Conference Realignment Reset: A Look at the Power Conferences’ Expansion Plans (or Lack Thereof)

Posted: May 7, 2013 in Big East, Big Ten, College Basketball, College Football, Sports
Tags: , , , , ,

The main question that I’ve been getting over the past few weeks is the following: “Is conference realignment really done? Seriously? Isn’t everyone still lying?” Well, from my perspective, power conference realignment is finished for the foreseeable future with one possible exception (which I’ll get to in a moment). The fact that the Big Ten, Pac-12, Big 12 and now ACC all have grant of rights arrangements in place really puts a damper on any further movement. Even if grant of rights agreements could be challenged and struck down, the issue is that none of the 4 conferences that have them in place have any incentive to test that (or else they’d be challenging the strength of their own protections). It’s simply slim pickings in terms of expansion candidates that are outside of the 5 power conferences for the healthiest leagues. Let’s take a look at where everyone stands:

(1) Big Ten – The Big Ten certainly has no need to expand at this point without a school from the ACC or Big 12. A school such as UConn might provide a nice market in theory with elite basketball, but that was already a massive stretch candidate with its lack of AAU status and FBS football history. Plus, even if the Big Ten wanted UConn, who the heck else would the conference add with them? Let’s disregard any notion that an odd number of football schools can be workable from this point forward – what was acceptable with the 11-team Big Ten without divisions and a conference championship game is simply not acceptable in the new larger Big Ten. There has to be a Noah’s Ark expansion approach for any conference that has more than 12 members. As much as I’m a Big Ten fan, I’m also not delusional enough to trick myself into thinking that they could raid the SEC since that’s the only power league doesn’t have a grant of rights arrangement as of yet. Note that the Big Ten passed on Missouri (the most oft-referenced school that would plausibly defect) multiple times when the school was a Big 12 member, so it makes little sense that Jim Delany and the university presidents would even target them now, while a school like Vanderbilt might make the ivory tower-types happy but does little for the financial football goals of the conference (and believe me, as much as I enjoy talking about the CIC and academic status of the Big Ten, the “football” part of the equation still needs to be met). After adding Penn State, the Big Ten was more than willing to wait for two decades to find the correct non-Notre Dame expansion candidates, so I find it to be entirely consistent that they’d be fine with waiting another decade to see if schools like Texas, UNC, UVA, Georgia Tech, Kansas and/or Oklahoma are willing to test the free agent market at that point.

(2) SEC – Meanwhile, the SEC is essentially in the same boat as the Big Ten: all of the candidates that it would realistically want are sitting in the ACC or Big 12. The new SEC Network being formed with ESPN isn’t going to gain anything without a UNC-level addition, which means that expansion is pointless for Mike Slive’s group for the next decade. I don’t subscribe to the Clay Travis bloviations that the SEC Network will blow everyone else out of the water (there are some basic concrete reasons why the Big Ten will very likely continue its current TV revenue dominance for quite awhile, not the least of which is that Jim Delany will get to send the Big Ten’s first tier rights out for open market bidding in a couple of years and that would result in a massive windfall even if Maryland and Rutgers don’t add another dime of revenue to the BTN), but the league will certainly make enough to make it rain in the clubs.

(Note that the key market to watch for SEC Network carriage is the state of Texas. To be clear, I believe that Texas A&M has significantly more pull in its home state than, say, Rutgers has in New Jersey. However, the state of Texas is already home to two of the most high profile ongoing sports network carriage disputes in the country with the ESPN-owned sister channel Longhorn Network not being able to strike a deal with any major cable or satellite carrier other than AT&T U-Verse and Comcast SportsNet Houston, which carries Astros and Rockets games and is co-owned by those teams, still not having anything in place with DirecTV and DISH Network (which is particularly problematic in the Texas market that has higher satellite penetration compared to Northeastern markets such as New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, DC that have larger percentages of traditional wired cable customers). Now, the SEC Network is going to provide significantly better content than the Longhorn Network, but the fact that such a large portion of the Houston market hasn’t had access to the Rockets led by James Harden, Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik (I still can’t believe that my battered but still fighting Bulls let that guy get away for nothing in return) for an entire season and currently the Astros (as horrible as they might be on-the-field these days) is an indicator that the SEC Network isn’t just going to get Texas cable and satellite operators to roll over. I fully acknowledge that no cable operator will be able to last a day within the state of Alabama if they’re not carrying Crimson Tide football, so I’m just pointing out the Texas market specifically here as a place to focus upon.)

(3) ACC (plus Notre Dame) – At the same time, the ACC is likely going to spend the next decade in the same mode that the Big Ten was during the 1990s: reserving a spot for Notre Dame. Now, that doesn’t mean that Notre Dame has any intention of joining the ACC as a full football member. Quite to the contrary, I believe that Notre Dame’s ability to stay independent is stronger today than it was 10 years ago when the ACC began its multiple raids of the Big East. Notre Dame has secured an long-term extension of its NBC deal, isn’t subject to any conference championship requirement to have access to the new College Football Playoff, will have access to the Orange Bowl and all secondary ACC bowl tie-ins, and will be in a great power league for basketball and non-revenue sports. There’s less logic in Notre Dame giving up independence today than when it appeared that the Big East was going to collapse without a home for non-football Irish sports in 2003. However, never underestimate how much university administrators delude themselves into thinking that they’re going to be the ones that change the hearts and minds in South Bend. Jim Delany, Deloss Dodds and John Swofford, who I consider to be smart men (whether or not you agree with their actions), have all been fooled on this front. With a grant of rights in place, the ACC doesn’t need to proactively grow at this point and can use the “We’ll wait for Notre Dame to come around” retort to further expansion for awhile (even though anyone that has any clue about how single-mindedly focused the Notre Dame alumni base will fight any hint of giving up football independence knows that they’ll never come around). There’s really no need for the ACC to act unless (until?) it gets poached again by another power conference.

(4) Pac-12 – The Pac-12 is an interesting case since it could conceivably benefit from further expansion with schools that are outside of the 5 power conferences (particularly the Mountain West) from a pure financial standpoint, but none of the realistic candidates for that league fit the requirements for markets and/or academics. BYU has a great brand name with a national following and solid academics, but the political viewpoints of the LDS make that school into a non-starter at places like Berkeley. UNLV provides a great market with potentially a gleaming new football palace in Las Vegas, yet the school is far off from what the Pac-12 wants for academics and even worse on the actual on-the-field football front. New Mexico has a similar decent market/horrific football combo. Hawaii could possibly pass muster in terms of academics and football, but this is one case where geography is likely untenable. (It’s still a quicker flight from Los Angeles to Miami than it is from LA to Honolulu.) Boise State’s football prowess and national TV appeal can’t overcome its academic standards that the Pac-12 won’t accept. So, the Pac-12 seems to be boxed in even if it wanted to expand.

(5) Big 12 – As a result, any realistic chance for further power conference expansion in the near future rests with the Big 12. When Jim Delany, Mike Slive, John Swofford and Larry Scott tell reporters that their respective conferences are happy with their current membership levels, I believe them. All 4 of those conferences are at natural stopping points. In contrast, the Bob Bowlsby and the Big 12 seem to have unfinished business – being at 10 members in this environment of larger conferences is much more tenuous than it was 3 years ago, so there’s going to be a lingering feeling of instability with the Big 12 until it gets back up to at least 12 schools in the same way that no one could rest easy when the Big Ten sat at 11 members. While the Big 12 doesn’t have any truly obvious expansion options, they have a bit more leeway compared to the Pac-12 geographically, academically and culturally. For instance, what bothers the Pac-12 about BYU isn’t going to fluster a conference that has a member that didn’t allow any dancing on campus until the Tupac/Biggie feud was at its zenith. The Big 12 could also conceivably expand in virtually any direction within the continental United States, so it’s not implausible that the conference could consider any of UConn, Cincinnati, Colorado State,New Mexico and/or UNLV.

The problem, though, is that the Big 12 is boxed in financially. Unlike the Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC (and maybe eventually the ACC), the Big 12 doesn’t have a conference network that can leverage additional households in expansion and is entirely dependent on its national ESPN/Fox deal for conference TV revenue. Now, schools such as Texas and Oklahoma enjoy lucrative third tier rights deals within the Big 12, yet that doesn’t do anything to support overall conference expansion. Plus, the expansion candidates are still largely flawed, as the best football schools like Boise State don’t bring any solid TV markets or recruiting grounds while the schools with the best demographics (e.g. UNLV, New Mexico, Colorado State) have some of the worst FBS football programs anywhere. BYU plus Cincinnati or UConn would seem to be the best shot for the Big 12 to maximize financial value in expansion out of what’s realistically available, yet that combo may not be enough. Unfortunately for the Big 12, the conference’s leaders (or maybe just Texas AD Deloss Dodds specifically) got sidetracked for awhile by chasing the expansion lottery dreams of Notre Dame and Florida State while passing on what could have been lucrative and stability-producing additions with Louisville (which would have given a nearish geographic partner for isolated West Virginia) and BYU. The ACC grabbed Louisville to backfill for Maryland, though, and that ended taking a lot of solid expansion combos for the Big 12 off the table (as any desirable expansion for the Big 12 that didn’t include the pipe dreams of Notre Dame and/or Florida State involved Louisville on some level).

To be sure, the Big 12 (a) probably will always be a pretty good conference in terms of football on-the-field by virtue of being the most prominent conference in the recruiting rich state of Texas and (b) will unequivocally be a power conference with high national TV revenue numbers and bowl appeal as long as Texas and Oklahoma are members. However, that’s also a blessing and a curse, as the conference’s over-reliance on the state of Texas and a couple of marquee brand names exposes some of the same weaknesses in the Big 12 that eventually caused the old Southwest Conference to collapse. The demographic growth prospects of the state of Texas specifically are fantastic, but that masks the fact that the Big 12′s demographics outside of Texas are the worst out of all of the 5 power conferences by a wide margin. (This is a large reason why I never bought what was seemingly a widespread belief that ACC schools would defect to the Big 12 no matter what financial arguments some observers attempted to make.) Long-term, the Big 12 is at risk because there isn’t a ready reservoir of brand names that it can expand or merge with in the way that the old Big 8 took Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and Baylor from the SWC. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the Big 12 is at risk of completely breaking up like it did back in 2010-11 since I firmly believe that Texas desires the ability to control (or have perceived control over) a conference more than even making the most TV money, but it’s still the power conference that is bound almost entirely by the strength of its current TV contract (which will eventually expire) as opposed to the strength of its bonds beyond that (unlike the academic bonds of the Big Ten, ACC and Pac-12 or the geographic institutional football focus of the SEC). So, the Big 12 is still be the power conference that will be most susceptible to raids in the future, just as it was 3 1/2 years ago when Jim Delany first announced that the Big Ten was looking to expand. We may just have to wait another 10 years before power conference chaos happens once again. Until then, we’ll need to pay attention to the non-power conferences and basketball leagues (Oakland moving to the Horizon League was announced today and Davidson appears to be heading to the Atlantic 10 as rumored) for our conference realignment fixes.

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

(Image from Sports Illustrated)

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Comments
  1. BruceMcF says:

    While down in the non-football subdivision, on the other hand, the game of conference musical chairs doesn’t seem likely to pause to catch its breath.

  2. greg says:

    Hawks.

  3. GreatLakeState says:

    MgoBlue
    Without a conference network in its near or distant future, I’m guessing someone in the Big 12 will eventually challenge the GOR.

    • jae1837 says:

      But which power conference would willing be behind a move that resulted in that legal challenge taking place? As a hypothetical, the B1G adds UT in 2014 and UT challenges the GoR. Great, but it also challenges the GoR for the B1G.

      As the article correctly stated, challenging the legality of a GoR also challenges the legality of the GoR for ACC, B1G, Big-12 and Pac-12. Some may point out that the SEC does not have a GoR, but I believe that they will adopt the GoR sooner rather than later now that they have the SECN.

      • duffman says:

        Not sure I agree as cultural and economic issues seem to negate a GoR scenario

        • jae1837 says:

          Fair enough. I’m not an expert on the South by any means since i only lived in Blacksburg, Va for 3 years while attending graduate school. So i shall defer to those more knowledgeable about this subject than myself.

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      Without a conference network in its near or distant future, I’m guessing someone in the Big 12 will eventually challenge the GOR.

      Challenge it…on what basis? You cannot challenge a deal just because you regret it. You need something more than that (false dealing, fraud, coersion, material misstatement). You can’t get out of it merely because, with the benefit of hindsight, you realize that you didn’t do the best you could.

      • Jericho says:

        You also need someone willing to challenge it. That means someone that wants to get out because they have a better deal elsewhere. That pretty much rules out the entire Big 12 outside of Texas. Oklahoma, and maybe Kansas. And i don’t see Texas challenging anything.

  4. Marc Shepherd says:

    Good post, well reasoned.

    I thought the Big Five realignment dance was done a couple of steps ago. I didn’t foresee the Maryland move, but practically no one did, so I don’t feel foolish about missing that. The next two moves (Rutgers, Louisville) were really just the inevitable consequences of what Maryland did.

    So Big Five realignment takes a pause for ten years or so.

  5. David. Brown says:

    I agree there will likely be no more movement ( except possibly Johns Hopkins for Lacrosse as far as the B10 is concerned. For me the big stories are 1: What will be the terms and dollar amounts of the new TV Contract, and will the bottom feeders ( such as Indiana in football ) take advantage of the situation and upgrade their program? I can tell you that the big programs already are (Nebraska with the Newmarket Arena for hoops and Penn State with the Pegula Ice Arena for hockey are examples of this). 2: The O’Bannon case, and how much money (if any) will the schools have to pay out to players?

  6. Penn State Danny says:

    Lets assume that Frank is right and realingment is done for a while. Then, let’s say that the upcoming playoff system stays in place for the proposed 12 years.

    Which of the “Gang of Five” conferences gets the most bids to an access bowl?

    Is the MWC the runaway winner or could the AAC challenge them for the most # of bids?

    • Brian says:

      Penn State Danny,

      “Which of the “Gang of Five” conferences gets the most bids to an access bowl?

      Is the MWC the runaway winner or could the AAC challenge them for the most # of bids?”

      There’s no way to know, obviously, but let’s take a look.

      MWC:
      Mtn – AF, BSU, CSU, NM, USU, WY
      West – Fresno, HI, NV, SDSU, SJSU, UNLV

      We know Boise can be elite. The rest? Not really.

      AAC:
      UC, UConn, UH, Memphis, SMU, USF, Temple, UCF, ECU, Tulane, Tulsa, Navy

      We know UC can be elite. The rest? Not really.

      I’d actually lean towards the AAC having more depth. UH, SMU, USF and UCF can become strong, at least on occasion. On the other hand, Boise has been better than anyone in the AAC.

      I’d say they’ll be close, with it basically being Boise versus several AAC schools.

      • ccrider55 says:

        Hawaii has a BCS record to match UC. Fresno has had extended periods being a top twenty team. USU and SDSU are under appreciated. I’d say they are fairly even, with the edge going to MWC because of Boise at the top.

        • Brian says:

          HI had one good team, more like UH. UC put several together in a row, and against tougher competition. They’ve won 4 of the last 5 BE titles, for what that is worth.

          Fresno had a run under Pat Hill (2001-5) but they haven’t done much lately.

          USU and SDSU haven’t done much ever. USF and UCF have done more and they are young pups.

          The problem for the MWC is that they are dependent on Boise staying dominant. If someone beats BSU, it devalues the whole MWC rather than boosting that team. The AAC can have more teams achieve success without that consequence.

          Boise seems most likely to have the most success, but I can easily see the AAC topping the MWC overall.

          • boscatar says:

            BYU, with a lackluster offense and a mediocre 8-5 record, lost by a single point AT BOISE because they went for two instead of kicking the extra point and taking the game to OT (and because the worst BYU quarterback for years threw a pick-6 to a defensive LINEMAN). BYU and Boise State will play each other annually for the next decade. BYU will win some of those games and steal some of Boise St.’s hype.

            Boise St. LOST to San Diego State, AT HOME, in 2012. Boise State will be a perennial contender for the MWC crown, but it is not invincible.

            A huge problem for the MWC is that EVERY YEAR it has two or three teams that ABSOLUTELY SUCK. It is frequently UNLV and New Mexico at the bottom, but Hawaii and Wyoming will make their presence shown. If UNLV and New Mexico could put together programs that could even have a 6-6 season every 3 or 4 years, that would be a huge boost for the MWC.

            Another huge hurdle for the MWC is that its teams are either secondary in a decent market (SJSU, San Diego St., Fresno St.) or don’t deliver a decent market (Boise St., Wyoming, Colorado St., Utah St., Nevada). UNLV, Hawaii, and New Mexico are the primary teams in decent markets, but their football is HORRIBLE.

            The AAC has bottom-dwellers in Memphis and Tulane, but most of the rest of the conference is competitive. No one is elite, but they there is 70% of the conference can compete for the AAC crown in any given season. Cincinnati, USF, UConn, East Carolina, Houston, SMU, UCF, even Navy,…that’s some parity for you. (Don’t think that the AAC champ won’t occasionally have a 5-3 conference record). The AAC champ will frequently give Boise St. a run for the host bowl bid. Frankly, if the AAC can nurture its football into something entertaining and competitive, the AAC has the markets to quickly grow some programs and prestige. I am secretly hoping that the AAC nails it and expands westward with Boise St., San Diego St., UNLV, and BYU within the next 5 years.

            And, don’t forget MAC, Sun Belt, and C-USA schools that can pull a Northern Illinois and get in ahead of the MWC or AAC champ.

  7. ccrider55 says:

    FtT:

    “…another decade to see if schools like Texas, UNC, UVA, Georgia Tech, Kansas and/or Oklahoma are willing to test the free agent market at that point.”

    Am I misremembering? I thought OU tested that market and was told leaving OkSU behind wouldn’t solve their problem. UT losing Tech would have solved UT’s.

  8. Andy says:

    Wow, Frank. Really lame. On the one hand you say the B1G passed up Missouri multiple times. Yes, that’s true. They passed up Missouri multiple times for spot #12. The rules are different for spots 13-16. If Missouri were still on the market instead of happily married to the SEC then things might have turned out differently. You yourself have conceded this in the comments section of your blog more than once.

    But then you go on in the same section to talk about how the B1G might go on for decades to wait to see if they can get Kansas and Oklahoma. I’m sorry but that’s ridiculous. Kansas football is abysmal. Their academic metrics are basically tied with Nebraska (and several spots below Missouri on the AAU totem poll). They’re also a smallish school in a low population state. Yes they have basketball but that’s it. Now I can see how you could say they’re a marginal candidate because they border Nebraska and they’re (at least for now) AAU. But to include Kansas as a candidate while dismissing Missouri outright (without referencing the fact that Missouri wouldn’t even say yes if asked at this pointin time), is absurd. And Oklahoma is even more absurd. Not only are they not AAU, but they aren’t even remotely close to being AAU. In all likelihood, they will never be even close to being AAU. Yeah they’re good at sports, but they’re pretty damn far from the B1G region, they’re a smalish school in a low population state, and their academics aren’t even close to good enough. In Missouri you’ve got a school that’s AAU with little to no risk of losing AAU status, 35k students, 6M state population, top 30ish in football over the last 10-15 years, top 30ish all time in basketball, basically meeting every criteria that the B1G is looking for (moreso than Maryland or Rutgers) and they’re not worth considering but Kansas and Oklahoma are? That’s very dumb. Usually you’re pretty sensible but this just reads like petty flaming to me. Missouri will not go to the B1G, this is true. But if the B1G ends up adding Kansas and Oklahoma down the road instead of Missouri it will be because Missouri is happily making more money and getting more exposure down in the SEC. And I’d say the odds of Kansas and Oklahoma every joining the B1G are slim to none anyway.

    • Arch Stanton says:

      Andy, you utter buffoon. The schools Frank mentioned as possible Big Ten adds down the road when the GOR expires were Texas, UNC, UVA, Georgia Tech, Kansas and Oklahoma. All from the Big 12 or ACC. Both conferences with GORs, which was the point of the list.

      Somehow, you ignored this sentence:
      “I’m also not delusional enough to trick myself into thinking that they could raid the SEC”

      Frank only mentioned Big 12 and ACC schools as possible adds down the road because he doesn’t think any SEC would leave for the Big Ten.

      You should seriously rethink why you comment here. Whatever you are trying to accomplish has completely backfired as no one takes you seriously and I would bet that everyone’s opinion of the University of Missouri (not too mention the entire state) has been dramatically lowered just due to your presence.

      I have a theory that you are actually a Jayhawk backer posing as a Missouri fan to make the Tigers’ fan base look as bad as possible, one message board/blog at a time. If this is in fact the case, bravo to you! Your act is near perfect, but at times it is hard to believe that an actual Missouri fan could be as large of a d-bag as you make Andy out to be so maybe ease up just a little bit in the future.
      Thanks!

      • Andy says:

        You’re pretty blustery for someone who is so ass backwards wrong, both with this post and with pretty much every other time you’ve attacked me on here. (which is several).

        Frank clearly said that the B1G rejected Missouri several times and wouldn’t look at them again. But what he fails to mention is that even if they did look at them again Missouri wouldn’t be interested. Any implication that Missouri is waiting by the phone for the B1G to call is ridiculous.

        • ccrider55 says:

          …and you just keep making Arch’s point for him…

          • Andy says:

            cc, you have no room to talk. You’ve been ridiculously wrong about a great many things on here.

          • duffman says:

            Arch,

            Nice use of utter buffoon but I was a bit surprised you did not follow up with balderdash to educate the whippersnappers on here.

        • BruceMcF says:

          Talk about playing the man rather than the ball … can I take it you launched a personal attack because it was so hard to actually defend your post as a reasonable reading of Frank’s post?

          Or is personal attack just your preferred approach?

          • Andy says:

            Bruce, Arch just launched a 3 paragraph personal attack on me. Even went so low as to call me a jayhawk of all things. Responding with a personal attack was the only reasonable response to that.

            As for Frank, this quote of his is 1) unnecessary, 2) misleading, and 3) inflammatory. “Note that the Big Ten passed on Missouri (the most oft-referenced school that would plausibly defect) multiple times when the school was a Big 12 member, so it makes little sense that Jim Delany and the university presidents would even target them now”.

            Why? Because 1) Missouri would not plausibly defect, and 2) the fact that the B1G passed on them for spot #12 has little or no relevance to whether the B1G would pass on them for spot #14 or spot #16 if they were on the market. Frank shouldn’t have said it at all, and by saying it he made a fool of himself.

          • @Andy – I don’t quite get why you’re feeling slighted here. The Big Ten passed on Missouri in both 2010 (after the Nebraska/Colorado defections) and 2011 (when it was apparent that Texas A&M was going to the SEC). That would constitute multiple times. I’ve actually been very clear that I don’t believe that the Big Ten would or could raid the SEC – that comment was in light of some rumblings in blogs and even Brett McMurphy saying on a radio program that Missouri was one of the few expansion possibilities for the Big Ten out there along with UConn (to the extent that there any semi-plausible possibilities at all).

          • Andy says:

            The B1G passed on Missouri in 2010. That’s true. But they also passed on Kansas, Oklahoma, and UConn in 2010 as well. They did not pass on Missouri in 2011 because they were not expanding in 2011. They were still waiting on Notre Dame and/or Texas at that point. Only after those two were effectively off the market in 2012 did the B1G expand again, and by then Missouri was off the market. So really the B1G only passed on Missouri once while actually expanding. And at that same moment they also passed on UConn, Pitt, Syracuse, Rutgers, Kansas, Oklahoma, and who knows how many other interested schools. If you’re going to count every year that they could have expanded but chose not while Missouri was interested to as a time when they they “passed on Missouri”, then the B1G “passed on Missouri” probably 20 or more times. But I’d say the only time it counts is when 1) the B1G was actually expanding, 2) Missouri was willing to join, and 3) the B1G went with somebody else instead. And that’s only happened twice: 1990 with Penn State and 2010 with Nebraska. Those are two big name schools and it’s unsurprising that they could get the nod over Missouri. But could Missouri get a spot over Rutgers if Missouri were available? Certainly? Over Kansas? Certainly. Over Oklahoma? Certainly. Over UConn? Certainly. Over Notre Dame or Texas, no. Over UNC or UVA? No. Over Georgia Tech? Very possible. Point is, when talking about candidates for expansion, Missouri’s not at the top of the list, but they’re not near the bottom either. Getting passed over for Nebraska is proof of nothing. Joining the SEC and being off the market makes it all moot anyway though so why even bring it up? And if you do bring it up, why say something misleading like you did?

          • gfunk says:

            You’ve lost me here Andy. I guess I look at it this way:

            1.) The BIG passed on Mizzo because Neb became available, thus the BIG was content at 12 after their addition. Choosing Neb over Mizzo was a no brainer & I say that with much respect for the University of Missouri as a higher learning institution. I don’t think Delany foresaw aTm bolting to the SEC, therefore putting Mizzo in a good position with the SEC. The SEC couldn’t stay at 13. Mizzo found a great home, the alpa conference for football.

            2.) The BIG moved to 14 because the ACC, along with the SEC, reached 14 or more. The ACC secured Pitt, Syracuse and ND (<– which crushed a lot of BIG fans despite countering claims, I say f ND & have been saying it for years). In this event, I believe Delany likely had some regrets by not adding Mizzo because 16 would be nice with say a UConn & Mizzo combo, which can't happen now & leads me to my next point, clearly made by Frank.

            3.) Frank is pretty clear in his current post . . . not delusional. The BIG won't go after Mizzo now – they're in a great place foremost & a rejection would backfire on the BIG's reputation, which is already at risk due to poor football the past decade, I could note other periods here as well.

            *****

            Unfortunately, too many BIG fans remained delusional that the BIG would get more ACC teams. These fans often came across as snotty-elitist-football centric types with dollar sign pupils on various boards, referencing cut paste articles and figures – pseudo journalism. But to Frank's defense, a position I agreed with him on, FSU was a real possibility & he was generally consistent that FSU was the key ACC team to score. Unfortunately FSU needed another member to join them. No other team was available. Not Virginia, GT, certainly not UNC (<– God I can't believe this scenario every came up) & whoever else. I think someday it will be pretty clear, documented-filed fashion, that no other ACC team was interested in joining the BIG – none. Some may cite GT, but fail I say. GT's AD has a ND pedigree & both schools have strong history with each other, plus ND's blatant need for Ga football recruits remains vital. Lastly, the ACC is a very proud conference, esp the older members. Thus when BIG bloggers & pseudo journalists spoke with confidence of a Va, GT or UNC addition, they offended legions upon legions of fans & power brokers.

            The BIG found the right ACC member to leave & that wasn't easy considering the slight majority of Md fans-alum-adminstrators-former athletes-former coaches who were disappointed to leave the ACC.

            BIG fans, which includes me, need to get off the high horses, engage our respective schools & communities and insist on the following:

            Better recruiting retention, esp in basketball

            Year round amateur football

            An innovative system to improve baseball

            And of course, maintaining excellent academic standards

            I find it remarkably tragic that a school like UI-UC (however you say it) can't deliver on the gridiron nor hardwood at a consistently high level. This reality is sobering, despite the Orange & Blue's base: the most populous state in the BIG & certainly home to one of the greatest hoop's hotbeds in the nation, year after year. Illinois still hasn't won a basketball NC, an almost criminal reality.

            Which leads me to my final point: too many BIG fans speak along quantitative lines when it comes to expansion, coupled with pretentious academic elitism. STFU already! Please remember that the quality & quantity of BIG fans who show up at football and basketball games distinguish us from the rest of the power conferences. No other conference delivers our attendance in both sports – ACC is strong in basketball, SEC in football, but neither attend both sports in BIG fashion. This laudable BIG attendance reality is a rare combination of qualitative and quantitative metrics. But BIG teams need to deliver more quality at this point: NCs in basketball, not consistent runner's up & of course much need winning bowl records/winning bowl seasons (<– I'm being nice here & excluding NC discussion because the BIG's NC's are pitiful over the past 40 plus years, pitiful). We can't piggy back Nebraska or PSU's hey days, those NCs were earned outside BIG membership.

            Time to grow the conference from within in terms of quality, improve the products on the fields-courts-diamonds, etc. Winning with class would do wonders for the BIG's very tainted national perception, a perception quite obvious once you leave the BIG footprint – the bubble pops loudly, esp in the Southeast and Left Coast.

          • Andy says:

            gfunk, I agree with everything you said, and if Frank had said the same I wouldn’t have a problem with it. But he didn’t.

          • Brian says:

            gfunk,

            “Unfortunately, too many BIG fans remained delusional that the BIG would get more ACC teams.”

            That’s unfair, IMO. UMD wasn’t seen as a likely addition until it happened. After getting one founding member of the ACC, I don’t believe it’s delusional to think you might get another ACC member. It’s not like most B10 fans thought it was a given, just that it was a possibility.

            “These fans often came across as snotty-elitist-football centric types with dollar sign pupils on various boards, referencing cut paste articles and figures – pseudo journalism.”

            All B10 fans come across as snotty to many people online the instant they mention academics. But since that is a factor in B10 expansion, tough crap for those that can’t handle it. As for being football-centric, only an oblivious fan could think expansion of the big 5 wasn’t driven by football. Hoops fans don’t have to like it, but they should be able to recognize the truth. And everyone, I mean everyone, has said from day 1 that expansion is all about money. There isn’t anybody involved that doesn’t have dollar signs in their eyes.

            So how do you avoid those appearances when those are the underlying facts? ACC fans just didn’t like it because they were the potential victims. I don’t recall them being so offended when they were the ones shredding the Big East not so long ago.

            “But to Frank’s defense, a position I agreed with him on, FSU was a real possibility & he was generally consistent that FSU was the key ACC team to score.”

            Ah. So it’s OK to spread rumors about football-focused FSU because they aren’t really an ACC school (not a hoops school, not an academic power, not a founder) but heaven forbid people mention an old guard hoops school like UVA. That’s despite UVA being AAU and adjacent to recently added UMD, not another 800 miles away.

            “Unfortunately FSU needed another member to join them. No other team was available. Not Virginia, GT, certainly not UNC (<– God I can't believe this scenario every came up) & whoever else."

            Really? UT to the ACC, B10, P12 and SEC all came up, but UNC should be off limits? What makes them so special?

            "I think someday it will be pretty clear, documented-filed fashion, that no other ACC team was interested in joining the BIG – none."

            1. This stuff never gets clarified that way. For whatever reason, people feel the need to keep it all secret. Delany would rather die than tell much of anything.

            2. You just finished saying FSU was interested, and you have no basis for that, so do you mean no 3rd ACC school? We know Pitt has tried to get into the B10 before, so I assume you mean no school the B10 was thought to be interested in this time other than UMD and FSU were seriously interested.

            "Some may cite GT, but fail I say."

            And we should take your word over their's why, exactly?

            "GT's AD has a ND pedigree & both schools have strong history with each other, plus ND's blatant need for Ga football recruits remains vital."

            GT's AD is brand new and probably had no say in anything. He didn't take office until 4/1 and the old one is at Clemson. GT could play ND in football in any conference. ND can recruit GA regardless of being in a conference with GT. Besides, why would ND's recruiting needs influence GT's decision?

            "Lastly, the ACC is a very proud conference,"

            Unlike the B10?

            "esp the older members."

            Like SC? Oops, they left a long time ago. Like UMD? Oops, they just agreed to leave. Like Clemson? Oops, their BOT chairman said Clemson would listen to offers from other conferences and their fans were mad at the coach for saying staying in the ACC was the right choice.

            That's 3 of 7 founders.

            "Thus when BIG bloggers & pseudo journalists spoke with confidence of a Va, GT or UNC addition,"

            Clearly a lot of people were getting bad information. Multiple people claimed to have sources saying one or more of those deals were real.

            "they offended legions upon legions of fans & power brokers."

            Too bad for them. If you get offended by internet rumors like that, you get offended way too easily.

            "BIG fans, which includes me, need to get off the high horses,"

            Not all B10 fans are on high horses.

            "Better recruiting retention, esp in basketball"

            Perhaps you could beat this dead horse some more. You still have never backed up how this is a factor. The top hoops players go to schools all over the country. B10 schools just need more of them, it doesn't matter where they are from.

            "Year round amateur football"

            1. Not everyone agrees that's good for the kids.
            2. We have no say over that. In OH it's the OHSAA that keeps saying no despite the coaches asking for it.

            "An innovative system to improve baseball"

            How about dumping it as the world's most boring sport? I wish OSU would stop wasting money on it. I couldn't possibly care less if the B10 is bad at something so meaningless to me.

            Barring that, they've been proposing things and they all get shot down by the schools with a weather advantage. Imagine that, people with an edge want to keep it. There is no magic fix for bad weather, and it impacts all levels of baseball. How many games do the Braves cancel due to snow versus the Twins?

            "And of course, maintaining excellent academic standards"

            Are you saying we aren't interested in that now?

            "I find it remarkably tragic that a school like UI-UC (however you say it) can't deliver on the gridiron nor hardwood at a consistently high level."

            It's just sports. Save tragedy for plays or when life is at stake.

            "Which leads me to my final point: too many BIG fans speak along quantitative lines when it comes to expansion, coupled with pretentious academic elitism."

            How else should candidates be evaluated? It's hard to have discussions about "fit" and other nebulous topics. You can list and discuss various facts and figures, though. And whether you like it or not, as far as we can tell AAU status is a line in the sand for the B10. Maybe that is elitism, but we aren't are the source. We're just acknowledging the reality of it. Ignoring it would be dumb on our part.

            "Please remember that the quality & quantity of BIG fans who show up at football and basketball games distinguish us from the rest of the power conferences."

            Now who's being elitist? B10 fans are no better than any other fans in terms of quality. As for quantity, that's as much due to the size of the schools and the population in the footprint as anything. I don't know that it's anything to brag about. It's not like the football stadiums at all 12 schools are sold out each week.

            "No other conference delivers our attendance in both sports – ACC is strong in basketball, SEC in football, but neither attend both sports in BIG fashion."

            2011 Football
            SEC: 6,369,898 (75,832 per game) – #1 conference for 15 straight years
            B10: 6M+ (71,439 per game) – #2
            Difference = 4400

            2011-2 MBB
            B10: 2,856,785 (12,868 per game) – #1 conference for 36 straight years
            SEC: 2.5M+ (11,513 per game) – #2
            Difference = 1350

            The B10 had 222 hoops games to roughly 84 football games, or about 2.65 times as many games, but the SEC leads in football by 3.26 times as much. In total fans, the SEC wins.

            "But BIG teams need to deliver more quality at this point: NCs in basketball, not consistent runner's up"

            We all want to win more titles, but you have to make the Final 4 to win the title. That's better than nothing.

            "& of course much need winning bowl records/winning bowl seasons (<– I'm being nice here & excluding NC discussion because the BIG's NC's are pitiful over the past 40 plus years, pitiful)."

            How is this a B10 problem? Nobody else is winning titles either.

            BCS Titles:
            SEC – 9
            B12 – 2
            ACC – 1
            B10 – 1
            P12 – 1
            BE – 1 (now in ACC)

            1973-1997 (Isn't this ancient history by now?):
            Indy – 10
            B8 – 7
            SEC – 6
            ACC – 3
            P10 – 3
            BE – 1
            B10 – 1
            SWC – 0

            Lots of B10 teams came close but didn't win a title over these years. OSU had only 1 loss 4 times. MI did it 2 times plus had 0 losses 3 times (3 ties 1 year, though). IA and WI did it once.

            IA was #1 for much of 1985 until they lost at OSU in the pouring rain.
            OSU was #1 for most of 1973-5 and spent a lot of the 90s in the top 5.
            MI was #1 for most of 1976 and much of 1977 and spent much of the 80s in the top 5.

            Of course, the years matter a lot, too.

            1963-1972:
            B10 – 4 titles

            1953-1962:
            B10 – 5 titles

            There are also structural issues that keep us at a disadvantage and you know that:

            1. We play more road games than anyone else (SEC in FL, B12 in TX, P12 in CA). USC is 24-8 in the Rose Bowl (16-6 vs the B10). The B10 is 24-21 against everyone else there.

            2. Our bowl lineup is usually the most difficult.

            Current line up:
            1. BCS (P12 #1 or better)
            2. BCS (other or P12 #1)
            3. Cap 1 (SEC #3)
            4. Outback (SEC #4)
            5. Gator (SEC #7)
            6. BWW (B12 #4)
            7. Texas (B12 #6)
            8. Dallas (B12 #8)
            9. Pizza (MAC #1)

            B10 – 1 MAC, mostly even or uphill match-ups
            SEC – 1 CUSA, 1 BE, 3 ACC, mostly even or uphill match-ups
            B12 – 1 BE, some downhill match-ups
            ACC – 2 BE, 2 variable (mostly non-AQ), several downhill match-ups (#7 vs SEC #10, for example)
            BE – 2 CUSA, mostly downhill match-ups
            P12 – 1 ACC, 2 MWC, 1 non-ND indy, several downhill match-ups

            3. Our players face more weather shock than anyone else at the bowl sites. Fans downplay it, but it does impact play and indoor practice isn't enough to compensate for all the other hours your body spends adjusting to the weather. B10 players get a lot more cramps, for one thing. Ever notice how much hotter 80 degrees in April feels than 80 degrees in July when you're working out?

            You also might want to remember the truth and not the ESesPN narrative – the B10 has been in more BCS games than anyone else and is 13-14 overall. That's exactly the sort of record you should expect in elite bowls. And remember, the B10 rarely played non-AQs, weak BE teams or bad ACC teams. That record is mostly against the P12, B12 and SEC.

            http://www.thepostgame.com/commentary/201208/better-without-em-northern-manifesto-southern-secession-chuck-thompson-sec-bcs

            Witness the record since the start of the BCS era in 1998:

            SEC vs. PAC-12 regular season: 10-12
            SEC vs. PAC-12 bowl games: 1-0
            SEC vs. Big 12 regular season: 6-10
            SEC vs. Big 12 bowl games: 21-8
            SEC vs. ACC regular season: 42-36
            SEC vs. ACC bowl games: 16-9
            SEC vs. Big 10 regular season: 7-4
            SEC vs. Big 10 bowl games: 19-19
            SEC vs. Big East regular season: 16-15
            SEC vs. Big East bowl game: 3-8

            That is not to deny that we need better players and coaching to be on par with the best teams now. But you see OSU and MI building and PSU will once the sanctions end. NE will eventually improve. Eventually WI will probably get over the hump, even if it’s just for 1 year. More importantly, we need to build depth.

            “Winning with class would do wonders for the BIG’s very tainted national perception, a perception quite obvious once you leave the BIG footprint – the bubble pops loudly, esp in the Southeast and Left Coast.”

            So would ESPN telling the truth, but I’m not holding my breath. The P12 stinks in hoops and they don’t get much flack. The B10 gets stuck playing the SEC a ton in bowls and gets crushed for it. Remind me – which other conference is whipping up on the SEC in major bowls?

          • gfunk says:

            Brian, Brian, Brian,

            I applaud your rebuttal – an amazing effort filled with passionate defense. But you did lose me several times : ).

            I’m ultimately happy with the BIG, despite my posted concerns. Hell the BIG will always be fine, even if we were back at 10.

            If anymore expansion occurs, so be it.

            I’m disappointed to see the Big East pretty much destroyed, mostly at the expense of the ACC.

            But I’m also happy to see the ACC hold serve at this point.

            I do prefer a strong sense of regional togetherness amongst conferences. We still have Nebraska adjusting to the BIG & from 2014 on, we’ll have two major schools aboard. It will take a half a decade, at least, to integrate these additions.

          • Brian says:

            gfunk,

            “I applaud your rebuttal – an amazing effort filled with passionate defense. But you did lose me several times : ).”

            It was late and I was tired, so parts may be incoherent. Feel free to ask for clarifications.

            “I’m ultimately happy with the BIG, despite my posted concerns. Hell the BIG will always be fine, even if we were back at 10.”

            We’d be better back at 10, IMO.

            “If anymore expansion occurs, so be it.”

            Hell, no! Go down fighting it.

            “I’m disappointed to see the Big East pretty much destroyed, mostly at the expense of the ACC.”

            The BE was never a true FB conference. It was a hoops league that dabbled in CFB and the membership showed that. If they had just stuck with hoops, they would have been fine. If they had always been a FB league they might have been OK, too. The hybrid approach was doomed from the start.

            “But I’m also happy to see the ACC hold serve at this point.”

            I wish they still had UMD and didn’t have some of their add-ons (ND, BC, Pitt, SU, even UL is a stretch).

            “I do prefer a strong sense of regional togetherness amongst conferences.”

            So do I. I realize modern travel and communications has enabled growth without losing contact, but larger numbers always lead to dilution.

            “We still have Nebraska adjusting to the BIG”

            I think they’ve fit in pretty well and pretty quickly. Once they get a rivalry going, they’ll be at home.

            ” & from 2014 on, we’ll have two major schools aboard. It will take a half a decade, at least, to integrate these additions.”

            More like half a century since they are so different from everyone else.

          • BruceMcF says:

            Andy: “The B1G passed on Missouri in 2010. That’s true. But they also passed on Kansas, Oklahoma, and UConn in 2010 as well. They did not pass on Missouri in 2011 because they were not expanding in 2011.”

            Given that the Big Ten moved on Maryland just about as soon as they were known to be available, I’m not inclined to be convinced by your claim that they threw the realignment switch to the off position after Nebraska and didn’t throw it back to the on position until after Missouri had left.

            And even if that was what happened … that counts as passing on Missouri, if Missouri is on the table and they don’t make an invite … its just quibbling on why they passed on Missouri.

          • Andy says:

            They were waiting on Notre Dame, obviously. Once Notre Dame joined the ACC the game changed, and the B1G looked to make a move again. By then Missouri was gone.

          • mnfanstc says:

            Brian,

            Your late evening/early morning (May 9th) rebuttal post is spot-on… Great job putting forth what many of us B1G fans/followers/alum feel…

            Thanks

          • Brian says:

            You’re welcome.

            Thank you for the compliment.

          • BruceMcF says:

            @gfunk ~ regarding innovative baseball strategies, I agree with Brian.

            Inside the pre-WWII Major League Baseball footprint, college sports fans and/or baseball fans don’t really care enough about college baseball to justify making it a strategic emphasis for the Big Ten. I grew up in Central Ohio as a baseball fan following the Reds, and I first became aware that college baseball was a thing when I went to grad school in Knoxville. And even there, when I wanted to take the kids out to the ball park, I took them to watch the minor league club.

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      Andy, you’ve really misread the post—badly. Frank’s core point is that nobody is going to raid the SEC. In addition, he points out that the Big Ten already passed on Missouri multiple times, a fact with which you don’t disagree.

      The rules are different for spots 13-16.

      Oh, really? How do you know that the rules are different; or that if they’re different, they’d tend to make the B1G more likely to take a school like Missouri, rather than less?

      But then you go on in the same section to talk about how the B1G might go on for decades to wait to see if they can get Kansas and Oklahoma.

      Frank gave a list of six “maybes,” of which KU and OU were numbers five and six. The inclusion of those two, at the end of a long list, doesn’t undermine the basic validity of Frank’s point.

      Anyhow, I think OU is the only one that I have trouble imagining. Gordon Gee said not long ago that the Big Ten might take “a couple of midwestern schools.” With Missouri clearly off the table, it’s hard to imagine Kansas not being one of the schools that was, at least, considered.

      Do I think Kansas is a likely future Big Ten school? No. But as #5 on a list of maybes, I don’t take issue with it. I could very well see Kansas as an “even-numbered school,” much the way Rutgers was (a school you take, along with a more compelling partner, to get up to even numbers).

      • Andy says:

        Marc, the fact is if you’re going to make a list and include Oklahoma and Kansas then you can’t leave out Missouri, and you especially can’t specifically post that Missouri should be left out because they were passed over in the past. Guess what? Kansas and Oklahoma were passed over in the past as well. You think those schools didn’t want to come with Nebraska too? Yeah right.

        The fact that MIssouri wasn’t picked for spot #12 can in no way be used as proof that they would not be a suitable #14 or #16 if they were on the Market. Frank saying as much was just plain dumb. He should have just left it alone if all he had was that weak ass argument.

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          Andy, your error is that you’re picking off Frank’s points one at a time, instead of reading them together, as they were meant to be. No one else so far has had any trouble figuring out what Frank meant, so perhaps the misunderstading is yours, not his.

          • Andy says:

            He said that Missouri wouldn’t be considered because they were passed on multiple times. That’s crap. They wouldn’t be considered because they don’t want to be at this point. That’s it. Reading his whole post doesn’t negate that he was wrong in that sentence.

          • OrderRestored83 says:

            @ Andy, It sounds like you are a being a little hyper-defensive here. No one was attacking Missouri, no need to go on a crusade. None of us know (including your super secret sources at Missouri) exactly what went on in 2010 and 2011; just have fun with the speculation and don’t get so emotionally involved. It’d suit you better.

          • Andy says:

            OrderRestored, you’ve flamed me and trolled me dozens of times, often with completely idiotic posts. Honestly I don’t even read what you say to me anymore.

          • fsugrad99 says:

            I’d say that my opinion of Missouri was affected, but I just don’t care enough about them to muster one.

  9. frug says:

    Couple points

    Even if grant of rights agreements could be challenged and struck down, the issue is that none of the 4 conferences that have them in place have any incentive to test that (or else they’d be challenging the strength of their own protections).

    I agree with you on the ACC and Big XII, but I don’t see why this would be an issue for the PAC or B1G. Even without a GOR it’s not like anyone is going to be leaving anyways.

    So, the Big 12 is still be the power conference that will be most susceptible to raids in the future, just as it was 3 1/2 years ago when Jim Delany first announced that the Big Ten was looking to expand.

    I’m not so sure about that. In 10 years the ACC is still going to be facing the fundamental problem that it has a lot of schools that would be appealing to other conferences but lacking a strong core to hold them all together. The ACC is essentially a Jenga tower; left untouched it won’t collapse on its own, and it could even afford to lose a few pieces. But take the right piece and the whole thing will come crashing down.

    The flip side is the Big XII’s stars and scrubs model that ensures all they have to do is hold Oklahoma (who probably doesn’t want to leave) and Texas (who definitely doesn’t want to leave) to survive into eternity.

    Also, remember that 3.5 years ago the Big XII was trapped in a way below market TV contract which is a situation much more likely to describe the ACC in 10 years.

    We may just have to wait another 10 years before power conference chaos happens once again.

    One thing to keep in mind that the cost of buying out a GOR drops every year since you have to buy out fewer years meaning that schools aren’t necessarily chained together for the actual duration of the deals.

    • Brian says:

      frug,

      “I agree with you on the ACC and Big XII, but I don’t see why this would be an issue for the PAC or B1G. Even without a GOR it’s not like anyone is going to be leaving anyways.”

      I’m with you on this. The B10 and P12 largely need a GOR for network purposes, not member retention. Now, I don’t think the B10 would take the risk (esp. to their reputation) of attacking a GOR without a huge target wanting to join, and I also doubt any school would take the risk with more than 2-3 years left in their GOR. But I agree, the B10 shouldn’t be worried about weakening a GOR.

      “I’m not so sure about that. In 10 years the ACC is still going to be facing the fundamental problem that it has a lot of schools that would be appealing to other conferences but lacking a strong core to hold them all together. The ACC is essentially a Jenga tower; left untouched it won’t collapse on its own, and it could even afford to lose a few pieces. But take the right piece and the whole thing will come crashing down.”

      What we can’t predict is what happens to the money. The ACC deal lasts until 2026-7. What is the ACCN worth by then? That’s the big question. If it really gets them $5M per school, then they may trail the B10 by only $3M/year in TV money or so. Or maybe the B10 gets a huge deal and the ACCN either never happens or has little value and they trail by $15M.

      Without knowing the financial gap, it’s impossible to predict their vulnerability. They’ll be fine if the gap is small while schools will refuse to renew the GOR if the gap gets big.

      “One thing to keep in mind that the cost of buying out a GOR drops every year since you have to buy out fewer years meaning that schools aren’t necessarily chained together for the actual duration of the deals.”

      It does, but the school still has to give notice and then stops getting paid for 1-2 years. Add in the exit fee and the GOR fee, and that’s a lot to cough up for any conference. You need a high value target to justify that, and that means the GOR fee will be even higher.

      • BruceMcF says:

        And for a school with only two or three years left in its GOR, if it announces that it is going to leave in a year or two, that is only a year or two of impaired rights for the conference it is joining.

        If its not a strong enough add to wear a year or two of impaired rights, its a marginal add anyway and probably should be left alone.

  10. Lurker Above says:

    I seriously doubt the B1G cares much whether the Grant of Rights fence is hurdled. No one is leaving the B1G for another conference so why would they care? Furthermore, if the B1G was recently looking at Oklahoma and Kansas that speaks volumes as to whether the B1G thinks a Grant of Rights would stop them.

    Grant of Rights is not a new concept, it’s just relatively new for college athletics. They have been used in the media and entertainment for a long time with the licensing of intellectual property. While some contracts with a grant of rights can be iron clad and harsh, like most record deal in the past where the conveyance was permanent, most contracts these days limit the effect of type of agreements two ways. First, such contracts now usually are for a reasonable length, the term. A ten year conference media rights agreement is made to order for such a term. The other way such conveyances of intellectual property is limited, the conveyor somewhat protected, is to include a buyout. I have a hard time believing every team in the Big 12 and the ACC entered into a Grant of Rights without such a provision.

    I think the Big 12 media contract has such a provision and the B1G knows it. I also think the ACC, who patterned their Grant of Rights after the Big 12′s, likely has one also.

    • GreatLakeState says:

      Exactly right on all counts.

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      I seriously doubt the B1G cares much whether the Grant of Rights fence is hurdled. No one is leaving the B1G for another conference so why would they care? Furthermore, if the B1G was recently looking at Oklahoma and Kansas that speaks volumes as to whether the B1G thinks a Grant of Rights would stop them.

      We have no evidence that the B1G was recently looking at Oklahoma and Kansas, aside from Gordon Gee’s extremely vague comment about “midwestern schools.” I have a hard time believing that the Big Ten ever gave much serious consideration to Oklahoma at all. Kansas, I’m sure, was considered, but that was probably before the Big XII GOR was signed.

      The concept of the GOR has gotten plenty of media attention. Everyone agrees that it’s for the length of the TV contract. But I haven’t found any report that there’s a buyout. If there IS, it would need to be awfully expensive. Otherwise, it would vitiate the whole point, which is to ensure that the schools stay together for the life of the agreement.

      A GOR is like any contract: it’s escapable at some cost. But every league that has a GOR seems to be pretty damned sure that it’s extremely safe. Hence, the cost of getting out must be FAR more than just an exit fee — otherwise, the ACC (which already had an exit fee far higher than any other league) would have had no reason to consider the GOR more stable.

      I agree with you that the B1G is probably not worried about getting poached, but you ignore the far more practical questions. What would be the cost of getting out? And given the cost, what schools and which leagues would consider it worthwhile? Frank’s point is that the answer is: probably nobody.

      That is: nobody until these GORs get close to their termination dates, at which point the exit costs will begin to resemble an old-fashioned exit fee, which we know never stopped anybody. We won’t see that until the early-to-mid 2020s.

      • BruceMcF says:

        Yes, the chronology is important here … for instance, some people have wanted to take the remarks regarding the Big Ten having NDA’s with some vague number of schools as a specification of what happened SINCE Nebraska joined the Big Ten, but there’s nothing in the original statement to specify that, and it could easily be a description of the whole process since the 11-school Big Ten announced they were looking at expansion.

    • boscatar says:

      Even if there isn’t a buyout, there are always business solutions to get out of a contract. If the Big 12 knows that Kansas wants out, it would rather cash in (and then replace Kansas) then deal with a disgruntled member for the next 8 years. It would come at a hefty price, but there are always business solutions.

      And, as you correctly point out, the grant of rights does not last forever. The closer you get to the end of the term, the easier (ie, cheaper) it will be to get out of the grant of rights.

      Thus, the recent grant of rights solidarity has likely cooled off expansion AMONG the Big 5 for the next FIVE years or so. But the closer we get to expiration, the more things will heat back up.

      I’m still of the opinion that the ACC is in a better position than the Big 12 (always has been). It is WAY more likely that the ACC expands westward, than the Big 12 raiding the ACC (always has been). Kansas, Oklahoma, and Iowa are pretty weak markets, especially to be shared by two universities.

      Compare the footprints:

      BIG 12
      Texas – 25.6 million
      …..
      …..
      …..
      Oklahoma – 3.8 million
      Iowa – 3 million
      Kansas – 2.8 million (although includes 2.8 million St. Louis market – with some overlap)
      West Virginia – 1.8 million
      TOTAL – 37 million – but, if Texas were poached…?

      ACC
      Florida – 19 million (2 of the 3 big programs)
      Pennsylvania 12.7 million (2.3 mil in Pittsburgh metro)
      Georgia – 9.8 million
      North Carolina – 9.6 million
      Virginia – 8 million
      Massachusetts – 6.5 million
      Indiana – 6.5 million (plus Notre Dame fans/haters EVERYWHERE)
      South Carolina – 4.6 million
      Kentucky 4.3 million (1.4 mil in Louisville metro)
      Syracuse – 660K (access to New York’s 19 million?)
      TOTAL 81.6 million >>>>> Big 12′s 37 million

      Big Ten
      Illinois – 12.8 million
      Pennsylvania 12.7 million
      Ohio – 11.5 million
      Michigan – 9.8 million
      New Jersey – 8.8 million
      Indiana – 6.5 million
      Maryland – 5.8 million
      Wisconsin – 5.7 million
      Minnesota – 5.3 million
      Nebraska – 1.8 million (and they are ALL Huskers fans)
      TOTAL 80.7 million >>>>>>>>Big 12′s 37 million

      PAC 12
      California – 37.6 million
      Washington – 6.8 million
      Arizona – 6.5 million
      Colorado – 5.1 million (one school)
      Oregon 3.8 million
      Utah – 2.8 million (one school)
      TOTAL 62.6 million >>>>>> Big 12′s 37 million

      SEC
      Florida – 19 million
      Georgia – 9.8 million
      Tennessee – 6.4 million
      Missouri – 6 million
      Alabama – 4.8 million (and they are ALL SEC fans)
      Louisiana – 4.5 million
      Kentucky 4.3 million
      Arkansas – 2.9 million
      Mississippi – 2.9 million (again, ALL SEC fans)
      [Texas - 25.6 million]
      TOTAL 60.7 million [Not including Texas] >>>Big 12′s 37 million

      I look for the Big Ten, ACC, PAC 12, and SEC to have their expansion sights on Texas and Oklahoma within the next 5-10 years. If the Big 12 loses UT, it’s Texas footprint takes a huge hit, and you’re largely left with teams in states that cover less than 12 million total.

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        You can reach some deceptive conclusions with those numbers. The question is not merely how many people a state has, but how passionate they are about watching college sports, and particularly football. Colorado and Wisconsin are pretty close in population, but that doesn’t mean the two markets have equal value.

        • bullet says:

          The AACK! probably has higher population figures than the ACC. They are in TX, LA, OK, TN, OH, CT, NC, FL, MD, PA.

          The ACC’s problem is the northeast doesn’t care, the southeast cares far more about the SEC and the mid-Atlantic cares far more about basketball than football and fb is driving the $. And they are the 2nd tier school in several states. Those are the major reasons they are likely to be 5th in revenue for the next dozen years.

          • BruceMcF says:

            Yes, for much of the AACK!! you have to talk about splitting metro areas rather than whole states.

        • Brian says:

          Not to mention splitting states.

      • bikemore says:

        Any chart that gives Pitt credit for all of Pennsylavnia is simply garbage in, garbage out.

        In fact, if you just add up state population totals, the MAC comes out to 66.4 million. But what does that mean? Nothing.

  11. GreatLakeState says:

    Oklahoma and Florida State are really the odd-Kings-out for the foreseeable future. ESPN isn’t going to even consider an ACC network until the SECn is off and running (if ever). Oklahoma doesn’t have the demographics to warrant a stand alone network (especially after the LHN debacle) and no B12N is possible. The money disparity between themselves and the SEC/B1G teams MAY eventually (5-10 years) trump OK’s Texas dependancy and OSU brotherhood. Politicians obviously would be up in arms but if there’s a 20M gulf, they may see the writing on the wall. I can see Kansas and Oklahoma being the next targets in the years to come. I fully realize most will disagree.

    • ccrider55 says:

      “Oklahoma doesn’t have the demographics to warrant a stand alone network (especially after the LHN debacle) and no B12N”

      Doesn’t mean they couldn’t be the recipient of a, albeit smaller than UT’s, tier3 bribe to hold the B12 together. Would Fox/ESPN be willing to pay enough? How much more would the B1G or PAC’s primary contract be worth, plus the added value to BTN or P12N with OU (and perhaps UT)? The likelihood is that without OU the Longhorns effectively no longer have a conference worth lording over.

    • frug says:

      Oklahoma already has a deal with Fox to air 1,000 hours of OU programming (dubbed the “Sooner Network”) that is going to pay them $7 million a year on top of their conference distribution so they should at least keep up the PAC which should keep them happy enough.

      • ccrider55 says:

        I agree, short term.
        But I suggest the calculation shouldn’t be OU vs any particular conference and their logical short term future value. Rather, it should be OU longer term in the likely B12 (no adds possible to significantly increase its value) vs OU in another conference (they are a significant add that should significantly increase that conferences athletics value). Same for UT. That’s the target, not matching current payments to others.

    • Ross says:

      I actually think an Oklahoma network can be successful. If you recall, Nebraska was actually looking at starting its own network before realignment chaos started. While an OU or Nebraska network would never have the upside of a Longhorn Network, I think both have an easier time getting carriage. Both are in states that have a lot of passion for those particular schools with little else in the way of pro or college sports, and I think cable companies would have a hard time refusing to put those networks on basic. Wasn’t Nebraska selling one or two games a year to PPV prior to its entry into the Big Ten?

      Texas is certainly a bigger brand than Oklahoma and Nebraska, and it has a massive following; however, it has a hell of a lot more to contend with than either of those schools. It has other college teams, the NFL, and the MLB all as major sports competitors that pull away Texas’ sports market share. There may be more total demand for the Longhorn network than there would be for an Oklahoma network, but the relative demand is arguably more important.

    • GreatLakeState says:

      Good points all.

  12. Carl says:

    Hail Cael!

  13. cfn_ms says:

    Couple questions:

    1) What do you think of the SEC’s carriage in Florida? To me, if Texas is the potential home run end of it (i.e. if they can get it at high carriage this will be a huge hit), Florida is the potential landmine (i.e. if they CAN’T get it at high carriage this could be a mess).

    2) I know I’ve pounded this drum before, but what data suggests that it’d be a financial gain for the Pac-12 to take ANY Mountain West programs, even if you guess that somehow any of them will be majorly growing?

    I can’t see any of those programs equaling, or even coming close to, the average value of a Pac-12 program, which essentially means that unless you’re Larry Scott and want a bigger empire to rule over, there really isn’t any benefit at all to any of the member institutions to sign off on this kind of deal. Not just now, but any time conceivably in the next 10+ years.

    Obviously academics are another issue, but even if academics were good, none of those programs (except BYU) are, or will be, worth anything near enough for it to make sense for the Pac-12 to even seriously consider them.

    • Ross says:

      Just my own thoughts here…

      1. I think the SECN will be able to get decent carriage in Florida. South Florida may have much lower rates (or be on a sports tier), but there’s enough people in the rest Florida to make up for that. However, I don’t expect rates to come close to those in say, Alabama. They should get basic in much of Florida, but, despite all its success, Florida doesn’t have the intense following that schools like Alabama have. All that being said, I think high rates throughout any conference state not named Texas or Florida will be most important to the network’s revenue, especially early on.

      2. I brought up the New Mexico/UNLV angle a long time ago as the kinds of additions that could become valuable down the road. However, as you said, it’s hard to see the incentive to do it now. Of course, these schools may ultimately need to be in a power conference to become the kind of school that the Pac-12 would take, which presents a problem. If UNLV can catch fire and produce a decent football program, I think the Pac-12 would take a good look at them. Las Vegas is a valuable, growing market, though I am unsure of UNLV’s following in Las Vegas/Nevada.

      • Ross says:

        Just a follow-up question here…

        Since the Pac-12 owns 100% of its network(s), is there a lower financial hurdle for potential expansion candidates?

        There are other obstacles of course, such as philosophy, academics, recruiting grounds, demographics, etc., but as far as a school’s direct impact on television contracts go, could a UNLV/New Mexico be more appealing to the Pac-12 due to its 100% ownership? I can see the other side of that argument, that the conference is assuming all the risk in taking these schools, but, by retaining all the network profits, can the conference afford such a risk?

        • cfn_ms says:

          I don’t know if it’s lower or higher, but it’s going to be a more direct calculation of value (as opposed to simply being able to dump the contract on ESPN/Fox and get a 1/x fee increase).

          But as far as population / markets go:
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_and_territories_by_population

          California by itself has 38M people, plus Washington has 7M, Arizona has 6.5M, Colorado has 5M, Oregon has 4M etc. All in all let’s be very conservative and say it’s a 54M population (it’s probably closer to 60-65M). That works out to 4.5M people per current school.

          New Mexico has 2M, Nevada 2.7M, Idaho has 1.5M, Hawaii has 1.4M etc. So in terms of covered population, every Mountain West school (except sort of SD St, but there the market is still covered by the CA schools) is drastically behind the curve of the average Pac-12 school, EVEN IF all the Mountain West schools could drive carriage all by themselves (and I wonder about, say, UNLV when it comes to the rest of the state).

          Honestly, you could double the population of any current Mountain West school and it’d at best be debatable whether it’d make sense on those numbers. At the current population support levels, you could dump any non-CA MWC school into an AQ league and it’s not like they’ll suddenly become good. None of them have the population or underlying resources to expect to succeed in any kind of long term.

          So just in terms of raw population, every conceivable candidate is wildly behind unless somehow they could drive either higher per head subscriber rates or get a massively greater greater penetration rate than you see in Pac-12 states (and the network already has most of the home cable companies on board with less than a year of operation under the belt).

          If the question is can the league financially afford a risk, sure. It’s not like UNM or UNLV or Boise would bankrupt the league. But it’s extremely obvious that they’re bad gets, and a net negative to the bottom line. MAYBE it’d make financial sense if the league gave those schools drastically uneven offers, and said offers were permanent (i.e. “you get a 1/5 share compared to current members, and that would NEVER change”).

          But that’s not a road the league is likely to have any desire to get into. And even all that doesn’t consider the LA access question, which would only get more heated if there were to be more mouths to feed. Basically every school in the Pac-12 cares enormously about LA access, and diminishing that access would be a major problem even for a financial winner, which again none of these possibilities even come close to being.

          And as far as Vegas goes, I honestly think the league is already making a Vegas play simply by having some events there. They don’t need UNLV to tap at least some of the Vegas market. And that’s without considering the possibility that legalized sports gambling elsewhere (especially California) could destroy Vegas as a meaningful market.

          • bullet says:

            I agree with you cfn. The only way the Pac 12 expands w/o a Big 12 school is if Houston has a 5-10 year run like Boise and suddenly gets nationally recognized again. Then one of those other schools could be paired with Houston, where there are 2.1 million people just within the city limits, as many as some of those MW states. But you still have to overcome the LA access issue to get the votes. Houston and San Diego St.?

          • cfn_ms says:

            Even there it’s not going to work. Houston is an afterthought in Texas and there’s no reason to think this will ever change, even if they do get briefly hot. Moreover, while there’s some advantage to the non-CA schools in having more access to the state, you get pretty obvious concerns about market overlap (since the league already is a player in the SD market), and it’s a virtual lock that the CA schools will never allow another in-state school to join the league (if the other could actually somehow force it through, I strongly suspect at least one of the CA schools, and perhaps all, would say “screw it” and go independent either when the GoR expires or perhaps even sooner).

            Moreover, even for the non-CA schools it’s not so much playing in LA as it is playing against UCLA/USC in LA. Anyone in the league could easily move an OOC home game to the Coliseum, for instance. The reason they don’t is that playing against Fresno, or Utah State, or whoever, in LA doesn’t get you much of anything. Unless you’re playing against an opponent the market actually cares about, it’s not worth the effort to leave your home stadium.

          • FranktheAg says:

            There is another school in Texas that has the opportunity to be a valuable member of the PAC. SMU. The brand name exists. The market exists. The academics are solid. Big boosters are plentiful. SMU has shown signs that it wants back in the game after the disastrous 80s (see hiring of Larry Brown). If the boosters commit to it, they could make SMU a viable option over the next decade.

          • frug says:

            @Frank

            Is that a serious post? The PAC has made clear they will never allow a religiously affiliated school.

          • bullet says:

            USC was originally Methodist. I think its not the religious affiliation, but religious beliefs impacting educational decisions as they do at BYU. I’m not sure the objection to Baylor wasn’t primarily their size and lack of success.

          • cfn_ms says:

            SMU is IN Dallas but does not OWN Dallas. That’s a market split between TCU, SMU, Texas and probably A&M to some degree (and perhaps even others). It’s the same reason the Mountain West was never enthusiastic about grabbing SJ State (until they were desperate for bodies): simply being present in a market doesn’t matter unless you’re a major player in that market.

            Just in terms of carriage, there’s no reason to assume that adding SMU would force Pac-12 Networks on just the Dallas market, let alone Houston, San Antonio etc. And that doesn’t even get into the logistics of adding a geographic outlier: basically if the league is going to move into the market it’d be with the Longhorns and some friends. Until and unless that happens (and there’s zero reason to think it’d happen anytime soon if ever) the Texas market is off the table.

            I know it’s fun to speculate on “who would the Pac-12 take if they had to grab someone” or “well, maybe Program X would someday sort of be as valuable as a member in the bottom half of the league” or “if you squint really hard, you can sort of make an argument that Program X is kind of a peer as long as you ignore all the negatives.”

            But the blunt answer is that the Pac-12 should have ZERO interest in offering an invite to any of the current non-AQ’s (except MAYBE, and I do mean MAYBE, BYU). And there’s no reason at all to think that’s going to change today, tomorrow, or 10 years from now.

            There simply aren’t any Western non-AQ’s who have:

            the program history of Colorado, much less USC;
            or the market size of ASU, much less the California schools (especially USC/UCLA); (like with the SJ example, someone like SMU or Dallas doesn’t provide a market just by being there)
            or the academic reputation of Washington, much less Stanford or Cal

            etc.

            Barring an implosion of the Pac-12, similar to what happened to the WAC, Mountain West or Big East, where the name remains but the cachet is just gone, the blunt fact remains that no Western non-AQ’s are or will be Pac-12 peers. The only one that has any kind of case at all is BYU, and the cultural differences are so overwhelming that it’s just not happening.

            And that’s without dealing with the fact that 12 is a very convenient number in many ways, and that the logistics of 14 or more are less pleasant to deal with. The SEC went to 14 because they really wanted to get into Texas. The B1G went to 14 because they wanted to get into the New York – DC region, and have the potential to grab more of the ACC (which hasn’t worked out, at least for now). The ACC went to 14 because they were scared that they’d fall apart if teams left (which seemed to come close to happening).

            In each case, there was a compelling reason that made it worth going beyond 14. In the Pac-12′s case, on the other hand, every theoretical candidate presents compelling reasons to stay at 12.

          • FranktheAg says:

            It was a serious post. SMU is loosely affiliated with the United Methodist Church and it has moderate views. I doubt the PAC would object simply because of the “Methodist” name in the title of the school. This isn’t a Baylor or BYU issue.

            SMU would obviously need to improve on the field and enhance their public perception but, if they did, the could easily overtake TCU in popularity.

            @cfn – i always get a kick out of the DFW market take from many on this board. As a 30 year resident of Dallas, I can tell you the DFW market is Texas, then Texas A&M, then OU, then Tech. (Texas has a clear lead over everyone and then the other three have a clear lead over anybody else). Your comments about Texas, TCU, SMU are just wrong.

            TCU, Baylor and SMU are next in line in equal order. SMU is the only school in that group that could muster up enough market share to matter against the primary four to carve out a signifcant marketshare in the DFW metroplex. Never did I say they owned the market but they do have potential to be a significant presence.

            Of course the PAC would like Texas first. That wasn’t the point of my comment. It was simply that SMU has the potential to be a viable candidate if the school administrators want to again emphasis football and invest in the program over the next decade.

          • frug says:

            @Frank

            It doesn’t matter how loose the affiliation between the two is or how liberal or conservative the church is (and for the record I am a member of the United Methodist Church) the California schools will not let the PAC add a religiously affiliated school. They are way more hardline on that issue than the Big Ten is on its AAU requirement or the SEC’s dedication to only adding Southern schools.

      • boscatar says:

        BYU gets more fans to Sam Boyd stadium than UNLV does.

    • Peder Rice says:

      I think the value comes in a few years if Nevada and Idaho’s populations continue to grow and if the Pac-12 sees the Pac-12 Network growth slow without the addition of new markets. I really think Boise St and UNLV are solid options for #13 and #14, but only if (1) UNLV gets its facilities upgrades and (2) Boise St becomes a clear athletic and academic leader in the region. Boise St needs to continue to grow past commuter-school status and grow its alumni base.

      I agree with you, though, that we’re realistically talking 10+ years before Boise St and UNLV could be valuable enough to warrant expansion.

      • Richard says:

        Even if Nevada and Idaho grew population by 50% in 10 years, Nevada would be at 4.1M and Idaho would be at 2.3M, and they’re not going to grow by 50% in 10 years. NV grew by 35% from 2000-2010 and ID grew by 21% in those 10 years.

        Realistically, NV is probably 2 decades away from being big enough that they’d be considered a good market, and ID is even farther away.

        • Peder Rice says:

          Note that Oregon’s population is only 3.9 million, so if Nevada is 4.1, that would seem to be a pretty big market to ignore that’s right in your footprint. However, obviously it’s going to take Idaho a lot longer at current growth rates to get to that level.

          • cfn_ms says:

            Nevada getting to 4.1M implies a 50% population growth, and then comparing it to Oregon’s current 3.9M implies a 0% growth rate. That’s not a particularly realistic comparison.

          • Peder Rice says:

            I’m not suggesting Oregon won’t grow. Instead, Oregon at 3.9 million is an extremely valuable Pac-12 property; if Nevada has 3.5m+ residents, you’d have to think it would be similarly valuable, regardless of what year it crosses that line.

          • cfn_ms says:

            Except Oregon at 3.9M isn’t an extremely valuable Pac-12 property. The Ducks’ athletic department has been successful not because of the market or the population, but primarily because of Nike money. That’s worked out well for Oregon, of course, but unless there’s a massively wealthy booster type (like Pickens at OK St), comparing Nevada or UNLV to Oregon just because the state populations aren’t wildly different is a poor idea. Oregon’s strengths are fairly unique and non-replicable, as far as I can tell.

        • wmwolverine says:

          Really can’t see UNLV or Boise State in the Pac 12 for quite some time. Both need a lot more people, a lot better facilities and more success athletically (not just football/basketball either.)

      • ccrider55 says:

        …that we’re realistically talking 100+ years before Boise St and 50+ years before UNLV could be valuable enough to warrant expansion.

        There. Fixed that for you.

    • @cfn_ms – My thoughts:

      (1) I think the SEC Network will get carriage in the state of Florida quite easily. I’ve spent more time in that state (Central and South Florida) than in any other besides Illinois and the Gators are probably the most consistently popular sports team there (whether college or pro). There’s certainly a much higher interest in SEC football and the Gators specifically across the board there compared to the Big Ten in Illinois, and there’s obviously BTN carriage where I sit in Naperville (and that’s just my experience in the southern half of Florida – Jacksonville and the northern half are even more rabid about college football). The main risk areas for the SEC are its newest ones in Texas and Missouri.

      (2) In my mind, UNLV (especially if it gets its planned football stadium built) has a ton of upside. Las Vegas is a market that has a massive amount of people that are looking to spend money on entertainment and a market of its size ought to have a pro team yet doesn’t due to outdated biases against the perception of gambling. (An NBA franchise would make a *killing* there.) So, it’s a lucrative market that’s wide open for major sports in general.

      I also recall seeing a list of the top 25 TV markets for college football ratings and there was only one that wasn’t associated with any power conference school: Las Vegas. In fact, it was the only market on that list that was in either the Pacific or Rocky Mountain Time Zones. Gamblers might account for some of that viewership, but it doesn’t explain it all. So, it’s definitely one of the best relatively untapped markets for college (and even pro) sports.

      • cfn_ms says:

        I’d guess those Vegas viewership numbers are a lot of “why buy the cow”, since I’d guess they’re pretty solidly de-coupled from UNLV-specific viewership (if not, then among other things the mtn might have been more successful).

        It seems a lot more likely that the Vegas viewership is focused on national brands than anything UNLV-specific, much less Mountain West specific. And if that’s the case, then it stands to reason that the Pac-12 is already getting a decent chunk of the viewership.

        If the Pac-12 is already getting substantial portions of that Vegas market viewership, then what do they really get from specifically adding UNLV? Certainly not carriage (see above state population numbers; Nevada total population is less than half of 1/12 of the current Pac-12 population footprint), unless somehow the league could get Nevada at a carriage rate of at least twice the rate inside the current footprint, and at similar penetration rates (and even that ignores any subscriber revenue they get from the state right now).

        Could the Pac-12 dominate the Vegas market by adding UNLV? Maybe, but then again maybe not. To the extent that viewership is already national, you’d probably still see a greater proportion of viewership going to B1G, SEC etc. than you would in say Seattle or LA. Moreover, the UNLV brand itself isn’t actually valuable. Instead to the extent that it makes sense to value the Vegas market (and I’m still very much skeptical) then it makes sense to do what the league is already doing, putting on some events (like the MBB tournament) and building a presence, without devaluing the league brand by adding another bottom-feeder non-brand in UNLV.

        Again, why buy the cow when the Pac-12 is already getting a good chunk of the milk for free, and even with the cow, wouldn’t get all of its milk anyway?

      • bullet says:

        What makes you think the Pac 12 presidents wouldn’t have the same concern about gambling?

        • ccrider55 says:

          It wasn’t that long ago ASU had a BB point shaving scandles. I’d bet it’s on their minds.

        • Mike says:

          @bullet – The PAC12 did hold their last men’s basketball tournament in a casino.

          • ccrider55 says:

            A first time, single event, post season tournament is a sign of a willingness to give LV a look. It doesn’t simulate having year round presence, often multiple exposures/visits per week. The increasing comfort people have with gambling is an invitation to problems. Not insurmountable but something presidents will need to be assured can be addressed, and that they would be comfortable taking on that responsibility. And that only is a concern if UNLV were to have achieved acceptability as a school and athletic department, and their market was somehow not being captured already.

    • Brian says:

      cfn_ms,

      “1) What do you think of the SEC’s carriage in Florida? To me, if Texas is the potential home run end of it (i.e. if they can get it at high carriage this will be a huge hit), Florida is the potential landmine (i.e. if they CAN’T get it at high carriage this could be a mess).”

      http://commoncensus.org/sports_map.php?sport=5
      Based on the commoncensus map:

      Panhandle – FSU 3:1 over UF, but AL and UGA and Auburn are also near by. I think they get full coverage here.
      N FL – all UF, so coverage guaranteed
      Mid FL – UF ~ UCF ~ USF, so coverage guaranteed at least in the rural parts
      S FL – Miami 4:1 or more over UF and FSU, so a tough sell

      Basically, it comes down to Tampa and Orlando, but I think they get a solid price in both cities. Miami and south FL is basically 1/3 of the population in FL, so I’d guess they get 2/3 of FL at $1 and the other 1/3 at a lesser price.

      • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

        Brian – thanks for the link. Here’s the opening paragraph from your link.

        “Important: this map is highly inaccurate and should be understood only as a demonstration, and not as any kind of reliable data yet. It is based on only a few thousands of votes spread across all teams, across the country. Areas with virtually no data are shown in gray, and many boundaries are still expected to change their shape drastically. A map with more accurate boundaries will gradually emerge as the number of votes reaches the upper tens of thousands.”

        • Brian says:

          Yeah, I know it’s not correct but it’s better than nothing to see where the fandom overlaps. It’s also really biased towards younger fans being an internet census. That said, I don’t think it’s results here are that crazy. FSU is the favorite in the panhandle while UF own northern FL. Central FL is more strongly UF than it shows, probably, but both Tampa and Orlando were within the spot I checked. Miami has south FL, even if the fans are more casual.

          The point is, the SECN should easily get on in all of rural and northern FL. I think they’ll be fine in Tampa and Orlando, too. Miami will be the tough nut to crack. Isn’t that basically the same thing all the experts have said?

          • cfn_ms says:

            The larger question in FL isn’t whether SEC has more fans than other leagues (which it does) but whether they’re strong enough to force carriage not just on fans of other programs but also anyone who doesn’t care very much about college football. Obviously that’s not a problem in Alabama. Is it a problem in Florida? I honestly don’t know. I’m sure the SECN will be fine in parts of the state, but I do wonder where they may struggle. The whole state isn’t as football crazy as say Alabama.

      • Tom says:

        The problem with Fla is it’s a moving target. UF wasn’t even a true national brand until midway thru Spurrier’s tenure…they hadn’t even won a conference title until circa 1992 (after SIXTY years). In the 80s and 90s…FSU and Miami ruled…and arrived on the national scene first. UF has been the strongest suite recently (and will probably carry the largest fan base)…but it’s no old guard program or overwhelming force in the state.

        • bullet says:

          Don’t agree. While you are totally right about the football history, in general support in the state, Florida rules. Remember, FSU was a girl’s school until 1947. And Miami is private with a substantial out of state student base.

          • Tom says:

            Wrong. FSU was actually coed from 1857 to ~1905 (oldest institution in Fla…nly one that tangibly existed prior to Civil War). The campus in Gainesville didn’t even open its doors until ~1905. Fla will always be much more fluid than other states when it comes to the share of the fanbase pie. UF is no doubt currently in first (and may hold onto that distinction more often than not). But they’re no old guard, overwhelming force.

          • bullet says:

            In other words, you are disagreeing just to disagree and I am right. From 1905 to 1947 FSU was all female and there are almost certainly no living male graduates from prior to 1947.

  14. Biological Imperiative says:

    Gig’em

  15. Pat says:

    Go Blue!

  16. I think the Big 12′s best option is to add BYU and UNLV, even if it means getting BYU in football only. It would probably require splitting up Texas and OU (OU in a division with the other four Big 8 schools and WVU, Texas with the three Texas schools and BYU and UNLV) to have decent, competitive divisions with desirable CCG matchups.

    • GreatLakeState says:

      I agree BYU and UNLV are (currently) the last two solid long term additions for either the Big12 or PAC.

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      I think the Big 12′s best option is to add BYU and UNLV, even if it means getting BYU in football only.

      It might be their best option, assuming they expand. But why is it better than doing nothing? I’m not seeing it. Unless they’d earn dramatically more TV money (which is unlikely), all they’d be doing is feeding two extra mouths.

      It would probably require splitting up Texas and OU (OU in a division with the other four Big 8 schools and WVU, Texas with the three Texas schools and BYU and UNLV) to have decent, competitive divisions with desirable CCG matchups.

      There’s no way they’re doing this. The whole value proposition for the ex-Big 8 schools is based upon playing two football games in Texas every year. Oklahoma and Texas would certainly want to protect the Red River Rivalry every year, but they wouldn’t want the specter of playing it twice, as could frequently be the case if they were in separate divisions. (That was the reason why Oklahoma and Nebraska were split up when the Big XII was formed originally.)

      • Marc, I agree that doing nothing is the preference for Texas and company, but IF they were forced by the new playoff rules to have a CCG, or just pressured into it by the other conferences or by a seeming disadvantage in the playoff selection, then BYU and the team that plays in Vegas seem like the best options; and if those are the best options, how can you keep Texas and OU together? It would be hard to have any semblance of divisional balance, unless you take the next six best teams and put them into a geographically-challenged division (WVU, BYU, couple Texas teams in the same division?).

        As much as everyone thought FSU and Miami would play each other in the ACC championship every year, and OSU and Michigan would do the same in the B1G, it somehow rarely works out that way (in my two examples, never). Texas and OU could probably count on meeting up only 2 or 3 times a decade in the CCG, but the Big 12 could probably count on at least one of them being in the game 9 or 10 times out of 10.

        As for the Big 8 schools, they would at least have OU in their division, and you could guarantee them a Texas or Vegas trip every year. If circumstances force the Big 12 to go to 12, it won’t be perfect for everyone…

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          Marc, I agree that doing nothing is the preference for Texas and company, but IF they were forced by the new playoff rules to have a CCG, or just pressured into it by the other conferences or by a seeming disadvantage in the playoff selection, then BYU and the team that plays in Vegas seem like the best options; and if those are the best options, how can you keep Texas and OU together?

          I agree that IF the Big XII is somehow “forced” to expand, those are the best options. But I don’t think they’ll be forced.

          The Playoff rules already give Notre Dame a seat at the table. During the negotiations that led to this system, the five league commissioners treated Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick like an equal. They even chose him as their spokesman when the proposal was presented to a committee of university presidents.

          Notre Dame not only doesn’t have a CCG, they don’t have a league. And none of the powers in college football seem to have a problem with that. Some fans do, but not the decision-makers. It’s hard to imagine the scenario where the Big XII is forced to add a CCG, as long as ND is allowed to qualify as an independent.

          Rewriting the rules so that nobody is allowed to be independent would create a whole host of other problems that nobody wants to face. And if independents are allowed, there is no rationale for forcing the Big XII into a CCG they don’t want.

          • boscatar says:

            To expand, the Big 12 needs about $50 million in new revenue to make it worth it (ie, to feed the newbies and keep everyone at their current levels).

            How much is a Big 12 CCG worth? $12-15 million per year? Would the increased TV markets out west (UNLV and BYU would both get the foot in the door in California, Arizona, Idaho, and Colorado, in addition to Nevada and Utah) and the added game inventory get $35-40 million of additional value? (That seems like a stretch, but any thoughts?)

            Would two new schools propel the Big 12 to more semi-final spots and CFP bowl bids such that the additional TV revenue could be less than $35 million, yet still justified? ($6 million additional revenue for each semi-final spot and $4 million additional revenue for each CFP “host” bowl bid – other than Sugar Bowl).

          • Brian says:

            boscatar,

            “To expand, the Big 12 needs about $50 million in new revenue to make it worth it (ie, to feed the newbies and keep everyone at their current levels).

            How much is a Big 12 CCG worth? $12-15 million per year?”

            The B10 CCG is worth about $24.2M per year. Pencil in the B12 game for at least $20M.

            “Would the increased TV markets out west (UNLV and BYU would both get the foot in the door in California, Arizona, Idaho, and Colorado, in addition to Nevada and Utah) and the added game inventory get $35-40 million of additional value? (That seems like a stretch, but any thoughts?)”

            Would it bring an extra $30M? Frankly, I doubt it.

          • Peder Rice says:

            If a Big XII CCG is worth about $20m, why not add a couple of AAC/MWC members that only get $2-4m annually and only pay them $10m? No reason you can’t have an uneven split of revenues.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            If a Big XII CCG is worth about $20m, why not add a couple of AAC/MWC members that only get $2-4m annually and only pay them $10m? No reason you can’t have an uneven split of revenues.

            Well…there is a reason. The Big XII formerly had an uneven split, and it practically killed the conference. It doesn’t take much imagination to see all of the problems that could arise.

          • The uneven split was low on the reasons for the Big 12 defections. The defectors were some of the biggest beneficiaries of it, while the teams like ISU and Baylor, who never, ever wanted the Big 12 to split up, were the biggest losers under the old system.

            Missouri was a perennial complainer who always felt they got the shaft (bad bowl selections, especially) and they were a better geographical fit with the Big 10. Colorado had always wanted to be in the Pac 10. A&M had always wanted to be in the SEC, and just needed a good reason to convince the traditionalists. Nebraska proactively took the B1G invite when it looked like the Big 12 was collapsing. Uneven revenue split was hardly a consideration at all. Hell, A&M originally demanded they receive $20MM to stay in the 10-team Big 12, to the detriment of the lesser schools, and Nebraska didn’t have a problem with it when they were cashing the biggest checks. Revisionist history.

          • Biological Imperiative says:

            “Hell, A&M originally demanded they receive $20MM to stay in the 10-team Big 12, to the detriment of the lesser schools, and Nebraska didn’t have a problem with it when they were cashing the biggest checks. Revisionist history.”

            I like how UT posters play the victim\hero when in fact they were a large reason why conference realignment started in the first place in 2009 – PAC 16 and UT also got a much bigger check in the Big 12 which they also cashed happily. revisionist history indeed.

          • ccrider55 says:

            As the B12 doesn’t have a shared conference network they are still in the uneven revenue sharing model, just with a different structure than before.

          • bullet says:

            The Pac 12 had a more uneven revenue split than the Big 12 when Colorado left. Doesn’t seem to have hurt them. For that matter, the Big East was even more unbalanced and the biggest beneficiaries-Miami and Virginia Tech, left.

            The SEC had the identical revenue split as the Big 12 when Missouri and A&M left and will still be identical until 2014. Doesn’t seem to have hurt them.

            And as pointed out, A&M embarrassed themselves by insisting on trying to get a share of the exit fees belonging to the left behind 5 while Texas and Oklahoma realized it was unfair and refused.

            Everyone had their own reasons for leaving, but unequal revenue sharing was just a phrase used by some of those leaving to try to shift “blame” for their own decisions done for their own reasons. Unequal revenue sharing had nothing to do with it.

          • UT’s AD and President definitely did their fiduciary duty by examining fallback options in case the Big 12 split up, but many on here seem to think that means UT was the main culprit for others leaving. No one did more to keep the Big 12 together than Texas, as evidenced by the fact that IT STILL EXISTS!

            Also, you’re missing my point on “happily cashing checks”. Nebraska used unequal revenue distribution as one of their excuses for why they had to leave the Big 12, despite that fact that they were the biggest beneficiary of the system. UT never complained about unequal distribution, hence they are not a hypocrite for “happily cashing checks”. Also, during the early years of the Big 12 when UT wasn’t one of the highest compensated league members, they didn’t bitch, they lived within the system that the league members unanimously voted for.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Bullet:

            The terms of full and equal revenue sharing were set as a condition of PAC expansion, with a few years of 2M extra to the LA schools if a threshold wasn’t met with the new primary media contract (was exceeded by over 70M/yr).

            My point about continued uneven sharing is that selling a few tier 3 events is not the same as getting and being paid for a school specific 24/7 network. The paradigm has changed.

          • FranktheAg says:

            Texas, Deloss and Beebe guaranteed Texas A&M $20M per year to walk away from a standing SEC offer to join in 2010. There was no demand by A&M to claim exit fees, only a demand that what was agreed upon to not leave was met.

          • Biological Imperiative says:

            “Also, during the early years of the Big 12 when UT wasn’t one of the highest compensated league members, ” – complete and utter bullshit the 1st big 12 CCG had UT in it as well asmost of all thier other games. at the time it was A&M and UT as the dominate teams in the south cause OU sucked in the 90s

            1996

            #3 Nebraska

            27

            Texas

            37

            Trans World Dome • St. Louis, MO

            63,109

            RB DeAngelo Evans, Nebraska

            1997

            #2 Nebraska

            54

            #14 Texas A&M

            15

            Alamodome • San Antonio, TX

            64,824

            1998

            #2 Kansas State

            33

            #10 Texas A&M

            36

            Trans World Dome • St. Louis, MO

            60,798

            1999

            #2 Nebraska

            22

            #12 Texas

            6

            Alamodome • San Antonio, TX

          • bullet says:

            Only an Aggie would try to justify it.

            What A&M was asking for was a guarantee that wasn’t earned and would be taken from the shares of the have-nots. Beebe and the have-nots-ISU, KU, KSU, UM, BU (not Texas) DID offer it. But Texas and OU had the integrity to refuse to take something that wasn’t earned. Tech whined that they weren’t included and A&M tried to insist on it. OSU wisely said nothing.

          • Biological Imperiative says:

            once again A&M is the bad guy for demanding to get paid thier $20 million, but UT having already been in long term discussions with the PAC 12 about the PAC 16 had NOTHING to do with Nebraska entering into joining the B1G. just like in the early 90′s when UT tried to join the PAC 10 but got voted down by Stanford, causing Arkansas to start looking at the SEC.

            face it Deloss Dodds and UT have had a direct hand in the (near) destruction of the SWC and the Big 12. bullett is right about one thing unequal revenue sharing isnt the issue…it was UTs shopping around for a better deal both times.

          • Biological Imperiative says:

            wasn’t earned and would be taken from the shares of the have-nots. Beebe and the have-nots-

            but you “EARNED” the LHN’s $10 million a year on the backs of the have nots but that’ totally okay done with integrity and fidicuary responsibility. hypocrisy coming from the richest athletic department in the country.

            for shame

          • frug says:

            but you “EARNED” the LHN’s $10 million a year on the backs of the have nots but that’ totally okay done with integrity and fidicuary responsibility

            How exactly is UT earning revenue off the back’s of the have nots with the LHN when the LHN doesn’t broadcast conference games?

          • frug says:

            My point about continued uneven sharing is that selling a few tier 3 events is not the same as getting and being paid for a school specific 24/7 network. The paradigm has changed.

            How? UT sold their Tier 3 rights to ESPN just like Florida did with Sun Sports.

          • Biological Imperative:

            I feel you’ve made some inaccurate statements, but will admit I’m wrong if someone can provide facts to the contrary:

            - Arkansas did not go to the SEC because of a Texas PAC flirtation. Arkansas began that process in the late 80′s. Texas had a PAC 10 invite in hand in the mid-90′s (Stanford never voted them down), and A&M had a similar invite from the SEC. Both were ready and willing to go their separate ways, but Texas politico’s forced them to join the Big 12 and take Tech and Baylor with them, or risk losing PUF money.

            - Just because a very average 7-4 Texas team played in the 1996 Big 12 championship doesn’t mean they were a top-paid team that year. I’m going by memory here as my quick Google search yielded no results, but I recall seeing a year-by-year revenue distribution that shocked me because it had Nebraska and K-State and A&M as the highest paid teams in the first few years of the Big 12. Texas was always around the 3-6 range, even behind Colorado in some years. I’ll try to find that info as I’m curious if my memory is accurate.

            - Only people with an axe to grind against Texas would claim they were the cause of the SWC break-up. The rampant cheating by a few teams (not Texas) was a big contributor, as was losing Arkansas to the SEC and the general move to larger conferences.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Sun broadcasts Florida events, and lots of other as well. They are the ones who carry some events, but they aren’t exclusive. Texas is being compensated in a manner that a conference network would, but with all the air time focused on them. It was an ESPN bribe to keep the B12 alive longer term by stroking UT’s ego and wallet. And getting a say and some control of where UT could go if they did decide to leave the B12, in the process.

          • bullet says:

            The Dallas Cowboys and Houston Oilers mortally wounded the SWC. The rampant cheating and UGA and OU’s lawsuit against the CFA finished them off. Texas and Texas A&M hung around as long as they could. There was talk even before Arkansas left.

          • bullet says:

            To clarify, the Cowboys and Oilers severely hurt the small privates-TCU, SMU and Rice. The Cotton Bowl with its 65,000 seats was the “house that Doak built,” Doak Walker, SMU’s Heisman winner. Rice built a 70,000 seat stadium in 1950 because they needed those seats. A&M played THEIR home games vs. Rice at Rice Stadium throughout much of the 50s because they drew better in Houston. Houston, who joined later, had similar issues.

          • bullet says:

            @cc
            I don’t see what point you are trying to make. What is the significance of the difference between Texas selling its rights to ESPN for a LHN and OU selling its rights to Fox for Fox Sports SW? Its just a different structure like the difference between the Pac 12 Network 100% owned, BTN 49% owned and SECN 0% owned.

          • bullet says:

            @Christian
            For some reason it is very hard to find past year’s conference distributions with the Big 12. I’ve tried looking just a couple years back and can’t find things. It tends to be released on the Big 12 website and then they take it down never to be seen again.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Bullet:

            You’re kidding, right? BTN and P12N (and soon SECN) are all shared equally throughout their conferences. Doesn’t matter whether 100%, 50%, or 0% conference owned. How evenly is LHN or Sooner network revenue shared?

          • bullet says:

            You’re drifting. This thread is from MS’s incorrect comment that the Big 12 members left because of unequal revenue sharing. And what is the difference between UT having a network and OU selling to Fox? You made it sound like there was some significance in that.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Perhaps I am. I will say that while I don’t think it was primary in either aTm, UNL, et al leaving, the potential disadvantage an LHN would put everyone else in was cited by aTm. How could anyone (even OU) hope to create similar revenue stream? UC was PAC bound, UNL couldn’t refuse the B1G, aTm was, well, leaving in a huff, Mizzou…felt slighted. If everything had been equalized, and the media money rolled earlier, perhaps the last two stay. But that would have required a giant change in attitude on all sides, and that was probably the toughest hurdle.

          • Biological Imperiative says:

            “Texas and Texas A&M wrested concessions from their conference brethren. Rather than equitably split gate receipts, the two schools forced the others to agree to what DeLoss Dodds, Texas athletic director, described as “You keeps yours and I’ll keep mine.”

            sound familiar?

            http://www.athlonsports.com/college-football/look-back-birth-big-12

          • boscatar says:

            “If a Big XII CCG is worth about $20m, why not add a couple of AAC/MWC members that only get $2-4m annually and only pay them $10m? No reason you can’t have an uneven split of revenues.”

            BYU gets about $10 million a year from ESPN, on its own. With a Big 12 schedule, and the added good game inventory, BYU would definitely bring at least $15 million in annual revenue to the Big 12. So, the question is: is there another team that the Big 12 could add that would bring another $15 million in annual revenue (to justify expansion with BYU – ie, get to $50 million, with CCG, in additional annual revenue for the Big 12)?

            Boise St. is probably the closest – but not quite there yet. The Big 12 will wait and see how BYU, Boise St. and the AAC perform for the next couple of years – and to monitor how the 10-team Big 12 composition affects the Big 12′s chances at the CFP and big bowl games.

          • Mike says:

            @boscatar – You’re making an assumption that the Big 12 isn’t already getting paid for a championship game. It’s possible that ESPN is continuing to pay for the game as part of their original contract with the Big 12 that was extended later.

          • BruceMcF says:

            It surely is significant that the Sooners are with Fox and the Longhorns with ESPN ~ if they were both with the same network, that would make it much easier to look around five years from now and say, “ah, hell, let’s merge them and invite everyone else to join in too”.

          • frug says:

            @boscatar

            BYU’s ESPN deal isn’t worth $10 million a year. The original reports were indeed in the $9-$12 million range, but ESPN has since confirmed that the real number is actually less than $4 million.

            http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/8653727/boise-state-broncos-sdsu-aztecs-byu-cougars-talk-mwc-return-sources-say

            @Mike

            You are right. As part of the 2010 Big XII bailout ESPN agreed to continue to pay the Big XII $10 million a year for the CCG even though it was no longer being played (though the two sides have since signed a contract extension that may have superseded that agreement)

          • FranktheAg says:

            Only a Texas fan would continue to twist the truth.

            Here’s the facts on the 2010 deal. Texas A&M had an offer for SEC membership on the table. Texas A&M pursued and received a membership offer from the SEC AFTER Texas agreed to a deal with Larry Scott on joining the Pac. Dodds and Powers approached Texas A&M and President Loftin after-the-fact, when the deal was “done” with Scott and the PAC. Upon getting the word that the group of 6, including Texas A&M was heading to the PAC, Texas A&M, basically said to Dodds, “We’ll get back to you”…and called Slive. Slive came to A&M for three day visist and a deal was done for A&M to join the SEC. This was all in 2010. Bullet and most longhorns never believed the SEC offer (go read Frank’s blogs from the timeframe for validation) but as we all know now, Texas A&M did have a standing offer to join.

            Dodds immediately panics at that, and arranges a meeting with Loftin, Bill Byrne (who had lost all influence with Loftin) and Beebe. They all agree to stand down but only after Beebe guaranteed Texas A&M $20M in revenue distributions from the B12. It was the price to get A&M to back away from the SEC. It wasn’t from the forgotten five’s share of exit fees or any other identified source. It was from B12 revenues, which Beebe and Dodds felt comfortable enough to offer. The only embarassing act was when Dodds tried to change the deal after A&M notified Slive they wouldn’t be joining. He showed the bully mentality he often displays by attempting to reneg on an agreed upon deal. Once again Texas A&M told him – not happening – a deal is a deal.

        • Biological Imperiative says:

          We were worried about Texas and Texas A&M pulling out and leaving us for the Pac-10,” he said.

          “Where would we have been if they’d done that? What kind of athletic prestige could we have without those two?”

          Nebraska knows just how Broyles felt. Neither school could afford to wait.

          http://www.dallasnews.com/sports/columnists/kevin-sherrington/20100610-Sherrington-Frank-Broyles-not-surprised-9212.ece

          • Biological Imperiative says:

            UT had a major football infraction in 1986 per NCAA website.

            try again and please do explain how UT earned $10 million a year and also why it looks like the LHN will piggyback on the SECN

          • bullet says:

            Only Rice didn’t have a major violation, but UT’s was much less significant than SMU, TCU and A&M paying players. Just like there was a massive difference last year between Georgia Tech getting a major violation for ticking off the NCAA investigator after one player got $300 worth of clothing from an agent and the things that went on at Miami and UNC. All are classified as major violations.

      • Biological Imperiative says:

        “The rampant cheating by a few teams (not Texas)”

        nice deflection bullet, UT’s cheating isnt as bad as TCU or A&M etc. since UT is the biggest, richest most awesome school in the state if not the universe, why does it have to cheat at all?

        “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”

        a bribe is a bribe whether its from ESPN or the Big 12, you can call it whatever you want.

        UT is not a saint, it’s players are not scholars, it’s AD and students are no better than A&M OU Tech. Once you and shaggybevo get that through your heads you can be alot more objective.

        and more interesting

        and yes Aggie posters have the same delusions.

      • Biological Imperiative says:

        “That’s the hard part for me. Understanding how one schools non-rev TV channel could generate a lot of $. And generate enough to threaten OU or A&M. Coaches shows traditionally are late night TV with low $ advertisers. They were basically set up to supplement coaches salaries, not to generate funds for the athletic department” -bullet circa 2010

        wow i went looking for confirmation of Stanford voting against UT and a timeline and I found this instead

        funny

        to answer your question as to how the LHN takes money out of the have nots, the LHN prevents the creation of a Big 12 network, as you well know, right now the LHN is almost cetainly losing money and is saddle with a “guaranteed” payment of $10 million a year to UT. A&M was guarenteed a $20 million dollar check to stay, which they did, for all of one year. Fair or not fair is a bullshit statement to make. A&M said fuck you pay me (in FtT vernacular). Beebee and the other have not said they would give it to them. A&M insisted upon it period.

        You could look at it objectively and say: A&M had already made plans to leave and wanted the $20 million for the downpayemnt on the exit fees and OU and UT were pretty sure they were staying and made a political (to keep the peace) as opposed to a financial one and gave up $20 million for $10 and $7 million a year over 15 years. Fairness is subjective and not factual.

        • frug says:

          to answer your question as to how the LHN takes money out of the have nots, the LHN prevents the creation of a Big 12 network

          No it doesn’t, but thanks for playing.

          • ccrider55 says:

            How does it not prevent a B12 net? An “8 of the B12 network” is not a B12 net.
            Perhaps you are suggesting UT and ESPN are not absolutely barred from turning the rights over to the conference? That’s the only way it “doesn’t” prevent it.

          • frug says:

            The LHN does nothing to stop the other schools from pooling their rights and forming a Big XII Network. Not one thing.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Unless ALL the schools are included it is only a part of a conference network.

          • frug says:

            No it would be a conference network, just not all the schools would be participating.

          • ccrider55 says:

            That only would be true if UT didn’t participate in any non tier 1 or 2 broadcasts. Same principle as sports having to compete in your conference if the conference sponsors it.

          • Biological Imperiative says:

            Yes it does but thanks for playing,

            John in Greensboro, N.C., writes: What is missing from the Big 12 to enter in the era of the Conference TV/Digital Networks? I mean in the sense of those working for the BIG, Pac12 and now the SEC. Thanks!

            DU: Mostly, the entire structure oYf the Big 12′s media rights. ESPN/ABC owns the Big 12′s first-tier rights, which are the league’s best games. Fox owns the second-tier rights for the Big 12, and both paid a pretty penny for them. Ultimately, the third-tier rights are mostly what conferences are building conference networks upon, led by the Big Ten and followed by the Pac-12, whose network launched last fall. Now, the SEC is joining the ranks.

            However, in the Big 12, each school retains the right to use its third-tier rights in whatever manner it pleases. Texas launched its own network. Many other schools have signed deals with other distributors, and several have launched web-based networks. There is a lot of basketball, baseball and Olympic sports in the third-tier packages that provide a lot of that programming.

            Unless those rules change (and considering the Big 12 fashioned this plan to differentiate itself in the marketplace, that is unlikely), a conference network is an impossibility for the Big 12

            http://espn.go.com/blog/big12/post/_/id/66786/mailbag-big-12-network-trickett-k-state

          • frug says:

            Same principle as sports having to compete in your conference if the conference sponsors it.

            So does that mean the ACC won’t really exist as a FB conference next year since ND isn’t going to compete?

            @BI

            You do just realize what you posted shows exactly that the LHN, in and of itself, does not prohibit a conference network.

            in the Big 12, each school retains the right to use its third-tier rights in whatever manner it pleases. Texas launched its own network. Many other schools have signed deals with other distributors, and several have launched web-based networks.

            All the schools have chosen to take individual deals. Nothing (let me repeat NOTHING) is any of the schools from pooling their rights, and all it would take would be a simple majority to dub that entity the “Big XII Network”.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Frug: ND is not a football member of the ACC. They have a scheduling agreement in order to join in the other sports. Is UT going to/be allowed to become FB independent? Would they want to?

          • ccrider55 says:

            UT can’t pool their rights unless ESPN agrees. OU is probably in a similar position with Fox.

            Sure a majority can vote for whatever they want to call it. They could call it network of the Antarctic, but that doesn’t mean the name reflects what it actually is.

          • frug says:

            ND is not a football member of the ACC.

            Ok, then UT is not a member of the Big XII network for its Tier III rights. Still not seeing a difference.

          • frug says:

            To complete the analogy; if the other schools started a Big XII Network, then the Big XII Net. would be football and the the Tier I & II deals would be all the other sports.

          • ccrider55 says:

            “Ok, then UT is not a member of the Big XII network for its Tier III rights. Still not seeing a difference.”

            Therefore a conference member is not allowing its rights to be used in a conference endeavor, which means its a “portions of the B12 network”.

            The B12, by design, excluded the conf net possibility by allowing the tier 3 rights to remain with the schools. If they all give those rights back (20 year ESPN/LHN deal a bit of a prob) then they can have a conf. net.

          • Biological Imperiative says:

            I think ccrider explains it very well but since I like analogies…

            Your explaination of the Lincoln assassination:

            John Wilkes Booth didn’t shoot Abraham Lincoln at Fords theater, Lincoln failed to get out of the way of the bullet. :)

            Now that frug has reminded me that it is technically possible for me to be elected president of the United States, Im going to go start working on my bid for 2016.

            Peace out

        • bullet says:

          I didn’t understand how those things generated value. A lot of people on here won’t accept that they have value. But I don’t let my perceptions stand in the way of facts. I accept that networks are paying for it, so it clearly has value. OU is earning $7 million a year more for it and UT is making $15 million a year average. And given the bigger population and alumni base of Texas, the $15 doesn’t look like a “bribe” when OU is earning $7 (and my understanding it that OU’s doesn’t even include the 1 football game).

          • frug says:

            Actually, one thing to keep in mind is that UT is “only” getting $11 million from the LHN. IMG gets the other $4 million.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Frug:

            That’s true, just like all those in conference network arrangements the former rights holder needs to be compensated in some way. I’m not sure but I believe IMG is still providing services, but LHN is paying? Bullet?

          • bullet says:

            UT had a $10 million contract with IMG where they got commissions on advertising sold among many other things.

            When UT did the deal with ESPN, IMG got 15% of the ESPN contract to give up some of their rights. The ESPN contract started at $10.81 million and escalates with an average of $15 million over 20 years. IMG gets 15% every year.

            So Texas is getting over $20 million in total Tier 3, net on average.

          • FranktheAg says:

            …but only $11M, on average, from the LHN. Fact.

          • bullet says:

            @franktheag

            As I said, LHN pays $15 million average over the 20 years. IMG gets 15%. So that is an average of $2.25 million per year. That’s $12.75 million, net. IMG is effectively getting a commission on the LHN deal. The remainder is from the separate IMG contract which is approximately $10 million average per year.

          • bullet says:

            IMG contract was $9.4 million average for Texas. It was probably signed in 2008, so its hard to find the announcement by IMG of the signing anymore, but I saw it referenced when the Ohio St. deal with IMG was announced in March 2009. So the total is $22.15 million.

            I saw someone who is usually pretty reliable say the radio deal is separate from that, but I don’t know that for a fact and haven’t seen that mentioned anywhere else.

          • Biological Imperiative says:

            as I recall Byrne saying it was a 50/50 cost\profit deal, but what most UT posters say is that A&M was made an offer to get in on at the beginning is the same thing that ended up being the LHN. Dodds in an interview said that their projections would be to have the network profitable in 3 years and of course everything was to be based out of Austin. This was going to be a growth of the BEVO network. A&M would have little control alot of risk and no idea that ESPN or anyone would pay anyhting for the network at all. At the time it was a reasonable business decision to say no, UT could afford a loss A&M couldn’t.

        • cfn_ms says:

          It doesn’t prevent the creation of a Big 12 Network, it merely prevents the creation of a valuable Big 12 Network.

          • bullet says:

            But of course as has been pointed out before, Texas was interested in a conference network, but no one else was. Finally, Texas and Nebraska funded a study on their own. Texas asked A&M if they wanted to partner on a network and A&M said no. Big 12 fans know this and so none of them complain about UT having a separate network (although they might complain about the possibility of HS content or other specifics).

          • ccrider55 says:

            Texas was going to the PAC, except for that little thing about bundling all their rights. Appearently their interest in a conference network ends with the conference actually controlling the members rights.

            Yea, I’m sure UT was offering equal control and profit to aTm and UNL (sarcasm). And how would that in anyway be anything but another way to re establish the unequal revenue pattern that had been eroded in tier 1 & 2?

          • bullet says:

            Texas offered A&M an equal share when neither thought it would be worth much or might even cost money. Bill Byrne kept telling half-truths saying Texas never offered him a share of a $15 million network. And Texas didn’t offer him a share after Texas did all the legwork and ESPN offered to pay $15 million. But they could have been in on it earlier.

            And the Texas/Nebraska study did show that Texas was better off doing their own deal.

          • bullet says:

            Actually, Fox Sports SW pretty much has a Big 12 network. They have bought the rights to Texas Tech, TCU, Baylor, Oklahoma St., Kansas St. and Oklahoma. All but OU were signed within a few weeks of each other. OU took a few months longer.

          • FranktheAg says:

            Do you have a link validating Texas offered equal shares? Bill Byrne is on record saying they did not. I believe the deal per Bill Byrne, was Texas and A&M split the costs 50/50 but the revenue was to be split 2/3rds Texas and 1/3rd A&M.

          • bullet says:

            It was in the alumni magazine a couple of years ago when they were discussing the LHN.

          • bullet says:

            Basically Byrne wasn’t interested because no one expected much money out of it, including Texas.

          • Biological Imperiative says:

            as I recall Byrne saying it was a 50/50 cost\profit deal, but what most UT posters say is that A&M was made an offer to get in on at the beginning is the same thing that ended up being the LHN. Dodds in an interview said that their projections would be to have the network profitable in 3 years and of course everything was to be based out of Austin. This was going to be a growth of the BEVO network. A&M would have little control alot of risk and no idea that ESPN or anyone would pay anyhting for the network at all. At the time it was a reasonable business decision to say no, UT could afford a loss A&M couldn’t.

            sorry to repeat also wanted to add:

            A&M has also had a long term plan to offer its tier 3 programming over the internet, which it has done mostly for free, which is alot cheaper to do then a network, It also is pretty good forsight in that most entertainment is coming from the net and cable subsctiption are declining. I think the long term viability of even ESPN, SECN and LHN are on the web not cable.

            Bill Byrne was building the presence of A&M on the web for the future.

            but what do I know

          • bullet says:

            In hindsight it was a bad decision. But it was the same decision the rest of the Big 12, the SEC and ACC all made.

            As to what makes the most sense 15 years from now its hard to predict.

  17. Richard says:

    BTW, Brian, I finally looked here:
    http://espn.go.com/blog/ncfnation/post/_/id/78575/jim-delany-talks-divisions-schedules

    “If you look at the schedules, what you’ll see is over time, the crossovers rotate. In the first 18 years, you’re going to see a lot of competition between teams at the top of either division. We call that a bit of parity-based scheduling. You’ll see Wisconsin and Nebraska and Iowa playing a lot of competition against Penn State, Ohio State and Michigan. But it will eventually rotate.”

    So if the B10 somehow stays at 14 over 36 years, all non-IN schools will play all the non-IN schools in the other division the same number of times.

    • Brian says:

      I read that a while ago. That’s if and only if they stick with the plan the whole way through. They could easily decide to repeat the first 18 years (or 12 or whatever) instead. If they believe it has significant value to screw up the schedule this way, why would they devalue it for almost 20 years after that? Clearly they aren’t concerned about fairness or balance if money is at stake

      • Richard says:

        By the time the next 18 years rows around, the top tier could have change. Right now, UW and Iowa have more resources than Illinois and Minny, but there’s actually little reason for that to be true. As far as I can tell, the biggest difference is that Iowa and UW had Hayden Fry and Barry Alvarez while Illinois and Minny never had a program-building legend as coach. Minny actually had more wins than Iowa the decade before Fry took the helm and Illinois had more wins than Wisconsin the decade before Alvarez took the helm. Get the right coach, and both Illinois and Minny (or Northwestern) could replace Wisconsin and Iowa, especially since the gap isn’t that big anyway.

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          Illinois has structural obstacles to overcome, because all of the major powers recruit the state heavily, and successfully. What has helped Iowa, is that they are good at retaining the in-state talent. The state of Iowa may not be a football hotbed, but what they produce, they tend to keep.

          There is no logical reason why Wisconsin is good, and Minnesota is not. The Gophers were a national power, many decades ago. Getting the coach that would return them to that level is not a trivial undertaking: heaven knows, they’ve tried and tried and tried. But theoretically, it ought to be possible.

          • bullet says:

            The Packers are in Green Bay and the Vikings are in M-SP and the Gophers played in their stadium for many years.

          • Richard says:

            Well, the Illini should own downstate IL as much as Iowa owns IA, but they don’t. The Gophers being in a pro sports metro may be a disadvantage, but so are the Wolverines (and the Pac Cal schools and Washington, all of whom have been good at various times). I think that expecting the Gophers to be as good as UDub is not unreasonable.

          • Richard says:

            ASU, Utah, and Colorado as well.

          • wmwolverine says:

            Illini for whatever reason (coaching imo) hasn’t retained their in-state talent which is quite plentiful. They routinely lose recruiting battles to Northwestern, Wisconsin, Michigan, Purdue, Iowa, Missouri, etc. They are a constant underachiever both on the field and in the lifeblood of any program, recruiting.

        • greg says:

          Iowa has always drawn very well. They had 18 straight losing seasons before Fry arrived in 1979, but still played in front of sellout or near-sellout crowds. One of the famous stories of Fry’s hire is that he visited during a football game in late 1978, and was amazed at the size of the crowd as the Hawks completed a 2-9 season. He wondered how great the support would be once he gave them a winner.

          Iowa has always had much more in-state support than Illinois (general fan support, not just attendance). Its the classic case of being the only show in town, similar to Alabama, Oklahoma, Nebraska, West Virginia, etc.

          • boscatar says:

            Nebraska and Iowa draw very well. What is there to do on a Saturday at either location? (or within 100 miles?) You go to the football game. Way more options in Chicago, Minneapolis, or any other metropolitan city.

        • Brian says:

          Richard,

          “By the time the next 18 years rows around, the top tier could have change.”

          Of course it could. But it’s unlikely to completely change. The point remains, why would they stick to a plan with lesser value for 18 years?

          • StevenD says:

            Of course not (especially in the B1G West). If Iowa or Wisconsin becomes less competitive, then I would expect it to be relegated to the lower parity group and a more successful team promoted to the higher parity group.

            And I don’t think they will wait 18 years to do it. With three crossover games it takes just three years to complete a crossover rotation. So it would be logical to reassess the parity groupings every three (or six or nine) years.

          • Brian says:

            Maybe every 9 years, but there’s no way they change it every 3 years.

          • Richard says:

            “Of course it could. But it’s unlikely to completely change. The point remains, why would they stick to a plan with lesser value for 18 years?”

            For fairness. Plus, they did so when the B10 had 11 schools. The top brands played each other more often early on, but the frequency of play between non-tied-in schools was roughly even by the end (which meant that the B10 went through a phase when they did not maximize matchups between their top brands).

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            “For fairness.”

            That’s funny. You should try stand-up.

            “Plus, they did so when the B10 had 11 schools. The top brands played each other more often early on, but the frequency of play between non-tied-in schools was roughly even by the end (which meant that the B10 went through a phase when they did not maximize matchups between their top brands).”

            PSU got OSU and MSU as locked partners but also got an agreement to play MI for their first 10 seasons as part of the deal (MI had MSU, OSU and PSU, OSU has PSU, MI and IL). After that, the rotation was equal from 2003-2010. If that’s what you mean, I agree. What they didn’t do was go back in 2003 and play the opposite schedule with the kings missing each other more than normal so that it would be balanced after 20 seasons. That’s the difference.

            It’s one thing to go from biased to balanced, it’s another to switch to the opposite bias for 18 years. If you believe a skewed schedule is worth 10% more (just to use a number), then why spend almost 2 decades giving a 90% value schedule? What TV partner would say yes to that without reducing the payout?

          • Richard says:

            Or maybe they will start out with balanced (in 2016; biased in 2014 & 2015), but with the top matchups front-loaded (which is what I believe they will do). With a 36-year long cycle, I think it’s highly likely that before 18 years have elapsed, the B10 would have expanded or other schools would have rotated to the top in the West.

            Plus, my instinct is that illinois punches above its weight in TV ratings.

            Brian, didn’t you do that study on which schools over or underperformed in TV ratings in bowl games?

            How do the Western teams compare with each other?

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            “Or maybe they will start out with balanced (in 2016; biased in 2014 & 2015),”

            I actually expect 2014 and 2015 to be rivalry years for the eastern kings (OSU/IL, MI/MN) while the western brands play RU and UMD. That’s a way to throw a bone to history before selling out completely with the 9 game parity-based schedule.

            “but with the top matchups front-loaded (which is what I believe they will do).”

            That’s what they claim they’re doing, but over a 36 year time frame. I just don’t buy that they’ll follow through. Try explaining to ESPN they should pay just as much for 1/3 frequency for the big games versus 5/9 for 18 freaking years. Unless the B10 signs a 36 year TV deal, it isn’t happening.

            “With a 36-year long cycle, I think it’s highly likely that before 18 years have elapsed, the B10 would have expanded or other schools would have rotated to the top in the West.”

            I agree the order will have likely changed (I’ve never argued otherwise, in fact). NW could replace IA, for example. But it sounds like they are committed to the 18 year rotation. But assuming teams have changed places in the order by then, will they really do another 18 years of that plan? Maybe, because by then it might be more fair. More likely, IMO, is that they do another long term parity-driven schedule rotation. I think they’ll assume fans are so used to some games being only 1/3 of the time that it won’t matter as much by then.

            Of course the whole plan is out the window if there is more expansion.

            “Plus, my instinct is that illinois punches above its weight in TV ratings.

            Brian, didn’t you do that study on which schools over or underperformed in TV ratings in bowl games?”

            The problem is IL has been so bad that they don’t have much data from bowls.

            “How do the Western teams compare with each other?”

            Impact on TV Ratings (# of data points)
            IA -2.5% (8)
            IL +27% (3) – 1 great game overwhelmed 2 bad ones
            MN -24% (7)
            NE +6.0% (7)
            NW -0.4% (5)
            PU +15% (5)
            WI +5.4% (9)

            Remember, there are a ton of error sources here. Bowls change dates, times and networks. The competition varies wildly from year to year. Other sports events and news events may overlap. Bowls move around in the lineups for leagues, too. With so few data points, 1 outlier can really skew the outcome. The more bowls, the more likely the number is to be semi-reasonable. Also, it’s harder to improve the ratings for big bowls while crappy bowls can be improved a lot with a small increase in viewers.

          • Richard says:

            Was the game wih great ratings for Illinois the Rose Bowl or another bowl?

          • Brian says:

            It was the Texas Bowl versus Baylor.

  18. Something very important to remember about UNLV and New Mexico is that they have nationally elite basketball programs. While basketball is clearly not the driver of conference realignment it does has some real value. That is more true for the Pac than any other conference at this point in time. Although the league definitely was better last year that the two or three before it, Pac 12 basketball was still well below the other Big 6 leagues (the old Big East still existed last season) other than the SEC, and was probably behind the A-10 and the Mountain West as well. However, the SEC does at least have Kentucky and Florida, which are both regular national title contenders. And in any case, SEC football alone is enough to sell the SEC Network. At this point, the Pac 12 doesn’t have much desirable content after football season ends. Adding a combination of UNLV and New Mexico would change that in a hurry. As for Vegas and New Mexico viewership, neither fan base is particularly passionate about football, but both are huge draws for basketball. UNLV fans will spend too. UNLV has one of the largest athletic budgets outside of the Big 5, and until these new television deals was competitive with several Pac 12 programs. New Mexico would definitely also be a solid academic fit in the Pac 12 right now. UNLV could get there as the school is making a very sold effort to improve it’s academic reputation, but I think that it would take closer to 20 years of improvement than 10 to reach a level the Pac 12 would like.

    Don’t discount Hawaii. From Hawaii, you could feasibly broadcast live daytime games in Japan, Eastern China, and South Korea, three countries that the Pac 12 actively recruits students from. Many extremely wealthy Japanese and Korean citizens also own vacation homes in Hawaii, who could conceivably be turned into Pac 12 fans. Larry Scott has openly said that he wants to increase his league’s exposure in Asia, and adding Hawaii might be the best way to do that. Although Hawaii itself has a very small population, if it could help add in even a miniscule fraction of the Asian market, it would be a home run. If you could turn just 1% of Japan, South Korea, and China into college football fans, that would be well more than 15 Million people. Although I’m not saying that you could get even that 1%, but I think that’s more likely than Rutgers bringing the New York market to the Big 10.

    • cfn_ms says:

      It’s been enormously clear that basketball isn’t anything even close to a primary driver of revenue, but even if it was, New Mexico and UNLV do not have “nationally elite basketball programs.” They have programs who have been hot for a little while.

      UNM is the epitome of a coach-dependent basketball program, who went to the NCAA’s 3/6 years under Alford (a ratio that would probably have gotten him fired from an actual elite program), 0/8 years under their prior two coaches, 7/11 yeas under Bliss, and 0/8 years under the two guys before Bliss.

      UNLV at least has an argument for being at least a good program, though they only made two tourney berths from 1992-2006, and just one Sweet Sixteen (2007) after Tark’s last final four in 1991

      Honestly, there’s a very reasonable chance one or both of those programs go back into the toilet in the near future (especially for UNM); why any power league would want to hitch its future to either wagon is frankly beyond me.

      And, of course, as noted earlier, basketball REALLY isn’t the driver in power conference realignment. And even if it was, as noted above, Nevada has 2.7 million people total. Vegas (population of nearly 600k) simply can’t be that huge of a basketball market. Even if every single person in Vegas was basketball crazy (which isn’t true), that’s still not a particularly meaningful market. Comparatively speaking, Denver metro has about 2.5 million, Seattle metro has about 3.5 million, Phoenix metro has about 4.2 million, and the Bay Area has over 7 million, and we haven’t even gotten to LA.

      PS Hawaii? Really? Not only are the logistics a total train wreck, there’s no point to trying to somehow use that as a “gateway to Asia.” If you want to broadcast in Asia, you can already do that from your own campuses (a 9AM Pacific time kickoff is the same effect on a player as a 12PM Hawaii time kickoff, and they don’t need to cross an ocean to do it). If you want a presence in Asia… then you actually need to go to Asia (which is something the league seems to be embracing, or at least thinking about embracing).

      Honestly, saying Hawaii will get you anything for Asia is like a Euro soccer league thinking that getting into Puerto Rico will somehow help get them into the U.S. Asia cares about sporting events in Hawaii as much as the U.S. cares about sporting events in the Carribean. Zero.

      • bullet says:

        UNLV and UNM are not elite, but they are more than just programs that have been hot for a while. They have very good bb programs. They both have 18k + arenas. New Mexico was in the top 10 in attendance every year but one (11th in 1992) from 1970 to 2002. Most of those years they were in the top 6. Since then they’ve mostly been in the 2nd 10 and have been at least in the top 25 every year. Its a pretty exclusive group that has been top 25 for 43 straight years or has ever been top 10 for 22 straight years. 2012 UNM was 16th and UNLV 17th.

      • For the record, I don’t believe Hawaii would get you the Asian market. However, the argument could be made. Essentially, all conference realignment is about future predictions and speculation. From a PAC 12 perspective, there really aren’t any better options than Hawaii, assuming Texas/Oklahoma are off the table. If your options are 4 million flat or 2 million with a chance for 15 million, you may convince yourself to take the risk on 15. very much doubt that the PAC would expand specifically to take Hawaii, but I wouldn’t dismiss them out of hand. And the logistics wouldn’t be that terrible for the non-Hawaii schools. They’d only have to go to Hawaii once every year or maybe even every other year. The trip would be long, but it would be no worse than when a PAC team plays on the East Coast. Plus every PAC team could sell trips to Hawaii to recruits. Would the logistics be ideal? Obviously not. Insurmountable? I don’t think so.

        And a soccer team in Puerto Rico would get substantial ratings in parts of the East Coast, especially Florida, New York, New Jersey, and Eastern Pennsylvania.

        • David Brown says:

          Putting a soccer team in Puerto Rico would get almost zero interest in New York . If you look at the Red Bulls MLS team, they are at the bottom of the list of local sports rooting interest ( right there with the WNBA Liberty and below the Islanders and Devils). The MLS is even finding it difficult to build a soccer stadium in Flushing Meadow Park, which is near a huge Hispanic Population Center (Corona), so they can target them as potential ticket buyers. I have heard for years, that soccer will be bigger than any sport (Except the NFL) but they have not even caught up to Hockey (and as new facilities for ice get built, like the one in The Bronx (9 rinks)), that gap will grow. Perhaps deep down, most people in this Country do not care about American Soccer and in their hearts and minds, it is nothing but a niche sport like Tennis. Good luck getting New Yorkers ( like me) to choose Soccer over the Islanders ( let alone the Yankees).

          • Phil says:

            MLS soccer is not very popular in the NY area because even the people that are into the sport know there are many leagues in the world with a higher level of play, and technology allows them to follow the EPL, Serie A, etc. instead.

            It is the same reason I think people are underestimating how big the RU addition is going to be for the B1G. The idea that the highest level of college football is being played in the area is going to make things take off in a way RU playing Louisville, UConn, etc. was never going to be able to.

          • BruceMcF says:

            “I have heard for years, that soccer will be bigger than any sport (Except the NFL) but they have not even caught up to Hockey …”

            That kind of fan delusion exists in lots of sports, but using it as your benchmark is still knocking down a straw horse. Unless somebody talking about soccer’s growth potential exhibits its THEMSELVES, they are not responsible for the delusions of others.

            And you are quite right: soccer in the US has been catching up with hockey, though like hockey the level of interest can be quite different from one region to another. But college soccer is likely to hold a smaller share of the total soccer market than college football and basketball in their respective markets, because of the split in followers between the big overseas clubs, the national team, and the US league, with college soccer only getting a piece of the action in one slice of that via the US Olympic football squad.

          • The interest would have nothing to do with soccer and everything to do with Puerto Rico. There are more than 4.5 million people of Puerto Rican descent in the Continental US. The team wouldn’t have to be soccer, it could be football, baseball, or even hockey. Whatever pro sport eventually ends up in San Juan will get a large and devoted following both on and off the island.

  19. Craig Z says:

    Go Bucks.

  20. Transic says:

    I believe a video was posted where DeLoss Dodds was speaking in front of UT boosters. In one moment, he said that one of the reasons UT didn’t take the PAC was that it is more difficult (from UT’s standpoint) to look west than it is to look east. He makes a very interesting point. Despite the pop. growth in the west, most of the population is still east of the Mississippi River. Thus, the focus of the major conferences has been eastwards. The PAC took Utah and Colorado, going much deeper into the Mountain states. They tried to get into Texahoma with UT/OU but were unsuccessful. The Big XII, in turn, went over several states to take West Virginia. The B1G went further east to take Maryland and Rutgers. The only movement that occurred in the opposite direction was from the SEC (only because they were blocked in other directions and TAMU was very compelling from their standpoint). The ACC took Louisville and Notre Dame because they were the better candidates available and the ACC already had enough of their fill of northern schools, not to mention needing to replace a founding member.

    If we go by this convention then I have a hard time believing that the Big XII would want BYU, Colorado State or UNLV. They might fit better geographically but the current distribution of population has already influenced the major conferences. Already, we read concerns about schools in the to-be B1G West, especially Nebraska’s ability to recruit in the future because of population. Until the population in the west closes the gap even more I doubt this bias would change much in the future. Even then, that’s difficult to do because there’s much less water out west than back east. The common refrain about how there’s only enough water to fight over rings more true today.

    The conferences today are mere vassals of the media companies. Media companies need ratings to justify their outlays. Conference networks need new areas of high income earners to keep in business. Both of those things are dependent on population. Institutional fits still matter to the elitists but you still need people to make it work.

    Demographics is the real reason why the Grants of Rights ended this last round of major realignment.

  21. Clay Hawkins says:

    Big XII is pretty much screwed for the future. After the GoR, the old Big XII South teams are headed either to the PAC in a pod format or the SEC West in some configuration.

    It’s only option is to try and go to 14 with BYU/UNLV in the West and Cincy/Connecticut in the East to give WV some regional partners. (Yes, the Big XII Brass is going to have to lower standards to get this thing done

    The conference divisional alignment would look as follows:

    Big XII East
    Cincy
    Connecticut
    Iowa State
    Kansas
    Kansas State
    Oklahoma State
    West Virginia

    Big XII West
    Baylor
    BYU
    Oklahoma
    Texas Christian U.
    Tejas
    Texas Tech
    UNLV

    That’s not too shabby of a conference. You’ve got a decent balance of super-powers (Oklahoma/Tejas), mid-level elites (Okie State, WV, TCU, K-State, BYU), mid-level solid (Cincy, UCONN, Tech, Baylor, Iowa State), and a few cupcakes (Kansas, UNLV).

    Also, to go to 16, the Big XII could look at getting the Florida market with USF/UCF in a package deal. It is a major downgrade, but at this point, the Big XII is going to have to make some moves in the next couple of years or OU/Texas will be looking West again, or OU/Okie State possibly to the SEC (not the B1G = doesn’t have the academics and likely never will).

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      Every one of those additions, except maybe BYU, dilutes the conference. How is that better than just keeping what they have?

    • bullet says:

      #1 Texas doesn’t want to leave.
      #2 Texas would be making less money anywhere else, at least for the next 17 years while the LHN is being paid for by ESPN.
      #3 Texas has no interest in the SEC and hasn’t for at least the last 25 years.
      #4 As stated above, Texas has figured out they need to stay east, not west, so the Pac 12 is highly unlikely if they were ever to leave.
      #5 B1G is not very good at most spring sports. And Texas doesn’t want to “fly the women’s softball team all over the Midwest,” at least according to the current president.

      The only way I see Texas leaving is if they form a new conference in the 2020s with Notre Dame, elements of the Big 12 and ACC and possibly some SEC schools and possibly Nebraska.

      • ccrider55 says:

        Bullet:

        “The only way I see Texas leaving is if they form a new conference in the 2020s with Notre Dame, elements of the Big 12 and ACC and possibly some SEC schools and possibly Nebraska.”

        Really? UNL is going to leave the B1G to rejoin what they just escaped? ND decides to create a ragamuffin conference rather than fully joining the ACC, or even B1G? Other than during the period of uncertainty and misdirection when has UT ever expressed a “need” for anything east?

        Texas isn’t likely to go anywhere. But if they eventually do, it’ll be alone to the B1G, or with friends to the PAC. In either case it will be as an equal.

        • Honestly, I think the main non-Big 12 option for Texas would be to become a partial member of the ACC in the same manner as Notre Dame. Now that John Swofford broke the ACC’s seal regarding a hybrid league, Texas is probably the one school besides Notre Dame that has the wherewithal to be independent and, in turn, offer enough value to the ACC to agree to a partial membership. To be clear, that’s still way less likely than Texas being happy with its own fiefdom in the Big 12.

          • zeek says:

            That may have also been what Dodds was implying when he was talking about Texas looking East in the future.

            They’d have their ND connection if they could set up the same deal in the ACC.

            As far as likelihood goes, it’s not going to be in Dodds (or Powers) hands. The next generation of Texas leadership will determine the issue.

          • frug says:

            Actually, what Texas would need would be different from ND. Specifically, Texas would need to keep its Tier 3 rights so it could maintain the LHN. All other things being equal UT would probably prefer independence, but they would be just fine with full membership as long as the ACC let them hold onto the LHN.

        • bullet says:

          I said possibly Nebraska and the “new” conference is a long shot anyway. None of the other Big 10 schools would even be a possibility. The right setup “might” be attractive to them. Whether they would be receptive depends on how well the Big 10 works out for them over the next 15 years or so.

        • FranktheAg says:

          “The only way I see Texas leaving is if they form a new conference in the 2020s with Notre Dame, elements of the Big 12 and ACC and possibly some SEC schools and possibly Nebraska”

          1) ND won’t join a conference and will remain independent.
          2) It isn’t “possible” that SEC teams wold leave to join
          3) It isn’t possible that NU would leave the B1G and join up with Texas.

          that’s fairytale thinking…

  22. CJ says:

    Frank:

    Just wanted to let you know that the acronym LDS (which stands for Latter-day Saints) is typically used as an adjective – rarely, if ever, as a noun.

    So while the sentence where you talk about the “viewpoints of the LDS …” is grammatically correct, it sounds awkward and disjointed to Mormons and those familiar with the use of the acronym. Instead, I recommend using the phrase the LDS Church or members of the LDS Church when using the acronym.

  23. ZSchroeder says:

    I never quit understood why Denver decided to join the Summit League in the first place. There was talk that the MVC was interested in them as was the WAC, but Denver was not interested. Now Oakland is leaving the Summit and that league looks even more pitiful. Why would a decent Denver Athletic Department stick with that league? Maybe they will rethink it with the new departure.

    • Mike says:

      IIRC, Denver was interested in the MVC but they needed to add sports to meet requirements and were unwilling to do so.

  24. ZSchroeder says:

    Sorry Denver is already leaving the WAC. Still, Summit is a sad place to be.

  25. Pablo says:

    http://www.dailypress.com/sports/teel-blog/dp-teel-time-swofford-uva-acc-grant,0,286752.story

    UVA AD Littlepage’s perspective on Grant of Rights.

    What is interesting…he clearly suggests that UVA did not sign a non-disclosure agreement with the B1G. Also, Swofford’s presentation to the Board of Visitors was a relatively brief 30 minutes. Basically downplaying the general media perception that UVA’s move was almost inevitable.

    What is known…the GoR vote by ACC presidents was held the morning after Swofford’s meeting with the UVA BOV.

    • bullet says:

      With all the mess in their governance, it was hard to see them making any large decisions like a conference change.

    • gfunk says:

      Pablo,

      My God! Not interesting at all. UVa wasn’t joining the BIG, period. I think you need a long dose of ACC history. If you took a solid, year round run at various ACC sporting events you would conclude that the ACC was never going to disband like the Big12.

      I knew the GOR was coming months ago & so did any other non-ACC fans who’ve spent time in ACC country. The obvious clues that suggested no more ACC teams were coming to the BIG were ND’s near full membership & a very large portion of Md’s fanbase disappointed by the recent switch. Md has consistently been the most discontent ACC member, not say FSU or Clemson, yet their discontent was unlike Neb, Rutgers, and even PSU’s BIG membership.

      There was a slivering chance that FSU would join the BIG, but they needed another ACC team to join them, which didn’t happen. Moreover, FSU was likely using a BIG invite as leverage to secure an SEC membership.

      • Mack says:

        Either the B1G was not interested in FSU, or FSU was not interested in the B1G. The B1G had another ACC school (Maryland) and FSU knew full well that joining MD in the B1G was the best way to open the gates to more defections from the ACC such as GT. .

        • frug says:

          Yeah, if FSU had jumped it would have been rats from a sinking ship, but the Big Ten couldn’t get past the AAU issue.

          Like I said, ACC is a Jenga tower; pull the right piece and whole thing comes crashing down…

          • Tom says:

            And now that ACC JENGA tower has been effectively super-glued together. And it could be a very diferent conference landscape in 15 years.

      • frug says:

        If you took a solid, year round run at various ACC sporting events you would conclude that the ACC was never going to disband like the Big12.

        Funny, I don’t recall the Big XII disbanding…

        • gfunk says:

          Frug,

          You’re being a smart ass and nitpicking in the literal sense. The Big12 took huge hits: Colorado, Nebraska, aTm & Mizzo. That’s what I’m talking about.

      • Brian says:

        gfunk,

        “I knew the GOR was coming months ago & so did any other non-ACC fans who’ve spent time in ACC country.”

        What a load of revisionist history. Thousands of people in the ACC footprint, ACC fans included, thought the ACC was vulnerable months ago.

        • gfunk says:

          Brian,

          I’m not really being the revisionist you claim, though I have actual hindsight fact at this point & frankly you wasted a ton of time in your previous post. The so-called ACC targets, outside of Md, never materialized & not one credible report ever manifested during this rumor gushing period, not one. Not even so-called journalists among the bigger media brands had actual proof the BIG was going to actually break apart the ACC.

          From my review of message boards, there were far more fans from say GT, UNC, and UVa opposed to leaving the ACC for the BIG. The vulnerability you speak of is true, but was it ever even a slight consensus? Was it even actual insiders who knew the end was near? I don’t think so. There is Internet perception, then actual, real life. The latter prevailed & so many signs were up indicating such in the end.

          Let’s just be happy with the BIG from 2014 forward – a fine collection of schools.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            @gfunk: We know that the ACC schools resisted the GOR for a long time. This suggests that they wanted to leave open the possibility of leaving. We also know that FSU voted no on the exit fee. And when the GT athletic director was asked about potential re-alignment, he gave a meandering, non-definitive answer.

            You say that no report materialized: well, there was no report on Maryland either, until a very short time before it happened. The lack of reports simply means that people kept their mouths shut. Or they had non-disclosure agreements that they actually abided by.

          • Brian says:

            gfunk,

            “I’m not really being the revisionist you claim,”

            Yes, you are. You are not accurately reporting the feelings of fans in the SE “months ago.”

            “The so-called ACC targets, outside of Md, never materialized & not one credible report ever manifested during this rumor gushing period, not one.”

            That’s irrelevant to your claim. You claimed that you and all other non-ACC fans in ACC territory knew months ago that a GOR was coming. All the message board traffic would clearly indicate otherwise. Lots of people felt ACC schools might be leaving.

            “Not even so-called journalists among the bigger media brands had actual proof the BIG was going to actually break apart the ACC.”

            I never said they did, nor is it relevant to your claim that I disputed.

            “From my review of message boards, there were far more fans from say GT, UNC, and UVa opposed to leaving the ACC for the BIG. The vulnerability you speak of is true, but was it ever even a slight consensus?”

            It doesn’t matter since you used an absolute term.

            “Let’s just be happy with the BIG from 2014 forward – a fine collection of schools.”

            No, the new additions suck. I’ll never be happy with them.

  26. OrderRestored83 says:

    add

  27. Watching the Detectives says:

    The American Association of Universities announced Wednesday morning that the University of Missouri has been expelled by unanimous vote. President Hunter R. Rawlings III explained, “Missouri remains in good standing according to the AAU’s core metrics, but the membership simply could not continue to tolerate Andy’s message board posts.”

    Missouri Chancellor Bradley J. Deaton commented, “We are dismayed, but not surprised, by today’s vote. Frankly, our very accreditation is in doubt as a result of Andy’s relentless blather. For the love of your alma mater, please stop.”

    Added Provost Brian L. Foster, “I mean, like, seriously. Go away.”

  28. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    GEAUX Tigers!

  29. Biological Imperiative says:

    I think Kansas to the B1G as a solo school isnt going to happen, now or in the future. They would have to be a partner to a much bigger fish. Those bigger fish OU,UT,UNC, UVA already have partners and Kansas isnt going to change much in the next 15 years to make them desirable. Andy is right about Missouri in 15 years might be a partner with OU and UT. I think ESPN won the lottery after losing to Fox with the B1G network. Fox has become a solid #2 for college sports outlet. but what do I know.

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      I think Kansas to the B1G as a solo school isnt going to happen, now or in the future.

      At this point, NO school is going to be a solo add, because no league wants odd numbers in football. Even Texas would have to come with a partner — not that they’d have trouble finding one, because if Texas leaves the Big XII, then everyone will want out. The value of Kansas (if that ever happened) would be much like Rutgers, something you evaluate as part of a package deal that includes one or three or five other schools.

      • Biological Imperiative says:

        “so I find it to be entirely consistent that they’d be fine with waiting another decade to see if schools like Texas, UNC, UVA, Georgia Tech, Kansas and/or Oklahoma are willing to test the free agent market at that point.”

        I would say Kansas should NOT be on that list. Missouri makes slightly more sense because I’m sure Delany would love to steal an SEC member more than get a Basketball king with weak demographics. Its a minor point.

        I think UT,ND, UNC, UVA still could walk on as a solo school (if it were possible to ignore GOR etc) and any other conference would be glad to have them.

        but what do I know

        and shut up greg :)

        • BruceMcF says:

          Not a sole add like Michigan State or Penn State … but I reckon certainly UT, ND or UNC would be “say yes while they’re asking, then find the 16th”.

    • Psuhockey says:

      Kansas is one of the few national brands in college basketball. I know football drives the bus, but basketball is very important for the BTN. Forbes has the Jayhawks as the 2nd most valuable team behind Louisville and CNBC has them tied with Kentucky and UNC for 2nd most profits from basketball.

      http://www.forbes.com/sites/chrissmith/2013/03/18/louisville-cardinals-lead-the-list-of-college-basketballs-most-valuable-teams/
      http://www.cnbc.com/id/100581891

      No team is coming alone to the BIG but Kansas would be a great addition after the football centric schools.

      • Biological Imperiative says:

        PSU you make a good point, but even then I think your logic is flawed. If basketball were a driver for B1G,even then Kansas shouldn’t be on the list. I’m not much on basketball but it would seem to me that UCONN would make a better pick then Kansas. almost as good as Kansas, better academics and better markets.

        It should be clear with Rutger going to the B1G that markets and football are the driving factors. Basketball is a distant 4th place. Louisville (according to the artcle) is the most valuable basketball team, but it has been sitting waiting for an invite to a big league for a long long time.

        Kansas has a basketball brand but I think you overvalue it.

        • Brian says:

          Biological Imperiative,

          “PSU you make a good point, but even then I think your logic is flawed. If basketball were a driver for B1G,even then Kansas shouldn’t be on the list. I’m not much on basketball but it would seem to me that UCONN would make a better pick then Kansas. almost as good as Kansas, better academics and better markets.”

          KU is AAU, UConn isn’t. That ends the discussion as far as the presidents are concerned.

          I think he’s correct only if #15 is UT. Then KU gains value as a cultural bridge and a way to keep geographic balance (contiguous ain’t happening with UT, but the OK panhandle is only about a 30 mile gap). It’s hoops value is high and it brings a decent market in KC.

          • Andy says:

            KU is barely AAU. Small enrollment, not top 100 in research, not top 100 in USNews, etc. Among AAU schools they rank at or near the bottom by pretty much all metrics. And Kansas has a population of 2.8M. And they share that state with KSU, who has the much stronger football program. They average only around 44k fans per game, which puts them right there with equally pitiful Rutgers and Maryland. Their all-time football record is about on par with Rugters, which is to say, very bad. But they are very good at basketball. They cheat a lot, but they win a lot too, and that’s what counts.

          • BruceMcF says:

            Though as we saw with Nebraska, barely AAU is certainly close enough for a brand name, if they decide they want to add that brand name.

          • Biological Imperiative says:

            Ohh I thought Uconn was AAU, I think UT would want OU or Tech with them and Kansas would not be an acceptable substitute, but what do I know.

            Thanks for the discussion

        • Psuhockey says:

          Basketball is a distant 2nd to football but there are few, if any, football schools outside the SEC and PAC left and are a member of the AAU. UT is the only one. Any multiple school addition will probably have to include a non-football power. A state like Virginia does offer more population, but little fan interest in comparison. UNC would have both but Kansas is the Nebraska of college basketball so to speak. Here’s a link to television ratings in the 2nd half of last season:
          http://www.sportsmediawatch.com/2013/03/college-basketball-tv-ratings-part-2-numbers-for-the-second-half-of-the-season/
          Kansas draws pretty much a million plus viewers per game, which for basketball is huge (even though that is terrible for football). That’s also playing in a conference that was significantly down this year as far as team quality and fan interest. Add Kansas to what is right now the strongest basketball conference ratings wise, and it ain’t even close (look at the top 10 games for the year) and you got a cash cow. Not only for the BTN, but also for Tier 1 basketball which the BIG sells separately. Yes I would love for the BIG to add Texas and Oklahoma and close down forever, but that’s not happening.

          • David Brown says:

            I agree that Kansas is a great Basketball School but the B10 does not need great Hoop Schools, they need better Football Schools to bring in more future revenue streams. Right now we have Ohio State and Michigan as far as great are concerned. I expect my Nitts and Nebraska to be back up there within 5 years, but the rest are questionable (Wisconsin, Iowa & Michigan State offer the best chance). If you look at the thought process of the B10, they look at things from a long -term perspective, and if going forward, they feel that in 10 years Oklahoma might be AAU they would gladly accept them. Keep in mind, they knew Nebraska was on less than solid ground with the AAU. But since they are a football power, despite that issue (and a poor hoops history and small population), they were happy to have them join up. The thing to watch for is after the new B10 TV contract happens then what is next. Most of us agree the big Government contracts and subsidies are going to decline, so will the current low interest rates environment which makes the financing of construction desirable (even if it is really not needed (see the $44m HUB expansion at Penn State as exhibit A)), so to make up the difference Schools and the B10 in general will do whatever is necessary to add to revenue, and if that means adding the Sooners (even if they think AAU Membership is about 50/50 (at best)), and Johns Hopkins for the CIC (and Lacrosse) they will do it.

  30. Matt says:

    Heard Northern Illinois brought up as a potential Big12 expansion target. I can see how them and Cincinnati would help make a bridge to isolated WV but is there any real possibility Big12 would really consider NIU?

    • greg says:

      NIU plays in a 24,000 seat stadium. They’re 95th nationally in revenues. I don’t see the B12 considering them.

    • frug says:

      is there any real possibility Big12 would really consider NIU?

      No.

      There is, however, a Facebook page dedicated to getting NIU into the Big XII

      https://www.facebook.com/NIUToTheBig12

    • Peder Rice says:

      I think Northern Illinois has a lot of potential due to their market size and location inside the Big XII’s footprint, but at this point, all they have is potential. There would need to be some serious upgrades before they could be considered for membership anywhere outside the MAC.

  31. greg says:

    Please. Don’t feed the troll.

      • David Brown says:

        The big decline at Penn State is revealing but not shocking. A lot of boosters have cut back on contributions (football excluded), a lot of it is anger at School President Erickson (Thank God he will be history when his contract ends) and AD Joyner (the Board of Trustee Elections reflected that) . if you add the debts that must be repaid to the University (related to NCAA fines and Lawsuits), paying off the Paterno Contract and no Bowl Game revenue, means a bad situation for now. The good news, is that a lot of the expenses involved in sports related construction are over (the Rec Hall renovation for wrestling and TV coverage is an example of this) , I believe just the pool and tennis center are left to go. Assuming Bill O’Brien stays , and the Big 10 gets a huge TV Contract, the problems in the past, will be where they belong in the past.

        • Brian says:

          David Brown,

          The USA Today slideshow had this to say in explanation of PSU:

          “Penn State $108,252,281: Penn State’s overall operating revenue declined by nearly $7.9 million compared to 2012, but athletics officials have attributed that primarily to a spike in 2011 revenue caused by an usually large number of football club-seat and suite contracts coming up for renewal in 2011. Penn State had $106.6 million in revenue in 2010, the year before the revenue spike and a year in which Penn State played eight home football games rather than the usual seven.”

    • bullet says:

      Top schools not in Big 5 in expenditures (note that private schools are not in this list)
      43 UConn 63.8 million (#42 in revenue)
      46 UNLV 58.7 million (#47 in revenue)
      53 Cincy 49.9 million (#53 revenue)
      55 Memphis 46.8 million (#54 revenue)
      56 New Mexico 44.3 million (#58 revenue)
      58 Boise 43.2 million (#57 revenue)
      59 Air Force 43.2 million (#55 revenue)
      60 USF 43.1 million (#56 revenue)
      61 Hawaii 40.3 million (#63 revenue)
      62 UCF 40.0 million (#60 revenue)

      Utah, #57 at 43.7 million (#61 revenue) was the bottom Big 5 school.

      • bullet says:

        If the Big 5 expand, the top spending schools would be the ones they would look at (again, private schools like BYU and Tulane aren’t in this list). After this group expenditures fell off rapidly-SDSU was next, then Houston, then James Madison at $34.5 million.

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      Looking at the school finances, the most interesting column to me is the subsidy.

      Take Vincent’s turtles for instance. They are #39 in revenue, but 25% of that revenue is in subsidies.

      #61 Utah has the lowest revenue of any Big 5 public school and receives subsidies at a rate of 24%. P-12 has even bigger offenders with Colorado at 27.87% and Oregon State at 31.9%

      Hopefully, all this new found TV money will lower these absurd student fees and direct state subsidies.

      Some other head scratchers:

      Wisconsin’s subsidy is 6.87% and Minnesota’s is 8.32%. BTN money should make that kind of subsidy moot.

      Alabama with $125mm in revenue still takes the second biggest subsidy in the SEC at 4.37%. WTF? Miss State is the highest in the SEC at 5.37%.

      Clemson receives the lowest subsidy in the ACC at 7.6%. B1G targets UNC and GA Tech are at 11% each. UVA checks in at over 16%.

      • Mike says:

        @Alan – IMHO no “power” 5 team should recieve a subsidy. I could understand a G5 team accepting one, but not a P5 school.

        • ccrider55 says:

          I don’t understand the angst about subsidies. Kudos to those who have developed a private, professional sports department on their campus. College sports are supposed to be an important part of the total educational endeavor. Only a very few have the possibility of being self sufficient, and do the presidents really want an almost completely independent, self sustaining dept with perhaps a different vision being financially divorced from the school? Possibly becoming dependent (I know, a stretch) on AD income being give to the academic side?

          Take a look at the amounts, and the percentage of more than the power conferences. 5 to 15 M seems easily within an amount most schools see as acceptable.
          http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/schools/finances/

          • frug says:

            College sports are supposed to be an important part of the total educational endeavor.

            If that was the case why not just put all the money into intramurals which are open to all students (to say nothing of considerably cheaper).

            Only a very few have the possibility of being self sufficient

            No. Actually most power conference schools could be self sufficient; they just chose not to. Remember K-Freaking-State has the most profitable AD in the country by an absurd margin. If they can pull it off so can just about every other Big 5 school.

            That said, I don’t necessarily have a problem with some subsidies since if the teams are competitive they can bring value.

            My problem is with schools that waste money (hello Rutgers and your 27 sports).

          • ccrider55 says:

            Why have conferences at all. Lets just live in our own tiny little worlds. Then everyone gets to be king of their domain.

            Intramurels are another, different part of the educational endeavor that almost all schools subsidize.

            Appearently most power conference schools see a benefit that you don’t. I see K State subsidizes at almost 5%. I doubt they are just throwing money away.

            Do the thousands of student ticket purchases at mega stadiums not count as a subsidy, but the student tickets given as a part of student athletic dept fee compensation do? Why should we dictate what a school, and/or its students choose to fund?

          • frug says:

            Why have conferences at all. Lets just live in our own tiny little worlds. Then everyone gets to be king of their domain.

            ?

            Appearently most power conference schools see a benefit that you don’t.

            I said I wasn’t opposed to all subsidies. In some cases I think they can be appropriate (for example, they allow UCLA to continue marketing on the fact they have won more NCAA championships than any other school).

            Subsidies are just an investment. Some schools make them wisely; unfortunately many don’t.

            I see K State subsidizes at almost 5%.

            I never said they didn’t. Also, they are fazing out their subsidies. They plan on being completely independent in the next 5 years.

            I doubt they are just throwing money away.

            Agreed.

            Do the thousands of student ticket purchases at mega stadiums not count as a subsidy, but the student tickets given as a part of student athletic dept fee compensation do?

            Students purchase FB and MBB tickets voluntarily; student fees are mandatory. If students were given an option to purchase a package that included tickets free/reduced ticket prices to non-revs then I wouldn’t consider it a subsidy.

            Why should we dictate what a school, and/or its students choose to fund?

            Well all taxpayers have an interest in what state universities spend their money on, but I don’t really consider anything that anyone on this website has called for to constitute “dictating”. We are just expressing our opinions, not calling for legislation or NCAA action.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Perhaps I was reading too much in the intensity of complaints about subsidies. I see what seems to be a 5 to 15M basic range of support that schools find acceptable, at almost any of the top 250 schools. The question is what level of income is high enough that schools could reduce their subsidies without creating a competitive disadvantage with similar schools who chose not to reduce. When, how fast, and how much should it be reduced would be individual schools decision and subject to the same complaints.

          • mnfanstc says:

            In regards to the revenues/expenses/subsidies/etcetera for each school… none of this is apples to apples. Some schools always show a balanced sheet, some reflect excess revenue, some excess expenditures. What each school considers direct revenue or expenses, how the accounting is done for revenues and expenses, where moneys generated are actually allocated (i.e. does parking revenue go to the general fund, or to the athletics dept?). It’s hard to know (without being on a university’s finance/accounting staff) the specifics. There obviously are some variables (i.e. stadium/arena sizes/attendance) that will reflect hard numbers—beyond that your guess is as good as mine.

      • Kevin says:

        Wisconsin really doesn’t receive any direct subsidies. There are no student fees associated with athletics and the department generates a profit and actually sends money back academics.

        From what I’ve been told what you are seeing is soft cost allocations such as campus IT and communications, chancellor office expenses

        • Mike says:

          @Kevin – Wisconsin gives their AD money to cover chancellor’s office expenses? That seems a little backward. Does the AD run campus IT and communications? Why are they being reimbursed for that?

          • Kevin says:

            It’s the way the university allocates it’s soft costs. All the infrastructure projects get allocated and to the extent it involves the AD they consider it a subsidy.

          • BruceMcF says:

            Mike, its accounting. Somebody in the Chancellor’s office is working on project X, maybe info the AD needs for NCAA compliance. That is allocated to the Athletics Department. So two week’s salary plus (say) 20% on-costs are recorded as Chancellor’s office expenses on behalf of the AD. If its not paid for out of AD revenues, its accounted as a subsidy. Similarly if the AD uses the IT system without explicitly paying for. Those are “soft costs” ~ effectively direct provision of services, rather than handing money over.

      • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

        cc – my problem with subsidies among schools in power conferences is the combination of fat new media contracts, the nationwide problem of state budget cuts to higher ed, and skyrocketing tuition. Families are paying for an ever increasing share of the cost of public education in America, and athletic departments have never made more money, and there’s more coming. I believe that funding an athletic department using required student fees or state money, to extent that half of the Pac-12 schools and Maryland do is obscene.

        What does it take to run a P5 athletic department? Let’s see, Texas took in $163mm and Utah took in $41mm, of which almost $10mm was a subsidy. 14 schools have revenue in excess of $100mm. 13 schools have revenue between $99-80mm. 11 schools have revenue between $79–70mm. Seven schools have revenue between $69-60 mm. Seven schools have revenue under $60mm. Utah, in their first year in the Pac-12, was obviously not ready for prime time. Purdue, on the other hand, is last in the B1G in revenue and takes no subsidy.

        If your school is public and in a P5 conference and can’t cobble together $60-70mm to run their athletic department though TV rights, mandatory donations for football/MBB tix, ticket sales, and corporate sponsors, maybe they ought to look at the number of sports they sponsor and whether they actually belong in a power conference. If your alumni and “supporters” won’t support the athletic department, its wrong to make students and their families pay. Other Athletic Departments should use Purdue as an example and live within their means.

    • cutter says:

      ACC schools that were mentioned as Big Ten targets have the following subsidies/revenues (in $ millions)

      Virginia – 13.1/80.8
      North Carolina – 9.1/82.4
      Florida State – 7.8/100.0
      Georgia Tech – 6.9/63.2

      I imagine the GOR plus any other media deals the ACC would make might reduce those subsidies in time, but a move to the B1G by any of these schools would have done it a lot quicker.

      I would love to have heard Swofford’s 30 minute presentation to UVa on the benefits of staying in the ACC given the amount of money the university is currently handing over to the AD to sustain their operations.

  32. djbuck says:

    ESPN tied into the SEC to have something. It’s basically the SEC network now.
    They’ve hated the BIG since the launch of BTN.
    Plus, with the BIG expanding into other major markets the new TV deal will be huge.
    BTN add tiers. BIG ties into FOX and /or NBC. Also Expansion is not over.
    The GOR means nothing. It doesn’t stop anything. It hasn’t.
    Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, FSU, Virginia, NC, and GT are all on the table for the BIGs future.
    The world is different. Regional traditions are over.
    Never say never when it comes to teams leaving for a better financial future.
    Look at Maryland. A founder of the ACC. Had to drop sports to survive in the ACC.
    I doubt an ACC network of any kind will help. ESPN has really no interest.
    They’re set with the SEC.
    Plus, ESPN gave the ACC a broadcast deal a year ago. Just 17 mil. per school.
    It’s the reason FSU, Maryland, and Clemson were not happy.
    Once the Maryland case is over, the path will be cleared for expansion again..

    • Tom says:

      The UMd issue is child’s play compared to the ACC GOR. It’s game over for at least 15 years as far as ACC defections go. And the tables could turn in the coming years…

  33. SH says:

    A couple random comments.

    1. Kansas seems to be a fairly valuable property. Brands matter, and it is a brand. Given the chance to buy a Mizzou hat or a Kansas hat, most will go Jayhawk. I just don’t know how that quite figures into the expansion discussion. Its like Nebraska, except its brand is basketball and not football. That makes it less valuable for conference purposes than Nebraska, but I still think it more valuable than a Mizzou, despite the demographics.

    2. I can’t help but feel the gravitational force between Texas and B10 will pull those two together.

    • Psuhockey says:

      The number 1 concern for all universities right now is the decline of government dollars, whether that be state subsidies or federal research money. How much government funds decline and how it is distributed could play a huge part in the next round of realignment, if there is any, when the GORs in the ACC and Big 12 end. The possiblilty of a huge increase in research money is the only thing I can think of that would make UT abandon its control and enter into an equal partnership in the BIG. The CIC would have to become a very strong lobbying entity for that to happen. That is really the only thing that the BIG could sell Texas.

      That is why John Hopkins is very interesting. John Hopkins is the leader in research in the country by a huge amount. They almost do as much as the next two schools, Michigan and Wisconsin, put together. If JHU became a full partner in the CIC, the resources available especially to schools with medical centers would be huge. Any bid with JHU name on it for a research project in the field of medicine would go right to the front of the line. That means any tag along BIG schools on those bids get to profit by being associated with the most prestigious medical institution in the country. It’s not as exciting as adding OU football or UNC basketball, but JHU decision might end up being the most impactful on the future of the BIG.

      • gfunk says:

        Nice post PSUHockey.

      • David Brown says:

        PSU Hockey, I agree that is an excellent point. For Penn State, their Hershey Children’s Hospital ( as well as Central Pennsylvania) would really benefit by having additional research dollars available. It will be interesting to see if Johns Hopkins will give up their independence in order to join the CIC?

      • Andy says:

        Missouri has moved up from #93 nationally to #69 nationally in research dollars over the last 20 years.

        Kansas has climbed from #108 to #100.

        http://mup.asu.edu/research.html (see page 12 of the 2011 report)

        I’d say Missouri’s state has supported their University better than Kansas has.

    • Andy says:

      “Given the chance to buy a Mizzou hat or a Kansas hat, most will go Jayhawk.”

      Nope. Missouri ranks #19, Kansas ranks #22.

      http://www.clc.com/News/Archived-Rankings/Rankings-Q4-2012.aspx

      • Andy says:

        ^^Probably because there are more than twice as many people living in Missouri as Kansas, and Kansas’s national following isn’t enough to make up for that.

  34. ChicagoMac says:

    I think many of us have become addicted to the rumors and speculation and are having a hard time coming to grips with the reality that changes among the big 5 conferences are over for the next 10+ years.

    Having said that the themes I’ll be watching over the next decade because they are the most likely to create enough instability to lead to future changes to the landscape:

    * B1G and SEC separating themselves from the pack financially which could lead to the next round of optimizations.
    * On field success for Florida State and Oklahoma. Seems like potential for SEC envy is very high with these two institutions of higher education.
    * FBS Haves splitting from the FBS Have-Nots

    • frug says:

      Oklahoma made it pretty clear that they (like the Longhorns) have no interest in the SEC. Maybe that will change, but the PAC remains a far more likely option for the Sooners if they decide to make a move (especially if Bob Stoops and David Barron are still at the school).

      • gfunk says:

        I disagree Frug. Traveling expenses for any Big12 school that once played in the Big8 would be incredibly unfair to the olympic sports. Colorado is nearly the outlier equivalent of WVa in the Big12. Boulder has a solid 8 to 10 hour head start for most, stress “most” conference road trips compared to any remaining Big12 schools thinking Pac12 down the road. OU would have at least 6 non-driveable road trips for fans via a Pac12 membership. That’s ridiculous!

        If the Big12 dissolves, they’re going BIG or SEC.

        I don’t even want to go down the road of cultural compatibility. Ok is not Co, the latter being a state much more aligned with Pac12 general culture. Colorado has increasingly grown due to Upper Midwest & California transplants, immigration as well.

        • ccrider55 says:

          B1G doesn’t want OU. SEC? Maybe, but not OkSU. OU doesn’t want SEC, and won’t/can’t leave OkSU. Exactly how are these hurdles to be overcome? There was (don’t know if it would still be available) only one destination that would overcome those problems, along with a Tech problem, if UT agreed. Not that it matters for quite a while now.

          • bamatab says:

            I don’t understand why some people think that OU to the B1G is an option considering OU has no shot at AAU status. If the B1G wouldn’t take FSU, they sure won’t take OU.

          • Psuhockey says:

            It all depends at what is the final number for the BIG. 20 has been mentioned by Gee so if that’s the case, finding 6 AAU schools that add value to the conference is pretty hard. OU is desperately trying to up their acedemic standings. I think in the last AAU rankings I saw, they were in the 80′s which is above some current schools but not close to being in. However, I do think that the BIG could take 1 non-AAU school if they go to 20. They would have at the bare minimum 19 AAU schools if you count the Univ of Chicago as a CIC connected voting block. If JHU comes aboard, that is 20 even with Oklahoma or FSU not being AAU, so 1/3 of the entire AAU NCAA schools. The BIG is still an athletic conference. Oklahoma would be a huge get to shore up the Western Divsion in football. I don’t think it was that the BIG wouldnt take FSU as much as it had two other schools they considered more desirable in UVA and UNC.

          • Brian says:

            Psuhockey,

            “It all depends at what is the final number for the BIG. 20 has been mentioned by Gee so if that’s the case, finding 6 AAU schools that add value to the conference is pretty hard.”

            That doesn’t mean they’ll lower their standards except for ND. UVA, UNC, GT, KU, UT and ND would be 20 with only 1 exception. That’s 20 the B10 COP/C could live with. They aren’t taking schools like OU despite what fans want.

            “OU is desperately trying to up their acedemic standings.”

            So are a lot of other schools, including the current AAU schools.

            “I think in the last AAU rankings I saw, they were in the 80′s which is above some current schools but not close to being in. However, I do think that the BIG could take 1 non-AAU school if they go to 20.”

            Sure, if it’s an elite undergrad school like ND. They don’t feel the need to reach for an OU, though.

            “The BIG is still an athletic conference.”

            To fans, yes. To the COP/C it is just as much an academic conference if not more so.

            “Oklahoma would be a huge get to shore up the Western Divsion in football.”

            Of course it would be. But so would UT, and they are AAU. That’s how the COP/C thinks.

            “I don’t think it was that the BIG wouldnt take FSU as much as it had two other schools they considered more desirable in UVA and UNC.”

            And why were they more desirable? AAU status. If that wasn’t stopping the B10 from taking FSU, FSU would be in and someone else would have joined with them.

        • frug says:

          Except that the Big Ten isn’t adding any non-AAU schools and OU has zero interest in the SEC. Plus, neither the Big Ten or SEC is adding Okie St. and both OU’s statements and actions since the founding of the Big XII indicate they are either unable or unwilling (or both) to ditch the Cowboys.

          As for driving? Lincoln is 6 and half hours from Norman and Iowa City (the second closest) is only 20 minutes closer to Norman than Boulder and it’s 10 hours away.

          Also, please don’t ever reference “cultural compatibility”. It is exists solely as an excuse for schools and conferences to pass up opportunities they know objectively are their best option (see the Big East passing on Penn St.)

          • Mack says:

            T Boone Pickens has been as generous with OK State politicians as he has with OkSt U. As long as he is alive (98 at GoR expiration), OU will not be able to get away from OkSt.

          • bullet says:

            Cultural compatability as an institution is important. Rutgers and Maryland are enormous state research universities like everyone but NW in the Big 10. Most of the ACC schools are either private or relatively smaller state schools (GT, UNC, UVA). Maryland was the only really large school in the ACC. The Big East was a mess with every type of institution and eventually fell apart.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            Cultural compatability as an institution is important. Rutgers and Maryland are enormous state research universities like everyone but NW in the Big 10. Most of the ACC schools are either private or relatively smaller state schools (GT, UNC, UVA). Maryland was the only really large school in the ACC.

            There’s not much truth in that. FSU has a larger enrollment than Maryland, and N. C. State is not far behind. Pitt, UNC, and VT are sufficiently close, that you could say they’re (broadly speaking) the same kind of institution. Likewise, Clemson, GT, and UVA are all fairly large publics with more than 20,000 students. They’re more like Maryland than unalike. Maryland dropped out of the ACC because their athletic department was practically bankrupt, and they needed to chase the money; not because they were culturally incompatible with the rest of the league.

            No one is talking about cultural incompatibility in the Pac-12, even though its public schools have a range of enrollment sizes that is even wider than the range in the ACC, from Arizona State (almost 60,000) to Washington State (slightly over 20,000). Baylor (a mid-sized private religious school) has been in the same league as Texas (a huge public) since 1915.

            What matters is not so much shared culture as shared objectives.

            The Big East was a mess with every type of institution and eventually fell apart.

            The fact that it had different types of institutions was not what doomed the Big East. What doomed the Big East was that they tried to be a football league, but didn’t have a sufficiently competitive product. The teams that could find homes in better leagues moved, and every time they were replaced with worse teams.

          • frug says:

            The Big East was a mess with every type of institution and eventually fell apart.

            The Big East’s problems were economic and can be traced back entirely to the decision to turn down Penn St. on cultural reasons.

            Most of the ACC schools are either private or relatively smaller state schools (GT, UNC, UVA).

            Why does that matter? Not being sarcastic I honestly can’t understand what difference it makes. They still have the same goals as the Big Ten schools.

            Plus, it’s not like Northwestern has been complaining about being in a conference with big public flagships.

          • bullet says:

            @frug
            The schools have similar missions and resources. The 35-50k student schools are hard for someone like Georgia Tech who until recent years had around 12k to keep up with. Northwestern and Vanderbilt struggle to be competitive in most sports. Stanford does well, but they have one of the biggest endowments in the country.

          • Brian says:

            Marc Shepherd,

            “Likewise, Clemson, GT, and UVA are all fairly large publics with more than 20,000 students.”

            GT has fewer than 15,000 undergrads. I wouldn’t consider it a large public school.

          • bullet says:

            @marc
            The Big 10 schools generally have nearly 40k up to over 50k students. And they have been there for decades.

            Georgia Tech, UVA and UNC are much smaller. So is Clemson. NCSU and VT are larger than their sister flagships, but still under 30k last figures I saw. Wake, Duke, Miami and BC are private. FSU is big, but its growth is more recent (for example, enrollment was 21k in 1980).

        • Brian says:

          gfunk,

          “Traveling expenses for any Big12 school that once played in the Big8 would be incredibly unfair to the olympic sports.”

          Expenses don’t matter to those sports, they matter to the AD who has to pay for them from FB money. The travel time would be an issue for the players.

          “Colorado is nearly the outlier equivalent of WVa in the Big12. Boulder has a solid 8 to 10 hour head start for most, stress “most” conference road trips compared to any remaining Big12 schools thinking Pac12 down the road. OU would have at least 6 non-driveable road trips for fans via a Pac12 membership. That’s ridiculous!”

          OU would only have 4.5 B12 road games per year, and most fans never go to a road game. If the school though it would get a big enough raise, it isn’t going to say no because rich boosters would have to fly to road games. They already do fly to many games.

          “If the Big12 dissolves, they’re going BIG or SEC.”

          The B10 won’t accept their academics. OU said no to the SEC. Unless the P12 changes their mind, OU can’t go anywhere but the ACC (I assume they’d say yes).

          • Tom says:

            To whomever said UMd was the only big school in the ACC…FSU is 40K+. There really is a lot of misinformation on the interwebs.

    • Brian says:

      I’d add the outcome of lawsuits like the O’Bannon case to that list. Also changes in TV delivery.

      On my personal list would also be the success of the P12 regional networks. If it works, does the B10 try to follow suit?

      Option 1:
      BTN-OH (OSU)
      BTN-MI (MI and MSU)
      BTN-Central (NW women’s lax, IN, IL and PU hoops)
      BTN-East (PSU, RU, UMD)
      BTN-Corn (NE and IA)
      BTN-Canada (WI, MN and all hockey)

      They would have to be on a sports tier for little money, but they’d get some viewers.

      Option 2:
      BTN-North (MI, MSU, NW)
      BTN-East (PSU, RU, UMD, lax)
      BTN-West (NE, IA, WI, MN)
      BTN-South (OSU, IN, IL, PU)

      Fewer channels would be easier.

      Option 3:
      BTN2

      This would be a general channel with more viewers, but it may work better to be done online versus on TV.

      • zeek says:

        That last part; aren’t they sort of making BTN2go into that?

        • Brian says:

          Not quite. You have to get BTN by cable or satellite to get BTN2go. I was thinking of doing it without the cable requirement. I always thought that requirement was dumb anyway – why refuse a customer just because they won’t also buy something else?

          • BruceMcF says:

            But can’t you get BTN Digital separately? Alternative subscription TV services (cable, IP) are bad enough … cable companies really don’t like free standing streaming alternatives to set-top boxes and smartphones. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is some contract clause that ties BTN2GO to cable or satellite BTN customers if they want to put cable BTN content on it ~ which would also explain why BTN Digital, which seems to consist entirely of the stuff that is NOT put on cable, might not need a tie in.

            I wouldn’t be surprised

          • Brian says:

            BruceMcF,

            “But can’t you get BTN Digital separately?”

            Yes, you can. But he specifically mentioned BTN2go.

            As for BTND, it has no football and only audio for some other things. It has nothing that BTN ever airs. That’s a lot different than forming the equivalent of BTN2 and just not televising it to me.

            http://video.btn.com/allaccess/

            The Big Ten Digital Network combines streaming audio and video content from all 12 member institutions with hundreds of additional untelevised games streamed exclusively from the Big Ten Network to offer the most online video coverage of Big Ten athletics anywhere in the world. The Big Ten Digital Network features live game broadcasts, exclusive behind-the-scenes video, game highlights, original programming and press conferences from 25 men’s and women’s sports across the Big Ten Conference, with additional coverage from conference postseason tournaments and events. Fans only looking for access to a single school’s content can still subscribe to just that school on monthly and annual renewing terms.

            Big Ten Digital Network Monthly – $14.95
            Big Ten Digital Network Yearly – $119.95
            School Monthly – $9.95
            School Yearly – $79.95

            $15/month for that? ESPN is $5 of your cable bill.

        • Brian says:

          And obviously they haven’t tried it as an actual TV channel.

      • Brian says:

        And also, what about the SEC? sESPcN2 would be popular as well. So would smaller ones:

        sESPcN – AL
        sESPcN – Appalachia (UK, UT, Vandy)
        sESPcN – East (SC, GA)
        sESPcN – FL
        sESPcN – TX
        sESPcN – LA
        sESPcN – Ozarks (AR, MO)

      • ChicagoMac says:

        Hadn’t considered regional networks before Brian but that is certainly a point worthy of adding to the list.

  35. greg says:

    ACC/B1G challenge games announced. Iowa is an immediate beneficiary to ND joining the ACC, as the Fighting Irish will travel to Iowa City in their first ACC/B1G game. Current Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery was a ND assistant for 11 years and his wife played hoops there. The two other new additions have attractive matchups with Indiana at Syracuse and PSU at Pitt.

    Tuesday, December 3
    Florida State at Minnesota
    Illinois at Georgia Tech
    Indiana at Syracuse
    Michigan at Duke
    Notre Dame at Iowa
    Penn State at Pittsburgh

    Wednesday, December 4
    Boston College at Purdue
    Maryland at Ohio State
    Miami at Nebraska
    North Carolina at Michigan State
    Northwestern at North Carolina State
    Wisconsin at Virginia

    • frug says:

      So Clemson, V-Tech and Wake are getting left out this time.

      • Brian says:

        They said the B10 would play the top 12 ACC teams from the previous season, and those were the three worst ACC teams last season.

    • cutter says:

      How does Iowa benefit by hosting Notre Dame this year? If ND wasn’t in the ACC, which team would the Hawkeyes have played? Would that team have been a better matchup than the Fighting Irish?

      • greg says:

        “How does Iowa benefit by hosting Notre Dame this year?”

        Hawkeye fans want to watch the Hawks beat ND.

        • cutter says:

          You mean in football, right? I didn’t realize ND men’s basketball was anything special. Of course, I still remember the Kelly Tripuka/Bill Laimbeer days . . . .

    • Transic says:

      The challenge would be interesting in terms of scheduling issues once both conferences reach at least 14 members. Who would be the odd ACC team out next time? Or will the conference continue to send only 12 teams each?

      • Arch Stanton says:

        I would assume there will be 14 matchups starting in 2014.
        My hope is that Notre Dame is not involved, ever. That looks unlikely though, since they are playing in the challenge next season.

      • Brian says:

        Odd man out is the worst team from the previous year, supposedly.

      • frug says:

        They’ll just take it to 14 teams. The ACC has already said that they will decide who plays based solely on the previous years RPI.

  36. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/9254376/mount-union-purple-raiders-coach-larry-kehres-retires-332-wins-11-titles

    The greatest CFB coach ever is retiring to become an AD. His son will take over.

    Larry Kehres:
    27 seasons
    23 Ohio Conference titles
    21 undefeated regular seasons
    11 D-III National Titles
    332-24-3 (0.929 – #1 all time over Knute Rockne at 0.881)

    • SH says:

      Greatest being a relative term. I hate these kind of pronouncements because they are simply expressions of opinion, but using one fact to support such opinion. Mr. Kehres may have the most undefeated regular seasons, he may have most conference titles, he may have most national titles, but all those are at a level that is 3 removed from the top level.

      So no the greatest CFB coach is not retiring. The most decorated division 3 coach, sure, greatest college football coach – no.

      • Brian says:

        SH,

        “Greatest being a relative term.”

        Yes, by definition it is.

        “I hate these kind of pronouncements because they are simply expressions of opinion, but using one fact to support such opinion.”

        I actually used a bunch of facts.

        “but all those are at a level that is 3 removed from the top level.”

        And so are his players. Rockne coached in a segregated era before modern football even existed but is lauded as an all-time great. Kehres topped his winning percentage in an era with an actual playoff, meaning he couldn’t avoid the top teams in any season. He also coached a lot longer, having time for new competition to rise up and challenge him or for him to slip.

        Three* coaches have more total wins, but only because they coached so long (* four with JoePa). No other coach at his level has come close to his accomplishments.

        Feel free to make the case for someone else being the greatest.

        • SH says:

          I have no clue who the greatest is, and really don’t care. To me your statement was similar to finding the best minor league manager ever and proclaiming he is the greatest professional baseball manager ever. I just think it is a silly proclamation. I don’t mean to target you specifically. Just those kind of statements. I remember an announcer once saying that the Houston Comets (after they won 3 in a row), saying they were one of the greatest dynasties of all time. Well that’s just silly – dont’ you think?

          • Brian says:

            Well, sure. 3 in a row isn’t that impressive.

            But I scoff at people that believe only things at the top level can be the best. Kehres never tried coaching elsewhere. If he had failed to succeed at a higher level, that would be a mark against his status. But in a world of playoff football, losing less than 1 game per season is a remarkable achievement no matter what. It’s not like he got scholarships and nobody else did. Nobody else in CFB has even come close to what he’s done.

            If I had said he was the greatest FB coach of all time, that would be different. That brings in the NFL and the difference in competition and all of that.

  37. ccrider55 says:

    Field of seams
    Win one for the zipper

    49ers new stadium naming rights won by Levi Straus.
    http://www.mercurynews.com/southbayfootball/ci_23198944/levis-stadium-49ers-new-santa-clara-home-gets?source=rss

  38. JakeBAMA says:

    If it ever happens, I will be happy the day that the B1G takes Mizzou, all they do is suck off the SEC’s udder and don’t add any meat

    • bamatab says:

      Now you’ve done it. Prepare for the wrath of Andy. I hope you’re happy.

    • Andy says:

      We haven’t even sucked off any udders yet. We’ve been in the SEC for less than a year. No SEC paychecks yet.

      As for Mizzou, they had a down season this year in football, sure. Injured honorable mention All-Big 12 QB, injured 1st team All-Big 12 RB, 6 of our top 10 O-linemen injured.

      In the last 7 years:

      18 players drafted, including 6 in the first round
      61 wins (that’s 8.7 wins per year including last year’s bad season)
      Finishes of 4th and 12th in final BCS rankings of a couple of those seasons
      3 division titles
      6 bowl games

      Basketball is averaging 26.0 wins per year over the last 5 years. 26 NCAA apperances, 23 conference and conference tournament titles overall. 21 first team all-americans. 4 currently in the NBA, over 20 in the last 30-40 years.

      Baseball: NCAA tournament 8 of the last 10 years, 22 appearances overall, 6 college world series appearances, 1 national title.

      softball: 18 tournament appearances, 6 college world series apperances, including 3 of the last 4.

      Missouri isn’t Alabama. They’re not UNC. They’re not even Tennessee. But they win games. The SEC will see that. The Big 12 did. Alabama still has a .500 record against Mizzou in football, and got their asses kicked in Columbia in basketball this year.

      • Andy says:

        Also, Slive wouldn’t have invited Missouri if he thought he’d lose money on it. Missouri is making you extra money. Be happy about it.

        • Tom says:

          Mizzwho?

          • BruceMcF says:

            Mizzwho? Mizzevenup. Mizzou was a 14th school to get even, because if you are the SEC, you don’t turn down Texas A&M just because you also need a 14th.

          • Andy says:

            Plenty could have been #14. Missouri got it because they’re AAU, 6.1M people in the state, and are decent at most sports. Deal with it.

          • BruceMcF says:

            Andy, I ws just pointing out that Mizzou was just a tag-along add. I said nothing to disparage Mizzou’s position as the BEST AVAILABLE TAG-ALONG. Indeed, I’m sure beyond any reasonable doubt that they were the BEST tag-along that happened to be available. Otherwise, the SEC would have picked a different tag-along.

    • Brian says:

      Transic,

      From the last one:

      “Last week, Rutgers President Robert Barchi said he expects the university’s athletic department, which runs about $18 million in the red each year, to begin breaking even in six years. That is when Rutgers is to begin fully cashing in on the Big Ten’s lucrative television contracts and other revenue.”

      That’s a pretty good raise.

      • bullet says:

        Taking a while to get a full share. I imagine Maryland has a little better deal. CU had a better Pac 12 deal than Utah.

  39. Brian says:

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/bowls/predictions

    An early set of bowl predictions.

    B10:
    OSU – NCG vs AL
    NE – Rose vs Stanford
    MI – Cap 1 vs UF
    WI – Outback vs UGA
    MSU – Gator vs Ole Miss
    NW – BWW vs OkSU
    PU – Meineke Car Care vs Baylor
    IL – Pizza vs NIU

    8 of 12 isn’t bad. But IL? Really?

    IL – 2-2 in OOC is reasonable (SIU, UC, UW, Miami OH) but he seems to be guessing 3-1 or 4-0. In B10 play, they have @IN, @PU, @NE, @PSU, OSU, WI, MSU, NW. Are there even 2 wins there? He has more faith in IL than I do.

    PU – 2-2 or 3-1 OOC is reasonable (NIU, UC, ND, IN State). They play IA, IL and IN in B10 play, plus MSU, PSU, OSU, NE and WI. 6-6 is possible.

    NW – They may be a better team with a worse record this year. OOC is Cal, SU, WMU and Maine. B10 is OSU, NE, MI, WI, MSU, IL, MN and IA. I could see 8-4 or so.

    MSU – It all depends on the offense. OOC should be 3-1 or 4-0 (ND, USF, WMU, YSU). Their B10 slate is pretty weak with NE, MI, NW, IL, MN, IA, PU and IN. 9-3 is reasonable, but so is 8-4.

    WI – Their schedule is soft. OOC is ASU, BYU, UMass and TN Tech (4-0). B10 is OSU, PSU, IL, NW, IA, MN, PU and IN. 10-2 sounds reasonable, but I’ll call it 9-3 due to the new coach leading to a blown game somewhere along the line.

    MI – Their tough games are ND, @PSU, @MSU, NE, @NW and OSU. Call it 10-2, 10-3 after the CCG.

    NE – UCLA, NW, @MI, MSU and @PSU. That looks like 11-1 or 10-2 depending on the D.

    OSU – WI, @NW, PSU and @MI. They’re all winnable, and that’s what I think he predicts, but I just assume there will be a slip up for 11-1. I’ll still favor them in the CCG, so 12-1.

  40. Mack says:

    The XII has no interest in any school it could get to join for quite a few years.

    The P12 would rather wait for its white whale (TX) than expand with anyone else. If the P12 decides to expand it will probably make another run at TX (packaged with OU/KS/TT?) near the expiration of the GoR.

    It is too early to say if the ACC or XII will be the weakest in 2025. If ACC football does not improve, a wide TV$ gap may open up in the renewal offered to the ACC compared to what the SEC and B1G are pulling down. Specific to realignment instability, TX may be on top of both the B1G and SEC wish lists, but the other 4 will be ACC schools. Will the B1G expand if the best they can do is KS and ISU (or even GT)? With A&M and MO gone, the XII AAU schools are slim pickings after TX.

    The XII has a big lead over the ACC in TV$ and conference distributions, and the most desired schools (TX, OU, KS w/MBB) make the most off the retained 3rd tier rights. Unless XII football falls off a cliff and the XII cannot get a good TV contract at renewal I think they will remain a conference bound by a TV contract. Where is WV going to go? After getting rejected by the ACC and SEC they managed to get a XII invite over Louisville. If the XII had taken Louisville, CT would be in the ACC with WV in the AACK . The same type of argument can be made for Baylor, TCU, ISU, KSU, TT, and OkSt prospects. Not being desired is great protection against realignment. The ACC is more likely to be dismembered in the future because it still has members.desired by the SEC and B1G.

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      I am inclined to agree. Texas and Oklahoma like being in a league where they’re the top dogs. They’re even willing to make a bit less money, in return for being in control. On top of that, the Oklahoma governor and state legislators are probably not going to let OU split from OkSt, and Texas has a similar problem with Tech and Baylor. So that gives you a core of five schools that basically can’t split up, and four more (KSU, ISU, WVU, and TCU) that have no prayer of a better offer. That leaves KU, which might under some circumstances receive a Big Ten offer, but even that is doubtful.

      In contrast, the ACC has quite a few schools that are bound, basically, only by convenience. They’re the league that’s most likely vulnerable if the TV revenue disparity continues to widen.

  41. Mike says:

    To continue the subsidy discussion… and why we probably won’t see them go.

    http://www.footballscoop.com/news/9582-the-benefits-a-strong-football-program-bring-a-university

    Chung quantified what a successful football season brings a school in terms a university president can appreciate: a 17.7 jump in applications. To gain a similar boost on the academic side of the house, a university would either have to lower tuition by 3.8 percent or recruit faculty who are paid 5.1 percent above their average rate. Considering the political capital that would be required to accomplish either one of those goals, one can see why university presidents are so eager to sign off on a big check for that new indoor practice facility or that hot new head coach.

    • frug says:

      The thing is, at power conference schools football and MBB (the sports that have been proven to boost applications) aren’t being subsidized; everything else is.

  42. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    John McCain just filed the TV Consumer Freedom Act of 2013 with the U.S. Senate.

    http://tv.yahoo.com/news/john-mccain-introduces-cable-la-carte-legislation-stop-171331371.html

    “The legislation is intended to “allow the consumer, the television viewer who subscribes to cable, to have à la carte capability. In other words, not required to buy a whole bunch of channels that that consumer may not want wish to subscribe to,” McCain said moments ago.”

    • Brian says:

      And he’s probably already received $100k in lobbyist money since then to not get it passed.

      • BruceMcF says:

        He doesn’t have to take money to get his own bill killed. He’s doing this as a favor to his buddies, and then one of his buddies will sponsor something that he can clean up on.

  43. Brian says:

    http://blogs.mcall.com/nittany_lines/2013/05/inside-the-penn-state-athletics-budget.html

    A look at PSU’s athletic finances. It includes some numbers we don’t usually see. The article also has a link to PSU’s full 42 page report if you want all the details.

  44. Brian says:

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/blog/eye-on-college-football/22217998/sec-big-ten-big-12-acc-conferencedivision-odds-released

    The odds for everyone in the ACC, B10, B12 and SEC to win their division and the conference.

    ACC:
    Clemson and Miami to win the divisions and tied to win the ACC

    B10:
    East – OSU (huge edge over WI)
    West – MSU (slight edge over MI and NE)

    OSU is favored to win the B10.

    B12:
    UT over OU and OkSU.

    SEC:
    East – UGA and SC
    West – AL

    SEC – AL

    • Ross says:

      I understand that MSU has a favorable schedule, but I still can’t understand the many people placing them as the favorite for the division. They went 6-6 last year, lost all home B1G games, and lost some of their top offensive and defensive players. They’re really supposed to challenge for the conference title now?

      • Ross says:

        Just to follow that up with their schedule…

        vs. Western Michigan 90/10
        vs. South Florida 90/10 (the Bulls were abysmal last year)
        vs. Youngstown State (100…can’t see them losing this one)
        @ Notre Dame (30/70, which might be generous given that they only managed a FG last year)
        @ Iowa (50/50, Iowa can be a difficult place to play at times, tight game last year)
        vs. Indiana (75/25, should win, but had trouble stopping IU last year, fell behind big in this game at one point, if I remember correctly)
        vs. Purdue (80/20, again, MSU should win, but Purdue was an odd team last year, showing flashes of competence but some really bad moments as well)
        @ Illinois (70/30, don’t expect Illinois to be much of a threat to anyone next year)
        vs. Michigan (40/60, I am a Michigan grad so I am biased, but I actually think the Michigan offense is much better with a passing threat at the helm. If it was @UM I would be fairly sure of victory, but a rivalry game @EL could go either way though the young OL should be much improved for UM by this point)
        @ Nebraska (30/70, not sure MSU can score enough points against Nebraska or hold that offense to few enough points to win)
        @ Northwestern (30/70, similar feeling as Nebraska, will be tough for MSU to keep up in scoring with this team unless their defense is really special)
        vs. Minnesota (80/20, last year’s final score did not do MSU justice, Minnesota could not do anything against the MSU D, don’t expect that to change this year)

        I have put up what I think the odds are on each game, and I see 7 probable wins here, in Western, South Florida, Youngstown, Indiana, Purdue, Illinois, and Minnesota. That leaves MSU with four conference wins and four tough games: @Iowa, vs. UM, @Northwestern, and @Nebraska.

        MSU lost to Iowa at home last year, putting up only 16 points in 2OT; I certainly believe they could fall on the road. Both games against Northwestern and Nebraska were close last year, though both were at home. I expect MSU to be a worse team than last year, even if their record improves, so I can’t realistically predict MSU taking either of these games on the road.

        UM@MSU might be the toughest game to predict. I give a significant edge to MSU on D, especially with the loss of Jake Ryan, but I give a rather large edge to Michigan on the offense. Tough to call this one, I lean Michigan, of course.

        I ultimately think MSU could easily lose all three road games and pick off UM at home, leaving them with three conference losses, all to divisional foes, which would certainly leave them out of the title game. Of course, that then leaves us with UM, Nebraska, and Northwestern. Those three could easily split, and I think an upset by Iowa here or there (they’ve done it before) could be a difference maker.

      • Brian says:

        Personally, I would go:
        1. NE – they don’t play OSU and MI does
        2. MI – they get NE at home and I think they’re better than MSU
        3. MSU – easy crossovers and MI at home but @NE and @NW

        But it should be close depending on how MSU’s O does this year. I think NW may be a better team than MSU but their schedule is much tougher.

        • Ross says:

          You raise a good point about Northwestern’s schedule; I had not looked closely at that.

          The one thing I think is overlooked with MSU’s schedule in saying that it is favorable is that they have two of their toughest divisional opponents on the road. Losing twice in division pretty much guarantees you will miss the CCG, unless both of those teams go 5-3 or worse.

          • Brian says:

            MSU gets IL, PU and IN. That’s as favorable as it gets. NW doesn’t have much home field advantage (NE fans made NW use a silent count on offense at NW last year), so that makes for more of a 1-1-1 (home-road-neutral) record than a 1-2.

  45. Brian says:

    photo/1

    A map of the highest paid state employee in each state.

    • frug says:

      Worth noting that Bill O’Brien is not a state employee despite what this map claims.

      • Brian says:

        It has an asterisk if you look closely. Maybe Pitt’s coach is the highest paid after BOB anyway?

        • frug says:

          Pitt isn’t publicly owned either.

          • Brian says:

            Yeah, yeah, neither is Temple. But to most of the country they are all state schools. The difference between state and state-affiliated is more legal details than anything, especially as state funding continues to decline. It’s mostly a way to avoid the state’s sunshine laws.

            Most coaches aren’t that highly paid if they only count the state pay, either. But they choose to gloss over that for this map, so glossing over state-affiliated seems fine to me.

          • duffman says:

            Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, and North Carolina are basketball. :)

      • Mike says:

        Deadspin ran this map earlier today. The explained the Bill O`Brein selection.

    • Transic says:

      Piggybacking on Brian’s post, this is what the Fiscal Times claims to be the top 10 most overpaid college presidents (article written May of last year, so the players may have changed a bit):

      http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2012/05/25/10-Insanely-Overpaid-Public-College-Presidents.aspx#page1

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        That article is idiotic. All it seems to be, is the list of the highest-paid college presidents, regardless of whether the college got its money’s worth. It states what they’re paid, not what they did.

  46. Brian says:

    http://www.elevenwarriors.com/2013/05/21968/big-ten-football-projecting-division-standings-2013

    An attempt to analyze the B10 divisions for 2013. The guy comes up with a simple formula based on returning starters and incoming recruits and discusses the results. I’d say the biggest weakness is not taking into account the schedule. I’d also probably give a returning starting QB extra value (OL too). But, FWIW:

    LEADERS DIVISION

    Ohio State (248)
    Wisconsin (171)
    Penn State (155)
    Indiana (145)
    Purdue (141)
    Illinois (92)

    LEGENDS DIVISION

    Nebraska (209)
    Northwestern (205)
    Michigan (194)
    Michigan State (161)
    Minnesota (148)
    Iowa (115)

    • Richard says:

      Roughly the way I see it as well. OSU heavily favored in the SE division; dogfight in the NW division with everyone (even Minny) with a chance of winning it. You could see a 4-way 5-3 tie at the top.

      • Brian says:

        Yeah, that’s why I think the schedule is so key. NW has a much tougher path than MSU, for example. How weird is it to see IN almost in 3rd?

        • Richard says:

          UW & OSU instead of IU & PU, true, but I think Northwestern is 1.5 games better than MSU with all else being equal. Michigan has it just as tough as Northwestern (PSU & OSU). UNL has it a little easier (PSU but no OSU). That makes UNL a half-game favorite over NU/Michigan/MSU.

          • Brian says:

            On paper, I might agree right now. Once we see how MSU’s offense looks, then I’ll be more sure.

            I see NE and MI as better teams than NW right now, so I favor NE since they miss OSU but play at MI. Then I put MI next since NW has an equally tough schedule. It should be an good race.

            Key games:

            10/5 – OSU@NW
            10/12 – NW@WI, MI@PSU

            By mid-October we’ll have a good idea how NW’s season will go. Even if NW goes 0-2 here, they could still win out and challenge for the title but it’ll be a tough battle. I don’t see 5-3 winning the division. At least one team will go 6-2 or better.

            11/2 – MI@MSU, NW@NE
            11/9 – NE@MI
            11/16 – MSU@NE, MI@NW
            11/23 – MSU@NW, NE@PSU
            11/30 – OSU@MI

          • Richard says:

            If any of the 4 beat all of the other 3, they’d be in the catbird’s seat even if they lose 2 interdivisional games due to tiebreakers. A shared divisional title coming down to tiebreakers seems quite likely. Should be interesting.

  47. StevenD says:

    What is the best way to schedule the crossover games for a 14-team B1G? With three crossover games and seven crossover opponents to cover, it takes three years to play every school once (123-456-7xx). The question then arises: what do you do with the two leftover (xx) games?

    One option is to assign those games permanently to one opponent, thereby creating a fixed cross over (123-145-167). Team 1 is played every year and every other team is played once every three years.

    Another option is to spread the extra two games around all the crossover opponents (123-456-712-345-671). This increases the frequency of the crossover matchups; however, one school each round will still have to wait three years for a rematch.

    The third option is parity scheduling: the leftover games (xx) are assigned to crossover peers. For example, Nebraska could play Michigan and OSU in year one, PSU and Michigan in year two, and OSU in year three. The remaining crossover games would go to the other four teams (playing every non-peer team once in three years).

    Option 1 (every team has a fixed crossover) is very useful for preserving rivalries, but with geographical divisions most of the meaningful rivalries are already played within divisions. Moreover, there are two problems with fixed crossovers. First, if they are imbalanced (like Nebraska playing PSU while Wisconsin plays Minnesota), it gives one team (Wisconsin) a permanent advantage. Second, if every team must have a fixed crossover, it enshrines some meaningless matchups (like PSU-MSU).

    Option 2 (equal distribution of crossovers) is very useful for minimizing the time required to play every team in the conference. However, the B1G divisions have put Purdue in the West and Indiana in the East, necessitating a fixed crossover. This limits the even distribution of crossovers, complicates the timetable and increases the time between rematches.

    Option 3 (parity scheduling) is very useful for increasing high profile games (which should please both fans and TV executives). It maintains a 3-year cycle for non-parity teams and increases the crossover parity matchups from three per year to five per year. Add this to the three parity matchups within each division and you get eleven high-profile games for the nine-game conference schedule.

    It is interesting to note that Option 3 works very well with the fixed Indiana-Purdue crossover. Basically, every team uses one crossover for parity matches, one crossover for non-parity matchs and one mixed crossover (playing Indiana or Purdue one year in three and playing parity teams for the other two years).

    • Brian says:

      StevenD,

      “What is the best way to schedule the crossover games for a 14-team B1G?”

      It depends on your desired outcome. If maximizing revenue is your top priority, you get one answer. If fairness is your top priority, you get another. If rivalries are #1, there’s a third answer. If it’s a combination of those things and others, then there are a very large number of answers.

      “With three crossover games and seven crossover opponents to cover, it takes three years to play every school once (123-456-7xx). The question then arises: what do you do with the two leftover (xx) games?

      One option is to assign those games permanently to one opponent, thereby creating a fixed cross over (123-145-167). Team 1 is played every year and every other team is played once every three years.”

      An option the B10 rejected except for PU and IN.

      “Another option is to spread the extra two games around all the crossover opponents (123-456-712-345-671). This increases the frequency of the crossover matchups; however, one school each round will still have to wait three years for a rematch.”

      You say that like it’s a drawback. Isn’t only one school waiting 3 years better than multiple schools waiting 3 years or more? There mathematically isn’t a way to play 7 teams in 6 games, so at least 1 school has to wait 3 years.

      “The third option is parity scheduling: the leftover games (xx) are assigned to crossover peers.”

      No, that is a third option. There are others. A more general third option is biasing the schedule towards certain match-ups without locking them (this includes parity-based, but also keeping rivalries or any other way to pick favored match-ups). There is the fourth option of combining several options, like locking 1 match-up and either spreading the other games equally or biasing the remaining schedule. We know this because the B10 has chosen option 4.

      “Option 1 (every team has a fixed crossover) is very useful for preserving rivalries, but with geographical divisions most of the meaningful rivalries are already played within divisions.”

      Or with several other division methods, but I digress.

      “Moreover, there are two problems with fixed crossovers.”

      Only 2?

      “First, if they are imbalanced (like Nebraska playing PSU while Wisconsin plays Minnesota), it gives one team (Wisconsin) a permanent advantage.”

      Agreed, that was a downside to the old divisions. WI/MN and MSU/IN were unfair compared to the rest which were peer games more or less.

      “Second, if every team must have a fixed crossover, it enshrines some meaningless matchups (like PSU-MSU).”

      Assuming there are meaningless match-ups. With the current divisions, you might get:
      OSU/IL – rivalry
      MI/MN – rivalry
      IN/PU – rivalry
      MSU/WI – new rivalry
      PSU/NE – rivalry (or at least a game both sides liked)
      RU/NW – NYC vs Chicago (even though neither is actually in those cities)
      UMD/IA – provides IA east coast access to keep up with their rivals (but otherwise meaningless)

      “Option 2 (equal distribution of crossovers) is very useful for minimizing the time required to play every team in the conference. However, the B1G divisions have put Purdue in the West and Indiana in the East, necessitating a fixed crossover. This limits the even distribution of crossovers, complicates the timetable and increases the time between rematches.”

      Yes, it prevents true equality but the rest can be equal (4/9) and IN and PU can play everyone else equally (1/3). See my option 4 above.

      “Option 3 (parity scheduling) is very useful for increasing high profile games (which should please both fans and TV executives).”

      And yet not all fans are pleased.

      “It maintains a 3-year cycle for non-parity teams and increases the crossover parity matchups from three per year to five per year.”

      That’s actually a secondary assumption. You could do more extreme parity-based scheduling or do it less than that. You are just taking one easy path.

      “Add this to the three parity matchups within each division and you get eleven high-profile games for the nine-game conference schedule.”

      That assumes all of those games are truly high-profile. I’d say that isn’t true right now. Who would call IA/PSU a high-profile game this year, for example?

      Also, you fail to provide context. The divisions provide 6. A balanced schedule would provide 4 more on average. Your parity scheduling is only adding 1 game per year.

      “It is interesting to note that Option 3 works very well with the fixed Indiana-Purdue crossover.”

      So does a balanced schedule.

    • cfn_ms says:

      see http://compu-picks.com/General_Interest/B1G_Schedule_v2.html for some work I did on this particular question, with some sample rotations, in case you’re curious.

  48. greg says:

    http://thegazette.com/2013/05/09/barta-on-cfb-live-no-more-fcs-schools/

    Iowa athletics director Gary Barta was on ESPN’s College Football Live on Thursday to discuss FCS-level schools on the Hawkeyes future schedules.

    Monday, The Gazette reported that Iowa was in a wait-and-see mode in regards to future games with Northern Iowa (2014 and 2018), Illinois State (2015) and North Dakota State (2016). Iowa will play Missouri State this fall at Kinnick Stadium.

    “This change, we’re all looking at the contracts we have in place,” Barta said on the show, referring to other B1G schools, “and we’ve agreed going forward we’re not going to be scheduling any other FCS schools.

    “But with those on our schedule, we’ll either move them off and reschedule, or in the case of Northern Iowa, I’ve talked about the possibility of an exception — it’s not a done deal — based on the fact that they play in our home state.”

    “With those future schedules, taking a look the possibility of an exception [for UNI] because they are an in-state school and because they’ve perennially been in the top 10 in the country at that level,” Barta said.

    • Brian says:

      greg,

      Personally, I have no issue with Iowa playing the games they already have scheduled. Those I-AAs are counting on the paycheck and I always hate it when schools break these contracts and leave the other school hanging. Now sure, those schools would have enough time to reschedule, but I don’t see the need to pay $250k per game and break these deals. I’m all for the B10 phasing out I-AA games, though.

      The next bit of that article explains why:

      UNI has been a traditional power in FCS. Iowans are aware of the quality teams that coach Mark Farley, a former UNI linebacker, has put out every season. Just in 2009, the Hawkeyes needed to block a pair of last-second field goals to hang on against UNI, 17-16.

      So, it’s a nice matchup, but there’s also the fact that UNI is 20-66-5 against FBS schools all-time. Farley is 2-12 against FBS, with wins over Iowa State and Ball State.

      Against the Big Ten, UNI is 1-17 with its only victory coming against Iowa . . . 11-5 in 1898 . . . when UNI was known as “State Normal.”

      UNI is a I-AA power, and they are 2-12 in recent years against I-A schools. Overall they are 1-17 against the B10. They don’t belong on a B10 schedule, let alone a mediocre or weak I-AA.

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        Northern Iowa is basically comparable to a low-level FBS squad. For instance, Eastern Michigan is 0-23 all-time vs. the Big Ten. Western Michigan is 2-29. Ball State is 3-22.

        If we’re going to let Ohio State feast on Ohio, and UM/MSU to snack on their in-state directional schools, I don’t take issue with Iowa/Northern Iowa. It’s basically a comparable match-up, even though UNI is I-AA.

        I think you’d find other examples of nominal FBS schools that are not remotely competitive against Big Five opponents.

        • Brian says:

          They still only have 63 scholarships, or 74% of what a I-AA has. PSU is undergoing historic penalties that will hold them to 65 scholarships. That gives you some idea how the NCAA views that size gap in scholarships.

          I’m not disputing that UNI can play with the worst I-A teams. That doesn’t mean they should play the better ones.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Not that it matters too much, but the 63 are not head count scholarships like in FBS (where if you give a dime to someone it counts as one of your allowed 85 full rides). They can use the equivalent of 63 full rides throughout the team, but may (I can’t remember) be limited in disbursing it to no more than 85 individuals.

          • Brian says:

            ccrider55,

            “Not that it matters too much, but the 63 are not head count scholarships like in FBS (where if you give a dime to someone it counts as one of your allowed 85 full rides). They can use the equivalent of 63 full rides throughout the team, but may (I can’t remember) be limited in disbursing it to no more than 85 individuals.”

            Yes, they are capped at 85 people for 63 total scholarships.

            http://www.ncaapublications.com/productdownloads/D113.pdf

            15.5.6.2 Championship Subdivision Football. [FCSD] There shall be an annual limit of 30 on the number of initial counters (per Bylaw 15.02.3.1), an annual limit of 63 on the value of financial aid awards (equivalencies) to counters, and an annual limit of 85 on the total number of counters (including initial counters) in football at each Football Championship Subdivision institution. (Revised: 1/10/91 effective 8/1/92, 12/15/06)

      • Eric says:

        I don’t mind I-AA teams week 1. Actually, given the lack of scrimages and such, I’d rather Ohio State and most Big Ten teams open up with a I-AA team. After week 1 though, move up to someone else.

        I do agree, Northern Iowa should be allowed for Iowa though.

        • Brian says:

          Eric,

          I’m all for opening with a cupcake, but find a I-A one.

          As for making an exception for UNI, what about schools without a I-AA in their state to play? Why disadvantage them? Why not get UNI to join the MAC and solve IA’s problem?

  49. Brian says:

    http://blogs.mercurynews.com/collegesports/2013/05/09/pac-12-networks-murphy-stephans-on-plans-for-year-two-football-365-neuheisels-new-deal-and-more/

    Some news about year 1 of the P12N and talk about year 2.

    *** Fans who have access to a Pac12Nets regional feed and the national feed have probably noticed little difference between the two. Almost invariably, the same event (live or replayed) is on both channels.

    That will begin to change next fall as the conference differentiates the regional feeds from each other — and, consequently, the regional feeds from Pac-12 National.

    The addition of 200 live events to the programming schedule in 2013-14 will help the differentiation. There will be more shoulder programming, and I suspect we’ll see an increase in archival material, as well.

    *** Please note: It was reported numerous times on the Hotline and elsewhere … also: here, here, here, here and here … that the Pac12Nets would broadcast 850 live events in the first year.

    And we reported the figure because that’s exactly what league officials said (repeatedly): 850 live events in Year One.

    Well, it didn’t happen.

    Instead, the Pac12Nets will end up airing 550 live events in 2012-13, the last one on May 26.

    That’s still a huge, momentous number. It’s also 300 fewer than we all expected.

    The league’s explanation: Cost containment.

    It’s hard to argue with that approach. The Pac12Nets had to work within their means — taking money from the schools to pay for going over budget was not an option.

    And it should be noted that the Pac12Nets were contracted to show 550 events in Year One.

    Apparently, 850 was a goal, not an obligation.

    (Speaking of the budget, which I believe was in the $65-70 million range …

    (Multiple league sources have told me that the Pac12Nets will turn a slight profit this year.

    (My strong suspicion is that no money will be distributed to the schools, which didn’t plan to receive a payout of any size. Instead, I expect the profit will be plowed back into the television and digital networks.)

    So the regional networks should start to grow in the next year or two. I’m curious how well they do.

    Also, the P12N greatly overestimated what they could do (550 events versus 850? That’s a huge disparity.) and basically broke even for year 1.

    • ccrider55 says:

      “And it should be noted that the Pac12Nets were contracted to show 550 events in Year One.”

      Bad PR. You don’t publicize your highest aspirations unless you are positive, much like the Dr. doesn’t guarantee complete recovery following injury (Rickey Blier was told just walking normally would be an achievement).

      I also am interested to see how the channels differentiate in year two.

      I find P12N more than breaking even in year one a notable achievement. It is what they said they hoped for. Obviously I’m not privy to internal workings but it appears that assuming construction, purchasing, marketing, hiring, startup, and operating costs has not been any riskier than anticipated.

  50. Mike says:

    I think this is funny.

  51. Clay Hawkins says:

    @B1G folks that want the Sooners: We’re not coming to your conference. Sooner Fans do not want to go to the Midwest Conference. Sooner Fans like ruling the Big XII with Tejas. The conference which Sooner Fans want are the the Big XII (obviously = geographically makes the most sense), then the SEC West, and then the PAC South….with the B1G a distant fourth (in that order).

    Sooners/Shorthorns belong in our own conference where we’re the Top Dogs, not tag-alongs in the B1G.

    Just sayin’ and food for thought.

    • Clay Hawkins says:

      *conference(s)

    • Ross says:

      And..what, you all would be top dogs in the SEC West/Pac South?

      I mean, I understand not wanting to be in the Big Ten, but if your desire is to be top dog, neither of those other conferences (and divisions, in particular) would do that for you. Joining the Big Ten West would put you with Nebraska at the top of the division. You would have to contend with USC in the Pac South. The SEC West is even worse, with Alabama and LSU. I just don’t understand how you can lay those divisions as your preferences while wishing to be the top dog. It would never happen in the SEC. let alone the SEC West.

      • Ross says:

        Forgot to mention, the Big Ten clearly doesn’t want Oklahoma either, so you don’t really need to worry about a handful of Big Ten fans here wanting OU to join the “Midwest Conference”.

        • bamatab says:

          I’m having a hard time understanding why some of the B1G folks on here still think that the B1G presidents would allow a non-AAU not named Notre Dame into the conference. I think it is pretty obvious that if a non-AAU school had a chance to get in, then FSU would’ve gotten in.

          The only way that the B1G was going to get other ACC schools was to loosen FSU away from the ACC. You can’t tell me that the PTB in the B1G didn’t know that FSU (and thus all of the other ACC schools) was about to sign the GOR. I’m sure FSU made sure that message was sent to the B1G. So if the B1G wouldn’t take FSU with the stability of the ACC at stake, I don’t see OU ever being an option unless they were to somehow reach AAU status.

          • frug says:

            Bingo.

          • Brian says:

            Agreed, bamatab.

          • Ross says:

            Exactly. The Big Ten would clearly much rather wait and try and capture a school that is both athletically and academically valuable. No need to run through all the schools that fit the bill, as it has been done many times over, but it is clearly that neither OU nor FSU are among them at this point.

          • Psuhockey says:

            The BIG did research on Oklahoma as a future member so its not like it is impossible no matter how improbable it is. Oklahoma I think could come in as the last member situation or if they are needed to get the biggest fish in college athletics, Texas. I know the BIG wants AAU schools, but the conference knew very well that Nebraska was getting kicked out when they excepted them, as Nebraska’s AAU membership was being questioned as far back as the late 90′s. So Nebraska’s AAU memebrship at the time was merely political cover. The BIG would just need cover to bring in OU or FSU for that matter in the future.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            @Psuhockey has the crucial insight. The Big Ten accepted Nebraska, knowing there was a distinct possibility that it would no longer be in the AAU. Two Big Ten schools cast what turned out to be the decisive votes, booting Nebraska OUT of the AAU. Ergo, AAU membership is not a litmus test. For “the right school,” the Big Ten will accept a non-AAU institution.

            We don’t really know what happened with FSU. Probably, it would have needed to come with the right partners, and there is no evidence that those partners were ready to abandon the ACC. I certainly wouldn’t bet that the Big Ten would say no to a Texas/Oklahoma combo. Mind you, I am not suggesting that UT and OU would ever want this, or that they could even get away with leaving their less-desired in-state sister schools behind.

          • Yes, I agree with that. I think AAU status is a critical factor, but we can’t say that the Big Ten wouldn’t ever consider Oklahoma because we just saw a report where they examined that school. At the end of the day, I think any future Big Ten expansion needs another elite football brand name to work and not just adding markets in and of themselves. The Rutgers/Maryland expansion was acceptable when put into the context that it was part of a multi-step expansion plan that also brought in football power Nebraska. I don’t think it would behoove the Big Ten to move to 16 without one of those additions being another power program.

            Oklahoma is an interesting target because adding them with Kansas would create a contiguous western front for the Big Ten. With all due respect to our Sooner friend Clay Hawkins, OU was more than ready to bail the Big 12 in both 2010 and 2011 to the Pac-10/12 (without Texas in the case of 2011) and it was reported that they tried approaching the Big Ten with Oklahoma State. That doesn’t sound like a school that cared at all about being the “big dog” in a conference or being in a “Midwestern Conference” (as if that’s a bad thing). Trust me – OU wanted out of the Big 12 very badly and would have taken Pac-12 or Big Ten invitations in a heartbeat (not just the fan-based wish of the SEC), but their options were limited because they couldn’t leave behind Oklahoma State.

          • Brian says:

            But what we don’t know is what the homework really entailed. Was it examining where they stand academically to see how far they might be from AAU consideration? Was it being polite because a major school asked to be examined? Was it just seeing if they could be split from OkSU? Was it a cursory glance to note their poor academics and small market and tie to a worse school as well as their strong brand and TV ratings?

            UT and OU as a pair is certainly possible from the B10 side of things and I think most people would support it. I don’t see it happening from the other side, though. I don’t think KU provides enough cover to take OU personally. KU is only on par with NE academically. That’s why FSU was a more realistic stretch target, since there were plenty of ACC schools that could provide academic cover for FSU.

          • frug says:

            The Big Ten accepted Nebraska, knowing there was a distinct possibility that it would no longer be in the AAU. Two Big Ten schools cast what turned out to be the decisive votes, booting Nebraska OUT of the AAU. Ergo, AAU membership is not a litmus test. For “the right school,” the Big Ten will accept a non-AAU institution.

            None of that changes the fact that Nebraska did have AAU membership when they were added.

            Frankly, based on the Big Ten’s history and statements had the expulsion vote taken place 4 months earlier it is unlikely Nebraska would have been admitted. (Hell, even UNL’s president admitted that had Nebraska not been in the AAU they probably would not have been invited)

          • frug says:

            I know the BIG wants AAU schools, but the conference knew very well that Nebraska was getting kicked out when they excepted them

            A. They did not know that Nebraska was getting kicked out. In fact, the Big Ten had every reason to believe that Nebraska would survive that vote. If the CIC schools had stuck together they would have (and knowing what they know now, I’m guessing Michigan and Wisconsin probably would have flipped their votes).

            B. As I noted above, it doesn’t change the fact Nebraska was in the AAU when they were admitted.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            @frug: I’m having a bit of trouble following your logic. Are you suggesting that Michigan and Wisconsin voted against Nebraska staying in the AAU — while all the while hoping that Nebraska would, in fact, survive that vote? That’s a bit difficult to believe.

            UM and UW may not have realized how close the vote would be, but when you vote against someone, the usual reason is that you want them to lose. It’s hard for me to see a strategic reason for the two schools voting the way they did, unless they actually wanted Nebraska OUT of the AAU, and were pleased with that outcome.

          • Brian says:

            Marc,

            Congressmen do it all the time. If you think the outcome of a vote is secured, then you feel free to vote your conscience. If the outcome is in doubt, then you toe the party line to get the big picture result you want.

            I’m not saying that’s what MI and WI did, but it is certainly not unprecedented.

          • frug says:

            @Marc

            Most likely they were trying to scare other schools at the bottom of the AAU metrics by trying to make the pro-expulsion side look as strong as possible. They didn’t necessarily want to eject Nebraska but they wanted to send a message.

            Had they realized that their votes would be the difference between retention of expulsion I suspect they would have voted differently.

            (In some ways it was like the block of liberal Democrats like Kucinich who were all set to vote against the Obama healthcare plan on the grounds it didn’t go far enough. Except unlike UW and UM they realized they would be the deciding votes and ultimately voted Aye begrudgingly)

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            @frug, @Brian: Those are interesting hypotheses. Nevertheless, most of the time, even in Congress, people vote for what they truly want.

            Besides that, Congress is a poor analogy. All of the votes there are held in public, and this allows many kinds of tactical votes, e.g., voting yes for a measure you dislike because the party needs your vote; or voting symbolically, when you know the measure has no chance of passage. Also, in close cases members can switch their votes as they see what the rest of their colleagues have done.

            The AAU vote against Nebraska wasn’t like that. Michigan and Wisconsin couldn’t have been so sure how it would turn out, and they had no option of switching at the last minute. Nebraska’s status had been studied and discussed to death: they had to have known there was a very strong sentiment among the rest of the members to boot them out, and that there was a serious chance of it happening.

            So in the absence of some sort of statement by the two presidents, or people aware of their thinking, I would assume that Michigan and Wisconsin voted the way most people do in such situations: for their preferred outcome.

    • Mike says:

      Sooner Fans like ruling the Big XII with Tejas. The conference which Sooner Fans want are the the Big XII (obviously = geographically makes the most sense), then the SEC West, and then the PAC South…

      Fans may want that (and I’m not 100% sure they do), but they don’t get to decide. The OU administration does and they would rather not even be in the Big 12. I’m sure you remember David Boren’s attempt to move to the PAC12. If Boren had any interest in the SEC they could have easily taken spot #14.

      I highly doubt the school of Barry Switzer is afraid of becoming a tag-along in Big Ten (or SEC, PAC) unless the famed “Sooner Swagger” has gone.

    • GreatLakeState says:

      Spoken like a SUPER Walmart Sooner.

    • Andy says:

      If OU or Kansas end up in the B1G I promise I’ll never post here again.

      Won’t happen though. Zero chance.

      • BruceMcF says:

        So there is a price. Sadly the price is too high to pay, but now that a bid has been put on the table, maybe it will be possible to haggle.

      • vp19 says:

        Kansas won’t end up in the Big Ten because of KSU, just as Oklahoma wouldn’t end up in the Big Ten (even if it was AAU) because of Okie State. Funny how people here ignore those factors.

    • metatron says:

      Uh, okay?

  52. Pat says:

    Michigan AD would like to play tOSU twice a season.
    “He would like to play Ohio State twice in a season, but understands the priorities in remaking the football divisions. His three goals — playing OSU each year, playing MSU each year, finishing the regular season with OSU — were all met.”
    http://www.freep.com/article/20130505/SPORTS06/305050097/big-ten-expansion-michigan-wolverines-michigan-state-spartans-Dave-Brandon

    • Brian says:

      Pat,

      I read that the other day. It sort of negates all the Chicken Little talk about a possible rematch, no?

      • zeek says:

        At this point, they’re all just saying whatever they want.

        We all know that the bean counters wanted Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State in a single division for one purpose: most possible big name matchups and to get those teams rotating through NYC/D.C. TV markets.

        • Brian says:

          zeek,

          “At this point, they’re all just saying whatever they want.”

          He gets no benefit from lying about this, though. It shows that he doesn’t think it would be terrible for MI, the B10 and all of CFB for a rematch to happen the next week.

          I think the main reason MI and OSU pushed to be together this time is that they were concerned they might be forced to move The Game. The more you add new schools who don’t understand and value the old traditions, the more you have to worry about things like that. The B10 dabbled with moving it last time and they didn’t want to risk it.

          “We all know that the bean counters wanted Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State in a single division for one purpose: most possible big name matchups and to get those teams rotating through NYC/D.C. TV markets.”

          We say that, but their parity-based scheduling counters that argument a little.

          Balanced Divisions With Parity Scheduling
          E – K1, K2, P1
          W – K3, K4, P2 + P3

          In division: 2 K/K, 6 K/P, 1 P/P
          Crossover: 5/9 * (4 K/K + 4 K/P) + 1/3 * (2 K/P + 1 P/P)
          Total: 4.22 K/K + 8.89 K/P + 1.33 P/P (14.44 big games)

          NYC: 2K + 1P + 1/3 * (2K + 1P) + 5/9 * P = 2.67K + 1.89P
          DC: 2K + 1P + 1/3 * (2K + 1P) + 5/9 * P = 2.67K + 1.89P
          Total: 5.33K + 3.78P in new markets

          New Divisions With Balanced Scheduling
          E – K1, K2, K3 + P
          W – K3, P1, P2

          In division: 3 K/K, 5 K/P, 1 P/P
          Crossover: 4/9 * (3 K/K + 7 K/P + 2 P/P)
          Total: 4.33 K/K + 8.11 K/P + 1.89 P/P (14.33 big games)

          NYC: 3K + 1P + 4/9 * (1K + 2P) = 3.44K + 1.89P
          DC: 3K + 1P + 4/9 * (1K + 2P) = 3.44K + 1.89P
          Total: 6.89K + 3.78P in new markets

          Changes versus balanced divisions with parity scheduling:
          K/K +0.11
          K/P -0.77
          P/P +0.55
          Total big games -0.11
          K in new markets +1.55
          P in new markets 0

          New Divisions With Parity Scheduling
          E – K1, K2, K3 + P
          W – K3, P1, P2

          In division: 3 K/K, 5 K/P, 1 P/P
          Crossover: 5/9 * (3 K/K + 6 K/P) + 1/3 * (1 K/P + 2 P/P)
          Total: 4.67 K/K + 8.67 K/P + 1.67 P/P (15.0 big games)

          NYC: 3K + 1P + 1/3 * (1K + 2P) = 3.33K + 1.67P
          DC: 3K + 1P + 1/3 * (1K + 2P) = 3.33K + 1.67P
          Total: 6.67K + 3.33P in new markets

          Changes versus balanced divisions:
          K/K +0.44
          K/P -0.22
          P/P +0.33
          Total big games +0.55
          K in new markets +1.33
          P in new markets -0.44

          Changes versus balanced scheduling:
          K/K +0.33
          K/P +0.55
          P/P -0.22
          Total big games +0.67
          K in new markets -0.22
          P in new markets -0.44

          As expected, parity-based scheduling actually costs the B10 K and P games versus RU and UMD. The new divisions still make for 1 more K game against them (combined) but at the cost of 8/9 of a P game. That’s a gain since a K game has more value than a P game, but it’s not a very big gain. The other gain comes in total big games for TV, with almost 1 big game per year added.

        • Psuhockey says:

          Also the disaster attendancd of the conference championship last year was a reason to put all 3 in one division. Michigan, OSU, or PSU will more than likely win that division 99% of the time. Their fans will fill the stadium for the championship game themselves unlike Wisconsin and Nebraska fans last year. If when one of the those doesn’t, it will be such an accomplishment that the other teams fans in the east will think the championship game is a big deal enought to want to go.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            I don’t think last year’s CCG had anything to do with it. OSU and PSU were both ineligible, a situation that is unlikely to occur again. Had the game been OSU vs. Nebraska, as it should have been, that’s about as good a game (on paper) as the league could hope for.

          • Brian says:

            Psuhockey,

            “Also the disaster attendancd of the conference championship last year was a reason to put all 3 in one division. Michigan, OSU, or PSU will more than likely win that division 99% of the time. Their fans will fill the stadium for the championship game themselves unlike Wisconsin and Nebraska fans last year. If when one of the those doesn’t, it will be such an accomplishment that the other teams fans in the east will think the championship game is a big deal enought to want to go.”

            I draw the exact opposite conclusion from that. The CCG was proof you want OSU and MI split so there is one team that will fill the stadium in each division. I’m not convinced PSU fans will make the trip, and certainly the red hordes from WI and NE didn’t (nor WI and MSU the year before).

            OSU/MI split:
            OSU in CCG – 40%
            MI in CCG – 40%
            Both in CCG – 16%
            Neither in CCG – 36%

            New divisions:
            OSU in CCG – 30%
            MI in CCG – 30%
            Both in CCG – 0%
            Neither in CCG – 40%

            Now add in PSU and NE:

            Old divisions basically:
            OSU in CCG – 40%
            PSU in CCG – 30%
            MI in CCG – 40%
            NE in CCG – 30%
            2 in CCG – 49%
            None in CCG – 9%

            New divisions:
            OSU in CCG – 35%
            MI in CCG – 30%
            PSU in CCG – 25%
            NE in CCG – 40%
            2 in CCG – 36%
            None in CCG – 6%

            I agree with Marc that the CCG had nothing to do with it, but if it was a factor I think it goes against your argument.

  53. Brian says:

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/blog/eye-on-college-football/22225609/nick-saban-is-in-favor-of-five-conferences-breaking-away

    I’ll give Saban this, he’s never been afraid of a tough game. In response to the B10 agreeing to stop playing I-AA teams, Saban said:

    “I’m for five conferences — everybody playing everybody in those five conferences,” Saban told AL.com. “That’s what I’m for, so it might be 70 teams, and everybody’s got to play ‘em.”

    Saban also went on to say that he’s in favor of the SEC adding a ninth conference game for the fans.

    “Don’t they want to see good games and all that?”

    That’s too NFL for me, personally. I like the chance for Cinderella upsets in September, then a conference grind as the weather cools. Maybe Saban should tell his AD to drop the I-AA games and put his schedule where his mouth is.

    • Andy says:

      1AA schools are a financial thing more than anything. They’re cheap. It’s not that a program is afraid of playing 1A schools, it’s just that they’re trying to save money.

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        @Andy: It’s about bowl positioning. The current system doesn’t punish a school for playing meaningless guarantee games; or, to put it differently, the current system doesn’t reward schools enough for playing real games that they might lose.

        Even your comment about saving money is dubious, because schools lose money by going to bowls. The school that schedules a I-AA paycheck game, and then just barely qualifies for a bowl, is a net loser, financially. But it adds to the prestige of your program, to say you went to a bowl.

        • Andy says:

          It’s about how much you have to pay a school to play you. Playing Arkansas State and Toledo costs a lot more than playing Murray State, on the order of hundreds of thousands of dollars per game.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            @Andy: Among the various reasons that ADs give for scheduling these games, price is not the most commonly mentioned. Bowl positioning comes up a lot more. Also, many invited opponents decline, or won’t come without a return game that the first school does not want to give up. Murray State is cheaper, but it’s offset by the fact that many schools sell those tickets at lower prices, or fail to sell out the stadium for such an unsexy opponent.

    • BruceMcF says:

      And so of course Alabama schedules both an FCS school and a school one year out of FCS ~ like Tennessee and it seems half of the Big12.

      I think that’s an ambit claim to actually push toward an agreement to not schedule any more FCS games. If “everyone else” in your division is scheduling the OVC, SWAC, SoCon or Southland, and you restricted yourselves to FBS schools, you’ve increased the cost of your payday games and possibly (depending on the FBS schools and FCS schools) the risk of a Cinderella upset at the same time … but if everyone agrees to stop scheduling FCS schools, then that can avoid a race to the bottom.

  54. Clay Hawkins says:

    @Ross, no you read into my post. I was not suggesting that the Sooners would dominate the PAC12 South or the SEC West (although if OU and Texas did join the divisions would be reconfigured with true Southwest and Southeast divisions, Bammer to the Southeast, for example.)

    OU wants to stay in the Big XII because this is where we’ll always be Top Dog (along with Shorthorn U.) Much like FSU wanted to stay in the ACC because FSU is THE team in the ACC. The Big XII has two at the top of the food chain, the Sooners and Horns.

    Hope this helps. And no, Sooner Fans still not want to go to the Midwest Conference. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great conference with illustrious history/tradition, but it wouldn’t be a good fit geographically or culturally. No thanks. Shoot for Kansas or Iowa State. We’ll give ‘em to ya.

    • Clay Hawkins says:

      @Mike, no it has nothing to do with fear.

      You’re right Boren wanted the PAC, but he is in the extreme minority (I understand the administration has the most pull, however.)….really the Sooners only wanted the PAC if we could have the other Big XII South teams go with us when A&M was still in the conference. It would have sucked for fans.

      The only semi-viable option that is best FOR THE FANS (not saying it is going to happen, but this is what the vast majority of us want) would be the SEC West. However, I still would not like that as it makes the Sooners look desperate. I don’t like the thought of arguably the most storied program in college football history looking desperate to get in another conference and away from the cancer that is Tejas (at least this is the perception).

    • Andy says:

      These divisions would be interesting:

      Southeast
      Florida/Georgia/South Carolina/Kentucky/Alabama/Auburn/Tennessee/Vandy

      Southwest
      Texas/Texas A&M/Oklahoma/Missouri/Arkansas/LSU/Ole Miss/MSU

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      OU wants to stay in the Big XII because this is where we’ll always be Top Dog (along with Shorthorn U.) Much like FSU wanted to stay in the ACC because FSU is THE team in the ACC.

      It’s ironic you’d say that, because FSU is not “THE team” in the ACC: North Carolina is, and FSU has long resented that. I think they would’ve accepted a Big Ten offer in a heartbeat, but they didn’t want the Big XII. The FSU president published a fairly long and detailed explanation of why the Big XII would not be a better home for FSU.

      Without a Big Ten offer immediately forthcoming, FSU faced the possibility that additional ACC schools would abandon ship. Then, they’d be stuck with a damaged ACC, or jumping to the Big XII, where they’d rather not go. Having weighed both options, they decided that keeping the ACC afloat was their best bet.

      • Clay Hawkins says:

        @Marc,

        UNC is “THE team” in ACC football? ;-) I don’t think so.

        I obviously was referring to football.

        FSU is the most valuable football commodity in the ACC. (I’m not talking about AAU status, academic status/research grants, basketball, or anything else….strictly football.)

        Yes, FSU is “THE team” in the ACC when it comes to football.

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          @Clay: Yes, I had noticed that FSU is better at football than UNC! The words “in football” weren’t in your original post.

          The key point is that FSU’s dominance of the ACC is not analogous to UT’s dominance of the Big XII. Historically, UT dominates the Big XII in every way, both administratively and athletically.

          Sure, FSU is the ACC’s best football school, but the league’s center of gravity is in North Carolina, where basketball holds a much greater influence there than it does in the Big XII, which is very much a football-first league.

          Remember, UConn came within a whisker of getting the ACC’s 14th spot, until the football schools agitated for Louisville. Of course, it’s notable that the football schools prevailed. But it’s equally notable that they had to stomp their feet to get noticed, a situation that would not exist in any of the other Big Five leagues.

          • Clay says:

            @Marc,

            Texas dominates the money stream and most likely has the lion-share of input (along with Oklahoma) when it comes to the future of the conference.

            However, Texas does not dominate football on the field. The Sooners have won the Big XII 8 times. The Horns…..3 times.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            @Clay: Dominance, in the context here, is financial, not in the won-lost column. That’s why Notre Dame has the influence they have, despite such mediocre results on the field over the past 20-odd years (aside from last year).

  55. Clay Hawkins says:

    @Andy,

    Your alignment would be the conference to end all conferences, for sure. It sure would be fun to have the opportunity to pound on Bama every now and then and play LSU every year. I know Sooner Fans would love these games, the bigtime week-in and week-out.

    Obviously, I prefer the Big XII. However, the SEC West would be the next best option based on geography/culture if the Big XII falls apart.

    Also, if the Big XII will be viable for the future, we HAVE to expand and get a championship game back or the B1G, SEC, PAC are going to leave us in the dust. With OK/TX in the conference, the Big XII will always remain a more valuable conference than the ACC, but not the other 3 conferences.

    • Andy says:

      I know a lot of Missouri fans would welcome OU. Most wouldn’t want Texas but it would be hard to turn them down. It would also help us restore our recruiting in Texas.

  56. […] fire” with respect to conference realignment.  The leading blog on conference realignment, Frank the Tank, certainly thinks that it plausible.  With all conferences other than the SEC signing Grant of […]

    • drwillini says:

      Can one of lawyers posting here please help me with the GOR concpet. I know that you sign over the media rights to the conference. The rights you are signing over are just the rights to your home games, correct? To be binding the GOR must be separate from the conference affiliation, otherwise it would not bind you if you left the conference. So if it supercedes the conference affiliation, if you left the conference wouldn’t you continue to recieve your portion of the media revenues? Otherwise it seems like you have signed your rights away without compensation, and I didn’t think that was a valid contract.

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        They’re not signing away their rights without compensation: they’re signing away their rights in exchange for substantial television revenue, so that makes it a valid contract.

        Now, the whole premise of the TV deal is that the league will remain intact: the ACC is worth a lot less if Florida State and Miami are no longer in it. So one of the things they agree to, is that if they leave they get nothing.

        Obviously, if they could leave and still get the same revenue, then the GOR would serve no purpose whatsoever. The whole premise, is that their ability to get paid is contingent on their remaining in the league.

      • BruceMcF says:

        The revenue is tied to conference affiliation. Its not unusual for a grant of copyrights and similar media rights to have the revenue tied to some performance ~ which in this case would be participation in the conference and allowing access to your property to the conference media partner.

    • ccrider55 says:

      Pffftt.

      De-alignment could only occur in an already dysfunctional conference. It is an act of desperation, not of those in the power leadership positions and totally ignores the non athletic benefits of/to conference membership. Those bound only by membership in a “sports club” might be susceptible in the future. But, the only example reveals that such action is a symptom of a bigger problem and certainly did nothing to stabilize/improve that conference. Next conference to engage in that is the next to die.

  57. Clay Hawkins says:

    @Frank The Tank,

    Please provide a link that demonstrates that Oklahoma/Okie-State propositioned the B1G when OU/OSU were in discussion with the PAC. That’s a new one.

    You are absolutely right about OU Leadership (in particular, and Okie-State to a lesser extent, following Big Brother) wanting the PAC…..that is no secret. It’s very likely that Boren used all of that as posturing (“we’re not a wallflower” bs) to get Texas to concede a bit more on solidifying the conference.

    OU Brass pretty much begged A&M to stay in the conference, but the Hissies were already gone to the SEC. OU’s reconvened discussion with L-Scott and the PAC was reactionary and posturing to tell Texas we don’t need you (which, for the OU Leadership turned out to not be true).

    Moreover, the SEC came hard after OU when all this mess (yes, that is what it is) started three-four years ago. Boren told Slive no thanks. I know what the vast majority of Sooner fans want. It’s not the B1G. Again, no slight intended. It’s a great conference with great history/tradition. But it’s just not for Oklahoma. B1G Brass: You want Kansas and Texas then go for it. The Sooners will take Little Brother Okie State and go to the SEC West.

    • Andy says:

      This is true. Slive first went after OU and then when OU said no they went to Missouri. Despite what many on here say, Slive didn’t go after any ACC schools during that round, but might have if Misssouri had said no or went to the B1G. More recently he seemed to have been working on UNC, and many thought it might happen but the GOR nixed that.

      • duffman says:

        I think the SEC and OU talked but OU wanted OSU to tag along and the SEC said no. Simple as that. Now OU has tried to get into the PAC with OSU and that did not work either. At some point OU will have to make a decision if they want the B1G / PAC / SEC or if they want to be tied to OSU for eternity as the option of both seems remote.

        • Andy says:

          Yeah, pretty much. But the SEC wanted A&M so there was no room for OSU, nor did they want them. Also the PAC would have taken OU and OSU if UT had come too.

        • frug says:

          While you are right that the SEC wouldn’t take OSU, it wouldn’t have really mattered. OU is like Texas in that they have zero interest in the SEC.

        • Andy says:

          Some at OU do, some don’t. I hear plenty of OU fans say they wish they were in the SEC.

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      Clay – while your Sooners would be a welcome member of the SEC, I think your little brother is a deal killer, as it was in 2010 and 2011. I seriously doubt the SEC wants two schools in the state of Oklahoma if it doesn’t want two schools in the state of Florida.

      • largeR says:

        @AfBR
        The only double up the SEC wants other than UT, which isn’t happening, ever, is Duke to get UNC. Would you agree with that?

        • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

          R – that’s what it sounded like. I would have taken Florida State. The ‘noles may not have brought new territory, but it would have made the SECN more valuable in Florida, and increased the value of the CBS Tier 1 and the ESPN/ESPN2 Tier 2 deals. Kind of like what Nebraska brought to the B1G.

          I’d rather have two teams in Florida than any other state such as NC, TX, or OK. The SEC apparently disagrees.

      • GreatLakeState says:

        I agree. They’re not taking two schools from Oklahoma. As much as the SEC would like OK, they’re already so stacked in marquee Football powers, that two schools from a small state is way too high a price to pay. UNC/DUKE are the final pieces of their puzzle, which, if it happens at all, could be far into the future.

      • Clay says:

        Yep, that may be a deal-breaker. No question about that. However, Oklahoma would be such a good get/brand Slive might concede to round out the SEC.

        (Plus, Oklahoma would DEMAND that it be allowed to use “SWC” as a conference/divisional descriptor so we don’t have to shout “SEC, SEC, SEC”…………….ok, calm down SEC homers, it’s just a little ribbin’.) ;-)

    • largeR says:

      On a Big XII related note, how or why did the BiG XII allow Louisville to move to the ACC, when Louisville came so close to having WVs spot? That would appear to be the second biggest mistake of realignment, right after the B1G taking Nebraska instead of Missouri. :) I just reread Mr SECs recent post; here’s the link,

      http://mrsec.com/2013/05/acc-schools-wise-to-stick-together-and-not-jump-to-big-xii/

      • GreatLakeState says:

        A collective “D’OH!” on that one.

      • Clay says:

        I alluded to this very thing (Big XII not taking Louisville when it had the chance) here: http://www.city-data.com/forum/college-football/1490882-realignment-rumors-45.html

        • Michael in Raleigh says:

          On the flip side, a lot of people argue that the ACC screwed up when WVU was not a part of the expansion announced in September 2011 (Pitt/Syracuse). Either Syracuse or Pitt would have been left out at that time, or, more accurately, postponed. The theory is that the Big 12 would have replaced A&M/Missouri with TCU/Louisville in late 2011, and that the ACC would have replaced Maryland with either Pitt or Syracuse.

          WVU would make a bit more sense than Louisville in the ACC, especially with the longer connection with Pitt, Syracuse, BC, VT, and Miami, not to mention the better geographic fit.

          But hindsight is 20/20, my friends. I’m just happy the ACC isn’t dead. B1G fans (or, more accurately, Jim Delany and the COP/C) are happy to be in the dominant conference financially with a big-bad east coast presence, regardless of the reduction of games between many of the old guard members.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            Maryland’s departure was a move no one saw coming. The idea of “postponing” Syracuse or Pitt couldn’t possibly have occurred to them. You can’t call that a screw-up.

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            @Marc Shepherd,

            Oh, I know. I just meant the net effect would have been a postponement.

            I just think there’s frustration from some ACC fans that if we’re going to expand, they’d have rather had WVU than Louisville, while WVU fans may argue, “See, I told you the ACC should have taken us.”

            Anyway, it doesn’t really matter. We’re living in reality, not alternate reality.

          • Arch Stanton says:

            It’s funny that some ACC fans are saying, “We should have taken West Virginia instead of Louisville”, and some Big 12 fans are saying, “We should have taken Louisville instead of West Virginia.”
            Grass is always greener!

          • Mack says:

            The ACC would have likely taken UCONN over WVU if the XII had gone for Louisville. Despite the travel WVU is better in the XII than the AACK. When the ACC expanded Syracuse was not going anywhere, while Pitt and WVU were known targets of the XII backfill. Therefore, if the ACC ever had interest in WVU it should have been invited with Pitt. Besides the fear of losing members to the SEC, the timing of ACC expansion might have been related to Pitt (expect WVU made the same call) telling the ACC they would have to bail to the XII unless the ACC made an offer.

      • Arch Stanton says:

        I remember hearing that the TV people wanted WV over Louisville. They own their state while Louisville is second fiddle, and WV had the better national “name” in football at the time.

        In hindsight, they should have taken both schools, TCU and told BYU “now or never”.
        Of course maybe they did do that and BYU said “never”.

        Right now, Louisville looks like it would have been the better pick over WV if only one could be chosen, especially for anyone has had to travel to Blacksburg. But, who knows, WV could be the better long term pick.

        • Brian says:

          Arch Stanton,

          “I remember hearing that the TV people wanted WV over Louisville. They own their state while Louisville is second fiddle, and WV had the better national “name” in football at the time.

          In hindsight, they should have taken both schools, TCU and told BYU “now or never”.
          Of course maybe they did do that and BYU said “never”.

          Right now, Louisville looks like it would have been the better pick over WV if only one could be chosen, especially for anyone has had to travel to Blacksburg. But, who knows, WV could be the better long term pick.”

          Sure Morgantown is hard to get to and is farther away than Louisville, but I’d trust the TV people. They know who they’d pay the B12 more to have. WV is clearly the bigger FB brand. Let’s see how UL does in the ACC before getting too excited.

          I agree taking both would have been good. Unfortunately the B12 had to add TCU to keep games in TX, meaning the B12 would need a 4th. With BYU saying no, they had no good options.

          • Arch Stanton says:

            Yeah, that’s all true. I wonder if adding TCU, West Virginia, Louisville and Boise State was ever discussed. Not sure how they would have divided those divisions if either BYU or Boise State were added. There is the obvious Texas and Oklahoma schools together vs everyone else. Can’t imagine that KU, KSU, and ISU would have been too pleased with that set up though.

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        Because expansion to 11 and 11 only makes sense only when you’re adding a school like Penn State, the Big 12 obviously needs two solid candidates in order to add anyone new.

        BYU stands out as candidate #1 in a two-team expansion, provided that the Big 12 can convince BYU to forego independence. That will not be easy at all. But for argument’s sake, let’s say that BYU is ready and willing to join the league if/when it comes calling. Is the Big 12 ready to expand?

        No, at least not yet.

        I think that the Big 12 wants wait out the next few years. Without the threat of being raided, and without having to worry about the other four major conferences changing membership any time soon, it can afford to wait and expand carefully, rather than reactively. Right now, there is no equivalent to BYU in terms of how much pop can be added to its TV value, but one may emerge in the future.

        Specifically, I think the Big 12 wants to see how Cincinnati does in the AAC. Cincy was second to West Virginia in Big East football during the post-Miami/VT/BC era. It has grown in stature as a football program and as an athletic department as a whole, but not to the level of Louisville. The Big 12 certainly wants to know whether Cincy will go on to dominate the AAC, or if it will fall into the pack while newbies like Houston, UCF, Tulsa, and ECU leverage their new league membership into great success.

        Right now, for lack of a better way of putting it, Cincinnati is a kind of Louisville-lite. It’s good at basketball but not a powerhouse. It’s actually been better at football, but it has inferior facilities and lesser TV value. It’s in a bigger metro area and has better academics, but has less money and support. Really, if the Big 12 is going to expand, it needs to add two solid additions at the BYU/Louisville/WVU-level, rather than one at that level and another trailing behind.

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          @Michael: I can’t imagine that Cincinnati is high on the Big XII’s watch list. The fact is, for the foreseeable future, they’re going to be playing the vast majority of their schedule against opponents most of the country doesn’t care much about. For Cincinnati to create a major national brand with that schedule and their other built-in disadvantages is going to be very hard to pull off.

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            They don’t have to be a major national brand on the scale of college football’s kings. They would have to be on par with TCU, BYU, or Louisville, though. TCU isn’t a major national brand, but they are well-respected. They earned that respect while in the Mountain West. They were added by the Big East before the Big East lost Syracuse, Pitt, WVU, etc.

            Cincy very well could do in the AAC what TCU did in the Mountain West. Only time will tell. In my opinion, they’re at the best starting position compared with other AAC members. They’re closer to WVU and to the rest of the conference than just about any other potential new member. Such travel-friendly location does matter, though it’s anyone’s guess how much. They’re better in football over the past five to ten years than any other AAC member. They don’t offer duplcate territory like Tulsa or the Texas schools. They’re expanding their stadium.

            Look, I’m not saying they’re on the brink of an invitation to the Big 12. I’m just saying that they’ve been rising in prominence over the past several years, and if it reaches the same level as Louisville or TCU in spite of its conference, then the Big 12 will be taking a serious look at the Bearcats.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            Look, I’m not saying they’re on the brink of an invitation to the Big 12. I’m just saying that they’ve been rising in prominence over the past several years, and if it reaches the same level as Louisville or TCU in spite of its conference, then the Big 12 will be taking a serious look at the Bearcats.

            Here’s where I think that breaks down: WV and TCU were mandatory adds. After losing four schools in short order, the Big XII had to get back up to 10 quickly, and they believed those were the two best schools on the free-agent market. Getting up to 12 isn’t mandatory in the same sense; and therefore, it’s not good enough for Cincy to be merely “as good as Louisville or TCU.”

            The right question to ask is: how good do the next two schools have to be, to improve the Big XII’s total TV payout by more than 20 percent? Because if the TV payout doesn’t go up by at least that amount, then the addition dilutes what they have, rather than improving it.

            BYU might conceivably contribute their share, because they have a national following: they’re the Mormons’ Notre Dame. Cincinnati is not, and it would take a practically miraculous run of success on the football field to change that. It’s probably just not happening.

            For expansion to be worthwhile, the Big XII needs an add like Florida State or Miami. We’re talking a totally different level than Cincinnati.

          • BruceMcF says:

            Well, UC would want to be on par with Louisville, at any rate, but they would primarily hope that there is a compelling enough 11th out there that they can slip in as a 12th on the basis of “well, among these available schools, this one is the best on offer … that is to say, do a Mizzou.

        • Brian says:

          Nippert Stadium will keep UC from ever moving up. No major conference wants a school that can’t even seat 40k and doesn’t like to play off campus either.

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            I’ll give you that attendance & stadium size at Nippert would have to change, but playing off campus won’t be a factor. Sure, Cincy doesn’t like playing off campus, but if playing at Paul Brown is a condition for joining the Big 12, then Cincy is going to be playing at Paul Brown.

            Let’s just wait and see. Cincy and other AAC members, especially UConn and USF, will be bending over backwards trying to strengthen their non-league schedule in order to help offset the weakness of their conference. If Cincy is highly successful–meaning 3 or 4 undefeated or one-loss seasons in a row–attendance should be very strong no matter how boring their home league schedule is.

          • Brian says:

            Michael in Raleigh,

            “I’ll give you that attendance & stadium size at Nippert would have to change,”

            Which it really can’t. There isn’t room for a sizable expansion.

            “but playing off campus won’t be a factor. Sure, Cincy doesn’t like playing off campus, but if playing at Paul Brown is a condition for joining the Big 12, then Cincy is going to be playing at Paul Brown.”

            I don’t know. Their current AD has been pretty vehement about not playing at PBS. Apparently the Bengals give them such a crappy deal that they actually make more money playing at Nippert. He really believes in playing on campus, too. They would probably do it, but I almost guarantee they would refuse to play more than 1 game per year at PBS (UT or OU, maybe WV).

            “Let’s just wait and see. Cincy and other AAC members, especially UConn and USF, will be bending over backwards trying to strengthen their non-league schedule in order to help offset the weakness of their conference.”

            I think most of them will focus on winning more than SOS. They’ll also need to make more money so they’ll schedule for that.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            Let’s just wait and see. Cincy and other AAC members, especially UConn and USF, will be bending over backwards trying to strengthen their non-league schedule in order to help offset the weakness of their conference.

            They’re already doing that. You know what the trouble is? The weakness of those teams is not a mere perception. They’re going to be underdogs in most of those games. Sure, there’ll be the occasional upset, as there always is in college football. The odds of one of them putting together a string of “3 or 4 undefeated or one-loss seasons in a row” is pretty low — even assuming (which I doubt) that that suffices to make them useful to the Big XII.

          • BruceMcF says:

            But the rules have changed a bit … now that there is no ranking hurdle for the best of the Go5 champions to clear to get into one of the big bowls, if they get into the Big Bowls and win enough of them, their record going into those bowl games won’t be so critical.

    • prophetstruth says:

      @Clayhawkins
      “I know what the vast majority of Sooner fans want.”
      How do you know what the vast majority of Sooner fans want? Scientific Poll? Message board rants? You know all sooner fans – t-shirt and otherwise? ESPN Poll? You know every single living Alumni and asked to get a view of what the “vast majority” want? Are you the official president of the Sooner conference realignment fan club? Maybe you and some others do not want Oklahoma in the Big Ten, if they could somehow garner an invitation. However, I doubt any of us can say with certain conviction what the vast majority of school constituencies want other than the academic types who would likely welcome an invite to a perceived better academic consortium.

      • GreatLakeState says:

        As is often the case, the priorities of those who are actually navigating these colleges through the increasingly treacherous waters of academia 2.0, and the ‘football fans’ who think the SEC is ‘really awesome’ have little in common. I think Boren & Co. would do back flips to join the PAC or B1G (if Texas came along). The SEC is another matter. Boren is a Rhodes scholar who has really made elevating Oklahoma’s academic status a priority. That is antithetical to the SEC.

        • Andy says:

          Newsflash: The SEC has more AAU schools than the Big 12, and the the average academic ranking of SEC schools is higher than the average academic ranking of Big 12 schools.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Not than the B12 OU was ready to leave if UT had chosen to also.

          • Andy says:

            I suppose. I thought he was talking about now.

            At this point the SEC is the better academic conference:

            School/Federal Research Expenditures*/Total Research Expenditures/USNews Ranking
            http://mup.asu.edu/research.html

            Vanderbilt*/21/37/17
            Texas A&M*/35/18/65
            Florida*/42/21/54
            Kentucky/59/46/125
            Missouri*/69/77/97
            South Carolina/75/98/115
            Georgia/77/51/63
            Mississippi State/79/84/160
            Tennessee/87/94/101
            LSU/91/67/134
            Auburn/121/114/89
            Arkansas/141/132/134
            Mississippi/165/185/151
            Alabama/194/NR/77

            Texas*/24/30/46
            Iowa State*/83/79/101
            Kansas*/100/117/106
            West Virginia/107/116/165
            Kansas State/111/112/139
            Oklahoma/130/157/101
            Oklahoma State/134/124/139
            Texas Tech/190/153/165
            Baylor/NR/NR/77
            Texas Christian/NR/NR/92

            * = AAU

            The Big 12 has one solid school in Texas. They then have Iowa State, a low end AAU school, and Kansas, pretty much the worst school in the AAU other than maybe Oregon. No real contenders for AAU membership outside of those three. Oklahoma is fairly weak. KSU and OSU even weaker. WVU and TTU are weaker still. Baylor and TCU are Christian schools, and fairly good as far as that goes, but they are not major research instittutions.

            The SEC has four solid schools in Vanderbilt, Texas A&M, Florida, and Missouri. All AAU. They also have a couple of schools that could conceivably one day reach AAU status (although probably not within the next decade or two) in Kentucky and Georgia. Beyond that South Carolina, Tennessee, LSU, and Auburn are all at least as strong or stronger than Oklahoma as far as academics. Alabama is a perfectly good undergraduate institution, they just do all their research up in Birmingham. Mississippi State does a lot of research but their undergraduate quality leaves something to be desired. Arkansas is at the Kansas State tier. Ole Miss is at the Texas Tech tier.

            Overal, the SEC is clearly the better league academically. They’ve solidly claimed the spot as the 4th best academic conference at this point.

          • Blaples says:

            @Andy Is this where B1G fans get to laugh at conference dick measuring about who is the 4th and 5th best academic conference? Similar to how SEC fans laugh about others arguing who is the 4th and 5th best football conference?

            If so… hahahahaha.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            @Andy: Based on your numbers, there’s not a big difference between Missouri and Iowa State:

            Missouri*/69/77/97
            Iowa State*/83/79/101

            The only significant gap is in federal research dollars. In total research and U.S. News Ranking, they’re so close that the differences are basically rounding errors. I don’t see any basis for calling Iowa State a low-level AAU school, unless Missouri is too.

            You toss out words like “weak” too loosely. Oklahoma isn’t weak; it’s a solid non-AAU state flagship institution. Its U. S. News ranking is only a few slots below Missouri. Most students would get the same quality of education at either place.

            Missouri does have a solid lead over Oklahoma in research dollars, although they’re close enough that I could guarantee you there are many fields where Oklahoma is better, even if it’s not most of them, and quite a few others where there’s basically no difference.

            Aside from that…yes, you’re right: overall, the SEC is better in academics than the Big XII. So??

          • Andy says:

            test-threading seems to be screwed up….

          • Andy says:

            Ok, threading is working fine, just looked funny.

            Blaples, yeah, I know that the B1G, ACC, and Pac 12 are the premier academic conferences at this point. That’s obvious. But the SEC is a clear #4 now. The only way they could rise to #3 is by adding schools like UNC, Virgina, Duke, Georgia Tech, or Texas, and by having schools like Georgia and Kentucky make strides. In all likelihood they’ll stay in 4th. But that’s better than 5th or 6th. Hopefully they’ll close the gap with third somewhat over time just by improving the schools they have.

            Marc, yes, Iowa State’s undergrad rankings aren’t that far behind Missouri’s, that’s true. What I meant by low level is that they’re not quite at risk of losing AAU membership, but somewhat. If you go by research dollars, here’s where the AAU schools rank:

            1 The Johns Hopkins University
            2 University of Michigan
            3 University of Washington
            4 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
            5 University of California, San Diego
            6 The University of Wisconsin-Madison
            7 University of Pennsylvania
            8 Columbia University
            9 Stanford University
            10 University of California, Los Angeles
            11 University of Pittsburgh
            12 Duke University
            13 The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
            14 Washington University in St. Louis
            15 University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
            16 The Pennsylvania State University
            17 Harvard University
            18 Yale University
            19 University of Southern California
            20 The Ohio State University
            21 Vanderbilt University
            22 Georgia Institute of Technology
            23 Case Western Reserve University
            24 The University of Texas at Austin
            25 California Institute of Technology
            26 The University of Chicago
            27 Northwestern University
            28 University of Rochester
            29 University of California, Davis
            30 Emory University
            31 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
            32 University of California, Berkeley
            33 Texas A&M University
            34 Boston University
            35 The University of Iowa
            36 University of Maryland, College Park
            37 University of Colorado Boulder
            38 Cornell University
            39 University of Florida
            40 University of Virginia
            41 New York University
            42 University of California, Irvine
            43 Purdue University
            44 Carnegie Mellon University
            45 Michigan State University
            46 University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
            47 Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
            48 The University of Arizona
            49 Princeton University
            50 University of Missouri-Columbia
            51 University of California, Santa Barbara
            52 Tulane University
            53 Stony Brook University-State University of New York
            54 Iowa State University
            55 Brown University
            56 Indiana University
            57 The University of Kansas
            58 University of Oregon
            59 Rice University
            60 Brandeis University

            Missouri has a full 10 schools below them in research. ISU only has 6. Yeah, it’s subjective. Feel free to create your own terminology. Missouri is closer to the bottom than to the top, but they seem to be more solid. Especially considering they’ve been one of the bigger climbers in the last 20 years or so. Enrollment has expanded by 50% in the last decade, and research dollars were around tied with ISU 20 years ago and are now several spots higher. ISU’s mostly solid too, but less so.

          • Andy says:

            And for the record, I’m not saying Missouri’s a great school by any means. Their business school is respectable, borderline top 50. Their law school is in decline, on the cusp of leaving the top 100. Agriculture is very solid. Vetrinary Medicine isn’t too bad. Journalism ranks anywhere from #1 to #3 depending on who you ask. Engineering isn’t anything that great because the UM System puts most of it’s engineering programs at the Missouri Institute of Science and Technology (formerly known as the University of Missouri at Rolla). Undergraduate rankings are frustratingly low considering Mizzou’s entering freshman average ACT score would rank within the normal range of B1G schools:

            Northwestern 31
            Michigan 31
            Illinois 29
            Wisconsin 28
            Minnesota 28
            Ohio State 28
            Purdue 27
            Indiana 27
            Penn State 27
            **Missouri 26
            Iowa 26
            Michigan State 26
            Nebraska 25
            Rutgers not reported
            Maryland not reported

            Enrollment has been steadily going up, ACT scores have been steadily going up, fundraising is up, contruction has been more active than ever, but I suppose it takes a long time to get those USNews rankings to budge.

            But what makes Mizzou an AAU school is the School of Medicine. The UM System has two schools of medicine, one in Columbia and the other in Kansas City. The Columbia school is stronger. It ranks in the top 20 or 30 in a few fields. That’s what keeps us high enough in the research rankings to stay in the AAU. And it’s expanding all the time. They’re building another $200M facility as we speak.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            @Andy: you have the rankings right. I just think it’s interesting that you called Missouri “solid” and Iowa “low end,” when they’re four places apart in a list of 60, and the higher of the two is 50th.

          • Andy says:

            Well, technically speaking, any school starting with maybe #40 Virginia or #45 Michigan State on down is “lower end”, so in that case ISU and Missouri are lower end. I suppose I shouldn’t try to draw too fine a line between schools that are in the same ballpark. All I meant by “solid” is that they weren’t at any real risk of losing AAU status. But I suppose ISU is probably in that category as well, if not quite as solidly as Missouri. But Kansas is clearly a notch below, which is why I called them “pretty much the worst school in the AAU other than maybe Oregon”, and I stand by that. And Oklahoma isn’t anywhere near the level it needs to be for AAU membership.

          • bullet says:

            Newsflash
            SEC has more schools than the Big 12. 28.57% are AAU. 30% of Big 12 schools are AAU. The SEC isn’t anywhere near #4. The Ivy League and UAA are way ahead of the SEC.

          • bullet says:

            For that matter the Big West has 3 schools rated higher than anyone in the SEC.

          • Andy says:

            bullet, you conveniently ignored that not only does the SEC have more AAU schools, but their schools are better on average. I laid out a ton of stats to prove it and you seemingly ignored all of them.

            Here, let’s look at them head to head:

            Federal Research/Total Research/USNews Ranking

            1. Vanderbilt*/21/37/17 vs Texas*/24/30/46, winner, Vandy – SEC
            2. Texas A&M*/35/18/65 vs Iowa State*/83/79/101, winner, Texas A&M – SEC
            3. Florida*/42/21/54 vs Kansas*/100/117/106, winner, Florida – SEC
            4. Kentucky/59/46/125 vs West Virginia/107/116/165, winner, Kentucky – SEC
            5. Missouri*/69/77/97 vs Kansas State/111/112/139, winner, Missouri – SEC
            6. South Carolina/75/98/115 vs Oklahoma/130/157/101, winner, SOuth Carolina – SEC
            7. Georgia/77/51/63 vs Oklahoma State/134/124/139, winner, Georgia – SEC
            8. Mississippi State/79/84/160 vs Texas Tech/190/153/165, winner – MSU – SEC
            9. Tennessee/87/94/101 vs Baylor/NR/NR/77, winner, debatable but probably Tennessee – SEC
            10. LSU/91/67/134 vs Texas Christian/NR/NR/92 winner Debatable
            11. Auburn/121/114/89 – nobody to compete with, but probably better than WVU or OU
            12. Arkansas/141/132/134 – nobody to compete with, but probably on par with KSU and OSU
            13. Mississippi/165/185/151 – nobody to compete with, but probably on par with Texas Tech
            14. Alabama/194/NR/77 – nobody to compete with, but probably on par with Baylor

            The SEC is better and it’s not close at this point. If it weren’t for your Longhorns, your best school would rank 6th or 7th in the SEC.

            Ivy League, they’re not a 1A conference, but sure, if you want to count non-scholarship granting conferences, then Ivy is #1 above the ACC and B1G and everyone.

            As for the Big West, that’s just a flat out falsehood. They don’t have 3 schools ranked higher than any in the SEC. That’s ridiculous. They have 4 CSU schools, all of whom would rank near the bottom of the SEC. They have the University of Hawaii, who would rank somwhere near the middle of the SEC. They have UC Riverside, who would also rank somewhere near the middle. They have UC Santa Barbara, who ranks just below Missouri in terms of research but somewhat higher in terms of undergrad education. UC Irvine is the only one who you could maybe make a claim like you did, but they’re still not on the level of a Vanderbilt.

          • Andy says:

            Ah, UC Davis too. Still not on the level of Vandy. More on the level of Florida.

          • Brian says:

            I know you enjoy looking dumb, but even you have to be smarter than to think the proper way to compare 10 schools to 14 is to use the top 10 of the 14.

            A. Try pairing them based on the stats and just see where they fall.
            B. Skip #3, 6, 9 and 12 to provide a more representative sample of 10.
            C. If you’re so confident, skip the top 4 of the SEC.

            I won’t even get into the debate about whether these are appropriate metrics or not, but just use the numbers you provided.

            A. Match the stats
            Vanderbilt*/21/37/17 vs Texas*/24/30/46
            Texas A&M*/35/18/65
            Florida*/42/21/54
            Kentucky/59/46/125
            Georgia/77/51/63
            Missouri*/69/77/97 vs Iowa State*/83/79/101
            South Carolina/75/98/115 vs Texas Christian/NR/NR/92
            Mississippi State/79/84/160 vs West Virginia/107/116/165
            Tennessee/87/94/101 vs Kansas*/100/117/106
            LSU/91/67/134 vs Oklahoma/130/157/101
            Auburn/121/114/89 vs Kansas State/111/112/139
            Arkansas/141/132/134 vs Oklahoma State/134/124/139
            Mississippi/165/185/151 vs Texas Tech/190/153/165
            Alabama/194/NR/77 vs Baylor/NR/NR/77

            Looks like the SEC has the edge at the top. Baylor and TCU are a different type of school so the first two metrics don’t mean as much for them.

            B. Representative 10
            1. Vanderbilt*/21/37/17 vs Texas*/24/30/46 – tie
            2. Texas A&M*/35/18/65 vs Iowa State*/83/79/101 – SEC
            3. Kentucky/59/46/125 vs Kansas*/100/117/106 – tie
            4. Missouri*/69/77/97 vs West Virginia/107/116/165 – SEC
            5. Georgia/77/51/63 vs Kansas State/111/112/139 – SEC
            6. Mississippi State/79/84/160 vs Oklahoma/130/157/101 – tie
            7. LSU/91/67/134 vs Oklahoma State/134/124/139 – SEC
            8. Auburn/121/114/89 vs Texas Tech/190/153/165 – SEC
            9. Mississippi/165/185/151 vs Texas Christian/NR/NR/92 – B12
            10. Alabama/194/NR/77 vs Baylor/NR/NR/77 – tie

            SEC wins 5-1-4.

            Either of those would make a better argument than your list. Now, as to whether you chose appropriate metrics, that’s a whole different discussion.

          • bullet says:

            Andy if you don’t understand how highly regarded the UC schools are, you shouldn’t be talking about academics.

            ARWU 2012 (world university rankings)
            UC-Santa Barbara #34 two spots ahead of Duke
            UC-Irvine #45
            UC-Davis #47

            Vanderbilt #50

            And the Pac 12 has 6 rated higher than Vandy.

            The Big 12 and SEC overall are indistinguishable as far as comparing either one to the Pac 12, Big 10 or ACC. It would be like a 3 star restaurant comparing itself to 5 stars and saying, well, we are a lot better than this other 3 star restaurant. Kind of like your silly trolling of Kansas and Iowa St. Troll Kansas on a Kansas or Missouri board. Fact is all 3 schools are in the bottom 10 of the AAU. But the AAU is an elite group of 60-65 schools. So that’s not too bad.

            And Vandy doesn’t do a thing for Mississippi State’s reputation. Nor for Missouri for that matter.

          • Andy says:

            Brian, yes, I was being lazy, just showing the numbers and expecting the audience to be able to see the obvious. But as you showed even with representative samples the SEC still wins.

            As far as my metrics, sure there are lots of different metrics you can use. If competitively won federal research, total research, and USNews rankings don’t capture they whole story they do capture a good chunk of it. If somebody else wants to spend the time tracking down a bunch more other stats to compare feel free. I didn’t want to spend hours and hours at this.

          • Andy says:

            bullet, as I showed, Missouri isn’t actually in the bottom 10 of the AAU, which is nice for us, I guess. Yeah, we’re very close to the bottom 10, but not in the bottom 10.

            I agree that the SEC is not all that close to the top 3 at this point. I never argued that that wasn’t true. But there’s some separation between the SEC and the Big 12 now that the Big 12 has lost 4 AAU schools. I can see how that might bother you and you’d want to be dismissive of it. It’s true though. Facts are facts.

            As for ARWU, if you use that metric then all of this will look way different. The ARWU rankings seem to have very little correlation with the USNews Rankings or the research dollar totals. The results often look pretty strange to me. I suspect their metrics are fairly useful near the top and then degrade into nonsense the farther down the list you go. But I admit I don’t know that much about them. Feel free to make your own argument using those numbers. Maybe the Big 12 does great in that ranking, I don’t know.

          • Andy says:

            Brian, just looked at your numbers a little closer, and saw that you had Kansas above Missouri even though Missouri ranked higher by all three metrics. Funny. I wonder if you did it on purpose to troll me? Nah, couldn’t be. :)

          • Andy says:

            bullet, before the counter-fire begins, yeah, ok, Missouri is bottom 10 by some metrics and not others. I suppose it’s a subjective statement. I’ll concede that by some measures Missouri is bottom 10. Fine.

          • Brian says:

            Amazingly you are completely wrong yet again. First, MO was above KU in A. In B, I was looking for a match for UK and decided KU’s AAU status and higher USNWR ranking to go with lower research numbers was the best match. As usual, I paid no attention to MO whatsoever. I just looked at the numbers. The whole world isn’t a conspiracy against MO.

          • bullet says:

            Andy, you have difficulty differentiating opinions from facts.

            And on something as subjective as university rankings, there’s a lot of opinion involved. For example, how do you compare schools like TCU and Baylor to an LSU?

          • BruceMcF says:

            Newsflash: arguing over whether the SEC or the Big12 is the better academic Major Conference is like arguing over which mobile home in the park is swankiest.

          • Andy says:

            Brian, you had Kansas tied with Kentucky, and you had Kentucky at 3 and Missouri at 4, so yeah, you pretty much did have Kansas ahead of Missouri even though Missouri rated higher in all three metrics. But I believe you that you did it by mistake.

          • Andy says:

            bullet, yes, I realize that the USNews rankings are based largely on opinion. That’s why I included to separate dollar rankings. One of competitively won federal research dollars, and another of total research dollars. No opinion at all involved there. But yes, with TCU and Baylor and Alabama and Ole Miss, those schools basically don’t do any research so they’re tough to compare. Baylor is exactly tied with Alabama in USNews, and TCU is ahead of Ole Miss, so I guess you can do it that way. And again, you can bring in other metrics if you feel like it. Average ACT scores. Graduation rates. Endowment size. Whatever you want to do. I didn’t want to spend all day compiling stats. Point is overall the SEC is the stronger league academically at this point by the stats I brought, and I suspect it will be true of other stats as well, but feel free to prove me wrong.

          • Andy says:

            Bruce, fair enough, although I’d say mobile home park isn’t very apt. Definitely not anywhere near where the B1G is right now.

            Although if you just look at the research dollar numbers and the USNews rankings and ignore who’s AAU and who isn’t, here’s how the two conferences break down:

            Vanderbilt – similar to Northwestern
            Texas A&M – Similar to Illinois
            Florida – similar to Maryland
            Georgia – similar to Rutgers
            Missouri – somewhere between Rutgers and Indiana
            Kentucky – somewhere between Indiana and Nebraska
            South Carolina – Similar to Nebraska
            Auburn – Similar to Nebraska
            Tennessee – Similar to Nebraska

            Now, granted, there are 5 schools in the SEC that are not up to B1G standards (although Alabama is a decent undergrad school, they just do all their research in Birmingham, not Tuscaloosa), but does that constitute a “mobile home park”? Maybe, I don’t know. I’d say more of a middle class suburb.

            And then over in the Big 12:

            Texas – similar to Ohio State
            Iowa State – similar to Indiana
            Kansas – similar to Nebraska

            The other 7 are not B1G calibre (although Baylor and TCU are decent private Christian schools).

          • Brian says:

            Andy,

            “Brian, you had Kansas tied with Kentucky, ”

            Yes, and I even explained why last time.

            “and you had Kentucky at 3 and Missouri at 4,”

            That’s the order you put them in. Don’t blame me that you think UK is a better school than MO.

            ” so yeah, you pretty much did have Kansas ahead of Missouri even though Missouri rated higher in all three metrics. But I believe you that you did it by mistake.”

            If there was a mistake, it was yours.

          • Andy says:

            When I ranked them I did so based on research dollars. But when you did the comparison, you seemed to be using different criteria, thus the weird results. If I had ranked based on the criteria you seem to be using (factoring in more of the factors that USNews etc use, not just research $) then Missouri would be ahead of Kentucky, Missouri and Kansas would have been compared, and Missouri would have rated higher.

          • Andy says:

            Although actually by that measure Georgia probably ranks ahead of Missouri, so probably it would just be a matter of swapping Kentucky and Georgia in those rankings.

          • bullet says:

            Doesn’t look like my previous posted, so I’ll repeat.
            Noone in academia views USNWR as valid at all. But to use those numbers, the SEC average is 99, Big 12 113. SEC median 99, Big 12 104. There’s really no significant difference. Especially when you consider the ties. Missouri is right in front of Iowa St. in the rankings, but is ranked 97 while Iowa St. is 101.

            As for validity, Alabama is rated #77, ahead of 4 Pac 12 universities that are rated in the top 82 in the world in ARWU (Colorado-USNWR 97, ARWU 33; Arizona, USNWR 120, ARWU 77; ASU USNWR 139, ARWU 79; Utah USNWR 125, ARWU 82). And its known that a number of schools have falsified data, most recently Emory. Clemson was caught previously.

          • bullet says:

            And Andy, it really sounds like you are bragging about going from a conference with 7 AAU schools to a conference with 4. If A&M and Missouri had stayed, the Big 12 would have still had 5 of the 10 + Baylor while the SEC would be 2 out of 12. The academics of their conference mates were irrelevant to Missouri’s and A&M’s decisions. Missouri is in a far weaker academic conference by any measure than it was in 2010.

          • Andy says:

            And Texas is even worse off.

            Once Nebraska and Colorado left the Big 12 it was basically screwed academically. Then A&M left and the choice was easy for Missouri.

          • Stephen says:

            Andy, another way of looking at those ACT scores is that Missouri’s average is one point above the absolute bottom of the Big Ten. Your spin is always entertaining.

          • Andy says:

            It’s also true that Missouri’s ACT average is 1 point below 7th place out of 14, thus my statement of Mizzou’s ACT average being within the normal range of B1G schools. But nice try with your spin.

      • Clay says:

        @Prophet,

        Hey, after I saw your post and went out and took a very unofficial/unscientific (totally biased) poll. The results? My family still wants nothing to do with the B1G. ;-)~

        As one heavily involved with the University of Oklahoma (generations of alums/donors, et al.) I think I have maybe a little more sense of what Oklahoma Fans desire. Also, I happen to live in Norman. It will always be home. Of the plethora of folks I know connected to OU, not one has mentioned the B1G as a desired landing spot if the Big XII dissolves. It’s as simple as that. If you are offended by that, well, I’m sorry that burns your biscuits.

        *BTW, I would make a stellar Pres. of the OU realignment club. I’ll get right on that.

  58. […] fire” with respect to conference realignment.  The leading blog on conference realignment, Frank the Tank, certainly thinks that it plausible.  With all conferences other than the SEC signing Grant of […]

    • CookieMonster says:

      I find this analysis silly. No one in the B1G is talking about kicking out Purdue. They are a founding member with a ton of history in both basketball and football. We have all heard football drives the bus and IU is not a football school. If you are talking about Purdue leaving the B1G you need to talk about Mitch Daniels and his comments about reforms in America’s collegiate system. Still, I doubt if Daniels want to have an impact that he would allow Purdue to leave the seat at the Big Boys Table.

      Basically, acaffrey is missing a lot of points to analyze: School population, non-revenue sport successes, endowment, history with the conference, basic geography. I doubt this writer knows that Purdue enrolls around 40,000 on its West Lafayette campus, that is rather conveniently placed between Indianapolis and Chicago.

      I would say Wake Forest should be a little worried, but I don’t think Washington State or Iowa State have to fear much. Lastly, I doubt any of the SEC schools are remotely concerned.

      • ccrider55 says:

        Nobody is getting tossed.

        This line of thinking coming from the ACC is the single biggest sign of possible weakness in spite of a GOR. But it’s simple fan thinking. If they got down to six teams, some fans of the top five would be looking to get rid of that “dead weight” sixth school…

        acaffery should be a B12 follower with this richer shouldn’t share theory. I take that back. B12 wouldn’t toss ISU. They might not be protected if the conference collapsed, but they won’t be tossed.

        • BruceMcF says:

          Yes. Assuming the Big12 hangs together, the worst that will happen to Iowa State is getting put into a division they’d rather not be in.

      • David Brown says:

        Purdue has nothing to worry about, the same fear happened years ago, when it came to Northwestern ( a far worse program in sports than Purdue). When Penn State wanted to join the B10, NW was being warned they will be replaced if vote them in. When NW was assured they still will have a place in the Conference with an affirmative vote, they voted yes, and they are still here to this day. Does it mean Purdue should accept being on the bottom of the Conference? Not at all, they need to step it up like NW has in football (particularly if Notre Dame leaves the future Purdue schedule), but being kicked out? Not happening

        • Brian says:

          Nor should it happen. Every school brings something to make the B10 what it is. I think we’ll see PU bounce back in FB and MBB fairly soon.

          The only time a school should get the boot is if they just cash the checks but refuse to try to compete.

        • Wainscott says:

          Northwestern was never getting thrown out of the BigTen. The only way they would have left before 1995 would have been if university leadership wanted to.

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      I don’t think the Big Ten is kicking out Purdue. Having said that, acaffrey has raised some interesting points that are worthy of discussion:

      1) There’s a limit to how large a conference can get, because at some point the members would hardly ever play each other.

      2) Accordingly, some leagues might be tempted to kick out unproductive members, to open up slots for those that would bring in greater revenue.

      Fundamentally, acaffrey is correct that some schools are probably taking down a lot more in TV revenues than they contribute to their respective leagues. I could see a scenario where a league decides to get ruthless about that.

      No, I don’t think the Big Ten would be the first.

      • bullet says:

        Noone is getting kicked out. What will happen is a group of schools will leave like the MWC and basketball Big East.

      • ccrider55 says:

        Kicking someone out to make room would have a more significant impact in a smaller conference. Larger numbers dilute the effect of individual changes, at the top and bottom.

    • FLP_NDRox says:

      What would be easier, and thus more likely to happen than kicking teams out, is that the Kings would leave their old conferences behind and form either a new conference. Steve Rushin proposed just such an idea in Sports Illustrated back in ’94 when he postulated a four team ‘conference, “The Big Nasty”, where the top four teams would play each other to figure out the top four slots. I could see Fox, Comcast, or those guys in Dubai making a “Godfather” offer when the contracts come up in the ’20s to teams with big enrollments and/or followings like Michigan, Ohio State, Nebraska, Texas, Florida/Florida State, LSU, Alabama, Georgia, UNC, USC/UCLA, and Notre Dame to split off from the NCAA and create a literally made-for-TV conference.

      That’s probably a more likely scenario than kicking out Wake Forrest and BC, Northwestern and Iowa, Baylor and Iowa State, Washington State and Oregon State, or what have you.

  59. GreatLakeState says:

    Beilein said one of the main topics at this years Big Ten spring Conference is basketball divisions. He’s all for it.
    Also, BTN just hired Stephen Bardo to do basketball analysis on BTN (no doubt to appease FTT).

    • Brian says:

      Divisions are a tough decision for other sports.

      Hoops:
      E – IN, MSU, OSU, MI, UMD, PSU, RU
      W – WI, PU, IL, MN, IA, NE, NW

      That’s completely skewed. All the extra DC and NYC access for one side is important, too. You won’t have different divisions for different sports, though.

      A 20 game schedule I assume – home and home in division plus with 1 crossover team (IN/PU is locked, it rotates for everyone else), single games with the other 6.

      Wrestling:
      E – PSU, OSU, MI, IN, MSU, UMD, RU
      W – IA, MN, IL, WI, PU, NE, NW

      Those aren’t bad. Do 6 duals in division with 2 rotating duals with the other division (IN/PU locked). Maybe do parity-based scheduling since the B10 likes it so much. Have 1 dual truly rotate while the other pairs teams based on finish the year before (E1 vs W1, etc).

      Others?

      • wmwolverine says:

        Divisions in basketball (or any sport) just means you play your ‘rivals’ more and the opposing division, less. I like the reduced travel for non-revenue sports but I don’t think it solves any issues with mens basketball which relies on chartered flights…

        As a Michigan fan, I’ve always hated seeing the schedules that only had Sparty on the schedule once. In basketball, it would be nice to have designated rivals that you always play twice in a season. Purdue should always host Indiana and vice versa, Illini should always host NW, etc.

    • Eric says:

      If they do divisions for basketball, I’m a very, very upset. We compete for a Big Ten title in the regular season, not a division title. The Touranment is already there. No reason for divisions.

      • Brian says:

        I’ve heard there hasn’t been much push to do it for other sports. They still have to have the meetings and discuss the option, though. I’d prefer 5 home and homes (2 or 3 locked, the others rotate) and 8 single games for 18 total with no divisions.

        • Arch Stanton says:

          Agree, lock a couple of home-and-home rivals in basketball and let the rest rotate more frequently without divisions.

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            That’s what the ACC is doing and has done since it expanded to 12. It’ll work fine.

          • vp19 says:

            I’m a bit surprised the Big Ten has not had locked-in home-and-home rivalries for men’s and women’s basketball; it’s been a staple of the ACC ever since it grew past nine members (11 in 2004-05, 12 through 2012-13, 15 beginning next season). With 14 members, how many guaranteed home-and-home rivals could each Big Ten team have for an 18-game conference schedule? Two? Three?

            For Maryland, I would suppose two of its guaranteed rivals would be Penn State and Rutgers (not that thrilling for men’s hoops, but definitely good for women’s).

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            With 14 members, how many guaranteed home-and-home rivals could each Big Ten team have for an 18-game conference schedule? Two? Three?

            Mathematically you could have up to five. The trouble is, most schools don’t have the same number of logical locked rivals. In football, before the Big Ten went to divisional play, each team had two locked rivals. Some of them made abundant sense, but others were just arbitrary pairings, such as Michigan State-Penn State.

            I would suggest just one locked pairing per school, as follows: RU-MD; PSU-OSU; UM-MSU; IL-NW; PU-IN; MN-WI; NE-IA. All of those make some sense, either historically or geographically. That would leave four available flex games.

            Going to two or more locked games would allow some logical rivalries to be played twice every year, such as Michigan-Ohio State. But it would also force them to create some contrived rivalries that have no real logic behind them.

          • Brian says:

            Marc Shepherd,

            With 14 members, how many guaranteed home-and-home rivals could each Big Ten team have for an 18-game conference schedule? Two? Three?

            Realistically, 2 or 3 with another 2 or 3 rotating. I’d guess they would lock 2, but that’s just a guess.

            “Mathematically you could have up to five. The trouble is, most schools don’t have the same number of logical locked rivals. In football, before the Big Ten went to divisional play, each team had two locked rivals. Some of them made abundant sense, but others were just arbitrary pairings, such as Michigan State-Penn State.”

            Any pairing with PSU was going to be arbitrary. The brand new member doesn’t generally have any built-in rivals.

            These were the football pairings:

            Illinois: Indiana, Northwestern
            Indiana: Illinois, Purdue
            Iowa: Minnesota, Wisconsin
            Michigan: Michigan State, Ohio State
            Michigan State: Michigan, Penn State
            Minnesota: Iowa, Wisconsin
            Northwestern: Illinois, Purdue
            Ohio State: Michigan, Penn State
            Penn State: Michigan State, Ohio State
            Purdue: Indiana, Northwestern
            Wisconsin: Iowa, Minnesota

            The vast majority make perfect sense while preserving most rivalries.

            “I would suggest just one locked pairing per school, as follows: RU-MD; PSU-OSU; UM-MSU; IL-NW; PU-IN; MN-WI; NE-IA. All of those make some sense, either historically or geographically. That would leave four available flex games.”

            Typical. You always completely undervalue rivalries. And no, those don’t all make sense. OSU and PSU are in no way, shape or form hoops rivals. OSU’s hoop rivalries are with IN and MI (the order depends on who you ask). OSU takes hoops seriously. PSU doesn’t even try. You have to remember that hoops rivalries aren’t always the same as football rivalries.

            Try this:

            PSU – RU, UMD
            RU – PSU, UMD
            UMD – RU, PSU
            OSU – MI, IN
            MI – MSU, OSU
            MSU – MI, WI
            IN – PU, OSU
            PU – IN, IL
            IL – PU, NW
            NW – IL, IA
            WI – MSU, MN
            MN – WI, NE
            IA – NE, NW
            NE – IA, MN

            Or this:

            PSU – RU, UMD, MI
            RU – PSU, UMD, NW
            UMD – RU, PSU, OSU
            OSU – MI, IN, UMD
            MI – MSU, OSU, PSU
            MSU – MI, WI, IN
            IN – PU, OSU, MSU
            PU – IN, IL, WI
            IL – PU, NW, NE
            NW – IL, IA, RU
            WI – MSU, MN, PU
            MN – WI, NE, IA
            IA – NE, NW, MN
            NE – IA, MN, IL

            “Going to two or more locked games would allow some logical rivalries to be played twice every year, such as Michigan-Ohio State. But it would also force them to create some contrived rivalries that have no real logic behind them.”

            Stop beating that dead horse. Your “solution” is worse than the supposed problem. Basketball has 18 games (or more) in conference. An extra locked game here and there won’t hurt anybody.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            Typical. You always completely undervalue rivalries.

            I don’t know where you got that strange idea. Actually, it’s quite the opposite: I value them more. Because there are so many basketball rivalries in the Big Ten that makes sense, I don’t see any particular need to pick two (out of the many that could be picked), and lock those, bearing in mind that every locked rival means fewer opportunities to play the others.

            Your proposal, for instance, is to lock Ohio State with Michigan and Indiana (if there are two locked rivalries), or add Maryland (if there are three). Does OSU have a substantial history with Maryland? Obviously, it has a connection with Indiana in the same sense that all the other long-term Big Ten members do, but not substantially more so. Sure, fans would love to see OSU-IU twice a year, but not any more than MSU-IU, UM-IU, or Wisconsin-IU, or really, IU with any other good team. They’d all be big games.

            Most of your proposed locked rivals have no particular reason for existence, above others that would make pretty much the same amount of sense. Locking one avoids absurdities like Northwestern and Illinois not meeting twice. Even with one locked, as you correctly noted, you’ll have some contrived “rivalries,” like PSU-OSU. The more you lock, the more often that occurs.

          • Brian says:

            Marc Shepherd,

            “I don’t know where you got that strange idea.”

            From having the exact same discussion about football scheduling a few months ago.

            “Your proposal, for instance, is to lock Ohio State with Michigan and Indiana (if there are two locked rivalries), or add Maryland (if there are three). Does OSU have a substantial history with Maryland?”

            No. UMD doesn’t have connections to anyone. So thinking like the B10, I chose that based on proximity and pairing two good hoops brands for a high value game. If the whole point is to get the big brands into NYC and DC more often to build those markets, it would follow that the same reasoning should apply in hoops, especially since UMD is a hoops school.

            “Obviously, it has a connection with Indiana in the same sense that all the other long-term Big Ten members do, but not substantially more so.”

            Yes, it does. A large portion of the OSU fan base would tell you IN is a bigger rival in hoops than MI is. We share a long border, we gave them Bobby Knight and we’ve spent a long time fighting them for titles. IN would probably put IL as a bigger hoops rival, and MSU is a bigger brand, but I made the list so I get to make the choices.

            One unusual thing about the B10 is how balanced the success has been.

            School – NC/B10 RS Title/B10 T Title
            IN – 5 / 21 / 0
            MSU – 2 / 13 / 3
            OSU – 1 / 19 / 4
            WI – 1 / 17 / 2
            MI – 1 / 13 / 0
            PU – 0 / 22 / 1
            IL – 0 / 17 / 2
            IA – 0 / 8 / 2
            MN – 0 / 8 / 0
            NW – 0 / 2 / 0
            PSU – 0 / 0 / 0
            NE – 0 / 0 / 0

            “Sure, fans would love to see OSU-IU twice a year, but not any more than MSU-IU, UM-IU, or Wisconsin-IU, or really, IU with any other good team.”

            Which fans? Since when does want fans what matter to the B10?

            “Most of your proposed locked rivals have no particular reason for existence,”

            Says the guy that struggles to lock 1 rivalry per team and even then gets them wrong.

            “Locking one avoids absurdities like Northwestern and Illinois not meeting twice.”

            I had them playing twice.

            “Even with one locked, as you correctly noted, you’ll have some contrived “rivalries,” like PSU-OSU. The more you lock, the more often that occurs.”

            Locking one is actually the worst choice. Two lets you form triangles so you can use geography where no rivalries exist (the east). And don’t tell me that isn’t a valid reason for pairing schools, because that was the driving force in selecting divisions – getting more game against neighbors. I locked up to 3 and still didn’t have the absurdity of OSU/PSU.

          • vp19 says:

            One unusual thing about the B10 is how balanced the success has been.

            School – NC/B10 RS Title/B10 T Title
            IN – 5 / 21 / 0
            MSU – 2 / 13 / 3
            OSU – 1 / 19 / 4
            WI – 1 / 17 / 2
            MI – 1 / 13 / 0
            PU – 0 / 22 / 1
            IL – 0 / 17 / 2
            IA – 0 / 8 / 2
            MN – 0 / 8 / 0
            NW – 0 / 2 / 0
            PSU – 0 / 0 / 0
            NE – 0 / 0 / 0

            Very impressive — seven of the pre-expansion 10 have more than ten titles (including shared titles), while two of the other three have eight. Since the ACC champion is determined by the postseason conference tourney, I don’t have the regular-season list, but both it and the tourney list would be dominated by the Triangle schools, followed by Wake, Maryland and Georgia Tech as multiple tourney winners. UVa (1976), FSU (2012) and Miami (2013) have one title apiece, while Virginia Tech, Boston College and charter member Clemson still are seeking their first.

          • Brian says:

            vp19,

            “Very impressive — seven of the pre-expansion 10 have more than ten titles (including shared titles), while two of the other three have eight.”

            Yeah, out of 140 total title shares, nobody has 1/6 of them but 6 schools have at least 1/10 (#7 is at 9%). That’s pretty balanced at the top.

            The clock is ticking on how fast UMD can climb the list. And all those poor UMD fans thought they were joining a FB conference. The B10 is more diverse in hoops than CFB.

            FB titles:
            MI – 42 (out of 163 total)
            OSU – 35
            MN -18
            IL – 15
            WI – 14
            IA – 11
            PU, NW – 8
            MSU – 7
            PSU – 3
            IN – 2
            NE – 0

            The Big 2 combine for just under 50% of all the titles. 22 times they decided the title between themselves in The Game and 27 other times The Game affected which B10 team won the title.

            “Since the ACC champion is determined by the postseason conference tourney, I don’t have the regular-season list, but both it and the tourney list would be dominated by the Triangle schools, followed by Wake, Maryland and Georgia Tech as multiple tourney winners. UVa (1976), FSU (2012) and Miami (2013) have one title apiece, while Virginia Tech, Boston College and charter member Clemson still are seeking their first.”

            There technically is no regular season champ in the ACC. They have never acknowledged one. It’s always been the tourney champ and only the tourney champ.

            Duke – 19 (out of 60 total)
            UNC – 17
            NCSU – 10
            WF – 4
            UMD, GT – 3
            FSU, Miami, UVA, SC – 1
            Clemson, VT, BC – 0

            The triangle teams account for over 75% of the titles. 8 times Duke beat a triangle mate for the title, NCSU did it 4 times and UNC did it 10 times. That’s 22 times among the triangle, or over 1/3 of all titles.

          • frug says:

            Unofficial ACC Regular Season championships by team

            UNC – 29
            Duke – 19
            NC State – 7
            UMD & UVA – 5
            WF – 4
            G-Tech – 2
            Clemson, USCe & Miami – 1
            FSU, BC, V-Tech – 0

            So of 67 total title shares, UNC and Duke account for 48 (71.6%).

            http://www.sports-reference.com/cbb/conferences/acc/schools.html

          • frug says:

            Whoops, I meant 74 total shares. That means that Duke and UNC “only” account for 65%.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            “I don’t know where you got that strange idea.”

            From having the exact same discussion about football scheduling a few months ago.

            You misunderstood me: I was proposing the opposite. My suggestion was to play the rivalries more, not less. (I realize that a others misunderstood it too, so the fault was mine for not being clear enough. If we ever get back to football scheduling, I’ll try to find a way to make it clearer, but that’s not the subject at the moment.)

            A large portion of the OSU fan base would tell you IN is a bigger rival in hoops than MI is. We share a long border, we gave them Bobby Knight and we’ve spent a long time fighting them for titles.

            But do you think Gene Smith could pull off that swindle? Getting IN twice every year, while the rest of the Big Ten (other than Purdue) gets the Hoosiers only on rotation? I don’t think he can.

            One unusual thing about the B10 is how balanced the success has been.

            Precisely why multiple locked rivalries don’t really make sense.

            “Sure, fans would love to see OSU-IU twice a year, but not any more than MSU-IU, UM-IU, or Wisconsin-IU, or really, IU with any other good team.”

            Which fans? Since when does want fans what matter to the B10?

            It doesn’t, but I cannot imagine the ADs voting for it either. While Gene Smith would love to schedule IU twice every year, so would everyone else. Purdue could make a special pleading; I don’t think any other school could.


            “Most of your proposed locked rivals have no particular reason for existence,”

            Says the guy that struggles to lock 1 rivalry per team and even then gets them wrong.

            If you only lock one, just try to come up with pairings better than mine: I don’t think you can. Your response was to lock two or three, which is an interesting discussion, with different pros and cons. But if you only lock one, I think I got them right.

            I realize you didn’t like my suggestion of OSU-PSU, and I can see why. But any other single OSU pairing (such as Indiana, Michigan State, or Michigan) disrupts some other “necessary” matchup. If only one is locked, who else do you think OSU could realistically get? Indiana??

            “Locking one avoids absurdities like Northwestern and Illinois not meeting twice.”

            I had them playing twice.

            What I mean, is that I can see the argument against the current system, which allows in-state rivals (like UM-MSU, IU-PU) to not meet twice in certain years. Locking one solves that. Once you get beyond one, I can’t see the ADs giving priority to pairings like IU-OSU that, however much those two schools might want it, is inequitable to everyone else.

            They might just choose to maintain the status quo, which is to lock nobody.

          • Brian says:

            Marc Shepherd,

            “You misunderstood me: I was proposing the opposite. My suggestion was to play the rivalries more, not less.”

            No, you weren’t. You proposed locking the fewest games possible so that the remaining games could be spread over more teams to keep more match-ups frequent. I, and others, pointed out there were way too many rivalries that needed to be preserved annually to make your scheme realistic. You obsessed over 1 or 2 “forced” games being locked while we complained about multiple vital rivalries being lost. This is the exact same discussion, and your point makes even less sense to me since there are 18 games.

            “But do you think Gene Smith could pull off that swindle?”

            I don’t think he can dress himself, but that doesn’t change my point. And it certainly isn’t a swindle.

            “Precisely why multiple locked rivalries don’t really make sense.”

            Wrong. There are completely unrelated issues. You lock rivalries to preserve rivalries. Two winning teams playing each other isn’t a rivalry.

            Which fans? Since when does want fans what matter to the B10?

            “It doesn’t,”

            Then why bring up fans?

            “Purdue could make a special pleading; I don’t think any other school could.”

            Frankly, your opinion doesn’t matter. You’ve shown you don’t have the same view of rivalries as many other people.

            “If you only lock one, just try to come up with pairings better than mine: I don’t think you can.”

            I’m smart enough to realize locking one is a bad idea. A quick examination of the B10 membership makes that clear. Why would I waste time trying to maximize a bad plan? Locking 2 or 3 both clearly work better.

            “I realize you didn’t like my suggestion of OSU-PSU, and I can see why. But any other single OSU pairing (such as Indiana, Michigan State, or Michigan) disrupts some other “necessary” matchup. If only one is locked, who else do you think OSU could realistically get? Indiana??”

            If the B10 was dumb enough to follow your plan, better pairings would be PSU/RU and OSU/UMD. Again, you get big names in the new markets and PSU and RU can both suck at hoops together. OSU and UMD are both decent hoops brands and it might drive that market demand. It’s not like RU and UMD have any link.

            “Locking one avoids absurdities like Northwestern and Illinois not meeting twice.”

            I had them playing twice.

            “What I mean, is that I can see the argument against the current system, which allows in-state rivals (like UM-MSU, IU-PU) to not meet twice in certain years. Locking one solves that.”

            And yet you state that like it’s an attack against the plans I made. Why would you suddenly argue against the current plan when nobody else is even talking about the current plan?

            “Once you get beyond one, I can’t see the ADs giving priority to pairings like IU-OSU that, however much those two schools might want it, is inequitable to everyone else.”

            They just made exactly that choice in football. Equity clearly isn’t their top priority.

            “They might just choose to maintain the status quo, which is to lock nobody.”

            Of course they might. It’s a given that the status quo is an option.

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        I wouldn’t be “very, very upset,” but I simply don’t see the need. In football, you need to identify one champion to take the Rose Bowl bid. In basketball, all you’re deciding is seeding for a tournament.

      • BruceMcF says:

        The response in the recent interview that was up on Youtube seemed very much along the lines of “How should I answer that? I don’t know of any other sports that should be in divisions, but maybe there is one.” … not ruling it out, but not saying anything to indicate it was likely.

        And in any event, BBall divisions are much neater in a 12 team conference aiming at 16 games … home and away in division, home or away cross division, so five conference dates in-division run, six conference dates cross-division, and five conference dates in-division, sixteen games, division champions seeded one and two, or guaranteed seeded in the top four. If you want to go to 18, make two pairs of cross division rivals (either fixed or flex or one of each).

        With 14 teams, you’re starting to compromise the in-division home and away round robin, and you don’t have the coherent cross-division part of the conference season because cross-division games are spread throughout the season. All up, its not something you are likely to jump to with 14 if you were not already doing it with 12.

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          … division champions seeded one and two, or guaranteed seeded in the top four…

          That doesn’t really work so well: inevitably, you’d have years with two superb teams in the East and a mediocre division champ in the West. That can happen in football too, but the limitations of football scheduling leave you with no other choice. In a sport where every school makes it to the conference tourney, you’re better off seeding based on overall standings.

          The Big Ten’s geography is also severely problematic, as most of the traditional powers are in the east. Beyond that, let’s say you take the football divisions and swap the two Indiana schools, for competitive balance:

          East: MD, RU, PSU, OSU, MSU, UM, PU
          West: IN, NW, IL, MN, WI, IA, NE

          That’s still rather unbalanced. Beyond that, the western schools would practically never get Michigan, Michigan State, or Ohio State twice in a season (unless they meet in the tourney); and the eastern powers would practically never get Indiana twice. I can’t imagine the Big Ten ADs wanting that.

          • BruceMcF says:

            I’m against BBall divisions for the Big Ten, so I’m not all that invested in how the Big Ten should organize the approach that I hope they don’t take … but I know that some conference with BBall divisions has announced division winners guaranteed a minimum of #4 seed.

        • GreatLakeState says:

          If you’re talking about Beilein, here’s one of his quotes:

          “I think it makes sense,” Beilein said Friday in Ann Arbor. “It depends on how big (the league gets eventually), but the rhyme or reason of who you play and when you play is difficult. If you knew you were playing everybody (in your division) twice, I think that’d be helpful.”

          • BruceMcF says:

            Delaney 4:06 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJFZTqUrz3c

            “We’ve had a little bit of conversation with our coaches. My suspicion is that we’ll maintain a non-divisional approach in basketball. Its quite different in basketball than in football. In football you must determine a Rose Bowl representative ~ you have lots of bowl slots to fill, but you’re really trying to determine who that Rose Bowl representative will be, and if it happens to be a team ranked one through four, you have to work out how to determine that best. In basketball, we have a post-season tournament, not, it, now it was was a very good year, but we had seven teams play … so the divisional structure just doesn’t seem to fit as well in most sports, but I think we’ll rule on a case by case, sport by sport basis and take a look at the formats, and there may be some divisions, but I don’t expect to see one in the men’s or women’s basketball.”

            … which, as I said, struck me as more being careful not to rule it out for the non-revenue sports while saying its unlikely in BBall.

          • Brian says:

            Several ADs have said the same basic thing. Seeing how divisions haven’t worked so well in other conferences (SEC dropped them), I highly doubt the B10 would do it. I really wish they would learn from other conferences and lock some opponents, though.

            ACC – 2 locked (history and geography)
            P12 – 1 locked (geography makes it obvious)
            SEC – 1 locked (geography, brand and history)

        • Brian says:

          BruceMcF,

          “And in any event, BBall divisions are much neater in a 12 team conference aiming at 16 games ”

          Except the majors all play 18 games.

          “With 14 teams, you’re starting to compromise the in-division home and away round robin,”

          No. You just play 19 games – home and home in division (12) plus singles crossover (7).

          ” and you don’t have the coherent cross-division part of the conference season because cross-division games are spread throughout the season.”

          They could schedule it however they want. I fail to see any advantage in separating the season in chunks for in division and chunks for crossover anyway. All games count the same.

          • BruceMcF says:

            “Except the majors all play 18 games.”
            Yes, but promoting some cross division match-ups to home and away doesn’t change the basic structure, now does it? No, of course it doesn’t.

            “No. You just play 19 games – home and home in division (12) plus singles crossover (7).”

            Except as someone noted, the majors all play 18 games. And you can’t go from 19 to 18 by promoting cross-division match-ups to home and away.

            “They could schedule it however they want. I fail to see any advantage in separating the season in chunks for in division and chunks for crossover anyway. All games count the same.”

            The advantage in that is that it gives dramatic shape to the season. The media value of the season, after all, is not what happened after it was over but people getting involved in the season as it progresses. Your failing to see that is neither here not there to the benefit.

          • Brian says:

            BruceMcF,

            “Except the majors all play 18 games.”

            Yes, but promoting some cross division match-ups to home and away doesn’t change the basic structure, now does it? No, of course it doesn’t.

            Yes, it does when you advocate the plan in part on how neatly it makes a 16 game schedule.

            “No. You just play 19 games – home and home in division (12) plus singles crossover (7).”

            Except as someone noted, the majors all play 18 games. And you can’t go from 19 to 18 by promoting cross-division match-ups to home and away.

            You don’t need to play 18, they just all wanted more than 16 but 20 has been seen as too many to fit into the schedule. Simple math says 19 is an easy fit for 14 teams in two divisions.

            The advantage in that is that it gives dramatic shape to the season.

            Oh, OK. Dramatic shape. Got it. Yeah, that’s vital. Nobody would watch any games and track the standings if crossover games were mixed in with division games. It’s the same weak argument that claims The Game shouldn’t be popular because it’s a crossover game in the final week.

            The media value of the season, after all, is not what happened after it was over but people getting involved in the season as it progresses.

            And since the overall standings are all that matter, why would people fail to get involved? Games are games, and divisions would mean rivals play more often. That’s what everyone claimed for football. Those are the more valuable games.

            Besides, a scheduler could largely try to mimic your sill dramatic shape concept. 6 of 7 games could be divisional for 3 weeks (6 games), then 6 of 7 be crossovers, then 6 of 7 be divisional again.

          • BruceMcF says:

            “Oh, OK. Dramatic shape. Got it. Yeah, that’s vital. Nobody would watch any games and track the standings if crossover games were mixed in with division games.”

            Are you in a competition over who can set up the most extreme straw man argument? Given that this is after I’ve argued that the Big Ten shouldn’t HAVE divisions, its absurd to suggest that I argued that nobody would watch the games without that as part of the mix.

            As far as the premise that everybody in a variety of media sports who schedules those kinds of cross-over games in phases doesn’t have a clue what they are doing and aren’t getting any additional media value from doing so on the strength of the deep analysis that you “don’t see it” ~ fine. We can agree that you don’t see it. We’ll disagree on the premise that everyone who does it that way is making a mistake.

          • Brian says:

            BruceMcF,

            “Are you in a competition over who can set up the most extreme straw man argument?”

            You’re the one that threw it out there.

            “As far as the premise that everybody in a variety of media sports who schedules those kinds of cross-over games in phases doesn’t have a clue what they are doing and aren’t getting any additional media value from doing so on the strength of the deep analysis that you “don’t see it” ~ fine. We can agree that you don’t see it. We’ll disagree on the premise that everyone who does it that way is making a mistake.”

            Not everyone does it. The NFL doesn’t, for example, and they are the kings of selling out for money. I also chose the NFL since 16 games is similar to the 18 of MBB.

            Cleveland’s 2013-4 schedule:
            AFC
            AFC – N
            NFC
            AFC – N
            AFC
            NFC
            NFC
            AFC
            AFC – N
            bye
            AFC – N
            AFC – N
            AFC
            AFC
            NFC
            AFC
            AFC – N

            Where is the dramatic shape? Are you claiming the NFL schedulers have less of a clue than others?

          • BruceMcF says:

            “everybody … WHO schedules …”

            “Not everyone does it.”

            Proving that everyone who does it is wrong by pointing out that not everyone does it? I’m pretty sure that’s one of those types of arguments that have earned one of those latin names.

            Fine, if you think that is a coherent argument, we’re not going to get anywhere by discussing it.

          • Brian says:

            The fact that a league like the NFL doesn’t do it supports my argument that it doesn’t clearly have value. It’s not just me saying there isn’t value in it, it’s the smartest and richest league in the US. They have experts paid just to make an optimum schedule for making money, and they don’t buy your dramatic shape hypothesis.

  60. Brian says:

    Richard,

    You’re the resident bowl guru. Do you agree with this guy’s assessment of what the new deals will be for the B10?

    http://www.offtackleempire.com/2013/5/10/4317914/2013-bowl-draft

    1. CFP/Rose/substitute
    1a. Orange vs ACC #1

    2. Cap 1 vs SEC #2
    3. Outback vs SEC #3
    4. BWW vs B12 #3
    5. Holiday vs P12 #3 (B10 splits spot with B12 – no replacement when B10 isn’t here)
    6. Pinstripe vs ACC #5
    7. Heart of Dallas vs B12 #7
    8. Independence vs ACC #8
    9. Pizza vs MAC #1

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      This is as good a prediction as any.

      The #7 bowl will actually have anywhere from the seventh to the ninth pick, depending on how many Big Ten teams go to the playoff bowls/Orange Bowl. In 14-team Big Ten, that team should be 8-4 at best, 6-6 at worst. It’s worth asking: would it be better for such a team to go to the Heart of Dallas Bowl, or to somewhere more within driving proximity, such as the Military or Liberty Bowl? Even for well-traveling Big Ten fans, there does come a point where they’re not willing to travel huge distances for mediocre teams.

      • Brian says:

        Michael in Raleigh,

        “This is as good a prediction as any.”

        I have 2 main issues with it, not having done any research on the subject. First, I don’t see the B10 sharing the Holiday Bowl but having no other bowl to take that team the other years. That essentially slides all the other bowls up a notch half the time. Second, I don’t see the Independence as a choice. It’s a bad bowl in a bad location and neither conference is local.

        “The #7 bowl will actually have anywhere from the seventh to the ninth pick, depending on how many Big Ten teams go to the playoff bowls/Orange Bowl. In 14-team Big Ten, that team should be 8-4 at best, 6-6 at worst. It’s worth asking: would it be better for such a team to go to the Heart of Dallas Bowl, or to somewhere more within driving proximity, such as the Military or Liberty Bowl?”

        I proposed the Military Bowl, but he contends they’ll stick with the ACC. I was thinking the home team plus RU nearby, and both should be available at #8 fairly often, would be attractive. Also a rare chance at PSU, especially as they come off their penalties. Maybe a split?

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      I do have a small quibble with his predictions, particularly for non-Big Ten bowl games.

      For the Alamo Bowl, I think the Pac-12 will have trouble staving off the SEC, which lost both its Cotton Bowl tie-in and its Chick-fil-a tie-in to the CFP. His argument is that the SEC will have to dig down to the Belk Bowl to get a replacement.

      But overall, it’s a decent prediction.

      My favorite part is at the bottom where the graphic listing the bowl matchups for the New Orleans, godaddy.com, and a couple other bowl games is a gray-shaded block saying, “NOBODY CARES.” It’s funny because it’s true.

      • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

        Michael – I’m hearing that the SEC picks up the bowls in Houston and Charlotte to replace DFW and Atlanta.

    • Brian says:

      This would be my personal preference for the bowl lineup based on some reality:

      1. Rose vs P12 #1
      1a. Peach/Cotton/Fiesta vs ??? (P12 matchup not promised outside of Rose, unfortunately)
      1b. Orange vs ACC #1

      2. Cap 1 vs SEC
      3. Outback vs SEC
      4. Holiday vs P12
      5. BWW vs B12
      6. MCC vs B12
      7. Pinstripe vs ACC
      8. Military vs ACC
      9. Pizza vs MAC

      I know we probably won’t keep the MCC, so I guess I’ll have to settle for the Heart of Dallas. We probably won’t get the Military either. The Music City would be a decent replacement.

    • wmwolverine says:

      What I’ve heard based on reliable sources:

      *B10 will keep the Citrus Bowl (cap one) vs the SEC, however if the B10 ‘earns’ an Orange Bowl invite, it’ll lose the Citrus Bowl to the ACC. Same will be true for the SEC with the Citrus Bowl; so we’ll be sure to see a lot of the ACC in the Citrus or better yet, B10 teams in the Orange Bowl…

      *B10 will land the Holiday Bowl vs the Pac 12…

      *B10 will certainly drop the Gator Bowl but is likely to keep the Outback vs the SEC…

      Pecking order of these bowls are largely based upon negotiations between the bowl committees and how much they payout to the conferences, e.g. if Pinstripe Bowl wants to pay big money they could get a much higher spot, there will be some changes but the above looks quite close to what’s expected…

      Message board rumors have the B10 likely losing one of the Texas Bowls vs the Big 12, Heart of Dallas and Texas Bowl. Not sure if the B10 prefers Houston or Dallas. it likely depends as much on negotiations as much as B10 preferences…

    • Richard says:

      Thanks Brian.

      I agree that there is no way that Delany sends the B10 to the Independence. A bowl that needs to be flown to has to be a big city with plenty of flights.

      Also that if the B12 gets slots in both the Alamo and Arizona bowl (beating out Pac #3 for that slot, which they might not do), there’s no way Big10 #5 shares the Holiday with B12 #4 (which now is down to only 2 schools that the Holiday would really want, both of whom are likely to be gone before the Holiday picks). I think the BE/AAC could hold on to the Russell as their premier bowl (or maybe the Liberty takes that).

      After the first 6 are determined, I’d like the B10 to hang on to Houston. The SEC almost certainly will be there, but Big10 #6/7 may well beat out B12 #4/5 for several reasons:
      1. The SEC would already be providing a hometown team (the Houston bowl would actually be the first SEC bowl tie-in in the pecking order in the SEC west!)
      2. 6-7/14 is akin to 4-5/10 & the B10 brings a TV viewer base that is several times larger than the B12′s.
      3. Houston is one of the few bowls that doesn’t rely much on traveling support to fill up the seats. They get a lot of local support (Texans just like to watch football).

      Unlike the author, I think that the B10 will land the Military bowl for spot #8 or will possible rotate with the AAC (Liberty or Military for #8)

      #9 gets Pizza! Pizza!

      Oh, and I think the B12 replaces the ACC in the Sun, especially if the ACC #2 is heading to the Cap One or Outback most years (due to the SEC or B10 #2 heading to the Orange). I do think that it would be the Outback who would be keen to replace SEC #4 or B10 #4 with ACC #2, while the Cap One likely would want to see the B10-SEC matchup, as even B10 #3 or SEC #3 is better than ACC #2, though who knows; maybe adding ND to the lineup tips the scales.

      Assuming that what WMWolverine heard is right,
      For the B10,
      2 bowls in FL
      3 bowls out west
      1.5 bowl in the south central US (Texas & Memphis)
      1.5 bowls on the East Coast
      1 bowl in the Midwest

      4 bowls are within driving distance of at least some B10 fan bases. 5 of the others are within driving distance of a ton of B10 alums/retirees in FL and AZ.

      Virtually every bowl is in a fertile recruiting region (arguably only the AZ and Detroit bowls aren’t, and they’re still better than, say, El Paso).

      • Richard says:

        Wow! Just read Frank’s tweet. ACC after Orange gets relegated to the Russell(!) (Guess ND wasn’t much help.)

        Gator stays B10? Or B10 shares Gator with B12? The other shared bowl being the Holiday (or Houston)? In either case, Houston stands a good chance of being a B10 bowl (at least part of the time). DC and/or Memphis seems likely as well now.

      • Richard says:

        Gator/Music City? Etch….

        • Brian says:

          For the love of God can we please drop the Gator? Jacksonville sucks. The stadium sucks. The bowl sucks. We already have 2 other FL bowls.

  61. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Brain – the Independence Bowl is currently in the SEC lineup.

    • Brian says:

      Oh, OK. That guy had it marked as ACC vs MWC. ACC vs SEC makes more sense. CUSA/AAC are the only other reasonable options there to me.

  62. BruceMcF says:

    Johns Hopkins report coming soon: “Pietramala Confirms Conference Recommendation Coming Soon”

    http://insidelacrosse.com/news/2013/05/09/pietramala-confirms-conference-recommendation-coming-soon

    “JHU President Ronald Daniels formed a seven-member Blue Ribbon Committee that includes Jerry Schnydman (’67), David Cordish (’60) and Chris Watson (’05) to analyze the impact of Johns Hopkins joining a conference in men’s lacrosse. That committee is due to make its recommendation to Daniels on May 15, according to this story on the Hopkins website. From there, the decision will be made whether to explore conference affiliation.”

    • BruceMcF says:

      BTW, of the three “Big Ten and soon-to-be Big Ten” seeds in the NCAA tournament, only one won its game ~ Cornell @ (6) Maryland, 16-8; Yale @ (8) Penn State 10-7; (3) Buckeyes v Towson 16-6.

  63. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2013/05/cutting_the_chord_as_sports_br.html

    Bundling, cutting the cable cord, subscription fees, SECN, netflix, a la carte anti-trust. . . must read for FTT followers.

    • Brian says:

      Alan,

      Nice article. I look forward to the day when conferences just bring their games straight to the customer. I’d much rather pay the B10 than ESPN.

  64. Andy says:

    I don’t know if anyone here cares about softball, but they just announced the brackets. A record setting 11 SEC teams made the tournament. 7 of the top 16 seeds are SEC.

    2. Florida
    6. Missouri
    7. Tennessee
    9. LSU
    10. Alabama
    12. Kentucky
    16. Texas A&M

    Next best was the Pac 12 with 3 seeded teams:

    3. Oregon
    5. Arizona State
    11. Washington

    • boscatar says:

      Plus, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi St, and South Carolina were regional qualifiers. 11 of the 16 SEC teams made the tournament. That’s pretty impressive.

      The PAC 12 has 8 out of 12, with Arizona, California, Stanford, Oregon St., and UCLA as regional qualifiers – in addition to the 3 above.

      Big 10 has 4, ACC has 4, and Big 12 has 3.

      • Andy says:

        11 out of 14

        • boscatar says:

          Derp. Most have been a Freudian slip – my secret desire is for the SEC to add UNC and Virginia Tech….

          • duffman says:

            11 out of 13

            Pretty sure Vanderbilt does not have a softball team but Alan or Bamatab can confirm. When Nebraska was beating Vanderbilt for the NCAA bowling title seems somebody mentioned they did not have several of the women’s sports the rest of the SEC did and I think gymnastics, softball, and volleyball were mentioned.

          • duffman says:

            Also, B1G has 2 of the 16 seeds in #8 Michigan and #14 Nebraska

            B1G schools in tournament
            Michigan
            Nebraska
            Wisconsin
            Minnesota

            Did not see future members Maryland or Rutgers in the 64

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            duff- you are correct. Vandy doesn’t field a softball team.

  65. boscatar says:

    If the AAC experiment is successful, wouldn’t expansion into the West be back on the table? It will likely take a couple of seasons to determine whether it’s a success or not, but AAC expansion with Boise St., BYU, UNLV, San Diego State, and Air Force or Colorado State could make a major splash in realignment.

    • bullet says:

      It already failed. Boise will almost certainly make more in their MWC deal.

      • boscatar says:

        The MWC was on the verge about 3 years ago. It had TCU, Utah, and BYU all knocking on the door. But for the massive realignment shift, the former MWC could have added Boise State and Houston, and it likely would have received an automatic invite (under the old BCS system) and risen to a higher tier in prestige and money.

        The MWC now has too many bottom-feeders (which was the former MWC biggest problem – now it’s exaggerated) and its markets are too small, so it will never be able to go anywhere as a conference. The AAC, although unlikely, has some major markets that COULD lead to a big TV payday, in 5-10 years – if 3 or 4 AAC teams perform well and perhaps add a couple of other strong teams from the MWC.

        Is there still a chance for another major conference to rise from the best of the Group of Five? Or have the Power Conferences all but ensured that the rise of a new power conference is impossible?

        • BruceMcF says:

          Never say never, but at the very least not in the next ten years.

        • cfn_ms says:

          MWC wasn’t actually close. I know people SAY they were, but it wasn’t actually close. The MWC lobbying arm was aggressive about selling that story, but an AQ was always unlikely. As far as higher tier of prestige/money, TV deals reflect fundamentals of the programs far more than they do bowl status. The MWC’s crappy TV deal was a reflection of the fundamental value of its programs (i.e. low).

          As far as whether another major conference could “rise”, it’s nearly impossible to see it happening. One of the five losing “major” status and/or imploding is a materially likelier scenario.

    • BruceMcF says:

      You need a combination of the AACK!! experiment succeeding and the MWC failing, because the Western Experiment required a substantial gap between the two in order to overcome the greater geographic sanity of the MWC. The AAC could be doing better than the MWC in terms of grabbing the G5 top bowls spot AND in terms of getting more NCAA bids on average over the coming five to ten years, and STILL not generate a sufficiently wide gap to make the Western Experiment approach appealing to the schools being courted.

  66. Brian says:

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/blog/eye-on-college-football/22230116/buckeye-assistants-get-raises-three-go-over-500000-per-year

    An article that highlights the pay gap between the SEC and the B10 for assistant coaches. The B10 has been the last to accept paying AC’s more, and is still way behind the curve. That’s one thing Bielema was right about. Watch for the quality of B10 football start to improve as the AC pay goes up.

    • cutter says:

      It’s interesting to see that these pay raises were a reaction to what Michigan Defensive Coordinator Greg Mattison is being paid per the article.

      What’s curious is that UM OC Al Borges isn’t mentioned because his contract from January 2012 had him getting paid $650,000 per year with increases over the next two years of $50,000 annually. He also receives incentives for bowl game appearances ($10,000), Big Ten title game appearances ($39,000) and Big Ten titles ($65,000). See http://collegefootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/04/16/al-borges-gets-a-pay-raise-from-michigan/

      Now we’ll see if the other Big Ten programs are going to do something akin to this.

      • Brian says:

        Based on history, the others will be slow to match. Maybe PSU and NE will fairly soon, but not the others. Oddly, Alvarez seems to be tight with the purse strings when paying coaches. maybe the new TV deal will free everyone up to pay more?

      • GreatLakeState says:

        Borges should be paying them. Mattison is worth every penny.
        On an unrelated note.
        -Go Michigan women’s softball!
        Which in turn is unrelated to
        -Go Redwings!

        • cutter says:

          I disagree with your assessment on Borges. Michigan’s still working through a lack of experienced talent on both sides of the football, although these past years’ recruiting efforts are going to start paying off in the near term.

          I’ll hold off on commenting on Borges until he gets enough players to run his preferred offense. I thought he did an okay job with Denard Robinson at QB (no real drop off in ppg when compared to Rodriguez’s years, although you have to factor in schedule and look at the outliers). I was thoroughly impressed with how quickly he was able to get Gardner in synch after the Nebraska game.

          With the Drake Harris commitment for the upcoming class along with Derrick Green and Shane Morris from last season, it’s apparent that Michigan can start getting the top end talent at the skill positions that they might not have been able to with DRob at QB. UM should have more of a vertical passing attack, play action, extensive use of tight ends, etc. In sum, all the things they weren’t able to do with Robinson at the helm.

          I’ll add to your Go Michigan Softball! shout out. Stanford is going to win the Director’s Cup, but how the women’s softball team does (along with rowing, tennis) are going to be the final teams to add any points to keep UM in the top end of the standings.

          • Ross says:

            I agree we haven’t seen a fully equipped Borges offense yet; however, that does not excuse some of his calls last year. The OSU game in particular sticks out as a game where there were very obvious poor calls that may have cost UM the game, but there were other games as well.

          • cutter says:

            I’ve never really seen an offensive coordinator call a “perfect game”, but given some of the past OC’s at Michigan (I’m looking at you, Mike DeBord), Borges is a nice upgrade.

            We’ll see what happens. During his five year tenure at UCLA, his teams average nearly 32 ppg and he had a couple season where they were over 40 ppg. He was also OC for that 13-0 Auburn team in 2004 that had some ridiculous talent on offense. Borges 2010 San Diego State team had a 35 ppg average, which is pretty good relative to the competition.

            Last season, UM scored 29.8 ppg against a pretty stacked schedule. Against an easier schedule in 2011, the team scored 33.3 ppg. With Gardner at quarterback this season against what is a fairly favorable schedule, this could be a pretty good offense (provided the interior of the offensive line jells quickly).

        • GreatLakeState says:

          Borges single handedly lost the Ohio State game for Michigan last year.
          He’s obviously from the ‘This is my game plan and I’m sticking to it’ school,
          which is a dream come true for any creative defensive coordinator in the 21st century.
          The Alabama (D) players said that by the second half of the ‘Cowboys Classic’, they knew
          every play Michigan was going to run. Let’s hope he’s a little more creative this year.

          • Brian says:

            GreatLakeState,

            “Borges single handedly lost the Ohio State game for Michigan last year.”

            Some people might think OSU had a little something to do with it.

            “He’s obviously from the ‘This is my game plan and I’m sticking to it’ school,
            which is a dream come true for any creative defensive coordinator in the 21st century.
            The Alabama (D) players said that by the second half of the ‘Cowboys Classic’, they knew
            every play Michigan was going to run. Let’s hope he’s a little more creative this year.”

            Players say stuff like that after every win. Good film study should lead to relatively few surprises. That doesn’t always mean you can stop it. Good teams often dare you to stop what they do best, then make changes only if you do.

    • Richard says:

      B10 AD’s too old-fashioned. Assistant coaches have been where the value is (biggest bang for the buck) for years now.

  67. Richard says:

    Frank:

    I think that the B10 keeping the Arizona bowl is an almost certainty. The key question is whether a B12 that now is down to 2 top brands and has a population footprint that is a fraction of the other major conferences will be able to fend off an expanded Pac12 that has added 2 nearby mountain state schools.

    See above for my other ruminations on the B10 bowl lineup.

    For the B10, the key question is whether they can beat out the B12 for a spot opposite the SEC in the Houston bowl (or have to settle for one of the DFW bowls in a non-pro stadium).

    B10 with 10 bowl tie-ins?

    • Brian says:

      I’d guess 9, but maybe 10 if it’s shared.

    • Brian says:

      http://espn.go.com/blog/bigten/post/_/id/76698/b1g-spring-meetings-day-1-notes

      “The Big Ten’s bowl lineup will be changing beginning in 2014, and colleague Brett McMurphy has some more details here. McMurphy reports that the Big Ten and ACC will share tie-ins with the Gator Bowl and Music City Bowl during a six-year agreement, so three Big Ten teams would go to Jacksonville and three to Nashville in the span. They’ll face SEC opponents in both games. The Big Ten had a tie-in with the Music City Bowl from 2002-2005. As ESPN.com reported earlier, an ACC team could replace a Big Ten team in the Capital One Bowl when a Big Ten team makes the Orange Bowl. Other bowls the Big Ten could add to the lineup include Pinstripe (against ACC) and Holiday (against Pac-12). Don’t expect the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas to be part of the next Big Ten bowl lineup.”

      Boo. The Gator Bowl sucks. Why can’t we get out of that bowl? I’d rather have the Music City full time and let the ACC plays in Jacksonville.

      So we lose our Cap 1 slot if we get the Orange, but the SEC doesn’t? That may be good for our bowl record, but I like the Cap 1. I guess that’s their way of replacing the Peach Bowl, with 3 ACC/SEC games over 8 years.

      I’ve resigned myself to the Holiday being added, but I still don’t think it’s a great idea. It’s too long of a trip for a mediocre team IMO. But if Houston is off the table, I’d prefer SD to the alternatives.

      Looks like we’re stuck with the Heart of Dallas Bowl in another decaying stadium.

      If we get a 2/2/2/2/1 split (ACC/B12/P12/SEC/MAC), I’d be mostly satisfied.

      • Richard says:

        Well, WMWolverine’s rumor said if either the SEC or B10 puts a team in the Orange, their CapOne slot will be taken by the ACC. ESPN only mentions the B10, though. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

        So given the above information, it looks like
        #1 Rose
        #2 Orange/CapOne
        #3 Outback
        #4 Arizona
        #5/#7 Gator/Music City
        #5/#6 Holiday
        #6/#7 NYC
        #8 Dallas(?)
        #9 & (maybe) #10 Detroit + (maybe) DC

        Memphis would be nice (even part of the time; maybe sharing Dallas or DC or Detroit with the AAC)? Not sure that will happen, though.

        If the Russell jumped over the Gator/Music City in the ACC pecking order, did they just up their payout dramatically?

        BTW, as for the plethora of FL bowls, note that we _did_ just add 2 East Coast schools . .

        • Brian says:

          Richard,

          “Well, WMWolverine’s rumor said if either the SEC or B10 puts a team in the Orange, their CapOne slot will be taken by the ACC. ESPN only mentions the B10, though. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.”

          Yeah, that’s why I mentioned it.

          “So given the above information, it looks like
          #1 Rose
          #2 Orange/CapOne
          #3 Outback
          #4 Arizona
          #5/#7 Gator/Music City
          #5/#6 Holiday
          #6/#7 NYC
          #8 Dallas(?)
          #9 & (maybe) #10 Detroit + (maybe) DC”

          1. P12
          2. ACC/SEC
          3. SEC
          4. B12
          5/7. SEC
          5/6. P12
          6/7. ACC
          8. B12
          9. MAC
          10. ACC?

          ACC – 1.4-2.4?
          B12 – 2
          P12 – 2
          SEC – 2.6
          MAC – 1

          “Memphis would be nice (even part of the time; maybe sharing Dallas or DC or Detroit with the AAC)? Not sure that will happen, though.”

          Agreed.

          “If the Russell jumped over the Gator/Music City in the ACC pecking order, did they just up their payout dramatically?”

          You’d think so.

          “BTW, as for the plethora of FL bowls, note that we _did_ just add 2 East Coast schools . .”

          And a tie to the Orange Bowl. And before that last post, I was expecting that to lead to more games in FL, not be FL neutral. My issue isn’t with 3 FL games, it’s with the Gator Bowl. We already have games in Orlando and Tampa, but I’d take another one (Russell Athletic or Beef O’Brady) over the Gator. At least the Orange adds Miami into the mix. Besides, how often will RU or UMD make one of the FL bowls?

          • Richard says:

            Right, Jacksonville isn’t exactly on my bucketlist. However, the B10 tried the CapOne+Russell scheme once and it wasn’t that great as a few B10 teams ended up visiting Orlando virtually every year (MSU was in Orlando 2 years in a row; Wisconsin was in Orlando 4 out of 5 straight years). Doubtlessly, that was great for recruiting, but not so much for getting fans to travel.

            Still, I would have preferred Russell+MusicCity instead of Gator+MusicCity (actually, I would have even more preferred Russell+Houston), but what can you do.

            The St. Pete bowl has the same problem of being in the same metro area as the Outback and their payout is crap.

          • Richard says:

            I. Actually forecast the Arizona game to be vs. The Pac, now that the B12 doesn’t have a tie-in with the Fiesta.

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            “I. Actually forecast the Arizona game to be vs. The Pac, now that the B12 doesn’t have a tie-in with the Fiesta.”

            I actually had a question mark by that at first. I just don’t see us going to 3 P12 games from 1, or dropping to just 1 B12 game from 3. If we do add the Holiday Bowl, then I expect BWW to stay B12. Your guess is at least as good as mine.

          • Richard says:

            My gut feeling is that Delany doesn’t take opponent in to consideration nearly as much as location and payout.

            After losing Nebraska, TAMU, & Colorado and gaining TCU and a school far out east, the B12 is far less attractive to an AZ bowl. Especially if they send a top 3 pick to the Russell.

          • @Richard – I think you’re right about that. The reason why the Big Ten ends up playing the SEC so much is that’s exactly the pairing that brings out the largest payouts. It’s also why I’ve thought that Delany was a little bit disingenuous in his semi-complaint about playing so many Florida bowl games – at the end of the day, those bowls paid the most compared to what others would have paid for the same Big Ten tie-ins, so that’s who he went with. So, it’s not a surprise that the Big Ten is still keeping the Gator in the rotation simply based on the financials.

            I’m still a bit skeptical that the ACC will end up replacing the Big Ten in the Capital One Bowl when the Big Ten is playing in the Orange Bowl, especially if the same swap doesn’t apply to the SEC. Delany is usually spot-on business-wise, but giving up any access to that particular bowl (which despite its poor physical stadium facilities is still the clear top non-College Football Playoff bowl in terms of sponsorship, exposure, payout and desirability as a winter vacation destination) would be a mistake. That story never really passed the smell test with me and it would make even less sense now that ACC #2 is locked in for the Russell Athletic Bowl in the exact same location.

          • Richard says:

            Frank:

            We’ll have to see.

            It could be what the CapOne insisted on, however (as, otherwise, it would be a move down from B10 #2 to B10 #2/3). Plus, the Cap One is a notch above all the other major bowls in payout, so they are in a strong bargaining position. The question is if the ACC gets to keep their spot in the Russell if ACC #2 moves up to the CapOne. Maybe B10 #3/4/5 slides in to that spot?

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            “My gut feeling is that Delany doesn’t take opponent in to consideration nearly as much as location and payout.”

            That’s an accurate description of his history. I wonder if the past few years might have swayed him, though. Is the reputation hit the B10 took worth the extra money? What about the stupidity of 3 games at the same time on 1/1? Certainly that has to change as the CFP will own 12/31 and 1/1. Will even the Cap 1 want to compete with them? Normally I’d say to just offset the start times, but that would run into the Rose unless the Cap 1 starts at noon while the Orange (or substitute) starts at 1:00. Some of these bowl will have to move back into December. We really haven’t heard any talk about that, though.

            “After losing Nebraska, TAMU, & Colorado and gaining TCU and a school far out east, the B12 is far less attractive to an AZ bowl. Especially if they send a top 3 pick to the Russell.”

            Which league travels better? That will be the concern for Phoenix. AZ and ASU wouldn’t travel until game day probably. SoCal fans wouldn’t need to escape the weather. There are more cold weather B12 teams whose fans might fill up hotel rooms. Anyway, I’m just guessing.

      • Richard says:

        Not the best possible bowl lineup, but clearly better than any conference’s other than the SEC’s.

        The ACC, B12, and Pac can’t compare.

        Of the bowls that payout enough to cover travel expenses and still leave money left over (by tier):

        Rose: B10 #1 v Pac #1
        Sugar: SEC #1 v B12 #1
        |
        |
        |
        |
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        Orange: ACC #1 v SEC #2 / B10 #2 / ND
        |
        |
        |
        |
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        CapOne: SEC #2/3 v B10 #2 / ACC #2
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        Outback Bowl: B10 #3 v SEC #3/4
        Russell(?)*: ACC #2/3 v B12 #2/3
        Alamo: B12 #2/3 v Pac #2/3
        Arizona*: B10 #4 v Pac #2/3
        Gator: SEC #4/5 v B10 #5 / ACC #2/3

        (* I’m projecting that the Pac pips the B12 for the Arizona bowl and also that the Russell jumps its payout as there are reports that the Russell gets the best ACC team that isn’t taken by the Orange or Cap One)

        Of the top 9 bowls with tie-ins, the B12 and Pac have 3 slots, the ACC usually has 3 but sometimes only 2 slots, and the B10 and SEC have 4/5 slots.

        Granted, perhaps the Charlotte and Houston bowls jump their payouts as well, in which case the SEC would have more slots, but the B10 would still be in second place. If the Pinstripe, Music City, and/or Holiday also jump their payouts, the B10 would still be first or second.

        • Brian says:

          Richard,

          “Not the best possible bowl lineup, but clearly better than any conference’s other than the SEC’s.”

          As usual.

          I wish they had softened it a little bit more, but two factors will helps there:
          1. The CFP will take 2 SEC teams more often than not.
          2. The Orange/Cap 1 split will help prevent an uphill match against the SEC.
          3. More diversity of opponents should make it easier. The ACC and P12 haven’t been as deep as the B12 or as strong at the top as the SEC.

          Getting more diversity of opponents is great for fans. Until we see the match-ups we won’t know for sure if they make the slate easier or not.

          Current:
          1. P12 #1 – same
          2. SEC #2 – add in ACC #1 3/8 of the time (easier)
          3. SEC #3/4 – same
          4/5. SEC #6 – goes to P12 #3? (about the same)
          4/5. B12 #4 – same
          6. B12 #6 – same
          7. B12 #8 – goes to SEC #?
          8. MAC #1/2 – moves down to #9

          Adding NYC just makes sense (so would DC if it happens). Nashville will be a nice change. We had it for 4 years before (2002-5), but MN went 3 times and WI once so most fans will be new to it.

          Overall, it should be a little easier and a lot more interesting. Maybe some of the games won’t be on 1/1 at noon for a change.

      • Eric says:

        I like the Heart of Dallas Bowl. Granted I’ve never traveled to any bowl game, but I like the idea of playing in the Cotton Bowl on (or maybe around in the future) New Years Day. Something historic about that.

        • Brian says:

          Well that’s the thing. It should be about the fans going to the games. Houston is 7-8 degrees warmer than Dallas on 1/1 on average, plus Houston has a roof in case of bad weather. Reliant is a new stadium, with all the amenities while the Cotton Bowl is old but recently remodeled. Whether Dallas or Houston is a better destination city I leave up to the individual.

  68. Quiet Storm says:

    It sounds like some progress has been made between DePaul and McPier development regarding the new arena proposal. http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20130513/BLOGS02/130519946/

    It’s not going to be easy but if they can get this arena built it will be good for the Blue Demons. The sooner they can get out of Rosemont the better.

    • Brian says:

      Reincarnating Ray Meyer would be even better for them.

    • David Brown says:

      I read the article and quite naturally a big issue is the impact on The United Center, it should not be the priority number one. The main concerns should be. 1:Will it help DePaul compete in the Big East (similar to what a Wrigley upgrade should do, which is help the Cubs bury the goat once and for all). 2: What will the impact be on the City and being competitive going forward. The reality is this is Chicago we are talking about, so there should be enough room for both venues ( a new DePaul facility and The United Center) to be profitable ( both for sports and for events such as concerts). Here in New York, the Barclays Center is doing very well, as is Madison Square Garden. In fact, once the New York Islanders leave Long Island for Barclays (Brooklyn), there may be a smaller venue built on that site (multiple bidders came in with plans). In addition to that, work is underway in Brooklyn to renovate the Loews Kings Theatre which after it is finished in 2015, will create the second biggest concert facility in the Borough (after Barclays). There is also a deal in place to add the biggest skating facility in the World in The Bronx (a place where the Islanders will practice), and a renovation of the National Tennis Center in Queens. We will also be adding a golf facility in The Bronx (2014), that is PGA Tour caliber, and maybe even a new Professional Soccer facility in Queens ( by Citi Field and the Tennis Center). The key for Chicago is to get this and a Wrigley Field renovation agreement completed before Interest Rates rise ( which will increase construction costs tremendously). Lets see if it can be done?

      • @David Brown – My thoughts:

        (1) The new arena will help DePaul if only because you couldn’t get much worse than the Allstate Arena (which is outside of the city, not easily accessible from the DePaul campus, and looks every bit as old and outdated as it really is… and not in a charming Wrigley Field or Palestra way). While DePaul’s main campus is in Lincoln Park, it also has a significant presence in the South Loop, which is relative close to McCormick Place, so it’s definitely better for students. More importantly, there is going to be a new Green Line El station opening up next to where the proposed arena will be, which is very much a bigger deal for student accessibility in a place like Chicago than actual distance/mileage. I think that DePaul with a great new arena directly in the city (and maybe more importantly, in close proximity to where the top recruits they’ll be going be going after actually live) sets the stage for the program to become successful again. DePaul’s arena situation will become an asset as opposed to a liability, so that can only be a good thing. Of course, the school still needs the right coach to make it fully pay off.

        (2) There’s more than enough room for another venue in Chicago. In fact, that’s the main reason why this DePaul arena could get off the ground and make any financial sense. The Bulls and Blackhawks, who own the United Center 50/50, have made a *killing* financially because the local competition is so weak. The only other arena in the area that has NBA/NHL-level capacity is the aforementioned Allstate Arena, which is about 3 decades behind the UC in terms of amenities. Allstate Arena gets a decent number of concerts and shows simply because the UC’s schedule is completely booked and they can compete on price, but it’s far from a strong alternative. A new McCormick Place arena is a much more formidable competitor, but I think it will be a healthy competition because there are more than enough events to split up. There are several markets that are smaller than Chicago (e.g. San Francisco Bay Area, Phoenix) with a lot stronger arena competition by comparison. Of course, that’s exactly why the Bulls and Blackhawks offered DePaul to have free rent at the United Center for the next 20 years – they know that they have a de facto monopoly on large-scale arena events in the nation’s 3rd largest market and taking DePaul away as a tenant would have killed the McCormick Place arena plan. In contrast, NYC (as you’ve mentioned) has MSG and the Barclays in the city plus the relatively new Prudential Center in Newark close-by. Meanwhile, LA has the Staples Center and Honda Center plus Pauley Pavilion and the Galen Center (the latter two being comparable in size to the proposed DePaul arena).

        • vp19 says:

          Could the Big Ten women’s tournament follow DePaul to this new downtown arena? From a Maryland point of view, it would be good to have rotating sites, and if a new arena is built in Baltimore (a city that needs one desperately — its current arena, built in the early ’60s, is at least a decade older than the now-demolished Capital Centre/USAir Arena near the Capital Beltway), it could be an occasional venue. Same thing with the arena in Trenton.

        • David Brown says:

          Frank: I always like your input on issues, particularly as it relates to local Illinois issues ( Illini, Cubs, White Sox, NW, etc), And I thank you for it. You are 100% correct that the recruiting of local Chicago guys is huge, and if there is a new facility for DePaul, it will make hiring the right coach (and of course, recruiting) that much easier. Being a Penn State fan , I can tell you that playing in the Jordan Center (complete with blocked off seats), makes recruiting a nightmare (even Pat Chambers with Philadelphia ties has found it tough to do so), and hoops is close to not only being eclipsed by the hockey program and the Pegula Ice Arena, but even wrestling in Rec Hall. I hope for DePaul’s sake they get the new arena.

  69. Transic says:

    Ouch! Article about how Cincinnati has ended up in the AAC, despite their best efforts to land in a better conference: http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20130512/SPT0101/305120023/ACC-proved-out-UC-s-league?gcheck=1

    Not sports-related, but for those of you who would love to see Harold Camping’s media empire crumble, you probably might get your wish: http://www.contracostatimes.com/breaking-news/ci_23224368/end-world-oaklands-family-radio

  70. Quiet Storm says:

    If Fox Sports 2 launches in August as well we might see the rivalry between ESPN and Fox Sports heat up real quick. http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-fox-sports-2-fuel-20130514,0,7752654.story

    • GreatLakeState says:

      That’s why I believe Fox will pay whatever it takes come Big Ten contract time.

      • zeek says:

        On a side note, that’s probably the biggest long-term benefit that the Big Ten has with being aligned with Fox.

        The SEC already had ESPN and now has that even moreso with the SEC Network.

        The Big Ten (like the UFC) will get a big boost if FS1/2 take off and become prominent sports networks.

        It’s going to be an interesting time for sports fans to say the least.

      • Nostradamus says:

        ESPN still has some pretty big advantages here if they want something. They’ve got higher ratings= more ad revenue. More importantly, they’ve got a huge advantage in subscriber fees for the near term.

  71. mushroomgod says:

    Indiana is in position to win it’s first BIG 10 baseball championship since 1949….I sure hope they don’t pull a Missouri and choke it away……….

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      shroom – congrats. Indiana is also well-positioned to host a regional in the NCAAs, and has an outside shot at being named a top eight national seed. Their RPI is 15, and the Hoosiers are ranked in all the polls anywhere from 15 to 21. The Hoosiers have a big mid-week game against a talented, but struggling Kentucky team that is battling to make the tournament. A win would go a long way to locking down a regional for the Hooisers. A new stadium also helps.

      • mushroomgod says:

        IU may be a little better than #15, as they have really dominated the Big 10 statistically. They are first in most ofensive and pitching categories. They lost 3 straight one run games at MSU, so their record is only 15-7 in the Big 10. Minnesota is 12-7. Relative weaknesses are probably lack of a stud #1 starter and a mediocre defense.

        • duffman says:

          Thanks for jinxing it

          IU dropped the game to UK tonight and that was with UK making 4 errors. Granted it is only a single midweek game but it is at the end of the season heading to the post season and not an early non conference