Lawyers, Guns and Antitrust Counterclaims: Maryland Says ACC Tried to Recruit Big Ten Schools

Posted: January 15, 2014 in Big Ten, Sports
Tags: , , , , ,

When it comes to conference realignment-related lawsuits, every school that has left a conference has attempted to claim that it owes nothing in exit fees. In turn, every conference has attempted to claim that the defecting school owes every single penny. Ultimately, though, it’s all a dance to get to a settlement (as is the case in 99% of all lawsuits as a general matter) and the parties invariably meet somewhere near the middle.

As a result, Maryland’s new counterclaim filed on Monday against the ACC (see the full complaint here) needs to be viewed through that prism. Maryland is now claiming that the ACC is liable for $157 million, which reflects treble damages for allegations of anti-competitive behavior (which we’ll get to in a moment). The ACC’s original claim states that Maryland owes the entire amount of the $52.2 million exit fee that the conference passed a couple of months prior to the Terps defecting (although Maryland and Florida State voted against it). The reality is that Maryland doesn’t truly believe that the ACC is going to pay $157 million and the ACC doesn’t truly believe that Maryland will pay the full $52.2 million exit fee. It’s just that they can’t say anything less along those lines in court or public or else they’ll lose a massive amount of leverage.

The headlines for the counterclaim focus on two tantalizing allegations that the ACC (1) attempted to recruit 2 Big Ten schools after Maryland announced that it was leaving and (2) received “counsel and direction from ESPN” on expansion targets. Now, my semi-educated guess is that these allegations are blowing some fairly mundane conversations out of proportion. Conferences are constantly recruiting schools, as the Big Ten has done quite a bit over the past several years. The word on the street is that Penn State was definitely one of the Big Ten schools that was contacted, while Northwestern appears to be the most likely other target. Note that Maryland stated that the ACC did not recruit any schools west of the Mississippi River (which was a distinction to bolster their argument that the “relevant market” that needs to shown in antitrust cases was as limited as possible and that the ACC had market power in such market), so it looks like the ACC didn’t want to go after Minnesota, Iowa or Nebraska.  Regardless, the fact that representatives from Wake Forest and Pittsburgh* attempted to recruit Big Ten schools in and of itself doesn’t mean very much other than showing that there’s no limit to John Swofford’s hubris. Pitt’s president calling up Penn State’s president with a “Want to join the ACC, bro?” inquiry and quickly getting rebuffed is a recruitment on paper, but it never went anywhere. The real test is whether there was any evidence of reciprocal interest (i.e. the Big Ten entering into confidentiality agreements with multiple ACC schools besides Maryland in 2012) and Maryland didn’t present anything to that effect.

(* It’s not surprising that Wake Forest and Pitt were chosen as the schools to put out feelers because they are probably the last two schools from the ACC that would garner any interest from the Big Ten. Now, that doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with them, but rather they are the two schools that do the least to fill what the Big Ten specifically would be looking for in expansion. Wake is a small enrollment undergrad-focused private school that shares its state with 3 other schools with larger fan bases, while Pitt is the only ACC school that is located in a current Big Ten state and wouldn’t bring any new markets to the table. Everyone else in the ACC would bring in a new TV market and recruiting territory to the Big Ten at a minimum putting aside any academic and cultural fit issues.)

At the same time, ESPN’s “counsel and direction” isn’t unique to the ACC. While I have seen a number of people try to argue today that the ACC is an “ESPN property” while the Big Ten is a “Fox property”, this belies the fact that ESPN’s top college football package still consists of the Big Ten’s first tier rights, the Big Ten continues to receive more money from ESPN than the BTN even under an older pre-sports rights boom contract, and Disney will very likely be paying a monster amount (as in the largest contract in college sports history) to retain those rights sooner rather than later (which is a topic for another day). The reality is that ESPN is having these types of conversations with everyone. If the ACC lobs in a call to Bristol and asks whether they’d be willing to pay more if they added Penn State, they’re probably giving an honest affirmative answer. Likewise, if anyone thinks that Jim Delany and the Big Ten didn’t have the exact same conversations with ESPN about what they’d be getting if Maryland and Rutgers joined (the latter being the old Big East that had all of its rights owned by ESPN), then that’s a serious case of naivete. That doesn’t mean that ESPN is actually directing conference realignment decisions, although it highlights the substantial conflict of interest that ESPN has by having so many contracts with a multitude of competing parties.

Separately, it appears that the quote of former Boston College AD Gene DeFilippo in Boston Globe after the ACC added Syracuse and Pittsburgh, where he says, “We always keep our television partners close to us. You don’t get extra money for basketball. It’s 85 percent football money. TV – ESPN – is the one who told us what to do. This was football; it had nothing to do with basketball,’’ will probably live on in infamy for the foreseeable future in conference realignment lawsuits. Granted, my belief is that the quote is taken a bit out of context where the emphasis that DeFilippo was likely trying to get across was that ESPN was telling conferences that football was worth more than basketball as a general matter as opposed to providing actual membership directions, but it shows that the public will pounce on any hint of meddling from Bristol because they want to believe that ESPN constitutes the Conference Realignment Illuminati behind every move.

For all of the lawsuits, mudslinging and public posturing, we’re probably going to see the ACC and Maryland end up splitting the baby in a settlement in relatively short order. Absolutely no one involved – Maryland, the ACC, the Big Ten, ESPN – wants anything to do with this matter going to trial. A year ago, I thought that this would settle for between $25 million and $30 million, and that still seems to be the likely outcome from my standpoint.

(Image from Fansided)

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Comments
  1. Wainscott says:

    #1! (finally)

    Like

  2. So what do you think of SEC TV and the carriage deal with Dish? Or is that a blog post coming soon?

    Like

  3. greg says:

    Hawkeye hoops #1!

    Like

    • Richard says:

      The biggest problem I have with the rating system (besides class size playing too big a factor) is that the big pool of 3 stars is too undifferentiated.

      A 3 star with mostly offers from G5 schools and a handful of bottom-tier P5 programs is almost certainly not the same level of talent as a 3 star with a bunch of P5 offers including several kings.

      That’s why an Elo system (that another NU fan developed) is likely better.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Richard,

        “The biggest problem I have with the rating system (besides class size playing too big a factor) is that the big pool of 3 stars is too undifferentiated.

        A 3 star with mostly offers from G5 schools and a handful of bottom-tier P5 programs is almost certainly not the same level of talent as a 3 star with a bunch of P5 offers including several kings.”

        Actually, only Scout actually uses the star system directly anymore. The others convert back to stars afterwards because that’s what people are used to hearing. Rivals uses a scale of 5.2 – 6.1. 247 and ESPN use a scale up to 100.

        General chart (it varies from site to site):
        5 stars = top 1%
        4 stars = top 10%
        3 stars = top 25%
        2 stars = top 50%

        What you also have to remember is that there is less difference between players as you move down the rankings, just like in the polls for CFB. Like most things dealing with people, a bell curve is appropriate for plotting player rankings.

        Rough equivalency:
        5 stars = 2.5+ standard deviations from the mean
        4 stars = 1.6-2.5 std dev
        3 stars = 1.2-1.6 std dev
        2 stars = 0-1.2 std dev

        Like

        • Richard says:

          “What you also have to remember is that there is less difference between players as you move down the rankings, just like in the polls for CFB.”

          True with 2 stars.

          With 3 stars, it feels like the difference between the top 3 stars and bottom 3 stars is bigger than the difference between an average 4 star and top 3 star.
          So 11-12th percentile is closer in talent to 5th percentile than 24-25th percentile.

          This actually makes some sense with football players because different strengths can be exhibited (and weaknesses covered) with the right schemes and heart & desire has such an impact on performance (compared to, say, baseball, where all catchers have to do roughly the same job, etc., & you can’t beat the other side just by wanting it more and outfighting them).

          Then add in that all this rating is subjective.

          In NFL practices, no-name guys fighting to stay on the roster or taxi squad blow up big-name Pro Bowlers all the time.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            “With 3 stars, it feels like the difference between the top 3 stars and bottom 3 stars is bigger than the difference between an average 4 star and top 3 star.”

            Yes, but that’s apples and oranges. You’re comparing half of the 4 star range to the whole 3 star range. Of course any rough scale will have issues near the dividing points. But look at the Gaussian distribution numbers I gave you.

            Bottom 3 star / top 3 star = 1.2/1.6 = 0.75

            Top 3 star / top 4 star = 1.6/2.5 = 0.64

            Top 3 star / median 4 star = 1.6 / 2.05 = 0.78

            It’s almost the same talent gap.

            “Then add in that all this rating is subjective.”

            Very much so, although they factor in stats and combine data as well. That’s why it’s still somewhat impressive that the rankings have the level of meaning that they do.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            “Yes, but that’s apples and oranges. You’re comparing half of the 4 star range to the whole 3 star range. Of course any rough scale will have issues near the dividing points.”

            Sure, but that’s why I feel that dividing the big group of 3 stars would be informative.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            A finer scale is always more informative. But the whole point of the star scale is to provide a quick set of stats a casual recruiting fan can look at. That’s why I pointed out that all but Scout actually use finer scales to rank players and determine team rankings, then just convert it to stars at the end.

            Like

  4. Wainscott says:

    @FrankTheTank:

    Good post, but I find this an interesting counterweight to UMD’s claims:

    Like

  5. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    GEAUX Tigers!

    Like

  6. Kevin says:

    I think think the $25 to $30 million is too high. Maryland never agreed to the increase up to $52. There is also no recent market evidence that suggests a reasonable penalty for leaving a conference is in the $25-$30 million range. All other settlements have been less than $20 and I would suspect that’s where Maryland will land. Maryland doesn’t have the means to pay a $30 million exit fee. This number is also likely more than what the ACC will likely withhold from Maryland prior to departure. Personally I think a reasonable exit fee is in the $10 million range. .

    Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      I think think the $25 to $30 million is too high. Maryland never agreed to the increase up to $52.

      However, Maryland DID agree to comply with the ACC bylaws, and bylaws are not required to pass unanimously. If it goes to trial (and I agree with FTT it probably won’t), the only question is if the bylaw is is legal. When you’re in an organization, you have to follow all its legally adopted bylaws, not just the ones you voted for.

      All other settlements have been less than $20 and I would suspect that’s where Maryland will land. Maryland doesn’t have the means to pay a $30 million exit fee.

      Whether they have the means is not part of the legal analysis. Anyhow, if they can pay $20, they can pay $30.

      Personally I think a reasonable exit fee is in the $10 million range.

      It is meant to be at least somewhat unreasonable. At $10 million, there would be hardly any disincentive at all.

      Like

      • Wainscott says:

        @Marc Shepherd:

        “When you’re in an organization, you have to follow all its legally adopted bylaws, not just the ones you voted for.”

        Actually, this is the issue that Maryland is focused on just as much, if not more, than the amount of the exit fee and if its a penalty or not. If it goes to trial, a major issue will be if all required procedures were followed in amending the by-laws. If, as UMD claims, the ACC failed to adhere to required procedures, it can jeopardize the exit fee increase, regardless of how its characterized.

        But I do agree that there is no way this goes to trial. Heck, there is no way this case goes too far into discovery. Neither side wants emails/sworn statements getting leaked to the press…

        Like

    • bullet says:

      The ACC by July will have withheld something in the vicinity of $25-$30 million. So Maryland will be able to pay it. Likely they already will have.

      Missouri paid around $14 million to the Big 12 on a roughly $25-30 million maximum. I don’t see it being any lower than Missouri. WVU is the highest at $20 million, but they left early and created some scheduling headaches for the BE (which is also why Missouri paid about $3 million more than Texas A&M despite leaving the Big 12 the same year).

      Like

      • Kevin says:

        Interesting to see if the ACC has the right to withhold NCAA monies. I can see TV payments etc… but not sure on the NCAA distribution. I think the TV only money for Maryland would total less than $20 million over their remaining term. Either way they likely will never get that back and the ACC will never get more than what they are withholding.

        Like

        • BruceMcF says:

          Certainly ~ AFAIR, NCAA distributions are to the conference of the participating school, how they are divvied up is up to the by-laws of each conference.

          Like

  7. gfunk says:

    Frank,

    Nice, more rational, interpretation of all this head-spinning expansion madness. Really, none of these conferences are innocent when it comes to seeking candidates for expansion. But, I do think the ACC gets away with making dirty moves more so than other conferences. By far, they’ve expanded the most & only time will tell if their new additions went too far. The ACC gets an A+ for covering up their sneakiness & pr issues, esp some schools & even outside of just expansion. When looking at the above NY Times article, it’s truly unfair that the author cites the PSU move to the BIG as the seismic cause of expansion. What? Really? Arkansas and SC (independent like PSU) moved to the SEC before PSU to the BIG & the SWC’s doom was already years in the making. I believe the SWC-Big8-Big12’s lack of cohesion over the years has been the biggest driver of expansion, followed by the Big East’s inability to solidify as a football, not just basketball, conference. Conferences like the SEC, BIG, & ACC took advantage of such instability & more, but again, “instability” from within the aforementioned conferences was the primer.

    Back to the ACC & the fact that their members somehow get away with breaking rules, I find it stunning & increasingly hypocritical that UNC will likely get off easier than say Minnesota when it comes to academic fraud, the latter paying significant, long-term costs for such “fraud”. It appears Minnesota did far less cheating than UNC.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      You have your timeline wrong. Penn St. was invited to join the Big 10 in December 1989. Arkansas and South Carolina were invited in August 1990. It just took a little longer for Penn St. to transition.

      Penn St. was indeed the trigger that set off everything. And it never really died down. The Big 10 announcing it was seeking applications continued realignment started with the 1989 invitation to Penn St. as the Big East and Big 12 schools continued to search for their favorite landing spot.

      Like

      • Wainscott says:

        And the Big East’s instability can be traced to its rejection PSU’s application in 1982 (in which Syracuse cast the deciding vote against admission).

        Like

      • gfunk says:

        Bullet,

        Nonsense! There is so, so, much more to expansion history than PSU to the BIG. I know that PSU reached agreement in 89, but the SWC-Big 8 issues, esp those in the SWC, were already in the making before 89 – undeniable facts here. Moreover, the SWC had prime football powers & a pretty successful history. I clearly remember my dad, a sports journalist for many decades, discussing the inevitable downfall of the SWC years before he reported PSU to the BIG. Moreover, the Big East (which PSU unsuccessfully sought before BIG membership), was from the beginning, searching for a football dentity. You could say the same for the ACC, more of a hoops conference in the beginning – their flirtations with FSU pre-date 1989 because some of their current (GT & VT post 89) & former members (SCar) had ties to the Southern Conference & Metro Conference Back to the bigger point, I think the SWC’s doom was set in motion pre-PSU to the BIG, & their relationship with the Big8 was decades in the making as well, esp considering OU and OkSt were once SWC members.

        What is understated, esp on the football side, the conferences that got to 12 created their own advantages due to a ideal number to setup a CCG, the Big12 didn’t capitalize enough on common culture, the SEC did. The BIG didn’t get to 12 until after the SEC, ACC, and Big12.

        Expansion, esp down South, has been going on incestuously for decades – movement down there has been far more regular than in BIG land. Look up the movements for yourself.

        Bottom line, you can’t put expansion on one school & I think the bigger point I’m making is that other conferences who implode are the bigger cause of expansion, the more stable conferences are there to pick up the pieces.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          Everyone reacted to Penn St. joining the Big 10. Arkansas leaving hastened the fall of the SWC. Yes it was inevitable, but it sped things along. And it led to the formation of the BE football conference as the eastern independents grouped together which led to the collapse of the metro as well.

          And absolutely everything was triggered by the Big 10’s announcement that they were expanding again. Delany said so himself, that he would do it more quietly next time, rather than cause such turmoil.

          Now TV has been the ultimate driver, but the Big 10 has been the trigger.

          Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            There has always been realignment.

            OU v NCAA, and those who understood what it would mean for conferences and their bargaining strength, probably contributed to the (almost) complete dissolution of the group known as independents. Strength moved to the aggregation of newly won schools media rights.

            Like

          • greg says:

            I guess the B1G is the straw that stirs the drink.

            Like

          • gfunk says:

            Or is it the BIG wanted to get to 12 quite badly in order to get a CCG like the ACC, Big12 and SEC, as the latter two, their conference winners, often fielded the BCSNCG? I mean really now, the BIG moved to 12 partly because they felt like they were falling behind, esp on the gridiron. Those CCG’s, esp the SEC were getting big time exposure post Thanksgiving, apparently giving an edge to all conferences who held them. BIG went public with no. 12, no doubt, but other conferences were plotting & again, the Big12, ACC and SEC were already at 12. Never mind the Big East was constantly contacting and expanding during this time as well.

            You overstate Bullet, you are either not old enough to remember the constant expansions before PSU to the BIG, or choose not to dig up the historical details. The demise of the SWC was a gradual, well publicized process – certain members were constantly getting nailed with probation.

            I’m jealous of CCrider, he put it best: “there has always been realignment”. It’s just that the BIG’s move was unexpected because they’ve had a history of going slow & only til Rutgers-Md, moved slower than the rest, but now the Pac12 remains at 12. Before PSU, ND to the BIG was discussed multiple times & schools like Iowa State and Nebraska as well. When MSU joined the BIG it was a big deal. Moreover, my BIG allegiance aside, the conference has generally won the hype sweepstakes, but hype is often filled with myth.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            I remember quite well gfunk. You just blindly refuse to acknowledge the B1G’s part as the “straw.”

            There was very little movement among the major conferences from 1966 to 1989. The Big 8, Big 10 and ACC didn’t change. The Eastern Indies didn’t change much. The SWC only added Houston in 1971. The Pac only added the Arizona schools around 1978. The ACC lost S. Carolina in 69 and replaced them with Georgia Tech around 1978. That’s 4 adds and 1 loss in 23 years. The Big 12 alone had more than that in 2010-11. The Big East had about 3 times that many moves just last year. Most of the realignment was in the mid-majors like the Missouri Valley and minor conferences and had to do with the NCAA realignments from 2 divisions to 3 and the addition of I-AA. Even the WAC and MAC combined only had 2 schools leave in those 23 years (Marshall got kicked out of MAC and NIU left).

            Now from 1940-1966 there was a fair amount as WWII and the growth of the state universities changed things. A bunch of eastern indies dropped fb or dropped down. The ACC was formed. SWC added Texas Tech. Big 8 added CU and OSU. Pac lost Montana, dissolved, reformed w/o Idaho. SEC lost Sewanee, Tulane and Georgia Tech. Big 10 lost Chicago and added MSU. Much more than the following quarter century.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            “The Big 12 alone had more than that in 2010-11. The Big East had about 3 times that many moves just last year.”

            The BEast was in dying convulsions, and the B12 was resuscitated by media promis to continue paying as if thedefections and replacements hadn’t happened (and the Spector of what became a billion dollar ESPN investment in Austin). Those can’t be laid at outside conferences feet.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            The I-A/I-AA split happened in 1978, so let’s start there.

            1978 – 33 independents
            1979 – 31
            1980 – 30
            1981 – 27
            1982 – 21
            1983 – 20

            That’s 13 of 33 (39.4%) of them gone, mostly by dropping to I-AA.

            1990 – still 20
            1991 – 12 (Big East formed)
            1992 – 10 (FSU, SC)
            1993 – 9 (PSU)
            1994
            1995
            1996 – 4 (CUSA formed)

            Note that I’m ignoring any new teams that joined I-A, just tracking those original 33 independents.

            Are people claiming the Big East would never have formed if the B10 didn’t invite PSU? Would the SEC never have gone to 12? Would FSU never have wanted a home?

            Like

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            Brian, I think the point is that while the dominoes were ready and waiting to fall over (i.e., the SWC was inevitably going to break up, the independents were going to need conference homes, etc.), the Big Ten was the first conference to tip one of them over.

            Former ACC commissioner Gene Corrigan once admitted, basically, that the Big Ten’s addition of Penn State caught the league completely off guard. He and league presidents realized they missed the boat. (As others have imagined, just imagine if the ACC, not the SEC, had been the first league with the foresight to go from 8 to 12 in the late 80’s or early 90’s, adding PSU, FSU, Miami, and either Syracuse or Pitt, at a time when PSU, FSU, and Miami were at the peak of their powers.)

            I agree, of course, that if Penn State hadn’t moved on Penn State when it did, the SEC might have moved on Arkansas at some point. But the Penn State move jolted other leagues into realizing they had better start thinking about expansion and, as Jim Delany would say, monitoring the landscape. It definitely shocked the ACC into looking at FSU and Syracuse.

            The Big Ten also was the initiator back in 2009, as well, when it announced its intentions to expand. Yes, just like in ’89, other things may have happened eventually, namely that the Pac-12 would have considered expansion regardless. But the Big Ten was the first to tip the domino.

            The one big exception was 2003 when the ACC recruited the Big East schools. That one, however didn’t result in any change for 4 of the other then-six power conferences (B1G, B12, Pac-12, SEC). It merely had an effect on the ACC, Big East, non-AQ leagues, and non-FBS leagues

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Michael in Raleigh,

            “Brian, I think the point is that while the dominoes were ready and waiting to fall over (i.e., the SWC was inevitably going to break up, the independents were going to need conference homes, etc.), the Big Ten was the first conference to tip one of them over.”

            But the B10 wasn’t the first to talk about realignment back then.

            1979 – Big East forms (no FB, but BC and SU are in)
            1982 – Pitt joined the BE but PSU was turned down (still no FB)

            That was the first domino. PSU wanted to join a conference and the BE said no. That meant PSU had to join the A10, and thus fall behind in money.

            1989 – again the BE rejected adding PSU

            That drove PSU to seek to join the B10.

            What drove expansion was that the money balance shifted heavily towards football. When hoops brought a higher percentage of total revenue than it does now, FB independents were OK. Now that hoops is worth half of FB at best, independents struggle.

            You can say the B10 started things, but that’s ignoring the situation at the time and the previous few years. The shift in TV money drove expansion.

            “Former ACC commissioner Gene Corrigan once admitted, basically, that the Big Ten’s addition of Penn State caught the league completely off guard. He and league presidents realized they missed the boat.”

            But he knew the BE had rejected PSU previously, so the only shock was that PSU looked west and not south. There was no shock about PSU looking for a conference.

            “The Big Ten also was the initiator back in 2009, as well, when it announced its intentions to expand.”

            I don’t think anyone has denied that the B10 stirred things up in 2009. I think they did the correct thing in announcing their attentions rather than making a stealth attack. The B10 didn’t cause the B12 to fall apart, though. That was their own internal issues.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Nebraska wasn’t considering leaving the Big 12 until the Big 10 announced they were looking. That was also the trigger for Texas & Co. to consider moving en masse to the Pac. Colorado probably would have moved inevitably, but that would have been a minor impact. And it was that whole instability that caused Texas A&M to start looking at the SEC again.

            If the Big 10 didn’t take Nebraska (or Missouri), the Big 12 would probably still be 12 with WVU, Louisville or BYU replacing Colorado.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            “Nebraska wasn’t considering leaving the Big 12 until the Big 10 announced they were looking.”

            That’s not entirely true. NE had thought about joining the B10 several times before. I’ll agree it wasn’t in the front of their minds at that point, though.

            “That was also the trigger for Texas & Co. to consider moving en masse to the Pac.”

            Which they didn’t, so it’s a moot point.

            “Colorado probably would have moved inevitably, but that would have been a minor impact.”

            There still would have been shuffling among major conferences.

            “And it was that whole instability that caused Texas A&M to start looking at the SEC again.”

            A move they had also considered before.

            “If the Big 10 didn’t take Nebraska (or Missouri), the Big 12 would probably still be 12 with WVU, Louisville or BYU replacing Colorado.”

            So we agree, change would have happened without the B10 doing anything. Thus, you can’t accurately claim the B10 triggered all expansion. The B10 triggered this particular path of expansion, but expansion was going to happen even if the B10 was last to expand.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            I thought UNL called the B1G and said that an attempt to solidify the B12 was happening that would involve signing a GOR, so if they wanted Nebraska it had to be very soon.

            Colo. was leaving/left, whether with a group or alone.

            aTm was leaving inspite of the momentary save, and MO soon followed.

            The only impact the B1G made was in choosing which of several requests/pleas was accepted.

            Like

          • lovedtheusfl says:

            If you beleive the Wagrin account of the death of the SWC, It is kind of a bummer that UT didn’t figure out that they didn’t have a path into the PAC or Big 10 (or that they didn’t like the SEC) before they encouraged Arkansas to leave for the SEC. I know the SEC had a better hand than the Big 8 in TV terms, but man, the geography for Arkansas would have been sweet.

            I never liked the old Big 12, but I would have loved it with Arkansas, UT, A&M, and Tech in that conference. Maybe you add BYU and Baylor for 14. That might have survived intact.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            None of those schools even thinks about leaving except Colorado if the Big 10 doesn’t announce its plans.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            @love
            Not sure what account you are talking about. But there are some dates that support Arkansas getting a green light.

            Early August 1990, Texas President briefs board of regents on discussions with Pac 10 and that he has been told all the schools were ready to give Texas an invitation. He gets informal approval to close the deal.
            August 2, 1990 Arkansas accepts invitation to SEC.
            Later in August 1990 Texas gets told that its invitation didn’t pass. Stanford voted no.
            August 25, 1990 Texas and Texas A&M commit to the SWC as A&M also closes its conversations with the SEC.
            September 26, 1990 South Carolina gets invited to SEC.

            Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      …none of these conferences are innocent when it comes to seeking candidates for expansion. But, I do think the ACC gets away with making dirty moves more so than other conferences.

      What exactly is “dirty” about it? Two willing parties — a league and a school — enter into a business transaction. Maybe the school’s former business partners are unhappy, but that’s life. Joining a league is not a “forever” decision. If you find a better league, and that league accepts you, then you move.

      Nothing guilty, dirty, or sneaky about that.

      Like

      • I don’t necessarily think that it’s “dirty”, but the sports media (who generally isn’t very strong in knowing about business issues and/or can’t stand talking about them) is significantly more sympathetic to moves that look good on-the-field and/or on-the-court (which I can’t exactly blame them for). Making more money while immediately improving competitiveness is simply much more justifiable to media members than making more money while only hearing about demographics, TV revenue and markets. The Big Ten’s addition of Nebraska was generally praised in that regard, but the Maryland/Rutgers expansion was looked at as a pure money grab (and to be sure, that’s mostly what it was). That’s going to garner less sympathy from the media-types than adding a Louisville program that just won a National Championship, BCS bowl and a College World Series slot in the same school year, regardless of the long-term implications. Conference realignment has proven to be a fairly unpopular topic for traditional media-types (who are often old school and just want everything to go back to what it was in 1970), so they want to believe that there’s at least a merit component in conference realignment beyond where school happens to be located.

        Like

        • gfunk says:

          Agree with Frank more, Marc you should have been on the cast of “Wolf . . . Wall Street” : ). You can’t say Md to the BIG was without “sneakiness”, esp considering the reaction of many prominent Md alum & ACC officials – these ACC officials are obviously still pissed. And I’m damn sure Big East officials were quite upset about the clandestine measures taken by many of its former members – too many examples here. Expansion requires a bit of “sneakiness” and it’s “dirty” as well because there will always be traditionalists. In fact, Delany remarked that openly seeking expansion members was a bad idea, thus be sneaky.

          Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            Actually, I am not sure what I said that Frank disagreed with. He was simply adding the gloss of how the media portrays it, and he is completely right.

            “Confidential” is a more neutral word for what you are calling “sneaky”. Parties routinely keep business negotiations a secret until they have made a deal. Do you expect negotiation to be a spectator sport?

            Sure, the ACC and the Big East are unhappy. The question is whether they have any legitimate right to be unhappy, or if it’s just sour grapes. The Wolf of Wall Street is a film about criminals. Expansion is about schools voluntarily leaving lesser leagues for better ones.

            Sure, there are traditionalists who wish that nothing would ever change. But conference switcheroos aren’t “dirty” just because traditionalists disagree.

            Like

          • gfunk says:

            Marc,

            There’s a damn : ) after my “Wolf” statement. Take it easy.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            What the MWC did to the WAC, two or three times, was dirty and seemed to be personal. They were trying to kill it. ACC with the Big East was pretty similar, although not as flagrant.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            UA and ASU from the WAC to the PAC in ’79 (?).

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            What the MWC did to the WAC, two or three times, was dirty and seemed to be personal. They were trying to kill it. ACC with the Big East was pretty similar, although not as flagrant.

            I haven’t studied the MWC/WAC situation very closely, so I won’t comment.

            But I certainly disagree with your characterization of what the ACC did. The ACC wanted to get stronger, and the best available schools were in the Big East. The Big East was weak, and all of its football schools were on the lookout for better homes.

            It’s not as if the ACC gobbled up those schools against their will. The schools wanted to move, because the Big East simply wasn’t very good. It was a move that benefited both parties.

            To the sad Big East relicts, I’d say: “Next time, don’t suck at football.” It’s certainly not the schools fault that they wanted to improve their lot, nor the ACC’s fault that they took the opportunity when it came along.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            @Marc
            ACC was 3-13 in BCS games prior to this year with wins over future member Virginia Tech, Cincinnati and Northern Illinois. West Virginia had that many wins on their own in the Big East. While you may question the computers, since the 2005 raid up until 2013, the Big East frequently had higher computer ratings than both the ACC and B1G. So the ACC has no business trash talking the BE in football. The BE was going to get a contract more valuable per school than the ACC’s $12.9 million before they turned down the ESPN deal and Pitt and SU left (ESPN offered $150 million which would have been about $14+ million to the 9 fb schools).

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            Its also not as if the Big East did not do the same because they were pure of heart ~ they did not do the same because the big BBall-only annex made them far less flexible in terms of FB-oriented conference expansion, at a time when it was fairly clear that there was likely room for one East Coast Power conference but not two.

            Like

          • opossum says:

            I think what sets the “sneakiness” of the Maryland move apart from all of the other recent moves is that the sneakiness and non-disclosure were an essential element. For example, if Pitt, Syracuse and the ACC had announced they were in talks weeks or months before anything became final, it would have been messier and the other Big East schools would have been upset earlier (and might have caused some additional legal or political trouble), but it still probably would have happened.

            If Maryland had announced they were in talks with the Big Ten (or if the Big Ten announced they were looking to expand east), Maryland’s boosters and fans would have shut it down tout suite. Many have come around or resigned themselves or justified it, but if given the choice in advance, it would have been stopped in its tracks. It had to be done in the dead of night, in violation of open meetings laws with nondisclosure agreements and all the attendant shadiness, or it wouldn’t have happened at all.

            That, combined with the Maryland and Rutgers adds being viewed as purely territorial/cash grab like FTT says, is why the narrative is different for this move.

            The other element is that the Maryland President announced right away that they would not be paying the exit fee. Sharp contrast with others who have included checks with their exit notices, to show good faith. Syracuse and West Virginia got into legal battles with the Big East about the 27 month notice requirement but neither suggested they would not meet their financial obligations (I believe both paid more than was required, in fact), they just wanted to leave earlier for more money.

            Like

        • acaffrey says:

          When a bunch of non-profits make decisions based on how much more revenue they will get, why have sympathy?

          Money is not the key statistic in sports. A-Rod may go down as the richest baseball player, but became very unpopular right at the time he signed his quarter-billion deal. If he had gone home to Miami for that money, it would have been seen better. But it was just about the money and a disproportionate amount of it at that. And that was before any serious PED issues regarding him. There were more obvious violators at the time.

          If the Big 10 wants to put money before everything else, they certainly can. Money is a measurement. It’s just not one that most fans care about or want to care about.

          The Rutgers/Maryland adds do not make the Big 10 better at either revenue sport. Maryland has had a good basketball history with a national title. But it is not a difference maker. Is Maryland a top 4 program for the Big 10? Is it definitely better than Iowa, Purdue, and Michigan? Was it ever a consistent threat to Duke or North Carolina for supremacy in the ACC over a significant period of time? And Rutgers, of course, speaks for itself.

          Nebraska made the Big 10 better at football. That’s what most of us want to see when being forced to swallow expansion. The Big 10 can be happy with its adds (and perhaps should be), but the rest of us are not impressed.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            The Big 10 didn’t add Maryland and Rutgers for athletics. That’s obvious. In the short run it no doubt weakens the conference. However, I don’t think they primarily added them for TV money and the BTN. I think they added them primarily for the intangibles of exposure in DC and NYC. Whether or not it pays off eventually in athletics or TV money, I think the administrators of the Big 10 are the least likely to be dissatisfied with expansion to 14 relative to the SEC and ACC.

            Like

          • acaffrey says:

            Why would the SEC or ACC be dissatisfied? You may be right, of course. But I am not sure why they would be dissatisfied.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            “The Rutgers/Maryland adds do not make the Big 10 better at either revenue sport.”

            If you think that there’s something wrong with non-profits basing their decisions on revenue, then why do you emphasize the revenue sports over the other sports? Maryland is a king program in lacrosse, women’s field hockey, and competitive cheer. They’re a power in soccer as well.

            Like

          • acaffrey says:

            People liked the revenue sports before they became revenue sports. So many people liked them that they became revenue generators.

            True, if the Big 10 wants to dominate the sports of lesser interest, that would be a fine decision. But they did it for money. Plain and simple.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            And while Rutgers does not compare to the big Four of Florida, California, Texas and Georgia as far as football recruiting grounds, it jumps right up to the second richest FB recruiting state within the Big Ten footprint, after Ohio. I do not see how one can at the one hand fault the Big Ten football programs for “athleticism”, which is to say fault them for not being located with the same rich recruiting grounds as in the SEC or ACC footprints, and also fault them for going after one of the best recruiting grounds actually available to them and contiguous with their existing footprint.

            Like

          • acaffrey says:

            Not faulting the Big 10 for lack of athleticism. Just pointing out why people other than Big 10 apologists like the Nebraska add WAY more than Rutgers/Maryland. For all the talk of school similarity and recruiting, the monetary demographic was most important. Not much different than A-Rod, really.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            A-Rod would have gotten at least 80% (still an obscene amount) by staying in Seattle (and the Mariners had already secured the ability to sign Ichiro, it wasn’t an either/or). It was the the lying about whether money would be the deciding factor, and followed that with saying the Rangers was the best choice to win. How’d that workout?

            B1G expansion isn’t strictly about just one or two sports. They are parts taken into consideration to make the whole stronger in many ways. It isn’t necessary to impress outsiders, only those involved.

            Like

          • acaffrey says:

            The Big 10 is A-Rod in a sense.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            No. Nothing against them but UT is A-Rod in the B12. The B1G is closer to the Yankees bringing in what they feel can help, while not creating a completely unbalance group.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            I take it A-Rod is a player in that other throwball sport?

            Like

          • bullet says:

            14 is a pain to schedule. It splits up rivalries. ACC is trying to get changes to the rules for ccgs because they don’t like the way scheduling is working out. SEC ADs have been complaining about the difficulties of 14.

            And its not clear that 14 makes more money per school in a vacuum than 12 (or even 10 perhaps). The Pac 12 did a new deal when they added the 2 new members. CU and Utah don’t add a lot of value except as a 12th game. The ACC re-worked their deal with over half the increase coming from extending the term. The rest may all have come from Friday night games and selling the naming rights to their tourney. The SEC probably comes out ahead financially by getting better rates in Texas than they otherwise would on the SECN. But their Tier I deal didn’t go up a dime. I’m not sure the Big 10 will make more money directly. However, the new TV deal will hide the impact.

            Like

          • acaffrey says:

            It’s not like the CCGs have worked out great for everyone. There have been several dud games… a top 5 team vs. a team with 4 or 5 losses. Happens with 12 too… see the PAC a few years ago.

            It behooves every conference to find a way to avoid that. With so many conferences at 14 now, seems inevitable. Wait until 12-0 Ohio State beats 8-4 Nebraska in a CCG, and falls behind a 12-0 Alabama that beat a 11-1 South Carolina in a CCG, allowing Bama to overtake Ohio State in the playoff ranking hierarchy.

            Again, behooves all conferences to test their champions to the greatest extent in the CCG. Or not–if a conference wants to protect its 12-0 team…. could be their choice, I guess.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            “It behooves every conference to find a way to avoid that.”

            No. It absolutely doesn’t. They can change the likelihood by how divisions are created, but the games need to be played after the rules are set. And upsets will/do happen. To do otherwise is to become WWE and have fixed results, or a popularity contest.

            Perhaps you meant to say it behooves teams (tOSU, Miami, USC, etc) to manage to not get sanctioned?

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            acaffrey: “It’s not like the CCGs have worked out great for everyone. There have been several dud games… a top 5 team vs. a team with 4 or 5 losses. Happens with 12 too… see the PAC a few years ago.

            It behooves every conference to find a way to avoid that.”

            Yes, I think it does. This is a change in moving a direct two team playoff to four teams in the CFP ~ the odds go up that when your two best teams happen to be in the same division, whichever team wins the CCG is going to get a spot in the CFP.

            Like

          • acaffrey says:

            I think that perhaps conferences might want to push for a rule change that allows–but does not require–the conferences to substitute a 1-loss overall team for a team that has 2+ losses overall.

            So… if FSU is 12-0, Clemson is 11-1, and Duke is 10-2, the ACC could substitute Clemson for Duke. But if Clemson was 10-2 (losses to Florida State and South Carolina) and Duke was 10-2 (losses to UNC and Virginia Tech, giving them a much lower perception), there would be no substitution.

            Is there a real loser in such a provision? Sure, the divisional concept is weakened. But that is a better game for TV… a better chance for FSU to lose (shaking up the top 4 and giving someone else an opening)… a better chance to judge FSU and every other conference champion.. and so on.

            And let the Big XII have a championship game. Whatever. We are talking one extra game being added into the college football season.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            acaffery:

            Swofford just did, and the B12 talked about it a couple years ago. Marc Shepard will be your cheering section.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            “Is there a real loser in such a provision?”

            Well, the team that got robbed. 99% of fans would think such a set up is a farce.

            Like

          • Transic says:

            acaffrey,

            Face it. You Syracuse fans failed in your objectives in destroying competition in the Northeast because Delany made a bigger play. You might still succeed in diminishing UConn but that’s only a partial victory. Maybe you can claim to be “Boston’s College Team” because BC isn’t getting it done. :D

            Like

          • acaffrey says:

            Rutgers and Maryland are only a “bigger play” in money, a product of the demographics. The Big 10 can be first in revenue, but it is first in nothing else that matters to fans of the revenue sports (which are revenue sports because of their inherent, historical popularity). Enjoy the CA$H.

            Like

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            acaffrey,

            I think we, as fans of ACC teams, have to tip our caps to the Big Ten for being first in basketball in recent seasons. (Maybe a very close second to the Big 12 this year.)

            To me, neither conference will truly dominate the northeast. Doing so would require both Notre Dame and Penn State as absolutely essential anchors in the same league. Instead, one league (the Big Ten) has only one of them, with two supporting cast members in large markets but also with fairly mild fanfare. The other league (ACC) kinda-sorta-but-not-really has the other anchor alongside a slightly longer northeastern supporting cast list with slightly better fanfare (except for BC) but in smaller markets than the B1G’s.

            Even after the realignment of recent years, or recent decades, for that matter, nobody’s been able to pull together the northeast, and no one will dominate it. The Big East had everything–except for the all-important Penn State and Notre Dame.

            Like

          • acaffrey says:

            How is the Big 10 first in basketball in recent seasons???

            If you go back to 2000 to include the last Big 10 national title, the Big 10 has that one title. Excluding the movers (Syracuse, Louisville, Maryland), you have 4 titles for the ACC, 3 for the SEC, 2 for the American, and 1 for the Big 12 and Big 10. If you want to count Maryland for the Big 10, then I guess you have to count Syracuse for the ACC. Perhaps even Louisville for the ACC.

            It is impressive that the Big 10 has had 5 different teams lose in the national championship game (Michigan, MSU, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio State) over that same period. But that is about all I can come up with as a metric for Big 10 basketball supremacy.

            If you go back forever, the ACC has at 12-10 edge on champions. And just look at all the Duke/UNC championship game losses historically… ha ha ha. 8 with Dean Smith and Coach K alone.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            And yet more people watch B10 basketball now and for the past 30 years or so than any other league’s.

            Like

          • acaffrey says:

            Really, they outdraw the Big East and ACC, conferences with higher percentages of small enrollment private schools? I suppose MLB outdraws AAA too.

            Like

          • greg says:

            So you are saying B10 is MLB and ACC/BE is AAA? Interesting choice of words.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            I wouldn’t be surprised if a fair number of AAA teams out draw Tampa. :)

            Like

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            cc – you may be surprised that Tampa Bay did indeed outdraw every minor league team in 2013, but so did my LSU Baseball Tigers.

            18,646 – Tampa Bay Rays average per 81 regular season home games.
            10,885 – LSU Tigers average per 37 regular season home games.
            9,212 – Columbus Clippers had the highest MiLB average attendance in USA or Canada for all classifications.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Alan:

            What would it be if the Rays weren’t in the AL east with the Yankees and Red Sox?

            Like

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            cc – since I’m procrastinating from doing some work, I looked up the answer for you.

            The Rays played nine home dates each against the Yankees and the Red Sox. Six of the nine home games against the Yankees took place during weekends. All of their home games games against the Red Sox took place on weekday nights.

            23,465 – Rays average home attendance against the Yankees for nine games.
            18,646 – Rays overall average home attendance for 81 games.
            18,043 – Rays average attendance minus the nine Yankee games.
            16,963 – Rays average home attendance against the Red Sox for nine games.

            For the weeknight games against the Yankees and one Friday night game, attendance was below 20,000.

            The Rays only broke 20,000 for one game against the Red Sox, which was a Thursday during the September pennant chase.

            My original point was that my LSU Baseball Tigers’ attendance average is better than any minor league team and almost 60% of the Rays.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            acaffrey,

            “Really, they outdraw the Big East and ACC, conferences with higher percentages of small enrollment private schools? I suppose MLB outdraws AAA too.”

            http://www.sportsmediawatch.com/2013/03/college-basketball-tv-ratings-part-2-numbers-for-the-second-half-of-the-season/

            For the season, six of the ten-highest rated games were Big Ten conference matchups, and seven of the top-ten involved a Big Ten team.

            They outdrew them on TV, too.

            Like

          • acaffrey says:

            All Big 10 schools have more enrollment. Naturally, there are more fans to go to games and more fans to watch on TV. Sorry, money and ratings are not necessarily a direct correlation with the product. This year has been great for the Big 10–it deserves all the props in the world for having a loaded conference. But every year is different.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            acaffrey,

            “All Big 10 schools have more enrollment. Naturally, there are more fans to go to games and more fans to watch on TV.”

            So why doesn’t the SEC top the BE and ACC? What about the P12 and B12? Why does the national audience favor the B10?

            Remember, you’re the one who asked:

            “How is the Big 10 first in basketball in recent seasons???”

            You’ve now been given two ways (attendance and TV ratings) and conveniently dismissed them both as unfair to the BE and ACC.

            How about this?

            Sagarin conference ratings (by central mean):
            2014 – 1. B10, 4. BE, 5. ACC
            2013 – 1. B10, 2. BE, 6. ACC
            2012 – 1. B10, 3. BE, 5. ACC
            2011 – 1. BE, 2. B10, 4. ACC (B10 #1 by simple mean and Win50%, his other 2 measures)

            BTW, the B10 was #1 by all 3 measures in the last 3 seasons.

            That would seem to show the B10 being first in basketball in recent seasons.

            Like

    • Transic says:

      But, I do think the ACC gets away with making dirty moves more so than other conferences.

      I’m with you right there. Add into that the obnoxious fans, especially from their recent additions.

      Like

  8. Pat says:

    Go Blue!

    Like

  9. Carney says:

    Frank the Tank,

    So ESPN/ACC didn’t think much about the Big Ten Grants of Rights when trying to take in 2 Big Ten schools to increase the ACC TV value to ESPN, did they???

    So if ESPN/ACC didn’t think the Big 10 GOR was not the immovable object to acquiring two Big 10 schools, wouldn’t it logically fit that maybe Delany does not believe the ACC GOR is the immovable object as well when it comes to possibly acquiring an additional 2 ACC schools before the ACC GOR has run its course?

    I would love for you to make a comment on this if you can. Thanks

    Like

    • Transic says:

      I brought that point up in the previous page. If the ACC thinks of nothing about the B1G’s GoR then it becomes a free-for-all as to who becomes the power conference on the East Coast.

      Like

  10. Wainscott says:

    “Sources: NFL Wants Thursday Games Simulcast On NFL Network”:

    “Also: Other details began to emerge from the proposals, which the NFL sent to all network partners and Turner Sports. One element creating buzz is the fact that the NFL told networks they could make multiple proposals for any games from Week 2 through Week 16, except for the Opening Night and Thanksgiving night Thursday games.”

    http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Daily/Closing-Bell/2014/01/15/thursdays.aspx

    I get why they want it, but if a cable channel wins, that means the game could potentially air on four different channels (national cable, NFL network, and two over the air local TV stations in the markets where the teams playing are from).

    As for the specifics of the proposal, the lack of a set defined plan is interesting. I’d expect some over the air networks seek Thursday night games in November (sweeps month) where more teams are still in competition for the playoffs. With flex, after Thanksgiving it can get a bit dicey with scheduling.

    Like

    • @Wainscott – This is a strange curveball from the NFL. I feel as if though they only want to be “a little bit pregnant”. They want to maximize the exposure and rights fees for Thursday night football, but then also maximize the viewership and subscriber fees for the NFL Networks. Those two goals seem to be completely at odds with each other. The NFL obviously has a ton of power, but I’m curious as to what networks are actually going to be willing to pay for simulcasts. There isn’t anything on TV that can compete with NFL ratings, but even they have their limits when you’re talking about placing the same game on multiple channels at the same time.

      Like

      • John O says:

        Perhaps the NFL is testing/soliciting ideas on how ‘megacasting’ (like was done with the FSU/Auburn game) could either work for it and/or be monetized? I have always hoped that something like it would be the wave of the future.

        (As I dislike FOX’s broadcast style (of all sports) and have from the beginning, I would welcome an alternative.)

        Frank, as a fellow Chicagoan I’m sure you remember how many Bears fans used to (still?) mute the tv feed and instead listen to the WBBM radio broadcast before the the two feeds became so far out of sync.

        Like

      • Wainscott says:

        An NFL simulcast can also have the Film Room bit from the BCS Title Game during commercial breaks and halftime. Serious nerd potential from the NFL Network on this.

        Like

  11. frug says:

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/2014/01/14/restructuring-tops-agenda-at-ncaa-convention/4481951/

    Not really any new information but this article does that state

    A) No changes to the NCAA structure are likely to finalized this month

    but

    B) it’s likely that by next fall, the NCAA will operate with a new structure.

    also

    C) A separate subdivision is not in the proposal to be considered this week, and appears unlikely. Although football is the driver for much of the change, there’s no apparent for changes that would harm the NCAA basketball tournament.

    Like

  12. Andy says:

    Looking at how Maryland is using USNews rankings to justify their lawsuit, I wondered at what a purer, completely objective metric would look like when comparing conferences. I wanted to rank the SAT averages of BCS schools. I found that some schools didn’t report SAT averages, so for those I listed their ACT rank in parentheses. Rank is just among BCS schools.

    1. Stanford
    2. Vanderbilt
    3. Duke
    4. Northwestern
    5. Notre Dame
    6. Michigan
    7. Cal
    8. USC
    9. Virginia
    10. Boston College
    11. Illinois
    12. Minnesota
    13. Georgia Tech
    14. UCLA
    15. Wisconsin
    16. North Carolina
    17. Miami
    18. Maryland
    19. Texas
    20. Pitt
    21. Florida
    22. Ohio State
    23. Washington
    24. Baylor
    25. Nebraska
    26. Clemson
    27. Georgia
    28. Texas A&M
    29. Iowa
    30. Iowa State
    31. Rutgers
    32. Oklahoma
    33. Penn State
    34. Purdue
    35. Missouri
    36. Florida State
    37. NC State
    38. Colorado
    39. South Carolina
    40. TCU
    41. Indiana
    42. Utah
    43. Tennessee
    44. LSU
    (44. Kansas)
    45. Michigan State
    46. Louisville
    (46. Mississippi State)
    47. Syracuse
    48. Alabama
    49. Kentucky
    50. Arkansas
    51. Arizona
    52. Arizona State
    53. Oklahoma State
    (53. Ole Miss)
    54. Oregon State
    55. Auburn
    (55. Washington State)
    56. Oregon
    (56. West Virginia)
    57. Texas Tech
    Wake Forest (no data provided)
    Kansas State (no data provided)
    Virginia Tech (no data provided)

    These are 75th percentile averages. There are some differences between ACT and SAT averages, for example Missouri has a higher ACT average than Nebraska but a lower SAT average, where as Colorado has a higher ACT average than Missouri but a lower SAT average. But overall it’s usually not more than a few spots in one direction or the other, so I think substituting in the ACT average for the missing schools works ok.

    Dividing them into 3 tiers:

    Tier 1: 1-20
    Tier 2: 21-40
    Tier 3: 41-61

    Tier 1
    Pac 12: 4
    SEC: 1
    ACC: 9
    B1G: 6
    Big XII: 1

    Tier 2
    Pac 12: 2
    SEC: 5
    ACC: 3
    B1G: 6
    Big XII: 4

    Tier 3
    Pac 12: 6
    SEC: 8
    ACC: 1
    B1G: 2
    Big XII: 4

    So all 5 BCS conferences are fairly well represented in tier 2. The Pac 12, SEC, and Big 12 have pretty many schools in tier 3, where as the ACC and B1G only have a few. The ACC dominates Tier 1 but the Pac 12 and B1G have a fair amount of schools there as well, whereas the Big XII and SEC have 1 each.

    Like

      • gfunk says:

        I think the ACT is a better test, but neither captures student academic performance as much as I’d like to see in overall intelligence, but I get the practicality of such tests. If I’m not mistaken, BIG schools have more ACT based applicants, likely the Big12 as well. I also think there’s probably a strong correlation between the ACC and these results due to the number of private institutions and the fact that the SAT is pretty damn universal on the East Coast.

        Like

        • Andy says:

          Feel free to look through both on the list. I didn’t see a huge difference between the two in the rankings. Had to pick one or the other.

          Like

      • Kevin says:

        Using average test scores to compare schools doesn’t necessarily help in the assessment. Larger universities may have lower averages but they may have more kids (population wise) scoring above 30 for example just based on the number or enrollees. These top students naturally select some of the more rigorous curriculum in the sciences or other technical areas of study. Smaller class sizes increase selectivity but not necessarily quality.

        Like

        • Andy says:

          It’s not a perfect rating but at least it’s simple and objective. I agree that the larger schools are at a disadvantage in this metric.

          Like

    • bullet says:

      Baylor being that high must be the impact of the Flutie effect by RG3. I guess A&M will go up in next year’s ratings. Baylor’s not someone I would expect to see in the bottom 3rd of the P5, but I wouldn’t expect to see them right behind Ohio St. and Washington either.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        The privates have a lot more leeway than the publics in terms of emphasizing whatever criteria makes them look good in the rankings. In part because they are much smaller, in part because they think nothing of devoting a ton of money to promotion/recruiting, but also because they aren’t required to adhere to a formula (which UT has to, for instance).

        Like

        • bullet says:

          Baylor’s working to upgrade, but traditionally they’ve been a good, reasonably priced college for the middle class who want a private school, but not elite. They’re about twice the size of SMU and TCU and have historically been much less expensive.

          Like

      • frug says:

        http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2008/10/15/baylor

        It helps that they pay freshman to retake the SAT’s to boost their rankings.

        Like

    • rich2 says:

      Andy,

      I think you will find that you can learn more about a university’s academic standing when you assess ACT scores using rankings based on their 25th percentile — not the median or 75th percentile — and a second, related metric is the spread of the 25-75th for the incoming class.

      Each year a school must enroll a class that has a specific target goal for enrollments with an acceptable range around the target. This class has a mix of paying students — ranging from those who pay fully to those who have a free ride (or more, at IU, our top scholars receive full tuition scholarships and we give cash stipends to students — I believe IU’s best deal is $10,000 per year in cash).

      Typically, students at the highest range — the 75 percentile or greater — receive the lion’s share of scholarships and stipends from a school and those students on the lower end of the scale (50th percentile or lower) will pay a greater percentage of tuition.

      So, the 25th percentile is an indicator of “how low you have to go” as a university in order to fill a class with students who pay. At the higher end, a school can “buy” enrollments.

      In general, the lower 25th and the 25-75 spread will also give you an insight into quality problems: If there is a low 25th and a large spread — how do you group students? It is the classic problem in k-12. Realistically how do teach a class with 25% of the class with a 24 ACT or lower and 25% with a 32 or higher? There are solutions — but literally every solution weakens and diminishes the quality of the program (e.g., “honor’s colleges, direct admits into schools, weak academic majors and so on) — attempts to enroll students who you don’t really want to admit — but you want their money – and so you will take their money but don’t really have them well-positioned for success upon graduation. The solution is unacceptable for most p5 schools — raise 25th percentile scores and reduce the 25-75 spread — becasue you have raised the 25th percentile faster than the 75th raises. — the problem — is that over time the most likely result is that you will shave the size of your incoming class by hundreds of students per year.

      FYI — Big 10 has been moving in the wrong direction. It is still good, just slipping. The next decade will be really interesting — the P5 universities have literally played every card that they have to play.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Interesting post. I take it you have (or had) some involvement with admissions. Some of the Big 10 schools have increased their enrollment in recent years, which is surprising, giving the decrease in the number of HS students in the area. Population isn’t declining, but its aging.

        Like

        • @bullet – A big thing is the rise of enrollment of out-of-state and international students who pay higher tuition rates, which is compensating for the stagnant Midwestern population growth rates. When I was going to Illinois, we had over 90% of students from in-state. Now, it’s between 75%-80% in-state and dropping. The other Big Ten schools have seen even more dramatic drops with their in-state numbers (with an increasing influx of international students, East Coast kids, and Chicago area natives that couldn’t get into Illinois). We also see this in many of the non-California Pac-12 schools in drawing in more and more California students – Oregon is now becoming to California kids what Iowa has been to Illinois kids.

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          • bullet says:

            Texas has the opposite pressure. There were a higher % of out of state students when I went there. Now with enrollment and political pressures, they take a higher % of in-state students.

            For the Big 10, Maryland and New Jersey with the high % of students going to private schools or out of state look like gold mines.

            Like

  13. Transic says:

    Reading through the comments has taught me one thing: Fans or alumni of schools who are pretty much secure in the P5 going forward or whose schools can essentially write their own ticket to another conference can wax poetic about the morality of conference realignment. However, fans or alumni of schools who can not be in any guaranteed position to be secured in the future can ill afford to take any philosophical position.

    That to me says that there is a lot of power within college sports circles on the part of media and conference presidents because there will continue to be fans and alumni who are receptive to conference realignment rumors, until there is such a change in the paradigm as to render that factor obsolete.

    Like

  14. Craig Z says:

    Go Bucks.

    Like

  15. Transic says:

    There is a part of me that wonders if this blockbuster of a revelation is not ESPN indirectly telling the Big Ten to think twice about taking their Tier 1/2 rights outside of the Worldwide Monopoly? Since the Big Ten had already decided that they are letting their current rights expire without “added incentives”, it seems that the 4-letter monster is sensing a vulnerability within the ranks. Whether or not that’s the reality on the ground is immaterial at this point. Nothing should be left to chance. This is what is increasingly worrying me. I look at the Big Ten as the one hope in college athletics that can have some control over who they want to deal with when contracting out media rights. That’s why I hope Frank is dead wrong.

    Frank is saying that Delany may have had background discussions with ESPN prior to November 2012. I just don’t believe it. Maybe it is naivete on my part, but it would have been better for the Big Ten to act independently of their television partners. Television partners come and go but the well-being of the members of the conference go above that. That type of behavior is more suited for the ACC types. I have always looked at the Big Ten with a great amount of respect, knowing that no organization is without flaws. Their philosophy of being beyond athletic competition is its more appealing feature, where schools like Iowa, Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin can feel like they belong. This was never present in the Big East, where there was never any great cohesion between private and public schools, let alone football and non-football schools. The ACC may claim its academic prowess but it’s a conference that only cares about athletic performance, and will look down on anyone who is not “at their level”. It’s the basketball equivalent of the SEC, with its own yahoo contingent in the deep South who look down at Northern schools because of perceived football inferiority. The ACC is where private schools can feel superior to public schools. Any wonder Syr/Pitt/ND/UVa/Duke/Wake find themselves there?

    It would sicken me if the ACC somehow turns the tables and breaks the security of the Big Ten. Even if the B1G loses 2 I would prefer it. But what if the move causes others to doubt the conference? I’m talking about a school like Nebraska, who may start having second thoughts if a football brand (or even 2) is poached away. Then you have the other issue where it won’t be easy to find suitable replacements because of: a) the B1G standards for admitting new members; and b) any suitable candidate being uninterested or locked in another conference’s GoR. This has the potential of quickly unraveling the Big Ten because they’re never been in a position of being on defense and, thus, no experience on how to handle threats from without.

    For these reasons, I think ESPN did not mind at all the allegations from UMD’s legal team being out there. They could be sending a message to the B1G higher ups that they may consider them as the best assurance of security against losing one of their more coveted brands. Conspiratorial? Maybe, but I can’t rule anything out.

    I hope I am wrong and this conference sticks together but, in back of my mind, the uncertainty may cause them to wilt and re-up with the SEC’s favorite network. And more years of the fans complaining about Kirk Herbstreit and Mark May.

    Like

    • zeek says:

      Who would seriously consider leaving the Big Ten though at this point?

      It doesn’t sound at all like either of the schools that were approached seriously considered anything of the sort.

      Schools are going to be approached about this all the time. The Big Ten (and every other conference under the sun) approached Texas in the past 5-6 years.

      All indications are that the schools targeted were Penn State and Northwestern. Neither has any real reason to leave at this point.

      The two schools with the most in common with Penn State in the Mid-Atlantic were just added to the conference in Maryland and Rutgers.

      Northwestern isn’t going to leave the Big Ten for the ACC; even if Northwestern is sort of out of place; the Big Ten is a much better stage in terms of visibility nationally, and Northwestern isn’t like ND.

      Northwestern would much rather be unique as the Big Ten’s elite private school rather than one of a half dozen private elite schools in the ACC.

      Like

      • @zeek – That’s definitely part of the point I’m trying to get across in this post. The ACC “recruiting” a Big Ten school is as simple as Pitt’s president calling up Penn State’s president and asking if they’d be interested in joining, with PSU quickly responding, “No thanks.” I don’t know if people are having an image of this “recruitment” as reflecting multiple clandestine meetings and actual discussions. Maryland is simply attempting to throw any morsel against the wall to see if it sticks here to build an antitrust claim. I don’t consider a weakness for the Big Ten any more than the B1G having its own “recruitment” of UNC and UVA means that they’re suddenly going to leave the ACC.

        Like

        • BruceMcF says:

          Yes, you’re reach normally exceeds your grasp in the final accepted market definition (on both sides), but a judge cannot accept a claim of a market boundary that you don’t make, so may as well set it up like a Matryoshka doll … in nesting smaller and smaller layers if you are arguing for the anti-trust intervention, in nesting larger and larger layers if you are arguing against the anti-trust intervention.

          And if its not a jury trial, some arguments in favor of a claim falling down doesn’t necessarily undermine the claim if other arguments stand up.

          Like

      • opossum says:

        Penn State is generally disgruntled (like Maryland), and if they could be shanghai’d (two or three people in on the decision before it’s rammed through the board of directors) the way Maryland was, I could see it happening. I don’t think the ACC operates that way, though.

        I think Maryland and Rutgers were definitely a bone thrown to PSU to prevent this, but was it enough?

        In the long run, the money is the same, so it’s all about who they want to play against and identify with if they’re making 50-year decisions.

        Short-term, sure, nobody leaves the Big Ten. The money is great right now.

        Like

        • ccrider55 says:

          “I don’t think the ACC operates that way, though.”

          Because the Pitt and Syracuse adds were so well publicized far in advance?

          Like

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          Penn State is generally disgruntled (like Maryland), and if they could be shanghai’d (two or three people in on the decision before it’s rammed through the board of directors) the way Maryland was, I could see it happening. I don’t think the ACC operates that way, though.

          I think Maryland and Rutgers were definitely a bone thrown to PSU to prevent this, but was it enough?

          Penn State fans are generally disgruntled. They are also ignorant. I have never seen any indication that anyone in the PSU administration would prefer to be in the ACC.

          The one absolutely inviolable rule of realignment, is that no school has ever willingly switched conferences to lose money. Until the ACC is a wealthier conference than the Big Ten, there is zero chance that any Big Ten school would switch.

          Like

          • vp19 says:

            The one absolutely inviolable rule of realignment, is that no school has ever willingly switched conferences to lose money.

            But leaving a conference to lose money has happened (see South Carolina, 1971, a decision that left the Gamecocks in the wilderness for two decades). Administrators learned from that mistake and always made sure to have a landing space after leaving a league.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Colorado went to a conference that made less money. And there was the potential that it would continue to make less money. Noone knew what the Pac 12’s contract would be at that point.

            Of course, Colorado planned to more than make that up with its own fund-raising, so they weren’t actually going for less overall. Its hard to see what non-TV financial benefit any of the Big 10 schools could get going to the ACC.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Come on, bullet. Colo. went to a conference as it was in the midst of preparing for a new media contract, had consultants who provided estimations, and didn’t officially become a member until it had been signed. They also knew there would most likely be a P12N and the various forms it might take. The non athletic side connecting with the west likely is worth more to the school than any gain for the AD.

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            @VP19:

            “But leaving a conference to lose money has happened (see South Carolina, 1971, a decision that left the Gamecocks in the wilderness for two decades)”

            Moves that long ago are irrelevant in the modern conference realignment. I mean, Tulane left the SEC in the mid 60’s, and so did GT. That has no bearing on the present-day SEC. Frankly, the first move that bears some relevance was the Pac8 taking the two Arizona schools in the late 70’s, recognizing that Arizona was a growing state and market. And even that move isn’t illustrative that much because taking two schools in a state is a idea largely in the past, when TV markets and TV revenue is factored in.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            So you are agreeing with me cc?

            Like

          • bullet says:

            And actually Nebraska didn’t realize it was going for less money, but it is making less (at least until its buy-in ends) than if it had stayed in the Big 12. The Big 12 got a new contract 2 years early and so got more than they were expecting.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Bullet:

            In an oblique way. They will long term be far better off. That is the future they were/are concerned with, not the size of next weeks check. As to UNL, I’m sure they were aware of the terms and conditions when joining, or have you adopted he who won’t be named’s theory of junior member for the period of buying equity in the BTN? If you are going to apply an early B12 increase made (a direct result of the defections) to save the conference, then you should apply the coming PAC increase. That was much more to be expected than broadcast partners sudden and unusual largess.

            Like

        • Brian says:

          opossum,

          “Penn State is generally disgruntled (like Maryland),”

          No, some PSU fans are disgruntled. Huge difference.

          “and if they could be shanghai’d (two or three people in on the decision before it’s rammed through the board of directors) the way Maryland was,”

          And why would they support sacrificing millions of dollars per year and access to the CIC, not to mention paying to break the GoR?

          “I could see it happening.”

          I can’t.

          “I don’t think the ACC operates that way, though.”

          Yes, they were so transparent with all their expansions.

          “In the long run, the money is the same,”

          Says who? Recent contracts don’t support that statement at all.

          Like

      • metatron says:

        Someone explain to me how Northwestern is “out of place” in the Big Ten.

        It’s a school, with students, that plays sports against other schools that are relatively close academically and geographically. They have a long history of competition and affiliation with these other schools.

        These are academic institutions, not co-workers at a social gathering. As long as nobody invites the Joliet Junior College, I’m pretty sure the Everton Cats feel just fine. The only people who ever talk about “feeling out of place” work at Notre Dame, and that’s just a euphemism for “Midwestern”.

        Like

    • @Transic – I’m as big of a Big Ten guy as anyone, but it’s hard to believe that a conference whose expansion where the source of funding is largely based upon its own TV network didn’t consult its TV partners. Recall the projected revenue figures that the Big Ten presented to Maryland – those numbers weren’t being pulled out of thin air and bases on purely internal information.

      Also, we can’t just expect the Big Ten to take a stand against ESPN on principle. The only sports entity in America that has that type of power is the NFL. Otherwise, it should be emphasized that ESPN isn’t merely the most powerful entity in college sports or even the sports world in general. Instead, ESPN is the single most powerful company in ALL of entertainment and media today. That network alone is worth as much as every other asset that Disney owns combined (and if you see the amount of Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, Disney Princess and Disney Junior toys that are in my house along with preparation materials for an upcoming Disney World spring break trip, yet ESPN is worth multitudes more than all of that underlying intellectual property, that’s shows how insanely valuable and powerful ESPN is in the marketplace).

      I don’t think the Big Ten is going to be “forced” to extend with ESPN. To the contrary, it’s likely going to be in the best interests of the parties to do it sooner rather than later, anyway. I’ve always pushed back on the “B1G = Fox” and “SEC/ACC = ESPN” dichotomy because it’s completely inaccurate. The Big Ten wants to do what the NFL does – get huge revenue streams from multiple networks, one of which is ESPN because (a) they provide the best exposure for the general sports fan and (b) they can afford to pay the most. Could some Big Ten games move to Fox? Sure – I could definitely see something along the lines of the Pac-12 deal where there’s a split between ESPN and Fox. However, the notion (hope by some people?) that the Big Ten will completely leave ESPN is faulty. You don’t have to personally like ESPN (as it has been well documented that top NFL and NBA officials have had similar acrimonious discussions with Bristol just like Jim Delany), but you *have* to do business with them if you want to be anything other than a niche sports entity.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Not to mention, ESPN is far, far superior to anyone in else in broadcasting CFB games. Fox and the BTN are amateur hour in terms of personnel and production value.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          Those who have the Longhorn Network say it does an outstanding job. But of course, it is an ESPN operation. ESPN is far superior to Fox and to the syndicated Big 10 (presumably BTN) games I have seen.

          Like

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            I’ve had the Longhorn Network in Baton Rouge, on my Cox sports tier, for months and didn’t know it. When I finally stumbled across it, I watched a few of the studio programs, reruns of Friday Night Lights, and the Texas/Ole Miss game. The LHN’s production value is just as good as any of the channels within the ESPN family of networks, and the talking heads are ESPNU quality.

            While traveling, I’ve watched the BTN on occasion. I’m glad to see that former LSU coach Gerry DiNardo has steady employment. But in terms of production quality, the BTN is nowhere close to the LHN.

            Like

          • CBS does an excellent job with its college football coverage (and maybe it’s just me, but I think they have the best sound quality in particular) and ESPN is right there with them. NBC is passable, but I don’t think their Notre Dame coverage rises to the level of what they provide for NFL, NHL or Premier League games. Fox’s college football production isn’t anywhere near any of them at this point.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Bullet:

            The B10 doesn’t syndicate any football games now; they’re all on the BTN if not ABC/ESPN.

            Back in the day, when the B10 did syndicate football games, they must have hired the same company that produces local Chicagoland football games. The quality wasn’t much different.

            Like

        • Kevin says:

          I personally don’t see a huge difference between BTN and ESPNU which is BTN’s stated target guideline comparable. But as others mentioned there is a big difference between the Fox productions and CBS/ESPN. Although for some reason I’ve seen a decline in some of the ESPN/ESPN 2 production quality.

          Haven’t seen LHN or Pac12 Nets. Anyone have experience viewing the Pac12 Network? Curious how that is working out. It appears their studio set is more appealing than what the BTN created.

          Like

      • metatron says:

        MLB could shirk ESPN. Most of their revenue is derived from local sports channels on a team by team basis and interest is largely contained on those levels (outside of the “national” brands, like the Yankees). ESPN has a very real interest in those games, else they’d let the networks have them.

        Of course they wouldn’t, but I don’t see Major League Baseball needing ESPN’s partnership.

        Like

      • Transic says:

        Frank – One should be well-advised to read this article (it’s from 2013 but still relevent):

        http://www.businessinsider.com/espn-nightmare-scenario-2013-5

        The real danger, to me, is relying on the incumbent media company when they’ve always doubled down and even tripled down on content they’ve had before. I’m not saying that Fox is some panacea to the Big Ten’s respect issues but having more than one stakeholder in the distribution of your content (especially when the conference might do much of that in-house) prevents one distribution outlet from controlling the message of your product.

        Personally, I would love a combo of NBCSN, NBC, Universal Sports and CNBC, with possibly Telemundo in the mix for basketball, Olympic Sports, etc. NBC already has the Olympics so what better for them to promote the Big Ten than have many of their olympic sports like field hockey, lacrosse, tennis, etc., which could go on their Universal Sports platform easily. BTN would then be used primarily for football and basketball, then promoting the Big Ten universities’ academic programs. NBC would have one Big Ten night game a week except November and the Big Ten would have one afternoon game each on NBCSN, BTN and CNBC. That kind of mix would present a real challenge to the ESpin Worldwide Monopoly that threatens the autonomy of athletic programs across the country.

        Like

        • @Transic – Yes, I agree that the Big Ten should have more than one stakeholder in its product, which is what it has right now with ESPN and the BTN/Fox. What I highly disagree with is that it would be a smart decision for the Big Ten to leave ESPN entirely. This exercise isn’t about challenging ESPN (as much as fans might want that) – it’s about maintaining the right balance of maximum revenue AND maximum exposure for the Big Ten, whether it’s via ESPN, Fox, NBC, or some combination thereof. If you’re talking about nationally carried over-the-air games on Fox or NBC, then that’s one thing – that’s a comparable substitute for ESPN games when it comes to the exposure side. However, FS1 and NBCSN are absolutely not substitutes for the mothership ESPN when it comes to exposure at this time and won’t be for the foreseeable future. FS1, with its lineup of MLB, Pac-12, Big 12, Big East, NASCAR, USGA and FIFA events, has a better chance of being a broader-based competitor, but even the best case scenario for them is to be an ESPN2-level channel in terms of ratings and distribution. NBCSN is sort of the “yuppie/hipster” sports network with the NHL, Premier League and Olympics, but that niche isn’t not going to get it done for the Big Ten’s football and basketball packages. (However, I’m sure that the Big Ten would be happy to sell NBCSN more hockey games, which would make sense for both parties involved.)

          Jim Delany isn’t short-sighted – the BTN beast has always been intended as a supplement. In order for the Big Ten to continue to grow (especially if we transition more to an a la carte environment), then it still needs outlets that provide the broadest exposure possible in addition to its own network. Just look at the NFL – it could hold the entire TV industry hostage if it just took all of its games in-house or sold them off to an entity with unlimited oil sheik funds like beIN Sport, but that revenue maximization still has to be tempered by the league’s realization that wide exposure still matters. You’ll kill the proverbial golden goose if you act otherwise. That’s why the NFL is trying to get its Thursday night games more exposure on network television.

          Beyond the money aspect, I simply think a lot of Big Ten fans complain about ESPN way too much. When you take a step back, the only conference that has it better than us is the SEC when it comes to ESPN’s coverage (and that includes the ACC). It’s the equivalent of us owning the biggest mansion in Beverly Hills and then whining that Architectural Digest wrote that it likes the house next door to us better. As I’ve stated before, ESPN’s primary bias is towards winners, which I honestly don’t have much of a problem with. The SEC has won a heck of lot more than the Big Ten over the past 7 or 8 years, so I’m not exactly sure why people believe that the Big Ten should be given the benefit of the doubt. Plus, when you have a lot of exposure like the Big Ten has, you’re going to get a lot more scrutiny (which is exactly what has happened). It’s the same reason why Tony Romo and the Cowboys get scrutinized more than any other mediocre 8-8 team – the Big Ten gets talked about a lot (whether it’s positively or negatively) because the Big Ten actually matters and draws eyeballs. I know it probably sounds weird, but that’s a good thing. Talking about a bad Pac-12, Big 12 or ACC season isn’t nearly as interesting to the general public. We (the fans) fall for the bait every time. Finally, the fact that we are even aware of what ESPN’s commentators are saying about the Big Ten is indicative of why it’s so critical to still be part of their promotional machine. Does anyone have any idea of what Clay Travis has said about the Big Ten on Fox Sports 1? I highly doubt he was flattering, but the point is that it doesn’t matter one way or the other because (a) Fox doesn’t have the promotional heft to make any of its comments, whether positive or negative, to have any impact on the general public (unlike ESPN) and (b) the Travis hire itself should indicate to all of us that the thought that other networks aren’t going to hire people that are even more of shills for the SEC than the people on ESPN is entirely wishful thinking. Other networks are going to pimp the superiority of the SEC just as much.

          I think a lot of people are severely underestimating how much of a difference it makes to be on ESPN versus the other cable networks. It’s not even in the same vicinity and the Big Ten alone can’t change that. That doesn’t mean that the Big Ten needs to sell all of its first tier games to ESPN like now, but the conference absolutely needs to consistent presence with that network.

          Like

          • Transic says:

            This exercise isn’t about challenging ESPN (as much as fans might want that) – it’s about maintaining the right balance of maximum revenue AND maximum exposure for the Big Ten, whether it’s via ESPN, Fox, NBC, or some combination thereof. If you’re talking about nationally carried over-the-air games on Fox or NBC, then that’s one thing – that’s a comparable substitute for ESPN games when it comes to the exposure side. However, FS1 and NBCSN are absolutely not substitutes for the mothership ESPN when it comes to exposure at this time and won’t be for the foreseeable future. FS1, with its lineup of MLB, Pac-12, Big 12, Big East, NASCAR, USGA and FIFA events, has a better chance of being a broader-based competitor, but even the best case scenario for them is to be an ESPN2-level channel in terms of ratings and distribution. NBCSN is sort of the “yuppie/hipster” sports network with the NHL, Premier League and Olympics, but that niche isn’t not going to get it done for the Big Ten’s football and basketball packages.

            Maybe it’s you that is downgrading the popularity of the Big Ten programs, if you believe that people would stop watching Big Ten teams if they’re not on the ESPN networks. If someone is a fan of their school, he or she would find the games even if it takes a little effort. This reminds me of all those people who thought hockey was going to disappear when they left ESPN. Hockey fan s are very passionate and diehard about their game. They have been patient when ESPN was shuffling the product around, sometimes airing it and sometime not. But there is something called respect and hockey fans were disrespected by ESPN. When a network has so much stuff they prioritize. When NBC had baseball, football and basketball, they couldn’t care less about the other sports, except for Olympics. Why would they when they had the main events? When ESPN slowly chipped away at the content, it was only then that the other networks realized that they needed a 24/7 dedicated sports network to expose and monetize on content.

            Today, ESPN has a smorgesbord of content from five different conference, plus G5 and others. There is no way that they can do it in a way that would please fans of all the schools in the power conferences. The Big Ten is poised to do everyone else a favor by diminishing the power of ESpin without sacrificing the exposure that you are so concerned about. Now let’s say the Big Ten lands on NBC and NBCSN. Well, you say that they’d sacrifice exposure by going to a cable network that’s in less homes than ESPN. But do you think Big Ten fans would sit and accept that? No, they’ll call to have NBCSN put in their homes. What does that remind me of? Oh, yes. BTN. People called in and demanded that BTN be added. It took some time but that happened. If you have BTN, NBCSN or FS1 and either Fox or NBC, well, you already have the broadcast part for those marquee games, then two secondary games on BTN and either NBCSN or FS1. The broadcast could be aired either after a ND game (NBC) or before/after a B12 game (Fox). Then there are the ancillary programming that accompany the product like NBC Sports does for the NHL. You could have Big Ten academic programs on BTN after a football game, while NBCSN airs a behind-the-scenes program about coaches. ETC.

            Beyond the money aspect, I simply think a lot of Big Ten fans complain about ESPN way too much. When you take a step back, the only conference that has it better than us is the SEC when it comes to ESPN’s coverage (and that includes the ACC). It’s the equivalent of us owning the biggest mansion in Beverly Hills and then whining that Architectural Digest wrote that it likes the house next door to us better. As I’ve stated before, ESPN’s primary bias is towards winners, which I honestly don’t have much of a problem with.

            Well, the Big East won a bunch of football games against other conferences in the BCS era. Guess what? That league no longer exists. Why? ESpin’s agenda. They have a thing against college entities that wanted an existence outside the Worldwide Monopoly. Winning and losing only matters to those who don’t see the bigger picture. I continue to think that ESPN has a thing against soccer even though they have the World Cup until next year. Unfortunately, because they’ve had a head start against NBC, Fox, CBS, etc., their competitors don’t yet have the experience of promoting a product. However, NBC with the Premier League has done a good job of expending valuable resources to promote it and fans of the EPL are generally pleased with the progress so far. It’s about respect, not just exposure and money.

            I have nothing against noting that the Big Ten teams have not done well on the football field recently. That I get. But it is merely a convenient reason for the shills like Dick Vitale to fawn over Dook and ACC, in basketball or Mark May opining that the Big Ten shouldn’t even be in the conversation. You bring up Clay Travis as a counterexample. Well, if FS1 had Big Ten games and Clay Travis’ opinions resulted in less viewership than expected, then I’d agree with you. But I would think a new channel is more interested in getting people to watch what they’re airing and not allow some punk like Travis to have too much influence. Yet, ESpin is a-OK with personalities denigrating the Big Ten. That to me says that it is official editorial policy of ESpin. One of these days somebody at higher ups at corporate will spill the beans, maybe Disney itself.

            You are simply confusing contractual obligations with some notion of favoritism. I’m actually arguing that it’s happening despite the obligations. I bet my life savings that they’ll offer a downgraded contract with several games pushed to internet and regional networks and tell them that that’s what they’re really worth, just like with the old Big East. When the Big East said “No” they helped pushed schools to the ACC. Of course, the ACC didn’t mind and kissed their hand. When the B12 had internal issues, two schools went to the SEC. Guess what? The emergence of the SECN. Then ESPN suckered Fox into joint bidding on the PAC after Colorado joined. Fox should’ve said “No” even if it meant NBC would win. They could always go back and win with B12 and Big Ten and let NBC have the West Coast. You never help ESPN because ESpin always get the upper hand.

            I think a lot of people are severely underestimating how much of a difference it makes to be on ESPN versus the other cable networks. It’s not even in the same vicinity and the Big Ten alone can’t change that. That doesn’t mean that the Big Ten needs to sell all of its first tier games to ESPN like now, but the conference absolutely needs to consistent presence with that network.

            That’s the kind of thinking that continues to give them power over you. They are a middle-man. They don’t start sports leagues of their own but contracts with different sports leagues. They can’t please everyone and know it. Their power gives them the leeway to tell you what sports matter and what don’t, what athletes matter and what don’t, what personalities they think should matter. Thank goodness alternatives are emerging but it would be hard to get people to change because: low-information viewers; conservatism; need for validation.

            The new networks have been great for so-called niche sports because they now have more of a fighting chance to attract new viewers to what they’re offering without the editors of ESpin telling you what to watch. If/when we do go to a streaming model, look for new companies to better challenge the Worldwide Monopoly. Hopefully, that will be the change we all need.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Frank the Tank,

            “Beyond the money aspect, I simply think a lot of Big Ten fans complain about ESPN way too much. When you take a step back, the only conference that has it better than us is the SEC when it comes to ESPN’s coverage (and that includes the ACC). It’s the equivalent of us owning the biggest mansion in Beverly Hills and then whining that Architectural Digest wrote that it likes the house next door to us better. As I’ve stated before, ESPN’s primary bias is towards winners, which I honestly don’t have much of a problem with. The SEC has won a heck of lot more than the Big Ten over the past 7 or 8 years, so I’m not exactly sure why people believe that the Big Ten should be given the benefit of the doubt. Plus, when you have a lot of exposure like the Big Ten has, you’re going to get a lot more scrutiny (which is exactly what has happened).”

            You sidestep some of the biggest issues for those B10 fans that complain. First is their continued employment of anti-B10 talking heads like Trev Alberts and Mark May. No other conference deals with that treatment from ESPN. The other issue is there unequal treatment of peer teams. The clearest example being how little they had to say negatively about OU while trashing OSU despite similar results from both schools. That continuous trashing of OSU in turn impacted the rest of the B10. If ESPN had treated others as harshly, the B10 wouldn’t have suffered so much in comparison.

            None of that it to excuse the B10’s failure to win more. But on paper the B10 wasn’t as bad as it was on ESPN.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            They tend to just ignore Big 12 schools. That’s worse than getting trashed. And if Ohio St. didn’t get whipped so much in BCS games, they wouldn’t get as much trash talk. In fact, there’s a perception the SEC crushes the B10 in bowl games, but its really just Ohio St. The rest tend to hold their own overall.

            As for people watching, its the loss of casual fans that hurts you on Fox. They simply don’t get as many. There have been some really good games with mediocre ratings on Fox the last couple of years. That may change over time, but its not happening overnight.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            “They tend to just ignore Big 12 schools. That’s worse than getting trashed.”

            No, it isn’t. That’s like claiming that Fox News’s coverage of Obama is good for him somehow.

            “And if Ohio St. didn’t get whipped so much in BCS games, they wouldn’t get as much trash talk.”

            OSU went 6-4 in BCS games with 2 one-possession losses. OU went 4-5 with 3 losses by 10+ points. Other non-SEC AQ teams with a winning BCS record in 3+ BCS games – USC, WV, Miami, UT, OR.

            “In fact, there’s a perception the SEC crushes the B10 in bowl games, but its really just Ohio St.”

            There’s that perception because ESPN perpetuates that myth. OSU has 5 one-possession losses to SEC teams in bowls plus 1 victory. In the BCS era, OSU had 3 bad losses to SEC teams in bowls. OSU also had 2 close losses and a BCS win versus the SEC in that era.

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            @Brian:

            As a fellow B1G fan, I am perfectly fine with how ESPN covers the Big Ten. I very much prefer perceived negative coverage than to be completely ignored. Its a relative of the old idea that there is no such thing as bad publicity.

            And ESPN promotional power is absolutely critical to the Big Ten’s past, present, and future success. Without it, ESPN will focus their gaze on other conferences, building them up at the B1G’s expense. You don’t leave the biggest network on the block in a fit of anger over perceived bias.

            A textbook example is the intense publicity ESPN centered on the OSU vs NU ABC Saturday night game this past season. Gameday at NU! Mike & Mike from NU! Both coaches doing day long interviews on all ESPN outlets. The intense publicity drove ratings to for that game much higher than one would expect for those two teams playing each other. Had that game been on BTN, or Fox, or FS1? ESPN would have covered it like just another normal game. And neither BTN or Fox can publicize a game anywhere near what ESPN can.

            Put another way: Ask the Kardashians if they care how bad their TV show make the family look. They’ll laugh at you–while laughing all the way to the bank (and happy that you know their name and that their media strategy is working).

            Like

          • @Wainscott – That’s an excellent example. Ohio State fans in particular might be immune to that type of coverage, but the amount of exposure that Northwestern received that week could simply not be replicated on any other network. I couldn’t turn on any ESPN program that week without being bombarded with almost universally positive Northwestern stories. Believe me – Pat Fitzgerald and the Northwestern administration could give two craps about what Mark May says on ESPN compared to the literally millions of dollars of exposure that the school received as a result of the ESPN promotional machine.

            It perplexes me why fans get so hung up on pundit opinions… and even if you do care, once again, Fox hired CLAY TRAVIS. CLAY. TRAVIS. That should be a lesson to everyone that if you want a pundit friend on TV, go adopt a dog. What matters are the best time slots on the most widely-distributed platforms, branding, promotion throughout the week, and top discussion and highlights on shows that the general public actually watches (i.e. SportsCenter). Those are what billion dollar decisions should be made on.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Frank the Tank,

            “Ohio State fans in particular might be immune to that type of coverage,”

            Pretty much. OSU gets coverage like that reasonably often.

            “It perplexes me why fans get so hung up on pundit opinions”

            1. Because they show them during the games (halftime, etc).
            2. Because that’s all I see from ESPN. I don’t watch them outside of games and the post-game wrap-up shows.
            3. Because ESPN chooses those specific pundits.
            4. Maybe you’d understand better if you were an OSU fan, since we have taken the brunt of the abuse for the past 7 years.

            “… and even if you do care, once again, Fox hired CLAY TRAVIS.”

            Have you ever seen me support Fox? I was going to give FS1 a shot just because ESPN irritates me, but I dropped that idea as soon as I heard they had hired him. It’s as bad as ESPN hiring Paul Finebaum.

            “That should be a lesson to everyone that if you want a pundit friend on TV, go adopt a dog.”

            So I can’t complain because their competition also is offensive? Why can’t I wish a pox on all their houses?

            “What matters are the best time slots on the most widely-distributed platforms, branding, promotion throughout the week, and top discussion and highlights on shows that the general public actually watches (i.e. SportsCenter). Those are what billion dollar decisions should be made on.”

            I’ve never advocated for the B10 to leave ESPN/ABC. That doesn’t prevent me from having issues with ESPN. I do think the B10 should make a point of mentioning these issues when discussing the next deal, though. There is clear evidence that ESPN alienates many B10 fans, and they seem to do it on purpose. ESPN has shown that the B10 is valuable to them with what they pay us, so it seems odd to continue to antagonize their customers. They should be above shock-jock tactics.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Clay Travis makes no sense. There are no SEC games on Fox. And he is one of the biggest SEC homers out there. He makes ESPN look negative towards the SEC by comparison.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            I agree with Frank.

            “Ohio State fans in particular might be immune to that type of coverage,”

            Yep, which is why OSU and UM fans are particularly ill-positioned to speak for the B10 as a whole when it comes to exposure.

            “If someone is a fan of their school, he or she would find the games even if it takes a little effort.”

            However, casual & neutral fans will be watching an equally compelling SEC game on ESPN while the B10 game languishes on NBCSN unseen by all but die-hards. That is what you want?

            “But there is something called respect and hockey fans were disrespected by ESPN.”

            Anyone ask the NHL if they’re happy receiving a small fraction in TV money in the US of what the other major sports leagues receive? The NHL’s TV money in the US is equivalent to those of one of the major collegiate conferences, which are regional entities.

            “But do you think Big Ten fans would sit and accept that? No, they’ll call to have NBCSN put in their homes.”

            So you’d get NBCSN added in more households in the B10 footprint. Congratulations. The BTN and NBCSN would still each be in less than half the households that get ESPN.

            “I bet my life savings that they’ll offer a downgraded contract with several games pushed to internet and regional networks and tell them that that’s what they’re really worth, just like with the old Big East.”

            I’d take the opposite side of that bet. This is because the B10’s fan base is just a tad bigger than the old BE’s. As in something like roughly twice the size or more. How much are your life savings?

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            “Yep, which is why OSU and UM fans are particularly ill-positioned to speak for the B10 as a whole when it comes to exposure.”

            Actually, every fan base is in a bad place to speak for the whole conference on that issue. Every school has different wants and needs from the TV deal. One group of schools regularly gets exposure but never gets respect from ESPN (and therefore complains about the talking heads). Another group normally gets little exposure and is grateful for the times when ESPN does cover them, so they don’t care what negative things ESPN has to say the rest of the time. A third group gets little exposure at all and is just glad to get the money.

            This is one reason why I’ve never said the B10 should leave ESPN. I recognize that they are the premier TV outlet for CFB and that’s good for everyone in the B10, but especially the smaller programs. What I also recognize is that while I want ESPN to carry the games, I’d like many of their talking heads (Mark May, Paul Finebaum, etc) to disappear. I think of their game coverage and their talking heads as different departments, and I see no problem liking one and hating the other.

            Like

          • @Brian – Believe me – I wish that one of the sports networks would take an NPR-like approach to analysis in terms of tone. I’d love it. However, I’m resigned to the fact that all networks purposely hire asshats for pundits and that’s not going to change. ESPN does it with Mark May, Fox does it with Clay Travis, and NBC would inevitably do it if they got any properties beyond Notre Dame. Fox and NBC certainly take the asshat pundit approach for political “analysis” on their respective news channels, too, so we shouldn’t expect anything less than that for sports.

            So, if people don’t like the ESPN pundits, that’s perfectly fine. They *do* suck. I fully grant that. The only point is that they’ll suck everywhere, so it shouldn’t factor into any decision about whether the Big Ten should stay with or leave ESPN.

            To the extent that there are shows that actually matter, they’re (1) SportsCenter and (2) GameDay because those are shows that truly do have a legit fan audience and recruits absolutely care about those shows *specifically*. Overall, I see GameDay as a net positive for the Big Ten with all of its pundits having Big Ten ties and the fact that they’ll frequently travel to Big Ten sites (including choosing to go to the Big Ten Championship Game this year instead of the SEC or ACC Championship Games even though the B1G game was on Fox). All of the positive platitudes in the world on FS1’s college football show don’t mean more than a speck compared the exposure on GameDay and SportsCenter.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Frank the Tank,

            “Believe me – I wish that one of the sports networks would take an NPR-like approach to analysis in terms of tone. I’d love it. However, I’m resigned to the fact that all networks purposely hire asshats for pundits and that’s not going to change. ESPN does it with Mark May, Fox does it with Clay Travis, and NBC would inevitably do it if they got any properties beyond Notre Dame. Fox and NBC certainly take the asshat pundit approach for political “analysis” on their respective news channels, too, so we shouldn’t expect anything less than that for sports.

            So, if people don’t like the ESPN pundits, that’s perfectly fine. They *do* suck. I fully grant that. The only point is that they’ll suck everywhere, so it shouldn’t factor into any decision about whether the Big Ten should stay with or leave ESPN.”

            And I haven’t said it should change where the B10 goes. But you keep saying you don’t understand why people complain about ESPN, and I’m telling you that hose asshats are the reason.

            “To the extent that there are shows that actually matter, they’re (1) SportsCenter”

            Which regularly brings on said asshats for “analysis” so the anti-OSU/anti-B10 hate gets spewed to a wide audience.

            “and (2) GameDay because those are shows that truly do have a legit fan audience and recruits absolutely care about those shows *specifically*.”

            And GameDay also gets some asshat “analysis” as part of the show.

            I think you should also include the halftime/studio guys in this, though, because they are part of the game broadcasts so the recruits see those, too. And that is where the asshats live.

            I see nothing wrong with thinking the B10 should ask ESPN to tone down the B10 hate from some of it’s “analysts” or make them pay more.

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            “I see nothing wrong with thinking the B10 should ask ESPN to tone down the B10 hate from some of it’s “analysts” or make them pay more.”

            But enough folks out there like to watch that sort of hate, either because they agree or because they enjoy getting riled out. Its like folks listening to Rush Limbaugh: Most do it because they agree with him, but some listen for the shock value or because they disagree and like getting all riled up.

            I agree with you that the Skippy Bayless’ and the Mark May’s of the world cause me to mute TV sets, but enough tolerate/tune in to make it worthwhile.

            Also, they only talk about stuff that they know people will tune in for. Like all the Tebow coverage, how ESPN’s ratings skyrocketed whenever they mentioned his name,so they talked about him more. You should be flattered by ESPN choosing to talk about OSU, even if negative.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Wainscott,

            “You should be flattered by ESPN choosing to talk about OSU, even if negative.”

            Really? Would your mother be flattered if you called her every day but all you did was call her a whore and hang up? After all, you’d be calling your mother every day so she should be flattered.

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            “You should be flattered by ESPN choosing to talk about OSU, even if negative.”

            Really? Would your mother be flattered if you called her every day but all you did was call her a whore and hang up? After all, you’d be calling your mother every day so she should be flattered.”

            Are you actually equating someone calling their mother a derogatory term for the female anatomy on a daily basis with ESPN bloviating analysts criticizing/attacking a Big Ten football team in order to attract viewers? Really?? And you thought your analogy made sense???

            You really take what the Mark May’s of the world say that seriously?

            Brian, you’re better than that. Come on.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Wainscott,

            “Are you actually equating someone calling their mother a derogatory term for the female anatomy on a daily basis with ESPN bloviating analysts criticizing/attacking a Big Ten football team in order to attract viewers? Really?? And you thought your analogy made sense???”

            Yes, calling people names is calling people names. You said OSU should be flattered to be denigrated non-stop on ESPN. I pointed out how little sense that makes. If you prefer, equate it to saying Obama should be flattered by the coverage he gets on Fox News or calling your mother fat every time instead. There really is such a thing as bad publicity and it isn’t flattering.

            “You really take what the Mark May’s of the world say that seriously?”

            When the WWL repeats the same insults and myths often enough with enough different people, they become fact to most CFB fans. In that sense, I take what he says seriously. But I also don’t listen to him at all. I change the channel when he comes on because I know he’s about to be insulting to OSU if the opportunity arises and I don’t feel the need to subject myself to it. I don’t take calling your mother a whore all that seriously either, though.

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            @Brian:

            “Yes, calling people names is calling people names. You said OSU should be flattered to be denigrated non-stop on ESPN. I pointed out how little sense that makes. If you prefer, equate it to saying Obama should be flattered by the coverage he gets on Fox News or calling your mother fat every time instead. There really is such a thing as bad publicity and it isn’t flattering.”

            Its not non-stop, its occasionally bu select commentators. And the Obama analogy doesnt work because Obama, by virtue of his position, gets so much coverage that he ignores the blowhards on Fox. And occasionally, the White House will strike back with refusing to have surrogates appear on Fox News Sunday and Fox will tone it down a bit (its not a coincidence that Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and some of the other extreme Obama-haters are no longer on the network).

            OSU has no birthright, unlike the president of the United States, on any publicity. It is a name brand due to decades of success in football, and ESPN helped make it a more national, house hold name (as it has done with most college sports). ESPN is the far and away King of College Sports Media, and it publicizes OSU events like it does for few other schools. Part of the price for the prime time games, positive segments and such is the negative that comes along with being a name brand school–some will attack to make waves. Almost any other school in the nation would switch places with OSU–gleefully taking the good with the bad. And if ESPN ignored OSU, within a decade, it would be a less popular school vs. what other school ESPN decided to focus its gaze on.

            I understand that you might be bothered by ESPN’s coverage of OSU sometimes, but its a small price to pay for all the good ESPN has done, and does do, for OSU–hyping OSU-Michigan, hyping other OSU games, interviews with Meyer, features of Meyer, and the like. The rantings of Skippy Bayless, Mark May, and the others are a small price to pay. Indeed, one of ESPN’s best analysts is your boy Herbie!

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Wainscott,

            “Its not non-stop, its occasionally bu select commentators.”

            In regards to non-factual discussions of OSU (no opinion given, just facts like the score), it is close to non-stop. And I’ve mentioned before that I’m only talking about the talking heads, not their game broadcasts.

            “And the Obama analogy doesnt work because Obama, by virtue of his position, gets so much coverage that he ignores the blowhards on Fox. And occasionally, the White House will strike back with refusing to have surrogates appear on Fox News Sunday and Fox will tone it down a bit (its not a coincidence that Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and some of the other extreme Obama-haters are no longer on the network).”

            Oh, you mean like me suggesting Delany should consider mentioning the issue during the contract negotiations? Yes, clearly my analogy is pointless.

            “OSU has no birthright, unlike the president of the United States, on any publicity.”

            Which is wonderful, but completely irrelevant to this discussion. I complained about the tone of it, not the quantity. Everyone has the birthright to complain about the tone of their publicity.

            “It is a name brand due to decades of success in football, and ESPN helped make it a more national, house hold name (as it has done with most college sports).”

            No it didn’t. OSU was a household name long before ESPN was a factor in CFB. Newspapers and radio and broadcast TV made OSU a household name.

            “ESPN is the far and away King of College Sports Media, and it publicizes OSU events like it does for few other schools. Part of the price for the prime time games, positive segments and such is the negative that comes along with being a name brand school–some will attack to make waves. Almost any other school in the nation would switch places with OSU–gleefully taking the good with the bad.”

            Saying the grass is always greener doesn’t change anything. Get back to me when your alma mater takes 7 years of non-stop abuse from ESPN. You talk like ESPN is bestowing a gift on OSU. ESPN shows OSU for two reasons:

            1. OSU is huge brand that makes money for them by drawing high ratings
            2. OSU is generally highly ranked and thus draws high ratings

            The second OSU doesn’t make more money for them than an alternative, they show that other game.

            “And if ESPN ignored OSU, within a decade, it would be a less popular school vs. what other school ESPN decided to focus its gaze on.”

            Yes, because clearly OU and UT have lost a lot of popularity now that ESPN ignores the B12 (according to bullet).

            “I understand that you might be bothered by ESPN’s coverage of OSU sometimes, but its a small price to pay”

            Frankly, you have no idea the size of the price. It seems small to you because your school doesn’t pay it. How many times have ESPN talking heads said they wouldn’t send their son to play for your school despite it being a top 10 school year after year? You think that helps OSU recruit?

            “for all the good ESPN has done, and does do, for OSU–hyping OSU-Michigan, hyping other OSU games, interviews with Meyer, features of Meyer, and the like.”

            That’s all good ESPN does for ESPN. Any benefit for OSU is a by product, not their intent. And again, you say it like ESPN chose OSU out of a hat to do this for rather than OSU having done something to reach that point.

            “Indeed, one of ESPN’s best analysts is your boy Herbie!”

            1. I almost never hear him because I don’t watch Game Day and I hate Musberger so I mute the ABC prime time games the few times I watch them.

            2. Herbstreit is actually despised by a sizable portion of the OSU fan base for some things he has said and not said in his time at ESPN. This is what led him to move out of Columbus a few years ago.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Getting ignored is worse for a Baylor, Oklahoma St. or Kansas St. than a Texas or Oklahoma, schools that already are a brand.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            “Getting ignored is worse for a Baylor, Oklahoma St. or Kansas St. than a Texas or Oklahoma, schools that already are a brand.”

            And continuous negative publicity is bad for brands. Which OSU is. Which is why I said it’s bad for OSU.

            Like

    • Richard says:

      Agree with Frank, and I don’t understand this hatred/fear of ESPN. Why is hitching your wagon to Fox better? Their production quality certainly isn’t better.

      The B10 does what’s best for its members, and, because of our fanbases, the B10 has sway as well.

      Who can forget the “Bristol is Big Ten Country” stuff:

      http://deadspin.com/163665/bristol-is-big-ten-country

      Like

      • BuckeyeBeau says:

        Well, I have stated my position many times. I agree that it would be shortsighted for the B1G to forgo ESpin’s money, but that does not make me blind to ESpin’s constant denigration of the B1G and it’s teams and schools.

        i find it very interesting how little acrimony the recent NC game garnered on ESpin. Lots of pimping for Auburn, sure, but very little trashing of FSU.

        Reason: Espin owns both the ACC and SEC.

        If tOSU had made the game, ESpin would have trashed OSU for weeks.

        The fact that Espin makes a lot of money televising B1G games does not negate that ESpin also trashes the B1G. Those are not mutually exclusive. A thug can give you a diamond bracelet and still beat you senseless later that night.

        In 2006, Delany said “consider them [the dice] rolled” and we are now seven years into ESpin’s continued trashing of the B1G. It is purposeful and company-wide just like, for awhile, everything on every platform was Tebow Tebow Tebow.

        The constant denigration of the B1G has a significant impact. That most CFB writers have disapproved of the MD and RU additions partly flows from that. ESpin is an opinion leader and, consequently, many writers/talking heads in other media lazily follow the lead dog.

        It has a huge impact on recruiting.

        I am astonished why you, Frank, (and others) refuse to acknowledge ESpin’s B1G bashing and refuse to acknowledge the hostile and negative environment that it creates. It is not fun to watch my team play while the announcers over and over p*** on my team team and pimp some SEC school for the NCG. I dont care if the schedule was weak or not; do it on some other show; not while the teams are playing.

        I could go on and on, but I’ve written it and you’ve all read it before.

        Like

        • I just think the supposed bashing from ESPN is overstated. Is there an SEC bias? Sure, but that’s as much about ESPN being frontrunners on all of their programming. They’re frontrunners for the Miami Heat. They’re frontrunners for whoever is #1 in the basketball poll in a given week. They’re frontrunners for the Red Sox. We (Big Ten fans) are in a weak position to talk because we can complain about bias all day, but the scoreboard says that the SEC keeps winning national championships. So, our other option is to turn on Fox Sports 1 and listen to the completely balanced commentary of… Clay Travis. And we’re complaining about Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard (B1G alums)?! If we were winning games at the highest level, then we’d have more of a case to complain about bias, but if we keep losing big games, I’m not sure what we expect ESPN (or Fox or CBS or anyone else) to say about us.

          Like

          • Tom says:

            I also think that the largest, most passionate fan bases in college football are the fans of schools in the SEC and the fans of schools in the Big Ten. Right now, SEC football is on top so ESPN is naturally going to “pimp” the SEC because it will garner interest and generate discussion/ratings. At the same time, the Big Ten is down, so talking about the Big Ten being down is also going to garner interest and generate discussion/ratings. It’s completely irrelevant whether the Pac 12 is better than the SEC or whether the Big 12 or ACC is worse than the Big Ten. With two or three exceptions, the level of interest isn’t there for schools in the Pac 12, Big 12, or ACC.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            I just think the supposed bashing from ESPN is overstated. Is there an SEC bias?

            I agree with Frank. Let the Big Ten start winning more of the big games first. Several of their most prominent commentators (Corso, Herbstreit, Howard) are all ex-Big Ten guys. You can’t blame them that the Big Ten fields so many mediocre programs.

            Like

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            I don’t know if it’s much Big Ten bashing as it is SEC exaggerating. During the NCG, Musburger kept touting, using a deep voice, Auburn as having come from “the S… E… C,” as though FSU should just lay down and give up to the almighty conference. People on that network say, with completely honesty, that the SEC is almost as good as professional football. The promotion of that one league is so over the top that it is almost like bashing every other league.

            I agree with whoever said that it’s probably a little more fashionable to bash the Big Ten because the Big Ten is relevant. It is definitely the most national conference; the American may have a wider spread geographically, but B1G fans are the most dispersed. ESPN can’t afford not to talk a good amount about the Big Ten the way it can with the ACC, Pac-12, or Big 12 because too many Big Ten fans watch ESPN. And since they exaggerate everything to where the SEC is the almighty league, they exaggerate the Big Ten’s relative struggles such that Ohio State’s schedule was described as a cakewalk.

            I do think Danny Kannell has been pretty funny in talking down the SEC. He’s definitely a minority voice there, but at least there’s a dissenting voice for once. I think he goes too far in talking up the ACC more than it deserves to be, but at least someone on that network has something good to say about ACC football. I’m a bit surprised no one is doing that for the Big Ten. Both leagues really get a bad rap, mostly for racking up losses to the SEC (the B1G’s more in bowl games, the ACC more in the regular season), but they’re both much better than they’re given credit for.

            Like

          • Transic says:

            ESPN can’t afford not to talk a good amount about the Big Ten the way it can with the ACC, Pac-12, or Big 12 because too many Big Ten fans watch ESPN.

            Dick Vitale not ring a bell to you? You’re only looking at the issue from a football-only standpoint. I look at it from a total standpoint.

            And, yes, airing games doesn’t equal a favorable bias when it comes to the B10, any more than airing the Big East Tournament was a pro-bias for the Big East.

            ESpin’s first thing is maintaining its Worldwide Monopoly. And it’s clear that their favored leagues are the SEC and ACC, not in any order.

            But don’t worry. When Delany finally takes his league out of ESpin’s iron grip there’ll be more hours available for Wake-Duke, GT-BC or whatever passes for time until basketball season over there. After all, they have to give a few more favors to Swofford for his dealings.

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            “When Delany finally takes his league out of ESpin’s iron grip there’ll be more hours available for Wake-Duke, GT-BC or whatever passes for time until basketball season over there”

            Delany is not leaving this so-called “iron grip” because he profits tremendously from ESPN. Don’t let your hatred of ESPN blind you from financial realities.

            Like

        • Transic says:

          You and I both, BuckeyeBeau. ESpin will stop at nothing at denigrating the Big Ten. If the Big East had stuck together and not get suckered in by small-time thinking, they had a chance at surviving and even thriving at a Fox Sports 1 or NBCSN, thereby further checking ESpin’s power.

          http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidlariviere/2014/01/15/conference-realignment-strikes-blow-to-big-east-basketball/

          It’s just sad what happened to that conference, but the schools did it to themselves, led by the scummy private schools like Cuse and BC. The Domers are only loyal to themselves, so I wasn’t expecting much different from them. But the rest were too busy bashing fellow members to notice what was really happening.

          Thank goodness for Delany and the B1G. I just hope we stick together in the next three years.

          Like

          • frug says:

            It’s just sad what happened to that conference, but the schools did it to themselves, led by the scummy private schools like Cuse and BC.

            Why are you blaming those two? Syracuse and BC both voted in favor of PSU, a move that would have solidified the Big East for the longterm.

            It was Georgetown, ‘Nova and St. John’s that led to the Big East’s downfall. (I’ll add that ‘Cuse also wanted to take ESPN’s $130 million a year offer, but public schools Rutgers, Pitt and WVU, along with Georgetown, pressured the conference to pass)

            Like

          • Transic says:

            If you believe that it was the best offer the old Big East could’ve gotten. Who’s to say that they wouldn’t have attracted a better offer on the open market? Unfortunately, we’ll never know because certain schools preferred leaving. No one is blameless throughout the entire ordeal, but that’s a consequence of the infighting and mistrust that went on there. Finally, the leadership, not limited to Marinatto, was lacking. But even Delany would have trouble bringing about a compromise within that group, so maybe it would have not mattered.

            Oh, sure, the basketball-onlies did a lot of the damage but the beginning of the end was when BC left, not Miami or V-Tech. At least with the latter two, one could argue that they were going where they can play regional opponents. It was BC that earned the nickname “Fredo” because they turned their backs to the idea of a northeastern-based league. Right then and there, there should have been some internal soulsearching as to why this was allowed to happen and how to fix up the weaknesses and show strength and resolve. Instead, they went on like it was business as usual. After all, they were being shown on Big Monday and ESPN was with them from the beginning so why, they say, mess with a beautiful thing? And “certain members should just up their basketball game so that we won’t be embarrassed to be associated with them,” they say.

            Well, for ESpin to be effective in destroying conferences, they need others to create situations where they could then issue plausible denials. That’s where the arrogant elitists dressed in orange come in. They were the primadonnas that wanted to have it both ways, while putting down the public schools as inferiors. And as long as the basketball-onlies played to their tune it was peachy-keen for them. Meanwhile, RU was slowly improving on the football field until they finally had a breakout year in 2006. Once that happened, the Orange began fearing that they’d lose recruits from the state of NJ to RU. Even Connecticut was showing promise in football. The Orange just couldn’t withstand the idea of those two public schools competing in football. So began the motif of “Big East football” as a pejorative.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Syracuse_University_people#Media_and_communications

            That link above says it all about the connection between employees at ESpin and the slow decline in perception of Big East football. If the Orange couldn’t dominate in all aspects of the conference, then just have their lackeys at ESpin create the narrative that the conference has no future and the schools should just leave. The only question was timing. Well, that time came with the expiration of the TV contract. Did ESpin knew that they had that brass knuckle at their disposal? Don’t know for sure that sure sounds plausible.

            What they didn’t count on was the Big Ten deciding that it wanted a presence on the East Coast. That threw off the Orange/ESpin/ACC gameplan. Thank goodness Wallace Loh saw the game for what it is: a dirty low-down from individual schools who don’t want fair competition. He’ll never be forgiven by diehards of the All Carolina Conference, including some UMD fans but he’s a hero to me. :D

            Like

          • vp19 says:

            SU (I’m a native Syracusan who absolutely despises the term “Cuse”) is less to blame for the demise of the original Big East than its inherent polyglot structure. In a college athletics universe where football reigns supreme, having a conference blending football and non-football members is a recipe for disaster.

            Remember, Syracuse was within a vote of joining the ACC back in 1990 (it and Florida State initially vied to become its ninth member, and the first vote was 4-4), and had Swofford’s son not been part of the Boston College athletic department in 2003, I’m almost certain SU — a far stronger brand than BC — would have joined Miami and Virginia Tech in that wave of conference expansion, instead of waiting roughly a decade.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            It’s just sad what happened to that conference, but the schools did it to themselves, led by the scummy private schools like Cuse and BC. The Domers are only loyal to themselves, so I wasn’t expecting much different from them.

            Oh, and you think the public schools are there out of the goodness of their hearts? They are looking out for themselves, too.

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            @Marc Shepherd:

            Regarding public schools, you are right, but its not exactly the same. Public schools have legislatively-established mandates and by and large, are getting less from states. In addition to trying to do more than less, they are trying to maximize resources without reverting to jacking up tuition (or jacking it up less). Monetizing sports and maximizing sporting revenue helps, especially when sports does not get state money anyways.

            Like

          • frug says:

            @Transic

            Did Jim Boeheim run over your dog or something? I just don’t see how what Syracuse or BC did was any worse than any other school.

            Indeed, the two sleaziest moves by any of the Big East defectors were both made by public schools. In 2003 V-Tech pledged loyalty to the Big East and (along with the other Big East schools) sued both Miami and the ACC arguing that the raid was illegal and did massive damage to the Big East, blah, blah, blah. Except then they realized that they (unlike the rest of the Big East) had the political connections necessary to leverage themselves an ACC invite and subsequently dropped their lawsuit against Miami and the ACC and began trashing the Big East.

            Even worse, 10 years later, Pitt successfully lobbied the Big East to turn down ESPN’s $130 million a year offer at the same time they were in negotiations to join the ACC, something they didn’t bother to tell their conference mates.

            If you believe that it was the best offer the old Big East could’ve gotten. Who’s to say that they wouldn’t have attracted a better offer on the open market? Unfortunately, we’ll never know because certain schools preferred leaving.

            That is exactly the point though; every single Big East football school would have accepted an invitation to either the ACC or Big Ten and most would have taken an SEC invite (and despite your conspiracy theory it had nothing to do with media perception; it was the simply facts that those conferences were wealthier, far more stable and flatly superior to the Big East). The Big East knew they were taking a risk when they turned that deal down which is why Marinatto told to accept ESPN’s offer. Instead, 4 schools (3 of them public) successfully persuaded the other 12 to roll the dice.

            Like

        • Wainscott says:

          If there was an ESPN bias against the B1G, then the network would probably spend less time hyping B1G games on all its platforms, including having Gameday air live from several B1G schools.

          The B1G, and the markets it has a presence in, is very, very good business for ESPN. Based on the roster of teams, and alumni from those schools, its likely the most nationwide conference there is, with as many, if not more, major brand names than any other conference (I’d put Michigan, OSU, PSU, and Neb up against any other conference’s top for team brands, and note where alumni from those schools live, when analyzing national appeal.)

          Its not an accident that ABC generally airs B1G games, and ESPN/ESPN2 airs SEC games, and not vice versa (with some mirror flipping). ESPN/ABC knew what it was doing when it made its contracts with both conferences for the TV rights. That right there illustrates to me the perceived national appeal of the B1G relative to other conferences, regardless of the actual result on the field or in the BCS.

          Like

        • Richard says:

          This idea that ESPN in general is anti-B10 is hilarious. Yes, certain personalities are (Mark May, I’m looking at you), but as others have noted, ESPN also employs a ton of B10 alums (you can thank NU’s journalism school for a good chunk of that contribution). Herbstreit and Howard are alums. So is Musberger, and he tries to talk up the B10 whenever he can (just listen to the Rose Bowl telecast).

          Like

          • metatron says:

            It’s all about ego validation. People tend to be a little sore when they discover they’re not as hot as they thought they were, and most people tend to blame others instead of themselves.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            There’s definitely not an anti-Big 10 bias. But there’s not a pro Big 10 bias like the WWL has developed for the SEC the last 3 or 4 years.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Bias is when you get ignored.

            ESPN had their semi-final BCS show the year Alabama beat LSU. They discussed who should play LSU. They discussed why Alabama should get in ahead of Stanford. Why they should get in ahead of Oregon. They didn’t mention Oklahoma St.

            On one of their shows this year when Baylor was undefeated they were discussing whether someone might catch Ohio St. for the #3 spot. They discussed whether one loss Missouri or South Carolina or Auburn would catch them. No mention of unbeaten Baylor who nearly caught them that following week and probably would have had they beaten Okahoma St. the week after that.

            ESPN shows more SEC and Big 10 on Saturdays than anything else and never forgets that.

            Like

          • Transic says:

            Oh, I agree that Oklahoma St. got railroaded in that BCS ranking. But also consider that Fox was getting content from the B12 and if OSU had been in that final, Fox could’ve used that to promote the following B12 football season.

            Like

  16. John says:

    So do we believe it when this document says that the ACC only looked at schools East of the Mississippi? Wasn’t there quite a bit of speculation regarding Texas and Kansas as possibilities for the ACC?

    Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      The Texas thing was a rumor. Supposedly, if OU and Ok. State had been able to go on their own to the Pac-12 when they flirted with that league back in 2011, Texas was considering going to the ACC for a ND-style membership (4-5 games/year vs. the ACC). Of course the ACC would have listened if Texas called. It’s Texas. But there was never any kind of serious discussion among influential conference and Texas officials like John Swofford and Bill Powers (or other big shots). There were probably just some very informal phone calls, never anything akin to a negotiation. All it amounted to was just about a week of curious sports talk radio discussion about a long-shot possibility of that happening.

      As for Kansas, I am not aware of either the ACC or the university ever having any sort of contact with one another. As far as I know, it was just writers and fans throwing crap against the wall because, hey, the ACC cares a lot about basketball, but unlike the Big East, the ACC has only football-playing schools, and what better football-playing school is there to get than Kansas? Gene Wojciechowski wrote some non-sensical column about a year ago based purely on speculation, not at all on discussions with substantial sources, suggesting that the ACC should end realignment by going after Kansas. I guess it was a slow news week. But I’ve seen the same amount of substantial evidence that either Kansas or the ACC had interest in the other as I have that either the ACC or Washington State had interest in the other: zero.

      Like

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        As for Kansas, I am not aware of either the ACC or the university ever having any sort of contact with one another.

        Well, I’m not sure why you necessarily would be aware.

        When it looked like six Big XII schools might move en bloc to the PAC, I’m sure the Big XII leftovers were making plenty of phone calls to figure out their options. Kansas is probably the most valuable Big XII school that the PAC wasn’t interested in. I wouldn’t be surprised if they spoke to the ACC.

        Like

        • Michael in Raleigh says:

          Maybe they did, maybe they didn’t. I wouldn’t be shocked if they did, but there is nothing substantial to suggest that they did. No credible media member has ever cited any source which could verify contact between KU and the ACC. Short of that, we’re just throwing crap against the wall.

          Heck, along those same lines, it wouldn’t be shocking if the Big 12 tried to gauge Auburn’s potential interest in joining that league. After all, Auburn could escape from Alabama’s shadow, get to be the only Alabama school in the Big 12, etc. (sound familiar?). But there is absolutely zero evidence that that ever happened.

          What I have actually read about from media members who cited credible sources was that Kansas attempted to set up contingency plans with the Big East back in 2010. Now, I don’t know whether their intentions would have been to recruit BE members to join KU and other remaining members of the Big 12 or if the plan was for KU and others to join the BE.

          Like

          • Wainscott says:

            “Now, I don’t know whether their intentions would have been to recruit BE members to join KU and other remaining members of the Big 12 or if the plan was for KU and others to join the BE.”

            I believe the Big East made significant overtures to the leftover B12 schools about forming a BE West Division. This I believe was around the time TCU was slated to join the BE. I think it would have been KU, KSU, ISU, and Baylor, along with TCU and I believe Houston or SMU to form a western division. I might be off on the specifics, but that’s the general gist of it.

            Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      And yes, I think we can safely believe that the ACC did not look at Minnesota, Iowa, or Nebraska. There’s not a single reason that any of those schools would be interested in the ACC or vice versa. Setting aside the fact that the ACC would mean a huge pay cut and giving up membership in the CIC, one could at least argue that Penn State could at least have more of an east coast presence with schools it had played frequently in its history (Syracuse, Pitt, Miami, etc.). Northwestern, it could be argued might have had interest in being with other private schools.

      Like

  17. bullet says:

    http://m.utsandiego.com/news/2014/jan/15/tp-stipends-on-agenda-at-ncaa-meeting/

    I wonder if this is one of the things the P5 wanted to control:

    “The NCAA also will vote this week on a change to its transfer regulations that would give student-athletes who transfer schools the ability to petition the NCAA for a sixth year in which to complete their four years of eligibility.

    Those seeking transfers still would have to demonstrate hardship — for instance, a family illness that requires the student-athlete to attend a school closer to home. However, the big difference is that if the rule change passes, the NCAA would no longer grant these student-athletes waivers that allow them to play immediately.”

    I think the athletes get plenty for their efforts and shouldn’t be paid. But this does sound more like indentured servitude. Colleges don’t have to honor their commitments, but athletes do?

    Like

    • Phil says:

      I don’t see the big change here. Regular transfers within FBS already sit out a year.

      All this revision would do is to make ALL transfers sit out a year, but give the ones that can demonstrate hardship another year to use up their eligibility (because many of them may have redshirted already at their original school).

      A sick family member is an excuse to get closer to home, it shouldn’t be an excuse to get closer to home and (unlike other transfers) the ability to play immediately.

      Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      I think the athletes get plenty for their efforts and shouldn’t be paid. But this does sound more like indentured servitude. Colleges don’t have to honor their commitments, but athletes do?

      Given who writes the rules, it’s no surprise they’re in the schools’ favor.

      Like

  18. Michael in Raleigh says:

    Maryland ‘applying serious settlement pressure’ to ACC with latest counterclaim

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/terrapins-insider/wp/2014/01/15/maryland-applying-serious-settlement-pressure-to-acc-with-latest-counterclaim/

    This is what this counterclaim is all about, nothing more.

    All this stuff about ACC schools trying to recruit Big Ten schools sounds sensational, but as Frank describes it, is merely a Pitt official calling a PSU official to say, “Hey bro, wanna join the ACC?” But regardless of whether it was something more, Maryland is just trying to settle the other lawsuit and get this behind them so they can enter the Big Ten without having ACC matters lingering over its head long past its exit from the league.

    Like

  19. BuckeyeBeau says:

    http://w3.phoenixmi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Phoenix-GWM-U.S.-Ranking-States-By-Millioinaires-Per-Capita-2006-13.pdf

    HT: Ozone.net.

    FWIW (probably nothing), but Maryland and NJ top the list of states with millionaires per capita. I am sure this is why Rutgers and MD were added. :-)

    Like

    • Pablo says:

      Well, that ranking and thought process may help the spirits of UConn fans…Connecticut is next in line with the 3rd most millionaires per capita…maybe B1G officials are using this criteria.

      Like

  20. bullet says:

    http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/01/16/drug-use-and-attitudes-about-entitlement-among-athletes

    Interesting survey results on athletes. Lots don’t feel comfortable outside other athletes on campus. Division III leads in drug use. Division III presidents are in favor of abolishing penalties for marijuana use.

    Like

    • Transic says:

      I think it speaks much more to a cultural issue than an athletics issue. I’m in my forties, so I have a different attitude about drugs and athletics. It looks like some college presidents are looking to throw up their hands. I can’t really blame them. Only people can change themselves.

      Like

    • Chet says:

      As blog improvisation (Duane Allman style!):

      In an April 2007 interview for NME magazine, music journalist Mark Beaumont asked Keith Richards what the strangest thing he ever snorted was, and quoted him as replying: “My father. I snorted my father. He was cremated and I couldn’t resist grinding him up with a little bit of blow. My dad wouldn’t have cared … It went down pretty well, and I’m still alive.”

      As Keith Richards soliloquy: (My father was injured in World War II during the Normandy invasion, you wanker!)

      Keith Richards says: Just Say No.

      Like

  21. bullet says:

    Faculty Athletic Respresentatives advocate a separate FBS division from Division I:

    http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/10/04/faculty-advocate-new-ncaa-division-far-governance-plan

    This is from October, but is a different group.
    Comments below the article are amusing.

    Like

  22. Wainscott says:

    ABC wants TNF, NFL likely only going to sell it to a broadcast network:

    http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Daily/Closing-Bell/2014/01/16/TNF.aspx

    Broadcast networks make everyone happy: More exposure, more reach, avoiding having to simulcast games on broadcast networks should TNF be on cable.

    NFL network hook here should be like the draft: No commercials, continuous feed of the stadium during breaks, using in stadium cameras.

    Like

    • Wainscott says:

      For the broadcast networks, makes sense: Promotional power on Thursday night is very important/lucrative. Allows more advertising of new and returning Thursday night shows before they debut. Likely to draw more viewers than regularly scheduled shows. Regularly schedules shows will air less reruns, making fans happy.

      I can see September, October and some November being the ultimate bid, October to compete with baseball playoffs, November to get some sweeps month ratings boosts. December is likely less valuable due to lack of flexing.

      Like

    • @Wainscott – Fascinating and, I’ll be honest, surprising. ABC has had a lot of ratings issues lately, but Thursday night is actually the one evening where it has been strong. My wife will *not* be happy that Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal are going to get shifted around if this happens. I guess the argument would be that those shows would be used stabilize a different evening (Monday? Tuesday?) and make the network look a lot better overall.

      Like

  23. Wainscott says:

    @FrankTheTank:

    Actually, I’d bet both shows start second or third week in November (depending on the calendar) with 6 weeks worth of TNF ads promoting them. The upshot for your wife (and mine and millions more) is that there will be lest reruns, less “Winter FInale” breaks, and a more-or-less straight shot to the season finale in May with less interruption.

    Win (ABC)-Win (TNF and ABC show viewers)-Lose (for husbands after TNF ends).

    Like

    • @Wainscott – Another winner is ESPN – another direct competitor like FS1, NBCSN or TNT doesn’t get access to NFL games while their sister company is helped out (along with pushing the ESPN on ABC branding) for probably less in rights fees than if ESPN took the games themselves.

      Like

      • Wainscott says:

        Well, there was no chance the NFL would let its regular season games be shown on second-tier cable channels. The only cable network that would ever show live, regular season games would be ESPN and a Turner network (TNT) (and of course NFLN). That rules out CBS Sports Net, NBCSN, and FS1.

        I think the NFL values the exposure that being on a broadcast network brings, even if it means leaving money on the table. Heck, I’m sure that some in the NFL would prefer MNF be on broadcast, but that no major network was willing to pay anywhere close to $1.1 billion for non-flexed games, which is I believe $500 mil more than NBC is paying for SNF.

        Like

  24. opossum says:

    If there’s no limit to John Swofford’s hubris for thinking the mysterious Big Ten School #2 (Northwestern? Purdue? Michigan State?) would be interested in the ACC, then is there also no limit in Delaney’s hubris in thinking that UVA, UNC, Duke, Georgia Tech, Miami or FSU are interested in the Big Ten?

    All of those scenarios are silly. Some others are not.

    Like

    • Chet says:

      You mean a scenario of the ACC raiding the Big Ten as a condition of ESPN to finance an ACC Network?

      Like

      • Chet says:

        From the above Forbes link:

        *… When the ACC signed its previous ESPN contract a few years ago, Swofford insisted on maintaining a partnership with syndicator Raycom Sports, possibly giving away increased media rights revenue in the process:

        “Swofford let the strongest bidders, ESPN and Fox, know that he wanted to include Raycom, which went into the talks as a partner to both networks, rather than trying to bid against their deeper pockets.”

        The ACC television rights that Raycom secured are credited with keeping the syndicator alive: “company executives acknowledged that keeping a piece of the ACC’s business was the only way the small, regional TV syndicator and production company could stay relevant.” Raycom pays $50 million annually in a sublicense agreement with ESPN; ACC schools see none of that money.

        It’s rather surprising that a conference would so willingly take less TV money – the core source of revenue in collegiate athletics – just to keep a broadcast company from folding. There are, of course, plenty of conspiracy theories to explain Swofford’s irrational decision. Raycom Sports is based in North Carolina, and the ACC is often accused of favoring its four NC schools. Then there’s Swofford’s son, Chad Swofford, who is the Senior Director of New Media and Business Development at Raycom Sports (he was also employed by Boston College athletics when the school received an invite from the ACC). But regardless of what theory you choose to believe, the ultimate conclusion is that the ACC has not been the best at negotiating its TV rights contracts …*

        Alfred : Look, the Umbrella-Signal!
        Jesse : Conspiracy?! Roddy Piper reunion?!?
        Alfred : Nah, just another sweetheart deal.
        Jesse : (No wonder why Maryland left)

        Like

        • BuckeyeBeau says:

          Thanks for the link, c&p and for the summary. The summary gave me a good morning laugh.

          Like

        • Chet says:

          Aristotle says:

          First premise : Private companies don’t publish financial statements.
          Second premise : Raycom Media / Raycom Sports is a private company.
          Conclusion : Chad’s salary & compensation is none of your d**n business.

          Like

        • vp19 says:

          Then there’s Swofford’s son, Chad Swofford, who is the Senior Director of New Media and Business Development at Raycom Sports (he was also employed by Boston College athletics when the school received an invite from the ACC).

          After then-Va. Gov. Mark Warner jumbled up the ACC’s 2003 expansion by insisting Virginia Tech be thrown into the mix — otherwise possibly pressuring UVa into a “no” vote that would have scuttled the entire process — many wondered why Boston College (and not Syracuse, which has a better collegiate athletic tradition, was coming off an NCAA men’s basketball title that April, and had been one vote shy of joining the ACC in 1990) was retained to accompany the Gobblers and Miami in the growth to 12. This may be the smoking gun. Maryland fans are increasingly glad to escape Mayberry.

          Like

    • Chet says:

      There is a greater chance of Milton Friedman replacing Ben Bernanke as the next Chairman of the Federal Reserve than Northwestern leaving the Big Ten.

      Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      If there’s no limit to John Swofford’s hubris for thinking the mysterious Big Ten School #2 (Northwestern? Purdue? Michigan State?) would be interested in the ACC, then is there also no limit in Delaney’s hubris in thinking that UVA, UNC, Duke, Georgia Tech, Miami or FSU are interested in the Big Ten?

      There’s a huge difference. A few years ago, most people thought that NO founding member of the ACC would leave for the Big Ten. Maryland did. All of those schools would make more money in the Big Ten, and although tradition and geography surely count for something, money usually wins out in the end.

      FSU voted against the ACC’s exit fee, so clearly they were willing to consider offers. I don’t think the Big Ten was willing to expand to non-contiguous territory, and FSU’s academics probably aren’t good enough. But if the Big Ten had come calling, you think FSU wouldn’t have listened?

      Like

      • Wainscott says:

        “But if the Big Ten had come calling, you think FSU wouldn’t have listened?”

        Does a bear poop in the woods?

        Like

      • JustSmithinIt says:

        Of all the founding members, Maryland was the odd man out. They’re more Ed Hardy t-shirts and cargo shorts than the rest of the league (note: you know they belong in the B1G because all of you just thought “what’s wrong with Ed Hardy and cargo?). That’s hardly a good argument to make. Maryland has griped for years at the ACC and was the main force behind the whole ‘Tobacco Road makes all the decisions’ movement. Seems that Maryland didn’t want to be part of the ACC team where every team checks its ego and does things as a conference. They also didn’t want to truly excel in any one aspect to offer something to justify its shelfish behavior. Every other school in the ACC brings something to table; Maryland quite frankly was simply redundant.

        No offense, vp19, but you have to admit your fanbase has always a chip on its shoulder.

        Like

        • Arch Stanton says:

          Well, I’ve been out of school for ten years and I had to google Ed Hardy and I didn’t recognize the style, but I’ll take your word for it that Big Ten country loves it. You seem like you really have your finger on the pulse of what’s hot on each campus in various conferences throughout the country.

          By the way, every fan base in the country has a chip on their shoulder. I have yet to find any group of fans that doesn’t think ESPN College Gameday has a personal bias against their school.

          “No, but they really do hate my school!”

          Like

        • vp19 says:

          I concur with some of your reasoning — and I’m no fan of the “you suck” mentality that permeates College Park — but for the first two decades of the ACC, Maryland dominated the conference in many sports, such as soccer, wrestling and track. Eventually, other ACC members, notably UNC, UVa and Duke, caught up with the Terrapins in these endeavors.

          The angle I’ve always used in my pro-Big Ten debate isn’t the old Tobacco Road argument, but that Maryland is a better institutional and academic fit in the Big Ten, which aside from Northwestern (and soon, on a very limited basis, Johns Hopkins) is comprised of the land-grant large flagships that are College Park’s peers. And in the 14 months since the conference switch was announced, people are coming around to that point. Academically, Maryland has more in common with Michigan, Purdue, Minnesota and Penn State than it does with relatively small, liberal arts-oriented flagships such as Chapel Hill and Charlottesville, much less private colleges such as Wake, Duke, Boston College or Syracuse.

          Like

        • Richard says:

          Who the heck’s Ed Hardy?

          Like

  25. Wainscott says:

    SEC Network’s cost will top that of other college nets:

    http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2014/01/13/Media/SEC-net.aspx

    $1.30 in SEC footprint, $.25 outside footprint. DISH and AT&T have signed on. TWC and Comcast have not. ESPN predicts 75 million homes as an end game.

    Question, does Texas a&m mean $1.30 all over Texas or just in College Station/Houston? Same question for UF: does that just mean in Tampa area or does it apply in Miami?

    Like

    • duffman says:

      In Florida they already have the Sunshine Network in place and Atlanta is both an SEC and ACC city so maybe that goes through Cox. Texas is the bigger question as there was no TV network in place and the Big 12 probably has a greater market share across the state than the SEC would.

      You have to think TAMU would reject any LHN piggyback but since ESPN now has both if they will force the issue. The interesting part of the discussion is not how TAMU fans affect carriage but how other SEC fans living in TX affect carriage?

      Like

    • Eric says:

      The question isn’t so much a matter of how popular other teams are as how popular the SEC teams themselves are. The trouble for the Big Ten Network in Philadelphia wasn’t college competition so much as not quite enough coverage interest from the general public to immediately justify that much money (a lot of people x the full price).

      Like

  26. Michael in Raleigh says:

    Isn’t it interesting how offended many Big Ten fans, though not all of them, are that ACC schools might actually be interested in having Big Ten schools join their league? The ACC is all of a sudden “dirty.” Meanwhile, the Big Ten is somehow some shining light of innocence and morality when it secretly signs a membership deal with Maryland that prohibited anything but a rushed decision with almost no discussion within its Board of Regents. The ACC is slimy for the way it conducts business, but the Big Ten is just being smooth when it signs confidentiality agreements with any number of other ACC schools about potential membership. Really?

    I fail to see how these aren’t double standards.

    I’ll grant you that Swofford’s deal with Raycom was awful. Just plain awful, and I cannot believe that all the non-NC schools (i.e., schools which outnumbered NC schools 2-to-1 at the time and now outnumber them almost 3-to-1) to get there way with it. It’s a black eye on Swofford’s leadership. I don’t think Slive or Delany ever would have allowed something like that to happen, not because they do everything morally correct but rather because they serve their members’ financial interests without influence from their children’s business relationships.

    Why should Big Ten fans be any more offended when the ACC tries to dominate the east coast than ACC fans should offended for trying to do the same? Should ACC fans be upset that the Big Ten singularly owns almost the entire Midwest? Should Big Ten fans be upset that the ACC has a major presence from Boston to Miami?

    I just don’t get all the hate for the entire league. It’s one thing if you’re like Frank and hate individual schools, namely Duke. Duke is pretty easy to hate. But until the ACC starts chanting “ACC! ACC! ACC!” and exaggerating at every opportunity how good it is (i.e., as SEC fans do when they say with a straight face that the SEC is “basically an NFL development league”), I don’t see what this league is doing that is so offensive.

    As for Maryland fans such as Scott Van Pelt complaining that the ACC was never concerned about meeting its needs, what do they think they’re going to get from a Midwest-centered conference? Yes, Maryland is going to get more money, and yes, it has the CIC, but it’s not going to be more appreciated in the Big Ten than it ever was in the ACC.

    Like

    • Wainscott says:

      “Isn’t it interesting how offended many Big Ten fans, though not all of them, are that ACC schools might actually be interested in having Big Ten schools join their league?”

      Hardly anyone is offended. Rather, most recognize that all conferences are always inquiring with teams in other conferences to gauge interest. Standard operating procedure.

      “The ACC is all of a sudden “dirty.” ”

      I believe you are painting with an awful large brush based on one person’s viewpoint. Most disagree with this assessment.

      “Why should Big Ten fans be any more offended when the ACC tries to dominate the east coast than ACC fans should offended for trying to do the same?”

      Again, hardly anyone is offended. But its more that the ACC is seemingly reacting to events without a cohesive plan, adding schools as part members or adding schools that in the past would have never merited consideration based on the academics and school culture. Both reflect to the outsider a significant degree of desperation and fear.

      Like

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        Wainscott,

        Everything you said is a completely rational response. In this age of particularly frequent expansion, it’s standard operating procedure for everyone.

        The Notre Dame addition has probably been the most divisive choice. I agree that it did reflect a need to try and catch up with the other leagues in a growing revenue gap. It did make some sense from a institutional fit standpoint. For one, ACC now has more private schools (6) than the other four P5 leagues combined (5). ND is also somewhat of an east coast school at heart, and it has joined another east coast league, only with fewer Catholic schools but with more schools that matched ND’s academic profile.

        The Louisville addition was exactly as you described. After losing a charter member and having already taken the Big East’s best, aside from WVU, its choices were limited.

        Of available replacements for Maryland’s academic profile, UConn came closest, but still fell short. It also came closest to a large market, but it definitely offer less market presence than UMd did. Louisville falls dramatically short of UMd’s academic credentials, but it captured its market handily and, at least at the present time, was actually an improvement athletically. Basketball at UConn & Louisville were close to even, and both a bit better than UMd’s. Louisville had the best football, hands-down. Maryland had the most history, UConn by far the least, but Louisville appeared to have the best future. The thing that probably put Louisville over the edge was its athletic department’s financial resources, which obviously was better than Maryland’s and apparently was enough stronger than UConn’s to beat out the Huskies for the ACC invitation. I won’t argue that the move meant the ACC had to give up its past arguments for why a school like WVU couldn’t get in.

        Like

        • dhs3120 says:

          I’d say Louisville is a better fit than WVU. Just as strong football program, much stronger basketball program with history. Located in a city like BC, GT, Miami, PItt. Kentucky is at least Southern, West Virginia is…West Virginia. Papa John’s offers a major backer for the future of the athletic department. Both are equally as bad in terms of academics, but who else on the table is better? UConn’s academics may not be quite as bad but once you’re already lowering your standards, why not pick the overall best fit remaining?

          Churchill Downs also adds at least some class which can’t be found in West Virginia.

          Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        What Wainscott said. Plus, I think it’s flattering. My worry is for the fans that find others being interested in B1G schools a concern at all. They don’t seem to see the big picture and/or underestimate their own conference’s value.

        Like

        • Michael in Raleigh says:

          Agreed. The ACC’s best chance of having a leg up over the Big Ten passed a long time ago. Its best chance would have been back in the late 80’s or early 90’s if it had been able to get Penn State, Florida State, Miami, and either Syracuse or Pitt, either all at once or close to the same time. With Miami and FSU’s national titles in ’91, ’93, and ’99, NCG appearances by UM & FSU in ’92, ’96, and ’98, plus at least a NCG appearance for Penn State in the Orange Bowl against Nebraska in ’94, the ACC would have dominated the 90’s. Maybe that would have allowed the ACC to carry some more momentum into the 2000’s. And with Syracuse, Duke, UNC, Maryland, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, and early 90’s FSU all playing great ball at the time, the ACC would still have been the best basketball league for the decade, too.

          By now, the league would have commanded a heck of a lot more TV money than it actually does today.

          But that’s not what happened, and there’s no turning back. As an ACC guy, I am absolutely certain there is no way the ACC is getting any Big Ten team. In about 18 years, after the Big Ten GOR expires and who knows what other kinds of changes could happen, sure, I suppose the ACC could, in theory, be able to get Penn State to join, but I’m not counting on it. The ACC would have to overcome financial disparities between itself and the other P5 leagues, somehow gather more casual fans nationalwide than the larger alumni bases of the Big Ten, and start winning a heck of a lot more non-conference games in football. On top of that, the ACC would have to provide a convincing reason for PSU to leave behind the CIC. (Good luck with that!) Much more likely, PSU won’t be going anywhere. PSU will have been in the league for 40 years by then. The now well-established presence on the east coast will have further enhanced the Big Ten’s revenue. Rutgers and Maryland, most likely, will have appeased PSU’s appetite for east coast rivalries enough to keep them from making a drastic move to another conference, especially because PSU will probably have played Pitt, Syracuse, West Virginia, and other eastern schools. Besides, with 40 years in the league under its belt, Penn State may finally have identified its rivalries with Midwestern programs as much as it does with eastern programs.

          Anyway, Penn State is the only Big Ten school that the ACC could have even a sliver of a chance of getting, 18 years from now. I don’t think anyone in the Big Ten is ever going lose any sleep over this.

          Like

    • Chet says:

      Who’s offended? Corruption and nepotism is a fact of life. It only harms the institutions and people who would otherwise benefit without it. Swofford’s slimy deal with Raycom means less money for ACC schools. Maryland wised up and flew the coop.

      Like

    • zeek says:

      The ACC is doing what it must do, as are the Big Ten/SEC/Big 12/Pac-12 as far as conference expansion goes.

      The only conference that I’d be critical of over the past 10-15 years in terms of how they’ve handled their membership is the Big East, but they were the runt of the litter as soon as the first ACC raid had finished and were a dead man walking for a long time.

      I don’t think it’s offensive that the ACC would check on whether any Big Ten schools would want to join it. That’s the ACC’s right and prerogative, and it’s certainly the first place to go if they’re looking for additional schools.

      I’d be more concerned about the ACC if they hadn’t gone to Penn State first to ask.

      Penn State is the ACC’s Texas if you will. If the ACC gets Penn State, they really shut off the Big Ten from the East Coast…

      Like

      • zeek says:

        Personally, even though I’m a Big Ten fan; I’m hoping that the ACC survives over the long haul and doesn’t lose any other members.

        The Big Ten and SEC can’t service the East Coast on their own. They each only have 3 East Coast schools at the moment and there’s no real way for either to get that to a representative number of big conference East Coast schools without taking over a half the ACC, which makes no real sense to me.

        There’s plenty of room for an East Coast-centric conference, and there’s plenty of room for smaller public schools and private schools in the big scheme of things.

        Like

        • ccrider55 says:

          And the ACC has their population spread across the conference in multiple states. Which is why, although set for now, many feel the B12 would more likely be at risk if four becomes the number of power conferences.

          Like

        • Chet says:

          Yep, sibling rivalries add spice in the out-of-conference bedroom, especially when out-of-conference win-loss records also function as in-conference tie-breakers as needed.

          Like

    • Chet says:

      IMO (as a Big Ten alum):

      If any Big Ten school wants to leave – for whatever reason: money, opportunity, scheduling – then that school should leave! As Soon As Possible. The Big Ten ain’t no hostage holder.

      And vice versa: If any non-Big Ten school doesn’t want to join – for whatever reason: lousy football, cold weather, midwestern culture – then that school should not join! The Big Ten ain’t no charity.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      I think the only offensive thing is the hypocrisy of the ACC’s (and their fans) complaints about the B10 adding UMD.

      Like

    • Chet says:

      What offends me is this statement at this link:

      http://blog.pennlive.com/davidjones/2013/02/big_ten_expansion_north_caroli.html

      => “People belong with their own kind.”

      As if people should only associate with other people of the same race, religion, sexual orientation or opinions.

      NUTS!

      Like

  27. zeek says:

    We talk about demographics a lot especially re: Rutgers and Maryland, but what about wealth? Wealth is a significant part of the equation in the Rutgers/Maryland additions as well:

    http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2014/01/16/where-are-the-u-s-s-millionaires/?mod=WSJ_hppMIDDLENexttoWhatsNewsSecond

    Top 2 states in the country in terms of percentage of millionaire households are Maryland (7.70%) and New Jersey (7.49%).

    Obviously that translates into % of people that likely have cable, and IF you get carriage, that translates directly into BTN dollars.

    Still it adds another dimension to the demographics picture; you’re adding two of the wealthiest states in the union in terms of the population that is being added to the conference.

    Like

    • vp19 says:

      You mean the “Giant Non-Air-Conditioned Air Conditioner Dome.”

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Amazing that they could get money from the state for a private university football stadium.

        I can’t imagine that passing in Texas or Georgia. Pros yes. Private colleges, no.

        So Syracuse is joining Cal, Stanford and Arizona St. of the Pac 12 and Tennessee and Kentucky of the SEC in downsizing. UK, TN and SU are downsizing BELOW their average attendance over the last 15 years. Arizona St. exceeded their proposed 60,000 capacity almost half the time. They are either expecting a permanent downturn or are trying to raise prices and required donations.

        Like

        • mushroomgod says:

          Also, Illinois and Purdue…..Illinois in football and basketball.

          Like

        • Wainscott says:

          It is quite remarkable that Syracuse would get a publically financed stadium to replace the Giant AC. Politics at its finest/worst. Though, apparently it would be more of a multi-purpose arena for the city, which makes it a little better (but only a little).

          Like

  28. […] dollar exit fee obligation, a lawsuit the university was unable to get thrown out of court.  The legal wrangling that will likely result in a compromised settlement is of less interest to this guy—the idea being that if this actually turns into a courtroom […]

    Like

  29. urbanleftbehind says:

    Purdue and Illinois at least have hideous circular arena design as a justification for downsizing their basketball arenas. I think Purdue could be a dark-house candidate to leave the B1G if the SEC (needs 2 more to do the 4-pod thing if TX/OK or VATECH dont jump) or ACC or even BigXII comes calling, considering who their President is now and his emphasis on ROI.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Only the AAC or MAC would actually want to add PU. They don’t bring nearly enough value to any major conference.

      Like

    • DITB says:

      Purdue is a charter member of the BIG. They would never leave the conference, and definitely not for the SEC or Big 12. That is an insane thought…

      Like

    • frug says:

      Interesting

      Like

      • Brian says:

        http://espn.go.com/college-sports/story/_/id/10311275/majority-delegates-ncaa-convention-wants-power-conference-autonomy

        An unofficial straw poll of hundreds of delegates at the NCAA Convention in San Diego shows they support Division I athletics moving toward a model that would grant more autonomy to the five conferences with the most resources — the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC.

        The vote showed that 58 percent of athletic decision-makers in attendance either supported or strongly supported a change in the way Division I athletics are governed. The vote was nonbinding and the proposed new governance model is still raw, but it represents the first tangible acknowledgement that change is needed.

        “People agree this is the appropriate way to have Division I stay intact and grant these degrees of freedom to higher-resource conferences,” Wake Forest president Nathan Hatch, who also serves as Division I president, told ESPN.com.

        Yep, together but unequal.

        Like

        • loki_the_bubba says:

          Another telling quote

          “The biggest challenge for us right now is we don’t feel we’re able to get an intact piece of legislation through the program that will benefit our 65 programs,” Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said. “I don’t say that to be critical of others. But the fact is what is a great decision for us, may be a marginal decision for (the Football Championship Subdivision) and an awful decision for the rest of the Division I. Those are honest disagreements.”

          So the groupings are P5, FCS, and non-football. The non-AQ conferences are to be just completely ignored or treated as FCS.

          Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            The alternative inference is that its because of Go5 support that the balance of power rests with the FCS … something where the Go5 is marginal and its awful for FCS and non-FB is a non-starter in division politics because of the numbers.

            Like

          • He could have been implying that the non-AQ’s by and large support the proposed changes, which wouldn’t overly surprise me. For the most part, the non-AQ schools aspire to be as much like AQ schools as possible (if not AQ schools outright). Although many of the non-AQ schools would probably be hard pressed to offer the same level of scholarship that the AQ schools can at this moment, I would imagine most would certainly like to have that option available to them in the future.

            Like

  30. Brian says:

    http://www.sportsmediawatch.com/2014/01/demo-reel-part-1-nba-young-mlb-old-nhl-affluent/2/

    Frank tweeted the link to this article about the demographics for TV audiences of some recent sporting events.

    Bullet points:
    1. Young people and/or poor people like the NBA
    2. Old people like baseball
    3. Rich people and young people like hockey more than other groups, but not enough fans in total
    4. Rich people also like CFB
    5. Old people really care about the Rose Bowl, younger people not as much

    To follow up on the Rose:
    BCS ratings by age group (<18, 18-34, 35-54, 55+)

    NCG – 3.9, 7.5, 11.1, 12.8
    Rose – 2.2, 3.7, 6.4, 10.2
    Fiesta – 1.9, 3.1, 5.1, 6.3
    Orange – 1.4, 2.7, 4.6, 5.4
    Sugar – 1.4, 2.5, 4.5, 5.1

    Rose/NCG = 0.56, 0.49, 0.58, 0.80
    Rose/Fiesta = 1.16, 1.19, 1.25, 1.62

    So the Rose did a little over half as well as the NCG except with older fans where it did 80% as well. Likewise, it did 20%+ better than the other BCS games except with older fans where it did 60% better.

    It also shows in the average age of the viewer:
    Rose – 53
    Orange, Sugar, Fiesta – 49
    NCG – 48

    Like

    • bullet says:

      The under 35 numbers have got to be really disconcerting to ADs. Maybe that’s why UK, TN, ASU are downsizing.

      Did the Fiesta really beat the Orange and Sugar?

      Like

      • frug says:

        Fiesta had a better time slot.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          Still, more people turned into a less interesting game with Baylor and Central Florida than two other games involving 3 kings.

          Like

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            bullet/frug – that’s why the SEC, B-12, and the Sugar Bowl locked down the NYD primetime slot for the next 12 years.

            Like

          • frug says:

            It’s not that surprising it would be the Orange Bowl. The OB was on a Friday night and it had direct competition from the Cotton Bowl.

            Beating the Sugar Bowl was somewhat less likely, but New Year’s night is a great time slot.

            Like

        • BuckeyeBeau says:

          Before worrying, I’d like to see comparable data from say 10 and then 20 years ago, etc.

          Has the under 18 group always been small? Has the over 35 age group always been the largest segment of viewers?

          Like

          • bullet says:

            I remember a Buick executive about 20 years ago saying, look the population is aging. That our average owner’s age is above 50 is not a problem. Now their average owner’s age is close to 70.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            (at least it seems that way).

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Buick’s lifeline is China.

            Without China (where it is a powerhouse brand, in part because Buicks were what the rich and powerful in China before the Commies took over were chauffeured around in), GM would have ended the brand long ago.

            In 2010, Buick sold 3 times as many cars in China as in the US.

            Like

      • Brian says:

        bullet,

        “The under 35 numbers have got to be really disconcerting to ADs.”

        CFB has never done well with kids. Most fans don’t start until their 20s at best. That means they’re mostly measuring 23-34 but labeling it 18-34, which explains the lower number. Younger people may be more likely to be active rather than watching TV, too.

        Like

    • Richard says:

      MLB and CFB’s numbers and ratings profiles are very very similar.

      Like

  31. Transic says:

    Sorry if this was posted before…

    Where Football Players Call Home

    http://mode.github.io/blog/2014-01-16-football-hometowns/index.html#

    You can even check by conference where the players are coming from today. What is interesting is that, even though people talk about the Northeast as a barren place for recruiting that there are players recruited out of MA, CT and NY, especially downstate. It’s also true that no major conference can afford not to have a presence in either TX, FL or CA. Even the Ivy and Northeast leagues have players from those three states. I think the Big Ten has a real opportunity to increase their presence into downstate NY, including Nassau and Suffolk counties.

    Like

    • Richard says:

      NY and New England are definitely underecruited (possibly because kids don’t get the chance to show as much of their talent or are less developed). A guy as quick and explosive as Victor Cruz who grows up in SEC country would have been snapped up by an SEC school; in the Northeast, he falls to UMass.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        To some extent, Louisiana, North Carolina and even Texas look better than they are because of the number of schools.

        Like

      • Wainscott says:

        I dunno if NY and NE are under-recruited. I’m not certain that the area produces much elite football talent. NJ does. I’m sure Syracuse, UConn, and BC would like the region to produce more talent.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          They don’t produce a lot of talent but NY, at least, is still underrecruited.

          For instance, here is a map of where all NFL players played HS football:

          http://www.maxpreps.com/news/J_G3Olz0lUaivTrWxlHrLQ/where-every-active-nfl-player-went-to-high-school.htm

          Like

          • Richard says:

            By comparison, here is a list of kids who played FBS football by state:

            http://www.footballstudyhall.com/2013/9/11/4718442/college-football-state-texas-california-florida

            What you’ll see is that NYS doesn’t produce a ton of NFL players but the state produces them in numbers comparable to Sun Belt states like MS, TN, and AZ. Yet AZ has far more kids in FBS schools while MS & TN has almost double the number of kids in FBS football. This despite the fact that NYS produces just as much top-level talent (as measured by NFL players) as AZ & TN and only slightly less than MS.

            If you compare the numbers, you’ll see that NJ and VA are under-recruited as well. Despite producing more NFL talent than AL & NC (as well as IL and MI), both states have fewer kids recruited in to FBS football than NC, MI, or IL (and far less than AL).

            BC and UConn have actually done better than you’d expect given their resources, while Syracuse was good as recently as the ’90’s (playing in 3 Bowl Alliance/Bowl Coalition/BCS bowls that decade). BC is a small private school in a pro sports city, yet have won their division and made their CCG twice, which is a number that no other small private school in a P5 league, including those located in the supposedly much more fertile Sun Belt (such as Baylor, Wake, Duke, Vandy, and Miami) have matched. UConn made a BCS bowl less than a decade after joining FCS.

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            The fact that NYS, which has many times the number of residents as MS, TN, & AZ, produces roughly the same number of NFL players in those states shows that the investment in recruiting is not necessarily there, especially since NYS is also many times the size of those states, which would make recruiting more expensive/time consuming.

            Also, recruiting and producing NFL players are not nearly the same thing. For every Victor Cruz (UDFA turned star WR) you get a Vlad Ducasse (2nd round draft pick turned human turnstile). How many 4 & 5 star recruits does NYS produce on average? I don’t actually know the answer to this, so I wonder.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            “The fact that NYS, which has many times the number of residents as MS, TN, & AZ, produces roughly the same number of NFL players in those states shows that the investment in recruiting is not necessarily there, especially since NYS is also many times the size of those states, which would make recruiting more expensive/time consuming.”

            Huh? That doesn’t make a lot of sense. Travel makes recruiting expensive. NYS isn’t any more spread out than TN.

            In any case, NJ and VA have only a little more people than TN, IN, WI, and MN, but produce far more NFL players and even produce more NFL players than IL, NC and MI despite have smaller populations than those states.

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            My apologies for reviving an old discussion, which is something I generally try to avoid, but I had to clarify my point here.

            ““The fact that NYS, which has many times the number of residents as MS, TN, & AZ, produces roughly the same number of NFL players in those states shows that the investment in recruiting is not necessarily there, especially since NYS is also many times the size of those states, which would make recruiting more expensive/time consuming.”

            Huh? That doesn’t make a lot of sense. Travel makes recruiting expensive. NYS isn’t any more spread out than TN.

            In any case, NJ and VA have only a little more people than TN, IN, WI, and MN, but produce far more NFL players and even produce more NFL players than IL, NC and MI despite have smaller populations than those states.”

            NYS is a very large state, larger than MS and TN, and more spread out then AZ (which has large portions of vacant/federal land). If the state of NYS’s size produces approximately the same number of NFL players as smaller states with less people overall, by definition, its a better use of resources to drive around smaller states.

            Looking here: http://www.maxpreps.com/football-signing-day/football/home.htm , at least for the recruiting standpoint, NYS has only 24 recruits for this upcoming recruiting class, which is a tiny number for any state, let along the 3rd most populated one (and large one, too). If you’re gonna have to apportion monies for recruiting, and you’ll have to spend time driving around, better to do it in either a large state with many more targets (FL, TX, CA) or smaller states with more targets, especially for non-NYS schools. BC, for example, focusing its monies on FL, not so much NY.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            “NYS is a very large state, larger than MS and TN, and more spread out then AZ (which has large portions of vacant/federal land). If the state of NYS’s size produces approximately the same number of NFL players as smaller states with less people overall, by definition, its a better use of resources to drive around smaller states.”

            However, most of NYS’s population is in greater NYC. In fact, that’s where the vast majority of NJ’s population resides as well. Nothing prevents coaches from driving across state lines when recruiting.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            You keep assuming NYC produces elite CFB players at a similar per capita rate as everywhere else.

            http://dataomaha.com/big-ten/state/NY

            Let’s look at B10 recruits from NY for 2002-2011. Of the 41, 21 came from upstate NY. But 63% of New Yorkers live in metro NYC. Maybe the B10 coaches were bad at penetrating NYC, but likely the cost of land in NYC combined with the large number of immigrants means upstate NY is more productive. In addition, I’d imagine people from NYC are less thrilled about going to some of the midwestern schools than those from upstate NY.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            “In addition, I’d imagine people from NYC are less thrilled about going to some of the midwestern schools than those from upstate NY.”

            Not among the general student body population.

            Tons of NYC’ers at Wisconsin according to my friend who went there. Tons at Northwestern as well.

            Like

  32. bullet says:

    SEC distributions. Averaged $20.8 million. Missouri and A&M were the lowest. They didn’t get a 100% share. Sounds like they still had to take less on certain revenue streams (prior year NCAA credits?). Article shows the history for the last 7 years:

    http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2014/01/sec_average_payout_reached_208.html

    SEC Money During BCS Title Streak

    Year

    Total Revenue

    Avg. Payout to Schools

    2012-13 $314.5 million $20.8 million
    2011-12 $271.8 million $20.4 million
    2010-11 $261.1 million $19.5 million
    2009-10 $244.4 million $18.3 million
    2008-09 $148.0 million $13.1 million
    2007-08 $161.6 million $11.3 million
    2006-07 $149.2 million $11.0 million

    Like

    • Craig Z says:

      “Missouri and A&M were the lowest”

      Does that mean they were “junior partners”? Say it ain’t so.

      Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        No…”The difference in distribution was because of money accumulated prior to Texas A&M and Missouri becoming SEC members on July 1, 2012, SEC Associate Commissioner Herb Vincent said.” Just like the money accumulated and invested in the aprox. 50% BTN ownership….

        Like

      • Mack says:

        Not big reductions like in the B1G or XII. The 12 preexisting SEC members got between $21.0M and $21.3M with MO and A&M getting about $1.5M less. That is still a 93% first year payout.

        Like

        • Andy says:

          Also doesn’t last 5 years or more like junior members Nebraska, Rutgers, and Maryland, (and Utah, TCU, West Virginia, Louisville, Pitt, and Syracuse).

          Like

  33. GreatLakeState says:

    The President has now equated the dangers of playing football with smoking.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/195895-obama-danger-of-concussions-in-nfl-no-longer-a-secret

    Amazing how some people think football is untouchable because of the money it brings in.
    Political correctness rules all. The media lives for toppling sacred cows and now that the president has weighed in, they have their green light. Over the next few years football will slowly be strangled in its crib. First at warner level, them high school, then college then the pros. Brian scoffed, but I’ll say it again. Without revolutionary equipment advancements football will be illegal within twenty years. Until then, we can all celebrate the Christening of the Washington Bravehearts. Snyder’s lawyers have already submitted four trademarks for registration.
    PC America F**CK YEAH!

    http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=doc&state=4807:34890p.2.3

    Like

    • GreatLakeState says:

      (For the record, I can sympathize with those who find the Redskins name offensive, but according to Gallup, American Indians are generally supportive of keeping it. I just don’t like the government dictating what is or isn’t acceptable.)

      Like

      • GreatLakeState says:

        Amazingly ESPN didn’t listen to the better angels of their nature.
        ‘ESPN’s ombudsman revealed that the network considered banning the use of “Redskins” but declined to do so because of the news that such a move would inevitably make.’

        Like

    • frug says:

      Without revolutionary equipment advancements football will be illegal within twenty years.

      Smoking isn’t illegal and neither is boxing. Football could slip in popularity, but I seriously doubt it will be banned.

      Like

      • GreatLakeState says:

        Your right, adult (pro) football likely won’t be illegal, but no institution responsible for the well being of minors/students will offer it for legal/moral reasons. And what parent will risk the social stigma of putting their child at risk? Again, its the collapse of the pipeline that will kill it. That and the abandonment of advertisers. This will all be a moot point if they come up with a new helmet, but as of now, the outrageously outraged have the upper hand.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          GreatLakeState,

          “Your right, adult (pro) football likely won’t be illegal, but no institution responsible for the well being of minors/students will offer it for legal/moral reasons. And what parent will risk the social stigma of putting their child at risk?”

          Parents still smoke. Kids do boxing and MMA. Kids do extreme sports. Nobody believes it will happen to them. Many football players come from poor families that see sports as the only ticket out of that life.

          “That and the abandonment of advertisers.”

          Beer will keep sponsoring football for as long as they can. So will American cars. It’s their best chance to reach their target audience.

          “This will all be a moot point if they come up with a new helmet, but as of now, the outrageously outraged have the upper hand.”

          The problem isn’t the helmet, it’s what is inside of it.

          Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Brian:

            I disagree. It’s that the helmet gives the impression of protection while not doing enough to limit G forces within – skull protected from contact trauma but sudden acceleration forces still reach the brain.

            Like

          • Watching the AFC title game today got me thinking: why doesn’t everyone wear the mega-helmet that Wes Welker is wearing? It’s supposed to provide extra protection and he hasn’t seemed affected by the size.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            But what does it protect you from? Concussions are due to the brain rattling around the skull. If the head moves, the brain moves.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            ccrider55,

            “I disagree. It’s that the helmet gives the impression of protection while not doing enough to limit G forces within – skull protected from contact trauma but sudden acceleration forces still reach the brain.”

            Just because people don’t understand science doesn’t mean the helmet is faulty. It protects from cracked skulls and facial injuries like it’s supposed to. No reasonable amount of padding can prevent the brain trauma inside the skull. The head is a heavy object at the end of a flexible limb and whips around. A gelatinous mass floating in fluid sloshes around as that happens.

            Everything involving sudden movement causes brain injuries. Soccer is generally the #2 sport for concussions. There is concern that headers actually cause brain injury.

            The solutions:
            1. Stop rapidly accelerating.
            2. Thicken the brain fluid to provide cushioning inside the skull. This may be possible someday.
            3. Stiffen the neck to prevent head motion relative to the body. Unfortunately, I think this would create other types of injury that are just as bad (spinal compression, etc)

            A better helmet can provide a slight improvement over the current level of protection, but only in the degree of injury sustained. Since nobody knows how many hits of what intensity with what frequency are needed to cause traumatic injury, it may be pointless.

            A far more practical fix for now:
            1. Teach better technique.
            2. Don’t play tackle football too young.
            3. Train parents and coaches to diagnose concussion symptoms.
            4. Teach adults to actually take brain injury seriously, not just pay lip service and then question the manhood of players that sit out.
            5. Teach players to take brain injuries seriously. They have to overcome the societal pressure to play through injury. It’s obscene how many NFL players admit to still intentionally avoiding the concussion protocol so they can go back out and play. Former players are suing over the issue, the union is thinking about it, and the current players show that it doesn’t matter what info the NFL hid – they would have played no matter what.
            6. Install G sensors in helmets, then automatically bench any player for the rest of the game if they exceed that level. A cheap method for lower levels of football is to install a sensor that breaks if the level is exceeded (like the shipping label sensors) and manually inspect every helmet when a player is hurt or comes off the field.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Oversized helmet (think Buzz Lightyear) that mead cannot touch, anchored to shoulders, neck is shock absorber. All shocks/sudden G forces transferred to torso. Head will flop around some. But, as is said about long falls, it’s not the fall but the quick stop at the ground that hurts. Eliminate the skull/brain from being able to take receive that contact.

            Like

          • Mike says:

            @Frank – probably for the same reason NHL players don’t wear visors or cages if they don’t have to.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            ccrider55,

            “Oversized helmet (think Buzz Lightyear) that mead cannot touch, anchored to shoulders, neck is shock absorber. All shocks/sudden G forces transferred to torso. Head will flop around some.”

            No, all the sudden G force isn’t directed to the body. The flopping head will still cause a very rapid acceleration at the end of its stroke just like it does now. Besides, this helmet would be wider than your shoulders. How could a player function in that? In addition, how many back injuries are caused because the head and shoulders can’t come near the ground?

            “But, as is said about long falls, it’s not the fall but the quick stop at the ground that hurts. Eliminate the skull/brain from being able to take receive that contact.”

            You still need to be able to use your shoulders to play football, though.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            You can do what rugby union does and ban all tackles but arm tackles (shoulder charges aren’t allowed).

            BTW, I’ve got to think that stuff like the foam bike helmets would help with concussions, would they not? Not as much force impacting the skull.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Brian:

            “No, all the sudden G force isn’t directed to the body. The flopping head will still cause a very rapid acceleration at the end of its stroke just like it does now.”

            No. Now the only comperable hit/whip is a chest or back blast that the helmet continues free motion-never hitting another player or the ground. Try driving a nail with a hammer with its head in a shell that it can’t touch and has a flexible shock absorber as its handle, and the shell is connected half way down the handle. Neck muscles will pull before brain G forces could approach those from helmet/helmet or helmet/ground impacts. A preferable injury/result.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            ccrider55,

            “No. Now the only comperable hit/whip is a chest or back blast that the helmet continues free motion-never hitting another player or the ground.”

            You say no, but then you agree with me. I didn’t say all the sudden acceleration would still exist, I said it wouldn’t all go away.

            “Neck muscles will pull before brain G forces could approach those from helmet/helmet or helmet/ground impacts. A preferable injury/result.”

            People have gotten whiplash concussions, plus you always risk brain stem injury when the head whips. The soft tissue injury can be slow to heal as well. It may be better, but it’s not good.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            In over 30 years of coaching wrestling and following FB I have never seen a non head or helmet contact concussion. You’d think parachuting would cause them but I haven’t heard of them. I don’t think any FB hit will develope even 1/10 what g force testing did without an abrupt impact: http://search.yahoo.com/mobile/s?rewrite=72&amp;.tsrc=apple&first=1&p=rocket+sled+g+force+test&pintl=en&pcarrier=AT%26T&pmcc=310&pmnc=410&fr=onesearch

            Like

          • Brian says:

            ccrider55,

            “In over 30 years of coaching wrestling and following FB I have never seen a non head or helmet contact concussion.”

            I have.

            “You’d think parachuting would cause them but I haven’t heard of them.”

            Why? The G forces are pretty low unless your chute fails. I bet those people do get some concussions.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            When did you see an athlete get a non head contact concussion (Shaken baby syndrome isn’t what we’re talking about)?

            Ha! Yes, but they do have head/ground contact.
            Going from 80-120 mph to 10-15mph in the moment the canopy opens more G’s than Usain Bolt and Justin Gatlin would sprinting into each other (avoiding head contact). G force tests reached 50+ G’s, 80 once that seemed to almost kill the subject. But he was back testing in less than a week.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            ccrider55,

            “When did you see an athlete get a non head contact concussion (Shaken baby syndrome isn’t what we’re talking about)?”

            I can’t quote a date, and obviously I had to take TV’s word for what was wrong with him. I also have no way of knowing how healthy his head was before that play. It was a head on collision with the hit to his chest by a bigger guy while both players ran at full speed. He was knocked out and wobbly on his feet once he could get up.

            “Going from 80-120 mph to 10-15mph in the moment the canopy opens more G’s than Usain Bolt and Justin Gatlin would sprinting into each other (avoiding head contact). G force tests reached 50+ G’s, 80 once that seemed to almost kill the subject. But he was back testing in less than a week.”

            A chute takes time to open, plus all lines stretch a little and even the harness has a tiny amount of give. It’s your hips that take the brunt of it, and it doesn’t hurt. I’ve been hit much harder in football, trust me. Besides, those Gs aren’t front to back like most concussion-causing blows.

            Military chutes are worse (quicker opening), but they also don’t slow you down as much.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            “Besides, those Gs aren’t front to back like most concussion-causing blows.”

            Most. Skydivers don’t pull in a head first, or feet first dive. It is a front to back impact distributed over hips, torso and shoulders (allowing the neck to flex, spring like).

            ” He was knocked out and wobbly on his feet once he could get up.”

            So he went down. With no helmet/ground impact? Even if he was ko’ed by the body blow it would probably be pain induced, not concussion caused. I don’t see how an unconscious person could keep his head from hitting the ground unresisted, or how one would surmise the first hit caused a concussion and not the second?

            640mph to zero in 1.4 seconds: http://search.yahoo.com/mobile/s?rewrite=72&amp;.tsrc=apple&first=1&p=rocket+sled+g+force+test&pintl=en&pcarrier=AT%26T&pmcc=310&pmnc=410&fr=onesearch

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Sorry. Didn’t realize the links might not be working. Google “rocket sled g force test” . Really cool videos of the ultimate “amusement ride”.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            ccrider55,

            “Most. Skydivers don’t pull in a head first, or feet first dive. It is a front to back impact distributed over hips, torso and shoulders (allowing the neck to flex, spring like).”

            But the drogue chute rotates you towards vertical before the main chute opens.

            “So he went down. With no helmet/ground impact?”

            Other than lying still, yes.

            “Even if he was ko’ed by the body blow it would probably be pain induced, not concussion caused.”

            OK, doctor. I’m just telling you what was reported as his injury. Besides, body pain doesn’t make you wobble when you walk like that.

            Like

    • bullet says:

      He also said marijuana is safer than alcohol. Takes on football and alcohol. Guess he isn’t worried about carrying any southern states anymore.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      GreatLakeState,

      “The President has now equated the dangers of playing football with smoking.”

      1. He’s a smoker.
      2. That guarantees that a large chunk of America will support football to the death just to spite him.
      3. Smoking is still legal and quite popular despite warnings since the 60s. Maybe we’ll just export football to Asia, too.

      Like

    • mushroomgod says:

      The thing is……..I think Barry’s right. I’m glad my son didn’t play HS football.

      That said, I’m glad he has no male spawn. Thank God for small favors.

      How long before the lawyers start going after school districts with class action lawsuits?

      Like

    • mushroomgod says:

      Most amazing change to me, in the light of all the news/debate about concussions, was that the NFL went to a 16 game regular season. We all know that the players are just meat to a large majority of the owners and execs, but it’s sad to see that $$$ trumps everything for the players union as well. Rather than going to 16, the responsible move would have been to reduce to 12………

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Well they haven’t really changed the number of games. They’ve just switched a couple of exhibitions to regular season.

        Like

      • acaffrey says:

        Didn’t the NFL do that 40 years ago?

        Like

      • Wainscott says:

        The USFL had an 18 game schedule, and the league is remembered fondly for its quirks and spunky challenge of the establishment NFL.

        @mushroomgod: Changing the number of games is a sideshow. Football is inherently violent. Adding or subtracting games will not do all that much to make it safer. At the end of the day, absent banning tackling, cleats, and down lineman, the game will remain incredibly violent. Whether an 8 year veteran plays 128 regular season games (16 game schedule), 96 reg season games (12 game schedule) or 144 (18 game schedule) won’t, in the grand scope of things, change all that much of the long term health outlook. If Earl Campbell played one fewer season, would his health be any different? Most likely not.

        Like

  34. Transic says:

    Coming in two weeks: the Marijuana Bowl

    Like

  35. BuckeyeBeau says:

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/more/news/20140119/fowler-davis-musburger-nfl-network/?eref=sihp

    ESpin putting soon-to-be 75 year old Brent Musburger out to pasture.

    And more on the bidding for ThurNight Football.

    “The bidding for a package of Thursday night NFL games closed last week with Reuters, which broke the initial story, reporting that Fox and CBS had submitted bids. Sports Business Daily media reporter John Ourand previously reported NBC, Turner Sports and ESPN/ABC were also bidding on the package.

    One source familiar with the NFL’s thinking told SI.com that the number of games being bid on was not set to a specific number, meaning the package could be from anywhere from six to eight games or more, depending on the proposals from the networks. The source said the NFL was very interested in what broadcast group would provide the best promotional plan to amplify the viewership of Thursday night games. (On this end, ESPN would reportedly air games on ABC.)

    The NFL sought bids for a single season, starting this September, with the likelihood of extending the contract after its first year. The league was happy with how the NFL Network positioned Thursday as a football night but feels a network partner can improve viewership numbers (which they will). The NFL Network — at least according to the league — will continue to air a simulcast of the games, using the announcing and production teams of the winning bidder. This year’s 13-game NFL Network schedule averaged 8.0 million viewers in 2013. That was up 10% from the 2012 season average, but well behind viewership for games on CBS, Fox, NBC and ESPN. “

    Like

    • bullet says:

      This writer thinks Musberger earned the playoff announcing spot? SEC fans might be stuck with him as lead announcer for the SEC Network?

      Like

    • Wainscott says:

      I get he’s 75, but I personally think he’s a great announcer still in top form. Some network will definitely snap him up. BTN could do a lot worse than hiring Musberger as its #1 announcer. And, he is a Big Ten guy at heart. Doubt BTN is big enough for Brent, though.

      Like

      • GreatLakeState says:

        Couldn’t agree more. Yes he’s bias toward the SEC (and even the PAC). That’s when ESPN’ers do. He would be a great hire by FOX or BTN, mistakes and all.

        Like

      • Richard says:

        I’m trying to wrap my head around the statement that an announcer can be considered “in top form”, “mistakes and all”. Look, this isn’t regular season baseball, where announcer foibles (like a drunk Mike Shannon) can make the game interesting to listen to. In a sport where every week there’s a big game, I want the announcer to get the details right and provide information.

        BTW, Musberger is a B10 homer is there ever was one.

        Like

        • GreatLakeState says:

          Why do I get the feeling you didn’t like Musberger at any age.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            As an announcer, that’s definitely true. I can’t remember a time when he hasn’t been bad in the announcing booth. I liked him in the studio.

            Like

          • I was always a fan of Brent Musburger. He definitely has that “big game” voice where the event feels more important when he’s calling it. From a personal standpoint, most of my earliest childhood sports memories were following the Mike Ditka/Walter Payton Bears of the ’80s and watching Musburger host the NFL Today in its heyday (when CBS had the NFC package that Fox has now).

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Musberger in the studio is different from Musberger in the announcing booth, however. The 2 jobs are actually quite different.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            I think Frank has the key point. To the average viewer, it doesn’t matter that Musberger occasionally muffs a play or gets a player’s number wrong. There’s an “it” factor that makes him appealing to the average fan, whether sports-obsessives like him or not.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            I’m with Richard on this, and so are lots of “average” viewers.

            Like

        • mushroomgod says:

          I always thought he was something of an idiot.

          He always made lots of stupid mistakes/misstatements.

          Having said that, I liked his announcing this bowl season. It seemed to me he had found a measure of humility that wasn’t there before………so, of course, they put him out to pasture.

          Like

    • Brian says:

      I’m glad Brent is gone. He is following the Keith Jackson path of deterioration into a shadow of his former self.

      Fowler as the replacement? I hope not. He doesn’t call games very well in my opinion. Rece Davis is better at it. Maybe Tim Brando gets a shot?

      Like

      • GreatLakeState says:

        Summerall, Madden, Enberg? With all they gave to broadcasting did they deserve to go out on their own terms?

        Like

        • Richard says:

          Eh? “Gave to broadcasting”? I didn’t realize that these guys were donating their time for free at a charity.

          Like

          • GreatLakeState says:

            Would you have preferred contributed? Either way, you’re semantical nonsense is wrong. ‘Give’ can also mean to ‘impart’, which may or may not be charitable.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            For their contributions, they got paid. Pretty darn well.

            Plenty of steelworkers, miners, and auto workers contributed to their companies and overall economy as well (usually at far more detriment to their health), yet I don’t see you out there saying that they earned the right to decide when to quit.

            Like

        • Brian says:

          GreatLakeState,

          “Summerall, Madden, Enberg? With all they gave to broadcasting did they deserve to go out on their own terms?”

          Nobody deserves to keep a job they no longer do well. It’s a ridiculous notion.

          Like

  36. bullet says:

    http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2014/01/06/Media/Sports-Media.aspx

    The August launch of the SEC Network will be a significant story this year. The launch was the main topic during a year-end panel at SportsBusiness Journal/Daily’s annual college athletics conference. Here are five thoughts I took away from that discussion.

    Distribution battles will be tough….
    SEC Network will cover news events….
    College sports rights still have room for growth….
    The football playoffs aren’t expanding….
    The ACC is taking notes.

    The ACC hasn’t decided whether it’s going to launch a channel. But Jordan, the conference’s media consultant, said it is keeping a close eye on the SEC Network’s launch. That’s because the ACC’s media deals are similar to the SEC’s, with ESPN set up as the primary rights partner.

    (More detail in the article)

    Like

    • Brian says:

      I think his playoff expansion discussion is important:

      I believed that the new college football playoffs would expand from four to eight teams in the next five years. But I’ve changed my mind because none of the executives on the panel agreed, including Gerber and Jordan, the media consultants who sold the playoff media rights to ESPN.

      The main reason: They believe a playoff expansion will dilute the regular season.

      “When a conference tells me that they are willing to take less money for their regular-season package for more money that they’re going to split with a bunch of people in the postseason is the day that I’ll tell you that there’s going to be an eight-team playoff,” Gerber said.

      Jordan said a playoff expansion would not bring in as much money as some have suggested. “The majority of the value of the playoff is in three games — two semifinals and a championship,” he said. “You’re not creating any more of those when you expand the playoff.”

      I hope they’re right. If the money isn’t there, there really is no reason to expand it. Maybe TV experts told them that when they decided on the current system.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        I think he’s totally off base on his regular season comment. Over-expansion of playoffs doesn’t impact the TV money so much as the live gate. That would seem to be where the issue is. And I don’t see how 8 does anything except perhaps make it better.

        Now what he is saying is that the quarterfinals aren’t worth much more than a non-playoff BCS bowl. Given our limited experience with college football playoffs, a lot of that is based on speculation. They are informed panelists, but still really don’t know.

        Like

        • @bullet – Yeah, I don’t completely buy what they’re saying, especially when two of the panelists worked directly on selling the new CFP playoff TV package. They’re not going to throw their clients that just paid them hefty consulting fees under the bus and say that the marketplace is going to tear up the 12-year contract that they just negotiated within a couple of years. As a result, their quotes don’t carry much more weight than the party line from the conference commissioners that this deal is ironclad.

          If he’s actually arguing that a quarterfinal game isn’t worth much more than a non-playoff BCS bowl, then he’s outright lying. I don’t even think that’s speculation – we have seen many regular season games with national championship implications outdraw BCS bowls significantly, which are essentially what would mirror the interest in quarterfinal games.

          Speaking of the regular season, I agree with you that the 8-team playoff can actually enhance the regular season. I don’t think much of the smarmy Roger Goodell, but one of his quotes in the article that someone posted about the potential expansion of the NFL playoffs (I can’t recall if it was in this thread or in the last post) highlighted the different focus on regular season that “matters”. He looked at regular season success as the fact that 14 out of the 16 games played in week 17 this year had playoff implications and wanted to find a way so that more games would carry even more weight (i.e. a playoff spot at stake as opposed to just seeding). This is essentially the concept that I’ve been arguing for with respect to college football: the traditional viewpoint is more concerned about the handful of games like this year’s Alabama-Auburn game losing their impact, whereas I’m looking at whether there can be a dozen or more games on Thanksgiving weekend each year with legit national title implications (i.e. every single division race in the power conferences takes on a completely different tenor with a playoff spot at stake along with mattering much more nationally). Obviously, there’s a balance – too many playoff spots a la the NCAA Tournament truly does make the regular season into a seeding exercise. However, I don’t think an 8-team playoff (particularly one with 5 auto-bids for the power conference champs) is anywhere near that territory.

          Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Don’t the conferences have a pseudo qtr final roils with CCG’s/conference championships? I see as possible a future four power conference (D whatever) being the basis for a defacto 8 team bracket, once the cost of dreaming of being in the power group weeds 30 or more from the wana be’s.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Pfft…

            roils=round

            Like

          • Richard says:

            CCrider:

            Possible close to the expiration of the GOR’s when the B12 and maybe the ACC get raided and the remnants form the 4th major conference. SEC vs. Remnants in the Sugar. B10 vs. Pac in the Rose. Winners to the title game.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            I like it. I don’t care if the PAC and B1G reps are ranked 1and 2. I value the Rose (and history, tradition, etc) above providing non B1G/PAC members their supposed “better” final matchup merely for their transient amusement.

            Like

          • Eric says:

            It comes down to these couple of facts for me:

            1. Value of games goes up more than linearly with more viewers (double an audience equals more than double pay, this is probably due to the games actually being compared to alternatives that could be aired rather than straight up number of viewers).
            2. Higher stakes=higher number of casual viewers (particurally fans in markets outside the conference(s) in the game)
            3. Interest in who gets in at the #7/8 spot in an 8 team playoff is limited until we get to the last couple of weeks of the year.
            4. Interest in the top national teams is limited at the begining of the year with an 8 team playoff because loosing no longer is likely to knock them out.
            5. Conference pride/interest has grown as a result of limited number of playoff spots.

            So these would be my long term predictions with an 8 team playoff:

            1. More interest in the teams ranked between 8-20 throughout the season. This is particurally true in late November.
            2. Less interest in the top teams, especially early in the year. Being #2 or #5 matters but the difference isn’t a huge deal in an 8 team playoff. It’s unlikely that loosing as the #2 team often takes you from a top spot to below #8 (and if it does early in the year, you can recover from it in almost all circumstances), so all the do-or-die games we have become acustomed to involving actual national title favorites drop a lot in value.
            3. If the Big Ten champ is going to the CFP regardless, why should casual fans in the Midwest watch a lot of ACC football? Same goes between all conference. Inter-conference following would take a hit with a bigger playoff.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Agree with Eric that the BCS had really promoted inter-conference interest. Without it, who would have cared about the 2007 Backyard Brawl? Certainly most people would not have if an 8-team playoff with automatic qualifiers had been in place as WVU would have gone to the playoffs regardless.

            I also do not believe that the quarterfinals are comparable to big regular season games, as those are more like semifinals in feeling (at least for the losers). Plus, those regular season games would be lessened. Why tune in to the various LSU-‘Bama games of the past few years if you’re a B10 fan with an 8-taem playoff?

            In any case, we can estimate what the QF ratings would be based on the NFL:(average of 34M viewers for the divisional games; 50M+ for both conference title games), so QF’s are roughly 2/3rd’s of semi’s. Conference title games are about half of the Super Bowl.

            Like

          • I guess I look at it the way people (including me) generally watch the NFL. *Every* NFL division race is compelling television because they have guaranteed playoff implications and the ratings reflect that. The fact that I’m a Bears fan didn’t detract from my interest in the NFC East title game game between the Eagles and Cowboys in week 17 or all of the AFC teams fighting for a wild card spot. People inherently gravitate toward “win and you’re in” games. That’s what I’d like to see more of in college football. Duke winning whatever ACC division it’s in this year (I’m probably at the forefront of realignment dorks and I *still* can’t remember those bass-ackwards divisions) doesn’t just become a nice footnote to the season nationally. Instead, their division race is literally a playoff race with national impact. Michigan State would have been paid more attention to nationally prior to the Big Ten Championship Game. We can extrapolate that across all of the conferences – meaningless consolation games (from a national standpoint) suddenly become very meaningful.

            The interconference interest spoken of here during the BCS era really is a cross-interest in the top 2 or 3 teams in the rankings every week (and that may turn into the top 5 or 6 teams with the new CFP playoff). Ohio State fans this year weren’t watching the ACC as a whole – they were watching Florida State and that was really it. So, yes, there’s currently large national interest in those top end games. However, I see the other 95% of games generally ignored at a national level, which is where there are a lot of potential gains to be made. Relying upon tradition and bowl berths might be good enough for my generation and older to keep us watching that other 95%, but I don’t foresee that being good enough for future generations. We already see the issue with attendance at many schools and that can eventually cause issues on the TV front. People want to know that their team isn’t just automatically eliminated from national title contention because of preseason perceptions prior to a game being played or how pollsters look at who has “better wins” throughout the year. Otherwise, interest will eventually die out with the exception of the very spiky top.

            And look, this isn’t some type of NCAA Tournament-style playoff where you can afford tons of losses and still get in. If you win your power conference, you did it objectively on the field without pollsters and computer rankings telling you whether you’re worthy or not. If you’re the best Group of Five team, the you’re in, too. That leaves 2 at-large spots, which is still a field so small that no team has much margin for error in any given week. We’re still going to have those do-or-die games every week.

            The NFL has already shown the path on this. People can quibble about how they do things, but they absolutely know how to maximize interest in the regular season for ALL of its teams (not just the handful of marquee teams).

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            I think the broader point is that networks will feel less inclined to pay for Iowa-Nebraska if less is potentially on the line. Remember, if 5 of 8 slots are guaranteed to power conference champs, then the only real way to create interest is if division winners have yet to be determined. At most, 6-7 teams will be in competition for the 3 wild cards. That’s not exactly scintillating stuff, especially since we don’t know what teams those will be and the relevant TV deals for those teams.

            If the B1G or SEC get the sense that they will get less money sooner, or more importantly, that the rate of future rights increases will slow down with a larger playoff, that will kill an 8 team tourney in its womb.

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            @Frank:

            Also, the NFL is a unique beast. They genuinely have the Midas Touch without the negative moral of the story. CFB is not the same. Nobody is. In other sports, its less certain. MLB’s ratings overall for the post season are on a downward trend. NHL playoffs, while second only to the NFL in terms of excitement, are constantly under threat of strange realignment plans. NBA season basically starts in the post-season, once all the draft tankers are out of the way. MBB is one giant, pointless seeding exercise.

            “And look, this isn’t some type of NCAA Tournament-style playoff where you can afford tons of losses and still get in. If you win your power conference, you did it objectively on the field without pollsters and computer rankings telling you whether you’re worthy or not. If you’re the best Group of Five team, the you’re in, too. That leaves 2 at-large spots, which is still a field so small that no team has much margin for error in any given week. We’re still going to have those do-or-die games every week.”

            Generally, this is true. But there are outliers discussed on past threads that challenge this notion to a degree that its not absolute. (See 2011 UCLA (or a different year); 1996 Texas). A 6-6 conference winner in an 8 team playoff will spark genuine controversy/outrage.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Noone’s going to be outraged and there’s no controversy if a team wins its conference, even if its 7-5 or 6-6. Its done a lot more than Alabama did in 2011.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            I think the broader point is that networks will feel less inclined to pay for Iowa-Nebraska if less is potentially on the line. Remember, if 5 of 8 slots are guaranteed to power conference champs, then the only real way to create interest is if division winners have yet to be determined.

            What on earth do you mean by that? In either a 4- or 8-team playoff, a Big Ten team’s most likely path to to the playoff will be winning their division, and thereafter the CCG. In an 8-team playoff, Iowa-Nebraska will therefore mean at least as much as it does today.

            Of course, there will be years when both Iowa and Nebraska are already eliminated by the time their game is played, which happened in 2013. There will be years when one or the other has already clinched the division, regardless of the outcome. And there will be years where one, or perhaps both, needs a win to clinch the division.

            All of that is true today, and would be true still.

            At most, 6-7 teams will be in competition for the 3 wild cards. That’s not exactly scintillating stuff, especially since we don’t know what teams those will be and the relevant TV deals for those teams.

            But that’s more teams in competition for wild cards than there is now. The reason why an 8-team playoff increases interest in the regular season, is because there are more teams late in the season who still have a shot at getting in. It’s a system that turns some number of exhibition games into meaningful ones.

            Of course, the beauty of college football is that so many teams are able to fill their stadiums for games that mean nothing except pride. But it is beyond me how you could argue that by injecting a real stake into a few of those games that currently lack it, they become less valuable.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Frank the Tank,

            “If he’s actually arguing that a quarterfinal game isn’t worth much more than a non-playoff BCS bowl, then he’s outright lying. I don’t even think that’s speculation – we have seen many regular season games with national championship implications outdraw BCS bowls significantly, which are essentially what would mirror the interest in quarterfinal games.”

            Really?

            http://www.sportsmediawatch.com/college-football-tv-ratings/

            2013 top games:
            BCS NCG – 14.8/26.1M
            Rose – 10.2/18.6M
            Sugar – 9.3/16.3M
            SEC CCG – 8.6/14.4M
            B10 CCG – 7.9/13.9M
            AL/AU – 8.2/13.8M
            AL/TAMU – 8.5/13.6M
            AL/LSU – 6.9/11.9M
            Orange – 6.7/11.4
            Fiesta – 6.6/11.3M
            OSU/MI – 5.8/9.5M

            3 regular season games with title implications for both teams topped 2 of the BCS games by less than 20%. 2 CCG with direct title implications topped them by roughly 25%. A quarterfinal would have less direct implications than the B10 title game did, too.

            “Speaking of the regular season, I agree with you that the 8-team playoff can actually enhance the regular season.”

            Define enhance. Are you talking purely the value of the TV deals? That’s all these guys were discussing.

            “This is essentially the concept that I’ve been arguing for with respect to college football: the traditional viewpoint is more concerned about the handful of games like this year’s Alabama-Auburn game losing their impact, whereas I’m looking at whether there can be a dozen or more games on Thanksgiving weekend each year with legit national title implications (i.e. every single division race in the power conferences takes on a completely different tenor with a playoff spot at stake along with mattering much more nationally).”

            But you have no basis to say that would increase the overall TV value. A bunch of small gains may not trump a few big losses in value. The experts seem to think you’re wrong on this.

            Like

          • Wainscot says:

            @Marc Shepherd:

            I mean very simply that an 8 team playoff adds relatively little value over a 4 team playoff that the networks aren’t going to pay enough to make it valuable to expand. The contest to fill an 8 team tourney will come down to three wild cards, and only a handful of teams will be in competition, not all that many more to command, say, double the tv money. That an extra 4 teams are in play doesn’t translate all that much financially, like the nfl where an extra wild card game is more than 100 million+ for the league.

            As for the division races, there is no change in an 8 team playoff vs a 4 team playoff, so it’s folly to assume that those games would appreciate in value more than from basic market forces at work. And those races often times are anticlimactic , like the big ten one this year.

            Like

          • Eric says:

            You argument is a good one Frank, but at the end of the day, I think the difference between college sports and the NFL is that college sports are naturally much more regional in following. The NFL is a 30 team league and the center place football league for the country (which I can admit even though I don’t really watch it). I think you need a lot more at stake for the big ranking with college sports. If you lock in the champs of the power 5, I agree you will get more interest in additional conference games. The problem is that I think those monster games you get now are actually probably worth more overall than a light uptake in interest you’re going to get with a bigger playoff. Going the direction of college basketball (with no really must-see national regular season games) seems more likely than the NFL.

            Like

          • BuckeyeBeau says:

            @Wainscott:

            You said: “I think the broader point is that networks will feel less inclined to pay for Iowa-Nebraska if less is potentially on the line. Remember, if 5 of 8 slots are guaranteed to power conference champs, then the only real way to create interest is if division winners have yet to be determined. At most, 6-7 teams will be in competition for the 3 wild cards. That’s not exactly scintillating stuff, especially since we don’t know what teams those will be and the relevant TV deals for those teams.

            If the B1G or SEC get the sense that they will get less money sooner, or more importantly, that the rate of future rights increases will slow down with a larger playoff, that will kill an 8 team tourney in its womb.”

            (This thread has basically ended, so I’ll be brief).

            I have soooooo many problems with what you said. I’ll leave it at two: First, you talk about “interest being created” and all I see is more ESpin spin. I hate that and there is almost no interest “created” at the NFL level. There is interest in the teams because they are your team, they are good or because they can make the playoffs. That is just perfect !!

            I want the power of ESpin to go down.

            Second, I sure hope to hell that money is not everything for the Presidents and Chancellors. (I think it is not.)

            Like

          • Brad Smith says:

            Erik brings up some real concerns and pertinent observations about the 8-team playoff model. There are some easy tweaks to enhance its value to the point that it looks a lot better than the 4-team playoff:

            1) Include automatic berths for the Big 5 champions AND the best Group of 5 champion. This enhances interest in the conference races – you win and you’re in – essentially. The Group of 5 conference races will attract more notice – at least in one or two conferences every year.

            It also limits the at large pool to TWO teams. This scarcity will still make most of the big games down the stretch have playoff-inclusion implications, not just seeding. There will still be plenty of do-or-die games.

            2) To enhance the stakes of seeding, give first round HOME games for the higher seed. Interest in the top teams will escalate because the stakes of how you are seeded are much higher. Being #2 or #5 have huge implications – you don’t just get a matchup with a perceived easier opponent; you get a home game and all the associate benefits beyond home field advantage (which is huge!)…or face a top-4 opponent in their house…

            I would think that the Round 1 playoff games in the home stadiums of the top-4 seeds would easily outperform the non-playoff BCS games – in both gate and TV revenue. In fact, I would not be surprised if over the course of time, some sort of college football NIT would develop – perhaps involving the Group of 5 champs and several at large candidates that missed the CFP.

            2013 Sample
            Round 1:
            #15 UCF* at #1 Florida State, in Tallahassee, FL
            #7 Ohio St.^ at #2 Auburn, in Auburn, AL
            #6 Baylor at #3 Alabama^, in Tuscaloosa, AL
            #5 Stanford at #4 Michigan St., in E. Lansing, MI

            * Highest-ranked Group of 5 Champ
            ^ at large

            Semi-Finals, Round 2 (predicted):
            #1 Florida State v. #4 Michigan St., at the Rose Bowl
            #2 Auburn v. #3 Alabama, at the Sugar Bowl

            Championship:
            ??, but AWESOME!!!

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Brad Smith,

            “Erik brings up some real concerns and pertinent observations about the 8-team playoff model. There are some easy tweaks to enhance its value to the point that it looks a lot better than the 4-team playoff:

            1) Include automatic berths for the Big 5 champions AND the best Group of 5 champion.”

            But the conferences don’t seem to want to give autobids, especially to the little guys. The SEC wants the right to fill all 8 spots, and everyone remembers the years of crappy champs being forced upon the BCS.

            Certainly many fans don’t want to see that 6th autobid.

            “2) To enhance the stakes of seeding, give first round HOME games for the higher seed.”

            The conferences don’t want that, either. Only fans (mostly northern ones at that) like that idea. The schools want to play in attractive neutral sites with good weather for the games.

            Like

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          I think he’s totally off base on his regular season comment.

          There’s very little doubt that he’s off-base. The presidents said for years that any kind of playoff would dilute the regular season, before finally agreeing to one. So why would you believe them, if they say it again?

          I can certainly understand that an expanded playoff changes the meaning of a national championship. It’s no longer who had the best season, but who had a “good enough” season, then got hot in December and January. There’s no answer to this argument; you support it, or you don’t.

          But there’s no evidence at all that an 8-team playoff would cause the schools to lose money. The evidence of almost every other sport says the opposite.

          Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            No other college sport does the schools control both the regular season gate/media money, and the post season.

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            “But there’s no evidence at all that an 8-team playoff would cause the schools to lose money. The evidence of almost every other sport says the opposite.”

            There also isn’t a good parallel, because there are 5 power conferences all competing for TV dollars. Also, the issue for me is not that a conference will lose money as much as there is potential that future TV deals will not increase as much as a result.

            Remember, if an expanded tourney adds $250 mil to the pot over 10 years, 25 mill per year is split up among the several conferences and then distributed to the schools themselves. All of a sudden, what seems like a lot of money becomes a relative pittance.

            “There’s very little doubt that he’s off-base. The presidents said for years that any kind of playoff would dilute the regular season, before finally agreeing to one. So why would you believe them, if they say it again?”

            Because a 4 team playoff did not really add games to the calendar like an 8 team playoff would. Co-opted existing bowl games into semifinals, and the existing BCS title game into the new title game. No impact on the academic calendar.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            I’m not saying it might not conceivably be demonstrated, but when they trot out the same arguments that were used against the 4-team playoff, the format they eventually agreed to, you can color me skeptical.

            a 4 team playoff did not really add games to the calendar like an 8 team playoff would. Co-opted existing bowl games into semifinals, and the existing BCS title game into the new title game. No impact on the academic calendar.

            The “academic calendar” argument wasn’t the issue mentioned in that article. The claim in the article is that if playoffs expand to 8 games, the regular season would be worth less money, which defies all logic, and must be considered presumptively false, given who is saying it.

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            See:

            http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887324851704578133223970790516?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424127887324851704578133223970790516.html

            http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/bowls/2012/12/11/college-football-bcs-playoff-revenue-money-distribution-payouts/1762709/

            http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/writer/jeremy-fowler/21599899/smaller-conferences-crafting-plan-to-share-playoff-revenue

            By the time the money filters down to the schools, its not as huge of a pot as we think. Getting an extra few million from an expanded playoff vs. the risk of losing rights fees for conference cable networks or smaller increases for national TV deals? Conferences like the B1G, SEC, and especially the PAC12 (with the wholly owned network) will definitely put their financial interest before agreeing to an expanded tourney.

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            “The “academic calendar” argument wasn’t the issue mentioned in that article. The claim in the article is that if playoffs expand to 8 games, the regular season would be worth less money, which defies all logic, and must be considered presumptively false, given who is saying it.”

            Neither were the Presidents. Only conferences were. But if you bring up matters beyond the scope of the article, such as the Presidents past statements opposing playoffs, they become relevant to the discussion.

            Moreover, “the Presidents” weren’t saying it would cause schools to make money, but two media rights consultants, one for Fox and one for the SEC said so.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            Getting an extra few million from an expanded playoff vs. the risk of losing rights fees for conference cable networks or smaller increases for national TV deals?

            It is utterly illogical to suggest that would occur. It defies the experience of every other sport, to say nothing of common sense.

            Moreover, “the Presidents” weren’t saying it would cause schools to make money, but two media rights consultants, one for Fox and one for the SEC said so.

            And Frank explained persuasively why they are not to be trusted, given the inherent conflict of interest if they say anything else.

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            “It is utterly illogical to suggest that would occur. It defies the experience of every other sport, to say nothing of common sense.”

            Since two established media rights individuals say its possible, your postings on a message board are, shall we say, not persuasive. Your pleas to common sense are similarly without any meaning. And common sense would dictate that jeopardizing conference tv deals will not happen unless it is guaranteed the pot of gold from a bigger tourney will be much bigger.

            “And Frank explained persuasively why they are not to be trusted, given the inherent conflict of interest if they say anything else.”

            Why media rights consultants aren’t to be trusted? If anything, it would be in their interest to hype the value of a larger tourney and of conference networks so as not to imply that there is a limit or cap on CFB tv money. Moreover, if the pot of gold is indeed larger, then they would want to rip up these deals in order to secure more money for their clients.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            These media rights consultants were working for the BCS group. So there is some reason to believe they might be touting the company line. You have to weigh whether what they say makes sense or whether it seems like mere talking points.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            “But there’s no evidence at all that an 8-team playoff would cause the schools to lose money. The evidence of almost every other sport says the opposite.”

            However, in “every other sport” (by which you mean the North American pro sports, I assume, as what you say doesn’t hold true overseas), the teams divide both the regular season and postseason revenues equally.

            In CFB, the postseason money will be divided close to equally between the P5 with some left over for the peons, but each conference keeps its regular season money.

            So, given the relative TV deals & networks each conference has, the B10 would definitely be opposed to playoff expansion, the SEC almost certainly would be opposed, and the Pac (with it’s own network) likely would be opposed as well. Plus, when you keep in mind that the college presidents tend to be on the conservative side (that is, a 10% increase won’t be enough to budge them from the status quo*; you’d need something like a 40% increase, IMO), I don’t see an 8-team playoff any time soon. _Maybe_ in 12 years. Maybe.

            * BTW, their conservatism is sometimes a good thing. In 1998, a Swiss marketing firm offered the Presidents 2.4B over 8 years, at that time, a massive increase in revenues, to stage a 16-team playoff. That firm went bankrupt a few years afterwards. Imagine the consternation if the NCAA has accepted that proposal in 1998.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            Oh, I don’t see any chance whatsoever that it will happen within the next 12 years. The current 4-team playoff system will be taken to contract completion before there is even a chance of a new system.

            The longevity of the BCS, despite widespread dissatisfaction, is pretty good evidence that the presidents are going to take further reforms extremely slowly.

            Like

          • Wainscot says:

            My reply on this topic was accidentally posted in the threat immediately above this one.

            Like

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          Don’t the conferences have a pseudo qtr final roils with CCG’s/conference championships? I see as possible a future four power conference (D whatever) being the basis for a defacto 8 team bracket, once the cost of dreaming of being in the power group weeds 30 or more from the wana be’s.

          There’s at least three reasons why that won’t happen.

          1) The presidents have shown no inclination of adopting a format where Notre Dame couldn’t qualify as an independent; nor have they shown any inclination of forcing ND to join a conference.

          2) The current system does not guarantee bids to CCG winners, and that’s not likely to change without going to 8.

          3) Although it may be extremely difficult for a mid-major to qualify for the playoff, it’s not worth the anti-trust risk of adopting a rule that categorically precludes them. You avoid all sorts of congressional oversight with a system that includes them, however unlikely it may be that they actually make it.

          Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            1: I said I as possible, not probable, see a potential future…

            2: The current system guarantees a selection not a bracket with direct result based advancement. That isn’t a playoff.

            3: Nobody is explicitly excluded. They choose to, or not to compete in that division (with all its costs and requirements).

            Like

          • Richard says:

            OK. After the B12 and ACC get raided:

            Rose: B10 vs. Pac
            Sugar: SEC vs. Best of the Rest

            Winners in the title game.

            Like

        • Brian says:

          bullet,

          “I think he’s totally off base on his regular season comment.”

          How can he be off base when he’s just reporting what the experts said? They may be wrong, but don’t blame the reporter. Besides, on what basis do you declare the experts wrong? Do you have data they don’t, or some experience that allows you to interpret the numbers better than they do?

          “Over-expansion of playoffs doesn’t impact the TV money so much as the live gate.”

          You think regular season hoops hasn’t lost TV value due to the tourney?

          “And I don’t see how 8 does anything except perhaps make it better.”

          Which is nice, but you aren’t a media expert as far as I know. Apparently the people in the field disagree with you. My guess would be that you evaluate the tradeoff between more games mattering a little more versus some games mattering a lot less differently than they do.

          “Now what he is saying is that the quarterfinals aren’t worth much more than a non-playoff BCS bowl. Given our limited experience with college football playoffs, a lot of that is based on speculation. They are informed panelists, but still really don’t know.”

          But they’re more informed than we are, and less likely to view this emotionally or through personal preference. It’s important to note that this wasn’t 1 or 2 people saying it, but everyone on the panel.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            I’m talking about Gerber the consultant. I’ve never heard anyone complain about the value of the TV packages. Basketball rights haven’t gone up as much as football, but they keep going up. So I know regular season TV hoops haven’t decreased in value. In any event, no one here is recommending a conference championship tourney followed by inviting 50% of the P5 to a football playoff as the basketball tourney does.

            There’s more to it than simply media value. And so, there’s little doubt in my mind that a small expansion of the playoffs increases the non-media value.

            Not sure that playoff comment wasn’t only the two consultants who worked with the BCS people. So, as Frank says, they could conceivably be touting the company line.

            And while they are certainly more knowledgeable, we all know the ratings have been declining and the non-playoff bowls aren’t doing that well. You had games like Alabama/LSU last year and Alabama/A&M this year getting significantly better ratings than the Sugar, Orange and Fiesta Bowls.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Bullet:

            Well, here’s what we know:

            In the NFL, the Super Bowl draws twice as many viewers as the semifinals, which draw 50% more viewers than the quarter finals, which draw 50% more viewers than the average of the top-drawing regular season package (NBC’s Sunday Night Football).

            In college football, the title game draws 25M+. We can expect the semifinals to draw about 13M or so. Quarterfinals would draw 9-10M. This is in line with the NFL as Saturday Night Football on ABC drew a little less than 6M on average and the SEC on CBS drew a little more than 7M on average.

            Here’s the thing, though: The other BCS bowls averaged 14M viewers. That is, those BCS bowls are now as valuable as semifinals, and there are 4 of them. Regardless of the impact on the regular season, if another round of playoffs cannibalizes the ratings of the other BCS bowls (and they will), there is no way that the presidents would approve such a thing. Granted, it’s mostly geezers keeping the ratings of those other BCS bowls afloat, but they take a long time to die off. You can make the argument that an extra round of playoffs would attract younger viewers (I suppose we’ll see if that’s true with the semifinal rounds starting next year), but if an extra round means the same or worse ratings, there is no way that we will see an 8-team playoff within the next 12 years. Possibly longer. The media consultants make a fair point that most of the value of a playoff resides in the semis and final, and the presidents are inherently conservative by nature. They’d have to be blown away by the extra revenue that an extra round of playoffs would bring to lengthen the college football season and disrupt campuses even longer. 10% more playoff revenue would not cut it.

            Like

          • Wainscot says:

            Richard is right, but leaves out that CFB is very matchup dependent. A bad or boring or uninspired matchup will impact ratings. See LSU vs Alabama in the BCS title game a few years back. Those semis and quarters would also be impacted by matchups, likely moreso than a title game.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            “I’m talking about Gerber the consultant. I’ve never heard anyone complain about the value of the TV packages. Basketball rights haven’t gone up as much as football, but they keep going up. So I know regular season TV hoops haven’t decreased in value.”

            I’m talking value relative to what it would be with a smaller tournament. If the tourney went back to 16 teams, how much more would regular season packages be worth to TV?

            “In any event, no one here is recommending a conference championship tourney followed by inviting 50% of the P5 to a football playoff as the basketball tourney does.”

            That doesn’t mean the same concept doesn’t apply, just that it is a lesser effect.

            “There’s more to it than simply media value.”

            Not in what they said. That’s my point. They didn’t talk about the bigger picture, they only talked about TV money. You’re looking at something different, and that’s a different discussion.

            “Not sure that playoff comment wasn’t only the two consultants who worked with the BCS people. So, as Frank says, they could conceivably be touting the company line.”

            They could be. Or they could be giving their honest opinion. Or their honest opinion may match the company line. You and Frank don’t have any evidence they’re wrong or not giving their honest opinion.

            “And while they are certainly more knowledgeable, we all know the ratings have been declining and the non-playoff bowls aren’t doing that well. You had games like Alabama/LSU last year and Alabama/A&M this year getting significantly better ratings than the Sugar, Orange and Fiesta Bowls.”

            Umm, no. The Sugar easily beat every regular season game, as did the Rose and NCG. The Orange and Fiesta lagged 3 regular season games with national title implications for both teams by less than 20%, and 2 CCG with title implications slightly topped those 3 games. I gave the numbers above.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Thinking about this more, one thing that CFB has that the other sports who have expanded their playoffs time and again don’t have are 4 BCS bowls that draw semifinal-like ratings which CFB is unwilling to cannibalize. No other sport has that, and there are plenty of people who still consider those BCS bowl games to be championship games (a lighter version) in their own right. Going to the Rose Bowl or Sugar or other BCS bowl and winning it is still a big deal to plenty of people (not just of those schools but also those conferences). That will be true for at least another 12 years.

            Mark my words: the B12 and ACC will get raided before the CFB playoffs expand again.

            Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      Bullet:

      “The ACC hasn’t decided whether it’s going to launch a channel.”

      I thought ESPN was the one that decides whether or not an ACCN happens. $2M (?) per school if their decision is no?

      Like

      • bullet says:

        That’s what’s been reported. It doesn’t make sense. ACC has put out a good bit of misinformation, so I’m not 100% sold that is a fact, even though it has been reported by reliable media. And no one has ever said it is $2 million per school, just “$2 million” without explaining whether it was total or per school.

        Like

  37. Wainscott says:

    More on the possible expansion of the NFL playoffs:

    http://tracking.si.com/2014/01/20/roger-goodell-playoff-expansion-games-friday-monday/?eref=sihp

    Please, tripleheaders on Saturday and Sunday.

    Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      Also mentioned in that story: the NFL is considering a change to the scoring system. The extra point kick would be eliminated. A TD would be worth 7 points by default, with the option to go for an eighth point. If you go for it and miss, you lose a point and go back to 6.

      The reasoning is that as the extra point kick is practically automatic (better than 99% converted), you can speed up the game by eliminating it in the hundreds of TDs every year where the scoring team elects not to go for two.

      Not that I’m in favor of this; just reporting what he said.

      Like

      • Wainscott says:

        Its such a minor element, its not even worth tampering with. And it does add a level of drama when, say, John Carney missed an XP that knocks the Saints out of the playoffs. (http://scores.espn.go.com/nfl/recap?gameId=231221030)

        Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        So much for fake extra points turning into two…

        Like

        • Wainscot says:

          Or advancing a blocked XP back for one point, which I think you can do in the NFL but not CFB. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

          Like

          • One thing brought up by Kyle Long (rookie All-Pro offensive lineman for the Bears and son of Howie) speaking on the radio today about the possible elimination of PATs is the safety issue. He said that the field goal unit is actually one of the toughest and most brutal assignments for a lineman because everyone is throwing their bodies forward 100% in opposite directions against each other. So, it might be another belated bone that the NFL is throwing on the concussion front. If this is a particularly dangerous type of play for linemen (at least in terms of hits), but it’s rarely consequential, why put people out there at greater risk? It’s an interesting debate.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            In CFB, on any PAT (1 or 2 points), the ball advanced back to the opposite endzone is worth 2 points to the defending team.

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            @Richard:

            Thanks. I came across this on Wikipedia, chock-full of awesome:

            There is, however, one notable exception in college football because the defense can also score two points on a return of a conversion try (and theoretically score a one-point safety) and the NCAA rules state that the conversion try must be run if any subsequent scoring on the play could impact the outcome of the game. Therefore, if a team scores to take the lead by one or two points as time expires, they must still attempt the conversion, although most teams will simply opt to take a knee to prevent the risk of the defense scoring. For example, on October 24, 2009, Iowa scored as time expired to take a 15–13 lead over Michigan State. Making the conversion would have made no difference in Iowa winning the game, but Iowa still had to attempt it, so Ricky Stanzi simply knelt down, as a return by Michigan State would have tied the game and forced overtime.

            Like

    • Richard says:

      “Please, tripleheaders on Saturday and Sunday.”

      LOL. The NFL will do what maximizes revenue. Not sure why you’re so emotionally invested in this issue.

      Like

  38. vp19 says:

    The Washington Post is reporting a shooting has occurred at the electrical engineering building at Purdue. My thoughts are with the people in West Lafayette.

    Like

  39. ccrider55 says:

    Pulled this off another forum so can’t vouch for its accuracy. Perhaps we over value the opinion of ranking services?

    “Denver Roster Snapshot:
    Five-Stars: 1
    Four-Stars: 12
    Three-Stars: 15
    Two-Stars: 14
    Unranked: 9
    Pre-Rivals: 13

    Seattle Roster Snapshot:
    Five-Stars: 3
    Four-Stars: 8
    Three-Stars: 19
    Two-Stars: 12
    Unranked: 12
    Pre-Rivals: 7

    *From a Vandy football forum.”

    Like

    • Richard says:

      Except that there isn’t an equal distribution of stars. There’s roughly 3.5 times as many 3-star recruits as 4-star recruits (while the number of 5-stars is miniscule). There are as many 2-star recruits as 3-star recruits, however.

      There definitely is a problem with the ranking system: namely, that the pool of 3-stars is too undifferentiated: the best 3-stars are much better than the worst 3-stars, and most 3-stars are pretty close to 2-star recruits. You definitely get a higher proportion of elite recruits with 4 & 5 stars, however (and I would say top 3-stars as well).

      Small differences can be overcome by good coaching and other factors, but if you fill your class mostly with 4-star recruits (as ‘Bama, OSU, FSU, and Texas have this year), you have a definite talent advantage over a team that is filled with the same number of mostly 3-star recruits (though granted, even the best talent can be squandered with bad coaching). Plus, this shows just how significant an advantage oversigning can be. Recruiting is definitely a numbers game, and if you can take in 25% more recruits each year than another school, you can have a team filled with mostly 3-stars and dominate a team of 4-stars, while a school that oversigns 4-stars dominates everyone. We saw just how importnant depth is with USC: roster completely filled with 4 and 5 star recruits, but no depth, so they were playng a student manager at wide receiver for a while.

      Like

      • Kevin says:

        I think position is extremely important when analyzing star status. There are a lot more 2 or 3 star linemen and TE’s that become NFL stars vs. the skill positions. Most of the top WR talent in the NFL draft were kids that had high star ratings out of HS. Some positions just require the natural god given talent and others can be developed.

        Like

        • ccrider55 says:

          And yet the combined Broncos (1) and Seahawks (3) rosters have a grand total of four 5 star ranked players.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            That’s because they’re like unicorns. 5-stars are rarely given out. 5-stars account for a little more than 1% of all FBS recruits, yet make up 17% of 1st-round picks.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            17% of first round plus however many of the other rounds…and yet about 3% of the Super Bowl participants this year? All I’m saying is it almost seems inverted. I’d think 120 D1 teams author 85 schollys, 32 NFL at under 60, if the rankings are even somewhat predictive I’d expect a much higher number as the selection process narrows the pool.

            Like

          • What makes you a great college player is correlated with success in the NFL, but aren’t necessarily the same (see Tim Tebow). You’re looking at the very pointy top of the pyramid of talent with the players that make the NFL and tangibles like size, speed and arm strength that the pros care about much more about than whether you can be successful in a particular system can shift during the course of college. So, it’s not a surprise that recruiting rankings don’t really predict NFL success very well, but they can certainly make or break a college’s realistic chances for the national championship.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            I understand what you are saying but I think there is a far greater disparity between HS and college than college and the NFL. I’m just more skeptical about the accuracy of recruiting services, especially when I’ve seen ratings on players adjusted merely because a school decides the have a need and chose to offer a kid late in the process. Seems part predictive and part congratulatory. If a king is interested he may get a bump.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            I understand what you are saying but I think there is a far greater disparity between HS and college than college and the NFL. I’m just more skeptical about the accuracy of recruiting services, especially when I’ve seen ratings on players adjusted merely because a school decides the have a need and chose to offer a kid late in the process. Seems part predictive and part congratulatory. If a king is interested he may get a bump.

            That does indeed happen, but I am pretty sure the “predictive” part of it is dominant. The recruiting services aren’t perfect, but how could they be? NFL GMs aren’t perfect either. They are paid a lot more money, and they have much better data to work with. Nevertheless, they err. No system of predicting future performance of fallible humans is going to get them all right.

            Despite that, the ‘stars’ are overwhelmingly correlated with future success, any way that you measure it.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            ccrider55,

            “And yet the combined Broncos (1) and Seahawks (3) rosters have a grand total of four 5 star ranked players.”

            This year 247Sports gave out 33 5-star ratings. Some of those won’t meet expectations, some will get hurt, some will leave football for other reasons (arrests, etc). That leaves a handful of players every year to progress to the NFL. Then spread those players over 32 teams. The typical NFL career is pretty short, too, so only a few of those classes can accumulate.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            ccrider55,

            “17% of first round plus however many of the other rounds…and yet about 3% of the Super Bowl participants this year?”

            70% of NFL players are drafted, or 37 players per team. 2 players per team would be over 5% of the drafted players, compared to less than 1% of HS players that get 5 stars. In other words, most of them get drafted in round 1 or don’t ever make it to the NFL (injuries, arrests, busts, etc).

            247 gave 33 players 5 stars this year. That’s essentially one per NFL team before attrition hits. 1 out of 6 becomes an NFL first rounder and you think that’s bad?

            “All I’m saying is it almost seems inverted. I’d think 120 D1 teams author 85 schollys, 32 NFL at under 60, if the rankings are even somewhat predictive I’d expect a much higher number as the selection process narrows the pool.”

            Too bad every analysis I’ve ever seen disagrees with you completely. Higher rated players perform better. It’s a slightly stronger correlation for defense, where raw athleticism is more important, but it’s true across the board.

            Like

        • @Kevin – I think that’s a good point. Certain skill positions require talent that you’re born with in the same way that you can’t just train yourself to become an NBA center. In contrast, you might be able to “train up” at some other positions (granting that even those guys still have talent that 99.99% of the world has never had).

          Like

        • frug says:

          The other possibility is that recruiting services are simply better at identifying talent at certain positions than they are at others.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Predicting the physical growth of an OL is much harder than evaluating the skills of a smaller player. Many linemen add 50 pounds in college and may even grow another inch or two, while most skill players arrive much closer to their final size. Coaching is often shaky for OL in HS, too.

            Like

          • frug says:

            Also, QBs, WRs and RBs put statistics; linemen don’t.

            Like

      • Psuhockey says:

        Recruiting services are run by amateur scouts and not ex division 1 coaches. They are also paysites. It is well known that part of the evaluation process is who is offering said prospect a scholarship. So if Alabama and LSU offer a prospect he gets a bump is star ratings. It just so happens that the bump occurs for incredibly large fan base schools like Notre Dame, who besides 1 miracle season has done squat on the field lately, and Alabama. The difference between a 3 and 4 star prospect might very well be who is offering the scholarship and how many of their fans are willing to pay for recruiting information.

        Like

  40. Brian says:

    http://college-football.si.com/2014/01/21/notre-dame-under-armour-deal/

    Something I never expected to hear from UnderArmour (talking about their new ND deal):

    “Our job is to ensure that we uphold that legacy and move it forward,” he said. “… We need to honor and respect the history of the university. We believe that less is more.”

    Since when does UA believe that less is more?

    Like

  41. Brian says:

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/writer/dennis-dodd/24416001/college-football-selection-meets-discussing-recusal-rankings

    The playoff selection committee meets next week to iron out some details of how they’ll work, including recusal policy.

    Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      Screw the recusals. Just do the job fairly. Are they betting on outcomes, or have preseason projections they’d be needing to reverse themselves over?

      Like

  42. Brian says:

    http://www.cleveland.com/osu/index.ssf/2014/01/two_lists_-_the_rivals_250_rec.html

    A look at two lists most of the B10 really needs to improve on – the NFL early entries and the Rivals top 250 recruits.

    “The SEC has 93 players in the Rivals 250, with 29 players leaving early for the draft.
    The ACC has 41 players in the Rivals 250, with 14 headed to the draft.
    The Pac-12 has 31 players in the Rivals 250, with 26 headed to the draft.
    The Big Ten has 29 players in the Rivals 250, with four headed to the draft.
    The Big 12 has 20 players in the Rivals 250, with three headed to the draft.

    LSU (seven), Cal (six) and Alabama (five) lost more players than the entire Big Ten. Florida State, South Carolina, Florida and Notre Dame each lost four players, as many as the entire Big Ten.”

    A breakdown of the B10:
    Rivals 250:
    OSU – 12
    MI – 4
    NW – 3
    PSU, MSU, WI – 2
    NE, MN, UMD, RU – 1

    Early entries:
    OSU – 2
    PSU, IN – 1

    Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      How many games did Cal win?

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Not many, which is one reason so many players left early. Also, this was year 1 of a new coach so some veterans probably realized they didn’t want to be there for year 2.

        One outlier doesn’t disprove the general point, though.

        Like

    • Richard says:

      BTW, I don’t think early entries is something to be proud of.

      Anyway, we know that the SEC has a talent advantage over everyone else with the other P5 conferences scrumming to be 2nd.

      However, here’s a list of NFL players by conference:

      http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1641528-where-does-nfl-talent-come-from

      SEC still leads, but not by anywhere as much as the recruiting rankings indicate. The B10, ACC, and Pac are essentially tied. Either SEC recruits are more overhyped or they don’t develop as well as kids elsewhere.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Richard,

        “BTW, I don’t think early entries is something to be proud of.”

        It’s nice you feel that way, but it’s still a valid measure of the number of elite players at various schools. It’s not the only measure, clearly, but it’s one of them.

        “Anyway, we know that the SEC has a talent advantage over everyone else with the other P5 conferences scrumming to be 2nd.”

        Yes, and that measure is just one way to quantify the advantage.

        “However, here’s a list of NFL players by conference:

        http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1641528-where-does-nfl-talent-come-from

        SEC still leads, but not by anywhere as much as the recruiting rankings indicate. The B10, ACC, and Pac are essentially tied. Either SEC recruits are more overhyped or they don’t develop as well as kids elsewhere.”

        1. The SEC gets more players farther up the learning curve, and thus they develop less in college than players elsewhere.

        2. Recruiting services rate how good a player is now, not what his ceiling might be after 5 years of development.

        3. The talent edge in the SEC has varied with time, and the NFL rosters will lag that by several years.

        4. Talent evaluation is never an exact science. 30% of all NFL players weren’t drafted according to your link.

        5. Breakdown the NFL by position and playing level (pro-bowler vs starter vs rotates in vs ST player vs other) and let’s see how things look.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          “It’s nice you feel that way, but it’s still a valid measure of the number of elite players at various schools. It’s not the only measure, clearly, but it’s one of them.”

          Sure, but it’s one fewer year of their services as well. With oversigning somewhat capped now, you can now have a situation akin to the one in bball where Izzo’s well-coached upperclassmen beat a team of underclassmen with much more raw talent.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            I agree, and I wish nobody left early. But it’s something to be proud of that players have that choice, as in they’re good enough for the NFL to want them. That’s all I’m saying.

            And with 4th year juniors especially, I don’t really feel bad about them leaving anyway. It’s the smart decision for them if they can get drafted highly.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            If I’m selfish, I’d rather have great players for their full eligibility, but it’s a free country. No one should be under the illusion that these players actually intend to spend four years at their chosen institution. Many of them, in fact, are up-front that they’ll turn pro early if they can. It’s a part of the system, and we shouldn’t regard it as a failure when a student-athlete achieves precisely what he set out to do.

            I know some people adhere to the quaint concept that athletics is an extra-curricular activity, and the athlete’s main purpose in attending the institution is to get an education. Of course, we all know the famous line from the commercial: 99% of them will go pro in something other than sports. But the 1 percent gets a disproportionate share of the media attention.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            “…and the athlete’s main purpose in attending the institution is to get an education.”

            No. The quaint idea I ascribe to is that it is the instruction that should be assuring that their student athletes are in fact students. I don’t begrudge one with the opportunity to leave a bit early. Especially if they played the first three years. The scholly was 100% used and freed up a year (or two) earlier than most so another student can receive a ride. I do admire the motivation of most of those who choose to stay when they could go. I may question the wisdom on occasion, as I do a few choosing to leave. But as long as they have been true students I don’t object to the three years out of HS NFL rule (that colleges have no say in anyway).

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Sigh…

            First line:
            …instruction=institution…

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Brian:

            Right, and all that, but what I’m saying is that it actually gives the B10 a slightly better shot at beating the SEC. In fact, the more early entrants, they have, the better, as we still play them a ton in bowl games.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            I think that’s a bigger factor in hoops. I don’t think the oversigning rule has slowed their roster management enough to prevent them from having greater depth, and that negates any experience advantage the B10 could have.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Brian:

            “I think that’s a bigger factor in hoops. I don’t think the oversigning rule has slowed their roster management enough to prevent them from having greater depth, and that negates any experience advantage the B10 could have.”

            Sure, talent depletion due to underclassmen leaving early is a bigger factor in hoops than in football, but it’s a bigger factor now than it was when the SEC was on it’s 7-title winning streak:

            http://mmqb.si.com/2014/01/24/nfl-draft-underclassmen-problem/?eref=sihp

            It’s too bad that the oversigning.com site hasn’t been updated,but top SEC West schools have been signing fewer recruits. For example, looking at 3 SEC West programs, Auburn signed 25 or more every year from 2006-2010, ‘Bama signed 25 or more every year from 2007-2010,and LSU signed 26 or more every year from 2006-2010. In 2011-2013, ‘Bama has signed over 25 once, LSU has signed over 23 once, and Auburn hasn’t had a signing class bigger than 24. Both times ‘Bama and LSU went over, they signed 26.

            That brings them more in line with the B10 and SEC East powers (UF and UGa).

            In 2009, ‘Bama, LSU, and Auburn lost 5 early entrants to the draft. In 2014, they will lose 15.

            So take away 3 extra recruits a year and take away 3 extra seniors a year (1-2 more than B10 powers), and the B10, SEC East, and SEC West (as well as Texas, USC, and ND, who never oversigned) will actually be competing on a more level playing field.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            I certainly hope things even out. It’s pretty clear to me that oversigning played a significant part in the domination of the SEC. If the recruiting becomes more equal in numbers, I think we’ll see a return to more national parity. That would be good for CFB.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Well, I still think that the SEC will win half the national titles going forward (which, you have to grant), is less than what they have won recently. 4 of the best-situated 6 kings that have the combination of all 3 of brand, money, and fertile local recruiting grounds are in the SEC (UF, UGa, LSU, and ‘Bama, with Texas and OSU being the other 2). You could argue that USC and FSU are just behind solely due to money (but have brands just as strong and insane amounts of local talent), but that’s half of the 8 best-situated schools being in the SEC. Then you have the kings with the brand and money and are close to talent but still have to draw the vast majority of their roster from out of state in order to win a title (UM, PSU, ND, OU, & Tennessee) as well as the princes that have everything the top 6 have in terms of money and local recruiting except brand (TAMU & Auburn) as well as Miami, which has the brand and local recruiting grounds but trails in money. The SEC makes up 3 of this next 8 as well.

            Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      A breakdown of the B10:
      Rivals 250:
      OSU – 12
      MI – 4
      NW – 3
      PSU, MSU, WI – 2
      NE, MN, UMD, RU – 1

      This is a pretty good leading indicator that the Big Ten is going to continue to be the Big 1, Little 13, for quite a few years to come. Michigan fans were giddy over Brady Hoke’s alleged recruiting prowess, and he’s still pulling in only a third of the blue-chip prospects that Urban Meyer is getting.

      Obviously, any system that predicts the future performance of 17-year-olds is going to make some errors, but with OSU having that big of a talent advantage, they’d have to screw up pretty badly for it not to be evident on the field.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        “Michigan fans were giddy over Brady Hoke’s alleged recruiting prowess, and he’s still pulling in only a third of the blue-chip prospects that Urban Meyer is getting.”

        . . . in 2014.

        In 2013, UM had a top-6 recruiting class (#6 according to ESPN, #5 according to Rivals, and #2 according to Scout).

        Like

      • Psuhockey says:

        Recruiting rankings is complete hogwash. Recruits get higher stars if big name schools are interested in them. So Alabama and Notre Dame recruits get a bump if they offer a scholarship so any recruit Alabama and Notre Dame will always be ranked decently. It is also very curious that this phenomena just so happens to occur with schools with the most passionate fans being that recruiting services are paysites. Do more Notre Dame fans sign up when Notre Dame prospects have higher stars? Now it is true that if a bunch of high profile schools are after the same prospect then more than likely that prospect is very good but the star system is what I think is bogus by these sites. What’s the difference between an 3 star and 5 star guy when especially the guys running these services are amateur scouts and not anybody who has ever coached division 1 football. So its a scam.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          Psuhockey,

          “Recruiting rankings is complete hogwash.”

          No, they really aren’t. They’re far from exact, but all the studies show they correlate with player success. Now, there is obviously more to a team winning than just the recruited talent level (Is there talent at all positions?, How good is the coaching?, How much attrition occurs?, etc).

          Still, the recruiting rankings do a pretty good job of predicting the future AP top 10.

          “Recruits get higher stars if big name schools are interested in them. So Alabama and Notre Dame recruits get a bump if they offer a scholarship so any recruit Alabama and Notre Dame will always be ranked decently.”

          So it’s a negative that they consider the opinions of the true experts (I-A FB coaches)?

          “It is also very curious that this phenomena just so happens to occur with schools with the most passionate fans being that recruiting services are paysites.”

          Those teams have the most fans because they win, and players want to go to the best teams. When an elite head coach says a player is good (offers him a ‘ship), why shouldn’t that be considered?

          “What’s the difference between an 3 star and 5 star guy”

          5 star ~ top 1% of scouted players
          4 star ~ top 10%
          3 star ~ top 25% or so (IIRC)

          “when especially the guys running these services are amateur scouts and not anybody who has ever coached division 1 football.”

          But you’re also upset when they consider the opinions of said coaches. You can’t have it both ways. Besides, many of the scouts are former CFB players and coaches. That’s the same type of person the NFL, MLB, etc use to do scouting.

          It’s funny to see a PSU fan complain about brand name schools getting preferential treatment.

          Like

      • Wainscott says:

        Recruiting is entirely based on the present and recent past. Recruits today know Urban Meyer from Tim Tebow and Florida, so he can go anywhere in the country and extract an elite recruit. Recruits know Michigan, but todays recruits were around 10-11 when Lloyd Carr resigned (I just choked a little when I typed that). All they’ve seen from Michigan is Rich Rod and Brady Hoke. Both can sell a name, but neither has done enough on the field to make UM on par with OSU on the trail (though it obviously can be with, say, a Rose Bowl appearance to sell).

        This can very easily reverse itself, and all Kings can reverse this (doesn’t Tennessee have a top ranked recruiting class coming in?) Brian Kelly was a shot in the arm for ND recruiting.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          I put UM, ND, Tennessee, PSU, and OU in the same category of kings who are close to fertile sources of HS talent but have to recruit a lot of elite talent from out of state in order to contend for a national title.

          This is opposed to kings like Texas, UF, UGa, LSU, FSU, USC, OSU, ‘Bama, (and Miami), who can win a national title with mostly in-state talent (or close-by talent in the case of Bama; I put ‘Bama in this category instead of the first even though AL produces roughly as much NFL talent as PA and MI because the talent in the states adjacent to AL far outnumbers the talent in the states adjacent to MI and PA).

          Then there’s UNL, a king in it’s own special category, located nowhere close to any good source of football talent.

          Like

  43. Richard says:

    To follow up on Brian’s recruiting post, here is a map of NFL players by where they went to HS:

    http://www.maxpreps.com/news/J_G3Olz0lUaivTrWxlHrLQ/where-every-active-nfl-player-went-to-high-school.htm

    If you allocate the talent in each state evenly among the P5 schools in that state, this is what you’ll get (with the average per school in parenthesis):
    SEC: 461 (32.9)
    ACC: 420 (30.0)
    B10: 417 (29.8)
    Pac: 364 (30.3)
    B12: 241 (24.1)

    Similar to what the other measures of talent show, the pecking order is SEC, then ACC/B10/Pac tighly together and then the B12 trailing.

    However, the lead the SEC has over the rest is not big at all; the lead the rest have over the B12 is bigger.

    I think what has happened is that the SEC always had a slight talent edge, but couple that with their resources (which only the B10 can compare with) and willingness to spend on assistants (which the B10 wasn’t willing to do for a long time and the other conferences for the most part were not able to do) and oversigning for a while (especially in the SEC West), and victories started piling up, so now that they have rattled off 7 national titles in a row (granted, broken just recently), and recruits have started to give a tie to the SEC program. Going forward, I think that’s irreversible, and while I believe schools in other conferences will win the national title as well, I think the SEC will win half of them for the foreseeable future while the kings (and maybe some princes with a stellar QB) in other conferences will split up the rest.

    Like

    • Psuhockey says:

      Irreversible is a strong statement. A lot will be changing in the very near future; 4 team playoff, big tens new contract, division 4, more realignment? Nick Saban and Urban Meyer were the impetus for the SEC’s surge while the BIG was stuck in the 90’s with its coaches. Saban is getting old and Meyers in the BIG now. No telling what the future will hold. The SEC will always have a slight advantage because it matters more down there but half the championships going forward forever is a little over the top.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        “The SEC will always have a slight advantage because it matters more down there but half the championships going forward forever is a little over the top.”

        Half of all national titles is actually less than what the SEC has won over the past decade. I also didn’t say forever; I said the forseeable future.

        Also, college football doesn’t matter more down there. Not when 3 of the top 5 in attendance are B10 schools, and that’s not even counting Nebraska, where everyone with any association with that state for some reason ends up a Husker fan. The advantage that the SEC has is that there’s more HS talent down there.

        Like

        • Psuhockey says:

          Football in the south and Texas is a religion. The BIG might lead in attendance, but football practically defines their existence for fans down there. Because of that no rule is unbreakable, no cost too high, no test scores too low for acceptance. It is true that Texas and Florida are huge talent producers and give them an advantage but the will to win gives them an advantage when recruiting talent and coaches.

          Like

    • bullet says:

      Your stats are pretty irrelevant given that schools don’t only recruit in their own territory. Don’t know how the numbers come out by conference the NFL players came from, but this is meaningless.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        Not completely meaningless, as it’s still easier, generally, to entice a kid to play close to home than to play far away. I’ve looked at numbers, and the 2 leagues that share almost no territory with another P5 conference (B10 and Pac) generally take as many kids from outside their footprint as they lose from inside their footprint.

        BTW, I posted the number of NFL players by conference somewhere else in this thread.

        Like

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      Conference representation in the Super Bowl.

      http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2014/01/sec_leads_with_31_super_bowl_x.html

      31 – SEC
      23 – Pac 12
      17 – FCS
      16 – B1G
      13 – MWC, ACC, and Big XII
      9 – AAC
      5 – CUSA

      Like

  44. Wainscott says:

    Good to see Irving Fryar’s moved past his fixing the 1984 Orange Bowl:

    http://abcnews.go.com/Sports/wireStory/nfler-irving-fryar-pleads-guilty-fraud-21608393

    Like

  45. Brian says:

    http://www.collegefootballplayoff.com/story?id=10328143

    A playoff selection committee FAQ.

    What criteria will the selection committee use to rank the teams?

    Selection committee members will have flexibility to examine whatever data they believe is relevant to inform their decisions. They will also review a significant amount of game video. Among the many factors the committee will consider are win-loss record, strength of schedule, head-to-head results, comparison of results against common opponents and conference championships. Each committee member will evaluate the data at hand, and then the individuals will come together to make a group decision.

    How many teams will the selection committee rank?

    The committee will rank 25 teams.

    How will the teams that are not in the playoff be selected for the other bowls that make up this new arrangement?

    All conferences negotiated individual bowl contracts for their champions. Five conferences have arranged contracts for their champions to play in New Year’s bowl games — Atlantic Coast (Orange), Big Ten (Rose), Big 12 (Sugar), Pac-12 (Rose), and Southeastern (Sugar).

    The highest ranked champion of the other five Football Bowl Subdivision conferences (the American Athletic, Conference-USA, Mid-American, Mountain West and Sun Belt), as determined by the selection committee, will play in one of the six New Year’s bowls. Other available berths will be awarded to the teams ranked highest by the committee. The committee will assign teams to bowls.

    When the Fiesta, Cotton and Atlanta bowls are not hosting semifinal games, their participants will come from three sources: (1) The highest ranked champion among the five conferences listed in the paragraph above, (2) conference champions that are displaced when their contracted bowls host semifinals and (3) the remaining teams ranked highest in the committee’s rankings.

    The committee will assign teams to the non-playoff bowls to create the most compelling matchups, while considering other factors such as geographic proximity, avoiding rematches of regular-season games and avoiding rematches of recent years’ bowl games.

    Will committee members have specific assignments, i.e. specific conferences?

    Yes, committee members will gather information on conferences and will provide reports on the conferences’ teams to the full committee, but all committee members will be expected to study all teams and be prepared to discern among all the information available, including video, to make evaluations.

    Like

  46. Brian says:

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/writer/jeremy-fowler/24416465/2014-acc-schedule-with-loaded-thanksgiving-week

    The ACC may be moving to locked rivals on Thanksgiving week.

    The ACC’s 2014 football schedule will include several end-of-year matchups that could mushroom into permanent rivalries across the league.

    Pitt at Miami, Syracuse at Boston College, Wake Forest at Duke and N.C. State at UNC will be played Thanksgiving week, according to a source with knowledge of the league’s schedule, which will be released Wednesday.

    The other six ACC teams will play in their already-established rivalries that week: FSU-Florida, Kentucky-Louisville, Virginia-Virginia Tech, Clemson-South Carolina and Georgia-Georgia Tech.

    The league had discussed potential permanent rivals for Thanksgiving week, and this lineup for 2014 and possibly 2015 can be considered a test run for that process.

    ND also has USC/Stanford that last week.

    I think Pitt and Miami get the short end of the stick this way.

    Like

    • Wainscott says:

      @Brian:

      “I think Pitt and Miami get the short end of the stick this way.”

      I thought the same thing when I read that. I would think that BC-Miami would work a little better, maybe play for the Flutie Flute or something. Or a box of Flutie Flakes.

      But definitely an example of the downside of expansion–concocting rivalry game opponents.

      Also, can anyone shed light on the split of the 4 NC teams? I would have thought the ACC would try to play up the Duke-UNC angle, but it also makes sense for the two big state schools to face off that week.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        NCSU/UNC is a much bigger rivalry in FB than Duke/UNC. It used to be bigger in hoops, too, then Coach K took over at Duke. Duke has been so bad at FB for so long that they don’t have a real rival. Pairing the two small private schools makes sense.

        Like

        • Wainscott says:

          Thanks for the info. Wasn’t aware that UNC and NCSU both considered themselves rivals in football. Thought it was a little brother/one way rivalry situation.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Unlike in hoops, neither FB team has ever been a major power. That’s kept the rivalry more balanced. It’s 34-27 UNC since the ACC formed. Meanwhile, UNC is 41-14-1 versus Duke since 1957.