It’s Not Business, It’s Personal in Conference Realignment and Other Random Thoughts

Posted: February 6, 2014 in College Basketball, College Football, NFL Football, Sports
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

As we recover from an ‘80s/’90s-style Super Bowl blowout, here are some random thoughts:

“It’s Not Business. It’s Personal.” – Considering how much time that this blog has analyzed objective measures for conference realignment (including the Big 12 Expansion Index late last year), it’s always fun to see how expansion decisions aren’t necessarily always performed using financial analysts and lawyers poring over reams of data and documents. Dennis Dodd told the tale this week of how TCU ended up in the Big 12 during the chaotic realignment days of Fall 2011:

[TCU AD Chris] Del Conte admitted, “the pressure of the entire institution was on my shoulders” to join the Big 12. He worked the phones, calling every Big 12 contact he knew. Support within the Big 12 was growing, including at Oklahoma where good friend Joe Castiglione had been encouraging. But Del Conte knew if he didn’t have Texas, he didn’t have a chance.

“I’ve got one shot,” he recounted, “to go see DeLoss.”

It was a quite a visit. Del Conte grabbed a car, a driver and a bunch of reference material, binders, extolling the advantages of TCU and Fort Worth.

“I get up at 8 o’clock in the morning and drive to Darrell K. Royal Stadium. I get to [Dodds'] office. Nine comes around, 10 comes around. I’ve got a GA [graduate assistant] outside waiting for me, by the way. I tell him, ‘Just wait 10 minutes I’ll be back.’ Pretty soon it’s 3:30.

“[DeLoss] comes out and says, ‘Who are you?’ Chris Del Conte, Texas Christian U. He doesn’t hear ‘Chris.’ he hears ‘Del’. ‘Del, let’s go get ourselves a drink and discuss it.’

“We went to a restaurant and had a little libation at 3:30. By the time 8:30 rolls around, we were [into it] pretty good but we got ourselves in a situation. I kept trying to give him my [binders]. He said, ‘I’ve heard enough, Del’ and just walked away.”

The Big 12 ADs had a conference call the next day.

“The next morning I got up. Joe [Castiglione] goes, ‘I don’t know what you did but it worked.’ We got the vote. The Frogs are in,’ Del Conte said.

I can’t imagine what it must feel like for a Cincinnati or UConn fan whose programs are twisting in the wind when it appears that all it took to get Deloss Dodds to throw the support of the almighty University of Texas behind you was getting him liquored up on tequila shots. Granted, TCU’s addition to the Big 12 wasn’t that simplistic (at least I think so… right?) as it was coming off multiple BCS bowl appearances and a Rose Bowl victory. I had been a champion of TCU long before that when they were still dreaming of just an invite to a then-BCS-level Big East (much less the Big 12). Regardless, it goes to show you that personal relationships still matter beyond the quantitative analysis behind conference realignment. Oliver Luck of West Virginia and Tom Jurich of Louisville were tireless advocates for their respective schools and built up incredible networks of connections that they tapped into when the old Big East was collapsing. Former Rutgers AD Tim Pernetti was critical in getting the school into the Big Ten when the conference was looking for a partner with Maryland. When Creighton got the call to go to the new basketball-focused Big East as opposed to more geographically-friendly and larger market schools like St. Louis and Dayton, it could point to the fact that Creighton’s president happened to be on the Marquette Board of Trustees.

So, it looks like the lesson for any school still trying to get out of the Group of Five ranks is to send booze over to its power conference counterparts early and often on top of all the binders and PowerPoint presentations.

Conference Championship Games the Way We Want ThemJohn Swofford and the ACC sent the NCAA over a proposal to give leagues more flexibility in determining who can participate in conference championship games. The ACC wants the ability to remove the requirement to have divisions in order to hold a conference championship and let conferences determine how the participants are chosen by any criteria that they’d like, such as simply taking the top two teams with the best conference records and having them face off. Personally, I am all for it and hope that Jim Delany and the Big Ten hop aboard in support of the measure. As much as conference realignment fascinates me and believe that power leagues such as the Big Ten need to constantly be on the lookout for expansion opportunities, the obvious drawback as a fan is witnessing the games and rivalries that I actually care about get reduced. No amount of exposure in New York City or Washington, DC for Illinois is going to replace the excitement of playing Michigan or Ohio State. At the same time, if a school is only playing teams in the other division once out of every 6 years (as the SEC is set up now outside of cross-division rivals), that’s more akin to a non-conference scheduling arrangement as opposed to an actual unified conference. Therefore, if there’s a way to continue to hold conference championship games while eliminating divisions (or at least modifying the rules where teams don’t have to play round-robin schedules within their divisions), that provides a lot more ability for expanded conferences to adopt scheduling policies to play everyone within a league more frequently.

If I was running the Big Ten, I’d use the K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid) strategy of assigning every school 3 permanent rivals that it will play annually based on geography. That would then leave 6 other games to fill on the 9-game schedule every year. This setup allows each school to play everyone else in the conference 6 times every 10 years (a cycle of 2 years on, 2 years off, 4 years on, 2 years off), which keeps conference unity strong while still integrating the benefits of geographic expansion. Here’s how I’d assign the Big Ten rivalries:

SCHOOL RIVAL #1 RIVAL #2 RIVAL #3
Illinois Northwestern Indiana Purdue
Indiana Purdue Illinois Northwestern
Iowa Nebraska Wisconsin Minnesota
Maryland Michigan State Rutgers Penn State
Michigan Ohio State Michigan State Rutgers
Michigan State Maryland Michigan Ohio State
Minnesota Wisconsin Nebraska Iowa
Nebraska Iowa Minnesota Wisconsin
Northwestern Illinois Purdue Indiana
Ohio State Michigan Penn State Michigan State
Penn State Rutgers Ohio State Maryland
Purdue Indiana Northwestern Illinois
Rutgers Penn State Maryland Michigan
Wisconsin Minnesota Iowa Nebraska

The top two schools would then advance to the Big Ten Championship Game. Let’s get this done ASAP.

NFL Thursday Night Games – The NFL agreeing to simulcast a portion of its NFL Network Thursday night package on over-the-air CBS has some major implications both in terms of the entertainment industry in general and college football. First, the fact that CBS ended up winning the package despite already having the top-rated Thursday night lineup led by The Big Bang Theory just goes to show you the power of the NFL compared to everything else on television. Initially, I thought that CBS was going to be the least likely to end up with the NFL package as a result of its monster lineup, but it makes a bit more sense as a defensive move. Note that Disney pushed back on the NFL’s request to move Sunday Night Football games from ESPN to ABC back in 2004 because of an extremely strong prime time lineup featuring Desperate Housewives. That SNF package ended up on NBC, which now has such high ratings that it has turned Sunday night from the place where networks would always put their very best shows (as it has historically been the night when the most people will watch TV) to a scheduling triage unit for half of the year until football season is over. CBS likely noted the history of ABC and moved to protect its Thursday night lineup. Now, CBS can show NFL games on Thursday nights for the first 8 weeks of the season (thereby weakening the strong ratings competition of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal on ABC in the process) and then debut The Big Bang Theory just in time for November sweeps month. This move could have a radical change to how networks schedule on Thursday night (which had turned into the new evening where networks all placed their best shows after SNF ravaged its Sunday night competition).

College football will certainly be affected further as this will draw further exposure away from ESPN’s Thursday night games. Over the past 6 or 7 years, Thursday night had developed into an acceptable time slot for power conference schools to move games to away from Saturday, but that enticement might be eradicated with much stronger over-the-air NFL competition (and it was already getting that way with the NFL Network’s full season Thursday night schedule over the past 2 years). As a result, Thursday night might end up being the purview of non-power conferences again. Also, Friday nights aren’t as attractive to top schools because of conflicts with high school football in many states and lower TV ratings on that evening in general.

At the same time, the NFL’s willingness to move games off of its own network (which has the highest subscriber fees of any national cable network outside of ESPN) shows the tension between maximizing revenue (which would point to maximizing the value of their cable network) and maximizing exposure (going to over-the-air channels or ESPN). The Big Ten should take note as it heads into a period where it may end up renegotiating its TV deals sooner rather than later (as John Ourand of Sports Business Journal has predicted will happen this year). I often get asked about how many more games that the Big Ten will retain for the BTN in its next TV deal and my response is, “Not as many as you think.” As much as the BTN is filling up the Big Ten’s coffers, Jim Delany is smart enough to know that there still needs to be a balance of exposure on entities such as ESPN and over-the-air networks to keep the product viable in the long-term. The BTN is still intended to be a supplement to the widespread coverage as opposed to a replacement – we’re not going to be seeing Michigan-Ohio State on BTN anytime soon. If anything, look for broader distribution for Big Ten games on ABC, ESPN and possibly Fox whenever the conference signs its new TV deals.

Semi-off-topic: City Branding in Columbus – One of my random interests is studying urban development plans and how metro areas can attract investment and transplants, so Urbanophile is one of my favorite blogs to follow these days. Much of the blog’s focus is on Midwestern and Rust Belt cities, so there’s’ a lot of quantitative and qualitative analysis about the economic growth prospects (or in some cases, the lack thereof) of the Big Ten footprint. A recent post dealt with whether Columbus needs better branding in order to attract attention on par with other media-hyped college town/state capital combos such as Austin and Madison or if better job and population growth in and of itself is enough. You’ll see a fairly vigorous discussion in that post, including several comments from me. Anyway, I thought that would be of particular interest to the Ohio State fans reading here and it’s a great place to discuss how many of the other Big Ten markets are doing (which, in turn, impacts the strength of the Big Ten itself will be in the future).

Finally… if there’s a silver lining to the authoritarian, anti-free speech, homophobic and dog killing regime of Vladamir Putin, it’s that it’s going to be really easy to root against Russia in the Olympics again. No one else has really stepped in to fill the U.S. rival role since the Soviet Union fell. (Granted, I’m half-Chinese, so it’s a bit more difficult for me to demonize China as the enemy.) This is as much of a throwback to the 1980s as terrible Super Bowl matchups, so that will certainly add some flavor to the Olympics.

Enjoy the weekend!

(Image from Third City)

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Comments
  1. greg says:

    Go Hawks.

  2. Carl says:

    Franklin!

  3. Mack says:

    All the P5 will probably support the ACC proposal for one reason or another.

    • Brian says:

      They haven’t in the past, at least not publicly.

      • now there’s more of an incentive. SEC and B1G getting more flexibility would be a big win, as both leagues have plenty of “annual rivalry” games that no one actually cares about other historical rivalry games that have gotten short shrift. It’d be interesting to see how the Pac-12 comes down on it, since the NW schools would get more LA access and the AZ/CO/UT schools less. I suspect the league would be ultimately neutral on it for the time being, but I definitely could be wrong.

        • Brian says:

          Matthew Smith,

          “now there’s more of an incentive. SEC and B1G getting more flexibility would be a big win, as both leagues have plenty of “annual rivalry” games that no one actually cares about other historical rivalry games that have gotten short shrift.”

          I don’t see it that way from the B10′s POV. The current plan is almost ideal from the B10 HQ POV. They kept almost every major rivalry. They get plenty of king/king games. They get a bunch of games with eastern kings playing at the newbies to help in NJ/NYC and DC. A decade from now, maybe the B10 sees less of a need for all the king games at the newbies. Then and only then would they see this change as a potential improvement.

          It’s harder to predict what the SEC would want. They have a history of not playing each other very much, but at 14 with an 8 game schedule even they are starting want more frequent games against some other teams. They’d certainly have to lock at least 3 games to keep rivalries going. Maybe Alan or someone can flesh out a plan.

          “It’d be interesting to see how the Pac-12 comes down on it, since the NW schools would get more LA access and the AZ/CO/UT schools less. I suspect the league would be ultimately neutral on it for the time being, but I definitely could be wrong.”

          They could easily be split close to equally on it.

          Would the B12 schools vote for it if it doesn’t also eliminate the 12 team limit?

        • ccrider55 says:

          Mathew Smith:

          “It’d be interesting to see how the Pac-12 comes down on it, since the NW schools would get more LA access and the AZ/CO/UT schools less.”

          In order for that the LA schools would need to want to play the NW more and CO/UU/UA/ASU less. And the NW currently play 6 CA games every 2 years, are in CA 3 times every 2 years, and in LA every other. You aren’t breaking up the 4 CA yearly games. They aren’t going back to 8 conf games. I cant see more than four votes max to change (barring further expansion).

          Brian tried to explain it to me, but perhaps I’m dense.

          • Brian says:

            ccrider55,

            “In order for that the LA schools would need to want to play the NW more and CO/UU/UA/ASU less.”

            OR and UW are by far the 2 biggest P12 brands outside of CA. The NW teams were all part of the P8, unlike the SW teams that are the newbies and the previous newbies. I’d say the LA schools definitely would prefer to play the NW schools at least as much if not more than the SW schools. So yes, they might well approve it. That’s 6 of 12 teams.

            “And the NW currently play 6 CA games every 2 years, are in CA 3 times every 2 years, and in LA every other.”

            Without divisions, they could play 3 NW games, 3 CA games and 3 SW games every year. That’s in CA 3 times every 2 years and in LA 3 times in 4 years. In other words, no real change except for the CCG.

            “You aren’t breaking up the 4 CA yearly games.”

            You don’t need to. You can use 3 pods of 4 for scheduling (the equivalent of locking 3 rivals).

            “They aren’t going back to 8 conf games.”

            That’s a separate discussion from whether or not they’d support the ACC’s plan.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Ok. That was a plan they looked at when creating divisions, but rejected because of likely confusion for fans. It doesn’t violate the division rule because there isn’t a rule against changing the makeup of the divisions frequently-even yearly. This highlights that the need for scheduling isn’t the reason to abandon the division champs to the CCG rule. It is to decide/select the participants at the end rather than setting the path before the season. We don’t reseed march madness after each round, weekend, or at the final four. Bracket is drawn and you play it out.

          • Brian says:

            ccrider55,

            “Ok. That was a plan they looked at when creating divisions, but rejected because of likely confusion for fans. It doesn’t violate the division rule because there isn’t a rule against changing the makeup of the divisions frequently-even yearly.”

            These pods would be for scheduling only and not allow for divisions. It would be just like the way the B10 scheduled for 11 teams, but with 3 locked rivals and 9 games instead of 2 and 8. The pods are the locked rivals (geography works perfectly for the P12 to do this).

            Sample year:

            CA1 – CA2, CA3, CA4, NW2, NW3, NW4, SW2, SW3, SW4
            CA2 – CA1, CA3, CA4, NW1, NW3, NW4, SW1, SW3, SW4
            CA3 – CA1, CA2, CA4, NW1, NW2, NW4, SW1, SW2, SW4
            CA4 – CA1, CA2, CA3, NW1, NW2, NW2, SW1, SW2, SW3
            NW1 – NW2, NW3, NW4, CA2, CA3, CA4, SW2, SW3, SW4
            NW2 – NW1, NW3, NW4, CA1, CA3, CA4, SW1, SW3, SW4
            NW3 – NW1, NW2, NW4, CA1, CA2, CA4, SW1, SW2, SW4
            NW4 – NW1, NW2, NW3, CA1, CA2, CA3, SW1, SW2, SW3
            SW1 – SW2, SW3, SW4, CA2, CA3, CA4, NW2, NW3, NW4
            SW2 – SW1, SW3, SW4, CA1, CA3, CA4, NW1, NW3, NW4
            SW3 – SW1, SW2, SW4, CA1, CA2, CA4, NW1, NW2, NW4
            SW4 – SW1, SW2, SW3, CA1, CA2, CA3, NW1, NW2, NW3

            Under the current rules they couldn’t play a CCG with this setup, but under the ACC’s plan they could. So they made divisions and then came as close to this scheduling as they could, with geographical divisions and locking all the intra-CA games.

            “This highlights that the need for scheduling isn’t the reason to abandon the division champs to the CCG rule.”

            How so?

            “We don’t reseed march madness after each round, weekend, or at the final four.”

            But some pro sports do, not that I see how reseeding is relevant here.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Would missing one in division opponent be enough to make that work? (Which is something I could see being an amendment to the current rules that could be seen as justifiable for super conferences.)

          • Brian says:

            ccrider55,

            “Would missing one in division opponent be enough to make that work?”

            They play 9 games and only have 12 teams, which means they only miss 2 teams. If they want to make 1 of those a division team, what’s the point of having divisions for them? Besides, the 3 pods need to play their neighbors (only the SW pod doesn’t have close ties amongst all the teams).

            My system has them playing their 3 locked rivals annually and everyone else 75% of the time (9 = 3*100% + 8*75%). That’s equal LA access for all non-CA schools unlike the current plan.

            To try to match my plan with divisions, the teams would still have their local pod locked and then miss 1 division team. But then the NW schools would give up a SF team each year and play the SW schools even more. In addition, even if the schedules could match they’d still be stuck playing divisional champs in the CCG versus the 2 best teams.

            “(Which is something I could see being an amendment to the current rules that could be seen as justifiable for super conferences.)”

            Again, what’s the point of having divisions if they don’t all play each other? Why wouldn’t they prefer to just eliminate divisions at that point?

          • FWIW I’d guess that the LA schools don’t really care majorly about how many games are vs NW compared to AZ/CO/UT. I SUSPECT they slightly prefer the latter group because historically they really haven’t liked going to Corvallis/Pullman (though UO/UW are very big brands currently), but again I really don’t know. I’d presume that the CA schools would demand that they keep the annual games between themselves in any arrangement, with or without divisions, 8 or 9 games. I don’t know if they’d get their way in an 8 game structure, but I’d presume that without divisions, in a 9 game structure, it’d go to pod scheduling (4 NW, 4 CA, 4 Other; play all in your pod and 3/4 of each other pod in any given year) pretty easily.

            Of course, in the instance of the ACC plan and pod scheduling, the Pac-12 would presumably just get rid of divisions altogether and go to straight up “two best teams” (or possibly that with a “you can’t play a podmate in CCG” edit). There really isn’t any inherent confusion in that structure. Trying to juggle a true pod schedule structure with a two division look would turn into a big mess in almost any way. The current arrangement is as much as they can reasonably try to balance the two (it basically is a pod schedule structure, except the NW locks into 2 Bay Area and 1 LA opponents each year, and AZ/CO/UT gets the opposite), and I think that’s as much as you CAN balance it in a 2-div structure. Otherwise you have to rotate divisions (dumb) or not play everyone in your division every year (ditto).

          • Brian says:

            Matthew Smith,

            “FWIW I’d guess that the LA schools don’t really care majorly about how many games are vs NW compared to AZ/CO/UT. I SUSPECT they slightly prefer the latter group because historically they really haven’t liked going to Corvallis/Pullman (though UO/UW are very big brands currently), but again I really don’t know.”

            Yeah, it’s hard to know for sure. There does seem to be some Pac-8 bias, but on the other hand AZ is good for recruiting. WSU/OrSU versus CO/Utah may be a wash as far as the CA schools are concerned. That’s why I think they might lean towards playing UW and OR as the only other major brands in the conference.

            “I’d presume that the CA schools would demand that they keep the annual games between themselves in any arrangement, with or without divisions, 8 or 9 games.”

            That’s a given, yes.

            “I don’t know if they’d get their way in an 8 game structure, but I’d presume that without divisions, in a 9 game structure, it’d go to pod scheduling (4 NW, 4 CA, 4 Other; play all in your pod and 3/4 of each other pod in any given year) pretty easily.”

            Agreed.

            “Of course, in the instance of the ACC plan and pod scheduling, the Pac-12 would presumably just get rid of divisions altogether and go to straight up “two best teams” (or possibly that with a “you can’t play a podmate in CCG” edit). There really isn’t any inherent confusion in that structure.”

            I agree. There’d be no point to keeping divisions. Just lock 3 games (the pod).

            “Trying to juggle a true pod schedule structure with a two division look would turn into a big mess in almost any way. The current arrangement is as much as they can reasonably try to balance the two (it basically is a pod schedule structure, except the NW locks into 2 Bay Area and 1 LA opponents each year, and AZ/CO/UT gets the opposite), and I think that’s as much as you CAN balance it in a 2-div structure. Otherwise you have to rotate divisions (dumb) or not play everyone in your division every year (ditto).”

            Agreed, any talk of pod scheduling assumes they are dropping divisions.

  4. KSbugeater says:

    Coincidence that Illinois has three of the weakest schools by football tradition as rivals according to the Tank Plan? I think not. What’s interesting is that this year’s B1G conference sheds are the converse of this: Nebraska plays Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota only once in men’s play. Stupid.

  5. Richard says:

    Frank, your rivalries: Ugh.

    You don’t protect the LBJ or Illibuck and tie UM to RU for some reason. You also don’t protect the IU-MSU trophy game.

    My permanents:
    Illinois: Northwestern OSU Purdue
    Indiana: Purdue Maryland MSU
    Iowa: Nebraska Wisconsin Minnesota
    Maryland: Rutgers Penn State Indiana
    Michigan: Ohio State Michigan State Minnesota
    MSU: Michigan Northwestern Indiana
    Minnesota: Wisconsin Michigan Iowa
    Nebraska: Iowa Wisconsin Northwestern
    Northwestern: Illinois MSU Nebraska
    Ohio State: Michigan Penn State Illinois
    Penn State: Rutgers Ohio State Maryland
    Purdue: Indiana Illinois Rutgers
    Rutgers: Penn State Maryland Purdue
    Wisconsin: Minnesota Iowa Nebraska

    MSU wants to visit Chicagoland often. I preserve the LBJ and Illibuck rivalries as well as the budding NU-NU rivalry. UNL wants to visit Chicago often as well, I’m sure.

    • Richard says:

      Also, this way, the maximum number of 8 non-kings get 1 annual series with a king. The IN schools get to advertise their school to prospective students on the East Coast.

      • bullet says:

        I think it would probably be preferable to have a 3-5-5 setup. 3 teams every year, 5 8 out of 10 and 5 4 out of 10. You see everyone, while keeping a lot of familiarity with 8 of the 13 other teams. That also allows you to make sure everyone gets enough of the 4 kings. Everyone would get at least 2 of the 4 kings 8 out of 10 years. They end up with a king from 24-28 times out of 10 years (for example in Frank’s 3 rivals grouping-Rutgers and Michigan St. would be at 28 getting 2 every year and the others 4 out of 10), so they all get one on the home schedule every year.

        Not as “fair” as spreading it evenly, but it serves scheduling purposes better.

        • Richard says:

          To me, the demarcations are at 100%, 50% of a time (visit a school once in 4 years), and 25% (play a school once in 4 years). Maybe 2/3rds of the time as well (the least often you can play a series and still consider it a real rivalry series.

          There’s not much difference between playing a school 60% of the time and 50% of the time, but a big difference between playing a school 50% of the time and 40% of the time.

          • Richard says:

            So you could go 3-2-4 to get kings on everyone’s schedule, or you could just go 4-5.

          • bullet says:

            You could do 3 every year, 5 7 out of 10 and 5 5 out of 10. Everyone can get 26 or 27 games in 10 years against the kings if you don’t give MSU and Rutgers two every year series. Only Ohio St. would get two kings every year.

        • Wainscott says:

          Can you run this in a hypothetical 10-game conference schedule?

          Do you do 4-6, or keep 3 protected rivalries and rotate the 7 in some manner?

          • bullet says:

            You could do 3 10 times, 10 7 times out of 10.
            Or 3 10, 5 8 and 5 6.
            Or 4 10 3 8 and 6 6
            Or you could simply do divisions and play 6 every year and the rest 4 out of 7 years.
            If you go to 10 conference games, the issue mostly goes away.

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      MSU wants to visit Chicagoland often.

      MSU wants to visit Chicago for the same reason everybody does. There is no reason to give MSU greater access to the Northwestern market that most of the the other teams don’t get.

      • Richard says:

        MSU has NU as their second-most important series.

        From what I understand, no other school besides Illinois has NU as their most or second-most important series.

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          MSU has NU as their second-most important series.

          From what I understand, no other school besides Illinois has NU as their most or second-most important series.

          NU is MSU’s fourth most-played rivalry in the Big Ten, behind Michigan, Purdue and Indiana. But the difference between #4 and #8 on the list is very slight. Basically, there’s a cluster of schools that MSU has played with roughly equal frequency, and NU is one of those schools.

          MSU is NU’s ninth most frequently-played series, behind all of the league’s original programs. They have no unique history with MSU whatsoever. The two schools had only three meetings in football, before MSU joined the Big Ten and started playing everybody more-or-less equally (other than Michigan, of course).

          What makes MSU unusual, is that other than Michigan they have no specific rivalries, other than the totally fabricated PSU rivalry. So if the Big Ten decides to lock multiple games, they’ll selfishly raise their hands, and say, “We’ll take Chicago.” But the importance to them is the same as the importance to everyone: to recruit that market.

          The only difference is that the other schools have other rivalries that they want to accommodate, and MSU doesn’t. It’s more about what MSU lacks (another natural rival besides Michigan), not what they have (any actual rivalry with NU).

          • Richard says:

            Indeed, Marc, but the B10 gives each school’s ordered priorities the same weight. UM’s 2nd most important series is the same import as MSU’s 2nd most important series.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            Indeed, Marc, but the B10 gives each school’s ordered priorities the same weight.

            There’s no precedent for locking three rivalries per school, and when they locked two, MSU-NU was not one of them.

            I strongly suspect they’d go to an unequal number of locked rivalries per team (as they have done now with IU-PU), rather than an equal number that creates contrived imbalances.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            My other point, is that while playing NU annually is highly valued by the Spartans, that interest is not reciprocated. This is unlike the usual rivalry, where both schools want the match-up.

          • Richard says:

            “There’s no precedent for locking three rivalries per school”

            There was no precedent for a championship game . . .until it happened.

            There was no precedent for expanding to 14 . . .until it happened.

            “I strongly suspect they’d go to an unequal number of locked rivalries per team (as they have done now with IU-PU), rather than an equal number that creates contrived imbalances.”

            I highly doubt that. Back in the 11-school era, the B10 set up the contrived rivalry of NU-PU despite that not being considered a rivalry for either school and didn’t lock the LBJ and Illibuck games despite those being rivalry games simply so that each school had 2 locked foes.

            IU-PU gets a special arrangement this time around because there was simply no way to split the B10 between East and West without splitting up either IU-PU or UM-MSU, and those series obviously have to be annual.

    • Wainscott says:

      Actually like these rivalries. But NU and Purdue seem to be linked (they were permanent rivals when the B1G was 11 teams.

      • Richard says:

        That was for consistency. All schools had to have 2 annual series then, and Northwestern and PU linked with each other because all the other schools had already been taken up.

        There is no rivalry between NU and PU.

        • Wainscott says:

          I didn’t know the reasons for it, and I never said they were actually rivals, only that the PTB had linked them.

          I wouldn’t be shocked if Northwestern requested a protected game vs. Rutgers to gain annual exposure to the NYC area (which, using your rivalry list, would merely be a swap between NU and Purdue, Purdue getting MSU, NU getting Rutgers).

    • bob sykes says:

      I like this better than Frank’s. I served on the OSU faculty for 35 years. The Illibuck is important. Keep it. Michigan and Penn State are musts.

      I did my graduate work at Purdue. Indiana is a must, and I like Rutgers very much. I interviewed for a job there.

    • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

      Illinois – Northwestern, Ohio State, Purdue
      Indiana – Purdue, Sparty, Northwestern
      Iowa – Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin
      Maryland – PSU, Rutgers, Purdue
      TSUN – Ohio State, Sparty, Minnesota
      Sparty – TSUN, Indiana, Rutgers
      Minnesota – Wisconsin, Iowa, TSUN
      Nebraska – Iowa, Wisconsin, Northwestern
      Northwestern – Illinois, Indiana, Nebraska
      Ohio State – TSUN, Illinois, PSU
      PSU – Ohio State, Rutgers, Maryland
      Purdue – Indiana, Illinois, Maryland
      Rutgers – PSU, Maryland, Sparty
      Wisconsin – Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska

      Trophy games protected:
      Land of Lincoln (IL-NW), Illibuck (IL-OSU), Purdue Cannon (IL-PU), Old Brass Spittoon (IN-MI), Old Oaken Bucket (IN-PU), Floyd of Rosedale (IA-MN), Heroes Trophy (IA-UNL), Heartland Trophy (IA-WI), Paul Bunyan Trophy (MI-MSU), Little Brown Jug (MI-MN), Paul Bunyan’s Axe (MN-WI) plus The Game (no trophy)

      Trophy games lost:
      Land Grant (MSU-PSU), Governor’s Victory Bell (MN-PSU)

      Ironically I really wanted to make the Ohio State-PSU game go away but
      but it was hard to do without disrupting other rivalries.

      • Brian says:

        Scarlet_Lutefisk,

        “Illinois – Northwestern, Ohio State, Purdue
        Indiana – Purdue, Sparty, Northwestern
        Iowa – Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin
        Maryland – PSU, Rutgers, Purdue
        TSUN – Ohio State, Sparty, Minnesota
        Sparty – TSUN, Indiana, Rutgers
        Minnesota – Wisconsin, Iowa, TSUN
        Nebraska – Iowa, Wisconsin, Northwestern
        Northwestern – Illinois, Indiana, Nebraska
        Ohio State – TSUN, Illinois, PSU
        PSU – Ohio State, Rutgers, Maryland
        Purdue – Indiana, Illinois, Maryland
        Rutgers – PSU, Maryland, Sparty
        Wisconsin – Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska”

        I just don’t see that happening. Traditionalists love to preserve the LBJ, but I think NE/MN is more important in today’s world. I think the B10 would go with the quadrangle of hate out west. Beyond that, your plan doesn’t focus on bringing the big brands to NYC and DC which the B10 has said is a priority. There are also some really odd games locked in there.

        My guess:
        NE – WI, IA, MN
        WI – NE, IA, MN
        IA – NE, WI, MN
        MN – NE, WI, IA
        IL – NW, PU, IN
        NW – IL, MSU, PU
        IN – PU, MSU, IL
        PU – IN, IL, NW
        OSU – MI, PSU, UMD
        MI – OSU, MSU, RU
        MSU – MI, NW, IN
        PSU – UMD, RU, OSU
        UMD – PSU, RU, OSU
        RU – PSU, UMD, MI

        My personal preference:
        NE – WI, IA, PSU
        WI – NE, IA, MN
        IA – NE, WI, MN
        MN – WI, IA, MI
        IL – NW, OSU, PU
        NW – IL, MSU, RU
        IN – PU, MSU, OSU
        PU – IN, IL, UMD
        OSU – MI, IL, IN
        MI – OSU, MSU, MN
        MSU – MI, NW, IN
        PSU – UMD, RU, NE
        UMD – PSU, RU, PU
        RU – PSU, UMD, NW

        “Ironically I really wanted to make the Ohio State-PSU game go away but
        but it was hard to do without disrupting other rivalries.”

        Not at all.

        • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

          I based it entirely on preserving traditional rivalries & most played series. Interestingly enough Sparty is the Big Ten team (not counting PSU) that both Maryland & Rutgers have played the most.

          As much as I despise the vile pit of evil that resides in Happy Valley but also like the symmetry of a UNL-PSU pairing I just can’t see singling out two schools to be the only ones forced to be locked into playing an opponent on the far side of the conference.

          I give exactly two squats about the league plan to spin off Ohio State & TSUN to the east coast.

          • Brian says:

            Scarlet_Lutefisk,

            “I based it entirely on preserving traditional rivalries & most played series.”

            That doesn’t explain OSU/PSU. It’s not traditional or often played.

            “Interestingly enough Sparty is the Big Ten team (not counting PSU) that both Maryland & Rutgers have played the most.”

            Well, MSU isn’t near the top of the list for anyone else in the B10. Besides, they aren’t a big enough brand to accomplish the B10′s goals in NYC and DC.

            “As much as I despise the vile pit of evil that resides in Happy Valley but also like the symmetry of a UNL-PSU pairing I just can’t see singling out two schools to be the only ones forced to be locked into playing an opponent on the far side of the conference.”

            Both fan bases have indicated interest in that game. But please note, that was only in my personal preference set and not in the set I predicted the B10 would choose.

            “I give exactly two squats about the league plan to spin off Ohio State & TSUN to the east coast.”

            I dislike their plan as much as anyone, but I’m forced to accept that it shows their priorities.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            “That doesn’t explain OSU/PSU. It’s not traditional or often played.”

            Sure it does. Ohio State has played PSU more than any other current B1G member. The series is also #1 in importance to Nit fans.

            “Well, MSU isn’t near the top of the list for anyone else in the B10. Besides, they aren’t a big enough brand to accomplish the B10′s goals in NYC and DC.”

            It was just an interesting aside and as noted I don’t care about said goal.

            “Both fan bases have indicated interest in that game.”

            It’s also far down on the list of priorities for either. Both groups have expressed a greater interest in playing teams located in their respective regions.

            “But please note, that was only in my personal preference set and not in the set I predicted the B10 would choose.”

            When did it become an exercise in predicting what the B1G would choose?

            Brian you don’t need to work so hard at being argumentative. The only substantive difference in your list is trading Ohio State for Nebraska as a locked rival for PSU. Otherwise you’re mostly just splitting hairs.

          • As an Illini fan, I really did wish that the Big Ten cared about the Illibuck, but my strong feeling is that it’s a very low priority compared to the conference’s goals on the East Coast. Same thing with the Little Brown Jug. On the other hand, I think a lot of Big Ten fans *grossly* underestimate how much importance the conference leadership places upon preserving the Ohio State-Penn State game. Buckeye fans might be perplexed by it, but I’m dead serious that they’ll nix every single rivalry outside of Michigan-Ohio State before they’d stop OSU-PSU. In a setup with 3 locked rivalries, PSU would be OSU’s 1 locked Eastern rival and then they’d play Michigan and one other Midwestern team. Maybe the Big Ten would be willing to protect the Illibuck instead of giving OSU a permanent game against MSU (maybe make a swap where IL-OSU and Indiana-MSU are protected instead, but the main thug is the OSU-PSU is non-negotiable.

            Also, Michigan is the Big Ten school with the largest number of fans on the East Coast and, in particular, the NYC area, which means that they are arguably the single most important brand that the Big Ten has to leverage in that region. Since OSU and MSU are obvious locked rivals for Michigan, that means that the 3rd locked rival *needs* to be one of the Eastern newbies. I picked Rutgers for that slot because of the Michigan alumni presence in (and student population from) the NYC market. That is simply much more critical for the Big Ten’s entire approach to expansion than the Little Brown Jug or any other game that Michigan plays.

            That means *someone* has to play Maryland beyond Rutgers and Penn State, and that admittedly feels pretty random. Michigan State is basically the last school on the list, it kinda/sorta makes geographic sense, and they don’t really have rivalries besides the Michigan game that scream for any need to be protected. I know that MSU would like to play Northwestern and go into the Chicago market, but that’s honestly something everyone in the Big Ten wants to do. Their case for that isn’t any more compelling for any other school in the Big Ten that isn’t a direct Northwestern rival (which basically consists of Illinois). That makes MSU the most malleable of any Big Ten school in terms of assigning a random rivalry (see the 11-team setup when they had PSU locked and then the 12-team setup with Indiana).

            The western “pod” of NE/WI/MN/IA is too logical for me to mess with it – those 4 schools need to be playing each other. IL/NW/IN/PUR is another logical pod to me, although I could see maybe the Illibuck getting protected instead of OSU/MSU (and then would result in MSU/IN getting protected) instead.

          • Brian says:

            Scarlet_Lutefisk,

            “Sure it does. Ohio State has played PSU more than any other current B1G member. The series is also #1 in importance to Nit fans.”

            UMD took over the designation of most frequent opponent once the 2013 season ended. OSU/PSU hasn’t even been played 30 times in history. It is not a traditional rivalry nor a most played series anymore. I agree it’s the most valued by the PSU fans, but you didn’t list that as a criterion.

            “It’s also far down on the list of priorities for either. Both groups have expressed a greater interest in playing teams located in their respective regions.”

            It depends on the fan. Excluding Pitt, I’ve seen some PSU fans choose NE as their #1 choice since they could develop a true primary rivalry rather than always being #2 to OSU/MI for OSU. Many NE fans weren’t excited about IA or MN when they joined the B10, pointing at PSU as the one team they really had history with.

            “When did it become an exercise in predicting what the B1G would choose?”

            That seemed to be what at least most of the others were doing, but I was mostly pointing out a clear distinction between my two options I listed in that comment. I know the B10 wouldn’t make the same choices as me, so I provided a more realistic set as well.

            “The only substantive difference in your list is trading Ohio State for Nebraska as a locked rival for PSU.”

            I disagree. I didn’t have any of OSU/PSU, OSU/IL, MI/MN, NE/NW, IN/NW, UMD/PU or MSU/RU on my probable list. I consider not keeping the Illibuck and LBJ as substantive differences. On my personal list, I didn’t have OSU/PSU, IN/NW, MSU/RU or NE/NW. I consider MSU going to Chicago instead of NYC substantive, too, since it was a choice and not forced by the other changes.

          • bullet says:

            It would definitely make sense to spread the kings around and create a little more geographic diversity for the kings. So Ohio St.-Illinois and Michigan St.-IU or PU would be preferable.

            But I can’t see Penn St. not getting Ohio St. every year. Its PSU’s biggest game and a big game for TV.

          • Brian says:

            Frank the Tank,

            “As an Illini fan, I really did wish that the Big Ten cared about the Illibuck, but my strong feeling is that it’s a very low priority compared to the conference’s goals on the East Coast. Same thing with the Little Brown Jug.”

            I agree. Those are games they keep when it’s convenient, but they don’t plan around them. Both have become lopsided and don’t mean nearly as much as they used to mean to either fan base. I’d still keep them, but I know the B10 wouldn’t.

            “On the other hand, I think a lot of Big Ten fans *grossly* underestimate how much importance the conference leadership places upon preserving the Ohio State-Penn State game. Buckeye fans might be perplexed by it, but I’m dead serious that they’ll nix every single rivalry outside of Michigan-Ohio State before they’d stop OSU-PSU.”

            We aren’t perplexed by it (we were their closest neighbor and both are kings, unlike UMD and RU), we just know how one-sided the feelings are and aren’t attached to the game. Many PSU fans seem angry and/or surprised by that. I know the B10 will keep it for financial reasons and to appease PSU, but that doesn’t mean it will ever make my list of personal preferences for games to lock (I have no duty to get a maximum TV deal). There’s also the unfairness of only OSU getting 2 locked kings that irks many Buckeyes.

            I do think you overstate how highly the B10 values that game, though. OSU/MI is on a tier of its own, but PSU/OSU, PSU/MI and PSU/NE are all equal below it. Other factors happen to make OSU/PSU the game that is convenient to lock. If something else came up to make OSU unavailable, either of those other two games would work as well for the B10. I promise the B10 puts PSU/RU and PSU/UMD ahead of PSU/OSU, though. If PSU doesn’t play in those markets, those additions are DOA in terms of value.

            I think it’s apples and oranges to compare OSU/PSU to the other local rivalries (MI/MSU, NW/IL, PU/IN, WI/MN, IA/MN, etc). The B10 values them all and works hard to preserve them.

            “In a setup with 3 locked rivalries, PSU would be OSU’s 1 locked Eastern rival and then they’d play Michigan and one other Midwestern team.”

            Most likely, yes. But they need to get OSU and MI in NYC and/or DC more often to make those additions prosper (or so they claim), and that could conceivably mean locking MI/RU and OSU/UMD while PSU plays NE.

            “Maybe the Big Ten would be willing to protect the Illibuck instead of giving OSU a permanent game against MSU (maybe make a swap where IL-OSU and Indiana-MSU are protected instead,”

            OSU has no real history with MSU. There is no old B10 member OSU has played less often since 1953 when MSU joined. We’ve played IL 20 more times in the regular season over that span.

            “but the main thug is the OSU-PSU is non-negotiable.”

            I don’t think it’s quite at that level, but you do need a good reason to not have it.

            “Also, Michigan is the Big Ten school with the largest number of fans on the East Coast and, in particular, the NYC area, which means that they are arguably the single most important brand that the Big Ten has to leverage in that region.”

            I assume you mean out of the midwestern schools. Clearly PSU has more east coast and NYC fans, and RU likely does too. UMD has more east coast fans, too.

            “Since OSU and MSU are obvious locked rivals for Michigan, that means that the 3rd locked rival *needs* to be one of the Eastern newbies.”

            How convenient that MI *needs* to play RU while OSU *needs* to play PSU.

            “That means *someone* has to play Maryland beyond Rutgers and Penn State, and that admittedly feels pretty random. Michigan State is basically the last school on the list, it kinda/sorta makes geographic sense,”

            Not really. MSU is a plane flight away, and at that point every school is about the same range.

            “I know that MSU would like to play Northwestern and go into the Chicago market, but that’s honestly something everyone in the Big Ten wants to do.”

            But MSU has been 10 times more vocal about its importance than anyone else. It’s much like PSU’s desire to play OSU. Everyone would like to play OSU, PSU just wants it a lot more than most.

            “That makes MSU the most malleable of any Big Ten school in terms of assigning a random rivalry (see the 11-team setup when they had PSU locked and then the 12-team setup with Indiana).”

            I’d say PU is equally malleable (IN and nobody else important).

            “IL/NW/IN/PUR is another logical pod to me, although I could see maybe the Illibuck getting protected instead of OSU/MSU (and then would result in MSU/IN getting protected) instead.”

            The one downside to this is that these schools get much easier locked schedules than their peers (MN, RU, UMD).

          • Richard says:

            Frank:

            “As an Illini fan, I really did wish that the Big Ten cared about the Illibuck, but my strong feeling is that it’s a very low priority compared to the conference’s goals on the East Coast.”

            That’s why you have 5 locked games. Increase king exposure on the East Coast as well as preserve ancient trophy games. Still play each school at least 50% of the time (allowing all players to visit each B10 stadium in 4 years). Voila.

            “Their case for that isn’t any more compelling for any other school in the Big Ten that isn’t a direct Northwestern rival (which basically consists of Illinois).”

            Not to Northwestern. To NU, Iowa is as big a rival as Illinois. In fact, ask the players, coaches, as well as the students and younger alums, and they’ll tell you that the Iowa game is a bigger rivalry game than the Illinois game.

            “IL/NW/IN/PUR is another logical pod to me”

            Maybe to an Illini fan. Not to Northwestern (or IU and PU when it comes to NU). NU has zero sense of rivalry with either IU or PU and IU and PU have zero sense of rivalry with NU.

            The whole point of having locked games is that you don’t have to force-fit schools in to ill-fitting pods.

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            “That’s why you have 5 locked games. Increase king exposure on the East Coast as well as preserve ancient trophy games. Still play each school at least 50% of the time (allowing all players to visit each B10 stadium in 4 years). Voila.”

            You only need to do that for the eastern 6, though. You’re also forcing a 9th game to get the 50% play while 8 games would do it for 3 locked rivals.

            “The whole point of having locked games is that you don’t have to force-fit schools in to ill-fitting pods.”

            Says the man proposing 5 locked rivals for everybody, which is essentially ill-fitting personal pods for almost everyone just to satisfy NW.

          • Richard says:

            Brian:

            “You only need to do that for the eastern 6, though.”

            Nope. Wisconsin, Northwestern, IU, and PU all both draw students from and send a lot of alums to the East Coast now.

            “Says the man proposing 5 locked rivals for everybody, which is essentially ill-fitting personal pods for almost everyone just to satisfy NW.”

            Nonsense. With 5 instead of 3, Iowa gets to have annual games with Illinois and Northwestern.

            UNL gets to have annual games for UM (which the B10 office would want) and PSU (which both the B10 office and UNL would want.

            PSU gets UNL as an annual game.

            LBJ and Illibuck are preserved, which I’m sure all 4 schools (though especially Minny) would rather have annual than not while still sending the kings out east.

            MSU gets to visit Chicagoland.
            Minny gets to visit Chicagoland.

            Pretty much everyone gets more of the games they want.

          • Richard says:

            “You’re also forcing a 9th game to get the 50% play while 8 games would do it for 3 locked rivals.”

            BTW, there is zero indication that TPTB in the B10 are anywhere as interested in going back to 8 conference games as you are, Brian. If TPTB have to choose 2 of
            1. Preserving rivalries.
            2. Maximizing East Coast exposure.
            3. Going back to 8 games.

            I’m quite certain what they would prioritize, and it would not be #3.

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            “Nope. Wisconsin, Northwestern, IU, and PU all both draw students from and send a lot of alums to the East Coast now.”

            Which has absolutely nothing to do with more king access to the east coast or preserving ancient rivalries, which is what you were talking about when you denied that only the eastern 6 need to be locked to achieve those goals.

            “Nonsense. With 5 instead of 3, Iowa gets to have annual games with Illinois and Northwestern.”

            I haven’t seen lots of IA fans clamoring to lock those games. They’d be nice, but nobody needs their 4th and 5th biggest rivalries locked versus played regularly.

            “UNL gets to have annual games for UM (which the B10 office would want) and PSU (which both the B10 office and UNL would want.”

            The B10 office wants them so much that they didn’t even try to lock either one this time around, even with 9 games.

            “LBJ and Illibuck are preserved, which I’m sure all 4 schools (though especially Minny) would rather have annual than not while still sending the kings out east.”

            Thanks for telling us fans of those schools what we and our schools want. Neither side cares about Illibuck enough to justify locking it, and fans on both sides have told you this. The same is true for MI and the LBJ. Maybe MN cares, but that’s not what I hear from the few of their fans I’ve talked with.

            “MSU gets to visit Chicagoland.
            Minny gets to visit Chicagoland.”

            Everyone wants to visit Chicago, right? So why should more schools get an advantage over everyone else with that access?

            “Pretty much everyone gets more of the games they want.”

            These are mostly games they want only slightly more than average, and you ignored all the other locked games that would come with it. Are there really 5 schools that want locked games with MN, MSU, IN, PU and IL rather than an equal rotation through more teams? UMD and RU?

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            “BTW, there is zero indication that TPTB in the B10 are anywhere as interested in going back to 8 conference games as you are, Brian.”

            Actually there is, since I like playing 9 games. The ADs fought it, but I didn’t. But if they can accomplish their goals with 8 games, it leaves them room to reconsider something like the B10/P12 alliance which they did show considerable interest in. The P12 wasn’t interested when they also played 9 P12 games, but this rule change could let them drop to 8 as well as I’ve pointed out. Maybe both sides would consider 8 games plus the alliance instead of keeping the 9th game. I’m simply showing that they get that option this way.

            Or maybe the ADs back away from the 9th game after a while because of the 4/5 imbalance. Without divisions, that’s a huge advantage for the teams with 5 home games.

            ” If TPTB have to choose 2 of
            1. Preserving rivalries.
            2. Maximizing East Coast exposure.
            3. Going back to 8 games.

            I’m quite certain what they would prioritize, and it would not be #3.”

            But they don’t have to choose just 2. What the B10 wanted was PSU, MI and OSU playing in NYC and DC a lot to build those markets and help integrate the newbies. Schools like WI, IA, MN, NW, IL, IN, PU and MSU are much less valuable for that purpose. The B10 wants everyone to play there regularly, and several of those other schools have interest in the east coast, but the B10′s main concern was getting the eastern kings there.

            Again you neglect to see any advantage that dropping to 8 might offer and only see the downsides. Everything in scheduling is a tradeoff. The B10 values equal rotation more than minor rivalries. That’s why they’ve let Illibuck and LBJ lapse. The B10 could see East and West Coast access as better than just a little more East Coast access. The ADs may see scheduling flexibility with 4 OOC games as more important than some of these games, too.

            I never said they would drop to 8, just that they might consider it. Especially if the P12 also considers it.

          • Cliff says:

            I agree that after all the other dominoes fall, that it makes a certain amount of sense having Michigan and Michigan State playing Maryland and Rutgers, in some order. As a UM alum and season ticket holder, I can go either way. But I will mention that while UM certainly has more alums in NYC than MSU, I get the feeling from my Spartan family members that MSU has more association with New Jersey as far as students and perhaps recruiting (although, yes, I know Michigan has struck gold recruiting Jersey this year). I also know that UM has a lot of students and alums in DC, and again, I believe moreso than MSU.

            So my best guess is that if they had a choice, MSU would prefer Rutgers over Maryland. I don’t know how Michigan looks at it… if they view Rutgers=NYC, they likely prefer Rutgers to Maryland. But if they view it more as Rutgers = New Jersey, than I could easily see Michigan preferring the synergy with Maryland/DC (and being near Hopkins, too). Or, at least, being accepting of either Rutgers or Maryland as an annual protected rivalry, and then, by default, getting Maryland.

  6. Richard says:

    Posting in new thread:

    247 has 4 B10 schools in the top 25 (ACC has 3, B12 has 2, Pac has 5).

    Scout has 3 B10 schools in the top 25 (ACC has 2, B12 has 4, Pac has 5). Only difference if you go by average stars is that the ACC has 3 instead of 2.

    Rival has 3 B10 schools in the top 25 (ACC has 5, B12 has 2, Pac has 3). If you go by average stars, the B10 has 4 in the top 25, ACC has 4, B12 has 2, Pac has 4.

    So in terms of depth of teams, the B10 seems to be doing just as well as any other non-SEC conference. Maybe a tad worse than the Pac, but just a tad.

    If you look at the gap, that’s due mostly to UM’s small class size (which hammered them in Scout and Rivals). By 247′s average player scores & Scout’s average stars, the B10′s #2 was better than the #2 of all 3 of the Pac, ACC, and B12 (as well as the B12′s #1). By Rival’s average stars, that’s all true except for the part about the Pac.

    So it depends on whether you think class size is really that big of a deal when you’re talking about the 17th-22nd best recruits in a class. And yes, more 3 stars would have dropped down UM’s average, but I think that the analysis of the top 25 shows that the B10 is doing about as well as any other non-SEC conference in terms of depth.

    • bullet says:

      Class size tells you how much contribution you are getting in this particular year.
      If you are on probation like USC, a small class size hurts.
      If you are consistently over-signing, a large class size is a benefit as it allows you more “misses.”
      But normally, it simply means you will get more in a later year or if you have a large class size, less in a later year.

  7. Richard says:

    Posting in new thread:

    Thinking about this, I think at fans should have certain expectations for where their schools should be in the recruiting rankings.

    Tier 1:
    Texas, UF, USC, FSU, ‘Bama, LSU, UGa, OSU.

    These schools have all 3 of fertile recruiting grounds, brand, and money (USC and FSU actually trail the other 6 in that area, but they have enough and are the top brand name king in their respective conferences). They should be expected to finish in the top 10 every year.

    One reason why the SEC dominated the top 10 this year (instead of, say, taking only half the top 10) is because USC and Texas were in turmoil, so let go their traditional seats at the table (though USC made a late push) and Tennessee had a second-year coach.

    Tier 2:
    ND, Michigan, PSU, Tennessee, OU, TAMU, Auburn, Miami.

    5 old money kings who are close to fertile recruiting grounds (but still have to pull a lot of players from out of state in order to compete), 2 princes that have the money and recruiting grounds that a top tier king has but just don’t have the brand, and Miami, which has the brand and insane local recruiting grounds but seemingly has the money of a G5 program. They should be expected to finish in the top 20 every year and realistically should range from 5-20.

    Tier 3:
    UNL & UCLA

    A king that is far away from any sort of fertile recruiting ground and a prince that is in the middle of a ton of talent but doesn’t have the money or brand of a king. they should be expected to finish in the top 25 every year (ranging from 10-25).

    Tier 4:
    SC, Arkansas, Clemson, VTech, UNC, Wisconsin, MSU, Iowa, Washington, Cal, Stanford, Oregon, OKSU

    Princes (+ Oregon and OKSU who are here mostly because of their respective sugar daddy). I believe Stanford has made the jump to prince.
    They should be in the top 40 every year.

    • Richard says:

      So which conferences beat or underperformed my expectations? Beating would be in the tier above where I had a school; so TAMU beat my expectations by being in the top 10 instead of 11-20.

      Using 247′s rankings:
      By conference:
      SEC: 4 beat, 5 met, and 0 failed expectations. Very impressive.
      B10: 1 beat, 3 met, and 3 failed expectations (but PSU was still under sanctions and had a coaching change).
      Pac: 3 beat and 2 failed expectations.
      ACC: 1 beat and 4 met expectations.
      B12: 2 met and 1 failed expectations.

      With 2nd year coaches, I expect USC and Texas to be firmly entrenched in the top 10 & PSU to challenge for the top 10 next year. Also Tennessee to drop out of the top 10.

  8. Richard says:

    As for B10 TV deals, I agree. I believe that the B10 will reup with ESPN soon on a deal that comfortablely keeps them #1 in TV money but reserves a game-of-the-week package for bidding in 2016.
    $35-45M in TV money coming soon to each B10 school.

    • dj says:

      Delany is smart. ESPN can’t afford to lose the BIG but, they will.
      They put all there chips on the SEC.
      The BIG’s move east has more to do with Fox.
      BTN is growing and has its own identity now. You’ll have another tier.
      Plus Why do you think Fox Sports 1 and 2 were launched this past year.
      You’ll have a 16 to 20 team conference by the time the new BIG tv deal is made.
      Teams from both the ACC and B12. Screw ESPN.

      • Richard says:

        This “screw ESPN” sentiment is hilarious.

        Get back to me once you’ve found a collegiate football conference who’s managed to get the exposure that they desire without any games on ESPN/ABC.

  9. Chet says:

    @Frank the Tank

    Concerning Michigan’s third locked rival (besides Ohio State and Michigan State):

    From this link:

    http://mup.asu.edu/research.html

    In Year 2011, Michigan ranked third in Federal research money, and this Federal research money accounted for about 65% of Michigan’s total research money. Consequently, I suspect that Michigan’s academics may prefer Maryland as the third locked rival, rather than Rutgers. In this case, Rutgers could be the third locked rival of Michigan State (call it the “Rodney Dangerfield” rivalry).

    • Richard says:

      Considering that there are zero synergies between football and research, research expenditures will have absolutely no bearing on locking series.

      Also, isn’t Wisconsin higher than bother RU and UMD in research money?

      • Chet says:

        True, although the Washington Post covers Maryland sports. But then many (more?) influential Federal politicians also read the New York Times. Anyway, it also depends if and who Penn State wants to fix as its year-end rival.

    • urbanleftbehind says:

      Or the Tire Iron Trophy/Paulie Walnuts game.

      • The Scarlet Wolverine says:

        If the choice is between Rutgers and Maryland for Michigan’s third rival, I think the # of alumni and amount of $ from the NY/NJ area is going to win out.

        http://www.annarbor.com/news/where-u-m-alumni-live/

        Assuming that the “Washington” on the donor list is referring to Washington D.C. and not the home of the Huskies and the Cougars, New Jersey donors send double the amount of $ over Washington donors and New York donors send over six times as much.

        • Richard says:

          No way the LBJ game gets sacrified for either RU or UMD.

        • Chet says:

          The point of my opening post is that the academics at Michigan may prefer to have its iconic football team playing every other year in the shadow of the Federal government. US$ 730 million of Federal research money (for that one year only) is nothing to sneeze at.

          Consider that Maryland’s proximity to the nation’s capital has resulted in strong research partnerships with the Federal government for the Terrapins. Many members of the faculty receive research funding and institutional support from agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

          As another example, the Goddard Space Flight Center (GFC) is located approximately 6.5 miles northeast of Washington, D.C. in Greenbelt, Maryland. GFC has a workforce of over 3,000 civil servant employees, 60% of which are engineers and scientists. There are approximately 7,000 supporting contractors on site every day. It is one of the largest concentrations of the world’s premiere space scientists and engineers.

          From the link of my opening post, John Hopkins ranked first in Federal research money at US$ 1.73 billion for that one year only. That is more than 2.4 times than Michigan’s Federal research money respectively. I suspect that John Hopkins’ close proximity to the Federal government is not just another random coincidence.

          • Richard says:

            Except that where UM’s football team plays has absolutely zero impact on how much funding UM’s academics get.

            Clemson has played UMD in football for 62 straight years now. Has Clemson’s research funding been helped by that?

          • Richard says:

            Ergo, the academics at UM could care less where the Wolverines play football.

  10. Chet says:

    Concerning another potential scheduling scheme for Big Ten football without divisions:

    From this link:

    http://mgoblog.com/mgoboard/pod-scheduling-alignment-big-ten

    Its potential as a scheduling scheme refers to the fact that is quite similar to the future East / West Division structure and thus would not differ greatly from scheduling principles already decided. Furthermore, without divisions there is no need to maintain divisional rivalries, and thus the schools of each pod could be arranged to achieve scheduling balance according to whatever expectations.

    The following (arbitrary) example arranges schools so that each pod has its year-end rival in the other cross-over pod:

    Pod A1 : Ohio State, Mich State, Maryland
    Pod A2 : Michigan, Rutgers, Penn State
    Pod B1 : Nebraska, Minnesota, Northwestern, Purdue
    Pod B2 : Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana

    For this scheduling scheme, pods A1 and A2 are locked cross-overs for scheduling purpose. The first two schools of Pods B1 and B2 are also locked cross-overs , as are the last two schools of each pod. Each of the first two schools B1 and B2 also rotate with one of the remaining schools in the other cross-over pod.

    Pods then rotate once every two years, home/away, so that every school plays all other schools at least twice every four years. Using the above pod arrangements, example schedules are provided as follows:

    Years 1&2 − Pods A1&B1, Pods A2&B2:

    Michigan : Ohio State, Mich State, Maryland, Rutgers, Penn State, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana
    Nebraska : Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Northwestern, Purdue, Ohio State, Mich State, Maryland, Illinois

    Years 3&4 − Pods A1&B2, Pods A2&B1:

    Michigan : Ohio State, Mich State, Maryland, Rutgers, Penn State, Nebraska, Minnesota, Northwestern, Purdue
    Nebraska : Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Northwestern, Purdue, Michigan, Rutgers, Penn State, Indiana

    In this example, the schedule of Michigan in Years 1&2 is similar with its future schedules, with the six schools of the future East Division plus three future cross-overs of the future West Division.

    Ditto for the schedule of Nebraska in Years 1&2 with five of the six schools of the future West Division plus four future cross-overs of the future East Division.

    In other words, such schedules are quite similar to the future East Division minus Indiana and the future West Division plus Indiana. This would not differ greatly from scheduling principles already decided. Plus it would satisfy the KISS principle rather well, with every school playing every other school at least two times every four years.

    • Richard says:

      Without divisions, there are no need for pods.

      • Chet says:

        These are not pods for determining “temporary divisions” (although the associated schedules would function in similar manner, particularly for establishing head-to-head games for tie-breaking purpose). These are only pods for scheduling purpose.

    • Brian says:

      Chet,

      We’ve discussed pod scheduling on here before in many ways.

      “http://mgoblog.com/mgoboard/pod-scheduling-alignment-big-ten”

      His first proposal is the Inner vs Outer plan that the B10 mentioned and then rejected (and he’s wrong to say it isn’t geographical). I still think it was the best plan if the B10 was going to stay at 8 games.

      If we’re talking scheduling pods but not divisions, it opens up a few options. I’d stick to geography for my pods so fans get short road trips.

      N – OSU, MI, MSU
      E – PSU, UMD, RU
      S – IN, PU, IL, NW
      W – NE, IA, WI, MN

      The simple schedule is to play everyone in your pod annually and rotate through the others equally. However, I’d consider adding an extra locked game between the N and E pods every year. This would help the B10 achieve its goal of getting the big brands in NYC and DC more often.

      N & E – 2*100% + 8*55% + 3*88%

      That’s so close to locked that you might as well do it, so go to 3 pods:
      E – OSU, MI, MSU, PSU, UMD, RU
      C – IN, PU, IL, NW
      W – NE, IA, WI, MN

      E – 5*100% (in pod) + 8*50% (2 from C and 2 from W each)
      C & W – 3*100% (in pod) + 4*75% (other small pod) + 6*50% (1 each from OSU/PSU, MI/MSU and RU/UMD)

      It wouldn’t lock OSU/IL or MI/IL, but time has hurt those rivalries anyway. Younger fans don’t care about them.

      • Chet says:

        Brian,

        For Frank’s proposal, my personal preference is to unlock as many schools as possible, although it would be nice to have some kind of balanced (symmetrical) scheduling.

        An advantage of Frank’s proposal is that it may provide flexibility (for example) to schedule Nebraska to play either Ohio State & Penn State or Ohio State & Michigan or Penn State & Michigan every year. That would boost the Cornhusker brand and benefit the Big Ten as well.

        Another personal preference of mine is not to have rematches in the Conference Championship Game. But that is not my decision to make.

        • Brian says:

          Chet,

          “For Frank’s proposal, my personal preference is to unlock as many schools as possible, although it would be nice to have some kind of balanced (symmetrical) scheduling.”

          There aren’t many of those games that don’t need to be kept for various reasons. Of those that are extra, most are between the Central pod teams and they’d all be playing each other more anyway since almost everyone else needs the 3 locked games.

          “An advantage of Frank’s proposal is that it may provide flexibility (for example) to schedule Nebraska to play either Ohio State & Penn State or Ohio State & Michigan or Penn State & Michigan every year. That would boost the Cornhusker brand and benefit the Big Ten as well.”

          I promise you they won’t get OSU every year unkess there are major scheduling changes. OSU already has to play MI and PSU annually. The B10 isn’t going to lock 3 kings for OSU unless all 4 kings play each other annually.

          I would’ve tried to lock NE/PSU, but everyone complained about travel when discussing Inner vs Outer. Besides, the 3 other western teams need a king to play and NE is right there.

          What would really help NE’s brand is winning more games.

          “Another personal preference of mine is not to have rematches in the Conference Championship Game. But that is not my decision to make.”

          I discussed that later.

          • Chet says:

            Brian,

            That’s why I had Wisconsin and Iowa in the same pod for the example in my original post of this thread. In this way, Michigan plays those two teams for those two years when Ohio State plays Nebraska. But this arrangement expects that Wisconsin continues – and Iowa returns – to its winning ways. And I suppose that Penn State and Michigan State could swap places in Pods A1 and A2, although the original purpose was to keep the two Michigan schools separate for the schools in Pods B1 and B2.

          • Brian says:

            Geography doesn’t change. NE is the local king for the western teams. That’s who they should play every year.

          • Chet says:

            Allow me to restate my original post to improve its clarity.

            Each school has 5 locked rivals and rotates 4 other schools every other year:

            Locked Rivals (example):

            Nebraska: Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Northwestern, Purdue
            Illinois: Northwestern, Indiana, Purdue, Iowa, Wisconsin

            Rotating Schools (Years 1&2) (example):

            Nebraska: Ohio State, Michigan State, Maryland, Illinois
            Illinois: Michigan, Penn State, Rutgers, Nebraska

            Rotating Schools (Years 3&4) (example):

            Nebraska: Michigan, Penn State, Rutgers, Indiana
            Illinois: Ohio State, Michigan State, Maryland, Minnesota

            This is not much different than your scheme for home/away every other year.

            For example (for Nebraska):

            Years 1&2 =>

            C&W = 3*100% = Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota
            + 4*75% = 3 = Indiana, Purdue, Illinois
            + 6*50% = 3 = Ohio State, Michigan, Rutgers

            Years 3&4 =>

            C&W = 3*100% = Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota
            + 4*75% = 3 = Northwestern, Indiana, Purdue
            + 6*50% = 3 = Penn State, Michigan State, Maryland

            In comparison: I prefer your scheme, because the combination of Indiana, Purdue, Illinois and Northwestern changes every rotation, whereas my example scheme locks 2 schools and flips between the other 2 schools.

  11. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    GEAUX Tigers!

  12. BuckeyeBeau says:

    @ FtT. Nice article (as

    Here’s my thoughts on “no divisions/locked rivals.”

    To begin, I don’t think it will happen. The new divisions are largely unobjectionable; mostly, the teams are playing who they really want to play; there is no motivated fan base (or subgroup) who hates “East” and “West.” Inertia is vastly underrated. Plus, Delany and the B1G are stubborn. The Earth had to move for the B1G to dump “Leaders” and “Legends.”

    But, assuming the B1G considered the idea, I think Frank’s proposed locked rivals are about as good as you are going to get.

    Having 3 locked rivals is easy for the western group and for the middle group. Neb, Wiscy, Minny, Iowa … then IL, IN, Pur, & Northwestern.

    But that leaves the six teams in the east with two made-up “rivalries.”

    OSU with MI, MSU & PSU makes sense.
    PSU with Rut, MD & OSU makes sense.
    MSU with OSU and MI makes sense. That leaves either Rutgers or MD. I agree with Frank’s choice.
    That leaves MI with MSU, OSU and Maryland.

    MSU-Rutgers and MI-Maryland are “conference imposed rivalries.” Everyone will have a good time making jokes. But, really, what are better options assuming only three locked rivals?

    One option might be to lock only 2 rivals in the eastern group (which might or might not allow more scheduling flexibility).

    That gives you two groups of 3: MSU/MI/OSU get locked together and PSU/MD/Rut.

    FWIW, four locked rivals doesn’t seem to help.

    • Richard says:

      Better options? Look at my reply.

    • Richard says:

      4 locked rivals does allow every school to lock with at least one king. It also allows for Iowa-Northwestern (big rivalry game to NU) as well as the TV-friendly UNL-PSU rivalry yet still let’s each school play all other schools at least 50% of the time.

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      The ACC proposal will pass, because all of the power conferences realize that they might want to do this at some point. The non-power conferences either have the same viewpoint, or realize that if they want to stand in the way of reform, this is a poor issue upon which to do so.

      But I don’t think the Big Ten will be in any hurry to change its scheduling format. The addition of Maryland and Rutgers required an immediate response. The ACC rule change does not. It’s merely an option, which they can exercise at their leisure. They’ll take at least a couple of years to study it.

    • mushroomgod says:

      I really like Frank’s plan and hope it will happen. While the geographic split is certainly the best way to go at present, as an IU fan that East division is a problem….Neb and Wis have it too easy out west.

    • Brian says:

      BuckeyeBeau,

      “The new divisions are largely unobjectionable;”

      No, they aren’t. Lots of people have had objections. It was just considered the least objectionable option by most people. Least objectionable and unobjectionable are very different.

      “mostly, the teams are playing who they really want to play;”

      And several teams they don’t want to, especially in the east.

      “there is no motivated fan base (or subgroup) who hates “East” and “West.””

      MSU actively campaigned to be in the West instead of the East. Lots of OSU fans have objected to playing RU and UMD instead of IL annually.

  13. Wainscott says:

    There really is no understating the awesomeness of the DeLoss story.

  14. Wainscott says:

    “Former Colorado athletic director Mike Bohn takes over at Cincinnati with one overriding priority: Get the Bearcats into a different conference.”

    http://bigstory.ap.org/article/cincinnati-hires-former-colorado-ad-mike-bohn

  15. Wainscott says:

    @Frank:

    “This move could have a radical change to how networks schedule on Thursday night (which had turned into the new evening where networks all placed their best shows after SNF ravaged its Sunday night competition)”

    This is not accurate. Networks did not move shows off of Sunday night because of SNF–they moved their best shows to Thursday night because its the most lucrative night for tv ad dollars.

    ABC moved Greys to Thursdays from Sundays to try to topple CSI on CBS, which CBS had moved a few years prior when it saw that NBC’s Must See TV was fading.

    • vp19 says:

      And might CBS temporarily move its hit Thursday sitcoms to Monday while NFL games have that slot? As a fan of “Mom” (Anna Faris and Allison Janney have terrific chemistry), I certainly hope not.

      • Wainscott says:

        No chance.

        They’ll start November 1st. Win for fans–same number of episodes (22), less reruns between the start of the season and May.

  16. Tom says:

    If you had said, he met DeLoss while he was gardening or listening to his opera music, it MAY have been believable. Going to a bar and drinking…….and in particular tequila shots……..laughable!

    Ding, thanks for playing.

  17. bullet says:

    On the personal note, Oliver Luck went to law school at UT and worked in Houston many years. So he knew all the movers and shakers.

    I thought it was interesting the UT president met with the UGA president, who he had been an asst. professor with, when the SEC approached UT in 1989. The Dude claims Oliver Luck met with a former WVU professor at FSU (whom he named) when the Big 12 was talking to FSU. I believe the Dude isn’t making that up, just overstating the significance of those discussions. Maryland’s president had been at Iowa. Louisville had support in the Big 12 from OU as KY Senator McConnell had been in the Senate with OU’s president Boren.

    • Jim Meyers says:

      The dude was almost certainly making up that story. The professor he was talking about just would not come into contact with Barron barring some kind of off campus relationship that was made in a year and half that Barron was in Tallahassee. They where never in the same location before. They where in different fields. I am confident that the Dude just went though the FSU factuality directory looking for a WVU connection. This is the same cat that claimed it was Jimbo Fisher that was leaking information to him.

  18. bullet says:

    Those of us who have been in business know how important relationships are. Especially in hiring decisions. You see that in assistant coach hirings. You usually see some connection where the head coach worked with that guy before (as much as assistants move there are lots of connections).

  19. bullet says:

    “By the time 8:30 rolls around, we were [into it] pretty good but we got ourselves in a situation. ”

    I’m not sure what a “situation” is. Terminology for a serious buzz? Getting approached by reporters? Getting approached by hookers? That line from the article has puzzled me.

    • Wainscott says:

      I read the situation being that the TCU AD felt he hadn’t made his full pitch by giving Dodds the binders and materials on TCU while the time flew by.

      • mushroomgod says:

        Article on the IU rivals site linking an Omaha newspaper article about BT recruiting in NJ and Maryland…..quoted a prominant NJ HS coach who said all BT schools are more attractive now because parents can see their kids play at games at RU, PSU, and MD. Article said 13 BT recruits out of NJ this year, as many as from FL. 8 out of MD. 100 total D1 recruits out of NJ this year.

        Actually, looking at Rivals top 40 in NJ…..last 9 went to non-BT schools. Of the first 31, 17 went to BT schools as follows: PSU 4; RU 4; UM 2; OSU 2; NW 2; MD, Iowa, and MSU 1. Now this is somewhat out of whack, as RU would have had 8-9 had their team not fallen apart half way through the season. Hopefully, they’ll get their shit together soon.But this is a significant factor favoring RU in the Big 10 that the RU detractors (hi Andy) don’t much acknowledge.

        MD’s FB recruiting base is pretty good as well, although not on the scale of NJ’s. MD IS huge for PSU and for basketball recruiting…..NJ’s pretty decent for BB recruiting as well…….

        • Wainscott says:

          “NJ’s pretty decent for BB recruiting as well…….’

          And RU’s proximity to NYC will only help B1G recruiting in NYC proper. A visiting assistant coach can go see NYC recruits play in the same trip when visiting RU.

          • mushroomgod says:

            I woulsd think PSU would be trying very hard to get into that BB recruiting market….that program needs a base….Chambers is doing better in Philly but he needs a second base….

          • Richard says:

            Problem for PSU is that you already have multiple bball powers recruiting each of the East Coast urban bball hotbeds hard.

            G’town and UMD in DC.
            ‘Nova and Temple in Philly.
            ‘Cuse, Pitino, and everybdy in NYC.

            Actually, that’s true for all of the major East Coast metros. Probably 30 schools with a much better basketball pedigree than PSU recruit the East Coast hotbeds hard.

    • largeR says:

      I believe the “situation” was from the viewpoint of Deloss; ‘I don’t know who this guy is or what the hell we’re doing here, but I like him! I want him in the country club!’

  20. mushroomgod says:

    As to Frank’s backing of TCU over Cincy for the Big 12……..I thought Cincy was a much better choice then, and even more so now that TCU football has come back down to Earth. Bigger, public school, better bball, , and something of a rival for WVU, which is now isolated……..It will probably happen anyway, but Cincy should have gotten the nod.

    • Richard says:

      The rest of the B12 wanted as many trips down to TX as possible for recruiting purposes.

    • bullet says:

      Cincinnati should be low on the list. They simply don’t have the fan support despite being a big state school that was in a BCS conference (IS until July 1). Their ceiling seems to be pretty low.

      • bullet says:

        Not that I think TCU was a good long range choice. WVU should have replaced A&M and Louisville been next on the list.

        Buts its possible having a 4th Texas team and one in DFW is a good bulwark against incursions from the SEC and a good choice for schools like Oklahoma St., Kansas and Kansas St.

        • Wainscott says:

          This, plus an extra Texas school is another excuse for out of state schools to come and see Texas recruits (as was noted, I think, by you, in the thread of another FtT post).

          I tend to agree about Cincy, but if 12 is needed in the short term due to CFB playoff issues/selection committee preferences, Cincy’s a very good pick (plus, its a geographic bone to WVU to give them at least one conference rival nearby).

          • urbanleftbehind says:

            I would add Memphis as the 12th with Cincy, unless BYU makes a play. Memphis is another stop on the bridge from Texas to West Virginia and it provides a recruiting conduit into metro Memphis, north Alabama, the Mississipi delta and possibly into the St. Louis metro (although I wonder if Mizzou is already stealing St. Louis area talent from the B16 west schools (Iowa, Mn, Wiscy, IL, Nebraska – that UNL shorthand makes me think of a potential mid-21st century Big 12 addition, Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon, Monterey…and yes they field an American-style football team) . I dont see the Pac going all out for BYU – instead they will either stand pat or add schools from the MWC (of course if Texas/OK go all in with the Pac, it wont matter).

          • Wainscott says:

            Problem with Memphis is that expansion is driven by football first, second, and third, and to put it most charitably, Memphis is a terrible, terrible football program.

            If Memphis were a better football program, then possibly.

          • ccrider55 says:

            “I dont see the Pac going all out for BYU…”

            I doubt the PAC would admit BYU even if it was a permanent requirement and guarantee that UT would come too.

          • vp19 says:

            Central Florida or South Florida would be a good partner for Cincinnati in a Big 12 expansion. Florida is an underrated recruiting target for conference schools; of this year’s Iowa State recruiting class, 8 are from Texas, 4 are from Florida.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            To university presidents, playoff qualification is secondary issue to revenues. The Big XII won’t expand to lose money. They will stand pat unless the next two schools at least maintain the Big XII’s existing per-school payouts. That could be a difficult proposition. Although Cincy and USF/UCF would probably be the best options available, I’m not sure they’re financially better than the default option of doing nothing.

            They also need the ACC’s CCG proposal to succeed. Without a rule change, it is difficult to come up with divisions that make sense. This was one of the biggest structural drawbacks of the Big XII from the beginning, and they had an extra king back then.

            With or without divisions, the Texas schools are probably going to want to keep playing each other every year. The non-Texas schools will ask: “Am I better off substituting a game in Texas for a game in Cincinnati?” WV might be the only school who says yes to that, unless expansion is extremely compelling financially.

        • Richard says:

          If not for recruiting, Louisville would have been a better choice for the B12.

          A bball king, close to WVU, and not too far from the rest of the B12.

  21. Read The D says:

    The proposed new rule for conference championship games is about 5 or 10 years too late for the Big 12. Divisions were such a hindrance. Not that Dan Beebe or even Fake Dan Beebe wanted to rock the boat much but think of the moves they could have made to preserve the conference…

    *Re-instate the Nebraska-Oklahoma rivalry.
    *Add Arkansas without them having to go to the North.
    *Add Louisville as an 11th school AND include a CCG.
    *Search western options for Colorado.
    *Add eastern schools for West Virginia without those schools being in a division with Iowa St. (FSU and Clemson?)

    • Wainscott says:

      Arkansas was never in the B12; it left the SWC effective 1992. Also, why would Arkansas leave the stability and wealth of the SEC for the instability of the B12?

  22. Michael in Raleigh says:

    If the ACC dissolves divisions, I’d want 3 locked rivals for each team. 5 of the remaining 10 would be played for two years, then the other 5 would be played for two years. Locked rivals would be the following:

    Boston College: Louisville, Syracuse, Wake Forest
    Clemson: Florida State, Georgia Tech, NC State
    Duke: UNC, Virginia, Wake Forest
    Florida State: Clemson, Georgia Tech, Miami
    Georgia Tech: Clemson, Florida State, Virginia Tech
    Louisville: Boston College, Pittsburgh, Syracuse
    Miami: Florida State, Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech
    UNC: Duke, NC State, Virginia
    NC State: Clemson, UNC, Wake Forest
    Pittsburgh: Louisville, Miami, Syracuse
    Syracuse: Boston College, Louisville, Pittsburgh
    Virginia: Duke, UNC, Virginia Tech
    Virginia Tech: Georgia Tech, Miami, Virginia
    Wake Forest: Boston College, Duke, NC State

    It’s tricky, with either the Big Ten or ACC, to choose 3 rivals for 14 teams. For Penn State (Ohio State, Rutgers, Maryland) or UNC (NC State, Duke, Virginia), the three seem rather obvious which are most important to lock. For others like Purdue (Indiana) or Boston College (Syracuse), there may be only one team that’s an absolute must to have on the schedule every year.

    • JustSmithinIt says:

      That is a tough set for Louisville, Pitt, and Cuse. They basically just get each other. You’d assume the newcomers would want accuse to some old school ACC teams / recruiting grounds.

  23. CATeam04 says:

    As an RU fan living in NJ, IMHO Frank’s recommendations for RU’s permanent rivals make a lot of sense, based on geography (Md and PSU) and ratings potential. There are an enormous amount of Michigan fans in the NYC metro area who would attend/tune in to games. Provided of course RU doesn’t crap the bed, manages to field a semblance of a offense and defense, and is competetive.

    Based on the talent level on the team, coupled with now experienced DBs and a better OC, none of those “rivalry” games are unsinkable next year. IMO.

  24. Michael in Raleigh says:

    Frank,

    I enjoyed the Urbanophile link you posted and your comments on it.

    I’ve only been to Columbus once. My wife and I went to a wedding there in 2009, I think. We stayed overnight from Indy and drove in early to explore a little. We like doing that sort of thing. It was summer, so there were relatively few students, but we explored Ohio State’s campus, High Street, and downtown.

    Based on the article’s prompt (Quick: what do you think of when you hear “Columbus?”), my answer is “Ohio State.” The college is absolutely massive. Everything in the town is about the Buckeyes. That’s not news to anyone, but Ohio State does seem to define its city more so than many other universities do for their respective towns. Columbia, SC, for instance, is home to the U. of S. Carolina, but it’s not as overwhelmingly Gamecock-centric, in part because there’s another school in the state of only slightly smaller size and a similar sized fanbase. I think most people know Columbus is driven, in a good way, by Ohio State because its population is going to be more educated than the average town. It has a medical school and good hospitals. It’s also the state capital.

    Honestly, the other way I would describe Columbus, based on my very limited experience there, is that it was somewhat of an Indianapolis-lite. It’s maybe 75% of the size, with no major pro sports (NHL doesn’t compare with NFL, NBA, or MLB), but it does have one of the most prominent collegiate athletics programs in America. The downtown had a similar layout, and even has a river of similar size with a similar park and greenway. Downtown did seem a little less vibrant, though. You or others may have described Columbus as having more in common with northeastern cities than with Midwestern ones, but it reminded me much more of Indy, which is not like the northeast at all.

    I think it will always be hard for Columbus to stand out because it is sort of a third wheel in its own state. Unlike Texas or California, which are so much more vast, with cities are 3-5 hours apart, Columbus is just kind of caught in the middle, not too far between Cleveland and Cincinnati, its more established counterparts. Indy, by contrast, is the undisputed general for the state of Indiana. Now, I know many such as Richard Florida may say that which state a city is in doesn’t matter, but the general public perceives things differently.

    While on the topic of urban growth/marketing, I’ll have to make some to notes about Raleigh, since it, like Columbus, is also a growing capital city with a large university in town. Now, I do have to hand it to the city (and the Triangle area in general) for many, many things that do matter a lot. It has three great universities within 30 minutes of each other. There’s a very good college sports scene (thought football could use some more work, given that there are THREE colleges who rarely finish in the top 25). It’s a fairly pretty area. It has a very well-educated population with a much lower unemployment area than most places. There are a ton of great jobs here, especially in RTP. It’s extremely family-friendly. Housing costs are much greater than most places in the South, but much lower than many places in the Northeast and Midwest. Schools are generally good. It has good southern charm but plenty of transplants to keep it from being at all like the rebel-flag waving backasswards place in counties not too far from here. People are friendly. All those things drew us to the area. I’m glad we moved here, and I’d be really sad if we ever have to leave.

    With that said, Raleigh lacks much excitement where there’s not a game going on. Depending on the measure (growth since 2000), Raleigh is the fastest-growing city in the nation. The metro area, including Durham, Chapel Hill, and Cary, makes it not that much smaller than Nashville, Indy, or Charlotte, and maybe about the same size as Columbus, but there are not many must-see places here. Yes, there are museums and there are some cool restaurants here and there, but downtown is just… okay. My much smaller hometown of Greenville, SC packs in more people and is busier almost every weekend of the year than Raleigh. Nashville blows everyone away in music and nightlife. Indy has an extremely walkable downtown with stores, restaurants, museums, theaters, etc. all very accessible. (There’s a reason it got to host a Super Bowl and did a great job doing it.) Even compared to Columbus, it doesn’t have a real identity. Raleigh as a whole is barely more pro-NC State than it is pro-UNC, while Columbus has a generally unifying pro-Buckeyes theme. The city, and the region overall, is strikingly suburban. Downtown is very small for the size of its metro area. I think it’s this way because the city is a very late-bloomer. Older cities have larger downtowns because people needed to be close to work. Even in the early 20th centuries, people wouldn’t live any farther than the streetcars would take them. Raleigh’s growth, on the other hand, has come primarily in the past 30-40 years, and nearly all of it has been suburban. RTP, in particular, is suburban, about 5 miles from DT Durham and 10 miles from DT Raleigh. So, aside from the ACC sports scene, there’s not a particularly defining quality about this area, even though it has all the important things (good schools, relatively affordable living, good jobs, plus a better climate than the northeast/midwest) I listed above that draw people to the area.

    • BuckeyeBeau says:

      @ MiR.

      Great post. A lot of good stuff.

      I too went over and read the blog post/comments on branding/re-branding C-bus. It was interesting and is interesting to ponder how smaller cities can differentiate themselves from other cities of similar size/regional appeal.

      I was a bit puzzled at the insistence that “branding” is not “marketing.” But … not important I guess.

      I grew up in C-bus and, other than tOSU, there really is NOT anything … well … memorable about the place.

      If I would in charge of the branding, I would hire some well known artist/designer/builder to create a sculpture, building, tower, monument, whatever. Something odd but unforgettable. Say …. a 20 foot tall purple cow rearing like a horse with a yellow orangutan rider. Add a new War Animal every few years. A 25 foot red bear falconer. Then build some sort of tech/skater theme something around it. Get Apple to license or make six foot high iPods with 100 nodes to check out music. Have 100 of them; Wifi everywhere, etc etc.

      Whatever the idea, you build it, then the branding goes from there.

      • bullet says:

        Actually not having anything memorable is what makes Columbus unique. Its why marketers often use Columbus as a test market. Its not quirky or different.

      • DITB says:

        BuckeyeBeau,
        Although it is a fine line, there is a difference between branding and marketing. Think of branding as elements used to create associations with something (logos, colors, names, imagery, etc.). Marketing becomes how you leverage those elements for economic gain. The two should be closely linked, but they are different, which makes things incredibly complicated for some brands and businesses… That’s another conversation for another day.

        I hope that helps…

    • dnnrobert says:

      I have to correct you on Columbus being 75% of the size of Indianapolis — that is false. They are virtually the same size.

      City Population:

      13. Indianapolis – 834,852
      15. Columbus – 809,798

      Metropolitan Area Population (including the suburbs and surrounding areas):

      32. Columbus – 1,944,002
      33. Indianapolis – 1,928,982

      Source: Wikipedia

  25. Wainscott says:

    @Frank:

    As was noted earlier on this thread, I think you should revise your protected rival list to adhere to the B1G’s stated preference to protect as many rivalry/trophy games as well, with geography as a secondary consideration.

    • Gobux says:

      @Frank:

      As a Buckeye fan, I like the 3 rivalry games Frank has for us. No offense but the Illibuck trophy means nothing to me.

    • Brian says:

      Wainscott,

      “As was noted earlier on this thread, I think you should revise your protected rival list to adhere to the B1G’s stated preference to protect as many rivalry/trophy games as well, with geography as a secondary consideration.”

      Except that is no longer what the B10 has said are the priorities. They put geography #1 this time and didn’t try to preserve crossover rivalries beyond IN/PU. They made money #2 (parity-based scheduling). They could have made IL one of the teams OSU would play more often (and MN for MI), but they didn’t.

      • Richard says:

        That’s in a world where you have to have 2 divisions.

        The priorities change when the rules change.

        • Brian says:

          Feel free to provide the evidence of when the B10 has said their current priority is to preserve rivalries with geography as a secondary concern. Because that’s what he claimed and I refuted. He didn’t speculate about what the future priorities would be.

          That said, go back to the pre-NE days. The B10 didn’t lock OSU/IL or MI/MN in the days of 11 teams, either. But they did lock OSU/PSU (and PSU/MI for 10 years). That was geography and sending the big brands to the newbie more often over rivalries.

          • Richard says:

            “Feel free to provide the evidence of when the B10 has said their current priority is to preserve rivalries with geography as a secondary concern.”

            You must not have paid attention, Brian (though I suspect it’s selective amnesia). When Legends/Leaders were made, the B10 touted the fact that virtually all trophy games except for Iowa-Wisconsin (and the made-up Minny-PSU one) were preserved while violating all concept of geography.

          • Richard says:

            OK, I just noticed the word “current”. However, the fact that the B10 went from geography being something like a tertiary concern to a primary one after a change of circumstances shows that another change of circumstances will very likely change the priorities again.

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            “OK, I just noticed the word “current”.”

            And that word was the whole subject under discussion before you jumped in, so it’s kind of important.

            “However, the fact that the B10 went from geography being something like a tertiary concern to a primary one after a change of circumstances shows that another change of circumstances will very likely change the priorities again.”

            I never disputed that the B10 had said it before or that it might say it again.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            I don’t think the Big Ten ADs suddenly discovered they care about geography, having placed it dead last when they re-organized for 12 teams. What they discovered is that comprehensible divisions make a lot more marketing sense. “Legends” and “Leaders” debuted to widespread derision, and they were eager not to see that happen again.

          • Brian says:

            Marc Shepherd,

            “I don’t think the Big Ten ADs suddenly discovered they care about geography, having placed it dead last when they re-organized for 12 teams.”

            Or you could say they made it the third most important thing while knowing that the second thing (rivalries) was closely linked to geography (other than LBJ and Illibuck).

            “What they discovered is that comprehensible divisions make a lot more marketing sense.”

            And that the fans of WI (and MI and MSU to a much lesser extent) complained about the road trips. WI was also upset to lose WI/IA.

            ““Legends” and “Leaders” debuted to widespread derision, and they were eager not to see that happen again.”

            The derision was for the names. They were the southeast and northwest divisions, with WI and NW swapped (and those 2 are only 150 miles apart).

  26. Gobux says:

    @Frank:

    As a Buckeye fan, I like the 3 rivalry games Frank has for us. No offense but the Illibuck trophy means nothing to me.

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      Not a great idea, especially if the expectation is for all 14 teams to face an SEC school.

      Really, I would just want to see ACC schools, and schools of all Power 5 leagues, for that matter, mandated by their leagues to play 1 other P5 school in their non-conference schedules, at bare minimum. Two would be preferable, especially for the leagues who are staying at 8 conference games. But schools should have the freedom to choose opponents that make the most sense for them, whether it’s SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, or Pac-12.

      In particular, Boston College, Syracuse, and Pittsburgh would make way more sense playing a Big Ten school than they would an SEC school. Louisville and Virginia could go either way. Miami tends to cast its net nationally for non-conference opponents. I can recall some Florida and Tennessee games for the Canes, sure, but also Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Kansas State, and Penn State (if you go back far enough). Virginia Tech has scheduled a bunch of Big Ten games. Duke & Wake Forest like to go for games against the service academies and against other similarly elite private schools, regardless of conference affiliation: Northwestern, Vanderbilt, Stanford, Rice.

      Likewise, I don’t see why the SEC would want its non-conference schedule so heavily towards the SEC. LSU and Tennessee, like Miami, cast their non-league schedules pretty wide. I could see Tennessee aiming for some games against ACC schools, but no more so than some Big Ten or Big 12 games. LSU would probably prefer Big 12 games or games from wherever. Arkansas, Kentucky, the Mississippi schools–what would they want out of ACC games any more than they would anyone else.

      • vp19 says:

        To me, it’s an admission from the ACC that adding a ninth conference game within the conference isn’t all that attractive from either a ratings or attendance perspective (only Clemson, Florida State and to a lesser extent Virginia Tech travel well) and that it needs the SEC as a crutch. One senses that both ESPN and Notre Dame, each pulling their 800-pound gorilla weight behind the scenes, have something to do with this scheme. Oh, and I hope Syracuse, Boston College and Pittsburgh enjoy trips to Starkville, Oxford and Auburn. More and more, I’m glad Maryland is fleeing this joke of a league in favor of a real conference.

      • Pablo says:

        It’s a great idea and could generate more interest & revenue. (Somehow the B1G versus PAC proposal was mainly hailed as a breakthrough arrangement; the ACC v B1G basketball challenge has worked for 15 years).

        An opening weekend slate of 5 games…some at neutral sites such as Atlanta, Charlotte, Bristol, Tampa or Jacksonville…and some HaH would be perfect.

        For that matter, ACC v B1G with a 5 game annual challenge would also be sweet. Annual HaH for UVa/UMd, Syr/Rutg and Pitt/PSU, mixed in with a couple of attractive one-time HaH (VT/OSU, BC/NW, Miami/UNL, Louis/Pur, etc).

    • bullet says:

      “An SEC source told ESPN.com that the ACC’s idea of an “8+1 model” was merely a concept that had been discussed only once and was a long way from being a reality. It was so premature, he said, that most athletic directors in the SEC hadn’t even been briefed on it.”

      • ccrider55 says:

        They’d both rather lock an OC game than add a ninth conf game?
        At least Stanford and USC (who claimed not to have opposed) were at nine CGs plus ND yearly when the B1G/PAC alliance fell apart.

        • ccrider55 says:

          This is a reason to not change the CCG rules. Planing OOC matchups may be important, but its unrelated to deciding a conference championship. “We want our cake, and eat it too.”

  27. Wainscott says:

    So very tragic:

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/10419721/ted-agu-defensive-lineman-california-golden-bears-dies

    From the article:
    “Details on what happened remain unclear, but according to the Bay Area News Group, Agu’s death appears to be related to a team conditioning session Friday morning.”

  28. Pavel Jukic says:

    I really like how everyone leaves one word comments. It’s great because then they email notices or something and it adds to the number of comments that the blog receives. This is all great for me because I love nothing more in this world than one word comments and an author who allows them for the purposes of having a higher comment count.

    Also, probably my favorite thing of reading “Go Bucks” or “Hook Em” is that I get none of the discussion that most comment boards promote. I never really wanted that in a comment board anyway. To me, the best feature of a comment board is that other people can junk it up for laziness reasons. Remember when myspace.com was nothing more than GIF.posting and spam? That was like heaven for me.

    Also, I love that fact that expansion is clearly not happening yet this blog continues to “report” on it. Want to report something? Report on something exciting like reading the same comments regardless of article. I think you (as blauthor) should promote just signing with a decimal point so as to prefect junk to its essence. That way, whenever people want to read “Go Bucks” for the 90th time they can instead just imagine it.

    Kind of like how you to actually have to be in a medieval castle to pretend you are. Wait what? Hold on here..

    What I’m saying is that I live for viewing “Go Bucks” “Hook ‘em” ect. That is the only reason I come. But like that medieval castle, I don’t actually have to view “Hook ‘em” to imagine it. Which is why, I could just get by on people typing decimal points for the purposes of getting email updates/inflating post counts.

    Thank you chefs,
    DJ Angelo Rigimortys IIIV

  29. OSU>UofM says:

    This is the problem when you add two shitty teams like Rutgers and Maryland. Somebody has to play them now. Ohio State was developing a great rivalry with Wisconsin, but since we’ll only play them about twice a decade, you can kiss that good-bye. As far as Nebraska, I’m not a fan of their’s, but then assigned rivals are less than overwhelming. If Nebraska is considered a King, then they have to play Kings. Penn State is the only choice for them so I would drop one of PSU’s games with Maryland or Rutgers and add Nebraska.

    • largeR says:

      “I would drop one of PSU’s games with MD or RU and add Nebraska.”

      YGTBK!

    • Richard says:

      “Ohio State was developing a great rivalry with Wisconsin, but since we’ll only play them about twice a decade, you can kiss that good-bye.”

      Um, wut?

      Under the current scheduling system, you’ll play Wisconsin twice in 6 years. The next 6 year cycle, you may very well play UW every year for 6 years.

    • bullet says:

      And some of you think the Big 12 should add 2 teams lower on the totem pole than Maryland.

  30. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Final 2013 CFB attendance numbers.

    http://fs.ncaa.org/Docs/stats/football_records/Attendance/2013.pdf

    Over 100,000
    1. Michigan
    2. Ohio State
    3. Alabama

    Over 90,000
    4. Texas
    5. Penn State
    6. Tennessee
    7. Georgia
    8. LSU
    9. Nebraska

    Over 80,000
    10. Florida
    11. Texas A&M
    12. Auburn
    13. Oklahoma
    14. South Carolina
    15. Clemson
    16. Notre Dame

    Over 70,000
    17. Wisconsin
    18. Florida State
    19. USC
    20. Michigan State
    21. UCLA

    Over 60,000
    22. Washington
    23. Iowa
    24. Virginia Tech
    25. Mizzou
    26. Arizona State
    27. Arkansas
    28. BYU

    Honorable mention (over 59,000)
    29. Kentucky
    30. Ole Miss

    • Richard says:

      Doak Campbell seats over 80K yet the ‘Noles don’t go over an 80K average in a national title season.

      • Brian says:

        FSU home attendance in 2013:
        65k – Idaho
        73k-75k – NV, Bethune-Cookman, UMD, Syracuse
        80k – NCSU
        84k – Miami

        Capacity = 82k

        • Richard says:

          Still rather disappointing for a king.

          Kyle Field seats about the same and A&M easily broke 80K.

          Owen Field, Death Valley, Notre Dame Stadium, and Camp Randall all seat less than Doak Campbell, yet OU, Clemson, ND, and Wisconsin all drew more than FSU despite A&M, Clemson, & UW not being kings and none of them having the season that FSU had.

          • Brian says:

            I wasn’t arguing, just supplying the data. FSU basically can only sell out for a rivalry. This is one reason they wish GT and VT were in their division. None of the northern teams fill the place.

            The fans should definitely do better, but FSU should also stop scheduling a I-AA plus Idaho (worse than many I-AAs) plus NV (solid, but so far away few fans will travel).

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            FSU should absolutely do better, no question about it. But last year’s schedule was really, really unappealing. Bethune-Cookman, Idaho, AND Nevada? Come on. Next year will be a really good home schedule featuring Florida, Clemson, and Notre Dame.

            Additionally, FSU is a long way away from most of its alumni and fans. Jacksonville is almost 2 and half hours away. Orlando is almost 3 hours 45 minutes. Tampa, a little further. Those are long distances to drive to go watch… the Idaho game.

            FSU also doesn’t have the deep, deep history of Michigan, Ohio State, Alabama, USC, etc. I wasn’t around in the 60′s or 70′s, but I imagine they barely were on the map until Bowden arrived. Then they became a very solid program for Bowden’s first 12 years or so, and then they went on that great 14-year run of top five finishes. Demand for tickets went up and up, so the school expanded the stadium to meet the demand. Problem is that the stadium’s capacity met the demand for year-after-year top five teams, not for a bunch of down years and a weak home schedule. Really, the stadium should probably be about 76-78K, but, at one time, it could have sold 88,000/game (if the seats were there to sell. I think FSU wanted its football stadium to be in the same class as Florida, Georgia, Auburn, etc.

            At some point, though, excuses need to go away. Penn State is as isolated a campus for a football program of its caliber as any in the nation, and it still draws over 90,000 even in sanctions years. FSU ought to be able to sell out every game, especially this coming year after a national title and with an attractive schedule.

          • bullet says:

            They might have been able to if they joined the SEC in 1989. FSU really doesn’t fit geographically very well in the ACC. They are right in the E/W middle of the SEC.

          • Wainscott says:

            @Michael in Raleigh:

            “FSU also doesn’t have the deep, deep history of Michigan, Ohio State, Alabama, USC, etc. I wasn’t around in the 60′s or 70′s, but I imagine they barely were on the map until Bowden arrived.”

            FSU was an all girls school until after WWII. Absolutely no football success pre-Bowden, and that includes the Burt Reynolds/Lee Corso teams int he 50′s. Bowden got the job after getting run out of Morgantown (UVW)–he was not a hot coaching property. But he got to FSU right as Florida was exploding as a football state and while UF was down in the dumps and had a few years before Miami became good. Timing is everything.

          • Tom says:

            A few corrections to this part of thread regarding FSU:
            1. FSU is the oldest school and only campus that existed prior/during Civil War in Fla. UF actually didn’t actually exist (in any tangible way) until 1905.
            2. FSU was all male/coed for first ~50 years of its existence.
            3. FSU had a terrible -perhaps it’s worst n decades – schedule this year.
            4. FSU attracts a ton of eyeballs on TV…but hopefully will average 80k plus in ’14
            5. UF was very lacking in tradition prior to the 1990s. Both FSU and Miami reached the national stage earlier due to guys like Bowden, Shellenberger and Johnson. UF simply blew any advantages it should have had and the rest is history.

            Just wanted to clear some minor points up…

          • Wainscott says:

            @Tom:

            Re: FSU’s history:

            Thanks for the historical background on FSU. However, FSU, as we now know it, was a women’s college from 1905-1947. FSU’s own history states they did not begin playing football until 1947. (See: http://www.seminoles.com/sports/m-footbl/archive/fsu-m-footbl-archive.html , click on FSU Year-by-Year).

            Also, FSU’s OOC schedule is entirely of its own making. If should try to schedule better going forward.

            Also, how UF never won an SEC football title until the 1990′s (unless you are a UF partisan and count 1984), is truly a mystery to me. FSU was the first to make it to the national stage, even if Miami got to greater heights faster.

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            Wainscott,

            That’s an interesting way of putting it for the rise of Florida’s Big Three.

            I do think, though, Florida stood out ahead of the other two for most of its history. Its team has been around the longest. It had a Heisman winner in the 60′s, an accomplishment on the national stage that Miami and FSU would not achieve for another 20 or 30 years. And, sure, it was somewhat of an also-ran in the SEC for a long, long time, but it was still an SEC program. Yes, I know that conference affiliation didn’t have the financial implications back then that it does today. Prior to 1984, conferences didn’t even offer the television exposure advantage. But UF was playing literally in the same league with Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, LSU, Auburn, and Ole Miss. Meanwhile, Miami had to scrape together whatever games it could, often against modern day CUSA, AAC, and FCS teams. FSU did the same thing. Both started to ramp up schedules in the 70′s and especially the 80′s, but Florida was playing with the “big boys” for decades. UF also appeared in major bowl games before FSU or Miami did.

            No question about it, Florida was established well before Miami or FSU. But you are correcg: the latter two did ascend greater heights sooner.

          • Wainscott says:

            @Michael:

            Yes, UF had more fleeting moments of success than either UM or FSU before the early 80,s (Including Suprrier’s heisman). However, UF never sustained it. Looking at UF’s yearly records, before Charley Pell, its a few good years mixed in with mediocre years and some absolutely bad years.

            As for its playing in the SEC, the SEC was not a prime conference until the 1990′s. Certainly nowhere near what it is today. Georgia pre-1990 owned Florida. Alabama and UF were not annual rivals. UF- Tennessee was not what it is now. And the better teams would beat up on UF when they played.

            UF was the best in the state for most of the pre-1978 period, but largely by default. FSU began its rise in the late 70′s, shortly before UM started to get it together. However, UM rose faster and dominated the 80′s (by virtue of 4 national titles in 9 years), even though FSU started its 14 year run of consecutive top 5 AP finishes in 1987. Suprrier took UF to historic heights starting in the early 90′s, but UF was the last of the big 3 to win a national title.

          • Tom says:

            Wainscot, FSU is in the process of looking at better recognizing those old teams (~1899-1905) that had been somewhat lost in history (due, in large part, to FSU’s rather interesting history). 1947 also just made it easy to keep it continuous.

          • Tom says:

            Michael, there is almost nothing noteworthy on a national level prior to the 90s with UF. Save Spurrier’s (cough Griese’s) Heisman. They didn’t win a SEC title until they’d been in the conference for nearly 60 years!

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            I can’t believe I’m spending this much time defending Florida. Yuck.

            I think the SEC was a prime conference prior to the 90′s. It wasn’t what it is today, but it was pretty darn solid. Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, LSU, and Auburn are all in the top 13 all-time in wins. The 80′s were a little light on national titles, but it was never just Alabama and 9 dwarves. It hasn’t always been THE best, but in any given year, it was one of the best.

            Tom,

            Yes, you’re right that Florida was a massive underachiever through most of its history. You don’t have to convince me of that. Miami was basically the equivalent of an AAC or C-USA program, if not lesser than that, until the Schnellenburger arrived. FSU had to claw its way up the ranks, stumbling quite a bit in the early/mid-70′s, and had to do it the independent route. UCF didn’t have a football program until the late 70′s, and wasn’t FBS until the late 90′s. USF started its football program in the late 90′s. Florida, meanwhile, had the cache of being in the SEC, the league that FSU tried to join in the 50′s AND the 60′s AND the 70′s but was unable to do so. It gave Florida a huge leg up, regardless of its inability to leverage its old-guard status into success.

            You just can’t underestimate how significant Florida’s advantage over the other schools in Florida was. Florida State had to go to the state legislature to put pressure on Florida to play them, and the first six games of the series were played in Gainesville. They won 16 of their first 19.

            This is what makes it so cool about what Bowden was able to do. Not only was Florida State well behind the in-state rival, it had fallen really hard, really fast. My parents were there in the falls of ’73, ’74, and ’75. Before they got there, FSU had actually had some pretty decent seasons under Bill Petersen with some bowl appearances, but they completely fell apart. My dad told me once they were so bad that there were rumors (granted, just rumors) that the football program would be shut down. Then Bowden comes in, quickly gets it out of the doldrums, brings it to and beyond the late 60′s, early 70′s level of success, and eventually turns it into a power at the national level. In the late 80′s and early 90′s, I bet it would have been really fun to be a Seminoles fan in Florida (or a Canes fan, I guess) enjoying success UF had never tasted before, especially considering the way Gators viewed FSU as a little brother for a long time. (They even started acting that way in the 2000′s again when FSU was down and UF was doing great at hoops and football. Some said, “We consider LSU and Alabama more important rivals than FSU.” How quickly they forget.)

            Anyway, I wasn’t familiar with UF and FSU’s histories as institutions. I knew they both point to 1851 as the date of their founding, which resulted from a legislative mandate for two new state schools of higher education, one east of the Sewanee and one west. I didn’t know UF hadn’t always been in Gainesville.

  31. bullet says:

    Money solves everything-DISH and Disney are about to kiss, make up and add the SEC Network (not that the latter is mentioned in the article-but it has been mentioned previously).
    http://www.digitaltrends.com/home-theater/dish-network-disney-come-terms-auto-hop/

  32. Colin Meyer says:

    Frank, please get enlightened. Swoffie wants to change the current NCAA rule because it mandates that NCAA conferences must have equal divisions. He wants to invite UConn for the 15th ACC spot because they provide a TV market that he desperately needs if he has any hope of launching an ACC Network. He then will “save” the 16th spot for Notre Dame.

    Now, we both know that the ACC Network is dead in the water and that ND has no intention of joining a conference in football. But Swoffie lives in a fairy tale world where both of those absurd fantasies will come true, much like Santa Claus and the Land of Oz.

    • Brian says:

      The MAC has already gotten a waiver to have 13 teams, so having 15 wouldn’t be an issue.

      • bullet says:

        But would they waive it for someone who isn’t inconsequential and who did 13 by choice, not by failure to find a 14th or a loss of the 14th?

        • Brian says:

          I think so. With the precedent set, they’d need a good reason not to say yes. It would have been easier to say no to the MAC than to the P12.

    • Eric says:

      I don’t think there is anything to them wanting UConn. What the ACC wants is a set-up where they can have 8 conference games and be playing almost half the conference twice in 12 years.

  33. Brian says:

    Frank,

    “Conference Championship Games the Way We Want Them

    Personally, I am all for it and hope that Jim Delany and the Big Ten hop aboard in support of the measure.”

    I think it helps others more than the B10, so he should consider being against it out of gamesmanship. That said, I wouldn’t be upset with this change as long as they keep a limit on the minimum size needed to have a CCG. I just don’t see a need for a 10 team conference to play an extra game to determine their champion.

    “Therefore, if there’s a way to continue to hold conference championship games while eliminating divisions (or at least modifying the rules where teams don’t have to play round-robin schedules within their divisions), that provides a lot more ability for expanded conferences to adopt scheduling policies to play everyone within a league more frequently.”

    I have to disagree with your side comment. If a conference has divisions, those divisions should have to play a complete round robin. Otherwise, the division is meaningless. Just lock a few games and rotate the rest, or have more than 2 divisions.

    They also need to make it clear that the CCG must decide the champion, not just be a good game. Otherwise a conference could choose to have #2 play #3 to help #2 make the playoff while #1 gets a bye to prevent them getting upset.

    “If I was running the Big Ten, I’d use the K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid) strategy of assigning every school 3 permanent rivals that it will play annually based on geography.”

    Above I gave a fairly simple pod plan that achieves some other goals of the B10 (getting OSU and MI in NYC and DC more) while keeping geography in mind since that seems to be the current priority.

    Boiled down:
    E = OSU, MI, MSU, PSU, RU, UMD
    C = PU, IN, IL, NW
    W = NE, WI, IA, MN

    E = 5*100% (pod) + 8*50% (2 from C – 1 of IN/PU, IL/NW and 2 from W – 1 of NE/IA, WI/MN)
    C = 3*100% (pod) + 4*75% (W) + 6*50% (E – 1 of OSU/MI, PSU/MSU, RU/UMD)
    W = 3*100% (pod) + 4*75% (C) + 6*50% (E – 1 of OSU/MI, PSU/MSU, RU/UMD)

    This gets you 50% against everyone at a minimum while keeping almost every important game annual (no LBJ or Illibuck locked).

    That’s not to knock your plan, just a related sidebar.

    “That would then leave 6 other games to fill on the 9-game schedule every year. This setup allows each school to play everyone else in the conference 6 times every 10 years (a cycle of 2 years on, 2 years off, 4 years on, 2 years off), which keeps conference unity strong while still integrating the benefits of geographic expansion.”

    I think the B10 might seriously consider dropping back to 8 games if this rule passed. A lot of ADs were concerned about the 5/4 imbalance. With no divisions, you can play 8 games and see everyone 50% of the time at least. The P12 would likely jump on board, and they may drop to 8 games, too. Then the B10/P12 challenge might return instead of the 9th conference game.

    “Here’s how I’d assign the Big Ten rivalries:
    SCHOOL RIVAL #1 RIVAL #2 RIVAL #3
    Illinois Northwestern Indiana Purdue
    Indiana Purdue Illinois Northwestern
    Iowa Nebraska Wisconsin Minnesota
    Maryland Michigan State Rutgers Penn State
    Michigan Ohio State Michigan State Rutgers
    Michigan State Maryland Michigan Ohio State
    Minnesota Wisconsin Nebraska Iowa
    Nebraska Iowa Minnesota Wisconsin
    Northwestern Illinois Purdue Indiana
    Ohio State Michigan Penn State Michigan State
    Penn State Rutgers Ohio State Maryland
    Purdue Indiana Northwestern Illinois
    Rutgers Penn State Maryland Michigan
    Wisconsin Minnesota Iowa Nebraska”

    I pretty much agree with your choices here.

    You made my West pod appear, so I can’t argue with that.

    NE – IA, WI, MN
    IA – NE, MN, WI
    MN – WI, IA, NE
    WI – MN, IA, NE

    You also made my Central pod, which is OK by me but the most controversial part.

    IL – NW, PU, IN
    NW – IL, PU, IN
    IN – PU, NW, IL
    PU – IN, NW, IL

    That left you with my Eastern superpod, which you did this with:

    “Maryland Michigan State Rutgers Penn State
    Michigan Ohio State Michigan State Rutgers
    Michigan State Maryland Michigan Ohio State
    Ohio State Michigan Penn State Michigan State
    Penn State Rutgers Ohio State Maryland
    Rutgers Penn State Maryland Michigan”

    Clearly PSU is correct, and the rest of that eastern triangle will play each other. Add in the known OSU and MI rivalries and it fills itself out. The only choice is whether to go MI/RU and MSU/UMD or MI/UMD and MSU/RU, and I agree with you.

    PSU – OSU, RU, UMD
    UMD – PSU, RU, MSU
    RU – PSU, UMD, MI
    OSU – MI, PSU, MSU
    MI – OSU, MSU, RU
    MSU – MI, OSU, UMD

    However, this doesn’t get the big brands in NYC and DC as often as the B10 seems to want. Going to my pod plan would. It would also make things more fair for OSU (only team with 2 kings locked, plus they get a prince).

    PSU – OSU, RU, UMD, MI, MSU
    UMD – PSU, RU, MSU, OSU, MI
    RU – PSU, UMD, MI, OSU, MSU
    OSU – MI, PSU, MSU, RU, UMD
    MI – OSU, MSU, RU, PSU, UMD
    MSU – MI, OSU, UMD, PSU, RU

    The real problem with your plan is the lack of OSU/IL and MI/MN. The B10 could potentially also lock those 2 games, but I don’t think they would. History has diminished both rivalries (young fans don’t care at all), and they’ve already shown no inclination to lock them in the current alignment. On the surface balance looks like an issue since the Central pod teams missed all the kings and princes, but the math shows otherwise. They’d play NE, WI and IA 75% of the time each plus 2 of OSU, MI, PSU and MSU.

    “The top two schools would then advance to the Big Ten Championship Game.”

    With the caveat of #1 not having to face a rematch against a team they already beat, I’m OK with that. If #2 beat #1 during the season, I’m fine with the rematch (If #2 goes 2-0, they win the conference after proving they’re the better team. If #1 goes 1-1 and had the better rest of the season, they win it all as they should).

    • bullet says:

      The Pac 12 wants to play each other 9 games. Or at least they want to play 9 games so they get lots against the California schools. I don’t see them dropping California schools to play Iowa, let alone Indiana, Purdue and Rutgers.

      • Brian says:

        There have been grumblings from the P12 about them being the only ones playing 9 plus a CCG. They only did it so they could play in CA enough. I’m thinking they might try this:

        N = UW, WSU, OR, OrSU
        C = Cal, Stanford, UCLA, USC
        S = AZ, ASU, CO, Utah

        Round robin in pod, 2 games against each of the other pods (1 from each zipper location, ideally), plus 1 purely rotating game.

        The CA schools keep their rivalries, plus everyone plays in CA at least once a year.

        • acaffrey says:

          That’s 7 games though.

        • ccrider55 says:

          NW schools now play three in CA every two years, and giving up yearly to LA was/is a huge sacrifice. The southern division the same but is yearly in SoCal. The only schools that would go for it are the Cali schools, and they have nothing (CA access wise) to gain. They already bargained for and got 100% yearly.

          • Brian says:

            ccrider55,

            “NW schools now play three in CA every two years, and giving up yearly to LA was/is a huge sacrifice. The southern division the same but is yearly in SoCal. The only schools that would go for it are the Cali schools, and they have nothing (CA access wise) to gain. They already bargained for and got 100% yearly.”

            Check the math:

            N = 3*100% (N pod) + 4*50% (S pod) + 4*50% (C pod) + 8*12.5% (S and C pods)

            That’s 2.5 games against CA teams every year, or 2.5 in CA in 2 years. More importantly, it’s the exact same LA access as the S pod gets. Plus they free up an OOC game that can also be used to play a CA team (SDSU, Fresno, SJSU, etc) if they want. They also get the benefit of only having 4 road games in conference play every year. All those benefits versus losing 1 game in CA every 4 years is a tradeoff worth considering.

          • ccrider55 says:

            The North (4 non Bay Area schools) are in the Bay Area every year, in LA every other year swapping H&H with USC and UCLA, and rotating misses against Zona’s and Mtn’s two years at a time over eight years. That’s in CA three times every two years with the every other year LA trip included. And they play six CA teams (home and away combined) every two years currently.

            2.5<3

            Perhaps I'm not understanding your math. What I do know is the non CA north looks at the reduced LA access they currently have as barely tolerable. There is more than a little P8 inertia and history still pervading. Many still call the AZs the newbies, and it'll be a long time before CO/UT completely own that label.

            Picture the B12 adding two northern or NEish schools. Now ask the non texas schools (including OU) to only play once (rotating) in Texas and only host one of the other three Texas schools per year.

          • Brian says:

            ccrider55,

            “The North (4 non Bay Area schools) are in the Bay Area every year, in LA every other year swapping H&H with USC and UCLA, and rotating misses against Zona’s and Mtn’s two years at a time over eight years. That’s in CA three times every two years with the every other year LA trip included. And they play six CA teams (home and away combined) every two years currently.”

            Yes. None of that is in dispute. My plan gets them in LA and SF equally (SF or LA guaranteed every year, sometimes both) and almost as many total games in CA while giving them a spare game to play with and eliminating the chance of 5 P12 road games. It also takes away the LA access advantage of the AZ/Mtn schools.

            “Perhaps I’m not understanding your math.”

            Obviously not. I’m pointing out my plan gets them almost as much CA access while giving them multiple benefits. You’re so focused on the CA access that you ignore the rest of the picture.

            “What I do know is the non CA north looks at the reduced LA access they currently have as barely tolerable.”

            In part because the AZ/Mtn schools have annual access. My plan changes that.

            “There is more than a little P8 inertia and history still pervading. Many still call the AZs the newbies, and it’ll be a long time before CO/UT completely own that label.”

            And yet those 4 schools also have an equal say.

          • ccrider55 says:

            “And yet those 4 schools also have an equal say.”

            CU and Utah didn’t (officially) when divisions were created. And as I understand it what makes this more acceptable to the NW is that it hurts the Mtn and desert schools even more than the NW? Still seems to be eight against and four ambivalent.

    • Chet says:

      “With the caveat of #1 not having to face a rematch against a team they already beat, I’m OK with that. If #2 beat #1 during the season, I’m fine with the rematch (If #2 goes 2-0, they win the conference after proving they’re the better team. If #1 goes 1-1 and had the better rest of the season, they win it all as they should).”

      From this link:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truth_table

      Such tie-breaker could be represented using a “logical biconditional” truth table:

      (a) Best Record
      (b) Head-to-Head win vs. Best Record

      Team A : 8-1 => T : F => T
      Team B : 7-2 => F : T => T
      Team C : 7-2 => F : F => F

      But I could be wrong (it’s not false that (b) for Team A, it’s absurd).

      • Chet says:

        To clarify an earlier comment of mine: It would be dumb to forbid all rematches. Suppose in the above example that Team A had beat both Team B and Team C, but Team B had beat Team C, then the Conference Championship Game between would be a rematch between Team A and Team B.

        • Brian says:

          No, don’t allow that rematch. Team A shouldn’t have to beat anyone twice to win the conference. Team B or Team C having to win twice to win the conference is OK with me because they had other losses that put them behind a team that they beat.

          • Chet says:

            The truly worst case scenario would be if Team A (9-0) had beat Team B @ Team B and then Team B won the rematch @ the CCG neutral site.

            Note that in Year 2009: Buffalo (5-3) beat Ball State (8-0) in the MAC Championship Game, even though Buffalo lost away to Central Michigan (6-2) and lost home to Western Michigan (6-2); whereas Ball State won away to Central Michigan and won home to Western Michigan; whereas Central Michigan won home to Western Michigan.

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      I think it helps others more than the B10, so he should consider being against it out of gamesmanship.

      The Big Ten will vote yes because, although they don’t need it now, they might very well need it in the future if they expand again. And as you’ve noted, even with 14 teams, the proposed rule opens up possibilities that could be better than a rigid divisional structure.

      “The top two schools would then advance to the Big Ten Championship Game.”

      With the caveat of #1 not having to face a rematch against a team they already beat, I’m OK with that. If #2 beat #1 during the season, I’m fine with the rematch (If #2 goes 2-0, they win the conference after proving they’re the better team. If #1 goes 1-1 and had the better rest of the season, they win it all as they should).

      I agree, but there has to be a limit to this principle. If #1 beat #2, 3, 4, and 5, you don’t want a CCG that features #1 vs. #6.

      • Brian says:

        Marc Shepherd,

        “The Big Ten will vote yes because, although they don’t need it now, they might very well need it in the future if they expand again.”

        That’s your opinion, not a fact. There is no evidence that the B10 supported it when others approached the NCAA about a change.

        “I agree, but there has to be a limit to this principle. If #1 beat #2, 3, 4, and 5, you don’t want a CCG that features #1 vs. #6.”

        Yes, I do. That’s better to me than a rematch any day. That’s the downside of a CCG. Some/many years, you really don’t need one to name the best team. There is never a good enough reason why the top seed should have to go 2-0 over an opponent.

        If the rules didn’t require it be for the title, I’d suggest having #2 play #3 in this case and give the title to #1.

        • ccrider55 says:

          “Some/many years, you really don’t need one to name the best team.”

          Precisely. If you aren’t doing an elimination (division champions) a CCG is unnecessary to do a BCS lite ranking and make a selection.
          I agree that in the absence of divisions which may create one, a rematch should be avoided at all costs. A CCG doesn’t necessarily need the best possible matchup to decide the champion. It’s played to simply to decide the champ, and the second best may have already been beaten by the best.

          • Wainscott says:

            While I agree with you, the realities are that no conference will voluntarily give up a CCG. The only reason the B12 does not have one is they do not yet feel pressure to expand just to expand, and no available team makes financial sense to do so.

        • Mack says:

          There is evidence that the B1G wanted the CCG requirements changed before Nebraska was invited. The more teams a conference has the more restrictive the round robin requirement becomes to cross division scheduling, so support of the ACC proposal will keep options open for the B1G.

          • Wainscott says:

            Can you link to the evidence?

          • Brian says:

            Mack,

            “There is evidence that the B1G wanted the CCG requirements changed before Nebraska was invited.”

            Sure, when they had 11 teams and wanted to have a CCG. That would have been a free $25M/year for the B10. But they dropped the idea very quickly after some preliminary talks with the NCAA, IIRC. Just like the P12 dropped it and the B12 dropped it.

            “The more teams a conference has the more restrictive the round robin requirement becomes to cross division scheduling,”

            1. Nobody is forcing these conferences to expand.
            2. Smart divisions make crossover scheduling less of an issue.
            3. The price for expanding will always be playing old foes less often.
            4. 6 division games is not restrictive to me. That’s only half of their schedule.

            Nobody has gone past 14 and it seems unlikely in the near future (GoRs and such).

            “so support of the ACC proposal will keep options open for the B1G.”

            The B10 can always wait and support it later. They seem OK with the current arrangement, and saying yes would help a competitor significantly. If the B10 wants to take more ACC schools, helping the ACC make more money and become happier now isn’t wise. In addition, the changes might let the B12 add a CCG, too. That could cost the B10 some playoff spots.

            Is the benefit to the B10 worth helping the ACC and B12 that much? It’s a question TPTB should consider.

          • Richard says:

            “If the B10 wants to take more ACC schools, helping the ACC make more money and become happier now isn’t wise.”

            I’ll leave the happiness question alone, but I really doubt that loosening the requirements for a title game would make the ACC more money than the current arrangement. You’ll have to provide evidence and/or reasoning for that assertion.

            BTW, the loosened requirements would also make adding a bloc of ACC schools easier for both the bloc of ACC schools and original B10 schools to accept.

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            “I’ll leave the happiness question alone, but I really doubt that loosening the requirements for a title game would make the ACC more money than the current arrangement. You’ll have to provide evidence and/or reasoning for that assertion.”

            No round robin means they could play more of the prominent crossover games, which adds some value. No divisions means they could play more of the prominent games, which adds value. No divisions also means better CCGs, which adds value.

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          “The Big Ten will vote yes because, although they don’t need it now, they might very well need it in the future if they expand again.”

          That’s your opinion, not a fact. There is no evidence that the B10 supported it when others approached the NCAA about a change.

          Well…sure, almost everything posted at FTT is an opinion. (It does get tedious to insert “In my opinion” before sentences that anyone ought to be able to clearly see is an opinion.)

          But two things are pretty obvious. 1) The Big Ten is probably not done expanding (many presidents and ADs have said so); 2) The more teams you have, the harder it is to comply with the existing rule, preserve the rivalries everyone wants, and meet other obvious scheduling aims (all-play-all with reasonable frequency, spreading the king games around, etc.).

          It is therefore not a great logical leap to suggest that the Big Ten might very well want to take advantage of greater scheduling flexibility, if it were available. Beyond that, the NCAA legislative tone in recent years has leaned towards removing rules and obstacles, not preserving and erecting them.

          So although I’ll grant you it is merely an opinion, there is logic to it.

          • Brian says:

            Marc Shepherd,

            “Well…sure, almost everything posted at FTT is an opinion.”

            But much of it is informed opinion rather than just guesses that happen to exactly match your personal opinion.

            “But two things are pretty obvious. 1) The Big Ten is probably not done expanding (many presidents and ADs have said so);”

            Actually, that’s not obvious at all. The B10 may not be done trying to expand, but that doesn’t mean there are acceptable candidates that reciprocate the interest. Besides, TPTB really haven’t said they will expand again. They’ve said they’ll keep looking and that maybe 16 is more desirable in some ways.

            “2) The more teams you have, the harder it is to comply with the existing rule, preserve the rivalries everyone wants, and meet other obvious scheduling aims (all-play-all with reasonable frequency, spreading the king games around, etc.).”

            Yes. That’s a known cost of expansion. Most of that is also true regardless of the CCG.

            “It is therefore not a great logical leap to suggest that the Big Ten might very well want to take advantage of greater scheduling flexibility, if it were available.”

            Actually, it is. The B10 hasn’t expressed any dismay with the current arrangement, especially with a 9th game coming. If your competitor is suffering from the current rule and you aren’t, it isn’t always wise to help them out. Letting those aggravations could help the B10 with their larger goal of expanding. Then they could worry about changing the rule if they felt it necessary. Other than perhaps the ACC, nobody else would have reason to change their mind according to you.

            “Beyond that, the NCAA legislative tone in recent years has leaned towards removing rules and obstacles, not preserving and erecting them.”

            You keep claiming that, but they have made very few changes to shrink the rule book. It depends how important the NCAA feels this rule is. Multiple conferences have looked into changing it over the years and nothing has happened yet.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            “Well…sure, almost everything posted at FTT is an opinion.”

            But much of it is informed opinion rather than just guesses that happen to exactly match your personal opinion.

            “But two things are pretty obvious. 1) The Big Ten is probably not done expanding (many presidents and ADs have said so);”

            Actually, that’s not obvious at all. . . .

            While I do agree with you that they may fail to find appropriate candidates, the stated views of the PTB is quite a bit better than merely a “guess that happens to exactly match my personal opinion.”

            “2) The more teams you have, the harder it is to comply with the existing rule, preserve the rivalries everyone wants, and meet other obvious scheduling aims (all-play-all with reasonable frequency, spreading the king games around, etc.).”

            Yes. That’s a known cost of expansion. Most of that is also true regardless of the CCG.

            But if you remove the current regulations around the scheduling of that game, it becomes easier to satisfy the other constraints that the league has always said it cares about.

            “Beyond that, the NCAA legislative tone in recent years has leaned towards removing rules and obstacles, not preserving and erecting them.”

            You keep claiming that, but they have made very few changes to shrink the rule book.

            You cannot possibly be oblivious to all of the “Division 4″ discussion and the reasons the P5 have for moving in that direction? This is not something I have just made up in the middle of the night.

          • Brian says:

            Marc Shepherd,

            “While I do agree with you that they may fail to find appropriate candidates, the stated views of the PTB is quite a bit better than merely a “guess that happens to exactly match my personal opinion.””

            And all these stated views that the B10 “probably isn’t done expanding” are where? Not that they’d keep looking, or that 16 may be better than 14, but actual statements that the B10 probably isn’t done expanding.

            “But if you remove the current regulations around the scheduling of that game, it becomes easier to satisfy the other constraints that the league has always said it cares about.”

            You still have more teams to cram into the same number of games. The CCG has no impact on that.

            “You cannot possibly be oblivious to all of the “Division 4″ discussion and the reasons the P5 have for moving in that direction? This is not something I have just made up in the middle of the night.”

            Actually, it is. They want to change rules to let them have more power and to spend more money. That isn’t shrinking the rule book, it’s altering it. Cutting the recruiting manual down to a pamphlet would be shrinking the rulebook, but their recent workgroup didn’t even trim 10% from the rules.

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          “I agree, but there has to be a limit to this principle. If #1 beat #2, 3, 4, and 5, you don’t want a CCG that features #1 vs. #6.”

          Yes, I do. That’s better to me than a rematch any day. That’s the downside of a CCG. Some/many years, you really don’t need one to name the best team. There is never a good enough reason why the top seed should have to go 2-0 over an opponent.

          I’m trying to suggest a modification to your idea that has a shot at adoption. I can’t imagine a scenario where the CCG is canceled some years, if one team is so obviously dominant that the game is deemed unnecessary.

          I also can’t imagine a scenario where they go down the list, without limit, to find a team (however terrible) that #1 hasn’t played yet, and then those two go to the CCG.

          • Brian says:

            Marc Shepherd,

            “I’m trying to suggest a modification to your idea that has a shot at adoption.”

            Your modification ruins the whole point of my idea while still not having a chance at being accepted (TPTB don’t care about rematches that much).

            “I can’t imagine a scenario where the CCG is canceled some years, if one team is so obviously dominant that the game is deemed unnecessary.”

            No, it’s a contractual obligation anyway.

            “I also can’t imagine a scenario where they go down the list, without limit, to find a team (however terrible) that #1 hasn’t played yet, and then those two go to the CCG.”

            Me neither, but it’s still the right thing to do.

            Remember, you said *I* don’t want a #1 vs #6 CCG. I’m pointing out that you’re wrong because I’d be fine with it. The B10 definitely doesn’t want that game, though.

    • Chet says:

      Ignoring the absurdity of a team beating itself (although that could also be considered as a contradiction and thus false), a “logical biconditional” truth table could also represent the case that three teams are tied for the best record. If Team B beat Team A in head-to-head competition, but Team B and Team C did not play, then:

      (a) Best Record
      (b) Head-to-Head loss vs. Best Record

      Team A : 8-1 => T : T => F
      Team B : 8-1 => T : F => T
      Team C : 8-1 => T : F => T

      However, if Team C beat Team B, and Team A beat Team C, then:

      Team A : 8-1 => T : T => F
      Team B : 8-1 => T : T => F
      Team C : 8-1 => T : T => F

      In this case, the winning record (or percentage) could be compared among common opponents, or among all conference opponents, or winning away games, or simply coin tosses, whatever is given as priority among decision-makers.

      In any case, I doubt if such truth tables would be used as the tiebreaker rules, rather it would help the rule-makers to articulate coherent rules (which otherwise makes the head hurt thinking about them).

  34. Kevin says:

    Really seems like we are headed in a direction that we will see less OOC matchups with the Power 5. Not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. The match-ups will obviously still occur in post season but might be limited in September. I wouldn’t mind seeing more consolidation of conferences and moving to a 10 game conference schedule with 2 warm-up games. The only OOC will be played in the post season.

  35. Craig Z says:

    Go Bucks.

  36. Transic says:

    If there’s any silver lining to this latest NFL move, it is that (hopefully) it stems any further move by P5 conferences to have more games on Thursdays. I am pretty much a traditionalist when it comes to the day of the week to play college football. Saturdays and college football seem to go hand-in-hand. That’s one of things I’ve always admired about the B1G, which is their sticking to Saturdays for football. Yes, there are those Thanksgiving games but that’s an anomaly created by the calendar.

    Thursdays are for MACtion like schools who really need the exposure since they can’t otherwise get it during a normal weekend.

    I also think players need a two to three-month break after football season is over but I doubt that idea would fly with the major programs. I’m trying to find a way to explain Ted Agu’s passing.

    • Richard says:

      Yeah, and Thursday night games can’t be good for students.

      • The Scarlet Wolverine says:

        I actually like the Thursday night games. There is a build-up during the day, and you can discuss the game at work on Friday (assuming the local NFL team wasn’t playing on Thursday). By the time Monday rolls around, all anyone wants to talk about is the NFL. How did the local teams do, how their fantasy team did, how they did in their knockout pool, etc. The students in the stands also usually seem to be more into the Thursday night games more than the Saturday noon games.

        • Richard says:

          You’re not studying for classes and tests any more.

          Perhaps I should have said “Thursday night games can’t be good for the academics of the students”. You know, the main purported reason why they’re attending college.

          • Wainscott says:

            Not as many Friday classes offered relative to Mondays – Thursdays. Most students can go 4 years having no more than 2 Friday classes. Professors don’t enjoy teaching them any more than hungover kids do attending them.

          • Brian says:

            Wainscott,

            “Not as many Friday classes offered relative to Mondays – Thursdays.”

            Evidence? My classes were MWF or TTh.

            “Most students can go 4 years having no more than 2 Friday classes.”

            Per term? Maybe. But they can also say the same about M-Th in many terms.

            “Professors don’t enjoy teaching them any more than hungover kids do attending them.”

            Actually, many professors prefer MWF classes because they’re shorter. They have to be at work anyway, so teaching isn’t a big deal. Many of them seem to enjoy having things due on Friday to force students to attend class or turn work in early.

            I think Richard’s point is also about the large number of classes missed on Thursday. Many schools cancel classes to avoid logistical issues that night, and plenty of students skip classes to drink that afternoon.

          • wolverine says:

            Most all of my classes were MW, T-Th with not many classes offered on Friday.

          • Wainscott says:

            @Brian:

            “Evidence? My classes were MWF or TTh.”

            Sorry to hear that. I once pulled off only MTuW classes. As for my evidence:

            http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/06/education/edlife/hafner.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

            “Actually, many professors prefer MWF classes because they’re shorter. They have to be at work anyway, so teaching isn’t a big deal. Many of them seem to enjoy having things due on Friday to force students to attend class or turn work in early.”

            The same NYT article: “”It went like this: faculty need Fridays free to do research, have committee meetings, etc.,” says John N. Gardner, executive director of the Policy Center on the First Year of College in Brevard, N.C. “And many administrations did not dare remove what had become another entitlement for the faculty.”

            See also: http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2007/08/31/friday_goes_back_onto_the_calendar/?page=full : “Students and some faculty are grumbling about the take-back-Friday campaign.”

            See also: http://www.azcentral.com/community/tempe/articles/2011/05/01/20110501asu-friday-classes.html : “Over the years, lukewarm interest in Friday classes from students and faculty has caused many colleges to scale back their Friday offerings.”

            ” Many schools cancel classes to avoid logistical issues that night, and plenty of students skip classes to drink that afternoon.”

            Evidence of this?

          • Brian says:

            Wainscott,

            “As for my evidence:”

            A 9 year old article with anecdotal evidence? It’s something, but they make much bigger claims than they back up with evidence. They spend a lot of time talking about how schools are bringing back more Friday classes, too.

            http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/06/education/edlife/hafner.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

            “The same NYT article: “”It went like this: faculty need Fridays free to do research, have committee meetings, etc.,” says John N. Gardner, executive director of the Policy Center on the First Year of College in Brevard, N.C. “And many administrations did not dare remove what had become another entitlement for the faculty.””

            Like I said, at my schools they didn’t get Friday off. And from talking to many of them, they disliked TTH classes because they were 1.5 hours. Besides, most faculty don’t really do research so much as they supervise people doing research and beg for money from anyone and everyone.

            Other schools may well be different. That’s why I asked.

            “Evidence of this?”

            A quick list of schools that have cancelled classes for Thursday night games from a Google search: WSU, Clemson, VT, MS St, FSU, UCF, AL

            Those who didn’t from that same search: USC, SC

          • Richard says:

            When I was at Northwestern in the mid-90′s, Fridays weren’t lighter in classes than any other weekday.

            I don’t know if things have changed or what it’s like at other schools.

            However, a weeknight game is almost by definition more disruptive towards academics than a Saturday game.

    • Transic says:

      Another thing to consider, when there are more channels to show sports than before, not to mention the possible effects of streaming in the near future, how much of a factor does the need for exposure really be? For example: with BTN and then an over-the-air channel plus a cable channel like FS1, etc.. there should be enough outlets for fans to watch their teams play. ESpin wants you to think that only by your team being on their channel that their favorite team can get noticed. This is the game they play. Being a fan a team that had played in the old Big East I have experience of the consequences of this tactic being used. You see, the old B10 fans never had to deal with this problem on a major basis because you have a pretty good contract when it was originally signed and, thus, had leverage to force the Mouse to play correctly. Even then, they’ve managed to chop you down a size or two as they play up the SEC and whoever was the flavor of the month. In the old Big East and the mid-majors, the constant worry was always doing what’s most likely to get noticed and shown on the main channel. The fans of several BE teams spent a lot of time putting down other teams in the conference, more than critiquing their competition. This has contributed to the mistrust between the fan bases of the old BE. Too much poison to smooth over in the near future, IMO.

      Then somebody brings up the idea of playing games on Thursdays and even Fridays or Wednesdays and everyone else wanted to play on those days, not thinking of the effects on studies…you know, the real reason to go to college. To me, it was like a caste system that was too eagerly accepted by myopic athletic programs, which I think contributed to the perception of the old BE as inferior.

      But that’s all history now. Let the pros have Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays. They don’t have to worry about academics, Title 9 mandates or supporting Olympic sports. Saturdays are made for us to watch the teams do battle. If those yahoos in the southern states still want to take chances with moving the game days around, that’s their problem. B10 football is a Saturday tradition and should remain so.

  37. Transic says:

    An update on the previous blog story:

    http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/5556712-74/acc-maryland-filed#ixzz2sicfHGF5

    Pitt must turn over the records by the end of March. Failing to comply could result in a court order.

    The subpoena was filed with the North Carolina Superior Court. The ACC is headquartered in Greensboro, N.C.

  38. […] Frank the Tank has an article discussing the Big 10′s scheduling options moving forward–especially if the ACC’s move to allow conference autonomy to determine a champion succeeds.  At the same time, ESPN is reporting that the ACC and SEC have had discussions about a scheduling concept of some sort, which would feature even more SEC v ACC games.  All of this got the Confidential thinking about scheduling options.  Here is an idea: […]

  39. Wainscott says:

    This is going to be an issue for the SEC, and the SEC Network is only going to make matters worse.

    http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2014/02/sec_asks_espn_for_help_with_co.html

    • Richard says:

      Yet the B10 has had increased bball attendance for 4 straight years despite the BTN televising virtually every B10 bball game.

      • Wainscott says:

        “Yet the B10 has had increased bball attendance for 4 straight years despite the BTN televising virtually every B10 bball game.”

        So? The Big Ten has far better basketball teams with a deeper history than their SEC brethren. SEC fans who are already not showing up will have even less of an incentive to now. By contrast, Big Ten fans are turning out to support teams, even with the game on. People like to go and support good teams.

    • Transic says:

      This is why the BTN is great for the B10 (maybe not for those who aren’t B10 fans, though). Just check what happened on NSD. If you wanted to know how the B10 programs did you had to either follow a recruiting website or watch BTN. ESPN only bothered to mention one or two B10 programs.

      • vp19 says:

        I wrote stories about Florida and Georgia hoops when I worked for a Macon newspaper in 1977, and the SEC still hasn’t developed a sustained basketball culture beyond Kentucky, to a lesser extent Vanderbilt and more lately Florida. (Before Andy pipes in, I will say having Missouri on board should help, but attendance there is down, too; the SEC is an obvious boon to attendance in football, but beyond Kentucky and Florida, there hardly are any great draws, unlike the Big 12 with Kansas, Texas, K-State and even Iowa State.).

    • Psuhockey. says:

      I am really curious to see how successful the SEC Network will be. I know every sports reporter is gushing over it but they also were hailing the PAC network and its regional channels too and they have not yet turned profitable. The BIG as a conference has a few advantages that other conferences lack in that they not only have popular football but basketball as well. You couple that with the biggest enrollment of any conference with a huge alumni base, and the BIG has a natural fan base to watch nonrevenue sports on top the revenue giants.

      The SEC has football and that’s about it plus a smaller alumni base. Some SEC fans will cite baseball but outside a couple of schools, I wonder how much fan interest there really is? Here is an article about college baseball. http://seamheads.com/2012/07/18/college-baseball-economics/. The most telling quote is this:

      “In other words, football games and then those in men’s basketball, ice hockey, and lacrosse provided more money from ticket sales, their conferences, and other outside sources than did baseball.”

      Now that is averaged and doesn’t take it too account specific school and regional interest but thought it interesting that as a revenue generator baseball was behind lacrosse of all things. So content wise, the SEC network is really all about selling a couple of football games. That should be enough in the gulf states but the question will be elsewhere in Florida, Texas, and Missouri.

      The SEC network will be successful but I wonder about how much so.

      • @Psuhockey – I really have little doubt that the SEC Network will do perfectly fine. The Pac-12 simply has *significantly* weaker fan bases than both the SEC and Big Ten by comparison. Also, the SEC Network is more than just a few football games – they’re moving the entire syndicated game-of-the-week package to that channel (just as the BTN took over the syndicated games that were previously on ESPN Plus) and the plans are that they will have at least 3 football games every week. As a result, not carrying that channel in the South is going to end up being a non-starter for cable companies – ESPN can ask for a massive price and they’ll likely get it even if the network won’t attract many viewers outside of football season. Speaking of which, I think a lot of us have been sandbagging the SEC’s interest in college basketball quite a bit. While they’re not at the ACC or Big Ten levels of basketball fandom, the SEC still has a monster basketball brand (Kentucky), a new school power in a massive market (Florida), and strong fan bases in solid markets (Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas). I honestly believe that Florida Gator basketball is a larger draw throughout the state of Florida than Illini basketball (or Big Ten basketball overall) is throughout the state of Illinois (the largest Big Ten state by population), and that alone is an indicator that the SEC Network will be just fine after football season is over.

        The only open question for me is how much penetration the SEC Network will be able to obtain in its newest states (Texas and Missouri) and at what price point. I could see it being similar to how the BTN is provided at a lower price point in the Philadelphia market compared to the rest of the Big Ten footprint. The legacy SEC states, though, are effectively locks for SEC Network carriage and ESPN can essentially name its price.

      • ccrider55 says:

        “…but they also were hailing the PAC network and its regional channels too and they have not yet turned profitable.”

        Source? My recollection was it was guaranteed to be in the black before it even started or had sold a single ad. It had something like $100M in startup costs (representing the schools ownership equity) so there isn’t likely much distribution for a time. It is eighteen months old. Was the BTN raking it in at that time?

        The SECN is completely ESPN owned. It’ll be as successful as ESPN chooses to make it.

      • greg says:

        The SECN programming model will be similar to the ESPN model, here is a random February day. They’ll have a better product than the BTN, and the channel will be run in general than the BTN, and ESPN has more leverage and power to make it successful. Per team yearly distributions will likely be similar for SECN and BTN, after a couple years of ramping up. BTN has a lot of dead time that will be outdone by Bristol.

        6am to noon: SEC Tonight highlight show repeated
        1pm – coaches show
        2pm – coaches show
        3pm – the 1985 Auburn football team in review
        4pm – talking heads arguing about the best SEC recruiting
        5pm – talking heads arguing about the best SEC team
        6pm – some kind of live game
        8pm – some kind of live game
        10pm – SEC Tonight – SEC highlight show
        11pm – Recruiting Today – recruiting and medical redshirt news
        12pm – SEC Tonight repeat
        2am – live sports repeat
        4am – live sports repeat

      • Brian says:

        Psuhockey,

        “I am really curious to see how successful the SEC Network will be.”

        Spectacularly. It’ll outperform the BTN in a footprint vs footprint comparison.

        “The SEC has football and that’s about it plus a smaller alumni base. Some SEC fans will cite baseball but outside a couple of schools, I wonder how much fan interest there really is?”

        I’m not an SEC fan but I live in Atlanta. College baseball is all over the expanded basic package on cable every spring down here. The regional sports networks carry lots of it plus there some syndicated games. The ESPN family also carries it.

        In terms of attendance, SEC teams were #1-5, 8, 11, 15, 21, 25, 31, 33 and 34 in 2013. That includes the only team over 10k, the only 4 over 7k and the only 5 over 6k. Only 1 non-SEC school topped 5k.

        MBB also will be a serious draw. And don’t forget softball and women’s gymnastics. All of these are regularly televised down here already.

      • Mack says:

        Over 4 times as many colleges field Div. I Baseball teams compared to Lacrosse or Hockey. The average revenue per team may be less but the total revenue and interest is higher in baseball and that is what is important for TV. However, all of these sports are filler with football and to a lesser extent basketball being the revenue generators for conference sports networks.

        • Psuhockey. says:

          It really is hard to compare unless you tabulated school by school revenue for hockey in the BIG versus baseball in the SEC or lacrosse for the matter.

          The current struggles of the LHN, and to a lesser degree the PACN, makes me question the overall profitability of the SECN, especially when you have idiots like Clay Travis predicting $70 mil a year per school by the end of the decade. The SEC strength of the football is not thru alumni as most a much smaller schools than the BIG, but thru t-shirt fans. Those t-shirt fans for the most part care only about football. So how much are a couple of football games worth to them and more importantly the how much the cable companys think they are worth to them. The LHN was charging I believe $0.34 a month in Texas with other popular sports like basketball and baseball and had trouble. The SECN is going for $1.34. Now they will get the gulf states no question but what about Texas, Florida, and Missouri, where a large percentage of the in footprint population resides.

          Couple that with the current market for pay television, with many subscribers canceling their service and cable companies fighting to keep costs down, I just question how much money it really will make.

      • Richard says:

        Really, the only state where the SECN will struggle for carriage at the full rate is probably TX. _Maybe_ the urban markets of KC and StL (where they will probably get on at a lower rate, like the BTN in Philly). In TX, the SECN almost certainly will have to settle for a lower rate if they want to get on any of the urban markets there.

        • Richard says:

          I forgot to add:

          However, that’s a big caveat. TX is a huge part of the SEC footprint.

          Without TX, the SEC footprint lags behind the B10 footprint in population considerably.

  40. Eric says:

    Note: Anyone wanting a nice visual of the rivalries between teams, look at this old post mgoblue (hurts to write that :) ) http://mgoblog.com/content/hokepoints-wants-divisions-consensus

    I like your list of 3 protected Frank, but I’d make a few alterations. I think if you lock 3, you have to do the Little Brown Jug (more important than Minnesota-Nebraska). While you are at that, you may as well keep the Illibuck and Michigan State-Indiana. With those 3 in, you have every rivalry/trophy game in besides Penn State vs. Michigan State, Penn State vs. Minnesota, and Wisconsin vs. Northwestern. The ones in parenthesis are the ones I think can very easily could go a different direction (basically I filled out the rest and went back for those).

    Roughly from east to west
    Maryland: Rutgers, Penn State, (Purdue)
    Rutgers: Maryland, Penn State, (Nebraska)
    Penn State: Ohio State, Maryland, Rutgers
    Ohio State: Michigan, Penn State, Illinois
    Michigan: Ohio State, Michigan State, Minnesota
    Michigan State: Michigan, Indiana, (Northwestern)
    Indiana: Purdue, Michigan State, (Northwestern)
    Purdue: Indiana, Illinois, (Maryland)
    Illinois: Ohio State, Northwestern, Purdue
    Northwestern: Illinois, (Michigan State), (Indiana)
    Minnesota: Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin
    Wisconsin: Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota
    Iowa: Wisconsin, Minnesota, Nebraska
    Nebraska: Wisconsin, Iowa, (Maryland)

    Logic on the choices in parenthesis.

    1. Nebraska is the only king with an open spot and you want to get them in one of the large markets. Chicago would work, but you already have a lot more influence there thanks to so many programs/alumni closer by. I choose Nebraska vs. Rutgers because if you are ever going to hit the New York market, you need big names there often.

    2. Michigan State is the next biggest of the programs you have left, but they aren’t at king level. I think their name is probably a lot more valuable in Chicago than in Washington D.C.

    3. That leaves one spot each for Northwestern, Purdue, Indiana, and Maryland. Indiana and Purdue are already locked so one has to play Northwestern and the other Maryland. Pretty much picked this part at random.

    • Richard says:

      FYI, if there is any B10 team that is a must-have annual game for Northwestern, it’s actually Iowa.

      What makes it tough for Northwestern is that Iowa already has 3 locked-in rivals in UNL, Minny, and Bucky.

      That’s why I don’t see anything wrong with 5 locked rivals (which would still allow everyone to play everyone else at least 50% of the time with a 9-game conference slate). That would also allow an annual game between Iowa-Illinois, 2 locked kings for each king (annual UNL-PSU and UNL-Michigan games, which would be great for TV) and still lock each non-king with at least one king.

      • Richard says:

        FYI, if there is any B10 team that is a must-have annual game for Northwestern, it’s actually Iowa. . . .besides Illinois, that is, though for younger fans and students, the Iowa game is a bigger deal than the LOL trophy game.

      • Brian says:

        “That’s why I don’t see anything wrong with 5 locked rivals (which would still allow everyone to play everyone else at least 50% of the time with a 9-game conference slate).”

        What’s wrong is the large number of unnecessarily locked games.

        • Richard says:

          I’d rather have that than not lock Northwestern-Iowa.

          I’m fairly indifferent about the difference between Minny/Wisconsin/IU/PU/MSU/RU/UMD/PSU or the difference between UNL/UM/OSU, so if making Iowa an annual game means locking some of those and not locking others, so be it.

          • Brian says:

            How many of the 14 schools do you honestly think would prefer 5 locked games to just 3?

          • Richard says:

            Assuming that the 3 locks are the ones I had specified):
            UNL (adds PSU . . and UM)
            Iowa (adds Illinois and Northwestern)
            PSU (adds UNL)
            UM (adds UNL)
            Illinois (can play all of NU, Iowa, PU, & IU now. Maybe Wisconsin as well)
            Northwestern (adds Iowa)
            Whatever schools want more East Coast access (which could be any/all of UM/OSU/MSU/PU/IU/Wisconsin) as they can have a locked game with either RU or UMD now.

            If it’s off of Frank’s 3 locks, a whole bunch of them.
            Take my list above and add
            MSU (to lock with NU for the frequent visits to Chicagoland)
            Minny (LBJ game)
            Michigan (LBJ game)
            Illinois (Illibuck)
            OSU (Illibuck)

            Furthermore, the B10 office would love to have the permanent king vs. king games of
            OSU-PSU, UM-OSU, UM-UNL, & PSU-UNL.
            If they want to send more kings east, that’s more easily accomplished with 5 locks rather than 3 locks as well.

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            “Assuming that the 3 locks are the ones I had specified):
            UNL (adds PSU . . and UM)”

            I highly doubt they want to lock 2 kings plus 2 princes every year. Certainly Pelini doesn’t.

            “Iowa (adds Illinois and Northwestern)”

            IL is way down their list, and so is NW. They’d still play them regularly no matter what.

            “PSU (adds UNL)
            UM (adds UNL)”

            As with NE, I doubt these schools want 2 locked kings either.

            “Whatever schools want more East Coast access (which could be any/all of UM/OSU/MSU/PU/IU/Wisconsin) as they can have a locked game with either RU or UMD now.”

            Yeah, I have yet to see any B10 school clamor for a locked game with either one. Regular access is enough for almost everyone.

            If it’s off of Frank’s 3 locks, a whole bunch of them.
            Take my list above and add
            MSU (to lock with NU for the frequent visits to Chicagoland)

            “Minny (LBJ game)
            Michigan (LBJ game)
            Illinois (Illibuck)
            OSU (Illibuck)”

            In general, these schools have lost interest in these games. The older almuni care, but that’s about it. They aren’t important enough for others to get fewer games against OSU and MI to preserve them.

            “Furthermore, the B10 office would love to have the permanent king vs. king games of
            OSU-PSU, UM-OSU, UM-UNL, & PSU-UNL.”

            They could have had them but opted not to this time.

            “If they want to send more kings east, that’s more easily accomplished with 5 locks rather than 3 locks as well.”

            More free games also means more trips east, and to both equally.

          • Richard says:

            “I highly doubt they want to lock 2 kings plus 2 princes every year. Certainly Pelini doesn’t.”

            Pelini isn’t the one making these decisions, is he?

            “IL is way down their list, and so is NW. They’d still play them regularly no matter what.”

            Huge difference between 60% of the time and annually.

            “As with NE, I doubt these schools want 2 locked kings either.”

            The B10 office does. You’re not a very good barometer of what will happen, Brian, since, if it was up to you, you’d get rid of OSU-PSU and we know that there’s no way the B10 office would do that.

            Also, Legends and Leaders was set up in a way so that each king would have 2 annual games against another king. If the B10 didn’t have to have divisions, I’m sure they’d try to do that again.

            “Yeah, I have yet to see any B10 school clamor for a locked game with either one. Regular access is enough for almost everyone.”

            I’m going off of Frank saying that the B10 thinks Eastern exposure is a priority.

            “In general, these schools have lost interest in these games. The older almuni care, but that’s about it. They aren’t important enough for others to get fewer games against OSU and MI to preserve them.”

            Almost no difference between playing a team 60% of the time and playing a team 50% of the time. Certainly not worth sacrificing the LBJ and Illibuck for.

            “More free games also means more trips east, and to both equally.”

            Not as many.

            1 + .5 = 1.5 > .6 + .6 = 1.2 (I almost don’t count PSU because they are in the mountains and hard to reach from the cities on the East Coast).

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            “Pelini isn’t the one making these decisions, is he?”

            I haven’t heard any of the decision makers at NE claim they wanted those games either.

            “Huge difference between 60% of the time and annually.”

            About 40%.

            “The B10 office does.”

            Which isn’t what I asked you. I asked you what you thought the schools wanted.

            “You’re not a very good barometer of what will happen, Brian, since, if it was up to you, you’d get rid of OSU-PSU and we know that there’s no way the B10 office would do that.”

            Too bad I didn’t propose my personal preferences.

            “Also, Legends and Leaders was set up in a way so that each king would have 2 annual games against another king.”

            And E/W wasn’t. NE got none.

            If the B10 didn’t have to have divisions, I’m sure they’d try to do that again.

            “I’m going off of Frank saying that the B10 thinks Eastern exposure is a priority.”

            Yes, but you claimed some schools would want locked games with RU/UMD. This wasn’t about what the B10 wanted.

            “Almost no difference between playing a team 60% of the time and playing a team 50% of the time. Certainly not worth sacrificing the LBJ and Illibuck for.”

            The other schools gain nothing from keeping them and none of the 4 schools involved care that much about keeping them. Why should IN cost themselves home games against OSU and MI to preserve Illibuck if OSU and IL don’t really care?

          • Richard says:

            “I haven’t heard any of the decision makers at NE claim they wanted those games either.”

            Somebody wanted them. Otherwise, why were PSU-UNL locked with L&L?

            “Which isn’t what I asked you. I asked you what you thought the schools wanted.”

            What the schools want will be to a fair extent what the B10 wants. In this conference, individual schools understand that subsuming individual goals for the greater good leads to a stronger league.

            “The other schools gain nothing from keeping them and none of the 4 schools involved care that much about keeping them. Why should IN cost themselves home games against OSU and MI to preserve Illibuck if OSU and IL don’t really care?”

            Actually, the beauty of 5 locked games is that everyone has at least one lock with a king. In my 5-lock setup, I have PU locked with OSU and IU locked with PSU (you can flip them if you like).

            That’s better than both my and Frank’s 3-lock setups for the IN schools, where neither of those 2 schools lock with any king (and thus both schools would play kings in aggregate less often).

            Also dropping from 60% of the time to 50% of the time is a difference of 1 home game every 20 years. 20 years from now, I say the odds are good that the scheduling philosophy would have been torn up at least once. Run the numbers, and you’ll see how silly it is to argue that it would cost schools more home games with kings.

          • Richard says:

            “Huge difference between 60% of the time and annually.”

            About 40%.

            Indeed. The difference between maintaining a rivalry atmosphere and letting a rivalry lapse. Ask UNL and OU fans if their series felt like a rivalry any more after they started playing each other only half the time.

          • Wainscott says:

            @Richard:

            One point:

            “Somebody wanted them. Otherwise, why were PSU-UNL locked with L&L?”

            They were locked because the Big Ten wanted two Kings locked in order to kick off a rivalry, because ESPN/ABC wanted that game, and because they were then the two most recent additions to the conference (with the resulting lack of established conference rival).

            See: http://espn.go.com/blog/bigten/post/_/id/38101/nebraska-penn-state-revisit-shared-history (“So there is some interesting history here, and the Big Ten is hoping this series becomes a rivalry by making Penn State and Nebraska into a protected annual cross-division matchup. Both programs are also the most recent additions to the league, with the Nittany Lions joining in 1990 and the Huskers now competing in their first year of Big Ten play. “)

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            “What the schools want will be to a fair extent what the B10 wants. In this conference, individual schools understand that subsuming individual goals for the greater good leads to a stronger league.”

            Schools have individual desires. They are willing to compromise for the greater good, but that doesn’t change what they’d prefer. I asked you what they’d prefer on an individual level.

            “Actually, the beauty of 5 locked games is that everyone has at least one lock with a king.”

            The beauty to you, anyway.

          • The main issue that I see with 5 locked games in a non-divisional setup is that we’re just one game away from the 6 locked games that we have for divisions (7 locked games in the cases of Indiana and Purdue). As a result, if you have that many locked games, you might as well just keep the divisions at that point. The main intent that I had with the 3 locked rivals setup was to preserve the most critical games and then allow for a more frequent rotation of opponents throughout the rest of the conference. Flexibility is a bigger deal to me in a non-divisional setup than the preservation of the lower-tier rivalries. If we have lots of locked games, then keeping the divisions and its K.I.S.S. geographic split is preferable.

            Regardless of what the Big Ten would choose, though, I believe that all conferences should at least have the option to not have divisions and still hold a conference championship game. Even if the Big Ten chose to keep divisions in a 14-school conference, they would (and should) want to keep all options open if it ever went to 16 schools.

          • Brian says:

            Frank the Tank,

            “The main issue that I see with 5 locked games in a non-divisional setup is that we’re just one game away from the 6 locked games that we have for divisions (7 locked games in the cases of Indiana and Purdue). As a result, if you have that many locked games, you might as well just keep the divisions at that point. The main intent that I had with the 3 locked rivals setup was to preserve the most critical games and then allow for a more frequent rotation of opponents throughout the rest of the conference. Flexibility is a bigger deal to me in a non-divisional setup than the preservation of the lower-tier rivalries. If we have lots of locked games, then keeping the divisions and its K.I.S.S. geographic split is preferable.

            I’m with you on that. Locking 5 games defeats the purpose of dropping divisions.

            My pod arrangement above was a compromise between your plan and Richard’s (locks 5 in the E to keep the kings in NYC and DC a lot but only 3 in the West and Central), but I realize it has little to no chance of being implemented.

            “Regardless of what the Big Ten would choose, though, I believe that all conferences should at least have the option to not have divisions and still hold a conference championship game.”

            My preferences in order:
            1. Nobody gets a CCG – you just don’t need one (this genie is out of the bottle, unfortunately).
            2. Every league of at least 12 teams can have one.
            3. Every league of 12+ must have one (level playing field for the playoff).
            4. Any league can have one.

            If they require divisions to have a CCG, then I think the round robin requirement should stay.

            “Even if the Big Ten chose to keep divisions in a 14-school conference, they would (and should) want to keep all options open if it ever went to 16 schools.”

            They can keep their options open later while still saying no now.

          • Wainscott says:

            “They can keep their options open later while still saying no now.”

            But why do that? The conferences and the commissioners all have to work together on a whole host of issues. If this is something the ACC proposes, and absent strong feelings against by the B1G, why say no just for some potential strategic advantage/gamesmanship? If nothing else, there will come a time the B1G wants to propose something, and the ACC or another conference could respond in kind to that proposal. No need for that, especially when the conferences have so many things that they work on (enforcement rules, inter-conference scheduling/challenges, academic matters, and a host of other issues). Same goes for the individual schools, who work with schools all across the country, regardless of athletic prowess. Conferences and schools need to be good neighbors, and if the B1G thinks the proposal is good for them, then it should approve it, regardless if it may be better for the ACC.

          • Brian says:

            Wainscott,

            “But why do that? … why say no just for some potential strategic advantage/gamesmanship?”

            Asked and answered. Helping your competition isn’t always wise, especially if you’re trying to steal some of their members.

            “If nothing else, there will come a time the B1G wants to propose something, and the ACC or another conference could respond in kind to that proposal.”

            Like home semifinal games? A conference champs requirement in the playoff? Real oversigning restrictions? The B10 gets shut down regularly by the others.

            “Conferences and schools need to be good neighbors, and if the B1G thinks the proposal is good for them, then it should approve it, regardless if it may be better for the ACC.”

            But is it good for them now, or is only potentially good for them later? The B10 seems happy with the current plan, especially since they want OSU and MI playing in NYC and DC a lot. The 9th game helps them with TV and eases concerns over rivalries fading.

          • Wainscott says:

            “Helping your competition isn’t always wise, especially if you’re trying to steal some of their members.”

            That’s the issue. You think the B1G should view other conferences as competition to be vanquished, like an opposing army. I, and others, view them as part-competitors, part-collaborators. Yes, the B1G recruited Maryland from the ACC–yet the ACC still plays the B1G -ACC challenge, and the schools still schedule each other. Delany and Swofford know it wasn’t personal–it was strictly business–the same business Swofford himself did when raiding the Big East.

            There is more to be lost, long term, by being ornery and disagreeable just for gamesmanship. Delany knows that, and I think the other conference commissioners know that too.

            Now, if the B1G has legitimate feelings in opposition, that’s a different situation. But if agnostic, or if its supportive because it helps them, then voting no would be a mistake.

          • Brian says:

            Wainscott,

            “That’s the issue. You think the B1G should view other conferences as competition to be vanquished, like an opposing army.”

            I didn’t say anything about vanquishing them. But the ACC is a business enemy, especially if the B10 truly wants to add UVA and UNC. That’s why the ACC also tried to steal some B10 schools.

            “Yes, the B1G recruited Maryland from the ACC–yet the ACC still plays the B1G -ACC challenge, and the schools still schedule each other. Delany and Swofford know it wasn’t personal–it was strictly business–the same business Swofford himself did when raiding the Big East.”

            Nor would it be personal to not help the ACC now. It’s just a business decision. Personal would be voting no just to spite Swofford.

            “There is more to be lost, long term, by being ornery and disagreeable just for gamesmanship.”

            Is there? You say that, but what exactly would the B10 be missing out on in the future? What grand changes does the B10 want that they would get if only they were nicer to the ACC now? Their biggest request lately was home semifinals and the ACC was no help there.

            “Delany knows that, and I think the other conference commissioners know that too.”

            Is that why they all go behind each others’ backs and do whatever is best for their conference?

            “But if agnostic, or if its supportive because it helps them, then voting no would be a mistake.”

            If they’re agnostic on the issue for the B10, shouldn’t the business concerns I mentioned then become a deciding factor? You assume they should default to helping the ACC, but have given no evidence of what they would do for the B10 outside of this issue. What vote from the ACC would this buy for the B10? What makes you think there is any issue the ACC would change their stance on because of this?

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            That’s the issue. You think the B1G should view other conferences as competition to be vanquished, like an opposing army. I, and others, view them as part-competitors, part-collaborators. Yes, the B1G recruited Maryland from the ACC–yet the ACC still plays the B1G -ACC challenge, and the schools still schedule each other. Delany and Swofford know it wasn’t personal–it was strictly business–the same business Swofford himself did when raiding the Big East.

            I think Wainscott has captured the way the leagues, in practice, behave towards one another. One of these days, the Big Ten might steal another school or two out from under Swofford’s nose. But until then, it’s a “you scratch my back, and (if I can) I’ll scratch yours” world.

            Even if the Big Ten were being Machiavellian, it’s far from clear to me that they are better off standing in the way of Swofford’s proposal. If they oppose a rule that they know they might actually want to take advantage of in the future, it might not be so easy to get it passed the next time.

            It might be easier to get the 15th and 16th schools approved, knowing that it is no longer necessary to have divisions, because, as we’ve seen, scheduling 16 with static divisions is hard, and coming up with attractive pods can also be hard. If they wait till they have 16 to ask for it, it might take years, because the NCAA legislative process is notoriously slow.

            “If nothing else, there will come a time the B1G wants to propose something, and the ACC or another conference could respond in kind to that proposal.”

            Like home semifinal games? A conference champs requirement in the playoff? Real oversigning restrictions? The B10 gets shut down regularly by the others.

            Sure, as part of the regular legislative give-and-take, no one gets everything they want.

            But each of your examples has an immediate winner and loser. If the playoff is limited to conference champs, then the SEC can’t qualify two teams in the same year; with the rule that was eventually passed, they can. There’s a legitimate argument either way, with both sides preferring the rule that maximizes their competitive chances, here and now.

            There’s no way Jim Delany is going to go into an NCAA meeting, and say: “I oppose Swofford’s proposal, because I still plan to pilfer at least two of his teams, at some point in the future. Any rule change that makes his league more successful is therefore against my best interests, so I vote no.”

            So Delany would have to go in with totally fabricated reasons he does not in any way believe, that might even be totally contrary to his real long-term needs. This, as far as I can tell, is not the way the leagues generally operate with respect to one another.

            In contrast, for the rules Brian mentioned (semifinals, playoffs, over-signing), the southern schools’ position is largely sincere, whether or not you personally like them.

          • Wainscott says:

            “You assume they should default to helping the ACC, but have given no evidence of what they would do for the B10 outside of this issue. What vote from the ACC would this buy for the B10? What makes you think there is any issue the ACC would change their stance on because of this?”

            I have no need to supply evidence, because Its the unknown that encourages conferences to play nice with another. Who knows what issues might arise in 18 months where the B1G will need ACC support? Sometimes, you have to go along to get along.

            What I do know, however, is that needless gamesmanship would come back to haunt the B1G some day. Maybe not today, maybe not two years from now, but some day. Karma is a bitch.

            And remember, we focus on a small portion of things. You are looking at it in the context of athletics, which is the point of this blog and why we are here. However, in this context, I’m looking at it in the broader context of universities dealing with other universities. Presidents know other presidents, have worked with other presidents, and presidents ultimately run the show. Big Ten universities work on a host of non-athletic matters with other universities–for example, many ACC schools are in the AAU, as are most B1G schools. Presidents don’t want to have to deal with the sports departments not getting along, because they have other, more pressing matters to deal with, and don’t want the athletic departments potentially poisoning those relationships.

          • Brian says:

            Marc Shepherd,

            “Even if the Big Ten were being Machiavellian, it’s far from clear to me that they are better off standing in the way of Swofford’s proposal.”

            Nor is it clear they’re better off approving it.

            “If they oppose a rule that they know they might actually want to take advantage of in the future, it might not be so easy to get it passed the next time.”

            1. Could you put more conditionals into that? How can anyone not know that they might want to do something at some undetermined point in the future? They would literally have to vote for everything ever proposed by that logic.

            2. More narrowly, they don’t know they’ll ever expand again.

            3. If they do expand again, they don’t know they won’t want divisions.

            4. Why would it magically get harder to pass in the future? Because suddenly the ACC will change their minds about wanting it? Others will?

            “It might be easier to get the 15th and 16th schools approved, knowing that it is no longer necessary to have divisions,”

            The expansion decision is bigger than FB scheduling. The presidents will decide on larger issues (institutional fit, money, etc) and worry about the scheduling later.

            “because, as we’ve seen, scheduling 16 with static divisions is hard,”

            Not necessarily it isn’t. Depending on the schools added, preserving certain rivalries may be difficult. 7 locked plus 2 rotating is pretty simple.

            EX. 2 eastern schools added (like UVA and UNC)

            W = NE, WI, IA, MN, NW, IL, PU, IN
            E = OSU, MI, MSU, PSU, RU, UMD + 2 newbies

            Is that difficult? Since they’ve established the E/W pattern, I think this concern has become much smaller to them.

            “and coming up with attractive pods can also be hard.”

            Again, it depends on the teams.

            “If they wait till they have 16 to ask for it, it might take years, because the NCAA legislative process is notoriously slow.”

            Which they’re already in the process of changing, plus you’ve already argued for why everyone else would support it so this should be a slam dunk whenever they ask.

            “Sure, as part of the regular legislative give-and-take, no one gets everything they want.”

            What’s the last thing the B10 wanted (not the AQs as a group, just the B10) that got approved?

            I’ve seen give from the B10, but where’s the take?

            “But each of your examples has an immediate winner and loser.”

            So does the ACC getting their way on this.

            “So Delany would have to go in with totally fabricated reasons he does not in any way believe,”

            No, he wouldn’t. First, Delany doesn’t vote on NCAA rule changes. Second, since when is every voter required to explain their vote? Third, since when aren’t there any legitimate reasons to vote no?

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            “But each of your examples has an immediate winner and loser.”

            So does the ACC getting their way on this.

            No, it doesn’t. If Swofford’s proposal passes, he’s an immediate winner, but the Big Ten loses nothing.

            Your argument is that, 10+ years in the future, the Big Ten might find it harder to dismember the ACC. Even if true, that’s not an “immediate” effect.

            “So Delany would have to go in with totally fabricated reasons he does not in any way believe,”

            No, he wouldn’t. First, Delany doesn’t vote on NCAA rule changes.

            I was using Delany as a proxy for the whole Big Ten. I do realize that he doesn’t cast a vote, but I think it fair to say he is an influential party to the internal discussions in which the Big Ten formulates its collective position, if it has one.

            Second, since when is every voter required to explain their vote?</em

            These legislative proposals are all first debated in a committee, on which I am fairly sure the Big Ten has representation. In that type of setting, it would be unusual to vote 'no' without giving reasons.

            Third, since when aren’t there any legitimate reasons to vote no?

            I was taking your premise at face value, namely, that the Big Ten’s main reason for opposing the proposal would be that it makes it harder for them to poach the ACC in the future.

          • Brian says:

            Wainscott,

            “I have no need to supply evidence,”

            Yes, heaven forbid you should have to support your argument.

            “because Its the unknown that encourages conferences to play nice with another.”

            You mean like secretly stealing teams from each other? Or punishing exiting members via bad scheduling and protracted lawsuits?

            “Sometimes, you have to go along to get along.”

            Sometimes you don’t. When a business has an edge over a competitor, it usually tries to maximize that advantage instead of voluntarily giving part of it away.

            “What I do know, however, is that needless gamesmanship would come back to haunt the B1G some day.”

            It’s not needless. There is a definite point to it.

            “And remember, we focus on a small portion of things. You are looking at it in the context of athletics, which is the point of this blog and why we are here. However, in this context, I’m looking at it in the broader context of universities dealing with other universities.”

            Don’t give me this crap about you seeing the bigger picture. You’ve been intentionally ignoring the bigger picture I’m looking at. We’re mainly talking athletics because we’re talking about athletics conferences making a decision about athletics.

            “Big Ten universities work on a host of non-athletic matters with other universities”

            None of which would be impacted by how B10 schools vote on this issue. It’s funny how you assume the B10 should be nice because that’s how schools act, and then justify it by discussing all the repercussions other schools would visit on the B10 for voting a certain way.

            “Presidents don’t want to have to deal with the sports departments not getting along,”

            They don’t have to. They have many more important things to discuss. It’s not like the presidents of OSU and MI can’t be together because the teams hate each other.

          • Brian says:

            Marc Shepherd,

            “No, it doesn’t. If Swofford’s proposal passes, he’s an immediate winner, but the Big Ten loses nothing.”

            I disagree. If the ACC wins, all their competitors lose a little as a result.

            “Your argument is that, 10+ years in the future, the Big Ten might find it harder to dismember the ACC. Even if true, that’s not an “immediate” effect.”

            The effect is immediate, it just wouldn’t be recognized until the GoR was ending.

            “These legislative proposals are all first debated in a committee, on which I am fairly sure the Big Ten has representation. In that type of setting, it would be unusual to vote ‘no’ without giving reasons.”

            Any one person can vote no and it isn’t a big deal. Are you claiming the whole ACC will be in an uproar if the president of NW is against the proposal in committee?

            “I was taking your premise at face value, namely, that the Big Ten’s main reason for opposing the proposal would be that it makes it harder for them to poach the ACC in the future.”

            Main reason doesn’t mean sole reason.

          • Wainscott says:

            @Brian:

            ““I have no need to supply evidence,”

            Yes, heaven forbid you should have to support your argument.”

            Heaven forbid I acknowledge I’m not privy to all the matters in which athletic conferences need to cooperate on and spew off about gamesmanship for the sake of gamesmanship.

            ““because Its the unknown that encourages conferences to play nice with another.”

            You mean like secretly stealing teams from each other? Or punishing exiting members via bad scheduling and protracted lawsuits?”

            Punishing existing members and protracted lawsuits is a intra-conference matter and not relevant here. And all schools are free agents, free to contract with another conference. No conference has a birthright on any team, and yes, teams leaving is part of the territory. Conferences know that, since every major conference has added teams over time, and all have lost members, too.

            ““Sometimes, you have to go along to get along.”

            Sometimes you don’t. When a business has an edge over a competitor, it usually tries to maximize that advantage instead of voluntarily giving part of it away.”

            But you never provided any evidence that the Big Ten is a loser if the ACC’s proposal is adopted, and you also take it on faith the ACC will actually benefit from the proposal, instead of giving itself a whole new batch of scheduling issues and unhappy members..All you’ve said is that the Big Ten should, out of gamesmanship, not support it because you do not believe they benefit from it right now.

            Indeed, lets assume the B1G implements your gamesmanship idea and votes no and the ACC proposal fails. Then the ACC realizes divisions are better but that B1G West schools are upset at the diminished frequency of UM/OSU/PSU coming to town, and push the conference office, who makes the same proposal/ You think a happy ACC, content SEC, and neutral Pac12 will go along with the B1G after the B1G earlier gamesmanship? What are the odds of this scenario occurring? A number would be a guess, but its reasonable, say 40%. Why should the B1G take this risk if the proposal never hurt them in the first place, only gave another conference a perceived benefit?

            In my opinion, its not worth the risk, and to use the Godfather theme of Frank’s post, is the Sunny Corleone move in a Michael Corleone world.

            ““What I do know, however, is that needless gamesmanship would come back to haunt the B1G some day.”

            It’s not needless. There is a definite point to it.”

            And the point is…gamesmanship? A possible upperhand.

            ““And remember, we focus on a small portion of things. You are looking at it in the context of athletics, which is the point of this blog and why we are here. However, in this context, I’m looking at it in the broader context of universities dealing with other universities.”

            Don’t give me this crap about you seeing the bigger picture. You’ve been intentionally ignoring the bigger picture I’m looking at. We’re mainly talking athletics because we’re talking about athletics conferences making a decision about athletics.”

            1) Your “bigger” picture is gamesmanship due to the lack of a perceived immediate need by the B1G to have no divisions.
            2) You are missing the bigger picture of conferences and individuals schools working together, and presidents working together.
            3) Athletic Directors will not do something of any note without approval of Presidents.
            4) Presidents would actually vote on the ACC proposal, not Athletic Directors.
            5) Presidents have friendships and relationships that transcend the rather artificial borders of conference affiliation, and ultimately athletics really means little to them unless there is a scandal or championship.

            ““Big Ten universities work on a host of non-athletic matters with other universities”

            None of which would be impacted by how B10 schools vote on this issue.”

            You of course, have evidence to buttress this claim? Do share with the rest of us.

            It’s funny how you assume the B10 should be nice because that’s how schools act, and then justify it by discussing all the repercussions other schools would visit on the B10 for voting a certain way.”

            Actually. I think the B1G should be nice to be a good neighbor and because they might need or want support or votes on other matters down the line. I don’t justify it by mentioning repercussions. I mentioned that in the context of engaging in needless gamesmanship, and the consequences/karma that would result from that. If you cannot tell a difference between the two, that’t not my problem.

            ““Presidents don’t want to have to deal with the sports departments not getting along,”

            They don’t have to. They have many more important things to discuss. It’s not like the presidents of OSU and MI can’t be together because the teams hate each other.”

            All true, and all to my point that there are bigger matters than proposals that presidents work on and deal with, and that schools and conferences will routinely look past small matters and do what’s best for a larger group. When they don’t, like KU refusing to schedule Mizzou, or Texas refusing to schedule A&M, it comes off as needlessly petty and punishing fans and student athletes. But thanks for acknowledging that athletic rivals routinely cooperate with each others.

          • Brian says:

            Wainscott,

            “about gamesmanship for the sake of gamesmanship.”

            I never said it was gamesmanship for the sake of gamesmanship, I said it was gamesmanship for a reason.

            “Punishing existing members and protracted lawsuits is a intra-conference matter and not relevant here.”

            Yes, they are. They show the behavior of the party you’re saying the B10 must be nice to because that’s how schools act.

            “But you never provided any evidence that the Big Ten is a loser if the ACC’s proposal is adopted,”

            The ACC provided it by saying they want this. If a competitor wants something and gets it, then they gain and you lose. In addition, there’s thousands of words worth of discussion in these comments about how beneficial this change would be.

            “and you also take it on faith the ACC will actually benefit from the proposal, instead of giving itself a whole new batch of scheduling issues and unhappy members..”

            They think it and so do other people here. I have yet to see anyone make the case for them losing out by getting this change passed.

            “All you’ve said is that the Big Ten should, out of gamesmanship, not support it because you do not believe they benefit from it right now.”

            Repeating a lie doesn’t make it true. I never said that.

            “Indeed, lets assume the B1G implements your … idea and votes no and the ACC proposal fails. Then the ACC realizes divisions are better but that B1G West schools are upset at the diminished frequency of UM/OSU/PSU coming to town, and push the conference office, who makes the same proposal/”

            Why would the ACC suddenly decide divisions are better? They spent a lot of time analyzing this before deciding to send it to the NCAA. If they thought they had a better fix that didn’t require this change, they wouldn’t waste their time on the effort.

            You mean the B10 W that happily just supported the move to this new plan? Yeah, get back to me when that happens. They get all the games they said they most wanted, plus the 6 non-IN eastern teams 46% of the time on average. The parity-based scheduling complicates that some, but it means NE, WI and IA get the 3 eastern kings even more often. So that means only NW, IL, MN and maybe PU would be complaining. And those complaints would be more about the parity-based scheme than the divisions.

            “You think a happy ACC, content SEC, and neutral Pac12 will go along with the B1G after the B1G earlier gamesmanship?”

            1. The ACC wouldn’t be happy.
            2. The P12 looked into changing the rule before. They are likely to always consider changing it.

            “What are the odds of this scenario occurring? A number would be a guess, but its
            reasonable, say 40%.”

            We’re not even in the same ballpark on the reasonableness of that scenario. I’d say 4% is stretching it optimistically, let alone 40%.

            “Why should the B1G take this risk if the proposal never hurt them in the first place, only gave another conference a perceived benefit?”

            Because a benefit to a competitor does hurt them. Why should GM care if a new law doubled Ford’s sales as long as GM’s stayed the same?

            “You of course, have evidence to buttress this claim? Do share with the rest of us.”

            I’ve got your statements just above claiming all the relationships they have and how they extend across artificial conference borders.

            “I don’t justify it by mentioning repercussions.”

            Yes, you did. You gave the example of the B10 wanting the same change later but not getting due to retaliation. You mentioned karma punishing the B10 as payback. You mentioned nebulous changes the B10 might want later and need their votes on later but not get because of this. Everything you said was about potential repercussions.

            I’m sick of this pointless discussion. Nobody is adding anything new, and nobody is changing their mind. I’m done.

          • Wainscott says:

            @Brian:

            You started a threat above with this:

            Brian says:
            February 7, 2014 at 7:15 pm
            Frank,

            “Conference Championship Games the Way We Want Them

            Personally, I am all for it and hope that Jim Delany and the Big Ten hop aboard in support of the measure.”

            I think it helps others more than the B10, so he should consider being against it out of gamesmanship. ”

            So to the extent you now say: All you’ve said is that the Big Ten should, out of gamesmanship, not support it because you do not believe they benefit from it right now.” Repeating a lie doesn’t make it true. I never said that.” would be untrue.

            Also:

            “The ACC provided it by saying they want this. If a competitor wants something and gets it, then they gain and you lose.”

            No. Its not zero sum. Its not diving up a finite object. if someone gains, all it means is someone gains. It has no bearing if someone else gains, loses, or is not impacted.

            Also:

            “Why would the ACC suddenly decide divisions are better? They spent a lot of time analyzing this before deciding to send it to the NCAA. If they thought they had a better fix that didn’t require this change, they wouldn’t waste their time on the effort.

            If you read my hypothetical, they didn’t decide divisions were better. They had to live with them because their proposal to end them failed but realized that they actually work out well for them overall.

            “You mean the B10 W that happily just supported the move to this new plan? Yeah, get back to me when that happens. They get all the games they said they most wanted, plus the 6 non-IN eastern teams 46% of the time on average. The parity-based scheduling complicates that some, but it means NE, WI and IA get the 3 eastern kings even more often. So that means only NW, IL, MN and maybe PU would be complaining. And those complaints would be more about the parity-based scheme than the divisions.””

            No kidding the B1G West would support that. But this was part of the hypothetical of a Big Ten proposal to do away with divisions down the road voted down by other conferences, meaning the schools would be unhappy without remedy.

            “I’m sick of this pointless discussion. Nobody is adding anything new, and nobody is changing their mind. I’m done.”

            Good.

          • Richard says:

            Wainscott:

            “They were locked because the Big Ten wanted two Kings locked in order to kick off a rivalry, because ESPN/ABC wanted that game, and because they were then the two most recent additions to the conference (with the resulting lack of established conference rival).”

            Exactly, so why wouldn’t the B10 want that again if they don’t have to split in to divisions?

          • Richard says:

            Frank:

            To me, there is almost no difference between playing a school 50% of the time and playing a school 60% of the time. You still get to visit every opposing school once in 4 years and you’re not playing them enough to sustain a rivalry atmosphere.

            There is a big difference between playing a school 50% of the time and playing a school 45% or so of the time, IMO, however, as you’ll have classes who were there 4 years who didn’t get to visit every other B10 school.

            That’s why I think there is a huge difference between 5 locked series and 6 locked series in a 14-school league.

          • Wainscot says:

            @Richard:

            In a division less Big Ten, the PTB would 100% want PSU and Nebraska to play every year, as would I. Nebraska was added primarily to have a 4th King in the conference. To then not have them play at least one other King annually would be a foolish waste. Since PSU doesn’t have a main rival in the conference, a PSU-UNL is to me a no brainer. If it can be arranged for UNL to play multiple Kings annually, all the better for CFB fans and TV viewers.

          • Richard says:

            Wainscott:

            I completely agree.

            Ergo 5 locked series.

          • Wainscott says:

            I’m agnostic on 5 locked games vs. 3 locked games vs. some schools having more locked games than others. But not having Kings face off makes very little sense, regardless of the number of locked rivals.

          • Richard says:

            Wainscott:

            I agree. However, if you have fewer locked games and still want kings to face off, you’d have to sacrifice local rivalry games.

            For instance, if you want PSU-UNL annually but only 3 locked games, then you’d have to drop one of PSU-OSU, PSU-RU, or PSU-UMD.

            That would be idiotic when you can simply have 5 locked games and avoid such difficulties. If you lock UNL-UM as well, then UNL would have to drop UNL-Iowa or UNL-Wisconsin. That’s stupid when there’s no need to make such hare-brained choices.

          • Wainscott says:

            I agree, and its a very fine line. Also, the B1G does have to make sure to spread the Kings around evenly so that other schools get to play them. Maybe 4 locked rivals? Maybe some schools have 3, some have 4? I dunno. Local rivalries are what made (and make) CFB special, yet the King vs King games are what most casual fans prefer. Have to try to cater to both. I agree that no divisions makes that possible to a greater extent than 2 divisions do.

          • Richard says:

            Well, if you have 5 locked series, every non-king can be guaranteed a locked series with a king _even_if_ you also have each king locked with 2 other kings (8 non-kings will lock with 1 king while 2 non-kings will lock with 2 kings). In general, they’d be locking with a king that they care about more than other kings as well, so win-win.

            For example, for the king locks, you can do this:
            UM: OSU, UNL, MSU, Minny, Wisconsin
            OSU: UM, PSU, Illinois, IU, PU
            PSU: OSU, UNL, MSU, RU, UMD
            UNL: PSU, UM, Wisconsin, Iowa, Northwestern
            MSU: UM, PSU
            UW: UNL, UM
            Iowa: UNL
            Minny: UM
            Illinois: OSU
            Northwestern: UNL
            IU: OSU
            PU: OSU
            RU: PSU
            UMD: PSU

            The 4 kings as well as the 2 strongest princes (Wisconsin and MSU) lock with 2 kings while everyone else lock with 1 king each.

        • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

          The idea behind the locked rivals was to look at ways that a divisionless conference might work. Jumping up to 5 locked games defeats much of the purpose, you might as well just go ahead & split into two divisions.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Bingo

          • Richard says:

            I’ll repeat my rationale:

            To me, there is almost no difference between playing a school 50% of the time and playing a school 60% of the time. You still get to visit every opposing school once in 4 years and you’re not playing them enough to sustain a rivalry atmosphere.

            There is a big difference between playing a school 50% of the time and playing a school 45% or so of the time, IMO, however, as you’ll have classes who were there 4 years who didn’t get to visit every other B10 school.

            That’s why I think there is a huge difference between 5 locked series and 6 locked series in a 14-school league.

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        I don’t see anything wrong with 5 locked rivals….

        But there isn’t any need for it, either. What the ACC proposal gives you is flexibility. It’s absurd to respond to that opportunity with an inflexible system.

        • Richard says:

          Unless you want to reach all your goals (preserve rivalries, maximize king matchups, & maximize Eastern exposure).

          Flexibility for the sake of flexibility may sound nice, but when you do the numbers, the difference between playing a team you don’t have emotions for 60% of the time vs. 50% of the time is small while the difference between playing a team you care about playing 100% of the time vs. 60% of the time is huge.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            No one has suggested five locked rivals well suited to all 14 teams. They simply don’t have the same number of desired/desirable annual games. Forcing them all into the same number is unnecessary.

          • Brian says:

            Marc Shepherd,

            “No one has suggested five locked rivals well suited to all 14 teams. They simply don’t have the same number of desired/desirable annual games. Forcing them all into the same number is unnecessary.”

            I agree totally. There just aren’t that many games that need locking. I know we’ve argued this before when you tried to lock too few teams, but 5 is way too many. Three is a workable compromise.

  41. Eric says:

    I guess alignment similar to mine got discussed above already (probably should have read first). Anyway, for fun, here is how I can picture the ACC, SEC, and PAC-12 doing it. Again parenthesis are the ones that didn’t seem quite as mandatory, but thought filled out the best

    ACC (similar to Michael in Raleigh, but a tad different)
    Boston College: Syracuse, Pitt, (Virginia Tech)
    Syracuse: Boston College, Pitt, (Louisville)
    Pitt: Syracuse, Boston College, (Louisville)
    Louisville: (Virgina Tech), (Pitt), Syracuse
    Virginia Tech: Virginia, (Louisville), (Boston College)
    Virgina: Virginia Tech, North Carolina, (Wake Forest)
    North Carolina: Virgina, Duke, North Carolina State
    Duke: North Carolina, Wake Forest, North Carolina State
    North Carolina State: North Carolina, Duke, Wake Forest
    Wake Forest: North Carolina State, Duke, (Virginia)
    Clemson: Miami (FL), Florida State, Georgia Tech
    Georgia Tech, Miami (FL), Florida State, Clemson
    Florida State: Miami (FL), Clemson, Georgia Tech
    Miami (FL): Florida State, Georgia Tech, Clemson

    The 4 southernmost schools play each other every year and every team outside those 4 will play 2 of those a year (including 1 Florida school). With 8 conference games, you play your 3 locked teams and the other 10, 50% of the time. Virginia-Wake Forest was fairly natural given they are old time ACC schools. I put Louisville with Syracuse and Pitt as they have shared more conference time together. I put Boston College with Virgina Tech since they have been in a conference together and locked teams for awhile and moved from the Big East together. That left Louisville-Virgina Tech which still feels fairly natural.

    PAC-12:
    1. 4 California schools play each other
    2. Utah, Colorado, and Arizona schools play each other every year
    3. Pacific Northwest schools play each year

    Easiest conference for this. Set-up is natural and with 9 conference games and only 12 schools, they’d actually still play the other 8 teams, 80% of the time.

    SEC
    Florida: Georgia, (Auburn), (South Carolina)
    Georgia: Florida, Auburn, South Carolina
    South Carolina: Georgia, Missouri, (Florida)
    Tennessee: Alabama, Vanderbilt, Kentucky
    Vanderbilt: Tennessee, Ole Miss, (Kentucky)
    Kentucky: Tennessee, Mississippi State, (Vanderbilt)
    Ole Miss: Mississippi State, LSU, Vanderbilt
    Mississippi State: Ole Miss, Kentucky, (Arkansas)
    Alabama: Tennessee, Auburn, (LSU)
    Auburn: Alabama, Georgia, (Florida)
    LSU: Ole Miss, (Texas A&M), (Alabama)
    Arkansas: Texas A&M, (Missouri), (Mississippi State)
    Missouri: (Arkansas), (South Carolina), (Texas A&M)
    Texas A&M: Arkansas, (LSU), (Missouri)

    This was far and way the most difficult. Too many cross-cutting rivalries without enough distinction between them (at least for me).

  42. Pablo says:

    The story about Dodds and Del Conte is awesome. Understanding how relationships, or attributes like persistence-luck-timing, play a role in decision making is fascinating. If Del Conte hadn’t been able to solidify TCU’s standing with Dodds, I truly believe that a more detached analysis and process may have led to B12 expansion with WV and Louisville.

    The B12 needed cohesion in order to have the best shot at retaining MO. Del Conte and TCU exploited the opportunity.

    Currently, TCU truly is a big winner in the conference consolidation process.

    • vp19 says:

      If Texas Christian hadn’t landed a spot in the Big 12, the likely domino effect (Big 12 expanding with both West Virginia and Louisville) probably would have resulted in Connecticut joining the ACC (assuming Boston College had no veto power over the New England area). So for now, Fort Worth is a realignment winner, while Storrs is a loser.

      • Pablo says:

        Completely agree that UConn is the biggest realignment loser. Regardless of detailed circumstances, all of UConn’s long-standing Big East peers moved on to more stable and financially rewarding conferences. UConn had a realistic shot at being invited to the ACC, but it was not chosen.

        The suggestion that UConn didn’t get selected because BC has some form of veto over schools in the New England geography is specious. BC does not seem to be a major power school within the ACC.

        Louisville was probably selected over UConn because it brought more, of what the ACC desperately needed, to the table. Specifically, the ability to generate revenue.

        • The Scarlet Wolverine says:

          Agreed that UConn is a big loser in realignment. Even the Big East that they joined wasn’t what they thought as Miami and company jumped ship even before the football team was part of the conference. I don’t recall the exact details, but I remember that UConn was alleging that Miami’s president gave her word to UConn that they were staying in the Big East, UConn then invested all the money to move to Division 1-A, only to have Miami and friends leave for the ACC before UConn was even in the football league. Shame on UConn for not getting something in writing, but I still feel bad.

  43. dj says:

    I wound not worry about any of this until the MD – ACC court case is done.
    The ACC could lose a lot more than Maryland.
    The BIG could be adding a few more schools from before the new television deal.
    Plus a couple B12 schools.

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      The ACC didn’t have a grant of rights when Maryland left. Even if Maryland’s exit fee is reduced to zero (and it won’t be), no school is going to give up its home TV revenues for a decade.

      The Big Ten is playing a long game. Look for major conference re-alignment to heat up again in the 2020s, not before.

      • Chris says:

        I strongly disagree regarding the ACC. The evidence which has surfaced makes me wonder if the ESPN involvement with the ACC in ESPN’s direction to break the Big East is very damaging. Do the RICO laws come into play? ESPN’s involvement was very much behind the scenes, but evidence the MD Atty Gen & the B1G posses is extremely damaging for the ACC & ESPN.

        Basicly, IMHO the ACC is going to lose big time as is ESPN. If charges are not filed then IMHO ESPN & the ACC are accepting losses as a benefit of not being punished through the courts.

        IMHO I believe the B1G has a strong desire to gain B1G membership by UVA, UNC, GT from the ACC & OU & KU from the B12. This will leave a single spot open for ND. A move by ND is not a given, but if UT moves to the ACC because of a demise of the ACC and hit to ESPN from this evidence, then ND stays in the ACC.

        Either way, the B1G is expected to win big time should this happen sooner rather than later. Who a 20th member would be? Maybe Syracuse which would lock the NE market to the B1G unless a choice was made to add Baylor to creep the B1G into Texas which I doubt.

        But either way, the evidence against ESPN & the ACC is extremely damaging and will nullify any GoR agreements and other conference actions.

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          Do you have links to any reputable analysis to back that up? It sounds entirely fabricated to me, or perhaps a fan’s wishful thinking.

          • Wainscott says:

            @Marc:

            My best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who’s going with the girl who saw Ferris and Jim Delany talking with the AD’s of Syracuse, UVA, UNC, GT, KU, & OU, and the MD Attorney General at 31 Flavors last night. I guess it’s pretty serious.

          • Transic says:

            Marc

            I’m familiar with him from the Twitterverse. He’s a Michigan fan and has been predicting the demise of the ACC for some time. I don’t agree with that position, being that ESpin’s backing makes that league a little more solid. The thing we have to understand is that certain conferences are behaving like proxies for the networks. Since the B1G is waiting for its current contract to finish, I think they’re in a position of vulnerability that many pro-B1G fans don’t want to recognize. ESpin could finance a raid of certain schools, which would have the effect of downgrading the B1G’s value in the eyes of other media companies (i.e. Fox and NBC). This is exactly what happened to the old Big East after the ACC took school after school of any value. Afterwards, NBC made a low-ball offer, which ESpin easily matched. ESpin’s primary goal is to maintain the Worldwide Monopoly at the expense of conference value, if necessary.

            In any conference, there are always areas of disagreement, from scheduling to issues of perceived fairness or unfairness. All it takes for a network to manipulate the process is to know the main players (athletic directors, presidents, faculty). ESpin has had it easy getting in with the university people and can use that to attempt to completely control college sports. BTN is a big thorn of their side and they would like to eliminate it. If, for example, the B1G takes the Tier 1 stuff to another over-the-air network and some Tier 2 to a competing cable network, that’s content that their competitors can use to win price increases with the cable companies, which may cause some decrease in the price ESpin charges. With more money coming in, the competitors can then finance higher-quality sports shows that attract audiences that currently watch College Gameday, etc.. Should that scenario happen, ESpin would hear from the greedy shareholders at the Mouse to make some changes. Out goes Mark May and other anti-B1G pundits. Maybe even the ESpin President, who is a southerner and, thus, not favorable to the B1G.

            Maybe ESpin is using the possibility that they could finance a raiding of the B1G as a threat against Delany so that they would be ensured of their pound of flesh whatever the new media contract may be. Maybe. But nothing can be given to chance with these individuals.

          • Chris says:

            Wishful thinking! Tell the MD Atty General who has this evidence and has state some of it in the filing of their counter suit to the ACC for $157 million. Unfortunately, for you who wish to make light of this evidence, bear in mind the ACC, ESPN, UMD, MD Atty Gen and the B1G are not laughing as the courts have much of this presented in the court documents.

          • Chris says:

            One link is the doc filed by the MD Atty Gen. It is rather damaging towards the ACC. While the evidence that UMD, MD Atty Gen and Delany has is also damaging.

            http://media10.washingtonpost.com/generic/media/document_cloud/document/pdf/acclawsuit.pdf

          • Brian says:

            Transic,

            I’m hard-pressed to see how ESPN could finance the ACC stealing some B10 schools. The B10 already makes a lot more per year, had a GoR, and has projections through 2017 ending at $35M per year. In addition, the ACC just started a new deal and the B10 is ending theirs.

            Is ESPN going to bump all the ACC schools up by $20M/year for the next 15 years in addition to buying out the B10 GoR? That’s $300M for 14 schools, or $4.2B dollars extra for the ACC, plus the GoR buyout.

            You don’t think there might be some legal issues if ESPN did that in addition to the financial issues?

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            @Chris, @Transic: All I asked was, can you link to any reputable analysis to back that up? Documents from one side of a court case do not count as “reputable analysis,” because they’re just that: one-sided.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            ESpin could finance a raid of certain schools, which would have the effect of downgrading the B1G’s value in the eyes of other media companies (i.e. Fox and NBC). This is exactly what happened to the old Big East after the ACC took school after school of any value.

            During the years the Big East was getting poached, you could’ve asked just about anyone which league was more valuable, and the answer was obvious: the ACC. From the beginning, the Big East was a basketball league trying to create a big-time football league, and not really ever getting there. The schools that had the opportunity just followed the money. It’s no surprise the networks did too.

            These events don’t support the proposition that ESPN could dismember a conference all by itself, even if it wanted to.

    • Transic says:

      I won’t add much to what Marc has said but I will say that things take time to sort themselves out. We’re at 14 schools right now. #’s 15 and 16 have to be obvious adds in order to be executed. Let’s remember that interest has to be on both sides or it would not work. Right now is a time to work on conference cohesion and make sure the conference’s real power is used to thwart any immediate outside threats (i.e. ESpin) until they’re ready to move again.

  44. Brian says:

    Frank,

    Do you or any of your contacts have any insight into whether the NFL moving to Thursday broadcasts might impact the Thursday night TV deals various conferences have? Would there normally be a minimum average rating in the contract that must be met or one side gets a chance to opt out?

    Certainly the B10 has to be happy with their decision to stay on Saturdays. Any word how the conferences that regularly play on Thursdays (ACC, P12, SEC) are reacting?

    • Richard says:

      I know that the Pac is contracted to put 4 games on on Thursdays yearly.

      Are the ACC and SEC contracted for a set number of Thursday games? If not, then I don’t see why they’d care. ESPN will just show their games on Saturdays and everyone will be happy.

  45. Andy says:

    Michael Sam, Consensus All-American, SEC Defensive Player of the Year, and first openly gay professional athlete in a major league in U.S. history:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/10/sports/michael-sam-college-football-star-says-he-is-gay-ahead-of-nfl-draft.html?_r=0

    • DITB says:

      Andy,

      I don’t always agree with your approach in sharing your comments on this board, but I read Michael Sam told his team he was gay over a year ago. The fact that the team did not share it with anyone and still supported/welcomed him speaks volumes about the football program…

      Much Respect….

      • @DITB and Andy – Agreed. For all of the arguing about Missouri here lately, the fact that his Mizzou teammates continued to essentially just treat him normally (and if anything, increased their respect for him) is a testament to the football program here. It also goes to show that I believe most college-aged students and younger have simply moved beyond this issue in a way that older generations might not have (probably similar to the generational divide in viewing racial segregation back in the 1960s). Note that Sam said that some of his coaches were more worried about him coming out than his teammates. I remember seeing someone state that O.J. Simpson, in completely steamrolling one of Bear Bryant’s Alabama teams while he was at USC, did more for racial integration in the South than any civil rights leaders. At a certain point, racial segregation meant bad football, and that seemed to be the one area where the South finally realized that their policies and attitudes were holding them back from the rest of the country. The impact of gay players in football may not be quite the same as the impact of racially integrated teams (although we can be assured that there are and have been many more gay players than Michael Sam), but a culture of tolerance is certainly very important to young people today. The SEC, which is in a region where there’s a disproportionate amount of animus toward homosexuals compared to anywhere else in the country, could end up playing a big role in changing that.

    • Wainscott says:

      I don’t really care if he’s gay or straight. If my team drafts him and he makes it on his skill, I’ll root for him just the same as any other player.

      But the fact that hes a consensus All-American and SEC Defensive Player of the Year is irrelevant to his pro prospects. Unfortunately, many commentators mention this as if it means anything. The last two SEC defensive players of the year, Jarvis Jones and Morris Claiborne haven’t exactly taken the NFL by storm. Neither did Rolando McClain. (Patrick Peterson and Eric Berry have worked out, though).

      Indeed, on this list (http://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/awards/sec-dpoy.html) the only true stud on this list is Patrick Willis.

      If college awards meant anything in terms of pro success, then there would me far more Heisman winners with successful pro careers.

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        Wainscott,

        I think they have mentioned his awards just to give him an identity and to acknowledge his accomplishments. Prior to yesterday, I had never heard of him. But identifying him as SEC DPOY and as an All-American just lets the general public know, “Hey, this guy can play ball.” He’s not a nobody without a real shot at being drafted in the first few rounds. I think they’re hust trying to distinguish him from, say, a prospect who may not be drafted at all and was just above average. Obviously, the team that drafts him won’t be influenced by his or others’ awards, but they will be influenced by a belief he could make the team better based on his talent.

        • Wainscott says:

          @Michael,

          “But identifying him as SEC DPOY and as an All-American just lets the general public know, “Hey, this guy can play ball.”’

          But, like they say in investing, past performance is not indicative of future results. All it proves is he was a great college player. History is littered with great college players with little/no NFL success, and what makes a great college player does not necessarily make a pro prospect. Its misleading to imply that his collegiate awards (which are legitimate and impressive) have any greater value. Much like the Jason Collins news in the NBA–some say because hes not been signed since he came out means the NBA discriminates, when it in practice means his pro career was largely over with before he came out. By contrast, Branch Rickey sought out Jackie Robinson not only because he was black, but because he was black and had unquestionable baseball skills and brought it on the field. He was the real deal, not a sideshow for political purposes (and also because JR had the temperament to properly handle the racists he would encounter with class and grace).

          Some of the more political commentators have used his SEC POY award, and his selection as a consensus all-American as evidence that he is a great player, someone who has an unquestioned place in the NFL, implying that if he is drafted in a low round, its proof of discrimination. One newscaster I saw teased him as a “Superstar Player”, which simply is not true. From what I read after the news broke, he was given a 3rd to 5th round grade by most scouts before this news broke.

          Some sportswriters are also in on it:

          However, I do agree with Andy, DITB, Frank and others that Mizzou players deserve lots of credit for not giving a s**t about his sexuality and accepting him when he came out, because he brought it on the football field. That’s the only thing that should matter, and its the only thing that matters to me..

          • ccrider55 says:

            “But, like they say in investing, past performance is not indicative of future results.”

            Huh. I always heard past performance was an indicator, but not a guarantee, of future results. Busts in the NFL are known as such because they are, to an extent, the exception.

          • Wainscott says:

            @Bullet:

            From what I have seen, there is a difference, It appear to be this:

            “Past performance is not indicative of future results” is the disclaimer used by funds/financial advisers.

            “Past performance is not a guarantee future results” is the boilerplate for specific investments.

      • bullet says:

        The first and only two time Heisman winner:
        Ohio St.’s own Archie Griffin who did virtually nothing with the Bengals.

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        The fact that collegiate award winners sometimes fail in the NFL, does not mean winning those awards has no predictive power whatsoever.

        Of course, you have to look at the situation. Florida State’s Charlie Ward put up gaudy statistics as a collegiate QB and won the Heisman, but practically no one thought he had a chance to play QB in the pros. He wasn’t even drafted.

        But this is a guy that, to the extent such things can be forecasted, IS expected to have a pretty good shot at an NFL career. So it is perhaps significant that he has chosen to come out while the possibility of a substantial career remains open, than if it were a role-player not expected to play in the NFL.

        • Wainscott says:

          @Marc:

          Here is Sam’s scouting report from SI: http://nfl.si.com/2014/02/10/michael-sam-the-scouting-report/

          I could cherry-pick quotes that hes a marginal, third-day talent, but its all a crap shoot. And this can change if he wow’s scouts at the combine, or if he lays an egg at the combine.

          His best bet is to be drafted by a team who can control the crush of media coverage (Patriots, 49ers) by the force of the head coach’s will, so the he can be evaluated on his football ability. The Belichick/Tebow playbook is the one to follow here.

          • bullet says:

            Basically he seems to have the same situation as Archie Griffin. An outstanding college player who is undersized for his position in the pros.

          • bullet says:

            The guy actually has a pretty interesting back story that no one is paying any attention to. An older sister died in youth. A brother died of a gunshot wound in his arms. 2 other brothers have been in and out of jail.

        • Tom says:

          For the record, Ward made his intentions VERY clear that he wanted to go the NBA route. That is 100% why he was not drafted, irrespective of where anyone knows where he should have landed. This was common knowledge 20 years ago. Funny how things get twisted as time goes by.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            @Tom: I have not forgotten that. But the reason Ward chose the NBA is that he had very little chance at playing QB in the NFL. Now sure, if he hadn’t been a two-sport player, would some NFL team have taken a flyer on him? Probably. But he’d have been a long-shot, and he knew it.

          • Wainscott says:

            And yet, at that time, Ward was still the best QB in the NYC metro area.

    • Andy says:

      The motto of Gary Pinkel’s football program for years has been “family atmosphere”. That’s the first thing they talk about when recruiting or explaining their success. They try to foster a team culture where everybody has everybody else’s back. And it seems to be working. Over the last 7 years they rank 8th in wins among BCS schools, and top 5 in academic progress rate. So it’s in keeping for them to have handled this situation the way they did. That said I’m pretty surprised it stayed quiet for as long as it did.

      As for Sam’s spot in the draft, the fact that he’s even going to be drafted at all is kind of amazing. He was a 2 star athlete coming out of high school. He’s undersized for the NFL. That will hurt him as much as him being gay if not more. But he can definitely play. He had a dominant season while playing in the toughest conference in college football.

    • mushroomgod says:

      I don’t care whether he’s gay, but I don’t think it deserves to be celebrated. I do not believe it is a healthy lifestyle.

      • Andy says:

        It’s being celebrated because until now no active player in the NFL, MLB, NBA, or NHL has ever come out. All of the probably hundreds of gay athletes have lived in secrecy. They shouldn’t have to hide who they are. I’m sure many will follow Michael Sam’s lead in the coming years.

        • mushroomgod says:

          The “proud gay man” bs is a bit much, imo. People have gotten away from the fact that it is a discusting, unhealthy lifestyle.

          • mushroomgod says:

            Disgusting, that is. I don’t think it should make a difference to the team if he can play football, but I don’t have to by into the gay agenda.

          • I don’t see any gay agenda here. The fact that it has taken 100-plus years for anyone to openly come out as gay and then step onto a field/court for pro baseball, basketball, football or hockey is indicative of how people like Michael Sam and Jason Collins (and assuredly many others before them never publicly come out) have been completely stifled because of the fear of the rest of society’s agenda. I legitimately *wish* that Michael Sam coming out wasn’t a big deal because I truly don’t care about whether someone is gay (and by “not caring”, I mean “being gay is perfectly cool with me” as opposed to the “I just don’t want to hear about it because I don’t agree with it” viewpoint that I’ve seen from some people today) and got over my own personal misconceptions and misinformed opinions about homosexuals many years ago when I ended up randomly living next door to a gay man and transgender person in my freshman year dorm. At the same time, I’m a firm believer that gay people should be able to freely come out in the open without discrimination and get married (and I say this as someone that has voted Republican in every Presidential election that I’ve been able to cast a ballot in). However, it would be disingenuous to say that it’s not a big deal when absolutely no one, out of the tens of thousands of pro athletes that have come before him, has been willing to do it up until now. If it wasn’t a big deal, then many others would have come out many years ago.

          • Andy says:

            Well said, Frank.

          • @Andy – We may disagree on many issues, but on this particular one, we are completely aligned. The Mizzou community should be proud of Michael Sam and his teammates for how they’ve handled everything.

          • Wainscott says:

            http://collegefootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/02/11/ex-mizzou-qb-james-franklin-i-wouldnt-say-supportive-but-accepting-of-michael-sams/

            Although, maybe his teammates weren’t as supportive as we’ve been led to believe.

            “Almost immediately after Sam publicly came out as being gay, former Mizzou tight end and Sam’s roommate Eric Waters called out his former teammates on Twitter, writing that “[h]alf y’all posting these pics saying how proud you are… [were] the ones talkin s**t behind his back in the locker room.”

          • Andy says:

            I doubt all 100 players on the roster were 100% gay friendly from day one. But it sounds like it was an overall positive environment, and nobody outed him to the general public.

          • Andy says:

            Here’s a more extensive interview with Waters, if you’re interested:

            http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/10443289/missouri-blueprint-nfl

          • Andy says:

            “Waters estimates that roughly 5 to 10 percent of the team was slow to come around to Sam.

            “There were hurtful things that were said at the very beginning,” he said. “But you have to think about it. On a football team, there are various ages ranging from 17-year-olds all the way to 24-year-olds. Some kids haven’t matured; some guys haven’t learned. There’s more cultural differences in one small locker room. Some guys don’t know how to handle situations like that.

            “Once that stuff came out, people automatically turned on him. Some people turned on him as they smiled in his face.”

            But eventually, the team grew closer, and came together. That, he said, is one of the biggest success stories of 2013. Just watch the film clips that are currently playing in a loop during all the coverage on Sam, he said. They show Sam making big plays. And after every one of them, his teammates surround him with hugs and pats on the head.

            “It wasn’t about, ‘Oh, I don’t want to touch him, he’s gay,’” Waters said. “It didn’t matter to us. It was all about celebration with our team. With our family.””

  46. Tom says:

    Seems like expectations for the B1G have been lowered. A year ago…a lot of folks were talking about UT, UNC, UVA, even FSU (and absurdly some SEC schools). Now it’s how to fit lowly UMd and RU in without ruining B1G rivalries and traditions. Is Delany perhaps overrated?

    • ccrider55 says:

      FSU not considered by the COP/C. UT not a fit – doesn’t play well with others as equals. Things are proceeding as should be expected.

    • vp19 says:

      Maryland is comparable to North Carolina and Virginia academically and athletically. It’s no Texas or Florida State, to be true, but don’t let its well-documented athletic financial troubles lead you to put it in the same “lowly” boat as Rutgers, which has far less of a history of success.

      • mushroomgod says:

        vp, looks like he’s just trolling. If he had his head out of his ass he’d realize the Big 10 is very fortunate to add MD. ONLY question with MD I ever had was whether the MD fanbase will accept it. Fanbases are very fickle……if/when MD fans think they’re getting the short stick (esp. against the UMs and OSUs of the world), there could be some serious second guessing…..that was the downside of the secret dealing……the secrecy kinda backfired when it came to PSU, There was a lot of anti-PSU bias at the start, which ended up poisening the well………………….I would hope for everyone’s sake that the current fanbases accept MD and RU without a lot of bitching, as I think both will work out in the long run. I do think it’s a lot trickier proposition than Delany realizes.

        • Tom says:

          Not trolling. Post here once every couple months. I’m an ACC fan for sure. But that doesn’t mean I’m wrong in saying that I find Delany’s addition of RU and UMd to be questionable, at best. And I can say it without thin-skinned insults.

          • mushroomgod says:

            You can say whatever the hell you want. That doesn’t mean you’re not a moron.

          • vp19 says:

            Delany may well have thought (or still thinks) that Maryland is the key to unlock UVa and UNC from the ACC to the Big Ten should a 16-member conference be sought. And that may well occur if, by the mid-2020s, College Park has a thriving athletic environment, making vastly more money than any ACC school (thanks to a full share of the Big Ten Network, its days of red ink are a vague memory) and out-recruiting the Cavs and Tar Heels in football and some other sports. It’s not going to happen in the short term, and much will ride on whether ESPN actually builds an ACC network or whether it’s sold conference members a bill of goods. If it’s the latter case, a decade from now the GOR will tumble like a house of cards, whereas the Terrapins have found a safe harbor (albeit one it may take some time to get used to).

          • Psuhockey. says:

            Rutgers and Maryland on the athletic front are questionable additions. The Big Ten will have a fight on its hands in New Jersey and Maryland to get on basic cable so any profitability from those schools could take a few years to realize. It’s a gamble but if it hits, you a talking a gigantic amount of money for the conference.

          • Wainscott says:

            @PSUHockey:

            Regarding NJ tv situation for the B1G, I posted this above but am re-posting here:

            http://www.onthebanks.com/2012/12/6/3674206/project-big-ten-network

        • Brian says:

          mushroomgod,

          “If he had his head out of his ass he’d realize the Big 10 is very fortunate to add MD.”

          You can make solid arguments against it. Only time will tell.

          “Fanbases are very fickle……if/when MD fans think they’re getting the short stick (esp. against the UMs and OSUs of the world), there could be some serious second guessing…..that was the downside of the secret dealing…”

          Well, after the scheduling treatment the ACC gave them on the way out (no Duke, UNC or NCSU at home in hoops or FB), I doubt they’ll feel to fond of the ACC for a while.

          “would hope for everyone’s sake that the current fanbases accept MD and RU without a lot of bitching,”

          They are very different cases from PSU, although there is at least 1 direct correlation. PSU was a football king and there was no question of making more money. The main problems:

          1. The fans (and many coaches and ADs) didn’t want to expand to the east and stop being a midwestern conference.
          2. The B10 had been at 10 for a long time and people liked it. PSU disrupted the status quo when many people didn’t think change was needed.
          3. PSU was an independent and their fans weren’t thrilled about joining a conference. Some of the talk from their side didn’t endear themselves to the B10 fans.
          4. The process was handled poorly.

          #1 is also an issue with UMD and RU, and is a point the fans and the presidents are unlikely to agree on. Since neither school is a king at anything and it hasn’t yet been shown the B10 will gain money from their addition (the only upside most people can see from this), it’s reasonable for fans to not be happy right now.

          UMD and RU stink at football lately, and are joining a conference that needs to be improving in FB. RU’s athletic department is having all kinds of issues. UMD fans didn’t want to join at first and some things that angered midwestern B10 fans.

          “as I think both will work out in the long run.”

          If they start to show signs of working out, then fans will stop bitching. Right now they just see fewer games against real B10 teams and a lower SOS thanks to these outsiders.

          “I do think it’s a lot trickier proposition than Delany realizes.”

          Delany doesn’t care what fans think. He’s proven that. He’ll keep the administrators happy and the rest don’t matter.

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      Seems like expectations for the B1G have been lowered. A year ago…a lot of folks were talking about UT, UNC, UVA, even FSU (and absurdly some SEC schools). Now it’s how to fit lowly UMd and RU in without ruining B1G rivalries and traditions. Is Delany perhaps overrated?

      Expectations have been lowered…by whom? Delany has always been patient: look at how long the league stayed at 11 teams. Whether you judge Delany a success or a failure, it surely has nothing to do with whether he performs in line with unsubstantiated rumors.

      Delany is in his mid-60s, so by the time expansion heats up again, he may no longer be commissioner. If he retires with the league still at 14 teams, then integrating UMd/RU and the next TV deal might be his last two big projects. It’s too soon to tell how they’ll turn out, but given his track record I wouldn’t bet against him.

    • Brian says:

      Tom,

      “Seems like expectations for the B1G have been lowered.”

      Whose expectations?

      “A year ago…a lot of folks were talking about UT, UNC, UVA, even FSU (and absurdly some SEC schools). Now it’s how to fit lowly UMd and RU in without ruining B1G rivalries and traditions.”

      People were discussing rumors of talks going on behind the scenes, as well as teams that might be available. The ACC GoR ended most of that discussion. There were rumors of UT having ideas on how to break the GoR in a cost effective way. Until that’s proven to be possible, the ACC schools and UT are off the board for a decade or more.

      “Is Delany perhaps overrated?”

      How is he rated? What more could he have done? The presidents have the final say on all expansion decisions.

  47. Transic says:

    OT – Francesa’s show may be picked up by Fox Sports 1

    http://www.newsday.com/sports/media/source-mike-francesa-s-show-to-air-on-fox-sports-1-1.7006549

    I’m sure Frank would say that this proves FS1 is a bad fit for B10 but I think it’s a smart move for them. Get different segments of sports fans to tune in and check out the channel, so that they can get used to the idea of tuning to FS1. Also, they are starting coverage of MLB this year, so they can use his promotion of the Yankees to segway into whatever Yankee game they have later in the night. Next for them would be to get an NBA package so that pro basketball fans check it out.

    • @Transic – That’s a mischaracterization of what I’ve stated up to this point. To me, the Big Ten’s targeted model for the next TV contract should be the Pac-12 model: Tier 1 and high tier 2 games on ABC/ESPN and Fox/FS1 and then low tier 2 and tier 3 games on the conference network. That keeps a presence on the two major media entities that are investing a lot on sports programming (Disney and Fox) with national broad exposure and supplementing it with conference network coverage.

      So, I have no issue with *some* Big Ten games on FS1. However, what I disagree heavily with is the notion of completely leaving ESPN altogether as being any semblance of a good idea. Even if you don’t like their pundits, every sports entity that wants to get paid the maximum amount needs ESPN involved, and the smart ones leverage ESPN plus one or two other major media entities to get the right mix of revenue and exposure. That’s what the NFL, NBA, MLB, SEC and Pac-12 have all smartly done. Let’s not get so much hubris that the Big Ten can just waltz off on its own when stronger entities like the NFL (who could sell to anyone at any price or keep all of their games for their own network and charge whatever they want for it) know that ESPN’s dollars and all-week exposure on SportsCenter and other ESPN shows are very critical for a league that wants to be more than just a niche product. Existing Big Ten fans will watch games no matter what network they’re on, but that’s not who any of us should be concerned about. The leagues that get the casual fans are the ones that get the best revenue and exposure, and a major part of getting casual fans in today’s day and age means having a good relationship with ESPN (whether people like it or not). I’m not interested in taking the tactics of the NHL and the new Big East (and more importantly, the Big Ten doesn’t even have to consider that for financial reasons – ESPN will absolutely pay up big-time to keep the Big Ten).

      As for Francesca, I don’t really have much of an opinion on him one way or the other. All of the sports networks seem to be simulcasting radio shows during the daytime (ESPN2 with Mike & Mike and SVP & Rusillo and NBCSN with Dan Patrick), so that makes sense with FS1. Chicago is possibly the most provincial sports radio town out there, so my exposure to Francesca is limited to hearing his NFL Sunday show occasionally, while I’m essentially clueless whenever I hear references to Paul Finebaum or even Colin Cowherd. They’re completely non-existent in this market. The only national sports radio show that has any traction here is Mike & Mike, and even then, Greenberg is an open and loud Northwestern partisan that spent his pre-ESPN career as a local Chicago sports reporter and Golic is a 100% Notre Dame guy, so it’s the one national show with a much heavier Chicago tilt compared to the most of the others that are wrapped up in the NYC/Boston pro sports vortex.

      By the way, this is another reason why I’m tired of complaints that ESPN supposedly has a Big Ten bias. Between Greenie and Michael Wilbon, pretty much everyone outside of the Big Ten must wonder when ESPN is ever going to STFU about Northwestern football. We keep focusing on the negative trolls like Mark May, but then ignoring the others like Greenberg and Wilbon that actually have MUCH bigger audiences and power at the network and whose Big Ten views are overwhelmingly positive. I understand the belief that there might be an SEC bias at ESPN, but believe me, the Pac-12, Big 12 and ACC all wish that they could get as much coverage as Big Ten football does. We really don’t have much place to complain, especially since we haven’t even been winning high profile games like the SEC has. I know many people here might not want to here it, but the SEC actually *deserves* the coverage that they’ve been receiving. As of now, we (the Big Ten) are getting coverage because we’re like the Dallas Cowboys or LA Lakers – we actually haven’t been very good, but ESPN still gets a bigger audience dissecting Ohio State instead of Baylor or Clemson (just as talking about Tony Romo or Kobe Bryant’s rehab is more “interesting” from a national perspective than talking about the Bengals or Spurs).

      • Psuhockey. says:

        I think that Frank is right that the BIG would be better suited on both networks instead of one. I would love for BIG to mimic the NFL in the future and sell each division to a separate network much like the AFC/NFC packages the NFL sells. The West division is nowhere near strong enough to do that right now but if they could add Texas or Oklahoma down the road or both to the west, that would definitely do it. A package of OSU, PSU, UM, and MSU to espn and UT, OU, Nebraska, and Wisconsin to FOX with the crossovers games going to the home teams network.

        • urbanleftbehind says:

          Psuhockey,

          The last sentence in your post is telling – could Nebraska and Wisconsin be a compelling pair for the BXII to target in an expansion? I think Nebraska might be regretting their B1G move in some ways (having to share Ohio recruits instead of Texas recruits), but Wisconsin fancies itself too high-brow to be in a conference with a lower academic standing. Changing home-state politics (as in the case of Purdue) might make a bang for buck switch compelling.

          I agree with Frank’s idea of splitting schools between networks. In many ways, the NFL should be split amongst 4 networks instead of 2. NBC seems like its the de facto NFC East network, anyway.

          FOX – NFC North, NFC West
          NBC – NFC East, NFC South
          CBS – AFC East, AFC South
          ESPN/ABC – AFC West, AFC North

          • Brian says:

            urbanleftbehind,

            “The last sentence in your post is telling – could Nebraska and Wisconsin be a compelling pair for the BXII to target in an expansion? I think Nebraska might be regretting their B1G move in some ways (having to share Ohio recruits instead of Texas recruits), but Wisconsin fancies itself too high-brow to be in a conference with a lower academic standing. Changing home-state politics (as in the case of Purdue) might make a bang for buck switch compelling. ”

            They can target anyone they wish, but there is literally zero chance of the B12 taking NE and WI from the B10 in the next few decades. The academics at NE are thrilled with the move to the B10, and the president is one of them. That trumps any sports concerns. Besides, they’re about to start getting $40M+ per year. WI has even less reason to leave.

          • Richard says:

            Lessee. Jump from a richer league with better academics and a bigger footprint to a league with by far the smallest footprint of the P5, that exists solely due to the whims of Texas, that actually produces less football talent in its footprint than the B10 footprint, and which the other king had tried to escape from not too long ago. Also end the longest-played rivalry in top level college football. Just to take less money.

            I think it’s compelling. I’m sure UW and UNL would consider an overtures from the B12 seriously.

          • Transic says:

            Any raid of the B10 will not come from the B12. ESPN doesn’t control enough content in that conference to make that possible. Remember, their goal is to hoard all college sports and ward off competitors.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Riiiight…
            Exactly who might be in enough desperate need that ESPN being willing to provide in the form of a temporary media contract that would be worth considering giving up all the other benefits of B1G membership?

      • Wainscott says:

        @Frank:

        I agree with everything you said, and I just want to add that the NFL–the most popular sport in the country–realizes that mass exposure is the only way to remain popular and grow, too. Nothing demonstrates the value of massive reach more than the league taking games from its own television network and selling them to a broadcast network, potentially weakening the NFLN somewhat, but done with the realization that nothing tops broadcast tv in terms of reach. NFLN ratings grew well for the league, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the new TNF ratings at least double last years ratings on the NFLN. Such is the power of mass exposure.

        For college sports, especially football, Delany & Co. know that nothing equates to ESPN’s reach and promotional power (and access to ABC’s broadcast network). All the major conference heads know this, which is why all have deals in some form with ESPN. That mass exposure is unmatched, and is quite valuable for the B1G, I expect Delany to make sure his conference is secure with that exposure over the long haul when the next TV deal is negotiated. For the B1G, nothing tops having those ABC Saturday Night games.

        • Transic says:

          I think one factor you overlook is the NFL is one of the few sports properties that can make broadcast work. A league like MLS would have trouble finding spots on a broadcast network. Broadcasters demand ratings that make it worthwhile to replace what would air on a regular weekend. It seems that weeknights are becoming the same issue, although not to the same extent as weekends.

          This leads me to question whether B1G fans do not have confidence in their own league if they think that exposure on ABC couldn’t be replicated on NBC or Fox. OK, maybe NBC is out because of the Domers. So that leaves Fox as a possible replacement. Let’s remember that Fox already own stations in Chicago, Detroit, New York, Philadelphia and Washington. ABC doesn’t own stations in Cleveland, Washington and Detroit, AFAIK. This is somewhat important as O&O stations could be used for additional promotion for Big Ten teams. Also, Fox, via their ownership of WDCA, WWOR, WPWR, could promote local Big Ten teams in each respective area. Local stations already do a lot of promotion with the NFL teams. If I can see the possibility, surely I would think Delany or the B1G office can.

          • @Transic – The issue is NOT whether coverage on over-the-air NBC or Fox could be competitive with ABC. Those are all more or less equal. However, FS1 and NBCSN do not provide anywhere near the same level of exposure of ESPN. That is where the difference lies and yes, the Big Ten has to care about that in a world where sports fans instinctively turn on ESPN and recruits want to be seen on GameDay and SportsCenter *specifically* (not just on any random TV program). At best, FS1 and NBCSN are substitutes for ESPN2 and ESPNU (fine for lower 2nd tier games, but not for 1st tier/high 2nd tier games. In contrast, the ESPN mothership is akin to an over-the-air network in terms of coverage.

          • Brian says:

            Transic,

            “This leads me to question whether B1G fans do not have confidence in their own league if they think that exposure on ABC couldn’t be replicated on NBC or Fox. OK, maybe NBC is out because of the Domers. So that leaves Fox as a possible replacement.”

            The problem is that there is much more ABC/ESPN synergy and cross-promotion than there is Fox/FS1. Could it work? Sure. The SEC does fine on CBS. But ABC is where the casual fan expects to find the biggest primetime games. Not being on there has a cost.

          • Richard says:

            I think the B10 will keep a Game-of-the-week like the SEC does (for bidding in 2016) and sign a lucrative deal with ESPN for the bulk of games in the 2nd tier.

  48. loki_the_bubba says:

    Back to the important subject, college baseball. ESPN has released their schedule. Heavy with ACC, SEC, and Big12, with an occasional PAC12 game thrown in.

    http://espnmediazone.com/us/press-releases/2014/02/espn-networks-air-regular-season-college-baseball-games-ever/

    The rich will continue to get richer while conferences like CUSA get ignored. It seems to me that the money in college baseball is about to shoot upward. And the SEC and ACC are positioned to grab the majority of it.

    • Wainscott says:

      Then again, on this schedule, I count 3 games on ESPN, 4 on ESPN2, and 2 on ESPNews. The balance are on ESPNU and ESPN3 (online streaming).

      College baseball still has a ways to go. Looks more like filler for ESPN’s lesser networks right now.

    • ccrider55 says:

      Is ice on the ball a foreign substance?

    • Brian says:

      Speaking of college baseball, I thought this was interesting.

      http://www.cornnation.com/2012/3/1/2835120/purdues-doug-schreiber-big-ten-baseball-scheduling-improving-rpi-inequity-difficult

      A NE blogger wrote a piece about B10 baseball and how the teams need to schedule better to raise their RPIs. He got an email response from PU’s baseball coach, which he published in the article linked above.

      • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

        Brian – Purdue is doing it’s part to pump up their RPI by playing a weekend series in Baton Rouge next month.

        • Brian says:

          As their coach pointed out, the problem is that the B10 can almost always only get games like that on the road and early in the year. It’s of limited help to schedule hard and lose many of the games because they’re all road games. Later in the season, they are forced to play weaker local teams to get drivable weekday games.

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Brian – if they can steal a win though, the RPI greatly rewards road wins.

            My solution for the B1G’s baseball problems is for the conference to buy Dodgertown in Vero Beach, or some other vacant spring training facility, and send all the teams down there for the beginning of the spring semester. The guys players could take classes online, practice in better weather than most SEC/ACC/Big-12/Pac-12 schools, and play the early portion of their schedule in Florida. Then they would move back to their respective campuses by March 1.

            Sure, the conference would have to build some dorms and maybe a few classrooms, but it would level the playing field with the sunbelt schools, and serve as a great recruiting tools (a two month spring break). The Midwest snowbirds would love it as well.

          • Brian says:

            Unfortunately, they actually don’t play at home until mid-March. That’s a long time to take online classes, but doable in the future as the technology improves. For example, OSU starts with 14 road/neutral games this year IIRC. All the OOC games after the B10 season starts are local (and mostly bad for the RPI).

            I think the B10 would be wiser to just drop baseball like WI did since the NCAA’s rules are so skewed to favor the south and west. That would send a stronger message than anything else they’ve tried, plus it would stop wasting resources.

          • Mack says:

            It is not the NCAA that makes the B1G poor in baseball. A lot of sports are regional. Who plays men’s lacrosse or ice hockey in the SEC, B12 or P12? Even if all of the B1G members dropped baseball and softball the other 4 power conferences will still sponsor those sports and the rules will not change. The B1G does better in softball, so maybe the women have better weather.

          • Brian says:

            No, it’s the season starting in February and players knowing they’ll be on the road for the first month of every season if they play up north, and even after that they’ll deal with near-freezing conditions sometimes. MLB doesn’t expect teams to play during February or most of March in the north.

            Any talented northern player knows he should either go to the minors or go south/west to play if he wants a MLB career. Staying in the north is an unnecessary obstacle. Softball players don’t have those same career opportunities, so local players are more willing to stay home.

            To be clear, I’m fine with baseball being regional. I’d just rather see the B10 quit wasting money on it than keep being so far below the top schools.

          • Richard says:

            Eh. Schools “waste” money on a bunch of sports. All except football, basketball, hockey, maybe volleyball and wrestling, in fact.

          • Brian says:

            The waste isn’t losing money on the sport, it’s losing money to produce glorified club level teams year after year. Rarely does an entire power conference perform that poorly in a sport across the board for decades. B10 baseball is like MN football – a power in the 60s and basically mediocre at best ever since.

  49. Wainscott says:

    The Pac12 wants fewer night football games:

    http://blogs.mercurynews.com/collegesports/2014/02/10/pac-12-football-relief-from-the-night-game-nightmare/

    But I also thought I read that the really late Sat night telecasts had decent ratings this past season.

    • greg says:

      P12 didn’t seem to understand what they agreed to.

      I wonder how much they’ll have to pay the networks to reduce or eliminate the exclusivity window.

      • ccrider55 says:

        The P12N has the ability to select first twice and second five times during the season. They can bargain with the value of the games they choose to leave available to Fox/ESPN for those weeks.

    • ccrider55 says:

      TV ratings, yes. Butts in the seats for November games ending after 10:30 pm, many with hundreds of miles to travel, some through Mtn passes, and only one interstate? That can be depressed.

  50. Brian says:

    http://www.omaha.com/article/20140209/NEWS/140208719/1002#unl-s-big-ten-windfall-around-the-corner

    More details on NE’s B10 revenues.

    2011 – $14.3M
    2012 – $15M
    2013 – up to $16.9M

    So did Nebraska get a raw deal? Only if you look at the short term.

    Other numbers uncovered by The World-­Herald suggest Nebraska in three years is headed for a big financial score with the Big Ten.

    In 2017, when Nebraska will finally be on equal financial footing with the core Big Ten schools, the school’s annual revenue from the conference could well swell to between $40 million and $50 million a year.

    Such a figure is astounding compared with four years ago, when the Big 12 paid NU $9 million.

    The university in 2017 also gains a full ownership share in the Big Ten’s TV network, which analysts have valued at more than $1.3 billion.

    UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman says he has no regrets over the deal he negotiated with the Big Ten in 2010.

    Also:

    Nebraska agreed to wait six years to gain a full share of Big Ten revenue. It received $14 million the first year, $15 million last year and will receive no more than $16.9 million this year — each figure roughly $10 million short of a full share.

    Even though Nebraska is taking in less league revenue than most major schools — and paid a $9 million penalty for leaving the Big 12, to boot — those costs can be viewed as a down payment on its ownership stake in BTN. Based on the television network’s estimated value, that stake in 2017 could be easily worth more than $50 million.

    And:

    League projections obtained by The World-Herald suggest a full Big Ten revenue share in 2016 will be worth $35 million. Given that, an industry source said the TV deal will likely boost the annual share in 2017 to $40 million to $50 million.

    As to UMD and RU:

    Did the University of Mary­land get a better deal from the Big Ten than Nebraska?

    There seems little doubt Maryland will be receiving more money than NU, from the very start of its league entry this fall. But Big Ten officials maintain that the underlying principles of the two deals are the same.

    But to get Maryland, the Big Ten had to pay a price — apparently many millions more in league payouts than Nebraska is being paid.

    Sports Illustrated and the Washington Post both report Maryland negotiated a front-loaded deal, with league money it would have received far in the future moved into the pact’s first six years. The school will reportedly receive $32 million next year and $43 million by 2017.

    (emphasis mine)

    But Brad Traviolia, the Big Ten’s deputy commissioner, said the Big Ten essentially followed the same template in its deals with Nebraska, Rutgers and Maryland.

    The Big Ten used the same six-year phase-in term. And all the deals attempt to hold schools harmless — that is, ensure that schools do not lose money compared with what they were receiving from their old leagues.

    Because the schools were coming from different leagues, with varying levels of conference revenue, that required different hold harmless payments. It took only $14 million two years ago to hold Nebraska harmless when it left the Big 12.

    Traviolia would not confirm that Maryland’s deal was front-­loaded. But he said he believed all three schools are treated equally over the long run.

    It appears that even with the big penalty Maryland could face, the Big Ten’s higher payouts over time compared with the ACC’s turned the move into a financial winner for the school.

    Less is known about Rutgers’ deal. But its previous conference, the Big East, was self-destructing into a basketball-only league and reportedly paid the school less than $10 million. If the Big Ten indeed followed the same principles, Rutgers’ phase-in payments would be smaller than Nebraska’s.

    In the end, NU Chancellor Harvey Perlman said he voted in favor of both Maryland’s and Rutgers’ entry into the Big Ten — doing so with full knowledge of the terms.

    Said Perlman: “I have no concern that Nebraska was treated unfairly relative to Rutgers, relative to Maryland, or relative to where we would have been had we not gone into the league.”

    • Brian says:

      http://omaha.com/article/20140210/news/140219937

      They also had a chat that may answer some other questions people have.

      • bullet says:

        Interesting. They will be about $25 million behind Iowa St. over their first 3 years in the league. And that doesn’t count anything they could have earned from their Tier III. They probably could have come close to OU’s $7 million. Its going to take a long time to catch up.

        • Richard says:

          Which years?

          In 2012 & 2013, they made less than ISU, but in 2011, the B12 was still under the old TV deal, if I recall correctly, and UNL would have made more.

          • bullet says:

            Look at the chart in the article. I am including the start of their 1st year in the Big 10 (last Big 12 distribution) when they paid the $9 million exit fee. Also, I don’t think the 2011 figure for the Big 12 is correct, but I don’t have a link handy, so I’m using a zero difference on that year. I think it was closer to $17 million. The Big 12 got a “bonus” on their new contract.

        • Brian says:

          bullet,

          “Interesting. They will be about $25 million behind Iowa St. over their first 3 years in the league. And that doesn’t count anything they could have earned from their Tier III. They probably could have come close to OU’s $7 million. Its going to take a long time to catch up.”

          What value are you assigning to their equal share in the BTN? That’s an asset ISU certainly won’t have in 2017.

      • bullet says:

        In fairness to Nebraska, no one had any clue at that time the contracts would be increasing so much (for the Big 12 and Pac 12). It was another month before the Big 12 realized and the South schools stayed.

    • Andy says:

      Confirms what many have always said: Nebraska got a junior membership deal for the first 5 or 6 years. They’ll end up losing out on $60M+.

      The BIg 12 did the same thing to WVU and TCU, and the Pac 12 did it to Utah.

      • Richard says:

        Compared to what? They’re gaining a stake in an already successful and up-and-running money-making conference channel.

        The B12 doesn’t have anything like that.

      • Kevin says:

        They are not getting a junior membership. They are buying into their equity share of the BTN which is currently valued at $1.3 billion per the authors from Omaha.com. The value they have earned is already around $50 million. If you add the value they’ve earned in the BTN and the distributions they’ve received they are much farther ahead of their Big 12 counterparts.

        The value they are receiving in the BTN is often underplayed. It’s always possible down the road that the B1G membership sells its ownership interest in the BTN back to Fox.

        • Andy says:

          Mizzou and A&M didn’t have to buy into the SEC. Full members from day 1.

          • Psuhockey. says:

            The SEC had nothing Mizzou or Texas A&M had to buy into. Half of the substantial start up costs for the BTN were paid for by the members schools. Nebraska, Rutgers, and Maryland shouldn’t enjoy the profits without investing any of their own money. The BIG didn’t screw anybody. I am not sure why the Big 12 is withholding money though.

          • wolverine says:

            What PSUhockey said, BTN members invested substantial amounts of money to get the BTN started up. Any conference with a conference owned network will do the same as the B10 did to Nebraska, Maryland and Rutgers.

          • bullet says:

            They did have to “buy in” to some things. They got lesser distributions for, as the article termed it, “revenue earned in prior years.” Presumably they didn’t get basketball tourney revenue earned in prior years.

            But they didn’t have to “buy” membership as is typical. The SEC obviously really wanted A&M and couldn’t offer Missouri, from the same conference, a lesser deal. The Pac 12 did give Colorado a better deal than Utah. And Rutgers didn’t get the revenue floors that Nebraska and Maryland got.

          • mushroomgod says:

            PSU and wolve—I’ve seen the statement that BIG 10 members made substantial investment in the BTN before….but I’ve not seen any $ figures……PSU says the BIG paid 1/2 the start-up costs…..my thought/memory was that FOX essentially paid the start-up costs. Either of you have any links or direct info on this?

          • @mushroomgod – The Big Ten didn’t pay startup costs for the BTN. There’s a reference to that in this article here:

            http://www.sportsbusinessnews.com/content/five-years-after-its-launch-big-ten-network-celebrated-whopping-success

            However, even though there weren’t out-of-pocket costs, we shouldn’t forget how BIG of a risk it was for the Big Ten to sign those over those rights to the BTN back in 2007. It’s waaaaaaaaay too easy for fans from other conferences to look back with 20/20 hindsight, see how successful the BTN ended up, and then try to downplay the amount of risk involved and why the 11 older Big Ten members take that equity so seriously. The creation of the BTN wasn’t anything close to a no-brainer – the Big Ten could have easily taken an upfront payment from ESPN just as every other conference had done prior to that time. There was a ton of consternation about whether the BTN would end up getting basic carriage. Fans b*tched and moaned during the first season when the BTN was fighting with the likes of Comcast. Anyone in a leadership position in the Big Ten back in 2007 and had to sign off to pull the trigger on the BTN were
            legitimately putting their necks on the line without any guarantee of success. Nebraska, Maryland and Rutgers are going to end up being the beneficiaries of that eventual success, but they never had to put their necks on the line in the way that the other Big Ten members did.

            The concept of the “junior membership” that Andy keeps suggesting about is infuriating and absolutely ridiculous. The SEC does NOT own any asset like the BTN, so any comparisons to them on “equal shares” is irrelevant. The SEC does not own a single bit of equity in the new SEC Network (it’s fully-owned by ESPN), so Missouri and Texas A&M have nothing to buy into in the way that the new Big Ten members do. Kudos to Mizzou and A&M for getting full revenue shares right away in the SEC (I don’t begrudge them for that), but the quid pro quo is that they’re not getting equity ownership in anything (and as we’ve seen with the recent sale of the YES Network, such equity ownership can be quite substantial far beyond the annual rights fees).

          • mushroomgod says:

            Lots of interesting stuff in that story and chat…..

            To answer my own question below, looks like the “hold harmless” to NEB was only for year 1. Therefore, NEB got a double whammy when the Big 12 TV contract expired, and they were still not getting a full Big 10 share. Thing is, as the story mentions, they are fillthy rich anyway, to the extent that the ath dept. is paying the academic side $2.5/year.

            I can understand the buy-in, unlike Andy, but I think it has more to do with the equity in the network than to reimbursement of start-up expense……I’d be very interested in seeing what actual start-up expenses were to the Big 10 schools. I sure don’t remember any stories about IU or Purdue putting $20M in……it seems to me that was FOX’ role.

            It does seem to me NEB gets screwed in one respect…..there is nothing paid for the value NEB immediately added to the BTN by making more more attractive programming……..

          • mushroomgod says:

            Great post and points Frank. I actually thought it was a crazy move at the time, primarily because even IF it worked (which seemed doubtful), it seemed to me the Big 10 would be the guinea pig for other conferences….that they could just come in, start their own networks, and avoid the mistakes the Big 10 had made……… seems that was not the case.

          • bullet says:

            Didn’t Fox take extra $ in the early years to fund startup costs? I seem to recall reading that was why the school distributions shot up about 3 years ago.

            The Big 10 didn’t take that much risk. I’ve never seen a breakout, but their payments include rights fees in addition to profit. Fox took the risk. The premier games are not on the BTN.

          • bullet says:

            Conferences almost always charge membership fees which often get taken out of distributions. There is equity in the conference brand and future contracts. There is money spent promoting that brand. The Big 12 had to scrap a $1-$2 million program designed after CU and NU left when the next two left.

            So A&M and Missouri did get substantial equity with joining the SEC. However, they gave up equity by leaving the Big 12 (as well as bb tourney credits), so they swung a good deal with the SEC. Utah, TCU, WVU and Rutgers didn’t have that type of leverage.

          • mushroomgod says:

            bullet, I think you’re right…..that there was a certain amount that went back to FOX off the top as reimbursement…….

          • mushroomgod says:

            I’m interested in a couple of other aspects of the news article…..First, the asserted academic benefits of being in the BT…..I can never tell how much of that stuff is bs and how much is real……I do think that the more it’s discussed, the more it becomes real….to me, it seems like there are genuine benefits to the IU, Purdue, Iowa, Neb, and MSU…..not so much to NW, UM, ILL, Wisconsin. I have always felt that Frank is a little to open to lowering the academic profile….for this reason, I liked the MD/Rutgers addition over a possible MO/KU addition.

            The other interesting aspect is the “equity” in the BTN. Given that no present school looks to “sell” that equity, of what present value is it? In other words, isn’t the current value of the BTN it’s present and expected revenue streams? Now the interesting question about BTN equity is what happens when the Big/Fox deal expires……what in the world happens then? Do the parties simply reup, does FOX sell….does the Big have the negotiating advantage?

          • Wainscott says:

            When the Fox deal expires, the B1G take full ownership of the network. Its the gamble Fox took. In practice, the parties will renegotiate before then.

          • Andy says:

            @Frank, yes, I’ve heard all of the fancy talk about “buying in” and “equity”, but all it really is is an elaborate excuse for squeezing new members for as much as they can squeeze them for.

            Nebraska
            Maryland
            Rutgers
            Utah
            West Virginia
            TCU

            All of those schools have different prices that they agreed to. Not one is the same as another on that list.

            It was a negotiation. It was not about “this is how much you need to buy in for us to be able to afford having you as part of this conference network” or whatever. That’s all baloney. The conference network is relatively new and none of the pre-existing members had to buy in with a dime of actual revenue. Meanwhile every school on that list was out there performing, competing, building up a following, and developing their own brands in their previous conferences.

            The new conferences are acquiring those brands and those followings and those markets and those reputations of those institutions. The question then becomes “how much is it worth to us?”

            So how much is Nebraska worth to the Big Ten? Well, now we know.

            And it’s a different number than what Rutgers was worth and what Maryland was worth, and those two were worth different from each other.

            West Virginia was worth different than TCU.

            Colorado was worth different from Utah.

            And it’s not just about how much the conference is willing to offer. It’s also about how little a school is willing to take.

            Neither A&M nor Missouri were desperate to join the SEC.

            Both schools told the SEC that they needed full payment from day one if they were going to join.

            That was the price required for the SEC to acquire those two institutions.

            The SEC deemed it a worthwhile investment.

            If Notre Dame came knocking a couple of years ago and told the B1G we want to join the B1G, but we’ll only take full membership from day 1, would the B1G have agreed?

            You bet your ass they would have agreed. All that “buy in” and “equity” baloney would have been thrown out the window in about two seconds.

          • Wainscott says:

            @Andy:

            “And it’s not just about how much the conference is willing to offer. It’s also about how little a school is willing to take.

            Neither A&M nor Missouri were desperate to join the SEC.

            Both schools told the SEC that they needed full payment from day one if they were going to join.”

            This is the critical part. Its not what the B1G or SEC valued the teams it added, its what it would cost them to add relative to the value.

            If you have the choice of purchasing a Lexus at sticker price, and purchasing the same exact Lexus for $4,000 less, you obviously try to save the $4k.

            In the B1G-Nebraska situation, the B1G saw an opportunity to get an elite brand name who was looking to escape an uncertain situation with the Big 12 and was able to drive a hard bargain as a result. Nebraska had nowhere else to go, no viable option.

            Rutgers obviously had no other viable option, but the B1G saw an opportunity to get east coast exposure at a short and medium term discount. For Maryland, it was the mid-Atlantic exposure it coveted. But UMD also had options (staying in the ACC) so there was more of an equal footing for negotiation.

            Mizzou and A&M were in a stronger position to bargain with the SEC, as the SEC clearly wanted to expand, and was looking for new markets–and A&M & Mizzou were among the best and most easily obtainable options, but both schools had stability in its conference affiliation (even if less lucrative).

            But your larger implication that somehow A&M and Mizzou are more worthy or better additions or superior based on this doesn’t compute.

            Remember, the article cited above also states:

            “The Big Ten used the same six-year phase-in term. And all the deals attempt to hold schools harmless — that is, ensure that schools do not lose money compared with what they were receiving from their old leagues.

            Because the schools were coming from different leagues, with varying levels of conference revenue, that required different hold harmless payments. It took only $14 million two years ago to hold Nebraska harmless when it left the Big 12.”

            The hold-harmless payments were relative to what they were receiving in their original conference. This is the same deal either Mizzou or A&M would have gotten if joining the B1G, which at one time, was something Mizzou wanted to do very badly, and made it very clear and public. That Mizzou is now in a great situation, and possibly more lucrative one, will never change that.

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            The SEC owns almost nothing. They don’t even own their conference offices. There is nothing to “buy-in”. The SEC constitution and by-laws provide a process for how new members join and how existing members can quit. I think the SEC’s membership dues are $10 year.

            In the latest round of conference realignment, the SEC wasn’t desperate to expand but A&M and the SEC have been flirting with each other since the early 90s when LSU AD Joe Dean and A&M AD (and Louisiana native) John David Crow first broached the subject when the SWC was on life support. When the Pac-16 looked imminent with the Big XII implosion as a by-product, A&M, led by Gene Stallings, wanted to go to the SEC. Then the B-12 was saved by Fox and ESPN, so A&M stayed. A year later, with the establishment of the LHN as an excuse (and the Texas legislature not in session) A&M had second thoughts about the new B-12 and wanted to join the SEC.

            Sure, the SEC wanted them as they had for 20 years. But no special deal was cut for the Aggies or Mizzou for that matter. When a school is a member of the SEC, its a member of the SEC. Pass a vote by the existing members and pay your $10, and you’re in with all the rights and privileges that go along with full membership, including a full share (1/15th) of the money. The SEC office also gets a cut.

            With Texas A&M in, the SEC was prepared to go with 13 members for a year or more. They didn’t want to, but were prepared to do it. When Mizzou looked like the best candidate, the PTB in Columbia did some hand-wringing, but decided to join and then wanted in without giving the B-12 much notice. That decision was theirs, not the SEC’s. Things were complicated by Ken Starr and Baylor who wanted sue everybody.

            If Mizzou had said no, the SEC would have moved down the list, just like they did in the early 90s when Florida State, after 20 years of applying for SEC membership, said no, and invited South Carolina. Mizzou didn’t dictate terms to the SEC. They joined the SEC under the same terms as did Arkansas, South Carolina, and Texas A&M.

          • Andy says:

            Wainscott, we’re basically in agreement (although you seem to think you’re disagreeing with me), except the part where you tried to claim to know what it would have taken for the B1G to have gotten Mizzou and/or A&M. There’s no way to prove that, and since the B1G didn’t actually offer either school the real answer is $0. Now if the B1G actually did want either school the answer could be anywhere from $0 to all of the money the B1G has, but it would probably end up being an offer of somewhere between what Nebraska got and what Missouri ended up getting. Both A&M and Missouri would probably agree to something in that range.

            But yes, I agree, Nebraska isn’t objectively worth less than Missouri. But Nebraska to the B1G at that time was worth less than Missouri to the SEC a year later.

          • Andy says:

            Alan, truth is the SEC could have gotten a lesser school for a lesser cut. They could have shot for Tulane or Rice or Louisville or even Clemson or Georgia Tech. Any of those schools would have agreed to terms at or below the terms that schools like TCU and Utah took.

            But the SEC made the calculated decision 20 years ago and again in 2012 to pay full price for a school that best fit what they wanted. The SEC wasn’t going to get A&M or Missouri on the cheap.

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Andy – whether the SEC could have gotten some school “on the cheap” is irrelevant. That’s not how the SEC operates and that’s not what its constitution and by-laws provide. When you’re in, you’re in and when you’re out you’re out. Based on its rules and precedent (not speculation), Mizzou got the same deal any other #14 would have received.

          • Wainscott says:

            ” But Nebraska to the B1G at that time was worth less than Missouri to the SEC a year later”

            Worth is the wrong word. You mean to say that Nebraska was available for less than what Mizzou got from the SEC.

            Using the car example, a new luxury car purchased on sale is not worth less than one purchased at sticker price. Its merely getting a better deal at the time. That the B1G was able to drive a bargain with UNL does not affect worth, it merely reflects value at the time for the conference.

            Indeed, UNL had a lot of worth to the conference, as it felt that UNL + championship game would still = more money per team, so that UNL was not a net taker.

          • bullet says:

            @Alan
            So you are saying the “SEC” brand has no value?

            And, of course, there are the basketball credits. SEC hasn’t been earning as many as usual the last 3 or 4 years, but its still substantial $.

            Lets assume, hypothetically, that the SEC decided it HAD to get into North Carolina and Texas and Texas A&M had not been available. Do you really think Houston and East Carolina, who were earning very little, would have gotten the same deal as A&M and Missouri?

          • Andy says:

            Alan, sure, their bylaws say they pay full price, fine, and that decision has helped them attract quality new members.

          • Andy says:

            Wainscott, economically speaking something is only worth what you’re willing to pay for it.

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            bullet – I have no idea how you could come to the conclusion that I’m saying the SEC brand has no value. I would argue that the SEC brand, if all conference contracts were up at the same time and offering the same packages, would be the most valuable brand in college sports. That has nothing to do with the way the SEC adds teams. The SEC doesn’t charge its new members for the “good will” of the brand, as a selling company may charge a buyer. There are no “franchise fees” like the professional sports associations charge. I’m taking issue with the assertion that A&M and Mizzou got sweetheart deals because the SEC was so desperate to have them. They didn’t and they weren’t.

            Bringing up Houston and East Carolina are just red herrings. There is no way, the SEC ever would brought in a school like either of those.

            If Mizzou had decided to stay in the Big XII, the SEC most likely would have stayed at 13 for a year or two to see if Oklahoma or an ACC team would shake loose. If not, they probably would have settled for West Virginia

          • bullet says:

            I don’t remember what deals Arkansas and South Carolina got and I’m pretty sure Andy doesn’t really know either. But entrance fees are more common than exit fees. Not charging one is unusual, whether you are talking about the Southland Conference, the Southern Conference or the Southeast Conference.

          • bullet says:

            Nebraska didn’t get “screwed” in their deal. In retrospect, they didn’t work a very good deal, but it looked good at the time. Its like criticizing the ACC and SEC for their TV deals when they last signed them. They were hailed as great deals at the time.

          • Brian says:

            mushroomgod,

            “It does seem to me NEB gets screwed in one respect…..there is nothing paid for the value NEB immediately added to the BTN by making more more attractive programming……..”

            Except that they make more once they are a full owner, and that bump in value may well have been factored into the calculations for how much to pay NE each year until 2017.

          • Andy says:

            That’s preposterous. Nothing was “calculated”. They just haggled and squeezed Nebraska for what they could get out of them.

            At the time Nebraska was in a hurry to close the deal because the Big 12 was seemingly collapsing, with CU already in the Pac 10 and most of the Big 12 South headed that way too, and with Missouri and possibly others also chasing a Big Ten bid. So Nebraska eagerly low balled and grabbed the spot as quick as they could.

            It wasn’t a calculation of what a fair buy in would be. It was a rush to get the sweetest deal possible.

          • Wainscott says:

            Andy-

            That the B1G got Nebraska without giving it a full buy in for a few years means nothing more than the B1G got a good deal for a name brand. It does not affect UNL’s worth/value overall to the conference.

          • Wainscott says:

            Growth of SEC revenue sharing is remarkable. Kudos to Roy Kramer.

            http://www.arkansasbusiness.com/post/92787/a-look-at-how-southeastern-conference-revenue-sharing-has-grown

            Other yearly money distributions, since 1992 (the year Arkansas joined the league) are as follows:

            Year

            Total Revenue Shared (In Millions)

            2013

            $289.4

            2012

            $244.0

            2011

            $219.9

            2010

            $209.0

            2009

            $132.5

            2007

            $122.0

            2006

            $116.1

            2005

            $110.7

            2004

            $108.8

            2003

            $101.9

            2002

            $95.7

            2001

            $78.1

            2000

            $73.2

            1999

            $68.5

            1998

            $61.2

            1997

            58.9

            1996

            $45.5

            1995

            $40.3

            1994

            $34.35

            1993

            $34.34

            1992

            $27.7

            Source: The Southeastern Conference.

          • Richard says:

            Wainscott:

            Eh. It’s been good but not out of the ordinary compared to other sports.

            Revenue in that dying sport of MLB baseball grew from $1.4B in 1994 to $7B in 2010, or 5X times.

            In the same period SEC revenue grew from $34.35M to $209M, or roughly 6X times.

            The NFL had revenue of $1.3B in 1990 (http://www.nytimes.com/1992/07/02/sports/discrepancies-in-nfl-revenue.html)
            $9.5B in 2012. 7.3X over several more years.

            B10 revenues are now at $315M (in 2013). Considering that league revenues must have been peanuts in the early ’90′s as well, the B10 probably grew revenues roughly as fast as the SEC over the same time period.

          • Wainscott says:

            I see your point, but the SEC gets extra points for the revenue growth with a relative lack of major media centers within its geographic area (though explosive population growth does somewhat balance that out.

            See: http://www.stationindex.com/tv/tv-markets — Only 5 of the top 35 tv markets are in SEC territory, and I include Houston in that. Compared to 12 of the top 35 in B1G country (not including NY/DC/Baltimore), 7 for the Pac, not counting Denver/STLake.

            I also don know of the benefit of comparing pro and college leagues, as pro leagues have more teams, more economies of scale, more promotional power and the like. I’d like to see B1G’s rate of growth. Same for the Pac10/12.

          • Richard says:

            “I see your point, but the SEC gets extra points for the revenue growth with a relative lack of major media centers within its geographic area (though explosive population growth does somewhat balance that out.”

            Actually, I would posit that the lack of major media centers (and thus major urban centers) is a help, not a hindrance, as there would also be a lack of pro teams to take away interest. Plus, there’s nothing to do in the boonies except follow the local college team and roll in the hay. No spending time and money on stuff like going to concerts and clubs, etc.

            There’s a reason why the flagship school in every state with close to 3M people or above without a pro franchise (with the except of MS) is at least a prince in football or basketball (and often times a king).

            KS: KU is a bball king
            AK: Prince in both football and bball.
            IA: Prince in football
            CT: UConn is a king in bball
            OK (franchise is recent): OU king in football
            KY: UK king in bball
            SC: SC and Clemson both princes in football.
            AL: A king and a prince in football in that state.

            TN and NC got pro franchises recently. UT is a king in football (&prince in bball, as is Memphis). UNC and Duke are both kings in bball.

            NE has less than 2M people but UNL is a king in football.

            Only MS has nothing.

            And yes, population growth definitely helps.

          • Wainscott says:

            I see your point; however, SEC country has enough pro teams (7 NFL teams including Houston, 4 MLB) that there is some competition. While there might be less comparative competition (hence, greater share), there is also less income and still less folks overall, and less TV demand based on market (CBS does not inherently covet the Birmingham TV market). Despite this, states like Alabama are driving the revenue train to me is remarkable, especially when generating $120m plus a year. Its not all hicks in the boonies pulling that off, because they couldn’t do that by themselves. Nor could having a larger share of a small state explain that. No, Alabama’s name is well established so that it has fans everywhere. Folks in the north and west, with no ties to the area, nonetheless know Alabama/watch their games/buy stuff. Thats whats impressive to me, because its difficult for schools to get to that level. I’m sure I could word this better, but its late and an internet message board.

            Also, you correctly point out the presence of Kings/Princes in smaller states, but thats also because of sustained success that made them household brands nationwide.

          • Richard says:

            Well sure, But they go hand-in-hand.

            Deep loyal support from a big enough population (3M or a little below seems to be the floor) that doesn’t have any loyalties to any pro teams often leads to success in college sports.

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Richard – most of Mississippi’s population is no more than a two hour drive from New Orleans and the entire state of Mississippi is full of Saints fans.

          • Richard says:

            Here’s the rate of grow from 2000->2010:
            http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2012/12/conference_realignment_follow.html

            Conference 2010 Revenue 2000 Revenue 2010 Avg. Member Payout 2000 Avg. Member Payout
            Big Ten $265.1 million $85.2 million $22.9 million $7.2 million
            SEC $261.0 million $94.1 million $19.5 million $6.6 million
            ACC $167.2 million $82.0 million $12.3 million $8.1 million
            Big 12 * $159.7 million $85.2 million $10.8 million $4.8 million
            Big East $119.4 million $51.3 million $6.5 million $2.8 million
            Pac-12 ** $111.8 million $58.3 million $9.4 million $5.4 million
            C-USA $46.6 million $21.3 million $3.1 million $908,075
            WAC $21.1 million $2.9 million $224,456 $260,587
            MAC $12.3 million $2.9 million $142,708 $103,003
            Mountain West $11.7 million $2.9 million $243,909 $50,315
            Sun Belt $11.0 million $2.7 million $183,350 $107,798
            Atlantic 10 $10.2 million $8.1 million $124,392
            $331,591

            Chart formatted much better in the link, but as you can see, the B10 has kept up with the SEC.

          • Richard says:

            Alan:

            Well, that may be true, but most of KS’s population is within a 2 hour drive of KC, yet they manage to support a bball king. Most (or at least half) of KY’s population is within 2 hours of Cincy, yet they manage to support 2 bball kings. Most (or at least half) of AL’s population is within 2 hours of Atlanta, yet they manage to support a football king and football prince. Most (or at least half) of SC’s population is within 2 hours of Charlotte, yet they manage to support 2 football princes. Most (or at least half) of AR’s population is within 2 hours of Memphis, yet Arkansas is a prince in both football and bball. Granted, the pro franchises in Charlotte and Memphis are new. A good chunk of CT is a suburb of NYC & the other part is Patriots territory, yet they raised a bball king (or at least prince) there. OK isn’t far from Dallas either.

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Richard – the state Mississippi’s failure to have any sports royalty outside of baseball has nothing to do with support and more to do with being located in between Louisiana and Alabama. Mississippi is one of the best producers of football talent on a per capita basis. The Mississippi schools just don’t get to keep a lot of their elite players. Last week, the best player in Mississippi signed with LSU.

            Three D-1 schools that have been somewhat indistinguishable since integration has also led to a fairly equal distribution of talent. While Louisiana may have five D-1 schools, LSU is not losing any players to the other four. Ole Miss, Miss State (and to a limited extent, So Miss) lose players to each other on a regular basis. Ole Miss and Miss State have a combined average attendance of 115,000. Ole Miss has plans to increase their stadium capacity to over 70,000, and this season Miss State’s Scott Field will seat over 60,000. Support is there, but after Bama and LSU have picked through the batch of recruits, Ole Miss and Miss State just don’t have enough to go around.

            Also, the state of Mississippi’s role in the segregation movement and the symbols that still surround Ole Miss have to play a part. From 1947 to 1963, Ole Miss won 6 SEC titles, and zero since.

        • mushroomgod says:

          I think Andy’s problem is that when he was in Cub Scouts they would only let him be a junior member…..he’s never gotten over it.

      • ccrider55 says:

        “Confirms what many have always said…”

        Confirms what Andy, almost alone, has always said.
        There. Fixed that for you.

        • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

          Except that it doesn’t even do that.

          It is however in line with what those who aren’t butthurt over being passed over by the B1G have said…that Nebraska is buying equity in the BTN.

          • ccrider55 says:

            “It is what Andy says confirms what Andy, almost alone, has always said.”

            This is how I should have fixed it. My bad.

          • Andy says:

            If you think I’m the only one who has said that then you don’t get around much. Tons of people have said that.

      • Mack says:

        The difference being WVU, TCU, and Utah are still receiving more than twice the $$ they would have received if they had stayed in their former conferences. Rutgers will also easily get double (due to poor AAC payouts) while Maryland will get more than its ACC payout, Only Nebraska took a cut from what they would have received if they had stayed in their old conference.

        • Andy says:

          Exactly. The B1G and Big 12 screwed these teams because they could. The SEC chose not to screw their new members.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            That is exactly true, if you never learned the skill of present-valuing an annuity stream.

          • Andy says:

            That’s just an excuse. It was really just about setting a price that both parties were comfortable with.

            The B1G didn’t feel that Nebraska was worth full price, and Nebraska was willing to join at less than full price.

            The Big 12 paid more for WVU than they did for TCU. The Pac 12 gave full membership to Colorado from day one, but junior membership to Utah.

            These sorts of things are flexible. If the B1G really wanted Nebraska and Nebraska demanded full membership from day 1, then Nebraska would have gotten full membership from day 1. The B1G could afford it if that’s what they really wanted.

          • Andy says:

            To put it another way, if Notre Dame had demanded full pay from day one what are the odds that they would have gotten it?

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            You still don’t seem to understand the concept of present-valuing an annuity stream.

            I don’t think, under any circumstances, Nebraska was going to receive full equity in BTN from Day One, nor should they.

            The Big Ten has said, and I have no reason to disbelieve them, that Maryland also have to buy in, but on a different payment schedule. As I assume Jim Delany gets the math, I assume they are present-valued as well.

            No, I don’t think ND would have been given full equity “for free”.

          • Andy says:

            OK, well, we disagree on that because I think Notre Dame would have been given full payment from day one no questions asked just like Mizzou, Colorado, and Texas A&M, and there’s no way to prove who’s right, so I guess there’s really nothing left to argue about.

          • Wainscott says:

            @Andy,

            Regarding Notre Dame, I’m not certain they would get full equity from day one if there was still some years left on its NBC deal. I could see an agreement to get less than equal pay in return to not having to share the NBC money until the deal expired. But yes, this is all hypothetical and thus, cannot be conclusively proven..

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            OK, well, we disagree on that because I think Notre Dame would have been given full payment from day one no questions asked….

            Even assuming that, there is a big difference between:

            1) The best brand in all of college sports would have received a better deal than Nebraska; and,
            2) Nebraska got screwed.

            You haven’t demonstrated that Nebraska got screwed. Even Nebraska themselves, who presumably know more than we do, don’t seem to think so.

          • vp19 says:

            Does this reflect the difference between Nebraska as a brand (big-name football power) and Nebraska’s actual value (a sparsely-populated state)?

          • Andy says:

            vp no doubt that’s part of it if you ask me.

        • mushroomgod says:

          My understanding was that during the buy-in period NEB would be “held harmless”, meaning that they would do no worse than had they stayed in the 12. Is that not the case?

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            The article does indeed say that there was a “hold harmless” provision in the first year, and apparently there have been adjustments afterward, though the size of those adjustments is not yet in the public domain.

            Andy describes it as “getting screwed,” because he doesn’t understand basic math, but no one at UNL seems to feel that way. In fact, the article states, “Nebraska in three years is headed for a big financial score with the Big Ten,” also described (in the same article) as a “windfall”. Only in Andyland is that “getting screwed.”

          • bullet says:

            They definitely were guaranteed they would make no less than they had been making. But clearly, they are not being guaranteed they would make the money they would have made off the new Big 12 contract (which didn’t exist at the time).

            If I were Nebraska I would ask for an adjustment based on the Maryland deal and the spirit of the previous agreement.

          • Andy says:

            Hey look, Marc, looks like I’m not the only one who gets it. Even bullet gets it. How about that?

          • Brian says:

            mushroomgod,

            “My understanding was that during the buy-in period NEB would be “held harmless”, meaning that they would do no worse than had they stayed in the 12. Is that not the case?”

            They are held harmless compared to the old B12 deal in place when they left. The B12 since has a new deal that pays much more, and they aren’t held harmless compared to that deal. The B10 has made upward adjustments twice in the payouts to NE as NE could show what their old deal would’ve paid them in a specific year.

          • Mack says:

            The YES network has the Yankees contracted through 2042. The contract length was extended just before the Fox purchase, apparently a requirement of that purchase. Fox bought 49% at a $3B value, with the increase to 80% at the $3.9B value. YES also broadcasts Nets basketball and is reported to have a $200M+ annual profit.

            I did not say the BTN network is not valuable, just that 90%+ of its value is in the content, not facilities. Nebraska contributed a lot of content to the BTN, but since they sold into a buyers market, Nebraska did not get compensated for that content. There is no way Notre Dame would have paid any buy-in to the BTN, and despite what some on this board believe, I doubt the B1G presidents would have lost their great white whale over this issue. If ND had become a full member of the B1G you would have heard the B1G saying the contribution of valuable content was ND’s equity contribution to the BTN, and the truth is the ND content is worth more than the current average equity of the 11 that founded the network.

          • Brian says:

            Mack,

            “I did not say the BTN network is not valuable, just that 90%+ of its value is in the content, not facilities.”

            Which is true of every TV channel and entertainment company ever. What’s your point?

            “Nebraska contributed a lot of content to the BTN, but since they sold into a buyers market, Nebraska did not get compensated for that content.”

            They contributed no more than anyone else did, and they are getting compensated via an ownership share plus profit-sharing.

            “There is no way Notre Dame would have paid any buy-in to the BTN,”

            Because you say so? OSU, MI, PSU and NE all had to buy in. You don’t think they’d demand the same from ND? They’d just give them a $50M gift?

            “and despite what some on this board believe, I doubt the B1G presidents would have lost their great white whale over this issue.”

            If ND demanded that as a part of joining, it would be a clear signal they didn’t want to join. The B10 demands the schools share revenue equally and they start off by demanding special treatment? No.

            “If ND had become a full member of the B1G you would have heard the B1G saying the contribution of valuable content was ND’s equity contribution to the BTN, and the truth is the ND content is worth more than the current average equity of the 11 that founded the network.”

            The value ND would add is mostly to the ABC/ESPN deal. That’s where the valuable games go.

            None of this is to say the B10 wouldn’t consider year over year BTN subscription increases once ND joined and credit ND for the value of those people above the projected growth curve. They might also credit them with any bump the B10 got from ABC or Fox (CCG). Even a deal considering the NBC contract might be considered. But the B10 wouldn’t just give ND a free ride.

          • Chris says:

            MACK:
            Obviously you have zero clue regarding equity of content. ND does not hold a candle to UM, Ohio State & PSU content. ND is a huge equity asset, but they are not greater than say a Michigan. UM is the 2nd most valuable asset of college sports and yet their expenses dwarf ND and most schools athletic budgets.
            You continue to harp on a premise which is completely false! ND moves to a worthless league with virtually zero athletics equity simply to pave an easier road to championships in football. Granted, as I said, ND is a huge athletic equity asset and as a full member they bring a huge equity asset to the table. But your premise that ND’s equity asset is greater then the B1G’s original 11 who began the BTN is absolutely absurd.

        • Richard says:

          Mack:

          “The difference being WVU, TCU, and Utah are still receiving more than twice the $$ they would have received if they had stayed in their former conferences. Rutgers will also easily get double (due to poor AAC payouts) while Maryland will get more than its ACC payout, Only Nebraska took a cut from what they would have received if they had stayed in their old conference.”

          UNL would not have owned a stake in a successful profitable conference channel if they had stayed in the B12. Plus, with the gigantic new TV deal that the B10 is poised to sign, UNL will likely end up making more than any school from any non-B10 conference in their first 15 years in the B10 over the same time period.

          • bullet says:

            With the time value of money I seriously doubt they catch up to the SEC schools. And they certainly don’t catch up to Texas.

          • Richard says:

            bullet:

            I’m not sure what country/dimension you live in, but in our current one, inflation and interest rates are virtually zero. A dollar in 2012 will be worth almost the same as a dollar in 2017. Plus, starting in 2017, every B10 school will make substantially more than any non-B10 school.

          • bullet says:

            You must be a liberal arts major Richard. That’s all I can say.

          • Richard says:

            LOL.

            By that comment, I have to say that you’re as bad a judge of people as you are at math, bullet.

            OK, instead of launching potshots, why don’t you actually work out the math? Show me the figures that would have what UNL didn’t gain by being in the B10 instead of the B12 be worth more than what they will gain in the 10 years of the new TV agreement (assuming the World-Herald figures of 40-50M in 2017). And no, you can’t use 10% as the risk-free rate. You’ll have have to use the real-world risk-free rate.

          • ccrider55 says:

            At the last school I attended a number of economic degrees were offered through the college of liberal arts.

          • Richard says:

            ccrider:

            That’s the case at a lot of schools.

            Ironically, I never actually ever picked up a liberal arts degree. A BS from an engineering school and then an MBA in finance.

          • Mack says:

            UNL will be better off long term in the B1G, but it will not be due to “ownership” of the BTN. If the BTN were sold its value (like the YES network) will consist almost entirely of the difference between contracted payments for B1G programming and the current fair market value of that content. In effect the BTN value is the programming that UNL and other B1G members contributed. Strip the BTN of this content and it is almost worthless. Therefore, the only business justification for the $50M+ buy-in is that the current members could get it, much like an expansion fee in a pro league.

          • Richard says:

            That’s true of the YES network and the Yankees, Mack, yet the Yankees were able to sell a share of the YES network for a hefty sum.

          • @Richard – Correct. I’m seeing quite a bit of an underestimation of the valuations of these sports networks. The payout that Fox provided the Yankees for its share of the YES Network valued YES as being worth almost twice as much more than the New York Yankees franchise itself. YES was valued at $3.9 billion under the Fox deal, while the rest of the Yankees franchise (excluding its interest in YES) was valued at $2.092 billion by Bloomberg last year. (Note that the only 3 sports teams in the world that have higher valuations than the Yankees are Real Madrid, Manchester United and FC Barcelona.) Now, that high valuation for YES might be a reflection of the current hot sports rights market and the fact that we still have widespread basic cable, but those numbers should show you that any equity interest in the BTN isn’t just chump change. Just because it’s not necessarily a liquid asset doesn’t mean that it lacks extraordinary value (i.e. privately-owned companies with restrictive covenants on sales, real estate holdings, etc.). Looking at the YES valuation and their revenue, it’s not exactly crazy to deduce that the BTN is worth well north of $1 billion (and maybe more than $2 billion or more). It shouldn’t shock people that the 11 Big Ten members that created the BTN wouldn’t be giving that away for free.

          • bullet says:

            Alright Richard, I was wrong. You are a homer like Clay Travis instead of a financial illiterate!

            A dollar today is worth a whole lot more than one 10 years from now. There’s the uncertainty factor on top of the time value of money. The CPI at the end of 2013 was 232.957 vs. 201.6 just 7 years before. 3% inflation adds up. And investors need a lot more than the CPI to justify getting their money later.

            Nebraska’s decision was a good one at the time. But with perfect knowledge, they would have insisted on a better deal.

          • ccrider55 says:

            At the risk of winding up in the SEC? :)

  51. Mack says:

    The SEC could not get Texas A&M without a full payout, so there was no SEC choice there. Colorado also got a full share from the P12.

    • Andy says:

      Yep, it has nothing to do with buy ins. It’s about how much a conference wants a school vs how much that school wants that conference.

      In the case of Texas A&M, Missouri, and Colorado, the price was full membership from day one.

      In the cases of Utah, TCU, West Virginia, and Nebraska, it was less than full membership.

      • mushroomgod says:

        Interesting Andy….so your theory is the SEC wanted Missouri more than the Big 10 wanted Nebraska or Maryland.

          • Phil says:

            So you are arguing that adding a 12th team to the B1G, which reduced each of the 11 schools equity share in the BTN from a value of $58mm to just over $53mm (by Forbes estimates) had nothing to do with Nebraska’s buy in, and another conference like the SEC would just give a new school the $53mm??

            Right.

          • Andy says:

            Seems that the B1G is rolling in money right now so yes I think they could have afforded it just fine. A few years ago they were making way less than they are now. All it would have done is slowed down their growth temporarily. But obviously they saw it as a worthy investment.

            Obviously Nebraska saw it as a good deal. The B1G had options and Nebraska wanted to make sure that they were the one picked. So they took as little as they could afford to take. And as an athletic department with a fairly high revenue stream, they could afford to low ball a bit to guarantee that spot.

      • frug says:

        In the case of Texas A&M, Missouri, and Colorado, the price was full membership from day one.

        I don’t where you are getting your info, but Colorado did not recieve a full share in its first year in the PAC 12.

        http://blogs.mercurynews.com/collegesports/2013/05/20/pac-12-revenue-soars-school-by-school-breakdown-scotts-compensation-and-more/

        Stanford: $15,651,602
        Oregon: $15,200,450
        Washington: $13,520,128
        USC: $13,464,426
        UCLA: $12,753,358
        Arizona State: $12,029,443
        Cal: $11,595,746
        Washington State: $10,564,842
        Arizona: $10,562,878
        Oregon State: $10,043,205
        Utah: $4,079,028 (new member, partial cut)
        Colorado: $3,413,697 (new member, partial cut)

        • frug says:

          Also, Andy you are forgetting that Colorado and WVU reduced shares came about because those schools had to take loans out from their new conferences to finance their exit penalties. The loans are being paid back in the form a reduced payout over the first few years.

          • Andy says:

            I don’t follow the Pac 12 very closely. From what I’ve seen CU got a significantly better deal than Utah and I was under the impression that they’re basically getting full payments. If anyone has the full scoop I’d be happy to look at it.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Then don’t make assertions about the PAC (one school at which you have claimed to work?).

          • Arch Stanton says:

            Andy says:
            “I don’t follow the Pac 12 very closely.”

            Really? Because previously, when it has suited your argument, you’ve claimed extensive knowledge of the Pac-12 innerworks and even stated that you worked for the Athletic Dept of a Pac-12 school.

          • Andy says:

            Arch, like usual you’re full of crap. I do work for a Pac 12 school, and I do work with their athletic department (was just over there today), but I do not work for their athletic department and I certainly don’t keep track of Colorado’s TV money, and never claimed to.

          • Arch Stanton says:

            Andy says
            “I certainly don’t keep track of Colorado’s TV money, and never claimed to.”

            Actually, you have claimed several times already just in the comments to this particular blog post that Colorado got a full share of Pac-12 money immediately.

            How is that not claiming to keep track of Colorado’s TV money?

            I expect a little better background research out of you in the future, Andrew.

          • Andy says:

            I was actually just following along with what bullet and Mack already said before me in previous comments to this blog post. I didn’t dispute what they said and repeated it because it matches what I’ve heard elsewhere. And seeing as how nobody has proven otherwise I still feel comfortable for having said it. But I never once said that I learned anything about it through my workplace.

        • greg says:

          Missouri is also a junior member. I’m sure someone will hand wave it all, but Nebraska received less payout due to value accumulated prior to joining the conference, just as Missouri received less payout due to value accumulated prior to joining the conference. The level of the cut was less, due to less accumulated value, but they’re both junior members.

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

          Texas A&M and Missouri received $1.4 to $1.5 million less than the next-closest SEC schools. 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.

          • Andy says:

            greg, that’s silly. If A&M had joined on August 1st instead of July 1st it would have been even less. They were paid 100% for every day that they were members.

          • ccrider55 says:

            And Neb is proud owner of $53M worth of the BTN. How much does/will each school own of the ESecPN? Zero.

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            cc – the SEC operates under a different model. As I said in an earlier post, they don’t even own their office building. Also, in previous TV negotiations, the SEC’s number one priority was exposure. It appears that the B1G’s number one priority was money. Both conferences got what they wanted.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Alan:

            I understand that, and am not suggesting anything is necessarily wrong with that. It’s like owning vs leasing a car or an apartment. Comparing initial costs is an apples and oranges comparison. Something your Missouri brethren seems to miss.

            How’s the Tiger baseball team look this year?

          • Andy says:

            cc, so what? They’re never going to sell it. They own nothing of any practical value.

            The SECN will pay out just as much or more soon enough. Actual revenue it what matters, not imaginary assets you can never ever cash in on.

          • Andy says:

            As for baseball, they’ve made the NCAA tournament 8 out of the last 10 years, so that’s pretty good. They weren’t very good last year and I don’t know if they’ll get much better. They keep getting players/ recruits drafted so that hurts. Football/Volleyball/Wrestling/Softball have all been very good this year. Basketball is on the bubble unfortunately but hopefully they finish strong. Jabari Brown is the favorite for SEC Player of the Year at the moment so at least there’s that.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Thanks Andy, but I was asking Alan. You know, a guy who actually pays attention to important happenings where he is.

            Is Exxon or Apple or Toyota of no value other than revenue quarterlies or dividends? Are the Yankees (or Redbirds) only worth their current income?

          • Andy says:

            I’m not really a fan of Pac 12 sports. I watch it now and then because I’m in California and I go to some of my employer’s games, but I don’t get into the minutia of the dollars and cents of what each individual athletic department is making from year to year. I’ve heard and read people talking about it the end that CU was getting a much better deal than Utah and I’ve seen no one post evidence to the contrary so I’m going to continue to assume I’m right until proven otherwise.

            As for Exxon and Apple, if you own stock in those companies you can sell it. Not so with the BTN.

          • Phil says:

            Just because schools can’t individually sell their shares in the BTN doesn’t mean there is no value to those shares. As a group they could decide to sell off all or part of the equity and make a lot of money (just like the Yankees have sold off 80% of the Yes network).

          • Andy says:

            okay…. so you really think they’re going to end up doing that?

            I guess you never know, but it seems very unlikely.

          • Andy says:

            And as long as they don’t it’s moot.

          • ccrider55 says:

            “As for Exxon and Apple, if you own stock in those companies you can sell it. Not so with the BTN.”

            Not the point. In the absence of sale do not Exxon and Apple still have a value?

            “I’ve heard and read people talking about it the end that CU was getting a much better deal than Utah”

            And a school moving from a non BCS conference getting a graduated payout as opposed to a BCS transfer (and one that had been courted for two decades) receiving aid, I believe a reduced payout year one (they moved a year early-before the new media contract began), and there was no conference owned (whole or partial) P12N yet to buy into means…what? Utah got screwed? I don’t hear any complaints.
            Utah, Colorado, and UNL are all having a part of their distributions directed to equity in the conference networks. That is still a part of their distribution. It is just not in cash. CU/Utah’s conference mates also don’t have a sizeable headstart in that investment like UNL’s.

            “The SECN will pay out just as much or more soon enough.”

            That may be. But it is not a conference owned network. It’s just a 14x larger LHN. A great tier three contract with a dedicated channel. I look forward to it, but I don’t consider it the SEC’s Network. It is ESPN’s newest channel with a narrower than regional focus, for which they will pay the SEC.

            “I don’t get into the minutia of the dollars and cents of what each individual athletic department is making from year to year.”

            Then don’t state things as if you do.

          • Andy says:

            cc, I’m still waiting for you to prove me wrong.

            No, I haven’t looked at all of the numbers. If I was misled about CU getting a full share then I was wrong, but you haven’t even shown that much. Until then I’m going to keep assuming that what I read/heard was correct.

            Apple stock is a liquid asset. It’s a tradable commodity that I can cash in at any time. Equity in the BTN isn’t a liquid asset. It’s highly likely that it will never be cashed in at all. Therefore for all practical purposes it’s no different from the SEC Network.

            As for your talk of Utah, it reinfoces my point rather than contradicting it. Some schools are worth more than others. These deals aren’t calculated and fair “buy ins” to real equity. They’re just haggled deals, with brands being traded like commodities for what they buyer and seller agree to. Utah was a cheaper buy than Colorado.

          • Richard says:

            “Apple stock is a liquid asset. It’s a tradable commodity that I can cash in at any time. Equity in the BTN isn’t a liquid asset. It’s highly likely that it will never be cashed in at all. Therefore for all practical purposes it’s no different from the SEC Network.”

            Just like Yankees stock in the YES Network isn’t a liquid asset. Yet they managed to cash in.

            Besides selling, though, owning an asset means that you collect excess profit via profit-sharing, which the BTN owners do. If there is excess profit from the SECN, that isn’t flowing to any SEC school; they won’t collect that; just whatever annual payout they negotiated with ESPN and that’s it.

          • ccrider55 says:

            “cc, I’m still waiting for you to prove me wrong.”

            1) Don’t need to, you do that all by yourself.
            2) Already did.
            Pick one.

            “Until then I’m going to keep assuming that what I read/heard was correct.”

            That a boy. Nothing like absolute assurance in an opinion about something because : 1) you don’t follow closely and contrary evidence is overrated or denied.
            Or : 2) you must be right because you work for/near/around (pick one) a PAC school and have heard things (things you don’t pay attention to).
            Or : 3) you can deny the validity of differing opinions…well, because they differ from yours, say prove it but not accept that when provided.

            PS: I do admire the way the Missouri FB team, coaches, etc handled the news that unfortunately I fear the NFL may not handle as well. They treated it as a non issue. The media should too, until and unless it becomes an actual issue. Perhaps we’ll be surprised and there won’t be the need to report on it hardly at all.
            But media loves a story…

          • You guys are comparing apples and oranges. The expansions of the Big 10 are SEC are so different that comparisons of the way new members were added are virtually meaningless.

            Although my take is that the difference in financial treatment that different conferences give different additions is explainable by the degree of risk the conference took in adding that school.

            The SEC should absolutely give TAMU a full share, because that is as low risk of an addition as possible. TAMU dramatically expands the SEC’s population footprint, noticeably improves its academics, is a perfect cultural fit, has a dedicated fanbase, and usually has very competitive (if not necessarily elite) teams across a number of sports. 100% chance TAMU at least pays for itself so you aren’t losing money, and you almost certainly gain quite a bit. As far as risk goes, Mizzou isn’t that big of a risk either. Nowhere near the sure-thing that TAMU is, but not the gamble that Rutgers is either.

            The Big 10 on the other hand took a few risks. Is Rutgers definitely going to pay for itself? Does Nebraska add the demographics and academics to the Big 10 that TAMU adds to the SEC? Maybe, maybe not. I happen to think that from a financial perspective at least, the Big 10 made winning bets, but they still took a gamble. You don’t pay full price when you’re taking a gamble.

            The SEC also had a whole lot less to lose than the Big 10. The SEC doesn’t own anything of comparable value to the Big 10 network (and in a different way the CIC) that it would have to distribute to TAMU and Mizzou. Could the SEC lost a little bit of television revenue per year per school if TAMU and Mizzou don’t “pay for themselves”? Maybe, but that’s about the extent of their potential losses. The Big 10 further dividing ownership in the Big 10 network could be a much larger loss.

          • Wainscott says:

            @Phil:

            “Just because schools can’t individually sell their shares in the BTN doesn’t mean there is no value to those shares. As a group they could decide to sell off all or part of the equity and make a lot of money (just like the Yankees have sold off 80% of the Yes network).”

            There might be value to those shares, but there is no open market to define said value. In those situations where something is sold in a closed business, there will be a method of valuation built in to the agreement on how to value something.

            The Yankees sale of YES to Fox was done because Fox had an option to buy it at a set price as determined by a set valuation method. You, I, and 3 other commenters on this blog could not have bought the share of YES the Yankees sold.

            And as a group, they probably could not sell off all or part to anyone. Fox would likely be the only permitted buyer (again, at a price determined using a specific valuation method). Though, the various governing documents of the network are not something I am privy to. But this is how these deals work in general.

          • Andy says:

            cc, i saw a whole lot of words but still no proof. put up or shut up.

          • ccrider55 says:

            There’s no point in trying to discuss/engage with you. I really enjoy this forum and its participants. The exceptions are a few drop-ins who assume it is a usual “fan boy” site and move on when they realize it isn’t, and you. If refusing to form and support/debate positions on the evidence, but only on prejudiced opinion is “winning”, then you win. I concede. No one can influence a mind that is closed, and I don’t know why I tried. I knew better but engaged anyway…

            I apologies to the rest of the posters for posting all these recent responses to Andy. I’ll refrain as best I can.

          • Andy says:

            You do realize that every response you made was way less sensible and respectful than anything I said. Also, your main beef with me seems to be that I posted something without backing it up, but I was actually just repeating what bullet and Mack said right before me, and you didn’t give them grief. You just have a personal vendetta against me.

            Also, you never even proved me wrong.

            But I’d welcome you do do what Brian did and let your personal vendetta against me go, or at least keep it quiet. It makes you look a lot worse than it makes me look.

        • Mack says:

          The P12 was much more severe about prior revenue than the SEC. Colorado received a full share in 2013 but Utah did not. That was also under the old TV contract and the old P12 unequal revenue sharing.

    • Chris says:

      It is simply ludicrous to consider the fact that the B1G is not much more valuable in sports programming and makes every school more valuable. No one can expect to be given a complete share without investing into the business, that is common sense. But to consider the SEC giving a full share when the SEC owns nothing is comparing apples to oranges.

      Obviously to say the ND brand is worth more than the original 11 who stared the BTN is simply not true. The U of Michigan is easily the 2nd most valuable brand in college sports behind Texas. Only anti B1G propaganda would promote such a miss truth.

      RE: the B1G, the payouts will be substantially more than even the SEC’s due to value, market and demand. The BTN is a national network even when considering most must purchase sports tier programming when outside of the B1G footprint. At last viewer inventory the BTN has 80M plus viewers before moving Rutgers and UMD to the B1G. There is also a substantial international demand for B1G programming through the internet as well.

      All in all, the SEC is what it is partly due to the fact the ES(ec)PN network family has pitched their future success upon the SEC which ES(ec)PN owns the network completely. While the BTN is owned by the schools/league and will forever always make more money than the SEC based upon OWNERSHIP.

      RE: ND, their brand would be even more valuable if they were in the B1G, but I as so many B1G fans are sick of the ND arrogance and will look forward to their brand taking a huge hit once the ACC & ESPN face the evidence that UMD, MD Atty General and the B1G has on them which may invoke charges being file due to the RICO laws.

      This will be very interesting. If these things pan out and the B1G can bring 2 or 4 valuable brands such as UVA, UNC, GT & OU. Would the B1G ever consider luring WVU if GEE can improve WVU’s academic standings? If so imagine renewing the PSU vs WVU rivalry in conference! HUGE! Then consider how the B1G could receive payouts easily approaching $75 M per school.

      Consider season ending marquee matchups including the biggest in all sports being Mich vs ohio, then OU vs Neb, PSU vs WVU and MSU vs Wisky. Demand for these games would be massive alone.

      • Wainscott says:

        “It is simply ludicrous to consider the fact that the B1G is not much more valuable in sports programming and makes every school more valuable”

        ” The U of Michigan is easily the 2nd most valuable brand in college sports behind Texas.”

        Numbers? Evidence?

        “. The BTN is a national network even when considering most must purchase sports tier programming when outside of the B1G footprint. ”

        Really? If that’s true, why isnt the BTN in as many homes as ESPN? Oh, because this statement is completely untrue, that’s why.

        “There is also a substantial international demand for B1G programming through the internet as well.”

        Numbers? Evidence?

        At the end of the day, in a few years, the B1G might make more money per school than the SEC, but its certainly not ludicrous to argue the SEC is close to as valuable, if not more so, than the B1G.

        “Obviously to say the ND brand is worth more than the original 11 who stared the BTN is simply not true.”

        Where was this said? I don’t recall seeing this.

        “RE: ND, their brand would be even more valuable if they were in the B1G, but I as so many B1G fans are sick of the ND arrogance and will look forward to their brand taking a huge hit once the ACC & ESPN face the evidence that UMD, MD Atty General and the B1G has on them which may invoke charges being file due to the RICO laws.”

        Don’t hold your breath for any federal RICO prosecutions/actions. Maryland does not have a state RICO statute.

        “Would the B1G ever consider luring WVU if GEE can improve WVU’s academic standings?”

        No. The WV tv market is useless for the BTN, and WVU is nowhere near the nationwide name brand that Nebraska is.

        “If so imagine renewing the PSU vs WVU rivalry in conference! HUGE! Then consider how the B1G could receive payouts easily approaching $75 M per school.”

        Best laugh I’ve had all week.

        “Consider season ending marquee matchups including the biggest in all sports being Mich vs ohio, then OU vs Neb, PSU vs WVU and MSU vs Wisky. Demand for these games would be massive alone.”

        UM & OSU? Absolutely. OU vs. UNL? No doubt. MSU vs. Wisky? Wisky has Minn as a rival, and those two schools/states hate each other. PSU & WVU? Not moving the dial.

        But any self-described B1G fan would know the value of the Paul Bunyan Axe to Minny and Wisky. I suspect we have a new, The Dude-style commenter.

        • Chris says:

          Wainscott:
          Really? The published docs showing the value is not open for argument. If you doubt it, then you dispute the results with the authors. Oh, if I could find those ratings and figures, then surely you can as well.

          Regarding B1G numbers, next yer the B1G will be receiving $35m per school minimum without expanding. Following in 16 the projections are $50M per year, fact not fiction and have been projected based upon viewer broadcast demand.

          Your issue is you like many are simply anti B1G & BTN and simply cannot accept facts which are actually occurring in national demand.

          Then you make a anti RICO statute. Sorry my friend, but the courts are in NC and I promise you, the B1G who has offices now in Chicago and now NY/NJ does have RICO laws and yes the FEDS are very, very interested.

          Say what you will, but your acc will soon be begging to negotiate something reasonable in bringing this issue to a close, but the evidence is simply to overwhelming.

          Discussing these issues with unreasonable people who actually believe their argument holds any truth is simply a waste of time.

          • Brian says:

            Chris,

            “Regarding B1G numbers, next yer the B1G will be receiving $35m per school minimum without expanding. Following in 16 the projections are $50M per year, fact not fiction and have been projected based upon viewer broadcast demand.”

            No. Just no. The projection for next year is just over $30M. The first year of the new TV deals may well bump it up to $40M+ and even $50M, but that’s guesswork right now.

            http://www.jconline.com/article/20130803/SPORTS020101/308030036/Purdue-football-Boilermakers-Big-Ten-Conference

            Projected B10 distributions to PU:
            2014 – $26.5M
            2015 – $30.2M
            2016 – $33.4M
            2017 – $35.1M

            “the B1G who has offices now in Chicago and now NY/NJ”

            Wrong again. They’ve talked about getting a NYC office but don’t have one yet. maybe after RU officially joins.

            “Discussing these issues with unreasonable people who actually believe their argument holds any truth is simply a waste of time.”

            Yes, it really is but I was bored.

          • Wainscott says:

            @Chris:

            All kinds of LOL in here. To quote Al Bundy, “Let’s rock.”

            “Really? The published docs showing the value is not open for argument. If you doubt it, then you dispute the results with the authors. Oh, if I could find those ratings and figures, then surely you can as well.”

            No. You make a claim, you provide the evidence. You claim published documents show the value, then provide them. I will not be hunting for illusory facts and figures. Counselor, if you want to prove your case, you proffer the evidence.

            “Regarding B1G numbers, next yer the B1G will be receiving $35m per school minimum without expanding. Following in 16 the projections are $50M per year, fact not fiction and have been projected based upon viewer broadcast demand.”

            I read projections of $40mil per year with the next TV contract. Again, you supply the data to support your claims.

            “Your issue is you like many are simply anti B1G & BTN and simply cannot accept facts which are actually occurring in national demand.”

            No, I am a big B1G fan, or I would not be spending my time on a B1G message board. But the BTN, objectively, does not have the reach you claim. It is in around 52 million homes, and just recently went international. But not many Germans spend time watching their fifth cousins playing for the Wisconsin Badgers, not many Scandinavians follow the Golden Gophers.

            “Then you make a anti RICO statute. Sorry my friend, but the courts are in NC and I promise you, the B1G who has offices now in Chicago and now NY/NJ does have RICO laws and yes the FEDS are very, very interested.”

            Yes, because North Carolina courts will be oh-so-welcoming of a RICO case brought by Maryland against the ACC, including all major North Carolina schools. That homecooking is whty UMD countersued in…Maryland.

            No. The Feds are not interested at all in getting involved with ESPN, ACC, and university disputes over conference affiliation.

            The BIG’s offices in NY and DC are irrelevant in this matter.

            “Say what you will, but your acc will soon be begging to negotiate something reasonable in bringing this issue to a close, but the evidence is simply to overwhelming.”

            My ACC? I was heretofore unaware of any ownership stake in the ACC, Would be sweet, though.

            “Discussing these issues with unreasonable people who actually believe their argument holds any truth is simply a waste of time.”

            And yet, here you are on a holiday weekend.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            @Chris: Once again, do you have links to credible outside analysis?

          • Wainscott says:

            @Chris:

            Still waiting for you to produce evidence to buttress your wild claims. Or were you just testing out new ideas to blather on about on your Twitter feed?

          • Wainscott says:

            @Chris:

            Still waiting for your proof, though I assume you have none.

      • Mack says:

        Notre Dame’s content is worth more than the average of the original 11, increasing the value of the BTN if this content was contributed vs. sold by ND to NBC. Since the BTN did not give value for the content of NE, MD, and Rutgers the buy-in is more like a fee to join the B1G vs. any real payment of the value in the BTN held by current members. Since there is no way to monetize the investment if any of the current or expansion members left the B1G, that also makes it look more like an initiation fee vs. the actual purchase of some asset. Being a member of the B1G is valuable to the new members, and is worthy of a high fee. Just saying “buying into the BTN” is not what is really happening even if it is framed that way.

        As far as I can tell the B1G now has 3 separate and unequal secret “integration plans” for Nebraska, Maryland, and Rutgers (please post these if anyone reading this blog has them). From the limited information available it appears that Maryland got the best deal despite Nebraska having a better brand and Rutgers having more subscribers to convert to a higher BTN rate. So the BTN buy-in is lowest (including all other consideration provided when joining the B1G) for the school that contributed the least. Maryland’s advantage was that it was not as distressed a property as the other two. The B1G charged Nebraska and Rutgers more because they could get more for schools trying to escape the B12 and AAC vs. the ACC.

        • Brian says:

          Mack,

          “As far as I can tell the B1G now has 3 separate and unequal secret “integration plans” for Nebraska, Maryland, and Rutgers (please post these if anyone reading this blog has them). From the limited information available it appears that Maryland got the best deal despite Nebraska having a better brand and Rutgers having more subscribers to convert to a higher BTN rate.”

          That’s not my understanding. Some link posted recently quotes a B10 administrator as saying all 3 will face a similar buy in. The big difference is that UMD negotiated to get more upfront and then buy in later due to their financial situation. NE had cash on hand so they chose to pay up front. We’ll have to track the payouts to each school for the next 10-15 years to be sure how it all works out.

        • CA Curtis says:

          Again your argument is false.  Texas & Michigan’s value induvidually are much greater than that of ND. Then to include ohio, PSU, Neb and the remaining it is not close. ND is a huge brand, they will add huge value to any league.  But regardless, ND is NuOT as huge as you suggest.  This is simple common sense  when considering actual value.

          Sent from my Samsung Galaxy Rush

  52. Transic says:
  53. MIRuss says:

    @ Frank The Tank

    Frank, I am a long time reader and often but not always commenter. You owe me a keyboard! I about lost a mouthful of coca-cola when I read the “get DeLoss Dodds drunk comment and you’re in the Big 12″ (I know I’m paraphrasing there a little, but that was the gist of it.

    I don’t know if you recall during the crazy Big 10 expansion nuttiness that I penned a little something about the “only way Notre Dame and Texas would ever make it into the Big 10″….

    With your permission, I’d like to re-run it as it seems the truth is never really that far away from really good fiction! Remember the players in this scene are someone from the University of Notre Dame whose last name rhymes with “Warbucks”, someone from the Big 10 that might be related to actress Dana Delaney, and someone from the Forty Acres who might or might not be related to actress Stephanie Powers from “Heart to Heart”

    In a Dark Hole in the Wall Bar in St. Louis…..

    Unknown Voice: Thanks for coming. Mr. S, Scotch and water?
    Mr. S: Irish Whiskey, neat please.
    Unknown Voice: Mr. P., what are you drinking?
    Mr. P: Call me Bill.
    Unknown Voice: Okay Bill, what’ll it be?
    Bill: And by the way, I’m calling you Jim. This whole Mr. Letter of our Last Name thing is ridiculous.
    Jim: Fine. Can I get you a drink?
    Bill: I’ll have a beer. (Jim waves a waitress over and makes the order)
    Jim: So, gentlemen, you all know why you’re here.
    Mr. S: Uh, just for the record, I’m not officially here. I’m just here for the booze.
    Jim: Yes, we know that Mr. S. (under his breath) Dumbass….
    Mr. S: What was that?
    Bill: Jim said that you’re all class, Jack.
    Mr. S: DON’T SAY MY NAME!
    Bill: JACK! JACK! JACK! JACK!
    (There’s a commotion as Jack and Bill start to grab each other’s lapels. Jim separates and calms the two as the drinks arrive. Jack gulps his drink and immediately orders a double. Jim sips his vodka rocks as Bill takes a long pull on his draft)
    Bill: All right, Jim. I’m going to put my cards on the table. We’re in if they’re in. (he nods to Jack).
    Jack: I’m not here.
    Jim: Shut up, (again – quietly) Dumbass….Okay. So, the state will let you make the move if A&M can come, right?
    Bill: (nods) Yeah. We didn’t even have to push too hard with the legislature. They were on board with it based on the annual opportunity to pound on the two schools in front of us for all time wins. One in particular.
    Jim: Michigan and present company?
    Jack: I’M NOT HERE! (grabs the waitress and orders another double)
    Bill: Yeah. (turns to Jack) So, what’s it going to be?
    Jack: I’m in a difficult situation with a fan and alumni base that believes the college football world revolves around a golden dome in northern Indiana. We want – no, we NEED TO MAINTAIN OUR INDEPENDENCE and not tarnish ourselves in the football cesspool known as the Big 10.
    Jim: But you make the decisions. You are the man in charge.
    Jack: (gulping his drink) Who told you this? What makes you think I make decisions? Has he spoken to either of you? (Jim and Bill look at each other)
    Jim: Has who spoken to us?
    Jack: You know. (points up) “Him.” (Jim calls the waitress over and orders another Vodka and Beer)
    Jack: And another double for me, thanks. (Tries to grab the waitress around the waist – she dodges the grab.)
    Waitress: Is your friend okay? We don’t usually get big drinkers like that here.
    Jim: He’s fine. Whiskey is like mother’s milk for him. (she walks away)
    Bill: (Gives Jim a knowing look) You know, Jack. I actually did have a conversation with Him the other Sunday in Church.
    Jack: (slurring) Are you serious, what did he tell you?
    Bill: He said, “Join the Big 10. It’s the right thing to do.”
    Jack: Seriously? Really? Oh, man! Wait till I tell Father! (Jack texts a quick note – there’s an immediate response.)
    Jack: Father says you’re full of shit…no offense.
    (Bill and Jim stare at Jack for a few minutes. Jack quaffs another double. Bill swipes Jack’s blackberry and starts typing under the table. He hits send and slides the device back in front of Jack after Jack tries to squeeze the waitress’ ass and cop a feel on her boob. It buzzes about 5 seconds later.)
    Jack: (after looking at his blackberry and turning a little pale) I’m in. I mean, we’re in.
    Jim: (glances at Bill speaks to Jack) What changed your mind?
    Jack: I just got a text from “Him”. He says it’s okay.

  54. Wainscott says:

    Fun with colleges in all 50 states and Google autocomplete:

    http://collegespun.com/features/google-autocompletes-reveal-stereotypes-for-colleges-and-their-sports-teams-across-the-nation#

    This is one place where Rutgers actually wins.

    • Richard says:

      UCLA is not diverse?

      • bullet says:

        Somehow I think Buckeyes are poisonous was not aimed at Ohio St.

        As for UCLA, I guess the perception is that its 100% Asian now.

        • Richard says:

          34% Asian-American. 32% White. 17% Hispanic.

          That seems pretty damn diverse to me. I’m not sure what percentages would lead to a more diverse student body. Do people mean “not black enough” when they say “not diverse”?

          I guess to some people, “diverse” means 60% white, 35% black, and 5% other.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Plus 8400+ international students.

          • bullet says:

            People really do have different definitions of diverse. In Atlanta, “diverse” is generally used for a school that is <50% White and anywhere from 25 to 100% Black.

          • @Richard – As a fellow Asian, I know what it’s like when a place isn’t considered to be diverse… yet it has a large Asian population. I live in Naperville, which often gets stereotyped as a white Chicago suburb where Stepford wives live, yet 25% of the population is minority (which is very high for a city with its high income levels). The thing is that it’s 15% Asian, 5% black and 5% Hispanic, so people see the relatively low black and Hispanic populations and label it a non-diverse city even though it’s filled with Asians (many of them first generation immigrants).

            Toronto is another example. A lot of Americans that have never been there probably think of it as a Canadian white bread city (a la Strange Brew), yet it’s actually almost 50% minority. The vast majority of that minority population consists of Asians, though, so it doesn’t fit the typical American view of looking at diversity in a black/white lens.

          • Richard says:

            Indeed. A lot of Americans seem to subconsciously bucket people in to either “white” or “black”. Maybe white/black/brown these days.

            SF is another case. Canadians know how diverse Toronto is and Californians know how diverse SF is, but how many people in the rest of the US realize that Asian-Americans (mostly Cantonese) are almost half the grade school students in the San Francisco public schools now (with Hispanics making up another quarter)?

            How many TV shows that are purportedly set in SF have a cast that is even close to half yellow or brown?

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Richard – your 60/35/5 breakdown is pretty close to Louisiana’s demographic.

          • urbanleftbehind says:

            And within the Asian grouping there will be varying degrees of mix between “east/yellow” asians and south/brown/”hindu” asians, depending on the locale.

  55. Wainscott says:

    http://college-football.si.com/2014/02/11/steve-spurrier-negative-recruiting-big-ten/?eref=sihp

    Looking at Scout.com, there is one guy who visited Nebraska in late January, then committed to South Carolina. There is another who visited Nebraska several months ago, but who ultimately committed to South Carolina.

    Judging by visits and the list of USC commits, the only B1G school a USC commit visited was Nebraska.

  56. Brian says:

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/writer/jeremy-fowler/24439347/as-acc-reignites-scheduling-talks-will-sec-be-on-eight-game-island-soon-

    The ACC might be serious about going to 9 games, either internally or by playing the SEC.

    But more than half the conference athletic directors want nine games, according to an ACC source, which means those talks will deepen the intrigue as the College Football Playoff era begins in earnest in the fall and leagues jockey for position in the national semifinal. If the SEC feels it can eschew nine gmaes based on its body of work on the football field and its ability to schedule good non-conference games, that conviction will be tested more than ever if it’s on an eight-game island.

    Maybe the SEC doesn’t need to change, at least not yet. But right now the SEC still has an eight-game confidant in the ACC, which might actually need to change.

    To understand why the ACC is revisiting nine games less than two years after the part-time football addition of Notre Dame stalled those talks, consider the league’s plans for an ESPN-run ACC Network.

    More league games means more inventory for the network and more revenue. Schools understand this.

    The ACC has targeted a 24-hour conference network for much of the last year, and it needs to give ESPN every incentive to execute it. The SEC is in a different place – the SEC Network launches in August, and all parties involved believe there’s already enough inventory to keep viewers happy.

    For the ACC, nine conference games is generally seen as better programming, not to mention better gate sales. In most cases should bolster the precious strength of schedule dynamic that the playoff committee will value. The deterrent for schools is getting six home games instead of seven some years. Complicating matters is the ACC’s agreement to play Notre Dame five times a year.

    The league is also looking at an “8+1” system that, according to ESPN, could include an eight-league schedule plus one game against an SEC team each year. This sounds fun but would be a beast to figure out. Four ACC teams (including Louisville) currently have permanent SEC rivals. Orchestrating 10 more such matchups would be complicated.

    But if ACC teams are soon playing nine conference games plus Notre Dame every three years, that’s a serious haul.

    • Wainscott says:

      ESPN article on this topic was posted above. FYI.

    • ccrider55 says:

      “The ACC might be serious about going to 9 games, either internally or by playing the SEC.”

      Huh?
      How does an OOC game reflect on the “8 or 9″ argument regarding conference games? Isn’t everybody at 12?

      • Brian says:

        Games scheduled by the conference versus total games.

        • ccrider55 says:

          They are still OOC, so they would still be at 8 conference games. If the B1G/PAC alliance had stuck I doubt the PAC would be claiming 10. It would be 9 and a mandated OOC.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            It’s just semantics: 9 games controlled by the league, rather than 8. Obviously, for purposes of conference standings, the OOC game wouldn’t count. But today, the schools have complete control over their non-conference games, and many of the schools schedule real stinkers.

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      I think the SEC will get to nine eventually. They don’t need it for competitive reasons, but they’re leaving a lot of money on the table.

      • Richard says:

        Not necessarily.
        9 conference games would be more attractive when your conference is looking to get more money from TV. However, 8 conference games allows you to schedule 8 home games some years, and for the schools that draw >80K (there are 8 of them in the SEC, or over half the conference) there’s a good amount of profit from an extra home game.

        Furthermore, the SEC isn’t going to get extra TV revenues from playing 9 conference games for a while since they’re already locked in to long-term TV contracts.

        • ccrider55 says:

          “Furthermore, the SEC isn’t going to get extra TV revenues from playing 9 conference games for a while since they’re already locked in to long-term TV contracts.”

          But need quality inventory for ESPN’s new SEC channel. We’ll see how much extra/new revenue that creates.

          • Richard says:

            “But need quality inventory for ESPN’s new SEC channel. We’ll see how much extra/new revenue that creates.”

            Not according to the article I read that talked about why the ACC wants an 8+1 format. That said that the SEC had enough inventory for the SECN. Plus, the fact that ESPN is going to launch the SECN without making the SEC change their scheduling philosophy suggests that more quality inventory is _not_ required for the SECN.

          • ccrider55 says:

            True, as far as we know. But it certainly wouldn’t be discouraged. We don’t know what ESPN will pay, and/or if the quality of inventory will effect that. It would have to be a consideration (wouldn’t it?), although not necessarily the final/determinative one.

            Perhaps the ACC wants the SEC to benevolently help it build enough quality inventory to improve the prospects of an ACCN?

          • Richard says:

            “Perhaps the ACC wants the SEC to benevolently help it build enough quality inventory to improve the prospects of an ACCN?”

            That’s pretty much what they want.

            The question, of course, is why the SEC would do that. If I squint hard enough, I could see ‘Bama, Auburn, and Tennessee agreeing to play VTech, UNC, & NCSU neutral site (in Atlanta or Bristol). However, you then have to match up Miami, BC, Pitt, SU, UVa, Duke, & Wake against A&M, LSU, Arkansas, Ole Miss, MSSU, Mizzou & Vandy.
            LSU and A&M would only do a an annual HaH with Miami.
            Nobody besides Vandy would want a permanent HaH with BC, Duke, and Wake. I don’t see how this would work.

          • Wainscott says:

            http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/10419715/acc-eyes-schedule-includes-one-sec-game-every-year

            This article, posted above, mentions the possibly of a partial scheduling agreement between the 2 conferences, so that Richard’s (valid) points are dealt with (namely, not every SEC team would be forced into a game with a non-rival ACC team if its unwanted).

  57. frug says:

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/eye-on-college-football/24436394/cowboys-classic-game-vs-florida-to-net-michigan-6-million

    For those wondering what it would take to get Florida to leave the state for an out of conference game, the answer is $6 million.

  58. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/bigten/post/_/id/95736/where-2014-big-ten-recruits-came-from

    Where did the 2014 B10 recruits come from?

    1. Ohio 37
    2. Florida 28
    3. Illinois 27
    4. Georgia 17
    5. Texas 16
    6. Michigan 15
    7. New Jersey 13
    8. Wisconsin 12
    9. Maryland 10
    T-10. Indiana 9
    T-10. Pennsylvania 9
    T-12. Minnesota 8
    T-12. Virginia 8
    T-14. Alabama 6
    T-14. Kansas 6
    16. Iowa 5
    17. Missouri 4

    Those are the states that produced 3 or more players. Also, UMD and RU weren’t included. Adding them in:

    1. Ohio – 38
    2. Florida – 35
    3. Illinois – 27
    4. New Jersey – 21
    5. Texas – 18
    6. Georgia – 17
    7. Michigan – 16
    8. Maryland – 15
    9. Pennsylvania – 13
    10. Wisconsin – 12
    11. Virginia – 11
    12. Indiana – 9
    12. Minnesota – 9
    14. Alabama – 6
    14. Kansas – 6
    14. Iowa – 6
    15. NY +5 (don’t know if they had 0, 1 or 2 before, so they could also be #13 or tied for #14)
    18. Missouri 4

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      Pennsylvania #10 with 9 recruits in the whole league? Has HS FB in PA dropped off that much, or is this just a down year?

      • Brian says:

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

        From 2002-2011, PA yielded anywhere from 9-25 recruits to the 12 B10 schools with an average of 15.8 and a median of 14.5. Thus, this was probably just a bad year.

      • Richard says:

        Well, of the top 20 in PA, the B10 (including UMD) took 7. However, VTech, Pitt, WVU, and SU took 8. Temple took 2(!)

        PSU being perceived as being down has not helped. Also, while BoB definitely mined the talent-rich areas in and around PA, PA wasn’t more central to him than those other areas. In his small (17-member) 2013 class, 3 each were from NJ and VA, 1 each were from MD and DC, while 5 were from PA. Franklin says he wants to dominate the state. We’ll see.

        Plus, being at the edge of the B10 with plenty of nearby programs from other conferences means that a good number of PA recruits will go elsewhere.

        And, indeed, PA isn’t really a fount of football talent these days:
        http://www.footballstudyhall.com/2013/9/11/4718442/college-football-state-texas-california-florida

        Less than half of OH and GA. Barely ahead of IL and MI (who are situated in the middle of the B10, so more players there would head to B10 schools).

  59. Richard says:

    When people look back on this recent period of conference expansion a decade from now, some some decisions will be considered home runs (SEC adding A&M), some will be considered good (B10 adding UNL), some will be considered very meh if not bad (Pac adding CU and UU; B12 adding TCU), some I’m not sure of yet (the B10′s eastward expansion) and some will be considered awful.

    One decision I’m not sure will be considered awful, but has the potential to be: The ACC adding ND as a partial member. A lot will depend on how well the ACC schools accept that arrangement.

    One I’m sure will be considered bad, and that was Texas deciding to spurn the Pac because they thought they could mint money with their own TV network. When the B12 GOR is close to expiration, Texas and friends (which would include TTech, & OU but not the religious schools) may head to the Pac anyway, but they would not have brought A&M with them and thus would have opened TX to the SEC (strengthened A&M & helped the SECN). They would have made TX in to something other than a pure B12 state, which is deadly as there are no other populous states in the B12 footprint anyway.

    I took a look at where the Rivals top recruits in TX went in 2014 and 2011 (the last year that A&M was completely part of the B12):

    Top 20 in 2011:
    B12/TX schools (non-A&M): 16
    A&M: 0
    SEC (non-A&M): 0
    Other (non-TX): 4 (3 by UNL)

    Top 21-40 in 2011:
    B12/TX schools (non-A&M): 13
    A&M: 2
    SEC (non-A&M): 2
    Other (non-TX): 3 (1 by UNL)

    Top 41-60 in 2011:
    B12/TX schools (non-A&M): 13
    A&M: 2
    SEC (non-A&M): 1
    Other (non-TX): 4

    In 2011, TX recruiting was absolutely dominated by B12 schools (mostly Texas and OU). A&M did not have much success with top recruits. Neither did other SEC schools.

    Top 20 in 2014:
    B12/TX schools (non-A&M): 7
    A&M: 5
    SEC (non-A&M): 4
    Other (non-TX): 4

    Top 21-40 in 2014:
    B12/TX schools (non-A&M): 9
    A&M: 5
    SEC (non-A&M): 1
    Other (non-TX): 5

    Top 41-60 in 2014:
    B12/TX schools (non-A&M): 10
    A&M: 2
    SEC (non-A&M): 2
    Other (non-TX): 5
    (1 still uncommitted)

    A handful of the more elite TX recruits went non-A&M SEC, but otherwise, not much impact by the SEC. A&M absolutely cleaned up, though. They went from 2 in the TX top 40 to 10 in the TX top 40.
    Texas dropped from 15 of the TX top 40 to only 6 of the TX top 40. OU dropped from 6 of the TX top 40 to only 2 of the TX top 40

    In total, the SEC (A&M & other) went +11 in the TX top 40 over 3 years. Texas and OU went -13 in the TX top 40 over 3 years.

    In 2014, only 2 of the top 10 commits in TX went to the B12. That’s mind-boggling. That’s reminiscent of the last days of the SWC when the top TX recruits regularly started playing their football outside the SWC.

    • wolverine says:

      ACC hit a HR with the ND ‘addition’, even if its just 2.5 games for football. ACC was able to land a significant raise from the awful TV deal they agreed to, which went a long ways to curb the Big XII and B10 from raiding them in addition to solidifying the ACC’s GOR…

      Hypothetically, what If ND (w/ the same agreement with the ACC; 2.5 games/year) had joined the Big XII. [Yes, I know ND had no interest in the Big XII, I'm purely talking hypothetically.] The Big XII would be extremely solid and the ACC would be thought of as the conference that’s likely to be raided when this round of GOR’s & TV contracts end.

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      One decision I’m not sure will be considered awful, but has the potential to be: The ACC adding ND as a partial member. A lot will depend on how well the ACC schools accept that arrangement.

      They already DID accept that arrangement, by virtue of voting in favor of it. What do you envision them doing now, that would turn an otherwise good deal into an awful one?

      I agree with @wolverine: it’s an obvious home run for them. If there’s a downside, I can’t see it.

      • Richard says:

        It all depends on internal ACC dynamics.

        The Big8 thought it hit a homerun when they merged with Texas and 3 other TX schools as well, yet the interactions in that league poisoned relationships so much that 5 of the 8 Big8 schools tried to leave the B12 (3 of them successfully doing so) while the other 3 would if they could but currently have nowhere to go.

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          The thing is, if you walk back the Big 8/SWC merger in your mind’s eye, the Big 8 is still in an extremely vulnerable position, without any large-market teams. Although the Big XII didn’t exactly work out the way everyone intended, it’s hard to see that if they’d stuck to themselves, the Big 8 would still be intact.

          The ACC/ND half-merger is like that too. There’s no guarantee it will work out as well as they planned, but I don’t see a scenario where the ACC would be better off if they’d ignored ND altogether.

          • Wainscott says:

            Agree completely re: the Big 8 and the SWC. Even if the 4 Texas schools had not joined the Big 8 (or whatever the technical, legal combination was), there was not going to be space for both an all-Texas league (post Arkansas) and a heartland conference without true large markets within its borders. The market would have eventually forced some sort of merger/union/expansion between the two conferences. Its fairly safe to say that had they not formed the Big 12 in the mid 90′s, something similar would have eventually taken place.

            I also agree that the ACC did very weil with the UND addition, but the true test will be the implementation. The ACC obviously hopes for the incremental addition of games with UND in football, but I can foresee a situation where UND fans/alumni grow restless at the overall lack of name brands in the ACC played at the expense of traditional rivals. If there is one school with powerful alumni capable of shaping athletic policy, its UND (otherwise, it would have previously joined the B1G).

      • ccrider55 says:

        Like it was a HR for the BEast? Changing the “all equal” policy doesn’t present potential pitfalls?

        • Wainscott says:

          The Big East had structural issues that pre-dated UND’s partial membership. Those structural issues ultimately led to its demise.

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          The Big East without Notre Dame would have had the same problems it wound up having—only worse.

          With or without the Irish, the Big East was an unequal league as soon as it added football.

          • ccrider55 says:

            But if you are saying ND with the concessions (partial membership) is a HR for the ACC doesn’t that imply the ACC was/is in a position needing that HR? Now, if they had joined all in its an unqualified win. But they didn’t. How’s that unbalanced influence worked out for the B12-4+2? And that’s not with structural membership differences.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            I suppose it’s all relative. You could say that ND as a full member is a home run; as a partial member, it’s a ground-rule double. Or you could say that ND as a partial member is a HR, and as a full member would’ve been a grand slam.

            I agree with your premise: the fact that they made such concessions was clearly not a show of strength. But they addressed their problem with the second-strongest thing they could have done, i.e., ND as a partial member. The only stronger move would have been ND as a full member, but that required the Irish to cooperate, which they might not’ve done.

            I suppose the ACC could’ve played hard ball. With the Big East collapsing, ND certainly had to move, one way or another. If neither the ACC nor the Big Ten would take them as partial members, their only choice would’ve been highly unattractive Big XII, which I believe would have taken them on those terms.

            So do they take the Big XII as partial, the ACC as full, or the Big Ten as full? Or do they stay in the denuded AAC or Big East? That’s what the ACC had to weigh, as they decided to offer ND the deal they knew the Irish would take for sure, partial membership.

          • frug says:

            The Big East without Notre Dame would have had the same problems it wound up having—only worse.

            I don’t think they would have been any worse. Unless ND was actually willing to live up to its pledge to play 3 Big East teams a year in football (which it never once did) their presence wasn’t going to make any real difference.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            “Worse,” because ND’s partial membership in the Big East clearly had some value, even if it was at the margins. If you rewrite Big East history where ND doesn’t join, it is a less valuable league. The difference isn’t enough to alter the outcome; still, I’d say without hesitation that the BE was better off with ND (even on ND’s terms) than in the alternative universe where the Irish never joined at all.

            Obviously, the BE erred in not holding ND to their 3-games-per-year football commitment (or in allowing that commitment to be so informal that it was easily violated without consequences). The ACC seems to have learned from that experience. But even if ND had played the 3 games, it wouldn’t have been enough to save the league.

          • frug says:

            @Marc

            I still don’t see the value ND brought.

            Their MBB program loses money every year (the only power conference team to do so), so without the 3 FB games I just don’t see what value they brought the Big East.

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            Whatever the value of the Big East TV MBB TV package, it had to have been worth a tad more with ND than without.

            Whether the Irish themselves made money in MBB is not the issue.

          • I think we also have to look at the ACC adding ND as a defensive measure. One of the few things that could hypothetically get the true stalwarts of the ACC such as UVA and UNC to jump to the Big Ten would be if the B1G finally added ND. At the very least, ND being added to the B1G would give the conference even more enormous power compared to what it has now regardless of who else it expanded with (outside of the white whale of Texas). The ACC provided an avenue where we would be hardpressed to find any reason for ND to join the Big Ten at this point. Even if the ACC lost 5 or 6 schools to the Big Ten and/or SEC in the worst case scenario, ND would essentially just be back with most of the schools that it was with in the old Big East for basketball and other non-football sports that they had been perfectly fine with before.

            So, there’s definitely value in the ACC taking ND completely off the table as an option for the Big Ten. In the past, the B1G could do some saber-rattling by merely suggesting that they could have a 16-team league with ND and the other leagues would freak out (even if it was all posturing or BS). Now, that option is gone, and with it, the realistic prospect of the Big Ten expanding to 16 in the near future is severely curbed, which further protects the ACC.

          • frug says:

            Whatever the value of the Big East TV MBB TV package, it had to have been worth a tad more with ND than without.

            Why? They don’t have much a basketball following. If the fact they always operate in the red isn’t proof enough, then there is terrible attendance (about 5,000 a game or less than half the Big East average) should be.

          • frug says:

            Actually, I just checked last year’s attendance and it was up quite a bit compared to previous seasons, but it was still well below (about 25% or so) Big East average.

            I just don’t see how a school with so limited of a basketball following would improve the Big East TV package enough to offset the added logistical costs having to deal with all the Irish’s non-revenue sports.

          • Brian says:

            frug,

            “Why?”

            Because they are a brand near a huge market (Chicago) with lots of fans in another huge market (NYC). Is the ND brand based on FB? Sure, mostly. But that doesn’t mean they don’t bring value. Many ND FB fans will watch ND hoops, just not as fervently.

            “They don’t have much a basketball following. If the fact they always operate in the red isn’t proof enough, then there is terrible attendance (about 5,000 a game or less than half the Big East average) should be.”

            ND averaged 8k. In all of WI, IL and IN that’s only topped by UW-M, Marquette, UI-UC, IU and PU. For a basketball crazy region, that’s not bad.

            As for the money, we all know the accountants can make the books show whatever they want. ND had $20.5M of unallocated revenue (MBB “lost” $1.5M). How do they allocate their TV money? Donations?

          • frug says:

            Because they are a brand near a huge market (Chicago) with lots of fans in another huge market (NYC). Is the ND brand based on FB? Sure, mostly. But that doesn’t mean they don’t bring value. Many ND FB fans will watch ND hoops, just not as fervently.

            Big East basketball already had plenty of exposure in those markets. Honestly, ND basketball probably dones’t get any more attention in Chicago that Depaul.

            ND averaged 8k. In all of WI, IL and IN that’s only topped by UW-M, Marquette, UI-UC, IU and PU. For a basketball crazy region, that’s not bad.

            A. I don’t really get what your point.

            B. Michigan, MSU, tOSU, Xavier, Cincinatti and Dayton all closer to South Bend than Madison and also get better attendance than Notre Dame.

          • frug says:

            Also, you can add Louisville to that list.

            So basically, of the 12 power conference teams located within 4 hours of South Bend the only ones that ND outdraws are Northwestern (whose team is best known for being the only power conference team to never make the tournament) and sometimes Depaul.

            Plus, they get beat by 2 mid-majors (Xavier, who is moving up, and Dayton) and sometimes a third (Butler).

          • Brian says:

            frug,

            “Big East basketball already had plenty of exposure in those markets.”

            So? The ACC is the one that added them. Did they have a lot of Chicago exposure?

            “Honestly, ND basketball probably dones’t get any more attention in Chicago that Depaul.”

            Which is more than the ACC gets now in Chicago.

            “A. I don’t really get what your point.”

            You’re the one that claimed they had no following. I showed that they outdrew 10 or more D-I schools in a basketball-crazy area.

            “B. Michigan, MSU, tOSU, Xavier, Cincinatti and Dayton all closer to South Bend than Madison and also get better attendance than Notre Dame.”

            But they aren’t closer to Chicago, which is ND’s real home base and the market they can potentially tap for the ACC.

          • wolverine says:

            Notre Dame saved the ACC, without them the ACC was having trouble keeping Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech and others from flirting with the B10, Big XII… Notre Dame is a home run if not a grand slam addition. Without them, it’s possible the ACC could’ve been plucked apart by the Big XII, B10 and SEC in the past year…

            Still, it’s only a band-aid solution to the ACC’s issues. ACC is neighbored by a couple, much wealthier giants in the B10 and SEC and some of the ACC’s more valuable assets have been hitting on other conferences… Luckily for the ACC, it’s most valuable schools to it’s neighbors are the heart of the conference; North Carolina, Duke, Virginia.

            The Irish won’t fully join a conference in football without a ‘seismic’ shift. Their alumni take massive amounts of pride in their silly independence. ND’s independence allows them to have a ‘national’ schedule getting exposure in the Midwest, California, Northeast, Florida, Texas and the along the Atlantic. That independence makes ND truly a ‘national’ program.

            ND’s worst fear is being a mediocre Midwestern football program. Unlike fifteen years ago, I don’t see the Irish joining the B10 without some sort of major shake-up that takes away their ability to compete at the highest level.

          • frug says:

            @Brian

            Marc and I were talking about ND’s value to the Big East not the ACC.

          • Brian says:

            frug,

            “Marc and I were talking about ND’s value to the Big East not the ACC.”

            Sorry, Frank’s return to discussing the ACC confused me.

            I still don’t know why you don’t think adding ND helped the BE in the Chicago and NYC markets. You can never have too much exposure in those markets. ND increased the Chicago exposure by at least 50%, and that’s big for recruiting in Chicago. It also helped draw attention in NYC with the subway fans. ND also makes the NCAA tourney often enough to not be a leech.

    • Brian says:

      Richard,

      “When people look back on this recent period of conference expansion a decade from now, some some decisions will be considered home runs (SEC adding A&M), some will be considered good (B10 adding UNL),”

      While I agree that TAMU was a great add for the SEC, I think you undervalue the NE addition. Unlike the SEC, the B10 gained a CCG plus a king. If they ever get a coach who can lose fewer than 4 game per year, their value will be more apparent.

      “some will be considered very meh if not bad (Pac adding CU and UU; B12 adding TCU),”

      I think CO could turn out better than you think. As they get that P12 money, they can start rebuilding their AD. They were good at FB before and could be again. Utah will develop over time as well. The value of getting a CCG is significant.

      TCU has to be looked at through the eyes of the B12 schools. They seemed to value the TX access more than getting the best available school. They may regret that decision long term, or maybe TCU will be a solid member.

      “some I’m not sure of yet (the B10′s eastward expansion) and some will be considered awful.”

      Depending how you’re measuring (on the field, money, both), the B10 ran some sizable risks.

      “One decision I’m not sure will be considered awful, but has the potential to be: The ACC adding ND as a partial member. A lot will depend on how well the ACC schools accept that arrangement.”

      I think the ND addition will work fine for them. Getting their hooks into ND has value, let alone the 2.5 home games vs ND each year. The 9th or 10th locked game will ruffle some feathers, but the extra money ND brought will smooth those over. Without ND, they were more likely to lose schools in the future when the GoR expires.

      “One I’m sure will be considered bad, and that was Texas deciding to spurn the Pac because they thought they could mint money with their own TV network. When the B12 GOR is close to expiration, Texas and friends (which would include TTech, & OU but not the religious schools) may head to the Pac anyway, but they would not have brought A&M with them and thus would have opened TX to the SEC (strengthened A&M & helped the SECN). They would have made TX in to something other than a pure B12 state, which is deadly as there are no other populous states in the B12 footprint anyway.”

      TAMU was never interested in the P12 as I recall. They might regret the LHN money grab over trying a B12N in terms of keeping the B12 together, and they might regret not heading west, but TAMU was never going west anyway.

      • Richard says:

        I thought that A&M was going to go along for the ride west with Texas, TTech, CU, and the OK schools before Texas scuttled everything.

        • bullet says:

          That was the Pac plan discussed with Texas, but A&M was never particularly interested. They much preferred the SEC. That’s what would have happened in 1990 if Texas had gotten the Pac invite. That’s what would have happened in 2010 if Texas accepted the Pac invite.

          • bullet says:

            Kansas probably would have gotten that slot while A&M went east.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Utah sends their absolute never ending gratitude.

          • Mack says:

            If the PAC16 happened, the SEC would look the same with A&M and MO, but it would have been RIP for the B12 after losing 9 of 12 members. That could have changed other realignments. Would the ACC have invited Syracuse and Pittsburgh without a threat from the B12 or SEC? The BE would not be much of a threat even after adding ISU, KSU, and Baylor. Besides the B12 leftover 3 , TCU and WV would likely also be in UCONN’s position if the P16 occurred.

      • Andy says:

        re: Brian’s “While I agree that TAMU was a great add for the SEC, I think you undervalue the NE addition.”

        Nebraska is a wounded and bleeding King who has won less games than even Missouri over the last 11 years, is located in a state with just 1.9 million people, has poor recruiting grounds, and doesn’t look like it will be a national power again any time soon. Also, they’re not AAU.

        • Wainscott says:

          And yet, they are still considered valuable in the world of CFB.

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          King status is extremely durable. Kings can suffer a long fallow period (take it from a Michigan fan), and they are still kings. Nebraska has never been a populous state, and it has never been a great recruiting territory. None of that is new.

          The fact is, Nebraska hasn’t been far off, and they have a mediocre coach. There is no reason why they can’t come back. Kings usually do.

  60. Wainscott says:

    Honestly did not know that the B1G shares all gate revenue equally among its member schools.

    http://thegazette.com/2013/10/25/sharing-gate-revenue-unique-vital-to-b1g-football/

    • Richard says:

      Not all gate revenue. There’s a $1M cap (which probably was a much bigger deal when it was instituted) per game. Now with game gate revenues reaching $5M for the kings, it’s just a small tax for them.

    • Mack says:

      That plan replaced true gate sharing where Indiana, Purdue, etc. used to leave Ann Arbor and Columbus with bags of money. Michigan was the prime driver behind capping gate sharing, but the other top B10 schools did not object. Now the kings lose less than $1M. The P12 also has revenue sharing, but their caps are much lower ($200K?) so very little actually gets redistributed.

    • Richard says:

      I look at those ticket revenue figures and I really don’t understand why Illinois is so insistent on 7 homes games. 2 neutral site games in StL against Mizzou would net more than either a HaH or 2 buy games, considering how much it costs now to get schools to come visit you.

      • urbanleftbehind says:

        It also help Mizzou satisfy an 8 plus 1 scheduling requirement (e.g. having a steady P5 rival as opposed to a 9th SEC game). MU is lucking in that its logical P5 OOC rivals (Illini, KU) are football doormats in their respective conferences.

        • Wainscott says:

          USA will send its soccer team to North Korea to play a friendly before Mizzou & KU schedule each other in any sport.

        • Richard says:

          The SEC doesn’t have a 8 plus 1 scheduling requirement. They don’t want one either. That’s the ACC.

        • Andy says:

          Mizzou currently has a home and home with Indiana with another one with Purdue set up next. They’re looking for more, probably against Big Ten schools since the Big 12 seems to be boycotting us.

      • Brian says:

        Richard,

        “I look at those ticket revenue figures and I really don’t understand why Illinois is so insistent on 7 homes games. 2 neutral site games in StL against Mizzou would net more than either a HaH or 2 buy games, considering how much it costs now to get schools to come visit you.”

        Do you have a link that shows playing MO neutral site is worth more to IL?

        I’d think part of it is that home games allow for them to put their hooks into their boosters and alumni and beg for more money. Giving up 14% of those opportunities is a significant cost.

    • Brian says:

      “Honestly did not know that the B1G shares all gate revenue equally among its member schools.”

      They don’t. 35%, with a ceiling of $1M and a floor of $300k per game. It essentially means the kings pay $1M per year to spread to the small schools. The princes pay almost as much. The smallest schools make $1.7M.

      The same concept applies to MBB.

      • Richard says:

        I wonder what the all-in figures are. IU, Illinois, Minny (and UMD, when they join) would be paying back some of their football largess through basketball revenue sharing. Is hockey gate revenue shared? If so, then Minny would pay some back in to the pot there (and OSU would actually get some money back).

  61. Wainscott says:

    Buffalo exploring a new stadium for the Bills: http://nfl.si.com/2014/02/11/buffalo-bills-new-stadium/?eref=sihp

    • bullet says:

      I hadn’t realized the Bills regularly played in Toronto.

      • Wainscott says:

        My understanding was the NFL’s long term plan was to make the Bills more of a regional team, possibly moving them to Toronto while retaining some connection to Buffalo (some combo of headquarters, practice facility, training camp, for example).

        The only guarantee is that when Ralph Wilson dies, his estate will be putting the team up for sale (probably for estate tax reasons) (See: ihttp://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/8340273/buffalo-bills-owner-ralph-wilson-returns-home-hospital).

        The NFL would prefer not to have the Bills move out of the region, but they only way to prevent that is to sell to a buyer who agrees not to move the team (as Al Davis, Art Modell, and Bud Adams and others have demonstrated, the league can’t actually stop an existing owner from moving a franchise, but can get a concession not to move as part of the purchase approval process–only MLB has the power to affirmatively prevent any franchise move).

    • John O says:

      Any NFL team in Toronto would face the same issues the Blue Jays do in attracting/retaining American players, who don’t want to live in a foreign country. Since nearly all NFL players are Americans (unlike MLB) any foreign based franchise would be at a severe competitive disadvantage.

      Long term, Buffalo can’t support an NFL franchise; arguably neither can Jacksonville. But both will apparently have franchises until the mid 2020s. St. Louis, despite a supportive fanbase and an adequate stadium, seems poised to become a two time loser. Kind of a shame.

      Incidentally, if both the Raiders and Chargers of the AFC West move to LA, how would the NFL likely realign its divisions to avoid having both LA based teams playing nearly identical schedules?

      • bullet says:

        If Green Bay/Milwaukee and New Orleans can, why not Buffalo?

        • John O says:

          Long term demographic trends, basic economics (including competition from other cities for NFL teams) and (especially) the breadth/depth/intensity of local fan support. None of these seem favorable for the Bills whereas both the Saints and Packers have rabid, regional fan bases; in fact the Packers might as well be called the Wisconsin Packers.

      • @John O – I agree with most of what you’re saying, although MLB and NBA players aren’t against being in Toronto because it’s in a foreign country per se. Toronto almost always ranks very highly with players as a city and destination. However, the tax hit that players take by living in Canada as opposed to the US is definitely a big disadvantage – that’s really why it’s tougher for the Blue Jays and Raptors to attract free agents.

        Unfortunately, it does look like the Rams are the most likely NFL team to move to LA even though others that you’ve mentioned would make more sense in a vacuum. As I’ve noted elsewhere, getting the best stadium deal is even more important than being in the best market for a pro franchise. The Rams have the flexibility to move (along with an owner that has already bought land in LA that could at least hypothetically be used for a stadium) that would be impossible for the Jaguars (who are financially handcuffed with their lease terms).

        If 2 AFC teams moved to LA, the NFL would almost certainly have a swap between the conferences (i.e. send the Seahawks back to the AFC). The Byzantine TV contract rules that the NFL has about home market broadcasts are already tough enough to deal with in the NYC and Bay Area markets that have 2 teams in separate conferences. It would be impossible to have 2 teams from the same conference in the same market for that reason alone (and the NFL would want both the NFC and AFC TV packages to incorporate the LA market, anyway).

  62. gfunk says:

    Frank,

    Sorry if you posted info on this already. Looks like an interesting, critical examination & some:

    http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/us/chicagoland

  63. Wainscott says:

    Rutgers’ price of freedom: $11.5 million:

    http://espn.go.com/new-york/college-sports/story/_/id/10445006/rutgers-pay-115-million-exit-fee-leave-aac

    Also, apparently RU estimates a $200 million jump in revenue over 12 years:

  64. mushroomgod says:

    Big 10 NC football schedules for 2014, together with a Chickenshit Index(1-10 with 10 being the most cowardly)

    MD: James Madison; USF; West. Virginia; Syracuse Only 1 gimme and interesting games with WV and Syr……CI: 3
    UM: App. St.; N.D.; Miami, OH; Utah……For God’s sake, please quit playing App. St……CI: 6
    MSU: Jacksonville; Oregon; E. Michigan; Wyoming…..Almost a sure loss at Oregon…rest of schedule a real snoozer….CI: 6
    OSU: Navy; V. Tech; Kent. St.; Cincy…..V. Tech’s a great game to play…a “name” school which is always overrated. Cincy’s interesting….CI: 6
    PSU: UCF; Akron; U Mass; Temple….Why does PSU play such BORING NC schedules??…CI: 7
    RU: Wash. St.; Howard; Navy; Tulane….Howard? Bad when your best game is the most boring PAC team…CI: 8
    ILL: Youngstown; W. Kentucky; Washington; Tex. St…..To me, it would be far more interesting playing 2 toss-ups and 2 sure things than 3 sure things and 1 sure loss….CI: 6

    • mushroomgod says:

      continuing…..
      IU: Indiana St.; Bowling Green; North Tx; MO……We ought to play 3 MAC teams and 1 mid-range BCS team each year. This schedule flat out sucks…….CI: 8
      MINN: E. Ill.; Middle TS; TCU; San Jose St&#