Big 12 and ACC Relations: Alliance or Raid?

Posted: January 29, 2013 in Big East, Big Ten, College Basketball, College Football, Sports
Tags: , , ,

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby came out of a meeting with his conference’s athletic directors on Monday with some standard general non-news about any possible expansion plans.  However, he reinforced some reports that the Big 12 was evaluating alliances with different conferences, including the ACC.  Why would the Big 12 openly suggest an alliance with a conference that many believe would be the primary target for a raid?

People that relish in ACC Armageddon rumors point out that proposed alliances have led to raids in the past, such as the old Big 8 and Southwest Conference discussing that scenario (and the Big 8 subsequently taking Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and Baylor from the SWC) and the Big East and ACC exploring the same (leading to the ACC in a decade-long bludgeoning of the Big East).  The ACC Armageddonistas surmise that the Big 12 is following the same playbook of luring Jim Swofford to hand over sensitive conference information in “alliance talks” and then stab them in the back in a few months with a raid.  Of course, that assumes that ACC schools want to join the Big 12.

Certainly, there’s a chance that the leadership of the Big 12 is leveraging the prospect of an alliance publicly while engaging on a reconnaissance mission behind closed doors to poach the likes of Florida State or Clemson.  More likely, though, is that the Big 12 can’t expand with anyone that they deem worth having (according to Bowlsby, schools that would be worth in excess of $26.2 million per year each in additional revenue) on their own.  The Big 12 is in a position where it can’t be “proactive” – a school such as Florida State isn’t going to be open to the Big 12′s overtures without the Big Ten and SEC first (a) confirming that neither wants to invite the Seminoles themselves and (b) raiding other ACC members to the point where staying in the league would be unpalatable.

As a result, the Big 12 can’t be the first mover here no matter how much their fans may want them to be.  That’s why the news out of that conference over the past month has been about alliances with the ACC and finding ways to change NCAA rules so that they can hold a conference championship game with only 10 teams.  The University of Texas might have leverage with other conferences as an individual school, but the Big 12 as an overall entity has much less leverage than what many conference realignment observers seem to believe.

The dilemma is that the ACC schools that the Big Ten and SEC most likely want in expansion happen to be the ones that are least likely to move.  I’m often accused of having Big Ten bias as an Illinois alum (by the way, the least 3 weeks of the basketball season have been excruciating), but I’ve been pretty consistent over the past couple of years in stating that Jim Delany doesn’t have complete poaching power over everyone in the ACC.  Virginia and North Carolina are the real potential prizes for the Big Ten and it’s probably the same for the SEC.  (Football-focused fans often see Virginia Tech and North Carolina State as the most likely targets for the SEC out of the current ACC membership, but make no mistake that UNC and UVA are ultimately the most valuable additions as old money academically elite flagship institutions.)  The problem is that neither UNC nor UVA really fit well in either the Big Ten or SEC – they are too Southern to be really desire being in the Northern-based Big Ten and too wine-and-cheese to enjoy being in the SEC.  There is also a large split between the academically-minded leaders of these institutions that would prefer the Big Ten while T-shirt fans would want the SEC.  The ACC provides the balance of being Southern and the perception of having an academically-oriented league (never mind the fake grades for athletes in Chapel Hill) that schools can’t find anywhere else, which will make it very hard for either UNC or UVA to leave.  (Count Georgia Tech and even Florida State in that equation, too.)  In essence, UNC and UVA are to the ACC what Texas and Oklahoma are to the Big 12: the league lives as long as both of those are schools are still there (and those schools know it).

So, that’s where I see the threats of the ACC becoming completely coming apart end up failing.  UNC, in particular, has Texas-esque influence (even if it’s more perceived than real) in the ACC, and the actions of Deloss Dodds and the Longhorns have shown that power and big dog status can be even more important as making the most TV money from a conference.  (Notre Dame feels the same way.)  As a result, the thought that UNC and UVA are going to bolt because they are scared that the ACC will collapse doesn’t hold water with me.  Those 2 schools can keep the ACC together alone and they have enough powerful alums with massive pocketbooks and politicians backing them where getting more TV revenue isn’t going to carry the same weight with them as it did with Maryland.

Now, once again, I can never say never in conference realignment.  Maybe Jim Delany’s projected revenue figures for a Big 16 or Big 18 are so outrageous that he can put the smackdown on the ACC more than I’m giving the Big Ten credit for.  Maybe Mike Slive is freaked out enough about the thought of either the Big Ten or Big 12 getting into the state of Florida by adding Florida State that the SEC would take the Noles in an act of self-defense.  In either event, it’s really up to the Big Ten or SEC to make a move.  The Big 12 would then have to hope that some other valuable pieces would fall their way.  I don’t see that happening anytime soon, but the speculation will continue.

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

(Image from Atlantic Coast Conversation)

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Comments
  1. greg says:

    #3 Iowa hosts #1 PSU, Friday night, 8pm, BTN.

  2. B1GRED says:

    Can’t disagree with anything you wrote Frank. I guess there’s just a feeling out there that 14 teams in a conference seems awkward.

    • BruceMcF says:

      14 IS awkward ~ and for static divisions, 16 and 18 is awkwarder.

      For two static divisions, 12 schools without locked cross-overs is the smoothest option, followed by 12 schools with locked crossovers.

      Pod fans will point out the elegance possible with 4, 4-school pods without locked crossovers, but if you thought Legends and Leaders causes complaints among T-shirt fans, wait until they get their first taste of a conference using pods. Until the NCAA allows confernece elimination semi-finals, which opens up four static divisions and three static divisions with a wild card, the most feasible alternative to two static divisions is two anchor groups and two swing groups, for which in the Big 10′s case, 14 is better than 16 or 18, because the frequency of schools in the two anhor groups and in the two swing groups seeing each other is higher.

  3. Kevin says:

    Go Blue!

  4. Kevin says:

    I think the significant conference distribution differences will likely force UVA and UNC to make a move. They may not want to move but they’ll have no choice. Their alums will demand that they be competitive nationally and the academics certainly don’t want to fund athletics through the general fund or student fees.

    • bamatab says:

      But it could take a while for the revenue gap to grow to the point that the ACC schools would be put at a true disadvantage. UNC & UVA may try to hold out as long as they possible can, which could be 10 years from now as far as we know.

      • Brian says:

        In addition, most of the ACC schools aren’t football schools. They’ll accept being bowl eligible every year on a smaller budget. Boise does just fine on a pittance, and most ACC schools would love to be as good as Boise in FB. The issue would have to be with Miami, FSU, Clemson or GT, I’d think. The NC and VA schools are happy in the ACC and those farther north lack options.

        • BruceMcF says:

          This is what underlays the 4-school raid scenario. (1) The SEC gets a firm “not even if you are the last FBS conference left on this earth” answer from UNC and UVA, and goes from some combination of FSU, Clemson, NC State and VTech. (2) That plus evolving conference payouts is enough to swing UVA and GTech on the Big Ten. (3) UNC and Duke determine that swapping the four football schools that have left with UConn and UC is good enough, and stand pat there.

          Remember that there are two things that can shift the conference realignment landscape in the decade ahead. (1) Basketball gets a substantially smaller share of college basketball TV revenue than football gets for college football TV revenue. If an effort to hold onto the goose that lays the golden eggs requires the NCAA to make concessions on what share of NCAA BBall tournament net revenues that go to participants, that could shift a bit, and that would obviously rebound to the benefit of the ACC. (2) College sports are getting a slice of the sports slice of TV advertising revenue. The sports slice of TV advertising revenues has been growing much faster than the total amount spent on TV advertising has been dropping (in real terms). Growth based on a growing share of a shrinking pie cannot go on indefinitely, so projections of future conference revenues based on the last decade or two of growth may be over-estimating future opportunities for growth. Its a lot easier for a conference at a payout disadvantage to stand pat if it assumes that the difference is going to be stable going ahead, rather than continuing to grow ever larger.

    • Stopping By says:

      Reminds of ohhhh…2 years ago, when the Pac contract (sired by Hanson) was horrific in comparison to the rest of the BSC conferences. Primary difference is that Pac schools for all intensive purposes have no where to go (geographically). ACC has some options.

      Does give me some pause to think though….If 20 is end game for B1G (and who knows if it is or isn’t), and the SEC keeps pace by dividing up ACC. Wonder if alliance would not be coming by way of Big VII and Pac 12 combining in some way….as they would be the lesser (at east in size) of last remaining power conferences.

  5. MHVer3 with an update from the Big 12 meetings:

    Tuesday update!!
    Stuff happened and people talked.

    Ok ok here it is for real

    -2 conditional offers made today
    -Miami and FSU
    -both have until June 30th to decide but it’s conditional on both schools acceptance.
    -TX schools want no more than 12 for now but still think 10 is ideal.
    -also formed a committee to explore and negotiate an alliance with one of the other BCS conferences that will report their findings on, get this, June 30th.
    -B12 sees that there is real momentum for 20 team leagues with fox even letting us know that it’s something they would definitely be interested in financing.
    -talks of this alliance have many ACC schools excited and even served as a catalyst for UNC to cool on SEC talks. UNC wants to keep their little band together and with the alliance seeming to be a way to placate the football schools SOS concerns, UNC now hoping for a GOR.
    -I’m told UVA also has already verbally accepted a BIG offer but nothing will be public until number 16 can be decided upon.
    -alliance wont end B10 expansion but the talks of one can certainly slow things down to a grind and give Bowlsby a chance to work on securing defections under the guise of negotiating this alliance…or back up plan C: Merger/takeover of ACC.

    A lot still in the air but wow are things getting crazy!

    I’ll post some more on this later tonight on Twitter.

    • m (Ag) says:

      Does anyone know what the ‘alliance’ will entail?

    • jj says:

      Big Jim just called me and confirmed all of this.

    • tcm080 says:

      Is this why the penn state – UVA game was cancelled? (2014?) I wonder…..

    • frug says:

      Also this

      • frug says:

        I said also because my attempts to post a link to the Scout message board this guy posts to keeps getting lost in comment land. If you Google MHver3 it will pop right up.

        Between this guy and the Dude I’m starting to suspect that fracking really is having an effect on the water in WV.

      • Richard says:

        Hmm. Hope Hopkins didn’t turn down the B10 in lacrosse. . .

        • BruceMcF says:

          I’m afraid they may have. They are on TV more than 10 times a year as it is, so the Big Ten Network is just not the temptation that it would be for any but 3 schools (including Maryland among that three).

          Or Iowa and Nebraska insisted that Kansas be included on the long list, and as a courtesy to them Delany asked Kansas, informing them in no uncertain terms that it was as a pair to an eastern school and no way, no how was Kansas State coming along for the ride.

          Kansas would then say no, and Delany would pop open a nice craft brew that evening to celebrate Kansas being scratched off the long list.

          • ccrider55 says:

            What would be the problem with ESPN retaining the “LAX tier one rights” and BTN supplementing it as it does with other sports? They could chose have biding for the other B1G games now, or wait until contract expires.

          • So you’re saying Kansas, who publicly said they’re not tethered to Kansas State in any way way back in 2009 and was/is flirting with the Big East, of all conferences, would turn down a B1G invite?

            Crack is whack, yo.

          • frug says:

            @Matt

            All Kansas said is they aren’t legally required to be in the same conference as KSU.

            And guess what, V-Tech and Baylor weren’t legally obligated to be in the same conference as Virginia and Texas and look what happened.

      • largeR says:

        St. Mary’s College in South Bend?

      • metatron says:

        Well, that’s a load of shit. He won’t say who it is, and the no league would run the legal risk of poaching a school without some interest on the school’s part.

        • BruceMcF says:

          What legal risk? “My Conference has authorized me to open talks with you.” “Thanks for thinking of us, but we’re not interested.”

          The “my conference has authorized me” is in the public record, after all.

      • Wise Owl says:

        Hint: You’re an idiot.

    • LifeLongGarnet&Gold says:

      Appreciate the info! What’s your twitter name?

  6. bullet says:

    I think you’ve hit on the point why the ACC might survive this. UVA and UNC really don’t want to move and the SEC and B1G want those two schools. I don’t see any way UNC moves first. Maybe the B1G projections are good enough to get UVA to move. If so, I think the ACC falls apart quickly. But I’m also inclined to believe UVA doesn’t move first.

    FSU holds the key. Is the $ advantage of the Big 12 enough to get them to be a first mover? I wouldn’t be surprised if they hadn’t decided that yet. But there’s no reason for them to be in a hurry. They can sit back and see what the SEC TV deal ends up looking like and see if the SEC or B1G is interested in them.

  7. Mike says:

    Did any reporters ever answer your questions from the last post?

  8. BuckeyeBeau says:

    @ Frank. thanks for the new post. we need one about every 700-1000 comments. LOL

    I will chime in with this thought: the AAU schools available to the B1G are; UNC, Duke, Virginia, GaTech & Pitt. Some have persuasively argued that FSU is an addition worthy of an exception to the rule that a new member must be an AAU member.

    Personally, I think the B1G wants to expand and will expand with the best schools that are willing to come aboard. UNC is not required for the B1G to expand; neither is UVa.

    I disagree that the Texas example is relevant here because Texas (along with OKLA) is/was able to keep the BXII’s TV contract competitive (relatively speaking) with the B1G and SEC.

    By contrast, UNC (even with Duke) cannot do that for the football members of the ACC. Put another way, the ACC has the Big East’s problem which is that football schools are being weighed down and drowned by basketball schools. Basketball doesn’t have enough power to pull in B1G or SEC money. This makes the ACC vulnerable to having its football “powers” raided.

    I agree that the ACC will survive, if only as a Bball conference and a weak football conference.

    • vp19 says:

      I disagree that the Texas example is relevant here because Texas (along with OKLA) is/was able to keep the BXII’s TV contract competitive (relatively speaking) with the B1G and SEC.

      By contrast, UNC (even with Duke) cannot do that for the football members of the ACC. Put another way, the ACC has the Big East’s problem which is that football schools are being weighed down and drowned by basketball schools. Basketball doesn’t have enough power to pull in B1G or SEC money. This makes the ACC vulnerable to having its football “powers” raided.

      I agree that the ACC will survive, if only as a Bball conference and a weak football conference.

      How much more impotent must the ACC get as a football conference until UNC and Duke change their minds about joining the Big Ten? I agree the ACC’s problem is the same the Big East faced, but as was the case for the Big East, ACC members (the North Carolina “big four,” at least) have this delusion that hallowed basketball can save the day. Sorry, folks, it can’t; get with it.

      • ccrider55 says:

        I’m not sure the B12 contract is an accurate valuation of their individual content worth. It may be…or it may be that the maintaining the payout in spite of losing 1/3 of the conference, plus the LHN, was an overt move to prevent the onset of super conferences, or at least delay it. It succeeded in the latter, but not the former. Could the ACC have pulled an inflated contract had they been the first roadblock to super conferences? Probably.

        • BruceMcF says:

          Its not certain that any network is against superconferences as a general concept, but any would prefer to be on the inside looking out as opposed to the outside looking in. The Big12 Contract and Grant of Right makes the BigThree plus ESPN’s ACC as the four Superconferences much less likely. If the Five Majors collapse into Four Majors in the current decade (whether superconferences or a mix of superconferences and merely biggish conferences), Fox has at least some sort of insider position in three out of four, as the Big12 network, the Pac-12 co-network and the Big Ten’s partner in the Big Ten network.

          • ccrider55 says:

            I totally agree. I also don’t think ESPN, Fox, etc are either schools or conferences. I understand taking into consideration what value media entities would place on specific arrangements, but their motivation is not to maximize the schools positions. ESPN and Fox blocked an arrangement that arguably would have brought the kind of numbers we are talking about for the next B1G contract a few years earlier to the P16. The short term interest of an unamed school served to reduce the longer term costs for ESPN, Fox, etc. and the payments to all the other schools.

  9. m (Ag) says:

    I don’t think this article was posted (sorry if it was), but it’s about West Virginia’s upcoming 3rd-tier deal with IMG. Doesn’t have the final dollar amount, but it lists everything IMG is purchasing and includes the value of some other schools’ 3rd-tier package.

    Every so often people ask what’s in these deals, and this does a good job of going over that:

    http://wvmetronews.com/how-imgs-third-tier-deal-impacts-wvu/

  10. loki_the_bubba says:

    Hopkins to the B1G for lacrosse only? I thought we’d never see something like this.

    http://insidelacrosse.com/news/2013/01/17/hopkins-draft

    • jj says:

      Seems nutty.

      • B1G Jeff says:

        Only seems nutty if we keep insisting that this is only about football, instead of the CIC plus other considerations, including football in a major way. Bringing in Hopkins for lacrosse is a pretty cheap date to get at an additional Billion Dollars in research funds.

        JHU is unique in a way that simply won’t be replaced elsewhere. It’s not cherry picking; it’s making another move consistent with the overall goals of the B1G. Some of us on this board have been advocating such for years.

        • frug says:

          Or they could just offer them membership in CIC without the Big Ten.

          • B1G Jeff says:

            JHU actually helps solidify that entire DMV corridor. Lacrosse is pretty big there. Plus, I wouldn’t think we’d want such a valuable commodity elsewhere if we were affiliated. That’s kind of been the point of creating the B1G’s hockey and LAX leagues, right?

          • frug says:

            Plus, I wouldn’t think we’d want such a valuable commodity elsewhere if we were affiliated. That’s kind of been the point of creating the B1G’s hockey and LAX leagues, right?

            Then why not grab BU and ND for hockey?

          • Richard says:

            I’m fine with BU if they drop their other sports down to DivIII.

            As for UND, they just don’t cut it academically (and don’t exactly address demographic issues). Might as well propose WVU for the B10.

      • BruceMcF says:

        LAX placates academics, because it really is student-athletes, it provides spring filler that keeps moving (why ESPNU signed its deal with John Hopkins) and its got a small but devoted following in exactly the east coast markets the BTN wants to move into. And a women’s Big Ten championship is almost sure to be starting, since Rutgers and MD makes six.

        Seems most plausible as a lacrosse-only conference, retaining the ESPNU contract for Johns Hopkins home games and BTN picking up rights to the five schools that are Big Ten members.

    • @loki_the_bubba – Sweet that it looks like the Big Ten is actually considering this. Johns Hopkins is a unique situation with lacrosse being its only Division I sport.

      • loki_the_bubba says:

        And a major add for the CIC, if they go that route.

        • jj says:

          Yep. Still seems nutty.

          • Nemo says:

            Do you know how many Hopkins faculty are on NIH Review Boards or members of the National Academy of Science? This move is brilliant! If Hopkins comes they help form a lacrosse league and get into the CIC and will definitely deliver eyeballs in lacrosse. And Hopkins has an International reputation. Hopkins hospital fell to second this year after riding number one for I don’t know how long. They have alums everywhere.

          • vp19 says:

            I hate the concept of associate members. Heck, instead of having Penn State fielding an ice hockey team, the Big Ten could have added RPI or Clarkson, both excellent engineering schools with Div I hockey.

          • Richard says:

            RPI’s a fine school, but neither are AAU.

          • spaz says:

            I don’t really think of this as an associate member. This isn’t having Notre Dame join for ice hockey only. To me, the spin would be that this is the CIC adding another Chicago and allowing that school to have their (only) two Div 1 sports play in the Big Ten. If U of Chicago decided to “play up” to Division 1 in, say, men’s and women’s soccer, would anyone be surprised if the Big Ten allowed them to be Big Ten members in that sport? It could go either way, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

            Granted that’s a completely hypothetical scenario.

      • mushroomgod says:

        Yes….but the OSU chick seems to say associate membership could happen in other sports as well……given only 6 BIG hockey programs, how about Miami OH?

    • frug says:

      I really hope the Big Ten doesn’t do this.

      Partial membership is just a bad idea in principle.

      • jj says:

        Agreed. A certain catholic school in Indiana will be all over this one.

        • loki_the_bubba says:

          That was a first thought I had. Would the B1G take ND for hockey?

          • metatron says:

            They can’t. You’re not allowed to join two conferences that compete in the same sport and division.

          • jj says:

            “No” aka I hope not.

            And I like ND. But I’m a no deals like that kind of guy.

            If the B10 did this, they may as well start really cherry picking, take Toronto & McGill for Hockey, JH for Lacrosse, some other prestigious school for ping pong, etc.

          • loki_the_bubba says:

            @jj “…some other prestigious school for ping pong, etc.”

            RICE BASEBALL!

          • jj says:

            “definitely”

          • @loki_the_bubba – No, at least now that the Big Ten has its own hockey league. Adding Johns Hopkins provides a way for the Big Ten to form a lacrosse league with an auto-bid for the NCAA Tournament (Maryland, Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers and Michigan). Like I’ve said, I’m not quite as bothered by this since lacrosse is the sole Division I sport at Johns Hopkins, so this isn’t a matter where they’re sending basketball and their other sports to the ACC.

          • Richard says:

            No. We’d take ND as an affiliate member in football, though.

          • frug says:

            @Richard

            I doubt it.

          • Richard says:

            Loki:

            Would Rice drop their other sports besides baseball down to DivIII?

            It may improve the school, actually. . .

          • Richard says:

            frug:

            I wouldn’t if ND was willing to drop their other sports down to DivIII (not happening, anyway).

          • loki_the_bubba says:

            @Richard Would Rice drop their other sports besides baseball down to DivIII?

            I would in a heartbeat. Tear down the football stadium and build a med school.

          • Brian says:

            Frank the Tank,

            “@loki_the_bubba – No, at least now that the Big Ten has its own hockey league. Adding Johns Hopkins provides a way for the Big Ten to form a lacrosse league with an auto-bid for the NCAA Tournament (Maryland, Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers and Michigan).”

            UVA plays lacrosse. UNC plays lacrosse. Why add JH if you think you’ll add one of them?

          • Brian and frug make a good point. Is the prospect of the Big Ten adding Johns Hopkins for lacrosse an indicator that there aren’t any imminent plans to add UVA and/or UNC (as both have elite lacrosse programs)?

          • Richard says:

            . . Or just a BTN strategy for MD (and/or a CIC strategy).

            Certainly, I don’t think that the B10 can plan on definitely adding UVa and UNC.

          • Mike says:

            @metatron – Since the ACC doesn’t sponsor Hockey it’s my understanding that ND could join the Big Ten in Hockey only. It’s a similar situation to Boise St. wrestling in the PAC12.

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Before Katrina, Tulane seriously considered dropping down to D-III.

          • metatron says:

            @mike – Could be. It was my impression that you can’t play in another conference if yours already sponsors it. It’s independence or death.

            How that works with affiliate members, I have no idea.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Metatron:

            That’s what the NCAA allows. Missouri wrestling has landed in the MAC since the SEC doesn’t sponsor.

      • @frug – I think that it’s an important distinction that lacrosse is the only Division I sport that Johns Hopkins has, though. It’s not quite the same as, say, Notre Dame joining the hockey league (since all Irish sports teams are at the Division I level and have chosen to be in another conference).

        • frug says:

          I still think it’s a mistake. Big 10 has always been all in. Rationalizing the situation doesn’t make it any better.

          • Sure, I understand what you’re saying. I just see it as a very unique situation. Plus, the academics credentials are off the charts, so the presidents are likely looking at Johns Hopkins as a potential University of Chicago-esque addition to the CIC.

          • Richard says:

            Hopkins would be all-in. Their other sports would be treated roughly the same way by the B10 as Illinois (club) hockey.

          • @Richard – Yes, that’s exactly how I’m looking at it. Johns Hopkins is contributing “all” of its top level sports to the Big Ten just like everyone else. It just happens to be that they only play one top level sport.

          • jj says:

            @ richard. that’s a good point actually.

          • frug says:

            @Richard

            They couldn’t be a full member. The Big Ten requires members to compete in a minimum number of sports.

          • loki_the_bubba says:

            Hopkins would be Chicago +1.

          • Brian says:

            Frank the Tank,

            Everyone keeps assuming JH would also join the CIC. Would you be as positive if it was lacrosse only?

          • @Brian – I don’t think it’s an automatic assumption, but it’s also hard to see why the Big Ten presidents would object to it. That group may really want that association.

          • Brian says:

            Frank,

            You are, however, assuming that JHU wants it. Maybe they just want a home for lacrosse and don’t want to be tied down by the CIC in case they want to move again in the future.

          • Brian says:

            Also, if the COP/C was looking for CIC members, why haven’t they added Carnegie Mellon and CWRU (2 AAU schools in the footprint)?

          • metatron says:

            And then how does Johns Hopkins vote? This is complicated and messy.

          • Richard says:

            Metatron:

            How does JHU vote on what? How does Boise vote in the Pac?

            Brian:

            Maybe that’s why they’re taking their time thinking about it.

            As for CWRU and CMU, they don’t bring any sports assets. If they did, adding them may make sense. Same goes for WashU and (especially) NYU.

          • Nathan says:

            JH *would* be all in. They would be all in for every DivI sport they sponsor, just like ever other B1G school.

          • mushroomgod says:

            As I mentioned above, the OSU chick talks like associate membership could be considered in other sports as well…..

            Nobody has mentioned the complication with ESPNU contract cover all JH home games……it would seem that would have to be addressed before any decision/announcement could be made.

            Met–I don’t think ACC has a hockey league, or does it? If not, couldn’t ND be added is that sport only (note-not talking wisdom of doing that..only the legality).

          • BruceMcF says:

            As far as ESPNU, a stand-alone LAX men’s conference, with Johns Hopkins rights as a distinct package ~ kind of as with the MWC and Boise State ~ is more compatible with that. But a Big Ten championship with an associate member would be more expansion-compatible. A Big Ten championship with six members would be one non-revenue sport expansion headache for the UVA AD crossed off the list, since it would be an AQ conference in two years after launch.

            Maybe the Big Ten Network would be happy enough to have two or three Johns Hopkins away Big Ten school games to show on the east cost to agree to yield on the Johns Hopkins home games.

            As far as the can of worms of associate membership, I’d rather the associate membership bylaws be written as associate membership in all D1 sports, or no dice. That retains the “all-in” principle.

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            “Maybe that’s why they’re taking their time thinking about it.”

            Yep. It gets back to my original question – Would people be as positive about this if JHU was joining only for lacrosse and definitely not the CIC? Are associate members such a good idea then?

            “As for CWRU and CMU, they don’t bring any sports assets.”

            Neither does Chicago, but the CIC kept them. People kept saying JHU would be an eastern version of Chicago but with 1 sport. So why not add 2 more AAU’s in the footprint to help the CIC?

          • BruceMcF says:

            I’d be positive about it so long as it doesn’t open the door to silly season. Its not a big deal, but as a small move, its a positive one.

            If you say “join as associate in all of their D1 sports sponsored by the Big Ten”, that cuts off a lot of the silly season arrangements.

          • Richard says:

            “Neither does Chicago, but the CIC kept them.”

            Being in a family is different from joining a family.

      • jtower says:

        Its really full membership for all their active D-I sports.

        • Ted says:

          Exactly. Thank you. I don’t see why people are having such a hard time understanding that Hopkins is not picking and choosing its sports conferences by school; it is committing all its sports to a conference; add in the CIC factor, and both the JH and Big Ten administrations win.

          Brian – The CIC isn’t looking at Carnegie Mellon and Case Western because it isn’t trying to make the AAU 2.0, there is some form of competitive aspect between all the CIC members (with UChicago’s being historical).

          • Brian says:

            Ted,

            “I don’t see why people are having such a hard time understanding that Hopkins is not picking and choosing its sports conferences by school;”

            Nobody is having a hard time understanding that. Not everyone likes the idea of associate members. There’s a difference.

            ” it is committing all its sports to a conference;”

            No, it isn’t. It’s committing its 1 D-I sport to the B10. JHU plays other sports and those would be in another conference (or independent).

            “add in the CIC factor, and both the JH and Big Ten administrations win.”

            JHU may not think so.

            “The CIC isn’t looking at Carnegie Mellon and Case Western because it isn’t trying to make the AAU 2.0, there is some form of competitive aspect between all the CIC members (with UChicago’s being historical).”

            MI used to play CWRU in football back when they also played Chicago. In fact, MI played Case more times than Chicago. Carnegie Mellon, then Carnegie Tech, played PSU several times in FB, also. Other B10 teams played Case and CM, too. If pre-WWII games against Chicago count, so should that.

          • Richard says:

            Brian:

            “No, it isn’t. It’s committing its 1 D-I sport to the B10. JHU plays other sports and those would be in another conference (or independent).”

            Sure, just like Illinois commits all it’s DivI sports to the B10 while it’s (club) hockey team plays in the CSCHL

            “JHU may not think so.”

            In which case they likely won’t join and there won’t be anything to fuss over.

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            I simply corrected his misstatement.

        • frug says:

          Well then by that definition JH they won’t be any different than any other Big Ten school and should therefore be entitled to an equal share of all Big Ten revenue distributions.

          • Stew says:

            Go Tartans!

            Don’t forget, CMU already plays Chicago and CWRU and WU (no need to add any games, just fold in the UAA games). We’re 0-1 in Bowl Games (1939 Sugar), and admittedly 0-6 lifetime vs PSU, 0-3-1, and 1-5 vs Purdue, but 1-0 against UMd, and if GaTech comes on 2-0 versus them.
            And this way – the Big Ten doesn’t need Pitt.

          • BruceMcF says:

            All full members of the Big Ten have to compete in a certain number of Big Ten championships ~ under the “all in” associate membership concept, that would be the basis of being an associate member, that the member does not sponsor sufficient D1 sports to be a full Big Ten member.

            That would be distinct from the way associate memberships are done by other conferences, where a school adding some but not all of its D1 sports is allowed.

    • metatron says:

      Not this nonsense again.

      • metatron says:

        Well, if it goes through, I wonder if Chicago will ever promote one of their teams again?

        • loki_the_bubba says:

          I don’t know that Chicago could. From what little I’ve read, Hopkins lacrosse is grandfathered and the loophole is closed.

          • metatron says:

            I’m not sure. I’d have to read the bylaws more closely, but it seems as though you are correct.

          • bullet says:

            Yes, they passed that law a couple years back to stop anyone else from being in Division I in only one sport. Think it was a combination of the II/III schools not wanting a school to have that advantage and the Division I schools not wanting to be flooded by schools with one sport in their division.

          • Richard says:

            Well, a DivIII school can be DivI in one sport for each gender, but they can’t offer scholarships.

            However, of all the schools in the country, the U of C is least likely to go that route. Talk to alums of that school, and you’d realize that they have a strong proud culture where DivI athletics simply do not fit in.

          • bullet says:

            @Richard
            Are you sure? If so, that’s a very recent change. It was a pretty big deal 2 or 3 years ago when they changed the rules that used to allow them to have a Division I sport. They were at one point not even going to have a grandfather rule.

          • Mike says:

            Last time I checked, any DII or DIII school can compete in Division I in one sport and can offer scholarships. It’s common in hockey and baseball.

          • bullet says:

            No new schools, only grandfathered ones:
            http://www.ncaa.org/blog/2011/06/in-the-news-june-7/

          • Richard says:

            Bullet:

            Right, so if you read the article, if a DivIII school currently plays a sport, they can move it up to DivI but not offer scholarships.

          • bullet says:

            Richard, Read the “note:” at the bottom. No NEW reclassifications.

          • Richard says:

            Bullet:

            Time to break away from the NCAA. . .

    • Richard says:

      Wow. I have to give Zeek props for being a proponent of this. I did not think it likely.

      BTW, if we’re going to go that route, then we should encourage NYU to start a hockey program and join the B10 solely in hockey.

      • jj says:

        See the ping pong plan above.

        • Richard says:

          Well, the school and sport still have to be accretive.

          Will ESPNU show your school in that sport? If yes, then let’s talk.

          • BruceMcF says:

            Precisely ~ there should be emails and phone calls to the local cable providers why they get the schools home ping pong games but are missing on the Big Ten network broadcasts of some of their away games.

            Strange as it may seem here in Ohio, there are parts of the east coast where LAX will indeed generate a perceptible number of those emails and phone calls.

    • Richard says:

      One issue, though, is how BTN distributions would work.

      Presumably Hopkins would not be buying in to a full ownership share (unless they contribute a ton on the academic side).

    • loki_the_bubba says:

      Possible ramifications on UVA/UNC/Duke coming to B1G to join a stronger lax conference?

      • frug says:

        If the Big Ten thought they were about to add those schools they wouldn’t have any reason to add Hopkins.

        • Brian says:

          Right. And JH would be much easier to add after getting UVA/UNC/Duke than before. As is, I’m not sure the B10 is the most appealing conference for JHU.

          • mushroomgod says:

            Actually, it wouldn’t be bad…right now, MD is #2 (as I recall) and OSU and PSU are top 20….As I recall, JH is now #3 or 4…

          • Brian says:

            mushroomgod,

            “Actually, it wouldn’t be bad…right now, MD is #2 (as I recall) and OSU and PSU are top 20….As I recall, JH is now #3 or 4…”

            Syracuse, Duke, UNC, UVA and ND are in the ACC. Those are closer to JHU on average, I think, and bigger names in the sport.

        • cutter says:

          My assessment is exactly the opposite of yours on this matter. Johns Hopkins is rated #9 on the top research universities listing from the Center for Measuring University Performance and and a research budget of $1.86B in 2009. See http://mup.asu.edu/research2011.pdf

          If JHU became a member of the CIC with the participation of its lacrosse team in the Big Ten, then that is only going to enhance the actual and perceived worth of the conference on the academic side of the ledger. It’s a very big, very nice bullet to add to the Powepoint slide presentation any school would receive that’s interested in becoming a member of the B1G.

          See http://www.cic.net/Home.aspx

          Of course, those go along with increased revenues for the athletic department in the $40M range by 2017, a successful and dedicated conference television network (which could expand to two channels), an enlarged geographic footprint with conference offices in Chicago and probably New York City (#1 media capital in the world). That’s a pretty good package of assets the Big Ten can promote to any university interested in joining the conference.

          • greg says:

            The additions of Rutgers/Maryland made it pretty obvious that academics/research was a very large component of B1G expansion. The rumored additions of JHU and UNC/UVA/GT make it even more obvious that the B1G is attempting to use their current athletic leverage to solidify their R1 advantage for at least the next century.

            I think those who are hoping to see FSU added are going to be greatly disappointed.

          • Brian says:

            cutter,

            “My assessment is exactly the opposite of yours on this matter. Johns Hopkins is rated #9 on the top research universities listing from the Center for Measuring University Performance and and a research budget of $1.86B in 2009. See http://mup.asu.edu/research2011.pdf

            Nobody doubts their research cred.

            “If JHU became a member of the CIC with the participation of its lacrosse team in the Big Ten”

            That’s a big if. What if this is just a lacrosse thing? Then how do you feel about it?

        • Psuhockey says:

          John Hopkins is the #1 research university in terms of money in the country. They are valuable regardless of whether or not Duke or UNC comes aboard.

          • Crpodhaj says:

            These two points are pretty much how I see it. JH is valuable in its’ own right and would make the B1G attractive to prospective members who really, really value academics. If the B1G sees itself as the “Ivy League” of big schools, this would be the addition to prove it. And it would send the clear signal that no non-AAU schools will be added; you don’t strengthen your academic brand with a school like this and then water it back down. Other schools that want to be thought of in the same way will come to you.

        • BruceMcF says:

          And if they thought they were on the bubble with one or both, that would be good reason to add Hopkins.

    • Hopkins Horn says:

      I became obsessed with realignment because I was hoping that onw of my alma maters might join the B1G.

      I might get my wish after all!

    • BuckeyeBeau says:

      my two cents: adding JHU in any capacity — in ANY capacity —- to the B1G and/or the CIC is giant and huge and wow, “how cool!!!”

      so, if it takes a little thing like LAX to coax JHU into a relationship with the B1G and the CIC, then ‘west, by god, virginia,” do it !!

      I don’t really understand the hand-wringing expressed by many above. The B1G will make whatever exceptions needed to get a “King.” ND can join without being AAU; John Hopkins (an undisputed research and university “King”) will get whatever exceptions are needed.

      I seriously doubt these exceptions set any sort of precedent. That is, such exceptions will be extended for non-Kings. Oklahoma was apparently told “no.” They are not a big enough “King” to overcome their academic standing. ND is not a hockey “king”; ND’s football is. Thus, exceptions for THAT will be made.

      The B1G’s COP/C seems quite pragmatic to me.

    • Joe says:

      In 2004 the NCAA almost voted to stop allowing D3 schools to have a D1 team in one sport. Hopkins and RPI lobbied hard to stop that from happening, but I wonder if Hopkins is concerned that going to a major conference could bring up that issue again.

  11. Pablo says:

    Frank,

    Nice summary when you point out that the ACC is Southern, while still academically oriented. That captures the conference realignment dilemma for UVa and UNC.

    With expansion, the ACC’s economic value has shifted away from the original members. Florida State, Miami, VTech and Notre Dame (even though only a partial member) are the popular TV brands. Amazingly, Louisville seems to have more value to the ACC TV revenue model than Maryland. The current leaders in generating revenue for the ACC are the newer schools.

    Yet it’s still UNC and UVa that are deemed the core, or glue, for the conference. Most other schools want to be in the ACC (with the notable exceptions of UMD and FSU). The new ACC has evolved tremendously over the past 25 years and is no longer a culturally tight-knit group. If UVa and/or UNC decide to leave the ACC, hopefully it is for more than just money.

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      Yes, I agree that the most economically valuable schools to the ACC’s TV contract (where there is no conference-owned network) are schools that have been added in: Florida State, Miami, and Virginia Tech. Even Louisville has economic value arguably (but not decisively) greater than Maryland.

      On the other hand, it would be just as damaging to the ACC to lose those core schools as it would be to lose those who have been added through expansion.

      In particular, UNC is one of those schools with a lot of untapped value. If ever the team could produce a few top ten seasons in football, it could be a ratings giant. It already is one of the rare exceptions where its basketball brand is so popular that the Big Ten and SEC would consider them to enhance hoops while merely supplementing football, rather than the other way around. Furthermore, UNC is the only school that the BTN or an SEC Network would require in order to get onto basic cable at a high rate throughout a state which will soon have 10 million people. Adding Duke and/or NC State would only be so that the B1G or SEC could get UNC.

      UVA carries great untapped value, as well, especially for leagues with conference-owned networks because it is the flagship school in a state of over 8 million. Like UNC, Georgia Tech, and other AAU members, it would be a heck of a catch in terms of further enhancing a league’s academic reputation.

  12. Mike says:

    I have been working on this theory for a while, and finally decided to try and write it out and see if it makes any sense. It raises two questions from Frank’s prior entry regarding the SEC’s “Gentlemen’s Agreement” and the BIG contiguous states requirement.

    Let’s assume the Delany’s next 2 primary targets are not from the ACC, but actually Georgia and University of Florida. Both are their state’s flagship institutions. Georgia, although not AAU, has shown continued academic improvement. Florida, well, no explanation is necessary why it would be desirable to the B1G.

    The only way either of these schools would be remotely interested in leaving the SEC is if somehow the other conference schools forced an overriding vote that both Georgia and Florida were strongly against.

    That’s where the SEC’s “Gentlemen’s Agreement” and the continuous rumors of Georgia Tech to B1G and FSU to the Big 12 come into play. Can Delany cause enough uncertainty in the SEC, where Slive would attempt to make a completely defensive move and go after Georgia Teach and FSU to block out the B1G and Big 12 from 2 of the most populous states in the SEC? Would Georgia and Florida use the “Gentlemen’s Agreement” to try and block these additions, but Slive have enough votes to proceed forward with offers?

    I have no idea if Georgia would ever consider leaving the SEC, but did following post in response to Frank’s May 17, 2010 blog entry.

    aps says:
    May 25, 2010 at 6:04 pm
    Just a few years back, Barry Alvarez made the comment that they got an inquire from a university that nobody expected. He said it was from out of left field and nobody saw it coming. Barry said it would fit academically and athletically but just was off the map.

    People wondered and speculated who it could be. Barry never said if I remember rightly, but eventually most people on the web figured out it was Florida.

    So, I would not say anyone is out of reach. Just maybe not likely.

    I tried finding reports from other sources which support this posters belief that the B1G was approached by the University of Florida, but I couldn’t find anything. Does anyone know if this was true?

    If Georgia and Florida lost the vote, would this scenario even provide enough justification to their fan bases for the schools to leave the SEC?

    Obviously, these two schools directly support the demographic requirement for B1G expansion, while simultaneously severely weakening the SEC. Although, Georgia and Florida are not contiguous

    This scenario also goes directly against the “rules” of conference expansion:
    No one is leaving the SEC
    B1G will not look at non AAU schools
    Only contiguous stats
    SEC will not make a defensive move
    SEC will not invite a school within its current footprint

    • metatron says:

      Even if it was Florida, you’re looking at a public university fighting against their fans and legislators. It’s not impossible, but it’s damn near improbable.

    • Richard says:

      Actually, I thought “everyone on the web” thought it was Tennessee (because their boosters thought going through the B10 would be an easier route to a national title than going through the SEC).

      If UF had wanted in, they would be in the B10 already. There’s little doubt in my mind that UF & UGa have open invitations to the B10 if they want them (they’d have open invitations to pretty much any other conference as well).

      • metatron says:

        That was a rumor, and with their debt it makes sense.

        I’d take the Vols.

        • Mike says:

          The post I referenced stated that Alvarez said the school was an academic and athletic fit for the B1G. Assuming the post was accurate, I don’t see how the Vols would be an academic fit.

          Can anyone provide a link to a reputable source that specifies what school made inquiries in the 2008 time period?

          • Richard says:

            I remember reading that article and don’t remember Alvarez mentioning that it was an academic fit. I’m quite confident that if UF and UGa had wanted in, they would be in the B10 already, and the rumor was that the B10 sent out feelers to both schools and was rebuffed.

    • bullet says:

      First, I don’t think either would care. UGA isn’t concerned about Georgia Tech. And Georgia Tech might prefer the Big 12 rather than competing head to head against UGA.

      But even if your premises are accepted, it wouldn’t be enough. There could, however, be things over time that push UGA and UF to look elsewhere. Georgia and Florida have grown much faster than the other SEC states. Academically they have improved much faster than the other SEC schools. They aren’t enthused about schools pushing the rules envelope (both have done it in the past and don’t like the temptation). So there is a divide that didn’t exist 30 years ago. If the SEC keeps expanding, they create the grounds for schools like UGA and UF to eventually leave. Don’t know about Florida, but you wouldn’t see many UGA fans cheering for Auburn or Florida in the BCS title games. Alabama and LSU maybe since UGA rarely plays them. But there isn’t the “SEC, SEC” mentality you see in other places.

      • bamatab says:

        Again, we will have to agree to disagree on this point. UGA fans chant SEC all of the time when they play major OOC games. They are at the heart of SEC country, and their fans are passionate about the SEC.

        Here is a video of them chanting SEC during a GT game:

        [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ll5hMtcAn84&w=420&h=315%5D

        Just in case my attempt at enbedding didn’t work, here is the link: http://youtu.be/ll5hMtcAn84

        And they use the same recruiting practices that the other SEC schools use. They currently have 29 kids committed to this year’s class (and they are still in the running for a couple more kids) because they will backcount up to 6 kids against last year’s class, and grey short others (which is the only way SEC schools can now “over sign”). And I’m not going to get into the tactics that Rodney Garnder used while he was recruiting coordinator there, who was there since before Richt took over, and just left to go back to auburn.

        I have friends that are UGA fans, work with UGA fans, and go into Georgia quite often. They are as entrenched in the SEC as Bama or Ole Miss or any other SEC school.

        • bullet says:

          I’ve never heard the chant so its not that common. And I’ve been to a number of UGA games and watch the rest. I’m married to a 3rd generation Bulldawg and have lots of Bulldawg friends.

        • bullet says:

          UGA doesn’t have a foot out the door and aren’t even looking at the doorway, but they have more differences than they used to. If you look at history, UGA has a low rate of signees compared to SEC West schools. But yes, they are signing a bunch this year and doing early enrollees.

          • bullet says:

            Mark Richt is NOT a Bobby Petrino in any way shape or form. The early enrollees are probably a desperation move since their numbers are so low as Richt has been strict on kicking people out of the program who violate the rules. I believe they were down to 71 scholarship players last fall.

          • bullet says:

            The worst part of over-signing is when you don’t have the slots or are forcing players out of the program because they don’t perform or are signing a bunch of players because you figure many aren’t going to qualify academically (see Bobby Petrino). Richt has kicked out a couple of players starting or projected to start at AQ schools (LSU’s QB and a RB-forgot where he is going).

          • bamatab says:

            While Richt seems like a good guy and a decent coach, he seems to have a hard time keeping his players out of trouble, which is one factor in why UGA’s player numbers are so low. From 2006 – 2010 he had 33 players arrested, and from 2010 – 2012 he had 14 players arrested (and that is just the ones that were actually arrested).

          • bullet says:

            He’s a great guy. But he’s made some bad choices on players. Athens area police, unlike other places, actually enjoy arresting football players. UGA players had a run of arrests for driving w/o a license (you would think after the first couple, the rest would learn…not the case).

          • bullet says:

            @bamatab
            The arrests have been for a lot of stupid stuff. One year there were the 7 or 8 driving w/o a license. DUIs. Unpaid tickets. Hit and run on a parked car. Seems like there was one for riding a motorized scooter on a sidewalk (DWB?). No armed robberies or anything of that nature that I recall. But lots of, “How can you be so stupid?”

          • bullet says:

            Just to be clear, UGA is happy in the SEC. There are some minor dissatisfactions and I can’t forsee them ever leaving without Florida. But there are differences that could lead to a departure at some point in the future if they continue to grow. The SEC isn’t the homogenous group + Vanderbilt that it used to be. Sewanee, Tulane and Georgia Tech all left after the SEC wasn’t a fit anymore.

          • bamatab says:

            The only thing that would drive UGA and/or UF would be a massive, SWC like scandal that would rip the SEC apart. Aside from an event like that, UGA & UF would have absolutely no desire to change conferences.

            Sewanee & Tulane left because they didn’t want to keep investing in their athletic programs to keep them at the level that the other SEC school were heading. There is absolutely no way that UGA or UF would even think about de-emphasizing their sports programs (especially football). And GT left because the person running their athletic department (Dodds) was dumb enough to believe an independant GT could become the ND of the south. Sure he didn’t like the football signing limits (or lack there of), and he didn’t like what he thought was special treatment that Bama got. But in the end, the reason he was able to convience the PTB at GT to leave was that he was convienced that GT could be the ND of the south. Neither UGA or UF would even dream of going independant.

            The SEC is as homogenous of a group as they have ever been. As a matter of a fact, they are probably more so under Slive than they were back in the 80s & 90s under Kramer. The SEC brand has grown to the point under Slive that it has become even more important to the identities of the SEC schools, including UF & UGA. Outside of a total collapse of the SEC, they aren’t leaving. The only other scenario I could see is if the SEC expands to a number like 20 or more, that ends up not working out, and then the schools dividing up into smaller conferences. but even in that scenario, UGA & UF would be forming a new conference with other SEC schools.

    • BruceMcF says:

      Neither Georgia nor Florida are stomping out of the SEC because a vote went against them.

      If Florida is against FSU in the SEC, its not likely to be adamantly against, since they were supporting FSU a couple of decades ago.

      And GTech is not very likely anyway. They left the SEC for reasons, many of which still exist.

      • Mike says:

        @ BruceMcF

        Are you implying that there is no “gentlemen’s agreement” amongst the 4 SEC teams that have potential expansion targets in their respective states? None of us know if one actually exists, but assuming it does, I find it hard to believe that Florida would go through the effort of making an agreement with Georgia, S. Carolina, and Kentucky if they didn’t really care about FSU joining the SEC.

        Wouldn’t it be one of the two extremes? Either Florida is in full support of FSU as a potential member or adamantly against.

        • BruceMcF says:

          The scenario proposed was Florida stomping out of the SEC in a huff because the vote went against them, and/or Georgia stomping out in a huff because the vote went against them … which PRESUMES either the lack of a gentleman’s agreement or else the other parties flouting it when it becomes clear they are the one facing in-state competition.

          If there IS a gentleman’s agreement, and it is respected, then stomping out of the SEC over the entry is a moot point, since there is no entry to object to. And if there is a gentleman’s agreement, and Florida voted in favor of FSU’s entry, then the other parties following Florida lead would be respecting the agreement, and stomping out of the SEC over the entry is still a moot point.

          But EVEN IF Florida and/or Georgia presumed there was a gentleman’s agreement in place and it turned out to be dog out dog when push came to shove …
          … they might be ticked off, and might sharpen their knives to make their displeasure when an opportunity presented itself …
          … but they wouldn’t stomp out of the SEC in a huff.

    • Tom says:

      Absolute crapola. Neither UGA nor UF will leave the SEC in our lifetimes. This is one if the most delusional posts I’ve read in a long time, that’s otherwise well written. The SEC would offer FSU a spot within a nanosecond of UF leaving (and then gaator fans would burn their university president’s house to the ground in the next nanosecond). Lets get back to reality please.

  13. Wise Owl says:

    Anyone else find it odd that all the ACC doomsday scenarios originate from WVU fans?

  14. Richard says:

    BTW, while the B10 doesn’t seem to have ever had affiliate members, the Pac does (including Boise and a bunch of Cal State schools) in various sports, and no one talks about the integrity of the Pac being compromised.

    • frug says:

      I’m aware that the PAC has a ton of affiliate members… but they have for a long time.

      If the Big Ten had a history of partial/affiliate membership then I wouldn’t have a problem. But they don’t. Full membership is one of the Big Ten’s founding principles.

      • Richard says:

        So was forbidding freshmen participation in varsity sports and no training tables or separate athletes’ dorms.

        Times change.

        • frug says:

          You’re right. Let’s get Boston University hockey and ISU wrestling while we’re at it. Those are AAU schools with elite sports.

          • frug says:

            Hell, while we’re at it let’s throw in McGill and Toronto’s hockey teams like JJ suggested.

            Listen, I’m not some naive slippery slope guy who believes that allowing Hopkins in is the first step towards the Big Ten becoming a Big East style hybrid monstrosity, but philosophically there isn’t any difference between letting JH in for lacrosse and any other partial membership.

          • frug says:

            Oh, and for your times change condescension, that was the exact same rational the ACC used when they explained why they allowed ND in after refusing to do so for 60 years and things have just gone swimmingly for them.

            (Also, to clarify, JJ was being sarcastic.)

          • Richard says:

            Nah, ISU won’t drop down their other sports to DivIII. I would consider BU if they dropped their other sports down to DivIII but their hockey attendance is surprisingly mediocre.

          • Richard says:

            On the flip side, how does the Pac suffer when they take in Boise and some CalState schools in some minor sports? Do you see the Pac disintegrating? BTW, there’s a major distinction between ND and the ACC and the Pac affiliates (which would be closer to a JHU-in-the-B10 scenario: ND is joining the ACC in all sports but the most important one. The Pac (and the B10) pick and choose what schools they admit in what sports. In the case of the B10, they can still say that all DivI sports have to be in the B10 if a school joins.

          • Ted says:

            You’re being a spaz and totally missing the point.

            The Big Ten is contemplating addding a member in a sport it has never sponsored, the potential member being one of the lacrosse’s bluebloods, which happens to be that school’s only sport (D1 is all that matters here), that would provide an automatic NCAA bid for the league, and possible make it more attractive to UVa and UNC for one of their premier sports, at an institution that is as or more prestigious than any current conference member.

            And somehow that equates to the same thing as adding ND as a football-only member?

          • BruceMcF says:

            Yes, JHU can be added under associate bylaws that specify “all” D1 sports as associate memberships, and that closes off both the “only football” (the “Big East of Reno”) and “all but football” scenarios, without completely slamming the door on moves that the BTN might like for their winter and spring non-revenue sports filler.

          • frug says:

            @Bruce

            And then they can just change the bylaws again to expand associate membership whenever they feel like it.

          • Richard says:

            OK, and you still haven’t pointed out how the B10 suffers even if they do, considering that the Pac seems to avoid implosion despite giving up their viginity, er, exclusivilty, er, whatever.

          • BuckeyeBeau says:

            @frug:

            You said: “Listen, I’m not some naive slippery slope guy who believes that allowing Hopkins in is the first step towards the Big Ten becoming a Big East style hybrid monstrosity, but philosophically there isn’t any difference between letting JH in for lacrosse and any other partial membership.”

            I my view, JHU is not just “some” AAU member. Adding a B1G relationship with JHU is a big f-ing deal. In my view, there is a giant difference between letting JHU in for Lax and other partial memberships.

          • frug says:

            OK, and you still haven’t pointed out how the B10 suffers even if they do, considering that the Pac seems to avoid implosion despite giving up their viginity, er, exclusivilty, er, whatever.

            You do realize that conferences have different standards don’t you? After all the PAC also added schools like ASU and WSU but the Big Ten wouldn’t because they have higher academic standards.

          • Richard says:

            OK, but why should no-associate-membership be a standard? There are network effects and other positive externalities (as well as some cost savings) from associating with other top research institutions. What’s the positive in keeping yourself pure/virginal/unadulterated/whatever?

          • Brian says:

            Why did the CIC decide to trim the fat and get down to 13 and only 13 schools? They clearly thought extra schools presented some issues. JHU is a bigger spender than those others, but some of the reasons may still apply.

          • Richard says:

            “JHU is a bigger spender than those others”

            Well, yeah. That (and academic prestige) are kind of a big differentiator. Plus, the reason UIC was kicked out was because, if they were going to be consistent about branch campuses within the same university system being allowed in to the CIC, IUPUI, a bunch of MAC schools & Cincy in the University System of Ohio as well as the 20 million UWisconsin campuses should have been allowed in as well, which would have been an organizational nightmare. So the CIC was either going to be rationalized or show favoritism to the University of Illinois system.

            As with any expansion, you have to weigh the costs and benefits. Adding JHU increases the headcount by 1 and increases the research heft of the consortium considerably. Adding a bunch of branch campuses increases the research heft by not a ton and makes the organizational logistics much more of a headache. Keeping UIC leads to (correct) charges of favoritism.

          • @Richard – To be sure, UIC is actually a very large research institution (particularly in medicine and the hard sciences), so it’s more akin to a University of California branch academically (at least at the graduate research level) than the typical branch campuses in the Big Ten region. I don’t think the CIC was necessarily worried about, say, all of the University of Wisconsin campuses (I’m pretty sure every town in Wisconsin with more than 10,000 people has one) seeking associate memberships (as they have gone for decades without asking about it), but rather the University of Nebraska-Omaha specifically. UNO has a similar relationship with Nebraska that UIC has with Illinois, where the urban campuses house the bulk of the high dollar medical research. That’s why the CIC decided to remove UIC at the same time that it added Nebraska – it knew that it couldn’t continue granting associate status to UIC without doing the same for UNO.

          • frug says:

            OK, but why should no-associate-membership be a standard?

            Why doesn’t the PAC allow religiously affiliated schools? Why won’t the SEC add states from outside the South? It’s an identity issue. That is a positive enough factor.

          • Richard says:

            frug:

            The SEC just added a school outside of the South.

            Plus, I don’t see “sponsoring all sports needed to be a full member” as being part of the B10 identity, and as much as you may want it to be otherwise, I don’t think the B10 sees it that way either. It seems pretty clear to me that the B10 sees it’s identity as being a consortium of top research universities who strive to excel both athletically and academically while playing by the rules (that last part, unlike full membership, really was written down at the conference’s founding). JHU fits the bill perfectly.

          • frug says:

            @Richard

            Go back and read the SEC’s statement announcing the addition of Missouri. They spent several paragraphs describing how Southern it is. And Missouri’s Governor signed an Ordinance of Secession leading to competing state capitals. In other words, it was Southern enough that the SEC could argue it was a Southern state.

          • Richard says:

            Frank:

            Good point, but point stands that the CIC either had to show favoritism or add a school/campus that they didn’t deem worth adding.

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        Full membership is one of the Big Ten’s founding principles.

        Can you point out to us where the founders said that? I don’t seem to have noticed it before.

        • frug says:

          Well all the founders were full members and in the 115 since they have never had a partial member.

          • Richard says:

            Well, until 1975, the B10 never allowed a member school to play in a bowl other than the Rose Bowl. Does that mean that in 1974, not playing in a non-Rose-Bowl bowl was an integral part of the league’s identity, and that the league was irrevocably harmed and lost its identity & cohesion after allowing schools to play in non-Rose-Bowl bowls?

          • frug says:

            @Richard

            The Big Ten’s arrangement with the Rose Bowl didn’t begin until after WWII, almost half a century after the conference’s founding.

            And the no bowl but the Rose Bowl arrangement was in effect for less than 30 years.

          • Richard says:

            I fail to see how that’s relevant. BTW, partial membership wasn’t even an issue for most of those 115 years, so we have no clue how member schools would have thought about it.

            We do know, however, how the B10 stood on bowl games. For a long time, the B10 didn’t allow member schools to participate in any bowl. So the non-Rose-Bowl bowl ban was more like 50 years. Up until 1975, no B10 school had participated in a non-Rose-Bowl bowl. Was not playing in a non-Rose-Bowl bowl an integral part of the league’s character, then?

          • Brian says:

            I’d say that allowing bowls other than the Rose did, in fact, harm the B10 by starting down the slippery slope that let the Rose Bowl become so diminished that the B10 will willingly not play in it in the future. If it was the only goal, as is right and proper, then the B10 would continue to value it properly. Instead, they sold out starting in the 70s.

  15. Brian says:

    Frank,

    I’ve said for a while this is a Mexican standoff. The B12, B10 and SEC all need something to happen to destabilize the ACC. Maybe the final playoff and bowl money numbers will be enough. Maybe the SEC’s new TV deal will be a trigger. Maybe the B10 signing a new deal will do it. Maybe a large budget issue will occur for an ACC school or two. But until that happens, I see no pressing need for any further expansion.

    The B12 has said as many ways as possible that they’re happy as is. They make good money and have no demographic issues. The SEC is doing just fine on the field and is about to get a raise, so they don’t need to grow. The B10 added a FB king and two good size states in a growing region to address all their expressed needs. The ACC would like to make more money, but most of their members really like the ACC. The financial gap will have to be huge to drive most of the members to leave, especially when you consider the cultural differences in their prospective new homes.

    This is why I take issue with people taking such a short term view when talking about B10 divisions. Many assume the B10 will jump to 16+ by 2014 or 2016 so they accept obvious long term problems with the divisions as a good thing for the short term. I think future expansion is possible at any time, but it isn’t a given and shouldn’t be taken as such.

    • Richard says:

      OK, JHU football to the East to give tOSU an automatic win every year.

    • frug says:

      The B12 has said as many ways as possible that they’re happy as is. They make good money and have no demographic issues.

      1. Conferences lie all the time. And even if they are happy at 10, that doesn’t mean they couldn’t be happier at 12+.

      2. The Big XII actually has a massive demographic issue. Specifically, how small it is. The Big XII has by far the smallest population footprint of all the major conferences. That may not be an imminent threat, but it is every bit as problematic for the Big XII’s long term health as the populations shifts are to the Big Ten’s.

      • @frug – I definitely agree that the Big 12 has demographic issues (namely, they are almost completely reliant upon the state of Texas). Of course, the flip side is that the ACC has great demographics – they have the fastest growing footprint of any conference and, even better, it’s growth that’s largely driven by affluent and highly educated people moving into that region. That might be why the Big 12 and ACC could be natural alliance partners – they seem to have opposite weaknesses, so an alliance would fill in the gaps for each league.

        • Brian says:

          Frank the Tank,

          TX is the fastest growing state in the country (>2%). Considering it’s also the 2nd largest state, that’s impressive growth. It’s lead over NY has grown by 4.5M in 12 years while CA’s lead dropped by 1M.

          • BruceMcF says:

            The jobs growth is biased toward the bottom of the income ladder ~ but the point there is that Texas’s growth is the platform that all ten schools are standing on, just as their second most popular school is making waves in the most prestigious football conference in the nation.

            Diversification is likely to give more resiliance, and if they cannot diversity their “home” markets as a first mover, building up their out of conference brand recognition in growing east coast markets is an appealing “can do it now” strategy.

          • frug says:

            There is approximately 0% chance that Texas’ growth alone will get the Big XII anywhere near the population base of the other conferences.

          • Brian says:

            frug,

            It doesn’t need to. It has to supply enough students and players for 10 schools (less than that since WV hunts in other places). CFB is moving to a more national model, so being good will trump their footprint market.

          • Richard says:

            Brian:

            That’s still considerably less students/players/eyeballs per school than any other major conference.

          • Brian says:

            So? It’s been that way for a while and they’re doing just fine. Where is the evidence that it’s a problem for them?

          • frug says:

            @Brian

            Check out their TV ratings. The Big XII’s Fox package was pretty disappointing.

            Plus, where is the evidence that population trends were negatively effecting the Big Ten?

          • Brian says:

            frug,

            “Plus, where is the evidence that population trends were negatively effecting the Big Ten?”

            Delany and several presidents saying they thought it was a problem is the evidence. Show me similar quotes from the B12.

          • Richard says:

            Brian:

            I guess it depends on what you consider “just fine”. What frug said, and I would argue that those ratings were in a recent period when several B12 schools (OK St., TCU, KSU, and even TTech) have been performing above their historical norm. Neither T Boone or Bill Synder are spring chickens; how will their programs do when Sugar Daddy Pickens goes to the Big Oil Patch in the Sky & Old Man Synder hangs it up for good?

            With only 2 kings (and none of the programs outside the 2 kings being able to organically generate the same type of money the kings and princes in the B10 and SEC can), I can easily see the B12 going through a down period like the past decade that the ACC went through. I don’t think they’d be doing just fine if they had to negotiate a new TV deal at the end of such a down period.

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            “I guess it depends on what you consider “just fine”. What frug said, and I would argue that those ratings were in a recent period when several B12 schools (OK St., TCU, KSU, and even TTech) have been performing above their historical norm.

            “Neither T Boone or Bill Synder are spring chickens; how will their programs do when Sugar Daddy Pickens goes to the Big Oil Patch in the Sky & Old Man Synder hangs it up for good?”

            I honestly have no idea. Some programs change level significantly and stay at the new level (NW, WI, MN, etc), others return to their norm. It’s a new world with universal TV coverage of games and players more willing than ever to go away from home. If TBP gives OkSU a crap load of money when he dies, it may be a program-changing donation. Maybe KSU will find another coach that can succeed in Manhattan.

            “With only 2 kings (and none of the programs outside the 2 kings being able to organically generate the same type of money the kings and princes in the B10 and SEC can), I can easily see the B12 going through a down period like the past decade that the ACC went through. I don’t think they’d be doing just fine if they had to negotiate a new TV deal at the end of such a down period.”

            I don’t necessarily disagree with you on any of that. My point is simply that TPTB in the B12 are in a better position to know if they have an issue and none of them has ever said that they do. The B10, on the other hand, has said many times that they saw a problem and that they planned to fix it through expansion. People want to apply the same analysis to both conferences but maybe that isn’t appropriate. Perhaps being sun belt versus rust belt makes enough of a difference. Perhaps having TX rather than OH and MI and IL is sufficient. Perhaps it having UT in charge. Maybe it’s an optimism/pessimism thing. Maybe they just all refuse to say anything in public. But for whatever reason, the B12 doesn’t seem to think they have a problem.

            I’m not arguing whether they do or not. I’m arguing that since they don’t seem to think they have a problem, that’s all that matters. Their perception of their situation is all that matters in determining their actions.

        • exswoo says:

          I think it also highlights an issue for schools like Virginia – how ‘Southern’ is your identity now when most of your economic and demographic growth over the past few decades has been driven by non-Southerners moving in?

          This is why I don’t really buy the ‘culture’ argument as being a deal breaker for states such as Virginia and North Carolina. Non-Southern implants make up about a third of total population in both states now and over time I would expect these states to be less Southern over time – a shift that I think that has already happened across most of Northern Virginia

        • cutter says:

          Frank:

          If the ACC region’s growth is driven by “affluent and highly educated people moving into that region”, exactly how “southern” are those regions going to be?

          I spent about five months in Charlottesville, VA last year and my takeaway from that region is that while it’s in the midst of rural SW Virginia, the town, campus and student body are rather different than the surroundings in the much the same way as northern Virginia, Richmond and the SE tip of the commonwealth are different from its other regions.

          Also keep in mind that a little under 70% of the student body is instate with the rest either from other U.S. states and overseas. I don’t have the demographics on the native Virginians who go there, but given the costs involved in attending, my guess is that it’s from the more affluent areas of the commonwealth. I just have to wonder how “southern” UVA really is in terms of its outlook.

          I also wonder what an alliance of the two conferences will do to the bottom line finances of the respective schools. Will the ACC be able to leverage it into a better television deal comparable to what the Big Ten and SEC will be offering? Does it mean there will be an ACC Network on par with the networks run by the Pac 12, B10 and SEC? Will it change the post-season in any way, shape or form for football? Outside of having the two conferences schedule more non-conference games with each other (and maybe the ACC will drop its basketball challenge with the Big Ten and take one up with the Big XII–or perhaps do both), what other benefits would these two conferences get (and how realistic would that be if the Big XII sticks with a nine-game conference schedule and the ACC adopts one)?

          One of the reasons I’ve felt (and others I know) for awhile that the next two schools coming into the Big Ten were Virginia and Georgia Tech is because they had less invested in being “southern” than the other ACC schools due to their locations (GaTech and urban Atlanta), profiles, leadership, research specialties/fit and student populations. I’m certainly not disputing the idea that it would be easier for them to make a move out of the ACC if UNC and/or Duke and/or Florida State were in the mix, but in my assessment, they aren’t as strictly welded to the ACC as some of the other schools in that conference.

      • Brian says:

        frug,

        “2. The Big XII actually has a massive demographic issue. Specifically, how small it is. The Big XII has by far the smallest population footprint of all the major conferences. That may not be an imminent threat, but it is every bit as problematic for the Big XII’s long term health as the populations shifts are to the Big Ten’s.”

        That’s not a demographic problem, that’s a market problem. As is, they have TX. That’s 8% of the US and growing and they care about CFB. 15% of the nation isn’t in a power conference (mostly NY, MA and a bunch of small states), and much of the country doesn’t care about CFB as deeply as TX does, so the B12 effective market share is bigger than the simple stats make it seem. They can live off of that as CFB becomes more national anyway. They have a big TV deal and the playoff money will only grow. As long as they keep producing quality teams, they’re fine.

        • frug says:

          @Brian

          The Big Ten had a much larger market than the Big XII and more nationally relevant teams and yet they still felt the need to expand.

          • Brian says:

            And the B12 didn’t, because TX is a rapidly growing area while the midwest isn’t. Not every league has the same needs.

          • frug says:

            Even if all states continue at their current rate of growth the Big XII still wouldn’t have a population comparable to the Big 10 in 30 years.

          • Brian says:

            And that’s a problem? They don’t seem to think so.

          • frug says:

            @Brian

            Or they see no reason to admit a weakness.

          • Brian says:

            frug,

            That is another option, sure. But 4 schools have left and the commissioner has changed and nobody has said anything about it. That makes me think they don’t see it as an issue. Whether they are correct in that assessment is a different matter.

      • Brian says:

        Also, frug, the B12 has been very clear about what would make them happier. If teams 11 and 12 make them more money, then they’ll be happier. They have never expressed feeling a need to expand like the B10 did.

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          Even the Big Ten had the same view: Jim Delany doesn’t do deals that lose money.

          • Brian says:

            Marc Shepherd,

            “Even the Big Ten had the same view: Jim Delany doesn’t do deals that lose money.”

            Nobody wants to lose money, no, but Delany might have been willing to break even while solving the demographics problem of the B10. The B12 has never expressed a concern like that.

          • metatron says:

            The death of the Midwest has been prognosticated and over exaggerated for decades.

          • m (Ag) says:

            Nobody prognosticated the death of the Midwest; they prognosticated that it would lose importance relative to other areas of the country.

            And they have been right; look and see how the percentage of congressional seats going to Midwest states have changed over time.

            It’s still important, but it has lost the massive population edge it used to have.

        • bullet says:

          Big 12 Presidents aren’t convinced that mega-conferences are the way to go. There has been lots of negative talk about 14 and 16 coming out of the Big 12. Its about quality expansion. Even Deloss Dodds, who has been the most outspoken about being happy at 10, has said he is for expansion with the “right two.” The Big 12 has first hand experience with having diverse institutions in a conference and first hand experience in trying to work through the complexities of a possible 16 team conference.

          I think its pretty clear the Big 12 would expand back to at least 12 if FSU would say yes. There have been enough comments on both sides. But the Big 12 isn’t going to expand just to expand.

    • bullet says:

      The B1G has a demographic issue despite some denials here. But adding 15 million people in NJ and MD and tapping into another 10-15 million in NYC, solves the problem for 30 years or so. The B1G will continue to have the largest population and alumni base. There isn’t any rush to add more population. A lot can change over 30 years.

      • zeek says:

        That’s right, but if you’re in charge of the conference do you run the risk of waiting 30 years and finding yourself again on the wrong side of the curve but then with UNC/UVa/Ga Tech unavailable?

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          No one could accuse Jim Delany of sleeping on opportunity. None of those schools are available right now. I don’t doubt that if he’s able to pry them loose, he will.

        • bullet says:

          I don’t see the B1G’s population/alumni advantage leading to financial strength changing anytime soon. You have to weigh the risk of losing the opportunity vs. what you really want to be. Do you really want to be an 18-20 team conference? Do you want to add more below average teams in football? Do you want to add more schools with less than B1G average football fan support?

          And does it really help non-sports? I can see Maryland and Rutgers being beneficial. B1G is now closer to NYC and DC which are centers of power and decision makers on research funding. Richmond and Raleigh aren’t quite the same.

          If their goal is to morph into something different than a conference, now is the time to strike. But I’ve heard they want to play each other more and that’s not consistent with a 16 team conference, let alone 18-20.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            The Big Ten presidents and ADs have access to more data than we do. When senior people from multiple schools say that they don’t think expansion is done, you’ve got to figure that there’s data behind it.

            As I noted above, Jim Delany hasn’t done a deal yet that lost money. If we’re taking bets on whose data is better, his or yours, I’ll take the bet on Delany.

          • bullet says:

            A Delany worshipper!

            I don’t see where I said anything about data. I’m talking about value judgements. I doubt they would be talking expansion if they didn’t think they could make more TV $ in the short and medium term. But there are long run consequences that aren’t measurable. And there are choices about what you want to do for a little (or a lot) more money. Its hard to see any of these schools adding a lot (but then its hard to see how Pitt and SU really added anything net to the ACC).

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            I’m not a Delany worshipper at all. Your post appeared to be appealing to facts, not values, and on the facts I assume Delany has better data.

            As to values, there are plenty of people who thought that even Rutgers and Maryland were two schools too many, and I won’t argue with them. We are all entitled to our own values, but we aren’t entitled to our own facts.

            When you say, “It’s hard to see any of these schools adding a lot (but then its hard to see how Pitt and SU really added anything net to the ACC).”, you are stating (purported) facts. And here, I’m guessing the conference commissioners know a lot more, since it’s their full-time job, and we’re just amateur sports fans.

          • bullet says:

            “Do you really want to be an 18-20 team conference? Do you want to add more below average teams in football? Do you want to add more schools with less than B1G average football fan support? there are choices about what you want to do for a little (or a lot) more money.”

            These are all value choices (there’s no dispute about whether they have been below average in competitive strength or attendance). The SU and Pitt comment is a reference to my “little (or a lot)” comment. I don’t see how they add a lot, but its still a value judgement if they add a lot (however you define that).

          • metatron says:

            This whole thing reminds me of New Coke. Charts and marketing data don’t make for a good conference.

          • @bullet – I hear you. I’ve never been a fan of expanding for the sake of expanding (despite spending most of my time writing about expansion). Now, I do think that schools such as UVA, UNC and Georgia Tech add value as a collective, but there does need to be some type of football hammer (e.g. Florida State) that comes along with them if the Big Ten goes that route (and if it isn’t clear by now, I’m a skeptic of the Big Ten actually pulling that off even if they want to). Academics and population bases matter a lot, but we shouldn’t go too overboard in thinking that they are the *only* things that matter to the Big Ten – the quality of football still drives the long-term money train off-the-field and Jim Delany knows that as much as anyone.

          • metatron says:

            ^I’m beginning to lose faith in the church of Jim. We’ve gambled and lost lately.

          • Richard says:

            Frank:

            Agree on UNC & UVa. Don’t think GTech adds enough unless they’re needed to bring in FSU.

      • metatron says:

        Are we building an army? Give me a reason to care about population trends that doesn’t include the word “television”.

    • Quacs says:

      The UMD lawsuit claims the ACC Constitution says that modifications to the conference by laws may not be enacted until the start of the following financial year (or something to that effect). We know MD is using this to argue they shouldn’t be subject to the $50M exit fee until it goes into effect mid summer 2013. Would a positive ruling for MD on this point provide more impetus for others to move before the end of the fiscal year? Perhaps member institutions would be pushed to move by a fear of getting “stuck” in a less attractive (fewer valuable members) ACC with exorbitant exit fees and without some combination of valuable members?

      On the flip side, if the $50M exit fee is ruled to be unenforceable, could it potentially work to buy time for (and potentially save) the ACC since the “ticking clock” of the end of the fiscal year would be gone?

      • Nemo says:

        Believe there is another hearing on the case scheduled for early February.

      • BruceMcF says:

        Bylaws also say you have to notify by August 15th to leave at the following end of June, so that timing issue is more about withholding conference disbursements now than about whether Maryland is subject to an exit penalty: it was August 2012 to be out of the conference before a bylaw coming into effect July 1, 2013.

        The arguments that the exit penalty is not due at all are the arguments that due process under the bylaws was not followed in enacting the penalty ~ notification period and such.

  16. wmwolverine says:

    Great topic and one I’ve given thought from recent events. It really sounds like Texas doesn’t want any ‘competition’ in its conference and its minions are scared of Texas taking off and joining the Pac 12, B10, etc.

    A Big XII expansion of FSU, Clemson, Miami, Louisville would be a huge boon imo but it’s clear Texas doesn’t want that so it’s very unlikely to happen. Texas wants to play Oklahoma, the Big XII cupcakes and one big OOC opponent every year and not face a threat in a Big XII CCG so they can get to to the 4-team playoff with little risk… I think a CCG should nearly be a requirement for the playoff system.

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      I think a CCG should nearly be a requirement for the playoff system.

      The people making the decisions don’t think so.

    • Hopkins Horn says:

      the Big XII cupcakes

      You realize that, since 2007, eight of the ten current schools of the Big 12 have cracked the Top 2 of the polls at least once, right?

      (And one of the two which hasn’t cracked the Top 2, Baylor, merely produced a Heisman winner instead.)

      Can any other conference point to that level of depth in its membership?

      I’m not sure “cupcakes” is the right word here…

      • bullet says:

        Which is why they really are happy in the Big 12. Except for 3 of the schools that left, the Big 12 has been pretty good for everyone.

      • Mack says:

        Alabama can thank cupcake Baylor for helping its national championship season because if Baylor did not upset that other B12 cupcake Kansas State, Alabama would have not have made it to the NCG to be able to show what it could do on the field against Notre Dame.

        • bullet says:

          And don’t forget cupcake Iowa State last year that allowed them a rematch against LSU.

          • bullet says:

            And Iowa State and Baylor are the two schools that have NOT been ranked in the top 2.

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            bullet – I can’t forget. That’s why I hate both Iowa State and OK State now.

          • frug says:

            @Alan

            Of course as Joyner noted the fact that LSU success under Miles has been entirely tied to their ability to win the turnover battle, OSU actually would have been the toughest matchup for the Tigers since the Cowboys TO margin last year was not only the best it the country, it was historic.

          • frug says:

            KC Joyner

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            frug – that 2011 LSU team beat eight ranked teams including the Pac-12 & Rose Bowl Champ at a neutral site, the Big East & Orange Bowl Champ on the road, and the BCS champ on the road. On its way to a 13-0 record and with only 6 home games, only two games were even close. I like that team’s chances against anybody, even OK State. In retrospect, asking my Tigers to beat Alabama three times in a row was just too much. Had LSU been able to close the deal, that season would be viewed as one of the greatest seasons in the history of college football.

          • frug says:

            @Alan

            I would have favored LSU over Okie St. too, I was just pointing out that on paper at least, it would have been a tougher matchup than Alabama.

    • Tom says:

      The B12 would take FSU immediately if they’d go. They won’t.

  17. anevilmeme says:

    Frank,

    You are correct, until the core schools (NC, Va & Duke) see no other options they have no desire to leave and the ACC survives.

    My guess is Delany’s targets to get to 16 are GT & FSU. Those 2 have the demographics aka tv eyeballs and recruits to make them valuable additions.

    Of course Jim has to convince his bosses to take a non-AAU school.

    Just my 2 cents.

    • mushroomgod says:

      I don’t think the Presidents will go for that. They’re still in charge.

      • Brian says:

        Is this where offering JHU (if it happens) comes in? JHU + GT are huge for academics and research, providing some cover for FSU?

    • jimisawesome says:

      GT and FSU to the B1G is the only real option I see to start a run at the ACC and this might not even do it. To much politics for other schools to be first movers.

      UVA has a VT problem. The power in the state that forced VT to the ACC is still the power in the state. Its an assumption that the SEC would just run to grab them if UVA left. And that is if UVA even wanted to leave. They don’t need the money like Maryland. VT will have a hard time leaving for the same reason but they are not as flush with cash.

      UNC is has it worse. They control 50 percent minus 1 of the NCST BoT so leaving them on a ledge is horrible optics that will get politicos involved. To maximize the value of UNC you really need Duke and it seems from the outside they are close and likely a package deal. Then of course it only takes one WF alum in the right position to screw the whole deal. For every dollar extra UNC makes more in the B1G/SEC they can take 10 in state funding. In a different context this happened just this last year in Florida where a state rep was not getting his way of an unneeded and unwanted by anyone but him and a few local COC types a 12th state university so he threatened to cut from tens to hundreds of millions in state funding to each of the 11 state universities.

      BC offers the B1G nothing. The ACC experiment should be more then enough evidence that BC does not move the Boston dial at all. Other then the Boston market they are about as far from a B1G school as you can get. The idea that they would be used to grab ND is well stupid. They play rather infrequently and the B1G would like ND they don’t need ND.

      Cuse is similar and I don’t think they bring all that much more then what Rutgers already gave them.

      Pitt is in the footprint.

      Clemson does not do research and they are a mid tier brand in a small and poor state.

      Miami is probably the closet FBS school to AAU status but they are a non elite private.

      The SEC given what it appears what they are looking for and what the B1G appears to be what they are looking for are looking at the same 2 schools as their first choice UVA and UNC. To me they seem by far the hardest schools to pry lose and that is if they even wanted to move.

      Even with the loss of FSU and GT there is no guarantee at all that the ACC would break apart.

      • vp19 says:

        UVA has a VT problem. The power in the state that forced VT to the ACC is still the power in the state. Its an assumption that the SEC would just run to grab them if UVA left. And that is if UVA even wanted to leave. They don’t need the money like Maryland. VT will have a hard time leaving for the same reason but they are not as flush with cash.

        Tech’s problem 10 years ago wasn’t so much being in the same conference as UVa (most of the time, they haven’t been), but that the Big East was seemingly in desperate straits without SU, Miami and BC. If UVa lets Slive know it’s not interested in the SEC under any circumstances (it would be a dreadful cultural fit), he’ll take the Gobblers.

        UNC is has it worse. They control 50 percent minus 1 of the NCST BoT so leaving them on a ledge is horrible optics that will get politicos involved. To maximize the value of UNC you really need Duke and it seems from the outside they are close and likely a package deal. Then of course it only takes one WF alum in the right position to screw the whole deal. For every dollar extra UNC makes more in the B1G/SEC they can take 10 in state funding. In a different context this happened just this last year in Florida where a state rep was not getting his way of an unneeded and unwanted by anyone but him and a few local COC types a 12th state university so he threatened to cut from tens to hundreds of millions in state funding to each of the 11 state universities.

        You’re playing the SWC + Big 8 = Big 12 game, with Wake Forest in the role of Baylor. I don’t think Wake wields anywhere as much power in North Carolina as Baylor does in Texas. If NCSU can be assured SEC membership, UNC will be able to enter the Big Ten, with or without Duke. But does UNC want to give State the SEC imprimatur, knowing it will probably give the Wolfpack a boost in football recruiting? That’s the $64K question.

        • Mack says:

          When Baylor got into the B12 the Texas governor was a Baylor alum. When A&M left the B12 the Texas governor was an A&M alum. If the NC governor is a Wake Forest alum it may not happen. Any member of the legislature will get swamped by all the NC alums.

          • frug says:

            Difference is UNC doesn’t have the same leverage as Texas. And neither the SEC or Big Ten will be as desperate to add UNC as the Big XII was to get Texas.

        • jimisawesome says:

          I am not playing the SWC game because the ACC right now is not really close to the SWC before the merger. What I am suggesting is political problems with an ACC that looks like it does today might very well (I think likely) appear. While those of discussing expansion on message boards and blogs think its just logical that if x then y we don’t have the actual information that the decision makers have or what the decision makers are looking at. NCST can very well be left out of the SEC. The SEC does not get UNC plus 1 they might very well stay at 14 or take a different track. NCST is not FSU to UF, MSU to UM or TAM to UT there is a much bigger gulf in brand value for NCST. NCST alone is WVU with better academics.

          As for Virginia here I am trying to get at is not so much UVA and VT are tied together as both need to have a landing spot. And while its nice to just VT will get a SEC invite this would require UVA and VT both working and talking together with both the SEC and B1G that is a lot of moving parts. The more moving parts the higher the likelihood it falls apart.

          What I am suggesting is UVA and UNC need political cover which would require a school like FSU or GT to leave. Either the football brand or another (near) core member to leave.

  18. OrderRestored83 says:

    add

  19. cutter says:

    A couple interesting articles for consideration. There was a court ruling that allowed the case to go forward in the NCAA ant-trust suit–seehttp://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/8895337/judge-rules-ncaa-athletes-legally-pursue-television-money

    I can’t find the original article, but it was posted on the Victors Board and the post can be found here–http://www.boards2go.com/boards/board.cgi?action=read&id=1359504476.22341&user=mabee

    Excerpts:

    The idea that the biggest schools could abandon the NCAA was little more than backroom speculation during the recent college shake-ups, but it hit the mainstream when John Calipari, the charismatic head coach of the University of Kentucky men’s basketball team, floated the idea last spring. Calipari, ever the provocateur, predicted that the large schools would consolidate into four major conferences and break away from the NCAA before his career was finished.

    “They’re not going to be around long. The NCAA will not,” Calipari told theSporting News. “Before I retire from coaching, they will no longer oversee college athletics. They will [oversee something], but it won’t be the four power conferences—they’ll be on their own.”

    A year before, Calipari had suggested that breaking away from the NCAA would allow the biggest schools to institute a stipend system the way they see fit, without it being derailed by the smaller schools or the NCAA. It would also, he said, result in far more money for the schools.

    “All that television, all that revenue goes back to the schools,” Calipari said. “You probably have $10 million that would go directly to the schools, to their academics and not have anything to do with athletics. You’d be able to give that on top of the living expense to all your athletes.”

    School presidents are loath to discuss the idea of breaking away from the NCAA, though several have indicated that the largest football programs could soon split into their own division. But that doesn’t mean high-level administrators aren’t talking having quiet conversations about leaving the NCAA behind, especially given the amount of money at stake.

    “That’s absolutely a feasible option,” Jay Bilas said. “There are things being talked about now that have never been talked about before. The big schools want to operate the way they see fit. If they can do that inside the NCAA structure, I think that’s preferable. But of course they’re thinking about it. They did it in football. We’re talking billions of dollars here. The amount of money that’s at stake, of course they’re considering it.”

    Such a break would not be unprecedented. In 1979, the College Football Association, a coalition of the biggest NCAA football programs, attempted to negotiate a national television contract for its members with NBC. The NCAA, involved in its own television negotiations, put its foot down, saying it alone had the authority to negotiate television contracts for members, which it restricted to no more than one televised game per year. The University of Oklahoma and University of Georgia sued the NCAA, claiming it had violated federal antitrust law, and the Supreme Court agreed. The ruling allowed the schools and their conferences to negotiate their own television rights deals and effectively split the largest schools from the NCAA for football purposes. (Even today, the NCAA does not regulate the championship and postseason for the Football Bowl Subdivision, college football’s top division. It is the only sport for which that is true.)

    Without control over football or a cut of the revenues generated by television, bowls or championships, the NCAA depends almost solely on the end of season men’s basketball tournament for revenue. And does the tournament ever generate revenue! In 2010, the NCAA reached an 14-year agreement, worth $10.8 billion, with CBS and Turner Sports to televise, for the first time, every one of the tournament’s games. If the largest schools, which, with the help of the Bowl Championship Series, just crafted a football playoff, figured out a way to manage an event similar to the NCAA Tournament; say, if they had 64 members and staged a 64 team tournament, a full split from the NCAA would become even more lucrative – and even more probable. “It’d make (schools) more money because it all goes straight to them,” Bilas said. “TV would flock to that.”

    * * *

    Others, like University of Illinois professor Michael LeRoy, are examining ways college athletes could organize and associate even without full labor protections. LeRoy published a research paper that argues college athletes operate in an “invisible labor market” and function as employees, and as such, they should have the right to bargain collectively. His proposal to fix that – tailored specifically for college athletes — would not allow athletes to bargain over wages and would not afford them the right to strike, but it would allow bargaining and arbitration on other issues, such as health protections and scholarships. The mere threat of organization, LeRoy argues, could cause the NCAA to grant players more of a say in the system.

    LeRoy described his proposal as a “piecemeal” reform that would lead to a more vibrant and complete conversation about athletes’ rights in the future.

    “As much as I think the NCAA is pretending that these football players are student-athletes and amateurs, especially at big programs, that’s an immovable concept,” LeRoy said. “And if that’s the case, the question becomes, how do you give them non-monetary forms of compensation that do benefit them? I think that would set up a conversation for future generations to say, ‘What the heck? This isn’t amateur athletics at all, so let’s not pretend anymore.’”

    But LeRoy says he is pessimistic about the organizing of athletes. Because of that, he thinks changing the status quo in college sports will ultimately come from outside the game, and from an unlikely place: state legislatures.

    As far back as 1988, the Nebraska state legislature approved a law that would allow the University of Nebraska, a football powerhouse, to pay a stipend to its players if other states in the Big XII, the conference Nebraska belonged to until 2011, passed similar laws. The legislation was vetoed by then-governor Kay Orr.

    State Sen. Ernie Chambers revived the legislation in 2003, and then-governor Mike Johanns pledged to sign that version if it passed. It never did. In recent years, similar legislation has been introduced in Ohio, California and Utah, but none of the proposals passed (though California did pass the aforementioned Student-Athlete Bill of Rights).

    LeRoy, however, believes that as the business of college athletics continues to grow, those efforts will continue.

    “At some point, this money-making beast is just going to fall under its own weight, where lawmakers at the state level are going to say it’s kind of ridiculous that players don’t get anything out of this,” he said.

    • bullet says:

      Even President Emmert has openly discussed the possibility of schools breaking away from the NCAA. His comments weren’t that different from those of Jay Bilas in this article. He’s said the NCAA needs to do something different.

    • mushroomgod says:

      When John Calipari becomes the moral compass of college athletics, you know there are issues.

      I’ve expressed the thought that ND should have joined the BIG for political reasons as much as anything….to combat the power of schools like Oklahoma and Georgia, the ’79 plaintiffs in the referenced lawsuit. We know the result if the power schools break away and make their own rules…….

      Of course, the BIG’s claim to the moral high ground ios weak when we’re busy stealing schools from other viable conferences by making confidentiality agreements with the top administrators of public universities.

      • cutter says:

        I’m a little bit confused on the moral high ground issue. The Big Ten didn’t adopt a twelve-team conference first and put together a conference championship game–that was the SEC. The conference also didn’t do any expansion for a long time with Penn State coming onboard in 1991, Nebraska a few years ago and Rutgers/Maryland in 2014. In the case of the latter two, the Big Ten is actually going to be the means for them to get their financial houses in order.

        The Big Ten Network may have never come to fruition if ESPN was more generous with its negotiations seven years ago. When the conference did opt to go from eleven teams to twelve, it made a very public announcement about it–it was hardly under the table.

        Is the Big Ten unique with requiring confidentiality agreements be signed by potential members? There is a business aspect to all this.

        Now if you want to say the conference has been tarnished by what happened at Penn State or the way Delany handled things with Ohio State and Tressel, then I could find room to agree with you.

        But I’m a little unsure about how expanding a financially successful composed of most of the major research universities in the country is reason to say the B1G has lost its “claim to the moral high ground”.

        • If the Big Ten wasn’t requiring every single person that they were talking to regarding expansion to sign confidentiality agreements, then their attorneys would have needed to be fired. It’s strange that the Maryland president made it sound like it was an unusual request or somehow even nefarious when it’s the most basic (albeit essential) document that you need in place when handing over sensitive information about financial metrics and expansion plans. As an attorney reading that article, it made me wonder if there were actually conferences out there that would be idiotic enough to *not* have confidentiality agreements signed prior to talking. It’s insanity to me to not have those types of confidentiality agreements in place for business dealings that are a whole lot less interesting to the public and media than conference expansion (much less something that causes as much commotion as the Big Ten adding a new member).

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            I’ve done a few M&As, and on one occasion had to sign an NDA prior to disclosure of the identity of the potential buyer. I agree that NDAs are standard operating procedure, especially when both parties are looking up the other’s skirt.

          • Ted says:

            I work on stuff no one really publicly cares about and I still have to work with NDAs.

            As to the people that think keeping talks quiet are somehow nefarious, Wallace Loh said something to the effect of “leaders of institutions shouldn’t make decisions based on public opinion”. People with experience and qualifications get put in positions of power for these exact reasons.

          • mushroomgod says:

            To me, it is completely contrary to the basic nature/purpose of a public university to make a decision like that of the MD President and Board with NO prior public discussioin/imput. If it’s not illegal, it shoud be. It is immoral, imo. If that means a certain deal can’t be made, so be it.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            @mushroomgod: Most states have at least one public university that has left or joined a conference at some point, without public input. It’s a fairly common occurrence, and so far no state legislature has made it illegal. If you feel that strongly about it, you should take it up with the government in whatever state you reside, but it doesn’t appear to be a priority in any state I’m aware of. Public universities have fairly wide latitude to operate as they see fit, subject to legislative oversight, but not public input on every decision.

          • BruceMcF says:

            Abandoning D1 sports would be a fundamental decision affecting the values and mission of the University and student-athletes in particular that would be outrageous to decide to do without public input.

            Changing who the D1 sports teams are scheduled to play against is more an Athletic Department managerial issue. Surely the President should make the final call, but while boosters and T-shirt fans may be all tied up in knots over the decision, its not nearly so fundamental a decision about the values and mission of a D1 University.

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        I’m not seeing a moral issue here at all. Conferences are just business arrangements. When schools switch conferences, it’s not stealing; it’s just making a better deal, which anyone is free to do at any time.

        I agree with @cutter that confidentiality agreements are just standard procedure that any prudent business would adopt in a similar situation.

  20. ILL-one says:

    I-L-L

  21. prophetstruth says:

    add

  22. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    GEAUX #3 LSU Baseball Tigers!

    1st pitch is February 15 against Vincent’s turtles.

    • vp19 says:

      Enjoy the slaughter (although Maryland did manage to win two of three last year when opening the season at UCLA). Terrapin baseball is the equivalent of Penn State men’s basketball — an inherent lost cause, although being in the Big Ten will give Maryland a more equal playing field, at least where climate is concerned.

  23. It seems that a school like Florida State may jump at an SEC or B1G offer, but as long as the ACC is viable, they would choose to stay there instead of joining the Big XII. Why get your school locked into a conference with a Grant of Rights deal for the next decade when a better offer might come around in a year or two, especially if your current conference seems fine. I think the Big XII will become a desperation move when no other options are available for some schools if the B1G/SEC do raid the ACC. If the B1G/SEC don’t expand, there’s no reason for the Big XII to expand and, thus, no reason for the ACC to fall apart.

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      It’s not that the Big XII lacks a reason to expand. It’s that they aren’t currently attractive to the schools they want (mainly FSU).

    • Another thing, in order to get the $$ that they want, one would think that the Big Ten needs to get their network onto the cable companies in their new markets first. Add too many schools at once and you take the risk of not having the $$ you promised to people in the first place.

      If the Big Ten can get BTN on basic in NYC, Baltimore and D.C. fairly soon, they will likely push their next expansion move at that point if indeed they want to go in that direction.

    • wmwolverine says:

      Which is why some of us believe were stuck in this holding pattern, everyone is hoping somebody else throws the first punch. B10 and SEC are both waiting on schools that aren’t available unless the ACC falls apart while the top football schools in the ACC (FSU, Miami, Clemson) are holding out for offers from the B10 & SEC.

  24. B1G Jeff says:

    All of this heightened urgency seems to ignore some salient facts:

    1) The B1G and its potential targets all are incentivized to wait until the results of the UMD/ACC lawsuit are known.
    2) The B1G is planting seeds but still doesn’t have to rush to be first; there’s quite a bit of time before new TV contract negotiations begin.
    3) The B1G doesn’t have to rush to act. IMHO, when conference armageddon occurs, none of its intended targets would reject an offer out of hand, and there will be enough valued targets for implementation of a Plan A, B or C that still accomplishes demographic, athletic, academic and financial goals.

    It the B1G is willing to pump its breaks a bit, we can avoid the ‘sky is falling’ posture some are expressing. Presumptions about rejection and alternate plans are only speculation and not accurate reflections about ‘moral compasses’ or failures by TPTB. We don’t know what’s going on. All will be revealed in time. Under most any conceivable outcome, we’re fine on the academic and financial measures.

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      Although not mentioned on this thread, the MD/ACC lawsuit has come up over and over again. I think most people realize that further defections are unlikely before that matter is resolved.

      I don’t see any evidence that the B1G is in a rush.

      • cutter says:

        Let’s assume the Big Ten will want to wrap up its television negotiations sometime in late 2015 to early 2016 because that’s when the current contracts with ABC/ESPN and CBS Sports are concluded.

        If the conference wanted to have all its membership in place for the beginning of the 2016/7 seasons and the lead time to integrate teams into the conference is 18 months or so, then we’re looking at having all the invitations accepted by 2015.

        If the B1G wanted to go into the negotiations with its new conference members already in place, then these invitations may have to be accepted in the 2014 time frame instead.

        Of course, we all know the SEC Network is scheduled to kick off in January 2014, so you have a timetable in place there as well.

        Can you tell me why again the Big Ten isn’t in a rush?

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          When the O.P. referred to “a rush,” I don’t think 2 years from now is what he had in mind.

          Even one year from now is a comparative eternity, next to what most Internet gossips are claiming.

          • B1G Jeff says:

            ^^^ What Marc Shepherd said.

            Making inquiries and setting dominoes isn’t the same as “Decision by Tuesday!!” If we devised an operational matrix based on accepting your assumption that negotiations are wrapped up in late 2015 and another assumption based on the timing of UMD/ACC concluding the lawsuit, your timetable for announcing new acquisitions (excluding something like JHU which doesn’t affect the football pot) would fall in-between those time frames. Of course if UNC/UVA/FSU (in particular) came to us and said now or we’re going to the SEC (which hasn’t already happened to this point or they’d be in one place or another), the time table might change.

          • cutter says:

            I agree with most of you that the ACC-Maryland suit has to be settled before we see very much movement in any of these scenarios.

            The Washington Post wrote an article comparing what’s happening now with what West Virginia did–see http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/terrapins-insider/wp/2013/01/28/maryland-acc-legal-battle-has-similarities-to-west-virginia-big-east-situation-also-possibly-precedent-setting-differences/

            Also see http://espn.go.com/blog/acc/post/_/id/51703/update-on-acc-vs-maryland That article says the next hearing on February 18 will help decide if the case is judged in North Carolina or Maryland.

            After that, I don’t know what the timetable will be for the lawsuit going forward. There may be a settlement out of court or the ACC may opt to pursue it entirely through the legal system. The lawyers on this board may be able to give us a better timetable on this, but is it realistic to think this will go into 2014 or will it be wrapped up this year?

            Let’s say that a decision is made by the fall of 2013 and the SEC Network is due to come on line in January 2014. In that scenario, it’s not hard to imagine that schools might receive invitations later this year so that the newly reconfigured Big Ten and SEC could be in place and running by 2016.

            So no, I don’t think this is going to take place tomorrow or next week or next month. But sometime later this year–I could see that.

            Of course, Delany went ahead and invited Rutgers and Maryland pretty much knowing there would be a legal battle involved in both their cases. While some of the ACC schools might want to take a wait-and-see position, it’s not going to stop the B1G from greasing the skids and making its case so that when the time comes, they can move pretty quickly.

        • BruceMcF says:

          cutter, you’ve already nailed why the Big Ten isn’t in a rush, I’ll go with your explanation. Having membership in place as of the start of 2016 looks fast enough to me, no need to rush.

  25. boscatar says:

    I think there is a better chance that the ACC expands west into Big 12 territory. It would make a lot more sense for Texas and Oklahoma to dump TCU, Baylor, and Tech and organize a western flank for the ACC. Likely candidates to accompany Texas and Oklahoma to the ACC include: Kansas, Iowa State, West Virginia, Oklahoma State, and Kansas State…probably in that order.

    Why? There is more population, bigger markets, more tv subscribers, and bigger money to be had eastwards. And Texas, Kansas, and Iowa State would love the ACC academia.

    First obvious obstacle is the grant of rights. However, it doesn’t last forever and there is always a business solution to undesired contractual commitments. I truly believe the ACC and Big 12 will seriously consider an alliance. It would likely include football and basketball scheduling and even some bowl games or bowl alliances using a tiered approach for selection.

    Let’s say the ACC-Big 12 scheduling alliance begins in 2016. It will likely last 4 or 5 years. That gets us to about 2020. By 2020, there will only be about 4 years left on the grant of rights. At that point, the ACC and Big 12 defectors will be able to come to a business solution with the Big 12 to release the grant of rights (ie, an exit fee and a continued scheduling arrangement).

    Here’s my guess at the 20-team ACC with five 4-team pods:

    NORTH ATLANTIC
    Boston College
    Pitt
    Syracuse
    Notre Dame* (full member)

    MID ALTANTIC
    Virginia
    Virginia Tech
    Louisville
    West Virginia*

    COASTAL
    North Carolina
    Duke
    NC State
    Wake Forest

    WEST
    Texas*
    Oklahoma*
    Kansas*
    Iowa State*

    SOUTH
    Florida State
    Miami
    Georgia Tech
    Clemson

    • boscatar says:

      In the alternative, if Notre Dame remains a partial independent, I could see this 18-team divisional alignment (sorry West Virginia):

      NORTH
      Boston College
      Pitt
      Syracuse
      Virginia
      Virginia Tech
      Texas*
      Oklahoma*
      Kansas*
      Iowa State*

      SOUTH
      North Carolina
      Duke
      NC State
      Wake Forest
      Louisville
      Florida State
      Miami
      Georgia Tech
      Clemson

    • greg says:

      Go UT and OU are going to leave B12 for less money in the ACC? Right.

      • ccrider55 says:

        And suddenly UT doesn’t have the “Tech” problem the B1G referred to a couple years ago, and OU lite is suddenly abandoned by OU?

    • Mack says:

      The ACC has too much dead weight to produce the $$$ that will make it attractive. If an alliance produces enough good will between the top schools then both conferences could be dissolved with a new conference created from the best of the ACC/B12. Even though possible, it is not likely to occur since a majority of both conferences is required in the new one.

  26. mushroomgod says:

    For those interested in the JH lacrosse rumor, check out SB Nation artivle by Honya Suxa filed 1/17/13…….article is nothing special but there are 72 comments concerning the article from JH and east coast LAX fans.

      • zeek says:

        If it does come to fruition and JHU joins the Big Ten and CIC, it’d be a huge addition.

        Still not sure how it would work; I’d assume that they’d join both, but who in the world knows.

        For the Big Ten, this is uncharted territory to even be considered. How does JHU’s TV deal work and all the rest are huge issues; what kind of say would they even have in the conference affairs if they’re just there for men’s/women’s lacrosse?… Do they want to be in the CIC; they already generate something around $1-2 billion in annual research alone, so do they want to collaborate with the CIC as it would seem they don’t need to?

        • greg says:

          zeek, I’d have to think JHU would be in the CIC if they joined. Thats the whole reason the B1G would invite them.

        • mushroomgod says:

          ESPNU contract could remain in effect for JH’s home games….purpose of JH is to make a bigger, better league….JH’s games at BIG’s schools could be shown on BTN.

    • Eric says:

      Don’t care for this. I have nothing against associate members in principle, but the Big Ten decided to not have them and avoided them in hockey even though it could have helped a long time ago.

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        Conferences aren’t religions. They’re just business arrangements for mutual self-interest. I’m not really sure which associate memberships were seriously considered in the past (if any) and rejected. Maybe those weren’t in the Big Ten’s interest, according to whatever definition they were using at the time.

        But as long as you’ve nothing against it in principle, you ought to just consider each one on a case-by-case basis. The research synergies, assuming JH joins the CIC, are obvious and should require no explanation. Competitively, JH is a top program in Lacrosse, and they have no other sports in Division I.

        As far as principle goes, the Big Ten could still say that they’re only admitting AAU members in geographically contiguous states, and all the member schools are putting all their Division I varsity sports in the conference, if the Big Ten offers the sport.

        • Eric says:

          I suppose part of my objection goes that having Notre Dame as a non-football member makes more sense to me than any other move once we move past all or nothing.

          (Note: Oddly I’ve got nothing against school because their academics aren’t considered that good. Different schools have different purposes and I could care less whether a school is a commuter school or a research school. In that light, I kind of think the CIC should be seperated from the Big Ten)

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            I suppose part of my objection goes that having Notre Dame as a non-football member makes more sense to me than any other move once we move past all or nothing.

            The difference with ND is as follows: their athletic reputation is overwhelmingly in football. In men’s basketball, they have never even made it to a Final Four, and they’ve made it to the Sweet Sixteen just once in the last twenty years. They are not a basketball power in any sense.

            If they don’t join in football, then what exactly are you getting? Suppose the Big Ten gave them the same terms the ACC did: all sports but football, plus five football games a year, and the Irish keep their existing TV deal. Well, ND is already playing three Big Ten teams annually. You’d add two games, only one of which would be in a Big Ten stadium.

            So, you’re going to do that deal for one home game a year?

          • bullet says:

            @Marc
            While I don’t disagree with your point, ND did make the final 4 in ’78 when UK beat Duke for the title.

          • vp19 says:

            I suppose part of my objection goes that having Notre Dame as a non-football member makes more sense to me than any other move once we move past all or nothing.

            The difference with ND is as follows: their athletic reputation is overwhelmingly in football. In men’s basketball, they have never even made it to a Final Four, and they’ve made it to the Sweet Sixteen just once in the last twenty years. They are not a basketball power in any sense.

            ND has won a NCAA title in women’s basketball (2001, over Purdue), has become a national power in men’s lacrosse, and has done well in baseball despite its poor climate. ND’s heritage is primarily in football, but it’s no more a one-trick pony than, say, Nebraska. (And Penn State isn’t, either — remember, it’s won NCAA titles in both men’s and women’s volleyball.)

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            Sure, I’m well aware that Notre Dame is good in other sports. But the Big Ten doesn’t particularly need them in those sports. As I said upthread, conference membership is a business decision, driven by mutual self-interest. You can see why the ACC gave Notre Dame the deal they did, given the ACC’s obvious vulnerability. The Big Ten doesn’t have those concerns, and therefore, it doesn’t gain a lot if the Irish join without football.

          • Brian says:

            Marc Shepherd,

            “Sure, I’m well aware that Notre Dame is good in other sports. But the Big Ten doesn’t particularly need them in those sports. As I said upthread, conference membership is a business decision, driven by mutual self-interest. You can see why the ACC gave Notre Dame the deal they did, given the ACC’s obvious vulnerability. The Big Ten doesn’t have those concerns, and therefore, it doesn’t gain a lot if the Irish join without football.”

            Unless the B10 views it as a foothold to get ND in FB later. If ND ever chooses to join a conference, clearly the one with all their other sports is the most likely option. Besides, it gains you some eyeballs in NYC and other places and may soften the negative feelings for the B10 that some ND fans have. That would be a reasonable basis to make the business decision to add ND.

          • frug says:

            @Brian

            That’s what the Big East thought.

          • Brian says:

            frug,

            The BE wasn’t wrong, they just couldn’t last long enough to keep ND around until they decided to join a conference in football. The ACC has better odds of persisting. The B10 is unlikely to fold before ND makes their decision.

          • Richard says:

            Eric:

            The key point is that the B10 picks and chooses the sport they accept an affiliate member in. The ACC agreed to take ND in in all sports, even though ND’s teams in, say, golf and cross country don’t exactly add value. So sure, I’d be fine with the B10 taking in ND as an affiliate member in football. Maybe even as an affiliate member in hockey. They can house their golf and cross country squads elsewhere.

          • BuckeyeBeau says:

            @ everyone:

            the ND “associate membership” question is interesting.

            but consider a counter-factual. how would we feel if ND came to the B1G and said they wanted to be football-only, but independent in everything else?

            I honestly don’t know.

            John Hopkins is lax-only, but independent (or DivII/III) in everything else. this is wow, wonderful, good, yes, please because it’s freaking JHU.

            If ND were allowed to be a football-only member of the B1G, it would NOT be on account of its academic reputation.

          • ccrider55 says:

            I don’t have a problem with all D1 in, even though only 1, satisfying the all in “rule”. I do have a problem with the minimum number of sports (D1, to be consistent) requirement.

          • BruceMcF says:

            If Notre Dame said they wanted to be associate members in football, hockey, indoor track and women’s soccer, and were dropping all of their other programs down to D3 or club, sure, that’s ample all or nothing for me. But I’m not sure I’m down with competing D1 conference affiliation in a Big Ten sponsored sport.

          • frug says:

            The key point is that the B10 picks and chooses the sport they accept an affiliate member in. The ACC agreed to take ND in in all sports, even though ND’s teams in, say, golf and cross country don’t exactly add value.

            You are aware the the ACC chose to add ND’s golf and cross county teams aren’t you?

          • ccrider55 says:

            I may be wrong but JHU has a singular exemption. My understanding is that future drop downs would be limited by the lower levels scholarship rules. Who’s going to do that in a major sport?

          • Richard says:

            frug:

            Not on the merits of the golf and cross county teams, they didn’t. You think the ACC would have taken those teams if they could pick and choose which of ND’s sports teams they would admit and which they could leave out?

          • BruceMcF says:

            @ccrider55 ~ the NCAA didn’t directly address the case of a D1 school dropping down to D3 when their own coverage of the rule change linked to above ~ they talked about the case of a D2 or D3 already sponsoring a D1 sport in 2010 (and in the case of a D3 school, having scholarships in 2004 in order to continue to offer scholarships). No indication there whether the grandfather clause that applied to D2 and D3 as of 2010 could be used by a current D1 school to drop down to D2 but to KEEP one each of its men and women’s D1 sports: that text is, after all, characterizing the rule, not the rule itself.

        • David Brown says:

          I have no idea if Johns Hopkins would join the Big 10, in a capacity similiar to the University of Chicago, but I have little doubt the Big 10 would be very happy to accept the #2 rated Medical Research University in America (Only behind Harvard). Their Lacrosse Program (And a Big 10 Lacrosse Conference to be shown on the Big 10 Network) would simply be icing on the cake. I have read about comparing Lacrosse to Hockey, and the situations are quite different. The only non-Big 10 members playing Division 1 Hockey, while being an AAU Member are Ivy League Schools and Boston University (Joined last year). Since we know AAU Membership is a requirement for the Big 10 (Minus Nebraska of course), they were not going to add Lake Superior State or Denver College just for Hockey, so they simply waited until an AAU Member (In this case Penn State), decided to add Division 1 Hockey. One other important point: The idea of Big 10 Lacrosse is actually quite new. Possible member number 3 (Michigan) is new to Lacrosse and numbers 4 & 5 (Maryland & Rutgers) have not joined yet. Gut feeling one day the Lacrosse Conference will occur. It could be North Carolina joining, it could be Hopkins, it could be another Big 10 School, but one day it is happening.

          • BruceMcF says:

            Yes, in a very short period of time, Big Ten Men’s Lacrosse went from being in the same position as Men’s Fencing and Volleyball or Women’s Fencing or Water Polo to looking at being one team away from an AQ championship in 2014. Indeed, as “Are we going to be pursuing a Big Ten women’s lacrosse championship” went from a “it might be nice in the long run” question to, “are we going to be pursuing a Big Ten’s women’s lacrosse championship once MD and Rutgers joins?”, and once discussions start along that front, the question of Big Ten men’s lacrosse being one short of AQ would be tagging along right on its heels.

  27. Bob says:

    I would be shocked if UNC left the ACC in 2013. The football agent and academic scandals have engulfed the campus. The Chancellor, Holden Thorpe is returning to the faculty. The AD, Bubba Cunningham arrived from Tulsa last year. Who does Delaney negotiate with? The UNC Board of Governors is tied down trying to save state funding with a new Republican legislature. Maybe within 2 years when the Maryland vs ACC lawsuit is settled, when the B1G nails down the new TV contract and when a new Chancellor (the school they come from could be a clue) consolidates power.

    And B1G can be patient because UNC will never go to the SEC. Football does not drive the athletic department. Butch Davis tried to create an SEC-caliber football program and all it brought was woe.

    • vp19 says:

      Eventually, football will have to drive the athletic department, unless UNC wants to be East Carolina at Chapel Hill. The sooner the folks on Tobacco Road realize that, the better off they’ll be.

      • acaffrey says:

        Why? Why does everyone assume that you need extra money to run a team? Has anyone ever compared football budgets? Where does the money go? Probably to lesser sports and perhaps the general fund. That might be important with a mismanaged school in a stagnant state, but is it the case everywhere?

        Money does not equal football success. Rather, football success = football success. And perhaps football success = money. The fact that the SEC is good at football has less to do with the finances of their athletic departments and more to do with their proximity to some of the best talent in the country–being sandwiched between Texas and Florida.

        Long before this money got crazy, North Carolina lost Mack Brown to Texas. Is there any scenario where Texas will not always have more money than UNC? Even within a conference, how many B1G schools can keep up with Ohio State?

        This money thing is so WAY overblown it is unreal. It’s not a stat. It’s not an end. I am not even sure its the means…

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          You’re certainly right that money alone can’t win football games. But if you’re suggesting they’re entirely uncorrelated, that’s probably wrong. It would be interesting to have some data, but I’d be surprised if there is no relationship whatsoever.

          Now, to some extent success is self-reinforcing. If you field a winning team, then more fans come to the games, more boosters donate money, more viewers want to see you on TV, and so forth. That is why the top dogs in a sport tend to remain on top: having built up that kind of advantage, it takes real incompetence over many years to squander it.

          The real issue is that, in most athletic departments, football and basketball make money, and every other sport loses money. At Michigan and Ohio State, even after they pay for their other sports, they’ve got money left over, which they keep plowing into new facilities. At Maryland, they have a deficit and had to eliminate seven sports.

          The real chase is to make more money from football and basketball, so that the other sports can be paid for without having to borrow money or get subsidies from the general fund. Of course, there are some schools that made dumb investments. There are something like 300+ Division I schools. Anytime you have that many of anything, not all will be well managed. But the basic idea that football and basketball pay for everything (or almost everything) else is a good rule of thumb.

          So the question for a school like UNC is, if the Big Ten can offer $10 million more a year, or $15 more a year, can they afford to turn that down?

          • acaffrey says:

            Right, it isn’t irrelevant. But if the Big 10 has the most revenue, but the poorer (right now) SEC teams choose to make football a greater revenue priority–will adding $5M more to SEC coffers impact football? More likely, it will be pocketed or moved to different sports. Meaning that the $5M really does not change the balance.

            The Forbes data is flawed, but interesting. The ACC is not that far off the SEC contract per team. Yet $$$ is the excuse. If the SEC can win Championships, nobody else has an excuse.

            FSU spent $4M on their WBB last year. Why? Why should FSU go to the Big XII just because they pay stupid money on a non-revenue sport?

            Anyway, I agree. I’d like to see the analysis. Not sure any data would be rock solid (reporting money differently, etc.), but it would be interesting.

            Either way, I don’t see $$$ making UNC fall off the football or basketball map. For the former, they need to get on the map first; for the latter, it is just a down season. It’s not $$$.

          • bullet says:

            One flaw in Forbes is that they take the 14 team ACC revenue and divide by 12.

          • bullet says:

            And since the SEC hasn’t re-worked their deal, they are taking the 12 team SEC revenue and dividing by 14.

    • frug says:

      That’s one possibility. The other is that UNC just decides it’s better off getting all their unpleasant business taken care of at once, instead of dragging it out. Like removing a band-aid in one big pull, instead of slowing peeling it.

  28. Mack says:

    The meeting showed the B12 has a very realistic view of its expansion possibilities. The B12 indicated that BYU, SMU, UCONN, Cincinnati, etc. will not happen since they do not provide the $$$ required. A B12/ACC alliance is not going to lead to a first strike raid by the B12, but it might give the B12 information useful for moves after B1G and/or SEC raids. It may also make ACC schools more comfortable going to the B12 if the ACC gets raided.

  29. swesleyh says:

    It appears to me that if Delaney really wants to add to 16 teams and mazimize cable TV revenue, he would be on the phone with FSU and Georgia Tech with an invitation today. Five point five million Cable TV boxes in Florida alone. Another two plus million in Georgia. And, I was in Key West two weeks ago and noticed a BIG TEN bar there not far from the dock area. Which suggests there are plenty of existing alumni to support cable sets for the B1G not to mention the many Seminole fans and the few travelingpartner, Yellow Jacket fans.

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      The open question is, under what circumstances are the presidents and chancellors willing to accept Florida State. Is it: 1) No effing way; 2) We’ll think about it; 3) Yes, but only if 3 AAU schools come with you; 4) Something else?

      Those are decisions Jim Delany is not allowed to make.

  30. mrcardinal1202 says:

    I would like to see:

    The Big Ten grab Virginia and North Carolina. Then have 4 pods that each feature one football King. West: Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin; North: Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern and Rutgers; South: Ohio State, Illinois, Indiana and Purdue; East Penn State, Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina.

    The SEC grab NC State and Virginia Tech. North: Virginia Tech, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt. South: Alabama, Auburn, Ole Miss, Mississippi State. East: Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and NC State. West: Mizzou, LSU, Texas A&M, and Arkansas.

    The Big 12 then grab Miami, FSU, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Louisville and Notre Dame. West: Notre Dame, Iowa State, West Virginia, and Louisville. East: Miami, FSU, Clemson, and Georgia Tech. North: Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas, and Kansas State. South: Texas, Texas Tech, Baylor, and TCU.

    The PAC 12 UNLV, New Mexico, SMU, and Houston. Those are probably the best 4 mid majors that the PAC will have a chance to get. West: UNLV, Utah, Arizona an Arizona St. East: Colorado, New Mexico, SMU, and Houston. North: Oregon, Oregon State, Washington, and Washington State. South: Cal, Standford, USC and UCLA.

    • cutter says:

      If you have pods in the Big Ten, then you must have Michigan and Ohio State in the same pod to ensure the play one another annually. The same probably goes for the former ACC/Big East schools, the four far western teams and the intrastate rivalries (IL-NW, UM-MSU, PU-IU).

      Assuming a nine-game conference schedule and a four pod system, here’s how it should be done-

      Pod A: Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota
      Pod B: Illinois, Northwestern, Indiana, Purdue
      Pod C: Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State
      Pod D: Rutgers, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina

      In Years 1 and 2, Pods A and B form one division and Pods C and D form the other. The teams in Pod B play two teams from Pod D each year and the teams in Pod A play two teams from Pod C each year.

      In Years 3 and 4, Pods A and D form one division and Pods B and C make up the other. The teams in Pod B play the other two teams in Pod D and the teams in Pod A play the other two team from Pod C.

      This set up preserves most of the rivalries and keeps Nebraska/Wisconsin permanently in one division and Michigan/Ohio State permanently in the other so there’s some semblance of competitive balance. It also ensures that a team will play each team in its pod four times over a four year period and the remaining twelve teams in the conference two times in the same four year period.

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        Oh, my. The years that A&C pods are in a division together, the league will be seriously unbalanced. I get that future performance isn’t totally predictable, but no one would tolerate over-weighting them to that extent.

        • cutter says:

          @Marc Shepherd-

          Don’t worry because the A & C pods would never be together in this setup.

          The only combinations that will exist are A-B, C-D in Years 1 & 2 and A-D, B-C in Years 3 & 4. After Year 4, we go back to the same combination from Years 1 & 2

          Here’s what a Pod C program Michigan would be looking at as its nine conference opponents:

          Years 1 & 2 (Divisions are A-B and C-D)

          Pod C: Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State
          Pod D: Rutgers, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina
          Pod A: Nebraska, Minnesota

          Years 3 & 4 (Divisions are A-D and B-C)

          Pod C: Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State
          Pod B: Illinois, Northwestern, Indiana, Purdue
          Pod A: Iowa, Wisconsin

          As I mentioned above, in this setup, Pods A & C would never be put together in the same division in order to maintain some semblance of competitive balance between the two divisions over the four year period. Consider them permanently assigned to one division with Pods B & D moving back and forth between divisions every two years.

          So what would a school from Pod D have in its nine-game conference schedule. Let’s use Maryland as an example:

          Years 1 & 2 (Divisions are A-B and C-D)

          Pod D: Rutgers, Virginia, North Carolina
          Pod C: Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State
          Pod B: Illinois, Purdue

          Years 3 & 4 (Divisions are A-D and B-C)

          Pod D: Rutgers, Virginia, North Carolina
          Pod A: Nebraska, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa
          Pod B: Northwestern, Indiana

          In that four year period of 36 conference games, a team will play the programs in its pod 12 times (3 teams X 4 games over four years) and will play the other 12 teams in the conference 24 times (12 teams X 2 games over four years). In that four year period, each team will have one home and one road game with the teams from the other pods and two home and two road games with the teams in its own pod.

          This setup pretty much mimics what the WAC did during the brief period of time it had 16 teams. While every rivalry game in the Big Ten won’t get played each year (ex. Michigan-Minnesota for the Little Brown Jug or Ohio State-Illinois for the Illinibuck), they’ll at least be played two times out of four years. This setup also ensures that the in-state rivalry games (Purdue-Indiana, Michigan-Michigan State, Illinois-Northwestern) are on the schedule annually. Plus the four western teams (Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota) get to play one another each year as well as the four eastern most teams (Rutgers, Maryland, Virginia, Georgia Tech).

          Finally, of course, Michigan-Ohio State is assured of being played each year as well. :)

      • mrcardinal1202 says:

        The big ten only took Rutgers to grow into the New York market the best way to do that is to make sure they play one of the crown jewels in football and basketball every year. That’s why I like them to play Michigan and Michigan St. In a home and home every year in basketball and play Michigan every year in football. Northwestern would be a good match-up for them because there at about equal caliber. That’s why I think you play nine games in football and eighteen in basketball in conference. With 3 cross division games, then rotate the other 9 times that are outside of your pod. An example of the cross over match ups would be:
        Michigan-Ohio St.-Penn St.-Iowa.
        Michigan St.-Indiana-North Carolina-Wisconsin
        Rutgers-Purdue-Virginia-Nebraska.
        Northwestern- Illinois-Maryland-Minnesota.
        North-South-East-West
        This guarantees a crown jewel home game every year for Rutgers.

    • Tom says:

      UNC and UVA will never go for that. That “South” division would be straight Yank to them. Only way you get coveted ACC teams is if you take 4+ of them.

  31. jj says:

    I’m just starting a new post because I got lost.

    JH is an interesting idea. I like that they are all in, the academics are huge, and it’s a good sweetener for future considerations.

    That said. If they do this, they’d be crazy not to figure out a way to get Toronto at least in a similar situation.

    Frug, I’m not often sarcastic. The ping pong plan is more of a thought of taking an idea to it’s logical and/or absurd conclusion.

    • mushroomgod says:

      Toronto…..you mean hockey, I assume? I would assume their mens and womens teams play tough competition now….

    • BuckeyeBeau says:

      yes, i am being a broken record (huh? what’s that?). anyway, JHU is not just “some” AAU institution. It is on par with — not the same as — but on par with Harvard, Stanford and Univ. of Chicago. the B1G COP/C will happily, quickly and enthusiastically make exceptions for JHU. the B1G will not do the same for Toronto or Iowa State or anybody other than JHU, Harvard, Yale, Stanford and MIT. This is my opinion.

      • zeek says:

        JHU is #1 in research funding per year.

        Getting them into the CIC would be a monster addition.

      • spaz says:

        Agreed. Getting JHU affiliated with other Big Ten schools via the CIC is an academic no brainer. I’ve got to assume that is behind this lacrosse talk and bring able to sponsor a men’s lacrosse league as a result is simply a nice bonus.

        JHU is not just “any” school academically, even compared to most AAU schools. I don’t see the fears that this could be the start of a slippery slope given that they are a pretty unique opportunity that wouldn’t be replicated.

        • BruceMcF says:

          Its seems quite possible that what is behind it is they were throwing ideas around, and someone said, “well, if the rules on associate members were to change, who would we want? And who would be most likely to help us get that rule changed?” And the answer was, “Hopkins as a Lacrosse associate is our obvious first choice, and some kind of CIC associate as well would be an angle that might get the rule changed.”

          “But would Hopkins go for that?” “I dunno, only way to find out is to ask them.”

          That fits perfectly with the reporting from both sides.

      • jj says:

        @BuckeyeBeau

        Just because I like talking about them so much, Toronto is on par with all of the schools you mention. It is also sits in a population center of over 5 million people or so – 4th or 5th largest north american market, I think.

        I agree JH is worth considering and if the B10 goes down that road, they’d be crazy not to look at Toronto and figure out a way to make it happen.

      • metatron says:

        Toronto’s a monster university. They’d definitely accommodate them if they could.

  32. Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

    http://northwestern.rivals.com/showmsg.asp?fid=57&tid=184040569&mid=184040569&sid=901&style=2

    —Purple Cat Book speaks!

    “My friend went over the top in telling me from the start that Rutgers would not be part of any deal. He laughed in my face afterward, and said “what do you expect?” That thing was kept under wraps for a very long time and only leaked to ESPN after it had been an absolutely done deal. So no, I have no idea what to expect anymore. Further, I just moved from Chicago to Denver to work with the USOC, so no more beers with my friend. It has been a fun ride, but my insider connection to the inner workings of the Big Ten is now exactly 1,200 miles away.

    He’s a prick anyway, never should have listened to him. And you all never should have listened to me!”

    lol

    • BuckeyeBeau says:

      I am an alum of both tOSU and Northwestern. I know this is harsh, but I don’t care. As I sit here in my chair, I am mortified that anyone would associate that fraud with my school.

  33. prophetstruth says:

    “But how many conference games will be played? Burke said the Big Ten has asked the athletic directors to put a moratorium on scheduling non-conference games after 2020. In fact, the league has told schools to schedule four non-conference games in 2014 and 2015, three in 2016, 2017 and 2018 and only two in 2019 and 2020.”

    Hmmm, This does make one think.

    http://www.jconline.com/article/20130126/SPORTS020101/301260031/How-will-14-team-Big-Ten-look-s-still-anyone-s-guess

    • Andy says:

      Maybe a revived B1G/Pac 12 alliance or somehting like that starting in 2019.

      • frug says:

        I doubt it. Expansion as made that more difficult. Plus, the Big Ten is still pretty peeved at the PAC for backing out of the deal after the Big Ten had already started clearing their schedules (tOSU alone cancelled series with Tennessee and Georgia specifically because of the alliance.)

    • bullet says:

      Big 12 has also put a halt on future ooc.

      The big conspiracy would be a plan to bolt the NCAA.

    • cutter says:

      First off, it sounds like the Big Ten has made a decision to stick with an eight-game conference schedule for 2014/5. That might suggest that they’re planning on having only fourteen teams in the B1G in that time frame. It also probably reflects the reality that teams have already scheduled their four non-conference opponents for those two seasons and that it’d be problematic to cancel or reschedule a number of games. It might also suggest that the B1G isn’t ready to move conference games up the the first three weeks of September quite yet.

      The 2016 season and beyond certainly leaves open the possibility of nine-game conference schedules for a three year period with a chance for a 10-game schedule to be implemented in 2019/20. It doesn’t necessarily mean the latter will happen, just that there’s a chance of it taking place.

      This might also indicate that the conference feels it’s not prepared to go to 16- or more programs in the conference earlier than the 2016 season. Given the current ACC/Maryland lawsuit and the timeline for when the future television negotiations are going to take place, that makes sense as well.

      If new members of the conference have to be in place by 1 July 2016 (start of the B1G fiscal year) and the transition period is a year minimum (it was a little over 12 months between when Nebraska accepted the B1G invite to when it actually joined the conference), then any additional schools would need to be accepted NLT the summer of 2015. If the transition period is 18 months, then the invitations might have to be accepted at the end of 2014.

      • Brian says:

        cutter,

        The B10 will likely avoid 9 games before the new TV deal. That would be a fairly major change to deal with 2 years before the TV deal ends. I’m guessing they’d prefer to negotiate just once.

  34. dtwphx says:

    wholly owned subsidiary?

    • Brian says:

      Current results:

      Hell yes, the BTN needs spring lacrosse (14 votes) – 27%

      Only if they also join the CIC (31 votes) – 60%

      Hell no, don’t start down the slippery slope of partial members (6 votes) – 11%

      ___

      I think the issue for most people is joining the CIC. Many here are assuming it, but what if they only join for lacrosse? So far, it’s 2-1 against adding them in that case.

      • Richard says:

        However, the what are the odds of that? JHU may decide on that route (B10 hockey with no CIC), but it seems unlikely to me.

        • Brian says:

          Nobody knows the odds of that. Maybe the B10 would refuse that. Maybe JHU would only do it that way. None of us know. But it’s the more interesting question since a large majority of people seems to be OK with the concept of an associate member.

  35. cutter says:

    According to a recent post on MGoBlog (see http://mgoblog.com/mgoboard/probable-realignment-scenario-971-wxyt), Doug Karsch who regularly covers Michigan sports says his sources tell him that 12 of the 14 B1G schools have been set regarding divisions.

    East: Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers, Maryland, Indiana
    West: Wisconsin, Nebraska, Iowa, Northwestern, Illinois, Minnesota

    The conference is still deliberating on where Michigan State and Purdue are going to reside. Not much surprise there, but just another source saying that geography with a sense of competitive balance is what the B1G is looking for IRT the division setup.

    • bullet says:

      If true, I would put MSU in the east. Everyone in the west will want Michigan as much as possible. If they are required to play MSU every year that reduces every else’s access. Splitting IU/PU doesn’t require Michigan to have a fixed opponent.

      • zeek says:

        Yes. I agree 100% with this.

        A Michigan-Michigan State crossover game would be a bad idea; keep them together in my opinion.

    • GreatLakeState says:

      MSU West, Purdue East and this will be perfect.

      • zeek says:

        Competitively yes, but losing Michigan games would hurt the Western schools.

        • Brian says:

          Then they shouldn’t agree to putting 3 kings in the east. Once they agree to that, they lose the right to complain about not playing one of them enough. When MI is less available, that means more OSU (and PSU).

          • Richard says:

            MSU to the east with crossovers. Just to spite Brian.

            Nah, I kid; it is my favored arrangement, though.

          • Brian says:

            It doesn’t matter, I hate all of the choices. I frankly hope the B10 suffers from this. I hope NYC never cracks, MD and RU fail, the west shrivels from lack of attention and PSU and MSU (and hopefully MI) suffer from being in a stacked division. By 2014, I’m an OSU fan only.

          • Eric says:

            Brian,

            I kind of hope the same thing (or at least am indifferent). All the conference chaos as made me realize I don’t care about their financial strength/success anymore. I’ve got Ohio/Midwestern pride and will continue to have some conference pride, but it’s a diminished pride and based more on talking to conference fans more than rooting because the team is “Big Ten.” This I think is the long term danger in college changes. Conference pride at this level is very unique to college sports. Loosing regional focus and bigger playoffs are going to diminish it over the long run.

          • Brian says:

            Eric,

            CFB and the B10 have unintentionally done almost everything in their power to push me away. Going to 12 teams, expanding to 14, talking about annexing the ACC, refusing to go to 9 games while expanding, ruining the Rose Bowl, etc all just lower my enthusiasm for any non-OSU game. I refuse to watch The Game when OSU is wearing alternate jerseys, so I’ve only heard the last several. I will not watch the expanded playoff unless OSU is in it. I may be down to watching a handful of games per year by 2014. On the bright side, I’ll have a lot of free time on Saturdays to do other things.

          • greg says:

            “I refuse to watch The Game when OSU is wearing alternate jerseys, so I’ve only heard the last several.”

            You refuse to watch The Game, but you post utter bullshit here 50 times a day. Grand.

          • Brian says:

            I do it just for you, greg.

    • frug says:

      I hope this is wrong because if Purdue goes East the Illinois will have gotten screwed. Losing games against both the Indiana schools and tOSU would suck.

      • GreatLakeState says:

        I agree that Illinois is hurt the most (tradition-wise) in this scenario. It’ll be interesting to see if they deem this acceptable.

        • mushroomgod says:

          That Purdue-Illinois game is almost a must. Purdue is closer to Illinois than to IU……

          • Richard says:

            Yet in the 11-school era, IU was a protected game for Illinois while PU wasn’t, so the powers-that-be seem to disagree with you (and it isn’t because of Northwestern; neither PU or IU are rivals to us; we’re pretty much indifferent).

          • Brian says:

            I think the B10 went with proximity. PU/IL and IN/IL are similar distances while IN/NW would be a much longer drive. It’s a shame that they dropped the Purdue Cannon game for it, though. Maybe IN strongly requested IL or PU really wanted NW or NW requested PU despite Richard’s ambivalence.

          • I know that for me personally as an Illini fan, I have a lot more vitriol toward Indiana compared to Purdue (albeit it stems from basketball instead of football). Prior to me writing about conference realignment, the most frequently read post on this blog was this scorched Earth piece (which ended up getting carried on Deadspin) on Satan’s Spawn (Kelvin Sampson) prying Eric Gordon away from an oral commitment to Illinois:

            http://frankthetank.wordpress.com/2006/10/16/hoosier-fleecing-a-qa-with-frank-the-tank-on-the-eric-gordon-debacle/

          • Mike says:

            @Frank – I noticed that post only generated four comments. When you started writing about realignment, did you expect the traffic and following you ended up with? Also it seems that you’re a fairly active message board poster, what was your motivation for starting the blog instead of just posting your thoughts there?

          • @Mike – Good questions.

            I had absolutely no idea or expectation that I would end up with the traffic and following regarding conference realignment. All I knew was that I found it to be an interesting topic and there weren’t really many (if any) places discussing it in-depth or beyond “Cincinnati played really well last year and they’re close to Ohio State, so the Big Ten should add them” types of comments. That’s part of why I ended up posting more on the blog as opposed to just message boards, as well. (The blog itself was initially started as a vanity project to post my thoughts on the Illini and Chicago sports.) Back then, only a handful of people were really discussing realignment regularly (Big East fans being one of the few groups doing so since they have been in constant “Should we expand or split?” mode since the ACC first raided them 10 years ago).

            Ultimately, I was in the right place at the right time. There was an issue (conference realignment) that wasn’t being discussed or understood very well in the mainstream media or even by niche sports blogs and message boards, that issue quickly exploded into one that dominated college sports, and I happened to be in a first mover position when that occurred.

            One general observation after witnessing how this blog has grown over the years: I’m now a large believer in “The Tipping Point” theory of building an audience when it comes to the web. Audiences on the web don’t build in a linear fashion. Instead, they typically build very rapidly as a result of a catalyst or critical mass of factors occurring at the same… or they never build at all. It’s kind of like how a seedy neighborhood can stay that way for decades, but when gentrification occurs, it’s usually swift and completely transforms an area within only a few years. I had been writing this blog for over 4 years with a steady audience and even regular mentions in places like Deadspin during that timeframe, but conference realignment was the issue that made it explode and it happened within literally the span of one month. I wish that I were smart enough to say that I planned it that way, yet I certainly wasn’t (other than subconsciously filling a void in the web marketplace of ideas and stumbling upon the fact that a lot of other people noticed that there was a void, too).

      • BruceMcF says:

        Yes! THAT’S the reason why I want Michigan State in the East. Its not that I’m an annoying OSU snob about playing Maryland, Rutgers AND both Indiana schools every gad domn year ..

        … NO, its because I want the Illini to be able to play Purdue, every year, as a concession for the Illibuck being played fewer than half the time.

        Yes, that’s the ticket.

        • mushroomgod says:

          why couldn’t purdue have 2 crossover games each year–Ill and IU….? I realize that would mean only 1 game per year against 5 teams….but that Ill-Pur game is too much of a natural to lose, imo…..

          On the other hand, I wouldn’t run into the problem, because I’d keep MSU west and send Purdue east….UM and OSU are going to dominate overall in the next 10 years…send as many other good teams west as is possible.

      • Richard says:

        frug:

        That would depend on whether there are crossovers or not. If there are crossovers and the Illibuck is preserved, Illinois would keep Northwestern, Wisconsin, & tOSU, lose the 2 IN schools, and gain Iowa (and Nebraska, who will be fun to play). Not much worse (if at all) from my perspective.

        • Brian says:

          Richard,

          You are always big on telling others not to judge how another school feels. Why put your judgment of what IL wants above frug’s?

          • Richard says:

            Huh? I didn’t tell him how he should feel or how Illinois should feel. I simply stated what I would desire if I was Illinois. Nor did I say what I would want if I was Illinois is somehow better than his viewpoint.

          • Brian says:

            And if anyone does that for NW you shout them down if their opinion differs from yours. Since he gave his opinion first, that reeks of hypocrisy from you.

          • Richard says:

            In your own mind, Brian. Unlike you, I would not keep insisting that I know best how some other school should feel or do something.

          • Richard says:

            I want to add:

            There’s a reason why there’s a lot more antipathy towards you from many people than towards me or any other regular poster here. Ever wonder why?

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            “Unlike you, I would not keep insisting that I know best how some other school should feel or do something.”

            You would and do. I’ve seen you called on it.

            And despite what you say, I don’t insist that I know best how NW should think or do anything. The last time I checked, however, I was allowed to have opinions. I’ve had you shout me down for saying exactly what other NW fans have said in other forums because you claim I can’t know what NW should be doing/thinking/feeling.

          • Brian says:

            No, I never wondered and I’ve noticed plenty of love for you, too.

    • vp19 says:

      Annual crossovers are simpler with Sparty in the East:

      Indiana-Purdue
      Michigan-Minnesota (Little Brown Jug)
      Ohio State-Illinois (Illiniwek)
      Penn State-Nebraska
      Michigan State-Northwestern (MSU likes its ties to metro Chicago)

      Maryland/Rutgers-Wisconsin/Iowa

      • Brian says:

        vp19,

        “Annual crossovers are simpler with Sparty in the East:”

        That really depends. My choices:

        MSU in east:
        IN/PU

        MSU in west:
        MI/MSU

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          I prefer Brian’s system, i.e., no locked crossovers except the in-state pair that are separated (UM/MSU or IU/PU). I wouldn’t lock Maryland and Rutgers into a made-up annual “rivalry” that has no historical basis.

          All the others that @vp19 listed are real rivalries, so it’ll be interesting to see if the conference protects them, which means the other western teams will see the kings less often. Although Penn State does have a real rivalry with Nebraska, I wonder how they’d feel being the only king that plays all three of the other kings every year. That would be brutal.

          • Carl says:

            Marc Shepherd said:

            “Although Penn State does have a real rivalry with Nebraska, …”

            Yeah, although the PSU and Nebraska have only played a few games in the larger historical perspective, there are reasons why the game has a much larger emotional significance than that in Penn State fans’ minds. 1. The excitement of the 1979-1982 series. 2. The controversy of the 1982 game. 3. The role of the 1982 game in Penn State’s first national championship. 4. The perception that Penn State and Nebraska had similar athletic/academic cultures and that Paterno and Osborne both played by the rules. 5. The 1994 NC controversy. 6. Both being the new kids – new kings – in the Big Ten. 7. The 2011 game after the Sandusky scandal broke. (Lesser reasons are the 1983 and 2002 games, and Curt Warner’s big game at Lincoln in 1981.)
            ;-)

        • zeek says:

          Best to go with MSU in the East so that the Western schools have more access to Michigan. I’d think that’s how this will play out…

          • Brian says:

            I disagree. If the western schools were concerned about that, they shouldn’t have agreed to putting 3 kings in the east. Once you agree to that, you lose the right to complain you aren’t playing them enough. They could have demanded a 2/2 split of kings. They could demand 9 games right away. Besides, less MI means more OSU which is a decent consolation prize.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            @Brian: People can legitimately pursue multiple aims at once. It is not inconsistent for the Big Ten to say, “We want 3 kings in the east, but we want them to play western crossover games as much as possible.” Just because the western teams have agreed to a 3-1 split of kings, does not mean they relinquish all interest in maximizing the value of the schedule.

          • Brian says:

            Marc Shepherd,

            “People can legitimately pursue multiple aims at once.”

            Of course they can, but not mutually incompatible ones.

            “It is not inconsistent for the Big Ten to say, “We want 3 kings in the east, but we want them to play western crossover games as much as possible.” ”

            I’m talking about the western schools losing the right to complain, not the B10.

            Let’s look at IA’s schedule under various scenarios.

            1. 8 games, 1 locked game a piece:
            A. W has MI
            MI – 100%
            OSU – 17%

            B. E has MI and OSU
            MI, OSU – 17% each

            The result is a drastic reduction in games against OSU and MI combined.

            2. 8 games, only 1 locked game
            A. W has MI – MI/OSU locked
            MI – 100%
            OSU – 17%

            B. E has OSU and MI – MI/MSU locked
            MI – 17%
            OSU – 29%

            C. E has OSU and MI – IN/PU locked
            MI, OSU – 31% each

            The result is a drastic reduction in games against OSU and MI combined. Shifting where MSU is makes only a small change. It costs IA roughly 1 game in 6 years against OSU or MI.

            When they agreed to put OSU and MI both in the east regardless of where MSU was, they knowingly sacrificed playing MI/OSU frequently. They are free to prefer 0.61 of a game versus 0.45 of a game against OSU and MI annually (that’s roughly 1 extra game every 6 years), but it’s not a complaint that carries much weight with me. They chose to not have an annual game. Getting 1 more game every 6 years isn’t a significant difference. It’s not a sufficient reason to decide where MSU should be.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            @Brian: I think you’re answering the wrong question. This isn’t, “How can we mollify Iowa?” It’s, “How can we get the best schedule for all of our schools?” You’re assuming a scenario not known to exist, i.e., Iowa complaining about one home game every 6 or 7 years.

          • Brian says:

            Marc Shepherd,

            I think you’re answering the wrong question. This isn’t, “How can we mollify Iowa?”

            I wasn’t answering that question.

            1. I used IA as a representative western school. It could have been any of them. I specifically avoided MN just because of the Little Brown Jug, but otherwise just wanted a western school.

            2. This thread was discussing it being better to send MSU east so the western schools could play MI more often. I ran the numbers to show two things:
            a. Where MSU goes makes very little difference in how often they play OSU/MI
            b. The playing OSU/MI regularly ship sailed as soon as they agreed to put 3 kings in the east

            3. I use those numbers to support my original contention that those schools lost the right to complain about not playing OSU/MI frequently when they agreed to send 3 kings east. That decision instantly cost them a lot of OSU/MI games. MSU’s location has little actual impact on how often they play OSU/MI. That makes it a minor consideration when deciding where MSU should go.

            It’s, “How can we get the best schedule for all of our schools?”

            No, that was clearly never the question. You don’t send 3 kings east if that’s the question. You don’t strip IL of many of their rivals if that’s the question. The question should be:

            Given the craptastic decision to split 12 teams up thusly, what’s best for the B10 in deciding where to put MSU and PU?

            Since MSU’s location has such little impact on king games for the western schools, the bigger concern is the competitive balance based on where MSU goes.

            “You’re assuming a scenario not known to exist, i.e., Iowa complaining about one home game every 6 or 7 years.”

            No, I’m not. I’m answering the concern expressed by zeek and others about the western schools getting to play MI more by putting MSU in the east versus PU in the east.

      • cutter says:

        Since the Big Ten looks like it will have eight conference games for 2014/5 based on what the Purdue Athletic Director is saying, that means teams will either have a 6-2 or 6-1-1 setup for those two seasons. There’s not going to be a 6-3 or 6-1-2 setup until at least 2016.

        I think the decision really comes down to the conference’s perception of what Penn State will be like in 2014/5. One athletic director earlier said that they didn’t want to have an “easy division”, so if PSU is evaluated as not being very competitive due to sanctions (which I think they’ll believe), then I can see Michigan State going to the east and Purdue west.

        At that point, the conference has options. They can have seven protected cross-division games or just one (Purdue-Indiana). If they feel this division arrangement is only going to be in place for two years, they can forget the protected games and just make sure Purdue and Indiana play one another in a 6-2 setup for 2014/5 while waiting for next change when additional teams come into the conference. All the games vp19 put up there could happen, but not have be labelled annual crossovers.

        • Brian says:

          cutter,

          “Since the Big Ten looks like it will have eight conference games for 2014/5 based on what the Purdue Athletic Director is saying, that means teams will either have a 6-2 or 6-1-1 setup for those two seasons. There’s not going to be a 6-3 or 6-1-2 setup until at least 2016.”

          Which sucks, just to be clear. 8 games was good with 10 and even 11 teams. It was weak with 12 and stinks with 14.

          “I think the decision really comes down to the conference’s perception of what Penn State will be like in 2014/5. One athletic director earlier said that they didn’t want to have an “easy division”, so if PSU is evaluated as not being very competitive due to sanctions (which I think they’ll believe), then I can see Michigan State going to the east and Purdue west.”

          I don’t think PSU is the real issue there. The bigger problem is estimating where RU and MD would fit in. Will they be around the middle or down near IN? PSU was competitive this year and was down on scholarship players to 67 according to PSU fans. In the future they won’t be installing a new system or using players recruited for a different offense. On the other hand, the numbers aren’t great:

          2012 – 67
          2013 – 67 + 15 – 20? = 62
          2014 – 62 + 15 – 20? = 57
          2015 – 57 + 15 – 20? = 52
          2016 – 52 + 15 – 20? = 47
          2017 – 47 + 25 – 15? = 57
          2018 – 57 + 25 – 15? = 67
          2019 – 67 + 25 – 15? = 77
          2020 – 77 + 25 – 17? = 85

          Obviously I’m guessing at the attrition, but it’s based off of the 2012 PSU roster. Those numbers also reflect only true scholarship players. They’ll also have walk-ons to fill out the roster.

          Rather than an easy division, they need to worry about a generic division. They also have to look at balance at the top because that’s all the rest of the country sees. That’s where the impetus to move MSU west comes from.

          • BuckeyeBeau says:

            @Brian. I am confused.

            You said: “Which sucks, just to be clear. 8 games was good with 10 and even 11 teams. It was weak with 12 and stinks with 14.”

            Logically, this implies you are not in favor of an 8 game conference schedule. Maybe you prefer 9 conference games. From previously posts you oppose a 10-game conference schedule.

          • Brian says:

            BuckeyeBeau,

            “@Brian. I am confused.”

            Actually, I don’t think you are.

            “You said: “Which sucks, just to be clear. 8 games was good with 10 and even 11 teams. It was weak with 12 and stinks with 14.”

            Logically, this implies you are not in favor of an 8 game conference schedule. Maybe you prefer 9 conference games. From previously posts you oppose a 10-game conference schedule.”

            Yes. 8 games is not enough to play the other 9 traditional B10 schools often enough in a 14 team conference unless I can cherry pick the schedule. Especially with the crappy divisions they are forming, a lot of rivalries will suffer in this new system. 10 of 12 games being in conference is too many because it forces the OOC games to be weak to get 2 home games every year. 9 is the sweet spot where you can still play 1 good OOC home and home series while also playing those other 9 school reasonably often. If the season was 13 or 14 games, then I’d want a 10 game conference season.

          • BruceMcF says:

            Lets be clear, though ~ 8 games starts to see problems with 12 teams IF and ONLY IF there are locked cross-conference games. 8 games, 12 teams, and no locked cross conference games gives playing through the whole opposing division in two years, which is just fine.

          • mushroomgod says:

            9 conference games, rather than 8, is a complete no brainer with 14 teams….No BIG team is playing more than 1 OOC game that’s worth a s### anyway….I guess the question would be how quickly schools could clear their schedules……..

          • Brian says:

            BruceMcF,

            “Lets be clear, though ~ 8 games starts to see problems with 12 teams IF and ONLY IF there are locked cross-conference games. 8 games, 12 teams, and no locked cross conference games gives playing through the whole opposing division in two years, which is just fine.”

            That’s true. I was giving the specific answer for the B10 and the alignments they’ve chosen. In the general case, 8 games can work just fine at 12.

          • Brian says:

            mushroomgod,

            “9 conference games, rather than 8, is a complete no brainer with 14 teams…”

            I sometimes wonder if the B10 ADs can live up to no brainer status. Gene Smith certainly tries to prove he has no brains often enough.

            “No BIG team is playing more than 1 OOC game that’s worth a s### anyway”

            http://www.fbschedules.com/ncaa/big-ten/ohio-state-buckeyes.php

            OSU plans to in the future.

            2014 – VT, UC
            2015 – VT (only 2 of 4 games set)
            2016 – OU, Tulsa
            2017 – OU, UNC
            2018 – UC, TCU, UNC
            2019 – TCU (1 of 4 set)
            2020 – BC, OR
            2021 – BC, OR
            2022 – UT (1 of 4 set)
            2023 – UT (1 of 4 set)

            “I guess the question would be how quickly schools could clear their schedules”

            It’s all up to how much the B10 is willing to spend to buy out contracts. Any game can be cancelled for the right price.

          • cutter says:

            While Penn State will have an aggressive walk-on program to help fill the roster, my assessment is that it will be difficult for them to compete on a high level for awhile. As your own projections show, the number of scholarship players in the program is going to be at its lowest in 2016. While Coach O’Brien did a great job last season, you also can’t deny that the quality of recruiting is a big reason for success in college football.

            You have been welded to the concept that Penn State is a “king” through many of your posts. To the degree that PSU has a high level of public recognition (outside the Sandusky scandal) and among college football fans, I couldn’t agree more. That’s one reason why the Big Ten presidents agreed to add PSU as the 11th member of the conference back in 1991. Penn State and recent addition Nebraska both are winning, tradition-laden programs that make for “good television”.

            But the reality is that Penn State’s football program is going to go through some difficult times here and you can’t think like a French Army staff officer in the spring of 1940 regarding what they’re going to look like in the near term. And while you want to have the Big Ten’s planning horizon on all this to extend for a number of years, the reality is that the situation regarding expansion, etc. means they’re very well making some short term decisions by they’re operating not only in a very dynamic environment, but in one that they have a major role in guiding and forming as well.

            You also can’t set aside one of the concerns that been written on this board about having the best Big Ten brands in the east because of the demands of one of the main stakeholders and financial drivers in this entire process–the major networks and cable television. I’d also add the desire to play in front of east coast alumni, fund raising opportunities, the chance to grow the conference in areas with greater population, etc.

            But setting aside all that for a minute, I really do think that the Big Ten is grappling with what Penn State is going to look like over the next few years and how to make sure there’s a semblance of competitive balance between the two conferences. I suspect that the proposal to put Northwestern in the east (as reported by the Chicago Tribune) was put forth because of that goal. It would have looked like this:

            East – Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers
            West – Illinois, Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Purdue, Wisconsin

            Obviously, that would have required fixed crossover games to be put in place to ensure the instate rivalries if this setup was going beyond 2015.

            One more related item here. I looked at wikipedia before and it listed 17 rivalry or high-level Big Ten games among the conference members. With a straight east-west lineup that has the two Indiana schools split up, eleven of those games would be part of the schedule each year with no other changes. If there were fixed cross-divisonal games, that number could go up to 15 with the two exceptions being Illinois-Indiana and Penn State-Minnesota. (Note: PSU-Nebraska was not listed as one of those 17 games). So this idea that a bigger conference is going to tear apart rivalries seems to be overblown to me at this point.

            Also keep in mind that PSU might actually prefer playing Rutgers and Maryland (and Indiana) over Nebraska and Minnesota anyway given the distance and the current state of the Penn State program.

          • Brian says:

            cutter,

            “While Penn State will have an aggressive walk-on program to help fill the roster, my assessment is that it will be difficult for them to compete on a high level for awhile.”

            If you mean winning 9+ games per year, I’d agree. I think they can win 5-9 games from 2013-2018 depending on their schedule. They should be good again by 2019 (maybe 2018).

            “As your own projections show, the number of scholarship players in the program is going to be at its lowest in 2016. While Coach O’Brien did a great job last season, you also can’t deny that the quality of recruiting is a big reason for success in college football.”

            I fully agree. It does help that they’re getting some walk-ons who had scholarship offers elsewhere, but they aren’t taking them from elite AQs (more like MAC to lower B10 level players). Still, their name has enough cache to get some elite recruits. If Hackenberg lives up to his billing, the offense should always be dangerous. The defense will be tougher to maintain up to PSU standards since that takes a lot of highly talented players.

            “You have been welded to the concept that Penn State is a “king” through many of your posts. To the degree that PSU has a high level of public recognition (outside the Sandusky scandal) and among college football fans, I couldn’t agree more. That’s one reason why the Big Ten presidents agreed to add PSU as the 11th member of the conference back in 1991. Penn State and recent addition Nebraska both are winning, tradition-laden programs that make for “good television”.”

            Yes, and that’s all I mean when I say they are a king. I’m not claiming they’ll magically win 10+ games every year because of who they are. But they stayed a king during JoePa’s dark years in the early 2000s and they will through this. A 7-5 PSU will get more coverage than an 8-4 IA and maybe more than some 9-3 teams.

            “But the reality is that Penn State’s football program is going to go through some difficult times here and you can’t think like a French Army staff officer in the spring of 1940 regarding what they’re going to look like in the near term.”

            I’m not. I’m just not assuming they’ll drop to NW before 1994 levels. They can be on par with or better than some (if not most or all of) MN, PU, IL, IN, MD, RU and NW. That puts them squarely in tier 3 for a few years on the field. I think way too many people are treating them like they’ll be a 2-3 win team every season.

            We also don’t know how RU and MD will fare. RU could easily slot in near the middle of the B10 based on recent performance, or near the bottom. The same is true for MD.

            Sagarin rankings:
            2012 – RU would be #8/14 in B10, MD #13/14
            2011 – RU #6/14, MD #13/14
            2010 – RU #11/14, MD #6/14

            “And while you want to have the Big Ten’s planning horizon on all this to extend for a number of years, the reality is that the situation regarding expansion, etc. means they’re very well making some short term decisions by they’re operating not only in a very dynamic environment, but in one that they have a major role in guiding and forming as well.”

            The ADs have said they are entering this process not considering any possible future expansion. They aren’t precluding it, they’re just dealing with the known facts of 14 schools. To me, that indicates they are making decisions that they think can withstand the test of time. I’ve never said they won’t make some short term decisions, especially with scheduling. They obviously did when they added NE and I assume they will this time, too. That doesn’t mean they will or should use short term planning to decide the divisions.

            “You also can’t set aside one of the concerns that been written on this board about having the best Big Ten brands in the east because of the demands of one of the main stakeholders and financial drivers in this entire process–the major networks and cable television.”

            I don’t set them aside. I think they are overplayed and that most people ignore other paths to the same goals, and I also think people are choosing to ignore the flip side of the coin. I choose to point out the underbelly of the stacked east because almost nobody else does.

            Everyone keeps repeating this plan:
            1. Put 3 kings in the east
            2. ???
            3. Profit

            I’ve heard different explanations for what step 2 is, but the opinions vary widely. They also don’t consider the odds of step 2 succeeding, they just assume it will work. I’d prefer to see a more detailed business plan for that.

            I’d also like to see more consideration for the unintended consequences. How are the western schools impacted by having 3 kings in the east? It’s clear in terms of scheduling (they’ll play OSU and MI a lot less), but less clear in terms of coverage and attention and recruiting. The east will dominate (2 to 1 or more) in terms of the number of major media markets, population, available recruits and proximity to the networks. That has consequences for the west.

            A lack of competitive balance (if there is one) also has consequences. Teams in the harder division suffer extra losses while their competition in the easier division gets artificially inflated win totals. Those extra Ws and Ls change which bowls you get and how much press coverage you get. That can impact the future of your program as recruiting is impacted and even donations fluctuate. If one division is nationally considered to be much tougher, all the teams on the other side will tend to be mocked and/or ignored. That has consequences, too.

            “I’d also add the desire to play in front of east coast alumni,”

            Which is so important to OSU that they haven’t done it in 15+ years.

            “the chance to grow the conference in areas with greater population, etc.”

            Do you grow the conference or just the eastern division?

            “But setting aside all that for a minute, I really do think that the Big Ten is grappling with what Penn State is going to look like over the next few years and how to make sure there’s a semblance of competitive balance between the two conferences.”

            It’s possible. I have no way of knowing. I don’t think it’s that hard to figure out, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t grappling with it.

            “I suspect that the proposal to put Northwestern in the east (as reported by the Chicago Tribune) was put forth because of that goal.”

            That’s one of several possible reasons. NW’s large percentage of east coast alumni is another. So is the Chicago/NYC rivalry or the urban nature of the school making RU and MD feel at home. Considering the alleged agreement to split 12 teams with MSU/PU being the only remaining issue, it seems less likely to me that you are correct. If they are worried about the east being weak they could easily move MSU east. The fact that they didn’t instantly do that tells me their balance concern likely goes the other way. They are wondering whether MSU needs to go west to maintain balance in my opinion.

            But honestly, I think we all suffer confirmation bias on things like this. Depending on what you think, you can parse every statement and spin every decision to fit your ideas. We have no idea why the asked NW about going east or why they haven’t decided about MSU vs PU. We have unsubstantiated theories at this point.

            “Obviously, that would have required fixed crossover games to be put in place to ensure the instate rivalries if this setup was going beyond 2015.”

            Every plan would need at least 1 except inner/outer.

            “One more related item here. I looked at wikipedia before and it listed 17 rivalry or high-level Big Ten games among the conference members. With a straight east-west lineup that has the two Indiana schools split up, eleven of those games would be part of the schedule each year with no other changes. If there were fixed cross-divisonal games, that number could go up to 15 with the two exceptions being Illinois-Indiana and Penn State-Minnesota. (Note: PSU-Nebraska was not listed as one of those 17 games). So this idea that a bigger conference is going to tear apart rivalries seems to be overblown to me at this point.”

            And yet multiple PSU people have said they consider the NE game very important. At least 1 person has mentioned IL wanting to play the IN schools. More importantly, you are only looking at the top end games. Nobody thought most of those would go away. The concern is for the other B10 matchups that used to be regular and had meaning becoming not much different from OOC games. I’d much rather play any of the other 11 B10 teams than the two newbies, and any of the traditional 9 before PSU and NE. Those are the games we’re losing as we grow. It’s worse because OSU is stuck with both newbies every year instead of spreading the pain.

            “Also keep in mind that PSU might actually prefer playing Rutgers and Maryland (and Indiana) over Nebraska and Minnesota anyway given the distance and the current state of the Penn State program.”

            They seem to like NE, and only the PSU fans east of campus seem to care about RU and MD. Those in western PA want to play Pitt instead.

      • metatron says:

        Michigan State-Wisconsin would be better.

    • Brian says:

      If true, it sucks as expected.

      • jj says:

        Someone, maybe at NU, suggested 9 games where the 5 away and 5 homes were always in the same division. In other words, all legends teams would play 5 away one year and 4 away the next. Then flip. That seems very workable.

        • vp19 says:

          The ACC is doing that for 2013 with an 8-game sked — the guaranteed crossovers are at Atlantic members (e.g., Virginia at Maryland, Georgia Tech at Clemson), the extra game is at Coastal members (Clemson at Virginia, Maryland at Virginia Tech)

        • Brian says:

          jj,

          That’s the only logical way to do 9 games. My comment was in reference to the divisions.

    • BuckeyeBeau says:

      wonderful !! I’d be happy whatever they do with MSU and Purdue.

      Please, please, please, just call the divisions East and West.

      Jim, dear, if you are reading along. the marketing potential for East and West is just as good (if different) than your — creepily — beloved Leaders and Legends. East and West give you B1GE and B1GW. With your signature Blue and Black colors, it’s marketing gold. Add silliness like Leader and Legends as an ANNUAL gloss. Next year it can be Warriors and Fighters, then Heros and Saints, etc. etc.

      • mushroomgod says:

        Why not name them after 2 dead guys…..Stagg for the west…one of the BIG commishes for the east…that way you piss off no existing teams but add some flavor………

  36. jimisawesome says:

    One thing I never seen discussed with the possibility of B1G at 20 is the chance for November prime time games and how this would boost T1/2 deals and even make the B1G more valuable. Add say UVA, UNC, GT, FSU, Duke and ND (does not matter much the last one) and now you have 7 schools that can host prime time games in at least decent weather.

    • ccrider55 says:

      You’re new here. 18 and 20 has been discussed almost more than 16.

      • BuckeyeBeau says:

        sigh…. @CCrider55. I have enjoyed many of your posts over the months and years. I hope this is not too offensive to you and please do not take it as a huge personal attack. But, I oppose hazing the “new guys.”

        On the topic of the OP: maybe I am wrong, but I do not recall any discussions of how adding new ACC teams would impact night games. the suggestion, I think, is that more southern (to wit, warmer) climes would increase the possibility of night games in November. Assuming night games have enhanced value, then more night games = more tv revenue. It is an interesting idea. I do not recall this being discussed.

        • BuckeyeBeau says:

          also, I am not sure “JimIsAwesom” is a “new guy.’ But whatever.

        • ccrider55 says:

          Offense, if there, was unintentional. My apology is extended. As to 20 and night games, perhaps it increases a bit. How many ACC night games happen now, how many might be expected to transfer, and would that be valuable in and of itself? Possibly, but compared to the basic gain in footprint, potential BTN penetration, and marketing leverage that comes from achieving around 30% control of the AQ D1 inventory. (Slightly less than what a PAC/B1G association might have achieved, but with only one CEO)

          • ccrider55 says:

            PS: 20 is stupid big. Just my personal opinion, but the only thing good about that many is that 14 or 16 look much better in comparison. 12 becomes almost cozy. :)

          • BuckeyeBeau says:

            @CCRider55… LOLing at 12 being “cozy.” What does that make our old 11 teams? In hindsight, the B1G staying at 11 for so many years is amazing. Clearly, the BTN was a monumental change for CFB.

          • Brian says:

            BuckeyeBeau,

            “In hindsight, the B1G staying at 11 for so many years is amazing. Clearly, the BTN was a monumental change for CFB.”

            I don’t think it was that amazing. The TV money hadn’t exploded yet, so there wasn’t much pressure to switch conferences. After adding PSU, what worthy candidates were left? ND said no. The surprising thing is that the B10 said no to UT, expansion moratorium or no. Hindsight is 20/20, but clearly the B10 didn’t see a demographics problem 15+ years ago.

            Would there have been talk of expanding beyond 12? It’s hard to imagine needing it with the BTN in all of TX, too. Maybe they add NE and MO as a bridge to TX and chase RU and MD for markets, but it’s not automatic.

    • And not just NIGHT games…but Thursday/Friday night games? With the increased inventory, certain schools can have Thurs/Fri night game each year (Indiana, UNC, UVA, UMD, Rutgers, etc.)…while the Big Dogs can trot out one “exclusive” night game every 4-5 years (110,000 PSU fans don’t want to lose their Saturday tradition too often…). The BTN can carry these games and push up their inventory higher.

      With the current 12 teams conference slate, there really isn’t room for stretching 6 games over too many TV spots/channels.
      BTN, ESPN, ESPN2, ABC.
      12, 3:30, 6pm, 8pm.

      Jump to 20 teams (which I believe Delany is angling for)…and 10 conference games per week…and you might just need a Thursday night game each week. FWIW

      • BuckeyeBeau says:

        that is an interesting point too. Like CCRider55 (and others), I am not very happy with the idea of 20 teams. That just doesn’t seem like a conference to me. But whatever. I’m not in charge.

        But if the B1G (or any conference) goes to 20 teams, moving games to Thursday and more night games is intriguing. You certainly don’t want the games piled on top of each other during the Saturday daytime windows.

        interesting.

        • Brian says:

          Personally, I think I’d try Wednesday nights. No NFL competition and no harm to HS football, plus no short weeks for anybody. It would use up 2 bye weeks, though.

          1. Saturday, 10/7
          2. Wednesday, 10/18
          3. Saturday, 10/28

          Make it an important game and give it an exclusive national window.

          • m (Ag) says:

            No, it would only use up 1 bye weeks. In your example, the Saturdays of October are:

            1. 10/7
            2. 10/14
            3. 10/21
            4. 10/28

            The team would be playing 3 games in 4 weeks, with a ‘half-bye’ the week before the middle game, and another ‘half-bye’ the week after.

          • Brian says:

            I was unclear. I meant it would use up 1 bye week each for 2 teams, thus 2 bye weeks. That limits the conference in scheduling versus giving 1 or both teams a short week for a Thursday night game.

          • ccrider55 says:

            My understanding is that is what the PAC does for Thursday games.

          • Brian says:

            Could be. I just wanted to make it clear I wouldn’t put anyone on that short of a week.

      • Brian says:

        allthatyoucantleavebehind,

        “And not just NIGHT games…but Thursday/Friday night games?”

        Well, Thursday night ratings tanked last year by about 35% with the NFL playing on Thursday all season (http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2012/12/17/Media/NFL-Network.aspx). Except for the P12, most leagues are backing away from Thursdays. As for Fridays, some states really don’t want to compete with high school football. It’s not an issue everywhere, but it is an issue for some. In addition, some schools don’t like the disruption that weeknight games cause.

        I’m not saying it’s a terrible idea, but many B10 schools might prefer to not do it and I’m not sure there is a huge financial benefit to the conference. If a school wants to do it to get a window to themselves, more power to them. I think both schools should have to agree to move from Saturday, though.

        • @Brian – I was thinking of the impact of the NFL playing a full slate of Thursday night games here, too. It’s already making that evening less attractive for college teams. You’d really need to have schools that want extra TV exposure to get them to take a Thursday slot from this point forward (whereas it had been an acceptable non-Saturday slot for a lot of upper tier teams prior to this season).

          What I think may change for the Big Ten, though, is the rule against playing night games in November (as jimisawesome has noted). While I understand that a school such as Minnesota might not choose to host them with the unpredictable weather, it’s likely not going to be an issue for at least Maryland and Rutgers (and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t an issue for Nebraska in the Big 12). That’s a simple way to add extra time slots to both the BTN and the national TV package (or even create a new separate prime time Big Ten package to auction off to Fox and/or ESPN) without having to play non-Saturday games.

          • Brian says:

            Frank the Tank,

            “What I think may change for the Big Ten, though, is the rule against playing night games in November (as jimisawesome has noted).”

            I’m sure it will change sooner than later since I like the rule. I really hope they require that both teams agree to move it to a night game, though, rather than just letting TV force it, but I’d settle for the home team having to agree to it without any pressure/threats from TV. Schools should be able to follow their consciences if they don’t feel it’s safe/wise for them to host a night game in November. They should also use average weather data to potentially bar certain schools from doing it (average temps at kickoff time and and 3.5 hours later for that city on that date can’t be below certain thresholds).

            As a compromise, how about moving it to a dome for some schools? Detroit and Indy could host them with much less concern about the weather.

            “While I understand that a school such as Minnesota might not choose to host them with the unpredictable weather, it’s likely not going to be an issue for at least Maryland and Rutgers (and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t an issue for Nebraska in the Big 12).”

            If the B10 keeps expanding to the south, it’ll become an issue very quickly. Do you think FSU wants a below freezing kickoff in Madison with a division title on the line?

            “That’s a simple way to add extra time slots to both the BTN and the national TV package (or even create a new separate prime time Big Ten package to auction off to Fox and/or ESPN) without having to play non-Saturday games.”

            How about they play neutral site games somewhere warm for those slots? It’s like a bowl during the season. PSU vs NE in Hawaii at 8PM EST.

          • Richard says:

            Brian:

            1. Good luck trying to convince a B10 team to move a home game someplace warm just because you think that’s better. Tell you want, after you convince OSU to move their home game against PSU to Miami, come back to me with your thoughts on the feasibility of your idea.

            2. FSU already plays November games in cold weather locales. 5 of the past 6 years, in fact (Boston & Blacksburg in 2007, MD in late November in 2008 & 2010, Boston in 2011, Blacksburg & MD in 2012). Granted, in the B10, they may have more games in colder weather, but that’s a matter of degree.

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            “1. Good luck trying to convince a B10 team to move a home game someplace warm just because you think that’s better.”

            I started off by saying the rule would change.

            “Tell you want, after you convince OSU to move their home game against PSU to Miami, come back to me with your thoughts on the feasibility of your idea.”

            If the OB committee offered to pay $5M per team, they might have done it last year (no bowl). PSU certainly would have considered it. If Jerryworld would pay enough, teams would consider playing there.

            “2. FSU already plays November games in cold weather locales.”

            I never said they didn’t. I said they’d complain about a below freezing kickoff in Madison, especially with a division title on the line. Are you saying they wouldn’t complain about that? They bitch about it in the ACC already, and Blacksburg ain’t Madison.

          • Brian says:

            From weather.com:

            Difference in mean temperature (ave of max and min) for the date:

            Madison vs Blacksburg:
            11/1 – 4 degrees
            11/15 – 7 degrees
            11/30 – 9 degrees

            The mean temperature is below freezing in Madison for late November, with average lows in the low 20s. I’m pretty sure FSU would complain. Maybe they’d demand September home games in the afternoon in exchange. Nothing like playing in 90+ degrees with high humidity and intense sunshine.

        • Personally, I think that the Thursday offerings just weren’t as good this season. Perhaps ESPN wanted to float out weaker games to see if they could still get the solid ratings regardless…or maybe the match-ups were just duds by chance. Not sure.

          The Big Ten wouldn’t have to do weekly Thursday games. Four in September…two in October…two in November. In a 20-team league, you’d still only play in one of these games every 2-4 years.

          • Richard says:

            I think that weeknight games are too disruptive and really only are needed during the OOC part of the schedule, if at all. Friday night games would work without disrupting schedules too much.

            There’s no reason why you can’t have 3-4 B10 games on at the same time, carried by the BTN, 1st, and 2nd tier. We see that all the time in the noon/11AM slot already.

  37. frug says:

    One possibility for Big Ten and Hopkins

    http://deadspin.com/5978363/how-the-ncaa-causes-gigantism-the-story-of-the-small-regional-conference-that-swallowed-up-the-continent

    down from nine women’s programs to six, the conference stood to lose its AQ status for women’s sports after a two-season grace period unless it picked up at least one more school

    the commissioners instituted a somewhat ingenious solution, following the letter but not the spirit of the NCAA’s frustrating conference rules.

    These schools were “championship” members, meaning they would not play against other GSAC schools during the regular season, but they would participate in the GSAC conference championships to determine qualifying for the NCAA tournament.

    I’m not sure whether this would fly at the D-I level (GSAC is D-III), but it would allow the Big Ten to get its auto-bid while allowing Hopkins to continue to schedule as an independent (thus preserving its rivalries) and keep its ESPNU deal.

    • zeek says:

      Dunno, I think you’d want to bind them as tightly as everyone else is bound to the conference.

      Last thing you’d want is to create some ambiguous situation, so that means 3 things:

      1) CIC invite, 2) men’s and women’s teams in Big Ten lacrosse men’s and women’s conferences, 3) TV deal has to be resolved in some fashion (although you can probably just let them continue to sell their own package).

    • BruceMcF says:

      Another way to let it keep its TV deal is to just let it keep its TV deal. That gives an ESPNU game for each Big Ten school. BTN says “for associate members, we get all otherwise untelevised games.” Its a new category, there is no established rule in place. If the BTN shows 2 games a week in the regular season, there should be two or three home games during the OOC period, then 2 or 3 available during the 5 week conference season, depending on whether JHU is home or away. That’s about 6 TV games for each Big Ten school, up from 1-3 now (other than MD who is on TV about 8 times a season now).

      And 5 conference games in a schedule of 10 regular season games and 2 3-game classics is lots of chances to play existing rivalries ~ especially as one of those is in- conference.

  38. Joe says:

    All that talk about Big Ten Northern and SEC Southern and ACC being academic and southern…all very poetic but everyone knows none of that matters. Every university is for sale.

    • metatron says:

      Since when?

    • BuckeyeBeau says:

      yeah, I agree with Metatron. in theory, there are some set of circumstances and money that would pry loose any school from any conference. But for schools like ‘bama, Auburn, tOSU, Michigan, USC, etc., those would have to be some damn big set of circumstances. $$ would not be enough.

      UNC and Duke are good examples we’ve discussed. Neither can just be bought with $$. we’ve taked about how the ACC needs to be “destablized” first before UNC and Duke (and other ACC schools) become “available.”

      Another example: Tennessee. Now there is a school in need of $$. But I seriously seriously doubt the B1G could lure them away from the SEC (even if they were AAU).

  39. sbrylski says:

    Maybe I’m thinking too hard, but I think Hopkins might be the key to this entire thing.

    First, it makes sense to add Hopkins and put in motion a watchable slate of lacrosse games for BTN filler, especially in the spring. Second, Hopkins is going to solidify the mid-Atlantic corridor and the new eastern block of the Big Ten as another voting member and cultural fit for new arrivals, which will help entice other mid-Atlantic schools, such as Virginia, North Carolina, and Duke to join the conference down the road.

    But third, and most importantly, I think Delany is using Hopkins as a counterweight to adding schools with weaker academics.

    The CIC does not want it’s research dollars diluted, which is a major sticking point in getting university presidents’ approval. It was reported that Maryland and Rutgers additions stretched the CIC’s total research budget to $9.3 billion (http://www.dailyillini.com/news/national/article_bc72b8d8-3f67-11e2-8799-0019bb30f31a.html), which comes out to $620 million per school. I propose that the presidents have a general rule that expansion is only allowed if that number increases or stays the same. This might not be a hard and fast rule if Delany can convince the presidents that the money can be made up in other areas, but it’s probably a good general metric for academic competency in evaluating expansion targets.

    Using available 2009 data (http://mup.asu.edu/research2011.pdf), I ran the numbers. There are only TWO combinations of schools that would maintain the mark of $620 million average research dollars per school: Duke ($805 million) + either North Carolina ($646 million) or Georgia Tech ($562 million). That’s it. And none of those schools are Virginia (just $262 million), meaning their will be a geographic gap if they alone are added.

    But if Delany adds the research powerhouse that is Hopkins ($1.9 billion), he may brilliantly be giving himself the power back to add who he wants. And the best part is he doesn’t have to add a dead weight football program. Re-run the numbers, and the conference can now add these geographically contiguous sets of schools:

    Hopkins + Virginia + Duke = $974.3 million average (16 football teams)
    Hopkins + Virginia + North Carolina = $921 million average (16 teams)
    Hopkins + Virginia + Duke + North Carolina + Georgia Tech = $826 million average (18 teams)

    Not only would Hopkins open up CIC invites for the mid-Atlantic schools, but the numbers even work for adding Florida St ($195 million):

    Hopkins + Virginia + Duke + Georgia Tech + Florida State = $736 million average (18 teams)
    Hopkins + Virginia + North Carolina + Georgia Tech + Florida State = $704 million average (18 teams)

    Add Hopkins, and I think Florida St’s otherwise questionable academics can be overlooked by the presidents.

    And note that of all the expansion candidates, Duke has the highest research budget. If North Carolina and Duke are a package deal, the fact that Duke is school #19 shouldn’t hinder them from grabbing someone like Pittsburgh ($623 million), Virginia Tech ($397 million), North Carolina St ($381 million), Miami ($248 million), or of course Notre Dame as school #20.

    Last side note, if research dollars are as big of a deal as I’m making them out to be, then this expansion list is exhaustive. There are no other schools that the Big Ten and the CIC would be willing to add. (Apart from more quasi-affiliate schools without a football program like Toronto, McGill, or Boston University.)

    • GreatLakeState says:

      DING! DING! DING! ….I think this is EXACTLY what they are doing.

    • metatron says:

      Johns Hopkins gets national air on ESPN – I’m sure they’ll be keeping that airtime. The BTN would be fodder for the unaired games we have.

      In any case, there’s no reason to start drawing up conspiracy theories: this is a fit, and end to itself and not merely the means to an end.

      • BruceMcF says:

        And scheduling certainty at the tail end of the season ~ if Rutgers and Maryland try to get into one of the two cross-only conferences and the five C7C schools try to recruit someone else to form a six team conference, might even a blue blood run into trouble scheduling conference schools during the conference end of the season?

        After all, ND’s deal is to play five ACC schools. Under the sketched league, that’s the number of Big Ten schools JHU would be playing as an “all-in” associate in a Big Ten cross league.

        If it comes with an associated relationship with CIC Medical Schools ~ and maybe a Big Pharma funded Classic ~ that turns an interesting way to deal with the cross schools being on the cusp of an AQ championship into a clear win.

        I find the notion that the Big Ten has a particular average research money per school target that they are aiming at quite bizarre ~ its not like the research money is pooled and then paid out in a CIC conference payout at the end of the year. So, yeah, the Top 10 strength of UVA’s medical school is primary care and they are “only” top 25 in Medical Research … and a lot of their academic status is in Social Sciences and the Humanities, where Research budgets are more often measured in the thousands of dollars than the hundreds of thousands or millions … but the Big Ten does not reject UVA because it “brings down the CIC average”.

      • GreatLakeState says:

        Hilarious how a theory you happen to disagree with is defined as a ‘conspiracy theory’, yet the thousands of purely hypothetical comments concerning divisions, expansion candidates etc. pass muster. This whole blog is based on pure speculation, his as well as yours.

    • Brian says:

      sbrylski,

      “Maybe I’m thinking too hard, but I think Hopkins might be the key to this entire thing.”

      I think we all over-think this. Welcome to the club.

      “Second, Hopkins is going to solidify the mid-Atlantic corridor and the new eastern block of the Big Ten as another voting member and cultural fit for new arrivals, which will help entice other mid-Atlantic schools, such as Virginia, North Carolina, and Duke to join the conference down the road.”

      JHU would only have a vote on things relevant to lacrosse and the CIC (assuming they’re in the CIC).

      “But third, and most importantly, I think Delany is using Hopkins as a counterweight to adding schools with weaker academics.”

      It’s possible.

      “The CIC does not want it’s research dollars diluted, which is a major sticking point in getting university presidents’ approval.”

      That’s an assumption. NE lowered the average a lot.

      “It was reported that Maryland and Rutgers additions stretched the CIC’s total research budget to $9.3 billion (http://www.dailyillini.com/news/national/article_bc72b8d8-3f67-11e2-8799-0019bb30f31a.html), which comes out to $620 million per school. I propose that the presidents have a general rule that expansion is only allowed if that number increases or stays the same. This might not be a hard and fast rule if Delany can convince the presidents that the money can be made up in other areas, but it’s probably a good general metric for academic competency in evaluating expansion targets.

      Using available 2009 data (http://mup.asu.edu/research2011.pdf), I ran the numbers.”

      Whoa. You’re comparing apples and oranges. Based on your link, the average for the first 12 was $300M not $620M. Both MD and RU lowered the average, bringing it down to $287M.

      Here are the relevant schools, with the last number being the research money in thousands.

      2. Univ. of Michigan – Ann Arbor 636,216
      6. Univ. of Wisconsin – Madison 507,898
      15. U. of Minnesota – Twin Cities 390,602
      16. Penn. St. Univ. – Univ. Park 386,635
      20. Ohio State Univ. – Columbus 339,820
      26. University of Chicago 301,159
      27. Northwestern University 300,619
      32. U. of Ill. – Urbana-Champaign 288,013
      38. University of Iowa 252,336
      52. Purdue Univ. – West Lafayette 175,302
      55. Michigan State University 164,198
      93. University of Nebraska – Lincoln 83,702
      96. Indiana Univ. – Bloomington 78,498
      12 team average = $300M

      39. U. of Maryland – College Park 246,985
      57. Rutgers – State University of NJ 151,122
      14 team average = $287M
      ___

      1. Johns Hopkins University 1,587,547 (5.5x the average, 2.5x the top)

      ACC:
      12. Duke University 438,767
      13. U. of North Carolina – Chapel Hill 431,837
      22. Georgia Inst. of Technology 322,452
      44. University of Virginia 218,499
      71. Florida State University 117,294

      Other AAUs in the footprint (if you want to build the CIC without diluting FB)
      23. Case Western Reserve Univ. 313,044
      54. Carnegie Mellon University 170,260

      “And note that of all the expansion candidates, Duke has the highest research budget. If North Carolina and Duke are a package deal, the fact that Duke is school #19 shouldn’t hinder them from grabbing someone like Pittsburgh ($623 million), Virginia Tech ($397 million), North Carolina St ($381 million), Miami ($248 million), or of course Notre Dame as school #20.”

      Duke brings athletic value to the B10 even when sharing the state with UNC. Not in FB, but in hoops. Pitt, VT and NCSU don’t bring that same value.

      “Last side note, if research dollars are as big of a deal as I’m making them out to be, then this expansion list is exhaustive.”

      I don’t think they are quite as important as you are making them out to be. I think they are more worried about having a research focus and whether the school has any specialties the current members lack.

      • BruceMcF says:

        “That’s an assumption. NE lowered the average a lot.”

        Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

      • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

        “Whoa. You’re comparing apples and oranges. Based on your link, the average for
        the first 12 was $300M not $620M.”

        —Brian you were using just the federal expenditure dollars. The original poster was using the total expenditure numbers:

        JHU 1,856,270

        TSUN 1,007,198
        Wisconsin 952,119
        Minnesota 740,980
        Ohio State 716,461
        PSU 663,204
        Illinois 563,710
        Northwestern 515,229
        Purdue 453,799
        Chicago 377,652
        MSU 373,184
        Iowa 329,901
        Nebraska 235,492
        Indiana 156,965

        Maryland 409,190
        Rutgers 320,416 (Not counting the medical school that Rutgers recently acquired)

        That being said the point remains that Nebraska, Maryland & Rutgers all reduced the average research expenditure for CIC members so it’s still highly unlikely that the original premise (that new members cannot spend less than the group average) is valid.

        • Brian says:

          Scarlet_Lutefisk,

          “—Brian you were using just the federal expenditure dollars. The original poster was using the total expenditure numbers:”

          My issue was that he used that report which lists 2009 research dollars to compare against the CIC’s number which is from 2011 budgets. Those aren’t the same thing. I agree that I wasn’t clear, though.

          I used the federal numbers because that’s the ranked table at the start of the report and I had to look up a bunch of schools. I also think it’s the more important number, personally. I should have noted that, however.

          “That being said the point remains that Nebraska, Maryland & Rutgers all reduced the average research expenditure for CIC members so it’s still highly unlikely that the original premise (that new members cannot spend less than the group average) is valid.”

          Yes, the point doesn’t change.

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      Delany could be doing more than one thing at once. Johns Hopkins is accretive on its own terms, even if the Big Ten never lands another school. It also makes Florida State more palatable, and it makes the Big Ten a more attractive lacrosse league to candidate schools that also play it, like UNC and UVA. In terms of NC and VA joining, the presence of a strong lacrosse program is probably a third-tier issue; still, it doesn’t hurt.

  40. GreatLakeState says:

    As much as Slive would like UNC/DUKE, I think his alternative play may be to foster the SEC’s BFF relationship with the B12 with the hope of landing TX, OU, OSU, WV to go with VT and NCstate.
    I realize TX has no incentive to accept that deal now, but in this Game of Thrones, even an Imp can become King.

    • frug says:

      Slive better not hold his breath. Texas and Oklahoma have made clear for 20 years they have absolutely no interest whatsoever in the SEC.

  41. mushroomgod says:

    Duffer: How ’bout those Hoosiers!

    To me, Victor has been a first team AA this year to date…he probably won’t get it because his average isn’t high enough, but he’s been that good……..

    I think Burke and D Thomas may also deserve first team AA….and I’d put Cody and Hardaway as 3rd teamers…any arguments with that?

  42. loki_the_bubba says:

    Just because I can…..

    Rice 79
    Houston 69

    lol, enjoy Big East.

    • loki_the_bubba says:

      Post-game tweet from our best player, lol

      Tamir:
      I’m celebrating this win tonight in the library. Just finish physics hw now bout to read 100 pages bout Aristotle rhetoric for class 2morrow

  43. jokewood says:

    I found this tool on the
    Chronicles of Higher Education that allows you to look at the state-by-state breakdown of the freshmen classes of 1500+ different schools. I thought it could provide some useful insight into where various B1G expansion target schools recruit students…

    Florida State
    5,286 FL (91.5% in-state)
    …9/10 students from Florida. The 10th student doesn’t do much to impact the flavor of the school.

    North Carolina
    3,234 NC (82.7% in-state)
    87 FL
    74 NY
    59 GA
    57 MD
    55 VA
    50 NJ
    38 TX
    34 PA
    28 CA
    24 SC
    23 OH
    17 IL
    16 TN
    …larger in-state percentage than either GT or UVA. OOS students from up and down the East Coast, but it’s a heavily NC-centric school.

    Virginia
    2,179 VA (72.5% in-state)
    121 MD
    80 NJ
    76 NY
    61 PA
    56 FL
    45 TX
    44 GA
    31 NC
    31 CT
    30 MA
    27 CA
    24 TN
    19 OH
    18 DC
    …draws a significant percentage of its students from the DC-NYC corridor.

    Georgia Tech
    1,708 GA (69.2% in-state)
    135 FL
    56 TX
    47 MD
    46 TN
    44 NC
    43 NJ
    43 SC
    37 CA
    29 AL
    29 PA
    21 OH
    19 MA
    15 IL
    14 KY
    …similar to UVA in OOS percentage. Draws heavily from south — FL, TN, NC, SC, AL, KY are all in top 15 states represented.

    Miami
    786 FL (41.2% in-state)
    202 NY
    152 NJ
    81 MA
    72 CA
    60 VA
    57 IL
    56 CT
    56 MD
    56 PA
    44 GA
    41 OH
    30 TX
    22 MI
    21 TN
    …school of Floridians and Northerners. Hugely popular in NY/NJ region.

    Duke
    209 NC (13.4% in-state)
    154 NY
    148 CA
    146 FL
    93 VA
    92 NJ
    85 TX
    74 PA
    72 GA
    53 OH
    46 MD
    41 MA
    38 CT
    36 SC
    34 IL
    …national school, with some deference to the home state.

    Notre Dame
    268 IL
    174 CA
    140 OH
    130 IN (6.6% in-state)
    110 PA
    106 TX
    102 NY
    92 MI
    85 NJ
    75 FL
    57 WI
    56 VA
    55 MN
    53 MA
    50 MO
    …national school that draws heavily from the Midwest. Southeast poorly represented.

    • frug says:

      Interesting, to look at Florida. As their academic reputation has increased so has their % of in state students. In 1994 88.8% of their students were from Florida, in 2010 it was 95%.

      • frug says:

        Also, you can see how desperate Cal is for cash. From ’94-’08 their in state % hovered between 90 and 93. In 2010 it was 83.9. Gotta get those out of state tuition checks.

        • jokewood says:

          Cal went from 93% in-state in 2008 to 84% in-state to 2010 after the economy tanked. My friend on faculty said there was a push to follow the “Michigan model” of taking more OOS students.

        • Richard says:

          The thing is, unless they have changed the rules, you qualify for in-state tuition after only a year at Cal . . .

          • And then only if your parents aren’t paying for your tuition or living expenses at all. I was days away from UCSD…only to find out that my parents helped me too much in the previous year for me to get instate tuition. Ended up going to a private Christian school for the same amount I would spent out-of-state at UCSD.

      • bullet says:

        As it gets more in demand, there is political pressure to reduce out of state students. Don’t know specifically that is the case in Florida, but it has been in Georgia and Texas.

    • mushroomgod says:

      ND’s #s are interesting….on their forum I’ve seen claims about the large #s of students they get from ACC states as a reason to be in that conference…..not so much, from these #s…

      • mushroomgod says:

        Looking at the #s closer for ND….902 from BIG states + MO

        174 from left coast

        240 from east coast

        Certainly refutes one argument as to why ND doesn’t fit in the BIG.

        • mushroomgod says:

          maybe I should have said “northeast”, as I didn’t include 56 from VA. Those 56 are the only ones referenced from ACC territory.

    • Andy says:

      Wow, Missouri’s at 71%. I thought it would be higher. Getting a ton of students from Illinois.

      • mushroomgod says:

        The #s for Iowa and Iowa ST. are very unusual..

        Iowa’s class is only 50.% from Iowa. 2096 from Iowa—1589 from Illinois

        ISU’s class is 67.1% from Iowa. 2857 from Iowa, only 475 from Illinois.

    • dtwphx says:

      From this incoming freshman data,
      it makes an argument for
      Purdue in B1GE and
      MSU in B1GW

      • mushroomgod says:

        My kid’s an engineeriing student at Purdue. The engineers run the place. The % of engineering students who are out of state has to be a lot more than 33%….my guess would be at least 55%……They are also the people who end up making the $ and moving all over the country for jobs (my son is interning at Boeing next summer)….however, the #s west (, Ill-557, cal-170, TX-77, wis-54, minn-53, MO-52) are as great or more than the #s east (NY-48, NJ-70, PA 64, Mass-50, MD-29, VA-31, Conn-20). So I don’t think it matters much from that aspect…….

        • dtwphx says:

          It would be interesting to see an interactive graphic like this showing alumni population.
          I would think Purdue’s alumni are spread out around the nation much more than say Indiana’s, due to the engineering slant of Purdue.

  44. frug says:

    This is even more desperate than PSU-UCF

    http://collegefootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/01/30/mizzou-fills-lone-hole-in-2013-schedule/

    Missouri has agreed to a H and H with Arkansas State.

    • Richard says:

      Well, PSU-UCF at least has a logic to it: BOB wanted to be able to say to recruits that they will visit a warm weather locale even with the bowl ban. No doubt PSU will try to schedule the visit to Orlando for some date later in the season. Plus, if you squint hard enough, you can consider UCF a major-conference opponent.

    • metatron says:

      Home and home? …Really?

      • Andy says:

        Texas A&M played at Louisiana Tech this year. Texas played at Wyoming recently. It’s pretty standard. But Missouri can always buy out the return game or move it to KC.

        • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

          Andy – A&M played LA Tech in Shreveport’s 50,000 seat Independence Stadium rather than their on campus stadium that seats only 30,000. Of the 40,000 that showed up for the Tech/A&M game, about half were Aggies. LA Tech usually hosts its rare high profile OOC home games in Shreveport which is 60 miles away from its campus in Ruston. Shreveport is also about a six hour drive from College Station. I think this might have also been part of a 2-for-1 deal.

          If Mizzou goes through with this Ark State game, your Tigers should insist on it being held in LIttle Rock, Memphis, St. Louis or KC. I doubt you’ll ever make to Jonesboro..

    • greg says:

      Missouri traveling to Arky State. 2013 non-conf schedule of Murray State, Toledo, Indiana and Arky State. Missouri is already returning to their natural level.

      • Andy says:

        Missouri tried to schedule Virginia but Oregon took our spot. Arkansas State was the backup plan. We’re getting these on somewhat short notice b/c we had to rearrange our non-conference schedule due to the conference change.

    • Mack says:

      I doubt MO will make the return trip in 2015. The way these deals usually work is that MO will buy out the return trip, or in this case the game could be moved to a “neutral” site between the schools such as Kansas City. Cancellation will cost MO more than a single game contract so Arkansas State did leverage good payment for the 2013 game.

      • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

        Mack – you’re probably on to something. Mizzou may take a page from Arkansas’ playbook. Arkansas and ULM have had a home and home series in which ULM plays there “home” game in Little Rock. That helps Arkansas play two games in Little Rock and still get 6-7 home games in Fayetteville. Also, it helps ULM meet the FBS home attendance requirements.

        • vp19 says:

          This has happened to Wyoming a number of times — teams play host to the Cowboys, then cancel the return trip to Laramie.

          • Bruce in Ohio says:

            Bowling Green played at Wisconsin a few years ago and then they played the BG “home” game at Cleveland Browns Stadium, which gave BG an attendance boost. And Minnesota actually played at Doyt Perry (Bowling Green Stadium). I think Indiana played at North Texas last year also.

  45. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/8900124/big-12-wants-ncaa-allow-conference-title-game

    We all know the B12 wants to change the rules so they can have a CCG with 10 only teams. I find their main argument highly flawed, though. They talk about deregulation and not telling a conference how to determine their champion. The problem is, though, the rule they are complaining about is only for getting a 13th game exemption. You can use any method you want to determine a champion in the first 12 games. They could use flex scheduling for the last week to create a CCG and 4 other B12 games, it just has to be the 12th game.

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      The problem is, though, the rule they are complaining about is only for getting a 13th game exemption.

      Why do you describe that as a “problem”? The NCAA has a valid interest in ensuring a balance between athletics and academics. That’s why there are limits on how long you can practice, how many games you can play, and so forth.

      But once the NCAA decided that it had no philosophical objection to a 13th game, its interest in precisely which conferences can play that game strike me as specious. The concerns of fairness, amateurism, etc., don’t markedly change if the Big XII adds two teams overnight. Yet, in one case they can play the game; and in another case, they can’t. So it comes across as an arbitrary rule having very little to do with promoting or enforcing the NCAA’s mission. The NCAA seems to have cornered the market in such rules (remember “bagels and cream cheese”?). The more of them that are repealed, the better.

      Sure, they could also use flex scheduling for the last week to create a CCG, although I don’t know of any FBS conference that has used that method. A 13th game for the top two teams, however, is a method that many have used.

      • metatron says:

        It’s a problem with their argument. I believe however, that the NCAA requires a round-robin format.

        It’d be hilarious if they allowed for the flex scheduling as Brian suggests.

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          It’s a problem with their argument. How? All they’re saying is, you let other people play a 13th game; we wanna play too.

          I don’t think the NCAA requires a round robin, unless it’s a very recent rule. When the Big Ten had ten teams, they did not always play a round robin (although they sometimes did).

          Heaven knows what kinds of arbitrary things the NCAA will legislate. I’ve never heard of a rule against flex scheduling, but then again, I’ve never heard of any FBS league wanting to try it. I think there’d be significant logistical problems with a whole slate of games that cannot be determined until the week beforehand.

          The CCG, at least, is in a location selected long in advance, with blocks of hotel rooms set aside. Even though the participants aren’t known, at least you know that there’ll be two pretty good teams playing, and that the outcome will matter. It might not be easy to fill a stadium on just a week’s notice, for a game vs. Iowa State with both teams out of bowl contention.

          • ccrider55 says:

            RR required within division in order to get 13th game. You could play 5 in division games and 7 OOC in a 12 team conf and get the 13th game.

        • Brian says:

          metatron,

          “I believe however, that the NCAA requires a round-robin format.

          It’d be hilarious if they allowed for the flex scheduling as Brian suggests.”

          The only RR requirement is part of the rule for getting that 13th game. With 12, they can do whatever they want.

          Weeks 1-2: OOC play
          Weeks 3-11: 9 game B12 schedule
          Week 12: 1 vs 2, 3 vs 4, 5 vs 6, 7 vs 8, 9 vs 10

          1 vs 2 is played in JerryWorld, the other games play on the opposite field from last time.

          It’s perfectly legal.

      • Brian says:

        Marc Shepherd,

        “Why do you describe that as a “problem”?”

        It’s a problem with the B12′s argument. They are trying to spin this as the NCAA dictating how they can determine their champion. I’m pointing out that all the NCAA really does is say how you can get a 13th game to determine a champion. Nobody is stopping the B12 from playing a 9 game round robin and then a CCG right now, they just can’t use a 13th game to do it.

        “The NCAA has a valid interest in ensuring a balance between athletics and academics. That’s why there are limits on how long you can practice, how many games you can play, and so forth.

        But once the NCAA decided that it had no philosophical objection to a 13th game, its interest in precisely which conferences can play that game strike me as specious. The concerns of fairness, amateurism, etc., don’t markedly change if the Big XII adds two teams overnight.”

        All rules are arbitrary, but we still set voting ages, drinking ages, amounts of drugs that change possession to a felony, etc. The NCAA as a body decided that only as a conference reached a certain unwieldy size for football could they justify a 13th game, and then the NCAA limited the opportunities even for that game. The whole point is to make it difficult to play the 13th game because they don’t want you to play it. It’s that whole athletics/academics balance thing you mentioned.

        “Sure, they could also use flex scheduling for the last week to create a CCG, although I don’t know of any FBS conference that has used that method. A 13th game for the top two teams, however, is a method that many have used.”

        Nobody had used that method until 1992. So what?

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          It’s a problem with the B12′s argument. They are trying to spin this as the NCAA dictating how they can determine their champion.

          Well, there are only two methods I’m aware of that have ever been used, and the NCAA is taking one of them off the table. I’d say they’ve come pretty damn close to “telling them how they can determine their champion.”

          All rules are arbitrary, but we still set voting ages, drinking ages, amounts of drugs that change possession to a felony, etc. The NCAA as a body decided that only as a conference reached a certain unwieldy size for football could they justify a 13th game, and then the NCAA limited the opportunities even for that game. The whole point is to make it difficult to play the 13th game because they don’t want you to play it.

          Well, if there are still people who “don’t want you to play” that game, perhaps they’ll stand up and be counted. I’m not really hearing their side of the story. Maybe they’re not around any more, just like the people who once opposed giving the vote to 18-year-olds.

          Now that the experiment of the 13th game has been widely used, the objections to it may no longer be as forceful as they once were. I’m too young to recall the debates when the voting age was lowered, but I’m sure there were people who fretted about all the terrible things that would happen if 18-year-olds were allowed to vote. You no longer hear from them today, do you?

          The argument that “all rules are arbitrary” sounds like a stone-cold loser to me. By that argument, no rule would ever change—and in fact, they change all the time.

          Nobody had used that method until 1992. So what?

          Because people generally prefer to use a system that has already been proven to work. Sometimes, new ideas flop. Remember all the different formulas that were used to seed teams in the BCS championship game, that turned out to be highly flawed? Trying something no one has done is a lot riskier than leveraging a method that has already worked.

          And as I noted above, the logistical problems of your proposed alternative are not difficult to see.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Il still here and don’t want the 13th game except within those very reasonable rules. An alteration to them may need to be considered as conferences reach 16 or more members. A CCG in a 10 team conference is purely a money grab and should not even be considered as it is creating a 13th game but complete disregard for its competitive justification.

          • Brian says:

            Marc Shepherd,

            “Well, there are only two methods I’m aware of that have ever been used, and the NCAA is taking one of them off the table.”

            No, they aren’t. You’re making that up. All the NCAA rules have done is stop them from playing a 13th game. They can play 0 conference games and name a champ based on computer polls if they want. They can play 9 games and use head to head and other tiebreakers. They can flex schedule a CCG as the 12th game. What they can’t do is extend their season to 13 games. Just like people that don’t play at HI or in a CCG can’t play 13 games just because other people can. It’s called an exemption for a reason.

            “Well, if there are still people who “don’t want you to play” that game, perhaps they’ll stand up and be counted.”

            They’re the NCAA school presidents who approved the rule and have shown no rush to change it. They don’t feel a need to talk publicly every time someone has an opinion about a rule.

            “The argument that “all rules are arbitrary” sounds like a stone-cold loser to me. By that argument, no rule would ever change—and in fact, they change all the time.”

            No, it invalidates your contention that the rule should change because it is arbitrary. Being arbitrary isn’t a factor in whether the rule should change or not to me.

            “Because people generally prefer to use a system that has already been proven to work.”

            Good for them. That doesn’t constitute the NCAA limiting their choices. That’s the B12 self-limiting the options.

            “And as I noted above, the logistical problems of your proposed alternative are not difficult to see.”

            I didn’t say it didn’t have logistical problems. That isn’t the NCAA’s problem, though. The NCAA leaves that option to the conference rather than restricting it. The B12 could reduce the problems by playing OOC or having a bye week the next to last weekend so everyone gets 2 weeks notice for their last game. Also, they can designate the 5 teams that might host the final games and make the best pairings possible for the 8 games that aren’t the CCG. Many of the matchups may be settled by early to mid November.

            The point is, the NCAA doesn’t limit the B12 choices in how to pick a champion, they only limit how many games they can play. The SEC would like to go to 13 games for everyone with the CCG as #14 I’m sure, but the NCAA doesn’t give them that option either despite some schools getting to play 14 games.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            I’m still trying to grasp what your substantive argument is. People lobby for rule changes all the time…and frequently, they do change.

            At the moment, I am not hearing any university president or NCAA official arguing the contrary case — and we know these people aren’t bashful when they oppose an idea. When and if they do, we’ll have a better idea of this old rule still has any legs.

            Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports reported: “Bowlsby’s idea to get rid of the NCAA’s 12-team conference minimum for such a game has support from the ACC — and probably every other conference. It is noncontroversial.”

            Now, I don’t know for sure if that’s true. But I’m sure he at least interviewed some people before writing that. Did you?

            Obviously, if there are better alternatives, they have to be serious. Playing zero conference games and asking a computer who won the conference is not serious.

          • bullet says:

            They don’t argue the opposite if they think a proposal is a total non-starter.

            Given how much the schools are being criticized for grabbing for money and the limited number of conferences this would benefit (B12, MWC, SB) this is an easy no vote.

            Now Dennis Dodd could be right, but he’s been wrong before and lots of support for this type of a rule which is not in the student-athlete’s interest and doesn’t bring $ to everyone doesn’t seem logical. The fact that this rule is utilized in Division I is an accident. It was designed for a Division II conference that wasn’t likely to play postseason games.

          • Brian says:

            Marc Shepherd,

            “I’m still trying to grasp what your substantive argument is.”

            Try reading what I actually wrote. Others picked up on it. My only point was that the B12′s stated argument is fatally flawed. The NCAA isn’t limiting how they can choose their champion (the B12′s claim), just how many games they can use to do it.

            “At the moment, I am not hearing any university president or NCAA official arguing the contrary case”

            And of course they all spend lots of time reading what the B12 commissioner says about any particular rule and responding publicly.

            “Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports reported: “Bowlsby’s idea to get rid of the NCAA’s 12-team conference minimum for such a game has support from the ACC — and probably every other conference. It is noncontroversial.””

            It’s so non-controversial that previous attempts to change it failed. Maybe things have changed, but maybe they haven’t. It’s not just the AQs that have a say in this.

            “Obviously, if there are better alternatives,”

            Who said anything about better? I just showed that they have a wide range of options since the NCAA doesn’t control how they choose their champion. Of course some are more to their liking than others.

            “they have to be serious.”

            Some D-III conferences have championship-only members in lacrosse (don’t know if they do it in any other sports) that don’t play any conference games. They just play in the postseason tournament. That’s playing 0 conference games and is being done. Would it have sounded serious if I had proposed it?

            “Playing zero conference games and asking a computer who won the conference is not serious.”

            It’s basically the BCS method, just applied to a conference. If it was used to pick NCG participants, how is it not a serious option for a conference?

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            Try reading what I actually wrote. Others picked up on it. My only point was that the B12′s stated argument is fatally flawed.

            Sorry I’m so dense. :-) A “fatal flaw” means there is no way in hell it could possibly prevail. You seem awfully sure of that, and I am not sure why.

            The NCAA isn’t limiting how they can choose their champion (the B12′s claim), just how many games they can use to do it.

            When only two methods are commonly in use, and one is denied you, then it’s beyond pedantic to say, “We’re not limiting you.” Of course, even if 10 other methods were commonly in use, it’s still clearly a limitation if you aren’t allowed the 11th.

            I mean, do you substantively object to the idea? Or are you merely saying that they argued their case with less semantic precision then they should Or are you saying you don’t care but don’t believe the rule will change? Or are you saying no rule should ever change since all are arbitrary?

            Some D-III conferences have championship-only members in lacrosse (don’t know if they do it in any other sports) that don’t play any conference games. They just play in the postseason tournament.

            Ummmm…the NCAA does not allow post-season conference tournaments in football, either. Any alternative has to be something you’re actually allowed to do, and it can’t be a joke (like playing zero conference games and using a computer). Flex games the final week of the season, I think, would rightly be deemed a logistical nightmare.

            For football, there really is only one plausible option right available to them now, and it doesn’t strike me as totally crazy for them to say, “We’d like the other one, please.”

          • ccrider55 says:

            D-2, D-3 don’t have FB playoffs?

            You can decide champs any way you want in 12 games.
            If you have 12 or more, divide and RR within division a 13th ge between division champs is allowed (not required).

            I’m thinking Denis Dodd had been out drinking with Bowlsby prior to writing that :) .

          • bullet says:

            He also wrote that the ACC was within 500k of all the other conferences in revenue and that FSU would lose money going to the Big 12. He did however, say it by saying 2 different people had told him that (probably Swofford and Swarbick).

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            D-2, D-3 don’t have FB playoffs?

            They do, but no D-2 or D-3 conference has its own tournament, which is one of the various impossible or highly impractical options Brian tossed out there, in an attempt to demonstrate that the Big XII still has tons of viable options available to it.

            You can decide champs any way you want in 12 games.
            I am still waiting to hear the first plausible way, other than the one and only way allowed. Brian is a pretty intelligent guy, and the only options he tossed out were obvious jokes (things no sane conference would do).

            I’m thinking Denis Dodd had been out drinking with Bowlsby prior to writing that.

            Could be, but you can’t beat somebody with nobody. No media outlet yet has written the story with the headline, “Other conferences wary of Big XII’s championship game proposal.”

          • Brian says:

            Marc Shepherd,

            “A “fatal flaw” means there is no way in hell it could possibly prevail. You seem awfully sure of that, and I am not sure why.”

            I said their stated argument was. I didn’t say their attempt to change the rule was.

            “When only two methods are commonly in use, and one is denied you,”

            They are not denied one. It’s just not true. You can repeat it all you like but that won’t change the facts. The B12 is perfectly capable of staging a CCG as is. They are in no way denied that option.

            “I mean, do you substantively object to the idea?”

            Yes, but that’s not the issue under discussion. My point was that their stated argument had no merit. I didn’t bother to give my opinion of the merits of their desire to change the rule.

            “Or are you merely saying that they argued their case with less semantic precision then they should”

            Of the choices you listed, that’s the closest one. As I said in my first comment, I find their argument to be flawed. The NCAA isn’t preventing them from staging a CCG, but that’s what they are claiming. It’s spin to make them look less greedy.

            “Ummmm…the NCAA does not allow post-season conference tournaments in football, either.”

            Sure they do. What do you think a 13th game CCG is? It’s a 2 team post-season tournament.

            “Flex games the final week of the season, I think, would rightly be deemed a logistical nightmare.”

            I would too, but I’ve seen people argue in favor of doing it here on Frank’s blog. The same basic argument applies to playing the semifinals on campus in early December versus in bowls late in December, and plenty of people argued to ignore logistics and do it anyway.

            “For football, there really is only one plausible option right available to them now, and it doesn’t strike me as totally crazy for them to say, “We’d like the other one, please.””

            Lots of people want lots of things. It doesn’t mean they should get them. The B12 has multiple options available to them as is, and can also choose to expand if they want to avail themselves of the13th game exemption. They are still lying when they say the NCAA is preventing them from playing a CCG.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            The B12 has multiple options available to them as is, and can also choose to expand if they want to avail themselves of the13th game exemption. They are still lying when they say the NCAA is preventing them from playing a CCG.

            OK, thought exercise. Bob Bowlsby resigns tomorrow, and you’re his replacement. Tell me what you’d recommend to the school presidents and ADs, without believing you’d be laughed out of the room.

            If you can’t come up with anything, then Bowlsby is right: the current system permits only one serious option, without expanding. I suppose, to be semantically correct, he could have listed all of the stupid options and explained why no sane person would adopt them. I’m not going to fault him for having omitted that step of the argument.

            He does have the option of expanding, but I’ve interpreted you to be anti-expansion, so it would be most ironic if that’s what you now recommend.

          • Mack says:

            From the B12 standpoint there is nothing to lose trying to get this rule abolished. Much better than trying to get an exemption since that has already failed several times.

          • Brian says:

            Marc Shepherd,

            “no D-2 or D-3 conference has its own tournament, which is one of the various impossible or highly impractical options Brian tossed out there”

            It’s not impossible. How impractical is debatable. The NFL manages to move games around. If they want a CCG badly enough, it is certainly doable. That’s the point. They said they can’t have one, but they can. They choose not to.

            “I am still waiting to hear the first plausible way, other than the one and only way allowed.”

            Conveniently, you get to decide what is plausible and what isn’t.

            1. 9 game RR and tiebreakers (works just fine)
            2. 8 games and tiebreakers (very popular choice)
            3. 7 games and tiebreakers (common)
            4. 6 games and tiebreakers (the SEC did it as recently as the late 80s)

            10. 0 games and tiebreakers (all the benefits of being independent but with the chance to win a conference, too)
            11. Flex schedule for a 12th game CCG
            12. Any number of games but just use polls
            13. Any number of games but use a combo of polls and records (highest ranked unless they have 1 more less, etc)

            That seems like more than 1 option to me.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            @Brian: Your #1 to 4 are the identical method. I mean, when the B1G adds a 9th or 10th conference game, as it is likely to do, no one will write: “Big Ten changes the way it determines a champion.” Bumping the number of conference games up or down, however desirable it may be, is not the topic under discussion.

            The others, I assume, are jokes. I take a train to work every day. I suppose you could say I rejected the options of walking, riding a horse, and swimming, which is literally true. If it’s not an option that any serious person could adopt under the circumstances, then it’s not an option at all.

          • Brian says:

            Marc Shepherd,

            “Tell me what you’d recommend to the school presidents and ADs, without believing you’d be laughed out of the room.”

            If they want to be a business, then act like one. Cut the dead weight. Follow the GE principle and cut the bottom 10%. Stop carrying schools like ISU just to be nice. Trim the fat and merge with the P12, then trim their fat. Own the western US as your power base to combat the SEC and B10. Work with Fox to develop a true rival to ESPN and get some west coast bias working in your favor. Force real anti-oversigning reform to hurt the SEC West. Drop the LHN to form a conference network combined with the PTN. It’ll pay more long term and a stronger conference will also make more money. Refuse to play SEC schools on the road or at a neutral site in TX or further east. Anything good for the SEC is bad for you. Demand performance from all your coaches and fire them if they don’t win big. Drop all non-revenue sports not required for Title IX compliance to club level. Spend the bare minimum on the rest.

            Otherwise, act like a group of universities and quit screwing over people for every last dollar. They’re just sports. Your goal is to educate students, not compete with the NFL. Focus on your core business and de-emphasize the other stuff.

            “If you can’t come up with anything, then Bowlsby is right: the current system permits only one serious option, without expanding.”

            Oh, you meant about determining a champion. I’d say play a RR and use tiebreakers and use the extra bye week to have a fresher and more healthy team at the end of the year. It’s also another week when you can develop the young players much like in bowl practice. The CCG money isn’t that huge and our history shows it has often hurt our top team. That’s mostly bad luck, but why risk it? Schedule strong OOC games and you’ll be fine on SOS. Unless it’s an emergency, no playing I-AAs because that hurts everyone. Remember, all that 13th game gets the SEC is a I-AA game. It’s their 9th conference game, too. They are so big that they often miss several of the top teams in their conference while we play all of them already.

          • Brian says:

            Mack,

            “From the B12 standpoint there is nothing to lose trying to get this rule abolished. Much better than trying to get an exemption since that has already failed several times.”

            Agreed.

          • Brian says:

            Marc Shepherd,

            “Your #1 to 4 are the identical method.”

            Yes and no. I listed them separately for a reason. Playing anywhere from 6-9 conference games before using tiebreakers is a common solution. Playing a full round robin and playing only 2/3 of your conference mates are very different approaches to that solution, though. Playing a 9 game round robin is an unusual choice, but the B12 picked it. Listing them is also helpful for option #11, the flex schedule. The B12 could easily wrap up their conference schedule in early November if they wanted to and flex schedule the CCG in the last week with a lot of notice for fans and the schools. I wanted to show that conferences have varied widely in how many conference games were considered sufficient before you raised that as an objection to a 6 or 7 game schedule with a flex schedule for the last week.

            “The others, I assume, are jokes.”

            You assume wrong. The combo of polls and records is a commonly used tiebreaker right now, so it is already in use. It is often used in other sports to pick the best teams for the postseason, too. Just polls are also common in college sports to pick teams for the postseason. There is no reason a conference couldn’t adopt it to choose their champion. Flex scheduling is a viable option with potential logistics issues. Those can certainly be overcome if someone wants to try it.

            “I take a train to work every day. I suppose you could say I rejected the options of walking, riding a horse, and swimming, which is literally true. If it’s not an option that any serious person could adopt under the circumstances, then it’s not an option at all.an, you guys just grease the whyeels”

            You also have chosen not to bike, drive, hire a car service, car pool, take a cab, take a bus, ride a scooter, or ride a motorcycle. Those are all viable options (depending on where you live, etc) you don’t choose, but others might. Most Americans reject scooters out of hand but they are wildly popular in some countries. Does that make them a joke of a choice?

          • BruceMcF says:

            @bullet: “Given how much the schools are being criticized for grabbing for money and the limited number of conferences this would benefit (B12, MWC, SB) this is an easy no vote.”

            You are underselling your argument ~ the MWC is now 12 in two divisions with a CCG.

    • cutter says:

      The Big XII is trying to have its cake and eat it too. Their annual payout per team is $26.2M and the conference wants to keep it that way. But to get a conference championship game in place, they need two more teams per the NCAA rules. Since the prospects of getting two teams in the near term that will sustain that average payout per school is fairly low, they’re trying to go around the current rules.

      It certainly makes sense for them to at least try it. I imagine they feel that in the current competitive environment, the SEC is bound to get two of the four playoff berths starting in 2014 more often than not. That means the Big XII is effectively competing for the two remaining ones against the other major conferences with CCGs, i.e., the Big Ten, ACC and Pac 12. Now while an undefeated Big XII team would probably get into the four-team playoff even if two SEC teams were also slotted into it, things get real problematic if they end up the season with a 11-1 record.

      I doubt this proposal will go anywhere because the other major conferences are already invested in a system with two fixed divisions and a minimum of 12 teams to have the playoff. Why would they support an exception for the Big XII? The Pac 12 wouldn’t because their best expansion scenario still revolves getting teams out of the Big XII. The SEC was the first conference to do this and their CCG has been a big winner for them. The Big Ten just expanded in part in order to stage a CCG, so I doubt they have much sympathy for it. And if the ACC endorsed this action, it would give its members one less reason to stay in the conference because it would mean the ACC didn’t need twelve teams to have the CCG.

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        @cutter: The major conferences’ selfish interests could very well be the opposite of what you’re assuming. If they allow the Big XII to have their 13th game, then the Big XII will have less incentive to expand. The ACC doesn’t want the Big XII to poach their schools. The SEC would rather not have the Big XII in Florida and South Carolina. The Pac-12 would rather not have the Big XII looking at schools that they might want one day.

        It’s true that the Big Ten, under the rules at the time, needed a 12th team to stage a CCG, but they didn’t have to scrape the bottom of the barrel. They hooked Nebraska, a school they probably would’ve wanted even if there were no such rule.

        Beyond that, schools in many conferences are agitating to get the NCAA out of their business. You read that all the time. So I can well imagine there’ll be sympathy for tossing one more archaic rule out the window, even from schools and conferences that don’t actually benefit from repealing it. Next year, there’ll be some other rule they care more about, and they’ll remind the Big XII: “you got what you wanted, now it’s our turn.”

      • @cutter – If the Big 12 wants to get this provision passed, then it has to be couched in a way that provides a benefit to the conferences that have 12 or more schools, as well. I agree that this would get shut down if it’s simply a proposal to allow for conference championship games with smaller conferences. However, if some of the restrictions in connection with conference championship games are removed, such as the requirement to have divisions, then there could be some greater traction. For instance, all of the debate that we’re having about Big Ten divisions and concerns about schools not playing each other enough in a 14 school (or larger) league would be eradicated if you were allowed to just have the top 2 teams in the conference standings play each other. Without divisions in the Big Ten, for example, each school could have 3 permanent rivals that they play annually and then play everyone else 2 years on/2 years off while still maintaining an 8-game conference schedule (or play everyone even more frequently in a 9-game conference schedule). Note that Bowlsby mentioned getting rid of divisions specifically, which I believe was a message intended for his former AD colleagues in the Big Ten and Jim Delany. It’s a way to alleviate or even eliminate the concern of not being able to play traditional power schools such as Michigan and Ohio State as much in splitting up divisions.

        • Brian says:

          Frank the Tank,

          “@cutter – If the Big 12 wants to get this provision passed, then it has to be couched in a way that provides a benefit to the conferences that have 12 or more schools, as well.”

          I think it would help more if they could explain how this is good for the players. With all the negative press the NCAA gets for making money of the players, it’s very easy to turn down a blatant money grab using an unnecessary game.

          “However, if some of the restrictions in connection with conference championship games are removed, such as the requirement to have divisions, then there could be some greater traction. For instance, all of the debate that we’re having about Big Ten divisions and concerns about schools not playing each other enough in a 14 school (or larger) league would be eradicated if you were allowed to just have the top 2 teams in the conference standings play each other. Without divisions in the Big Ten, for example, each school could have 3 permanent rivals that they play annually and then play everyone else 2 years on/2 years off while still maintaining an 8-game conference schedule (or play everyone even more frequently in a 9-game conference schedule).”

          Yes, that’s very true. But …

          “Note that Bowlsby mentioned getting rid of divisions specifically, which I believe was a message intended for his former AD colleagues in the Big Ten and Jim Delany. It’s a way to alleviate or even eliminate the concern of not being able to play traditional power schools such as Michigan and Ohio State as much in splitting up divisions.”

          Remember all the wailing and gnashing of teeth about OSU maybe playing MI once every 7 years or so in back to back games? This change would make that more likely as The Game will stay the last week of the season and now OSU and MI can’t eliminate each other automatically. If both schools have a lead over the rest of the conference (the same scenario that would lead to a rematch in the division setup), The Game means “nothing” again. Does that really help the B10?

          Frequency of play with 8 games:
          No divisions, 3 locked rivals – 3x 100%, 10x 50%
          Divisions, 0 locked rivals – 6x 100%, 7x 29%
          Divisions, 1 locked rival – 7x 100%, 6x 17%

          Frequency of play with 9 games:
          No divisions, 3 locked rivals – 3x 100%, 10x 60%
          No divisions, 5 locked rivals – 5x 100%, 8x 50%
          Divisions, 0 locked rivals – 6x 100%, 7x 43%
          Divisions, 1 locked rival – 7x 100%, 6x 33%

          I’d say it depends on the school, the divisions and the number of games whether this is better or not from a frequency of play POV. I’d prefer 9 games with no divisions without a CCG personally, but others like the CCG (I hate the rematches). MN has a lot of rivalries they want annually, so they might prefer divisions if they can get the right setup.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            I think it would help more if they could explain how this is good for the players.

            In the conferences that play such a game, do the players think it’s a bad thing? If it’s so bad, maybe we shouldn’t let any conference do it.

          • ccrider55 says:

            When do the players get to decide on who joins a conference? Do the kids decide when and how mush desert they get?
            You are right, the 13th game shouldn’t be allowed…but no Hawaii exception? Convoluted tie breakers for larger conferences? Possibly the schedule deciding champs with no meeting? Yeah, those things should be tossed because the Entitled Conference can’t attract a “worthy” 11th and 12th…

          • Brian says:

            Marc Shepherd,

            “If it’s so bad, maybe we shouldn’t let any conference do it.”

            Sounds good.

        • jokewood says:

          Eliminating divisions could put odd-numbered expansion on the table.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            That’s a big one, I think.

          • jokewood says:

            The B1G could take Virginia (if interested) and stop at 15.

            8 conference games — 2 locked rivals, 6 rotating games against the remaining 12 teams.
            Play a CCG between the two best teams.

          • Brian says:

            jokewood,

            The only issue would be that every week in conference play someone (or any odd number of teams) has to have a bye or an OOC game. The B10 found that awkward with 11, but obviously they dealt with it. Scheduling is easier when you can have everyone play a conference game, though.

        • cutter says:

          @Frank

          When you talk about a school having three permanent rivals the play annually and the play everyone two years on/two years off with eight or nine conference games, you’re essentially describing a pod system that has divisions whose membership rotates on a two-year basis. We know that’s doable under the current NCAA regulations because it’s the model the WAC adapted when it had sixteen teams.

          Now if a conference is willing to set aside a division arrangement, but still wants to have major rivalry games at the end of the regular season, then they face the situation where they could have back-to-back games deciding the conference champion,i.e., what the Big Ten now has with Michigan and Ohio State in different divisions. From what we’ve all read so far, it looks like the B1G is going to try and move away from that possibility (with perhaps the exception of a couple of lower level teams such as Indiana and Purdue playing the last week of the year) by having UM and OSU in the same division. I also can’t imagine the Pac 12 would happy about having a replay of what happened this year with UCLA and Stanford.

          I will admit that there could be a mismatch in a conference championship game because the winner of Division A is markedly better than Division B’s victor. Having the two best teams conference wise meeting in the CCG could definitely eliminate that problem. But there is a potential pitfall regarding tiebreakers and figuring out which 3 or 4 teams are actually #1 and #2 in the conference. The division setup is at least cleaner in that regard and it provides a familiar framework that fans seem to have embraced over the last two decades when the SEC first trotted it out.

          We’ll see what happens. It’ll be interesting to see how the SEC and Big Ten operate in the future as they make their next expansion steps. If they adopt the pod system, then geography within these conferences will be at the pod level and not the at the division level because we expect the divisions to change members every two years in order to make sure teams play one another as many times as possible.

          • cfn_ms says:

            It’s only a pod system if the same group of teams each have the same rivalries. In the B1G, though, Michigan has rivalries with Ohio St and Michigan St (and to some degree Minnesota), while Ohio St has rivalries with Michigan and Illinois (and to some degree Penn St). Meanwhile Michigan St has rivalries with Michigan and Penn St, Minnesota has rivalries with Wisconsin, Iowa and Michigan (Minnesota seems to care much more about the Jug rivalry than Michigan from what I can tell), Illinois has rivalries with Northwestern and Ohio St, and so on and so forth. There really isn’t any simple pod or division structure that really accomodates the B1G’s rivalries.

            The SEC has the same type of issue, though to a lesser extent, since there are only a couple cross-division rivalries that really matter. Even LSU-Florida isn’t really THAT big of a deal.

  46. [...] blog’s latest entry discusses the Big XII and the ACC, the alliance discussed here last week, and other topics.  As [...]

  47. Michael in Raleigh says:

    Any Big 12-ACC alliance feels a little suspicious to me. There’s nothing other than business that makes sense about this.

    An ACC-SEC relationship makes sense because it they’re both southern (most of the ACC, anyway) and overlap territory in 4 states. SEC-Big 12 makes sense with the Texas overlap and the existing Sugar Bowl relationship. ACC-B1G has made sense in b-ball because they’re both historically strong in hoops, and borne very supportive of hoops as compared with, say, the SEC, where hoops is such an afterthought except in Kentucky, Missouri, and maybe Florida.

    But there’s no kinship between the Big 12 and ACC. West Virginia is the only school anywhere near an ACC school.

    Sure, as an FSU fan, I think it would be fun yo play OU, Texas, KState, WVU, and TCU, but not more than SEC schools or B1G schools. I’d also rather play the weaker B1G and SEC schools than the weaker Bug 12 schools. I imagine fans of other ACC schools feel the same.

    Color me skeptical.

    • metatron says:

      Just wait until Notre Dame takes the spot of a full ACC member in the Big Ten/ACC challenge.

      They’re like a bad roommate – never pays the rent and always eats your food.

    • vp19 says:

      I sense this is being done so Texas can have its cake (a 10-member conference, no football CCG) and eat it too (playing Florida State, Clemson and Miami regularly while keeping them out of the conference). Meanwhile, Iowa State and Kansas would be left playing Wake Forest, Boston College and Syracuse.

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        Texas has not had trouble schedulnig big-name OOC opponents. Those with whom it has future home-and-homes include: BYU, Notre Dame, Cal, USC, and Ohio State. When they already have that schedule, I’m not sure how “regular” you think FSU, Clemson, and Miami would be.

        Similarly, Oklahoma has future home-and-homes with Notre Dame, Ohio State, Tennessee, LSU, Army (yes, Army!) and Nebraska. So they don’t need an alliance either. I have to assume it’s for the benefit of the lower-tier schools, who have trouble getting major conference opponents to come visit them.

        But would Iowa State and Kansas get the same games as Texas? They won’t, and they shouldn’t. Even the Big Ten and the Pac-12, before their alliance fizzled out, said that the games would be organized based on competitive strength. They weren’t going to send Nebraska and Michigan to Washington State.

      • m (Ag) says:

        This can ensure schools like KSU and Texas Tech get at least one decent team on the OOC schedule.

  48. Brian says:

    IL is looking to replace their old Chief logo with a new one. Currently they are having a student competition to pick some choices for the administration to consider. There are 40+ options so far.

    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.392862314123441.92732.198869786856029&type=3

    There are some amusing choices. Care to comment, IL alumni?

    • Andy says:

      Mizzou’s basketball team has been in disarray for the last couple of weeks. Hopefully they clean up whatever problems they are having. Part of the problem is 4 of our top 7 players have had major injuries in the last month, and a fifth was kicked off the team early in the season. Also, we only returned 1 player from last year. Every other player (including all the bench players) are new. So they’re still learning to play as a team. It’s kind of amazing we’re 15-5 considering all of that.

    • Andy says:

      A look at Missouri’s basketball roster, ranking who our best players are and how they’re doing.

      1. Phil Pressey – the only player back from last year. Doing fairly well, averaging over 12 pts and 7 assists per game. But he tries to do too much and makes a lot mistakes.

      2. Lawrence Bowers – averaging 17 ppg and 8 rebs per game. Missed the last 5 games with a knee injury. Came back last night for the first time and played half as many minutes as usual.

      3. Mike Dixon – would have been the other player back from last year. Was All-Big 12. Kicked off the team in November.

      4. Jabari Brown – He’s pretty good. Had 21 pts last night.

      5. Alex Oriakhi – He’s pretty good too. Last night he got a foul called on him roughly every other minute he was in there. Played less than 10 mins in the game. That’s life on the road. In his last game he had 18 pts and 12 boards.

      6. Earnest Ross – decent player. Hurt his back a couple of weeks ago, has been playing limited minutes. Played maybe 10 mins last night.

      7. Keon Bell – out with a sprained ankle and a hurt shoulder.

      8. Tony Criswell – He’s playing with a cast on his broken hand. It has hurt his ability to score.

      9. Stefan Jankovic – believe it or not he has a major acid reflux problem. He can only play in 2-3 minute stretches.

      10 Ryan Rosberg – this freshman is improving and has gotten a lot of minutes lately due to all the injuries, but he’s clearly not ready for prime time.

      11. Negus Webster chan – a former Louisville commit who switched to Mizzou, he’s gotten some major minutes lately due to the injuries. He’s been a bust so far. Doesn’t look ready at all.

      12. Dominique Bull – he has played maybe 3 minutes total all year. I suspect he’ll transfer.

      So yeah, we’re a mess right now. And we still only lost by 3 on the road after shooting something like 35% in the game. So I wouldn’t brag too hard.

      • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

        Andy – I wasn’t bragging, I simply wrote “welcome to the SEC.” As Sgt. Hulka said in the movie Stripes, “Lighten up Francis.”

        Nobody is more shocked that LSU beat Mizzou last night than me. LSU only has about three players that would even make Mizzou’s team. My Tigers’ roster is made up largely of journeymen, cast-offs, walk-ons and a 7 foot tuba player that never played organized basketball until last year.

        But the future is bright for my Tigers. 1st year coach and LSU alum Johnnie Jones was Dale Brown’s chief recruiter. LSU currently has the #6 Rivals recruiting class for 2013 with three players ranked in the top 66.

        I wish your Tigers well in the NCAAs. I know my Tigers only have a very outside shot at the NIT, but I can still enjoy the upset over a ranked conference opponent and look forward to the future when the Pete Maravich Assembly Center can once again be called the “Deaf Dome.”

        • Andy says:

          Yeah, well when your team shoots 56% for the game and my team shoots 37% you’re going to win most of the time, even if we do out rebound you nearly 2 to 1.

          My point is you didn’t beat a top 20 team last night. We’re kind of a mess right now. We can clean it up and salvage the season, maybe, but right now it’s a mess.

        • Andy says:

          Oh, and congrats on your recruiting class. I’m hoping LSU can step it up in basketball. The SEC needs more good teams.

      • mushroomgod says:

        Missouri has a basketball team?

        • Andy says:

          Yeah, they’ve averaged over 27 wins per season over the last 4 seasons, and have been in and out of the top 10 most of that time. Finished the regular season last year ranked #3 in the country. Ranked #17 now. Our head coach won National Coach of the Year last year.23 conference titles. Rank tied for 26th in all time NCAA tournament apperances. Top 10 recruiting class last year. I could go on…

          • Andy says:

            bah, should read top 10 recruiting class for next year. anyway, you get the point.

            No Missouri isn’t Duke. But it’s easily a top 20 program these days. Although we’re definitely having some difficulties at the moment.

          • Stephen says:

            And ZERO Final Fours. :p

          • Andy says:

            We came pretty darn close 5 times. But no luck so far.

        • cutter says:

          I think so, but they must not be as good as Rutgers or Maryland or Nebraska. I mean, if they were on par with RU, MD or UN-L, they’d be in the Big Ten these days. :)

          • Andy says:

            Missouri leads the all time series in basketball with Nebraska 124-91. Nebraska has never won an NCAA tournament game. Rutgers’ basketball history is abysmal.

            Missouri is not in the Big Ten because the Big Ten stalled on expanding to 14 so Missouri went for the SEC offer they had sitting on the table that would have gone to someone else if we didn’t take it then.

          • OrderRestored83 says:

            @ Andy,

            “Missouri is not in the Big Ten because the Big Ten PASSED on expanding to 14 WITH Missouri, SO MISSOURI went for the SEC offer they had sitting on the table that would have gone to someone else if we didn’t take it then.”

            There, I fixed it for you.

          • Andy says:

            Actually, no. The Big Ten couldn’t find an adequate partner to get to 14 with Missouri in the timeframe available to get Missouri. Also at the time they were still holding out hope for Notre Dame. When Notre Dame joined the ACC then the Big Ten immediately went to play B and took Maryland and Rutgers.

          • Andy says:

            It’s very possible and likely that if Missouri were available then they would have taken Rutgers spot. But at that point it was too late.

          • OrderRestored83 says:

            It appears to me that the Big Ten was after two things in expansion. For the first expansion they wanted a football power (Nebraska, Notre Dame, Texas). The second expansion was population driven. Since they took a football power that was located in a sparsely populated state; they had to compliment the first expansion with a new large population base. Could Missouri have satisfied the population base desired in expansion #2? It might have? But maybe not to the extent Maryland and Rutgers have. I’m not so sure Missouri would have been a cinch even in the second expansion, and it wouldn’t have been because Missouri’s brand is worse than Rutgers or Maryland (Missouri probably has more brand power than Rutgers). Missouri just didn’t have what the Big Ten was looking for. It would have been interesting to see what had happened if Notre Dame had said yes in the first expansion.

          • @OrderRestored83 – I think that you’re correct on this. None of us here is going to convince Andy that Missouri was behind Rutgers on the pecking order for the Big Ten (all in good fun, Andy), but I’m fairly certain that this was the case. It might not have been as much of a slam dunk as picking up Nebraska, but Jim Delany has definitely had an overarching goal of getting to the East Coast and the NYC market specifically for a long time (going back to the early 1990s where possible 14-team Big Ten plans included Rutgers). When I first wrote anything about Big Ten expansion way back in 2006 (when conference realignment was in a quiet period and few people were thinking about it), I noted that getting to the East Coast to provide a partner for Penn State was likely going to be the goal if Notre Dame wasn’t an option. (At the time, I thought that the target would be Syracuse.) As others have stated, getting Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State and the Big Ten brand overall cycling through the NYC and DC markets is as important to the conference as the programs at Rutgers and Maryland themselves. Now, if Andy is skeptical of that working, then I think that’s a reasonable position. Frankly, I’m still skeptical of whether the Big Ten can pull off what Delany wants to do in the NYC market. (I’m not worried about DC – Maryland combined with the presence of Penn State/Ohio State/Michigan alums will deliver that market for BTN purposes probably better than Penn State delivers Philly as of now.) Still, the potential payoff if you’re successful in the NYC market is off-the-charts – that dwarfs the value of Missouri. So, Rutgers vs. Missouri is really a matter between risky bet/massive payoff and safe bet/decent payoff. Maryland is a different matter, as they would have been near the top of the Big Ten’s wish list (at least in terms of geographically contiguous AAU schools) in any scenario.

          • Andy says:

            It’s all just guessing and we’ll never know. I do know, based on what I believe to be credible sourses, that Missouri was told that they would be invited in the next expansion with the right partner(s). Would Maryland have been the right partner to get Missouri into the B1G? I have no idea. I’m guessing there’s a good chance of it but I don’t know.

          • OrderRestored83 says:

            @Frank,

            I completely agree, its not that Missouri is an unworthy candidate; they just didn’t fit the Big Ten’s vision in that scenario.

            @Andy,

            You are spot on; none of us really “know”. That’s what makes all the speculation fun. Outside of Jim Delaney and his chosen few, the rest of us are in the dark.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            Like an attractive girl at the bar, Jim Delany whispered sweet nothings into the ears of many suitors. All of them no doubt believed that they were the guy Jim really wanted.

          • Andy says:

            I really don’t think so. The B1G really only has so many options. This is roughly the pool:

            Obvious and contiguous:

            Notre Dame
            Nebraska
            Missouri
            Maryland
            Rutgers

            Obvious and not contiguous:

            Texas
            Virginia
            North Carolina
            Duke
            Georgia Tech

            Stretches for one reason or another:

            Florida State
            Kansas
            Virginia Tech
            Pitt
            Boston College
            Syracuse

            Presumably Delaney would go after the first category the soonest and the hardest, with the second category also given some attention, and the third category getting the least attention.

            In category 1 we know for a fact that the B1G invited 4 out of 5 of those. My sources say that the 5th, Missouri, was in serious talks about potentially joining, but for whatever reason the plan didn’t go through, mainly because Nebraska got spot #12 and there was no suitable #14 for Missouri to join at the time, and now they’re in the SEC.

            Category 2 is the focus now.

            Category 3 looks unlikely, although some of you are hoping for FSU.

            So yeah, talks of many schools getting phony whispers, I really don’t think so. There were a few, and they were all legit.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            @Andy: I don’t think anyone disputes that Missouri had talks with the Big Ten. What the rest of us are saying, is that your Missouri source probably imagines the Tigers’ chances were better than they really were.

            I mean, Delany wasn’t going to come right out and tell the school that Missouri was merely a contingency plan in case other, more desirable, options fell through.

            I’m sure there are guys who thought they were justthisclose to a date with Kate Upton. Whether Kate thought so is a whole other matter.

          • Andy says:

            Also, and here’s where some of you tend not to believe me but you should. The B1G’s terms were what some call “junior membership”, others call it “buying in”, whatever you want to call it. Nebraska will lose something like $30-40M over 5 years while transitioning into the B1G. Missouri was basically sitting around waiting for the B1G to expand again. It was understood that with a good partner we could join. But then the SEC comes along and sells us on the idea of joining the SEC instead. They tried selling us on it for about a year. Talked about how they planned to make it a better acadmeic league and wanted Missouri because of strong academics. Played up the SEC Academic Consortium as a potential CIC of the south. Talked up a new SEC Network (like the Big Ten network). Basically sold our leaders on the idea that the SEC would have everything the Big Ten has. And then they said that we would get full revenue share from day one. No “junior membership” or “buy in” or whatever. And they said we need you to choose now because we have other options, but you’re our top choice. So we went for it. We cast our lot with the SEC. Now the B1G is no longer an option for us.

          • Andy says:

            Marc, you’re just being inflamatory and basically saying nothing other than that you’re a dick.

            The facts are that in 2010 the Big Ten was working on expanding. They talked to a few schools. They were getting expansion scenarios together. It was a pretty fluid situaiton. They were looking at 12, 14, or 16. Missouri was slotted at 12 or 14 depending on how the rest of the pieces would come together. The Pac 12 was trying to get to 16 at the same time. I have heard from seperate people both on the coaching side and on the board of curators side at Missouri and both say that the talks were far enough along that it looked more likely like it was going to happen than that it wasn’t. When the Pac 12 move fell through the B1G put everything on pause and just took Nebraska and stayed there for a couple of years. Missouri was told that the Big Ten wouldn’t take us unless they found a partner for us. They wanted Notre Dame. Mizzou joined the SEC then Notre Dame joined the ACC partially. Then the B1G decided to make a move, and Missouri was no longer an option.

          • mushroomgod says:

            hehe …..Mo is the Purdue of the SEC…..

          • Andy says:

            well, same colors at least.

          • Andy says:

            Actually, as far as football and basketball, it’s not too far off. Missouri basketball historically is slightly worse than Purdue, and in football Missouri is a little better. But average the two and the two schools are about even I guess. Schools are similar size too. Same school colors. I guess the main difference is Mizzou focuses more on agriculture/biology/medicine/”life sciences” where is Purdue is more of an engineering school.

          • Andy says:

            Oh, and as far as market, Missouri is the only D1 school in a state of 6.1M people, where as Purdue plays third fiddle in a state of 6.5M.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            Marc, you’re just being inflamatory and basically saying nothing other than that you’re a dick.

            It’s not personal. My alma mater (Michigan) hardly ever plays Missouri in anything. I have no animosity for the school at all. In truth, I am fairly easy-going even towards those schools Michigan does have a rivalry with. I don’t believe in insulting people, just because you want to beat them in sports.

            I am just suggesting that the known facts lend themselves to another interpretation. Your tendency to insult anyone who makes that suggestion does not lend credence to your argument. I’d say it would have a lot more credibility if there were anyone on the Big Ten side saying (even off the record) that Missouri came as close to an offer as you’re suggesting.

          • bullet says:

            Times change, but the B1G openly talked in the late 90s about inviting Missouri, Rutgers and Kansas, making it look like Missouri was #1 at that point (2 western, 1 eastern team to go to either 12 (MN/IA/WI/IL/NW/MO west, PSU/OSU/MSU/UM/IU/PU east) or 14-or stay at 11 as they did at the time). I suspect when Nebraska was added, the eastern flank became more important and Rutgers moved to #1 on the list (ND wasn’t coming). Maryland made clear they were available and moved up the list when they probably weren’t considered before. So I think the Big 10 did get the two schools they wanted (that weren’t in South Bend or Austin). And as Gee said, they are looking east and south and Maryland helps them bridge that. Bowlsby talked about how the B1G had apparently decided it could grow programs. With his connections, he probably has some understanding of the B1G’s thinking on things they have already done.

          • Andy says:

            Marc, you do realize that I’m a Michigan alum too, don’t you? Went to Missouri for undergrad, Michigan for grad.

            The “known facts” don’t lend to your interpritation at all. If you think they do that only means you don’t know much about this at all, but then why would you? I said you were a dick because you said “I’m sure there are guys who thought they were justthisclose to a date with Kate Upton. Whether Kate thought so is a whole other matter.” That’s a smarmy and dickish thing to say, by any standard, and to make matters worse you have basically no justification in saying it.

          • Andy says:

            bullet, I suspect that the B1G had a number of combinations mapped out, some acceptable, and some unacceptable. Some of the acceptable scenarios included Missouri, others didn’t. Missouri was at one point told that there was a scenario that looked likely that included them. They couldn’t pull it off, so it was scrapped. As far as whether a Nebraska/Missouri/Maryland combo would work, in my opinion it would but as I said we’re all just guessing.

          • metatron says:

            I’m still not convinced that Kansas and Missouri are off the table. If you guys got a call and turned it down, that’s just cutting your nose to spite your face.

            I’m not saying the SEC is terrible. I’m not saying it isn’t a great move for the Tigers, because it is. It’s just not where you belong.

          • Andy says:

            I’m not against it personally. I just don’t see us making 2 moves in a short period of time. Maybe in 20 years.

          • metatron says:

            Yeah, who knows. This whole thing has been insane from the get-go.

  49. Marc Shepherd says:

    The WV Dude has posted his latest diatribe.

    Now, I think there’s a good deal of fiction and animosity in what he writes. But reports that the Big Ten has spoken to some combination of UVA, UNC, and GT, and reports that FSU inquired about membership, are have come from multiple sources. He may not be exactly right, but there is a whiff of validity in the gist of it.

    When and if MD’s exit fee is knocked down and their TV money is released, we’ll find out just how solid the ACC is. His basic point seems right to me: if the schools are that committed, why didn’t they execute a grant of rights?

    • Andy says:

      Any stock you take in what he has to say is wishful thinking. He’s like a fortune teller who tells peoplw what they want to hear.

    • The Dude just posted this on the WVU board (BGN), looks like he’s hitting the big time:

      Just wanted to let you guys know I’m joining Cumulus Media, Inc where I’ll have a feature column and a regular podcast/radio show. I’ll also be receiving a WVU media pass and having guests from all over college football join me for chatting about expansion and WVU.

      You guys will finally get to learn who some of the people I talk to are because they have agreed to come on the show with me.

      Also I’m bringing a friend or two from BGN along for the ride. I hope to have Kevin and Jon on to talk recruiting and maybe even a few naysayers to see what’s at the bottom of the crap.

      Funny that this opportunity only came my way after my wife made me quit. So I guess in a way I owe this opportunity to the free board.

      Thank you guys.

    • Nemo says:

      Heard the next court hearing for Maryland is in early February. Wonder if that will show the direction in which this lawsuit is heading? If I hear more, I’ll post!

  50. Andy says:

    An SEC/Big 12 partnership? What purpose does that serve?

    http://bleacherreport.com/tb/d9zGM?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=college-football

    I guess it means UT/A&M and MU/KU would have to resume, wiht us being partners and all. It would likely be in the terms, as it would be one of the more lucrative aspects of such a partnership.

    • Andy says:

      Maybe, and here’s a wild guess, but maybe this partnership would be to gang up on and weaken the ACC, with the understanding that the SEC and Big 12 would both take some of the schools once the ACC is sufficiently weakened. Or maybe not.

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      I think Bowlsby wants games that attract national interest (think UT-Alabama, Oklahoma-Florida). If Slive wants this deal at all, he’s going to want his whole conference to have access to UT, not just A&M.

      MU/KU is a game like Iowa/Iowa State, which the parties themselves can just schedule if both want it.

      • Andy says:

        Iowa/ISU is mandated by state law. Otherwise Iowa would never agree to play.

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          The reason doesn’t matter. The point is that Bowlsby and Slive aren’t going to do a deal so that MU/KU can play each other again. They would both consider it a local matter.

    • cutter says:

      Is a conference-level partnership really necessary in order to get Texas to play Texas A&M or Missouri to play Kansas? Is there anything outside of pride and ego that prevents these teams playing one another as non-conference opponents?

      Why is such a partnership lucrative in this era of long-term television contracts? It seems to me they only get renegotiated when conference membership changes or the contract ends. Having a scheduling partnership with another conference doesn’t seem to be a trigger for a renegotiation (I don’t recall hearing anything about ABC/ESPN swooping in and offering the B1G more money when they discussed a scheduling agreement with the P12)?

      • Andy says:

        Texas and Kansas are boycotting A&M and MU in all sports out of spite. That’s all there is to it.

        But if there’s an officially sanctioned partnership between the leagues I don’t see how they can justify continuing the boycott.

        • bullet says:

          Texas and Kansas don’t see benefits to both sides.

          The Big 12 IS ticked with Missouri (not so much A&M). Their governor bad mouthed several of the schools. Then the Big 12, Big East and CUSA all got the SEC to agree to wait a year to take Missouri if Missouri would agree. Missouri wouldn’t. Cost Big 12 $10 million in WVU’s exit fees. Cost WVU $5 million extra + legal fees. Cost BE legal fees. MAC got stuck with a 13 team conference. Could have cost FSU a shot at an MNC as they had to schedule Savannah St. when WVU cancelled and it killed their SOS. Cost Missouri extra exit fees as they paid about $3 million more than A&M and the Big 12 was willing to give them a good deal on the fees if they stayed. May even end up costing Missouri in conference distributions. Since the SEC hasn’t done their new TV deal yet, there’s a good chance the Big 12′s distributions will be higher than the SEC’s this year.

          • bullet says:

            And its probably the reason Missouri is doing home and home with Arkansas St. The aftereffects from the late change of conference making scheduling difficult.

          • Andy says:

            There was a lot of animosity both ways during the process. Oklahoma’s president interrupted one of our President’s news conferences with a contradictary message about a Big 12 meeting. Later on the Big 12 threatened to sue to force us to not leave the league. A lot of ugly things were said about Missouri from coaches and leaders all over the Big 12. So it’s not like the rest of the Big 12 were angels in all of this and big bad Missouri was the only one saying impolite things. Missouri paid something like $17M in exit fees. That should more than pay for any damages we caused by leaving early. I think that debt has been paid at this point and you guys can get over it.

          • Andy says:

            As far as Arkansas State, that’s not really a big deal. We always play one FCS school, one BCS school, and then either another BCS school or a mid-tier school. Arkansas State definitely counts as a mid-tier school. They’ve had two straight 10 win seasons and bowl games. They’re not a total cupcake. They’ve played a lot of big time schools lately too. It’s pretty standard. As far as it being home and home, yeah, we were in a pinch because we transitioned from 9 conference games in the Big 12 down to 8 in the SEC, so we’ve had to fill in some gaps. We’ve done so with home and homes with Central Florida and Arkansas State. Not ideal but we’ll manage. If we feel like it we can buy out the away game later.

    • Mack says:

      A formal SEC/B12 alliance will probably be more about basketball than football. B12/SEC challenge will be much better than the neoBigEast/SEC or even C7/SEC. Both leagues have enough average teams to go around.

      As far as football, it is more likely to be limited to the lower half of each conference for annual play. Could improve scheduling for TCU, Baylor, TT, KS, MSst, MS, KY. Expect little or no participation from schools with a locked OOC opponent (FL, SC, GA, IAst) The kings will participate some years since games that have been / will be scheduled anyway will become “alliance games”.

  51. prophetstruth says:

    Anyone heard/read anything on which Big Ten schools are exploring adding hockey?

    “Berenson said six teams is a sustainable number for the Big Ten, but Eaves expressed hope that more conference schools would add hockey and that there are some exploring the possibility.”

    “Another big component will be the Big Ten Network, broadcasting games into a number of markets that normally don’t get to see college hockey — including other conference towns in which schools are examining adding the sport.”

    http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/article/20130131/GW03/301310039/MSU-hockey-Move-to-Big-Ten-hockey-league-will-shake-up-sport

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      If the B1G is looking at adding Johns Hopkins for LAX, would they also consider Nebraska-Omaha for Hockey?

      • Mike says:

        IMHO – No. A huge difference between JHU and UNO.

        • mushroomgod says:

          Looks like U of Toronto would also be a no go….although they’ve been playing college hockey there since 1891, they don’t offer schs…..

          • Brian says:

            It’s Canada. Having to bribe kids to let them play hockey is almost offensive. Besides, all the best players go to juniors anyway.

        • zeek says:

          Well the huge difference is that JHU is the #1 research money institution in the country.

          The CIC edge is really (I assume) why this is being considered along with the need for a 6th men’s lacrosse team at this moment.

      • zeek says:

        Main reason why they wouldn’t is that Nebraska themselves are thinking about possibly going for hockey sometime down the road. They added ice piping to their basketball arena and it would work as an ice hockey arena down the road.

        Of course, the money may not be there for them to become the 7th ice hockey school for a number of years, but it’ll eventually get there.

    • mushroomgod says:

      Even if the BIG doesn’t go to 16, things will get crowded on the BTN unless the overflow channels start being used for other sports, or the BIG goes with a BTN2….

      For example, in winter months, the BTN typically has 2 prime time liive events per night Mon-Fri. On Saturday, there might be 3-4 events…on Sunday maybe 2. Into these time slots they fiit mens bball, women’s bball, wrestling, mens and womens hockey, mens and womens S&D, gymnastics(?)….If you’re going to televise a sinificantly increased # of mens and womens hockey games, something has to give………

      • Brian says:

        I’d expect some tape delayed showings of other events versus 17 replays of the sportscenter ripoff as their first move.

        • mushroomgod says:

          As far as I can tell, right now they don’t show anything on a tape-delayed basis (originally)….I would think it would make sense to do so, but the decline in viewership must be large or they would already be doing it………

          • mushroomgod says:

            maybe the production costs preclude this??? Don’t know….but as far as I can tell, no “live” programs are shown on a strict tape-dealyed basis…..

          • Brian says:

            Maybe it’s because they do streaming and want to build that business up? It seems like they could stream live and show a tape delayed replay of some of the smaller sports to try to build an audience.

          • BruceMcF says:

            Yes, the Digital Network advertises 500+ live “games” (and notes that this does not include any live football) ~ exclusively live online must be seen as more lucrative than tape-delay on BTN.

      • Richard says:

        Live sports every minute of weekday primetime and 12 hours on both days of the weekend is what they want. Right now, there’s still a bunch of filler that few people watch.

        BTW, there’s nothing much on Friday nights currently. Football also isn’t played on Satuday nights from November on. Hockey would be filling a gap there.

        • mushroomgod says:

          I think some of that is that midwest HSs typically have played thier basketball on Friday nights. and they didn’t want to harm the HS crowds….now, of course, $ rules everything, so that might not explain the present reluctance–maybe now its just used as a travel day only…in any event, looks like hockey could fit in there………

          • BruceMcF says:

            Some reluctance is a combination of advertisers’ favorite demo is often doing something else on Friday nights, but not all of the demo is out on the town every Friday night. If HS hockey games are more often played Saturday afternoon than Friday evening, Big Ten Friday Night Hockey could work.

      • BruceMcF says:

        Go from 3-4 live events on Saturday to 4-5, and from 2 live events on Sunday to 4, and there’s your time slots for the transition from however many hockey games they have now to 30 hockey games.

        And, yes, they could indeed use the overflow channel to have two different hockey games on at the same time: go with “Big Ten Friday Night Hockey” and a regular Saturday start for the other games, they can broadcast the Saturday games simultaneously using the overflow channel.

        Hockey’s in the mid-tier of subsidy sports that can be a break-even sport if it gains popularity on a campus. Its one of a relative few subsidy sports where using the overflow channel is something to seriously consider.

        • mushroomgod says:

          only problem with the overflow channel idea is that you may be reucing the audience for each event, esp. in a niche sport like hockey………

          • Cliff says:

            I would think that with six Big Ten teams, they should be able to work together on scheduling and on start times, so that you had a double header each Friday night, and you could do a double- or triple-header on Saturday afternoon/night. A “nationally televised game” on BTN on Friday night at UM, MSU, OSU, or PSU would start promptly at 7:00 pm ET, followed by a 9:30 pm ET (8:30 pm CT/local) at Minnesota or Wisconsin. On Saturdays, they could have start times of 4:30 pm, 7:00 pm, and 9:30 pm for TV purposes. All overflow games could start at a “normal” time of 7:00 or 7:30 locally.

            Also, I don’t know if it’s been agreed upon yet, but the consensus was that there would be 20 conference hockey games, which still left 14 non-conference regular season games. So while I’m sure there would be weekends that see exclusively conference matchups (ie, three televised games), there will also likely be weekends that see no conference games (ie, up to six televised home games), which would absolutely need the overflow channels or be farmed out to the local Fox Sports affiliate.

          • BruceMcF says:

            But its hockey ~ that’s six games in a conference weekend, isn’t it? The Friday night can play the second game of the series as a late Saturday game, Two Saturday starts can play the second game of the series Sunday.

            That’s where the twenty conference games comes from ~ five conference opponents played home and home in two game series.

        • Richard says:

          Right, and there really isn’t enough programming that gets enough ratings for cable companies to dedicate a separate channel to the BTN. 1 channel is definitely enough for now. Maybe a BTN2 could be considered if we expand to 18-20, but for now, you just need to space out some of the games.

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      I have not heard of any other B1G schools adding hockey. It is a comparatively expensive sport, and not everyone has an alum to donate $88 million for the launch, as Penn State did.

      • zeek says:

        Nebraska added ice piping to their new basketball arena plans (after starting construction), so they’re explicitly putting in a long-term ability to go to hockey in the next decade depending on revenue streams.

      • Mike says:

        As I’ve mentioned on here a couple of times, Nebraska is slowly getting the infrastructure in place (the Breslow Ice Center) to start hockey. Honestly, the new arena is probably too big a venue for college hockey in the long term. It wouldn’t surprise me if they start out there and then move to a smaller ~5,000 seat arena. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see UNL add another women’s sport (lacrosse) instead of women’s hockey.

        • BruceMcF says:

          What’s the seating capacity of Nebraska’s lower deck? I’ve seen combined football / soccer stadiums designed for the upper deck to be closed off for better stadium atmosphere for soccer games, seems like you could do something similar with a basketball arena that is set up to take out the boards and ice up the floor. Indeed, could go one better and tarp over the upper deck.

          • Mike says:

            @Bruce – Honestly, I don’t know what the seating will be. I realize that sections or entire decks could be closed to help keep up demand. However, that doesn’t change the fact they would still be playing in a very large building which will take away from atmosphere.

            One of the biggest complaints when UNO moved from the 7500 seat Civic center to the 16000 seat Quest center was that despite having more fans, the atmosphere completely changed from a loud, hostile environment to a quiet, sterile one.

          • BruceMcF says:

            It makes a difference whether sections are simply not sold, if sections are tarped over, and if boarding is placed behind the seated section. While advertising (“sponsorship”) on the boarding would be the financial incentive for doing it, boarding does much more for atmosphere than just being surrounded by banks of empty seats.

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          …the new arena is probably too big a venue for college hockey in the long term…

          There are always ways to work that out, e.g., don’t open sections that won’t sell. Michigan plays Lacrosse in the Big House, which they fill to perhaps 2 percent of capacity for most games.

          Nebraska isn’t going to build two hockey arenas. If they added ice piping to their new basketball arena, then that’s where they’re going to play.

          • Mike says:

            @Marc Shepherd –

            Nebraska isn’t going to build two hockey arenas. If they added ice piping to their new basketball arena, then that’s where they’re going to play.

            Are you sure about that? This is exactly what Nebraska-Omaha is doing (going from a 16000 seat arena to a 5000 seat new one). I should also mention that UNL “owns” the arena that the USHL’s Lincoln Stars (they have a long term lease) play in. If competition from UNL hockey forces the Stars to move, UNL hockey would fit nicely there.

    • SpaceTetra says:

      @prophetstruth: If you go back many many of Frank’s blogs, a few articles were linked that indicated that there are maybe three B1G schools looking to add hockey, but had no idea where the money would come from. They are willing if they get a big donor like Penn State got. If I remember correctly, the schools identified were Illinois, Indiana, and Nebraska (but don’t quote me).

      • @SpaceTetra – Illinois has always been high on the list of potential hockey schools (if not the highest) because it’s pretty much in the exact same position as Penn State was a couple of years ago: they’ve had a top level club for a long-time that sells tickets very well (probably better than any varsity sport other than football, men’s basketball and our currently elite women’s volleyball team) in a state that’s under served (and in the case of Illinois, not served at all) by Division I hockey when considering that it produces a fair amount of high school hockey talent. Unfortunately, the facilities aren’t in place and that would likely require some benefactor to rain cash from the sky. The last rumor from a few months ago was that the founder of Jimmy John’s was being talked to about bankrolling a hockey program.

        • mushroomgod says:

          I jsut saw an article a day or two ago about MSU hockey……it listed the revenues and expenses for hockey for the various BT programs….I don’t recall whether is was for mens only or also included womens….the long and short of the article was that the 6 BT playings schools had a total of app. $19M hockey expense v. app. $16M hockey revenue….all the schools were negative…most at around 1/2M per year…….I thought it was intertestiing that hockey at present comes that close to breaking even…..even w/o consideration of its value to the BTN…..so maybe it wouldn’t be as big a hit to Illinois’ finances as you might otherwise assume…..

          • mushroomgod says:

            Found that article…. is from a Lansing paper dated 1/31….anyway, it just says ‘total hockey expenses’, so you really can’t tell if it includes women’s hockey expenses (as the article was about the men’s team)…….anyway, the deficits for the 6 BT teams ranged from $437000 to $933000……pretty good article for anyone interested in the topic….

          • mnfanstc says:

            Regarding hockey dollars… at the U of Minnesota… Men’s Hockey is one of the “big 3″— it is a revenue producer… I am not sure of exact numbers, but believe the revenues minus expenditures at the U is typically around $3 to 5 million mark. Mariucci Arena is virtually always full at right around 10,000 capacity, and I’m sure the Gophers get something fairly decent from their regular appearances on FSN North…

            There is no doubt, there is some overhead, with the facilities, equipment, travel, etcetera required. It definitely would be advantageous for any school looking to add hockey to already have some stuff in place… Starting hockey from scratch I am sure would be fairly costly…

          • Ted says:

            If you could provide a link, that would be great. I know Michigan nets out positive (a significant positive, like 1-2M, I believe) on its hockey program, although they don’t have t support a women’s team.

    • mnfanstc says:

      I read the article… very interesting… Being a Minnesotan, hockey is in my blood, even though I never played (I was a grappler–too diminutive in size to be serious in hockey)…

      Anyway… when I first became aware of the B1G starting a hockey league; had seriously mixed feelings. Actually still do… Many outsiders don’t understand that hockey is to Minnesota, what football is in Texas, what basketball is in Indiana, what surfing is in Hawaii… There are 5 division 1A hockey programs in Minnesota, the Mn state hockey tournament fills the Xcel Energy Center (in Saint Paul btw)—it is like a holiday weekend here. Crazy…

      The WCHA teams have won a combined 37 Frozen Four NCAA Championships… There are some long-time rivalries, like I’m sure there are in the CCHA, and the other eastern leagues. Some of these rivalries will go by the way-side on the short-term, and in the long-term will take on less significance, because they no longer count towards conference points/standings.

      It is my hope that the B1G has some other universities that pick up hockey in the near term—as IMHO, 6 teams is pretty B.S. to be considered an actual conference—regardless of what the BTN brings to the table. Right now, virtually all of the Gopher hockey games are already televised on the local FSN outlet…

      I understand (or at least think I understand) the B1G picture—am just having a hard time adjusting to it…

      Regarding bringing in another school from outside the B1G to participate only partially—regardless of who it is, IMHO is flat out WRONG… Either you’re in ALL the way, or NOT at all.

      I believe that the academic end of things could/should be taken care of outside of athletics—regardless of conference affiliation… But, I am not in charge of those decision-making processes; therefore, I am only in a position to whine about, or profess my love for decisions made…

      • Ted says:

        On the bright side, having a 6-team conference allows you to play your old rivalries in the WCHA more often.

        As a Michigan fan, I’m looking forward to still playing some of the other Michigan schools like Lake State, Ferris, Northern, and Western in the non-conference.

      • Brian says:

        mnfanstc,

        “Anyway… when I first became aware of the B1G starting a hockey league; had seriously mixed feelings. Actually still do…”

        I think that’s expected for MN, WI, MI and MSU (it isn’t as important to OSU). They all have old rivalries and a lot of local/in-state competition and are powers. It’s a sacrifice for them, but that’s how the B10 works. Every schools makes sacrifices for the greater good. At least you have some built in rivalries in the B10, plus plenty of OOC games to play old rivals. There have to be a few WCHA schools you won’t really miss, too.

        On the bright side, consider the non-local alumni and fans. It’ll be much easier for them to see B10 hockey on BTN. The BTN may also build the hockey fan base in other areas which is great for the sport.

        “It is my hope that the B1G has some other universities that pick up hockey in the near term—as IMHO, 6 teams is pretty B.S. to be considered an actual conference”

        It seems unlikely in the near term to me. Hockey is expensive. Maybe once the new TV deal starts, so ADs know what they’ll have to work with, more schools will talk seriously about adding varsity hockey.

        “I believe that the academic end of things could/should be taken care of outside of athletics—regardless of conference affiliation…”

        I agree. I think the B10 and CIC should be separate entities with a lot of overlap. I think the CIC can more easily tolerate expansion since they don’t have to worry about losing rivalries in football.

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          I think the B10 and CIC should be separate entities with a lot of overlap.

          The exact reasons for the CIC being what it is are murky to me. Other than tradition, why is it limited to current and former Big Ten members? Why couldn’t they just invite MIT?

          I assume there is a charter or constitution or bylaws of some sort, but those can always be changed if there is a good reason. It is not immediately obvious why a set of institutions cooperating academically also have to be competing athletically.

  52. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/bigten/post/_/id/70756/iowa-nebraska-want-black-friday-series

    NE/IA will become a permanent Black Friday game. Sorry, Badgers.

    • zeek says:

      Good move by Iowa to sign onto that. It’s a great showcase game.

    • cutter says:

      The interesting quote from that article is this:

      “Those dates would change to Nov. 29, 2013 and Nov. 28, 2014, following approval. Barta also said he expects Iowa and Nebraska to continue meeting on the final weekend of the regular season, pending Big Ten schedule changes for 2014 and beyond due to Big Ten expansion.”

      Rittenberg doesn’t latch on to the idea that “Big Ten expansion” in that article means possibly going beyond Rutgers and Maryland. He does state the obvious that Iowa and Nebraska will be in the same division though.

      There were a few more blog posts on ESPN that are of interest. Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez talks very plainly about that he wants the Badgers to play Iowa, Nebraska and Minnesota each year. He also talks about how the fans want to see it and that it’s important to UW because the games are within drivable distances–see http://espn.go.com/blog/bigten/post/_/id/70722/badgers-alvarez-weighs-in-on-re-alignment

      Another blog post talks about the B1G moving some of its conference games into the September time frame. See http://espn.go.com/blog/bigten/post/_/id/70681/earlier-b1g-games-may-be-on-the-table While that doesn’t necessarily speak to realignment or division breakdown issues, it’s interesting to see them going this direction. For the record, the first game I attended at Michigan was 16 September 1978 in my freshman year. It was UM’ season opener and they beat Illinois 31-0 in front of 104,000-plus people.

      The last blog post discusses how the B1G needs to be conservative with crossovers–see http://espn.go.com/blog/bigten/post/_/id/70744/b1g-must-be-conservative-with-crossovers

      Some excerpts from that post:

      Big Ten athletic directors have strongly hinted that geography will be a more important factor in realigning the divisions. Here’s a suggestion for another priority: Maintain as many rivalries within the division structure as possible. It’s impossible to account for every “rivalry,” and division crossovers should be used to keep the most valuable annual series. But the crossover should no longer be a crutch for the league.

      “If you can accommodate the vast majority of the traditional rivalries within the divisional splits,” Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon told ESPN.com, “you create a lot more flexibility when you do your crossovers to move to other places and have more variety and travel to more campuses. I would advocate that.”

      The league brass must keep a schedule rotation in mind when figuring out models for 14 teams (and possibly 16 teams in the near future). As Brandon said, a setup where a Big Ten player goes through his entire career without playing a league opponent “doesn’t make a lot of sense.”

      “It may be virtually impossible to protect all the rivalries through the divisional split,” Brandon said, “and to the extent you can’t, you can entertain potentially a hybrid, where maybe you have a couple of crossover rivalry games that are protected every year. But if you were in a situation where you didn’t necessarily have one of those, maybe those games could do a little more of a rotational deal.”

      But every series isn’t worth preserving annually, especially at the expense of a weaker rotation. Here’s hoping the Big Ten takes a more conservative approach with crossovers this time around.

      *****

      Based on the Purdue AD’s comments, we can be highly certain that the 2014 and 2015 seasons will have eight conference games. Most of the athletic directors have been pretty straightforward about having an east-west split and like Brandon, I suspect they want to keep as many rivalry games intact as possible.

      Wikipedia has a list of 16 Big Ten rivalry games listed here–http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Big_Ten_Conference_football_rivalry_games The ones that I’ve also seen mentioned that doesn’t make this list is Illinois-Indiana and Nebraska-Penn State–see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Ten_Conference#Football.

      Here’s the complete list of rivalry/high value/trophy games in the conference:

      Illinois-Indiana
      Illinois-Northwestern*
      Illinois-Ohio State (protected crossover-see comments below)
      Illinois-Purdue*
      Indiana-Michigan State*
      Indiana-Purdue (protected crossover-see comments below)
      Iowa-Minnesota*
      Iowa-Nebraska*
      Iowa-Wisconsin*
      Maryland-Penn State*
      Michigan-Michigan State*
      Michigan-Minnesota (protected crossover-see comments below)
      Michigan-Ohio State*
      Michigan State-Penn State*
      Minnesota-Penn State
      Minnesota-Wisconsin*
      Nebraska-Penn State (protected crossover-see comments below)
      Ohio State-Penn State*

      If the Big Ten were to do an east-west split with its fourteen members into two divisions with Indiana and Purdue split (IU east, PU west) and with Northwestern in the west with Michigan State in the east, then the 12 games marked with asterisks would be annual divisional games. That leaves six cross-divisional rivalry games to be addressed.

      Illinois: The Illini have four rivalry games listed, but only two of the teams would be in their division (Northwestern, Purdue). If Ohio State needed a protected rivalry game, Illinois would make sense so that Indiana and Purdue could be the other protected rival.

      Michigan: Minnesota is the protected crossover rivalry game game for the Wolverines and the Little Brown Jug. With Golden Gophers playing the Wolverines each year, Penn State and Nebraska then become the next protected rivalry.

      With those four protected games, the conference would then cover 16 of its 18 rivalry/trophy/high value contests listed above with the exception of Illinois-Indiana and Minnesota-Penn State.

      If the B1G added those games to the schedule, then it could possibly cover all 18 of these games. It would also mean in an eight game conference schedule for 2014/5:

      1. Illinois plays Ohio State and Indiana from the eastern division.
      2. Minnesota plays Penn State and Michigan from the eastern division
      3. Penn State plays Nebraska and Minnesota from the western division
      4. Indiana plays Purdue and Illinois from the western division
      5. Michigan plays Minnesota and one additional team from the western division
      6. Ohio State plays Illinois and one additional team from the western division
      7. Nebraska plays Penn State and one additional team from the eastern division
      8. Purdue plays Indiana and one additional team from the eastern division

      The teams that would not have protected cross-division rivalry games would be Iowa, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Michigan State, Rutgers and Maryland–three schools from each division.

      • Richard says:

        Minnesota-PSU is kind of a fake made-up trophy game. I doubt most fans of either team even think they have a rivalry with one another. I also don’t get the sense that Illinois and Indiana fans consider themselves to be rivals much in football. Of all the schools in IL and surrounding states (Northwestern, Wisconsin, Iowa, PU, & IU), IU probably ranks last or second-to-last in desirability from an Illini perspective. Likewise, of all the schools in IN and surrounding states (PU, OSU, MSU, Michigan, Northwestern, and Illinois), Illinois is probably second-to-last in terms of who the Hoosiers want to play most.

        • Brian says:

          Richard,

          “I also don’t get the sense that Illinois and Indiana fans consider themselves to be rivals much in football.”

          They’re hoops schools, what do you expect? Still, as bad as IL has been lately I think the IN rivalry will heat up. Nobody likes to lose to them regularly.

          “Of all the schools in IL and surrounding states (Northwestern, Wisconsin, Iowa, PU, & IU), IU probably ranks last or second-to-last in desirability from an Illini perspective.”

          Frank noted he hated IN more than PU (granted, more for hoops than football). Most IL fans say very little about IA or WI that I’ve seen or heard. They bring better teams than IN, so they’re usually more interesting, but that doesn’t make them bigger rivals. It probably also varies tremendously based on where in IL someone lives/lived. IA will mean more to those in the west than to the average IL fan, WI to those in the north, IN to those in the southeast.

          “Likewise, of all the schools in IN and surrounding states (PU, OSU, MSU, Michigan, Northwestern, and Illinois), Illinois is probably second-to-last in terms of who the Hoosiers want to play most.”

          That’s apples and oranges, too. IN wants OSU, MI and probably MSU for a very different reason than IL. As rivals, PU is their clear #1 but IL may be #2. OSU and MI crush them way too often to feel like rivals and MSU isn’t a rivalry either despite the spittoon. I’ve never sensed any heat on either side for IN/NW, but I’m sure you’ll let us know if NW fans consider that a rivalry.

        • Carl says:

          Does Penn State even play Minnesota? (If so, was the last time before or after the last time we played our rivalry game with Michigan State?)

          • Mack says:

            I thought someone was pulling a prank listing the PSU-MN game (12 meetings, last 2010) as a B1G rivalry that needs protecting.

  53. mushroomgod says:

    This map showing student populations from the various states for the various schools is pretty damn interesting stuff……….here’s a stat showing why MD and Rutgers made so much sense for the BIG….PSU’s class is 64% from PA, totaling 4260…..of the remainder, 1110 are from New Jersey or Maryland….very few are from OH and the other traditional BT states……..

  54. DugHol says:

    The latest update from The Dude:

    My sources at the Pentagon have confirmed that those cavalier Virginians are on the verge of seceding from the ACC and joining forces with the Maryland rebels. The Pentagon has uncovered a B1G plot to surround Washington DC with forces from Maryland and Virginia in an attempt to take over the city’s communications networks, throwing the entire country into chaos.

    Oops. Sorry folks, but the last truckload of ammunition, just arrived, and I have to help unload it and get my family into the fallout shelter. I urge all West Virginians to do likewise before the Virginians make their way here.

  55. bullet says:

    Bowlsby’s article (talking about applying for ccg with less than 12), which is posted above, also mentions, as the SEC article did, that they are looking at ooc games mixed through October and November to be more attractive for TV. So the Big 12 may also be getting away from all ooc in September/early October.

    • zeek says:

      Everyone needs to do this.

      • Brian says:

        No they don’t. This turns directly into having I-AA week in mid November like the SEC does. That’s horrible.

        • m (Ag) says:

          One doesn’t have to imply the other. The conference can schedule some big conference games in that week if it wants too (and the SEC is going to be doing this).

          • BruceMcF says:

            The more Majors do that, the happier Notre Dame (and BYU) will be.

          • Brian says:

            It doesn’t have to, but that’s what history shows.

          • m (Ag) says:

            First of all, the Big Ten can still have all conference games the last 2 weeks of the season. This would give the Big Ten the TV rights to 7 conference games each of those weeks.

            In the 3rd to last week, 2 teams can be off of conference play and encouraged to schedule their weakest OOC game (these 2 teams could play each other the next week if you’re worried about an advantage). This gives the Big Ten the TV rights to 6 conference games that week + 2 week OOC games hidden on BTN

            In the 4th to last week, 4 teams can be off of conference play and encouraged to schedule their weakest OOC game that week (again, these teams can play another team playing an OOC game when they return to conference play). The Big Ten would have the TV rights to 5 conference games + 4 week OOC games that week.

            That gives you 6 teams free to play 3 early conference games. Put one in week 3 and two in week 4 to give some quality early games for TV. This would help avoid the MACTASTROPHE, where the Big Ten drops out of public view for a week or two as nobody wants a decent team in the run-up to conference play.

            Obviously you can do more, by giving teams conference byes roughly every 4 weeks during which they can either schedule OOC or take an actual bye. As long as there isn’t more than 4 conference teams off in the same weekend you always have 5 conference games to televise in a week.

            This would give your first and second tier rights-holders a better package without changing the actual teams scheduled (only changing the order of some games). The BTN would lose out on some conference games (replaced by more OOC games), but the expansion of the conference offers more conference games to make up for it.

          • Brian says:

            m (Ag),

            “That gives you 6 teams free to play 3 early conference games. Put one in week 3 and two in week 4 to give some quality early games for TV. This would help avoid the MACTASTROPHE, where the Big Ten drops out of public view for a week or two as nobody wants a decent team in the run-up to conference play.”

            Slight problem. MACTASTROPHE is an exaggeration. It was the result of the NCAA moving to 12 games. B10 schedules are improving as teams had time to schedule good games.

            2012 week 3 – ND, Cal, BC
            2012 week 4 – ND, Syracuse

            2013 week 3 – Cal, UW, MO, ISU, UCLA, ND
            2013 week 4 – UConn, ND

            2014 week 3 – UW, ISU
            2014 week 4 – VT, MO, Pitt, Utah, Miami

            2015 week 3 – VT, Miami, Duke, ND
            2015 week 4 – Pitt, Utah, KU

            Besides, I’d much rather drop out of sight in September than November. Remember this from this past season?

            Saturday, Nov. 17
            1. Arkansas at Mississippi State
            2. Ole Miss at LSU
            3. Tennessee at Vanderbilt
            4. Syracuse at Missouri
            5. Samford at Kentucky
            6. Wofford at South Carolina
            7. Sam Houston State at Texas A&M
            8. Jacksonville State at Florida
            9. Georgia Southern at Georgia
            10. Western Carolina at Alabama
            11. Alabama A&M at Auburn

            That’s 3 byes, 7 I-AAs, 1 minor OOC game and 3 bad conference games in the penultimate week of the season. How is that better than a September Saturday being a little weak?

          • bullet says:

            The NCAA moved to 12 games over a decade ago. The MAC stuff was a concious decision by the B1G schools. They do seem to be improving their schedules, but that is a concious decision as well. The Big 12 is doing the same thing. I think schools are getting a backlash from fans with too many low interest games. Even the Florida school of thinking is starting to question what they’ve been doing.

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            They started off taking whatever games they could get to fill those extra slots. The big games are scheduled years in advance, sometime more than a decade ahead of time, so it’s harder to quickly move those to different weeks. As teams have had time to see how 4 OOC games works and how fans react, the ADs have been able to fine tune scheduling. Why wouldn’t there be a learning curve?

            What I was trying to point out is that all these grand concerns about the B10 schedule mostly stem from 1 week in 1 year when all 11 games were MAC/I-AA. That was never the norm, usually there were1-3 decent games on any weekend, but they all coincided one year. Since then, people make too big of a deal out of it. How is having a horrible week in November, like the SEC did last year, better?

            Obviously you’ll have September B10 games if/when they go to 9 games, and schools already can mutually agree to move a B10 game up into September if they want (WI/PU will be 9/21/13). Much like I don’t believe in expanding for expansion’s sake, I don’t see the need for September games just to say you have them. I worry about their impact in scheduling.

            Take OSU. They like to schedule at least 1 big name OOC game each year. Now tell them that they might play a B10 game in week 3 in 2018. How do you schedule a big game around that? What if it’s a big B10 game? You don’t want to play OU and then NE back to back. That rules out week 2 and week 4, and week 1 is always unlikely. That means you have to tell OSU their B10 schedule 6-10 years in advance so they can plan around it if you want them to keep playing these big OOC games. Also, you have to consider what becomes of those late OOC games. Major schools aren’t going to play then, so they’ll have to be weak teams, independents or schools from a weak league. That’s not many good choices to spread among all the AQs. So you’ll see MAC and I-AA teams. Yay!

        • jtower says:

          Clemson/USC, GT/UGa, Florida/FSU ?

    • Tom says:

      He is so strongly biased toward the SEC, that I don’t put much stock in his stock in his expansion scenerios (it’s a good overall SEC site though). I think Frank’s ideas are much more rational.

      • bullet says:

        He’s (actually there are 3 of them) probably the least biased SEC writer out there. Not that that’s saying much, but he really is pretty reasonable. Definitely pro-SEC, but reasonable.

  56. Transic says:

    OK, please educate me on something…

    What’s the difference between Johns Hopkins and Duke University, other than the fact that one supposedly doesn’t have football and the other definitely doesn’t have football?

    This isn’t a statement against Johns Hopkins. I don’t doubt their academic credentials but I find it funny that certain B1G posters mock the potential of Duke to the B1G (who, btw, also has a lacrosse program) when the conference is rumored to be considering JHU, whose only big-time sport is lacrosse. IMHO, Duke is more attached to UNC than the other way around due to their fear that they’d be left out of post-realignment Big 3/4. Take Duke and that attachment ends. UNC can do what they want. Getting into Durham would be a nice consolation for not getting a state flagship. Oh, and a bridge to GT (and maybe a real shot at FSU).

    • frug says:

      Duke is a super power in MBB and strong in many non-revs. JHU, on the other hand, is a Division III school.

    • BruceMcF says:

      Duke would be added to the football schedule ~ Johns Hopkins would ONLY be added for the sport in which it is highly regarded (since it plays no other D1 sports). So there’s no trade-off for adding Johns Hopkins for LAX.

      • zeek says:

        Yes, the Big Ten currently only has 5 D-1 lacrosse schools (Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Maryland, Rutgers).

        The need for a 6th school is what is driving the JHU discussions. The fact that they only have lacrosse as a D-1 sport would make adding JHU nice and clean. They’d be added for all of their D-1 sports (in this case only lacrosse).

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      I find it funny that certain B1G posters mock the potential of Duke to the B1G (who, btw, also has a lacrosse program) when the conference is rumored to be considering JHU, whose only big-time sport is lacrosse.

      People worry about further weakening of the football schedule, especially as the B1G just added two schools weak in football (MD, RU). The other oft-mentioned candidates — UVA, UNC, and GT — are not exactly powerhouses either, but Duke is particularly weak.

      Duke would bring a first-rate basketball program, but the Big Ten is not suffering for a lack of good basketball teams. Hopkins, at least, would be joining only in the sport that it’s great at. In other words, the case for Duke is practically all academic (not that that shouldn’t count for something), whereas Hopkins brings a sport that the Big Ten lacks, while not diluting the league in any other sports.

      IMHO, Duke is more attached to UNC than the other way around due to their fear that they’d be left out of post-realignment Big 3/4. Take Duke and that attachment ends.

      Duke has to be there for the taking, and they’re not. I can only see two scenarios where they join the Big Ten, neither of them being the one you’re envisioning. The first is that they come in a package deal with UNC. The second is that UNC bolts for the SEC and Duke doesn’t get an invite.

    • DugHol says:

      Duke would get a piece of the pie; John Hopkins wouldn’t, because they’d only be an associate member.

    • Brian says:

      Transic,

      “What’s the difference between Johns Hopkins and Duke University, other than the fact that one supposedly doesn’t have football and the other definitely doesn’t have football?

      This isn’t a statement against Johns Hopkins. I don’t doubt their academic credentials but I find it funny that certain B1G posters mock the potential of Duke to the B1G (who, btw, also has a lacrosse program) when the conference is rumored to be considering JHU, whose only big-time sport is lacrosse.”

      That’s a valid question, and I’m not an anti-Duke guy so let me try to explain what differences I see.

      1. JHU wouldn’t take up a valuable spot in the main conference. That’s important since the number of spots is (hopefully) limited. For free, the CIC gets the #1 research school and the B10 gets to add a lacrosse championship. It also provides a sense of comfort for MD. For people that want to stop at 14 or 16, this is a big issue. Even for 18 it could be.

      2. JHU wouldn’t dilute the conference in football like Duke would. RU and MD are weak enough, we don’t want another IN to lower the SOS and make it harder to sell tickets. The B10 has a bad enough reputation without that.

      3. JHU research is to Duke research as the Lakers are to Duke hoops. #1 JHU’s $1.59B in 2009 more than doubled #2 MI’s $636M. Duke was #12 at $439M (WI is #6, so Duke would be third in the B10). Source – http://mup.asu.edu/research2011.pdf

      4. Either school would add lacrosse as a spring option for the BTN. JHU is a bigger brand in lacrosse, though. JHU has won 9 of 41 NCAA titles (only Syracuse has more with 10) to Duke’s 1. That means a few more people will want the BTN just for lacrosse.

      5. JHU’s location (Baltimore) will help with BTN revenue a little in MD/DC/VA while Duke would help nationally and more in NYC/NJ. Duke wouldn’t get the BTN on in NC by itself.

      The key differences are #1-3. Some people hope that JHU’s research is so attractive to the CIC that they would also allow an FSU to join for football power.

      “IMHO, Duke is more attached to UNC than the other way around due to their fear that they’d be left out of post-realignment Big 3/4. Take Duke and that attachment ends. UNC can do what they want.”

      That’s not a good thing. You’d take Duke to help persuade UNC to come, too. You don’t want to waste a spot on a team that doesn’t bring a large state to the BTN.

      “Getting into Durham would be a nice consolation for not getting a state flagship.”

      How? The BTN won’t go statewide in NC just for Duke. You’ll add some people nationally and in NYC, but NC is the prize for the BTN and recruiting.

      “Oh, and a bridge to GT (and maybe a real shot at FSU).”

      Duke would be a better bridge than JHU, but not better than UNC.

      • vp19 says:

        Duke won’t go to the SEC if UNC does. End of question. If that’s what happens, the Big Ten will probably just expand to Virginia and Georgia Tech, leaving Duke in a diluted, Big East-like ACC.

        • Transic says:

          vp19,

          If it came down to these choices, which would you prefer?

          FSU, GT, UNC, UVa, Syr, UConn

          FSU, GT, UNC, Duke, UVa, Syr

          GT, UNC, Duke, UVa, Syr, UConn

          FSU, GT, UNC, UVa

          GT, Duke, UNC, UVa

          UNC, UVa

          UNC, Duke

          Duke, UVa

          UVa, UConn

          UVa, Syr

          UVa, UConn

          UVa, GT

          GT, UNC

          GT, Duke

          FSU, GT

          FSU, UNC

          FSU, UVa

          Syr, UConn

    • Brian says:

      Transic,

      A similar question that I have:

      What’s the difference between Johns Hopkins and Carnegie Mellon/Case Western?

      All would bring all of their D-I sports to the B10 (lacrosse for JHU, nothing for CMU/CWRU). All would bring more research money to the CIC. All are AAU. All are in the footprint.

      Differences:
      1. JHU would bring a 6th lacrosse team, allowing for B10 lacrosse.

      Response – So what? Where is the money in having B10 lacrosse? Most of the footprint couldn’t care less and the BTN doesn’t even air it.

      2. JHU is the king of research money, well ahead of #2 MI. CWRU and CMU would be in the middle to bottom of the B10 respectively, like RU and MD in football.

      Response – If some is good, more is better. What is the harm in adding 2 more top 35 American Research Universities (http://mup.asu.edu/research2011.pdf – p. 16-18)?

      A lot of this comes down to what people feel qualifies someone to join the CIC or B10.

      • JayDev says:

        I was wondering about that myself. If you gave some starter money to CMU or CW to get LAX going, you could certainly bolster your academic profile. Of course, the question becomes– would they just enter the CIC without the D-1 sports hassle? U of Chicago is doing just fine in D-3.

      • Stew says:

        CMU shows up so low on research money in large part because we don’t have a medical school. That plus we’re a lot smaller than your typical B10 schools (about 5500 undergrads, 2500 grads) – less profs to do research.

  57. BuckeyeBeau says:

    Some of the comments to the above-linked MrSEC article were interesting.

    Here’s the link again. HT: Pablo (and others much further up, iirc). http://www.mrsec.com/2013/01/how-an-sec-big-xii-scheduling-alliance-could-doom-the-acc/

    MrSEC’s article was, for me, sort of “m’eh.” But there were some interesting comments relating to how a 16-20 team SEC could be split into THREE divisions.

    From Commentor “AllTideUp”:

    “West = Texas A&M, Mizzou, LSU, Arkansas, Ole Miss, Mississippi State

    Central= Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Kentucky

    East = Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Duke, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh

    With 9 conference games, you could play your 5 division mates…1 permanent rival from one of the other divisions…and rotate 3 games among the other 12 schools in the league. You could play everyone at least once in a 4 year rotation.”

    JRSEC added: “18 is not hard at all. Three divisions of 6 playing two teams each year from the other two divisions (covering everyone in 3 years) for a total of 9 games. Conference Championships are the 3 division champs plus the remaining team with the best record. It helps to balance the divisions this way. The strongest division would likely place two in the semi’s.”

    And: “Actually (using your [AllTideUp's] divisions) you would need to play 10 conference games (no problem with new upper tier being closed) 5 from your division where most rivals would be, two rotating from each of the other two divisions and 1 permanent rival. Now you play everyone every three years. Good divisions by the way.”

    JRSEC’s reference to “upper tier being closed” is two ideas. The “upper tier” is say 64-ish teams in 3-4 super conferences and “being closed” is the idea that “upper tier” programs will only play other “upper tier” programs.

    Here’s the comment: ” You see Saban and Alvarez and others have already stated that if their is a breakaway upper tier that they will only play other upper tier teams. That will be twelve games against upper tier opponents 6 home 6 away with perhaps some annual neutral site games. There has also been some discussion that if there were to be a game against non-upper tier opponents it might be played on either of the last two weekends of August as a preseason home game to be sold with the ticket book giving all upper tier teams a 7th home game to sell. It would likely take the place of the spring game with some changes in practice lengths prior to the season coming in as well. When the BCS morphs into the playoffs remember that the selection committee promised to weigh conference championships more heavily and they will. When this conference thing is whittled down to just four we will be on our way to a four champion playoff which might one day be extended to 8 teams with 4 being at large. The expanded conferences and their expanded conference championship playoffs will all be a way of deciding the ultimate national champion. It will allow the conference to make 3 regional sites happy and bring in a boat load of television money in the process. Believe me there are no problems with 18 and its easier to group the divisions geographically and account for the rivals with that configuration. It doesn’t have the symmetrical appeal of 20 divided by 4, but it could with the wild card help the fan bases stay energized past say a loss in the Alabama / LSU game and as I said it would help with the balancing of the divisions.”

    Anyway, some thought-provoking ideas. Have to admit I am intrigued by the idea of a “pre-season” game or two in August against MACrifice type teams. Not sure how I would feel about the loss of the spring game.

    As for three divisions, that strikes me as interesting for the B1G; sort of a hybrid-inner-outer.
    Assume B1G gets to 18:

    Atlantic Division: MD, PSU, 4 new ACC
    Central : tOSU, Pur, Indiana, MI, MSU, Rutgers
    West: Neb, Wiscy, Iowa, Minny, NW, IL

    Rutgers is a bit out of place, but … whatever

    Anyway, looks like only two rivalry games would be lost (tOSU-IL and MI-Minny) (well, and yes, the beloved-by-all Land Grant Trophy game). With a nine-game schedule, you play five within division games and a rotating two against each of the other divisions. I think that gets you playing each of the other 12 schools once every three years. @ 10 conference games, every school ends up seeing every non-division school every 2.4 years (if I’ve done my math correctly).

    I am not sold on any of this or advocating it. Just some musings prompted by JRSEC. It is 1:29 am (CT) and I can’t sleep. :-)

    • zeek says:

      I’ve really turned to the 3-4 fixed rivalries for each school and then “top 2 teams overall in the CCG” approach that would come out of reform to the CCG rule.

      I think that’s the best approach right now for conferences of 16+.

      The rotating pods sounds cool in theory but it could end up massively confusing to the uninformed public.

      Just fixing 3-4 rivalries for each school and coming up with 5-6 other random conference games seems to me to be the best approach if the CCG rule could be changed.

      I realize that creates a significant potential increase in Michigan-Ohio State rematches but it probably provides for the best balance in scheduling.

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        Rotating pods could be explained to the public. The main problem is that in any fixed pod arrangement, some schools get tossed into pods for no good reason, some schools who want to play each other can’t, and most proposals have some pods that are WAY weaker than the other ones.

        I realize that creates a significant potential increase in Michigan-Ohio State rematches but it probably provides for the best balance in scheduling.

        Most estimates are that that would happen only once every 5-7 years, or so, which isn’t terrible. If you have static divisions, splitting the two schools is just silly. The norm in sports is that you put rivals in the same division, where possible: Red Sox-Yankees, Cowboys-Giants, Auburn-Alabama, USC-UCLA, etc. But if there aren’t static divisions at all, I’ve no issue with the possibility of a post-season meeting.

        • zeek says:

          “The main problem is that in any fixed pod arran,gement, some schools get tossed into pods for no good reason, some schools who want to play each other can’t, and most proposals have some pods that are WAY weaker than the other ones.”

          Yeah, this really is the biggest issue in my mind.

          By getting rid of divisions and pods, we can have fixed rivalries that the schools themselves need without requiring other games that are unnecessary.

          • Read The D says:

            @Zeek – I completely agree with you. I actually think this is the crux of what Bowlsby is getting at with his championship game request. Bowlsby really just wants to strip away the NCAA rules for determining champions.

            Big 12 has 9 Central Time Zone teams so any Eastern additions will make for tough divisions. It’s better to throw out divisions and have locked rivals, then have a championship game with the best two teams.

          • ccrider55 says:

            There are no rules determining champs, only the 12 game limitation and a limited set of circumstances to allow for a 13th.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            There are no rules determining champs, only the 12 game limitation and a limited set of circumstances to allow for a 13th.

            If you can’t have the 13th, then there really is only one available method that makes sense. I haven’t seen any others that aren’t complete jokes.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Marc:

            Every method is available, but must be done in 12 games. If you aren’t going to play everyone competing for one of the final position then you aren’t trying to determine by on field, head to head results, who is going to represent a division as champ. If you don’t need a division champ then you don’t need an extra game. If allowed it would simply be a money grab with a BS, err BCS esque justification.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Are you suggesting all conference championships prior to the SEC adopting the division and CCG model were jokes?

          • Read The D says:

            @ccrider55 – Should have said rules for determining conference champions. Right now you can only break into divisions with 12 teams and must play a round robin schedule in order to have a championship game. Bowlsby is asking that each conference be allowed to establish it’s own system for determining the conference champion.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Read the D:

            You can break into divisions, pools, quads, thirds, whatever currently. The only thing denied is the 13th game unless a conf is 12 or more, divides, and plays division RR. That’s only 5 conference games required (for 12). Conferences less than 12 can RR as the B12 currently does, close to RR that B1G use to do, play no conf games and flip quarters, cut cards, use rankings or whatever. The only thing denied an under 12 conferences is the 13th game.

          • Read The D says:

            @ccrider:

            What you are saying is correct. However, you can not currently have a championship game unless you have divisions. What I’m saying is Bowlsby is asking for freedom from all NCAA imposed scheduling constraints that determine whether you can have a conference championship game.

            Bowlsby’s not asking for increased regular season games.

            For instance: Let’s say the Big 12 wants to go to 13 teams, play 9 conference games and have up to 3 locked opponents and no divisions. Then, at the end of the season the two teams with the best records play in the conference championship game, they would not be able to do that under current NCAA guidelines.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            @ccrider: Are you suggesting all conference championships prior to the SEC adopting the division and CCG model were jokes?

            What I said is that, aside from having a CCG, there is only one available method that is NOT a joke. Namely, you play some number of regular season games, and the team(s) with the best conference record is/are deemed champion or co-champion, with some sort of tie-breaking method to decide who gets the main bowl bid. (Exactly what tie-breaking method is used is a second-order detail.)

            That method and a CCG are the only ones I’ve heard of in the FBS. Several people on this board have asserted, “The NCAA is not telling you how to pick a champion,” and to back it up, they’ve suggested a bunch of other methods that no one has ever used, or to my knowledge, even considered.

            When there are only two methods in existence, and one is denied, it’s a joke to claim that they still have plenty of other choices.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Read the D:

            I disagree. The extra game was instituted so larger (unweildly) leagues could have a reasonable way to arrive at who was the league champ, through on the field competition. Breaking into divisions, acting like two conference champs entering a playoff, was the remedy that the NCAA granted a 13th game for. Leagues smaller than 12 can reasonably decide a champ on the field, if they choose to. They can arrive at the champ through any way they choose, even dividing and holding a CCG…as long as it is within the 12 games allow. Therefore, Bowlsby is in fact asking for an extra game outside the rules, or asking the rules be changed to allow what was denied the B1G and the PAC when they previously explored the same possibility.
            One RRR a year is quite enough. for me anyway.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Marc:

            So do the CCG as the 12th game! You’d only need 4 games to decide the division champ leaving 7 OOC or inter division or whatever and one for the CCG. There. You Aren’t denied anything (except the extra game) and have room for more OOC than any major conference ever while retaining a semblance of competition deciding who is champ.

          • Read The D says:

            @ccrider55 what Bowlsby is asking for on the surface is a championship game for a conference with less than 12 teams. So that is correct. But the manner in which he is asking would open up all scenarios. He is asking for de-regulation of conference scheduling/championship game criteria, etc. So what he is petitioning for encompasses what you are describing and any other method of determining a champion.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            @ccrider55: That’s a joke. If you were a conference commissioner and suggested that to the people who pay your salary, you’d be laughed out of the room, assuming they didn’t fire you first. If it’s not an option that any sane people would choose, then it’s no option at all.

            We may disagree about what is sane, but I’m pretty sure no conference anywhere has done as you suggest — certainly none in FBS — so the burden is squarely on you.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Marc:

            Then Bowlsby shouldn’t have taken the job. Telling the presidents what they already know, and are the rules they have worked under for decades is a firing offense? This is why the PAC is really lucky they didn’t get stuck with UT in a P16. The level of entitlement expressed would make even a fanatic SC Trojan blush.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            @ccrider55: NCAA rules change constantly. Some rule or other changes every year. Usually lots of them. There is nothing wrong with saying, “Here’s a rule we think ought to change.” It happens all the time. The fact that it has been done that way for decades is seldom an obstacle, if enough people think it ought to be done. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have approved the 4-team playoff that they just instituted — a playoff, by the way, that some of the sport’s most powerful people once said they would never agree to under any possible circumstances.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Read the D:

            I may be wrong but the primary difference (other than the minimum conference size) is removing the full RR requirement. As I said earlier that might be something that needs revisiting for conferences of perhaps 16 or greater. No logical or competitive reason to change until the full divisional RR requirement almost fills the schedule.
            These are considerations taken into account when weighing the pros and cons of expanding. Remove all restriction and the B1G could grow to 24 or 36 (or whatever) and have a beauty contest to select CCG participants (BCS revisited). Meanwhile UT and OU can jettison several conference mates and would stil be able tol hold a CCG…

          • ccrider55 says:

            Marc:

            And there is nothing wrong with saying lets not expand a rule that no one ever intended or expected D1 football to take advantage of.

          • Mack says:

            Using the logic that it was never intended for D1 an argument can be made to get rid of all CCGs. That is not going to happen.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Mack:

            No. Because we have a rule that perhaps we’d have liked to not apply to D1, but we know we now can’t remove, it doesn’t follow that we will now expand it.

            Perhaps without a significant financial incentive to get to 12 and a CCG much of the conference “Armageddon” movement wouldn’t have occurred, or at least much more slowly.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            . . . . there is nothing wrong with saying lets not expand a rule that no one ever intended or expected D1 football to take advantage of. . . .

            What’s wrong with it, is that it’s not a substantive argument. When I was in college, there were 11 regular-season games, no CCG, and obviously no playoffs. Not many years before that, there were 10 regular-season games, and before that, nine. Every time the rules changed, it was a deviation towards something that was not previously “intended or expected.” So, if you say, “We didn’t intend that.” Well, duh! By that argument, nobody would ever change anything.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Marc:

            Then ask for the regular season to go to 13. Just don’t be surprised when a 14th is allowed for conferences of 12 or more to do division RR and hold a CCG in it.
            Why is it so difficult to understand that a larger conference is going to have a harder time deciding a champ than a smaller one. A one game playoff provides on field result in cases where multiple teams won’t meet in the regular season.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            Then ask for the regular season to go to 13.

            Given the history of college football, I wouldn’t be surprised if it happens sooner or later. That’s not the subject under discussion, however. Bowlsby’s asking for a rule he might use, rather than some other rule that he has no desire or intention of implementing.

            Now, here is what I believe college presidents will say: If we tell Bowlsby that he needs to have 12 teams to stage a CCG, then he’s gonna go out and get two more. That means, he’s probably going to poach the ACC, who will in turn poach the Big East, who will in turn poach C-USA or the Sun Belt, and so on. Those conferences would rather not get poached. Since Bowlsby’s gonna get his 13th game (if he wants it), one way or another, they might as well let him have it HIS way. There clearly is no philosophical objection to that game, only a somewhat arbitrary rule (which could easily be changed) as to which conferences can play it, and which ones can’t.

            On top of that, other conferences might realize that Bowlsby’s idea could help them too. We’ve seen ample evidence, from the discussion here, that when you get to 16, 18, 20 teams, it’s hard to agree on satisfactory static divisions (or pods). So those conferences will realize that, even at their (anticipated) larger sizes, they might very well want to take advantage of Bowlsby’s proposed rule.

            By the same token, it is hard to name any conference that would be harmed by it, because it would simply be an option that they are free to disregard if they do not find it useful. So, for all those reasons, I think Bowlsby stands a good chance of getting his rule adopted.

            On top of that, all the objections I’ve seen are pretty weak (e.g., “we never intended that,” or “it’s been the same way for 20 years,” or “no one’s telling him how to choose a champion”). If that’s the best anyone’s got, then it’ll probably be clear sailing for Bowlsby.

            Why is it so difficult to understand that a larger conference is going to have a harder time deciding a champ than a smaller one.

            Did anyone ever say they didn’t understand that? Nevertheless, all options are flawed. Most conferences with 10 teams did not always, historically, play a full round-robin; and if you do, there’s still the case of “A beats B, who beats C, who beats A,” all of whom tie for the title. The Big XII had that in its south division alone. It’s not as if a CCG solves all your problems in a 12-team league, or that there are no such problems with 10. It’s a difference of degree, not kind.

          • Mike says:

            @Marc –

            Now, here is what I believe college presidents will say: If we tell Bowlsby that he needs to have 12 teams to stage a CCG, then he’s gonna go out and get two more. That means, he’s probably going to poach the ACC, who will in turn poach the Big East, who will in turn poach C-USA or the Sun Belt, and so on. Those conferences would rather not get poached.

            There’s one problem with that logic. The ACC is supporting the proposal.

            http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/blog/dennis-dodd/21620974/acc/big-12-alliance-makes-sense-to-stiff-arm-conference-realigment

            If the Big 12 wanted to stage a conference championship game, it could probably do it tomorrow. Bowlsby’s idea to get rid of the NCAA’s 12-team conference minimum for such a game has support from the ACC — and probably every other conference. It is noncontroversial.

          • Mike says:

            @Marc – Ignore my post, I misread your comments.

          • ccrider55 says:

            All bow down to Bevo!

            Look. no rules have changed to prevent ACC, BE, ACC again, BE again, SEC, B1G, PAC, B12, B1G again, expanding. All of which set off chain reactions. Why would this be different? Have you considered that many lay waiting in anticipation of the resultant ripples?

          • greg says:

            “The ACC is supporting the proposal”

            Do not read anything Dennis Dodd writes as fact.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            @ccrider55: Conferences expand for a variety of reasons. I can’t recall a situation where a set of schools prosed a rule change, where a “no” vote was tantamount to saying, “If you want that, you have to expand.”

            Many school presidents say they lament the current expansion boom. Although most conferences have expanded, many of the moves have been defensive, i.e., after they’d already been poached, or were under threat of same. Even the Big Ten’s two most recent additions were publicly acknowledged to be partly defensive.

            So if presented with a change that makes poaching a shade less likely, I think the presidents will vote yes, unless they have better reasons for voting no. And as I noted, even the predatory conferences (the Big Ten, the SEC) would likely see this rule as beneficial to their future interests, too.

          • greg says:

            “That means, he’s probably going to poach the ACC, who will in turn poach the Big East, who will in turn poach C-USA or the Sun Belt, and so on. Those conferences would rather not get poached.”

            Actually, the individual schools in those conferences are all hoping to advance up the ladder in the realignment game, so their best interests are probably to encourage expansion.