphis, since you evidently aren’t counting the BE schools either) say hello.

          However, Butler should be as much of a lock for the new conference as Xavier.

          • zeek says:

            Yeah, I excluded UConn and Memphis as football schools even though they aren’t Big 5. I just mean to say that their back-to-back championship game appearances have given them so much brand recognition of late.

      • @BoilerTex – I’m about 99% sure that Butler is getting invited by the Catholic 7. The only one that is more of a lock than them is Xavier.

        • bullet says:

          The risk for Xavier is that the Catholic 7 work out a deal with the secular UCs-Cincy and Connecticut.

          • Richard says:

            Too unlikely, IMHO.

          • Mark says:

            If they wanted to be associated with UC and UConn, they could have just stayed!

          • BruceMcF says:

            Then they’d have to play their football as an associate member of the MAC. They are too ambitious for that. And the Basketball schools do not want to wait around on the back burner as the fallback option in case UC and UConn cannot get their new Mid-Major-Plus conference up and running ~ they want a lineup finalized in the next few months, while attention is on college basketball. They do not want to finalize their lineup in the middle of summer.

          • bullet says:

            The UCs aren’t the issue. Its constantly expanding for other schools. UCF, Tulane, SMU. Villanova was very opposed to Temple.

          • Richard says:


            The Catholic basketball schools (other than ‘Nova) have no problem with Temple. It’s adding schools like Tulane (& UCF & SMU) in basketball that makes them want to leave.

            BTW, I don’t think Cincy would be attractive to the basketball schools when Xavier is just as big a brand locally and nationally & is a better cultural fit. You’d have a better case for UConn as a partial member.

          • BruceMcF says:

            So Temple as a member playing football elsewhere faces pushback from one founder, and UConn as a member playing football elsewhere is not on because its football ambitions are higher than that.

          • bullet says:

            Who says they would have to play in the MAC? The new conference might well take them as a football only member. ECU, Navy and UCF are the only available schools in the east with better attendance than the UCs. Noone else is particularly close to those 5. I think a new conference would almost certainly take them. The issue is whether the C7 would want the complications of a fb member who would constantly be looking for a new home.

          • BruceMcF says:

            But if UC and UConn are playing football in the new conference that they are proposing, which would be, if anything, STRONGER in basketball than the new BBall-only league … why wouldn’t they also want to play basketball in that league?

            UC and UConn trying to get UNLV, New Mexico on board and keeping Memphis out of the C-USA transfer schools only makes sense if UC and UConn then proceed to play basketball against them.

            To me, the notion of UC and UConn wanting to play basketball in the BBall-only breakaway implies that the league they are trying to put together does not, in fact, work out.

          • bullet says:

            Big Country Eastern division is not going to be anywhere near as strong as the Catholic 7’s conference in basketball. And its doubtful its as strong even with the western division. Plus you keep 30 year + rivalries.

            I suspect the Catholic 7 won’t be interested, so its probably a moot point.

          • Peter says:

            It’s pretty clear the C7 schools have had it with FBS football. I’m not expecting them to take ANY member in their new conference that plays FBS football.

            UConn & Cincy are just in trouble, that’s all. There’s no rule that they have to get a good outcome.

          • @Peter – I think that will be ultimate conclusion. I’m sure that they’ll listen if UConn and Cincinnati really want to join up with them, but when the main point was to split off to avoid problems with football instability, the C7 schools would be inviting that instability with the 2 most likely programs that could move up to one of the 5 power conferences.

          • frug says:

            I don’t see the C7 inviting UConn or Cincy, but I one benefit of doing so would be to gain significant leverage in their exit negotiations since they would have the 2 FB votes they would need to dissolve the conference (or threaten to).

          • Nathan says:

            If the Big East Rump truly wants to be a cross country football conference then they should become a football only conference, and have all their members join other leagues for Basketball / Olympic sports. The hybrid football vs. non football created instability; assuming a new hybrid model (football only vs full member) will be more stable is a bit ludicrous. Plus, keeping non-football local should keep travel costs down.

            This would allow Cinci/Uconn to join the fleeing Catholics for non-football sports *and* stay in a somewhat not shit football conference.

          • BruceMcF says:

            If the point is to generate a league with maximum combined market value, it would be a football and basketball conference.

            But idea of a football/basketball conference only would save a lot of overhead costs in Olympic and etc. sports.

  39. zeek says:

    @BrendanPrunty: Spoke to 2 sources re: 7 Big East hoops schools targeting Xavier, Butler, Dayton, Creighton as new members for league 27 minutes ago


    That’s a really solid group of 4. Probably as perfect a fit with those 7; still not sure of whether they go to 10 or 12 though at this point.

  40. frug says:

    A-10 knows it is now in trouble.


    Presidents of the Atlantic 10 conference have scheduled a meeting for next Thursday with the intent of solidifying commitments from its membership, The Post has learned

    According to a person with direct knowledge of the meeting, the A-10, aware of the impending Big East split, is concerned that St. Louis, Dayton and Xavier have “one foot out the door.”

    A Post source also said that Creighton has been contacted by representatives of the seven Catholic schools that are leaving the Big East. Those schools are seeking to bolster a “western division” that would include DePaul, Marquette and Creighton. Duquesne has also become a program of interest.

    • zeek says:

      A-10 reminds me of the Big 12 circa 2009-2010.

      I’m reminded of Beebe discussing a 22 team conference with Scott in order to save all of the Big 12 schools; Scott obviously decided to just offer the 6 most valuable teams spots in his conference instead of going any further with a merger.

      That’s similar to the A-10 talking up a big game on a 21 team conference the past week or two.

      In reality, it’s better for the Catholic-7 to swoop in and take the most valuable teams in order to really set themselves apart from other basketball conferences as the top dog of the non-Big 5 conferences.

    • Richard says:

      Duquesne over SLU (or Richmond or VCU) makes no sense.

      • zeek says:

        Catholic politics (in the group of 7) at play?

        • zeek says:

          What I mean by that is, think about the traits of those 4 schools; it might be necessary to placate one faction of the group of 7.

          We call them the Catholic 7 but they aren’t all exactly the same to begin with, there may be differences of opinions at work here.

        • Richard says:

          SLU’s Catholic as well.

          Basically, if Xavier and Butler are in, there is no reason to consider Duquesne even if you want the rest to be Catholic and and want to go to 12, as you still have Dayton, Creighton, and SLU. None of them would reject the Catholic league either, except for possibly Creighton (and I consider that a small possibility).

          • bullet says:

            Divisions. There are 5 eastern schools. Dayton & Xavier would be next most eastern. But if Butler being private is ok, you should go for Northeastern over Duquesne.

          • BruceMcF says:

            It could have been Duquesne contacted them. Not being rejected out of hand would then make them a “program of interest” in the sense of being on the long list, if not yet on the short list.

            It would seem likely that out of their original short list, they’ll see what yes’s they have, and if they need an additional school, they’ll need to run the rule over what potential additional candidates offer the conference.

          • Richard says:

            bullet, I can never understand your fascination with programs have get little to no support.

            Richmond is a better eastern alternative than Northeastern in every way.

          • bullet says:

            Look at where the Big East started. Virtually none of them had much support. The original A-10 (post PSU) didn’t have any schools with gyms that wouldn’t embarrass an Indiana high school. Xavier, Dayton, Richmond, St. Louis are newer additions. They played good enough basketball to attract attention and draw those schools.

            So a Northeastern or Detroit would get significantly more support in the BE than they do now. They would also have more attractive opponents coming in.

            Its also the pattern the BE followed when creating themselves. They went after the various eastern markets. The A10 basically copied that model. Its more or less what the BE football conference tried to do, but on a larger geographic scale with fewer options. So if they did it before, they might well try to do it again. For that matter, its what the BE did in their 2005 additions. Cincinnati and USF were picked for potential, not their fan support at the time or their success.

    • Andy says:

      So something like:


      St. John’s
      Seton Hall


      Saint Louis

      Maybe they want Duquesne for the Pittsburgh market?

      • Richard says:

        Markets don’t matter as much as basketball quality because this conference will get more money from NCAA units than TV.

        Thus they will not exclude Butler. Of course, Indy isn’t a smaller market than Pittsburgh anyway.

      • @Andy – I think that’s how the league will look except that Duquesne would get swapped out for Butler (and as a result, there won’t be divisions). The urban/private angle will be more important than the Catholic angle.

        • BruceMcF says:

          If they want divisions for scheduling, it seems like Dayton would be willing to join that conference as an Eastern member. They’d still get a conference home game against either X or Butler, every season.

        • Mike R says:

          No way the Catholic affiliation of the 7 should keep out schools that fit institutionally but have a different or secular affiliation, especially if (like Butler) they offer extraordinary value. If they are eyeing Gonzaga, the BE7 should also look at membership for BYU.

      • bullet says:

        The Catholic Big East needs to figure out what it wants to be. I think they need to strengthen themselves in the east where they are still the premier conference. DePaul had more success than Illinois for a while but still wasn’t more popular than Illinois. Marquette has a better basketball program than Wisconsin but is still #2. 2 final 4 appearances haven’t changed the pecking order in Indiana-#1 IU, #2 PU while Butler is probably 4th. Overloading on midwest teams is not what they should do.

        I don’t think they should stretch their geography. St. Louis doesn’t exactly make the NCAA every year. So I would take Detroit to fill in the conference. I would skip Creighton and find an eastern team. Duquesne has sometimes been really horrible and never been good. So I would look for someone like Northeastern or Richmond. Richmond has more fan support and success. Northeastern has had some success and gives you a piece of Boston with the possibility of becoming the premier program in Boston, the way Georgetown, Villanova, St. John’s and Providence are in their markets. If Duquesne had been decent, I would probably prefer them to Detroit to further strengthen the conference in the east while putting them in the western division of the conference.

        They seem to understand getting basketball first schools, but may still be putting together a random combination of good basketball schools without figuring out what makes the most sense long run. They need to look at divisions and figure out what locations need to be strengthened. Find good basketball schools, but not necessarily the best basketball schools (if they are going for best, Creighton probably makes a 12 team Catholic East).

        So this is what I would do, not a prediction. The newspaper reports indicate a random combination of good basketball schools is what they are likely to do.

        • Michael in Raleigh says:


          Is Georgetown #1 in its market, over Maryland? I honestly do not know, but I’ve always thought of UMD as the clear #1, with Georgetown a solid #2 and the other area schools (GW, Mason) a tier below. Maybe the difference between MD and G’town in DC popularity isn’t too stark, much in the way UNC, Duke, and NCSU all have substantial attention around here, but UNC is still the most popular basketball school.

          As for Northeastern becoming the #1 basketball school of interest in Boston, that would seem difficult to make possible. Boston College is the only true big-time athletics program in the area, but they, too, struggle mightily for attention in that area. Northeastern seems as though it would be the fifth most popular college basketball team in Boston (after BC, Boston U, Harvard, and UMass).

          Wouldn’t already solid programs like Xavier, Dayton, Butler, and even VCU make more sense?

          • Nemo says:

            Let’s put it this way… John Thompson has said that Georgetown will play Maryland again only after he’s dead. It could be a natural rivalry but Thompson will have none of it.

          • bullet says:

            Because noone dominates Boston, it leaves room for someone to move up. Villanova has zoomed well ahead of the rest of the Big 5 since they moved to the Big East. Georgetown & Seton Hall have significantly increased their profile in the Big East.

            Xavier, Dayton and Butler should be the 1st 3. There’s an argument for Richmond over a Boston school. VCU’s success is less long lived than Richmond and as a public school, they may be tempted like their former Sun Belt rivals to start FBS football at some point. (ODU, Charlotte, UAB, USF and South Alabama have, WKU played football but has moved to FBS, Jacksonville, the lone private school, has non-scholarship football-only VCU hasn’t of the 8). I think the Catholic East should fortify the east rather than heading into the great plains. St. Louis hasn’t had the success of Xavier, Dayton and Butler, so they really don’t add enough IMO to justify extending your territory.

          • bullet says:

            What I’m suggesting is similar to what the B1G is doing with Maryland and Rutgers. Get Georgetown, Villanova and St. John’s playing in as many of the big metro areas as possible.

          • vp19 says:

            And Georgetown hasn’t had the courage to schedule George Washington — a campus barely a mile away — in about 30 years, but the Hoyas never get called to the carpet for that. In the early ’60s, Maryland, GW and Georgetown used to face each other twice per season; no one is calling for a return to that, but it would be great if the trio would meet once a year. Heck, add George Mason to that, too.

            In terms of pure basketball talent, Washington has it all over Philadelphia, but at least the Philly schools don’t duck each other — which is why it’s a better college basketball town than D.C. Egos don’t get in the way.

        • @bullet – I look at it the opposite way: the Midwest is where there’s a lot of unlocked potential compared to the East (where you’re dealing with a lot more competition and the old Big East having held a lot of the other Northeastern privates down). Outside of Richmond (which I agree would be an excellent choice), it’s pretty slim pickings when looking at private school options in the East. UMass and VCU exist as public school options, but they don’t fit the institutional profile that the Catholic 7 are seeking very well. In contrast, Xavier, Dayton and Creighton have fan support levels that plenty of power conference programs would love to have for their own basketball teams, St. Louis has a good market with a nice new arena, and Butler obviously has some spectacular on-the-court success over the past few years.

          Also, I don’t see the possible choices of SLU and Creighton, in particular, as random. In fact, what seems to be the most likely scenario is effectively an urban private school overlap of the Big Ten footprint. I definitely know that from DePaul’s perspective, it sees itself as having a lot more in common institutionally with SLU and Creighton compared to Detroit (which is a very small school that’s about half the size of Butler and has little hoops history). If there’s a pure geographic fit, Duquesne would fit the bill, but as you’ve noted, they’ve really been terrible on-the-court. I think adding SLU, Creighton, Xavier, Dayton and Butler would be pretty logical additions and it would make the league contiguous state-wise with the exception of Providence (where Rhode Island is a very small jump over Connecticut from New York).

          • Richard says:

            I agree, Frank. To add to this, Boston & Detroit already have popular NBA clubs. For basketball fans in StL, there’s only SLU. They’re already drawing pretty well despite not having much in the way of name opponents in the A10 or any local rivalries; imagine if they were in the Catholic League.

          • bullet says:

            I don’t think the BE should become more Great Midwest than Big East and take on the Big 10 on their home turf. Preferable would be at least one school to strengthen the east, their home turf, from the limited ACC and Big 10 incursions. By “random” I’m really talking about location. St. Louis does have the advantage of being a big league city without the NBA. Creighton has a good history of success. But there are gaps that could be filled. And are they really considering adding Gonzaga? One school thousands of miles away?

          • @bullet – I agree about Gonzaga. Unless this league is going to have a full fledged western division (e.g. BYU, Gonzaga, St. Mary’s, Pepperdine, etc.), then having them out there alone would be troubling to me even though it has such a fantastic program. Creighton, on the other hand, isn’t a stretch at all, especially if SLU is added. Even though this league would be competing with the Big Ten in a lot of markets, these schools generally have very strong fan bases (and that has been with weaker Atlantic 10 or Missouri Valley Conference teams rolling into town). Comparing the fan support for Creighton, Dayton and Xavier (all of which average over 10,000 people per game, which most power conference schools aren’t even able to do) to Detroit is like comparing the fan support for Nebraska to Boston College – you can make all of the market arguments all you want, but they’re not in the same hemisphere. Richmond is really the only eastern option that has the combo of on-the-court history and a consistent fan base. The New York state and New England-based options are generally “bleh” and St. John’s/Providence/etc. don’t want the competition, anyway. I’d have to agree with Richard that Detroit (whether you’re talking about the school or the market itself) isn’t really a connector from the Midwest to the East (Ohio and Western Pennsylvania serve that role), so there really isn’t much of a practical difference to Georgetown or St. John’s to going to St. Louis vs. Detroit. My conversations with Georgetown and Villanova people indicate that they are actually very much against getting more Eastern regional members – they’d much rather be bringing Creighton into town (and it’s not just a fan-based argument, but rather that the larger footprint will be very much an advantage in terms of revenue and long-term growth).

          • Richard says:

            Where we disagree, Bullet, is that I don’t think there are gaps that can be filled in the East (short of inviting in UConn). Adding Northeastern or BU is not going to deliver Boston to the Catholic League.

          • @Richard – Yeah, Northeastern and BU look good on paper, but they’re pretty worthless to the Catholic League unless they believe that they can get enough members to form their own hockey league. Plus, Providence is within spitting distance to Boston. With NYC, Philly and DC covered, the East Coast is actually already very covered by the Catholic League. In essence, they’re the inverse of the Big Ten: the Catholic League’s growth is going to come from adding schools in the Midwest as opposed to the East.

          • By the way, it’s telling that neither Northeastern nor BU have even been able to get invites to the Atlantic 10 despite being large schools right in line with that league’s footprint and located in a massive market. Believe me, I’ve been researching their metrics in putting together my thoughts on the Catholic League since the Boston market itself is so attractive, but they both truly have abysmal basketball support. It’s too bad since either of those schools would be great fits with the Catholic 7 as institutions (even though they’re not Catholic, they’re major private urban universities).

            On a side note, I don’t think there has been any school that has had as much of a meteoric rise in the US News rankings as Northeastern. While rankings changes have generally been glacial in that publication, Northeastern has gone from #96 in 2008 to #56 this year. Rising 40 spots in that short of a time is absolutely stunning. They used to be nowhere close to BU in the rankings, but now they’re only 5 spots behind.

          • BruceMcF says:

            Though one or the other may be getting that invite to the A-10 for about the time that they lose most of their best schools to the Basketball Big East.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            “While rankings changes have generally been glacial in that publication, Northeastern has gone from #96 in 2008 to #56 this year. Rising 40 spots in that short of a time is absolutely stunning.”
            @Frank – Possible ‘gaming the system’ red flag there.

        • Richard says:


          Detroit is no closer than SLU to the other Midwestern cities with BE schools or future BE schools (Milwaukee, Detroit, Indy, & Cincy) & both StL and Detroit are a plane ride from the East Coast, so taking Detroit over SLU “because it wouldn’t expand the footprint” is an asinine reason.

          Also, I’m pretty certain that Marquette basketball is just as popular or more so than Wisconsin basketball in Milwaukee.

          • bullet says:

            I fail to understand how you can’t grasp that Detroit is closer to DC & NY than St. Louis is. Market penetration is important. If you think penetrating a broad market is asinine, then you must love the new CUSA. You probably love the new Big East which just disentegrated as it spread across the USA and chose to expand its footprint instead of strengthening itself in its primary region, where, it could get synergy instead of having little islands of insignificance resulting in an insignificant TV contract.

            You also probably love the idea of the B1G taking Georgia Tech along with someone like UVA so the B1G can become insignificant in Georgia and contribute to Georgia Tech becoming more insignificant in Atlanta.

          • @bullet – I understand what you’re saying from a pure geographical perspective (although I personally don’t think a new Big East that goes out to Creighton is really as spread out as you’re making it out to be, as adding Xavier, Butler, SLU, Creighton, Dayton and/or Richmond makes it into a completely contiguous league with the exception of Providence having a short drive through Connecticut to get to New York). Detroit just isn’t on the radar, though. As someone that has paid quite a bit of attention to the Midwestern Catholic basketball schools all of my life, Detroit has never been considered as part of the “in” crowd – they’re way down on the totem pole. It would be akin to the Big 12 adding Cincinnati simply to add a market and act as a bridge to West Virginia – there’s a decent argument for it in theory, but no one in the Big 12 actually wants to do that in practice. On the other hand, Xavier, Dayton and SLU always have been in that group (which is why they’re all in the Atlantic 10 together and Notre Dame, DePaul and Marquette were in the Big East). Those schools can and will sell a lot of tickets in Chicago and Milwaukee. There are also a number of Midwestern private schools (Duquense, Drake, Loyola University Chicago, Bradley, Valpo) that would probably be considered before Detroit.

          • Richard says:

            I fail to understand how you can’t grasp that both Detroit & St. Louis are a plane ride away from the East Coast.

            Also, are you seriously suggesting that Detroit Mercy would provide any synergies with any East Coast school or would help penetrate any markets (including it’s own)? Seriously?

            In the Midwest, do I need to repeat again that Detroit is no closer than SLU to the other Midwestern cities with BE schools or future BE schools (Milwaukee, Detroit, Indy, & Cincy)? How is Detroit (with their basketball program that is far worse than SLU’s) going to provide more synergies with the other Midwestern schools than SLU?

            You actually believe that people in Toledo will care about this new conference because Detroit (which they don’t care about now) will be in it instead of SLU?

            Are you unaware of the fact that these are not state schools we’re talking about (and thus the analogy with B10 expansion breaks down), and that outside of their own local markets, nobody cares about them? The difference between Detroit and SLU is that at least StL cares a bit about the Billikens (while I doubt you can find anyone in Detroit who cares about Detroit Mercy basketball).

          • Richard says:

            To add to Frank’s point, the Catholics taking Detroit over SLU would be more like the B12 taking Memphis over Clemson.

          • bullet says:

            I agree Creighton isn’t a stretch like Tulane in nbe or Gonzaga. Its just that there are attractive gaps like Michigan, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Cleveland and upstate New York. The latter 3 basically have Duquesne caliber schools in basketball (unless UConn and SU come back or Kent drops fb and joins). The Catholic 7 will mostly get ignored in Michigan. There’s an advantage to press coverage. They can, of course, play schools in those areas, but you don’t get the year round coverage when a team is competing in a conference. And its good to have a presence in those markets when you go to TV execs.

            And, of course, there is travel for the many other sports for the eastern 5. This conference will not be getting $20 million a year. Is Creighton worth the extra travel vs. an eastern school with potential? If putting together strong basketball programs with institutional fit and no duplication (i.e. no St. Joesephs) were the only criteria, St. Louis, Creighton and Richmond are probably the only 3 you would consider (after Xavier, Dayton and Butler). IMO, the other factors favor a decent basketball program with potential that is in key metro areas and reduces travel.

          • @bullet – That might be where our disconnect is – if you’re assuming that this league is going to make less than $20 million per year, then yes, travel costs become a larger factor. However, from what I hear, people are going to be surprised by what ESPN and other networks are going to be willing to pay. $2 million per year per school is considered to be a midrange target, which would mean that the league is worth $20 to 24 million per year, while $3 million is the upper target ($30 to 36 million per year), which really isn’t a stretch considering that ESPN is paying $33 million per year for Big East basketball (which admittedly had included Syracuse, ND, etc., but was also signed in pre-bubble market times in 2006 when the Big East was desperate to sign anything for survival). As a result, the Catholic 7 aren’t approaching this league as a cost cutting measure at all. They are absolutely looking for additions that will provide revenue because the ability to realize such revenue is definitely there. That puts aside the fact that the NCAA Tournament credits are actually even a larger deal for a conference of this size than the TV money – history says that this is a league that can garner multiple bids per year, so adding deadweight for the sake of geography simply isn’t in the cards. All of that together is actually very good money for these athletic departments even though they don’t have football teams (they might not get that football revenue, but they’re also not dealing with the football expenses).

          • bullet says:

            Detroit not getting an A10 invite is a relevant indication. But for the Boston schools, UMass wouldn’t want them, so the A10 not inviting them doesn’t say much. Northeastern did get invited to the Colonial.

          • BruceMcF says:

            Line of sight distances
            Cincinnati/DET 238 miles, Cincinnati/STL 314 miles, +30%
            Dayton/DET 187 miles, Dayton/STL 338 miles, +80%
            Indianapolis/DET 234 miles, Indianapolis/STL, 236 miles, ~equal
            Milwaukee/DET 251 miles, Milwaukee/STL, 328 miles, +30% (~equal on dogleg)

            NYC/DET 484 miles, NYC/STL 877 miles, +80%
            DC/DET 397 miles, DC/STL 713 miles, +80%

            The cross-division distance does have some salience ~ the basketball teams may fly for those games, but the Olympic sports teams may well bus it.

            At those distances, though, it would seem to be a secondary factor, after first considering market value on the TV contract and SoS in NCAA tournament bids.

          • bullet says:

            I was using hyperbole saying they wouldn’t earn $20 million a year–per school. I’d be surprised if they couldn’t get over $20 million in total. I think we pretty much agree. Its just that you are weighing fan support and current & historical basketball success heavier while I am weighing proximity, lower travel costs and markets heavier. If you are making $20 million a year per school, travel is a much smaller issue. If you are a private school without the endowment of Notre Dame (or Georgetown), it gets to be a bigger issue.

            Maybe we disagree a little on Northeastern’s and Detroit Mercy’s potential, but not on their present. They’re solid, but clearly below St. Louis, Creighton, Butler, Dayton and Xavier.

          • bullet says:

            I’d also add that, while its probably not an issue given that some of the Catholic 7 are in down cycles, there is such a thing as too strong a conference. And I think part of the reason the Catholic 7 are down is because the Big East had too many basketball powers. You always want competitive programs, but not necessarily the strongest options.

          • Mike R says:

            The conference can’t really be “too strong.” NCAA tournament appearances are going to be a huge part of the C7’s revenue model.

          • BruceMcF says:

            If they go for a 12 team league, I don’t see them making less than $1m/team in NCAA unit revenue. If the number one price for an amicable divorce being that the rebadged Big East forward “their” units to the new conference, it wouldn’t take six years to accumulate NCAA unit revenue (that’s one of the biggest tools the NCAA has to discourage revolving chairs ~ AFAIU, they told the MWC and Conference-USA that if they merged, they’d have to all join one or the other, and lose the units and other income pending to the other).

            So if they get $2m/team TV, make that $3m/team payout.

          • Richard says:


            There is no way that “Duquesne-level” and “attractive” should be equated with each other. Maybe to the Horizon League, but not a league as aspires to and has the program strength to be one of the Big6 in basketball.

            Also, if the B12 expands, would you rather take Tulane than FSU? Tulane’s much closer and, after all, FSU might be “too strong” for you guys in Texas. . . .

    • morganwick says:

      I have a hunch the A-10 may attempt to reach out to Temple and UConn. UConn will reject them out of hand; Temple will at least give it some thought. If it becomes apparent that the Corpse of the Big East is going to go all-in on football (and the South), Temple may be tempted to go back to its old A-10/MAC status quo.

      • zeek says:

        Naw, I think Temple’s learned from their recent experience with the MAC/A-10 that they have to try to stay with the most relevant group of schools.

        That means sticking it out with Boise State/UConn/Cincy/Houston/SMU/UCF/USF. They don’t really have a choice.

        • BruceMcF says:

          The group UConn and Cincinnati are trying to put together is

          Uconn / Cincy / Temple / USF ~ Big East
          Boise State / SDSU / New Mexico / UNLV ~ MWC
          Memphis ~ C-USA
          And possibly either BYU (independent, former MWC) or UCF (C-USA).

          I’d say BYU is more likely ~ not that BYU is necessarily likely to say yes, but if they DO say yes, then it would be likely to happen.

        • BruceMcF says:

          While just the incoming football members promised for 2013 or 2014 would be a weak BBall conference, and would make the scenario of Temple playing as an associate in football and basketball in a stronger BBall-centric conference more appealing …

          … the list that Cincy/UConn set out would be as strong in basketball in line with the conference the BBall-only schools are putting together, so it would make that scenario of Temple bolting for the BBall-only schools less likely.

  41. vp19 says:

    I’ve been searching for this for some time, and finally found it — a guest column I wrote for the Diamondback, the Maryland student newspaper, suggesting the university pursue Big Ten membership on Feb. 1, 2010:


    (I am a 1977 graduate and former Diamondback sports editor.)

    I show this not to boast about my prescience or say “I told you so,” but strictly as perspective. Note that in early 2010, College Park had a different president, athletic director, football and men’s basketball coach — and the budget woes that resulted in the end of several sports programs had yet to arrive.

    At the time, few at Maryland agreed with the idea of changing conferences, perhaps because the very concept seemed so out of the blue (heck, if there was any talk of a conference switch in early 2010, it was to the Big East, an idea that made no more sense then than it does now). Thanks to conference moves all over the place, that’s certainly not the case anymore, and aside from some grandstanding media, people have become somewhat more understanding of the whys and wherefores of conference shifts.

  42. Jericho says:

    Is there any life to UConn to the ACC?

    Here’s why I ask. Back when the ACC was looking to replace Maryland, credible reports stated that there was at least talk of adding three schools, not just one. The ACC obviously did not go that way, but at least the option was on the table and not dismissed. Ultimately, Louisville got the nod. Allegedly part of the reason was that Louisville leveraged a possible Big 12 invite. There’s some thought that UConn and Cincinnati would always be there if wanted, so there was no rush. Not sure if this was significant factor in choosing Louisville (or even a factor), but there was some talk.

    With the way things are shaping up, there’s a significant chance that UConn and Cincinnati get stuck in a second rate conference. They’ll still be there for an invite, but in what state? This “downgrade” will hurt both football and basketball long term. You’ve seen examples of schools that stepped up their programs upon entering a more difficult program. This is basically the opposite. The programs seem poised to regress. Bottom line, if the ACC had any plans to invite either program, now could be the best time.

    So the ACC would have to make certain choices. Do they even want to go to 16 schools? If so, who would be the primary targets? Is there anyone else out there that the conference can realistically get that’s not UConn or Cincy? If they did make the additions, would it make sense financially? I don’t know the answers to these questions, but I figure it should be explored by the ACC. I wouldn’t be shocked if it’s at least being discussed. None of it means that it will happen, but the outlook does not look strong if those schools end up isolated.

    Just a thought…

    • Richard says:

      Well, adding Cincy & UConn also comes with a risk, which is that it antagonizes the (mostly) southern football powers even more by adding non-brands in football situated far away who do nothing but increase travel costs in sports that they don’t care about.

    • vp19 says:

      There’s also plenty of leftover rancor towards Connecticut as a result of the suit filed against the ACC as a result of the 2003 expansion. I sense some in the conference want Storrs to twist in the wind for as long as possible, especially as a sign of solidarity with Boston College.

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        I don’t want UConn in the ACC due to the lack of need to expand just for expansion’s sake. But begrudging them for a lawsuit from almost 10 years ago is a petty, silly reason not to consider them. UConn may not even have the same AD or president as it did back then.

        • bullet says:

          The attorney general pushing the lawsuit is now CT’s Senator-Blumenthal. Its also a warning to anyone else who wants to file a petty, silly lawsuit.

          A lot of this is built on relationships. Its one of the reasons to consider St. Louis a good shot at the Catholic East. They have been with Marquette and DePaul before.

          • Mark says:

            So the person who brought the lawsuit is now a senator – and you think this is a warning not to bring a lawsuit? Seems to me the lawsuit went just fine for the senator!

          • bullet says:

            But not for UConn. BC basically said, you sued us, so we invited Pitt. You sued us, so we invited Louisville.

          • Mark says:

            I find it almost impossible to believe that UConn wasn’t invited due a lawsuit from years ago that didn’t result in anything. I find the theory that the ACC grabbed UL because they thought UL was a legit Big 12 target to make much more sense.

          • bu2 says:

            There are lots of things in these decisions. Almost none of these are really clear cut. I guarantee it was one of the factors on the negative side of the ledger for UConn. Would you want to partner with someone who had filed a frivilous lawsuit against you?

          • bullet says:

            So it may not have been the only reason, but it was a factor.

        • frug says:

          I know they have a different president, but no clue on the AD.

    • zeek says:

      It’s a worthwhile train of thought that you’re on…

      It’s also worth noting that what you’re talking about was a part of the motivation for the Big Ten to grab Rutgers this time around.

      The Big Ten took them and Maryland as “fixer uppers” so to say considering their budget situations (Maryland’s deficits along with Rutgers’ dependence on transfers/student fees).

      The Big Ten likely made the move in part due to timing around its 2016 TV contract and 2014 playoff payments, but also because it likely did not want to leave Rutgers in a Big East that was effectively being demoted downwards from the BCS tier as all those other schools left and the playoff kicked in.

      There was in fact the possibility that Rutgers would lose value after 2014 if attendance sagged as they got worse opponents visiting (I’d imagine local fans in New Jersey cared a lot more about them playing against Syracuse and Pitt than Houston and SMU) and if their recruiting flagged.

      So yes, there’s definitely a consideration for the fact that these schools are “assets” and they can lose value over time depending on how things go for them financially or on the field in terms of wins and losses or their conference situation.

      • zeek says:

        That’s also why the playoff situation is an underrated element in conference expansion.

        The Big Ten especially timed its expansion on Maryland/Rutgers around the decisions made to establish the 2014 playoffs and the various payments involved. It’s not a coincidence that those two schools are joining right as the playoff is established and the Big East is demoted from BCS.

      • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

        “… it likely did not want to leave Rutgers in a Big East that was effectively being demoted downwards from the BCS tier as all those other schools left and the playoff kicked….”
        @zeek – That is an interesting thought I haven’t seen brought up before.

    • metatron says:

      Fourteen is their holding pattern. Originally they figured FSU and Clemson would leave, but they could always expand to sixteen if they needed to. Now Notre Dame’s in the mix and they’re going to keep a spot open for them, and the scheduling means they need to be a pair.

    • @Jericho – Even though it looks like schools are jumping all over the place with conference realignment, the law of inertia is still generally strong with college administrators. I think observers like us are much more comfortable with the 16-team (or larger) superconference scenarios than university presidents generally are. Sure, if Notre Dame or that level of program wants to join, then conferences seem to be willing to go up to 16, but UConn and Cincinnati aren’t at that level. I’ve never been a believer that expanding for the sake of expanding is a good idea (and I think the ACC adding UConn and Cincinnati other than as replacements for other defections would fall into that category).

  43. GreatLakeState says:

    This guy is giddy about the possibility of a BTEast. He also thinks FSU is the diamond to be mined in the ACC.

    • Brian says:


      For every bit that old school PSU fans might love that plan, OSU fans would hate it more. Stuck in an 8-team division with 1 BE school, 3 ACC members, PSU and only 2 old time B10 members, they would revolt. Those other 2 B10 members would likely complain, too.

      • vp19 says:

        That’s why I think Delany will placate some of the older members by limiting the conference to 16 members, with four rotating pods and one permanent out-of-pod rival (substitutions would be made in years those rivals’ pods meet). For example:

        East: Maryland, Penn State, Rutgers, Virginia
        Central: Michigan, Michigan State, North Carolina, Ohio State
        Midwest: Illinois, Indiana, Northwestern, Purdue
        West: Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Wisconsin

        Permanent rivals:
        Virginia-North Carolina
        Penn State-Nebraska
        Michigan State-Northwestern
        Ohio State-Wisconsin

        Yes, the Central is obviously the strongest pod and the Midwest the weakest, but in a rotating format, this is equalized.

        • Eric says:

          With those teams, I think the more likely set-up is to switch North Carolina and Rutgers and eliminate locked crossovers. Rutgers doesn’t have any real any long standing relationships with the former ACC teams and I think would be content playing Ohio State and Michigan annually.

          Eastern: Penn State, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina
          Central: Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Rutgers
          Midwest: Indiana, Purdue, Illinois, Northwestern
          West: Nebraska, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota

        • Brian says:


          “That’s why I think Delany will placate some of the older members by limiting the conference to 16 members,”

          I don’t see 16 as placating much of anyone. It’s slightly better than 18 or more, but still offensive.

          “with four rotating pods and one permanent out-of-pod rival (substitutions would be made in years those rivals’ pods meet).”

          They could rotate all 4 pods, or keep 2 as anchors and rotate the other 2. For example, they could choose to never pair W and E to reduce travel.

          “For example:

          East: Maryland, Penn State, Rutgers, Virginia
          Central: Michigan, Michigan State, North Carolina, Ohio State
          Midwest: Illinois, Indiana, Northwestern, Purdue
          West: Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Wisconsin”

          Not going to happen. You need more balance in the pods. What media would even cover the Midwest in your setup? Every pod will have a king with the princes spread out.

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

          Locked rivals:
          Obviously the last 4 are flexible and could be swapped around.

          “Yes, the Central is obviously the strongest pod and the Midwest the weakest, but in a rotating format, this is equalized.”

          That’s a fallacy. Having 3 or 4 of the hardest games locked in every year is not balanced out by rotating the pods. The other games reduce the disadvantage, but they don’t eliminate it.

          Besides, there is more to balance than just on the field. How much media attention would the Central pod get in comparison to everyone else? The West lacks population, the East is a cakewalk for PSU and the Central lacks brands. That’s not a wise way to set things up.

          • vp19 says:

            I like your pod setup, and it probably solves more problems than mine.

          • bullet says:

            The WAC 16 is a perfect example of conferences adding schools and then figuring out the divisions later. Its important to consider divisions when adding schools. From the problems many have had, its pretty clear doing so is frequently not done. The Pac 16 was an exception as they had a lot of discussions about scheduling and divisions before finally not deciding to do the deal.

            If the Big 12 expands, it needs to have that discussion as it will have difficulties unless it goes to 16. The B1G and SEC really need to figure out scheduling and divisions before going to 16. The Catholic 7 also need to look at it. In most cases the gap between the school chosen and the alternate is pretty small. Better scheduling and divisions could overcome that small gap.

          • cutter says:

            Brian –

            “That’s why I think Delany will placate some of the older members by limiting the conference to 16 members,”

            Brian: I don’t see 16 as placating much of anyone. It’s slightly better than 18 or more, but still offensive.

            Cutter: Who is a 16-team conference offensive to other than yourself? The Big Ten presidents? The B1G athletic directors? The networks? The east coast alums? The fans who pay for tickets to attend the games in Columbus? The people who still long for the day when the University of Chicago was still playing football in the Big Ten?

            “with four rotating pods and one permanent out-of-pod rival (substitutions would be made in years those rivals’ pods meet).”

            Brian: They could rotate all 4 pods, or keep 2 as anchors and rotate the other 2. For example, they could choose to never pair W and E to reduce travel.

            Cutter: This would be the model the WAC used. They had four quadrants with two of the quadrants permanently assigned or anchored to the Mountain and Coastal Divisions. Did you steal their idea when you wrote that?

            “For example:

            East: Maryland, Penn State, Rutgers, Virginia
            Central: Michigan, Michigan State, North Carolina, Ohio State
            Midwest: Illinois, Indiana, Northwestern, Purdue
            West: Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Wisconsin”

            Brian: Not going to happen. You need more balance in the pods. What media would even cover the Midwest in your setup? Every pod will have a king with the princes spread out.

            Cutter: Why isn’t this going to happen? Why do you need more balance in the pods? If you have anchor division with two kings apiece in them, then why do you need one king in each of the four? The Midwest Division has teams in Illinois and Indiana–would the Chicago and Indianapolis papers not cover them anymore? Is Penn State really a king given its scholarship situation or is merely a prince regent? Does this make Wisconsin a dauphin?


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

            Locked rivals:

            Obviously the last 4 are flexible and could be swapped around.

            Cutter: How does this work with locked rivals? Do you have eight, nine or ten conference games in your setup? Most pod set ups with 16 teams include nine-conference games. If that’s what you’re doing, then how does locked rivals work with this setup? Say your South and East pods are combined and OSU plays seven games against them plus an eighth with locked rival Michigan? Where does the ninth team come from? How do you ensure you have a regular rotation of opponents with your setup? Does your pod setup serve the Big Ten’s focus on demographics? What about establishing the BTN in the mid-Atlantic? Why are the last four locked rivalry games “obviously” flexible? Have you given no real though to those pairings?

            “Yes, the Central is obviously the strongest pod and the Midwest the weakest, but in a rotating format, this is equalized.”

            Brian: That’s a fallacy. Having 3 or 4 of the hardest games locked in every year is not balanced out by rotating the pods. The other games reduce the disadvantage, but they don’t eliminate it.

            Besides, there is more to balance than just on the field. How much media attention would the Central pod get in comparison to everyone else? The West lacks population, the East is a cakewalk for PSU and the Central lacks brands. That’s not a wise way to set things up.

            Cutter: You seem to be ignoring the WAC-type setup you described in all these observations. Perhaps you need to stick to one set up or the other before putting your pods together. Let’s go with nine-conference games and no set inter-division rivals and see what we get.

            First off, let’s think about putting two “kings” as you describe them in the two anchor pods of a WAC-type setup that will be in the two permanent divisions. Michigan and Ohio State go into one of them while Nebraska and Penn State go into the other.

            To make sure that teams get at least one east coast game, two of the “ACC” teams get put into each of the rotating pods. They get joined by a combination of Illinois/Northwestern in one of the rotating pods along with Purdue/Indiana in the other.

            So here’s your four pods:

            Pod A Permanent – Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State
            Pod B Permanent – Iowa, Nebraska, Penn State, Wisconsin

            Pod C Rotating – Indiana, Maryland Purdue, Rutgers
            Pod D Rotating – Illinois, North Carolina, Northwestern, Virginia

            Now where we differ here is on the status of Penn State (king or not?) and Wisconsin (dauphin or prince or whatever you want to call them)? I’d personally flip Minnesota and Penn State and redo the permanent pods as such in order to keep the four western teams together (and playing one another annually):

            Pod A Permanent – Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, Ohio State
            Pod B Permanent – Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Wisconsin

            So here’s what we’d be looking at in terms of divisons and schedule:

            Years 1/2:

            Division A: Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, Purdue, Ohio State, Rutgers

            Division B: Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Carolina, Northwestern, Virginia, Wisconsin

            Ohio State would play all the teams in its division plus two from Pod B Permanent (Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Wisconsin) for nine total games. For scheduling purposes, let’s pair up Nebraska/Minnesota and Iowa/Wisconsin.

            Years 3/4:

            Division A: Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State, North Carolina, Northwestern, Penn State, Ohio State, Virginia

            Division B: Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, Purdue, Rutgers, Wisconsin

            Ohio State would play all the teams in its division plus two from Pod B Permanent using the same set up as above.

            What does this mean for Ohio State on annual basis? Games with Michigan, Penn State, Michigan State and one of Nebraska or Wisconsin. At least one game physically on the East coast (for the Buckeye alums) and maximum of two each year with former BE/ACC teams. Two other games within reachable travel distance from Columbus (either Indiana and Purdue or Illinois and Northwestern).

            Year 1 Ohio State Conference Schedule (4 Home/5 Road): At Indiana, Purdue, At Michigan, Michigan State, At Maryland, Rutgers, At Penn State, Nebraska, At Minnesota

            Year 2 Ohio State Conference Schedule (5 Home/4 Road): Indiana, at Purdue, Michigan, At Michigan State, Maryland, At Rutgers, Penn State, At Nebraska, Minnesota

            Year 3 Ohio State Conference Schedule (4 Home/5 Road): At Illinois, Northwestern, At Michigan, Michigan State, At Virginia, North Carolina, At Penn State, Wisconsin, At Iowa

            Year 4 Ohio State Conference Schedule (5 Home/4 Road): Illinois, At Northwestern, Michigan, At Michigan State, Virginia, At North Carolina, Penn State, At Wisconsin, Iowa

          • Brian says:

            Sorry I was slow to respond, I’ve been busy this week.




            “Brian: I don’t see 16 as placating much of anyone. It’s slightly better than 18 or more, but still offensive.

            Cutter: Who is a 16-team conference offensive to other than yourself?”

            Hundreds of thousands of B10 fans, anyone who wants to play other B10 teams more instead of less, people who prefer regional conferences, people who don’t like superconferences, etc. You know, the people you claimed they would try to placate by stopping at 16. It’s like saying you’ll stop at 3 mistresses to placate your wife.

            “The Big Ten presidents? The B1G athletic directors?”

            Some of them said they wanted to play other B10 schools more, not less, so yes.

            “The networks?”

            Long term, I think they’ll actually dislike superconferences, especially when they add midpack teams at best. The inventory is up, but the quality is down. Most B10 fans will pay less attention when the newbies are in a game, hurting ratings. The network also loses some of the old B10 match-ups that would have done better.

            “The east coast alums?”

            They’re happy to see their team play near by, but that doesn’t mean they want a 16 team conference. Many would be happy with an OOC visit instead.

            “The fans who pay for tickets to attend the games in Columbus?”

            Many of them want nothing to do with seeing MD or RU come to town. They’d be a step up from playing a MAC team OOC, but any other B10 team would be a better draw.

            “The people who still long for the day when the University of Chicago was still playing football in the Big Ten?”

            I wouldn’t think many of them are still around, but I’d bet the ones that are don’t like 16.

            “Brian: They could rotate all 4 pods, or keep 2 as anchors and rotate the other 2. For example, they could choose to never pair W and E to reduce travel.

            Cutter: This would be the model the WAC used. They had four quadrants with two of the quadrants permanently assigned or anchored to the Mountain and Coastal Divisions. Did you steal their idea when you wrote that?”

            No. It’s not that difficult of an idea to come up with, and is an obvious answer to the travel problem for a middle vs edges alignment or if people want to focus power in two pods.

            “Brian: Not going to happen. You need more balance in the pods. What media would even cover the Midwest in your setup? Every pod will have a king with the princes spread out.

            Cutter: Why isn’t this going to happen?”

            My answer is in the next sentence. Why waste your time with a pointless question?

            “Why do you need more balance in the pods?”

            Again, my answer is in the next sentence. Why waste your time with a pointless question?

            “If you have anchor division with two kings apiece in them, then why do you need one king in each of the four?”

            He didn’t propose a plan like that. He proposed 1 pod with 2 kings, 2 with 1 king and 1 with no king, and planned to rotate the pods equally. That’s the plan I was responding to and you know it.

            A system with 2 anchors pods each having 2 kings would work just fine in concept, but it wouldn’t fit the B10 well:

            1. OSU/MI & NE/PSU
            2. OSU/PSU & NE/MI
            3. OSU/NE & PSU/MI

            All of those break up the western 4 and probably the eastern 3. That’s bad pod planning since you can easily balance all 4 and maintain those groups.

            “The Midwest Division has teams in Illinois and Indiana–would the Chicago and Indianapolis papers not cover them anymore?”

            Purdue fans claim they don’t really get covered even now. I’m sure beat writers will still cover the local teams, but you also knew that wasn’t what I was talking about. Those papers will jump to hoops coverage quicker than most, though.

            “Is Penn State really a king given its scholarship situation or is merely a prince regent?”

            It’s a king now and you know it. If it bounces back by 2020, it’ll still be one.

            “Does this make Wisconsin a dauphin?”

            No, especially since they just lost their coach.

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

            Locked rivals:

            Obviously the last 4 are flexible and could be swapped around.

            Cutter: How does this work with locked rivals?”

            Just like it works now.

            “Do you have eight, nine or ten conference games in your setup?”

            It almost requires 9 to play everyone often enough. Otherwise you have 4 locked teams and play the other 11 only 33% of the time. 9 gets you 4 locked and the other 11 45% of the time which I think is preferable. I think 10 is too many games. It would ruin OOC games as the big boys need 7 home games so they’d only play paycheck games.

            “Most pod set ups with 16 teams include nine-conference games. If that’s what you’re doing, then how does locked rivals work with this setup? Say your South and East pods are combined and OSU plays seven games against them plus an eighth with locked rival Michigan? Where does the ninth team come from?”

            There are at least three ways to work locked rivals:
            1. You only have 1 locked rival. If they are in your paired pod that year, you play 2 rotating games instead of 1.
            2. You have a primary locked rival and a secondary one. Whenever your primary rival is in your division, you play your secondary rival instead.
            3. You have 3 locked rivals, 1 in each pod. That locks 6 of your 9 games every year and the other 3 rotate with the pods.

            If you have anchor pods, your rotating games are against the one pod you are never paired with.

            “How do you ensure you have a regular rotation of opponents with your setup?”

            By using your brain. It’s not that tough to set up a rotation. Even a B10 official can do it.

            “Does your pod setup serve the Big Ten’s focus on demographics?”

            What B10 focus on demographics? They wanted to expand into that region and did. What further focus have they announced? Pods will rotate everyone through the east.

            “What about establishing the BTN in the mid-Atlantic?”

            What about it? I’d have RU and MD playing PSU and another king every year. That assures them of a king home game and of prime TV chances. It also gives them a schedule of reasonable difficulty so they can win some games and attract fans. Stacking their schedules with 9 tough games won’t help anything if the teams lose so often nobody pays attention.

            “Why are the last four locked rivalry games “obviously” flexible?”

            Because many people disagree on the best way to pair those teams and I didn’t feel like fighting about it. It isn’t that important in the relative scheme of things.

            “Have you given no real though to those pairings?”

            Yes, that’s the only option. It couldn’t be that I considered it a minor point not worth derailing the bigger picture discussion. I chose to pair RU and NW for the NYC/Chicago pairing and because I think each team’s fans will be most likely to travel to the other site. I chose MD and IL to also give MD access to Chicago for recruiting while still making them go west. I kept IA and PU because I don’t think they are good partners for the newbies and they already are locked. Neither side cares about it, but I can see Delany choosing to keep it. That leaves IN and MN, which is a good pairing of peers. Some people want RU and MD to travel to IA or PU, but I think those pairings lack upside for the new guys and the B10 overall. IN and MN have been down too long to be interesting.

            “Brian: That’s a fallacy. Having 3 or 4 of the hardest games locked in every year is not balanced out by rotating the pods. The other games reduce the disadvantage, but they don’t eliminate it.

            Besides, there is more to balance than just on the field. How much media attention would the Central pod get in comparison to everyone else? The West lacks population, the East is a cakewalk for PSU and the Central lacks brands. That’s not a wise way to set things up.

            Cutter: You seem to be ignoring the WAC-type setup you described in all these observations.”

            That’s because we were discussing his plan. Are you not paying any attention to the context of the conversation?

            “Perhaps you need to stick to one set up or the other before putting your pods together.”

            No, I really don’t. I offered them as an alternative to his pods, and mentioned that you could even anchor pods if you want.

            “Let’s go with nine-conference games and no set inter-division rivals and see what we get.”

            Let’s not. Locked rivals are a good thing.

            “First off, let’s think about putting two “kings” as you describe them in the two anchor pods of a WAC-type setup that will be in the two permanent divisions. Michigan and Ohio State go into one of them while Nebraska and Penn State go into the other.”

            With no locked rivals, that would be the only choice, yes. It has a lot of problems, though. It forces the western 4 to be broken up which is something people already complain about. It’s likely to split the eastern 3, too, so at least one of them isn’t with PSU.

            “To make sure that teams get at least one east coast game, two of the “ACC” teams get put into each of the rotating pods. They get joined by a combination of Illinois/Northwestern in one of the rotating pods along with Purdue/Indiana in the other.”

            The B10 doesn’t necessarily want every team to play in the east regularly, and many teams don’t much care about playing in the east either. I think they prefer to keep the geographic ties instead, making sure PSU, MD and RU always play each other. If they distort the rotation of games, they can also get OSU and MI out east a lot at first. They did it for PSU, so the precedent is out there.

            “So here’s your four pods:

            Pod A Permanent – Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State
            Pod B Permanent – Iowa, Nebraska, Penn State, Wisconsin

            Pod C Rotating – Indiana, Maryland Purdue, Rutgers
            Pod D Rotating – Illinois, North Carolina, Northwestern, Virginia”

            That’s your 4, not mine.

            Anchor 1 – OSU, MI, MSU, IL
            Anchor 2 – PSU, NE, RU, MD
            Flex 1 – WI, IA, MN, NW
            Flex 2 – PU, IN, UNC, UVA

            That’s why I don’t like this plan for the B10. You lose a lot of rivalries. I’d stick with my 4 geographic pods from above and keep locked rivals.

            “Now where we differ here is on the status of Penn State (king or not?) and Wisconsin (dauphin or prince or whatever you want to call them)?”

            We disagree on a lot more than that. But PSU is definitely a king although their performance will fade over the next few years. PSU went 5-7. 5-6, 9-4, 3-9 and 4-7 from 2000-2004 and were still a king afterwards. The penalties shouldn’t be any worse.

            As for WI, they’re on a good run but they lost 2 winnable Rose Bowls and their head coach. A king doesn’t lose their coach to Arkansas. The question is whether Bielema maxed them out or Andersen can/will take them to the next level. There is more room for them to fall than to advance.

            “I’d personally flip Minnesota and Penn State and redo the permanent pods as such in order to keep the four western teams together (and playing one another annually):

            Pod A Permanent – Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, Ohio State
            Pod B Permanent – Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Wisconsin”

            And I wouldn’t because I think it’s incredibly shortsighted to overload one pod like that. It’s bad for everybody. It hurts the kings by piling extra losses on them. That hurts the B10’s national reputation. Everyone else plays the kings less, which hurts them. The new members don’t even get PSU annually, making them isolated. The western 4 get limited attention and have to travel east regularly. Who wins in that scenario?

            The better plan for the B10, in my opinion, is balanced geographical pods.

      • cutter says:

        “For every bit that old school PSU fans might love that plan, OSU fans would hate it more.”

        IRT the reaction of Ohio State fans, is the your personal opinion based on small knowledge, an assessment of the situation as you see it or a fact based on a survey that’s been taken about the situation?

        For sake of argument, let’s say Virginia and North Carolina become the 15th & 16th members of the conference. Those two schools plus Penn State, Rutgers, Maryland, Michigan and Michigan State become part of an 8-team eastern conference along with Ohio State within the B1G. Each team plays seven games within its own conference and rotates through the other division over the course of four years (no home-and-home games in consecutive years) or eight years (with home-and-home games in consecutive years).

        That makes the other division from west to east: Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Northwestern, Purdue, Indiana.

        Why would Ohio State fans hate this alignment? There are guaranteed games with two kings every year in Michigan and Penn State. The OSU fans on the east coast would be able to see the Buckeyes play in person without having to travel to Columbus probably two times annually. The Game against the Wolverines could be played at season’s end with no concern about a repeat in the conference championship game. With three non-conference games, Ohio State could still have a quality home-and-home OOC team on the schedule each year.

        Is there a particular team in the west such as Illinois that Buckeye fans want to play each year? Would having a ten-game conference schedule with a program like the Illini being a protected rival work for OSU fans or would they prefer having the three non-conference games?

        “Stuck in an 8-team division with 1 BE school, 3 ACC members, PSU and only 2 old time B10 members, they would revolt.”

        How would the Ohio State fans revolt? Pitchforks and torches? Overturn cars? Boycott games? Put together a website called http://www.ihatetheb1geast.com?

        “Those other 2 B10 members would likely complain, too.”

        Why would Michigan and Michigan State complain about this setup? The important rivalry games are pretty much kept in place (unless you feel the Michigan-Minnesota game for the Little Brown Jug is a major rivalry game), both schools get to play in front of their east coast alumni groups, there are opportunities to open up recruiting a bit more in the southeast, and their games would be more closely covered by the mid-Atlantic media outlets from New York City to Charlotte, NC. Plus I’m sure UM and MSU (not to mention OSU) would love to have fund raising functions in concert with the games located in NYC, WDC, Charlotte and Baltimore on a fairly regular basis.

        • frug says:

          Yeah, your proposed divisions would never work in a million years. No way they put UM, PSU, and OSU all in one division, especially one that would have all the major population centers except for Chicago.

          • cutter says:


            The reason why you would put Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State in the eastern division is for exactly the reason why you don’t think the B1G won’t do it.

            If demographics and population growth are considered key here, then decisions regarding current and future expansion plus the division breakdowns are going to be factors here. With the additions of Rutgers and Maryland and a true east-west split (state of Michigan east, state of Indiana west), then the populations are distributed as followed:

            Six Western B1G States (Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois): 35.17M

            Six Eastern B1G States (Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, District of Columbia): 49.28M.

            That number doesn’t even consider the 8.18M people in New York City, let alone the populations of Long Island or western Connecticut or northern Virginia.

            My assessment on this is that if the Big Ten wants to grow the brand out east in order to get the Big Ten Network on basic cable in the mid-Atlantic, New York, etc., then it’s going to be willing to put three of its name programs into an eastern division. So yes, that does mean UM, OSU and PSU do play in the eastern division.

            Something else to keep in mind is the populations and population growth in other potential areas of interest (from 2000 census to 2010 census):

            Virginia: 7.08M to 8.01M (13.0%)
            North Carolina: 8.05M to 9.54M (18.5%)
            Georgia: 8.19M to 9.69M (18.3%)
            Florida: 15.98M to 18.80M (17.6%)

            The average national growth was 9.7%, meaning all these states are above average in that respect.

            North Carolina and New Jersey just flip flopped on the list as the ninth and eleventh most populous states over the last decade. When you look at the top 10 states in terms of population, four of them are in B1G areas (Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania) or two are immediately adjacent to those areas (New York, North Carolina). Georgia is #9 in population with Virginia at #12. California (#1), Texas (#2), and Florida (#4) round out that list.

            Of the four regions listed in the census (Northeast, West, South, Northeast), the South (which includes Maryland, DC, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida) had the greatest population growth.

            See http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-01.pdf

          • BruceMcF says:

            And in a majoritarian body, “give every current member a piece of the action” has substantial weight as a compromise position. That’s what gave rise to one of my Old Firm / New Firm divisions:

            OldFirm: OSU, MI, MSU, NW, Illini, IA, Rutgers
            NewFirm: PSU, UNL, WI, MN, IN, Purdue, MD

            … that the NYC media markets will be tougher markets to crack, so that’s the one where you send either MI or OSU every year.

            And yes, its not finely balanced, but its more balanced over the long haul than putting MI, OSU and PSU in the same division.

          • frug says:


            They aren’t going to leave behind the Western schools just to grow the brand in the East.

          • Brian says:


            “The reason why you would put Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State in the eastern division is for exactly the reason why you don’t think the B1G won’t do it.

            If demographics and population growth are considered key here, then decisions regarding current and future expansion plus the division breakdowns are going to be factors here.”

            The B10 wanted access to growing regions for future students and also to help the BTN. They don’t have to screw up the divisions now to achieve their goals.

            “With the additions of Rutgers and Maryland and a true east-west split (state of Michigan east, state of Indiana west), then the populations are distributed as followed:

            Six Western B1G States (Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois): 35.17M

            Six Eastern B1G States (Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, District of Columbia): 49.28M.

            That number doesn’t even consider the 8.18M people in New York City, let alone the populations of Long Island or western Connecticut or northern Virginia.”

            And that’s a major reason not to split that way.

            Top recruiting states in 2011?
            E – 357
            OH – 144, PA – 60, MI – 59, MD/DC – 49, NJ – 45

            W – 154
            IL – 73, IN – 31, WI – 22, MN – 11, IA – 9, NE – 8

            Top 50 media markets?
            E – 11
            #1 NYC, #4 Philly, #8 DC, #11 Detroit, #18 Cleveland, #23 Pittsburgh, #27 Baltimore, #32 Columbus, #35 Cincinnati, #41 Harrisburg/other, #42 Grand Rapids

            W – 5
            #3 Chicago, #15 MN, #21 St. Louis, #26 Indy, #34 Milwaukee

            How many advantages do you want to give OSU and MI and PSU over everyone else?

            “My assessment on this is that if the Big Ten wants to grow the brand out east in order to get the Big Ten Network on basic cable in the mid-Atlantic, New York, etc., then it’s going to be willing to put three of its name programs into an eastern division. So yes, that does mean UM, OSU and PSU do play in the eastern division.”

            You have yet to establish why they’d feel the need to put all 3 out east to make that happen, or why the other schools would say yes. There are a ton of downsides for every school in this plan, but you ignore them because of some vague sense of what the B10 office prefers. The schools make the decision, not Delany.

          • Brian says:


            “And in a majoritarian body, “give every current member a piece of the action” has substantial weight as a compromise position. That’s what gave rise to one of my Old Firm / New Firm divisions:

            OldFirm: OSU, MI, MSU, NW, Illini, IA, Rutgers
            NewFirm: PSU, UNL, WI, MN, IN, Purdue, MD

            … that the NYC media markets will be tougher markets to crack, so that’s the one where you send either MI or OSU every year.

            And yes, its not finely balanced, but its more balanced over the long haul than putting MI, OSU and PSU in the same division.”

            The balance isn’t bad, but why lose rivalries when you could swap IA for someone?

            A – OSU, MI, MSU, NW, PU, IL, RU
            B – PSU, NE, .WI., .IA., .IN, MN, MD

        • BruceMcF says:

          I can’t keep track of which alignment is which, but the only one this Buckeye fan would actually hate is the one with OSU, Purdue, Indiana and the Tarheels. Michigan, MSU, and a third solid school ~ whether a “prince” or a wounded king ~ plus some doormats works well enough for me.

        • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

          “…Why would Ohio State fans hate this alignment?…”
          @cutter – Because Ohio State fans like playing their traditional rivals & have no desire to be shuffled off into Paterno’s dream conference of east coast patsies.

          “…How would the Ohio State fans revolt? Pitchforks and torches? Overturn cars? Boycott games?…”
          –The same way they did when the idea of moving The Game away from the final week was floated by TPTB, deluge the President & AD with angry emails & threaten to withhold financial support.

        • Brian says:


          “IRT the reaction of Ohio State fans, is the your personal opinion based on small knowledge, an assessment of the situation as you see it or a fact based on a survey that’s been taken about the situation?”

          It’s based on being an OSU alumnus, being related to OSU alumni (who know other alumni of varying ages and locations), being friends with OSU alumni (who also know other alumni of varying ages and locations), reading OSU sites and listening to OSU officials.

          “For sake of argument, let’s say Virginia and North Carolina become the 15th & 16th members of the conference. Those two schools plus Penn State, Rutgers, Maryland, Michigan and Michigan State become part of an 8-team eastern conference along with Ohio State within the B1G. Each team plays seven games within its own conference and rotates through the other division over the course of four years (no home-and-home games in consecutive years) or eight years (with home-and-home games in consecutive years).

          That makes the other division from west to east: Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Northwestern, Purdue, Indiana.

          Why would Ohio State fans hate this alignment?”

          Playing RU, MD, UVA and UNC annually. Not playing IL, PU and IN more. For some, never playing MI for the B10 title again.

          “There are guaranteed games with two kings every year in Michigan and Penn State.”

          The MI game is guaranteed no matter what the alignment, so that’s not a particular advantage to this plan. OSU would almost always play 2 kings in just about any pod alignment, too.

          “The OSU fans on the east coast would be able to see the Buckeyes play in person without having to travel to Columbus probably two times annually.”

          That’s nice, but not a huge thing. Fans like coming to OSU, and most fans have zero interest in playing out east. There’s an order of magnitude more alumni in OH than NYC and DC combined, and the fan disparity is even larger. If east coast access was so big to OSU, they’d have played more OOC games there.

          Since PSU joined the B10, OSU’s only eastern road games have been at WV and at NCSU. OSU’s last game near NYC was a kickoff classic in 1999. The last one near DC was in 1930 versus Navy. OSU has another game in Baltimore against Navy in 2014 and a series with VT coming up, but they’ve done nothing to show it’s really important to them to play out east regularly.

          “The Game against the Wolverines could be played at season’s end with no concern about a repeat in the conference championship game.”

          That’s not necessarily a positive.

          “Is there a particular team in the west such as Illinois that Buckeye fans want to play each year?”

          IL is a rival, yes. They’d also like to play neighboring PU and IN. MSU doesn’t mean more to OSU than any of those 3, and the eastern schools mean less.

          “Would having a ten-game conference schedule with a program like the Illini being a protected rival work for OSU fans or would they prefer having the three non-conference games?”

          Realistically, you have to have 3 OOC games in a 12 game schedule. Otherwise, you have to play 2 paycheck games every year OOC to get 7 home games. That limits the caliber of team you can schedule and OSU fans are used to having 1 big name game every year.

          “How would the Ohio State fans revolt?”

          Mostly by not donating as much, not attending games, not watching games and forcing Smith to be fired, with a small portion that might well riot and even threaten to kill Delany.

          “Why would Michigan and Michigan State complain about this setup?”

          Because they also have no interest in RU, MD, UVA and UNC and don’t want to play all of them every year, especially when most other B10 schools don’t have to play them all. Their fans do care about other B10 teams, though. MSU also wants to play NW regularly as they have said repeatedly. MSU fans also say they want to play WI more. Some MI fans also want to play OSU for the B10 title and not a division title. Beyond that, I’ll let MI and MSU fans give their reasons.

          “The important rivalry games are pretty much kept in place (unless you feel the Michigan-Minnesota game for the Little Brown Jug is a major rivalry game),”

          MI/MN has been played 99 times. That’s #3 for MI (OSU – 109, MSU – 105), and would be higher except for when MI left the B10 and didn’t play MN. Only 38 rivalries have been played more often, and only 6 in the B10. It’s not a huge rivalry, but it is significant. You also lose Illibuck, the one game OSU has played more than MI (IL – 98, MI – 96). It has the same status as LBJ.

          “both schools get to play in front of their east coast alumni groups,”

          MSU prefers Chicago to NYC and DC, I think. MI is the one with a ton of east coast alumni.

          “there are opportunities to open up recruiting a bit more in the southeast,”

          VA and NC are okay for recruiting, but they aren’t FL or GA by any means. OSU already recruits there and MI probably does, too. Kings don’t have to play there annually to recruit.

          “Plus I’m sure UM and MSU (not to mention OSU) would love to have fund raising functions in concert with the games located i NYC, WDC, Charlotte and Baltimore on a fairly regular basis.”

          OSU already does, and I assume MI does, too. Hoops travels there more frequently anyway.

      • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

        “Stuck in an 8-team division with 1 BE school, 3 ACC members, PSU and only 2 old time B10 members, they would revolt.”

        —This, 1000x. I really wish there was a way to cut PSU from Ohio State’s apron strings.

        • Brian says:

          Unlike many people, I think the additions of RU and MD did that. OSU/PSU had to play before because OSU was their only neighbor. Now that PSU has their eastern buddies, OSU can play traditional B10 teams again without causing a problem. I think the B10 still wants 2 king games from OSU every year, though, so MI and a rotation of NE and PSU or one of them locked. Given that, I;d rather play PSU than NE due to location.

  44. Michael in Raleigh says:

    Please, someone help me to understand the purpose of UConn, Cincy, and (perhaps) USF trying to start a new conference, rather than sticking it out with the remaining Big East members.

    Basically, what I’ve read is that they’d switch out ECU, Navy, UCF, Houston, and SMU for UNLV, New Mexico, and supposedly BYU.

    Seriously. BYU? Come on. BYU isn’t happening. Independence has been fairly good for BYU for expsore purposes, but it isn’t easy. Meanwhile, the WCC is a sufficient, if not great, fit for their non-football sports. Most importantly, BYU’s leadership is smart enough to know it needs to stay away from the dumpster fire that is the Big East Conference.

    UNLV and New Mexico? Talk about literally going to extreme lengths to pursue basketball strength at the expense of football strength and reasonable travel for non-revenue sports.

    It just seems like the three remaining schools would be wise simply to stick with the schools which are coming in, rather than making a new conference that could be an even worse clusterf*** than the one it has now.

    • zeek says:

      I agree with you, and that’s also why I think they’ll end up just sticking it out in the Big East.

      The only school that could force that to happen is Boise State if they demanded that many Western travel partners.

      But they explicitly have said that they want Eastern exposure from joining the Big East. Even though the Big East has lost most of its Northeast exposure, Boise State will still get games in Philly, Florida, Texas (Temple, SMU/Houston, UCF/USF) if they stick to the strategy that they’re on…

      They should just stick to this “best of the rest” strategy.

    • Richard says:

      If the value of the BE TV contract is so low (and remember that the TV payouts to CUSA and the MWC are mighty low) that revenue from NCAA basketball credits is comparable, forming a “basketball superconference for football schools” may make sense.

      UConn, Temple, Cincy, Memphis, UNM, UNLV, & SDSU would form the core of a mighty competitive basketball conference. They already aren’t part of the Big4+1 in football, but they’d be one of the Big7 in basketball. If the power conferences break away from the NCAA, they’d be more liable to keep this conference around.

      • BruceMcF says:

        Numbers being discussed just before the split happened were in the neighborhood of $50m, for what was already a transcontinental “Best of the Mid-Majors” football conference and Major Basketball conference.

        Without the Catholic schools, with the schools scheduled to come, its a “Best of the Mid-Majors” football conference and “Not even necessarily best of the Mid-Majors” Basketball conference, so the value would be lower still. If the direct TV value drops toward $30m, and the indirect TV money from NCAA championship appearances is in the $5m range, then a 14 member conference is looking at $2.5m per school, at which point it seems unlikely that Boise State and SDSU join, and then rights fees are dropping down toward MWC levels.

        A ten member conference that has a market value closer to $50m, and with enough basketball strength to be expecting $15m and up from NCAA championship appearances, would be looking at $6m per school, which is a bit more like the money Boise State and SDSU were looking for when they decided to enter the Big East’s Western Experiment.

        Plan B is something like:

        Big America East: UConn, Temple, Cincy, USF, UCF, UCA
        Big America West: Houston, SMU, Tulane, Memphis, Tulsa, Rice

        No rush on hammering the details of Plan B out, though, the Conference USA schools aren’t going anywhere in the meantime.

    • bullet says:

      How many good decisions has the Big East made since the mid 90s? Louisville? Any others?

      • zeek says:

        I would add South Florida to the list of good ideas.

        But yeah, it’s a pretty thin list.

        In fairness though, they never had much of a choice. As football grew ascendant (meaning TV pay from football), their days were numbered.

        Trying to placate the football and basketball schools after Miami/Va Tech/BC bolted really did make the conference untenable for the long haul. Too many basketball schools on one side and too many different football schools on the other.

    • @Michael in Raleigh – Yeah, it makes very little sense to me in practicality. As you’ve mentioned, the net effect of starting a brand new conference is to swap out a couple of schools compared to just sticking with the Big East. Putting aside the fact that BYU won’t be joining that mishmash, I think it’s an idea being kicked around that ultimately would be tossed aside once people take a step back and realize that it’s not a good idea.

    • BruceMcF says:

      It seems fairly short odds that if they try “sticking with the schools coming in” that Boise State and SDSU won’t, in fact, end up coming in, and then its just Conference USA 2.0, and they’ll be measuring the TV contract in hundreds of thousands per schools rather than millions per school.

      Since the BBall schools will be leaving to form their own conference, leaving the formal Big East conference organization in the hands of the football schools, if the proposed transcontinental league doesn’t take off, they always have C-USA 2.0 available as their Plan B.

    • BruceMcF says:

      Do we know what the terms of Boise State’s get out of jail free card? If it includes the TV deal in terms of a threshold payout per school, rather than as a gross amount, it could also be an effort to hold Boise State to the terms of their entry.

      • Mike says:

        We do. Brian Murphy of the Idaho Statesman had a write up a few weeks back.

      • Mack says:

        If the Big East fails to honor any invitation it gives Boise State the ability to anticipate a default regardless of what is in the contract. A new league might help keep Boise State in. However, the best option for Boise State if the Big East defaults might be to form its own new all sports western based conference. This can include the best of the MWC, the Texas schools, etc. It is not like Temple, UCONN, or USF are big football powers. The alternative will be a Big East with a clear western division where Boise and SDSU can be all sports members without massive travel costs.

        • zeek says:

          They might want to keep UCF and USF for East Coast exposure considering that they’re large schools in big markets in Florida.

          But who really knows at this point. I think they’re all going to sit and wait until Aresco gets preliminary TV numbers.

          If those numbers are at the $2-2.5 million range, then there will be a lot of questions as to the viability of the conference.

        • Aaron Morrow says:

          I wonder if the MWC and Big East could build a scheduling/contract alliance that would be worth more than the sum of its parts? It would be similar to the MWC/CUSA deal discussed previouslt, except maintaining two separate leagues with a mini-bowl for a semifinal effect, and keeping the per school payouts up by maxing out at 12 each, or 24 total. (This should be allowable once NCAA bylaws are changed to allow the BCS playoff.)

  45. frug says:

    They fired John Marinatto earlier this year.

    (Of course that was only necessary because they made the mistake of hiring him to begin with…)

    • frug says:

      This was suppose to be a response to bullet’s question

      How many good decisions has the Big East made since the mid 90s? Louisville? Any others?

  46. ZSchroeder says:

    One thing I would have liked to see from Nate Silver’s analysis is for him to show where the 7 Catholic Schools plus 5 would be in the conference rankings, and then where the Catholic 7 could end up with different additions, so I put that together.

    Conference Average
    ACC 83.11
    Big Ten 82.56
    Big 12 82.37
    SEC 81.62
    Big East 7 Catholic Schools 81.06
    Pac-12 80.65
    Big East Football Schools Left 78.41
    Mountain West 77.96
    Missouri Valley 76.76
    Atlantic 10 76.57
    Conference USA 75.74
    West Coast 73.90

    So based on the split, without adding new schools, the Big East Football schools drop to the end of the list of the big football conferences. The Big East Catholics are ahead of the Pac-12.

    Nate Silver supplied the 10 year rank of 11 potential members.

    1 Gonzaga
    2 Xavier
    3 Butler
    4 Creighton
    5 Virginia Commonwealth
    6 Saint Mary’s
    7 Saint Joseph
    8 Dayton
    9 George Mason
    10 Saint Louis
    11 George Washington

    Just for analysis sake, if you add all 11 of these schools for an 18 team basketball conference the average works out to 81.06 the same rating they currently have, so this would not water the league down at all. If they added the top 5 their conference ranking would increase to 81.89, higher then the SEC, and 4th best basketball conference. If they add Xavier, Butler, Creighton, Dayton, and St Louis as many suspect, the ranking works out to 81.15, still ahead of Pac 12, but behind SEC for 5th best.

    The one thing about the Sagarin rankings is they don’t take into consideration the future makeup on the leagues; like the 10 year rolling average of the Big 10 does not include the addition of Rutgers and Maryland. Just taking the Big East 10 year rolling average of 82.65 which is second best, but if you rework the ranking minus Syracuse, Pitt, and Louisville it drops considerably to 79.57 which is 6th best basketball league. No matter who gets in the mix with the Catholics they look to be no worse then 4th or 5th, while the remaining Big East schools look to be no better then the 7th best basketball conference. That really sucks for Uconn and Cinci who are now left in a bad football conference, and now heavily diminished basketball conference which is dangerously close to being equal to the Mountain West based on Sagarin Rankings.

  47. zeek says:

    Here’s two interesting articles from the American Conservative Magazine. Note that these aren’t ideological articles (I happen to be a liberal myself), so don’t let the source detract you from perusing:


    We talk often on this site about institutions that have large endowments, which includes universities in all of the leagues that are often mentioned (Michigan/Northwestern in the Big Ten, the California based universities of the Pac-12, Texas A&M/Vanderbilt of the SEC, Texas of the Big 12, and various publics and privates of the ACC).

    It’s just interesting to note how important the “hedge fund” aspect of their endowments has become, so the article applies to a lot of the universities that we normally talk about around here…

  48. Read The D says:

    A 10 team, round robin schedule is 18 games. Someone has to lose and half the teams will end up ~ below .500. Half(5) of the teams will end up with AT LEAST 8 or 9 losses. That means the teams below .500 in conference play will need to virtually win out in non-conference games to get to 20 wins.


    1. If there are going to be 18 conference games, at least get to 12 teams. That way ~6 are over .500, which means better resumes and more potential tournament credits.

    2. Add all the markets/brand names/programs, go to 16 and play 20 conference games. Again, more credits, but also more credibility if you pile up major names like the Big East did when they pulled in 8 or 9 bids.

    3. I’m with Frank on the no divisions thing. They will be able to work with TV partners to get better match-ups year in and year out that will generate more dollars and not be confined to a locked in divisional set up. That being said geography means a little less than brand names/program strength does in terms of who the Catholic 7 grab to fill out the conference.

    • Richard says:

      I’m not sure why anyone cares about getting to 20 wins.

      Certainly, the NCAA selection comittee doesn’t.

      • Read The D says:

        20 is an arbitrary number but it is a rough estimate of how many wins you need to build a respectable resume to get an at large bid.

        • Richard says:

          It is arbitrary, and fairly meaningless, as the NCAA selection comittee weighs SOS heavily, so even going to 20 conference games wouldn’t have a negative impact on the percentage of schools that get in if you have a strong conference.

          • Read The D says:

            SOS isn’t the only factor, though. RPI, Sagarin, KenPom and other metrics weigh in. My point is it is not necessarily in the best interest of the teams in the new conference to build their resumes on the backs of fellow conference mates.

            It will be important for them to get plenty of non-conference wins in order to get multiple bids. Therefore, they need enough opportunities to get those non-conference wins.

            Likewise, if you lump all the mid major powers in one conference and play each other round robin, and also try to play a tough non-conference schedule to build RPI, SOS, etc. a few teams that would otherwise would win their old conference will have their bubble burst come tournament time.

          • Richard says:

            Well, in, say, the old Horizon League, Butler could have its bubble burst just by losing a couple conference games. “Win their old conference” essentially means “win their conference tournament”, which, you have to agree, is always a risky proposition. Even in the A10 or MVC, to get a NCAA tournament spot often meant having to go 12-4 or 13-5 in conference. I think any coach would rather have to win only half his conference games in order to make the postseason (even against tougher competition) rather than have to win 75% of his conference games. Plus, in a tougher conference, you have more opportunities to move up during the conference tourney as well. In the A10 & MWC, a bubble team often has to make at least the conference championship game to get a spot; in a power conference, winning 1 or 2 games in the conference tourney is often enough for a bubble team.

          • Read The D says:

            No doubt, if Butler loses several games in the old Horizon it hurts their chances. But Gonzaga, for instance, could usually lose their conference tournament and still get an at large bid because they always play such a tough non conference schedule.

            The conference RPI overall is helped by tough non-conference games. I just wonder if the non-conference schedules will be softened due to the tougher conference schedule and sort of have an unintended consequence of actually hurting at-large bids.

    • BruceMcF says:

      In a ten team basketball league, a 16-game two division schedule just means playing two of the cross division opponents home or away instead of home and away ~ eight games against in-division opponents and eight games against cross-division opponents. Its not the same degree of divisional lock-in as with a 12-team conference.

      • Read The D says:

        I may be wrong but I doubt there will be divisions in the new league at all, and secondly it doesn’t make much sense to have divisions if there are only 10 teams.

        If they wanted to just have 10 teams and play 16 games that would make some sense to me, but probably not to the league.

        • BruceMcF says:

          The divisions can just be scheduling divisions, they don’t have to be explicit. To have a 16-game conference schedule, two matchups are home or away, instead of home and away ~ you just make those two East/West matchups to reduce total travel distance across the league. Basketball championship tournaments are big enough for a little bit of unbalanced scheduling to be ironed out on the floor, so long as every team has played each other for seeding tie-breakers.

  49. Michael in Raleigh says:

    I’m interested in what may become of conference tournaments in Madison Square Garden. From what I’ve read, MSG and the ACC had mutual interest; however, MSG wanted the ACC to commit its tournament to an annual, fairly long term contract. The ACC wanted the site of the tournament to rotate. Thus, there was no agreement to an ACC tournament in MSG.

    Now, however, MSG may have reason to rethink things. The Football Big East almost certainly would not be capable of selling out the Garden, not with just UConn and Temple as the only members within an ten hour drive. The Catholic 7 (& co.) would have a fair number reasonably close schools, but no sizable fan base representing big state or private schools. No Syracuse. No UConn. No Notre Dame. No West Virginia. No Pittsburgh. No Louisville. No Cincinnati.

    So, rather than asking a conference that may not provide substantial support for an annual tournament (C7, FB Big East) to commit, or asking a league that doesn’t want its tournament there every single year (ACC), why shouldn’t MSG look to rotate which leagues are there in a given year?

    One year could have Duke, UNC, Syracuse, Louisville, Pitt, and Notre Dame. The next year could have UConn, Cincy, Memphis, and Temple. The year after that could feature hometown St. John’s, next door neighbor Seton Hall, Georgetown, Villanova, and the rest of the C7 schools.

    • zeek says:

      From my vantage point, I think it’s pretty clear-cut that it’s going to go to the Catholic 7 league.

      As you’ve stated, MSG wants a long-term annual commitment, and the Catholic 7 is really the right league to do that.

      You have the anchor cbb tenant in St. Johns there which is important, and you have enough schools in a reasonable radius to make it likely.

      The ACC might be able to rotate it around and get a slot there every so often, but the Big East football schools are likely out of the running. They have about as much claim on MSG as the Big Ten does when you really think about it now in terms of schools and their distance from MSG…

      • bullet says:

        I read in one of these articles that the C7 were thinking of rotating.

        • zeek says:

          Perhaps, but I think it will be determined by whether they can extract the MSG deal to begin with…

          That’s a really high profile event and it would help them significantly in terms of media exposure, so I guess we’ll see what happens with it.

          • vp19 says:

            If the Big Ten tournament goes east, the most logical landing point is Philadelphia — in Penn State’s home state, a relatively short drive from Rutgers and Maryland.

          • Richard says:

            Only edge Philly has over DC is that it is closer to NYC.

            DC has a ton of B10 grads.

            Newark would make sense as well (still within B10 territory but also close to NYC).

          • zeek says:


            I can’t really see it happening in Philly as much as D.C.

            You really want to use Maryland as the “anchor tenant” of a Big Ten tournament if it has to be held on the East Coast.

            Perhaps the Big Ten’s decisions on an East Coast HQ will shed some light on this. Also, future expansion might make D.C. the East Coast nerve center of the Big Ten a la Chicago in the Midwest.

          • BruceMcF says:

            In some ways, the Big Ten and BBall Big East alternating at the Garden and in Chicago would make some sense. If the Garden was on offer in alternate years, I’m not sure you turn down the Garden. Lots of Big Ten alum in the NYC area, and MD / NYC is a day trip on the train.

    • vp19 says:

      As Brooklyn grows into a destination in its own right, expect some major conference tourneys to wind up at the Barclays Center. I know the A-10 will be there this March, but I wouldn’t rule out the occasional ACC or “Catholic league” tourney in years when MSG isn’t available.

      • cutter says:

        Perhaps as a sign of things to come, Michigan’s men’s basketball team has played at Madison Square Garden (NIT Tournament) and the Barclays Center against West Virginia this season. If the B1G adds much more to its east coast/mid-Atlantic presence, it leaves open the idea at least that more regular season games could be played there (neutral site, perhaps?) or even the Big Ten men’s and women’s basketball tournaments on a rotational basis with Indianapolis or Chicago.

  50. largeR says:

    I have been wondering about Villanova and their lost chance to move up in football. Here is a link I found today on them. Does anyone have a feel for where their alumni base is, on that lost opportunity?


    • Mike R says:

      I’m in Philly. And I get the sense that there was and is a faction of Villanova boosters that wanted to make the jump to FBS, with an eye toward solidifying the BE, or keeping the option open of going to the ACC. The school did raise funds toward the upgrade before the BE vetoed the plan to adapt a soccer stadium. These enthusiasts are a bit angry now, to judge from the Nova hoops blog comments.

      In the middle are the realists, who were not opposed to a football upgrade on principle, but viewed FBS as too great an investment, too high a hill to climb to become as competitive as, say, a BC. They feel the most vindicated now, as VU was spared making a substantial financial commitment to what is now a blasted-apart Big East.

      But I think the largest faction simply does not much care about football. Villanova plays to 2/3 to 3/4 capacity at their 12,000-seat stadium, except when Delaware fans fill the place. And VU under Talley and a series of talented offensive coordinators plays an attractive, high-scoring brand of football in a competitive conference.

    • @largeR – I know that Brian Ewert, who has written VUhoops.com for many years, has been pretty relentless in his criticisms of Villanova not moving up to play FBS football and has gotten a lot of his readers to send in emails and petitions reflecting that position. He also generally doesn’t like the split even without regard to Villanova’s FBS status (which I respectfully disagree with him on, but I understand his viewpoint).

      • bullet says:

        With the massive sums they lose on FCS and the few northeastern schools they are with, they should have been ready for the BE invite when it came. Now that its gone, they should drop scholarships and join the Patriot with Georgetown or drop football altogether.

        • Mike R says:

          The university president says he is comfortable with VU continuing to play FCS scholarship football. I don’t know how sustainable that model is, but I suspect that as long as schools like Delaware, Montana and Richmond are willing to play at that level, that division will survive.

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            Maybe. Then again, longtime FCS powers like Appalachian State and Georgia Southern are getting out as fast as they can. It’s not a good sign.

  51. zeek says:

    Mr. SEC has joined those who have been talking up 18-20 team scenarios. It’s worth noting since he’s really one of the well-known SEC voices (and well connected I might add).


    • Andy says:

      I wouldn’t say he’s well connected. He’s isn’t much different than Frank the Tank. That is to say, he follows the news, reads a lot, and then writes about it. I wouldn’t say he’s breaking any new story here.

  52. Mike says:


    Nebraska announced on Monday that it has completed a contract for a three-game series with Northern Illinois in 2016, 2017 and 2019.
    The first of the three games against the Huskies will take place in Chicago at Soldier Field on Sept. 24, 2016. NIU has played neutral-site games the past two years at Soldier Field against Wisconsin and Iowa, and the matchup will be Nebraska’s first-ever game at one of the most historical stadiums in the country.


    • zeek says:

      “Nebraska is also scheduled to open Big Ten play on Oct. 1, 2016, at Northwestern giving Nebraska fans the opportunity for back-to-back trips to the Windy City.”

      Intriguing on the timing of that.

    • Mike says:

      It also means Nebraska has four non-conference opponents scheduled in 2016 (No Ill, Tennessee, Wyoming, Fresno St) making it unlikely we’ll see nine conference games before 2017*.

      * I know the original plan was to go to nine games in 2017, but some on here have speculated that the Big Ten will go to nine games before that. If that were a possibility, I doubt Nebraska would have done this.

      • zeek says:

        You’re probably right on that. 2017 definitely seems to be the earliest start point on the 9 game schedule.

        And that makes sense considering that you wouldn’t have to consider reopening the TV deals or anything like that.

      • wmtiger says:

        B10 would buyout one of those games for Nebraska if it needed too.

    • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

      “Nebraska announced on Monday that it has completed a contract for a three-game series with Northern Illinois.”
      —Strategic pivot towards Chicago area recruits?

  53. zeek says:


    Has anyone ever made a statement like this one from Butler’s President?

    It reads like a “we’re on our way to the Catholic 7″ post…

    • greg says:

      It certainly sounds that way, zeek. Either an announcement that they are in agreement with C7, or a public message to the C7 that they want to join.

  54. Craig Z says:

    Dennis Dodd column on ideas for power conference number 6:


    “If I were one of the other five commissioners, I would get on the phone and band together,” said one source close to the situation. “I would become an über-conference. Forget superconference. Let our current [TV] contracts lapse. That’s the only way to take this one.”

    • Mike says:

      It’s an interesting idea. Arrange the 64 current G5 teams into eight, eight team divisions. Play three non-conference games, and then seven division games. The eight division champions play a conference title game.* The last two weeks are late scheduled non-conference games with the four conference winners playing the next weekend, and the final two playing on Championship Saturday. Teams that didn’t win their conference would play two late scheduled “non-conference” games amongst teams from other divisions to fill out their schedules. A third place game for the final four losers could be optional.

      I think it would build interest and give the G5 tournament winner the best resume possible for making the playoffs.

      *A quick look at the NCAA rule book doesn’t say the last game of the year is the conference championship. Non-Division winners would play 12 games, Division winners would play 13.

      • cutter says:

        This is probably what we’re morphing towards. A slimmed down Division 1-A (if we keep that title) becoming an entity of 64 to 80 teams organized outside the NCAA’s authority (hopefully with a slimmed down organization and a clear rule book). It could be eight 8-team divisions or even eight 9- or 10-team divisions based on the number of programs admitted to it.

        Those divisions form four 16-, 18- or 20-team conferences which are the basis for a post-season playoff in football with the two division winners within the conference playing in the first round of what would be an eight-team playoff set up.

        That is the endgame where we seem to be headed and which some schools and conferences are actually planning on when they look at their future moves. There are already three 14-team conferences plus one of 12 teams and another of 10. The Pac 12 has no really good options getting beyond twelve members at this point while the ACC is being eyed by the Big Ten, Big XII and SEC.

        Who knows? We might end up with five 16-team conferences in the end with the conference winners plus three at large teams making up an eight team playoff as well.

  55. B1G Jeff says:

    For those of you that haven’t seen this, what a great old letter from Stanford’s President regarding USNWR’s rankings…


    • largeR says:

      @B1G Jeff Do you know the circumstances of its release?

      • B1G Jeff says:

        Just spoke to some high powered friends who were at Stanford at the time. Casper’s outrage seemingly was precipitated by precipitous leaps in the rankings by Northwestern and Johns Hopkins in one year; that’s when the private letter apparently was written. Subsequently, students at several other schools (and Stanford) started arranging boycotts because of lack of inclusion or suboptimal ranking. It was during this time that he subsequently requested the letter be released and USNWR agreed.

    • @zeek – Good find. Some interesting tidbits in there on how the timing went down. They really *are* blaming Tulane.

      • Jericho says:

        Yeah, still don’t get the Blame Tulane thing. Those schools had to vote on admitting Tulane.

        • Quiet Storm says:

          The fact that the Marquette AD’s daughter works in the compliance office at Tulane and he still was publicly critical of the decision I’m sure went over really well for her.

        • BruceMcF says:

          The article claims they were willing to stomach the Tulane bid due to the TV money, and when the CBSnews.com story came out that the TV deal was likely to be half of the current deal, that was what broke it.

          Which suggests that there was not only a vote on admitting Tulane, but discussion that preceded that vote to convince people that admitting Tulane was the best available option, and they afterward came to conclude that if Tulane was the best available for the Big East, then at the kind of money being talked about, it made more sense to go it alone as a BBall conference.

          • Phil says:

            So, according to the article:

            -Temple, who already played a full football season and is staying, doesn’t have full BE voting rights
            -Rutgers and Louisville, who announced in November they are leaving, no longer have voting rights
            -the seven basketball schools, who announced about a month after RU/LVille and technically (until settlements are negotiated) will be leaving the same time as them, STILL GET TO VOTE

            With rules set up to allow something like that, does anyone still want to argue that it is not the basketball schools that ran the conference into the ground over the last 10-15 years??

          • BruceMcF says:

            Yes, I’d be prepared to argue that. If the Big East had signed the ESPN contract extension offer, there’d be no question today whether or not Boise State and SDSU would be making the transitions as planned, and indeed they would have had a much better chance to pick up a stronger expansion target than Tulane.

          • m (Ag) says:

            If the Big East had signed the ESPN contract offer, ESPN would now be re-negotiating the deal because of the schools that have since left. They’d be in the same place.

          • Mack says:

            Not quite. A contract reduction would not be as severe since the arbitration tends to take a conservative view of the value lost (network has burden of proof). With no contract the networks can make any reduction they wish in new offers. The Big East would be much better off if they had signed the contract.

          • BruceMcF says:

            The terms of the Boise State / SDSU entry allow the “pre-entrance exit fee” to be reduced from $5m to $1m if there is either a drop in total revenue of 25% or more, OR the Big East loses its AQ status. Now, IANDL, but it seems like the latter should apply (it will have “been notified” that 2013 is the last year of its AQ status into the BSC “or successor thereto”), so the triggering of the first of the two clauses might not change the legal liability of Boise State …

            … but having that money would sure enough affect their motivation to continue with the move, despite the threat of ongoing instability in the Big East.

        • BruceMcF says:

          According to this article, Aresco asked the Presidents for approval but without consulting the AD’s:


          • @BruceMcF – I highly recommend that everyone reads that Pete Thamel article. Lots of stuff to chew on regarding the Mountain West, Boise State, Big East, the Catholic 7 and Fox.

  56. bullet says:


    All I can say is wow! ACC must really be getting desperate. Everyone who reads this board knows what they are feeding Dennis Dodd on the finances is total BS. Dodd is simply saying people are telling him this, not judging whether it is true or not. But it flies in the face of everything else ever reported. Every conference is within 500k of each other?

    Maybe its just that the ACC has joined the Atlantic 10, Big 10 and Big 12 in becoming mathematically challenged. $20 million Big 12 distribution – $15 million ACC =$500,000. $24 million Big 10 distribution – ACC $15 million =$500,000. Going from ACC distribution of $15 million to Big 10 distribution of $24 million would be a pay cut for FSU as $15 million is greater than $24 million. Big 10=12 teams, now but 14 later. Big 12=10 teams. Atlantic 10=14 teams a few months ago, 15 now, probably 12 in a couple weeks.

    • zeek says:


      (fixed your link)

      The best guesses we’ve seen is that the ACC may get an extra $2 million per year for their additions of ND and Syracuse/Pitt (and replacement of Maryland with Louisville).

      Not sure how that bridges the gap between them and everyone else.

      That doesn’t even begin to capture the Big 12/Pac-12 Champions/Rose Bowl payouts and then the Big Ten/SEC getting Champions/Rose along with 3+ Orange slots…

      • zeek says:

        bullet, one other big thing missing here is that the Big 12 teams are all getting separate Tier 3 payouts whereas the ACC’s deal includes Tier 3 payouts…

        • bullet says:

          ESPN article (McMurphy?) said ACC would get $18 million with Notre Dame ($1 million increase) and implied the deal was done.

          • zeek says:

            One other thing, with the loss of Maryland, I’m not sure they have enough cable households to justify a TV network.

            They can look at whatever format they want, but at the end of the day, the ACC really only owns the Carolinas and Virginia with a good shot at getting carriage in parts of Florida. All of the other markets that they’re looking at are individual TV markets with schools that may not be the dominant force…

            I’m not sure that’s enough to sustain a network for 14 members.

          • Jericho says:

            Not sure the loss of Maryland changes that much. Maryland’s less then $6 million people total and there’s still a large presence from the Virginia schools, most notably Virginia Tech. You’ll still lose something, but not sure it’s the end all be all of forming a network.

          • zeek says:

            It’s a loss of significant cable footprint. Cable footprint is more done by states than by TV markets explicitly. Considering how much of D.C.’s footprint is in Maryland, that’s a consideration (look at how the Big Ten gets 80 cents per subscriber in the state-by-state footprint as opposed to outside where it gets 10-15 cents) also Maryland punches above its weight as a state given that is wealthier state in terms of the percentage of its people with cable (10-20 points higher than many other states).

            Virginia/Virginia Tech will deliver the D.C. portion in Virginia but they aren’t going to get you the higher rate on the Maryland side of that market.

            In terms of cable TV footprints, Maryland probably had the 2nd highest in the ACC if you average out the schools by the markets that they bring averaged by the number of schools in that market (dividing Virginia among its two schools and North Carolina among its 4 schools equally). Probably only Florida State has a larger cable footprint (assuming Miami only delivers Miami-Ft. Lauderdale and Florida State delivers the heft to get on more other markets).

            I’m not sure how you don’t consider that a huge loss.

          • Jericho says:

            You’re assuming that the ACC now has zero presence in Maryland, and that simply is not true. Virginia is not that far from DC and some of those alumni happen to now live in Maryland. Although living in Maryland, it seems I run into a lot more Virginia Tech alumni than anything. The point being that the DC market should still be in play, including the Maryland side. What would be lost is the Baltimore market (the rest of Maryland is largely insignificant). You then essentially replace Baltimore with Louisville. It’s a net loss, but I can’t imagine that’s the threshold between success and failure on an ACC network. It was either going to work or not work.

          • Richard says:

            Er, no, “zero presence” is not assumed.

            Having a presence doesn’t mean that you will automatically get a network with the same carriage fees as in your footprint. PSU definitely has a presence in Jersey and Illinois definitely has a presence in StL, but the BTN rate in those areas was far less than inside the B10 footprint. Having a bunch of VTech alums in MD just isn’t enough if non-alums in MD don’t care enough about VTech or UVa.

        • Jericho says:

          Just Tier 3 TV rights, not other Tier 3 content. Both conferences get their own Tier 3 non-tv rights.

          Not sure what’s entailed with the ACC digital rights discussed in the article. Also not sure about the feasibility of an ACC Network. But it makes sense to explore it. The Big 12 will have great difficulty starting a network (small footprint and no Tier 3 rights to sell). If the ACC did a network, that should allow them to surpass the Big 12 financially.

          • bullet says:

            Raycom owns the rights. They don’t really have anything to sell.

          • Jericho says:

            Not sure I follow. Raycom can fold their rights into the “ACC Network” (hell, they already call themselves the ACC Network). They can they take some share of the profits. You get ESPN, Raycom, and the ACC to split some costs/revenue. Since ESPN/Raycom owns most of the TV rights, the ACC may not make huge money off the network. But the possibility remains.

          • bullet says:

            ESPN and Raycom have the rights to anything they want from the ACC. Its hard to make a lot of money from something you’ve already sold.

          • BruceMcF says:

            Yes, even IF Raycom and ESPN can work out some arrangement that pools some rights in a way to get network economies, to increase the total net value, its hard to see why they would cut the ACC in on that ~ easier to split the increase two ways. ACC would likely have to wait until the current contracts expire to get a piece of that action.

        • BruceMcF says:

          Yes. Add in that different conferences may have different arrangements for NCAA BBall tournament money, and its possible for the common conference payout per school to be similar same while the revenues to specific programs are quite different. UTexas and Kansas would be making millions from their third tier rights, without that entering into that comparison, for example.

    • Purduemoe says:

      Who is the unnamed source, Baghdad Bob? Maybe the ACC survives, but that is complete BS as to the financials.

      • zeek says:

        The ACC will survive because the Big Ten and SEC are done raiding for now and the Big 12 (Texas/Kansas/Kansas State/Iowa State) has no confirmable consensus for expansion.

        The Big Ten in particular is likely to focus on gaining traction for the BTN in NYC and D.C. over the next few years (YES’ affiliate deals expiring is likely to provide a big assist) along with setting up for the 2016 TV deal talks.

        The SEC is likely to focus on its network for the next couple of years along with the work that they will have to put in getting carriage in many areas of Texas. Houston is likely to be the easiest grab for the SEC in that state, but outside of Houston they’ll have to put in a lot work on cities such as Dallas and the rest of Texas’ TV markets.

        • BruceMcF says:

          Not a lead pipe cinch, but highly likely. The Big Ten may have led off expansion with the addition of Penn State, but it moved to 12 and then to 14 after the SEC, and the ACC schools with the best institutional fit to the Big Ten do not seem to be the footloose ones, so it makes substantial sense for the Big 10 to adopt a watching brief on opportunities for expansion.

        • GreatLakeState says:

          The next ‘few’ years? Dog years maybe.

          • BruceMcF says:

            If the SEC network takes a couple of years to bed down, they’ll be looking to expand their cable footprint around sometime during 2014/2015. The Big 12 reacts, and suddenly schools that were firmly locked up are available to the Big Ten.

            That’s about two, two and a half years. Which is the lower bounds on “a few”.

        • frug says:

          The Big Ten in particular is likely to focus on gaining traction for the BTN in NYC and D.C. over the next few years (YES’ affiliate deals expiring is likely to provide a big assist) along with setting up for the 2016 TV deal talks.

          If anything it would make more sense for the Big Ten to stay in “active” expansion mode. I’m not saying they should just start randomly grabbing schools, but if they have any intention of going past 14 within the next decade or so they would be better off doing it before the new TV deal kicks in.

          As for the SEC? The only thing keeping them from attacking the ACC right now is the fact the schools they want don’t seem interested in joining yet.

      • bullet says:

        It would offend me if the Big 12 commissioner or UT AD was out telling such blatant lies. Swarbick is reflecting negatively on the integrity of his university. This isn’t a case of trying to hide secret negotiations. Its a blatant lie to try to mislead people. It’s doubly offensive that it is so obviously false and easily disproved by school’s financials. They are telling a bad lie and assuming people don’t know anything about the topic (which most don’t). The rest of the media should call them out on this.

        • Phil says:

          The articles on the ACC-ESPN extension after the Syr/Pitt additions said that ESPN had the multiplatform rights to all of the games. So, it is pretty weak of Dodd to use an unnamed source to imply the ACC is going to do as well or better than other conferences that retained their Tier 3 rights (unless I missed the release where ESPN announced they are going to reorganize as a charity).

          • BruceMcF says:

            Implying that all the conferences are in just about the same position on the basis of current per team payout when the ACC teams give up more rights for that payout and when the SEC is set to announce a new deal shortly and the Big Ten has a new contract coming up …

            … that’s pure spin. Cherry pick the framing that casts the most flattering light on your argument.

            I would also not be surprised if the ACC had a more egalitarian division of NCAA tournament money than the Big 12. Then even a smaller “per team payout” as an average would yield a closer “per team payout” in terms of the baseline payout received by all schools.

            Using the most favorable definition of terms for your claim is also part of spin.

  57. Eric says:

    From a source that’s been great with the Big East split, here’s another article.


    Sounds like the basketball schools will keep the name, East Carolina at least will be an all sports member of the football conference (whatever it ends up called).

    • Jericho says:

      Had to laugh at this line, “emerge as a viable 6th conference that could sit at the table with the five so called Super Conferences–the Big 12, Big 10, ACC, Pac-12, and SEC”

      • BruceMcF says:

        Surely its not referring to the bargaining table?

        Is there some big dinner of FBS conference commissioners where the Majors sit on one side and the Mid-Majors sit on the other?

        • zeek says:

          They won’t sit at the table.

          The Big 5 + ND will decide everything on their own; the other 5 will get terms dictated to them.

          There’s no way to change that now. No group of “best of the rest” could change that.

          • metatron says:

            The NCAA could just up and reform Division I.

            There comes a point when the other schools have to wonder what benefit college athletics do for the have nots.

          • BruceMcF says:

            Yes, that’s the bargaining table. A mid-major conference like the Big East obviously won’t be sitting at that.

            I had a vision of a banquet table somewhere where the Mid-Majors host the Majors so the Mid-Majors can press their case before the big boys get together to make the final decisions.

          • zeek says:

            Ah, yeah well, I’m not sure they even get that. Maybe they just find out on ESPN after the fact…

          • BruceMcF says:

            Its the table where the commissioners of the Mid-Majors wine and dine the commissioners of the Majors BEFORE the commissioners of the Majors sit down at the bargaining table to decide things. So, yeah, they could learn about the decision on ESPN. But if the lobbying discussions at the table are accompanied by a stay in a nice hotel, a golf reservation at a nice country club, dinner at a fine restaurant, the services of a nice escort agency and drug dealer … you know, like lobbying members of a Congressional committee … you’d hope to gain the courtesy that they call you first before they call ESPN.

    • Mack says:

      Tidbit from the article is that Memphis football planned alignment is west with Tulane east. Memphis will recruit better playing in Texas vs. Florida every year.

      • zeek says:

        They should just go with NBA-style regionalization. Memphis/New Orleans in the West, with the others in the East.

        I’d think both Memphis and Tulane would recruit better from Texas than Florida.

        • BruceMcF says:

          Divisional alignments are only written onto a whiteboard until they get some tentative yes’s from their Western expansion targets ~ some of whom have already turned them down when they were left admitting Tulane.

          But sketching up a Western Football Division of Boise State, SDSU, SMU Houston, Tulane and Memphis would be an admission, for instance, that they may not get both BYU and Air Force (whom have both said no just recently). Sketching, ({2015}, [FB-only]):
          BAC East: Cincy, UConn, Temple, ECU, Tulane, USF, UCF, [{Navy}]

          … leaves:
          BAC West: [Boise St.], [SDSU], Houston, SMU, Memphis, [West14_1], [West14_2], [{West15}]

          … which is a larger canvass on which to draw interesting possibilities.

          BAC East: Cincy, UConn, Temple, ECU, USF, UCF, [{Navy}]

          … leaves:
          BAC West: [Boise St.], [SDSU], Houston, SMU, Tulane, Memphis, [{West15}]

          Mind, if [{West15}] = Air Force, they might actually be able to get away with a Big America Conference name.

          Selling a ten team basketball conference of Cincy, UConn, Temple, Memphis and etcetera might be harder, though.

          • Bo Darville says:

            I thought they were going to have Houston & SMU and UCF & USF split up so both sides could play in Florida and Texas?

          • zeek says:

            @Bo Darville

            That was before they lost most of the Northeast schools.

          • BruceMcF says:

            At what state of play? Pre-Big Ten expansion, through to post-Big East divorce, I’ve never seen an indication that SMU and Houston would not be in the Western division. Someone may have run the idea up the flagpole to see if anybody saluted, like UConn and Cincy ran the 10-team conference up the flagpole, but as the TV deal slips from a modest increment below the Majors to more like a mid-point between the Majors and most Mid-Majors, the financial importance of travel partners increases.

            There’s also the importance to actually traveling there and being on the ground ~ SMU and Houston in the West can put every Western schools playing in Texas every year, ditto UCF and USF for Eastern schools in Florida. For Cincinnati, playing in Florida every year, and in particular the Route92 belt every year, would be a higher priority.

          • BruceMcF says:

            @zeek, so sometime pre-Big Ten expansion to 14, which also puts it when the Big East was still dreaming about a pay increase on their current TV contract.

          • zeek says:

            I wouldn’t say dreaming. They had turned down ESPN’s $11-13 million per school offer relatively recently at that point (pre-ACC raid).

          • BruceMcF says:

            Yes, Pre-ACC raid was part of what inspired the dreaming. Draw up these divisions with Syracuse and Pitt and it inspires more creativity, because the media market value pencils out to something around what ESPN was offering, at which level travel costs are less of an issue.

  58. Richard says:

    I was thinking, with a 15-school “national” basketball conference, the Catholics could split in to 3 divisions of 5 (play opponents in your division twice; everyone else once). It may be attractive enough for TV purposes to pay for flying volleyball teams across the country).

    Seton Hall


    some other western team; preferably in LA (Loyola Marymount?)

    Somewhat like the old NFC.

    • Richard says:

      For what it’s worth, Denver actually draws over 5K despite playing nobodies.

      • Mike R says:

        DU “fits,” institutionally (and I think the C7 presidents really want a diverse set of private schools in their conference), and is in a big emerging market, but has no basketball history to speak of.

    • Mike R says:

      I actually sort of like that conference. St. Mary’s is the WCC team that seems to have the most buzz around it for joining the C7. They’re in a big market (Bay Area).

      • Richard says:

        Greater LA has almost 3 times the population of the Bay Area, however.

        • Mike R says:

          There are really two choices in LA: LMU has five all-time appearances in the NCAA tournament (its last was with the Westhead-Kimble-Gathers team in 1990) and plays in a gym that seats 4,156. Enrollment is nearly 9,000. Pepperdine (which is affiliated with Churches of Christ) has been in the tournament 12 times, the last time being 2002. Its gym seats 3,104. Enrollment is 6,000. The late Dennis Johnson was by far the Waves’ most notable player, in 1975-76. Big West schools are all public so they don’t fit the profile.

    • Mike R says:

      C7 would be wise to feel out BYU. If there is to be a west wing at all, BYU should be part of it. The school’s sheer size could be an issue but otherwise its nearly perfect for what this conference needs (national following, regular NCAA appearance) and for what BYU seems to want (football independence, keeping 3rd tier rights to feed its own proprietary network).

      • Richard says:

        I agree that a westward push without both BYU and Gonzaga makes little sense.

      • Arch Stanton says:

        Problem with BYU is that they won’t play on Sundays and, since they do have a FBS football team, there is always the risk of them joining the Pac-12 or Big XII (regardless of how unlikely that may seem right now). I think the only FBS school that the C7 would covet would be Notre Dame (who will not join them as long as the ACC is viable).

  59. GreatLakeState says:

    It seems everyone is in agreement that the B1G can’t afford to water down the league with two more Football deficient teams no one else wants (UVA/GT). I just can’t imagine they pass up a chance to add Florida (the state) to the footprint. Here’s a question someone sent in to ESPN. Even Bennett things FSU’s a get.

    Shane (Philly): Brian, the silly season is amongst us. Where coaches are leaving and teams are changing conferences. I am making a pitch to the Big Ten to make a BIG time add. After adding Maryland and Rutgers the Big Ten can’t afford to water the conference down with questionable football teams like BC or UVA. While their academics are on par this has always been about what brings in money…. What would bring in money? How about Florida State and Georgia Tech. Corning the Atlanta market not to mention parts of Florida, Bama etc… would be huge for the Big Ten in regards to recruiting and exposure to new football loving markets. Rumor has it FSU is working towards AAU status. If this happens an invite would make a lot of sense. And honestly even without it, they still are a quality educational institution.

    Brian Bennett: I agree with you that the Big Ten should — and by all accounts will — look south for expansion. That’s where the population is going and where the talent is. Georgia Tech is a real possibility. I love the idea of Florida State, but the league has shown its desire to have standing AAU members only. Maybe if FSU somehow achieves that soon it becomes possible. But if not, the ‘Noles are probably off the table. North Carolina seems like it would be a main target

    • Transic says:

      Ideally, they would like another football power or two. However, the Big Ten already has a good number of name brands and a few other schools who can compete on an inconsistent basis. The more compelling thing, from the league’s standpoint, is that they benefit from aggregating the sports into their own video network, which is what BTN is. To make it work they need to cram as much content from the 12 (soon 14) members of the league. Not just 2nd/3rd tier football but basketball, hockey, baseball, soccer, volleyball and women’s sports. Right now, they’re only offering the bulk of the non-revenue sports on BTN2Go but they’ll have to balance out more on the TV side if they want to convince alumni living in the B1G states to watch BTN. Look to the Pac-12 network as a better model to look at once that network gets solid footing.

      Football will remain a big part of the whole equation but as time goes on other sports will get their attention. What killed the Big East wasn’t the football side or the basketball side but the failure of leadership and institutional myopathy on the part of individual members. Fights over money are a symptom of those.

    • Eric says:

      Actually as little as I look forward to playing Rutgers and Maryland, I hope there’s not any more football powers. We’ve conference championship game and now have 14 teams. Conference titles are now far, far harder to come by and the streaks without them will be much longer. I don’t want to make that worse by adding stronger teams.

      • Richard says:

        If Bama and LSU aren’t afraid of adding A&M, why are you afraid of adding FSU?

        • Eric says:

          Afraid is not the right word. It’s a question of priorities. Would I a) rather see some Florida State/Notre Dame/Texas/other power win some championships at the expense of existing teams (including those who will now only win once in a blue moon) or b) rather have those type of games as non-conference games and let them compete in their own existing mostly geographical league while we do the same in ours?

          It might make the Big Ten stronger, but I am not a Big Ten fan so much as I am fan of traditional Big Ten programs. If it hurts Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, etc in addition to Ohio State, I don’t care a lick if the Big Ten itself is stronger or weaker.

          • Richard says:

            So why wouldn’t you prioritize adding FSU when the SEC prioritized adding A&M?

            Adding A&M didn’t exactly enhance the chances of Vandy or MS schools winning an SEC title.

            Finally, as a fan of a smaller school, I’m all in favor of adding FSU. I’d rather win a stronger league once or twice than win a weaker league 4 times. If your main goal is winning conference titles, then join the BE. The competition would be more to your liking.

    • zeek says:

      In part that’s why I think that they must consider a non-AAU if they can’t grab UVa/UNC as the next two.

      You absolutely need ND or FSU or Va Tech if you can’t get UNC in the next move. There has to be some football quality for TV purposes.

      • zeek says:

        I say that fully realizing that ND is off the table now.

        That means that you have to at least consider Va Tech or FSU in the next set of additions.

        UVa/Va Tech

        FSU/Georgia Tech

        Those are the two that make sense to me. Either does if you feel the need to go to 16.

        • BruceMcF says:

          If they are doing a pairs deal, “we get this one middling quality academic school to be able to take this AAU school”, stretching the geography at the same time would make that a harder sell, which makes UVA/VTech seem less of a fight with the actual “university” side of the Big 10 Universities.

          • Richard says:

            VTech is also closer to AAU & present less cultural issues than FSU. Not nearly as big a brand in football, though.

          • BruceMcF says:

            Yes, VTech can likely enlist engineering departments in the Big Ten to press their case, which IF they are a pair with an AAU school, and given that they are a “contiguous expansion”, would seem to make for the least trouble on that side of it for anything other than a pair of AAU schools.

            On the football side, it digs into the question of whether the Big Ten needs to add another King, or whether a Prince will do. I’d think that VTech would be a regular contender, and UVA an occasional contender ~ neither would be a perennial doormat. Plus a rivalry game in a growing large metro and multiple growing medium metro markets, which is a bonus.

          • Crpodhaj says:

            There are two teams that are very close to AAU and traditional B1G research standards which, if they had to, they could maybe stomach: VaTech and NCState. People don’t speak of NC State enough, but they are very similar to Va Tech in research metrics. I’m not saying either one would be a good fit.

            I really think the base of the ACC is going to be a tough nut to crack. UVA and VaTech have political ties, as do UNC and NCSt. UVA and UNC have long standing rivalries. Obviously UNC shares that with Duke. Duke, UNC and NCSt are all in the research triangle, minutes apart. Academically, they are similar (three being in the AAU and highly ranked and the other two are not that far off). Those five really form a united core, much more so than Maryland was with them. Money alone, as things sit right now, won’t divide them. Either they all go in one block together (to the Big 12 perhaps who could take them all and still be around 16 teams?) or they don’t move.

            They really are like a smaller version of Texas and Oklahoma with the schools attached to them. Their union hurts the SEC more than the B1G. The B1G has eyeballs. Lots of them. The SEC badly needs more viewers if the network is going to work like they want it. The B1G can wait. Eventually, the money may make a difference to the ACC core. But then who knows?

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            “…VTech is also closer to AAU & present less cultural issues than FSU…”

            @Richard – According to the AAU’s own metrics made available during the Nebraska review, VPI was tied at #91 & FSU #94. Those numbers are several years old but unless one of the institutions has made major strides not echoed by the other then there is no real difference between VPI & FSU when it comes to suitability for AAU membership.

        • mushroomgod says:

          I think VT is to SECish to fit in the BIG 10. Football is everything there….the culture is like A&M…..VA is to VT as TX is to A&M……..

          • BruceMcF says:

            That’s sports fan culture. Academics don’t generally give a flying frack about sports fan culture, its about where a school fits in the academic snobbery race. The Big Ten aren’t the Ivy League (and never have been since their founding), but looking at the Big Ten as an academic association with sports attached, at least they can look down their noses on the majority of other associations of public universities.

          • mushroomgod says:

            Football runs the show down south, not the math department. A&M didn’t give the BIG a sniff, but couldn’t jump high enough for the SEC. I thnik VT is more like A&M than VA in that respect.

          • Richard says:

            VA isn’t the deep South, Mushroom.

            In an interview, the VTech AD talked about academic fit being just as important as athletic fit. I know that you love your stereotypes, but at least get them right.

          • mushroomgod says:

            Thanks Rick, but I did get it right. That part of VA is still very much red state.

          • Richard says:

            Culturally, it’s like WV or KY, but also southern OH, southern IN, and southern IL.

          • BruceMcF says:

            Yes, mushroomgod, I know the SEC culture well enough ~ I did do my grad study and GTA teaching at Tennessee, Knoxville. But despite the lovely castles in the sky built by conference expansion enthusiasts, VTech is no certainty to be the expansion targets that the SEC settles on to get to 16, and the SEC is no certainty to want to go beyond 16 in the medium term future (aka the length of the next TV contract).

          • Mike R says:

            SW VA is red state country, for sure, but Montgomery County itself is not. And VT draws much of its student body from the northeast. There are plenty of VT alums in the Philly area, for instance. Closer to a B1G student body, demographically, than an SEC student body with the possible exception of UFL (which also has a sizable northeastern contingent).

          • BruceMcF says:

            And its not the math department, its the engineering dept. Your elevator speech answer to “its not an AAU school!” is, “but look at how much research money it attracts!”, and a medium grade medical or engineering department can attract grant amounts that would make the mouth of the most elite social science department head water. Math is more like physics in the research funding money train, a service dept to train students in the engineering departments.

    • mushroomgod says:

      I don’t think GT and VA are “football deficient” teams……I think they are middle of the road teams in the Big 10……..If the Big has to go to 16 and can’t get UNC I would much prefer them to adding FSU. FSU would be a ridiculous addition, imo, and wouldn’t work in the long-run for either party.

    • Brian says:


      “It seems everyone is in agreement that the B1G can’t afford to water down the league with two more Football deficient teams no one else wants (UVA/GT).”

      I highly doubt everyone agrees about that. Some don’t think UVA and GT are that bad, others care more about academics than CFB, and yet others don’t want more powers.

      “I just can’t imagine they pass up a chance to add Florida (the state) to the footprint.”

      I can. This isn’t a game of Risk. The point isn’t to just get the most territory.

      “Here’s a question someone sent in to ESPN. Even Bennett things FSU’s a get.”

      His opinion is meaningless, but even he notes FSU is highly unlikely unless they get in the AAU first. The questions leads me to one observation – I’ve seen so many schools mentioned as about to join the AAU or on that path or whatever.

      The AAU is only 62 schools and they’ve lost as many as they’ve added in the past decade. They don’t seem to be looking to grow much, so a bunch of schools are going to have to get the boot to make room for all these supposed candidates. New members seem to have to make it to about the 50th percentile of the current members at least (GT was above, BU just below in NE’s presentation). None of these supposed candidates are anywhere near that level. The highest would be Miami, and they’re below the 25th percentile.

  60. drwillini says:

    My Christmas gift to you all are the B1G divisions and schedules, all worked to preserve, geographical contiguity, traditional rivalries, interdivisional play and competitive balance. In the process you will see that 14 is a surprisingly stable number. The general format is a nine game conference schedule with 5 protected games that occur every year. That leaves 4 non-protected games that allow you to play the other 8 teams twice (home and home) in a four year undergraduate career. So to summarize we are protecting 5 rivalry games while allowing a road trip to and hosting of every other B1G school while most kids are there.
    The two divisions are a variation of the inner/outer option. Teams are listed in the Division with their protected games:

    Nebraska: Iowa, UMd, Rutgers, PSU, UMn
    UMn: Iowa, UW, UMd, Rutgers, Nebraska
    UIa: Nebraska, UMn, UW, MSU, UIl
    UW: UMn, UIa, NW, UIl, Rutgers
    PSU: OSU, UMd, Rutgers, Nebraska, NW
    UMd: PSU, Rutgers, Nebraska, UMn, Iowa
    Rutgers: PSU, UMd, Nebraska, UMn, UW
    UIl: UW, NW,IU, Purdue, UIa
    NW: UW, UMi, UIl, UMd, PSU
    IU: Purdue, UIl, UMi, MSU, OSU
    Purdue: IU, UIl, UMi, MSU, OSU
    UMi: NW, MSU, IU, Purdue, OSU
    MSU: UMi, IU, Purdue, OSU, UIa
    OSU: UMi, MSU, IU, Purdue, PSU

    What do you all think?

    • cutter says:


      I’m pretty sure NCAA regulations require teams to play each of the other teams in its division. Your set up has teams playing only five of the six other teams in its division. For example, Illinois is in Michigan’s division, but the Illini aren’t one of the five protected games for UM. Under your system, Michigan would play Illinois twice every four years, but not annually per the NCAA rules.

      I do agree with you that a 14-team conference with a nine-game schedule isn’t a bad setup. If you go 6-1-2 with a protected cross division rival, then it means a program will play the same seven teams on an annual basis and will rotate through the other six teams in the over division over the course of a six-year span.

      With your set up and a 6-1-2 schedule, Michigan would play Illinois, Northwestern, Indiana, Purdue, Michigan State and Ohio State on an annual basis. If you wanted to keep the Little Brown Jug game intact each year, Michigan’s protected rival could be Minnesota. If the B1G (and the networks) wanted Michigan’s protected rival to be a well-recognized program (a “king”), then Nebraska or Penn State would make sense.

      I’ve written this before, but I feel that the Big Ten will want to put as many name programs in an eastern division in order to better promote the B1G and the Big Ten Network (BTN) in the larger population/metro areas spanning from western Connecticut and Long Island through to northern Virginia. A likely scenario has Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State in the east with Rutgers and Maryland. Add Purdue and Indiana to that list and have Michigan State go to the west as UM’s protected rival. This means that at least two of UM, OSU and PSU will be playing in the northern New Jersey or DC/Baltimore regions each year.

      The western division would have Nebraska, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Iowa, Northwestern, Illinois and Minnesota. This would allow many of the major rivalries to stay intact while keeping together four schools (Nebraska, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota) that want to play one another in one division. The negative is the perception of competitive imbalance (although all the participants in the B1G conference championship game to date would be in this division) because the number of “kings” in the east would be three and the west would have only one.

      We’ll see what happens in due course. I would expect to hear how the divisions will be set up sometime next month or perhaps in February. This will probably be done in concert with the release of new conference schedules and an announcement about any decisions regarding whether or not the B1G will actually adopt a nine-game conference schedule and when it will be formally implemented. I agree with many of the others here in that we might see it around the 2017 season.

      Of course, much of this goes out the door if the conference does opt to go to 16 teams and those programs come from south of the Potomac River. The conference would then have to decide to go with a conventional setup with two eight-team divisions or to set up a system like the old WAC did with four pods (or quadrants).

      If it’s the former and the same holds regarding promoting the B1G and BTN in the mid-Atlantic areas (which may now extend to Atlanta, Tallahassee or Charlotte), I still feel that the best brands would make their way into the eastern division. That means Michigan will probably join Michigan State, Ohio State and Penn State along with Rutgers, Maryland and the two new members to make up the eastern division. Seven games played in the division with two games against teams in the other division each season. With that setup, it takes eight years to get through all the teams in the western division provided they play home and home series in consecutive years and only four years to do it if they set up the schedule to cycle through the teams two at a time with no return dates the following year.

      • drwillini says:

        Cutter, didn’t realize that was a requirement to play every other team in your division. That’s too bad. What I did to come up with this scheme was to first write down the teams in the same state and contiguous states to every school. As it turns out 5 covers a lot them, a couple have 6, and some have less. The ones with less are on the eastern and western edges, so that leads to t he inner/outer division. Then I just moved a few teams around for balance, etc and had to acccomodate the teams with 6 neighbors.

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        Just a few thoughts on the thread so far:

        1) Never minding the NCAA requirement, it would be just plain dumb to have a division set-up, unless all teams in the same division play each other annually. Otherwise, you could have two teams tie for the division championship who didn’t play each other, with no rational tie-breaker to decide who gets to play in the conference championship game.

        2) There are five existing rivalries that I believe the B1G will consider essential; that is, there is ZERO chance they’d pick an alignment without these pairs meeting annually: Michigan-Ohio State; Wisconsin-Minnesota; and the three intra-state rivalries of Michigan-Michigan State, Northwestern-Illinois, and Indiana-Purdue. For those who don’t know, Wisconsin-Minnesota is the oldest annually contested game in the FBS.

        3) I think it’s also a practical certainty that Penn State, Rutgers, and Maryland, will meet every year, which means they have to be in the same division.

        4) It’s not quite a certainty, but the Western schools (Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska) have been agitating to be in the same division. Most proposed alignments I’ve seen have honored this preference.

        5) I don’t think Michigan-Minnesota would be as high a priority. It was not a protected rivalry before Nebraska joined the league. If they protect it, it will only be because it was convenient, not because it was necessary.

        6) I believe there is growing consensus to put Michigan-Ohio State in the same division, and eliminate the possibilty of playing the same game two weeks in a row.

        7) I have no opinion on whether Ohio State-Penn State is considered essential (as Frank claims it is). I’ve seen no interviews or articles to that effect. I do believe the conference would try to schedule “the Kings” in Maryland and New Jersey as often as possible.

        8) The travel issues with the “Inner/Outer” alignment are not an obstacle. Just look up the distance from Maryland or Rutgers to any other B1G school that is not each other or Penn State. Likewise, look up the distance from Nebraska to any other B1G school that is not Iowa, Wisconsin, or Minesota. These are not realistically drivable distances, certainly for the players, and probably not for any significant number of fans. In other words, as long as the three Eastern schools are in the same division, it doesn’t really matter very much who the other four are; and likewise for the four Western schools.

        9) But I do agree that the lack of significant Michigan/Ohio State exposure in the east is the one big argument against Inner/Outer.

        10) The only credible geographic alignment is East/West; North/South just doesn’t make any sense. Any East/West alignment will require locked rivals, most of which will be arbitrary. For instance, one popular option is:

        East: Rutgers, Maryland, PSU, Michigan, Ohio State, Indiana, Purdue
        West: Michigan State, Illinois, Northwestern, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Iowa

        Obviously, Michigan and Michigan State would be locked. But none of the others would have any particular rhyme or reason.

        • BruceMcF says:

          Is it necessary for scheduling for all teams to have locked rivals when some do?

          It seems like under eight conference games, it would work for different numbers of locked games. For instance, one locked rivalry gives the locked rivals playing the alternate cross division games once every six years. So the unlocked teams in the other division would play in pairs, and stall the rotation by one half step when its their turn to play the locked rival.

          And if they are free to go to 9 games in 2019, they do not require a complete rotation under 8 conference games. So if the Buckeyes have their MSU game set for 2016, and their rotation through the balance of the West is:
          NW, Illini, WI, MN, UNL, IA

          It would be for the Buckeyes:
          2014: Rutgers, MD, PSU, MI, IN, Purdue, NW, Illini
          2015: Rutgers, MD, PSU, MI, IN, Purdue, WI, MN
          2016: Rutgers, MD, PSU, MI, IN, Purdue, MSU, UNL
          2017: Rutgers, MD, PSU, MI, IN, Purdue, IA, NW
          2018: Rutgers, MD, PSU, MI, IN, Purdue, Illini, WI

          SO first you set out the locked rival cross division schedule, that gives you the “slipped cogs”, then you start setting up the rotations, it should all sort out.

          But it’d be fairer to OSU for having to play both Rutgers and MD each year to swap MSU for Indiana, have Indiana/Purdue the sole locked cross division game, and then:

          2014: Rutgers, MD, PSU, MI, MSU, Purdue, NW, Illini
          2015: Rutgers, MD, PSU, MI, MSU, Purdue, WI, MN
          2016: Rutgers, MD, PSU, MI, MSU, Purdue, IN, UNL
          2017: Rutgers, MD, PSU, MI, MSU, Purdue, IA, NW
          2018: Rutgers, MD, PSU, MI, MSU, Purdue, Illini, WI

        • Brian says:

          Marc Shepherd,

          “2) There are five existing rivalries that I believe the B1G will consider essential; that is, there is ZERO chance they’d pick an alignment without these pairs meeting annually: Michigan-Ohio State; Wisconsin-Minnesota; and the three intra-state rivalries of Michigan-Michigan State, Northwestern-Illinois, and Indiana-Purdue. For those who don’t know, Wisconsin-Minnesota is the oldest annually contested game in the FBS.”

          I think NE/IA is on that list, too.

          “3) I think it’s also a practical certainty that Penn State, Rutgers, and Maryland, will meet every year, which means they have to be in the same division.”

          You’d think so.

          “5) I don’t think Michigan-Minnesota would be as high a priority. It was not a protected rivalry before Nebraska joined the league. If they protect it, it will only be because it was convenient, not because it was necessary.”

          It wasn’t locked, but still only missed 4 years (1999-2000, 2009-2010). I agree, it’s a tiebreaker when choosing alignments, but not a deal breaker. OSU/IL is in the same boat (only team OSU has played more than MI). IA/MN is too. Maybe WI/IA as well.

          “6) I believe there is growing consensus to put Michigan-Ohio State in the same division, and eliminate the possibilty of playing the same game two weeks in a row.”

          Consensus of whom? We have no idea what the presidents and ADs actually want yet.

          “7) I have no opinion on whether Ohio State-Penn State is considered essential (as Frank claims it is). I’ve seen no interviews or articles to that effect. I do believe the conference would try to schedule “the Kings” in Maryland and New Jersey as often as possible.”

          I don’t think it is essential, but it’s value is. OSU/PSU and MI/NE are both valuable, but OSU/NE and MI/PSU would do just as well. based on proximity to OSU, I’d prefer to just stick with playing PSU annually.

          “8) The travel issues with the “Inner/Outer” alignment are not an obstacle. Just look up the distance from Maryland or Rutgers to any other B1G school that is not each other or Penn State. Likewise, look up the distance from Nebraska to any other B1G school that is not Iowa, Wisconsin, or Minesota. These are not realistically drivable distances, certainly for the players, and probably not for any significant number of fans. In other words, as long as the three Eastern schools are in the same division, it doesn’t really matter very much who the other four are; and likewise for the four Western schools.”

          The issue is overblown. The additions of RU and MD assured everyone of more travel. I think preserving their rivalry blocks are worth it. It’s 5.5-6 B10 games at home or a drivable distance away each year. That’s not bad.

          “9) But I do agree that the lack of significant Michigan/Ohio State exposure in the east is the one big argument against Inner/Outer.”

          You are forgetting the crossover games. They could make sure RU and MD play either MI or OSU every year for the first 10 years very easily (they did it for PSU with MI).

          “10) The only credible geographic alignment is East/West; North/South just doesn’t make any sense. Any East/West alignment will require locked rivals, most of which will be arbitrary. For instance, one popular option is:

          East: Rutgers, Maryland, PSU, Michigan, Ohio State, Indiana, Purdue
          West: Michigan State, Illinois, Northwestern, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Iowa

          Obviously, Michigan and Michigan State would be locked. But none of the others would have any particular rhyme or reason.”

          There are lots of wise pairings – OSU/IL to preserve Illibuck, OSU/WI for a big game, PSU/NE for a big TV game, RU/NW for a NYC/Chicago battle, etc.

          A psedo-geographic alignment that works is alternating blocks:
          A – NE, WI, IA, MN, OSU, PU, IN
          B – MI, MSU, NW, IL, PSU, MD, RU

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

    • ohiomarc says:

      The inner/outer alignment is my favorite, but I don’t think it’ll be chosen. It really is just about perfect though. All important rivalries are kept in-division (so no guaranteed crossovers are necessary) and the power balance is fine. Some have complained about the travel, but I think that’s overstated. The biggest problem, and the main reason it won’t be picked imo, is that neither OSU and UM are in Rutgers’ division. The PTB are gonna want at least one of those schools (more likely both) there on an annual basis. I think it’ll probably end up like this:

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

      • I understand that on this board Minnesota is a bit of an afterthought. I’ve seen most projections matching up MN with Purdue or Indiana for the protected cross-over opponent. If looking through a historical lens, Michigan should be Minnesota’s cross-over game. The battle for the “Little Brown Jug” is among the oldest traveling trophies in college football, dating back to 1903. These two schools were legends in the previous golden age of college football. Admittedly it has not been a competitive rivalry since the Johnson Administration. However it would still be a shame if Minnesota and Michigan only played for the jug once every five to six years as proposed under many of the scenarios in this and the other threads.Not quite a Texas not playing Texas A&M shame, but a concrete example of realignment’s impact on fans.

        • zeek says:

          That’s fair, but I think they’re really going to prioritize Minnesota’s relationships with Wisconsin (#1) and Iowa (#2) and maybe even Nebraska before Michigan.

          • zeek says:

            I also say that because if we do eventually go to 16 schools, Minnesota is highly likely to end up with Nebraska and Iowa and Wisconsin (with Wisconsin either in that pod or as a crossover opponent).

            So at some point, Minnesota’s going to end up giving up the Michigan game in favor of those other 3 schools annually.

        • cutter says:

          Unless you put Michigan and Minnesota in the same pod or same division, you’re going to have scenarios where the two teams don’t play each other annually. OTOH, those sorts of arrangements may allow them to play one another two years out of every four (pods) or two years out of every six (two 7-team divisions with nine conference games).

          I don’t know how Minnesota fans rate their relationships with other teams, but I have to imagine playing Wisconsin and Iowa on a regular basis is paramount with Nebraska a close second. Add Michigan and Michigan State to the mix along with Northwestern and that UM-UMinn relationship is intact and the Golden Gophers get games against the teams they most likely want to play.

          That leaves the other division as follows: Illinois, Indiana, Purdue, Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers, Maryland. If I recall correctly, this is the sort of division lineup that OSU AD Gene Smith said he wouldn’t endorse because it leaves a pretty uninspiring group of B1G teams in the Buckeyes’ division.

          It’s all tradeoffs, but IMHO, what it will come down to is demographics and to promoting not only the conference but the BTN in the mid-Atlantic regions with an eye towards adding two more teams located south of the Potomac River. If you’re trying to get a program like North Carolina and Big Ten says to UNC that they’ll have regular games with Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State (along with a very big payday to boot), then that could be the thing that sways UNC to the Big Ten over the SEC.

      • cutter says:


        Yes, that’s where I think this will end up as well. That means teams would play six games in their own division plus two in the opposite division if the B1G opts to stay with eight conference games in 2014. With 8 B10 games and no protected rivalries on the schedule, Michigan and Michigan State would essentially be broken up, but that would be one of the trade offs in order to keep the divisions a bit more balanced while still keeping three kings in the east to promote the conference and the BTN to the mid-Atlantic/eastern media and fan bases.

        We’ll see what happens. I seem to recall some of the discussion about having nine conference games being we want to play one another more not less or words to that effect. But if it takes a handful of years before transitioning to a nine-game schedule with fourteen teams, I wouldn’t be surprised one bit.

        Underlying all this is a schedule or a plan that we’re simply don’t know about, i.e., when the conference goes to 16 teams and what the two additional programs end up being. The divisional alignment that will be announced early in 2013 may only have a two-year shelf life (2014/5) and its composition might reflect that.

        For example, that set up you put above might sever the UM-MSU relationship, but don’t be surprised if the two teams are scheduled to play one another in a couple of cross-divisional games in 2014/5 as an interim measure prior to another division alignment or pod setup that would come about if the conference goes to 16 teams.

        • wmtiger says:

          Odds M-MSU get broken up, 1.7 million to one.

          • zeek says:

            Agreed. Even if those two are in separate divisions, that game is going to be locked in annually.

            There’s no way that they’d kill off a state rivalry as important Michigan-Michigan State.

          • jj says:

            Never tell me the odds.

            I’d be shocked if they are in different divisions.

          • BruceMcF says:

            If they are in different divisions, it will be a locked cross division game. You can’t lock two cross-division games, so that implies MI/OSU in the same division. Then even if PSU/OSU is in-division, it still would mean OSU/MSU only once every six years, since MSU/MI would be locked.

      • John O says:

        The inner/outer is my favorite as well. If the B1G chooses to divide this way perhaps they might schedule Michigan/OSU vs Rutgers/Maryland home and homes in ’14 – ’17, switching the pairing after two years. Assuming the B1G goes to a 9 game schedule after that, it wouldn’t be too difficult to schedule Michigan and OSU to play the two new members an average of every other year while devising a more balanced rotation pattern for scheduling the other ‘inner’ division members to play Maryland and Rutgers.

        • wmtiger says:

          Inner/outer is great for inner, lousy for everyone in ‘outer.’

          • Eric says:

            I disagree. It’s not as ideal, but let’s pretend you are Minnesota/Iowa/Nebraska/Wisconsin. Are you really going to have many more fans travelling to Illinois/Northwestern/Purdue than Maryland/Penn State/Rutgers. I think there’d be some difference, but it’s far less absurd than the proposed alignment (keeping the current divisions and moving Illinois west) which leaves Wisconsin in a division with no border state schools and keeps Penn State-Nebraska as annual crossovers.

            Really when you get down to it though, the biggest issue is that no one aside from Penn State no one has any desire to be in a division with Rutgers and Maryland (1/4 the total conference schedule and 2/7 to 1/3 the locked teams), but it’s hard to seperate them.

          • zeek says:

            Eric, I really don’t think they’ll consider Inner/Outer for that long.

            It’s going to require two far trips for the 3 eastern schools annually along with one or two far trips east for the 4 western schools annually.

            My guess is that it comes down to East-West (splitting up Michigan/Michigan State) or the current configuration but with Illinois moving to the West and the new ones sliding into the East.

          • @zeek – That’s my guess, as well, although my mind switches on this issue almost daily.

            I think these are the 3 absolutes:

            (1) Michigan – Ohio State preserved (obvious)

            (2) Ohio State – Penn State preserved (a little less obvious, but trust me that it’s as critical to the B1G as MI-OSU)

            (3) Penn State, Maryland and Rutgers are all in the same division.

            I think any proposal that doesn’t feature those 3 factors at a minimum will automatically be tossed out.

            The Ohio State-Penn State pairing is an important factor because it limits the ability for where Michigan, Ohio State and Michigan State go (and by extension, where the 3 East Coast schools go). Michigan *has* to be in the same division as one of either OSU or MSU since it can only have one crossover rival. At the same time, OSU can’t be in the opposite division of both Michigan and PSU (and as a result, Maryland and Rutgers), so OSU also has to be in the same division of at least one of those rivals, too.

          • drwillini says:

            One way to rationalize it is that the inner gets exposure in Chicago and the outer in NYC.

          • greg says:

            “let’s pretend you are Minnesota/Iowa/Nebraska/Wisconsin. Are you really going to have many more fans travelling to Illinois/Northwestern/Purdue than Maryland/Penn State/Rutgers.”

            Is this a real question? Yes, those schools are going to have 10x as many people travelling to Ill/NW/Pur. Iowa and Nebraska fill half of Dyche Stadium, and would in Champaign if they were ever on our schedule.

          • mushroomgod says:

            I may be in the minority, but this IU fan wouldn’t mind being in the same division as MD and Rutgers……first, there is the change of scenery angle….second, if IU gets worth following, there would be side trips available to NYC and DC.

          • Eric says:

            If this is a long term approach (instead of just assuming its a few years), I think they’ll definitely pause on straight east-west. It leaves most the population, recruitings grounds (6 of the 7 biggest recruiting Big Ten states would be partly or entirely in the east), and big names in one division and it sounds like they really considered the Big 12 North/South before.

            If keeping the current divisions is really an option though, I have got to say that travel expenses loses all weight as an argument. You can’t have a set-up with Wisconsin in a division without any border state teams and have Penn State’s annual crossover as Nebraska and say travel is why you avoided inner-outer (to be fair, I still understand why they wouldn’t, but travel alone isn’t enough of a reason).

          • ILL-one says:

            How about a North/South split?

            North South
            Michigan OSU
            PSU Nebraska
            Wisconsin Iowa
            MSU Illinois
            Rutgers Maryland
            Northwestern Purdue
            Minnesota Indiana

            The south would be weaker but as a short term fix I think it could work. 2 Kings and a prince for each but the bottom of the South is definitely weaker. It would get all teams to the east coast within two years. Could develop some excitement on the east coast prior to the new B1G contract which I would assume include 2 new teams, at which point your going to through this whole process again anyway.

            Just a thought.

          • zeek says:

            Big difference though in creating significant travel expectations for 7 schools as opposed to 1 school (Wisconsin).

          • cutter says:


            I would disagree with your premise that no one wants to be in the same division with both Rutgers and Maryland. The people I talk to at Michigan who are relatively close to the decision makers have indicated that UM definitely wants to be in the east because the distribution of alumni, the fund raising opportunities in the NYC and DC/Baltimore areas and the ready access to the major print and electronic media outlets ranging from the New York Times to the Washington Post to ESPN in Bristol, CT to the YES! Network in NYC or even the new Fox Sports Channel.

            They’d also be happy to have Michigan in the same division with Ohio State in order to keep The Game as the regular season finale with no possibility of a rematch in the conference championship game. As they see it, having back-to-back games with OSU at season’s end would likely hurt Michigan’s chances to get into the four-team playoff then help it.

            So once you get to the point that Michigan wants to have those games on the east coast and PSU wants to be in the same division as Rutgers and Maryland, then having Ohio State in the east also falls into place. At that juncture, you either add Michigan State in the east or you set up an annual fixed inter-conference rivalry game with MSU to ensure the Wolverine-Spartan relationship remains in place.

          • dtwphx says:

            Hopefully they don’t do Inner/Outer.
            The 4 western schools are too different than the eastern 3.
            Besides, all the seed, fertilizer, farm commercials probably won’t get a lot of traction in NJ.

            I’d put the 6 western schools together + OSU.for the Western Division
            The Eastern Division would be the 8 eastern schools minus OSU.
            – OSU is a king w/ recruiting grounds, unlike UM.
            – MSU goes with UM.
            – MSU’s basketball name recognition will help with familiarity in Maryland.
            – Indiana’s soccer/bball name recognition will help with familiarity in Maryland.
            – the B1G should give Purdue $5million to start a men’s lacrosse team.
            – splits the Illini, Maryland, Rutgers, 3 underachieving FB schools.

            The EAST could have:
            5 of the 6 men’s lacrosse playing members (if Purdue would add)
            6 of the 9 mens’s soccer playing members
            (this helps with the cohesion of the eastern division, with 2 new schools)

            The western division gets the population centers of Illinois and Ohio
            The eastern division gets Michigan, Pennsylvania, and the east.

          • Eric says:


            From a university president standpoint, I sadly bet you are entirely right. I hadn’t thought about Michigan, but I figured Ohio State might push for east-west to keep annual games with Penn State as well. From the fan standpoint though, playing Rutgers and Maryland does little and this is feeling less and less like the Big Ten and more and more like some new conference entirely.

            In the end, I guess it comes down to what the priorities of the different leaders are. If the western teams want to play each other and that’s top and Ohio State/Michigan want to be together in the east, that’s probably what we’ll get. If the western schools though are unconfortable about being split from the bigger population centers, we’re more likely to keep the current divisions or go inner-outer. If 9 games isn’t on the table or Delany pushes competive balance enough, inner-outer gains a lot of momentum. Otherwise the current alignment with Illinois moving west is more likely.

          • Eric says:


            If we aren’t going inner-outer, I wouldn’t mind that at all, but I think if inner-outer is out, they’ll find a way to keep Ohio State-Penn State and thus Ohio State won’t be in the west.

          • dtwphx says:

            Any alignment that has OSU, PSU, and the east
            is too unbalanced from a population and recruiting ground perspective.
            That’s why OSU needs to go west,

          • cutter says:

            For Eric:

            It’s going to be difficult to balance population numbers regardless of the divisional split. As I wrote above, a simple east-west split with the state of Indiana in the east and the state of Michigan in the west as the numbers of people as 35.2M in the east and 49.3M in the west.

            Even if you flip those two states around, the difference between the two goes from 14.1M to around 10.6M between the two regions. Of course, all of this doesn’t count New York City and its population of over 8M people, which also has to be part of the calculation.

          • wmtiger says:

            Who that is a team of an ‘outer’ team likes ‘outer’? Nobody I’ve found yet. None.

          • zeek says:

            Agree 100% wmtiger.

            I haven’t heard from fans of Nebraska, Penn State, Maryland, Rutgers, etc. that are fans of the Outer division.

          • BruceMcF says:

            Its the assumption that PSU has to be in the same division as both Rutgers and Maryland that constraints the outcomes ~ locking three together when one of those three are locked with somebody else who is locked with somebody else is a bottleneck.

            That gives rise to:

            (1) PSU / MU / OSU / Rutgers / Maryland scenarios, which are all some flavor of East/West and only five of the current 12 get the full benefit of Eastern expansion.

            (2) MU / OSU | PSU / Rutger / Maryland scenarios, with OSU/PSU locked
            Inner/Outer and Sandwich alignments

            (3) MU | OSU / PSU / Rutgers / MD scenarios
            eg, North / South, SE/NW

            SouthEast: MD / Rutgers / PSU / OSU / IN / Purdue / Illini
            NorthWest: MI / MSU / NW / WI / MN / IA / UNL

            (3) sucks for the Buckeyes, because we are only get to play four or five traditional Big Ten teams every year. (1) is marginally better because there is no risk of watering down of The Game with a twosies for the wimp counterfeit on a neutral field.

            There are more alternatives if the Big Ten decides to share the new markets and recruiting grounds with everyone in the conference, but on those three constraints, its got to be one of those three.

          • dtwphx says:

            SouthEast: MD / Rutgers / PSU / OSU / IN / Purdue / Illini
            NorthWest: MI / MSU / NW / WI / MN / IA / UNL

            One good thing about the NW/SE, the NW has better football strength
            even though the SE has better recruiting.
            The scenario does give the Illini, Terps, and Rutgers a chance to step it up FB-wise.
            When MD,Rutgers,IN,Purdue, and the Illini are in one division, at least one of
            the five will become a consistent winner.

            But why lock more than what absolutely needs to get locked, UM/OSU and Illini/NW?
            If you lock PSU/UNL, then other cross division teams play them less.
            Wouldn’t IN,Purdue, and Illinois want to play UNL in the same frequency they play WI, IA, and MN?
            Wouldn’t MSU,WI,IA, and MN want to play PSU in the same frequency they play Purdue and IN, not less?

          • Eric says:


            They are minorities, but I’ve several seen fans from the Rutgers, Penn State, and Wisconsin all argue for inner-outer.

            Looking through the comments though, it’s the one by Frank that makes me think it’s unlikely. For various reasons, Ohio State-Penn State has become important for eastern exposure and the conference wants to keep it annual. I personally don’t care anymore about playing Penn State than Wisconsin and put more emphasis on the Illibuck than either (OK, I’m too much of a traditionalist, I’ll admit it), but for the TV views, they’ll probably stick together.

            I do bet that it’s Wisconsin and not Illinois that ends up moving west if they keep the current divisions though. I think they’ve softened their position on competitive balance somewhat and if they are moving things around for geography, they are going to be reluctant to leave Wisconsin in a set-up without any of its border state teams.

            My current guess on the actual divisions is (including names) is:

            Ohio State——————–Michigan
            Penn State——————-Nebraska
            Indiana———————–Michigan State

          • BruceMcF says:

            SouthEast: MD / Rutgers / PSU / OSU / IN / Purdue / Illini
            NorthWest: MI / MSU / NW / WI / MN / IA / UNL

            Lord, that’s wretched.
            Buckeyes: MD / Rutgers / PSU / IN / Purdue / Illini / MSU / MI
            Buckeyes: MD / Rutgers / PSU / IN / Purdue / Illini / NW / MI
            Buckeyes: MD / Rutgers / PSU / IN / Purdue / Illini / WI / MI
            Buckeyes: MD / Rutgers / PSU / IN / Purdue / Illini / MN / MI
            Buckeyes: MD / Rutgers / PSU / IN / Purdue / Illini / IA / MI
            Buckeyes: MD / Rutgers / PSU / IN / Purdue / Illini / UNL / MI

            We get dumped into the Maryland/Rutgers division AND PLAY INDIANA EVERY YEAR, but only get Michigan State, Northwestern, Wisconsin and Nebraska once in six years?

            If the aim is to build up pressure for a nine-game conference schedule, that would sure do the trick in Ohio.

          • StevenD says:

            zeek wrote: “I haven’t heard from fans of Nebraska, Penn State, Maryland, Rutgers, etc. that are fans of the Outer division. ”

            I am a Nebraska fan and I think the Outer Division is great: three games with the closest neighbors, a king-vs-king game, and games in DC and NYC (for all the Nebraska fans on the east coast). Perfect!

          • Phil says:

            As a Rutgers fan I would go to any game regardless, but I have tried to step back and consider the casual fan in this area. To me, there is a distinct hierarchy in perception of the B1G programs (regardless of how they are on the field in any given year):

            -OSU, MI, Neb, PSU
            -small step down to WI
            -step down to Iowa and Mich St
            -step down to IL, IN, Purdue, Northwestern and Minn

            To give yourself the best chance of growth in this area, I think you need to have MD and RU in a division with 4 of the top 7 or 3 of the top 5.

            The Inner/Outer fulfills that requirement, as does simply adding MD/RU to the existing division and shifting IL west.

            The East/West and SE/NW breakdowns proposed above are too unbalanced.

          • cutter says:

            IRT Michigan wanting to be in the eastern division, here’s are some quotes from UM AD David Brandon in from an article in the Detroit Free Press dated 19 November. The article can be found at: http://www.freep.com/article/20121119/SPORTS06/121119070/big-ten-expansion-michigan-wolverines

            “The Baltimore-Washington market selfishly for the University of Michigan is an extremely rich market in terms of the number of alums and the fans that we have down there,” Brandon told the Free Press today. “We have huge alumni clubs down there and heretofore it was rare that they would get a chance to see the Wolverines and now Maryland competes in 19 sports and we’re matched up with them in just about every one of them and so this will give Michigan a chance to be in a growth area of the country with a high population of Michigan fans and a lot of TV viewers and a lot of people who care about athletics.”

            “As you look out over the next many years, you want to be in areas where there’s growth, where recruits are coming from, where you’re going to be able to grow with population,” he said. “Although we’re very proud of our Midwest-centric tradition, there’s a lot of growth, in fact more growth, in other regions of the country and the fact that we’re moving into some of those areas over the long haul will be very positive for this conference.”

            On fit: “It’s got to be a fit. You don’t expand just for the sake of expansion at all,” he said. “You’ve got to put yourself where long term you’re going to look at that decision and you’re going to be happy with what it’s going to bring to all the member schools. When you look at all the population growth and all the market that we’ve traditionally been in versus the way population has been growing and shifting in all these other regions and looking at the number of households and sports fans in these other areas, these are target-rich opportunities for us to connect with alums, to connect with fans to bring our university to showcase what we are and what we’re about.”

            END OF EXCERPTS

            This article was written prior to the public announcement that Rutgers had also joined the B1G, which is the reason why you don’t see quotes in it about the “New York City-New Jersey” market, but those same quotes would certainly hold for that region of the country as well.

            In another article in the Ann Arbor News (http://www.annarbor.com/news/david-brandon-and-mary-sue-coleman-on-big-ten-expansion/) written ten days later and after the Rutgers announcement on Big Ten expansion, UM President Mary Sue Coleman she states, “It is about reaching our alums. We’ve got a huge number of alums on the East Coast.”

            FWIW, Brandon also states:

            “I don’t think it’s over,” Brandon said candidly during a Monday forum hosted by the Washtenaw Economic Club. “Large conferences are going to get larger; 16 seems to me to be a target for many conferences.”

            The division alignment decision is going to be made by all the schools and I’m sure it’ll be done in concert with the television networks and with an eye on future conference schedules, the number of conference games and a whole host of other factors as well (travel, alumni distribution, post-season setup, etc). Universities will lobby for certain alignments based on their interests and what they perceive to be the conference’s interests as well.

            Michigan wants to be in the eastern division. If you accept Frank’s premise that Penn State, Maryland and Rutgers are bound together and that Ohio State-Penn State needs to be preserved, then you can see a scenario where the conference as a whole agrees to put these five schools together in one of the football divisions.

            I don’t have the link to the article, but Ohio State AD Gene Smith said he didn’t want to see the Buckeyes in a division with the two schools in Indiana plus PSU, MD and RU due in large part because it wouldn’t provide for an interesting schedule. Add Michigan to that division and a protected rivalry game with Wisconsin as part of a nine-game schedule and that entire equation changes.

            In the end and if the B1G sticks at 14 teams going into the 2014 season, then my best assessment is that the conference adopts a nine-game conference schedule with one cross-divisional protected rival or 6-1-2 arrangement. The two divisions will be as follows:

            East – Michigan, Indiana, Purdue, Ohio State, Penn State, Maryland, Rutgers
            West – Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Illinois, Michigan State

            The protected cross-division rivals could then shake out as follows:

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

          • Mike R says:

            I don’t see why PSU, RU and UMd are locked into the same division. I think there is some value in splitting RU and UMd so that the entire league gets regular visits to the big Eastern markets. Perhaps a “zipper” setup with RU and UMd linked as locked-in “rivals” is feasible.

            Div A………………….Div B

            You could flip the IU-Purdue, Illini-NU or RU-UMd pairs for competitive balance between the divisions, but all of the locked-in cross-division games make sense and all of the programs get exposure in all regions of the conference.

          • greg says:

            cutter, your alignment tells the West schools “you get to host OSU, UM and PSU once every 12 years.” I don’t think they’ll go for that. I know the attitude around here is “STFU and take your money”, but those ADs have votes in that room.

            I think a NW/SE setup similar to the current scenario wins.

            Expansion sucks.

          • StevenD says:

            greg wrote: your alignment tells the West schools “you get to host OSU, UM and PSU once every 12 years.” I don’t think they’ll go for that.

            On the contrary, I think they will go for that. The most important thing for the four western schools to play each other. As long as they are in the same division, they will accept less frequent visits from Michigan and OSU.

            I also think that MSU will be happy to be in the West (as long as they get a permanent crossover with Michigan). After all, it was MSU that pushed to be in the same division with Northwestern.

            That leaves Illinois and Northwestern. I think Illinois will probably be unhappy to be in the West, but give them the permanent crossover with OSU and they will be content.

            As for Northwestern, they are already in a division with Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and MSU. Adding their two closest neighbors (Wisconsin and Illinois) will be an upgrade.

          • greg says:

            “As long as they are in the same division, they will accept less frequent visits from Michigan and OSU.”

            Evidence? When the current divisions were created, TPTB said one of the reasons UM and OSU were split up is that Athletic Directors wanted them on their schedules to sell season tickets. That probably hasn’t changed.

            OSU AD Gene Smith wasn’t happy a schedule including UM, PSU, and the rest of the rumored East division. Why would the West schools be happy with even less?

          • cutter says:


            That’s not correct. In a 6-1-2 type situation, the schools in the west that do not have Michigan, Ohio State or Penn State as a protected rival would host those teams at least one time every six years, not every twelve years.

            Using Michigan as an example, the Wolverines would be playing the six teams in its division annually (Maryland, Rutgers, Penn State, Ohio State, Indiana, Purdue) along with its protected cross-division rival (Michigan State).

            With a nine game conference schedule, that means there are two scheduling slots to cycle through the six remaining teams in the western division. If Michigan were to play those teams in a consecutive year, home-and-home series, then UM would be playing at their home stadiums one year out of every six.

            The six teams in the west that Michigan would cycle through could be paired up as follows: Nebraska/Minnesota, Wisconsin/Illinois, Northwestern/Iowa. Here’s what UM’s six-year schedule cycle would look like:

            Year 1 (5 Home/4 Away) – Maryland, at Rutgers, Penn State, at Ohio State, Purdue, at Indiana, Michigan State, at Minnesota, Nebraska

            Year 2 (4 Home/5 Away) – at Maryland, Rutgers, at Penn State, Ohio State, at Purdue, Indiana, at Michigan State, Minnesota, at Nebraska

            Year 3 (5 Home/4 Away) – Maryland, at Rutgers, Penn State, at Ohio State, Purdue, at Indiana, Michigan State, at Wisconsin, Illinois

            Year 4 (4 Home/5 Away) – at Maryland, Rutgers, at Penn State, Ohio State, at Purdue, Indiana, at Michigan State, Wisconsin, at Illinois

            Year 5 (5 Home/4 Away) – Maryland, at Rutgers, Penn State, at Ohio State, Purdue, at Indiana, Michigan State, at Iowa, Northwestern

            Year 6 (4 Home/5 Away) – at Maryland, Rutgers, at Penn State, Ohio State, at Purdue, Indiana, at Michigan State, Iowa, at Northwestern

            Year 1 would be 2014 and this schedule setup would require the B1G to approve a nine-game conference schedule in a short time scale. Is this likely? The best assessment is no because non-conference games have already been put in place to support an eight-game conference schedule. A nine-game conference schedule might not actually be adapted until 2016 or 2017.

            If it does take a few years for a nine-game conference schedule to be adapted, then an eight game schedule might be a simply 6-2 format and while Michigan State might not be a protected rival, it’s likely MSU would be one of the two western division teams on Michigan’s schedule in 2014/5.

            The other thing to consider is the time frame the B1G is considering vis-a-vis expansion to sixteen members. Will some external factor come into play that will compel the B1G to extend an invitation such as Notre Dame’s move to the ACC did IRT Maryland and Rutgers? Does the B1G want to have its conference membership in place with future schedules ready for the next round of television negotiations? While we don’t know the answers to those questions, it’s very possible to think that any divisional alignment the conference puts out may have a very short shelf life.

            If the conference does add two more teams south of the Potomac River in Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia or Florida, the the B1G can do two things–either put together two permanent eight-team conferences and play a 7-2 arrangement or arrange the 16 teams into four pods. If the former is adapted, it will take eight years for any one team to play at the home stadiums of the programs in the opposing division.

            If a pod system is adapted in the same manner as the WAC did when it had 16 teams, then that time frame is shortened up considerably. The WAC had four quadrants, i.e., pods, with two of the quadrants permanently assigned to a division. After two years, the teams in the other two pods flip flopped and new divisions were formed.

            Let’s assume the B1G continues its strategy of adding AAU universities in contiguous states to expand the geographic footprint and has Virginia plus North Carolina accepting invitations to join. Here’s one scenario based on geography, rivalries/desired opponents (assumes the three former ACC teams and Rutgers would want to play one another annually) and fan travel for the four pods or quadrants with Pods A and B permanently assigned to divisions and with Pods C and D flip flopping between the two divisions every two years:

            Pod A – Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin
            Pod B – Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State

            Pod C – Rutgers, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina
            Pod D – Illinois, Northwestern, Purdue, Indiana

            In Years 1 and 2, Pods A and D form one division (Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Northwestern, Purdue, Indiana) and Pods B and C make up the second one (Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina). This would be an east-west split.

            During Years 3 and 4, Pods A and C form one division (Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Rutgers, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina) and Pods B and D become the second one (Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, Illinois, Northwestern, Purdue, Indiana). This would be the inside-outside split.

            In a nine-game conference schedule, here is what Michigan’s schedule would look like over a four-year cycle:

            Year 1 (5 Home / 4 Away) – Michigan State, at Ohio State, Penn State, at North Carolina, Virginia, at Maryland, Rutgers, at Minnesota, Nebraska

            Year 2 (4 Home / 5 Away) – at Michigan State, Ohio State, at Penn State, North Carolina, at Virginia, Maryland, at Rutgers, Minnesota, at Nebraska

            Year 3 (5 Home / 4 Away) – Michigan State, at Ohio State, Penn State, at Illinois, Northwestern, at Indiana, Purdue, at Iowa, Wisconsin

            Year 4 (4 Home / 5 Away) – at Michigan State, Ohio State, at Penn State, Illinois, at Northwestern, Indiana, at Purdue, Iowa, at Wisconsin

            In a four-year period, Michigan (and any other team in the B1G) will play one game at home and one game on the road against the 12 teams in the other three pods (A, C and D). In the fifth year, we would go back to the same division configuration and conference schedule that was in Year 1 and repeat the cycle again.

            You could rearrange Pods C and D to put two mid-Atlantic teams with two midwest teams to ensure that the teams in Pods A and B get at least one game on the east coast each year. The system I set up above has teams playing four times on the east coast in two years, then no mid-Atlantic games for the next two seasons. This system has some flexibility to it–I just set up mine so that RU, UMD, UVA and UNC play one another each year.

          • Brian says:


            “Eric, I really don’t think they’ll consider Inner/Outer for that long.

            It’s going to require two far trips for the 3 eastern schools annually along with one or two far trips east for the 4 western schools annually.”

            The travel argument is really overblown.

            By adding 2 eastern schools, the western schools already have to travel east regularly. Even if there weren’t divisions, 3/13 of their opponents are far to the east. That’s 12% of their games played in the east, or basically 1 per season. With E/W divisions, they’d have 43% odds of playing out east once with an 8 game schedule and 64% odds with 9 games. With inner/outer, they’d play 1.5 games in the east every year. So that’s roughly a one trip per year difference between the two alignments with mo divisions being halfway in between.

            But it’s not even that much. The western schools already have to fly to most opponents.
            NE to OSU = 810 miles
            NE to PSU = 1075 miles
            NE to MD = 1200 miles
            NE to RU = 1300 miles

            How much do travel costs increase for flying another 300-500 miles once per year?

            Also, consider the shorter trips. The western teams get 1.5 drivable road games every year, too. With no divisions, they’d expect just under 1 drivable road game per season. With east/west they’d expect 1.5 (maybe more for WI and IA) just like for inner/outer. What they are doing is trading medium length trips for longer and shorter trips.

            As for the eastern schools, PSU has already been playing NE and WI annually. Does trading IL for IA make much difference to their travel costs? PU for MN? RU has been going to FL and would have had trips to ID and TX, so no complaints there. MD was going to MA and FL and points in between. The ACC zipper approach meant MD missed playing many of their closest neighbors anyway.

          • Brian says:


            “Michigan wants to be in the eastern division.”

            yes, that’s well known. You’ll notice, however, that Brandon never mentioned having OSU in that division. He was purely talking about playing MD (and the same about RU).

            “If you accept Frank’s premise that Penn State, Maryland and Rutgers are bound together”

            Most people believe this, but the BTN poll split them in one option and some people believe the B10 office is using that poll as a trial balloon.

            ” and that Ohio State-Penn State needs to be preserved,”

            I’m less sure of this. I don’t think the B10 would care if it was MI/PSU instead, they just don’t want to lose a king/king game.

            “then you can see a scenario where the conference as a whole agrees to put these five schools together in one of the football divisions.”

            I could easily see much of the conference objecting to that set of priorities.

            “I don’t have the link to the article, but Ohio State AD Gene Smith said he didn’t want to see the Buckeyes in a division with the two schools in Indiana plus PSU, MD and RU due in large part because it wouldn’t provide for an interesting schedule. Add Michigan to that division and a protected rivalry game with Wisconsin as part of a nine-game schedule and that entire equation changes.”

            Bullcrap. The game with MI is assumed. Do you seriously think Smith forgot about that game when making his statement? Playing it in division doesn’t change anything as far as desirability. Playing MD, RU, PU and IN every year sucks for ticket sales. Add in NW or MN as a crossover home game and you really kill the schedule. The home B10 slate would basically be 3 yawners plus MI or PSU. OSU’s locked rival could be WI, but it could also be IL for Illibuck. It’s a rivalry, but not a huge draw for many younger fans. Imagine this slate and convince an OSU fan to buy season tickets:

            UC, UNC, IN, MD, PSU, MN, IL

            Changing IL to WI doesn’t help much, either (just to forestall that argument).

      • Brian says:


        “The inner/outer alignment is my favorite, but I don’t think it’ll be chosen. It really is just about perfect though. All important rivalries are kept in-division (so no guaranteed crossovers are necessary) and the power balance is fine. Some have complained about the travel, but I think that’s overstated. The biggest problem, and the main reason it won’t be picked imo, is that neither OSU and UM are in Rutgers’ division. The PTB are gonna want at least one of those schools (more likely both) there on an annual basis.”

        RU would get PSU and NE annually, plus OSU and MI 29% of the time each. They could increase the rate by tweaking the rotation to start out with lots of MI and OSU games for RU, but I assume RU would like to also play some winnable games. People seem to forget that’s part of equation, too.

        ” I think it’ll probably end up like this:

        EAST WEST
        Ohio State Nebraska
        Michigan Wisconsin
        Penn State Michigan State
        Rutgers Iowa
        Maryland Northwestern
        Indiana Illinois
        Purdue Minnesota”

        No way. Even if your divisions are correct, the locked rivals sure aren’t.

        MI/MSU has to be locked, so your whole set is screwed up..

        OSU, MI, PSU, PU, IN , MD, RU
        .WI., MSU, NE, IA, MN, IL, NW

  61. zeek says:


    Interesting article on highly paid employees at major public universities:

    “More than 1,900 workers at the dozen flagship schools made more than $300,000 in 2011, while 324 of them made more than $500,000, the Bloomberg data show.
    Some of the 12 universities paid far better than others, the data show. For example, about 576 UCLA employees earned more than $300,000 in 2011. At Michigan, 445 public servants reaped more than $300,000; at Florida, 221; at Texas, 102; and at Rutgers, 33, according to the data.”

    Obviously cost of living is important, but it’s kind of astonishing that UCLA and Michigan have so many more $300k+ employees than Texas and Rutgers.

    One caveat to this though is that Rutgers just took over UMDNJ which is likely to include many employees earning over $300k (doctors, researches, administrators), so Rutgers’ numbers are likely to shoot up on that front.

    • Eric says:

      Exhibit A on why I’d never even think of donating to a college (not that I have a problem with people making a lot, but have doubts about how many of their market value is really that high).

      • duffman says:

        My issues are with padding the expense accounts

        All this money flows in but they are the worst spenders as nobody has their own money in the pot. In the article it discussed who they spent money to pay themselves yet there is no metric on if they are doing better work.

        • BruceMcF says:

          The argument is “we have to be competitive with the corporations to get top level executive talent”, and then play the same game as the corporations ~ give each other pay rises, and hold down pay increase or hand down pay cuts to the people doing the actual work of the organization … with the pay cuts in response to periodic “financial crises” they themselves substantially caused.

          So at the top you have University administrators on six figure income and higher, and at the bottom you have half or more of actual undergraduate degree teaching being done by instructors who live near or below the poverty line.

      • bullet says:

        My biggest issue is facility use. Every department wants to have their own building thats newer and bigger and better (and we wonder where the athletic department gets it?). Yet there are empty classrooms all over campus all the time. All that space has to be maintained, cleaned, heated and cooled.

        • bullet says:

          Texas is building a new graduate school of business. The old one, built in 1974, connected to the undergraduate school, will be given to the undergraduate school. There were always empty classrooms when I was there. And there were around 11k in the college of business. Now it is around 5k. Yet they need a whole new building? (The admissions process is a little different now as you have to get admitted to business, but that wouldn’t add more than 1,000-1,500 or so freshmen to that 5k number).

          • duffman says:

            I think is happening all over the country, as they build buildings with no real knowledge if they are actually being used. State universities have road contractors and construction companies with political ties so this should be expected but it is a strange way to shift wealth from organizations that are supposed to be producing the smart people.

          • Brian says:

            I think most people have no idea how complex running a university and balancing facilities is. How many rooms of how many size does each department need and what building can house them? Consider factors like proximity, differing class schedules during the year, MWF versus TR schedules, lectures, special events, laboratory space, renovations, changing building codes, the changing mission of universities in general and that one in particular, projected budgets, expected growth areas and dying interests, etc. Now plan all that 20 years in advance and show me how you get high utilization of every room in every building all year long.

          • bullet says:

            Maybe the Management Science professors can do some real world exercises on space planning optomization. For universities that aren’t growing, lecture space is pretty easy to plan. Since Texas has been restricting its enrollment to right around 50k since 1981, overall growth is not an issue. It shouldn’t be that big a deal that you have a couple of classes from the school each semester two buildings over. Private schools and the biggest state schools have a pretty good idea of how big they are going to be as they regulate it.

            Now lab space needs may change with technology. But lecture halls and office space needs don’t change dramatically. If anything, technology will reduce those needs.

          • Brian says:


            Departments grow and shrink as trends change even if the student body stays the same overall size. Sometimes things get combined so several smaller classes become a larger one requiring a different type of room, other times the opposite happens. Sometimes technology changes require a new way of doing things. Sometimes old buildings and new building codes require replacement rather than refurbishment. Lab space is really hard to predict.

            My point is, there is no design for a major university that will yield a really high occupancy rate. I’m sure they could do better at using what they have, too. But I think most people oversimplify the problem.

            1. How do you stay full in summer when so many students are gone?
            2. How do you stay full at night?
            3. How do you deal with MWF classes versus TR classes versus others?
            4. How do you deal with a preference for certain class times?
            5. How do you deal with the inevitable room/building closings for renovations, repairs, emergencies, etc?
            6. How do you deal with the difference between fall and spring in terms of certain class types?
            7. How do you deal with a desire for proximity of classes to the department HQ?
            8. How do you allow for all the special events and other unusual circumstances?
            9. How do you schedule all of this in some sort of timely fashion without showing too much bias?

            The general answer is to give everyone a certain amount of space they control and can adjust their classes to fit what’s available. Then you have some shared buildings that catch overflow from various places.

            I’m sure it could be done better, but it’s not simple.

  62. bullet says:

    Cincinnati takes the first planning step towards following the Louisville model.

    • bullet says:

      Interesting that they lost 6 figures when playing at Paul Brown.

      • bobestes says:

        The Brown family’s lease with Hamilton County is so onerous that they get the concessions from any event in the building, whether it’s Cincinnati or a Monster Truck show. Which is why the building sits empty 8 months a year.

        I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the Bengals take a bus 30 miles away to an indoor soccer facility for winter practice rather than use the Bearcats facility three miles away. No love lost, I am sure.

        • duffman says:

          Ha Ha,

          The best parts were the comments! Nothing like and ACH and ENG school when discussing the project. Not the best NFL owners out there in terms of looking out for the community as a whole. If it just seats 40K then they are spending 60 million for ~ 5,000 seats.

      • Mark says:

        The didn’t lose money, they earned $100k less at PBS vs. Nippert.

  63. Michael in Raleigh says:

    I know this is a Big Ten-oriented blog, but I’m curious what you all might think about how the ACC might do its divisions (barring further raids by the B1G) now that Maryland is out and Louisville is in.

    I’m REALLY hoping that John Swofford finally listens to the requests from Florida State by putting GT, the closest ACC school to FSU, into the Atlantic Division. Georgia Tech fans, from what I’ve read, would enjoy that as well.

    The all-too-easy answer is to plug in Louisville in Maryland’s Atlantic Division spot. Furthermore, Louisville would be Virginia’s cross-division rival.

    But why?

    Wouldn’t this lineup make far, far more sense?

    Atlantic Division (Coastal Division Rival)

    Florida State (Miami)
    Georgia Tech (Virginia)
    Clemson (Virginia Tech)
    Wake Forest (Duke)
    NC State (North Carolina)
    Syracuse (Pitt)
    Boston College (Louisville)

    Simply replace Maryland’s vacated Atlantic Division spot with Georgia Tech and slide Louisville into GT’s spot. What’s so hard about that? While we’re at it, let’s make Clemson-VT an annual game rather than twice every twelve years, as it is currently scheduled, so that maybe more people may, ya know, want to watch ACC football for a change.

    Ideally, of course, the league could be split into truly geographical divisions, but that simply isn’t happening.

    • acaffrey says:

      i still say the logical split is this:

      Atlantic (Coastal rival)

      Miami (Florida State)
      Virginia Tech (Clemson)
      Louisville (Georgia Tech)
      Pitt (NC State)
      Boston College (Duke)
      Syracuse (Wake Forest)
      Virginia (North Carolina)

      Pretty balance overall.

      Private schools play privates (except Miami). But MIami gets BC and Syracuse–Northern exposure.

      • acaffrey says:

        And then if UConn/Cincy were to come on board:

        Miami (FSU)
        Va Tech (Clemson)
        Louisville (Ga Tech)
        Cincy (North Carolina)
        Pitt (Virginia)
        Syracuse (Wake)
        BC (Duke)
        UConn (NC State)

        Actually, I am not so sure that the ACC shouldn’t just do this. Pretty good hoops. The problem with 16 teams is that you really need 9 conference games.

        • Jericho says:

          It’s basically a Big East division and an ACC division. Not that it’s a bad idea.

        • metatron says:

          Man those divisions are terrible. I forgot how bad they were.

          Boston College

          Virginia Tech

          Florida State
          Georgia Tech

          North Carolina
          North Carolina State
          Wake Forest

          This fosters real rivalries, which should give the ACC a real football identity. At least, to their fans.

        • Transic says:

          Va Tech would like UVa as a crossover but, otherwise, your idea makes some sense. Here’s how I’d do it:

          UConn (NC State)

          Va Tech (Virginia)

          Louisville (North Carolina)

          Cincy (Clemson)

          Pitt (Ga Tech)

          Syracuse (Wake)

          BC (Duke)

          Miami (FSU)

          Assuming that they’re able to resist any new defections (and that’s a BIG [no pun intended] IF), and IF Nortre Dahm (sp on purpose) gives them a sixth game (according to a rumor I’ve read) then that’s really a good league on paper. Basketball would be a mutha, which is why Esp-i-n would love this lineup. I know the anti-basketball types wouldn’t like to hear it but that’s my opinion.

      • @acaffrey – Yes, I’ve always liked that divisional alignment proposal for the ACC (which is essentially North/South with the exception of Miami’s placement in the North). As a practical matter, though, my understanding previously was that UVA had been very resistant to getting placed with the Northern schools even when Maryland was in the league. Once you take out Maryland, UVA would end up being in a division that is otherwise entirely made up of old Big East schools. Now that I think about it, this might be the one way to drive UVA to the Big Ten. I think the main thing that’s keeping UVA in the ACC is that it still truly regards itself as a Southern school (whereas Maryland is a Northern school in character at this point), so putting them in the “Old Big East” division would make it a lot easier for UVA to walk away at an emotional level. That’s something that the ACC leaders are probably aware of (and if not, UVA isn’t shy about making a stink about it), so they’ll likely avoid the North/South divisions.

        • acaffrey says:

          Maybe this instead:

          Atlantic (Coastal)

          Boston College (Georgia Tech)
          Syracuse (North Carolina)
          Wake Forest (Duke)
          Pitt (NC State)
          Virginia Tech (Virginia)
          Louisville (Clemson)
          Miami (FSU)

          Virginia gets to stay in the South. Wake Forest kind of gets screwed. But, guess what, Wake Forest is not in the position to be calling shots. It is what it is.

          • bullet says:

            How about switching Duke and Wake with SU being Wake’s locked rival and UNC Duke’s? Duke probably has the biggest alumni base from the north. Another alternative would be to switch Duke and Louisville. Then you split N. Carolina, but mostly stay geographic. BC, SU, Pitt, Miami, VT, Duke and Wake would be in the “north.” The other 5 longtime ACC schools-UVA, UNC, Clemson, GT, NCSU + 2 former metro schools, FSU and Louisville, would be in the “south.”

          • dtwphx says:

            East (West)

            Boston College (Miami)
            Syracuse (Pitt)
            Virginia (Virginia Tech)
            Wake Forest (Louisville)
            UNC (FSU)
            NC State (Clemson)
            Duke (Georgia Tech)

            Groups Geographical Proximity:
            [Syr BC] [Pitt VT Ville] [Clem GT FSU Mia] [NCschools UVA]

            The bigger problem for the ACC is rivalries that generate interest,
            not competitive balance.
            Getting one of their teams into the playoff should be a higher priority than having
            a competitive ACC championship game.

          • frug says:

            Yeah, the F*** Wake Forest alignment was going to my recommendation. If someone has to be screwed it makes sense that it be the one school that can’t threaten to leave.

            The one problem with this setup is that it could really breed some long term instability by creating an ACC Division and a Big East Division. Of course the ACC isn’t all that stable anyways, so it might be worth a shot.

    • zeek says:

      It’s been mentioned that the most likely outcome is just a replacement of Maryland with Louisville on the scheduling.

      As speculated, it would make the football schools happy (since they pushed for Louisville for SOS purposes).

      I like your solution a bit better, but I’m skeptical as to whether they’ll do that. It really sounds as if Louisville will be slotted in for Maryland.

  64. vp19 says:

    The Badgers have finally found a football coach — Utah State’s Gary Andersen, whose only losses this season were to Wisconsin and Brigham Young. He has a good background, handling the defense for Utah’s fine teams of a few years back, but can he recruit Big Ten-caliber talent?


    • zeek says:

      Wisconsin’s system though doesn’t really require outsized recruiting skills. Bielema’s classes were far more often middle-of-the-pack in the Big Ten than otherwise in terms of rankings and the like. You just have to be able to get the really big beefy linemen going through the system on both sides and then you add a bit of talent in the skill positions to round out the class.

      • zeek says:

        In that respect, it’s really similar to Arkansas, you know you’re going to be at a talent deficit to the schools in the richer recruiting grounds, but if you have a system in place that can win games, you’ll get your chances. For Arkansas though, you’re talking about around 7 schools that are in more favorable recruiting/talent situations, so it’s probably got a lower ceiling than at Wisconsin where there’s probably only 4-5 schools that can say that.

    • zeek says:

      Even more surprising than anything is that he turned down a bunch of other jobs (Cal, Colorado) and told his team that he was staying at Utah State just two or three weeks ago.

      Obviously, I guess he felt like he had an opportunity at Wisconsin, so he had to make a move, but this is probably a shocker to the folks in Utah.

    • frug says:

      I’m guessing Dave Doeren is kicking himself for not waiting another 72 hours before accepting that NC-State job. Had he been available he probably would have been the frontrunner for the Wisconsin job (maybe behind Chryst).

  65. Mike says:


    Forbes top 20 by program value. I’m shocked that Ohio St is so low and their rationale isn’t convincing. Missouri isn’t on the list, no need to troll.

    1. Texas
    2. Michigan
    3. Notre Dame
    4. LSU
    5. Georgia
    6. Alabama
    7. Florida
    8. Auburn
    9. Tennessee
    10. Arkansas
    11. Nebraska
    12. Oklahoma
    13. Penn St
    14. Wisconsin
    15. Oregon
    16. Southern Cal
    17. South Carolina
    18. Washington
    19. Michigan St.
    20. Ohio St.

    • zeek says:

      1. value to its university (football profit contributed to academic programming, including football scholarships), 2. value to its athletic department (football profit that supports other athletic initiatives), 3. value to its conference (distribution of bowl game revenue) and 4. value to the surrounding community (estimated spending by visitors on days of home games).


      That makes it harder on schools with larger ADs and more sports although Michigan seems to overcome that under this measure.

      Overall, a somewhat meaningless exercise.

    • FtOSU says:

      As a Michigan Man, I love this list (and our profits are going up quickly. However, OSU’s numbers are misrepresented due to their internal licensing of clothing etc.

    • acaffrey says:

      How can Texas not be THE target? If the B1G cares about markets, academics, and athletics, this is not merely a home run, it is a grand slam.

      None of the ACC teams are on this list at all. True, the TV revenue goes a long way with this. But the TV revenue is just part of the picture. Michigan State and Michigan have the same TV revenue–but vastly different overall #’s. It just shows how powerful the Michigan brand is.

      I still say that the ultimate play for the B1G is to wait out Texas and Florida. Once you get to $40M per team in payouts, how is the next team going to be able to increase that if they are not on this list?

      I know people talk about Florida never leaving–but at what point is the money disparity too great for even Florida to pass up? The SEC could swap Florida for Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, and Florida State and be pretty good, eh? West: Oklahoma, Okie State, A&M, Arkansas, Missouri, LSU, Mississippi, Mississippi St.; East: Bama, Auburn, Georgia, FSU, SC, Tennessee, Kentucky, Vandy. Seems pretty balanced, competitive, and geographically appropriate.

      All the top 20 brands, except Notre Dame, would be accounted for in the B1G, SEC, and Pac-12. If the Big XII and ACC each expanded regionally, there would be the 4th and 5th major conferences competing to be #4, but well ahead of the pack. Pac-12, B1G-16, SEC-16, Big XII (maybe add Cincy, Boise State, and San Diego State?), ACC (add UConn to take FSU’s spot).

  66. bullet says:

    Good stuff on revenue by team by conference from mrsec. Also says lots of his contacts believe UVA,GT to B1G is only when, not if.

    • zeek says:

      “We’ve talked to multiple sources at various SEC schools, inside the college sports industry, and inside the collegiate equipment-supply business over the past two weeks. Of all the scuttlebutt we’ve heard during those talks, the two most widely held beliefs are that Georgia Tech and Virginia are already good to go to the Big Ten and that Delany and company want Duke and North Carolina, as well. True or not, a lot of insiders believe Tech and UVA are thisclose to moving.”

      Wouldn’t surprise me at all if that’s what Delany is after, whether he can extract UNC/Duke from NC State is a huge questionmark though…, I’m not even sure UNC and NC State are separable given all the issues that we’ve seen in separating state universities (especially two as connected as UNC and NC State are).

      • Multiple sources from the SEC regarding ACC schools defecting to the BigTen? Sources from the “collegiate equipment-supply business”? Now, I’m sure Delany’s doing his homework, but I doubt he’s sharing his plans with Nike or Russell Athletic or whoever. Color me suspicious. Could be just as likely Mr. SEC is getting Chris Brown’d in terms of fed info that others want circulated.

        • bullet says:

          Maybe UVA is ordering new logos for their uniforms or Delaney is ordering changes to the logo with a couple addition states on it.

          He’s not claiming sources inside those schools or Big 10. He’s saying connected people believe it is happening.

        • zeek says:

          I agree with bullet’s interpretation more or less.

          It doesn’t mean there’s smoke or fire, but it just means that a lot of people think Delany wants those 4 schools. They’re the most sensible 4 in terms of being AAU and being in the states and markets that Delany is likely after…

          • “They’re the most sensible 4 in terms of being AAU and being in the states and markets that Delany is likely after…”

            They’re more sensible than some of the more out-there scenarios, which means it’s a rumor to be taken more seriously, but just because the rumor is more plausible doesn’t necessarily make these anonymous sources more credible.

            Perhaps it’s bias in my case though. UVA/GT/UNC/Duke? Maybe for basketball, but that doesn’t do much for football. UVA/GT is also a rehash of the rumor that came and went a few weeks ago… it could just be looping back in on itself. And UNC/Duke will likely be the last ones off the ship, not one of the first.

          • zeek says:


            I definitely see your point.

            And I agree with it, but I think the Big Ten presidents would most likely come to a consensus on adding those 4.

            I’m considerably less certain as to whether there would be a consensus for Virginia Tech or FSU.

            Neither is *that* close to AAU (both were in the 90s by AAU metrics and the AAU’s recent adds were in the 30s…), so if it comes down to AAU metrics being a determinant, then those 4 are really the only choices…

          • @zeek:

            For FSU/VT, it could be perception as much as reality. Neither are perceived to be particularly great schools, especially compared to the four listed. Even if they were tracked for AAU in the next five years that might be enough to exclude them.

            My issue at this point is why expand further if you’re just going to dilute the football brand, which was what supposedly originally triggered all of this. At 14 teams, BTN isn’t exactly in a shortage of content as far as I can tell. Rutgers/Maryland took care of potential markets. The basketball brand is already strong. The academic side has always been strong, and Rutgers/Maryland bolstered it further.

            Moreover, UVA/GT together is another “unique fixer-upper opportunity” that they already took on with Rutgers/Maryland. I just don’t get it. I was fine with adding those two, but going from 12->16 with four programs of that mold? UVA/VT or FSU/{GT|Miami} could be justified far easier (at least with the public) than UVA/GT.

          • zeek says:

            Yeah I agree with your points.

            That’s why I actually think the Big Ten will stay at 14 for at least a couple of years.

            I think they’ll want to see how Maryland and Rutgers do over the next 7-8 years (as they get integrated and their payouts get ramped up), along with how carriage does in NYC and Philly and D.C./Baltimore.

            Virginia/Georgia Tech doesn’t do anything for me.

            Maryland already brings you a huge chunk of D.C. along with Baltimore. Rutgers potentially brings you huge swaths of NYC and the Eastern part of Philly in New Jersey depending on how hard the BTN can push along with YES.

            Those two fixer uppers make sense on the way to 14 because they potentially bring giant markets into the fold. I’m not seeing the angle on the others.

            I think we have to bring in 1 non-AAU football brand to make this work, whether it’s Va Tech or FSU. You can’t just go for 4 non-football brands…

          • bullet says:


            That’s why I think there’s no chance of a 20 team B1G now. They can’t afford to dilute the football product that much. Texas and Notre Dame aren’t coming anytime soon. I just don’t see them accepting FSU. Everything I hear is that the Big 12 isn’t enthused about Miami because of the taint. If the Big 12 feels that way, wouldn’t the B1G also?

          • zeek says:

            Agreed bullet.

            While the academics might go crazy over that group of 4, I’d imagine the bean crunchers won’t be as ready to hop on board.

            It’s one thing to talk about unlocking Penn State’s value and the BTN in NYC/DC, but it’s quite another leap to talk about the other 4 as a group.

          • Richard says:


            No chance of a Big20 unless UF & UGa decide to join some time way, way in the future (after the SEC has ben hit by an asteroid or something). Big18 is certainly possible, however. Very possible if the power conferences split from the NCAA (and keep most of the college basketball TV money, which actually in aggregate is as much as college football TV money).

          • bullet says:

            I don’t think that’s too likely, but not as far fetched as some think. The states of Georgia and Florida and UF and UGA aren’t as much like the rest of the SEC as they used to be.

          • frug says:


            No chance of a Big20 unless UF & UGa decide to join some time way, way in the future

            I don’t know. I mean UVA, UNC, FSU, ND, Duke and G-Tech seems plausible (maybe sub V-Tech for one of the ladder two). Certainly no less likely than adding UF and UGa.

          • bamatab says:

            UGA & UF aren’t leaving the SEC…ever. The only way they’d leave is if the SEC totally imploded. If they even hinted that they were leaving, both fanbases and alumni would burn their campuses to the ground. Both schools, fanbases, & alumni are still very much SEC to their core, despite what some seem to