College Basketball Jones Bi-Winning in the Big Ten Coffers and Big East Expansion

Posted: March 17, 2011 in Big East, Big Ten, College Basketball, College Football, Illinois Fighting Illini, Sports
Tags: , , , , , ,

As America is engrossed with the start of the NCAA Tournament and determining which former Illini coach that this year’s Illinois team will lose to this weekend, let’s turn our attention to the business of college basketball for a few moments.  I’m actually a hoops guy at heart, but as this blog delved into college conference realignment, the focus here turned to football because of that’s really the driving force between the major moves.

Kristi Dosh and Patrick Rishe have been writing a number of posts at the Forbes SportsMoney blog about athletic department and basketball revenue and profits among the major conferences. (h/t to Slant reader Brian.)  What’s interesting to note is that the largest revenue basketball conference on a per school basis isn’t the 11-bid Big East or Dook-UNC-led ACC, but none other than the Big Ten, which an unbiased ESPN SportsCenter anchor lovingly noted this past week was like “watching fat people have sex“.  (The Big East has a larger total basketball revenue number, although that’s skewed because it has 16 members.)  Concrete factors for this are that for all of the bashing of Big Ten basketball and the reputation that it’s made up of football schools, the conference has a rabid hoops fan base where it has led the nation in attendance for the past 34 consecutive years along with revenue from the Big Ten Network.  My personal observation is that most Big Ten football fans follow their basketball teams at a consistently high level, whereas SEC football fans (outside of Kentucky and maybe Arkansas) basically need a Final Four contender to pay attention.

That difference in basketball revenue  between the Big Ten and SEC appears to be a major reason why the Big Ten has more profitable athletic departments overall even though SEC profit in the top revenue sport of football is greater.  (More detailed charts with estimated allocations taking into account the Big Ten Network are here on Dolich’s website.)  Regardless, college conference revenue has essentially created a tier for the Big Ten and SEC with everyone else way behind.  As for the importance of football relative to basketball, the Big Ten (22.2%), SEC (16.3%), Pac-10 (22.9%) and Big 12 (19.1%) are actually all fairly close to each other in terms of basketball revenue as a percentage of total athletic department revenue.  Not surprisingly, the Big East (36.7%) and ACC (31.8%) are the outliers where those conferences receive a lot higher proportion of their revenue from basketball (and therefore seem to emphasize basketball more than football compared to the other BCS leagues).

That high basketball percentage for the Big East has some implications for conference realignment/expansion insofar that the “this is all about football” mantra that applied to the Big Ten and Pac-12 expansions as well the Big 12 situation (where one of the top marquee basketball brands in the nation, Kansas, was almost left for dead) may not completely apply to the Big East.  To be sure, the Big East would love nothing more than to become a football power along the lines of the SEC, but the types of schools that would catapult the Eastern-based league to that status (i.e. Notre Dame and Penn State) aren’t reasonably attainable and no one is going to find them in C-USA.  At the same time, the Big East basketball TV deal (average of $2 million per school per year) is worth more than its football contract (average of $1.67 million per school per year), which means that basketball has to be taken in account.  (Recall my Big East Expansion FAQ back in November.)  With the New York Daily News reporting that a Big East TV network is unlikely (largely because getting basic carriage in the New York City market that’s already overloaded with expensive regional sports networks will be impossible), the “expanding for new markets” argument isn’t very compelling.

That’s why the Big East seems more interested in having Villanova move up to Division I-A than adding any expansion candidates from C-USA.  (Please add re-naming the first round of the NCAA Tournament to now be the “second round” after the First Four to the long list of perplexing, nonsensical, confusing and annoying NCAA changes to names that were easily understood by the average bear before.)   The argument is that none of those schools would add much to the national TV contracts on the football side, so it’s more important to avoid diluting the already more lucrative basketball side.  I wasn’t a big fan of the Big East having Villanova move up when it looked like it was a possibility that the Wildcats would be the only football addition without TCU included.  However, what I now understand is that for the Big East football schools to get the Big East Catholic members to vote for any further all-sports expansion in the first place was predicated on Villanova moving up, so the addition of the Philly-area school has to be looked at in the scheme of the entire Big East expansion in conjunction with TCU as opposed to on its own.  At the same time, much to the chagrin of the various schools that are looking for a Big East invite (i.e. UCF, Houston, East Carolina, Memphis, etc.), the most important fact is that Villanova is already a full member of the Big East.  This isn’t an expansion for the conference – it’s a current member moving up for a sport, which is an incredibly important distinction.

Villanova insiders indicate that it’s increasingly likely that the school’s Board of Trustees will approve the football upgrade.  Frankly, the school has to make the move.  This isn’t a matter of moving up for football to join a non-AQ conference – if the program is guaranteed AQ status, then this shouldn’t be a difficult decision.  The Big East is what it is – an extremely strong basketball conference with revenue in line with that status.  Football may drive the bus in college sports overall, but if a conference is unable to add a major power program (the “kings” and “barons” that Stewart Mandel once wrote about), then it makes no sense to weaken or dilute the nation’s best basketball league for little or no revenue upside for the football league.  Football in and of itself doesn’t make money for conferences; it’s having marquee football programs that matters.  To the extent Villanova provides an extra conference football game on the schedule without having to split the basketball TV contract into an 18th slice, it may very well be most lucrative (or at least revenue neutral) football addition that the Big East can realistically have for now.

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

(Image from CBS Chicago)

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Comments
  1. R says:

    Go Rebs!

    Like

  2. Penn State Danny says:

    Great stuff as always.

    I now think that you are correct that Villanova will move up and then the BE will be finished…for now.

    Obviously, PSU and ND won’t join and there is no financial benefit for adding UCF or Houston or whomever.

    Last year at this time, it looked like the whole D1 football world would explode, now things look remarkably stable.

    Like

  3. Greg says:

    Go wrasslin hawkeyes!

    Like

  4. Jeepers says:

    Bacon.

    Like

  5. bullet says:

    It seems like Villanova’s board was initially opposed but has finally come around. They lose $4 million a year on FCS football. They dropped fb once in the 80s but brought it back. Its just surprising its taken this long to make the decision. I haven’t looked much at the Forbe’s report, but another report showed that every AQ school either made money or was very close to breakeven on football.

    In the short run, I agree, it stabilizes the BE. But I suspect in the long run it makes a split and further expansion more likely. The bb schools that mattered were Georgetown and Villanova. Now its just Georgetown. Providence & Seton Hall are struggling and didn’t add that much even when they were good. They are smaller schools that seem to be having a hard time keeping up. DePaul and St. John’s (until this year) have been terrible in recent years. Notre Dame is about fb. Marquette is good, but is a recent addition, and aren’t in a huge market. There’s a real incentive long term to get down to a more manageable size with the key revenue producers staying together.

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    • Michael in Indy says:

      If there was a split, I’d assume that the league with the football members would total 12: 10 football members, plus Georgetown and Notre Dame. Syracuse, UConn, and Villanova would never approve of a move that left out Georgetown, and I think the other football members also know that leaving the Hoyas out would be stupid. Notre Dame’s association with the league helps keep the Big East from having worse bowl tie-ins than they already have, and they’re still a valuable brand to have even for non-football sports.

      Lawsuits aside, I completely understand the argument that the football schools would be better off financially cutting ties DePaul, Seton Hall, and Providence, but is it worth cutting them off if it also means cutting ties with Marquette and St. John’s?

      Like

    • Richard says:

      I just don’t see a split because the gains of splitting (a few extra hundred thousand dollars to the football schools) just isn’t worth the heartache, bitterness, and lawsuits involved with pushing out old comrades. Remember that administrators are people, and being in the BE as long as they have, the Villanova, Georgetown, Providence, St. John’s, UConn, Seton Hall, Rutgers, etc. administrators are probably friends with each other. Would possibly gaining a few extra thousand dollars for their school (and it may not even be that much, if anything, after lawsuits)) be worth ending friendships? I seriously doubt it.

      Furthermore, ND wants DePaul & Marquette around so it isn’t the only school west of Ohio in the league (plus Marquette is actually one of the more financially powerful schools in BE basketball). Is the BE willing to jettison ND along with DePaul & Marquette? I doubt it. Does the BE want to give up a physical presence in NYC? I doubt it. So that leaves Providence & Seton Hall. At this point, you’re not jettisoning schools because it would make you any extra money, because it wouldn’t. You’d be doing it solely because you don’t want a school in the league. The league office is based in Providence and the BE has been run by Providence guys since forever, so I don’t see anyone pushing Providence out. That leaves Seton Hall, which is the only school that may be pushed out of the BE. There will be no BE split.

      Like

      • Dave says:

        The football members (and possibly ND and Georgetown) would be leaving to form a new conference (which would assume the Big East’s role for BCS purposes, and have enough continuity of membership to get an NCAA tournament auto-bid for many sports). Besides, it’s widely rumored that the Big East as currently structured has mechanisms for a penalty-free split.

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    • Richard says:

      Also, what are the (financial) benefits of a “more manageable size”?

      Like

      • bullet says:

        There seems to be a general acceptance (but no official confirmation) that there was an agreement after the ACC raid that the football schools can split w/o penalty and take their share of the bb receipts. So there probably is no lawsuit or financial issue as long as the fb schools leave and leave the name behind. Rutgers is NYC metro area. St. John’s, while historically important, adds nothing now. SU does more for the BE in NY.

        I’m not sure they take ND along with them, but if they do, they don’t let them decide the lineup. ND helped 5 years ago in bowls, but I don’t think they add much now. The bowls don’t expect to get them. They didn’t help the BE keep the Gator. ND ended up in a non-BE bowl this year.

        The more schools, the more difficult it is to make decisions. The non-revenue conference meets get more difficult and expensive to run. Access for the student-athletes is more limited with 17 than with 10-12. There are only so many time slots for 1 conference, so I think the bb value increases at a much smaller rate as you get beyond 10-12. Most of the bb powers are now fbs. Plus, I think the big size and strength of the BE bb is hurting the bottom programs-Rutgers, USF, DePaul, Providence, Seton Hall. Cincy, Louisville and, of course, St. John’s are weaker since supersizing the BE. IMO its a direct result.

        Now, I agree with Frank the BE is stable for now. I don’t think any of this happens in the next 5 years, but I think all these factors lead to an eventual split.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          “Access for the student-athletes is more limited with 17 than with 10-12.”

          Huh?

          Anyway, all the factors you listed are tiny. So tiny that I don’t think they factor in to any school’s decisionmaking anywhere. Name a conference that has split, kicked off members, or left because of those factors.

          Also, the fact that most schools would be football schools actually makes a split less likely, as there’s less to gain from casting off schools.

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          • bullet says:

            Basically every conference 16 or over has split fairly quickly, whether it was WAC, Lone Star or PacWest (or whatever it was called-it spread from HI to Alaska to New Mexico).

            As for the gain, if you can get about the same bb revenue and split 12 ways instead of 17, that’s still something. The WAC split with a lot less $ than that at stake. More importantly, if you can have more success in a 12 team conference than 17, that’s where the real $ are-internally generated revenues.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Those schools were 16 in football, right?

            About the WAC, those schools split in order to maintain yearly (football) rivalries & get more bowl bids.

            Neither issue is relevant to the BE.

            As for basketball revenue, again, the amounts you’d gain (if any) are small. For one, if you cut out Marquette, St. John’s, & DePaul along with Providence & Seton Hall, you’re cutting out some of the meat, not just fat, and you may very well lose ND as well (who’d likely go with Marquette, DePaul, & St. John’s (+ Providence & Seton Hall), and add St. Louis & Xavier & maybe a few other A10 schools to form an urban Catholic League). They may lure Georgetown as well since such a Catholic League probably would make as much basketball revenue per school as the leftovers in the BE.

            Like

          • Jake says:

            @Richard – protecting rivalries was the story they told, but TV revenue was probably the deciding factor. The MWC founders realized they could get just as much TV revenue with an 8-team league as with 16, but split half as many ways.

            But I don’t see the WAC-MWC situation being applicable to the Big East. The non-football schools aren’t taking football money, and nearly all of them are pulling their weight in hoops. Every conference has a little bit of dead weight, but they don’t destroy decades- or centuries-old relationships just to make marginally more money.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Other than GT and Villanova, the bb schools aren’t pulling their weight. And Villanova may soon be a fb school.

            And the real $ are from not being #10 in a 17 team conference. Its the same reason the B1G would be crazy to go to 14 with Notre Dame and Texas. There would be too many kings and too many losses for the powers.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            bullet:

            You keep asserting that with no actual evidence. We know that Marquette & ND contribute to the BE NCAA credits pool by making it to the tournament (and StJ recently as well). You also don’t know how much of a hit the BE basketball TV deal would take if they lose DePaul, Marquette, StJ, Providence, Seton Hall, and maybe ND.

            Considering that Texas isn’t willing to kick out KSU, Baylor, & freakin’ ISU when the difference between what Texas contributes and what ISU contributes to the B12 is several times greater than the difference between what the football schools & schools you’re thinking of kicking out (and once again, though it seems I can’t pound it in to your thick head, Marquette is actually one of the financially strongest schools in college basketball, which means they have a pretty strong brand in basketball) contribute to BE basketball, I fail to understand why you keep insisting that the football BE schools would want to kick out the schools you think they should kick out, when the relationships between the actual people of Providence, StJ, & SetonHall and many of the BE football schools go back a long ways and it’s not clear at all that losing Marquette, DePaul, and ND would actually be a net gain to the BE.

            Tell me why Texas hasn’t done anything to kick out ISU. You should tackle that before coming up with cockamamie schemes that would lead to a lot of recrimination and very little gain for the BE schools.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Marquette takes in more basketball revenue than any BE school besides Louisville & Syracuse:
            http://blogs.forbes.com/sportsmoney/2011/03/09/louisville-syracuse-and-marquette-the-top-big-east-schools-in-mens-basketball-revenue/

            Marquette appears on national TV 14 times (Georgetown appears 13 times; Syracuse appears 14 times; Pitt appears 15 times; UConn appears 15 times; WVU appears 14 times; ND appears 16 times; StJ appears 11 times; Cincy appears 8 times; Rutgers & USF appear 6 times:
            http://www.bigeast.org/News/tabid/435/Article/134581/BIG-EAST-Announces-2010-11-Men's-Basketball-Schedule.aspx

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Marquette takes in more basketball revenue than any BE school besides Louisville & Syracuse.

            Marquette appears on national TV 14 times (Georgetown appears 13 times; Syracuse appears 14 times; Pitt appears 15 times; UConn appears 15 times; WVU appears 14 times; ND appears 16 times; StJ appears 11 times; Cincy appears 8 times; Rutgers & USF appear 6 times.

            I have the links but the post is held up if I post the links.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            In short, in the BE, there’s a pretty clear demarcation. Syracuse, Louisville, Pitt, WVU, UConn, GTown, Villanova, Marquette, & ND are strong TV draws in basketball.

            Rutgers, Cincy, USF, DePaul, Providence, Seton Hall (& TCU when they join) are not TV draws in basketball.

            Only StJ is in the middle.

            So currently, 9.5/17 BE schools are strong basketball draws.
            In your 11 school BE (because I don’t think ND would stay if DePaul & Marquette are kicked out), 7/11 schools are strong basketball draws. As the BE would likely add another non-basketball draw (UCF or Houston, not Memphis), it would end up being 7/12.
            The kicked out schools (and ND) have 2.5/6 strong basketball draws.

            ND and the others could form a Catholic league by adding Xavier (strong draw) and St. Joe’s (middling, like StJ). Maybe St. Louis as well. that’s 4/8 or 4/9 strong draws.

            If you did the math, 9.5/17 is virtually the same as 7/12. There would be virtually no financial benefit from kicking out the schools you want to kick out (and losing ND). Meanwhile, the acrimony & broken friendships would be very real. So unless they like to piss off their friends, I don’t see why they’d do what you suggest.

            Like

          • Michael in Indy says:

            “though it seems I can’t pound it in to your thick head”

            “You should tackle that before coming up with cockamamie schemes”

            Richard,

            It’s just a message board. My guess is you’ve never met bullet and probably never will. Why, then, are you so concerned that you’re trying to “pound it” into his “thick head”? Lighten up a little.

            He does have a good point that the Big East seems unwieldy at 17. Others in position of leadership at Big East schools have felt the same. Syracuse’s AD Jake Crouthamel resigned after the Big East expanded to 16 because he was so opposed to expanding to that number, and this was a man who helped found the conference to begin with. Then there’s all the basketball coaches who whine about the conference’s size and it being oh-so-hard. So it’s not as though bullet is off-base to suggest that a split could happen 5-10 years from now.

            I agree that financially, it wouldn’t be worth splitting, and that the relationships among administrators wouldn’t be worth hurting, either. But that doesn’t mean that a split isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Sorry, I got a bit carried away. My apologies.

            Guess I wouldn’t make a good lawyer.

            Like

          • Michael in Indy says:

            Richard,

            No problem. At 99% of the blogs out there, my comment would have gotten back a biting response. Clearly the people on Frank’s blog know how to remain civil, even if we go a little over the top sometimes. 🙂

            Like

          • bullet says:

            The concept you aren’t getting is that 10-12 is a good number. There are no schools better than Iowa State out there with the possible exception of BYU and they bring other issues. There are only 2 division I conferences with more than 12 teams-the Atlantic 10(+4) and the Big East. The Big 12, SEC and ACC commissioners have all said they don’t want to go beyond 12.

            And the SWC, founded in 1914 did break up leaving 3 private schools and a commuter school behind. The Pac actually broke up in the 60s with the 4 California schools and UW leaving the Oregon schools, Idaho and WSU behind. The WAC broke up leaving longtime member UTEP behind in addition to Fresno and Hawaii. The SEC schools left the Southern Conference and longtime opponents. The ACC left the Southern Conference and many longtime opponents.

            The Big 10’s stability is an exception in the college sports world. I think its because the schools are similar in size and mission. And they all bring something to the table.

            The Big East has the most diverse group of schools (tiny Catholic liberal arts schools, big Catholic research schools, state flagships, commuter schools, private schools) and close to the biggest geographic spread with TCU (WAC excepted).

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Bullet: I’m not sure I’d say schools were left behind. “Following a “pay-for-play” scandal at several PCC institutions (specifically Cal, USC, UCLA and Washington), the PCC disbanded in 1959.” Rather it was a slight lag in time before the offenders invited the onfended to join a new incarnation of the old.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Wasn’t their former member(s) in the B1G? Chicago? Yes, they are the most stable but I don’t think lumping the Pac-? with most others works. The Pac is much closer to the B1G in reguards to stability.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            If you add back in the context, bullet was talking about conference meets for non-revenue sports (like track). There are a limited number of spots for each event, so a 17 team league provides each school less access for their athletes than a 12 team league would.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            12 schools fielded men’s teams and 15 schools fielded women’s teams for the BE indoor track meet. In any case, I don’t think providing opportunities (or not) for their track & field athletes is going to cause the BE to split up.

            Like

    • duffman says:

      If there was a split, I could see some basketball realignment with some A 10 / BE II basketball only conference that could pool OOC games to keep all the catholic basketball schools happy. Something might look like this:

      Big East 24

      12 Football

      East:
      Uconn, Syracuse, Villanova, Rutgers, Temple, USF

      West:
      Notre Dame, UL, UC, Pitt, WVU, TCU

      12 Basketball

      East:
      Providence, Seaton Hall, St Johns, Umass, Georgetown, George Washington

      West:
      St. Louis, Dayton, Xavier, DePaul, Marquette, St. Joes

      This would tie a broad football / basketball footprint that could give added levereage for media contracts while keeping an independent private school identity (catholic). Think of all the in conference inventory you could pipeline across a bigger BE footprint.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        There are a lot of options for the bb schools if there was a split. The bb schools might benefit. Even if they stuck with a Catholic league: Providence, Seton Hall, St. Johns, GT, DePaul, Marquette, and possibly ND, with St. Louis, Dayton, Xavier, St. Joes the obvious additions. They could still choose from Butler, Detroit (for market), Duquesne (to irriate Pitt) and any number of moderately successful schools in big markets in the NE.

        Like

        • Abe Froman says:

          I’d like to see Creighton end up in the hypothetical, non-football playing league, Catholic league.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            Creighton would definitely be more of a peer than Duquesne or Detroit (or even Butler) when it comes to revenue generation.

            However, it would be at the far western end, it isn’t on the East Coast (which ND desires), and it brings no market to speak of.

            If the Catholic schools do get kicked out (excluding Georgetown, because I simply don’t see Syracuse & Villanova or even Pitt giving up GTown), ND would join them. They’d definitely pick up Xavier & probably St. Louis. That would make 7. Maybe a few from St. Joes, Temple, Dayton, Butler, and Creighton as well.

            Like

          • Abe Froman says:

            Yeah, Creighton would be a little bit of a western outlier but they do have the Jesuit thing going for them. Not the biggest market in the world, but they get crazy good support. Last I heard they averaged over 15,000 in home b-ball attendance for the year (I think that was 2 years ago, I can’t imagine it’s much different now). And that’s playing a Missouri Valley Conference schedule of opponents. Not that home attendance is a huge deal in the conference shakedown world, but 15000 would probably be about 3rd or 4th best among Big East teams.

            Like

      • ezdozen says:

        This was what I posted here 5 months ago, which I posted elsewhere some time before that:

        ezdozen says:
        November 2, 2010 at 9:03 am

        BIG EAST:

        As I have posted elsewhere a number of times… why must the Big East be “one of the two”? Why can’t the Big East have two conferences under its umbrella and operate a network regarding both? The two divisions can agree to have plenty of OOC games between the two sections to retain rivalries. By having a solid MidWest presence, the hoops inventory would be substantial…games at 7pm and 9pm every night of the week. Plus, more fball games for inventory–two extra games per week. More fodder to pass down to the network. And just look at the markets.

        Big East:

        North:
        UConn
        Syracuse
        Pitt
        WVU
        Temple (Philly Market)
        Rutgers

        South:
        TCU (Dallas Market)
        Houston (Houston Market)
        Lville
        Cincy
        UCF (Orlando Market)
        USF

        Big East-Gavitt:

        East:
        Providence
        Villanova
        Seton Hall
        Georgetown
        St. Johns
        Richmond (VA Market) or Northeastern (Boston market)

        West:
        Notre Dame
        Marquette
        DePaul
        Butler (IN Market)
        St. Louis (MO Market)
        Xavier (add to Ohio/Cincy market)

        For Bball…might lose automatic bids, etc., but when does THAT really matter? Not like any of these schools really need the automatic bid.

        The bball tournament can be held simultanteously in Brooklyn and MSG, with championship game between the two sections in MSG on Sunday. Any games not shown on ESPN, Big East Network can pick up.

        The football championship game can be played in Miami.

        Basketball Schedule–play round robin within division (10 games), and 3 teams against each other division.

        Football schedule:

        Play 8 games… all within division and 3 from other division on a rotating basis. A typical schedule for a North team would be: 1 game against each other North school, plus one each of Cincy/Lville, USF/UCF (one Florida game), and TCU/Houston (one Texas game). Every other year, a North school would have a game IN Texas or Florida somewhere. How does that not help recruiting? Each team has a natural pair.

        Divide money:

        6% to each football school = 72%
        6% to Notre Dame = 6%
        2% to each basketball school = 22%

        That market swath has to be close to 100,000,000 households. If the Big 10 can average 70 cents, why can’t the Big East get 15 cents/mo.? That is a whopping $1.80/year. But with that many households–why can’t you get $100,000,000 (excluding advertising)? Partner with a network to keep 90% of advertising revenue as its share for facilitating same.

        For a current football school… the current TV contracts become MORE valuable to the networks because there are 2 extra games to choose from–better chance of a good match-up. Plus, there would be better rivalries–Temple/Rutgers… winning team’s coach gets to take over for Paterno. UCF/USF. TCU/Houston. And so on. The network $$$ would be ADDITIONAL, rather than a substitute. An extra $6M per football school suddenly narrows the gap a bit.

        If 12 teams is perfect… 24 is next perfect.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          Do UCF and Houston increase the average value of the BE in football? They certainly dilute the basketball value.

          Philly & Cincy are already in the BE market, though adding Xavier and Temple may still make sense if that gets a BE network on basic cable there.

          I’m not sure SLU would deliver St. Louis, and I’m quite certain Butler would not deliver Indy & Richmond would not deliver any part of VA.

          Plus, where are you getting that 100M households figure? Are you simply adding up state populations? Because I’m quite certain few rural and even many non-alums in cities the BE schools are located in care about the BE (for instance, I doubt Clevelanders would care about the Cincy schools; downstate Illinois doesn’t care about DePaul or SLU unless they’re alums, etc.)

          Finally, as Frank pointed out, TV tends to be all or nothing. That’s because shows/sporting events that reach a few people are a dime a dozen & wouldn’t get people to subscribe, and if you’re not on basic, you won’t get 100% of 15 cents.

          Like

          • ezdozen says:

            You are probably right. I just think that the solution for the Big East should not be based on a “we don’t look like the other conferences because we don’t have 12 teams,” but should instead be based solely on what is in the best interests of the Big East schools.

            16? 17? Who cares? There is no 12-team setup in the Northeast that works without Penn St. and Boston College, and perhaps even Maryland.

            As for the schools, I agree that St. Louis would not carry that city. However, I doubt that DePaul carries Chicago either. Still, it creates some benefit for the Big East.

            Like

          • ezdozen says:

            I think 15 cents is a reasonable average.

            Fox Soccer Channel was delivering 16 cents in 2009. http://mediamemo.allthingsd.com/files/2010/03/cable-sub-fees.png

            I live in Grand Rapids, Michigan… but I have the cable package tier that has SNY and a bunch of other regional channels. I don’t watch the golf channel, but I pay for it. I don’t watch TruTV (361 days a year), but I pay for it. And so on. Everyone who has my package does not watch SNY, even though I do.

            In any event, bear in mind that the Big East may not have high quantity alums, but it may still have high quantity fans, especially in the immediate geographic area…i.e. Syracuse, Louisville, UConn, and West Virginia. 15 cents is low for those areas. If a blended rate of 15 cents was obtainable, that would work too.

            But even if it was only 5 cents on average. So what? Every cent counts to narrow the gap.

            Like

          • @ezdozen – Even if the network could garner 15 cents per subscriber (and that’s assuming basic cable carriage in the BE footprint – sports tier carriage numbers are very small and don’t really matter much), that may not be enough to justify passing up guaranteed dollars from ESPN or another network (or at least justify the risk the conference is taking). The Big Ten Network needs to charge 70 to 80 cents per subscriber per month in its footprint to get the $6M-7M per year per school payout from that entity (rising to over $10M or more per year over time and depending upon advertising revenue). If the Big East can only garner 10-20% of the carriage rate, that yields each Big East school maybe $1 million or so each (the larger footprint countered by a larger membership), which isn’t that much considering the risk involved. If a BE network is truly viable, then ESPN will gladly pay $17 million per year to the conference to kill it off.

            Like

    • I think the Big East’s situation is somewhere in between bullet’s and Richard’s positions. There’s a decent chance that a split BE league could make more money than the hybrid on a per school basis, but whether those gains would be truly material and worth splitting up relationships that have lasted over 3 decades is an open question.

      The value of the Big East Catholic schools is really as a collective as opposed to individual contributions. Could the Big East still be popular in the NYC market with just Syracuse, Rutgers and UConn? Well, let’s put it this way – if those 3 schools could truly deliver the NYC market on their own, they would’ve been added to the Big Ten last year. The BE would still have fans in NYC if there’s a split, but that conference needs a “connector” like St. John’s to give the league an immediate and daily presence in that market. The NYC-BE connection isn’t like the Dallas relationship with the Big 12 or Atlanta relationship with the SEC, where there is such a large critical mass of alums and fans of those conferences in those respective markets that they don’t need a member immediately located in them. NYC, in particular, is extremely provincial in terms of what’s in “The City” and what isn’t, and St. John’s provides that season-long connection between the Big East and Madison Square Garden. Likewise, taking only one of Notre Dame (basketball only, not football), DePaul or Marquette can’t really deliver the Chicago/Midwest market, but putting all three of them together at least created a large enough presence there to justify the Chicago Tribune to have a Big East daily beat writer (which never happened with only ND in the BE).

      The BE doesn’t have Texas or Ohio State-type schools that are flagships that can individually deliver large markets that they’re not even immediately located in – that conference is much dependent upon clusters of schools in order to get traction in its region’s markets.

      Finally, as hard as it might be, we have to take on-the-court records out of the equation (or at least not focus on recent records or when schools are at their historic worsts). It’s more like looking at a house that needs to be rehabbed – it’s not in great shape, yet if it has “good bones” and is in a great urban neighborhood, then it may ultimately be worth the investment. That’s how I look at schools like St. John’s and DePaul – these are programs that really drew large numbers of fans in huge markets not that long ago, and you can already see the type of coverage that halfway-decent St. John’s can receive on the back pages of the NYC newspapers. As bad as those houses look right now, they will always have inherent value because they’re in the right neighborhoods that will always be in demand along with track records of tradition and history.

      In contrast, I’d look at a school like UCF as the equivalent of a huge brand new house in a fast-growing exurban area. We see shiny new facilities, tons of students, and massive growth potential. However, if UCF ends up not performing well, what exactly do you have? The college equivalent of one of those empty subdivisions outside of Orlando or Las Vegas that were abandoned during the housing crisis. It’s a boom-or-bust risk that you’re taking if you add a school like that right now.

      My baseline has always been whether a school still brings value even when it’s horrible on the gridiron or court. The Big East Catholic schools still do that (as they all have tradition combined with great locations).

      Like

      • bullet says:

        I agree that DePaul and St. John’s can regain the value of the Meyer and Carnesseca eras. I just don’t know if they can do it in a 17 team league with so many good programs.

        Like

      • ezdozen says:

        Frank, can you explain to me why every Syracuse game in NYC is considered a home game for Syracuse? We don’t play any more games there than any other Big East school. Please tell Dick Vitale to shut up. 🙂

        Actually, it got worse this year as games in Atlantic City were lumped in under a “Syracuse does not leave NY/NJ until January” line of thinking.

        Like

  6. swesleyh says:

    Randon thoughts from the Big Twelve and realignment….

    “A couple of posters stole my thunder on Monday talking about the possibility of Kansas and even Missouri jumping to the Big East. It’s a real possibility. If A&M, Texas, and OU get their $20 million, that means the other seven get approximately $9 million annually. With the Big East negotiating a big, fat new contract and looking to increase those dollars with an enhanced football league, Kansas is the perfect fit. Not only do they bring in a solid football program, but the basketball program will be a bell cow to an already incredible basketball league. It assures KU of staying in a BCS Conference while enhancing the home schedule with games against teams like UConn, Syracuse, Pitt, Notre Dame, Georgetown, etc. So not only will they get a lot more than the meager $9 million the Big 12 will offer, but it will give them an opportunity to increase internal revenues on basketball and gets them in a conference where they are on equal footing and can compete legitimately in both football and basketball.

    I’ve been telling y’all for months this is a very serious option for Kansas if the Big 12 starts taking away money from the Jayhawks to satisfy promises made to Texas A&M, Texas, and OU. In fact, there have been several occasions where KU officials have publicly stated they have an invitation to the Big East.”

    Thoughts from this blog are anticipated.

    Like

    • M says:

      I’ll believe when I see the money numbers.

      Like

    • Logan says:

      Last year the Big 12 distributed $139 million. with their second tier football TV rights increasing by $70m, they are looking at a total of around $200m, even with the loss of the football conference championship game. Based on the old revenue distribution models, that’s approx. $24m/year for UT/OU, $22m for A&M, $20m for MU and KU, and $16m for Baylor/KSU/ISU. No Big 12 team is going to the Big East in the near future.

      Like

      • schwarm says:

        Been out of the loop for a while – where did you get a total of $200 million for the Big 12 (specifically $70 million for secondary rights?) If true, then if your UT/OU/aTm numbers are accurate, that would leave $18 million each for the remaining schools.

        Like

        • Logan says:

          According to the Big 12 website, the league distributed $139 million last year. That includes all football TV revenue, basketball revenue, everything. The rumor floating around is that Fox is going to pay $90m/year for the 2nd tier football TV rights that are up for bid this summer, up from their current $20m/year. Here is a link:

          Link

          Like

          • schwarm says:

            It says $60-70 million annually, from $20 million, an increase of about $45 million per year. So if current distributions are $140 million, it would go to $185 million. Again, using your numbers for UT/OU/aTm that leaves a little more than $16 million each for the rest.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            The championship game probably brought in $10-$15M, so you’d have to take that out as well.

            Like

          • Logan says:

            schwarm, that was the initial rumor. Read the second paragraph:

            “Now, sources indicated to the publication that the deal could be worth $90 million annually, a 13-year deal worth $1.1 billion total.”

            That’s a $70m bump, added to the $139m, subtracting about $10m for the CCG, and you get $200m.

            Like

          • schwarm says:

            OK, thanks Logan. I guess this does not include “tertiary” rights, like the Longhorn Network.

            Like

    • Richard says:

      The guy who wrote that pretty obviously hadn’t looked at the numbers. Would he rather get $10-$13M of unequally shared revenue or $4-$6M of equally shared revenue?

      Like

      • Adam says:

        It depends on how highly you value being treated equally. Economists like to play the “ultimatum game” and find that people place a pretty high value on being treated equally and would rather go without than feel cheated.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          KU was #3 in Big 12 distributions in 2008-9 (the last year I could find), ahead of CU, UNL and A&M.

          Somehow I don’t think they feel cheated.

          Like

          • Adam says:

            The “ultimatum game” is an interesting experiment. Two players are given a pot of some asset (say, money). Player A may propose a distribution of the asset. Player B can either accept the proposed distribution (in which case it is distributed according to the proposal) or reject it, and both sides get nothing. Economists say the only rational thing to do is for A to propose a highly unequal split (say, I get $99 and you get $1), and B should accept it, because getting something is better than nothing. But they find that people pretty strongly prefer a 50/50 split or something close to it — apparently because they would rather get nothing at all than allow the other person to hustle them for more than their fair share.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            I think the money involved matters.

            If someone proposes to split $100 90/10, I’d say “eff you”. If they propose to split $1M 90/10, I’d take the $100K.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            The difference is that the B12 is performance based. You get on TV, you get more $. Clearly a 7-5 Texas or OU is going to get on TV more than a 7-5 Iowa St. because of history and markets, but there’s still the potential as Kansas and UNL (on the negative side) showed in 2008-9.

            Like

          • Adam says:

            Richard, I think you’re right re: the money involved. Economists generally find it baffling why people consistently go with what they find to be such a befuddling answer to the ultimatum game. But I think that just goes to show how crabbed the perspective of economists is. They assign zero value to feeling like you got treated fairly (or, not feeling like you got cheated). But there is no reason that doesn’t have a cash value like anything else. If it’s worth, say, $5000 to me, then I definitely wouldn’t accept that $99/$1 split, because I’m -$4999 after the transaction. If it’s $1 million and we split it 90/10, even after discounting for me getting mistreated, I’m still $95,000 richer.

            Like

          • Logan says:

            With the new, smaller Big 12, will it be more likely that all games are on TV? Won’t Iowa State and Baylor be on TV more often simply because there are fewer games to choose from? And since the Big 12 money is split based on TV appearances, does that mean that the revenue will be more evenly distributed in the new 10 team league?

            Like

          • Nostradamus says:

            Logan,
            Yeah it is more likely more games will televised, especially considering the rumored 2012 FSN deal includes double the inventory (up to 40 games from about 20 right now).

            As for the question if revenue will be distributed more equally or not? I really don’t know and this is one of the things I am interested to watch this fall. The Big XII does base it on appearances, but it is slightly more complicated than that. The ABC and cable pots are seperate. You get rewarded more for a non-conference appearance, presumably an incentive to schedule better. The system is credit based, so obviously if more credits have been distributed the value of an individual credit is now worth less. Like I said, I don’t know that outcome, but I wouldn’t necessarily assume it is favorable to the Baylor’s or the Iowa State’s.

            since the Big 12 money is split based on TV appearances, does that mean that the revenue will be more evenly distributed in the new 10 team league?

            Like

          • Nostradamus says:

            sorry forgot to delete Logan’s question I was responding to at the end of my last post.

            Like

    • Jake says:

      Should the Big East expand beyond TCU and Nova (still not a fan of that move, but politics is what it is, I guess), I imagine their target would be a strong football program that would bring in viewers. Looking around, I see only one school in the country that meets those criteria and is reasonably attainable: Brigham Young University. It’s a stretch, and would strain the Big East name to the breaking point, but the Cougars would be quite a get.

      Of course, convincing them to give up their apparently lucrative deals with ESPN could be tough (although there’s nothing stopping them from scheduling ND and UT in OOC play), and you’d have to deal with the no-Sunday-play scheduling restrictions, but it’s workable. Also, there are the travel issues, but we’ve been through that discussion before, and it’s not as big of a deal as some make it out to be. Already getting on a plane, not all sports play conference round-robin, etc.

      BYU has to find a spot in a BCS AQ conference appealing, and if exposure is what they’re looking for, well, the East Coast media can offer them that in spades. Plus if BYU joins up, we’re well on our way to the “Big Country” conference, and who doesn’t want to see that?

      Like

      • Jake says:

        Sigh. I still have much to learn about posting comments. Totally didn’t mean for that to be under the Big 12 revenue discussion.

        Like

      • bullet says:

        If that happened, BYU would probably be just fb only. That would be pretty interesting, being in the West Coast Conference for most sports and Big East for football.

        Really, the Sunday issue is not a revenue issue as fb doesn’t and bb rarely plays on Sunday. Its really an exposure issue for non-revenue sports. And its a classroom issue. If spring sports don’t compete on Sunday, you have to compete more during the week and miss more class-time.

        Like

        • Jake says:

          Football-only would certainly solve some problems, but that Big East bb contract (not to mention the NCAA credits) would have to be a big selling point for the conference as well. BYU would be giving up opportunities to sign deals with big-time powers in order to play USF and UConn every year (particularly if there’s a nine-game conference schedule), so the BEast would have to give them at least as good of a deal as TCU got.

          And with scheduling, wouldn’t that be an issue for post-season tournaments? Although the basketball tournament ended on Saturday, so maybe not. Well, one less problem.

          Like

        • Sammy11 says:

          I think to land BYU, the Big East has to get over 8 million per year, give BYUTV all the flexibility it wants in rebroadcasts and broadcasting games not initially picked up, and a scheduling agreement in hoops to help their RPI.

          If the money isn’t better and the tv rights are not granted it is a deal breaker for them. The hoops thing is icing on the cake that can help but the others are the key factors.

          Like

      • Richard says:

        Considering they make more money as an independent and travel costs would increase significantly, I doubt they’re interested.

        Their role model is Notre Dame, not Cincy.

        Like

        • Jake says:

          Maybe. I’m not convinced it’s as lucrative a deal as they’ve made it out to be. They only get the big paydays for home games against the top teams, and their deals are 2-for-1’s (or effectively 2-for-1 with Texas), so they aren’t getting all that many of them. The Big East is renegotiating, and their new TV deal (which may not be as big as some hope it will be, but still a significant boost) plus BCS bowl revenue should surpass what BYU is getting as an indy, particularly if BYU is included as part of the Big East deal. We’ll see how it shakes out.

          As for travel, the WCC is closer, but they’re still making plane trips to get there. And the revenue boost from Big East basketball (TV + NCAA credits) would more than make up for that. Sure, a lot of the non-football sports would be inconvenienced, but if those teams were a concern for BYU’s administration, they wouldn’t have gone independent in the first place.

          And right now, BYU’s role model should be TCU, at least until they learn how to not get blown out by the Frogs. Can’t wait to get another shot at them in October. Pity the game’s on a Friday and I almost certainly won’t be able to make it.

          Like

          • gregenstein says:

            I can’t see why BYU would do this. They wouldn’t get a cut of the basketball money (since they’re joining football only), and the football money really isn’t that great in the Big East…not sure it would be worth what they would have to give up.

            Let me say it this way. I think the Big East would LOVE to add BYU for football only while BYU has little reason to join that way.

            Like

          • Jake says:

            @Gregenstein – slow down on that football-only talk. If you’re joining the Big East, you’ve got to go all-in; basketball money’s bigger than the football money, after all. Football-only might relieve some travel problems, but it’s nothing increased hoops revenue wouldn’t take care of.

            Like

        • Jake says:

          And of course they can still schedule ND and UT OOC. I imagine that would be sine qua non for them joining the Big East.

          Like

  7. M says:

    The postseason losing streak in Northwestern revenue sports is over. Take that, Wisconsin (-Milwaukee).

    Like

  8. Jake says:

    Okay, has anyone else seen the State Farm commercial with LeBron? Did they film that after the crying in the locker room incident, or is it just a coincidence?

    Like

  9. KnightTower says:

    Nothing says “BCS Conference” like a transitional FCS member playing in an 18,000 seat soccer stadium 20 miles from campus that averages 5,000 fans per game.

    That’s the problem the Big East has that none of the other BCS conferences have to worry about: perception. Something the Big East needs to consider when re-negotiating its TV deal.

    The C-USA options won’t help that too much, but none hold the obvious negatives that Villanova football has.

    Like

    • Richard says:

      TV money isn’t driven by perception but by eyeballs. Nobody would be more willing to watch a BE football game because UCF is in the league instead of Villanova.

      Like

      • KnightTower says:

        Perhaps. But if no one actually cares enough to go to a Villanova football game (6,000 for FCS champ game), how many people would want to watch one on TV?

        There’s a vastly perceptible difference between the interest in Villanova football and any of the C-USA football programs (except maybe Memphis).

        Like

        • gregenstein says:

          People in general care more about 1-A football than 1-AA. There’s probably a good percentage of people in the Philly area who don’t even know Villanova has a football team. They might once they hear TCU or even WVU is coming to play a game.

          All I’m saying is that 6,000 for an FCS game doesn’t translate to 6,000 for an FBS game. I could be wrong, but I think they’ll draw a lot better just because they’ll be playing better competition.

          Like

    • Jake says:

      @KnightTower – yeah, that’s my problem with the move. There have to be any number of non-AQ teams (e.g. Boise State) that will be steamed watching an FCS team make the jump straight into an AQ conference. And the BCS bowls have to be looking at this and thinking, jeez, what if that team wins the conference some day? It’ll be worse than UConn!

      Also, you’re sharing the bowl and football TV revenue with a team that probably won’t be making many bowl games or national TV appearances for a number of years, at best. Gimme BYU instead, if they’ll have the BEast.

      Like

      • Michael in Indy says:

        Jake,

        Believe me, I understand how irritated you are that Villanova football is probably going to join the Big East. No FCS program really deserves to waltz right into an AQ league, but if anyone’s going to get in, it should be my Appalachian State Mountaineers. The three FCS title games ASU won set the top three attendance records for Finley Stadium in Chattanooga, which was very different from the small-time, high school atmosphere the one year Villanova won it. It stinks that a school whose football team has hardly any fans whatsoever is going to get into the Big East while App State, which brings in 31,000 fans to watch freaking Elon, is either going to stay in the SoCon or, best case scenario… join Conference USA. Boise State, ECU, SMU, Houston, and even UCF fans should be even more upset. (BYU fans, though, shouldn’t be too upset b/c BYU might be better off independent.)

        But I think the value that those schools can add is pretty negligible. TCU was added because it has enough credibility with the general cfb audience to boost TV value, and it keeps the BE from losing its autobid to the BCS. Villanova adds less football TV value than anyone else, but it’s also the only one that won’t have a negative impact on the more lucrative b-ball TV contact.

        I agree that the bowl games won’t like to see Villanova as a member, but the BCS bowls won’t have to worry about that for a long time. In spite of its on-the-field success, Nova football is much less prepared for the Big East level of play than UConn was when it entered the BE. It’ll take years of investment before Villanova will be able to offer coaching salaries and facilities at the Big East level. Maybe that’s not the worst thing. The Big East has had no true doormat. Maybe it needs its own Indiana/Duke/Washington State/Kansas/Vanderbilt. Just as long as it doesn’t have four of them like your Frogs have had in the MWC…

        Like

        • bullet says:

          The problem in the BE is that at various times over the last 10-15 years Rutgers, Syracuse, Pitt and Temple have been the doormats. And UConn, USF and soon Villanova are fresh up from fcs. Cincinnati made Memphis look good until the last 10 years. That leaves WVU and UL.

          Like

    • Michael in Indy says:

      Knight-Tower, I agree with you. Big East football has the kind of perception problems that keep eyeballs, and therefore TV money, away.

      In 2000, Villanova, USF, and UConn were all FCS programs. TCU, Louisville, and Cincinnati were non-AQ programs that, at the time, had hardly made any Top 25 appearances in the previous 30 years. Rutgers was basically a non-AQ program that just happened to be in an AQ conference. All of those programs have had more success in the past 11 seasons than they’d had in many generations, most notably TCU and Louisville’s mid-decade teams. Except for Nova, they’ve all built what I’ll call “equity” in terms of fans’ willingness to watch them because of that success. But that equity is limited. Cincinnati in ’09 had to get to about 8- or 9-0 before casual fans started to pay much attention. That means the Big East’s best team was an afterthought for two of the three months of cfb’s regular season. Same for Louisville and Rutgers in ’06. And as soon as any of them have taken a step back to the 7- to 9-win level, casual fans’ interest level in them drops off much more than than their counterparts in the other BCS leagues.

      Syracuse has had the opposite story. Around 2000, they had a lot of equity with casual fans. They probably could have been described by Stewart Mandel as “barons,” or “knights” at worst. They were just a few years removed from the Donovan McNabb years and appearances in the Fiesta and Orange Bowls. But their horrible decade has cost them a ton of that equity; their perception is still ahead of Villanova and UConn, but it’s not definitively better than anyone else in the league. Non-Syracuse fans won’t watch Syracuse anymore just because it’s Syracuse… Pitt and WVU are the only programs who had, roughly, Syracuse’s level of equity and never lost it.

      I think the only way Big East football is ever going to have TV money competitive with the other BCS leagues is if it starts having 2+ teams as regulars to the top ten. A surprise 1-2 year run by Cincy isn’t enough. One year with three top ten teams (2006) isn’t enough. But if TCU and, say, West Virginia can each finish in the top ten for 5 out of 6 years, while 2-3 other programs reliably finish in the top 25, then perception will change, and the stigma of having 6 former non-AQ’s will be gone. Casual fans will start watching in big numbers in September instead of November. Only then will TV networks will pay accordingly. Even then, TV revenue for football would only be around Pac-12 or ACC levels. The Big Ten and SEC are too far ahead.

      Like

  10. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    add

    Like

  11. MIRuss says:

    Frank,

    Good post, as always, but are you missing a basic point? AQ status is now somewhat defined:

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/andy_staples/04/23/bcs-aq/index.html

    If the BEast doesn’t want to “lose” it’s AQ status, doesn’t it owe it to itself and the other members of the conference to get the best or most qualified addition available to maintain AQ status? In other words, bringing up Villanova brings down the overall grade and that could be detrimental to the AQ status overall…

    Just a thought.

    Like

    • Michael in Indy says:

      Going by the criteria in the si.com article, I think the addition of TCU has secured the BE from any danger of losing its AQ status. Actually, for the purpose of maintaining AQ status, the Big East couldn’t have done much better if it added Alabama, Ohio State, or Oklahoma. Based on the final BCS rankings from the previous three seasons, TCU helps more than Florida, USC, Texas, Oregon, or Auburn.

      With TCU helping the Big East for all three criteria, Villanova won’t hurt that much. The top FCS teams, including Villanova, usually get respectable computer rankings. Those rankings are probably not all that different from UCF or others from C-USA.

      Like

      • KnightTower says:

        This is the part that determines who gets future automatic bids:

        http://www.collegefootballpoll.com/bcs_automatic_qualifying_standards.html

        TCU adds 4 BC points from the past year.

        UCF actually finished ranked in the final BCS poll this past year. So they would actually add a (little) bit on that front by adding 1 BCS point.
        All of the other expansion teams, including Villanova? 0.

        Like

        • Michael in Indy says:

          Eh, I still think AQ status is a non-issue for the Big East. Adding TCU neutralizes the negatives from the Big East’s horrible results last season. Plus, even if the Big East gets stuck in sixth place, it isn’t likely to be threatened by the badly-weakened seventh place MWC.

          Besides, as Frank’s pointed out before, the other AQ conferences have plenty of incentives to let the BE keep its AQ status regardless of what the data says. (1) Presidents of universities in the other AQ leagues see Syracuse, Rutgers, Pitt, and probably UConn as peers academically. Taking away those school’ AQ status would burn bridges that don’t need to be burned. The political ramifications of removing those schools’ AQ status would have a far worse effect than keeping non-AQ schools non-AQ. (2) AD’s in the other AQ leagues clearly see WVU, Pitt, Syracuse, Louisville, and as of late, TCU as peers because of the way they schedule them (home-and-home instead of two-for-ones). They don’t want to burn bridges with them, either. (3) The NYC media would eat the conference commissioners of the other AQ leagues alive if Rutgers, UConn, and Syracuse were expelled from the AQ club. (4) The Big East helps the other five conferences maintain control over the entire FBS. Without the Big East, non-AQ conferences would outnumber AQ conferences, and non-AQ schools would outnumber AQ schools.

          The ACC technically could lose its status going by the data in the article you cited, but who are we kidding? The concept that the BCS stands for college football’s elite would lose a ton of legitimacy if Florida State and Miami weren’t included, regardless of their recent struggles. Excluding Virginia Tech wouldn’t be much better. And like the Big East, I don’t think the university presidents in other AQ leagues will be real keen on burning bridges with five AAU members (Georgia Tech, UNC, Duke, UVA, and Maryland). It’s not as though they’re blind to the value of BC, Wake, NC State and Clemson, either.

          Like

    • Jake says:

      As I recall, the formula was for adding another AQ conference, not taking the status away from one; even if that were the case, the Big Ten and ACC are both worse off than the Big East when it comes to the criteria in that formula. But the Big East could still use some more football prowess/drawing power. Never hurts.

      And amazingly, there are still people who think the MWC might earn AQ status. It was a long shot even with Boise, BYU, TCU, and Utah (for the, what, two hours last summer that line-up existed?), and with three of those four gone, plus the somewhat weaker Fresno, Hawaii, and Nevada coming in, I don’t see how it’s even conceivable.

      Like

    • wmtiger says:

      Not sure who brought it up but yes, someone (only the Big East has a chance to) could lose AQ status after the ’12 or ’13 season, based upon results from ’09 – ’12 I think.

      Like

      • Jake says:

        @wmtiger – that’s not what I’ve heard; if you’ve seen something from the BCS that says a conference could lose AQ status, I’d be most keen to read that. But again, if you follow the formula, the Big East is actually better off than some other AQ conferences. Of course, I haven’t really looked at the updated numbers after the 2010 season, when the BE didn’t do so well.

        Like

        • Jake says:

          Okay, just did some math. It was harder than I thought it would be because of all the realignment. I used the 2012 alignments of the conferences, since from what I’ve heard teams will take their numbers with them. This also complicated category 3, since scores are adjusted based on the number of members in that conference. I only did categories 1 and 3 because the average ranking of all teams is a little more work than I have time for at the moment.

          The Big East improved its position by adding TCU (the critical damage to the MWC and WAC helped as well): it moved from 5th to 4th in category 1 (average of highest ranked team) and from 6th to 4th in category 3 (total top 25 teams). The BEast was 3rd in category two before last season, and adding TCU at least offset the conference’s poor 2010 showing.

          The ACC is seventh in both categories 1 and 3, and has fallen below 50% of the SEC’s score in cat. 3, which is the cutoff for AQ status. If anyone is in danger of a poor finish in the BCS AQ formula, it’s them. But they were second in category 2 before the 2010 season, so I think they’re okay. And again, everything I’ve heard is that this is just to determine if another AQ conference should be added, not to get rid of one. There is another evaluation period after the current one (overlapping with it, in fact), but I don’t have enough data right now. Maybe I’ll check at the midpoint.

          Like

          • Jake says:

            … and I just realized I should have used the 2011 conference alignments for that. What a fun exercise in time mismanagement. Doesn’t change anything for the ACC, though – they’re still weak in 1 and 3.

            Like

          • cfn_ms says:

            The current guarantee is through the 2013-14 season I believe. The BE is most vulnerable because they don’t have an actual bowl tie-in (i.e. no major bowl wants them), which means that the next time it all comes up for negotiation they could simply say “no AQ for you.”

            The “qualification standards” are ONLY for after 2011, and ONLY for whether or not any additional leagues can qualify for an additional AQ spot (spoiler: the answer is no). I’m pretty sure there isn’t anything preventing a different set of rules from being put in place after 2013, and then (maybe) the AQ’s might put in a new set of standards for any other league to qualify for a new AQ.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            @cfn They’ve said they may have different standards for the next round.

            On average strength, Big 10 was 6th prior to 2010, but I read somewhere the BE’s 2010 pushed them down to 6th.

            Like

        • Michael in Indy says:

          Even after the 2010 season, the Big East could not have been hurt too bad.

          The three criteria for determining whether a seventh conference can achieve AQ status are, basically (1) how high its top team finishes in the final BCS standings (i.e., pre-bowls) comparaed with the other 10 leagues, (2) the percentage of membership to finish in the finish in the final BCS standings, (3) the end-of-year BCS computer average of the league’s full membership.

          The way I have interpreted it, at the end of every other season, starting with the end of the 2011 season, the BCS will look at the four-year averages in each category for each conference. A non-AQ league that averages in the top six in all three categories becomes an AQ league for the following two years. After two years, the data from the first two years of the previous four year cycle (2008 and 2009) will be thrown out and replaced with two most recent seasons (2012 and 2013). At that point, a league that is currently non-AQ would be evaluated just like any other non-AQ league, even if it had achieved temporary AQ status two years earlier. For example, if the MWC miraculously finishes with an average in the top six in all three categories after the 2011 season, it would be AQ for 2012 and 2013, but the 2012 and 2013 seasons would have to be strong enough to keep the MWC in the top six for all three categories in order to keep AQ status for 2014 and 2015. The six “power conferences” would be exempt from that standard.

          It should be obvious that the “power conferences” are exempt. It isn’t news that the MWC has had top-six averages in one or more of the three categories for several years now. By default, that means somebody among the power conferences has been finishing below the top six where the MWC has. No big deal. All six are still averaging in the top six for at least one of the criteria.

          Even if the power conferences were required to finish in the top six for at least one category, the Big East would still be in good shape. It is well ahead of any non-AQ league for category #3 because the bottom of the MWC drags down the league’s computer average so, so much. The departure of TCU, BYU, and Utah from the MWC will only increase that distance. For category #1, the Big East is also is great shape thanks to TCU’s and Cincinnati’s third-place finishes in 2010 and 2009, respectively. Cincy’s #12 finish in 2008 made the Big East a top six conference in category 1 for that year, too. It would have been seventh behind the WAC (#9 Boise) and the MWC (#11 TCU), and ahead of the ACC (#14 Georgia Tech), but Boise’s 2008 data no longer counts for the WAC.

          The only real issue is criteria #2, which, again, is okay because the power conferences ARE NOT REQUIRED to finish in the top six in all three categories. The most glaring example of the Big East’s shortcoming in that criteria was the 2010 season. But even then, the Big East came out better than the ACC. West Virginia and TCU both finished in the top 25. That’s 20% of the 2012 membership. The ACC finished with a lower percentage: only 2 out of 12 teams in the BCS top 25, regardless of how much the numbers changed after the bowls.

          Factor in that the other power leagues understand it’s just not worth the political nightmare that would ensue by taking away the AQ status of Pitt, WVU, Syracuse, and Rutgers, and it should be crystal clear that the Big East’s status as an AQ league is very secure.

          Big East fans should be much more concerned about areas where the league is not so secure. It’s about to be a very distant sixth behind the other five power leagues. It fails to capture much audience in New York even though it has Syracuse, the only school in the state with BCS status, as well as Rutgers and UConn, who are closer to New York than any other BCS schools. Its basketball teams are not capitalizing on the opportunity to earn the league more money by making deeper runs into the NCAA tournament. Except at Rutgers, football coaches at each school have left in the past 3 years either for better jobs or because of poor performance. And so on…

          Like

          • Jake says:

            @MiI: TCU’s numbers count for the MWC rather than the Big East this go-round (2008-2011) since we aren’t leaving until the 2012 season. I imagine for the 2014 evaluation TCU’s numbers will count for the BEast, which should be a big help. 2009 and 2010 will be, at least.

            The Big East has some issues, sure, but it’s pretty safe. Doubt anyone poaches a school, which is the worst that can happen. It’s biggest problem is having TCU as a member; just look at the trail of dead or dying conferences the Frogs have left strewn across the college landscape over the last 15 years, and you will know the Big East is doomed.

            Like

          • Michael in Indy says:

            @Jake,

            I just wanted to make sure I understood what you were saying, so correct me if I’m misunderstanding. TCU’s data for 2010 and 2011 will count for the Mtn. West for the ’08-’11 evaluation period, which, in theory, will be used to help the MWC have an automatic bid in the ’12 and ’13 seasons, correct? But TCU’s ’10 and ’11 data will count for the Big East for the ’10-’13 evaluation period, which would be applied for the ’14 and ’15 seasons, right? That would seem to make sense to me.

            Of course, as cfn mentioned, the BCS is only under contract for the current criteria to be applied for the ’12 and ’13 seasons. If any change occurred, I could the standards being relaxed due to political/media pressure to allow for a seventh automatic bid; however, I can’t picture the BCS “powers that be” feeling the need to make it more difficult out of fear that the MWC would meet the current standards. The bottom 3-4 of the MWC will always be much weaker than the bottom 3-4 of any BCS league, which will keep the league’s overall computer average low. Meanwhile, it will be hard to produce many top 25 teams consistently. Boise will probably be very good for the foreseeable future. Hawaii, Fresno, Nevada, Air Force, and San Diego State will have some strong seasons, but they do not have the resources that TCU, Utah, and BYU had to produce top 25 teams year after year.

            Like

          • @Michael – This is correct. The current AQ conferences are already in the club. All of the criteria being pointed to apply only to non-AQ conferences to join that club and not as a mechanism to kick any AQ conferences out. This is a big-time misunderstanding among those that think the Big East AQ bid is somehow in danger – the BE is absolutely protected (just like the ACC, which hasn’t done so hot under the BCS criteria, either).

            Like

  12. Playoffs Now says:

    If the BEast does upgrade Villanova (ugh) then perhaps their best move is to offer Boise and BYU fb-only memberships. Make it basically a loophole fig-leaf membership for BYU, where they keep their channel, negotiate their own tv deal, but get the safety of AQ status. Boise probably wants AQ safety enough to agree to almost anything. Both are good nat’l tv draws (for different reasons) that would raise the profile and rep of the BEast, get more quality match ups and time slots for the conference, and enable the extra revenue of a conf champ game.

    Basically just a scheduling arrangement, shouldn’t negatively impact per school revenue the way adding 2 full-time members like UH and UCF to get to 12 in football would. 1 trip west per year in fb, so no complex travel issues. Keeps basketball at 17 teams. Adding Boise, TCU, and a usually decent to good BYU should pretty much squelch talk that the BEast is too weak to have an AQ (or whatever replaces the BCS.)

    Would only add about 4 million in potential new market size as compared to approx 10 million of UH+UCF, but when market penetration is factored in it is probably much closer. Plus the added national factor for Boise and BYU’s Mormon base.

    Like

    • Richard says:

      They’d probably end up with only Boise & not BYU.

      Like

    • Jake says:

      Boise would have to move their other sports to another conference – WCC, Big West, maybe? – since, IIRC, you can’t have your sports in two different FBS conferences. Boise would probably go for it, but I think it would have to be all-sports for BYU to consider it; basketball revenue is greater than football revenue in the Big East, after all, and they would be giving up a few opportunities to schedule big opponents like ND and UT (although 1-2 a year could stay on the schedule, plus the annual rivalry with Utah).

      Like

    • Sammy11 says:

      Boise could work as they could Big Sky their other sports and would see a pay increase for football alone.

      BYU would not jump for FB-only unless:
      – A football tv share is greater than the 8 million they get from ESPN
      – The get full rebroadcast rights for BYUTV
      – BYUTV could pick up all games not initially broadcast by the ESPN networks. My understanding is that the BE schools don’t sell the worst games to local stations, ESPN does as they bought them in the first place.

      Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        People, BYU is the church. The church wants viewership far more than dollars. It is an inroad to “spread the word”, to introduce themselves to millions. Their channel is free. If the church felt it needs more money they will simply ask their members for it and, presto, instant millions. Money is not a major issue for them.

        Like

      • Richard says:

        Except, would the BE want just Boise football?

        Like

  13. 84Lion says:

    Thought I would post this link given the discussions in the past on this site regarding the academic status of various schools:

    http://www.libertyunbound.com/node/505

    “Rewarding Yale-ness” –
    To be specific: universities that currently rank in the middle of US News’ list can’t improve their rankings, for two reasons. A University of Michigan sociologist who studies rankings has found that the university presidents who take the reputation survey (some are expected to “evaluate” more than 200 peer institutions) depend heavily on the existing US News rankings for their evaluations! In other words, the reputation process is circular.

    For example, Yale is so high on the selectivity scale (it’s ranked first among national universities) that its “predicted graduation rate” is 96. Thus, its efficacy rate can’t be more than four, and it’s actually two. In contrast, Penn State, which has the lowest ranking of the top 50 national universities, is not as selective as Yale. But it does very well on the graduation measure; its expected graduation rate is 73% and its actual graduation rate is 85%, giving it an “efficacy” score of 12, the highest in the top 50.

    But US News gives twice as much weight to selectivity as to efficacy — a completely arbitrary choice and, according to Gladwell, the wrong measure in terms of social benefit (although from the perspective of the student seeking prestige, it may be the right choice).

    Like

    • @84Lion – Thanks for posting the link. Generally, I actually don’t think the US News rankings are that bad outside of the metrics that can be (and have been) easily gamed by schools such as yield (which measures how many applicants a school has accepted end up attending, so that perversely gives schools an incentive to reject applicants that have stats that are “too good” for them and unlikely to ultimately attend – Washington University is an example of a school that’s been accused of doing this, where people who supposedly have gotten accepted by Harvard/Yale/Stanford-types end up getting rejected by Wash U in order to help the yield stat). It passes the “smell test” in terms of which undergraduate institutions are most prestigious if you look at them in tiers as opposed to individual rankings. Of course, that can certainly lead to the circular thinking pointed out in the link (where academic-types end up basing their own academic reputation rankings on the U.S. News reputation rankings themselves).

      On a related note, a lot of my analysis on the college sports business is influenced by Malcolm Gladwell’s “The Tipping Point”. The overarching point of the book is that successful businesses (or popular music band or sports team fan bases) don’t grow in a linear fashion. Instead, they grow bit by bit until they reach a critical mass (the tipping point) where gains then pop into the stratosphere. If a business never reaches that tipping point, though, then it will be mired in slow to no growth patterns. I’ve looked at issues such as whether a school or conference can “deliver a market” in the same fashion. The Big Ten has gone past the tipping point in its home region, which is why it had the leverage to get the Big Ten Network onto basic cable – there’s a critical mass of Big Ten alums and fans where cable companies can’t afford to not carry channel. The Big East, on the other hand, has never really reached the tipping point in the New York City market – there are good numbers of alums of schools such as Syracuse, UConn and Rutgers there, but the market is so dispersed among so many other schools (i.e. Notre Dame, Penn State, Duke, Michigan, etc.) that the Big East critical mass isn’t there to support a conference TV network. That’s why despite all of the large markets that the conference has on paper, it hasn’t received the same TV contracts as other BCS leagues with smaller population bases. Ultimately, “delivering a market” is truly an all-or-nothing proposition – having a school located in a great market doesn’t mean much (if anything) if it hasn’t reached a critical mass of fans.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Your comment brings up a thought.

        Could the Big 10 or ACC deliver New York with BE teams when the BE can’t? Could they generate more value with Rutgers, SU, UConn, Pitt, etc. than the BE can?

        Like

        • tt says:

          I think the conference which would have the best chance at delivering the New York market would be the Big Ten. however, I think that Notre Dame would have to be in the conference for there to be any chance. the combination of Notre Dame, Penn State, and Michigan along with the local NY schools (such as Syracuse and Rutgers) would probably stand the best chance. If that couldn’t pull it off, though, I don’t think anything could

          Like

        • ezdozen says:

          I am not sure the issue is that the Big East cannot deliver NYC, I think the real issue is that the Big East is not set up to derive a direct benefit from delivering NYC.

          The Big East product was made for TV. It was created to take advantage of NE markets. But the Big 10 is the one that had the balls to create a network, rather than just rely on other networks bidding on rights.

          Like

  14. Jake says:

    Since we’re supposed to be talking about basketball, does anyone know what one NCAA tournament unit is worth these days? It was around $220K, but that was before the new contract. I’m assuming it’s more now?

    Like

      • @Jake – Thanks for posting – this is great info. My only quibble with how it was written is that it focused too much on total conference revenue as opposed to per-school revenue. The Big East should be expected to have made the most because it has had 16 schools. When you look at NCAA Tournament unit revenue on a per school basis, the rankings come out as follows:

        (1) Big 12 – $6.48 million per school
        (2) ACC – $6.37 million
        (3) Big Ten – $6.33 million
        (4) Pac-10 – $6.3 million
        (5) SEC – $5.88 million
        (6) Big East – $5.42 million

        The article gave the impression that the Big East, Big 12 and ACC are on one tier, while the Big Ten, Pac-10 and SEC are on the lower tier. Looking at a per school basis, though, it’s really the Big 12, ACC, Big Ten and Pac-10 on the top tier and then the SEC and Big East on the next tier.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          Frank,

          Where were those Illini all year?

          Like

          • @Brian – I have no idea. The Illini definitely fall into the “really talented team that underachieved during the regular season” category – they have tons of athleticism and size, but could rarely put it all together. I’ve yelled at my TV screen all year that the team really ought to push the ball for an uptempo game. When they get into slow halfcourt slugfests with Wisconsin or even Penn State and Northwestern, it completely undermines their physical advantages. Steve Kerr noted last night that it’s almost as if the shackles are off of Illinois by getting out of Big Ten play and I think there’s a lot of truth to that.

            At the beginning of the season, I looked at this squad as a Sweet Sixteen team as a minimum. That will clearly be an uphill task against Kansas, although the Illinois fan base is going to be insanely jacked up for that one. It’s fairly incredible that Illinois is playing 2 games in a row against its last 2 former coaches. There really wasn’t much animosity toward Lon Kruger leaving for the NBA, but boy oh boy, there’s everlasting bitterness against Bill Self (even though I personally don’t think it’s deserved).

            Like

          • bullet says:

            I think they’ve got a decent chance from the limited I’ve seen of them. They have a lot of athleticism and a very strong defense. That can keep them in any game.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Yep. I think the Illini have as much athleticism and size as any team in the country.

            It does help for the Illini to get out of B10 play, in part because I think the B10 is the best basketball conference this year (and Ken Pomeroy agrees; he has 3 B10 teams in his top 7), but also because Bo Ryan & Tom Izzo want to turn every game in to a defensive slugfest while Carmody & DeChellis (actually, most B10 coaches) want the game to be played at a snails-pace crawl.

            Most teams outside the B10 just aren’t as physical or defensively & mentally tough, so I’m sure when a B10 team plays come tournament time, it’s a breathe of fresh air since it would feel like playing ball against a team that plays no defense.

            Like

          • frug says:

            Well they kept it close for a while but Kansas was too much the Illini. Football season starts in 6 months.

            Like

          • @frug – Illinois actually played alright tonight (especially on defense), but Kansas is simply a better team. While I’m certainly not happy about the outcome (and had a few expletives during the course of the evening), it wasn’t for a lack of effort by Illinois. The 2 NCAA Tournament games for the Illini at least made me feel a little less bitter about the season. They were focused the last few days in a way they hadn’t been during the Big Ten schedule. We’ll probably see Demetri McCamey get a chance to be a backup point guard in the NBA.

            Like

          • frug says:

            I didn’t mean to degrade the Illini’s performance. They lost not because of lack of effort or sloppy play, but because Kansas was simply the more talented team. The season as a whole was may have been a disappointment, but tonight’s result was expected.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            The Illini faced a team that was as athletic as them and had more physical & more talented bigs. They didn’t shoot well enough to compensate.

            I have to say, after watching NU’s pretty motion offense based on cutting and smart passing to find an open shooter or backdoor layup all season, seeing KU and Illinois playing an NBA-style game where you get the ball to someone who has a mismatch and then watch him dominate one-on-one is actually pretty boring.

            Like

  15. Vincent says:

    If a 17-member Big East proves too cumbersome, might a conference such as the ACC — whose basketball brand has devolved into a duopoly in recent years, thanks largely to weakened programs at N.C. State and Maryland — try to pick off some Big East members (perhaps two, no more than four)? Add Syracuse and Pittsburgh to the ACC, and perhaps two of three of Rutgers, West Virginia and Connecticut, and you’ve strengthened ACC hoops at the expense of the Big East and helped football a bit as well. You’ve also added a northeastern presence that Boston College by itself couldn’t provide. (One still wonders how things might have changed a few years back had SU and not Virginia Tech been the 12th ACC member.) Would basketball/football combined per-member revenue be as strong or stronger in a 14- or 16-member ACC than it is as a 12-team circuit?

    Like

    • Richard says:

      I don’t think any BE school adds enough to give the ACC a per capita revenue boost. The ACC isn’t going to expand just for the sake of expansion (that is, if no addition leads to an increase in the per school payout).

      Like

      • Jake says:

        Not in football, most likely; could the ACC consider adding a non-football school? It’s out of character for them, but if they really felt their basketball brand was in trouble (which I don’t think it is), that could solve the problem without too much fuss.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          Yeah. The ACC basketball brand would have to fall unfathomably for them to consider anything so drastic (and even then, I doubt they would), which isn’t going to happen anyway.

          I think the SEC (or B10) would have to somehow pry some ACC schools away for them to consider adding more BE schools. I’d put the probability of that scenario at “low”.

          Like

          • wmtiger says:

            Agree, ACC is pretty stable unless one of more of their members gets an offer to the B10 or SEC; neither of which are looking to add members…

            Any potential expansion at the BCS level is going to develop from the Big XII – 2; where I think most everyone is pretty content living off Texas except for A&M who will only be happy if it receives its promised $20mil in ’12.

            Expansion talk probably should be set on simmer till the Big XII -2 situation revolves after the ’12 revenues are sorted out.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            It’ll be interesting to see.

            I think the B10 would add Maryland, and Maryland may even agree, but the problem then is that the B10 would need a 14th team and there doesn’t seem to be a suitable 14th school that is suitable and willing.

            I think the next moves are (in decreasing likelihood):
            SEC adding B12 and/or ACC teams.
            B10 adding ACC teams
            B10 adding TN & KY
            B10 adding the Cali 4

            Like

          • frug says:

            I can’t see the ACC expanding except as a defensive move. The ACC isn’t going to do anything that could lead to the rise of superconferences since whatever ACC/BEast hybrid emerges afterwords would almost certainly be the weakest of the major leagues by a healthy margin.

            Like

          • Jake says:

            @Richard – I would put Big East expansion as the most likely scenario, followed by the Big X going back to 12. The latter won’t happen in the immediate future, but at some point ABC/ESPN is going to get tired of paying them for a championship game that doesn’t exist.

            Despite all of the talk about “Superconferences,” I just don’t see why it makes sense in most cases for anyone to go beyond 12 football members. I’m sure everyone would have room for Texas or Notre Dame, but other than that?

            Like

          • Michael in Indy says:

            @Jake,

            I agree that the AQ conferences are pretty unlikely to expand beyond 12. I don’t think the MWC, WAC or Sun Belt would have much reason to go past 12, either.

            I can see Conference USA expanding to 14, though, in order to decrease the number of expensive long-distance trips within the widespread conference. Now that C-USA has signed the $14 million/year contract with Fox, with the assumption that that money isn’t lost to ESPN’s lawsuit, expansion could be cost-sensible, too. With 14 teams, the average per team would be an even $1 million instead of $1.167 million. That difference would be easily made up for with the right new members.

            The West Division (UTEP, Tulsa, SMU, Rice, Houston, and Tulane) is pretty geographically consolidated except for the outlier UTEP, so those members have little need for reducing travel costs within the division. They only need to reduce travel costs to the more distant eastern members. The East, though, is awfully spread out for a league that doesn’t get an AQ conference level of revenue.

            So I could easily see Southern Miss, which is closer to more West schools than East schools, getting moved to the West division instead of Louisiana Tech getting added to the league. Meanwhile two schools lying in the middle of the East footprint could be added to the East. Those schools could be any two among Troy, MTSU, Appalachian State, and Western Kentucky. Across a given school’s whole athletic department, it seems very possible for the reduced travel to save $167K a year.

            I do not believe Temple is a realistic option because switching from MAC football to C-USA is not worth giving up affiliation with the A-10 for all other sports. The A-10 is much better for travel and, over the long haul, is a better basketball league.

            The other conference that conceivably go to 14 is the MAC with UMass, but not for travel reasons, obviously. UMass would be more for expanding exposure, and maaaaaybe to improve the MAC’s ESPN contracts.

            Like

          • cfn_ms says:

            14 MAY be a workable number, but no one’s really tried it and I’m not sure who has much of an incentive for it. The ACC could try to take 2 from the Big East and drive a stake in its AQ status… but could they kill the BE’s AQ with just 2? And are there even 2 that the ACC would be happy with? I suspect the answer to both may be no, which makes it implausible.

            The B10 would try 14 if Texas or ND was interested/available… but I struggle to see either.

            The B12 isn’t even going to go back up to 12, much less 14.

            MAYBE the SEC pre-emptively poaches, say, A&M and one of the ACC’s (VT/FSU/Miami/Clem), but the SEC doesn’t seem at all interested in shaking up the status quo, and it’s questionable at best whether A&M could actually make that move.

            The P12 would love to go to 14 w/ Texas, but the Horns turned down P16, so it’s tough to see them taking P14. And they’ll never agree on anyone else.

            So barring the total collapse of, say, the B12, I’d agree that 14 is quite unlikely.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Michael:

            Of those schools you listed, Appy St.’s the only one that is comparable to the CUSA schools in attendance. I don’t think that going from the A10 to CUSA in basketball would deter Temple at all. Remember that CUSA actually amassed considerably more NCAA tournaments credits than the A10 in recent years. Granted, that is due mostly to Calipari’s Memphis teams, but going forward, I don’t see why you think an A10 without Temple is considerably stronger than CUSA in basketball. Memphis is equivalent to Xavier. Granted, the A10 does have Dayton, St. Joe’s, and St. Louis, but those aren’t exactly powerhouses. In any case, we know that football is more important than basketball (and that’s true for CUSA & Temple as well; in fact, Temple’s football revenue dwarfs its basketball revenue), and the difference between CUSA & the MAC in football is loads bigger than the difference between the A10 (without Temple) and CUSA in basketball.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Jake:

            How is ABC/ESPN paying the BE for a championship game?

            Like

          • Jake says:

            @Richard – I was talking about the Big X (formerly the Big XII) in regards to the championship game. Sorry for the confusion.

            Like

    • bullet says:

      I don’t see the ACC expanding except as a defensive move. The $ and desire aren’t there. They might if the Big 10 started taking BE schools.

      Like

      • wmtiger says:

        Not a whole lot of motivation for them to raid the Big East as the Big East schools aren’t a desirable lot. Which is why the B10 didn’t chase any of them last year.

        Once you have 12 members, any additions need to be ‘significant’ additions and all the Big East members would be ‘mediocre’ even by ACC standards..

        I’d actually like to see it happen [ACC stealing a couple of Rutgers, Syracuse, Pitt) personally as I’d prefer to see less BCS leagues.

        Like

  16. Phil says:

    Frank-

    In theory, because the CURRENT Big East contract pays more for basketball than football, it could make sense that they would want to avoid diluting the basketball revenues by having Villanova move up in fb instead of adding another team. However, when you look at the actual impact of going from 17 to 18 teams, it would cost each of the 17 schools approx. $110,000 a year.

    That is not enough reason to add a tiny private school with limited upside like Nova instead someone like UCF, who is better situated now than USF was was they joined the conference. If it IS enough reason because that is 5% of the revenues to the bb-onlies like Seton Hall, Providence and Depaul, all the more reason this mess of a hybrid conference needs to be blown up.

    Like

    • wmtiger says:

      Villanova doesn’t make a lot of ‘football’ sense. I see some potential in them eventually becoming a Louisville or Cincy type football program if they make good coaching hires, there is a good amount of talent in the Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey area so there is potential this works out…

      Agree UCF makes too much sense for the Big East. Lots of ‘potential’, already good attendance considering their conference and a lot of future alumni. Long-term, its hard to not see them in the Big East.

      Like

      • cfn_ms says:

        Long-term, it’s easy to see them not in the Big East. They’re the fifth wheel in their state, and their long-term upside is to be the fourth wheel (i.e. passing USF, and even that’s no given). That’s a VERY limited upside for a league that can’t add many (perhaps ANY) more members and still be remotely functional for non-football sports (ESPECIALLY basketball).

        Now, if you’re going to argue that the Big East will blow up and split between football and non-football, then the “risk of blowing up the league” downside goes away… though the only way that makes sense is if the members WANT to split up (and that’s debatable at best).

        Of course, at that point you’re still talking about diluting the brand by importing a substantially below-average program, and further jeopardizing the Big East’s somewhat tenuous AQ status.

        I know some will argue that the BE is safe for AQ due the northeast being politically powerful, but the more I think about it, the more skeptical I am. The BE can’t even get decent TV ratings for football, which makes me think there isn’t much of constituency to strongly support BE AQ status. Politicians don’t generally bother to pander to small groups of people who don’t care all that much.

        Of course, that possibility has to be giving Villanova some second thoughts. If the Big East loses AQ status AND splits up between the football and non-football schools, wouldn’t ‘Nova be better off staying at 1-AA and sticking w/ the Catholic group? I’m not at all saying that WILL happen, but I’d suspect that it’s at least a consideration. The big advantage to jumping to 1-A is AQ status. Without that, I’m not sure it’s such a good deal.

        Like

        • gregenstein says:

          Partly true. The difference is that it’s not just casual fans you’re talking about now. Cutting off AQ status means cutting off funding for those schools, so they would be sure to tell their alums and friendly politicos (all of them, not just football supporting ones) how decreased funding means increased tuition and decreased programs or non-revenue sports.

          Like

          • cfn_ms says:

            Right. The question is how much of a public groundswell of support might exist. Given that the elites of the Northeast (Ivies + NYU + maybe others I’m forgetting) aren’t even 1-AA, much less Big East in particular, I’m not that sure it’ll matter. In terms of either public or political support, does Pitt (or even Pitt + Nova) have much weight in PA (where PSU and Penn probably matter more)? Does Syracuse in NY? Cincy in OH? USF in FL? TCU in TX? I can buy WVU mattering a lot in WV, but no one else really jumps out at me as dominating their own state… and just one (small) state isn’t going to make a big difference.

            Maybe Rutgers matters in NJ, but I was under the impression Princeton mattered a lot more, and there are plenty of other schools in the state as well. It’s FAR from the level of dominance in in-state matters as you’d expect from, say, Texas, Michigan, Florida, etc.

            Now, if it were to have a big impact on the non-football schools, I could maybe see more of an argument, but I was under the impression that football and non-football revenues were separated. So ND, St Johns, etc. won’t be affected much if at all by the BE AQ status. So if the NY market won’t care (or at least won’t care much), the Boston market won’t care (BC has been gone for a while), and the DC market won’t care (VT has been gone for a while)… is it really a non-starter to challenge Big East AQ status? Especially if it comes along with a rule change to 100% guarantee one of the “other” leagues gets a spot (as opposed to the ~ 80% chance the current rules give)? I’d see that as a tough decision to make one way or the other. Probably wouldn’t get taken away, but I’d think it’s at least possible.

            Like

  17. bullet says:

    There’s been the discussion of 9 game conference schedules and the rising cost of “money” games.

    Per AJC, UGA is paying the following for visits:
    2014 South Alabama (moving up to FBS in 2013) $900k
    2012 Florida Atlantic $1 million
    2012 Buffalo 975k
    2013 North Texas 975k

    AD was formerly at Florida and is bringing the Florida scheduling philosophy to UGA which means more home games and more easy wins ooc.

    Like

    • frug says:

      I’d say he’s following the Ohio State model actually. One legitimate OOC game per year (Boise St coming up this year, home and home with Clemson in 13-14 I believe) and 3 patsies.

      Like

  18. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    +

    Like

  19. ccrider55 says:

    Congratulations to a young Penn State team that has cinched the NCAA wrestling title. First since 1953 and the first east of the Missippi since 1967 (Mich St).

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Saw the end of a match yesterday involving an Arizona St. wrestler seeded #1 who will face an Iowa wrestler in the final. He has managed to do this despite having only one leg. Amazing accomplishment.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        It’s certainly a challenge, but missing the mass of a leg allows him to have a much stronger upper body than others in his weight class. It’s very hard to prepare for, too, since many moves require hooking a leg. I wrestled several people who had similar issues (missing or atrophied arm) and the strength difference pound for pound is amazing.

        Like

        • ccrider55 says:

          I have too. Interesting sport, probably the only one that has rules governing participating with any physical disability (blind, deaf, or missing limb{s}).

          Like

  20. frug says:

    Fiesta Bowl could be in some trouble. It’s BCS status is contractually protected for another 3 years*, but after that it’s likely the Cotton Bowl will make a major push to replace it (something that the remaining Big XII members would probably prefer).

    *Though a separate investigation by the state AG’s office could theoretically shut it down before then.

    Like

    • @frug – I still don’t think the Fiesta Bowl is in any realistic danger of losing its BCS status. It has the nicest and newest facility of any of the current BCS bowls. While Jerry World is spectacular, Dallas simply isn’t on par with Phoenix as a January destination as a replacement. I like Dallas well enough, but as we saw with this year’s Super Bowl, it doesn’t provide a virtual guarantee of great weather that would make people want to shell out a lot of money go travel across the country. That being said, I have a feeling that we’ll see an unseeded plus-one in 3 years with the Cotton Bowl as bowl #5 (and then a separate national championship game played after the bowls are finished).

      The Fiesta Bowl doesn’t have the long history of the other BCS bowls, so I think a lot of fans automatically assume it’s always the first bowl on the chopping block (to the extent there’s a chopping block at all), yet it’s by far the most financially flush bowl outside of the Rose Bowl. That’s how it received its BCS status in the first place (and a big reason why it’s getting into trouble now with throwing too much money around).

      Like

      • frug says:

        I agree that short of serious legal problems it is unlikely the Fiesta Bowl will lose its BCS status, just that it’s plausible. If this is report is as bad as its being made out to be, then it virtually assured to lose its CEO who has basically run the thing single handily for 2+ decades and made it was it is (to say nothing of the PR hit).

        More importantly, the Big XII could ultimately decide they want to change their bowl tie in to the Cotton Bowl which simply makes way more sense geographically (to say nothing of the fact the conference headquarters is in Dallas and the leagues two most important teams operate as de facto home teams.) True, the other conferences could try and force them to stick with the Fiesta, but I’m not sure they will be comfortable telling another conference to determine its bowl tie ins.
        Again, its unlikely but plausible.

        Like

    • Also, we shouldn’t assume that the Big 12 members would necessarily prefer the Cotton over the Fiesta. All of the Texas-based schools plus OU already play at least one game in the Dallas area (if not Jerry World itself) during the regular season, while the old Big 12 North schools vastly prefer going to Phoenix for a bowl trip (another reason why the Fiesta got the Big 12 auto-bid over the Cotton). Like I’ve said, I like Dallas well enough, but when you’re talking about traveling around New Year’s, it’s not even a debate in my head that Midwesterners (who make up the non-Texas Big 12 fan base) would choose Phoenix over Dallas every time.

      Like

      • frug says:

        Ahhh, didn’t see you post this before I responded to your other post. Anyways, I’m not sure the North schools would prefer keeping the Fiesta. While they would probably prefer the city of Phoenix, Dallas is much closer for driving and you can get a direct flight to Dallas from any airport in the country. Plus, and let’s be serious, if UT, OU and TAMU really want the game in Dallas, it is going to be in Dallas.

        Like

    • bullet says:

      Unless this knocks them back, the Fiesta is probably much better financially than the Orange and Sugar. Now it is possible, this could seriously hurt their sponsorships.

      And Dallas is notorious for nasty New Years. Southwest Airlines keeps Phoenix a fairly cheap flight from Texas and Oklahoma. But it really comes down to money. How much will Jerry offer?

      Like

      • frug says:

        I can pretty much guarantee you the Fiesta Bowl is better off financially than the Orange Bowl if for no other reason than a vastly superior conference tie in (the Orange Bowl has made clear if they could dump the ACC tie in they would). As for the Sugar Bowl… I’ve heard that, but I’ve never really understood why. The facility is better, but SEC fans are just as passionate as Big XII fans (and maybe more so). Getting stuck with Hawaii, Utah and Cincinnati in consecutive years didn’t help things, but still.

        That said, I would like to see the Fiesta keep it’s status if for no other reason than it’s the only major bowl whose sponsor actually makes sense.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          The weakness of the Sugar is that New Orleans is a smaller city with not as many corporate sponsorships. Doesn’t have anything to do with the game.

          Like

    • Playoffs Now says:

      How about this for a guess: We get 6 BCS bowls after the next round of negotiations, which is part of an 8-team playoff.

      B10+2 and now the SEC don’t want a playoff, ACC, BEast, and now B12-2 and P12 are open to one. UTx is a lead negotiating school and wants a playoff. B10+2 wants 12 BCS teams instead of 10, smaller AQ conferences not so sure. Cotton Bowl wants to upgrade, Fiesta has internal issues, Orange has attendance problems. Current system may no longer be financially viable for many AQ schools. So compromises and horse trading should be expected.

      I think we’ll see the Cotton and either the Peach or CapOne upgrade to BCS status. Rose (B10+2 and P12 champs), Sugar (SEC), Orange(ACC), and either Fiesta or Cotton (whichever the B12 chooses) become the 1st round bowls of an 8-team playoff that includes the BEast champ and the highest ranked 2 wildcards. 2nd round of playoffs are at the campuses of the top 2 ranked winners, nat’l championship rotated among the 6 BCS bowls.

      The ‘tradional’ BCS bowls don’t get the title game as often and in theory risk a decline in attendance/prices because a few fans might not travel given the chance of a campus playoff game, but making them playoff bowls insures national fan interest and thus better TV ratings. The new BCS bowls get the less meaningful non-playoff games, but that’s no worse what they were getting before. At least now they’ll get the title game every 6 years and the marketing advantages of the BCS label. The Fiesta (or even Orange) might feel screwed if they end up as the consolation bowls, but that would be as a result of the conferences choosing to cut ties. And this round I think the conferences have a stronger hand.

      As for the B12, I’d prefer to go to the Fiesta, but without the conf champ game anymore the schools may end up choosing Arlington. Closer to drive and with potentially far more seats and thus more $. OTOH, they might also fear more seats means more risk that they’ll have to eat tickets at a loss? Do they prefer a winter trip to Arizona and if they might start rotating the basketball tourney through JerryWorld why make 2 trips per year? But that would only affect 1 school at most.

      A 6-bowl BCS that incorporates an 8-team playoff would satisfy most fans, bring in buckets of money, and end most political pressure.

      Like

    • Gopher86 says:

      Other BCS bowls showing large irregularities. Namely the Orange and Sugar Bowls.

      http://network.yardbarker.com/college_football/article_external/youve_got_company_fiesta_bowl/4474888

      Like

  21. Nostradamus says:

    Big Ten Hockey conference could be announced as early as Monday.
    http://insidecollegehockey.com/inch/2011/03/19/bigten/

    Like

    • Adam says:

      Yeah I posted a link to a longer article on this same subject on the last thread but it didn’t get much traction: https://frankthetank.wordpress.com/2011/02/17/west-coast-represent-pac-12-tv-talks-and-what-it-means-for-other-conferences/#comment-96879

      Like

      • Nostradamus says:

        Yeah I remembered it being brought up. It will be interesting to see how this shakes out.

        Like

        • Adam says:

          Perhaps I am naïve, but I think it has the potential to be revolutionary. The amount of college basketball I have watched has increased exponentially since the Big Ten Network ensured that every Big Ten school had virtually every game on TV — which has, in turn, increased my appetite for college basketball generally. I think the same could happen for hockey, and there is much more room for growth. I’m not interested in trying to follow a team unless all of their games are on TV. BTN + BTHC could make that a reality.

          Like

          • David Brown says:

            I happen to love hockey (Huge Pittsburgh Penguin & NY Islander fan), but because of other sports such as College Football, baseball & the NFL, there is not enough time to watch all of the games on TV (I will catch EVERY Penn State & Steeler game (And most Yankee Games)). Hockey comes in behind those sports. I can tell you, that except for the Frozen Four, I don’t watch College Hockey (There is not enough time). However, Penn State starting a College Hockey program, coupled with the Big 10 Network putting the games on, will change that.
            The way the Big 10 operates, is they take their time, and add the right schools and programs to their Conference, which means that College Hockey will be a success for the Conference. It may take 25 years, and you will have some bottom feeders like Northwester & Purdue, but eventually all 12 schools will have Division 1 Hockey Programs, and the Conference will be successful.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            I don’t see all 12 schools adding hockey. Take for example, IU, which has a tight athletics budget and is located in an area with very little interest in ice hockey. Nevermind the high start up costs; once they have a program, would ice hockey make money for them? If not, why would they had such a high-cost sport?

            Like

          • Mike says:

            @Richard

            And the women’s sports to go with it.

            Like

          • Michael in Indy says:

            @Richard,

            Do you (or anyone else who cares to chime in) know why IU’s athletic budget lingers so far behind not just most of the Big Ten schools but so many other schools in AQ conferences as well?

            In the few years I’ve lived in Indiana, I’ve gathered that IU’s athletic spending and general athletic success is towards the bottom of the Big Ten. For that matter, it appears weak compared to the majority of schools in AQ conferences, which is a little puzzling given the Big Ten schools receive far more conference-generated revenue than everyone else besides the SEC (which trails the BT closely).

            On paper, IU’s athletic budget seems like it would compare favorably to most ACC, Big 12, Pac-12, and Big East schools. It’s a larger school than most. It’s the most popular athletics program in its own state, even when Notre Dame and Purdue basketball have better seasons. It doesn’t draw students from other regions to the extent that Michigan or Notre Dame do, but it increasingly does draw students from New York and vicinity. Why isn’t IU able to capitalize more on its in-state popularity or its connections in other regions?

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Michael:

            I think it has to do with football revenues. They brought in $21.7M in football revenues, which would indeed be middle of the pack in the ACC (but middle of the pack there is BC), less than all other B10 schools other than PU, all SEC schools besides MSSt. & Vandy and even all Pac10 schools other than WSU & OrSt & all B12 schools other than ISU, Baylor, and the Kansas schools.

            Like

          • jj says:

            @Adam

            I am excited about this too, but I fear for the CCHA. I would expect ND to head to the WCHA and maybe take one of the Ohio or Michigan schools with it (Miami or Western seem most likely), but the remaining CCHA schools don’t have a lot of options. I was kinda hoping the B10 would take a couple as limited members, but that’s not likely gonna happen.

            Like

          • Adam says:

            I had hoped that ND would be the 12th Big Ten member in large part to avoid messiness with the hockey situation (and in the hopes that it would prompt a hockey conference — unbeknownst to me at the time, PSU was going to step up to Division I). It wouldn’t shock me if ND stayed in the CCHA, though. Hockey, more than other sports, seems to discourage purely mercenary moves. If ND can keep playing Michigan and MSU and even pick up games against Wisconsin and Minnesota, I am not sure what difference it would make to them whether their league games are against Lake Superior St or Colorado College.

            Like

  22. bullet says:

    Is it just me, or does it seem the bb tourney is being called much tighter than in recent years? More like it was called 30 years ago before the BE/Georgetown roughhouse style became accepted.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      I guess it depends on the ref. The last two Texas players to touch the ball in the last 2 seconds got absolutely mugged vs. AZ. They literally shoved the 1st shooter and hammered the 2nd twice on the arms.

      You hate to see a game end like Pitt/Butler, but you don’t want it excessively loose.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        Personally, I thought the calls in Butler/Pitt were just right (especially Shelvin Mack riding the Pitt player out of bounds). I thought the second foul in the Arizona/Texas game happened after time had expired, but they should have called a foul for that first hipcheck.

        I don’t get why some people don’t want to see the rules enforced in the final seconds of a game. If they wanted that, they should petition the NCAA to change the rules so that they’re in force for the first 39:30 of a game, and the last 30 seconds is proscribed melee time.

        Like

        • Adam says:

          prescribed

          Like

        • bullet says:

          There’s no question the Butler/Pitt calls were fouls. Just sometimes the refs swallow their whistle in those situations. The 1st one definitely should have been called. The Butler player got there a split second late, collided and forced the Pitt player to lose control of the ball. On the second one he got the Butler player’s arm so it was a clear foul, but he didn’t cause him to lose control of the ball, so in the NBA they would have let that go. The supervisor of officials said they have been emphasizing this year that a foul is a foul, no matter what the time.

          The Arizona players were quoted after they fouled (and weren’t called) the Memphis player at the end of that game as saying refs don’t call fouls in those situations. One replay clearly showed the Arizona player taking both hands and shoving the driving Texas player in the back, pushing him a couple feet while he was going up. That’s probably why he threw it so wildly, thinking he had the foul. They got the rebounder on both hands for a 2nd foul. He got clear and forced his way up and they grabbed him again on his left arm for a 3rd foul. Where he is visible jumping in most of the replays and the Arizona has contact on both arms as the clock is at zero, that was just a continuation of the 3rd foul which started before he went up.

          It was the same ref both nights, so he clearly wasn’t going to call a foul at the end of the game. Arizona knew that and took advantage. (the one of Texas at 9.6 seconds was pretty clear. Hamilton undercut him-and it looked like there was no way the ball would go in). First, the refs do need to be consistent. But secondly, they shouldn’t allow muggings just because the game is nearly over. It seems like this ref met the first criteria but failed the second. And his calls weren’t consistent with what the supervisor of referees was saying.

          Like

        • Richard says:

          I didn’t think it was a foul when the rebounder came down (pretty much never is that called a foul anywhere in a game, unless the fouler came down so hard on the hands that the ball is jarred loose).

          Like

    • bullet says:

      And Illinois/KU in the 2nd half looks like you need to draw blood to get a foul.

      Like

  23. Playoffs Now says:

    Crazy idea:

    How about a proposal for universities to contract out their football to an NFL farm system? A school would sign affiliate agreements with an NFL team, with the team paying the players a stipend. A team would compete under a school’s banner but technically be run by the NFL (thus offering a way to pay the players and bypass ridiculous Title IX strings that otherwise would require an equivalent number of female athletes in other sports to be paid.) Players would still be subject to a university’s policies and admission standards (though I’d have to think it through further regarding how to adequately penalize Cam Newtons who fail to maintain satisfactory academic progress.)

    It probably wouldn’t act like a true farm system, since you wouldn’t want mid-season player call ups, but NFL teams would get first rights for signing, with a draft for those players NFL teams take a pass on. Perhaps initially set it up with unrestricted negotiation for NFL teams to sign their first school, and then a one-time draft to sign 1-3 more affiliates per team.

    What it does for schools/conferences:

    Removes the huge expense of maintaining DI football programs.

    Gets schools off of the coaching salary escalator. Staff now hired and run by the NFL teams (perhaps subject to school veto, revocation of affiliation contract, etc. depending on how the framework is set up.)

    Allows opportunities for enhanced revenues and new marketing/rev streams (big schools benefit the most, but conferences might negotiate distributions to all teams.)

    Allows for paying players without invoking costly Title IX matches plus reducing some of the unfortunate byproducts of the amateur rules, where for example someone couldn’t pay airfare for a financially poor kid to see his dying mother.
    Won’t eliminate the Newtons and scummy recruiting practices, but perhaps put it at arms length for schools (depending on how much recruiting is restructured, if much at all.)

    For the bigger schools, the opportunity to perhaps at some point break away without completely cutting ties or going to war with the NCAA. “College football has become too expensive, so we have decided to contract out our teams to the NFL. If they decide to organize into a 4×16=64, well hey, they are an independent organization.”

    (For us fans, it probably gets us a playoff, though it can still incorporate the bigger bowls. But might also allow the big schools to rewrite their relationship with the bowls, to the schools’ advantage.)

    What it does for NFL teams:

    Possibility of reigning in rookie salaries, since they’d have first rights, basically a franchise tag, on any stars from their affiliates. Can be signed and then traded later.

    Potential for the best evaluation staffs to corner more possible stars via recruiting.

    More emphasis on pro-style offenses, defenses, and techniques.

    Farm system for staff, provides a bigger coaching bullpen and development system.

    Likely reduces coaching salary escalation, since with a larger pool you have better odds of promoting from within. Perhaps the NFL evolves towards more of the old Hollywood studio system than the more ‘free agent’ current system.

    Potential for NFL teams to expand their market reach via these affiliates. For example, some teams may get into a bidding war over their state’s flagship, such as Cleveland and Cincy fighting over OSU, the Saints grabbing LSU, etc. But some of the small market teams could be well served with smart choices for additional affiliates, such as the Titans taking not just UTn but either AL or AU, the Texans adding OU, Phoenix taking Utah or a Cal school if available. Might be enough to become a preferred team in additional markets, the way drafting VY made TN the default team for the Austin market. For several years the Austin CBS station would choose TN games over Texans games!

    —–

    Obviously this is a very raw concept that has plenty of holes to be addressed, and is such a radical change as to be unlikely. But in the face of financial pressures, increasing state budget troubles with no end in sight, and mounting scandals on the college side, it might be one of the most reasonable reforms.

    Like

    • Richard says:

      No chance.

      For one, football teams are big fundraising tools. Make them farm teams, and the emotional tie is gone. Same with fans as well. Basically, no alum would support this plan. Just ask ND.

      Like

    • M says:

      There are few things I am certain of in this world, but one of them is that each and every college president/chancellor would resign their position and burn down their university before agreeing to this plan.

      -This choice would be beyond war with the NCAA. It would be burning down and pissing in the ashes of the NCAA. I cannot imagine a school going the NCAA and saying “We no longer control our football team, so it’s not our fault if they do crazy stuff”. Lack of institutional control?

      -More cynically, I cannot envision how this setup would be financially more lucrative. There’s no obvious increase in revenue and now the NFL and the (college) players are taking a cut. The programs struggling financially are not the ones that the NFL would want to hijack. Furthermore, the franchise would have no desire to play their valuable recruits in games where they might be injured which would drive down interest. The NFL would be even less likely to have a playoff with more games and opportunities for career ending injury.

      -From the NFL’s side, this setup completely overruns their egalitarian model. Would an 18 year old be “drafted” to a particular school, who would then be forced to admit him? Every franchise would try to induce prized recruits to their programs. If you think recruiting is scummy now, this setup would be the equivalent of an athletic director announcing “We intend to spend as much as it takes to buy the best possible recruiting class”.

      I cannot contemplate anything remotely resembling this setup actually arising.

      Like

      • Playoffs Now says:

        The NFL already has to wait several years for players to run the injury risk of college football. The NFL has already experimented with NFL Europe. Now they might move eligibility down to 2 years in college. But in a 4×64 they could also play a 12 game season, division championships, conf. champs, nat’l champ, and bowls. 15 games for 2 teams, 14 for 2 more, and no more than 13 for the rest. The NFL would go for it.

        The NFL would get a cut of the premier level or two of college football, but structured in a way that the 32 or 64 “haves” get more $ than the present system. Comes at the expense of the lower schools, but I’m not sure they have the power to prevent any big school from going indy in football.

        But the bigger benefit is the cost containment for the NFL. It is a way to reduce free agency and the price entry level players could demand. Of course it would have to be carefully structured, but if the NFL can sell it as simply becoming an operator of the college football system, they may be able to avoid the bidding wars of a true farm system such as baseball’s. Players are still students of each university, and the NFL contracts to pay them a nominal stipend. So no (official) bidding war at the high school level, and reduced opportunity for draft ‘free agency’ after college. Huge potential savings for the NFL at the rookie level.

        Now you will probably still have some under the table bidding wars for the top high school talent, but the pool of bidders has been reduced to 32 NFL team systems instead of far more universities. And with 2 tiers of 64, or maybe even a top of just 32, a school’s potential competitors is reduced to effectively 32 or 64. More cost containment.

        But yeah, it is radical. But I think few can imagine the budget problems ahead for gov’t at all levels which will surely impact most state institutions. We’re most likely at the equivalent of 1930, much more hardship ahead. I’m afraid without major reforms we may schools drop football that we never imagined would.

        Like

      • Playoffs Now says:

        No reason why school couldn’t insist on having final say on the high school athletes recruited and insist on all meeting their admission standards and maintaining satisfactory progress. For the toughest schools, well that’s just another factor for NFL teams to consider when choosing and bidding on affiliates.

        Like

  24. Playoffs Now says:

    I disagree. If Texas or Ohio State or LSU or USC continue to contend for national championships, they’ll continue to sell out stadiums, get the TV ratings, and sell merchandise. The uniforms are still the same, played in the same stadiums on the same Saturdays and on TV all day. Still student athletes if the agreements are structured as such.

    They can subcontract/offshore the operations while still maintaining their brand. Potential for big $ windfall on both sides of the financial ledger. Schools could still remain in their conferences, except the football separates out. It is actually more like becoming Notre Dame, BYU, and UTX. Members of their conferences, but ‘Independent’ franchises in football. Though it doesn’t necessarily mean that one or more of the B10+2, SEC, P12, and perhaps other conferences would jump in themselves. Lots of ways to structure this.

    How it might play out: Texas is pissed about all the cheating, street agents, etc. and the NCAA’s impotence. The cheating reduces UTX’s (albeit somewhat unfair) natural advantages. The Horns don’t want to return to the SWC days, but at some point it may become necessary just to keep up if the NCAA continues to look the other way.

    Subcontracting their football into an NFL affiliate situation would even the playing field and return them to an advantageous position. Any cheating/recruiting issues becomes the NFL’s problem (unless it gets way out of hand.) Plus the NFL, with fewer members and different political/systemic parameters, may do a better job of policing themselves.

    And of course an NFL affiliate system would allow the big schools to keep more money for themselves.

    So I could see down the road a school like Texas approaching owners like Jerry Jones and Bob McNair with such a proposal. Texas only has to convince the NFL and 31 other peer schools to join them, at which point every university will stampede to avoid being left out. My guess is the NFL would set up a top tier of 64 teams, with a 2nd level of 64. Each tier has its own championship (via playoffs.) Top gets the big TV and $, but the 2nd may be enough to get a contract with Versus, NFL network, etc. to fill content. Bottom line for the lower 64 schools, it would take the expenses off the book while keeping merchandise sales and some form of revenue from the NFL. For many or most of them they end up better off financially (and also gives them the option to pair down some of the money-draining Title IX fluff.) Sorry, times are tough.

    Like

    • Richard says:

      That makes no sense.
      1. Texas has been all about control. Why the heck would they subcontract out?
      2. For that matter, how is that going to make them more money? If they wanted to keep all the money for themselves, they’d simply go independent.
      3. How is becoming an NFL affiliate going to restore them to an advantageous position or be advantageous in any way?
      4. How the heck would they convince 31 other schools to join them, and why would they all stampede to join? It’d be very simple for all the power conferences to say “no” to such a plan. In fact, if they ostracize whoever joins, how would this thing get off the ground?

      Like

    • gregenstein says:

      I agree with Richard. I don’t see where the $$ comes from.

      Without adding more games, there won’t be any more $$ coming in, so what benefit do the schools get by not really having control of their own football programs. To schools like Penn State, Texas, et al, that’s a huge amount of $$ to risk.

      On top of that risk, bu publicly becoming an affiliate of the NFL, they lose the illusion that they are primarily there for the kids in the uniforms as students. The NFL becomes these kids’ employer, not their university. At this point, people would view it akin to watching a minor league NFL game instead of a college football game.

      Ratings would drop; money would drop. You call it subcontracting, but I think everyone out there with half a brain would be able to read between the lines of that farce.

      Like

  25. cutter says:

    I read with interest this interview dated 13 March with Oliver Luck, the Athletic Director at West Virginia University. He talks about a number of issues including future college football playoffs and expansion of the Big East. Go to: http://msnsportsnet.com/page.cfm?story=18276&cat=exclusives

    In response to the expansion question, Luck states, “The real question is if the conference ends up going to 12 and having a North and South Division or an East and West Division. I could see the day when we play 10 conference games – or even 11 conference games. There is a good bit in flux right now and we need to keep our powder dry until some important decisions are made regarding the future composition of the Big East.”

    With the addition of Texas Christian, the Big East will have nine football schools. If Villanova joins, that puts the BE at ten FB programs and means the BE can have a nine-game round robin conference football schedule. Here’s the ten football teams in the future conference:

    Cincinnati
    Connecticut
    Louisville
    Pittsburgh
    Rutgers
    South Florida
    Syracuse
    Texas Christian
    Villanova
    West Virginia

    That would leave the following seven schools in the non-football category:

    DePaul
    Georgetown
    Marquette
    Notre Dame (football independent)
    Providence
    St. John’s
    Seton Hall

    I have got to imagine that given this lineup, if the Big East was really serious about having twelve football team, then the Big East will again approach Notre Dame about joining the conference for all sports. Couple the Irish with another all-sports program like Central Florida and the Big East would have 18 total members with 12 playing football–IMHO, an optimal arragement for the conference given its geography, etc.. The BE would still be the premiere men’s basketball conference, it would add one of the kings of college football and it might well make a Big East Network entirely viable with distribution in the northeast, the Midwest and Florida.

    The obvious fly in the ointment is Notre Dame. ND won’t give up its football independent unless it absolutely has to do so due to structural and/or financial imperatives that compel it to do so.

    How much leverage does Notre Dame have in this situation? On the football side, it’s not very much. ND hasn’t helped enhance the Big East’s non-BCS bowls–in fact, the conference bowl lineup still remains relatively unspectacular. Notre Dame does play Big East teams in football (one in 2010, two in 2011, one in 2012), but those games are replaceable (especially if an expanded Big East opts to play all its non-conference games in September). Interestingly enough, ND plays more ACC teams this past season and the next two than it plays Big East programs–it has games with Boston College, Maryland, Wake Forest, Miami-FL on its schedules. Notre Dame and Rutgers couldn’t agree to play one another because ND didn’t want to play at RU’s home stadium. UConn did sign up for a series with ND, but only by agreeing not to play in their home stadium (the games instead will be at Gillette Stadium and the Meadowlands).

    How vital is Notre Dame’s contribution to Big East men’s basketball? As we have recently seen, the BE just put 11 teams into the NCAA tournament, so it’s not as if the conference is lacking in depth. ND does help with the Chicago market along with Marquette and Depaul–does that market take a big hit w/o ND in the fold? If it’s a matter of replacing the NCAA tournament basketball credits, a program like Memphis is essentially just as valuable to the conference as Notre Dame.

    If Notre Dame were to leave the Big East, where would it’s men’s basketball team (not to mention the other non-football teams) play? Where could ND go that would be as prestigious as the BE or would ensure as many national television appearances? Would ND be able to do that in the Atlantic 10? Would the ACC or the Big XII become the new home for all of ND’s team’s other than its football program?

    I think both sides have some leverage on each other and the situation remains in stalemate. What will be interesting to see is if the Big East does embrace a round robin football schedule with the addition of Villanova–do they opt to play all the non-conference games in September or are they somewhat more flexibile in their scheduling policy? If the former, then the ties between ND football and the Big East are likely to become the thinnest of threads.

    And to reiterate, given the current overall strength of the Big East in terms of men’s basketball, does the conference really need to have Notre Dame in it in order to be financially and competitively successful? Or does having ND in the conference make it less likely that some of the Big East members don’t split off?

    Like

    • Michael in Indy says:

      I think ND’s non-football sports would find a spot in the Big 12 if push came to shove.

      Like

      • frug says:

        I can’t really see that happening. ND’s basketball team isn’t going to be worth much to the conference given the complete lack of historical ties/rivalries. Also, I don’t think Texas and Oklahoma want to look like they are willing to rent out space for other schools to park their non-football sports like a parking garage. It would also probably destabilize a conference already built on shaky ground.

        Like

        • Sammy11 says:

          Assuming the allowances were written so UT could not do the same I think the Big 12 would gladly extend ND an offer for membership even without football. They are good at all sports and would generate a lot of buzz and exposure for Big 12 non-football in the east.

          It would make the league schedule a 20 game double-round robin and set the Big 12-2 up even further to have the highest average RPI. If you take CU and NU out, and add CU, Utah, NU, and TCU to the leagues they joined you will see the Big 12 have the highest RPI average each of the last 4 years.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            No team/conference that makes good money off of basketball ticket sales wants a 20-game conference slate.

            Like

          • frug says:

            I just don’t understand what Notre Dame would bring to the Big XII. It’s basketball program actually loses money (one of the few in the country to do so) and can’t imagine that people out East are really going to have any really interest in watching a Baylor-Notre Dame game.

            Like

          • cfn_ms says:

            I think the main value would come if bringing ND in other sports would come along with some level of scheduling arrangement, similar to what the BE currently enjoys. That’s a big win even if ND only plays one game a year outside of the “Big 3” (TX, OK, A&M), and if they insist the return game is at Arrowhead or Jerry World (depending on whether it’s a North or South opponent).

            I’d also strongly suspect that ND’s other sports would up the level of prestige of the league as a whole. Whether ND makes or loses $$$ on other sports isn’t really relevant; what’s relevant is that (even in basketball) they’re a national name compared to a league that doesn’t really have many. ND basketball the rest.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            So if ND brings all that to the B12, why exactly would the BE kick ND out, again?

            Like

    • @cutter – The Big East has absolutely no leverage whatsoever over Notre Dame. Putting aside the fact that ND’s stance on independence is about institutional identity even more than money (which is why the alums react so viciously to any suggestion that they join a conference a football), there are two key points:

      (1) Notre Dame’s NBC contract is worth about $15 million per year for 7 home games, while the entire Big East football contract is worth about $13 million per year. ND holds all of the financial cards here.

      (2) Your very last question is the one that too many BE fans that want to “get tough on ND” ignore. That’s *exactly* why the BE doesn’t ever even think of pushing ND on the football member issue. The reality is that ND is never going to join the BE for football (as evidenced by your point of how ND schedules, where it plays more ACC and Big Ten opponents than BE teams) and if the BE pushed ND out for other sports, there’s a strong likelihood that the Irish would join the Big Ten or ACC. (I’ve never bought that ND would ever seriously consider the Big 12 either fully or partially. Sure, ND would like to play Texas specifically in various sports, but none of the other Big 12 schools or markets hold any value for the Irish. As much as ND calls itself a “national school”, its fan base is largely based in the Northeast and Upper Midwest regions that are home to a disproportionate share of the nation’s Irish Catholics.) If the Big Ten or ACC expand with Notre Dame, that gives them financial incentive to go up to 14 or 16 schools, which means that 1 or more BE schools would be targeted.

      The BE keeping ND in the fold as a partial member is the conference’s single best defense against getting raided by the Big Ten and/or ACC. As a result, the BE isn’t going to mess with that and effectively let ND do what it wants.

      Like

      • cutter says:

        Frank-

        On your first point, the question I would have is what does it matter to the Big East about the size of Notre Dame’s contract with NBC? The conference doesn’t receive any money from it and since there are so few games between ND and Big East teams anyway, my point is that as a football entity, the Irish essentially give nothing to the conference (and at one time, former ND AD Kevin White talked about playing three Big East teams a year–something that we both agree hasn’t materialized.) Is the Big East’s television contracts affected in any way by playing ND in football once or twice a season? Does playing ND in the Meadowlands or Gillette Stadium provide a substantial financial bonus a team like Connecticut? Does ND provide a big ratings boost, because when you look at last season’s television ratings number, the Irish were not big television draws. Let’s take a look at the non-BCS Big East’s bowl games:

        Champs Sports Bowl – BIG EAST vs. ACC

        Meineke Car Care Bowl – BIG EAST vs. ACC

        New Era Pinstripe Bowl – BIG EAST vs. Big 12

        BBVA Compass Bowl/AutoZone Liberty Bowl – BIG EAST vs. SEC or C-USA

        Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl – BIG EAST vs. C-USA

        Is there any bowl game I listed above that the Big East couldn’t get (now that TCU is part of the BE) if Notre Dame wasn’t affiliated with the conference?

        I do largely agree with your second point about why the Big East would want to keep Notre Dame close. The addition of TCU and possibly Villanova as football programs are clearly steps the conference would want to take if it felt like there was a possibility it was going to be “raided” in some future scenario.

        Going forward, what should the Big East do then? Do you go forward and add a couple more football/basketball programs (say UCF and Memphis) in the near term with the expectation that the conference will lose perhaps four teams to an expanded Big Ten or ACC? That give the BE 12 football teams and 19 total members. Would the BE trim down its basketball only members in that scenario (Seton Hall, perhaps)?

        Or if you’re the Big East, do you wait for the chips to fall and then be reactive by adding members from C-USA or some other conference (which they did when BC, Miami and V-Tech went to the ACC)? As the events from last summer (and past years) have shown, it won’t be the first time conferences that lost members have subsequently gone to other conferences and refill their numbers.

        I really don’t expect Notre Dame to join the Big East for all the multitude of reasons you’re pointed out. But I also don’t expect the status quo to remain in place as it now exists either. It may not happen tomorrow or the next day, but I wouldn’t be so sure four or five years down the line–and I suspect the Big East feels the same way.

        Like

    • Richard says:

      To add to Frank’s point, football is waaaaay more important than basketball (or the non-revenue sports) when it comes to decision-making. This is especially true at ND, where its football team is one of the most profitable with one of the most iconic brands in the country while its basketball team brings in so little money that I’m not sure it’s even a revenue sport for them.

      To put it bluntly, I’m sure ND would rather put its basketball and non-revenue sports in the Missouri Valley Conference if they have to and maintain football independence than join the BE in all sports*.

      *Mind you, there’s no way it’ll get that far, because the A10 would be happy to take in ND if the BE is silly enough to issue ND an ultimatum and ND doesn’t want to join the B10 or ACC.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        I’m not so sure about ND and the MVC. I don’t think they would be willing to join regional schools even if they have good bb in order to stay independent. But then the alumni might not give the administration any choice. But I’m also not so sure the MVC would want ND & their football money to swamp them. ND is using those resources to get very competitive in many different sports.

        As for the A10, if ND was out because of a breakup of the BE, any worthwhile A10 teams would join the Catholic BE schools. If only ND got kicked out of the BE, then the A10 might be a reasonable spot. I believe they were with Xavier and St. Louis in the Great Midwest. Dayton was definitely with them.

        DeLoss Dodds has offered them a spot in the B12 if they needed a home, but I don’t know if the rest of the B12 would go along with a fb-less ND.

        Like

      • cutter says:

        Richard-

        I do agree with you that part of Notre Dame’s identity as a university revolves around its football team and that keep it an independent is a primary mission of ND’s leadership.

        I suspect you would agree with me that as men’s basketball entity, Notre Dame’s contribution to the Big East’s overall imagine, revenues, etc. can be replaced by another program like Memphis. Simply put, the marketing image of ND men’s basketball isn’t nearly on par as to how it relates to football. When you say ND (and its fanbase) would be willing to join the Missouri Valley Conference or the Atlantic Ten, I think, you provide testimony enough to that point. Clearly, you perceive that Big East membership for Notre Dame’s non-football sports programs doesn’t hold great value to the ND leadership, etc.

        So what it seems we’re saying is that Notre Dame does very little in adding overall to the Big East in terms of the two main revenue sports–football and men’s basketball. The only real value Notre Dame adds to the conference is that it provides a hedge against the Big Ten or ACC possibly taking some of the major programs out of the Big East as part of some future expansion process.

        So if you’re running the Big East, what do you do? Expand the membership further, i.e., beyond TCU and Villanova, in anticipation of further conference realigments? If yes, when do you do it? If no, then is your ultimate strategy (if you’re running the Big East) to once again become a basketball-centric conference?

        Or do you take steps to strengthen the conference so that the current members have fewer incentives to move elsewhere? Would that mean eventually going to 12 football programs (as WVU’s AD suggests as a future scenario) as a hedge against being raided?

        Let’s assume the Big East were to lose four of its members to the Big Ten–make them Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse and Notre Dame. That knocks the Big East down to seven teams for football (Cincinnati, Connecticut, Louisville, South Florida, West Virginia, Texas Christian, Villanova) and thirteen teams overall (add Depaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John’s, Seton Hall). Do you restock the conference with more football/basketball programs (Memphis, UCF, Houston, etc.) or basketball only schools (from the Atlantic 10 for example) or both? Do you anticipate the ACC or even the SEC looking to add from your existing membership after the Big Ten’s expansion?

        Like

        • Richard says:

          ???

          Just because ND isn’t able to monetize its basketball (because nobody is going to travel to South Bend on a weeknight to see a basketball game) doesn’t mean ND basketball is meaningless to the BE. I reckon ND probably is one of the better road draws for the rest of the BE because of its national fanbase.
          If the BE didn’t think ND added value, why did they add ND for basketball in the first place?

          Oh, and I really don’t see the B10 taking those 4 schools (though _maybe_ some of them would get poached by the ACC if the ACC is raided).

          Like

          • bullet says:

            “why did they add ND for basketball in the first place?”

            I think a lot of people have been puzzled by that.

            Like

    • Michael in Indy says:

      It’s pretty much a pointless argument what would happen in the event of an ultimatum from the Big East to Notre Dame.

      If the Big East were to tell ND that they’re getting kicked out unless their football team joins the football league, then Notre Dame’s going to say, “See ya!” Then the Big East would have to watch Notre Dame takes its nationally recognizable programs to some other league with nothing to gain in return.

      No, Notre Dame is not THE biggest basketball brand out there, but it’s still a solid one thanks to two factors. One, the fact that its football team combines for more fans who either love it or hate it than anyone else has a carryover effect on its other sports. Plenty of people watch Notre Dame b-ball just because they love Notre Dame or because they love to watch Notre Dame lose at anything. Two, ND basketball has earned as a decent basketball brand in its own right. When it competes toe-to-toe with more traditional powerhouses like Georgetown, Syracuse, and UConn and can gets a #2 seed in the NCAA’s, it’s anything but dead weight for the Big East’s television package, regardless of how profitable the team itself is for its athletic department.

      Besides, if the Big East does insist on kicking anyone out, which it shouldn’t, Seton Hall, DePaul, or Providence would make a heck of a lot more sense than Notre Dame.

      But if we’re going to do silly hypotheticals, in a world where the Big East is so dumb as to force out Notre Dame, I do think Notre Dame would prefer the Big 12 for non-football sports than the Atlantic 10 or a Catholic schools-only split of the Big East. The A-10 has a couple of solid basketball programs (Xavier, Temple) some who overachieve (Richmond) and some who underachieve (UMass, Saint Louis, St. Joseph’s), but it’s still basically a glorified mid-major. Notre Dame is a high-major program. It needs high-major competition. The Catholic Big East would definitely help with ND’s desire for appearances in the Northeast and in Chicago & Milwaukee, but this league would still would resemble the A-10. It would be the “little Catholic league that could,” another glorified mid-major, even if it added good programs like Xavier, Temple, or Butler. It would not be high-major.

      Only the Big 12 could provide Notre Dame with a high-major home for non-football. I don’t buy the argument, “Who wants to watch Notre Dame play Baylor or Texas Tech?” Um, who wants to watch anyone play USF, TCU, Seton Hall, or Rutgers? Notre Dame basketball would raise the Big 12 basketball’s rapidly growing profile even further, and I think administrators in the Big 12 would be more than willing to be associated with Notre Dame. People would watch ND b-ball play Kansas, K-State, Mizzou, Texas, Texas A&M, and any other team that’s good. Meanwhile, ND would have to make its presence in the Northeast early in the season with pre-season NIT and other non-conference games. Is it ideal for Notre Dame? No, but this is a world where Big East boneheads forced them out. Fortunately, Big East leaders aren’t that dumb in the first place.

      Like

      • Michael in Indy says:

        Another point: The Big East is safe from being raided. The Big Ten would take some combination of Syracuse, Pitt, Rutgers, and UConn IF they could get that critical mass of the New York television market, but they can’t. Presidents of Big Ten universities do not want to start a chain reaction where they become a 16-team league, then the SEC becomes a 16-team league by raiding part of the Big 12 and part of the ACC, the ACC raids what’s left of the Big East, and so on. Even if growing to 16 could improve the Big Ten’s per-school value, it could also set up the SEC to surpass them, to say nothing of the intangible, traditional value of allowing everyone to play each other as often as possible.

        The ACC doesn’t want Big East teams, either. I have a feeling that some may believe they should have gone for UConn, Rutgers, or Pitt instead of Boston College, but that’s no reason to add any of them as a 13th member.

        The Big East simply needs to make the most of itself with its current membership by winning (not bi-winning) as much as possible IN FOOTBALL. Forget expansion. What it needs is someone to earn its place as one of college football’s “kings.” It’s certainly possible for that to happen. Florida State, Florida, Miami, and LSU were not at all powerhouses 30 years ago, but with a few national titles, they certainly got there. And, by the way, the reason they became powerhouses was not conference realignment.

        Like

    • curious2 says:

      Re: Big East and ND (cutter)

      As of now, the Big East Presidents voted to expand to 10 football teams.

      Even if the Big East expanded to 12 football teams, and at some point,the football members considered a split, presumably they would want to remain affiliated with ND for BB and other non-football sports.

      So even if at some unknown time, the Big East splits, ND might be offered an option to stay affiliated with the football schools, along with one to 3 of the other existing BB only schools.

      If it was all or nothing, then my guess is ND would choose either the ACC or Big 10 bringing along a partner northeast school.

      The Big East has announced it is going to 10 football schools. Beyond that it is anyone’s guess what happens.

      Like

  26. duffman says:

    EOW 01 and the B1G

    Ohio State advances to play Kentucky
    Purdue out to VCU
    Wisconsin advances to play Butler
    Michigan out to Duke
    Illinois out to Kansas
    PSU out to Temple
    MSU out to UCLA

    I had Michigan, PSU, and MSU all advancing, but as the games were close at the end, I feel like it could have been 3-0 for the B1G instead of 0-3. I had Kansas beating Illinois but had both Ohio State and Wisconsin advancing (I had Ohio State and Kansas in the championship with Kansas winning, and Butler taking out Wisconsin to get to the Final Four before losing to Kansas. I had Purdue vs ND with Purdue losing to Kansas, and totally blew that part of the bracket.

    All and all I feel okay about every team in the B1G except Purdue in the tourney this year. How do you guys feel? Who on here has Ohio State and Wisconsin advancing? What could trip them up?

    Like

    • jj says:

      OSU and Wisc look like Final 4 teams to me based on the rest of their brackets. I think OSU is basically a lock, but Marq could be a problem. I also like Wisc’s chances at this point. I thought K-State would be the end of them.

      Anyone ready to call VCU? They’ve been unreal.

      Like

    • M says:

      My grades on the curve:

      Wisconsin: B, could improve
      Illinois: B
      Michigan: B
      Penn State: B
      MSU: C, they should have beaten a mediocre UCLA squad
      Purdue: D, VCU looks good, but they are by far the worst rated team remaining
      OSU: Incomplete
      (Northwestern: A)

      By contrast, the Big East grades:

      Marquette: A, regardless of what happens
      UConn: B, chance to improve
      West Virginia: B
      Cincy: B
      Villanova: C
      Georgetown: C
      St. John’s: C
      Syracuse: D
      Louisville: F
      Pitt: F
      ND: F

      Like

      • duffman says:

        I have admitted an Izzo bias on here before but I still think they should have advanced. Rather than blaming the Spartans I am going to blame it on LeBron and Izzos flirtation with the Cavs. Hopefully he will travel to the UP this summer and spend some time with the tribal folks in northern Michigan and will remove the evil LeBron cloud of grey. Here is to next fall.

        As for the folks watching the Cards early exit, it was all 15 second rick’s fault. The Tan One was getting the face time in the media spotlight, then boom the cards loose and little ricky was back doing commentary. Fear the Tan One little ricky, he comes for you!

        Like

        • jj says:

          i agree, i think izzo needs a break. this whole year was too much drama in general. i think they had constant distractions all year.

          i have a massive izzo bias, he’s probably my favorite coach of all time. he’s the no. 1 choice of where i’d send my boys if they could play at that level.

          Like

  27. duffman says:

    for the gopher fans on here

    http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=6227301

    did not see this due to all the basketball RIP 😦

    Like

    • bullet says:

      All the more reason to dump legends and leaders for Warmuth & Pont (for those who don’t know, Pont was coach at IU in 67, the last time MN and IN even won a piece of the B10-it was a 3 way tie with PU-and PU took 30+ years to win another title).

      Like

  28. Nostradamus says:

    Re: Frank’s last blog post.
    Larry Scott is seeking major cash for the Pac-12 contract. The SBJ article is behind a paywall so I won’t post too much from it. That being said, Scott is asking for “significantly more” than the $205 million the SEC currently gets.
    http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2011/03/21/Media/Pac-10.aspx

    Like

    • Michael in Indy says:

      Does Scott have the leverage to make those demands? Compared to other conferences, the Pac-12 doesn’t get great ratings within its own footprint, nor does it do very well outside its footprint compared to competitors.

      Worse yet, Fox doesn’t have the same incentives to bid high for the Pac-12 as it does for other leagues. First, Fox’s new deal with the Big 12 won’t be based just on the league’s TV ratings, which are solid but not Big Ten/SEC level. The deal will also be motivated out of the desire to ensure the status quo for the Big 12. Ultimately, if Fox really wants to broadcast Big 12 games with its current membership for the duration of its contract, Fox would be best served with Texas A&M, Missouri, and Kansas making just enough money to squelch all possible interest in high-tailing to another league, which, in turn, ensures OU and UT remain happy, too. With the Pac-12, paying a premium for membership stability is not necessary. USC’s threats for independence don’t hold enough water. USC would still need a non-football conference, which would have to include UCLA, who goes nowhere without Cal, who goes nowhere without Stanford. All Stanford has to do is say, “No,” which it would, and the other three would have to stay in the Pac-12.

      Second, Fox does not have to bid against ESPN for TV rights as it did for the ACC, which further reduces the Pac-12’s ability to inflate its value. Scott may still go to NBC/Comcast/Versus or perhaps to CBS Sports, but both he and Fox know that getting a Pac-12 Network on Time Warner Cable on the west coast will be easiest with Fox.

      So what am I missing? Where is Scott’s leverage in his negotiations with Fox or others?

      Like

      • Sammy11 says:

        I don’t see any real leverage unless ESPN is doing an about face. Unless Turner Sports or Comcast are going to blow the doors off I just don’t see it.

        However we are dealing with the guy that briefly tried to swap OSU for KU if reports are to be believed so he may be a little overconfident.

        Like

        • ccrider55 says:

          I thought the KU move was prior to the official Utah invite. It was when aTm said no way…going SEC and was an attempt to still get UT and OU along with TT and OSU. No sensible person would ask the conjoined twins to separate. Instant deal killer.

          Like

        • Richard says:

          I thought he tried to swap KU for Baylor when it looked like TAMU wasn’t going to come along.

          Like

        • frug says:

          Orangeblood.com did report (after the fact behind you) that Scott preferred KU to OSU and was trying to find a way to make it happen. The report needs to be taken with a grain of salt since it was unsourced (though presumably it was a someone requested anonymity) and, as far as I know, it has never been reported anywhere else (that said. OB usually has pretty good sources on this stuff).

          Like

    • duffman says:

      scott can want,

      but will the media pay out?

      If the B12 or PAC media deals come in high, you know it will start a war in the SEC and ACC.

      Like

      • Sammy11 says:

        I think we will see the following pecking order prior to the 2016 Big Ten and Big 12 renegotiations.

        1- SEC 17.2 + Individual tier 3
        (slightly more tv money than the Big Ten with 17.2 vs 15-17 and the SEC can sell tier 3 rights. Big Ten’s 22 million figure is not tv money alone and other leagues have similar non-tv amounts)

        2- Big Ten 17-19 million all rights in.
        3- Big 12 15 million average (with potential for highs of 18 and lows of 13) + Individual tier 3
        4- ACC @ 12.9 million ALL RIGHTS IN
        5- Pac 12 – 12 million if the ESPN not even offering the ACC deal amount to them is to be believed)
        6- Big East @ 9-10 million ALL RIGHTS IN
        7- MWC & CUSA @ roughly 1.5 million

        After 2016 I expect the increase in tier 1 rights for the B1G and B12 to vault them over the SEC who does not reopen for bid until 2023.

        Like

        • greg says:

          @Sammy11

          I’m not picking on you, as everyone does this around here, but your post gives me an opportunity to bring it up. In the discussions, tier 3 rights are used interchangeably as if they are one consistent package of rights sold to media outlets, but this does not appear to be true.

          You list the B10 as having “all rights in”, but they definitely do not. OSU earns $11M a year on individual rights, Iowa earns $5M. What these payments cover, I couldn’t tell you. The Beebe B12 promised contract seems to include much more 3rd tier rights than any of the other conferences, if the initial news articles can be believed. The SEC may have the broadest individual usage of 3rd tier rights, including the occasional football game and rebroadcast rights, but they aren’t the only one that allows individual schools to sell tier 3 rights.

          The 3rd tier rights are a broad spectrum, and each conference fits somewhere on that spectrum. But its not a binary all or nothing.

          Like

          • Sammy11 says:

            When I say 3rd tier rights in this context I am referring to 3rd tier TV RIGHTS. The deals you referenced like OSU’s deal are for radio, merchandising, ad space, everything else you can think of. The Big Ten schools all give their TV rights over to the league in their entirety with the tier 3 stuff and maybe some tier 2 stuff going to the B10 Network.

            The Big 12 deals don’t have those tv rights involved as they are still held by the schools and will likely go to the UT network, OU network, and proposed “Other 8” network.

            The proposed big 12 deal with fox is for 2nd tier (cable) tv rights. ABC/ESPN holds tier 1 right now.

            Like

          • Nostradamus says:

            I agree with greg though. In the broadest sense 1st tier or primary rights are the contracts with ABC for most conferences and CBS for the SEC. 2nd tier rights are generally (at a minimum) the first wave of cable games or anything advertising, etc. shared as a conference. 3rd tier rights are anything a school retains on an individual level. This could be their radio rights, radio advertising, advertising on televised contests, actual televised games, etc. What you can or can’t do is going to vary slightly based on the conference and how the 1st and 2nd tier deals are structured.

            And this is where I may object to your original post as well. I could be wrong on this, but every list I’ve seen has the 3rd tier rights breakdown as follows (this is pre-Texas/ESPN).
            1.Georgia $11.6 million a year (ISP)
            2. Ohio State $11 million (IMG)
            3. Florida $10 million (Sun Sports/IMG)
            4. Alabama $9.44 million (ISP/Learfield)
            5. Texas $9.4 million (IMG)
            6. Nebraska $8.65 million (IMG)
            7. Tennessee 8.34 million (IMG)
            8. Connecticut $8 million (IMG)
            8. Kentucky $8 million (IMG)
            10. North Carolina $7.5 million (Learfield)
            11. LSU $7.45 million, 12. Arkansas $7.3 million 13. Michigan $7.16 million

            Like I said I could be wrong on this that the SEC tv deals aren’t included in these figures, but I don’t think I am as the SEC has 8 of the top 13 schools on the list. The fact is other than Georgia no one was making more than Ohio States’ $11 million. That is in addition to the approximately $20 million they were making from the conference. So going back to your initial post for Ohio State $20+11=31 is better than Georgia’s $17+11.6 or 28.6.

            There is this notion out there (and this what greg was addressing) that The Big Ten has signed away all of its 3rd tier rights to the Big Ten Network, and that simply isn’t the case.

            I get what you were trying to say, but the fact is it looks like an Ohio State or a Nebraska or a Michigan is more than holding their own without the games to sell on their own. The Big Ten schools technically haven’t signed even all of their TV rights over either (they have for the revenue sports). But it is my understanding that if a game isn’t chosen for the Big Ten Network in a sport like volleyball or baseball the school can still televise it on its own.
            The Big 12 deals don’t have those tv rights involved as they are still held by the schools and will likely go to the UT network, OU network, and proposed “Other 8″ network.
            I wouldn’t speak so definitively on this point right now. The rumored FSN deal from right after the conference was saved had Fox asking for many of the individual school’s third tier rights going all the way down to in stadium advertising. I don’t think they’ll get that far with a Texas or an Oklahoma, but if they are paying $90 million and based on the information over the summer it isn’t out of the question.
            The proposed big 12 deal with fox is for 2nd tier (cable) tv rights. ABC/ESPN holds tier 1 right now.
            The issue is and (with Fox in particular) they are asking for more 3rd tier rights as part of a 2nd tier cable deal.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            There’s also the issue of what’s in 2nd tier. The SEC schools (with some restrictions) are allowed to hold out a football game for their 3rd tier rights. That may be why so many of them are so high on the list. The Big 12 is talking about a similar ability.

            It isn’t comparing apples to apples. But the pecking order is still pretty clear. B1G, SEC and Big 12 appear to be at the top. ACC is 4th (depending on Pac 12 who is probably 5th), BE is 6th and nobody else matters.

            Like

          • Sammy11 says:

            Nostradamus- Very detailed reply but I must respectfully clarify a couple things.

            1- I focused only on the major sport tv rights as that is where the leagues really earn their money. Individual schools may rake in big money for radio rights or other tier 3 non-tv rights but none of that is determined by league affiliation.

            2- The Big Ten schools such as OSU do make significant money on their non-tv t3 rights. However my post was concerning the tv deals.

            3- Sure the Big Ten schools may retain the rights to games not broadcast on the Big Ten network but these are either very few or not remotely valuable enough to change the revenue figures relative to each league.

            4- Fox requested the overall tier 3 rights in June but I have seen nothing of it in the reports that have come out in the last 2 weeks. At most I have seen a jump in the cable pecking order which does not really change the overall pay or what tier rights are included.

            5- My understanding is Fox is essentially keeping the status quo with the t2 deal and putting together an “other 8” network for the t3 rights for tv. I think it is premature to assume that fox will be getting the t3 non-tv rights.

            6- To reiterate, when I say ALL RIGHTS IN… I should probably say “all TV rights in”. As it stands for the major sports the Big Ten schools do not have any games that the Big Ten contracts dont already have first rights to.

            Like

          • Nostradamus says:

            @Bullet
            That was kind of my point with the 3rd tier rights numbers. The fact that there are so many SEC schools so high leads me to believe the football game and basketball games are included in those numbers. So my own minor objection to Sammy’s list (and everyone who talks about how much money the SEC schools get off the football game, not saying Sammy is doing that here) is that it is nearly impossible to pull that value out. Plus based on the numbers the fact that you still have an Ohio State, Nebraska, Michigan, pre ESPN Texas up there seems to indicate the value of said SEC football game isn’t near as high as everyone thinks it is.

            Like

          • Nostradamus says:

            @Sammy11

            1-and 2-. I get that. But that is also partially why I find it odd to throw in the 3rd tier rights for SEC to presumably put them over the top on your list. The fact you have other schools so high on that list without a game to televise indicates to me that having a game to televise isn’t as valuable (or at least wasn’t as of 2008) as we think it might be.
            3- I agree with this point, but it goes back to how do we know the value of the football game and basketball games in the SEC at the same time? Presumably based on the numbers it is the various advertising deals that are the driver here.
            4-5- again it may be. Just going based off of what was reported over the summer. Fox was seeking substantial 3rd tier rights beyond media rights. It is quite possible that has changed, but for the $90 million Fox is apparently willing to pay, it wouldn’t surprise me if they are seeking stuff.
            My list would overall be similar to yours heading into the 2016 negotiations.
            I would flip 1 and 2 though.

            1. Big Ten- $21.27 million. Figure is based off of the $100 million/10 year ABC/ESPN deal, $2.8 billion/25 year Big Ten estimate, $20 million addition for Big Ten title game. Also allegedly has or is in the process of renegotiating the existing television deals to account for the addition of Nebraska (could drive the number higher). Delany also gets to renegotiate/auction the ABC/ESPN contract in 5 years. The way things have been trending lately, that is likely a positive sign. Lastly especially in the context of looking at this from heading into 2016 negotiations, The Big Ten ABC/ESPN contract is going to escalate here at the end. The $100 million/10 year deal doesn’t pay out $10 million a year it averages out to $10 million a year. 2009-2010 it was at 8.4 million. By 2015-2016 I figure the actual payout is at about $13 million for the final year.

            2. SEC- $17.08 million+ third tier rights??? based off of the $2.25 billion ESPN and $825 CBS deals. 15 years each both expire in 2023-2024. The football and basketball games may be worth several million, but it seems difficult to quantitate the amount. Looking at this solely at heading into the 2016 negotiations, the SEC may be at a slight disadvantage as every other BCS conference will have negotiated their packages since the SEC deal was signed by 2016. If the Big Ten goes for a 10 year deal again in 2016, they will be renegotiating only two years after the SEC in 2024. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying their deal is bad. It obviously is great and will likely be one of the best deals after 2016 there just appears to be some downside right now based off of the escalation in the market. Also have a slight issue (again looking at heading into 2016 only right now) that they likely aren’t getting $17 million right now. It is likely at the very least several million less. Now this will come around at the end of the contract and could lead to payments of $25+ million by the end of the contract.

            Like

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            nostradamus – I don’t know what other SEC schools do with their one football game retained except for LSU. LSU’s one PPV game does not go to COX for their 3rd tier rights. The Athletic Department retains that game and produces the game itself. The numbers you reported for LSU are accurate, but its doesn’t include any live football. LSU’s 3rd tier rights include football replays, a few men’s basketball games, a lot college baseball, olympic and girls sports. LSU produces the all the coaches’ shows as well.

            The PPV game brings in $2-3mm in addition to the 3rd tier rights from Cox.

            Like

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            nostradamus – there’s no need to guess what the SEC pays out to its teams. Every June, the conference distributes checks to its members. The income is split 13 ways with the conference office getting an equal share.

            Here’s the distribution breakdown for 2009-10:

            http://www.lindyssports.com/article.php?cn=1820

            Like

          • Sammy11 says:

            @ Nostradamus (round 2)

            I get your objection is based on:
            a- That the Big Ten will renegotiate sooner
            b- The title game
            c- Long term B10 network projections

            However I must reply to each with:
            a- True but until I see reported figures I won’t speculate. Realignment could happen across the board before 2016 and the SEC deal could rebid.
            Also we don’t have clear info on how they will share with NU and when their major league deals will be redone to account for expansion before 2016.
            b- Tack 2 million per 12 teams onto the 15-16 million. You now are at 17-18 each.
            c- It is not a fair comparison to use 2020 dollars against 2011 dollars and the long term estimates use that. So I used the 7-8 million recently reported as a simple, more fair way to do it.

            I will readily say that if:
            -The SEC is under this deal until 2023
            -The Big Ten gets an expected big boost in 2016
            -And no other realignment occurs

            That the Big Ten will surpass the SEC payouts. You might also see the Big 12 do it in 2016 as the current deals will get us within striking range with 15 million to their 17 and our ABC espn deal up for bid.

            Questions for you:
            1- Any word on how NU will share revenue from the main contracts in the short term?
            2- Any word on how they will share B10 Network revenue with NU?
            3- Will the NU addition increase the deal prior to 2016? Not speculation, but do you have a source?
            4- Got a link/source for the escalating revenue?

            Like

          • Sammy11 says:

            @Allan-
            The SEC takes a 13th share? That would put each school at 16 million each (using the 209 million in the artice) but that does not mesh with the individual school amount listed at 17.3 which is 1/12th.

            Which is it? Do you have a source for the 13th share being taken or is it a much smaller share?

            Like

          • Nostradamus says:

            @ Alan,
            Thanks for the LSU info, and that was part of the reason I was asking earlier I was unsure. If every school is like that then the equation changes somewhat. As for the SEC payout, thanks for that as well. The Big XII was always forthcoming in that respect as well, but the way the SEC breaks it down even further is nice. If their last distribution was $109.5 from football tv, $30 million from television, and $14.5 million from the SEC championship (unclear how much if this is television) then even if you include the full CCG amount it is $12.83 million in TV revenue. That was my point about things right now heading into the 2016 negotiations. The SEC TV contract escalates like every other tv contract out there. At the tail end schools could be seeing $25+ million, it will average out to that $17 million a year, but it isn’t there now.

            Thinking about coming up to Omaha if LSU makes it to the series? The new stadium opens for the first game in about a month.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            The 14.5M for the SEC championship game is probably for ticket/suite sales after expenses.

            Like

          • Nostradamus says:

            That was my thought as well Richard, but I thought I’d go overly optimistic on the revenue side. If you take it out $139.5 million for football and basketball split 12 ways is a $11.65 million per school tv distribution right now from the SEC.

            Like

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            sammy – the article said that the SEC distributed $209mm to its members. It didn’t discuss what the conference keeps for itself, but it takes a 1/13 share of all the money it generates. Its common knowledge in SEC country.

            Like

          • Nostradamus says:

            Alan, looking at the numbers again if LSU’s arrangement with Cox could also explain why they lag behind some of the other SEC school’s by several million dollars on that list as well. I have a feeling for those top schools on the list the football game and the basketball game are still included in those totals.

            Like

          • Nostradamus says:

            @Sammy11,
            For a- I respect that. I just have a feeling if Dan Beebe and the Big XII who’ve never negotiated a solid tv contract are suddenly getting $90 million with two less teams for what they used to get $19.5 million for, if the ACC doubles their contract, if Texas gets the deal with ESPN, etc. that Jim Delany is going to come out of this golden. I will also acknowledge that realignment could happen sooner, but I personally doubt it. Even in the conference’s like the Big XII where someone could arguably have an incentive to leave people are going to stick around and see what they can get for 2016. That whole thing is another argument. You made a list of where conferences stood heading into the 2016 negotiations. I just think the Big Ten is arguably in a better position as they are making more than the SEC right now and they get to negotiate in 2016.
            b- I’m still operating on an 11 team assumption because we really don’t know how Nebraska is being accounted for at this point. If you want to look at last year’s Big Ten TV distribution of $14.9 million add the approximately $1.8 million from the title game and you are at $16.7 million vs. the $11.7 million from the SEC. If you wanted to look at the average numbers like you were doing in your first post it becomes $21.3 Big Ten vs. $17.1 SEC.
            c- And I agree. The Big Ten Network “only” paid out $6.5 million last year and the entire ABC/ESPN contract paid out $8.4 million for a total of $14.9 million. This is my point about the escalating contracts though and it is a classic time value of money issue from a basic finance course. The BTN estimate is $2.8 billion for 25 years. For 11 teams that is an average of $10.2 million a year, obviously the actual payout is not there yet. The ABC/ESPN is $1 billion over10 years, 11 teams that is $9.1 million plus CBS $181,000 per year is about $9.3 million. Both the BTN and ABC/ESPN+CBS contracts are below their average right now. I get using the 7-8 reported, due to the long term nature, but then I would’ve also used the $8.4 million for the ABC/ESPN, and the $11-12 million for the entire SEC contract for comparison purposes.
            Answers to questions:
            1- Nebraska is not a full equity member of the Big Ten until 2017, which happens to coincide with a new primary rights contract. Until that time all we know is Nebraska “will make no less than what it had been making in the Big XII.” This would be a distribution in the $11-12 million range in all likelihood
            2- This is likely why Nebraska isn’t a full share member initially. The 11 members of the Big Ten put some capital down to create the BTN. Said network is now valued at $2.8 billion/25 years for the 11 members. Nebraska is most likely buying in or establishing equity in the network during the buy-in phase.
            3- SBJ had an article several months ago stating that Delany was negotiating the addition of Nebraska with ABC/ESPN. Slive the SEC conference commissioner has strongly hinted that his conference as well had an expansion provision clause in its contract that allowed it to re-negotiate with the television partners for any change in membership. Beebe went to ABC/ESPN asking them not to reduce their payout when Nebraska and Colorado left. And then if you go to the last blog post by Frank here about the Pac-12 situation it was brought up in the comments that the Big Ten Network is trying to gain access to the 3:30 eastern window that ABC currently has exclusivity on for BTN games. There is quite a bit of circumstantial evidence out there that A) contracts contain provisions that allow for renegotiation with the addition of subtraction of members and B) that said process has happened or is ongoing re: the Big Ten. What the compensation actually is we don’t know. To go back to your question though, yes the addition of Nebraska will increase the existing deal.
            4- Yep there are plenty. http://www.stltoday.com/sports/college/illlni/article_6f757914-17cd-53df-8f62-586b8d968470.html That is the Big Ten’s tv distribution over the past several years. Note the increase. Look at any conference like the SEC or the Big XII that releases how much money they distributed to their members; you’ll see an increase every year. This is do the escalation of the contracts and goes back to the TVM talked about above. ABC/ESPN’s Big Ten $1 billion/10 year deal doesn’t give the conference $100,000,000 a year. It may have started at $81 or 82 million and finish significantly higher than $100 million, but it will total $1 billion over the 10 year period.

            Like

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            nostradamus – I haven’t been to the CWS since LSU won its first championship in 91. June is usually my busiest month, so I haven’t been able to return. But if LSU is in Omaha this season, I’ll be there for the first year in the new stadium.

            While we are on the subject of college baseball, LSU baseball brought in over $9mm in revenue and sold more than 400,000 tickets in 2010.

            Frank recently commented that baseball is the sport with the most potential to grow with the BTN. Now LSU is far away #1 in making money off of baseball and baseball attendance, but money can be made and is made at other schools too. 30 years ago, SEC baseball was nothing outside of StarkVegas. LSU’s Skip Bertman taught the rest of the SEC, the ACC, and CUSA how to draw fans and make money in baseball. While warmer weather certainly is a benefit, the B1G could still make a go of it with baseball with a a similar conference-wide commitment to baseball.

            Like

          • Nostradamus says:

            Just revisiting this. The SEC reported $153.3 million in tv and satellite radio revenue for the first year of their new contracts, a 155% over the previous reporting period. The $153.5 million comes out to about $12.8 million per school. Average distribution from the conference was $18.28 million.

            Like

      • bullet says:

        Wilner is a little more positive than he was a couple of weeks ago with Frank’s last blog (don’t know if this has already been posted):

        http://blogs.mercurynews.com/collegesports/2011/03/22/pac-12-football-and-basketball-update-on-the-tv-negotiations/

        Like

  29. bullet says:

    Ivan Maisel has an interesting podcast (46 minutes) on ESPN college football dated 3/16. He interviews Bill Hancock, BCS chief and former chief of the bb tourney as well as Donnie Duncan, former OU AD.

    Hancock was careful, but a little more frank than he normally is. One bb comment was that schools are VERY concerned about the basketball regular season and that attendance is flat or decreasing and that rights fees are decreasing significantly. On playoffs, he didn’t detect any move towards a plus 1, but that they were constantly looking to improve the BCS so it was all being talked about. Summer of 2012 was when the rules for next round of the BCS would be setup.

    Duncan was on the committee in early 90s that explored a playoff. His recollection is similar to what I remember. The players on the committee, led by an FSU player, said that if there were a playoff, they would expect their share. The proposal pretty much died after that. And Duncan said that was a non-starter for the NCAA and was one of the main factors ending the initiative.

    Like

    • Adam says:

      Personally, I think the interest level in a sport and the attendant rights fees are tied directly to the number of games played. This notion that you need a small and exclusive playoff is bogus. Here’s a ranking of major sports by percentage chance of playoff qualification (all teams being equally weighted) of making the playoff:
      1. College Football (.017)
      2. College Basketball 2012 (.191)*
      3. College Basketball 2011 (.198)**
      4. MLB (.267)
      5. NFL (.375)
      6. NBA/NHL (.533)

      *-12-team Big Ten, assuming Division I stays at 345 members
      **-11-team Big Ten

      I doubt that anybody would say that this matches their order of popularity. I would argue their popularity is much more tightly mirrored by the number of games played (fewer=better):
      1. College Football (12+)
      2. NFL (16)
      3. College Basketball (30+)
      4. NBA/NHL (82)
      5. MLB (162)

      Is it a direct correlation? No; MLB is more popular than NHL, for example. But that ranking looks a lot closer to reality (to me) than the ranking by the exclusivity of the playoff. I take Hancock’s suggestion to be that bball attendance is flat or declining because of tournament expansion to 68, but I would argue it has more to do with the gradual expansion of the season: additional conference tournaments and the elimination of the 2-in-4 rule, for example.

      Like

      • greg says:

        Adam,

        The slide in college bball probably has more to do with all the youngsters going pro more than anything else. Who are the HUGE names in this year’s tourney? The closest thing to a huge name is Jimmer.

        Like

      • bullet says:

        College basketball was 26 games not that long ago.

        The conference tournaments combined with the expansion of the bracket both impact the importance of regular season games. You don’t have to win the regular season anymore. You’ve got a chance in the conference tourney and a chance in the NCAA if you’re in the top half of a major conference.

        Like

      • cutter says:

        Adam-

        I don’t think the addition of a playoff to Division 1-A college football is going to reduce the sport’s popularity–I’m in the opposite camp regarding that result.

        Initially, of course, the novelty aspect of a Division I-A CFB playoff is going to draw a lot of interest. It’ll be incredibly easy to market in of itself and will be propelled along at light speed by sports radio, ESPN, etc.

        Secondly, given the setup in college football, interest in the season will extend through the last week because of the conference championship games. Those games provide one more stage to decide if teams are in the playoffs, where they’ll be seeded, etc. That is large contrast to the NFL where some teams have their playoff futures wrapped up weeks before the regular season ends.

        On a local level, if the CFB playoff games were staged at the home stadium of the higher seeds (with the exception of the final game), you have to imagine those stadiums would be jam packed.

        I think an eight game playoff with the winners of the six AQ conferences plus two at-large teams would work out great. The only caveat I’d put on it is that all the teams participating would have to be in the Top 20 of whatever rating system is used. If a conference champion isn’t a Top 20 program, then it’s replaced by another at-large program.

        The bowl games would still exist, including all the major ones. Just schedule the playoff games before and after them.

        Like

        • Adam says:

          My feeling, though, is that you could have a college football playoff of, like, 90 teams, and it wouldn’t make a ton of difference. People will have a rabid interest in the sport because of the relative scarcity of games, irrespective of playoff exclusivity. If playoff exclusivity were the key, baseball ought to be a lot more popular than it is.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            It was. Then they started expanding the playoffs. Back in the days when they had only a 2-team playoff, baseball was the most popular team sport in the country.

            Like

          • Adam says:

            Pre-TV is a totally different dynamic.

            Like

          • Adam says:

            I mean you could just as much argue that the NFL has gotten steadily more popular while it’s playoff has expanded in size. The change was TV. Now that TV has arrived and is basically mature as an entertainment platform, my argument is that what matters is the number of games you play, and for the most part, fewer=better. Marginal increases won’t make much of a difference — if college football goes from 12 to 13 it won’t matter because they’ll still have fewer than anybody else. Ditto for NFL going from 16 to 18 (or 20). And it’s why I think the NHL ought to substantially reduce the length of its regular season — anywhere from 10 to 30 games.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            baseball still has the fewest teams getting in. The country has changed and needs more immediate satisfaction. And baseball has shot itself in the foot with the strikes. The expansion of the playoffs to a grand total of 8 teams of 30 from 2 of 20 has had nothing to do with the decline.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Adam:

            I don’t think that would do anything. College basketball has about a 30 game regular season and it lags baseball in popularity.

            To turn every game in to an event, they’d have to take place roughly once a week and seem to matter.

            Like

          • Adam says:

            I have a hard time comparing the popularity of college basketball and MLB. Certainly the average amount of popularity per MLB team is higher, but then again there are only 30 of them. I’m left wondering whether the aggregate amount of interest in college basketball is actually higher — it’s just that we mentally write off large chunks of it because it’s hard to distinguish between the amount of interest in Coppin State and Savannah State other than that it’s almost none. But you add up a bunch of almost nones and it must come to something.

            Like

          • Adam says:

            I recognize that it’s hard or impossible to measure that.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            I’m going by the Harris Poll where people state their favorite sport:

            http://www.harrisinteractive.com/vault/Harris_Interactive_Poll_Sports_Popularity_2010_02.pdf

            These days, the NFL is clearly on top (with baseball second, college football third, auto racing 4th and everyone else battling it out below).

            Like

          • Jake says:

            @Adam – I really doubt that the number of games played during the regular season has much of anything to do with the relative popularity of sports. I mean, the NBA and NHL play the same number of games, but they’re nowhere near each other in popularity. MLS plays, what, 30 some-odd games, but they’re still behind auto racing and college basketball. MLB plays far and away the most games, and yet there they are at number 2. If you graphed it, I don’t think you’d see much of a correlation.

            Sports rise and fall in popularity; there was a time when baseball, boxing, and horse racing were the three biggest draws in the country (and not necessarily in that order). Doesn’t mean the organizers did anything wrong that cost them fans, tastes just changed.

            I do think that the NFL has the right size of playoff for a pro sports league; MLB seems a bit exclusive, and the NHL and NBA let in far too many. It’s the Goldilocks playoff.

            I also have a hard time believing that a college football playoff would hurt regular season attendance. Going to a game is as much about the social and cultural event as it is the happenings on the field; people won’t stop going to the games just because they lose the chance to watch one loss end their team’s chances of winning a national title. Honestly, I think it’s more likely to have the opposite effect: with more teams in the hunt later in the season, games will only become more popular.

            Like

      • I’d say that the popularity of any sport’s regular season is a combination of (1) the importance of each game, (2) number of hardcore fans and (3) interest to casual fans.

        The NFL and, to a lesser extent, college football, has all 3 factors in play. The relatively short length of the regular season creates a sense of urgency from the first week of the year – teams simply don’t have time to recover from prolonged slumps.

        None of the other major spectator sports (MLB, NBA, NHL, college basketball) has that real sense of urgency during the regular season. They have varying degrees of the other factors. For instance, my belief is that MLB has a larger base of hardcore fans that live and breath following their favorite baseball teams compared to the NBA, and that’s evidenced by local TV ratings for MLB teams generally outdrawing NBA teams in the same markets. However, the NBA does a better job of drawing in the casual fan – the average sports fan is more motivated to make time to watch a Heat-Lakers regular season game and a whole host of teams (Celtics, Bulls, Knicks) than any comparable baseball matchup (i.e. Yankees-Red Sox), and that’s why the NBA has been doing much better than MLB in terms of national TV ratings.

        One thing to note about Adam’s measurement of teams that make it to the postseason in each sport is that the percentage for college basketball looks dramatically different when you only look at the 6 BCS power conferences. Out of the 73 “BCS” basketball teams (including the Big East non-football schools), 36 made the NCAA Tournament this year, and that number is generally around the mid-30s every year. Thus, about 40-50% of power conference schools always make it to the postseason, which is comparable to the percentage of teams that make the NBA and NHL playoffs. That means that there definitely is a lack of urgency for power conference regular season college basketball and, let’s face it, virtually all of us validate that by almost always remembering solely what occurs in March. Combine that with the facts that basketball superstars don’t stay in college for multiple years anymore (Derrick Rose may be the NBA MVP and he would’ve been a senior in college this year if he had stayed in school) and, while having intense fan bases, they aren’t as large for each of the schools compared to the MLB, that really depresses college basketball TV rights. The NCAA Tournament does an unbelievable job in bringing in the casual sports fan, but it also provides a reason for that same casual sports fan to *not* pay attention for the 4 months of the regular season.

        Like

  30. bullet says:

    Regional participants include Ohio St., Kentucky, Marquette. Ohio St. will later lose to North Carolina.

    I’m talking about 1968, not 2011. It was the first year I really started following college basketball, so the similarity struck me. UK, led by 3 “super sophs” including Dan Issel (Louie Dampier and Pat Riley-yes that Pat Riley-had graduated the year before) and (for Duffman) a Senior point guard from Indiana, beat Marquette while Ohio St. beat E. Tennessee. Regional was in UK’s old Memorial Coliseum. Marquette fans hung around and rooted for Ohio St. so UK was outnumbered in their own arena. Always disliked Marquette since then (and since they’ve beaten UK in NCAA more than anyone else-6 of 10 games-they’ve reinforced that). Ohio St. won by 1 point. They lost in final 4 to UNC. UCLA & Lew Alcindor was winning their rematch with Houston and Elvin Hayes before rolling over UNC in final.

    Like

    • Jake says:

      Rutgers lost $2.00 on football? Couldn’t they just pass a hat around or something? Look in the couch, maybe?

      And I’ll be interested in that piece on how conference realignment changes things.

      Like

  31. bullet says:

    Between the Forbes article and the following article, it looks like the new BE contract will be about half the ACC contract, although neither is specific on the bb/fb split. I saw one other source also talking about more than doubling to around $450 million so that figure seems likely (next article says $460 from $200).

    Like

  32. Bamatab says:

    Have you guys read this latest article at ESPN on Tressel sending an email to Prior’s “mentor” despite witholding it from school officials? Does this kind of shoot a hole in the theory that he didn’t alert the school because he didn’t want to compromise the federal investigation since I’m guessing notifing a person of interest in the case would be more harmful than notifing the school?

    Here is the link: http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=6257370

    Like

    • greg says:

      Bamatab, there are already a million holes in Tressel’s story. The first thing he should have done if he was concerned with compromising a federal investigation is spoken with the OSU general counsel. Anything else was hiding a problem.

      What a huge black stain on the B10.

      Like

      • R says:

        I’ll buy a huge black stain on Ohio State!

        Like

      • 84Lion says:

        I’ll buy a huge black stain on Ohio State!
        +1. Do not be so quick to paint the Big Ten with the tainted Scarlet and Gray. The Big Ten includes schools that run clean programs (Penn State is one, Nebraska coming into the Big Ten is another, I’m sure there are more) and if indeed Tressel and OSU have not played by the rules my respect for them is gone.

        Like

    • M says:

      Tressel has to go. The AD probably has to go as well. Not only is it the right thing to do, but this situation has a “show cause” penalty written all over it (effectively the NCAA forcing OSU to fire him).

      Like

      • cfn_ms says:

        At this point I’m starting to think show cause for the AD too. Really depends on who knew what when, but I don’t think they can possibly isolate sanctions to just Tressel and the five players anymore.

        Like

        • Michael in Indy says:

          This is the same AD who chaired the NCAA hoops tournament selection committee. I am not suggesting that he did anything unethical as committee chair, but I am suggesting some schools will use these issues as an excuse to question the ethics of the selection process, especially if the NCAA determines he, too, withheld knowledge of violations.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            First, there has been no indication so far that Smith knew about the emails or the information they contained before January.

            Second, how would this possibly impact the tournament? Where is the overlap?

            Like

          • Michael in Indy says:

            Brian,

            Like I said, IF the NCAA determines he withheld information. IF. I’m not saying he did. I’m saying IF he did.

            Whether the AD withheld or not, I don’t think, in reality, any of this would have had an impact on the tournament. I doubt there would be any overlap. However, like I said, schools could use this as an excuse to cry foul for not getting selected or being seeded as high as they wanted.

            Like

      • Brian says:

        He won’t be fired before the entire process runs its course, if then. OSU lost a lawsuit on that recently and won’t make the same mistake.

        Like

    • jj says:

      A wise man once told mike hart, pride comes before the fall.

      Like

  33. 84Lion says:

    Thought I would start comment on Ralph Nader’s proposal to replace college athletic scholarships with need-based aid:
    http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/football/news?slug=rivals-1204297
    I applaud what his group is group is trying to do but IMO there is a snowball’s chance in Hades of this ever happening.

    Like

    • mushroomgod says:

      NO chance………

      Lion, congrats on the wrestling champ. ….

      Latest Learfield Director’s Cup standings have:

      PSU #2
      OSU #4
      WIS #5
      IU #10
      UM #16
      Neb #26
      Iowa #33
      ILL #35
      MSU #39
      PUR #55
      NW #75

      Fred Glass has IU on the rise….lol at the Biolers……

      Like

      • mushroomgod says:

        left out the Goofers at #9….

        Like

      • M says:

        FWIW, this is probably the high point for most of the Big Ten. Northwestern, however, should gain some ground based on the lacrosse, golf, and tennis teams (insert private school jokes here).

        Like

      • BoilerTex says:

        Meanwhile IU continues their streak of last place finishes in both FB and MBB…I kid, I kid.

        Purdue should move up with their showing in the diving championships this week. Plus their baseball team looks to be strong as well.

        Speaking of IU, I was surprised to hear they are seriously considering varsity hockey? I would love Purdue to do so, but that will never happen.

        Like

  34. Michael in Indy says:

    A few Big 12 schedule questions:

    (1) When is the Big 12 finally going to release its official conference schedule, and I’m not just talking about the “schedule grid” that was released back at the end of September?

    (2) Has anyone read somewhere besides on this board that the OU-Ok. State game has been moved from 11/26 to 12/3 (championship game weekend), or that it was even considered? (I’ve only seen something about UT-A&M being moved to 12/3 from Thanksgiving night.)

    (3) If either of those games (UT-A&M or OSU-OU) are moved back, does that mean they’ll have the previous week off?

    (4) If both games are moved, will the Big 12 put the OU-A&M and Ok. State-UT games on 11/26 and just give each school the week off for when those games otherwise would have been schedules?

    Like

    • Nostradamus says:

      1) No time table yet. I realize we are still about 6 months out from conference play, but this has to be frustrating if you are a Big XII fan. People in this part of the country plan major life events around home football Saturdays. For fans who like to travel to away games or fans in other parts of the country who travel to home games this has to be equally frustrating.

      From an overall standpoint is somewhat confusing. As you mentioned, that preliminary schedule came out in September. We are sitting here 6 months later with no further public progress. I get that you had multiple schools that had to get out of or reschedule non-conference games to make the 9 game schedule work, but you’d think after 1/2 a year you’d have that figured out…

      2. I personally haven’t seen Bedlam being moved from any source that i’d consider anywhere near official. Everything has centered around the speculation that the Big XII should move some of the rivalry games back to championship weekend to stay relevant.

      3. More than likely. At this point that would be the easiest scheduling option if everything is as set as believed.

      Like

  35. Nostradamus says:

    2013-2014 Big Ten schedule details are starting to emerge.

    -Iowa will have its 2 cross-divisional games with Illinois and Wisconsin. So it doesn’t look like the Big Ten is implementing a SEC like staggered rotation at this time.

    -One non-conference game has to be moved before the entire schedule is released

    -2013 and 2014 schedules have 14 weeks for 12 games so the Big Ten is also working still to maximize when games will be played to cover inventory for all 14 weeks.

    -The conference administrators met 2 weeks ago and discussed moving to a 9 game schedule for 2015, but nothing has been decided yet.

    http://thegazette.com/2011/03/25/wisconsin-rotates-back-on-iowas-football-slate-in-2013/?
    http://thegazette.com/2011/03/25/wisconsin-rotates-back-on-iowas-football-slate-in-2013/?

    Like

  36. Nostradamus says:

    2013-2014 Big Ten schedule details are starting to emerge.

    -Iowa will have its 2 cross-divisional games with Illinois and Wisconsin. So it doesn’t look like the Big Ten is implementing a SEC like staggered rotation at this time.

    -One non-conference game has to be moved before the entire schedule is released

    -2013 and 2014 schedules have 14 weeks for 12 games so the Big Ten is also working still to maximize when games will be played to cover inventory for all 14 weeks.

    -The conference administrators met 2 weeks ago and discussed moving to a 9 game schedule for 2015, but nothing has been decided yet.

    http://thegazette.com/2011/03/25/wisconsin-rotates-back-on-iowas-football-slate-in-2013/?

    Like

  37. Dan says:

    Goodbye BCS automatic qualifying. Nova is now going to be an automatic FCS game for the already terrible conference. And you wonder why everyone thinks the Big East is a terrible football conference.

    Like

  38. John says:

    Frank – Painter to Mizzou then Weber to Purdue…good for Illinois or no? Who you got as replacement Stevens or Shaka???

    Like

    • Michael in Indy says:

      It’s fair to say that Illinois and Purdue are comparable programs. We’d be splitting hairs trying to distinguish the two. I think level-headed fans on either side would agree with me.

      Now, leaving Illinois or Purdue for Kansas, as Bill Self did, is pretty understandable. Illinois is a top 20 job. KU is top 5. Self apparently proved he isn’t motivated by money alone because he turned down higher pay to coach his alma mater, Oklahoma State, back in 2008. The fact that KU and Illinois are in separate conferences made his choice far less offensive.

      Leaving Kansas for UNC isn’t understandable because it’s a lateral move–unless you’re Roy Williams, who grew up in North Carolina and graduated from, played at, and coached at UNC. And again, leaving for another conference allowed for a healthy distance that made the choice less offensive.

      Leaving Purdue for Missouri would be understandable–from the coach’s perspective. It would not be understandable why Purdue would let him even come close to leaving. Painter, like Williams, played at Purdue and has every reason to stay if it just pays him his fair market value. If Painter leaves for what should be a lesser job, Purdue has only itself to blame.

      (BTW, I know a married couple are good friends of mine who recently moved from West Lafayette down to Atlanta. She’s a Mizzou grad. He’s a Purdue grad. They’ve never dealt with the “divided house” conflict because Purdue and Mizzou don’t play each other much in sports. So this could get very interesting for them…)

      As for Weber-to-Purdue, that might not be the wisest thing for him. It’s a lateral move, like it was for Roy Williams, but it could be an ugly move with Purdue playing Illinois twice a year most years. Plus, Roy Williams was motivated by a desire for his family to be in North Carolina, half way across the country, and because mentor Dean Smith is right in town to help where needed. I can’t imagine that Weber relates to the longing Williams had longing to get back to West Lafayette. He’s two hours away, not 20. Besides, if Purdue is foolish enough to let Painter go, it needs to pursue Brad Stevens, who potentially could see Purdue as his dream job.

      Like

      • @Michael – I know I’m an Illini guy, but I think it’s very reasonable to state that the Illinois job is a clear step up the food chain from the Purdue job because of the recruiting territory (Chicago, Peoria, St. Louis, etc.). It’s not quite like the thought of Bill Self leaving Kansas for Oklahoma State (which is a question he got a lot when he was hired at KU), but from a pure media market exposure and recruiting level, Illinois to Purdue is a step down.

        In fact, outside of the obvious money factor, I have no idea why either Painter or Weber would move. The pecking order to me is Illinois > Purdue > Missouri. Mizzou is a good program, but expectations are high compared to the amount of resources provided and you basically have to head-to-head with Kansas on the west side of the state and Illinois on the west side. It’s a very tough job.

        Like

        • Gopher86 says:

          I disagree on a few points. Kansas alum here– so take it with a grain of salt.

          I’d say that the Purdue vs. Illinois are fairly close jobs at this point. Illinois has a bit more upside, but the scrutiny is certainly higher. I guess it depends on what type of coach is looking at the job. Both schools pulled from Southern Illinois the last go-round, so it’s not like one has a terrible advantage over the other.

          Here’s why Mizzou is a better job: (1) Great facilities. (2) Only school in a populous state with KC and St. Louis to pull from. (3) Lower expectations (Mizzou hasn’t made a Final Four, and all you have to do is beat Kansas every other year to be considered good). (4) Fairly deep pockets. (5) Supportive / good Athletic Director.

          In my opinion, Mizzou is a great job. You only need to make the tourney and get to an elite eight every blue moon to be considered a God. Their facilities are excellent, and they have a reasonable amount of talent to pull from.

          As for the Chicago recruiting argument– Illinois hasn’t ever successfully owned that market for itself. Illinois has primarily played second fiddle to Indiana and other out of state blue bloods. Julian Wright, Derrick Rose, Sherron Collins and John Scheyer come to mind. I’m not trying to suggest that Illinois or Purdue have less pull there than Mizzou, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the right coach at Mizzou could pull better recruits from Chicago than Illinois.

          I respect Mike Anderson, but Mizzou has always been a great coach away from really breaking things open. They tried the ‘great recruiter’ angle with Quin Snyder and that went up in a puff of … er… didn’t turn out well. If you put a great X’s and O’s guy with an ability to recruit out of state, they could be scary. Put Frank Martin there, and it would really shake things up.

          I’m surprised that Painter is considering the job, because it is a fairly lateral move and it may not be worth the effort. This thing is probably a shake down, but you really can’t blame the guy for flirting with them. I expected Mizzou to take a shot at Butler or VCU’s coaches, but not another BCS school with a tourney resume.

          I know I dogged on Illinois a lot here, so I think I should be clear. I consider that program to be the best to have never won a tourney. If they won the big dance in 2005, you’d have a hard time arguing that they aren’t a top 10 program.

          Like

        • Michael in Indy says:

          I’m still not completely sold that Illinois is so decidedly ahead of Purdue as a program. Historically, they’re pretty neck-and-neck. Under Keady Purdue had a decided edge. Painter’s teams have compared pretty evenly with Weber’s. Painter hasn’t had the Final Four team Weber had, but outside of his first season, Painter’s teams haven’t missed the tournament or even been on the bubble, either. On the recruiting side, a university in a community called Urbana-Champaign (pop. 150,000ish) looks every bit as foreign to high school players from the city and suburbs of Chicago as a university in a community called Lafayette/West Lafayette (pop. 150,000ish). The only difference from that standpoint is the word “Illinois.” Technically, Purdue’s actually closer to Chicago. Anyway, Purdue has its own recruiting connections in Chicago, and it’s not as though Indiana doesn’t produce more than its fair share of D-1 players itself. I’d say what evens things out is that Illinois has less in-state competition in a much larger state, whereas Purdue has the Big Ten’s most tradition-rich team in IU, Notre Dame, and now Butler, not to mention Cincy and Louisville within miles of the state border.

          Now if Painter actually leaves for Missouri, then Purdue will clearly be exposed as inferior to both. Purdue is dangerously close to showing itself, unfairly or not, to be “cheap.” I don’t know what it’s like at Illinois or elsewhere, but Purdue has thus far been unable/unwilling to pay not just Painter but assistant coaches at the level of comparable programs.

          Missouri apparently is willing. Painter gets $1.3M a year, which is in the bottom half of the Big Ten even though Purdue routinely finishes in the league’s top three. Missouri has offered him $2.0M. Just as important, they’ve assured pay for asst. coaches, which matters to him because he’s already lost some key assistant coaches who’ve taken the same jobs at other places like Clemson.

          Purdue fans are freaking out here in Indy, by the way, and even IU fans want to see him stay because they want to beat Purdue at its best. It would be pretty sad for him to go. He’s as much of a Purdue guy as there is, and Purdue-to-Mizzou is not equivalent to Illinois-to-Kansas or West Virginia football-to-Michigan football. It SHOULD be something of a step down.

          In any case, there’s no way Weber would leave Illinois for Purdue right after Purdue fails to give a pretty accomplished young coach the same thing Missouri gives.

          Like

        • Richard says:

          PU is actually closer to Chicago than UofI, and Indiana tends to be pretty talent-rich for basketball given its population. Granted, UofI has more resources for basketball than PU.

          Like

        • Richard says:

          Last reply was to Frank, this reply is to Gopher:
          1. Indiana actually has more people than Missouri.
          2. As Frank pointed out, Missouri’s 2 population centers are on the edge of the state, forcing Mizzou to fight Illinois (and especially) KU for recruits, while an Indiana kid will almost certainly grow up rooting for IU or PU.
          3. Indiana’s just a more basketball-mad talent-rich state. You have a kid like Chris Kramer, who’s best basketball attribute is that he’s a scrappy hustle guy, choosing basketball over football even though he evidently was a good QB in college as well.

          The only area where MU may have PU beat is money.

          Like

      • Richard says:

        I don’t see why you think leaving PU for MU would be understandable to a coach; especially a coach who played at PU.

        Like

        • Michael in Indy says:

          At the time, it appeared that Missouri was willing to pay Painter more, pay his assistants MUCH more, and give him and his staff a larger expense account for recruiting trips and other things.

          Painter lost an assistant last year to Clemson because Clemson was willing to give him a big raise. (You would expect a traditionally much stronger program like Purdue would be the one doing that, not Clemson.) Apparently, Painter felt he was being nickeled-and-dimed on a number of areas.

          According to Painter, he was not trying to use Mizzou as leverage to get a raise for himself. What is clear is that he was using Mizzou as leverage to get greater resources.

          The whole mess was very revealing about where Purdue stands as a program. They’d developed a reputation as cheap RELATIVE to the rest of the Big Ten.

          http://www.indystar.com/article/20110401/SPORTS0602/104010332/Purdue-pays-price-keep-Painter-2-4M-per-year?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|Sports|s

          Like

        • Some updates on the pecking order discussion regarding Illinois, Purdue and Missouri:

          (1) Quote: “Illinois is a better job than Purdue.” Source: Former Purdue coaching legend Gene Keady

          http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/sports/cbsports-keady-weber-wouldnt-leave-illini-for-purdue-20110330,0,2761238.story

          (2) Purdue’s raise granted to Matt Painter makes him the sixth highest-paid coach in the country:

          http://www.purdueexponent.org/sports/mens/basketball/article_18c1452c-5bae-11e0-ab01-00127992bc8b.html

          (Note that the Big Ten now has 3 of the top 6 highest paid basketball coaches.)

          (3) Missouri had to go faaaar into the Rolodex and settled upon hiring Miami coach Frank Haith, who sported a pedestrian 43-69 ACC conference record over seven seasons. Definitely a “WTF?!” hire from my perspective, even as someone that thinks the Mizzou job isn’t nearly as desirable as some of the others here. I thought the ultimate Mizzou hire would be a 2nd or 3rd choice and slightly underwhelming to the Tiger fan base, but this outcome looks like a desperation hire after multiple rejections and the MU fans that I’ve seen are *livid*.

          Like

          • Michael in Indy says:

            Well, it’s hard to argue with that quote from Keady, Frank. Maybe it is a better job. The programs themselves are pretty hard to distinguish, though. Neither one of them are quite at the top ten, truly elite level, but they’re absolutely somewhere in the top 15 or so. Where exactly one or the other ranks in that top 15 hardly matters, much in the same way fans in a given year don’t care whether their basketball team ranks 12th or 13th as long as that ranking is improving.

            The much more significant, overarching story was that Purdue was thisclose to losing a three-time Big Ten Coach of the Year to a program that was decidedly less accomplished from both Illinois and Purdue. Fair or not, Purdue was exposed for its reputation within the league for penny-pinching. The worst part was that Nancy Cross, associate director of athletics, sent out an e-mail to the booster club that basically accused members of being cheap and getting them in a huge bind with Painter. Purdue had to make an 11th hour move to keep him.

            Had Missouri successfully plucked away an alum of a superior program, which it was very close to pulling off, I’d say they’d have come out looking pretty darn good as a program. I suppose that in aiming high by targeting a coach who was clearly a reach, it risked losing credibility. Boy, did it ever!

            Like

          • Gopher86 says:

            Mizzou fans are calling for Alden’s head. As a Jayhawk fan, I LOOOOOVE this hire.

            Like

  39. Michael in Indy says:

    If you’re Butler, what objections would be enough to overcome the benefits of joining the MVC or the A-10?

    What objections would be enough for either of those leagues to overcome the benefits of taking a team that’s been to four Sweet Sixteens in nine years and to back-to-back Final Fours?

    Like

  40. Pat says:

    College Football On FX. Anyone have the rest of this article?
    http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2011/03/28/Media/FX.aspx

    Like

    • Adam says:

      “‘I think the only option we couldn’t do is going independent,’ Nevala said”

      Like

      • FLP_NDRox says:

        I don’t know how ANY college hockey team can go independent. I know Ala-Huntsville does, I just don’t know how.

        With the Big Ten defections, the WCHA goes to ten teams (which is their preference from what I’ve seen), and the CCHA is in a rougher spot with 8.

        The WCHA will keep 4 traditionally strong teams: UND, Minn.-Duluth, Colorado College, and Denver. They have minimal incentive to add ND as developing hockey power and a geographic outlier. If they wanted to expand, they’d be more likely to go for companions for Michigan Tech like NMU or LSSU.

        The CCHA will be in rough shape because the biggest names and followings in the conference belong to the B1G. Most, if not all, of the remaining teams kinda bank on the money from the OSU, MSU, and Michigan series, especially the directional schools in those states. The same is true in Minnesota.

        If the BTHC is formed, I don’t think there will be a massive restructuring of the hockey conferences any time soon. UAH will unfortunately remain independent since it’s a big outlier for and league and the CCHA will want to avoid going to 9 due to scheduling issues. The B1G schools will be politically obliged to play many if not of all of their public in-state brethren in their expanded OOC schedules helping keep them afloat.

        The problem for college hockey as a whole is that it will bring a whole bunch of money to the B1G alone. I don’t know how tough the funding situations are for the small schools in the CCHA, but I do know that Bowling Green was/remains in danger of losing the program, and they have both history and decent facilities.

        Like

        • Mike says:

          As far as I know, UA-Huntsville is indy because they have to. No conference will take them. The last conference they were in folded.

          Like

        • Adam says:

          I would anticipate the CCHA calling up UA-Huntsville. I’d also be interested in knowing whether Michigan Tech would rather play in the CCHA, since the schools will all be much closer. That would put the CCHA at 10. WCHA would need someone to replace Michigan Tech under that hypothetical.

          Like

          • Mike says:

            I would be surprised to see the CCHA take UA-Huntsville. UAH applied and was denied entry to the CCHA when UNO left for the WCHA. I don’t see any compelling reason for the CCHA to add UAH.

            Like

          • Adam says:

            I think, though, that that happened because there had been rumors about PSU adding hockey and the CCHA was hoping that PSU would join the CCHA. UAH was rejected because it was anticipated that the waters would start to churn.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            I’m not sure how the CCHA adding UAH makes the CCHA stronger. Plus, why would they go to the hassle of having odd numbered teams just to add UAH?

            Also, Michigan Tech is actually a closer drive to all the Minnesota schools than any CCHA school besides the other 2 Yooper schools, so I don’t see them leaving the WCHA for a weaker conference.

            Like

          • Adam says:

            That is a fair point. I guess I am as guilty as anybody of subscribing to the notion that “bigger is better,” or at least with a newly-weakened league like the CCHA, some degree of “heft” feels stronger.

            Like

  41. John says:

    @ M in Indy – one reason for Weber to Purdue is the “reset the clock” arguement. Illinois fans’ patience won’t last forever. Plus he’s a Purdue guy at heart isn’t he? But if the problems at PU are enough that Painter leaves I don’t know that they’ll be willing/able to buck up for Stevens or Weber.

    Butler & St Louie U to the MO Valley would make a real run bball league even better imo.

    Like

  42. Steve says:

    Good to see Iowa/Wisconsin back on the B10 schedule in 2013/14.
    http://espn.go.com/blog/bigten/post/_/id/24748/big-ten-schedule-updates

    Like

  43. Pat says:

    PAC-12 football on Sunday afternoon?
    Not sure it will happen, but I like the way this guy plans ahead and thinks outside the box.
    http://eye-on-collegefootball.blogs.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/24156338/28137634

    Like

    • cfn_ms says:

      I’m glad they’re at least mulling over their options. As he notes, it’s unlikely to happen since the NFL SHOULD be up and running, but at least they’re thinking about taking advantage if the season does go away.

      Like

  44. frug says:

    Fiesta Bowl cansCEO and overlord of 20 years John Junker after internal report reveals, amongst other things, at least $46,500 in illegal campaign contributions were made by bowl employees who were later reimbursed by the bowl. Also included, $33,000 spent by the bowl to finance Junker’s 50th birthday party and membership in four country clubs that cost the bowl, at least, $10,800 a year and $100,000 up front since 2002 (in the form an interest free loan that was to be paid back over ten years by Junker, which he was able to do since the bowl simultaneously increased his annual salary by $10,000).

    As for how this will affect the game itself? No way to tell. BCS commissioner says it consider possible sanctions including stripping the game of its BCS status. The game could also face legal consequences pending an investigation by the state AG’s office.

    Like

    • cfn_ms says:

      I’d be surprised if it lost its BCS status given its prime location, but it may be possible…

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Actually when you have a Rose Bowl, Phoenix is kind of out of the way for everyone else. Its real issues are its tax status and corporate sponsors. If things get bad, it might not have the money to stay in the top 4.

        Like

        • frug says:

          I think the tax status question is the issue that possess the greatest threat the Fiesta Bowl’s future. I’m not an expert in tax law, but I believe one of the conditions for qualifying as a tax exempt charitable organization (which is what the Fiesta Bowl technically operates as) is a prohibition against participation in direct political activities, which I assume would include reimbursing employees who make directed campaign contributions.

          Like

      • frug says:

        Unless the Fiesta Bowl itself and not just its employees are found to have actually broken the law, then I seriously doubt the Fiesta Bowl loses its BCS status before the expiration of its current contract with the BCS, which runs for another 3 years. After that, all bets are off. Junker has basically run the thing single handily for the past two decades and is probably the person most responsible for turning the game into what it is today so losing him could hurt and Jerry Jones will probably make a big push to get the Cotton Bowl BCS status even if it means displacing another game.

        Like

    • Pat says:

      Quote from Fiesta Bowl CEO John Junker on why bowl officials visited strip clubs:
      “We are in the business where big strong athletes are known to attend these types of establishments. It was important for us to visit, and we certainly conducted business.”

      Like

    • Paul says:

      “Confessions, Cover Ups and Carte Blanche: Inside the Fiesta fiasco.”
      Fiesta employee with a guilty conscience spilled the beans on Junker.
      http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/football/ncaa/03/30/fiesta-bowl-junker-bcs/index.html?eref=sihp

      Like

    • bullet says:

      I guess the players were smart. They figured if Auburn gave them enough money, they didn’t have to have Ohio St. give them girls.

      Like

    • Bamatab says:

      This same scheme has been going on since at least the 90’s. It was documented during the Eric Ramsey ordeal by 60 Minutes http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ieX-pNMnwFE.

      A lot of the same people that were incharge back then are still incharge now (some have been/still are on their BOT). They were never forced to be disassociated by the NCAA and SACS couldn’t even get them to remove the biggest player in it all, Lowder.

      HBO has only scratched the surface of what all is going on. The question is will the NCAA do anything about? Who knows. I was floored that they reinstated Cam after being ruled ineligibale after only one day. How the NCAA reacts to situation varies with each new situation. There is no rhyme or reason to anything they do.

      Like

      • Gopher86 says:

        Deadspin had a great article Pearl, and one of the underlying themes was how most all infractions are small lies related to the big lie. The big lie is that college athletics isn’t a business enterprise. The small lies are an extension of that– the market’s desire to treat it as such.

        The NCAA will do what is necessary to protect the big lie. Boosters giving kids money and favors is just an extension of the fact that college athletics is a business with market inefficiencies. All the same, the NCAA will lay the hammer down where it can to foment the aura of amateurism.

        Like

  45. bullet says:

    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/sports/7496858.html

    Article is mainly about basketball in the state of Texas, but talks about how basketball, unlike football, requires national recruiting, and where those players come from. Butler is only one of final 4 mostly local, with 10 of 15 from Indiana.

    Like

  46. HerbieHusker says:

    add

    Like

  47. Pat says:

    Notre Dame playing under the lights “this year”. Also, raising prices. Wonder if they plan on installing permanent lights?
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/football/ncaa/03/30/notre-dame-night-game.ap/index.html?eref=twitter_feed

    Like

    • Nostradamus says:

      They put permanent lighting in the late 1990’s.

      Like

    • M says:

      Wasn’t there an ND fan here (Rich2?) who said that Notre Dame would never debase itself by having a night game on campus?

      Like

      • rich2 says:

        Luckily, I decided to glance through the thread to see if there were any comments about the HBO special and MSU and OSU being identified as evildoers, so I can correct the record.

        ND has had many night games and I enjoyed several of them vs MSU and Michigan so I would never have said that ND would never play a night game on campus.

        I said that unlike my employer, IU, and OSU, and soon other Big Ten schools, ND will not debase itself by hosting a Thursday night game on campus (or soon a Friday or Wednesday night game). However, M, thanks for playing.

        After reading mgoblog for an hour I still don’t understand something and maybe you can explain to me and this board: I don’t get how “iconic” and admirable the Fab 5 were and how Duke, Coach K and Grant Hill “just don’t get it.” I don’t understand the cultural importance of the Fab 5 for basketball, college basketball and American culture as apparently UM grads describe it. I have read mgoblog and understand the belief held in the UM universe in the importance of the Fab 5 to American society. Maybe you could explain it to me and this board. I see a group of players that were part of a university program that systematically cheated for nearly a decade. Mgoblog sees the beginning of something so significant (Nike? Long shorts?) that the cheating does not matter.

        Like

        • cutter says:

          I think a few things are pretty easy to explain regarding the Fab 5 and Michigan.

          First off, anyone who watched the ESPN special on the Fab 5 realize those players were speaking about their feelings as 18 year olds. People like yourself who are fixated on the “Uncle Tom” comments are missing the larger point they were making.

          What the were explaining that schools like Duke and Notre Dame would never consider him because of their backgrounds and their circumstances, regardless of their individual accomplishments and character. This is someting that Coach K and Grant Hill completely gloss over in their responses and it’s what those players felt was largely unfair. They felt they were just as “good” as the Duke players, but were never given a chance by certain programs.

          A selective reading of MGoBlog might lead you to the conclusions you have made about the Fab 5 that you posted above, but what you’ve written is hardly comprehensive to what the larger Michigan community feels about them. For example, you will recall during the program that those guys received a lot of hate/racist mail from U-M alums who were not happy with what they “represented”. I suspect the program was spot on when they said that people’s reactions to the players was based on the individual’s race and age.

          The Fab Five were iconic because they were fun and entertaining on and off the court. They reeenergized a Michigan basketball program that was seen to be a bit on the decline after winning the 1989 national championship. They wore the baggy shorts (though they didn’t orginate them), black shoes, black socks and bald heads. They put fans in the seats at Crisler, were televised more often than not and were the first all freshman starting team to get to the national championship game. Interesting enough, I’m sure you recall that the first time they played together as starters was a victory over Notre Dame.

          I think Michigan fans are sophisticated enough to know that King, Howard, and Jackson didn’t take any money from Ed Martin. Webber was the major recipient of money from him while Rose admitted to taking a couple thousand from him during the three years he was at Michigan. The other players who were implicated with Martin–Traylor, Taylor and Bullock–were all post-Fab Five era. To tab all of Michigan’s problems on the Fab Five would be an error in recalling their legacy. What occurred to Michigan was the joint responsibiliity of a lot of people, including members of the athletic department and Steve Fisher.

          I’m sure you will find Michigan fans who would welcome the Fab 5 “back” in a heartbeat and put their banners back up in Crisler Areana. There are others (like myself) who absolutely agree with the penalties the university received and don’t want Chris Webber anywhere near the program until he apologizes for his actions (and the same goes for Taylor, Traylor and especially Bullock).

          It doesn’t take a three-digit IQ to figure out that cheating does matter and that what happened to the program in the early- and mid-90s did have major circumstances to Michigan basketball. The program became largely irrelevant because of bad coaching hires (Ellerbe, Goss) and the major cloud hanging over the program. Michigan is only know upgrading Crisler Arena and building a basketball practice facility–things that would have been done at least ten to twelve years ago if the life hadn’t been sucked out of the program. The university and the donors were not willing to put resources into the program for a long time essentially because of what happened. It’s no coincidence that John Beilein is now Michigan’s head coach–the guy head the ethics committee and he knows how to put together competitive teams without slogging through the AAU muck, etc. when it comes to recruiting.

          I think that once you employ sufficient mature reflection on the matter, you’ll realize that what you’ve written can be found lacking.

          Like

        • cutter says:

          Let me just add this from John U. Bacon, who’s been around Michigan athetics for a long time. You can find the article linked at his blog. I suggest you take some time to read the comments to the article.

          http://blog.johnubacon.com/2011/03/25/the-fab-five-then-and-now.aspx

          The Fab Five: Then and Now
          March 25, 2011

          The past two Sundays, ESPN has been running a documentary called “The Fab Five,” about Michigan’s famed five freshman basketball players who captured the public’s imagination twenty years ago. It’s not quite journalism – four of the Fab Five produced it themselves – but it is a pretty honest account of what those two years were all about, if not a complete one. And it is undeniably compelling. The first showing reached over two million homes, making it the highest rated documentary in ESPN’s history.

          A lot of this story, you already know: in 1991, five super-talented freshmen came to Michigan, and by mid-season the Wolverines were the first team in NCAA history to start five freshmen. They got to the final game of March Madness before losing to the defending national champion Duke Blue Devils. The next year, they made it to the finals again, but this time they lost to North Carolina when Michigan’s best player, Chris Webber, called a time-out they didn’t have.

          Along the way they made baggy shorts and black socks fashionable, and imported rap music and trash talk from the inner-city playgrounds to the college courts. It’s been that way ever since.

          They stirred up a lot of controversy, but at the time the two most sympathetic figures were head coach Steve Fisher, a truly nice guy who seemed to be a hapless victim of his own recruiting success, and Chris Webber, the most polished of the bunch, due partly to his private school background. To many fans, the rest of the Fab Five were just a bunch of clueless, classless clowns who didn’t belong on a college campus.

          The Fab Five certainly had its vices, but selfishness wasn’t one of them. In the history of college basketball, few starting fives worked better together than the Fab Five, mainly because they really didn’t care who scored.

          I started writing stories about them after they left Michigan, and quickly discovered they’d known all along what they were doing, and did a lot of it merely to gain a competitive advantage. That doesn’t make all of it right, of course, but it dispels the popular notion they were just a bunch of out-of-control kids from the ‘hood simply seeking attention. They weren’t that needy, and they definitely were not stupid.

          I found the ones I spoke to – Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard and Jimmy King — to be unfailingly friendly, respectful and helpful. My impression wasn’t unique. “Everyone say, ‘The Michigan boys have no respect,'” Nuggets center Dikembe Mutombo told me at the time. “But Jalen comes here and he show respect for everyone: teammates, coaches — even writers!”

          That last claim I had to test. When I asked Denver reporter Mike Monroe about him, he said, “He’s one of my favorites, and I’ve been doing this for 11 years. He’s just a real pleasant guy to be around.”

          The cloud of controversy that hung over the Fab Five throughout their years in Ann Arbor disappeared in the NBA – when it usually works the other way around. At one point, three of the Fab Five were listed among the NBA’s top five charitable givers.

          It also turned out Steve Fisher really could coach – witness the masterpiece over Kentucky in the 1993 NCAA semi-finals — and he wasn’t a victim, either. I learned the latter on a cold Sunday morning in 1996 – a year after the last of the Fab Five had left — when my editor called me to find Maurice Taylor’s Ford Explorer that had rolled over on M-14, near Plymouth.

          After I tracked down the truck, a car dealer told me it cost about $35,000. The Secretary of State told me Taylor’s grandmother bought it, and the records showed the car cost twice as much as her home. Within 24 hours, we found several other Michigan players were driving cars they probably couldn’t afford, either. It didn’t take much to smell something fishy.

          The investigation that started that day resulted in two coaches fired, two banners brought down, and the entire program put on probation for years.

          But I had to wonder: If the press could figure all this out in about 24 hours, why couldn’t Steve Fisher connect the dots right under his nose over several years? They say he wasn’t part of the payola plan, and that’s probably true. But you’d have to be willfully blind not to see its effects by 1996.

          When Fisher was fired, he said they’d built an elite program, which was true, and they’d “done it the right way,” which wasn’t – and by the time he was fired, he had to know it. To this day, Fisher has never accepted any responsibility for what happened on his watch, and Chris Webber has never apologized for taking over a quarter-million dollars from a booster. Fisher now coaches San Diego State, which played in the Sweet Sixteen last night, while Webber is a very wealthy TV commentator. Those who followed them at Michigan paid the price for their mistakes.

          Twenty years ago, I thought the leaders of the Fab Five were Steve Fisher and Chris Webber. But it turns out the real leader was Jalen Rose, who finished his degree by writing term papers in the back of NBA team planes. He and the other three have proven to be thoughtful, successful and even honest men, committed to their communities and their families. I’ve come to have great respect for them – and much less for their so-called leaders.

          What a difference twenty years makes.

          Like

      • cutter says:

        I thought he said Notre Dame wouldn’t debase itself by every playing a team from the Mid-America Conference 🙂 Whoops–I guess that ship has sailed.

        Don’t worry though. Once Notre Dame joins the B1G Conference a few years down the line along with Rutgers, Pittsburgh and Maryland (or Syracuse or Connectict or Missouri), I’m sure they’ll be playing a few games on weekday evenings on the Big 16 Network (BSN) and he’ll have to eat his words. That future Notre Dame-Indiana night game might not get very good ratings (if last year is any indication), but it is live programming that the BSN can promote because we all know how much everyone loves the Fighting Irish.

        Like

  48. Steve says:

    Great article by Dan Wetzel, author of “Death To The BCS”. He’s really exposed what a cesspool of greed and corruption college football and the BCS has become.
    http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/football/news?slug=dw-wetzel_bcs_fiesta_bowl_ceo_money_scheme033011

    Like

  49. Nostradamus says:

    ESPN is suing Conference USA over the events leading up to Conference USA’s new deal with Fox Sports.
    http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Daily/Closing-Bell/2011/03/30/ESPN-Conference.aspx

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Interesting that ESPN is playing hardball. An agreement in principle is nothing. Right of 1st refusal can be an issue. CUSA is not a major property-but then maybe that’s why they feel they can play hardball. You would think CUSA’s lawyers would be aware of this.

      Like

  50. Nostradamus says:

    The Pac-12’s exclusive negotiating window with Fox expires tomorrow per John Wilner, meaning the rights it the open market Friday.
    http://blogs.mercurynews.com/collegesports/2011/03/30/pac-12-football-and-basketball-update-on-the-tv-negotiations/

    Like

  51. Pat says:

    Brady Hoke gets $16.5m for 6 years. Interesting contract, includes $1.5m retention bonus after three years and again after six years.
    http://detnews.com/article/20110330/SPORTS0201/103300395/Brady-Hoke%E2%80%99s-U-M-contract-worth-$16.5M-over-six-years

    Like

    • Richard says:

      They’re wising up and paying for assistants. I never felt that paying a head coach more than all his assistants added together made good football sense.

      Like

  52. Michael in Indy says:

    Fun idea for a mid-major super-conference by Stewart Mandel:

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/basketball/ncaa/mens-tournament/?eref=sinav

    His scenario looks pretty unrealistic, but I can’t help but wonder whether these highly consistent mid-major programs have thought about their options with conference affiliation to get more reliable exposure and better revenue. These schools eventually will need something more material to offer their coaches to keep them from leaving for more “high profile” jobs after successful seasons. Butler, for one, is a very low revenue program, and the Horizon League doesn’t help with that.

    Like

    • cfn_ms says:

      Since when was VCU “highly consistent”? Wasn’t Temple one of those “highly consistent” mid-majors not long ago? Wouldn’t the “best of” list look at lot different four years from now, just like it would have four years ago? I know that it’s not a piece intended to be taken seriously… but it’s still pretty half-assed IMO.

      Like

      • Michael in Indy says:

        Oh, come on. Maybe “highly consistent” was an exaggeration, but my point is more about Butler and other programs who perform as well as top 30 programs in the BCS conferences. I just wonder whether they think about how a new conference, or joining a better existing one, could help them to have more financial security.

        Like

        • cfn_ms says:

          The problem w/ joining a better existing conf. is similar to the problem w/ them banding together and making a new one. What better existing conf. would want Butler, VCU, etc.? Why would that conf. want a program that’s been hot for a few years (especially the case for VCU) and who knows what will happen five years from now?

          Conference affiliations are long-term arrangements, and it’s foolish to base long-term arrangements on short-term success. Butler’s success has been such a huge outlier that MAYBE someone a level up like the A-10 might think about an invite, but that’s probably the ceiling.

          As a secondary point, the reason people don’t watch Butler in the regular season isn’t that Butler is in a weak conference, it’s that the nation doesn’t care about Butler. Putting Butler together with Xavier (who the nation also doesn’t care about) won’t make it must-see TV. Basically the only time people watch Butler is in the tournament, and that’s not a recipe for sustained long-term success.

          Like

          • Michael in Indy says:

            @cfn_ms,

            It’s impossible to say, definitively, that the reason Butler doesn’t draw a good regular season TV audience is that the nation isn’t interested. Butler is rarely on television at all, so there’s very little to measure its popularity. It’s quite possible that, after two straight Final Fours and a potential national championship, Butler could draw a good audience just as Boise State does despite having been in the WAC.

            Don’t get me wrong. Butler basketball isn’t going to draw Boise State-level numbers because it’s basketball, but the conference it is in right now can hardly provide anything for it, television-wise. The Atlantic 10 and Missouri Valley at least get on national and regional television sometimes, even if it’s just ESPNU or Fox Sports Midwest (or whatever it’s called these days). Even getting on espn3.com would be a huge step up for Butler. There’s no question that Butler would, at this point, be able to draw a bigger TV audience than any MVC team and most of the A-10 teams.

            Another thing is that a better conference would help sell home tickets. Even with the season it had last year, it’s still very hard to convince anyone in this city aside from alumni and students to watch Butler take on a single Horizon League team. Sure, the MVC and A-10 have teams that aren’t all that compelling themselves, but they also have teams that can capture more casual fans’ attention. With a few more teams that Butler would have to battle for the conference crown or for at-large spots in the NCAA tournament, more people would want to go to Hinkle Fieldhouse.

            I do understand where you’re coming from regarding VCU and other teams who get red-hot during a few Marches. VCU may be no different than Davidson, except with the talent more evenly distributed. Davidson was one missed shot against Kansas in ’08 from going to the Final Four themselves, but they’ve proven to be another short-lived wonder. Conferences would need to be wary of adding a program like that before seeing how consistent it is. Butler is certainly different, though. It’s been to the Final Four twice and the Sweet Sixteen two more times since 2003.

            You’re definitely right that the A-10 or MVC would be the ceiling. All the schools in Mandel’s column were east of the Rockies, so none would be eligible for the WCC. They obviously lack the necessary football team and overall cache for a “BCS conference,” even with a national championship. The Mtn. West and C-USA would require football. The WAC doesn’t necessarily require football (Denver) or proximity to existing members (La. Tech), but proximity would be important for these lower-budget schools. After all those leagues, the A-10 and MVC are the best remaining conferences.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Mike:

            Their budget is the exact reason why Butler is probably staying in the Horizon League: Right now, they can bus to every single league opponent for all sports. In any hypothetical league, they’d likely have to fly their non-revenue teams.

            Take a look here, and you’ll see that there are exactly 3 mid-majors that generate basketball revenues at a high-major level: Xavier, Dayton, Memphis.

            Go a little farther down, and you can add Creighton. Then a few present, former, and future MWC schools (TCU, SDSU, Nevada, New Mexico). You see Wichita St. and Gonzaga there as well. Then all the rest draw in less than $4M in basketball revenue.

            Memphis isn’t leaving CUSA, and Xavier, Dayton, & Creighton aren’t forming a league by themselves. Maybe they can add SLU, then….Missouri St.? Wichita St.?

            Xavier, Dayton, SLU, and Butler would make a compact core, but you’d still need 2 more teams (within busing distance for Butler), and they won’t be available unless the BE splits up (then they can add Marquette, DePaul, and ND; whooo! Maybe Georgetown, Providence, Seton Hall, & Temple while we’re dreaming).

            Like

          • Richard says:

            BTW, the MCC (the predecessor to the Horizon League) once had Marquette, Dayton, Xavier, Butler, & SLU (as well as Loyola, Detroit Mercy, Evasville, and ND outside basketball).

            Like

  53. Playoffs Now says:

    Article on the NCAA’s investigation into Houston street agents:

    http://msn.foxsports.com/collegefootball/story/Is-reputed-street-agent-Will-Lyles-college-footballs-biggest-danger-031211

    Arises out of the Oregon mess, with LSU also being implicated. Other articles name A&M, Baylor, OK St, Alabama, UTenn, Clemson, UNCar, and USC.

    Tonight’s HBO special also has former Auburn players talking about how they were paid by LSU, Michigan St, OhSt, and their own school.

    Like

    • Playoffs Now says:

      And more:

      http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=6275253&campaign=rss&source=NCFHeadlines

      Willie Lyles, a Texas-based football trainer who is under NCAA investigation after receiving $25,000 from Oregon, told Texas A&M it had to “beat” $80,000 if it wanted to sign star recruit Patrick Peterson in 2007, a former Texas A&M coach told ESPN on Wednesday.

      Like

    • Bamatab says:

      Unfortunately this is becoming the rule and not the exception when it comes to the “money making” programs. Here is an article by Bianchi where he talks about the current penalties that are handed out (lose of scholarships, vacating wins, ect) aren’t enough of a deterrent to to keep programs from risking getting caught: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/sports/college/os-bianchi-auburn-ncaa-death-penalty-20110331,0,604744.column

      The NCAA needs to knock the dust off of the death penalty and use it on one of these programs (auburn being a great candidate) and make it clear that this could happen to any program from here on out. The threat of ending up like SMU is really the only thing that might halt this trend (which has probably been going on for quite some time).

      Like

      • 84Lion says:

        Um, not to stick up for Auburn, but on this list of NCAA Major Infractions Cases:
        https://web1.ncaa.org/LSDBi/exec/miSearch
        (search on Division I FBS)
        University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa shows up a lot more frequently than Auburn. In fact, going back to 1995, Alabama made this list 4 times.
        Still wanna knock the dust off that death penalty?

        Like

        • Michael in Indy says:

          That’s the problem. Too many schools are shady in one way or another. Alabama (or Ohio State or Oregon or whomever) doesn’t want NCAA penalties to get too strong against Auburn (or LSU or Clemson) because it could be applied against themselves.

          It should be pretty obvious by now that schools think the penalties are fine as they are now, and the NCAA can’t change penalties without schools’ permission. Look no further than Gordon Gee. He gave Tressel a mere two-game suspension for the coach’s violations and even joked he was glad Tressel didn’t want to fire him.

          I would LOVE to see college athletics cleaned up, but I don’t think college athletics wants to be cleaned up.

          Like

        • Bamatab says:

          84Lion, that link didn’t work. But here is a link showing the all time ranking of major infractions and Bama isn’t even in the top 30, yet auburn is #2: http://blog.al.com/bn/2008/03/sec_no_2_for_most_ncaa_infract.html

          Also, Bama isn’t currently in the fore-front of this issue, auburn is. Plus you just don’t realize just how corrupt the auburn program is. It is one thing when you have boosters paying players. It’s a whole other thing when the coaches are heavily involved in it. And auburn’s coaches have been document during the Dye, Bowden, now the Tubberville, and it probably won’t be very much longer until the Chizik is documented has knowing of the pay for play scheme going on out on the plains.

          Michael in Indy, I don’t see why new legislation would have to be drafted. The death penalty is already on the books. It won’t be long before smaller schools realize just how much of a disadvantage they are at in regards to what the major programs can offer kids.

          I’m not saying the NCAA will do it, but I definitely think that using the death penalty is the only way to get a handle on it all.

          Like

        • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

          Here’s a breakdown by conference of major infractions since 1/1/1992:

          Pac-12 – 10 schools with 19 violations

          SEC – 10 schools with 18 violations

          B1G – 10 schools with 17 violations

          Big XII-2 – 9 schools with 15 violations

          Big East + TCU – 8 schools with 11 violations

          ACC – 8 schools with 10 violations

          Notre Dame – 1 violation

          Congrats to Stanford, Oregon St., South Florida, Iowa St., Penn St., Northwestern, Florida, Tennessee, BC, NC St., Duke & North Carolina for not making the list.

          Like

      • Richard says:

        The thing is, bowl bans and scholarship reductions don’t have to be toothless. Dock a school an average of 20 scholarships a year for a decade or hand out 5 year-long bowl bans (as I’ve suggested before), and those sanctions wouldn’t be toothless. However, the NCAA, either by design or idiocy, doesn’t have punishments between the feeble punishments they have now and the death penalty.

        Like

        • Vincent says:

          Any punishment in between feeble and death penalty would involve banning television appearances, and ESPN (the 800-pound gorilla) and Fox (the 700-pound one) would have none of that. losing out on their top-flight meal tickets. And if limiting TV can’t be done, forget the death penalty.

          Let’s face it — most FCS-level programs, especially the powerhouse state schools with large constituencies — are the college athletic equivalent of Goldman Sachs, too big to fail. Shutting down Auburn’s program for two years, unlike private and relatively small Southern Methodist, would result in an array of lawsuits and opening a political can of worms.

          The only way Auburn would be severely penalized is if the SACS — which, unlike the NCAA, probably can’t be bought by TV networks or state politicians — revoked its accreditation. Were that to happen, all hell would literally break loose, especially since Southeastern Conference by-laws require its members to be accredited.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            Well, I left out banning TV appearances for that reason.

            However, losing that many scholarships and that many post-season appearances (which also mean no championship game) I think would have an effect. I’d also ban non-conference home games (up to 5 years, so while the offending school may make up for them over time, it would still hurt the bottom line). ESPN & the conferences shouldn’t have a problem since it means more exposure for the other schools, but the offending schools need to be punished.

            Like

          • cfn_ms says:

            As long as it’s just one SEC program and not multiple, I’m not sure ESPN would be hugely worried. Fox won’t care (and might even like it) since they don’t carry SEC. CBS might care a lot, since they only carry SEC, but I think they’re not as politically strong as ESPN/Fox

            Like

          • Richard says:

            cfn:

            The problem is that innocent schools are also hurt if you put in place TV bans, since teams that play Auburn also wouldn’t get that game on TV.

            In any case, the NCAA could be serious about cracking down without using TV bans or a death penalty. Again, you don’t think that taking away 20 scholarships a year for a decade, 5 year postseason bans, and 5 year OOC home game bans wouldn’t deter schools from cheating more than TV bans?
            That they haven’t done anything yet is a lack of resolve (to put in place those punishments), not a lack of means.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            so televise them but take away the money that they and/or their conference would have garnered. Put t in a “little sisters of the poor” fund.

            Like

          • Adam says:

            I think Richard’s point, though, is why horse around with TV bans? There are other ways you can hurt rulebreakers without having to mess with TV. Harsh scholarship restrictions and lengthy postseason bans would get attention. It just has to be enough to hurt.

            Like

          • Adam says:

            I would note, though, that I would be hesitant to impose an OOC home game ban. There are a lot of programs that depend on that sacrificial lamb payday. I don’t think they should be punished because Auburn’s (or whoever) wrongdoing.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Adam:

            True, but presumably those minnows could find other major programs to schedule them for guarantee games. You could argue that maybe agreed upon OOC game contracts should’t be broken, in which case, just schedule those bans for 5 years or more in the future (same for postseason bans). Is it fair to apply the punishments that far in to the future? Personally, I think it’s more fair, as no current athlete who didn’t know he was joining a rule-breaking program would be impacted, and recruits would know that they’d be joining a rule-breaking program with his eyes wide open.

            Like

          • Adam says:

            Given everything observed here about the escalating price of guaranty games, I would be hesitant to do anything that would jeopardize the minnows’ ability to accept the cash of the big school if the big schools are willing to pay it. Especially since I think you’re right that deep scholarship cuts and lengthy bowl bans would hurt enough to reform their behavior.

            They need to have some kind of procedure that takes a look at the milquetoast penalties that the enforcement staff cooks up and then says “OK, now I’m going to blow your mind: double that.” Even if we take for granted they’re never going to use the death penalty, they need to make the unthinkable penalties short of the death penalty, thinkable.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Guarantees are ultimately driven by ticket sales. Unless you think big chunks of college football fandom would be turned off by the corruption, or unless you think a significant number of major progams will be hit severely by sanctions, I don’t see why the demand for guarantee games would shrink in a noticeable way.

            Like

          • Adam says:

            No, I just think that every OOC home non-conference ban (even if just 1) reduces, at the margin, the number of game checks that are out there for the minnows to collect.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Penalties should follow the coach(s) as well as apply to the school, especially if the sanctions are delayed significantly. Proven “winners” seem to keep getting hired even as they leave a trail of slime behind them.

            Like

          • Adam says:

            I am not convinced that is necessary. If the penalties were stiff enough, that would be an incentive not to hire repeat offenders.

            Everything comes back to the problem that the penalties themselves aren’t steep enough. You fix that problem, and these ancillary issues would, I think, go away.

            Like

          • Adam says:

            I mean, did Bobby Collins ever work again after the SMU scandal? Has Mike DuBose done anything since the Albert Means scandal? Sufficiently harsh penalties are enough to make rulebreaking coaches untouchable.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Sampson…Calipari…
            Are basketball offenses treated differently?

            While maybe not necessary it would give schools another reason not to hire a coach who has offended before (some multiple times). If they really want him then let them take the sanctions that come with him from the start.

            Like

          • Adam says:

            I doubt Sampson will ever coach again in college basketball. At minimum, nobody has snapped him up since he got the axe at Indiana. (What’s it been, 4 years?) As for Calipari, it’s my sense that this may (again) relate back to the severity of the initial sanction. Yes, UMass had their run in ’96 vacated, but after Calipari left they made the tournament again the next 2 seasons, and after his departure they basically reverted to what they had been before he arrived. If the NCAA sanctions on UMass had been crushingly severe Calipari may have become untouchable à la Sampson.

            If the worst thing that happens to you is that everybody has to pretend that you didn’t win some basketball games that you actually won, that isn’t much of a penalty.

            Like

      • 84Lion says:

        Bama, you gotta do a little work with the link. Put your mouse on the “search” tab and then click on “Major Infractions.” On the Case Search page, choose “Division I FBS” and then click on Go Search. When the list comes up, do a “find” in your browser on “Alabama.” I found infraction cases in 2009, 2002, 1999, and 1995. Auburn has one case in 2003, and another in 1993, more before that. I would say that in the recent past it is Auburn doing better at avoiding infractions. Yes, Auburn has more total violations than ‘Bama but you have to go back to the beginning of the list in the 1950s. Maybe Alabama supporters simply have longer memories. As far as Auburn being in the fore-front, yeah, the Cam Newton mess just happened last year but the NCAA went very light on that as I recall (not saying they were necessarily right, I’m just stating what happened). As far as Auburn’s coaches, how come you have to go back all the way to 2003 to find an Auburn violation if Dye, Bowden, and Tuberville were all so “corrupt?”
        I think the link you provided is somewhat biased in that it appears to take into account “ALL” infractions back to “way back when.” Not that those aren’t part of the record, all I’m saying is that I have more difficulty lashing a school for stuff that happened when I was a mere kid. That was a long time ago. Do the math: since 1995 Alabama has made it on the major infraction list more times than Auburn. Trying to imply that Auburn’s shady totally ignores Alabama’s recent history. I’m not saying Auburn’s a choirboy; I’m saying that Alabama calling Auburn shady appears rather hypocritical at best. Yes, it’s true that one of the ‘bama violations since 1995 was for basketball, but again to deny these problems to me is to stick one’s head in the sand.
        Michael in Indy and I are on the same page. He’s right: college athletics doesn’t want to be cleaned up. Frankly if I were Alabama I wouldn’t want the death penalty on Auburn ‘cause the Crimson Tide might well be next, especially given recent history.
        As a Penn State grad some might think I’d like to see Ohio State get slapped hard for the Tressel mess. Well, yeah, to some extent sure, but honestly I’m more sad about what’s going on than anything else. Until now, I really did look up to Ohio State and I wished Penn State could be more like them. Now I’m glad that the Nittany Lions aren’t anything like Ohio State. Sorry if some people don’t appreciate the high road but “success with honor” is more than just a slogan at Penn State. I sincerely hope PSU does not “slip” in the future and I will be very disappointed if they do. Frankly looking at the stats the rest of the Big Ten is about as bad as the SEC and that’s really disappointing.

        Like

  54. Michael in Indy says:

    If the Fiesta Bowl loses its BCS status, which it should, I think the next four-year cycle’s bowl arrangements will shake out something like this:

    – Cotton Bowl replaces the Fiesta’s place with the BCS and gets the Big 12 tie-in.

    – Fiesta Bowl gets the Pac-12’s #2 team (currently goes to Alamo) and the Big 12’s #2 team (currently goes to Cotton).

    – Alamo Bowl gets the Big 12’s #3 team (no change) and the SEC’s #3/4/5 team (currently goes to Cotton; shared with Chick-fil-a and Outback).

    – Insight would get Pac-12’s #3 (currently goes to Holiday) and Big Ten’s #4/5 (no change). The Big 12, with 2 fewer teams and 5 more conference losses among the remaining teams, would be losing one of its bowl bids, anyway, and it just makes more sense for the Pac-12 to have the tie-in to an Arizona-based bowl, especially alongside longtime Rose Bowl partner, the Big Ten.

    Of course, much more important is for the Fiesta, Orange, and other bowl games to get their acts cleaned up.

    Like

  55. Pat says:

    Maryland Chancellor Changing Tune on Football Playoff. Hopefully, we will see more of this from other university leaders soon.
    http://collegefootballtalk.nbcsports.com/?p=68762related/

    Like

  56. Michael in Indy says:

    Butler-VCU and UConn-Kentucky post strongest semi-final ratings in six years, including ’08 which had four #1 seeds, including three true blue bloods in Kansas, UCLA, and UNC.

    Any guesses as to why George Mason-Florida did so poorly in the ratings in ’06 while Butler-VCU did much better?

    My theory is that Americans like to watch powerhouse-vs.-powerhouse matchups (UConn-Kentucky), “David vs. Goliath” matchups (Butler-Duke), and even “David vs. David” matchups if a national championship is legitimately possible (Butler-VCU). But to get the best ratings, a “David” needs to face either another “David” or a “Goliath,” not a team that has neither deep history or a lofty ranking as ’06 Florida, a #3 seed, did at that time.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/tournament/2011/news/story?id=6286771

    Texas and ESPN release branding for Longhorn Network.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/ncaa/news/story?id=6286128

    Like

    • Adam says:

      My theory is that Butler and VCU have more popular and charismatic coaches than George Mason did.

      Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      Now they just need to extend that brand to their conference to more accurately discribe it…

      Like

    • @Michael – I think your theory has some legs. Also, a big part of the appeal of the “David vs. David” storyline is that it hasn’t happened in decades in the Final Four, so there was strong casual interest in that novelty factor. Plus, both semifinal games were closely played and went down to the final minutes, whereas I recall Florida largely blowing out George Mason. We’ll see how the ratings for the championship game look tonight compared to last year. My guess is that they will be down a tick because the Butler-Duke matchup was effectively the biggest “David vs. Goliath” matchup you could conceive of along with Butler being the hometown team in Indy.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        I was going to say it was going to be just as big, but UConn isn’t Duke. On the other hand, UConn has Kemba Walker while Duke had no player a casual fan would tune in to watch last year. I think Butler adds as much to the storyline this year as last year; many people by now know that Milan High had made it to the Indiana title game the previous year and lost before winning it all.

        Like

  57. Mike says:

    http://omaha.com/article/20110402/SPORTS/704029802#shatel-nu-grew-into-gem-on-big-12-diamonds

    Tom Shatel with a fluff piece on Nebraska Baseball, with some reasons why the Big Ten isn’t competitive (emphasis mine):


    While the Big 12 was filled with CWS regulars, the Big Ten looks like revenge of the nerds. If playing Texas or Oklahoma or Texas A&M could get the Huskers up, who’s going to light Nebraska’s fire in the Big Ten? Michigan? Indiana? Ohio State?

    The Big Ten typically sends one team to the NCAA regionals. The Big Ten plays its league tourney in Columbus, Ohio, before sparse crowds (though Omaha could bid for that tourney — and should get it). The Big Ten has rules that don’t compute with most college baseball people, including one that doesn’t allow you to replace a scholarship for any player who leaves for pro ball before his senior year.

    That discourages a coach from going after a player talented enough to go pro before his senior year. You know, the kind of players who take you to the CWS.

    Big Ten baseball is the stone ages, and it’s going to be all Anderson and NU can do to not get dragged into a time warp. Anderson has plans to ramp up his nonconference scheduling with big-time schools to give the Huskers some chance at a respectable RPI before the Big Ten throws a wet blanket over it.

    Can Nebraska convice the Big Ten to modernize thier baseball position? I love college baseball. If any of you, get a chance, you need to catch a game.

    Like

    • Michael in Indy says:

      Those are some smart observations regarding the Big Ten’s struggles in baseball. I had no idea about those rules differences. Nebraska baseball coaches, I imagine, weren’t excited about switching conferences.

      I still think, though, that climate dictates a program’s ability to succeed in college baseball as much or more than anything, including scholarship restrictions and other rules. Schools with otherwise low-major athletic programs like Cal State-Fullerton, Long Beach State, and Rice are national powers in this sport, and that wouldn’t be possible without great local climates. Could you imagine UIC or Miami, Ohio being national powers when Big Ten teams aren’t even close? The Big Ten’s weather disadvantage is absolutely enormous.

      It’s similar with hockey. Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, etc. have a weather advantage that makes playing hockey at those schools appealing, not to mention the much more supportive culture for the sport compared to warmer states.

      Like

      • Mike says:

        My suggestions:
        1. Allow up to 25 Scholarships. 11.7 isn’t going to cut it anymore. Comparable increase in Softball to offset Title IX issues.
        2. Move season back a month. Regular season is currently mid-February to end of May. Make it mid March to end of June. NCAA tournament during July. Even better, make it April to July, with the NCAA tournament in August right before Football. Give the BTN something to broadcast in the summer.
        3. Work out something with MLB to allow draft picks to play. Maybe MLB pays their scholarship or something.
        College baseball can be a revenue sport. If the big fan bases in the north can get behind baseball like the south has, college baseball can be huge.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          Hard to get most NCAA schools (for whom baseball isn’t and likely will never be a revenue sport) to get behind any proposal where the regular season is stretched out beyond the school year.

          Like

          • Adam says:

            If anything, I’d like to see the season shortened. Shave 5-10 games off the season and you could move up the CWS a week or so (and the rest of the tournament/season accordingly). That means more games while students are on campus, which is the way to build interest in the sport overall.

            I take the position that what is good for the Big Ten is good for college sports. For example, I think that Big Ten hockey is the best chance for growth the sport has seen in a very long time. The conditions that would produce an upswing in popularity for baseball in the Big Ten would, similarly, be beneficial for baseball across the board, although it might produce marginal profitability reductions at powerhouse programs (which would likely impede adoption). Ah well.

            Like

          • @Richard – I agree that it would be tough. The Big Ten has long supported a later start to the baseball season and actually got a March 1 start a couple of years ago, but it’s been moved back earlier a couple of weeks since then with pressure from the non-Northern schools. With the MLB draft in early June (and maybe someone with greater knowledge of NCAA regulations can explain to me why baseball players seem to be an exception to the rule that athletes lose college eligibility as soon as they sign with a professional agent and/or team, as there are always pro draftees playing in the College World Series every year), those MLB teams wanting new draftees to start Rookie League play in July, and all of the summer college leagues like the Cape Cod League, there’s a “baseball ecosystem” in place that doesn’t allow that much flexibility in moving the college baseball season later in the year. From a pure TV viewer perspective, I agree with Michael in Indy that I’d much rather be able to watch the College World Series during a relatively dead sports period in July as opposed to being in direct competition with the NBA Finals and/or Stanley Cup Finals, but there are too many interests that would fight against that happening beyond the NCAA.

            Like

          • Adam says:

            At a fundamental level, I find it distasteful for the championships schedule not to follow the calendar. Spring began 15 days ago and the NCAA still has no less than 6 Division I/National Collegiate Winter championships to award. Having the CWS, which already goes to the end of June, last into July, would similarly disregard what ought to be the natural end date for a Spring sport.

            Like

          • Michael in Indy says:

            @Adam,

            I’ve always thought that abaseball season at any level, in any context and at any length, is best suited sometime within the window of the pro baseball season. Baseball demands warm weather more than most other sports. It’s a terrible sport to play pretty much anywhere between mid-November and mid-February. With strictly indoor sports, plus ones that can be indoors like tennis, the season can be adjusted to fit the academic calendar without affecting how the sport is played. Even in a mostly outdoor sport like football or soccer, extreme weather doesn’t change whether games can take place or not.

            The inherent problem is that the sport is best suited mid-March and later, but spring semesters end as early as late April and no later than late May, depending on the school. In other words, the sport by nature does not jive well with the academic calendar, unless it became an eight week sport.

            Like

          • Adam says:

            I agree it doesn’t work well with the academic calendar, and I don’t think it is feasible to wedge it into the strict constraints of the academic calendar. But if we could shave 1-2 weeks off the length of the season, that would help. More conference games, especially during the stretch run for the league title, being played while students are on-campus, is what the sport needs to grow (IMO). Even if we can’t have the students on campus for the end of the conference schedule, having them there until the 2nd- or 3rd-to-last week is better than having them there until the 4th- or 5th-to-last week.

            Like

        • Michael in Indy says:

          Suggestion #2 would be a great thing for the sport.

          On the early end of the calendar, it would be fantastic for the northern schools. For most of the month of February in this state, the last place I want to be outside, much less sitting still to watch a slow-paced game. In mid-March, northern teams could get their non-conference road games out of the way, and by late March, early April, outdoor baseball ought to be perfectly appealing for baseball fans.

          On the late end, it could be great for the College World Series. June is all about the NBA Finals and, once every four years, the World Cup. July has only regular season baseball, golf, tennis, and NFL training camp. College baseball very well could be the lead sports story for that month every year.

          Of course, going past the end of June would be logistically almost impossible. Universities, including their athletic departments, operate mostly on a July 1-June 30 calendar, as does the NCAA. Conferences run on that same schedule. It could just create too many problems. If, for example, the CWS was moved into July in 2012, and TCU played in it, would TCU play as a Mountain West team or a Big East team?

          Like

          • Mike says:

            I assume the 6/30, 7/1 problem could be solved by using 7/31, 8/1?

            Outside of the NCAA tournament (especially the CWS), it’s been my experience that the pace of college games is much quicker.

            Like

          • Adam says:

            I think games of significance while students are on campus are more important. Right now, the Big Ten Tournament is held 3-4 weeks after schools on the semester system are finished for the Spring. That is a sizable chunk of the conference race that’s being held after students are gone. Every week that you reduce that number strengthens the sport. But that means the season needs to be shorter, not drifting even later into the summer.

            Like

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      With Nebraska’s admission, the B1G could and should make a commitment to baseball. Cold weather in January, February, and March is a disadvantage, but its not an insurmountable disadvantage.

      UConn has hosted regionals recently. Oregon State won the CWS in 06 & 07. Nebraska participated in the CWS as recently as 05, 02 & 01. Notre Dame made the CWS in 02. Between 82 & 93, Wichita St appeared in 6 CWS and won the national championship in 89. Maine made it to the CWS 5 times in the 1980s.

      The last B1G CWS participant was Michigan in 84 and 81.

      But don’t take my word for it. Frank said a few weeks ago that baseball had the biggest potential for growth with the BTN.

      Here’s college baseball attendance leaders through the end of March, just to show you all the potential for ticket sales.

      http://www.secdigitalnetwork.com/Portals/3/SEC%20Website/Baseball/2011/2011weekly%20attendance.pdf

      Like

      • @Alan – I really hope the Big Ten steps it up in baseball. While there’s always going to be a weather disadvantage in the North, the rising willingness of several conference schools to pour money into new facilities (particularly Ohio State and Penn State) and Big Ten Network coverage can hopefully turn the league’s prospects around. The Big Ten has already been competitive nationally in women’s softball with the same weather disadvantages.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          Everybody is ignoring the elephant in the room. The younger demographic (and all right thinking people, really) doesn’t like baseball. They don’t watch MLB and don’t attend college games. This puts a hard ceiling on the growth of college baseball. Baseball is not the future, it is a dying sport. Good riddance.

          If the B10 was really forward thinking, they’d drop baseball as a sport. They could drop some women’s scholarships as a result, wasting a lot less of the football revenue.

          Like

          • SideshowBob says:

            Except that’s pretty much false. MLB is a very popular sport, even among younger viewers. People often cite stats reflecting MLS’s national broadcast (ESPN, TBS, etc) ratings and comment that they are not remakable, especially compared to the NBA and in the under 40 demographic. But it ignores that local ratings for MLB teams are generally extremely strong — typically a lot higher than local ratings for NBA or NHL teams. And strong among younger viewers as well. Basically put, MLB is popular, but mostly with folks following their local teams as opposed to the league as a whole.

            I don’t see any reason why NCAA baseball couldn’t benefit from the same phenomena. No reason that Big Ten schools need to draw people in New Mexico to watch their games; they just need to draw in folks in Ohio and Michigan and Illinois, etc.

            Like

          • @SideshowBob – I may write a full-blown post about this since I have a lot of theories about it, but I think that you’re generally correct. MLB is more franchise-driven, whereas NBA is more star-driven. That is, the average sports fan is likely more loyal to his/her favorite MLB team over an NBA team, but that same average sports fan is more likely to watch certain NBA stars on a national level than to watch other MLB teams. From my personal experience, I watch a lot of the White Sox (my favorite MLB team) and the Cubs (since they’re local and I need material to make fun of my Cub fan wife and friends), but very few baseball games that don’t involve them outside of the playoffs. In contrast, while I’m also a huge Bulls fan, I’m much more interested in watching the other top-level NBA teams. I find games involving top NBA stars such as LeBron and Kobe to be more “must-see TV” while I don’t have the same drive to seek out games with A-Rod and Albert Pujols (despite them being phenomenal future Hall of Famers).

            There are advantages and disadvantages to each of them. For a baseball team owner, you’re generally less reliant on one or two stars to draw continued interest since the fan base is more loyal and established. (Contrast this with how the value of the Cavs dropped a dramatic amount overnight when LeBron left.) Local TV revenue is also generally greater and they have the most leverage of any of the pro sports franchises to create their own regional TV networks (which the Yankees and Red Sox have already made a fortune off of). On the flip side, the NBA has better long-term prospects for rising national TV revenue as casual sports fan interest is greater and it’s the American pro sports league best-positioned to have a legitimate international presence. Very few people in China know who Peyton Manning or Tom Brady are (or really any concept of American football), but LeBron and Kobe are household names there (not just Chinese native Yao).

            In a way, MLB fandom is very close to college sports fandom. For better or for worse, there are a handful of marquee teams that draw continued national interest while it’s very hard for anyone else to break into that group permanently. If you switched the uniforms of the Yankees and the Pirates, those “new” Yankees would be the ones drawing SportsCenter coverage every night no matter how bad they were (just as the backup QB at Notre Dame is more well-known across the country than the starting QB at the vast majority of schools).

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Part of the NBA being player driven is how much impact one player can have, but IMO most of it is marketing. They have since the 80s gone out of their way to promote certain players. Part of it is to connect with a younger demographic. Its been successful.

            What is really bad is not just how much a team loses when they lose a player, but the refs give breaks to certain players. In the 80s, Magic couldn’t foul and couldn’t miss without getting fouled. And he didn’t need the breaks. For the Celtics, they would never call a foul on McHale or Parish, but if Greg Kite came in for one of them, he might foul out in 5 minutes.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Bullet: The star treatment of single players is probably the singlee biggest reason I don’t pay much attention to the NBA. The rules are just sort of guidelines. Hard to follow teams when they are just a backdrop for displaying the items (players) being marketed.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            SideshowBob,

            MLB is still popular, but it is way behind the NFL and CFB is catching up. Currently the favorite sports are NFL (31%), MLB (17%) and CFB (12%).

            From a recent Harris Interactive poll:
            http://www.harrisinteractive.com/NewsRoom/HarrisPolls/tabid/447/mid/1508/articleId/675/ctl/ReadCustom%20Default/Default.aspx

            “When it comes to baseball, Matures (those 65 and older) (21%), Hispanics (20%), and those with a high school or less education (20%) are more likely to cite it as their favorite sport. African Americans (6%), those with some college education (12%) and Echo Boomers (13%) are least likely to say baseball is their favorite.”

            MLB’s best demographic is seniors at 21% versus 17% overall, with the young (18-33) at 13% and those with some college education at 12%. How does that look good for college baseball?

            In addition, college baseball isn’t popular enough to be separated out in the poll, unlike CFB and MBB and WBB. The lack of TV games tells you all you need to know.

            Building college baseball requires stealing MLB fans, and that doesn’t seem overly likely among the key demographics. Things like lacrosse and soccer have better odds.

            Like

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Brian – College baseball doesn’t need to take away MLB fans to grow. I say this as a season ticket holder for the most popular college baseball team in America. I am an MLB fan, but many of my fellow LSU baseball fans are not. They only follow MLB to check in on Brian Wilson, Aaron Hill or Brad Hawpe. Several LSU actually hate MLB, as the pros sign many of our best recruits, so that they never make to campus.

            Most successful college baseball teams do not compete with MLB, or even the minor leagues. The college season only overlaps half of the professional season.

            In most college towns, if any team is wildly successful by competing for championships, the fans will come. For example, Knoxville does not have enlightened women’s college basketball fans that were always women’s college basketball fans because it stresses fundamentals. No, the people of eastern Tennessee are women’s college basketball fans because the Lady Vols win.

            That’s the same case with LSU baseball. Before Skip Bertman showed up in Baton Rouge in 1984, the joke on campus was that the most quiet place to study on campus was at an the old Alex Box Stadium (then the home of LSU baseball). But winning made this football town into a baseball town too. Now, LSU has a brand-new stadium that many AAA teams would envy, draws over 10,000 fans per game, and grosses more than $9mm per year.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Alan,

            I respectfully disagree. College needs to steal MLB fans to grow because those are the only baseball fans out there. It is much easier to steal fans from a different level of the sport than create fans of a sport. In most of the US, college baseball fans are almost non-existent as a percentage. Stealing baseball fans upset with steroids and/or the Yankees/Red Sox hegemony is the clearest path to growth. I’m not saying they need fans to completely drop MLB for college, but they need them to follow both.

            The women’s basketball model doesn’t work because only a few teams can grow by being dominant, and those programs already exist in baseball and are already relatively popular. WBB literally grew from nothing.

            Like

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Brian – please see the attached college baseball attendance report through 4/4/11.

            http://www.secdigitalnetwork.com/Portals/3/SEC%20Website/Baseball/2011/2011weekly%20attendance.pdf

            The only teams on the list in MLB markets are TCU, Rice, Arizona St, Miami, South Florida, and Georgia Tech.

            While I respect your well-reasoned opinion, I can say based on my experience living in the best college baseball town in America, that your opinion is not based in fact. The Braves, Astros and Rangers didn’t lose any fans to the LSU Tigers. If anything, LSU’s success made many more people baseball fans in Louisiana, and increased interest in MLB. There are also many college baseball fans in town that couldn’t care less about MLB, other than how the former Tigers are doing.

            Again, here’s how to turn a year-round football town into a Spring baseball town.

            1. Hire a good coach with some personality. To build a program, you need to be a little Earl Weaver and a little P.T. Barnum.

            2. Make a commitment to facilities. Most loyal college fan bases will show up for tiddlywinks tournaments if they think the good ole (insert team colors here) have a chance to win. Schools committing to facilities is the most outward sign of a commitment to winning.

            3. Make the in-game experience fun for casual fans. That means promotions, give-aways, special appearances. In the 80s when LSU was still building its program, the San Diego Chicken would come in for a series every year.

            4. Win – but you don’t have to be a dynasty like my Tigers. Ole Miss, for example, is competitive, but they don’t have the championships to justify 8,000 fans a game.

            The bottom line is if the Big Ten schools took baseball seriously and stopped making excuses, they would have more success. If Big Ten fans thought the schools took baseball seriously, I’d bet that they would show up and baseball would become a viable 3rd or 4th sport.

            Like

    • Craig Z says:

      Why does baseball have this rule and not basketball or football? I’m glad it doesn’t or Ohio State would not have had enough players to field a team in some recent years.

      Like

  58. Pat says:

    One of my favorite college football writers, Tony Barnhart, has moved to CBSSports.com after many years at the Atlanta Journal Constitution. This guy really has the pulse of college football, especially the SEC. His first article for CBS is linked below and the topic is: Has college football’s integrity reached a tipping point? He suggests five major changes to college football including the top 60-70 teams breaking away from the NCAA, making freshmen ineligible, no red or grey-shirting and a few others. A very good read. I would love to see all of his changes implemented. The college game needs an overhaul “off the field”.
    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/story/14900090/action-needed-with-college-footballs-integrity-on-the-line

    Like

    • Steve says:

      I like the Ralph Nader plan. Eliminate all athletic scholarships.
      http://espn.go.com/blog/ncfnation/post/_/id/40402/video-the-nader-plan

      Like

    • Brian says:

      CFB has never had integrity. Every decade is loaded with scandals, we just hear more about it now with the internet and busybody reporters.

      As for Tony’s recommendations:
      1. Even if the top schools break away, they’ll have to form an NCAA equivalent to act as a governing body.

      2. A commissioner might help, but I doubt it helps much. What incentive do the schools have to appoint one? Who appoints him? Who does he report to? What powers does he have? What is his term? Is he an academic, businessman, former AD, former coach or former player? What is his focus?

      3. I see no compelling need to not play freshmen. Many have proven they are quite capable of adjusting to college and playing football. Why waste 1 of 3 years before they turn pro?

      4. Going back to a multi-year scholarship sounds good, but they dropped that for a reason. Do those reasons no longer apply? I’m all for not oversigning and not grayshirting, but I would say players get 5 years to play 48 regular season games with no more 6th year exemptions. Players can redshirt at any point or enjoy the fifth year with no football while working to graduate.

      5. I think it should be up to the schools to choose whether to extend the scholarship to include the full cost of attendance or not. Schools can save money by not paying more, but it hurts them in recruiting. Players are eligible for Pell Grants, and the NCAA could add a student loan program for athletes.

      Like

  59. Pat says:

    Maryland Loses Three Scholarships.
    I know a lot of people think Maryland would be a good fit for the B10, but the school continues to “under achieve”, a lot like Illinois. They should be performing much better given the recruiting talent in their geographic area and physical resources available at the school. Now they are losing three scholarships. Not a great start for Randy Edsall.
    http://eye-on-collegefootball.blogs.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/24156338/28267214

    Like

  60. greg says:

    I don’t think this was posted. Last week USAToday had an article claiming the typical annual value for a scholarship basketball player was $120k. So $480k or $600k for a 4 or 5 year student. Not a bad valuation for these kids who “don’t get paid.”

    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/mensbasketball/2011-03-29-scholarship-worth-final-four_N.htm

    Like

    • Richard says:

      “Sports economist Andrew Zimbalist, a professor at Smith College in Massachusetts, calls “wrongheaded” this analysis of total value.”

      …and I agree with him.

      For one, I could pay your annual salary in $120K worth of fishing trips to Scotland, but if you don’t value fishing trips to Scotland, you’re not going to say that you got paid fairly for your work.

      For another, not sure if you read through the analysis, but it’s pretty awful.
      1. They put a $70K value on the coaching the athletes receive, but if you’re not going to play pro ball after you graduate from college, that coaching doesn’t have as much value (and that $70K figure is rather suspicious; I seriously doubt student-athletes would pay that much a year for coaching on the open market, so I very much doubt the coaching is worth $70K to them).
      2. General support: true, athletes get academic support and sneakers, etc…..but they wouldn’t need that if they didn’t have to devote 25 hours a week to the sport! That’s kind of like saying the cost of safety equipment that a coal miner carries on him down the mine should count as part of his salary and benefits.
      3. The “future earnings impact” is done badly (they don’t compound), but in any case, that’s also dependent on how well a student-athlete takes advantage of the education. Furthermore, it’s double-counting. Presumably, regular students are willing to pay the tuition they do in large part because of their future earnings impact. You can count tuition & future earnings impact but not both.

      In short, whoever did this analysis are morons (and think their readership are as well).

      Like

  61. Playoffs Now says:

    Does UConn even have fans?

    http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/basketball/blog/the_dagger/post/Houston-Rice-students-get-to-experience-nationa?urn=ncaab-wp1856

    …Monday morning when an email went out to the Houston and Rice student body giving the first 300 email responders free tickets courtesy of the Connecticut athletic department…

    …UConn’s fan section was nearly empty during Saturday’s national semifinal against Kentucky. Even though UConn was allotted 800 tickets for its fans, few other than families were able to make the trip to Houston. On Monday, the Huskies didn’t want the same lack of fanfare for what ended up being a 53-41 win over Butler…

    Whoohoo, America is thrilled to see another dirty program and dirty coach crowned champion. But at least UCONN did have to earn it on the court, rather than picked by reputation to a 2-team beauty contest.

    Like

  62. SuperD says:

    Latest report from Wilner on the PAC 12 tv deal continues to express confidence on the potential size of the deal.

    http://blogs.mercurynews.com/collegesports/2011/04/05/pac-12-tv-negotiations-its-all-about-exposure-and-a-little-money-too/

    Apparently they could really benefit from the timing of the negotiations and Fox’s efforts to boost their rights fees for channels like FX. Story includes a quote from a media analyst who recently upped his estimate of the deal size $220 million. It also states that a Pac 12 network is apparently a forgone conclusion, but I think most of us already thought that was the case given the leagues “all rights in” stance. One thing that is not really clear is whether that estimate is inclusive of any sort of revenue projection for the Pac 12 Network. If not, and the actual deal comes in close to this then they are in a pretty good position, though UT likely still made the right move to maximize their revenues, if not the right deal for their conference mates. Imagine what this thing could have been as a PAC 16.

    Some other interesting stuff in here on how the league is being aggressive about embracing new media and alternative distribution channels. I’d love to be able to download a post-game copy of good games on iTunes, or stream a game that’s on the PAC 12 network on YouTube or XBox Live.

    Like

  63. Pat says:

    Big House Gets Big Screen Video.
    Should be fun this year, especially the night game with Notre Dame on Sept 10th and the throwback uniforms. Awesome!! Can’t wait!!
    http://detnews.com/article/20110405/SPORTS0201/104050419/1361/TS-Sports-to-install-scoreboards-at-Michigan-Stadium–Crisler–Yost

    http://irish.nbcsports.com/2011/04/03/kelly-ruins-michigans-throwback-uniform-surprise/

    Like

    • cfn_ms says:

      That writer seems to have a substantially inflated opinion of OK St’s importance and options available in the event of Texas leaving. The fact that he even suggests that the BigX would be better off WITHOUT Texas strikes me as crazy. I know it’s a rant and all, but it feels like a reach in a number of ways.

      Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        He said better off, not wealthier. I agree, which is why I wasn’t disapointed that the Pac16 with UT did not happen. An alternative 4 to reach 16 would make for a more stable conference, even if not quite as rich.

        Like

        • cfn_ms says:

          Without Texas, the Big 12 would be VERY likely to fall apart; A&M would go the SEC if they had an invite or try independence themselves if they didn’t (if Texas can abandon their in-state brethren then so can A&M); Oklahoma might be in the same situation, though they might be stuck w/ OK St and have fewer options.

          Even if everyone but A&M stayed together (which is VERY iffy), its long-term AQ status would be in serious doubt, with three of its former top four programs (NU, UT, A&M) gone, just one legitimate power left, and a whole lot of minnows (BU, ISU, KSU, KU).

          Even the idea of adding TCU or Houston would have been iffy. Now, probably they could have gotten TCU before TCU went to the Big East, but now that ship has sailed and in a no-Texas league, why would TCU be at all interested? And Houston has had historic attendance issues, not to mention that on the field they’ve been pretty iffy to boot. That’s a program questionable enough that it might actually drag DOWN the league average even if Texas and A&M were gone.

          I also think it’s funny that he’s assuming the Pac-x would want OK St if Texas wasn’t part of the deal. The league wasn’t even all that thrilled w/ OK St when Texas WAS part of the deal; why in the world would they think the league would want them without Texas as part of the package?

          Given the difficult logistical issues inherent in expanding to a bigger league, it’s hard to see why ANY BCS league would go beyond 12, much less beyond 14, unless it was a slam-dunk good idea. And OK St would bring down the league average across the board, most notably in academics, which plenty of the Pac-x presidents care a lot about (even if you think they shouldn’t, the fact remains that they do). There’s a reason why there was the (apparently unfounded) rumor that the Pac-10 tried to ditch OK St for Kansas at the last minute; the league didn’t particularly want OK St.

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          • ccrider55 says:

            “I also think it’s funny that he’s assuming the Pac-x would want OK St if Texas wasn’t part of the deal. The league wasn’t even all that thrilled w/ OK St when Texas WAS part of the deal;”
            If OU wanted to join I’m sure OkST could come along. That seemed the reasonong last year. TT could come with UT. I think OU is a tremendous value, with or without UT, and is as much a national brand as Nebraska. I’m sure the Pac would have loved to have a call from the Huskers(and allowed them to bring almost any friend along).

            Like

          • cfn_ms says:

            I’m not especially sure that the Pac-x wants Oklahoma by itself, much less with OK St. Oklahoma is a football power, but without a huge fanbase, without being directly in a major recruiting area (they get good chunks of Texas, but wouldn’t open up that area for the the rest of the league), without academics remotely comparable to the top half of the league, they’re not in a good TV market, etc.

            Moreover, Oklahoma has enough history of cheating in their football program that the league could hesitate just for that, even without factoring in the other negatives. Certainly some in the Pac have had issues on that front, but there seems to be a general attitude of not being especially tolerant of league members cheating, and that would certainly play into which programs the league wanted to add.

            Now, it’s certainly possible that the league would look at Oklahoma and decide they were interested, but it’s FAR from a slam dunk, and if OK St was part of the package it would become much less attractive.

            The basic idea last year was that everyone could come with Texas. Texas wouldn’t come without Oklahoma who wouldn’t come without OK St, and therefore OK St was part of the package (there’s also a theory that Pickens has substantial influence in the state of Texas, which certainly didn’t hurt). Adding Texas was the driving force behind all of the other programs getting the offer (except Colorado, who the league decided they wanted anyway). There’s no particularly good reason to think any of the other offers would be on the table without Texas. I suppose it’s possible, but to simply assume that it’s the case is ridiculous.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            I agree with your basic idea but I don’t think all the offers made to the other three were completely contingent on Texas. Your assumption is that Texas holds the keys to the magic kingdome. I don’t think there is any particular reason to believe the offer to a high profile national brand (and its sibling) would not still be standing. From the Pac’s point of view isn’t a half a pie better than no pie? Everybody wonders what this deal might be worth with Texas, but I think the OU brand would bring almost as much for marketing as with UT alone. I guess I don’t see the down side that you seem to see in continuing to build a bigger, better brand. UT, while desirable, is not essential in that endevour.

            Like

          • frug says:

            @cfn_ms

            I’ll give you the academic argument, but your other issues miss the point. While recruiting and TV market size are factors in realignment they pale in comparison to the size of a program’s national following and passion of its fanbase, and in both those areas Oklahoma has very few peers. That’s the same reason the Big 10 took Nebraska over a school like TCU who would have offered better recruiting and market size. I’m not saying that Oklahoma is as good an acquisition as Texas (its not) but the idea that they were just a “throw in” to get UT is inaccurate.

            Like

          • cfn_ms says:

            @ cc: Virtually everyone who has written or commented about it seems to believe that the other offers were in fact contingent on Texas (though I could see A&M’s and perhaps Oklahoma’s not being contingent on Texas).

            There are large number of reasons that Texas is the only program worth enough to deal with the substantial downsides to expansion (12 is at least arguably the optimal number; 14 is workable but tough; and 16 is a massive mess). Building a bigger brand isn’t worth anything unless it’s better, and OK+OK St at best hold steady the average brand and very possibly devalues it (and that’s just football; throw in everything else and it’s an obvious downer).

            What matters isn’t the total size of the pie but the size per program (plus the off the field effect on identity, which the OK schools would certainly change in ways the Pac-12 presidents would feel is a negative). Adding 2 more programs that create less value than 14/12 of what already exists is a bad idea. Bigger isn’t necessarily better.

            Texas is the ONLY program at least plausibly available that is a clear winning addition to the league; everyone else has some warts and most have many. The main reason the league OK’d Utah (who has issues of their own) is that there’s clear value in going from 11 to 12, because they you can stage a CCG and make a lot of $$$ off ot it. There are no specific benefits to adding a 13th, or 14th, etc. member, which is why there will be a LOT more resistance to adding any more if they’re not part of a package that includes Texas. Especially since it only takes one veto to kill expansion.

            @ frug: I don’t think Oklahoma was “just a throw-in”, but I also don’t think that the Pac-x values them nearly as highly as most other leagues (especially the SEC) would, mainly due to the issues of market size, academics and questionable history wrt the rules. Those issues are big enough that, while Oklahoma is at least arguably desirable enough to merit an invite on its own, it is much tougher to argue that they’re desirable enough to have OK St come along too. And since it seems VERY likely that they’d end up being a package deal, it’s hard for me to see it happening if Texas isn’t part of the package.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            I’m not sure everyoue felt the offers were contingent on UT coming. I believe the ACCEPTANCE of the offers was made contingent by the schools themselves, i.e. OU saying they would do whatever UT did implies they were able to choose for themselves, but chose not to.
            We simply will have to agree to disagree about UT being the only add that brings enough value to be worth it. OU’s historic tradition, national following and national brand, as Frug said, is not surpassed by very many. As I’ve suggested before a very significnt part of UT’s value can be atributed to being associated with OU’s value.

            Why do you continue to say the Pac presidents would have problems with some off field issues? They have already said they would accept them. (it’s not like the Pac is squeakey clean…USC, ASU, UW, etc. Everybody has problems.)

            Are you sure the presidents would need to vote again? I don’t know but it wouldn’t surprise me if Scott has approval to continue the work he proposed to them last year, as long it remains within that frame work.

            As to whether the Pac brand would hold steady (we disagree) with OU and OSU added, lets say you are right. Now I wonder where the value they brought to their other conference as #2 (and sibling) went. Did aTm suddenly gain that value? Perhaps Baylor or K State or I State (or all three combined) will fill the void? No, OU has the value do be an add that would be positive.

            Like

          • cfn_ms says:

            Most felt that the other offers were contingent, though no one directly involved has specifically said (or at least I haven’t seen it).

            It seems like you’re missing my main point, which is that the negatives that Oklahoma (and the other B12South programs) bring are MORE concerning to the Pac-x than they are to their current league. This means that the value that, say, Oklahoma brings to the Pac-x would be LESS than the value that they bring to the Big 12.

            Also, it’s one thing to accept issues as part of a package containing (at least arguably) the most valuable athletic program in 1-A, that comes without ANY meaningful negatives from the Pac-x’s perspective; it’s another to accept them w/o that big positive.

            As far as re-voting goes, I would be VERY surprised to hear that the presidents had authorized the Big 12 South teams w/o Texas. But no, I’m not certain.

            Like

          • frug says:

            Texas’ football program has at least as much as a cheating history Oklahoma. That said, both programs have straightened up substantially in past decade and are now two of the cleanest programs in major college football.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Look at the top universities in major violations that was linked above. Texas is nowhere on that list. Texas does not have a history anywhere near Barry & followers’ problems. It was really all the nastiness of recruiting that was one of the major reasons Darrel Royal retired at 55 from UT.

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  64. loki_the_bubba says:

    For those still following the aftershocks of realignment as they filter through the lower levels, Nebraska-Omaha to the Summit league.

    http://collegesportsinfo.com/2011/03/13/nebraska-omaha-to-join-summit-drop-football/

    Like

  65. ohio1317 says:

    The Big Ten releases 2013/2014 schedules.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/ncfnation/post/_/id/40452/a-look-at-the-2013-14-big-ten-schedules

    Looking through, there’s actually some overall changes that I really like.

    a) Illinois vs. Northwestern is now final game of the season again. That makes 5 of the 6 match-ups to end the year pretty good and make sense (Ohio State/Michigan, Nebraska/Iowa, Wisconsin/Penn State, Purdue/Indiana). The only remaining oddball is Michigan State/Minnesota and that can’t be helped.

    b) I like how Wisconsin/Minnesota is the next to last week in both years (which is the traditional end date/rivalry week for the conference). That may have been the case before, but I don’t remember noticing.

    My only conference complaint (and it’s a small one) is that all the games aren’t the same between the two years. I kind of liked how we just flip flopped and home and away before as that made remembering every other years schedule easier. My only team is complaint (again small) is that I don’t particularly like having two bye weeks in the first 3 weeks in 2014.

    Like

    • @ohio1317 – Illinois has been hosting the state high school football championships during Thanksgiving weekend annually, so that’s the reason why Illinois-Northwestern is being played in October next year. After next year, though, Illinois will only host the high school championships every other year to accomodate the later Big Ten schedule (which is why Illinois-Northwestern is back to an annual season-ending rivalry in 2013). There wasn’t a conflict when the Big Ten ended its season the weekend before Thanksgiving.