Yes, I’m alive and so is this blog.  With the slowdown in conference expansion news, it was a good time to take a summer break after going non-stop for the first 6 months of the year.  However, the start of the football season is only a couple of weeks away, so the activity will be picking up once again (less on expansion and more on actual football).  I’ll be voting in the BlogPoll (which will likely continue to be found on CBS Sports.com) this year, so there will be a weekly post during the season with my selections at the very least, which all of you can rip apart with impunity.  If you want to lobby me on behalf of your favorite team, please feel free to do so, as well.  To keep you occupied until that starts up for the year, here’s my look at where the BCS conferences stand regarding realignment issues using the Department of Homeland Security Advisory System:

OSCAR THE GROUCH THREAT LEVEL

BIG TEN

The Big Ten continues to be in control of any future conference expansion nationwide.  With the addition of Nebraska, the conference now has a championship game and can expect to receive a large uptick in its national TV revenue in the next few years with the popularity of the Huskers.  The East Coast bastion of the Wall Street Journal, which one might have expected to push the Big Ten to grab Rutgers or Syracuse, showered a ton of praise on the conference’s marriage with Nebraska last week and pointed out that this was a significant shift in college football that has flown under the radar with all of the Texas/Big IIX drama.  I believe that I speak for the majority of Big Ten fans in being incredibly excited to see Nebraska start Big Ten play in 2011.

I just hope that the Big Ten doesn’t f**k things up with a wacky divisional alignment.  I’ll repeat what I noted in my post from a few weeks ago: Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS).  Most proponents of a gerrymandered divisional alignment like to point out the dominance of the Big 12 South over the Big 12 North over the past several years as an example of the danger of a pure geographic alignment, yet forget that the Big 12 North was the dominant division for the first few years of that conference’s existence.  I’m exponentially more fearful of the aimless ACC divisional alignment which has no logic and broke off natural rivalries.  Karma has been a bitch for the ACC since it has never ended up its intended result of a Florida State-Miami championship game.  I don’t want to see the Big Ten make the same mistake.

I’m not surprised by the choice of Indianapolis as the site of the first Big Ten Championship Game, although my preference would’ve been Chicago, which is the conference’s marquee market and has a cross-section of alums from all of the Big Ten schools.  Personally, I don’t think cold outdoor weather really should be an issue for Big Ten football from a competitive standpoint, but it does matter to TV interests.  The Big Ten and ABC likely want to place the Big Ten Championship Game in a prime time slot, and while the cold weather is bearable when at least the first half is played in the daylight, it is a rough experience at Soldier Field or Lambeau Field for a typical December night game.  I blame all of this on the choice of the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois to drop a UFO in the middle of the Soldier Field columns instead of building a brand-new domed/retractable-roof stadium for the same cost (or even less) that could’ve been in the rotation for Final Fours and Super Bowls.  (Cost to renovate Soldier Field from 2001-2003, which reduced seating capacity by over 5,000: $625 million.  Cost to build University of Phoenix Stadium from scratch from 2003-2006 with a retractable roof and North America’s first roll-out grass field: $455 million.  Which taxpayer base got its money’s worth?)   It is ridiculous that Indianapolis is consistently beating out Chicago for top-tier sports events – this is the equivalent of Hartford getting marquee properties over New York City.

As for future expansion, the Big Ten would likely be able to grab any school other than Notre Dame and Texas.  The issue, of course, is that it’s doubtful that the Big Ten really wants any school other than Notre Dame and Texas right now.  If Rutgers or Syracuse can go on a run of BCS bowl appearances to generate New York/New Jersey interest in college football again, then that could change things, but all indications right now are that integrating Nebraska is the top priority unless the Irish or Longhorns change their minds.

Notre Dame still remains a Big Ten expansion possibility in the long-term for one major reason: academics.  The leadership at the school has continued to be open to joining the Big Ten because it believes that could aid Notre Dame into gaining membership with the American Association of Universities.  This top-line academic priority for the university directly clashes with the Irish alumni base’s unwavering need to retain independence at all costs.  Notre Dame’s leadership is in a bind since the school arguably grants more power to its alumni base over university affairs than any other BCS school, which means that crossing them results in putting their own heads on the chopping block regardless of whether they believe moving to the Big Ten makes sense academically and financially.  I don’t envy the people in charge of Notre Dame at all – independence is an integral part of the school’s identity, which is why the alumni base fights so hard for it, but it may hold the school back from achieving its ultimate academic goals and, as the Big Ten and SEC continue to expand their revenue advantages over everyone else, will negatively impact the athletic program’s success, as well.  Eventually, there will be a group of leaders at Notre Dame that will be willing to risk career suicide by having the school join the Big Ten, but those people will likely be from the current undergraduate population’s generation that cares more about ND being an academically elite school than its football status.  That group likely won’t come into power for another two decades.

Texas, on the other hand, is going to ride its proposed Bevo TV like Zorro for the foreseeable future.  I’ll get to more about this later on, but suffice to say, there won’t be any marriage between the Big Ten and Texas with the school’s approach to using and abusing conferences.

So, a 12-school Big Ten is going to be the new status quo for awhile.  There will still some long-term demographic challenges as the US population continues to move to the Sun Belt and the coasts, but as the Wall Street Journal pointed out, the addition of Nebraska is one of those rare moves that will make both the financial bean counters in Park Ridge and the fans in the stands and living rooms happy.

SEC

The SEC stands alongside the Big Ten as the most stable and powerful conferences in the country.  Whether the SEC can realistically grow is an open question.  Unlike the Big Ten, which was at an unstable 11 members without a championship game and positioned in the middle of the country where it could conceivably expand anywhere except for the West Coast, the SEC hasn’t had an urgent need to get bigger.  It doesn’t really want to expand unless there’s: (1) a large market added and (2) an upgrade to the conference’s academic profile.  The lingering perception that the SEC wants to tear apart the ACC (or can actually do it) is a ridiculous notion.  The two schools that would add the most to the SEC from the ACC, North Carolina and Virginia Tech, are two of the least likely schools to ever consider an SEC invitation (as I’ll discuss in a bit).  West Virginia has the Big East’s best traveling fan base but its worst TV market, so that doesn’t make very much sense, either.

As a result, the state of Texas is the only potential goldmine left for the SEC, but as we’ve seen with the stunning non-breakup of the Big IIX, pulling off anyone from that conference would entail adding a bloc of schools en masse (and the Pac-10 found out that not even that could work).  The SEC really only cares about Texas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma – virtually everyone else in the Big IIX is worthless filler from a financial perspective.  The conference wants nothing to do with Texas Tech, Baylor and/or Oklahoma State, which may all be political requirements for those that want any of the Big III from the Big IIX.  Missouri is in the same position with the SEC as it is the Big Ten – decent market with a decent sports program, but not revenue accretive enough to justify expanding for.  ESPN’s analysts will continue to slob the knob of the SEC on the field, yet there really isn’t that much that it can (or should) do off the field.  Mike Slive might engage in some saber-rattling about the conference maintaining its power if other conferences expand beyond 12 teams, but realistically, he knows that the SEC has a great set-up today and is never going to expand just for the sake of keeping up in terms of sheer numbers of members.

COOKIE MONSTER THREAT LEVEL

PAC-10/12

The Pac-10 went for the proverbial jugular with its offer to invite half of the Big 12, but ultimately ended up with only Colorado and Utah.  These are decent additions for the Pac-10 as geographic and cultural fits, but they don’t really raise the national profile of the conference in the Eastern and Central Time Zones.  The Pac-10 is obviously performing its due diligence on forming a new TV network with former Big 12 Commissioner and Big Ten Network president Kevin Weiberg in the fold.  However, there is valid skepticism out there that it could ever come close to being as financially successful as the BTN (fan intensity is lower, , which means that the conference might not add that much more TV revenue taking games in-house compared to signing a larger comprehensive deal with ESPN or other established cable networks.

Still, the Pac-10’s main disadvantage from a TV perspective is a great advantage from a conference alignment viewpoint: its West Coast location.  The Big Ten and SEC won’t even think of touching any of the Pac-10 schools, which means that the Western conference is safe from any possible poachers.  The Pac-10 is safe and stable for the foreseeable future, which means that it’s worth any exit fee that Colorado may have to pay to the clusterf**k of the Big IIX.  As with the Big Ten and SEC, the state of Texas is really the main market that actually can move the meter for the Pac-10, and considering the manner in which talks broke down between the Pac-10 and the University of Texas harem, it may forever be an unattainable goal.

BERT THREAT LEVEL

ACC

I’ll repeat what I’ve stated several times on this blog: the ACC is MUCH safer than the general public gives it credit for.  Even though the SEC and Big Ten could theoretically offer more money to any of the ACC members, it may not be enough of a difference to overcome the charter member status of schools such as Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina (who have been mentioned at various times in connection with the Big Ten and/or SEC) or the academic prestige gap between the ACC and SEC.  Note that the ACC is the only conference other than the Big Ten that has an academic consortium and, for lack of a better term, it has “snobby” members and leaders that aren’t very willing to jump to the SEC compared to football-focused fans.  Virginia Tech on paper would seem to be the main school that might have some interest in the SEC, but with the way that the University of Virginia was hamstrung by Virginia politicians to force the Hokies into the ACC back in 2003, VT leaving the ACC and the commonwealth’s flagship university that expended a ton of political capital several years ago for more money in the SEC is not going to work with the Virginia legislature.

The new TV deal that the ACC has in place with ESPN cements the ACC’s stability even further.  Really, the only reason why the ACC is at “Bert Level” is that Maryland could very well fit into the Big Ten and there might be at least a tiny bit of mutual interest, but the Big Ten’s desire in going toward the East Coast appears to be predicated on Notre Dame coming along, too.  There is definitely nothing that the Big East could offer to draw Boston College back – Eastern fans might constantly bemoan the geography, but that school is clearing so much bank compared to what it had before that its leaders don’t care.  Thus, the ACC is in good shape overall.

ERNIE THREAT LEVEL

BIG EAST

Here’s where the conference realignment discussion gets interesting again.  From one perspective, the Big East could be considered extremely vulnerable due to its geographic proximity to the Big Ten and ACC, fairly good academic institutions, large markets on paper and disjointed sports membership.  On the other hand, if none of the individual schools are actually revenue positive to the Big Ten or ACC, then they aren’t going to be expansion targets and the conference is de facto safe as no one has anywhere else to turn.  As I mentioned in connection with Maryland above, the Big Ten’s East Coast strategy is tied in with Notre Dame, so as long as the Irish stay independent, the Big Ten is not likely to expand again in the near future.

As a result, the Big East is somewhat safe, but it’s also stuck.  There isn’t an obvious football expansion candidate east of the Mississippi River (Memphis, UCF, ECU and Temple are usual “meh” suspects) and even if there was, the hybrid football/non-football membership complicates anything getting done.  Villanova moving up from FCS to FBS has been thrown around as an option, yet even if the school decided to upgrade tomorrow, it would take several years to make that transition.  Futhermore, if Villanova somehow completed the upgrade, it’s hard to see why the school could really draw more or perform better at the FBS level than its Philly neighbor of Temple, which got kicked out of the Big East as a football-only member even when the conference was looking for warm bodies in the wake of the 2003 ACC raid.

I’d still recommend that the Big East go after TCU plus one other school to go up to 18 overall members and 10 football members since I believe that TCU is the main school in the country besides BYU that is a true BCS-level program that’s stuck in a non-BCS conference and it’s never going to get an invite from its regionally-friendly Big IIX (as it has no need for yet another Texas-based school).  The other usual suspects for Big East expansion typically use the “If we were in a BCS conference, we’d be SOOOOO much better” argument, which is akin to saying that you’re a no-talent ass clown that can churn out hit records with the aid of a vocoder.  (I’m looking at you, Kei$ha.)  The Big East doesn’t need project programs – it needs greater respect immediately and a material improvement to its national TV contract.  TCU at least provides a chance for the Big East on those fronts.  Unfortunately, I don’t believe that the Big East leadership is forward thinking in that way at all.

A split between the football members and the Catholic schools has long been blog and message board fodder, yet the fact remains that the Big East basketball contract (which is larger than the football contract) depends upon the large markets that those Catholic universities provide.  Therefore, a split won’t happen unless there’s a big-time incentive to do so (i.e. the Big IIX splits apart and a bunch of BCS programs need a new home).

As for the prospects of a Big East TV network, call me EXTREMELY skeptical that it could work.  If the Pac-10 is going to have a tough time making a network pay off financially, and that’s a conference with significantly better market penetration on the West Coast than the Big East on the East Coast, then I don’t know how a Big East network could ever get off the ground.  The Big Ten Network had a perfect storm of a top-level cable partner (Fox) that provided national carriage immediately (Fox had control of DirecTV at BTN’s launch) plus large schools with large alumni bases that REALLY care about college sports located in large markets that don’t have a lot of regional cable network competition.  It’s a different proposition to attempt to get a network onto basic cable in the New York City area, which already pays for YES, SNY and MSG, when the Big East isn’t even the clear dominant conference in that region.  (The most popular conference in the Mid-Atlantic according to a 2007 NCAA study: the Big Ten.)  Without NYC, the Big East network simply won’t come to fruition (and conference helper Paul Tagliabue apparently agreed when he bashed the notion of people on Long Island watching Rutgers after their tennis matches).

So, the Big East is in a stalled car.  Individual members that want to get into the Big Ten (Rutgers, Syracuse, Pitt) might actually wish that things were more fluid again, but until Notre Dame wants something other than independence, the Big East will talk publicly about “exploring” plans for a TV network and expansion and implement absolutely none of them.

ELMO THREAT LEVEL

BIG IIX

Oh, the Big IIX.  The more that I think about how this conference is still alive, the more that I understand how guys like Bernie Madoff can steal millions from otherwise smart people.  Dan Ponzi Beebe sold a handshake deal to academic leaders holding degrees galore with millions of dollars of unwritten promises based on (1) supposed future TV income that won’t be negotiated until a few years from now and (2) exit fees from Nebraska and Colorado that will be tied up in litigation for years and will likely be significantly discounted from the current sticker price.  Not only that, but some Big IIX people have actually deluded themselves into thinking that Arkansas would leave the SEC and Notre Dame would give up its entire identity as an independent to join this “conference” based on future revenue that doesn’t yet exist and isn’t in writing ANYWHERE.  WTF?!

How schools like Texas A&M bought this bullshit (and that’s what it is – complete bullshit) is beyond me.  The Aggies have good reason to get quite restless without ANY paper trail regarding these promises.  Of course, who knows why the heck the school would’ve agreed to all of this without something in writing in the first place, which makes it harder to defend a new “F**k you, pay me” stance.

Outside of A&M, I firmly believe that the University of Texas will rue the day that it spurned the Pac-10’s offer to add half of the current Big 12 (even if Texas A&M went separately to the SEC) – it will NEVER get a better opportunity to be in an upgraded academic conference with larger markets AND bring along a bunch of its regional rivals.  Instead, UT has banked its entire future on its own TV network and has even started making non-conference scheduling decisions based upon it by killing off a series with Minnesota over a video rights dispute.  Texas better be damn sure that this TV network is going to work because I’m still flabbergasted that this is the route that it chose to take when it had virtually every single option (Pac-16, Big Ten, SEC, independence, even the ACC) on the table.  In a few years, when everyone figures out that the TV revenue that Ponzi Beebe promised won’t ever materialize, Texas may not have any choice other than the Big IIX because no other conference is going to turn over the requisite TV rights that would make Bevo TV viable.

Plus, the Texas legislature made sure that everyone respected its authoritah.  For all of the power that UT is supposed to have in the college football world, it was made clear in this realignment process that it will be forever shackled to at least Texas Tech, which is much more problematic than being only paired up with the fairly attractive Texas A&M.  As a lone free agent, Texas is arguably the most valuable program that any conference can get (even above Notre Dame), but when it has to bring along 4 or 5 others, then it’s a completely different value proposition and the school isn’t nearly as enticing.  The Pac-16 deal was the main chance that Texas could break away from at least Baylor and let Texas A&M go its own way, yet now it has foreclosed a whole bunch of long-term options unless things happen outside of its control (i.e. A&M bolts to the SEC by itself).  The Big Ten and SEC aren’t going to offer to add schools en masse like the Pac-10 did and if the Texas legislature freaked out about UT separating from its other in-state brethren to go to another conference, I don’t see how it could ever try to go independent (which is probably the situation the school is best suited for in a perfect world).

Essentially, the Big IIX is held together by Bevo TV, some Texas politicians and a bunch of unwritten promises from Ponzi Beebe.  No wonder why Nebraska and Colorado ran out as quickly as possible and Missouri has been begging for a Big Ten invite for months.  I guarantee you that NU and CU are going to settle for a whole lot less than what the Big IIX is demanding in exit fees since UT will have zero desire to allow what they’ve done behind the scenes over the past several months to be aired out publicly in court.  Big IIX could possibly add some schools from the Mountain West or C-USA if it wanted to, but with the reprieve from ABC/ESPN where it will pay the current level of TV rights fees even with two fewer members and no conference championship game, the financial incentive isn’t there.  With the Longhorns’ first-priority needs to have league leadership control and its TV network above all else, I believe that the only conference other than the Big IIX that they might end up in over the next few years is a brand new one that they create from scratch as opposed to an existing BCS conference.  Therefore, Texas isn’t going to be the first mover in any future conference realignment scenarios (just as it was the case this past summer).  It will be up to a school such as Texas A&M to have the intestinal fortitude to stand up to the legislative powers that be and act in its own interests as a university if it wants to leave the Big IIX.

As of today, all is quiet on the conference realignment front.  That’s not a bad thing as we can watch some actual football again.

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

(Image from flicker)

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Comments
  1. greg says:

    Hawkeyes are #1!

    Like

  2. Jeepers says:

    Expansion is over, but I’m still subscribing.

    Eggs.

    Like

  3. HerbieHusker says:

    adding

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  4. Pariahwulfen says:

    eggs

    Like

  5. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Brendan Prunty and Jeremy Mauss, Frank the Tank. Frank the Tank said: New blog post: Conference Threat Levels according to the Department of Homeland Security http://bit.ly/9kwTfd […]

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  6. jcfreder says:

    adding

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  7. Vincent says:

    As someone who lives in Virginia, I can safely say that Virginia Tech and Virginia are not tied at the hip where conference membership is concerned. Yes, Mark Warner intervened with UVa to make sure Tech was involved in ACC expansion, but state politicians would have no complaints about either leaving the ACC for a stronger conference as long as the schools continued to play each other. In that vein, the SEC would be a good boon to Tech, and vice versa. Right now, it appears Texas A&M would have to set this wheel in motion.

    Like

    • duffman says:

      vincent,

      In all this realignment conversation I ran across an article about USC leaving the ACC (wish I had bookmarked it now) but I remember being surprised by what it said. According to the article, USC left the ACC over a dispute with the stubborn attitude of the 4 NC schools to act to the detriment of the other schools not in NC. I bring this up, as your comment about VT and UVA may apply if BOTH schools decided to leave. I still think MD is the “weakest” link of the original ACC schools, and the article about USC showed there is precedence for such a thing happening in the ACC.

      I admit more ignorance in ACC affairs than the Big 10, SEC, and BE but it might be interesting if anybody on here was front and center in South Carolina when USC left the ACC. As an aside, does anybody have a link to FtT type blog for the Pac 10, ACC, or BE (my BE info is usually school specific, and not conference specific).

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      • aps says:

        I can second what you are saying about the ACC and the North Carolina schools, particularly North Carolina & Duke.

        Over on the Maryland boards they have mentioned leaving the ACC as they feel like second class citizens being a northern school in a southern conference. And from what the Maryland fans have stated, Virginia might be willing to leave since they see that it is all about the North Carolina schools.

        Add in that the new president at Virginia has Univ. of Michigan ties and Maryland is looking for a new president (and the chancellor for the Maryland system Brit Kirwin is an ex-Ohio State president).

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  8. Btrealign says:

    Add

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  9. Chas. says:

    From the Illinois perspective, the KISS principle simply will not work. Outside of the wildkitties, Our football rivalries are with Ohio State, Purdue and Indiana, who would all be in the East. Given that the Delany has made it perfectly clear that ‘competitive fairness’ is the chief concern of divisional alignment followed by preserving rivalries, it would be supremely stupid to follow the lazy East/West geographic divisions. The commissioner has reiterated that conference schedules since 1993 will be used to achieve competitive balance. The newest wrinkle being debated is the possibility of Michigan and Ohio State being separated to preserve the possibility of a rematch in the title game. Personally, I think this would be a bad decisions for the league, but it would lend itself to true North/South split. Nebraska, Iowa, illinois, Purdue, Indiana and Ohio State in the South and Minnesota, Wisconsin, Northwestern, MSU, Michigan and PSU in the North.

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    • Adam says:

      I don’t see where Illinois would have any ground to complain if it had annual games against Northwestern, Wisconsin, and Nebraska. Plus, you could put in a protected inter-divisional game against, say, Ohio State, and you’d get back an annual rivalry that isn’t protected currently.

      Like

      • Richtoo says:

        I think this is a perfect way to silence the Illini critics. Allow them to be the designated, cross divisional, flogging victim for the Buckeyes. Then, assign PSU the UNL, so PSU can have another, one win every three games, series, and, oh yeah, make sure the little brown jug is tUM’s(after RichRod) annual W! Seriously, if the B10 is going to nine conference games, there is no need for protected rivalries IMO. Each U will be playing each U on the other side, 2/3rds of the time.

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        • Adam says:

          This assumes a 9-game schedule, which I think would be a terrible idea and on the last post, someone had an article from a Minnesota newspaper where Delany’s comments appeared to suggest that he’s backing away from committing to a 9-game schedule in the future.

          If I were doing the inter-divisional pairings, assuming the KISS divisions, the ones I would be “confident” about would be:
          OSU-Illinois
          Michigan-Minnesota
          Michigan State-Wisconsin
          Purdue-Northwestern

          For the last 4, my first inclination would be to go Nebraska-Indiana and PSU-Iowa, but I wouldn’t feel really strongly either way.

          Like

          • jcfreder says:

            As a Wisconsin fan, I don’t think MSU-Wis is a special rivalry at all. (at least for football; basketball is a different story). This is the downside to creating protected interdivision games; you end up with some completely arbitrary ones.

            Like

          • Adam says:

            I guess I thought there was a little more crackle to their games than that. Maybe I’m wrong.

            I would also say that if it takes creating a few arbitrary interdivisional games in order to palliate “political” concerns, I think that’s fine.

            Like

        • Adam says:

          I don’t really get the fixation with “competitive balance” anyway. The Big Ten’s current scheduling format reflects absolutely no concern with “competitive balance” (e.g., Penn State never loses Michigan or Ohio State) and it is apparently acceptable.

          I feel like Delany’s comments have made people feel like they now have permission to start carping about an issue that has never been an issue that I can recall in the Big Ten. The closest thing we came to it is when the coaches complained about the 16-game basketball schedule distorting the championship race after MSU had the 4 weakest teams as their 1-time-only opponents a couple of years in a row.

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          • Adam says:

            Typo; Penn State never loses Michigan State or Ohio State. But you’d think if the concern was “competitive balance,” whoever gets the clear-cut best team in the league would then get a bottom-feeder, not a middle-class opponent.

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          • Chas. says:

            Competitive balance refers to equal distribution of schools from three tiers being always competitive, occasionally competitive and rarely competitive. The total number of wins since 1993 for all 12 schools is 841, so the optimum balance to achieve an even title game is approximately 420 wins per division. This can be achieved by splitting up the top four of OSU, UNL, UM & PSU, then dividing up UW, IA, MSU & Purdue, lastly NW, ILL, Minne & IU must be distributed.

            I favor a nine game schedule with two protected cross-rival games that basically preserves the current model.

            Great Lakes: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Illinois, Michigan & Ohio State, totaling 427 wins.

            Great Plains: Nebraska, Iowa, Purdue, Indiana, Michigan State & Penn State, totaling 414 wins.

            The best part is that 11 of the 12 trophy games would be played annually.

            Like

          • Adam says:

            My point, though, was that that is not how the scheduling format works now anyway. OSU never loses Michigan or PSU; both teams that are “always competitive” in your framework (the last 2 years notwithstanding for Michigan, I guess). PSU never misses OSU (“always”) or MSU (“occasionally”). And so on. If the league took competitive balance as seriously and precisely as people seem to think, then the current protected rivalries should be within those 3 tiers of 4 teams that you just identified. But they aren’t! And nobody has complained about that to my knowledge for the last 17 years. And it’s because rivalries matter more than “balance” in the long haul.

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          • I definitely get your point, but I think the big difference here is the conference championship game. It’s absurd to think that the team with the 3rd or 4th best in-conference accomplishments in a year should be given a chance to play for the championship (especially if they already lost to the other team), but that’s what would happen fairly often if you divide the divisions wrong.

            Someone on another board was looking at all the match-ups we would have had since 93 (using existing conference records) and particularly since 2000, there were a lot of duds based on rankings and conference records differences.

            At least in the current arrangement, the champion(s)always has to have the best record.

            Like

          • Adam says:

            “It’s absurd to think that the team with the 3rd or 4th best in-conference accomplishments in a year should be given a chance to play for the championship”

            Absurd? Really? C’mon. It happens all the time. That’s sports. A few years ago, you had an 11-5 team fail to make the playoffs in the NFL because of a lack of NFC/AFC balance, and the NFL didn’t change a thing. This year, the best 3 teams in the AL might end up being in the same Division; only 2 will make the playoffs. A few years ago, an 83-78 Cardinals team won the World Series, while a 90-72 White Sox team didn’t even make the playoffs. It’s sports. I guess I just don’t what all the fuss is about.

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          • Adam says:

            Moreover, this notion that we’re competing with other college leagues is a distraction. The Big Ten will get a lot of national attention if it has teams in contention for the national championship. If it doesn’t, we won’t. But if we do have teams in contention for the national title, I don’t want some stupid jerry-rigged OSU/UM rematch in the CCG; have that game be part of the fabric of the season, instead of just a sideshow in the hopes of a repeat performance in the CCG.

            Like

          • willarm1 says:

            Chas the idea of 2 protected rivals with a 9 game schedule is a good one…

            I just wish I have heard some buzz in that direction because it would solve many of the problems when splitting the league competitively, while keeping the most amount of tradition.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            I too subscribe to the KISS methodology. Divide it East and West and be done with it. Based on recent history, Iowa-Wisconsin-Nebraska lines up favorably with Michigan-Ohio State-Penn State. As we’ve seen lately, each team has it’s ups and downs. The bottom line is the cream will come to the top.

            The reason the Big 12 South has had the upper hand over the North recently is directly related to recruiting advantage. There is so much talent in Texas and the Southern Division teams had all the advantages in recruiting. I don’t see that being the case in the Big 10.

            Like

    • willarm1 says:

      Agreed on E/W split……the numbers don’t jive competitively.

      Like

      • John O says:

        Conference and overall records since Penn State joined the league in 1993: http://www.cleveland.com/datacentral/index.ssf/2008/10/alltime_big_ten_standings_and.html

        Like

      • Chas. says:

        willarm1,

        The problem with divisional alignment studies is that an eight game schedule really works best with four pods of three teams, in which case there would be NW, NE, SE & SW pods. That way two pods would combine to form the basis of a six-team divisions and you would rotate playing the other two pods twice in four years.

        However, the nine game schedule is a different animal. In that format, you can divide the conference into three natural regions of four teams in which two of each would be sent to separate divisions but still play each other as protected cross-divisional rivalries.

        Consequently, the nature of divisions may have to shift when the ninth game is added down the line. Nevertheless, the relative strength of schedules and maintenance of tradition is better with nine games.

        Like

    • M says:

      Currently the only protected games for Illinois are Indiana and Northwestern; I can’t see anyone being too upset about not playing Indiana every year.

      I can’t speak for Purdue fans, but I know Ohio State fans would be slightly confused if someone mentioned Illinois as a rival. If they were asked to list their top 5 most anticipated opponents in general, I doubt Illinois makes the list.

      Fighting over a turtle doesn’t make it any bigger than whatever the Michigan/Minnesota game is for (axe?).

      Like

      • willarm1 says:

        Mi v. MN is the little brown jug…nobody really cares about it…and certainly doesn’t need to be protected…I mean they don’t play yearly now.

        But PB Axe is the longest b10 rivalry between Wis-MN that one is protected I’m pretty sure.

        Like

        • willarm1 says:

          I hate the E/W split…..Hate it..

          I would go this way. It is better for the league in terms of competition and TV match ups IMO.

          Division I =410 league wins since 1993

          Penn State
          Nebraska
          Iowa
          NW
          Indiana
          Purdue

          Division 2 =431 league wins since 1993

          Ohio State
          Michigan State
          Michigan
          Wisconsin
          Illini
          Minnesota

          PROTECTED CROSSOVERS

          Penn State-Ohio State
          Nebraska-Michigan
          Iowa-Minnesota
          Northwestern-Wisconsin or Illini
          Indiana-Illinois or Wis.
          Purdue-Michigan State

          1. Travel for PSU is very doable with this example with an 8 or 9 game schedule, but more importantly the Big 4 National programs are split.

          2. Whoever has Indy only gets (33 wins) so an imbalance is mostly because of their production. which really shows why E/W split is off competitively

          East-445 wins with Indy
          West-Only 396 wins without indy

          Indy is 11 wins less then the next worse team MN (44) since 93.

          The E/W is putting Iowa as a charter member of the West but they are 15 games worse then PSU and 23 games worse then U of M while being only 8 wins better then MSU and Purdue since 93.

          I love Iowa but since 1993 they are much closer to MSU and Purdue then the top tier of the league yet the E/W split has them as a top tier team competitively when they have not proven it since 1993.

          Yearly match ups lost: Iowa-Wis and Ill-NW yearly. But they go into the rotation.

          NW v Wis has become such a good game and rival I decided to keep that instead. However you could switch and make the crossover nw-Illini and then have Indy play Wis.

          Would the Illini rather have OSU and MI and Indy yearly or would they want NW….I’m not sure I made a call.

          The E/W split is deficient competitively….

          Like

          • StevenD says:

            Really? There are two ranked teams in the east: OSU (2) and PSU (14). In the west there are three ranked teams: Nebraska (9), Iowa (10) and Wisconsin (12). Looks very balanced to me.

            Like

          • willarm1 says:

            Steven I think your comment may be a little short sided…Unless your saying they should re-align every year?

            The teams are being evaluated from the year 1993, which Delany said would be the sample size they would use…

            The rankings are as follows in terms of league wins….osu106 uofm94 psu86 wis79 iowa71 msu63 purdue63 nw59 ill45 mn44 indy33 Neb 98 in big 12

            This years ranking mean nothing…except for this year

            Like

          • Sportsman24 says:

            I understand the arguments for evenly dividing the Big 4. What I don’t understand, is why do some believe that the East-West alignment is so unbalanced. As Adam has stated in previous blogs, divisional balance should be based on a range of acceptable values, not an exact match of values.

            There are a number of subjective criteria that can help determine this range of acceptable values. Such as… Overall W-L*, Conference W-L, Bowl Games, Bowl Game W-L, BCS Bowls, BCS Bowl W-L, Conference Championships, mNC’s, etc… After the range of acceptable values has been determined, then we can debate the who’s & why’s of the divisional alignment.
            * NOTE: Overall W-L should be based on a finite period of time, such as 1978 (when the NCAA established D-IA & D-IAA). It isn’t relavant that UM beat Upper Penninsula College in 1908.

            Arguing the who’s & why’s based on one criteria (Conference W-L, etc) isn’t a true overall picture of each members performance.

            Like

          • Adam says:

            I would concede that the “West” Division in a KISS model is somewhat weaker than the “East,” although that concession is due almost entirely to the presence of Iowa; Nebraska and OSU are pretty close (OSU a bit ahead), but I do not think there are major differences between PSU, UM, and WIS since ’93. The question is whether the West is so much weaker that it’s worth threatening a bunch of very important rivalries. Any time an important rivalry is not placed in-division, I consider it threatened. The best way to put UM/OSU and IA/WIS/MINN in the same divisions with each other is the KISS model, and I just don’t see where it is so imbalanced that it’s worth upsetting the rivalry apple cart.

            willarm1 has proposed a division of PSU, NEB, WIS, IA, MIN, and someone else, based more or less exclusively on aggregate in-conference winning percentages since ’93. I would say such an alignment makes a mockery of the concept of “balance”; I doubt, for example, that any other metric would show such an alignment to be as “balanced” as that particular one does.

            Especially when you consider the ongoing question marks surrounding the coaching stability of the programs in Ann Arbor and State College, chasing some precise measurement of “balance” is a fool’s errand. I’m content with a “shocks the conscience” standard, or perhaps “outside the range of principled outcomes,” and the KISS model passes both of those.

            Like

          • Adam says:

            There’s also this to consider: I would argue that the KISS model is substantially less imbalanced than the MLB, NFL, NBA, and possibly the NHL alignments used for the last 15-20 years.

            1. In MLB, the AL has statistically dominated the NL. The AL East has run rings around the rest of the AL. People gripe about this (people gripe about everything), but things are humming along just fine; no realignment proposal is ever taken seriously.
            2. In the NFL, in many recent seasons the AFC has been substantially stronger than the NFC. Again, no meaningful clamor for change.
            3. The NBA’s Western Conference is laughably better than the East. No serious proposals for change.
            4. The NHL’s Western Conference has generally been stronger than the East, although not as pronounced as the other 3 examples.

            The sky has not fallen on any of these situations, the first 3 of which (at least) are much worse than the imbalance people are shrieking about in the KISS model.

            Like

          • StevenD says:

            It is impossible to predict the future. Will Michigan recover? Will PSU collapse? Will Nebraska be competitive in the Big Ten? Nobody knows for sure. It is impossible to say whether any arrangement of divisions will be competitive in 2015 or in 2030. You can go back to to 1993 or 1978 if you want, but the divisions based on those metrics will be no more reliable, particularly when they conflict with current rankings.

            Personally, I think current rankings are a better predictor of the future than performance 20 years ago. Sure, Michigan might recover (don’t hold your breath), but it’s just as likely that Iowa will maintain its current strength for years to come. Ditto Wisconsin.

            Like

          • Adam says:

            http://minnesota.sbnation.com/2010/6/22/1531565/lessons-from-the-past-why-big-ten

            “Dateline: 1953. Subject: Big Ten Expansion.

            “‘We have considered splitting the conference into divisions for football, and we believe that we must consider competitive balance for the two proposed divisions. We do not want to have one powerhouse division and one poorhouse division.

            “‘Since Michigan State is the current national champions, and has lost but one game in the past three years, it would be silly to put them in a division with Michigan, which annually competes for — and often wins — the Big Ten title. Let them go into a division with lesser powers, like Minnesota (which hasn’t won a title since the war) and Ohio State. Then, we may have a competitive championship game each year.'”

            Like

          • willarm1 says:

            Using the Crystal Ball to define divisions is a fools errand.

            Delany has defined the criteria, so all the rest is moot. Except for argument sake…

            Competitive Balance-Tradition-Geography

            He choose 1993 not me….It seems obvious if you are deciding rankings among league members you use league records. Because as we know some programs don’t have as tough a non-conference schedule as others. Championships and NC, Bowl wins and quality of bowl are very important in judging national power. Delany has mentioned this as well..

            Adam I split the divisions like this above not psu-ia-wi-mn-neb in same division. travel too tough on psu with that senario.

            Division I =410 league wins since 1993

            Penn State
            Nebraska
            Iowa
            NW
            Indiana
            Purdue

            Division 2 =431 league wins since 1993

            Ohio State
            Michigan State
            Michigan
            Wisconsin
            Illini
            Minnesota

            PROTECTED CROSSOVERS

            Penn State-Ohio State
            Nebraska-Michigan
            Iowa-Minnesota
            Northwestern-Wisconsin or Illini
            Indiana-Illinois or Wis.
            Purdue-Michigan State

            I think realignment will look more like this then E/W because the Kiss method doesn’t work within the criteria presented by Delany.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            The 4 schools with the least resources are in your division I. That is very unbalanced. Arguably Nebraska would make it 5 as it is in a lightly populated state, although it certainly generates athletic $.

            And even though IL is not much ahead of Indiana since 93, historically they are better, their fan support is much better, there’s more talent in-state and they have won a title in the last 10 years and several since IU last won in 67. Its unlikely they will remain on a par with Indiana over the next 17 years.

            You must use some arbitrary method to determine a cutoff. Minnesota isn’t the power they once were. But that arbitrariness limits the reliability of the measure. And the future isn’t certain. 10 years ago noone would have expected UNL and CU to have fallen as far as they have in the Big 12. KSU in 98 without an upset loss in B12 title game would have been in the national championship. OU was pretty mediocre in the 90s. Texas was pretty mediocre from 86-97, finishing only 16 games over 500 in that 12 year period, despite a couple of 10-2 seasons and nothing worse than 4-7. And noone expected those low periods to continue.

            Like

          • jcfreder says:

            You have to figure the B10 powers that be will be whittling down their options to a few finalists. The KISS model has to be one of the finalists. The other one that seems pretty good is:

            PSU MSU Neb Iow Ind Pur

            OSU Mich Wis Min Ill NW

            I think this will be perceived by most as more balanced that KISS, but it is more confusing (although unlike the ACC this doesn’t split up any titanic rivalries). Also, if you set up one protected game, pretty much every one of the matchups actually protects a worthwhile rivalry (Neb-Min seems like the only arbitrary one). As a Wisconsin fan this would work for me. Not sure what fans of other teams might think.

            Like

          • willarm1 says:

            Adam with all due respect that pro argument is full of holes….and quite frankly is a red herring.

            MLB is your only real argument and all you have to do is look at the salary cap.

            NFL could not be more even over time….there is flux but it is dead even…I mean look at the parity in the league.

            NHL the same I mean the game hasn’t changed much you need to take a real sample.

            NBA leans west lately, but look over the modern era of b-ball. It is almost dead even as well..

            Not to mention the pro leagues as a product, doesn’t have to compete with other homogeneous leagues for TV revenue.

            The Big Ten must compete with other leagues to get the best deal for its members. Delany is well aware of this.

            Like

          • willarm1 says:

            “The 4 schools with the least resources are in your division I. That is very unbalanced.”

            The league has a very successful revenue sharing model that will not be obstructed by division alignment.

            I suspect that is why Delany hasn’t mentioned it, or anyone else for that matter.

            Look Delany was clear with his criteria. I have never seen him so candid, then he was at B10 media day. not much wiggle room if you take the man at face value….and Delany doesn’t seem to be a bullshit artist to me.. CB-Tradition-Geography-

            Like

          • Adam says:

            Last few years, AFC vs. NFC:
            2009: 37-28 (AFC)
            2008: 35-29-1 (AFC)
            2007: 33-32 (NFC)
            2006: 41-24 (AFC)
            2005: 35-30 (AFC)
            2004: 45-20 (AFC)
            2003: 35-30 (AFC)
            2002: 34-30-1 (AFC)
            2001: 31-30 (AFC)
            2000: 31-30 (AFC)
            1999: 38-23 (AFC)
            1998: 32-29 (AFC)
            1997: 32-28-1 (AFC)
            1996: 32-29 (AFC)
            1995: 34-27 (NFC)
            1994: 28-25 (NFC)
            1993: 27-26 (AFC)
            What part of that is “dead even”?

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Indiana, Purdue, Northwestern and Iowa do not have the institutional resources that MN, WI, OSU, UM, PSU, ILL do and probably less than MSU (NW is going to spend general endowments on education not athletics). The others are in more populous states and have larger alumni bases. IU and Purdue may be close on alumni, but IA and NW are not close. In fan base NW and IU are far below the rest. There are a lot of resources other than TV money. And gate sharing doesn’t equal things out, it merely narrows the gap some limited amount.

            There’s been a lot of talk about UT’s money. Note that only $10 million of the $140 million UT generates comes from TV contracts. Similarly, TV contracts are only a piece of Michigan/Ohio St./Penn St.’s revenues.

            Like

          • willarm1 says:

            Adam You I and both know the Modern NFL did not begin play in 1993. Like The B10 which added PSU that year….In addition look at the Super-Bowl winners those years and Beyond.

            The NFL has more parity than any other sport league, and a salary cap.

            But the fact is Pro alignment and Big 10 alignment have about as much in common as does the 14th amendment and anchor babies.

            Like

          • willarm1 says:

            Bullet;

            The institutional resource questions is a good one, but its relevance to alignment seems less then a strong case for an E/W split.

            Those concerns for those schools stay the same know matter who they play.

            I would assume Delany has put Tradition over Geography for that very reason.

            But if you think IR is some sort of smoking gun that should sway Delany to an E/W split…..I don’t see it.

            Like

          • willarm1 says:

            JCFreder

            I like the split and believe we will see something like that occur when it is all said and done…

            With your crossover games do you play Iowa v Wisconsin or Iowa v Minn?

            I was under the impression you had to protect Iowa-MN. But as a Wisconsin fan I wonder what you think?

            Like

          • jcfreder says:

            @willarm1

            My educated guess is that Iowa would choose to keep a protected game against Wisconsin over a game against Minnesota.

            If Wisconsin was forced to choose, it’d pick Minnesota over Iowa easily.

            Like

          • greg says:

            @jcfreder

            I think Iowa would prefer Minnesota over Wisky. We’ve played Minnesota for the pig since 1935, and the rivalry is a big deal to the older fans.

            Ideally, Iowa/Minn/Wisky keep playing every year. But I also think Iowa/Neb and Minny/Wisky to end the season is the best solution for all involved.

            Like

          • @greg – Floyd of Rosedale is my favorite trophy by far. It’s not even close. Don’t touch Iowa/Minnesota!

            Like

          • greg says:

            @Frank,

            Floyd is indeed awesome. I’m never overly excited about the Minnesota game, but when Floyd comes out at the end, its pretty thrilling.

            Minnesota would definitely prefer to play Iowa. They supposedly have a Beat Iowa chant that they use periodically at every home game.

            Like

          • jcfreder says:

            Good call on the pig — if one western rivarly has to get cut it looks liek it might be Wis-Iow. As a Wisconsin fan it would be difficult not to play Minnesota and one of Iowa or Nebraska every year. Although getting guaranteed games against Michigan and OSU might make up for it, if the divisions were split that way.
            Also, I’m sure Minnesota has a beat Wisconsin chant but I’m only in my thirties so maybe someday I’ll hear it.

            Like

          • greg says:

            @jcfreder

            It is a shame, but it does sound like Iowa-Wisky may be lost in the divisional alignment. It might be my favorite game, as there are hardly two more similar programs in the conference. Similar success levels, we run the same old school pro-set offense, I think we run the same defense (4-3), go head to head on recruits quite often, and you guys even have a Hawkeye as a head coach (including a Hawkeye tattoo!).

            Like

      • MAC Country says:

        I’m a tOSU fan. I’d throw Illinois in as a rival. Not a big one, but certainly more so than Indiana, NW Purdue or MinnySoda.

        Like

        • M says:

          So you put them behind Michigan, Penn State, Michigan State, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Nebraska? That’s condemnation with faint praise.

          Like

          • MAC Country says:

            There is no Ohio State-Nebraska rivalry. We played UNL twice in the 1950s. I would put Illinois behind Michigan, PSU and Wiscy. Ahead of Iowa for sure. About even with Sparty.

            Like

    • mushroomgod says:

      If any of IU, Purdue or OSU are designated as the cross-division rival, Illinois would end up playing that team each year, and 1/2 of the non-designated teams each year…..I don’t see this as giving up much. I know, as an IU fan, that we’ve never considered Illinois much of a rival, and I assume the feeling is mutual. As I’ve mentioned before, each year there already 2 teams you don’t play….awhile back IU went 2 years without playing OSU and Michigan, which was fine with me………..

      Like

      • Michael says:

        The IU/Illinois rivalry is much more of a basketball thing than it is football – and same goes for Illinois/PU.

        Rivalries seem to come and go – depending on the relative strength of the two teams. I think the smart thing here would be to take this ¨rivalry game¨ two years at a time. Play a home/away series and then rotate on to the next opponent.

        Like

    • ChicagoRed says:

      Does anyone in the current BT care about Illini football? No offence, thought they were more of an also-ran and/or a cheater, thier strength is as a 2nd tier BT basketball school.

      Like

    • m (Ag) says:

      If the Big 10 stays at 12 schools for awhile, I think Illinois will benefit more from KISS divisions than anyone else. Illinois has more than twice the population of the next biggest state in the Western division, and is one of the few Big 10 states projected to grow in the next few decades.

      While it has traditionally failed to take advantage of its large population, I think that will change once it is competing separately from the other large states. With the new Big 10 you only have to finish ahead of 5 other teams to get a spot in the title game; with that comes not just regional but national exposure. All it takes is one good coaching hire to win a few division titles and you can change the perception of Illinois to young high school students around the state.

      In the current Big 10 structure PSU, OSU, and Michigan all have big populations as well as tradition on their side. In the West Division Illinois will be competing against schools with much more tradition, but significantly less population. At some point Illinois will have a few good years in a row; with this division setup I think that sort of success can feed on itself to transform the school into a consistently competitive program.

      Like

      • M says:

        Pundits have been saying that Illinois is primed to become a football power for at least 30 years, but they never have gotten anywhere near that point.

        It’s not OSU, Michigan and Penn State keeping them down either; over the last 15 years they are 5-10 vs Northwestern, 3-8 vs Wisconsin, 4-8 vs Ioa and 4-7 vs Minnesota.

        Also, Illinois will not be playing the powerhouses much less frequently if the conference goes to 9 games. Right now, they play the eastern powerhouses 2/3rds of the time; with 9 games, they would play 3 out of every 4 years. One fewer game against OSU every 12 years isn’t going to help them.

        Like

        • m (Ag) says:

          But they only have to win their division to advance to the title game. So they have to finish ahead of Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Northwestern and Wisconsin, not Ohio State, Michigan, and Penn State.

          Like

      • Booster says:

        God, the entire population migration to the South and West is vastly overplayed by Frank and his drones on this board.

        People act as if the Midwest will be cleared out and all of the people will be in Texas and Arizona.

        Trust me, the states of Michigan, Indy, Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, Illinois, Pennsylvania will still have more people than Texas, Arizona, Utah, Oklahoma, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado combined in 30 years.

        I chuckle how this point is made in the context that the Big Ten needs to be highly concerned about this, as it relates to B 10 football and the B 10 network.

        Like

        • zeek says:

          Recruiting plays a big part in this.

          http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/columns/story?columnist=maisel_ivan&id=5221661

          I think the whole south thing is overplayed in terms of population migration; but as Frank and others have said, that can be solved by going to fertile recruiting grounds in the east like New Jersey/Maryland/Virginia.

          Schools like OSU/Michigan/Penn State/Nebraska and Iowa/Wisconsin are always going to be able to put together good teams because of their facilities/attendance, etc.

          But the rest of the Big Ten has to legitimately worry (and thus those 4-6 have to worry) about whether they can field competitive football programs in order to keep the league competitive.

          You don’t want the league to lose the depth around the middle, and the Big Ten will need to focus on population shifts at some point as the Midwest ages relatively.

          Like

        • m (Ag) says:

          “People act as if the Midwest will be cleared out and all of the people will be in Texas and Arizona.

          Trust me, the states of Michigan, Indy, Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, Illinois, Pennsylvania will still have more people than Texas, Arizona, Utah, Oklahoma, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado combined in 30 years.

          I chuckle how this point is made in the context that the Big Ten needs to be highly concerned about this, as it relates to B 10 football and the B 10 network.”

          Rather uninformed opinion. Of course there will still be people in the midwest. However, whether you’re talking about athletic rankings or academic rankings, it’s how you stand in comparison to others that matters. 20 years ago the Big 10 had a huge population advantage over the Pac 10 and SEC areas. Today it has merely a large advantage. In 20 years it will be passed (assuming no further schools change conferences). The Big 10 region will still have lots of people, but other regions will pass it.

          To take your states listed, I’ll add the rest of the Big 10 states (though I refuse to count Illinois twice, no matter how many times you list it), I won’t bother with New Mexico (noone seems to be adding their university), and I’ll use census bureau projects for 2030 (only 20 years from now). I couldn’t find the easier chart I used in previous months, so I used the info from this page:

          http://www.census.gov/population/www/projections/statepyramid.html

          Big 10 region in 2030:

          Michigan 10.7 mill
          Indiana 6.8 mill
          Wisconsin 6.2 mill
          Illinois 13.4 mill
          Ohio 11.6 mill
          Pennsylvania 12.8 mill
          Iowa 3.0 mill
          Minnesota 6.3 mill
          Nebraska 1.8 mill

          total = 72.6 mill

          That’s a 12 school region, for a population of 6.05 million per school.

          ‘Possible Pac 16 East Division’:
          (2030 numbers)

          Texas 33.3
          Arizona 10.7
          Utah 3.5
          Oklahoma 3.9
          Colorado 5.8

          total = 57.2 million

          This would be an 8 school region, for a population of 7.15 million per school. So each school in this division would have an advantage over the Big 10 (you might discount this somewhat if A&M goes to the SEC and divides the Texas market).

          Hey, since it’s only 3 states, lets check the proposed Pac 10 West in 2030:

          California: 46.4
          Washington: 8.6
          Oregon: 4.8

          total= 59.8 million.

          Divided between 8 teams, that’s 7.48 million for each school in the division. Here you can discount it somewhat because of the lack of passion found on the west coast.

          Still, the historic advantage the Big 10 area has had in population is long gone. In months previous, we did similar exercises with the ACC and SEC areas, finding those areas also rise up. You can recalculate those numbers if you want.

          Again, the point isn’t that the midwest is being depopulated. The point is that the rest of the country is being populated faster. This will likely affect the relative rankings in both academics and athletics over time.

          Like

          • duffman says:

            m(ag),

            point taken but I think there will be some factors that can effect population over time. cities grow and die, if this was not the case then natchez mississippi would still be a major city in the USA. The boom and bust towns of midwestern and western mining 100 years ago come to mind as well. while we may laugh at cleveland today, when the oil business was in its infancy and steel was growing it was a major factor in american business. The same can be said for the midwest and the effect of the auto business 100 years ago.

            families moved north to work in the factories as the auto business grew. as you imply with population, people are still making and buying cars. the factories have moved south, and those that still work in this field have followed the jobs. this is a natural order in the civilization of man in general. therefore I would suggest a twofold approach to population patterns.

            One is actual population growth patterns as you have suggested above, and is easy to see. The other is more fluid as the generators of wealth change over time. Manufacturing can be more fluid, but the enterprise that drives this can be more site specific. A plant that closes in michigan may be replaced by one in alabama. Jobs and wealth will follow. Trade centers are more static so a city like Chicago or New York has a greater ability to offer greater long term stability.

            In short things change, and populations are affected accordingly.

            Like

          • Vincent says:

            duffman has a point. Metro areas such as New York and Washington, where trade (and government) are the dominant forces in the economy, are relatively immune to long-term up-and-down cycles. Rutgers and Maryland would provide the Big Ten access to these affluent, crucial markets that can serve as a bellwether if the Big Ten’s midwestern base falls upon hard times again.

            Like

      • Booster says:

        Nebraska having 1/7th the amount of people as Illinois, going on 100 years, never stopped the Huskers from being consistently superior to Illinois Football.

        It won’t be changing anytime soon buddy.

        Like

        • PSUGuy says:

          And yet that same Husker team was pretty mediocre over the past decade when it tried to focus its recruiting efforts in its home region and the Texas area.

          Point is being geographically diverse, as a conference and with individual teams, is a good thing for MANY different reasons.

          This doesn’t mean that the BigTen NEEDS to get a team in the south, but it does provide some reasonable justification to move the conference boundaries outside its historic “mid-western” region.

          Whether that means east, west, north, or south simply depends on the merit of the schools available in those locales.

          Like

          • Booster says:

            Nebraska’s recruiting improved under Billy C. The reduced the focus locally, and only took a handful of local players during his 4 year run. Nebraska has always recruited nationally, almost certainly more than any other program, other than Notre Dame.

            So I think your info is way off.

            If I did take your info as fact, then how does Nebraska focusing on Texas recruiting and then struggling on the field support an argument the Big Ten needs to also focus on the Sun Belt? It doesn’t. and Nothing you offered made sense.

            Like

          • PSUGuy says:

            So in other words you admit that Nebraska focused its recruiting locally. To quote (you):

            “The reduced the focus locally, and only took a handful of local players during his 4 year run.”

            In other words…they stayed within their region (prior to Bill C), became regional “non-diverse”, and started to stagnate because of it…just like I said. It took a couple of years for the national recruits to get into the system, but when they did, the program started to return.

            As for your second statement…there’s a huge difference between recruiting an area and having the largest school in an area inside your conference.

            When Nebraska focuses on Texas recruiting grounds it NEEDS to beat Texas…and every other Texas school…to ensure there is no real desire for Texas recruits to stay in state and play for the home team. They didn’t win and thus the “home team advantage” kicked in and Nebraska’s reliance on recruiting regionally bit them.

            Having the BigTen expand into said area (with the hypothetical, and non-ideal I might add, team of UT) allows the conference to compete for recruiting grounds, but no matter which team wins the conference wins.

            It all boils down to the idea of “sowing your own crops” vs “raiding for someone else’s”. For the Big12, it didn’t matter whether Neb or UT got the recruits, so long as one of the two did. If the BigTen could get UT, and UT continued its winning ways, the BigTen would have a huge recruiting advantage over other conferences because they have “the home team”.

            Point being…what I talk about, and you rebut with, are completely different animals and you haven’t addressed, at all, what I speak to.

            Becoming diverse, whether it means in university systems, investing, farming, or hobbies is a good thing, even if its “not needed”.

            Like

          • Mac says:

            I think the idea of recruits really weighing what conference a team is overstated.

            People act like recruits decision is based solely on the conference the teams they are looking at are in.

            As I’ve always said, Nebraska was never going to get a Texas recruit that didn’t want to leave Texas whether we went undefeated against Texas every year or not.

            As a high school football coach in a Texas 4A school for over 15 years, I can tell you, at least among my kids (some 80+ FBS commits in that time), conference affiliation falls somewhere between how good the food is at the team’s training table, and what the dorms look like.

            When these kids go to the school, they see the coaches they are going to be taking instruction from, the facilities, the girls, the campus and the excitement for football among the fan base.

            All this talk about “Joe Smith” not wanting to go to Nebraska from a Texas high school now, when he did before, simply because they are in the Big Ten now is nothing but message board fodder for people have have no idea about the decision process of recruits.

            Believe me, Nebraska will do as fine as they always have in Texas, at least in my region. The very few kids that might have gotten that refuse to go up north now that they’re in a different conference will be replaced by plenty of other kids who will consider them now, due to that very same change in conference.

            Enjoy your discussion though. 🙂

            Like

    • pioneerlion says:

      The conference will do what makes most sense $$-wise (mostly likely the “lazy east-west” alignment), and Illinois will take it and like it. Illinois football rivalry in the issue of Big10-12 conference alignment is as relevant as KU basketball was in Kansas joining the big10 or the Pac10.

      Like

      • Chas. says:

        Since the conference will make a financial decision as well, they most certainly will be concerned about the flagship university in the Big Ten’s most populous state and capturing the television audience in the conference capital Chicago. Therefore, Illini alumni will be appeased whether you like it or not.

        Like

    • Booster says:

      Why do people think preserving the game means you preserve a rivalry? No rivalry is preserved if rivals are placed in different divisions.

      A huge part of rivalry is following the season standings and rooting for your rival to lose week in week out. Put two rivals in different divisions and the rivalry is destroyed or at best, it is severely hurt with possible long term degrading of value and intensity.

      Being in the same division, you compete weekly. You may play one game, but in the final week, you may need help from Iowa to ensure you pass your rival in the standings, etc….to play for the B10 title.

      Don’t pretend a rivalry is preserved by just keeping the game. They need to be matched in the same division.

      Break up Michigan v Ohio State or Minny and Wisconsin, you have damaged the Big Ten in ways most don’t see yet.

      **Imagine a Mich v OSU game (in separate divisions) where the game has no impact on the B10 Title Game matchup since both Mich and OSU have locked up their slots. Then what?

      Like

    • BuckeyeBeau says:

      I don’t understand Illini concerns for “losing” the Ohio State rivalry.

      As things stand, the IlliBuck Trophy takes a two year hiatus. (and damn you! Illinois for allowing the original Turtle to die in one of your frat houses!!) If the divisional split is East-West, the Illibuck Trophy still takes a two year hiatus.

      As things stand, each B10 team has two protected “games.” That leaves 8 other teams.

      Playing eight conference games a year gives you a cycle of six years “on” for IL-tOSU and two years “off.” (If I can do the math correctly, that boils down to 3 years out of every 4.)

      No one seems to mind that the Illibuck Trophy game is off-cycle for a couple of years.

      Now with the new 9 game conference schedule, same two year hiatus.

      Each team will play five games with its divisional mates; four games against the other division. Regarding the six teams in the other division, it will be four years “on-cycle” and two years “off-cycle.”

      Thus, OSU and Illinois would play for the Illibuck 2 years out of three. Is that really a “lost rivalry?”

      A note on “competitiveness:” My guess is that the argument is about the bottom of the league. Should you send Illinois east and send Purdue west?

      At the top, I’d say the ADs have decided OSU/MI/PSU is at least close to NEB/Iowa/Wiscy (at least since 1993).

      The argument is about the bottom half of the league. Does MSU/Purdue/IN = NwU/IL/Minny? In my view, no. But switch Purdue and IL and maybe I say yes. What are the winning percentages for the bottom half of the league?

      Btw, my guess is that there will be no cross-divisional protected games. Otherwise, you start having teams that cycle “off” for 3 and 4 years at a time.

      Like

  10. duffman says:

    FRANK,

    I only ask one thing, separation of blogs 🙂

    That realignment posts be confined to separate realignment blogs

    That other football posts not include realignment chatter

    FWIW: I love being an oscar! 😉

    Like

  11. M says:

    whoa, a new post? already?

    Like

  12. bullet says:

    Based on all we’ve learned about brands as opposed to market, I don’t think the B12 TV contract projections are smoke and mirrors. They’ll be comparable to ACC, P12 and possibly as good as current SEC and B10+1 per school. Whether they will be comparable to the 2016 B10 contracts is another question. That contract could be the trigger that starts schools moving much like the last SEC contract started people thinking.

    Like

    • schwarm says:

      So the Fox contract for the B12 is up soon, while the ESPN/ABC contract is in place for a while. Anyone got a reasonable estimate for the new Fox contract, and the total for the two contracts after the new Fox contract?

      Like

  13. M says:

    SIAP, but from a Nebraska message board:
    http://nebraska.rivals.com/showmsg.asp?fid=181&tid=135619666&mid=135619666&sid=928&style=2

    Basically, the agreement was that if A&M doesn’t get the $20 million from the contract, it gets the $20 million from the 7 dwarves.

    Like

  14. Carl says:

    Thanks, Frank.

    Like

  15. Jim says:

    Delusion is a vast understatement for that article to the point that the writer should lose his job. He might as well added LSU, USC, tOSU and Michigan to that list but hell that actually might add to the chances that it would happen. I guess the writer has heard of this place Manhattan talked about over and over again as the media hub of the world and thought that it was Kansas.

    Like

  16. jj says:

    Or, let’s just go totally crazy and get to B10 up to 20 teams so there is no possibility of repeat games with a 9 game schedule.

    E/W split +

    E – Pitt, Rug, ND, MD
    W – Mizzo, Kansas, TX and Texas A&M if not TX, then how about ISU or Vandy.

    You want to talk about making some cash!

    Like

    • StevenD says:

      With 20 teams, you shouldn’t have 10-team divisions. You should have 5-team pods.

      Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Purdue, Indiana
      Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Northwestern
      OSU, Michigan, MSU, Notre Dame, Vanderbilt
      PSU, Pitt, Rutgers, Maryland, Virginia

      All significant rivalries are maintained (without the need for crossover games). Pods are competively balanced (with at least one ranked team in each pod). Pods are geographically compact, minimizing travel costs and making it easier for fans to attend.

      Like

    • Booster says:

      Good call, because Frank is right, CASH IS KING!!!

      Adding teams is more important than product. Start adding teams in Mexico City, I hear it is a big market.

      Like

  17. Danimal says:

    Interesting emails between Dan Beebe and Big 12 members during the conference expansion happenings this year.

    http://docs.google.com/fileview?id=0B7FYBEkmWghRYjNlMThmYTQtMTNjZC00ZjdlLWJhYmYtZTU2N2ZjODRmZWNk&hl=en&authkey=CI2EjO0K

    Like

  18. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    adding

    Like

  19. Doug Dixon says:

    add

    Like

  20. Bob in Houston says:

    Frank, the sudden turn of events in Texas is sensibly explained only by the political hammer being brought down upon both Texas and A&M. Neither school was going to give up playing the other, but as best I can tell, neither one cared what the other did.

    Unfortunately, politicians told both of them to go to their rooms without supper until they agreed to stay together in the Big 12.

    It was a full two days after Texas told its coaches that the B12 couldn’t be saved before suddenly it was saveable. And, IIRC, this was before Dan Beebe conjured up his bagful of nothing. At the end of the day, Larry Scott said they could have worked out the Longhorn network thingee.

    That’s the other thing that doesn’t make sense. Nobody — not A&M, not Texas, not any school — should have been making decisions that would last for generations based on the estimate of a possibility. But Texas — which knows the value of a buck better than any school out there — went for this deal? Sorry, the only logical explanation is that there was no other option. And, if A&M had a legitimate solo offer from the SEC (I have nagging doubts, but assume they did), why should they have turned down the one option that guaranteed them a good payoff and being out from under Texas, if that’s what they wanted?

    One can only hope that the politicians will be evaded next time.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      The Pac 16 was an estimate of a possibility as well. The Big 10 didn’t even have a real number to give UNL-but they did give them a floor (what they earned in B12). SEC didn’t know what they would be worth to A&M.

      So all of it was estimates. Pac 16 renegotiation is a little closer than 2015, but still very much an estimate.

      I’m inclined to believe politics was on their mind, but ultimately they would rather be in the B12 than in a P16 east for similar projected $. OU made it clear they preferred the B12 w/Texas over a P16 w/Texas.

      Like

      • Bob in Houston says:

        I think that everybody that is left in the B12 would prefer that it work.

        It’s just impossible to explain why Texas thought the B12 was a goner on Thursday but a legitimate deal on Sunday, without some outside force having had an impact.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          The story is that mysterious outside forces (including probably ESPN & Fox) didn’t want the superconferences to happen now and ESPN & Fox convinced Beebe and Texas that the money would be there. That seems more likely to me than a Waco representative’s veiled threats (not that those would be ignored) being the primary cause of Texas flip-flopping. They would have been considering political impacts for a long time.

          Somebody will tell the definitive story, but it might take 10-15 years.

          Like

          • Bob in Houston says:

            I agree that neither ESPN nor Fox wanted to redo all their college contracts at this time, and that that made things easier, but Texas and A&M already had backed off before Beebe came up with the promise of more money.

            The public explanations of the backtracking from the Texas side don’t make sense.

            It wasn’t the state rep’s blather that turned this thing around. IMO, it was much higher up.

            Like

          • zeek says:

            I still think it was A&M that busted this thing to bits.

            I don’t think Texas or A&M wanted to separate from one another.

            A&M essentially told Texas that it was going to separate unless the Big 12-2 was saved.

            Texas then decided to save it around the time that Beebe came up with his ridiculous numbers.

            A&M was okay with that, but now they’re realizing that the numbers seem to be totally bogus.

            Like

          • schwarm says:

            agree zeek – and once UT (and TT) were not going to the PAC-x, a lot of political pressure could be put on aTm.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            @zeek

            That Texas decided B12-2 was preferable to P16 w/o A&M is a feasible explanation, but the idea of A&M flip-flopping doesn’t make sense to me. Why would they say they wanted to save the B12 w/o any estimates on TV contracts and then decide they needed more money once the estimates came in?

            Like

          • zeek says:

            Well, I think A&M really thought it was on its way to the SEC until Texas said no to the Pac-16.

            A&M thought it had some kind of assurance on money because of that final letter from Beebe about how the other 5 were offering to guarantee the $20M+ payouts by offering Nebraska/Colorado exit fees, etc.

            Then Texas/OU said no to that after A&M had already committed. So to A&M it looks like they got boxed in and then had the “guaranteed money” pulled out from under them because Texas/OU are saying they don’t want anything to do with taking money from the rest.

            Like

  21. zeek says:

    I know we talk a lot about revenue sharing in the Big Ten vis-a-vis other conferences but here are the actual numbers for gate sharing (Nebraska fans are likely to be interested in how much they’ll be giving up in football and basketball after opening their new arena):

    “Penn State, Michigan and Ohio State contributed the $4 million maximum in revenue sharing, as it does every year. Wisconsin ($657,341) and Michigan State ($656,075) also lost money in revenue sharing. Those seven schools always lose money in Big Ten revenue sharing because of their football stadium size and attendance.

    It’s likely Nebraska, with its capacity exceeding 81,000 and weekly home sellouts, will infuse between another $3.5 million to $4 million into the revenue-sharing pot when it joins the league next year.

    Schools receiving more in revenue sharing than paid include: Northwestern ($1.71 million), Indiana (nearly $1.3 million), Minnesota ($896,704), Purdue ($785,650) and Illinois ($539,539).”

    http://gazetteonline.com/blogs/docs-office/2010/08/11/iowa-football-loses-iowa-basketball-gains-in-big-ten-revenue-sharing

    Very good article for those interested in how it all works, and how much Northwestern/Minnesota etc. take from Michigan/Ohio State/Penn State/etc. and soon Nebraska…

    Like

    • Nostradamus says:

      Nebraska will be getting money in basketball, not giving it up.

      Like

    • zeek says:

      One thing I want to point out is that this sort of makes it hard to go to Rutgers/Maryland unless we do so right before the new TV contract in a few years because they’ll both be taking from the football side and Rutgers especially on the basketball side.

      Like

      • Vincent says:

        There could be some sort of agreement that Rutgers and Maryland would only get a limited percentage of revenue sharing for a few years, sort of along the lines of new ACC members getting a smaller allocation of men’s basketball tournament tickets the first few years. If Big Ten membership had the effect I think it would in New Brunswick and College Park, RU and UMd would soon be on equal levels with the rest of the conference.

        Like

    • 84Lion says:

      Zeek, if memory serves someone previously pointed out to me that the Nebraska Memorial Stadium capacity is actually either in the upper 80,000s or lower 90,000s right now, and with slated expansion will go into the mid-90,000s at least. So Nebraska’s number will almost certainly be at the 4 million dollar mark.
      The article states “seven schools” but I think they mean six – Iowa, PSU, UM, OSU, Wis, and MSU. The other five, as listed, receive more than they pay. I agree that Nebraska will be in the “giving” corner. It is notable that for a school like Penn State, the $200,000 or so they receive for b-ball is about 5 percent of what they contribute.
      Looking at it this way, it makes even more sense to equally split the “big boys,” OSU, PSU, Michigan, and Nebraska between the two divisions. Iowa and Wisconsin should also be split between the two divisions. I would also argue that if – if – the Big Ten goes to a 9th regular season game, those teams with the largest stadiums should always be the home teams. Based on the revenue sharing that really makes the most sense.

      Like

      • greg says:

        The revenue sharing article is misleading, in that for the Big Four, it only lists their gross payouts. It does not list their gross revenue. They are contributing a net of about $1M to the conference. A large number to be sure, but not as huge as $4M. NW collecting $1.7M is telling.

        Like

      • zeek says:

        Well, Nebraska goes over capacity to 85,000 on average, but their official capacity is lower. That’s why they talk of expanding the stadium to 85,000-90,000.

        And I don’t think they’d lock in home games like that. Plus, Michigan/Ohio State/Penn State/Nebraska will guarantee sellouts when they travel.

        Sure that doesn’t bring in enough money to justify the extra game at Northwestern completely, but you make more money on TV with a Nebraska at Northwestern matchup than you do with random school at Nebraska and random school at Northwestern.

        Like

    • mushroomgod says:

      Sooner or later, OSU, Michigan, Nebraska, and PSU will get tired of sharing the wealth……something to watch for in the coming years………..

      Like

      • Be careful what you say, mushroomgod, it’s that kind of attitude that gets Texas excoriated on this site. The Big Ten is all about equality and revenue sharing, only conference-ruining capitalistic pigs like Texas strive for less socialistic arrangements. Indiana deserves just as much profit as Ohio State, because they are just as important to the Big 10.

        Like

        • schwarm says:

          IU and tOSU don’t share profit, they share revenue; which somewhat makes up for tOSU’s much higher overall revenue and profit.

          Like

      • I’ve actually wondered the same thing. The last couple of moves have been to conference that share revenue more equally. That may continue, but theoretically, you could take the 30-40 biggest programs and put them in a league together and they would be making a lot more money without subsidizing the Northwesterns and Purdues (no offense) of the world. I think that logic misses some big points. For starters the big names want to win for a lot of reasons including merchandise and alumni donations and they’d lose out of some of that in a smaller format. For another, I don’t think the process would even work well in TV money over the long haul as I think college football would lose popularity and thus dollars. I could see a push in that direction if things fall right though still.

        Like

        • zeek says:

          There are a couple of other problems too.

          I mean yeah if you separate football from the rest of the institutions you could achieve something along those lines like a college NFL for the biggest schools.

          But conferences are about way more than that, especially the Big Ten.

          Ohio State has 35 sports; they’re not going to want to parade them all over the country, and the other Big Ten schools won’t just want the other 34 if football goes off on its own. Costs could go through the roof if those aren’t kept playing locally.

          There’s the academic angle as well; we’re talking about the presidents/chancellors of the biggest schools making these decisions not the ADs. Michigan/Ohio State don’t want to associate with Texas Tech; they just want Texas. And with the Texas schools you run into a big firestorm of political opposition to anything.

          I just don’t see a school like Michigan, which is traditionally among the most conservative, ever agreeing to associate with a bunch of schools that it doesn’t see as meeting its standards.

          The Big Ten Network has made it so that the smaller schools actually provide content that helps pay the bigger schools. That’s enabled the Big Ten to more easily justify the equal revenue sharing because everyone’s now providing inventory at some level.

          Obviously Northwestern really needs to work on getting fans into the stands, but I have no idea how they fix that problem. There just aren’t that many unaffiliated college football fans in Chicago that would be willing to pay to go to their games.

          Like

          • I hope you are right, and you probably are, but with enough time, I could still see something like a 30-40 team league forming. I guess my concern is that if the money gets really tight (and it will at some point, probably in the not so distant future), it’s going to be tempting to work on each of the issues separately.

            If a 40 team football league will bring in more money for those 40 over several years, it’s not impossible to separate academics/other sports from it. If you are separating football from the existing conferences, those conferences will still exist for basketball and everything else. In many cases, it could well be the case that they don’t want to lose the existing members even if they aren’t there for football. Even if teams couldn’t stay in their current conference, they could develop new conferences with more regional followings (with 40 out, there would be enough of a base in most areas of the country for this to work imo).

            Academics are the same way. The Big Ten-CIC is great, but they don’t have to be completely affiliated. If at some point 3-6 of the members decide they are going to some superleague, the CIC is highly unlikely to kick them out.

            Like

    • bullet says:

      In the Pac 10 they only share revenue on the one rivalry game-splitting it equally. In some conferences, the home team keeps everything. That is how it is generally done on the home-and-away ooc games and the 2 for 1 ooc games. So the B10 is sharing more of the gate revenues than other conferences in addition to sharing TV equally.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Verified it by looking at the by-laws: The Big 12 does not share home gates. The schools are not prohibited from doing so with their own agreements, but the conference is not involved. Section 2 of the by-laws goes into the revenue sharing in detail. That it is all in the by-laws brings up Beebe’s comment about some saying unequal revenue distribution created instability while others said constantly bringing up something that was already agreed to created instability.

        Like

    • mnfanstc says:

      You’re looking at the small change… some of those schools you refer to negatively bring more to the table in endowments/research money (in hundreds of millions/billions). You can have your half a million or $896,704…

      Your argument is the typical, “what have you done for me lately?” In a perfect world, all 11 schools would go to BCS games… That would be pretty damn boring and pretty impossible… I apologize for my school being located in a city with more going on than one large university. I apologize for our football program not winning a mNC since 1960. I apologize for… if it’s that big of a deal… see below…

      Why don’t these schools then pull the Texas maneuver… The Big Ten is a great conference because the individual schools actually work together and try to maintain some semblance of equality without sacrificing their own identities. They all get richer by improving the whole lot. If someone wants to leave… more power to them…

      Like

      • zeek says:

        That comment couldn’t have been more misdirected because I’m a Northwestern alum, and I view the Big Ten from that angle.

        Besides, it’s probably far more worth it for Northwestern (and the others) to take the money and actually use it in trying to field competitive programs as NU has done with as much success as you could expect for a school of limited enrollment in a city that doesn’t really pay attention to it.

        I’m one who’s constantly complained about NU not doing enough to try to get butts into seats, and we finally seem to be trying new approaches.

        Also, as per Minnesota, anyone in the Big Ten would recognize that they’re trying to rebuild the program, and they’ve put their money where their mouth is with that brand new $280M stadium.

        Like

        • zeek says:

          That stadium is designed to go up to 80,000 and it’s on campus; that’s the vision of a program that looks to be trying to go places in the next decade. We need more of that in the Big Ten out of the schools that haven’t been as successful as the top schools of late.

          I agree with you that the Big Ten works best with the way the schools tend to help each other out with the way the payouts are equitably distributed.

          Like

    • BuckeyeBeau says:

      Here’s the difference between the B10 and the BXII (and I think OSU, PSU and MI understand this): equal revenue sharing is necessary for any conference to be strong and a strong conference makes each team stronger (even the teams at the top). The money-gap between the top programs and the bottom programs can’t be too great and can’t increase from year to year. Otherwise, your bottom-tier teams will wither and the conference as a whole suffers.

      This is what was happening in the BXII and what will continue to happen.

      Plus, over a 100+ years, there is an ebb and flow. While tOSU and MI have been pretty consistently up, the rest of the league has been up and down in 10-30 year cycles. Wiscy used to be just awful; likewise NwU; likewise Iowa. Minny and MSU were once elite football powers. Revenue sharing is one thing that helps a program like Wiscy rise back up.

      NEB will/does understand this. If you’re sitting at the big boy table, you have the privilege of paying. It’s a mark of success. If Minny gets back to the big boy table, I don’t think they will complain about having to pay.

      Like

      • Hopkins Horn says:

        So you’re saying that the gap between the Big 12 and the Big 10 on the football field over the last few years would have been even wider had the Big 12 had Big 10-style revenue sharing?

        Like

        • PSUGuy says:

          I think they’re saying the gap the “non-haves” in the Big12 are about to experience would be lessened if they had a BigTen style revenue sharing system…

          Like

          • Bullet says:

            I think all you are seeing in the B12 is the cycles you mentioned. How many #1 teams has this equal revenue sharing produced in recent years? When was the last time anyone besides Ohio St. from the B10 was ranked #1? Maybe there have been some, but I can’t think of any.

            In just the last few years, Texas Tech and Missouri in addition to Texas and OU have been ranked #1 as late as November (TT and Missouri both fell to a lower rated OU team). I believe it was HH pointed out that everyone but Baylor and A&M had been in the top 10 at some point recently, maybe even top 6.

            Your theory may be right over the long run. But using the B12 as an example doesn’t work. Nebraska was a “have”, not a have-not. CU was one of the “haves.” The problem with the B12N was that Nebraska and Colorado and KSU were down at the same time (think KISS model with Nebraska going 6-6 and Wisconsin 3-9 and Iowa 5-7).

            Like

          • Hopkins Horn says:

            Hey Bullet,

            I think Tech only hit #2 in the 2008 season.

            Here are the relevant stats, best I can recall, for the inherently weak results we’ve seen from a conference with such competition-stifling lack of true revenue sharing:

            (1) Three different schools ranked #1 (UT, OU, Mizzou) in the last three seasons.

            (2) Five different schools (add in KU and TT) in the Top Two the last three seasons.

            (3) Six different schools (add in OSU) in the Top Six the last three seasons.

            (4) Ten different schools in the Top Ten over the last decade (I thinkISU cracked the Top Ten in 2002; also add CU, NU, KSU).

            (5) Two BCS champions and five runners-up in the last decade.

            I am only left to wonder how well the conference would have fared had it had Big 10-style revenue sharing in place.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Forgot AL was unbeaten in 2008. Texas Tech was #2 for 3 weeks in November.

            Wikipedia has the weekly AP poll for at least 2007 and 2008 for anyone who is interested.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            And as for creating national championship balance, we’re stuck pretty much with Duffman’s big 9 + the Florida 3. In fact, the only ones of those 12 teams who haven’t made the BCS title game in the last decade are 3 midwestern schools-ND, Michigan and Penn St. And LSU is the only school not in that group of 12 teams. 10 years, 20 teams and only 10 different schools have been there. And except for the Florida schools, all were major powers in the 60s.

            Like

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Bullet – I must have missed Duff’s all-time top 12, but I do think ESPN’s Prestige Rankings series last summer is very good.

            http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=3849468

            For selfish reasons, I think 15 is a better number than 12 when considering all-time programs, so I’ll list the All-Time Top 15 prestige rankings, according to ESPN right now.

            1. Oklahoma
            2. USC
            3. Ohio St.
            4. Notre Dame
            5. Nebraska
            6. Alabama
            7. Texas
            8. Michigan
            9. Florida St.
            10. Miami
            11. Penn St.
            12. Tennessee
            13. LSU
            14. Georgia
            15. Florida

            Here’s the break down by conference in the all-time top 25:

            7 – SEC
            4 – ACC
            4 – Big Ten+UNL
            4 – Pac 10+Col
            3 – Big XII-UNL-Col
            1 – Ind.
            1 – MWC

            Like

          • M says:

            @Alan

            I see your cherry-picked statistics and raise you my own:

            Top 11 by conference

            Big Ten 4
            ACC 2
            Big 12 2
            Pac-10 1
            SEC 1
            Ind 1

            Top 50 by conference
            Big Ten 10
            ACC 9
            Pac-12 8
            SEC 8
            Big 12 5
            Big East 3
            Ind 3
            MWC 2
            MAC 1
            CUSA 1

            Like

          • bullet says:

            @Alan
            Duffman’s big 9 are your top 8 + Penn St. I threw in Miami, FSU, UF. Duffman actually has a top 10, but one is a rotating SEC school. So LSU would have to split that spot with Auburn, UGA, TN and UF.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            I think the 3 FL schools have moved up enough to be in a clear top 12 of a modern prestige ranking. But if you want to expand, I would go to 16 with TN, LSU, UW and CU. Those 16 all have national championships in the last 25 years (only GT outside of them does-and it was split) and are the only schools with more than 2 top 5 finishes in that period.

            Like

      • BuckeyeBeau says:

        well, this went further afield than i expected.

        um, my ideas started from this point: TX getting $20 million a year and Iowa State getting $14 million a year will not help Iowa State close the gap on Texas. In fact, the gap in recruiting, facilities, number of wins, fan participation, national recognition, tv ratings, etc., will only widen. Logically, this seems bad.

        I assume with revenue sharing, it would be $17 million each. Maybe that is incorrect.

        Iowa State already finds it difficult to “catch up” and having $6 million less will not help.

        This will hurt Texas. Texas will be perceived as playing a bunch of nobodies and this will hurt them in the polls and hurt their chances of getting to the national champ. game.

        Therefore, it is in Texas’ self interest to help Iowa State be as good as it can be. Revenue sharing is therefore in Texas’ self interest.

        Think MWC. They are considered unworthy of an auto qualification because the bottom seven teams are completely terrible. The new BXII could be the new MWC in perception (well, okay, the BXII will be the new Big East).

        Aside from history, i think this is part of the reason tOSU, MI, etc., don’t really mind that revenue sharing “hurts” them.

        I did not really consider if there is any correlation to the number of teams in your league that are ranked number one or who win a NC. I’m not sure: Both SEC and B10 have something similar regarding revenue sharing (IIRC). But over last 10-15 years, SEC has had 4-5 top teams, the B10 has had two. Don’t know if I see a correlation.

        Like

  22. JRT says:

    FTT,
    Two things that I think could cause the expansion issue to ramp up again in the next year or two, albeit on a much smaller scale.
    1) Jerry Jones meddling can’t be underestimated. Agreed his pipe dream of ARK and ND won’t happen but I can’t help but think he’ll apply the full court press to somehow get the BigXII back to 12 in order to get the championship games back to Jerry World. What non-Texas schools could you see as candidates?
    2) The MWC was so close to qualifying to become a BCS conference they won’t be able to sit idly by twiddling their thumbs. The recent success of Houston seems an obvious fit with the always dangerous Fresno to balance out the West. Both also open up the conference for recruiting inroads. Doesn’t this seem so simple a caveman could do it?

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Simply pulling Utah out didn’t drop the MWC much. I would think the Big 6 would be concerned about it becoming the Big 7 and would have that in their minds when expanding. Perhaps the thought was to wipe out the Big 12 and create a gap big enough the BE and MWC weren’t a threat to the remaining 4.

      Like

      • zeek says:

        To be fair, I don’t think anyone would care about MWC getting an AQ bid. It’s not as if that would help it close the gap in terms of TV $.

        The Big East is totally irrelevant in the eyes of the Big Ten and the ACC. No one views it as a threat since they can take schools they want at any time.

        The Pac-10/12 takes the same view towards the MWC.

        I mean look at the MWC’s TV Network; it really isn’t a threat to anyone regardless of whether it adds another school.

        If they got a big national brand name school then it would be a worry, but it really isn’t right now; particularly after the loss of Utah/addition of Boise State. It’s mostly a wash.

        The Big East and MWC will be irrelevant regardless of what happens.

        The Pac-10 wants to be the only conference relevant west of the Mississippi with the exception of A&M to the SEC. That’s their Pac-16 goal.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          The MWC problem is that it could take a BCS bowl slot that otherwise would go to a runnerup from one of the other conferences. Now if they give them the slot reserved for non-auto bid conferences, then it puts the BCS in a bad spot politically with regard to the other 4 conferences.

          Like

          • zeek says:

            Yeah but we’d probably see a Cotton Bowl BCS slot coming in the next go around.

            And then you could give the Big 12 the auto slot in the Cotton Bowl which I’d argue to be more valuable than the MWC slotted into the Fiesta Bowl.

            It is an interesting point though. But we’ve been getting a non-AQ bid almost every year or more than every other year the past few; I don’t see it being too much of a problem.

            Like

          • m (Ag) says:

            Expansion is being driven by the value of the regular season. The bowl system is important because it keeps college football as the sport with the most important regular season.

            Giving an automatic BCS bid to another conference won’t change that; it’s not going to affect the tv contracts for the current BCS conferences.

            Like

  23. barry says:

    Frank…….Texas, A&M, etc. are in the big twelve (Xll) not the big 8 (IIX).

    Like

    • Adam says:

      Barry,

      It was either a typo or a play on the Big Twelve (XII) now having a total of ten (X0 minus two (II before X). Either way, does it matter enough to post twice?

      Like

    • Pariahwulfen says:

      Barry, despite the amount of joy it brings me to see someone who can do math with roman numerals, the ‘Big IIX’ thing is a play on the conference name sort of like the Big Televen or Big11Ten.

      Like

  24. barry says:

    It’s not the big 8 (IIX) but the big 12 (XII).

    Like

  25. Great read as always Frank. I personally think the ACC problems are overrated a bit. There was no good way to divide things and a north/south split wouldn’t really have helped much. You still would have divided the North Carolina schools. You would have given the south a definite recruiting advantage in Florida and you would have put both marquee programs in the same division. If Florida State and Miami were still down, the result wouldn’t have been all that much better than it is now.

    When you get down to it, how many casual fans (not the ones reading these blogs) can name most of the east/west teams in the SEC even? I know I couldn’t until a year or two ago. I knew Florida and Georgia were together. I knew LSU was in the west. I’m not sure how much else I could have told you for sure. If the Big Ten splits the big names, casual fans from outside the conference will at least remember Ohio State/Michigan and Nebraska/Penn State or whatever combination they’re divided by.

    Another argument against the KISS: Wisconsin and Iowa have been better than the rest of the pack recently, but even in that success you can see signs it may well not be permanent. Wisconsin, as consistent as its been, has not won a championship since 1999. Put another way, 7 different teams have won a Big Ten championship since them. To be fair, two tied the following year and haven’t won since (Illinois and Northwestern), but there is definitely evidence that there is a smaller ceiling on Wisconsin. Iowa, for its part, while having higher level success at the top, only has a conference record 7 games over 500 since 1993 (71-64-1 if the stats I’m using are right). No offense to Iowa, but that doesn’t exactly scream big 6.

    If we are talking 8 conference games, maybe east-west is desirable. If we are talking 9 though, rivalries can be preserved while also giving us long term competitive and name brand balance.

    Like

  26. Hawkeye / Gator Boy says:

    KISS- EAST / WEST SPLIT -ANOTHER REASON WHY IT WORKS

    The divisional split is very important to each school, that’s why you have Michigan State lobbying to be in the same division as Northwestern (Chicago exposure). We have all talked about the importance of competitive balance, preserving rivalries and travel considerations as the determining factors in creating the divisions. I’d like to add one new factor that I think is key to deciding which schools go into a division. That factor is the Developing Growth of NEW Big Ten Power Football Programs.

    At one time the Big Ten was the “Big Two and the little eight”. UM and tOSU always played the last game for the BT championship and the right to go to the Rose Bowl. That’s bad. It’s boring, not good for national interest in the BT. Not good for TV coverage of regular season BT games. And it counts out too many fans from being interested in following the BT football season. Too many viewers will just catch the final game for all the marbles. Adding Penn St and now Nebraska changed that formula. But the development of new power schools, notably Wisconsin and Iowa also changed the formula. Illinois and Northwestern also had their brief moments in the sun, winning BT championships and competing in the Rose Bowl which was good.

    Just as it was in the best interest of the BT to incorporate national brand names into the BT through expansion, the BT wants to develop some of its long time members into National Name Brand football schools. Creating divisions that promote new power football programs within the Big Ten is a key step to that end. This is particularly critical since it doesn’t look like there will be any new national brand schools added to the BT (UT or ND) for the foreseeable future. The KISS east / west split gives Wisconsin and Iowa room to grow into the rolls of powerhouse BT schools and possibly even national brand football universities. Placing those two schools with Nebraska in the west gives the Wisky and Iowa football programs five advantages:

    1)Ongoing Development of Regional Rivalries: Minnesota, Wisky and Iowa all have tight individual rivalries, playing for Pigs, Axes and a Bull (Heartland Trophy). Keeping those intact helps regional interest in games and who doesn’t want to see players hoist a bronze pig in the air after a season ending victory.

    2) Opportunity to Develop Nebraska Rivalry: It’s going to be important to develop key rivalry games with our new member. Remember, UNL’s losing the OU rivalry game was cited as one of it’s grievances with the Big XII. The potential Iowa rivalry has been written about as an interest to UNL, the two states share a boarder, requite the same players in western Iowa. This could develop into the equivalent of UM v tOSU in the western division of the BT. The Barry Alverz connection has been cited as a Wisky connection to UNL and basis for a rivalry, plus, it would pit Big Red against Wisconsin Red for king of the Reds. Rivalries generally occur between programs of similar power that are vying for regional power (see Chicago v Green Bay, UM v tOSU and Texas v OU). One sided rivalries are generally not “real rivalries” see Illibuck (Illinois v tOSU) which isn’t much of a rivalry despite the turtle trophy.

    3) Big Ten CCG Exposure: No doubt that the KISS divisions give Wisky and Iowa a simpler path to the CCG, and this gives the programs maximum exposure. Shifting Penn St. or UM to the West will certainly make the CCG tougher for Wisky and Iowa.

    4) Recruiting Advantage: It naturally follows that the Nebraska rivalry and viable path to a CCG opens up recruiting doors for both schools.

    5) Ultimately More National Exposure: All this leads to building BT success and national press for both the Wisky and Iowa programs.

    The development of Wisconsin and Iowa into future national football brands will give the BT six legitimate national football programs. It promotes two balanced BT divisions and helps cement the BT brand in the western part of the mid-west and the upper Great Plains. The KISS split is a good deal for Wisky and Iowa, but it’s also a good plan for the Big Ten to develop its football prowess as a whole.

    IS IT FAIR TO PROMOTE WISCONSIN and IOWA?
    I don’t think that promoting Wisky and Iowa’s football brand is necessarily a detriment to any of the other BT programs. I suppose it makes “Ws” in football tougher for other BT schools, but none of the other BT schools are uniquely situated to take advantage of the situation with Nebraska coming into the conference and the establishment of two divisions. If something could be done to help Indiana or Illinois develop their football programs, I’m all for it. But, given the locating and history of the #12 school that was added and the recent football prowess of Wisky and Iowa football, I don’t see any divisional alignment that would help the Hoosiers or Illini as I outlined above.

    Finally, if it works out according to plan, it gives the Big Ten six “brand names” divided up equally between two pretty equal divisions. This provides plenty of opportunity for a high caliber CCG, that draws national interest. Ultimately this raising the profile of the BT nationally and propels the winner of the BT championship game into the National Title Game. So give the KISS East / West split a stamp of approval for the long term development of the BT as a whole.

    Like

    • willarm1 says:

      Great read….H-G

      I just feel that is about the last thing the Big Ten is thinking about when it considers Iowa and Wisconsin. Delany especially.

      I don’t think they need to be propped up….They are already very solid national programs and probably need to be split so the league has a more competitive 3 v 3 split.

      This may be the only site I have read that has a death grip on the E/W split. When it obviously doesn’t meet Delany’s criteria as well as other alignments.

      Split OSU-PSU-NEB-UofM and then split IA-Wis. As a UofM fan I would rather see UofM go west in more competitive split, then stay with OSU if it comes to that.

      Iowa and Wisconsin don’t need the help…..Ga Tech and Miami will tell you that….. amongst others.

      Like

    • duffman says:

      hawk,

      thanks for taking the time to go into detail with your thinking!

      as you are an iowa fan it was nice to know how you think about the western side of the Big 10. I think your 2nd point is very important as we want to welcome UNL and make them feel a part of their new family. I think points 4 and 5 are always good to keep in the forefront as it will insure good long term results for the Big 10. On points 1 & 3 I keep moving the fridge magnets after each one of these posts. While I may not be able to figure out the “perfect” setup yet, I have to agree with Frank in that as long as Delany does not “totally eff it up” nobody will be able to satisfy 100% of the fanbase 100% of the time.

      All this has been creating a nagging issue tho as realignment is not settled yet. I am aware my magnet moving is based on a 12 team conference, but in the back of my mind is the 16 team model and how to incorporate that future with the current 12 team model. I would make a big difference if it was a 4 team east coast add vs a 2 east & 2 west add.

      As an aside, for the Nebraska fans:

      how do you guys feel about the CCG being in Lucas Oil?

      Like

      • schwarm says:

        I think most UNL folks are happy with Indy. About as neutral as can be expected.
        Soldier Field would have also been popular.

        Once you start moving the game to fringe areas or ones with difficult access & lesser accommodations, it may cause problems.

        Like

      • Husker Al says:

        Indy? Sure, if NU makes the championship game the fans will certainly be there.

        Personally, I like the idea of rotating sites, but I have no problem with Indy. Frank is right, IMO, when he questions why the city of Chicago lacks such a venue.

        Like

    • BuckeyeBeau says:

      Agree with some of your “reply-ers:” Nice write-up and thoughtful.

      I tend to agree that Delaney and the rest of the B10 PtB ARE interested in the long-term development of B10 teams into regional and national brands. I also agree that having six national brands in the conference is an excellent goal.

      As I said above, I personally think Delaney and the ADs have decided that tOSU/MI/PSU is equivalent to NEB/Iowa/Wisy.

      IMHO, the debate is about the bottom half.

      I’d say that Purdue, NwU and MSU are definite middle-tier with IN/IL/Minny taking the bottom. I could see sending Purdue out west and sending IL to the east. That is, the top half of the east is a bit stronger than the top half of the west; correspondingly, the bottom half of the east would be a bit weaker than the bottom half of the west.

      Like

  27. schwarm says:

    Off the wall conference alignment:

    East (288 wins since ’93):
    PSU
    tOSU
    Purdue
    IU

    Central(261 wins):
    Michigan
    MSU
    NU
    Illnois

    West (292 wins):
    UNL
    Iowa
    Minn
    Wisconsin

    Protected games: Michigan/tOSU; PSU/UNL; NW/Wisconsin; Iowa/Ill; MSU/Purdue; Minn/IU

    The two division winners with the best record play in the CCG.

    This splits up the top three teams, splits up the bottom three teams, and keeps geography important in the divisional splits.

    Like

    • Hank says:

      @schwarm
      I believe the NCAA rule that allows for a conference championship game requires two divisions with a minimum of six teams per division.

      Like

  28. aps says:

    One has to wonder how potential expansion affects divisional split. If the Big Ten expands and say they expand east (Rutgers & Maryland), how do they get added. Does one go east and one west. Does one of the other teams in the east division get shifted west.

    The same could be said if Kansas and Missouri were added. Who gets moved?

    I agree with the one article from Minnesota. Geography never changes. College football is based so much on rivalries and these rivalries are based on geography. Split teams with a history and you get what happened to Nebraska and Oklahoma. Right now Iowa and Minnesota might not be balanced but if you split them you destroy something that took over 100 years to create.

    Same could be said for most rivalries in the Big Ten. As an Ohio State alum/fan, losing the Illinois game was significant. To those who don’t know, it was the longest running series Ohio State had going back to the teens.

    One other thing we need to look at is how divisional split with affect certain lower tier programs. Indiana looks forward to Ohio State visiting because Ohio State always sells out in Indiana. Presently, Indiana can expect 4 visits in a 10 year period. With a split it could be 5 visits (same division) to 3 visits if in different divisions. Other programs sell more tickets when an Ohio State, Michigan or Penn State comes to town. If in different divisions, how does this affect attendance. How does this affect revenue.

    Like

    • Adam says:

      I would argue that the KISS model lets you add almost any pair of teams with minimal changes. Rutgers and Maryland? Move Purdue into the “West.” Rutgers and Missouri? Nothing changes (one east, one west). Missouri and Kansas? Slide Northwestern into the “East” group.

      None of the realistic expansion targets are powerhouses, and adding almost any pair of them would tend to make the alignment more “balanced.”

      Like

  29. M says:

    The more I think about the situation, the more it seems that nothing more will happen for at least 5ish years. Texas wants to try out its network so it isn’t going anywhere for a while. Oklahoma has shown it won’t leave Texas and I really doubt A&M will either, especially since the seven dwarves have apparently agreed to pay whatever is necessary to keep them.

    For the Big Ten, there simply are not any reasonable targets left. No one in the Big East or Big 12 is additive. If ND had wanted to join, that would have happened already.

    The only reasonable possibility is the Big 12 adding two teams, effectively as junior partners. BYU is one obvious addition. To get to 12, Texas could add Houston and tell them they get to play in the conference, but they only get the same amount of money as they would in their current conference and all of the would-be Texas at Houston games are played in Austin. I bet Houston still takes that offer in a heartbeat; perhaps Texas should make them agree to only play 10 guys on the field.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      I suspect one person is the key to future realignment. Not Delany or Dodds or Powers or Slive, but Brian Kelly. If he succeeds at first, ND continues as an independent for a couple of decades until it becomes obvious independent is a bad route long term and they beg the B10 to take them in. At that point they will be of minor relevance and no major realignment will occur.

      If he falls on his face, ND joins the B10 in 5 or 6 years while they are still important, encouraging the B12 schools, SEC, ACC and P12 to act to narrow the gap with the B10. B12 and BE fb dissolve at that point as the superconferences take hold. I really don’t think the superconference makes financial sense except to eliminate competition or to match the resources of competing conferences.

      If B10 goes to 14 now it may hasten the collapse of the BE as survivors may head to ACC and B12, but doesn’t change anything really other than the timing of the inevitable demise of the BE.

      Like

      • Vincent says:

        Interesting point. That’s why a Rutgers/Maryland move to the Big Ten could still be on the table for 2013, because the only real effect that would have is likely lead to the eventual assimilation of the Big East’s Connecticut, Pittsburgh, Syracuse and West Virginia by the ACC (plus Temple for 16), with Cincinnati, Louisville and South Florida) heading to the Big 12 (along with Memphis, to make it a 14-member league).

        Or, if WVU isn’t the ACC’s cup of tea, just bring in UConn, Pitt and SU (no Temple) for 14 members, and have WVU replace Memphis in the 14-team Big 12.

        Notre Dame wasn’t going to be part of a 14-team Big Ten, anyway.

        Like

      • PSUGuy says:

        IMO the only way ND joins any conference, regardless of how Kelly shows, is if the Pac and Big make serious strides to go to 16.

        If the Pac and Big goto 16 they can start to make a serious argument that their 1-2 loss champions are better than a 1 loss, or even undefeated, team in any other conference (quit the gnashing of teeth SECers, I said argument, not that’d it necessarily be true).

        In any eventuality, it only increases the odds a national championship game consists of at least 1 (if not both teams) of the Big, Pac, SEC triumvirate and, while they might not like it, the ACC, BigEast, Big12 (and possibly even SEC) may be forced to expand.

        If 16 team conferences are a norm, I just don’t see how ND can argue even an undefeated season deserves a championship game bid, especially since their strength of schedule will have to be lowered by most teams worrying about their in-conference schedules (why schedule anyone by cup-cakes OoC when you have a 9 game conference schedule already?).

        Like

  30. Wes Haggard says:

    Mishmash

    Like

  31. Robert says:

    FYI

    For all of you discussing the BIG 12 payouts to UT, OU and A&M: Texas Tech and Okie State never agreed to give up any revenue to the “Big 3”. Only money from the ‘Forgotten 5’ (MU, KU, KSU, ISU & BU) would go to the “Big 3” to get them to $20 million. On top of that, Texas and OU have stated they don’t want the blood money.

    I think the BIG 12 will be dead within 5 years. I don’t see how Mizzou, Kansas and maybe even Kansas State don’t get picked off by another conference and start the final chain reaction to kill off the BIG 12 once and for all.

    Like

    • zeek says:

      The Texas Tech situation about them holding out for a little bit before committing to the Big 12 is one of the more interesting wrinkles in how the whole situation went down.

      Was it just a processing issue or were they trying to register their displeasure at being considered one of the “little schools” like Baylor and not one of the big boys like Texas/A&M/OU?

      Like

  32. Bob in Houston says:

    The Big 12 is not expanding.

    Like

    • Playoffs Now says:

      Gee Frank, do you really believe Texas peed in your pizza (before Nebraska delivered it?) Ha!

      Not sure why TX supposedly could lose its options. If TX told the SEC they’d join but have to bring aTm, Baylor, TTech, and BevoTV, the SEC would immediately whip out a pen and sign on the dotted line. If TX decides they want the P16, TX will get to chose what 3 teams they bring (including Baylor.) P12 commish Larry Scott has already said BevoTV isn’t a deal breaker, it will be accommodated.

      Why did TX stay put? Probably multiple reasons.

      1 – Politics is a big part, and timing is everything. 12-18 months from now will be a much better time for TX and aTm to make their moves.

      2 – TX obviously decided the trade offs weren’t worth it. By waiting they can get more of what they want, with less risk. Consider:

      3 – What if TX had gone P16, but the B10+? and/or SEC had stopped at 12 or 14? TX would have been at a disadvantage, especially if the other conferences wouldn’t commit to modifying the BCS into a playoff (+1 or +3.) So pull back, let the others move first. Why go 16 unless 4×16 is certain, since much of the benefits depend on reducing the number of slices the pie must be divided into?

      4 – 12 may end up being the final stable format for conferences, and the B12-2 can always add 2 from the hungry wannabe schools. If the B10+? stops at 12, the B12-2 will add 2. If they go to 14 the B12-2 probably adds 4, unless the Ags kill the conference by heading to the SEC. Then, or if the B10+? goes to 16, TX negotiates into the conference of its choice. Seems clear that the B10+? is not their choice, unless the conference wants to go to 20 or 24.

      5 – TX may have gotten some wishes granted from ESPN, the NCAA, and/or the BCS/bowls if they agreed to pull back from super conference formation. Maybe it is just coincidence, but not long afterward we’ve gotten a lot of leaks and stories of the NCAA cracking down on ‘outlaw’ programs. Dirty schools have always stuck in TX’s craw.

      And recently someone at the BCS mentioned changes may be forthcoming in the next round, strongly hinting at adding a +1 game. TX has long wanted a playoff, and getting a +1 not only adds one more round, but makes it inevitable that the BCS will eventually transition to a +3 that makes it a true 8-team playoff. I don’t know if TX pushed for any of this behind the scenes, but it would make sense. Particularly using the argument that 4×16 would create an 8-team playoff that would benefit TX greatly (both in chances of entry and in facilitating more big-name OOC scheduling.) Do not underestimate the playoff angle in all of this, TX is one of the schools with the most to gain from a playoff.

      6 – TX, from its talks with ND, may believe that in a 4×16=64 consolidation they can create the a new 4th conference at the expense of either the P12 or ACC. Depends on if the B10+? tips the dominoes by going to 16. Or even if the 4 survivors are the P16, B10+6, SEC, and ACC, a few pickoffs could leave the ACC with 5 or 6 slots for TX and its posse (and probably ND.) I could see the B10+? taking MD and maybe VA and/or GT while the SEC grabbing aTm and VTech. Baylor would be a nice fit in the ACC (think Wake) so the ACC and its eastern time zone might be the right fit for TX and ND.

      More on that in a bit.

      (Yes, new computer and forgotten, uh, email means a new bland color square in the rt corner. Same me.)

      Like

      • Playoffs Now says:

        I posted this a while back but it got stuck in the middle of the gargantuan thread. Something to consider when interpreting TX’s reasoning.

        —————–

        1) Since schools cycle, the B11+1 worrying so much about competitive balance may suggest that they are looking at short-term scheduling and are likely to continue to expand. Otherwise you go with the many benefits of a natural geographic split since the competition would probably somewhat even out over time (witness MI at the moment.) There’s enough in NE, WI, and IA (with NW and IL having their moments and MN potential) that it probably wouldn’t be as skewered as the B12 North became.

        2) Don’t be shocked if ND-TX ends up an in-conference game. Could see the formation of an oxymoronic Independent Conference with UT-ND-OU-USC anchors and their tagalongs if we do go to 4 16-school super conferences.

        From what has come out it seems apparent that Delany’s first choice vision was 4×16, and if TX had gone to the P16 then the dominoes would have quickly fallen that way (with ND forced into the B11+5.) Mack Brown said he was convinced that was happening the night before TX scuttled the P16 deal, and Mack was in the loop. Delany appears to still be on the expansion train preparing for departure, though hinting that a Jan-June 2011 wrapup might be delayed.

        Even if he can’t land TX, 4×16 (and ND) may well hinge on TX being ready to move. B11+5 forming and TX moving into another super conference surely forces the SEC and then the final alignment. But perhaps the payoff from consolidating to 4×16 are so high that Delany would make the move even without ND. Hence Delany may feel a slight delay to accommodate TX is in the B11+1′s interest even if TX’s destination is a wildcard that risks ND.

        The Texas governor’s race is in November and the legislature will meet from Jan-May 2011, then not meet again until 2013. However with contentious redistricting, special sessions might stretch into the fall. Once all that is over then several political landmines are defused and we aren’t as likely to see the same level of state political pressure exerted to prevent movement. Late 2011 or early 2012 may be the perfect time for TX and aTm to jump. (Oh yeah, that Longhorn TV thingee should be launched by then. P12 commish recently said that wasn’t a deal-breaker, FWIW.)

        While the Ags are salivating on their bibs for the SEC, the conventional wisdom is that TX has no good choice but the P16 if 4×16 emerges. Not so fast, my friends. While TX wants no part of the thieving SEC nor to be a lonely frontier extension of the B11+5, they would prefer a better fit with more control then in the P16 (especially with Aggie gone.) Unless they get an 80% approval requirement for conference matters, 4 votes to 12 is a losing hand that 5 to 11 would not have been.

        Hence I would expect TX to at least make a play at forming their own super conference to fit alongside the SEC and B11+5 and let the P12 and ACC leftovers partner for the 4th super conference. Despite their weakened status at the moment there continue to be rumblings of unrest from USC in the P12. If ND is forced into a conference (4×16 or equivalent is about the only way, and even that isn’t assured to be enough) then they’d prefer it to be on their terms, not the relatively inflexible B11+1′s. Thus an opportunity for a USC-OU-TX-ND alternative.

        Such an Independent Conference could allow for greater merit-based revenue allocation than the B12-2 and P12 currently employ. This could better enable individual school channels and TV deals loosely affiliated with an overarching conference channel, the content pie spread more thinly but the revenue thresholds lower.

        Utilizing pods could allow for as few as 6 or 7 conference games and more flexibility, perhaps even an uneven number of annual games fit in. Divisions that change every year. By starting from scratch such a conference could customize to fit the desires of the anchors in a way the SEC, P16, and B16 could not. USC, TX, and ND might find such a conference could offer more money, scheduling flexibility, and promotion (individual channels and TV deals) than any other conference. Semi-independence in the convenience of a conference format for the 3 schools perhaps most able to go independent.

        USC-OU-TX-ND as anchors would get stellar TV interest, enough that could threaten SOME of the supposed truisms that “No one would leave X conference for Y.” Going to 4×16 is such a shift that it likely creates its own stability for all of the surviving 4. But who would they bring along? At that point probably their choice of the P12, B12-2, BEast, and perhaps AR. ACC, too, if the B11+ and SEC raid them. Too many possibilities to conclusively predict, but one possibility might be:

        Cal, UCLA, USC, AZ, ASU, BYU, TTech, Baylor (Texas politics,) TX, OU, OK St, AR, ND, UConn, Pitt, Navy.

        Lots of big names and medium names and the necessary schedule breathers, but everyone has several neighbors. Obviously plenty of schools can be swapped in and out and rationalized for such.

        Don’t be fixated on trying to fit into neat 4-school geographic pods. That can be mitigated and optimized with the flexibility of 1 to whatever number of annual rivalries that would vary for each school, divisions that change every year, and NFL-style scheduling.

        Why would schools leave the P12? How are they going to grow into the P16 without ‘watering down’ if TX won’t join and 3 other super conferences are forming? They’re Achilles’ heel is geographically isolation. So if TX and ND appear close to forming a super conference, USC may see the writing on the wall. If they go, others will follow.

        Then you have ample pickings from schools desperate not to be left on the outside of 4×16. Big enough names for strong TV appeal but currently tenuous enough to settle for uneven revenue splits and other compromises. Witness the MO-ISU-KS-KState volunteered payoffs to keep the B12 intact. ND-TX-USC wouldn’t be asking for such payments, but rather merit/appearance-based distribution, individual school channels, etc.

        Not saying such an Independent Conference is likely, but rather a possibility. Due diligence would suggest that TX will explore this or similar before re-entering negotiations with the P12, unless they’re ok with joining without aTm (I doubt it.)

        3) Playoffs – I used to be against 4×16 super conferences, but am now ok with it IF they allow a provision for a qualified outsider team to make their playoff system. In fact I think such a clause is certain to happen before they can actually pull off 4×16 and keep Congress from killing it.

        Here’s how it could work. 4 conferences where each pick 2 teams to advance to an 8-school playoff using 4 New Year’s (BCS) holiday bowls. 4 winners play on-campus afterwards, with the championship in climate-controlled 100K seat Jerry World in the center of the country.

        Have a provision where the highest-ranked outsider could replace the lowest-ranked of the 8 4×16 playoff qualifiers. Use a BCS-style computer/poll/committee system to determine rankings.

        However, the outsider team can’t replace a 4×16 team if they have the same number of losses, despite the rankings. Thus the outsider from a supposedly weaker non-4×16 conference must have a better overall record than the team they would replace.

        There are various ways the 4×16 could decide who there 8 playoffs teams are, this is just one of them. Interesting that an 8-school playoff is what Mack Brown advocates, and presumably TX. After being labeled the villain who blocked playoffs, Delany probably wouldn’t mind creating them as his legacy before he retires. A playoff would satisfy many of the fans who otherwise would scream for Congressional meddling should 4×16 come about. Thus TX and Delany’s end games may be similar and not what conventional wisdom expects.

        Like

        • Playoffs Now says:

          One last thought. Say we do move towards 4×16 with TX spurning the P16, what does the P12 do? Perhaps form a Plains quad by adding KS, MO, and maybe ISU to CO. All AAU and travel wouldn’t be worse than with a Texas-Oklahoma quad, though of course the financial windfall wouldn’t be there. But the gain from consolidating to 4×16 and avoiding being left out might be enough to settle and pull the trigger, including taking BYU as the 16th school.

          Or perhaps a very different tact if enough quality BEast schools remain to form an eastern quad. It isn’t inconceivable that the B10+? might take MD, VA, GT, and Rutgers. If TX takes its posse and ND to the ACC, perhaps we see the P12 take UConn, Syr, Pitt, and either WV or Cin. Hey, when you’re fighting over the last few chairs you make compromises. But it would get them into the eastern time zone games and Northeast media markets.

          Or maybe the craziness of the above is why we’ll never see 4×16.

          Bottom line, only the B10+ and SEC are for sure safe.

          Like

          • zeek says:

            4×16 isn’t really ideal in any form unless the 4×16 playoffs (CCGs as Round of 8) materialize.

            The CCG justifies adding teams 11 and 12.

            But you really need a 4×16 playoff in place before adding 13, 14, 15, 16. It’s really hard to see how both would materialize at the exact same time in order to justify every conference going to 16. The money still has to work in terms of TV deals, and most indications are that Utah and Colorado will probably not be fully justified by the CCG $ that the Pac-10 will earn and don’t add enough to cover the difference TV market wise.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            A 4×16 with each acting at the same time doesn’t seem likely. Its taken 20 years for the B10 and P10 to join the 12 team setup.

            I’ve wondered if the B12-2 negotiates itself out of existence in 2015, but again, it takes conferences and schools working together. I could see B12 trying to get P10 to take UT, TT, OU, Baylor; SEC to take A&M, OSU, KSU and maybe KU or UM; B10 to take ISU and 1 or both of KU & UM. It would require the B10, SEC and P10 to really want a 4X16 and then everybody working together. So its more likely that it gets crazy and disorganized like this year.

            Like

        • zeek says:

          Two things:

          1) If Texas has “long wanted a playoff” then why has Beebe (who we can all admit pretty much takes orders from Dodds) constantly worked alongside Delany to halt a playoff, even the +1.

          2) Texas and ND aren’t really on the exact same page. ND wants Texas to stay in the Big 12-2 and keep A&M away from the SEC. If the Big Ten/Pac-10/SEC all stay at 12, then ND is happy. If Texas can’t keep A&M in the Big 12, then there will be serious issues of course.

          I also think that Texas is somewhat happy just biding its time until it has Bevo TV up and running. ND has NBC but the two aren’t really indicative that they’re going in similar directions. ND doesn’t want to be locked in; they want to be able to schedule all over with different schools every couple of years. It’s just really hard to see ND getting into a conference well before it ever really “has to”, whereas Texas is much more constrained by A&M’s threat to bolt to the SEC. I would just say that ND’s horizon for joining a conference is way longer than Texas’ since the A&M situation is a powderkeg likely to blow within 10-15 years. If Kelly is even somewhat successful, ND’ll be independent way longer than that horizon.

          An ultimate cross-country independent conference is interesting, but Texas is still most likely to just bargain hard and get its way with the Pac-16 arrangement.

          Scott seems willing to pretty much dictate the terms.

          Like

          • zeek says:

            Er, that last line was that Scott is willing to let Texas dictate the financial terms…

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Dodds (UT AD) has long spoken in favor of a playoff. Others in the B12 have spoken in favor of a playoff. The opposition to a playoff has primarily been B10 and SEC, with the P10 and ACC on their side.

            I was surprised when the B12 and BE sided with the B10 and P10 last year when the SEC and ACC finally came around to a playoff.

            Either the Presidents don’t agree with the ADs or the B12 was waiting for a better time and arrangement.

            Like

        • Vincent says:

          You have one major flaw in your plan: mathematics. For the 2010 season, you have the ACC, SEC and Big 12 with 12 teams apiece, the Big Ten with 11, the Pac-10 with 10, the Big East with eight, plus Notre Dame. That’s a total of 66 — and remember, in a year or two Utah joins the BCS crowd. With 4 x 16, three current BCS members would have to fall by the wayside. I don’t think any of them are going to volunteer to drop out of the BCS unless you gave them a colossal payoff (I’m talking double-digit millions) or they were “grandfathered” into BCS consideration even after going into a non-BCS conference. Good luck trying to persuade South Florida, Washington State, Wake Forest or Iowa State to go for that.

          Like

  33. mushroomgod says:

    Duffman….what about the Hoosiers getting Ron Patterson?? Come on Hollowell and Zeller………..

    Like

    • duffman says:

      pretty sweet! the tan one has been after him for awhile. I am always glad when the state kids stay home. did you get to see him play @ BR? I told folks I had not given up on the tan one yet, and they would have to give some more time before he should be shown the door. If he can land Jeremy as well (sorry buckeye fans on here) that would be pretty sweet as it could start a good groundswell. with little ricky in hot water, and cal going after the MAA types, IU really could reach out and build with regional talent. stuff like this can get us through the football season! 🙂

      Have you seen that kid from sudan play? I can live with zeller at butler, but would hate to see him go UNC. if crean can land all 3 tho we could see a nice upturn for IU. I like Izzo and MSU and all, but it is time for IU to get back on track, as I am tired of the ACC getting all the media (sorry vincent) when it comes to MBB.

      My apologies for going off topic about realignment and football to everybody else, but every now and again IU needs to get a little shout out 🙂

      Like

      • mushroomgod says:

        I had pretty much given up on Crean, but all of a sudden he has some recruiting momentum….sure seems like he is turning things around…..

        That 2012 class from Indiana is unreal. I’ve seen Harris, Yogi, and DSR all ranked in the top 5 of various recruiting services……I haven’t given up on getting Harris OR DSR, but it seems like the “realistic” dream class may be to add Hollowell, Hanner P., and Yogi.

        I haven’t personally seen any of them play….on tape, Jurkin appears to be a steal…..and Patterson looks big, strong, quick, athletic. Patterson averaged 15 and 8 as a soph, and people say his D is better than his O…..Of course, like you I’ve heard Hanner P. is a freak athlete….brother saw him and confirmed as much….apparently not a polished player….same seems to be true about JH.

        Having given both IU basketball AND football up for dead a month ago, I’m seeing signs of life in the corpse……BL’s recruiting class is definately the best in 15 years (no, OSU fans, you need not be concerned)…and I read today ticket sales are up……..

        Like

        • duffman says:

          shroom,

          In the modern world folks want instant gratification. IU basketball should be different but it does not hurt to look across the river for historic precedent. UK had rupp (knight) who was replaced by hall (davis) – no slouch, but had the misfortune to follow rupp. then comes sutton (sampson) who damages the program and makes quick turnaround pretty much impossible. then comes pitino (crean) with the resurrection process that takes much longer than a normal hire / fire situation as the long term damage is much deeper.

          granted pitino had the luxury of going to UK from the pros just when college ball was adopting the 3 point shot (perfect historical timing). the thing that gets lost is that the 92 team was not full of NBA players (save mashburn i think) and was actually more like the old rupp teams filled with KY kids that wanted to play for the home state school. It is why I was willing to cut crean more slack, especially if he goes back and picks up IN kids that want to play for the state school. Moving along this line takes time as it means the local kids stay and play (as opposed to the one & done). Sure crean might change his tact once IU come back from the dead, but allowing some time is crucial.

          The problem with the IU fanbase is they want the wins yesterday and today. This is understandable given the previous history IU has enjoyed with BM and BK. If at some point crean reaches a plateau or falls down then I get the “angry mob” approach to his future at IU. As for now I am in wait and see mode. Maybe I am more patient, but I am willing to give a little more slack to see what he can really do. All this said, I am willing to give tOSU the football if it means IU returns in basketball. If I have to make a trade with the darkside, I would sacrifice IU football for the return of IU basketball to its former glory (to be fair I have always stated that I was a basketball guy first).

          With crean at IU, ricky at UL, and cal at UK I am seeing a return of the Big 4 tourney to Indy! especially now that Lucas is up and running. The home and home with UK does not have near the crowd intensity that Hoosier dome / Freedom hall brought to the series (plus it means average fans have a shot at the tickets, and fewer corporate types). I would much rather have IU vs UK be the center of basketball than UNC vs duke.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            Very hard to follow a legend-PSU will soon find that out.

            UK fans never let up on Hall even after he retired. He went to work for a bank and there was a joke circulating:

            There was a robbery at Hall’s bank.
            How did the robbers get away?
            Coach Hall wouldn’t let the guards shoot.

            Like

          • duffman says:

            bullet,

            you make a very valid point. JoPa and Bobby are the history of the program. Yes I am old but did not see much football going way back. Folks keep saying FSU to the SEC is a no brainer, but suppose Jimbo or others can not fill Bowden’s shoes long term. As for JoPa I hope he is immortal, but I am not sure this is not more than wishful thinking. Your point on Hall is telling, as he won a NCAA banner while he was there with his own players, and coaching and still that was not enough. Same with BAMA in the time between Bear and Saban.

            At least Hall had the sense to get an Indiana boy on his 78 team 🙂

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Who knows? If Hall had gotten Macy to transfer in 77 instead of 78 we still might not have a shot clock in college basketball. Without Macy, UNC went into a 4 corners stall with 15 minutes left in their regional championship game. UK scored every time they had the ball and it took 17 minutes of the 2nd half before they had a chance to tie it. They missed one shot and never had another chance.

            Like

          • Adam says:

            Man, college basketball was awesome before the shot clock.

            Like

          • duffman says:

            bullet,

            since you mention it. i guess the one thing I hate about the ACC being considerd so great is that Dean Smith had the 4 corners, and coach K gave us floppage. how can ANY fan of college basketball appreciate that.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            I’m with you. I almost always rooted against UNC and Dean Smith for years after that game.

            Of course, noone could do it now. I think UNC hit something like 38 of 39 free throws in the 2nd half. Most teams now would be lucky to get 30. Phil Ford (UNC point guard)later in his career played with the Houston Rockets who had Rick Barry and Calvin Murphy (2 of the top FT shooters of all time in the NBA) around that same time. They needed those 3 to offset Hakeem Olajuwon who could do everything but shoot free throws. Rudy Tomjonovich (former Michigan great-I am old, I remember watching him play for Michigan) was another great shooter who played with Murphy before he became coach.

            Kyle Macy was a great pure shooter and free throw shooter. Every NBA team had one of those 10 years ago, but its hard to find now. Maybe its because UK and IU aren’t recruiting as many of those IN and KY kids who can do that (hey, I’m trying hard to keep this relevant to this thread!).

            Like

      • Vincent says:

        Don’t feel sorry about it. Most of the ACC talk is centered around Chapel Hill and Durham, just as in the ’70s and ’80s it was centered around Chapel Hill and Raleigh. College Park tends to be an afterthought in ACC eyes, another reason Big Ten membership would be a boon for Maryland.

        Like

        • StevenD says:

          Yes, Maryland to the Big Ten is win-win: basketball, academics, big market, huge potential. Pair it with Rutgers (academics, market) or Missouri (athletics) and the Big Ten is sweet. With 14 teams you can still play rivals every year, play everyone in conference no less than two years out of four, and still have four out-of-conference games. 14 is a great number.

          Like

  34. GopherKH says:

    Add

    Like

  35. I was afraid when it became clear that Nebraska was coming to the Big Ten that they would receive an unfair amount of blame for what looked like the upcoming destruction of the Big 12. As it turned out, I think Texas is getting way too much heat.

    They said they their rivalries were important and that they preferred to stay in the Big 12 if the money could work. They preferred the PAC-16 over the Big Ten or SEC precisely because their rivalries were so important even though it meant less money. They also stuck with the Big 12 when the money worked out right. I’m not saying they are saints or anything, but I think the notion that they need all this control is very much overstated. They liked their conference and situation and I can’t blame them for that at all.

    Like

    • Booster says:

      I would agree with most of this, as a Husker fan. If you can blame anyone, you could blame the Big Ten for attempting to shake Notre Dame and Texas loose with mass uncertainty, it caused every school to cover their asses.

      Texas did handle a lot of this poorly and probably had very selfish intentions (as most did) but with zero regard for the collateral damage.

      That said, the B12 didn’t disappear and adding two teams to replace NU and CU is not that difficult.

      Arkansas and BYU
      Arkansas and Memphis
      Louisville and BYU
      Colorado State and TCU
      Houston and Memphis

      Lots of options and stop saying adding another Texas school can’t happen. That is silly. Is it ideal, maybe not, but that doesn’t automatically make Boise State more attractive than Houston or TCU, they are not.

      Like

      • duffman says:

        booster,

        I can see some of your list, but two schools are a No Way.

        Louisville is Pitino, and I know everybody says football drives the bus, so this may be the exception. To get basketball seats, you have to buy the football, which is not normal. In addition Pitino has a large ego, so I could see them digging in if they felt TU was going to run the show.

        Arkansas is SEC, and no matter what they say about Jerryworld, I just can not see them ever going back to a imbalanced conference.

        I can easily see Houston, SMU, or TCU getting in to the Big 12, and Memphis might not be a strech. CSU seems more likely than BYU tho, but I just do not know as much about these 2 schools to really say with any certainty.

        Like

    • duffman says:

      eric,

      interesting point! as big red and the buffs have been able to slip away pretty well without catching much of the blame. UT’s thing for the TV stuff has offered much cover for everybody else. while UT will take the heat at least some will blame will have to fall out on state politics at some point. my guess is the FOIA’s out of TT will probably be followed up at some point by FOIA’s for UT, then maybe we will see just how much the politicians had to do with all this stuff in the end. in an election year my guess is it did have an effect.

      Like

  36. Booster says:

    Frank, you are still making a lot of the same assumptions that have been clearly proven wrong.

    conf expansion is all about football brand. To list North Carolina and not mention Florida State as possible expansion targets for the SEC is just a repeat of the mistakes and absurd overplay of the word “TV footprint” and overrating “TV markets” when it is about product more than distribution.

    For the superior product, creates its own distribution and consumer pull. Florida State is a zillion times more valuable football brand than North Carolina. LOL.

    Also, Va Tech would be a sensational add for the SEC. You too often state or assert claims you know little of….such as stating Va Tech would not be able or willing to join the SEC. You have no evidence for this. In fact the opposite is true.

    Like

    • Vincent says:

      Agreed on Virginia Tech. If A&M ever goes to the SEC and it needs a 14th member, it’s the most logical candidate.

      Also, not all conferences expand for the same reason. The SEC looks at different criteria than the Big Ten, largely due to the latter’s greater emphasis on research and academics. Should the Big Ten expand again, it likely will pursue Rutgers and Maryland for new markets (strengthening the Big Ten brand along the eastern seaboard whether or not Notre Dame ever joins), opportunities for research funding in NJ/NY and metro D.C., and good all-around athletic programs that will benefit the Big Ten Network, especially in men’s and women’s basketball and in adding lacrosse to the conference table.

      Like

      • duffman says:

        I think vincent and I are on the same page about Va Tech

        SEC has football teams, I still think Slive want some academic upgrades instead. The collapse of the Big 12 was telling in that they lost 2 AAU schools. If the SEC adds A&M and Va Tech they have bolstered the academic side. The fact that Slive was not willing to invite TT and oSu tells me that academics will matter more going forward for the SEC. As a bonus having both CoC schools in a “southern” conference really makes a great deal of sense considering 5 of the 6 CoC schools are in the south.

        Like

  37. Booster says:

    In addition, the Big 12 will eventually return to 12 teams. Arkansas is going to be a target and again, you overrate a few factors.

    What you overlook is the simple fact that Arkansas has had little to no success in the SEC. Arkansas used to be a national power. In the SEC they are far from it.

    Jerry Jones, the guy that owns Jerry Dome, wants to host a B12 title game every year. He will get his way. Further, Jones, an Arkansas grad, wants Arkansas to return to play against Texas and the old SWC. And a return to glory. Arkansas fits geographically much, much better in the B12.

    Also, Jones has the money to make it happen. Even if the SEC pays more than the B12, the gap is not large enough to dictate every last detail of Arkansas future conference affiliation. Arkansas, arguably, has more money potential in returning to a national power in the B12 than being mediocre in the SEC.

    So please stop asserting that TV money is the be all and end all when it clearly is not.

    Like

    • Hopkins Horn says:

      I still don’t understand why people want to assume that Arkansas will return to the Big 12 just because Jerry Jones wants it to happen. Especially if the Big 12 really is the Texas-run conference everyone assumes it to be.

      Jones simply has no pull over UT. Period.

      Like

      • duffman says:

        HH,

        I have to agree with you. This Arkansas to the Big 12 things seems like it would have media “story” appeal, but no real hard numbers that make it make sense on paper.

        Like

      • bigredforever says:

        agree… Ark isn’t leaving the SEC for the Big12. No way they want to return to a texas controlled conference

        Like

    • Hawkeye / Gator Boy says:

      Guys,

      We all know that Arkansas isn’t leaving the SEC for the B12. No school leaves a lucrative, stable conference to join an unstable, dysfunctional conference for less money! Any University President who even considers such a move would lose their job.

      Given the circumstances of the Big 12 I think it would be difficult for that conference to get BYU, Memphis or Colorado State to join. Given what happened this past June no school wants to be in a week, disintegrating conference. Any school joining the Big 12 will want financial assurances in writing! And we all know that Mr. Beebe doesn’t like to put financial guarantees in writing, as A&M found out…

      Like

      • Oneforthemoney says:

        Hawkeye:

        As a BYU fan, I can guarantee you that the Cougars would LOVE to be in the Big 12 and have a problem like Texas to deal with. The MWC does not have AQ status and BYU would increse its TV revenue ten-fold. It’s not even a close question.

        Like

  38. Booster says:

    Finally, what is good for the goose is good for the gander.

    If money is so damn important to deciding conference alignment, then we have to stop acting like adding to what we got is the only way to accomplish conference realignment.

    Take for example the SEC. Tell me why, if cash is king, the SEC doesn’t tell Miss State to take a hike? Or Kentucky?

    If cash was KING, as you state, then this will happen. In fact the B10 could probably tell N Western to get lost too. If money really was everything.

    I will predict the SEC is the first to kick out a program. Miss State can easily be replaced and upgraded by any number of schools.

    Like

    • duffman says:

      booster,

      Thoughts on Kentucky in the SEC:

      a) charter member of conference that formed the SEC = long history with the current organization.

      b) endowment = one of the bigger ones in the SEC [yes I am surprised as well]

      c) ability to sell a large stadium with a crappy football product [again surprised as well]

      d) current top 20 in 20 research goal [much advancement in past few years, could be current president is MIT grad and former company owner]

      e) oh yes, the top basketball program in the country [which fills much programming space after football season is over]

      Thoughts on Northwestern in the Big 10:

      a) Founding member of Big 10

      b) #2 endowment in Big 10 at 5 BILLION +

      c) research, research, research (like location, location, location)

      d) strong population center near institution

      e) reputation! I am guessing the Pac 10 likes having stanford as a member for more than just their football team

      Thoughts on Mississippi State in the SEC:

      a) early member of SEC

      b) recent – past decade or 2 – success in basketball compared to early history

      c) some success in SEC since the 12 team format

      Okay you got me on Miss St, I have no real idea why they are in the SEC except they were there early on 🙂 but maybe to the folks down south history matters, as they still discuss a war they lost about 150 years ago.

      You do raise an interesting point that at some point a major conference will boot a current member, but at this time the 16 team model is not here, so there may be quite some time till we see this happen.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        In Georgia, General Sherman’s name is still not mentioned in polite company. Its considered a curse word.

        Like

        • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

          Interesting trivia about General William T. Sherman. Immediately prior to the Civil War, then Col. Sherman was the 1st Superintendant at the Louisiana State Seminary of Learning and Military Academy, from January 2, 1860 until Louisiana seceded from the Union. In 1870, legislature changed the name of the Louisiana State Seminary of Learning and Military Academy to Louisiana State University.

          Like

          • schwarm says:

            An LSU grad I work with said he supposedly told Southerners that would listen that they didn’t have the resources to defeat the North (ala Rhett Bulter)

            Like

  39. Booster says:

    About the Big East TV network. I’d say Big East football has zero profile in NYC. However I must say Big East basketball has a very healthy profile in NYC and a Big East TV network should not be completely dismissed.

    I believe it could work if centered around basketball. It would work pretty well, if you ask me. This is where market size finally matters. NYC has some interest in the hoops of the B East. As do many of the large markets that are part of the B East.

    Finally, a product where “footprint” and
    market size actually does mean something.

    Like

  40. Booster says:

    Rivalries are not just playing the games and maintaining that, but also competing in the standings.

    Competing in the standings is a HUGE part of Rivalry. You watch your rival each week and root against them to lose because of the standings. Break rivals apart and this magic is lost.

    Baseball knows this and kept the 5-6 rivalries they have in the same divisions so the pennant race means something.

    You can’t say you preserved Minnesota v Wisconsin just cuz they play if they are in different divisions. Same with Ohio State v Michigan.

    Why is this never mentioned? That is how I follow sports and hate my rivals….

    Like

    • Adam says:

      I wouldn’t say it’s never mentioned; I wrote on another thread that if OSU and Michigan aren’t in the same division, it isn’t The Game anymore, but just a game.

      Like

      • Cliff's Notes says:

        Completely disagree.

        Texas-Oklahoma (for years and years)
        Miami-Florida State
        Florida-Florida State
        USC-ND
        Pats-Colts
        Cowboys-Steelers
        Cowboys-49ers-Packers (90’s)
        Celtics-Lakers
        Red Wings-Avs
        Red Wings-Pens
        Caps-Pens

        I think there is substantial hate amongst the fanbase and the players there. Doesn’t matter if the teams are in the same division or not.

        As long as UM and tOSU play every year, the history will always be there. I personally believe the alignment will be better if they split up UM/tOSU, but I can live with it either way.

        Like

        • Adam says:

          Many of those teams are in the same grouping: Pats/Colts, Cowboys/49ers/Packers, Red Wings/Avs, Caps/Pens. Your division within your conference doesn’t matter much, as it’s only a seeding concern, not a win-the-championship concern. I think you overstate Red Wings/Pens. Celtics/Lakers was highly unusual; it came only when those two teams on opposite ends of the bracket design came to dominate their portions and could reasonably expect to meet in the championship regularly.

          More often than not, a good rivalry depends on being in the same grouping that’s relevant to the teams (thus being in the same pro division doesn’t matter, but the same pro conference does). There are counter-examples (like, say, USC-ND) but they are rare and, I would argue, sui generis.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            I don’t think it would matter to UM/OSU, but to many of the other rivalries, being in different divisions would. Several rivalries in the SEC have faded. Not AL/TN, AU/GA, but MS/TN and MS/GA used to be big games for both schools. TX/OU hasn’t really changed in intensity since they rejoined the same conference, but I think some of the old B8 rivalries did. Being in the same division helps keep it a rivalry even if one or both isn’t doing well. Splitting up MN/WI/IA might have the impact of lessening those rivalries.

            Like

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Bullet – the reason any Ole Miss rivalries may have faded with SEC Eastern division teams has more to do with Ole Miss not being consistently good since integration.

            Like

          • Adam says:

            The best rivalries continue to matter whether the teams are good or not. When you make a rivalry contingent on whether the teams are good/competitive, you’ve done tremendous damage to the rivalry.

            Like

        • BuckeyeBeau says:

          um, no.

          tOSU and MI have to stay in the same division.

          Cliff’s: at some level, I can appreciate your … um … calmness; but if Delaney and the ADs split tOSU and MI, there’ll be torches and pitchforks and that whole chasing down the monster thing. Likewise with MI/MSU.

          So, naturally I agree that Wiscy/MN/Iowa stay in the same division.

          KISS really is the only way to go (unless want to switch IL for Purdue to give the west a bit of a boost and keep the IL/IN rivalry going; but then you sacrifice Purdue/IN … ugh!! KISS is the only way … sorry Illini; how about we make the Illibuck a basketball trophy (since will be no divisions in B-ball)?).

          Like

          • Cliff's Notes says:

            BuckeyeBeau, let me clarify slightly… Looking at it solely as a Wolverine, and for purely selfish reasons, I do believe it would be better for the UM and OSU rivalry to be in the same division. I just don’t think it’s by that much, and I think the rivalry is too strong to be upset by different divisions, so long as they play every year.

            However, I am looking at this as “What’s best for The Big Ten”. If UM and tOSU are in the same division, then I’m not happy either way with the subsequent placement of Penn State.

            I don’t like Penn State-UM-tOSU; I think that this grouping is significantly stronger than Nebraska-Iowa-Wisconsin.

            But, if Penn State goes West, so to speak, with Nebraska and say Iowa and Minnesota, I believe that Penn State really does become isolated and a bit of a geographic outlier. If we are trying to welcome in Nebraska by setting up rivalries with their nearest neighbors in Iowa and Minnesota and perhaps Wisconsin, the least we can do for Penn State is to keep them tight with their neighbor and biggest rival in Ohio State. These are newer rivalries that need a little bit more to make sure they are promoted.

            Furthermore, for the other programs in the Nebraska-Penn State division, they will be losing both UM and OSU from regular play. The two anchors of the conference for the last 40 years. I get that the Minnesota-Iowa-Wisconsin grouping is important, and Nebraska might as well be added to make it a foursome. But would Illinois, Northwestern, Indiana, or Purdue alums really be happy with both UM and OSU only on rotation, and instead having Nebraska and Penn State as the big matchups every year? It’s not terrible, but I think for historical rivalries, they’d prefer keeping one of the two, so Michigan-Nebraska or Ohio State-Penn State might be preferable over Nebraska-Penn State.

            All that being said, I can see the argument on both sides, and I can live with pretty much anything.

            Like

          • BuckeyeBeau says:

            Cliff: lots of good stuff there. Let me break it up into manageble (sp?) pieces.

            I’m very impressed (and not meant sarcastically). you have articulated the only reason i have read so far for splitting tOSU/MI that even remotely has logic and long-term rationale.

            So, first I agree that PSU should not be shuffled off the west. PSU needs to stay east to keep it’s budding rivalries growing and not forever feel the “odd man out.”

            Based on your statements for example concerning the PSU/OSU rivalry, I infer that you are sending Michigan to the west.

            Curious, what are you doing with MSU and I take it you don’t see a rivalry budding with PSU from MI’s standpoint (and three rivals is plenty, so I’m not saying you need a fourth. And, oh, btw, from what I read on the Iowa boards, they’re getting some hate on for MI.)

            Anyway, keeping PSU feeling happy and integrated is very laudable; indeed laudable enough to stand as a facially reasonable reason for splitting tOSU/MI.

            But, i disagree.

            First, disagree with your major premise. I DO think that NEB/IO/WI can be going forward as strong as the eastern three.

            Second, protected cross-over games are a giant problem for preserving conference cohesion. I am in favor of no protected cross-divisional games.

            Third, again, what are you doing with MSU? you can’t split MSU/MI any more than MI/OSU.

            Like

          • BuckeyeBeau says:

            More on protected cross-divisional games: as I said above in the thread, assuming no protected cross-divisional games and nine games, each team will see their cross-divisional colleagues four years out of every six (or 24 years out of every 30).

            If you add just one cross-divisional, then as to the remaining five teams in the cross division, each team will see them three years out of every five (or 18 years out of every 30).

            Add two cross divisional games, and then it’s 15 games out of every thirty.

            (BTW, someone verify my math.)

            Assuming I can do basic math, if MI goes west, then they will see PSU either three/fifth of the time (with tOSU as a protected game) or one half of the time (if both MSU and OSU are protected).

            Why does this matter? MI fills stadiums. Maybe PSU doesn’t care since it sells out, but Indiana and Purdue and NwU and Minny sure as hell care. Less MI on their schedule matters a lot.

            Conclusion one: having cross-divisional protected games will lead to less comraderie (sp?), cohesion and integration. Therefore, bad.

            Conclusion 2: sending MI to the West Division with one (or two) protected cross-divisional game is a FAIL for the B10 in general (see Conclusion 1) and, in particular, for the smaller programs that need MI to fill their stadiums.

            Like

          • BuckeyeBeau says:

            Concerning the western division not seeing PSU or MI or OSU every year if all are east:

            hmm… that’s interesting and I want input from those out west.

            But here are a few thoughts.

            First, each of MI/PSU/OSU cycle off their schedule two out of every eight years. So, they are not getting to see the conference “powers” every year anyway.

            (Assumption: the smaller programs want to see the conference “powers” come play in their stadiums so that they can sell out. It’s not just “we miss you guys.”)

            Further, with NEB added, the number of sellout games increases substantially even if the current “powers” stay in the east.

            Currently, with 8 conference games, each “east power” plays NwU six years out of every eight (or 18 out of every 24 years).

            So that’s 54 games combined from the east conference “powers” every 24 years and, presumably 24 sellouts.

            Okay: if all three go east, starting in 2011, each will play NwU four years out of six (or 16 out of every 24 years). That is 48 games every 24 years. Loss of six sellout games.

            (BTW, someone check my math.)

            But, NwU get NEB every year, so that is 24 more sellouts. (I am assuming NEB will be as big a draw as PSU/MI/tOSU.)

            Conclusion: NwU does not need MI to go west to maintain the same level of sellouts. NEB’s addition gives NwU 18 more sellouts even if MI stays east.

            Obviously, NwU would get even more sellouts if MI goes west. But, IMO, those extra games to NwU (et. al.) don’t justify the cost.

            Additional thought: do Minny and NwU and IL really want two “powers”? Maybe they’d be just as happy to have one “power” on the schedule every year.

            On the other hand, Purdue and Indiana maybe very unhappy about seeing three “powers” every year.

            thoughts from fans of the smaller programs?

            Like

          • M says:

            For Northwestern, the only guaranteed sellouts are Ohio State and Michigan. Penn State draws better than average, but not even as much as Iowa or Wisconsin.

            I would assume Nebraska would be an easy sellout as well.

            Like

          • Cliff's Notes says:

            BuckeyeBeau, I don’t think I can keep up with you…

            First of all, I do realize that whichever way this goes, that some folks are not going to be 100% pleased. But again, I’m not stressing over it too badly, as the addition of Nebraska AND the addition of a CCG AND the resultant destabilizing of other conferences and strengthening of The Big Ten in general is all a tremendous win.

            You and I disagree over the relative strength of Iowa-Wisconsin vs Michigan-Ohio State (I think we agree that Penn State-Nebraska is about even). That’s pretty much where this all sits. Again, it won’t kill me if The Big Ten agrees with you. But today, Iowa and Wisconsin are pretty much as strong as they’ve ever been, and Michigan is as low as they’ve ever been. I believe that will change.
            Delaney said that balancing competition is the #1 criteria. Protecting Rivalries is #2.

            Using that as the guideline, my preference is 9 conference games and two protected cross-divisional rivalries (with an asterisk, I’ll get to that later). Each school gets one upper-tier and one lower tier school from the other division. This means that each Big Ten team has 7 schools that they play every year, and the remaining 4 schools rotate in a two years on two years off schedule.

            As I alluded to earlier, I think that the “most fair” to everyone (for both competition and to allow for the marquee teams to visit everyone equally) is to split the upper tier starting with splitting up Michigan-Ohio State, and also splitting up Penn State-Nebraska and Iowa-Wisconsin. I would also protect each of those pairs as cross-divisional rivalries.

            So I would start with Michigan-Nebraska-Iowa and Ohio State-Penn State-Wisconsin. Iowa and Wisconsin could be swapped, but like I protected the Ohio State-Penn State border, I chose to protect the Iowa-Nebraska border in the same division.

            I get that there are some decent rivalries that will not be protected: Michigan-Penn State, Iowa-Penn State, Wisconsin-Nebraska, and Wisconsin-Ohio State come to mind. But to ensure fair competition, and to protect other more important rivalries, I think that’s the best solution. Wisconsin is probably the most pissed about their schedule, since they want a Nebraska rivalry. The problem is that it appears that Nebraska wants Iowa more; and if you protect Wisconsin-Nebraska, you don’t get to protect Wisconsin-Iowa. Wisconsin still gets Iowa, Ohio State, and Penn State every year. That’s not bad. Then they get either Michigan or Nebraska every year. That’s four guaranteed big games on the schedule. Two home and two away. Not bad.

            Before I fill in the rest of the divisions, let me return to the asterisk for the two protected cross-divisional games for each school. There will be some cross-divisional rivalries that would be forced. Schools can agree to swap those out regularly to make it a six out of eight years instead of four out of eight.

            I don’t have a major issue with how the bottom tier gets sorted out. Minnesota has to be with Nebraska and Iowa. They protect Wisconsin as a cross divisional rival. It makes sense to keep MSU in the same division as UM (but you don’t have to, as long as the game is protected). So now we’ve got Michigan-Nebraska-Iowa-Michigan State-Minnesota. One left. You won’t get a big argument from me either way, but my best guess based on competition and rivalries is to throw Northwestern into this group. That leaves Ohio State-Penn State-Wisconsin-Purdue-Illinois-Indiana.

            Some cross-divsional protected games not mentioned already include Northwestern-Illinois, and Penn State-Michigan State.

            Let’s say that some “forced” protected rivalries include Michigan-Purdue, Nebraska-Illinois, and Iowa-Indiana. Any set of those schools could agree to swap out their protected rivals.

            So, as you can see, I believe that protected cross-divisional games are more necessary to protect rivalries, and I’m less worried about the “cohesion” and “camaraderie” of each and every school with each other.

            For the programs that “need” Michigan to fill their stadium (in my scenario, that would be Purdue, Illinois, and Indiana).

            Purdue will still get Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin, and Indiana every year. They also get one guaranteed addition marquee game every year: EITHER Nebraska or Iowa.

            Illinois will get Nebraska and Northwestern protected, plus Ohio State, Penn State, and Wisconsin every year. Plus, they get EITHER Michigan or Iowa.

            Indiana will get Ohio State, Penn State, Iowa, and Wisconsin every year. Let’s give them Michigan State as a protected rival, too. They will also get EITHER Nebraska or Michigan every year. So Indiana’s home schedule over a four year cycle might include:

            Year One: Penn State, Iowa, Purdue, Nebraska, Illinois

            Year Two: Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Northwestern

            Year Three: Penn State, Iowa, Purdue, Michigan, Illinois

            Year Four: Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Minnesota

            Looking at another smaller school that needs help selling tickets, here’s Northwestern’s potential home schedule over four years (they protect Ohio State and Illinois):

            Year One: Michigan, Iowa, Illinois, Penn State, Minnesota

            Year Two: Nebraska, Michigan State, Ohio State, Indiana

            Year Three: Michigan, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota

            Year Four: Nebraska, Michigan State, Ohio State, Purdue.

            I don’t know if that answers all of your questions, but that’s my best shot at it.

            This format promotes the most equitable competition and the most important rivalries, but yes, it does put Michigan-Ohio State in different divisions, but it still maintains the rivalry on an annual basis.

            One final note: Call me crazy, but (assuming a 10 week Big Ten season with nine games and a bye, and the season ends before Thanksgiving) I’d put the UM-OSU game either the 8th or 9th week of the season. It would likely still be the ABC game of the week, and it’s still a late season showdown. The following week should be a lower tier team for each school. This allow some of the other rivalry games to shine the final week of the season and not be overshadowed by UM-OSU. Whether that final week included Nebraska-Iowa and Penn State-Michigan State, or Nebraska-Penn State and Wisconsin-Iowa, it puts the spotlight on them.

            Also, if there is a rematch of UM-tOSU, they have 3-4 weeks between the regular season and CCG, including at least one bye week, and of course, Thanksgiving. That’s enough time to recharge.

            Like

          • Adam says:

            All of this, Cliff’s Notes, reminds me of why I say to hell with “balance.”

            Like

        • Booster says:

          OU Texas became a great rivalry 75 years before they joined the same conference. After they joined the same conference the rivalry went up a notch.

          I’m not saying being in the same division is a requirement to have a rivalry, but pointing out the fact that a large part of rivalry is competing for the same crown, in the same division.

          Good god, did you just cite an NFL “rivalry” you have to be kidding me? The NFL has no passion and its fans are obese middle aged middle managers. Give me a break. The NFL has almost no historic rivalries compared to college football.

          Spare the the pro-sports nonsense. are you even a college football fan or just a pro sports fan bored on Saturdays, looking to kill time until Sunday?

          Like

          • Cliff's Notes says:

            Booster,

            I’m a UM alum and season ticket holder.

            And I agree about competing for the same crown. It’s just that the competition between UM and tOSU is about to change, one way or another.

            (With apologies to other schools for a moment) It is no longer “Season Ending Game to Decide Big Ten Regular Season Champion and Rose Bowl/BCS Trip”.

            It will either be “Season Ending Game to decide CCG Trip”, or it will be “Mid-Season Rivalry Game of The Year (this week) That Just Might Be a Preview of a Head-Exploding Rematch in the CCG”

            Until either one happens, we can only guess as what it will be like. And I’m sure that The Big Ten will claim a win, which ever way they pick.

            I’m not going to argue about the relevance of the NFL. Rivalries matter in any sport, and while you want to mock the NFL, it’s foolish to not look elsewhere to see how other leagues handle their rivalries and scheduling and see if you can learn from it. Pick a high school sport and conference. Pick a soccer league in Europe. Look at UFC. Look at FCS or Div-III or whatever they call it.

            Like

          • BuckeyeBeau says:

            Cliff: more interesting thoughts.

            No doubt, things are changing.

            My preference is for a small change, rather that a big one; or maybe I prefer ONE change over many changes.

            One change that is inevitable is that The Game is now NOT for all the marbles. I’m okay with that (more below).

            But add to that splitting divisions and maybe making The Game NOT the year-ender? Uh, no. Too many changes.

            If MI/tOSU remain division-mates and still play the last conference game, it’s not for “all the marbles,” but still for the CCG (presumably, maybe, sometimes … yeah, apologies to the other teams).

            It is still significant and will, I think, still feel the same.

            Think 2006. Both could have derailed the other’s march to the NCG even if there had been a CCG. That’s pretty exciting and exactly what the rivalry has been about.

            Add to it, that the loser might not have gone to a BCS bowl assuming the West Division Champ had gone to the Rose Bowl and the East winner had gone on to the NCG.

            That’s double-exciting. Not only knocking off the other from the CCG and the NCG, but relegating them to the Cap One Bowl or Gator … woohoo… suck on it!!!

            anyway, incremental change for me.

            Like

    • allthatyoucantleavebehind says:

      As a PSU fan, this is one of the main reason our attempted rivalry with MSU hasn’t taken off. MSU hasn’t robbed us of anything, and we’ve rarely robbed them of anything. By the time our finale game comes around, too much has already been decided for Big 10 titles or bowl slots.

      OSU/UM would still be huge if it were cross-divisional but it would lose some of its luster b/c the two might have a rematch still. But if the two were competing for the same CCG appearance? Look out. You’ve just added MORE fuel to that rivalry’s fire.

      Like

      • BuckeyeBeau says:

        agree and add in the fact that the loser might lose a BCS slot. as noted: woohoo… suck on it!!!

        This is one reason I do not subscribe to the worriers that think 9 conference games will rob the B10 of its almost annual second BCS game.

        As some have noted, it’s likely that Cotton is resurrected as a new BCS bowl (partic. if MWC becomes an AQ).

        But like the SEC, I think the two CCG opponents will be very likely to receive BCS bids.

        So, not only will we be knocking each other out of the CCG, we’ll likely be knocking each other out of BSC games too.

        Like

  41. Adam says:

    For all the talk about 4×16, I consider it much more likely that you won’t see the major conferences move past 12 teams unless and until the NCAA increases the length of the regular season. If you could play 13 games a year, for example, that lets you play a 10-game league schedule while reserving 3 non-conference games (which was the norm during the days of the 11-game schedule).

    Personally, I think as long as we’re capped at 12 games, further expansion is logistically unworkable. Nine-game league schedules in multi-divisional leagues seem like a huge mistake to me.

    Like

    • Vincent says:

      Not with a 14-member conference. Six games against your own division, one designated cross-divisional game, then two other games, alternating (you play every non-designated team in the other division once every three years). In addition, the Pac-10 does fine with a nine-game conference schedule, as did the eight-member ACC with a seven-game schedule.

      Like

      • mushroomgod says:

        In a 14 team league, if you played 5/6 within your division, and had 1 cross-over game every year, you could play each team in the other division once every 2 years, rather than once every 3 years.

        Have one team within your division who you ALWAYS play….the rest you’d play 4 out of every 5 years.

        Like

        • mushroomgod says:

          To illustrate the above, assume as follows:

          East:

          PSU
          RU
          Pitt
          UM
          MSU
          OSU
          IU

          West:

          Pur
          Ill
          NW
          Neb
          Iowa
          Wis
          Minn

          OSU plays UM every year. Plays PSU, RU, Pitt, MSU, IU 4 out of every 5 years. Plays Wis every year. Plays Ill, NW, Neb, Iowa, and Minn every other year.

          Like

          • Vincent says:

            I believe one of the requirements the NCAA has for leagues with divisions is that you have to play all your rivals within the division. (In a 16-team conference with rotating pods, as the WAC had for a few years, two pods are considered one eight-team division.)

            Like

      • Adam says:

        Vincent, I am saying that it is a per se bad idea to play an odd number of league games in a multi-divisional league. The only justification for playing an odd number of league games is so that you can play a complete round robin in a league that consists of a single section (thus, the Pac-10, 8-member ACC, 8-member MWC). Otherwise, an even number of league games is the only fair setup.

        Like

        • Adam says:

          That’s why I say that we’re stuck at 12 teams unless they up the number of games. They can’t play a 10-game league schedule if you can only schedule 12 overall, and you shouldn’t play a 9-game league schedule unless your league consists of 10 teams and you’re trying to allow for a complete round robin.

          Like

        • Adam says:

          Just to be clear, any time you play an odd number of league games, there’s an inequity: some teams get more home games than others. That’s “worth it” when your league consists of a single section of teams, because you’d still rather have the championship decided on the basis of teams actually playing each other face-to-face instead of an elaborate dance of “who played whom?” But when the championship is being decided not by the overall standings in a single section of teams, but instead by a designated conference championship game, the justification for playing an odd number of league games evaporates.

          Like

          • Booster says:

            If you are going to point out the inequity of a 9 game schedule, can we at least point out that football scheduling has been inequitable since the beginning of time?

            Last year Bama got to play LSU in Tuscaloosa. How unfair!! There was no return trip to Death Valley to balance out the schedule, as in the NFL.

            This year Florida and Bama will play in Tuscaloosa, how unfair!!!!

            Get over this obsession with a perfect schedule people. Football schedules are always more unfair than every other sport, especially college football schedules.

            Whether Purdue is in the West and Illinois in the East to “balance” the divisions is way, way over blown. Is that really going to tip the balance unfairly in one direction or another? No.

            keep it simple and keep the rivalry games. The B10 has done nothing but convince fans there is a such thing as fairness in scheduling and they have even created the expectation their new alignment will be close to perfect as possible.

            The B10 better get ready to be ripped, they set the expectation and there is no way they will meet it.

            They should have told people perfect balance is not something you can achieve.

            Like

          • Adam says:

            Booster, you kind of hijacked my point about the scheduling matrix to tie it to the only tangentially related issue of how to align the divisions. I agree with you that the obsession over a perfectly balanced schedule is a waste of time and effort, but I think we should separate the issues.

            My point is that, within a division, the teams are all on more or less an equal footing. They’ll all play each other. Everybody gets a shot head-to-head. If A beats B head-to-head, B is going to have to be 2 games in the remaining contests better than A to make up for it.

            Moreover, in a sport in which there aren’t enough games for everybody to play each other twice, we simply have to take for granted as an incident of the way the sport is played that that just isn’t going to be considered an unfairness. If it can’t be fixed, the only thing you can really do is define it away as a problem. But the fact that we simply can’t consider that a problem does not convince me to extend that same thinking to not having the same number of home and road games.

            Like

          • BuckeyeBeau says:

            Adam: my sense is that the B10 ADs decided on 9 games for several reasons.

            First, because the smaller programs need to “see” the bigger programs come to their respective stadiums for revenue reasons (tickets, tv, concessions, etc.).

            Second, increasing “interesting” B10 Network exclusive proprietary inventory or increasing exclusively-Big10 inventory for ABC/ESPN/ETC.

            Third, need to remain a cohesive single conference, not two mini-conferences with a scheduling arrangement. There’s a huge difference in frequency in 8 vs. 9 conference games. With 8, you only play 3 cross-divisional games. So, three years in six (50%). With 9 games, you play 4 cross-divisional games with the same team every six years 66.6%).

            That’s huge!

            Moreover, currently, the non-protected games are six out of every 8 years (or 75%).

            It’s one thing to drop from 75% to 66%. But drop all the way down 50% from 75%. Too big a drop.

            I agree wholeheartedly with the 9 game plan. Screw the “

            Like

          • BuckeyeBeau says:

            Adam: sorry, meant to address the uneven number of home/away games.

            Not to say the B10 will do it, but i read somewhere that you can make it the same for each division. And then alternate. So, five home games for the East one year and then five for the West the next.

            maybe that’s NOT accurate and maybe the B10 won’t do it, but that would alleviate some of your concerns about fairness.

            Like

          • BuckeyeBeau says:

            nope, now that I think it through.

            Each team plays five within-division games. That’s two home and three away or vice-versa.

            then four cross-divisional games which are, presumably, home and home.

            So, yes, within your division, some teams will get three home games. But that will alternate year to year.

            Btw, this still allows for 8 home games on occasion. Three home cupcakes/BCS team games, three within-conference home games and two cross-divisional games.

            Like

        • Adam says:

          Note, also, that adding a 13th game to the season, and opening up a 10-game league schedule, makes either a 14- or 16-team league very viable. Even at 16, playing 7 games against your division plus 3 from the opposite division keeps league members playing each other regularly, and there’s no need for a zany pod system.

          Like

          • StevenD says:

            What’s zany about pods? The Big Ten already has natural groupings of schools: OSU-Mich-MSU, Wisc-Minn-Iowa, Ill-NW, and Ind-Pur. If Maryland and Rutgers are added, they will form a natural grouping with PSU. So, it could be argued that pods are more natural for the Big Ten than divisions.
            With 14 teams (in 4-3-4-3 pods) you form 7-team divisions that last for 2 years (home and away). Six divisional games (same number of home games for everyone) and two crossover games (ditto) leaves four out-of-conference games. By the way, those two crossover games are sufficient to play every conference team no less than two years in four.

            Like

          • Adam says:

            Pods are zany because I have never heard of a serious sports league that changed its alignment on an annual basis. That kind of crap comes to an end when you get out of high school sports.

            Like

          • StevenD says:

            Not annual realignment. The divisions stay the same for two years (home and away). Then half of your division moves to the other division and you get half of the other division. Two years later you return to the original divisions. The members of your pod do not change — you play them every year. The other members of your division, you play them two years in four.

            Like

          • Adam says:

            Right — I’m saying that the members of your division should change about once every 30 or 40 years, when the membership of the league itself changes. Short of that, it should be static.

            Like

          • Adam says:

            To put it another way, if you have to have rotating pods and other stuff in order to ensure that everybody plays each other enough times, that’s an excellent sign that you have too many teams in your league for the number of games you’re allowed to play. The fix is not to cause the problem in the first place.

            Like

        • M says:

          Fewer conference games is always more of a threat to scheduling imbalance than an unequal number of home and away games.

          Playing Ohio State at home instead of away is much less of an advantage than not playing them at all.

          Like

          • Adam says:

            I don’t see where that can really be argued in a divisional league. When you have a divisional league, any two teams in the same division will play substantially similar schedules and will be guaranteed to play head-to-head. Given that, I do not see how imbalancing the home/away mix is worth it. There’s no need for the extra games to ensure as many teams play each other as possible, because you aren’t competing as a single section, and everybody in the divisions will be playing each other head-to-head.

            Like

          • M says:

            The underlying issue here is that in 6 team divisions, half the teams will have 3 divisional home games and half will have 2, but that’s another problem.

            Let’s say Iowa and Nebraska are fighting for the West division. In the division, Nebraska is 5-0 and Iowa 4-1 because Nebraska beat Iowa and they both won all their other divisional games. In the other division, Iowa beats Purdue, Indiana and Penn State. Nebraska beats Purdue, but loses to Ohio State and Michigan.

            In this situation, Iowa wins the West title at 7-1, even though Nebraska beat Iowa and has the same record against common opponents.

            This setup might seem to arcane to worry about, but having more opponents in common provides a better test. In the example, even if Iowa got to play Ohio State at home and Nebraska was away, it still would be less of an advantage than with the 8 game schedule.

            Like

          • Adam says:

            Certainly that scenario is possible, but it seems extremely unlikely; it depends on having two contending teams dominate their division the way you describe and one of them wins the lottery and gets all of the weakest teams in the other division.

            I would think that having an imbalanced schedule of home and away games would be more likely to distort things, even if other distortions are possible.

            Like

    • Booster says:

      Agreed. 10 team conferences work perfectly. 12 team conferences work. 14 teams barely work. 16 the math just doesn’t work.

      At 16 you essentially go back to the future. If the Pac16 went down it was nothing more than Pac10 and SWC sharing a few games and a conf title game. Just like it was in the 80s, sans conf title game.

      Adds zero value in product. Fans would be turned off and the financial people would be left wondering why interest declined and why it didn’t increase.

      Financial people know money, they do not know product. Don’t let them dictate product, they will kill it without knowing it until it is too late.

      Like

      • Adam says:

        Actually, I would argue that a 9-team conference is ideal in college sports. You play an 8-game league schedule which is a perfect round robin. Everything after that is making the best of an increasingly ugly picture.

        Like

      • StevenD says:

        What’s wrong with 16 teams? Four 4-team pods, 7 divisional games, 2 crossover games, 3 out-of-conference games. You play every conference team no less than two years in four. Rivals are in the same pod and play every year.

        Like

        • Adam says:

          I am not keen on that because rotating pods to form ever-shifting divisions sounds more like the sort of too-clever-by-half solution that internet bloggers devise rather than something that works in the real world. I want to have the same rivals every year and be competing for the same thing every year. I am alienated by constant change. I don’t think I’m alone in that.

          And I still don’t like playing an odd number of league games unless you have a league that competes as a single section and you’re trying to minimize the number of teams that don’t play each other so you can determine a true champion. With a CCG, there is no concern over determining a “true” champion, and teams in the same division will play a schedule that’s close enough.

          Like

          • Vincent says:

            I think the pods are likely only in a 16-member scenario that includes Notre Dame, so that everyone in the Big Ten gets a chance to play (or host) ND every few years.

            Like

          • J. says:

            I’m can’t type it all here, but a 12 team/9 conference game schedule CAN work and and still be FAIR for everyone. Simply have each team in Division A host 4 games (5 road) one year (with everyone in Division B playing the opposite- 5 home, 4 road) one year, then FLIP the following year.

            Within each division, obviously teams will always have 3 home/2 away (or vice versa).

            So during a “4 HOME” season, you’d either have a) 2 home division, 2 home opposite, 3 road division, 2 road opposite;

            or b) 3 home division, 1 home opposite, 2 road division, 3 road opposite.

            The same schedule can be set up for “5 HOME” seasons. The beauty of this format it’s fairly balanced WITHIN each division, and everyone plays everyone in the opposite division 4 out of 6 years (two home/two away)

            Like

          • Adam says:

            Teams will be good some years and bad other years. Trying to set up an alignment based around that is a waste of time and effort. But what you do know is that, every year, home teams will win about 60% of the time.
            2009: 397-264 (60.1%)
            2008: 395-271 (59.3%)
            2007: 404-268 (60.1%)
            etc.

            And that’s why I don’t think it’s right to have a 9-game league schedule unless you’re trying to maximize the number of teams playing each other when you’re awarding the championship on the basis of overall record in a league consisting of a single section.

            Like

          • BuckeyeBeau says:

            Even if home team wins 60% of the time, if the 3 home/2 away within your division flips each year, the home team advantage averages out.

            And, sorry, but that general statistic needs to be made B10 specific. tOSU is a hell of a lot better at home than 60% in B10 conference games and Indiana is a hell of lot worse than 60% in B10 conference home games (sorry Indiana fans).

            And various teams have owned the other’s stadium for various stretches of time. See PSU and OSU in last, what 5-6 years. MSU at ND in last 10-15 years; IOWA and MI vs. PSU over the last 10-15 years, etc.

            I think recruiting, facilities, coaching, etc., are far more important predictors of success than home-field advantage.

            Like

          • M says:

            FWIW, the conference home winning percentage is .567 since 1993. Individual team advantages range from MSU who gets a .237 boost at home to Illinois who road record is actually better by .022.

            Like

  42. Jeremy says:

    I think there is benifets for Notre Dame and Texas to have a series. Im not sure if Notre Dame will be a power house, but I know they will a ranked team. Texas benifets becuase it is a good start to strengthen bcs conference. The winner will win national prestige. Notre Dame plays several teams in the FBS. If Texas beats them, it would make BCS rankings in thier favour. Both teams get richer, Texas would rather play in a 80k stadium with Notre Dame instead of a 50k stadium with someone else.

    Im curious to see who else would Texas would add to their out of conference game. The “Ohio st type game”
    My guess would be Boise St, TCU, they would have to be at Texas’ home though. Any B10 or SEC powerhouses would be surpising becuase of the hard regular season already have. Any ACC, Mountain West, Big East maybe even a Pac team would be open. If Texas wants teams with team with attedence capacities to have a series with then Boise st and TCU wouldn’t fit the bill. Texas would doit to show how much better they are thinking they can beat the BCS busters.

    Like

    • duffman says:

      I am guessing Big 10 schools are out as the recent split seemed to be fueled by TV rights. Not really sure UT would want to schedule power schools in the SEC. My guess is Pac 10 schools if they can agree on TV issues.

      Like

      • Hopkins Horn says:

        I think we’d consider an SEC power.

        Florida would seem to be out as a possibility, given its lack of scheduling any out-of-state OOC game for, what, decades now, but I don’t think it’s inconceivable that we could schedule a home-and-home with an SEC power, a goup I’d define as including LSU, Bama, Tennessee and Georgia in addition to Florida.

        Given’s Texas seeming recent preference for scheduling home-and-homes with what it sees are “peer schools” like UCLA, Cal, ND and Minnesota (before canceled) as well as the rumored series with Maryland, I think Georgia would be the most likely target if Florida were reluctant to leave the state for an OOC game.

        That being said, I think it is more likely that we’d look to schedule prominent OOCs with Pac 10 and ACC schools. There’s been a USC rumor out there, and UVa, UNC, GT and UW would fit in well with the pattern which has been established.

        And I agree that the Big 10 seems to be out for a while as an OOC partner. Though I have my doubts as to why the Minnesota series was really canceled (I suspect the “video rights” issue was a convenient one for UT to raise when the prospect of booking ND for the same seasons was on the table), there has been a separate rumor that another proposed “high profile” series with a Big 10 school has been quashed for the same reason.

        Like

        • duffman says:

          HH,

          Power = UF in East and BAMA in West, next notch down might be UGA in East and LSU in West. My point was if the power schools are playing, then a second tier SEC team might kick into their “own” broadcast rights, which might create an issue if the gopher thing was really about TV rights. Just do not know, which leaves Pac 10 as they seem the easiest of the 3 in TV rights issues. My point was about secondary rights, I think your point was directed at team strength.

          The team where UT might have the easiest path is UK as both UK and UT are IMG schools, so secondary rights would be in the same corporate “family” so to speak. While IMG has just agreed to buy ISP (?) the only IMG schools in the SEC are UK, UF, and UT (my guess is UT will schedule soft for a few years till they can recover from the kiffen mess).

          I thought many of the ACC schools were ISP or other? so if UT / IMG is working the deal their might be conflicts. I hate to say it but in the past AD’s did the schedules, going forward I have the ugly feeling that the media companies will swing the bigger stick. Just do not know. It would be good to know for sure exactly why UT cancelled out the gophers, but I feel we will never get the whole story.

          Like

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Duff – your perception of SEC must only be based on the last 2 years.

            Historically, Alabama is #1 without a doubt, but Florida, LSU, Tennessee, Georgia, and Auburn have all been competitive. Ole Miss and Arkansas have also won a MNC within the last 50 years.

            20 years ago, Florida had as many SEC football championship trophies as Vandy – ZERO.

            Here’s a look at the SEC over the last decade.

            http://www.bulldawgillustrated.com/blog/647/SEC-Football-By-the-Numbers—-2000-2010

            Regarding SEC championships and SEC CG appearances over the last decade, here what the SEC looks like:

            Florida & LSU 3 wins 1 loss;
            UGA 2 wins 1 loss; Bama 1 win 1 loss; Auburn 1 win 1 loss; Arkansas 0-2; and Tennessee 0-3.

            National Championships this decade:

            2 – LSU & Florida
            1 – Bama

            Auburn also had an undefeated, untied season in 2004.

            Like

          • duffman says:

            Alan,

            sorry I did not make that clearer, as we were talking about UT short term scheduling, rather than past history and long term issues. Awhile back when I did the “brand” thing I did a BAMA + 1 to account for the rise and fall of other SEC teams. In the SEC East UT has probably been the most consistent over time but they are down. Seem like the 80’s were UGA, the 90’s UT, and 00’s UF. Not exact, but you get the idea.

            While you are here I think you said Cox had LSU’s secondary rights. Did the recent purchase by IMG change that? As some SEC schools were affected in the buyout. Not sure how long before it is complete, or how long till everything switches over. Just know it was supposed to beef up IMG’s presence in the SEC greatly. Hence my discussion with HH on UT on scheduling SEC teams.

            The issue being future value second or third tier rights if texas wanted to schedule SEC teams OOC. i remember the Gator fortune changing beginning with the stop gap coach Galen Hall ? It has been awhile, but it sticks in my memory as a team that benefitted by being on probation. Of course it seems like it was the early 80’s so my memory may be foggy.

            sorry if I was not clearer on this point

            Like

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Duff – LSU is not an IMG-affiliated school.

            See link for IMG College: http://www.imgcollege.com/about-us/imgc-about-us.html

            Florida did have the best record in the SEC back in 1984, but no champion was named that year, since the NCAA was about to drop the hammer of the Gators. LSU represented the SEC in the Sugar Bowl.

            After LSU didn’t hire Spurrier after the 86 season, Darth Visor went to Duke, then Florida & took great pleasure in beating my Tigers during the forgettable 90s.

            Like

          • duffman says:

            Alan,

            thanks for the IMG link, but it is now outdated. The deal was announced in the past week or 2 that they were buying someone else which would give them a majority of the SEC teams. Not just the 3 on that map.

            Like

      • PSUGuy says:

        Pac10 is starting its own tv network remember?

        And its being started by some of the same folks who started the BTN.

        IMO, if UT has tv rights issues with the BTN, they will have the same with the PacNetwork.

        Realistically that means BigEast, ACC, SEC or MWC…

        Like

        • Hopkins Horn says:

          What I suspect is that these issues will get ironed out pretty quickly as more conferences and more schools form their own networks.

          I think what we’re seeing now is the initial difficulty the first time a conference with its own network negotiates with a school with its own network. Uncharted territory.

          Like

          • zeek says:

            Yeah, I agree with this.

            No one including Texas knows how valuable Bevo TV is going to be, so there’s no way to really negotiate with the Big Ten over TV replay, cuts for TV shows, and the rest of those kinds of rights.

            Like

          • PSUGuy says:

            Honestly, I think the BTN knows exactly how valuable those commodities are for its channel, but due to its greater base and market penetration those values are much too high for BevoTV to stomach.

            Then again, I have been known to be wrong.

            Like

          • BuckeyeBeau says:

            my guess on the Minny/TX series. I just have this gut feeling that TX wants to strengthen it’s OOC scheduling; if i “connect the dots” from various articles, aren’t the Minny games being replaced with ND games?

            I have interpreted this to mean that TX wanted the higher profile ND games and used “tv rights” as a graceful exit from the Minny home and home.

            Like

          • Hopkins Horn says:

            @Buckeye:

            I agree with your assessment. The timing is too coincidental. I went off on our admin over on BON when this news broke.

            Like

          • BuckeyeBeau says:

            HH: interesting thread/discussion on the BON comments. Even if TX “traded up” i think it was handled very gracefully. Some disappointment, but no real embarrassment. My only suggestion is that the ND announcement come maybe four weeks later. That really expands the fig leaf.

            I would say that ND and TX did a lot of talking this last winter/spring (as this Blog could attest). So, there is no doubt in my mind that TX/ND has been in the works for awhile from both sides.

            And as another aside, wouldn’t put it past the TX folks to politely gracefully pull the plug on Minny as a little bit of push back at the B10 for poaching NEB. There will be a bit of extra fire in B10-BX12 bowl games.

            Like

  43. Wow, I LOVE Playoffs Now’s idea of a UT/OU/ND/USC-led superconference. How awesome would this 16-teamer be:

    Western Division – USC, UCLA, Cal, Stanford
    Texas Division – Texas, Baylor, Texas Tech, Texas A&M
    Plains Division – OU, Oklahoma St, Kansas, Kansas St
    East Division – Notre Dame, Boston College, Navy, Maryland

    This would automatically be the best football, basketball, baseball, and academic conference in D1.

    Like

    • Vincent says:

      If the United States was half its size — or if this were only a football league — a transcontinental conference might work (and I emphasize might). If I’m the AD at Maryland, Navy or Boston College, do I really want to play a majority of my road games on the Plains, in Texas or on the West Coast? (Opponents of Maryland going to the Big Ten cited travel, but if it did, its furthest conference road trip, to Nebraska, would be about the same as its closest non-division road game under this setup. In fact, Minneapolis and Iowa City aren’t much further from College Park than Coral Gables is.).

      Like

    • Hopkins Horn says:

      Not in our lifetimes. I guess you could create this league on EA Sports College Football if you ever wanted to see it with your own eyes, I suppose.

      Like

    • duffman says:

      best basketball conference? outside of KU, who else? MD is next in line? the wooden days at UCLA are long gone.

      football? you have 4 of the top 10 “brands” in ND, USC, UT, OU the Big 10 has tOSU, UM, PSU, UNL so that is a wash

      academics? is Baylor AAU? pretty sure OU, oSu, TT are not

      baseball? probably correct depending how the Pac 10, Big 12 teams are in (can not pull all CWS off top of head, but the Pac 10, Big 12, and SEC seem to have solid number of CWS each).

      While I would agree that this would be a stong conference, using the “best” word I am not so sold on.

      Like

  44. loki_the_bubba says:

    News from the non-AQ world: TCU announced a $105mm stadium renovation today. Looks nice. Hopefully Rice gets to the Armed Services Bowl sometime around 2013.

    http://stadium.tcu.edu/default.asp

    Like

  45. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    My daughter just began her junior year in high school, and she wanted to start looking at colleges. Last month, we toured TCU and Baylor and I came away very impressed with both.

    Over the last decade, we were told that TCU has dumped a half Billion dollars into campus upgrades. We will probably go back for a long weekend and see either the BYU or Air Force game to check out the campus when people are actually there.

    LSU does have a home and home with TCU in 2013-2014. The word in Baton Rouge is that the “home” game for TCU gets moved to Jerryworld.

    Like

  46. Big Red is BACK!!!!!! says:

    What the hell are you talking about texas wasnt even invited to the dance. The Big Ten saw through their bullshit kodos to Nebraska. I hope Beebe and Brown drown in their own crap!!!!

    Like

  47. Some big news sent in by Twitter follower @Huskerocracy:

    Big Ten is set to auction off the TV rights to the conference championship game since it apparently isn’t accounted for in the current ESPN deal. Industry insiders say that it could get $15-20 million per year. The ESPN deal will also be opened up again to account for Nebraska.

    Here’s the story from Sports Business Journal (subscription required): http://www.sportsbusinessjournal.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=article.preview&articleid=66433

    I think opening up the ESPN deal again could be much more important than auctioning off the conference championship game. With the ACC’s large pay raise from ESPN, the Big Ten could garner a whole lot more in its overall rights fees by renegotiating again.

    Like

    • allthatyoucantleavebehind says:

      The results of this negotiating could effect Texas and Notre Dame’s attraction to the Big 10. Kind of like a “If this is the kind of money we’re getting by just adding Nebraska, wait until ND and Texas are in the fold too!” argument.

      Like

    • Bamatab says:

      I was wondering if the Big Ten would be able to renegotiate their contract. I knew that the SEC has a clause in their contract, but since no one ever mentioned it, I wondered if the Big Ten had one.

      Like

    • PSUGuy says:

      More so than that, it’ll effect whether or not further rounds of expansion happen.

      If the ESPN deal is completely renegotiated, with another 10-15 year contract (regardless of who wins the championship game), you can bet expansion is done for at least that time frame.

      If its just “we’ll add $XX million over the remaining years” then I think that’s the true “litmus test” on how desirable it’ll be to expand the BigTen further.

      Like

      • zeek says:

        I highly doubt it’ll be renegotiated for 10-15 years.

        For one reason: Delany’s 9 game conference schedule. He seems to be aiming to get that in place by 2015 to up the value in the 2016 negotiations.

        My guess is that this is just a litmus test to see how much we can get. I think he may package the CCG and the rights in the 2016 negotiations if ABC wins the package.

        Or he’ll just sell a 5 year CCG package or something…

        Like

  48. Vincent says:

    The University of Maryland has hired a new president, and he has Big Ten ties — Wallace D. Loh, a U. of Iowa provost whose degrees include one from Michigan:

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/college-inc/2010/08/iowa_provost_loh_named_u-md_pr.html

    Like

    • StevenD says:

      That’s it then. Maryland to the Big Ten in 2013.

      Like

    • zeek says:

      That’s interesting to hear. And with Virginia’s choice of president having strong ties to the Big Ten as well, it could get interesting if a phone call is placed in a couple of years…

      Like

      • zeek says:

        I have to say though, Kirwan has to know that any pick would be dissected with respect to the ACC or Big Ten ties of the pick.

        Obviously that’s not an important priority by any measure, but he has to know that Maryland fans will at least ponder that thought.

        Like

  49. allthatyoucantleavebehind says:

    http://allthatyoucant.blogspot.com/2010/07/one-month-until-kickoff.html

    My humble summary of Expansion Past and Future, in podcast form. Also on iTunes.

    Never as good as Frank’s stuff though…

    Like

  50. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    2011 USN&WR rankings are out today.

    http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/national-universities

    This year, the rankings have changed in that they rank 197 schools as top tier. Last year, I think they were about 130 top tier schools. Under the new rankings, all BCS schools are ranked. Here are the highs and lows of each conference:

    ACC – #9 Duke, #111 NC State
    Big XII – #45 Texas, #159 Texas Tech
    Big East – #55 Syracuse, #183 South Florida
    Big Ten – #12 Northwestern, #79 Michigan State
    Pac 10 – #5 Stanford, #143 Arizona State
    SEC – #17 Vandy, #151 Mississippi State

    Conference movers:

    #86 Colorado
    #104 Nebraska
    #129 Utah

    Other notables that get mentioned on this board from time to time:

    #13 Johns Hopkins
    #17 Rice
    #19 Notre Dame
    #51 Tulane
    #75 BYU
    #99 TCU

    The Ivy League has #1 Harvard with Brown and Cornell tied for last at #15.

    Like

    • mushroomgod says:

      Wow, the Big 10 schools got pimped this year—

      Nw 12—–12
      UM 27—–29
      Ill39—–47
      Wis39—–45
      PSU47—–47
      OSU53—–56
      Pur61—–56
      Min61—–64
      Iowa71—-72
      IU 71—–75
      MSU71—–79
      Neb96—–104

      Others of interest:

      MD 53—-56
      Pitt 56—-64
      Syr 58—-55
      RU 66—-64
      MO 102—94

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Saw where Clemson was pretty well up there. Just after I read an article commending the Princeton Review since it didn’t survey administrators who were tempted to cheat. And someone was explaining what Clemson did to fudge the numbers so that they looked better and their competitors looked worse. A lot of SEC schools seemed to be moving up. I’ll leave the implications to your imagination.

        Like

  51. Hodgepodge says:

    Two pieces of third-hand information to report. Per a post on the Bucknuts premium message board (props to tbdbitlbuckeye), Gene Smith (OSU’s AD) was answering questions in seminar class at OSU, and he said that he expects OSU and Michigan to be in separate divisions, with “The Game” being moved to early November. Some of the reasoning is that TV bigwigs want to see the occasional rematch in the championship game, but don’t want the games to be back-to-back.

    Also, Smith (a Notre Dame graduate) said that he doesn’t think expansion is done yet, and that Notre Dame is not expected to be part of the discussion until 2015 at the earliest.

    Like

    • Adam says:

      Man, that’d be incredibly stupid if they did that. Holy wow.

      Like

    • @Hodgepodge – Wow, that’s an unbelievably horrible idea. Just awful.

      Like

      • It would be insanely stupid I agree. I’ve said it before and I will again, if the Big Ten moves the date of the game, I’m done with the conference other than routing for Ohio State. I don’t even agree with the KISS format and I can see the stupidity in that approach. Except for in years where it works perfectly, it will almost always be bad for the rivalry and both schools.

        Like

        • aps says:

          Eric, I agree with you but go a little further. As a 1978 grad of Ohio State, I will not renew my alumni membership or buy tickets to any more Ohio State games. I will officially be done with the Big Ten and Ohio State.

          At this point I would choose to follow the SEC.

          Like

          • Adam says:

            I love to hear it and I am just hoping people make their voices heard. It is not difficult to write to (in this case) Gordon Gee and Gene Smith to make your voices heard. Be the squeaky wheel!

            Like

          • BuckeyeBeau says:

            See Adam: like I said way above, pitchforks and torches and the villagers are chasing the monster… 🙂

            But I call shenanigans on this report by TBDBITLbuckeye!!

            Like

      • bullet says:

        I don’t see any way they split them without either violating Delany’s 1st rule about competitive balance or totally ignoring geography and splitting up rivalries.

        PSU/OSU/IU/PU/NW/IL vs. UM/MSU/WI/MN/I
        A/UNL is a bigger gap than KISS. Switching UNL with NW gives you same problems as KISS with UNL getting away from logical rivalries. Otherwise you totally ignore geography and pull IA or WI out of the IA/WI/MN trio, messing with that set of rivalries.

        Just how much more is an occassional UM/OSU rematch worth? It certainly reduces value in a lot in other ways, including the value of the regular season UM/OSU game.

        Like

      • Adam says:

        In July I wrote to Lou Anna K. Simon, the President of MSU, because I thought she was still the Chair of the COP/C (I was off a month; it changes on 7/1, not 8/1) and advocated the “KISS” model. She did write back and thanked me for my “thoughtful analysis,” and said the ADs would be meeting “very soon” to work on a “proposal.”

        I’ve since learned that the new Chair of the COP/C is Michael McRobbie at IU.

        Like

        • jj says:

          You need help! Lol!

          Like

        • Adam says:

          …why?

          Like

          • jj says:

            It’s worse than I thought!

            I’m just messing around, but come on, writing MSU is a little over the top dude.

            Like

          • Adam says:

            Well, she was the Chair of the COP/C, which means she was formally the head of the body that formally governs the Big Ten. It just seemed appropriate.

            Like

          • m (Ag) says:

            “I’m just messing around, but come on, writing MSU is a little over the top dude”

            So leaving a message on a blog (as you are doing) is OK, but leaving a message with someone who actually can influence decisions is over the top?

            Like

          • jj says:

            Touche m(ag)!

            Look dude, I’m just having a little fun. I suspect this blog, like sports, is supposed to be fun.

            It is a little over the top to write the letter – that’s all I’m saying. No offense Adam and I actually agree with you that E/W is best.

            And before anyone asks – No, I have never done anything over the top in my life, ever.

            Like

          • Adam says:

            If you want to have your voice heard, you have to speak up (and not just in the comments section of a blog).

            Like

          • jj says:

            I guess it just struck me as funny.

            It’s like when people say write your congressman and you know your congressman is going to, at best, wipe his ass with your letter.

            That said, I am not surprised that Simon wrote you back as MSU is a pretty classy place.

            Seriously, no hard feelings man. I just thought it was funny.

            I think we all know UM and OSU are going to make this decision together and that’s all there is to it. It is the B10’s most valuable thing and it will do nothing w/o both of their blessings. Barry A knows that and is trying to snag something good for Wisc just like MSU did when PSU came on board. If it is not doing it, Iowa needs to get in there and fight Wisc for this game.

            Like

          • BuckeyeBeau says:

            aw, JJ… you just don’t know HOW to write your congressman/woman. First rule: Use a black marker (like a sharpie), hand-write the letter, make it like a poster (under 10 words, some blocked and all-capped) and fax it!!

            None of this reasonable typed-out “Dear Congressman” BS. Angry letters over the fax machine that look like a crazy person wrote it!! THAT is the way to impress your Congressman.

            In response, you will get a form letter from your Congressman thanking your for your input.

            [I relay this based on personal experience.]

            Like

          • duffman says:

            gee guys I never thought to write a letter, as I just show up at their house and raid their fridge (what are they gonna do elections are coming this fall and everybody wants an extra vote). I wrote in red lipstick on their mirror I had information. When they found out it was just realignment ideas they were pretty happy (I think they thought I had information about their extramarital affairs). Life is good after all, and the nice security folks even gave me a lift home. 🙂

            ps, just in case realignment does not go as planned I actually do have picture of their extramarital affairs 😉

            In all seriousness one should write their congressmen as they do take note of that. Nothing ventured, nothing gained!

            Like

          • bullet says:

            If enough people write they pay attention.

            If one person writes you may get a form letter in which basically they thank you and are glad you agree with them (running off standard campaign promises-one of which is what you were criticizing).

            But sometimes individual letters do matter. I wrote the Texas Highway department once and got a response indicating the engineer had seriously thought about my comments. And whether it was my comments or things they were already planning, several of those things got implemented.

            Like

      • mushroomgod says:

        Agree. Terrible. Hard to believe it would seriously be considered. I would hope OSU and UM fans would make their opinions knwon on this.

        Like

      • duffman says:

        Frank,

        remember when you said “if they did not eff it up”, that time may be here. Even in my fridge magnet weight gaining mode I never moved the tOSU and UM magnets that way.

        Like

    • jj says:

      I get the sense that they are mulling this over as well. Sounds like the worst idea ever.

      Like

    • zeek says:

      Someone really needs to have them discuss how badly this has worked for Florida State/Miami in the ACC.

      Why in the world would you copy something that didn’t work well at all for the ACC? There’s never a guarantee that Michigan and Ohio State will be the best teams in the same year.

      And moving it to November will reduce its TV value even if the title game would be the biggest possible TV matchup…; losing value on the game every year to me is more important than gaining a bit of TV value once every 5 or 10 years…

      Like

    • Hank says:

      what an incredibly bad idea.

      Like

    • M says:

      I don’t like splitting them up, but based on more and more rumors that seems like the plan.

      If you split Michigan and Ohio State, here are a few bits that should be followed (assuming a single cross over game:

      1. Ohio State and Nebraska can’t be in the same division if you are going for any sort of balance. They have been by far the two most successful programs over the supposed period of evaluation. That combo has 24 more conference wins than Michigan/Penn State.

      2. Michigan State should go with Michigan. Since Michigan and Ohio State will presumably at least be a protected rivalry, putting MSU with Michigan is the only way to ensure they play every year.

      After that it’s just a choice on the scale between balance, geography and rivalries.

      High Rivalry:
      Ohio State
      Penn State
      Purdue
      Northwestern
      Illinois
      Indiana

      Nebraska
      Michigan
      Wisconsin
      Iowa
      Michigan State
      Minnesota

      This protects every rivalry except MSU-Penn State, without any crossover games (except OSU-Michigan). It even has Nebraska with the Iowa-Wisconsin-Minn trio. Geographically it has a pretty good North/South vibe. This alignment does more poorly in balance with a 57 total conference games difference (worse than geographic’s 49).

      Ohio State
      Nebraska
      Wisconsin
      Northwestern
      Illinois
      Indiana

      Michigan
      Penn State
      Iowa
      Purdue
      Michigan State
      Minnesota

      Balance-wise these are the best divisions with a difference of 1. Rivalry-wise it does pretty well, though at least one of the Minn-Wisc-Iowa games will become unprotected. Geographically it’s nonsense though and I don’t particularly care for having the 2 best programs in the same division.

      Red Grange
      Penn State
      Ohio State
      Wisconsin
      Purdue
      Illinois
      Indiana

      Otto Graham
      Nebraska
      Michigan
      Iowa
      Michigan State
      Northwestern
      Minnesota

      Cross division: Nebraska-Penn State, Michigan-Ohio State, Iowa-Wisconsin, Northwestern-Illinois, Indiana-Minnesota, Michigan State-Purdue

      This is my preferred outcome. Competitively it’s mostly balanced (17 more conference wins for Red Grange since 1993). It is also balanced in the sense of top 2 are split, top 4 are split etc. It saves every current protected rivalry except Minnesota-Wisconsin(pretty big) and Northwestern-Purdue (no one cares). Minnesota is compensated by adding old rivals Nebraska and Michigan, while Wisconsin keeps Iowa but doesn’t get much else. It also has a pretty good North/South division. Flipping Wisconsin and Iowa helps a little geographically but hurts in balance.

      If they do split up Ohio State and Michigan, this is the best result.

      Like

      • Adam says:

        I don’t even really consider it worth talking about. Splitting up OSU and Michigan would be such a colossally stupid decision that trying to figure out the best alignment given that condition is . . . I can’t even think of a good way to express how stupid that would be.

        Like

        • BuckeyeBeau says:

          wait Adam: from comments above, I thought you were “ok” with an OSU/MI split to balance out the divisions and keep PSU integrated.

          Like

          • Adam says:

            No I don’t think I’ve ever said that. I laid out 4 rules for setting up Big Ten divisions:
            1. Nebraska and OSU can’t be together.
            2. OSU and Michigan must be together.
            3. Michigan and MSU must be together.
            4. Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota must be together.

            Like

      • jj says:

        Why does everyone keep putting MSU and Purdue as a protected game? This is not a high priority game for MSU.

        Like

        • M says:

          The Purdue-MSU isn’t intentional. They already are in the division with Michigan (and Northwestern for that matter) and the assumption was that the Big 4 would be matched in the crossover game (Michigan-Ohio State, Penn State-Nebraska). Of the other teams, MSU-Purdue was about the only possibility left over.

          If you would prefer, they could play Minnesota instead.

          Like

          • jj says:

            I see what you’re saying. It just breaks out this way a lot. I really hope they just go E/W and give NB to Iowa. I’m a MSU guy and i like playing PSU even if we rarely win it.

            Like

        • BuckeyeBeau says:

          I predict: There will be no protected games.

          People: run the schedules. There are not enough games (even with 9 conference games) for protected cross-division games.

          The B10 is trying to make sure the teams play each other as often as possible. If you start adding one and two protected cross-division rivals, you’ll start seeing the non-protected cross-divisional teams once every two or three years. that is not a recipe for cohesion and that warm “conference feeling.”

          Like

      • mnfanstc says:

        God help us if TPTB purposely attempt to set up rematches. In a divisional setup it is understandable that CCG rematches are a possibility. To purposely attempt to set up rematches… NO THANKS MR DELANY… The historic Big Ten rivalries are great. However, NONE of them need to be diluted by purposely attempting to set up potential rematches, no matter how big some people may perceive them to be.

        As staunchly as I back my Gophers, I would not want to play single season rematches with either Iowa or Wisconsin… It’ s hard enough to win’em once, let alone twice. Go back a few years when Mich was #2, tOSU was #1… Even if you were/are NOT a fan of either school (like me), the game was a true classic. This is a football fan that says a rematch (under any scenario) takes away any potential historic significance.

        Another past example (not even a conf game) was the BOGUS rematch of Florida and Florida State (I think it was 1996)… Florida State beat Florida in their seasonal rivalry match. Then in the Sugar Bowl (rematch) for potential mNC, Florida destroyed FSU…

        TPTB should NOT over think this thing… KISS keeps EVERYTHING in proper order.

        Like

    • yahwrite says:

      I would have to think that getting feedback from alumni and fans is part of the research of how to align divisions. I cannot imagine that there wouldn’t be general outrage amongst Michigan and OSU supporters at the suggestion of splitting them up and moving the game up in the schedule.

      I would think that supporters of other schools want to protect their rivalries. The best way to do that without creating protected crossover games, and some meaningless ones so everyone has one, is East-West.

      I know I’m not really adding anything new and that’s how most on here feel, but if, by chance, any of the Big Ten decision makers read this one more voice can’t hurt. I hope they understand they’re going to hear from upset people if they screw it up. They have to settle on East-West. I have a hard time believing accurate research would lead them in any other direction.

      Like

    • 84Lion says:

      It seems that the Big Ten brass view the “big rivalries” as so important that they want to try to have those rivalries occurring more than once in a year. I suppose if the “big rivalries” such as OSU-Michigan are held the first week in November then you have a three-week/three-game “race to the division title” which would theoretically end with OSU-PSU and Nebraska-Michigan (or possibly Nebraska-Iowa or Nebraska-Wisconsin depending on how the divisions are drawn).
      Personally I tend to agree that OSU-Michigan and Nebraska-PSU in end-of-season “for all the marbles” games are a lot more exciting and make a lot more sense. Although two Nebraska-PSU tilts in one year are too much to pass up, I guess.
      This does sound like it has the potential to be the perfect solution that satisfies nobody.

      Like

    • Hodgepodge says:

      Since several other message boards are citing my post on this blog incorrectly , I thought I’d set the record straight. As far as I know, this is not set in stone, but rather merely Gene Smith’s informed speculation at this point.

      Like

      • Adam says:

        Yeah but if what he said is even merely informed speculation, it shows a worrisome level of cluelessness that this sort of thing is not laughed off the table in Park Ridge without even being considered.

        Like

    • BuckeyeBeau says:

      sorry, no props to TBDBITLbuckeye. Gene Smith is not so stupid as to announce B10 divisional alignment and expansion plans in an OSU seminar class.

      This is slander on Gene Smith!!! 🙂

      Like

      • BuckeyeBeau says:

        well, unless this is some purposeful “leak” to gauge reaction. In which case: Dear Gene Smith: boooooooooooooooooooooo!!

        Like

    • Danimal says:

      It doesn’t appear to be that bad of an idea to put Michigan in Nebraska’s division instead of PSU. Not only would traveling between Michigan & Nebraska be shorter it would also match up #2 vs. #4 based on winning percentage since 1993. PSU would likely be a cross over game from UNL I am assuming however it is tough to see where they are going.

      Since 1993 W L % Rank
      Ohio State 170 43 79.8 1
      Nebraska 165 52 76.0 2
      Penn State 147 62 70.3 3
      Michigan 146 64 69.5 4

      Like

  52. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    ESPN College Gameday in ATL for opening weekend at the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game between UNC & LSU.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/ncfnation/post/_/id/24747/college-gameday-at-chick-fil-a-kickoff-game

    Like

  53. Signel says:

    Frank,
    My aggies really couldn’t afford to bolt with our 16m negative debt. Even if the other teams left for the pac16, it was not enough to avoid the exit penalties(i think the magic number is 9 teams leave removes the penalty). All aggies wanted the SEC, but we didn’t have the cash in hand now to make it happen. Instead we got Ponzi Beebee to promise verbally,in public, to meet our demands. If that doesn’t happen, they lied and we have all the ammo we need to bolt without penalty for breach of verbal contract, which is legally binding in texas. We win… we get the cash we desperately needed even if it isn’t totally 20mil, it will be a huge jump over last years revenue.

    Like

  54. Very interesting post on Orangebloods today, as a guy was recounting info that DeLoss Dodds gave to his rotary club. Backs up Playoffs Now speculation of a UT/ND-led super conference:

    DeLoss Dodds….. Reply

    ——————————————————————————–
    ….spoke at my rotary club meeting today. Spoke mainly recap about the conference realignment shake up. If you don’t care to rehash the conference realignment mess than don’t read the rest of this post.

    Most things he mentioned were already reported by Chip and OB…..however there is some are new to me:

    – it was all started by the Big 10 deciding to expand to 12 to fulfill the wishes of Joe Paterno having a conference title game

    – Missouri begged and begged to be that team

    – Nebraska showed interest and this is what caused the domino effect in Big 12 appearing to fall apart. Dodds said and I quote ‘We don’t like them at all (referring to Nebraska) but we were very concerned about them leaving the conference.’

    – Also said about the current bad blood between us and NU ‘We are very much looking forward to going up their place and sending them off this October. We are going to have a very fun time up there.’

    – Texas was courted by Big 10, SEC, and Pac 10.

    – All that being said, the Goal the entire time was to keep the Big 12 together. Period. However, it appeared the Big 12 was dying so they starting putting together the deal to move the Pac 10.

    – Texas had serious talks with Notre Dame about joining up and forming a Mega National Conference with those 2 as the anchors. ND and Texas would then choose who to invite into their own conference based on academics, revenue generation, prestige, location, etc.. There would be multiple divisions within that MegaNational Conference as DeLoss put it.

    – Said that politicing of Baylor was very strong and was the driving force for Pac 10 and Colorado on pulling the trigger on that move. Colorado nor Pac 10 wanted to take the risk of Baylor getting that spot.

    – From a financial standpoint, Texas figured out that they and the other 5 who would join the Pac 10 would bring an additional $200MM to their annual TV revenues that currently produce $100MM annualy. Texas asked Pac 10 ‘You know all of us that would leave we are going to have a pay a hefty fine. You also know that we are going to bring an additional $200MM to your TV revenue annually. We kindly ask that you help us make the move by paying our Big 12 fines.’ Pac 10 came back and said that ‘We will be glad to loan you that money for those fines and you can pay us back.’ Texas replied ‘We can loan ourselves money. We don’t need you to loan us anything. We just need for you to pay the fines.’

    – That obstacle combined with Texas receiving new financial figures from the Big 12 that they could make more money than any other conference int he country as a 10 team league they decided to stay put. Also very happy for the student athletes and their families as the travel stress for the proposed Pac 10 conference was going to be a problem.

    – Was very proud of his entire team at UT as they went through this entire process. Restated the ‘We didn’t start this but we are very happy with where we came out. Our Goal was to keep the Big 12 together and we accomplished that.

    – Of course he did mention the Texas TV network. Says the biggest impact may be felt on Recruiting more than Financial. Says that Network will be available to every TV set in the State and that is huge for high school players knowing that and their families.

    – Stated the Conference Realignment fiasco is not over with. ‘As soon as the Big 10 decides they want to start adding more teams again then we will have to go through it all again because everyone is effected.

    – Also feels that once the Super Conferences are established in the future they will end up being regulated by the Federal Govt. Says that all the smaller state schools who are left out of the opportunties of the bigger schools will be the driving force behind congress stepping in.

    – On a College Football Playoff: ‘I spent 5 years of my life trying to get a college football playoff and got nowhere. As long as their is a Rose Bowl Parade and Rose Bowl game they will not allow a college playoff to happen. They are so intent on not losing their traditional Pac 10/Big 10 matchup that they will not let it go.’ He then want to say ‘I would support a college football playoff among every other school and conference not in the Big 10/Pac10 if that’s the way they want to do it.’

    – Our relationship with Notre Dame is very strong right now. Very strong. Already talking about expanding the 4 game series to 6 games and starting off with a neutral site game sooner than later. We would also welcome talks about an annual game with ND.

    – Said that as long as he is the AD at Texas there will not be any new expansion of the statdium to close off the south end. Did not mention why.

    I’m sure there certain other little nuggets worth sharing but I can’t recall others right now.

    Enjoy.

    KB

    Like

    • schwarm says:

      So UT was always interested in keeping the conference together… once the money was right, pesky UNL was gone, and aTm threatened to go to the SEC 😉

      Like

    • M says:

      Interesting read, thanks for the information.

      “- Texas had serious talks with Notre Dame about joining up and forming a Mega National Conference with those 2 as the anchors. ND and Texas would then choose who to invite into their own conference based on academics, revenue generation, prestige, location, etc.. There would be multiple divisions within that MegaNational Conference as DeLoss put it.”

      This idea is interesting. I would think the former Big 12 south would have to be included, but I don’t know who else would join. Presumably ND would want some subset of Pitt, Navy, BC, and Syracuse. The plan would probably be to pry USC or UCLA from the Pac-12, but I think that’s about as likely as the Arkansas rumors.

      “Stated the Conference Realignment fiasco is not over with. ‘As soon as the Big 10 decides they want to start adding more teams again then we will have to go through it all again because everyone is effected.”
      My money is on Texas A&M not getting the $20 million they were promised.

      “Also feels that once the Super Conferences are established in the future they will end up being regulated by the Federal Govt. Says that all the smaller state schools who are left out of the opportunties of the bigger schools will be the driving force behind congress stepping in.”

      I just don’t see how this would happen. The vast majority of the population (and congressional representatives) are in states which would have a member in any super conference setup. Any regulation would have to be approved by these representatives. I don’t think they would vote for something that would harm their universities, regardless of what the 4 distinguished representatives from Kansas want.

      “Of course he did mention the Texas TV network. Says the biggest impact may be felt on Recruiting more than Financial. Says that Network will be available to every TV set in the State and that is huge for high school players knowing that and their families.”

      This is just tempering expectations. UT gets who they want in Texas recruiting-wise already. If they didn’t think the money was there, they would not have stayed in a substantially diminished Big 12.

      Also, blaming Nebraska still seems like pure posturing to me. Texas has had 3 different schools leave their conference (Arkansas, Colorado, Nebraska), another that wants out but doesn’t have the money (Texas A&M), and another that tried their hardest to get out (Missouri). Hopkins Horn can defend Texas all he wants, but the actions speak louder than words.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        More money elsewhere. Plain and simple. Arkansas was begging Texas and Texas A&M to come with them. CU was expecting Texas and Texas A&M to join them.

        I don’t think anyone blames UNL for making a decision that was in their best interest. Powers said as much. Its all the whining, finger pointing, threats of lawsuits and hypocrisy (complaining about revenue distribution rules they were among the strongest proponents of) by UNL.

        Texas was in one conference for 82 years until time passed the SWC by. Its still in the B12. UNL left the Missouri Valley and a number of schools behind for what became the Big 8. They dissolved the Big 8 & went with the other 7 schools to the new B12. Now they left all those former schools for the B10. You could make the argument that UNL leaves conference mates high and dry.
        (not that I have anything against UNL’s moves-just that they have moved more).

        Like

        • PSUGuy says:

          Its called history…learn it:

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

          Long story short…Missouri Valley was renamed the Big 8, which then added 4 schools from the SWC to become the Big 12.

          Like

          • loki_the_bubba says:

            Nebraska left the Missouri Valley Conference in 1928 to crate the similarly names Missouri Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Association, aka the Big 6/7/8. The Big8 was disbanded in 1996. The Big12 does not claim the Big8’s history.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            I’m well aware of the history. Maybe you didn’t read the whole article.

            Fact is the Big 6 (later Big 8) left Drake, Grinnell, Oklahoma St. and Washington Mo. behind who continued the Missouri Valley Conference, similar to what the SEC, ACC and MWC did when they were formed. To quote the NCAA record book, “The Big 6 was formed when charter members left the MVIAA.”

            Like

        • schwarm says:

          Bullet, I’m curious about the threatened lawsuits. How many lawsuits and on what grounds?

          Like

      • Hopkins Horn says:

        Hopkins Horn can defend Texas all he wants

        Well, what do you expect me to do? 🙂

        Like

    • bullet says:

      With a 4 team playoff, Rose Bowl B10+? vs. P12 or so would only happen about every other year. Under BCS 4 bowl system, B12 teams ended up in the Rose Bowl 4 out of the last 5 years. In the 5 bowl BCS, after 3 straight B10/P10 matchups, Texas was playing in the big Rose Bowl game against an SEC team.

      With an 8 team playoff B10+? could play P12 or so every single year in the Rose Bowl.

      8 team playoff would be very beneficial to B10/P10 tradition and great for the Rose Bowl.

      Like

    • PSUGuy says:

      “- Nebraska showed interest ”
      I call BS on this. Mizzou showed interest in the BigTen, Colorado in the Pac. That made Texas start to look elsewhere which then made Nebraska start to look. I mean wasn’t it Nebraska who demanded to have a count of which schools were talking to other conferences during the Big12 meetings? Of which no one was very interested in vocalizing?

      “- Texas had serious talks with Notre Dame about joining up and forming a Mega National Conference with those 2 as the anchors. ”
      Again I call BS. ND doesn’t want to join a conference. Period.

      “- From a financial standpoint, Texas figured out that they and the other 5 who would join the Pac 10 would bring an additional $200MM to their annual TV revenues that currently produce $100MM annualy. Texas asked Pac 10 ‘You know all of us that would leave we are going to have a pay a hefty fine. You also know that we are going to bring an additional $200MM to your TV revenue annually. We kindly ask that you help us make the move by paying our Big 12 fines.’ Pac 10 came back and said that ‘We will be glad to loan you that money for those fines and you can pay us back.’ Texas replied ‘We can loan ourselves money. We don’t need you to loan us anything. We just need for you to pay the fines.’”
      Its stories like this (if true) that make me glad Texas isn’t in the BigTen.

      “- Of course he did mention the Texas TV network. Says the biggest impact may be felt on Recruiting more than Financial. ”
      If that’s true then this thing will be a disaster. They own Texas, and that channel is likely to only be on in Texas (and maybe even then only on premium channels)…if only initially. If the tv channel isn’t to make money, I just don’t see what the heck its for.

      ” Our relationship with Notre Dame is very strong right now. Very strong. Already talking about expanding the 4 game series to 6 games and starting off with a neutral site game sooner than later. We would also welcome talks about an annual game with ND.”
      I would agree…mostly because those two schools need each other. ND needs to schedule some big name games (lately its been lacking). If the Big12 stays the way it is its strength of schedule will probably fall, if only from perception. It will only drop more if conferences like the Ten & Pac increase to 16 (basically guarantees a Pac/Ten/SEC championship game). With tv contracts coming up (for both Big12 and ND) having sub-par products is a very bad thing.

      Like

    • Hopkins Horn says:

      As a note of caution, this story didn’t pass my initial smell test. I ran it by a few other Horns I write with, and they tend to agree.

      Not saying it couldn’t be true, but until there’s some sort of independent confirmation, I would put as much stock on this anonymous UT rivals poster as should have been placed in that anonymous Northwestern rivals poster.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        NU comment doesn’t sound like the sort of thing Dodds would say in public.

        Like

        • Hopkins Horn says:

          Exactly, even if that’s what he was thinking.

          Plus:

          (1) Despite what others have been theorizing, the ND-UT superconference doesn’t make much sense, especially having supposedly been talked about this summer.

          (2) I’ve been told that Dodds isn’t much of a Rotary Club type of speaker.

          Like

      • bullet says:

        To back up HH on the Rotary Club bit, Dodds is not exactly the most popular man on campus. At times he has been the most unpopular (he has a way of getting into hot water whenever he fires basketball coaches). Hearing the AD is better than nothing, but most clubs would much rather hear a coach.

        Like

      • zeek says:

        One thing I don’t get is why would the Big 12 be impacted in the future by Big Ten expansion?

        I think Missouri isn’t going to be dumb enough to jump on any kind of bandwagon after the snub this time.

        And the Big Ten is clearly 100% focused on the east right now since there is no possible Texas scenario for the Big Ten at this point in time.

        I don’t see how Texas could be impacted; obviously, ND would be since the Big Ten looks to aim at the Big East and possibly the ACC next…

        Like

  55. duffman says:

    Deloss Dodds stole my idea!

    While partly in jest I suggested early on that UT and ND form a new conference. For those of you on here for awhile you might remember my Texas Dame Conference (TD for short) and my thoughts of putting the 2 teams that seem least likely to share together. I do not know which is scarier, that I said this with a high degree of smarmy, or that now we find out it was a possible reality!

    anybody have a link to the OB article?

    Like

  56. gregalthoff says:

    Here are your Big Ten divisions.

    Divide the teams each season based on performance from the prior season. That way, it’s based on seeding, so that the conference schedule functions as a tournament, with the championship game as a true championship. It also prevents factions (big 12 north) from happening, as alignments continually change.

    Like

  57. duffman says:

    Frank,

    saw your poll.

    saw the bearcats.

    🙂

    Like

  58. Nostradamus says:

    Jim Delany was on the Nebraska athletic department’s Sports Nightly radio show tonight. He all but confirmed established cross-divisional rivalry games as well as the fact that the divisions are for football only. He also seemed to rule out a straight east/west alignment.

    Like

  59. loki_the_bubba says:

    BYU seriously looking at going independent?

    http://www.sportsbybrooks.com/sources-byu-bolting-mwc-before-september-1-28849

    “If this change is to happen, I was told it will take place before Sept. 1. Another source indicated the decision could come by Friday.”

    Another link
    http://twitter.com/goodmanonfox

    Like

  60. loki_the_bubba says:

    “Your comment is awaiting moderation. ”

    When did this start?

    Like

    • loki_the_bubba says:

      I was trying to give you guys the BYU going independent rumors that are flying tonight.

      http://collegefootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/08/17/byu-set-to-go-the-independent-route-in-football/

      Like

      • Hopkins Horn says:

        What the hell?

        I mean, what the heck?

        Wow…

        Like

        • loki_the_bubba says:

          Yeah. Stuff is going on. Check out “BYU Athletics Cable Television” http://sports.tmcnet.com/broadcasting/articles/95285-byu-athletics-cable-television-awards-ad-insertion-contract.htm , which apparently has not yet even been confirmed to exist but is awarding contracts.

          Like

          • Vincent says:

            There is a BYU TV channel that DirecTV carries, but since I’m not Mormon, I never watch it.

            Like

          • Hopkins Horn says:

            My initial perspective is that I like it, at least from BYU’s perspective.

            Keep in mind that I generally have dismissed most schools’ abilities to successfully make a stab at independence, and that includes Texas.

            I hadn’t contemplated BYU independence, but the school would certainly have a nationwide fan base few other schools have.

            Additionally, on the risk-reward side, the balance in favor of reward is much greater for BYU than it would be for most other schools.

            To use my Longhorns as an example, since most have surmised that Texas would have the best chance of any BCS school of making the move, the rewards could be great, but the risks are very great as well — giving up the security blanket of a conference which if you win it, you play for the championship; scheduling in October and November; and finding a home for non-revenues.

            The risks for BYU strike me as not being anywhere near as big. Geography (and, perhaps, anti-LDS bias) has condemned BYU to mid-major status if it remains in the conference system. Winning its conference guarantees nothing. (See: Utah 2004 and 2008; TCU 2009.)

            Run the table on an upgraded independent schedule (it’s easier for BYU to “upgrade” by replacing UNM or SDSU or UNLV than it would be for Texas to replace Big 12 school), though, and the chance of appearing in a championship game might increase.

            Exploit the built-in nationwide fan base, and perhaps earn the school a lot more money than The Mountain brings the school.

            And if the WAC wants to be the useful idiot as the parking space for the non-revenues, all the better.

            Like

      • @loki_the_bubba – Thanks for the tip in what looks like could be a big story. BYU definitely has the TV infrastructure to support a sports network. The question is how much ESPN or some other established network would be willing to pay a select package of football games (similar to Navy with CBS and Army with ESPN). Another factor would be whether BYU could get the same treatment as Notre Dame for getting BCS berths as an independent. This might be a way for the BCS to placate one of its biggest critics, BYU alum Orrin Hatch, without having to grant the MWC an auto bid. Win-win for everyone except for the MWC (which will lose a ton of leverage without BYU).

        Like

        • loki_the_bubba says:

          Loss of BYU after Utah might be a huge blow for the MWC. Could TCU be persuaded to return to CUSA after that? Who knows.

          Like

        • yahwrite says:

          Interesting that they want the same BCS deal that ND has. If they are denied it could raise legal issues, or maybe it could push things to the point that ND loses or has its BCS deal altered. However the dominoes fall, this could be the start of a bigger story than just BYU independence.

          Like

          • Probably couldn’t raise many legal issues. The BCS is an organization set-up by the conferences. Tt doesn’t have to include the non-BCS members at all and wouldn’t be forced to make any accommodations for BYU.

            With that said, I wouldn’t be surprised if an updated automatic qualifying rule said something like, “the top rated team that is not a member of an automatic qualifying conference or an automatic qualifying independent is guaranteed a BCS bid if they are in the top 12 or 16 and above one automatic qualifier.” That would leave BYU open for the non-BCS automatic bid.

            One interesting thought I had writing this: does the BCS take more criticism since it partially includes all I-A schools. If they had shut out everyone but the big 6 and ND, they would have received a lot of criticism, but it would have eventually died away. As it stands now, they continue to take criticism for partially letting in the non-automatic conferences. Just a random thought.

            Like

      • M says:

        @Hopkins Horn

        I take back what I said about Texas being a conference killer. Clearly, TCU is the problem:

        Pre 1994: TCU a member of the Southwest Conference
        1994-5: 6 schools leave the SWC and end up in a different conference than TCU
        1996: TCU joins WAC
        1999: 8 members (including 4 remaining founding members) leave the WAC
        2001: TCU joins CUSA
        2003-5: 8 members of CUSA decide to leave
        2005: TCU joins Mountain West
        2010: The two conference pillars, Utah and BYU decide to leave rather than spend another year with TCU

        In total 24 times (including BYU and Utah twice) schools have decided to leave their conference rather than be with TCU in just over 15 years.

        Here are all the schools that have left a conference to avoid TCU (*-founding member of the conference they left):

        Arkansas*
        Texas*
        Texas A&M*
        Texas Tech
        Houston
        Baylor*
        Army
        Cincinnati*
        DePaul*
        Louisville*
        Marquette*
        Charlotte*
        Saint Louis*
        South Florida*
        BYU*
        New Mexico*
        Utah*
        Wyoming*
        Colorado State
        San Diego State
        AFA
        Nevada
        Utah* (again)
        BYU* (again)

        TCU: BCS Buster, Most Awesome Mascot Award Winner, Conference Killer.

        (I would laugh myself silly if they went to the Big East or Big 12 only to have that conference break up in a couple years.)

        Like

      • loki_the_bubba says:

        “schedule could include Notre Dame, Navy, Army, Utah in addition to already scheduled games vs. Texas, Oregon State, Utah State.”

        http://content.usatoday.com/communities/campusrivalry/post/2010/08/reports-byu-to-leave-mountain-west-become-an-independent-in-football/1

        Not too bad a schedule.

        Like

    • duffman says:

      loki,

      you get the moderation thing if you post more than 1 link.

      the way I get around it is to make the initial post, then make each of the links a reply. otherwise you have to wait till frank puts it through. or something like that.

      Like

  61. Vincent says:

    Any particular reason why Brigham Young would do this? Does it object to playing Boise State? (If you recall, its disdain for Nevada-Las Vegas kept that school in the Big West for many years.) Does it sense going indy will help its recruiting in Utah now that the Utes will go to the soon-to-be Pac-12? Why would the WAC agree to make BYU a member in everything but football? I’m sorry, but I’m baffled by this decision, if it comes to pass.

    Like

    • loki_the_bubba says:

      The only reason I could fathom would be that they believe they can make more from MormonTV than from the MWC contracts.

      Like

      • zeek says:

        This is also a really good point.

        They only make $1.5M per year off the MWC TV contract.

        We all know there were primarily 3 schools bringing in the MWC’s money: BYU, Utah, TCU.

        BYU could probably easily outdo $1.5M as an independent. The only question is if they’d have a path to the BCS…

        Like

    • Daniel "Redhawk" Dayton says:

      Another reason I can think of…is to show the 12-pac and the Big IIX that they (BYU) are available for expansion with no conference tie-ups. (yeah it’s a stretch)

      Like

    • zeek says:

      I think ESPN actually did a good job with this story.
      http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=5472642

      I do think that BYU expected to be an instate pair with Utah in the Pac-10.

      That had been researched a few years ago, but the Pac-10 turned down the idea of Utah/BYU to a Pac-12.

      I think BYU realizes that it would fall behind Utah on the pecking order in the region if it stayed in the MWC, since the MWC essentially went nowhere due to the Boise State-Utah switch, while Utah got the Pac-12 invite.

      Essentially, they want to follow Notre Dame’s lead all those years ago and see if they can build themselves into a power.

      I do think they’d wait to see if they can get a ND style BCS bid if they finish at a certain spot in the rankings.

      If they can’t get that, then it becomes considerably harder to go independent.

      Like

      • Another factor to think about is the limited worst case scenario. Really, what’s the worst that will happen to BYU? They could miss out on a little money for a few years, before the Mountain West eagerly welcomes them back.

        Like

  62. Daniel "Redhawk" Dayton says:

    CSUFootball (Colorado St) tweeted BYU to go independent in football in 2011. Cougars will join the WAC for all other sports. Press conference scheduled for Thursday.

    Then: First Utah leaves the MWC. Now BYU bails? How soon before TCU leaves for greener pastures? Tough times in the MWC.

    CSUFootball the OrangeBloods of the Mtn. West?
    http://twitter.com/CSUFootball

    Like

    • Bamatab says:

      I bet Boise St. is pissed. They left the WAC thinking they would be playing Utah & BYU. I bet they try and find a way to get out of their MWC contract and goe back to the WAC.

      Like

      • Daniel "Redhawk" Dayton says:

        Well, the only way for the MWC to actually stay legit, would be to further raid the WAC..OR the two come to some kind of alignment deal…which put those schools right back where they were before with too many schools and this time with out Utah and BYU

        Like

    • bullet says:

      WAC would be receptive. They’ve talked a while about non-fb members in order to keep enough teams. I suspect Air Force would do the same thing if BYU bailed. Other than fb WAC is very competitive, if not better, than the MWC.

      Maybe this is the top secret BCS plan to keep the MWC from getting a 7th autobid-give BYU games to get them out.

      I don’t see any conference that Texas would want giving Texas such a deal. But I don’t think Texas has serious considered independence, just done due diligence on the possibility.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        And actually, despite the perception, the WAC is generally very compact, more so than the MWC. La Tech and Hawaii are outliers, but SJSU, Fresno, Nevada, Idaho, USU (and Boise) are all pretty tightly packed for a western conference.

        Like

      • bullet says:

        Zeek’s point about Utah getting an advantage is a good one.

        BYU may also figure there is no way the BCS will elevate the MWC into their group. They forced the computers to not consider margin of victory ostensibly to keep coaches from running up the score, but it also made it nearly impossible for non-BCS schools to get highly rated. SOS kills them even if they beat the Utah St.’s by 80 points.

        Like

  63. duffman says:

    Mu Ha Ha Mu Ha Ha,

    it is all part of the master plan to move to my church and state conference:

    ND, BC, Army, Navy + 4 in east Duke, Wake, etc

    BYU, Baylor, TCU, Air Force + 4 in west (rice for loki 🙂 , SMU, ??

    🙂

    Like

  64. zeek says:

    Here’s the Big Ten/Nebraska news out of Delany’s interview with Huskers Sports.

    “Delany said, “I’m sure that we won’t have a ninth game over the next four years” — referring to 2011 through ’14 — during a radio interview on the Husker Sports Network.”

    “Delany also strongly suggested Tuesday night that the divisional outcome will not be an exact east-west split. Ahead of geography on the Big Ten’s list of important principles, he said, is for divisions to be viewed as equally competitive and for the best rivalry/trophy games to be preserved.

    “We didn’t think there’s any way we could achieve principle one and two if we were rigid about geographic contiguity,” Delany said. “We are aware of geography, but we’re not going to be driven by it.””

    And this nugget from Osborne is particularly interesting: “Before Delany was interviewed, Athletic Director Tom Osborne said Nebraska was moving toward creating its own TV network had it stayed in the Big 12, a la Texas, and said, “We probably by 2011 would have had our own network here.””

    http://www.omaha.com/article/20100817/SPORTS/708179839/940

    Like

    • Adam says:

      What I don’t get about this is that rejecting “rigid geographic contiguity” actually makes it harder to preserve the best rivalry/trophy games, because almost all of them are regional in nature (UM/OSU, OSU/PSU, Wis/Ia, Ia/Minn, Minn/Wis, Pur/Ind, etc.).

      Like

      • yahwrite says:

        I’m getting worried that they are actually going to F it up. They’re making it too complicated. Rivalry games are like holidays, special and once a year.

        Like

        • Adam says:

          Write to your university President and AD! (Or, if you prefer, Jim Delany, although he sounds like he’s kind of got his mind made up. You might also reach out to Dr. McRobbie at IU, as he chairs the COP/C now.)

          Like

    • Hodgepodge says:

      That Delany says that a nine-game schedule is not likely to happen until 2015 (at the earliest) matches up pretty well with the second bit of information I posted from the Bucknuts premium board post I referenced yesterday. Specifically, it said that Gene Smith (OSU’s AD) said that Norte Dame wouldn’t be a part of the Big Ten expansion discussion until 2015 at the earliest.

      Chances are that the two bits of information are unrelated and that the 2015 timeframe is purely a coincidence, but you never know.

      Like

      • Hank says:

        @Hodgepodge
        the common factor is likely the Big Ten’s ESPN contract which runs through 2016. Staying at 8 conference games allows the big stadium teams to continue to maximize the number of home games for awhile longer. Then prior to negotiating the next tv contract they can go to 9 conference games and upgrade the game quality by replacing one cannon fodder opponent with another conference game. This would also be the time to address Notre Dame. Conference revenues are going to be increasing between now and 2015, addition of CCG and completeing the pay back to Fox for BTN start up costs, and then set for an anticipated additional big increase with the new contract. That will be the conference’s best time to aproach Notre Dame again.

        Like

        • tt says:

          Except that I was reading a statement (I don’t have the link on me atm) that the Big Ten is open to renegociating its TV deal with ESPN immediately due to the addition of Nebraska

          Like

          • Hank says:

            Ye I saw that as well. But from what I read in that it is simply opening the current contract to recognize the addition of Nebraska. It would not change the length of the deal and would be locked in to ESPN. 2016 is the new contract which will be an open negotiation with competition for ESPN and open to other bidders. The length and overall terms of the new deal will also be a consideration. Opening the current contract will likey provide additional revenue but 2016 would be a competitively bid new contract.

            Like

          • tt says:

            @Hank – Ahh, good pick-up on that

            Really, to help push ND to the Big Ten, Delany should lobby to give BYU similar BCS AQ privilages as ND, BUT that they have to share the 1 bid. As in if both BYU and ND are ranked 8th or better, only 1 of the teams can go to a BCS game. Once BYU gest chosen, the Big Ten can say “if you joined us, you wouldn’t have that problem”

            Like

  65. Wes Haggard says:

    http://tamunews.tamu.edu/2010/08/17/texas-am-fares-well-in-2011-u-s-news-rankings/

    I enjoy that all of you Big Ten folks really appreciate academics. Looks like the SEC may enhance their academic reputation down the road in a year or two.

    Like

    • doogie says:

      Franks comments looked at the bigs, but the real story bubbling up to the top is BYU, the WAC,TCU, and the Big 12/10.

      I think the BYU thing is a flare in the sky to the Big 12…hey come save us. If Texa$ wants them in, forgeddaboudit. They’re in. Need one more for Jerry Jones to fill his big stadium and have a championship game again….hmmm…..snag an independent …

      Like

    • bullet says:

      Is the out of state cost info correct on A&M? That would impact that calculation. US News showed it at 22k, less than U of H and significantly less than UT’s 31k. I thought A&M was 2nd in state in cost after UT.

      Like

  66. mushroomgod says:

    Question for the huudled masses—-Do the US News national academic rankings only take into effect undergraduate rankings? That seems to be the case, as graduate programs are seperately ranked. Thanks in advance for responses–this information is necessary for preparation of the 1st annual Mushroomgod academic rankings….

    Like

    • zeek says:

      Those are just undergraduate rankings for national schools.

      And none of the rankings take into account graduate research as far as I know.

      I.E. the law school rankings etc.

      Like

  67. Daniel "Redhawk" Dayton says:

    I wonder how BYU going independent affects the Conferences and their stability. Personally I’ve thought the Big IIX is pretty stable, as they really have no other choice.

    But BYU going independent to me really shakes the MWC to it’s core. They have lost 2 of their 3 marquee schools, and possibly have lost their shot at becoming a BCS Automatic Qualifying conference. The best solution for the MWC is to take the best of the rest: Houston, Fresno, Nevada-Reno and one more (Utah St, UTEP, SMU, Hawaii, Idaho) and get to 12 teams, and hope that a crappy conference title game brings in enough cash to keep the league semi-credible.

    Like

    • loki_the_bubba says:

      If they lose Utah and BYU, I’m not sure Houston or SMU would have the motivation to leave CUSA. It would be pretty much a lateral move, if not a step down. Plus the travel would get much worse. UTEP might consider it since they are such a geographic outlier. But they’ve made comments about their commitment to CUSA.

      Like

      • loki_the_bubba says:

        “Boise State has the option to return to the WAC without penalty — a nightmare scenario for the MWC”

        http://espn.go.com/blog/dallascolleges/post/_/id/4669393/if-byu-gone-mwc-must-go-on-offensive

        Could we see the MWC, on the cusp of BCS status only months ago, implode rapidly?

        Like

        • M says:

          From the article:

          “However, ESPN.com’s Andy Katz reports that Nevada and Fresno State, approached by the MWC on Tuesday, have agreed to stay in the WAC.”

          I bet they know something or at least are willing to play wait and see.

          The MWC might go from 4 BCSish worthy programs to 1 in two months and TCU is almost certainly looking to jump ship as well. They might even take a WAC invite as this point (Boise State+Nevada+Hawaii is much better than Air Force+Colorado State+UNLV).

          Like

          • tt says:

            Read the article: “Once Boise State left, the remaining WAC members — Fresno State, Louisiana Tech, New Mexico State, San Jose State, Hawaii, Idahos, Nevada and Utah State — signed a $5 million buyout agreement that would be assessed to any member that left the conference within the next five years” I highly doubt either Nevada or Fresno State can afford that buyout. Plus, it’s not like the MWC is raking in the kind of cash the Big Ten is. NU can afford to jump ship because of the windfall they’re going to get in a couple years, that won’t be the case for any WAC school going to the MWC

            Like

          • zeek says:

            Wow, this possible MWC implosion is quite stunning. Who could have predicted that Utah getting the Pac-10 invite could set off all these dominoes.

            Like

          • This is just like the relative safety of the Big 12 vs. the Big East all over again. Everyone assumed the Big East was in real danger, but its weakness turned out to be a strength as the programs weren’t desirable enough.

            Now we might have the Mountain West fall apart because it’s most desirable pieces saw greener pastures elsewhere while the weaker WAC remains more stable.

            Like

      • loki_the_bubba says:

        May be even harder for MWC to reload…

        “Once Boise State left, the remaining WAC members — Fresno State, Louisiana Tech, New Mexico State, San Jose State, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada and Utah State — signed a $5 million buyout agreement that would be assessed to any member that left the conference within the next five years. The schools took that move to keep other members from following the Broncos to the MWC.”

        http://espn.go.com/blog/dallascolleges/post/_/id/4669393/if-byu-gone-mwc-must-go-on-offensive

        Plus:
        “The move, sources said Wednesday, is not contingent upon BYU getting a seat at the BCS table like football independent Notre Dame, which receives an automatic berth if it finishes in the top eight of the BCS standings. Furthermore, BYU is aware that it might not be afforded the same status as Notre Dame in the BCS.”

        Like

        • Daniel "Redhawk" Dayton says:

          wow. Especially the last one.

          Like

          • zeek says:

            Yeah, both of those are somewhat shocking tidbits.

            We probably should have been paying more attention out west to that, but it wasn’t on the radar with the Big 12-2 situation going on…

            BYU being willing to move regardless of its spot at the BCS table is pretty impressive in terms of how prepared they believe themselves to be in going down the independence route.

            Like

  68. M says:

    Great article out of SLC from 3 weeks ago:
    http://www.ksl.com/?nid=272&sid=11802079

    Basically, BYU is better prepared for going independent than anyone. They already have the TV channel, state-of-the-art TV studio, and top-notch portable broadcasting capability. Their channel currently goes out to almost 100 million households.

    Even more revealing, last year they broadcasted 60 live sports events on that channel in HD.

    BYU is more ready now than Texas hopes to be in 5 years when they go independent.

    Like

    • Hopkins Horn says:

      I think Texas is further along than you might suspect, but, yes, BYU has been lurking in the background, all ready to go with nationwide distribution already in place, and none of us noticed it.

      Wonder if this means DirecTV wiill move the BYU channel to the sports tier. 🙂

      Like

      • Hopkins Horn says:

        And to give the conspiracy nuts something to chew over:

        Who is BYU scheduled to play in 2011, during its (presumably) first season of independence?

        Texas.

        Coincidence? I think not.

        Like

        • zeek says:

          I wouldn’t be surprised if BYU had discussed this with Texas and Notre Dame.

          All of these “coincidences” are way too perfectly set up.

          Like

          • Hopkins Horn says:

            Gee, Zeek, I knew someone would reach for the tinfoil hat. I just didn’t think it’d be you. 🙂

            Like

          • zeek says:

            Well, that part of it is just a coincidence (the Texas game).

            But discussing it with Notre Dame is a no brainer. I wouldn’t be surprised if they get the same BCS deal as ND got.

            Like

      • Nostradamus says:

        Agreed. Heck Nebraska admitted last night that had they stayed in the Big 12 they would’ve had their own network in 2011.

        Like

    • schwarm says:

      Plus being private, no state politics to deal with.

      Like

  69. drwillini says:

    With all the talk about travel and divisional alignment, I have found a poll that the illiniboard people have given to the all the football players interesting. The ask all the players a series of questions, one of which is “what is your favorite road trip.” Almost to a man, they say Penn St. Guess there is no east/west issue here.

    Like

    • Adam says:

      Why wouldn’t the players say that? They get a free trip and it’s basically someone else’s job to figure out how they can make the trip and still be given time to do their school work. Just because they like going on the trip doesn’t mean it is what is in their best interest.

      Like

  70. cutter says:

    According to the University of Michigan Athletic Department budget for FY 2011 (ends 30 June 2011), the Big Ten Conference is looking at making total conference distributions of $22.196M per program ($244.156M total to eleven conference members). See http://www.regents.umich.edu/meetings/06-10/2010-6-X-17.pdf

    The distribusions are categorized in this manner:

    Television (Football & Basketball) – $16.597M ($8.8M from ABC/ESPN/CBS and $7.8M from BTN)
    NCAA Basketball Based Distributions – $3.068M
    Football Bowl Games – $2.131M
    Other Miscellaneous – $400K

    With the Big Ten Conference Championship game going up to bid and the confernce looking at renogiating its television deal with ABC/ESPN, what does FY 2012 look like in terms of conference distributions with Nebraska a full-fledged member of the conference?

    According to the Indiana Business Journal, Big Ten officials have had discussions with ABC/ESPN, Fox and CBS for the game. NBC and Turner Broadcasting have also expressed interest. The conference could get up to $20M for the media rights to the game–that might translate to roughly $1.5M per school. See http://www.ibj.com/big-ten-wants-20-million-in-tv-money-for-football-title-game/PARAMS/article/21726

    Assuming the NCAA Basketball Based Distributions, the Football Bowl Game revenue and the Other Revenues remain relatively static (let’s give them 3% growth for FY 2012), that brings up the question about television revenues from ABC/ESPN and the Big Ten Network going forward.

    Over the last three years, these have been the payouts from television revenue for each school:

    Year 2007-8 2008-9 2009-10
    ABC/ESPN/CBS $7,736,192 $8,086,305 $8,426,000
    BTN Distribution $6,125,000 $6,308,750 $6,461,000
    TOTAL $13,861,192 $14,395,055 $14,887,000

    Also keep in mind that the recent contract between ABC/ESPN and the ACC increased the sum the conference received from $72M to $155M per year–see http://sports.espn.go.com/ncaa/news/story?id=5363743

    That increased each ACC school’s share from $6M per year to $12.9M per year–that’s nearly $7M. Keep in mind that the ACC contract includes both football and basketball plus the ACC football championship game, so its not exactly comparing apples and oranges. But it does provide an idea of the type of money the Big Ten might be looking at from ABC/ESPN with the addition of Nebraska.

    The current ABC/ESPN contract with the Big Ten pays $100M per year for ten years (through 2015), but it has an escalator clause so that the payments are backloaded, so the payments in the second half of the contract are more than the first half. If the Big Ten is able to get perhaps $150M per year from ABC/ESPN for football only (doesn’t include basketball or football confernce championship game), then we’re looking at $12.5M for each of the twelve schools (up from $8.8M in FY 2012).

    So here’s my back of the napkin guesstimate on the Big Ten conference distributions for FY 2012:

    Television (Football & Basketball) – $20.5M ($12.5M from ABC/ESPN/CBS and $8.0M from BTN)
    NCAA Basketball Based Distributions – $3.164M (3% increase)
    Football Bowl Games – $2.194M (3% increase)
    Other Miscellaneous – $412K (3% increase)
    Conference Championship Game – $1.5M

    That comes out to around $27.77M. I’m sure you can play with the numbers and come up with estimates below and above this figure–anything between $25M and $30M might well be in the ballpark.

    To give you an idea of how much television in general has changed the Big Ten Conference distributions, here’s what past Michigan Athletic Department budgets have reported (figure in brackens is amount from television for basketball and football):

    FY 2002 – $8.93M ($5.65M)

    FY 2003 – $10.08M ($5.75M)

    FY 2004 – $10.70M ($6.12M)

    FY 2005 – $10.66M ($6.27M)

    FY 2006 – $10.68M ($6.14M)

    FY 2007 – $14.04M ($9.37M)

    FY 2008 – $18.79 ($13.93M)

    FY 2009 – $19.17M ($14.43M)

    FY 2010 – $19.97M ($14.89M)

    FY 2011 (projected in UM AD budget) – $22.20M ($16.60M)

    FY 2012 (my guesstimate) – $27.77M ($20.50M)

    Obviously, the ABC/ESPN contract that was signed in 2006 plus the introduction of the Big Ten Network has changed the situation dramatically (to go along with the growing popularity in college sports, particularly football). When you look at the change between FY 2006 and FY 2008, it gets pretty dramatic (an increase of $8.11M per year per school).

    FY 2012 might not be as dramatic because the conference is adding an additional member, so the pie gets another slice. But the implications are interesting when it comes to expansion and the attractiveness of having an individual team network (like Bevo TV or BYU TV) versus what a conference-wide network can provide.

    Like

  71. jj says:

    Crazy Question:

    Should Big Jim pick up the phone and talk to BYU about becoming an outpost?

    Academics and athletics are there and it might quell ND’s concerns about being the only religious school in the conference.

    Just saying, I’ve heard crazier ones.

    Like

  72. Wow! Just when we thought things were done for awhile. Nothing has gone as expected. The PAC-10, with the biggest hurdles to expansion (unanimous vote required and everyone wanting to play both southern California teams each year) went first. The Big Ten with its network, went for the national name instead of a big market. The Mountain West went from possibly receiving new members to crumbling and BYU is actually going to leave it for the WAC in other sports. Truly amazing what a couple of months can do.

    Like

    • tt says:

      personally, I’ve enjoyed that for the most part it’s been unexpected. just when we all thought we had it all figured out, something out of left-field would pop up

      Like

      • Kinds of goes to show you this is all still being done by human beings, both the speculating and the decisions.

        Like

        • tt says:

          True. Also, as a system (to think in engineering or business terms), it shows how complex this whole issue is. It is nearly impossible to derive every single possible scenario because there are 132 stake-holders, all with their own objectives (120 BCS schools, 11 BCS conferences, 1 BCS commitee)

          Like

          • StvInIL says:

            And its not all happening in a vacuum. Some of these programs have to make a move just to stay even at where they are at. And while you’re at it why not make a move that is considered an improvement over all if possible.

            Like

  73. Doug says:

    When Delany says his #1 priority is to maintain competitive balance, it’s a cloaked way of saying it’s all about TV money. The networks want two of the four top brands (OSU, PSU, Neb and Mich) in the BT championship game every year, so they’ll split those teams up, two per division. And as a back-up plan, they’ll also split up Iowa and Wisconsin to cover their butts in case the top two teams in a division falter in a season.
    TV will also want as many top games as possible, so they’ll cross-protect games among the top six teams.
    I see Ohio St, Penn St and Wisconsin in one division, and Mich, Neb and Iowa in the other, with cross-protection games being: Ohio St-Mich, Penn St-Neb, and Iowa-Wisc. On the final week of the season, I think Ohio St vs Penn St will be the featured ABC early game, and Iowa vs Neb the 3:30 ET game. I think the other divisional rivalry games on the last weekend will be Mich vs Mich St, Purdue vs Ind, Northwestern vs Illinois, and Wisc vs Minn. I see OSU, PSU, Wisc, Minn, Illinois and Northwestern in one division, to maintain the following rivalries: Indiana-Mich St, OSU-Illinois and OSU-Wisc. I think the other three protected cross-rivalries will be: Indiana-Illinois, Purdue-Northwestern and Minn-MSU. This last game isn’t a real rivalry; but Minn, unfortunately, only has rivalries with teams that are better than them (Iowa, Wisc, Mich, and PSU), and the TV execs don’t want to feature one-sided games.
    With the above set-up, TV will be guaranteed to get the following big-time games yearly: OSU vs Mich, OSU vs Penn St, OSU vs Wisc, Mich vs Neb, Mich vs Iowa, Penn St vs Neb, Penn St vs Wisc, Iowa vs Neb, and Iowa vs Wisc. Thus, each of the top six teams would get at least three games against top six opponents every year. And the bottom six teams would each get at least three games against bottom-feeders, so the conference games would tend to be more competitive than they are now.

    Like

    • Doug says:

      TV execs want OSU and Mich in opposite divisions to allow for the possibility of a rematch, so this means that OSU and Penn St need to be in the same division to maintain that rivalry.

      Like

    • Adam says:

      This is a good example of what pisses me off, and what I had thought the Big Ten wouldn’t let itself be governed by. The TV networks can go piss up a rope; the Big Ten can do as it pleases and will make plenty of money. We should not be doing a single damn thing to appease the TV networks; if anything, I would like them to do the least TV-friendly thing possible just to show who is in charge here. TV can go piss up a rope.

      Like

      • tt says:

        I honestly don’t see the problem with creating divisions which allow for schedules that are TV-friendly. The Big Ten has some awesome brands and awesome matchups, why not create an alignment which allows us to show that off as often as possible? Right now, the medium to share our storied matchups with the rest of the country is the TV, I don’t know why you want to fight that

        Like

        • Adam says:

          My argument would be they’re awesome precisely because they’re tradition-based. TV wants to show them because the schools don’t care what TV wants. When they start caring what TV wants, they are much less attractive.

          As Booster said, when you let the financial people dictate the product, they ruin the product. This is a perfect example of that.

          Like

          • tt says:

            For arranging OSU and Michigan, there’s basically 3 possibilities:
            1) East-West Divide: put them in the same conference as Penn State. This will create a Big12 situation where Nebraska’s the lone anchor on the west
            2) East-West, Penn State in the West: not really fair to Penn State to make them play all of their games against opponents as far away as possible
            3) PSU/OSU vs Mich/Neb: splits up the 4 big name schools, creates equality in the conference

            sometimes, at the end of the day, you have to do what’s best for the conference

            also, it’s not like ohio state’s just going to up and stop playing michigan, that game will always be protected

            Like

          • Adam says:

            Not good enough. Gotta play for the same title. Gotta be in each other’s way to get where you want to go. That is what makes a rivalry crackle.

            What’s best for the conference is preserving rivalries. “Balance” should, at most, be required to pass a smell test, and Nebraska-Wisconsin-Iowa is close enough to OSU-Michigan-PSU; sufficiently close, at any rate, that jeopardizing important rivalries is not worth messing with it.

            Like

    • tt says:

      I was talking about divisions with a friend last week and this is exactly the alignment we came up with. As much as people want OSU and Michigan in the same division, this alignment splits up the top 4 brands, splits up the next tier (iowa and wisc), provides all the big matchups the tv execs want, maintains rivalries, and somewhat makes geographical sense (you’re not splitting up teams from the same state). Plus, that last weekend will be all big match ups and rivalry games

      Like

    • mnfanstc says:

      Come on now, Doug… regarding Minnesota and their rivalries… the ONLY long term rivalry Minn is upside down in is versus Michigan, and virtually every school is upside down against them. Even in the shortest of the 4 rivalries (PSU since ’93), Minn is only upside down by 3 games.

      Maybe if you live outside of MN, WI, or Iowa (or are not an alum of these schools) these games don’t mean much. Everyone I know that is an alum, or resident of these states knows the significance of these rivalries.

      BTW, for many years Wi and Ia (among others) were fodder for the Gophers.

      Like

      • Doug says:

        I meant no offense. I was giving the TV execs’ position, pointing out that Minny hasn’t been good for awhile (since 1993, only Indiana has a worse conference record than Minny).

        Like

        • StvInIL says:

          I may be wrong but also over the last eight years or so, Indi has had better athletes. While Minnesota has always had good O-lineman and above average running backs, it has not been that evident over this period. Funny thing is Minnesota does better with the W’s.

          Like

  74. Hodgepodge says:

    At update to the Bucknuts post I cited up the board:

    http://blog.dispatch.com/buckeyesblog/2010/08/smith_says_no_osumichigan_deci.shtml

    *****
    Smith says no OSU-Michigan decision reached
    The Ohio State football blogosphere was abuzz today after a bucknuts.com message board post claimed that OSU athletics director Gene Smith told some students at a seminar that he “expects” the Ohio State-Michigan game to be moved to early November and that the OSU and UM would be placed in opposite divisions once a 12-team Big Ten begins play next year.

    Not so, Smith told the Dispatch this evening.

    He said his comments were misconstrued. He said the Big Ten has not reached a decision about divisional alignment or the timing of the OSU-Michigan game. All he was doing was laying out the possible scenarios involving the future of the OSU-Michigan rivalry — that the schools either would be in the same division or wouldn’t and that that would still play the final regular-season week or not. He said when he answered a question about the possibility of OSU and Michigan being in different divisions and playing earlier, the student must have misinterpreted that as being the scenario that had been settled upon.

    Smith said he had “no clue” which scenario will be adopted and that a decision is expected to be reached by the end of this month or early September. School officials had a conference call last Friday and are still in the data-gathering stage, Smith said.

    He said his overriding concern involving the Ohio State-Michigan game is that the game be played every year. That is unlikely to be an issue. It’s virtually a given that the Big Ten’s biggest rivalry will be played every year.

    “All I know is I went into this thing (insisting) we’ve got to play every single year,” Smith said. “I was going into the meetings open-minded to ensure we do what’s best for conference from that point on.”

    He said the school officials dealing with realignment have been working together smoothly.

    “I’m highly confident that in the end we’ll all be happy,” he said.

    *****

    Like

    • jj says:

      MLB would never split the BoSox and Yankees. Spliting UM and OSU makes no sense. None.

      Like

      • Adam says:

        If anything, splitting up the Yankees and BoSox would make more sense than this. If they’re in separate divisions of the American League, they’ll still play each other 10-ish times a year, which will quite possibly reduce the national fatigue that attends 18-odd regular season games a year, plus it wouldn’t seriously affect whether they might end up facing in the playoffs.

        Like

        • StvInIL says:

          Being in the same division with the NY Yanks has got to be a huge drain. The Yankees’ spend money like its monopoly money. I don’t see how it would actually hurt the Red Sox. They can actually save by acquiring people late in the season when it looks like they have a chance other than coming in with an armada of spending. I actually don’t see why the UM and OSU fans have their panties tied up in a wad. They WILL play each year and it will be a good game. It’s the casual fans who will decide how significant that game is. It’s a much better game when it decides something. I know OUS and UM fans won’t agree, Just saying.

          Like

    • Adam says:

      I am really frustrated with Gene Smith. The reason the blogs are abuzz with this is that he isn’t writing this off as an absolutely ridiculous outcome that he will not stand for and will vigorously argue against if it ever comes up in discussion.

      Until he takes that stance, he deserves to be the butt of criticism and the focus of anxiety over this issue. Whether his remarks were misconstrued as to what he “expects” or not, what people want to hear is what he wants and, perhaps more importantly, what he rejects.

      Like

      • Hodgepodge says:

        It’s true that Gene Smith is keeping this an open topic– not so much by what he says, but what he doesn’t say. Basically, at this point he is saying that he wants to make certain that OSU-Michigan doesn’t become OU-Nebraska. He has not said that wants to make certain that they are in the same division nor that they play the last weekend of the season. As usual, media members are not asking the right questions.

        Keep in mind, though, that although blame may indeed rest at Smith’s feet if this ends up occurring, it’s also entirely possible that he’s just following orders from Gee and the trustees.

        Like

        • Adam says:

          Then he can say that, too. “I’m just following my marching orders.”

          I’d like someone to take some responsibility. Instead they’re operating behind closed doors and issue generalities, then when they make a decision it’ll be presented as a fait accompli which the COP/C will rubber-stamp. That’s bullshit.

          Like

  75. loki_the_bubba says:

    “all is quiet on the conference realignment front”
    – Frank the Tank
    – August 13, 2010

    This should teach you a lesson on ignoring non-AQ conferences…

    Like

  76. Playoffs Now says:

    Get kicked off a team for drugs? No problem, come to Nebraska!

    (Because, ya know, unethical Texas is what’s wrong with college football…)

    http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=5470903

    Like

    • schwarm says:

      FWIW, he will be paying his own way until spring, which will give Bo and staff some time to see if he is committed to straightening out.

      BTW, UNL kicked one of their RB’s off the team last year for more or less the same issue.

      Like

  77. Doug says:

    If the Big Ten feared a major public outcry from Mich, OSU and Minny fans over the above plan I’ve presented, they might consider appeasing those fans with the following compromise alignment, that preserves OSU-Mich as is and gives Minny two protected traditional rivals. This plan protects tradition and rivalries better, but has fewer marquee games. OSU, Mich, Wisc, Minn, Northwestern and Illinois in one division. The final rivalry weekend would be OSU vs Mich, Neb vs Iowa, Penn St vs MSU, Wisc vs Minn, Northwestern vs Illinois, and Indiana vs Purdue. Cross-protection rivalries would be: OSU vs Penn St, Mich vs MSU, Wisc vs Neb, Minn vs Iowa, Northwestern vs Purdue, and Indiana vs Illinois.
    Marquee games every year would be: OSU vs Mich, OSU vs Penn St, OSU vs Wisc, Wisc vs Neb, Neb vs Penn St, Penn St vs Iowa, Iowa vs Neb, and Mich vs Wisc.
    In this plan, Mich only plays one of the other top four brands, and Iowa only plays two of the top six. Plus, the TV execs lose a chance at the extra revenue of a Mich-OSU rematch.
    Though I don’t really like the idea of TV execs dictating alignment, I have to admit that I like the idea of having as many of the top teams play each other as possible. Rivalries like Minn vs their four rivals (Iowa, Mich, Wisc and PSU, and they also have a history with Neb) don’t excite me, as they’ve become one-sided and are probably going to remain so. But on the other hand, without those rivalries, what exactly do Minny fans have to get excited about?

    Like

    • Adam says:

      What excites me is the Big Ten doing right by its history. Whether or not the game finishes 85-0 on an annual basis is immaterial.

      Like

    • mnfanstc says:

      Hunting, fishing (both on liquid H2O and the frozen kind)……Twins, Vikings, Wild… Gopher’s women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s hockey, wrestling, baseball… Since 2000 (in B10), only Penn State has more NCAA team sport championships.

      Historically in the Big Ten, only Michigan and tOSU have more conference football titles and mNat’lChampionships than Minnesota. These facts are NOT lost amongst many alum or Minnesota fans. The University did NOT build a new state of the art, on-campus stadium for crickets to live in…

      Hey, the Big Ten is a collection of great schools with great histories… quit bashin’ on ’em…

      Like

      • @mnfanstc – My apologies for this Tweet from tonight – it was done in the heat of anger:

        Like

        • m (Ag) says:

          If you’re making that trade, I’d hope you at least hold out for the entire province of British Columbia!

          Like

          • @m (Ag) – Don’t need the whole province, although adding in Whistler and Victoria would be nice. Frankly, I just want to ship them out at all costs like an NBA expiring contract.

            Like

          • @m (Ag) – It’s a good thing that this MWC/WAC/BYU craziness came up today because it’s been fun to see all the old regulars return here. Otherwise, my vitriol on the Favre/Twins beating down the White Sox again combo would be a thousand times worse.

            Like

        • mnfanstc says:

          Hey, Frank, no apologies necessary… I could do without the Favre drama myself… Either play or don’t…

          As far as the Twins… gotta love’em!! 😉

          … Gophers FB … I keep hopin’ they’ll step back up to the Big Boy table…

          Like

      • Doug says:

        I wasn’t bashing them, just pointing out that they haven’t had a good football team for awhile, so they need to keep their exciting rivalries intact where possible. I meant no offense.

        Like

  78. StvInIL says:

    About one of the writers I like to hate, Pat Forde. Note what he mentions about conference cannibalism and the big ten. See if he left out any facts here?

    http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/columns/story?columnist=forde_pat&id=5477131

    And in the bigger-is-better world of college sports, the painful side effects trickle down to the weak. The ACC attacked the Big East, which responded by gutting Conference USA. The Big Ten nearly poached the Big 12 out of existence. And once the Pac-10 destabilized the Mountain West by pilfering Utah, that left the MWC and WAC in an eye-gouging struggle to survive.
    “In today’s intercollegiate environment,” Benson said, “[raiding other leagues] has become fairly routine and fairly standard.”
    This week, that standard operating procedure killed a brotherhood.

    Like

    • yahwrite says:

      Ya, I noticed that when I first read it. Now he could have said the Big Ten destabilized the environment by announcing they were considering expansion in December, but the Pac-10 nearly poached the Big 12 out of existence, and the SEC would have if Texas were willing.

      Like

      • StvInIL says:

        As I recalled The Big Ten was greatly interested in Texas. This was their big emphasis on “changing sun belt demographics” story. While we were fortunate to have Nebraska role into our laps, the plan was one possibly two teams from the big 12 at best. Now many would have defected to the Pac 10 from the big 12?

        Like

  79. Doug says:

    For comedy relief, here’s what U of Miami fans take pride in: making “iligitamate” babies.

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/440431-an-early-look-at-miami-vs-ohio-state#page/11

    “The one thing I will say though is that Randy, as bad a game day coach as he may arguably be, spent years at “The U”! And, by “The U” I mean those bad ass teams in the eighties that used to walk into opposing top tier (see Michigan, and Notre Dame in the ’80s) stadiums, knock over the garbage cans, have their way with underage daughters, and walk home to a victory leaving jay walking tickets, unpaid burger joint tabs, and iligitamate children in their wake! If anyone can bring the “swag”, which I hate using that over used term but it seems fitting, Its my man Randy #22!”

    Like

  80. Doug says:

    Bleacher Report is embarrassing.

    Like

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