Back in the fall, the Big East extended an “invitation” to Villanova to move up from Division I-AA football and join the football side of the conference.  After several postponements on a decision by Villanova, the school’s Board of Trustees was finally prepared to vote today to approve the football upgrade.

However, the Big East suddenly said, “SIKE!”

The issue appears to be Villanova’s choice of 18,500-seat PPL Park as a home football venue, which is the soccer home to the MLS Philadelphia Union.  I would certainly understand the hesitancy on the part of the other Big East football schools… if it weren’t for the fact that PPL Park has been well-known as the only realistic stadium option for Villanova for around 5 months now.  Regardless of whether one believes that Villanova joining Big East football is a good idea, it appears to be disingenuous on its face that some of the conference’s football members brought up the stadium situation that they’ve known about for quite awhile at the very last minute.

The New York Daily News reported today that 75% of the Big East’s football members would need to approve the upgrade, which means that it requires a 6-3 majority.  What’s interesting is that the scuttlebutt among Villanova insiders is that the Big East members that are blocking the process are Pitt, Rutgers, Syracuse and West Virginia as opposed to the newer members.  (See the 4/11 9:37 am post from the publisher of Rivals site VUSports.com.)  It doesn’t surprise me to see Pitt, Rutgers and West Virginia up there, but the talk about Syracuse having objections is quite jarring as the Orange (along with UConn) have the longest conference relationship with Villanova of any of the football schools.

I explained the rationale for the Big East prodding Villanova to move up in football in my last post: (1) approval of any all-sports expansion (including the addition TCU) by the Catholic members was predicated on Villanova getting a chance to move up and (2) none of the potential expansion candidates from C-USA would clearly add enough football revenue to risk diluting the conference’s basketball revenue even further.  That’s not to say adding Villanova would really do much for Big East football competitively, but they were a necessary political mechanism to obtain the votes for football expansion overall with TCU (which virtually everyone agrees was a great move).

The Big East released a statement that it would continue to perform “due diligence” on the Villanova upgrade.  What I don’t understand is what’s going to change over the next few months – the PPL Park plan “is what it is” and there aren’t any alternative options for Villanova.  If Pitt, Rutgers and others don’t like the Villanova proposal today, then they’re not going to like it in June.  Everyone involved would be best served by an up-or-down vote ASAP instead of dragging this out further.

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

(Image from Sports Business Daily)

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Comments
  1. greg says:

    Hawks.

    Like

  2. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    GEAUX TIGERS!

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  3. cfn_ms says:

    So what do you think will happen now? BE goes with Nova in the end, stands pat, grabs a CUSA program or three, or does something wild and unexpected?

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    • Kyle says:

      probably not. They’re already reach down to get villanova; I don’t think they’d want to take another image hit with more CUSA raids.

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      • cfn_ms says:

        I agree on CUSA, those programs may even be bigger losers for Big East than Nova would be. MAYBE UCF could work out, but even there it’s a reach and filling out the bottom (or at least lower third) of the league.

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      • Michael in Indy says:

        @Kyle,

        That beer on your blog page looks tasty (in the evening, of course, not at 9:30 AM).

        More importantly, thank you for your service for our country.

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    • Michael in Indy says:

      Best interests of the football members: Keep football membership at nine (including TCU). Nova football would dilute the value that TCU football will add. It’s bad enough that TCU b-ball will dilute the b-ball value.

      Best interests of the non-football members: Add Nova. They voted TCU into the family. Now they should make the football schools live up to their end of the deal.

      Laides and gentlemen, we have dysfunction.

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    • @cfn_ms – My personal feeling is that there’s a 60% chance that Villanova is eventually added and 40% chance that Big East expansion will be completely dead. There’s a 0% chance of C-USA candidates being added without Villanova being a part of the expansion. For all-sports expansion, several Catholic members are going to need to approve it and there’s NFW that happens if Villanova gets shot down. A football-only expansion could happen in theory, but I don’t think the appetite is there for that with how “well” Temple worked out previously.

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      • cfn_ms says:

        Don’t much like my “make a Godfather offer at Kansas/Mizzou” idea then? If I was running the Big East that’s what I’d do. Better to wildly overpay for that pair (and probably get KSU too as part of the deal) than keep taking bodyblows on AQ status. Plus those three would be about average (OK, a bit below) for BE football programs, so it’s not like the average would drop (which is what would clearly happen with Nova and/or any CUSA programs).

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        • @cfn_ms – Even if the Big East were to provide a “Godfather offer”, it may not be enough with the revenue levels that the Big East is generating compared to the Big 12. I operate under the belief that UT very much wants to keep the Big 12 together and that school alone can provide juuuuust enough to keep Kansas and Mizzou in the fold. Also, Kansas and Mizzou had the opportunity last summer to join the Big East if they had wanted to. Instead, they chose to stay with Texas and friends and actually proposed the unbalanced revenue deal to keep the Big 12 (or what was left of it) together. That ultimately shows where their desires are at.

          Note that the Big East actually *did* make a Godfather offer to Miami during the ACC raid by guaranteeing the Canes the revenue they would’ve received in the ACC, yet it was rejected.

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          • cfn_ms says:

            I didn’t realize that about Miami. Interesting. I think that Big East basketball would be an appealing property for Kansas (who always felt like a Big East school that was in the Midwest given its basketball focus and historically lousy football program).

            I definitely think there’s a reasonable chance that Kansas/Mizzou would reject any offer the Big East made. But I think it’s far from 100%. The Big East could make a selling point of not being in a league where the resources swing heavily towards someone else, not being in a league which will die if/when Texas or A&M chooses/is able to leave. Would it work? I really don’t know. But it would be a ballsy, game-changing move that COULD work.

            Right now Kansas/Mizzou HAVE to be scared of the potential collapse of the Big 12 since they don’t have an AQ landing spot (the Big East WAS going to be their landing spot), and since they have basically zero control over the outcome (no one really knows what Texas wants, A&M could very plausibly bail, or at least try really hard to bail, if they don’t get their $20M+ [which may or may not happen], and it’s mildly possible (though very unlikely IMO) that Oklahoma could end up in the SEC, either with or without OK St.

            If the Big East can come up with guarantees that at least come close to what Kansas/Mizzou are making right now, it would seem like a tempting offer. At the least, those two would have to seriously consider it. And that outcome is still WAY better for the Big East than Nova or whoever from CUSA.

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          • Here’s an article from 2003 that references the Big East “Godfather offer” to Miami:

            http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/college/news/2003/06/30/miami_accepts_ap/

            Miami president Donna Shalala actually said that the Big East financial guarantee was “a lot higher” than the ACC guarantee at the time.

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          • Aaron says:

            agreed. also with the investment that abc/espn has made in texas and the Big XII, they will want that conference to survive. They will provide just enough to make the other schools happy.

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          • John says:

            Something had to make the BE pause. If you believe their stadium issue story, then doesn’t the BE look REALLY bad (or at least disorganized) since nothing has changed lately? I don’t think the “godfather” offer is imminent, but could it be that the BE is foreshadowing another summer of conference intrigue?
            Is it out of the question that they sense a landscape shift coming & simply don’t want to “waste” a football slot right now that might limit options down the road???

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          • Redhawk says:

            @cfn_ms At what point can we stop the “BIG 12 IS DOOMED!! DOOMED!!” speculation?

            The new TV contracts have the Big 12 getting paid to the level that they will be close to SEC levels…and that includes Kansas and Missouri.

            Why on earth would KU and Missouri want to have half the income, and far greater travel expenses and a lesser football conference?

            The Big 12 is not doomed..the Big 12 is getting paid.

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          • cfn_ms says:

            Two things probably need to happen before people stop speculating about the Big 12 falling apart:

            1) They go through another 1-2 seasons and the new setup actually functions in a way that makes everyone reasonably happy

            2) The long-term TV deal comes through in a way that makes everyone reasonably happy

            In other words, you’re probably in for a substantial amount of speculation at least until after the 2011 season, and IMO more likely until after the 2012 season.

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          • Redhawk says:

            @cfn_ms Sports Business Journal is saying the Big 12 and Fox will be announcing their new TV deal TODAY (Wed. 13th). $90MM a year, up 350%. And that is just for the 2ndary rights. That’s $9mm per school on this deal alone. That’s more than the Big East schools make from all their TV deals!

            Devil of course is the details, but this looks pretty great start.

            But again, I don’t think that will keep people from wanting to declare the Big 12 DOOMED for their own pleasure.

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          • cfn_ms says:

            What A&M has said they wanted was $20M per year in TODAY’S dollars, not some sort of skewed long-term average that doesn’t adjust for inflation.

            Does the 2nd tier deal help or hurt that projection? I really don’t know, though I tend to agree that it helps (I want to see what the deal actually entails and some level of public analysis before I solidify the opinion though). IMO A&M’s $20M really depends on what the 1st tier deal ends up being, and as far as I know that’s very much up in the air.

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          • Redhawk says:

            @cfn_ms see you prove my point. Even with a signed contract, that gives the schools about $6 million in new money, you still don’t believe it.

            This is before the Tier 1 contract is up with ABC/ESPN, and not counting the Tier 3 Big 12 Network deal.

            The Big 12 is looking at pay raises that will put them in the SEC range. Maybe just under, but a big increase…yet people still seem to think that, that the Big 12 is DOOMED! that the money isn’t real.

            Nothing will convince you, and some that the Big 12 is not Doomed. Your entertainment is derived from moving schools around on some map.

            And what if A&M doesn’t get 100% of what they want? What are they going to do? Leave for the SEC? Leave for the Big East and take less than $7MM a year because $18MM wasn’t good enough?

            Is there really a standing deal in the SEC for A&M? Does anyone think that ESPN will pay more money to the SEC to take A&M to hurt the Big 12 and the value of ESPN’s contract there?

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          • cfn_ms says:

            If your point was that there are plenty of people who remain skeptical despite a 2nd tier offer whose details aren’t yet public knowledge, then yes you’re absolutely right.

            If your point was that we’re all full of it and nothing will change our minds… I don’t see it.

            The relevant point is that WE DON’T KNOW what the tier 1 or the tier 3 deals will end up being worth. Is the tier 2 deal (probably) a good sign? Yes. Does it put $$$ worries to bed? No.

            Will the Big 12 end up with $$$ in the SEC range? Who knows? Again, it will depend on what comes out of 1st and 3rd tier deals, which again, we don’t know.

            Similarly, to the question of whether A&M does or doesn’t have a standing SEC offer, WE DON’T KNOW. That’s the point. We can’t say “B12 is definitely safe” or “B12 is definitely doomed” because we don’t know a LOT of the key information points.

            Again, IMO the key issues are whether the new Big 12 can work logistically for everyone’s satisfaction (and that includes national perception of the new league, which NO ONE will know until we’ve seen a season or two), and what the TV money will actually end up being. Given that both issues (especially #1) are up in the air to some extent, the Big 12’s future remains questionable. That hardly seems a crazy reach to me.

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          • frug says:

            The new contract is supposedly going to be worth $90 million per year, which combined with the $60 million they get from ESPN/ABC for their primary rights, works out to $15 million per school on average. This means that without sacrificing the forgotten 5’s exit penalty payout, Bebee is probably not going to get to the $20 million in TV money he promised TAMU (and UT and OU for that matter) until the expiration of the the ABC/ESPN contract in 2015/2016.

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          • Nostradamus says:

            Frug Big XII’s last distribution was $139 million. Take out approximately $10 million for the loss of a conference championship game, add in $70.5 million for the difference in the Fox contract. That is an average payout of $19.95 million without any buyout money.

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          • greg says:

            and the deal is probably back-loaded, which means the average payout in the early years will be far less than $15M.

            While a nice step up for B12, it will still leave them behind B10/SEC.

            I’m still in the camp that the B12 is gonna stay together. Most schools have no other options, and I’ll believe the SEC standing offer to A&M on the day they accept it.

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          • Nostradamus says:

            $19.95 million means the top 6 teams in the league are all above $20 million. It was never about $20 million in tv money. It was about a new Fox contract pushing the conference distribution to $20 million.

            Like

          • cfn_ms says:

            Unless the “average payout” from the 2nd tier deal is a non-inflation-adjusted average over the whole contract length, in which case it’s a meaningless number. That’s especially true if the contract amounts rise substantially over time and Fox has escape clauses that would enable them to avoid the bigger payments in 2016+.

            The real key will be what it’s worth THIS YEAR. And no one seems to know the answer to that question.

            By the way, it sounds like there’s a meaningful difference b/w frug and Nostradamus in terms of their numbers. Can anyone explain why they’re so different from each other?

            Like

          • greg says:

            frug was comparing first and second tier totals, while nostradamus was using total conference payouts, which included 3rd tier, conf. title game, etc.

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          • frug says:

            Most interesting portion of the article (if true):

            Combined with current revenue streams the Conference will provide annual average per institution television revenue at the highest levels of college athletics.

            Unless I’m misinterpreting what this says, then I may have been hasty in saying Bebee came up short. Does anyone know what the deal with TAMU was for? Was it strictly for conference distributed media rights revenue (which I believe excludes third tier rights) or was it for all revenue distributed?

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          • Nostradamus says:

            The A&M deal was always for the entire conference distribution. People often confuse the issue as Beebe was talking about a new Fox contract is the medium that would make it able to deliver $20 million.

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          • cfn_ms says:

            The big 12 MAY have its stability after all.

            Translation from teleconference: Will cost a ton to leave the Big 12 now. “historic withdrawal fees.”

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          • Nostradamus says:

            Greg,
            Of course the deal is backend loaded. Every television contract is. The thing benefiting the Big XII with this though is their $60 million a year ABC contract is nearing the back stretch. I figure the $90 million a year FSN deal could pay as little as $70 million in year 1. That would still be an average total distribution of $17.95 million.
            As for still being behind the SEC/Big 10… Under normal circumstances they always will be. That said, given the circumstances here with a 10 team conference (fewer mouths) and a contract up sooner (2016) it is possible the Big XII will temporarily pass the SEC’s average $17.08 million TV payout in 2016.
            Agree with your last part though about sticking together, and especially about the SEC standing offer.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Exactly where do you send that “ton of money” if the conference has collapsed?

            Like

          • cfn_ms says:

            FWIW, it could easily be less than $70M in year 1. If you start with $70M and use a 5% bump-up factor each year, you get $95.4M average. You have to start with $66.1M to hit a $90M contract-long average.

            And if you assume a greater annual bump-up factor (reasonable given normal inflation as well as a possible inflation of the end of a deal with some level of mutual walk-away option), the number is lower.

            If you assume 6% then $64.9M gets you the $90M average. If you assume 7% it’s $63.8M. If you assume 8% it’s $62.7M. If you assume 10% it’s $60.7M. etc.

            That said, none of this would have a massive effect on the bottom-line number. It seems achievable to get A&M their $20M given this deal, unless there’s something important I’m missing.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Are these premature withdrawl penalties of any concern to UT and OU (and their little brothers)?

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          • Richard says:

            cfn:

            TAMU wouldn’t get $20M in today’s dollars if they joined the SEC either, so I doubt they go (based on the SEC getting $12.78 in TV money per school their first year, meaning it’s likely only around $14M per school now).

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        • Gopher86 says:

          As a KU alum, I hate the idea. The only way they accept is if they have no other AQ options. The Big East won’t be able to meet even the unequal revenue share of the Big 12-2.

          If the ACC offered a GodFather deal, I’d consider it. It’s the only way to get UNC or Duke to do a true home and home.

          Like

  4. Millon deFloss says:

    Villanova has no stadium, not nearly enough money, and no tradition. Sounds just about perfect to me!

    Like

  5. Paul says:

    Isn’t it “psyche!”?

    Like

  6. M says:

    Something weird is going on behind the scenes. Did the football schools only offer Villanova thinking they would decline? Did they do it so they could (temporarily) placate the basketball schools to let TCU in, planning to reject if Villanova said yes? Did they think Villanova was going to resolve the local issues and find the tens (hundreds?) of millions of dollars needed to build an on campus stadium?

    I don’t understand what new information came between the invitation and rejection. Everyone knew Villanova’s strengths and weaknesses then and they haven’t changed. To me, the invitation now looks like either bluffing or scheming.

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    • cfn_ms says:

      Entirely possible that it’s scheming (bluffing doesn’t seem to make sense, though I could be missing something).

      It’s also possible that they hadn’t bothered to really think things through (the stadium situation, how bad Nova’s program was and how bad that would make the league look in the national press, etc.). Either that or them making a bad faith offer in the first place seems plausible to me.

      Like

    • frug says:

      M you just posted my thoughts exactly. Based on the available evidence it is looking increasingly likely(at least to me) the football schools only agreed to offer ‘Nova an invite because they assumed it was going to be declined.

      Actually, I’ll take it a step further. All the current members actually needed was the Wildcats to simply delay making a decision until after TCU was approved for admission. After the Catholic schools signed off on TCU it didn’t really matter what Vilanova did. While the the football members would obviously have preferred ‘Nova simply decline the offer, the “stadium card” gave current members an out in the event that the invitation was accepted.

      If ‘Nova ultimately does get shut out, they are really going to regret so long to vote on the issue.

      Like

    • gregenstein says:

      I don’t entirely agree. While it seems a little disingenuous, Villanova has had plenty of time to decide on this. The Gravy Train only stays parked for so long.

      Like

    • JCat says:

      The stadium proposal is insane….
      PPL park is located in CHESTER…
      a crime infested and rundown surbub of philly.

      chester is considered one of the worst areas in PA, NJ.

      Its so bad… the people of chester cant even get a supermarket to move in there. After PPL park was built, the people of chester were promised a supermarket would come to the town. Its 2-3yrs later and no supermarket is willing to move in to the area, because of the rampant crime and drugs.

      its right under a brige and the traffic would be horrible as its like down a back alley to the field.

      http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2010/10/14/group-demands-action-on-a-supermarket-for-chester-pa/

      WHY would ANY university want to have to play there.

      Ironically Villanova area is the one of richest in the Northeast…. but there is no land and neighbors on the main line limit nova’s possibility.

      also nova wouldnt get more then 8000 a game.

      they won they champ 2 yrs ago and went to finals again last…yet couldnt sellout there own stadium of like 5,000

      Like

  7. KnightTower says:

    It seems like inviting ‘Nova a purely poltical ploy to enable the conference to add TCU. And it seems like the football playing members never actually thought ‘Nova would say yes. They took a gamble on it, and were about to lose. So they tipped over the table before they actually lost that gamble, so to speak.

    But the odd thing is, according to interviews with Oliver Luck, the Big East has been telling its football playing members to prepare for 9 conference games. So, how could they accomplish adding a 10th team if that team isn’t Villanova?

    Perhaps the Big East will finish its “due diligence” by telling ‘Nova: “Ok, you can move up. But not now. Wait a few years, raise the money, build your facilities, get PPL to expand and THEN you can join. Sometime around 2015/16”

    And in the mean time the conference adds a 10th team?

    Like

    • frug says:

      If they want to expand without Vilanova it is going to be hard. The Catholic schools (outside of maybe Notre Dame who probably doesn’t care) are going to feel like they got burned and will probably resist any further expansion unless the hypothetical new member is really going to bring in a lot of basketball revenue. This means unless they can pull off something like Missouri and/or Kansas, the football school will have to either make a football only invitation or split off and form a new conference.

      Like

      • gregenstein says:

        I agree with this. BEast expansion is dead until Nova can find a way to move up. This could be the first stake between the football schools and hoops only schools.

        Don’t count on and B12-2 schools coming. Like Frank said before, that conference is secure in a maximum security prison kind of way. The Big East can offer nothing that Texas/ESPN couldn’t match. Kansas & Mizzou could be thought of as mercenaries. They go to the highest bidder. For the forseeable future, that’s going to be the “Big Texas”.

        Like

        • frug says:

          Oh I agree. There is next to chance that any of the Big 12 teams defect unless the collapse of the league looks imminent. I was just tossing that out there as a hypothetical.

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          • ccrider55 says:

            Chicken or egg?
            Why leave? Imminent collapse.
            What would cause that? Teams leaving.

            Like

          • frug says:

            I thinking if it looked like something was about to trigger a collapse that would them behind, like the TV negotiations not going as well as planned resulting in the South teams leaving or TAMU getting into a huge legal fight that screws up the revenue deal. As of right now the league may be shaky but its not exactly on the verge of collapse.

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          • Frank the Ag says:

            The B12-2 will only exist if Beebe gets the revenues he promised A&M, OU and Texas. There was a lot of noise about the $90M per year tier 2 rights deal in early March. But I know a number of AD’s were very disappointed with the structure of that deal (terms of 13 years, transition to tier 1 rights which will dilute the tier 1 contract, and backloaded payments) it didn’t pass the smell test. The deal is in real trouble.

            Two very real threats remain that can kill the B12-2:

            1) If KU and MU get treated as second class citizens they are not going to remain. The rumored Big East TV contract along with the Big East’s real interest in both schools is giving them a “lever”” to use against Beebe and insist they get equal shares with Texas, OU and A&M.

            2) A&M is actively looking for a reason to exit. If Beebe can’t deliver on his committments, the Aggies will have the politcal cover to jump to the SEC.

            Beebe is in a tough position now. He has to deliver $20M in tv compensation to 5 schools instead of 3.

            Like

          • frug says:

            Gotta disagree about KU and MU expecting to be paid like UT, OU and TAMU. KU and MU already know they will never earn as much as the Big Three as long as they stay in the Big XII but moving to the Big East won’t solve that problem. Actually, it would make it worse because they would probably be making (significantly)less they do now if they defected.

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          • Nostradamus says:

            I don’t know Frank the Ag… Texas has their Texas Network. It is pretty clear they prefer to keep the status quo for the time being. Oklahoma and A&M appeared to have other options during the summer, neither of them acted on them. Both chose to stay with Texas. For at least A&M it appears highly unlikely the options over the summer are still there.

            As for the TV contract, I think the main thing relevant in this discussion is that is that the $90 million the Big XII is rumored to be getting for 2nd tier rights is 3 times larger than the entire current Big East package. There is very little financial incentive for Missouri or Kansas to switch (unless as an absolute last resort) and given the cash disparity there is very little the Big East can do to put together a Godfather like offer. Re: AD’s being disappointed. Basically tough shit. As a Nebraska fan, I’ve been a pretty vocal opponent of Dan Beebe and the Big XII TV contracts. I do agree that the $90 million isn’t as good as it sounds and there may be things like 3rd tier rights pertaining to advertising that are especially unfavorable.

            That said, again tough shit. There isn’t much any Big XII AD can do if they are disappointed. Once this round of contracts comes to a close the Big XII is likely going to be in a similar position to what it has been in the past. A decent contract, but still lagging the Big Ten and SEC; on the other hand it will be in a comparable or better position compared to say a Big East. Basically unless a school gets the Nebraska like Golden Ticket offer, things are just good enough to make you stay. As for some of the specific criticisms of the deal, I’ll actually have to go against my morals and defend the Big XII.

            Compared to other recent deals 10 to 15 years is standard. Nothing out of line there. Backloaded payment as you put it, well they are also a standard in every deal. The Second year of the Big Ten ABC/ESPN deal each team got $7.7 million. If you average the deal out over 10 years it should be $9.27 million. The SEC in the first year of their new mega deal paid $12.78 million per team for tv/satellite radio. Taken on average over the 15 year life of the contract each team will get an average of $17+ million. Nearly every single multi-year deal like this is “backloaded.”
            Way too soon to say whether or not Kansas or Missouri have any leverage. Missouri thought they had significantly more than they actually did this past summer. Right now the rumored Big East deal is exactly that, a rumor. I have a hard time believing they are going to go from a $33 million a year deal to a mega deal that dwarfs the Big XII with the Big East football product or lack thereof. Kansas and Missouri aren’t going to have leverage to demand $20 million a year…
            A&M still has to have somewhere to go even if they wanted to leave (something their administration doesn’t appear to want to do.

            Beebe is in a tough position now. He has to deliver $20M in tv compensation to 5 schools instead of 3.
            No he really isn’t. A&M is the only school demanding their $20 million. With the buyouts from Nebraska and Colorado he can get them there for a season.

            Like

          • Frank the Ag says:

            Getting A&M to $20M for a season is not the agreed upon deal. I know a lot of posters on here think the A&M / SEC deal is off the table (Texas fans certainly) but it is still viable. A&M will exit if the money isn’t $20M per year beginning in 2012. There is minimal political barriers at this point with the election season over. When the current Texas state legislative session ends on May 30th, I expect A&M and the SEC talks to heat up again.

            KU and MU have more leverage now than they did last summer. The Big East may not equal the payments the B12 can provide but they are not drastically different. KU and MU might be willing to find a soft landing in the Big East versus being treated as a 2nd class citizen under the thumb of Texas.

            It definitely has Beebe on the defensive once again.

            Like

          • Redhawk says:

            @ Nostradamus Great post.

            But some fans want the Big 12 to be doomed for their entertainment. I’ve come to the conclusion that they will never understand that the league actually is getting paid, and paid enough that there is no reason to leave.

            Like

          • Frank the Ag says:

            Looks like the B12-2 and Fox will announce the terms today. Amount for the deal is $1.17B for 13 years.

            Like

          • frug says:

            Frank the Ag:

            The issue isn’t just if A&M could break away from the Big XII (something UT, TTU and politicians would fight vehemently) it’s also whether SEC really wants them. For all the talk about a “standing invitation”, the SEC schools would still have to approve their application, and they probably won’t do. In order to justify expansion the new addition(s) has/have to be valuable enough to leverage the TV networks into renegotiate the TV deals other ways they are simply dividing their pie into 14 pieces instead of 12. And even if the SEC TV contract has a clause for expansion (something the commissioner refuses to confirm or deny) all it would do is increase the payment by enough to keep the current schools at their present levels and since expansion to 14 teams would mean a move to a 9 game conference schedule (something the major SEC teams will fight against tooth and nail) and more travel and logistical expenses, they would still be losing money. As such, the ONLY way further expansion would make sense is if whoever comes with TAMU is a true national power that the TV networks would be willing to a pay a premium for. Thing is, the only national team that might be available is OU who have said they will not break apart from UT (Florida will never accept FSU or Miami into a 14 team SEC). The truth is, while TAMU brings a large sized TV market and good recruiting they are not valuable enough in and of themselves to justify the SEC adding them.

            Like

          • Frank the Ag says:

            frug,

            it’s all about TV markets. A&M brings instant SEC access to Dallas, Houston, Austin and San Antonio. All huge markets, all growing and all with wealthy consumers. If A&M was willing to break away, the SEC would take them immediately. If the tier 2 rights contract rumored to be announced today at 3:00 by the big 12 are true, A&M isn’t going anywhere. Beebe is on track to start delivering $20+ million to A&M and that will end this 100%.

            Like

          • frug says:

            I agree that TAMU isn’t going anywhere if the Big 12 deals comes through (actually I don’t think they’ll go anywhere even if it doesn’t). This is not just about media markets, which while important, are no where near as significant as national following (and if you need proof of this just look a the fact that the Big 10 passed on Rutgers, who would have given them access to two of the most valuable media markets in the country (New York and Philly) in favor of Nebraska.) TAMU is a fairly valuable commodity and, but given how much the SEC is currently worth, they just are not valuable enough.

            Like

          • Frank the Ag says:

            Rutgers isn’t comparable to Texas A&M. A&M and Nebraska are peers…not A&M and Rutgers. A&M’s folling in Texas vs. Rutgers on the east coast are not the same thing.

            The fact is, the SEC offered A&M last summer – no strings attached. That offer was extended without any caveats and remains open. The SEC wants into the Texas market and A&M is the best fit (since Texas will not consider it).

            Won’t happen now though…

            Like

          • frug says:

            Looks like we are going to end up disagreeing on what is likely going to be a moot point (though the initial numbers make it look like the TV money is going to be just short of $20 million unless you count the third tier rights which the schools can sell themselves).

            That said, you seem to be forgetting two things. One even if you accept that TAMU and NU are equals (and really they aren’t) you would still have to find another program that is at least as valuable as TAMU, and unless UF is willing to compromise on allowing one of the other Florida schools there just doesn’t look like there any. Second, just because the other was unconditional in the summer does not mean it is now no matter what the league says. During the summer when superconferences looked inevitable the SEC was going to have a choice in expanding so it made sense to get ahead of the issue, now though… the offer is probably just out there for political reasons. Remember the Big East (who was much more in need of expansion than the SEC) made an unconditional offer to Villanova 5 months ago, and look how that turned out.

            Like

          • Nostradamus says:

            @ Frank the Ag,
            I realize getting A&M to $20 million for a season wasn’t the agreed upon deal. In fact, I’m not sure where you deduced I thought that at all… The problem was getting them there next year. In 2012 the FSN contract kicks in and everything is fine. That makes the rest of your paragraph there a moot point.
            KU and MU have no leverage at all. At least last summer Missouri had some people their own fanbase included deluded that they may be on the verge of a Big Ten spot. Until the Big East gets a new contract and pending the amount of the new contract the payouts are absolutely drastically different. Saying A&M instantly delivers the major Texas markets is indeed very much like saying Rutgers or Missouri deliver their respective major markets. It isn’t true.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            What Aggie fans forget is that the SEC didn’t really want to add A&M. What they wanted was to keep the Pac from getting A&M (in addition to UT and OU). It was a defensive move. They really wanted to stay at 12. The SEC is a tight knit group and going to 14 upsets that, in addition to the difficulty in generating enough additional revenue to justify any number beyond 12.

            And adding A&M also increases the possibility that UT and OU eventually go to the Pac. That is something the SEC definitely doesn’t want. They like their relative position now.

            Like

    • bullet says:

      I’m going to go with the simpler explanation. The BE and Villanova are both incompetent. Both finally figured out there is an issue. After all, Nova has been looking at this since December. They lose 4 Million a year in FCS so it should be a real easy decision and one they should have been prepared for. They clearly weren’t.

      Villanova does have one option, Penn’s Franklin Field. They don’t think that’s very appealing, but its a possibility. It seats over 40k.

      For comparison, 58 of the 68 BCS schools have stadiums of 49k or larger. 4 (Oregon St.,BC and new BCS schools Utah and TCU) are mid-40s. UConn and Vandy are around 40k, WSU 38k, Cincy 35k, Duke 34k and WF the smallest at 31,500. 110 of the 122 FBS schools (counting new WAC members) are 30k or better and 3 are just below. Villanova with under 30k would be bigger than only 9 schools.

      My gut feeling is that they accept them, but they don’t get full membership until after PPL has been expanded to at least 30k.

      Like

  8. herbiehusker says:

    add

    Like

  9. Jeepers says:

    Bacon.

    Like

  10. swesleyh says:

    Noted with interest.

    Like

  11. Michael in Indy says:

    Tweet from Dennis Dodds: “FranktheTank nails it. Nova in football doesn’t add to an already bloated Big East bkb conf. CUSA doesn’t bring pro rata”

    http://www.tweetdeck.com/twitter/dennisdoddcbs/~p52P3

    Like

  12. Brian says:

    Frank,

    I think you meant a 6-2 majority above. TCU doesn’t have a vote yet as far as I know. Needing 75%, they would need 7-2 anyway.

    I think the due diligence relates to the financial details of the Nova package and the impact on TV. None of these details would be apparent without in depth study. Feedback from TV could be crucial to the financial picture, and thus to the decision.

    What is a reasonable ticket revenue projection (Current and post-expansion)? When can they afford to expand PPL? Is PPL expansion all on Nova, or can they get other funding sources to speed it up? Exactly how large can PPL get through expansion? What sort of attendance can they expect? What impact will adding Nova have on the TV contract, both now and in the future?

    What if the BE office has projections that say other viable schools would add more to the league in football than Nova (Temple, UCF, others)? Perhaps they need time to massage the numbers to make adding Nova sound better.

    Like

    • Michael in Indy says:

      It’s pretty clear to me that an 18th full member is a no-go. The non-FB schools would never allow it.

      But if, for whatever reason, Villanova doesn’t become the tenth football member, and if, for whatever reason, the BE football schools are somehow given the green light by the non-FB schools to add a football-only member, would adding a FB-only member be worthwhile?

      I think not.

      – Any C-USA team would be forced to find a new, separate, non-FBS conference home for all its other sports. By NCAA rules, it could not remain in one FBS conference for non-football sports while joining another FBS league for football.
      The best non-FBS conferences in ECU’s and UCF’s region are the CAA and the 14-member Atlantic 10; however, those leagues may not be interested in either of those schools with their rather unremarkable basketball programs, not to mention how much of an outlier UCF would be in a more budget-conscious, non-football league. For Houston and SMU, the best non-FBS conference remotely close is the Mo. Valley, but again, that league may not be interested in either of those.

      – Even if a football-only option existed, the Big East could afford to wait. With TCU, there was no longer a reason to waith. TCU brings as close to a guarantee in quality football as the league is ever going to get from an expansion candidate. Thus, it’s an addition that maximizes negotiating power for TV contracts more than any possible candidate.
      Adding UCF now would have a dubious upside and a huge potential downside. Instead, the Big East could wait a few years, as it did with TCU, to see if the school’s huge student population and infrastructure lead UCF to become the “next Boise.” If it does, then great! UCF would be the Big East’s to take because the ACC and SEC are not going to take them. If UCF continues just as a borderline top 25 team, then the Big East will have no regret in not adding them.
      It’s completely possible that the “next Boise” could be someone else. Houston and SMU have also been on the rise. ECU could grow into a consistent power, too. (BTW, I spent last week in Raleigh. That area is definitely hard-core ACC country, but, judging by the anecdotal evidence all the ECU t-shirts and discussion on sports talk radio, ECU’s market penetration in the Triangle is pretty solid. The Triangle has about 1.7 million people and is growing rapidly. Just sayin’.) The point is that any one of those programs could grow into great ones… or maybe none of them will.

      – It would also be worthwhile waiting to see what happens for the biggest program non-AQ conference team this side of South Bend: BYU. That school’s gamble at independence may be a rousing success for the school and ESPN. But you never know. It may fail. With BYU already having a conference home for non-FB sports, it could be the ideal tenth team for Big East football. So, by all means, it would be worth waiting for them instead of rushing to add UCF just to get to ten.

      – Finally, as football-only members go, Temple wouldn’t work. The Big East might as well take one of its own, Villanova, if it’s going to have a poorly-attended, likely-to-struggle football team in Philadelphia. Besides, Temple was a disaster in the Big East, and its only success has come in one of the weakest FBS conferences under a coach, Al Golden, who left for greener pastures.

      Like

    • bullet says:

      The soccer team wants to expand the stadium. Not clear if soccer team will foot all the bill. That seems to be the implication, but they would be getting rent from Nova. Stadium is designed to get to just over 30k w/o major changes. All of this has been publically discussed since at least February.

      All of the TV and attendance questions should have been resolved before inviting them in December. Financial details SHOULD have been worked on over the last few months.

      Why wouldn’t Nova have had a vote to approve negotiations unless there was a significant problem? Instead, the vote was indefinitely postponed.

      You don’t “invite” and then “un-invite” (maybe SU nearly getting in ACC was an exception due to VA politics). BE started the whole thing and now are delaying. Very bizarre.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        And while the stadium can get to over 30k, the idea seems to be something a little less than that, but I haven’t seen an actual number.

        Like

      • SideshowBob says:

        I don’t think the Union want to expand the stadium, at least not in the short term. I think they’d be willing to do so if someone else (Villanova) foots the bill. At this point, they definitely don’t have a need for an expansion to 30,000 seats so I’m very skeptical that the Union will allow that all at once — more likely, they’d go along with a smaller expansion at first (say to 22,000 or so) and allow more if warranted for both Villanova and Union. And the reality is that the Union control the venue and nothing is going to happen there unless they benefit.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          For those who aren’t familiar, in a couple of years, all but 3 of the MLS teams will have their own soccer specific stadium. They’ve been on a stadium building binge and all new ones are between 18k and 27k with most 20-22k. So the Union is on the low end, but at 27k it would be at the top.

          Its the baseball philosophy and the philosophy of a lot of college ADs-to “right-size” the stadium. You want to have a high demand for tickets so you can sell reliable season tickets (instead of single game which vary drastically with the success of your team) and also, so you can raise prices. (Anyone besides Duffman and me remember when baseball used to be very affordable?-went to opening day for the Braves-spent $18 on the train-parking was $30 in private lots and wasn’t available for opening weekend in stadium lots-and spent nearly $60 for 4 on hots dogs, burgers, peanuts & drinks-and then of course the tickets).

          Like

    • loki_the_bubba says:

      @Brian: I think you meant a 6-2 majority above. TCU doesn’t have a vote yet as far as I know. Needing 75%, they would need 7-2 anyway.

      ND gets a vote.
      “On Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) matters, the Conference’s position will be determined by a vote of the eight BIG EAST institutions that are members of The BIG EAST Football Conference and Notre Dame (nine total votes).”

      http://www.bigeast.org/portals/5/fls/19400/pdfs/Policy_Manual/section10.pdf

      Like

      • Brian says:

        The understanding I’ve seen elsewhere is that rule applies to outside (with the NCAA, etc) dealings, not internal issues and ND doesn’t have a say on internal FB issues.

        Like

        • @Brian – This is correct. It’s a vote regarding the Big East’s stance on NCAA football governance issues. ND doesn’t have a vote on Big East football-only membership matters – they have a vote regarding all-sports membership invites just like the other Catholic members.

          Like

  13. Brian says:

    The NCAA men’s gymnastics championship is this weekend at OSU. For all the hype of the P10 in Olympic sports, the B10 has 6 of the 12 teams competing versus 2 B12 (NE is one of them), 2 P10, UIC and Air Force.

    Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      Aren’t there only something like 18 mens D1 teams left? Have to be bottom 1/3 to not qualify.

      Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        Both conferences had 100% of schools that field a team qualify…..

        Like

        • Brian says:

          So?

          I just pointed out that despite the P10 being generally considered the leader in Olympic sports (not every one, but in general) that the B10 does a lot better in this one which isn’t obvious on the surface (unlike wrestling with the B10 and B12).

          It’s a testament to the large and diverse sports programs in the B10.

          While there are very few D1 teams left, and they may just disappear entirely in the near future, there are a lot of club teams. Maybe the new P12 TV deal will help them add some D1 teams. The USOC is putting serious thought into how to solve the problem.

          Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Not disputing that the B1G easily leads as a conference in mens gymnastics. Cudos to them for that. I was merely pointing out that qualifying for nationals may not be a good measure as to who leads in olympic sportS. I was wrong, there are 16 total D1 mens teams. There are (were this year, at least one has been cut going forward) 63 womens teams. B1G has Illinois, Michigan, and incoming Nebraska qualified. The Pac has UCLA, Oregon St, and incoming Utah. The SEC has Georgia, Arkansas, Alabama, and Florida. Oklahoma and Kent St fill out the field. I don’t think you would now generalize that the SEC is the leader in Olympic sportS based on one sports number of NCAA qualifiers.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            The P10 is known as the conference of champions for a reason. Their NC totals dwarf any other conference, primarily because of UCLA (106), USC (92) and Stanford (99). These totals are based on long term success in Olympic sports (and tennis) and the P10 has long been synonymous with success in Olympic sports.

            The number 4 school for NCs is OkSU with 50, so nobody is close to the P10s trio (or the total for a conference, obviously). The B10 as a whole has 246 NCs, not as many as the P10s top 3 combined.

            Based on this sort of history, I think most people would be surprised to see the B10 dominating an Olympic sport (other than wrestling) over the P10. Having 50% of the tournament teams counts as dominating to me, even if it isn’t that hard to qualify.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Totslly agree, with the slight alteration as to the value of a qualifier when it is far harder not to, than to qualify.
            As a former wrestler I changed providers in order to get BTNetwork for their wrestling coverage. Other sports coverage was just a bonus for me. Replays of past FB and BB games hold very little of my attention but current/live gymnastics, softball, track, vollyball, baseball, etc. do sometimes hold my interest (more than a lot of old replays).
            My sample of one suggests that BTN still has a way to go in providing increased coverage of “non revenue” sports. I believe their “value” in live sports broadcasting (not competing with the big sports, but providing inventory of alternative live/near live programing) has only been scratched. If I want talking heads over analyzing the big sports I can turn on ESecPN.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Best I can tell, I think they try to push most of the non-revenue sports onto their web streaming service. Anything FB or BB related (classic games, reruns, coaches shows, talking heads, highlights, etc) gets better ratings than the niche sports.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Push enough stuff there and I can cancel BTN and just get what I want on the web. Live TV events are what promote network demand. I heard a stat the other day that for people who follow particular shows more than half now access it through web/alternate methods.

            Like

          • Pariahwulfen says:

            @Brian
            I have a feeling that your NC numbers are a little off or out of date.
            http://www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=17300&KEY=&ATCLID=925232

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Pariahwulfen,

            I was only counting NCAA recognized national titles, so football (7) and synchronized swimming (24) don’t count. Otherwise it would way too much research to find the numbers claimed by every school (and Alabama would be first with 873 football NCs).

            http://fs.ncaa.org/Docs/stats/champs_records_book/summaries/combined.pdf

            Like

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            GEAUX TIGERS! #5 with 42 NCAA titles. Throw in 3 NCs for football (58, 03 & 07)and one pre-NCAA tournament basketball title in 1935.

            Like

  14. Jason says:

    The incompetence is only on Marinatto. He is a Providence guy and a basketball guy, and he has skin in the game (who wants to be commissioner of a puny basketball only conference). Thus, he hatched the plan to urge, cajole Villanova to move up in hopes of holding his conference together. Problem is he (and his ego) never bothered to get the football schools in line with this plan. Now he is calling their bluff as he thinks they would never leave. Problem is he’s wrong: they’ll do whatever it takes to keep AQ BCS status (its the gravy train) and if they have to leave to add additional football members, they will do it in a heartbeat. In fact, the better question (if the vote was 4-4) is why USF, UConn, Cincinnati, and especially Louisville, were Yeas.

    Like

    • KnightTower says:

      Pretty obvious why USF would want ‘Nova…

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Cincy can’t complain. Maybe Louisville wants a split and Villanova adds one more bb power to the fb group. UConn was in a similar boat, but had the state behind them.

        If SU is no, that is something of a surprise.

        Like

    • Richard says:

      The only schools that objected to the smaller Nova stadium were the schools that expect to have significant fans attending their away games in Philly. The rest of the BE schools could care less.

      Like

  15. cutter says:

    The Orlando Sentinel is chiming in on the issue saying that if the Big East was serious about college football, then the conference would have already added UCF. See http://www.orlandosentinel.com/sports/os-bianchi-ucf-big-east-villanova-20110412,0,3821874.column

    What’s the possibility of the Big East football schools setting up their own conference when the current conference television contract ends? I realize the projected numbers may not add up now, but given the parameters of the recent ACC deal and what we’re hearing out of the Pac 12’s negotiations, have those projections been too pessimistic?

    Would an all-sports conference with Central Florida, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Southern Florida, Syracuse, Texas Christian and West Virginia be a viable financial and competitive entity? Would it be in their best interests to break away from the conference’s traditional leadership group based in Providence? Could this conference eventually become a twelve-team entity with the additions of a couple of C-USA programs?

    Like

    • cfn_ms says:

      Who wouldn’t want to bring on board a program that has only once finished (barely) in the top 25, that is the fifth wheel in its state, that is a non-factor nationally, etc. If only the Big East cared about football they’d clearly choose to pad the bottom of the league by adding UCF.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        In a league with Rutgers, Louisville and Syracuse lately, UCF would not be out of place. Having a built in rival and adding another FL team provides real value as a new addition, too. UCF has a lot of upside and most BE candidates don’t. UCF would certainly do more for the BE than Nova from a football standpoint. The only advantages of Nova are politics and keeping the BB league smaller.

        Like

    • Eric says:

      I’d be shocked if the football schools could make enough more (or more at all) in an sports conference to be worth the time and money it would take to leave the Big East and start fresh.

      At the very least, the status of basketball would have to be looked very closely at before a decision would be made. On the one hand, the football schools are stronger as a whole in basketball. On the other hand though, part of the success of Big East basketball is in its current dynamics. The Big East is unquestionably the northeasts basketball conference. Basketball is much more regionaly based than football (in other words fewer people care about conferences besides one). If the football schools leave behind several major basketball schools in major markets, they at the very least, would have competion as the northeasts conference and at worst would lose out on a lot of areas the conference currently covers.

      Like

    • Michael in Indy says:

      Why add UCF now when it has finished in the top 25 a grand total of one time in its entire history? Wait and see what UCF can develop into. In a non-AQ conference, just like UCF, TCU spent the better part of a decade as a top 25 program, and the past three seasons as a top 10 program. That was accomplished without the aid of an enormous student body.

      I’d turn the tables on Bianchi’s question. If the Big East is serious about football, shouldn’t it settle for nothing less than a program that has already achieved TCU’s stature rather than take a program that has had, so far, limited on-the-field results?

      Unless there is another raid on the Big East, which I highly doubt, I think the Big East is done expanding with schools based on potential. UCF has to prove it can defeat strong competition on the field, not including a barely-.500 Georgia team, do it consistently, and do it without complaining about the disadvantage of being in non-AQ conference. TCU was every bit as much in the shadow of Texas, A&M, Tech, and OU as UCF has been in the shadow of the “Big Three” and USF. And let’s not assume, either, that investments in facilities mean that football victories will follow. NC State has terrific facilities as well AQ conference affiliation, and that team has finished in the top 25 maybe twice in the past ten years.

      Given the parameters of the ACC deal and the Pac-12’s negotiations, the next Big East football TV deal would improve as well, but that’s no reason to assume UCF would help improve revenues on a per-school basis. For the basketball contract, which is more lucrative per school, it’s hard to imagine getting a better deal per school for the football schools by adding UCF and dropping Georgetown, Villanova, Notre Dame, Marquette, DePaul (which evidently helps tremendously in getting Big East market share in Chicago), and St. John’s, regardless of whether Seton Hall and Providence are dead weight. The b-ball TV contract would still be good, but not as good, so why split?

      Like

    • Brian says:

      I’m shocked that an Orlando, FL paper would support UCF.

      Like

  16. Eric says:

    My thoughts are close to Frank on this, other than the possibility of a football only member.

    I’d say 50/50 on whether Nova still makes it. If they are in, I suspect the conference stops there.

    If they aren’t in, I think the conference also stops. I don’t think football only members are impossible though. If the conference decides 9 conference games are desirable then I don’t think there would be much sour taste in inviting say an East Carolina or if they’d go for it, BYU.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Article out of Charleston. Biggest worry seems to be that Nova is starting at 18k. Not clear in article if 30k is a deal killer (Nova could always play one late in year game at the Baseball stadium). BE insider also makes a comment about “the usual suspects” and expansion at the end. Mentions something I had thought about for CUSA if it gets raided-Army, Navy AND Air Force.

      http://sundaygazettemail.com/Sports/201104121107

      Like

      • @bullet – The service academies would be great for the Big East. However, Navy and Army have been approached by the Big East in the past and have turned the conference down. They’re in a similar position as BYU with a uniquely national fan base with leverage to get their own TV and bowl deals as independents.

        Like

        • cfn_ms says:

          20 years ago I might have agreed with you. Now? Their glory days are so far behind them that the bulk majority of America just doesn’t remember anymore. Moreover, both of their football programs tend to be mediocre to lousy (Navy went on a good run the mid part of the 00’s, but I think they’re on borrowed time), which means that they’d slot into the bottom or near bottom of the league (again, the Big East does NOT need to fill out the basement). And their basketball programs are even lousier.

          Ultimately, I think Army and Navy would be feel-good stories for a while in an AQ league but would be utterly unable to compete. To be honest, I think the growth of ROTC (like the service academies but with MUCH less up-front commitment) and the growth of big-time $$$ for successful professional athletes were huge factors in the demise of US Military athletics, and I don’t see either going away anytime soon.

          Also, I know that you think the BE’s AQ is safe… but five of their soon to be nine programs were non-AQ not long ago (UConn wasn’t even 1-A), and the last thing that they need is to make it seven of eleven, especially if the next two don’t bring much of anything. Honestly, take away the BE’s AQ and you’re hitting Pitt, West VA, Syracuse and a bunch of programs that the nation could care less about. Even the Northeast media doesn’t seem to care much about the Big East programs; Notre Dame football is probably a bigger presence in NYC and Rutgers or Syracuse, BC is a bigger presence in Boston than the Big East, Philly probably is ruled more by Penn St than Pitt and Rutgers combined (and that could well be the case even if you added Nova to the mix), and the ACC definitely rules the DC market.

          Not to mention that CFB is basically a red-state sport, which means that a good chunk of its fanbase would be perfectly happy to jettison the Northeast if they could get away with it. Given the environment of hostility to the Big East in general, and the obvious incentives (everyone else would benefit from opening up the spot), and the fact that there’s no real strong interest anywhere backing the Big East (the Northeast media doesn’t really care about BE football, the Northeast public doesn’t really care about BE football, the non-AQ’s hate the BE because they have an AQ spot, none of the BCS bowls like having BE teams, with the minor exception of West Virginia, and the other AQ’s would just as soon have an extra spot open for themselves, especially the leagues that don’t already get two constantly [i.e. the P12, ACC, and likely going forward the B12] ).

          Basically, I think that just one of Army/Navy would be a disaster for the Big East, and both of them would be lighting their AQ status on fire.

          Like

          • @cfn_ms – I agree that Navy and Army likely wouldn’t be very competitive at the AQ level. However, to the extent that the Big East AQ bid is in danger (and I personally have never thought that to be the case), then there aren’t two non-AQ schools that could be added that protect that status than Navy and Army. There’s a lot of focus on the objective AQ criteria published by the BCS, but that’s really just a post-hoc justification for a group that was formed on subjective measures (tradition, history, marquee brands, etc.). Actual current football performance is only a piece of the equation as opposed to the entire equation.

            With all of the political scrutiny that the BCS is receiving, is there any chance that they’re going to cut a league that has Navy and Army as members… or even worse, drop that league specifically *because* Navy and Army were added and they supposedly aren’t good enough? All of these Congressional dog-and-pony shows make me sick, but even I would say that it’s suicide to go on C-SPAN and try to explain to some mouthbreathing Senators why the BCS decided to drop a league *after* they added 2 schools funded by the federal government that produces a disproportionate number of our nation’s leaders. The BCS is dead in the water there. Avoiding that horrible sound bite that could take down the entire system makes it more than worth it to keep the Big East in the fold in that scenario.

            The cost of a single BCS bid is chump change to the Big Ten and SEC compared to what the entire system overall is worth to them, so they have no need to rock the boat (and they already get 2nd at-large BCS bids today, anyway).

            Like

          • M says:

            “CFB is basically a red-state sport”

            Really? By my count, 9 of the 12-13 kings are located in states that went blue in 2008. By my count, 4-5 are located in solidly red states (TX, TN, AL, LA, NB), 3 are located in consistently blue states (PA, MI, CA), and the rest are swing states.

            As far as driving interest and attendance, Army and Navy have decent home attendance for non-AQs and (anecdotally at least) are a good road draw. On field, since the start of the Big East’s decline Navy has a better record than anyone in the conference except WVU.

            I’m nearly certain that most Big East fans and admins would take Navy and Army in a heartbeat.

            Like

          • cfn_ms says:

            @ FTT: I think that the BCS could very easily get away with it, buttressed by the argument that:

            1) The BE doesn’t have the quality programs, TV interest or fanbase to justify AQ status

            2) Substantial portions of the military membership and leadership come from ROTC in other schools anyway

            3) Joining the big-time college athletics ratrace would detract from the military’s mission.

            Remember, they don’t need a congressional act to take away an AQ status, they just need congress to choose not to get involved.

            Of course, it’s also possible that they really do go through with the idea of killing the BCS and going back to the old system for a few years as a temporary measure, which would destroy the Big East’s status since no good bowls want their teams. From there they could then create whatever system they wanted from scratch, which would then have basically the same effect as taking away the Big East’s AQ, except without being as direct about it.

            @M: PA has gone back and forth between red and blue for a while; I’d hardly call it a blue state (recall: “Philly, Pitt and Alabama in between”). For the most part, in the US solid blue states are in the northeast and far west. The northeast could care less about CFB, and while there’s an OK fanbase in Pac-12 country, it still pales compared to the interest in most of the rest of the nation (especially SEC country).

            Is it a completely red-state sport? Of course not. But the fanbase heavily swings in that direction.

            Like

          • Michael in Indy says:

            @cfn_ms,

            In presidential elections, Pennsylvania is a pretty clear blue state. The Dem. candidate has won the state for the past five elections, and before then, it was essentially a swing state. With Penn State and Pitt, I’d say Pennsylvania is a pretty big college football state, not to the scale of Alabama, but a cfb state nonetheless.

            Florida is a huge cfb state, and it’s a classic swing state, not a red state. Same for Ohio.

            Like

          • cfn_ms says:

            http://www.270towin.com/states/Pennsylvania

            PA barely went to Kerry in 2004, though the fact that it was even close does buttress your argument. That said, I wouldn’t consider it a strong blue state on the order of New York, California etc.

            It’s also worth noting that the part of PA that cares most about football (the Penn St section) is Republican territory. Philly isn’t a CFB town, and while Pitt may be to some extent, Penn St is the dominant program in the state.

            Overall, there are few major football states that are solidly blue (CA, WA, MI for starters, OR if you stretch defn. of “major”, WI/PA if you stretch defn. of “solidly”), and just one (MI) outside of P12 country. I can rattle off major football states that are solidly red (TX, OK, AL, NE, TN, LA) with plenty of room for the more minor football states that are solidly red (AR, AZ, UT, MS, etc.).

            Like

          • Brian says:

            cfn_ms,

            The BCS needs the BE to maintain a majority of I-A schools and conferences as AQs. If the BCS dropped the BE, there would be 5 AQ conferences (59 schools) versus 6 non-AQs (61+ schools). That is a very tough political position that would probably end the BCS and bring back the old bowl system.

            Like

          • joe4psu says:

            Late to the discussion but had to chime in. Only using presidential elections is misleading. What about the governor’s office? What about the state house and senate? Being from PA I think that the Pitt, Philly and Alabama description is a bit much but geographically most of the state is definitely red.

            Like

        • Brian says:

          Joining the same league would really hurt the academies. Much of their success is based on their unique offenses overcoming their size disadvantages. If all your opponents see 2-3 triple option teams each year, that advantage goes away. Plus, the travel would be pretty bad.

          Like

  17. jj says:

    The BEast is a weird league. I

    Like

  18. Playoffs Now says:

    Boise St added football only seems like a good solution. Enhanced BCS strength, nat’l TV draw, no expansion of the basketball side, 10th team to enhance TV inventory.

    Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      Nothing says east quite like Idaho.

      Like

      • cfn_ms says:

        And who the hell knows what Boise’s sticking power will be? They’ve been good for a mid-major for a while, but really only good on a national scale since they beat Oklahoma at the end of the 2006 season (and I don’t think they ended 2007 ranked after losing their bowl to ECU).

        Fantastic 5-year run… but does it make any sense for the BE to hitch their horse that may or may not stall in the near-term future? Other than their recent run Boise brings NOTHING to the table, not media market, not reasonable travel, not good recruiting grounds, basically zilch other than a hot football team.

        Like

        • ccrider55 says:

          Check out some potatos?
          Nice late season road trip? Combine FB with a ski trip to Sun Valley?

          Like

        • boomdonkey says:

          @cfn_ms,

          I don’t think Boise’s sticking power is a major concern that is keeping them from getting invites to major conferences. A quick comparison to TCU shows they’ve been pretty equal over the last 8 seasons, and nobody is questioning TCU’s ability to remain a strong program. Since 2002, Boise and TCU have been in the AP final top 25 poll 7 times. Both have three top 10 finishes (TCU in 2008-2010; BSU in 2010, 2009, and 2006). I’m not saying Boise won’t decline, just that they probably would have the same odds of decline as TCU if they were staying in the MWC.

          Like

          • cfn_ms says:

            Of course it’s a major concern. The ONLY thing Boise has going for it is their football program (academics, location, TV market, recruiting area etc. are all negatives, some huge negatives).

            Anything which diminishes the benefit of their currently hot football program is a big deal, and questions about their staying power certainly make that list. Why do you think even the Mountain West took so long to invite Boise?

            Like

          • boomdonkey says:

            Maybe I wasn’t clear enough — everything i implied that was more important (and what you rightfully mention) are keeping Boise from getting invited, and that projecting their success was a lot less important. Obviously if in 5-10 years both Boise and TCU are 10-loss teams, or even mediocre teams, TCU still holds more value for a conference.

            Like

  19. Jimmy says:

    Delaware should be another potential expansion target if the Big East ever does expand again (or, if the football schools ever split off, which I would imagine the ‘Nova move makes less likely).

    Like

  20. MIRuss says:

    Isn’t it funny? 18 B-East members with one member as an independent football powerhous. And that powerhouse gets to more or less hold it’s foot on the neck of the rest of the B-East conference to keep them down. If the Domers weren’t in the B-East, that would free up the B-East to do a lot of maneuvering and possibly make a move at someone that brings both football and basketball revenue. But the controlling votes with the Basketball schools and Notre Dame are enough to kill any logic that you could apply to the situation.

    It’s all much ado about nothing at this point….

    Like

  21. John says:

    Big 12-2 about to paid? You guys know more about this than I, is this enough money to get A&M to their magic number?

    http://www.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/6270202/28497528

    Like

    • bullet says:

      If $90 million as reported, it puts the Big 12 in excess of $190 million. They had $121 million in distributions for 08-09 and this is a $70 million increase. Couldn’t find 09-10, but I recall it being either 129 or 138 (which would make the number 199-208 or 20-21 million average per school). As was discussed in an earlier thread, the deal was to get to an average $17 million per school for all distributions (not just TV) in 2013. Now it isn’t clear how much the deal is backloaded, but it looks like it easily exceeds $17 million.

      Note: A&M’s $20 million was based on them doing better than average under the revenue sharing formula (at least that’s the interpretation outside College Station). It was expected that the lowest would be about 70% of the highest-so for $17 million average, the spread would be $14-$20 million, with UT, OU and A&M expected to be at the high end.

      Like

      • SuperD says:

        Where are you getting the 190 million number from…I assume you are speaking in terms of total revenue distribution and not just TV revenue? Everything I’ve see for TV revenue puts the number at $150 million ($90 million from the new Fox deal + $60 million from the ABC deal that runs through 2015).

        Like

        • bullet says:

          121 + 70 (Fox increase 20 to 90)=191. TV alone is $150.

          Like

          • Nostradamus says:

            The numbers are actually slightly better. $139 million was the most recent Big XII distribution. Subtract $10 million off for the loss of the Jerry World championship and add $70.5 for the difference in Fox contracts. You get $199.9 or $19.9 million divided equally.

            Initially the $90 million Fox contract may be something more like $70 million, but that would still put the average distribution at $17.95 million and the top teams over 20 million.

            Like

          • Redhawk says:

            @Nostradamus

            why are you subtracting the $10 million for the championship game? ABC/ESPN has promised to keep paying that even with out the game.

            Like

          • Nostradamus says:

            I may be overshooting it a bit, but there still a financial loss from not playing the title game. You don’t have the ticket revenue, ad revenue, plus whatever considerations the host facility was providing when they bid on the games.

            A Topeka paper article estimated $6 million in revenue from ticket sales alone.


            “The benefits of the league will be much greater financially than if you were to have a team in a [Big 12] championship game and each school gets around $750,000 and somebody gets knocked out of the championship game,” Gundy said. “From a monetary standpoint, the conference would lose.”
            That would come out to $9 million in a 12 team conference.

            http://espn.go.com/blog/big12/post/_/id/25765/new-league-offers-new-challenges-opportunity

            Like

          • bullet says:

            There probably should be some deduction, but not $10 million. There are some conference revenues (sponsorships, tickets) tied to the game separate from the TV revenues.

            Like

          • Redhawk says:

            ah..thanks. I still don’t think it’s that much of a loss. Ticket sales mostly came from the 2 schools in the game, and because of the unequal split those teams got more money.

            $6 million still seems high to me.

            Like

        • schwarm says:

          Is this the same number that is commonly cited about for the Big 10? I think $20-22 million per school per year is estimated for Big 10 TV rights. That’s not the same as total distributions. Would not the equivalent number for the Big 12 be ABC/ESPN rights + FSN rights + tertiary rites (which would be $60 million + $90 million + tertiary)?

          Like

          • bullet says:

            That’s the number if you are comparing TV rights. SEC is $17 ($205 total average/yr) million/school + tertiary. ACC is $12.9 ($155 total average/yr) million per school including tertiary. So the Big 12 is at $15 million/school + tertiary even before the ABC contract is renewed. It seems likely they will be higher than the SEC (although Fox probably has a few more rights than ESPN’s secondary SEC contract). Because of the BTN, the Big 10 is kind of a mix of current contracts and old contracts (ABC/ESPN has a few more years).

            But all distributions is what is relevant when discussing the promises of $20 million to Texas A&M.

            Like

      • Gumbynuts says:

        Doesn’t the conference take a portion of this so that it is effectively split 11 ways?

        Like

        • Brian says:

          Most likely, yes, but everyone tends to ignore that when comparing contracts.

          Like

        • Nostradamus says:

          Yeah all conferences are holding money back to cover operating expenses i.e. salaries for the commissioner, employees at the home office, etc. My main issue for comparability is that not everyone accounts for this the same way.

          Like

  22. Andrew says:

    The AP article (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/football/ncaa/04/13/big12-fox.ap/index.html) says that this moves “the conference’s total TV rights revenue to a reported $130 million annually.”

    Like

  23. TexasAggies57 says:

    TexasAggies57
    Recently, we had heard the 60-70 million Fox was offering was upped to 90million. The men donned sack cloth, and rubbed ash on themselves. There was great mourning, beating of chests, and gnashing of teeth over the loss of what seemed like a likely SEC move.

    However, upon further inspection, the 90 isn’t exactly a cut and dry 90 million dollar offer. First, lets keep in mind that you better believe Beebe and the Big 12 are leaking this to keep the pressure on A&M and any other members thinking of leaving. The SPD article proclaimed, offer upped to 90 million. Courtesy of Spider Rico, we got the other portion of the article. The thread it is in was removed/deleted so I will paraphrase.

    Fox will retain cable exclusivity.
    Fox would double their games/year from 20 to 40.
    The pecking order would change from
    ABC -> ESPN -> FSN
    to
    ABC -> FSN -> ESPN

    Now Rico was saying that this appeared to be a great offer since it wont modify existing contracts and that ESPN already pays fox for the games they air.

    Respectfully, I disagree with his assessment. Now, it is my understanding that indeed, if ESPN picks up a big 12 game (not ABC, ESPN), the do pay FSN. But what if they lost those 20 games? Now, we dont have access to the specifics but I would have to assume that since this FSN renegotiation has those new perks in there, they wouldnt affect the ESPN/ABC contracts. Thus, it must be for every game ESPN shows, they will pay FSN. But if FSN sucks up a good lot of those games, they are cutting out ABC/ESPN of this deal, and thus, that aspect of the contract, worth $60million, greatly diminishes. I would say that losing all those games they would potentially show would make up the ground we saw in the 60-70 jump to 90.

    If Im understanding this right, FSN just made a move, without ruining existing agreements that will basically tell ESPN to pay up to keep a foot in the door of what would largely become a FSN conference (and ignored by ESPN except tu). Not only that, they would likely meet that 20 million mark still, as I said with the other post I wrote about the subject. FSN is cutting ESPN out. ABC still has the first pick of the big games like tu-ou etc, but FSN would basically take everything else.

    -Why this sucks dick-

    FSN’s coverage and their sports channel as a whole is like a damn high school club effort.

    The deeper FSN ties and knowing that ESPN is unlikely to steal the Big 12 (especially with FSN talking long term deal) plus all those games that would have been on ESPN now going on FSN means much less press. We already lost a big national name in nebraska, this will just hurt us more. Look at the ESPN coverage of the Cotton Bowl if you dont believe me.

    The FSN offer isnt much more in effect than the original 60-70 mil overpaying.

    Do you really need to be reminded of the tier-3 deals OU and tu will sign? tu and ou are very likely to make as much if not more than us in this conference and then will also have their own networks to boot. We are sitting here patting ourselves on the back for getting a big heaping number while no one seems to get that we will be making much less than both OU and tu. We are cheering for getting third place in about the 4th most powerful conference. Way to settle.

    Money is not everything. What we gain from a move to the SEC is worth losing a few million, and Id be willing to be we dont even do that if they renegotiate their TV as they are likely to do as per Slive’s comments. There are some idiots and apologists who keep bring up the journeyman money we, and other schools like Kansas and Mizzou, are getting and saying this is the best deal. **** that. Image, perception, home schedule, guaranteed paychecks versus appearance based systems (hello 5 games on tv last year). There are so many benefits to the SEC. Ive been to the SEC games, seen the atmosphere. It is where A&M needs to go to actively lock in their future, and not sit on their hands and settle for sitting at the kids table like we look like we will.

    [This message has been edited by TexasAggies57 (edited 3/21/2011 3:48p).]

    dcaggie04
    posted 3:55p, 03/21/11

    Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      Stop holding back…..let your true feelings out….

      Like

    • Redhawk says:

      Why there are Aggie joke:
      “Money is not everything.”

      You are complaining about not making enough money…but you want to go to the SEC and take less money?

      And you are complaining you won’t make as much as UT and OU will. Newsflash: You didn’t before! UT has the largest Athletic budget in the nation!

      Like

    • Nostradamus says:

      Where is Hopkins or another Texas fan when I need them? Finally something Nebraska and Texas fans can agree on. The delusion of the Aggies.

      Like

      • glenn says:

        nos, the guy who coined the word ‘delusional’ was thinking of an aggie at that very moment.

        Like

      • Hopkins Horn says:

        Sorry, was in Vegas for a few days. But, yeah, what you said. 🙂

        Like

      • glenn says:

        you know, i’m ripped and torn (but not rip torn!) whether i want people to know the for real deal with the ags.

        on the one hand i like that far-flung folk are beginning to understand what we are dealing with, but on the two hand i realize that, since they are presumably knitted to us, an accurate understanding of what it would mean to have them as conference mates on the part of the fans of the schools in the attractive conferences around the country might one day cause us some real grief if we have to find a new home. kind of like calling for an air strike on your conjoined twin.

        and thank goodness there isn’t a third hand to this plaintive cry or the metaphorical imagery would start to get pretty weird.

        Like

    • bullet says:

      You should read Nostradamus’s link above. It gives detail on about everything but the $. ABC is paying for 18 fb games + the rest described at the bottom of the news release. This deal doesn’t change any of that. And it IS about the money. Why else would A&M be making themselves look petty and greedy by insisting on a guarantee when OU and UT have said we should just go by the existing Big 12 rules and don’t need a guarantee.

      And as I said above, the SEC likes the status quo. A&M doesn’t add enough to cause them to make waves when things are calm. And A&M coupled with West Virginia sure doesn’t (who says any ACC school would leave?-3 have turned down the SEC before).

      Like

    • Playoffs Now says:

      Whenever Ags2SEC talk, we’re instantly reminded of this scene:

      You should listen to Ashley, Ashley Wilkes: “Most of the miseries of the world were caused by the SEC…”

      Like

  24. Playoffs Now says:

    That said, it still is not inconceivable that the Ags could somehow pull it off and beg their way into the SEC. In fact I hope they do.

    Politically it isn’t as impossible as the simple construct some like to cling to. They’ll say that OU is tied to OKSt and UTx tied to TTech and Baylor has enough pull to scuttle things. Maybe, but even if true that only means the 6 B12 South schools must survive in good homes for any split to take place. Good home = permanent security = P16, B10+x, or SEC. Perhaps ACC, but BEast is doubtful. P16 may have only 4 openings, but if aTm can convince the SEC to take 1 more from the B12 South that isn’t UTx (will never go, and kinda defeats the purpose for the Jan Brady Syndrome Ags!) or OU (UTx will fight tooth and nail against both them and the Ags going) then you’ve placed all 6 schools in secure safe havens that are politically viable.

    Certainly today makes the B12-2 look increasingly safe. But for some schools there will always be the threat that UTx, OU, or aTm could blow this up and they’ll be left in the cold. Baylor is most vulnerable, but TTech and OKSt can never totally rest easy in the current setup. If Baylor and aTm were smart, they’d be quietly working a deal to split 4 to P16 and 2 to SEC. They’d also either wait until June 1st to start or keep it very quiet, the last thing the Ag gov of Texas wants is for a relatively meaningless hot potato like conference realignment blowing up a very important legislative session. After May 31st, unless a special session is called, the legislature won’t meet again for 20 months.

    So I could see (though unlikely) 4 of the B12 South 6 attempting a split. UTx wouldn’t be happy, but could probably negotiate an agreement. Would the SEC take TTech, Baylor, or OKSt with aTm? Not sure, but OKSt might be the most plausible by adding a state of 4 million to the SEC sphere. OU wouldn’t be thrilled to see their rivalry go non-conf, but they played UTx non-conf and UTx would prefer OU be saddled with one if the Horns have to do same with aTm. TBPickens would probably prefer the reputation boost of joining the P16, but the SEC offers guaranteed survival in the 4×16 consolidation and an operating environment in which he may be, ah, more comfortable with (USC and Oregon notwithstanding.) P16 will cringe at taking on Baylor, but hey, package deal. They appear to want to get to 16 far more than the SEC does, so the SEC likely makes the call on who gets stuck with Baylor.

    Again, not a prediction, but a possibility. We’ll soon see if the Ags were all bluff or not. They should be happy with the money now, but their inferiority complex continues to gnaw away. As for politics, the state of Texas benefits more if there are 6 BCS conferences, since TCU has a home and UHou, maybe even SMU still has hope. But politics is the art of compromise, so who knows for sure what will happen? No one here does.

    Like

    • Playoffs Now says:

      BTW, regarding the rumored huge penalties for leaving, that could keep one school from acting unilaterally, but how many votes does it take to dissolve the conference and thus likely avoid penalties? 5 or 6 of 10?

      Like

      • Brian says:

        I think “historic penalties” referred to CU and Ne leaving, not a new level of penalty.

        Like

        • Redhawk says:

          wrong…it’s for anyone leaving now

          Like

          • Brian says:

            From ESPN’s B12 blog, discussing the conference call:
            http://espn.go.com/blog/big12/post/_/id/27679/what-the-big-12s-new-tv-deal-means

            Could teams in the future leave?

            “Well, we still have significant withdrawal provisions that provided for one of the most historic withdrawal fees in any conference realignment situation. We’ll take a look at all of that, but I don’t want to get caught up in that discussion in announcing a television agreement.” I’ve seen reports elsewhere that these numbers went up, but Beebe’s comments don’t at all reflect that. The money withheld from Colorado and Nebraska (16.1 million total) is already historic. When Beebe used that term, he was referencing last year’s happenings, not any changes made to the policy since then.

            Like

        • Redhawk says:

          but the quote was “similar to the exit penalties for Neb and CU” which weren’t “historic”. I think the reference was an example of what an exit penalty was, not the amount.

          Like

    • Redhawk says:

      SIGH

      I know people want and need to see conferences move around for entertainment….but why can’t we pick another conference for those jollies?

      The Big 12 just signed a huge deal that pays them close to SEC money, and when the tier 3 deals are done may pass the SEC. They also added in huge exit penalties. Plus the SEC has shown little interest of expanding.

      And STILL on top of all that….people can’t get it that the Big 12 isn’t DOOMED(!!).

      I’m an OU alum, and have connections to the board of regents…and it was OU that fought to keep the Big 12 together. They don’t want to go to the SEC as they see it as a return to the SWC level of recruiting violations, and it’s too dirty for OU. (think about that last line!)

      Like

      • M says:

        It’s the first rule of lazy journalism: the last conference to get raided will be the next.

        Like

      • bullet says:

        You got me laughing.

        But Free Shoes U and the Miami gangstas have said the same thing since the Auburn mess. They were glad they had turned them down.

        From listening to the administrators, it did seem that OU was easily the most reluctant to leave the Big 12 behind (except maybe KSU and ISU who noone had any interest in).

        Like

      • Brian says:

        Because your conference sucks.

        Just kidding. You do realize most people gave up on the B12 imploding a while ago, don’t you? You’re experiencing perception bias because the B12 stuff annoys you so much more. It’s the same reason all fans think the media hate their team.

        But which other conference would be a better choice for discussion? The B12 just lost 2 members in the past year, had at least 7 other members looking at other conferences, is the youngest of the AQs, has the greatest financial disparity among members and has several elite programs that were earning vastly less than their peers.

        By contrast, the SEC and B10 are completely stable unless they decide to expand again. The ACC hasn’t lost a school in decades. The P10 just expanded by taking a B12 school and is geographically isolated. And we still regularly throw around thoughts and rumors about all of them, too.

        Sure, we can discuss the BE some more but clearly the B12 is a more juicy story since the league contains some elite teams. Nobody really cares where most of the BE teams are or where they would go.

        Rationally, what other conference would make better discussion fodder?

        And just so you know, there are at least 12 different versions of the story of how the B12 was saved. Every school has one in which they were instrumental in preserving the league.

        Like

      • bullet says:

        I know a lot of you don’t consider Beebe a good source, but in the attached article, he says A&M’s $20 million is a non-issue-they will be well beyond that.

        http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/2011/apr/14/big-12s-tv-deal-worth-1-billion/

        Like

    • Mike says:

      With this new deal, it just got a whole lot more expensive for A&M to head for the SEC. Even if they don’t get their 20MM from the Big ~12, the Ags will stick around just because the SEC money gain isn’t significant enough to justify the cost of leaving. They are already in debt, and I doubt they will incur more in exit fees just because they hate the Longhorns.

      Like

  25. Announced today: Northwestern and Notre Dame have agreed to a 2-game home-and-home series (South Bend in 2014 and Evanston in 2018). The ND-MSU series actually takes a 2-year break in 2014-15, so the addition of Northwestern means that ND would still be playing 3 Big Ten schools in 2014. Also note the November 15, 2014 date for the first game, which is a good sign for ND as it shows at least one Big Ten school making it work to play the Irish late in the season as opposed to September.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/ncf/news/story?id=6352027

    Like

    • M says:

      This series is great for Northwestern. It will drive season ticket sales (NU got 10k tickets for the South Bend game which only be available to season ticket holders) and beating ND always gives a bump no matter how bad they are. NU is also planning a facilities upgrade which should be completed by the return game in 2018.

      At a conference level, Northwestern now has 4 out-of-conference games scheduled in 2014 and 3 of those would be very difficult/expensive to cancel (ND, Cal, Vanderbilt). I doubt a 9 game conference schedule is coming before 2015 at the earliest.

      Like

      • greg says:

        With the recent announcement of the 2013/2014 B10 schedules, the 9 game conf schedule is definitely not happening before 2015.

        Like

    • Richard says:

      Pretty exciting, though 2014 is shaping up to be one of the toughest schedules NU has had in a long time (and possibly the toughest schedule of any B10 school that year): Cal to start the season, Nebraska, Wisconsin, and OSU in the first 4 games of conference play (as well as Minny), then MSU, and a bunch of rivalry games + Michigan to end the season (Iowa->ND->Michigan->Illinois). We miss IU, PU, and PSU.

      Like

      • Meanwhile, Illinois continues its exciting and historic series with Western Michigan, including a true road trip to Kalamazoo:

        http://www.illinihq.com/news/football/2011/04/11/illini_to_play_at_western_michigan

        *pounds head against the wall*

        Like

        • Brian says:

          Don’t knock the ‘zoo.

          I was a bit surprised to see IL playing at WMU, but a 2 for 1 is reasonable. I would’ve expected NIU instead if playing the MAC, but whatever.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            Most flagships really, really don’t want to have home games at a directional school within their state, which is why Wisconsin & Iowa are OK with NIU hosting them (even if the “home” game is in Chicago) but Illinois isn’t, etc.

            Like

          • Michael in Indy says:

            RE: “I would’ve expected NIU instead if playing the MAC”

            I don’t know if this is Illinois’ viewpoint or not (for all I know, Illinois may have approached NIU but was declined), but there are some AQ schools that just don’t want to schedule teams from lesser conferences if they’re from the same state.

            NCSU and ECU have scheduled multiple FCS teams from within the state. UNC, by contrast, hasn’t scheduled a team currently in the FCS since the 1940’s, yet in the past 15 years they’ve played multiple FCS teams from bordering states. As a matter of fact, both NCSU and UNC refused to play ECU until forced to do so by the state legislature in the 70’s. To my knowledge, Alabama and Auburn haven’t played UAB, Troy, or any of the FCS teams, either.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            OSU has always preferred to play in-state MACs over other MACs (the same is true for MSU and MI). It keeps the money in state and also gives the fans a chance to come to Ohio Stadium since many of them are secondarily OSU fans. OSU has played “at” Toledo in Cleveland and “at” Cincinnati in Paul Brown, which would be like IL playing NIU in Soldier Field. It’s a chance to bring the team to a part of the fan base that can’t always get to the home stadium.

            Like

          • @Brian – I would’ve actually understood it if this were a 2-for-1 deal, but it’s a straight-up home-and-home series. There is literally no upside from a competitive, financial or recruiting standpoint for Illinois to have signed this deal. I would’ve much rather have had played Northern Illinois at Soldier Field if we absolutely had to play a MAC school anywhere other than Champaign.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            @Brian
            You are correct about Ohio St.’s philosophy now, but that is pretty recent-the last 15 years or so. They played in-state schools only rarely for many years until that philosophy change.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            True, but I only talked about MACs. There has never been a time when OSU played many out of state MACs (only 3 times ever).

            OSU played the SWC a lot in the 60s and 70s (usually SMU or TCU). The 80s and 90s had the WAC, and the 90s also had the BE.

            The B12 was a common opponent in all but the 60s, and the P10 has always been a regular opponent, but those are more equal opponents.

            Like

      • Brian says:

        How can you call ND a rivalry when you haven’t played for a decade? IL isn’t much of a rivalry either according to fans of both teams.

        From a NW viewpoint, I can see how this is a good thing and the schedule does seem to be a step up from normal. Is this the start of a new scheduling philosophy?

        Like

        • Richard says:

          1. Yet only USC, Navy, MSU, PU, Pitt, and Army (barely) have played ND more than NU has, and Northwestern has played the Irish more than Michigan.
          2. It’s a rivalry game in Chicagoland. Trust me.
          3. NU/Illinois doesn’t get the emotions of the fans going as much as the games against ND or Iowa, but it’s definitely a rivalry game; just ask the players.

          As for a new scheduling philosophy, yes, it’s a change.

          NU OOC scheduling:
          2006: 3 non-AQ & an FCS school.
          2007, 2009, & 2010: 2 non-AQ, an FCS school and 1 of Duke/Syracuse/Vandy.
          2008: 1 non-AQ, an FCS school, & both Duke and Syracuse.

          2006-2010: At least 1 MAC school every year.

          2011 is kind of a transition year, with BC, Army, Rice, & FCS school. Notice there’s no MAC school.

          Contrast with
          2012: BC, Syracuse, Vandy, & FCS school.
          2013: Cal, Syracuse, Vandy, & FCS school.
          2014: Cal, ND, Vandy, & FCS school.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            I know ND/MI haven’t played that often, because they took about 70 years off, but the almost annual games since they started up again in 1978 have made this a rivalry. The match-up of blue blood football snobs living off past laurels makes for great TV. I’d guess most Irish fans now would rank it only behind USC. The older ones would rank it lower, but I don’t think Navy, Army, Pitt, MSU and PU hold much sway with the younger crowd.

            I can see NW seeing ND as a rival, but I’ve never seen it reciprocated by a ND fan and I’ve lived around a lot of them.

            I assume the scheduling is intended to help with ticket sales (and national perception, which secondarily helps ticket sales). It’s good to see NW move past the typical IN schedule. If you want to be seen as a top 40 program you can’t schedule like a bottom feeder.

            Like

    • cutter says:

      I can see concession on both sides of this announcement. I found it interesting, for instance, that Notre Dame agreed to play Northwestern at Ryan Field (47,130) when ND couldn’t agree to play at Rutgers’ home field (52,454) just a little while ago. I understand Northwestern has some expansion plans that should be in place by 2018, but it sounds like something ND had to agree to in order to get Northwestern to play them in late 2014 (in between games against Iowa and at Michigan).

      I wasn’t surprised to hear that the 2018 date hasn’t been announced because the Big Ten hasn’t decided on if it should pursue a nine-game conference schedule. Michigan State and Purdue are already on Notre Dame’s 2018 schedule. I suppose Northwestern could opt to play ND late in the season again in 2018, but how likely would that be with a nine-game conference schedule?

      I have a feeling that Michigan and Notre Dame will be taking a bit of a break from one another. Texas is schedule to be the season opener against ND in 2015/16 with Michigan being the second game of the season. I’m a bit hard pressed to imagine ND will want to open the season with back-to-back games against UT and UM, but I suppose it is possible.

      Would Notre Dame play four Big Ten teams in 2018? It has happened in the past, but I have to imagine that would be problematic with the nine-game confernce schedule. That again makes me think that the Michigan-Notre Dame series may take a bit of a hiatus. We’ll know more in due course as the Big Ten makes its decisions on the nine-game confernce schedule.

      One other thing to keep in mind is that Michigan’s future schedules through 2014 has the Notre Dame, Nebraska and Ohio State games either all at home or all away. I can’t imagine that UM will want to continue with that sort of scheduling setup in the future.

      Like

      • cfn_ms says:

        Why not? It really hurts one year and really helps the next. Unless they’re worried about season ticket sales in the “all away” years, overall it puts them in a great position to make a huge national run every other year. One tougher year seems a reasonable price to pay for that advantage.

        Like

        • cutter says:

          From the Big Ten blog:

          Notre Dame still will face three Big Ten teams in both 2014 and 2018. The Irish take a break with Michigan State in 2014-15 and take a break with Michigan in 2018-19. They will face Michigan, Northwestern and Purdue in 2014 and Michigan State, Purdue and Northwestern in 2018.

          http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=6352185

          Like

        • Richard says:

          Well yes, season ticket sales is the key issue. As it stands now, Michigan season tickets in odd years are a lot more valuable than Michigan season tickets in even years. I really don’t think the athletic department wants that, as they likely won’t be able to get away with fluctuating the season ticket package prices from year to year, while if they go with the high price, some people may drop the package in even years and if they go with the low price, they’re leaving money on the table in odd years.

          Like

        • Brian says:

          No AD wants all the good games at home in any one year. MI and ND have fought over this issue in the past.

          Like

      • Richard says:

        The difference in capacity between the Meadowlands Stadium and Rutgers Stadium is massive, while the difference between Ryan Field and Soldier Field isn’t nearly as big.

        Note that ND has agreed to a home-and-home with Wake, and BB&T Field is tiny (31.5K). Looks like, if ND is going to play at a smaller venue, it would be other private schools (yet still AQ) where there’s a connection between people in the administration there and ND.

        Like

        • cutter says:

          By your calculation, the only reason why Notre Dame opted to play Wake Forest at their home stadium over insisting the game be played in a markedly larger stadium in Charlotte is that WF is a private school. I don’t think that logic really flies too well.

          I think Notre Dame is actually over a bit of a barrel when it comes to getting really good opponents to play them late in the season. That’s why they agree to play at smaller venues like the one at Wake Forest or Northwestern when larger ones are available at nearby neutral sites.

          I just don’t think Notre Dame has the leverage it once enjoyed when it comes to scheduling, television rights, etc. That’s not to say there will be some schools willing to work with ND–clearly Miami-FL and Connecticut thought it was in their best interests to schedule neutral site games with the Irish.

          But what’s instructive in all this is that outside of the ACC and the Big East, Notre Dame doesn’t have much opportunity to schedule really major opponents late in the season (with the obvious exception of USC).

          The ACC teams Notre Dame has recently played or is playing on its future schedules don’t have major late season rivalry games. That’s why you see Wake Forest, Maryland, Miami-FL, Duke and North Carolina on the schedule and programs like Georgia Tech (who ND did play recently, but in September), Florida State and the two Virginia schools aren’t on it. I won’t be surprised to see NC State on some future ND schedule before long.

          We’ll see how things transpire, but as the conferences become larger and/or adopt nine-game conference schedules, it will mean fewer scheduling opportunities for Notre Dame (and for the same reason, Brigham Young).

          If the Big East does go to twelve teams and/or a nine-game conference schedule, then ND might again have a bit of a problem. There may always be individual schools in a reconstituted BE who would be willing to play ND late in the season, but the candidates would be fewer.

          There is a reason why Notre Dame’s schedule last year late in the season included Tulsa, Western Michigan, Army and Utah . . .

          Like

          • Richard says:

            This brings up the interesting question of which traditional B10 rivals would be willing to accomodate ND by playing them after conference play starts. By your logic, Michigan wouldn’t, and PU wouldn’t play them late in the year either (though they may be able to push that game to week 5 or 6. MSU actually traditionally plays Michigan week 5 or 6 (though they’ve deviated from that recently). Not sure they’re willing to push the ND game in to the heart of B10 season, though. With all P10 games (including the USC game after the current series is done) heading to September as well, there’s even more congestion on ND’s schedule in September.

            Like

  26. Phil says:

    Obvious jubilation on the Rutgers front with the Villanova news. I haven’t seen mentioned above some details that make the Villanova idea even crazier.

    It was bad enough that Villanova’s “big” financial commitment to moving up was going to be $30mm for practice facilities (when schools like RU and Lville recently spent $100mm+ on stadium expansions) while playing their games in the 18,000 seat soccer stadium. It turns out that the people that run the Philadelphia Union had never even been contacted by Nova, let alone asked if the stadium was available for football games!

    Nova’s presentation mentions how the soccer stadium could be expanded to 30,000 without mentioning it cost $122mm to build and was financed mostly with state money. The Union don’t have money to expand it and PA state govt is certainly not going to pay to help a bunch of rich private school kids at a time the budget is being cut everywhere else.

    It is becoming obvious that the plan by the BB schools and the Providence mafia was actually going to be some kind of subsidy by the conference to help Nova move up and expand facilities.

    This Nova move better be dead, and hopefully the bb-only schools spitefully vote against any attempts to add other football members, so maybe this mess of a conference can finally split up.

    Like

    • cfn_ms says:

      FTT has assured us many times that the BE is not in any danger whatsoever of breaking up. He couldn’t possibly be wrong on this one. /sarcasm

      Like

      • Brian says:

        No, he’s said they are in no danger of losing their AQ status. He doesn’t think they will break up, but I don’t think he has ever said there is no chance they split. He doesn’t think a split makes financial sense, but of course politics and future events could change that.

        Like

    • bullet says:

      Everything I have read says the opposite about the stadium. That there had been discussions of some sort about using the stadium and about the Union’s expanion plans. Maybe there weren’t formal proposals, but all the details (except the amount of rent payments) have been in open discussion in the press by both sides for months.

      Like

    • Michael in Indy says:

      Without Miami and Virginia Tech, there is not the necessary branding in Big East football among its soon-to-be nine members to create a football contract worth more per school than the basketball contract. The only way to make the Big East football schools’ TV contract worth more per school than the basketball contract is to remove value in basketball by cutting off the non-football schools.

      The problem in cutting them off is that the football value becomes greater relative to basketball, but the absolute value of Big East football doesn’t improve. The nine football schools are worth the same as a collective whether they’re in the existing Big East or in a newly created conference. The difference is that basketball value is diminished for the new conference, and that b-ball value can’t go up very much, on a per school basis, by adding UCF, ECU, Houston, and/or SMU. Without evidence that those schools can be top 25 regulars, as TCU offered, there is little reason to believe those schools could assure an improvement, in the per-school football TV value, either.

      So, while it makes sense for Rutgers and other football schools to dislike the idea of Villanova joining for football, especially with the stadium situation, it’s still not worth splitting the league over.

      Like

      • cfn_ms says:

        By itself it wouldn’t be an impetus to leave, but if it’s viewed as the last straw and/or the culmination of a number of other problems then that’s a different situation. My impression is that a number of the football schools’ fanbases aren’t particularly thrilled w/ the non-football schools and the influence they wield in the league office.

        Moreover, holding out the threat of walking may be an effective way of making Villanova football (which I’m getting the sense the FB schools don’t want at all, which of course they shouldn’t) go away.

        Like

        • Michael in Indy says:

          You’re probably right about football schools’ concerns over non-football schools’ influence in the league office, especially from Providence College. It seems like the league office should have moved years ago to a location less geographically off-center, where one school couldn’t have so much more direct contact with the league office than everyone else.

          If the football members split off, it would be because of dysfunction, not because they’d make more money apart from them. But maybe there really are enough disagreements to convince them that splitting would be worthwhile, as costly as such a move would be.

          There are a few other factors that could tie the league together, which aren’t strictly financial:
          – Pitt, UConn, and especially Syracuse don’t want to give up their long term rivalries with Georgetown, Villanova, St. John’s, and others. I’ve read many times how highly ‘Cuse fans regard the Georgetown rivalry.
          – If a Big East tournament remained in Madison Square Garden, it would be for the Catholic schools. The football schools by themselves may not resonate enough with local fans in NYC to keep the place sold out. Other than Rutgers (which is a perennial doormat), UConn, and Syracuse, every other team is pretty out-of-sight, out-of-mind.

          Like

      • frug says:

        Actually, if the Catholic schools were to force the football schools to take Villanova (by say holding them hostage regarding further expansion or trying to screw with TV negotiations) then splitting off would make financial sense if the lost football revenue from the ‘Nova addition exceeds the lost basketball revenue from breaking apart. I doubt this situation arise since the Big East really doesn’t to expand and the non-football schools would be screwing themselves over if they played games with TV negotiations, but it could happen.

        Like

  27. bullet says:

    What I am reading in blogs and articles that claim to know something (other than just speculation) is that the difference is all about the stadium. Where they differ is whether its all ok if Nova gets the stadium expanded to 30k or whether it still presents a problem.

    Frank: What are you hearing about the issues? Is there more than just the stadium?

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Considering the grief they have given UC over Nippert only seating 35k, it is a reasonable concern. Of course, capacity doesn’t mean much if you can’t fill the seats. I’d love to see their projections for attendance for the first 10 years and see how close they reflect the actual results if they do move up.

      Like

  28. jj says:

    I heard Millen got fired. There is a god.

    Like

  29. frug says:

    Just thought of something potentially, though probably not, important; once TCU joins the football members will outnumber the non-football members, which is probably the reason the Catholic schools wanted ‘Nova promoted (to give them a football school to look out for their interests once the non-football schools reached majority status). Now this isn’t likely to be a huge issue since I assume most major conference decisions require more than a simple majority, but if they all stick together, then the football schools might be able to bully the Catholic schools on some issues.

    Like

    • Phil says:

      The Providence mafia hasn’t managed anything about the football conference correctly for years, so it is not a shock that they may have been taken by some of their own members.

      It’s as plausible as any other explanation that, since the fb schools needed at least 4 bb schools to vote for TCU’s addition, they feigned interest in a Villanova move up just to get TCU in.

      Now, the football schools still need the votes of 4 bb members to get any other teams added to the conference, so that is the impasse I thought could force a split if the bb-onlies refuse to consider anyone else now that Nova has been turned down.

      Like

      • frug says:

        Yeah, I noted that above. Giving ‘Nova an invitation was always going to be the cost of getting TCU into the conference and when the football schools made the offer they did so with hope that the offer would be declined, or failing that, wouldn’t be accepted until after TCU was already in at which point the football members could still deny the Wildcats admission since the Catholic schools would no longer have any leverage.

        Like

  30. Steve says:

    Below is an excellent post regarding the Villanova debacle from Borncoog74 on one of the NCAA Big East Boards. Makes complete sense to me. Hope they go to 12 soon.

    “Here is what I think has happened.
    IMO, the Big East had a gentleman’s agreement to go to 12 teams in Football. The Basketball schools agreed to this, but wanted Nova to be one of the schools to help alleviate having to go all the way to 12/20. The Football schools have agreed, but they both wanted to see if Villanova could make it work before they had an official vote to go to 12 because the Basketball schools don’t want to go to 12 without Nova. So publicly, and officially the Big East has only voted to go to 10 until Nova could prove they could make it work.
    TCU was added to go to 9 while we waited on Nova.
    The Football schools have been doing their studies on who the next 2 would be, while waiting on Nova. An outside consulting firm was hired to study the other candidates and decide which ones will have the greatest positive affect on the next TV contract. It is my belief that they already know who the next 2 in line are, but still waiting on Nova.
    I have also read that Notre Dame was influencial in getting Nova a little extra time to make this work. So, Nova was granted the extension, but the commish stated they were not waiting on them if the right candidate came along, in hopes of lighting a fire under them.
    Information started leaking out that Nova was going to use PPL to start out, but was going to expand it to 30,000 before Big East play. Pitt didn’t like that idea and made a public statement indicating so. A shot across the bow, if you will, to let Nova know they had better come strong with a plan.
    Then, as April 12th approached the plan was brought before the Football schools. Going into this meeting the plan was to approve Nova
    and then move to 12 was a virtual lock, but Nova dropped the ball big time. Not only was their plan to play in PPL, but they were only going to add 2,000 temporary seats in the endzone areas. With no set timeline to expand to 30,000 seats or a financial plan to get there. Additionally, Nova didn’t even have an agreement in writing to even use PPL at the time of the presentation.
    Furthermore, they had raised X number of dollars to pay for the upgrade to FBS, but still needed more, so part of their plan was to get the Football schools to help subsidize the move by paying Nova buy-in games to play the Football schools during the transition years at $300,000 per game, plus waive the entry fee into Big East football. The total amount to all of this was going to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $8 – $9 million dollars. Pitt and Rutgers flat out said no WVU and one other program balked as well.
    Also from what I have heard is that Notre Dame is ticked off at this whole thing as well. I am uncertain if ND is upset with Nova for screwing the pooch so bad, especially after they went to bat for them in getting them more time, or at the Football schools for treating Nova this way. I think it is the former rather than the later.
    So, here we are. The football schools want to go to 12, the Basketball schools are ticked at the whole thing and don’t want go to a 12/20 format. There is alot of inner turmoil and uncertainty on where to go from here.
    I believe the Football schools are going to push for adding another #10 now, and give Nova more time. If Nova can’t come up with a acceptable plan, then I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Football schools tell the Basketball schools, “We are going to 12 with or without you, you decide”
    Ending in either a split or 12/20 format.”

    Thoughts?

    Like

    • Richard says:

      Are they so deadset on 12 (and why)?

      Other than BYU (or the pipe dream of picking off Mizzou & KU), there isn’t another school out there that would make such a large expansion worthwhile, IMHO.

      Like

      • zeek says:

        This is the right question.

        There is no reason why 12 is a better number than 10 or 9 if the right teams aren’t there to justify the expansion.

        A major reason why the Big East expanded was for an extra conference game for each team. Going from 7 to 8 was hugely additive in terms of removing a non-conference game since those have become increasingly expensive to set up.

        Once you hit 10, you can have a 9 conference game round robin with just 3 non-conference games. There’s no real reason to make the jump to 12 unless there’s 2 school with compelling value. The CCG itself doesn’t justify adding 2 random teams, since it is typically worth around 1 team’s value.

        Like

        • Phil says:

          The only reason I can think of, and it fits the incompetence of Big East leadership, is that now that the threat of being raided and losing teams to other conferences has ended, Big East leadership is beginning to deal with the threat of being raided by other conferences and thinks going to 12 adds some safety if you lose 2-3 teams.

          Like

        • Brian says:

          You can justify going to 9 by getting rid of an OOC game, and going to 10 makes scheduling easier while making 9 conference games possible.

          Going to 11 would value a balanced conference schedule and possibly getting rid of another OOC game but brings in scheduling issues. 12 solves the scheduling problems and adds a CCG for money.

          Normally a CCG only pays for 1 team, but the BE TV deal is so small that even a poorly paid CCG would pay for 2 teams easily.

          The addition of teams will strengthen the conference. With 12 teams, at least 1 or 2 are going to have a good year more often than with only 8 teams. Also, the greater competition will drive teams to improve. Eventually some good coaches will emerge and lead to good teams again.

          Like

        • frug says:

          In an interview last month West Virginia’s AD actually mentioned the possibility of the conference experimenting with a 10 or even 11 game conference schedule which would necessitate further expansion if they intended to keep a true round robin schedule.

          Like

    • ezdozen says:

      This makes complete sense to me.

      As for 12 teams… here is my logic:

      North:

      WVU/Pitt (rivalry/geography)

      Syracuse/UConn (rivalry)

      Rutgers/Nova (geography)

      South:

      USF/UCF (rivalry/geography)

      TCU/Houston (geography)

      Lville/Cincy (geography)

      The scheduling is easy: play all teams in division, plus one each from the pairings in the other division. Every year, every northern team would play a Florida team and a Texas team. Not bad for recruiting.

      8 games = 4 OOC games. An improvement over the present 5. TCU makes it 4. This concept would leave it at 4.

      Look at the markets the Big East adds overall to football… Philly, Houston, Dallas, and Orlando. While the slice of the pie added may be small as there are much more tempting options in those cities… the pie is much bigger in those cities to begin with. While the other 5 conferences can be choosy, the Big East cannot.

      Regardless, without Penn St. and Boston College… there simply is NO regional, 12-team conference that will ever work. That ship sailed. So the Big East will always, by definition, look different than the other conferences.

      For basketball… 19 teams (with Nova)… means an 18 game schedule with no unbalanced scheduling (i.e. random or non-random assignment of the teams to play twice). Plus, 9 home, 9 away.

      Once you are beyond the ideal of 12… whether it is a prime number is of little consequence. And 19 actually works out pretty good. For the BET, they could have the lower 6 teams play a Sunday game to qualify. And then proceed as in the past few years.

      Of course, if Nova is a no-go, then there is Temple. 20 overall teams has a nice ring to it because everyone loves even numbers and round numbers. At that point, perhaps you can divide up the league into two divisions for basketball. Maybe a zipper format:

      Syracuse-Georgetown
      Marquette-ND
      Nova-Temple
      USF-UCF
      TCU-Houston
      StJohns-Providence
      Pitt-WVU
      Cincy-Depaul
      UConn-Lville
      Rutgers-Seton Hall

      Who knows?

      Like

      • ezdozen says:

        Or regional for the 10 team conferences. Georgetown is a loser because it moves away from the traditional region. In contrast, it benefits by shifting to a conference with fewer powers. And if there is a location for a school to be playing teams from outside a local region, it is DC, where there are ample transplants.

        Northeast:

        Syracuse
        Nova
        Temple
        St J
        Providence

        Pitt
        WVU
        Rutgers
        Seton Hall
        UConn

        Southwest:

        Georgetown
        Notre Dame
        Marquette
        Lville
        Cincy

        DePaul
        USF
        UCF
        TCU
        Houston

        Like

      • Tim says:

        @Ezdozen that is exactly the conference layout and rivalry matchups I drew up earlier this week. If the Big East does expand to 12 there is no better way to split it up.

        If Nova doesn’t work and the Big East goes to 20 teams, then the current 18 game basketball schedule won’t work. Is it possible the league would move to 20 games (which would allow 1 repeat game against a rival).

        The concept the feasibility of expanding and the monetary or RPI impacts of expanding to 20 conference games has never been discussed.

        Your thoughts?

        Like

        • ezdozen says:

          I think the NCAA allowing 11 Big East teams in this year was a major milestone. I do not understand why they scheduled Round of 32 matchups unnecessarily… particularly where four of the five hottest teams were paired up in subregionals… but this does make it possible that the Big East could go to 20 teams and have 12 make the Big Dance.

          With scheduling… and most conferences being unbalanced somehow… not sure it would matter if they went to 19 conference games with 20 teams. 10 home, 9 away. Or, they could split into two divisions and have round-robin within the division. This might make it easier for the NCAA by almost treating each Big East division as a separate conference for purposes of scheduling March games. Maybe 5 from the West, 7 from the East some years.

          From an RPI standpoint, there are just too many good basketball schools there for any top ranked conference team to NOT do well. And, to whatever extent there is an RPI hit, it would be matched by a better record. Remember, UConn and Marquette were .500 teams in conference. Put them in easier divisions and they probably go 12-6 and loom more the part.

          Like

      • Richard says:

        I seriously doubt Syracuse-Georgetown, Syracuse-Villanova, Pitt, Villanova, or even Pitt-WVU would be OK with not playing each other twice a year in basketball. If you see further expansion in basketball, expect to see the basketball teams get split up by region with essentially 2 basketball conferences: ND/DePaul/Marquette/Cincy/Louisville with the Florida and Texas schools in one and the NE schools in the other.

        Like

  31. ccrider55 says:

    I enjoy the Keystone Cops.

    Like

  32. Jake says:

    Let’s see … Big East expansion, Big 12 revenues … guess I should weigh in on this one, as it seems to be relevant to my interests. But I don’t really have anything new to say on this one. I wasn’t a fan of Nova moving up from the beginning, and I hope this new contract convinces everyone that KU, KSU and Mizzou ain’t leaving the Big X for the BEast (even though I know some folks will never give up the dream).

    And I will once again call upon the Big East to pursue BYU as its 10th football member. It’s the only program that can help them that’s reasonably attainable.

    Like

    • cfn_ms says:

      I tend to agree w/ you that KU/MU to the Big East is dead barring someone else blowing up the B12… which seems fairly unlikely in the short to middle term (the only somewhat plausible idea I can think of is A&M to SEC… and even that seems like a big reach given the current state of affairs).

      FWIW, I think that if the Big East definitely wants to expand (which I think is a mistake) and they can’t somehow convince ND (which seems highly dubious), then BYU probably makes more sense than any other idea. Though I’d again say that standing pat at 9 probably makes the most sense.

      Unless they can make a meaningful splash, they might as well wait and see. Certainly they can wait and see for a year or two on BYU; if the Cougars get really hot that would help the Big East with the post-2014 AQ debate, and if not then they’re better off not going in that direction.

      And IMO none of the CUSA teams will ever get hot enough to make it remotely sensible to pick them up, even as an associate, football-only member. UCF has never been good and their ceiling is probably the edges of the top 25 barring some crazy run. ECU has never been really good and they’re the fifth wheel (MAYBE the fourth) in a state which shouldn’t even be supporting three AQ programs, much less the four that it has, much less a fifth one. No one Houston cares about UHouston, and that will probably never change. etc etc etc.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        I wouldn’t be so quick to rule UCF and Houston out as they sit in areas with loads of talent.

        In the ’80’s, a small private school in southern Florida with a small alumni base managed to vault themselves to the top of the college football world with a decades-long run of winning despite poor resources and middling fan support.

        In the ’00’s, a small private school in noth Texas with a small alumni base managed to vault themselves in to an AQ conference with a decade-long run of winning despite middling resources and middling fan support.

        I don’t think it makes sense to add them now, but UCF and Houston are both public schools with bigger alumni bases, and if they manage to follow the path Miami and TCU tread, I don’t see why you think their ceilings are so low. After all, did you think that Miami was going to go on a “crazy run” back in 1979 or TCU in 1999?

        Like

        • greg says:

          Miami and TCU may have come from nowhere, but it would have been a bad decision for an AQ conference to invite them BEFORE they had any success, which you are suggesting for UCF.

          The Big East has been the halfway house of AQ conferences, with a constantly changing membership. For once they are making a 50 year decision by inviting Villanova, and they are getting bashed by the “ADs playing Risk” mindshare.

          Like

      • Jake says:

        BYU makes sense no matter how they do in football in the near future. That’s a solid program that may have some down years, but generally they’ll at least be pretty good with a lot of top 25 appearances. Plus they have a big fan base (certainly by Big East standards) that would be a big selling point in any TV negotiations. That one should be a no-brainer for the BEast; the trick is convincing the Notre Dame of the West.

        Everyone else mentioned needs to prove they belong. More winning, bigger crowds, something. And it’s not like any other conference is going to take Houston or UCF, so no rush. Unless one of the TV partners insists that it will help the rights deal significantly, in which case, yeah, I guess. Staying at nine is my preference for the moment.

        Like

    • frug says:

      I can’t see BYU working. The logistics make it nearly impossible for them to be a full member (the Big East is already having to deal with the scheduling difficulties of a 17 team conference that stretches from Connecticut to Milwaukee to Dallas to South Florida and adding school in Utah that refuses to play on Sundays would be nightmarish) and financial concerns make a football only move unlikely (the BEast football TV deal is so awful that BYU may earn a comparable amount as an independent in addition to the other benefits of independence). The financial issue could change in 2014-15 when new TV contracts will be negotiated, but who knows what the Big East will look like then (assuming there still is a Big East).

      Like

      • bullet says:

        The idea of BYU is ONLY as a football member.

        I think being in an AQ conference significantly outweighs any minor TV$ difference (I doubt the $ would be negative, but they wouldn’t be significantly negative). Its true even more so because of BYU’s mission. They want exposure more than $.

        BYU would definitely say yes. The question is whether it is beneficial to the BE schools. As the “1” in an 11/18 + 1 they make a lot of sense even if the geography doesn’t fit. If the B1G, Big 12 and Atlantic 10 can fail math, the Big East can fail geography.

        Like

        • frug says:

          Not really sure how much extra exposure joining the BEast would get the Cougars. ESPN is already going to broadcast all their home games except maybe one (BYU retains the right to broadcast one of their football games live on their TV network but could allow ESPN to broadcast it also). Yeah more people on the East coast would care about them if they played in the Big East but that was true for TCU and the Horned Frogs said that the joining the Big East was all or nothing (i.e. no partial membership). Moreover, it is not clear that the league would be willing to let BYU keep the football broadcast rights it currently has (specifically, one live broadcast and unlimited replay rights).

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Well, going 10-2 in the BE would probably get them a BCS bowl, which is a lot more exposure than they get now unless they go 12-0.

            I agree, the regular season TV exposure might not increase much, although time slots and the amount of ESPN discussion will vary.

            Like

          • Jake says:

            @Frug – There’s a big difference between ESPNU (which is where they’ll be when they play WAC teams) and ESPN, which is what they would get in the BEast. Let BYU keep their games with ND and Texas (the heart of their current ESPN deal), and replace the WAC games with Big East. No question the exposure would be better, even if they don’t make a BCS game. As for the money, the BEast is currently working on a new deal that should be a significant improvement, and adding BYU would only help that.

            As for all sports or football only … the latter certainly makes sense for travel and the Big East’s basketball structure. And TCU may have said that it was all or nothing, but I’m not sure what we would have done if we’d been given a choice between football only membership or staying in the unraveling MWC. I’m not sure how far along the negotiations were when our AD made that comment.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            To add to that, TCU certainly wanted to be all or nothing, as travel costs to the BE schools for non-football sports would be similar to travel to nearly any other semi-major conference, and the BE is much more prestigious, of course.

            BYU may actually _not_ want to be in the BE instead of the WCC for all sports other than football, as their travel costs would explode if they join the BE for everything (and they have a lot more fans on the west coast than the east).

            Like

  33. Penn State Danny says:

    IF there is a split, (with Villanova not moving up), then I think that the BE could add Houston and UCF and either Temple, Memphis or ECU to make 12.

    I still don’t think that there will be a split though. I think that all of these incompetents deserve each other.

    I wonder how often Pitt and Syracuse regret not starting the all sports eastern conference that Paterno wanted back in the 80s. If my memory serves those 2 schools (along with BC) were the biggest opponents.

    Like

    • ezdozen says:

      Not sure that is correct. My understanding is that Syracuse wanted the all-sports conference with Penn St.

      In any event, the only meaningful difference is $$$. But money doesn’t guarantee success. When do we expect to see Minnesota, Purdue, Indiana, and Northwestern playing an SEC team for the title? Frankly, is anyone other than Ohio St., Nebraska, or Wisconsin, even capable of reaching those heights these days?

      Tradition and stability are nice. However, if $$$ is most important, I am not sure that a NE conference could have kept up with the Big 10’s $$$ anyway.

      It is a damn shame, however, that we never got to see it get off the ground. Oh well.

      Like

      • R says:

        In 1982, Dick Gavitt, BE commissioner, got the BE to offer Pitt a membership because he was concerned that Pitt would join with PSU in an all sports conference, and that Syracuse and Boston College would leave the BE and join Pittsburgh, Penn State, Rutgers, Temple and West Virginia to create that conference. If Syracuse wanted that all-sports with PSU, they did very little to make it happen!

        Like

        • ezdozen says:

          Not that it matters, but according to Tranghese, Syracuse A.D. Jake Crouthamel was a big supporter of PSU joining the Big East.

          http://thequad.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/09/quad-qa-big-east-commissioner-mike-tranghese/?emc=eta1

          From Tranghese:

          I look back on the 30 years, and I think we made one major mistake. We had a chance to take Penn State in 1982 and we didn’t. You look back on it and the whole face of college athletics would be changed now. If we had taken Penn State in 1982, we may still have football independents. The idea wasn’t to take Penn State and start a football league. It was to give Penn State a place. And then they would have been aligned with Syracuse and Boston College. We probably would have brought Pitt in, too, and the four of them probably would have agreed to play and continue as independents. I think the whole face of college football would have changed. I don’t think Florida State would have moved and Miami would have moved. All of it came about when Penn State made the decision to go to the Big Ten. I thought that in 1982, I was just a young staffer at this meeting. Dave wanted to go to Penn State and extend the invitation. But he couldn’t if we didn’t have the votes. And we had eight teams and needed six votes and it was a 5-3 vote. It was probably the only time that Dave couldn’t drive a final decision in the years that he was the commissioner. I was just a staffer. I could say whatever I wanted to Dave. At the end of our meeting, Dave asked what I thought. In fact, it’s in our minutes. I said, ‘We will rue the day over this decision.’ And it’s been pretty prophetic.

          Q: Paterno has always tagged a lot of that on former Syracuse A.D. Jake Crouthamel, right?

          Answer:

          Despite all the negativity that comes out about Jake, he fought like crazy for Penn State to be in the league. Syracuse and Boston College really fought to have Penn State because Jake understood the importance of Penn State. What happened in the previous fall, Penn State had tried to form a football league. Coach Paterno has laid a lot of this at Jake’s feet, which I think is wrong. What never got written was that the basketball league was being pretty successful and they couldn’t agree on revenue sharing in football. There wasn’t going to be any revenue sharing. Jake just wasn’t going to do that. The next year Dave brought it up for discussion and Jake was absolutely supportive. We voted five different times and all five times Jake voted for Penn State. And Bill Flynn at Boston College, God rest his soul, voted for Penn State all five times. The reason that they didn’t get in was that the league was new, a lot of the directors felt it was a basketball league. Some of the directors felt that the concept of the Big East was big markets. It was a 5-3 vote that changed the face of history.

          THUS:

          The only way to pin this on Syracuse is if you believe that it would have made sense for Syracuse to give up certain money to join a new conference without any history. However, nobody here thinks that anyone should be leaving the Big 12 or the ACC to join the Big East.

          Like

          • @ezdozen – To be fair to those Big East schools that voted against Penn State, my understanding is that (1) Penn State was asking for control of ALL of its football revenue but still share basketball revenue equally (which makes Texas look like Mother Theresa) and (2) even if this eastern league was formed, Penn State as an institution was already angling for Big Ten membership in the early-1980s, anyway, so we likely would’ve been in the same place today.

            Like

        • R says:

          @ ezdozen

          Pinning? Nope! I come in praise of Cuse, not to bury them. Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou, for not giving up the riches of the BE basketball for the unknown of an all-sports conference with aforementioned universities.

          Like

          • R says:

            @FTF(above)

            And why do you presume PSU was angling for the Big Ten in the early 80s? Maybe because they couldn’t get an all sports conference in the east! That is what Paterno, er, I mean, avaricious PSU, always wanted. I have a difficult time accepting your proposition that PSU would have left an eastern conference for the Big Ten.

            Like

          • @R – It’s been quoted by others here before, but the Penn State president who was hired circa 1982 wrote in his memoir that it was specifically an institutional objective to get Big Ten membership and he essentially worked on that from day one. It wasn’t just about sports – the academic association was just as important. As a result, Penn State’s membership in the Big East likely would’ve been even more temporary than Miami’s later on.

            Like

          • R says:

            @FTT
            I think where we diverge is the timeline. Yes, they began angling for the Big Ten, but only after their hopes of an eastern all-sports was lost. That left them with the Big Ten or the ACC for possible membership.

            Like

          • @R – The eastern league was Paterno’s personal vision, but what I’m referring to is the academic institution as a whole (not just the athletic department). Here’s a history of Penn State’s entry and transition to the Big Ten:

            http://collegesportsinfo.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=1738

            Joining the Big Ten had been talked about informally at Penn State for years by the time Bryce Jordan became the school’s president in 1983 and he basically set it as the school’s goal from the very beginning of his tenure.

            Like

      • Brian says:

        ezdozen,

        In addition to OSU, NE and WI, certainly PSU, MI and IA are capable of getting to a title game. MSU and IL might be able to have a perfect storm season, too, and have come somewhat close recently.

        Like

  34. bullet says:

    Generally positive comments about Villanova from WVU’s AD. There is, however, a gag order.

    http://newsandsentinel.com/page/content.detail/id/546859/Luck-tackles-beer-sales.htmlnav?=5063

    Like

  35. bullet says:

    Another article talking about future BE expansion and why Villanova? from someone who has talked to several BE sources.

    Like

  36. bullet says:

    Telling that most of the informative BE stories that come from papers come only from WV. The rest of the BE doesn’t seem to pay attention.

    http://www.dailymail.com/ap/ApTopStories/201104150312

    Like

    • ezdozen says:

      Pretty interesting about the beer. I think it makes great sense to sell beer, as Luck noted.

      As a Syracuse fan, it is nice to be able to have a beer at the game. When I attend road games, there is a tendency to over-drink because you know you cannot have a beer inside the stadium. In tailgating before a MSU/Michigan game, I saw plenty of folks that were passed out before the game even started. That is inevitable, but I think that more people would pace themselves if they knew there would not be a 3+ hour period of 100% absence of alcohol.

      Like

  37. Michael in Indy says:

    There’s been discussion that the 8 Big 12 schools besides OU and UT could start a network together. I’ll call it the “Other 8 Network” for clarity’s sake. The problem is that Fox’s huge number of games that its networks will be televising wouldn’t leave a lot of football games for the Other 8 Network to show. Consider…

    Collectively, Big 12 teams will play 75 games a year:
    – 45 B12 vs. B12 games
    – 30 non-conference games (not accounting for bowl games or for teams who play 13 games because of the Hawaii rule)

    Of those 75 games, 40 will be on a Fox network and 18 will be on ABC/ESPN. This leaves only 17 games that won’t appear on either platform. One of those 17 will be on the Longhorn Network. Another will be on OU’s network.

    Of the remaining 15 games involving Big 12 teams, I would guesstimate that at least five would be non-conference road games (or neutral site games with the opponent serving as host).

    This leaves only 10 football games for the Other 8 Network to work with, none of which could be UT or OU home games, and the vast majority of them would be at the beginning of the season against weak opponents. In-conference games on the Other 8 Network would be limited to games with a cellar dwellar or two. In other words, the selection would be a far cry from what the Big Ten Network offers.

    With those things in mind, is there any way an Other 8 Network could even get off the ground?

    Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      Doesn’t that number of available games assume that all non-conference games are home?

      Like

    • cfn_ms says:

      It’d basically be 1 FB game per school, plus likely some amount of BB content, and then a whole lot of 3rd tier stuff. Basically Longhorn Network without the Texas brand. It could exist, but I’d be surprised if it pulled in much money.

      Like

      • Michael in Indy says:

        I think it would have a good chance of getting on basic cable in all of Kansas, all of Oklahoma (even without OU content), and most of Missouri.

        Could it get on basic cable in Texas, or at least certain parts of Texas? Is Iowa State popular enough in its own state to get it on in Des Moines?

        Whatever the case may be, it would hard to generate the kind of money anywhere comparable to what Texas will make with the Longhorn Network.

        Like

        • cfn_ms says:

          Basic cable at what rate though? If it can only command something like $0.05 per household per month, that’s not much money. And if they hold out for a big payout, they’ll probably get shut out of a lot of markets.

          Like

    • bullet says:

      The math doesn’t seem to work.

      75-40-18=17
      Odds are 10 games are road games that the league doesn’t have rights to. That leaves 7 for 10 teams. But there was discussion they would be able to hold one game apiece. So the only way that would work would be if 3 played in Hawaii each year or skipped all road games (I think all the B12 teams now-and OU and UT in the future-do at least 1 road game).

      Like

      • Nostradamus says:

        @bullet working off of the 2011 schedule (I realize the new FSN deal isn’t in effect, but it is the only full schedule to look at)there are 66 games that would fall under the Big XII contract.

        66-40-18=8. Still two short. It will be interesting to see how they handle that.

        Like

      • Richard says:

        Likely, to make the math work, schools like ISU, KSU, and Baylor pass on their 1 “owned” home game since they wouldn’t be able to monetize it anyway, and that way all of their home games can be seen on TV by their fans.

        Like

    • frug says:

      Each school is entitled to live broadcast one home football game and 8-13 home MBB games.

      Like

      • Nostradamus says:

        Everyone gets that. The problem here is in order for the Big XII to fulfill their 58 game inventory now with 10 teams and a 9 game conference schedule, your 10 teams can only play 7 road games. This puts the Big XII in a tough spot.

        Like Bullet, I agree that pretty much all of the Big XII teams end up playing 1 road game a year (still end up with 7 home games if you aren’t playing a neutral site game); just from the standpoint that this conference is going to have to schedule competitive non-conference games. Competitive non-conference games means home and homes.

        Like

        • frug says:

          Ok, I see the issue now. Does anyone know how many games the PAC-10 owed to their media partners under their old deal?

          Like

          • Nostradamus says:

            I believe it is 20 to ABC/ESPN and 18 to FSN (five of these subleased to Versus) for a total of 48. That is obviously more doable in the context of what the Big 12 is proposing.

            Like

  38. Nostradamus says:

    Don’t think my post went through so I’ll try this without a link. Per the WSJ: Pac-12 is asking for $2.3 billion over 10 years for their media rights.

    Like

    • Michael in Indy says:

      As great as the ACC’s $155 million/year media rights deal seemed last summer, John Swofford, ACC commissioner, has to be kicking himself to see the Big 12 and Pac-12 come from behind and vault well beyond his league less than a year later.

      A lot has changed since then that could have made it better. FSU football is coming back, and with that comeback should come vastly improved ratings for the top ACC games. Miami could be coming back as well.

      But the biggest factor is the change of the marketplace. Seriously, the fact that ACC games are played at times when most of the country can easily watch them is a huge edge over the Pac-12. I’d also be willing to bet that the ratings for ACC football games in DC, Atlanta, North Carolina markets, and Florida markets are better than Pac-12 ratings in that league’s home markets. Neither league has many headline brands compared to the SEC & Big Ten.

      But I’ve got to hand it to Larry Scott if can pull off numbers like that. Just imagine how much better the TV contracts could be for the ACC or Big East with him as commissioner.

      Like

      • cfn_ms says:

        For the ACC, I’d actually guess the ratings are worse, b/c everyone in those markets is watching SEC football instead. But I do agree w/ you that ACC is probably kicking itself for its TV deal, though it’s still a nice upgrade over what it used to be if I remember right. It’s the downside of making a long-term deal; there’s always the chance that the next guy will blow by you and you’ll be stuck with your current deal.

        Like

        • Michael in Indy says:

          Well, having grown up in SC, Clemson fans always seemed to outnumber SC fans, so I think the ACC has a slight edge in that state. I’ve also lived in North Carolina, and UNC and NCSU are definitely much more popular than any SEC team, which makes sense because there are no SEC teams in that state, or in Virginia, Maryland, or Massachusetts either. I would agree that the U of Florida is the most popular team in their state; however, having grown up going on vacations to different parts of Florida, especially my grandparents who lived just 30 miles from Gainesville, I can assure you that FSU has a sizable fanbase in the state of Florida in its own right. Now, when it comes to Georgia Tech, their fanbase is definitely tiny compared to UGA.

          I’m not saying that the SEC isn’t very popular in the ACC’s states. I’m just saying that other than in Florida or Georgia, it’s the most popular college football conference in the states it represents.

          Like

          • cfn_ms says:

            Mainly meant Atlanta and Florida. Would presume ACC would rule the NC market (if not, given that they have 4 there and SEC 0, that would just be sad) and DC market (ditto).

            Like

  39. cutter says:

    http://www.detnews.com/article/20110416/SPORTS0201/104160385/Michigan-Notre-Dame-series-might-be-affected-by-new-Big-Ten-schedule

    Michigan-Notre Dame series might be affected by new Big Ten schedule

    ANGELIQUE CHENGELIS
    The Detroit News

    Ann Arbor — Much was made of comments Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon made earlier in the week about playing a game in Florida.

    Brandon attended an alumni function in Naples, Fla., and was asked by the Naples Daily News if Michigan would consider playing a regular-season game in Florida.

    Brandon said he and Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, a Michigan alum and major donor, had discussed the possibility of playing a neutral-site game at Sun Life Stadium, the NFL’s Miami Dolphins’ home field.

    “We have a terrific fan base in Florida,” Brandon said Saturday. “It’s tricky. It’s a lot harder to come up with the right timing for that. I don’t think we want to go down and play a Florida team in August (because of the heat). So it would have to be a situation in the schedule we could play a non-conference game later on in the season.

    “There’s nothing imminent, and it’s going to be tricky, but it’s something that we continue to take a look at to make it happen.”

    The Big Ten has released its conference football schedules through 2014. The conference will likely at some point move to a nine-game conference schedule for its 12 members, Brandon said, and that will affect how teams schedule non-conference games.

    How will that affect the Michigan-Notre Dame series? The current contract gives the teams flexibility, Brandon said, to take a break from the series if there’s some other game they want to pursue.

    “A big part of this is the Big Ten schedule and plans for when and how we move to a nine-game schedule,” Brandon said. “That’s going to have a big bearing on how we manage our non-conference games so if that happens, when that happens — and I think it’s when — that’ll be a moment we’ll have to take a hard look at our schedule and see what we will do.

    “I have to have seven home games a year. If you think about a nine-game Big Ten schedule, there will be one year I have four home games and one year I have five. In the year that I have four, I have to play every one of my non-conference games at home, so I can’t be in a world where I have four Big Ten home games and I’m supposed to play Notre Dame (in South Bend). I can’t live in that world. Those are the kinds of issues I have to deal with.”

    Like

    • PSUGuy says:

      Basically this is the same thing every other team in the B1G is saying.

      They all want to go to 9 games to maximize BTN content and thus $$$ for the conference, but they still need to maintain those 7 home games a year.

      Having Mich play likes of ND or OSU play USC on a regular basis (or even every year) is still doable, but there may be a year (2014/2015?) where they need to “reset” the home-away years to better align with the B1G 4 and 5 home game years.

      Like

      • cfn_ms says:

        It’s even worse than that when you look closely at it. Let’s say that Michigan and ND align their games so that Michigan hosts when they have 4 league home games and is away when they have 5. That makes 10 games spoken for, five and home and five away.

        That means that ALL of Michigan’s other games need to be home in order to have seven at home every year. Basically that means that they can only do respectable home and homes in years where they’re not playing ND, and that they’re going to have two annual bodybags every year (unless they pay a LOT of money for a reasonably respectable opponent to go to Michigan w/ no return game, or unless they accept that some years they won’t have seven home games).

        The real argument supporting 9 league games is that the TV money will be so much better that Michigan et all won’t NEED to have seven home games each and every year. If that happens then 9 league games will probably go through. And if it doesn’t, then the only way it’s likely to go through is if the CFB regular season schedule expands AGAIN, which I doubt is on the table anytime soon.

        Like

        • @cfn_ms – True, but that’s largely what Michigan has been doing now, anyway (with all non-conference games being at home except for the ND series) with infrequent exceptions. It would be one thing if more games against Alabama-types come up, but they’re not giving up the ND series so that they can play UConn-types. I really think this is more of a way for the Michigan AD to put this issue in the public eye and put pressure on the Big Ten when it goes to a 9-game conference schedule to ensure that Michigan’s rotation falls in a way that allows them to play ND and always have 7 home games. Michigan has long been on the record as supporting more conference games even before expansion and had actually looked at scheduling Big Ten teams that fell off their schedule as non-conference games, so I don’t think they’re going to be a roadblock at. They just want to use their leverage to make sure the ND series doesn’t get messed with.

          Like

        • By the way, I’d compare it to the talk about moving the Michigan-Ohio State game to the middle of the season or a 96-team NCAA Tournament. Ultimately, they were much ado about nothing. I’d put the prospect of the ND-Michigan series being halted in that same category.

          Like

          • cutter says:

            I don’t know if the rivalry would be halted, but it has been reported that there will be a two-year break in 2018/19.

            There has been precedent on Michigan’s side for stopping the series. During the early 1990s, Notre Dame began scheduling opponents prior to what was supposed to be the mutual season opener for both teams. Bo Schembechler was AD at the time and he wasn’t happy with the situation–he was thinking strongly about stopping it, but his successor did two things. First off, he got scheduled opponents to move dates, so Michigan had a game in hand when it played Notre Dame. He also sat down with the ND officials and worked out a more formal scheduling agreement for the latter part of the 1990s.

            The 1998 Michigan-Notre Dame game was the season opener for both teams, but in 1999, ND opted to play in one of the pre-season “classics” against Virginia as a warm up game prior to what was supposed to be the mutual season opener for both squads in Ann Arbor. Lloyd Carr stated that Notre Dame had broken their “gentleman’s agreement” on the series, and henceforth, Michigan hasn’t opened the season because of it. U-M has always scheduled at least one game prior to playing ND and will probably continue to do so as long as Carr has breath in his body. We all know the adage about a team making its biggest improvements between the first and second games of the season–it was something Carr believed as well.

            There were also rumbling around Michigan that U-M was going to cancel the series during the previous AD’s tenure. Bill Martin faced the same problem that David Brandon does, except in his case, Michigan was playing ND, OSU and Penn State all at home or all away. It didn’t come off because I suspect U-M had assurances from the B1G office that PSU would be rotated off the schedule and then brought on again so that the PSU and OSU games were one home/one away. The expansion of the conference to include Nebraska changed all that, and we’re back to the same problem as before.

            The article I linked above clearly gives you an idea where David Brandon is thinking–or at least, what he’s saying publicly. Come 2015, the Big Ten might flip the schedule such that the Nebraska and Ohio State games are one home and one away so that the ND series can continue as currently scheduled (odd numbered years in Ann Arbor, even numbered years in South Bend).

            But if that doesn’t happen, I can see him dropping the ND series and getting some other major opponent to play a home-and-home series other than Notre Dame.

            Right now, the reason why Notre Dame doesn’t want to change the format is because the Michigan and USC games are one home/one away. Changing the years U-M plays ND means having both those games home or away.

            Michigan just sold out all its suites and premium seating, so from a financial and customer satisfaction standpoing, Brandon realizes he has to have at least seven home games per year. Obviously, there’s some flexibility in that because Michigan is losing a home game in 2012 to open the season in Dallas against Alabama (with a hefty pay day from Jerry Jones to do it). The article also discusses a possible neutral site game in Florida as well. I think the objective here is get Michigan into the prime recruiting areas in the southeast and Texas.

            That recruiting angle may be one of the reasons why the Michigan-Notre Dame series might get changed up a bit. Since U-M will have one major non-conference opponent per year (regardless of an eight- or nine-game conference schedule taking place), Brandon has to figure out what he wants to do with it. Does it make sense to play Notre Dame more years than not or should he diversify his opponents (which is something Ohio State is doing)? Does it make sense to play a home-and-home with Florida State or Texas or LSU from that standpoint or not?

            We’ll see what happens. The non-MAC non-conference opponents are getting to be more expensive. I understand Michigan will be playing San Diego State $1.0M for the 2011 season and Air Force is getting $1.1M for the 2012 season.

            I also read, but an awaiting more formal confirmation, that the Pac 12 scheduling agreement calls for the schools from that conference to play all their non-conference games prior to Pac 12 play (while will be nine conference games). Those games currently under contract get grandfathered in, which means the USC-ND game will continue as before through the end of this decade. Once the contract ends though, I have to imagine that game will be played in September and not in the October/November time frame it is currently scheduled. Would Notre Dame be willing to play both Michigan and USC in the first month of the season? I don’t know, but the current ND schedule for 2015/16 has them opening the season with Texas and then Michigan during the following week. If that schedule holds, there would be precedent on hand.

            Like

        • Nostradamus says:

          @cfn_ms,
          Look at Michigan’s schedule for last year and think of this as just getting rid of the Bowling Green or UMass buyout or bodybag games. None of the “big” schools are playing more than two non-conference road games in a given year for the exact reason Dave Brandon mentioned they all need 7 home games now…

          Under a 8 game conference schedule they are all pretty much playing 4 conference home games 3-4 non-conference home games. Under a 9 game conference schedule you can still mimic virtually the same scheduling pattern. It just takes a little more planning.

          Undoubtedly if the conference adopts a 9 game schedule(which appears likely as soon as 2015), some schools may have to approach non-conference opponents and ask for dates to be flipped. A 4 year warning gives everyone a lot of time to get that worked out.

          Like

          • Nostradamus says:

            @cfn_ms,
            on further reflection I do get what you are saying though. If you want a 9 game conference schedule and 7 home games, your options are especially limited if you want to play a home and home with say Notre Dame every year.

            Even if you don’t have a locked in series like Nebraska it will still mean changes. Like I mentioned Nebraska likes to schedule overlapping home and home series. With 9 games you’d have to stop that practice and spread the home and homes out.

            I do get where you are coming from though. Again, I don’t think either situation the Nebraska or Michigan scenario is necessarily bad after the switch, just different.

            Like

        • Richard says:

          I foresee Michigan playing ND something like 6 out of 8 or 8 out of 10 years, with frequent breaks to allow in other home-and-homes or neutral site games. BTW, I foresee MSU doing this as well.

          Like

      • Nostradamus says:

        Exactly PSUGuy.
        The 9 game schedule not only maximizes the BTN and ABC/ESPN contracts, but you also have the issue of AD’s not overly thrilled by paying near $1 million to a Sunbelt team. The 9th game gets rid of one of those games.

        I also agree that this whole issue isn’t that big of a deal. Nebraska follows a similar philosophy of scheduling home and homes or 2 for 1’s in such a way that they are on the road for one non-conference game a year. In a 9 game conference schedule it is just a matter of syncing the home game of the home and home non-conference series to coincide with the year you have 4 conference home games. That obviously takes some doing as the Big XII is finding out (still doesn’t have a schedule), but if you pick a year say 2015 right now and say we will do it starting then, schools have time to sort out the kinks.

        Like

    • frug says:

      They could always suck it up and just go with 6 games every other year like USC… not that it will actually happen.

      Like

      • loki_the_bubba says:

        Every team should be required to have a balanced home/away schedule every year. Competitive balance pushed back closer to normal and problems solved. But the greed of most large schools will never let this happen.

        Like

        • cfn_ms says:

          If they were required to play even home/away splits they would NEVER play the small schools. Big schools almost always restrict home and homes to those they consider equals or near-equals. That’s never going to change.

          Like

        • Brian says:

          Balancing schedules would be terrible for the big boys and the little guys. They would all lose a lot of money, forcing big schools to cut teams and little schools to reconsider being I-A. Only the middle level teams would possibly benefit.

          Like

  40. Phil says:

    Another thing the Big East teams can fight over is the renewal of the TV contract. The BB-only teams want to renew with ESPN now (probably to keep a split from ever happening), while the football schools want to see how things play out with other suitors.

    It does make sense to me to open this up, because the trend for ESPN has not been great and if things on the Pac 10 deal don’t go their way they may have to sweeten a Big East offer.

    Either way, ESPN’s offer right now I believe gets the football schools to around $9mm a year, which while paling in comparison to other conferences, is much better than some of the predictions bandied about on this site.

    http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2011/04/18/Media/ESPN-Big-East.aspx

    Like

    • frug says:

      The non-football schools may be pushing for a deal now because coming off they figure after getting 11 bids to the NCAA tournament and having the reining national champs they will never have more leverage.

      Like

      • Michael in Indy says:

        I just don’t see how the football schools would benefit from signing an extension now. Whatever deal ESPN offers now will be worth as much or more next year.

        Plus, if, for whatever reason, the football schools are considering splitting off, they’re better off waiting just long enough to remain members of the Big East through the 2012-13 season, which is the final year of the current media contract. That way, the football schools would avoid accusations from ESPN and/or the non-football schools of breach of contract. If an announcement was done sometime in mid-fall, the basketball schools would have time to decide which expansion candidates of their would help them the most in negotiating their own television contract in the spring/early summer of 2012.

        Either way, the football schools hold all the cards. They are more successful in basketball than the non-FB schools. Six out of eight FB schools made the Dance this year, and one of them was the national champion. They appear on television more often than the non-FB schools.

        Like

        • frug says:

          I agree with you on that. Really the only motivation to football schools would have is that by signing a deal early they can a raise next year instead of two years from now and I doubt that’s enough to sway them.

          Like

  41. bullet says:

    UMass to MAC for football only to become official on Wednesday:

    http://www.gazettenet.com/2011/04/20/umass-upgrade-football-program-joining-mid-american-conference-1

    Makes sense for the MAC to get even numbers and expand with a flagship. Not as easy a decision for UMass since they spend money with no significant guaranteed TV money. But they are one of very few flagship universities in FCS (only UC-Davis, non-scholarship SUNY schools and schools from small states) and the next largest state w/o any flagship in FBS is New Hampshire (NY has Buffalo-and of course CA has UCLA and Cal). Had they moved up 10 years ago, Big East might have invited them instead of Villanova. BE would certainly like to get back to Massachusetts.

    Like

    • m (Ag) says:

      I agree, UMass probably has more potential than any FCS school, but this is strange:

      “The press conference will likely come Wednesday at Gillette Stadium, as UMass is expected to announce an agreement with the New England Patriots to play as many as five games a year in Foxboro.”

      I looked it up, and google says Amherst to Foxborough is 2 hours. Now I know that there are more people there, but you’re completely removing yourself from your students and your university if you’re playing nearly your entire schedule 2 hours away. I would have thought a better long term plan would have been to gradually increase your stadium and try to build up the traditional college gameday experience, supported by the local community, over time.

      Like

      • boomdonkey says:

        Lived in Amherst for about 5 years and have some ideas why the games will be at Foxborough. Umass usually gets decent student turnout at games, but fan support from people in Springfield/Western Mass area has been tepid, even when Umass was making runs in the fcs playoffs. Couple this with the fact that most Umass alumni live in the Boston area (and New Englanders aren’t known to drive long distances for much of anything), and I can see why they want to play a lot of home games at Foxborough.

        Like

      • bullet says:

        Saw some discussion that they may just be playing in Gillette until their on campus stadium is renovated. But that wasn’t from any school official. Seems like they would like to play in Gillette at least once a season anyway. They drew 32k there for a game against New Hampshire last fall.

        Like

    • Michael in Indy says:

      I admit I’m biased because I went to school there, but I think of all the FCS teams, Appalachian State has the best chance of doing well. (There’s currently a study to determine whether the team should upgrade.) Attendance for App State is higher than every MAC, Sun Belt, and post-2011 WAC school, plus about half of C-USA and a few MWC schools; regular season games have been in the 28K-30K range, thanks in part to stadium expansion. Facilities were dramatically updated a couple of years ago, including new locker rooms, an indoor practice facility, and luxury suites. My understanding is that UMass has a ways to go to match those advantages. UMass is not located close to the same southern recruiting hotbeds that App State is near. Its name recognition, thanks solely to September 1, 2007, isn’t that much greater for the sport of football that App State’s is.

      It will be interesting to see how the decision to play games at Gillette Stadium works out. Maybe it will be kind of like what Arkansas and Alabama did for many years: play several games per year in the state’s largest city so that they can connect with people who aren’t associated with the school.

      Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      Wouldn’t UC Berkley and UC Los Angeles be the flagships of the UC system?

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Berkeley is the premier school in the system, but you would get arguments among UCLA, UC-Davis and UC-San Diego as to who is #2. UC-Irvine and UC-Santa Barbara are also pretty highly regarded tier I research universities. Really the UC system are all “flagships” (also includes UC-Riverside, UC-Santa Cruz Banana Slugs(a real mascot!), UC-Merced and medical school in SF). The Cal State schools are the “other” schools.

        Like

    • Michael in Indy says:

      After UMass officially joins as an FBS program, there will be 9 states with no flagship universities playing FBS football. Ranked in descending order of population, those states are Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Montana, Delaware, South Dakota, Alaska, North Dakota, and Vermont. They rank #41-49 among the 50 states in population. Wyoming is #50. Only Rhode Island (1.05M), New Hampshire (1.32M), and Maine (1.33M) had more than a million residents in 2010.

      Massachusetts, by contrast, had over 6.5 million people in 2010 and ranked #14.

      Other population & football facts: 4 of the 5 least-populated states with FBS teams have had teams make BCS bowl games since 2001–West Virginia, Nebraska, Idaho, and Hawaii. The largest state with an FBS program that hasn’t had a team make a BCS bowl since the BCS was founded is New Jersey, followed by Arizona, Missouri, Minnesota, and South Carolina.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Another tidbit-3 of the 5 largest schools by enrollment in FCS are now moving up-Texas State, UTSA and UMass.

        Not moving up-Georgia St. who just started football and UC-Davis who just moved to Div I in 2004 and reportedly turned down the WAC.

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