Revenge of the Ballers: Why Football Isn’t Everything in Conference Realignment

Posted: March 4, 2013 in Big East, Big Ten, College Basketball, College Football, Sports
Tags: , , , ,

Back in 2010 and 2011 when the Big 12 was under siege by the then-Pac-10, Big Ten and SEC and appeared to be on the verge of collapse, basketball blue blood Kansas was looking like it could left out of the power conference structure. Circumstances were so dire at that point that Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State and other Big 12 schools without any realistic prospects of moving to another power league actually approached the Big East to join if the worst case scenario came to fruition. It was a scary thought to a lot of fans: if Kansas could be left behind, then football is truly all that matters and basketball must have virtually no value in conference realignment. The 10 points (out of a total of 100) that I assigned to “Basketball Brand Value” in the original Big Ten Expansion Index was looking like a massive overweighting of hoops back then.

To the extent that it was already clear, the maxim was set in stone: “Football is everything in conference realignment.” Discussions about basketball value went by the wayside over the past couple of years as conference realignment discussions focused intensely upon how to maximize football dollars. Now, to be sure, much of this made (and still makes) sense for the power conferences. First tier TV contracts for college football dwarf those for college basketball while the top conferences (via the bowl system) are able to funnel postseason football money directly to their own coffers instead of having to deal with the NCAA for basketball postseason dollars.

However, any hard and fast rule is bound to be broken. As the Big East started suffering from a disintegration over the past 18 months that was originally prescribed for the Big 12, the seven non-football playing Catholic members of that league decided to break off and form a basketball-focused conference. There was quite a bit of skepticism that this could be financially viable considering that the Atlantic 10 signed a new deal worth only $350,000 per school per year (compared to the $1.3 million per year that each of the Big East schools were receiving for basketball under the current ESPN contract that’s about to expire). The perception was that football was propping the “Catholic 7″ up and they would be taking a substantial haircut by splitting off from the gridiron portion of the conference.

Then, the TV offers came in. The Catholic 7 received an offer from Fox worth $3 million to $4 million per school per year just for men’s basketball, while the remnants of the Big East will be getting about $2 million per school per year for both football and basketball. Think about it this way: Cincinnati, which has been to 2 BCS bowls and was seconds away from making it to the football national championship game in 2009, is going to end up making 50% to 100% less TV money for football and basketball than crosstown rival Xavier will be making from basketball alone (assuming all of the reports are correct that Xavier will be joining the Catholic 7)… and Xavier is going to end up being in the conference named “The Big East”, too.

If the Big East/Catholic 7 TV contract situation hasn’t changed how you view conference realignment overall, it should. This should be a glaring warning signal any conference that is not named the Big Ten, SEC, Pac-12, Big 12 or ACC: football in and of itself isn’t going to get leagues paid and they better start paying attention to basketball if they want to maximize revenue. For instance, if I was running UConn, Cincinnati, Memphis and/or Temple, I would start questioning what the point is of having massive capital expenditures and operating expenses for football when nearby schools are getting paid more than my athletic department based on perceived basketball prowess. Now, schools like UConn or Cincinnati are still be positioning themselves to get into the ACC or Big 12, so they obviously can’t downshift in football, but maybe they would be better off creating a public university version of the Catholic 7. For instance, take UConn, Cincinnati, Memphis and Temple as a base and then add on UMass, Old Dominion and Charlotte as all-sports schools and Virginia Commonwealth (VCU) and Wichita State (and maybe a couple of other public schools like Rhode Island) as basketball members. Navy might actually prefer to be a football-only member in that type of league compared to the Big East as currently configured, as well. That’s just throwing a list of schools against the wall, but what’s clear to me is that very high basketball value of UConn, Cincinnati, Memphis and Temple is getting severely diluted by the rest of the “new” Big East that won’t be called the Big East anymore. (For the purposes of this post, I’ll define the Big East football schools left behind as the “Big X”.) UConn getting a fraction of what Providence is receiving in terms of TV money ought to be unacceptable to the people in Storrs (even if the Huskies’ long-term plan is to get into the ACC at all costs), so it’s time to start rethinking the conventional wisdom of the role football plays in conference realignment.

What we have seen over the past 3 years is a lot of moves on paper, but the overall effect being more of the same. The power club when the BCS system was created in 1998 consisted of 6 conferences and 63 schools (including independent Notre Dame). 15 years later, the power club now has 5 conferences and 65 schools, with 3 schools moving up (Louisville, TCU and Utah) and 1 school moving down (Temple, who was kicked out of the power structure due to performance as opposed to anything related to realignment). That is a net change of 2 schools over the course of 15 years. Essentially, every single school that isn’t already in a power conference is praying for a winning lottery ticket with their respective football programs with those odds. As any financial adviser could tell you, though, pinning your dreams on winning the lottery isn’t a viable investment plan. When the Big East became too filled with “riff raff”, the entire league got kicked out of the power club instead of being integrated. It’s clear that the power club doesn’t want to get much larger (if at all), so everyone outside of that top tier needs to start looking at other ways to maximize revenue.

While basketball is much less of a concern to the power conferences at face value, consider which school is the top target for both the Big Ten and SEC (the 2 richest and most powerful conferences): North Carolina. It certainly isn’t due to UNC’s prowess at football or avoiding academic fraud. To the contrary, UNC is a basketball blue blood, and more importantly, Tar Heels basketball games are so critically important in the state of the North Carolina that a conference TV network carrying such games can effectively charge whatever carriage rate that it wants in that market. Think of the Big Ten’s addition of Maryland, as well. Fan enthusiasm for Terps football has been tepid lately, but part of what the conference is banking on is that there is a critical mass of interest in Maryland basketball where it can get the Big Ten Network basic carriage in the Washington, DC and Baltimore markets.

For conferences that don’t have their own TV networks, then the main way to monetize expansion is through first tier football TV contracts. In contrast, the “market” model of conference TV networks means that basketball needs to be taken into account more. (See the BTN garnering its highest-ever rated month in prime time in January based on the strength of the hoops league this year.) At the same time, the number of strong football brand names that are willing to move is pretty low right now. In 2010, everyone in the old Big 12 that had Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Colorado and Texas A&M, everyone in the Big East that had Pitt, West Virginia, Syracuse and Louisville, and the ultimate hammer of Notre Dame was conceivably on the table. Now, the biggest football brand name that seems to be possibly available is Florida State, but there’s a feeling that they’re just rattling sabres about their supposed dissatisfaction with the ACC (where they’d be happy to move to the Big Ten or SEC, but don’t dislike the ACC enough to go to the Big 12). As a result, it simply might not be realistic (or possible) for conferences that are in acquisition mode to add much football prowess even if that’s their top priority. Thus, those leagues have to look to other factors such as monetizing basketball, which is very much possible (if not completely necessary) under the conference network model. Football might bring in the largest audiences for conference networks, but basketball is what keeps the lights on and provides enough content to justify basic carriage.

Make no mistake about it: all things being equal, of course conferences would want top football programs over top basketball programs. There’s nothing that generates more revenue than a power football school. However, what people need to start questioning is the misguided logic that any football program is more valuable than any basketball program. The Catholic 7 has shown that this isn’t the case at all. Athletic departments across the country need to take note in trying to figure out how they want to position themselves in the new college sports landscape.

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

(Image from AP)

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  1. kylepeter says:


    • Nathan says:

      Addy addy add add. Go “Shagging Worms!”

    • SEC Expansion Screw-Up says:

      The Catholic 7 will eventually invite Butler, Creighton & Xavier will get the first invites and after their first season while Fox will want more inventory then the Big East will invite Saint Louis & the push will get Richmond in thanks to Butler so Butler isn’t the only non-catholic private university in the league while adding a nice market as well with a good b-ball program. Funny thing is, I suspect that UMass will get an “America 12″ invite soon then the Atlantic-10 will invite George Mason and keep the league at 10 so they split a much bigger pot for themselves and the CAA will invite Davidson after that. It’s good that basketball is getting their expansion and realignment tightly knit together while the football conferences are royally fucking up every chance they have.

  2. Pat says:

    Go Blue!

  3. Mick says:

    I wonder why I read this sometimes,seems like a waste of 5 mins reading this

  4. 12-Team Playoffs Now says:

    NFL let’s a chick kick at the combine. Chick then kicks like a chick:

  5. Blapples says:

    I’m sure Cincinnati and UConn will eventually get a life raft thrown their way to get away from the Big X,, but it has to suck for the next couple of years after seeing the Catholic 7 get this deal on hoops value alone.

    • acaffrey says:

      These three schools (with USF) get to keep the lion’s share of the exit fees. If they get scooped up soon enough, they will get a windfall PLUS a safe landing spot.

    • cfn_ms says:

      I’m not sure why you’d assume those two would eventually get a life raft thrown their way. I’d think further consolidation and elimination (whether it be Baylor, ISU etc. from Big 12 or Wake, BC etc. from ACC) is as or more likely among the “big boys” than additional schools joining the club. I guess I could see UConn and/or Cincy getting an invite to a watered down ACC, but I have a fairly hard time seeing a better fate for those two than that.

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        I’d think further consolidation and elimination (whether it be Baylor, ISU etc. from Big 12 or Wake, BC etc. from ACC) is as or more likely among the “big boys” than additional schools joining the club.

        Only one school in recent history (since the demise of the SWC) has ever been expelled from the club: Temple.(*) But that was not merely because it was terrible at football, but also because it had such poor attendance at its home games. I haven’t seen any indication that the leagues want to expel the likes of Baylor and ISU. They need the inventory, and not every game can be Texas vs. Oklahoma.

        I guess I could see UConn and/or Cincy getting an invite to a watered down ACC, but I have a fairly hard time seeing a better fate for those two than that.

        I assume the watered-down ACC is the life raft that he meant.

        • cfn_ms says:

          Actually the leagues don’t need the inventory. The networks arguably want inventory, but as it is plenty of high- to medium-profile games end up going head to head against each other every Saturday. Being able to better sift out games that matter from the ones that don’t (or having fewer Texas vs ISU and Oklahoma vs Baylor and more ISU vs Baylor and Texas vs Oklahoma type games) has value in terms of public interest and fandom.

          It’s a somewhat fair point about only Temple being directly expelled from the club in recent history. OTOH, a number of schools were essentially expelled from the club when the SWC died. And the Big East is basically a tale of a number of schools getting promoted and then some of them (USF, UConn, Cincy) subsequently getting left behind again.

          So I’d agree with you that no league will throw out weaker members. But we have seen before and very possibly will see again leagues fold or drop down to a lower status level, dragging down a number of their members along with them. That’s part of the point of the speculation about the ACC’s demise; not everyone would get a life raft.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            I think you’re missing a few points. The kings can’t (and won’t) play only top- and mid-tier teams. They need some easy wins on their schedule. That’s why no one ever so much as suggested kicking Minnesota out of the Big Ten, Washington State out of the Pac-12, or Iowa State out of either of its predecessor leagues (Big 8 or Big XII). The only discussion in the Big XII right now is whether to grow, not whether to kick out Iowa State and upgrade. From the league’s perspective, the Iowa State games are more valuable than losing both the school and the market. I do agree that if a league folds or disintegrates, its less valuable members might wind up in a worse home, as happened with the SWC and is happening now with the old Big East.

          • cfn_ms says:

            Yes and no. In the current environment they need easy wins. But in a future environment there’s much less indication that this need continue. The biggest reason programs “need” a bunch of easy wins is that bowl eligibility requires six wins (which is completely arbitrary) and the national rankings tend to be biased towards W/L records and away from schedule strength (which usually functions more or less as a tie-breaker among AQ teams with the same W/L records). Also, the finances these days (gate + TV value) seem to still favor two bodybag home games compared to a strong home and home.

            It’s fairly tough to see the first reason falling away barring an exodus from the NCAA, but the second (which among kings matters more than the first, since they’re competing for titles not the Belk Bowl) could absolutely change given a committee that places a conscious emphasis on schedule strength. And the third is less of a driver every year, as TV revenue becomes more and more important, while home attendance at MANY places, especially for bodybag games, becomes more and more under pressure.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            @cfn_ms: I think you’re mistaken in a couple of respects. The new playoff selects four, rather than two, teams to compete for the national championship. That’s not a huge difference. Every other team is still doing as it did before; competing for position in regular bowl games.

            As for strength of schedule, I am VERY skeptical that it will matter to anywhere near the extent you’re suggesting. To give but one example of the problem: last year, both of the major human polls ranked Notre Dame second after they got whacked by Alabama, but the Sagarin computer poll had them fifth. Humans were much more impressed with the gaudy 12-1 record, and ignored Notre Dame’s multiple ugly wins against mediocre opposition. I’ll believe humans are going to start properly weighing schedule strength and quality of wins, when I see it.

          • cfn_ms says:

            @Marc: Did I say that the playoff was 2 teams? Not sure where that came from. I agree to a degree with the skepticism that the committee will truly value schedule strength as much as they should, but I also expect they’ll at least value it more than we see today, especially from the human polls. I also really do think that the economics are shifting, and that this trend is likely to continue for a while.

            I think that’s a big part of why leagues are discussing 9 game schedules and/or scheduling arrangements; we’re near or past the point where someone like Purdue can probably make more from an extra B1G game per year (even though 50% will be on the road) than they can from an extra bodybag every year, and I’d guess that within the next decade or so (especially if attendance for bodybag games keeps declining)

            Also, clearly no one in the Big 12 is discussing tossing Iowa St per se. But that would essentially be the effect of the league splitting up, just as the formation of the Mountain West tossed out everyone left in the WAC, or the split of the Southwest Conference left behind Rice, TCU etc. , just as the breakup of the Big East is leaving behind UConn, Cincy, USF and everyone who had joined in.

            It’s a weird aspect of realignment that it’s much easier for a team or group of teams to dump a bunch of schools at a time (by leaving the league themselves, which happens fairly often) than it is to get rid of just one or two (which to date has ONLY happened to Temple among AQ leagues).

          • boscatar says:

            A good case study of how the system is biased towards win-loss records is the case of #8 Kansas and #6 Missouri in 2008. #6 Missouri beat #8 Kansas, but lost to #4 OKlahoma for the second time in the Big 12 championship game. However, #6 Missouri got snubbed by the BCS over #8 Kansas because Kansas was 11-1. Forget the fact that Kansas avoided both #4 Oklahoma and Texas in the Big 12 and had a horrid out-of-conference schedule, the BCS expressly stated that it took Kansas over Missouri because the Jayhawks only had one-loss (albeit to Missouri).

          • Mike says:

            @boscatar – Although W/L record was a factor, it was down on the list for the reasons to send Kansas to the OB.

      • David Brown says:

        I would not lump Baylor with those Schools (Maybe Washington State belongs there). Remember they won the Women’s Basketball Championship, had RG III, and are getting a new on-campus Stadium.
        What is great about the B10, is Schools do not have to worry about being thrown out of the Conference (Even if they are not very competitive (Such as Purdue or Minnesota), not a member of the AAU (Nebraska), or have the Sandusky incident and long sanctions hovering over it (Gut feeling is the NCAA will not lessen the penalties (I hope I am wrong)). I think there will be room for Cincinnati, Connecticut and USF somewhere. I actually think because of location, the Bulls may have the most value to a Conference going forward. I

        • cfn_ms says:

          Baylor is a relatively small church school that has a relatively small fanbase, in a relatively small market (Waco), with a below avearge (for an AQ) academic reputation ( see ), they were absolutely atrocious for most of the history of the Big 12 in football, and they lack anything particularly meaningful that would offset those disadvantages (no one cares about winning women’s basketball championships; UConn has won lord knows how many women’s titles and they’ve been voted off the island with little chance of getting back on).

          There’s a reason that no one from any other power league wants Baylor, and why the Pac-10 was so clear about having zero interest in bringing them along back in 2010 (yes, not liking church schools is part of it, but it wasn’t all of it).

          I’d say Baylor very much lumps in with Wazzu, Iowa St, Wake Forest etc. in the realignment game. They’ve basically been grandfathered into a power league, and if said league ever dies or loses its status as a power league, there’s basically no reason to think they’d have a reasonable shot at staying as a “have.”

          • ccrider55 says:

            While basically true, Wazzu, ISU, WF are feeling a bit demeaned by the association.

          • bullet says:

            Baylor hasn’t done well in the B12 in bb or fb until recently, but they have normally been in the top half of the conference overall. Conferences do want schools that take non-revs seriously. Not a primary factor, but still something that is looked at. Baylor finished 25th in the Director’s cup last year.

          • David Brown says:

            I think the New Stadium sets Baylor apart from Washington State, Boston College, Wake Forest, Boston College (Hockey excluded) and the rest. I remember how bad things were for the Bears, but things are changing in Waco (Thank you RG III). Are they better than Texas & Oklahoma? No but better than SMU, Houston, and possibly will be on par with TCU and Texas Tech.

          • cfn_ms says:

            @bullet: Baylor had about a 15-year period where they were a consistent train wreck in football. I’d say that’s a pretty clear establishment of “normal.” Even in the Southwest Conference they were basically mid-tier, and half of those programs got dumped back down to mid-major level when the league folded. I don’t see any meaningful evidence they’re suddenly middle class in an AQ type league.

            Now, if you specifically mean non-rev sports, you might be right for all I know, but even then it’s basically irrelevant. Unless they’re a consistent national elite in non-rev sports (and “top half of the conference” and 25th in Directors Cup last year as the arguments says otherwise), that just doesn’t matter. And even if they were elite in most non-rev sports, there’s basically no way for a league to monetize that sort of thing. Even the Pac-12, which basically kills in non-rev sports, hasn’t figured out how to do it (though MAYBE the Pac-12 Networks will end up doing something with it). Succeeding in non-rev is basically worth an attaboy, not really much more than that. Or at least there’s little evidence saying otherwise.

            @David Brown: A new football stadium also doesn’t really matter in terms of worth to other league members. Neither does being better than SMU and Houston (and those aren’t necessarily slam-dunk big gaps either). I do agree that the dark ages seem to be over, but IIRC their 6-3 league record in 2011 was the ONLY time they’ve ever been above .500 in Big 12 play. Especially with RG3 gone, they look like a generally lower division team, though at least they’re not Kansas.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            @cfn_ms: I am not sure where you’re going with this. Every league has mid- and bottom-tier schools. In the SEC, 80 out of the 83 football championships have been won by just seven schools. Over 70 percent of the championships have been won by just four schools. Three SEC schools (Kentucky, Vanderbilt, and Mississippi State) are all-time sub-.500 teams, and South Carolina is only barely above that. No one has suggested kicking these schools to the curb.

          • cfn_ms says:

            The SEC isn’t, never really has been, and isn’t perceived to ever be in any real danger of folding or getting raided. The Big 12, on the other hand, has been in such danger (and has been raided 3 different times over the last couple years). So the status of its various teams is more relevant than whoever is bringing up the rear in the B1G or SEC. The two power leagues in most apparent danger of getting hurt in the next decade or so are the Big 12 and ACC, so a discussion of those two leagues’ weaker elements seems fairly relevant, as those are the programs most likely to lose power conference status going forward if indeed anyone will (and “no one will” is certainly also possible).

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            @cfn_ms: I’m still trying to get your drift. The Big XII just signed a 13-year TV deal that is better than the Pac-12′s deal. Anything is theoretically possible, but that league would not seem to be in any danger of crumbling in the next 10 years. It will more likely gain schools than lose them. As for the ACC, practically everyone agrees that in the worst scenario, their leftovers and the better half of the Big X would merge, probably keeping the ACC name, and forming a conference that resembles the late-90s Big East without the basketball-only schools. I don’t think anyone has suggested that both leagues would die, so I don’t see where the danger to Iowa State and Baylor is supposedly coming from. I do get that you apparently don’t like Baylor.

          • ccrider55 says:

            How is the B12 contract better than the P12′s? P12 equal or greater pay, one less year, withheld 1/3 of FB inventory, creates P12N, which through priority selection process is a jr. tier 1 partner, not like a whatever is left over tier 3 system.

            Point is B12 seems like a group held together by a GOR and a contract, FtT’s golden handcuffs. Perhaps it’s enough, but it leaves the impression as still unstable, just perhaps not in immediate danger.

          • cfn_ms says:

            I tend to agree w/ ccrider55′s assessment. Also, FWIW, I enjoy debating, so the back and forth is entertaining.

          • bullet says:

            Anyone saying the Big 12 is in any danger in the next 10 years is stuck in a time warp. They have a GOR. Their average payout in 2014 (pending SEC ever getting their deal done) is better than any other conference (playoff money is divided 10 ways, not 12 or 14). The schools, despite FtT’s comments, really do want to be in the Big 12. It makes sense. Maryland didn’t say they wanted to be in the B1G. They said they wanted $100 million extra.

            Baylor has been (if I’m remembering correctly) a game away from the final 4 in men’s basketball the last 2 years. They made some mistakes (bad hires, questionable recruits academically and otherwise) in the mid-90s and are just now getting out of them. They had 3 SWC fb championships once they won in 1974. That’s one less than Arkansas (with Frank Broyles, Lou Holtz and Ken Hatfield) or Houston and ahead of everyone else but Texas and Texas A&M. They were mid-pack, but they were competitive.

          • Mike says:

            Baylor is the Milhouse Van Houten of the Big 12.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            The Big XII is marginally weaker than the Pac-12, in that it has lost schools, and several others have at least entertained the idea of leaving, even if they never carried it out. But with the contracts in place, it is hard to see the Big XII being in any danger whatsoever, at least for the life of their TV deal. The only Big XII school that might prefer another conference, if it had the chance, is Kansas. But even if they lost Kansas, that’s the only one I could see them losing, because their TV deal is so good, and they only have to split it 10 ways. It’s more likely that the Big XII would grow (by taking ACC schools) than shrink.

          • Blapples says:

            “The only Big XII school that might prefer another conference, if it had the chance, is Kansas.”

            Oklahoma and Oklahoma State were denied entry to the PAC 12 a couple years back.

            West Virginia would definitely prefer to be in the SEC, but they don’t want them.

            Texas likes being Texas, but they would have an invite to any league it wanted as soon as it made up its mind.

            So that totals 4 or 5 out of 10 schools who would jump ship just as soon as a better offer came along. The only schools who “like” being in the Big 12 under Texas’ thumb are those schools who know that the Big 12 is their ceiling. I.e. Baylor, TCU, Iowa State, etc.

            Contrast that to the ACC schools who like being in the ACC, but they just hate their contract/TV deal.

          • Blapples says:

            @Mike. I read that as Nelson Van Alden from Boardwalk Empire which had me laughing pretty hard.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            @Blapples: I think KU is the only school NOW that might covet another conference. Even that, we don’t even know for sure, but at least it’s a plausible hypothesis. I don’t think any of the others NOW are wishing they were somewhere else. In fact, they’re looking at their TV deal, and saying: “Look how great we have it.”

          • frug says:


            Given the choice every Big XII school besides Texas and Oklahoma would accept an invitation to the Big Ten or the SEC and all but WVU would take a PAC invite. Not only would the pay be better for all those schools (none but Kansas can command the sort of Tier 3 contract that would outweigh a share of the BTN, PTN or SECN), but (more importantly) it would be the only way they guarantee themselves a permanent seat at the Big Boys table (which is every schools top priority).

            This isn’t to say they are unhappy in the Big XII, it just everyone’s third or fourth choice.

          • Mike says:

            @Frank – this was what I was thinking.


        • Joe says:

          Having a nice stadium won’t save anyone from being left behind in the conference shuffle. It didn’t save Rice who had a 70,000 person stadium on campus that was nice enough to host the 1974 super bowl. Politicians saved Baylor last time, but if I don’t think they’ll be able to if it happens again.

  6. danallen2 says:

    Syracuse, UConn, Louisville, Cincy, Pitt, ND, G’town, Marquette, Villanova, etc. were all worth $1.3m each to ESPN so it’s no surprise that UConn, Memphis, Cincy + he rest are worth less. On the other hand, if the post is right that, Syracuse, UConn, Pitt, Ville and all the Catholics are worth $1.3m each, let’s just Fox is out of its mind.

    • zeek says:

      This is a different world than 2-3 years ago.

      2-3 years ago, there was just ESPN/ESPN2.

      Now there’s also NBC Sports Network, and Fox Sports 1/Fox Sports 2 will be launched later this year. All these cable networks need content. College basketball is a great way to fill up time from December to March when there’s no football on (after college football regular season ends).

      Timing is always a central issue to conference pay deals. Look at the ACC rushing to get a deal only to get what looks like an undervalued deal just a few years later.

      • bullet says:

        There’s a lesson for the Big 5 as well. In the extension of the BE bb contract, the C7 + Big X is only worth $10 million including football. The C7 + Butler & Xavier w/o the Big X is worth $30-$40 million. Not just addition by subtraction, but multiplication.

        Over-expansion sometimes loses money, not just per school. The SEC’s TV ratings dropped this year despite 6 ranked teams in the top dozen because they hardly played each other.

        • C. Toda says:

          How else can they get 6 teams ranked?They have to play cupcakes in and out of the SEC.

        • zeek says:

          Yeah, that’s something that the Big Ten and SEC have to look at very hard if they want to go to 16 or more schools.

          If Alabama and Georgia are playing other big names less, that’s not a good thing for the TV contract.

          Yes, you get more overall inventory, but you might be reducing its aggregate value.

        • @bullet – Excellent point. Even with a vehicle like the Big Ten Network, over-expansion eventually dilutes value. Look at the NHL in the Sun Belt or Krispy Kreme going into too many markets.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Disagree, regarding with a BTN type of network. We aren’t trying to sell a limited number og games to ESPN. BTN currently showing indoor track dual meets, a few baseball games (and fewer with a quality team involved), way to many talking head shows, etc. Adding schools would be like adding some ACC baseball, basketball, other, conference and inter conference games to the current shelf space, and getting paid to do so.

          • FranktheAg says:

            Wait – that was a horrible point. The overall ratings for TV went down and that included CFB. However, while the SEC trended down with the industry, the dominated ratings in college football. So ratings were UP compared to their competition and the value of the programming is now worth more. Just a completely incorrect position by bullet and I’m stunned Frank agreed with it.

        • metatron says:

          I’ve been saying this for over a year now.

          Why else do you all think I am loathe to admit any more ACC schools into the Big Ten?

        • m (Ag) says:

          The SEC CBS ratings dropped partly because the previous years’ ratings were so high with 2 primetime games, and also because of what they gave up to get that 2nd prime time game.

          They had to pick behind ESPN two weeks last year because of that deal. The week of October 13 was one of those weeks; they had to bypass the #9 LSU vs. #3 South Carolina game, and instead took the Mizzou/Alabama game. Mizzou played Alabama like a Big Ten team and got blown out before lightning delays damaged the ratings even more.

          The fact that CBS had to pick its primetime doubleheader week the year before also hurt. If it had been able to pick its primetime doubleheader during season the correct choice would probably have been October 6, when they could have aired #4 LSU vs. #10 Florida in the afternoon and #5 Georgia vs. #6 South Carolina in the evening (or vice versa). The LSU/Alabama game they did air at night got great ratings, but their afternoon game that week was Georgia/Ole Miss, which didn’t do great itself.

          CBS’s decision to get bigger ratings 2 years ago lead them to miss out on some of the biggest SEC games the following year.

          • Andy says:

            To be fair Bama blew out almost everyone, and Mizzou actually did better againt Alabama than Notre Dame did in the title game.

          • C. Toda says:

            Why the bad mouth about the big. Mizzou is not part of the big 10, if anything they would play like someone from the Big 12 or one of the SEC cupcakes .

        • Mack says:

          The $10M for 2013 was basketball only; still $10M for the C7 + Little East vs. $30M for C7+3 is a huge difference in how ESPN and Fox value the C7.

          • BruceMcF says:

            Yes, because ESPN a surplus of content, and Fox Sports needed content.

            Reminds me of when the Japanese anime industry got a windfall earlier in cable channel expansion, because with new titles that had been launching four times a year, dubbing the best of their back catalog made it easy to get big slices of new content. Then those same cable companies started commissioning their own animation, which they owned, and the cable anime bubble burst.

  7. [...] the Tank has a new article up on the Catholic 7′s new television deal showing that basketball has more value in expansion than previously thought.  The Confidential does not disagree.  However, with Fox [...]

  8. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    This one’s for you, Clay.

    GEAUX Tigers!

  9. bullet says:

    If you go back 20 years, only Louisville and Utah have been added to the club, while SMU, Rice and UH join Temple in getting left behind.

    Its notable that Louisville and Utah were known as basketball schools.

    • bullet says:

      To some extent, with the expanded number of games, the Big 5 have crowded out the rest. The other conference’s games are competing against 3 or 4 of the Big 5 games except on weeknights and except for Hawaii and their midnight eastern games.

    • BruceMcF says:

      And of those four left behind, three get one last crack at AQ status next year. Only Rice misses out the chance to make one last attempt at the brass ring.

      The Universe, it seems, has something against Rice.

  10. Could you see the Big 10 and the Catholic Seven Big east forming a scheduling alliance? That could bring big basketball ratings for fox and the big ten network? think Indiana butler Georgetown Maryland Wisconsin Marquette Rutgers St. John’s

    • @Jeffrey Juergens – Assuming that the Big Ten doesn’t destroy the ACC, I definitely think that ACC-Big Ten Challenge will continue. It’s really the standard bearer for all of these non-conference scheduling events and ESPN does a great job with it.

      • Richard says:

        If the B10 does destroy the ACC, prepare to see a B10-SEC bball challenge. The PAC, B12, ACC, and BE will be paired up against each other somehow. Probably the 2 eastern conferences playing the 2 western conferences.

      • That assumes that the ACC doesn’t end the challenge out of anger towards the Big Ten. I think there are some very ruffled feathers on Tobacco Road about the whole swiping a charter member without warning thing. I assume that would only get worse if another change occurs. The ACC if it survives would still be able to partner with anyone.

        And in any case, why can’t both leagues schedule with the big ten and have two challenges. That would only be two games, guaranteeing most big ten teams at least one challenge game a year. Obviously this is just pure speculation, but it would make sense. The real beneficiary would be fox, who has the rights to both the catholic seven and the big ten network.

        • frug says:

          That assumes that the ACC doesn’t end the challenge out of anger towards the Big Ten. I think there are some very ruffled feathers on Tobacco Road about the whole swiping a charter member without warning thing. I assume that would only get worse if another change occurs. The ACC if it survives would still be able to partner with anyone.

          If the Big XII’s decision to partner with the SEC in the Sugar Bowl has taught us anything it’s that hurt feelings isn’t a problem that can’t be solved with money.

          • Cliff says:

            Also, does the ACC wants to go to war with the Big Ten regarding Bowl Game schedules? Especially after Jim Delaney helped the ACC by politicking for Va Tech to get the Sugar Bowl bid against Michigan a few years ago (over Boise State).

          • Cliff says:


            Also, my suspicion is that The Big Ten will be extending their conference basketball schedules when Maryland and Rutgers join. The Big Ten schools would prefer to drop a few cupcakes instead of dropping another couple of conference opponents. They want to keep Indiana and Ohio State and Michigan State visiting as much as possible. If that happens, it’s going to be that much harder to schedule another Challenge series.

      • cfn_ms says:

        That doesn’t really preclude the idea of a B1G vs C7 (or soon to be C10 or so) alliance, though. For a number of reasons (primarily relating to TV) I think that, especially for sports other than football, formalized league to league scheduling agreements (at least among leagues that see themselves as peers or reasonably close to such) tend to be beneficial.

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          I am not sure there is room on the B1G schedule for a scheduling alliance with two different leagues. The B1G schools still need to have room for games under the schools’ control, e.g., in-state rivalries, or whatever other games they want to play.

          • cfn_ms says:

            There’s obviously not room in football, but I would think there would be room in most other sports. One of the nice things about a formalized agreement is you can create history between programs and then be able to market those games when they come on TV.

    • frug says:

      I don’t see any use for a scheduling alliance (especially from the Big Ten’s side).

      The point of a scheduling alliance is to help spread your brand into other parts of the country, but all the Big East schools sit in markets the Big Ten already controls.

  11. greg says:

    Go Hawks!

  12. Carl says:

    Go Yudichak!

  13. bamatab says:


  14. Brian says:


    Any thoughts of doing an updated version of the expansion index? A lot has changed since the first one. Maybe your formula is different now. Certainly the targets have changed. I think it might be interesting to see how you weight the factors and how you score the schools now.

    Old formula:
    Academics – 25
    TV value – 25
    Football brand value – 30
    Basketball brand value – 10
    Historic rivalries/Cultural fit – 5
    Mutual interest – 5

    New targets:

    Maybe they should be treated as pairs this time since the B10 isn’t looking for #12 any more.

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      Maybe they should be treated as pairs this time since the B10 isn’t looking for #12 any more.

      Another way of asking the question, is: What schools are so valuable that you’d take them as an “odd-numbered” team, even if the “even-numbered” team hadn’t been identified yet? UNC, I think we can all agree, is an odd-numbered team. UConn, assuming they have any shot at all, is probably an even-numbered team. Others are not clear, but could be part of many different pairwise combinations.

      • BruceMcF says:

        I don’t assume that UConn has a shot at all, but yes, if they did, it would only be as an even team.

        ACC odd teams in revenue, without respect to whether they might move: FSU*, UNC, UVA
        ACC even teams: GTech, Duke, Pitt

        FSU is an unusual case in that they might be an even team in terms of academic status, having to make a group of adds that are so appealing academically that the academics allow grudingly decide to not make a fuss over adding an academic fixer-upper.

        Big12 odd teams, without respect to GOR and whether they might move: Texas
        Big12 even teams, without respect to GOR and whether they might move: Kansas

    • Blapples says:

      @Brian I like that idea. I would also add Missouri and Syracuse since they get thrown around a lot. I know Frank has been busy though and that would be quite a bit of work.

      @Marc Odd teams vs even teams is another interesting way to classify the teams.

      • frug says:

        Also Notre Dame. May be a longshot, but they were included last time and they are just as available as they were 3 years ago…

    • wmwolverine says:

      I’d add Syracuse and Missouri to that list along with Pitt.

  15. Craig Z says:

    Go Bucks.

  16. While all of the Big Ten attention has been pointed towards the southeast, I keep thinking that Delany is head-faking us again. I’ve been rattling cages about Missouri…

    …but this post definitely points to the possibility of Kansas. How many games of their 32 bball games might make it on to the BTN? 18? The average Kansan might not care about Charlie Tuna’s football team much…but–like Frank stated about UNC basketball in that state–if ESPN only had a handful of Kansas games but all of the rest were carried by the BTN, would that put them on basic carriage in Kansas (and on a higher tier in Missouri?). Just thinking out loud here… I know GOR, GOR, GOR…

    • zeek says:

      I’d still go on the record as saying that you have to have a route to Texas in order to go back West and get more schools in that direction.

      After going East for Rutgers/Maryland, it still makes more sense to continue in that direction in order to build a legit Midwest-East Coast Conference hybrid.

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      The important thing about Kansas, is that because they’re a “king” in basketball, their games are of interest beyond the local market. I’m not saying the Big Ten wants Kansas…only that their value, whatever it may be, is more than just basic carriage in their home state and neighboring states.

      I know GOR, GOR, GOR…

      The GOR is like any other contract: breakable at some cost. Bear in mind that the GOR doesn’t include Tier 3, doesn’t include road games, and has an exemption for one football and four basketball home games per year. So even before you consider the GOR, you get a lot of inventory.

      Now, if Kansas leaves the Big XII, the damages are not the entire value of its home athletics inventory, but that value minus the value of the school that replaces them in the Big XII. Depending on what school that is, it could actually be a negative number, i.e., the Big XII might be better off, since the next school they get would probably not duplicate a market, as Kansas does.

      Assuming the Big Ten wants Kansas (that’s a big IF), there are ways around the GOR.

      • BruceMcF says:

        Violate the Grant of Rights in the sense of permitting somebody to cover your games when they haven’t been authorized by the going concern that you have granted the exclusive rights to, and the cost is that broadcaster/distributor cannot broadcast/distribute that performance without infringing on that going concerns rights. Since a television broadcast or cable network is not going to broadcast or narrowcast an infringing work, that means the cost is there’s no media value for the covered works.

        As note, however, there is a residual value in away games covered by other conference participants valid home game rights and in however many home games in whatever sports are excluded from the Grant. There’s no enough total aggregate value in Kansas’ media rights for the residual value to weigh very heavily … given the aggregate value of Texas’ media rights, the residual value would be substantially more considerable. But then again, they’d have to give up the Long Horn Network to move to the Pac-12 or Big Ten, which they do not seem to want to do, which renders the GOR a moot point for Texas at this point in time.

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          Not saying KU is coming to the Big Ten, but you may be thinking about it the wrong way.

          The GOR is a two-way street. KU gives up rights to its home games, but gets a share of the Big XII’s TV payout in return. (If it were a one-way street, it wouldn’t be an enforceable contract.) That means the Big XII’s TV partners, rather than the Big Ten’s partners, get to televise Ohio State at Kansas; but KU continues to receive its share of the payout, as if it were still in the conference.

          As both sides would no doubt find that arrangement awkward, they’d arrive at a settlement, which would probably resemble an exit fee, and perhaps not even as high as that. So that’s what I mean, when I say there is no magic to the GOR: it’s just like any contract, breakable at some price.

          • frug says:

            That means the Big XII’s TV partners, rather than the Big Ten’s partners, get to televise Ohio State at Kansas; but KU continues to receive its share of the payout, as if it were still in the conference.

            Actually, no. The Big XII’s GOR specifically stated that if a school left early it would forfeit its share of conference distributions in addition to leaving behind its TV rights.

          • cfn_ms says:

            OTOH, the “you have to leave your revenues behind” component is essentially an exit fee, and we’ve pretty consistently seen those not get paid in full…

          • BruceMcF says:

            Except its not *actually* the exiting school *paying* an exit fee. A challenge with exit fees is how do you actually force the prior member to pay, when the biggest clout that a conference has is what it can do to punish its current members. However, when the “essential same as an” exit fee is that the conference does *not* write a check to the former member … that’s pretty easy for the conference to do. Just don’t write the check.

          • cfn_ms says:

            The point isn’t whether there’s a mechanism, the point is how enforceable it is. I’ve seen some arguments about whether a GoR is even enforceable in terms of keeping the TV contract together ( for one example ), but that aside, the idea that a team can suddenly lose the entire value of their TV rights just because they leave a league seems like a VERY sketchy argument.

            Effectively, the GoR as structured is the combination of an agreement to mutually organize and negotiate home TV rights (OK unless you think there’s a monopoly argument against it) combined with a punitive clause that takes away 100% of the value of a team’s TV rights if they leave the league.

            That second clause is no less punitive than any other type of exit fee, and I would anticipate that, just as exit fees have been consistently reduced (and sometimes by a lot) during negotiations, that “you get no value from your TV rights” clause would have the same thing occur. Or the leaving school would pay some amount of money to the league and/or TV partners to gain the release of their rights and said amount would be materially less than the actual value of said rights.

            Of course, that’s only if it’s tried, and while it’s fun to speculate on things, it really doesn’t seem like any of the GoR leagues are especially vulnerable at this point. Five years from now, when there’s less time remaining on the GoR’s (in the event of non-renewal), things could get more interesting. I rather doubt anyone is going to rush to push the envelope on things given the remaining length of contracts at this stage.

          • BruceMcF says:

            Note that a party with full intellectual property that has granted rights for a certain period in return for a specific consideration has a very hard case to make if that party wishes to argue that the grant should be invalidated. And the fact that the conference payout is contingent on participating in athletic contests in the conference is a specific instance of a quite normal situation in intellectual property rights contracts.

            As noted before, unlike an exit fee, the Grant of Rights is not a rule about some transaction to be made in the future … it is a transaction that has already been executed. The Grant has already been made. The Big 12 already possesses the specified intellectual property over the the granted period under the grant. So long as the Big12 plays strictly by the rules set down in the Grant, then if some member in full knowledge that conference payouts are contingent on participation elects to not participate, there is no particular reason to believe that the Big12 will be found to have breached the contract.

            It is true that the Big12 cannot exploit the full value of the impaired media property either: for instance, the departed member can simply lock out the broadcast crew from the Big12, so while the Big12 can surely prevent the game from being broadcast by the new conference media partner, actually monetizing the media rights in its own turn would be difficult. Therefore, there would be some basis for a negotiated settlement. However, the Grantee has much more leverage in that negotiation than a conference that is owed an exit fee.

          • BruceMcF says:

            cfn_ms: “the idea that a team can suddenly lose the entire value of their TV rights just because they leave a league seems like a VERY sketchy argument”

            Yes, if that’s how a grant of rights worked, that would be very sketchy.

            However, how it actually works is that they’ve ALREADY handed over their TV rights. Not the value of the rights: the rights themselves. So nothing *changes* when they leave the conference. Its just that, in order to sell themselves out to the new conference, they would *need* something to change: they would need to somehow take back the intellectual property that they previously handed over.

            Its just like a novelist signing over their rights to their work to a publisher in return for publishing and promoting it. Just because they are not happy with what the publisher DID with those rights does not mean they can just take those rights back and give them to another publisher. As long as the original publisher met their commitments under the original contract, the original publisher holds the rights until the rights expire.

            “I regret signing that contract and I wish that publisher no longer held those rights” is not sufficient grounds for voiding that contract. They’d have to show some obligation of the publisher under the contract that the publisher had failed to fulfill.

            Indeed, because of that, many rights contracts include performance clauses on the part of the party acquiring the rights, such as a date that someone buying the movie rights have to make a movie before the rights lapse. We have seen, for example, some comic book franchise sequels that were made not because someone had come up with a great treatment, nor because the previous made so much money that the studio couldn’t help themselves, but because otherwise the rights would lapse and so its time to crank another one out or lose the rights.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            I think the sketchy bit is the total forfeiture of conference distributions. If that provision is found to be punitive, rather than merely liquidated damages, then it is skating on thin ice.

          • BruceMcF says:

            Why would it be unusual for a former member who has resigned from a voluntary association to not receive revenues from current activities of association members?

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            Normally, when you resign from a voluntary organization, you take your future rights with you when you walk out the door. You gave the analogy of a novelist who sells the rights to his book. If the author gets paid, he can’t back out of the deal, just because he doesn’t like what the publisher does with it. But in this case, you’re suggesting that KU would give up its future rights, and NOT get paid. I am not sure how that could hold water.

          • BruceMcF says:

            This language of “future rights” is ambiguous, since it is putting both a future grant of rights and a current grant of rights extending into the future into the same box, when they are quite substantially different.

            And we are not talking about a future grant of rights, we are talking about a current grant of rights. It is already in force, and remains in force until the end of the agreed period. Just as Prince signed away the right to use “Prince” to promote his musical performances and recordings, and ended up changing his name to a symbol and describing himself as “the artist formerly known as Prince” ~ a lawyer-written formulation if ever there was one.

            While the consequences can sometimes turn to the weird, the ability of the holder of intellectual property to grant rights to a second party in return for such considerations as the original property rights owner sees fit at the time is not itself some weird technicality, its a basic feature of a wide range of types of rights deals underlying our media industries.

          • metatron says:

            So they become a road team on paper. Big deal.

      • Andy says:

        No reason for the B1G to bother. KU isn’t worth much.

      • boscatar says:

        Easy – have Kansas football agree to play only 4 conference home games each year, hosting Indiana/Purdue, Minnesota, Maryland, and Rutgers/Northwestern. Play two “neutral-site” conference games in Kansas City against better conference competition. Thus, the Big Ten Network doesn’t really suffer much from the grant of rights consequences.

  17. Transic says:

    TBH, you could have paid me $0 and I would’ve said the same thing. One thing that grates me about this whole CR business is the braggadocio on the part of the football-firsters through the entire process. The “football drives the bus” méme is really a thinly-disguised way of expressing their antipathy towards the other sports like basketball. Almost as if there’s a divine reason to disdain the sport of basketball and justify their anti- agenda.

    I’m glad the C7 schools are getting some value for their product. We can debate whether Fox is throwing good money after bad. However, I am beginning to realize that it is going to take a Rupert Murdoch to break the ESPN monopoly over college sports. Who deemed ESPN to be the only player that matters in the college sports business? Only ESPN and their lackeys in the sports media and college sports business do. Well boo to that!

    Also, it’s sickening to see football-firsters representing B10 schools not challenging the asinine opinions from SEC and B12 types who visit B10 message boards. Some do (including on this board) but others don’t care because they only care about how their football team does. Say what you will about SEC types but they stick together in their belief that a conference is worth defending and bragging about. That thing never happened in the old Big East, which helps to explain its collapse. Even as that conference splits there’s still sniping between fans of those schools over who really mattered in that essentially-defunct conference. No unity, whatsoever. Everyone blaming everyone else but themselves.

    I just hope B10 fans don’t fall for the trap set up by SEC/B12 types who want to convince them to doubt their own conference/leadership. Sure, any constructive criticism is healthy but I wouldn’t trust anyone from competing conferences who want to give advice over what they think the B10 should do.

    Anyway, this rumor looks crazy on first read but it may not be so crazy if you put some thought into it. The I-4 corridor in Florida will be important for recruiting purposes for years to come. If the B12 can’t get the likes of FSU then perhaps this wouldn’t be bad as a Plan B (of course, the know-it-alls in that part of the country would say otherwise).

    • vp19 says:

      IIRC, Texas played a football game at Central Florida (part of a 2-for-1?), so I could see USF and UCF going as a package if the Big 12 can’t do likewise with Florida State/Miami. Still, it would be a longshot, and require plenty of faith from Big 12 members because of the perception of slumming. Iowa State might not be as averse to it as some think, since the Cyclones heavily recruited Florida during Big Eight days.

    • acaffrey says:

      I have said this before on here and been laughed away on the basis that it would be Florida State/Miami or bust for the Big XII. Although it was OK for the Big 10 to grow Maryland/Rutgers, it was never OK for the Big XII to do so.

      USF, Texas, Texas Tech, Baylor, TCU, UCF
      WVU, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State

      Every single OOD game for the non-Texas, non-Florida schools would be against Texas or Florida. With a 9 game conference schedule, 4 OOD games means at least two games in one of Texas or Florida.

      Why not? 9 of 10 teams made a bowl last year. They need teams at the bottom, not the top.

      Tampa and Orlando are huge markets–for talent and TV.

      Heck, they could add USF/UCF for $10M a year with $1M/year increases and be fine financially. Both USF and UCF would be thrilled with that.

      • Transic says:

        One would think that by having those schools located where they are, even if they’re still green in terms of football history, they would give more of the schools located in low population states the opportunity to visit and show off what they’re made of to potential recruits. But, perusing on a couple B12 message boards, they act like they should be setting the terms just because they’re getting Fox/ESPN money right now. Some of those posters, though, actually get UCF/USF’s true potential.

        My thoughts on divisions are that they shouldn’t go to divisions, considering how far flung some of those schools are. The B1G and SEC can do divisions because of geographical distributions. The Texahoma schools want to play against each other yearly, anyway. So, games like UT-OU, KSU-KU, BU-TCU, TT-UT, whatever two Florida schools and OSU-OU would be protected. That probably would be impossible to do without the schedule getting out of whack. I’m not a scheduling wiz.

        If there has to be divisions I’d do it this way:

        TCU, BU, WVU, USF, UCF, ISU
        TT, UT, OSU, OU, KU, KSU

        • Throughout realignment, I have consisitently thought that USF and UCF were the most undervalued schools. While they do have absolutely no tradition, they are in huge markets with massive recruiting areas. But most importantly, they are going to have obscenely huge alumni bases. Between the two schools, there are over 107,000 current students, and both are still growing. Assuming an average graduation time of 4 years, there will be another 25,000 new UCF/USF alumni. Meaning that in 20 years (A small fraction of time if conferences are really making “100 year decisions” there will be more than 500,000 UCF/USF alumni, a number roughly equal to the entire population of Wyoming. In 40 years, that’s more than 1,000,000 alumni, which would be more people than currently live in 7 states and the District of Columbia. Considering that alumni (especially wealthy older ones) are generally a schools most dedicated fans and best donors, those are big numbers for any conference with a huge population problem (the Big 12s total media markets are as small or smaller to those of the Mountain West and New Big East) to seriously think about going into the future.

          • Transic says:

            I could see a scenario where USF and UCF end up in the ACC, not the Big 12. If FSU and Miami leave for the B12, USF/UCF would keep the ACC in Florida. At that point, football may not matter that much, as long as the ACC keeps an 8-game schedule. Clemson might be appeased with UCF, USF and Cincy. UCF/USF could develop their baskeball programs in due time, given the proper resources. With Louisville, Cincy, USF, UCF, VT, and on occasion, GT, Pitt, Syracuse, NC State and whenever they can play ND, I think that’s enough for Clemson to stay. USF and UCF have enough potential in football, given the growing alumni population, that they can alleviate somewhat the loss of FSU and Mia

            Adding UConn and Cincinnati would provide UNC with additional basketball power that they can be comfortable with. Tobacco Road was said to favor UConn over Louisville but the football-first faction won out. I think ND eventually winds up in the ACC and commit to their five games with that conference. ESPN gets access to 16 schools (plus ND Olympic sports and 2.5 football games) exclusively (no need to share with Fox unless they sublease some games).

            BC, UConn, Cincy, Clemson, Duke, GT, Louisville, Notre Dame, NC State, Pitt, Syracuse, UCF, UNC, USF, UVa, VT, WF

            For divisions, I’d split VT from UVA, Louisville and Cincy, UNC/Duke and NCState/WF and UCF/USF. There would be almost equivalent access to Florida, NC, Ohio Valley and Virginia.

            Division A: UVA, UNC, Duke, Clemson, USF, Louisville, Pitt, Syracuse

            Division B: GT, UCF, NC State, Wake Forest, VT, Cincinnati, UConn, Boston College

            Cross division games: GT/Clemson; UNC/NCState; UVA/VT; USF/UCF; Louisville/Cincy; WF/Duke; Pitt/UConn; Syracuse/BC

          • Transic says:

            Alternatively, switch out Clemson, Pitt, Syracuse, Louisville and USF with GT, Cincinnati and UCF. Then this might work with most:

            Division A: UVA, UNC, Duke, GT, UCF, Cincinnati, UConn, Boston College

            Division B: Clemson, USF, NC State, Wake Forest, VT, Louisville, Pitt, Syracuse

            Cross division games: GT/Clemson; UNC/NCState; UVA/VT; USF/UCF; Louisville/Cincy; WF/Duke; Pitt/UConn; Syracuse/BC

      • Brian says:

        I’d guess divisions would be:
        W – UT, TT, TCU, BU, OU, OkSU
        E – ISU, KU, KSU, WV, USF, UCF

        OU and UT really don’t want to be split. It makes for horrible balance, though.

        A – UT, TT, BU, ISU, KU, KSU
        B – OU, OkSU, TCU, WV, UCF, USF

        Locked games – UT/OU, TT/OkSU, BU/TCU

        • m (Ag) says:

          I think the Big 12 wants the division requirement thrown out so it can do a championship game without divisions if they expand.

          If they get to 12 teams, I’d say they go to 8 conference games with 2 locked games for each team. WVU and the 2 new (presumably Eastern) teams would be locked together. KSU, ISU and Kansas would be locked together.

          For the other schools:
          UT: TT & OU
          OU: UT & OSU
          OSU: OU & TCU
          TCU: OSU & Baylor
          Baylor: TCU & TT
          TT: Baylor & UT

          That gives every school 2 games against the Kansas/Iowa schools, 2 games against the Eastern schools and 4 games against the Texas/Oklahoma schools, easing recruiting concerns.

          • Brian says:

            m (Ag),

            “I think the Big 12 wants the division requirement thrown out so it can do a championship game without divisions if they expand.”

            Until and unless the rule changes, I don’t care what they want.

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      One thing that grates me about this whole CR business is the braggadocio on the part of the football-firsters through the entire process. The “football drives the bus” méme is really a thinly-disguised way of expressing their antipathy towards the other sports like basketball.

      Sorry, that’s ridiculous. FTT has been a “football-firster” for years, but if you follow his twitter feed, you can tell he’s a basketball fan. “Football drives expansion” is just an empirical statement about how realignment has generally worked. Right now, the C7 TV deal is a notable exception, but not one that invalidates the general rule.. For all we know, Fox may have over-paid.

      • Aaron Morrow says:

        Mark Shepard: ““Football drives expansion” is just an empirical statement about how realignment has generally worked.”

        Indeed, the C7 would not have left the Big East without football conferences taking away Syracuse, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, and Louisville.

        Football is still driving expansion. Just as the decisions of the major football conferences are driving decisions all the way down to the Sun Belt and beyond (c’mon, App State), those same decisions are also having an impact on the non-football conferences.

        I think that Fox made a smart play for some basketball teams who currently have bigger name recognition as a group than the A-10 because of football-driven expansion.

        • BruceMcF says:

          And “football drives expansion” is not the same thing as “only football matters”. Other things can enter into calculations of how valuable a school in and whether it would be acceptable to existing members, but the foundation of the decision to consider expansion in the first place among the Big Boys is the impact on football media revenues.

          Consider the Johns Hopkins rumors. If it were the case that adding Johns Hopkins as a Lacrosse associate and guest member of the CIC would grease the path of inviting FSU to the Big Ten, then making JHU good for their ESPNU contract would be close to a rounding error in the total media value added by FSU.

    • Mike says:

      IMHO – don’t waste your time with Tuxedo Yoda. He’s a page hit chaser like Swaim and the Dude.

    • cfn_ms says:

      One of the big lessons of the WAC-16′s demise is that simply being in a good market doesn’t get you prestige, recognition and value. You have to matter in those markets, and USF/UCF really don’t. Adding those two would be a major gamble on the part of the Big 12, and basically a desperation move when it doesn’t make much sense to do so.

      I do, however, buy the argument that the Big 12 and/or Fox floating this idea is a low-risk way to increase pressure on FSU and anyone else in the ACC they might actually be interested in.

    • Michael says:

      Central Florida and South Florida to the BigXII seems about as likely to me as the Western version that we sometime see bandied about; some combination of SDSU and Boise State, Fresno State, or UNLV. The Big XII establishing a presence in Florida or California by elevating a mid-major to the ranks of the Big Five would serve as merely an affront to a competing major conference, and it wouldn’t be in the BigXII’s interest to stick it to the PAC or SEC by breaking into their stranglehold regions.

      • cfn_ms says:

        I honestly wonder if the Pac-12 or SEC would even care. Lower-tier programs are very likely to stay lower-tier programs, no matter what league they’re in. California recruits are still going to want to stay in the Pac-12, and Southeast recruits (including Florida) are still likely to want to stay in the SEC (or ACC in some cases). If anything, the Big 12 blowing spots on lesser programs would seem likely to increase instability and make the league more vulnerable to poaching, with the Pac-12 and SEC then potentially able to benefit.

        • ccrider55 says:

          That was my thought, too. It would probably cause too much discomfort in Austin. Would even the most optimistic of benefits be worth that risk?

      • Tom says:

        It only further degrades the B12′s reputation. FSU has no interest in joining. My guess is the ACC sticks together.

  18. OrderRestored83 says:


  19. Phil says:

    I don’t see where 7 like minded schools who get to cherry pick the best available schools in their sport, then have interest from a network that has to overpay to steal them from their incumbent partner, who still end up with slightly less annual TV revenue than they were going to get if the 2011 Big East had just stayed together and accepted the ESPN offer, justifies the premise that basketball is important.

    • Penn State Danny says:

      Does anyone have a gut feeling about what ND will do? Is it 100 % that they will go to the ACC? Or, if after parking in the new BE for a year, will they stay there?

      The B1G was right to state that they have given up on adding the Irish. I hope that they meant it.

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        Does anyone have a gut feeling about what ND will do? Is it 100 % that they will go to the ACC? Or, if after parking in the new BE for a year, will they stay there?

        There’s no such thing as 100%, but I am pretty sure they’ll go to the ACC.

        For starters, you have to look at why ND joined the ACC in the first place: bowl tie-ins. The new Big East doesn’t have that. Also, the ACC is a better basketball league, and it is FAR better in the non-revenue sports. The new Big East would be worse for ND than the old Big East, which they already decided to leave.

        The B1G was right to state that they have given up on adding the Irish. I hope that they meant it.

        I am not sure they ever said that, and I am sure they don’t mean it. They probably don’t think it’s very likely, but Notre Dame would be welcomed with open arms at any time.

      • bullet says:

        ND could have stayed with the C7 before. They chose to go to the ACC. There’s no reason to think they aren’t still going to the ACC.

      • BruceMcF says:

        If ACC is willing and able to accommodate them a year early in their Olympic sports, without starting the football agreement until the following year, I’d guess they go to the ACC a year early, which would leave the ball in the ACC’s court.

        I’d say the ACC takes them for the same reason that the New Big East would take them … playing a farewell lap in the New Big East consolidates the New Big East’s brand. Notre Dame saying “hell with this, I’m out of here” is better for the ACC’s brand.

        And the New Big East will be scrambling to organize their Olympic sports ~ I didn’t look at the individual timing/distance sports (cross country, track and field, swimming), but (NB. Yes of course one year standings are not long term strength of program, but OTOH we are only talking about next year anyway, so last season is the best proxy). These are numbers of participants and average standings in 2012 (either last or this academic year)

        Which leaves actually not so many current Big East team sports left to look at:

        Baseball ~ Notre Dame = #7, BEC avg(4)=#6: St. Johns #2; Seton Hall #4; Nova #8, Georgetown #10
        Softball ~ Notre Dame = #2, BEC avg(6) = #9.5: DePaul #5; St. John’s #6; Providence #10; Nova #11; Georgetown #12; Seton Hall #13
        Field Hockey: ND does not play, BEC avg (3) = #5.67/7: Providence #4; Nova #6; Georgetown #7
        Men’s Golf: (2012 Champ 3rd round), ND=#1, BEC avg(6) = #6.17/12: Nova #3; St. Johns #4; Georgetown #5; Seton Hall #7; Marquette #8; Depaul #10
        Womens Golf: (2012 Champ 3rd round), ND=#2, BEC avg(3) = #6/8: Seton Hall #4; St. Johns #6; Georgetown #8
        Rowing: ND = #1.5 (2012 championships; GF placings, then Petit Final placings, average of +4 and +8): BEC avg (3) = #5.17/8: Louisville #3.5; UConn #6; Rutgers #6
        M Tennis: ND #1 (tournament seedings), BEC avg (5) = #5.8/9: St. John’s #3; Depaul #5; Marquette #6; Georgetown #7; Nov #8
        W Tennis: ND #1, BEC avg (5) = #7.6/12: Depaul #4; Georgetown #5; Marquette #7; St. Johns #10; Seton Hall #12
        Volleyball: ND = #3 (regular season), BEC avg (6)= #8.67/14: Marquette #2; St. John’s #6; Seton Hall #9; Nova #10; Depaul #11; Georgetown #14

        Lacrosse: Big American only has one Lacrosse school
        Fencing: Current Big East does not sponsor fencing
        Hockey: Current Big East does not sponsor hockey
        (I looked at Men’s Soccer before)

        As far as making up the numbers, the expected two additional New Big East members play:

        Butler: Men’s baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, tennis, track and field
        Women’s basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track and field, volleyball

        Xavier: Mens baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, swimming, tennis, indoor & outdoor track and field
        Women’s basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, swimming, tennis, indoor & outdoor track and field, volleyball.

        So, not a complete list, but: BEC+Butler+X:
        9: BBall, M&W Soccer
        8: M Golf, Volleyball
        7: M&W Tennis
        6: Baseball, Softball
        5: W Golf,
        3: W Rowing, W Field Hockey

        W Golf would need an associate member, unless 10th member plays, W Rowing & W Field Hockey would likely need to find associate spots or a sport-specific conference (though Creighton rows crew and SLU plays Field Hockey).

        • danallen2 says:

          Either way, ND is going to have to pay up to leave Aresco’s conference. Not sure if we’re talking West Virginia money or what.

          • BruceMcF says:

            Unless there is some rider in the FB scheduling agreement, or they changed the bylaws on that score dramatically since the WV case went to trial, the fee is not as high for Olympic sports members as for FB members.

          • danallen2 says:

            Bruce, there is no exit fee at all for Notre Dame. There is a 27 month waiting period. WVa paid $20 million or $15 million over the exit fee to get out in time.

            Notre Dame would have to negotiate its exit.

          • BruceMcF says:

            Are you talking based on information from someone who’s read the most current bylaws and knows how to interpret them? I know that the bylaws regarding the exit of the BBall-only schools were changed from the publicly available copy that I saw ~ which is what created the majority of each side of the hybrid league to dissolve the league, and which created the option for all seven BBall schools to exit without penalty ~ I don’t know how that spills over to the eighth BBall only school, Notre Dame.

          • danallen2 says:

            I read the rider someone posted a couple months ago on Georgetown’s board. But this morning McMurphy on ESPN covered ND’s situation and he reiterated what I wrote.

          • BruceMcF says:

            Now that the ACC has said they’d be willing to accommodate Notre Dame in BBall and non-revenue sports next year, this is the only question to be settled for that to happen. It will be interesting to see how quickly they resolve it. Thanks for the pointer, I’ll see if I can find the rider over the weekend.

        • BruceMcF says:

 story cites Big East sources that Olympic sports without the numbers on either side may play together for at least a year or two: “According to Big East sources, look for sports such as field hockey and women’s lacrosse to continue in a combined Big East for at least a trial period of a year or two.”

      • C. Toda says:

        Denny ;So do I, their far more problems than they are worth.

    • BruceMcF says:

      The premise is that between football and basketball of the same status, football is substantially more important, but its not true that any football is automatically more important than any basketball. The New Big East getting paid more than the Once Was Big East would seem to be a substantial support for that premise.

      • Phil says:

        The new Big East is being paid more than the Once Was CUSA, which really doesn’t support the premise at all.

        • BruceMcF says:

          But the premise is simple a generalization from the fact that the New Big East is being paid more than the “Big American”, how could the fact NOT support its own generalization?

          “Big American” football is a Mid-Major, and not even the clear strongest of the Mid-Majors, and its strongest football brands want to get out at the first invite up.

          The New Big East will be in amongst the Majors during basketball season.

          And the higher status basketball is getting paid more than the lower status football and basketball.

          The New Big East is not going to be making AS MUCH money as the conferences it will be mixing among … except for the MWC when its also mixing amongst the Majors, and that further reinforces the rule, since that’s a Mid-Major football conference with only three top-50 media markets.

          • danallen2 says:

            It is not a given at all that G’town, Marquette, Butler, Xavier and Villanova will outperform UConn, Memphis, Cincy and Temple. We’ll have to wait to see how this plays out. A team like Butler could drop off rapidly with stiffer competition, or it could ramp up. We’ll see if Temple can draw more Philly area kids with an improved schedule. Memphis already recruits well. UConn will have a very strong team for its first season in the new conference.

            So, I’m not buying this distinction that the Catholics are a major in basketball while the football schools are not.

          • BruceMcF says:

            The New Big East are going to have more recognizable brands in basketball, and more of their games per week are going to be matchups between recognizable brands, so its pretty straightforward that the media value of New Big East basketball is going to be greater than the media value of “Big American” conference basketball. The Big American will be a top-heavy league, with the diminished media value that follows from that.

          • danallen2 says:

            I wasn’t referring to their market value. I was talking about their play, their level of competition.

          • BruceMcF says:

            The premise was about their media value, so evidence for and against the premise would involve their media value. But why would we doubt that after Louisville leaves, and even assuming UC and UConn stays, the BMW (“Big American / Metro / Whatever”) Conference will be top heavy, with a substantial drop in RPI after you get past the top four schools? It is basketball, after all ~ the strength of the middle of the conference does matter for how many tournament bids the conference receives. It seems as if playing in the New Big East will be better for a team on the bubble than playing in the BMW Conference.

    • BruceMcF says:

      And you are also looking away from the basketball implications of the moves since 2011 ~ the Big East BASKETBALL of 2011 was more valuable than the New Big East BBall will be. The fact that the BBall schools could have made $40m on the notional 30% BBall value of the 2011 Big East contract, playing in the same conference with Louisville, Syracuse, Pitt, UC, UConn and Temple BBall, is entirely reasonable on basketball grounds alone. It is, indeed, plausible that the $130m contained more than the $40m in BBall value than the pro-forma 30% distribution implies.

      The fact that the Once Was Big East can’t sustain that with UC, UConn, Temple, Memphis and then a substantial step down in BBall brand value is just the network economies ~ even playing home and away against each other, that’s only 12 games among those four, and lots of games in the inventory of little but regional cable level interest.

      Indeed, which gets to the second part of the post ~ extend that to six teams with some appreciable BBall brand value, and then you could have as many as 30 games among those six.

  20. cutter says:

    What is a realistic conference distribution per institution estimate for the Big Ten Conference in 2017 seeing that (1) we can expect Fox Sports to be an aggressive bidder for B1G Tier 1/2 football and (2) per Frank’s post, the attractiveness of men’s basketball as part of a larger television package?

    Here are the scenarios to examine:

    A. B1G stays at 14 members for the 2017 season
    B. B1G has 16 members with additions of Virginia and North Carolina
    C. B1G has 16 members with additions of Virginia and Georgia Tech
    D. B1G has 18 members with additions of Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Duke
    E. B1G has 18 members with additions of Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Florida State
    F. B1G has 20 members with additions of Virgina, North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Duke, Florida State and one school TBD

    There is one data point for Scenario A that was provided in the stories discussion the addition of Maryland in the Big Ten. See According to that story, the projected conference revenue is $43M per school once the television deal is completed.

    So what about Scenarios B through F? Conference distributions in the Big Ten include television revenue funds (including from the Big Ten Network, ABC/ESPN, CBS), net bowl revenue, NCAA men’s basketball revenue, football conference championship game revenue, and other miscellaneous sources.

    Per, the Big Ten should receive an average of $91M from the new post season format. Can that number be adjusted, for example, if the conference expands beyond its current membership?

    The BTN has recently contributed $7.8M and $7.2M per school the last two years. Would that be expected to go up with these scenarios?

    What would the credits be worth from the NCAA men’s basketball tournament be under these scenarios?

    The current ABC/ESPN deal was $1.0B for ten years with an escalator clause that was put in place in 2006. What can we expect a new deal to look like under the scenarios outlined above?

    • zeek says:

      I wouldn’t conflate the $43 million projected revenue projection that Maryland was given with scenario A necessarily.

      Loh said that the Big Ten had shown him shocking projected expansion scenarios. That revenue projection may very well have included expansion to 16-18 (and the Big Ten Network hitting all benchmarks).

      • cutter says:

        The Washington Post article that talks about the $43M figure can be found here–

        Here’s an excerpt from the article:

        The Big Ten’s desire was to have new members earn a gradually larger piece of the revenue over a six-year period. But Maryland felt its stability in the ACC offered more bargaining leverage than Rutgers had in the crumbling Big East.

        “There is no reason for us to leave,” Loh said. “So if we are going to consider, seriously, leaving, it has got to be worth our while.”

        Perhaps, if the Big Ten really wanted Maryland, the two sides could figure out a way the Terrapins could receive a larger share of the Big Ten’s pie earlier. The potential solution was to get creative, according to two people with direct knowledge of the deal. By front-loading the deal — moving some money from years well into the future to the Terrapins’ first six years in the conference — Maryland was able to secure the cash it will need to address some of its immediate financial problems.

        Neither Maryland nor the Big Ten would provide specifics of the deal. Sports Illustrated reported the Big Ten projects Maryland would make $32 million in 2014-15, a huge increase from the $20 million the ACC is projected to pay out that year.

        The Big Ten’s pitch also includes a huge bump in revenue when the conference renegotiates its television deal in 2017, projecting a $43 million payout for Maryland that year, an enormous gap over the $24 million the ACC projects. A person with knowledge of the deal confirmed those were the figures Delany pitched to Loh.

        So the two sides left the Willard with significant progress, but without a deal, and without a timetable. And Loh still had one problem: Pacifying a sure-to-be-upset fan base if, in fact, he took the Terrapins to the Big Ten.


        So you could be correct in that the $43M per year figure for 2017 could be for a scenario other than a 14-team conference. The Sports Illustrated article referenced above is here–

        The article says that Maryland could look at revenue of $32 million in 2014, $33 million in 2015, $34.5 million in 2016 and then $43 million in 2017.

        Those numbers continue to steadily climb, as the Big Ten payout projects to jump to $44 million in 2018 and $45 million in 2019

        Regardless of the scenario, the numbers that the B1G gave Maryland projected an $8.5M jump between 2016 and 2017 in conference distributions. Multiply that by 14 programs and the number is $119M. With 16 programs, that’s $136M and with 18 the number is $153M.

        If you look at grand totals, if the Big Ten had 14 programs and paid each of them $43M, then the total disbursement would be $602M. In 2010, the conference’s total revenue was $265M with a payout of $22.9M per member–see

        In 2010, the BTN provided $7.9M with ABC/ESPN/CBS adding in another $8.7M for a total of $16.6M in television revenue per school. The remaining $6.3M came from net bowl revenue ($3.2M), the NCAA tournament ($2.6M) and other miscellaneous sources ($0.5M).

        So how does $43M per school in 2017 break down? A guess would be something like this:

        NCAA Basketball Tournament – $3.0M
        Miscellaneous Sources – $1.0M
        Big Ten Conference Championship Game – $1.0M
        NCAA Football Post Season and Bowls – $10.0M ($3.6M for bowls, $6.4M for playoffs = $90M/14)

        Those four items would account for around $15.0M, leaving $28M per year for television (including the Big Ten Network). The BTN has annually paid out between $7M to $8M in recent years, so let’s bump that up to around $9M with the new additions (or $126M total for 14 schools). That puts the amount of money per school from the networks (ABC/ESPN, Fox, CBS, etc.) at around $20M per school per year or an average of $280M a year (assumes 14 schools).

        The Big XII deal from September of last year was $2.6B for 13 years or $200M for the ten schools in the conference (or $20M per year). See The Big Ten number above would be comparable to what the Big XII received six months ago, but of course, the Big XII doesn’t have a conference network comparable to the BTN.

        Keep in mind these are back of the napkin calculations based on past numbers brought forward plus figures published for the post-season. But this is probably a rough approximation of what the Big Ten told Maryland give or take a million or two in the different categories.

        So the question going forward is this–does one of the 16, 18 or 20 team combinations mentioned above markedly change those numbers? I can’t imagine a big change in revenue per university taking place from the NCAA men’s basketball tournament or from the football post season (CCG, bowl games, playoffs) with additional members, so the main drivers here then becomes what the Big Ten Network would provide, and of course, what sort of bid comes back from the television networks for a larger Big Ten entity.

      • cutter says:

        The article in the Washington Post and the one on CNNSI both talked about $43M in 2017, but didn’t specify if the conference had 14 members in that scenario. Here’s the Pete Thamel article from 19 November of last year on CNNSI–

        The link has the projected revenues for Maryland as follows:

        2014 – $32.0M
        2015 – $33.0M
        2016 – $34.5M
        2017 – $43.0M
        2018 – $44.0M
        2019 – $45.0M

        The $8.5M increase between 2016 and 2017 has conference distributions going up about $120M for a 14-team Big Ten. Total conference distributions (assuming equal shares for 14 teams) would go from $483M per year in 2016 to $603M in 2017.

        How would that $43M per year per team come about? A rough guess based on recent numbers plus what’s been published about the playoff would be like this:

        Miscellaneous Revenue – $1.0M
        B1G Conference Championship Game – $1.0M
        NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament – $3.0M
        Net Bowl Game Revenue – $3.6M
        Playoff Revenue – $6.4M ($90M divided by 14 teams)

        Those categories above add up to approximately $15M plus or minus $1M. That means the remaining revenue would come from television.

        The BTN has been paying between $7 and $8M per year per school, so assuming it goes up to $9M with the additions of Rutgers and Maryland by 2017, that means around $20M to $21M per year would come from the new television deal. The Big XII just signed its deal last September for an average of $20M per school, so that number isn’t out of the ball park (although the Big XII doesn’t have a conference network like the BTN).

        The question going forward is what would happen with the different conference configurations mentioned above. I wouldn’t expect additional teams to move the needle too much in the five categories that add up to the $15M per team mentioned above. Where the big changes would come from would be what’s left, i.e., what the BTN provides per team plus what the networks provide for B1G Tier 1/2 rights and men’s basketball. If a case can be made that a 16- or 18- or 20-team network would net, say $25M in non-BTN revenue per team on an annual basis, then it could be an attractive option.

        I’m writing this assuming that the $43M figure was what was given for a 14-team conference. Maryland didn’t know Rutgers was also being approached by the Big Ten at the same time (although there may have been rumors), so it’s a possibility this is a fourteen-team conference revenue projection.

        • zeek says:

          Yeah, that’s good analysis.

          My hunch is that any addition of UNC and other big states/markets like UVa or Georgia Tech or FSU won’t move the dial that much on the deals that accrue over the next 5-7 years, but will end up affecting the BTN earnings per school significantly in the 2020 and on range.

          That’s why I don’t think we’ll see much of a change in those revenue projections that Maryland got regardless of the size of the Big Ten by 2020.

          Unless you add a school like Texas or Notre Dame, you’re not going to see a massive change in the contracts immediately.

    • Richard says:

      I’ve been saying for a while (back when the B10 had 12 schools) that the B10 will get $30-$40M in TV money per school on average over the life of the next TV contract & that total payout would top $50M . . .

  21. [...] Revenge of the Ballers: Why Football Isn’t Everything in Conference Realignment (Frank the Tan… [...]

  22. Quiet Storm says:

    Here’s a good article from SB Journal discussing the relationship between Fox and ESPN.

    • zeek says:

      That’s also why the Big Ten’s 2016 media package is likely to feature some sort of alliance.

      The way they’ve partnered on the Big 12 and Pac-12 to split those games will sort of lead to a similar consideration for the Big Ten.

      • cutter says:

        Imagine you’re the president or athletic director of an ACC school and the new deal you just signed with ABC/ESPN for football and men’s basketball is worth $17.1M when Pittsburgh and Syracuse join the conference this year.

        Then imagine that the Big Ten is looking at getting conference distributions of $43M per year in 2017 (per the reports filtering out after Maryland joined the conference) with the television portion from the BTN, etc. coming out to around $28M to $30M. Your escalator clause has you at around $20M in television revenue by that time with a total conference distribution of $24M.

        What do you do? In dollars and cents, that may be the question being posed at a lot of campuses located south of the Potomac River. It gets doubly interesting when you think about if joining the B1G means that television money in 2017 is actually $33M or $35M per school and the annual conference distribution is in excess of $45M?

        Maryland was also told that it’d make more than $100M in conference revenue by 2020 with the switch to the Big Ten from the ACC–see

        Conference realignment has largely been driven by schools and athletic programs looking for additional revenue. Is there any reason to think it will be different for the Big Ten, etc. with these types of revenue numbers being put out there and with a new sports network looking for content in direct competition (or cooperation) with ABC/ESPN?

  23. Stephen says:

    Frank, wouldn’t the kind of basketball-first conference you proposed be too much like the old Big East? Doesn’t the fact that the new Big East (“catholic-7) is composed of similar, like-minded institutions provide some of it’s strength? Shouldn’t cohesiveness still be a long-term goal for any conference that hopes to survive?

    • BruceMcF says:

      Yeah, I believe that’s why the suggestion is to aim for public universities ~ the idea being it was not JUST football versus basketball, but also big public vs small private.

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      Shouldn’t cohesiveness still be a long-term goal for any conference that hopes to survive?

      Cohesiveness is an ellusive term, but I can definitely see the problem with Frank’s idea. The C7 conference works because none of them play FBS football, nor do they intend to. Unless schools like UConn and Cincy want to leave the FBS (which I think is exceedingly unlikely), they need a football-playing conference. Even Temple, as terrible as they were, didn’t leave the FBS. They just went to the MAC, an all-sports league.

      • cfn_ms says:

        Well, they could always go independent and hope (probably in vain) for an invite to a non-devastated ACC. But to be honest I wonder, especially for UConn, if it wouldn’t just be better to admit defeat for football and focus on everything else. Not drop down to AA or anything (at least not in the near term), but more just focus money and resources on other stuff, primarily basketball (where they still are a national elite program).

        About a decade into the 1-A experiment, UConn football is nationally irrelevant, they’re in an even worse competitive position (no AQ anymore) than they started out as, and there really isn’t much of a reason to think it’ll suddenly get better. Obviously waving the white flag is a rough pill to swallow, but I do have to wonder if it would be a wise alternative to pursuing a huge long shot of a return to AQ status.

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          That day of reckoning could be coming for many FBS programs. But the whole point is that, unless you don’t play football at all, you need to be in a conference. Whether they drop down to mid-major, FCS, I-AA, or Pop Warner, if they play the sport, they need a conference. Outside of Notre Dame and service academies [and possibly not even for them], independence is not a long-term option. By the way, I don’t think AQ status is a longshot for UConn, in the least: they probably have the next ACC invite, and almost everyone thinks there will be more defections from the ACC. They’re as nationally relevant as, say, Texas Tech or Washington State, neither of which is going to be losing I-A status anytime soon.

          • ccrider55 says:

            But TT and WSU are sheltered. UConn’s roof blew off.

          • David Brown says:

            I certainly think the Connecticut is more important than Washington State, Wake Forest, Iowa State and a few others. That said, the big questions for the Huskies, are: 1: will there be another expansion or not? 2: If so, who goes first? I think Cincy and USF, are better fits for a Conference. If the ACC & Big XII agree, they may be better dropping football and rejoining the Big East.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Which survived longer?
            It’s not always just the value of an item. Often the surroundings and support system are decisive. Huskies need to be valuable enough to warrant inclusion in existing systems. ACC-probably if they do suffer defections. B12-not unless they start falling apart for some reason.

          • BruceMcF says:

            Betamax survived longer ~ pushed out of the consumer market, it transitioned to the professional and in many media markets survived as the standard physical transport for broadcast quality video productions long after VHS had dwindled to net to nothing.

        • BruceMcF says:

          I don’t know whether a return to AQ status for UConn is a long shot or not ~ there’s a balance between the ACC being raided enough to need UConn but not so badly that they lose their AQ status ~ but if not, I expect they have at least as good a chance of ending up in the Best of the Rest conference as they do of staying in the Equal Best of the Rest conference.

          And being in either the or one of the two best of the rest conferences is not all that bad for a school with as little football history as UConn. Miami U (the M, not the U) was where Woody Hayes got his start, and now the highest profile competition they can dream of is a good Ice Hockey team with dreams of the Frozen Four.

          • David Brown says:

            Here is the problem for the Huskies: They are making less TV $$$$ than Schools like Seton Hall & DePaul, neither of which has the tradition and Championships over the past 25 years as UConn, while having to maintain a football program that is quite expensive for the Athletic Department with no traditional rivals anymore. I also know that Boston College will do whatever is necessary to keep me out of the ACC (A problem not faced by Cincinnati or South Florida). Maybe the solution is to stay with the Catholic Schools, and eliminate the football program (I know it would be painful), but even worse would be a future of seeing other schools (Like SMU, Houston, and of course, Cincinnati & USF) get upgraded Conference memberships, while I am like Temple (Basically in Athletic purgatory).

          • BruceMcF says:

            If the ACC faces further raids, I am not convinced that BC will be able to keep UConn out of an ACC, even should they wish to (and I agree its likely that they wish to).

            I think that the opposition in the C7 to adding a football school that would jump at the first call from the ACC is broader than any one team. Even if UConn applied to the MAC to play as a football associate there, that would not eliminate the grounds for that opposition.

            So just as New Mexico State and Idaho will try to play as independents for a couple of years to see if a conference bid comes their way, UConn seems like it would be well advised to keep playing in the BMW (“Big American / Metro / Whatever”) Conference in the next few years and see if any more realignment is coming.

            If not, it can just downgrade its investment in football in place.

      • BruceMcF says:

        That’s an important point.

        One might speculate that part of the lack of cohesiveness in the Old Big East was due to the imbalance ~ eight BBall only members, and the rest all-sports members.

        A *balanced* hybrid league would have an all-sports core, a certain number of Non-FB-schools, and an equal number of FB-only schools. Say, ten all-sports members, two Non-FB members, and two FB-only members.

        Then if the two Non-FB members are either non-football or FCS football schools with a brand name for their basketball, you go from a BBall inventory of 12 games among four recognizable schools to an inventory of up to 30 games among six recognizable schools.

        I think that after Navy, the ideal second FB-only school for the “Big American” conference would be Army, but there may be other candidates who would be useful members of an “equal best among the rest” conference for football, but whom you wouldn’t want dragging down your basketball.

        As far as two Non-FB members, who would be the ideal? It should be a reasonably large public university, that has long since decided that its not going to enter the big college football ratrace.

  24. Wainscott says:

    SNL once did a great spoof biography of Tiger Woods (played by Tim Meadows); My favorite line is Tiger’s recollection of putting on 18 in the 1997 Masters:

    “When I was on the 18th green, putting on the last hole of the Masters, it was totally quiet except for my father, who kept saying, “Ca-Ching! Ca-Ching!” Just like a cash register, you know? He was high-fiving everyone.. it was really embarrassing.” (

    With today’s official announcement of Fox Sports 1, Jim Delany has to be Ca-Ching-ing all around Park Ridge right now like Earl Woods, high-fiving rather confused Chicagoans on the street, at the mere thought that ABC/ESPN, CBS/CBS SPORTS, FOX/FS1, and NBC/NBCS will all engage in a full-throttled bidding war for the B1G tv rights in 2017.

    Methinks that after that deal, combined with the BTN, only SEC schools will even approach what each B1G school will get from the various TV deals.

    Ca-ching, indeed.

    • cutter says:

      Here’s the official announcement for Fox Sports 1 –

      I still have to laugh at the idea of Regis Philbin being on Fox Sports 1. No offense, but he’s 81 years old and if you’re trying to appeal to a younger demographic, having a host who is as old as their grandfathers may not be the way to go. Perhaps he and Lou Holtz can have a UFC fight (or given the Notre Dame link, a “Bengal Bout”) as representatives of the rival networks with simulcasts on ESPN and FS1

      • metatron says:

        Why? Notre Dame’s fanbase consists entirely of elderly white men and people who want to be elderly white men.

    • spaz says:

      Yes. The Big Ten is the only major sports property up for bids in the near future (I think the NBA comes up a year or two afterwards). I expect ESPN, Fox, and NBC/Comcast to all make strong efforts to get them or at least a piece of the pie.

      Like many, I see ESPN and Fox dividing up the rights, would seem to work well for both. I’m curious to see how the OTA football rights are done, as the Big Ten seems to be in a position to get a weekly national game a la the SEC’s CBS deal — that’s probably the one aspect where NBC could be the most flexible and get an in to the conference by offering to put them on the OTA channel every week, which would compliment their Notre Dame coverage. Fox and ABC have less time available for constant national games — though I could see a deal where Fox and ABC alternate/share national Big Ten network broadcasts.

      Big Ten football and basketball games would be another big get for Fox Sports 1 and they certainly have an in with the CCG and BTN. And it wouldn’t hurt to have Big Ten ice hockey and other sports as generic filler for FS1/FS2 either.

      • David Brown says:

        The ESPN and Turner portion of NASCAR is still out there for someone to bid on. The big story to watch will be local MLB TV rights. Thw Nationals, Phillies & Cubs are coming up. Interestingly enough, the Cubs have been on WGN since 1948 and that relationship may end. The big question is do the Cubs want to remain on a Network (Comcast) where the White Sox have an equity stake? I could see the Cubs and Fox setting up their own Network to compete vs the Sox. I wonder if Frank has some insight into the situation?

        • @David Brown – The general feeling is that the Cubs absolutely want to start their own separate network (and even speaking as a White Sox fan, I can’t blame them). They see what the Dodgers are getting for their new network and they know that they can get a similar amount (or even a larger one). Chicago is an interesting regional sports network market to watch because there really isn’t any competition (unlike NYC, LA, the Bay Area and Boston, where there are multiple RSNs). Comcast SportsNet Chicago has complete control because all of the Cubs, White Sox, Bulls and Blackhawks have equity stakes. That has generally been a good deal for the Sox, Bulls and Hawks, but the Cubs would definitely make a lot more on their own (as in enough to make them the 2nd most valuable team in MLB other than the Yankees), as much as I hate to admit it. The only way that CSN Chicago would retain the Cubs would be with an astronomical amount (e.g. likely in excess of $200 million per year) that may or may not be possible.

          • Thinking about this more, what’s probably “best” for the Chicago teams (although not best for our pocketbooks in this market) is for the Bulls and White Sox to own one RSN and then the Cubs and Blackhawks own the other RSN. That would maximize the revenue for everyone involved without saturating the market with too many channels (which is what’s happening in NYC and LA right now).

          • David Brown says:

            Frank: Thank you for getting back to me with such a timely response. Always good to get some local perspective on this issue (Particularly because you are well versed on the subject).

  25. BruceMcF says:

    OK, New Big East sports with the C7, Butler and X:

    9: M/W BBall, M/W Soccer
    8: M/W Xcountry, W Tennis, Volleyball
    7: Softball, M Golf, M Tennis, M/W Track
    6: Baseball, W Golf, W Swimming
    5: M Lacrosse*, M Swimming
    4: W Lacrosse*
    3: Football, Field Hockey
    2: Rowing

    Single sports, none of them Big East sponsored sports: M Crew, W Crew, M/W Sailing, M/W Ice Hockey, W Water Polo, M/W Fencing

    *Lacrosse includes Marquette, which started teams this year but did not start out as members of the Old Big East, and Loyala, whose women’s team is an associate member of the Old Big East.

    It turns out there are very few sports on the bubble for six members. If it is presumed that FCS Football teams stay where they are, while field hockey and rowing find an associate membership or sport-specific conference, its just Men’s Lacrosse, Men’s Swimming, and Women’s Lacrosse.

    which narrows down which (BBall driven) expansion would have knock-on effects on non-revenue sports. SLU would bring a sixth for men’s swimming. It also has MCLA Lacrosse teams, which if it promoted would bring M/W Lacrosse to 6/4. If Big Ten Lacrosse is a will-o-wisp, Rutgers could do the same. If Richmond were invited for 2014/15, it would do the same. Two of those three, and Loyola continuing as an associate W Lacrosse member, and the could sponsor both sports.

    So the New Big East sports would like be:

    Baseball, M/W Basketball, M/W Cross Country, M/W Golf, M/W Soccer, W Swimming, M/W Tennis, M/W Track, Volleyball; and possible M Swimming, M Lacrosse, and W Lacrosse.

    • Mike says:

      FWIW: Creighton sponsors M/W Basketball, M/W Soccer, M/W XC, M/W Tennis, M/W Golf, Baseball, Softball, W Volleyball, and W Rowing (in the WCC).

      • BruceMcF says:

        Do they row? I have them down in my spreadsheet as sponsoring women’s crew.

        • Mike says:

          I believe Crew and Rowing are interchangeable. If they’re not Wikipedia says they do sponsor rowing.

          • BruceMcF says:

            I didn’t go to Wikipedia, I went to the individual school sites. But, yes, after some looking around, Crew and Rowing are different names for the same thing, I’ll fix my spreadsheet to reflect that. The NCAA only sponsors Women’s championships in three events, which are a subset of the broader range of rowing disciplines raced at various collegiate regattas.

            Its not a difference that makes much of a difference ~ I’ve also included Creighton, Dayton, SLU, Richmond and VCU in the spreadsheet, and even if both Creighton and Dayton are invited, it still makes only four women’s rowing teams.

    • BruceMcF says:

      “Big American” sports in 2014, pure status quo (before they formalize ECU as an all sports member, without including widely expected Tulsa):
      10: Football
      9: M/W BBall, W Tennis, W Cross Country, W Track, Volleyball,
      8: Baseball, M Cross Country, M Golf, M Track, W Soccer
      7: M Soccer, M Tennis, W Golf
      6: Softball
      5: W Swimming
      4: W Rowing
      3: M Swimming, Field Hockey*, W Lacrosse
      0: M Lacrosse

      Really only Women’s Swimming and Rowing on the bubble, the only change with ECU/Tulsa is that Women’s Rowing moves closer to the bubble, because Tulsa sponsors Women’s rowing.

      *Including current associate Old Dominion.

      • m (Ag) says:

        Men’s Swimming and Diving for the Big 12 is at 3 members (A&M and Mizzou both left, but WVU and TCU both have the sport). You qualify for the NCAA nationals by getting some of the best times in the nation, not by winning conference titles.

        Only having 3 men’s teams and 5 women’s teams just means that the conference meet will be small.

        • BruceMcF says:

          Yes, I left swimming, track and cross country out when I did it in the previous post.

          So the NCAA doesn’t enforce a 4-school minimum in those sports, as in the others?

          So that would only put Field Hockey and W Lacrosse on the sport sponsorship bubble, rowing on the AQ championship bubble.

          • m (Ag) says:

            I don’t think the NCAA cares about swimming or track ‘conferences’. Schools don’t qualify for the national championships: individual athletes do. If you get a qualifying time, it doesn’t matter if there’s 1 other school in the race with you or 12, as long as it’s in an NCAA recognized meet.

            Maybe some other conferences are different, but in the Big 12 and SEC, there is no ‘regular season’ conference meets for those sports. All schools schedule their teams to compete in meets around the nation, which may include a few meets against a single conference school.

            They’re essentially independents except they all attend a conference meet at the end of the season to determine the conference champions.

  26. [...] has another in a long series of well-written and interesting reads, entitled Revenge of the Ballers: Why Football Isn’t Everything in Conference Realignment - A snippet from his post, “If the Big East/Catholic 7 TV contract situation hasn’t [...]

  27. DR says:

    Frank – Good Post.
    As an additional illustration just think about what Butler has just accomplished. Imagine that if you had predicted 5 years ago that Butler’s take form their conferences Basketball TV deal would be greater than what the University of Connecticut is getting for Football and Basketball. Their return on investment must be insane. What did they do other then up Stevens’ contract? Maybe up their recruiting budget and improve their locker room? No new indoor $100 million practice facility, no $150 million for stadium improvements, no $10 million a year on 3 new women’s teams for Title 9 compliance, no need for additional $5 million a year for new assistants, etc. You can say that things timed out for perfectly for them but you can say the same thing for Rutgers in that if a lot of things had went differently they would not be on their way to the Big Ten. How much cash has Rutgers laid out there trying to keep their FBS football team viable in the hope for a Big Ten invite. I have always been a Big Ten fan and I think both Rutgers and Maryland were good additions, (I would like not to expand any further though) however both were in deep yogurt if the Big had not come along. Large state funded universities can put a lot of money out there a take greater risk for greater reward and a big time Football program in a major conference will generate considerably more in gross revenue and gross profit than an equivalent Bball program. Bball has much lower barrier to entry, less risk, and higher ROI, that’s why there are so many more DI Basketball teams than FBS football teams. On the flip side the power conferences have a much wider moat around their football programs, they essentially have a giant monopoly in football were in Basketball they just have a nice lucrative business with a high ROI, low risk, but not enough gross profit to support an a bloated athletic department with 20 to 30 non- revenue teams.

    • @DR – Yes, going from the Horizon League to the Atlantic 10 to the “new” Big East in consecutive seasons has been a dramatic rise for Butler. They are definitely one of the largest winners of conference realignment.

    • Richard says:

      Well, Butler’s kind of like the basketball version of TCU. Granted, TCU had to take a few more trips (to CUSA and the MWC as well as a phantom stay in the BE) and stay longer between hopping from the WAC to the B12, but I think that’s mostly due to Butler being content to stay in the Horizon for many years rather than hop-scotching to marginally better leagues.

      Both are small private schools with limited fan bases but both have the advantage of being located in major cities in states that are absolutely mad about the sport they’ve excelled in.

      For the record, I have thought for a long time that Butler could move up if they had wanted to.

      • largeR says:

        OK! We need to ensure acaffrey knows this and notes it in his journal of anonymous bloggers having off the record thoughts that accurately predicted future events. :)

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      The Butler model is probably not replicable. Generally, you do have to invest big to win big. Just because Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates became billionaires, does not mean that dropping out of college is a likely path to success.

      • Richard says:

        If you don’t have the money and fanbase, you almost certainly have to be located in an extremely fertile recruiting area for your sport (like Butler and Miami and TCU are) to have a shot.

  28. Michael in Raleigh says:

    I dint understand why the MWC doesn’t add Gonzaga as its 12th member for non-football sports. Clearly, they don’t want Hawaii for anything other than football. Gonzaga would do nothing to dilute their football value because they wouldn’t be accounted for in TV contracts.

    The Mountain West is already a pretty impressive basketball league. Gonzaga would solidify that.

    • zeek says:

      That’s an interesting idea.

      In particular, plenty of the younger MWC programs are starting to mature in basketball as well like SDSU over the past couple of years.

      Combine that with already established programs like UNLV and New Mexico and soon to join Utah State and you’re talking about a pretty good group.

      Only issue is that I’m not sure Gonzaga wants to join a grouping that may have future instability if there is future conference movement in the West…

  29. Brian says:

    This is one way to get your attendance and revenue up.

    UGA currently sells 18,645 students season tickets
    They allocate 17,910 seats (oversold by 735)
    On average, only 11,802 students show up (6108 empty seats)
    UGA will now sell the same number of tickets but reduce the seats to 15,856 (oversold by 2789)
    The extra 2054 seats will be sold to young alumni for $40 in addition to the $8 students pay

    That’s an extra $500k before annual contributions ($0 the first year, then $125 minimum for years 2-5).

  30. Brian says:

    The media agrees with me (and a few others here) – Metro Conference is the way to go. The former Metro commish thinks it could be a good idea, too.

    • frug says:

      Well that’s a terrible idea.

      The FB Big East schools are already going to have to deal with constant jokes about their stability so why would they want to name themselves after a conference that failed?

      • Brian says:

        As opposed to calling themselves “Big East” you mean?

        • frug says:

          They aren’t calling themselves the Big East.

        • BruceMcF says:

          Arguably along the same lines as calling themselves the Big East ~ either way could be seen as the football schools naming their new conference after a previous football conference that failed.

          But time is a funny thing ~ maybe the Metro failed long enough ago that the memory of it folding due to its schools moving onto greener football playing pastures has faded a little.

      • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

        To be honest I like Metro better than any of the other suggestions I’ve heard. Big America and such just sound like C-USA part deux.

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      I tend to agree with @frug that the name of a conference that folded isn’t going to sound terribly appealing.

  31. vp19 says:

    There was a story on AP the other day saying the Big Ten may seek to have some nonconference baseball games played in the fall and have them included in a team’s spring record:

    • Arch Stanton says:

      I don’t see how it works to play some games the previous August thru October, then take 5 months off and start up again. Maybe they are hoping it they propose something so ridiculous, they can get southern schools to agree to something more reasonable.
      Like push the start of the season back a month. Have the CWS in Omaha right around the 4th of July. Not perfect, but much better.
      Few students attend college baseball games anyway, so I don’t think it matters that most of the schools will be out for the last month of the season. And there are more and more students taking classes in the summer anyway.
      MLB may not like it though, as it would push back when they could get some of their draftees into their system.

      • metatron says:

        MLB already drafts kids out of high school. They don’t care.

        • Arch Stanton says:

          What I mean is that the MLB draft occurs in June. Any of the college players that are drafted generally get placed somewhere in the farm season as soon as their college season is over. If you push the college season back a month, then it pushes back the date that the college kids would be able to report that summer. It might be later in the season than MLB would want.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Or, more likely they sign and report, and college baseball post season qualifiers, teams, seeding, etc. is screwed up

  32. bullet says:

    Interesting comments from Bowlsby on the future of attendance and college football. It coincides with comments by Maryland’s AD and Georgia’s concerns about student attendance.

    • bullet says:

      Note that these comments come from a commissioner of a conference whose attendance is up. Over that 5 year period he mentions, everyone but WVU (most of those years in BE) and Kansas (bad teams) has been on a noticeable upward trend in attendance. And Georgia from the SEC is concerned.

      • Andy says:

        And yet the SEC still has far and away the highest attendance of any conference, with the Big 12 substantially behind them.

        • OrderRestored83 says:

          @ Andy, “Far and away”? I believe the SEC had company at the top with the Big Ten not far behind. If I remember the numbers right; the SEC only averaged 3,000 more per game.

          • Andy says:

            2012 numbers:

            SEC: 75,444
            B1G: 70,377 (66,409 counting Rutgers and Maryland)
            Big 12: 58,993

          • BruceMcF says:

            @Andy ~ so posting average figures 8% above Big Ten attendance intended to to withdraw your claim that SEC attendance is “far and away” bigger than any other conference?

          • Andy says:

            I was counting Rugers and Maryland.

          • BruceMcF says:

            The rest of us don’t yet known Rutgers and Maryland’s attendance playing in the Big Ten ~ must be nice owning such a specific crystal ball.

        • bullet says:

          Your point is?

          Mine is that even schools with growing attendance or very good attendance are concerned about the long term trends. Students aren’t going in the same numbers.

          • aquaper says:

            I wonder whether the schools that are emphasizing out-of-country enrollment are experiencing a greater attendance decline than schools with higher in-state enrollment.

    • Blapples says:

      You’re so desperate. You have become a caricatue

      • Blapples says:


      • Andy says:

        Desperate for what? This forum doesn’t have the ability to directly message people. Arch Stanton and others were telling me the other day that Arkansas/Missouri wouldn’t be much of a rivalry. Well, the two schools have played 39 times, with Missouri winning 19 of them, and the games have always been a hot ticket and fans seem to be pretty into it. I’m not even sure what the basis would be for claiming that people wouldn’t care about this game. Tickets were selling on stubhub for a minimum of over $100 for nosebleed seats for both games, the one in Fayetteville, and the one in Columbia.

        I wouldn’t have to post this sort of thing if there weren’t so many oddly delusional people on here.

        • Arch Stanton says:

          I’m suddenly very thankful that there is not a direct message ability on this forum!

          Andy, please go back and review everything I posted about Missouri-Arkansas. I very clearly stated that Missouri-Arkansas had a decent shot of being a basketball rivalry, especially because of the Mike Anderson angle.
          My point was, and remains, that Arkansas is not going to care about playing Missouri in football. That there are at there are four annual football games that Arkansas will look forward to before Missouri. My other point was that it is pathetic of you to insist that Arkansas is your new rival,(seriously, it is Arkansas) and it is funny to me that you feel this new invented Bromance with Arkansas is some sort of revenge that you are getting against Kansas for not scheduling your Tigers. Reminds me of the girl in high school that is dumped and then hangs around some average dude all the time and tries to act like he is her new boyfriend when, in reality, this new dude is just not that into you (her).

          • Andy says:

            You’re basically talking out of your ass, sorry to say, but it’s obviously true. You say you live in Arkansas, so I’m not sure why you’re so off base here. The truth is the last time Missouri played Arkansas the game sold out easily. People were desperate for tickets. That was the 2007 Cotton Bowl. There were a ton of Arkansas fans there. Maybe a couple of your buddies down in little rock say they don’t care about Missouri, but the Arkansas fanbase at large seems to care plenty. Otherwise they wouldn’t talk about us so much on their message boards and they wouldn’t pay so much on the secondary market to go to games against us.

          • Arch Stanton says:

            Arkansas has played in the Cotton Bowl 4 times in recent memory. The attendance from Arkansas at the game has not depended on the opponent. They are generally just excited to be playing in what they consider a “good bowl”.

            I just asked 6 co-workers in Little Rock, “when did Arkansas last play Missouri in football?”
            This may not be a scientific poll, but these are the facts of their answers:

            - 3 people replied something to the effect of “I Don’t Know”
            - 1 guy thought it was the Independence Bowl “about 12 years ago”
            -1 guy remembered they played when he was in school, so over 20 years ago.
            -Last guy said, “they played this year, didn’t they? With the lightning? Oh, no, nevermind, that is the Kentucky game I am remembering.” -Word for word, bro.

            No one mentioned the Cotton Bowl or seemed in any way interested in Missouri.
            These are guys who could probably name half of the recruits in Arkansas’ most recent class and where they went to high school, so they are definitely engaged fans. To my dismay, they spend much of the work day discussing Razorback football, year round. Yet, I have never, ever heard anyone mention Missouri.

            can’t speak for the message boards that you read. My advice: if you really want to start a rivalry with Arkansas, you should totally post on these Razorback message boards as much as you do here. Arkansas fans will start hating Missouri in no time!

          • Andy says:

            Arch, the fact that we have played Arkansas twice in the last 30 years in football has more to do with it than anything. We played them every year in basketball for 35 years and the rivalry got pretty heated. The schools are nearby. If they play every year (and they will starting in 2014) the both sides will notice.

            As for how much fans care, I think the best way to judge that is not by asking random fans but by checking how much the tickets sell for on the secondary market. If the basketball tickets this year in Columbia and Fayetteville are any indication then there’s a lot of high interest. Cotton Bowl tickets are pricy too.

            Maybe you rcoworkers *wanted* o forget that game. Missouri won 35-7.

          • JayDevil says:

            That wasn’t the 2007 Cotton Bowl, it was the 2008. I remember, because I listened to the game on my way to watch Kansas in the Orange Bowl.

  33. BuckeyeBeau says:


    You were right three years ago about basketball. A general caution is in order to not confuse “basketball” with “market.”

    You said in the OP: “While basketball is much less of a concern to the power conferences at face value, consider which school is the top target for both the Big Ten and SEC (the 2 richest and most powerful conferences): North Carolina. … UNC is a basketball blue blood,”

    From this you are suggesting that basketball is really important now for realignment.

    But then you go on to say: “… Tar Heels basketball games are so critically important in the state of the North Carolina that a conference TV network carrying such games can effectively charge whatever carriage rate that it wants in that market.”

    From this you are identifying the real reason that UNC is a target for the B1G and the SEC: its tv market. This is what you said three years ago; it is still true. “TV value” is 1/4th of your formula.

    Kansas ~~~ again ~~~ is the counter example. They too are a basketball blueblood and, even now, the B1G and the SEC do not want them. The Kansas tv/media market is not big enough to justify adding another slice to the revenue “pie.”

    You were right three years ago and not much has changed.

    As Brian posted above, your formula was/is:

    Academics – 25
    TV value – 25
    Football brand value – 30
    Basketball brand value – 10
    Historic rivalries/Cultural fit – 5
    Mutual interest – 5

    You properly said “Football BRAND value.” (emphasis added). No one on this Board has ever suggested that the Mountain West was going to get a lot of $$$ from the networks. All the good Football brands left the (former) Big East and, as you say, the Big East was left with “riff raff.” No one ever suggested that the football “riff raff” was going to get a lot of $$$ from the networks. And I don’t recall anyone suggesting that ANY football brand was better than ANY basketball brand. You certainly did not suggest this.

    If there is a “problem” with your formula, it is that your formula is B1G-centric (or maybe B1G-specific). The B1G values academics in a way that other conferences do not. Example: the then-Pac-10 was willing to take academic light-weights like Okie State and TexTech.

    My guess is the weight of “academics” varies from conference to conference and my guess is that the weight of “tv value” goes up in proportion as the weight of “academics” goes down.

    So, as said, IMO, recent events do not change the analysis.

    Plus, recent events are subject to other interpretations.

    Alternative interpretation one: Taking the FOX vs. ESPN view of things, FOX is overpaying for the (new) Big East basketball package taking that “inventory” away from ESPN.

    Further, FOX (along with the BTN) has figured out how to monetize basketball in a way that ESPN has not.

    Further, FOX did not make a serious bid for the ACC media rights. This was purposeful and has done two things. First, has left the ACC with a below-market media deal making the schools in the ACC restless. Second, it leaves FOX with more $$$ to (possibly) over-pay for the (new) Big East and to bid for the B1G media rights.

    Assuming FOX is attempting to get UNC, et. al., away from ESPN and into the FOX camp, there is synergy here. “Overpaying” for the (new) Big East signals to UNC & Duke that FOX will really “overpay” from them (if they felt so inclined to join the B1G).

    Alternative interpretation two: what FOX is willing to pay for a Bball only league is not relevant to conference realignment. What ESPN agreed to pay the Big X Conference is relevant; but there is no new information there.

    The Big X is basically now on the level of C-USA. The Big X got from ESPN C-USA-level $$$. That is exactly what we would have expected three years ago.

    Alternative interpretation three: recent events simply confirm the important of “tv value” and “brand value.” The (new) Big East has teams in good and diverse markets with several good-to-great Bball brand names. Why are we surprised that this combination netted $3-4M per school per year? Imagine breaking off the B1G bball teams into a bball-only league. Selling just those media rights, what would it be worth? My guess is $7-8M per school per year. The B1G has a lot of big media markets and several good-to-great Bball brands.

    All in all, I don’t think the FOX deal with the (new) Big East represents any sort of “sea-change” with respect to realignment. (That being said, it may represent a sea-change concerning the value of basketball to the networks. There are more channels and thus more demand. But basketball value is still going to be a fraction of the analysis with respect to realignment.)

    As for giving advice to Athletic Departments: with due respect Frank, you are thinking like the President of a B1G University. To give proper advice, you must think like the President of a University in the MAC or of a University trying to transition from Div. 1aa up to Div. 1a. I seriously doubt any MAC President thinks the tv networks are going to pay millions for their football product. For those schools, it is about student recruiting. Every time Butler plays basketball on tv or tournament game, that is invaluable “advertising” for the school. Sports matter and it separates schools from the true “no-name” schools.

    As for forming Bball-only leagues and getting $3-4M per school from FOX: again, with due respect, you have identified the only four teams that could even try: UConn, Memphis, Temple and Cincy. But, not going to happen. They are good-to-great schools, but they are not in good-to-great markets. The FOX deal with the (new) Big East is unique and will not and cannot be replicated.

    • Andy says:

      @BuckeyeBeau, I think academics are as much of a reason for the difference between the demand for Kansas and the demand for UNC and Duke as anything. If KU were ranked #20 in USNews instead of #111 or whatever they are this year, then they might get some more attention.

      • bullet says:

        Its much more the 9.8 million people in Carolina vs. 2.8 in Kansas as well as the faster growth. N. Carolina is the 10th biggest state & will soon pass Michigan. Another 20 years growth at their pace in the last decade and they will pass Ohio and be almost caught up to Illinois and Pennsylvania.

        • Andy says:

          Sure, there’s that too. But I don’t think anybody’s going to argue that KU is anywhere near UNC academically.

          • BruceMcF says:

            No, people wouldn’t argue that Kansas ranks up with UNC academically, but that isn’t on the basis of the USNWR undergrad rankings, it would be on the basis of research funding and numbers of top flight graduate schools.

          • Andy says:

            KU’s research is the 2nd lowest in the AAU. UNC’s is above average.

          • BruceMcF says:

            Yes, eg, AAU research rankings are far more relevant than than USNWR undergrad rankings, even though USNWR undergrad rankings is easier to find.

  34. Marc Shepherd says:

    If there is a “problem” with your formula, it is that your formula is B1G-centric (or maybe B1G-specific). The B1G values academics in a way that other conferences do not. Example: the then-Pac-10 was willing to take academic light-weights like Okie State and TexTech.

    Frank had the formula right. Obviously, the interpretation varies for each conference, so a Texas Tech is acceptable to the Pac-12 (as part of a deal where they also get Texas), but not to the Big Ten.

    In the modern history of realignment, hardly any school has switched voluntarily to a worse academic conference than the one they were in. I don’t think that’s a coincidence. Schools use conference moves to trade up academically, as well as athletically.

    It could be that Frank under-rated academics, where the Big Ten is concerned. After all, he gave it just 25 percent, but AAU membership seems to be practically a litmus test, with Notre Dame being the only known exception they’re willing to make. If that’s true, it would seem the league is ranking academics a lot more than just 25 percent.

    • David Brown says:

      If the AAU is so important, why do they allow Nebraska to remain in the Conference? Guess what? It is the same reason that Penn State was not booted post-Sandusky (This from a huge Penn State fan), and they chose Rutgers over say Missouri. It is about Money. Call it “TV footprint” call it ratings, call it whatever you like, it is about who brings in the most money to the Conference and individual Schools. Maybe it is 90% $$$$ while the others are 95% money, but it is still about “Show me the money.”

      • Mezzemup says:

        Agreed. As the BTN network becomes more valueable I can see AAU status and geographic location becoming less important b/c the channel becomes a “runaways train” in good and bad ways. At some point, maybe even more geographic outlander colleges maybe pursued to gain a wider audience (fingers crossed for florida st). If the Big network becomes something similiar to the level of spike or , you telling me they’re going to still be preaching AAU status or geographic location. At some point such talk will become moot. It really depends how big Delany and company wants the channel to get and how safely they want to get there. Once a fluffer college is on the ride (i.e., BTN) they can’t be booted off…looking at you georgia tech, missouri, and maybe even virginia. The phrase ’100 year decison’ could mean we’re thinking too small and safe, depending on the ambitions of the B10 network.

      • Andy says:

        Missouri’s population is tripple that of Nebraska, and has better academics as well. They are better at football and that’s it. But then Rutgers is bad at football but has decent academics and a good market. Missouri had decent but not great football, academics, and market. Seems there’s no reasly formula for this.

        • gfunk says:

          Nebraska has 16 NCAA NC’s. Don’t know about Mizzo, a school I like. Sure you have a better basketball school, but Neb makes bank with women’s volleyball. They are also traditional powers in smaller Olympic sports.

          • OrderRestored83 says:

            @ Andy, Missouri isn’t much better than Kansas or Nebraska in the realm of academics. That metric is not one to use. Stick with the population arguement as that isn’t such a subjective piece of criteria. It is however subjective how much of that population Missouri can actually draw. The Rutgers/Maryland move makes perfect sense for the members of the B1G. The first move brought in a national football power in Nebraska; the second brought in more of an audience to exploit it.

          • Arch Stanton says:

            Also, just the sheer population number (and the sheer number of actual fans) wasn’t the whole story with Maryland and Rutgers. Their location was also important.
            I believe the B1G felt they were getting boxed in to the east by the ACC as it added Boston College, V-Tech, Pittsburgh, Syracuse and even Notre Dame over the past decade.
            Adding Maryland from the ACC, and Rutgers as well, instantly changes that geography. The B1G now stretches to the east coast by slicing through the middle of the ACC footprint. They have beachheads in the NYC, Baltimore and D.C. areas.
            Maryland and Rutgers also secure Penn State into the conference whereas before they were an outlier.
            There really is an east coast bias in media coverage and the B1G didn’t want to give that that advantage wholely to the ACC. The eastern seaboard used to be split between the Big East and the ACC (with the SEC owning Atlanta and northern Florida – not what is considered “east coast bias terrain anyway). With the ACC engulfing the Big East, they were poised to dominate the eastern seaboard geographically. The addition of Maryland and Rutgers put a stop to that.

            Adding Missouri does none of those things. While I’m sure that Missouri would have been a candidate for number 14 if they hadn’t joined the SEC, I think ultimately Rutgers would have gotten the invite over Missouri even if they were still in a GOR-less Big 12 and very eager to leave.

          • Andy says:


            I’ve talked about this a lot before so forgive me if you’ve seen it, but maybe you’re new here.

            Missouri and Nebraska compared

            Nebraska 49 bowls in football, 11 claimed and unclaimed national titles, 85,517 attendance average, Missouri 30 bowls 2 claimed and unclaimed national titles, 67,476 attendance average. Nebraska is clearly better at football.

            Nebraska 6 NCAA tournaments in basketball, never won a tournament game, 7 conference titles (regular season and tournament), Missouri 25 NCAA tournaments in basketball, 5 Elite Eights, 23 conference titles (regular season and tournament). Missouri is clearly better at basketball.

            Nebraska 14 NCAA baseball tournaments, 3 CWSs, 0 national titles, Missouri 22 NCAA baseball tournametns, 6 CWSs, 1 national title. Missouri is better at baseball.

            Women’s sports, Missouri is better at softball and maybe soccer. Nebraska is better at the others. Nebraska is pretty strong at women’s sports.

            Missouri is a national power at wrestling. They’re pretty weak in tennis and swimming. Used to be strong in track but not lately.

            In general on the strenghts of the women’s sports Nebraska will rank higher than Missouri in the overall directors’ cup standings. Nebraska finished 40 last year, Missouri finished 49. 33, 41.

            As far as academics, Missouri is still in the AAU, Nebraska is not. Missouri ranks 69th in research dollars, Nebraska ranks 93rd. Missouri is a few spots higher in the USNews ranking as well. Missouri has 35k students, Nebraska has 25k. Nebraska ACT average: 25.4, Missouri 25.7. They are in the same general ballpark, but Missouri is a big stronger than Nebraska academically.

            Markets, Missouri clearly leads. State population of Missouri is over 6M. State population of Nebraska is 1.8M.

            So basically Nebraska got the nod on the basis of football and not really anything else. They are good at football, I’ll give them that.

          • Andy says:

            @order restored, I gave you some objective academic numbers to look at in the post I just posted. I agree that it’s not a huge margin, but it’s not an insignificant margin either. Missouri is stronger academically. More students. Smarter students. More research. Better reputation. AAU.

          • Andy says:

            As for population, yeah New Jersey has a lot of people, but how many of them are Rutgers fans? Missouri has a ton of Mizzou fans, believe it or not. I’m not so sure about Rutgers with New Jersey. Also, Maryland averaged only 36k fans per game this season. I’m not sure how many fans they even have. They’re right there in DC, I’m not sure how much their state as a whole supports them, at least in football. They’re both good schools though.

          • OrderRestored83 says:

            @ Andy, I think you are looking at the population of New Jersey with a mid-western thinking cap on. No, Rutgers wasn’t added because of all the Rutgers fans in that area……this is ludacris to even pretend. The east coast is a bit different than the midwest in the aspect of it being more of a melting pot of back grounds (educationally and background speaking). So in essence, Rutgers was added to get carriage for the BTN in New Jersey households who are Big Ten fans; not necessarily Rutgers fans. Think of it that way. Thank you for the objective numbers though on the academic front; I’m not intricately familiar with either institution (Nebraska, Missouri)…..but in the academic circles I am associated with, the two are seen as fairly equal.

          • Andy says:

            @order restored, sounds good in theory. We’ll see it works. Missouri fits the standard Big Ten model: big state school with lots of in state fans, a big (soon to be bigger) stadium that fills up on Saturdays with people cheering for their state school. As far as that goes Rutgers is a fixer upper. But sounds like they’ve got some new fangled ideas they’re trying out with the scarlet knights that may or may not work.

          • gfunk says:

            @ Andy,

            I hear you. But, 16 NCAA titles is what it is. Also, I started browsing Director’s Cup rankings over the past 25 years. Nebraska has cracked the top 25 often, 7 times since 2000, hardly the case with Mizzo. Nebraska also had a string of top 10 finishes in the mid 90s.

            Sadly, I think the BIG let Mizzo get away when they clearly had the opportunity, but the timing wasn’t right. You should know this. I think the BIG simply wanted to get to 12 – hard to refuse Nebraska – esp after 2 consecutive conference title games in football, close losses, a sign that Nebraska football was on the rebound. But the SEC surprising went to 14, thus the Rutgers & Md additions were done and not nearly as popular as PSU and Neb expansion. If 18 is the end game, Mizzo certainly has to be considered, but such a move would be highly unpopular for Mizzo and the BIG. The SEC faithful would have a ball denigrating such a move.

            But, Mizzo is more Midwestern than Southern, regardless of Mizzouri-Branson-Ozarks ville.

          • Andy says:

            Yes, gfunk, had the B1G expanded to 14 before the SEC they could have had Missouri, but they waited too long. Missouri can go either way. The southern part of Missouri fits the SEC while St. Louis fits in more with the B1G.

        • bullet says:

          Nebraska doesn’t have much of a basketball program, but overall, Nebraska has one of the best athletic departments in the country. They have been nationally competitive in many sports. Typically, they finished 2nd in the Big 12 in the Director’s Cup, well ahead of typically #3 Texas A&M.

          If you look at all time Big 12 titles (including years since Nebraska left) its:
          Texas 117
          Nebraska 72
          A&M 57
          Baylor 49
          Oklahoma 44
          Okie St. 41
          Colorado 27
          Kansas 24
          Texas Tech 12
          Iowa St. 11
          Missouri 10
          KSU 7
          WVU 1

          Its going to be a long time before Baylor or OU or the Cowboys knock Nebraska out of 2nd place.

          • bullet says:

            So those of you knocking Baylor, yes, Baylor is currently 2nd among active Big 12 schools in conference titles.

          • ccrider55 says:

            OkSU has fewer overall B12 titles than it has NC’s in wrestling?

          • Mike says:

            @cc – Big 8 titles not included?

          • ccrider55 says:

            Oops, brain cramp. Thanks.

            Although, I’m not sure the number of conference titles over the relative short period of the B12 is as good a measure as including B8/SWC titles.

          • Andy says:

            As I said, Nebraska is very good at most of the women’s sports. No doubt.

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        If the AAU is so important, why do they allow Nebraska to remain in the Conference?

        I didn’t say it’s the only thing they look at. But Nebraska was in the AAU when they joined. Every school they are known to have seriously considered has been in the AAU, except for Notre Dame. I don’t think I’m mistaken to say that it is a VERY large factor for them.

        It is the same reason that Penn State was not booted post-Sandusky…..

        Whoa there. Talk about mixing your metaphors. The reason Penn State wasn’t booted, was because there wasn’t the slightest reason to even consider doing so. Tragic as it was, the Sandusky scandal was isolated. No sane person has suggested that if Penn State were allowed to remain, they’d continue to be a magnet for child rapist ex-coaches.

        If you were ever going to kick a school out of a conference, it would be a school where there is a recurring problem that cannot or has not been fixed, not an absurd scandal confined to a few warped individuals, the likes of which no one has seen before or expects to see again.

      • BruceMcF says:

        “If the AAU is so important, why do they allow Nebraska to remain in the Conference?”

        Because not making marriage vows in the first place is easier than getting a divorce. Indeed, moving to get Nebraska before their loss of AAU status became public knowledge is a market of how important academics when trying to overcome the institutional intertia of the Big Ten universities.

    • bullet says:

      I think the academics is over-weighted. The academics is a cliff, not a weighted factor. You either pass or you don’t.

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        If that were true, Notre Dame wouldn’t be acceptable — and we know they are. It was also widely known before Nebraska joined that they were at risk of losing AAU status, so even for them, it was a factor, but not a cliff. We really have no idea what the B1G thinks about FSU.

        • bullet says:

          Notre Dame is very highly regarded academically. They just aren’t one of the top research universities. So even though they aren’t AAU, they pass the cliff test. Contrast that with say, Cincinnati, who has more research, but isn’t AAU and isn’t as highly regarded as Notre Dame otherwise. Same with UConn.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            Research is the driver, because that’s the attribute that the Big Ten derives tangible value from. High GRE and LSAT scores don’t deliver a thing. Notre Dame is an exception they are willing to make, to what would otherwise be their usual standards. The open unresolved question is whether FSU is, as well.

            Cincinnati is a red herring, because the B1G wouldn’t duplicate the Ohio market, even if they join the AAU at some point. There are so many issues around UConn that the question of bending the rules for them has probably never even come up.

          • greg says:

            Totally disagree about academics cliff. Maryland and Rutgers expansion wouldn’t have happened if they had Missouri academics.

            Re: attendance decline. The only place we are really seeing it is the crap being added to the bottom of d1.

      • @bullet and @Marc Shepherd – That was kind of my intent with the academics component. It was an all-or-nothing category – a school either received 25 points or 0 points, with nothing in between. From the Big Ten perspective, either you meet the standard or you don’t at all. The weighting of 25 points effectively ensured that if a school got 0 points on academics, it couldn’t possibly score high enough to be realistically considered even if it was perfect in every other category.

        • BuckeyeBeau says:

          @FtT: Interesting. That may have been your intent (it’s either 0 or 25 points for the “academic” factor), but I’m not sure that’s how the COP/C sees it or even this Board. In this thread, for example, have been discussions of Kansas vs. UNC’s and MO vs. Nebraska’s academic statuses and how such impacted or might impact an invite to the B1G.

          Plus, the COP/C is not a unitary black box. It contains 12-14 voting members with hundreds of others offering input into theses decisions. The opinions are bound to be diverse and, thus, the “opinion” of the COP/C is likely to be nuanced. By a combination of thinking and opinions, ND will likely get some “credit” on the “academic” factor, but less than UNC will likely get.

          I also want to suggest that the vote on Nebraska was probably NOT unanimous (even if the decision was claimed to be unanimous). Given what is known about Michigan and Wisconsin’s votes on kicking Nebraska out of the AAU, they probably voted “no” on B1G membership. Everyone else out-voted them?

          Something like that might be in the offing if FSU were offered.

          To be clear, I have no insider information. Just offering theories.

      • BruceMcF says:

        But its a mix of the two, isn’t it? A minimal acceptable level of academic status may be a pre-requisite, but when you get to the level of research funding of the strongest elite research universities, it becomes a driver as well.

  35. gfunk says:

    If this happens, would the BIG and ACC go further and just get Md, Rutgers & Louisville in by this summer? The article says otherwise. God this is all a headache at this point:

    • gfunk says:

      Also, if ND does in fact join the ACC this summer, how does that factor into Md’s exit fees? The argument has been pinned already that Md’s loss, but Lville’s arrival diminishes the ACC’s financial loss argument. ND is even more profitable than Lville.

    • Brian says:

      UMD can’t move early with the lawsuit up in the air. I think the B10 strongly prefers to wait for 2014 and will ask RU to suck it up for a year.

      • gfunk says:

        @ Brian,

        But if ND’s ACC entrance is expedited, as this article suggests, doesn’t such counter ACC claims of financial hardship caused by Md’s departure? Thus, Md would have a stronger case against the ACC and reason to fast track the legal process. Throw Lville in & it seems clear the ACC has limited, if any financial hardship by Md’s departure.

        Just my light observations.

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          I think the legal theory of the exit fee is more than just the damage of losing a particular school. It’s also the instability. In the modern era, I can’t recall a conference losing just ONE school. The first loss almost always leads to more. This perception of instability affects the conference on many fronts, not just TV revenue. I’m not suggesting the whole $54m Maryland exit fee will be upheld, only that the analysis is more complicated than just a revenue spreadsheet.

      • bullet says:

        The lawsuit doesn’t hold them back. Its the B1G not being ready to go to 14. If they went next year, there would be no time to ramp up the BTN.

        • Brian says:

          I think it does hold them back. The settlement/decision may change significantly if they give 3 months notice versus 15 months. Until that suit is settled, they won’t move. IMO and IANAL.

    • BruceMcF says:

      No, because this is not about Notre Dame joining the ACC football championship, its about Basketball, which starts later, and the non-revenue sports, which in the end are just going to shut up and cope with whatever conference realignment throws their way.

  36. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Florida State’s AD Spetman speaks.

    “While Spetman said he has been a part of high-level discussions regarding Florida State’s conference affiliation, those measures of cost effectiveness are being debated by the conferences as well, and the fit has to be right on both ends.

    “Unless you bring in a revenue for them so that they don’t reduce their conference distribution to themselves, they aren’t going to bring you in,” Spetman said. “That’s what I don’t think people evaluate as much. It would be great to be in the SEC with our radius of schools and the way our fans travel and their fans travel, but if they bring Florida State into the SEC, I’m trying to see, how do we sell that we bring them enough additional revenue that we pay for ourselves and they make more money off of us? They have Florida just two hours away that has the TV market here.”

    Similarly, a move to the Big Ten or Big 12 isn’t a slam dunk financially for Florida State. Issues surround TV distribution (Maryland won’t immediately get a full share from the Big Ten), travel (West Virginia, for example, has had difficulty adjusting to the demands of travel in the Big 12) and, of course, the not insignificant issue of that buyout to leave the ACC, which would cost the university close to $50 million — a number Maryland is challenging as it works its way out of the league.

    In the short term, Spetman said he’s confident that the ACC is moving in the right direction, and the Noles staying remains the most appealing solution. However, he said his priority is to ensure that Florida State is prepared for the next major shift.”

    • Blapples says:

      I just don’t buy the travel argument. The ACC in 2013 isn’t the ACC of 2000 or even 2003. Florida State will be playing future conference road games in Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Boston, Louisville, and South Bend. It could also very likely be playing games in Cincinnati and Storrs, CT if the ACC is raided any further.

      Are we all in agreement that FSU is not a candidate for 15 or 16? If so, it stands to reason that FSU would be coming with a block of at least 3 other southern traveling partners. Having yearly games with GT, UVA, and UNC would provide enough “backyard” games.

      So I ask… How would FSU’s travel plans be drastically different from their soon-to-be ACC travel plans? Sure, they’ll have to go to Lincoln (996 miles) and Madison (916 miles) every few years, but is that really worse than Boston (1,101 miles) or Syracuse (979 miles)?

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        You’ve read more into it than what he really said. First, he said the SEC would be great for travel. I think this is hardly disputable. The rest of the article was not talking about a particular conference, and he cited several issues, travel being only one. In a hypothetical case where FSU and Clemson — and no others — joined the Big XII, I think it’s obvious that travel distances for them would go way up. Even in the Big Ten with three partners, they’d go up, though by not as much. (They’d no longer have Clemson; they’d have at most two NC schools in the league, not four; and at most one VA school, not two. If they continued to play Miami every year, it would be OOC.)

        • bullet says:

          Their travel doesn’t go up that much with the Big 12. FSU isn’t really very close to anyone in the ACC so they have to fly everywhere. More miles, but the same number of flights. Not much difference between Big 12 and Big 10 for travel for them. Their travel would go way down if they joined the SEC.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            I’ve been an advocate of the “airplane test” (i.e., once you’re on a plane, differences of a few hundred miles don’t really matter very much). But it is obvious from their comments that many fans and athletics administrators don’t see it that way. So the issue is obviously not cut and dried.

          • frug says:

            One thing to keep in mind though is that a lot of the Big XII schools are located pretty far from major airports. I don’t know about the ACC, but I know the distance to airports issue is why Nebraska said their total travel time won’t go up in the Big Ten even though their travel costs are increasing by $2 million a year.

        • Blapples says:

          @Marc I guess I thought he was insinuating that WVU’s travel difficulties would be similar to FSU’s in a B1G that included 4-5 ACC schools. Agreed that SEC would be great for their travel.

          But you’re not including the fact that they don’t play all 4 NC schools, and both VA schools every year. Hell, they don’t even get to play GT at all this year and that’s the closest ACC school to Tallahassee. On average, they’re playing 1.5 games in North Carolina per year, and 0.5 games in Virginia per year.

          In the B1G, they’d play somewhere around 0.5 to 1 game per year in NC depending on if Duke is included with UNC, and they’d play the same amount of games in Virginia. Once every other year. (I’m basing these numbers on FSU being put into the pod/division with their ACC friends. I know you prefer your own system where only the vital rivalries arew protected.)

          I just think the argument that FSU would struggle with travel in an 18-20 team B1G as opposed to the 2013 ACC travel is completely overblown.

          • m (Ag) says:

            The travel issues are less with football than with the other sports. FSU generally plays all the ACC schools in sports like basketball.

          • Blapples says:

            You mean there is more to realignment than football? What is this, a revenge of the basketball thread? Oh, it is. Well then…

      • The travel argument still holds. Even the farthest ACC schools from Florida state are very easy to get to because they’re in large markets which are well-served by aircraft. It’s definitely faster to fly from Tallahassee to Boston than it is to drive from Tallahassee to Raleigh. Flights are common enough that you can bring all of your sports without too much difficulty. Even Syracuse, which combines actual distance and remoteness more than probably any other school in the ACC for FSU is pretty easy to get to. The Big Ten would be workable in terms of travel for Florida State because most of its schools are relatively close to decent, frequently used airports, with a few notable exceptions. The Big 12 on the other hand, would require a lot of both flying and driving. Since the flights to most of those locations are less common, they are also more expensive. For example, the cheapest plane tickets I saw from Tallahassee to Des Moines (the closest (and I use this term loosely) “major” airport to Ames (where Iowa State is located), are $956 dollars. You then have to pay for buses or taxis the rest of the way. For football, that doesn’t matter, but for your women’s softball team that can get pricey. Although a couple of Big XII Schools are in relatively easy places to get to such as Ft. Worth, most are quite remote. Frankly, it would be easier and cheaper for Florida State to travel if it were in the Pac 12 than if it were in the Big XII. I actually believe it might be cheaper and easier for Florida State to travel in the ACC than the SEC. Although most SEC towns are amazing to visit, it can be a real pain to get there.

        • bullet says:

          Tallahassee is the problem. Austin, Lubbock, DFW, Oklahoma City are all heavily served by SW Airlines. KU is near Kansas City. Manhattan, Waco and Stillwater require a bus trip, but Charlottesville does too. Virginia Tech is a really long way from a major airport. Illinois, Iowa, Indiana and Purdue are bus trips as well.

          The Big 12 schools are “out of the way” comment is only true if the ACC and Big 10 and SEC are as well.

    • Andy says:

      Alan, this quote to me somewhat confirms what I’ve heard, that FSU wanted to join the SEC but was turned down in favor of Missouri.

  37. boscatar says:

    I prefer to call it the “Big TBA”

    • frug says:

      Of course the conference said exactly the same thing when they were already in active negotiations with Maryland and Rutgers so honestly I wouldn’t read too much into this.

      • vp19 says:

        Once negotiations on a new TV contract begin in earnest, there’s no need to do anything. At least overtly.

        • vp19 says:

          I meant “until negotiations on a new TV contract begin in earnest”…

        • BruceMcF says:

          Ideally conference alignment will be settled when negotiations on a new TV contract begin in earnest. But if they are going to take the contract to the open market, that is years away yet.

  38. Mezzemup says:

    I’m surprised he even acknowledge the B10 as an option publically…thought that dream was just for message boards considering the extreme geography.

  39. Mezzemup says:

    above comment regarding FSU AD comments

  40. Transic says:


    • Andy says:

      Awesome news. I hope it’s true. Brian and others should be happy too.

    • Andy says:

      Maybe this means the ACC is too strong to break up for the foreseeable future. Wouldn’t that be great?

      I like how things are now. B1G at 14, SEC at 14. I’d like to see the Big 12 get back to 12. Maybe take BYU and Cincinatti?

      Then we can just quit all this nonsense until the Big 12 GOR expires in 12 years and then the Pac 12 can finally take UT and OU and then we’ll see what happens.

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        Hmmm…you think it would be “great” if the ACC is too strong to break up, but you’d love to see UT and OU in the Pac-12? Is this analysis or just homerism? It seems you and the Dude of WV are singing from the same songsheet. The only difference is which particular conferences you’re homering for—or against.

        • Transic says:

          He just wants Kansas to suffer, logic be damned. Never underestimate the strength of one’s bitterness.

          As for me, better the ACC sticks around as is until conditions are finally right.

          • Andy says:

            I want KU to stop sulking and play us already. I don’t care what conference they’re in. If anything I hope they end up in the Pac 12 so I can boo them in person. Maybe UT/OU/KU plus one more to the Pac 12 eventually.

          • Anthony London says:

            I’m going to shamelessly us your phrase, “never underestimate the strength of one’s bitterness.”
            You need to tweet that at least once a week…


        • Andy says:

          I work for a Pac 12 school in California. Would like to see the Pac 12 get those schools and expand to 14. I’d like to see Texas and OU come play on campus where I work. I think the B1G (I went to grad school at Michigan) and SEC (I did my undergrad at Missouri) are big enough. I’m not overly eager to see them expand further. And if they do I’d like to see the neat 16×4 alignment if possible, and this current dynamic doesn’t lend to that, so I’d like to see them stop at 14.

        • Andy says:

          Also, Marc, as far as comparing me to the Dude because I have some personal preferences of who I’d like to see where, that’s a little odd. I thought everyone on here had preferences. Including Frank the Tank, and including, I assume, you.

          What makes the Dude such a douche is he makes up fake stories about which team is going where on which date. He’s a huge liar.

          I’m just sharing an opinion.

          • Andy says:

            I guess ideally what I’d like to see is:

            Current SEC + UNC and Duke

            Current B1G + UVA and one of GT/FSU/Pitt/whoever you want

            Current Pac 12 + UT, OU, KU, and one more of wheover else they want

            Fourth league of the other 16 most worthy schools.

            I know it’ll probably never happen, but that’s what I’d like to see.

    • wmwolverine says:

      Exactly what Delaney told AD’s to say, seen similar quotes from other AD’s recently.

    • BruceMcF says:

      That “right now” falls in line with the previous comment about the Big Ten not being “aggressive” about expansion right now. It suggests that the roast has got to stay in the oven a good while longer before it is ready to take out.

      The Maryland exit is going to be settled well before crunch time for the Big Ten to conclude expansion agreements in time for its contract negotiations, which gives everyone opposed to moving in the target schools an opportunity to line up behind “we need to know what exist is going to cost Maryland first”.

      And “we will be focusing on integrating Maryland and Rutgers into the conference” can easily be read by the cynical as “the schools we want aren’t in such pressing financial straits that they will move on the basis of projections ~ they need to see what kind of cable contracts we are able to negotiate in Maryland and Rutger’s market area”.

      And if the mid-period SEC contract renegotiation is yielding tier 1 and tier 2 increases roughly in proportion to the increase in membership numbers, then its quite plausible that barring an opportunity for a big windfall gain, the SEC waits until they get a conference network bedded down so they have a stronger idea what kind of financial impacts they are looking at.

      Meanwhile the Big East / “Big American / Metro / Whatever” realignment is actually happening, the West Virginia conference has been dismantled, and the ongoing process of Mid-Major and below realignment that has been going on at faster and slower paces but fairly continuously over the past two or three decades continues on apace.

  41. acaffrey says:

    For discussion…. we are debating the merits of Navy to the ACC in the same role as Notre Dame.

    Before dismissing, at least read my rationale for it. There is obviously room for healthy debate. I am not advocating for it, but I see a rationale for it.

    What do you think?

    • cfn_ms says:


      1) Notre Dame won’t commit to 7 league games (much less 8), with or without Navy.

      2) Navy on its own merits isn’t worth an ACC invite. Navy has a national following for precisely ONE day a year (and everyone knows what day that is)… and I strongly suspect that even there the long-term trajectory is negative (since the people who remember when Army-Navy mattered are aging and dying off).

      Of course, in the scenario where ACC powers start to abandon ship (some combination of FSU, UNC, UVA, VA Tech, Duke, GT, Clemson), then maybe things change, but I really don’t see the incentive to go this route before hand. The last thing the league should want to do is reinforce the perception that the stronger schools/AD’s are slumming it with a bunch of lesser programs, which the addition of Navy would only seem to reinforce.

      That said, if somehow the ACC actually could convince Notre Dame to sign on as a full member, and that somehow the Navy addition was key to it, then sure, it’s worth it… but it’s REALLY hard to see that happening.

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      I agree with @cfn_ms that the premise fails: Notre Dame is not going to play 7 league games in the ACC. As it is, some ND fans consider it heresy that the Irish agreed to play 5. Once they play 7, then they’re practically full members. And if they’re going to be full members, they might as well join the Big Ten, where the TV payouts are a lot higher and the bowl tie-ins are better. Associate membership is the only thing the ACC can offer, that the Big Ten does not. Without that, Notre Dame has no reason to be in the ACC.

      • wmwolverine says:

        Irish take IMMENSE pride in independence despite in reality they are an associate member of the ACC. They’ll shoot themselves in the foot to save face (staying in the ACC) while leaving a ton of B10 money on the table in the name of pride. Big time donors/boosters threatened to drop like flies when the ND to B10 rumors were swirling a couple years ago.

        Without the Irish’s pride in their independence, they have nothing left that makes them special. ND’s great fear is they being just a small, Midwestern, private school in the B10…

        Only thing that will force ND to the B10 imo is both: 1. destruction of the ACC (as we currently know it) 2. a playoff scenario that heavily favors the conference champions of the 4 ‘major’ conferences (B10, Pac 12, Big XII and SEC).

        • acaffrey says:

          I get it. But I also think that the move to 5 is a stepping stone. And right now, that is actually 6 if ND is one of the games. So we are talking 2 more games… 1 more game for ESPN. That much more cash. If it helps save the ACC, it helps KEEP Notre Dame independent. The destruction of the ACC could be the impetus that forces ND to have to join a conference.

          • cfn_ms says:

            But why would Notre Dame go out of their way to save the ACC? Going to 8 league games doesn’t keep Notre Dame independent, it makes them a full-fledged league member. Obviously ND going to 8 league games is a great deal for the ACC, but what do the Irish get out of it? Their objection to joining the B1G is primarily an objection about joining a league period, not about the specific league.

            It’s certainly possible that the destruction of the ACC could lead to a series of events that forces ND into a league, but even that possibility (and each step along that way is far from inevitable) doesn’t seem like much of a reason for the Irish to take the proactive step of joining a league.

          • acaffrey says:

            I am thinking 9 games is inevitable for the ACC too. So I was not really thinking of that as a full slate.

            But I also said that it applies even in the current 5 game structure. The issue was adding Navy.

          • BruceMcF says:

            So entering today’s ACC for Olympic sports cost Notre Dame one more game than the ideal four that they need to guarantee their second half of the season scheduling. Why would an ACC that is so damaged that Navy is a good addition be in a position to squeeze two more games out of Notre Dame?

            If the ACC is so damaged that Navy is a good addition, then 5 games in today’s ACC would be a stepping stone to 4 games + the Navy Game in that future Mid-Major ACC.

          • cfn_ms says:

            or more likely 1-2 games + Navy in a future mid-major ACC. If key players leave the league, it seems VERY likely the Irish would reduce their game allotment to the group that’s left (or perhaps bail altogether). I somewhat suspect there’s some language to that effect in the joining agreement, though I’m just guessing on that one.

          • acaffrey says:

            The Big 10 just took Rutgers. I’d stack Navy’s on-field performance against Rutgers historically. Although the battle to see who next makes a Big Dance between Northwestern and Rutgers will be fun to watch.

          • BruceMcF says:

            The scheduling agreement is a two way street ~ Notre Dame WANTS four games late in the season when it is otherwise hard for an independent to get home games. And as far as Eastern Exposure, Notre Dame would surely not mind playing in any of BC, Syracuse, Pitt, or the state of Florida, so there’s likely to be plenty of incentive to keep playing Navy + four ACC teams. OTOH, the stronger their bargaining position, the more control they are likely to want over who they play.

          • cfn_ms says:

            Right. ND wants four games a year, but they want them to be against prestige or peer institutions. Assuming that the current deal largely splits those games more or less equally between current ACC programs (this MAY not be true but I’m guessing it is), then a shift in the makeup of the ACC would lead to a shift in the deal. I suppose an alternative to just cutting the number would be to explicitly exclude potential newcomers like UConn etc., or to simply say that it’s going to be Syracuse, Pitt, BC, (a remaining team ND actually wants to play), and one more that rotates somehow.

          • BruceMcF says:

            Under the scenario of the ACC dropping down to Best of the Rest status, I could easily see Notre Dame having it recast as Navy every year, two games from a rotation of Pitt, Syracuse, BC, Cincinnati and Louisville, and two games from a rotation of the rest.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            The current ACC has six teams that ND has scheduled with some frequency: BC, Pitt, GT, FSU, Miami, UNC. The Irish have not played Syracuse or Clemson very much, and they’ve never played Virginia Tech, but I’d guess those are teams they don’t mind playing. They just finished a two-year home & home with Wake Forest, scheduled long before they ever expected to be in the ACC.

            So overall, these are teams the Irish are reasonably happy to be in bed with. If FSU, Miami, UNC, and GT are no longer in the league, I think they’d have a very different view. I assume their commitment to play five league games has an out if the composition of the conference changes.

          • BruceMcF says:

            Yes, therefore why they might want to step down to four … but if Navy joined the ACC and ND was allowed to count the Navy game as one of the five, that IS already stepping down to four.

            Though on second thought, under some form of an ACC dismantled and rebuilt from the American 12 scenarios, ND could well have enough leverage to make it 1 against Navy, 3 from their preferred team list, 1 from the balance of the conference.

          • FLP_NDRox says:

            Here’s the first problem from the ND perspective, the Irish schedule in perpetuity will practically be:

            Michigan State/ Texas
            Miami (FL)
            Wake Forrest
            U of L
            southern cal

            Would *anyone* want to play that *every* year?

            The first problem from the ACC would be that each school was promised the opportunity to play ND at “home”. I’m sure FSU, Clemson, and GaTech would be quite upset they will NEVER play ND.

            Thus the whole plan fails right there, it’s not helping either side.

    • gfunk says:

      I like Hollis’ statements as well. Unfortunately, pro BIG expansionists will remain in their imperial star destroyers thinking Darth Delany is at the helm assuaging their economically driven desires, & they will somehow obfuscate the statements of Hollis and the OSU AD as cover and concealment for a Va-UNC membership, much in the same way Rutgers and Md were added. Not true, both Rutgers and Md were openly discussed during the public expansion period that led to Nebraska. Discussion of Rutgers, from what I remember, even pre-dated this expansion period. But, nothing will shock me. The BIG (10) has 14 teams, ND and Lville are not on the Atlantic, aTm is certainly in the Southwest, not Southeast, and the Pac12 has 4 schools in states that do not border Pacific. Yes, I get the branding angle.

      As I’ve posted before, I’ve certainly pushed my “Risk Expansion Fantasies”, (<– itself a lighthearted way of putting it, as well as a sign not to be taken too seriously). But there are some really delusional posters on here who are driven to see the BIG expand, esp along money lines: money trumps culture. My fantasy, on the other hand, is in the name of trimming the bloated FBS pool, pushing for an 8 team playoff with rotating venues, regardless of region, and adding schools, if such is necessary, who want to be in the BIG for more reasons than not. Call it the Maryland lesson. But, I certainly accept that Md is no longer southern, minus Mason Dixon line pockets, and they haven't been for years. They will also be blocked with PSU and Rutgers, as well as OSU, a mere 6 hours drive away. Neither Md nor Rutgers are outlying in the WVa sense.

      Va-GT-UNC & even FSU just seem so far fetched to me. The ACC's history is not equivalent to the Big12-SWC dysfunctional marriage. I've also learned that many of the Big East schools who left for the ACC wanted to make such moves, esp Va Tech, Miami and BC. Syracuse and Pitt ultimately caved, and both also expressed BIG aspirations as well, though Syracuse seemed more ACC, Pitt more BIG. Regardless, these schools dramatically differ than any present BIG expansion wish list for certain ACC schools – none who want to leave, esp if democracy was a factor in expansion. 7 charter members still remain in the ACC, & GT has longer ACC ties than PSU in the BIG – by at least 12 years. FSU has even been in the ACC longer than PSU in the BIG.

      As for long-term stability, I believe the Big 12 is ultimately at risk, mainly from the cultural end (which can't be overstated). The residue of the SWC-Big 8 merger still looms. Tx still has an inflated ego, OU still knows it can't remain a football power without Tx, and WVa is a true outlier – these are just some of the many issues steaming at the Big12's somewhat tenuous surface. But hey now, the Big12 somehwat changes this course if they pull the trigger on Cincy. They sadly blew it overlooking Lville.

      • wmwolverine says:

        A lot of the hypotheticals we play around with here are just that, hypotheticals. Whether they are educated guesses by outsiders trying to shape the B10 as we feel is best for the B10. Or what us outsiders think is likely to happen or they just want to have fun slicing up the ACC (and/or Big XII) among the B10, Pac 12, SEC & Big XII while playing Realignment Fantasy games. It’s a very open discussion with a lot of varying interests (pro B10, pro ACC, pro SEC, pro ND, etc.) with people debating from very different point of views.

        • gfunk says:

          Thank you. I do the same & really hope all, not just some, realize my semi-delusion on here. But some take me too seriously. Thus here’s a test to see if some of these types come after me : ). Would still prefer a BIG @ 18 with UConn, Kansas, OU and Tx. I like basketball more than football, this makes the BIG the best basketball – sorry ACC fans, not even Lville, ND and Pitt trump Kansas and UConn alone – throw in Tx and OU with their 7 Final Fours – game over! And one helluva a football conference that not only gives us “the Game” but the “Red River Shootout” or whatever they call it down there. Sure UConn and OU aren’t AAU, but they are still flagships that bring great resources to the lobbying power of the CIC, which I think is more about higher ed lobbying than pooled research anyways. Lastly, I think expansion should be about adding schools who would want, not oppose, BIG membership.

          • vp19 says:

            I think expansion should be about adding schools who would want, not oppose, B1G membership.

            But it works both ways as well. The Big Ten rightly considers itself an “old money” conference, with a heritage dating back to the 1890s. Maryland didn’t reach big-time status until after World War II (the Jim Tatum era in College Park); Rutgers not until the 1970s (the ’76 Final Four team, the gradual abandonment of ersatz Ivy football schedules). The Big Ten’s powers that be don’t view Connecticut in that light, even if it may be able to buy a home football game vs. Michigan. And the Big Ten presidents’ primary goal is building a conference comprised of the top academic/athletic institutions (and note which word comes first) in the two easternmost time zones. For all their combined titles, Connecticut, Oklahoma and perhaps even Florida State don’t cut it.

            If you want an 18-member Big Ten basketball powerhouse, I don’t see what would be so bad about adding UVa, UNC, Georgia Tech and Duke to the conference. You certainly wouldn’t be compromising yourself academically.

          • Brian says:


            “Would still prefer a BIG @ 18 with UConn, Kansas, OU and Tx.”

            You’re welcome to prefer it. Just admit it’s unlikely when you say it. Even plausible is a stretch for that group. That’s why people critiqued you. Even in their “fantasy” picks most people stay grounded in reality.

            “Lastly, I think expansion should be about adding schools who would want, not oppose, BIG membership.”

            Sure, but who gets to decide which schools want to join the B10? You? Message board fans? Nobody is forcing ACC schools to join the B10. Maybe they’d accept an offer, maybe they wouldn’t. You talk like it’s carved in stone that all the ACC schools are off limits and I don’t think you have solid basis for that strong of an opinion. You would have said the same thing about UMD and they did join.

          • Ms. B1G says:

            “Lastly, I think expansion should be about adding schools who would want, not oppose, BIG membership.”

            How do you know what those schools want? What are you basing this on? Whose to say many constituencies within the University don’t want to make a move to the Big 10? None of us know. But one thing is certain, they won’t base any decision to change conferences off message board comments from Walmart fans.

            Also NC and Duke would be just as good if not better basketball adds than UCONN and Kansas without a worry regarding AAU status or academic prestige.

          • gfunk says:


            I wouldn’t be discontent, likely intrigued and receptive to UVa, GT, Duke, UNC – my cultural curiosity would be genuinely open to such an expansion. I did some time and service in NC for 2.5 years via Marine Corps service at Lejeune. Tobacco Road is amazing, though saw more hs hoops than ACC games (just a few, and most Wake Forest games). I was in Chapel Hill bars for both flops by the Fab Five – damn that was long time ago. Getting old I am. Furthermore, I’ve road tripped much of ACC land in part because I played on the base soccer team, as well as the All Marine Team – we played many ACC teams, often their second string in exhibition games. I was fortunate enough to face Bruce Arena’s Va teams when they were winning all those NC’s in the 90s. We often lost, but we were respectable & the college kids loved the idea of playing against the military.

            The ACC is pretty tight knit, esp the charter members & the conference loves their hoops. They are certainly a blend of cultures, but those charter members are shall I say, semi-elitist southerners, quite proud. It will be interesting to see Pitt and the Cuse integrated. Lville will be an easy fit. But I think Cuse and Pitt have enough cultural compatibility, esp Cuse because of hoops and lacrosse.

            Sure Duke-UNC bring you mighty basketball power, no argument here. But Kansas and UConn aren’t to be overlooked: 6 NC’s, 18 FF’s, 3 less NC’s than UNC-Duke combined. UConn’s success has come at Duke’s expense, 2 of 3 NC’s (once in the semi-finals). Allen Fieldhouse, strictly my opinion, is a better venue than the Dean Dome and Cameron, though the Dome was wonderful for a Dead show, RIP Jerry. Allen is quite frankly the best college basketball experience I’ve ever had: Kansas – Mizzo 98 or 99, can’t remember now, but Missouri actually won – the place was in tears. Kansas and UConn may not match a Duke – UNC combo, but it’s as close as you can get. I think OU and Tx have as much basketball prestige as GT and UVa, in fact they have more FF appearances when compared as pairs.

            Your combo is perfectly fine & equally as ridiculous as mine : ). Your combo certainly exceeds mine in the academic sense & by a decent margin. OU and Kansas have ridiculously high admission rates. But as I said, you do get 4 flagship schools in my scenario, 2 AAU schools as well (KU n UT). UConn and Tx are also top 60 national universities, undergrad level, so says good ole US News.

            From the gridiron perspective, an unlikely Tx-OU to the BIG scenario brings sweeping football prestige. The ACC combination @ 4 doesn’t match Tx-OU, perhaps not even Tx or OU alone. Each school houses 80 plus thousand fans. That’s rather similar to Neb, PSU, OSU, Wisky, and slightly above MSU & Iowa. Pre Dodds era, Tx certainly flirted with BIG around the same time as PSU and the SWC-Big8 merger. But Dodds seems opposed to the BIG. OU, I think, would jump at the BIG, esp if Tx was aboard. Having Stoops there helps, and OU faithful value their Nebraska rivalry, and they haven’t forgotten Wilkinson’s legacy, a man with strong Minnesota ties. He laid the foundation for OU’s success.

            Lastly, I have some hope that BIG Hockey could turn into something special and maybe even turn a profit. There will certainly be more games on BTN next year. Minnesota certainly yields a profit on an annual basis. A UConn addition brings another team, though they’re a young brand. But things seem on the upswing for them as they are headed to Hockey East for 2013-2014.


            All is perfectly good here. I just needed folks to know I’m quite realistic and aware that my thoughts are strictly my own, they are fantasy driven & I welcome sarcasm-wit. But when I see financial figures and legal jargon linked to these posts, then some of this suggests some are being a bit too serious here – it’s sports, college sports. I had to stir the pot on my terms, bull sh&t or not : ).

          • Brian says:


            “The ACC is pretty tight knit, esp the charter members”

            Two of the 7 charter members have left or have agreed to leave.

            “the conference loves their hoops.”

            Well, they’d certainly be a terrible fit with OSU, MI, MSU, IN, PU, IL, MN and WI then.

            “They are certainly a blend of cultures, but those charter members are shall I say, semi-elitist southerners, quite proud.”

            The B10 would know nothing about academic elitists (NW, MI, WI, etc).

            “Lville will be an easy fit.”

            Yeah, those elitists won’t have an issue with their academics and mock them for it.

            “Your combo is perfectly fine & equally as ridiculous as mine : ).”

            No, his is much more realistic. Your combo is the ridiculous one. UNC is too culturally different but UT fits in well? OU does?

            “UConn and Tx are also top 60 national universities, undergrad level, so says good ole US News.”

            UT is a very good school. UConn is not nearly as good. USNWR puts them at 63, but the AAU says 81.

            “OU, I think, would jump at the BIG, esp if Tx was aboard.”

            Doesn’t matter since their academics stink. The B10 wouldn’t even give them a look.

            “Having Stoops there helps, and OU faithful value their Nebraska rivalry,”

            As their #3 rivalry, maybe. UT is clearly tops to them and Bedlam has moved up to #2. At least that was important enough to keep annual. NE would be a close third now and could retake second if it was played regularly.

            “Lastly, I have some hope that BIG Hockey could turn into something special and maybe even turn a profit. There will certainly be more games on BTN next year. Minnesota certainly yields a profit on an annual basis.”

            B10 schools reported a net profit from men’s hockey in 2011 ($19.8M in revenue, $16.5M in expenses). Unfortunately, they lost it all on women’s hockey.

            “I just needed folks to know I’m quite realistic and aware that my thoughts are strictly my own, they are fantasy driven & I welcome sarcasm-wit.”

            Fantasy is one thing. Saying OU and UT are cultural fits while UNC isn’t is something else.

            “But when I see financial figures and legal jargon linked to these posts, then some of this suggests some are being a bit too serious here – it’s sports, college sports.”

            Fans over-analyze. That’s what we do. We were just as over the top in discussing the divisions when NE was added. If you want a less analytical approach, this is the wrong blog for you.

          • cfn_ms says:


            1) I think expansion should be about adding schools who would want, not oppose, BIG membership

            2) Would still prefer a BIG @ 18 with UConn, Kansas, OU and Tx

            Not sure how these two statements jive. Obviously UConn and Kansas would be interested, but I don’t really see why OU/TX would be. It’s fairly obvious at this stage that neither of them want/are able to leave behind ALL of Texas Tech, OK St, TCU and Baylor (though I think it’s much more the first two than the latter two), and that the logistical issues inherent in inviting either or both are substantial.

            West Virginia is a substantial geographical outlier in the Big 12 and doesn’t seem to be enjoying that status at all, which has to be a consideration for any program who’s even thinking about doing the same, much less a pair of football kings who REALLY don’t have to take gambles on a questionable fit.

            Also worth noting that in terms of cultural fit the Big Ten and Texas/Oklahoma are quite a bit different. Those differences COULD be overcome, but the difficulties inherent make it difficult/unlikely, which is presumably why the Big Ten shifted gears and went East rather than West. If they wanted Texas, then getting a group like Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas Tech and 1-2 more in the region make sense, but instead they’ve clearly gone for an East strategy. I’m sure the doors will always be open for Texas, but there just isn’t much reason to think there’s mutual interest, either now or in the forseeable future.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            I think expansion should be about adding schools who would want, not oppose, BIG membership.

            Isn’t this kind of an empty statement? No one yet has joined the B1G without wanting to.

          • gfunk says:


            Disagree. Md brass wanted to join the BIG, & they succeeded, but the vast majority of MD fans: no way, to think otherwise is armchair reality! Md is the opposite of Rutgers, Neb, and PSU. In those 3 cases, the brass and most fans wanted it, though a loud group of PSU fans have become discontent with the BIG over the years- delusional reasons, no doubt, always an OSU-Mi fix in their minds. Alvarez, not saying he’s an expert, was pretty public about Rutgers and Md partly added to calm certain PSU fans & pro-ACC types.

            I want to respond to others on here, but I’m not as passionate as some of you & these damn things get longer and longer. No need for email notifications either, get enough crap coming in there.

          • Brian says:


            “Disagree. Md brass wanted to join the BIG, & they succeeded, but the vast majority of MD fans: no way, to think otherwise is armchair reality!”

            1. Where’s your evidence? Message boards are not representative of the entire fan base.

            2. Many of the fans also opposed cutting sports and other issues due to their financial problems. They can’t have it both ways.

            3. Many of the fans opposed how the change happened more than the change itself. They wanted a voice and were ticked.

            4. Many have changed their tune as the benefits of the move have been explained since the announcement.

            5. Their complaints were relative to the old ACC, but it doesn’t exist anymore. They also complained about the ACC taking away their home and homes against teams like Duke and UNC and making them play Pitt. Again, they can’t have it both ways.

            “Md is the opposite of Rutgers, Neb, and PSU. In those 3 cases, the brass and most fans wanted it, though a loud group of PSU fans have become discontent with the BIG over the years- delusional reasons, no doubt, always an OSU-Mi fix in their minds.”

            Actually, many PSU fans were complaining from day 1. They missed the olden days of playing eastern teams and/or Pitt and nothing would satisfy them. That plus not getting their own way with everything since they were now in a conference and not independent never sat well with them. The B10 also did a bad job of integrating them in some ways. The ADs and coaches were mad they weren’t consulted and said some things they shouldn’t have.

      • BruceMcF says:

        Why unfortunately? What difference does it make to you if there are some “pro BIG expansionists” who “will remain in their imperial star destroyers”?

        Indeed, if that is a concern to you, why don’t you go to a blog that they inhabit and argue against them there, rather than coming here and talking behind their backs?

        • gfunk says:


          Too serious you’re being. Also, my point is to slow down expansion in the name of mutual interests, not just financial euphoria. I would really like to see Rutgers and Md get through a BIG season. I’m also curious to see PSU, Neb, Mi and OSU finally have simultaneous blue blood seasons, sanction free.

          Many SEC fans have complained about the 14 team format, esp my cousins in Fla. They would prefer to go back to 12. And please don’t act like some of the storm troopers haven’t come on here, not just other blogs. Btw, it’s very hard to talk about people behind their backs on the Internet. You dig?

          • BruceMcF says:

            As far as, “Also, my point is to slow down expansion in the name of mutual interests, not just financial euphoria,” that is a position that a number on this board have made in a more serious way, without displaying any urgent need to troll your sketched stereotype of sophomoric pro-Big Ten Expansion fans.

            As far as being too serious, its the serious discussion of the issue that I find interesting. If you don’t want to get serious responses to arguments that you just slap down without giving them any thought, you could cut your posts here down to just the things you actually mean to say, and save the nonsense just thrown out there to provoke controversy for some other discussion forum.

          • Ms. B1G says:


            “Lastly, I have some hope that BIG Hockey could turn into something special and maybe even turn a profit.”

            Not sure why Big 10 Hockey wouldn’t still be something special as well as turn a profit without UCONN Hockey when four of the six members have been to 10 or more Frozen Fours. UCONN has never been to a frozen four. Also, 3 of the 6 teams are in the top 10 in attendance while UCONN is 54th. I still don’t see your case for UCONN to the Big 10. What do they bring to the table other than their basketball?

            I also don’t understand your concept of “Risk Expansion Fantasies”. It’s been stated ad nauseam in various media circles that it’s a matter of when, not if, the Big 10 expands. The fantasy discussion on here seems to be centered on the number of teams and which ones backed by media reports as well as factual data. Not sure what you are expecting the discussion to center around on an expansion centered fan blog with a high percentage of educated professionals. Do you not believe the Big 10 is going to expand or or is it you do not want them to expand with ACC schools?

          • Brian says:


            “Also, my point is to slow down expansion in the name of mutual interests, not just financial euphoria.”

            I’d rather reverse it, but slowing it down is better than nothing.

            “I would really like to see Rutgers and Md get through a BIG season.”

            That’s always been the B10′s plan. I doubt they ever wanted to expand again before the new TV deal is around the corner.

            “I’m also curious to see PSU, Neb, Mi and OSU finally have simultaneous blue blood seasons, sanction free.”

            I fail to see how that is tied to expansion.

            The last time all 4 finished in the final AP poll was 1998. It’s only happened 19 times in 77 years, or 25% of the time (1969-1970, 1972-5, 1977, 1979-1981, 1985-6, 1989, 1993-8). 1973 was the golden year (2, 5, 6, 7) with 1986 just behind (1, 5, 7, 8). It can’t always be the 70s and 90s, though. If a blue blood year is top 10, it’s only happened 5 times (1972-5, 1986). Thanks to PSU’s sanctions, you’ll have to wait until at least 2018 to see all 4 ranked I think and that’s only if the other 3 stay good.

            “Many SEC fans have complained about the 14 team format, esp my cousins in Fla. They would prefer to go back to 12.”

            That’s at least in part due to their refusal to go to 9 games, though. The east having to play MO doesn’t help, but the SEC didn’t really have a lot of great choices.

            “Btw, it’s very hard to talk about people behind their backs on the Internet.”

            No it’s not. It’s incredibly easy.

          • gfunk says:


            Yes it’s very easy to talk about people people behind their backs, you’re an alias, cyber-dust. Literally speaking, I get your point, no kidding. But in terms of the real world, the origins of the actual idiom we’re at this point overanalyzing – talking behind someone’s back – would suggest that we actually know each other. Maybe some of you know each other, I don’t. Furthermore, I’ve got nothing to hide here.

            You raise some interesting points, you’re deconstruction is worthy, but strong opinion at times. Live and let live. I accept your passionate counterarguments.

            Minnesota men’s hockey is doing fine, which is all I said in my original post. The WCHA has been our home for many decades & we have a lot of opponents nearby. I see the “potential of BIG hockey becoming profitable” nothing else. But much depends on the evolution of the BIG conference, which has yet to begin. On the other hand, I go back with Minnesota hockey, the Herb Brooks years. The vast majority of Minnesota fans were pissed about the move to the BIG. Our biggest rival is not Wisconsin – it’s UND. And Wisky fans aren’t exactly happy to give up series with Denver, Colorado College, Minn Duluth & of couse UND. Those are fantastic hockey programs & the WCHA ultimately holds the most impressive hockey history, not Hockey East or the CCHA. In fact the WCHA is one of the most decorated conferences in all of NCAA D1 sports – 37 NC’s, at least one team in the Frozen Four 55 of 59 seasons.

            I did forget that South Carolina left the ACC long ago. But that’s kind of like Chicago leaving the BIG – the ACC is younger compared to the BIG and Pac12 – but it’s still nearly 60 years old. That’s a respectable chunk of history. Regardless, UVa, UNC, Duke, NCSt, WF & Clemson are pretty close. I’m not buying the Big 12 for Clemson. And frankly, I don’t like the idea of the BIG breaking up that tradition, we have enough of our own, actually far more than the ACC. So why not just leave them alone.

            As I said in my previous post, I lived in NC for nearly 3 years. The Triangle does have characteristics similar to some BIG cities, but so does Austin, TX. Either school, regardless, is quite proud & will certainly remain that way in the BIG. Of the four I mentioned, plus your scenario, they’d certainly bring the biggest egos.

            As for the current BIG bluebloods being great at the same time, I tie it to expansion because I’m concerned about the “dilution” arguments – quality versus quantity comes to mind. I see Nebraska getting stronger again, as they were towards the end of their Big12 tenure. But boom, they switched conferences & clearly had to adjust – don’t think they’re even done yet. That’s got to be tough for a program to do. I vividly remember PSU’s integration into the BIG and I strongly believe they helped improve the BIG, as well as Wisky’s rise under Alvarez, but it took some years.

            Mr. Big,

            You’re going on about UConn’s lackluster tradition when I already said as much in my op. The point about UConn hockey is that it brings another market into the equation and an Atlantic rival for PSU. I’m lingering on “potential” arguments here, no more, no less. There are plenty of young D1 young hockey schools in Minnesota that are now often ranked and tourney participants: St. Cloud State & Minnesota Mankato come to mind. A program’s rise does depend on conference affiliation and stability. Conn, the state, is also steadily improving their youth hockey.


            I think some of the so-called nonsense you claim on my end is actually more serious on my end, just different than what you desire-discern in terms of economic value – I have a tendency to put hope into potential, which is a big reason why I like Rutgers and Md – these are states with pretty solid hs athletics & they are fine state schools, all levels. But I was frankly shocked by the disappointment many Md fans felt about the the BIG move. Sure these sentiments can change, but there is no denying that many Md fans disliked the the move to the BIG. I can’t blame them. I could never imagine a current BIG team leaving, not even newer members. I’ve had surprisingly heated discussions, not on the Internet, but with actual friends in Pa who prefer the ACC. Sure I remember the BIG before PSU, but for well over 20 years PSU’s athletic accomplishments have resonated & many are great memories, pre-scandal. Minnesota had an intense rivalry with PSU under Mason – we beat them 4 of 5 years. I attend wrestling & women’s volleyball matches regularly & beating PSU means Minny must be at their absolute best when they come to town.

            I’m actually quite serious when I seek to safeguard ACC charter members. I may be a BIG fan and Minnesota alum, but I lived in NC long enough to know that people love the ACC there, as well as Va and SC. I could never tell in Atlanta, UGA is king in Ga. I just don’t see the point of pushing a pretty solid conference into mere extinction, not in terms of money being priority number one. Perhaps some people on here could package their arguments better, to always include the, positively speaking, academic and cultural possibilities as well.

            Ultimately, I’m excited about the BIG @14 and would be very content if FBS could somehow create an 8 team playoff that generally ensures 1-2 BIG teams get a shot. Not worried about the other BIG sports. I gave up on baseball and track n field long ago.

          • Transic says:


            If I may be allowed to pick your brain for a sec.

            Like you, I’m OK with an ACC that has most of its founding members (assuming the B1G can’t expand beyond 14) still in. However, let me present a scenario in which the schools you mentioned are still there but the two most coveted schools (FSU, Miami) by the B12 pack up and leave for that conference. Do you think the ACC would still need to get back into the Florida market? The day before, there was a wild, crazy rumor about USF and UCF to the Big XII. However, I think both schools would be better candidates for the ACC, should FSU and Miami leave. Both UCF and USF are located in the growing markets of the I-4 corridor. It’s also an area with a younger population than the rest of the country. A lot of Big Twelvers turn up their noses at them because of their lack of brand value, citing the current TV deal that requires marquee match-ups. It’s a lot of arrogance on their part. However, their perceived lack of football value may not be that problematic for the ACC, as long as they can continue growing their sports.

            I think that the ACC (which really means UNC) would not mind UCF and USF. Actually, I think they’re a better fit for the ACC than FSU or Miami, who are both former independents and football-firsters who need tons of money to compete for recruits. UCF/USF are also close to major airport hubs which would make it easier for travel than Tallahassee. Given the available talent, USF/UCF could become basketball powers provided that the resources be used properly. As part of my idea, UConn and Cincinnati are #15 and #16 as full-time members. Getting into the Hartford and Cincinnati markets, along with Tampa and Orlando, would help mitigate any potential loss of FSU/Miami. ND goes in for Olympic Sports as part of their agreement. I think that collection of programs, plus the core members of the ACC, may persuade ESPN to help patch it back together. Football would be okay, with VT, Clemson, NCSU, Louisville, USF, Cincy and maybe more picking up the slack. Clemson could go in a division with VT, UL, USF, NCSU and Syracuse. GT, Duke, UNC, and UVa would be in the same division, the so-called bluebloods of the conference.

            Division A: UVA, UNC, Duke, GT, UCF, Cincinnati, UConn, Boston College

            Division B: Clemson, USF, NC State, Wake Forest, VT, Louisville, Pitt, Syracuse

            Cross division games: GT/Clemson; UNC/NCState; UVA/VT; USF/UCF; Louisville/Cincy; WF/Duke; Pitt/UConn; Syracuse/BC

            I would appreciate any input you may have about my idea. :)

          • BruceMcF says:

            @gfunk: “I think some of the so-called nonsense you claim on my end is actually more serious on my end, just different than what you desire-discern in terms of economic value”

            Which? Desire or discern?

            If you are presuming to address what I desire in terms of economic value and what I discern in terms of economic value, would you sort out whether you are talking about what economic value I desire and what economic value I discern in any specific proposed expansion, since the two very rarely agree.

            Except for Notre Dame, and they don’t want to join a conference. If the Big Ten could have got Notre Dame and Rutgers, rather than Maryland and Rutgers, as far as desired economic value, I would have been stick a fork in conference expansion, we’re done.

          • gfunk says:


            The current ACC has plenty of potential. Despite my strong BIG leanings, and desire to see expansion for the sake of a college playoff – I hope the ACC remains as is. My wish list, is my wish list, while others on here certainly seem more confident than I ever will about ACC fragmentation. Hell, throw in ND FT to the ACC, they don’t impress me anymore. Watching them lose to Bama was easier to predict than tomorrows traffic jam. Regardless, I’ll root for the BIG.

            As I’ve said on here before, I like putting hope into potential & think the future BIG @ 14 has plenty. The ACC has the ingredients in football (fine institutions, recruits), but the Swofford fella doesn’t seem to get media deals, nor how to activate football culture throughout the conference. Inevitably, FSU can’t hover too much longer in the 10-15 range, they’ll break through. GT needs to hire a Harbaugh type, though someone who will stick around for a while, and make that school into the Stanford of the South – no reason it can’t be done, esp since similar excellence was done via the Dodd era & Ross to some degree. But Miami and UNC seem to be sitting on a hornet’s nest of NCAA issues, & that’s gotta be a concern.

            Thus I don’t think the ACC will ever be forced to add some of the schools you cite, except maybe USF.

          • Transic says:


            So in the scenario where FSU and Miami leave you don’t think they’d try to keep a presence in the state of Florida?

            Yeah, I’ve always thought the ACC had a lot of potential to be a sports powerhouse. Heck, the Big XII manages to be competitive in football with just ten members. I think one problem with the ACC is that it has members like Wake Forest and Boston College. At least Duke has their basketball brand. Even then, that shouldn’t be a major cause of their competitive struggles. Perhaps they were expecting FSU and Miami to carry most of the load and slacked off on the other football programs? I don’t know.

            You say only USF would be a candidate. Who would you pair it off with to replace two departing schools?

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            So in the scenario where FSU and Miami leave you don’t think they’d try to keep a presence in the state of Florida?

            They’d have to look at it. The thing is, USF and UCF are way, way down the state pecking order after UF, FSU, and Miami. Sure, the ACC wouldn’t be happy about losing Florida; but it’s a fantasy to think that those two schools are adequate substitutes. Who in the state cares about a UCF vs. Syracuse football game?

            I’ve always thought the ACC had a lot of potential to be a sports powerhouse. Heck, the Big XII manages to be competitive in football with just ten members.

            You can be competitive with just two members, if they happen to be Oklahoma and Texas.

            I think one problem with the ACC is that it has members like Wake Forest and Boston College. At least Duke has their basketball brand. Even then, that shouldn’t be a major cause of their competitive struggles. Perhaps they were expecting FSU and Miami to carry most of the load and slacked off on the other football programs?

            The problem is not the bottom of the ACC, but the top of it. They expected FSU and Miami to be the league’s showcase teams. Miami has been in a funk since they joined, and has never yet played in the championship game. FSU went into a slide in the late Bowden years, which it seems they’re only just now snapping out of.

            That left them with Virginia Tech as their only year in, year out football power. The Hokies have reached BCS bowl games with some regularity, but they’ve usually lost, reinforcing the perception of the ACC as a weak league.

            You say only USF would be a candidate. Who would you pair it off with to replace two departing schools?

            UConn or Cincinnati. I can’t see them adding two weak Florida schools.

          • BruceMcF says:

            If they listen to BC, it’d be USF and Cincinnati.

      • BuckeyeBeau says:

        @ gfunk:

        If I read you correctly, it boils down to this: we are all taking this too seriously and that culture/history matters a lot more than “we” are crediting.

        I disagree with both.

        As BruceMcF said above, conference realignment is a serious subject that we ~~ including you ~~ are interested in. From what I can tell, this Board is full of relatively serious non-frivolous people. The posts tend to be long, thought-out and coherent. Despite the lack of an “edit” feature, the posts tend to be pretty error-free which suggests that people are taking their time to compose their thoughts and check for typos and mistakes.

        So we are mostly serious people.

        And conference realignment is a serious business and a serious subject. There are thousands of people being paid, as part of their work, at various Conference HQs, athletic departments and Universities, to consider the various aspects and implications of realignment. TV networks take all of this very seriously too.

        And all of the subjects surrounding conference realignment are serious and interesting. Prior to reading this blog, I knew nothing of the business ~~ the money making part ~~ of CFB and of tv networks. A long time ago, someone linked to an on-line PDF version of a home-and-home contract between Iowa and Iowa State. I personally was fascinated to read it; was shocked it was only two page long; etc. etc. At that time, I did not know the home team kept the gate receipts.

        Same for tv networks. In the last three years, I have learned so much about how tv and cable networks make money and operate their businesses. It has been enjoyable and interesting to learn new things. And, for me, since the B1G decided to create the BTN, I am interesting in and pleased to follow the progress of our B1G Project. Personally, I was hoping for more student-produced content. But maybe that will come in the future.

        In summary, conference realignment is serious and I appreciate people taking it seriously. (That being said, some levity and wit are always welcome in my view. I like the combination of a long memory plus and Yoda locution. More ~ you must write.)

        On your second point, I appreciate the strong argument you have staked out concerning the value cultural fit and history/tradition.

        At the risk of being too serious about it, here is FtT’s original formula (posted above a couple of times):

        Academics – 25
        TV value – 25
        Football brand value – 30
        Basketball brand value – 10
        Historic rivalries/Cultural fit – 5
        Mutual interest – 5

        You are basically arguing that a “5″ vastly undervalues that factor.

        I do not agree.

        First, I am not entirely certain if your argument is “should” or “is.” That is, are you arguing that history/tradition SHOULD be valued more or that it IS ACTUALLY valued more than Frank proposed in his formula. If you want to say SHOULD, then I will agree with you 100% but then remind you that that world is gone. For a long long time now, “tradition” has been slaved to the grubbing after money.

        But, for this discussion, I will assume you mean the latter: culture/tradition IS highly valued with respect to conference realignment.

        As noted, I disagree.

        There is quite a bit of actual evidence that the University Presidents do not put a high value on “culture/tradition.” Nebraska, A&M, Missouri and Colorado all left behind long traditions and rivalries. As Brian reminded us, two founding members of the ACC have left that conference (S. Carolina and now Maryland). Minnesota and Wisconsin are leaving the WCHA.

        One of FtT’s first lessons was to teach that we needed to stop thinking like fans and start thinking like University Presidents. Maryland is the best example since we have so much information. Clearly, the fans would never have moved to the B1G. But the fans did not get to vote. The President and the Board of Trustees saw an institutional need/advantage to moving; thus, Maryland changed conferences.

        Let’s discuss Minnesota and the WCHA. You and the other fans have no vote and got no vote. Beyond extreme circumstances, fan desires are nearly irrelevant.

        So, why did Minnesota agree to take its hockey program out of the WCHA and put it in the B1G Hockey Conference? Because the President of the University of Minnesota had no choice. The B1G wants to turn hockey into a revenue sport by placing hockey on the BTN. The B1G needed six teams; with Penn State going up to Div. 1a, the B1G had six teams; thus, the BTHC was formed and Minnesota joined. As an institution, Minnesota was not in a position to say “no” and probably did not WANT to say “no.” “Fans” matter only in the same way that “customers” matter.

        It was a long way around, but that brings us back to UNC and Duke. You have argued strongly that culture, history and tradition matter.

        What I heard/read was: “fans would be upset.”

        I respond with: “so what?”

        I was upset when they put Michigan and tOSU in separate divisions; Wiscy fans were upset when they were sent out east; you are upset that Minnesota is leaving the WCHA. I have no doubt that UNC and Duke fans would be upset at joining the B1G. Tradition, history and cultural fit matter to fans.

        But to University Presidents? What evidence is there that tradition, history and cultural fit matter to University Presidents? or to University Board of Regents/Trustees? I see no evidence.

        So, continuing the long way around, that brings us back again to whether we are all taking this too seriously and back to this Fantasy Game of Risk we are all allegedly playing. The people actually making the decisions concerning conference realignment are making BUSINESS decisions. They are not glassy-eyed sentimentalists. They are using cold, hard data about consumer demand for various sports products and inventory. They are using cold hard data about how profits can be maximized from such products and inventory.

        Most on this Board are trying to “think like a University President.” We also have some access to some of that “cold hard data” through internet research and media reports. Based on that, we can have serious discussions about various schools. Is there enough “upside” for the President and Board of Trustee for the University of North Carolina @ Chapel Hill to consider joining the B1G? From what I have seen, yes. Does UNC bring enough value for the B1G to invite UNC? From what I have seen, yes. This means that UNC will at least think about it. It is NOT an automatic “no.” Conference realignment can be cold-blooded and ruthless.

        Personally, this angers and saddens me. I am really glad that my school sits in a position of strength and that Gordon Gee does not have to consider selling my school’s traditions to the highest bidder. But … eat or be eaten. I am glad the B1G is eating.

        Back to the Board: there is quite a divergence of opinion concerning whether the B1G SHOULD go beyond 14. Many think B1G expansion has gone far enough; many want a rollback; many favor 16, 18 or 20. Many have focused on structural factors suggesting there is too much $$$ to be made for the B1G to stand pat. Many have pointed to other actors such as the TV networks pushing for further expansion.

        In short, I don’t think anyone is really playing a Fantasy Game of Risk.

        But as said, while I disagree with your arguments, I appreciate your style, gfunk. Write more ~~ you should.

        • gfunk says:

          Thanks BuckeyeBreau,

          Worthy responses. We of course differ on some of these issues, but to each his-her sacred own.

          I do apologize to anyone on here if you think I’m being a lunatic – I blame the upheavals of conference expansion the past 5 years – so many changes : ).

          Ultimately, the BIG needs to add some hardware via football and basketball to the trophy case. Too many second places the past 25 years. Something tells me if we win more in these sports, then some of this conference expansion talk dies down. I think it’s perfectly reasonable to think such signature wins-NC’s can happen with current membership, and the 2014 beyond conference.

          It would be nice if all states in the BIG footprint approached hs football like Ohio, the way youth hockey is inculcated in Minnesota, or hs hoops mania in all of Indiana, Chicago, parts of Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, Phily & now Baltimore-DC, throw in lacrosse mania in Maryland as well. The resources exist, including population, but the will seems to have diminished. These folks who declare a Rust Belt Apocalypse (mostly southerners) and shifting demographics seem to forget no BIG states are losing population, the growth is just slower. Regardless, Il, Oh, Mi, Pa & now NJ are pretty populated states.

          I remain incredibly hopeful the current BIG and BIG @14 will maintain strong traditions, athletic greatness & academic excellence. I think the football will improve as well – too much great history to give up on. But I have no idea what this conference will look like in a few years.

          • vp19 says:

            Incoming member Maryland has won the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball title (2002, 2006) more recently than any Big Ten school. (Jeez, I hope I’m not sounding like Andy by saying that.)

          • Tom says:

            No idea what Transic’s post above means. Is he expecting FSU to leave the ACC with little Miami? And go where? Nuts.

  42. bubblescreen says:

    As a UConn fan, I could not disagree more with what you wrote. And in what world is UConn getting a fraction of the tv money Providence is? The UConn women (!) are making $1.2 million per from SNY. And they are getting a $25 million lump sum this summer. UConn will be absolutely fine. The end of the world proclamations from people about UConn, and Cincy, are ridiculous.

    Basketball still means nothing. If Fox Sports wasnt desperate for programming this fall, the C7 would have gotten A10 money.

    • BruceMcF says:

      “Basketball still means nothing. If Fox Sports wasnt desperate for programming this fall, the C7 would have gotten A10 money.”

      So the second half implies that basketball with recognizable teams means something to a cable network that is short of late fall and early winter programming. Which is different from meaning nothing.

  43. Dan Hogan says:

    One comment about *any* football team not necessarily being of greater value than *any* basketball team. In the event that there is one last football team needed to have a conference at all, that could be the case. And, a few times, that’s where the old Big East was sitting.

    Otherwise, agreed on all points.

  44. Andy says:

    Hey Arch Stanton, I was jut alerted to the existence of this thead on hogville. Pretty humourous:

    • Norm says:

      Andy, you’re really pressing with this idea of a MU-ARKY rivalry. You may be right about the southern part of Missouri fitting in with the $EC, but most of the state’s population is found along I-70, not in the southern/Ozarks part of the state. KC, Columbia, and STL are not $EC towns. Most MU students come from these cities. And, most of the people there could care less about Arkansas. They care about KU, Nebraska, and Illinois.

      Although, the idea of a trophy game with Arkansas could get interesting. Maybe they could play for the Golden Possum Trophy…….

      • Andy says:

        Well of course KC, Columbia, and STL care about Kansas, Nebraska, and Illinois. We’ve been playing those teams for 100 years. But give them a good annual game every Thanksgiving against a passionate fanbase like Arkansas’s and it’ll turn into something. St. Louis doesn’t have that much in common with Lincoln, NE either, but they got excited for the Huskers. Missouri and Arkansas share a 300 mile border and the two campuses are less than 300 miles apart. That’s commonality enough. As for the fan end of things, as that hogville thread demonstrates, it’s definitely forming into something.

        • Norm says:

          Hey, if you want to spend your time in Hogville, go for it…. I’ll take a rain check…..

          • Andy says:

            They’ll be an easy target for ridicule, that’s for sure.

          • Arch Stanton says:

            “They’ll be an easy target for ridicule, that’s for sure.”

            Sounds like the perfect match for you, Andy. I am now pulling for a Missouri-Arkansas rivalry to develop.

            Let’s call it the Ozark Onslaught!

          • vp19 says:

            The award given to the winner of this game should have something to do with Wal-Mart, as the company is based in Arkansas and I believe its first store was in Missouri.

            Is that a good substitute for the Telephone Trophy (ISU-Mizzou), Andy?

          • Arch Stanton says:

            It’s too bad that Branson doesn’t have a suitable football stadium, because that would be the perfect neutral site to host the Arkansas-Missouri game every year.

            Another few possible names:
            War on the White River
            Methland Mayhem
            Battle for the Boot Heel (Arkansas has been eager to reclaim that fertile region for years)

          • Mike says:

            It’s too bad that Branson doesn’t have a suitable football stadium, because that would be the perfect neutral site to host the Arkansas-Missouri game every year.

            @Arch – Branson would be terrible. Traffic from any 11AM kickoff would interfere with traffic exiting the 9AM Yakov Smirnoff* show.

            *In Southern Missouri, car drive you!

          • Arch Stanton says:

            I have to think that Missouri-Arkansas is going to be the CBS primetime SEC game every year. So, that will work out nicely in Branson as most of the tourists will be in for the night by kickoff time. Or, those that want to attend the game can easily hit the early bird special at the buffet at 4 PM before the game.

            Maybe Yakov Smirnoff could even sing the national anthem before the game. Nothing says: Cold War is over and we won like that kind of visual.

          • @Arch Stanton – In Soviet Russia, football throws you!

  45. Transic says:

    McMurphy tweeting that the Big East will announce split with C7 later this Thursday. C7 will keep name and MSG contract.

  46. Ravin says:

    One issue that seems to be missing in these discussions is the fact that B1G conference football games are presently scheduled on home/away basis. I believe that this practice will continue regardless whether further expansion occurs or not. By agreeing to an away game (that occurs on a regular and periodical basis) a school wants to ensure equal treatment by accruing similar benefits as the other school (also for the local community). This is best achieved by agreeing to schedule the reciprocal home game as soon as possible (i.e. the next year).

    If this assumption is correct, then B1G expansion beyond 14 teams becomes clumsy.

    Yes, pod scheduling is possible for 16 teams. There could be Leaders/Legends pods and East/West pods that combine as Leaders East & Legends West Divisions for every other 2-year periods, alternating as Leaders West & Legends East Divisions for the remainder. There could then be two cross-over games among each of these pairs of pods, which rotate among the other two schools whenever the divisions recombine. In this way, every school can be scheduled as home/away series at least once during any 4-year period.

    But is such pod scheduling really attractive?

    As it stands, a 14-team BIG conference is attractive when compared with most other expansion options. The only real drawback concerns the championship game. For 3 cross-over games, the chances of a rematch are high. Low attendance and TV ratings could be the result.

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      @Ravin: I don’t think the “home/away” schedule rotation is sacred. It has some benefits, and it’s what they’ve historically done, but it’s not a fundamental principle that couldn’t be altered if some other, more useful principle stood in the way.

      Presidents, ADs, and coaches all over the Big Ten have said that they expect more expansion, sooner or later. If the right schools were available, they’d expand to 16 before lunchtime. Obviously, they don’t believe the schedule poses an insuperable barrier — and I don’t think it does, either. If the discussion on this board has made anything clear, it’s that there are a lot of ways of going about it.

      For what it’s worth, I think pod scheduling is a poor choice for the Big Ten. Every pod proposal I’ve seen is either competitively unbalanced, or creates meaningless annual rivalries while relegating more useful ones to second-tier status. But pods aren’t the only way of going about it.

      The only real drawback concerns the championship game. For 3 cross-over games, the chances of a rematch are high. Low attendance and TV ratings could be the result.

      Is there any evidence for the proposition that rematches have worse attendance and poorer TV ratings? I think what hurts these games is not a rematch, but just a bad matchup in general. Last year’s B1G championship game featured a third-place team with a 7-5 record, because first and second place were ineligible.

      Nebraska vs. Ohio State — the game that should have been played — would have been a lot more popular.

      • Brian says:

        Marc Shepherd,

        “Is there any evidence for the proposition that rematches have worse attendance and poorer TV ratings?”

        LSU/AL in the NCG. UCLA/Stanford last year.

        • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

          Brian – the November 2011 LSU/Bama game drew a 12 overnight rating. The BCS NCG re-match game drew a 13.8 overnight rating.

          • Brian says:

            13.8 is a weak NCG rating. Average from 2002-2011 was a 16.4 with a high of 21.7 and a low of 14.0.

          • bullet says:

            If it was a ccg instead of the bcs ncg it would have drawn worse. Wasn’t it the worst ncg ratings ever? If not, it was close.

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          @Brian: I think you’re mistaken about LSU/AL, as @Alan noted.

          UCLA/Stanford had bad ratings and poor attendance because UCLA was 6-6 and didn’t really belong there: USC was ineligible. With the Trojans in the game, it would have attracted a lot more interest.

          • cfn_ms says:

            You’re mixing up 2011 and 2012. 6-6 UCLA played Oregon in the 2011 Pac-12 title game, 9-3 UCLA played Stanford in the 2012 Pac-12 title game. IIRC the bigger issue was the Friday night timing.

            The 2012 Big Ten title game might be a good example of this, though, since Ohio St AND Penn St were ineligible, which is why a 7-5 Badger team snuck into the game.

            LSU/Bama probably had lower than normal NCG ratings, but that was both due to it being an ugly blowout as well as the controversy turning off a good chunk of the country. Neither of those events are necessarily normal for a rematch.

          • ccrider55 says:

            And Stanford with its 8,000+ undergrads has a hard time filling up a salad bowl…Friday…replay of a beat down, that occured the week before.

            I didn’t really feel the LSU/Ala. replay felt like a NCG. They split, and needed a third game to be a tie breaker. Oops, I shouldn’t suggest that. Someone might think its a good idea…

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            cc – I think that’s a great idea.

          • bullet says:

            Well since LSU played a far tougher schedule, the pollsters should have just given it to LSU.

    • BruceMcF says:

      “One issue that seems to be missing in these discussions is the fact that B1G conference football games are presently scheduled on home/away basis. ”

      Yes, that is something that commonly comes up.

      A four pod rotation of equal sized pods could indeed work on a single rotation, because the “H/A” line up … Consider a team in P1 and a team in P2, who play in-division in year one:
      Year 1: P1 @ P2
      Year 2: pod1 v pod3, pod2 v pod4
      Year 3: pod1 v pod4, pod2 v pod3
      Year 4: P2 @ P1
      … so the games that were home in an even year are away in an odd year, and visa versa.

      A four pod alternation with unequal sized pods more likely requires two year Home and Away scheduling:

      Anchor1 v Central1, Anchor2 v Central2; repeat reverse home & away
      Anchor1 v Central2, Anchor2 v Central1; repeat reverse home & away

      The two year Home & Home because under single rotation, if a division make-up starts in an odd year, it continues in odd years, and if a division make-up starts in an even year, it continues in even years, and that makes for awkwardness when fitting in the cross-division games, between teams in Anchor1 and Anchor2, and between Central1 and Central2.

  47. Brian says:

    A PA columnist argues for PSU to close the season with a game against MD every year (or RU). I understand his logic, but it seems PSU-centric. Wouldn’t MD/RU be a better season-ender since it is a more fair matchup? Likewise, wouldn’t PSU/MSU be more likely to be a big game?

    My suggestions:

    If MSU is in the east:
    W – NE/IA, WI/MN, NW/IL, PU/IN

    If MSU is in the west:
    E – OSU/MI, PU/IN, PSU/?*, NW/?*
    W – NE/IA, WI/MSU, MN/IL, NW/?*

    * – Rotate PSU/RU + MD/NW with PSU/MD + RU/NW

    • vp19 says:

      York is close to the Maryland state line, and in fact its lead AM radio station has carried Baltimore Orioles games for years. I am certain that a columnist for any of the papers in the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton area could make a similar argument in favor of PSU closing out the season with Rutgers.

    • David Brown says:

      Why should Penn State end its season vs Michigan State? The “Land Grant Trophy” was a mistake of the worst order. Almost no Nitt or Sparty fan liked it. If you think Maryland/Rutgers is a better ending game then I can live with that. However, if it can’t be Nebraska, Wisconsin or Ohio State (That is obvious), then at least let Penn State end with Pitt (Even Temple generates more interest than MSU as far as I am concerned).

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        Unfortunately, if you decree that every school have a rivalry game on the final weekend of the regular season, somebody is going to be stuck in a contrived game. Penn State can’t play Pitt on the final weekend unless some other Big Ten team agrees to have a bye, and I don’t think that would go over very well.

        • David Brown says:

          I bet Rutgers would prefer Penn State over Maryland. I know we would prefer anyone (This side of Minnesota or Indiana (Purdue incuded)) to Sparty. I would prefer to end my season early against Pitt if necessary. Basically no MSU.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            Sure, but if Penn State gets Rutgers, then Maryland would have to play Sparty, a game that has even less history than PSU-MSU.

          • vp19 says:

            Have PSU end with Rutgers for two years, then Maryland for two years after that, then with Michigan State for two subsequent years.

          • Brian says:

            David Brown,

            “I bet Rutgers would prefer Penn State over Maryland.”

            So would MD. Rather than screw one over and helping the other, neither gets PSU. I had them rotating against PSU if MSU went west, though.

          • I’ll be honest: my impression is that nothing could push PSU to apply to the ACC (regardless of money) faster than the Big Ten sticking them with MSU as their end-of-the-year “rival” again after finally inviting 2 East Coast schools. I’m fairly certain that PSU will play the Eastern team of its choice at the end of the year (probably Rutgers to be a part of the NYC Thanksgiving scene).

          • zeek says:

            I’m with Frank on this.

            The whole point is to maximize the synergy that Penn State (and the other kings) will have in those East Coast markets.

            And you have Penn State’s end of year game be Michigan State?

            Michigan State-Rutgers and Penn State-Maryland make a lot more sense to me.

          • Brian says:

            Frank the Tank,

            “I’ll be honest: my impression is that nothing could push PSU to apply to the ACC (regardless of money) faster than the Big Ten sticking them with MSU as their end-of-the-year “rival” again after finally inviting 2 East Coast schools.”

            Frankly, I don’t care. They can take RU and UMD with them, too. I’m sick of PSU whining. They get to play every single team they want to play annually. They can suck it up on one weekend and play who they get.

            “I’m fairly certain that PSU will play the Eastern team of its choice at the end of the year (probably Rutgers to be a part of the NYC Thanksgiving scene).”

            That’s actually a terrible plan. Whichever school isn’t chosen (and PSU fans will be split on this) will feel completely screwed. Besides, PSU will crush whichever one they get so it’ll be a WI/MN type of rivalry but with a lot less feeling behind it. The whole western half of the fan base wouldn’t be inspired at all, either. At most they should rotate between RU and MD as I suggested. That let’s both markets develop and gives PSU some variety in which boring game they get each year. If MSU stays a contender, an annual game against them would have more meaning and people might actually watch them. Nobody outside their fans is watching PSU/RU that weekend.

          • Brian says:


            “The whole point is to maximize the synergy that Penn State (and the other kings) will have in those East Coast markets.”

            No, but it is a point.

            “And you have Penn State’s end of year game be Michigan State?”


            1. MSU is a batter program so the game is more likely to matter in the division race. That means more eyeballs on the game. MSU was mediocre for most of the LGT era – that’s why fans hated it. 9-2 MSU coming in with a division title potentially on the line is a different story.

            2. That weekend is filled with major games nationally. Nobody is going to watch PSU/RU.

            3. Thanksgiving weekend is actually one of the worst for a weak FB game because students are gone and fans want to be home with their families.

            4. Why should RU or UMD suffer not being chosen and the other getting all the benefits? That’s a great way to drive them out of the B10 in the future.

            5. All the kings are still playing those teams, just not on that day.

            6. Maybe MSU would like to actually play a meaningful opponent that weekend. Where is the consideration for them in all this?

            7. As a second choice, I’d take a rotation of RU and UMD with MSU playing the other.

            8. I could also live with an equal rotation among MSU, RU and UMD.

        • m (Ag) says:

          “Penn State can’t play Pitt on the final weekend unless some other Big Ten team agrees to have a bye, and I don’t think that would go over very well.”

          You’d have to have another Big Ten playing a non-conference game the last week of the season too, preferably one in the opposite division from PSU.

          One hypothetical situation would be for the SEC, ACC, and Big Ten to get together and work this out for Thanksgiving week: Pitt plays PSU, Northwestern plays Vanderbilt, & Wake Forest plays another ACC school.

          As an SEC/B1G rivalry, that Vandy/Northwestern rivalry would have more interest than Vandy/Wake Forest currently does.

          Note that the SEC and ACC would each have 4 OOC games that weekend (3 against each other and 1 against the Big Ten), while the Big Ten would have 2 (1 against the SEC, 1 against the ACC). So everyone else in these conferences could be playing conference games.

          If Northwestern was in the West division, the Big Ten could avoid any cross-divisional games the last week of the season.

      • Brian says:

        David Brown,

        “Why should Penn State end its season vs Michigan State?”

        Because it’s the best division game available (if MSU is in the east) so the game would have meaning as often as possible.

        “The “Land Grant Trophy” was a mistake of the worst order. Almost no Nitt or Sparty fan liked it.”

        The trophy was horrible but many fans on both sides said they came to like the game. Not love it, but like it. Now it would have the bonus of impacting the division race so it would be a little more important.

        “If you think Maryland/Rutgers is a better ending game then I can live with that.”

        They are closer to peers than either is with PSU.

        “However, if it can’t be Nebraska, Wisconsin or Ohio State (That is obvious),”

        No crossovers that matter allowed. that’s what everyone said about OSU/MI, so there’s no way PSU gets one with NE or WI. Besides, NE gets IA.

        “then at least let Penn State end with Pitt (Even Temple generates more interest than MSU as far as I am concerned).”

        I’d be thrilled with that if PSU will man up and play that game annually. Unfortunately, that would leave MSU without a conference game.

        • jj says:

          I think PSU can get bent. They got what they’ve been crying about for 20 years. I’d rather play WI anyway.

          • Brian says:

            If MSU goes in the west, MSU/WI is exactly the game I’d pick to wrap up the year. It works better for PSU, too, as they can rotate between RU and MD with NW playing the other as a crossover.

            It’s if MSU goes east that it’s harder.

  48. NAAC3PO says:

    So Fox “overpaid” the C7 to get them to leave their conference. What are the odds they do (almost) the same thing again?

    Breaking up the ACC is a chicken-or-egg problem. It’s alive while UNC is there, and UNC is there while it’s alive. Unless, maybe, B1G money were a literal tripling or quadrupling of ACC money. Exactly how much sweetening do they need to leave? Maybe Fox is willing to overpay again, if that’s what it takes. A) They get UNC. B) They crumble ESPN’s multi-billion-dollar investment in the ACC.

    • BuckeyeBeau says:

      Yep, exactly.

      Of course, there IS an outer limit to how much FOX can overpay. To triple the ACC, each B1G school would need ~~ say ~~ $63M per year; that’s $882M per year or $8.82 billion over 10 years. That’s some serious money. Assume the BTN and other revenue sources = $13m a year, FOX would need to offer $7B over a 10 year contract. That is a lot of billions of dollars.

  49. Ravin says:

    Division A: UVA, UNC, Duke, GT, UCF, Cincinnati, UConn, Boston College

    Division B: Clemson, USF, NC State, Wake Forest, VT, Louisville, Pitt, Syracuse


    Is playing Cincinnati, UConn and Boston College more attractive than playing Ohio State, Penn State or Michigan in football (or any sport for that matter)????

    • vp19 says:

      Let’s say the ACC grew to 16 by losing Florida State and Miami and bringing in Cincinnati, Connecticut, Central Florida and South Florida. The conference almost certainly would retain its Atlantic/Coastal format, which under pre-expansion play would feature

      Boston College
      N.C. State
      Wake Forest
      *Louisville replaces Maryland as of 2014

      Georgia Tech
      North Carolina
      Virginia Tech

      Where do the four newcomers go?

      I would argue Cincinnati and one of the new Florida members (we’ll make it South Florida) would go to the Atlantic (so UC could continue its rivalry with Louisville), while Connecticut and the other Florida member (Central Florida) would be shipped to the Coastal. (Putting the Huskies in the opposite division from BC might placate the Eagles, even if they had to play an annual crossover game.)

      This new-look ACC would still be decent in football, but a lot less glamorous. Then again as a Maryland fan, come the fall of 2014, it’s really not my problem.

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      Is playing Cincinnati, UConn and Boston College more attractive than playing Ohio State, Penn State or Michigan in football (or any sport for that matter)????

      That’s not the question these schools will be asking. It’s, “How much money am I leaving on the table by remaining in a second-tier league?” If it’s not much, then geography and tradition win out. But if it’s $10 million a year, or $20 million a year, the trade-offs are a lot different.

      I don’t see how the ACC can remain an AQ league (or its equivalent) in the long term, if it loses both FSU and Miami. Without them, it begins to resemble the late-90s Big East, and we know how that turned out.

      • Transic says:

        Well, I’m not an ACC guy but I have to think there’s space for a major conference that isn’t necessarily the most powerful in football.

        Also, UNC would love it if FSU leaves. UCF and USF would just be happy to be there and would toe UNC’s line. Heck, NC State hasn’t yet left (I know that they have a BoG issue in that state) and those two schools don’t like each other. ;)

  50. Ravin says:

    Sorry for my B1G arrogance. I need a map to check where is the Mason Dixon Line.

  51. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Courtesy of the USAToday, here’s the AD salary database.

    Top Ten in total pay:

    1. Vandy
    2. Louisville
    3. Florida
    4. Wisconsin
    5. Nebraska
    6. Texas
    7. Ohio State
    8. Notre Dame
    9. Oklahoma
    10. Duke

    • gfunk says:

      Meanwhile Wisky loses football coaches in part because of lower salaries.

      • Kevin says:

        I’ve always thought that was ironic. Barry has been in the top 5 since he’s been AD. It’s like they are paying him now for his past achievements. Wisconsin does have a fairly sizable athletic budget ($130 million this year) but I am not sure he warrants top 5 pay especially when Wisconsin nickel and dimes it’s assistant coaches.

    • jtorre says:

      Vandy doesn’t have a separate Athletic Department. David Williams is Vice Chancellor for Athletics and University Affairs and Athletics Director.

  52. ZSchroeder says:

    “America 12″? Ugh. I kind of liked “Metro” even though it was a failed conference.

    People make fun that the Big 12 has 10 teams, and the Big 10 has 14 teams, but at least those conferences started with those numbers, the “America 12″ is going to start with 10 teams, Navy at 11 in 2014, and an unknown 12.

    • Mike says:

      How long until they adopt a certain song from Team America: World Police as the Conference theme song?

      • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

        Mike – or they could call themselves the National Athletic Conference, or “the NAC” for short and the use The Knack’s big late 70s hit “My Sharona” as their conference theme song.

    • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

      That about sums it up. You would think they would have learned from CUSA. Appealing to patriotism is a poor substitute for real brand identity.

      • bullet says:

        Numbers are a pretty bad idea too. How many college conferences need to prove to us that they don’t know math? Things change. BE football doesn’t even have 12 members yet. Even if they add one more, they will not have 12 for basketball. Just stupid to put numbers in it. It makes you a butt of jokes. The Big 10 and Big 12 at least had some history.

        Maybe they are just tying down an option.

      • Arch Stanton says:

        Problem is that they have no identity whatsoever. Not regional, not historical, not type of school; nothing really links them at all.

        My vote was for The Extraordinary League of Also Rans

      • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

        Apparently “America One” is also under consideration.

        Double ugh.

        • vp19 says:

          If so, will its official soft drink be Pepsi One? (A fine soda, but impossible to find in anything other than 12-packs these days.)

        • jj says:

          Sounds like a space ship.

        • Michael in Raleigh says:

          “America One?”

          No. This sounds like some silly slogan from a politician. In fact, I remember Bill Clinton having some ad on during Super Bowl XXXII (Denver vs. Green Bay, January 1998) where he was talking about anti-discrimination. “Let’s build ‘One America.’” Is that what this league wants?

          Even worse, the abbreviated version of this conference’s name (A1) would match that of a steak sauce, and could never be used officially by the league since it’s already another entity’s trademark.

          • BruceMcF says:

            Yeah, that’s the problem with Conference of Unfamiliar Schools with Ambitions ~ #CUSA is already taken by another conference.

    • cfn_ms says:

      They’re basically re-associating their brand with Conference USA, which they basically are anyway.

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      Can anyone suggest a better name? Metro, the name of a failed conference, doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue.

      • Brian says:

        The “Who Everyone Shat Upon Conference” aka the WESUC?

      • wmwolverine says:

        Placeholder conference: park here till you find a better home… About the only thing American/A12 has going for it is it’ll be at the top of every standings when they are alphabetized.

        • Michael in Raleigh says:

          I was thinking the Purgatory Conference. If you’re in the Sun Belt, MAC, or C-USA, or if you’re an FCS school looking to move up, this is pretty darn good. It’s far, far better than the alternative. Of course, you’re hoping like crazy to gain true salvation via the ACC or another power conference.

    • BruceMcF says:

      Mike Bianchi in a short take in his Orlando Sentinal column quips: “The new name of the football league formerly known as the Big East will reportedly be “The America 12.” I personally like the patriotic moniker and think the league’s mascot should be Lady Liberty herself: ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your displaced Conference USA teams.’ ”

  53. Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

    It looks like the law firm that has represented the Big East registered the domain “” yesterday.

    So are we looking at America 12 for the FBEFS (Former Big East Football Schools) ?

  54. ZSchroeder says:

    So for short it’s going to be A12? If I’m the Atlantic 10 I would be a bit annoyed.

  55. Quiet Storm says:

    I think they are just leaking potential names to gauge public reaction. I would expect to hear more names between now and July 1st when all of the new members officially join the league.

    • zeek says:

      I hope so.

      After all… why would any “new” conference ever go with a numerical name after watching the past 20 years of conference realignment?

      The numerical conference names don’t work in a period of rapid school movement.

      What happens when/if UConn/Cincy bolt?

      • spaz says:

        Yeah, using a number doesn’t make much sense at this point in history.

      • BruceMcF says:

        Could be if UConn / Cinci bolt, they add two replacements. American 12 could indeed be a specification of their pre-requisites ~ they want to reach 12 teams, and they’ve got to be American teams, and beyond that everything is subject to improvisation.

        • America 12 is pretty pedestrian and unimaginative. However, I think the shortened “A-12″ could catch on pretty quickly, which is probably why they chose to use a number. It can end up being easily recognizable in the media and on places like Twitter. Pretty much any new name is going to sound cheesy, so it’s almost better if you’re more recognizable by a short abbreviation (which the A-12 would accomplish here).

          • BruceMcF says:

            And after years of Big Least, “Big American” would be just begging to become “Little American” from millions of juvenile internet users being clever.

    • vp19 says:

      “America 12″ sounds like the bastard offspring of Atlantic 10 and America East. Is that really the impression this new conference wishes to make with the public?

    • Mike says:

      My suggestion, the Continental Conference or the Continental 12.

  56. zeek says:

    MWC has essentially equalized the America 12 (or old Big East football) via new ESPN money.

    “The Mountain West Conference and ESPN are finalizing a seven-year media rights deal for the network to televise up to 22 football games and 25 men’s basketball games annually, sources told ESPN.

    The deal brings the total value of the Mountain West’s media rights deal, including its existing deal with CBS Sports Network, up to about $116 million, or $18 million annually, sources said.”


    The deal will include all of Boise State’s games (so their 6 home games will be put on ESPN out of the 22 MWC games on the ESPN networks).

    Important part of this is that it makes their total payout equal to the Big East’s new deal for $20 million per year after the Catholic 7 bolt.

    • zeek says:

      Also worth noting that the MWC is matching the Big East year-for-year by going to 2019-2020.

      This is a smart thing to do; it allows them to avoid getting themselves into an outdated contract.

      Say Fox Sports flush with money from FS1/FS2 tries to play games with realignment of the America 12 and MWC (like they did with the Catholic 7) or something like that in 2019; they won’t be caught flat-footed on a deal that they can’t get out of for years since they’ll be negotiating a contract as well.

  57. Richard says:

    Personally, after hearing the name, I thought that the former-BE-ex-CUSA conference should have gone with “Teams America” . . . .

  58. zeek says:–death-of-big-east-tournament–not-so-fast-004710289.html

    Anybody else notice that almost every vignette in this Wetzel piece about the Big East is about schools that aren’t of the Catholic 7? The two most powerful stories were about Syracuse-UConn and ND-USF.

    Other than Georgetown which has played in some big games in the Big East tournament, none of the other Catholic 7 schools have played in those kinds of big games since the turn of the century. Obviously that will change now that they have the conference to themselves and the other teams that typically went deep into the tournament are gone (Syracuse, UConn, Pittsburgh, Louisville, West Virginia).

    Still, they’re losing the public schools with huge basketball followings; the Catholic 7 schools will really have to step up their game to where it was in the 80s and 90s in order to compensate.

    New York City is a big event town, but the event itself has to be “big time”; the town won’t be abuzz unless there are big time teams that are making or have made names for themselves nationally.

    Butler and Georgetown and Villanova have been doing that for years, but the rest have to put their feet to the medal to make sure the tournament keeps its shine.

    • Bruce in Ohio says:

      “Other than Georgetown which has played in some big games in the Big East tournament, none of the other Catholic 7 schools have played in those kinds of big games since the turn of the century.”

      Villanova was in the Final Four 3 years ago and was in a couple Regional Finals since 2005.

  59. Mezzemup says:

    Manziel says he “wants the presidents to represent me”. Should be interesting to see if he pulls this off. You can only wag the meat infront of the NCAA’s mouth so much before it bites! I guess he needs to push the envelope to cash in on his present fame.

    • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

      I wonder if the family has the scam up & running yet…

      1. A&M booster starts business selling items with Johnny Douchebag name.
      2. Sue ‘offender’ for ‘infringement’.
      3. Profit…err I mean accept out of court settlement.

      It absolutely boggles my mind that the NCAA signed off on this nonsense.

      • m (Ag) says:

        1) The NCAA specifically said fraud would be against their regulations

        2) Much more importantly, the courts would be most upset. People joke about NCAA investigators, but you really do not want to get a judge to decide you’re using his court to file fraudulent lawsuits.

  60. Here’s a question, Suppose that the ACC loses UNC, Duke, and UVA at least, dramatically decreasing the league’s basketball potential and revenue. Does Notre Dame get cold feet and just join the Big East for bball?

    Related question(s), assume that the ACC (I just don’t buy the Carolina school ever leaving) or Big XII (give it ten years) is destroyed. There are four big leagues left which somehow make it so that only their champions can play for a national championship, meaning Notre Dame has to either join a conference or give up any route to a national title. Do you think Notre Dame would be willing to maintain it’s independence at the cost of a shot at a title? I actually think that they might. If not, who would they join? I suspect Notre Dame would prefer the ACC (depending on who was left) to anyone else, then in order of highest to lowest preference, Pac 12, Big XII (again depending on who’s left) with the Big 10 and the SEC at the bottom in some order.

    • zeek says:

      Naw; the ACC seems as if it will always have enough heft to hold ND’s non-revenue teams in exchange for 5 football games.

      Catholic 7 don’t have enough strength in non-revenue sports.

  61. Ravin says:

    If there 2 divisions each with 7 teams, then at least one game at the end of the season must be a cross-over game with the other division (in principle).

  62. Brian says:

    ESPN’s B10 blog has a poll on who should move west – IN, PU or MSU

    Vote and/or check out the results. Currently, it’s MSU 54% and PU at 31% (IN at 15%).

    • Mezzemup says:

      OSU fan here… I wish they would put Michigan in the western division for competitive balance. Just seems like this split is being done b/c the last couple years OSU and Mich seem to be gaining steam in recruiting and whatnot…short-sightedness. The presidents have numbers already stating the odds of osu and michigan meeting head to head twice is next to nill…especially if one of the two teams will receive a loss in its last game (assumed protected cross-over game). Hence the league’s championship game probably won’t have a repeat matchup that hurts ratings. No quams here about moving the game to earlier in the year if it better for the league. Almost seems idiotic to have penn state, osu, and michigan (murders row) in the same division and leave nebraska (and the rest of the real big ten) out west by itself. I’ve read many times that Nebraska fans want Michigan on a consistant basis (I like what nebraska brings). I Don’t believe in the argument ‘put your best show forward to grab new york’ b/c pro-teams already have that area on lock (everybody knows this!)…anybody ever heard of’ ‘don’t put all your eggs in one basket’?

      • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

        The Wolverines want to be in the east. If you force them to go west then Sparty will fight to go west as well. Who then do you bring east? Both Northwestern & Wisconsin want to stay east.

        TSUN, Nebraska, Wisconsin & Sparty all in the west makes for divisions that are more just as (it not more) unbalanced than Ohio State, TSUN & PSU in the east with Nebraska, Wisconsin, MSU & Iowa out west.

        • Mezzemup says:

          You keep wisconsin east (oooh I know nobody like to hear this) and boot indiana or purdue west, keeping the newbies east. You do this all under the pretense that it is better for the league through competitive balance…nothing is then forced. I don’t want to blow everything up but you save rival matches that you can through protect cross over and others disappear to make room for new ones. There has already been a somewhat clearly defined pecking order of matchups according to their relevance b/t teams. Obviously Michigan wanting into the east has nothing to do with the league matchup and everything to do with a grandiose vision of a more eastern exposure but guess what…michigan will remain a top notch college either way.

          osu,penn, wisconsin, maryland,rutgers,illinois, indiana,
          michigan, nebraska, michigan st, Iowa, Min, Northwestern,purdue

          You may say the east is pretty weak but sh*t maryland and rutgers pack a better punch then most believe, just as much as iowa and northwestern (maybe michigan st).

          • dayooper63 says:

            Why would you put UM in the West when they give the B10 more money if they are in the East? With the amount of alumni in NYC and in the DC area, it only makes sense to put them where they will get a better rating.

          • Brian says:

            If money was the only concern, the divisions would be:

            Important – OSU, MI, PSU, NE, RU, UMD, NW
            Schedule fillers – WI, IA, MN, IL, PU, IN, MSU

      • BruceMcF says:

        I want Michigan in the east, nine conference games and no protected cross-over for the Bucks BECAUSE most of the real big ten is going to be in the west and I want to see a number of them more often than if the Buckeyes have a protected cross-over game with the West.

  63. Brian says:

    League officials have discussed a multisite, rotational bowl partnership of the SEC, Big 12, Big Ten and ACC to maximize matchups over six years, according to two sources with knowledge of those discussions.

    The Music City Bowl in Nashville, Belk Bowl in Charlotte and Alamo Bowl in San Antonio are among the sites being mentioned. Under the plan, one conference would appear annually and at least two other conferences would play in a rotation. The SEC, ACC and Big 12 would be logical annual hosts for those three respective bowls. The Big Ten’s direct involvement is still uncertain, but one source said they’ve been mentioned as a potential fourth tie-in.

    That’s an interesting way to get some variety is opponents and bowl locations.

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      Setting aside for a moment the comparison of which bowl games pay out the most, I would think the Music City Bowl would be a game a lot of conferences would want to play in. Nashville is genuinely a very fun town to visit, whether you are a country music fan or not. When my wife and I lived in Indiana for five years, we used Nashville as a weekend meeting spot with my parents or my in-laws (who live in SC and western NC) several times. There is no shortage of things to do there, and it sure beat the alternatives of other equal-distance meeting spots like West Virginia or Lexington, KY. (No offense to residents of those places.)

      Nashville also makes great sense from a geography standpoint for a tie in with the SEC, obviously, but also with the Big Ten, ACC, and even the Big 12. Florida and Texas bowl games require flights for most families who are fans of most teams in those leagues. As such, those games are going to need teams who have had really strong, 8+ win seasons in order to motivate fans to pay for the costs of traveling. But Nashville can be reached by driving for a lot more fans, and since the Music City Bowl is likely to feature teams with just 6 to 8 wins, the reduced distance should help incentivize travel better than, say, the Gator Bowl or a bowl in Texas would. For example, wouldn’t fans of a 6-6 or 7-5 Wisconsin team be more likely to drive to Nashville and fill up seats there than they would in Houston or Dallas?

    • BruceMcF says:

      Its certainly neat and tidy for the Big10 if it is in a three year visitor rotation for the three bowls. It seems tidier for the other three if each one hosts one and alternates as the visitor for the other two.

    • Richard says:

      I would think a 4th bowl would be needed to make it neat and tidy (2 spots per conference). Gator? Houston? Might the Liberty drop the CUSA champ?

  64. Brian says:

    The NHLPA signs off on the new realignment plan. The owners vote next week. The plan would last for at least 3 years with re-evaluation starting after 2 years.

  65. Ravin says:

    As follow-up to my previous (superfluous) comment: PSU should end the season either with Rutgers or Maryland. The previous week (pre-Thanksgiving) can be Rutgers and Maryland (if they so desire). Count me as optimistic that Rutgers and Maryland will eventually improve and provide good competition in B1G football.

    • Brian says:

      PSU’s all-time record against each team:
      UMD 35-1-1 (0.959)
      RU 22-2 (0.917)
      MSU 14-13-1 (0.518)

      One of those teams is not like the others. Only MSU has ever shown any ability to compete with PSU.

      • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

        Which is why PSU fans would prefer to play either of the two not named MSU.

        • largeR says:

          Since joining the B1G, PSU is 13-5 vs MSU. That is the fifth best winning percentage against current B1G teams. I don’t know why, or even if it’s true, that most Nitt fans don’t care about MSU, but I have a suspicion. It is tied into this king vs prince vs knight bs. Nitts probably think they deserve a better rival than MSU. Since tsun/tosu are taken, they would prefer Nebraska or Wisconsin as a season ending rival based on a perceived heirarchy. I, personally, loved MSU as an end of season game and if MSU stays east, would prefer them. That allows MD/RU to establish their own rivalry. But since none of us know the likelihood of a B1G 16/18/20 in the immediate future, this all might only apply for 2014/15.,

          • Aaron Morrow says:

            largeR: Speaking as a Penn State fan, that sounds about right, although I personally feel that the World’s Ugliest Bowling Trophy is an unintentionally awful-looking embarassment.

            I think it’s a good idea to have the end of year opponent be in the division. If Sparty comes east, who would they rather end the season playing?

      • vp19 says:

        Without sounding too much like Andy, I would mention that Penn State was not on Maryland’s schedule during the Jim Tatum era (1947-55), the Terrapins’ greatest run of national success. And most of the time Penn State played Rutgers, the Scarlet Knights were not playing a big-time schedule but were an Ivy wannabe — I don’t have the numbers before me, but I would bet Rutgers has played Lafayette, Lehigh and Bucknell more often than it has played PSU.

  66. Ravin says:

    Michigan and Ohio State in the same division would be great for the B1G Conference (and other CFB football fans) but not necessarily for UM and OSU. One of those schools will lose twice, neither the Division nor the Conference Champions. If not, then please as protected cross-overs. Schedule the game in October. The rivalry may actually prosper if there would not be so much hype as the last game of the season.

    • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

      Did you seriously just suggest that it would be in the best interest of all involved if The Game received less attention?

      Words fail.

    • BruceMcF says:

      Ravin, I am glad you feel that having OSU and TSUN in the same division would be good for the Big Ten, since I want them to be in the same division for the selfish reason that it makes The Game as big a deal as possible within a Division / CCG framework, and having The Game be as big a deal as possible is good for the Buckeyes. If its also a good thing for the Big Ten, that explains why it has become a widely expected outcome from the divisional realignment.

      • Brian says:


        “Ravin, I am glad you feel that having OSU and TSUN in the same division would be good for the Big Ten, since I want them to be in the same division for the selfish reason that it makes The Game as big a deal as possible within a Division / CCG framework, and having The Game be as big a deal as possible is good for the Buckeyes. If its also a good thing for the Big Ten, that explains why it has become a widely expected outcome from the divisional realignment.”

        I couldn’t disagree more. Having The Game in division makes it as small a deal as possible in this setup.

        1. They can never play for the B10 title. That takes a huge chunk of meaning away.

        2. Only one division title can be at stake. There could be two on the line, so the meaning is greatly reduced.

        3. OSU and MI shouldn’t hang Division banners, so The Game no longer has something special on the table.

        • BruceMcF says:

          “1. They can never play for the B10 title. That takes a huge chunk of meaning away.”
          They can never play The Game for the B10 title again. Its already become impossible. The meaning that that takes away from The Game has already been taken away. If they should happen to play in the CCG, it means that a counterfeit version of The Game is played in Indianapolis the week after The Game itself, and its the counterfeit version of The Game that actually decides the championship.

          “2. Only one division can be at stake.”
          Yes, that’s the point. The Bucks taking a spot in the CCG is more satisfying in its own right, independently of the result of the CCG, if it also means that we took it away from that team up north. Of course, that team up north taking a spot in the CCG is more galling if it also means they took it away from us, but that, too, increases the emotional weight invested into The Game.

          “3. OSU and MI shouldn’t hang Division banners, so The Game no longer has something special on the table.”
          As far as I can make out, this means that the only game that matters is the CCG. But that is a self-defeating argument: if the CCG matters, then access to the CCG matters, and so what decides access to the CCG matter, and so the Division title, which decides the CCG, matters. And while it may be possible to lose our chance at playing for the conference championship early in the season … the later in the season an in-division game is played, the more likely it will feature one or both teams playing to win a trip to the CCG.

          • Brian says:


            “If they should happen to play in the CCG, it means that a counterfeit version of The Game is played in Indianapolis the week after The Game itself, and its the counterfeit version of The Game that actually decides the championship.”

            I disagree 100% with your view on that. To me, it’s The Game v2.

            “Yes, that’s the point.”

            You say that like it’s a good thing. Both division titles could be on the line if they were split. That’s better than only 1 being up for grabs.

            “The Bucks taking a spot in the CCG is more satisfying in its own right, independently of the result of the CCG, if it also means that we took it away from that team up north.”

            You can still take it from them by causing them to lose the other division.

            “As far as I can make out, this means that the only game that matters is the CCG.”

            Of course it is. OSU plays for B10 titles. Anything else is failure. By your logic, the IN game matters.

          • BruceMcF says:

            “I disagree 100% with your view on that. To me, it’s The Game v2.”
            The Game is played in 266 days from today. “The Game v2″ is played … well, maybe this year, but probably not. It more like a bowl game. The Game is an event on the calendar, played in the Horseshoe then the Big House then the Horseshoe then the Big House, and so on as long as the series is maintained.

            So rather than try to counter the point that having do-overs for the loser weakens the meaning of The Game, you just redefine The Game, and the “maybe depending on how things break” event a week after The Game is promoted over top of The *ACTUAL* Game that will be played in 266 days from today.

            “You say that like it’s a good thing. Both division titles could be on the line if they were split. That’s better than only 1 being up for grabs.”
            With that school up north cross division, there are four possible results: both go, we go, they go, neither goes. With that school up north in division, there are three possible results, we go, they go, neither goes. The second set of results is preferable to the first: going to the CCG is sweeter if it takes that spot away from the team up north, and the Buckeyes have too proud a history to be begging for twosies for the wimp.

            “Of course it is. OSU plays for B10 titles. Anything else is failure. By your logic, the IN game matters.”

            By your logic The Game may as well be played as the season kickoff, because it doesn’t matter any more than any other game ~ the John Cooper philosophy. But in the real world, the right to play in the CCG is most likely to be on the line at the last game of the season. That’s why The Game should be played at the end of the regular season: any other position in the regular season disrespects it.

          • Brian says:


            “you just redefine The Game”

            Or you do. It depends what one considers the definition of The Game to be. To me, it’s OSU vs MI in football, period. You make a more elaborate definition and then say this new regime doesn’t fit it.

            “With that school up north cross division, there are four possible results: both go, we go, they go, neither goes. With that school up north in division, there are three possible results, we go, they go, neither goes.”


            “The second set of results is preferable to the first:”

            To you. That’s the part you left out of your sentence.

            “By your logic The Game may as well be played as the season kickoff, because it doesn’t matter any more than any other game”

            Wrong. Tradition still matters. But being in division does mean The Game doesn’t mean more than any other game outside of rivalry purposes.

            ” ~ the John Cooper philosophy.”

            Wrong. He knew it meant more, he just always choked.

            “That’s why The Game should be played at the end of the regular season: any other position in the regular season disrespects it.”

            I never said it should move. You’re arguing with your own straw man.

            This discussion is pointless. We both know the other is wrong and neither of us is going to change our mind.

          • BruceMcF says:

            “It depends what one considers the definition of The Game to be. To me, it’s OSU vs MI in football, period.”

            And to me, its the concrete tradition since before I was born ~ last game of the regular season, alternating between the two historic stadiums, under grey flannel Great Lakes skies, bragging rights with our Michigan relatives settled once for the rest of the year until its played again the following year. “Oh Goodie Goodie, Bo Beat Woody”, “Well, hello, I see Woody Beat Bo”. Previous few traditions survive over half a century, no need to monkey around with that one with do-over games, but come back to Ohio from SEC country or the Caribbean or across the Pacific, that’s a constant.

          • Brian says:


            “last game of the regular season,”

            Which it would be regardless.

            “alternating between the two historic stadiums,”

            What if somebody builds a new one instead of renovating? Will The Game disappear?

            “under grey flannel Great Lakes skies,”

            Except when the sky is blue, or does that ruin it too?

            “bragging rights with our Michigan relatives settled once for the rest of the year until its played again the following year.”

            A second game was not an option until two years ago. Using the lack of one before that as a reason not to have one now is just an argument against divisions, not an argument against The Game being in division.

          • BruceMcF says:

            “Except when the sky is blue, or does that ruin it too?”

            Oh, there’s a risk of that happening, but there’s nothing that the Big Ten can do about that risk except scheduling the game in late November to minimize the risk.

            “A second game was not an option until two years ago.”

            Yes, its true that there was never before any risk of having a neutral site replay a week later to overturn the result of The Game. The fact that the option now exists to include that risk is not in an of itself a reason to take that risk.

            “Using the lack of one before …”

            Assuming there was anything lacking due to the absence of that risk is begging the question.

            ” … that as a reason not to have one now”

            You skipped over the “and the strength of the rivalry without one” part of the argument, didn’t you. Surely the burden of proof is on the people who want to tamper with the success of the standing arrangement

            “… is just an argument against divisions, not an argument against The Game being in division.”

            There surely is an argument against having divisions at all lurking in there, but that battle has already been lost. The present argument is that, as a regular season game, the biggest thing that The Game can be for under a division system is the right to play in the CCG, and having that be either/or but not both is what lends the greatest possible drama TO The Game under a division system.

          • Brian says:


            “Yes, its true that there was never before any risk of having a neutral site replay a week later to overturn the result of The Game. The fact that the option now exists to include that risk is not in an of itself a reason to take that risk.”

            It’s also not a reason not to.

            “Assuming there was anything lacking due to the absence of that risk is begging the question.”

            No, it’s a statement of fact. There was no CCG before 2011. It’s prior non-existence is not an argument against splitting OSU and MI.

            “You skipped over the “and the strength of the rivalry without one” part of the argument, didn’t you.”

            No, I didn’t skip it. There is no evidence to indicate if or how the rivalry would be different if the CCG had always existed and OSU and MI were split.

            “Surely the burden of proof is on the people who want to tamper with the success of the standing arrangement”

            Surely not. Either arrangement is a change from the 100+ years that built the rivalry. The discussion is which change is a better choice, not change versus the status quo. In fact, OSU and MI are already split so you are the one arguing for change. You should provide proof that it’s an improvement, not me. I didn’t note the rivalry collapsing due to the current arrangement.

            “The present argument is that, as a regular season game, the biggest thing that The Game can be for under a division system is the right to play in the CCG, and having that be either/or but not both is what lends the greatest possible drama TO The Game under a division system.”

            That’s your argument, not the argument.

    • Brian says:


      “Michigan and Ohio State in the same division would be great for the B1G Conference (and other CFB football fans) but not necessarily for UM and OSU. One of those schools will lose twice, neither the Division nor the Conference Champions. If not, then please as protected cross-overs.”

      Even the B10 HQ isn’t dumb enough to not lock The Game.

      “Schedule the game in October.”

      Are you insane? Do you not remember the reaction of the fans to talk of moving it to early November?

      “The rivalry may actually prosper if there would not be so much hype as the last game of the season.”

      It does just fine in November, thank you.

  67. Ravin says:

    The survey got it right. There are three priorities for conference structuring and scheduling: rivalries, geography and competitive balance. The best solution maximizes all three. Anything less is unsatisfactory for monetary and stability reasons.

    (As disclosure, my personal preference is UM and OSU in the same division and playing the last game of the season.)

    Expanding to 16 schools and using pod scheduling may alleviate this situation as follows:

    Using examples (also for division names):

    Legends Pod: Nebraska, Iowa, Penn State, Rutgers
    Leaders Pod: Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Northwestern
    West Pod: Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana, Purdue
    East Pod: Illinois, Maryland, Army, Navy

    Divisions alternate every 2 years and 2 cross-over games alternate every 2 years.

    Illustrating the idea by example schedules for selected teams (all as home/away series)

    Years 1&2 (Legends West, Leaders East Divisions):

    Penn State: Rutgers, Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana, Purdue, Michigan, Michigan State

    Maryland: Illinois, Army, Navy, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Northwestern, Wisconsin, Minnesota

    Years 3&4: (Legends East, Leaders West Divisions):

    Penn State: Rutgers, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Maryland, Army, Navy, Ohio State, Northwestern,

    Maryland: Illinois, Army, Navy, Nebraska, Iowa, Penn State, Rutgers, Indiana, Purdue


    • vp19 says:

      Adding Army and Navy might be fine from an academic perspective, but athletically they simply couldn’t cut it against megasized state flagships. Yes, Navy holds its own in football, but look at its schedule aside from Army and Notre Dame — rarely do the Mids (or Army) schedule anyone else of BCS caliber, aside from smaller private institutions such as Wake Forest.

      • cfn_ms says:

        Even Navy really hasn’t held its own (other than in the 2006-2009 period), with > .500 records typically being the function of really bad schedules as opposed to indicating true quality (their record vs AQ’s, even with most of their games against lower-end AQ’s like Duke or Rutgers, hasn’t been awesome). Don’t forget, this was a program who lost an all-time record (that probably will never fall) 43 games in a row to Notre Dame.

    • metatron says:

      No. Army and Navy are terrible and they’ll never return to their former glory.

      You might as well bank on Harvard and Yale becoming perennial powerhouses once again.

    • Brian says:


      “Expanding to 16 schools and using pod scheduling may alleviate this situation as follows:

      Using examples (also for division names):

      Legends Pod: Nebraska, Iowa, Penn State, Rutgers
      Leaders Pod: Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Northwestern
      West Pod: Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana, Purdue
      East Pod: Illinois, Maryland, Army, Navy”


      1. Army and Navy are never being added.
      2. What did IL do to deserve that pod?
      3. Splitting groups and using multiple locked games stinks.
      4. Balance. Your plan has none.
      5. Why would you keep L. & L. as names? That’s should be a criminal offense.

      • ccrider55 says:

        “Why would you keep L. & L. as names? That’s should be a criminal offense.”

        If not criminal, certainly committable.

      • Radi says:

        Army and Navy were used as “examples” so as not offend certain sensibilities (i.e. B1G imperialism). The main point here is to demonstrate that “pod scheduling” does not require rotating through four pod combinations. For 9-game conference schedules, there is still the need of 2 cross-over games, so only one rotation is needed. As long as every school can play all other schools as home/away series during any 4-year period, then there is no need to “lock-in” cross-overs, only to select how the rotation is scheduled. In essence, a school plays the three schools in its SCHEDULING POD every year, and all other remaining schools at least twice very four years. But yeah, the division names are dumb.

        • vp19 says:

          Had you listed Army and Navy as “hypothetical” cases and not actual ones, perhaps the reaction would have been less virulent. (Though using the term “B1G imperialism” doesn’t help your case.)

          • Ravin says:

            If the two examples had been Georgia Tech and Virginia, do you think that the SEC and B1G would cooperate and allow Illinois and Georgia Tech to swap their last games of the season with Missouri and Georgia (as out-of-conference games)?

          • Brian says:

            GT/UGA sure. They already play then. IL hasn’t said they want to play MO annually, let alone the last week.

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          Army and Navy were used as “examples” so as not offend certain sensibilities…

          I kind of figured that. But everyone knows that pods work mathematically. The challenge is the competitive balance and preserving rivalries, which cannot be evaluated without knowing the actual teams.

          Right now, the Big Ten fits into four natural clusters:

          Plains: (Wisconsin, Minnesota), (Iowa, Nebraska)
          Midwest: (Purdue, Indiana), (Illinois, Northwestern)
          Lakes: Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State
          East: Penn State, Maryland, Rutgers

          If the next two Big Ten teams are Virginia and Vanderbilt — this is a deliberately unlikely example — they could slot into the East and Lakes respectively, and none of the natural partners would need to be disrupted.

          If the next two Big Ten teams are Virginia and Georgia Tech, one of the two (probably GT) draws a short straw, and has to go into the Lakes, losing Virginia and Maryland as logical annual games.

          That doesn’t work if the next two teams are Virginia and North Carolina. GT might accept being split off from Virginia, but there’s no way North Carolina would. In that case, your east pod is probably PSU/MD/UVA/UNC;. Rutgers draws the short straw, and gets kicked over to the Lakes.

          If one of the next two Big Ten teams is Kansas, then they’re really hosed, because the Plains pod is the only one that makes sense, but you can’t put them there without breaking up a very natural quartet of teams that want to play every year.

          In 18- and 20-team B1G scenarios, these types of problems multiply.

          • Ravin says:

            Actually, my main point is that 3 divisions of 6 teams each is the most attractive solution. But that argument does not seem persuasive until a person examines all other options.

            How about this crazy idea:

            YEARS 1&2, YEARS 5&6, ETC

            LEADERS EAST: Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Rutgers, Virginia, North Carolina, Indiana, Purdue

            LEGENDS WEST: Nebraska, Iowa, Penn State, Maryland, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Northwestern

            YEARS 3&4, YEARS 7&8, ETC

            LEADERS WEST: Ohio State, Rutgers, Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Northwestern

            LEGENDS EAST: Nebraska, Iowa, Penn State, Maryland, Indiana, Purdue, Virginia, North Carolina

            In Years 1&2, Penn State and Maryland plays Ohio State and Rutgers as cross-overs, thus each playing two east coast teams for those seasons.

            In Years 3&4, Virginia and North Carolina play Illinois and Northwestern as cross-overs, but play Nebraska and Iowa in the division.

            Substituting Georgia Tech for North Carolina would also work. I guess Virginia would cooperate and schedule Virginia Tech as last game of the season to allow the Yellow Jackets to play their hated rival as last games of the season also.

            Finally, I have already discussed the merits (and key issues) of 3 divisions of 6 teams and will not repeat here. If Duke would be one of those schools, then they can play in the Central Division but for football only (the East Division for all other sports). Then Penn State can play in the East Division. The Spartans need a rival game as last game of the season. The Blue Devils can have their revenge in basketball season.

          • Radi says:

            And in Years 3&4 Penn State and Rutgers play Michigan and Michigan State.

            And in Years 1&2 Virginia and North Carolina play Wisconsin and Minnesota.

          • Ravin says:


            And in Years 3&4 Penn State and Maryland play Michigan and Michigan State

          • Ravin says:

            Actually, this scheme works best as follows (Nebraska and Iowa also benefit):

            YEARS 1&2, YEARS 5&6, ETC

            LEADERS: Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Rutgers, Virginia, North Carolina, Illinois, Northwestern

            LEGENDS: Nebraska, Iowa, Penn State, Maryland, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana, Purdue

            YEARS 3&4, YEARS 7&8, ETC

            LEADERS: Ohio State, Rutgers, Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana, Purdue

            LEGENDS: Nebraska, Iowa, Penn State, Maryland, Illinois, Northwestern, Virginia, North Carolina

          • vp19 says:

            Until the NCAA rules otherwise, a three-division plan is off the table.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            Until the NCAA rules otherwise, a three-division plan is off the table.

            As long as we’re discussing hypotheticals, like an 18-20 team Big Ten, hypothetical rule changes are a legitimate topic of discussion as well.

            I am not personally in favor of the three-division plan, but I think it’s more worthwhile to discuss its merits substantively, rather than just to keep pointing out that it is against the rules. Rules can change.

          • vp19 says:

            As long as we’re discussing hypotheticals, like an 18-20 team Big Ten, hypothetical rule changes are a legitimate topic of discussion as well.

            Fair enough, but as difficult as Delany will find it in expanding the Big Ten to 18 members, based on my years of following the NCAA and its machinations, there’s a far more remote chance it will allow conferences to adopt three-division play for football. I still believe that if the Big Ten does expand to 18, a two-division setup with three floating members from each division is the most expedient approach, both internally (to satisfy all 18 members as best as possible) and externally (to placate the NCAA).

          • BruceMcF says:

            @ Ravin ~ I agree that 3 divisions and a two round playoff, division champs and wild card, is the most attractive structure for a 15 or 18 team schedule. When I lean toward West and South anchor groups and central swing groups, its not because I prefer that to a three division schedule, but as a system explicitly designed to comply with present NCAA rules. The discussions of what to do if we could rewrite the NCAA rules and what to do under the current rules are two distinct discussions. All we can do is make clear which discussion we are having, and look at things within the scope of that particular discussion.

            I took it that Marc Shepherd was talking about a 16 team 4-group lineup under the constraint of NCAA rules, but given his later comment, I guess it was more generally.

            Independent of the NCAA rules, there is the concern that explains the long standing NCAA resistance against expanding the number of games ~ the student-athlete hypocrisy which is the fundamental platform for the NCAA as a collusive labor monoposonist for minor league football and basketball. That is a fundamental rationalization for why they get away with what they get away with, and so every expansion of the number of football games ~ most recently, going from 11 to 12 in the 80′s and converting the NCG into a semi-final / final format in 2014 ~ is going to face resistance.

            And the fact that the quad system doesn’t encounter that resistance is a point in its favor.

            When I was young, a Big Ten school played every school, every year, but then Penn State was invited in, and we went to seeing some schools four times in a four year cycle and some schools two times.

            And we also get to hold onto that with the quad system, by playing one division line up home and away, and then swapping the two central quads and playing a second division line up home and away. That takes 7 games, with one quad that you never see in division (opposite ends, two central groups), so you play one half of the quad home and away, and then the other half home and away, and that’s the schedule.

            I honestly don’t know whether its best to do the flip in the cross-division games at the same time as swapping quads, so its two different schedules, or to do the flip midway, so its four different schedules. I’d like the variety of the midway flip, and it means that if perchance one version of the schedule is particular imbalanced (which could, after all, sometime only require a late blooming pair of dominant inside linebackers at a school nobody expected to be that strong) you only have to wait a year before you get some relief.

          • Tom says:

            The only way the Big 10 pulls UNC away from ACC is if it adds a minimum of 3 other major, truly southern schools (FSU, Duke, GT, UVA, etc). I have zero doubt about this.

          • Radi says:

            Thanks for allowing me to post on this Blog and exchange constructive comments.

            My efforts are indeed aimed at keeping The Game an important part of B1G football. And the best way to achieve this aim is to identify simple and viable models for structuring the conference and scheduling the conference games. Such model should attract the interest of as many schools as possible, including new entrants.

            For a 14-school model: The BTN survey presented 2 of 3 options that include Michigan and Ohio State in the same division. Thus the odds are favorable that The Game endures.

            For an 18-school model: The idea of “3 divisions of 6 teams” originates from and was adopted as a model to attract Notre Dame into the conference. But then it prevents Penn State from moving into the East Division. Anyway, the collective voice of 18 prominent university presidents would carry much weight concerning any rule changes (or temporary waivers).

            For a 20-school model: In my opinion, possible only as the “B1G Alliance”.

            For a 16-school model: This seems to be most difficult model to formulate, but also has the highest chance of occuring. (The model presented here is similar to the model used by WAC in 1996.)

            Thanks to the brainstorming efforts provided by this Blog, at least I have identified a 16-school model which gives me satisfaction, in that:

            (a) New entrants (in this hypothetical example, Virginia and North Carolina) can be attractively paired with two top-notch universities including away games in a world-class city, with moderate traveling for all other away games on annual basis;

            (b) Michigan and Ohio State are in the same division (always) and the Spartans have an attractive year-end rival (Rutgers);

            (c) Penn State and Maryland can also be year-end rivals, while playing at least Rutgers or Virginia (as hypothetical example) every two years on home/away basis;

            (d) Moderate travelling can also be scheduled for Nebraska and Iowa, with either Wisconsin and Minnesota, or Northwestern and Illinois on the schedule every year;

            (e) At first, the schools in the rotating pods may be uncomfortable switching divisions every two years, but it’s the same trophy that the other four schools compete, and anyway they get to play their rivals at the end of the season every year (if that is their desire); and

            (f) The model is simple enough to understand, home/away series are easy to schedule, and every school plays another school at least two times every four years.

            For me, the speculation is now over, and I can rest in peace and sleep better at nights knowing that there is at least ONE 16-school model that allows The Game to keeps its rightful place in the universe.

            Division names? Actually, the least important issue in this whole discussion.

            (Ted Nugent: The names may suck, but they suck the least.)

        • C. Toda says:

          “Big imperialism ” is in your head . There are no guns ,no threats they are not needed, all who join the Big do so for their own reasons . Better schools, more money ,more varsity sports and no one ever leaves to name a few.

          • Ravin says:

            Hey! Michigander AND Wolverine (Class of 89) here! Do you know who is Dale Carnegie?

          • Ravin says:

            Yeah! Third-stringer, after Devin Gardner (red-shirt junior) and Shane Morris (red-shirt freshman). See yah in The Big House!

  68. Ravin says:

    If UM and OSU are not in the same division (for whatever reason and decided by someone else than me) then consideration should be given to playing the The Game earlier in the season as protected cross-over. If the rivaly means that much, then it should not matter WHEN the game is played.

  69. Ravin says:

    The fact that UM and OSU are in separate divisions but The Game is still played as the last game of the season suggests that 12 schools was never the final target. If OSU, PSU and UM are in the same division, then 14 schools is not either.

  70. Ravin says:

    As personal suggestion (not necessarily the best of all possible worlds) for B1G football with 14 schools:

    EAST: Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan, Indiana, Purdue, Rutgers, Maryland
    WEST: Nebraska, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Iowa, Minnesota, Northwestern, Illinois

    Protected cross-overs in the sequence above;

    Rotate the remaining cross-overs as home/away series for 6-year periods; and

    Maryland and Illinois as last game of the season.

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      Most of those crossovers are really, really ugly. Monkeys drawing balls out of an urn could have come up with them. Where there isn’t some historical or competitive reason for a crossover, the schedule should just “float,” so that those teams get to play other teams in the league more often.

      For instance, if you lock just UM/MSU — the only one there that is actually mandatory — then most schools would see each other home & home in a four-year period, rather than a six-year period.

      • unproductive says:

        The problem with moving MSU west and then locking MSU and UM (which you have to do) is that the remaining western teams get to see UM much less often. That’s why, if you have to have static divisions, the “best” option is to move Purdue west and then lock IU and Purdue (but nobody else), which then ends up being the one crossover games at the end of the year.

        I still think that the conference should go to pods/groups/whatever you want to call them, now – even with an eight-game schedule, you can play everyone twice every four years, which preserves rivalries, integrates the newbies much faster without assigning them meaningless crossover games with teams from the west that they have no history with, and helps alleviate non-competitiveness, since the divisions will change every year. But it won’t happen.

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          The problem with moving MSU west and then locking MSU and UM (which you have to do) is that the remaining western teams get to see UM much less often.

          It isn’t much less. With MSU in the west, UM would see the other western teams one year out of every three (0.333). With MSU in the east, UM would see the other western teams three years out of every seven (0.428), assuming an equal rotation. The difference of 0.095 percent is one game every 10½ years.

          I still think that the conference should go to pods/groups/whatever you want to call them, now – even with an eight-game schedule, you can play everyone twice every four years, which preserves rivalries, integrates the newbies much faster without assigning them meaningless crossover games with teams from the west that they have no history with, and helps alleviate non-competitiveness, since the divisions will change every year. But it won’t happen.

          You’re right: won’t happen. For one thing, they have already decided to play nine games, so that ship has sailed. They were burned by leaders/legends, and this time I think they want something straightforward that will instantly make sense to everybody. They’ve already leaked the east/west split as a trial balloon, and no one is up in arms, so I’m almost positive they’ll go with that.

          • Brian says:

            Marc Shepherd,

            “It isn’t much less. With MSU in the west, UM would see the other western teams one year out of every three (0.333). With MSU in the east, UM would see the other western teams three years out of every seven (0.428), assuming an equal rotation. The difference of 0.095 percent is one game every 10½ years.”

            In addition, the western teams would play OSU more further reducing the issue.

          • BruceMcF says:

            With MSU in the East, Purdue would now be locked, so TSUN would still see Purdue 1/3 (0.333). For the other six, its 4/9 (0.444 … three games out of a 9 year cycle to Purdue leaves 24 games to spread across six, or four games each). Still only 1 extra game for 9 cycles, which is awfully hard to call “a lot”.

            A single rotation with one locked school is messy for H/A cycling. Putting two other Western schools in a single rotation with Purdue, leaves four schools that can play in 2on/2off pairs against TSUN. That changes the question from what SINGLE Western school would TSUN like to see more often, to which FOUR schools would TSUN like to see more often.

            One way that slots together neatly with with three locked schools and four unlocked schools:

            West: Purdue, Illinois, NW | WI, MN | UNL, IA
            East: Indiana, OSU, MSU | TSUN, Rutgers | PSU, MD

            For a locked school (arbitrarily call its partner L1, the other two locked schools L2 and L3, the other four unlocked schools U1-U4), every cross division school other than the lock plays every third year:

            Year 1: L1, L2, U1
            Year 2: L1, L3, U2
            Year 3: L1, U3, U4
            Year 4: L1, L2, U1
            Year 5: L1, L3, U2
            Year 6: L1, U3, U4 … and so on

            For an unlocked school, only the locked schools in the opposing division are every third year, the unlocked schools are 2on, 2off:

            Year 1: L1, U1, U2
            Year 2: L2, U1, U2
            Year 3: L3, U3, U4
            Year 4: L1, U3, U4
            Year 5: L2, U1, U2
            Year 6: L3, U1, U2 … and so on

        • cutter says:


          You’re making an assumption that the schools in the western division want to see Michigan more, not less. That might not necessarily be true.

          The Big Ten is expected to go to a nine-conference game schedule and we’re getting mixed reports about whether or not the conference is going to continue to schedule FCS (Division 1-AA) opponents as part of the non-conference slate.

          If a program is seeking to be in a bowl each season and is looking to have at least six wins, then avoiding Michigan might make sense as a strategy. Minnesota, for example, might be happier to play Indiana or Rutgers rather than UM.

          We can bepretty certain that the conference is not going to adopt the nine-game conference schedule any earlier than 2016. So for the 2014/5 seasons, we’re looking at eight conference games with six of them between teams in the same division (assumes 14 teams in the B1G during this time frame). If MSU is in the west, then at best for those two seasons, Michigan will play one other western team in a home-and-home series.

          In 2016, Michigan would then play MSU plus two of the other six western teams on the conference schedule. That means (if the B1G has a home-and-home for these games), it’ll take six years for UM to get through those six teams.

          Of course, the probability that the conference will be at 14 teams in 2016 is probably less than 50 percent. If expansion to 16 or more teams takes place, we may well be looking at a pod system with four pods containing 4 or 5 teams apiece depending on the conference size.

          IRT pods, I think most people on this board are agreed that if no more teams comes from the Midwest (ex. Kansas), then one likely four-team pod is Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin due to their geographic proximity and because those programs want to play one another.

          The other pod assumption is that Penn State would want to be in the far eastern pod in order to play teams from the mid-Atlantic states. Right now, that’s Maryland and Rutgers. But if two more ACC teams are added to the conference (such as Virginia and North Carolina), then it might be problematic to get PSU into the far eastern pod.

          I think the other guidelines we look at regarding pods is making sure that the instate teams are together (Illinois with Northwestern and Indiana with Purdue) and Michigan along with Ohio State are also in the same pod. Obviously, keeping rivalry games in place as much as possible is also key here.

          Assuming UVA and UNC were to become the 15th and 16th members of the conference, the pods could go like this:

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

          The West and Mideast pods are permanently in their respective divisions while the other pods (Midwest, East) alternate between divisions every two years. In this way, teams would play one another at least twice in a two year period.

          For example, this is what Michigan”s nine conference opponents would look like over a four-year time frame:

          Years 1 & 2 (Mideast and East Pod form division)

          Mideast Pod (3): Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State
          East Pod (4): Rutgers, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina
          West Pod (2): Nebraska, Minnesota

          Years 3 & 4 (Mideast and Midwest Pod form division)

          Mideast Pod (3): Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State
          Midwest Pod (4): Northwestern, Illinois, Purdue, Indiana
          West Pod (2): Iowa, Wisconsin

          To solve the “Penn State problem”, you could swap PSU with Rutgers and place Penn State in the East pod with the former ACC teams (Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina) while Rutgers goes to the Mideast pod with UM, MSU and OSU. For those three teams, it would probably ensure they play at least one game physically on the east coast three years out of four with Rutgers in their pod.

          • David Brown says:

            We should not be making assumptions about Schools coming here until they actually do. My solution (Although I do not think it will happen), is to keep Michigan & Michigan State out West. West: Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Northwestern & Purdue (Along with The Michigan Schools). East: Penn State, Ohio St, Rutgers, Maryland, Illinois, Indiana & Wisconsin. Protected Crossover games: 1: Ohio State/Michigan. 2: Penn State/Nebraska. 3: Illinois/Northwestern. 4: Indiana/Purdue. 5: Wisconson/Iowa. The other schools (Rutgers, Maryland, Minnesota & Michigan State) can alternate games. The only key game they gets lost is Iowa/Minnesota (And the Gophers keep Michigan). Even Ohio State/Illinois gets kept and the “Penn State problem” is solved.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            We should not be making assumptions about Schools coming here until they actually do.

            Heavens…what would we talk about?

          • Blapples says:

            Hahaha. So you leave out Wisconsin/Minnesota rivalry. Each school’s number one priority. Wisconsin wants to play its western rivals (Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska).

          • Blapples says:

            Sorry. Last reply was to David Brown. Not cutter.

          • BruceMcF says:

            cutter ~ when looking for an example of a Western school that might not WANT to play Michigan so often, you might consider passing over Minnesota. Even if they don’t win a lot of the Little Brown Jug games, they seem to want to keep playing them.

          • wmwolverine says:

            Wisconsin is going to be in the west, I don’t think that is even open for the debate among the deciders. I see the issue being where to place the ‘middle 5′ (MIchigan, MSU, Indiana, Purdue & Ohio State)…

            The six in the West are Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Northwestern. They need just one of the ‘middle 5′ with the remaining four joining Penn State, Rutgers, Maryland in the east.

            There aren’t any perfect solutions, my solution is splitting Indiana/Purdue and have them play a 10th conference game (or OOC) if they wish. It would likely be the last game of the season, so if they don’t want that game to count in the standings (be OOC) than they are free for it to not count.

          • BruceMcF says:

            What particular problem is that solution of having Indiana/Purdue play a 10th game solving? Putting either Indiana and Purdue in the West and having Indiana/Purdue as the only locked cross division game would work. It can be the final game of the season, and in the west, everything settles down, with UNL/IA Black Friday, MN/WI, IL/NW. In the East, if PSU/MD/Rutgers/MSU doesn’t settle down into two obvious pairs, then no need to make an artificial one … have some kind of rotation.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            @wmwolverine: The conference isn’t going to screw two of its members like that. Every other conference member is being given at least one annual rivalry that they really want, and several are being given more. It would be ridiculous to tell Indiana and Purdue that you can’t figure out a way for them to play every year as part of the conference.

            (Purdue would be really screwed, because they also have the annual Notre Dame game, which they intend to keep, so in your system they’d be down to just one OOC game that they control.)

          • wmwolverine says:

            You have to split one of Michigan/ Michigan State or Indiana/Purdue unless Ohio State wants in the west, which from what I’ve heard (I have a great deal of family in Ohio) I don’t believe they have any interest in…

            Once you split them, you’re forcing at least one out of division game to be played every season, meaning everyone is playing those programs that much less. This is a scenario I don’t like and many others don’t care for either yet it looks like it’s nearly a must in a 14-team B10…

            Michigan has a strong preference to be with Ohio State and to be in the east along with Penn State, Rutgers & Maryland and won’t miss many of its western rivals (namely just Minnesota)… That leaves you with the choice of just 1 of the middle three in the ‘west’: Purdue, Indiana or MSU…

            MSU has shown interest both in being in the west AND wanting to be in the same division as Michigan, I’m unsure where they stand. Splitting these two cuts off a lot of the Midwest universities for Michigan and the northeast for Michigan State but more importantly, the western schools really want to play Michigan as much as possible for the large crowds when UofM comes to their stadium…

            The same is true of Indiana and Purdue about cutting off the northeast for one and the west for the other. I think these two are the most logical split. I’m very supportive having Indiana/Purdue being the only cross division rivalry game in the B10; it’s the scenario I support the most… I’ve also proposed a scenario where these two can switch divisions every four years (or whatever time frame) so they aren’t relegated to one division and both receive access to the east and west for rivalry, media and recruiting purposes…

            There is no perfect solution to the B10′s division alignment with 14 universities, I really don’t know what Indiana & Purdue want; they’ve been as quiet as anyone regarding conference/division alignment and would love to hear from there fans on what they’d like to see. My idea of Indiana & Purdue playing an extra conference game (or OOC )is merely an idea I threw out there to appease everyone else so they wouldn’t lose rivalries with these schools and of course, any such proposal would need to have 100% support of both the University of Indiana and Purdue University.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            @wmwolverine: I think Purdue and MSU are the only schools under consideration to “go west”. We know they want Michigan and Ohio State in the same division. And they’re not going to send Indiana to the west, because you’d have two perennial weaklings in the same division: them and Minnesota.

            So it’s Purdue or Michigan State. I’m neutral as to which one: there are pros and cons either way. It’s true that if you have locked rivals, it means the rest of the opposite division sees the “locked” team less often. But the difference isn’t as big as people seem to think. For any given team, it amounts to two games every 21 years.

            I cannot imagine them forcing a team to play its main rival as an OOC game. No solution is perfect, but that’s an imperfection they won’t accept.

          • cutter says:


            As a Michigan alum, I’ll be first to acknowledge the long history of play between the Wolverines and the Golden Gophers along, of course, with the Little Brown Jug.

            But I use Minnesota as an example because they recently cancelled their home-and-home series with North Carolina for the 2013/4 seasons and have the following teams on their future schedules through 2016: Western Illinois, San Jose State, Eastern Illinois, Middle Tennessee State, South Dakota State, Kent State, Indiana State and New Mexico State. See

            Also go here for more scheduling information –

            This isn’t exactly a Murderer’s Row for Minnesota in terms of non-conference scheduling, but it gives every indication that they’re looking at getting four wins out of those teams in 2014/5.

            If they’re in the Western Division, that means annual games with Nebraska, Wisconsin and Iowa are pretty certain. Add Northwestern and Illinois as major probabilities with Michigan State as a 50-50 possibility at this point along with Purdue. Finally, of course, there are two eastern teams to round out the list.

            Given that overall schedule and the desire to be bowl eligible, I could see why they might not want to play Michigan or Ohio State in addition to that line up above. I rather suspect they’d like to see Indiana and perhaps Maryland instead.

          • BruceMcF says:

            wmwolverine: “Once you split them, you’re forcing at least one out of division game to be played every season, meaning everyone is playing those programs that much less. This is a scenario I don’t like and many others don’t care for either yet it looks like it’s nearly a must in a 14-team B10…”

            Work that out. It is a simple single rotation, then over the course of 9 seasons, the locked division plays the unlocked schools 3 times. That means that the unlocked schools have 24 games to fill out of the other six, so they’d see the unlocked schools 4 times.

            So there’s “much less” in your terms: 1 fewer time over 9 years. If its home and away rotation, 2 fewer times over 18 years.

            It maybe that you are thinking of 8 conference games, and that would indeed have a substantial impact. Over the course of six seasons with single rotation, the locked school plays the unlocked schools once. In that six seasons, an unlocked school would see five cross division schools twice, so while its not precisely 2:1, its close. But they seem to have realized that two cross division games aren’t really enough, so that seems likely to be a moot point.

          • BoilerTex says:

            Purdue/IU have to be in the same division or a protected crossover. 100+ years of playing each other. The beauty of the B1G is that they understand that and will protect it.

          • cutter says:

            @Bruce McF-

            The reason why Minnesota stood out for me is that the Golden Gophers have clearly been lightening their non-conference slate. Back in October 2012, UMinn cancelled a home and home with North Carolina and replaced that series with New Mexico State the following month. If you look at their non-conference schedule, you also see a number of FCS/Division 1-AA teams on it–go to

            It’s obvious that these changes were in the works prior to the formal announcements that Rutgers and Maryland were joining the conference. So any thought about being in a different division or even playing in a nine-game conference schedule weren’t part of the equation.

            But now that those are reality, what is Minnesota looking at here? The first revolves around the question of B1G teams scheduling FCS teams such as the Golden Gophers are doing. If the conference really does set out a policy to do this, then UMinn is going to have to look elsewhere for some of its non-conference opponents. It’s not an impossible task, and seeing that the Big Ten is looking at going to nine conference games by 2016, it’s perhaps a bit easier bringing in three teams on an annual basis that are, for lack of a better work, relatively beatable (which is why, for example, NMSU is on the schedule and UNC is off of it).

            It’s very likely that Minnesota will be in the western division of the expanded Big Ten starting in 2014. Their current division opponents in the Legends are Michigan, Iowa, Northwestern, Michigan State and Nebraska. The new western division is going to probably lose Michigan and gain Wisconsin and Illinois with the status of MSU still undecided at this point. By and large, though, the teams in their present division (Legends) are going to be roughly the same as a theoretical Western Division in 2014.

            I just think that Minnesota has embarked on a scheduling strategy that gets them in a position to get six wins and be bowl eligible. Through 2014/5, four of those wins are going to come from the non-conference slate–after that, it will probably be three. The other victories will have to come from within the division plus the two games they’ll play in 2014/5 with teams from the east. In the short term, with Illinois being the only program in the west that’s kind of on the ropes right now, I just don’t see them hankering to make their B1G schedule more difficult be wanting to keep Michigan on the slate. My guess is they’d rather prefer playing Indiana or Purdue or maybe Maryland over the Wolverines.

          • BruceMcF says:

            @cutter: To be sure Minnesota looks like they are aiming to hit 6-6 and go bowling down in the tail end of the long list of Big10 bowl tie-ins. That means if they can come out of a three game OOC schedule 2-1, they need to be 4-5 in the Big Ten; if they can come out of OOC play 3-0, they only need to be 3-6 in Big Ten play.

            The difference between MSU in the West and TSUN/MSU locked, and TSUN unlocked, is an average of 1 extra game per nine season. Balanced against that, with MSU in the East and TSUN unlocked, they play Purdue every year rather than MSU, which I reckon at present they’d prefer, so on that side it looks like a wash on overall challenge of schedule. Given that, I reckon they’d rather the extra game per nine seasons against Michigan.

      • Mike says:

        @Marc – Although technically true, is the monkey comment really necessary?

      • Radi says:

        These are ugly cross-overs???? Buckeyes vs Cornhuskers Wolverines vs Spartans Penn State vs Wisconsin. For the remainder: Minnesota vs Purdue (original 7), Northwestern vs Rutgers (Chicago vs New York) ??????

        • Radi says:

          I have not tried to schedule how such scheme would work, but it seems to me that either all teams have protected cross-over or none have.

          • Arch Stanton says:

            No, it is not all or none. In the Pac-12, the California schools have protected crossovers, but the other schools do not.

          • BruceMcF says:

            No, if its home and away cycle scheduling, any mix is workable. You schedule the locked schools first, because they are more constrained, and then the unlocked schools in one division fill in the balance of their games by rotating through the unlocked schools in the other division.

            If you set up one division to cycle through the other division set up as a ring, which each school starting at a different spot, it works itself out. It can take several times around the ring for either the unlocked or locked teams to repeat their year one schedule, so it can be hard to visualize some of the results, but they can be sorted out. Main thing, for strength of schedule, you want to avoid putting perennially strong schools next to each other on the ring.

            It is also possible to semi-lock schools, with a school having a pair of schools it alternates between in a four year cycle, two-on, two-off; or three schools it plays through in a single rotation. Those can either be closed groups ~ one pair semi-locked with a pair in the other division, one three school group semi-locked with a three school group ~ set up in rings, or ad hoc, though if they are ad hoc they have to be used sparingly to avoid boxing yourself into a corner.

          • BruceMcF says:

            I shouldn’t have said ANY mix ~ if you lock six, the seventh should be locked too. But 1, 2, 3, 4 would all work, and five would work with the remaining two semi-locked against each other.

        • Brian says:


          “These are ugly cross-overs????”

          [OSU/NE, PSU/WI, MI/MSU, IN/IA, PU/MN, RU/NW, MD/IL]

          Yes. Yes they are. Why would those games be locked? You are locking games just to lock games. Just lock MI/MSU and let the rotation take care of the rest.

          • Ravin says:

            If one locked cross-over is not possible (and not verified with real and detailed examples) then it looks like we are going to get this:

            LEGENDS: Nebraska, Penn State, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Maryland, Rutgers
            LEADERS: Michigan, Ohio State, Michigan State, Indiana, Purdue, Northwestern, Illinois

            Not my idea!

          • BruceMcF says:

            We’ve got a real and verified example that its not necessary to lock all if you lock some … its called the Pac-12.

    • BruceMcF says:

      EAST: Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan, Indiana, Purdue, Rutgers, Maryland
      WEST: Nebraska, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Iowa, Minnesota, Northwestern, Illinois

      Supposing these divisions:

      Michigan ~ Michigan State has to be a lock

      EAST: TSUN,
      WEST: MSU,

      Cornhuskers: putting them in a division with Iowa and Minnesota maintains their deepest historic rivalries with Big 10 teams ~ in your West, they’ve played 53 games vs Minnesota and 43 vs Iowa. And they’ve played every single other member of your West more often than they’ve played the Buckeyes: 10 vs the Illini, 8 vs WI, 7 vs MSU, 6 vs Northwestern.

      In your East, they’ve played 19 games against Indiana, 15 against Penn State, 8 against that school up north, 4 against the Buckeyes, 1 each against Purdue and Rutgers and had never played Maryland.

      While they’ve played four more games against Indiana, some of those 15 games against Penn State were real doozies, so its likely that the preference of the Huskers would be to be locked against Penn State or just left unlocked.

      And of course, OSU’s deepest series across your division boundaries is with the Illini, and if you don’t recall some of the fireworks between Penn State and the Huskers in the early 80′s, you might also not recall that the Illibuck changed owners every year in the mid-80′s, and the Illini won it for most of the early 90′s. Penn State may have been the Buckeye’s second biggest rivalry over the last decade, but your divisions already put TSUN and Penn State with the Buckeyes. Among your western schools, I’m not sure how you pass over the Illini for my dad’s Cornhuskers.

  71. BuckeyeBeau says:

    SIAP (sorry if already posted):

    Nothing earth shattering, but found this SI list of “top ten most powerful” people in college sports to be interesting particularly compared to the one they did ten years ago.

    Slive is #1 this go-round; #14 last time.

    I credit blogs like this one for the #5 choice in this year’s article; the ESPN Sr. VP for college sports programming. That is, blogs like this have highlighted the importance of tv networks in college sports.

    from ten years ago.

    either the world of college sports has really changed, or I don’t even begin to understand the top 10 from 10 years ago. ND athletic director at #3? Donna Shalala at #4? (Yes, I know, former dirc. of HHS, but still … #4?)

  72. BuckeyeBeau says:

    I’ll try this again:

    SIAP (sorry if already posted):

    Nothing earth shattering, but found this SI list of “top ten most powerful” people in college sports to be interesting particularly compared to the one they did ten years ago.

    Slive is #1 this go-round; #14 last time.

    I credit blogs like this one for the #5 choice in this year’s article; the ESPN Sr. VP for college sports programming. That is, blogs like this have highlighted the importance of tv networks in college sports.

    • BuckeyeBeau says:

      From ten years ago.

      either the world of college sports has really changed, or I don’t even begin to understand the top 10 from 10 years ago. ND athletic director at #3? Donna Shalala at #4? (Yes, I know, former dirc. of HHS, but still … #4?)

      • BuckeyeBeau says:

        btw, and fyi: maybe everyone already knew this (and maybe it only applies to me). But if you put more than one link into your post, your post will not appear and will be marked as “your comment is awaiting moderation.”

        • Mike says:

          Its annoying, but the price we pay to be free of spam I guess.

          • BuckeyeBeau says:

            Yeah, but only a bit. It’s easy enough to break a comment into two section with a single link in different comments (as I did above).

            What’s more annoying is not knowing in the first place and writing something long and then having it not post.

            So, I decided to mention it for anyone else who did not know that particular rule.

  73. Nostradamus says:

    The Big East Catholic 7 divorce is official.

    • Mike says:

      C7 league will be 10 team league next year per Brett McMurphy. I assume C7, Butler, Xavier, and Creighton?

      • BruceMcF says:

        Creighton is the most common guess for the tenth. Its just a matter of the league deciding whether they want to travel that far west.

        • BuckeyeBeau says:

          if not Creighton, then who closer can join within the next 4 months?

          • BruceMcF says:

            The other most credible teams are all A10 schools: speculation on the other three (after Butler and X) revolves around Creighton, SLU, Dayton, VCU and Richmond. All of them other than Creighton are A10 schools, with a $2m exit fee for leaving in under a year’s notice, $1m for leaving with over a year’s notice. If they have their picks sorted out, then if they are doing it in two steps to make the logistics easier and to cut down on the total exit fee bill, it would make sense for the two 2014 entries to be A10 teams.

          • BruceMcF says:

            The other issue is that the conference may not have decided which are the other two … the Blaudschun article linked to below suggests SLU, Dayton and Richmond, which is three to fit into two. They have up through June to decide without an increase in the exit fee for the two July 1 2014 entries. If they are now agreed on X, Butler and Creighton and talking over which two of SLU, Dayton and Richmond, that would be what dictates taking Creighton now, with the lower cost just a marginal bonus.

  74. Mike says:


    They will move quickly–perhaps as soon as next week in New York– to invite Butler, and Xavier and Creighton, which will make 10 teams for the 2013-2014 season.

  75. Arch Stanton says:

    MVC short list to replace Creighton:

    Denver and Belmont supposed front runners with Loyola also a possibility.
    Oral Roberts considered a long shot but is receiving some support (I would think from WSU)

    Apparently, being a private school is important to keep their current public/private mix stable should Creighton leave.

    Belmont? I did not see that coming.
    Read some media speculation that UW Milk may be a possible add but I think that was just the personal musings of one reporter.

    • Richard says:

      I admit to not understanding the private-public concern. For a Chicago presence, UIC is a far better option than Loyola.

      • Arch Stanton says:

        I don’t get it either. Do the remaining private schools think the public schools will somehow band together and run the show? I see alliances more formed by geography and what sports different schools emphasize

  76. Mezzemup says:

    Per BuckeyeBeau’s link, I looked up Ed O’Bannon lawsuit and its kinda scary. Once this case hits trial its could do irreversable damage to the ncaa and the ora of collegiate amateur athletics, regardeless if it successful or not. Proactive measures need to be taken at the NCAA level and president level. If the college braintrust can be pulled together for the bowl system, it can tackle this. Implement national cap on coaching salaries…give guidelines for contracts so coaches can’t skip from school to school ‘dipping out’ on the athelets they recruited. All these restrictions on the kids: pro age limit; transfer laws; financial guidelines; but then the coaches are doing what they want unchecked. The kids have no voice during this money bubble for college athletics. Every year, take the money they noramlly would be paying the coaches and allow a ‘voting student athletic body’ to decide which education dept recieves the funds, like a quasi student govt. This will build a since of unity and responsibilty among the athletes b/c they truly will be giving back to the university. What sayeee!

    • Brian says:


      “Implement national cap on coaching salaries”

      It’s been tried and ruled illegal.

      “…give guidelines for contracts so coaches can’t skip from school to school ‘dipping out’ on the athelets they recruited.”

      Also probably illegal.

      “The kids have no voice during this money bubble for college athletics.”

      Sure they do. They could unionize. They could boycott. Plenty of them skip college or leave early. The rest choose to accept the terms and play.

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        [The players] could unionize. They could boycott. Plenty of them skip college or leave early. The rest choose to accept the terms and play.

        It’s a bit of a dodge to say that, because the players accept the terms and play, the terms are what they ought to be in a free market. The NCAA has the advantage that eligibility is a wasting asset, and by the time a player could push a case through the legal system, his or her eligibility would be long past expired.

        That’s what makes the O’Bannon case such a danger to the NCAA. Since O’Bannon’s days as a student-athlete are far behind him, he can afford to wait it out. The case is already nearly four years and counting, and with appeals it will might stretch out to a decade. No college kid could wait that long.

        • Brian says:

          “It’s a bit of a dodge to say that, because the players accept the terms and play, the terms are what they ought to be in a free market.”

          I didn’t say that. I disputed that they don’t have a say. But they do accept the terms just like people accept the terms their employer offers. It doesn’t mean they are good terms, but people accept them. Frankly, grad students get screwed over much worse than athletes.

          • BruceMcF says:

            “free market” is an ideological term ~ a “free” competitive market is expected to have one kind of outcome, a “free” monopolistic or monopsonistic market is expected to have a quite different kind of outcome.

          • Brian says:

            Feel free to keep arguing with yourself, but you haven’t said anything relevant to what I said in several posts in this thread.

          • BruceMcF says:

            People voluntarily “accepting the terms” is surely relevant to whether its a “free” market, which Mark Shepherd raised, as a “free market” typically includes “free to abuse market power”. It is not the deciding factor on whether there is an abuse of market power by an association attempting to act like a monopsonist. Lots of market power abuses involve contracts where both the party abusing their market power and the party harmed by that abuse both voluntarily “accepted the terms”.

          • Brian says:

            Then raise it with him, not me. It wasn’t relevant to my point when he brought it up, either.

          • BruceMcF says:

            Except that the question of market power is quite relevant to the argument that: ” But they do accept the terms just like people accept the terms their employer offers. It doesn’t mean they are good terms, but people accept them.”

            Market regulation in this country first started rejecting that as a universal excuse for the abuse of market power under Teddy Roosevelt. Of course, the pendulum swings back and forth on that, and so this might be a good time for the NCAA to have this decided, since the pendulum may well have swung as far back to the first Gilded Age as its likely to do.

          • Brian says:

            It’s still irrelevant. I said they have a say and they do. Trainees for many professions have to suffer through years of crap to get the job they want. It’s their choice and nobody makes them do it. They all have a say, too. The rest is you two putting words in my mouth so you can argue economic theory. I have zero interest in having that discussion, so you two can feel free to have it with each other.

          • BruceMcF says:

            “I said they have a say and they do.”

            You disputed a claim, that they have no voice in this money bubble.

            The fact that they can either take or decline the offer that is made available to them does not on its own imply that they have voice. If they were to form an effective union, then they would have voice, but they haven’t done and it may not be feasible to do. If they were to stage an effective boycott then they would have voice, but it seems highly unlikely that it could be pulled off.

            Most of them, with the general exception of those seeking a minor league football scholarship to pursue a pro football career, can effectively opt out of the system and pursue a different path, but opting out of a system is not having a voice in that system.

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          @Brian: Perhaps you can clarify your point, as I am not quite getting it. You disputed the claim that the players have no say, but your only evidence of that, was things they haven’t done (unionize, boycott, skip college). The absence of action is not equivalent to “having a voice.”

          Before modern labor laws, many workers toiled in unsafe conditions, because they preferred work to starvation. No sensible person would suggest that since they accepted those terms, they had any say in them. I am not saying college athletics are as bad as that, only pointing out the obvious difference between acquiescing in an arrangement (because the alternatives are worse) and actually having a say in it.

          One could argue (as university presidents surely do) that the players are getting a great deal, but that’s a quite different proposition from whether the players ever had a say in it.

          • Mack says:

            The only say the athlete has is to accept it or not go. There are no restrictions at the highest levels in almost all Olympic sports, baseball, soccer, and hockey. The NBA had no restrictions until recently and that is a NBA issue. Anyone getting drafted by the NBA after 1 year in college will get drafted if they spent that year playing pro ball in Europe. Football is about the only sport where there is little alternative to playing college ball if the goal is to go pro.

          • Brian says:

            Marc Shepherd,

            “You disputed the claim that the players have no say, but your only evidence of that, was things they haven’t done (unionize, boycott, skip college).”

            But they have done some of those things. There is a unionization movement out there but many players choose not to sign on. Many players choose other routes than college (minor league baseball, overseas hoops, minor hockey, semipro football, etc). Other people opt to drop sports and get a job. They have as much say as any employee does in a regulated field, and more importantly NCAA sports are not necessary to their existence.

    • BuckeyeBeau says:

      Yep, the O’Bannon case is potentially huge. One reason O’Bannon showed up on SI’s list of “10 most powerful” people in college sports. comes in at #4.

      It has been going now for 4 years. And I only recently really looked at what was being alleged and the implications.

      In the meantime, I’ve begun to wonder what the NCAA would actually do. The Plaintiffs want a trust fund.

      I have a feeling the NCAA will simply ban the use of player likenesses by the schools. Yes, that will mean less money for the schools, but it is the only solution. I just can’t see the NCAA agreeing/allowing money to be put aside for college players which can be accessed when they exhaust/waive their eligibility. Just too fraught with danger to pretend-amateurism.

      In fact, if the NCAA is going to ‘band together’ to solve this, they should do that right now. It is bad enough that the schools make so much $$$ off the players. It’s insult to injury to get piles of $$$ from selling their likenesses too.

  77. metatron says:

    There is something rotten in Austin apparently.

    This could be big.

    • metatron says:
      • metatron says:
        • Andy says:

          I’m hearing there are at least 5 or 6 different sex scandals that are going to come out. Should be devastating. Sorry Bullet.

          • Watching the Detectives says:

            I’m hearing at least one Mizzou poster is going to be banned from this board. Should be refreshing. Sorry, Andy.

          • bullet says:

            Bryant, Kearney, McCoy, Hicks, Applewhite. That’s all old news.

          • Andy says:

            So 5 sex scandals. Lawyers. Lawsuits. Sounds bad.

          • Andy says:

            But then I heard that once there was a guy on the back of a Missouri airplane who sold drugs at one point, so there’s that.

          • bullet says:

            Missouri puts a drug dealer on its plane. UT, like any large organization, has individuals who make bad decisions. Bryant got fired because of sexual harrassment complaints. Keaney, whose attorney is dragging up all this stuff, got fired, as soon as it was discovered, for having a consensual relationship with one of her students athletes. McCoy & Hicks got drunk, went up to a room with an adult female, one had sex while the girl’s roommate called the police and convinced the girl to file charges which the police later dropped (her report basically consisted of realizing she was having sex with one of them and didn’t remember what happened before other than being in a bar and inviting them up). Players got sent home immediately from the bowl. Applewhite, then age 29, had a fling with an adult student and was punished immediately. Common theme, UT dealt with them. Also common, no criminal laws broken. Only the sexual harrassment was any law broken, only university policy.

          • Andy says:

            Missouri allowed boosters and their friends to ride on the back of their plane as paid passengers. Unknown to them was that one had sold drugs. After he was caught, he was no longer allowed on the plane. He had basically zero connection to the school. He wasn’t even a booster. Just the friend fo a booster. You’ve got coaches and players raping and sexing people right and left. Not even close to the same thing. But then I wouldn’t expect even a smidgen of humility, honesty, or integrity from you. You reacted exactly the way I thought you would.

    • metatron says:

      Barry Burgdorf, the University of Texas System’s vice chancellor and general counsel, has resigned as of 03/07/13.

  78. Brian says:

    Duffman, I thought you might want to get a jump on complaining about the B12′s OOC scheduling for next season.

    1. Oklahoma: Louisiana-Monroe, Tulsa, at Notre Dame
    2. TCU: LSU (at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas), Southeastern Louisiana, SMU
    3. Texas: New Mexico, at BYU, Ole Miss
    4. Iowa State: Northern Iowa, Iowa, at Tulsa
    5. Oklahoma State: Mississippi State (at Reliant Stadium in Houston), at Texas-San Antonio, Lamar
    6. Kansas: South Dakota, at Rice, Louisiana Tech
    7. Texas Tech: at SMU, Stephen F. Austin, Texas State
    8. West Virginia: William & Mary, Georgia State, vs. Maryland (at Ravens Stadium in Baltimore)
    9. Kansas State: North Dakota State, Louisiana-Lafayette, Massachusetts
    10. Baylor: Wofford, Buffalo, Louisiana-Monroe

    • BruceMcF says:

      Looks like only three schools with any ambition to their OOC schedule, and I wouldn’t be surprised if when Texas scheduled Ole Miss, they weren’t expecting to be catching Ole Miss on the rise, which would make two OOC schedules with any ambition to them, and one case of accidental ambition.

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        The total wimps are Baylor, Kansas State, Kansas, and Texas Tech.

        Oklahoma, TCU, Texas, Iowa State, Oklahoma State, and West Virginia, all have at least one OOC opponent from the Big Five leagues.

        Granted, you have to look at the bottom of the schedule too. There really is no excuse for West Virginia to be playing William & Mary, or Oklahoma State to be playing Lamar.

        • BruceMcF says:

          After Okie, TCU and Texas, I’d give Iowa State a par with the in-state AQ and FCS they play regularly and the Mid-Major they picked to play winning their division last year and being a regular prospect to go bowling.

          And as far as the other side, well, it is a thick tail, isn’t it. I agree that Baylor, Kansas State, Kansas and Texas Tech are altogether underwhelming. But L’il Okie is playing two schools that were not sponsoring NCAA football in 2009, one from just about the bottom of the Southland ladder last year, and playing Two Mississippi doesn’t offsett that. WV gets to play two CAA schools, the virtual two of the bottom three spots of the 2012 CAA, by virtue of Georgia State’s promotion from near the bottom of the CAA ladder to near the bottom of the Sunbelt ladder. Playing Maryland doesn’t offset essentially playing two CAA schools who can’t even win IN the CAA.

          • jbcwv says:

            Hey, at least WV scheduled Alabama for the following year. Weak OOC has not typically been WVU’s standard operating procedure. Maybe that will change in the future, as the conference slate for next year features 8 teams that went to bowls.

          • BruceMcF says:

            At least WV has the excuse that the change of conference left them scrambling a bit to sort out their schedule … which will gain weight if their relative Big12 position on OOC strength of schedule improves over the next few years.

            I can’t see how Okie State is doing anything but taking advantage of an FCS school moving into the Sunbelt to let it essentially play two Southland Conference schools.

    • wmwolverine says:

      Outside of ND that just lost a ton of seniors and a state mandated rivalry with Iowa, those schedules are a ton of crap.

      • zeek says:

        That Baylor schedule would make Wisconsin blush.

        • BruceMcF says:

          But, but, but … UMass is an FBS school!

          Mind, at 1-11 overall, 1-7 in the MAC, with their only win against 1-11 Akron (0-8 in the MAC, whose only win was against MEAC member Morgan State), … another case of a Big12 school looking for an FCS caliber school, recently promoted to the cellar of a lower tier FBS conference.

          • BruceMcF says:

            Oh, wait, I jumped a row, that’s Kansas State’s schedule that would make Wisconsin blush.

        • bullet says:

          Doubt that-not much difference and Wisconsin’s is better than usual.
          Wofford is better than Tennessee Tech
          Buffalo is better than UMass
          Louisiana-Monroe was pretty decent last year (ask Arkansas, Auburn and Baylor)-Wisconsin has BYU and Arizona St. for their other two ooc, so no more than small advantage Wisconsin. Baylor has a Big 12 game instead of BYU or ASU.

      • bullet says:

        Sounds like Michigan’s schedule. Notre Dame, Central Michigan, Akron at home and at UConn.

        • BruceMcF says:

          WHICH sounds like TSUN’s schedule ~ Oklahoma, TCU and Texas, or Baylor, the Kansases, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech? The bottom of that list makes it look like a Big12 payday game is a door prize handed out to schools that make the move up from the FCS to the FBS.

  79. Transic says:

    If these allegations have any truth to them, I think the last thing on the Big XII’s minds would be trying to expand. Then again, the PSU scandals didn’t necessarily stop the B1G from expanding, so what do I know.

    Or maybe this creates an opening from the “Smaller 8″ group to pressure UT into giving concessions, including adding to their membership.

  80. BuckeyeBeau says:

    How about some links to the Texas allegations?

    Here is a link to a “scandal” about recruiting hostesses. From this discussion on an OKLA board, this seems more “normal business” than “scandal.”

  81. BuckeyeBeau says:

    At least some UT folks think anything concerning “scandals” is political mechinations by Gov. Perry, a graduate of A&M.

    According to these folks, the Board of Regents has a bunch of new Perry-appointed members and they are set to trash UT. First act was firing Burgdorf.

  82. BuckeyeBeau says:

    fwiw, here’s yardbarker’s rundown on Texas related rumors.

    nothing much.

  83. BuckeyeBeau says:

    here’s the Shaggybevo thread. Jump to last page for drunken late night ramblings.

  84. BuckeyeBeau says:

    Here the rumor about it being something gay from LSU board.

    (yes, I’m bored on a Saturday morning … )

  85. Ravin says:

    Count me pessimistic that the B1G schools will agree to schedule games except on home/away basis. And having only one protected cross-over game is clumsy and seems ad hoc solution to be imposed on the two schools. Which rivalry to sacrifice? If pod scheduling is unacceptable for a 16-team conference, then why bother using the name “conference” anymore.

    • BruceMcF says:

      “Which rivalry to sacrifice”? Says the person who locked the Buckeyes with the Cornhuskers ~ 4 games played in history ~ rather than the Buckeyes with the Illini ~ 99 games ~ and Penn State with the Cornhuskers ~ 15 games?

      If Michigan State stays east and Purdue stays west, the only cross division rivalry that REQUIRES locking is Purdue/Indiana. If Purdue and Michigan State cross over, the only cross division rivalry that REQUIRES locking is Michigan/MSU.

      For the rest, better not lock them at all than imposed arbitrary cross division match-ups or, even worse, cross-division match-ups that only serve to REDUCE the frequency that actual rivals play.

      • FLP_NDRox says:

        If MSU goes east, will UM want them as I locked partner? Somehow…I doubt it.

        • BruceMcF says:

          MSU/Purdue “crossing over” means MSU goes west, despite being east of two “West” teams. Its not a reference to the current division lineup ~ the whole point of divisional realignment is to be able to toss the current divisional lineup in the trash and make a better one.

          And, yes, if MSU/Purdue “cross over”, the more eastern school going West and the more western school going East, that school up north would want a locked game with MSU.

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          If MSU goes east, will UM want them as I locked partner? Somehow…I doubt it.

          Yes, without question. That game is one of the best rivalries in the Big Ten, in terms of fan support and general interest. It was Michigan’s best-attended game last year, and that was with premium pricing.

          Even in the unlikely event that Michigan wanted to give it up, the Spartans definitely do not, and the Big Ten would never screw one of its members out of their #1 rivalry game.

          • BruceMcF says:

            The question is assuming that the school up north is IN the east, so MSU moving east would be joining them in-division. MSU moving east was, in turn, reading “Purdue and MSU crossing over” in terms of L&L, rather than in terms of positions on a map.

  86. BuckeyeBeau says:

    In summary: “I have a Twitter account and, according to sources, the Owners of the Internet are in Big Trouble. A giant scandal is about to hit involving multiple Owners. The Internet will have to be shut down. Details are being released tomorrow. Now: Everyone Panic !!!”

    Having said that, FtT: Please delete all of my posts from this morning. This bull**** is not worthy of our Board.

  87. Radi (Ravin as alias) says:

    As final posting:


    Years 1&2, 5&6, etc (all as home/away series; football only):

    LEADERS DIVISION: Michigan, Ohio State, Georgia Tech, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Northwestern

    LEGENDS DIVISION: Nebraska, Penn State, Rutgers, Iowa, Maryland, Virginia, Indiana, Purdue


    Years 3&4, 7&8, etc (all as home/away series; football only):

    LEADERS DIVISION: Michigan, Ohio State, Georgia Tech, Michigan State, Maryland, Virginia, Indiana, Purdue

    LEGENDS DIVISION: Nebraska, Penn State, Rutgers, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Northwestern


    All years: The Game played as the last conference game of the season.


    Cheers Y’all!

  88. Mack says:

    What makes Xavier, Butler, and Creighton (+2 to be named later) more valuable to FOX than UCONN, Cincinnati, Temple, and Memphis? For the same money FOX could have had the C7 in the Big East. FOX spent more to create a new conference and get less media rights than just signing the Big East as it existed. The C7 Big East exists because FOX’s estimates of Big East football value to ESPN/NBC were way off the mark. Why split off football if it is cheap? Aresco was asking for more than $100M per year and the Big East turned down more than that from ESPN before losing Pitt/Syracuse. Only if FOX assumed Big East football would command big bucks does it makes sense for FOX to work a C7 split to get the basketball rights it wanted. Aresco was demanding so much in media negotiations that FOX found it was easier to break up the Big East than make a deal with it.

    • BruceMcF says:

      But the contract that the Big TBA signed was the value of the Big TBA minus the C7 with only limited bidding for the rights ~ there’s no guarantee what the price would have been if NBC Sports, Fox and ESPN were all vying for a single Big East contract. NBC Sports seems likely to have bid at least a big more for the stronger basketball package than the Big TBA represents, FOX would have had to top that bid, and by enough to ensure that ESPN did not match.

      Outbidding ESPN for just the rights that met Fox’s needs meant a guaranteed ceiling on the cost several tens of millions lower than the ceiling on a high bid for the original conference, and left most of the impaired brand value with the Big TBA. And it assured a heads of agreement “yes” for those rights well in advance of the roll-out of the new national cable sports network, when if it guessed wrong about what the correct high bid was for the old Big East, it could have found itself getting gazumped in the month before the roll-out.

  89. zeek says:

    Georgetown is showing how to exit a conference in style.

  90. zeek says:

    Did anyone think that Miami would win ACC titles in basketball and baseball before football? What a weird decade for them.

    • vp19 says:

      Miami hasn’t won the ACC title yet, merely top seed in the tournament. In ACC men’s and women’s basketball, the tourney decides the champion, not regular-season play. That’s going to be a bit of a weird adjustment in College Park come 2014-2015.

  91. BruceMcF says:

    Apologies in advance for the on-topic comment. Mark Blaudschun was reporting earlier that the new entries in the Big TBA have been complaining about getting only a 10% share. His last piece starts with a call to the incoming schools to get real: “Some people have short memories. I remember when schools such as SMU, Memphis, Temple and UCF were knocking on everyone’s door, trying to get invited into the adult party in college football.”

    • BruceMcF says:

      Another small nugget of information in Mark complaining about the incoming schools acting like members of the entitlement generation in demanding a share of the windfall gain from the deal that the three incumbents struck with the C7 is a value of $3m to $5m per school for the new schools rather than the ~$1.5m being widely reported.

      That extra money probably includes a reduction of the agreed entry fee by the $2.5m that most incoming schools have not yet paid, which the incoming schools are likely not including in the version of events that they leak to the press.

  92. Michael in Raleigh says:

    Here’s one detail to think about, with the NCAA Tournament getting started next week:

    There will either be one less at-large bid available for the Big Dance next year, or the tournament will expand to 69 teams. The new Big East and the “Big TBA” will take up two automatic bids going forward, not just one, which, short of further tournament expansion, will cost an at-large bid in the tournament.

    I hope they just let the count go from 31 automatic bids/37 at-large to 32 auto/36 at-large. The last time a new conference was formed, in the 1999-2000 season with the Mountain West, the tournament responded by expanding by one team the following year (2000-01) so that the number of at-large bids could be maintained. (Well, the real motivation was to expand television coverage by one more game, but the birth of the MWC gave the NCAA an excuse.) I don’t see the sense in that this time around. 36 at-large bids is still plenty, and since the Big East champions and the Big TBA champions would be likely to make the Big Dance even if they were still in the same league, they probably won’t be taking any at-large bids away from other schools, anyway.

    We’ll see…

    • bullet says:

      Not sure they both get autobids. The football east qualifies under the current rules assuming the resurrected Big East schools officially withdraw from the conference. Under the 1998 rules, the MWC didn’t qualify for an autobid. And they’ve made it much more difficult to get an exception to the rules and to create a new conference.

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        Denying an autobid will be very difficult to sustain. The Big East and the Big TBA will both be better than quite a few conferences that already get autobids. At this point, I doubt they’d expand the tourney again; there’d just be one less at-large bid. The issue is mainly symbolic, as even without an autobid, it’s hard to imagine the champion of either league not qualifying as an at-large team.

        • bullet says:

          Not a case of denying. Its the conference’s role to meet the criteria. They also set pretty firmly a max on the number of conferences, so they would have to change that rule as well.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            Of course it would be a case of “denying.” What other word would you use? When you look at all the lackluster conferences that have autobids, it is difficult to imagine that any sane person would find it sensible that these two conferences do not, unless they turn out to be much weaker than they now appear to be.

          • Scarlet+Lutefisk says:

            A conference with UC, UConn, Temple & Memphis is not going to be locked out.

          • BruceMcF says:

            Not meeting the criteria would be the formal basis for the denial.

            Obviously something else would be the de facto basis for the denial.

            It would seem likely that both the New Big East tournament winner and the New Big East regular season champion, if different, would receive an at-large bid. Given that, if the purpose of the max number of conferences is to prevent the lower ranks of Div1 from gaming the system to maximize their slice of the loot, at the expense of the multi-bid conferences, then the New Big East is not the type of conference the rule is aiming to constrain.

          • BruceMcF says:

            @Scarlett+Lutefisk: The conference that will be applying for an automatic bid, and has to ask the NCAA to increment the number in the maximum number of D1 conferences rule, is the New Big East.

            The Big TBA is formally the same conference that’s been called the Big East all this time ~ for instance, when the NCAA sends out payments for NCAA units, its the Big TBA that will be cashing those “Big East through to 2012″ checks. They’d have to drop under 7 BBall schools to be in jeopardy.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            The Big East meets the criteria for six schools playing together a minimum of five years. The America 12 (or whatever) does not. Right now we don’t know what the NCAA will decide but as of right now the only one that could potentially be denied an auto-bid is the American 12.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            Disregard that.

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        According to this article from Barry Reeves of the Sporting News, which came out right after the Catholic 7 announced they were splitting, the new Big East’s automatic bid is safe.

        By the seven Catholic schools sticking together, they can keep their automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament under NCAA rules. The remaining Big East schools probably will get to retain their automatic bid as well after going through an NCAA appeals process, NCAA vice president Dan Gavitt told ESPN. This would mean the automatic bids for the NCAA Tournament would increase from 31 to 32.”

        The way that reads, it seems as though the league which is not completely assured of an automatic bid to NCAA Tournaments is the “Big TBA.”

        This seems consistent with what I had read in the past: a newly formed conference can attain automatic bids as long as 6 or more members had been in the same conference together for 5 or more consecutive years. I had never heard about there being a limited number of conferences.

        • bullet says:

          Those are the old rules. Barry Reeves doesn’t know what he’s talking about. The MWC and CUSA commissioners didn’t even seem to understand the rules when they were trying to merge, thinking they could have 2 autobids. Maybe Gavitt doesn’t realize they changed.

          Because of the rules designed last year for the WAC and MWC (who both failed the old 6 members together for 5 years rule), the football BE will definitely retain their autobid as long as they have 7 basketball members. The basketball BE (C7) probably have to go through the new conference procedure, although that’s not certain. They also passed a rule that there would be no exceptions to the rules on autobids. A change would require the NCAA to go through the full, long legislative process. Previously, the committees could make an exception without going through the process.

          They passed a rule that there would be a limited number of automatic bids in the NCAA basketball tourney-31. This only impacted basketball. Not sure how that is applied. Pick the best 31? Pick the oldest 31? Have the bottom 2 have a play-in like they did with the 64/65 team tourney?

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            The Mountain West qualified under the 6 members together for 5 years rule. BYU, Colorado State, Air Force, New Mexico, Wyoming, Utah, and San Diego State had all been in the WAC together since at least 1980.

            The WAC in 1999, however, did not meet those rules. They were left as a hodge podge of schools. Three were legacy WAC members: UTEP (member since 1967); Hawaii (member since 1979); and Fresno State (member since 1992, only 7 years). Three had joined in 1996 and were outcasts from the SWC: TCU, SMU, and Rice. Two others who joined in 1996 only to be left behind three years later were from the Big West (San Jose State) and Missouri Valley (Tulsa).

            Anyway, bullet, what you’re saying makes sense, but I’m having trouble finding information about those new rules. I had never heard anything about automatic bids being limited to 31 conferences. Can you direct me to a link? I’d be interested in reading about it. Eventually, this will have to become a news story. If the new Big East doesn’t prepare itself properly, that news story will come in the form of some poor team that wins the league’s track and field or women’s soccer or whatever random sport’s championship, expecting an automatic bid their own “Big Dance,” only to find out that their championship doesn’t apply to the NCAA automatic bid process. (In basketball, the automatic bid will be a mere formality. Both leagues’ champions would have survived a conference tough enough to warrant a berth in the Big Dance regardless of whether it was automatic.)

          • bullet says:

            Only takes 2 years for the minor sports.

          • bullet says:

            MWC actually had to get an exception in 1998 as they withdrew and were technically a “new” conference. I believe the WAC was ok in 1998 because of a two year grace period (I think that rule applied in 1998-and they had the 6 for 5 years by the end of the grace period).

            There’s a good discussion on the current rule on the WAC fan forum under “Rules that may apply to WAC.” The poster finiteman summarizes it on his 10/8/12 8:52 post.


          • bullet says:

            Couldn’t find a link quickly on the limit on the automatic bid conferences. It was discussed and passed a couple of years ago when the moratorium on new Division I schools was lifted. May be a moot point. Summit or Sun Belt could disappear by the time the musical chairs stop.

          • BruceMcF says:

            Yes, I see those “playing together” rules in the championship section of a Div1 bylaws copy at a source other than the NCAA. The NCAA epub is available for download at:


            The only specific number of conferences I came across was a specification of 8 FBS conferences, though I only skimmed through so it surely could be in there somewhere.

            The grace period rule in sports other than Basketball: “ Grace Period. A conference shall remain eligible for automatic qualification for two years following the date of the withdrawal of the institution(s) that causes the conference’s membership to fall below six institutions that sponsor the sport and conduct conference competition together provided the conference maintains at least five Division I members. (Adopted: 8/5/04, Revised: 1/15/11 effective 8/1/11)”

            So in any sports other than Basketball where the Big TBA sponsored the sport with 6+ members, if it has 6+ under the new membership, the grace period will cover the 2 year waiting period. The suggestion of playing Olympic sports together for a year or two, at least, that will separately fall below the 6+ rule would be aimed at giving both sides more time to start the waiver period with 6+ old+new members in place in the sport.

            In Basketball: “ Additional Requirements, Men’s Basketball. To be considered eligible for automatic qualification in men’s basketball, a member conference must be a core conference (see Bylaw 31.02.3) and must meet the requirements of Bylaw 20.02.5. (Revised: 8/14/90, 12/3/90, 4/27/00, 4/29/04 effective 8/1/04, 1/15/11 effective 8/1/11)

   Grace Period. A conference shall remain eligible for automatic qualification for two years following the date of withdrawal of the institution(s) that causes the conference’s membership to fall below seven institutions that sponsor the sport and conduct conference competition together, provided the conference maintains at least six Division I members (see Bylaw 20.02.5). (Adopted: 4/27/00, Revised: 4/29/04 effective 8/1/04, 1/15/11 effective 8/1/11)”

            “Core Conference” is: “31.02.3 Core Conference. A core conference is a multisport conference that has been elected to membership and, as a result of legislation, is identified in the applicable sections of Constitution 4 related to representation in the NCAA governance structure. (Adopted: 1/15/11 effective 8/1/11) ”

            So the Big TBA is OK there, though when it picks a new name “Big East” will be replaced by that new name in the various spots in the Section 4 where it names specific conferences, and the New Big East has to get itself added to that list among the other Div1 non-football divisions.

            All of the continuity stuff has been shuffled off to Bylaw &, which includes the stuff like how many sports and team sports for both men and women have to be sponsored to be a Division 1 school:

   ~ at least 7 members that sponsor M/W BBall
   ~ minimum 12 Div1 sports
   ~ conference sponsors minimum 6 men’s sports, incl. BBall & either FBall or 2 other men’s team sports, a minimum of 7 members sponsor BBall, 6 members sponsor other sports
   ~ conference sponsors minimum 6 women’s sports, incl. BBall & at least 2 team sports, min. 7 members sponsor BBall, 6 sponsor other sports (5 if “emerging women’s sport”)
   Regular-Season Conference Competition. … (structure of competition requirements)

   Continuity. A multisport conference shall establish continuity. To establish continuity, a multisport conference must meet the requirements of Bylaw In addition, the conference must meet the requirements of Bylaws and for a period of eight consecutive years. (Adopted: 1/15/11 effective 8/1/11)

   Grace Period. A conference shall continue to be considered a multisport conference for two years following the date of withdrawal of the institution(s) that causes the conference’s noncompliance with the minimum multisport conference requirements. (Adopted: 1/15/11 effective 8/1/11)

            In, I don’t know how that “shall establish” works ~ whether “must meet” means must maintain or lose its status or must HAVE met for eight years.

            If the New Big East had to be a group of schools that have continuously satisfied over the past eight years in a single conference, then looking at the sports spreadsheet for the C7, Men’s competitions would be problematic:

            1. M BBall 7
            2. M Cross Country 6
            3. M Soccer 7 (first other M team sport)
            1. W BBall 7
            2. W Cross Country 6
            3. W Soccer 7 (first W team sport)
            4. W Softball 6 (second W team sport)
            5. W Tennis 7
            6. W Volleyball 7

            If its must have continuously satisfied (even if in distinct conferences previously) and must satisfy going ahead, then its not problematic if Butler and X are invited and accept (its both, since they both are required to bring baseball up to 6):

            1. M BBall 9
            2. M Baseball 6 (1st other M team sport)
            3. M Cross Country 8
            4. M Golf 7
            5. M Soccer 9 (2nd other M team sport)
            6. M Tennis 7
            7. M Track 7

            1. W BBall 9
            2. W Cross Country 8
            3. W Golf 6
            4. W Soccer 9 (1st other W team sport)
            5. W Softball 7 (2nd other W team sport)
            6. W Swimming & Diving
            7. W Tennis 9
            8. W Track 7
            9. W Volleyball 9

            Since I’d presume that they’ll have had professional advice on the precedents of the current Bylaws, I’d expect that “shall maintain” the ByLaw is indeed interpreted to glide past the issue of in which conference that continuity was maintained. If X and Butler are consensus choices and they also happen to satisfy the continuity requirement for breadth of Div1 sports, that would help explain why the expansion to 9 seems to be so firm, and the expansion to 10 seems to be so up in the air.

          • BruceMcF says:

            Regarding the continuity rule, after sleeping on it, I do think that “shall maintain” means, for a newly established conference, shall maintain going forward.

            The point of the continuity rule, after all, is to not to protect established conferences, but to protect established *sports*. Suppose that the New Big East starts with five schools playing in the Big TBA for Rutgers last year while they sort out their applications to LAX only conferences. Then (hypothetically) some member decides to promote Lacrosse, with a team slated to start Div1 in 2016.

            The New Big East has to maintain continuity in number of sports sponsored, and the Grace Periods are all only for departure of INSTITUTIONS, not for the dropping of sports by onoing members. So the Conference would be in trouble if SLU promoted Lacrosse at the expense of dropping some other sport in 2014 (the year they start offering Lacrosse scholarships to build their program for entry into Div1 play in 2016), that the conference requires to meet its Bylaw 20.02.5 requirements.

            All of which encourages (doesn’t absolutely required, but encourages) the conferences in the lower ranks of Division 1 to maintain the championships they have sponsored and a strong tendency to introduce new sports as additions rather than replacements among the Div1 conferences that are “at the minimum” for one or more of the 20.02.5 rules.

            Its a different matter when its an institution leaving that puts the source conference out of compliance, which is the reason for the two year’s grace available when non-compliance is a result of an institution leaving, but not available if its an ongoing member that takes the conference out of compliance.

  93. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships were held this past weekend in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Arkansas won the men’s championship and Oregon took the women’s crown.

    11 schools finished in the top 25 in both men’s and women’s competitions.

    Arkansas – M-1, W-4
    Florida – M-2, W-13
    Texas A&M – M-4, W-12
    Miss State – M-12, W-20
    LSU – M-15, W-3
    Georgia – M-23, W-10

    Michigan State – M-25, W-25
    Texas – M-23, W-18
    Oregon – M-6, W-1
    Arizona – M-6, W-7
    Arizona State – M-16, W-7
    Clemson – M-25, W-6
    Florida State – M-18, W-15