Questions for Conference Realignment Reporters to Ask About Inevitable Big 12 Rumors

Posted: January 24, 2013 in Big Ten, College Basketball, College Football, Sports
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Chip Brown from has some new nuggets indicating that the Big 12 athletic directors want to talk about expansion (with Texas seemingly being reluctant) and that Florida State could be a target. There’s really not too much new other than there will be an actual forum for Big 12 officials to discuss conference realignment issues next week (so we may get some concrete news at that point) and that the conference has moved on from its infatuation with Notre Dame. It seems obvious that the Big 12 would want Florida State. That’s in the “No s**t, Sherlock” category of revelations to me. What’s still unclear is whether Florida State wants anything to do with the Big 12. One of Brown’s Big 12 sources said himself, “If it doesn’t make sense to Florida State, then this is all a moot point.” As I said in my last post, ACC schools like their conference as a whole in terms of geography, academics, institutional fit and demographics, but don’t really like their TV contract. The Big 12 is the flip side, where those schools (other than Texas) don’t really like their conference (as evidenced by the fact that every school other than Texas that had the ability to leave for another conference on its own chose to do so), yet are happy with their new TV contract. Maryland had a tough time leaving the ACC for the Big Ten even though it was an exponentially easier decision in terms of financial gain, geography, academics and institutional fit than any potential ACC-to-Big 12 move.

That being said, I’ve learned well enough to never say never in conference realignment. Florida State might indeed be looking around and that more than qualifies as a potential major movement. What I’d like to see, though, is for the reporters covering conference realignment that are going to follow up on this Chip Brown story to ask their sources from the Big Ten, SEC, ACC and/or Big 12 some questions that seemed to get glossed over as a result of preexisting assumptions that may or may not be true:

(1) Are the reported rules that new Big Ten schools must be AAU members and new SEC schools must be in a state outside of the current conference footprint truly hard-and-fast rules? – We often hear that the Big Ten wants to only consider expansion candidates that are members of the Association of American Universities (AAU), which is a group of top level research institutions. However, we know that the Big Ten is clearly willing to make an exception for non-AAU member Notre Dame. We also know that while Nebraska was an AAU member when it was added by the Big Ten in 2010, that school was removed from that organization less than a year later. The Big Ten members knew full well at the time of conference expansion in 2010 that Nebraska was at risk of losing its AAU status and, in fact, Michigan and Wisconsin ended up voting to remove NU from the AAU (and those 2 votes swinging the other way would have kept them in the group).

While I believe that the Big Ten would want an AAU member in 99% of the circumstances, Notre Dame is in that 1% (and Nebraska was added with the knowledge of a strong possibility of them ending up in that tiny minority, too). As a result, the question needs to be asked as to whether a school such as Florida State would be in that 1%, as well. There is one word that Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany has said more than any other during the past 3 years of conference realignment discussions: demographics. Well, there are demographics for normal expansion candidates, and then there are DEMOGRAPHICS… and a school that can deliver the entire state of Florida provides the latter. The Big Ten may very well not want anything to do with Florida State (which would be a grave mistake, in my humble opinion), but I hope that reporters on the ground don’t just assume that the lack of AAU status for that school automatically nixes their candidacy.

Likewise, a number of people have advanced the argument that the SEC has a “gentleman’s agreement” among its members that it will not add a school in the same state as a current SEC member without such affected member’s approval. That is, the SEC won’t add Florida State unless Florida consents to it. However, that’s much easier to say in a vacuum when there’s nationwide conference stability. It’s a bit different if a conference that has the flagship school of Texas wants to combine it with a marquee school directly in your top football recruiting territory (right after you’ve established your own conference as the elite football league with beachheads in both Florida and Texas) or, even worse, a league with the financial, television and academic power of the Big Ten decides that it has a desire to follow its Midwestern snowbird alums into Florida. The SEC has been willing to coexist with the ACC in the state of Florida and several other Southern areas for many years, but I’m not sure if they’d be that willing to let the Big Ten or the University of Texas combine their respective powers with Florida State.

Big Ten people such as Barry Alvarez have gone on the record that the conference adding Maryland and Rutgers was more of a defensive move than a proactive one. They saw that the ACC was moving to lock up the entire Eastern seaboard and could possibly position itself to be attractive to Penn State in the near future, so Jim Delany went and split the heart of the ACC up by convincing Maryland to jump (with Rutgers willing to do anything to get off of the Big East dumpster fire) before the ACC regained its strength in the conference pecking order. (I’ve long said that if all of the conferences could negotiate their TV deals at the same time today, the ACC would be #3 behind the SEC and Big Ten. The ACC is behind the Pac-12 and Big 12 in terms of TV money solely because of timing, where the ACC signed its deal before the current sports TV rights boom while the Pac-12 and Big 12 simply lucked into getting to go to the open market at a later date.) Similarly, the SEC wouldn’t be keen on a Big Ten footprint that stretches from the New York City area down to Florida (if the Big Ten were to add schools in between like UVA, UNC and Georgia Tech) or a Big 12 that neutralizes the Texas/Florida combo advantage that the SEC gained when it added Texas A&M. The SEC might need to play defense just like the Big Ten did and bring in Florida State (which isn’t exactly being forced to take in a football leper) to keep stronger invaders out.

Bottom line for conference realignment reporters out there reading: don’t assume that the Big Ten and SEC are just going to sit on the sidelines regarding Florida State and let the Big 12 walk off with them.

(2) If numerous ACC schools want to leave and are awaiting the outcome of the conference’s lawsuit against Maryland, why did they join in that lawsuit in the first place? – Another common argument that we are seeing is that ACC schools are waiting to see whether the conference’s $50 million exit fee imposed against Maryland will be upheld in court. If that exit fee gets struck down or reduced significantly, then it would supposedly be open season by the Big Ten, SEC and Big 12 in terms of raiding the ACC. This begs a simple question: if so many ACC schools truly want to get out yet are concerned about the exit fee, why are they spending craploads in legal expenses defending that exit fee?

It’s one thing if the projected conference realignment scenario resulted in a single school joining a lawsuit and then bolting shortly thereafter. That’s what Virginia Tech did in joining the Big East’s original lawsuit against the ACC in 2003 and then fleeing to the ACC itself when the Virginia legislature forced UVA to give the Hokies a lifeline. However, the line of thinking regarding the ACC seems to be more of an “opening of the floodgates” variety where multiple schools would start bailing. Having several schools going through the motions advancing a lawsuit that they privately want to fail isn’t exactly the best use of limited time, resources and money on their part.

(3) If UVA, UNC and Georgia Tech spurned overtures from the Big Ten (as Chip Brown reported), why would at least one of them (Georgia Tech) supposedly be interested in the Big 12? – According to the Chip Brown story, Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia Tech all did not have interest in the Big Ten “for now”. However, in Brown’s words, for the Big 12 to have a realistic chance with Florida State, the conference would need to add “as many regional partners as possible”. At the very least, it would seem that Georgia Tech would have to be one of those regional partners. So, are we to believe that Georgia Tech would actually prefer not joining UVA and UNC in the Big Ten and move over to the Big 12 instead with, say, Florida State, Clemson and 1 or more other random ACC schools? I guess stranger things have happened, but that doesn’t pass the smell test with me.

(4) If the Big 12 can’t add any ACC schools, who else would they be willing to add (if anyone at all)? – Going back to my comment in the opening paragraph to this post, it’s pointless to ask a Big 12 source about whether his/her conference would be interested in adding Florida State. Of course they would! What’s more instructive is what the Big 12 willing to do in the event (and I would characterize it as the likely event) that Florida State and other ACC schools don’t want to join. Is some combination of Cincinnati, UConn and/or BYU worth it for the Big 12 to expand for? Are there less obvious options (e.g. Boise State, UNLV, San Diego State) that could be on the table? Alternatively, would the Big 12 simply shut down all expansion talk completely if it can’t poach from the ACC? It’s an easy question to ask whether a conference is willing to expand for a sexy name – that’s not news. What’s tougher to gauge is what the expansion plans would be (if any) when those sexy names aren’t coming.

What I hope is that the conversation is less about what the Big 12 wants (which we know) and more about why the Big 12 should be able to get what it wants beyond simply offering a larger amount of TV money (even when simply offering a larger amount of TV money hasn’t worked with the Big Ten and SEC in luring ACC targets). Maybe the Big 12 can pull off a stunner and pick off a prize like Florida State, but believe it or not, conference realignment at the power conference level is more complex than saying that everyone is trying to get into Conference A just because it’s making more money than Conference B.

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

(Image from New York Times)

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  1. greg says:

    Hawkeyes first in the Northwest Division.

  2. Carl says:

    Neb > Wisc > MSU

    • Gitanole says:

      The biggest complication in getting Florida State into the Big Ten is geography. It can serve the conference well as the southern anchor of a ‘panhandle’-style stretch down the east coast. It is a true state school that gives the league a solid Florida presence. The trick for the Big Ten is getting universities in Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia so the footprint connects to that anchor. Without that Florida State would be isolated from other Big Ten member schools. Neither the school nor the league would have as much interest in that.

      Would Delany take Florida State and Georgia Tech now in the hope that the bridge schools will come aboard later? That might be the only way to get that east coast configuration. But it would be a bit of a gamble to do it that way.

      • gfunk says:

        I truly want this scenario, in fact I’d be fine with just GT and FSU. If the BIG goes to 18 then throw in both Va schools – could care less about any of the NC schools.

  3. frug says:

    Overall good post, but two things I have to take issue with.

    The Big Ten may very well not want anything to do with Florida State (which would be a grave mistake, in my humble opinion), but I hope that reporters on the ground don’t just assume that the lack of AAU status for that school automatically nixes their candidacy.

    Actually, wouldn’t that be the safe assumption? If past behavior is the best predictor of future actions (and it usually is) then wouldn’t it be better to assume that the Big Ten will hold to their AAU membership requirement until proven otherwise? They have demonstrated they would break it for ND but otherwise the conference has not given any indication they would do it for anyone else.

    The ACC is behind the Pac-12 and Big 12 in terms of TV money solely because of timing, where the ACC signed its deal before the current sports TV rights boom while the Pac-12 and Big 12 simply lucked into getting to go to the open market at a later date.)

    This is my bigger issue because it is just categorically false.

    Was timing a factor in the ACC’s? Yes it was. Was it the largest factor? Absolutely not.

    The main reason the ACC’s deal is so lousy because they made the unimaginably asinine decision to require any perspective TV partner to agree to a sub-licensing agreement with Raycom Sports. That caused Fox (which had shown initial interest in the ACC) to drop out of the bidding and left ESPN to compete against itself. It also meant that the ACC had to turn over all their TV rights to ESPN, not just 1st and 2nd tier like the Big XII and the SEC.

    And if you don’t believe that the Raycom requirement was the primary factor ask yourself this question; If the ACC’s rights went back on the open market today and they continued to insist on the Raycom deal do you really thing they would get a TV deal comparable to the PAC or Big XII?

    • frug says:

      Or to put it another way; if the Big XII or PAC had insisted that TV networks sign a sub-licensing deal with a local sports syndicator do you think they would have got the deal they eventually signed?

    • zeek says:

      At this point, it seems prudent to assume that the AAU-only requirement is in effect for the Big Ten for any school not named Notre Dame.

      • unproductive says:

        At this point, outside of the major SEC teams, Texas and Notre Dame, the only major football powers “available” for expansion are Florida State and Oklahoma. And while Oklahoma is tied to the Big XII (with its grant of rights, Oklahoma State and its symbiotic relationship with Texas), Florida State has no confining ties or history with the ACC and at least seems willing to consider moving. More to the point, Florida State brings in at least a portion of the State of Florida, while Oklahoma brings in the entire state of … Oklahoma. That latter factor makes Florida State much more valuable than Oklahoma could to the BIG, if the BIG is willing to overlook AAU status for anybody. If markets are the driving force here, then I think that it is at least possible that the BIG might forgive Florida State it’s AAU status, especially if it were paired with an AAU school such as Virginia or Georgia Tech (whether Florida State or Virginia or Georgia Tech would agree to move is quite another story).

        • Brian says:


          I’d say that argument better applies to Miami. They are a better school than FSU and much closer to making the AAU. Besides, the B10 appears to be trying to corner the market on recent NCAA scandals.

    • ccrider55 says:


      I agree for the most part about the media value (mis)deal. As to the AAU, the B1G can count votes and knew it was admitting a soon to be non AAU member. Are you suggesting it isn’t membership itself but the technicality of not admitting a non AAU member out of vanity?

      • ccrider55 says:

        I’m not saying FSU would be an exception, just that the “rule” seems not unbreakable in the right circumstances.

      • frug says:

        the B1G can count votes and knew it was admitting a soon to be non AAU member

        Disagree. The Big Ten had every reason to believe Nebraska was going to remain in the AAU. Remember if UM, Wiscy and UChicago change their votes Nebraska is still an AAU member. And it is not realistic to believe the Big Ten was going to call the president of every AAU school and ask them how they planned to vote (especially since the vote was still months away and, supposedly, some schools didn’t even know Nebraska was facing expulsion until about week before the actual vote).

        As for your second question let me say this; if the AAU expulsion vote had taken place a year earlier I firmly believe that Missouri or Rutgers would have been the Big Ten’s 12th member.

        Of course knowing what they know now, I suspect Michigan, Chicago and almost certainly Wisconsin (who has since replaced their notoriously D-Baggy president) would switch their votes. Nebraska losing their AAU membership hurt the 13 member CIC far more than it helped the 60+ member AAU.

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          @frug: Sorry, but I’m having trouble following your reasoning. Nebraska’s AAU status was already under review at the time they were admitted to the B1G. The presidents must, at the very least, have known it was a very serious possibility that Nebraska would not be in the AAU much longer.

          The statement that Michigan and Wisconsin regret their votes is even more bizarre. On what do you base this? I mean, do you think Michigan voted against Nebraska, believing that their vote wouldn’t be decisive?

          • zeek says:

            Don’t Michigan and Wisconsin like run the AAU’s main committee on membership?

            Their presidents/provosts knew exactly what was going on with Nebraska’s membership.

          • frug says:

            I mean, do you think Michigan voted against Nebraska, believing that their vote wouldn’t be decisive?

            That’s exactly what I’m saying. If any other school flips it wouldn’t have mattered how they voted.

          • frug says:


            I know Michigan and Wisconsin did, but outside of the executive committee who instigated the review, it is unknown how much the other university presidents knew about what was happening.

          • BruceMcF says:

            What is the relevance of what the Presidents knew to the question? The question is how widely it was understood in the Big 10 Universities that Nebraska would seen be losing its AAU status.

            It is, after all, easier to fight a change that has not yet been made than to win a reversal of course on a decision that has already been approved.

            And the strength of the football is not the overriding concern to some of the stakeholders involved. The news that Maryland was joining the Big Ten would have been met in some academic quarters with, “Oh, Maryland, Good School. I didn’t know they had a football team.”

          • Ross says:

            I’m pretty sure Wisconsin, and possibly Michigan, had directly roles in bringing Nebraska’s membership into question. No way they would have voted differently, even if they were 100% certain that voting against Nebraska would lead to expulsion. I don’t buy that Michigan and Wisconsin went through that effort just to make the public appearance of voting against Nebraska without actually wanting AAU’s ranks to reflect a certain standard of research excellence.

          • ccrider55 says:

            In fact, isn’t it unlikely a vote would be sought unless the outcome was fairly certain?

          • BruceMcF says:

            Certainly Syracuse quit to avoid being voted out. That would suggests that it was fairly urgent to make the invitation to UNL before UNL’s pending loss of AAU status became common knowledge among the faculty of the Big Ten universities.

          • ccrider55 says:

            So Syracuse was able to devine their AAU future, something the B1G presidents couldn’t, even regarding a new potential member and one of their supposed highest thresholds?

          • Brian says:

            I’d say it was more that once SU saw that the AAU was serious about cutting people, they acknowledged that their institutional goals had diverged from the AAU model and they dropped out rather than force a vote. NE was on the rebound and improving their stats in a bid to stay AAU, so they fought it.

          • ccrider55 says:

            The point is not what UNL thought, but what the B1G pres’ knew/presumed when voting to admit. You rarely see a vote called for unless the outcome seems fairly certain to those promoting it.

          • Brian says:


            “The point is not what UNL thought, but what the B1G pres’ knew/presumed when voting to admit.”

            I was only commenting on you saying SU could divine their future. I don’t think SU knew for sure they’d get voted out, but saw no reason to fight it. They had diverged from the AAU and they were OK dropping out. They’d prefer to be a member, so they stayed as long as they could, but they weren’t going to change their school to stay. Once they knew NE would be voted on, I think SU decided right then to drop out.

            “You rarely see a vote called for unless the outcome seems fairly certain to those promoting it”

            Not true, depending on the body. Sometimes you try to force a vote when you think it’ll fail and that’s what you want. Sometimes you ask for a vote on principle regardless of the potential outcome. Sometimes the vote has to happen due to rules of procedure. There are many reasons to call a vote.

          • ccrider55 says:

            But when not voting preserves the status quo, why then vote? Because a change is expected.

          • Brian says:


            “But when not voting preserves the status quo, why then vote? Because a change is expected.”

            Supporter – force it because you expect to win

            Opposition – force it because you expect the vote to fail

            Those sick of the discussion – force it so the body has to decide on what their future policy will be rather than just keep discussing it ad nauseum (the way many feel about expansion now)

            Ideologue – force it because you want to have your say and you just assume others will see the light and agree with you because your argument is so persuasive

            Stickler – force it because the rules require a vote at that point

          • BruceMcF says:

            @ccrider ~ not, the issue is what Big Ten faculty knew and when they knew it. If the Presidents know but believe that the faculty in general don’t know, its the same as the Presidents not knowing either.

          • BruceMcF says:

            @Brian ~ Yes, quite.

    • Gitanole says:

      As I mentioned above, the big complication in making Florida State a Big Ten member school is the geography. For Delany to bring Florida State aboard to provide that anchor, he needs universities that will fill in the Big Ten footprint all the way down to Florida. Adding four schools is a complicated project. And ACC schools don’t come cheap.

      Frank is right in pointing out that Florida State fits the academic profile of the league fine should the league decide it wants to expand down the east coast. Florida State is a comprehensive research school and a true state flagship school. It would give the Big Ten a solid presence in Florida and anchor the ‘panhandle’-style stretch down the east coast.

      Many people who try to describe the academic side of the situation don’t seem to know that Florida State and UF are twin universities. Both schools were founded by the same act of legislation in 1851.

      Man of the differing academic strengths between them are a vestige of an earlier time’s ideas about gender roles. For nearly 50 years Florida segregated students by gender and race. Florida State educated white female students and UF educated white male students. As a result, Florida State’s academic strengths have tended to skew more toward the humanities while UF’s have skewed more toward the sciences. This affects AAU membership status today. The AAU does not recognise all disciplines equally. Its own skew is toward they STEM research–the once ‘guy subjects’ in which UF holds a 50-year historical advantage. As both schools diversify and time passes, the old skews are closing. For now, though, they can still be seen.

      ‘US News’ ranks Florida State at #97. That edges Nebraska (101) and ties or bests a number of AAU member schools, including:

      Missouri (97)
      Colorado (97)
      Iowa State (101)
      Kansas (106)
      Buffalo-SUNY (106)
      Oregon (115)
      Arizona (120)

      Eric Barron and the trustees have made a goal of AAU membership. Florida State is on course. If Big Ten presidents find the Seminoles add something of value on athletic grounds (and they do), nothing needs to stand in its way of that on the academic side of things.

      • frug says:

        All that may be true… and it still wouldn’t matter. AAU membership is a status symbol the conference cares about and FSU doesn’t have it.

        As for geography… ehh. Tallahassee has an airport so travel time isn’t going to be a huge issue and the ACC is spread so far its not like FSU has a bunch of bus trips anyways. Plus if FSU were to leave with G-Tech, the ACC would crumble.

        • @frug – This may ultimately be correct, although I would still submit that FSU would get special case non-AAU consideration in the same way as Notre Dame would. Outside of adding Texas or Florida, there is no single addition that the Big Ten could add that would address the conference’s long-term demographic concerns or make the most short-term TV and football money better than Florida State. That’s not a nibbling at the margins expansion – it’s a massive game changer.

          Plus, let’s take Teddy Greenstein’s report that the Big Ten may not stop until it gets to 18 and this latest Chip Brown report that refers to the Big Ten looking at UVA, UNC and Georgia Tech. Who would be the 4th school from the ACC to get to 18? Maybe UNC would insist upon Duke, which would make the CIC happy with its AAU status and at least adds a lot of BTN value with its elite basketball. However, beyond Duke, there isn’t anyone else from the ACC that’s either AAU or would add value (e.g. Pitt qualifies academically, but wouldn’t make sense financially). FSU certainly looks like it makes more sense when you take them in at the same time with UVA, UNC and Georgia Tech.

          And let’s say that the lack of AAU status would be held against FSU by the Big Ten. I just don’t think the SEC is going to stand by and let the Big 12 waltz into the state of Florida regardless of a prior “gentlemen’s agreement”. They’d be giving up the biggest demographic advantage that they have right now, which is combining the states of Texas and Florida (and everyone in between) together.

          If anything, FSU may be using the Big 12 as a stalking horse to get either the Big Ten or SEC to act (as both of them would be much preferred destinations for the Noles). The only way that the Big 12 could be palatable is if a large number of ACC schools move en masse to the Big 12, but I’m highly skeptical of that for the reasons that I’ve stated in my post.

          • frug says:

            However, beyond Duke, there isn’t anyone else from the ACC that’s either AAU or would add value

            Notre Dame? UNC, UVA, and G-Tech bolt for the Big Ten then NC-State, Duke, V-Tech, (probably) Miami and possibly Louisville and Pitt all find new homes in either the Big XII or SEC. You really think the Irish are going to stick in a conference with Syracuse, BC, Wake Forest, UConn and Cincinnati?

          • @frug – Well, yes, of course the Big Ten would add Notre Dame (although I wasn’t thinking of them a true ACC school). As for whether they would stick with a conference with the schools that you’ve listed, I would say yes compared to giving up independence to join the Big Ten or even compared to a non-football membership with a newly expanded Big 12. It’s basically a merger of the old Big East and some of the old line ACC schools, which is still an institutional upgrade over the version of the Big East that Notre Dame was willing to live with since 2003. The bowl deal that ND has with the ACC is a big-time upgrade over what they had with the Big East (both in sheer access and quality), so I could still see that being part of the bargain of continuing to play a partial ACC schedule.

          • frug says:

            Hell, even if Pitt and Louisville stay do you really think the Irish are going to agree to play games against that group of schools when they weren’t even willing to play back when they were (almost) all in the Big East?

          • Brian says:

            Frank the Tank,

            “This may ultimately be correct, although I would still submit that FSU would get special case non-AAU consideration in the same way as Notre Dame would.”

            I think “would” is too strong. FSU might get that consideration. Maybe you think FSU should get that consideration. I don’t think we have any evidence to say FSU would get that consideration.

          • bamatab says:

            @Frank – From a SEC fan’s viewpoint, there isn’t a school out there that wouldn’t be a better fit for the SEC than FSU. From a location, cultural, or competitive standpoint, you couldn’t ask for a better fit. If UNC does decide to go to the B1G, then I wish with every fiber of me that the SEC would choose FSU over NCST. I realize that Slive probably has his eyes set on the NC markets, but does NCST, by themselves, really get you into the top tier cable packages in NC? While I do personal take stock in the “gentlemen’s agreement” theory, I also think that the other schools could apply enough pressure on UF to have them accept FSU if Slive really wanted FSU. Adding FSU & VT would bolster the SEC football product even more than it already is, and might even be enough to have CBS comeback to the table since CBS’s arguement when aTm & Mizzou were added was that the addition didn’t significantly increase the overall product of the game they would be able to show. But I think an addition of FSU, VT, and an up trending aTm would add to the content that CBS could and ESPN could show. I know the past couple of years, CBS has been unfortunate to be stuck with games that they probably didn’t want. But with FSU & VT (and even aTm), they would have a larger pool of tier 1 games to choose from.

          • frug says:


            You really think the ACC is going to keep its current bowl lineup if they get picked raided?

            Also, just because a Big East-ACC leftover hybrid might be better than the Big East circa 2003 (and it’s not clear it would) isn’t the issue. Remember, Swarbrick said that no Notre Dame had no choice but to join the ACC because they couldn’t continue to schedule as an independent without those games. Now given that Notre Dame was unwilling to even live up to their pledge to play 3 games a year against the old Big East do really think they would be willing to play 5 games a year against the new Big East? After all if they were willing to play UConn, Cincinnati and Louisville regularly they could have just stayed in the Big East.

          • @frug – True, the ACC may end up with a downgraded bowl lineup. However, the flip side is that we just can’t assume that there is going to be some type of “rational” reaction from Notre Dame (“rational” meaning that they’ll get religion and join a conference for football). Rule #1, #2 and #3 for them is that independence in and of itself is the goal. So, if you’re asking whether ND would choose full membership in the Big Ten or a non-football membership in a severely weakened ACC, I fully believe that they’ll continue to choose the latter. Now, whether ND would be spurred to look at a non-football membership in the newly strengthened Big 12 in this hypothetical is a different matter. Regardless, keeping football independence while being in a conference that’s good enough in basketball and Olympic sports is what ND will demand above all else. Just because the ACC in September 2013 may end up being worse than the ACC that ND joined in September 2012 doesn’t really change that calculation regarding independence in the laser-like minds of Domers.

          • Mack says:

            I can see ND staying if the ACC football commitment is changed to 3 per year of ND choosing (4 with Navy). Who in the new ACC will ND want to play other than Pitt, Syracuse, Navy, and BC? It would be useful for ND to play a neutral site game on the east coast and this could be against other ACC schools. I doubt ND will ever go to WF, Cinncinnati, Duke, or UCONN. Louisville maybe once. ND can probably contract with the B12 for a couple of late season games to make up for the 2 it will not want to play with a depleted ACC.

          • BruceMcF says:

            Mack, you seem to have that turned around. IF Notre Dame can contract with another conference for a pair of late season games, THEN it could push for a reduction in the number of games committed to the ACC. From late October through the end of November is hard to schedule for an independent ~ especially hard to schedule home games.

            Otherwise, if Navy is in the ACC, that is already a reduction in the net commitment to four, and reducing the commitment by one could well be all that Notre Dame requires. As far as that being Navy, BC, Syracuse, Pitt and rotating through a set of upstart C-USA teams and the remnants of the former ACC … the occasional Wake Forest at home is better than not being home at all in the month of November.

      • Brian says:


        I know you’re going to take this the wrong way, but this comment really isn’t meant to denigrate FSU.

        “Frank is right in pointing out that Florida State fits the academic profile of the league fine should the league decide it wants to expand down the east coast.”

        No, it really doesn’t. FSU may share the same goals and ideals, but it doesn’t have the profile yet.

        “Many people who try to describe the academic side of the situation don’t seem to know that Florida State and UF are twin universities.”

        It’s irrelevant.

        “‘US News’ ranks Florida State at #97. That edges Nebraska (101) and ties or bests a number of AAU member schools, including:”

        That’s great. FSU is on par with the worst AAU members in a set of unimportant rankings. Roughly 2/3 of the AAU is in the USNWR top 50. On the AAU list, FSU was #94 while the last two schools added were #31 and #37. They have a long way to go.

        “Eric Barron and the trustees have made a goal of AAU membership.”

        So have a whole bunch of other schools. They can’t all get there unless the AAU dumps a bunch of members. And don’t forget, the current members are always trying to keep moving up the list, too.

    • Jericho says:

      Not sure I follow. ESPN already sublicenses some of its SEC material since it cannot show it all. Any content provider getting both Tier 1 and 2 of the ACC would likely have to do the same. So the sublicense factor seems irrelvant. The only problem then is that the sublicense has to go to Raycom. But as long as their is a fair market value deal reached, I don’t see what the problem is.

      • frug says:

        But as long as their is a fair market value deal reached, I don’t see what the problem is.

        A. Fair market value isn’t reached. Since Raycom knew it was guaranteed the content in advance they didn’t have to pay market value.

        B. In order to get the Raycom deal the ACC had to agree to go all in, meaning they didn’t even get to keep their Tier III rights meaning no ACC network and no leverage when they renegotiated after the ‘Cuse and Pitt admissions.

        C. Fox said straight up they wouldn’t agree in advance to a deal with Raycom and they dropped out of the bidding. That meant ESPN wasn’t competing against anyone and could pay the ACC whatever they wanted to.

  4. bullet says:

    I don’t believe the gentlemen’s agreement exists. The SEC wanted FSU at one point in time. I think they would have taken them in place of Missouri if they were interested, but they made clear they weren’t. What I do believe is that the SEC will be very careful now that they only have 2 slots left. At least one of those slots is reserved for a North Carolina team. So there’s a liklihood they aren’t interested in FSU now. And Louisville, Georgia Tech and Clemson don’t add value to the SEC, so those 2nd teams in states won’t get consideration.

    • frug says:

      The SEC wanted FSU at one point in time.

      And ND wanted to join the Big Ten at one point and the PAC passed on adding Texas at one point. Things change.

      • zeek says:

        I do think the cable game has completely changed the FSU-SEC equation.

        We don’t live in a broadcast world anymore.

        • bullet says:

          The Tier I and Tier II still are much bigger than the Tier III $. There are lots of stories the SEC wants UNC and Duke, two teams from the same state. Its still about product. You have to have something the people want to see. If it was about markets, the Big 12 wouldn’t be right with the Pac 12, Big 10 and SEC in TV $. The Big 12 would have invited Cincinnati and Northern Illinois instead of TCU and West Virginia. There’s not a conference that would say no to Notre Dame (maybe the Pac 12) and they don’t get a BTN on basic cable because their fans are so spread out.

          What is different with the SEC, is, of course, that they aren’t going to invite more than 2 more schools.

          • Cliff says:

            Bullet – I’m not disputing you, just curious why SEC would not go past 16, but the Big Ten would.

          • bullet says:

            1) There’s been zero discussion of it.
            2) The rivalries are strong and there’s no reasonable way to keep the old SEC schools together if you go beyond 16 (barring Richard’s too complicated 6 rotating triads).

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            “If it was about markets, the Big 12 wouldn’t be right with the Pac 12, Big 10 and SEC in TV $”
            —Yes the Big East made a fundamental error chasing the ‘market’ rainbow without a marketable product but succumbing to a belief that the other extreme (what you believe) is a fantastic product with no one to watch it is just as likely to result badly.

            Mistaking a short term decision by ESPN to save it’s investment in the BXII fas a sign of long term strength is potentially a disasterous mistake. The demographic concerns that have plagued the BXII and both it’s progenitor conferences haven’t gone away.

  5. bullet says:

    The difference between Notre Dame and FSU is not only that ND is ND in terms of popularity, but that Notre Dame is a highly respected academic institution even if they aren’t a research powerhouse. FSU is average for a state flagship. So Notre Dame has academic prestige even if its a little different sort. That compensates for not being AAU.

    Given the comments supposedly made about taking a “marginal” AAU school in Nebraska and not being willing to do that again, I doubt they would consider FSU. It would also make the B1G #2 in a state. Iowa and Pennsylvania are the only states where they are challenged at all by the #2 (or #3) school.

    • bullet says:

      (not counting ND which doesn’t really count as an Indiana school)

    • Andy says:

      you have zero proof of this of course (FSU over Mizzou, that is) and it’s most likely not true.

      • Andy says:

        The SEC wanted new markets for the SEC network. They also wanted AAU schools. Missouri offered both. FSU offered neither.

      • bullet says:

        Regarding you question #2, you have to remember that all the Big East schools joined in the ACC lawsuit, including current & future ACC members, Virginia Tech, Pitt, Syracuse and Notre Dame. The ACC is representing the conference in the lawsuit. And there are at least 6 or 7 members that would be in worse positions if the ACC lost a lot of members. It would be odd if they didn’t try to enforce their by-laws.

        • bullet says:

          Sorry, double post. Didn’t realize it went through.

        • Jericho says:

          Virginia Tech had the distinction of being both a Plaintiff and then a Defendant. So it could sue itself! But I’m fairly certain Notre Dame was not a party (although the Big East itself was). Nor am I sure that Syracuse was ever officially named (they were never named as a Defendant, I cannot recall if they ever got added as a Plaintiff)

      • bullet says:

        You really need to get over your touchiness about everything Mizzou.
        I said I think. I never claimed “proof.” Pretty much all the mainstream media at the time also thought FSU or Virginia Tech was the target for #14. Its also logical they would add 1 east and 1 west rather than create awkward divisions as they had to.

        Now Andy will tell us how much better Missouri is than FSU or Virginia Tech in a long essay. Guess what? I won’t respond. So make it short.

        • Andy says:

          No need for an essay: VT is no better than Mizzou at football. They’ve benefited from playing in a weak Big East and ACC in recent years. They’ve done very well there under Frank Beamer. He’s led them to 20 bowl games since 1986. Before that they had a grand total of 4 bowls. Missouri has 29 bowls total while playing in a tougher conference. Mizzou also averages higher attendance per game in football than VT. Mizzou is the flagship school for their state. VT is not. Mizzou is AAU. VT is not. Mizzou is good at basketball. VT is not. Mizzou gets higher tv ratings than VT. It’s questionable as to whether VT delivers the entire state of Virginia. Mizzou definitely delivers the entire state of Missouri.

          FSU is undoubtably better than Mizzou at football. Not so much at basketball. FSU does not bring in any new markets for the SEC network. Mizzou is the flagship university for their state. FSU is not. Mizzou is AAU. FSU is not. Mizzou gets more research dollars than FSU.

          There are plenty of reasons why Mizzou was a perfectly valid choice. Now, if FSU was in a new market they’d undoubtably be a good choice other than the whole AAU thing. But the SEC already has Florida. They did not have Missouri.

          • Accfan says:

            Mizzou is trash that the SEC didn’t really want.

          • Read The D says:

            Virginia Tech is no better than Mizzou at football??? Va Tech has only had 20 bowls since ’86? How far back do we have to go? That’s more than a quarter century. Missouri had 10 in the same time frame.

            Plus Missouri went to a total of 2 Big 12 title games, even though the Big 12 North was abysmal for it’s last decade, and got destroyed by Oklahoma both times.

          • Andy says:

            accfan, classy, and baseless. the SEC recruited Mizzou for over a year before Mizzou agreed to join.

          • Andy says:

            Read the D, had VA Tech played in the Big 12 their record would have been the same or worse than Mizzou’s. Who did VA Tech even need to beat to get to those bowl games?

            Also, Mizzou has had a lot of success spanning many decades: 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 00s. 80s and 90s were a struggle largely becuase of administrative/funding issues. VA tech has only been successful since the late 80s. Before that they were completely irrelevant. That is why they don’t have the built in fanbase that Mizzou has, and it’s why Mizzou averages more fans per game than VA Tech.

          • Arch Stanton says:

            Just an anecdote here, but I live in an SEC state that borders Missouri. The most positive response I’ve seen to Missouri joining the SEC is “meh”. Now, I don’t talk to ADs or University presidents, but the general feeling around is that Missouri was only added because Virginia Tech said “no” and the conference really didn’t want to be stuck at 13 members for even a short period of time. Outside of your world, Missouri does not “move the needle” with the general populace. Virginia Tech does. Florida State definitely does. Texas A&M does.

          • Andy says:

            If you focus only on who has done better at the sport of football lately (which is all a typical SEC fan cares about) then no doubt Va Tech is more relevant than Mizzou. But to University Presidents deciding who is better for the SEC long term there was a different opinion.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            “Also, Mizzou has had a lot of success spanning many decades: 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 00s.”
            —Since you keep making the claim despite it being debunked multiple times you force us to once again correct your falsehoods.

            30’s: #142 32-52-9 39%
            40’s: #45 60-37-4 61%
            50’s: #97 43-53-5 45%
            60’s: #4 77-22-6 76%
            00’s: #42 70-54 56%
            (Decade: rank in overall wins; record; percentage)

            So to correct for accuracy “Mizzou had a lot of succes spanning a single decade: the 70’s, plus two more where it was middle of the pack the 40’s & 00′”

      • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

        “you have zero proof of this of course (FSU over Mizzou, that is) and it’s most likely not true.”
        —There were reports at the time from various insiders at the time that the first couple of candidates turned the SEC down. The two schools most commonly connected with those rumors were VPI & FSU.

        Irrefutable proof? Of course not but it is evidence that Missouri was not Plan A.

        BTW your statement is especially ironic given your repeated claims as to Missouri’s status with the B1G.

    • BruceMcF says:

      That’s an important distinction. If the question here is academic politics, with Presidents being unwilling to instigate a fight with certain academic stakeholders, then a non-AAU member that would not provoke that fight would get a pass.

  6. Andy says:

    MIZ and go blue

  7. bullet says:

    Regarding you question #2, you have to remember that all the Big East schools joined in the ACC lawsuit, including current & future ACC members, Virginia Tech, Pitt, Syracuse and Notre Dame. The ACC is representing the conference in the lawsuit. And there are at least 6 or 7 members that would be in worse positions if the ACC lost a lot of members. It would be odd if they didn’t try to enforce their by-laws.

  8. drew says:

    I rather read a blog by Frug. Frank this is one of your poorest efforts. Stick to the big 10. Everything else you’re freaking clueless.

  9. marmutia says:

    Go Marginal AAU Huskers!

  10. Marc Shepherd says:

    2. If numerous ACC schools want to leave and are awaiting the outcome of the conference’s lawsuit against Maryland, why did they join in that lawsuit in the first place?

    I think the answers here are obvious:

    1) A number of ACC schools are clear losers if the league continues to get poached. I’m referring to schools like BC, Wake Forest, Syracuse, Pitt, and Louisville, which are not highly desired by the Big Ten, SEC, or Big XII.

    2) Several others might find better homes, but it’s not clear that they would. University presidents are cautious by nature: they’d rather preserve a sure thing over an uncertain future. I would put NC State, Duke, and Miami squarely in this category; and in different ways, arguably UVA, UNC, VT, GT, and Clemson too.

    3) The exit fee was reportedly raised at Notre Dame’s insistence. It’s no mystery why they would fight to preserve it.

    4) Even if we believe that certain schools know they could find a safe landing spot in the Big Ten or the SEC, schools are notoriously loyal to their conference, up until the moment they’re not. Pitt and Syracuse, for instance, lobbied hard to save the Big East, right up to the moment they left. I believe Missouri did the same in the Big XII.

    • zeek says:

      Point #4 is especially important.

      UNC, UVa, Georgia Tech, FSU, Miami, etc. will all be incredibly loyal to the ACC until the very last moment before leaving.

      That includes joining lawsuits, statements in public by coaches/presidents about the conference, etc.

      • Jericho says:

        As to # 4. I don’t think Missouri was ever that loyal to the Big 12 once the dominos started to fall. They really wanted to get the Big 10 invite that Nebraska got and basically had one foot out the door ever since. All it took was someone (the SEC) looking for another school.

        I think the Pitt story has been somewhat debunked. There’s not much evidence to suggest that Pitt intentionally voted down the Big East deal while knowing it was going to leave. It voted it down, then sometime later decided to leave.

    • Richard says:


      Actually, Pitt backstabbed the BE. They (and some other schools–Rutgers and G’Town, off the top of my head) convinced the rest of the BE to reject an ESPN TV deal that would have made the BE schools close to what the ACC schools make ($10M) while already having some inkling that they may be going to the ACC.

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        @Richard: I don’t think so. It’s true that Pitt (along with others) voted down the TV deal. But their animating purpose in doing so, was the belief they could get a better one. They were wrong about that, but their aim was to help the league improve, not to fatally injure it.

        • BruceMcF says:

          But they would have known that it was a gamble. Schools may be more willing to roll the dice if they fancy themselves as being likely to escape the conference if the conference rolls snake eyes.

        • cfn_ms says:

          In fairness, at this point the majority of the Big East members at the time (as opposed to the league itself) are in a position as good as or better than they were during negotiations. Pitt, Syracuse, Louisville, West Virginia and especially Rutgers have improved their position. The Catholic Seven have a MUCH more stable situation, and if memory serves they’re getting at least as much TV money as before. Yeah, it sucks for Cincy, UConn and USF, but IMO the whole “backstabbing” angle matters a lot less once you realize there were very few actual victims here.

  11. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    GEAUX LSU Fightin’ Tigers!

    Baseball practice starts tomorrow!

  12. Tom says:

    While conference realignment is basically a shameless money grab at this point with no rules governing it, there is one principle that seems to be adhered to. Schools don’t leave superior (at least perceived) academic conferences for inferior ones, as evidenced by these recent moves among the so called BCS leagues.

    -Nebraska leaving the Big 12 for the Big Ten (upgrade)
    -Colorado leaving the Big 12 for the Pac 12 (upgrade)
    -Utah leaving the Mountain West for the Pac 12 (upgrade)
    -Missouri and Texas A&M leaving the Big 12 for the SEC (upgrade)
    -Pittsburgh and Syracuse leaving the Big East for the ACC (upgrade)
    -West Virginia and TCU leaving the Big East for the Big 12 (upgrade)
    -Notre Dame leaving the Big East for the ACC (upgrade)
    -Rutgers leaving the Big East for the Big Ten (upgrade)
    -Maryland leaving the ACC for the Big Ten (upgrade)
    -Louisville leaving the Big East for the ACC (upgrade)

    Florida State (and anyone else from the ACC) moving to the Big 12 would run counter to this principle.

    • Richard says:

      Hard to argue that going from the B12 to the SEC is an upgrade in academic circles, but at least it isn’t a downgrade that going from the ACC to the B12 would be.

    • BruceMcF says:

      The SEC is an academic upgrade over the Big 12? Learn something new every day.

      • m (Ag) says:

        The Big 12 has at least as many bad schools as the SEC, and they lost most of their good schools. They were close before, but the SEC is clearly better now.

        • Richard says:

          . . But not when A&M moved, invalidating the original contention.

          • m (Ag) says:

            But A&M and Missouri both improved their conference average by moving. That’s an upgrade.

            If there are two classes with a GPA of 2.2 and two 3.0 students move from one class to another, the class they’re leaving might drop to 2.0 while the class they join might rise to 2.4 The two students improved their academic neighborhood by moving.

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            A&M and Mizzou’s combined moves tipped the balance in the SEC’s favor. Even after the Big 12 had lost Nebraska and Colorado, it still had 5 of 10 members holding AAU status (Texas, TAMU, KU, Mizzou, Iowa State). Their moves brought the Bug 12 down to 3 AAU’s and the SEC’s up to 4.

          • BruceMcF says:

            Taking A&M and Mizzou out of the picture, the Big 12 has Texas, Kansas, and Iowa State, the SEC only has Vanderbilt and Florida. A&M moved from a conference with five AAU members before they left to join one slated to have three AAU members when they arrived. Mizzou then decided to leave a conference slated to have four AAU members before they left to join one slated to have four AAU members after they arrived.

            Your first transfer student leaves a class with a higher GPA both before and after they
            left, and your second transfer students leaves a class with a higher GPA before they leave to join once with a higher GPA after they arrived.

          • m (Ag) says:

            Vanderbilt is better than UT-Austin and Florida is better than Iowa State. Kansas’ current status is more a middling school; the SEC had several more of those than the Big 12.

            I don’t have the research rankings bookmarked, but when we went through that a few years back, the Big 12 did not come out ahead. You’re all underestimating the how badly the bottom half of the Big 12 performs.

          • bullet says:

            Your first post reads dangerously close to, “Missouri and A&M left the Big 12 for the SEC and improved both conferences.”

          • Andy says:

            bullet, you wish.

          • BruceMcF says:

            But how many top 25 grad school programs did the Big12 have before and the SEC after? After all, when Maryland presents a legal argument that they are making an academic upgrade, they do a count of top 25 grad school programs. The Big 10, with 30, is ahead of any other FBS conference.

    • bullet says:

      Big East also had a lot of good schools prior to the last round of exits. Pitt, SU, Rutgers and Georgetown were all AAU at the time.

      • bullet says:

        Also at the lower levels, BYU tried to join the WAC from the MWC. BW is no better than the MWC, which SDSU and Boise joined for a few months.

        • ccrider55 says:

          Wasn’t BYU wanting to park their non FB sports in the WAC while going independent? MWC crashed that plan.

          • cfn_ms says:

            yep. That wasn’t really “BYU tried to join the WAC” so much as it was “BYU wanted to dump the Mountain West in the only sport they really cared about.”

      • frug says:

        Georgetown was never in the AAU. They are a top 20 undergrad school though.

      • BruceMcF says:

        Didn’t Syracuse exit the AAU before they resigned from the Big East? I thought they were the one going to be voted out alongside UNL and they decided to quite rather than to be voted out.

        • Mack says:

          Syracuse resigned from the AAU after Nebraska was voted out rather than face a vote. That is the same way Clark U and Catholic U left the AAU a decade before. No other schools have ever left the AAU. Think of it like one of those executive resignations to spend more time with family.

  13. ccrider55 says:

    I’m not sure MO and aTm in the B12 doesn’t make it superior to the SEC. By moving they may have tipped the balance the other way.

  14. dtwphx says:

    go blue

  15. Michael in Raleigh says:

    How deeply has the actual geography of the Big East changed (the remaining & incoming football schools, not Catholic 7 and other outgoing members)?

    Some telling facts:

    – Of the 12 members set for 2013 (including Tulsa), 8 will be south of Virginia, Kentucky, and Kansas. In the past, the Big East meant, in my mind, not only “East” but “North.” UConn, Temple, Navy, and Cincinnati will be the only four schools that could at all be considered “northern.”

    – Five will be in the Central Time Zone, all of which are on the Mississippi River or even farther west.

    It makes me wonder: which schools are the outliers? Miami and later USF were the outliers for the past 20 years. Prior to the ACC’s 2003 raid, it was a decidedly northeastern league, with only Miami and Notre Dame (for basketball) from outside northeastern states.

    The league deviated a little more from the northeast by adding Cincinnati, Louisville, DePaul, and Marquette, but it maintained its northern nature.

    Now, though, northeastern members will be only 25% of the league, and one of those will be football-only Navy.

    If I didn’t know the history behind the league and simply looked at a map of where the league’s 2015 schools are located, I would presume it is a league based in the South, with conference headquarters in New Orleans or Memphis, and that it expanded into the northeast, rather than vice versa.

  16. Moose says:

    Tom says:
    January 24, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    While conference realignment is basically a shameless money grab at this point with no rules governing it, there is one principle that seems to be adhered to. Schools don’t leave superior (at least perceived) academic conferences for inferior ones, as evidenced by these recent moves among the so called BCS leagues.

    -Nebraska leaving the Big 12 for the Big Ten (upgrade)
    -Colorado leaving the Big 12 for the Pac 12 (upgrade)
    -Utah leaving the Mountain West for the Pac 12 (upgrade)
    -Missouri and Texas A&M leaving the Big 12 for the SEC (upgrade)
    -Pittsburgh and Syracuse leaving the Big East for the ACC (upgrade)
    -West Virginia and TCU leaving the Big East for the Big 12 (upgrade)
    -Notre Dame leaving the Big East for the ACC (upgrade)
    -Rutgers leaving the Big East for the Big Ten (upgrade)
    -Maryland leaving the ACC for the Big Ten (upgrade)
    -Louisville leaving the Big East for the ACC (upgrade)

    Florida State (and anyone else from the ACC) moving to the Big 12 would run counter to this principle.

    Anyone who believes the Big 12 is an academically superior conference to the Big East, has not checked the facts. As far as SEC being Academically superior to the Big 12 as well is a stretch.

    • m (Ag) says:

      ” As far as SEC being Academically superior to the Big 12 as well is a stretch.”

      I think someone “has not checked the facts.”

      We went over the various rankings (especially the research rankings) here before A&M and Missouri moved. The Big 12 and SEC were pretty much equal. 2 of the best schools moving from the Big 12 to the SEC clearly tilted the balance. Adding West Virginia to the Big 12 moved it further in the SEC’s favor.

      • BruceMcF says:

        Y’all may have reached that conclusion, but when a minority of the AAU membership of one conference doubles the AAU membership of the conference they are joining, describing that as an unambiguous academic upgrade in the same manner as leaving the Big 12 for the Pac12 or Big Ten, or leaving the Big East for the ACC is quite a stretch.

        • m (Ag) says:

          It’s an unambiguous upgrade for the schools that moved.

          I don’t recall comparing it to a move to the Big Ten.

          • 12-Team Playoffs Now says:

            Regarding m (Ag) latest metric, AAU: 3 of 10 is still > than 4 of 14. Not that facts and logic ever get in the way of Aggie wankish urban myths.

            Spare us the BS, you didn’t move to upgrade academics, you were desperate to shed the little brother image and get out of UT’s shadow. You hoped that joining the SEC would give you enough advantages to finally be the Longhorn’s equal. Which for once actually made sense, in fact I said on this blog long before it happened that it was the best move the Ags could make.

            Not that I’m predicting it, but if a school is going to break from the ACC, I wonder if little brother NC St might be one of the first to move, in part for similar reasons.

            Also agree somewhat with someone up thread that this is perhaps Frank’s worst piece in a while. Funny how everyone in the B12 but Texas are so unhappy yet signed a grant of rights. How about asking the ACC why they haven’t done likewise, because that would kill all the speculation and rumors of instability. Yeah, no doubt OU had no other place to go, the SEC surely wouldn’t want them [/sarc] Too much portrayed in an oversimplified cartoonish depiction to support your preconceived expansion worldview. You know how I know that you are a lawyer?

            I wouldn’t expect FSU to move to the B12 unless:

            1. It is clear that the B1G and SEC won’t offer, and

            2. It knows that one or more schools important to the ACC is leaving

            The money upgrade isn’t enough to break from the comfort zone and academic heft of the ACC. But Delany seems to have left the expansion door wide open, and while the SEC always says they aren’t looking to expand they sure squawk a lot about 14.

            Fox just rearranged their channels to mimic ESPN and ESPN2. Remember how the B1G moved on Rutgers and MD right after Fox’s Yes deal? B12 suddenly starts talking about how they’ll examine expansion issues at the same time the Fox sports channels plans are made public. Perhaps just a coincidence (not being sarcastic, I don’t know if there’s any relation or just a coincidence.) Fox is going to want quality content, have parts of the P12, B12, BTN, and will probably bid hard for at least part of the B1G. Seems like they’d have incentive to pay perhaps above market value to lure some of the best value ACC teams into those 3 conferences and pursue teams in the Southeast where they are currently somewhat shut out by ESPN’s control of much of the SEC and ACC content. (However you can still find ACC and SEC baseball on the regional Fox sports networks in the Southeast.)

            So there’s potentially a lot of pull there to try and raid the ACC. I have no idea if it is enough to get anyone to move. Wouldn’t be shocked either way, other than this probably plays out one way or another (go or stay) by August 15.

          • BruceMcF says:

            Going from a 4 AAU school group to a 4 AAU group of 14 looks like a sideways move on that dimension for Missouri, so its surely not an upgrade across the board. At best you could offer other dimensions where its either a sideways move or an upgrade, leaving it as an ambiguous upgrade.

            Going from a 5 AAU school group to a 3 AAU group for A&M is clearly a downgrade on that dimension, so its surely not an unambiguous upgrade. At best, if you can offer other dimensions that are an upgrade, it might be argued to be a sideways move. On the other hand, the move to the Pac-12 that A&M turned down would have been a clear and unambiguous upgrade.

          • gregenstein says:

            Why even propose B12 to SEC as an “upgrade” academically? That’s like saying the outhouse at my camp stinks less than the outhouse at your camp.

          • Andy says:


            Vandy is a better school than Texas
            Florida is on par with Texas
            A&M and Mizzou are better than ISU, who is better than KU
            Georgia, Alabama, and Auburn are better than OU, Baylor and TCU
            Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas and South Carolina are better than KSU and OSU
            LSU, Ole Miss, and MSU are better than TT and WVU

            SEC is better academically than Big XII.

          • BruceMcF says:

            But Andy, that’s like the UMD reaching the conclusion that the exit penalty was not enacted properly and so is not in force, is too high to justify and conference distributions should not be withheld ~ you’re going to reach the conclusion that Mizzou is not slumming in its move from the Big12 to the SEC, and are going to present whatever argument you can come up with to support that conclusion.

            I don’t have any particular investment in which of the two is more highly regarded, though the notion that the SEC is more highly regarded than anyone was a bit surprising.

            How many top 25 grad schools did the Big12 have without A&M and Mizzou, and how many top 25 grad schools does the SEC have without A&M and Mizzou? You can use the USNWR rankings if you do not want to research the rankings most highly regarded within each field to get a more accurate answer.

      • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

        ” ‘I think someone “has not checked the facts.’ We went over the various rankings (especially the research rankings) here before A&M and Missouri moved. The Big 12 and SEC were pretty much equal. 2 of the best schools moving from the Big 12 to the SEC clearly tilted the balance.
        Adding West Virginia to the Big 12 moved it further in the SEC’s favor.”

        Using my composite rankings (someone else will have to take the time to play with means & medians):

        9 Texas Big 12 1318.6290
        16 Vanderbilt SEC 1159.5158
        21 Florida SEC 1098.2724
        32 Iowa B1G 937.1647 (Lowest B1G team not named Nebraska)
        33 Georgia SEC 869.2267
        39 Iowa St. Big 12 757.1580
        48 Kansas Big 12 642.6922
        50 Tennessee SEC 637.1033
        51 South Carolina SEC 630.5778
        53 Oklahoma Big 12 605.9622
        56 Kentucky SEC 598.1895
        62 LSU SEC 541.5464
        63 Clemson ACC 530.0574 (Lowest ACC team not named Louisville)
        67 Alabama SEC 514.1353
        72 Texas Tech Big 12 455.7067
        73 Auburn SEC 449.1348
        75 Baylor Big 12 441.6534
        78 Kansas St. Big 12 423.8273
        80 Ole Miss SEC 419.2595
        84 Oklahoma St. Big 12 372.8754
        85 Arkansas SEC 365.0029
        92 Mississippi St. SEC 307.1069

        24 Texas A&M SEC 1085.2718
        42 Missouri SEC 718.3004

        82 West Virginia Big 12 412.5111
        99 TCU Big 12 280.3350

        65 Nebraska B1G 521.5648
        79 Louisville ACC 423.3505

        • BruceMcF says:

          That list is at least a lot more credible than the notion that UT Austin lags behind Vanderbilt. I think that if we get lazy and use the UNSWR top25 grad school rankings (obviously each profession may have its own that will vary in the details, but that’s more critical inside a given profession then in the aggregate), UT-Austin has top-25 programs for MBA, Law, Engineering, Public Police, Library & Information Studies, Fine Arts, Math, Physics, Computer Science, Earth Sciences, Econ, English, History, PoliSci, Sociology, Psychology. Vandy has Top 25 programs in MBA, Law and Medicine-Research.

  17. metatron says:

    I can’t help but feel that the Big XII is a stalking horse for an SEC bid with regards to Florida State.

    • jj says:

      I can’t see fla consenting. And I do think the gentlemen’s agreement is true.

      • BruceMcF says:

        A gentleman’s agreement would stand if there is a coalition inside the SEC able to give the agreement teeth. How many does it take to vote a new member into the SEC, and how many schools would be in the coalition agreeing among themselves to enforce that gentleman’s agreement, if need be? If there is a blocking interest coalition available, then the gentleman’s agreement seems a lot more likely.

        • bamatab says:

          The SEC has to have a 3/4ths vote to extend an invite. So they would need 11 yes votes to extend an invite to FSU. So if UF, UGA, USCe, and either UK or aTm are together, then those 4 or 5 votes would be enough to derail FSU.

          • Ross says:

            Still not buying UK is a part of this. Louisville is not and will never be a realistic candidate for the SEC, so it makes no sense for Kentucky to be a part of that agreement, unless they were getting something else out of it.

          • frug says:


            UK’s AD publicly stated that Kentucky would consider “vetoing” Louisville if they came up for admission. I don’t know whether the gentleman’s agreement is real, but UK believes they have the power to block Louisville.

          • frug says:


            Correction, UK’s AD’s exact words were they “would not rule out a veto” of Louisville.

          • bullet says:

            And GT and Tulane, while former members, don’t add enough to get any support. Clemson is a good program but in a small state. Can’t see the SEC having any interest. FSU and Miami are the only schools in the 12 team SEC area that would generate any interest by the league.

            These are colleges and they try to be collegial. They aren’t going to ram Louisville down UK’s throat unless there is a compelling reason. But Florida has no recent history of being opposed to FSU in the SEC. I haven’t seen one comment that they are. Again, the real issue is if you only have two seats at the table, who gets them? I guarantee Clemson, Tulane, Georgia Tech and Louisville aren’t one of them.

          • glenn says:

            i doubt the gentleman’s agreement has any real teeth to it, except that if it has been employed in the past to the advantage of any of the schools and a large enough majority were to overrule it in the case of florida, i wouldn’t be surprised if the next realignment discussion might be regarding uf testing the water for their own move.  probably would be true of kentucky or any of the other schools as well.

          • Jericho says:

            Louisville is not that far-fetched. Academics an geography have been the biggest ondoings. Athletically they are pretty strong. Kentucky being in the SEC and the Big 10 academics likely prevented them from going anywhere much earlier.

            Granted, the SEC has a finite amount of spots left and Lousiville is not on the top of the list. so a Louisville threat now is likely minimal. But it was not that far-fetched 20 years ago

          • BruceMcF says:

            @bamatab, yes that’s the way I thought I had recalled it ~ the presumed gentleman’s agreement during the process of expanding from 12 to 14 was a blocking group of SEC schools, not conference wide.

    • Andy says:

      I think the current play for the SEC is to get UNC and Duke. If that plan fails they may go to plan B or C, which might include FSU.

      • vp19 says:

        It would more likely be a combo of Virginia Tech and NCSU.

        • Andy says:

          I don’t think NCSU adds enough. I think they’d look at FSU over NCSU if it came to it.

          They’ll do what’s needed to get UNC and if that fails they’ll need to rethink things.

      • OrderRestored83 says:

        Duke may be the SEC’s curmudgeon in that scenario. I know quite a few folks in the Duke academic community and they all still hold their nose at the notion of SEC academics. That’s a large hurdle to clear, even for a conference with the athletic prowless of the SEC.

        • Andy says:

          I don’t think Duke is driving the bus here. They’ll be a tag along with UNC or they’ll be left behind.

          • OrderRestored83 says:

            Maybe so, but I wouldn’t be so confident that UNC would be so quick to leave Duke behind. North Carolina will not move without either Virginia or Duke. A North Carolina/NC State package is a no go. I’m not familiar with the politics at the University of North Carolina; but I am familiar enough with the academic politics in general in that area to know this as truth.

          • vp19 says:

            If UNC goes SEC, Delany will probably be resigned to taking Duke if either UVa or GT rejects the Big Ten (or if Florida State joins those three in an 18-member conference).

          • Andy says:

            I guess you’re saying if the SEC gets UNC and UVA then Duke could end up in the B1G. To that I say maybe, if the B1G would want that. But otherwise I see Duke in the SEC with Duke.

            I guess I see 4 possible options, in no particular order:

            SEC: UNC and UVA, B1G: Duke and GT
            SEC: UNC and Duke, B1G: UVA and GT
            B1G: UNC and UVA (and maybe GT and Duke), SEC: VT and FSU
            B1G: UNC and UVA (and maybe GT and Duke), SEC: VT and NCSU

          • OrderRestored83 says:

            @ Andy,

            That’s exactly what I was saying; if the SEC wants North Carolina, they’ll have to either take Duke or Virginia with them. I can’t see Duke going to the SEC (just from talking to people who are involved there) but I can’t speak for Virginia.

          • Andy says:

            “otherwise I see Duke in the SEC with Duke” should read “otherwise I see Duke in the SEC with UNC”

          • Andy says:

            orderrestored, not sure who you’re disagreeing with, but I totally agree. I think wherever UNC goes it will be with either Duke or UVA.

          • OrderRestored83 says:

            @ Andy,

            Oops! Sorry, didn’t see this : “orderrestored, not sure who you’re disagreeing with, but I totally agree. I think wherever UNC goes it will be with either Duke or UVA” I’m with you on this one. What I was saying is that Duke probably isn’t going to go to the SEC…….so Virginia is the avenue they are going to have to go.

          • Andy says:

            I see what you meant, orderrestored, you’re saying what if UVA and Duke join the B1G. Wouldn’t that force UNC to join the B1G too? And in that since, couldn’t Duke “drive the bus”?

            It’s an interesting thought. I don’t know enough about ACC politics to say how plausible it is.

          • OrderRestored83 says:

            @ Andy, Didn’t see this one either:

            “I see what you meant, orderrestored, you’re saying what if UVA and Duke join the B1G. Wouldn’t that force UNC to join the B1G too? And in that since, couldn’t Duke “drive the bus”?
            It’s an interesting thought. I don’t know enough about ACC politics to say how plausible it is.”

            Exactly. I don’t know if I’d go as far as saying Duke drives the bus; but they aren’t in the backseat either.

          • Andy says:

            *in that sense, not since. bleh, to this day I still never read over my posts before posting them.

            Anyway, another factor to weigh IMO is that I believe there will be reluctance to cross that 16 school threshhold for conferences. Anything beyond 16 and it becomes a loose confederation rather than a united group. Scheduling just gets silly. I’m not saying 18 or 20 won’t happen. I just think there will be hesitation. And with that hesitation there are only 2 spots per league, so a UVA/UNC/Duke combo is trickier to come by. But maybe it’s a brave new world and UVA/UNC/Duke is already agreed to by the B1G and they’re just waitin got pull the trigger. I suspect the SEC doesn’t want to go past 16.

          • vp19 says:

            18 is easier for the Big Ten to reach because it has substantially more flexibility with divisions and football scheduling than an SEC of similar size.

          • Andy says:

            As far as Duke joining the SEC, the only way I see it happening is if UNC really wants to do it, and convinces Duke to come along. Depending on how strong the UNC/Duke relationship is it might just be possible.

          • Mack says:

            If UNC is going to the SEC and Duke does not have a B1G invite, the SEC will look a lot better. If the status quo is not an option will the SEC be any worse than the depleted ACC or the B12?

          • Andy says:

            I don’t see how 18 is easy for anyone. You can’t go 4 pods. So you either go 6 pods, which is a total mess, or two divisions. Two 9 shool divisions is basically two merged conferences with very little crossover.

            What’s the split, east/west?

            So, East: Michigan/Ohio State/Penn State/Rutgers/Maryland/Virginia/North Carolina/Duke/Georgia Tech
            West: Nebraska/Iowa/Minnesota/Wisconsin/Illinois/Northwestern/Michigan State/Indiana/Purdue

            That’s a radical change right there. Not something you just jump into. At that point I would argue that the Big Ten will have died and something new would have been born, similar to when the Big 8 died in 1996, but even more dramatic. I could certainly see resisitence to this.

          • bamatab says:

            I don’t see Duke getting a B1G invite without UNC. The B1G would have to be turned down by several schools before they are resigned to taking only Duke out of the NC market since Duke is a small private school that may not have the pull to get full tier 1 cable coverage in the NC markets. If UNC tells Duke that they are going to the SEC, and Duke doesn’t have a standing invite to the B1G, then they may have to decide between follow UNC to the SEC, or being regulated to a down troddened ACC, Big 12 or an A10 type of conference. I think Duke would find the SEC a better choice in that case.

          • Brian says:


            “I don’t see how 18 is easy for anyone.”

            It isn’t. It sucks for everyone.

            “You can’t go 4 pods.”

            Sure you can – 2 pods of 4 and 2 pods of 5.

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

            Years 1 and 2:
            W & N vs E & S

            Years 3 and 4:
            W & E vs N & S

            Schedule: 8 in division + 1 crossover in the pod you never get paired with

            For extra variety:
            In years 5-8, switch PU and IN for NW and IL
            In years 9-12, switch PU for IL (lock PU/IN and NW/IL)
            In years 13-16, switch PU and NW for IN and IL

          • Andy says:

            okay, Brian. yes, technically you can do all kinds of stupid things. 2 pods of 4 and 2 pods of 5 would be stupid.

          • Brian says:


            “2 pods of 4 and 2 pods of 5 would be stupid.”

            Yes, it’s so much worse than 4 pods of 4 with 2 anchor pods.

          • BruceMcF says:

            As was discussed in detail in the comments to the preceding post, Wx4, Nx5, Ex5, Sx4 would preserve quite a lot of traditional Big 10 rivalries, and maintains any rivalries that may exist among the income schools as well. It provides much fairer access to Eastern markets for the Western schools than static divisions for 18 schools are likely to do.

            The big knock against it is it makes Penn State games against the Buckeyes and Wolverines quite rare, though it keeps Penn State playing UNL and Whiskey every second year and down the Eastern Seaboard in the alternate years.

            Its also substantially less confusing than the pure “pod” systems.

      • Gailikk says:

        If you think duke adds anything your wrong. NC state has a lot of football fans, in fact most Duke basketball fans are NC state football fans. Duke brings nothing aside form a relationship/history with UNC.

    • metatron says:

      But who would join FSU?

      I think Virginia Tech and Clemson are their only realistic options, everyone else is tied to UNC (and they’ll never move). Georgia Tech would be included, but they’re a distant third and there’s no way Clemson would ever pass up the offer.

      Gentlemen’s agreement or not – the SEC can’t remain at fourteen forever, and if they wait, they might have to settle for the scraps if Florida State does leave for the Big XII. They’re being pushed by a lack of revenue, something that makes the ACC untenable.

      • Andy says:

        The SEC can remain at 14. It’s fine as it is. Doesn’t need to expand again. I doubt they’ll expand unless they get UNC or if they’re otherwise forced to for some reason.

  18. Tom says:

    Going by US News’ undergraduate rankings, the old Big 12 had an average ranking of 103. It had 7 AAU schools. The old Big East had an average ranking of 113 and 3 AAU schools (surprisingly, Villanova and Providence are not ranked so I assigned both of them a ranking of 200, one rank below 199, the last numerical rank of schools that have a ranking). The old SEC had an average ranking of 102. It had 2 AAU schools. The Big East is clearly inferior. You could make the argument that the SEC at this point was inferior, but not by much. The only difference was the number of schools in the Big 12 with AAU status. Nebraska got its AAU status revoked, I imagine Iowa State and Kansas aren’t that far ahead of Nebraska in that regard.

    When Nebraska and Colorado left for the Big Ten and Pac 12, the Big 12 had an average US News ranking of 97. It had 5 AAU schools. At this point the Big 12 was slightly better than the SEC, but it was certainly not a step down for A&M and Missouri as you will see…

    Texas A&M and Missouri left for the SEC, West Virginia left for the Big 12 accompanied by TCU, and Syracuse and Pittsburgh left for the ACC, leaving the Big 12 with an average ranking of 106 and 3 AAU schools, the Big East after a flurry of additions with an average ranking of 126 and 2 AAU schools (note: Memphis is not ranked, Tulane is included), and the SEC with an average ranking of 99 and 4 AAU schools.

    The current SEC is better than the current Big 12. The current SEC is comparable to the Big 12 after Nebraska and Colorado left. The current SEC is also comparable to the old Big 12. The point is, A&M and Missouri did not take a step down. If FSU or any other ACC school moves to the Big 12, they would be taking a solid step down.

    • m (Ag) says:

      If you’re using USNews rankings, you have to throw out Baylor’s ranking. I knew little about the University until I started reading this blog a few years back, but they specialize in gaming the system:

      • metatron says:

        Why is anybody using those rankings in the first place? They’re a guide for high school students, not the bible on intellectual prowess.

      • bullet says:

        Clemson gave false info, as did Emory. Alabama and Auburn ranking so high is curious, especially compared to rankings other than USNWR.

        Moving to the SEC wasn’t clearly a downgrade, but it wasn’t an upgrade either.

      • BruceMcF says:

        But what relevance do USNews rankings have for this discussion? Faculty care about USNews rankings because it makes their job easier or harder, they don’t factor them in when engaged in their petty juvenile status games.

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      I think it’s a fair statement that conference shifts are almost always upgrades academically, or at least aren’t big downgrades, even if there are other reasons for them.

      FSU moving to the Big XII would, by any measure, be a downgrade. The last time the subject came up, the FSU president mentioned that the faculty would be opposed to the Big XII for this reason.

      Of course, FSU has other issues too. They’d like to keep their annual games with UF and Miami. That would be pretty difficult to do in a 9-game Big XII schedule, unless Miami also joins the Big XII.

      And in a likely division split, the Texas and Oklahoma schools would probably stay together, so FSU’s division mates would include the likes of Kansas, KSU, and Iowa State: not exactly a sexy schedule. Texas and Oklahoma would be crossover games, and wouldn’t be on the Seminols’ schedule every year.

      • Tom says:

        For what it’s worth, the new ACC has an average ranking of 56 with 4 AAU schools. Say what you will about US News’ rankings, but a lot of people (especially future students) look at them when trying to guage the academic prestige of a college or university. Anyway you slice it, moving from the ACC to the Big 12 is a major step down, and to my knowledge, such a move among the so called BCS leagues would be a first.

        • Mack says:

          You are looking at how the ACC is now, If the ACC does not lose more schools it is unlikely that the B12 can get anyone to leave. Moves from ACC to B12 are likely after 4-6 schools (including 3-4 AAU) are on their way to the B1G and SEC. That eliminates the academic issue. When the ACC reloads both money and academics will be worse than the B12 so schools will leave if they can.

  19. (From the link): “The recent decisions to add Maryland and Rutgers to the Big Ten Conference were made not only to expand the footprint of the league but also to ensure Penn State wasn’t poached by another league.

    “Jim felt that someday, if we didn’t have anyone else in that corridor, someday it wouldn’t make sense maybe for Penn State to be in our league.”

    Last time I stopped by there was overwhelming opposition to skepticism (from lots of folks, including me) about the B1G being able to get on basic for over $1 in all of WDC & NYC.

    That still the case?

    • @Kevin – I think it’s going to take a lower rate for the BTN to get basic carriage in the NYC market, so that’s where my skepticism lies. DC and the state of Maryland is more promising for the BTN getting a higher rate (probably even better than what the BTN is getting in the Philly market right now).

      • My question on that is how low you can go on the rate and still consider it a victory. They could get on basic in NYC without Rutgers right now at *some* lower rate. I’m curious if folding on the price line in NY affects their renewals in footprint states down the road (no idea how long contracts are).

        Philly has always been a little weird, with Comcast HQ’d there they seemed to make that a point of pride. In fact when the BTN & Comcast announced their agreement Philly was the only place in the footprint that wasn’t on standard basic, although I have no idea what the current arrangement is.

        I’ve come around on Maryland basketball, however, but that only affect the eastern part of DC, not really the city proper, and nothing in NOVA, so it’s going to carve up the market.

        • JohnCassillo says:

          Agreeing with Frank. BTN has to go lower in NYC. People aren’t exactly clamoring to watch Rutgers now (any statement running counter to this usually cites Rutgers stickers on the back of cars in Manhattan — forgetting how many New Jersey residents commute into the city every day). If you told actual NYC residents they have to pay their cable companies considerably more to watch Jersey State football, they’d be much more likely to go without it.

      • Phil says:

        People talk about NYC and Philly and forget that New Jersey makes up a large part of those DMAs. NJ has about 3mm cable households, so even if the B1G just gets the extra dollar in the state of NJ and something smaller in the rest of the NY DMA they will make a boatload of money (and we haven’t even heard yet how Fox is going to leverage the YES network to “convince” the NY cable cos that their terms for the BTN are fair).

        • Honestly asking, but how much available blackmail capital is there, really, for 2nd tier Rutgers football in NJ-suburban Philly and NYC? Unlike the actual cities as well as DC, I’d guess there’s less (or no) critical mass of other Big Ten schools like in the urban centers.

  20. mushroomgod says:

    From the “Hey, I didn’t vote for him department”–

    From our Washington masters, a new directive.

    US schools must now make “reasonable modifications” for students with disabilities or create parallel athletic programs that have comparable standing.

    Why? Because a GAO study in 2010 found that students with disabilities participated in athletics at consistently lower rates Well….DUH….how many did that study cost us, Einsteins?

    Damn the cost. Damn any decision making power staying at the local level. Time for more social engineering from on high. Hello, ADA lawyers and judges.

    Live free or die?

    • ccrider55 says:

      No need. Even many of our universities have developed blind athletes…and started them on their way to a career as refs and umpires :)

      Reasonable modification isn’t a problem. What, when, why create parallel programs?

      • bullet says:

        Don’t the Pac 12 and Big 10 have quotas for blind referees?

      • mushroomgod says:

        That’s what George the Elder thought when he signed off on the ADA in the first place.

        The problem is that bureaucrats and federal judges have an agenda….they wouldn’t know “reasonable” if it bit them in the butt.

        The bigger issue is that decision-making authority is taken away from local officials and voters…..and all accountability is lost. No one pays for this nonsense, except that we all do when local, state govts and the feds go belly-up..

    • metatron says:

      Where is this being reported?

      • mushroomgod says:

        AP story by one Philip Elliott…..funny thing is, all kinds of enthusiastiic quotes by disability advocates…..very little about the costs of these ‘reasonable’ accomodations, litigation expenses et al………

        Every HS around here is already requiring their kids and their families to pay considerable sums to participate in sports–uniforms, other equipment, travel…some schools are already dropping sports….no consideration is given to reality by our masters…

  21. Aaron Morrow says:

    “(I’ve long said that if all of the conferences could negotiate their TV deals at the same time today, the ACC would be #3 behind the SEC and Big Ten. The ACC is behind the Pac-12 and Big 12 in terms of TV money solely because of timing, where the ACC signed its deal before the current sports TV rights boom while the Pac-12 and Big 12 simply lucked into getting to go to the open market at a later date.)”

    I’m assuming I’m wrong in my assumptions, but I’d like to know some actual dates. I previously thought that the ACC signed it’s current contract in May of 2012, after the most recent Big 12 contract (March 2012) and Pac-12 contract (May 2011). What am I missing this time?

    • metatron says:

      The Raycom provision.

    • bullet says:

      Not sure of actual signing dates, but the unrevised ACC contract came into effect in 2011. 2012 was just amending the existing contract. The SEC came into effect in 2009.

      And current year TV fb ratings show the ACC a distant 5th, barely ahead of the BE, with the Big 12 and Big 10 close together behind the SEC. (from some people’s analysis of the spreadsheet info bamatab posted here a month or so ago). Big 12 and Pac 12 have much better distribution with their new contracts than they had before.

    • cfn_ms says:

      Raycom is obviously one key consideration, but there are some others:

      1) 9-game Pac-12 schedule vs 8-game ACC schedule, AND the fact that the Pac-12 consistently has the best slate of OOC games (though the ACC usually isn’t massively far behind). Essentially, the Pac-12 has MUCH more marketable content than the ACC, and the TV deals reflect this.

      2) Weekday game scheduling. One key thing the Pac-12 agreed to in their TV negotiations is that a number of games would be Thursday/Friday. It’s not massively difficult to increase your TV viewership when you’re competing with a random Big East game and that’s it (or when on Thursday you’ve got just one NFL game that only overlaps with part of your broadcast, especially since a good portion of those NFL games have been ugly blowouts and/or relatively meaningless games between non-playoff teams). That’s much easier competition than, say, a key SEC game AND a key B1G game that overlap with your time slot, as well as about 15 other semi-interesting games around the country.

      Even if you think that this is overblown, and that other power leagues will eventually dip their toes into the Thursday/Friday waters, I’m pretty sure that the TV deals didn’t price that possibility in.

      3) General negotiating skill. Even ignoring the Raycom issue, I think it’s safe to say that the Pac-12 team did a MUCH better job than the ACC team.

      4) The existence of an actual league network. It’s much easier to have the aggressive bargaining position of being willing to walk away, or risk negotiations falling apart, when it’s at least possible to dump not just some, but basically all of your content onto your own network and rolling the dice that it’ll work out somehow. The ACC lacked this fallback at all; they simply HAD to sign a TV deal with a major network or networks.

      5) The perception (fair or not) that the previous Hansen regime had done such an atrocious job of managing the league and viewership that substantial growth was very possible. This dovetails with the demographics of the Pac-12 (the only college sports player in town in a LOT of major markets, even if those markets are more pro than college) compared to the ACC (equal or second fiddle to the SEC in football in many of their home markets, and the overall market size isn’t as big as the Pac-12, which means much less potential upside).

      6) League instability (including GOR, which the Pac-12 had and ACC didn’t) and power pecking order. As much as there’s been theories that the ACC is actually stronger than perceived, the abundant truth is that there are a number of programs in the league who would give legitimate consideration to an offer from the B1G or SEC. There’s nothing comparable in the Pac-12. No one in the league wants out to join another league; Colorado took the step of leaving the Big 12 to join the Pac-12, the Arizona schools are much happier with LA market exposure than Texas market exposure, and no one else really makes sense to leave for the Big 12 (I guess maybe Utah, but even there I’m 90% sure they’re happier in the Pac-12 than Big 12, and even if they left, that’s hardly a devastating blow).

      This matters because, as Frank points out from time to time, the networks have to deal with conflict of interest issues, and as a consequence when a school goes from one league ESPN has a deal with to a different one ESPN also has a deal with, that puts ESPN in a tough position, and in the case of the Big 12 they ended up giving the remaining teams a better TV deal in large part to avoid getting sued. Well, the flipside of that is that when networks are negotiating a new TV deal, they’ll almost certainly give less value to a league where this is a potential issue (ESPECIALLY for a long term deal) than a league where it’s not a potential issue.

  22. GreatLakeState says:

    The real question is, would FSU choose to go with UNC/DUKE/UVA/GT into the B1G or with Clemson or NS state into the SEC. Most believe the later, I believe the former.
    I say again, there is no way Delany cedes Fort Knox (the State of Florida) because of AAU status. The presidents aren’t so neurotic about AAU that they aren’t willing to consider what’s in the best interest of the other 13 AAU schools. Florida brings demographics, alumni money (& recruits).

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      The HUGE question is, which school inquired about B1G membership, and was told “No thanks” due to academics? If it was FSU, then case dismissed. Delany is the presidents’ employee, not the other way around. They call the shots. I agree with Frank that the B1G ought to take FSU if it’s available, but I’m not the decision-maker!

      Given FSU’s AAU ambitions, I don’t think it’s a close call as to which conference they’d choose. Without question, they’d follow UNC/UVA/GT into the B1G, if that option were offered to them.

      • @Marc Shepherd – If I had to guess, the rejected school was UConn since that was a school that was calling anyone and everybody in November. I find it very unlikely that FSU would have applied to the Big Ten on its own. From my vantage point, FSU wouldn’t go to either the Big Ten or Big 12 without coordination with other geographic partners (similar to how Texas approached the Pac-10). Now, FSU is perceived to be lower on the academic food chain than UConn, but UConn obviously doesn’t bring anywhere near the value. The ACC has been pretty snooty on academics, too, yet they still took Louisville over UConn when looking at the dollars at stake (and the financial impact of FSU is in a different stratosphere from UConn).

        • jj says:

          I think if FSU and GT presented themselves as a package deal, they’d be 15 and 16 no question.

        • jj says:

          I also suspect UConn made that call or possibly Louisville, Cincinnati or Oklahoma.

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          If it was UConn, then Barry Alvarez was very disingenuous when he said that a school had been rejected on academic grounds.

          While it’s true that UConn is not on academic par with the Big Ten, it is not on athletic par either. Its football program joined the FBS only a few years ago, it has mediocre fan support, it doesn’t have a long-term history of sustained success, and they play in a small stadium. Even if UConn joined the AAU tomorrow, I don’t think the Big Ten would want them.

          I mean, Michigan is unhappy playing even one game at UConn’s home field. How would they feel about doing so every couple of years?

          • vp19 says:

            Those nouveau riche Connecticut fans really have no feel for how collegiate athletics works. Aside from numerous national basketball titles in both genders, it’s essentially where Rutgers was in 1990, aided by ESPN.

          • Richard says:

            If they met the academic standard, UConn would be almost as attractive as Kansas and Duke: 2 other schools with superior basketball programs as well as bad & apathetic football support in small stadiums who don’t bring much in the way of markets yet have been bandied about as possible expansion candidates.

    • mushroomgod says:

      Aren’t there 3 billion people in China?? How ’bout them demographics?

    • Richard says:

      The SEC isn’t taking Clemson. 1 NC school + 1 VA school. Maybe UNC + another NC school. Maybe FSU. Not Clemson. Pitt would be more likely.

  23. Mack says:

    As to #4) the B12 AD’s discussions next week will proactively rank potential ACC target schools that add value so the B12 can move fast if any become available after the next B1G or SEC raid. It will also clarify that BYU, UNLV, UCONN, Cincinnati, will reduce the current $$ distribution. Therefore, unless and until suitable ACC schools become available the B12 should stay at 10.

    B12 expansion rumors focus on the ACC for the same reasons as B1G and SEC expansion rumors: All the valuable schools that might move are in the ACC. Even if none of these schools want to go to the B12 now, that might change if the B1G/SEC grab another 2+ schools from the ACC.

    As far as the academic argument goes, the B12 will be equal or an upgrade after the ACC loses its 4 AAU institutions to the B1G/SEC (especially based on what the conferences will look like after the targets move..i.e., the A&M argument for the SEC).

  24. bullet says:

    #4 is easy. The Big 12 isn’t expanding unless someone brings more money. Which means they aren’t expanding unless an ACC school (and that means probably FSU, definitely FSU or Miami) joins.

    You miss the obvious on why FSU might go to the Big 12 when the Big 10 and SEC can’t get ACC schools. The latter are going after the core-UNC and UVA. Big 12 is going after the peripheral schools-FSU & Miami. And while I think FSU now would choose the SEC if offered by all 3 given the current perceived instability of the ACC and the “permanence” (17 years) of the ACC’s revenue deficit, they clearly weren’t interested in the SEC last year for the same reasons OU and Texas weren’t interested in the SEC.

    I know its hard for SEC and Big 10 partisans to understand, but some schools prefer other conferences, whether it be the Big 12 or ACC.

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      @bullet: Facts are stubborn things. The FSU president specifically said that the faculty “are adamantly opposed to joining a league that is academically weaker” (see link. I’m not making that up, and it has nothing to do with being a Big Ten partisan. Given FSU’s known AAU ambitions, the inference that they’d probably prefer the Big Ten is not difficult to reach.

      • bullet says:

        Rutgers faculty are adamantly against playing football and have passed several resolutions to get them to drop it. Guess what? Rutgers isn’t dropping football. Faculty are pretty much irrelevant.

        Your AAU comment is irrelevant also. Being in the Big 10 didn’t help Nebraska STAY in the AAU. In fact, the Big 10 member’s votes knocked them out.

        Facts may be stubborn, but they are often irrelevant.

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          Well, come on now. You can find a one-off exception to just about anything. Modern conference re-alignment decisions are almost always an academic upgrade, or at the very least, not a downgrade. This, I think is beyond rational argument.

          In any event, I wasn’t quoting some random FSU professor, but the FSU president. Since he would be the one making or recommending the decision, surely his opinion counts for more than ours.

          • bullet says:

            No question he wants to stay in the ACC. But he also talked at the same time about all the funding issues he faced. He’s got to balance all of that and the welfare of the student-athletes.

    • mushroomgod says:

      I think BIG advocates on here grossly underestimate the weather factor……remember the Pres. of U. of Texas talking about sending her softball team up to the frozen tundra??? Also, southern fans see BIG football as very slow, unathletic….

      • bullet says:

        Actually its the spring sports that are an issue, not so much football. Baseball is pretty weak in the Big 10. Track & field is much stronger in the south. And for FSU, there would be a case of flying their softball team all over the midwest instead of a possible regional division in the Big 12.

        I don’t have a strong feeling on which FSU would prefer between the Big 10 and Big 12 (most of the rumors do say the Big 12 is 3rd on FSU’s preference list), but I think its irrelevant because I doubt the Big 10 is interested in FSU and I doubt the Big 10 will approve going to 18 (and UVA + FSU to 16 isn’t going to happen either).

      • Richard says:


        Think it through. If FSU joins the B12, they will almost certainly be in the same division as WVU, ISU, KU, and KSU. Those aren’t exactly warm weather locations.

        • Mack says:

          There are no divisions for baseball or other spring sports, and the B12 knows how to schedule early spring meets at southern schools. It is not clear how the football divisions will break out, other than FSU will be with WVU and any other ACC schools that join with it.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            I think it’s clear how the football divisions would break out. Do you really think the Texas schools would agree to be split up?

          • Mack says:

            I think TCU could be moved for competitive balance and Texas access. Not saying TCU would like it, but they will not quit the B12 over it. The other Texas schools had a long break (SWC days) in playing TCU so the votes could be there to move TCU east. If the expansion is to 14 than only 2 of the midwest schools are required in the East division. In that case ISU + TCU is a strong possibility.

  25. [...] Questions for Conference Realignment Reporters to Ask About Inevitable Big 12 Rumors (Frank the Tank… [...]

  26. boscatar says:

    From a football perspective, Florida State will continue to be a dominant force in the ACC AND gets to include Notre Dame on upcoming schedules. Not every year, but likely once every 2-3 years. Does Florida State want to risk jeopardizing what it has now so that it can play Texas and Oklahoma? And Florida would likely be in the other division, such that they would only play Texas and Oklahoma twice every 4 or 5 years.

    For an Olympic sports perspective, the ACC is a great fit for Florida State…and Notre Dame is coming to town…every year! Big 12, not so much. Florida State doesn’t want to play its basketball games in Texas and flyover states. It can play Duke and UNC! And road games to Boston, New York, and Pennsylvania are likely more attractive than flyover states.

    The Big 12 offers annual marquee matchups with Texas and Oklahoma. But does Florida State football really care about Iowa State, Kansas, and Texas Tech? Even West Virginia and TCU lack luster.

    The most significant motivation for a move to the Big 12 is money. And that is significant. But I don’t think that benefit will outweigh the risks and likely downsides to joining a flyover state conference.

    • BruceMcF says:

      “The Big 12 offers annual marquee matchups with Texas and Oklahoma. But does Florida State football really care about Iowa State, Kansas, and Texas Tech? Even West Virginia and TCU lack luster.”

      Which is why people are quite skeptical about FSU moving with only one travel partner. Even a Big12 East schedule that has Clemson on the schedule and then the Mountaineers or the Horny Toads and a game either with UT or with OU is not all that thrilling. Better a Big14 East schedule that has Clemson and Miami and, say, the Hokies, along with the Mountaineers and the Horny Toads and a game with UT or OU more often than not ~ that would be better.

      And the divisions with a Big14 or Big16 are much easier, if the new schools want to play together and the majority of the incumbents get to play together, plus the one incumbent who would be happy to play east of the Mississippi.

      The average quality of schools, markets, and recruiting grounds from a group of four or six is likely to be higher, but getting a group of four to six is most likely if the conference has already been destabilized.

      The Big Ten and SEC have reason to move now if they can get their first preference, otherwise they both have good reason to continue talking in and be prepared for a shakeout. But it would not be surprising if what the Big12 is sorting out at their meeting is their best reaction to an ACC shake-up initiated by someone else.

  27. Rakesh says:

    Long time reader, thought you guys may find this interesting. Gee at it again……

    “When a student member of the Athletic Council asked Gee what direction the Big Ten might take, Gee said “there are opportunities to move further south in the (E)ast and possibly a couple of Midwest universities.”

    He did not specify any potential targets but said they will make sure any new school has “like-minded academic integrity.””

  28. Mike says:
    • bullet says:

      From the link in

      It doesn’t appear that the Big Ten is necessarily content to stay at 14 members. According to the minutes of the Dec. 5 Athletic Council meeting obtained by the Dispatch, Gee said “there has been ongoing discussion” about expansion and “believes there is movement towards three or four super conferences that are made up of 16-20 teams.”

      When a student member of the Athletic Council asked Gee what direction the Big Ten might take, Gee said “there are opportunities to move further south in the (E)ast and possibly a couple of Midwest universities.”

      He did not specify any potential targets but said they will make sure any new school has “like-minded academic integrity.”

      • bullet says:

        Guess the last rules out North Carolina.

      • bullet says:

        Georgia Tech was dead last in the latest ACC graduation rates. But then that may be because they actually do have academic integrity.

        • frug says:

          I suspect G-Tech’s low graduation rate is the result of the fact they bend they admission requirements more than any other AQ public school. The simple fact is, G-Tech admits a bunch of people they know have no chance of graduating (that’s what happens when you require all students, regardless of major, to pass calculus to get a diploma).

        • Nemo says:


          That link just appeared on the UVA board, The Sabre, and is now undergoing discussion. Seems they are a bit interested. They too are wondering “how far South?” Think UVA is hoping for UVA and UNC.

        • Yeah, I saw that one. I’m putting that one up on Twitter.

          • ZSchroeder says:

            “possibly a couple of Midwest universities.” Who the freak would that be? As a Nebraska fan I always thought the addition of Kansas and Missouri would be fantastic, but don’t see any way that would happen.

          • metatron says:

            ^It’s Kansas and Missouri. Oklahoma would also be considered, unless the rumors that they were shot down individually were true.

        • mushroomgod says:

          What Midwest Us? Kansas? Mo? Pitt? (ok, that’s mideast, but…)

          • mushroomgod says:

            In a perfect world…..

            For 16, best duo would be UNC and VA……

            For 18, UNC, VA, GT, and Kansas or MO would kick some butt…..

            Let Duke play BB with Butler….

          • Brian says:

            It’s easy enough to make a list and whittle it down:

            Stretching the meaning of midwest:

            Independent – ND
            ACC – Pitt
            BE – nobody viable
            B12 – ISU, KU, OU
            SEC – MO, UK, UT

            UK, UT, MO, ND – No interest in the B10
            ISU, Pitt – Markets issues
            KU – Little brother and GOR issues
            OU – academic issues plus no real interest

            The B10 may be “considering” a couple of midwestern schools, but it can’t be all that serious outside of ND.

          • BruceMcF says:

            @mushroomgod ~ in the context of “a couple of midwest possibles”, tacked on after the schools down along the eastern seaboard, I’d say Notre Dame and Kansas are names that various parties would have raised. The statement is not, after all, a detailed analysis of which adds are likely.

  29. Mike says:

    Way to go Alan and LSU baseball.

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      Mike – thanks. On occasion, a Saturday LSU baseball game may draw better than an A’s, Rays, or Marlins mid-week game.

  30. OrderRestored83 says:


  31. Biological Imperiative says:

    “Not that I’m predicting it, but if a school is going to break from the ACC, I wonder if little brother NC St might be one of the first to move, in part for similar reasons.”

    being an Ag an all, maybe you can explain how NC State is going to get the green light to leave when they have the same BoR as UNC? In fact that is one of the long forgotten but important reasons, why A&M has a long standing grudge against UT (tu). UT claimed in lawsuits until 1948 that A&M should be considered a branch under the UT system.

    I agree A&M’s move was the best move for them as opposed to being dragged out to the PAC.

    • bullet says:

      FWIW, there are some blog rumors are that NCSU has been given the green light by UNC.
      A&M actually was in the same system at UT until the legislature idiotically set up a separate system in the 40s. So instead of having a logical higher education system like California or Georgia, Texas has a bunch of competing systems without clear definitions on their reach or purpose. A&M and Tech keep expanding their systems. There’s a University of Houston system, a state university system and a bunch of independent universities in addition to the University of Texas system.

      • bullet says:

        A few examples, A&M is opening a campus in south San Antonio. There are already UTSA campuses in downtown and northwest SA. UNT is opening a south Dallas campus. E. Texas A&M has an east Dallas campus. UNT and UT-Dallas are in the northern suburbs and UT-Arlington is just west of Dallas.

      • ccrider55 says:

        Logical like Cal St (Hatfields) and U Cal (McCoys) dual systems?

        • bullet says:

          Makes more sense than everyone trying to do the same thing.
          Georgia has one tiered system with 3 research universities, 2 regional universities, a bunch of local universities and a technical college system.

      • cfn_ms says:

        If I’m UNC, and I’m pretty sure that a B1G and/or SEC invite is coming (which I think is pretty safe) then I’m fine with letting NC St walk, especially if (for whatever reason) it’s to the Big 12 instead of the SEC. Unless UNC is truly and fundamentally committed to the league (as opposed to simply enjoying the benefits of appearing committed), that’s a pretty easy way to destabilize the league while keeping their own hands relatively clean.

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          I think most schools are pursuing multiple angles at once, for example: “I want the ACC to survive, but if it doesn’t survive, I want to make sure we land in the best conference.” Or conversely, “I’d love to be in the Big Ten, but if we can’t get into the Big Ten, I want to make sure the ACC remains viable.”

          UNC has no worries about NCSt walking. NCSt is a second-tier player in this game. If the major conferences enter the N.C. market, UNC is the school they want. The only way NCSt is moving, is as the second (or fourth or sixth) school in a multi-school deal.

          • vp19 says:

            If UNC goes to the SEC and blocks NCSU from going there, it better make sure the Wolfpack has a guaranteed seat in the Big 12. Otherwise, political fireworks will fly if State is stranded in a weakened ACC.

          • Gailikk says:

            Why does anyone call NC state a second tier player? They have a lot of football fans, granted not as much as UNC. I can tell you right now, if you want to get the city of Raleigh as a television market, you need UNC and NC state together. Not Duke. If you want a majority of the state, yeah go with UNC but you won’t find fans willing to pay for the big 10 network if State ain’t in it.
            Look people, I am not a State fan (go Arizona) but I live in Raleigh and I know a lot of people from both schools and I am telling you, you need UNC and NC state, and the State fans are begging to get away from the UNC dominated ACC. If anything I question everyone who thinks that UNC will leave, UNC will be the last school to leave the ACC because they are to the ACC as Texas is to the Big 12.

    • 12-Team Playoffs Now says:

      Sorry for not making it clear in my post, but I’m a Longhorn. As to your question, others have answered it below. Ultimately it is a political matter, so I’m hesitant (unlike so many Nostradami here) to say something for certain can or can’t happen.

  32. Eric says:

    It feels to me like there are a lot of different opinions in the Big Ten regarding expansion. I think Ohio State seems to be really in favor of it (Gee comments today and his informal talks with Texas) while others are probably content where we are at. Superconferences coming now would seem really odd now though considering they just agreed to a new bowl structure that assumes 5 power conferences and will last for 12 years.

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      I’m not sure there are a lot of different opinions in the Big Ten. It sounds to me like there is a consensus to keep pushing past 14, if the “right schools” can be pried loose from the ACC. That consensus may not be unanimous, but I am not hearing robust opposition.

      Superconferences coming now would seem really odd now though considering they just agreed to a new bowl structure that assumes 5 power conferences and will last for 12 years.

      I don’t think anyone interpreted the new bowl structure as a truce to further re-alignment. Even as it stands, the new structure assumes 4½ power conferences, not five: the ACC’s bowl partner (the Orange) is less attractive than what the other four get.

      The ACC will survive in some fashion, because: A) There are more ACC schools than the major conferences want; and B) The ACC can always replenish from the Big East, and any Big East school would consider the ACC, even a denuded ACC, a step up. The only question is whether the Orange Bowl can opt out of the deal, if the ACC loses a certain number of schools. Shame on the Orange Bowl if they didn’t write that into the contract.

      Of course, if the Orange Bowl dropped the ACC, that would just open up another major bowl slot for everyone else.

      • Richard says:

        Actually, the Orange would probably just match up the B10 and SEC #2’s with ND getting the chance to take 1 spot from each conference over 8 years if the ACC gets raided.

      • Steve says:

        The ACC will either survive as is or essentially transition into the what old Big East was plus Wake. I think Duke finds a home in the B1G or SEC depending on where UNC ends up.

      • frug says:

        The ACC will survive in some fashion, because: A) There are more ACC schools than the major conferences want; and B) The ACC can always replenish from the Big East, and any Big East school would consider the ACC, even a denuded ACC, a step up.

        Not true. If enough ACC schools left they could simply dissolve the conference. That means no exit fees and the departing schools could take their tournament credits with them.

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          Of course it’s true. The schools that don’t get B1G/B12/SEC invites are still going to want to play football and basketball. Why dissolve the conference? What option to they have, that is better than staying where they are and poaching the Big East?

          The ACC is currently at 15 schools (counting half-member Notre Dame). There’s no way all those schools are getting a ticket out.

          And of course, the reality is that schools will probably move two at a time. Each time it happens, the ACC will poach the Big East. So, for instance, if UVA and GT accept Big Ten invites tomorrow, UConn and Cincinnati will be members by Monday morning, and the ACC will still be a 15-member league.

          At any given moment, keeping the ACC around (in some form) will be more desirable to the remaining schools than joining the Big East or forming a new league with a new name.

          • frug says:

            The schools that don’t get B1G/B12/SEC invites are still going to want to play football and basketball. Why dissolve the conference? What option to they have, that is better than staying where they are and poaching the Big East?

            The schools that stay aren’t the ones that would dissolve the conference, the schools that leave would.

            Anyways, they don’t need all the schools. I don’t know the ACC bylaws but it’s possible a simple majority is all that is needed to dissolve the league. Even if it’s 2/3 that is still conceivable (if the Big Ten and Big XII each add four and the SEC added 2 that’s 10 schools already)

          • frug says:

            Plus, new additions don’t get voting rights until they join the conference, so adding UConn and Cincinnati wouldn’t change the voting number.

          • bullet says:

            For that matter, there are 12 official ACC members right now and Maryland is on the way out the door. 4 of the 15 haven’t joined yet.

          • BruceMcF says:

            Of course, even if 10 leave, its not likely to be all ten announcing in a big Friday morning press conference. It could all happen in a single football off-season, but it could require two.

          • Quacs says:

            For those who are itching to read the ACC Constitution, it is attached as an attachment to the UMD lawsuit at this link ->


    • Steve says:

      I did a quick scan of some B1G message boards. While boards and forums may not in reality have influence over decision makers, they can sometimes indicate the mood of any given “mob”. Outside of one of the major Ohio St. boards, the B1G “mob” seems surprisingly disinterested in expansion. While a few B1G posters chime in on the FSU boards, the majority of the outsiders seem to be from the B12 (particularly WVU).

      I think over time MD & RU will become more and more at home in the B1G. A league w/ two 7-team east/west divisions covering major TV markets (that include NYC & Chicago) is a pretty good place to be. No need to expand further.

      That said, I could live w/ FSU & GT in the B1G on their own island, but I think all parties would be better served by expanding to 20 and including UVA, UNC, Duke and Clemson (since the B1G’s AAU cherry is already gone). That’s the only way the ACC gets to keep the rivalries that, they claim, are vitally important to their identity.

      Conversely, I really don’t think FSU is going to the B12 and the SEC has no incentive to take them if the B1G doesn’t pursue them first. Do we wait for the B12 GOR to expire and take another run at Texas and hope they don’t prefer the PAC12 w/ OK, Okie St. & TTech? Texas & Oklahoma to round out the B1G at 16 is a dream combo — even if it is extremely unrealistic.

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        I think all parties would be better served by expanding to 20 and including UVA, UNC, Duke and Clemson (since the B1G’s AAU cherry is already gone).

        Sorry, I can’t see the B1G taking Clemson. If it could get the first three you named, it could get GT, which is a better school in a more desirable market.

        Do we wait for the B12 GOR to expire and take another run at Texas and hope they don’t prefer the PAC12 w/ OK, Okie St. & TTech?

        The GOR has too many years to run for the Big Ten to wait. Even before the GOR, Texas was unlikely to reach a deal with the Big Ten, for a bunch of reasons. There’s no reason to think any of that will change.

        • Andy says:

          FWIW, a poll on a Missouri message board with about 300 responses a couple days ago, who would they like the SEC to add:

          1. UNC and UVA: 35.92%
          2. UNC and Duke: 29.93%
          3. UNC and VA Tech: 13.38%
          4. UNC and Notre Dame: / 7.04%
          5. UNC and Clemson: 3.52%
          6. UNC and Louisville: 3.17%
          7. UNC and FSU: 2.46%
          8. UNC and NC State: 1.76%
          9. UNC and other: 5 1.76%
          10. UNC and Miami: 1.06%

          I didn’t make the poll, but apparently UNC is so popular that they didn’t want to include any choices without them.

      • Brian says:


        “I did a quick scan of some B1G message boards. While boards and forums may not in reality have influence over decision makers, they can sometimes indicate the mood of any given “mob”. Outside of one of the major Ohio St. boards, the B1G “mob” seems surprisingly disinterested in expansion.”

        Why are you surprised? The B10 candidates are hardly exciting for your typical CFB fan. Many would rather see 12 and play familiar faces than get a heavy dose of RU, MD, UVA, UNC, Duke and GT.

  33. mushroomgod says:

    So yesterday I’m turning channels and on ESPN ? (whatever the SEC channel is), there are like 10,000 fans at the Bama-LSU women’s gymnastics dual meet…..for any Bama/LSU fans on here, what’s up with that?

    • bullet says:

      Don’t see how that disagrees with what I said. In fact it says A&M was set up as a branch of the University of Texas.

      Now I’ve only seen the legislature setting up a separate A&M system in the 40s in one place (recently, but I don’t remember where). But nothing in the alamanac contradicts that.

      • Jake says:

        “In 1875, the Legislature separated the administrations of A&M and the University of Texas, which still existed only on paper.”

        But your point stands, bullet, that public higher education in Texas is a mess. We have seven separate systems. Why? Why wasn’t Texas Tech created as Texas A&M Lubbock? And why does UNT count as a University system with only two branches while Texas Woman’s University (a misnomer itself) with its three branches is considered an independent university? And who decided that UNT could split off from the TSU system in the first place? Why is Sam Houston State part of the Texas State system while Stephen F. Austin State isn’t? Having a limited number of systems each with clear, distinct goals would be great, but that ship has sailed. The best we can do, I think, is to roll the remaining Texas State campuses into the A&M system. Forcing UNT or Houston, much less Texas Tech, into another system would be a tough sell.

        At least the state’s private schools seem to know what they’re doing.

      • FranktheAg says:

        “I don’t remember where”

        Typical response after being proven wrong again.

        • bullet says:

          Separating the administration is different from separating the system. As Jake mentions, TWU has branches, like a nursing school in Houston. Texas A&M Marine Science institute has a separate administration from College Station but its in the A&M system. So I still haven’t seen anything that shows that it was a separate system, only a separate university.

          Now the source that I read could be wrong. As I said, I saw it recently and it was the first time I had seen that. I’d always assumed they separated totally in the 1800s. Yours is such an Aggie response, assuming anything that doesn’t agree with your point of view doesn’t exist and people are making things up to put A&M down. That persecution complex is why the Longhorns are almost unanimously glad you are gone.

          @Jake-they ought to at least move all the miscellaneous schools into the state university system and stop them from trying to all be research universities. Leave that for the Texas, Texas A&M system and UH, Texas Tech and UNT.

          • FranktheAg says:

            Post the link then or this is just another time you couldn’t back up your opinion with support.

          • bullet says:

            I don’t care to prove anything to an Aggie.

            But for my own edification, I looked it up. Still have no idea where the original source was, but this agrees with the original source that the legislature idiotically set up a separate university system in the 40s. It was a clarification of status more than a change, but it was a Pandora’s box that led to the mess we have today.


        • BruceMcF says:

          It depends on what your definition of branch is. Here in Ohio, one degree granting institution is only considered a “branch” of another if (1) the second institution actually exists and (2) exercises control over the branch. Same was true in New South Wales when I was teaching at the Central Coast branch of the University of Newcastle.

          If in some people’s minds, an institution can be a branch of a university that does not yet exist and never exercises any control over it, then it becomes an argument over the semantics of “branch”. I don’t recognize that particular usage, but maybe its how they talk in Texas. Perhaps Texas A&M was once a pro forma branch of the University of Texas, despite never being a branch of the University of Texas in practice.

  34. vp19 says:

    Reports from State College are that PSU is dropping its 2013 home game with Virginia, and that UVa will seek a home substitute on that date, giving the Cavs eight games in Charlottesville.

  35. Who Dey says:

    Big Ten may be close to making a move. Presidents, Delaney and some prominent big money alums are scheduled to talk Sunday night.

    Just speculation on my part, but it is going to end up at 18 or 20 with UVA, GT, UNC and either Duke or FSU now. Also looking at Kansas, who could be an even numbered addition, GOR be damned. ND will be given one last chance.

    Educated guess of 18 now, with all 4 from ACC and then potentially two from the West if they can convince ND.

  36. Mike says:

    The Big 12 is actively exploring a possible alliance with the Atlantic Coast Conference and two other unspecified leagues for purposes of scheduling and marketing and possibly even television partnerships in a move that could preclude those leagues from further expansion.

    “We’ve had conversations with three other leagues,” Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby told the American-Statesman on Friday afternoon. “The ACC is one of them. It’s a process of discovery that would provide some of the benefits of larger membership without actually adding members.”


    Bowlsby said the potential move should not be interpreted as a precursor to future expansion in light of the SEC’s additions of Texas A&M; and Missouri and the Big Ten’s more recent move to invite Maryland from the ACC and Rutgers from the Big Ten.

    • @Mike – Interesting that the Pac-12 is “presumed” to be one of the leagues, but from what we know, they were the ones that ultimately killed the proposed alliance with the Big Ten.

      • Mike says:

        @Frank – I wonder if the PAC is interested in setting something up for the 10 PAC teams that don’t play ND.

      • vp19 says:

        Could be a defensive measure against ACC members being picked off by the Big Ten and/or SEC. Not certain it could gather enough revenue to work, though.

        • Andy says:

          Why would the Big 12 want to defend the ACC? Seems they’d like to do the opposite.

          • bullet says:

            Expansion probably doesn’t take place w/o FSU and I don’t think anyone knows (maybe not even FSU) what FSU wants to do.

            With all the TV contracts signed for at least a decade ahead, its hard to get much advantage out of this. But in the long run, such a deal makes more sense than expanding to 18 or 20. The B1G and Pac 10 had a joint TV contract for a while.

      • Brian says:

        Frank the Tank,

        “Interesting that the Pac-12 is “presumed” to be one of the leagues, but from what we know, they were the ones that ultimately killed the proposed alliance with the Big Ten.”

        1. It’s football and hoops only, which helps.
        2. The number disparity may let several teams opt out
        3. Also talking about making a joint pool for bowls and such, and AZ is sort of in the middle

        • ccrider55 says:

          To Bohls PAC is landlocked, almost as much as Hawaii…(isolated maybe?)

          If the PAC just declined OU and OkSU, and scuttled the B1G/PAC alliance, what reason to join an arguably inferior alliance?

          Brian: FB scheduling is the (supposed) reason the B1G/PAC didn’t happen.
          AZ is in the middle of what?

          • Brian says:


            “If the PAC just declined OU and OkSU, and scuttled the B1G/PAC alliance, what reason to join an arguably inferior alliance?”

            Maybe they feel it would help them in ways the B10 alliance wouldn’t.

            “Brian: FB scheduling is the (supposed) reason the B1G/PAC didn’t happen.”

            Yes, but the B12 only has 10 teams and maybe some of them want to opt out, too. The P12 might have 8-10 schools that like the idea while USC and Stanford and Utah prefer to say no. The B10 insisted on all 12. In addition, the B10 wanted this for all sports. The B12 is closer to the P12 and they are only talking revenue sports, not flying 15 minor sports 2000 miles every year.

            “AZ is in the middle of what?”

            Between the two conferences, so sharing the AZ bowls could make sense (P12 or B12 vs B10, for example). Also bowls in TX and southern CA could be shared.

          • ccrider55 says:

            That makes some sense, in a B12 kind of way. I don’t like (and I doubt most of the PAC presidents do either) allowing exceptions to conference arrangements. Just sounds like the conference mandating more of some schools OOC than others.

          • frug says:

            Remember, the PAC didn’t want to kill the PAC/B1G alliance just delay it for at least a couple schools. Big XII may be offering more flexibility.

            I’m sure the PAC would prefer an alliance with the Big 10, but if the best they can get is the Big XII at this point they might have to consider it.

      • Stopping By says:

        If it is the Pac (and I say IF because it is not for certain), it more than likely means that the coaches are finally getting there way and moving to an 8 game conf schedule. The reason that the B1G OOC deal was scrapped was because of the 9 game conf schedule IMO (leaves little scheduling flexibility to some members that already have ties to non con opponents like SC/ND).

        I also say IF because the Pac presidents are notorious for being backward thinking and comfortable where things are (they are in no danger of being poached or left out of any nat’l playoff/payout structure). Larry Scott has changed some of that and they let him have reign to get the TV Deal and build the Pac12Network but once they got their contract signed they fell back into same ol same ol routine. If it was up to Scott, the Pac would be at 14 with the OK schools.

        One note though is that the new B12 commish (Bowlsby) is out of Stanford so the hope is there is a decent relationship there to work on something that may benefit both conf (and heaven knows that the Pac needs better bowl tie ins).

    • Andy says:

      All this means is that nobody worthwhile wants to join the Big 12 so they’re asking around and seeing if they have any options.

    • JayDevil says:

      Alliances are often precursors to raids.

      • @JayDevil – Yes, there’s some precedent for that. Now, Bowlsby is parroting some of the language that Delany has been using over the past couple of weeks about sharing bowl arrangements between difference conferences, so I’m wondering if the Big Ten is speaking to the Big 12, too.

        • Andy says:

          Frank, why would the Big Ten need the Big 12 for anything? They’ve got 14 members and tons of money. What would be the point in such an unequal partnership?

          • @Andy – I have no clue (if the Big Ten really wanted an alliance, I would still think that they’d want to resurrect it with the Pac-12), although one could say that the Sugar Bowl partnership between the SEC and Big 12 is unequal, too. Bowlsby was a former Iowa AD, so he’s close to a lot of major players in the Big Ten.

          • Andy says:

            The Sugar Bowl alliance, as I understand, is just for that one bowl game, and it was agreed to under the premise that the Big 12 champ (or runner up) is typically ranked fairly highly, which can’t always be said of most other conferences. This sounds like it’s about TV and non-conference scheduling. I would think that the B1G has that covered right now. But I guess anything is possible.

          • bullet says:

            They are talking about sharing bowls so that the same teams don’t keep going to the same place. For example, the San Francisco bowl could be Big 10 one year and Big 12 another. Maybe the Pinstripe could have the opposite rotation.

          • Andy says:

            Sharing bowls makes sense for the reason you mentinoned but it doesn’t sound like a very big deal.

          • frug says:


            I may be misunderstanding you, but I think that with the Rutgers addition the Big Ten will want to play in the Pinstripe Bowl every year to maximize New York exposure.

          • bullet says:

            I’m just using that as an example. I don’t know what bowls they are thinking about.

      • Andy says:

        If the Big 12 could raid the ACC then why join them as a partner? Doesn’t make sense.

        • JayDevil says:

          Maybe they can, maybe they can’t. But a good way to get an idea of your competition’s cards is by doing business with them. Perhaps this is due diligence, perhaps this is harmless.

    • frug says:

      Interesting that the Big XII is the one pursuing this. I always thought an alliance with the Big XII was a defensive measure the ACC might take.

      • frug says:

        The other possibility I thought would the Big Ten and SEC tearing the ACC in half in which case the PAC and Big XII could form an alliance so they could keep up.

        • Andy says:

          if the SEC and B1G tear the ACC up then I would think the Big 12 could benefit. They likely end up with at the very least schools like Miami, Clemson, Louisville, and Pitt.

          This sounds like the Big 12 is feeling weak at 10 members and they can’t get any ACC schools to join so they’re trying to at least get something out of the ACC if not a successful raid.

          • frug says:

            Alternately they are giving the ACC an ultimatum; join us or we invade.

            As for your first point, I mostly agree, but it’s conceivable that SEC and Big Ten could take 10-12 schools between them with Big XII left with nothing more than some combination of Louisville, Wake, BC and Syracuse to choose from. At that point an alliance with the PAC is probably preferable than expanding to 16+.

          • Andy says:

            That would require the SEC to expand to 20 by taking VT, NCSU, Clemson, FSU, Miami, plus one more. I’d put the odds of that at about 1 in 1000.

          • Andy says:

            Also, why bother with an ultimatum like that. If you can raid them, raid them. Why even give them the chance to try to stop you?

          • frug says:

            Alliance let’s them stay at 10 (which Texas would like) and ensures everyone continues to play 2 games a year in Texas (which the Kansas schools and ISU like). It would also be cheaper for everyone (only sending your teams to the East coast once or twice a season instead 6+)

          • Andy says:

            Well sure, if you begin with the idea that either they don’t want to expand or nobody wants to join then this move makes perfect sense. An ultimatum does not make sense.

          • frug says:


            Unless their preferences are (in order)

            1. Alliance
            2. Expansion
            3. Status quo

          • ccrider55 says:


            Perhaps it’s the PAC playing nice with UT. As ND is to the B1G, Texas seems to be the PAC’s white whale (how’d that work out for Ahab?).

          • Andy says:

            frug, I guess it’s possible but they never mentioned it until now.

      • bullet says:

        There is talk of a scheduling alliance with the SEC. (think the source was Chip Brown, but I’m not sure of that).

        • bullet says:

          Actually is was a Baylor board that was the source of that.

          • Andy says:

            if the SEC and Big 12 agreed to a deal like that would UT still refuse to play A&M?

          • bullet says:

            Well there are 10 in the Big 12 and 14 in the SEC. The joke was add FSU and Miami to the Big 12 and guess who in the SEC gets left out?

          • bullet says:

            (of the scheduling alliance that is)

          • bullet says:

            Texas is booked until around 2020. If you count Maryland and Notre Dame as ACC schools, Texas has about 5 years running of one ACC and one Pac 12 school in its 3 ooc games (Cal, USC, UCLA).

          • Andy says:

            yeah, funny joke. I just think it’s ironic that the big 12 is boycotting A&M and Mizzou because they joined the SEC, and now some are talking about setting up a scheduling partnership with the SEC.

            I suspect that the boycott will thaw in a couple of years, although maybe not in Austin.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            @Andy: I think you’re assuming a boycott that doesn’t exist. Even before A&M left the league, Texas was building a long-term national schedule, with a major non-B12 program on its schedule every year, requiring a 2-year home & home series.

            Now, it’s pretty obvious that there just isn’t room on the Longhorns’ schedule for nine conference games, the OOC games it has already scheduled, and an annual series with A&M. That doesn’t mean the Longhorns are philosophically opposed to playing A&M—ever.

            It does raise the question, though, how the Big XII can accommodate nine conference games, a scheduling alliance with another league, the various home & home series that schools have scheduled independently (in some cases out to 2018 or later), plus Iowa State’s annual game with Iowa.

            Something’s gotta give.

          • Andy says:

            Marc, it’s not just football. Big 12 schools aren’t playing Mizzou or A&M in any sport right now with the lone exception of wrestling. Although I heard some mention of A&M playing somebody in some women’s sport. But as I said, I think this will probably thaw in a couple years as people get over it.

          • FranktheAg says:

            Texas has zero power to dictate anything if the SEC decides upon a scheduling alliance with the B12. The SEC is the power broker and will determine the details. Sorry…

          • frug says:


            That’s not totally accurate. If Texas doesn’t like the terms of the scheduling alliance they can just choose not to participate.

          • m (Ag) says:

            I’m a couple of days late here responding to this.

            While the Sugar Bowl negotiations were going on there were a number of articles that said the SEC and Big 12 might end up with a basketball scheduling agreement.

            And yes, a few of those articles said that the Longhorns would specifically avoid A&M and Kansas would avoid Mizzou in the agreement.

          • m (Ag) says:

            “Marc, it’s not just football. Big 12 schools aren’t playing Mizzou or A&M in any sport right now with the lone exception of wrestling. Although I heard some mention of A&M playing somebody in some women’s sport.”

            It’s clear the Longhorns are completely boycotting A&M in every sport, as they haven’t played outside of NCAA events. A&M is in the top 25 in just about every sport it plays, so the Longhorns are turning down money as they’re losing the opponent who will most boost attendance and LHN ratings while still providing a difficult challenge for their teams in sports like women’s basketball, soccer, and tennis. The 2 schools used to schedule non-conference matches in sports like tennis in addition to their conference games, so their ‘national scheduling’ has nothing to do with them not playing A&M now.

            TCU played A&M in minor sports before realignment and continues to do so; the biggest sport I’ve noticed is women’s basketball.

            Both Texas Tech and Baylor have attended track meets that A&M has organized. A&M has one of the best 2 or 3 indoor track facilities in the country, so it would be particularly foolish for their own recruiting to bypass that opportunity. A&M went to a cross country meet at Baylor earlier this year and Baylor will play a spring soccer game at A&M this year for the second year in a row (the equivalent of an exhibition game).

            Otherwise, I haven’t noticed Texas Tech on the schedule for anything, but I’m not sure A&M would invite them to play a home and home in many sports given their distance and lack of many quality sports programs.

            Baylor’s coaches in football, men’s basketball, and women’s basketball all said last year that they would boycott A&M. I’m confident A&M would schedule a home and home with women’s basketball if they were willing, I doubt they would in football, and I’m unsure about men’s basketball (A&M didn’t schedule hard in that sport this year). Their baseball coach, however, said he’d like to schedule A&M in the future. I would have expected A&M to play them in a couple of midweek games this year, but they’re not on the schedule. That suggests either A&M’s coach declined to schedule them (A&M has a particularly weak midweek slate this year, so this may be a strategy to go easy on the 4th starter), or Baylor’s AD prevented a series from being scheduled.

            As for non-Texas Big 12 schools, A&M played Oklahoma in men’s basketball and I think they’ve played (or will play) a few other schools in minor sports.

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      If the Big 12 is talking with two other leagues besides the ACC, must we assume those two include the SEC, Big Ten, or Pac-12?

      I’m pretty sure the SEC would only be able to do this on a partial basis. Four schools now have annual rivalries with ACC schools: Florida vs. Florida State; Georgia vs. Georgia Tech; South Carolina vs. Clemson; and Kentucky vs. Louisville. Those schools are very unlikely to participate in an annual game vs. Big 12 schools.

      Could the Big 12 be looking at the Big East or another league, in hopes of gaining some 2-for-1’s, rather than equal partnerships with other Big Five leagues?

      • bullet says:

        The article says Pac 12 is almost certainly one. The Baylor 247 guy said several days ago the Big 12 was working with the SEC.

        • Mack says:

          I think we have to wait for further news to see what the alliance talk means. For football this is probably more limited than what was proposed with B1G-P12. May be more for basketball and football bowl games given the scheduling issues with regular season football.

      • frug says:

        Since the SEC has 14 schools and the Big XII has 10 it might be easier if the four SEC schools with OOC rivals didn’t participate.

  37. Andy says:

    Hey Brian, it looks like Mizzou is about to steal one of your team’s best recruits. I just heard that Ezekial Elliot is on Mizzou’s campus on an official visit with his parents (who both played for Mizzou) and that he’s wearing Mizzou gear. We should find out soon enough.

    • Brian says:

      OSU knew this visit was coming, and “insiders” aren’t too concerned yet. If he wants to be a Buckeye, he will be. If he doesn’t, then more power to him elsewhere (he’s also shown interest in TX, I believe). I never count recruits before they sign a LOI or enroll early.

      • Andy says:

        Yeah, I don’t know how it will turn out. Like I said both his parents played for Mizzou and would very much like him to play there. He said that Urban Meyer told him that if he signed then they wouldn’t recruit any more RBs, and right now he’s recruiting more RBs, so Zeke decided to take an official visit to Columbia. His parents are thrilled, naturally.

        • Brian says:

          No, OSU isn’t recruiting other RBs. The new guys are being recruited to play slot WR and Elliot was told that. I think he felt he owed it to his parents to take the visit to MO before he signed his LOI.

          • ccrider55 says:

            I’d visit the top party schools. Use all the visits allowed. Then go home and sign with the best school my research told me before the trips. I don’t think the best salesman for the schools have the best interest of prospective student/athlete at the top of their list, and shouldn’t be high on the kids decision making chart.

          • Andy says:

            Dontre Wilson, 5th rated RB in the country, is on an official visit to OSU this weekend. As far as I know nobody’s calling this guy a reciever.

            Zeke’s mom was surprised to find out about him wanting to take an official to MU. She told him not to do it unless he was serious, because he’d be wasting all the coaches time right before signing day. This definitely isn’t being done to please his parents. He told the OSU rivals guy that though b/c he didn’t want to get harassed by Buckeye fans on twitter. They harassed him anyway.

          • Andy says:

            ccrider, Zeke lives in Missouri, both his parents played there, he went to several games this year, and by one count has visited Mizzou’s campus 8 times since “committing” to OSU. The one thing he had not done was take an official visit. Texas offered him an official visit recently. He turned them down. He’s only taking one more visit before signing day and that’s to Mizzou.

            MU coaches are going after him hard just like they went after Dorial Green Beckham last year.

          • Brian says:


            “Dontre Wilson, 5th rated RB in the country, is on an official visit to OSU this weekend. As far as I know nobody’s calling this guy a reciever.”

            OSU is recruiting him as a slot/hybrid guy. They want Elliot as a true RB.

          • glenn says:

            brian is right. wilson and elliot don’t play the same position.

          • Andy says:

            ok, well, whatever the reason is, elliot is in Columbia and is reportedly strongly considering switching. We’ll find out soon enough.

          • If you subscribe to 24/7, Bucknuts did a radio program this week with Elliot’s dad. From what I gather, things are still positive for OSU, but we’ll find out on the 10th. Elliot’s father has also been around their premium board lately. Aside from the lunatic fringe, which OSU has a lot of (like every major program), most aren’t concerned about this visit and view it as a courtesy visit to the home state school.

            To echo Brian, Dontre Wilson is being recruited to fill Meyer’s hybrid slot — basically the “Percy Harvin Role”. Elliot’s essentially a different position, and OSU honored not recruiting his position by backing off of Derrick Green and others as soon as Elliot committed. I think, if Meyer were really concerned, you might hear some noise about him going back after Green, but this late in the game it’s hard to say.

          • Andy says:

            “Lunatic fringe”, eh? Multiple soures close to Elliot’s family have said at this point that it is not a courtesy visit and that there’s a good chance he’ll switch.

          • @Andy: “Lunatic fringe” was mostly directed at the OSU fans that gave Elliot grief on Twitter for taking the visit. You can’t count these kids as part of the class until it’s official, so if he flips then he flips.

            The kid is from Missouri and he’s visiting his home state school — it’s hard to get kids away from their home states and I’m sure there’s tremendous pressure for him to stay local. It’s like that for every state with a major institution. Now, that said, until he publicly states otherwise I have no reason to believe this is more than a courtesy visit to the home state school since he’s been verbally committed to OSU since April of last year, regardless of what “friends of the family” say. The early commits tend to stick, although it’s not guaranteed of course.

          • Andy says:

            His visit is over. He tweeted that he won’t be doing any interviews for now, from Ohio State or Missouri media. Sounds like he needs time to think on who he wants to play for.

  38. Roses1961 says:

    When questioned by reporters following the MD/Rutgers adds, Delaney explicitly stated that when he approached the B1G Presidents and suggested that it might be time to consider expanding again, the Presidents said OK, but 2 conditions: Must be AAU and must be in or bordering current B1G state.

    Yeah, AAU is a big deal. And I’ve read from multiple sources that there’s a huge effort by the rest of the Big Ten to get Nebraska restored to AAU and there have been historical efforts to upgrade members who were perceived as slipping.

    Think of Notre Dame as the ONLY exception to the AAU requirement but that’s largely because of their reputation, location, and the opportunity to correct an unfortunate historical wrong. However, ND might be able to drag in a non-AAU partner (think Boston College) if that’s what it takes to get them onboard.

    I honestly do not believe the Presidents would take FSU. They care about prestige first, then money, then sports. TV and sports are not nearly as important to the Presidents as it is to…well, us fan board types. Sports has moved up some notches because of the money and the growing perception of PR value but it’s not like these academic administrator types suddenly became huge sports fans.

    As Delaney probably knows by now: herding eggheads ain’t for the faint of heart. Look at it this way: If he goes outside the guidelines, JD has two selling jobs. He has to sell the B1G to the prospect and he has to sell the prospect to the B1G.

    • 12-Team Playoffs Now says:

      Not trying to pick on you, but I’m so tired of this “Must be AAU and must be contiguous” urban myth.

      Here’s his exact quote:

      “”It’s pretty obvious to us that the paradigm has shifted,” Delany said. “It’s not your father’s Big Ten. It’s probably not your father’s ACC. The paradigm shift is that other conferences had [expanded], we had chosen not to, and we explored the collaboration [with the Pac-12]. It couldn’t be executed. The Pac-12 couldn’t do what they thought they could do. …

      “We said, how do we participate in the new paradigm? Our answer was let’s look at contiguous states first, let’s look at AAU members first, and let’s figure out if there is a way to continue to bridge from Penn State into the Mid-Atlantic. Is there a way to collaborate with like institutions, to grow our footprint, to compete and to position ourselves for the future? We determined this is the best way to accomplish those ends.”

      That clearly doesn’t limit expansion ultimately to AAU and/or contiguous states.

      • Brian says:

        We know AAU isn’t a strict requirement because ND is clearly an exception. Various statements from presidents have made it clear that exceptions will be few and far between, though. It’s a definite hurdle for FSU or VT or Miami or others to show they have such high value in other aspects to merit an exception. The COP/C would prefer to be all AAU.

        Delany said in 2010 that the contiguous state thing was a myth. It may be a guiding principle but not a rule. He also said they wouldn’t consider going beyond 16. That may have changed, but the contiguous states thing hasn’t.

        • BruceMcF says:

          Delany has said that the President’s have given him permission to “talk to” contiguous AAU schools. But that implies much less than meets the eye, since he would not be expected to refuse to “respond to” some other school if they initiated the discussion, and that does not imply that he cannot talk to a contiguous AAU school and suggest that they raise a possibility with some other school they have a relationship with.

          Of course, that does give some incentive to try to get some false rumors out in various informal channels in order to prompt schools to initiate a discussion. If there is anything to the BC rumor, I’d put ten bucks on it being that kind of rumor, to give the impression to the real target ACC schools that the Big Ten has other options that may leave them behind.

          Contiguous schools as a hard limit on expansion is a myth, and AAU is a “sufficient, but not necessary” on the academic side … the academic case would have to be made for a non AAU school, but there are some non-AAU schools for which the academic case could clearly be made.

          • Transic says:

            Could a case be made for NC State? Yes, I know that they’re not nearly as attractive as UNC. However, they’re one of those schools, along with VT, that are considered on the cusp of attaining AAU status. Also, they’re located in the Research Triangle, in a bigger city than either Durham or Chapel Hill. I shouldn’t dismiss them out of hand. The B1G needs access to the Southeastern states and I don’t think they can afford to be picky, especially with the SEC and Big XII fighting to keep them out. One real issue is Debbie Yow. She’s not a fan of the B1G. I don’t know why but she made some scathing remark after the Maryland news about them having to play in Iowa or Indiana in the winter. Debbie also was at Maryland at one time.

            Maybe putting a bridge through NCSU could alleviate any concerns from GT and then they could have a real shot at FSU.

          • vp19 says:

            Debbie Yow cited Wisconsin, not Iowa or Indiana: “But they’re going to be on a plane going to Madison, Wisconsin, to play men’s basketball in the middle of winter. Good luck. I hope the money is really good.”

            Yes, Debbie, the money will be really good…to make up for some of the monetary mess you made in College Park. (Though you did hire Brenda Frese, so you weren’t all bad.)

          • Brian says:


            “Could a case be made for NC State? Yes, I know that they’re not nearly as attractive as UNC. However, they’re one of those schools, along with VT, that are considered on the cusp of attaining AAU status.”

            Who says they are on the cusp? That makes 5-10 schools I’ve heard people claim in the past year or so are close to gaining AAU status. The AAU has added 2 schools in 10 years and dropped 2 along the way. How are all these other schools, none of which are high on the AAU metrics list that NE published, going to suddenly make it?

      • BruceMcF says:

        But then look at FSU from the perspective of stakeholders in various academic departments in the different Big Ten schools. Taking USNWR for convenience:
        Business School, unranked
        Law School #51
        Medical Research & Primary Care: Ranks not published
        Engineering #102
        Public affairs #16

        Science: Stats #40, Physics #48, Chemistry #53, Math #76, CompSci #79, Earth Science #81, Biological Sciences #92

        Social Science & Humanities: Criminology, #7, Sociology #39, PolicSci #39, Psych #50, Econ #59, English #87, History #101

        Fine Arts #72

        The most obvious cluster to aim to build into a star would be Law, Public Affairs, Criminology, Sociology & PolicSci. Pull all of those into top 25 programs and Public Affairs into top 10, and their road would be smoother. The hardest yacka there (IMHO, the hardest yacka by far) is working to upgrade the Law School to top 25 ~ the status of the Law School would be one thing holding the Public Affairs school from raising much further, and secondarily a Top 20 Public Affairs school is more impressive when it is paired with a Top 20 Poli Sci department for the academic cred. And Public Affairs is seen as a lesser professional school, so being Top 20 in Public Affairs doesn’t swing nearly the same stick as being Top 20 in the Medicine, Law or MBA professional schools.

  39. BuckeyeBeau says:

    Cols. Dispatch:


    As posted above, the gist is Gordon Gee (pres of tOSU) talked about expansion. Said B1G was still looking; looking to go “south” on the east coast and was also looking at a “couple of midwest” schools.

    From the Dispatch: “Gee said “there has been ongoing discussion” about expansion and “believes there is movement towards three or four super conferences that are made up of 16-20 teams.”

    • BuckeyeBeau says:

      apologize. I did not see the link posted and discussed above.

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      “Couple of midwest schools”

      Who in the Midwest would the Big Ten want?

      Notre Dame, obviously. Good luck getting them on the Big Ten’s football membership requirement, Gene.

      I’m curious if Smith could Smith have Pitt in mind as one of the “Midwest” schools. Pitt is an AAU school near or within the B1G footprint which is not further south on the east coast and not in the unpoachable SEC or Big 12. It’s also capable of adding worthy inventory to the Big Ten Network.

      But how can Pitt add worthy inventory if it’s in an overlapping market? Recall one of FTT’s most cited commenters, Patrick, an experienced professional in the television industry. (See Frank’s posts at the time of Maryland and Rutgers’ announcements that they were joining the Big Ten.) According to Patrick’s analysis, Pitt was capable of adding significant value to the BTN because of it would increase revenue via advertising, thanks largely to Pitt basketball. Pitt could help more permanently solidify the Big Ten’s reputation as a top basketball league and help drive greater viewership.

      But would Smith describe Pitt as Midwestern at all? Being in the state of Pennsylvania, it certainly is not by traditional definition, but in terms of geography, downtown Pittsburgh is less than 40 miles from the state of Ohio. Plus, Pittsburgh’s economic makeup seems to have more in common with Midwestern cities like Cleveland and Detroit than with east coast cities like Philadelphia and Washington. The counter to that point is that Cleveland is much more similar cities to its east, such as Buffalo, than it is like Indianapolis or Chicago, but does that mean Cleveland is less of a “Midwest” city? I don’t think so. Likewise, Lincoln, Nebraska and Des Moines, Iowa are not any less Midwestern than Chicago is just because they bear little resemblance to their much larger neighbor in Illinois. Besides, Pittsburgh and the rest of western PA, as well as West Virginia, are in an odd, gray area between the Midwest, Northeast coast, and the South. I don’t see why it would be unreasonable to classify Pittsburgh as being in the Midwest.

      No one else anywhere in the region that can at all be described as Midwest, besides Notre Dame and Pitte, seems at all like a possibility. Cincinnati? No. Louisville? No. Iowa State? No; in spite of AAU status, not worthwhile and tied to B12 GOR. Kansas? Maybe worthwhile, but that’s irrelevant due to B12 GOR. Mizzou? No; that ship has sailed (just ask Andy), and they’re in a league that nobody leaves, the SEC.

      Any other ideas who Smith could be thinking of for a “couple of midwest” schools?

      • bullet says:

        I only see 3 possibilities. Notre Dame is obviously one. The other would be Missouri or GOR bound Kansas. If you use the definition of midwest that Ohians typically use, Kansas doesn’t really qualify (they think of Kansas as Great Plains with Missouri on the edge of the midwest). Of course Gee was at WVU before, so he doesn’t necessarily have the Big 10 definition of what consitutes the midwest (basically the old Northwest Territory). Kansans have a much broader definition of the midwest.

        Noone considers Pittsburg midwest. The only other schools that fit geographically are MAC schools, Cincinnati, ISU and KSU. None of them have any chance. Pitt would be a real long shot as well.

        • Having lived in Columbus most of my life, I guess I’ve always considered Pittsburgh like Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Columbus since it’s so close. So if we’re Midwest, I guess that means I consider Pittsburgh Midwestern as well. You’re probably right that Ohioans have a weird definition of Midwest though. :)

          • zeek says:

            Yeah, as the Easternmost state in the Midwest, it’s probably just natural to also include a nearby border area like Pittsburgh.

          • spaz says:

            I would agree with the commentary that Pittsburgh is much more similar to cities like Cleveland and Columbus than with Northeast cities — they do say “pop” there as an illustration. Culturally, Pitt fits in just normally with the Big Ten, though I don’t think anyone would consider the western half of PA as “Midwest”. I’m not sure what region it would be appropriately part of.

          • Brian says:


            “I would agree with the commentary that Pittsburgh is much more similar to cities like Cleveland and Columbus than with Northeast cities — they do say “pop” there as an illustration. Culturally, Pitt fits in just normally with the Big Ten, though I don’t think anyone would consider the western half of PA as “Midwest”. I’m not sure what region it would be appropriately part of.”

            Not the whole western half, just the small part west of the mountains. It’s basically the SW corner of the state (less than 1/4 of PA) around Pittsburgh (maybe 60 x 60 miles roughly).

          • BruceMcF says:

            Appalachia / Great Lakes, like several parts of Ohio.

          • Brian says:


            “Appalachia / Great Lakes, like several parts of Ohio.”

            I disagree. Appalachia is in the hills, and I specifically said the part of PA before you get to the hills. And Great Lakes isn’t really a region to me, but if it is it surely would be the coastal area (ie Erie, not Pittsburgh). But to each their own. I don’t think there are official definitions that apply here.

            This map will show the area I’m talking about in the SW corner.

          • BruceMcF says:

            @Brian, yes, that corner is Appalachian. Note that its right between the eastern divide and the Appalachian counties of Southeast Ohio. Of course, even going north of Pittsburgh, heading toward Newcastle, its all officially part of Appalachia, but to me Youngstown and Newcastle feel more like Great Lakes than Appalachian.


          • Brian says:

            Like I said, to each their own. I don’t consider 1/3 of Ohio to be Appalachia either, nor many of the outer edges of the region on that map. They include a large chunk of metro Atlanta in it, for example.

      • It was Gee, not Gene Smith. And unless Kansas or ND is suddenly on the table, I think the Midwest comment is a smokescreen. Adding Pitt, after all this time, would be hilarious.

        It’s weird to me to see so much chatter from OSU officials regarding expansion. But I guess Gee’s never been one to shy from making comments.

        • BruceMcF says:

          Or a courtesy. Both Kansas and Notre Dame will have supporters in the Big Ten, so putting them on the long list is probably politically sensible.

  40. JB says:

    What I find most interesting about Gee’s comments is the idea of the 3-4 superconferences of 16-20 teams. This idea has been repeated across the interwebs for the last several months, and is clearly related to the 4 team playoff, where conference championship games are play-in games. I love the idea, but don’t see how we get there.

    What we think we know (>50% probability):
    1) SEC will expand to 16 teams in NC and/or Virginia (2 of UNC, Duke, Va Tech, UVA, NC St)
    2) B1G will expand to 16 or 20 teams based on new markets, academics, demographics (2 or 6 of UNC, UVA, Ga Tech, FSU, Duke, Notre Dame, Miami, etc.)
    3) The Big 12 has a high bar for expansion given the lack of a cable network and high per team payout. Brand names only, with options like Fla St, Miami, and Clemson. More than 12 is unlikely.
    4) The Pac 12 has no options for expansion if Big 12 GOR is solid. BYU? Boise St? UNLV? No.

    So in my mind, I think we end up with a B1G 20, an SEC 16, a Big 12 that is numerically accurate, and a Pac 12. The scraps of the ACC (Wake, BC, PItt, Syracuse, Louisville), BE (UConn, Cincy, USF), and others (BYU, Boise St, Houston, SMU) form a 10-12 team conference.

    The possible solutions to the 4 team playoff:
    1) Top 4 (of 5) ranked conference champions
    2) Top 4 ranked BCS teams, regardless of conference
    2) Larger conferences (B1G and SEC) get automatic berths, along with top 2 of other 3 smaller conferences
    3) New ACC gets left out, Big 12 and Pac 12 conference champs play-in, along with 1 wild card

    My point is that the next step in expansion seems predictable (goodbye ACC), and the end game is logical (4 conference tie-ins to a 4 game playoff). But given the constraints on the Pac (geography) and Big 12 (dilution of existing payout from new members), leading to a different number of teams in each conference, I don’t see how this all works out.

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      Well, I would correct your concept in a few ways:

      1) The ACC will survive. It is still the most valuable name, outside of the Big Four. That conference you described, which contains the “scraps of the ACC…and others” will be the ACC.

      2) For anti-trust reasons, there won’t be a playoff system that categorically freezes out teams from the “have-not” conferences. That’s why the 4 super-conferences aren’t going to be guaranteed 4 playoff bids between them.

      3) Beyond anti-trust, there’s simple fairness. Slive thinks (and I agree with him) that if the SEC has two of the best four teams, the SEC should get two bids. Hardly anyone (except Badger fans) would find it tolerable if an 8-5 Wisconsin team makes it to the playoff, just because they won the Big Ten in a weak year.

      • JB says:

        1) Sure, the ACC name will survive, but without its biggest brands.

        2) Re: anti-trust, couldn’t the big conferences just break away from the NCAA? How is that any different than the NFL not allowing a USFL franchise to play in their league?

        3) This is what I struggle with. The SEC certainly would prefer the ability to have multiple teams in the 4 team playoff. But a 4 team SEC playoff to determine the representative would bring tons of money to the conference. And I think ultimately a selection committee picking 4 teams will be so controversial (think how the NCCAB committee gets ripped for picking teams 67 and 68), so having everything decided on the field certainly has more appeal.

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          2) A legal scholar could no doubt give you the technical answer. The fact is, empirically, Members of Congress have raised the anti-trust issue as it applies to collegiate athletics. Now, let’s be pragmatic. Since the BCS was formed, no school outside of the “Big Five” leagues has reached the championship game, even though the rules allow for it. If you’re in charge, why freeze them out (and risk the wrath of Congress), when you just could keep the current system, knowing that in most years they won’t get in anyway.

          3) What you’re proposing is, in essence, a 16-team playoff, in that there would be two rounds within each conference, followed by two national rounds. There is no whiff of support for that among the major conferences. But even if that changed, they would probably make it a 16-team national playoff, for a whole bunch of practical and economic reasons.

          Your concern about teams 67 & 68 in the NCAAB tournament is misplaced. No 16th- or 17th seed has ever won, or come close to winning, the tournament. The argument is over precisely who gets the honor of losing by a lopsided score in the first or second round. You could have a 512-team tournament, and someone would be the 513th team that barely missed, and undoubtedly they would have an argument.

          • JB says:

            The only reason to freeze out the non-BCS conferences is precisely to have the 16 team playoff, using conference semi-final and championships as the first two rounds. You make the conference championship games more important, you have a legitimate playoff system without adding a bunch of new games, and you avoid selection committees.

            In basketball, the debate is over the last at-large team (usually a 12 seed). Remember Jay Bilas ripping the committee over the VCU pick a few years ago, and they ultimately made it to the final 4.

            Take this year as an example of why a 4 team playoff selected by a committee doesn’t work (assume Ohio State was eligible). Notre Dame and Alabama were the obvious picks, but then who? Ohio State (undefeated, but horrible computer numbers)? Oregon (and if Oregon over Stanford, what’s the point of a conference championship)? Kansas State? A 2nd SEC team (Florida or Georgia)? It would have been a disaster.

            Your 8-5 Wisconsin scenario wouldn’t happen in a 20 team B1G with a 4 team conference tournament. Its hard to imagine the B10 representative, even in a down year, not being a top 10 team in the country.

          • bullet says:

            Could be even more likely. They would only have to win a 5 team division and a 2 game playoff. WI essentially won a 4 team division this year.

          • bullet says:

            And if the extra teams include Rutgers, Maryland, UNC, UVA, Duke and Georgia Tech, that lowers the average strength of the conference.

          • JB says:


            “Could be even more likely. They would only have to win a 5 team division and a 2 game playoff. WI essentially won a 4 team division this year.”

            My assumption is that a 20 team Big Ten would have pods with top pairs of something like: Nebraska/Wisconsin, Mich/Ohio St, Penn St/Notre Dame, FSU/UNC (or GT or Miami).

            Unless something unusual happened, the B1G twenty winner would have to beat 3 of those teams (likely 1 to win the pod, then 2 in the playoffs). That in almost every year would be a top 10 team in the nation.

            The 4 team division Wisconsin won was with Purdue, Indiana, Illinois. That won’t happen again.

          • BruceMcF says:

            @Mark Shepard ~ the argument is over who’s conference get $1.5 m to $3m over the next six years from NCAA conference units.

            @JB, so an 8 team playoff, the Big Five champions, plus the highest ranking mid-major champions, CCG loser, and at-large school would ease the pressure pushing toward four “super-conferences”?

      • frug says:

        1) As I noted above their is no guarantee the ACC survives if it is attacked. If enough schools flee they can simply dissolve the conference and avoid paying exit fees, as well bring their tournament credits with them and open up all the ACC’s bowl tie ins.

        2 and 3) All this can be avoided with another division split or breaking away from the NCAA.

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          As I noted above their is no guarantee the ACC survives if it is attacked….

          Although you’ve been pushing that persistently, it remains exceedingly unlikely. Have you checked how many votes are required to disband the league? I’m betting it’s some sort of super-majority (like 2/3rds or 3/4ths). The odds of that many schools leaving all at once are pretty low.

          Even when the Catholic 7 left the Big East — which is the largest number of simultaneous defections that I can recall in modern times — they did not disband the league. The more likely case is that the defections would occur in pairs, and that in each case the league would replenish, much as the Big East has done.

          Beyond that, the departing schools have no reason to screw the schools that don’t get invites to better conferences. They’d reach some sort of financial settlement that allows the remaining schools to keep the ACC name, simply because there is no reason not to.

          • frug says:

            Catholic 7 didn’t dissolve the league because Big East bylaws require that for the conference to dissolve at least 2 FB members have to vote in favor of the move. (To be clear the requirement is 2/3 voting members with at least 2 FB and 2 non-FB members voting in favor of dissolution).

            The ACC, on the other hand, has no such requirement. In fact, neither the ACC Constitution nor bylaws (both of which were included in Maryland’s lawsuit) even mention dissolution, meaning it would likely only require a majority vote. Even in the worst case scenario (3/4 which is required for admission) that only means 8 schools. Assuming Maryland votes in favor, that means UVA, V-Tech, UNC, G-Tech, FSU, Clemson and two of Miami, NC State and/or Duke would be sufficient.

            As for pairs, I don’t understand why that would matter. Even if all the announcements were staggered over a number of months, and the remaining members tried to restock, the new members wouldn’t gain voting rights immediately nor would the departing members lose them.

            Beyond that, the departing schools have no reason to screw the schools that don’t get invites to better conferences.

            Actually, you have that backwards. As I pointed out they have several million reasons to “screw” the other schools and no reason not to. The departing schools would literally hold all the leverage. Why reach a settlement if you don’t have to.

          • frug says:

            Correction, I meant to say only 2/3 of schools not 3/4.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            The entirety of your premise seems to be that the departing members would dissolve the league simply to steal (and that’s what it would be: stealing) the NCAA tournament credits and the revenue that comes with them. If you’re not able to understand why men of good sense would not pursue that option, there’s nothing more I can do to help you.

          • BruceMcF says:

            Still, the current behavior of the ACC gives good reason for departing members to “not make any final decision” until just before notice is due in on August 15, which makes it more likely that any big ACC shakeup will come in two phases, with the first departing teams giving their notice shortly after making their announcement. And when they turn in their notice, they lose their vote.3

          • frug says:

            The entirety of your premise seems to be that the departing members would dissolve the league simply to steal (and that’s what it would be: stealing) the NCAA tournament credits and the revenue that comes with them. If you’re not able to understand why men of good sense would not pursue that option, there’s nothing more I can do to help you.

            Are you really so naive? It isn’t theft; it’s business plain and simple.

            Also, what sort of “men of good sense” would engage is secret negotiations with another conference for a year without telling their current conference mates, because that is what Miami did.

            And what sort of “men of good sense” would sue another conference to prevent it from expanding, only to drop their suit after they realized they had the political connections necessary to force themselves into said conference, effectively stealing a conference mates invitation? Because that is what Virginia Tech did?

            What sort of “men of good sense would promise” to stay with a conference only to leave a year later when they realized the money better, because that is what Boston College did?

            What sort of “men of good sense” would pressure their conference mates into turning down a very good contract offer even though they were already in secret negotiations with another conference, because that is what Pitt did?

            What sort of “men of good sense” would force the commissioner of the conference they co-founded to find out they were leaving from a reporter at a football game less than 48 hours before the official announcement, because that is what Syracuse did?

            What sort of “men of good sense” would promise a conference they would play them 3 times a year in football in exchange for hosting their non-FB sports even though said team had no intention of ever doing so, because that is what Notre Dame did?

            And those are just examples from the ACC.

            The fact is everyone looks out for themselves first.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            @frug: A good deal of that is simply incorrect. For instance, the schools that voted to turn down ESPN’s TV offer to the Big East did not do so to screw their fellow conference mates. They believed a better offer was forthcoming. Unfortunately for them, it wasn’t.

            Most of your other examples are just variations on: “You don’t tell someone you’re leaving, until you know you are, in fact, leaving.”

            I am still not sure why you think schools would try to steal what they don’t own and have no use for.

          • frug says:

            A good deal of that is simply incorrect. For instance, the schools that voted to turn down ESPN’s TV offer to the Big East did not do so to screw their fellow conference mates. They believed a better offer was forthcoming. Unfortunately for them, it wasn’t.

            When did I ever say that?

            And their is no theft whatsoever. The schools earn their tournament credits which they agree to share with the conference. If their is no conference their is no to share them with.

            And it’s not just tournament credits, it’s also tens of million of dollars of exit fees and eliminating all the ACC’s bowl tie ins, thereby opening them up to their new conference.

          • frug says:

            Most of your other examples are just variations on: “You don’t tell someone you’re leaving, until you know you are, in fact, leaving.”

            Funny, Nebraska and Colorado had no problem telling the rest of the Big XII they were looking elsewhere.

            The fact is, Miami, V-Tech, Boston College, Pitt, Syracuse and Notre Dame were all liars or hypocrites or both. (And for the record, this also applies to Texas A&M, Missouri, USC, Stanford, Oregon, WVU and Rutgers in addition to all the ACC schools I mentioned). Schools screw each other over all the time. Deal with it.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            Theft, however, is another matter. Their dishonor does not extend to that.

          • Brian says:


            Just because you keep calling it theft doesn’t make it so. Where is the proof that they would be taking something they aren’t entitled to? If that was the case, the courts wouldn’t let them do it.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            “The entirety of your premise seems to be that the departing members would dissolve the league simply to steal (and that’s what it would be: stealing) the NCAA tournament credits and the revenue that comes with them.”
            —If a conference dissolves the accumulated credits revert to the schools that earned them. How in the world is that stealing something they don’t own, let alone not have a use for (as the credits = future revenue)?

  41. zeek says:

    Relevant article about rising TV fees.

    It doesn’t mention BTN, Pac-12 Networks, SEC Network, specifically but they’re a bit part of this as regional sports networks.

    • metatron says:

      At least most sports channels are worthwhile and informative. Why do I have to pay hand over fist for TLC, A&E, or the History Channel when I don’t want to see Honey Boo-Boo, Duck Dynasty, or Pawn Stars?

      Cable’s a bad model. We get it. But until these channels start marketing directly to consumers (and they won’t because subscription fees would be outrageous), nothing will happen.

      • BruceMcF says:

        Its cable cutting that changes the landscape.

        Cable cutting is only a trickle now, but people watching just mostly cable TV and little or not network broadcast TV was also only a trickle when it got started. Most paradigm shift technological changes are only a trickle at first. Consider how many people had a home computer before the IBM PC and Commodore 64 were introduced, in the days of the Trash-80, AppleII, and KayPro CP/M luggables. Then look at what the situation was at the start of the 90’s. And the turn of the century. And when the 2010’s rolled around.

        And notice that while the massive shift in audience and advertising dollars from network broadcast TV to cable lead to an evolution of broadcast network TV programming … it didn’t change it beyond all recognition. NBC recently experimented with a shift to two hours of weekday prime time series programming per night, putting a daily late night talk show in the 10pm slot … and had to retreat after a revolt by the local affiliates.

        It could well be the same thing happens with cable cutting. Cable keeps on doing mostly as they have been doing, it just generates a smaller audience share and smaller revenue stream over the next two decades … with fairly modest changes over the decade ahead and then accelerating changes in the 2020’s.

        • ccrider55 says:

          This concern has been voiced since the beginning of cable, when subscription moved from $10 to $20 to $50 to $100/month, etc. Note this from the article:

          “Chris Bevilacqua, an investor and consultant who has spearheaded the creation of several college networks, said, “If consumers were that upset by the costs, they’d be dropping their cable subscriptions in droves.”
          To date, that is not happening. Cable alternatives like Aereo (a service that streams broadcast networks via the Internet for a small monthly price) are sprouting up, but none are stealing share from the distributors that have been around for years. In fact, over the last two years ESPN has signed new long-term deals with seven of the top ten distributors in the country.”

          I read that P12 enterprises considers itself a content creation company, not a particular kind of delivery system. As long as the conferences own the content it will be in demand what ever delivery mode (which is part of why I’m not a fan of getting in bed ESPN, Fox, or whoever on what really is somewhat mislabeled “conference” network).

          • BruceMcF says:

            Except its not talk about how people will react in the future to this or that price change, its a description of current changes in market shares. Its quite modest at the moment, a percentage point or two, and sports programming is not on the bleeding edge of the change since it is growing its share of the cable advertising market faster than the cable advertising market declines.

  42. C. Toda says:

    My best guess UV and Pitts first. This allows ACC to still stand on it’s own and rebuff the SEC and seal off any other comferance from going into Penn . Then wait ,in 10 years the big 10 should have so much money they could do anything they want. The new members become part of the big 10 society.Then if they wish expand again ,fine . One last thing little bites are best.

    • mushroomgod says:

      I don’t think the BIG going into GA to grab GT or the SEC going into PA to grab Pitt would have any noticeable effect on the SEC or BIG, respectively. The 2 headline schools in those states are already taken. PA isn’t going to turn into SEC country or GA into BIG country because of these moves.

      I do think the SEC grabbing MO had more effect, as MO was 65% BT country culturally, 35% sec country, so that ois a lost sphere of influence for the BIG.

  43. loki_the_bubba says:

    Since markets are so important in realignment, why not create a true super-conference…

    • Mack says:

      Fun article, but brands also matter. Those are mainly NFL markets. Rice built its big stadium because it filled it up back in the 1950’s. Then the Oilers came to town, and the T-Shirt fans that Rice depended on went over to the pro game. Rice (or U Houston) could not get these fans back even when the Oilers left town and there were a few years when Houston did not have a NFL team.

  44. bullet says:

    Emmert’s finally noticing the UNC scandal. Charlotte paper discusses a report to UNC board. Report says its a broad academic scandal, not athletic. Paper points out a number of issues indicating an athletic scandal that it doesn’t address.

  45. zeek says:

    Catholic 7 balling out today.

    Syracuse falls to Villanova and then Louisville is brought down by Georgetown. Two big wins right there.

  46. JB says:

    I don’t want to read too much into Gee’s comments, but he made 2 interesting references: 1) the possibility of 3 super-conferences and 2) expansion with midwestern teams (presumably Kansas is one of them). This suggests that the Big 12 isn’t entirely off limits.

    The one sure way out of the GOR is to dissolve the conference. Given that the Big 12 is the only conference without a cable network, any team would make more money in one of the other 3 conferences. I believe 8 of the 10 teams would need to vote to dissolve, so there would need to be a home for 8 teams.

    The possibilities where 8 teams get swallowed would be:
    1) Pac 12 takes the 8 they want (leaving behind W. Virginia and either K. St or Iowa St.)
    2) Pac 12 takes the 4 Texas schools and Iowa St, SEC takes OK and W. Virginia, B1G takes Kansas
    3) Pac 12 takes the TX and OK schools, B1G takes Kansas, SEC takes W. Virginia

    While not likely, I could see either 2 or 3 making sense. Iowa St is AAU. OK would be a coup for the SEC. W. Virginia would be a good cultural fit, and could provide additional value if Pittsburgh were added. Kansas would provide basketball inventory for the BTN.

    2 of Ok St, Kansas St, and Iowa St would be left behind. It would be interesting if OK and Kansas would vote to dissolve the conference in those scenarios.

    • bullet says:

      Just not going to happen. Frank is just flat out wrong that teams aren’t happy to be in the Big 12. You’re wrong that everyone would make more money in other conferences. Big 12 currently has the highest payout per team (obviously SEC still working on their deal and B1G coming up in 2016 and BTN still growing) and OU and Texas make more off Tier 3 on their own. OU’s figures haven’t come out in MSM, but are generally estimated at $7.5 million. That’s more than the 4 year old BTN and much more than the SEC and Pac networks will make while they are getting off the ground. All 10 teams have sold their Tier 3 so you’ve got that in addition to the GOR. Finally, much like the SEC and B1G are interested in teams in the ACC who really don’t want to move, the teams the SEC/B1G/Pac would be interested in with the Big 12 aren’t moving.

      • greg says:

        “Big 12 currently has the highest payout per team”

        Well, no. If you ignore the actual calendar year payout, and just divide their total package by total years, you can incorrectly think they have the highest payout per team. Its doubtful that there will be a single year they pay out more than B1G or SEC.

        “OU and Texas make more off Tier 3 on their own. OU’s figures haven’t come out in MSM, but are generally estimated at $7.5 million. That’s more than the 4 year old BTN”

        The average of OU’s deal is a smidge higher than last year’s BTN payout. Its doubtful that any single year that the OU payment is higher. That is for a king getting paid on their own, and they still can’t meet the BTN payout for 12 teams.

        I agree that B12 is pretty safe.

      • ccrider55 says:

        “Frank is just flat out wrong that teams aren’t happy to be in the Big 12.”
        And abused wives are happy…between beatings.

        • bullet says:

          Good line, but the Big 12 was good for everyone competitively except Nebraska and A&M (and until recently Baylor but that was their own fault) and good for everyone financially.

          Line fits Arkansas and Missouri (so far) in the SEC better.

      • FranktheAg says:

        The $7.5mm payment to OU includes radio, coaches shows and marketing fees as well. The actual tier three TV revenue is more like $2 to $2.5mm. Factor in the up front investment by OU and they are losing money on the deal.

    • Mack says:

      The P12 will not take religious affiliated schools (Baylor, TCU). and does not like the lower academic schools. Scott actually tried to get Texas to replace Texas Tech with Kansas in the 6 team proposal (that was a no go). The 2 midwest schools might be Missouri and Notre Dame. Missouri, like everyone in the SEC, has no exit fee or GOR so is more “available” than Notre Dame and just slightly more likely to join the B1G.

      • Andy says:

        Unless something dramatically changes the bridge between Missouri and the B1G has been burned. That dog won’t hunt.

        • Mack says:

          Pretty much what I said. How likely is it that Notre Dame joins the B1G? Still discussed as an expansion target, no matter how unlikely.

        • metatron says:

          What bridge?

          • metatron says:

            This “Missouri/Big Ten” story is approaching Notre Dame levels of delusion here. It’s like a new creation myth for you guys or something.

          • Andy says:

            Bridge meaning B1G and Missouri in talks about Missouri possibly joining (which happened) and the possibility of such talks resuming (there isn’t much possibility at all now).

          • metatron says:

            Talk about sour grapes.

          • Andy says:

            not at all. it’s just a fact. Missouri isn’t looking on making another move. We put a lot of effort and expense into this one. There’s now ay we’re going to turn around and move again 2-3 years later.

          • metatron says:

            No, that’s fine. It’s the burning sense of resentment that I find odd.

          • Andy says:

            I guess that’s what happens when you read with your imagination.

      • BruceMcF says:

        Except “just slightly more likely to join the Big Ten” is only looking at one side of a two-sided equation. Notre Dame will not join any conference so long as it sees independence as a viable option. So any move of Notre Dame to any conference is a long term move, after some as-of-yet-unanticipated change to the college football landscape. But if Notre Dame applies, the Big Ten invites them if at all feasible, and if infeasible tries to see what it can do to make it feasible.

        Meanwhile, the Big Ten has passed on Missouri in the recent past, and there’s no certainty that the Big Ten would invite them even in the unlikely event that Missouri wanted to move.

        And as far as which of those two highly unlikely moves are slightly less highly unlikely, I’d think it is Notre Dame. The landscape shifting in a way that makes remaining independent untenable seems a bit more likely than the landscape shifting in a way that a school leaves the SEC, Big Ten or Pac-12 ~ except for, a la Temple in the Big East, being unable to maintain the standards for athletic competition in the conference, in which case no other big time conference would invite them.

    • Brian says:


      “I don’t want to read too much into Gee’s comments, but he made 2 interesting references: 1) the possibility of 3 super-conferences”

      Even at 20, I think 3 conferences is unlikely. That would require dropping multiple AQs and all the non-AQs. If the P12 stops short of 20, there’s no way it can work. There aren’t many workable ways to split the B12 and ACC either.

      ” and 2) expansion with midwestern teams (presumably Kansas is one of them). This suggests that the Big 12 isn’t entirely off limits.”

      That is you reading into things. There are other midwestern schools. I’m not saying he did or didn’t mean a B12 school, but there isn’t any factual basis for your presumption.

      “The one sure way out of the GOR is to dissolve the conference.”

      That would require 8 schools to leave more or less at once. That seems unlikely to me.

      “Given that the Big 12 is the only conference without a cable network, any team would make more money in one of the other 3 conferences.”

      Not for sure. UT is doing pretty well as is, plus they have power that they wouldn’t have anywhere else. I don’t know if the others would get a big enough bump to justify leaving, either. MD only left because they were broke, and the B12 pays more than the ACC.

      “The possibilities where 8 teams get swallowed would be:
      1) Pac 12 takes the 8 they want (leaving behind W. Virginia and either K. St or Iowa St.)”

      They don’t want 8. They really want UT and wouldn’t mind OU and KU.

      “2) Pac 12 takes the 4 Texas schools and Iowa St, SEC takes OK and W. Virginia, B1G takes Kansas”

      Why would the P12 take 5 schools? Why would they want ISU? Why would the SEC take WV when they turned them down before? Why would OU get to come without OkSU? How would KU get to leave KSU behind?

      “3) Pac 12 takes the TX and OK schools, B1G takes Kansas, SEC takes W. Virginia”

      This would force the B10 and SEC to raid the ACC to get even numbers. What if the ACC schools said no?

      “2 of Ok St, Kansas St, and Iowa St would be left behind. It would be interesting if OK and Kansas would vote to dissolve the conference in those scenarios.”

      ISU has no protector, but KSU and OkSU should.

      • JB says:

        I think any Big 12/Pac 12 combo is unlikely. But the Pac 12 has zero options for expansion. Literally zero right now. So taking 5-6 teams to secure Texas (26mm people, or 6.5mm per Texas school) is way better than options like UNLV (Nevada–2.7mm), New Mexico (2mm), Boise St (1.6mm), etc.

        Given how things have changed (with the SEC and B1G aggressive, likely at the ACC’s expense), I think the Pac 12 would be more accommodating now. Ultimately being in a conference with a cable network will be more lucrative, so I think there is a good chance the Big 12 teams would move. The issue is that the Pac 12, B1G, and SEC aren’t going to work together to carve up the Big 12, and any of those scenarios would take cooperation. Plus Delaney wouldn’t hand Texas to the Pac 12.

        Not likely by any stretch, but crazier things have happened in conference expansion.

        • Brian says:


          “But the Pac 12 has zero options for expansion. Literally zero right now.”

          They also have zero need for expansion right now.

          “So taking 5-6 teams to secure Texas (26mm people, or 6.5mm per Texas school) is way better than options like UNLV (Nevada–2.7mm), New Mexico (2mm), Boise St (1.6mm), etc.”

          CA is 38M people and they don’t have to take any schools to have it. The P12 doesn’t lack markets or population. They certainly aren’t looking at adding any of the schools you named, either.

          But my issue was that plan #2 had the P12 taking 5 schools (ISU + TX 4), so they’d get to 17. You already dismissed their other options, so why would they take ISU to get to 17?

          “I think the Pac 12 would be more accommodating now.”

          Why should they accept the LHN? Why do they need UT?

          “Ultimately being in a conference with a cable network will be more lucrative, so I think there is a good chance the Big 12 teams would move.”

          I don’t. Most of them need UT and UT has no need to move.

        • ccrider55 says:

          Perhaps I’m mistaken, but during the “Tech problem” discussion I thought UT kinda left a poor impression with the B1G. Enough so that they probably, without coming meekly and with hat in hand (and no LHN), are not particularly desired. Wrong attitude and enough negatives to offset the obvious positives.
          The PAC seems not in a hurry but is the only destination, other than the B12 that is, or was (now?) willing to take Tech and OkSU. My assumption was they were waiting, but perhaps they truly happy at 12. I’ve believed in the advantages of expansion, but always worried about the sacrifices. Perhaps they are worried enough that only a guaranteed walk off grand slam will move them (and does their former P16 plan represent that anymore?).
          The funny thing is that the crazy notion of 16 (or even larger) member conferences seemed less problematic for them than the B1G or SEC. It would have created an old PAC 8 and a B8/12 division. Less disruptive to established rivalries and history.

          • BruceMcF says:

            Its all on Texas willing to be a member of a conference rather than the King Pin of a conference. That’s what makes the Pac-16 so much more likely ~ while it would be a demotion from being the King Pin of a conference, it would be a demotion TO being the King Pin of the Pac-16 East.

            And that of course hinges to a great extent on the Long Horn Network, which puts any move out into the longer term.

            If Texas was willing to surrender the Long Horn Network, would the Pac-12 take TTech, Okie and Li’l Okie? The Pac-8 seems like they would, because for the Pac-12 North it would recreate the Pac-8 as the Pac-16 West, and, assuming 9 conference games, no locked cross division games, for UCLA and USC playing in the old Pac-8 every year and adding one of either Texas and Oklahoma every second year is an upgrade on their current schedule.

            It makes enough sense for the Pac-12 to avoid any of the marginal moves in order to leave the door open for that Pac-16, even if the marginal moves available were more attractive than Boise State, UNLV and BYU.

          • Mack says:

            The P16 deal was proposed when the P10 was poor and thought they needed Texas to get a rich TV deal. Since they got a rich TV deal without Texas, it may not fly today. Colorado is public in its opposition of being put in a “B12″ division. AZ and ASU also want to keep access to California. If TX, OK, TT, and OKst are iffy, the opposition to UNLV, BSU, BYU, etc. is that much higher (worse schedules and less money). The P12 is not likely to expand anytime soon.

          • ccrider55 says:


            Agree that CU doesn’t want P16E, but they had agreed to that likely hood when it seemed the P16 was happening.
            Agree that they got a great media deal, but we aren’t in a 0% inflation world. Estimates after the deal were that rather than 3 billion for P12, a P16 with the Texas and Oklahoma pairs probably goes 4.5 bill or more. Plus the increase in the conference network’s value and carriage. How loud does money talk?
            Agree very little else would be attractive enough to them, and perhaps enough time passing makes even that not attractive enough. Personally, I hope they hold and are greatly rewarded.

            However, I never expected B1G to expand beyond 12. Certainly not this quickly (how many years at 11?).

          • BruceMcF says:

            Yes, the core of the opposition would come from among the four who were not part of the Pac-8. Playing Oklahoma and Texas annually is a downgrade to the Arizonas compared to playing USC and UCLA annually.

      • BruceMcF says:

        No, the Big12 isn’t so entirely off-limits to justify having no discussions at all with the contiguous AAU school in the midwest that some of the western Big Ten schools would be happy to see in the conference. But putting Kansas on the long list is a far cry from the Big Ten believing that there is any high degree of probability that Kansas will be available, nor from the Big Ten believing that Kansas is at best an 18th to even up the numbers if 3 strong adds are on offer and then the pickings get slim.

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      I don’t want to read too much into Gee’s comments, but he made 2 interesting references: 1) the possibility of 3 super-conferences and 2) expansion with midwestern teams (presumably Kansas is one of them). This suggests that the Big 12 isn’t entirely off limits.

      You read too much into Gee’s comments. He’s a renowned goofball and not the most precise speaker in his public statements. On top of that, you’ve exaggerated what he said.

      Gee “believes there is movement towards three or four super conferences that are made up of 16-20 teams,” and that the Big Ten is interested in “possibly a couple of Midwest universities.” [Emphasis Added]

      That’s too slender a reed upon which to hang the demise of the Big XII. The Big XII has a sweetheart TV deal. The Pac-12 already took a pass on them, because Texas wanted to keep its own network. None of that has changed. Such a vague statement as “possibly a couple of midwestern schools” doesn’t imply anything different.

      I think all Gee was saying, was: “We’d still love to have Notre Dame, and if it so happened that circumstances changed (which we don’t expect them to), we’d talk to Missouri or Kansas, but we aren’t holding our breath.”

      His reference to “three or four super conferences” just means that the SEC, B1G, and Big XII would look at expanding to 16-20 teams, while the Pac-12 might (or might not) just stay at 12. No other major conference has schools in the Pac-12’s footprint. No bad thing will happen to them if they simply decide that 12 is the best number.

  47. Quacs says:

    For those Dude fans out there (I’m probably the only one on this blog who gets a kick out of this guy), he posted some incredibly detailed rumors as a primer to an online chat he conducted earlier tonight.

    Interestingly, a lot of his rumors are similar to some of the speculation I have read on this blog.

    If you’re ready to suspend disbelief, here is the link:

    • Brian says:

      He’s entertaining like any good pulp fiction author. His main tidbits here:

      1. The B10 is looking at up to 6 ACC schools

      “UVA, GT, UNC, FSU, Boston College and even Duke have all had discussions with the Big 10 and Delany has focused his attention on UVA, GT, UNC, BC and FSU.

      According to my sources in the Big 10 the AAU status is still a big deal as federal research money is one of the primary factors in the Big 10 appealing to ACC schools, but Jim Delany believes a school, given the proper resources, mentorship and motivation can raise itself up to AAU standards and he is willing to consider offering schools without AAU status who have a viable plan to achieve the designation in the near future.”

      VT and Miami are missing from the list, so non-AAU is a hurdle, but BC and FSU are on it so the hurdle can be cleared (BC = Boston market access + strong undergrad academics, FSU = FL access). VT doesn’t deliver enough that UVA can’t, but they might make the list if all the more southern schools say no. Miami is probably too small, too far and in too much trouble right now. Of course, his source could easily be wrong and both these schools are candidates. I’m just taking this in a What If spirit.

      I personally don’t think BC makes sense. It’s a pro market that ignores BC. ND or UConn would both probably have more fans in Boston, plus help more in NYC. I think NYC will be hard enough to crack and Boston is just a pipe dream. I’m guessing BC has slim odds of getting invited.

      I also don’t think FSU would be a great cultural fit, but being in FL has major advantage for the business side of the B10 and for recruiting. GT is a lot less southern but still a cultural outlier. Since the B10 is no longer a midwestern conference, I wish they’d stay northern. That seems unlikely, too, but maybe they’ll draw a reasonable line in the mid-Atlantic.

      2. The B12 has to raid the ACC

      “The Big 12 must acquire FSU or Miami – preferably both to make expansion feasible.

      After FSU and Miami the value is in GT (headed to the Big 10), NC State (A candidate for the SEC), Clemson and Virginia Tech (Candidate for the SEC).

      After those 5 the value declines sharply. Louisville, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Syracuse are roughly valued at the same level.

      Expansion west-ward is not an option based on the need to expand the electronic footprint although San Diego State would add TV sets and allow the Big 12 to balance out the West – East divisions if the Big 10 takes more than 2-4 ACC schools.”

      I don’t see SDSU happening. I just don’t think the value is there. I did notice the lack of BYU talk, which is wise. I still struggle to see schools like Clemson and NCSU in the B12. I’m sure the Hurricanes are excited about going to Ames in November.

      3. ACC schools have given the B12 a conditional yes

      “FSU has told the Big 12 it would join the conference if the ACC is gutted by defections, they don’t receive an offer from either the Big 10 or SEC, and they have regional partners.

      Miami, has apparently told the Big 12 it will come. The Hurricanes don’t have much choice. They have no shot at the Big 10 or the SEC and are in danger of being left out if they don’t grab the Big 12’s offer while its on the table.

      Clemson has told the Big 12 the same things as FSU, yes if…”

      He does temper the enthusiasm a little with this, though:
      “Big 12 fans should get too excited though. Nobody in the ACC is going to jump before its clear they must move or be left behind.

      That means the Big 12 is at the mercy of the Big 10 and SEC.”

      4. UVA and GT are still a done deal, but they’re waiting on the MD lawsuits

      “It’s not the exit fee that’s delaying the announcement. Both UVA and GT will receive similar deals with the Big 10 that front loads revenues and provides help with whatever the exit fee turns out to be.

      The problem is that the ACC is withholding disbursements to Maryland until the full $52 exit fee is paid.

      Neither UVA or GT can afford to go without TV revenues from the ACC.”

      He said his sources told him this, but he ignored their warning about the timing and assumed they would announce quickly like MD did.

      “Boston College – Big 10 (1)
      Clemson – Big 12 (1)
      Duke – Big 10 (2)
      FSU – Big 10 or Big 12. (2)
      Georgia Tech – Big 10 (3)
      Louisville – Big 12 (3)
      Miami – Big 12 (4)
      Pitt – Big 12 (5)
      UNC – Big 10 (4)
      NC St – SEC 12 (1)
      UVA – Big 10 (5)
      Virginia Tech – SEC (2)
      Cincinnati – Big 12 (6)

      Big 10 – 18 with ND as #18.
      SEC with 16.
      Big 12 with 16.”

      I’ll let those speak for themselves.

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        I don’t believe the B1G is pursuing Boston College. At the same time, I do wonder about the oft-repeated claim that Boston is “a pro market.” They said that about New York too, and Delany got the approval to add Rutgers.

        How good (or bad) are the ratings of college football and basketball games in Boston, compared to the other markets Delany might be looking at? How well do B1G games do when broadcast there? That, it seems to me, is the relevant question.

        • texmex says:

          I agree with what he said about FSU and Clemson. They won’t move until they have to. They will feel a sense of urgency to move if the ACC destablizes and the B1G and SEC have told them no.

          Three major questions

          1) Are North Carolina and Duke a package deal?
          2) Would UNC prefer the B1G or SEC?
          3) Would the SEC take FSU to block the Big 12?

        • Mack says:

          The relevant questions about BC and Boston TV ratings is how much will BC move the ratings higher and is there enough local support for BC to force higher cable carriage rates in MA. If BC does not generate much more interest than PSU, Rutgers, or Michigan what is the point? I doubt that BC is viable even on a TV market level (despite the Dude placing it in the B1G).

          • JB says:

            I don’t see BC at all. If AAU is not an issue, the only schools that make sense are FSU and ND.

            BC would only be an option for a B1G 20 where #20 is needed. UConn would be a better fit than BC. Its larger (25k to 15k in enrollment), it is the state flagship, and it at least has a good basketball program (not to mention women’s basketball). So it probably delivers Connecticut (3.5mm population). Along with ND, maybe UConn also helps deliver the Boston Market.

            I would put UConn at best about 7th in the pecking order (UNC, ND, UVA, GT, FSU, Duke), but it makes a lot more sense to me than BC. I don’t think BC helps deliver Boston a whole lot more than UConn.

          • BruceMcF says:

            AAU membership is an easy rejoinder to any complaint about the quality of the school being added, and so its easy for the Presidents to say “get AAU members”, but when it comes down to individual institutions, the original issue is whether the perceived academic status of the institution will cause headaches for the Presidents.

            So Notre Dame is not about AAU “not being an issue”, its about the academic insiders in positions to cause headaches for Big Ten University Presidents for adding a collection of second and their tier academic departments not causing very many headaches in response to Notre Dame being added. Notre Dame is not a top 10 school in anything, but at the graduate level its got quite respectable Law Schools and Business Schools. And in the Big Ten, Law Schools and Business Schools may not bring in the big bucks in research dollars, but they are good generators of alumni contributions, and is not unusual for them to be overrepresented in institutional position holders.

          • mushroomgod says:

            I’m with you JB…….U Conn, Syracuse, and BC would all be poor additions, but of the 3 I’d go 1. U Conn; 2. Syracuse; 3. BC. About the only choice worse than BC which has been actively discussed on this board is Miami.

        • BruceMcF says:

          To me, the only way BC gets into the Big Ten is if Notre Dame were to say, “Yes, but only if BC comes too”. And so BC’s hopes to get into the Big Ten some day would be that the Big Ten expands to 16 now, things settle down for a while, and another ten years down the track Notre Dame’s stance on independence has shifted due to some as-of-yet-unanticipated changes in the terrain for an independent.

          As far as talking to them ~ if Delany actually has license to talk to contiguous AAU schools, that would be a matter of BC talking to the Big Ten rather than the other way around. THAT would not be at all surprising.

        • bullet says:

          How about another question:

          Would the B1G presidents approve a UVA/GT combination? Not sure that’s a given.

          • bullet says:

            And at what point does the math fail to work? There are only so many TV slots. BTN is still not the majority of the $. Playoff $ per school probably go down.

          • ccrider55 says:


            Are you suggesting the BTN is expected to be the majority provider of $’s? How does a former ACC tv slot becoming a B1G slot effect the overall number of openings?

            Moves and expansion the B1G is apparently working toward have decade or more out time frames. It won’t be limited by a shorter term evaluation period, ie: requiring it will it make more this year or forget it. Bowl association/tie ins/values change. Playoff rules may change. Etc. The B1G is in a position to avoid being penny wise but pound foolish.

          • JB says:

            I don’t think looking at payout per school based on existing contracts is relevant. If the Big 12 dissolved, that $200mm per year would be split among the remaining conferences in the next tv contract.

            But this highlights the need to take on some kings with any expansion.

            Would the B1G’s national TV deal increase by taking on UVA, UNC, GT, and Duke? Maybe not.
            Would the B1G’s national TV deal increase with ND and FSU? By a lot.

            And that is why ND is valuable even if it doesn’t bring new cable subscribers.

          • BruceMcF says:

            Presidents of big universities are politicians ~ academic politicians, sure, but still politicians ~ and like most politicians in executive positions, they have objectives they want to achieve and headaches in their in box they want to get into their out box.

            There’s nothing about UVA/GTech that would give them any headaches on the academic side ~ where most of their objectives are located ~ and in a number of Big Ten Universities it would be a positive. In the USNWR grad school rankings (and the standard disclaimer), UVA is #13 MBA, #7 Law, #25 Medical Research, #19 Primary Care, #10 English, #20 History, #23 Psych, while GTech is #4 Engineering school, #10 Computer Science … that pair makes a whole heck of a lot of academic stakeholders and academic institutional position holders happy.

            So its whether the AD’s (in both sense ~ Athletic Directors and Athletic Departments) would create headaches for the University Presidents as a result of the move. That’s the Big Ten conference commissioner’s job, to make sure that the AD’s are on board the move, so saying yes does not cause any headache coming from the athletic side to distract the President from what they would rather be working on.

          • Andy says:

            Bruce, if that’s the way they think then why the hell did they take Nebraska?

          • BruceMcF says:

            Why do you think I keep asking whether UNL’s pending drop in status was widely understood by Big Ten Faculty. Seriously, does anybody seriously expect a PRESIDENT of a university to “raise a principled objection”? They just don’t want the athletics sideshow from interfering with their main business of prostituting US higher education to the corporate sector.

            If as far as most academics understood UNL was an AAU institution in good standing at the time that they entered, then by the time that it became clear they were getting kicked out, the conference admission would be water under the bridge. Even if academics in influential positions are ticked off about it, all that they can realistically do is to sharpen their knives and resolve to be more vigilant in the future.

          • bullet says:

            I believe B1G is currently national on all its broadcasts. How much money do you get cannibalizing your own ratings competing against yourself? Assume BTN has games at 12, 4 and 8. ESPN and ESPN2 cover B1G at 12 ( and SEC sometimes gets those slots). National games at 4 and 8 (and B1G doesn’t always get a night slot now). That’s only 7 slots. Any extra and you are competing against yourself and not necessarily getting a broadly available network. And that’s assuming Big 12, SEC and Pac 12 don’t get some of those slots. Hard to see further expansion doing anything but diluting Tier I and II revenue per school. Do you get enough extra from BTN?

          • ccrider55 says:


            I understand what you are saying, but doesn’t it make sense that other conferences are getting coverage that may be co-opted? Many “national” games are mirror games. The same IA/NW B1G game mirrored by UVA/GT ACC would still be played, but (hypothetically) both would pay the B1G. I don’t have a problem with having competing games. Alternatives being available seems a way to keep eyeballs on the conference, even when a stinker is shown. My remote can get rather warm on some Saturdays :) The B1G should be able to increase the value of those “new” conference games too.

          • bullet says:

            w/o Notre Dame, who is there who is there to generate co-opting? As far as the ACC, its 4 pm game is usually regionally covered on ABC with B1G and Big 12. B1G gets mirrored on ESPN in the rest of the nation. ACC and Big 12 split ESPN in B1G territory (where B1G is on ABC). Seems more likely B1G simply gets a little more ABC and less ESPN if they crowd out the ACC as opposed to a regional B1G game that isn’t nationally televised. Pac 12 might be the one who benefits.

            As good a coverage as the B1G currently gets just not sure how much more they can get at the same rate (let alone the bigger rate they are likely to get in 2016). Maybe they can, but I have a hard time seeing it.

        • Brian says:

          Marc Shepherd,

          “I don’t believe the B1G is pursuing Boston College. At the same time, I do wonder about the oft-repeated claim that Boston is “a pro market.” They said that about New York too, and Delany got the approval to add Rutgers.”

          NYC is about 14% CFB fans compared to the national average of roughly 25%. Still, NYC is so big that it results in 2.9M CFB fans there, the #1 market in the US.

          Top 10 CFB markets in # of fans:
          1. NYC – 2.9M
          2. Atlanta – 2.6M
          3. LA – 2.6M
          4. Dallas – 1.9M
          5. Chicago – 1.8M
          6. Birmingham – 1.7M
          7. Philly – 1.6M
          8. Houston – 1.6M
          9. Tampa – 1.4M
          10. Detroit – 1.3M

          Boston isn’t in the top 10, so it well less than half the market that NYC is. A rough calculation imitating theirs puts Boston also at around 1.3M with about 20% CFB fans.

          Looking at the Boston area, the problem is the lack of B10 fans. BC is by far the most popular school, 5x as popular as ND.

          NYC fan breakdown:
          RU – 607k, 20.9% share
          ND – 267k, 9.2%
          PSU – 186k, 6.4%
          UConn – 150k, 5.2%
          MI – 144k, 5.0%

          OSU – 65k, 2.2%

          That gives the B10 roughly 1.0M fans in NYC with RU added (400k without) and a big chunk waiting if ND ever joins.

          BC – 465k, 35.8%
          ND – 102k, 7.8%
          MI – 58k, 4.4%
          UConn – 49k, 3.8%
          SU – 47k, 3.6%
          PSU – 45k, 3.5%
          OSU – 25k, 2.0%

          Boston would have roughly 600k fans with BC (130k without) and a small chunk of ND fans waiting. That’s a factor of 3 fewer current B10 fans, so a much bigger risk.

          On top of that, RU is a state school while BC isn’t and NJ is contiguous while MA is definitely not. That doesn’t mention the academic factor of RU being AAU and BC not.

          I have no data to address your ratings questions.

          • Transic says:

            I’d like to see a similar breakdown of UVa, VT, UNC, NCSU, GT and FSU.

          • Brian says:


            From that article, here are the fans base sizes for the ACC schools:
            Clemson – 1.8M
            GT – 1.7M
            VT – 1.3M
            Miami – 1.3M
            NC – 959k
            BC – 842k
            UVA – 836k
            FSU – 813k
            Duke – 536k
            MD – 474k
            NCSU – 468k
            WF – 149k

            Clearly these numbers aren’t correct (FSU should be bigger, Miami and GT smaller, etc), but take them for what they’re worth. FSU suffers because they don’t own a major market while Miami and GT are inflated because they are in one.

            By comparison, here is the B10:
            OSU – 3.2M
            MI – 2.9M
            PSU – 2.6M
            WI – 1.4M
            IA – 1.3M
            NE – 1.2M
            MSU – 1.1M
            IL – 965k
            MN – 964k
            IN – 637k
            PU – 625k
            NW – 515k

            RU – 938k

            If you want to take DC or Charlotte and do the same breakdown I did for Boston, help yourself.

      • metatron says:

        I don’t believe him. If anyone is talking, it’s to misdirect and cause panic.

      • GreatLakeState says:

        I’ve always believed the B1G had their eye set on twenty and I think it will include six of these seven: UVA, GT, UNC, Duke, BC, FSU, ND. I believe the only way BC gets in is if it brings ND.
        If UNC/DUKE go to the SEC (unlikely), I think VT, MIAMI or Kansas could come into play.

        • Transic says:

          I wouldn’t put anything past the SEC. I hate them but know that they have weapons to fight off the B1G. Some B1G fans suffer from overconfidence. We’re in the other guy’s turf for once. Like a good general in battle, know how to change tactics when engaging the enemy.

      • Andy says:

        a B1G 20 at $40M per school assumes they can make $800M per year. Seems unlikely. In which case they’d need to shoot for a lower number.

        16 seems like the natural limit.

        • cutter says:


          Are you talking about the research budget? or the athletic department budgets?

          According to the CIC, the additions of Maryland and Rutgers will move the funded research total from $8.4B to $9.3B per year–see

          Virginia recently reported a research budget of around $310M while Georgia Tech was at approximately $205M. That would put the CIC total at around $9.8B. Are you saying that the CIC would not be able to grow its member budgets to the $10.6B (the additional $800M you mention) level in some reasonable time frame to make it worthwhile? Or do you feel that the additions of Duke, North Carolina and Pittsburgh (plus one more non-AAU school) would undermine the ability of the CIC to get the additional $800M funding, i.e., an additional $40M per school on average for 20 schools?

          On the athletic side, the most recent budget document from the University of Michigan Athletic Department indicates that FY 2013 conference distributions will be approximately $25.2M in FY 2013 (ends 30 June 2013). The breakdown for money sources is as follows:

          Television (Football and Basketball) – $18.7M
          NCAA Basketball Based Distributions – $3.3M
          Football Bowl games – $2.4M
          Other Miscellaneous – $0.8M


          The current ABC/ESPN contract($1.0B per year/10 years) ends in a few years and is backloaded, so it’s probably a reasonable estimate to think that by FY 2016, the figure for television above will be approximately $23.0M. The new football bowl deal is going to push that Football Bowl game number to perhaps $6.0M per school. With all other things being static (and I admit, this doesn’t include the addition of Maryland and Rutgers, but it also means zero growth in BTN distributions as well), by FY 2016, Michigan and the other B1G programs might be looking at around $33M per year per team in conference distributions.

          So what is the Big Ten looking at for television money in the future? The Pac 12 will reportedly get about $30M per year per school from the Pac 12 Network, ESPN and Fox. See

          The Big XII network deal is at a lower amount–around $20M per year–see That doesn’t include third tier television rights, which means on average (and I realize Texas is an outlier here), those schools are looking at somewhere in the mid-$20M range per school per year.

          According to Forbes magazine, new television deals for SEC teams could go up to $34M per year starting in 2014 based on its renegotiation with ABC/ESPN and CBS. That number is $15M more per school than the Big Ten is currently seeing. See

          If a future 20-team Big Ten Conference can get even $31M per school per year from its television contracts alone (which are going to be competitively bid by Fox and ABC/ESPN), then the other three items that make up the entire conference distribution will likely make up at least $9M more per team to get them at $40M. When the conference briefed Maryland on future conference revenues, they talked about a figure in the lower $40M range.

          Obviously, we don’t know what the final composition of a 20-team B1G would be, but if it includes the schools we think most likely (Virginia, Georgia Tech), one or two of the North Carolina schools (UNC, Duke) one or two of Florida State or Notre Dame and perhaps Pittsburgh, then that makes for a very valuable package of football and men’s basketball teams that would be added to the B1G’s current inventory.

        • Andy says:

          cutter, I’m talking about athletic department revenue. The promise and goal was for every athletic department in the B1G to make $40M per year from TV, B1G Network, Bowls, NCAA tourneys, Championship Game, etc. If you bring in 6 more schools and get it up to 20, that means you need a total of $800M to spread around to the 20 member schools, otherwise you’re going to fall short of that. Or let’s say you just want $30M per school, then you still need $600M per year.

          My point is after a certain point the additions you make need to be big money makers otherwise existing schools will make less money per year in revenue. There’s a limit to how far expansion can go.

          • cutter says:

            So you are saying that there is no realistic combination of 20 schools that could operate within the Big Ten and generate at least $40m per year per school in 2017-immediately in the wake of the upcoming tv rights negotiations.

            Based on your best assessment, what is a realistic number per school and what data can you give to support that number? I assume you feel that the SEC and P12 will have better revenue numbers than a hypothetical Big Ten with 20 teams. Why exactly is that?

          • Andy says:

            Well, I think UVA could probably bring in $40M/yr with the state of Virginia, and UNC could of course bring all that and more with the state of North Carolina. I don’t think GT can bring that much. FSU could, if the B1G can get over the AAU thing. I strongly doubt Boston College could. I strongly doubt Duke could. I strongly doubt Kansas could. Notre Dame could. Texas could. Oklahoma could. Missouri could. So to answer your question what is the limit? The limit is the number of big money schools you can get. I guess in theory that could go all the way to 40 or so. In practice it’s probably more like 16 or 17.

          • cutter says:

            Well, 17 isn’t a practical number, so you’re looking at either a 16-team or 18-tean conference. A foursome of Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia Tech and Florida State, for example, certainly sounds like it could get to that threshold per your comments.

            And for clarity sake, the $40M we’re talking about here is conference distributions (which includes net bowl revenue, men’s NCAA tournament distributions and other miscellaneous sources beyond television).

            If a hypothetical Big Ten with 18 members that added the schools above were to get a television deal somewhere between what the Pac 10 ($30M per school annually) received and what the SEC is projected to get ($34M per school annually), then the new post-season revenue figures starting in 2014 along with no growth in NCAA tournament money or other miscellaneous sources per school should put the B1G at around $40M.

            It’ll be interesting to see what shakes out. The Big Ten is projecting per school revenue from conference distributions post 2017 to be $43M per school with the additions of Maryland and Rutgers–see The 2018 figure is $44M with 2019 at $45M.

            Your contention, as I understand it, is that UVa, UNC and FSU would not necessarily hurt that projection, but adding Duke would do it if the B1G were to get to 18 schools. Is that correct? If those four schools were hypothetically added to the B1G prior to the television negotiations starting, then where do you think that $43M per school projection for a 14-team conference will end up? Would it be under $40M? Would it be over $40M and less than $43M?

          • Andy says:

            I don’t think the B1G will take FSU, and I don’t think the B1G would get UNC w/o Duke.

      • cutter says:

        If we’re reading the tea leaves correctly on B1G expansion, then Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia Tech are all schools that are probable candidates due to demographics, research budgets, academic profiles and geography. That would move the conference from 14 to 17 members and give it a presence eastward from Lincoln, NE to New York City and southward to Atlanta.

        At that point, the conference is looking at adding one to three more additional schools. Keep in mind the two goals that were outlined at the beginning of this process–the primary one to add to the CIC research consortium and secondary one to make the B1G athletic departments more financially self-sufficient.

        From the CIC/research side, there are two schools that are located in states that are already “covered” geographically–that’s Duke and Pittsburgh. If a prerequisite for getting UNC into the B1G is inviting Duke and/or the CIC really wants them, then the Blue Devils will be the #18 school. I’ll also add that if the conference feels that adding one or both of these schools won’t set the athletic department financials back too far, then that would help their causes as well.

        At that point, we may be looking at two more schools to round out the conference at 20 members. As a non-AAU member that doesn’t have much market value to the B1G, Boston College’s only realistic opportunity at getting in is if it’s a prerequisite for getting Notre Dame to say yes (I suppose the same might hold true if UConn or Syracuse were part of this as well). If that scenario holds true, then those are the last two members of the Big Ten.

        The other school in question is Florida State. Would the B1G invite two non-AAU schools (ND, FSU) or will they be willing to extend an invitation to just one? At this point, the conference’s value judgments and financial projections begin to take hold. From a strictly television dollars and cents discussion, Notre Dame and Florida State are two kings. What it would mean for the B1G is that 3 of its 20 members are non-AAU programs though (although they don’t seem to have had a problem with ND in the past and Nebraska was on the way out of the AAU when it was invited). OTOH, Pittsburgh has most everything going for it from the academic/research side, but fails in terms of geography and demographics.

        I include Notre Dame in these scenarios because their evaluations on the future of college athletics from South Bend would have to include at least two 16- or more team conferences (Big Ten, SEC) that will have a huge amount of influence on what transpires in the future. ND could always try to work with the Big XII or a newly reconfigured ACC to remain a semi-independent in football or it could join a conference that has the widest geographic reach possible in order to maintain some semblance of the image it wants to project as a national program.

        So here’s how the I feel possible scenarios may play out if the B1G becomes a twenty-university entity provided they get commits from UVa, UNC and GaTech:

        1. Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Duke, Notre Dame, Boston College
        2. Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Duke, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh
        3. Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Duke, Notre Dame, Florida State
        4. Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Duke, Florida State, Pittsburgh
        5. Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Boston College, Florida State
        6. Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Florida State

        We’ll see what happens here over the course of the next few months. The Big XII and the Big Ten are clearly meeting on and planning expansion scenarios. The SEC is looking at launching its own network in 2014 and if it makes financial sense, they could be reaching into the states of North Carolina or VIrginia for additional members (not to mention what would happen if UGa, UFl or USC agreed it was okay for Ga Tech, Clemson, FSU or Miami to join the SEC). The B1G will have its own television negotiations coming into view with ABC/ESPN and Fox (with its two “new” sports channels and a large stake in the YES! Network in NYC) looking to competitively bid for major college football and men’s basketball content. Maryland and the ACC will come to some sort of settlement that may clear the way for further actions by other schools. Stay tuned.

        • Andy says:

          If the B1G expands, it will take UVA and GT. It will then compete with the SEC for UNC and Duke. If it loses, I think they stay at 16. If they win, I think they go to 18 and stop. There’s truly no reason to go to 20.

          • cutter says:

            Are you saying that the Big Ten would not go to 20 programs if Notre Dame or Florida State were willing to join the membership? If a case could be made that a 20 team B1G would make more revenue per team than a 18 school conference, would that be a reason to do it?

          • Andy says:

            Sure, if the B1G can get FSU, ND, Texas, OU, Missouri, North Carolina, and Virginia then they’d happily expand to 21.

            With each higher number you need a better school to take on to make it worth it or you shrink the pot for all existing members. Boston College, Georgia Tech, and Duke aren’t going to cut it.

          • Transic says:

            Why not go: UVa, NCSU, GT, FSU, Pitt and either Norter Dumb or UConn? The SEC is likely to have UNC/Duke. The Big XII is left with Miami, Clemson, VT, Louisville, Cincy and either Norter Dumb or Houston.

          • Andy says:

            uconn, ncsu and fsu are not aau. b1g won’t take them. pitt adds nothing. notre dame isn’t interested.

        • Great post. I agree with all your statements…althought I can’t imagine ANY scenario where Pitt gets in. I also struggle to see the B1G taking Duke and BC. They just seem to small on the football dial. Taking UVA/Maryland/Rutgers already dilute football significantly…Duke and BC just tip the football scale too far.

          I think scenario 3 or 5 make the most sense in a 20-team league. It gives you 2 new powerhouses (ND and FSU)…scores of new markets…all great academic schools (except FSU/BC/ND)…plus great basketball, which will be important for the BTN’s new strategy for winter viewing.

          • Transic says:

            Funny you mention Maryland and Rutgers as “diluting” with schools like Purdue, Illinois and Minnesota already in. Sometimes I wonder why some people can’t see the potential that is developing.

            Maryland and Rutgers will be fine in this conference.

          • Andy says:

            maybe after 20 years of heavy investment, if they’re lucky.

          • Maryland and Rutgers are indeed “Purdue” and “Minnesota” like additions…although PU/UM have slightly better histories in football. But you’re missing the point. Minny and Purdue are already in…you further dilute by adding MORE schools like them. When you PSU and Nebraska, the league gets stronger in football. Every conference has its weaker teams (Ole Miss, Vandy, Kentucky…in the SEC). My point is…you can’t add 8 schools in a few year span and have them all dilute the pool for football. You need some blockbusters (ND, FSU would fit that bill)…you need some lukewarm programs (UNC, GaTech)…and you need some mediocre ones (UMD, Rutgers, UVA, BC/orDuke).

            Ask the Pac-12 (Utah and Colorado)…the Big 12 (TCU)…and the SEC (Missouri) if what I’m saying is correct.

    • BruceMcF says:

      Regarding this particular characterization courtesy of Brian: “He said his sources told him this, but he ignored their warning about the timing and assumed they would announce quickly like MD did.” …

      … I feel very little need to suspend disbelief on the “he ignored their warning” part.

  48. Dave says:

    A few years ago, after Nebraska and Colorado left the Big XII and the Texas and Oklahoma schools flirted with the then Pac-10, there was some concern that schools like Iowa State and Kansas could become orphans. Now, if Maryland manages to escape the ACC without having to pay the full $53M exit fee and there is a run on ACC schools by the Big Ten, Big XII, and SEC, could there be another orphan situation? Who’s going to pick up Wake Forest? Will BC join the Catholic 7? Could Miami actually find itself without a home??

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      The situation with the Big 12 in 2010 was very unique a few years back. Almost the entire conference was under the possibility of being raided, with few 3-5 exceptions like Iowa State and Baylor. The Pac-12 was threatening to take 6 out of 12 schools. The Big Ten took 1, although it was thought possible for the B1G to take 2 (Nebraska and Missouri, plus either ND or and east coast school like Maryland, Rutgers, or Syracuse). The SEC was also looking at Texas A&M and of course would have looked at Missouri for #14. Indeed, had the Pac-16 come to fruition, there would have been orphans. Iowa State & co. would have had to find a league to join such as the Big East, C-USA, or the Mountain West because there would have been so few schools left in the Big 12 for them to have the ability to raid lower leagues.

      If the ACC gets picked apart, and as an ACC fan I sure hope it doesn’t, it will be incremental rather than a full-out raid. If the Big Ten takes, say, UNC and Duke, the ACC will vote in Cincinnati and UConn. If the SEC then votes in NC State and Va. Tech, the ACC will respond with another move, perhaps taking Navy (football only), Georgetown (everything else), and maybe Houston. If Florida State, Georgia Tech, Miami, and Clemson went off to the Big 12, then the ACC would take USF, UCF, Temple, and, I don’t know, ECU. And so on. Just like with the Big East or C-USA, there would be a replacement made with each loss along the way. Wake Forest, Boston College, Pitt, Syracuse, and possibly another stronger, but very unlucky, member like Va. Tech, Virginia, or NC State could be stuck with a bunch of scraps from the Big East/C-USA, but they wouldn’t be orphaned like Iowa State, looking to join the Big East.

      They’re both doomsday scenarios, though.

      For that matter, UConn, Cincinnati, and USF may still be in the Big East, but they’re basically “abandoned” by their former/soon-to-be-former conference partners every bit as much as Baylor, Iowa State, K-State, & co. would have been in 2010.

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      Yes, there would be an “orphan” situation, since a number of ACC schools are not desired by any of the Big Four leagues. In that case, I think the ACC remainders would absorb the better half of the Big East. The resulting league would look an awful lot like the old Big East: mediocre at football, but pretty impressive in basketball.

      One frequent poster on this board has suggested that schools leaving for other leagues would, as a parting gesture, vote to dissolve the ACC, walking away with its money and its tournament credits. This seems to me profoundly unlikely. Once those schools leave, they’d have no use for the ACC name, but that name would remain valuable to the leftovers. So they’d continue to call themselves the ACC.

      That league would probably include some combination of Syracuse, UConn, Pitt, BC, Wake Forest, Louisville, Cincinnati, South Florida, Central Florida, Memphis, and Navy. That’s not a bad basketball-first league. The elephant in the room is whether Notre Dame would be willing to be in that conference, on similar terms that it was previously in the Big East.

      • bullet says:

        It is probable in a mass quick raid they would vote to dissolve (not saying its likely that 8-10 schools leave by August, but if they did). Then the exit fees would be void and the basketball credits would go with the schools that earned them. I’m sure they’d do a deal to let the remaining schools keep the name and agree not to sue, so the effect would still be that there would be an ACC with a bunch of former BE and CUSA teams.

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          That’s a reasonable outcome that I could envision in the unlikely event of a VERY quick collapse of the ACC’s core.

        • BruceMcF says:

          However, if the first raid is announced just before the August 15 deadline to put in their notice to leave by July the following year, to minimize the period when the ACC works to undermine the departing schools, then the first set of schools raided won’t have votes.

      • frug says:

        As the poster being referenced I should say that what I said was there was no guarantee the departing schools wouldn’t vote to dissolve the league. I never said, nor implied, it was a certainty.

        • BruceMcF says:

          The point I was making is that even if the total numbers of departures are at the extreme high end, which looked at en bloc might permit that vote, the sequence of departures is critical: if the process starts out with one conference expansion with announcements times for just before the deadline, the first set may have surrendered their vote before the balance of the departures have been finalized.

  49. JB says:

    Can someone explain the Tiers 1, 2, and 3.

    There are lots of comparisons between conference tv deals. But isn’t the relevant comparison the $ per game sold, not the $ per Tier?

    The B1G’s ABC deal is $100mm per year for 42 games, or $2.5mm per game.
    The Big 12’s ABC/Fox deal is $200mm per year for 25 games, or $8mm per game.

    If those numbers are right, I imagine the next B1G contract will be massive.

    As conferences get bigger, and as there are more cable networks competing for inventory, will there be more tiers? Will there be B1G deals with ABC/ESPN, Fox/Fox Sports, NBC Sports, and then whatever else doesn’t get sold goes on the BTN?

    • metatron says:

      It’s more or less who has the first pick to air what and when.

    • wmwolverine says:

      ABC deal is a ABC/ESPN deals, right?

    • frug says:

      Tier 1 means first choice, and refers to games broadcast nationally over the air on ABC, Fox and CBS.

      Tier 2 refers to games broadcast on national cable like ESPN and Fox.

      Tier 3 is stuff sold locally.

    • JB says:

      I guess I am trying to understand how the games will be bid out. In a B1G 20, with one bye per week, you would have 10 weeks of 9 games to broadcast. So you have 9 “units” that some network can buy (I am ignoring OOC games for now). Let’s assume that you need 4 units (40 games) to keep on the BTN in order to justify all those subscriber fees (and probably a requirement that each school is on BTN at least twice). The top 5 units would be bid out. Unit 1 would have best game and time slot, unit 2 would have second best, etc. etc.

      You would solicit bids in any combination of units. For example, News Corp could all buy 5 units as a loss-leader to promote FSN 1 and FSN 2. Or they could just bid on the top unit for the Fox prime time game. Networks would value the combinations differently, and the B1G 20 would just select the combination that resulted in the most money.

      Is that how the bidding would work? It seems more complicated than 3 tiers.

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        Tier 1, 2, and 3, are simply the terms of art that have evolved in the industry. Each tier does not equate to one game. The exact definition of the tiers varies by conference. For instance, in some conferences, Tier 3 denotes the rights retained by each school. But in the Big Ten, the schools have retained nothing, so the conference-owned Big Ten Network is Tier 3.

        Obviously, in a 20-school Big Ten, the top-two tiers would be more valuable, because the league would have better inventory to sell. So instead of Michigan State at Purdue on ESPN2 on some random Saturday, you’d have Illinois at Florida State.

        In addition, the Big Ten Network would have basic carriage in more markets, and it would be a more valuable network, because it would have more games and better games.

      • BruceMcF says:

        Its not a week by week auction. What is sold is the right to broadcast a certain number of games, over a number of football seasons. Tier 1, which could be a single free to air broadcaster or could be a combination of free to air broadcasters, and gets first pick of a limited number of games.

        Tier 2 is then second pick, normally one or more cable narrowcasters, normally of a larger number of games.

        Then Tier 3 are whatever games are not picked up by the Tier 1 or Tier 2 broadcasters. Plus non-revenue sports (anything except football and men’s basketball).

        Tier 1 would not likely increase in number, but could well, as noted, increase in value if the result of an expansion is either better ratings for the conference in the expanded conference area and/or a better selection of games available.

        Tier 2 could well increase in number, if the Tier2 contract holder is willing to pay more for the right to air additional games.

        Now, the Big Ten has a Tier1/Tier2 contract with ABC/ESPN, in the same media conglomerate, so the “first pick, second pick” is not such a big deal, but SEC has its Tier 1 rights with CBS and its Tier 2 right with ESPN, so CBS is definitely just looking out for #1 when it makes its selection out of the SEC schedule.

        Thanksgiving Weekend 2012 for the Big Ten was broadcast as:
        12:00pm ABC Huskers @ Hawkeyes
        12:00pm ABC TSUN @ OSU
        12:00pm BTN Illinois @ Northwestern
        12:00pm BTN Indiana @ Purdue
        3:30pm ESPN2 WI @ Penn State
        3:30pm BTN MSU @ MN

        IOW, ABC picked the Black Friday game, Nebraska at Iowa, and The Game on Saturday and ESPN picked Wisconsin at Penn State to air on ESPN2 (at 3:30 since they had GTech @ UGA on ESPN and Rutgers @ Pitt on ESPN2 at noon).

        The other three games were not picked by ABC/ESPN, so they were on the BTN.

        So the BTN doesn’t reserve games: rather, it gets the leftovers.

  50. C. Toda says:

    You guys are missing 1 thing the influx of oil/gas money into western Pa. and eastern Ohio changes everything .People go where the money is .

    • Mark says:

      I don’t think we know if this is a 5 year boom or a 50 year boom yet. Also not sure how many families are moving into these areas vs. just the men with the wife and kids at home similar to what is going on in the Dakotas.

    • jbcwv says:

      What’s your point? Is Akron going to be a sought-after commodity because of the Utica Shale, or perhaps the OU Bobcats? Youngstown State moving up? Is Pitt going to be the next Texas?

      In any event, I think the impact from shale is overblown. See this article:

      “One economist noted that the windfall payments from the natural gas boom are wonderful for individuals, but that they represent just a tiny portion of total economic activity.”

      The article goes on to say that royalty payments are less than one quarter of one percent of PA’s economic activity. Obviously there’s more with wages and capital investment, and some of that will trickle to universities, but I seriously doubt it’s a game-changer. And I say that as someone who lives in an actively drilled Marcellus shale county and who’s seen the economic effects first hand.

      • C. Toda says:

        jbcvw ; When was the last time someone invested 3 billion dollars in your area to start .To start ! That doesn’t count all the stuff needed to drill or support the wells or the people to run things .Good well paying jobs means the population will increase . People to watch tv sets go to football games and send there kids to colleges (like Kent ,Youngstown and Akron) . Maybe if there good enough, to play for Ohio State.Look and see how big the shale areas are, there huge ! Simply everything has changed.

        • Transic says:

          Jobs like oil/gas are transient and go “where the action is.” Oil/gas is also finite in a particular area. When they fall to a certain point where it’s too expensive to drill, the people move elsewhere. Still, good to see WPA getting some action. They need it.

        • jbcwv says:

          C. Toda, 3 billion dollars is a nice economic jolt, but it simply isn’t a game-changer. There are four million people in Western PA, so even if you were to spend that money as a direct subsidy to every man, woman and child in the area, you’re still talking only 750 dollars a person. That’s something like one week’s pay, a 2% bump in income for one year. And a very large percentage of this investment will never, ever find its way into the pockets of the vast majority of the population. Mark also brings up a good point that a substantial number of O&G workers will never settle permanently into the region, so a bunch of the wage money basically serves as remittances to Louisiana and Texas.

          Can you explain how shale gas in this region is going to impact college football?

    • Mark says:

      Politics aside, I think most parents feel that same way. Football could have a path similar to boxing in 50 years. I think kickoffs are gone within 5 years max.

      • bullet says:

        Get replaced by MMA which is even more violent?!

        • Mark says:

          I’m not aware of any high schools with MMA programs but I guess they could exist.

          • bullet says:

            Boxing is getting displaced by MMA.

          • jj says:

            I’ve seen MMA with what appear to be 5-7 year olds. That’s insane.

          • jj says:

            Actually, MMA is insane. The kids is child abuse.

          • zeek says:

            @bullet and Mark

            You’re both right in some sense.

            MMA is more violent than football.

            But the youth/college path to MMA is generally wrestling and the development of good ground game fundamentals for those who come into MMA from those backgrounds. Certainly much safer for head injuries than football at those ages.

          • bullet says:

            I used to watch boxing back when there were only 1 or 2 champions in a division before it started getting organized more like WWE. I can’t watch MMA. That’s just brutal beating. With kids its crazy.

        • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

          MMA is far less likely to cause the type of brain trauma endemic to boxing & (seemingly) modern football. Apperances aside MMA does not post nearly the same long term chronic risks.

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        I don’t have kids yet but you I have no plans whatsoever of steering any future sons towards football.

    • @bullet – Personally, I feel the same way. I’ve discussed this with my wife quite a bit with all of the concussion and CTE stories and we do not want our son playing football (despite him having excellent tackling form at 3 1/2 years old). I know that I’m not the only one that’s a big football fan from a spectator perspective that has come to this conclusion. Now, does that mean football will go the way of boxing? I’m not necessarily buying that (or at least that we’ll witness the same type of rapid decline). What I’d anticipate is that Midwestern areas similar to culture to where I live now (Naperville, which is a western suburb of Chicago) will shift away from the football in the same way that New England already has done. (And to be sure, Naperville and its surrounding towns currently have very strong youth and high school football programs.) My guess is that it will take a lot longer for the South and Texas to get to that point.

      • bullet says:

        We aren’t going to stop it, but we aren’t going to encourage it. Don’t think that’s really likely to be the sport he likes anyway.

        The significant part is you have a President say it. But then (not trying to be political here) President Obama has never seemed to quite understand how much impact what he says really has. It was probably just an off the cuff remark.

        As I’ve said here before, the problem is the players have gotten so big and fast and strong. They wouldn’t be able to be as big if you had limited substitution and they had to play both ways.

        • @bullet – Yeah, we’ll see if my son actually even would want to play football, although he has asked about it since we have had him try basketball, teeball/baseball and soccer classes up to this point. (Basketball and baseball seem to be his favorites, which doesn’t shock me since those are the sports that I played the most, too.)

          I think Obama’s comment was actually very calculated (and I’m not someone that voted for him). Remember which demographic group has been the key for every presidential election since 1992 and probably every election going forward for the foreseeable future: suburban women with children. They are the swing vote in every swing state that matters on the political map (Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania are well-known and now Colorado and Virginia are in that group) as people that sympathize with Republican views on fiscal issues (as they are more affluent than the general population) and Democrats on social issues (e.g. abortion, gay rights, etc.). The football comment hits right at home on that front in terms of child safety, which is quite possibly the single most important pillar of reaching that group. (George W. Bush and Karl Rove hammered that hard in 2004 in selling their national defense strategy as a “we’re going to keep your family safer than the other guy” line of thinking.) I don’t think football safety is something that Obama is trying to specifically harp on, but it feeds into the overall narrative that virtually every politician wants (no matter which side of the aisle he or she is on) of being concerned about the welfare of children. He’s trying to say, “I know what parents are worried about out there and I care about their kids.” That’s always an inarguable political position to take (because no one is going to say that they *don’t* care about child safety).

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            Frank, it’s this type of thoughtfulness where I find myself saying, “Gosh, I never thought of it from that angle,” that consistently leads me to your blog. Whether you’re right in your predictions about conference realignment or not, you provide great insight by using critical thinking & analysis in ways most don’t consider that makes your opinion worthy of being heard.

            Keep up the great work!

          • @Michael in Raleigh – Thanks – I really appreciate that.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            “I think Obama’s comment was actually very calculated”
            —Hence the molding for his political audience with the union comment.

            As an aside the continuous Helen Lovejoy refrain of “think of the children!” is something I find particularly sickening (regardless of political affiliation).

      • bullet says:

        I’m definitely not a fan of organized elementary age football with full contact/uniforms. Had a relative suffer a neck injury (fully recovered after about a month) and didn’t tell the coaches and stayed in the game. Could have been much worse. You’ve got volunteer coaches, elementary age kids with undeveloped judgement. Not a good combination. With unsupervised backyard games, you aren’t going to have the helmets and aren’t going to be playing/practicing quite as much. And with flag football you don’t have the contact and do have all the skills (we’ve done that).

  51. bullet says:

    Not many specifics, but general comments that there will be a lot of changes in where and how bowls are done.

  52. frug says:

    How a $91 million loan on the Marlins ballpark will cost Miami-Dade $1.2 billion

  53. Andy says:

    FYI, to any Cavalier fans here, apparently Penn State cancelled their game with Virginia, and now Virginia’s replacement opponent has been narrowed down to two finalists: Oregon and Missouri.

  54. Transic says:

    Here is the thing: I have no way of knowing what the B1G’s battle plan is (other than getting a read from Gordon Gee’s comments recently). However, I would think that they have a Plan A, a Plan B and even a Plan C.

    Plan A would the obvious schools mentioned in the news: UVa, UNC, GT, FSU, ND, maybe Duke, Pitt, UConn or BC. If they can pull that off then they essentially erase all doubts as to who’s the most powerful conference in the land.

    However, if they don’t have a Plan B and a Plan C, considering that they’re supposed to be academics, then that would be a gross error in planning.

    Now how would I do a Plan B? Well, I look at the landscape first to see how to best acquire access to new student population, new recruiting grounds, new partners to take the conference going forward, etc.. Next, I do a competition analysis. Look at how competitors are doing and what threats and advantages are there to look for. My primary threat is the SEC, followed by the Big XII, ACC and Pac-12. Other conferences would be mentioned, depending on which team is likely to have a good run to the playoffs.

    First the SEC. They currently enjoy a massive following. The schools are located in the southern and border states, some of which offer substantial sources for recruiting. Some of the schools (the so-called football factories) constantly get away with oversigning. Even when NCAA sanctions are placed they only slow down the process. The SEC, partnered with the Big XII, are power brokers in the BCS.

    Primary threat? Natural recruiting advantage followed by media exposure and regional pride. Schools are solidly in the conference. Some doubt whether MU is solidly in but my thinking is that they’re content and not interested in moving.

    Obstacles? Since Big XII has a Grant of Rights, almost impossible to negotiate with certain schools, so East and South is the better bet. Ironically, regional pride has prevented the SEC from going way outside their general area but has no need to. However, would like to get into Virginia and North Carolina. The SEC’s biggest weakness is the ACC, with schools located in states that can provide recruiting needed to bolster original Big Ten athletic departments. The SEC knows this and will try to block the Big Ten, using the Big XII as a stalking horse. Objective here is to appeal to cultural affinity, rants against “Carpetbaggers”, anti-North, anti-B1G propaganda. This will be used on UNC, for sure. The Big XII will try to get 6 additional schools for their conference and, they hope, convince UVa to keep to the South and join UNC to the SEC, with Duke as a non-football member.

    Strategy? The B1G has tremendous prestige but would be hard to convince schools below the Mace Dix to join what they see as a northern conference. So sell them on the idea of a national conference. Something that hasn’t been done before. An assembly of athletic and academic powers into a dynamic conference that attracts the best students and better student-athletes. This would require a good seller, which would run counter to the B1G’s desire to work quietly. The goal would be to enter states to blunt the enormous advantage of the SEC. States that should be coveted: Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Connecticut, Texas, Oklahoma, New York. Schools that could be potential new partners: UConn, Syracuse, U. Virginia, NC State, U. North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Duke University, Clemson University, Florida State University and U. of Miami (Fla). No Big XII schools are available, so that leaves three off the list.

    The art of the possible: The goal should be to add at least four new states. This is where the B1G is going to have to face reality and slightly lower their expectations. Getting the optimal adds may not be possible now but staying at 14 is not their desire, either. So this is how I’d lay out the plan:

    Syr, UVa, UNC, GT
    UVa, UNC, GT, FSU
    UVa, UNC, Syr, UConn
    UVa, UNC, GT, Miami
    Syr, UConn, VT, NCSU
    UVa, Duke, Clemson, GT
    VT, UNC, GT, Miami
    UVa, Duke, GT, Miami
    Syr, UConn, Duke, UVa
    UVa, UNC, GT, Clemson
    Syr, UConn, VT, UNC
    Syr, UConn, VT, Duke
    VT, NCSU, Clemson, GT

    I’m not going to list them all but you get the idea of how it can be done. Elitism makes way for reality in my plan. That’s hard enough for a group of institutions used to having their way but the SEC is eating their lunch on the football field and they’re going to have to do something to bolster their athletic lineup elsewhere. Remember, it’s not so much the individual schools but the states they’re in. The SEC will block some of them or the ACC could pull itself together and fight on for years to come. No outcome is guaranteed. Execution requires sharp skills, exceptional political acumen and flexibility.

    Constructive critiques appreciated

    • cutter says:

      The basis of your analysis is that the current football prowess of the SEC is a driving factor in how the Big Ten is planning on expanding the conference. In your SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) of the situation, you see that conference and its recruiting prowess as a threat to the Big Ten along with media exposure and regional pride.

      I disagree with your assessment because the Big Ten is working from a different playbook. The conference’s top leadership from the Council of Presidents/Chancellors (COP/C) have a different primary goal in this. For them, strengthening the Council on Institutional Cooperation (CIC)’s organization by adding AAU/research oriented schools will help their academic and financial bottom lines is more important than fielding teams that can match up on the field with the SEC in its present form. Keep in mind that the research budgets for these schools largely outstrip the athletic department (at Michigan, for example, it’s about $1.3B v. $130M). As a secondary goal, the COP/C wants to make its athletic programs more financially self-sufficient because overall funding from state and federal sources is decreasing. Having an athletic department that can support itself without tapping into university funds or student fee assessments is a large part of what’s going on here.

      With that in mind, I think you can reasonably eliminate most any scenario with a non-AAU school outside of Notre Dame and perhaps Florida State (that gets rids of Syracuse, Connecticut, Clemson, Boston College and perhaps Miami). ND and FSU would go a long way towards contributing to the secondary goal, but not to the primary one in the near term (again, perhaps Miami would be in the mix too if having the Hurricanes in the fold helps the athletic department revenue side of the equation). Demographics is in play here as well, so while the northeast is populous, its growth rate is in other regions–another reason why programs like SU, UConn and BC wouldn’t make sense (unless, perhaps as a prerequisite for adding ND to the conference).

      IMHO, Plan A would be adding at least Virginia and Georgia Tech to the conference to get to 16 members. I say “at least” because it’s fairly evident that the B1G is interested in North Carolina, but so is the SEC. In order to bring UNC into the conference, a similar overture may have to be made to Duke or Florida State. In concert with all this, I have to imagine the B1G will keep a door open to Notre Dame. ND has to realize that the SEC, which has its new network coming on line soon and is looking at $34M per school in television revenue, is also looking at ACC schools to join their conference (not to mention the Big XII, based on Bowlsby’s comments). In sum, ND may either be looking for a new home or settling on being part of a “new” ACC that will look a lot like the Big East did a few years ago.

      We’ll see what happens. The conventional wisdom is that everyone is waiting until the ACC-Maryland lawsuits are settled until any concrete moves are made. In the interim, I’m sure the Big Ten, SEC and Big XII are all in contact with the target schools to some degree and have worked on their presentations and transition plans that will outline how those programs will be integrated into their conferences, what the expected revenue streams would be, etc.

      The Big Ten (along with the SEC and Big XII) has the opportunity to expand the geographic footprints of its conference. What I suspect it would offer any perspective school is an organization that spans from Lincoln, NE through the Midwest (including Chicago, Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Detroit, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, Pittsburgh) to New York City and then southward to at least Atlanta or the Florida panhandle (which includes Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington DC, Richmond and Charlotte). I also imagine that if it went to a 20-team organization, we could see two dedicated network channels (BTN1 and BTN2) along with two conference offices (one in the Chicago area, one in the #1 media capital of the world, New York). The conference can also say that it’s looking forward to a very competitive bidding process between ABC/ESPN and Fox (with two “new” sports channels on hand plus a major interest in the YES! Network in NYC) to secure Tier 1 and Tier 2 football rights plus men’s basketball. Finally, of course, they can point to being a part of the CIC, perhaps the most influential academic consortium in the country). In a SWOT analysis, that’s a “S” and an “O”.

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      Very thoughtful piece, but you seem to have fallen into the “expansion for expansion’s sake” trap. You also seem to have assumed that if the Big Ten adds any schools, it’ll add four. You don’t consider the possibility of stopping at 16 (temporarily or permanently), if they get only two schools that meet their criteria.

      A few points:

      1) There is no existential reason to add schools. The only reason to do so, is if the new members are a good fit culturally and academically, are financially accretive, bring in important new markets, and are competitive athletically, preferably in football.

      2) Some of the schools you’ve listed are WAAAAAAY outside the Big Ten’s known priorities: UConn, Syracuse, N. C. State, Clemson. I think the Big Ten would say that if those schools are the best they can get, they’d rather just stay at 14.

      3) Even Florida State, Miami, and Virginia Tech are a stretch, since those three aren’t in the AAU, although they’re at least schools that might be in the AAU eventually. I could see a scenario where one of those schools is the fourth in a multi-school package, where everyone else joining is an AAU member. Even that proposition is contentious.

      4) It’s also worth noting that Syracuse and UConn are basically “available forever.” None of the other Big Four conferences will ever want them. So there is simply no need to rush out and grab those two schools, because there is no competitive threat.

      Rather than thinking in quartets of schools, I’d look at both pairs and quartets, since Delany probably won’t add an odd number. If he could get UVA and GT, I think he’d be happy to stop there, and wait for the next shoe to drop. He wouldn’t say, “I need four, so I’ll add Syracuse and UConn.”

      The more interesting question is, if a trio of AAU schools fell into Delany’s lap — say UVA, UNC, and GT — who would be an acceptable fourth? If the ACC were undermined to that extent, it’s safe to say that Delany would have the pick of the basket, limited only by what the SEC and Big XII do. Would they go for academics (Duke) or athletics (FSU)?

      • David Brown says:

        The entire College Football (And Basketball) reallignment is essentially a game a musical chairs. There are only so many chairs available for the Big 10, Big XII, Pac-12, and SEC, which means that these Conferences can be very selective who they choose to let in. As far as the Big 10 is concerned, it means expanding the footprint (And thus the Big 10 Network’s coverage area), or at worse be a National Power like Nebraska, while at the same time helping in the Academic area with Research $$$$$. Rutgers and Maryland expands the footprint, Boston College, Pitt and UConn do not. I cannot see the Big 10 picking Duke or Georgia Tech, because although they are superior Academic Institutions, they do nothing for the Big 10 Network or upgrading sports. I know Duke under Coach K, is awesome, but the Big 10 is always thinking long term, and what happens when Coach K retires? So I do not expect to see the Big 10 expand until they see what the landscape is (Conference Reallignment & the new TV Contract) I think the next domino to watch will be the upcoming TV Contract for the “Catholic 7″ and whatever schools join them (Butler & Xavier?), then the Big 10 TV deal, then we may see something out of the Big XII (BYU makes a lot of sense, and if they build the New Football Stadium so does UNLV, Florida State & Clemson). It will be interesting going forward.

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          You’re more bearish on Duke and GT than the facts warrant.

          Several sources in the B1G have said that they foresee a super-conference of 16-20 schools. Given the B1G’s emphasis on AAU membership, it’s practically impossible to imagine that Duke and GT aren’t on their short list.

          I doubt that the B1G is worried about what happens when Coach K retires. Schools that are good at sports tend to stay good, because they have long-term structural advantages that transcend any particular individual. Did North Carolina stop being good at basketball after Dean Smith retired? How about Indiana after Bobby Knight left? Of course not.

          • David Brown says:

            If you look at Indiana since Coach Knight left, how many National Championships have they won? Zero. Notre Dame after Lou Holtz left? Zero. UCLA since Coach Wooden retired ONE! Just because you have a great program with a great coach does not mean it extends after he leaves. The Big 10 knows this, they also know that Duke and (Especially) Georgia Tech are like kid sisters to North Carolina and Georgia in football (Despite how they excel in the classrooms and the hardwood). I think they would prefer Duke to Tech (Although both do little for the Conference). Why? Georgia Tech, is essentially Purdue Southern Style: Great in Engineering, inferior at sports (Particularly football), and competes without the drum.

          • bullet says:

            Duke has always been good. They have had 13 losing seasons. They were in 3 final 4s in the 60s. 7 of their 13 losing seasons were 1930s or earlier. 3 were from 1940 to 1980(all 3 in the early 70s). Since Coach K took over in 1980 he’s had 3 in his 32 years. They had 73 wins in the 3 years before Coach K got there. Took him 5 years to get that many. He’s a great coach, but he’s not the reason Duke is good at basketball.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            Don’t cherry-pick. Schools that are kings in any sport, tend to remain kings. Why did you omit Alabama after Bear Bryant retired, Oklahoma after Bud Wilkinson, Ohio State after Woody Hayes, Kansas after Larry Brown or Roy Williams, Michigan after Schembechler (or Crisler or Yost) etc.?

            But you’re using the wrong metric anyway. If you’re thinking of adding Notre Dame to your conference, you don’t give a damn whether they win. All you care about is whether people want to watch them. There is a reason why Notre Dame is the only school with its own broadcast TV deal. It’s not because NBC was feeling generous. It’s because people watch..

            It’s hard to imagine any coach duplicating John Wooden’s record at UCLA. But although UCLA won only won championship since he retired, they made it back to the tourney 25 of the next 30 years. I think you’d find that puts them in pretty elite company.

          • Purduemoe says:

            Hey David, screw you and your condescension ! If you keep trashing Purdue well sick Berbard Pollard on you.

          • Purduemoe says:

            Hey David, screw you and your condescension ! If you keep trashing Purdue well sick Bernard Pollard on you.

      • Brian says:

        Marc Shepherd,

        I largely agree with you, but I’ll play devil’s advocate on one point.

        “2) Some of the schools you’ve listed are WAAAAAAY outside the Big Ten’s known priorities: UConn, Syracuse, N. C. State, Clemson. I think the Big Ten would say that if those schools are the best they can get, they’d rather just stay at 14.”

        Unless the B10 views owning NYC as a major goal, in which case UConn and SU gain in importance. They are two of the top 6 fans bases in NYC in FB and obviously would be big in hoops, too. In addition, SU adds a huge state in NY. CT is not so important, but the B10 would have NYC surrounded.

        NYC FB fans according to Nate Silver:
        RU – 607k
        ND – 267k
        PSU – 186k
        UConn – 150k
        MI – 144k
        SU – 134k
        Miami – 77k

    • Andy says:

      the b1g isn’t going to go to 18 or 20 just to go to 18 or 20. there are only a few schools that they would take at all, and I’m assuming they’re basically in this order:

      1. Notre Dame (highly unlikely)
      2. Texas (not an option)
      3. North Carolina
      4. Virginia
      5. Georgia Tech
      6. Duke
      7. Missouri (not an option)
      8. FSU (not AAU so maybe not an option)
      9. Kansas (football is so bad that maybe not an option, also grant of rights to big 12)

      I think that’s where the list ends. I wouldn’t put Syracuse, Pitt, Boston College, Oklahoma, NC State, Clemson, or Virginia Tech on that list.

      So then it really comes down to does the SEC get UNC and Duke? If so I think the B1G gets UVA and GT and stops at 16. Or they get UNC/UVA/Duke/GT and stop at 18.

      • mushroomgod says:

        Hate to say this…..but I think I agree with Andy 100%……

        I think VA and GT are interesting to the BIG presidents for a lot of reasons……one that really hasn’t been discussed much is that that are complemetary in academic disciplines….VA is like NW when it comes to the humanities (although NW eng. is pretty good also), while GT’s engineering is like Purdue +……

        With respect to GT, I recall seeing a ranking (Princeton’s?) which listed GT’s student body as the
        gloomiest nationally…..really competitve school + 60+/40- M/F ratio……

      • BruceMcF says:

        Pretty much. I wouldn’t put Duke so high, but if its UNC/UVA/GTech and Duke is available as an 18th, they’d take Duke over Pitt. The only non-AAU schools I can see them putting on a long list would be Notre Dame, which has good enough academic prestige in professional grad schools to get by without it, and FSU, because its the only one that might possibly be worth the knock down drag out fight about it.

        • Andy says:

          I thought about putting Duke at 8th behind Missouri, because Duke is very weak at football and would likely be duplicating a market with UNC. But their academics and basketball are both elite, and Missouri can’t really claim “elite” status in anything, although they can claim “good” status in pretty much everything. If both Duke and Missouri were the two options available as school #16 or 18 and the B1G already had UNC then it might be a tough option. Maybe the B1G would want to grab another state of 6.1M people and another decent football program. Or maybe they want to beef up basketball and academics.

      • vp19 says:

        Agreed. Until Florida State earns AAU status, the UVa/UNC/GT/Duke combo probably makes the most sense for the Big Ten. By the time FSU is AAU and a worthy #19, there will probably be a good choice for #20 as well (e.g., an AAU Virginia Tech, which UVa would promise not to block as a condition for its joining the Big Ten).

        • Andy says:

          I wouldn’t pencil UNC and Duke into the B1G yet. Those schools are in the south. UNC fans are very much in favor of joining the SEC. If it comes down to fans/boosters vs. academics for deciding on an athletic conference, the fans/boosters might win. It could go either way. And if UNC joins the SEC, I think Duke follows them there.

          • Andy says:

            Also, a few months ago Roy Williams came out in favor of joining the SEC over the B1G “if they had to make a move”. Their FB coach has said basically the same thing.

          • frug says:


            I wouldn’t put much stock in what head coaches think about realignment. After all, Jim Boeheim and Jimbo Fisher had their ways, then Syracuse would be staying in the Big East and FSU would have joined the Big XII last summer.

          • Andy says:

            My point is on the sports end of things, the coaches, the fans, the boosters, they want the SEC more than they want the B1G. Collectivley this area has a lot of input. Add that to the geographic/cultural divide between north and south and there’s a high likelihood that there would be alumni sentiment to join a southern conference over a northern conference. Can athletic leaders, fans, and alumni win out over academics? It’s not a sure thing but it’s certainly possible. Especially if the money is good in either direction.

          • vp19 says:

            I think many faculty and administrators at both UNC and Duke would feel their schools would lose much of their sophistication/”cool” factor by joining the SEC. The Big Ten would give both schools a more urbane environment, important in both Chapel Hill and Durham since they heavily recruit from outside the South.

          • Andy says:

            I’m not sure how “cool” the B1G is in that area of the country. I’m also pretty sure that UNC gets most of their students from south of the Mason-Dixon line, and that’s also where most of their alumni reside. I don’t know much about Duke, but again I suspec they follow UNC’s lead.

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Vincent – being a member of the SEC hasn’t done anything to damage Vandy’s reputation.

          • Andy says:

            You also have to remember that the new SEC would be a different animal than the old SEC. There would be 6 AAU schools: Duke, Vanderbilt, North Carolina, Florida, Texas A&M, Missouri. There would also be Georgia, who is ranked ahead of about 25% of AAU schools in both federal research dollars and USNews ranking, and Alabama and Auburn, who are about on par with Clemson in those measures. In other words, the top half of the SEC would be on par with the Big Ten. Yes, the bottom half of South Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, LSU, Ole Miss, and MSU isn’t that great. But that’s kind of how the Pac 12 is too, with Stanford, USC, UCLA, Cal, Washington, Colorado all pretty strong, and also to som extent Arizona and Oregon, with WSU, OSU, ASU, and Utah similarly weak to the lesser SEC schools. What I’m saying is academically an SEC with UNC and Duke wouldn’t be much different from the Pac 12. And I think UNC and Duke could live with that if they decided that they wanted to be in the SEC athletically.

          • Brian says:


            “I’m also pretty sure that UNC gets most of their students from south of the Mason-Dixon line, and that’s also where most of their alumni reside.”

            About 82% of the fall 2012 class were from NC.

            “I don’t know much about Duke, but again I suspec they follow UNC’s lead.”

            Duke’s class of 2016 comes from these states:
            1. NC/CA (tied)
            3. NY
            4. FL
            5. NJ

            Only 15% of the undergrads are in-state students.

          • @Brian – Those stats show why I don’t think there is any logic to Duke heading to the SEC. That is a horrible cultural fit despite the geography – it’s really a Northeastern school in character (similar to Miami).

            On another note, UNC T-shirt and message board fans may prefer the SEC, but I think Andy is severely underestimating how not-SEC-like the actual people that attend UNC are. They’re much closer to UVA in character. Now, that doesn’t mean that they’re Big Ten-like, either. They simply fit the ACC: wine-and-cheese Southerners (in contrast to the decidedly not wine-and-cheese SEC). The ACC is a mix of the Big Ten and SEC culturally and academically, which is why I think UVA, UNC and other ACC schools will have a much harder time bolting that league than what many realignment observers think. They can’t get that mix in either the Big Ten or ACC.

          • Richard says:

            Also, this idea that Duke would automatically follow UNC has as much rigor to it as the idea of A&M automatically following Texas. If Duke has an invite from the B10 and the ACC is collapsing, they’ll head north even if UNC goes to the SEC.

          • Andy says:

            Missouri doesn’t fit all that well culturally with the SEC either.

            I wasn’t saying UNC fits in with the SEC, but they fit in better with the SEC than they do with the B1G. Either one is an imperfect match.

            As for Duke, I guess if they could get an invite to the B1G without UNC they might take it. But I’m not sure that would happen. And certainly Duke would want to follow UNC if Duke didn’t have a B1G invite on its own.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            “Vincent – being a member of the SEC hasn’t done anything to damage Vandy’s reputation.”
            —Actually we have no way of testing that claim. It’s entirely possible that if Vanderbilt were in a more academically prestigious conference that it would have a higher academic reputation than it currently does.

            “In other words, the top half of the SEC would be on par with the Big Ten.”
            —Testing that claim:
            5 TSUN 1380.7570 B1G
            6 Northwestern 1350.3192 B1G
            7 Wisconsin 1347.1368 B1G
            11 Illinois 1253.4872 B1G
            12 Minnesota 1231.3986 B1G
            14 Ohio State 1188.2804 B1G
            16 Vanderbilt 1159.5158 SEC
            17 Penn St. 1149.3896 B1G
            19 Purdue 1112.1102 B1G
            21 Florida 1098.2724 SEC
            23 Maryland 1085.3163 B1G
            24 Texas A&M 1085.2718 SEC
            26 Sparty 1066.0273 B1G
            29 Rutgers 985.5317 B1G
            31 Indiana 937.6816 B1G
            32 Iowa 937.1647 B1G
            33 Georgia 869.2267 SEC
            42 Missouri 718.3004 SEC
            50 Tennessee 637.1033 SEC
            51 South Carolina 630.5778 SEC
            65 Nebraska 521.5648 B1G

            Tennessee & South Carolina replaced Alabama & Auburn as they rank higher using the composite list.

            56 Kentucky SEC 598.1895
            62 LSU SEC 541.5464
            67 Alabama 514.1353 SEC
            73 Auburn 449.1348 SEC

            Four of seven rated lower than all but outlier Nebraska & the highest ranked coming in mid-pack isn’t exactly ‘on par’.

    • BruceMcF says:

      Adding a school in a state doesn’t automatically add that state. Adding Syracuse does not “add” New York State, in the sense that the Big Ten is 0% without Syracuse and 100% with Syracuse. The Big Ten already has a foothold in NYC with existing Big Ten alumni, and has expanded that with Rutgers. Syracuse would boost that a bit more, but not enough to be worth the fight over a non-AAU school.

      Miami is not a good enough institutional fit, nor is Clemson, VTech or NC State. GTech doesn’t “add” the state of Georgia, but it does add some profile in Greater Atlanta. And its a great academic fit, with a Top 10 engineering school (Top 5 according to USNWR’s ranking).

      So from your list, that leaves:
      UVa, UNC, GT, FSU

      Which a lot of people here would like. Its not a settled question whether the Big Ten could talk the Presidents into taking FSU as an academic fixer-upper: FSU has declared AAU membership as an ambition, but oft-times our reach exceeds our grasp, and turning that into a story that is credible for a skeptical audience may take some doing.

      But then, in terms of the art of the possible, your ironclad constraint that four schools must add four states might be something where a reasonable executive might give some ground. Which yields:
      UVa, UNC, GT, Duke

      In terms of an 18th school to round out the numbers, Duke adds the most value ~ more than Syracuse or UConn, two of your “must add a states” picks.

      All conditional on whether either set of four are available.

    • BruceMcF says:

      Oh, and as far as Plans A, B and C … Plan C is sit tight. With the Maryland and Rutgers expansions, the Big Ten has addressed some of its most urgent needs over the next twenty years, so that from this point they can afford to be more opportunistic, and stand pat if
      there is are no immediate expansion targets that add substantial incremental value to the CIC, Big Ten media contracts, the BTN, and athletic recruiting grounds.

  55. zeek says:

    NYT editorial taking shots at the NCAA’s handling of investigations and crossing ethical boundaries too often.

    John Infante on the same subject (although I think this “solution” creates more problems than it solves).

  56. frug says:

    The Big East conference is looking to add another school and may sign a TV package that includes multiple networks, commissioner Mike Aresco said Monday.

    Aresco said the Big East wants to keep its name as it rebrands, and no longer has any plans to expand further west than Texas.

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      Team #12 will be Tulsa, in all likelihood. Five of 12 (Memphis, Tulane, Houston, SMU, & Tulsa) will be located somewhere between the banks of the Mississippi River and points west. Meanwhile, only UConn, Temple, and Navy (for only football) will be the only northeastern schools.

      I’m surprised they want to keep the Big East name. The league is NOT an eastern league that has southern/southwestern outposts. It’s a southern/southwestern league with northeastern outposts. Plus, they can sell their name to a group of schools (Catholic 7 & friends) who would pay substantially for it. A new name would signify a new beginning, which this league certainly needs, and better reflect what the league is.

      • Mack says:

        If you want to sell the Big East name what is the best strategy: Say it doesn’t fit and that you won’t use it in any case, or talk it up to get maximum value. So the same statements should be made if they want to keep the name or sell it.

      • Eric says:

        The name is the only real connection left though to big time football. Yes it’s watered down and not as valuable as the power 5, but people still remember it was a BCS conference with its champs in big bowls and a lot of NCAA Tournament success. Lose that and become something else and the conference is just a new one indistinguishable to any casual sports fan from Conference USA.

      • BruceMcF says:

        If marketing people for the Big Ten could talk themselves into thinking “Building Leaders, Honoring Legends” could sell the Leaders and Legends divisions, maybe marketing people for the Big East are conning themselves into thinking the “Eastern Half of the United States” can be sold.

  57. frug says:

    It tells you something about how much Penn St. has been hurt that they are having to schedule a home and home against UCF.

    • Brian says:

      Well, they can’t make it to FL for a bowl game so this at least gets them some exposure there for recruiting and their alumni.

  58. frug says: interviewed several conference athletic directors, who confirmed that a nine- and even a 10-game league schedule are on the table in the upcoming discussions.

    Dave Brandon and Gene Smith both support more conference games (at least in principle).

    • BuckeyeBeau says:

      Gene Smith specifically stated: “I would like to go to nine or 10,” Smith said.

      Brandon (Mich) said: “As the number of institutions has grown, I believe we should take a look at at least moving to nine.” Note the “at least.”

      My guess: B1G is going to 9 games for sure, with a serious chance it is 10 games. If tOSU is not objecting to 10, why not go to 10? If tOSU is not objecting, then tOSU has figured out how to make their annual budget with one less home game.

      Quotes are from Brennan’s article linked by frug.

      • vp19 says:

        Nine makes sense for now; 10 is too big a leap unless a 13th regular-season game is added.

        • metatron says:

          Eight conference games ensures eight home games.
          Nine leaves you eight some years, seven the other.
          Ten leaves you seven always.

          Competitive balance, and the shot at a title game, might be enough to persuade the athletic directors. Or, more importantly, the voices have reached the top and the leadership is worried about angering the fan base.

          • Brian says:


            “Eight conference games ensures eight home games.
            Nine leaves you eight some years, seven the other.
            Ten leaves you seven always.”

            You’re making huge assumptions about the OOC games. 10 games doesn’t leave you 7 home games if you have a home and home series (IA/ISU, MSU/ND, PU/ND, etc). It leaves the possibility of 7 home games depending on your OOC schedule. Likewise, plenty of teams didn’t play 8 home games with an 8 game conference schedule.

      • Brian says:


        Smith didn’t say he’d give up a home game. If the B10 went to 10 games, there’s a good chance he drops the big name home and home series. He might accept 6 home games and a high-paying neutral site game, but otherwise he’ll buy two home games.

        • BruceMcF says:

          Yes, 9 sees the OOC game against a mid-rank AQ opponent given up, 10 sees the OOC game against a marquee AQ opponent given up.

  59. Andy says:

    I think this would be a nice, clean way to end things:

    Georgia/South Carolina/North Carolina/Duke
    Alabama/Auburn/Mississippi/Mississippi State
    LSU/Texas A&M/Arkansas/Missouri

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

    Big XVI
    Texas/Texas Tech/TCU/Baylor
    Oklahoma/Oklahoma State/Kansas/Kansas State
    Iowa State/Louisville/West Virginia/Virginia Tech
    Florida State/Miami/Clemson/NC State

    Pac 12

    Syracuse/Boston College/UConn/Pitt/Wake Forest/Temple

    Moutain West
    SDSU/Fresno State/SJSU/Hawaii/Nevada/UNLV
    Boise State/Utah State/Wyoming/Colorado State/Air Force/New Mexico

    Big East (or whatever they want to call it

    Tulane/Louisiana Tech/Middle Tennessee State/Tulsa
    North Texas/Rice/UTEP/UTSA
    Southern Miss/UAB/East carolina/Marshall
    UNC Charlotte/Florida Atlantic/Florida International/Old Dominion


    Notre Dame

    • Read The D says:

      I really wish your western SEC pod would just join the B12, kick out Baylor and West Virginia and all is right in the world.

      • Read The D says:

        For S&G’s here’s my divisions:

        East/West with locks
        LSU / OU or OSU
        A&M / Texas
        TCU / Texas Tech
        Arkansas / OU or OSU
        Missouri / Kansas
        Iowa St / Kansas St

      • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

        If the SEC ever went to 16 and set up pods, I doubt they’d look like Andy’s. His really doesn’t take into consideration many of the historic rivalries. If Slive asked me how to fix the pods, here’s how I would put them together. For the sake of this exercise, I’ll use VA Tech and NC State as the newest newbies, as most of the B1G fans on this board think the SEC doesn’t stand a chance with former Southern Conference mate North Carolina.

        SEC North – Mizzou, Arkansas, Kentucky, VA Tech.
        SEC West – A&M, LSU, Ole Miss, Miss State
        SEC South – Bama, Auburn, Tennessee, Vandy
        SEC East – NC State, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia.

        Each school gets a locked OOD game from each division and plays a 9 game conference schedule. While some divisions may be easier than others, the locked OOD rivalry games balance it out. The pods rotate every two years in a six year cycle.

        Locked OOD rivalries:

        SEC North
        Mizzou – Auburn (S), UGA (E), Ole Miss (W)
        Arkansas – Vandy (S), S. Car (E), LSU (W)
        UK – Tenn (S), UF (E), Miss State (W)
        VA Tech – Bama (S), NC State (E), A&M (W)

        SEC West
        A&M – VA Tech (N), Tenn (S), S. Car (E)
        LSU – Ark (N), Bama (S), UF (E)
        Ole Miss – Mizzou (N), Vandy (S), UGA (E)
        Miss State – UK (N), Auburn (S), NC State (E)

        SEC South
        Bama – VA Tech (N), S. Car (E), LSU (W)
        Auburn – Mizzou (N), UGA (E), Miss State (W)
        Tenn – UK (N), UF (E), A&M (W)
        Vandy – Ark (N), NC State (E), Ole Miss (W)

        SEC East
        NC State – VA Tech (N), Vandy (S), Miss State (W)
        S. Car – Ark (N), Bama (S), A&M (W)
        UF – UK (N), Tenn (S), LSU (W)
        UGA – Mizzou (N), Auburn (S), Ole Miss (W)

        • Read The D says:

          I think Arkansas and Missouri would both object to not playing A&M on a yearly basis.

          The SEC scheduling has always fascinated me. Seems that most schools strictly want to play their rivals and if they have to play another couple of conference foes they’ll tolerate it.

          • bullet says:

            Arkansas would throw a fit. Kentucky wouldn’t be too happy. I think Missouri would want A&M.

            Its hard to do SEC pods. Balancing the old rivalries, competitiveness and geography is tough. I haven’t seen any setup that works well.

          • Brian says:


            “Its hard to do SEC pods. Balancing the old rivalries, competitiveness and geography is tough. I haven’t seen any setup that works well.”

            A – UF, UGA, UT, Vandy
            B – UK, VT, NCSU, SC
            C – AL, AU, MS, MSU
            D – TAMU, AR, MO, LSU

            Use A and D as anchor pods, so half the time A & B are together and the other half A & C are together. Play a 7/1/1 schedule.

            Locked games (one will be in division):
            UF – AL, VT
            UGA – AU, SC
            UT – MSU, NCSU
            Vandy – MS, UK

            TAMU – AU, SC
            AR – MS, NCSU
            MO – MSU, UK
            LSU – AL, VT

            The 1 game rotates through the pod you are never paired with (change every year).

          • frug says:


            Alabama and Tennessee have said they won’t give up their annual game. It and UGA-Auburn are the main reason the SEC has been resisting dumping the protected crossovers.

          • frug says:

            Also, I may be mistaken, but under your system A-D and B-C would never play each other. The WAC tried that setup and it led to the conference splitting almost immediately.

          • Andy says:

            Brian, that setup would work with UNC and Duke in place of VT and NCSU as well. Only trouble is pod B is fairly weak compared to the rest, but it’s tolerable.

            frug, they’d get over it. you can’t make everybody happy. I do think Brian’s locked games could use some adjustments though. More rivalries could be preserved.

          • Brian says:


            “Alabama and Tennessee have said they won’t give up their annual game. It and UGA-Auburn are the main reason the SEC has been resisting dumping the protected crossovers.”

            Yeah, that was a mistake on my part. I meant to keep AL/UT but accidentally dropped it while moving things around.

            Edit the locked games to be:
            UF – MSU, VT
            UGA – AU, SC
            UT – AL, NCSU
            Vandy – MS, UK

            TAMU – AU, SC
            AR – MS, NCSU
            MO – MSU, UK
            LSU – AL, VT

            That’s what I intended. I wouldn’t kill a rivalry like that.

          • Brian says:


            Just for reference:
            A – UF, UGA, UT, Vandy
            B – UK, VT, NCSU, SC
            C – AL, AU, MS, MSU
            D – TAMU, AR, MO, LSU

            “Also, I may be mistaken, but under your system A-D and B-C would never play each other.”

            They’d never be paired as a division, but they would play 25% of the time. Part of my thinking was that meant everybody either played UF or TAMU every year, so they had recruiting access to the best states. Also, B and C are weaker pods so it’s unfair to pair them. But if they want to rotate completely, they could.

            “The WAC tried that setup and it led to the conference splitting almost immediately.”

            The WAC had other issues.

          • bamatab says:

            Here is the best that I could come up with in the way of SEC pods. The first is with VT & NCST and using 1 permanent cross pod matchup to help with keeping rivalries and keep it to an 8 game conference schedule.

            South Pod – Permanent Cross Pod Teams
            Alabama – Tennessee
            Auburn – Georgia
            Ole Miss – LSU
            Mississippi State – Vanderbilt

            West Pod – Permanent Cross Pod Teams
            Arkansas – Florida
            LSU – Ole Miss,
            Missouri – Kentucky
            Texas A&M – Virginia Tech

            East Pod – Permanent Cross Pod Teams
            Florida – Arkansas
            Georgia – Auburn
            Vanderbilt – Mississippi State
            South Carolina – North Carolina St.

            North Pod – Permanent Cross Pod Teams
            Kentucky – Missouri
            Tennessee – Alabama
            Virginia Tech – Texas A&M
            North Carolina St. – South Carolina

            And here are pods with the same format, but with UNC & Duke instead of VT & NCST.

            South Pod – Cross Pod Teams
            Alabama – Tennessee
            Auburn – Georgia
            Ole Miss – LSU
            Mississippi State – Texas A&M

            West Pod – Cross Pod Teams
            Arkansas – Florida
            LSU – Ole Miss,
            Missouri – Kentucky
            Texas A&M – Mississippi State

            East Pod – Cross Pod Teams
            Florida – Arkansas
            Georgia – Auburn
            Vanderbilt – Duke
            South Carolina – North Carolina

            North Pod – Cross Pod Teams
            Kentucky – Missouri
            Tennessee – Alabama
            Duke – Vanderbilt
            North Carolina – South Carolina

            Now the North pod is somewhat weaker than the rest, especially in the case where UNC & Duke are added. But those pods make the best geographic sense. Plus when you start aligning the pods to form that year’s conference divisions, it won’t matter as much. For instance if you align the North pod with the East pod, you would have a division of UF, UGA, Vandy, USCe, UK, UT, Duke, & UNC; with the other division being Bama, auburn, OM, MSU, Arky, LSU, Mizzou, & aTm. Factor in the fact that you can rotate those division alignment yearly, the North pod’s somewhat weaker state probably wouldn’t be that big of an issue.

            The one issue that does standout to me in these pod alignments is that the UT/Vandy game will not be played every year. But I’m not sure how big of a deal that would really be to those fanbases (it would probably be a bigger deal for the Vandy fanbase, but I don’t think that UT fans care a whole lot about that game in reality). If it Vandy made a big stink about it, you could swap out Vandy and NCST in the scenario where VT & NCST join. I think in the scenario where UNC & Duke join, vandy may prefer Duke to UT being their yearly cross pod game.

          • bullet says:

            And Vandy/Ole Miss which is one of the most played games in the SEC.

            Eastern half is difficult. Think you probably split the new members. One with UK/TN/Vandy, one with UGA/UF/SC. LSU is the difficult western team. They have ties to A&M, Alabama and the Mississippi schools. The rest would be happy with your setup.

          • bullet says:

            I am surprised you didn’t realize the biggest problem with your setup. This IS the SEC. There can’t be a Northern pod. Central pod would be more acceptable.

          • bamatab says:

            @ bullet – Yeah, the eastern pod is pretty tough, that was one reason I put Vandy there. But things would swap around if you rotated the pods yearly, so I don’t how much of a difference it would make over an extened period of time. I know UGA & UF want to play every year regardless. And USCe and UGA have started to build a nice little rivalry also, so they probably would want to play every year as well. I think offering Vandy to them might help ease any concerns they have.

            While Vandy & OM have played each other for a while, I don’t think they would put up much of a fuss if they had to sacrifice playing yearly (they would still play every 3 years in the rotating pod scenario). I believe that LSU has a stronger rivalry tie with OM than they do either MSU or Bama. The Bama/LSU rivalry has been increased lately due to both teams being two of the best programs, but historically it was a somewhat lopsided series. I know Bama fans never considered LSU a “rival” until recently. I also don’t think that LSU fans will fuss too much with not being able to play MSU yearly. I’ll let Alan comment on how accurate I am on my assumptions when it comes to LSU’s views on that though.

            In the end, some so called “rivalry” games are going to have to be sacrificed if you go to a pod system. Everyone will still be playing each other every three years at the least regardless, so I think some sacrifice is ok in the grand scheme of conference realignment.

            Oh, and when it comes to naming one of the pods the North pod, notice I stuck UT in that pod in both of my scenarios. I bet the Vol fans would just love that. :)

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            bamatab – I still think my plan preserves most of the rivalry games out of those presented by you, Andy & Brian. Sticking LSU with three newbies (including Arkansas) and ending yearly match-ups with Miss State (106 games) and Ole Miss (103 games) is a non-starter in Baton Rouge.

            Arkansas may want to play Texas A&M, but they didn’t for almost 20 years after leaving the SWC. But if Arkansas would rather play A&M than LSU, I doubt there’d be any tears shed in South Louisiana. LSU has a little history with VA Tech so they could do a swap.

            Mizzou may want a game in Texas, but prior to 1994, that wasn’t a big deal. I did give Mizzou an annual game with UGA, which is the 3rd best state for producing D-1 recruits in the SEC. I also gave Mizzou Ole Miss which gets them into Memphis and the state of Mississippi produces more NFL players per capita than any other state not named Louisiana.

            Asking LSU to give up its only two 100 year rivalries is a much bigger deal.

            My plan preserves Bama/Tenn, Bama/Auburn, UGA/UF, UGA/Auburn, UGA/S. Car, S. Car/UF, Ole Miss/Vandy, Ole Miss/Miss State, Ole Miss/LSU, UK/Tenn, Tenn/Vandy, UF/Tenn, LSU/Ark, LSU/Bama, LSU/Miss State, LSU/A&M, and LSU/UF. It also creates annual border games for Mizzou/Ark, Mizzou/UK, VA Tech/NC State, NC State/S. Car, NC State/Vandy, VA Tech/UK, as well as a corps of cadets game with VA Tech/A&M. The only division games that aren’t drivable is Mizzou/VA Tech and Ark/VA Tech.

            As I originally stated, some divisions are tougher than others, but I compensated for that with OOD opponents. Plus it works out great for an 18 game basketball schedule, even in a division-less format, and especially for the North. Mizzou, Ark & UK get home and homes each year.

            Regarding the LSU-Alabama game which has been played annually since 1964, the Bear beat everybody including his protege Charley McClendon at LSU. Poor Cholly Mac was 2-14 against the Bear. Since 1982 (the Bear’s last season in which LSU snapped an 11 game losing streak), Bama leads the LSU searies 16-15-1. Since the SEC broke into divisions, the series is tied at 11 games each. And yes I’m including the 2011 BCS NCG in those numbers.

          • m (Ag) says:

            This post from Mrsec 1.5 years ago has the oldest SEC rivalries, for those interested in this discussion:


          • bamatab says:

            Alan – My pods were with an 8 game conference schedule in mind since UF, UGA, USCe, & maybe UK seem to prefer 8 games over nine. Yours is good for a 9 game schedule. By the way, I didn’t realize LSU fans thought so much of the MSU game. I knew you all thought highly of the OM game, but not the MSU game.

            And I didn’t mean anything by my comment on the Bama/LSU game. It was lopsided when Coach Bryant was there, and then when Coach Stallings was coaching. It was somewhat even in the years between Coach Bryant & Coach Stallings. Then when Coach Saban took over at LSU, it turned lopsided towards LSU. It has now evened back out since Coach Saban has taken over at Bama. My intent was just that the Bama/LSU game wasn’t really seen as a “rivalry” game (in the eyes of Bama fans at least) until Coach Saban took over at Bama.

          • Brian says:

            Alan from Baton Rouge,

            “bamatab – I still think my plan preserves most of the rivalry games out of those presented by you, Andy & Brian.”

            That may be true. My goal wasn’t to maximize the number of old rivalries I kept, although I did keep several major ones. Part of the difference may be who you chose to screw over, though. Every plan hurts someone.

            “Sticking LSU with three newbies (including Arkansas) and ending yearly match-ups with Miss State (106 games) and Ole Miss (103 games) is a non-starter in Baton Rouge.”

            LSU is only 1 of 16 schools and it’s on the western edge. It would likely get screwed like OSU is about to with the new B10 divisions. My plan still had them playing the MS schools every other year, plus they get tons of TX access for recruiting.

            “Arkansas may want to play Texas A&M, but they didn’t for almost 20 years after leaving the SWC. But if Arkansas would rather play A&M than LSU, I doubt there’d be any tears shed in South Louisiana. LSU has a little history with VA Tech so they could do a swap.”

            It’s more that TAMU would want to play AR as one of the few schools they have history with.

            “Mizzou may want a game in Texas, but prior to 1994, that wasn’t a big deal. I did give Mizzou an annual game with UGA, which is the 3rd best state for producing D-1 recruits in the SEC. I also gave Mizzou Ole Miss which gets them into Memphis and the state of Mississippi produces more NFL players per capita than any other state not named Louisiana.”

            UGA wants nothing to do with playing MO.

            “Asking LSU to give up its only two 100 year rivalries is a much bigger deal.”

            To LSU, yes. Your plan costs other rivalries. I’m not saying your plan isn’t better, but it’s all about tradeoffs.

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            m(Ag) – based on that list of SEC games played over 60 times, 4 games were already lost when the SEC changed formats from the 5-2-1 to 5-1-2 several years ago. My plan preserves 14 and only affects four on the active list: Bama/Miss State, UK/Vandy, UGA/Vandy, and UGA/UK.

        • Andy says:

          Alan, a few things.
          1) that’s incredibly complicated. I can’t see a conference having a setup that takes more than 100 words to explain.
          2) Those divisions aren’t balanced at all. Old rivalries are important, but not to the exclusion of balance. Some of those divisions are super tough, others (the north and west) are extremely weak. And while that’s good news for Missouri, and would be excellent news for LSU, I just can’t see it getting the votes to pass from schools in over-strong divisions like Florida, Georgia, and Alabama.
          3( The SEC has a good shot at UNC, and if they can’t get UNC I’m not sure they’ll expand at all. They’re perfectly fine at 14. I don’t think member schools are going to think NC State is worth breaking traditions, going to 4 pods, etc for. They’re not that good athletically or academically. They’re the third best option in their own state. There’s no reason to think they could carry the state of North Carolina. It’s just not a very good move. The SEC doesn’t have to expand. It’ll expand if there’s a good reason to. UNC would be worth it. NC State is debatable.

          • vp19 says:

            If football > basketball, as is the case in the SEC, then NCSU is easily #2 in North Carolina — at least. “Third-best option”? Nonsense. In a strictly football sense, you could argue that East Carolina is #3, Wake Forest #4 and Duke #5.

          • Andy says:

            vp19, the SEC is as strong as it needs to be in football. Basketball (and academcis) is where they need help. The SEC wants Duke if they can get them.

        • cutter says:

          As a B1G fan, let me say that I absolutely do think the SEC has a chance with both North Carolina in terms of conference expansion. :)

          I can actually see both conferences making compelling cases to the schools they seem to overlap with on at this point–UVA, UNC, GaTech, FSU and perhaps Duke (I don’t know if the SEC really wants them or not).

          Virginia Tech and NC State would also probably be on the SEC list, but I can’t say the same for the Big Ten’s interest. If Florida can veto FSU’s move into the SEC, then maybe getting the Seminoles is a Big Ten v. Big XII battle.

          If there’s one major pivot point in all this, it lies in Chapel Hill. If UNC goes to the Big Ten, it paves the way for that conference perhaps going to 18 teams in short order. If the Tar Heels go with the SEC, then we’ll see that conference to at least 16 teams with either Duke or one of the two Virginia schools accompanying UNC. At that point, perhaps the Big XII steps in (or maybe they’ll be the ones taking the initiative and cause everyone else to react to them).

          Who knows? Maybe Delany, Silve and Bowlsby will draw up a modern college football version of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and decide to split up the ACC like the Germans and Russians did to Poland in the beginning of World War Two.

          It’ll be very interesting to see what transpires in the coming months–perhaps after the ACC-Maryland cases is decided. Because once the dam breaks, things could move pretty quickly.

          • mushroomgod says:

            MC is the pivot point, but VA is pretty critical as well. If the SEC could get both VA and UNC, they really checkmate what the BIG wants to do………however, were that to happen, the BIG wouldn’t probably take a second look at FSU (with GT)….so maybe it’s in the SEC’s best interest to let the BIG have VA…..

          • mushroomgod says:

            ….or perhaps V Tech with GT, although that seems a little heavy on engineering schools……

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            ‘shroom – I’ve written many times on this blog that the B1G moving into the South is a big mistake for them. The best thing the B1G could do is to offer UVA and VA Tech membership and own the least southern southern state. The state of Virginia is growing, contiguous to the B1G’s footprint, and produces decent football talent.

            I think sharing states in the South with the SEC is a big mistake for the B1G. GA Tech is an afterthought in its home town. Florida State is as southern as Alabama and Auburn. The Florida panhandle may as well be Alabama. While the state of North Carolina isn’t Deep South, its still in the South. The students and alums at UNC have a lot more in common with UGA than Wisconsin.

            The SEC has shown with South Carolina that they can take a #2 school in a state and make it #1 in a generation. Maybe the SEC could do the same with NC State, if UNC went to the B1G.

          • bullet says:

            Or they could take NCSU and make them #3 in a decade.

          • frug says:


            How would the Big Ten moving South of Virginia being any different than the SEC moving into the Midwest by taking Missouri?

            And while SEC may have shown they can elevate schools, the Big Ten has shown they can preserve #1 status for all their schools.

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            frug – Missouri is a one school state. North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia & Florida all have more than one BCS school.

            The B1G currently owns all their states. Iowa State, Cincy & Pitt aren’t Georgia & Florida.

          • frug says:


            And UNC and NC-State aren’t Clemson and South Carolina either.

          • Andy says:

            NCSU is a weak addition. I think the SEC sees this. I think if it comes to it and the SEC can’t get UNC they’ll consider either not expanding or taking FSU instead.

          • BruceMcF says:

            @frug ~ one difference is that part of Missouri IS southern ~ not the majority, but an appreciable part of the state population. While part of Virginia is Northern, in the same way, that’s not so further south in the ACC. The Big Ten adding the North Carolina is more like the SEC adding Kansas or Nebraska.

    • mushroomgod says:

      It would be nice for the SEC and BIG 12…not so great for the BIG……..

      • Andy says:

        B1G gets Nebraska, Maryland, Virginia, Rutgers, and Georgia Tech. That’s pretty good. There’s some major territorial expansion there. And 4 out of 5 are excellent academic schools. The fifth is pretty good at football.

    • cutter says:

      So you’re saying that a nice,clean way of setting things up is to have four 16-team conferences (three major, one minor), three 12-team conferences (one major and two so-so) and four independents for a total of 104 teams.

      What’s wrong with this picture? First off, you have a wide revenue discrepancy across the 104 schools on your list. We’re already seeing problems with fracturing within Division 1-A/FBS between the haves and the have nots. While your lineup whittles down the numbers a bit you probably need to lop off another 24 schools or more before you get a really coherent group there.

      Secondly, these conferences are hardly uniform by their size or their relative strength. You’ll have the same problems putting together a meaningful post-season with your lineup as the NCAA is having now with the BCS and will have with its four-teams selected by a committee playoff system.

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        @cutter: You’re assuming a goal of competitive and financial equality that doesn’t exist, has never existed, and will never exist. I mean, there’s just never going to be a scenario where Cincinnati has the same revenue and competitive strength as Ohio State. Although I could envision a smaller Footbal Bowl Subdivision, lopping another 24 schools off the list won’t make everyone anywhere near equal. You’d still have a pretty wide discrepancy between Kings and Plebians.

        As to your second point: the major leagues aren’t going to adopt a post-season system that freezes out the minor ones. It invites too much trouble for too little benefit. It’s easier to let those leagues have a theoretical shot at the playoff, even if they’ll actually get there only once every six years or so.

        • cutter says:

          I actually never assumed there would be a goal of competitive and financial equality in my assessment of the situation. Hypothetical School #80 (HS 80) is still not going to compare in terms of budget or competitive equality with #1 Texas.

          But what HS80 will do is be able to operate in an environment where the bigger schools want to pay players stipends or a cost of living tuition while operating in a leaner Division 1-A that will have more money than sin to pass around (especially with an expanded playoff system and fewer mouths to feed). Cincinnati could probably do that, for example, while a school UNC Charlotte couldn’t.

          I also disagree with your premise that the major leagues aren’t going to adopt a post-season that freezes out the minor ones because they’re already pretty much doing it. I mean, sure, one program from the smaller conferences will get one of the 12 major bowl/semi-final game slots come 2014. You might say that doesn’t freeze them out completely, but it certainly gives most of those teams the cold shoulder and not very much money to share between them.

          These universities are chasing money because they want to get their athletic programs self-sufficient financially. We’ve seen the number of regular season games creep up, the introduction of conference championship games, conference (or individual school) networks supplementing revenues, the BCS, a four-game playoff, mega-dollar television deals and now we’re discussing realistic scenarios where the Big Ten and the SEC are going to have 16 or more teams in them. The trajectory we’re on is toward a consolidation of Division 1-A into a smaller entity so fewer schools get to share a bigger pie.

          So yes, when the dust finally settles, I expect we’ll be seeing an entity of 64 to 80 teams in four or five conferences that will be responsible for major college athletics either inside or operating outside the NCAA and operating its own post-season tournaments and competitions.. Just follow the money and it’ll show you where we’re going.

      • Andy says:

        This wasn’t meant to be an equal or balanced system. It would still be a tiered system with elite conferences, middling conferences, and lesser conferences, just like now.

        What would be cleaner about it compared to some of the wilder theories that are seeming to become mainstream on here is that it wouldn’t include a Big 20 monstrosity dominating the landscape, and dumb redneck SEC to the south, and some sort of ACC leftover/Big 12 hodgepodge dotting the landscape. The SEC and ACC/Big 12 combo wouldn’t be happy looking at the Monster 20, and Monster 20 members would be unhappy at the Frankenstein’s Monster that they created, trying to somehow lhave a league of 20 schools stretching from Talahassee to New Jersey to Minneapolis to Lincoln.

        My scenario is much cleaner than that. 4 leagues that are healthy and 16 or less schools each. Everybody wins something. Everybody’s happy. Except for the ACC and VBig East of course, they lose big.

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          I hear you, but there isn’t some benevolent dictator allocating schools, and arbitrating the happy middle ground that’s perfectly fair for everyone. Schools and leagues are looking out for themselves, making decisions that (at times) frustrate the goals of others. It would be a remarkable miracle if, at the end of this, we end up with a bunch of Goldilocks conferences that are all “just right.”

          • Andy says:

            All it takes is conference leaders with the good sense to know when enough is enough. University Presidents will have to vote to expand past 16. They don’t have to do that. In my opinion, they shouldn’t do that. (And I say this as a Missouri alum and a Michigan alum, so I’m a fan of both leagues.) And it’s very possible that when they look at this more closely, they end up agreeing with me.

            Of course what would definitely help is the SEC getting UNC. If that happens then there’s a lot less incentive for the B1G to go past 16. And if you read around online, SEC fans and coaches are very much in favor of the SEC over the B1G, so I think it’s possible.

          • Andy says:

            *should read UNC (not SEC) fans and coaches are in favor of SEC over B1G.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            All it takes is conference leaders with the good sense to know when enough is enough. University Presidents will have to vote to expand past 16. They don’t have to do that. In my opinion, they shouldn’t do that.

            Well, you’re counting on the same people who already voted to expand to 14 (a move many fans do not agree with), and many of whom (like Gordon Gee) are saying publicly that they could see the league going as far as 20.

            But assuming they do stop there, it won’t be because they think it’s best for the sport. It’ll be because they think it’s best for them.

          • Andy says:

            There’s a logistical cost for each additional school added. Certainly you can always make room for the big boys, like Notre Dame, Texas, and UNC. But is it worth expanding past 16 for schools like Georgia Tech, Duke, Boston College, etc? I don’t think it is. But I’m sure they’ll run the numbers and figure it out.

          • BruceMcF says:

            There’s few academic departments that drool at the prospect of BC in the Big Ten academic community. Virginia, Duke or Georgia Tech is a different animal entirely. They aren’t “good enough to avoid a fight” academic schools. They are “good enough to fight for” academic schools.

  60. Penn State Danny says:

    Andy: I like your scenario a lot. At that point, wouldn’t the Catholic 7 would HAVE to get the BE name.

    Power wise, there would be 4 big conferences, 2 middle ones (ACC and MWC) and 2 small ones (MAC and BE-CUSA-SB)

  61. cutter says:

    The Center for Measuring University Performance does an annual rating of research universities in the U.S. Their most recent report available online is for 2011–see

    The study uses nine different metrics or measures to do their annual rating–Total Research, Federal Research, Endowment Assets, Annual Giving, National Academy Members, Faculty Awards, Doctorates Granted, Postdoctoral Appointees, and SAT scores

    Here is a list of the universities either currently in the Big Ten/CIC, due to join shortly (Maryland and Rutgers) and those schools commonly considered as likely expansion candidates (marked with an asterisk) from the overall list that includes private and public schools (see pages 16 and 18 of the report). They are listed by their overall ranking and the number in brackets after their names are how many measures among the nine that particular school ranks in the Top 25, how many measures are in the Top 25-50 ranking and their overall 2009 research dollars (federal and other sources):

    6. Duke (8/0 – $805.0M)* (Private)
    7. Michigan (8/0 – $1.007B)
    14. Wisconsin (7/1 – $952.1M)
    15. Minnesota (6/2 – $741.0M)
    16. North Carolina (6/2 – $646.0M)*
    18. Northwestern (5/4 – $515.2M) (Private)
    21. Chicago (4/5 – $377.7M) (Private)
    22. Ohio State (4/4 – $716.5M)
    23. Pittsburgh (4/4 – $623.2M)*
    26. Illinois (4/3 – $563.7M)
    30. Penn State (3/4 – $663.2M)
    33. Notre Dame (3/0 – $97.9M)* (Private)
    38. Purdue (1/6 – $453.8M)
    39. Georgia Tech (1/5 – $561.6M)*
    40, Michigan State (1/5 – $373.1M)
    41. Virginia (1/5 – $261.6M)*
    43. Maryland (1/4 – $409.2M)
    50. Iowa (0/6 – $329.9M)
    54. Rutgers (0/3 – $320.4M)
    57. Indiana (0/2 – $157.0M)
    65. Florida State (0/1 – $195.2M)*

    So using these rankings alone, the list of potential additions would go Duke, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Georgia Tech, Virginia, Florida State. Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas, Syracuse, Boston College and Connecticut aren’t on this list, but some of them are on other lists in this report. Miami-FL comes in at #75, ten spots below Florida State. Other notables are Texas (#17), North Carolina State (#58), Virginia Tech (#62), and Oklahoma (#77).

    This report also lists what disciplines receive the most money by percentage at each of these schools–see page 48 and onward. Most of the universities on the list have 50% or more of their funding in Life Science (Duke and UNC are both hovering around 80% while Pittsburgh is over 87%), but 67.5% of Georgia Tech’s funding goes to the Engineering Science category (Purdue is at 38.9% of its funding for Engineering Science and Illinois is at 26.5%). Maryland is at 45% for Physical and Engineering Science.

    These are important pieces of information to keep in mind when you’re evaluate the Big Ten’s expansion candidates. While Duke may not have a great football program and it’s co-located in the state of North Carolina with UNC, it’s also one-third of the Research Triangle and the top research university on the list. Georgia Tech may not bring the BTN to the basic cable to most of Georgia, but it’d be one of the most prominent engineering research universities in the CIC if the Yellow Jackets were part of the Big Ten.

    • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

      FWIW CMUP/TARU is one of the 17 rankings I use in my composite list.

    • mushroomgod says:

      You wonder how long can Cal.’s public research Us be financed at the current level….with the state going belly-up……

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      For all the Duke skeptics, I’d say this is Exhibit A, showing why the Blue Devils would be welcome with open arms, assuming a multi-school deal that hooks North Carolina along with them.

      • mushroomgod says:

        yep….and in a sense the SEC can “afford” Duke a little more than the BIG, in that Duke gives them a second divisional celler dweller in football…..something the rest of the schools would appreciate…..while on the other hand Duke gives the BIG just another crap football program (considering fball only here).

        • vp19 says:

          Duke could be its eastern Northwestern. And if it can keep Cutcliffe in Durham (and Duke has the money to do so), the Blue Devils can be competitive, just as Grobe has proven with Wake.

        • BruceMcF says:

          If the SEC gets UNC and Duke, it upgrades SEC academically, it upgrades SEC basketball (weakest among the majors), and it adds rapidly growing media markets to complement those in Florida.

          It doesn’t add any football powers, but the SEC has ample football powers.

          So the rumored SEC Plan A of UNC/Duke makes ample sense from the SEC side. The question marks are all on the UNC/Duke side. It may require some assurance from the Big12 that NC State has a future home.

          • BruceMcF says:

            Underlining the academic upgrade, since the overall rankings are so abstract, while most rank and file academics live their lives in their academic departments and disciplines, consider the grad school rankings. I again use the USNWR rankings for convenience, though they are often not what is seen as the “real” ranking inside each discipline. Only Top-25 rankings cited.

            Duke: MBA #12, Law #11, Medicine (Research) #9, Public Affairs #16
            Sciences: Biology #13, Math #24, Stats #10
            SS&H: Econ #19, English #10, History #14, PoliSci #9, Psych #23, Soc #14

            UNC: MBA #19, Medicine (Research) #21, Medicine (Primary Care) #2, Public Affairs #23
            Sciences: Biology #23, Chemistry #13, Comp. Sci #20, Stats #22, Biostats #10
            SS&H: English #16, History #12, PoliSci #13, Psych #13, Soc #5

            Those are both pretty kick ass sets of grad school department rankings, even if some of them would be +/-5 spots in the “acknowledged” rankings in the individual disciplines.

            Indeed, you can see where looking at UVA, UNC and Duke increases the sheen of GTech, since UNC and Duke are top-50, but GTech is #4 in the USNWR ranking, and would put 8 of their top 25 engineering grad schools in the Big Ten.

  62. mushroomgod says:

    Amazing story about Tenn.’s ath. dept in S&S Sports Journal today….seems Tenn.’s ath. dept. is $200M in debt with only $1.95M in cash reserves……man, they need to pay their players less……

    • vp19 says:

      Tennessee makes Maryland look flush with money. What happened in Knoxville?

      • mushroomgod says:

        Bottom line was lots of coaching buy-outs (4 coaches in 6 years), plus lots of stadium renovations/improvements, plus dept inefficiencies…

      • bullet says:

        Attendance 1996-2006 105k to 107k
        2007 103k
        2008 101k
        2009 99k
        2010 99k
        2011 94k
        2010 89k

      • BuckeyeBeau says:

        wow .. just amazing.

        okay, so is TN an AAU member? Delany needs to dust off the Maryland power-point presentation and get down to Knoxville. LOL

        • vp19 says:

          Is TN an AAU member?

          No, Beau.

        • Andy says:

          Tennessee has been spending a ton of money. They just completed some sort of $40M practice gym. They’re going full throttle to try to win the SEC arms race. Trouble is they’ve been losing a lot lately. They’ve averaged just 6.7 wins per year over the last 7 years. That’s not going to sell out a 103k seat stadium. Once they start winning again they’ll be fine. But they’ll need to slow down on the spending for now.

          Also, SEC conference revenue is projected to go up by 50% in 2014.

          • BruceMcF says:

            If they start winning again. The coaching carousel has been murder on their budget, what with at times paying multiple coaches SEC level coaching salaries to NOT coach the Vols, and hasn’t done any more good for their record than any two of those coaches in the past six years would have done.

      • BuckeyeBeau says:

        In that link, there is an interesting chart at the bottom of the page relevant to the B1G 9 vs. 10 games question.

        They show the revenue numbers re: tickets sold and the number of home games.

        Suggests a home game may not be worth as much as we think (at least for TN). But TN’s attendance has been plummeting, so I’ll show those numbers too. Maybe only a couple of million, 4 million on the high side?

        2012 seven home games 24.1M revenue (not net revenue); season ticket range: $380-404; 2012 attendance: 89,965
        2011 eight 26.8M; $390-414; attendance: 94,642
        2010 seven 25.4M; $360-384; 99,781
        2009 eight 26.1M; $360-384; 99,220
        2008 seven 22.5M; $315-334; 101,448.

        • Brian says:


          “In that link, there is an interesting chart at the bottom of the page relevant to the B1G 9 vs. 10 games question.

          They show the revenue numbers re: tickets sold and the number of home games.

          Suggests a home game may not be worth as much as we think (at least for TN). But TN’s attendance has been plummeting, so I’ll show those numbers too. Maybe only a couple of million, 4 million on the high side?”

          Over the years they mentioned, it varied from $3.2-$3.6M with an average of $3.4M. But that was with attendance problems. TN’s revenue per seat filled rose every year, going from $33 in 2008 to $45 in 2012. With a full house, a home game is worth over $4M in ticket sales to TN right now. If they start winning again, it’ll go up quickly. Their average season ticket was about $57/game last year. If they had the demand to push that to $70, each game would be worth $5M in ticket sales.

          • BruceMcF says:

            $4m is the back of the envelope number I’ve been using for home game revenue at the big stadium conferences. There is, of course, different revenues due to numbers and prices of student tickets ~ UTK at $10/student ticket is going to have lower average revenue per seat than OSU where a “Big Ten Block” of four Big Ten home games goes for an average cost of $34/game.

            Economic impact is obviously a different matter, and using 3rd party values for economic impact versus using the impacts estimated by the consortium angling for a contract to build a stadium will give substantially different answers there.

  63. vp19 says:

    Someone’s come up with another (presumably unauthorized) Maryland to Big Ten T-shirt:

    • BoilerTex says:

      Super excited about this..I plan to attend both games. (Seriously).

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      When I lived in Lafayette, IN, I became close friends with a couple where the husband was a Purdue grad and the wife was a Mizzou grad.

      I wondered why Purdue hadn’t scheduled games against someone besides Notre Dame who was from their region, like Louisville, Kentucky, Tennessee, Cincinnati, or… Missouri. This ought to be interesting for them…

  64. vp19 says:

    And Charlottesville will be quacking when Oregon visits the Cavs, giving them eight home games for 2013, on Sept. 7. (UVa will return the favor in 2016.)

    • Pablo says:

      Wow! Great match-up for fans on short notice. BYU and Oregon, back-to-back games to start the year. New DC will be tested early.

  65. BuckeyeBeau says:

    LOL.. the mystery solved. Gordon Gee talked about the B1G considering “a couple” of midwest schools. One is obviously ND and the other is …. Toronto !!

    from Rittenberg’s Recruiting Roundup. He mentions a loyal reader questions why U of Toronto is not an expansion candidate.

    UofT IS an AAU member. LOL.

    FWIW, Tennessee does not appear to be an AAU member.

  66. BuckeyeBeau says:

    Serious question: I’ve been reading along and have noted a very very strong anti-Duke feeling (at least vis a vis North Carolina). I am sure someone articulated it, but I missed it.

    Why is North Carolina a better candidate than Duke? Is it just the private vs. public and size of student body/alumni?

    • Andy says:

      I would think it’s because UNC has been to 20 more bowl games than Duke, their football stadium is twice as big, their enrollment is twice as high, alumni base twice as high, basketball just as good, etc.

    • @BuckeyeBeau – UNC is definitely more valuable overall than Duke, but I also don’t think that Duke is the leper that some are making them out to be. If the CIC is as important as a number of posters think, then Duke is as valuable as anyone. Now, I don’t necessarily think that the CIC is quite as important as more of an overarching image of having a collection of good-to-great academic schools that can also make a lot of athletic TV money. The BTN actually does depend upon quality basketball for carriage and Duke is about as good as you can get in that regard. They are really the only hoops program that consistently moves the needle nationally during the regular season. After thinking about this for awhile, I’d put Duke ahead if Georgia Tech in a vacuum in ranking individual schools’ values to the Big Ten. Now, if the idea is a contiguous southern footprint that includes Florida State, then GT has more value.

      • BuckeyeBeau says:

        @ Frank: thanks for the thoughts. your idea that Duke is not “the leper that some are making them out to be” is along the lines that I was thinking.

        This seems very similar to our discussions a couple of years back about Texas and A&M. Texas was so big and blond and hot and A&M was just such a hum-drum “librarian.” The new digs have made A&M a lot more sexy.

        Absent any sort of comparison to UNC, Duke would be a tremendous “get” for the B1G and is, for sure, a brand that “moves the needle” for sure in Bball. From my perspective, both schools are very “meh” in football (even tho’ Andy’s point is a good one about stadium size and number of bowl games.) Neither are “kings” in football and aren’t likely to be.

        So, i don’t know, but IMO, if UNC ended up in the SEC, Duke would not be a bad “consolation prize” for the B1G.

        • Richard says:

          Well, plenty of folks on here (partisans of the B10, SEC, and Pac) thought that A&M would be a great addition in their own right 2 years ago. Also, you have to wonder about Duke basketball after K retires. Certainly, if academics matter a ton, Duke would make a great get. I’d put them ahead of GTech as well, though wouldn’t put them ahead of Miami if not for global warming. I’m on the fence about adding Duke. With UNC would make sense. To keep them away from the SEC would make sense. Otherwise, eh.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            …you have to wonder about Duke basketball after K retires…

            This has come up a few times, but I’ll say it again: Kings tend to remain Kings. The schools that are Kings (in any sport) have long-term structural advantages that transcend any particular individual. Duke was good in basketball before K got there; it’ll be good in basketball after he leaves.

          • vp19 says:

            N.C. State was a king in basketball (winning two NCAA titles before Duke won its first, and being the catalyst for Tobacco Road hoops under Everett Case), but it has struggled for the past two decades. The same thing could happen to Duke, though it has ESPN on its side, which NCSU never did.

          • Brian says:


            Duke also has way more resources to hire Coach K’s replacement. They can throw $7M per year at Brad Stevens to replace Coach K if they want (that’s what Coach K makes, supposedly). I’m not sure NCSU could match that.

  67. zeek says:

    McMurphyESPN Brett McMurphy
    BYU announces 2013 schedule, features home vs. Texas, Utah, Ga Tech, Boise & at Va., Utah St, Houston, Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Nevada

    That’s a rough schedule.

  68. B1GRED says:

    Not sure it matters what Big 12 conference is saying in public. Figure out what TEXAS wants and we’ll all know which way the Big 12 is heading.

  69. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Aggie State Representative files a bill in the Texas Legislature to require Texas and A&M to play.

    • m (Ag) says:


      I hope the Aggies and Longhorns start playing again sooner rather than later, but I don’t want the legislature to start scheduling games. I’m against it philosophically, and It’s a lousy precedent.

      • bullet says:

        One from the Woodlands was talking about it a couple years ago. I’m surprised A&M hasn’t shut it down. Next would be a bill requiring A&M to play Houston or Texas Tech.

      • Andy says:

        other legislatures do it. Iowa and Iowa State, for instance.

      • Mack says:

        If this bill starts to go anywhere the Texas forces will get it amended from OOC game to B12 game; then everyone will be out to kill it. Keeping the legislature out of sports scheduling is one thing Texas A&M and Texas agree on.

    • frug says:

      So before you dismiss the efforts of the Texas legislature to get a football rivarly restarted, perhaps it’s worth asking this question — what will the Texas legislature accomplish this session that makes more people happy?

      Wow. That is just terrible terrible logic.

      Sure, forcing them to play would make a lot of people happy… but it would just as many angry.

      • Andy says:

        Until they play the games and see how fun they are. Football games are fun. Rivalry games are fun. Playing rivalry football games is fun. You know what’s not fun? Refusing to play rivalry games out of spite. That’s lame.

        • frug says:

          Pretty Texas’ fans remember the A&M game and have decided it’s not worth it.

          • frug says:

            Pretty sure*

          • Andy says:

            Texas fans got up for the UT/A&M more than they did for pretty much any other game. They had a lot of fun with this game. They’re just being spiteful now.

          • frug says:


            A. A&M didn’t come close to the Oklahoma game for Texas fans

            B. They were excited about it when it was a conference game. It’s not anymore. The rivalry is dead to them and A&M killed it.

        • mushroomgod says: