Big East Schools Agree to Expand to 10 Football Teams

Posted: November 2, 2010 in Big East, College Basketball, College Football, Sports
Tags: , , ,

News is trickling out from the Big East meetings that the university presidents have agreed to expand to its football league to 10 members.  (See Tweets from Stewart Mandel and Pat Forde.)  The conference has temporarily refuted my pessimistic concern that it would elevate Villanova alone as opposed to adding TCU (which I thought was a no-brainer back in February), although there’s still plenty of time for the current Big East members to mess that up.  If I were to guess today which 2 schools would be added, I’d say TCU and either Villanova (as a move-up from the FCS level to FBS) or Temple in order to keep some semblance of a Northeastern tilt.  There also definitely won’t be a split between the football members and the Catholic schools.  Without a Penn State/Notre Dame-type addition, there aren’t any potential football additions that would bring enough revenue to compensate for the loss of the large markets in the Big East basketball contract.  I’m not saying those are the right decisions for the Big East – this is just my semi-educated prediction as to where I think the conference will end up.  I’ll certainly be writing more about this story as it unfolds, but in the meantime, what does everyone else think?

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

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Comments
  1. jj says:

    hawks are number 1!

    at least better that sparty on one fateful day.

    Like

  2. Mark says:

    Isn’t that decision up to the basketball schools on if they want to split. I know that when the BE expanded in the past, the additions of MU and Depaul were to keep the balance of 8 and 8. Also I thought I read where the Big East bball teams would retain the name. I just can’t see the BE all bball schools giving up their balance of 8 and 8… Your thoughts? Also, I come from a biased view that would love to see the split and a school like Xavier added to the all bball.

    Like

    • @Mark – I think both the Catholic and football schools need each other. The football schools still depend upon basketball money more than any other BCS conference and aren’t going to give that up in a split if it’s not clear that’s going to yield more dollars. On the other side, the Catholic schools want the association with a BCS conference, where even where they’re not football members, they get a “major conference” boost in perception compared to, say, the Atlantic 10 or WCC. To the extent that the Catholic schools want to preserve the hybrid (and I believe that they definitely do, especially the old line Big East members like Villanova, Georgetown and St. John’s) and understand that a football expansion is necessary to do that, then the voting imbalance is something that they’re willing to compromise on. Note that the BE voting wasn’t balanced when Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College were still in the league (it was 8-6 in favor of the football schools), so it’s not unprecedented.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        I don’t think the fb schools need the bb schools. Other than Georgetown and Villanova, where is the value? If Seton Hall, Providence, DePaul, St. John’s and Marquette were to drop to Division III tomorrow and Notre Dame were to join the B10, would the basketball contract be any different? With UConn, SU and Rutgers, they blanket NYC-so no need for SH or SJ. Providence market is not that big. They’d lose Chicago, but how much of that do they have anyway? And they could certainly keep ND if they wanted.

        You would still have UConn, Syracuse, Cincy and Louisville who are on just about anyone’s top 15 programs. And then there are Pitt and WVU which have been good in recent years. Rutgers and USF to make everyone else look good. Villanova seems likely to move up. They lose Georgetown, but they are splitting TV 9 ways instead of 16.

        And its long been discussed that there was a deal after the ACC raid to allow the fb schools to leave with their share of the NCAA tourney money after a 5 year period, so its doubtful that is an issue.

        Also, I think all of the programs would be stronger if they split. For example, if the B10 were to go to 16 with UT, ND, FL and Miami, it could be a disaster. The 16 team BE has been bad for basketball for Seton Hall, St. John’s, DePaul, Providence, Rutgers and USF. I’m not sure it hasn’t hurt Cincy and Louisville also.

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        • Richard says:

          Yes, DePaul & Marquette do provide incremental value in terms of providing new markets that wouldn’t care about the BE at all if they were gone (otherwise, why would the BE have taken in those bball only schools in the first place?). It also wasn’t that long ago that Marquette was contending for Final Fours. StJ gives you a physical presence in NYC. Since both the football & basketball dollars are rather small for the BE, you don’t really gain much from trying to leave behind a handful of members. A few hundred thousand dollars really isn’t worth the acrimony, angst, and hassle of destroying some old relationships (and as you mentioned, Georgetown & ND will have to come along anyway, so you still wouldn’t have a football-only conference, so what’s the point?)

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          • JB says:

            I disagree. Are you trying to tell me that because MU and DePaul were added to the BE that now more people are watching rivalries like Syracuse vs. Georgetown or Syracuse vs. UConn or Pitt vs. WVU? Please. That’s just stupid. Their addition into the BE was an absolute mistake. Their value is marginal as they are situated in the middle of B10 country. I hope they both get kicked out and are replaced with schools that actually have a revenue-generating athletic PROGRAM.

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          • Richard says:

            You’re thinking like a fan and not like an AD (much less a president). Kicking out those schools would net you maybe a few hundred thousand bucks. Worth the hassle and recriminations? Possibly to a fan. Not to an AD or university president.

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    • Richard says:

      The bball schools just don’t want to be hurt. They’d certainly prefer more football schools being added to the football schools threatening to walk away to form their own league (and in football, the rising cost of guarantee games makes more conference games for midlevel leagues like the BE more appealing than ever before). In other words, the bball schools aren’t as opposed to expansion as the football schools are for it.

      Like

  3. jj says:

    these guys need to simplify.

    i think we’re looking at TCU and Nova.

    the Beast should rename itself something like The Big Unwieldy

    Like

  4. M says:

    lol it’s easy to tell something’s up when the “Big East Expansion/Split” board (http://ncaabbs.com/forumdisplay.php?fid=637&page=1) crashes).

    Like

  5. HerbieHusker says:

    ADD

    Like

  6. m (Ag) says:

    Come on, Iowa State, Missouri, Kansas, and Kansas State!

    This is your big chance to make a move! You don’t know for sure if UT/OU won’t change their minds in the next few years! You have your chance to keep your rivalries and ensure a respectable payout!

    Like

    • jj says:

      they’ve got the nuke button right now if you ask me.

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      • m (Ag) says:

        Well, if they don’t move now they may find themselves in a bad spot in a few years.

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        • Richard says:

          I think they can move in a few years as well. I mean, I can’t see even a super-expanded BE turning down Mizzou & KU (and KSU) if they come a-knocking.

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        • jj says:

          I agree. I think you have 2 sets of schools looking for a pal here. The remaining dwarves do not seem to be respected by their southern brethren, whom have their own issues. And the older football schools in the beast are terrified of being left behind and being raided. It’s interesting, that’s for sure. Doing this would not require divesting the bb schools, but it sure would get huge in a hurry.

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      • Mike says:

        Missouri and KU should be the Big East’s #1 and #2 target. Even if they have no intention of jumping, MU and KU could use a little leverage with the Big 12.

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        • Richard says:

          Not sure
          1. They’d get much leverage, since the Big12 wouldn’t lose too much money if MU, KU, & KSU left & were replaced by BYU (the big dogs Texas, OU, and TAMU would likely still get $20M).

          2. They’d even want to leave. Picking up the scraps left over by Texas is still far more lucrative than getting the Big East’s paltry TV revenue. Plus, their recruiting pipelines in to Texas would be cut.

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          • Mike says:

            The Big East should target MU and KU. They’d be crazy not to.
            For Missouri, it comes down to how much risk they are assuming to stay in the Big 12 and what is the premium for accepting that risk. They were very close to being left behind last June. The Big East may not be their ideal home, but it MAY be on a more solid foundation.
            Missouri has to ask itself. How does Beebe plan to get the “Big Three” their $20M? How much of it will come at the expense of the “little seven?” Can the Big East get the money close? How stable is the Big East? Are we happy to still be in a conference we wanted to leave and are, effectively, a second class citizen in?
            The Big East has its issues, but without Missouri (and the biggest market not in Texas) the Big 12 starts looking a lot more like the SWC and we already know how Texas feels about that. I am not sure BYU is an adequate replacement (if they are so good why aren’t they there now?). At worst, Missouri and KU might be able to turn a Big East offer into some concessions from Texas. Why? It’s getting harder and harder for Texas to find a home for all of its hangars on. Texas is tied to A&M, Tech, and Baylor by the legislature, and Oklahoma (and by extension OSU) by finances, tradition, or whatever. What conference can come up with a financial model to absorb 6 schools and improve everyone’s bottom line? In order for that to happen (assuming equal revenue sharing) it means the Texas market must be worth at least $120M to a conference already paying out $20M per. If they leave OU (and OSU) behind, it lowers the bar to $80M. Still tough.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Again, even the dregs in the Big12 get several times the TV payout that the BE schools get, so why would any of the northern Big12 schools jump now? And what are the benefits? “Stability”? I don’t know why anyone would think the BE (in any incarnation) would be more “stable” than the Big12 as it is now. Even if the Big12 falls apart, is it conceivable that the BE would reject Mizzou and KU if they needed a home?

            To give another example, say the ACC had unequal revenue sharing and the Sun Belt is stable. Would you advise Wake Forest to jump from the ACC to the Sun Belt because the SEC & BigTen may raid the ACC and make it fall apart? The BE’s payouts are actually closer to the Sun Belt’s than they are to the Big12’s.

            Like

          • Mike says:

            It changes your hypothetical if the Sun Belt was a BCS conference.

            For as long as the Big 12 existed it is been Missouri’s best option. However, what happens next year? They are not guaranteed to make same amount of money. Texas, A&M, and OU were promised $20M. If this year’s TV contract negotiations (remember its only the FSN games not the ABC contract) don’t produce the windfall Beebe predicted how much is left over for the little seven? If the money drops to the Big East level, where is Missouri better off? If they still feel they are better off in the Big 12 can they use the threat of a Big East move to improve their standing?

            Like

          • @Mike – Well, if Big 12 revenues drop to Big East levels, then sure – all bets are off at that point. However, I think reasonably speaking it’s highly unlikely that will happen even with the various promises to UT, A&M and OU. I believe that Dan Beebe completely oversold the value of the Big 12 going forward, but as dysfunctional as it might be, the league still brings a good amount to the table with 2 legit anchor schools in UT and OU along with a good #3 fan base in A&M. The Big East hasn’t had an anchor school since Miami left and that will always be a drain on its potential revenue. Nebraska (with its national marquee name) and Colorado (a flagship in a fast growing state) had inherent strengths over the other Big 8 schools and left for leagues with plenty of quality anchors (Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan, USC). It’s not quite as easy of a move to cut ties with Texas and Oklahoma when the alternative conference’s most attractive opponent on an annual basis is probably West Virginia.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            It’s doubtful that even the dregs of the B12 will get a payout as low as what the BE schools get. Remember that the BE TV payout is puny ($2.3M for each football school, to be exact). Under current contracts, the Big12 gets $80M in TV money: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/stewart_mandel/07/24/tv-deals/index.html.

            Even if you give a conservative estimate that the TV deal will rise to $100M, even with $20M going to the 3 big dogs, that’s $40M left for the other 7 schools, which would still be more on average than what the BE pays out (heck, even $20M/7 is more than what each BE football schools currently gets).

            Like

          • jj says:

            There is also something to be said for being a big fish in a small pond. The dwarves will never likely eclipse tu or ou, but west Virginia? Sure they could.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Yeah. That’s why Miami is itching to jump back to the Big East.

            Like

    • Michael in Indy says:

      Actually, it seems to me like the BE could, in theory, invite Mizzou, Kansas, and K-State, but I see no motive for them to take Iowa State. I mean that with no disrespect to ISU; it’s just that they have no real football cache outside of rare upsets of UNL and Texas. They carry almost no market. They’re a good but not great basketball program, and they’re not tied to another, more enticing program like K-State is.

      Like

    • allthatyoucantleavebehind says:

      Wow. That would be insane. The best bball conference (recently) would become even better…cut into some of the Big 10 bball territory…and football would add more solid programs (not craptastic ones like ECU, UCF, ‘Nova, or Temple).

      UT and OU would scramble west or south or north for a home…

      In a sense, the Big East would be the spark that finally ignited college sports armageddon!!! How would that be for irony?

      Like

      • Richard says:

        Not too likely, though. Even if they lose all 4 northern schools (and I don’t see anyone wanting or being forced to take ISU), if Texas wants its own league, the Big12 would just add BYU and some leftovers (Boise? UCF? Memphis? UNLV? SDSU? UNLV? Air Force?) and keep on chugging as an expanded SWC.

        Like

  7. Richard says:

    Someone I read on the internets wrote that the BE may elevate ‘Nova, add TCU, and kick out Seton Hall, so that the football schools can have their 9-game conference slate while the basketball side remains manageable.

    Personally, I think adding TCU & UCF (and maybe kicking out Seton Hall to form a 17-school basketball league) would make the most sense.*

    Then the 11-school CUSA and 10-school MWC (with Utah St. added) can meet for another BCS slot after the Cotton Bowl is elevated to BCS status and a plus-one is implemented.

    * I chose UCF instead of Houston as the 10th school because the NE BE schools have a lot more alums/retirees/fans in Florida than they do Texas.

    Like

  8. jcfreder says:

    adding

    Like

  9. jcfreder says:

    This is just going to give those ECU fans a heart attack . . .they’ve been pushing their school so hard on the Big East Expansion board, in an almost certainly futile effort.

    I wonder if step one is to tell Nova that they either have to bring football up to FBS or the conference is adding Temple.

    Like

  10. JB says:

    As a BE alum, I would love to see the football schools tell the bball-only schools to shove it. Football schools go their separate way (taking Nova with them) and then asking SJU to come on board so we can have MSG for the conference tourney.

    I just sick of Providence, DePaul, Seton Hall, Goergetown and Marquette. I want them to all die.

    Btw, R.I.P. John Thompson. Tough way to go. He got hit by a VW Beetle and then run over by an 18-wheel tracktor-trailor. Then, as he lay there, a couple of of bystanders who happened to be Syracuse fans, pissed on him and casually went about their day.

    Like

  11. 84Lion says:

    I don’t understand the 10-team football thing. Is it to have a “cushion” for BCS AQ status in case a couple schools decide to leave?
    The conference has 16 schools now, add two and you’ve got 18. Why not add 4 and have 20? If they’re going to add TCU, why not Houston, and then UCF and bring Temple back in?

    Like

    • @84Lion – I just don’t think the financial justification is there for a 4-team expansion. Is ESPN going to be interested in paying more for Big East football by adding any of the commonly discussed expansion candidates other than maybe TCU? Probably not. The Big East TV revenues are also split where basketball is worth more than football (about $20 million per year for basketball and $13 million per year for football), so diluting that side of the ledger by adding 4 non-descript basketball programs (other than maybe Temple, whose market is already covered better by Villanova, anyway) won’t help financially, either.

      Like

    • Michael in Indy says:

      With the Pac-10 and Big 12 certain to go to 9 conference games/season, and with the Big Ten and ACC both considering it, Big East schools will hard-pressed to get four non-conference games on their schedules. Continuing to get five non-conference games would be nearly impossible. Hence, the league senses the need for 10 football schools, nine at minimum.

      Like

      • @Michael in Indy – This is true, too. I don’t think its a driving factor, but it’s something to consider. It’s already hard for Big East school to pay for guarantee games and with BCS conferences increasingly going to 9-game conference schedules, Big East schools have to travel to MAC or C-USA schools in 1-for-1 deals that no other BCS schools would ever agree to.

        Like

      • cutter says:

        Notre Dame is going to find it more difficult to schedule games in the last two-thirds of the season if the Big East does expand to ten teams and opts to play a nine conference contests each year.

        ND already took a shot to the solar plexus when the Pac 12 decided it was going to schedule all its non-conference games prior to conference play. The Pac 12 opted to honor existing arrangements, which means the ND-USC series will continue in October/November through 2018 (the current contract lasts through that year), then it shifts to September.

        The Big Ten is looking at starting a nine-game conference schedule in 2015 coupled with the confernce championship game–much like the Pac 12. B10 teams (primarily Michigan, Michigan State and Purdue) play all their games against ND in September with the occasional October contest.

        The Big XII is going to ten teams with nine conference games as well. Texas does have a series set with Notre Dame, but all those games are season openers with one exception, and that game is in September. There is a home-and-home with Oklahoma with one game in Norman (in October) and the other in South Bend (in September).

        The Mountain West Conference is currently looking at ten teams, but if TCU bolts to the Big East, then they reset back to nine. If the MWC does stay at ten and they adopt a nine-game conference schedule, that’s fewer available dates for ND to schedule games in October and November.

        SEC programs generally don’t play major non-conference competition late in the season outside of traditional in-state rivals, i.e., Florida-Florida State, Georgia-Georgia Tech and South Carolina-Clemson. The chance of one of the major SEC programs playing ND late in the season is almost nil.

        The ACC might be a bit more flexibile with ND. Miami-Florida has a multi-game agreement with ND, Maryland is playing the Irish late in the season in Fedex Field, Boston College has been a fixture on ND’s schedule and there is the upcoming home-and-home with Wake Forest.

        Will it be impossible for Notre Dame to get late season opponents? The answer is clearly no, but the question now becomes who is willing to play them late in the season outside of Navy, BYU (who recently concluded a six-game contract with ND) and USC (thru 2018).

        While the games with Tulsa and Western Michigan on ND’s schedule this year might be outliers, they also point to some of the problems Notre Dame is going to have going forward.

        On one hand, if ND does become really good, I suspect there will be programs out there who don’t want to play them in the midst of their conference seasons.

        On the other hand, if ND’s malaise continues, then the attraction of playing the Irish will tend to decrease (although the Tulsa HC said the Golden Hurricanes had the biggest win in their school’s history last Saturday). Notre Dame’s television ratings since the Stanford game have been in the 1.4 to 1.6 neighborhood (including 1.5 in last week’s game with Tulsa), so when they aren’t good, they don’t draw a particularly large television audience (which I’m sure the good people at NBC Universal and Comcast keep track of).

        We’ll see how things shake out going forward–Jack Swarbrick is going to have his work cut out for him.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          The MWC (and CUSA & MAC) will not be turning down ND no matter when ND wants to play them. I imagine ND will start to have annual (or close to annual) series with Navy, BYU, Army, and Hawaii (when they go independent as well) after mid-October. Sprinkle in a few games against ACC teams, some BE teams (I reckon the BE will leave spots open for ND as well) and the non-AQ conferences above, and ND will still be able to find opponents in the latter part of the season.

          Like

          • cutter says:

            I’m not saying Notre Dame won’t be able to find opponents late in the season–I’m sure they can find some team willing to play them in October or November.

            But the problem ND will have involves fewer possible scheduling slots as conferences gets larger and/or they adopt round robin or nine-game conference schedules.

            ND used to be able to count on a late season game with USC and at least one other Pac 10 (12) team. That’s not going to be true going forward once the existing contracts wrap up (or get cancelled or altered).

            Conference USA, for example, is considering a nine-game conference schedule. See http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2010/08/the_next_big_thing_in_scheduli.html

            Would the ACC go to a nine-game conference schedule? It was considered during its most recent expansion, but it didn’t work out. The conference has its schedules planned out to 2015, but what happens after that?

            Notre Dame prides itself on a national schedule, but when they play the smaller BCS programs (like Wake Forest) or programs from CUSA or the MAC (like Western Michigan), it hurts the ND brand.

            And that brand’s been taking a beating–not only this year, but in years past as ND’s fortunes have gone up-down and there have been four head coaches since Holtz left in the mid-90s. Does ND still enjoy high recognition value? Yes, and that’s why they get attention out of proportion to their onfield success by the press. It’s also why the Yes! Network carries replays of the ND games and shows the weekly Irish football show.

            But that attention has led a lot of people to think about the relevance of Notre Dame to college football and its future role as an independent. I’m not saying they’re going the way of the Ivy League schools or th University of Chicago. I’m just saying that the program’s history isn’t carrying as much weight as it has in the past, and if ND has trouble putting together an attractive football schedule, that’s not going to help matters much either.

            I would also say that this doesn’t preclude Notre Dame as a possible Big Ten expansion candidate. I’m just wondering if ND will really be able to deliver the northeast cable telvision market place in the manner we’ve always assumed to date. If ND lost its independent status, would it still have strong value as an additional member of the B10? Perhaps it’s something worth reexamining.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            What hurts the ND brand the most is not winning. They haven’t been this bad since the Faust era, and before that, the pre-Parseghian ’50’s & ’60’s. They haven’t been this bad for this long a time since, well, ever. BTW, during the Parseghian era, they regularly played both Army & Navy regularly as well as Northwestern, Tulane, Rice, Miami, and Air Force back when all those schools were all rather mediocre, yet that era is considered a golden age in ND history. Why? Because they were winning. Winning’s the most important thing, not schedule strength.

            Like

          • Mike says:

            Unless winning against mediocre teams = ratings then NBC may not think it’s the only thing.

            Like

    • Richard says:

      The cost of guarantee games has gone up, while, as more conferences adopt a 9-game conference slate, there are fewer nonconf dance partners in general. With 7 conference games, the BE schools have to find 5 nonconf opponents each year and fit them in to their schedule (with, at most, 7 weeks to work with). By week 5, conference play in the BigTen, Big12, ACC, and Pac10 would have started(and the SEC would be playing mostly conference games as well) while the BE teams would still have 3 more weeks to fill.

      Going to 9 conference games is both more profitable and gets the fans better matchups.

      Like

    • bullet says:

      Numbers matter. When you have 8 teams its a lot easier to have a year like 2010 when nobody is really good. With 10 you’ve got a better mathematical chance of someone having a great year.

      Like

  12. CarneigeMellonNitt says:

    I think they just take Temple back with TCU to achieve K.I.S.S., while leaving Nova as a basketball vote. Who knows how the politics will work out though. In the distant future I still see Big East and ACC leftovers becoming the 4th 16 team conference. Just tough figuring out who ends up where during the journey to that destination.

    On a side note, I feel conflicted and moderately terrified about how I’m more dialed into realignment than the elections.

    Like

  13. Bamatab says:

    I don’t understand why they are even considering Villanova. If they want to add the Philly market to their football tv package, they should just invite Temple back. Isn’t Temple a bigger school with more resources (larger stadium, bigger athletic budget, bigger allumni base)? I just don’t see where move ‘nova up really gains them anything.

    Like

    • JB says:

      Temple? You mean the same school that was kicked out due to their lack of financial support as well as crappy attendance? Maybe you are referring to a different school named Temple…? Im confused.

      Like

      • Bamatab says:

        That’s why I said “they should just invite Temple BACK”. I know they would have to swallow their pride, but having ‘nova move up and join them makes even less sense. Temple is a bigger school with more resources and is already a FBS school. Now, I would offer TCU, Houston, and/or UCF, and maybe East Carolina before I would invite Temple. But I would invite Temple way before I’d invite ‘nova.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          ‘Nova’s already a basketball member. I don’t think they’d want Temple in as a football-only member again. If ‘Nova is invited to move up, it would be done solely for political reasons, and not to enhance the BE. That’s why TCU & UCF/UH makes the most sense.

          Like

        • JB says:

          F*ck Temple. I’d rather call up Nova so that bball stays intact. I really dont think there is much of a difference between a 17team bball conference and an 18 team conference… Either way, it’s a watered-down shit-show.

          Im just hoping Cuse bounces should the ACC eventually expand. Slightly better football? Check. Better LAX? Check. Better academics? Check. Less Catholicism? Check. Better bball? With Cuse, yes. Check.

          Like

          • Vincent says:

            I agree that SU should ditch the Big East for the ACC, but sadly, it probably won’t happen until the day after Jim Boeheim retires.

            Like

          • @Vincent – I don’t think it has anything to do with Boeheim, although I believe that he’s got his head in the sand on expansion issues. It takes two to tango, as they say – the ACC has little incentive to expand now, which is the reason why Syracuse won’t be going anywhere. The entire Big East TV contract (both basketball and football) costs ESPN about $33 million per year. In order for the ACC simply to break even in expansion under its new ESPN contract, each new school is going to have to bring about $15 million in additional revenue each. Is ESPN really going to provide much incentive to pay an additional $30 million to the ACC that adds 2 teams from the BE or $60 million that adds 4 teams from the BE when it already gets all of those teams from the BE for $33 million total? It just doesn’t make any financial sense for either the ACC or ESPN.

            Like

      • Adam says:

        I think it’s obvious Temple has come a long ways since then.

        Like

    • StvInIL says:

      Nove would be home grown like Uconn. There is less likely a chance that they may have a wondering eye to bolt. They are also in a contiguous state with the BE. The regional aspect makes a difference. TCU is good but after 3 strait BE championships does the Big 12 or Pac 12 start takeing themes eriously? and would they not welcome that?

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      • frug says:

        Obviously it would have to be a football only move because of logistics, but I wonder if BYU might be an option. I know that the Bast has apprehensions about bringing on a football only member but since BYU’s program is already (or at least soon will be) independent would likely make it easier. While Pravo may not be a big media market the school has the backing of the LDS which gives it a national following. I know ESPN might not be real thrilled with BYU bailing just after they worked out a deal, but BYU still has to be a better option for the Big East than a retread like Temple or a fresh from FCS ‘Nova.

        Like

  14. CarnegieMellonNitt says:

    Just heard on Omaha radio that Houston people think they’re the front runner to join with TCU. Surprising and inspired choice if it is true. Didn’t catch if it was just football or not.

    Like

    • Jake says:

      Houston people keep thinking they’re getting into the Mountain West, too. Seriously, they’re all over our boards just begging to get in. It’s kind of sad.

      Like

      • Michael in Indy says:

        If TCU gets into the Big East, would Houston still even want to be in the MWC? C-USA would be about even, from top to bottom. Might as well stay, I would think.

        Like

        • m (Ag) says:

          Losing UCF would hurt C-USA a bit.

          I think the MWC would definitely have the better reputation at the moment: Boise, Air Force, and Nevada are all a bit in the public’s consciousness.

          Even if the 2 conferences reach parity in the long term, I think Houston notices that TCU has succeeded by separating itself from the other schools in Texas and may look to follow the same path.

          Like

  15. bullet says:

    Just when you think everything has settled down…

    Read an article where they were talking to Benson (WAC commissioner). You could almost read the sighs. He sounds like a punching bag. Basically said, well the Big East and Big 12 are up to bat. Yesterday UConn coach was thinking there is a lot of “undercurrent” going on from talking to other bb coaches at Duke and KU. He didn’t feel UConn was secure at all.

    Like

    • Richard says:

      Yeah, Benson’s been in a lot of conference expansion battles; and pretty much has lost them all.

      Why wouldn’t UConn feel secure (or less secure than the rest of the BE)? Does he expect the ACC or BigTen to raid off some non-UConn BE schools?

      Like

      • bullet says:

        He didn’t say and probably didn’t know.

        If the SEC and B10 both moved east, UConn could be one of the leftovers with the weaker ACC schools.

        Like

  16. JB says:

    Sagarin Ratings:

    TCU: 2
    Pitt: 37
    Central Florida: 40
    Syracuse: 44
    Temple: 51
    West Virginia: 52
    Villanova: 55
    Notre Dame: 58
    Cincinatti: 72
    South Florida: 74
    Louisville: 76
    UConn: 84
    Rutgers: 87

    Like

  17. BigEastBubba says:

    Perhaps with going to 10 first, by threatening to bolt, BigEast football schools can then get to 12 the same way, threatening to bolt and form own conf. It’s called incrementalism, used by pols to usurp our rights as well.
    Take TCU (which weakens the MWC at the same time) and Houston/UCF now. Then get to 12 by adding the one you didn’t this time around, Houston or UCF and #12 could be, a school not being mentioned now, but is reviving their storied football program, that being the SMU Mustangs under the great coach June Jones. SMU has also had a previously strong hoops program. This strengthens your hold in TExas and Big D, specifically. The problem for the BigEast football schools with Villanova becoming a football member is,
    they are one of the BigEast Catholics and would therefore be a problem should the BigEast football schools ever choose to form their own conf. Temple & Nova do nothing with increasing the BigEast’s football prestige, more like detract from it. Let’s do it BIG……GO TO TEXAS WITH EXPANSION BIGEAST.

    Like

    • zeek says:

      To me the optimal choices are 1) TCU, 2) UCF, 3) ECU, 4) Houston. Those are the only 4 that actually can have respectable football programs and are in great growth areas and can hopefully pack 50,000 stadiums and put together strong programs due to the sheer depth of recruiting in their areas (even as 4th or worse options in their respective states).

      Those are the only 4 schools that will be able to do it over a sustainable period of time. Villanova is just going to be the next Temple, I get why they’re doing it, but it’s such a bad idea.

      Like

    • loki_the_bubba says:

      If TCU, SMU, and Houston are added I may not watch football again.

      Like

  18. Michael in Indy says:

    Pardon my ignorance with this question: Why would it matter if a hypothetical new conference, made up mostly of current Big East football schools, didn’t get an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament? Is there any question whether the winner of that new conference would get an at-large bid, anyway? We’re talking a league with Louisville, Cincy, WVU, Pitt, UConn, and Syracuse–why would they need that autobid so much. In women’s bball, it wouldn’t seem necessary, either.

    Like

    • @Michael in Indy – The auto bid in practicality wouldn’t matter. However, who receives the NCAA Tournament credits accumulated over the past 5 years, though, is a huge deal. If the football schools split off and formed their own league, they would forfeit those NCAA Tourney credits and the left behind Catholic schools would keep all of them. This is a significant amount of money – with the number of Big East teams that have made and advanced in the tournament, that’s pretty close to the equivalent of 5 years worth of BCS bowl payments. This is fairly big leverage in favor of the Catholic schools and why it’s not nearly as easy of a decision for the football schools to simply split off.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        I posted above, there was a lot of discussion that there was a deal to let the fb schools leave 5 years after the ACC raid with their bb credits. Obviously, such a deal would not be publically disclosed, since its saying you might break up in 5 years. But it seemed to be generally accepted that such a deal existed. If not, it is big $. But with such a deal, its a non-issue.

        Like

  19. jj says:

    What about toronto? Navy?

    Like

  20. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    add

    Like

  21. M says:

    My burning questions:

    The release says something like “increase FBS membership to 10 teams”. Does this mean add 2 FBS schools, or one and upgrade Villanova, or do they not know?

    How imminent are invitations? It seems like they wouldn’t put themselves out there with a specific number of new schools if they didn’t have at least preliminary discussions yet. I’ve heard that Villanova has until December to decide, but I’m not sure if that is official. I guess the question is whether this is like the original December (2009) announcement from the Big Ten or like the June announcement from the Pac-10. Also, it seems like the earliest Villanova could move up would be 2014.

    Why now? The Big East could have gotten TCU, UCF, ECU or any of the non-AQ targets at any point. TCU was even in the same conference as Cincinnati, USF, and Louisville when the 2005 ACC reaction raid happened. Furthermore, a Big Ten raid doesn’t seem to be in the near future.

    Are Big East fans delusional? About half of all scenarios seem to start with “We’ll just let BC back in and get Penn State like we always should have. Then we’ll make an offer to ND and Miami that they can’t refuse.”

    Like

    • zeek says:

      It means 10 teams total, with round robin and 9 games. Thus, moving up Villanova means they can only add 1 outside school like a TCU.

      They might just add Villanova though and go to 8 conference games. Anything to reduce the 5 non-conference schedule which has been brutal for them.

      Like

    • Vincent says:

      Yep, and many of those delusional Big East fans also think it would be incredibly easy to woo Maryland away from the ACC.

      Like

    • curious2 says:

      Re: “delusional fans” (M)

      And then there are “the” “delusional” Big 10 fans who thought ND, Texas, A&M, UMD, UVA, Vanderbilt, Miami and so on were in play not so long ago.

      And filled up a lot of space with the possibilities and “logic” of such moves.

      But agree, the ACC seems to be happy as is and UMD, BC are VERY unlikely to be going anywhere.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        At least the BigTen has dollars.

        Like

      • M says:

        Maybe delusional is part of the territory of conference expansion speculation. I would argue that ND and Texas at least contemplated the possibility of joining the Big Ten, but some of others might be close equivalents.

        Cornell and the University of Toronto are totally going to join the Big Ten though.

        Like

        • curious2 says:

          Re: delusional fans (M)

          My main objection is where you state:
          “About HALF of all scenarios seem to start”

          That percentage seems like an exaggeration, though you may be aware of some research on this.

          I do agree the Big 10 missed a great opportunity not adding Toronto and Cornell. Talk about domination of research. Maybe a December announcement?

          ————–
          “About half of all scenarios seem to start with “We’ll just let BC back in and get Penn State like we always should have. Then we’ll make an offer to ND and Miami that they can’t refuse.”

          Like

          • jj says:

            I’ve thought about Cornell as well. Think b10 could sell it? Toronto’s a slam dunk with the new NCAA rules. If they go ivy, big Jim deserves a kick in the balls.

            Like

  22. Jeff says:

    adding

    Like

  23. Gopher86 says:

    Can we just rename the Big East to Conference USA and call it a day?

    Like

  24. M says:

    ESPN blogger says conference would prefer football-only members

    http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=5756898

    Not sure how that will go over.

    Like

    • allthatyoucantleavebehind says:

      That would make sense. Unless my math is off…

      8 and 16 currently.

      Add Nova for football…9 and 16.

      Add TCU for football only…10 and 16.

      Even numbers. If TCU comes in all-sports, then you’re at 10 and 17, unless you kick someone out.

      What would TCU do if they only went “east” in football? Join the WCC for other sports, like BYU?

      Like

      • Richard says:

        The WCC is too far away. Finding a non-football league would actually be tough. The Colonial or Southern for UCF and Southland for TCU & Houston?

        Like

        • @Richard – Missouri Valley Conference would actually be a fairly good option for non-football sports for TCU and/or Houston. It’s not really any worse than what the MWC is for TCU now geographically and it’s a fairly respected basketball conference. Houston was a member of the MVC during the 1950s.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            But would the MVC be interested? They are a lot more geographically compact than they were in the 50s, 60s and 70s. No Houston, W. Texas, New Mexico St. or Tulsa now. Wichita St. and Missouri St. are about as far Southwest as they get.

            Like

          • @bullet – I think there’s a certain cache to having a BCS member as a part of your conference (even if TCU isn’t particularly good in basketball), so I think they’d at least explore it. Dallas-Fort Worth is also a pretty easy place to travel in and out of because of its American hub, so any geographic concerns going to TCU probably pale in concern to a lot of the small college towns in the middle of nowhere that MVC schools already have to travel to.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            The MVC really would be their only choice. MWC and CUSA wouldn’t take them w/o fb. Most of WAC is terrible from a travel standpoint. Everyone else is a big step down.

            Like

          • M says:

            @bullet

            Currently there is a rule on the books that a school cannot be a member of one conference for football and another conference for everything else, provided that the second conference has football at the appropriate level. In other words, the MWC, WAC and CUSA are not allowed to take TCU’s other sports should they get a football-only invite.

            Like

          • m (Ag) says:

            I didn’t know of that rule.

            If it wasn’t the case, I disagree with Bullet that the WAC would be a bad travel choice for TCU.

            Nearby schools: La Tech, UTSA, Texas State

            Nice Airport access: Denver, Seattle, San Jose State

            Nice Airport but extra far:
            Hawaii

            Others:
            New Mexico State (46 miles from El Paso)
            Utah State (82 miles from Salt Lake City)
            Idaho (couldn’t find closest airport)

            It looks to me like a better conference than the MWC for TCU to travel.

            Like

          • Michael in Indy says:

            If TCU was in the Big East only for football, I’d have my doubts about the wisdom of joining the Mo. Valley.

            Case in point: Butler. Butler is coming off an almost-national championship season. Currently, Butler is in the Horizon League, which has basically no national exposure during the regular season and competition that doesn’t exactly entice the casual basketball fan.

            Obviously, the Big East and Big Ten aren’t going to be knocking on Butler’s door any time soon, so I figured, “Wouldn’t a natural conference upgrade for Butler be the Mo. Valley?” Butler is actually located in very much in Mo. Valley territory, with Indiana State and Evansville right in the state. Multiple NCAA bids out of the Valley have meant more conference revenue, especially since several schools have advanced to the Sweet 16. Valley success has also generated superior TV exposure and more appealing opponents as compared with the Horizon.

            But even with the Valley being geographically reasonable, it’s still too spread out for the ticket and TV revenue increases to offset the greater travel costs; Horizon League are mostly within a 4-hour drive of Butler. In other words, joining the Missouri Valley would be a net loss for Butler.

            So for TCU, whose teams would have to travel much farther than Butler to get to Mo. Valley campuses, I see no reason why the same principle wouldn’t apply, especially since TCU would bring much less of a brand name to add value for the Valley than Butler would. Joining the Southland Conference, whose members are close together in Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas, would make much more sense.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Plus, I’m not sure the Valley wants to expand. Right now, they have 10 schools and have had a stable makeup for a decent amount of time (which means a good number of rivalries have built up). I’m not sure adding schools that aren’t basketball powers would be enticing to the Valley.

            Then again, they’d get more access/exposure to Texas, and Houston would form a natural travel partner with TCU, so they’d probably do it if both TCU and Houston join.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Also, right now, the Valley is a bus league (it’s 10 hours from Wichita to Terre Haute, which is not ideal, but they probably bus in to play both Indiana St. & Evansville in one week), while only Missouri St. & Wichita St. are within driving distance of DFW, and no current member’s within driving distance of Houston.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Michael:

            Is an extra 1-2 hours by bus going to increase travel costs that much? Somehow, I doubt it.

            Like

          • Michael in Indy says:

            That extra couple of hours adds up when you account for all the sports. Butler simply has a tight budget. If there’s a net loss, break even, or even a small net gain to be had by joining the Missouri Valley, it’s not worth the hassle of switching conferences, which also would cause Butler to forfeit the revenue it earned for the Horizon League by going so deep in the tournament.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            It’s not like the Valley is chopped liver. Does the Horizon League right now allow Butler to keep the bulk of the NCAA tournament payouts it earned? I imagine that in the MVC, the payouts are shared, so Butler would get a portion of the shares earned by Valley schools in previous years.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            For TCU, the issue would be MWC vs. MVC + BE + AQ. So it is a different calculation than for Butler.

            I can’t see TCU really wanting to be with UTSA and Texas St. both from the snob issue and the miniscule support in basketball. The 4 westernmost + Seattle in the WAC are a long way away. Now it is true the travel in the MWC just got a lot worse for TCU with Boise, NV and Fresno.

            Like

      • m (Ag) says:

        There is a chance that the WAC might accept them.

        Which would be a bit funny.

        But with Louisiana Tech, UTSA, and Texas State, the conference would have 3 members nearby. For those 3 schools, TCU would be a good rival. For the rest of the conference, they could do that region in one 4 game road trip or two 2 game road trips.

        Like

    • @M – This doesn’t surprise me – I was going to mention yesterday that no one should be surprised if there are football-only invites. 16 basketball members is already fairly bloated and football-only offers alleviate a lot of concerns that both the Catholic and old-line Big East members (i.e. Syracuse and UCONN) have about splitting. If TCU can find a non-football league option (I think they should consider the Missouri Valley Conference), then I believe that the Big East would love that since the Horned Frogs are wanted purely for football, anyway. Temple is also an easy football-only option is Villanova doesn’t move up since it’s a geographic fit, there’s some history between Temple and the BE schools (even if it’s mostly a bad history) and they’d be fine with keeping the rest of their sports in the Atlantic 10.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        True, though if they’re going to reintroduce football-only schools, might as well take UCF or Houston instead of Temple (along with TCU).

        Like

    • Vincent says:

      I hate the football-only option. Texas Christian should hold out for the all-sports scenario; the Big East needs TCU more than it needs the Big East.

      Like

      • jcfreder says:

        “the Big East needs TCU more than it needs the Big East.”

        I’m not sure that’s true. Right now, TCU has no margin for error if it wants to reach a BCS bowl, and even then, a BCS bowl wouldn’t have to take them if Boise ends up ahead of them. Imagine how tight the BCS slots get if Notre Dame ever gets good again. Being in the Big East means TCU can get to a BCS bowl even after dropping a game or two. I think they should be striking while the iron is hot; TCU isn’t going to be able to go 12-0 or 11-1 indefinitely.

        Like

        • @jcfreder – I completely agree. Being within a BCS conference is still multitudes more advantageous than being on the outside. The BE champ this year is likely going to have at least 3 losses and will end up in a BCS bowl, whereas TCU HAS to run the table (and even then wouldn’t necessarily be guaranteed a BCS slot). Thinking like a university president, covering your a*s in the bad years is every bit as important as maximum exposute in the good years. Being in a BCS conference will always mean that you have some CYA coverage, whereas being outside of that club means that there’s no safety net at all.

          Like

        • m (Ag) says:

          “Right now, TCU has no margin for error if it wants to reach a BCS bowl, and even then, a BCS bowl wouldn’t have to take them if Boise ends up ahead of them.”

          Boise is joining the MWC next year. So if TCU stays put, they have to beat Boise to go undefeated.

          That said, the Big East is obviously better for the football team. It will get more national exposure, better tv revenues, and better competition from the teams at the bottom of the conference.

          Now, they may decide to hold up and try to get an all sports invite, but they would be risking a big jump in their football standing.

          Like

        • Michael in Indy says:

          @jcfreder:

          Good point that the Big East gives TCU more margin for error in its goal to make a BCS game.

          TCU has other reasons to leave the MWC for Big East membership, even if it’s football-only:

          1) Better bowl tie-ins. In its current setting, if TCU wins its conference but has even one loss, TCU goes to the Las Vegas Bowl to play the 5th-place Pac-10 team (6th place if the Pac-10 has two teams in BCS bowls). If TCU finishes second in the Big East, it goes to the Champs Sports Bowl against the 3rd-place ACC team, and it receives a much better payout.

          2) Better exposure. TCU would finally get on our televisions. The nation’s #3 and #5 teams in the land are playing on the fairly obscure CBS College Sports Network because of their conference affiliation. How preposterous is that? Any Big East matchup like that would be presented to a truly national ESPN audience, if not to an ABC audience.

          Like

          • SideshowBob says:

            Heck, people actually get CBS College Sports if you have a sports tier. An even bigger problem is the games on the mtn.

            Like

        • bullet says:

          TCU needs the BE more than the BE needs TCU, BUT, TCU does have leverage. BE 8 + Villanova = weaker conference. Anyone else they add also weakens the conference in the short run with no guarantee that the long run will be better. UCF, Temple, UH, ECU, Memphis all would be no better than the middle of BE and probably bottom half. TCU gives them someone with, for now at least, some national recognition.

          I don’t think the BE can go to 10 w/Villanova unless they add TCU. 2 years from now the situation could be different, but right now they can’t afford to get weaker.

          Like

        • Redhawk says:

          TCU going to a BCS conference:

          Not so fast my friend. The current round of BCS evaluation TCU would count to the MWC, and not the Big East because it’s based on who’s in what Conf. of Dec. 2011.

          Right now, the MWC qualifies under 2 of the 3 areas. If the Big East had to also go through the Qualification, they would only rank in 1 of the three areas.

          So..if the Big East retains it’s AQ-BCS status and the MWC finishes higher, you can count on the MWC burning it and the NCAA down with law suits.

          SO…TCU could be leaving a BCS conference to go to a NON-BCS conference…and actually helping the one it leaves become a BCS conference!

          Like

          • Richard says:

            Um, no. The Big East qualifies right now on all counts. It’s the ACC that would have trouble qualifying:
            http://www.bcsevolution.com/2010/7/15/1571884/conference-realignment-and-bcs

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Also, with BYU, Utah, & TCU all gone, even the addition of Boise, Fresno, & Nevada likely wouldn’t get the MWC qualified.

            Like

          • tt says:

            @Richard: Also, for AQ status, it’s not all about the top teams in your conference, you cannot have a collect of terrible teams at the bottom. Yes, Minnesota is having a down year, but, the Big Ten only has 1 (out of 11) teams below the .500 mark. The MWC has 5 (out of 9) below .500 including woeful New Mexico at 0-8:
            http://espn.go.com/college-football/standings
            You could have a conference of Bama, Ohio State, and Oregon and you would still have problems getting AQ status if over half your conference has less than 4 wins

            Like

          • Redhawk says:

            @Richard and tt
            the MWC will qualify under 2 of the 3 catigories. (and that includes counting Boise, Utah, and TCU..a league gets credit for teams joining and for what they did in conference).

            It’s the 3rd (average finish of all teams) that hurts the MWC because of New Mexico and San Diego St and UNLV being so crappy.’

            However, The Big East also only qualifies in 2 out of 3 and they finish behind the MWC in the 2 that both qualify for.

            Like

  25. Sportsman says:

    It seems to me that it’s inevitable the BE will split… eventually. While the FB schools will take a short-term financial hit on the BB side, wouldn’t it be better to just do it and be done with it?

    Like

    • Richard says:

      Nothing inevitable about it. Tell me, if they haven’t split yet, what new changes will cause them to split “eventually”? Why exactly would it be better for the football schools to split?

      Like

      • SideshowBob says:

        IMHO, it would be better for the football schools to split because they have much higher revenue than the basketball schools. IOW, I think they produce the lions share of the revenue even though they are only half the conference. A conference of just the 8 football schools would probably get a weaker TV deal than the 16 team conference, but it would have a majority of the better names in basketball and have football exposure and would only have to split revenues 8 ways.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          Basketball revenue is shared by all schools; football revenue is shared only by the football schools, so revenue is split only 8 ways already.

          Like

  26. footballnut says:

    Looking back earlier in this blog, I thought it was interesting to consider the red headed step-children of the Big 12 for BE consideration. Those schools got a wake up call for sure. They say they’re married to Texas now, but that was a shotgun wedding and could crumble later, if Texas goes independent, which I think it will once it gets its Longhorn network going.
    I’d give the current Big 12 conference about 5 years max.

    The Big 12 w/o Texas might collapse with loss of TV revenue. Maybe the BE really would be best for MU/KU/KSU/ISU. Heck of a basketball conference!

    Like

    • Richard says:

      Texas going independent has the same problem of Texas going to the Pac16: TAMU would be going to the SEC in that case, and despite the protestations of our Longhorn compadres, I’m quite certain whatever new setup would have to be significantly more profitable (say TV revenue in the $30M-$40M, as opposed to $20M) for the Texas administration to risk jumping in to the unknown and also let the SEC have a foothold in the state of Texas.

      As I don’t expect an independent Texas to be able to pull in that type of money any time soon, the Big in its current incarnation will be around for the next decade or so. A decade from now, the SEC will be looking to negotiate a new TV deal, and TAMU may be going to the SEC regardless of what Texas does. Of course, by that time, all sorts of changes could have occurred; the BE could be gone for all we know, so I don’t blame the northern Big12 schools for taking a wait-and-see attitude.

      Like

    • zeek says:

      The problem is that in the short run, as long as the Big 12-2 is stable, that’s clearly the best option for them.

      It’s like the difference between being in the Pac-10 or Mountain West. If you’re the Washington and Oregon schools than being with UCLA and USC means you’re a lot richer than if you’re with the Mountain West.

      Being with Texas/A&M/Oklahoma makes the other former Big 8 schools much better off than being with the Big East. Of course if the Big 12-2 collapses and there’s nowhere else to go, then it’s a problem.

      But no one is going to willingly leave being tied to the big Texas markets unless they have an offer from the Pac-12 or Big Ten or SEC at this point. Those are the only ones for which you’d actively jump out of the Big 12-2, even if you suspected that Texas/A&M/Oklahoma may be on their way out…

      Like

      • @zeek – Yeah, those old Big 8 schools might hate the perception of Texas control, but financially, they’re not going to get a better deal in the Big East. It’s not as if though the Big 12 has had terrible revenues – even the bottom feeders have still been making more on a per school basis than the Pac-10 schools and twice as much as any of the Big East schools. We’ll see how the next TV contract negotiations go, but there will continue to be a wide gap between the Big 12 and Big East in terms of revenue. For all of the complaints of Texas control, the Longhorns along with OU and A&M are huge revenue drivers that the Big East doesn’t have at all.

        Like

  27. John says:

    Any thoughts or opinions of rumors of ACC expansion to try & head off this move by Big East? UConn, BC, Syracuse & WVU. Moves the ACC to 16. Leaves Rutgers for B10 if they want. Heads off any SEC movement north/east. Is this pure speculation or are their legs?

    http://ncaabbs.com/showthread.php?tid=460533

    Like

  28. John says:

    My bad on the teams…obviously BC already in ACC. WVU, CUSE, Pitt and UConn were the ones mentioned in that link. But gotcha on the $ Frank, you’re right that the dollars gotta add up first & foremost.

    Like

  29. M says:

    SI’s Staples lays out the case for ND to join the Big East. I’m pretty sure the NDNation crowd would organize a torch-and-pitchfork pep rally, but it’s an interesting article.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/andy_staples/11/03/big-east-expansion-notre-dame/index.html

    Like

    • Big Ten Jeff says:

      Sorry for the dup, M.

      Like

    • bullet says:

      I still think a 12 team BE where ND plays only 6 conference games and only division games count in the standings, works very well for both ND and BE. ND and Villanova could be #11 and #12. They could add two out of TCU/UH/UCF/Memphis/ECU/Army/Navy to get #9 and #10. They would have no more than 18 schools for bb.

      If they are looking for a fb only school, there is a school who would be interested. They also have far and away the best fan support of any non-AQ school. If you are going all the way to Texas, what’s stopping you from going to Provo?

      Like

      • Richard says:

        1. So long as ND gets over half of the conference’s TV revenues.
        2. Utah’s a bit farther west than Texas.

        Like

        • m (Ag) says:

          They’d just let Notre Dame sell its home games separately. The other 11 schools would sell their home games together. The championship game revenue would be divided between all 12 schools.

          Like

    • Richard says:

      I usually like Staples’ articles, but this one is a little lacking in logic. He makes a decent case for why ND should consider joining a conference, but of all the conferences out there, why would ND join the BE instead of the BigTen, ACC, Big12, or Pac12? Because they’re weak? The ACC isn’t that much harder, is outside the Midwest as well, actually has some quality recruiting grounds, offers much more financially, and more academically as well. We’ve already gone over the logic of joining the BigTen.

      Other than getting the chance to go to a BCS bowl while being unranked (or barely ranked, since an independent ND is going to a BCS bowl if they’re #20th or higher) in exchange for taking a big hit financially and playing some schools most Domers have little interest in playing, why exactly would ND join the BE?

      Like

      • M says:

        Well if you agree that Notre Dame should join a conference, the Big East would be willing to give the most concessions (financial or otherwise), would be the easiest path to successful seasons, and has the footprint that best matches Notre Dame’s fanbase (northeast, midwest, and Florida retirees).

        Like

        • Richard says:

          They’d have to let ND take half or more of the TV revenue for the whole conference for the financials to make sense for ND.

          As for successful seasons, ND could (and seems to be aiming to) just weaken its schedule down to BE-caliber as an independent to get the same type of record. Again, other than the chance to go to a BCS bowl as a team ranked outside of the top 20 (and maybe the geography, though I doubt annual series against Louisville and UConn, much less Villanova, get Domers salivating), what appeal does the BE have for ND?

          Like

          • bullet says:

            In a divisional setup, ND would play Pitt (long time rival), Rutgers (in NY), Syracuse (another private school), UConn (near NY and Boston) and Villanova (in Philly). Then their other game would be in recruiting grounds with TCU, USF, UCF/UH or Cincinnati with occassional games against Louisville and WVU who at least have good fan support. So it works quite well for their fan base and recruiting grounds. They would still have 6 games for USC, Big 10 schools and others. They could have USC, Purdue and Navy every year, UM or MSU and two games to roam around the country or schedule money games.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            If they really wanted to play BE teams, ND could schedule 6 BE teams right now as an independent. Again, other than the chance to go to a BCS bowl while finishing outside of the BCS top 14, what advantage does joining the BE give ND?

            Like

          • @Richard – No advantage at all. Plus, ND had an agreement with the Big East right after the ACC raid to play 3 or 4 BE teams per year, but the Irish have completely ignored it. If they won’t bother to play 3 or 4 BE opponents even when they’ve previously agreed to it, I don’t see why ND would suddenly want to play a full slate or even 6 BE games. ND likes the BE arrangement because it’s a great basketball league and the Irish get to play the major Catholic universities in the markets where most of its alums and fans live (NYC, Chicago, Philly, DC, Providence/Boston). ND wants nothing to do with BE football other than trying to get some better-than-MAC 1-and-done games (like South Florida next year) or playing “road” games in the Meadowlands.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            That is a HUGE advantage.

            It also gives them better bowl options. They are limited with the BE now.

            Finally, it gives them something to play for. Having a conference title to play for when there is no longer a chance for a national title is a significant motivator.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Somehow, I don’t think you’re going to convince the ND alums and administration of the merits of your argument.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            The administration wanted to join the B10 10 years ago. The majority of alums can’t be convinced.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            @Frank
            ND clearly has a scheduling philosophy that doesn’t emphasize BE schools. But playing Washington St., Nevada, W. Michigan, Army and Tulsa isn’t working very well for them.

            I think ND wanted the BE schools to play at South Bend and then to play their home game where ND wanted to play-DC, NYC, Philly. I know UConn told them no.

            Like

          • StvInIL says:

            Notre Dame Football scheduling philosophy is beginning look like someone drunk and incoherent. I was watching one of the Big Ten network programs when Gerry Di Nardo on the Big Ten network and he had some things to say about ND. He said that ND needs the proper coach for their environment. And that they do have some problems in basically being a (small) catholic school but playing football on the top level. There is no other Catholic school that plays on this level. They also do not play a league schedule as a dedicated member of a conference would. Within a conference they would be better prepared and set to improve as they see the same teams all the time. I have to say I agree with him. I think this national jumping around schedule hurts them if they are not like USC of a few years back. And who is consistently?

            Like

          • bullet says:

            @StvinIll
            I think you stated the point very well.

            Now I don’t think ND is going to join the BE. It makes too much sense and they are making decisions emotionally. If you look at last year’s schedule:
            NV
            At Michigan
            MSU
            At Purdue
            Washington
            USC
            BC
            Washington St. at San Antonio
            Navy
            At Pitt
            UConn
            At Stanford

            Replace BC with Syracuse
            Replace WSU with a game at TCU
            Replace Stanford with a game at Rutgers
            Replace NV or Navy with Villanova (or better yet WVU-if Villanova doesn’t move up)

            Is that so much different? You get all the benefits StInILL mentions along with the chance at an autobid to the BCS. You lose nothing on TV revenues, get better other bowl options and can probably negotiate to keep your BCS money if you get a 2nd bid for the conference.

            Like

        • jj says:

          Domers – jump in and shoot this down. This would never happen in a million years.

          Like

          • M says:

            The key conditional is “if you agree that Notre Dame should join a conference”. Most Domers reject that supposition.

            I’m not even arguing that the Big East would be the best choice if they did join somewhere. I was simply listing the advantages that the Big East has.

            Like

  30. Big Ten Jeff says:

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/andy_staples/11/03/big-east-expansion-notre-dame/index.html?eref=sihp

    This reminds me of LeBron; i.e. here’s how you know if Notre Dame sells out: Not by joining a league of elite athletic competition and academic camaraderie but seeking an easy path to a BCS bowl yearly in a desperate attempt to recapture glory. Actually, I’ve heard worse ideas…

    Like

  31. jj says:

    Breaking news!

    NCAA set to clear rich rod on last violation charge. Mixed bag for um. Good to clear, loss of possible for cause on RR.

    Like

  32. Playoffs Now says:

    Perhaps the most interesting rumor was from an eastern(?) writer saying that the BEast and B12-2 have discussed a playoff between their conference winners, and this proposal would have the support of the B10+2 and SEC.

    Why would TX and OU be for it? If played on the same weekend as the CCGames it would provide visibility that week, 1/2 the extra revenue of a CCG without having to water down conference revenues by adding 2 teams same for a 10-school BEast) and boost SOS going into the final BCS vote/computation/scam.

    Like

    • Playoffs Now says:

      Though the true playoff side of me would love to see a BEast vs B12-2 playoff in the Fiesta. P10 vs B10+2 in the Rose, SEC vs wildcard in the Sugar, and ACC vs wildcard in the Orange. 4 winners play semifinals the 2nd weekend of Jan. and then finally an actual legitimate national championship game.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        Personally, I think the Rose Bowl should be a semifinal; other semifinal would be between the SEC champ and Big12/BE winner (the ACC won’t be producing a title contender anyway, so we can safely exclude them). =)

        Like

    • Playoffs Now says:

      BTW, I assume that each conference would retain their BCS bid, so unlike a CCG, losing the BE/B12-2 ‘playoff’ wouldn’t knock a participating school out of a BCS bowl bid. Hence another reason why TX and the B12-2 might be proposing this while opposing a CCG.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        Texas and the Big12 are interested in making a BCS game but don’t care about an additional possible pitfall to a national title game? That sounds….unlikely (unless Texas holds the BE in such low regard that they expect a game against their champion to be an automatic win).

        Like

    • bullet says:

      What I’ve read is the BE wants a CCG for a 10 game conference and wants the B12-2 to support them on that, not a CCG between the 2. I don’t see any chance of 1) that passing since everyone else just went to 12 or 2) B12-2 supporting that.

      Like

    • Bullet says:

      I saw a NY writer saying the B12-2 and BE might “merge to petition the NCAA….” I think it was just a poor choice of words. In the context, I think he meant to say, “work together” to allow a CCG for 10 team leagues as opposed to merging or having a playoff game between the two leagues.

      Like

  33. Carl says:

    PSU > UM

    Like

  34. Carl says:

    PSU > UM^2

    Like

  35. […] the Big East announcing that it’s looking to add two football programs, a lot of the same  questions about what the conference should do have been continuously coming […]

    Like

  36. My new mega-blog post on Big East expansion: http://bit.ly/aSEnFE

    Like

  37. J.T. says:

    Can the Big East really fit in anymore basketball schools though? I mean 16 is more than enough. With that in mind, the logic ought to be to get as many of their basketball schools to join in football. Granted, Villinova is the only realistic possibility, as St. John’s, Seton Hall, Providence, DePaul, and Marquette don’t have football team, Notre Dame ain’t budging, and Georgetown’s 1-AA team is crap. Villinova is good though. I think they could make a successful jump. It worked for UConn. Other “FCS” (I hate calling it that) schools have potential to make a jump, and most of them would be natural Big East. Namely, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Delaware, seeing as they are land grants, and the latter two play pretty consistently successful football. UMass isn’t great, but they are the largest public university in New England. But again, it helps a conference to have the same teams in all sports. But whatever the Big East wants to do. Most of the decisions they make don’t seem smart. I’d bring Temple back though. I think they got the message and have built a decent football program.

    Like

  38. J.T. says:

    BTW, Delaware is the only of those schools currently qualified to jump as far as attendance goes. Montana, Appalachian State, Old Dominion, Georgia Southern, Yale, North Carolina A&T, S.C. State, Tennessee State, North Dakota State, Jackson State, JMU, Youngstown State, North Iowa, Norfolk State, and Southern qualifty.

    Like

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