Conference realignment at the power conference level has seemingly ground to a halt after what has been nearly four years of rumors, Tweets and blogs speculating on apocalyptic moves. When I created the Big Ten Expansion Index, there seemed to be endless possibilities of how the college sports world would shake out. Now, tools such as grant of rights agreements have at least temporarily paused any realignment within the power conference ranks. However, there’s still a nagging feeling that the 10-member Big 12 won’t stay at its current size. While any belief that some outside force would demand that the Big 12 expand (i.e. the SEC or other power conferences in the new playoff system) should be discredited as completely erroneous (as every conference wants to respect each others’ full autonomy in determining its membership levels), the practical reality is that the Big 12 is the odd duck in a world where other conferences are seeking size and depth in terms of brand names and TV markets while adding conference championship games (as opposed to eliminating them). Just as there will continue to be speculation about the Big Ten expanding to 16 members until it actually does so (particularly with comments such as the recent ones in Inside the Hall from Indiana Athletic Director Fred Glass calling 16 schools a “sweet spot”), the Big 12 is going to face the same questions until it gets back up to 12 schools.

With the peripheral rumor mongering noise dying down for the most part, I though it would be a good time to take a step back and create The Big 12 Expansion Index to assess where the viable candidates for that conference stand. To be clear, the purpose of this post is not to endorse the expansion of the Big 12. It’s perfectly reasonable for a Big 12 partisan to see the realistic expansion candidates as the equivalent of looking at a bar full of butterfaces at 3 am while “Closing Time” is playing in the background and saying, “No thanks. Call a cab for me to get the hell out of here.” Personally, I believe that the Big 12 needs to expand in the long-term regardless of any short-term revenue splitting implications, but this analysis can just as easily serve as justification for the conference to not get larger.

I. ASSUMPTIONS

In examining the Big 12 candidates, the following assumptions will be applied:

  • ASSUMPTION #1 – Think like a university president and NOT like a sports fan.

This was the most important rule when constructing the Big Ten Expansion Index and it continues here with the Big 12. Conference realignment decisions aren’t driven by which school is most highly ranked in the latest BCS standings, who the fans like, or even what coaches and athletic directors may want (no matter how powerful they might be at their respective schools). Instead, university presidents are the ones that ultimately make realignment decisions and they’re looking at the long-term off-the-field big picture much more than short-term on-the-field issues that fans are generally focused upon. To be sure, how well a school plays football (and to a much lesser extent, basketball) is certainly relevant, but TV markets, demographic changes and academic rankings are factors that really get university presidents get much more engaged.

  • ASSUMPTION #2 – The Big 12 lacks the ability to raid another power conference.

A number of Big 12 partisans wanted to believe over the past year that the league would be able to poach high profile schools from the ACC such as Florida State and Clemson. However, that prospect was simply never realistic due to a number of issues that the Big 12 needs to address, namely the demographics of the league outside of the state of Texas (which will be explained further in the index criteria below), overall academic reputation and national football brand names beyond Texas and Oklahoma. The Big 12 was able to save itself due to Texas wanting the Longhorn Network over the creation of the Pac-16 and Fox and ESPN paying a lot of money to keep the league together, but it is a paper tiger when it comes to expansion. As a result, the schools being evaluated in the index are all from the “Group of Five” non-power conference ranks.

II. EXPLANATION OF THE BIG 12 EXPANSION INDEX

The Big 12 Expansion Index assesses candidates on a 100-point scale. Please note that the schools are being graded on their values relative to only other Gang of Five schools. So, it doesn’t mean that if a school that receives a perfect score in the index that it would be as valuable as Florida State or USC. These values also have no relation to the figures that were calculated in the Big Ten Expansion Index*. This is only measuring the distinctions within the Group of Five universe that serves as the realistic pool of Big 12 expansion candidates. Here are the categories:

Football Brand Value (30 points) – As it was with the Big Ten, this is the most heavily weighted category as a reflection of the reality of the college sports landscape. The revenue generated from football is so massive in comparison to the other sports (including basketball) that it is the ultimate driver for expansion in every conference (including more historically basketball-focused ones such as the ACC).

It must be emphasized that Football Brand Value puts much more weight on the long-term history and financial underpinnings of a program over short-term or recent success. Thus, Team A that has sold out stadiums for years whether it wins or loses is much more valuable than Team B that only sells out a 40,000-seat stadium when it’s in the national championship race, even if Team A has had a mediocre seasons recently and Team B happens to rank in the top 25 of the BCS rankings this year. A lengthy tradition of playing football at the top level also carries more cache compared to being a noveau riche program. The “What have you done for me lately?” attitude of most sports fans doesn’t apply here. Instead, the proper question is the opposite: Even if the target school goes 0-12 in a season, will it still attract TV viewers and attendance? In other words, the true value of a football program is really measured by how much attention it still receives when it’s down as opposed to how much attention it gets when it’s up. Granted, it is much more difficult to find schools under this standard at the Group of Five level compared to at the power conferences, which is a large reason why those Group of Five schools aren’t in power conferences in the first place as of now.

National TV Value (15 points) – The calculation for TV values is a bit different for the Big 12 compared to the Big Ten. With the latter’s Big Ten Network, there was more of an emphasis on the value that schools would bring to that channel (which meant it was fairly large market-focused, albeit the Big Ten still ended up small market Nebraska first when all was said and done because of its extraordinary national TV value). The Big 12, though, is more concerned with the value of its national TV contract above all else since the league doesn’t have a conference network (and in fact, grants third tier TV rights to its individual members who then keep all of that revenue to themselves). Losing Nebraska was a major hit on that front and it led to the Big 12’s decision to add West Virginia instead of Louisville in 2011. As with the Football Brand Value category, there is much more weight on programs with longer histories of being national TV draws as opposed to the flavors of the moment. The issue with Big 12 expansion, of course, is that there are really only a handful of Group of Five schools that have any national TV value at all with respect to football.

Local TV Value (10 points) – While national TV value is more important to the Big 12 with respect to expansion candidates, there’s certainly still an interest for the Big 12 to expand to new TV markets (as the national TV contract can be impacted by local TV market coverage). The defections from the Big 12 over the past 4 years caused the conference to lose its only two top 25 TV markets that were located outside of the state of Texas (Denver and St. Louis). For this category, 10 points will be granted to a top 25 market, 7 points to a 26-50 market, 3 point to a 51-75 market, and then 0 points after that. Please note that any school that is already located in a Big 12 market will receive zero points in this category no matter how large its local market might be.

Demographics/Recruiting Value (20 points) – This was a category that wasn’t included in The Big Ten Expansion Index, but it would have been if I knew then that Jim Delany was going to use the word “demographics” in conjunction with expansion more than any other word over the past 4 years. While there’s some correlation between demographics and local TV value (as a larger market generally means more favorable demographics), the word “demographics” is really a code word for a very tangible concern for football fans and coaches: football recruits. It always irks me whenever I see comments to the effect that the Big Ten’s additions of Rutgers and Maryland didn’t do anything for the conference in football. Quite to the contrary, that expansion was very important for on-the-field matters because New Jersey and Maryland, according to a study by Football Study Hall, happened to be the top two non-Sun Belt states not already in the Big Ten footprint in terms of producing Division I football recruits (and it wasn’t even close).

The very real danger for the Big 12 compared to the other power conferences is that its coverage in the state of Texas (which is the nation’s top football recruiting state and a beast in terms of population growth) has masked its completely poor demographics in the rest of the conference. There’s no demographic depth at all in the conference once you get beyond the Lone Star State, which has come so close to collapse on multiple occasions over the past few years. Without Texas, the Big 12 dies (whereas each of the other power conferences might be severely wounded if their very top brand name school left, but they would likely still find a way to carry on since they have fuller slates of markets and populous states). In this category, 20 points go to any school in a state that is in the top 5 of Division I recruits annually under the Football Study Hall study (as there’s a huge gap between #5 and #6), 15 points go to any school in a state ranked 6 to 10, 10 points go to any school in a state ranked 11 to 20, 5 points go to any school in any other state that produces at least 20 Division I recruits per year, and 0 points for states under 20. As noted by Football Study Hall, the states that have 20 or more Division I recruits per year have produced 93% of all Division I football players since 2008, so any state under 20 isn’t helping the Big 12’s demographic cause. As with the Local TV Value category, any school that is already located in a Big 12 state will receive zero points in this category.

Academics (5 points) – The Big 12 would certainly like to add top tier academic schools, but it won’t necessarily nix any expansion candidate on those grounds. This is in contrast to the Big Ten, where the Academics category was weighted heavily enough to effectively exclude any school that didn’t meet the threshold as being a viable candidate. For the purposes of the Big 12, 5 points will be assigned to any school that has at least 2 of the following 3 qualifications: an AAU member, ranked in the top 100 of the US News undergraduate rankings and/or ranked in the top 300 of the ARWU world graduate school rankings. A school that has 1 of those qualifications will receive 3 points. Everyone else will receive zero (as the Big 12 would likely only be swayed by truly exceptional academic reputations).

Basketball Value (5 points) – As I stated in the Big Ten Expansion Index post, personally, there’s nothing that would make me more delirious as a sports fan than Illinois winning the national championship in basketball. However, when it comes to conference expansion discussions, basketball has been even less of a consideration than I originally thought 4 years ago. This is too bad since there is a whole slew of excellent or even elite basketball programs available in the Group of Five (much more so than football programs). That being said, if all things are relatively equal in the other categories, then basketball considerations could be the tipping point. An elite program and/or fan base will receive 5 points and a solid program and/or school with a fair amount of tradition will get 3 points.

Geographic Fit/Need (5 points) – Normally, this is a category that is based on pure geographic proximity. However, the Big 12 also has a geographic need to bridge the distance gap between West Virginia and the rest of the conference. As a result, schools in states that are located within that gap along with other states immediately adjacent to the current Big 12 footprint will receive 5 points, while everyone else will receive zero. This is an all-or-nothing category – either a school meets the geographic need or it doesn’t.

Tremendous Upside Potential/Monopoly Power (10 points) – This is a category that wasn’t considered for the Big Ten since it was really looking for established old money schools. In the Big 12’s case, though, its realistic expansion candidates almost all have warts of some nature. In fact, there are quite a few candidates that would be looked at in an entirely different light in a positive way if they were merely competent in on-the-field football performance (much less being powers). As a result, much like an unpolished prospect with a lot of athleticism in the NFL or NBA draft, the upside potential of a school should be taken into consideration by the Big 12. This is especially true for a school that could potentially have “monopoly power” of being the only power conference program in its home state. Other factors include whether a school is a flagship or academically elite, has a proven basketball fan base, or has made a lot of recent investments in football facilities.

(* Note that the Mutual Interest category that was in the Big Ten Expansion Index was eliminated here. Any Group of Five school would join the Big 12 in a heartbeat.)

III. EVALUATION OF BIG 12 EXPANSION CANDIDATES

The candidates are listed in reverse order from least desirable to most desirable. Once again, for the purposes of this evaluation, it is assumed that the only viable Big 12 expansion candidates are not currently power conference members and the calculations are based upon comparisons only to other schools within that non-power conference school group.

A. ALL HAT, NO CATTLE

RICE
Football Brand Value – 15
National TV Value – 5
Local TV Value – 0
Demographics/Recruiting Value – 0
Academics – 5
Basketball Value – 0
Geographic Fit/Need – 5
Tremendous Upside Potential/Monopoly Power – 5
Total: 35
Overview: Fantastic academic institution with a lot of history with the former Southwestern Conference teams in the Big 12, but the lack of a new market or recruiting area is a killer for its candidacy. It would take some massive on-the-field accomplishments (i.e. winning the Group of Five bid to a top bowl in the new College Football Playoff system multiple times) for Rice to move up here.

UNLV
Football Brand Value – 10
National TV Value – 5
Local TV Value – 7
Demographics/Recruiting Value – 0
Academics – 0
Basketball Value – 5
Geographic Fit/Need – 0
Tremendous Upside Potential/Monopoly Power – 10
Total: 37
Overview: The Runnin’ Rebels score low right now due to a horrid stretch of on-the-field football performances over the past several years, but they’re a program to watch if it can get a new state-of-the-art football stadium into place. This is a school that provides the highest profile sports teams in the Las Vegas market with a strong basketball fan base, so their value skyrockets if they can avoid complete ineptitude in football.

COLORADO STATE
Football Brand Value – 10
National TV Value – 5
Local TV Value – 10
Demographics/Recruiting Value – 5
Academics – 3
Basketball Value – 0
Geographic Fit/Need – 0
Tremendous Upside Potential/Monopoly Power – 10
Total: 43
Overview: It’s a mystery why Colorado State doesn’t ever seem to be able to get its act together on-the-field. On paper, this is an institution that ought to be attractive to a power conference with its solid academics and location in fast growing and demographically desirable Colorado, yet their putrid football performances over the past decade have nixed them from any type of consideration. CSU, like UNLV, is looking to build a new football stadium to increase its chances to move up in the athletic world.

SMU
Football Brand Value – 15
National TV Value – 10
Local TV Value – 0
Demographics/Recruiting Value – 0
Academics – 3
Basketball Value – 0
Geographic Fit/Need – 5
Tremendous Upside Potential/Monopoly Power – 5
Total: 43
Overview: The issue with SMU (and any other Texas-based school) is that they’re not bringing any new TV markets or recruiting areas that the Big 12 doesn’t already have blanketed. Now, that isn’t an automatic disqualifier for a Big 12 candidacy (see the addition of TCU in 2011), but it would likely take perfect scores in the Football Brand Value and National TV Value categories to make that happen.

NEW MEXICO
Football Brand Value – 10
National TV Value – 5
Local TV Value – 7
Demographics/Recruiting Value – 0
Academics – 3
Basketball Value – 5
Geographic Fit/Need – 5
Tremendous Upside Potential/Monopoly Power – 10
Total: 45
Overview: New Mexico is in a very similar situation to UNLV with an excellent basketball program and fan base with potential monopoly power in its home market… but its on-the-field football product has been unacceptably terrible for a long period of time. The Lobos actually have a leg up on UNLV in terms of academics and being a geographic fit with the Big 12, so they’re a school that can rise rapidly in the pecking order with merely some football competence (much less prowess).

HOUSTON
Football Brand Value – 15
National TV Value – 10
Local TV Value – 0
Demographics/Recruiting Value – 0
Academics – 3
Basketball Value – 3
Geographic Fit/Need – 5
Tremendous Upside Potential/Monopoly Power – 5
Total: 48
Overview: See the comments about SMU, only Houston has more basketball tradition. There is also the wild card that the Big 12 may want a physical presence in the Houston market in the same way that TCU is located in the Dallas-Fort Worth market, but the Cougars would still need to have some overwhelmingly extraordinary football success for this to be a possibility.

MEMPHIS
Football Brand Value – 10
National TV Value – 5
Local TV Value – 7
Demographics/Recruiting Value – 10
Academics – 0
Basketball Value – 5
Geographic Fit/Need – 5
Tremendous Upside Potential/Monopoly Power – 7
Total: 49
Overview: Memphis is essentially an Eastern mirror of UNLV: large urban basketball school with historically terrible football over the past decade. The advantage that Memphis has by comparison is that it’s located in a rich football recruiting area and aids in bridging the geographic gap between West Virginia and the rest of the Big 12. Memphis has shown that they have excellent basketball fans – if they can get that to translate to football, they have quite a bit of upside. The main drag is being the midst of heavy SEC competition.

B. INTRIGUING, BUT NOT PRACTICAL

BOISE STATE
Football Brand Value – 30
National TV Value – 15
Local TV Value – 0
Demographics/Recruiting Value – 0
Academics – 0
Basketball Value – 0
Geographic Fit/Need – 0
Tremendous Upside Potential/Monopoly Power – 7
Total: 52
Overview: From a national TV contract standpoint, Boise State might be the single most valuable school that is outside of the power conferences as of today. The question that university presidents will always ask, though, is, “How long will this last?” As you can see, Boise State doesn’t bring anything else in terms of demographics, academics, basketball or geography. This is a school whose attributes are purely based upon on-the-field football performance, which is actually exactly what university presidents tend to shy away from since such success is difficult to maintain even when a program has all of the financial resources in the world (see Texas and USC right now and Alabama prior to Nick Saban coming in). There might be a point where Boise State becomes the Gang of Five equivalent of Nebraska where markets and demographics become completely irrelevant with having such a strong football brand, but we aren’t there yet.

TEMPLE
Football Brand Value – 15
National TV Value – 5
Local TV Value – 10
Demographics/Recruiting Value – 15
Academics – 0
Basketball Value – 3
Geographic Fit/Need – 0
Tremendous Upside Potential/Monopoly Power – 5
Total: 53
Overview: This is an interesting potential play for the Big 12 by going directly east of West Virginia. The good news is that Philadelphia is a massive market with access to an excellent football recruiting state*. The bad news is that Philly is a tepid college football market (and those that follow college football there tend to follow the king program of Penn State) and there’s a sense that Temple won’t ever develop into much more than what is now (which isn’t satisfactory for the Big 12). The school has had plenty of chances to become a legit power program and never succeeded.

(* For fans of “Friday Night Light”s (the TV series), just picture that fantastic final scene in the finale with the football in the air transitioning from Texas to Philly. If only conference realignment were as smooth.)

CONNECTICUT
Football Brand Value – 20
National TV Value – 10
Local TV Value – 7
Demographics/Recruiting Value – 0
Academics – 5
Basketball Value – 5
Geographic Fit/Need – 0
Tremendous Upside Potential/Monopoly Power – 10
Total: 57
Overview: In a vacuum, UConn is arguably the most power conference-like school that isn’t in a power conference today. If this were an ACC Expansion Index, then UConn would be close to a perfect score. Frankly, there’s still a part of me that’s surprised that UConn isn’t in the ACC already, but I perfectly understand why Louisville got the nod last year. The problem with the prospect of UConn going to the Big 12 is that it’s not a good fit for what the conference is seeking in expansion. UConn has actually performed aptly in football over the past decade outside of the last couple of years, yet the New England region is a black hole when it comes for football recruiting (particularly considering how it’s a high population area) and the school’s men’s and women’s basketball prowess probably has the least value to the Big 12 out of any of the power conferences (as hoops mainly benefit conferences that either have networks like the Big Ten has or strong basketball syndication deals like the ACC). Now, UConn’s Big East pedigree and relatively strong brand name means that the school has a large amount of upside, but it may not matter to the Big 12 with Connecticut being so far geographically from the conference’s core.

C. NEEDS WORK, BUT KEEP AN EYE ON THEM

TULANE
Football Brand Value – 15
National TV Value – 5
Local TV Value – 3
Demographics/Recruiting Value – 15
Academics – 5
Basketball Value – 0
Geographic Fit/Need – 5
Tremendous Upside Potential/Monopoly Power – 10
Total: 58
Overview: Tulane has been in the on-the-field football doldrums since Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, but the Green Wave might be resuscitating itself at just the right time. The school is building a brand new right-sized on-campus stadium and the football team is bowl eligible this season. Tulane’s academics are arguably the best of any school in the Group of Five besides Rice and the state of Louisiana is one of the best pound-for-pound football recruiting areas in the country. Honestly, out of all of the schools on this list, Tulane has the best chance out of anyone to realize its Tremendous Upside Potential and moving up to the top.

D. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

SOUTH FLORIDA
Football Brand Value – 15
National TV Value – 10
Local TV Value – 10
Demographics/Recruiting Value – 20
Academics – 3
Basketball Value – 0
Geographic Fit/Need – 0
Tremendous Upside Potential/Monopoly Power – 5
Total: 63
Overview: The allure of USF is purely about a demographic play – athletic directors and coaches fall all over themselves over the thought of combining the recruiting territories of Texas and Florida. (Note that this is a bigger reason for any fan of a school that’s not in the SEC to be scared of how successful that league can integrate Texas A&M.) USF has shown some flashes of football ability, but it’s been inconsistent. There is also extremely heavy power conference competition within the state of Florida (with Florida, Florida State and Miami gobbling up market shares), so there’s a limit to how large of a fan base that USF can realistically build.

CENTRAL FLORIDA
Football Brand Value – 15
National TV Value – 10
Local TV Value – 10
Demographics/Recruiting Value – 20
Academics – 3
Basketball Value – 0
Geographic Fit/Need – 0
Tremendous Upside Potential/Monopoly Power – 7
Total: 65
Overview: UCF has the exact same overview as USF above (just switch USF with UCF) except that UCF has a bit more upside as (a) being one of the largest schools by enrollment in the country and (b) having fresh chances to perform at higher levels of college football (whereas we’ve already seen what USF was and wasn’t able to do in the old Big East).

SAN DIEGO STATE
Football Brand Value – 15
National TV Value – 10
Local TV Value – 7
Demographics/Recruiting Value – 20
Academics – 0
Basketball Value – 5
Geographic Fit/Need – 0
Tremendous Upside Potential/Monopoly Power – 10
Total: 67
Overview: San Diego State has similar attributes as UCF and USF on the opposite coast when it comes to football, but the Aztecs have the advantage when it comes to basketball value and the fact that it is the primary Division I sports school in the San Diego market. While Florida and Florida State have statewide fan bases in the Sunshine State, California is much more fragmented by market, which means that SDSU has more potential to “deliver” its home market despite the on-paper proximity of UCLA and USC compared to the AAC’s Florida schools.

E. THE ONLY CHOICES TODAY

BYU
Football Brand Value – 30
National TV Value – 15
Local TV Value – 7
Demographics/Recruiting Value – 5
Academics – 3
Basketball Value – 5
Geographic Fit/Need – 0
Tremendous Upside Potential/Monopoly Power – 10
Total: 75
Overview: BYU has strong enough of a national brand to garner an independent TV contrac with ESPN, a massive worldwide fan base, its own TV network and a solid football tradition. My criteria for demographics and academics likely undercount the true value of BYU, as its relevant demographics are really related to the world’s Mormon population and it has top tier undergraduate academics. Boise State might have the best record of recent on-the-field achievements out of any non-power conference school, but BYU is the one institution at this level that legitimately looks, feels and acts like a power conference program.

CINCINNATI
Football Brand Value – 30
National TV Value – 15
Local TV Value – 7
Demographics/Recruiting Value – 20
Academics – 3
Basketball Value – 5
Geographic Fit/Need – 5
Tremendous Upside Potential/Monopoly Power – 5
Total: 90
Overview: I’ve been mentioning Cincinnati as a strong Big 12 expansion candidate for awhile, but it wasn’t until constructing this index did I see how the school really does hit virtually every metric that the conference should be seeking. Among the Group of Five schools, its Football Brand Value is strong with multiple BCS bowl appearances and consistent performances over the past several years despite a number of coaching changes. The state of Ohio is a football recruiting powerhouse with only one in-state power conference competitor (albeit a massive one in the form of Ohio State). The school’s academics are solid, it has a great basketball history and its location is in a major market with probably the best geographic bridge to West Virginia of any viable candidate. The only question with Cincinnati is whether it can really perform any better on-the-field that it already has in football during the past few years. Still, that’s a minor issue compared to how the school has created a consistently competitive football program.

So, if the Big 12 were to expand today, it’s clear that Cincinnati and BYU have a huge gap over the rest of the field. Whether that type of expansion would be compelling enough to the Big 12 to make a move at all is still an open question.

(Image from Wikipedia)

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Comments
  1. Carl says:

    PSU < tOSU

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  2. Sean says:

    BYU is not joining a conference. So that leaves the Big 12 to add Cincinnati….and who?

    That’s why the Big 12 isn’t expanding anytime soon. They need a partner for Cincy. It doesn’t exist right now.

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    • Josh says:

      What are you talking about? BYU is independent right now but if the Big 12 invites BYU then BYU is joining. Obviously you’re not a BYU fan and know nothing about BYU

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      • ccrider55 says:

        They’ve been invited/explored several times in the last three years, and the requirements of both sides were unacceptable to each other. Unless things have changed dramatically the LDS leaders aren’t interested in acquiescing.

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        • Back East says:

          Not true per Tom Holmoe, the BYU AD. My paraphrase and best distillation of his comments is that there never were any formal “negotiations”; nothing got so far as a real discussion of terms and an offer to take to the Board of Trustees. Not so long ago, a fan threw that up to him at a Q&A session, for about the millionth time. Holmoe’s a nice guy, but he’s tired of fielding the same issue, and giving the same answer. His exasperated comment: “Read my lips! There was nothing to turn down. WE-WERE-NEVER-INVITED !!!!!” My take is that they’ve always wanted to come to the Big-12; they’re a better geographic fit for the PAC-12, but a huge cultural clash there, versus a natural cultural fit with the Big-12 institutions.

          As far as “unacceptable requirements” are concerned, Sunday play is the only issue that could be a deal breaker, but it shouldn’t be. It’s not that tough to schedule around, especially in football and basketball. And in truth, it’s not that tough to schedule all sports around it either, as the NCAA has done in championships for years. Besides that issue, the fit is excellent. The way the Big-12 handles 3rd tier rights fits BYU’s in-house TV network perfectly — no clash there, the issue was settled with UT and the Longhorn Network. The travel distance is a negative, but no worse than WVU. The school brings an entirely new footprint in terms of markets and fanbase, and their regional and national fanbase is considerable. They draw well on the road wherever they play. They’re competitive right now; they wouldn’t win the league, but they’d challenge for an upper division finish right away in both football and b-ball. (In the last 6 years they’ve had 5 b-ball NCAA bids and 1 NIT bid.) They draw 60k+ in football and 15k+ in basketball on average, which would put them above average in league attendance on Day 1 as well. They bring enough TV audience to keep ESPN happy with an independent TV deal, so they’re likely to at least hold their share of the weight in future TV contract negotiations. They’re ready to go right now, turnkey, without having to hope for something to develop after they join. The more you look at them, the less there is not to like about the fit. And they’re out there for the taking — at least for now.

          Rumor has it that T Boone Pickens and some of the folks at Baylor and in the conference office weren’t nuts about the idea. Who knows; rumors in this stuff aren’t worth much. Suffice it to say that the conversation never got past preliminaries — no offer was ever extended, by definition nothing was ever turned down, and by all accounts BYU is keeping their ears to the ground, and their options open. BYU and Cincinnati are slam-dunks and both would join tomorrow; the league should have pulled the trigger on both of them a long time ago.

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    • BruceMcF says:

      That would leave the Big12 to add nobody, at least until the 2020’s, unless and until one or more of the “upside potential schools take leverages that potential. Mizzou may have left, but the Big12 has every reason to stick with “Show Me” for the balance of the decade.

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    • PMark says:

      Sean:

      “BYU is not joining a conference.”

      I would not put it so. Rather, I would say BYU is in no hurry to join a conference.

      Right now, they’ve got a sweet deal with ESPN. Their Independent schedule with ESPN’s help has been quite good, perfectly respectable. Plus they aren’t involved in the politics that is inherent in all conferences, some more that others.

      Yes, people are talking about going to super conferences, and are saying that BYU, Notre Dame and other Independents had better jump aboard or get left behind. Personally, I’m in the camp that doubts the super-conferences will come. As other people on this blog have pointed out, 10 to 12 members seems to be the sweet spot for conferences. Any bigger, and the inevitable conflicts and divergent interests tend to cause giant conferences to become unstable and split apart. It’s been that way for decades. I see no real reason for it to change any time soon.

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      • ccrider55 says:

        We now have, for the first time, two 14 team “major” football conferences. That’s the relevant history.

        BYU will do what the church leaders deem is in the church’s best interest.

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        • Except that this is year one of ACC at 14 and year two of SEC at 14. And the ACC just lost a member (Maryland) and the SEC seems to be dealing with a decent amount of scheduling tensions relating to how infrequently some of the schools will see each other. There’s no way to know how stable or unstable 14-16 team configurations would be in such a short timeframe, but there have at least been minor signs of trouble. The SEC and B1G have more than enough cash to paper over issues for a while, but the ACC doesn’t, and you do have to wonder how stable that setup is for all but the very richest leagues.

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        • PMark says:

          “BYU will do what the church leaders deem is in the church’s best interest.”

          That’s pretty much true of all colleges, wouldn’t you say? Each and every one of them will do what they see best in their interests.

          That is perhaps the biggest reason I see super-conferences as unstable in the long run; there are too many competing individual best interests. The friction and heat generated by so many divergent agendas tends to drive them apart.

          Like

          • Here’s the big thing that needs to get across: BYU did NOT reject the Big 12. As of now, the Big 12 has passed on BYU. Everything that I’ve seen suggests that BYU would take a Big 12 invite very readily and all TV issues would be worked out. (No Sunday play is non-negotiable for BYU, but it’s exaggerated as a factor. MWC schools had plenty of complaints about BYU, but the rule about not playing on Sundays was fairly easily mitigated and never came up as a major problem.) However, independence is vastly preferred to joining any Group of Five conference.

            The LDS leaders want a lot of control, but they do understand the difference of being in a power conference and the exposure that brings the Church. They’ll take a complete hardline against the AAC and MWC in a way that wouldn’t occur with the Big 12. Ultimately, it’s the Big 12’s decision.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            I don’t think the B12 was willing to grant the media demands of BYU. The church leaders don’t care about athletic championships. They care about the ability to expand the church recruitment and their current deal fills BYUtv with attractive inventory. Would the non UT/OU schools accept the media demands? How does it help them? I think you are perhaps misunderstanding the leaderships goals. They may not see the B12 as a stable long term increased visibility and control home. And without such, why sacrifice what they now have?

            Like

          • Brian says:

            PMark,

            “BYU will do what the church leaders deem is in the church’s best interest.”

            “That’s pretty much true of all colleges, wouldn’t you say? Each and every one of them will do what they see best in their interests.”

            That’s the big difference. Other schools would do what’s in the best interest of the school. BYU will do what’s in the best interest of the church.

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            This reminds me of the old Hebrew National ad slogan “We answer to a higher authority.”

            Like

          • PMark says:

            Brian:

            “That’s the big difference. Other schools would do what’s in the best interest of the school. BYU will do what’s in the best interest of the church.”

            I always find this a rather strange point to make. What does this mean exactly? Except for Sunday play, where does what’s best for the church diverge from what’s best for the University?

            TV rights? What college out there doesn’t want as much control over their TV rights as possible?

            BYUtv? BYU has an international channel that is in nearly every home in the country and countless other homes around the world. They want to put as much BYU sports on it as possible. What university, if they had a similar channel wouldn’t want the same thing?

            Revenue? BYU and the church wants as much revenue as possible. What college does not?

            Joining a conference? Nearly everyone BYU fan I’ve heard from thinks that Independence is far and away better than being in the MWC, WAC, or any other lower rung conference. BYU gets a better schedule, better TV deal, equivalent or better bowl tie-ins, better revenue, more national exposure and no intra-conference politicking. It’s a win-win-win-win-win-win. What college in BYU’s position would want to go back?

            Accepting a B12, PAC, or any other P5 invite? If they made allowances for Sunday play, I cannot think of where BYU’s interests here would diverge from the LDS church’s either. Can you?

            Perhaps my point can be best illustrated by what happened the last time realignment touched BYU. When everything started to hit the fan, BYU’s President and AD briefed the Board of Trustees (those infamous “LDS leaders” you hear so much about) on the situation. The AD later reported that the BOT essentially gave them carte blanche to proceed as they (the BYU people) saw fit. The BOT didn’t get involved again until the final deals needed to be approved and the papers signed. Does that sound like a governing body that is overly-anxious to micromanage the affairs of their university, to interfere with the best interests of the school?

            So in all seriousness, I would love to hear all the areas where the best interests of the LDS church are different from the best interests of BYU.

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            Well, as to TV rights, BYU would likely maximize its revenue by being a part of a major conference vs. its deal with ESPN and BYUtv carriage fees. But moving athletic contests from its own TV channel might cause it to lose some carriage fees/lead to the channel to be dropped by some providers. That channel is critical to the larger LDS mission.

            So that’s an instance where what’s best for BYU as a school hurts the broader LDS mission.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            “What college out there doesn’t want as much control over their TV rights as possible?”

            The school doesn’t control. The church leadership does and with the church in mind, not the school.

            “Revenue? BYU and the church wants as much revenue as possible. What college does not?”

            Revenue isn’t a primary (or secondary) concern to them. They’d be in the B12 yesterday if it was.

            “So in all seriousness, I would love to hear all the areas where the best interests of the LDS church are different from the best interests of BYU.”

            They aren’t different. The school (and its athletic teams) are an arm of the church. This is fundamentally different than how most other major schools function. We don’t get to evaluate what would be best for them through the prism of most every other D1 schools shared goals and/or benefits.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            PMark,

            “That’s the big difference. Other schools would do what’s in the best interest of the school. BYU will do what’s in the best interest of the church.”

            “I always find this a rather strange point to make. What does this mean exactly?”

            It means exactly what it says. The church will make decisions for BYU that are best for the church, not necessarily best for the school.

            “Except for Sunday play, where does what’s best for the church diverge from what’s best for the University?”

            So except for that 1 major example? The honor code is another. The importance of BYUtv is another. There are more. BYU makes sacrifices for religion and more exposure at the cost of more potential revenue. That’s not in the best interest of the school, but it is for the church.

            Like

          • PMark says:

            Wainscott,

            Could be. However, BYUtv isn’t much of a sports station. LHN / BTN it ain’t. It exists primarily as an education tool for its students, and as a world-wide outlet for the church. If you ever watched it, you would quickly see that it is kind of a cross between a religious channel and a PBS channel. The church, wanting to get its message out to as many people as possible, provides it at a very low cost. As a result, nearly all providers carry it in their block of religious channels.

            So if BYU sports disappeared from it, the impact upon its availability would be nil. It was doing just fine before independence. It will do just fine after if it meant losing BYU sports. Obviously having sports is better than not having sports.

            So my point still stands, BYU — as any other college would if they were in the same position — wants to keep as much of their sports programming on their network as possible.


            ccrider55,

            “The school doesn’t control. The church leadership does and with the church in mind, not the school.”

            Oh come now. Yes, you are technically correct, but let’s not play semantic games. Under your definition, the University of Texas doesn’t control their rights either, the State of Texas does.

            “Revenue isn’t a primary (or secondary) concern to them. They’d be in the B12 yesterday if it was.”

            How can that be true when they weren’t even invited? The discussions never got beyond the “feel out” stage.

            Yes, they wish to live by their morale principles, and as such they are not willing to give up on Sunday play or fielding players who have violated the Honor Code. So in that sense, yes, revenue is not a primary issue for them. But if Sunday play was dealt with, I suspect you will find them just as eager for the buck as anyone else. If the price was right, I suspect they would even give up most of those wonderful TV rights they currently have. They are valuable to them. How valuable, who knows? But for sure they are negotiable.

            But when it comes to TV rights, that is why I suspect the B12 is likely a better fit for them than any other P5. The B12 has already dealt with the LHN. I don’t see much in BYU’s TV package that would be that much different than the one given to the Longhorns. A tweak or two here and there, and voilà! You’ve got it.

            The point I am making is that when I hear people talk about BYU not doing what’s in their best interest but the church’s, I think it’s a bit silly. Apart from Sunday play and playing players who are in Honor code violation, the interests of the BYU in the buying and selling of their athletics are not all that different from the interests of nearly every other institution of higher learning out there.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            PMark,

            “So my point still stands, BYU — as any other college would if they were in the same position — wants to keep as much of their sports programming on their network as possible.”

            No, many schools chose a conference network over a private one.

            “How can that be true when they weren’t even invited? The discussions never got beyond the “feel out” stage.”

            Nice straw man. Nobody ever gets invited officially until it’s a given that they’ll accept. That way nobody ever looks bad.

            “The point I am making is that when I hear people talk about BYU not doing what’s in their best interest but the church’s, I think it’s a bit silly. ”

            Sure you do. Of course, you start by exempting the most glaring examples and minimizing the TV issue. If we all looked through those same blue-colored glasses we might share your POV.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            “BYUtv isn’t much of a sports station. LHN / BTN it ain’t.”

            Precisely. It’s a proselytizing tool. Sports are a supplement to draw a larger/broader audience, as well as provide as much coverage as possible to the already converted (at no additional cost).

            Like

          • PMark says:

            Brian,

            What possible bearing would not playing athletes under honor code violations have on joining or not joining a conference? Do not other schools and other teams have rules which if an athlete violates, they can get suspended? Whether they do or not, that is an internal affair between the school and the student and really shouldn’t affect their negotiations for joining a conference. I wouldn’t expect the B12 negotiators to tell BYU, “As a condition to joining us, we want you to stop suspending student athletes for having sex with their girlfriends”. I can see them talking about about abandoning their Sunday play policy, but I really can’t see them touching upon honor code violations. Can you?

            So once again I ask, except Sunday play, where does the LDS church’s best interests lie counter to BYU’s interests as a university in negotiating joining a conference? Sunday play, I’ll grant you free and clear. That’s a given. But where else?

            —-

            ccrider55,

            I had to chuckle a bit when I read your “proselytizing tool” remark. Have you ever watched the LHN? I view it a fair amount since that I live in Texas and try to follow the Longhorns. Believe me, there is far more “proselytizing” done on that channel — blatant, over-the-top proselytizing — than is ever on BYUtv. They really lay the UT propaganda on thick.

            I can’t say that I blame them much. They’ve got the channel. Why not use it?

            What’s the BTN like? I don’t get it so I’ve never watched it. How much proselytizing for the B1G is on it?

            Humor aside, how does wanting to put as much as possible of the most attractive programming available (BYU sports) on the University’s own network constitute placing the church’s interests over the interests of the school? The network serves the University’s mission well. Students produce most of the content. They do most of everything from the control booth to the camera work to the makeup and lighting to the video vaults. It’s all under the watchful direction of their teachers. It gives the students valuable hands-on experience for when they go out into the world looking for jobs in their chosen field of media production. BYU sports production does the same thing in the area of sports broadcasting. How would dropping BYU sports from BYUtv be in BYU’s best interests, the best interests of its students and those of its alumni?

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            “…how does wanting to put as much as possible of the most attractive programming available (BYU sports) on the University’s own network constitute placing the church’s interests over the interests of the school?”

            One last attempt:
            So long as you accept that the purpose/goals of BYU, the programs, and the students is to serve the mission of the church then their interests are the same. But the same decisions made for almost any other school would be seen as hurting their own competitive interest (not joining a P5 conf, not having multiple auto bowl tie-ins and championship access, easier scheduling, etc).

            The church ended intercollegiate athletics at BYUI (formerly Ricks) because it wasn’t promoting the “proper” morals and goals.

            There is a difference between promotion/propaganda at LHN and proselytizing.

            Are you from Missouri?

            Like

          • PMark says:

            ccrider55

            Okay, now I see what you are getting at. The owners of a university can do things that may not be seen as in the best interests of the university.

            When the old SWC was collapsing and the B12 came into being. UT wanted to join the PAC and TAM wanted to join the SEC, but the State of Texas (their owners) forced them to join with the old BIG-8 and take Baylor and TT with them.

            Plus I read stories a couple of years ago about how the PAC wanted OU, but the State of Oklahoma (their owners) insisted upon OU and OSU being joined at the hip. Supposedly the Texas legislation also interfered with UT’s PAC flirtation, as well.

            So, yes, the LDS church could step in and put their best interests ahead of BYU’s. As history has shown, there is always the danger of the owners doing that sort of thing. However, at this point I don’t see their interests as being all that far apart.

            By the way, I watch BYUtv and LHN about equally and even in terms of promotion not proselytizing, the LHN does far more of that sort of thing that BYUtv does. Why, I don’t know, but I am guessing that BYUtv pretty much assumes that the vast majority of its viewers are either LDS or BYU alumni, and they don’t waste the efforts promoting the school or the church. What’s really sticks out are the food storage and wedding ring ads. The WCC fans get a real kick out of those when they tune in to watch their teams play BYU. :)

            Thanks for taking the time to get your point across.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Glad to help, you’re getting close.
            “So, yes, the LDS church could step in and put their best interests ahead of BYU’s.”
            You still don’t seem to grasp that they don’t step in, they are the purpose for BYU. All decisions by the school are made in this light. Athletics are a promotional tool that a significant group of leaders would rather do without, but have enough promotional value that they continue to be supported (far more by their fans).

            Like

          • PMark says:

            cc,

            Surely you have learned by now that people seldom, if ever, only consider one thing in making a decision. How often do you, yourself, do something for one reason, and one reason only? It’s simply not done by anybody.

            Is “promotional purposes” the only purpose you can come up with for BYU to support student sports?

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            “Is “promotional purposes” the only purpose you can come up with for BYU to support student sports?”

            It’s the only one that justifies the expense of intercollegiate competition, the chase of money, winning as a primary goal, consorting with those who have opposite ideology, etc.

            See how athletics are supported at BYU-I.
            Hint: look under activities.

            http://www.byui.edu/

            Like

          • PMark says:

            cc,

            Ricks college dropped their intercollegiate sports when they became BYU-I for one simple reason — money.

            It’s a little know fact, but the LDS church requires intercollegiate athletics at their universities to be self-sustaining. It must pay its own way in sports with no help from the church. Why? To put it in a nutshell, it could be awkward to ask a Utah Ute fan to pay tithing to support BYU football.

            In the case of BYU, the problem is moot. The school is big enough, strong enough and good enough to be fully self-sustaining in sports. BYU-I is not. They could never compete at the level where that would be possible. So they dropped intercollegiate sports all together.

            They still have a very strong intramural program in many different sports, but intercollegiate sports are gone.

            To construe their actions in this case as LDS leadership not liking sports for the reasons you gave takes some serious leaps in logic. If they were so much against competition as you appear to postulate, why would they support such a strong intramural program at BYU-I?

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            “President Hinckley articulated the following response: “It takes too much money. It takes a great amount of time and energy.”

            I.e. intercollegiate competition is not valued enough to focus on, even with a successful JC/small college history. No mention of self sustaining (are intramural a?).

            As to the independence (or not) of schools in the LDS system: “For the immediate future, the president of BYU–Idaho will report directly to the Commissioner of the Church Educational System.” There isn’t really a separation.

            http://www.byui.edu/upward/archive/summit/fall-2000/announcement

            Like

          • Brad Smith says:

            The LDS Church has 15 million worldwide members that pay 10% tithing. That’s WAY more money than any university or athletic conference. It also has substantial investments and landholdings apart from tithing (LDS Church now owns 2% of Florida’s property).

            BYU’s role for the LDS Church is primarily missionary and bridge-building with other faiths for standing up for family and Christ-centered values – establishing Christ’s kingdom on earth.

            Money barely makes the lists of priorities for the BYU football and athletics programs, but for the fact that the LDS Church expects BYU’s athletic department to be self-sufficient and not tithing-dependent.

            Also, you cannot understate BYU’s current relationship with its WCC brethren. The relationships that BYU and the LDS Church are forging with Catholics and the Church of Christ are exponentially more important to BYU than BYU’s results in WCC men’s basketball.

            I still think BYU would jump at the right opportunity to join the Big 12. But it would be done to give BYU and the LDS Church the opportunity to expand and broadcast the LDS Church’s mission; and would have very little to do with conference and TV payouts.

            Like

    • michael says:

      “….and who?”

      Next team on the list by total index points is San Diego State. Making a play for California would be a smart move for the Big XII

      Like

  3. greg says:

    Go Hawks.

    Like

  4. Chris says:

    Cincinnati seems a little marginal outside of market (don’t know if I’d put them so high at football brand value or national TV value), but I’d have to think WVU would be doing backflips trying to get into Ohio. Even Iowa State and, to a lesser extent, the Kansas teams, would likely be happy. Ohio has always been a good spot for Midwestern teams to hit in recruiting, but most Big 12 teams have been non-factors in the state (all focused on Texas).

    BYU has to be the default choice. No one among the other viable candidates has their football infrastructure and their commitment to competing at a high level in the sport.

    Beyond that, they pretty much just have to root for UNLV and Colorado State to get their acts together in a sustained way, or for one of the California or Florida second-tier programs to get a god-send of a football coach that leads them to sustained greatness and doesn’t want to leave for greener pastures.

    Like

    • BruceMcF says:

      Though bear in mind that the football brand value and national TV value is declared up front to be relative to Go5 schools ~ in that context, I think the ratings given are at least arguable.

      Like

  5. tomdauwwg says:

    Spartans>Rodents

    Like

  6. Mensch says:

    If BYU joins, it will probably be football only due to Sunday play issues with the Olympic sports. So that might change the analysis.

    Like

    • frug says:

      Yeah, the no play on Sundays would be a really big issue for a conference whose members would span three time zones and tend to be located fairly far from major airports. And I’m not really sure how open the Big XII would be to adding BYU as an FB only member since it could set a precedent for Texas to eventually try the opposite.

      Like

    • Louis D says:

      Football only is not an option as B12 bylaws require a program participate in at least five total sports plus Football.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Louis D,

        “Football only is not an option as B12 bylaws require a program participate in at least five total sports plus Football.”

        If the B12 wanted BYU for FB only, they could easily change the bylaws.

        Like

  7. weavergm says:

    If the Big 12 wanted to expand with any of the available candidates they would have done it by now. Under current circumstances, BYU is the only viable option, and only in football. If in the future a conference championship game is considered necessary, the conference would construct a list very similar to this one, but it would be surprising if it happened anytime soon.

    Like

  8. Bjork says:

    I feel sorry for Kansas- they, unfortunately, were left without a chair after the music stopped. I don’t think they were happy with their situation in the Big 12, but maybe now that it’s stabilized they can breathe a sigh of relief. Colorado, Nebraska, and Missouri all got the elusive golden tickets out while they were basically stuck on what was, at the time, a dumpster fire.

    Like

    • Wainscott says:

      @Bjork:

      I’d say you were Andy’s Scandinavian cousin, but you expressed genuine sympathy for Kansas.

      Also, true, Kansas is in genuine danger if the B12 one day implodes.

      Like

  9. Tigertails says:

    Big 12 made a short sided decision by not adding Louisville. Frank’s article shows Cincinnati is qualified to be in the Big 12. Choosing the short term money over the long term stability of a 12-team conference with Louisville & Cincinnati will come back to hurt them when the TV contract expires.

    This would have have been an interesting scenario:

    SEC = 14
    B1G = 14
    ACC + UConn = 14
    PAC + BYU, UNLV = 14
    XII + Cincy, Lville, Memphis, Tulane, UCF, USF = 16

    + Notre Dame = 73 BCS Power 5 teams with only UNLV, Memphis, Tulane & UCF promoted from Group of 5

    Hypothetical Big 16 pods:

    Texas
    Baylor
    Texas Christian
    Texas Tech

    Oklahoma
    Oklahoma State
    Kansas
    Kansas State

    Iowa State
    Louisville
    Cincinnati
    West Virginia

    Memphis
    Tulane
    Central Florida
    South Florida

    Like

    • Johnny Utah says:

      “Choosing the short term money over the long term stability of a 12-team conference with Louisville & Cincinnati will come back to hurt them when the TV contract expires.”

      It will only hurt the schools that are stuck and will not be able to join a power conference. Texas and OU will make out fine because they will simply join a power conference once the B12 TV contract expires.

      Like

    • XOVERX says:

      The problem with Louisville, most likely, was that, unlike WVU, UL wasn’t prepared to sue their way out of the BE.

      The B12 couldn’t wait on UL to be “honorable”, and wait the time prior to departing the BE.

      The B12 was at 8 and had to get to 12 before the 2012 season in order to preserve their (probable) inflated television deal that they were able to garner after the defection of NU and CU.

      Had the B12 had the presence of mind to expand after NU and CU left, maybe they could have added UL and WVU. But the B12 had no plan. They were caught with their pants down.

      So when they hit 8 schools, TCU suddenly looked good because they could join at once. And WVU looked good because Luck assured the B12 that WVU would be there for the B12 for the 2012 season. So far as I know, no such assurances were made by UL.

      The B12 has only itself to blame. And now, it is my firm opinion that the B1G (and, possibly, to a lesser degree, the SEC) has itself set up for big things in about a decade.

      Like

      • duffman says:

        Had the B12 had the presence of mind to expand after NU and CU left, maybe they could have added UL and WVU. But the B12 had no plan. They were caught with their pants down.

        Key point. If they added and got right back to 12 they would have never lost the CCG and they would have added a Card team peaking at just the right time to bring power the Big 12 at a time when their public image was damaged. Louisville beat a SEC football team, ran second in the women’s basketball, won the men’s basketball, and put a team in the CWS.

        While you may think the Big 12 was caught with their pants down my thought has more to do with the balance of power. With Nebraska and Colorado out, putting Louisville and West Virginia back in does nothing to swing votes to the Texas block. Louisville was clearly supported by Oklahoma and if granted Big 12 membership would ally with Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. West Virginia had long term history with Louisville so they would side with the Louisville when it came to voting blocks. If Texas really wanted a conference where they held full sway then adding non TX schools would clearly dilute their power.

        Adding TCU – a small private school in a pre existing footprint – may protect the TX schools but it clearly is not the best thing for stability in the conference as a whole. Adding Louisville and West Virginia might actually keep Missouri from leaving even if Texas A&M departed for the SEC. Look at it this way.

        Big 12 = 12
        – Nebraska
        – Colorado
        Big 12 = 10
        + West Virginia
        + Louisville
        Big 12 = 12
        – Texas A&M
        + Cincinnati
        Big 12 = 12

        North division
        West Virginia, Cincinnati, Louisville, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State

        South division
        Texas, Texas Tech, Baylor, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Missouri (TCU if MU leaves)

        Even if Missouri still goes to the B1G or SEC the Big 12 can fall back and add TCU at that point but they have already picked up 3 new footprints first. If realignment taught us anything it was driven by new markets to drive TV dollars. Under that guide, expansion to new territory should have been the first priority even if it weakened the grip of Texas early on to accomplish it.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          The Big 12 held together in June. I think they were all catching their breath when A&M decided to leave the next summer. They were working on the TV contract, revenue sharing and GOR. UL looked a lot better the following year than they did in 2010. At that point UL was on a streak of 6-6, 5-7, 4-8, 7-6. They would have one more 7-6 season before their Sugar Bowl season. And w/o UL, WVU is not geographically continguous. In 2011, WVU was simply far and away the best available choice, so geography was ignored.

          Its revisionist history to say they should have expanded in 2010. There really was no time. 2011 maybe, but Missouri was leading the drive to hold the conference together. A&M was saying one thing but thinking another. The rest of the conference had historically been open with each other. Texas told Nebraska about the Pac 16 deal before it got close.

          Like

          • duffman says:

            bullet,

            Realignment was being discussed back in 2009 so when June rolled around the Big 12 should have already been prepared. In the bigger picture Louisville already had a decade or so of support from ESPN and they had already put in motion a full rebuilding of their facilities.

            Baseball stadium, new in 2005 and CWS in 2007
            Basketball arena, new in 2010 and Final Four in 2005
            Basketball (W) – Final Four in 2009
            Field Hockey, new facility in 2000 and NCAA in 2006
            Football stadium – new in 1998, 13,000 expansion during realignment (spring 2010)
            (Cards had won the Orange Bowl in January of 2007 and drew ~74K)
            Softball stadium, new in 2000
            Trager (football training facility), new in 2006
            Marshall (other sports training facility), new in 2008

            Basically, everything at Louisville was brand new and showed the Cardinals had made the investment for the future. With all that new infrastructure it was clear they were building for the future. Since ESPN already supported Louisville (and why I still feel they wound up in the ACC) they would have possibly established a much scaled down version of the LHN for Louisville so ESPN would have 2 properties to trade content with and double their inventory. If Texas got 15 million from the LHN, ESPN could have piggybacked the Cards for 3-6 million per year. Again, the value of a network is not only the football properties, but the content provided in the months when football is not played.

            At the Tier III level Louisville had all kinds of content and their basketball program was near elite status and they were building the biggest new arena in the country. Indianapolis (NCAA HQ) is just a couple of hours away so YUM provides a close venue. When Texas won the Volleyball Final Four last year, they did it in YUM Center! You can claim revisionist history all you want, but the blame for not being prepared lies squarely at the foot of Big 12 leadership and Deloss Dodds if you subscribe to the theory Dan Beebe was just a puppet figurehead.

            Look at the timeline :
            Blair Report leaks in late 2009
            Nebraska and Colorado leave in June 2010

            By March of 2010 the Big 12 should have already developed not only a primary plan, but a second and third option as they had at least 3 months notice. Even so they had at least another 3 months to backchannel to implement them. 6 months is not revisionist history, it is time wasted and poor planning by institutions that are supposed to be filled with smart people.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Lets be clear. Until the Sugar Bowl, Louisville was a lousy football product and an afterthought in their own state. They aren’t even #1 in Louisville. And without UL, Pitt and WVU look like islands. Noone else besides Pitt and WVU really made sense at the time and their geography didn’t make sense. And they might not have been interested. Pitt would rather have been in the ACC and WVU in the SEC.

            Were they properly prepared? Don’t know. But being prepared wouldn’t have resulted in a different decision. They would still have stayed at 10.

            Like

          • FrankTheAg says:

            @bullet: “Texas told Nebraska about the Pac 16 deal before it got close”

            Sure it did, after it came out as public speculation via media reports/rumors. Texas didn’t even tell A&M it was arranging a deal with the Pac-10 that included A&M. No matter how badly you want to revise history, the fact of the matter is Texas was the first B12 team to negotiate a potential exit from the B12. Powers’ deception led to the eventual exit of NU, CU, A&M and Mizzou.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            The Pac 16 wasn’t in media reports. Pearlman did hear the rumors from people he knew (obviously Pac 10 connections) before Texas told him about it. Pearlman said he always had a good, honest relationship with Powers. Texas told A&M about the Pac 16 deal before it got serious.

            Texas was talking to the Pac after the Big 10 announced it was searching for new members.

            In any event, schools are always talking and evaluating their options and comparing numbers. At least they should be if their AD is doing his job. Most of it isn’t serious.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            Missouri was at one point in favor of bringing Pitt into the Big 12 but for whatever reason OU balked.

            Then again Missouri was negotiating with the SEC at the same time so maybe they were just looking for someone to replace themselves.

            Like

        • Andy says:

          lol at duffman and his “even if Missouri still goes”, like adding WVU, UL, and Cinci would have stopped Missouri from leaving. That’s a joke.

          Like

    • OTR Crafty Swine says:

      I disagree that the “sweet spot” for a conference is 16 teams.

      Four 18-team conferences (Big XII is the easiest to spit up) results in four conference football championships/National Quarterfinal Games. With each conference division having 9 teams for football, there would be no unbalanced schedules within a conference. Conference championships would never be rematches! Also, no great team would be penalized by playing, and losing to, another great school from another conference. If you win your division/conference, you play on. Polls would be for trolls.

      Basketball could be a 17-game schedule, annually alternating home-and-home. If conferences want mirror games, go ahead.

      Best of all! If Notre Dame (and BYU), want to play for a National Championship they will have to play by everybody else’s rules – join a conference!

      Like

  10. Brad says:

    This is all cute, but your criteria is soooo flawed. See TCU. Flash in the pan, brings no additional TV revenue, no tradition. Jumped right in.

    Like

    • frug says:

      You have to remember though that when the Big XII added TCU circumstances were very different. First, in 2011 the Big XII had far less leverage than it does now. There was no GOR, no big long term TV deal and (most importantly) the Big XII had expand and quickly; A&M was leaving and without 10 members the Big XII couldn’t meet its inventory obligations to its TV partners. As such when the Big XII look around they found the best school available on short notice was TCU (remember, they weren’t expecting to lose Mizzou and didn’t want to mess around with the Big East’s 27 month waiting period).

      The second big issue was that in 2011 it was really important that A&M be replaced by another Texas school which would ensure that everyone got two games in Texas every year. If the Big XII expanded again the conference would already be sacrificing Texas access, so another school in Texas would be less useful.

      Like

    • Johnny Utah says:

      Yes, and TCU was an awful addition that added virtually no incremental value.

      I don’t think Frank’s analysis flawed, but the TCU addition just shows that the Big 12 struggles to make logical decisions.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        TCU was fresh off a #2 finish in the final poll and a Rose Bowl victory over Wisconsin. I would guess the TV people told them TCU brought better ratings than anyone else they could add. The northern schools wanted the 2nd game in Texas for recruiting reasons. TCU was top 5 in winning % over the previous decade. They have been ranked in the final poll in the BCS era more often than Alabama, Tennessee, Penn St. and Notre Dame. TCU had a mass of injuries last year and were still competitive. They were the pre-season favorite to win the conference this year, although they have struggled on offense.

        I have doubts that TCU was a good long term choice because I doubt they can maintain success, but there was plenty of logic in choosing TCU. They had football brand, national TV value, local TV value (maintaining B12 dominance in DFW), recruiting value, academic value and fit geographically. And for the immediate term, their recruiting has improved dramatically in the Big 12.

        Like

        • Wainscott says:

          I could be mistaken, but I thought TCU was taken because T. Boone Pickens pushed hard for them (based on the school’s then-recent success) and Texas was under state political pressure to add a 4th Texas school. I don’t recall it being driven as much by TV as much as conference and state politics. Based on those factors, it was TCU. Had SMU just gone to the Rose Bowl, it would have probably been SMU for the same reasons.

          Like

        • Johnny Utah says:

          Completely disagree bullet. TCU is a small school that has historically been an afterthought in both Texas and the national spotlight. They strung together a couple great years at the right time, but their value was almost completely dependent on Gary Patterson outcoaching mid-major programs. They are already struggling with attendance in just their second year in the Big 12 despite a new stadium and a great run over the last 5 years. Odds are that the Big 12 just added a new Baylor rather than anything close to an A&M replacement.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Johnny Utah,

            “TCU is a small school that has historically been an afterthought in both Texas and the national spotlight. They strung together a couple great years at the right time, but their value was almost completely dependent on Gary Patterson outcoaching mid-major programs.”

            Since Franchione started there in 1998 (15 seasons), TCU has 7 conference titles, 14 bowls (9-5), 2 BCS bowls, and 9 top 25 finishes. That’s a better resume than many AQ schools, and it’s under 2 coaches, not one.

            They also have ties to several B12 schools from their SWC days.

            “They are already struggling with attendance in just their second year in the Big 12 despite a new stadium and a great run over the last 5 years.”

            How do you figure?

            Capacity is 45,000. Last year TCU averaged 46,047 (up from 33,686 in 2011).

            TCU’s home attendance in 2013:
            41,170 – NE LA
            45,111 – SMU
            41,894 – KU
            48,212 – UT

            Average so far = 44,097

            They still have 2 more B12 games at home, including a rivalry game with Baylor so the number will likely rise.

            I don’t see 98% of capacity as struggling.

            “Odds are that the Big 12 just added a new Baylor rather than anything close to an A&M replacement.”

            Nobody claimed they were a TAMU replacement.

            Like

          • Johnny Utah says:

            “Since Franchione started there in 1998 (15 seasons), TCU has 7 conference titles, 14 bowls (9-5), 2 BCS bowls, and 9 top 25 finishes. That’s a better resume than many AQ schools, and it’s under 2 coaches, not one.”

            Racking up wins in various mid-major conferences is virtually meaningless in this discussion. That just shows they had a nice run as a mid-major.

            “How do you figure?

            Capacity is 45,000. Last year TCU averaged 46,047 (up from 33,686 in 2011).

            TCU’s home attendance in 2013:
            41,170 – NE LA
            45,111 – SMU
            41,894 – KU
            48,212 – UT

            Average so far = 44,097

            They still have 2 more B12 games at home, including a rivalry game with Baylor so the number will likely rise.

            I don’t see 98% of capacity as struggling.”

            See here:

            http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/eye-on-college-football/24072486/photo-plenty-of-seats-available-at-tcukansas-game

            and here:

            http://thebiglead.com/2013/10/12/tcu-is-playing-kansas-amon-g-carter-stadium-is-empty/

            and here:

            http://sportsblogs.star-telegram.com/mac-engel/2013/10/in-minor-defense-of-the-absent-tcu-fan.html

            It seems pretty obvious that they are lying about their game attendance, so those figures you mentioned (which I imagine are still below average for the power five conferences) are worthless.

            “Nobody claimed they were a TAMU replacement.”

            Actually quite a few Big 12 fans claimed they upgraded with TCU once A&M left. It was a silly, insecure comment then, and is just embarrassing now.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            TCU allows people to leave the stadium and return. Don’t know if that’s the total reason for those pictures, but that is what some people claimed. Apparently it was around 100 degrees that day and people headed to the shade.

            Like

          • Johnny Utah says:

            I have no doubt that there was a reason for the poor showing: temperature, boring opponent, disappointing season, etc.

            But this just provides further evidence that TCU was a poor long-term addition to the Big 12. TCU added a small fanbase in a state that the Big 12 was already in. Looking back in ten years, I think it will be unanimous that the Big 12 whiffed in a panic move.

            Like

    • FLP_NDRox says:

      Sammy Baugh and the ’35 and ’38 National Championship teams would like a word. TCU has had a lot of hard years since then, but if Baylor didn’t have the connections in the Governor’s mansion TCU would have been in the BXII at the beginning as I understand it.

      Like

      • wjrobinson says:

        “,.. but if Baylor didn’t have the connections in the Governor’s mansion TCU would have been in the BXII at the beginning as I understand it.”

        No, from talking to people who were actually involved in the talks at the time, a more accurate explanation is that if Baylor and TT didn’t have strong active representatives in the state government at the time the SWC folded, there never would have been a Big 12. Texas would have joined the Pac-10 and A&M would have followed Arkansas to the SEC as that was what the schools actually were intending to do when the SWC failed.

        Neither TCU nor Baylor are net positives long term for a major conference.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          UT’s President Cunningham said both were evaluated and Baylor came out ahead. Baylor’s program was way ahead of TCU at the time. Of course, Baylor had political pull. TCU would not have beaten out Baylor anyway. BYU might have. Not TCU.

          Like

          • wjrobinson says:

            Once their hand was forced their was no incentive for Cunningham to be forthcoming, better to claim they went where they wanted rather than admit they were pushed by the politicos.

            This is from a DMN article:

            ————————————–

            According to folklore, politicians in Austin made the decisions and forced Texas and Texas A&M to take Texas Tech and Baylor along. That’s the “biggest myth in the west,” according to former Texas chancellor William Cunningham.

            Texas Tech would join the 12-team league on its own merits, Cunningham said. The final spot came down to Baylor or TCU. Those two were the only viable choices.

            “Baylor had much better attendance at football games, and Baylor’s overall statistical profile was much more positive,” Cunningham said. “When we looked at it and tried to say which one was the logical choice, Baylor appeared to be the more logical choice.”

            That’s not quite how former lawmakers remembered it.

            Republican or Democrat, political allegiances didn’t matter when the saber rattling began in Austin. It was all about where you went to school. That’s what former House Speaker Gib Lewis still believes today.

            The late Bob Bullock, the state’s lieutenant governor, had degrees from Tech and Baylor. Pete Laney, a Tech grad, was the House Speaker in 1994, the year everything came to pass.

            “When I left office, you had Laney and Bullock,” said Lewis, who has deep ties to Fort Worth and attended TCU. He was House Speaker from 1983 to ’93. “It was pretty damn obvious that the two guys that happened to be in there went to those schools. I smelled a rat real quick.”

            Reached at his office in Hale Center, Texas, Laney recalled that Texas and Texas A&M wanted to go separate ways. UT officials were considering the Pacific-10 Conference, and A&M decision-makers were flirting with the Southeastern Conference. Laney said that would have left Tech “in the wilderness.”

            UT and A&M officials “came in and said here’s what are we going to do, and I said, ‘Not without Tech,’ ” Laney said. “Then, they went across the hall, and Bullock said the same thing about Baylor.

            “When they came by to visit with us about that, they remembered that they got a lot of revenue from the state for education. You could say they were reminded of that.”

            It was reported in 1994 that Bullock held a meeting in his office where UT and A&M officials effectively sealed the deal. Cunningham and former Sen. David Sibley, a Baylor graduate, confirmed being there, and Reynolds said he listened in on a speakerphone.

            No one was working behind the scenes for TCU, according to key administrative and legislative figures.

            ————————————-

            Like I said, I’ve spoken with people who were actually involved on the A&M side and they were deep into talks with the SEC at the time, and Texas was headed west. The Big 12 was a shotgun wedding that the state government mandated by waiving their control over the schools purse-strings.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Gib Lewis is just bitter. TCU was not that strong a program at that point in time. As for Laney, that’s the first time anyone has ever said TEXAS was told to go with Tech at THAT meeting. In the stories, Texas was there but didn’t say much.

            Cunningham’s story is consistent with Tech having political pull, but he had long been aware of that. Per Cunningham, “the political realities in Texas dictated that any decision UT made and would also have to be acceptable to both Texas A&M and Texas Tech.” And later, “One option that we carefully considered was for A&M to join the SEC, while UT and Texas Tech went to the Pac 10. Bob Lawless, president of Texas Tech, expressed a strong interest in doing that….I kept Lawless up to date on the talks. The problem was that the Pac 10 was not interested in Texas Tech. The Pac 10 looked at a large amount of academic data about Texas Tech and concluded that it would be one of the weakest schools academically in the conference. So once again the possibility of UT heading west fell through.” Later he says “I never received any significant political pressure over whom to take to the new conference. I realize that some people may not believe this, but it is true….He [Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock] was as light-handed with me on this matter as I had ever seen him, and when Bullock really cared about something and wanted something done a certain way, he was not light-handed.”

            Like

      • BuddyBoy says:

        Actually, Houston was supposed to be the fourth Texas school to join the Big 12, not TCU. Had it played out like it was supposed to, Texas, Texas Tech, Houston, and Texas A&M would have all joined. But Baylor had connections to the governor, so they got in instead of Houston.

        Like

  11. vp19 says:

    Adding San Diego State would put the Big 12 in four time zones, not really a wise move. Since Brigham Young isn’t a realistic candidate and I have an inherent dislike for football-only members, I would add Cincinnati and Central Florida and be done with it. You’re adding two fine recruiting areas for football, plus UC has a solid hoops history. That’s pretty good for the Big 12.

    Like

    • Arch Stanton says:

      Technically, adding San Diego St would only put the Big 12 in 3 time zones as they don’t have anyone in the Mountain TZ.
      Though practically-speaking, having teams in three non-contiguous time zones is probably worse than actually being in all four.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      vp19,

      “Since Brigham Young isn’t a realistic candidate and I have an inherent dislike for football-only members, I would add Cincinnati and Central Florida and be done with it. You’re adding two fine recruiting areas for football, plus UC has a solid hoops history. That’s pretty good for the Big 12.”

      If that was their basic plan, I’d suggest UCF and USF instead. 2 schools in FL to help draw more attention there. More games in FL for everyone, which helps recruiting (WV also recruits FL a lot). Also, it doesn’t leave a I-A newbie program on an island. WV has the strength to endure that for a while, but I don’t think UCF or USF do yet.

      Like

  12. Mack says:

    No reason for the XII to expand in the next decade. Getting close to the expiration of the GOR, the XII will know how they stack up against the ACC and if they will keep Texas. The candidates listed are acceptable in a future XII where Texas has bolted, but not to the current 10 members. Except for ACC and UCONN, would any of these schools get a look from another P5 conference? By the logic in this post, the PAC was short-sighted turning down OK/oSu, or not going after KS and ISU when the TX+4 broke down. I do not see any incentive for PAC to expand further without a home run like TX, even if B1G, ACC, and SEC go to 16. With the PAC at 12, the XII will be just 2 members smaller.

    Like

    • frug says:

      By the logic in this post, the PAC was short-sighted turning down OK/oSu

      The PAC was short-sighted for turning down the Oklahoma schools…

      Like

    • vp19 says:

      Except for ACC and UCONN, would any of these schools get a look from another P5 conference?

      I think the ACC might consider Cincinnati as a western complement to Louisville, in conjunction with Connecticut, and as a way to put the kibosh on Big 12 expansion for the next decade; that conference’s only alternative would then be to add both Central Florida and South Florida (which would somewhat weaken Florida State and Miami recruiting as well as Florida’s to a lesser extent). The UCF-USF duo would be similar to the Big Ten adding Rutgers, in that much of the move would be based upon potential, not just for those schools but for current Big 12 members as a recruiting ground, since Florida is as fertile as Texas where prep football recruits are concerned.

      Texas has a problem in that the only place it might call the shots on expansion is the Pac (almost certainly in a combo with Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Okie State) and to a lesser extent the ACC (in a Notre Dame-like semi-independent scenario). It would enter the Big Ten solely on the latter’s terms (sorry, Bevo, but if the presidents prefer Kansas to Oklahoma as your partner, there’s nothing you can do about it), and the SEC is moot, first because Texas isn’t interested, second because A&M now probably owns the same veto power as Kentucky, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina). And any Big 12 alternative will require extensive travel from Austin.

      Like

    • Pac-12 was in a weird situation wrt OK/OK St. Culture/academic mismatch, not a huge market, and a geographic outlier. It works if they KNEW Texas would come too, but they looked at that pair and decided they couldn’t live with a 14-team setup. IMO that was reasonable. It was risky to take them, and it was risky to stand pat and not get better. I don’t think either a yes or a no would have been a mistake.

      Like

      • vp19 says:

        You want to be careful about reading too much into the Patterson hiring, but it certainly can’t hurt Texas to have an AD with some inside ideas on the Pac. I still believe the Texas/TTech/OU/OkieSt combo is possible — it’s frankly the only realistic expansion ploy the Pac has — but it almost certainly won’t happen before the GOR expires..

        Like

        • bullet says:

          Patterson spent many years in Houston with the Rockets/Texans/Aeros. He’s a UT BBA and UT law school grad. He’s been at ASU for 2 years and spent some time as GM of the Trailblazers, but he’s not really a Pac guy.

          Like

          • @bullet – Yes, I don’t see Patterson as being a Pac-12 guy any more than Bill Powers himself with his history at Cal. Heck, the person in the Big 12 with the deepest ties with both the Pac-12 and Big Ten is commissioner Bob Bowlsby. Besides, these guys are professionals that can flip a switch and compartmentalize prior ties pretty quickly in a highly competitive realm. We’d never suggest that Patterson would have been prone to make more favorable trades to the Rockets while he was the GM of the Trailblazers and his tenure with Arizona State wasn’t very long.

            Like

      • wjrobinson says:

        Personally I think they were gunshy after getting burned on the aggressive move of taking CU to cut Baylor off at the pass when they were confident that they were getting Texas.

        But I still think going conservative was a mistake. If they had taken OU/OSU, and heck even TT, the Big 12 folds. Even Texas isn’t going to sit in a conference with no other major program to help carry the load. And once the Big 12 imploded Texas would have been left looking for a landing spot and would have been much more willing to negotiate on the LHN issue.

        There would have been some risk, certainly, but you don’t win at the highest levels of any competition by shying away from risk.

        Like

        • ccrider55 says:

          I’m not convinced the PAC turned them down flat. When the BOR granted the exploration of conference affiliation, rather than take the steps the other movers had, they headed to the B12 meetings with added negotiating leverage. Right up until Larry Scott had the middle of the night announcement that the PAC was staying at twelve.
          Is that what happened? As you said, admitting them would have ended the B12.
          Or did the PAC not want a coerced UT deciding where its future would lie? Those who know are not sharing, nor are they likely to.

          Like

  13. bamatab says:

    RTR!

    Like

  14. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    GEAUX Tigers!

    Like

  15. BuckeyeBornCalifornian says:

    Cincinnati really is a must have. They should invite them now.

    I am not convinced on BYU, or that BYU would be willing to move into a conference. The Florida directional schools looks best of what’s left.

    I would probably add Cincinnati and explore the others. They messed up in not inviting Louisville as an 11th before.

    Like

    • vp19 says:

      Going from 10 to 11 would have cut down on the number of available football inventory (it’s mathematically impossible for an 11-member league to play a 9-game schedule, and with an 8-game slate, the total goes from 45 to 44). Adding Cincy as #11 is fine…but you can’t do it without a #12.

      Like

      • Wainscott says:

        How is mathematically impossible for an 11-member league to play a 9 conference game slate?

        Like

      • BuckeyeBornCalifornian says:

        No, you want to get to 12. But you want to lock in the one you are sure of ASAP. The B1G did that with Penn State. You can let the 12th work itself out.

        You are correct that 11 doesn’t work on a 9 game schedule. So 11 cannot be a long term situation. BYU would be the best 12th, but getting them to join would likely be a multi year courtship and it still might not work out.

        I dislike Tulane, mostly because I have a very negative opinion about the long term prospects for New Orleans. It is sort of the Buffalo of the south, a city that is headed from major to minor status. Honestly I like Rice better, they have a massive endowment and have academically placed themselves in the Northwestern, Stanford, Duke, Harvard category; but athletics trails. Sooner or later they will get their act together, and Houston is a great market and leaks into Louisiana. But the Big XII is looking to expand footprint beyond Texas, so Rice may be out..

        USF and UCF have some real potential, and deliver the richest recruiting zone. But its not clear which is really better as a 12th. Both have issues to resolve, and neither has what I would call a truly committed Athletic Department – USF makes UConn’s clueless leaders look focused.

        So the 12th is the problem. And it could take a few years to settle. But that is no reason not to act on the 11th, even if it means schools have to find one more opponent, or one school play one less conference game (could be Cincy initially to help scheduling of the others).

        Like

        • bullet says:

          Assuming you liked #11, which they don’t, the networks won’t allow it because they won’t allow a reduction to 8 conference games. The issue came up with Louisville. The better rumor mongers and some MSM say the Big 12 approached the networks about adding UL as #11 and Fox said no to an 8 game conference schedule. One of the stories is that the delay on WVU was an effort to see if they could add BOTH WVU and UL. Of course, there are other stories, like one that there were some sticking points with Missouri that delayed the announcement. Only the nutty WV Senators thought UL was trying to “steal” their spot.

          Like

        • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

          BBC – New Orleans will never become Buffalo. Think tourism and trade (Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico).

          Like

          • BuckeyeBornCalifornian says:

            Well think San Antonio only poorer. Or perhaps Charleston and Galveston. Nice tourist traps but not exactly economic powerhouses.

            That is only a small sliver of the city, and the “real work” portion of the city is dying much like Buffalo, and for the similar reasons. The French Quarter is not enough. Pro teams really would prefer to move out of New Orleans to a wealthier city with corporate HQs.

            The port of New Orleans is not so important. Like Oakland/Alameda California, it doesn’t employ massive numbers of people like in the days depicted in the Glass Menagerie. A relative handful of more skilled crane operators do the work now that armies of Stanley Kowalski’s once did.

            The economic facts are clear, New Orleans and Louisiana are in decline, and it is already one of the poorest states in the nation.

            Like

        • XOVERX says:

          The best two for the B12, IMO, are Cincinnati and either UCF/USF, and I like UCF here.

          The next two are San Diego State and Tulane.

          The two after that would be UNLV and one of the remaining Florida schools, Memphis, East Carolina, or Connecticut. We’re probably talking about Memphis at 16.

          The pickins are slim for B12.

          Unlike the B1G, the B12 has not studied expansion (except by reaction), and I seriously doubt the B12 expands at all unless forced to 12 by a D4 requirement (when D4 happens). Even then, I don’t see the B12 ever going past 12 so long as UT/OU/KU are in the conference.

          Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            I seriously doubt the B12 expands at all unless forced to 12 by a D4 requirement

            And I seriously doubt that D4 will do anything to force conferences to expand to 12 members.

            Like

  16. anevilmeme says:

    Once the GOR’s run out either the Big12 or ACC is toast. I see a future with the PAC at 16 and the SEC & B1G each at 20. While the GOR’s keep them safe the Big 12 will expand by at least 2 teams if not more, they’ll want their footprint in Fla and Ohio at the minimum. The ACC acted in self defense grabbing Pitt & ‘Cuse and I see them going to 16 in self defense as well. Picture the B12 and ACC fighting over Cincinnati, it’s going to get weird.

    Like

    • XOVERX says:

      I tend to agree with this assessment at this early point in time.

      So long as ND is associated with the ACC, it is possible the B12 and ACC could merge, especially since Texas would love a long-term connection with the Domers.

      In the B12 I think it takes 8 of 10 votes to dissolve the league, so most (or all) of the B12 would need to merge with the ACC in order to get the requisite votes.

      More likely, if it’s the B12 that crumbles — and it seems most suspect, given its small footprint — we will see a group of B12 schools migrate to another league. If two, then UT/OU to the SEC. If three, then UT/OU/KU to the B1G. If four, then UT/OU/TT/OSU to the PAC.

      My opinion is that Texas has thought through the PAC and finds it wanting. I suspect option 1 or 2 is the most likely.

      Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        “My opinion is that Texas has thought through the PAC and finds it wanting.”

        They have remained in the B12, not chosen another destination. There is only one conf that, at least has in the past, has offered a group rate to four. The politicians in TX and OK aren’t likely to allow little brothers to be set adrift as long as such an offer might be revived.

        Like

        • XOVERX says:

          Texas can weather the politicians if it wants to. Politics is grossly overrated, IMO. A&M gave Texas a pass to move, too.

          Remember, what is meant in Texas by the concept of “politics”? That word means PUF money. Who gets PUF money? Texas and Texas A&M.

          If Texas wanted to migrate to the B1G or SEC, and if “politics” seriously reared its ugly head (spreading out of PUF money to other state schools and not just Texas and A&M), then Texas A&M would have no choice except to align itself with Texas’ interest.

          Viola, “politics” solved because the other schools cannot overcome the combination of Texas and Texas A&M in the Texas legislature. It might or might not take a Horn or aggy in the Governor’s or Lt. Gov’s seat, but Texas can move if it wants to move.

          And what if I’m wrong? Texas still garners millions each year by means other than the PUF.

          “Politics” is simply a convenient excuse for testing the waters of migration but being able to quote “politics’ as a means of backing out to save face. It’s a variation of the “Tech problem” that Texas loves to use as an excuse for balking on leaving the B12.

          Like

  17. vp19 says:

    Fascinating profile on University of Maryland-College Park president Wallace Loh, the man who engineered the Big Ten move: http://www.diamondbackonline.com/news/campus/article_00972a14-41ea-11e3-9b2d-0019bb30f31a.html

    Like

    • Pablo says:

      Really a well written and insightful article. It’s an inspirational, Horatio Alger-like life. Twice an immigrant and rising to the heights of his profession.

      As a UVa/ACC fan, it was disappointing that Loh seemed so tone-death to cries over traditions, geography and rivalries when he pushed for the move to the B1G. Reading the article, explains a lot about his focus on the future.

      Like

  18. Lamont says:

    So i typed this up really fast at about 5:45am in an email to some buddies but figured I would post it. Please excuse the multitude of errors, this is not my best performance.

    My thing is this. The problem with the Big 12 is they are viewed as weaker than the others. I know 110% that $$$$ is what is most driving all of these conference shifts however I think the key to the Big 12 is not necessarily adding more money to the pot, more notoriety or X but it is adding what the others have that the Big 12 does not – RECRUITING GROUNDS. Look at the map of the Big 12 – being honest about it Texas is pretty much the source of 90% of their in conference recruiting grounds. They are not a diverse conference in terms of recruiting territory they have a firm hand in. You could say that about the PAC but I would argue they have more overall fertile recruiting ground AND they have something the Big12 does not – beaches & beautiful weather to sell. The SEC I don’t have to explain. The ACC is slightly ahead of the Big12 and basketball will put them over the top of them. The ACC also has a great map IMO with a bunch of fertile states and markets. Big 10 has football and basketball and the entire recruiting ground for the types of players that they want “traditionally”.

    The key to the Big 12 getting back into the big picture is not about adding BYU – they bring nothing if you ask me. It is about flat out becoming better and that means teams besides Texas and OU being better than their counterparts in other conferences. TCU has fallen some, WVU was a bad choice IMO and Baylor has a long way to go to prove they are here to stay. Because of aTm, the doors to Texas are now wide open and that means more SEC schools will start poaching the kids not only from Texas, but from OU and other schools in the Big12 that recruit Texas. The logical step to gaining respect back which is really what this all is and will drive the $$ is getting your conference into new recruiting territory. To me the choices that make the most sense and frankly are obvious are Louisiana, Florida and I can stretch it to say SDSU but You are more likely to get kids from FL or LA to come to a Big 12 school than you will be to get a California kid to come – I think it is just a way different monster culturally when you talk about the West Coast. I can see why Ohio (Cincy) would be one to look at also in terms of market and recruiting but I frankly don’t think Cincy has the potential or staying power that one of the Florida schools or a Louisiana school would have. I know adding a Cincy or BYU automatically leads to some credibility (I guess) and it leads to huge markets for television which I know drives the $$ but I think it is really the wrong way to look at the picture. Personally I don’t think BYU or Cincy getting into the Big 12 improves their programs that much. BYU is what it is and always will be even if they were in the SEC. Cincy is not an attractive place to live and I think they are highly overrated in terms of potential. I think UCF has way more potential than USF but the fight there is the recruiting market. I would argue being in central Florida is better than being exclusively in South Florida or the panhandle. Tulane is just beaming with potential like TCU was and they have only one other school in state to fight with for recruits if they were to get to a level like TCU. I don’t know, I just look at it differently. It is about the money in a sense but the way to get to that money is not adding TV markets it is about your conference becoming a desirable product for the TV networks (viewing fans) and right now the Big 12 is dead last in that. The way you become desirable again is by becoming relevant with more than just two teams essentially. The other conferences are so well respected and get much more ESPN (let’s face it, they drive it) love is because those conferences are said to have depth and be tough. You need to BEAT those other conferences on the field and you don’t do that by adding a TV market – you do that by adding fertile recruiting grounds which leads to better players for the entire conference which leads to more depth in the conference which leads to turning the tables of respect and perception which leads to becoming of more value to the network partners.

    To me the key to the mothership for the Big 12 is simple – Louisiana and Florida. The Big 12 must get their feet into those territories.

    I need to take a nap now.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      The Big 12 does beat the others on the field.

      Big 12 schools have a history of getting some recruits from California. The Big 8 schools did recruit Florida some, but don’t seem to be doing that now. For the various Texas schools, California seems easier to recruit than Florida. In any event, the recruiting base has been just fine. So far there’s been no SEC incursion into Texas. Just A&M continuing to get Texas recruits. Missouri has shifted its focus elsewhere.

      Florida is probably the most competitive state for recruiting. SEC, ACC and B1G all recruit it heavily. And, of course, the AAC, MAC, CUSA and Sun Belt.

      Like

      • Logan says:

        Missouri has shifted its focus elsewhere.

        Very true. I looked at Missouri’s offer list for 2015. Of the 34 early offers on rivals:

        19 are from SEC states (mostly FL, GA, TN, and LA)
        10 are from Missouri and surrounding metros (E. St. Louis, eastern KS)
        1 from Texas
        4 others (2 OH, 1 MN, 1 VA)

        Of the 2014 class, only 2 so far are from Texas. The emphasis used to be in-state and Texas, along with a sprinkling of Calif JUCO’s, KS JUCO’s, maybe an Oklahoma kid or two.

        Like

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      Lamont – it pains me to write this as a Tulane Law alum, but Tulane will never have the New Orleans community’s support the way TCU has the support of Fort Worth.

      Like

    • BYU Cougars says:

      Lamont is major jealous about BYU

      Like

  19. Lamont says:

    FWIW I think Baylor can stay closer to where they are now than what they were in the past.

    Like

  20. Wainscott says:

    @FrankTheTank:

    How come you left off Air Force Academy?

    I know that reports were they actually turned down an invite to the B12 in 2011, but if true, shows that AFA was wanted (and could be again).

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Don’t consider either a possibility at present even if the Big 12 “had” to go to 12, but East Carolina and Northern Illinois would be at least evaluated. Other than that, it seems like a pretty complete list.

      Like

      • loki_the_bubba says:

        My best guess is that ECU would at least rank mid-pack in this index, if not higher.

        But the lock for the BigXII, at least according to the delusional portion of their fan base, is Louisiana Lafayette.

        Like

        • Lamont says:

          loki_The_bubba – not sure if you were talking about me there but when I say Louisiana I mean Tulane – like Frank said. Nobody in Louisiana calls ULL “Louisiana” except the delusional people of that fan base who think that they are actually The University of Louisiana. Trust me on this one, it is a very hot topic around where I am from. The funny thing is Tulane is actually the original “University of Louisiana” but I will save you that discussion. My post was meaning that the Big 12 should look to get into the recruiting areas of Louisiana (Tulane) or Florida (UCF or USF) and possibly California (SDSU)

          Like

          • loki_the_bubba says:

            @Lamont, I understood, not refering to you at all. On some other boards I frequent there is a very small but vocal group that demand to be called Louisiana. So I still call them USL.

            Like

          • Lamont says:

            The fact that you call them USL still means you are a hero in my book! That is what they will always be to me.

            Like

          • loki_the_bubba says:

            Unfortunately, most of them are too young to remember when they were known as the University of Slow Learners.

            Like

    • loki_the_bubba says:

      Another to at least rank would have been Southern Miss. Sustained football success over the last thirty years.

      Like

    • @Wainscott – I was thinking of including them on the list, but it appears that even if Air Force were to change its tune, it would look for a football-only membership at most. Frankly, I don’t believe that the Big 12 is interested in football-only members (that seems to be more of a fan-based desire), but that option does make a BYU/Air Force football-only combo fairly compelling.

      Like

      • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

        Frank – why wouldn’t the B-12 be interested in football-only members? If not having a CCG works to the B-12’s detriment under the new CFP format, adding a CCG could possibly pay for two football-only members. Adding two “all in” members from your list wouldn’t pay for themselves and I doubt any of the current B-12 members are interested in taking a haircut for the benefit of Cincy, USF, etc.

        Like

        • duffman says:

          @ Frank,

          I tend to agree with Alan as well. Air Force could go football only in the Big 12 and put the rest of their sports in the WCC like BYU did. Having the Air Force in the Big 12 would add credibility and a spot on the selection committee. Granted it might not have been an Air Force representative but you have to think at least 1 service academy would have a spot reserved. On the other side of the equation they could add Cincinnati – as a pair for West Virginia – and the Bearcats could park their other sports in the Big East or A10.

          As football only members they could have much lower entry thresholds and probably easily covered by the added revenue of the Big 12 CCG. The bigger point of course is they would not get a full share so they would greatly limit the drag for all the non football sports. While I can not see the B1G or SEC taking partial members, the Big 12 would be less constricted to create exceptions as we saw the ACC do with Notre Dame.

          Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            The ACC did it for ND, and it’s yet to be decided if it was a good move. Ask the BE.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            It would be a terrible decision for Air Force. They shouldn’t be in a P5 conference. Their AD realized it.

            Like

          • duffman says:

            ccrider55,

            What the ACC got was the 5 games and a contract. The Big East never got that much. The bigger picture is the ACC and Big 12 will have to make more varied deals as they are still more prey than predator.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            The more deals you make the more vulnerable you look (and may in fact be).
            I don’t think I’d have done it, but I can understand the ACC and ND. There is only one of them, and if they ever do commit to a conference they seem to look more ACC like than anyone else.

            Like

        • loki_the_bubba says:

          Air Force forfeited their chance at becoming a football member of the B12 when they lost to Rice in a bowl game last December. That sort of humiliation will take decades to overcome.

          Like

  21. I’m not really sure why people think BYU wouldn’t be interested in joining the B12. A major conference still allows them to have the TV visibility that they craved via Independence, and it gives them SUBSTANTIALLY better bowl and playoff access than going it alone. They can still schedule Utah and the occasional game in the Eastern time zone (or an old MWC foe) in their non conference, and probably have a better chance an national exposure than they do now.

    It is worth noting that outside of Houston though, there are comparatively very few BYU graduates living in the B12 footprint, and honestly, not that many Mormons, period. The alumni and potential fan base is very much concentrated in Utah, Arizona, Nevada and California.

    Like

    • Big12Observer says:

      Not sure you have spent much time around the BYU fanbase Matt. The brought almost 15k to Houston a few weeks back, and nearly 20k in Austin a few years ago. Games against TCU were usually at least 1/3 cougar fans. Against OU in Dallas they brought just over 15k again. I’ve never seen another program do that consistently 1800 miles from home.

      Like

      • Mike says:

        It is true that the population is centered where you say. However they have fans all over the United States. If they didn’t ESPN would not have signed the TV deal with them. They als travel well and bring in the faithful from the local communities.They tend to draw 15,000 plus to the away games they visit no matter where they are, i.e. Virginia, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Washington, Texas (at Texas and at Cowboys Stadium with they played Oklahoma) etc.

        Like

  22. loki_the_bubba says:

    I opened this new post and saw that Rice was listed first and thought “Alright!’.

    Then I saw it was listed in reverse order…

    Like

  23. Wainscott says:

    The B12 is also hampered by the perception that its long term existence is by no means guaranteed, and that it is willing to backfill with lesser schools well beyond its traditional geographic range.

    Unlike the Big Ten, SEC, ACC, and Pac 12, the Big XII is likely making moves not for the next 100 years, but for the next 12 or so. It changes the strategy, but also affects the schools that would want to join.

    Why would, say, BYU, relinquish an independent TV deal with ESPN, just to be stuck in a potentially Texas-less conference in 12 years, and be saddled with costs and penalties if it tried to leave? It might seem like more trouble than its worth.

    Cincy is an prime candidate, primarily because its desperate, and because it would be a good travel partner for WVU. As for the other school, I don’t see one out there that would maintain or increase the TV revenue per school. Maybe Air Force for its rabid fanbase and proximity to Denver, but I wonder if Air Force would actually deliver Denver. New Mexico has Albuquerque which I think is the 44th or so TV market, but zero nationwide brand value.

    I could see Memphis, even with awful football, if Fred Smith (of FedEx fame) promises the B12 that he’ll throw money around the football program like T. Boone Pickens 2.0 to fix it. Would be a decent media market, good basketball, good entry into southeast for recruiting, and is reasonably close to both the traditional B12 footprint and also WVU and Cincy.

    Either Cincy and Memphis or the two Florida schools (UCF & USF) as a package (neither one does much by itself, in my view, as neither is a flagship in its part of the state, let alone in an entire state). To me, one of these are the logical move.

    If I were a betting man, I’d wager on the Florida schools, for the best combo of immediate TV value and long term benefits of having a presence in Florida.

    Like

    • Read The D says:

      Your comments about long term existence are very true. The expiration of the current GOR’s is the next mile stone. There is a ton of rurmoil now and I don’t think we’ll know the consequences for a few more years.

      *GOR expiration
      *New playoff system
      *Streaming video/a la carte programming possibilities
      *New NCAA governance
      *Pay for play
      *Conference networks

      The list goes on. My belief is either 20 will be the new 12 or independence will become more attractive for Texas, Oklahoma, Florida State, West Virginia, etc.

      Like

      • Johnny Utah says:

        “The list goes on. My belief is either 20 will be the new 12 or independence will become more attractive for Texas, Oklahoma, Florida State, West Virginia, etc.”

        I think this is spot on, and we have to wait a few years to see how everything plays out before we know what the answer will be.

        Like

    • Another point to consider about the Florida schools either as a pair or as either one with Cincy is that they offer better divisional options than BYU, though there really aren’t any divisional setups that are particularly appealing to all Big 12 members in any case. Here are the two real possibilities that I see:

      Geography

      Division 1 – 4 Texas schools, 2 Oklahoma schools
      Division 2 – Everybody else
      No cross-division rivalries

      This would create the unequal division problem that plagued the Big 12, only it would be much, much worse due to the lack of Nebraska and the periodic high-level success of Colorado and Missouri. It would also cut down on the Division 2 teams members’ access to Texas recruiting grounds and high-profile matchups with UT and OU. On the other hand, the powers at UT an OU might prefer this set-up both for tradition and strength of schedule considerations in a future playoff.

      Zipper

      Division 1 – 2 Texas schools. 1 Oklahoma school, 1 Kansas school, 2 other schools
      Division 2 – 2 Texas schools, 1 Oklahoma school, 1 Kansas school, 2 other schools
      Every school gets 1 protected cross-division rivalry game (OU/OSU, Kansas/KState, etc)

      This could solve the glaring divisional balance issue that is created by a purely geographic split, but it would potentially eliminate some long-running rivalry games and might not balance the divisions as well as you might think. You do cut down on UT/OU matches for the other schools, but not necessarily to the same extent. You also run into the branding/fan confusion issues that the Big 10 and ACC have had with their non-geographically divided divisions.

      In the case of a geographic division, if you add BYU and Cincy, you are reducing recruiting access to Texas and annual games games against both UT/OU in exchange for a biannual trip to Ohio and an annual match up with BYU. That’s not a real great trade. If you did either Cincy/Florida school or two Florida schools, you could provide an annual trip to Florida or biannual trips to Florida/Ohio. Still not great, but I think that expanded recruiting access to Florida / Florida and Ohio makes up for less Texas recruiting access better than BYU makes up for the loss of UT/OU in terms of big name matchups.

      In the case of a zipper split, how do you divide Cincy/BYU/West Virginia/Iowa State? That’s two bigger names with almost no recruiting potential, one medium name with good recruiting, and Iowa State. That’s going to leave schools in both divisions unhappy no matter how you go about doing it. What cross-division rivalries between them would you have between those four schools? UCF/USF or Cincy/Florida school divide much more easily and fairly in my opinion. This set up would also provide biannual recruiting trips to Florida and/or Ohio to all Big 12 members.

      Although to be honest, looking at these potential divisions makes it seem much less likely to me that the Big 12 will expand in the near future.

      Like

      • Read The D says:

        I’ve played with potential divisions a few times and I can’t think of a set-up that makes everyone happy and most alignments lean toward making most current members unhappy.

        I think there one scenario that I makes a little sense for competitive balance AND recruiting territory but it’s a stretch.

        Add Tulane and San Diego State.

        South – TX Schools plus Tulane and SDSU
        North – OK Schools, KS Schools, Iowa St. and WVU

        3 things would have to happen for this to be plausible.
        1. OU and Texas would have to be permanent crossovers.
        2. OU and Okie St. would have to be guaranteed 1.5 games in TX every year. So 1 game half the years and 2 the other half.
        3. OU and Texas would have to be ok with potentially playing each other twice a year.

        Like

        • vp19 says:

          San Diego State is out of the question as a candidate, and I’m frankly surprised Frank even had it on his list. The Big East was desperate for football members, which is why it (briefly) joined. SDSU’s closest rival in the Big 12 would be Texas Tech. And you thought West Virginia was on an “island”?

          Like

        • Back East says:

          I like Tulane, but SDSU is a deathtrap. SDSU doesn’t draw for football — has never drawn for football. They do OK in basketball, but the football program doesn’t get the fan support it needs to be a major program, even in “up” years for the team. They don’t even dominate the San Diego TV market. USC and UCLA dominate the market. A poor choice for the conference that would never improve into a power player; they would always be a doormat to neighboring PAC-12 members.

          Like

  24. Lamont says:

    Friend of mine (Tulane fan) sent me this regarding the Big 12

    “This has been my opinion about the Big 12 since we were mentioned. The Big12 does not need another Texas, OU or FSU. Why would Texas and OU want another team that could come in and run this conference? What they need is better schools, better prestige, better tv markets, better recruiting footprint, etc. They do not need another powerhouse as they already qualify and are identified as a power conference. Even last year when Tulane was not winning, it still made sense if a move had to be made. I think another reason that some people talk about is that Louisiana is the only state in football country that only has 1 BCS/P5 team. I do not consider Arkansas and Missouri power football states because they do not produce the amount of athletes that the true Southeast states do.”

    Like

  25. Read The D says:

    The other aspect of B12 expansion is the divisional issue. One of the most under-discussed reasons why the B12 imploded was the North division failed to compete with Texas and Oklahoma for a decade. (In hindsight maybe they should have stuck around a couple more years.)

    The current 10 need another king to balance out divisions, which is why they were pipe-dreaming for Florida State and Clemson.

    Texas and Oklahoma will be against all expansion unless at least 1 entrant is competitively equal. They don’t want to miss out on a conference championship because of losing a one-off neutral site game against a lesser opponent.

    Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, West Virginia, X, & Y.

    Like

    • greg says:

      “Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, West Virginia, X, & Y.”

      This shows why B12 expansion is unlikely. Those schools aren’t going to vote to expand since it means losing regular trips to Texas. Games against Cincinnati certainly aren’t going to make up for it.

      Frank, my one quibble with your rankings is it ignores stadium size and fan support. Its hard to see Cincinnati rated so high when they play in a 35k stadium that doesn’t regularly sell out.

      Like

      • Lamont says:

        Think about it. Size of stadium does not mean squat for TV. 30k or 80k in a stadium does not equal more money. TVs want to see FULL STADIUMS so it looks good on TV they don’t have to be 80k. Hell, TV makes money from people staying home and watching not by the amount of butts in seats. Stadium size is not a critical component. It is important but not to the extent people want to make it out to be and especially not to TV networks

        Like

        • greg says:

          “Size of stadium does not mean squat for TV.”

          I’d much rather tune into 80k jacked Clemson fans than 28k indifferent Cincy fans. Or 13k Eastern Michigan fans.

          Like

          • Lamont says:

            I understand that but full stadiums are more important than big stadiums and we are talking about expansion so the list is clearly limited. My best answer to your Clemson fans to Cincy fans or emu fans is “duh”, but that is not what the expansion options are – Clemson types ya dig. I know for a fact that TV networks advised a school to build what they can fill because tht is more important than building 70k and having 45k in it. They said building 30-40k and being full was more important than 60-70k with same amount in it.

            Like

          • greg says:

            “My best answer to your Clemson fans to Cincy fans or emu fans is “duh””

            Then don’t claim it doesn’t matter. It clearly does matter.

            Like

          • Lamont says:

            Sensitive.

            Like

        • Wainscott says:

          While stadium size does not directly have any bearing on TV, the size of a school’s stadium is generally indicative of overall fan support and popularity.

          Schools with 30k stadia generally are lesser programs with fewer fans and limited popularity and prestige than the ones with 80k. Schools will have stadia large enough to fit all who want to come, and will expand as necessary. With a 30k stadium, its a sign that now many more will want to pay to watch that team. If that’s the case, its a reasonable deduction that not as many will want to watch that team play on TV, either.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            Part of the attraction of the SEC on TV is the loud enthusiastic crowds.
            Most of schools’ money does NOT come from TV. If you have 40k extra, that will be $18 million over 6 games at $75/ticket. And that doesn’t include concessions, parking, mandatory and optional donations. $18 million is more than the budget of some of the G5 schools. Its half or more of the budget of all but a half dozen of them.

            Its a problem for a school if they are listening to TV tell them how big to build their stadium. They need to evaluate the additional revenue from selling more seats in the larger stadium vs. the reduction in prices and donations caused by having a supply larger than demand.

            Like

          • Lamont says:

            Stadium expansion

            Like

          • Lamont says:

            I think the tabk did a great job. He said to think like a University President and not a fan. To understand it all and where it’s going you have to do that. They are the ones calling the shots.

            Like

          • Lamont says:

            I get what you are saying there but that is not always true. Schools are in cities and don’t have room for big stadiums unless they use an NFL stadium. A school like Tulane can fit 40-50K on campus and that is plenty.

            Like

      • bullet says:

        Average attendance for the last 4 years based on 2015 lineups:
        SEC 75,349
        B1G 67,112
        Big 12 57,697
        Pac 12 52,659
        ACC 50,045

        And non P-5 schools (only BYU is above the average of even the ACC-note that Cincinnati’s 4 year average is already about 50% above their historical norm of 20k so you have to question how much more upside they have):
        BYU Ind 61,761
        East Carolina AAC 47,403
        South Florida AAC 45,521
        Connecticut AAC 36,954
        UCF AAC 36,646
        Air Force MWC 35,767
        Navy Ind 34,629
        Boise State MWC 33,868
        Hawaii MWC 33,736
        Cincinnati AAC 32,614
        UTSA CUSA 32,374
        Army Ind 32,301
        Fresno State MWC 31,978
        San Diego State MWC 31,756
        UTEP CUSA 30,219
        Houston AAC 28,987
        Southern Miss CUSA 28,562
        Marshall CUSA 25,013
        Memphis AAC 23,541
        Temple AAC 23,134
        Louisiana-Lafayette SB 22,949
        New Mexico MWC 22,542
        Toledo MAC 21,892
        Colorado State MWC 21,790
        Louisiana Tech CUSA 21,711
        Tulane AAC 21,545
        Tulsa AAC 21,361
        SMU AAC 21,211
        Arkansas State SB 20,685
        Wyoming MWC 20,501
        UNLV MWC 19,949
        Old Dominion CUSA 19,818
        Rice CUSA 19,711
        Ohio MAC 19,682
        Nevada MWC 19,071
        Troy State SB 19,053
        MTSU CUSA 18,922
        Louisiana-Monroe SB 18,829
        North Texas CUSA 18,434
        Northern Illinois MAC 18,107
        Central Michigan MAC 17,869
        Utah State MWC 17,843
        South Alabama SB 17,618
        Western Michigan MAC 17,287
        UAB CUSA 17,049
        Texas State SB 17,026
        Florida Atlantic CUSA 16,199
        Miami, OH MAC 15,777
        Western Kentucky CUSA 15,683
        New Mexico State SB 15,451
        Kent State MAC 15,283
        San Jose State MWC 14,705
        Florida International CUSA 14,699
        Buffalo MAC 14,518
        Bowling Green MAC 14,497
        Georgia State SB 14,286
        Akron MAC 13,144
        Idaho SB 12,460
        Ball State MAC 11,957
        Massachusetts MAC 11,855
        Eastern Michigan MAC 7,273

        Like

      • noassemblyreqrd says:

        Cincinnati has begun an $84 million expansion of Nippert Stadium. Seating will go up over 40,000, which revenue enhancing luxury boxes and ammenities. Replacing the stadium is out of the question. It would be like replacing Wrigley Field. The stadium is historic and located in the heart of the campus. Furthermore, Cincinnati always has the option of playing at the NFL’s Paul Brown Stadium.

        Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      The other aspect of B12 expansion is the divisional issue. One of the most under-discussed reasons why the B12 imploded was the North division failed to compete with Texas and Oklahoma for a decade. (In hindsight maybe they should have stuck around a couple more years.)

      I entirely agree with you. This is why I do not think the Big XII will expand unless they are presented with an extremely compelling case. I am not even convinced that FTT’s top two of BYU + Cincy would qualify as sufficiently compelling.

      BYU probably doesn’t want to be in the Big XII, so their best option right now is Cincy and a less-desirable school. I don’t see the Big XII doing that, because the divisions for football would be terrible, and there isn’t a good enough financial benefit to compensate for that.

      Like

  26. Indycat says:

    Lamont, check your facts (“Cincy is not an attractive place to live…”). Cincinnati is rated one of the nation’s most livable cities/metros, home to Fortune 100 headquarters and a regional hub for major league sports, fine arts and entertainment. Culturally, it’s a blend of midwestern and southern traditions on the Mason-Dixon Line. Planting the B12 flag on southern Ohio soil provides much needed exposure for the conference from the tri-state (KY, IN, OH) all the way to West Virginia and puts the league head-to-head with the B10 (Columbus-100 miles away) and SEC (Lexington, KY-85 miles away) for Ohio recruits–a consistent top 3 to 5 ranked state where the B10 has flourished somewhat uncontested against the other P5 conferences.

    Like

    • Lamont says:

      Okay. You made a great point.

      Like

    • OrdoSeclorum says:

      Agreed on Cinci. I don’t love the city, but if they joined the Big12, it would immediately become the 2nd best place to live in or visit in the conference, after Austin. And third place wouldn’t even be close. In fact, if you drew a line from Tuscon to Kansas City and then down to Jacksonville, there might only be two or three places under the line that could give Cincinnati a competition.

      Like

  27. patrick maguire says:

    When Tulane played Texas in New Orleans the Longhorns brought 20,000+ fans. In talking with the UT fans they said, ” We’ll play you every year in New Orleans, you never need come to Austen!” I’m sure many other Big XII schools would travel well and enjoy the atmosphere that is New Orleans.
    New Orleans is arguably the best FB town in America. Tulane’s new stadium will seat 30,000 and the Superdome would always be available for the ‘Big’ games.
    Why is Tulane turning FB around? CJ Johnson THE recruiter is establishing himself as a HC. He is making Tulane what it once was, New Orleans Team. People forget that TU football once led the nation in attendance and would fill Tulane Stadium with 87,000 fans. CJ managed to recruit 4 players from the #1 HS in the country and there are 17 young men from NOLA on the squad and 56 from LA. Add academics and its AAU membership and it is a perfect fit.
    Start bringing Big XII teams to NOLA and its a win for everybody.

    Like

    • Psuhockey says:

      Why only the Big 12? If the BIG wants some academic cover for taking say Oklahoma, why not take Tulane. Frank mentioned a BIG expansion idea of Rice, Texas, Kansas, and Oklahoma. Tulane, Texas, Kansas, and Oklahoma would be just as good. Tulane is another state and you would be hard pressed to find BIG fans and alumni not willing to pay for a trip to see their team play in New Orleans.

      Like

      • vp19 says:

        Or how about a Texas/Tulane combo for the B1G? AAU for both, attractive cities for tourism in Austin and New Orleans, and two strong baseball programs (crucial in luring UT). If I was a Longhorn fan, I’d rather have Tulane as a partner than Kansas if the presidents veto Oklahoma.

        Like

        • bob sykes says:

          Travel time is now an issue for the B1G’s non-revenue sports, like baseball, swimming, gymnastics, soccer, et al. It might be as important as TV audience, AAU membership or football kingship.

          These sports are actually played by student athletes with real academic goals. Long flights or bus rides across half a continent would have serious negative impacts on their ability to pursue their studies.

          Because of that the best candidates for the B1G are schools located near its centroid: Cincinnati, Kentucky, West Virginia and Pittsburgh. Missouri and Connecticut are marginal, and Texas, Oklahoma, Georgia Tech and any Florida or Texas school is out of the question. No P5 has invited Hawaii to join, not even the PAC 12.

          Like

          • vp19 says:

            None of your so-called “best candidates,” with the possible exception of Pittsburgh, have the academic and research heft the Big Ten is looking for (none are AAU except Pitt). Hawaii might become a PAC candidate if it gained AAU status.

            Ideally, the two best Big Ten expansion candidates where travel is concerned are Virginia and North Carolina…but that opens a different can of worms.

            Like

          • XOVERX says:

            Travel is exactly why, as the Indiana President said, “16 is the sweet spot.” At 16, the B1G breaks into pods of four, and travel is suddenly fairly well-regulated. When you play the far away pod, you’re only talking about 2 away games in many sports.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            Travel is exactly why, as the Indiana President said, “16 is the sweet spot.” At 16, the B1G breaks into pods of four, and travel is suddenly fairly well-regulated. When you play the far away pod, you’re only talking about 2 away games in many sports.

            I think you’re mistaken. Pods are for football. The scheduling issues in the other sports are totally different.

            Like

        • XOVERX says:

          I’d never considered some kind of package to the B1G that included Tulane. Still seems to be a big stretch, but NO is a helluva lot of fun, plus great it would give all that LA recruiting.

          Texas would always prefer Oklahoma, but UT, OU, KU and Tulane? That would be a lot of fun.

          Like

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        Why only the Big 12? If the BIG wants some academic cover for taking say Oklahoma, why not take Tulane.

        If the B1G is skittish about Oklahoma’s academics, Tulane doesn’t solve that problem. Either Oklahoma can hack it (according to whatever standards the B1G cares about), or they can’t. If they make the cut, then you go looking for the best 16th school, and I don’t think Tulane is it. If they don’t make the cut, then #16 is irrelevant.

        Like

    • Lamont says:

      That is true. The one thing common among fans from other schools is the travel to New Orleans. Your fan base will travel well there, that might be a consideration also.

      Like

      • ColoradoKid says:

        This is a very interesting analysis, and I think the author hit the nail on the head by picking Tulane as a potential up and comer in the big conference sweeps. I lived in New Orleans for awhile, and there are a ton of Green Wave fans that have been waiting for the team to just do something. A part of that has been the administration, throw in some Katrina, and it’s been a rough go. But in 1998 (I believe) they finished 7th in the AP football rankings, the potential is clearly there.

        Tulane has added some athlete friendly majors (a source of great debate), a new on campus stadium, and the team is playing well at 6-2. The team has always struck me as an attractive option for a big conference, great city, huge upside, excellent academics.

        Like

      • unclescooter says:

        This is a very interesting analysis, and I think the author hit the nail on the head by picking Tulane as a potential up and comer in the big conference sweeps. I lived in New Orleans for awhile, and there are a ton of Green Wave fans that have been waiting for the team to just do something. A part of that has been the administration, throw in some Katrina, and it’s been a rough go. But in 1998 (I believe) they finished 7th in the AP football rankings, the potential is clearly there.

        Tulane has added some athlete friendly majors (a source of great debate), a new on campus stadium, and the team is playing well at 6-2. The team has always struck me as an attractive option for a big conference, great city, huge upside, excellent academics.

        Like

        • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

          Kid/scooter – as a Tulane alum I’m surprised to hear that there are a ton of Green Wave fans in New Orleans. If your sample size is St. Charles Avenue, I guess that could be right. The problem that Tulane has with community support is that 80% of the student body comes from outside of Louisiana. Now that Curtis Johnson is putting more of an emphasis on recruiting New Orleans kids that LSU doesn’t want, he may build up more community support. I am hopeful but not overly optimistic.

          Like

      • Wainscott says:

        Its like ColoradoKid and unclescooter are of one mind! Remarkable!

        Like

  28. Assumption No.1 didn’t seem to apply to the most recent Big XII and ACC moves (West Virginia, TCU, Louisville). Unless, however, thinking like a university president involves “Oh Shit. We need someone, anyone to help protect us. Get the best piece available for football!”

    Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      Assumption No.1 didn’t seem to apply to the most recent Big XII and ACC moves.

      It applied at the time those moves were made. If the XII expands again, it will be solving a different problem than it solved when it added WVU and TCU.

      Like

  29. patrick maguire says:

    BTW-In 2012 a poll of Ole Miss fans as to which road trip was there #1 choice-not an SEC game but a game with a former SEC champion-Tulane!

    Like

    • Wainscott says:

      Nobody disputes that New Orleans is a fun city to road trip to, and one easily accessible via car, plane, and train. But since B12 expansion is focused primarily on national television value, Tulane’s long history of craptastic football is a big negative.

      If the B12 had a longer-term focus, with building an academic counterpart to the athletic conference, and also had designs of a cable network, then Tulane would have much excellent value and would have to be seriously considered.

      But Tulane’s value as a national brand in athletics is negligible, which hampers the school as of now. If it strings together a Boise State-esque run (or even a TCU-type run), then its value increases markedly as a national brand.

      Like

      • patrick maguire says:

        Agreed. I think that is where Tulane is headed. There is time to improve the product. Even with the start to this season TU is getting some nice national press. Further, TU is reemphasizing athletics as evidenced by the new stadium and other facilities. The Admins understand the need to rebrand and the value in doing so.
        BTW-Tulane OWNS Cincinnati (11-3 all time) and (6-1 in the 1990’s and 2000’s)!!!!!! Cincy BB got them in the Big East and its FB kept them in the AAC.

        Like

        • Wainscott says:

          Tulane may very well be headed there (I profess ignorance about Tulane save its conference affiliation, nickname, and new stadium in 2014 or so), but I find it difficult to believe that Fox/ESPN will give the B12 more money NOW based on where Tulane might be in 5-10 years.

          Remember, any addition has to, at the minimum, maintain the present payouts per school (before any conference title game payout). Otherwise, why expand?

          I like Tulane, and as I noted above, if the B12 were on firmer ground, able to take a longer term view, Tulane would (in my humble opinion) merit SERIOUS consideration. But college football is littered with also ran programs who have one or two great years, generating much excitement, only to see the program recede back into relative oblivion. Tulane circa 1998 (Shawn King!) comes to mind as an example.

          Like

        • Indycat says:

          Actually, it’s been well documented that Cincy’s football got them in the Big East; the conference didn’t need more basketball schools. The Big East gambled on an up-and-coming football program and the bet paid off as Cincinnati won or shared four Big East titles, earned Orange and Sugar Bowl bids, produced a succession of great coaches and established “a program” that has continued to win games, set attendance records and earn top 25 rankings through three coaching changes. No disrespect to Tulane, but the historical won loss record against Cincinnati is just that–ancient history. Cincinnati football has become a consistent winner in a larger media market than New Orleans. With more than 200,000 living alumni Cincinnati has a huge upside compared with smaller, private universities that compete in pro sports towns.

          Like

          • Wainscott says:

            Cincy was at best a .500 team with one recent bowl game when they joined in 2005. Only after joining did Cincy get Brian Kelly and start winning.

            CIncy was selected because it was among the best available in 2005 (with Louisville) and had excellent basketball. Cincy basketball was its selling point, along with its proximity to Louisville.

            If you have links to the contrary, that CIncy’s addition into the Big East was because of its football, as you state, I would love to see them. I have no problem with being proven wrong.

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            See: http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=1675285

            “Big East officials mentioned that Louisville and South Florida — two other Conference USA teams making the switch — have developed a following.

            Minter took note then that Cincinnati was the only one of the three schools not mentioned.

            “We seem to be the least-mentioned of all the schools in football,” he said. “They talked about South Florida and they talked about the excellence of Louisville. We have a tremendous opportunity here.”

            Cincy was a school in a big city with great basketball and a rivalry with Louisville. That’s why it was invited to the Big East. That it later became good in football was, from the Big East’s view, pure dumb luck.

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            One more: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=-VE1AAAAIBAJ&sjid=WOEIAAAAIBAJ&pg=2645,1241855&dq=cincinnati+big-east+expansion+football&hl=en

            An Associated Press article from 11/5/03 talking about how Cincy et al will make the Big East a premier basketball conference, but do little in football.

            Like

          • Indycat says:

            Wainscott, let me clarify a bit based on your comments, as I was an insider at Cincy at the time of Big East expansion. The media (and likely the Big East offices) chose to spin it as they did because Cincy’s tradition of national champions in basketball provided a prestige factor supporting their decision. Plain and simple, the BE needed football programs. Cincinnati football was lower profile at that time but Minter had built a solid foundation and taken them to the postseason for the first time in a long time. With Big East membership, it was felt Minter could not take the program to that next level. He was terminated and D’antonio, Kelly, Jones and Tuberville followed each raising the bar.
            The Big East speculated on Cincy football and got a very good ROI. But if building a better basketball conference was the primary motive, they could have claimed the Cincinnati media market by inviting a rising Xavier program. Cincinnati flourished in a BCS conference and is more invested now than ever before with an $86 million stadium expansion and is on pace for the best attendance in the history of Nippert Stadium in 2013.

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            You’ve drastically changed your statements, however. Firstly, you defended Cincy’s football on the merits and asserted that’s why it was invited to the Big East in 2005. That’s simply not true.

            Your subsequent statement is more accurate, at least when you state “Plain and simple, the BE needed football programs.”

            The Big East did not speculate on Cincy football as much as take the only available athletic programs in a reasonable geographic proximity and in big markets that offered football. Cincy and Louisville fit the bill. But at no time Big East officials look at Cincy, with a losing record from 1994-2003 and say we must have that. It was more “We can take L’ville and Cincy,, basketball powers, because Marshall, ECU, and other random programs will anger the basketball schools and lead to a split.” Cincy’s subsequent success was fortuitous from the conference’s perspective–an unexpected, but welcome, dividend.

            Big East expansion in 2005 had to serve two goals: Maintain an 8 team football conference while not angering the G’town’s of the conference, and hitting more markets to get more TV revenue. Adding basketball powers was the goal–that some of those powers played football, and in L’ville’s case, quite well, was nice. USF was added only to provide exposure and access to Florida.

            As for Xavier, I imagine they were considered, but DePaul and Marquette were chosen because they opened new basketball markets whereas Xavier and CIncy would have been duplicative. DePaul stunk, but still added Chicago eyeballs and easy Chicago recruiting access for other teams, and Marquette was a handy rival to DePaul, and a fine program in its own right.

            Like

  30. bullet says:

    There’s an unwritten assumption in this post. “Bigger is better.”
    That remains to be seen. Fact is every conference that went over 12 splintered, sooner or later, usually sooner. The SEC and MAC are the only current conferences that have been 12 members for more than 10 years that haven’t splintered. That includes basketball conferences.

    When you look at TV ratings, what stands out is:
    1) Good matchups matter and;
    2) To a lesser extent, brands matter.

    Neither of these have anything to do with size. Neither has anything to do with the size of the market. You do get the best ratings in your own region, but that is still not that big a part of the whole country. And the bigger you get, the more tenuous the conference ties and its hold on ratings. Expanding with less competitive teams than your average and lesser brands hurts you in TV ratings.

    Even if conference networks are the way to go for the next half century, bigger isn’t necessarily better. A higher average population per school is better. But having 18 vs. 16 vs. 14 is not important. Now 10 makes it difficult to feed ESPN/ABC and/or Fox/CBS and a conference network, but the Big 12 doesn’t have one. It sells games individually. Fox Sports SW has become a defacto conference network, buying the 3rd tier rights of Texas Tech, TCU, Baylor, Oklahoma St. and Kansas St. They also have OU’s rights, although its not clear if they have the football rights.

    With nearly everybody on TV all the time, the TV market is being splintered and conference ties are probably becoming less important for ratings. You can watch your own team. You can watch the best matchup from around the country. Is a Big 10 fan of Michigan really going to watch Minnesota/Indiana in football over USC/Oregon?

    Like

    • Aaron Morrow says:

      While I thought that Frank wrote in the first paragraph why he thinks that 12 is better than 10 for the Big 12, bullet makes an excellent point that the conference doesn’t have a Big 12 Network to feed. Any new team has to lead to better TV ratings than the current average Big 12 team. (For example, there’s no way that Temple has a positive VORT for the Big 12.)

      To answer the question about Oklahoma, their contract with Fox Sports stipulates that their third tier home football game will be on pay-per-view, not Fox Sports Southwest:

      http://thequad.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/28/oklahomas-deal-with-fox-sports-is-for-40-million-over-10-years/

      Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      Bullet:

      “You can watch the best matchup from around the country. Is a Big 10 fan of Michigan really going to watch Minnesota/Indiana in football over USC/Oregon?”

      It isn’t what particular matchup you choose to watch at any particular time. It is what demand there is a to be able to watch, should you choose to. That drives the value of a conference network as well as broadcast contracts. A larger conference simply has more inventory that is their’s at either teams home available for tire 1 or below.

      “Fact is every conference that went over 12 splintered, sooner or later, usually sooner.”

      No true BCS conferences are in that sample (BE doesn’t count). Plenty of smaller conferences have failed too.

      “…the TV market is being splintered and conference ties are probably becoming less important for ratings.”

      I disagree. The advent of conference networks focuses markets. The B12 has 10 separate marketing entities while the 40 B1G/PAC/SEC schools (will) have only three, in addition to the primary partners.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Conference networks don’t do anything for your Tier I and Tier II ratings.

        No “true BCS” conference has been over 12 before if you exclude the BE. The BE, BTW, was the nation’s premier basketball conference. The Southern Conference was over 12 and the SEC schools left the ACC schools behind. Then 20 years later the ACC schools left the new Southern Conference schools behind. And the 12 in the Big 12 lost 1/3 of their membership and nearly totally splintered. The 12 in the ACC were at some risk of splintering. The UNC e-mails make it clear everyone was evaluating their options. They only lost one.

        There is no history of a conference over 12 staying together. It remains to be seen whether they will.

        Like

        • Logan says:

          There is no history of a conference over 12 staying together.

          And recent history says major conferences don’t stay at 8, 9, or 10 teams. The SEC, B1G, Pac, Big 8 and ACC all out-grew that size.

          The economics have changed radically. In the past, there was little financial incentive to grow. In fact, a smaller, geographically compact conference make more sense for travel. Now, TV money dwarfs travel budgets.

          Like

        • ccrider55 says:

          “Conference networks don’t do anything for your Tier I and Tier II ratings.”

          But larger conferences can command higher premiums for the same matchup. They also hold a larger number of potential great matchups on their home turf.

          The P12N model where their network is a participant in tier 1 and 2 certainly do influence those, though I’m not sure what any particular games rating has on forward looking bidding for rights, or gaining distribution.

          Perhaps I’m misunderstanding what you are saying. Yes, some large conferences have failed, as have smaller ones. Had the current media contracts been available decades ago alleviating a lot of cost concerns, who knows what happens? I’m not saying 12+ is a necessity, but it does seem smaller is more vulnerable in the current climate.

          Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      There’s an unwritten assumption in this post. “Bigger is better.”

      I don’t think the post assumes that. It just answers the question, IF the Big XII were expanding, who would the likely candidates be?

      Fact is every conference that went over 12 splintered, sooner or later, usually sooner.

      Smaller leagues failed too. You’d have to consider whether size was really the issue, or if conferences expanded in an unsuccessful attempt to solve a deeper fundamental problem.

      Let’s consider the original Big East. Before it started rapidly growing (pre-1991), its members were as follows: BC, UConn, Georgetown, Providence, St. John’s, Seton Hall, Syracuse, Villanova, and Pitt.

      Eventually, the four schools that now play FBS football (UConn didn’t at the time) would have needed a football conference. If the Big East hadn’t added football, it would eventually have lost those schools, amounting to almost half its membership.

      The Big East tried to solve this problem by adding football schools, which was the move that pushed it over your supposed magic number of 12. That strategy failed because the Big East could never get good enough at football, so they couldn’t offer enough for the upwardly mobile schools to stay.

      But the fundamental problem — the mix of FBS and non-FBS programs — was there from the beginning. That, and not expansion, was the fatal flaw of the Big East. Had they not expanded, they would have faced the same existential crisis, sooner.

      Like

      • Transic says:

        The Big East failed because there was no unity of vision, simply due to the diversity of the institutions involved. They thought that basketball would be a unifying factor. You are close to right but have to consider the factors of the Northeastern culture (which would help to explain the disdain the other regions have of it) and the hostility among groups of schools. Georgetown, St. John’s, Seton Hall, Villanova are private, urban sectarian schools. Their primary mission traditionally has been to educate students of a certain faith (although they do take students who don’t share it). One of the reasons they’ve continually received applications even when there’s been a process of secularization in society is the perception of quality. This is especially true with K-12 education. But this reality has given them a platform in which to proclaim superiority over public schools.

        The public schools, on the other hand, have a different circumstance that made it difficult to work with the private schools, one of which is the state laws concerning transparency. Also, non-discrimination laws that they are required to follow. The private schools are loathe to adopt those rules because of particular things that they don’t want revealed.

        There is another factor that is unique in the Northeast and that is the private, non-sectarian schools (Syracuse). They also have a problem with public schools but it is not religion or transparency but competition for students. Schools like Syracuse, Yale, Harvard and Brown are very expensive and are very selective. Now the likes of Harvard can get away with being selective and expensive because of what they can offer. Schools like Syracuse can’t offer what Yale or Harvard can. Even Cornell and Princeton can offer more than Syracuse. The private schools in the Northeast sustain themselves through tuition money. This is where the public schools could be perceived as a threat. Public schools like Connecticut could offer a similar type of education and be less expensive than Syracuse. This creates a lot of resentment and fear among private school alums and fans.

        The schools that played football in the old Big East had the opportunity to break away several times during its existence. However, it was not the basketball-first schools who were the main problem but the football-playing schools. Schools like Rutgers, Syracuse and Connecticut did not trust each other. Fans of Rutgers and Syracuse despised each other to the point that each wanted the other to go out of business. That’s how mean-spirited it was. Sure, it didn’t help Rutgers’ cause that they had a mediocre athletics history but that was just used as another excuse to vilify that school’s membership. The private schools perceived public schools like Rutgers, West Virginia, UConn and Temple as threats to be dealt with or contained, and they still perceive it that way, UConn basketball notwithstanding.

        Then there was Notre Dame. So far, you’ve heard ND’s take on their relations with the Big Ten schools. What you have not heard about is ND’s history in the Big East. When the Big East was offered by ND their non-football membership (yes, I wrote it that way), ND promised that they’d play some football games against several Big East schools. Of course, the Big East salivated at the prospect of being associated with the Domers that they didn’t bother to read the fine print. ND always give themselves outs in any transaction with other parties. This was another classic case of Domers being Domers. When the idea of playing at Rutgers came about, they insisted that the game be played at the Meadowlands. However, Rutgers knew that if they played the game there that they’d lose their home advantage. Rutgers fans have had a bad history of dealing with the NJSEA and they did not want to repeat that experience. They’ve also have recently renovated their home stadium and increased the capacity to above 52,000. However, the Domers don’t do deals unless it’s to their advantage. They didn’t want to play at Rutgers’ home stadium and preferred not to play them, which is what happened. But standing up to ND’s arrogance comes with a cost, in the form of the enmity of the Domers towards Rutgers and Rutgers fans. This is another reason why BE private schools hate Rutgers.

        There is a tendency by people outside the region to look at the dissolution of the old Big East as fooball-related. But, as I’ve explained above, the factors are much complex than that.

        Like

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          You’ve given a longer version, none of which I disagree with, but in the end it’s all about football.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            In the end it was all about the conference getting too big and having too many diverse interests. The bigger you get the harder it is to maintain unity of purpose. The Ivy League and West Coast Conference have stayed small and maintained that unity.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            The point both Transic and I are making is that the actual problem existed when they were small. Even if they hadn’t expanded, the league simply could not have survived as originally constituted.

            If you look to the root cause, you find that size was not the problem at all.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            The root problem was diversity of interests. That tends to happen when you get bigger. That happened in the Big East when it went beyond 9. It happened twice in the Southern Conference that spawned the SEC and then the ACC. It happened in the WAC. It happened on a larger scale with the CFA as first the Big 10 and Pac 10 went their own way, then Notre Dame, then the SEC, then it all splintered.

            The bigger you get the harder it is to maintain that. There are only so many Division I private schools on the West Coast. There are only so many Ivy League caliber schools on the East Coast. Those conferences are staying small and have similar interests.

            Now the bigger you are, the harder it is to agree on things even when there isn’t a big diversity of interests. You are also less closely tied in a bigger group than a smaller group (that’s just common sense without getting into all the scheduling issues).

            Assuming bigger is better when there has never been a single example of that is a big assumption. All schools operate, as they should, in their own interest.

            Like

          • frug says:

            It happened on a larger scale with the CFA as first the Big 10 and Pac 10 went their own way, then Notre Dame, then the SEC, then it all splintered.

            The Big 10 and PAC never joined the CFA.

            Like

        • FLP_NDRox says:

          I don’t know that the full details of that deal were ever released. IIRC, it was a gentleman’s agreement to play about three schools a year…and mostly to improve notoriety and strength of schedule for the Big East and to help scheduling issues Dr. White was having as the NDAD. I don’t ever remember hearing that these games would be home and homes. Many of the Big East football schools at the time were glorified mid-majors, with mid-major stadiums and fanbases.

          Notre Dame was always much closer with the Catholic schools who later split off and took the name with them. It has very very little in common with the CUSA schools that the Big East backfilled with at the same time.

          South Florida would have never gotten a game in South Bend without the agreement, nor would UConn…and Rutgers probably wouldn’t have either. I don’t know why ND would want to play Rutgers in a 52K stadium when a 80K stadium is right up the road closer to NYC. ND wouldn’t play UConn at the Rent either, and requested to play at Foxboro…and that’s not even in Connecticut.

          I’m so tired of the Big East football fans resenting Notre Dame for not rescuing them. The conference was DOA in a football centered world anyway.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            Of the glorified mid-majors in the BE, 1 is in the Big 12, 1 is heading to the Big 10 and 3 will be scheduling ND in the ACC. USF and UConn are still in the BE-USF with a pro stadium and UConn with one of the newer stadiums in college football-and both with better fan support than 1/3 of the ACC schools, including powers ND occasionally plays like Wake Forest and Duke.

            Notre Dame broke their deal. Hopefully the ACC did an air-tight contract.

            Like

          • FLP_NDRox says:

            The only backfill mid-major the Irish will play is U of L. BC, VT, Miami, Syracuse, and Pitt were in the Big East when ND joined…as were Rutgers and WVU. I don’t forsee home-and-homes with the Irish in the future for USF, UConn, or Cincy.

            Like

    • XOVERX says:

      “Is a Big 10 fan of Michigan really going to watch Minnesota/Indiana in football over USC/Oregon?” — bullet

      This is the phenomenon of “cross-marketing” — where a fan of particular conference’s school watches the game of other conference members even though his school is not one of the schools playing. The more cross-marketing you can obtain as a conference, the more financially successful your league will become. The SEC is the undisputed king of cross-marketing.

      Cross-marketing is exactly the reason a school like Texas or Oklahoma would be less valuable in the PAC than in the B1G or the SEC. Even though the PAC would make every effort to set most UT or OU games earlier in the day, for television viewers in the CTZ, the fans of those two schools would have a hard time watching the games of many PAC schools which may be scheduled against UT or OU in the future or which might have an impact on the PAC championships. Many PAC games will in fact end in the wee hours of Sunday morning (1 or 2 am) each and every weekend.

      Yes, I do suspect a great many B1G fans would watch Minnesota/Indiana over USC/Oregon (or at most simply check in on USC/Oregon during the MN/IN game during commercials). I know that’s what I do as a fan of the B12, and we have schools a whole lot more boring than Minnesota or Indiana.

      Like

  31. Disgruntled says:

    Frank,
    This matrix leaves out the single biggest criteria that plays into big xii expansion (possibly the ONLY one), “what does Texas want.” While reasonable to state that the conference’s long term viability should trump the short term financial harm that adding members would do to the rev split, UT is simply not in the business of doing what’s reasonable for the conference. Even in hypothetical world where the conference would die without expanding is there even a shred of evidence that would indicate Bevo would care?

    Like

    • David Brown says:

      Disgruntled, I have discussed Bevo the Bull(y) and how they are time and time again. The one thing that has changed is “Little Brother” A&M not only leaving Austin behind, but doing quite nicely. While they would love to add two lap dog Universities (choose two of Houston, Rice, SMU, and UTEP), they have to worry about angering Oklahoma to the point where the first chance they get, they become the next A&M or Nebraska heading for the B10 or SEC. It has to be on their mind (even though they will not admit it).

      Like

      • XOVERX says:

        Uh, no.

        Texas came out in opposition to adding “another school from Texas” during September 2012, but backed off when OU and the northern schools wanted to keep two games per year in the State of Texas. That may qualify as “bullying” in your book, but it does not match reality.

        As for Houston, Rice, SMU, and UTEP (??), no, Texas has no desire to add any of those schools.

        Texas (DeLoss Dodds) has consistently said it is comfortable at 10 schools, true, but Texas has also said if the league wanted to expand, Texas will accommodate the league.

        The reality is that none of the small schools want or can afford to take a hit on the TV contract by expanding. Texas can afford to take a hit. If the B12 really wants to expand, Texas will not stand in the way.

        The problem is that there does not appear to be any schools out there (other than possibly BYU, but that’s another story) with whom the B12 can add that will not dilute the TV contract.

        Like

        • lovedtheusfl says:

          I think there are two things not all that well discussed here. IMO.

          1) With the GOR deal in place, it seems like the only get out of jail free card for UT and OU would be imploding the conference. A larger membership would take that from difficult to likely impossible. While I don’t think either school is desperate to escape today, that could change. I would think that puts UT and OU (privately) firmly against expansion, regardless of the company line.

          2) I think the “diluting the TV shares” argument may be more of a conventional wisdow argument being subtly pushed by the powers in the conference to encourage the have nots not to push the issue. There has been a lot written about how 12 doesn’t meet the current payouts the conference enjoys. I can buy that that is “true enough”, but I am not as certain that a larger expansion to 14 or 16 is equally unworkable. I think if you crunched the numbers you might find that there are schools that collectively would ramp up the value of the conference enough to meet or exceed current revenue generation.

          Consider basketball tourney revenue. The Big East for example built a top heavy basketball league and their SOS dragged their bubble teams into the tourney. It also generated battle tested schools that made long runs in the tourney. The BE was pulling in some pretty good money based off basketball.

          A larger B12 with a basketball focus could end up recouping some TV shortfalls with BB tourney money.

          Also consider markets. The Big 12 has by far the smallest populations in their footprints. That would seem likely to limit their options vs. other power conferences in terms of conference networks and the like. Could adding a few schools really help in that regard? Possibly, but I think it is an uphill battle due to the small population states near texas.

          But if you have very good basketball to go with the UT and OU (and I guess now the OSU, Tech, and Baylor) football brands to support a minimally acceptable footprint…. maybe a network becomes a lot more workable.

          Lets name names. BYU is the obvious team 11, but if you are just talking about the value of Utah, BYU is just a little exciting. But if you are talking about BYU + SDSU, UNM, and CSU, suddenly you are sewing together some very complimentary and large fan bases. BYU becomes a lot more valueable in that scenario as do all of those schools due to their existing rivalries and the facts their fan bases care about those opponents.

          BYU and SDSU are bowl caliber programs. CSU just built a stadium that should make their team a bowl caliber program. UNM with better Texas recruiting could get there.

          UNM, BYU, and SDSU are annual strong tourney teams with strong fan bases and CSU basketball is lead by a good coach now and seems headed in that direction.

          Top that with Cinnci and memphis in the east. Cinci does well in football. memphis could potentially do a lot better with a Big 12 check. There is a lot of football talent in Miss and LA if the tigers were higher profile and had the money to really recruit…

          In basketball both are ringers with strong fan bases. This could yeild a conference that is one of the best in the nation in basketball, has a terrific recruiting footprint, and has the markets to interest a network partner.

          Now I am not saying any of this is likely, but I do think the money would be there at 16 when it might not be at 12.

          Like

    • loki_the_bubba says:

      “Even in hypothetical world where the conference would die without expanding is there even a shred of evidence that would indicate Bevo would care?”

      TCU

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Excellent point. They were probably near the bottom of UT’s list.

        Like

      • David Brown says:

        UT would care if it was against their best interests. Seeing OU in the B10 or SEC and giving one of those Conferences yet another path into Recruiting in Texas (especially the SEC), would not be in Bevo’s interest. Seeing a Football Schedule where Tech is your best In-Conference “Rival” is not either.

        Like

  32. David Brown says:

    I think Tulane is great choice. But if I am the Big XII, I am looking for Schools to strengthen the Northern Division, without bringing in TCU 2 (aka Cincinnati). Obviously BYU is perfect, but if they wanted in, they would be there already (plus the fear that if they were admitted as “Football Only” Texas might try the same thing). My strategy would be add UCF & USF for the Southern Division, and send Oklahoma & Oklahoma State to the Northern Division, and have OU and UT be a protected Rivalry Game (like Indiana/Purdue). That would accomplish the twin goals of a Conference Championship Game, and strengthen the Northern Division.

    Like

  33. Lamont says:

    This is why Tulane and one of the Florida schools makes sense http://cdn2.sbnation.com/fan_shot_images/223004/Ac2h_NWCIAARvlY.jpg

    Like

  34. Back East says:

    Folks, here’s a long one, I had way too much time on my hands this afternoon. Hit “page down” if you’re in the mood for quick hitters, ’cause this ain’t a quick hit.

    I think that the Big-12 had better hurry. The rest of the Big-12, besides UT and OU, had especially better hurry, because they’re much more at risk with all of this than they might think. It doesn’t take too much stretch of the imagination to see Texas and Oklahoma in the middle of a bidding war between the Big-10, the SEC, and the PAC-12 — and soon, GOR end-of-life not being all that far away, and litigation being what it is in any case. The Big-12 is still the least stabile of the majors (by far), and for its own survival, it needs to get to the best 14 teams available, while they are available, in the hopes that they can survive should the unthinkable happen and they lose either UT or OU, or both. BYU and Cincinnati are fine choices. Both are ready to go right now, as the author correctly points out — especially BYU, which in fact is already a major program as an independent, by every reasonable measuring stick. (Yes, BYU will join — work with them a bit on Sunday play, and they’ll come runnin’) UCF / USF, or better yet, UCF and Tulane, are decent candidates that would progress quickly with league membership. I favor UCF over USF because of the school size and the fact that it has its own unique major market to itself. Do it, and do it now, and get to 14 and a title game while you can. Then if you end up losing UT and OU (horrors), you still have 12 teams, a title game, a TV contract (which would be reduced in value, but would still exist), and a major bowl tie-in. It would be terrible, but perhaps survivable. Lose these two out of the current 10 team league, either right now (yes, it could happen, GORs notwithstanding), or at the end of the contract, and the conference is stone dead, period, end of story. Under that awful circumstance, would you rather face the network execs with a TV market of Texas and West Virginia only, or have 12 teams, two divisions, a championship game, and TV markets that cover Texas and West Virginia, but also Ohio, Central Florida, Louisiana, Utah, and the rest of 15 million Mormons around the country and world?

    It may not seem like a risk right now, but the Big-12 runs a high risk of having its pockets picked again. Texas and Oklahoma are the obvious risks, but the “expansion candidates” that they take for granted could easily disappear at a moment’s notice. Cincinnati is the obvious next pick for the ACC if the Big-10 gets an ACC team to defect, and I believe that they’d prefer to follow Louisville anyway, rather than go with the Texas schools, all else considered. Out on the Left Coast, the PAC-12 is in somewhat of a bind in terms of expansion. They’ve always wanted to have 14 to 16 teams; having to settle for 12 wasn’t their first choice and makes for an awkward seasonal round-robin. What they wanted, and still want, is Texas and Oklahoma, and they’ll be back with a raiding party in the near term. Assuming they fail, their expansion options are more limited than any of the other majors. No “Cal State X” fills their bill. San Diego State doesn’t draw, and UCLA and USC already deliver the San Diego market anyway. Fresno State is the best of the “Cal States”, but The Valley isn’t a major market. Boise State is about 20 years removed from being a community college, and the PAC-12 blue bloods can’t live with that. Also, their football program is built on Coach Petersen. What happens when he leaves — can they continue the success? There’s a huge risk on that one, and no local TV market, to boot. The PAC-12 really only has two decent options: Take UNLV and hope to grow it into a player, and also finally bite the bullet, and take the hands-down obvious choice from the get-go: Mormon-conservative-West-Coast-anathema major-player BYU. If the PAC-12 fails to collar UT and OU again, look for them to take UNLV, and finally take BYU off the table, denying the Big-12 its most satisfactory expansion candidate along with Cincinnati.

    The Big-12 needs to get going. Looking and acting like the reincarnation of the Big East, i.e. waiting to be raided by a bigger fish and then reacting, isn’t what they should be doing right now. This is the time to be proactive, get the four best candidates out there, get a title game going, and start looking like a major conference again. During the last round of realignments, they came within the proverbial gnat’s eyelash of collapsing by passively waiting, and then having to operate in arrears in panic mode only. They wound up losing valuable powerhouse programs in Texas A&M and Nebraska, schools that likely could have been saved, and should have been saved, if the conference had had its act together. (Colorado and Missouri were lesser losses, but still hurt the image of the league by departing.) The conference cannot afford another screwup of this magnitude. It’s time to show that they learned the lesson by solidifying the long-term future of the league now, rather than worrying about the short-term single-last-dollar of revenue dilution that might occur via expansion. The money’s there to be able to do this. As they say, pigs get fat, but hogs get slaughtered …

    Bring BYU, Cincinnati, UCF and Tulane on board. Just do it. Now.

    Like

    • Back East says:

      … aaccckkkkk!!!! And my apologies for leaving the great states of Kansas and Iowa out of the TV market comments at the end of the first paragraph. Tacky brain freeze — my apologies to you KU, KSU, and ISU fans. The thing should have read:

      Under that awful circumstance, would you rather face the network execs with a TV market of Texas, Kansas, Iowa, and West Virginia only, or have 12 teams, two divisions, a championship game, and TV markets that include not only all of those states, but also Ohio, Central Florida, Louisiana, Utah, and the rest of 15 million Mormons around the country and world?

      Sorry!

      Like

      • vp19 says:

        If Brigham Young says no, should the Big Ten substitute South Florida? And how would divisions stack up? (In my 14-team scenario, place Tulane in the West with the Texas and Oklahoma schools, with an East division of Iowa State, Kansas State, Kansas, West Virginia, Cincinnati, Central Florida and South Florida — making certain the football schedule is adjusted so the five other East teams visit UCF or USF every year.)

        Like

    • Lamont says:

      long as hell but thanks for taking the time to share. Love the discussion going on here. much better than one of the team forums where people end up attacking one another the entire time for having different opinions

      Like

      • Back East says:

        Amen to that. The guy wrote a well thought out article on the topic, and started a good dialog. Bunch of good comments on here. Mine was waaaaaaaaaayyyyyy too long. Your patience is much appreciated! :-)

        Like

    • Wainscott says:

      I fail to see how adding BYU and three Conference USA/AAC schools will do anything more than further convince Texas and Oklahoma to flee to the Pac 12. The Big East tried this strategy already, and all it did was force Syracuse and Pitt–by no means on UT or Okla’s level, mind you–to flee for the ACC. Backfilling is a sign of desperation, not strength.

      How would this massive expansion benefit Texas and Oklahoma? How does this help them? And yes, if they flee, the whole conference is hurt badly, so how does angering Texas and Oklahoma serve anyone’s interest?

      Like

      • Lamont says:

        Tulane made a presentation to the Big 12 a year or so ago and it was Texas and OU that invited them.

        Like

        • Wainscott says:

          That makes the school sounds more like an Amway salesman than a candidate for expansion.

          What are Tulane’s TV ratings like in New Orleans? What about ratings from recent (last few years) from games on ESPN or another network? Is there an upward or downward ratings trend? What about attendance? is it trending one way or another?

          I have no idea, so I am curious.

          Like

          • Lamont says:

            Look, I know people have a hard time with Tulane making the list but look at the list and the talk and The Tank must know something and some other players. Even Andy Katz w ESPN mentioned Tulane and the Big 12 about two years ago. According to most fans Tulane does not belong in this class or on this list but the name has popped up every single time. Obviously these schools/presidents have a pretty good interest in Tulane or the name would not be popping up again. Don’t take my word for it – just look at the fact that they are even cracking the list and this is not the first time. Look at the fact that Texas and OU were very much interested in them to ask them to show them what they have planned in terms of overall emphasis and investments. It is about new ground and potential. Tulane would never be invited alone but with a another school they would and with the addition of WVU and TCU it helps because now you can take someone like Tulane. There are a lot of schools that can make arguments, I get it – I also get that some people cannot fathom the thought of Tulane but like The Tank says – “keep an eye on them and Tulane has the best chance out of anyone to realize its Tremendous Upside Potential and moving up to the top.”

            I know the guys that put this together, it was done about a year and a half ago – I gave them some input – it is not updated over the last year but it does a good job showing what people don’t see or know https://www.dropbox.com/s/lkhekl9u0bqn5jc/Tulane%20University%20Athletics%20%26%20NOLA%20%E2%80%93%20a%20Renaissance%2C%20a%20Revolution%202013.pdf

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            I have no problem with Tulane making the list, just if that list if for expansion similar to that of the Big Ten or SEC–market driven, with an eye towards demographics and academics, as well as athletics..

            As I wrote above,

            “Nobody disputes that New Orleans is a fun city to road trip to, and one easily accessible via car, plane, and train. But since B12 expansion is focused primarily on national television value, Tulane’s long history of craptastic football is a big negative.

            If the B12 had a longer-term focus, with building an academic counterpart to the athletic conference, and also had designs of a cable network, then Tulane would have much excellent value and would have to be seriously considered.

            But Tulane’s value as a national brand in athletics is negligible, which hampers the school as of now. If it strings together a Boise State-esque run (or even a TCU-type run), then its value increases markedly as a national brand.”

            If the Big 12 was planning on starting a conference TV network, and an academic consortium like the CIC, then Tulane should be on a short list of schools.

            But Big 12 is doing none of that, and probably won’t even exist in its present form after 10 years or so. The conference members seem to want to maximize money from national TV deals now, meaning any potential school would have to add to the annual haul per school. I just don’t think Tulane does that. At least not in 2013. Maybe it would in 2019, but that’s 6 years away.

            Like

        • patrick maguire says:

          The unofficial response. Commit to improved FB and athletics and we would welcome the addition of Tulane and New Orleans to the Big XII.
          New Stadiums don’t just materialize for no reason.

          http://www.yulmanstadium.com/

          Like

      • Back East says:

        The Big East was on the tail end of a wholesale turnover that started long before with Miami, Virginia Tech, BC, etc; the situations aren’t comparable at all. I don’t think that this would motivate Texas and Oklahoma to move to the PAC-12, at least not beyond any baseline motivation that already exists, especially if you maintain a formula whereby the money is divided so that the schools collect reasonably in accordance with what they draw to the league. I also don’t think that the addition would necessarily be revenue-negative on a total-total basis in any case, since you add the title game and expand the markets. BYU is almost certainly revenue positive; ESPN isn’t doing the current deal with them out of charity. So start with BYU / Cincinnati first, plus the title game, and run that past the TV partners. Move it to all four if the deal money works. My guess is that you have at worst a revenue-neutral deal. (I know this is a funny way to look at it, but how much dilution do you think you get here versus what is contributed to the pot by Ames, Manhattan, Lubbock, and Morgantown?) So where does this push UT and OU out of the league? You just picked up a whole bunch of TV audience out West — far more than Colorado ever brought into the league (BYU draws TVs from Idaho to Arizona to California, not just Utah), and you picked up a big chunk of Ohio, and your money is “equal to” or “greater than” immediately, and more over the long haul. No one’s gonna bolt over that deal.

        BTW, I agree that the PAC-12 is a threat to come after UT and OU again; they will certainly do so. However, the Longhorn Network and UT autonomy was a huge stumbling block for the PAC-12 bluebloods — they weren’t anywhere near a deal. I’m not saying a deal couldn’t be done, but the primary intent of the UT interest at the time was as leverage to bend the rest of the Big-12 into submission regarding the Longhorn Network and 3rd Tier rights. UT’s primary objective wasn’t really ever to shatter the Big-12 and become California Cool. They might do it in extremis, but for lots of good and valid political and practical reasons, I seriously doubt that that was (or is) high on their list of desired courses of actions. (Holy Bevo would the State Legislature go crazy if UT blew up the Big-12, at least all the Baylor and TCU alum legislators, and potentially the Tech alums also, unless the PAC-12 decided to take Lubbock along for the ride as well.) Nah, being directly responsible for the death of the Big-12 and once again turning Baylor and TCU into orphans isn’t Texas’ first choice, I don’t think. Could happen, but it would have to be for something really, really serious to the future of the program.

        As far as backfilling versus not backfilling is concerned, I still think that the league is at maximum vulnerability by staying where they are. Lose one team, and they’re in the middle of an instant crisis. They just finished going through this, and the league almost collapsed. Do you think that the loss of their title game increased their prestige, or decreased it? One way or the other, its absence is extremely noticeable every year, and it’s not noted as a good thing. It makes the league look like the junior partner compared to four major leagues, on the same rung as the Big East used to be, and just waiting to be cannibalized when the winds start to blow again. And that’s exactly what it is. They’re fools not to fix it now, while they can do so, and have time to stabilize it before the world turns upside down again.

        Sorry, way too long yet again. I’m done on this topic and will now shut up and yield the floor.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          I didn’t think of the Big 10 and Pac 10 as junior partners when they had big games on ccg Saturday while the others had ccgs.

          The problem with A&M and Missouri leaving is they did it so late in the year. A&M announced at the end of August. Missouri announced they were thinking about it in the last half of September and took forever to finally make up their mind. That was what left the Big 12 in a crisis. Had they left in May or June like Nebraska and Colorado, there would have been more time to vet schools and arrange the deals. The BE didn’t sue TCU. But when WVU left they did because it put them in a bind. And eventually the MAC and CUSA.

          The Big 12 could easily replace anyone but Texas and Oklahoma. The impact would be marginal even losing Kansas. Now if they left in December for the next fall, it would be difficult. But with a normal time frame, it would be no problem.

          Like

          • Andy says:

            “the impact would be marginal”. Hilarious. Bullet is still in total denial.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Bullet:

            “I didn’t think of the Big 10 and Pac 10 as junior partners when they had big games on ccg Saturday while the others had ccgs.”

            And both the B1G and PAC have added CCGs. Apparently they felt it important enough.

            Andy:

            Are you attributing greater impact by a Kansas exit than Missouri caused? I’m surprised.

            Like

    • David Brown says:

      The only problem with this theory is of course, Texas. It does not matter if they made bad decisions (see TCU), as long as things are acceptable in Austin (or OU makes noises about leaving) things will not change. I would bet that if there was a choice between Tulane & Rice, the Owls would be selected because the UT Game @ Rice will be played @ Reliant Stadium, with 75% (or more) Longhorn fans in attendance, to be broadcast on the Longhorn Network. As far as saving programs such as Nebraska & A&M are concerned, that was not happening. Too many 11-1 Anti-Cornhusker votes to keep Nebraska happy, and A&M not only saw an an opportunity to get out of Bevo’s shadow, but knows financially what happened with Arkansas. That “Hog” did not exactly get slaughtered.

      Like

      • XOVERX says:

        If a B12 expansion choice came down to Tulane or Rice, and if you bet that Texas would support Rice over Tulane, be prepared to lose some money.

        But this is moot. The schools of the B12 will not expand at all if expanding means losing money.

        Expanding with any schools on Frank’s list means every school in the B12 would lose money.

        This ain’t nuclear science, as the cliche goes.

        Like

    • XOVERX says:

      There a heckuva lot more to the BYU situation than just “game forfeiture” (no Sunday play). More importantly, there’s TV replay issues, there’s BYU announcers in place of FOX or ESPN announcers (yea, that’s going to happen), there’s a demanded guarantee of way too many nationally televised games. Game forfeiture is only a sliver of the BYU problem.

      Look, adding BYU, Cincinnati, UCF and Tulane is sort of like a young adult buying health insurance. The guys knows that health insurance is a good thing, but he figures he’s healthy, and he doesn’t want to take a hit in his pocket book.

      When the B1G added Maryland and Rutgers, they had already calculated the numbers and Delany is supremely confident he just added money into the pocket of every single B1G school.

      If the B12 added the schools you suggest, all Big 12 schools would take a hit in their respective pocket books. Texas can afford to take a hit in the television revenue. Texas nets around 10.8M per year off the LHN. Texas generally packs over 100,000 folks into DKR each football weekend. Texas can take a hit.

      But Kansas State, and TCU, and Baylor, and on and on do not want to take a hit in their pocket book. They can’t afford to take a hit because they don’t draw like Texas or Oklahoma. They other B12 members have no meaningful way to make up the lost income from television contract dilution due to expansion.

      Now this situation is still Texas’ fault, but can you tell me why? It’s not because Texas is “blocking” expansion, because Texas is not.

      Like

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        The Big XII could add 2 schools or 20, and its survival would still come down to the same question: do Texas and Oklahoma want to stay?

        Like

        • bullet says:

          With the ACC, Do FSU and Miami want to stay?

          Or even, does UNC want to stay?

          With the Pac 12, they would survive because of geography, but would be gutted if USC and UCLA left.

          If the SEC lost Georgia and Florida they would still be competitive-but only as long as they could keep recruiting those 2 states.

          Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            I was not saying that the Big XII is the only league with one or two linchpin schools.

            The question just never arises for the Pac-12 and SEC, because no one has seriously suggested that those leagues are vulnerable. When the GORs get closer to expiration, a lot of people will start wondering what Texas and Oklahama plan to do. No one will be asking that about Georgia or USC.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Losing prominent members would hurt, but none of those would be crippling whereas losing UT/OU would be fatal. Even if the rest soldiered on it would not be as a power conference. There was an ACC long before FSU and Miami joined.

            Like

          • frug says:

            There was an ACC long before FSU and Miami joined.

            But there wouldn’t be afterwards…

            Like

          • frug says:

            If they left I mean.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            If FSU and Miami left, the ACC would be relegated to the G5. They would be a football playing version of the Big East. Of course, everyone else would try to leave as well. Minus those two there is really no difference between them and the Mountain West in football.

            Without Texas and OU the Big 12 would not be financially competitive with the rest of the P5. Competitively, they would still be comparable to the ACC based on the BCS era. ACC schools averaged 51.9 points in the final AP Poll. Big 12 w/o OU and Texas-49.9.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Bullet:

            This is the disagreement. Without FSU and Miami they are still the ACC, but deserving of the FB derision they’ve been subjected to over years. They are a basket and baseball conference that plays adequate FB at times. Only the frequency of adequacy would be effected.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            @cc
            I fail to see the difference between the ACC leftovers and the Big 12 leftovers, except that the ACC might still be the top basketball conference (the Big 12 would merely be one of the top).

            Like

          • frug says:

            Without FSU and Miami they are still the ACC

            Yes, and the rest of the Big XII could keep the name, so I don’t see a difference.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Bullet:

            Enormous demographic disparity.
            Non reliance on FB as identity.

            Tobacco Road stands or falls by its own choice (and holds others together), regardless of Mia or FSU. What’s the B12 equivalent? Kansas?

            Like

          • bullet says:

            ESPN and Fox. The leftover Big 12 would be much more valuable than the AAC and MWC. Just not nearly as valuable as the current Big 12.

            Like

    • frug says:

      The Big-12 is still the least stabile of the majors (by far),

      No, the ACC is probably worse. Not only is it significantly behind financially, the fact that it has bunch of pieces that are attractive to other conferences, but none strong enough to form a core to hold the whole thing together, makes it quite untenable. Really, its like Jenga tower; it won’t collapse on its own and it could afford to lose some pieces, but pull the right one and the whole thing comes crashing down.

      The Big XII’s stars and scrubs philosophy is much easier to sustain; hold UT and OU and the conference will survive no matter what happens.

      (Note, another way to look at it is this; the ACC schools are together because they want to be; the Big XII is together because they have to be. Literally ever current Big XII school has tried to leave but was turned down meaning they are stuck together come Hell or highwater. On the other hand, UNC, UVA, V-Tech, and FSU (unquestionably), Clemson, Miami and G-Tech (probably), and Pitt, Louisville and NCSU (possibly) have at least one other power conference that would take them today given the chance and offer them a raise.)

      Then if you end up losing UT and OU (horrors), you still have 12 teams, a title game, a TV contract (which would be reduced in value, but would still exist), and a major bowl tie-in.

      Yeah, if you think that the Big XII is going to keep its Sugar Bowl tie in if it loses OU and UT then I’ve got a bridge you might be interested in.

      Also, the TV contract wouldn’t just be reduced; it would be voided.

      —-

      Of course those two specific issues simply allude to a bigger point; if OU or UT bolt then whatever Big XII leftovers don’t get picked up are screwed no matter what. As such, the best strategy for the conference’s have nots is to do whatever is necessary to keep those two schools and if staying at 10 is what they want, they staying at 10 is what should happen.

      Like

    • ricomay789 says:

      Strongly agree with Back East concerning BYU & Cincy. But wait a few years before going to 14. After all Big 12 is locked in until 2025.

      Like

  35. Pat says:

    Go Blue!

    Like

  36. Tarhorn says:

    As a Texas fan, it does get tiresome to read this never-ending theme of Texas as the “bully”. “Texas doesn’t care at all about its’ conference partners or the future of the Big 12″…and yet, it was Nebraska who left, because of domineering Texas. I thought all those conference votes that the Huskers lost were 11-1? Doesn’t Texas just have one vote like everybody else? And here we are in 2013 and Texas is still in the Big 12. I really thought the original Big 12 was a great conference, and wish it was still together. Those schools that left were entirely within their rights to go wherever they wanted to go, but quit blaming Texas. I’m not sure why everyone thinks it’s OK for NU or A&M to leave their conference mates for what they believe to be a better situation, but anything Texas does out of self interest is considered an assault on their conference brethren. I still do believe it would serve Texas better to be in the PAC 12 and hope that happens, with or without the LHN (which I enjoy watching here in North Carolina immensely–first class network)

    Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      As a Texas fan, it does get tiresome to read this never-ending theme of Texas as the “bully”. “Texas doesn’t care at all about its’ conference partners or the future of the Big 12″…and yet, it was Nebraska who left, because of domineering Texas. I thought all those conference votes that the Huskers lost were 11-1? Doesn’t Texas just have one vote like everybody else?

      Nominally, Texas has one vote. But how often has the Big XII made a consequential decision on which Texas voted no? I don’t think Texas has bullied anyone. It’s just a reality that without Texas, there is no Big XII (as we have known it), and therefore they’re going to get what they want.

      As I recall, when Dan Beebe got fired, one of the ADs said publicly, “There was a sense that he listened to only one school.” Care to guess which school that was?

      I don’t think anyone has said that Texas “doesn’t care about its conference partners or the future of the Big 12.” To the contrary, Texas wants the Big XII to survive. The fact that it has a de facto veto there (and wouldn’t in any other league) is one of the reasons — although there are others.

      Like

      • XOVERX says:

        On the most important vote in league history, around the 2005 time-frame, Texas brought in the guy who set up the BTN just before he migrated to the B1G for the purpose of setting up the BTN.

        Texas proposed to the league that the B12 set up a league network. The B12 shot down the Texas proposal 1-11, Texas being the lonely “1” vote. Nobody thought a league network had any merit but Texas. But Texas didn’t up and bail from the B12.

        Instead, Texas studied the league bylaws and gave thought to so-called television Tier 3 rights. At the time Texas made about a quarter million per year off television Tier 3, while Kansas was making millions off its basketball. Eventually Texas partnered with ESPN to set up the LHN and here we are today.

        The point is that Texas does not “run” the B12. Is there a sort of “first among equals”? Well, I’m sure there is. But Texas loses plenty of league battles. The most recent battle Texas lost was the addition of TCU — a really bad move on the part of the B12.

        Like

      • bullet says:

        Texas wanted Jack Swarbick as conference commissioner. The Big 12 chose Beebe. Texas was ok with keeping Beebe. The rest of the conference wanted to fire him and did. As Loki says, TCU was NOT the choice of Texas.

        Like

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        I very carefully avoided saying that Texas wins every vote. But they win most, and always will. They simply have to.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          They didn’t become the most profitable program in the country by making a lot of bad decisions.

          Like

          • David Brown says:

            Do disrespecting A&M & Nebraska qualify as bad decisions?

            Like

          • bullet says:

            That is only in their imaginations.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Bullet:

            Serious question. Do you think UT could/should have done things differently in order to retain UNL and aTm? Not trying to be provocative but without them wouldn’t you agree the B12 is at best the fourth of the big five? With them, arguably in the two/three range?

            Like

          • BuckeyeBeau says:

            @ Bullet:

            I know this particular thread is dying, but one more long thought.

            You said:

            “The unequal share of exit fees is one of my pet peeves. MSM keep repeating that Texas got their share of the exit fees. That is not true. They offered Texas, Texas A&M and OU their share of the exit fees. Texas immediately said it wasn’t in the by-laws and they would refuse. OU also said that they shouldn’t get it. The greedy ones were A&M and Tech. When hearing of the offer, Tech’s president asked why they wouldn’t get a share as well. A&M whined when the league didn’t give them the left behind 5′s share.”

            To me, your statement only proves how difficult it is to the error-prone media and how difficult it is to change a developing or “set” narrative.

            Your statement suggests that I got a detail wrong. You are suggesting only 5 schools offered their share of the Exit Fees; I thought 7. In fact, is it 5, 7 or 4? What IS the number? KS, KState, Mizzou, IowaSt for sure. Baylor as the 5th? Did the Orphans offer the $$ to the full Departing 5 or only to TX, A&M and OKLA?

            My memory is that the MSM used the phrase “other schools” which, based on the math at the time was 7. Colorado and Nebraska had left or were leaving. That left 10; UT, OKLA and A&M were offered more of the Exit Fees by the “other schools.” Now, maybe the MSM was clear at first; and then the MSM shifted to the short-hand of the “other schools.” I will google.

            The point is that, from the get-go, the MSM does not always get the details correct. Then the MSM muddies the details. No wonder we are all confused.

            There is a larger point here too. When trying to change a media narrative, arguments have to be focused and being focused is difficult. Being descriptive and not critical here, you Bullet, made two arguments, neither of which really dented the narrative that “Texas is greedy.” You said first that Texas didn’t take the $$ because the Bylaws didn’t allow it. That does not defeat “Texas is greedy”; that merely shows that Texas is rule-bound. A non-greedy Texas would have said: “No, thanks. Share and share alike.”

            Second, you say that A&M and TTech are the greedy ones. Again, that does not work. That A&M and TTech are greedy is not probative (either way) on the question of whether Texas is greedy.

            Again, not being critical here, just again trying to highlight how difficult it can be to change perception.

            Like

        • XOVERX says:

          You’re still unfairly generalizing. If Texas happens to vote with the winning block, then Texas is bullying the league. If Texas happens to vote with the losing block, then no one is saying Texas wins every vote. You’re argument is simply disingenuous.

          At most, Texas has a position of “first among equals”, BUT when it comes to the bottom lines of the other schools ($$$), the other schools vote in what they perceive to be their own self-interest. I understand you don’t believe that.

          Down here in Texas we perceive Ohio State as the big dog of the B1G. Is the B1G a lap dog of tOSU?

          Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            No one thinks Ohio State has a realistic option to improve its position by leaving for another conference. It simply has to color people’s votes when they know that possibility is hanging over the proceedings.

            Your “first among equals” comment is simply another way of putting what we are trying to say. It’s a difference of degree, not kind. And as a UT fan, you might not be neutral on how to characterize it.

            As far as I know, not even the most delusional Ohio State fans think their school has that status in the Big Ten. Needless to say, no one else in the conference does.

            Like

          • XOVERX says:

            Lol. So tOSU “simply has to color people’s votes”, eh? Hmmm, that reads to me a lot like “first among equals”.

            Nothing came of it, but last spring I was sure reading a lot of stuff on tOSU blogs and elsewhere where tOSU was “calling in their B1G chits” they had accumulated through the years to try to force a B1G offer to FSU, a non-AAU football power.

            Were all those tOSU posters lying to us?

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Where is the offer then? UT would have made it happen in the B12, if they wanted it.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            XOVERX,

            “Nothing came of it, but last spring I was sure reading a lot of stuff on tOSU blogs and elsewhere”

            Only a fool listens to OSU fans on an OSU blog. They are uninformed and completely biased.

            “where tOSU was “calling in their B1G chits” they had accumulated through the years to try to force a B1G offer to FSU, a non-AAU football power.”

            There’s no such thing. Gee may have had some friends he’d try to lean on or sway, but that’s it. Presidents have to consider the needs of their school first.

            “Were all those tOSU posters lying to us?”

            Yes. They were making stuff up to fit their worldview.

            Like

          • BuckeyeBeau says:

            I will throw out my 2 cents.

            @XoverX: perception and reality can be different. you are arguing that the reality does not match the perception, but changing that perception can be an arduous task. (Ask any Penn State fan.)

            The perception is that Texas is excessively greedy to the detriment of the BXII.

            That perception might not fit reality, but there is a long list of “facts” that support the perception.

            ~~~ Four schools voluntarily left the BXII, each in their own way, pointing at Texas as the problem. That is a lot of people ~~~ hundreds of thousands of fans, players, administrators and message board denizens all saying something pretty similar.

            Despite it being only one “bullet point” on my list, it is actually about 10,000 “facts” supporting the perception of Texas’ greed and narcissism.

            ~~~ Unequal revenue sharing. (see below).

            ~~~ In the midst of the almost-collapse of the BXII, the Seven Would-Be Orphans all agreed to give Texas their share of the Exit Money paid by Nebraska and Colorado to entice Texas to remain.

            Please do not underestimate how that was viewed in every conference in America. I honestly cannot see IL or Purdue or Northwestern or Indiana or any school in the B1G debasing themselves is such as way to keep tOSU (or Michigan) in the B1G.

            This “fact” cemented the media narrative about the disparity of power within the BXII.

            The original media reports were that Texas demanded it. Subsequent media reports were that Texas gladly and greedily accepted the payments. My guess is that most people still think Texas demanded the payments and accepted them.

            ~~~~ The LHN. This “fits” the narrative in several ways.

            First, ESPN gave Texas $300 million dollars for their own special network, dedicated solely to all things UT Austin. That was and remains shocking both in the $$ number and in uniqueness (who else has ESPN running their network?). It was another “data point” highlighting the power disparity in the BXII and furthered the meme that Texas was a money machine not at all concerned about its fellow conference mates. With unequal revenue sharing, the difference in revenue and spending between, say, Texas and Iowa State was staggering before the LHN. Now, Texas not only wanted an higher share of the conference TV $$$ but was going to receive another $15 million a year? Texas was just going to rake in the $$, buy a few Titles and use that money-making machine to grind the Seven Would-Be-Orphans (and OKLA and A&M) into the dust.

            A related but different point is this: at a time when the B1G is making a network called the Big Ten Network and when the PAC was doing the same, Texas wanted something just for itself. The Conference networks (and now add in the SECN and the ACCN) are marketed as helping ALL the schools/teams. No one was told and no one remembers that Texas tried to get the BXII to look at a conference-wide network in 2005. But that fact doesn’t matter anyway because Texas should have tried again in 2009 (or so the meme goes).

            3rd, Scott’s package deal to bring over six schools was, rightly or wrongly, portrayed as a great deal for Texas and the other schools. Everyone was going to be rolling in $$$. But the deal fell through because of the LHN. Texas wanted to have its own special network (greed) and so Texas’ LHN caused the deal to fall through. The triumph of self-interest.

            4th, the LHN, a network dedicated solely to UT Austin, was going to broadcast high school games. Anyone with a brain could see the recruiting advantage that would provide which would only further distance Texas from A&M, OKLA and the Would-Be-Orphans. Not only more $$$, but now more recruiting advantages. Greedy greedy greedy.

            ~~~~ Beebe: the way he behaved as Commissioner was seen as pro-Texas and then when Beebe was replaced, a BXII AD actually said that Beebe was too focused on one school.

            ~~~~ Minor things like moving the BXII HQ to Dallas.

            ~~~~ Conspiracy things like how BXII referees always seem to give Texas the benefit of the doubt, ya know, adding time to the clock and all that.

            ~~~~ Texas fans and the UT Austin administration do not seem to object to this perception. Dodds has certainly made no effort to change the narrative and have Texas cast in a more collegial light. Even on this Board, an occasional Texas fan will opine that Texas has no obligation to allow the Would-Be-Orphans to feast at the Texas teat.

            ~~~~ etc. etc. i could add more, but this post is already very long.

            I am not saying this narrative is true.

            I am saying that, sometimes, perception becomes reality.

            I am also saying that you are going to have a tough time changing the perception.

            Like

          • BuckeyeBeau says:

            One more thought: “Bullying” is the wrong word. That brings to mind some 200 pound brute giving the 90-lb weakling a wedgie or a swirly.

            Texas does not overtly bully the other schools in the BXII. But everyone knows that Texas has all the cards. Every school (including OKLA) is dependent on Texas; dependency begets boot-licking; Texas doesn’t mind having its boots licked.

            Btw, have you seen the new BXII Bylaws. The Would-Be-Orphans have no options and better keep their mouths shut. There will be no repeat of all that sassing and trash-talking done by Missouri.

            Article 3.2:

            “A Member (a “Withdrawing Member”) … shall be deemed to have Withdrawn … (ii) if a Supermajority of Disinterested Directors by affirmative vote determines that such Member: (A) makes statements or takes actions that are determined by a Supermajority of Disinterested Directors to evidence the intent of such Member to withdraw from the Conference either currently or in the future; (B) breaches or evidences its intent to breach or not honor and fully comply with its obligations to the Conference under these Bylaws or the Grant of Rights Agreement for the entirety of the respective terms thereof; (C) if a third party offers to, or attempts to induce a Member to, leave the Conference and/or breach or not to fully perform its future obligations under the Grant of Rights Agreement and the Member does not both (1) inform the Conference of such action as promptly as possible (but in any event not later than twelve (12) hours after such action) and (2) immediately and unconditionally reject that offer in a form and manner reasonably acceptable to the Commissioner; or (D) if a Member otherwise takes or fails to take actions that are determined by a Supermajority of Disinterested Directors to be contrary to the best interests of the Conference taken as a whole.”

            Hat tip to Wainscott for the link in the previous thread.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            So tOSU “simply has to color people’s votes”, eh? Hmmm, that reads to me a lot like “first among equals”.

            No, you misread me. I was saying it WOULD color the votes IF they had that status. But they do not.

            Nothing came of it, but last spring I was sure reading a lot of stuff on tOSU blogs and elsewhere where tOSU was “calling in their B1G chits” they had accumulated through the years to try to force a B1G offer to FSU, a non-AAU football power.

            The first four words of your comment (even assuming the rumors are true), say it all: nothing came of it.

            Were all those tOSU posters lying to us?

            People circulate a lot of water-cooler rumors. Those who spread them may think they’re true. It doesn’t mean they are.

            For instance, I don’t think the Dude of West Virginia is a liar, even though he has predicted dozens of things that never happened. He believed his sources, and his sources weren’t very good.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            @BB
            Texas hasn’t done a good job stating its side of the case. President Powers has been classy, stayed above the fray and not engaged in tit for tat and always said good things about the other schools. Dodds hasn’t said anything bad except about Missouri (which everyone in the Big 12 has-deservedly so in view of their governor’s comments and how late they left despite the SEC being willing to wait and the B12, BE and CUSA all asking them to delay).

            Your comments display the problem. MSM has presented as facts many things that were totally wrong. In many other cases totally misleading. You post is filled with things that aren’t true and in many cases misleading.

            Texas as the problem-Colorado and Missouri said nothing of the sort. Missouri wanted stability and $ (in that order). Colorado wanted to connect to its alumni. Nebraska blamed Texas, but a year later President Pearlman it was about money and stability (in that order) and that they always had good relations with Texas. Pearlman and Osborne were doing talking points to negotiate down the exit fee. A&M blamed Texas, but they always do that. That’s a reflection on A&M, not Texas. In any event, a year later, President Bowen said he had planned the SEC move all along, not to get away from Texas, but to distinguish themselves from the rest of the Texas public schools (i.e. get away from Texas Tech).

            Unequal revenue sharing. It was really performance based, which, of course, Texas had advantages in. Would it surprise you that sometimes Texas was behind both Oklahoma and Kansas in that revenue sharing? Would it surprise you to know that the BE and Pac 10 were far more unequal? USC made 3 times what WSU did. The spread in the Big 12 was more like $7 million for the bottom school and $11 for the top. And TEXAS proposed shifting to equal revenue sharing on the new contract. They didn’t feel the need to get $20 million while the bottom schools were getting $14. With the bigger contract, everyone could get more.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            The unequal share of exit fees is one of my pet peeves. MSM keep repeating that Texas got their share of the exit fees. That is not true. They offered Texas, Texas A&M and OU their share of the exit fees. Texas immediately said it wasn’t in the by-laws and they would refuse. OU also said that they shouldn’t get it. The greedy ones were A&M and Tech. When hearing of the offer, Tech’s president asked why they wouldn’t get a share as well. A&M whined when the league didn’t give them the left behind 5’s share.

            Taking it would have been wrong. But Texas and OU understood that. A&M didn’t.

            As for greed, is group greed better? The Big 10 destabilized conferences all over the country and nearly led to the collapse of the Big 12 and ACC, did ultimately collapse the WAC and split the Big East. All for more money for their Big 10 network. Big 10 fans talking about Texas greed are REALLY hypocritical.

            We’ve had the discussion on why the Pac 16 fell apart. At the time, Scott said it wasn’t an issue in 2010. It wasn’t even in place then. Scott made some different comments later.

            High school games-I don’t see how its a recruiting advantage if there is no bias in selecting the games. The University Interscholastic League (HS athletics coordinating body) in Texas is a division of the University of Texas. Now obviously, the ESPN announcer indicated there would be an emphasis on Texas recruits. It was only then that people got upset.

            HQ in Dallas. It makes sense to have HQ in a geographically spread conference in a city with a major airport. KC is a small airport and not geographically central. OKC would be the most central. Dallas is somewhat more central than KC.

            Referee conspiracies. Texas fans have the point of view that the refs are more likely to be against Texas. There have been some horrendous calls against Texas in recent years and a lack of pass interference calls. There have really just been the two questionable non-fumble calls in UT’s favor.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            “Scott said it wasn’t an issue in 2010. It wasn’t even in place then.”

            True. The actual form and makeup didn’t exist. That wasn’t the issue. The PAC required signing over ALL media rights, a GOR, eliminating any LHN like channel possibly happening. And at the time it was assumed one would be worth only a few mil/yr.

            Like

          • GreatLakeState says:

            Michigan’s vote carries the most weight in the Big Ten. Always has, always will. Athletic + Academic/Research = Power. I guess you’re basing your opinion on recent football success. Ridiculous.

            Like

          • BuckeyeBeau says:

            @ Bullet:

            To be clear, I was describing what I see to be the national perception. I was also attempting to describe some of the “facts” that the perception is built upon.

            I am not supporting or agreeing with or advocating on behalf of that perception. Just trying to describe it as an outsider.

            I tend to follow CFB news pretty closely, so I know that facts are often skewed, if not flat wrong. I know, for instance, that Texas did not ultimately take the Exit Monies from the Orphan Seven.

            But perceptions are hard to change once “set” by the MSM.

            One problem is that, even where the “facts” are dead wrong, those “facts” still tend to have some kernel of truth and often legitimately support some aspect of the perception.

            Case in point, no one denies that the Orphan Seven offered up their share of the Exit Monies. IMO, that legitimately supports the part of the perception where power in the BXII is mostly lodged with Texas.

            Again, I have no dog in this race. Just describing what I see as the national narrative and pointing out how tough it is to change perception.

            Like

          • metatron says:

            @GreatLakeState

            Debatable, as Michigan has repeatedly been against most (all?) expansion attempts since time immemorial. Either way, the point remains: the Big Ten is egalitarian.

            Like

          • BuckeyeBeau says:

            reposting this in its proper place: Sorry.

            @ Bullet:

            I know this particular thread is dying, but one more long thought.

            You said:

            “The unequal share of exit fees is one of my pet peeves. MSM keep repeating that Texas got their share of the exit fees. That is not true. They offered Texas, Texas A&M and OU their share of the exit fees. Texas immediately said it wasn’t in the by-laws and they would refuse. OU also said that they shouldn’t get it. The greedy ones were A&M and Tech. When hearing of the offer, Tech’s president asked why they wouldn’t get a share as well. A&M whined when the league didn’t give them the left behind 5′s share.”

            To me, your statement only proves how difficult it is to the error-prone media and how difficult it is to change a developing or “set” narrative.

            Your statement suggests that I got a detail wrong. You are suggesting only 5 schools offered their share of the Exit Fees; I thought 7. In fact, is it 5, 7 or 4? What IS the number? KS, KState, Mizzou, IowaSt for sure. Baylor as the 5th? Did the Orphans offer the $$ to the full Departing 5 or only to TX, A&M and OKLA?

            My memory is that the MSM used the phrase “other schools” which, based on the math at the time was 7. Colorado and Nebraska had left or were leaving. That left 10; UT, OKLA and A&M were offered more of the Exit Fees by the “other schools.” Now, maybe the MSM was clear at first; and then the MSM shifted to the short-hand of the “other schools.” I will google.

            The point is that, from the get-go, the MSM does not always get the details correct. Then the MSM muddies the details. No wonder we are all confused.

            There is a larger point here too. When trying to change a media narrative, arguments have to be focused and being focused is difficult. Being descriptive and not critical here, you Bullet, made two arguments, neither of which really dented the narrative that “Texas is greedy.” You said first that Texas didn’t take the $$ because the Bylaws didn’t allow it. That does not defeat “Texas is greedy”; that merely shows that Texas is rule-bound. A non-greedy Texas would have said: “No, thanks. Share and share alike.”

            Second, you say that A&M and TTech are the greedy ones. Again, that does not work. That A&M and TTech are greedy is not probative (either way) on the question of whether Texas is greedy.

            Again, not being critical here, just again trying to highlight how difficult it can be to change perception.

            Like

          • BuckeyeBeau says:

            FWIW, I googled. The MSM was pretty consist in saying KS, KState, Iowa State, Baylor and Mizzou. The phrase used a lot was “the schools not receiving interest from other conferences.”

            So, my bad. Got my details wrong. Not “Orphan Seven” but “Remaining Five.”

            Btw, here’s Pat Forde’s take. Clear example of the “Texas is Greedy” narrative. from June 15, 2010.

            http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/columns/story?columnist=forde_pat&id=5287646

            Like

          • BuckeyeBeau says:

            Finally, here is what Texas actually said on June 16, 2010:

            “There have been reports that there’s going to be a special deal for some of us using penalty money or other money,” [Texas president Bill] Powers said. “We were not part of that. We have heard about that. … It was not part of our consideration and we oppose that kind of deal.”

            http://espn.go.com/blog/big12/post/_/id/13493/clarifying-the-distribution-of-withdrawal-fees

            Like

      • David Brown says:

        Marc, I guarantee you they bullied everyone (not named Nebraska). You mean Kansas & Missouri WANTED to move Big XII Headquarters from Kansas City to Dallas? That vote went 11-1 care to guess who opposed it? Isn’t it funny how they have only 10 teams so they Cannot have a Conference Championship Game? Could not possibly have anything to do with extra Scheduling Games for UT could it? I would wager the power difference is > for Texas>Texas Tech (not even mentioning Baylor or Iowa State) than Ohio State>Purdue or even Alabama>Mississippi State or USC>Washington State. Are things perfect in Austin? No they wish A&M never left the reservation, but they can live with it…………. Unless A&M and the SEC destroy Texas Recruiting and (or) Oklahoma wants to leave. Basically this is the “Big Two & Little Eight” of Bo & Woody Days on steroids. The Big Two here are UT & OU.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          The KC/Dallas vote was 7-5 or 8-4. The schools close to KC wanted KC. The 5 schools close to DFW wanted Dallas. Colorado and Texas Tech wanted the 3rd largest airport in the country instead of a minor one. So it moved to a much more accessible place to anyone not within driving distance.

          At the end they decided to quit rotating the ccg and move it to Dallas because Jerry offered them $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$. Everyone wanted that but Nebraska who wanted a home field advantage some years and was willing to take less $. Noone else wanted to take less $ so Nebraska could have a home field advantage.

          There was an 11-1 vote on limiting partial qualifiers. Yes, the Big 12 was one of 2 conferences with that rule, but Nebraska had more partial qualifiers than any other CONFERENCE in the country. The whole NCAA banned them a couple years later. It didn’t make sense to have “student”-athletes who had no business in a 4 year university.

          They moved to a 9 game schedule so your comment about scheduling extra games for UT is pretty bizarre. Everyone likes the round robin. Everything I have read is that the schools most opposed to expansion are the lower revenue schools, but the feeling is pretty much unanimous. WVU would like a neighbor but doesn’t want a pay cut either.

          Like

          • metatron says:

            Round-robin schedules are pretty nice. I’d give up the Big Ten’s championship game for a thirteenth regular season game, or just more conference play period.

            Like

  37. tom rognog says:

    SDSU is ranked higher in USNWR (152) and better numbers in acceptance rate (31percent) and yield than many of the schools you give points to.

    Like

  38. Cliff says:

    The people talking about the Big 12 needing to expand for recruiting purposes are completely off base. There is no market the Big 12 can expand into that would really change recruiting demographics for the Big 12.

    Sorry, folks, a minor directional school on an island in Florida isn’t suddenly going to get big time recruits to decline offers from SEC and ACC schools to head to the heartland to play in Iowa, Kansas, or Oklahoma. Not happening. Look, the SEC wanted into Texas for the longest time because of TV sets and recruiting. They could have picked up any old dog any time they wanted to like Houston, TCU, SMU, etc. Why didn’t they? That did NOTHING for them. Texas A&M did because it was huge school with a huge fan base.

    For recruiting to get a boost you need two things. First, a major recruiting state that is contiguous with your current footprint. Secondly, you need to have a big time school located in that state. Directional schools from Florida do neither. Same with Cincinnati, etc.

    If the Big 12 looks to expand because it is hoping to expand its recruiting grounds then there will be no expansion. There isn’t a school that realistically helps Big 12 recruiting that would even remotely consider the Big 12.

    Like

    • XOVERX says:

      Nope, I think you’re off-base.

      If one of Texas and Oklahoma played in Orlando each year, that exposure would definitely help both UT and OU recruit Florida better. Ditto Cincinnati and Ohio. Ditto Tulane and Louisiana. Ditto California and SDSU.

      Furthermore, those new recruiting grounds would also help the rest of the conference. Take WVU. WVU historically has pulled recruits out of Florida. You do realize that you’re saying WVU would recruit Florida no better than they do now even though with, say, UCF in the B12 WVU would be playing games in Florida? That’s just wrong.

      Your argument is simply nonsensical.

      Like

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        The question is, how many FL kids would WV get, beyond what it was going to get anyway, just because WV plays in Orlando one game every other year? It’s not enough to influence the decision to expand.

        Having decided to expand, would it be wise to consider states with good recruiting territory? Of course. That’s why FTT gave that factor 20 out of 100 possible points in his scoring. But the decision is still dominated by the factors adding up to the other 80 points.

        Like

        • XOVERX says:

          Of course there is no way of knowing with certainty, but I would venture to guess WVU could sign an extra one or two nice Florida prospects per year with conference exposure in, say, Orlando. You can only sign 25 per year.

          I’d bet Texas and Oklahoma could recruit at least one excellent Florida recruit per year with exposure in Florida. Oklahoma already spends some energy in Florida, IIRC, so they’d probably do better than Texas, but I expect Texas would ramp up Florida efforts if Orlanda were in the B12 mix.

          Texas has recruited Louisiana pretty hard in the last few years. This year we’ve verballed two LA prospects. With Tulane in the league I’d imagine we could get more and better quality LA recruits.

          Texas’ best linebacker is the Hicks kid from Ohio. 5-star Ohio prep star. One of the best RBs in Texas history (Jones) was out of Ohio. With Cincinnati in the B12, I can assure you Texas would spend more time on Ohio, absolutely.

          It’s just silly to say that the B12 will get little or no interest from recruits in other states if the B12 had a flag planted in that state.

          That’s like saying the B1G would get little or no benefit in recruiting the State of Texas if UT was a B1G member. Preposterous.

          Of course this is all moot because the schools of the B12 are myopic. That are apparently not willing to grow a UCF, or a Cincy, or a Tulane, or any of the others. It seems to be ND, FSU or nothing. Guess it’s nothing.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            Texas will continue to put almost all its efforts into Texas. There’s no need to spread themselves thin. Adding Florida schools won’t help any of the 6 Big 12 south schools. OU can recruit w/o a Florida team. The rest won’t try much. It might help WVU, ISU and the Kansas schools.

            Under Mackovic, Texas did try to recruit Florida. They had no success. While that was John Mackovic (if Mack Brown is Mr. February, Mackovic was Mr. anti-February), Texas did try to recruit California then and had some success. Ricky Williams for one.

            Florida schools add another island. There’s no guarantee they get decent penetration. And they will be #4 and #5 in the state. Nothing will change that for a very long time. They may be among the better choices, but that’s why the Big 12 won’t expand.

            Like

      • Cliff says:

        Nope, you are wrong. Occasionally kids leave state and move far way to play. That happens occasionally. Kansas or Kansas State or Iowa State or TCU or Baylor, etc. etc. etc. playing a single game in Orland every second or third or fourth year is not going to get some kid with offers from FSU and Florida and wants to play close to home to suddenly change course and go to these Big 12 schools. That is the epitome of being non-sensical.

        Kids living in Florida with big time offers in Florida are not suddenly going to change course and move half a continent away simply because a podunk directional Florida school is playing in Kansas or Iowa. Do you even think about what you are saying?

        This is akin to the SEC adding San Jose State because it thinks it’s going to receive some major recruiting windfall. The SEC was wise enough to know that even though the state of Texas was contiguous to its footprint and Texas produced the most D-1 football players in the country that adding inconsequential junk out of the state did them no good. And the SEC wanted in Texas BADLY. They have for a long time.

        The Big 12 is in the same boat. However, Florida is far off island (unlike Texas was to the SEC) and produces even less D-1 talent than Texas. Plus, the Big 12 is not the SEC in prestige or allure. Not even close. Don’t make yourself look desperate.

        Like

    • Zain says:

      Not entirely true. Despite the tough season, USF still is bringing in a top 40 recruiting class-and this despite the fact that next year USF will be in the G5 and essentially demoted to the second tier of football!

      In addition you underrate USF and UCF’s potential. In 2007 and 2008, at the peak of our teams, USF was regularly putting 50k in the stands. A return to winning, and playing meaningful games against meaningful competition (even schools like WVU) will bring that back. UCF regularly packs it’s stadium as well, and they’re making room for expansions. The big 3 out here all have down cycles. Florida is currently going through one, in fact. Put two schools on the I-4 corridor, and when either of us has good years as we’re likely to do, and we can take it away from them. We’ve shown before we are capable of winning. Give us a chance and we’ll reward you.

      Like

  39. kylepeter says:

    What are the odds that the Big12 expanding does nothing to solidify the league?

    None of the expansion candidates seem like it would keep Kansas or Oklahoma from leaving if they got an invite. IMO the only chance the Big12 had was to convince Notre Dame to join.

    Like

    • XOVERX says:

      No school wants to take money out of their pockets by expanding just for the sake of expanding.

      By expanding with the schools listed by Frank, that’s exactly what the B12 schools would be doing: lessening their bottom lines.

      Hence, expansion would not solidify the league in the short run.

      And nobody in the B12 is thinking about the long run. I think they feel like they can’t afford to think about the long run.

      The B12 is likely doomed because it may well be that their current television contract is overpaid.

      Like

  40. duffman says:

    Blackmon stays at Indiana.

    http://www.crimsonquarry.com/2013/10/31/5053026/james-blackmon-jr-re-commits-to-indiana

    The Tan One has pulled another rabbit out of his hat

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Speaking of hoops.

      http://www.elevenwarriors.com/2013/10/28015/four-team-mens-basketball-event-featuring-ohio-state-kentucky-north-carolina-and-ucla-#more

      OSU, UK, UNC and UCLA have agreed to a 3 year basketball event. They will rotate through playing each other at neutral sites in 2014-2016. It’s just 1 game each year, but still an interesting idea. OSU seems like the odd school out on that list, though, based on history.

      Like

      • duffman says:

        I think it was due to the current event ending between Michigan State, Kentucky, Duke, and Kansas. If Michigan State was getting dropped then the next B1G school probably should have been Indiana, but maybe dropping the series moved Ohio State into that slot. Keeps the event with a Big 5 school in each series. First set had ACC, B1G, B12, and SEC and this will have ACC, B1G, PAC, and SEC. It may seem odd but Ohio State is not totally out of place. The more interesting issue was not replacing Kentucky with Florida as the SEC representative.

        Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        One each from four of the big five.

        Like

      • gfunk says:

        Not as “odd” as you think. OSU’s football perception is in large part due to its own fan base, which is undebatable – you can’t stop such passion, it is what it is. But if the fans had similar zeal with their basketball, I think OSU would have multiple NCs at this point.

        OSU does have 11 FF’s, 3 in the 64+ team era, one with a * next to it, though I thought that penalty was too harsh for O’Brien and company. No other BIG school has double digit FF appearances. However, OSU has the distinction of being the only school w/double digit FF’s and not at least 3 NCs to show for it. KU, Duke, UCLA, UNC, & now Lville each have 3 NCs, as well as 10 or more FFs.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NCAA_Men's_Division_I_Final_Four_appearances_by_school

        Jerry Lucas, John Havlicek, Bob Knight, as well as many others, will resonate with CB historians til the end of time. Heck, Lucas and Havlicek were outstanding NBA players – two of NBA’s 50 Greatest of All Time, albeit Lucas may fall from that list if the next update sticks with only 50. But I see the NBA only expanding such a future list.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          gfunk,

          “Not as “odd” as you think.”

          Really?

          #1 UCLA – 11 titles
          #2 UK – 8 titles
          #3t UNC – 5 titles

          #15t OSU – 1 title

          I think OSU is clearly the odd team out. The other 3 are king programs, OSU is a prince at best (depends how many kings and princes you choose, I suppose).

          “But if the fans had similar zeal with their basketball, I think OSU would have multiple NCs at this point.”

          Fans don’t win or lose NCAA tournament games for you. OSU should have beaten UC one of those 2 times, and the odds say they should have converted another Final 4 into a title, but they haven’t. Besides, OSU has always had plenty of hoops fans. The majority favor football, but hoops has always been well supported. Don’t forget that the state borders IN and KY and many people share their sensibilities in terms of sports preference.

          “No other BIG school has double digit FF appearances.”

          #3t IN – 5 titles, 8 FFs
          #9t MSU – 2 titles, 8 FFs

          #15t OSU – 1 title, 10 FFs

          I’d take IN’s or MSU’s numbers any day.

          “Jerry Lucas, John Havlicek, Bob Knight, as well as many others, will resonate with CB historians til the end of time.”

          Our most famous player now being known for being IN’s coach is part of the problem.

          It’s not like I don’t know OSU’s history. But it’s hardly a stretch to say they aren’t in the same club as UCLA, UK and UNC.

          Like

          • gfunk says:

            Foremost, the premise of the Champions Classic is not just for basketball kings.

            But here we go again Brian. Your misunderstandings of me continue you on here. You really need things explained in excruciating detail and pure, literal logic, which doesn’t help you in the blogosphere. And please cut the textual analysis and quote captures, please, I mean please, just stop doing it – way too serious and anal-retentive for my taste. I’m not the only visitor that finds this annoying. I’m not here for score-based, formal debate & if I was, you’d truly hate me, because many of your past posts are filled with pure opinion w/o much logic and lacking in the credible evidence department.

            “Not as odd as you think” means I agree with you to a point. You’re talking to someone who clearly knows the history of the game. I do unquestionably know the other 3 programs are definitely kings & OSU is not, so spare me your insulting tone & learn to read between lines young man. But I am also suggesting that OSU has a pretty damn good basketball resume in the 2000s, not all-time blue blood-king status mind you. So be proud as a Buckeye fan. There are at most 6 kings in CB: UCLA, UNC, Duke, Ky, KU and IU. Of these 6, UCLA has simply not measured up in the modern era, though not far behind IU. They’re drop-off, post Wooden, is staggering, but to be expected. He was called the “Wizard” for good reason & the tourney format has clearly changed and home court games and first round byes are gone. As for king status, Lville is getting really close. MSU and UConn are a tad further back. Btw, OSU and I believe one other program (perhaps Villanova) are the only schools to appear in a NCAA tourney in every decade since the beginning.

            It’s pretty clear to me, w/o my post, that this Champions Classic format is ALSO, repeat ALSO, again ALSO, looking at the stronger programs of the past 15 years, as well as big brands that attract viewership – not Kings only. OSU, is therefore more than qualified to participate. They don’t measure up to Ky and UNC over the past 15 years, but they’re on par or better than UCLA. OSU is clearly one of the 10 strongest programs of the past decade.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            gfunk,

            “Foremost, the premise of the Champions Classic is not just for basketball kings.”

            I didn’t say it was. Maybe you should try reading what I actually wrote instead of what you want me to have written.

            I said OSU seems like the odd team out based on history. Not that they didn’t belong. Not that their recent performance hasn’t been on par. That their history was not on par.

            Like

  41. XOVERX says:

    Throughout this thread I have repeatedly made the point that if the B12 expanded today with any of the schools on Frank’s list, the schools of the B12 would make less money due to television contract dilution. All available evidence that I am aware of seems to bear out contract dilution.

    So … should the B12 expand anyway?

    The problem with the B12 is that it operates on the “television Tier 3″ paradigm and not on the “league network” paradigm, such as a BTN. Hence, the B12 appears to be hemmed in by a sort of “divided we fall” and not “united we stand”. Thus it may be that expansion is the very thing that destroys the B12 due to increased contract dilution.

    If you were running Texas, or Oklahoma, or Kansas, wouldn’t you be persuaded to keep the “Tier 3″ model in place since it appears today to be successful for your school? As the GOR reaches the time for re-upping (about 3 or 4 years before it expires), you know that at that time you could read the money, see what you’re making, and see what the other big leagues are paying. Personally, I don’t think the B12 big 3 have much incentive in changing the status quo off of a 10-team league.

    But what about the B12 schools other than Texas, Oklahoma, or Kansas? Should the thinking be different for, say, Kansas State, Texas Tech, Iowa State, and the others?

    I wonder if there might be more strength in the long-run for the B12 non-big 3 if the B12 expanded today? By accepting less money today on the television contract, but adding new schools and markets, the non-big 3 have the opportunity to “grow” other schools and other markets. Plus, the big 3 have no choice but to hang around the B12 until at least June 2025.

    By June 2025, might an expanded B12 have had the time to “grow” schools such as Cincinnati, UCF, USF, SDSU, UNLV, Tulane, Memphis, or others? The non-big 3 might be able to grow such schools at the expense of the big 3, and in June 2025 these new (now old) schools might act as a hedge against the big 3 if the big 3 leave for better pastures.

    Furthermore, might an expanded B12 by June 2025 be sufficiently mature, and profitable, perhaps to entice the big 3 to stay in the B12? In other words, might an expanded B12 be in the best interest of the big 3 as well as the non-big 3?

    Clearly, in the short run, an addition of 2, 4, or 6 of the listed schools would be a drag on the B12 financial fortunes. The more schools, the more the drag. But the B12 today is the State of Texas, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and part of Kansas City. Is that footprint really a recipe for long-term stability?

    And if you’re running a non-big 3 school, might you have concerns about where your school might land if the big 3 bolt at the end of the GOR? Since your non-big 3 school would probably land in the middle of nowhere, why isn’t it a good bet to try to develop other schools now while Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas are still in the league? Isn’t there a better opportunity to develop “lesser” schools now, while the big 3 are part of the B12 for the next 12 years?

    The B12 seems to be in a very complicated situation, especially if you’re running a non-big 3 school. The big 3 schools are fine, both now and in the future. Each of them can find a league to take them in, as needed. But if you’re a non-big 3 school, might you gamble, take a flyer, take a hit financially in the short run, and hope you shore up the long run? Just a suggestion.

    Like

    • vp19 says:

      Schools such as Iowa State, Kansas State, Texas Christian and Baylor need to bolster the Big 12 as best they can in preparation for any defections by the “big boys” — whether it be Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Okie State joining the Pac, Texas and Kansas joining the Big Ten or OU?OkSU heading to the SEC.

      This might give West Virginia the chance to bring in Cincinnati as the nearby rival it seeks. ISU did quite a bit of recruiting in Florida in the ’70s and ’80s, and with UCF and USF,it could complement Texas as a recruiting ground. If the Big 12 post-defections is seen as sufficiently strong, it could lure the best of the second-tier conferences (Tulane, New Mexico) and even possibly Brigham Young, but that would be a long shot.

      The non-power Big 12 members must be proactive and united, as even the weakest would still have more value than schools in weaker leagues. Think of the earlier food chain of ACC > Big East > C-USA.

      Like

      • frug says:

        Schools such as Iowa State, Kansas State, Texas Christian and Baylor need to bolster the Big 12 as best they can in preparation for any defections by the “big boys” — whether it be Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Okie State joining the Pac, Texas and Kansas joining the Big Ten or OU?OkSU heading to the SEC.

        Except that by bolstering the league, they risk pushing out the Big Boys.

        Like

        • Wainscott says:

          Exactly right.

          Texas and Oklahoma might leave anyways in 10-12 years, but by backfilling with lesser programs, that likelihood increases exponentially.

          Like

    • Transic says:

      There is another factor that people have to consider and that is affinity. Presidents and other academic types like to hang around certain company. Fans like to talk about attendance, brand, travel, competitiveness. Academics like to talk academic fit. With respect to the Big 12, after the flagships of Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas, the other schools in that league don’t get a lot of respect in other conferences. I wish it was not the case but that is the reality. Tech is a decent school with potential to be even better for the next 20 years but the B1G elitists have a big problem with Tech academics or they would have been the #18 school by now. WVU, correct me if I’m wrong, has a mandate to not automatically turn away any applicant from that state. Then there are the private schools with religious foundation, which drive the extreme secularists at several locations *coughPAC*cough* up the proverbial wall.

      What grates me (and this applies to situations in other conferences as well) is that fans have adopted the same type of elitism that the academics have been known for quite a long time. How many times have you heard the same qualm about “X will never get to Y conference”? How does one know? We are just fans here with opinions. Some of us don’t even have a degree from a school we support (SECSECSEC) but still feel a connection to that school. If you ask an average fan what project a particular school is engaged in today, he/she would have a very hard time answering. Yet, that same person brags about academics.

      I wish I knew the answer to what ails the Big 12 but I do have some suggestions:

      – If you’re going to be the fifth wheel in the P5 then you may as well be a rebel league. The Big East failed to take that tact and they suffered as a result. They thought they’d remain part of the club and had to learn the hard way. If you’re the league that’s constantly disrespected then do something to defy those who are against you.

      – Make a name change. It makes no sense for the Big XII to have a name that includes a number. Same would go for the Big Ten but at least they have the foresight to come up with “B1G”, while not the best logo, at least gives the appearance of possibility.

      – Play games in other recruiting states. I would give the same advice to the B1G schools. It’s no use whining about where people are moving. Texas did play one game at UCF’s stadium but Texas is Texas. The other B12 schools should do everything they can to play OOC in Georgia, Florida, California and Louisiana, as well as Texas. Hell, why not play a game in South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, New Jersey (like Kansas is doing in a few years) and Pennsylvania? Get the conference name out there. You have the promotional vehicles. Use them. A P5 conference has a lot more cache to pull this off than a G5 conference. With so many games on TV these days, the schools need to do more that put the game on. Talk about Kansas State, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State in the other regions.

      – The schools just can’t live in fear. That’s what happened to the Big East. Get a commissioner that is going to talk up the conference like it’s nobody’s business. I don’t know much about Bowlsby but I tend to think he’s not the type that has the ability to promote the conference. Networks have other conferences to answer to, so they can’t be of much help, either. I know you’re constrained regionally right now but that doesn’t mean you have no room to promote your product. Notre Dame doesn’t let South Bend, IN, constrain them, either.

      Hopefully, these suggestions would be helpful to you.

      Like

      • frug says:

        If you’re going to be the fifth wheel in the P5 then you may as well be a rebel league. The Big East failed to take that tact and they suffered as a result. They thought they’d remain part of the club and had to learn the hard way. If you’re the league that’s constantly disrespected then do something to defy those who are against you.

        Who said the Big XII was the fifth wheel? The ACC is significantly worse both competitively and financially and was officially to relegated to second tier status when they had to accept a vastly inferior tie in for their champ.

        Seriously, who has been disrespecting the Big XII?

        Make a name change. It makes no sense for the Big XII to have a name that includes a number. Same would go for the Big Ten but at least they have the foresight to come up with “B1G”, while not the best logo, at least gives the appearance of possibility.

        Should the ACC change its name because it includes two schools from landlocked states? Should the SEC change its name because it added schools from the Midwest and Southwest? Should the PAC change its name because it has two schools in the middle of the desert, one in Salt Lake City and another that is located closer to the Gulf of Mexico than the Pacific Ocean?

        Like

        • Transic says:

          Seriously, who has been disrespecting the Big XII?

          ESPN. They are the 800 pound gorilla when it comes to creating perception. Yes, the P5 schools have their reason for including the B12 but when you take both the fall and spring semesters into consideration, the ESPiN hype machine puts the ACC in a much better light than the B12. It’s only because of their (ACC) recent struggles (before this year) in football that the two leagues have been neck-and-neck in the fans’ minds.

          This doesn’t change my opinion of the ACC. I personally hate it and love it when their teams lose.

          Should the ACC change its name because it includes two schools from landlocked states? Should the SEC change its name because it added schools from the Midwest and Southwest? Should the PAC change its name because it has two schools in the middle of the desert, one in Salt Lake City and another that is located closer to the Gulf of Mexico than the Pacific Ocean?

          I guess we’re going to have a difference of opinion as to how we’d define region. The PAC may well be “The West Conference” (no disrespect to MWC intended), the ACC “The Eastern Standard Conference”, the SEC “The Southern Comfort Conference” and the B1G “The Northern Conference”. The XII may be “The Middle America Conference”. Older people’s definition of region is much more conservative, I would admit.

          Like

          • vp19 says:

            “Middle America Conference”? Sounds too much (and has the same initials) as another league we know.

            And Transic, I note in your earlier post you didn’t mention ISU. It’s AAU (though perhaps tottering a bit a la Kansas), is a respected institution and does quite well given the resources it’s been given (17 or so consecutive home football games with 50,000+ attendance, sellouts for most men’s basketball games, women’s hoops average attendance just below 10,000). That’s pretty good fan support, and yet many here want to throw it out of the BCS and ship it to the Mid-American or Mountain West, which is simply absurd.

            Like

          • frug says:

            I guess you and I just have different perceptions have the level of “respect” the Big XII receives.

            And on the second issue, I think your point is that names to have to be literal which would mean the Big XII should be ok.

            Like

  42. Brian says:

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/college/2013/10/31/big-ten-commissioner-jim-delany-endorses-ncaa-approach-to-change/3328041/

    Jim Delany supports the NCAA restructuring plans that involve just giving the Big 5 conferences more voting power but not leaving the NCAA nor forming a D-IV.

    Like

  43. Chet says:

    Below are the top 25 USA universities hosting international students in 2011/12.

    (Source: Institute of International Education. (2012). “Top 25 Institutions Hosting International Students, 2011/12.” Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange. Retrieved from http://www.iie.org/opendoors.)

    1 University of Southern California Los Angeles CA => 9,269
    2 University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign Champaign IL => 8,997
    3 New York University New York NY => 8,660
    4 Purdue University – Main Campus West Lafayette IN => 8,563
    5 Columbia University New York NY => 8,024
    6 University of California – Los Angeles Los Angeles CA => 6,703
    7 Northeastern University Boston MA => 6,486
    8 University of Michigan – Ann Arbor Ann Arbor MI => 6,382
    9 Michigan State University East Lansing MI => 6,209
    10 Ohio State University – Main Campus Columbus OH => 6,142
    11 Indiana University – Bloomington Bloomington IN => 6,123
    12 Penn State University – University Park University Park PA => 6,075
    13 Boston University Boston MA => 6,041
    14 University of Minnesota – Twin Cities Minneapolis MN => 5,661
    15 Arizona State University Tempe AZ => 5,616
    16 University of Florida Gainesville FL => 5,588
    17 Harvard University Cambridge MA => 5,453
    18 University of Washington Seattle WA => 5,372
    19 SUNY University at Buffalo Buffalo NY => 5,357
    20 University of Texas – Austin Austin TX => 5,324
    21 University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia PA => 5,296
    22 Texas A&M University College Station TX => 5,013
    23 University of California – Berkeley Berkeley CA => 5,004
    24 Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta GA => 4,973
    25 University of Houston Houston TX => 4,879

    The Texas Longhorns are not only a national brand.

    The University of Texas is also a global brand.

    Like

    • bob sykes says:

      It would seem that Northeastern University, my alma mater and a school that dropped football, is even a bigger global brand than UT.

      Like

    • Richard says:

      Wow, Big10 freakin’ay. 8 of the top 14. The top 14 is essentially the B10 and some privates (mostly big ones) in major cities (and UCLA).

      Like

  44. Chet says:

    Reminds me of the reply of Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe, acting commander of the 101st Airborne Division, when told of the German demand to surrender during the Battle of the Bulge:

    “Nuts!”

    Like

  45. Gary says:

    Just be Thankful (if you are reading this and your team ‘Is Not’ a Big XII team) that you are not in that cesspool of a conference

    Like

  46. Craig Z says:

    Go Bucks.

    Like

  47. Michael in Raleigh says:

    Frank,

    As always, I enjoyed your analysis. One factor that perhaps should be quantified in addition to the ones you chose is an athletic department’s ability to sustain itself independent of conference affiliation. Beyond TV appeal, current football prowess, location, etc., candidates need to answer, “How strong are you WITHOUT us?”

    TCU would have scored highly in these areas. Before it ever got a Big 12 invitation, and before it even got a Big East invitation, it raised the money to completely re-create Amon-Carter stadium from an utterly outdated artifact to a beautiful, modern facility. They did this without any significant conference revenue, and, most impressively, they paid for it straight-up. No loans. No debt. The athletic department was very financially solvent without being in a major conference. This was one of the tgings that made TCU a power conference program without being in a power conference. Regardless of other factors, their strength independent of conference affiliation made them a safe pick for the Big 12.

    Similar things coukd have been said for Utah and Louisville. Both were power conference-ready, as you once described TCU.

    BYU fits this bill. They’re power conference ready by almost any measure.

    With Cincinnati, I think they’d still fall a little short. Their attendance for football is in the low 30K’s. They are having trouble financing expansions and renovations to Nippert Stadium. They have trouble holding onto good football coaches, and while some may argue that Dantonio, Kelly, and Jones all left for better jobs, consider how other programs have been able to keep their best coaches. Chris Petersen is stillbat Boise. Charlie Strong stayed at Louisville rather than go to Tennessee. Heck, Davis Cutcliffe stayed at freaking Duke rather than take the Tennessee job, which is why UT wound up with Derek Dooley. Jim Grobe stayed at Wake Forest rather than going to Arkansas. Gary Patterson stayed at TCU in spite of numerous other opportunities. Cincinnati’s inability to keep good coaches should be cause for concern for a power conference like the Big 12.

    Would it make sense to add a measure that factors strength independent of conference affiliation, and if so, how would you quantify it?

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Athletic budget (and if you had more information like the conferences do-facilities). Cincinnati and USF have been the bottom of the AQ schools. Schools like BYU and Memphis have larger budgets. As you point out, UL rates highly. Houston and Rice haven’t been quite at the level of Cincinnati and USF, but are very high among the remaining schools.

      Without looking at the USA Today report, I believe UConn and BYU are the only ones who are ahead of more than a couple of the bottom P5 schools in budget.

      Like

    • Poster X says:

      You realize Cincinnati’s stadium only seats 35K right? A couple thousand seats in their stadium are basically obstructed so when they put 32,33K in their stadium it is basically a sell out. Despite playing a subpar schedule this year, they are still brining in a strong crowd.

      They are not having difficulty financing their stadium project. They have already sold all of the luxury boxes they added to the stadium (the new stadium will have ~ 20 boxes at $100K a pop).

      Like

      • Indycat says:

        Poster X is correct. Cincinnati’s $86 million stadium rebuild is being done with private support and will open in 2015. More important than increasing to 40,000 seats will be millions of dollars in incremental revenue from luxury boxes and club seats. This substantially improves the athletic budget. Nippert is truly the Wrigley Field of BCS football and anyone who hasn’t experienced a game there has missed out. Attendance and fan interest are at an all-time high and in a metro of 2 million plus there is huge upside.
        Last time I checked Duke’s 10,000 seat basketball arena hasn’t hindered them from winning at the highest level. Stadium/arena size is only one of many factors in evaluating expansion candidates.

        Like

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        Yes I realize it only seats 35,000. That is part of the problem.

        Even if Nippert could be expanded, setting aside the difficulties of doing so given thay it is completely surrounded by other campus buildings, how big could it get and still reasonably sell out? The games at Paul Brown against WVU and Louisville only sold in the low 40K’s. Would Nippert be able to sell out as a 45K seat stadium when some opponents would be Oklahoma and Texas, but others Iowa State, Kansas, a down TCU, and some FCS cupcake? Even if they could, that stadium is still a major hurdle because the reality is that we CAN’T set aside the obstacles to an expanded Nippert. It physically cannot be done, beyond the luxury boxes they’re adding.

        Like

        • Poster X says:

          The stadium will be over 40K when completed in 2015. There is speculation the enhancements to the stadium will allow for additional seating as well in the future. When Oklahoma came to Cincinnati in 2010 there were over 58K people at Paul Brown Stadium (during a year were the Bearcats started out poorly and was suffering from the post-Brian Kelly depression). I would expect the crowd to be similar if not greater if and when Texas came to town and I would venture the crowds for some other schools would be fairly strong. If UC could pack them in like they have this year for an FCS school and Temple, I doubt they would have trouble for any of the B12 schools.

          Like

    • BuckeyeBornCalifornian says:

      Some actual numbers from USA Today, #42 UConn ($63.5m), #47 UNLV ($55.8m), #53 Cincy ($48.9m), #54 Memphis ($46.8m), #55 Air Force ($44.5m), #56 USF ($43.6m), #57 Boise St ($43.4m), #58 New Mexico ($43.3m), #60 UCF ($40.9m), #62 SDSU ($38m), #64 Houston ($36.4m)

      Louisville had a budget of $87.8m, placing them 20th in the nation. Terrible move by the Big XII not taking them as an 11th.

      http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/schools/finances/

      Tulane’s budget was only $24m in 2011-12, and I seriously doubt it doubled in two years. That is a MAC level budget, which makes them a non-starter for the Big XII (Frank flat missed this). BYU’s budget seems to be rumored a bit lower than $40m, but is profitable.

      The Florida schools are disappointing. South Florida is in much better budget situation than Central Florida when you look at the subsidy level.

      Like

  48. C. Young says:

    I’d eliminate any other Texas schools. Tulane makes no sense. The school everyone dismisses is NIU. Close to Chicago. Adds a huge TV market. Football is strong, the rest of the sports are not, but steps are being taken. Football facility needs upgrades but those are in planning. Is NIU ready right now? No. But in 3-5 years, they will be. Right now, NIU is stronger than Memphis in everything but basketball. The Big 12 needs to expand its footprint. NIU and Cincy do that.

    Like

    • Wainscott says:

      Yes, NIU, with that legendary national following. A true monster in the ratings, NIU is.

      Like

      • I personally have a lot of affinity for NIU (my wife is finishing her Ed.D. there, my father-in-law went there for college and it’s fairly short drive from where I live in Naperville), but it’s a quintessential MAC school in every way (i.e. types of undergrad students, athletic budget, level of fan support, TV coverage, academics, etc.). They’re a good story and I’ll root for them, yet they are quite far away from being a power conference athletic department. Plus, the Chicago area is an extremely competitive college sports market with the proximity of Illinois and Northwestern and the rest of the Big Ten plus Notre Dame (and then adding that it’s one of the strongest pro markets that you’ll find anywhere on top of that).

        Like

        • frug says:

          Yes, as someone who lives about 25 minutes from NIU and grew up in Oklahoma I would love to see the Huskies in the Big XII but the fact they can’t even get an AAC invite should be a pretty clear indication they have neither the level of support nor the infrastructure in place to compete in a major conference.

          Like

          • Dan says:

            NIU would not make a LATERAL move to the AAC. It’s ridiculous to say that they “couldn’t get” an AAC invite, when the AAC probably reached out to NIU before it eventually settled for ECU, Tulane, Tulsa, etc.

            By the nonsensical criteria listed here, NIU would have no less than 90 points, or tied with Cincy for the “best fit” for the Big 12 and a true evaluation would render NIU as the top choice for #11 with #12 TBD.

            NIU and Cincy are the obvious options on almost every front.

            Like

          • frug says:

            AAC wouldn’t be a lateral; it would be an upgrade. It pays better and is stronger competitively.

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            “when the AAC probably reached out to NIU before it eventually settled for ECU, Tulane, Tulsa, etc”.

            it probably did not, but if you have proof, I’m sure everyone would love to see it.

            Its almost like the NIU posters are all the same person with different names…

            Like

    • Arch Stanton says:

      Not even the AAC wants Northern Illinois.

      Like

  49. Tigertails says:

    The Big 12’s TV deal expires in 2025, the ACC’s expires in 2027 & the existing BCS TV money expires in 2026. I could see this as an end-game & as 1 of the few results I would personally be happy with as a Clemson alumnus & a college football fan. B1G, PAC & SEC have their own TV networks & ACC/XII don’t. It’s possible B1G, PAC & SEC will be paying their schools $50M each by 2025-27, while Big XII is still at $29.2M & the ACC is at $24.8M (average/not prorated).

    Virginia, North Carolina, Duke & Georgia Tech to B1G 18. B1G gets the AAU schools.

    Virginia Tech, NC State, Clemson & Florida State to SEC 18. SEC gets the football brands.

    Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, OK State, Kansas, K-State to PAC 18. PAC gets the heartland.

    6 leftover ACC teams join 4 leftover Big XII teams & the 8 current American teams for New 18.

    Basically 8 conferences with 9 members combined into 4 super conferences. Only the 8 division games count towards conference record so everyone has a fair shot at the conference championship game. Ohio State would still play Michigan, Tenn/Bama & Georgia/Auburn could continue playing but the result wouldn’t effect the teams’ chances of making the CCG (except as a distant tie breaker).

    B1G East
    Georgia Tech. North Carolina. Duke.
    Virginia. Maryland. Rutgers
    Penn State. Ohio State. Indiana.

    B1G West
    Michigan. Michigan State. Purdue.
    Illinois. Northwestern. Wisconsin.
    Minnesota. Iowa. Nebraska.

    SEC East
    Florida. Florida State. Georgia.
    South Carolina. Clemson. Tennessee.
    NC State. Virginia Tech. Kentucky.

    SEC West
    Vanderbilt. Alabama. Auburn.
    Mississippi. Mississippi State. Louisiana State.
    Arkansas. Missouri. Texas A&M.

    PAC East
    Texas. Texas Tech. Oklahoma.
    Kansas. Kansas State. Oklahoma State.
    Colorado. Arizona. Arizona State.

    PAC West
    UCLA. USC. California.
    Stanford. Oregon. Oregon State.
    Washington. Washington State. Utah.

    ACC/XII/AAC East
    Boston College. Connecticut. Syracuse.
    Temple. Pittsburgh. Wake Forest.
    Central Florida. South Florida. Miami.

    ACC/XII/AAC West
    West Virginia. Cincinnati. Louisville.
    Iowa State. Memphis. Houston.
    Baylor. Southern Methodist. Texas Christian.

    Notre Dame, Brigham Young, Army & Navy stay independent. Navy, East Carolina, Tulane (sorry Frank) & Tulsa don’t join the American & aren’t promoted to the ACC/Big XII/AAC.

    14 of the 18 teams in ACC/XII/AAC would be former BCS teams. UCF, Memphis, Houston & SMU are the other 4 & are BCS teams for 2013-only. I could see the champion having an automatic spot in a BCS bowl like the Orange Bowl & receive a lesser payday than the Big 3 (like the ACC’s current $27.5 million vs everyone elses’ $40M). Play would be kept regionally, a division championship would be a big deal & a conference championship would be huge. The top 4 as voted by the committee would continue to make the playoffs for the national championship. I’d like to see a 4th division because no school outside of the 4-18 team conferences, Notre Dame & BYU (74 teams) would have a chance.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Tigertails,

      “The Big 12′s TV deal expires in 2025, the ACC’s expires in 2027 & the existing BCS TV money expires in 2026.”

      Other important years:
      2024 – P12 tier 1 TV deal ends, SEC tier 1 and tier 2 TV deals end
      2032 – BTN deal ends
      ??? – whenever the next B10 tier 1 TV deal ends (10 years = 2027)
      ??? – whenever the first SECN deal ends

      “I could see this as an end-game & as 1 of the few results I would personally be happy with as a Clemson alumnus & a college football fan.”

      You may be happy with it, but millions of others wouldn’t be.

      “Virginia, North Carolina, Duke & Georgia Tech to B1G 18. B1G gets the AAU schools.”

      Plausible, but the talk of 16 being a sweet spot may mean something.

      “Virginia Tech, NC State, Clemson & Florida State to SEC 18. SEC gets the football brands.”

      The SEC has shown zero interest in FSU or Clemson recently. They already own those 2 states for the SECN. They might take VT and NCSU, but they’ll fight hard for UNC first.

      “Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, OK State, Kansas, K-State to PAC 18. PAC gets the heartland.”

      I don’t see them wanting that group because too many schools dilute the value of UT. UT, TT, OU and OkSU? Sure (if they have to take OkSU, they will). OK is not a large state and KS is small. Besides, going to 16 lets them split into geographic regions and regain the old Pac 8 as one division.

      “6 leftover ACC teams join 4 leftover Big XII teams & the 8 current American teams for New 18.”

      I doubt there is enough value in 18 for them.

      “Basically 8 conferences with 9 members combined into 4 super conferences.”

      Real life almost never works out that conveniently. I doubt it will now, either.

      “Only the 8 division games count towards conference record so everyone has a fair shot at the conference championship game.”

      Why impose a universal rule? I’m guessing some of those leagues would want to count all the games.

      “Ohio State would still play Michigan, Tenn/Bama & Georgia/Auburn could continue playing but the result wouldn’t effect the teams’ chances of making the CCG (except as a distant tie breaker).”

      That’s 9 games. Does that mean OSU never plays the rest of the B10? Or do they go to 10 B10 games so they play everyone once every 8 years? Or are you expecting more than 10 conference games?

      “B1G East
      Georgia Tech. North Carolina. Duke.
      Virginia. Maryland. Rutgers
      Penn State. Ohio State. Indiana.

      B1G West
      Michigan. Michigan State. Purdue.
      Illinois. Northwestern. Wisconsin.
      Minnesota. Iowa. Nebraska.”

      No. Just no. Why on earth would OSU, IN and PSU accept being kicked out of the B10 for all practical purposes? If OSU or PSU wanted to be in the ACC, they would have moved there.

      3 pods of 6:
      W = NE, WI, IA, MN, NW, IL
      C1 = OSU, PSU, IN
      C2 = MI, MSU, PU
      E = RU, UMD, UVA, UNC, Duke, GT

      C1 and C2 switch divisions every 2 years.
      Locked games = OSU/MI, PSU/MSU, IN/PU
      Teams in the E and W play 1 team from the opposite pod each year, rotated annually.

      That maintains geography while spreading the pain and getting big names into the stadiums of the new additions.

      Better would be getting the CCG rule changed and then dropping divisions. Then you could lock 2 or 3 teams per school and rotate through the rest equally.

      Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      Brian already gave a comprehensive answer, but I’ll just add a few exclamation points to it.

      The leagues aren’t going to neatly and conveniently agree to all expand to 18 teams. They don’t have equal numbers today, and never have. Each conference is an independent entity, and decides for itself the ideal number of members — based, of course, on the availability of teams they want.

      Assuming the Big Ten gets the four teams you named, the SEC might simply decide that none of the remainders are good enough. Or it might decide to add the two that bring new markets (VT and NC State), and not the two that duplicate markets it already owns (FSU and Clemson).

      Of course, as Brian pointed out, they’re also not going to agree to the same scheduling format or the same qualification rules for the conference championship games. Just like the number of members, these are decisions that each league makes for itself, and you’d probably see a wide variety, as you do today.

      I also agree with Brian that there’s no way the Big Ten would relegate OSU, PSU, and Indiana to a division consisting mainly of ACC cast-offs. A worse idea would be difficult to imagine.

      “Virginia, North Carolina, Duke & Georgia Tech to B1G 18. B1G gets the AAU schools.”

      Plausible, but the talk of 16 being a sweet spot may mean something.

      The Big Ten ADs have not spoken with one voice on this. I believe others have said that they could see 18 or 20, assuming of course that it’s the right 18 or 20. I do think that if the Big Ten could get those four schools, they’d take them.

      Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        Agree with everything, except for “…or the same qualification rules for the conference championship games.” Those are not (currently) a conference decision and all abide by the same requirements.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          ccrider55,

          Agree with everything, except for “…or the same qualification rules for the conference championship games.” Those are not (currently) a conference decision and all abide by the same requirements.

          He was referring to whether only division games count or if all conference games count. That is up to the conferences although they’ve all made the same decision so far.

          Like

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          Brian’s got it. The only rule OUT of the leagues’ control, is that every team in the same division must play all of the others (a round robin). How many teams they play in the other division, whether those games count toward the division championship, and how ties are resolved, are within the leagues’ control.

          Like

          • duffman says:

            Plausible, but the talk of 16 being a sweet spot may mean something.

            I think this is the key point in Brian’s response.

            If the ACC and B12 merge it will mean the Disney folks will gain, not lose in the equation. Any scenario putting UNC in FOX country at the expense of ESPN seems very unlikely. The groundswell for UNC to the SEC fueled by ESPN if it ever comes to that would preclude them from joining the FOX / B1G alliance. I have been on the edge thinking Notre Dame will never join the B1G but so far that is just what has happened.

            If the B1G really gets to 16 – forget 18 – my guess is you see a Missouri + Kansas or Kansas + Duke type end game. This would allow for a merger of the ACC with the Big 12 and just a few Big 5 schools get left behind.

            #1 BTN / FOX = B1G + Kansas + Duke

            #2 SECTV / ESPN = SEC + Virginia Tech + NC State

            #3 PTN / BOTH = PAC + Oklahoma + Oklahoma State + Kansas State + Iowa State
            (this would allow for B1G vs PAC OOC games with old Big 8 rivals)
            Oklahoma vs Nebraska
            Iowa State vs Iowa
            Kansas State vs Kansas

            #4 ACC / ESPN = ACC (8) = Core 4 : UNC + UVA + Ga Tech + Clemson
            #4 ACC / ESPN = ACC (8) = North 4 : Notre Dame + Pitt + BC + Syracuse or Wake

            #4 B 12 / ESPN = B 12 (8) = Texas Four : Texas + Texas Tech + Baylor + TCU
            #4 B 12 / ESPN = B 12 (8) = Non Texas Four : Louisville + WVU + Miami + FSU

            The point in all this is no single conference gets all the “golden eggs” and with UNC + Texas + Notre Dame you really would have 4 power conferences.

            Look at it by conference

            B1G gets into KS and NY with their additions and both would help the BTN without forcing the folks at Disney to go to Defcon 1. Not a home run, but more realistic than the B1G going to 18 and UNC joining the B1G.

            B1G has football brands Ohio State, Michigan, Nebraska, and Penn State
            B1G has basketball brands Indiana, Kansas, michigan State, and Duke

            SEC gets into VA and NC but they do not get the flagships. The bigger deal is ESPN adds cross conference rival games and cements the ACC and SEC in piggybacking carriage deals in split states. ACC ESPN and SEC ESPN can cross brand in GA, NC, SC, and VA. They can do the same with B 12 ESPN and SEC ESPN in FL, KY, and TX.

            SEC has football brands Alabama and several floaters
            SEC has basketball brands Kentucky and several potentials

            PAC gets into OK, KS, and IA but only gets 1 flagship. The geographic moat of the PAC is both a blessing and a curse. The curse is they can not pick off the very top as their additions of Colorado and Utah showed. The blessing is getting into any new western states is a long term net gain. The renewal of Big 8 games as B1G vs PAC OOC probably has value.

            PAC has football brands Southern Cal and Oklahoma and potential ones
            PAC has basketball brands UCLA and near brands like Oklahoma State

            ACC B 12 merger survives and gets more on par with the other Big 4 conferences. Having an east and west division allows UNC basketball and Notre Dame football to control the East. Louisville basketball and texas football would then control the West. Based on the behavior and history of these 4 schools it allows conferences inside a much stronger shell conference. The big takeaway tho is ESPN locks down both the SEC and the reformed ACC + B 12. That alone makes the mouse happy and they write the big checks.

            ACC+B 12 has football brands Texas & Notre Dame and near brand FSU
            ACC+B 12 has basketball brand UNC and a near brands Louisville and Syracuse

            Like

          • vp19 says:

            duffman, I don’t see any way that the Big Ten takes Duke over Virginia. Despite what Cutcliffe has done the past 1 3/4 seasons, UVa still has more football upside than Duke, and football remains the raison d’etre for expansion/realignment, more so than basketball. A 16-team B1G probably would take in UVa and Kansas. And as much as I would love to see Iowa State land on its feet in the Pac, its best — and perhaps only – hope is to be included in a mix of Big 12/ACC leftovers that’s ensured some sort of seat at the BCS table.

            Like

          • @vp19 – I agree that the Big Ten likely wouldn’t take UVA over Duke if that type of choice even existed. However, I do think that they’d take Duke over Kansas in that type of head-to-head hypothetical. Duke’s private school status really doesn’t mean much when put into the context that it’s a massive elite research institution (actually more so than the public UVA and UNC) that has the same or better national basketball brand name value as Kansas while being located in a much more demographically-friendly region. Duke also has a heavy Northeastern fan base, so there are a lot more network effects in play with them combined with Rutgers/Penn State/Maryland similar to Notre Dame.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            duffman,

            Why do you list the B10 as FOX? All the best B10 games are owned by ESPN except for the CCG, and they can bid for that, too. The new TV deal may be a split deal like the P12 has or mostly ESPN. I doubt it’ll be mostly FOX as long as ESPN is the WWL for CFB.

            Like

          • @Brian – Yes, I’ll repeat again that Big Ten/Fox connection is often extremely overstated. Even with the comprehensive SEC and ACC deals along with the existence of the Big Ten Network, ESPN’s most valuable college sports package is *still* the Big Ten’s first tier rights. There’s is very little chance whatsoever that the Big Ten will exit ESPN completely in the next deal and at most, you’d see a split between ESPN and Fox like the Pac-12 (with a tilt toward ESPN for the best games). Besides, the main thing (outside of a huge pile of money) that Fox could have conceivably offered up until 2 years ago was more nationwide over-the-air coverage on the “Big” Fox network, but those slots are now going to end up being as shared as much with the Big 12 and Pac-12 as they would be on ABC/ESPN with the ACC/Big 12/Pac-12. The Big Ten has maintained the most valuable TV time slot real estate in all of college football on ABC and ESPN even with the new ACC and SEC deals being signed, so that’s not something you walk away from lightly as conference where long-term prestige and exposure means quite a bit to the league’s brand.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Frank the Tank,

            “I agree that the Big Ten likely wouldn’t take UVA over Duke if that type of choice even existed.”

            Really? I agree Duke is the bigger brand by a mile and a better research school. But doesn’t the contiguous state of VA and the access to the VA markets trump it? Duke doesn’t guarantee the BTN on everywhere in NC does it? The research triangle yes, but the rest of the state probably not. That’s why I think UVA would get the nod.

            Also, would the B10 take Duke knowing that would drive UNC to the SEC? It seems better to leave the ACC alone than risk that. I don’t think taking UVA would drive UNC out, so that might be worth the risk. I also don’t think UVA would leave without UNC leaving at the same time, though, so this is purely hypothetical to me.

            “However, I do think that they’d take Duke over Kansas in that type of head-to-head hypothetical. Duke’s private school status really doesn’t mean much when put into the context that it’s a massive elite research institution (actually more so than the public UVA and UNC) that has the same or better national basketball brand name value as Kansas while being located in a much more demographically-friendly region. Duke also has a heavy Northeastern fan base, so there are a lot more network effects in play with them combined with Rutgers/Penn State/Maryland similar to Notre Dame.”

            I think it’s as simple as the B10 wanting to expand in the east, not the west. They’d make an exception for a king like UT, but not for KU I don’t think.

            Like

          • @Brian – Total iPhone type there. The Big Ten would definitely want UVA over Duke all things being equal, while I believe they’d prefer Duke over Kansas.

            Like

  50. Speaking of AAC and Mountain West schools that want to move up the realignment totem pole, why don’t the AAC and Mountain West have their champions play in a bowl game? Between the two conferences they have the locations to do one anywhere in the country Vegas, Miami, NYC, Las Angeles, Dallas, etc. Chances are those would be the two best non-power five schools in the country every year, which is probably going to be the best opponent those two conferences are likely to get. If one of those two’s champion is the non-P5 representative in the playoff bowls (which will likely be 90% of the time at least), then that conference’s championship game loser could take it’s place. That would be a pretty solid consolation prize. I bet that bowl could draw fairly decent television ratings too.

    Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      I think that would be a good game most years too. Central Florida or Houston vs. Fresno State would be a top matchup. Sure, I’d watch that.

      There are reasons this hasn’t happened yet, though. They probably wanted to use existing bowl games but none of them took them. The Liberty, for instance, elected to sign contracts with the SEC and Big 12 that will get them two teams who likely barely finish bowl eligible, rather than one of the American’s top teams… even though the Liberty Bowl stadium is home to AAC member Memphis. Other sites like the Texas Bowl in Houston, the Heart of Dallas Bowl, and theArmed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth all took Power Five conferences for at least one of their opponents.

      The other thing might be that the Mountain West might rather face the Pac-12 in Las Vegas and at other western bowl games rather than meet some AAC team on the east coast.

      It would have been nice if they could have taken over the New Orleans Bowl or something and turned it into a big event.

      Like

      • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

        Michael – for a few years back in the 90s, the Liberty Bowl featured the champions of CUSA and the MWC. I guess that business model just didn’t work out for Memphis convention and visitors bureau.

        Like

        • Michael in Raleigh says:

          If it was in the 90’s, that must’ve been between C-USA and the WAC, not the MWC. The MWC didn’t exist unti 1999. Sheesh, Alan, you should know that. We’re talking about The American and the Mountain West, not the WAC and Conference USA. Those are two very different entities. Nevermind that 12 of 12 Mountain West members used to be in the WAC and 9 out of 12 future AAC members used to be in C-USA. This would be a COMPLETELY different business model.

          In all seriousness, that’s a good point, Alan. Bowl games by and large need power conferences in order to be financially successful. Hence Las Vegas needs the No. 6 or 7 Pac-12 team as much or more than the No. 1 MWC team in order to sell enough tickets. It is a shame, though, that there can’t be a game between AAC and MWC champs because I think that wouod be better television.

          Like

    • Brian says:

      That’s funny. Like VT would leave the ACC for the B12. VT’s preferences are:

      1. Wherever UVA is.
      2. ACC (assumes UVA left them behind but ACC survives)
      3. SEC (assumes UVA left them behind and ACC collapsed)

      Like

  51. Transic says:

    SI giving its list of realignment winners and losers in terms of basketball:

    http://college-basketball.si.com/2013/10/29/winners-and-losers-conference-realignment/

    Like

  52. Transic says:

    Rutgers lawsuit against former Big East conference headed to Rhode Island

    http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2013/11/rutgers_lawsuit_against_former_big_east_conference_headed_to_rhode_island.html

    When coupled with the actions taken so far in the Maryland/ACC lawsuit, it would seem to me that judges are showing bias in favor of conferences over individual schools when it comes to money. It makes you wonder how weak the Big 12 was that they had to let 4 schools go with relatively minor penalties when even the AAC can show better strength in the legal arena.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Only the Big East and ACC try to force schools to stay or pay outrageous penalties. The rest of conferences are less coercive.

      Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      When coupled with the actions taken so far in the Maryland/ACC lawsuit, it would seem to me that judges are showing bias in favor of conferences over individual schools when it comes to money.

      I wouldn’t say the judges are biased. Generally, when you make a deal, you have to abide by it. That includes the deal of joining a conference and promising to follow its bylaws.

      It makes you wonder how weak the Big 12 was that they had to let 4 schools go with relatively minor penalties when even the AAC can show better strength in the legal arena.

      Ironically, it’s because the Big XII overestimated its strength. After all, the league with the weakest exit penalties is the SEC: zero. The issue has simply has never arisen, because nobody in their right mind is going to leave the SEC. The AAC (formerly Big East) had hefty exit penalties because it knew many of its members would probably be tempted to leave.

      Only the Big East and ACC try to force schools to stay or pay outrageous penalties. The rest of conferences are less coercive.

      The Big Ten, Pac-12, Big XII, and now the ACC, all have GORs, which are far more coercive than any exit penalty.

      But remember, it’s not as if the leagues are foisting these penalties on unwilling members. In many cases, the schools paying the penalties had voted for them only a few short years earlier. (I know Maryland is an exception to that.)

      This is the inherent contradiction when you’re in a weak conference. You want to be able to move up, if the opportunity arises. But if there’s no opportunity, you want to discourage your fellow members from leaving.

      Like

  53. Transic says:

    Purdue AD Morgan Burke Discusses Future Of NCAA Division I Athletics

    http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Daily/Issues/2013/11/01/Colleges/Burke.aspx

    Like

    • Brian says:

      I think the last part (about Pell grants) is very important. People seem to not know (or conveniently forget) that athletes that are poor can get a Pell grant every year, valued at over $5000. That seems like sufficient pocket money for a college student, even after paying the full cost to attend school. Add in the new full value scholarship, and they should be fine.

      Like

      • BuckeyeBeau says:

        no.

        the Pell Grant is “up to” $5,000. you are spinning by using the words “valued at over.”

        Based on reports, very very very few CFB players qualify for ANY Grant and only a tiny fraction qualify for the full Grant.

        I don’t believe the players are being exploited; but I also don’t object to getting them more $$. One of my proposals for getting the student-athletes more money is to (i) either fully fund the Pell Grants for any qualifying applicant or (ii) seriously reduce the criteria for qualification to that more student-athletes will qualify for at least some portion of a Pell Grant.

        Like

  54. ccrider55 says:

    ESPN announcers don’t even know that breaking the plane is all that’s required to score…

    Like

  55. BuckeyeBeau says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010%E2%80%9313_NCAA_conference_realignment

    FWIW, here is the wikipedia link for conference realignment.

    While we here have focused mainly on realignment at the top, other folks have been tabulating ALL the changes.

    The charts lower down in the wikipedia entry are really something.

    All 20 football conferences (at all levels) had a change in membership during 2010-13. 14 out of the 20 lost at least one member.

    Of the 28 total preexisting conferences (including Bball only), all had changes; 21 lost a member; one died (Great West) and one was born (bball-only “new” Big East).

    Interesting quote: “Karl Benson, who was commissioner of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) when the cycle started and since March 2012 has held the same position with the Sun Belt Conference, stated in a May 2012 interview that about 90 percent of his workload since taking over the Sun Belt position has been taken up by realignment-related issues—either recruiting new members or trying to keep current members in the conference.”

    Like

    • BuckeyeBeau says:

      It is hard to imagine that all of that change was triggered by the B1G’s simple statement in December 2009 that it would explore expansion.

      Like

  56. Pablo says:

    Reading up on the University of Cincinnati and it all really points towards a very good fit with the Big XII. It’s a surprisingly large (student body @ 40k) school. It’s a great bridge for WVU that is conviently accessible to all the other schools. It sponsors 19 NCAA teams and has a good track record with both football and basketball. It’s a solid #2 program in a large, fertile state. The build-out at Nippert Stadium seems well funded and planned. The Athletic Department seems to have its act together to handle a higher-level of competition…last 3 football coaches have been excellent.

    UC is well positioned, it just needs the Big XII to agree to expand.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Actually, it’s in CIncitucky, not Ohio. That little area is quite different from true Ohio in terms of college sports allegiances amongst other things.

      Like

      • Pablo says:

        The football roster has 46 kids from OH, 19 from FL, 9 from IN, 6 from MI, 4 from KY & several from each of IL,PA&NY. It’s a new region for recruits.

        Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      UC is well positioned, it just needs the Big XII to agree to expand.

      The main problem is that, other than BYU, none of the potential 12th schools is attractive enough. I’m not even sure Cincy is attractive enough, although it’s clearly the best of the lot.

      Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      “Reading up on the University of Cincinnati and it all really points towards a very good fit with the Big XII.”

      That assumes WVU (and a needed bridge to them) is a good fit.

      Like

  57. Bob Miller says:

    Is BuckeyeBeau a librarian? He should be.

    Like

  58. Bob Miller says:

    Question about BTN ownership.

    As a Nebraska fan with no business sense, I’ve always wondered what the true value of the BTN is to my school. Of course there is the annual payouts and that is important, and growing. However, in a few years there will be 14 fully vested schools who each own a share of what, 49%. What is the value of that ownership if a school wanted to sell their portion of it and leave the conference?

    Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      Not sure you can sell a piece of a conference owned entity.

      Like

      • Kevin says:

        That’s an interesting question. I would assume that the conference would then default as the ownership interest holder of the parting member.

        Like

        • ccrider55 says:

          I’m pretty sure it’s sort of like renting (the conference being the owner).

          Would the leaving team have their media rights (GOR)?

          The conference can, if it chooses to, not enter into any new ownership agreements with Fox and become 100% owner at the expiration of the current one.

          Like

    • Wainscott says:

      My understanding is that the BTN is a separate corporate entity, a Limited Liability Corporation, where Fox (through a specific entity) owns 51% of the shares and the Big Ten (itself a not-for-profit corporation) owns 49%. I don’t know if the schools own equal shares of the BTN LLC or if its just the conference who then distributes money evenly among the schools. But regardless, as a private corporation, the corporate governing documents can restrict the transferability of shares in any way it desires (case in point: read up on the limits on shares of the Green Bay Packers–no dividends, no resale market at all, no transferability unless through a will/estate).

      As for Nebraska, it would lose its portion of the revenues, but assuming it owns 1/14 of the 49%, there is likely a buyout provision in the corporate governing documents that sets a price or method of valuating the shares for the buyout. Those documents can (and likely do) limit who can buy those shares (which is legal if set forth in a contract, especially one with sophisticated parties like a large cable company, college athletic conference, and large university).

      Does this answer your question?

      Like

  59. neomodernism says:

    Frank,

    I believe it would be easier to prioritize values than to categorize values with a point based system. Here’s my thoughts on the priorities.

    1. Athletic power. Here only Boise State and BYU exceeds that of the Big XII average as determined by mcubed and F+ scores. Cincinnati, UCF and NIU could be considered if they win a BCS bowl game this season.

    2. Fandom. Here only BYU compares to the Big XII with game attendance and tv viewers (by Nate Silver’s estimates in the NYT a year ago).

    3. Demographic. Demographic here is about general population size, population growth, and recruiting grounds. There are several programs here with the top two being UCF and USF for being in Florida. BYU gets listed here as Utah is a growing state. Cincinnati is a plus for Ohio (large state) and a minus (shrinking state).

    4. Academic. Here the only real criteria will be AAU membership. Remember that the Big XII lost 3(4) AAU schools with Colorado, Missouri, aTm, (and Nebraska). Only two AAU schools would be Rice and Tulane, both programs doing pretty well this year with 6 wins thus.

    5. Regionality. Here only proximity to ISU and WVU matters as the rest of the conference is already bunched up. For considerations might be NIU, Cincinnati, possibly ECU.

    So in the end I agree with BYU as the top schools eligible placing with athletic power, fandom, and demographic. Then comes a huge gap for program #12 with choices from UCF, Cincinnati, possibly NIU or Boise State. The program able to win a BCS game this year will get the edge. Otherwise, i think it will be UCF before Cincinnati as Florida is a better state for the conference whereas Cincinnati is predominantly better for WVU.

    Once back at 12, Big XII divisions should be zippered to allow “equivalent” access, exposure and travel. Each division should be anchored by OU and UT. There should be one to two annual cross division games to maintain rivalries. Each team will then play 5 division games, 2 annual cross division games, and 2 rotating cross division games. Listed are first annual cross division games.

    WEST : EAST
    KSU : KU (2nd cross division game versus ISU to allow regional play for ISU)
    OU: OSU
    TTU: UT (2nd cross division game versus OU to maintain the Red River game)
    TCU: Baylor (2nd cross division game versus BYU so all the religious schools play each other)
    ISU : UCF
    BYU : WVU

    Should the Big XII go to Big XIV (the Big XII already owns the rights to “Big XIV”), then it should be Rice and Tulane. Firstly why 14? The only reason would be to generate a dramatic increase in conference athletic volume and inventory for sales rather than just an incremental increase to 12 from 10. Rice and Tulane because they are both AAU programs, and academics do matter to University Presidents. As #11 and #12 were taken based on competitiveness, there won’t be a need to go to 14 for strength of schedule, but it will generate an opportunity to improve on academics. Never the less, a Big XIV is very unlikely.

    KSU : KU (2nd cross division game versus ISU to allow regional play for ISU)
    OU: OSU (2nd cross division game versus TCU?)
    TTU: UT (2nd cross division game versus OU to maintain the Red River game)
    TCU: Baylor (2nd cross division game versus BYU so all the religious schools play each other)
    ISU : UCF (2nd cross division game versus Rice)
    BYU : WVU (2nd cross division game versus TTU?)
    Rice : Tulane (2nd cross division game versus KSU?)

    Each team would then play 6 division games, 2 annual cross division games and one rotating cross division games to keep conference games at 9 total.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      neomodernism,

      You put way too much emphasis on recent results. No president is going to decide on expansion based on one year’s results.

      As for the rest, I’ll just point out that Frank presented a slightly modified version of the post responsible for the huge growth in his blog. He linked it above (http://frankthetank.me/2009/12/27/the-big-ten-expansion-index-a-different-shade-of-orange/). That post, written not long after Jim Delany mentioned expansion in 2009, drove huge numbers of new readers here and also turned out to be pretty accurate. If you didn’t read it, you really should go back and give it a look.

      In other words, he intentionally stuck to the script he used to look at B10 expansion 4 years ago. While your suggestions might make sense in a vacuum, there was method to his madness here.

      Like

      • neomodernism says:

        For athletic power and fandoms, I looked at mcubed cumulative analysis from 1960-2012 and F+ Score of the past 7. My comments regarding bcs bowl win is only meant as this would be the only factor that might make UCF, Cincinnati or NIU even appear competitive.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          neomodernism,

          “For athletic power and fandoms, I looked at mcubed cumulative analysis from 1960-2012 and F+ Score of the past 7.”

          7 years? I think presidents are looking at a bigger picture than that.

          I also doubt they are believers in F/+ and mcubed, but you never know.

          “My comments regarding bcs bowl win is only meant as this would be the only factor that might make UCF, Cincinnati or NIU even appear competitive.”

          No president is foolish enough to let one season or one game make any difference in this decision. That’s my point.

          Like

          • neomodernism says:

            I don’t think we disagree much really and i get your point. but when it comes down to it when a conference selects/invites a program the number one reason is athletic value, which has two related components: competitiveness and commercial value. Regarding competitiveness the questions are:
            1. What have you done? (50 years analyzed by mcubed which really only quantify conventional impression)
            2. What have you done lately? (7 years by F+)
            3. What are you doing now? (current BCS performance)
            BCS performance is only one consideration and if all else being equivalent. But if all else are equivalent, it would matter. Why was TCU invited? Among several factors recent BCS performance also was one. Why is Boise even mentioned? BCS win. Why isn’t NIU completely laughed off? BCS show. BCS puts them on the radar screen. Other factors will be used to select them.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            It seems like TV execs look at 7 years or less. Ratings drive value and fans are very much what have you done for me lately. Now kings tend to have fairly good ratings even w/o success on the field.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Yes, I was really only making a minor quibble about part of your original comment.

            Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      @neomodernism: Which question are you answering? Is it: A) Should the Big XII expand? Or is it: B) Assuming expansion, which teams should it take?

      You haven’t provided any financial justification for going to 12, and surely not 14, so I assume you’re answering B. This is flawed from the get-go, because there is an option you omitted: DO NOTHING.

      You’ve also assumed that all of your expansion targets want the Big XII, which in BYU’s case is probably incorrect. I am pretty sure that BYU already spurned the Big XII, and I’d say the league’s value proposition has only gotten worse since then.

      I am pretty sure university presidents don’t follow F+ rankings. After all, look at the dumb BCS standings they came up with. These guys either aren’t mathematicians, or if they are, don’t seem to think it applies to football.

      But I do think they are smart enough to realize that sports brand value takes decades to create. The idea that winning a BCS game this year would be relevant, even as a tie-breaker, is laughable.

      It is slightly less laughable, but nevertheless probably wrong, to suggest that the Big XII would take Tulane and Rice. University presidents care about academics to an extent, but not to the point that they’d take two 98-pound weaklings that happen to bring a lot of scholars. That couldn’t have been the idea when they took WVU and TCU, and it won’t be the idea now.

      Like

      • neomodernism says:

        1. Correct, it is B. Which is similar to the point of this thread.
        2. Also correct that if invited, any of the teams considered will join.
        3. also correct that the university presidents don’t follow F+ or mcubed. nor will they follow an formula that assign points value for various aspects like basket ball value or academic. That was the point of my post that they would just prioritize what is important to them.

        Like

      • bullet says:

        Tulane has been considered. They were looked at in 2011.

        Like

      • neomodernism says:

        Regarding why the Big XII would expand, we all know the only reason would be money. Unfortunately none of us without insider information know the true financial pictures to make this assessment. All that is left for most of us is conjectures. So with conjectures, the only team available that might even enhance the value of the Big XII is BYU.

        All the other teams are purely presumptive value analysis. But if money wasn’t the issue, I would guarantee the university presidents would prefer to be associated with Rice and Tulane over BYU, Cincinnati, Boise State, UCF, USF or any other available programs out there.

        Like

      • PMark says:

        Marc,

        ” I am pretty sure that BYU already spurned the Big XII”

        That is a fairly common misconception. BYU never “spurned” B12. Talks with the B12 never got beyond the “what would think about possibly joining us?” stage.

        There are two major non-negotiable concerns with BYU joining the B12 — geography and Sunday play. If they joined, travel arrangements for all sports are going to be an expensive logistical problem for all concerned. And Sunday play is a headache for non-FB sports.

        The geographic concern is somewhat moot now that WV is in the conference and the precedent has been set. It still will take a bite out the athletic budgets of the league’s schools that they won’t want to see disappear.

        As for Sunday play, BYU’s stand has always been that they won’t play on Sunday. What the rest of the conference chooses to do on that day is their own business, but BYU won’t do it. Period. In the long run, this ends up really only affecting the championship schedules of the non-FB sports. The impact on regular season play is negligible. As other conferences and the NCAA have shown, this isn’t that big of a deal.

        There are a few other concerns that *are* negotiable. The biggest would be television rights. BYU loves their ESPN contract (who wouldn’t?), and they are anxious to keep their BYUtv sports package intact. Not only does that allow 90%+ of all their games in all sports to be available in nearly every home in the country, it gives them some serious viewing internationally, as well. BYUtv is broadcast worldwide in many, many countries. They broadcast nearly all their programming in the language of the viewing country. What this means is if you are, let’s say a Spanish speaking fan of American-football fan Latin America, about the only place you can go for your fix is BYUtv.

        BYU is going to be loath to give that up. With the LHN precedent with the B12, this shouldn’t be too big of a major hangup.

        None of these issues are insurmountable. However, if you are the B12, and you are interested in expanding, I am sure you would look long and hard at any other solution that doesn’t require dealing with BYU’s baggage. Last time around, you had just gone through a bruising fight over the LHN that almost caused the league to collapse. Did you want to go there again? No. There were other schools available — maybe not as desirable, but they came without the hassles of adding BYU. So they went there, instead.

        This time around, the pickin’s are far slimmer. Plus, the LHN fight is less fresh on everybody’s mind. If the B12 is to expand by two, BYU and Cincy are about the only two that makes sense, as the OP pointed out.

        I do agree with other posters who feel that the B12 is making a big mistake if they just sit on their hands waiting for others to make the first move. if BYU and Cincy are the two best expansion targets, they need to strike now before someone else grabs them.

        Like

      • PMark says:

        Marc,

        ” I am pretty sure that BYU already spurned the Big XII”

        That is a fairly common misconception. BYU never “spurned” B12. Talks with the B12 never got beyond the “what would think about possibly joining us?” stage.

        There are two major non-negotiable concerns with BYU joining the B12 — geography and Sunday play. If they joined, travel arrangements for all sports are going to be an expensive logistical problem for all concerned. And Sunday play is a headache for non-FB sports.

        The geographic concern is somewhat moot now that WV is in the conference and the precedent has been set. It still will take a bite out the athletic budgets of the league’s schools that they won’t want to see disappear.

        As for Sunday play, BYU’s stand has always been that they won’t play on Sunday. What the rest of the conference chooses to do on that day is their own business, but BYU won’t do it. Period. In the long run, this ends up really only affecting the championship schedules of the non-FB sports. The impact on regular season play is negligible. As other conferences and the NCAA have shown, this isn’t that big of a deal.

        There are a few other concerns that *are* negotiable. The biggest would be television rights. BYU loves their ESPN contract (who wouldn’t?), and they are anxious to keep their BYUtv sports package intact. Not only does that allow 90%+ of all their games in all sports to be available in nearly every home in the country, it gives them some serious viewing internationally, as well. BYUtv is broadcast worldwide in many, many countries. They broadcast nearly all their programming in the language of the viewing country. What this means is if you are, let’s say a Spanish speaking fan of American-football fan Latin America, about the only place you can go for your fix is BYUtv.

        BYU is going to be loath to give that up. With the LHN precedent with the B12, this shouldn’t be too big of a major hangup.

        None of these issues are insurmountable. However, if you are the B12, and you are interested in expanding, I am sure you would look long and hard at any other solution that doesn’t require dealing with BYU’s baggage. Last time around, you had just gone through a bruising fight over the LHN that almost caused the league to collapse. Did you want to go there again? No. There were other schools available — maybe not as desirable, but they came without the hassles of adding BYU. So they went there, instead.

        This time around, the pickin’s are far slimmer. Plus, the LHN fight is less fresh on everybody’s mind. If the B12 is to expand by two, BYU and Cincy are about the only two that makes sense, as the OP pointed out.

        I do agree with other posters who feel that the B12 is making a big mistake if they just sit on their hands waiting for others to make the first move. if BYU and Cincy are the two best expansion targets, they need to strike now before someone else grabs them.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          I’m sure the Big 12 wouldn’t have discussed anything with BYU if Sunday play was insurmountable. What I’ve heard is it was a problem for Fox.

          Still, Sunday play is not a non-issue. For football and basketball its not important. But basically all the spring sports use Sundays. It means less opportunity for fans (including parents) to watch the contests. It means more missed class time since events will have to be on Thursdays through Saturdays or Fridays and Saturdays if Sundays are not available. It can be worked around, but its not ideal.

          Like

          • PMark says:

            We are in agreement. Sunday play is NOT a non-issue, but it is a workable issue. It is baggage that any conference that wishes BYU to join must deal with.

            Like

          • frug says:

            The last time the Big XII approached BYU Sunday play was not insurmountable (when the conference was looking to replace Mizzou), but it might be now.

            If the Big XII tried to add BYU now the conference would stretch across three time zones, have three schools on islands, one which is a complete pain in the ass to travel to (since trips to Morgantown require flying to Pittsburgh then making a long busride) and one that refuses to play on Sundays.

            Like

          • vp19 says:

            A question for PMark: Does LDS allow Brigham Young teams to play on Sunday if they are in an NCAA championship event regularly scheduled for Sunday? For example, BYU has had some good women’s basketball teams in the past, though the Cougars are hardly a national power. If they somehow advanced to the Final Four, which has its semifinals on Sunday, would they be able to play? Would the NCAA move their game to Saturday or Monday, or would BYU forfeit?

            Like

          • PMark says:

            VP19

            “Does LDS allow Brigham Young teams to play on Sunday if they are in an NCAA championship event regularly scheduled for Sunday?”

            A couple of years ago, BYU had a top ranked BBall team that was projected to seeded #1 and make it to the NCAA finals. Then about a week before the finals, their starting center admitted to having sex with his girlfriend. He was suspended from the team for the rest of the season, including the NCAA tournament. BYU was elimanated by the third round.

            Just this year one of BYU’s top linebackers was caught partying in Las Vegas. This hit the fan just before BYU biggest rivalry game of the year — with Utah. Mind you, the man is 23 years old. He wasn’t drunk. He didn’t get nailed for a DUI. All he was doing was drinking alcohol — a totally legal thing to do, but it is against the honor code. He was suspended for three games, including the Utah game. BYU lost and won’t play Utah for another two years.

            No, BYU is not going to play on Sunday. They won’t do something silly like walking off the field or court if a regularly scheduled game on Saturday night goes OT past midnight. But if the game is schedule for a Sunday, they will pass. They won’t make a big deal about it. They will simply decline to play.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            vp19:

            The NCAA has always scheduled BYU tournament games so they wouldn’t potentially be on Sunday. I don’t know what they would do in that semi final. Perhaps the church grants a one time exception. I’ve known LDS kids allowed to play Legion baseball on Sundays (someone suggested because baseball was potentially a profession in their particular cases). Perhaps they’d be allowed because of the potential visibility for the church should they reach the final. But they would probably gain more attention, visibility, etc. for being strong enough in conviction to forfeit that chance. I bet the NCAA would schedule an alternative time (and probably already has a contingency plan).

            Like

          • PMark says:

            VP19

            Just this year BYU’s Rugby team destroyed their competition at their regionals in Colorado. But because the nationals play during Sunday, they declined to go.

            http://rugbymag.com/news/colleges/collegiate-sevens/9704-byu-dominates-rocky-mountain-7s.html

            Like

          • vp19 says:

            No, BYU is not going to play on Sunday. They won’t do something silly like walking off the field or court if a regularly scheduled game on Saturday night goes OT past midnight. But if the game is schedule for a Sunday, they will pass. They won’t make a big deal about it. They will simply decline to play.

            I would hate to be BYU’s women’s basketball coach — it must be hard to recruit when your players won’t be able to play in the Final Four because the semifinals are scheduled on Sunday.

            Like

          • frug says:

            @vp19

            I’ll add that BYU also had to skip the Fiesta Bowl one year because it was on a Sunday.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            “I would hate to be BYU’s women’s basketball coach — it must be hard to recruit when your players won’t be able to play in the Final Four because the semifinals are scheduled on Sunday.”

            Therein lies the fundamental difference between BYU and all the rest of the power schools. Their ownership, administration, coaches, and athletes know and accept the possibilities. I’m not LDS but I find it refreshingly admirable that money and winning, even at the highest level, does not alter their mission or priorities.

            Like

          • PMark says:

            VP19.

            “I would hate to be BYU’s women’s basketball coach — it must be hard to recruit when your players won’t be able to play in the Final Four because the semifinals are scheduled on Sunday.”

            Actually, Sunday play is usually not the issue; the Honor Code is. No sex outside of marriage. No alcohol, tea, coffee, or tobacco. Modest dress for both sexes, and conservative hair for men.

            Now, go and recruit yourself a sports team. :)

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            Sunday play is usually not the issue; the Honor Code is. No sex outside of marriage. No alcohol, tea, coffee, or tobacco. Modest dress for both sexes, and conservative hair for men.

            Now, go and recruit yourself a sports team.

            BYU has had good teams over the years, so they clearly can overcome that issue. There are Mormon athletes who support those values.

            Like

          • PMark says:


            “BYU has had good teams over the years, so they clearly can overcome that issue. There are Mormon athletes who support those values.”


            Not just Mormon. A number of their star athletes have been non-LDS — Jim McMahon being perhaps the most well-known. Their star runningback this year is Jamal Williams, also non-Mormon.

            It’s funny. When a coach recruits athletes that want to come to BYU *because* of the Honor Code (Lavell Edwards, Bronco Mendenhall), they generally have very successful teams. When a coach recruits athletes that want to come *in spite of* the honor code (Gary Crowton), the teams generally don’t do so well.

            Like

          • neomodernism says:

            Geography no longer matter for the Big XII that is clear. So i see no problems moving forward with 4 islands: Iowa, WV, Utah, and (Florida vs Ohio).
            What is best for the conference financially is the consideration.

            Like

          • PMark says:

            That’s really rather the point. It’s all about cash and what make sense financially.

            Islands don’t make sense financially unless they bring in extra revenue. Islands always cost extra money. Can you imagine the WV women’s softball team flying to Provo, or the ISU lady volleyball team jetting down to Florida? Unless those islands bring in more money, the financial incentives are to not bother with them.

            Like

          • frug says:

            Geography no longer matter for the Big XII that is clear. So i see no problems moving forward with 4 islands: Iowa, WV, Utah, and (Florida vs Ohio).
            What is best for the conference financially is the consideration.

            That is actually my point though; the WVU addition means geography (at least as it relates to BYU) is far more important. Because of the travel difficulties entailed by having to make trips to Morgantown, it may be logistically impossible to add another school on the other side of the country that refuses to play on Sundays.

            (USF, UCF and Cincy, on the other hand, could actually make travel easier since than it is now since those schools all have major airports located nearby)

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            Geography no longer matter for the Big XII that is clear. So i see no problems moving forward with 4 islands: Iowa, WV, Utah, and (Florida vs Ohio).

            I’d say that is far from clear. The league expanded outside of its geography once. That doesn’t mean it no longer cares about geography at all. Indeed, the problems WV is having with travel suggest that perhaps the example shouldn’t be perpetuated.

            What is best for the conference financially is the consideration.

            Here, I believe we all agree. The one immutable rule of re-alignment is that no one voluntarily expands or moves to lose money.

            Because of the travel difficulties entailed by having to make trips to Morgantown, it may be logistically impossible to add another school on the other side of the country that refuses to play on Sundays.

            BYU has been in some far-flung conferences, over the years. They and their partners have always found ways to manage within the no-Sundays constraint. The issue would be a matter of, at most, one BYU trip to Morgantown per year per sport, and in most sports it probably wouldn’t even happen every year.

            I am quite sure they’d figure that out, assuming all the other issues could be solved, and assuming the Big XII wanted to expand (which I suspect they do not). BYU is by far the best name on the board that the Big XII could realistically hope to hook.

            Like

    • Bob B. says:

      neomodernism says: “5. Regionality. Here only proximity to ISU and WVU matters as the rest of the conference is already bunched up. For considerations might be NIU, Cincinnati”

      I believe that this is more key than most understand. The Big 12 has been adamant that it is not in any hurry to expand, but if/when the time came that the conference chose to go in that direction that it would be mainly to stay with or keep up with the Top conferences (Big Ten/SEC) and this means…

      Competitively: Under the new system in relation to the new playoff the tea leaves seem to be pointing to a Conference Championship Game being a real asset. Look for the Big 12 to eventually be pushed to a position where expanding is deemed necessary in order to add that Championship Game.

      Revenue/Arms Race: In today’s environment this means large sums of money and that means TV money and Football Brands. There are no real “Football Brands” available so look for the Big 12 to increase its TV footprint, something it lacks greatly relative to the other Top conferences.

      Geography: Different officials have said on record that a priority if/when the Big 12 expands will greatly take into account the geographic footprint of the conference. Having WVU so far from the closest conference mate has proven to be impractical so look for the Big 12 to rectify this (as the poster quoted above has pointed out) by filling in the space between Iowa State and West Virginia. No candidate west of the current footprint or east of West Virginia will be given serious consideration. The “looking east” has been confirmed many times by many different Big 12 officials.

      That basically leaves the two candidates that “neomodernism” quoted above. Which also happen to be the two candidates that score the highest using the scoring method here.

      NIU
      Football Brand Value – 30
      National TV Value – 15
      Local TV Value – 10
      Demographics/Recruiting Value – 20
      Academics – 3 (URA member – Consortium of 88 leading research universities)
      Basketball Value – 0
      Geographic Fit/Need – 5
      Tremendous Upside Potential/Monopoly Power – 10
      Total: 93

      CINCINNATI
      Football Brand Value – 30
      National TV Value – 15
      Local TV Value – 7
      Demographics/Recruiting Value – 20
      Academics – 3
      Basketball Value – 5
      Geographic Fit/Need – 5
      Tremendous Upside Potential/Monopoly Power – 5
      Total: 90

      Like

      • Wainscott says:

        This exercise gives more points to NIU than Cincy? Ok.

        Like

        • BruceMcF says:

          By overstating Football Brand Value for NIU. “It must be emphasized that Football Brand Value puts much more weight on the long-term history and financial underpinnings of a program over short-term or recent success.” … so more like 15 or 20.

          Like

      • Bryce says:

        NIU’s “Football Brand Value” is at the very least equivalent to Cincinnati’s. Anyone who doesn’t understand that needs to bone up on their football history.

        Good stuff, Bob. Thanks for contributing.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          Bryce,

          “NIU’s “Football Brand Value” is at the very least equivalent to Cincinnati’s. Anyone who doesn’t understand that needs to bone up on their football history.”

          Conference:
          UC – Big East (an AQ conference)
          NIU – MAC (one of the worst leagues)

          Big edge to UC

          BCS:
          UC – 2
          NIU – 1

          Edge to UC

          Recent conference titles:
          UC – 4 in past 5 years in BE, 5 in the past 11 (1964 before that)
          NIU – 2 MAC titles in past 2 years (1983 before that)

          Big edge to UC

          Neither is a major name nationally, but UC is a bigger brand thanks to having more success than NIU recently and being in a much more respected conference.

          Like

        • Arch Stanton says:

          Why do people keep touting a MAC school for Big XII expansion? It’s almost as silly as the Buffalo to the Big Ten talk.
          NIU would need to work their way up the ladder over a period of many years. MAC to Conference USA to AAC to Big XII. Any school that is valuable enough to add to the Big XII that it increases the payouts for the existing teams is not going to be sitting in the MAC.

          Like

        • Wainscott says:

          I apparently need a refresher on my football history. Please regale us with tales of NIU’s long and distinguished history in FBS.

          Note, I restrict it to FBS as to avoid a discussion on some national championship NIU claims in the 1960’s. For if that’s fair game, then I’ll start the Mount Union to B12 thread, or the Montana to the B12, or Georgia Southern or Delaware or a host of schools in non-FBS who have had greater success than NIU did when not in the FBS.

          Like

  60. Andy says:

    After Missouri blew out duffman’s team Indiana in Bloomington this year, duffman repeatedly assured me that Missouri couldn’t possibly win 8 games this year. Well, Missouri somehow squeaked out a 31-3 win over Tennessee today, so I guess that puts them at 8-1, which, if my math is correct, means that Missouri did indeed achieve the impossible and get to 8 wins. And they should be at least a three touchdown favorite next week vs Kentucky so I dare say 9 wins looks likely. I’m sure duffman will emphatically disagree.

    Like

    • duffman says:

      Andy, bragging about beating Indiana football is pretty sad. While I would love to see IU do well just having a winning season is a goal for Hoosier fans to shoot for. Are you going to brag about beating cellar dwellers Kentucky and Vanderbilt next? Congrats on getting to 8 wins but if Georgia and Florida were at full strength you would still be sitting at just 6 wins. Heck, South Carolina beat you in about 1 quarter after you had and early lead and lead till the end. Here is how the Tigers got to 8 wins :

      Murray State 4-3, 3-1 – Congrats, you beat a FCS school
      Toledo 5-3, 3-1 – Mid level MAC win
      @ Indiana 3-5, 1-3 – Hoosiers should beat Purdue, but probably not getting 6 wins
      Arkansas State 4-4, 2-1 – Mid level Sun Belt win
      @ Vanderbilt 4-4, 1-4 – Next to last in the SEC East
      @ Georgia 5-3, 4-2 – Injury depleted when you played them
      Florida 4-4, 3-3 – Injury depleted and could finish under .500
      South Carolina – Lost at home when their QB came in near the end of the game
      Tennessee 4-5, 1-4 – Battling Vanderbilt for bottom of the East

      So far you have played 1 currently ranked FBS school and they beat you on your home field after spotting you 17 points in the first 3 quarters of the game. Of your current 8 wins, none are against a team currently in the Top 25. You should beat Kentucky and the bye but lets see how you do against Mississippi and Texas A&M before we get all excited about just how good you are. At least the folks in College Station are still ranked so you may have a shot to actually beat a ranked team. You should destroy Kentucky worse than you did Indiana but if you brag about that, you are just sad.

      If you get to the SEC CCG congrats, but if you have to play Alabama in Georgia prepared to get rolled and exposed for your early weak schedule.

      Like

      • Mark says:

        Beating Georgia Tennessee Florida is an amazing year for any team. Tennessee would probably win the Big Ten this year and Georgia and Florida would for sure.

        Like

        • BuckeyeBeau says:

          I am annoyed, but this is an honest question: why do SEC fans feel the need to say things like this?

          I have never heard any fan from any other league ever say anything like this. Never heard that UCLA would win the BXII or that Wisconsin would win the ACC, etc. etc.

          But over and over and over you hear SEC fans make statements like this. Clay Travis on FOXSports has added tOSU to the 14 SEC teams and ranks them. Why?

          Honestly, what is the point (other than to be offensive)?

          Like

          • Mark says:

            Not an SEC fan at all but I appreciate that the SEC is the most legit conference and plays the best football. I figured Missouri would have a rough transition but I am very impressed with the strong season. Big Ten seems content to be an also ran with very poor teams at Purdue, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa and Northwestern 50% of the conference is Kentucky level. Throw in Rutgers and Maryland and you have the Mac plus Ohio State.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Clay Travis is a clown and the ultimate homer. Don’t read him.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            As I’m also a Kentucky fan, I can say you are competing with Clay Travis right now. Kentucky is terrible this year. They’re the 3rd best team in the state. Florida couldn’t score enough to win the Big 10. Tennessee is a very flawed team.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            In case you’re wondering, I’m not sure that Mizzou would win the B1G this year. But I have little doubt they’d be top 2 or 3.

            Like

        • frug says:

          No way Tennessee wins the Big Ten, but Georgia probably would. Florida would be competitive, but I still think Ohio St. would beat them

          Like

        • Brian says:

          Mark,

          “Beating Georgia Tennessee Florida is an amazing year for any team.”

          No, beating a good UGA, TN and UF is an amazing year for anybody. Beating a weak UT, UGA minus 4 of their top weapons and one-dimensional UF minus their best weapons isn’t all that impressive. Those teams combined are 13-12 right now.

          “Tennessee would probably win the Big Ten this year and Georgia and Florida would for sure.”

          Can I have some of what you’re smoking?

          Like

          • Mark says:

            History will remember nothing except that Missouri beat Ga Tn and Fl in the same year. 3 of the top 10 programs in college football history in one year. Why can’t people give Missouri credit for a great season? Big Ten is terrible again, Ohio State has an embarrassing schedule and can’t get higher than #4. I think Tn would make a run at the Big Ten title based on win over SC and close game with Ga.

            Like

          • frug says:

            History will remember nothing except that Missouri beat Ga Tn and Fl in the same year. 3 of the top 10 programs in college football history in one year.

            I’ll give you Florida, but Georgia and Tennessee aren’t quite top 10 all time programs. Top 20, but not top 10.

            I think Tn would make a run at the Big Ten title based on win over SC and close game with Ga.

            Well, every computer rating in the country and all the voters across the various polls disagree with you.

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          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            Missouri has a lot to be proud of, and we shouldn’t try to take anything away from them. My wife and I have a friend who went to Mizzou and she is VERY fired up about the season they’re having, especially since she now lives about 60 miles from Gainesville–very much in SEC country. I wouldn’t try to belittle what they’ve done this year to her. Shoot, if my favorite team struggled throughout the 90’s, played around .500 until 2005, improved into a pretty consistent winner but was underestimated about how it would do in the big, bad SEC, I’d be pretty stoked too!

            My problem is the attitude from SEC fans in general (not all are this way) that SEC teams are inherently very good. An SEC team that beats other SEC teams is awesome, and teams in other leagues that do well “couldn’t hang in the SEC.” Paul Finebaum basically said this on College Game Day on Saturday, belittling the performances of Miami, Florida State, and Clemson’s performances to date based solely on the fact that they are not in the SEC. Nevermind that they are combined 23-2 this year, with the only losses coming to Florida State. It blows my mind that a man who claims to be a college football analyst could watch what FSU has done in its past three games and dismiss it because it’s not in the precious SEC.

            Back to Mizzou: they deserve a ton of credit. We all know that Georgia and Florida were reeling from injuries when Mizzou played them, just like Mizzou was last year. We know that Tennessee is in rebuilding mode. That shouldn’t take away Mizzou fans’ celebrations. But to the rational fan, it should provide some context. Being the best in the SEC East doesn’t make them one of the nation’s most elite teams just because they have the SEC brand. The five remaining undefeated teams have all accomplished much more. Stanford has, too. So has Clemson, who beat Georgia when they were at full strength.

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          • gfunk says:

            @ Mark,

            Congrats to Mizzou, I’m happy for them. But Tenn has been pretty awful since the Fulmer fella left & then the Lane Kiffin disaster followed as well as the last two coaches, granted the current coach is in a honeymoon period. UT was completely blown off the field by Oregon – completely. Second time Oregon has done this to them in the past 5 years. UGa has been plagued by injuries, which is common in the SEC this year, Mizzou included.

            I judge Mizzou more by what they did to IU. They whooped em! Minnesota was approaching comparable results until they melted down in the 4th qtr yesterday, still got the win. Mizzou whooped IU on the same level as MSU. Let’s see how IU looks against OSU and Wisconsin, I suspect they’ll lost very big in those games.

            PS I agree, UT and UGa are great programs, but barely top 10 – likely not.

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          • Andy says:

            Mizzou whooped up on Indiana, Vanderbilt, Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee. Won all 5 of thsoe games by an average of over 20 pts per game. It’s not just that Missouri has been winning, they’ve been dominating.

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        • vp19 says:

          Even Andy isn’t this crazy.

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      • Andy says:

        duffman, your lack of character is astounding.

        I innocently and accurately predicted that Missouri would win at least 8 games this year. You laid into me, calling me an “extreme homer”, and pronouncing that Missouri absolutely would not win 8 games this year.

        They are now 8-1 and you’re doing all kinds of mental gymnastics to tell me how it doesn’t count.

        You were wrong dude. The fact that you can’t admit it is just plain sad.

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      • Andy says:

        And again, among your “extreme”ly biased excuses you fail to mention that while Missouri’s opponents had injuries, Missouri did as well too. Thy had a senior All-Big 12 QB playing at an A- level or better, and he gets hurt and is replaced by a freshman playing at a C+ level over the last 3.3 games. All SEC cornerback leading the SEC in interceptions? Out the last 4 games.

        And still Missouri’s winning these games by 20+ pts.

        Duffman’s “analysis” is a joke, as always.

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    • Mark says:

      Congrats on the great season! Very impressive wins and more exposure than the Big 12 ever provided!!

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      • bullet says:

        And they will probably get the shaft in the bowl lineup and complain endlessly.

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        • Andy says:

          Hopefully not. I guess we’ll find out soon.

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        • Johnny Utah says:

          Hard to get the “shaft” in SEC bowls since they have about six very attractive ones versus only two in the Big 12.

          I’m sure Mizzou fans would be quite happy with anywhere from the Sugar Bowl down to the Gator Bowl.

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          • bullet says:

            They will be screaming if they get the Gator (assuming they finish fairly well). And if they win the East, Alabama goes to title game, they will complain if they don’t get the Sugar. They’ll be saying its 2007 all over again.

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          • Andy says:

            of course bullet is saying that it’s fair that Kansas went to the Orange Bowl over Missouri even though Missouri was ranked higher and beat Kansas head to head in their final game. yeah, that makes sense.

            If something like that happens again you bet we’d be pissed.

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          • bullet says:

            I understand why Missouri was mad. KU didn’t deserve to go ahead of Missouri.

            I also understand why the bowl did it. Bowls aren’t about fairness or who deserves it more. They’re about selling hotel rooms. They figure teams who lose in ccgs don’t travel well because the fan base was disappointed. Missouri blamed the Big 12 for not trying to overrule the bowl.

            That’s one of the improvements in the new system. Now its a committee doing it in 2014, but its not the bowl committee. They are planning on inviting the best 6 non-automatic qualifiers in addition to the 5 champs and the top non-AQ champ (don’t correct me-I know I’m simplifying it). And that’s the best teams, not the best at selling hotel rooms.

            For this year, teams like Clemson, Baylor and Missouri could be disappointed if they don’t win their conference. The bowl reps are still selecting the teams.

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          • Andy says:

            It’s a crappy system and I’m glad it’s ending.

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    • BuckeyeBeau says:

      @ Andy. May I suggest just ignoring Duffman? Sure, respond once or twice, whatever.

      But why pick a fight? This continuing feud is not very interesting.

      You going to continue this next season?

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      • Andy says:

        He called me an “extreme homer” for daring to say that Missouri would win at least 8 games this year. He told me Tennessee, Kentucky, and Ole Miss were “likely losses”. Well, Mizzou just beat Tennessee 31-3. Duffman is a tool.

        I won’t really need to point out how wrong he was much longer. It’s pretty well established at this point.

        Like