Turn and Face the Strain: More Plus-One Thoughts

Posted: January 6, 2012 in Big East, Big Ten, College Basketball, College Football, Sports
Tags: , , , , , ,

As we approach this year’s national championship game along with record low TV ratings for the Orange Bowl and Sugar Bowl, the conversation around college football regarding massive changes to the current BCS system continues to heat up.  SEC commissioner Mike Slive, who had presented a top 4 seeded plus-one proposal in 2008, has explicitly stated that he “does not think those changes are going to be tweaks.” Plugged-in Andy Staples from Sports Illustrated predicts that the conferences will agree upon a plus-one system and the elimination of automatic qualifying status for conferences this year.  We have recently discussed various plus-one proposals here and here, while Inside the Shoe attempts to project what bowl tie-ins would look like if and when AQ status is eliminated.  Some takeaways and predictions:

1. The Plus-One is Seriously Coming – Everything that I’ve seen and heard is that some type of plus-one system to determine the national champion is coming.  However, as I’ve stated previously, it can’t be assumed that it will come in the form of a top 4 playoff.  An unseeded plus-one where the BCS rankings are recalculated after the bowls to determine the national title game matchup or some type of semi-seeded format (such as the Halfway There Compromise) is certainly possible.  Maybe we’ll still end up with the top 4 playoff that is what most people think of when talking about a plus-one (in which case, I recommend the BCS Final Four format), but my feeling is that an unseeded format is what will be put into place as a compromise for the Big Ten and Rose Bowl.  Could the SEC and other conferences technically outvote the Big Ten on this issue?  Absolutely.  Will they choose to do so?  I have my reservations on that front.  We’re not talking about an objection from the WAC or MAC here that can be easily ignored.  The people in charge really want all of the current AQ conferences unanimously on board.  In my heart of hearts, I think Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany is actually fine with a plus-one privately, but selling it to the Big Ten presidents is not an easy task, which is why he has the public position of opposing it entirely.  Getting a true Big Ten champ vs. Pac-12 champ Rose Bowl back (plus lots of TV money for that plus-one championship game) could be the hook to obtaining presidential consent.

2. Eliminating AQ Status is About Three BCS Bowl Bids for Each of the SEC and Big Ten – Whatever differences Slive and Delany might have regarding a plus-one, they are completely on the same page about eliminating AQ status.  Of course, it’s completely self-serving, as the SEC and Big Ten are the conferences seeking three BCS bowl bids each (or even guaranteed in a system where all of those bowls will have contractual tie-ins).  If you look at the bowl payouts in the marketplace, you already see that SEC #3 and Big Ten #3 carry more value than the #2 teams from the Pac-12, ACC and Big 12 (and even those are skewed since those bowls are really selecting SEC #4 and Big Ten #4 as those two leagues are already all but assured of receiving two BCS bowl bids annually in the current system).  You can also see it in the selections of the BCS bowls themselves, as they continuously pick SEC and Big Ten schools for at-large bids even if there are higher ranked teams available from other power conferences.  So, this isn’t just about the SEC and Big Ten guaranteeing themselves 2 BCS bowl bids since they already have that in today’s format.  Slive and Delany are looking for changes because they know that their leagues can get even more in either a market-oriented bowl system or removing the 2 BCS bowl bids per conference limit in a modified at-large selection process.

This is what the bowls want, too.  The Sugar Bowl and TV executives aren’t looking at the 12,000 empty seats and low ratings for the Michigan-Virginia Tech matchup and thinking, “Boy, we should have really invited Boise State instead.”  To the contrary, they’re thinking, “We need to change the system so that we could have taken #6 Arkansas as a third SEC team.  Arkansas vs. Michigan would have been gangbusters!”

3. More Bowl Tie-ins or Floaters… or a Horse of a Different Color? – It’s still an open question as to how those top bowls fill in what are currently at-large BCS spots.  The Inside the Shoe post linked above suggests different contractual tie-ins for those spots.  Some commenters here have suggested the concept of “floater” spots (i.e. a bowl can take a team from a pool of several leagues), although that begs the question of how much different that would be from the current at-large selection system.  From the bowl perspective, there seems to be a tension between avoiding the “undesirable” non-AQ and Big East teams that they have been forced to take under the current BCS system (which would suggest more contractual tie-ins with leagues like the SEC and Big Ten) and the desire to have some flexibility to take the best available teams (i.e. the second selection from the Big 12 isn’t that attractive if it’s Kansas State, but a bowl definitely wants a second selection from the Big 12 if it can take Texas or Oklahoma).

There also has to be an eye toward avoiding antitrust issues.  I have long believed that an antitrust case against the current BCS system would ultimately be a loser partially because it allows for non-AQ conference access that would never have come to fruition otherwise.  Therefore, even if there was collusion between the BCS bowls and AQ conferences, the non-AQ conferences wouldn’t be able to show any damages since eliminating the BCS system would actually take away revenue and access from them.  Think of it as a college football version of the famous USFL antitrust lawsuit against the NFL: the USFL technically won the lawsuit by showing that the NFL was an illegal monopoly, but was only awarded $1 in damages (which is trebled for a Sherman Act violation, so it actually received $3).  Eliminating the BCS system overall but then having the top bowls fill in at-large sports with “floater” teams that practically shut off access to non-AQ schools, though, is much more problematic from an antitrust perspective.  The concept of floaters would almost certainly require some level of collusion between the bowls which, in this case, would truly be to the detriment of those non-AQ schools.

One way to circumvent antitrust issues while providing the BCS bowls with more at-large selection flexibility is to expand the merit-based quotient slightly.  For instance, there could be 5 BCS bowls (assuming that the Cotton Bowl is added as the fifth game) for a total of 10 bids just as today.  5 of those bids would go to the 5 power conferences with contractual tie-ins.  There could then be a provision that all schools in the top 5 of the BCS rankings would be guaranteed a spot in a BCS bowl (a slight uptick from the top 4 protection now).  Maybe there would be 5 bids granted to current non-AQ conferences in one year and maybe there would be zero bids in the next year, but in either case, that type of merit-based allowance is likely what would allow that system to pass antitrust muster.  This ensures that if there’s an “undesirable” team that must be included, it’s at least going to be a top 5 school that would have a legit shot at the national title in an unseeded plus-one system and then the bowls can pick whoever else that they want otherwise.  A seeded plus-one, which would inherently grant auto-bids to the top 4 ranked schools, would also make things much easier for the BCS from a legal standpoint.

My gut feeling is that the modification to the current BCS system is ultimately more likely than a complete break-off between the national championship game and the bowls.  The top bowls themselves still want a BCS designation (as it distinguishes them from everyone else) and would likely value more flexibility in filling what are currently their at-large spots than having straight conference tie-ins.

4. Are Non-AQ Conferences Exchanging Bowl Access for More National Championship Game Revenue? – One interesting aspect of all of these proposed changes is that the non-AQ conferences seem to be willing to give up access to top bowl games that they would have never received in the pre-BCS days.  Mountain West Conference commissioner Craig Thompson is on the record that he would rather see AQ status eliminated across the board over even the MWC receiving AQ status for the next two seasons.  The main argument is that the AQ and non-AQ labels have artificially created a caste system between the two designations.  Now, that seems like a pretty weak position for giving up access to top tier bowl games.  Regardless of whether there are AQ or non-AQ statuses, everyone is going to recognize that there’s a clear delineation between the power conferences and the non-power conferences.  (We’ll get to where the Big East fits on that spectrum in a moment.)  As much as the power conferences control the college football postseason, it would still be unusual for the non-AQ leagues to give up access after fighting for it for so long unless they’re getting something in return.  What gives?

One plausible way that the non-AQs can get something out of a return to a more traditional bowl system is that they would give up major bowl access and revenue to the power conferences in exchange for equal shares of the revenue that is generated by the plus-one national championship game.  This actually makes some sense.  The bowls have always been designed to be extensions of their local tourism bureaus where selections are merit-influenced (as better teams generally have fans that are more likely to be motivated to travel and watch games) but not completely merit-based.  The top games want a combination of strong traveling fan bases, brand names and TV drawing power, which is why they gravitate to the power conferences.  Thus, if we define “fairness” as an adherence to free market principles (as opposed to redistribution of income or open access), it’s completely fair that the bowls pay more to the top leagues with the most popular teams.  In contrast, the national championship game explicitly does not have any conference tie-ins (although SEC fans surely argue that they ought to have one).  The national title game is something that should equitably be shared by all conferences because, at least on paper (if not in practice), every team has a chance to make that game based on pure merit.  Thus, it’s inequitable that a #1 SEC team ought to get paid more than a #2 Mountain West team for making that game (which is actually what would happen in today’s system).

At least in my mind, it would be consistent to allow for the power conferences to receive all of the revenue for the top bowls (which have a heavy popularity component), but all conferences ought to share the national championship game revenue equally.  Presumably, all parties involved would see hefty increases in revenue as a result of this allocation system and it property reflects their interests, where the non-AQ conferences can’t honestly claim equal status with the power conferences in terms of bowl desirability because that simply isn’t true, but ought to be able to claim equal status in terms of access to the national championship game that should be based purely on merit.  (Any arguments that a non-AQ school getting to national championship game is almost impossible are noted, but that’s a practical consideration as opposed to a structural/contractual/financial issue.  The “system” should eliminate the latter because that’s within its control.  However, there’s only so much that can be done once it’s put into practice.  This even applies to more “open access” systems such as the NCAA Tournament or FCS playoffs, where power conferences and programs have still emerged.)

5. Big East: The One That Wants the Status Quo – By most accounts, 10 of the 11 FBS conferences want to eliminate AQ status.  The one holdout, not surprisingly, is the Big East.  As I’ve stated in previous posts, “eliminating AQ status” is really a matter of semantics for the Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC, Big 12 and ACC because they all would still retain their contractual tie-ins with the BCS bowls.  Whether or not there’s a delineation between AQ and non-AQ leagues, nothing will really change for the champions of those 5 power conferences.  In contrast, AQ status means everything to the Big East since it doesn’t have any contractual tie-ins with the top bowls and likely couldn’t get them on its own.  To have a chance at a tie-in with one of those top bowls, the Big East would probably have to make a deal with the devil and offer liberal access to Notre Dame, such as allowing a bowl to take the Irish if they are ranked higher than the Big East champion in a given year.  Even then, that might not be enough.  Considering that the Big East created a new coast-to-coast league including Boise State and San Diego State with an explicit eye toward ensuring that the league would meet any BCS AQ numerical criteria, all of that effort may have been in vain.  Of course, the new Big East will still be better off for TV purposes than if it had solely added more geographically-friendly (but less sexy) schools east of the Mississippi River, so it was an expansion that the league had to do in the wake of Syracuse and Pitt defecting to the ACC and West Virginia leaving for the Big 12.  It’s just that an automatic tie-in to a top bowl (and the revenue that comes with it) is no longer assured for the Big East.  In a college football world where there’s largely a clear line between the upper class elite and the lower class, the Big East is the one middle class conference.

Changes in college football have come in very small increments.  It’s easy to forget that there has only been national championship game for the past 13 years, with the Bowl Alliance and Bowl Coalition being precursors and a sole reliance on polls prior to them.  This might be the year where a giant step is made.

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

(Image from Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

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Comments
  1. greg says:

    Hawks.

    Like

  2. tomdauwwg says:

    Spartans > Hawkeyes.

    Like

  3. herbiehusker says:

    Go Big RED!

    Like

  4. Milton Hershey says:

    So would this add more pressure on ND to join a conference?

    Like

    • FLP_NDROX says:

      No. As long as there’s a shot at a national title available, indepence remains viable.

      Access to top tier bowls should still be negotiable and I’d expect ND to be included in some kind of either/or deal with a few of the bowls.

      Either that or we’ll return to the thrilling days of the early Nineties when bowls were still trying to scoop each other…

      Like

    • OT says:

      No.

      If anything, ND would have more leverage cutting its own deal because ND will always be a “brand” that sells in TV markets such as New York and Chicago.

      Example: ND can rotate between the Orange, Sugar, and Fiesta the way Army, Navy, and BYU rotate through the minor bowls.

      (The Orange Bowl would snap up ND in a nanosecond if the Orange Bowl were no longer shackled by the BCS.)

      Like

  5. Kyle says:

    Seems to me this would lessen the appeal (for Notre Dame) of possibly joining the ACC someday if the ACC is unable to secure a solid bowl tie-in for their #2.

    What implications will this have on the “new look” Big East? Any chance Boise St. & San Diego St. rethink their decisions to join if this goes through?

    Like

    • OT says:

      Boise State and San Diego State will not have to pay an exit fee to leave the Big East if the Big East were to lose AQ status (for the 2014 season and beyond) prior to July 1, 2013.

      (The Big East’s BCS AQ spot is guaranteed through the 2013 season.)

      Like

    • Richard says:

      The BE TV money would still be several times the MWC and CUSA’s TV money and even without access to the top tier bowls, the BE’s bowl tie-ins (the top 2 I project will be the Champ Sports and Holiday) would still be superior to the MWC’s (top tie-in is the Las Vegas Bowl), so why wouldn’t they leave?

      Like

  6. jj says:

    I think that the bcs bowls are suffering less from the participants than from the general fatigue with the whole thing. It is so drawn out now. Plus, I think people are realizing that a BCS bowl isn’t all that. To me, rose and nc game are all that really matter. If the cotton or cap one became a BCS game what difference does that make? A plus one isn’t going to change anything really. It likely just makes it worse.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      What?! You mean playing a Wednesday night game once everyone is back to work from a long holiday break isn’t special? Shocking!

      Like

  7. OT says:

    Bowl attendance is down across the board, thanks to stupid decisions by bowl executives and/or meddling by ESPN, Inc.:

    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/football/story/2012-01-03/college-football-bowl-attendance/52368758/1

    1. ESPN Regional Television CEO allegedly stepped in and snuffed out a deal which would have sent Nevada to the San Francisco Bowl instead of the Hawaii Bowl. Result: Nevada brought less than 1000 paying customers to Hawaii, and the San Francisco Bowl had 15000 empty seats. ESPN basically screwed up two bowls by insisting that Nevada play in the Hawaii Bowl.

    2. The Sugar Bowl Committee got what it deserved by taking Virginia Tech instead of Kansas State: 15000 empty seats. Virginia Tech was stuck with 8000 unsold tickets, which the ACC had to eat.

    3. San Diego Bowl Committee CEO got what he deserved by taking TCU instead of San Diego State for the Poinsettia Bowl (because TCU is 10-2 and TCU allegedly would bring more “economic benefit” to the San Diego region than San Diego State would:) over 50000 empty seats.

    ==

    Interestingly, Oregon vs Wisconsin drew about 3000 fewer people than TCU vs Wisconsin last year.

    My take, the Rose Bowl is better off affiliating with the XII (and its well-traveled fans) than with the PAC.

    Texas turned out to be a much better choice than Cal for the Rose Bowl (we would not have the data point if the December 2004 vote lobbying incident by Mack Brown did not happen.)

    Like

    • Jake says:

      OT: In TCU’s defense, we did sell our allotment. Although it seems a lot of fans bought tickets and then donated them to local kids and military families, which doesn’t really help with the financial impact. After going to the Rose and Fiesta the past two seasons and being pretty close to the Sugar Bowl this year, it’s hard to get excited about your third postseason trip to San Diego in the last six years to play La. Tech. Especially when you already went to that stadium earlier this season for a conference game.

      And not only did TCU-Wisconsin draw better than Oregon-Wisconsin, it had better TV ratings, too.

      http://www.sportsmediawatch.com/2012/01/bcs-rose-bowl-earns-9-9-overnight-lowest-in-years/

      In fairness, this is only the second time the Rose has been on cable, and that’s a pretty small pool for comparison.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Actually, UT did the same thing. I read on Hornfans that about 5500 of the 11000 for the Holiday Bowl were sold to fans with the rest donated. Texas has been out to California a lot lately and a 7-5 season doesn’t generate a huge amount of enthusiasm to take a long trip. When Texas doesn’t sell out, it certainly supports the argument that there are just too many bowls.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          Actually, it supports the argument that the B12 should have virtually all its bowls in and around Texas. It’s not as if Texas and environs lacks bowl games.

          Like

      • Brian says:

        Jake,

        And not only did TCU-Wisconsin draw better than Oregon-Wisconsin, it had better TV ratings, too.

        http://www.sportsmediawatch.com/2012/01/bcs-rose-bowl-earns-9-9-overnight-lowest-in-years/

        In fairness, this is only the second time the Rose has been on cable, and that’s a pretty small pool for comparison.

        TCU/WI were higher ranked, which helped. People were interested in how good TCU really was, too. I also think a second year of B10 failure on 1/1 (or 1/2 as the case may be) hurt the Rose this year.

        I don’t think moving to ESPN has had a significant impact on ratings for the Rose. Most CFB fans have ESPN or go to a sports bar.

        Like

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      The Poinsettia Bowl should have worked a trade with the Independence Bowl. Ft. Worth is 200 miles from Shreveport and Ruston is only about 60 miles away.

      Jake – my daughter is going to TCU next fall. GEAUX Frogs!

      Like

      • Jake says:

        Alan – that made sense to a lot of us, too. I probably would have gone to Shreveport. Patterson’s story was that the players preferred a trip to San Diego.

        Like

    • Brian says:

      OT,

      Bowl attendance is down across the board, thanks to stupid decisions by bowl executives and/or meddling by ESPN, Inc.:

      A down economy, overpriced game tickets, mandatory 3 night stays at hotels, expensive air fare and annoying airport security procedures are factors, too. You can drive 400 miles in the time it takes to fly there, including being early to the airport and getting from the airport to the destination, and save at least $300 for 1 person ($1500 for 4). You have to really want to go to travel to a bowl game. Perhaps they should regionalize the games more.

      2. The Sugar Bowl Committee got what it deserved by taking Virginia Tech instead of Kansas State: 15000 empty seats. Virginia Tech was stuck with 8000 unsold tickets, which the ACC had to eat.

      The Sugar Bowl got paid for those empty seats, so it doesn’t bother them that much. Forcing the SEC fans to buy Sugar Bowl tickets was a big problem, flooding the streets with unwanted tickets. MI fans should have packed the place, but they weren’t that excited either.

      3. San Diego Bowl Committee CEO got what he deserved by taking TCU instead of San Diego State for the Poinsettia Bowl (because TCU is 10-2 and TCU allegedly would bring more “economic benefit” to the San Diego region than San Diego State would:) over 50000 empty seats.

      They had empty seats, but got paid for some/many of them. They also got people from TX to stay in local hotels and spend money there. Do SDSU fans help the local businesses at all? Besides, taking the better team should be supported.

      Interestingly, Oregon vs Wisconsin drew about 3000 fewer people than TCU vs Wisconsin last year.

      WI was a return customer and OR was there 2 years ago. TCU was getting a once in a lifetime chance and WI hadn’t been there for a decade.

      My take, the Rose Bowl is better off affiliating with the XII (and its well-traveled fans) than with the PAC.

      No way. The Rose Bowl committee and the B10 would never accept that, and the P12 would fight them, too. Lose the chance to ever have USC or UCLA for a shot at WV, ISU, KSU, KU, Baylor, TT, TCU, OkSU, OU and UT? Never. That thought is an abomination.

      Like

    • Mack says:

      1. ESPN OWNS both the Kraft and Hawaii bowls as well as about half a dozen other lower paying bowls including Las Vegas. Except for any cut ESPN gets of concessions and parking, it did not cost ESPN. Nevada got screwed since they would have sold out their allotment to the Kraft bowl, since it is just a short drive from Reno on I80.
      2. The Sugar even got the sellout wrong. If the Sugar was going to sell out for ratings it should have taken #14 Oklahoma. The Okies would have filled the place for first MI:OK game in 35 years. VT (1-5 BCS record) from the ACC (2-13 BCS record) not a good choice.
      ** Rose Bowl Committee is almost all PAC alumni, so they will not mess with success.

      Like

      • OT says:

        The San Francisco Giants, not ESPN, Inc., owns the San Francisco Bowl.

        ESPN Regional Television, Inc. owns 7 bowls: New Mexico, St. Petersburg, Las Vegas, Hawaii, Houston, Fort Worth, and Birmingham.

        Like

      • Ross says:

        I agree with this actually. When I first saw it was VTech, my immediate thought was, “well, if they were willing to dip that low, why not eligible OU?”. Oklahoma would have been a lot better TV and stadium draw, and they already bit the bullet on a borderline team with VTech.

        That being said, I really think the whole Sugar Bowl/NCG deal for SEC fans was really the killer for the Sugar Bowl.

        Like

      • OU was not eligible. 3 losses. Same reason MSU got left out.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          OU was not eligible. 3 losses. Same reason MSU got left out.

          Not true.

          From the BCS’s web site:

          “An at-large team is any Football Bowl Subdivision team that is bowl-eligible and meets the following requirements:

          A. Has won at least nine regular-season games, and
          B. Is among the top 14 teams in the final BCS Standings.”

          OU won 9 games and was #14, so they were eligible. Also eligible were Boise, KSU and Baylor. Due to the 2 team limit from a conference, any one of KSU, Baylor or OU could have been selected but not two of them.

          MSU was ineligible because they dropped to #17 after their third loss.

          Like

  8. bullet says:

    @Frank
    Any indications that the collegiality of the presidents has been shaken by the realignment craziness? I would think the Big 10 and SEC have burned a lot of goodwill with their power plays the last couple of years. The Big East seems determined to cut its own throat with lawsuits and stubborness on its 27 month rule, not learning the lesson of the BC/ACC lawsuit (Pitt got chosen and UConn who led the lawsuits got left behind). Conferences even down to the WAC are left in uncertainty with the Big East’s fluid state. A&M’s President, based on his e-mails, seemed determined to try to destroy the Big 12 even after he left. Could presidents be significantly less interested in unanimity and much more interested in self-interest?

    Its not that far-fetched for a non-AQ to reach the title game. TCU would have been in a 4 team +1 last year as the #3 seed and ended up ranked #2. They might very well have been the nation’s best team last year. They were certainly more balanced and disciplined than Auburn or Oregon (although based on the NFL this year, I certainly underestimated just how good Cam Newton was).

    Like

    • Jake says:

      Yes, but based on the NFL this year, I also underestimated how good Andy Dalton was. And I thought he was a bit of alright.

      Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      Bullet:

      “A&M’s president,…determined to try to destroy the Big 12…”

      Huh? I must have missed something. How is a non-member going to “destroy” the Big 12ish? Having lost UNL, UC, Mizzo, and aTm, but replacing with WVU and Louiville, it is obvious that the Longhorn conference only has 1.5 members that have the ability to decide whether to close the shop or remain open.

      Like

  9. Jake says:

    Mixed feelings on the plus-1 proposals. I like having a larger playoff field (because a two-team title game is, after all, a limited playoff), but I don’t care for the bowls having a more deeply entrenched role in college football’s postseason. I’d rather have two national semi-finals, hosted at on-campus sites, to determine the title game participants. Spending a bunch of money to travel to some neutral site to watch my team and then giving some sleazy bowl committee a cut of the proceeds just doesn’t appeal to me. I’d rather have a home game as a reward for an outstanding season, or travel to another school to check out their game-day traditions. Or I can just plan my own vacations, thanks. I also wonder what kind of access non-AQ (including the Big East) teams will have to the title game if they can’t play in the major bowl games. Although I can understand why Craig Thompson wouldn’t mind seeing non-AQ access to BCS bowls go away – why would he support it when every team that made the cut left his conference?

    Frank – as a practical matter, if they did the plus-one, would the title game still be a week after New Year’s, or would there be more time in between? Seems like fans might like more time between trips, and teams might like more time to prepare for each other. Not to mention all of the suite sales, advertising, marketing, etc. that goes into a game like that.

    Like

    • @Jake – I think there would need to be more time in between as a practical matter. Having it on Martin Luther King Day every year actually works out pretty well timing-wise and many people have that day off.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        However, the school presidents _really_, _really_ don’t want football travel (which impacts not only the players, but band, cheerleaders, student volunteers/trainers, and all the students going to see the game) intruding in to the next semester/quarter. Granted, MLK day is a long weekend, but the players, band, cheerleaders, & student volunteers/trainers (several hundred students in total) would still be missing a week of school.

        Like

        • Oh yes – the timing is a big challenge. The issue is what would be easiest timing-wise (playing semifinals or more games before or around Christmas) is what the bowls don’t want (as the optimal travel period is the week between Christmas and New Years). Whether it’s a good thing or not, the bowls are ultimately going to be running whatever system is in place and the top ones need to be played on New Years or shortly thereafter. The bowls are very dependent upon traveling fans, whereas the national championship game ticket sales are largely immune to ticket concerns.

          We’ll see what happens, but I think the university presidents will ultimately cave on this. Basketball teams that make it to the Final Four are effectively away from campus for a month when you consider that they all play an off-campus conference tournament before the NCAA Tournament. So, I think that the university president concern about football timing is much more about trying to project an image that they aren’t really money grubbers (which is largely a lie).

          Like

          • Richard says:

            Well, that’s why I think semifinal games Army-Navy week on-campus with the national title game where it currently is would be most agreeable to everyone.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Frank,

            Oh yes – the timing is a big challenge.

            If they expect to get a playoff of any sort past the presidents, they need to end the season earlier. Their best selling point to the presidents would be to have the semis a week before Xmas (in 2 of the major bowls) and the NCG on 1/1 in the evening time slot after the Rose Bowl. The president can then support the playoff on academic grounds, and the Rose Bowl stays special to keep it and the B10 and P12 happy, and the other majors get the semis on rotation. For the ones that don’t have the semis, they can play one on 12/31 and the other on 1/1 before the Rose.

            We’ll see what happens, but I think the university presidents will ultimately cave on this.

            I think you are completely wrong here. The presidents are very serious about not having more 2 semester sports. Remember, these are the guys turning down hundreds of millions of dollars for a playoff while their budgets are being slashed and the academic side is having to support athletics for most of them. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see them impose a ban on CFB games after 1/4.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Don’t know why the semi’s have to be in bowls . . . .

            Like

          • Brian says:

            To keep the other major bowls happy. If you take out the top 4 teams and their 1/1 time slots, they have nothing left. They are major power brokers, and it’s easier to appease them than fight them.

            The semis could be even earlier, but then they run into finals so I’m not sure what the presidents would say.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Brian:

            I think you’re overestimating the power of the bowls. What, exactly, are the bowls going to do if the schools decide to play the semifinals at home sites? Not invite college football teams and hold soccer exhibitions instead? The schools hold the content and thus have the power. The only caveat is that the B10 and Pac both want to protect the Rose. That’s really the only instance I can see of schools willing to protect bowls.

            Like

  10. The irony for the Big East is that if they lose AQ status they will have screwed themselves for bowl tie-ins. Outside of the Big Ten, most bowls align themselves with conferences that are at least somewhat close to them (SEC teams in Florida, Big XII teams in Texas, ACC teams in the Orange, etc.). How do you do that with a conference that stretches from coast to coast? Even if a bowl like the Orange were to consider the Big East, how screwed would they be if they wind up with Boise and San Diego State for three straight years? Or if the Fiesta Bowl got stuck with Rutgers and South Florida? Most schools don’t have the traveling base necessary for cross-country road trips.

    Like

    • Jake says:

      Well, the BEast will have two teams in the Northeast, two in the Midwestish, two in Florida, two in Texas, and two in the far West. That might help them keep their current bowl tie-ins. Maybe they can steal a bowl from the MWC to give Boise and SDSU somewhere to go (Las Vegas, perhaps?). And they might look into getting a deal with a game in Texas – perhaps the Armed Forces Bowl. They might lose something like the Belk Bowl to the SEC, which will presumably need somewhere to send their 10th or 11th (or 12th or 13th) place teams. I wouldn’t worry about the Big East fulfilling an agreement with the Orange Bowl.

      Like

      • One plausible BE situation is for bowls to specify whether they’ll take a West or East division team. That would help alleviate the travel concerns at least somewhat.

        Like

        • Jake says:

          Will there be divisions? I thought there were only 10 Big East teams for 2012 as of right now. Did the academies change their minds?

          My guess is that the BEast loses some of its power regarding the bowl tie-ins going forward, where the bowls basically get to pick which team they want rather than taking them in order. So, Champs can pick first and take an eligible Florida team, even if Boise or Louisville is the conference champion.

          Like

    • Richard says:

      I think that the BE will get the Holiday and Champ Sports as their 2 lead bowls (1 for each division) & the Pinstripe picking third. After that, I see them adding BYU and Army in to their selection pool and lining up a plethora of minor bowls (Kraft, Poinsettia, The Fort Worth one, Military, the St. Pete one, and the Hawaii bowl if they’re smart enough to work out an alliance with Hawaii once Hawaii goes independent).

      Like

      • Jake says:

        Again, maybe I’ve missed something on Big East membership changes, but since when are they going to have divisions? It looks like a 10-team alignment from 2013 (2014?) on, which means no divisions. Either way, I don’t seem them stealing the Holiday from the Big 12. And Fort Worth = Armed Forces Bowl.

        Is Hawaii really going independent, or is that just speculation?

        Like

        • Michael in Raleigh says:

          And Fort Worth = Armed Forces Bowl.

          Isn’t it weird that there is an Armed Forces Bowl and a Military Bowl?

          Anyway, no there aren’t divisions yet. There will be when/if the BE adds two more schools (an academy or two? Temple? Memphis? ECU? UNLV? Hawaii? Alaska? Beijing?), but for now, the BE’s top two bowls will probably have some sort of arrangement where they choose #1/#2, with a western bowl favoring the closer team regardless of whether it’s champion or runner-up.

          The Gator and Insight have that sort of arrangement with the Big Ten’s fourth and fifth choices. The Cotton, Outback, and Chick-fil-A have the same thing with the SEC’s 3/4/5, where the Cotton ideally takes the westernmost available team, which has seemed to work out with Arkansas and LSU making the past two appearances. Of course, if there’s a dispute where two bowls want the same team, there has to be some sort of resolution process, but oftentimes the bowls just get who they want.

          Like

          • Mack says:

            The Cotton SEC pick is #3W/#4E and the Outback SEC pick is #3E/#4W. Since the Outback wants a East school and the Cotton wants a West school, this works out fine and allows the SEC to collect 3rd pick money twice. Chick-fil-a now gets #5 pick.

            Like

        • OT says:

          Hawaii only signed a 2-year deal with the Mountain West as a football-only affiliate.

          The deal resulted in Hawaii receiving only about $1 million/year in TV rights fee (instead of the $5 million/year Hawaii received from its own PPV deal with Oceanic Time Warner Cable when Hawaii was a member of the WAC.)

          Furthermore, there is no guarantee that Oceanic Time Warner Cable will agree to carry the mtn.

          ==

          My take: when (not if) Oceanic Time Warner Cable decides to pay hardball (as Time Warner Cable did in San Diego) and refuse to carry the mtn. at any price, Hawaii will be forced to leave the Mountain West after 2 seasons.

          If Hawaii had not panicked and jumped to the Mountain West so quickly, it would probably have received an invitation to join the BIG EAST.

          Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            And TCU shouldn’t have jumped to the BEast so fast, as they may have had a Big 12 invite coming…

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Still worked out for TCU. They didn’t have to pay the BE an exit fee anyway, so I don’t see what the harm was.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            That was my point, Richard. Sarcastic response to OT.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Oh, OK. In Hawaii’s case, however, they did take a hit in TV money for at least 2 years.

            I also don’t see them being invited to the BE as a full member. The BE may work out an alliance with Hawaii, though, that allows them to be independent (say 6 games against BE teams every year + playing a BE team in the Hawaii Bowl). I think it makes sense for the BE to work out deals with BYU, Army, and ND as well once they add Navy and AFA. With ND, home-neutral series with Navy & 1 of the FL schools and 1 against AFA or a TX school every year (3 games). With Army, the annual series against Navy & AFA as well as series with 1 each of the TX, FL, NE, and Midwest schools (6 games). With BYU, yearly series against Boise & SDSU as well as 1 game against each of the TX, MW, and NE schools (5 games).
            20 games. On average, the BE schools get the following number of annual games against these allied independents:

            Navy: 2.5
            AFA: 2
            Boise & SDSU: 1.5
            Houston & SMU: 1.75
            UCF & USF: 1.5
            Cincy & Louisville: 1.5
            Rutgers & UConn: 1.5

            For scheduling, in a 13 week season, they could leave the first 3 weeks free for other OOC games, play interdivisional games in weeks 4-6, play 4 league games (leaving 4 BE teams to play allied independents each week in weeks 7-12), and play a full league slate Thanksgiving week.

            Like

          • OT says:

            @Richard:

            TCU did have to pay the Big East the $5 million in exit fee, but TCU didn’t have to wait 27 months to leave because TCU never played a game as a Big East member.

            Given how big the TV deals for the XII are, TCU had no issue with the $5 million exit fee to the Big East.

            ==

            Boise State and San Diego State have negotiated reduced exit fees if the Big East were not able to secure a big TV deal.

            Furthermore, neither Boise State nor San Diego will owe the Big East any exit fee if the Big East were notified that it would lose its AQ status for the 2014 season prior to July 1, 2013.

            ==

            Pitt basketball coach Jamie Dixon actually encouraged Hawai’i officials to talk to the Big East in August 2010.

            Hawai’i officials were shortsighted: they were only concerned with joining the Mountain West for football in order to preserve existing matchups with the top WAC teams at the time (Boise State, Nevada, Fresno State), and they were willing to take an 80% hit in TV revenue, with no guarantee that anyone in Honolulu will be able to watch the games via cable.

            Guess what?

            1. Boise State will be gone from the Mountain West after the 2012 season.

            2. Fresno State has hit the skids

            3. Nevada isn’t the powerhouse it used to be after Kaepernick and Taua ran out of eligibility.

            ==

            If I were running Oceanic Time Warner Cable, I too would refuse to carry the mtn. at any price.

            That move would force Hawai’i to leave the Mountain West sooner rather than later, as fans of Hawai’i Warriors football will direct their anger at the school instead of Oceanic Time Warner Cable.

            (A very big satellite dish is required to receive DIRECTV in Hawaii due to the weaker strength of the spot beam satellite signals compared to the strength of the beams that cover the continental U.S. The size of the dish required would prevent most people in Honolulu from being able to switch to DIRECTV from cable.)

            ==

            Time Warner Cable has refused to carry the mtn. in San Diego at any price for over 6 years. That was one of many reasons why San Diego State worked so hard to find a way to leave the Mountain West. San Diego State sent out feelers to the XII before it reached out to Boise State in order to get into the Big East.

            Like

  11. joe4psu says:

    add

    Like

  12. hey diddle diddle says:

    A&M’s president was trying to destroy the LHN, by taking away the only solid ground UT has left.

    OU.

    if he could have gotten OU to leave then UT would have gone to the PAC (if ESPN let them) and the LHN would have been history one way or another.

    Like

  13. SEC-Ag says:

    I hope that a true +1 format will mean the tradition of major bowls being New Years Day is restored.

    The BCS is killing the golden goose by stringing them out over several days and putting them on cable instead of broadcast. The big bowls have all become just a commodity of meaningless exhibitions. That’s why no one cares anymore. New Years’ Day college football was a national watercooler event for decades, almost like the super bowl. Now, not so much.

    Shortsighted tv and bowl execs not content to just collect golden eggs. Now they’re reaping what they’ve sown in terms of diminishing public interest.

    Like

    • Jake says:

      SEC-Ag: I remember reading awhile back about how ESPN pushed for multiple games within each broadcast window, against the wishes of conferences, which preferred exclusive broadcast windows. ESPN argued that having multiple games on at one time would actually increase ratings for everyone by making Saturdays an event rather than a chance to see one game that might not be that interesting. Have to wonder if something similar wouldn’t work for the bowls.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        They did that this year with the 3 SEC-Big 10 matchups all at the same time.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          Actually PSU/UH overlapped as well, so there were 4 B1G games going at once.

          I didn’t like so many at the same time. 2 is good, 4 is too many when they are games you want to see.

          I was mostly watching the Bulldogs vs. MSU, but I was also interested in UH/PSU and UNL/SC (the last I had expected a much more interesting game than it was).

          Like

          • schwarm says:

            UNL/USCe was a 3 point game going into the 4th quarter – the Bo/team meltdown was disappointing but perhaps not unexpected.

            Like

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        I just want New Year’s back to the way it was when I was a kid (and I’m not all that old–29), where the Gator, Orange, Citrus, Fiesta, Rose, Cotton, Sugar, and Outback were all on TV between 11 AM to midnight. It was just delicious. It just doesn’t seem right to have the Cotton on Friday, January 6.

        Like

    • jj says:

      Bingo dude.

      I love cb. I don’t want to watch endless nights of it. Flipping around was fun.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      You don’t think a Wednesday night game after everyone is back to work from a long holiday break is special?

      Like

    • Richard says:

      I dunno. I like having a top bowl game on every weeknight between NYD and the national title game. After the Cotton and Outback promote up by upping their payouts (Outback with their newer NFL stadium takes the Cap One’s spot), you could see the Rose New Year’s afternoon and the Sugar New Year’s night followed every night by the Orange, Outback, Fiesta, and Cotton leading up to the title game.

      Like

  14. frug says:

    By most accounts, 10 of the 11 FBS conferences want to eliminate AQ status. The one holdout, not surprisingly, is the Big East.

    Has anyone heard the ACC say anything about this, because I still don’t think they would support it. If AQ status is eliminated then the absolute best case scenario for the ACC is that they keep what the already have (an Orange Bowl bid) and the worst case is getting completely shut out of the major bowls. It just make any sense to me that they would back this without some sort of guarantee they would be taken care of.

    Like

    • Jake says:

      frug – couldn’t you say the same for the Big 12 and Pac-12? They’ll get one big bowl every year, two some years, and three almost never, or more or less what they have now. In effect, you’re taking the Big East slot and the at large that has generally gone to a non-AQ and giving them to the SEC and B1G. Everyone else stands pat.

      Like

      • frug says:

        Not the same. The PAC and Big XII don’t face the possibility of losing a top tie in (PAC will get Rose and Big XII will get Fiesta or Cotton) and, depending on the nature of a future post season, could see their #2’s contracted with big bowls like the Fiesta and Sugar.

        For example of what I am talking about imagine this scenario:

        Top 4 teams go to some sort of playoff

        After that

        Rose: PAC #1 vs B1G #1
        Fiesta: Big XII #1 vs. PAC #2
        Sugar: SEC #1 vs. Big XII #2
        Orange: SEC #2 vs. B1G #2

        This may not be the most likely scenario, but it is a plausible one and that has to scare the hell out of the ACC.

        Like

        • Jake says:

          Oh, well if you think they could lose the Orange Bowl tie-in, but I don’t think that will happen with their current membership. Now, if they lose a school or two, then maybe you worry.

          Like

          • frug says:

            I hate to keep harping on this, but the Orange Bowl lose is a very distinct possibility even with their current membership. The Orange Bowl would dump its ACC tie in now and go BCS AL vs. BCS AL if it had the choice, and on the open market an ACC tie in would be well down the list on the bowl’s preferences.

            Like

  15. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    GEAUX #1 LSU Fightin’ Tigers!

    Like

    • Jake says:

      Hey Alan, how you been? I’m not a gambler, but my money would be on LSU on Monday. I don’t think Alabama can stop a fully armed and operational Jordan Jefferson. Are you going to the game?

      Also, did you ever figure out where you’re sending your kiddo for school?

      Like

      • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

        Jake – I wouldn’t miss it. We are going down with a bus-full of friends Monday morning.

        My daughter has wanted to go to TCU for the last two years, but this football season, she has had a lot of second thoughts about LSU and leaving home. TCU accepted her about a month ago. I felt really good about that since they are expecting 25,000 applications for 2000 spots. After much thought, she told me earlier this week that she is all in for TCU. We are trying to plan a trip in February around a baseball game. I look forward to spending a lot of time in Fort Worth and attending games in the renovated stadium next fall when LSU plays their bodybag games.

        Any word on when the BigXII will release their schedule?

        Like

        • Jake says:

          Depends on the WVU situation, from what I hear. They’re definitely leaving the BEast, but they currently have one OOC game too many scheduled, so it depends on who they can drop. Rumors I’ve heard are that the Big 12 has two schedules drawn up, depending on what happens.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Well, WV has asked to get out of the FSU game but FSU doesn’t want to drop it. All contracts have a buyout, though, unless WV missed a deadline.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            I’ve heard they prefer to get out of the Maryland game. Maybe Maryland wants too big a buyout so they are exploring options. I would think they would want to keep FSU above any of the other games.

            Like

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            Well, WV has asked to get out of the FSU game but FSU doesn’t want to drop it. All contracts have a buyout, though, unless WV missed a deadline.

            Well that stinks. I was looking forward to that game. Hopefully FSU can pick up a good non-conference game to take its place. Maybe Notre Dame has an available spot in its schedule later in the season, and if so, maybe the ACC would accomodate. Then again, I doubt ND would be interested since their schedule is already pretty tough.

            Dang.

            Like

  16. Brian says:

    Frank,

    Why wouldn’t “floaters” include everybody, like at-larges today but without a ranking restriction? It costs the bowls nothing to include the non-AQs in the pool of candidates. Maybe they want 13-0 BGSU in 2017, or 8-4 ND or the ACC #2. Why limit themselves? The real issue is how money is split. I think the bowls say whoever we pick gets the payout and everybody else gets nothing. All that leaves is for the bowls to agree on a rotating order pick selection. That seems AT-proof since nobody is excluded.

    Like

  17. Brian says:

    PSU fans (PSUGuy, joe4psu, 06Lion, rich2, …),

    Thoughts on Bill O’Brien?

    What happened to having a big name college coach in the bag? Were the “insiders” misled? Did things change? Did the “insiders” make it up? Have you asked them for an explanation?

    Like

    • Brian says:

      http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/football/ncaa/01/06/penn-state-bill-obrien.ap/index.html?sct=cf_t2_a3

      The former players seem upset that they didn’t get to pick the coach. What qualifies them to make the choice, exactly?

      Like

    • joe4psu says:

      Brian,

      Personally I’m all for giving O’Brien a chance. IMO, picking a head coach is a crap shoot. There are very few no-brainer choices and since they’re usually already in great positions it’s hard to get them. OSU got lucky this year with Meyer being out of football but look at what has happened at schools like ND, Michigan and Alabama over the years.

      I think that Joyner, the current AD, and everyone on the BOT should go though. They bungled everything to do with the scandal and the hiring process and should be held accountable. The board had to know since atleast last spring, March I believe, when it was originally reported (can’t remember the paper, affiliated with Pennlive.com) that Sandusky was under investigation and would be charged. The political career of our (un)beloved governor may be over as well. He was the AG when the Sandusky affair was kicked up from the local DA. After becoming Governor, with the help of some large contributions from the Second Mile and people affiliated with it, he became a member of the BOT (or atleast names 6-8 members, I’m not up on all the details) and knew this was coming. They all handled this VERY POORLY. There is even some rumblings that Corbett, the governor, played this the way he did as payback for heated negotiations with Graham Spanier, former PSU prez, and the university in regard to funding. He really showed them. 🙂

      I heard a couple of things from “insiders” about what happened to the home run hires. One story is that the search committee, mainly Joyner and Lubert, screwed up with a big hire. Possibly Gruden. There is a rumor is that Gruden wanted complete access to all information that the university has on the Sandusky affair and an out for 3 NFL teams in his contract but they wouldn’t agree to that. TIFWIW.

      Another story is that money became an issue because of a faction within the BOT. Whether that is about appearances in the current climate or something else I’m not sure. It’s not like PSU is known for spending alot on coaches. Paterno was pretty far down the list of B1G coaches and the fbs overall. I really doubt O’Brien will be paid a lot of money.

      Some people say that PSU (the BOT?) intended to hire an unknown guy from the beginning as penance, or cover, depending on how you look at it. Eh. Water under the bridge now. The important thing going forward is holding the current recruits together, which is sounding promising, and finishing strongly. Some possible recruits seem to be intrigued with an NFL OC hire. Even if everyone seems to only know him as the guy that yelled at Tom Brady.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        joe4psu,

        Personally I’m all for giving O’Brien a chance. IMO, picking a head coach is a crap shoot. There are very few no-brainer choices and since they’re usually already in great positions it’s hard to get them. OSU got lucky this year with Meyer being out of football but look at what has happened at schools like ND, Michigan and Alabama over the years.

        It is definitely a crap shoot. OSU fans weren’t excited about hiring a no-name I-AA coach named Tressel. MI fans were excited to get RichRod and disappointed in Hoke.

        OSU certainly lucked out in the timing of the scandal. If PSU’s happens first, Meyer might be there instead. If MI fired RichRod later, Meyer might be there.

        I think that Joyner, the current AD, and everyone on the BOT should go though. They bungled everything to do with the scandal and the hiring process and should be held accountable. The board had to know since atleast last spring, March I believe, when it was originally reported (can’t remember the paper, affiliated with Pennlive.com) that Sandusky was under investigation and would be charged. The political career of our (un)beloved governor may be over as well. He was the AG when the Sandusky affair was kicked up from the local DA. After becoming Governor, with the help of some large contributions from the Second Mile and people affiliated with it, he became a member of the BOT (or atleast names 6-8 members, I’m not up on all the details) and knew this was coming. They all handled this VERY POORLY. There is even some rumblings that Corbett, the governor, played this the way he did as payback for heated negotiations with Graham Spanier, former PSU prez, and the university in regard to funding. He really showed them. 🙂

        I think everyone has a lot of questions about how all of this was handled after the news broke. Cleaning house at the top would not be out of the question, but I’d do it in phases so you don’t lose all that institutional knowledge.

        I heard a couple of things from “insiders” about what happened to the home run hires. One story is that the search committee, mainly Joyner and Lubert, screwed up with a big hire. Possibly Gruden. There is a rumor is that Gruden wanted complete access to all information that the university has on the Sandusky affair and an out for 3 NFL teams in his contract but they wouldn’t agree to that. TIFWIW.

        Wouldn’t there be legal issues with showing him everything? I understand a coach wanting to know what he’s getting into, but the lawyers have to protect PSU. Maybe that was the issue. Wanting an out to leave for the NFL probably didn’t sit well either. I assume PSU wants a coach who considers that his final destination.

        Another story is that money became an issue because of a faction within the BOT. Whether that is about appearances in the current climate or something else I’m not sure. It’s not like PSU is known for spending alot on coaches. Paterno was pretty far down the list of B1G coaches and the fbs overall. I really doubt O’Brien will be paid a lot of money.

        I always felt Paterno chose to stay that low on the scale. In effect, PSU just reduced donations to themselves by not paying him more since he gave so much back to the school. I think PSU had braced itself to face a modern salary scale. The appearances of paying a new coach double what the old one got in the wake of the scandal might have been a problem, though.

        Some people say that PSU (the BOT?) intended to hire an unknown guy from the beginning as penance, or cover, depending on how you look at it.

        It’s possible, but I doubt it. Would they really have said no if Meyer was asking for the job?

        Like

    • PSUGuy says:

      On paper, he sounds like a great hire…

      -Coached offensive and defensive positions (has a “head coaches” understanding of all facets of the game).
      -Coached at schools in New England (Brown), North Carolina (Duke), Georgia (GT), and Maryland (MD) (so he should have good ties into historic PSU and “up and coming” recruiting areas).
      -All of those schools are academically “upper echelon” so he’s used to working with the type of athlete PSU typically tries to recruit.
      -Has pro ties and a “history of success” there so also good for recruiting (plus, while some may not think about this, that scene with Brady is huge. He is “good enough” to bitch out a potential HoF QB and the QB come back afterwards and say “my coach was right”.)

      The problem I have is its obviously a stop-gap hire. O’Brien has said publicly he wants to be an NFL head coach and that means under the best of circumstances he’s good for 3 years and takes the first NFL head coaching gig that comes his way (think Saban with LSU). I don’t think PSU needs to hire another “50 year” guy (just don’t think that’ll happen anymore), but I do believe in my Steelers mantra of personnel…find your guys, pay them what they’re worth, and keep them until its time to part ways. IMO, O’Brien strikes me like Pitt’s ex coach…”loved the place” right up until the bigger better deal comes and I don’t care how good those guys are I don’t want them associated with a PSU program that supposedly prides itself on more than just Wins and Losses.

      As for the “big names”….I think it was crap from the start. The BoT should have had a plan in place for years already (Paterno literally could have died at any minute) and its obviously they didn’t. The Sandusky scandal only made matters worse by making the decision making process outside their preferred time-lines and in a bad environment. What’s more, while I always believed PSU would “clean house” after Paterno regardless of how he went, I think there was a very real desire (or I’d prefer to call it “bout of spineless-ness”) to appear as though they were not picking someone involved in any way shape or form with Sandusky, Paterno, or the PSU program (in that order) while they were here.

      In the end, I’ll root for O’Brien and truly hopes he succeeds, whether he stays or goes when he does, but I simply cannot see this as anything more than a reactionary stop-gap hire made by people who have not demonstrated great decision making processes over the past couple months.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        “IMO, O’Brien strikes me like Pitt’s ex coach…”loved the place” right up until the bigger better deal comes and I don’t care how good those guys are I don’t want them associated with a PSU program that supposedly prides itself on more than just Wins and Losses.”

        Not really your decision to make now that you guys have that scandal. The coach after Paterno is walking in to a situation where it is virtually impossible to last more than a few years, so you’d only be able to get interest from short-term guys right now. You can get your long-term guy with the next hire. He’d be well-positioned to return PSU to being a powerhouse.

        Like

        • PSUGuy says:

          I disagree greatly.

          There are plenty of people, PSU community and outsider alike, who would have shied from the position after Paterno left if he did it on his own terms from the stand point of not wanting to “follow the legend”. With the Sandusky scandal, I have to believe there are numerous “PSU community” who would feel it a mark of pride to return to PSU under these circumstances and ensure the tenets of what “being a Penn Stater” is all about still hold true, regardless of who is the head football coach. The stop-gap type of hiring is only inevitable if you have (mostly) completely removed “PSU guys” from consideration.

          Word is Schiano showed interest in the position but was told the interest was not mutual. Now I’m not going to say he’s an amazing coach or O’Brien will be less than Schiano in any way shape or form, but if true, it just goes to show the mentality of the people conducting this search and what it was they valued (from a decision making process stand point).

          Like

          • Richard says:

            Regardless, the situation is such that the next coach will have a difficult time lasting more than a few years (IMHO), so I don’t think it would have mattered if PSU had gotten a “long-term guy”.

            Like

          • joe4psu says:

            Richard,

            I don’t follow. Why can O’Brien, or anyone else, last no more than a few years?

            Like

          • Richard says:

            PSU folks would still expect to win, but recruiting will be tough for at least 2 years, and JoePa at the end wasn’t bringing in great talent (worse than PSU potentially could). I guess it depends on how much patience PSU folks have. Would people be satisfied with 6->9 wins for the next 3 years?

            Like

          • joe4psu says:

            Richard,

            According to Scout.com we sit at #40 with 14 commits. We have at least 6 schoolies left, I’m not sure of the number but I know we will sign at least 20 this year. The current commitments seems solid and this hire has seemed to spark interest from guys that could be added to this class and top guys for next years class. It will surprise me if we don’t end up with a top 20 class this year, Tom Luginbill said the other day that 7 of the current 14 are championship caliber, but we won’t know for some time. These are the most recent classes that we signed:

            2011 #34 – 16 commitments
            2010 #10 – 20 commitments
            2009 #11 – 27 commitments

            The fact that the current staff did not seem to be getting the guys to perform up to their potential does not mean that the cupboard is bare. One of the biggest frustrations for years has been the oline. We sign highly regarded recruits but don’t seem to get the production that we should. We signed three highly regarded QB’s during this time and have gotten squat out of them. I’m not concerned with the players that we have or the next two classes. As much as the media portrays the PSU program as a being a total mess right now, total chaos, it is not.

            Could things go south? Sure. Due to the media coverage there are actually people who believe that Joe Paterno is a child rapist. I expect the players and parents who are looking at schools know better because they’re closer to the situation. Penn State is still Penn State. As much as some people hate the thought. There are certain individuals, one in particular, that will most likely be paying a huge price over the events that occurred. But the school, the program, the alumni and fans are not guilty and informed people know this.

            Like

      • Brian says:

        PSUGuy,

        I think that’s the most positive discussion of O’Brien I’ve seen from a PSU person. I hope he works out for you. I understand not wanting a temp, but maybe that ends up for the best in the long run. There may be big names in the future that actively seek the job, with the scandal gone and a coach between them and JoePa, that just weren’t interested right now. If nothing else, O’Brien will take the heat from fans/alumni/players for every change from the way Joe used to do things, but the next guy can make changes as he sees fit as long as he keeps the general tenets of the PSU way.

        I’d assume the former AD had a short list for replacing Paterno, but he’s not the AD anymore and several of those people might have removed themselves from consideration or been removed by circumstances (Bradley, for example). An interim AD that’s never led a coaching search is going to have some difficulties in a situation like this. I thought they should have hired a search firm to give them advice.

        What OSU and PSU have taught me in the past 12+ months is that universities are terrible at PR for some reason. Don’t they teach it to people? As large as they are, why don’t they have a major PR firm on retainer to deal with these sorts of things?

        Like

        • PSUGuy says:

          As an “oh by the way”…

          I got around to watching some interviews of O’Brien.and came away with the following:

          He’s intense and competitive and comes across as “legitimate” when talking football…by that I mean, what it takes to win, dedication to team, etc. I could tell in the interview he got the football aspect of “being a Penn Stater” because of his reaction to the idea of changing the school’s uniforms (immediate negative reaction, meant he was sincere). Graduation (note, I didn’t say academics) are important to him. IMO, he’ll be a guy who “runs a clean ship” and ensures his guys graduate (which is why I’m sure PSU hired him).

          Now the bad, it was painfully obvious he is only using this job as a stepping-stone for someplace else. There was one response to a question in an interview I saw that literally made me cringe it was so obvious he plans on leaving in a couple years. I said graduation is important to him, but not education…by that I mean I get the feeling he believes that working for certain institutions (like those he has in his college career) it is a requirement to graduate your players. Just like a NCAA rule, its something you simply must do. The difference is O’Brien may not care at all if a guy is in “Basket-weaving” so long as he met the grades. Paterno may have let the guy be in “basket-weaving” too, but he would have been pushing that player to expand himself and go for something more challenging, if not in college, then through his life. IMO, that is the difference between “graduation” and “education”…one is just about the rate, the other is teaching the kids how important it is to continually learn throughout the course of your life.

          For as much as he “got it” from a football perspective you could tell he was clueless from a “community” perspective. He said all the right things, but for as genuine as his response to the changing uniform question was his responses to non-football related questions seemed forced (in fairness, he may not have realized that kind of stuff actually matters to most PSU fans).

          In the end, he strikes me kind of like Bo Pelini in both personality and temperament. I don’t think that a bad thing from a football perspective, but in the end Paterno (no matter what you think about him) was a person who felt he was more than just a football coach (to his players) and I really think O’Brien is “just a football coach” (which is maybe another reason why PSU hired him).

          Like

    • jj says:

      He’s a good writer. And I totally agree. If they want to fix this fiasco and have a playoff with the bowls, the old bowl alliances need to be used. Perfect example tearing on the Sugar. The more the bowls leave their tie ins, the worse they get.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Don’t taint his fine article with a playoff. His whole point is to kill the current postseason and revert to the old bowl system.

        Like

        • Jake says:

          +1 for the Cheers reference, -1 for thinking that BCS status is the reason for realignment. But I agree that I’d rather have split national titles than the current system. I think the only thing college football fans agree on is that the current system stinks.

          Like

        • jj says:

          I was just sayin if. Jake’s got it. No one likes what we have. So far as I can tell.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            It’s the worst sort of compromise. It takes the worst parts of 2 systems and combines them into one even worse system, as the suckitude grows exponentially.

            Like

  18. Playoffs Now says:

    Posted this last night on the prior thread, might as well bring it over here:

    I’ve said for over a year that we’d see at a minimum a Plus One playoff coming out of the next round of negotations, and virtually all signs point to this happening, Delany be damned (and even he seems at least resigned to it.) But based on recent comments by Slive and others, I think the big debate may not be between a Plus One versus no playoff, but rather a Plus One versus an 8-team playoff using the bowls.

    My guess is the B12 will lobby the SEC, ACC, and P12 for an 8-team playoff using the Rose, Sugar, Orange, and Fiesta (or Cotton.) AQ and the BCS would officially be eliminated, however the bowls would choose to keep their tie-ins with the 5 largest conferences (P12 & B1G-Rose, SEC-Sugar, ACC-Orange, B12-Fiesta or Cotton.) Rose would always be P12 vs B1G champs, while the other 3 bowls would agree to take the top 3 ‘wildcard’ schools based on an independent ranking committee (but bowls would be free to pick which teams played where, in order to max attendance.) Technically separate from the bowls, the conferences would agree to allow the top 2 winners to host on-campus semifinal games 1-2 weeks after the New Year’s bowls. The actual national title game between the winners would be put up for bid, just as the Super Bowl is (more $’s.)

    Why may this big jump have a chance? For the B12 and SEC, if the payout is based in part on appearances, they may have a better shot at the wildcards. The B12 has to be worried about the B1G’s potential to lock up extra BCS slots with inferior teams (performance wise) in the present system. For the ACC, a chance to appear more relevant with a guaranteed team in the playoffs every year, versus the current likelihood of often being left out of Plus Ones. $-wise that can be overcome depending on how the revenue sharing agreement is drawn, but perception wise a Plus One is more of a risk.

    The B1G will probably be against it given their advantage in the previous BCS formats, and may well squelch the plan, but I wouldn’t completely rule out the P12 just yet. OTOH, like with the ACC, this plan would guarantee the B1G and P12 participated every year in the playoffs. Would the Rose be happier getting the champs of the B1G and P12 every year as part of a playoff, or having one or both teams be conference runner ups at times? And to get an 8-team plan through, would the B12 be willing to at some point horse trade the Fiesta for the Cotton, with the Fiesta becoming a P12-B1G bowl (gambling on getting a 2nd team in the wildcard frequently and negotiating for a replacement bowl?)

    Plus if the B1G (and perhaps P12) want to play too much hardball, the B12, SEC, and ACC could easily set this up without them in 3 bowls (with a bye for the top team in the next round) until fan outcry forces the B1G and P12 to join soon after. The Sugar will do whatever the SEC says, the Orange is looking for a way to revive slumping interest and TV ratings, and Jerry Jones would be all too happy to lure away the B12 if the Fiesta balks. So the power has shifted quite a bit since the last round of negotiations.

    Hard to predict how the Big (W)East would end up in this. If the B12 and/or ACC wants this enough, they might get BE votes by agreeing to take their champ as a wildcard, or perhaps only if ranked at #x or above. OTOH, the B12 and other conferences may want to exclude them and reduce the amount of the $ pie is shared with them, particularly if more schools are raided.

    The NCAA has said they’d be fine with a Plus One, but beyond that they might want control. Fine, technically separate the Plus One to after the bowls, and stare down the NCAA with the threat of pulling out if they want to play hardball.

    Not saying this is going to happen this round, and it may not even be formally discussed. But my hunch is that something like this 8-school/4-bowl playoff will be on the table and considered this year for whatever replaces the BCS.

    Like

    • Playoffs Now says:

      A couple of more thoughts:

      1) An unseeded Plus One is really just a tweak and won’t solve much of anything. If in place we likely would still have had the Alabama picked over Okie State travesty, just after the bowls instead of before. Thus I think it is highly unlikely that the powers that be settle on an unseeded Plus One compromise, the powers have shifted enough since the last round of negotiations.

      2) If the smaller conferences want to push too far and continue to threaten lawsuits, I could also see an alternative where all the bowls revert to an unaligned free-market position and a 4-team Plus One takes place after the bowls, but without the coordinated playoff round within the bowls suggested in my prior post. Power conferences would have to face down the NCAA, but would probably do so and win. More $’s concentrated in the power conferences that way, but also less likely for any schools from the minor conferences to get into the post-bowls Final Four as compared to qualifying for one of 3 wildcards in an 8-school system (remember that the 5 power conference champs would not be competing for those wildcard slots.) Hence I think the 8-teams via 4-bowls plan has a good shot at being considered.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        1) An unseeded Plus One is really just a tweak and won’t solve much of anything. If in place we likely would still have had the Alabama picked over Okie State travesty, just after the bowls instead of before.

        It’s much more than a tweak. It’s adding an extra round to the system.

        AL over OkSU after the bowls would be much less of a travesty. AL would have a win over an elite team to bolster their resume. If it was dominant, people would be more accepting of AL over an OkSU that struggled with Stanford (assuming that was the game in this alternate universe). If AL struggled too, people might rethink SEC dominance and whether a conference champ from the B12 deserves the shot more than the SEC W runner up who already lost at home to LSU.

        Like

    • Richard says:

      There’s no way the bowls will be used as quarterfinals. I think asking fans to travel twice all over the country is too much to ask, and I doubt the the presidents & ADs (who know that most of their fanbase save up enough money to really only travel to one bowl game a year) would ask their fans to travel even twice. If you want to make this year’s Orange Bowl look like a sellout crowd, just implement your proposal.

      Any semifinals (and quarterfinals, though I think an 8-team playoff is at least several years away; no one outside your imagination thinks an 8-team playoff is possible right now) would have to be on home sites.

      BTW, the B12 won’t press for an 8-team playoff because they won’t benefit from it. It’s not even certain that the B12 would get more teams in to higher profile games (because with a 4-team playoff and 5-6 don’t-call-them-BCS bowls, the B12 will get 2 tie-ins and can reasonably expect to get 3 teams in to top games in most years). Furthermore, any money from a playoff would be spread more evenly than a market-based bowl system (where the bowl pays only the 2 participating conferences), so the B12 can’t expect to make more money from an 8-team playoff either. The MWC, CUSA, and MAC may be for a 8 or 16 team playoff, but they don’t have much power.

      Like

  19. Craig Z says:

    How much more money would a plus one championship game bring in versus the championship game we have now? After paying the two teams, is there enough left over to distribute to all the conferences to make it worth while to potentially give up access to it?

    Like

  20. Brian says:

    What do people think about Montee Ball returning to WI for his senior year?

    I think it’s a mistake for him. RB is one of those positions that should go pro as soon as possible. He’s already had 536 carries (275 in 2011). Why take more hits? What can he do to improve his draft status that he didn’t do this year? He lost weight and ran for over 1700 yards and 32 TDs and made 6.4 ypc. He caught 20 passes for 6 TDs. It’s nice to be a team guy, but he’s hurting himself in the process. It’s not like WI is set up for a special year next season. They should be good but not great (again) with a bunch of new coaches, a new QB and graduating several other players. They aren’t a NCG type of team.

    Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      I get where you’re coming from, for sure, but I’m happy for Wisconsin. Anytime a good player returns unexpectedly for his senior season is always good news for cfb fans and a good tip of the cap to the ideal of the “student-athlete,” however damaged that term may be.

      Like

    • jj says:

      Your read is right. RBs are a dime a dozen in some senses and they don’t last. Go get the dough.

      Like

    • Richard says:

      I agree. It’s a stupid (or at least not financially sound) decision by Ball.

      Like

    • Kevin says:

      Ball staying was surprising for sure. The scouts think he needs to be at 215. Not sure why he couldn’t have gotten stronger and bigger before the combine/pro days. Having him back will be a positive for the new QB. Whoever that is.

      I think Wisconsin goes 9-3 or 8-4 next year. But they will challenge for the Leaders division. The staff turnover concerns. Mostly at the O-line position. Chryst was going to leave eventually anyway.

      Like

  21. Brian says:

    Well, KSU started off playing like crap (fumble deep in their own end, penalties, etc) then they got screwed by the refs on the punt return TD (there was a clear block in the back – not the big highlight hit but about 5 yards away). They switched the momentum with the XP block to make it 19-2, then drove for another TD to make it a 10 point game at the half. A quick TD to start the 3rd quarter and we have a game.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      And then KSU played like crap some more. At least they showed some defense, holding AR to 345 yards. Take out the punt return TD that shouldn’t have counted and it was a close game.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Arkansas showed surprisingly good defense, not that KSU has great skill players. I think the change of coordinators helped Arkansas. Bill Snyder wasn’t able to anticipate what the new coordinators would do.

        Main difference in the game was that Arkansas O line gave their QB all day to throw the ball. They weren’t able to run much, but had plenty of time for the secondary coverage to break down.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          KSU’s DBs looked clueless in pass defense. AR had deep shots open all game. I was impressed how well AR handled replacing both coordinators. Offense I could understand since Petrino has a hand in it and his brother knows the system. Haynes did a really good job with only 3 weeks to learn the system and the players and not getting in the way of the position coaches who had that knowledge.

          Like

    • bullet says:

      I thought it was a flagrant clip as well. Fox showed all the wonderful blocks on replay, except for the one most important one done by #38. I was hoping to see it on replay to see if it really was a block in the back, but Fox managed to avoid showing it on any of their replays (intentional to avoid controversy?). They did show #38 coming into the screen following the KSU player he had just sent flying, but not the actual block.

      Like

  22. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/nhl/story/_/id/7434057/nhl-delays-realignment-plan-modified-playoffs-format

    The NHLPA has rejected the NHL’s realignment plan. Nothing will change for next season.

    The NHLPA’s Don Fehr:

    “As realignment affects players’ terms and conditions of employment, the CBA requires the league to obtain the NHLPA’s consent before implementation,” Fehr said. “Over the last month, we have had several discussions with the league and extensive dialogue with players, most recently on an executive board conference call on Jan. 1. Two substantial player concerns emerged: whether the new structure would result in increased and more onerous travel; and the disparity in chances of making the playoffs between the smaller and larger divisions.

    “In order to evaluate the effect on travel of the proposed new structure, we requested a draft or sample 2012-13 schedule, showing travel per team. We were advised it was not possible for the league to do that. We also suggested reaching an agreement on scheduling conditions to somewhat alleviate player travel concerns … but the league did not want to enter into such a dialogue.”

    Like

  23. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/7431419/michigan-wolverines-darryl-stonum-gets-10-day-jail-term

    Darryl Stonum got 10 days in jail for violating his probation by driving on a revoked license to his probation officer and lying about how he got there. He’s had 4 alcohol violations and 2 stays in jail, both for violating probation from DUI’s.

    Stonum was suspended indefinitely in May after his DUI arrest and redshirted, but he has 1 year left. Hoke said Stonum’s status with the team had not changed and would not “until we know everything.”

    How much more do you need to know, Brady? Give him the boot.

    Like

    • Cliff's Notes says:

      Brian,

      Regarding Stonum,

      First, I don’t mind Hoke waiting until the middle of camp to announce anything. If Stonum is not going to be kicked off the team, there’s no need to rush anything regarding the number of games suspended. Odds are he’ll screw up again, and you can just release him.

      My first thought is that I want him off the team. He had his chance(s) and blew it. However, I’m willing to give Hoke the benefit of the doubt, if he decides to keep him around because Hoke believes he can help him out in life. But Stonum must be given a pretty strong punishment. A 4 or 5 game suspension is sufficient for me, but I’d have no problem if it was longer.

      Stonum would miss the entire non-conference schedule, including Alabama (in Dallas) in week one and at Notre Dame in week 4. Michigan has a bye in week five before kicking off the Big Ten schedule with Purdue and Illinois in weeks 6-7. I don’t see missing Purdue as a *huge* deal on the Michigan schedule, so I might just stick with 4 games. But if you wanted to make a point that he has to miss the Big Ten opener (Purdue in Week 6) or half a season (Purdue & Illinois), that’s fine too.

      Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      Forget about whether he gets kicked off the team. Stornum and everyone who drove anywhere near him during any of those incidents are very fortunate he hasn’t killed someone while driving drunk. I have a friend of a friend who made the same terrible decision, and a young man was burned alive in a fiery car crash as a result.

      Had someone driven too closely to Stornum, someone could have died, and people would be calling for Stornum to be put in jail for 20 years, with a ruined reputation for the rest of his life. Stornum (and Gary Pinkel, for that matter) should thank their lucky stars. Since they were fortunate enough for no one to get hurt, they don’t even lose their job or get kicked off the team. Meanwhile, my friend’s friend has to live for 20 years of his ruined life in jail knowing that his decision to drive drunk caused a 32-year-old man’s life to end in the worst way possible.

      He, and anyone like him, needs more than a suspension. He needs help and friends who will keep him away from alcohol.

      Like

  24. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/bigten/post/_/id/43285/reports-uw-losing-konz-maybe-rudolph

    Ball is staying, but Konz (C) is going pro from WI. That’s 2 stud linemen gone.

    On top of that, Joe Rudolph is interviewing at Pitt with Paul Chryst. He’d be the 5th coach to leave WI this year.

    Are you concerned, Badger fans?

    Like

    • Richard says:

      My co-worker is. He thinks Bucky’s offense will “suck” next year. Then I reminded him what division the Badgers are in. We both agreed that next year will be another down year for the B10. Don’t see any national title contenders emerging from this bunch.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        I think WI will be lucky to be down in a year where it doesn’t much matter. OSU can’t win the division, PSU is going through turmoil, IL has a new coach, IN is IN and PU is shopping for ACL’s. WI gets a year for the new coaches to settle in before the real competition starts in 2013.

        The Legends should be a lot better than the Leaders, though. I expect another tight battle between MSU, MI and NE. Nobody looks NCG caliber right now, but the Legends champ could sneak in and get demolished by LSU.

        2013 is the B10’s year to really recover. OSU, MI and NE all should be good. PSU will have had a year to get past the scandal. WI, MSU and IA are unknowns at this point but at least 2 of them will probably be pretty good.

        Like

  25. Michael in Raleigh says:

    The Post-BCS BCS, circa 2014

    Rose: B1G #1 vs. Pac-12 #1
    Cotton: Big 12 #1 vs. SEC #2
    Sugar: SEC #1 vs. B1G #2
    Orange: ACC #1 vs. SEC #3
    Fiesta: Big 12 #2 vs. B1G #3
    Cap One: Big East #1/Notre Dame vs. SEC #4

    Highest two remaining teams from these bowls advance to a national championship game.

    Other changes: Alamo drops Pac-12 in favor of B1G. Insight drops Big 12 in favor of Pac-12.

    Thoughts?

    Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      I reluctantly acknowledge that the ACC #1 may do no better than the Cap One or Outback after yet another pair of BCS bowl failures (and their accompanying terrible TV ratings).

      I still hold out hope that the Orange will stick with the ACC, though, but not for the greatest of reasons. After several years of declining popularity relative to the other BCS bowls, the Orange appears to be the lowest revenue-generator of the four BCS bowls. It would be outbid for the B1G’s and SEC’s #2 teams by the Cotton/Sugar. Yet the ACC #1 ought to be more valuable than those leagues’ #3.

      The Fiesta has taken a hit and I fully expect it to fall into fifth place for bowl payouts behind the other three BCS bowls, plus the Cotton.

      The B1G would lose the Cap One tie-in but gain a permanent Sugar tie-in AND a Fiesta tie-in. I can’t see the Big East, linked with Notre Dame, getting worse than the sixth best bowl tie-in.

      Like

      • frug says:

        Key for the ACC is going to be FSU’s performance over the next couple years. With Miami out of the picture for the foreseeable future this year’s Sugar Bowl disaster proving that V-Tech’s mediocre TV ratings and ticket sales struggles weren’t just the result of bad matchups, the ACC needs to be able to sell the Orange Bowl on getting Florida St as a frequent visitor. While no one expects them to get back to the level they were in the ’90s, winning the conference 3 years our of 5 isn’t of the question, and that could be enough to sway the OB (especially if they are willing to the let the OB look to outside if FSU is not available because of a national title appearance)

        Like

    • Brian says:

      Michael in Raleigh,

      The Post-BCS BCS, circa 2014

      Rose: B1G #1 vs. Pac-12 #1
      Cotton: Big 12 #1 vs. SEC #2
      Sugar: SEC #1 vs. B1G #2
      Orange: ACC #1 vs. SEC #3
      Fiesta: Big 12 #2 vs. B1G #3
      Cap One: Big East #1/Notre Dame vs. SEC #4

      Highest two remaining teams from these bowls advance to a national championship game.

      Other changes: Alamo drops Pac-12 in favor of B1G. Insight drops Big 12 in favor of Pac-12.

      I think/hope several of your pairings are wrong. My guess/wish:

      Rose – B10 1 / P12 1
      Fiesta – B12 2 / P12 2
      Cotton – B12 1 / SEC 2
      Sugar – SEC 1 / at large
      Orange – ACC 1 / B10 2
      Cap 1 – B10 3 / SEC 3

      At large is for BE 1, ACC 2, B10 3, B12 3, P12 3, ND or non-AQ. Nobody wants that spot locked in, The Sugar doesn’t want to lock any of those teams in and the SEC likes having an easier match up to help make it to the NCG. The B10 opts for the Orange instead since FL has a lot more B10 alumni than LA and the homefield advantage isn’t as bad. The Orange eats that up as the next best thing to getting the B8 champ like the old days. The B12 and P12 decide that a premier game in the Fiesta make sense. The B12 chooses that over taking the other spot in the Sugar. The Cap 1 is happy with the status quo and keeps it.

      The Alamo and Insight could make those changes. One change I’d like to see is to create the Archway Bowl in St. Louis matching B10/B12 to replace one of the lower TX bowls. The B10 could also take the B12’s spot in the Pinstripe Bowl.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        I’d like to see a St. Louis Bowl as well, but believe the Pinstripe will become a BE/ACC affair with the ACC adding those northern teams. Also, I believe a LA Christmas Festival bowl between the Pac and B10 is far more likely than a St. Louis bowl (it’s probably the most likely new bowl as both the Pac and B10 have said they want to match up teams in a bowl game). Tickets likely would be priced cheaply but held in the giant LA Coliseum & sold as a package to Rose Bowl attendees (if you arrive for bowl week, might as well check out another B10/Pac bowl game).

        Like

        • Brian says:

          Richard,

          I’d like to see a St. Louis Bowl as well, but believe the Pinstripe will become a BE/ACC affair with the ACC adding those northern teams.

          Yep, that’s certainly a possibility too. I was just throwing out my preferences, not making predictions. I haven’t spent any real time thinking about the minor bowls.

          Also, I believe a LA Christmas Festival bowl between the Pac and B10 is far more likely than a St. Louis bowl (it’s probably the most likely new bowl as both the Pac and B10 have said they want to match up teams in a bowl game).

          They’ve already proposed the LACF bowl and been rejected, so it has a head start. I think another bowl will have to die or get decertified first. I don’t see value to the B10 in playing a lower level bowl in LA, though. They should spread the games around. Maybe the SF bowl instead, for example, or one of the SD bowls, or the Insight. I get tired of playing road games and letting the other team play at home, though.

          I know it’s a pipe dream, but I’d like to see more B10 bowls in the midwest or neutral territory. Detroit could get bumped up. Minneapolis, Indianapolis or St. Louis could start one. If the BE can play in NYC, the B10 can play in Chicago.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            Not this year, but (speaking as someone who’s lived in both locales), Chicago in late December tends to be much more brutal than NYC in late December.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Yes, it is. But you can still play games in that weather despite it not being optimal. I wouldn’t put an important game there, but a minor bowl would be OK. How hospitable is Boise in mid-December? Or Albuquerque, especially when you factor in the altitude?

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Sure, you _could_ put a minor bowl in Soldier Field, but would people attend and would it survive (and would a B10 even want it? Weren’t you the one who was afraid the Memphis and Charlotte bowls may not be well attended by B10 fans because of cold weather)? Evidently, decent numbers of Boise people attend the Humanitarian Bowl regardless of who’s playing there (I reckon there’s not much to do in Idaho in winter).

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            Sure, you _could_ put a minor bowl in Soldier Field, but would people attend and would it survive (and would a B10 even want it? Weren’t you the one who was afraid the Memphis and Charlotte bowls may not be well attended by B10 fans because of cold weather)? Evidently, decent numbers of Boise people attend the Humanitarian Bowl regardless of who’s playing there (I reckon there’s not much to do in Idaho in winter).

            So Boise can support a bowl, but Chicago doesn’t have enough people to support a minor bowl? In the B10 CCG location discussion, I kept hearing about how Chicago has more B10 fans than anywhere else, and there are tons of alumni from every team there and how Bears and Packers fans pack games in January when the weather is even worse. But when it comes to a bowl, they can’t find a few thousand people to watch a B10 game?

            Memphis and Charlotte are long trips to non-warm locations. Chicago is in the footprint and already has a lot of B10 fans. Big difference.

            I’m curious to see how the Potato bowl does now that Boise can’t play in it. Will the fan interest continue or slowly die out? As for nothing to do, Boise has skiing and other winter sports. Chicago has shoveling and scraping.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Brian:

            Have you visited Chicago? Chicago in the winter isn’t nearly as fun as Chicago in the summer (which I’d consider to be the best place for fun for your value anywhere; other than Toronto during the summer), but there’s a heck of a lot going on. I suppose if you have no interest in anything cultural or good food or other sports, then there’s nothing to do besides freezing your ass off by the lake to watch a football game, but the rest of us can find plenty to do.

            Also, you’ll need a few tens of thousands of people.

            BTW, I didn’t think Soldier Field hosting the B10 championship game was a good idea (and neither did the B10, so I can’t see why they’d suddenly support putting a bowl game in Soldier Field deeper in to winter). Finally, I remember you not wanting the B10 title game to be held in Soldier Field as well, so how can you say that a B10 title game at Soldier Field in early December isn’t a good idea but a bowl game at Soldier Field in late December is?

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            Have you visited Chicago?

            Yes. And I have friends and family that live there. And I lived in the upper midwest for about 22 years so I’m familiar with the weather.

            Have you visited Boise?

            Chicago in the winter isn’t nearly as fun as Chicago in the summer (which I’d consider to be the best place for fun for your value anywhere; other than Toronto during the summer), but there’s a heck of a lot going on.

            It’s a major city. Of course there are things going on. Chicago wouldn’t sniff my list of most fun places, especially in summer, but I’m glad you enjoy it.

            I suppose if you have no interest in anything cultural or good food or other sports, then there’s nothing to do besides freezing your ass off by the lake to watch a football game, but the rest of us can find plenty to do.

            But you know for a fact that there is nothing else to do in Boise that is fun? As it turns out, the whole world doesn’t necessarily agree with your priorities in terms of what is fun. A bowl game would need less than 1% of Chicago to turn out to pack the house, and that’s assuming absolutely zero fans for either team show up.

            BTW, I didn’t think Soldier Field hosting the B10 championship game was a good idea (and neither did the B10, so I can’t see why they’d suddenly support putting a bowl game in Soldier Field deeper in to winter). Finally, I remember you not wanting the B10 title game to be held in Soldier Field as well, so how can you say that a B10 title game at Soldier Field in early December isn’t a good idea but a bowl game at Soldier Field in late December is?

            Winning the CCG is important. It shouldn’t be decided by weather. The winner of a lower tier bowl game is essentially meaningless in the scheme of things, so it’s apples and oranges.

            Like

          • Jake says:

            You know, I really wouldn’t mind a cold-weather bowl game. If SLC or Denver got one started, I could get in some skiing during the trip. That’d be pretty fun. Boise’s a nice town, but kind of a haul.

            Like

      • Richard says:

        Oh, and I played around with the idea of the Orange taking a B10 team instead of an SEC team, but the problem for the Orange is that the new ACC will have nearly half the league north of NC (and really, only FSU, Miami, Clemson, and maybe GTech, NCSU & UNC can be counted on to fill up even half the stadium). They don’t want to be stuck with no local team if a school in the northern half of the ACC wins the league.

        BTW, I also thought of the Fiesta taking the Pac #2, but if you look at their history, they’ve virtually never taken a Pac team (except the early days, when it was the ASU Bowl). Pac teams just don’t travel well, and I don’t think adding Colorado and Utah changes the equation enough. In short, the Fiesta only add the Pac #2 if ND is part of the Pac pot. Otherwise, another B10 selection is more likely; especially if ND is part of the B10 pot.

        Finally, you may not want to face another SEC team in a bowl, but the Sugar likely will have the top payout outside of the Rose (or be tied).

        Like

        • Brian says:

          Richard,

          Oh, and I played around with the idea of the Orange taking a B10 team instead of an SEC team, but the problem for the Orange is that the new ACC will have nearly half the league north of NC (and really, only FSU, Miami, Clemson, and maybe GTech, NCSU & UNC can be counted on to fill up even half the stadium). They don’t want to be stuck with no local team if a school in the northern half of the ACC wins the league.

          Based on history, those northern teams won’t be winning the ACC very often. If they do, they’ll travel pretty well. It’s not like all the SEC teams are right next door, though. They’ll be traveling too. The Rose does OK with OR in it, and the Fiesta never has a local team to count on.

          BTW, I also thought of the Fiesta taking the Pac #2, but if you look at their history, they’ve virtually never taken a Pac team (except the early days, when it was the ASU Bowl). Pac teams just don’t travel well, and I don’t think adding Colorado and Utah changes the equation enough.

          P12 teams have that reputation, but I think it’s worse for small bowls than the big ones. UW and OR fans never had much trouble making it to Pasadena. I think having 4 local P12 teams helps a lot, although it would be better if those 4 were more successful.

          In short, the Fiesta only add the Pac #2 if ND is part of the Pac pot. Otherwise, another B10 selection is more likely; especially if ND is part of the B10 pot.

          I don’t see the B10 or P12 sharing anything with ND. As part of a national at large pool, sure, but not one on one.

          Finally, you may not want to face another SEC team in a bowl, but the Sugar likely will have the top payout outside of the Rose (or be tied).

          It’s not just that it is an SEC team. It’s playing up against the SEC (B10 #2 vs SEC #1) in SEC territory but not in the part of SEC territory most useful to the B10. The payouts follow the teams more than anything else. The Rose pays the most because it has two major conference champs and is well run. The Sugar would pay really well for SEC #1 and B10 #2, but it won’t top the Orange by all that much. Besides, hasn’t the B10 shown that maxing out money is not their first concern?

          Orange Bowl pros and cons versus the Sugar:
          Pro – The Orange is in FL which is much better for B10 alumni and recruiting.
          Pro – B10 #2 will be more evenly matched against ACC #1 than SEC #1.
          Pro – B10 #2 is more likely to make the NCG if it doesn’t face SEC #1 in NO.
          Pro – The B10 has no bowls against the ACC and this would be a good chance to add one.
          Pro – The home field advantage will be less in the Orange Bowl.
          Con – The Orange would pay a little less.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            Ultimately, it’ll come down to what the Orange wants. I can see a case for the B10 as the networks would like a northern team vs. a southern team rather than 2 southern teams, but the B10 has options (Sugar and Fiesta); the SEC doesn’t (it could send a team to the Fiesta, but only twice ever has the Fiesta selected an SEC team and one of those times, most of the country was avoiding AZ for not supporting MLK Day; 2 other times, SEC teams have played designated championship games at the Fiesta). The Fiesta strongly prefers B10 or ND & the Sugar can’t really match up SEC with SEC, so I can see the SEC doing everything it can to send it’s #2 to the Orange.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            It comes down to what the Orange, Sugar, Fiesta, SEC, B12, P12, ACC and B10 want. It takes 3 to tango for a bowl, and none of them have any leverage other than money. Maybe the Orange would prefer SEC over B10, i don’t know. Maybe they’d prefer B10 but take SEC at a discount instead. Maybe they drop the ACC. Maybe the Fiesta doesn’t care about past history, and takes P12 and SEC. Nobody knows.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Sure, and maybe one or both of us will be struck by lightening tomorrow, but you can try to forecast probabilities and make educated guesses.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            I don’t believe we can make educated guesses about what any of those entities would want in this scenario. Uneducated guesses, sure, but not educated ones. When was the last time that this many major bowls had a chance to change tie-ins? Do we have any evidence of how the OB committee feels on the subject? We can’t even figure out if the B12 stays with the Fiesta or goes back to the Cotton (and some say it goes to the Sugar), or if the Orange wants to keep the ACC for sure. How can we pretend to make an educated guess about whether the OB would prefer the #2 pick from the SEC or B10 or something else?

            You’ve made projections on max money, and that’s certainly part of the picture. I think these decisions will come down to the intangibles, instead, though. How optimistic is the OB about the ACC’s future? How do the bowls expect conference strength to change in the future? How much do the bowls want ND and what sacrifices are they willing to make to get them? What do the various conferences want?

            I didn’t mean to be as vague in my response as you took it. My point was that for every bowl, 3 entities have to agree. It’s not like once a bowl locks in one pick it can ignore that conference’s wishes and get whomever they want for the other pick. Add in the multiple bowls under discussion, and it gets really complicated.

            Things that people generally agree on:
            1. The Rose will keep B10 #1 vs P12 #1.
            2. The Sugar will keep SEC #1.
            3. There will probably be 5 major bowls – Rose, Fiesta, Cotton, Sugar and Orange.

            Everything else is up for debate. That’s 7 bowl slots with 9 picks to fill them (ACC #1, B10 #2, B10 #3, B12 #2, P12 #2, SEC #2, SEC #3, ND, other). There are very few constraints (no SEC vs SEC game, geographical preferences, etc), and the groups can combine into supergroups (ND + other, ND + a major, 2 majors, ND + other + a major, everybody, etc). Obviously some choices make more sense than others, but that’s still a huge number of plausible choices.

            Like

    • Richard says:

      I mostly agree. I now think that the Orange will match the Cotton’s payout to it’s non-B12 #1 team so the 2 bowls will share the SEC’s #2/#3 picks. I also see the Outback (with a newer NFL stadium with luxury boxes) jumping the Cap One (stuck in the outdated Citrus Bowl) and will come close to matching the Fiesta in payout.

      Also, I think it really makes sense for the B10 to include ND in their bowl selection. It’s the only way for the B10 to get 4 spots in the top 6 bowls. Likewise, if the Pac includes ND in their bowl selection, they’d get 2 spots. However, if they’re part of the B10’s selection pot, the Irish get a chance to go to 1 of 3 of the top 6 bowls (Sugar, Fiesta, and Outback), while as part of the Pac’s selection, they can only go to the Fiesta. Maybe the B10 limits the Irish to going to one of those 3 bowls once each.

      Rose (B10 #1 vs. Pac #1): $30M
      Sugar (SEC #1 vs. B10 #2): 20+M for SEC #1, $20M for B10 #2
      Cotton (B12 #1 vs. SEC #2/#3): 20+M for B12 #1, $20M for SEC #2/#3
      Orange (ACC #1 vs. SEC #2/#3): $20M

      If B10 includes ND in bowl selection:
      Fiesta (B12 #2 vs. B10 #3/ND): $15M (maybe a little more)
      Outback (SEC #4 vs. B10 #4/ND): $15M (maybe a little less)
      (ND could also be selected for the Sugar in this case)

      If Pac includes ND in bowl selection:
      Fiesta (B12 #2 vs. Pac #2/ND): $15M (maybe a little more)
      Outback (SEC #4 vs. B10 #3): $15M (maybe a little less)

      Title game would have a payout of $40 per team ($80M total), but that + the other $80M generated by the 2 semifinal games (for a total of $160M) will be split evenly by all teams in FBS, with only $10M going to the title game participants each. Semifinal losers also get $10M each for going to the Houston Bowl on NYE.

      I’ve worked out the changes for the minor bowls as well but will go in to those later.

      Like

      • No one should underestimate the Fiesta Bowl. It actually has the most financially flush BCS bowl committee after the Rose (which is partly why it got in trouble with its junkets). Look at how much it’s paying out for the Insight Bowl matchup now. The Fiesta has the ability to pay Capital One/Cotton Bowl-level payouts for a second bowl on top of winning a bidding war for a top BCS slot. I think a lot of people discount the Fiesta simply because it’s the nouveau riche bowl in the BCS, but if there’s a bidding war between the Fiesta, Orange and/or Cotton, I completely believe that the Fiesta would win. That’s how it got into the Bowl Alliance and BCS in the first place.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          Hi Frank,

          You’re probably right, so the question I have is: are those the Fiesta’s financial reserves (savings) you’re talking about or annual money coming in from annual ticket/luxury box holders, events, etc? How much does annual money coming in from the TV contract matter (since, if that is the big determinant, the networks and schools likely would rather be associated with a bowl other than the Fiesta)?

          Like

          • @Richard – I think they get a ton of cash flow coming in annually. Note that the University of Phoenix Stadium is definitely the most revenue rich stadium in the BCS. It’s not as large as Jerry World, but the amenities are on par. The local tourism interests also provide a ton of support, which is an underrated factor. The strength of a local tourism board is actually much more important than having a large individual benefactor like Jerry Jones or even a nice stadium. The Capital One Bowl might have the worst physical facilities of any bowl, yet it’s able to easily have the highest payout of any non-BCS bowl and its sister game (the Champs Sports Bowl) has a higher payout than more historical bowls like the Holiday and Sun. Why? Because the Citrus Bowl Committee is flush with funds from Disney (parent of ESPN), Universal (owned by Comcast) and all of the hotels, restaurants and airlines that pump in tons of money to ensure 100,000 high spending football fans spend a week or so in Orlando every year. When Mickey Mouse and Harry Potter are underwriting a bowl game, they can outbid anyone for the top Big Ten and SEC selections despite a dilapidated stadium. That’s why the Big Ten and SEC keep sending their top non-BCS teams there.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Hi Frank, you’re right, and after checking out the non-bowl events the Fiesta and Citrus bowls hold (here’s the Fiesta’s, for instance: http://www.fiestabowl.org/events.php), they blow away the other ones I checked out (Alamo & Outback; the Cotton was saddest of all as they seem to do nothing except hold the game; I couldn’t find an events page).

            Like

          • frug says:

            @Richard

            Did you remember that the Cotton Bowl is no longer played in the Cotton Bowl? Or are you taking about events sponsored by the people running the games, and just events that take place at the facility?

            Like

          • frug says:

            Whoops, answered my question.

            From the Cotton Bowl’s website

            The Cotton Bowl Athletic Association (CBAA) is a nonprofit organization incorporated under the laws of the state of Texas to promote, sponsor and stage an annual postseason intercollegiate football game in Arlington.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Yeah, I’m talking about the organizations.

            Like

    • wmtiger says:

      Capital One isn’t going to pay more money & lose the B10.

      Like

  26. Richard says:

    OK, revised BCS bowl pairings given Frank’s information on the Fiesta:

    If the B10 gets ND to be amongst it’s group of selections:

    Rose (B10 #1 vs. Pac #1): $30M
    Sugar (SEC #1 vs. B10 #2/#3/ND): 20M+ for SEC #1, $20M for other
    Fiesta (B12 #1 vs. B10 #2/#3/ND): 20M+ for B12 #1, $20M for other
    Orange (ACC #1 vs. SEC #2): $20M
    Cotton (B12 #2 vs. SEC #3/#4): $10-15M
    Outback (SEC #3/#4 vs. B10 #4/ND): $10-15M

    Like

    • frug says:

      Is it really realistic to expect the Big 10 deal with ND? At best it would marginally improve their bowl selection but cost them money whenever Notre Dame takes the slot. Plus, I can’t see the Big 10 fanbase being real happy with the conference doing Notre Dame any favors.

      I could maybe see it for low level bowls, as maybe a once every four years thing, but no way would it work for the #2 or #3 slots. I mean, there would folks with pitchforks outside Jim Delaney’s office if Wisconsin or Iowa or someone got passed over a Sugar Bowl or Fiesta bid by Notre Dame.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        3 10M+ slots without ND or 4 10M+ slots with ND. To me, it’s a no-brainer, since, any time the Irish are so bad they’re not picked up by a big-payout bowl, The B10 gets another slot.

        You have to realize that the Pac, SEC, and B10 are all on the cusp, with 1, 3, and 3 10M+ bowls locked in for sure, but with the chance to add another 10M+ bowl if they add ND. If the B10 rejects ND, they’ll go to either the Pac or SEC and they’ll get 2 (if Pac) or 4 (if SEC) big payout slots while the B10 gets 3.

        If it makes you feel better, look at it this way: ND gets it’s own big payout slot, but one league gets to pick up that slot if ND is mediocre (or worse). Do you want to be that league, or do you want another league to get that opportunity?

        Like

        • Richard says:

          Add the B12 as well. They’re in the same situation as the Pac in this case.

          Like

        • frug says:

          Big 10 schools are willing to leave money on the table in the interest of pride (never playing on weekdays after week 1) or Michigan not playing night games until this year, so I could see them holding out (especially since the potential of getting locked out of major bowls is one of the few things that might make the Irish give up independence).

          As for the SEC, I kinda doubt that to for simple culture reasons. Notre Dame and the SEC don’t really a great history.

          What I do find more likely would be Notre Dame cutting a deal with the ACC. The ACC (which is at risk of getting shut out of big bowls) would benefit much from bargaining with the Irish. It would also make more geographic sense than the PAC or Big XII.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            Problem is that the ACC isn’t getting a second “BCS” bowl. If it’s “no” from the B10 & SEC and the Pac is unlikely, then ND would likely ally with the B12 (which is openly courting ND) and the Fiesta and Sugar would get B12/ND (matched up against B10 #2 and SEC #1, respectively).

            Also, ND isn’t giving up independence. For that matter, ND isn’t getting locked out of major bowls. Not in this reality, anyway.

            Like

          • frug says:

            I agree that Notre Dame will never willing give up independence but they will if they are forced to. They have admitted not being able to compete for a national title would be enough to make them, and an inability find an acceptable home for its non football sports or decent media deal for its home football games would almost certainly do the trick also. While getting locked out the top bowls isn’t as severe as the other three (which would basically make them BYU with a better history), it’s nothing to scoff at.

            But back to my point about Notre Dame and the Big 10, there is just no way the Big 10 CEO’s would ever accept the possibility of Notre Dame getting taken ahead of their #2, and it is a stretch to see them letting the Irish jump their #3.

            (Think of it this way, is Northwestern (who so rarely competes for top bowls) going to risk the possibility of Notre Dame “stealing” a game from them if they go 10-2?)

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Frug:

            How is it stealing if NU wasn’t going to get a chance at that bowl without ND in the first place?

            For example, without ND, I project the B10’s top bowl tie-ins to be Rose->Fiesta->Cap One->Outback (B12 & ND get the Fiesta & Sugar; Cotton is still not a big-money bowl).

            With ND, I project the B10’s top bowl tie-ins to be Rose->Sugar->Fiesta->Cap One->Outback. Rose is off limits to ND.

            For B10 #2, the change is small, but if you are B10 #3, you would have gone to the Cap One without ND, but with ND, you either go to the Cap One or Fiesta if ND is mediocre. Likewise, if you are B10 #4, you would have gone to the Outback before but with ND, you either go to the Outback or Cap One if ND slips below that (or doesn’t qualify).

            Basically, your mentality is, in your sales team right now, you make $80K, and if you add another guy to your team, he’s going to add a big new account, allowing you to make $100K-$80K, but New Guy has the potential to make $120K. You would rather not add that guy, add the new account, and potentially increase your earnings because the New Guy may earn more than you (instead, another team will add the new guy and his account). Frankly, I don’t understand that mentality.

            Like

          • frug says:

            I get what you are saying, but you are ignoring the simple fact that even now, the Big 10 #2 is already more valuable than generic Notre Dame and B1G #3 is damn close. At #4 you start to see a real difference, but before that the marginal gain from adding ND to the mix is not large enough to risk them taking the slot of a #2 or #3 Big 10 team.

            Like

          • frug says:

            To put it more quantitative terms, Big 10 #2 is already guaranteed a major bowl slot (and the massive payout that comes with it) regardless of whether Notre Dame is part of the mix. There is absolutely no way it makes financial sense to watch Notre Dame get a cut of money that the Big 10 teams can make on their own.

            As for the #3, it gets closer. On the open market the Big 10 #3 is going to be valued at a level similar to the SEC #3, Big XII and PAC-12 #2’s, ND and maybe ACC #1. So while adding Notre Dame could reduce the competition, it wouldn’t actually raise the mean value of the #3 bid. While making Notre Dame a part of the deal for the #3 slot would not actually cost the Big 10 money (unlike the #2 slot) probably won’t make them any more either.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Frug:

            B10 #2 without ND: Fiesta
            B10 #2 with ND: Fiesta or Sugar

            B10 #3 without ND: Cap One
            B10 #3 with ND: Cap One or Fiesta/Sugar

            B10 #4 without ND: Outback
            B10 #4 with ND: Outback or Cap One

            So how exactly does the B10 lose money by including ND? Does it matter if the B10 #2 is worth more than ND if adding ND essentially gets the B10 a chance at another #2-type slot?

            Again, would you want the chance to make an extra $20K but have a new guy on your team make more money than you, or would you’d rather forgo the potential for extra money?

            Like

          • frug says:

            The problem is, in this case the new guy would be taking money away from me. Everytime Notre Dame gets a bid it is taking away money the Big 10 could get anyways.

            Again, as you stated, the Big 10 is guaranteed a big payout for their #2 so why would they do Notre Dame any favors?

            Like

        • Brian says:

          No major conference is making a deal including ND. Not the B10, not the P12, not the SEC, not the B12 and not the ACC. They have too much pride and would get too much backlash when a team was passed over for a worse ND team. The money isn’t worth it to them. You haven’t seemed to notice, but the presidents aren’t all about maximizing CFB dollars at any cost.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            However, I haven’t seen them sacrifice money for “pride” either. Delany keeps signing up the B10 for the highest-paying bowls no matter how badly B10 teams get beat down (and for good reason).

            For that matter, even the decisions that don’t maximize CFB TV dollars, I’d argue, do maximize overall dollars. The B10 bans November night games and weeknight games for the comfort and convenience of the fans, but that translates in to higher ticket prices and a happier alumni base-> more donations.

            Maybe there’d be a backlash amongst B10 fans (the irrational ones, since, as I detail above, adding ND always gives you an equal or better outcome than not adding ND), but I simply don’t see the B12 passing up the chance to add the Sugar to the Fiesta if the price is adding ND. Other than OU and Texas, who would get pissed off about a worse ND team passing them for a Sugar slot? Baylor? Baylor wasn’t getting a Sugar Bowl berth without ND anyway. As for OU and Texas, they can have an unspoken agreement with the Sugar to have them choose them over ND if they are better than ND. It’s not as if the Sugar would be unhappy to have either of those 2.

            Like

          • frug says:

            I’d say ruling out Oklahoma for academic reasons was a case of the Big 10 leaving money on the table for the sake of pride.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            No, because that decision also affects academics (and culture) as well (and this is assuming that they actually turned down OU).

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            However, I haven’t seen them sacrifice money for “pride” either. Delany keeps signing up the B10 for the highest-paying bowls no matter how badly B10 teams get beat down (and for good reason).

            That’s making money for pride. He believes the B10 will win their fair share of those games. He’s been wrong so far, but hopefully not forever.

            For that matter, even the decisions that don’t maximize CFB TV dollars, I’d argue, do maximize overall dollars. The B10 bans November night games and weeknight games for the comfort and convenience of the fans, but that translates in to higher ticket prices and a happier alumni base-> more donations.

            Does it translate to a net gain, or do you throw that out blindly and hope it’s true? Of course you’d argue that it works out, because if it didn’t your argument might be wrong.

            Maybe there’d be a backlash amongst B10 fans

            Maybe?

            (the irrational ones, since, as I detail above, adding ND always gives you an equal or better outcome than not adding ND),

            Believe it or not, we don’t all take your imaginary scenarios as fact. The B10 might make more money by letting ND in on the Rose Bowl, too. I noticed you didn’t allow that. You’ve made huge assumptions about what bowls would do with and without ND being lumped in with the B10 and expect the rest of us to just agree. Amazingly, we don’t all agree.

            but I simply don’t see the B12 passing up the chance to add the Sugar to the Fiesta if the price is adding ND.

            We know that. Some of us see it, though, and we don’t place your vision above ours.

            Other than OU and Texas, who would get pissed off about a worse ND team passing them for a Sugar slot?

            Everyone else would get mad about it because all of them would get passed over for a 9-3 ND and they know it. Having a legitimate chance for a bid and getting screwed out of it by ND is worse than never having the chance.

            As for OU and Texas, they can have an unspoken agreement with the Sugar to have them choose them over ND if they are better than ND. It’s not as if the Sugar would be unhappy to have either of those 2.

            Even the spineless B12 wouldn’t stand for that. Either it is in ink that ND has to have a better record to get in or they won’t consider it, and ND wouldn’t accept those terms.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            “Does it translate to a net gain, or do you throw that out blindly and hope it’s true? Of course you’d argue that it works out, because if it didn’t your argument might be wrong.”

            Even if it is wrong (and I won’t concede that it is), though, none of it has to do with pride.

            “Having a legitimate chance for a bid and getting screwed out of it by ND is worse than never having the chance.”

            I understand that some people feel that way, though it’s one that I’d term irrational. Essentially, you saying, between never being given a Ferrari and being given a Ferrari but with the understanding that there’s a possibility of it being taken from you, you’d prefer never having the Ferrari. Ah well.

            “Even the spineless B12 wouldn’t stand for that. Either it is in ink that ND has to have a better record to get in or they won’t consider it, and ND wouldn’t accept those terms.”

            ??? You don’t think backroom deals are possible? It’s essentially how bowls were set up through most of their history.

            Like

    • Brian says:

      You can try to promote the outback to the top level all you want, but it isn’t happening. The Cap 1 is and will be above it. Accept it.

      Like

  27. Richard says:

    OK, looks like I’ll have to revise again.

    BTW, the Sugar Bowl seems to do even more than the Fiesta and Citrus (Orange does about the same or a little less). The Sugar holds a freakin’ regatta (amongst other events).

    If the B10 gets ND to be amongst it’s group of selections:

    Rose (B10 #1 vs. Pac #1): $30M
    Sugar (SEC #1 vs. B10 #2/#3/ND): 20M+ for SEC #1, $20M for other
    Fiesta (B12 #1 vs. B10 #2/#3/ND): 20M
    Orange (ACC #1 vs. SEC #2): $20M
    Cap One (SEC #3 vs. B10 #4/ND): $10-15M

    No other bowl above $10M in payout.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      The B10 won’t partner with ND for this. There is no way WI, IA, MSU, NW, PU or IL will accept the risk of missing a major bowl for a lesser ND team for a few dollars. IN and MN don’t factor in since they’ll never get there (I only included PU because they made the Rose a decade ago), and the 4 kings are less likely to get skipped but still wouldn’t want the risk of an equivalent ND team taking their spot.

      Like

      • Eric says:

        It’s not simply the chance of missing a bowl though, it’s the chance of gaining a bowl. I’ve long thought Notre Dame should seriously look around each bowl session and see which conference is just short of getting a better bowl. If getting Notre Dame on board means the Big Ten can get 4 big bowls instead of 3, then go for it. If the Big East can hang onto or gain a better bowl by adding the Irish for a cycle go ahead. Maybe the Big 12 is going to need help maintaining its current line-up (they had 4 extra teams last time) and adding the Irish to a couple of the bigger bowls will let them keep them.

        Bottom line: Since there is a limited number of big and middle tier bowls, one conferences loss is always another conferences gain. Notre Dame has the potential to tip the scales a little and if it costs the conference a better bowl one or two years, it’s worth it as long as the gain are better.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          Finally! Someone who sees my logic!

          I’ve been trying to explain that it’s hard to miss a bowl for a lesser ND team if the B10 wasn’t getting that bowl without ND in the first place.

          I thought a lot about ND continuing to align with the BE, but in the new BE, what teams would be appealing to what major bowls? Boise to the Fiesta, maybe, if highly ranked (but less than #4, since I have the top 4 going to on-campus semifinals). Who else? Rutgers to the Orange? Would the Orange want either USF or UCF? Would the major bowls want the military academies? I can see ND aligning with the BE to get a big-money bowl slot only if the power conferences feel it is necessary to buy off the BE to keep them from agitating against the system.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            We see your “logic,” we just don’t agree with it.

            You can say what you want, but teams that get jumped for a major bowl bid by an inferior ND team will feel like they lost that bowl chance, even if ND was needed to sign the contract. You know it and we know it, so stop pretending it isn’t true. It may be emotional and irrational, but it’s the natural human response. Look at how MSU fans reacted to MI getting the Sugar Bowl spot, and then NE getting the Cap 1.

            Like

          • frug says:

            Well I think one of the fundamental differences we are having is you are expecting bowls to pay a larger premium for a shot at Notre Dame than I am. Since 1998 (the BCS era) Notre Dame has only been a better option than the Big 10 #3 twice (2000 and 2005). Are bowls really going to substantially change their offers to the Big 10 for chance of getting Notre Dame once a decade?

            Like

          • frug says:

            Actually, now that I think about it, if you give the Big 10 retroactive credit for Nebraska, then it actually makes it 1 year in 14 (2005) that Notre Dame was better than the Big 10 #3. Now looking at it logically, do really think that the BoD’s of the bowls are going to make decisions that cost tens of millions of dollars, based on the possibility that could get Notre Dame once every 14 years?

            Like

          • Brian says:

            frug,

            Well I think one of the fundamental differences we are having is you are expecting bowls to pay a larger premium for a shot at Notre Dame than I am. Since 1998 (the BCS era) Notre Dame has only been a better option than the Big 10 #3 twice (2000 and 2005). Are bowls really going to substantially change their offers to the Big 10 for chance of getting Notre Dame once a decade?

            A better option by merit, or better option from the bowl’s perspective?

            2006 – #6 11-1 WI vs #11 10-2 ND – bowl takes ND
            2005 – #20 9-3 WI vs #6 9-2 ND – bowl takes ND
            2002 – #12 9-3 MI vs #11 10-2 ND – bowl takes ND (beat MI that year)
            2000 – unranked 8-3 NW vs #10 9-2 ND – bowl takes ND
            1998 – #15 9-3 MI vs #17 9-2 ND – bowl takes ND (beat MI that year)

            That’s 5 of 14 years, or 3-4 times per decade. That doesn’t necessarily invalidate your point, but seems more accurate to me.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            2006 – #6 11-1 WI vs #11 10-2 ND – bowl takes ND
            2005 – #20 9-3 WI vs #6 9-2 ND – bowl takes ND
            2002 – #12 9-3 MI vs #11 10-2 ND – bowl takes ND (beat MI that year)
            2000 – unranked 8-3 NW vs #10 9-2 ND – bowl takes ND
            1998 – #15 9-3 MI vs #17 9-2 ND – bowl takes ND (beat MI that year)

            Adding in NE wouldn’t change much I don’t think.

            2006 – #22 9-4 NE – bowl still takes ND
            2005 – unranked 8-3 NE – bowl still takes ND
            2002 – unranked 7-6 NE – bowl still takes ND
            2000 – #9 9-2 NE – bowl still takes ND
            1998 – #14 9-3 NE – bowl still takes ND

            Working on the assumption that ND wins all ties, ND would still have been #3 or better 5 of 14 years.

            Like

          • frug says:

            I’ll give you 2006, but the others are pushes.

            Yes ND beat Michigan a couple of those years, but that doesn’t matter to the bowls. A 9-3 Michigan brings as many fans and TV viewers (the two things the bowls care about) as a a 9-2 Notre Dame. Same thing with Nebraska.

            Like

          • frug says:

            I guess if you want to get more specific, the difference between Michigan/Nebraska and Notre Dame in the years you specified is too minimal to make a significant difference.

            Including Nebraska, Notre Dame was more valuable than the Big 10 #3 only twice in 14 years, and that is unlikely to be frequent enough to make a difference in what sort of bowl contracts the conference makes. (Especially since Notre Dame is trending downward)

            Like

          • Brian says:

            frug,

            Yes, it was a push most of those years. But ND outdraws any other king on TV, so they win every tie. To be clear, this does not invalidate your bigger point. The marginal value supplied by ND versus the B10 #3 has been minimal in the BCS era, so bowls presumably wouldn’t pay all that much for it.

            Like

          • frug says:

            Oh, and one more thing before I go out for the night.

            The reason that I had originally left out 2006 is because I was working on the assumption that the Big 10 would require that Notre Dame be eligible for selection only if they were ranked above the corresponding Big 10 team.

            (Obviously that takes care of ’98 and ’00 as well. This leaves only 2005 and 2002 as years ND could have been selected and 2002 was basically a push)

            Like

          • Richard says:

            I believe, when it comes to TV attractiveness, that ND, Michigan, ND, and Texas are the top 4 (with tOSU close behind). That’s what someone on an FSU board who evidently was in the TV business said. Don’t know if ND is above Michigan, Texas, and USC.

            In any case, I’m not sure why you all are arguing about whether ND is worth more than a B10 #3. I think we can all agree that adding ND is like adding another B10/SEC top 3 team a good portion of the time. It’s part of the reason why every conference wants to add ND, after all.

            As for why ND would likely add another BCS bowl to the B10, SEC, B12 (and maybe the Pac), it’s not because they are BCS worthy every year. Let’s say they are BCS worthy half the time going forward (Optimistic? Eh; I think the top bowls calculate like that). Adding ND to the ACC isn’t enough to get that league another BCS slot because it doesn’t push that league close enough to 2 schools (on average, each year) that BCS bowls salivate over. If ND fails to become BCS worthy, the ACC isn’t assured to provide a non-conference-champ that a BCS bowl would be happy to take instead of ND. That may even be true of the Pac as well. With the B12, however, even if ND fails, they’re likely to have a shot at a B12 non-champ that is a top-15 Texas/OU (so 2 slots instead of 1). With the B10, a non-champ that is a top-15 Michigan/tOSU/UNL/PSU/(MSU)/(Iowa)/(Illinois) (so 4 slots instead of 3). With the SEC, a non-champ that is a top-15 UF/Bama/TAMU/Tennessee/LSU/Georgia (so 4 slots instead of 3).

            Like

          • Richard says:

            “The reason that I had originally left out 2006 is because I was working on the assumption that the Big 10 would require that Notre Dame be eligible for selection only if they were ranked above the corresponding Big 10 team.”

            Well heck, if that’s your assumption, I’m not sure why any B10 team would be unhappy in your scenario.

            Like

          • frug says:

            Because the Big 10 #3 could still have to sacrifice a bowl bid to Notre Dame.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            frug:

            I don’t follow. So you’re saying that a 9-3 B10 #3 would still be upset with a 10-2 ND taking a BCS spot and going to the Cap One even though it would have gone to the Cap One without ND in an alliance with the B10? OK. I guess I can’t account for people being irrational.

            I detailed out the way around this below: ND gets its own BCS spot (say, the Sugar), so B10 #3 can expect to go to the Cap One regularly, but if ND is deemed unworthy, then the B10 #3 is bumped up from the Cap One to take ND’s spot. that way, the irrational B10 fans wouldn’t feel bad about being 10-2 and going to the Cap One while 8-4 ND goes to the Sugar.

            Like

          • frug says:

            I see what you are saying but ultimately the difference comes down to whether or not you think the Big 10 needs Notre Dame to get the third top bowl slot. As things stand, I’m not sure they do. They can probably rap it up without having to involve the Irish at all.

            Your proposal below makes more sense, but I still think the most likely may end up being a deal with the ACC. Not so that the ACC can get a second top bowl, but because they may not even get an Orange Bowl bid for their number 1 without help.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Nah, I think (as I’ve stated elsewhere), an ND tie-up with B12 #2 to land the Sugar is most likely. As for a third BCS bowl for the B10, you’re not counting the CapOne, right (I don’t see the Cotton becoming a big-payout bowl because they really don’t make money other than by staging the game)? If not, then no, I don’t think B10 #3 by itself beats out B12 #2 + ND for the Sugar. The thing is, the BCS bowls definitely want ND if they are just better than mediocre (top 25). So I think any of the B10, B12, or SEC who add ND gets that last spot. Heck, if the B12 (for whatever illogical reason) fails to partner with ND, the SEC may do so, even if it’s for a Sugar Bowl slot. Their eastern and western teams will hardly ever play each other going forward anyway, so it will be easy to set up an all-SEC matchup in the Sugar that isn’t a rematch. However, I don’t see it coming to that. The B12 will partner with ND and easily beat out B10 #3.

            Like

        • Brian says:

          Eric,

          It’s not simply the chance of missing a bowl though, it’s the chance of gaining a bowl.

          If you believe Richard’s projections (which I don’t) and think ND won’t win more than 8 games, it could add a major bowl. I think the pain of a non-king earning that major bowl bid and being jumped by an inferior ND team makes it not worth it.

          I’ve long thought Notre Dame should seriously look around each bowl session and see which conference is just short of getting a better bowl. If getting Notre Dame on board means the Big Ten can get 4 big bowls instead of 3, then go for it. If the Big East can hang onto or gain a better bowl by adding the Irish for a cycle go ahead. Maybe the Big 12 is going to need help maintaining its current line-up (they had 4 extra teams last time) and adding the Irish to a couple of the bigger bowls will let them keep them.

          And yet only the BE has ever made a bowl deal including ND, and lucked into ND being very bad. Even then, their fans were in an uproar about it. Imagine if ND cost them important bowls. Perhaps a lesson can be learned from all the other conferences not signing a deal with ND. Maybe that’s a historical precedent to pay attention to in this case.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            With the BCS in place, there was no point to letting ND in on a bowl deal and letting ND in wouldn’t gain you extra berths to big-money bowl games.

            Like

  28. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/sec/post/_/id/36506/alabama-players-not-clamoring-for-playoff

    Just a little info for the playoff advocates. Here are statements from players against a playoff, expressing concern about extra games and injuries.

    Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      Of course Alabama players aren’t clamoring for a playoff! With them having to face only LSU to win a championship, they don’t have to risk a loss to an equally strong team in Oklahoma State. Heck, Alabama didn’t even have to face Georgia in the SEC championship game, like LSU did. For that matter, Alabama played only two teams currently in the top 25 all season and lost one of those game; Oklahoma State played three and won all of them. No playoff means an easier step to the national title.

      Like

      • vp19 says:

        When you’re a brand, you don’t have to clamor for a playoff. That “brand” situation is the one thing people hate about college football. Had it been Oklahoma, not Okie State, battling Alabama for that BCS title game berth, you and I both know things would have been considerably different.

        Like

    • Eric says:

      Players and coaches don’t seem nearly as in favor of a playoff as fans. I think there is something more satisfying about ending on the bowl experience in a lot of ways if you are the one participating (a single fun event as opposed to something ongoing until you lose).

      I think the injuries factor is real too. We are now up to the point most national title contenders will play 14 games in a sport that is more physical than ever and they aren’t being paid for this (and are risking future checks by playing). Adding several more games, all against top level competition, will result in more injuries, that point can’t be denied regardless of whether it’s worth it or not.

      Like

  29. Brian says:

    UPDATE

    We are 32 games into bowl season. Here’s the stats so far (I included the NCG win and loss for the SEC since that is unavoidable).

    My predictions 23-9
    My preferences 14-18

    SEC 6-3 (6-3 vs AQ, 5-2 in big games) – done
    B12 6-2 (6-2 vs AQ, 1-1 in big games) – done
    BE 3-1 (3-1 vs AQ, 1-0 in big games) – 1 left
    B10 4-6 (3-5 vs AQ, 2-4 in big games) – done
    P12 2-5 (2-4 vs AQ, 1-1 in big games) – done
    ACC 2-6 (2-6 vs AQ, 0-3 in big games) – done
    ND 0-1 (0-1 vs AQ) – done

    CUSA 3-1 (1-0 vs AQ, 1-0 in big games) – 1 left (1 AQ)
    MAC 3-1 (0-1 vs AQ) – 1 left
    SB 1-1 – 1 left
    MWC 2-3 (1-0 vs AQ) – done
    WAC 0-3 – done
    BYU 1-0 – done

    Saturday – BE/CUSA
    Sunday – MAC/SB

    I think the order of conference success is set:
    1. SEC
    2. B12 – could have been #1 (if they won the Cotton and/or OkSU dominated)
    3. BE – WV won big and they won their easy bowls
    4. B10 – better W% and some big game wins
    5. P12 – much lower W%
    6. ACC – no big game success

    Like

    • bullet says:

      WRONG!!!
      Best result is the Southwest Conference 7-0!
      Texas, Texas A&M, TCU, SMU, Baylor, Houston and Arkansas all won.

      I’m pretty sure 7 of the 9 were never in bowls the same season before.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      Minor Update

      We are 33 games into bowl season. Here’s the stats so far (I included the NCG win and loss for the SEC since that is unavoidable).

      My predictions 24-9
      My preferences 14-19

      SEC 6-3 (6-3 vs AQ, 5-2 in big games) – done
      B12 6-2 (6-2 vs AQ, 1-1 in big games) – done
      BE 3-2 (3-1 vs AQ, 1-0 in big games) – done
      B10 4-6 (3-5 vs AQ, 2-4 in big games) – done
      P12 2-5 (2-4 vs AQ, 1-1 in big games) – done
      ACC 2-6 (2-6 vs AQ, 0-3 in big games) – done
      ND 0-1 (0-1 vs AQ) – done

      CUSA 4-1 (2-0 vs AQ, 1-0 in big games) – done
      MAC 3-1 (0-1 vs AQ) – 1 left
      SB 1-1 – 1 left
      MWC 2-3 (1-0 vs AQ) – done
      WAC 0-3 – done
      BYU 1-0 – done

      Sunday – MAC/SB

      Like

  30. Josh says:

    Frank,
    Any chance the Cotton and Fiesta could rotate the Big 12 Champion after the next bowl negotiation? I know that many of the Oklahoma fans were worn out on going to Arizona 4 times in 6 years.

    Like

  31. ProveIt says:

    Thanks for the link to “Inside the Shoe.” I am just a “Guest Writer” trying not to outstay his welcome, but they do good work.

    I like your takes, but feel you may be looking at options not on the table…

    1. You note the B1G could be outvoted, but this is not the format of the BCS – the difficulty is it is an agreement all parties agree to including the NCAA who is making sure the mid majors are swept under the rug. Having a conference like the SUN pull out of the agreement isn’t a big deal, but not having the B1G, SEC, etc. on board would be a stopper.

    2. Delany is in position to let the BCS go the way of the dinosaurs. The BCS gives each major approx. 12.5% of the total revenue (excluding at large appearance fees). If revenue is viewed as closely tied to ratings, the Rose Bowl is worth about 25% of the revenue, or about 12.5% for the PAC and B1G – no change, and it would be expected to have a slight gain if it wasn’t seeing conference champs head off to the title game.

    3. Delany is pursuing a market based selection by the major bowls so he can secure a 2nd tie-in for the B1G. 1/2 of the Sugar, Fiesta, or Orange > BCS at large. He can get this with the BCS reduced to 1 game or with the BCS eliminated, but not with the BCS bowls filled by rankings.

    4. I disagree Delany would approve a seeded 4. Every comment he has ever made opposes this. He opposes any move which might move emphasis to a smaller portion of the post season. I do think you are spot on with the BCS reduced to 1 NCG.

    5. For Delany to get on board, the 4 bowls would have to separate from the BCS and allowed full selection control (tie-ins). The BCS would have to be reduced to 1 game following 2 formats:

    A. A true “Plus 1” format using the definition of “Plus 1” that existed before Silve and Swafford changed the definition in 2008. The NCG would select the 2 highest ranked teams after the bowls. The pool could be limits to a few bowls, or it could include all bowls. I see far more problems than others with this in terms of getting support over option “B” below, NCAA approval, logistics.

    B. 1 game matching #1 and #2.

    With these as the only 2 options Delany is offering, I believe “B” would be the preference of almost all of the parties. In essence “B” bumps teams up a notch in 2 conferences eliminating 1 toilet bowl, “A” eliminates a top bowl and replaces it with a new toilet bowl.

    Like

  32. ProveIt says:

    You are right about the revenue distribution from a single BCS title game. If revenue is proportional to ratings, then looking at BCS revenue distribution for a few years:

    31-32% of total revenue is accounted for by the title game.

    10% or so goes to the mid majors excluding at large berths.
    12.4% goes to each of the majors (about the same as the Rose Bowl split 2 ways)
    3.5% goes to each at large berth.
    1.5% goes to the Domers.

    All programs or conferences could be given the same amount with the NCG appearance fee maintained or dropped slightly. Under this distribution:

    The mid majors would see a slight increase. I don’t see the WAC or MWC getting a lot of at large bids after the realignments are completed, so the mid majors aren’t really giving up jack.

    Combined with the Rose Bowl the PAC would see a slight increase (they’ve gotten very few at large invites).

    The B1G and SEC would see a big increase with a 2nd tie-in and a good chance of getting a defacto 3rd BCS team under plan “B” above.

    Notre Dame will probably gain as a tag along for the final open spot.

    I believe the Big 12 secures a 2nd tie-in with a Notre Dame option. Their ratings aren’t as good as the B1G and SEC, but they beat what’s behind door #4. Side note: A Big 12 2nd tie-in not tied to the conference finish might be worth more than conference champ! I believe the 2nd most likely option would be the last slot opened to multiple conferences (Big 12, PAC, and/or ACC and Big East?), but the bowl may not want to risk being pressured to accept a highly ranked ratings dog.

    The Big East would take a huge hit 80-90% of their BCS revenue, but they might take a hit anyway. They are already Dependant on a waiver to maintain AQ status. As the nations only 3/4 major they don’t have much of a voice. Unless a member program emerges as elite (which gets a lot tougher with a step up in competition) they may not do well in the BCS criteria.

    The ACC would take a hit – 25-35% of their BCS revenue! In terms of ratings, the ACC is Florida State or Miami or bust – the woes of th Orange Bowl are more than mid majors and the Big East. Swafford’s schizophrenic support of a playoff and the current BCS may come back to bite the ACC.

    The $170 Million dollar question becomes can the East and ACC garner enough support to block these changes? They are alone in their opposition – I don’t see the NCAA defending the continuation of preferential treatment for the ACC and East.

    Like Frank, I see this an almost done deal. All Delany, Scott, and the Big 12 have to do is say “1 game BCS” and let everyone else do the heavy lifting.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      But I don’t think the Big 12 is buying. And the ACC and SEC still want 4, not 2.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        So in summary, the B10, SEC, and Pac want to drop the BCS, the ACC & BE are against, and the B12, ND, and mid-majors can be bought.

        As for 4 vs. 2, the ACC may want it, but they’re not exactly negotiating from a position of strength. The SEC may state they want it, but money & power ultimately matters more to them. Even if 4 brings them slightly more money, they may be persuaded that it may not be worth giving up more power. In short, I don’t think they’re going to press too hard for 4 as they’ll make out well without it.

        Like

        • ProveIt says:

          I think Richard is about there. I don’t see it accurately described as any entity being “Bought out” – support or opposition by any entity is based on revenue.

          Scott is being honest when he says he doesn’t care – 1/2 of the Rose Bowl and a little from a NCG is a tad more than the PAC makes now.

          Any conference with a 2nd guaranteed tie in wins. In negotiations where the bowls, conferences, and Notre Dame bid as independent entities, with the bowls chasing ratings and the conferences chasing revenue, I think the B1G goes to the highest bidder, the SEC goes to the 2nd highest bidder.

          The B1G and SEC have a lot of bargaining power (what’s behind door #3 is a big drop). They don’t have to accept Notre Dame as a rider – they can just go to the next bowl and see if they will take them without Notre Dame.

          Behind door #3, negotiating strength shifts to the bowl with the conferences scrambling for the last tie-in. This invite could be an at large, but when you look at the ratings, I don’t think any bowl wants to risk being pressured to select a highly ranked ratings dog from the PAC, ACC, East, or Mid Majors. I differ from Frank here in that I believe the Big 12 #2 is a lot more attractive than all of the others combined. I think the middle ground of negations is met with the Big 12 accepting Notre Dame as a rider to prevent the bid becoming at large.

          Conference courting is based on projected TV ratings, and the bowl selection order based on appearance fees. Under the model revenue is directly proportional to TV ratings, the Sugar and Fiesta bring about the same amount of money to the table, the Orange lags. Other tie-ins may be a factor (the B1G vs. SEC have 3 tie-ins) and past relationships may be a factor (B1G has a good history with the Fiesta). I can see:
          Sugar – B1G Fiesta – SEC Orange – Door #3 no ACC #2
          Fiesta – B1G Orange – SEC Sugar – Door #3 (I expect this option)
          …somehow Delany always comes out on top…

          The mid majors get 9% of the total BCS revenue. If they have a BCS participant, they get 18% plus a $4.5 Million appearance fee for each participant (currently about 3.5% of the BCS revenue). After realignment is completed, I don’t think the mid majors expect a lot of BCS appearances. 1/2 of their BCS revenue is split evenly, 1/2 is based on performance.

          The BCS distributes approx. 2 Million (about 1.2%) to others (FCS, academies).

          Notre Dame gets 1.5% of the BCS revenue every year and a decreased appearance fee if they receive a BCS invite. A portion of this will still come from the NCG, the rest will come from a tie-in with Door #3.

          Under the model TV ratings are directly proportional to revenue, the NCG accounts for 31-32% of the total revenue. It can cover 1.2% to others, a decreased amount to Notre Dame, the same appearance fees (3.5% x 2), and have 23-24% to evenly distribute to the conferences (about 2.1-2.2% per conference).

          Under the above format, the B1G, SEC, Big12, SUN, MAC, and WAC come out ahead compared to continuing the current system.

          I think the PAC and Notre Dame come out slightly ahead, but not enough to get them excited.

          The MWC and CUSA appear in favor. They might come out behind a little financially depending on their expected performance after realignment. They definitely get the most non-financial gains.

          The ACC and Big East take a substantial hit. The ACC and Big East are opposed.

          The NCAA likes the even distribution and elimination of the AQ tag. The ACC and Big East can’t look to the NCAA to support continuation of AQ privileges as the mid majors have in the past.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            Good analysis. Even if the Fiesta pays more (and I’m now thinking Fiesta and Sugar both at $20M or a little over & Orange at a little under $20M; CapOne just a little behind at $15M or slightly lower; Rose at $30M; title game at $40M/team or $80M to be split up more evenly), the Fiesta much prefers B10 #2 to SEC #2, as SEC fans would fill virtually any top bowl in SEC territory, but only ‘Bama, Tennessee, and A&M can match the big 4 of the B10 in fans travelling to the desert (and only ‘Bama of those 3 is a big TV name). Meanwhile, as the other BCS bowl within its territory, the SEC would try much harder to secure a berth to the Orange.

            I still think that whichever one of the B10 or B12 aligning with ND also gets the Sugar Bowl berth opposite SEC #1.

            Like

          • ProveIt says:

            If I were to guess the initial value for the split out games, I would go by the average TV ratings since the BCS went to 5 games, with the assumption revenue is directly proportional to TV ratings.

            2010-2011 BCS distribution to FBS programs approx. $165 Million. This will give a low estimate since the bowls won’t be split for several years.

            Multiplying this by their percentage of BCS total bowl TC ratings…

            Championship 30.3-32.1% 31.2% average $52 Million
            Rose 22.9-24.9% 23.8% average $39 Million
            Fiesta 12.9-20.4% 15.9% average $26 Million
            Sugar 14.7-17.2% 15.9% average $26 Million
            Orange 10.6-15.5% 13.1% average $22 Million

            This will shuffle as the bowls seek backers to sign the best draws, but a prudent major commissioner would recognize appearance fees can’t be padded in the long run, the Fiesta and Sugar start out a step ahead of the Orange, and the ACC doesn’t usually bring a lot to the table as an opponent.

            The Big 12 hopes the B1G goes to the Fiesta, the SEC hopes they go to the Sugar, I give it near zero chance the B1G goes to the Orange.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Well, you have per-bowl total distributions. I had it in per-team terms.

            I probably should tamp down the per-team distributions a little more. $65M total for the championship game, but $25M per team for the Rose, $17M per team for the Sugar & Fiesta, $14M per team for the Orange and the Cap One right behind at $12M per team.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            BTW, if a longer contract (say 8 years instead of 4), then $75M total for the championship game, $30M for each Rose participant, $20M for each team in the Fiesta and Sugar, $17.5M for the Orange Bowl teams, and $15M for the Cap One teams.

            Like

        • ProveIt says:

          The B1G, PAC, Big 12, and Notre Dame are solidly against a 4 team or larger playoff. This is 2 to 3 times the opposition needed to kill the idea, and EVERYONE at the table knows it.

          I question whether the SEC and ACC truly favor a playoff. Their commissioners promote it, but I have NEVER seen Silve or Swafford claim to have conference support for a playoff – they have ALWAYS brushed off the question, including when they presented the 2008 proposal.

          The SEC definitely favors separating the bowls over the current format.

          The ACC’s and Big East’s 1st choice is the current BCS format.

          The ACCs 2nd choice may be a playoff or they may be using this to try to disrupt talks and keep the current format.

          The Big East has become a 3/4 major – their 2nd choice would be a playoff.

          The mid majors definitely prefer a playoff 1st, they appear to favor a separation of the bowls 2nd, the current system 3rd.

          The NCAA prefers a playoff but won’t force the issue. Their 2nd choice would be the elimination of AQ status and a more even revenue distribution by separating the bowls.

          Everyone at the table knows a seeded 4 is not an option. Everyone knows an option that doesn’t open the bowls to tie-ins will not make it – the only options are:
          – the current format
          – a 1 title game format with the bowls free to pursue any tie in they desire (seeded 2 or plus 1)

          With these as the only 2 options:
          – the Mid Major and the SEC will join with the B1G and Big 12
          – the PAC and Notre Dame will join the majority
          – the ACC and the Big East will unsuccessfully try to disrupt negotiations with a long series of playoff and seeding options with the hopes of keeping the current format.

          This is the 1st time a change will work against any group. I consider this just rewards.
          -The MAC and SUN generally went along with the BCS, happy for the revenue. Now both look to be getting more revenue – just rewards.
          -The B1G talked straight about their opposition to a playoff and now look to be a big winner – just rewards.
          -The PAC, Big 12, and Notre Dame came out against a playoff and all look to gain – just rewards.
          -CUSA generally sat on the sidelines but still got gutted. Now they look to get the same or more BCS revenue with fewer mouths at the table – just rewards
          -The WAC cried for more from the BCS, and was then gutted by the MWC in search of AQ status – justice served.
          -The MWC cried for more from the BCS. gutted the WAC, and was promptly gutted by the East and will take a revenue hit – justice served.
          -Swafford pulled headlines for favoring a playoff while he simultaneously supported the BCS. The ACC raided the East in an expansion which won’t have a measurable increase in shared revenue. Now the ACC is about to take a big revenue hit and will be an easy target of future conference expansion from 3 majors – justice served.
          -The Big East used a waiver to keep AQ status and raided the mid majors to trip up everyone behind them. Now they look to join the mid majors – justice served.

          -The SEC gains and Silve continues to get headlines for playoff support without having to answer if the SEC membership actually supports or opposes a playoff – Perhaps justice avoided, but when justice is served at least 11 out of 12 times, it is a good day.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            I don’t know why you think the B12 is strongly against a 4-team playoff. Everything I’ve read says they support a 4-team playoff or Plus-One.

            I believe they can be placated with a non-BCS system (their least favorite system is the current one), but I don’t know why you think they’re against a 4-team playoff. In fact, after what happened to OK State this year, I’m pretty certain they will push for a 4-team playoff or Plus-One.

            Like

          • frug says:

            @Richard

            The Big XII was opposed to a Plus One/4 Team playoff back when Slive and Swafford proposed it back in ’08, but have supposedly come around in light of what happened to OSU.

            Like

          • ProveIt says:

            An original article is still up. Follow the “Inside the Shoe” link in Tanks blog, follow its links to the “Lines in the sand”, and look at the linked references in the 1st part.

            If ANYONE can show where a major commissioner or other major conference representative claims to have conference support for a seeded 4 BEFORE the recent talks, I would be extremely appreciative of the link.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/andy_staples/12/06/plus-one-playoff/index.html

            Majority of B12 AD’s are now in favor of a 4-team playoff. Whether the B12 presidents endorse such an idea is the big question.

            Like

          • ProveIt says:

            Thanks Richard.

            It also indicates a majority of the PAC ADs voted for a seeded 4.

            It doesn’t equate to conference approval since the ADs don’t vote, have frequently changed their mind, and have been overridden by the Presidents, but it possibly puts a seeded 4 two steps closer.

            Like

      • ProveIt says:

        The Big 12 would make more money with 2 major bowl tie-ins than they make from the BCS.
        This is before adding in shared revenue from a NCG.
        This includes a generous share of the 2nd tie in given to Notre Dame.

        Not certain what you mean by “SEC wants 4”

        Like

        • bullet says:

          Slive has continued to support a seeded +1. That means he supports a 4 team “play-off.”

          Like

          • ProveIt says:

            Not that it really matters given the opposition, but… show me once where Silve claims to have the support of the SEC for a seeded 4 playoff.

            Even your response reeks of Silve sophistry – until Silve proposed a playoff in 2008, seeded 4 was a seeded 4 playoff and Plus 1 was a title game after the other bowls were finished. Now we are stuck with Plus 1 being a seeded 4 because of sophistry.

            It is understandable – a plus 1 encompassed a lot more programs with title aspirations than a seeded 4… but it is also sophistry.

            Even at the time of his original proposal, Silve never claimed to have the support of the SEC – when asked he simply stated he “Wanted to take it back for consideration” – apparently in all the talks leading up to presenting the proposal he never bothered to ask?

            You can string together a lot of plausible sounding statements as to why Silve has never publicly announce the SEC supported a seeded 4… I don’t care about plausible sounding statements strung together.

            Just show me where Silve stated he has the support of the SEC for a seeded 4 and I will be appreciative… anything else and I will be understandably skeptical that Silve might just be seeking good press from a gullible audience.

            Like

  33. Carl says:

    Penn State++?

    Like

  34. zeek says:

    Expect more weekday football:

    wilnerhotline Jon Wilner
    @
    RT @bcondotta I’ve been told every Pac-12 school is being asked to play two home non-Saturday games each 3 years to satisfy new TV deal.
    4 Jan

    Like

    • Richard says:

      Thoughts:

      1. Oif. Sold their soul to the devil, eh?
      2. However, Friday night games aren’t going to be all that disruptive or bad for attending fans.
      3. That’s 24 weeknight days over 3 years. ESPN is contracting to show 8 weeknight games (4 Thurs, 4 Fri) yearly , or 24 over 3 years. I guess the Pac decided to spread the pain evenly (though I imagine we’ll see WSU home games on Thurs and USC home games on Fri).

      The rivalry games (like the Civil War & the Big Game) are moving off the final weekend as well.

      I guess the networks really want to find ways to justify spending an average of $5M for each game.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Part of the Big Game moving was the addition of the CCG. The P10 was used to scheduling with the extra week, and that’s important with ND complicating 2 of the 3 months of the schedule. The new TV deals also have an impact.

        As it happened, the P12 presented 3 possibilities. Cal and Stanford rejected the schedule that would have the Big Game the weekend after Thanksgiving because the holiday and traditional game week activities would clash. The other option had the Big Game the week before Thanksgiving, but it was voted down by the majority because it moved too many other games around.

        I think the P12 just did a poor job of scheduling. I think they could have kept all the traditional game dates. Perhaps they need better scheduling software/people.

        Like

      • Brian says:

        You think Friday night slots are more prestigious than Thursdays? I’d say the exact opposite.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          Er, no, I’m not thinking about prestige. I’m thinking about inconvenience to fans, and to people who work, attending a Friday night game is much more doable than attending a Thursday night game (leading to higher attendance). I think USC cares a tad more about their attendance than WSU does.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            I think USC would much rather play on Thursday than Friday because of the prestige difference and not wanting to overlap high school games. Friday is more of a going out night, too, so I don’t think it would help their attendance.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            I know that for baseball, tickets to Friday night games are at a premium to tickets to Thursday night games. Thursday night games are also disruptive for schools that have stadiums on campus. This isn’t true for the 2 LA schools (the Coliseum is close to USC but not on campus), but the other 2 schools with relatively big stadiums (Washington and ASU) have 2 reasons to prefer hosting on Friday rather than Thursday night.

            As for prestige, I’m sure USC will get plenty of opportunities to appear on Thursday night as the visiting opponent. If you have a big fanbase, that’s really what you’d want: your home games Friday night and your away appearances on Thursday night.

            And in fact, we see that in all 3 Thursday night Pac league games in 2011, the home team had a small stadium and the visiting team was a Cali school (to get the viewing audience).

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            I know that for baseball, tickets to Friday night games are at a premium to tickets to Thursday night games.

            Football isn’t baseball.

            Thursday night games are also disruptive for schools that have stadiums on campus. This isn’t true for the 2 LA schools (the Coliseum is close to USC but not on campus), but the other 2 schools with relatively big stadiums (Washington and ASU) have 2 reasons to prefer hosting on Friday rather than Thursday night.

            Well, we were talking about USC.

            As for prestige, I’m sure USC will get plenty of opportunities to appear on Thursday night as the visiting opponent. If you have a big fanbase, that’s really what you’d want: your home games Friday night and your away appearances on Thursday night.

            And in fact, we see that in all 3 Thursday night Pac league games in 2011, the home team had a small stadium and the visiting team was a Cali school (to get the viewing audience).

            2012
            Thursdays – SU @ UW, USC @ Utah, OR @ ASU, ASU @ CO
            Fridays – UW @ Cal, UW @ WSU, Utah @ CO, ASU @ AZ

            That’s UW on the road for 2 Fridays and home on 1 Thursday, ASU has one of each on a Thursday and is on the road on a Friday, USC is on the road on a Thursday, and UCLA is in none of them.

            I don’t buy that big schools prefer Friday games, and the data doesn’t support that the P12 is doing that.

            Like

  35. ProveIt says:

    What the frell – I leave a couple of thought out comments and they get zapped?

    …great board you have going here…

    Like

  36. Eric says:

    Here’s an idea for a plus one that combines a few other ideas.

    1. Cotton Bowl is risen to a BCS bowl.

    2. The double hosting format is dropped (bowls won’t like it, but it was going to happen anyway if you separated the national championship game). The national championship rotates between all BCS bowls except the Rose Bowl.

    3. Week after championship week are semi-finals played at home fields of #1 and #2 teams. Bowls are announced after that (earlier smaller bowls can announce before that). Winners of semi-finals go to national championship bowl, and everything else same as now.

    4. All BCS bowls held on January 1st and 2nd (unless interrupted by a Sunday).

    The Rose Bowl would still be the #2 bowl, the bowl season gets pushed to a smaller window, we get a true playoff, and everyone still only goes to one bowl game.

    The only serious opposition I see here is from the BCS bowls not wanting to lose the double hosting format. If there is serious talk about separating the national championship though, it can be overcome.

    (We can remove the Rose Bowl from the BCS officially if the conferences want too allowing it to always be a Big Ten vs. PAC-12 match-up; basically the same as it was in the Bowl Alliance days).

    Like

  37. Richard says:

    OK, instead of including ND in the B10’s bowl selection, how about this: ND is designated to go to the Fiesta or Sugar bowl, rotating between the 2 (just like how Navy, Army, and BYU currently work out individual deals with bowls now). B10 #2 takes the non-ND bowl slot. If ND isn’t deemed to be attractive enough, the ND bowl can pick the B10 #3. In return, with this deal with the B10, ND can be chosen by a B10 bowl if a B10 team takes ND’s slot.

    Essentially, this is pretty much the same setup as ND being part of the B10 selection pool with the B10 getting another big money bowl. Yet now, no B10 team can complain about ND “jumping” them. If they’re number 3, they’ll go to the #3 bowl (the CapOne). However, if the B10 is lucky enough for ND to suck, their #3 team (and possible #4, #5, etc. all) get bumped up a slot.

    Would this make the irrational and non-thinking feel better?

    Like

    • Brian says:

      I can’t speak for the B10, B12, SEC, Fiesta Bowl or Sugar Bowl, but:

      1. In your scenario I’d rather see the B10 just lock in the Fiesta and let ND have the Sugar rather than rotate.

      2. I don’t think either side would agree to this, but it’s better than your previous proposals.

      3. Maybe more likely would be Fiesta and Orange, with the Orange keeping ACC #1. ACC #1/B10 #3 is a better game than SEC #1/B10 #3.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        Point 3 is true, but TV execs likely won’t want to see SEC vs. SEC in the Sugar (though with 14 schools and an 8 game conference slate, the schools in the 2 SEC divisions will virtually never play each other, so it’s feasible from that perspective).

        Like

        • Brian says:

          That’s the Sugar Bowl’s problem and the SEC’s problem, not the B10’s.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            They’ll have some input on telling the bowls who to align with.

            If ESPN wants B10 vs. SEC in the Sugar and SEC vs. ACC in the Orange, then, if the money is equal (and thus not a factor), that’s what we’ll see. If the Sugar pays out more than the Orange (which I believe is fairly likely), then it is even more likely that we see the B10 send a team to the Sugar. Unlike you, I don’t think Delany is averse to matching up with the SEC in the Sugar.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Richard brings up a good point. There is another player here. I don’t think ESPN wants the ACC shut out. They want a strong ACC to promote football in that section of the country. They clearly were willing to pay for Pitt and SU in the ACC when normally you would have to question whether those schools are worth enough to justify going from 12 to 14. They both make a good #11 and #12, but #13 and #14 are bigger hurdles.

            Like

          • ProveIt says:

            Richard

            1. Delany would match the B1G#7 against the SEC#1 if that is where the money is.

            2. The B1G and SEC are not in a position to have to accept ND as a rider – with 3 bowls looking to tie the 2 of hem in, they can just go to the next bowl until 2 agree.

            Door #3 is a mixture of SEC#3, B1G#3, PAC#2, Big12#2, ACC#2, East#1, Mid Major #1, and Notre Dame – in most years the best of all of these combined lags behind the SEC#2 and B1G#2 to prevent having to accept riders.

            For the 3rd and final tie in, the bargaining power shifts toward the bowl where they can insist on ND being a rider under threat of increasing the number of conferences to select from -but- if they open up the number of conferences, they risk getting saddled with a highly ranked ratings dog or the bigger draws (Big12) pulling out and developing their next bowl tie-in.

            3. ESPN will give the most money to the bowl with the most lucrative tie-ins.
            If ESPN doesn’t, there are a lot of other networks looking to get in on the bowls who no longer have to buy the BCS as a single package – the higher the ratings, the more attractive they are to fill a time slot on CBS or NBC.

            Even if ESPN cares…
            Maybe they want the biggest draws in order: Sugar-B1G Fiesta-SEC Orange-Door#3

            Maybe they want to spread out the B1G to the Big12 (would already have SEC#3 vs B1G#3 in Cap1) and get a higher SEC-ACC match up and keep the ACC an option for Door#3:
            Fiesta-B1G Sugar-Door#3 Orange-SEC (I consider this the most likely for other reasons)

            In the end, I don’t think ESPN cares how they fall – they will let the bowls bid for tie-ins in an open market, then compete with the other networks for broadcast rights. Any more involvement could break legal statutes.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            “Door #3 is a mixture of SEC#3, B1G#3, PAC#2, Big12#2, ACC#2, East#1, Mid Major #1, and Notre Dame”

            I agree. I believe it will come down to either B10 #3 or B12 #2 with ND adding the Sugar (which ever decides to align with ND).

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Just a thought: Politically, it may make sense for the B10 to “allow” the B12 to get the Sugar Bowl berth (with ND). That improves the B12’s position in this new system and incents them to buy in. Otherwise, their position would be worse than under the current system and definitely worse than under a 4-team playoff, which would incent them to fight this new system.

            Like

          • ProveIt says:

            Richard

            If you know anything about Delany, you know he doesn’t give a frack about politics.

            The Big 12 will get the invite on their own merit.
            They will probably get Notre Dame as a rider because they don’t quite have that much merit.

            If the Big 12 didn’t see this as likely, the Big 12 wouldn’t be favoring the change.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            ??? Delany has to give a frack, because if the non Rose Bowl conferences go off and start a 4-team playoff without the Rose Bowl conferences (picture the old Bowl Coalition vs. Rose Bowl situation again), eventually, the B10 and Pac will have to buy in if they care to have any of their teams become national champions (and it’s going to awfully hard to recruit if the B10 doesn’t participate). Plus, while the Pac is as interested in protecting the Rose as the B10, they’d certainly want to participate in a new Bowl Coaltion the next time one of their teams finished #2 in the polls but doesn’t get a chance at being #1 on the field.

            Like

          • ProveIt says:

            Richard

            This is false on several fronts.

            1. The B1G and PAC were prepared to hold out forever when the BCS was formed, and only accepted after the Rose got very favorable terms.

            2. The title game winner is not crowned by the BCS – its legitimacy to claim #1 is thru the agreement with the polls to vote the winner #1 even if they didn’t have the winner ranked in their top 2. The AP already pulled out. If they exclude 2 major conferences, the rest won’t hold to the agreement.

            Winning a playoff among a fraction of the conferences makes you champion of… a fraction of the conferences.

            Under your scenario, it would be easier for the B1G and PAC champion to be crowned since it would be harder for the #1 team from the other conferences to win out in a playoff.

            3. The NCAA doesn’t currently allow for NCAAF FBS playoffs, it is doubtful they would change for a fraction of the majors.

            4. Delany doesn’t care about politics – go ahead, make him the evil Darth leading the opposition against playoffs and setting off a conference realignment frenzy – he doesn’t care what anyone thinks. He cares about the B1G and only the B1G – anyone is free to join him when they agree, part ways when they disagree, but he won’t act against the B1G’s best interests, and he won’t even soften the rhetoric to please others.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            “1. The B1G and PAC were prepared to hold out forever when the BCS was formed, and only accepted after the Rose got very favorable terms.”

            Huh? What favorable terms?

            “Winning a playoff among a fraction of the conferences makes you champion of… a fraction of the conferences.

            Under your scenario, it would be easier for the B1G and PAC champion to be crowned since it would be harder for the #1 team from the other conferences to win out in a playoff.”

            It’s going to be very difficult for the Rose Bowl winner to be crowned champion by either poll over the (4 team) playoff winner if both teams have the same number of losses. In fact, I’m willing to state that it will never happen. This would hold true even if the #1 team loses.

            “3. The NCAA doesn’t currently allow for NCAAF FBS playoffs, it is doubtful they would change for a fraction of the majors.”

            A fraction of the majors who both make up a majority of the majors and a majority of NCAA FBS (with the almost certain support of the smaller conferences) and can push through a rule change over the objections of the B10 and Pac? What were you saying about Delany not caring about politics? BTW, you seem to be confused between politics and marketing. I, really, no one cares how popular Delany is. What is important is whether Delany can prevent a majority of FBS football schools from pushing through rule changes that are detrimental to the B10.

            Like

          • ProveIt says:

            Rose got to keep a little extra revenue initially, and got to market itself separately, got a separate broadcast contract, and still doesn’t have to add the sponsor to its name leaving it in good position if the BCS ever split… favorable terms.
            ——————————————————
            1 Fewer game against a top opponent makes it easier to achieve a better record.

            It would be much easier to maintain a #1 ranking playing in the Rose than maintaining a #1 ranking in a playoff against the rest of the nation.
            ——————————————————-
            “A fraction of the majors who both make up a majority of the majors and a majority of NCAA FBS (with the almost certain support of the smaller conferences) and can push through a rule change over the objections of the B10 and Pac?”

            No – it takes much more than a simple majority.
            That’s why BCS predecessors never went to a playoff.
            That’s why the mid majors never attempted a playoff among the left out conference champs.
            …plausible sounding arguments do not equate to fact, but relevant past history is viable evidence.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            “Rose got to keep a little extra revenue initially, and got to market itself separately, got a separate broadcast contract, and still doesn’t have to add the sponsor to its name leaving it in good position if the BCS ever split”

            That’s not exactly “very favorable”. “Slightly favorable”, maybe, but the B10 and Pac caved.

            “1 Fewer game against a top opponent makes it easier to achieve a better record.

            It would be much easier to maintain a #1 ranking playing in the Rose than maintaining a #1 ranking in a playoff against the rest of the nation.”

            That’s true, but the final #1 doesn’t have to be the team that enters the playoffs #1. Whoever wins the playoff would have beaten two top teams in succession (and would have been fairly highly ranked to begin with). There’s virtually no way such a team, so long as it has the same number of losses as the Rose Bowl winner, does not jump the Rose Bowl winner even if it started out below the Rose Bowl winner.

            “No – it takes much more than a simple majority.
            That’s why BCS predecessors never went to a playoff.
            That’s why the mid majors never attempted a playoff among the left out conference champs.
            …plausible sounding arguments do not equate to fact, but relevant past history is viable evidence.”

            Everybody in FBS except the B10 and Pac is much more than a simple majority. It’s a majority of the BCS and an overwhelming majority of FBS. Your counterexample doesn’t work because, up until now, the majority of the BCS did not want a playoff (hence, no playoff). However, if the SEC, B12, ACC, and everybody else wanted something, the B10 will not be able to prevent it. You’re right that relevant past history is viable evidence, and relevant past history tells us that when everyone besides the B10 and Pac wanted something (a championship game matching #1 and #2), they eventually got what they wanted. Does your history not go back to the Bowl Alliance and Bowl Coalition days for some reason?

            Like

          • ProveIt says:

            Are you kidding?

            Holding out a few million (I can’t recall how many), no competition for the time slot, and telling everyone to buzz off when it comes to financial dealings was substantial enough to delay formation of the BCS, until they realized they needed the Rose, PAC, and B1G to make the endeavor worthwhile.

            Obviously the other thought it was substantial enough to resist for a long time.

            “That’s true, but the final #1 doesn’t have to be the team that enters the playoffs #1”

            2 reasonable assumptions:
            Among close competition (top ranked 4 teams), the better team will win about 70% of the time.
            The best team will be ranked in the top 2 twice as often as 3/4, ranked in the top 4 twice as often as 5-8, etc.

            Work the math an it favors playing a lower team in the Rose over winning a playoff. After all, your initial starting point is that it will only help you 50% of the time in the playoff (50% chance that you will be in the top 4 but not the top 2) and then drops with every game played.

            “Your counterexample doesn’t work because, up until now, the majority of the BCS did not want a playoff ”

            Detailed earlier – the problem with the ACC, East, and mid majors at the table is they don’t draw enough fan interest to stay with the rest – separating isn’t going to help them.

            Also – where has all but the B1G and PAC said they want a playoff? I will herald anyone who finds this. You have to ignore a lot of conference statements to claim only 2 are opposed.

            Sorry to be the bearer of bad news… but the support just isn’t there. Feel free to prove me wrong and earn my gratitude and find where the key players claim to have conference support.

            Like

    • frug says:

      I think this is a more realistic proposal, though I still think it’s possible the Big 10 could just lock in a third bid outright.

      Ultimately it all comes down to 2 things:

      1. How to do you order the following properties in terms of value to bowls:

      – ACC #1
      – Big 10 #3
      – Big XII #2
      – Notre Dame
      – PAC #2
      – SEC #3

      (The B1G, PAC, SEC, and XII #1’s and B1G and SEC #2’s have literally nothing to gain by make a side agreement with any other party. They will get locked into annual bowls.)

      2. How many slots are going to be regarded as premium

      While it is possible the Cotton Bowl could move make to “tier 1” status, that is not guaranteed, especially if the if the teams that take part in a Plus 1 are ineligible to play in the bowls. (That would restrict the supply of teams attractive enough to warrant a big pay day).

      If there are only 8 slots available, then the debate is simply which of these gets locked out: ACC #1, Big #2, Notre Dame or PAC #2. (There 2 spots in the Orange Bowl, 1 in the Fiesta Bowl and 1 in the Sugar Bowl.)

      Like

      • frug says:

        (Addendum to my final statement)

        Two of those bids will be taken by SEC and Big 10 #2’s

        Like

      • Richard says:

        Answer to this is easy. First, there is only 2 slots available: B10 #1 & #2 + SEC #1 & #2 + B12 #1 + Pac #1 = 6 of 8.

        I believe the Orange will take the ACC champ for prestige reasons (and there’s really no way for a champ to split with ND because of the uproar if a conference champ was replaced by ND in a big-money bowl and falls to the Peach). Then it becomes whichever one of the B10, B12, and SEC that partners with ND that gets the final slot (likely the Sugar).

        BTW, in payout, the Orange will just be a couple million above the CapOne. In other words, SEC #3 + B10 #3 will almost be worth the same as SEC #2 vs. ACC #1. However, even if the ACC falls below that (so that Orange becomes SEC #2 vs. B10 #3 and the CapOne becomes SEC #3 vs. ACC #1), they still would not split their champ with ND. You can’t expect the B10 to act pridefully (about a non-champ) and the ACC to not do so (about their conference champ).

        Like

  38. Ross says:

    SNL had some pretty great bowl sponsors tonight.

    I was a big fan of the Ruby Tuesday, Hanes Her Way, Prejudice Bowl.

    Like

  39. duffman says:

    Frank,

    So far the Rose Bowl was ~ 10,000 seats above the Cotton, which was ~ 10,000 seats above the Peach (now Chick-Fil-A) and the MNC should be close to the Cotton when it is said and done. The issue fast becomes where should the Rose Bowl fit in when it comes to the bowls?

    This year the winner of the PAC 10-2 played the winner of the B1G 10-2 and got the highest live seating of all the bowls. As 10-2 teams, neither had a shot at the MNC, but the support of the historic nature of the Rose Bowl kept it a top bowl in attendance even tho the Badgers had one of the farthest distances to travel to reach it. This brings me to one key issue of bowls in the first place, and that is the real value of the Rose Bowl. Distance and Time!

    When a B1G football team fan base starts the season they may already be booking their travel plans. I am guessing the Ohio State (in normal years) and Michigan folks may book flights and rooms 6 months in advance. Fans for a team like Wisconsin or Michigan State may take the plunge by October, and by the latest, the first week of December (which is still a full month before the game) to get the BEST travel PRICES. In short, the Rose Bowl can predict the best seat sales of all the Bowls because of the history, and the lag time to make affordable travel plans.

    Here are the numbers for the top for bowls this season :
    #1 Rose = ~ 91,000
    #2 BCS = ~ 81,000
    #3 Cotton = ~ 81,000
    #4 Peach = ~ 73,000

    The thing that jumps out at me quickly is that of these 4, only the Rose and the MNC game are actually in the BCS series! The Cotton had the #2 B1G team facing the #3/#4 SEC team so one could expect a well attended game. The one that caught my eye tho was the Peach-Fil-A in the top 4 that pitted Auburn (7-5) vs Virginia (8-4) in a battle of teams NOT in the Top 25 (Auburn was on the fringe, but probably because of SEC coat tails) at the end of the CCG’s. Look at it this way :

    #1 Rose = ~ 91,000 : Normal B1G vs PAC matchup
    #2 BCS = ~ 81,000

    #3 Cotton = ~ 81,000 : B12 vs SEC
    #4 Peach = ~ 73,000 : SEC vs ACC
    #5 Fiesta = ~70,000 : PAC vs B12 battle of 1 loss teams playing offense
    #6 Meinke = ~ 68,000 : B12 vs B1G battle of 6-6 teams
    #7 Champs = ~ 68,000 : Florida State vs Notre Dame for the old folks
    #8 Orange = ~ 68,000 : BE vs ACC in blowout
    #9 Alamo = ~ 65,000 : B12 vs PAC in Texas and last ? game for RG III
    #10 Sugar = ~ 65,000 : B1G vs ACC in a SEC bowl game
    .
    .
    .
    .
    #20 Ticket City = ~ 47,000 : CUSA vs B1G where non AQ Houston plays in own backyard
    #25 Maaco = ~ 36,000 : MWC vs PAC where BSU plays close to home in Vegas

    .

    Now getting back to the +1 discussion we see the following confirmed :

    1) The AQ schools sell seats as demonstrated by two 6-6 teams drawing close to 70,000 while the top AQ schools could draw only about half of that. This is still a business and empty seats means lost revenue to the bowl operator.

    2) There is value to “traditional” bowl tie ins instead of BCS directives. The Rose sold well with B1G and PAC teams, but the Sugar was a disaster without a SEC team to anchor it. The Peach outsold the Orange even tho the teams playing had worse records

    3) SOLD OUT needs to be redefined as actual tickets used, and not just tickets “sold” as this season proved how badly numbers can be “massaged” and the NCAA could be useful in accomplishing this.

    4) Travel costs mean nothing to school administrators (who get a free ride) but it does to the actual fans. Playing a “championship” game 1 week following a +1 bowl game would have to be addressed in the discussion somewhere!

    5) It would not surprise me to see the following in a post BCS world :
    MNC game = the remainder of the BCS system
    Rose = B1G vs PAC
    Sugar = SEC vs AQ school (say B1G #2)
    Cotton = B12 vs AQ school (say B1G #3)
    Orange = SEC vs ACC
    Fiesta = AQ school vs AQ school based on “brand” teams, if you have U$C vs UT fine as B12 vs PAC game, but if you have Iowa State vs Oregon State, you go with a Penn State vs Notre Dame type game instead.

    This means 6 bowl games (12 teams) with the B1G and SEC getting the most slots based on their ability to have fans that will travel. B1G gets 4 bowl slots (has 4 “brands” ), SEC gets 4 bowl slots (has 2 “brands” and 2 “floater brands” ), B12 gets 2 (UT and OU), PAC gets 1 (U$C), and ACC gets 1 ( “floater brand” ). You backfill from there based on the actual season, so if only UT or OU are good in one year, that frees up a spot for another ACC team, or a BE team. Using this year as the model:

    MNC = LSU vs Stanford
    Rose = Oregon vs Wisconsin
    Sugar = Alabama vs Michigan State
    Cotton = Oklahoma State vs Arkansas
    Orange = Georgia vs Clemson
    Fiesta = Michigan vs West Virginia

    Stanford gets the U$C slot (and LSU beat Oregon in the regular season)
    Oklahoma State gets one of the UT / OU slots
    Clemson gets one of the UT / OU slots
    West Virginia gets the 4th B1G slot (no 1 loss B1G this season)

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Point 1)
      Seems like the bigger issue was that the Big 10 school (Penn St.) and Pac 12 school (Arizona St.) didn’t bring a lot of fans to what were viewed as minor bowls (Ticket City and Vegas). I thought those bowls drew pretty well considering the disappointment the Boise and especially the UH fan bases felt. And PSU and ASU had their issues as well.

      Like

      • duffman says:

        bullet,

        But that is the point, having fans that will still go, even if it is a disappointment. I feel nobody this season was more disappointed than TAMU (picked in the preseason Top 10, and finished 6-6) but they still finished #6 in bowl attendance. Boise State wound up with a Top 10 BCS finish, so there is no excuse for them not to travel in force, especially if it meant a vacation in Vegas as well! How many folks go to Vegas on vacation without the inducement of a bowl game?

        I have to agree with Frank that Orlando has a built in advantage in having Disney for the fans to attend during the week that the actual bowl is not played. At least Houston had the luxury of being close to the venue, so if fan support was more than lukewarm, they should have been able to draw closer to the ~ 62,000 when they played in the Texas Bowl in 2007. You can’t have it both ways! Either you get the fans to support you, or you quit bitching when you get passed over by other teams.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          Disney is a huge advantage. Plus, Daytona Beach isn’t that far away.

          The Texas Bowl was in Houston. Dallas is 4.5 hours away, so its not an easy day trip, especially since almost noone gets up at 6 am on New Year’s Day. Now I’m not arguing that Houston and Boise have travelling fans like Ohio State, but their performance was pretty respectable compared to the schools with mid-level fan support like almost all the Pac 12 and ACC.

          What’s significant is that schools with those big fan bases and fairly good years, like Michigan, Virginia Tech and Penn St., did not draw as big a crowd as the past.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            Michigan did their share. They certainly seemed to fill the majority of the Superdome. Fault VTech for not even selling out their allotment. PSU is going through their own problems (I have to think the scandal has turned off some PSU fans as well) + they probably weren’t too excited about slipping so far in the pecking order.

            Like

          • wmtiger says:

            Bowl games in the middle of the work week are really bad for crowds, those vacationing means they need to take nearly a full week off work as opposed to just making it a long weekend.

            Like

          • joe4psu says:

            Richard,

            Not sure how much the scandal itself may have affected PSU. I haven’t heard of many alums, and other fans, that blame the team for this problem. I do know that many people were upset with the bowl selection and being passed over for 3 schools the team beat during the regular season.

            Like

    • ProveIt says:

      Duffman

      1. Revenue closely follows TV ratings. The Rose will be the only bowl with tie-ins to the champions of 2 majors. The Rose Bowl will remain just behind the title game.

      2. I believe but cannot confirm empty bowl seats are usually paid for by the programs.

      3. The Cotton would need to ante up a lot more money – the CAP 1 has a higher payout – I don’t see the B1G#3 vs SEC#3 on New Years day being outbid by the B1G#3 vs Big12#3.

      4. In an “Open market” system, the bowls and the conferences work as independent entities in negotiations. The B1G #2 and the SEC #2 will get tie ins to 2 current BCS bowls because if the 1st bowl turns them down, they just market themselves to the next. The description you have requires a level of cooperation that will no longer exist or be desired.

      You might get a multiple bowl tie-in for the 3rd slot.

      Like

  40. Josh says:

    People are way underselling the Big 12 when it comes to travel. Kansas State would have brought 40 grand to the Sugar Bowl. Look at what they brought to the Cotton Bowl. A Michigan-Kansas State Sugar Bowl would have outdrawn Virginia Tech-Michigan easily. In Big 12 country, Oklahoma State, Kansas State, and Iowa State fanbases travel very well (along with blue bloods Texas and OU). Texas Tech and Missouri typically had the poorer traveling fanbases. Oklahoma State probably brought 35,000-40,000 to Arizona. The Big 12 most years has at least 2 teams deserving of BCS bids regardless of whether Texas/OU are up or down.

    Like

    • ProveIt says:

      Gotta agree with Josh

      The Big 12 aren’t the draw of the B1G and SEC, but they are far better than the remaining options combined.

      May the Big 12 enjoy their 2nd conference tie-in, even if it is split with the domers.

      Like

      • duffman says:

        Josh, only the UT and OU have the ability to draw. How will Kansas State draw in a post Snyder world? Oklahoma State has T Boone money, but can that transcend year after year long enough to support a 80 – 100 home stadium in Stillwater? How many years in 50 will Iowa State have a shot at a BCS bowl, much less a MNC bowl game? Brands are “brands” because they can do this with enough regularity to build solid fans to make the trips every year. Once TCU and West Virginia join the B12, it would not surprise me to see West Virginia take the #3 spot every year in B12 attendance.

        ProveIt, I agree, but we still have yet to adjust to a B12 without big capacity schools like Nebraska, TAMU, Missouri, and Colorado which can draw on the state flagship moniker. TCU brings a metropolitan city already inside the B12 which means fan cannibalization. West Virginia has good fan support, but is hampered by the size of the state of West Virginia. I might rank them this way.

        Tier #1 = B1G and SEC
        Tier #2 = B12 (dropping) and ACC (rising)
        Tier #3 = PAC and B E
        Tier #4 = non AQ schools

        While folks can disagree all they want, and say how unfair it is, a 2 loss Oklahoma would get a better BCS bowl game than a 1 loss Oklahoma State. College football is about making money first, and making fans happy falls well below that. ESPN / FOX can sell more ads with Oklahoma than Oklahoma State. If Michigan and Michigan State were equal at seasons end, you know the folks on Madison Avenue are gonna make sure Michigan gets in first.

        Like

        • ProveIt says:

          Duffman

          Solid points, but I am not including the departing members in the Big 12 projections.

          What is behind the Big 12 is WAY behind. Peruse the historic bowl ratings – The ACC has been Florida State or Miami or a ratings bust – it hasn’t just been the Big East and mid majors taking down the Orange Bowl ratings.

          I will cite the simplest evidence for Big 12 #2 plus Notre Dame being ahead of any other combination behind Door #3
          -Anyone with 2 tie-ins stands to gain financially, even if the 2nd tie-in has Notre Dame as a rider.
          -Anyone with 1 or less tie-ins will lose financially.
          -The Big 12 favors this change, and was willing to blow up the BCS if the mid majors got more.
          -The ACC opposes this change, but opposes blowing up the BCS.

          It would be a stretch to claim both are working against their own financial self interests.
          I claim both are working towards their financial self interests.
          You only gain financially with 2 tie-ins… which is why the Big12 favors and the ACC opposes the change.

          You are right about the Oklahoma-Okie Lite example. I would go further and state that over time, having the ability to select anyone but the Big 12 champ will be worth almost as much as a tie-in to the Big 12 champ.

          Like

      • hey diddle diddle says:

        I disagree:

        ISU fans travel well?

        No they don’t

        OSU – maybe I couldn’t sell my Cotton Bowl tickets (for face value) at a brand new Cowboys Stadium with OSU playing Ol Miss.

        The last time I couldn’t sell my Cotton Bowl tickets was Nebraska vs Auburn in 2007.

        Like

        • Josh says:

          hey diddle diddle:

          Do you live in any of the Big 12 states?

          Trust me Iowa State fans travel.

          The two times Oklahoma State has been to the Cotton Bowl the last 10 years there were at least 30,000 Cowboy fans.

          Like

  41. cutter says:

    I have long advocated an eight-team playoff with five teams being conference champions from the major conferences as long as that conference champion is in the top 14 of the rating system used (the same criteria for getting a slot in a BCS bowl). Three at large teams would round out the field, with additional at large teams being put in place if one or more conference champsions didn’t get into the top 14. Like the FCS system (which had its championship game yesterday), the quarter- and semi-final games would be played in the home stadiums of the higher rated teams in the latter part of December with the championship game at a neutral site two weeks later in early January.

    The bowl games would be reserved for teams that did not make the playoffs. Programs that were in BCS bowls this year that would not be in the playoff included Michigan & Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl plus West Virginia & Clemson in the Orange Bowl. If the playoff were in place, the Rose Bowl and Fiesta Bowl would have been looking for other participants in a pool that would have included teams such as Kansas State, Michigan State, South Carolina, Baylor, Oklahoma and Georgia (if USC was not on post-season probation, this pool would have likely included the loser of the Pac 12 Conference Championship game between the USC Trojans and the Oregon Ducks).

    This season using the BCS, the teams playing in such a playoff would have been matched up as follows (since ACC champion Clemson was ranked #14, no ACC representative would be in playoff this season):

    #8 Wisconsin (11-2, B10 Champion) at #1 LSU (SEC Champion, 13-0)
    #5 Oregon (Pac 12 Champion, 12-1) at #4 Stanford (Pac 12 At Large, 11-1)

    #7 Boise State (11-1, MWC At Large) at #2 Alabama (SEC At Large, 11-1)
    #6 Arkansas (SEC At Large, 10-2) at #3 Oklahoma State (Big 12 Champion, 11-1)

    Of the teams listed above, only Wisconsin is not in the top 8 of the BCS rankings. The Badgers wer at #10.

    One opinion that’s been mentioned on this board is that an eight-team championship would include some “mediocre” programs. I don’t feel that’s true and judging by the bowl results to date, I think that the teams above would have actually given a pretty good account of themselves (although because the bowl system is set up right now, Boise State was heavily mismatched agaiinst 6-6 Arizona State, so we might have to rely more heavily on their early season victory over Georgia as a barometer for how they would do in a playoff scenario).

    Rose Bowl – Oregon 45, Wisconsin 38
    Fiesta Bowl – Oklahoma State 41, Stanford 38 (OT)
    Cotton Bowl – Arkansas 29, Kansas State 16
    MAACO Bowl – Boise State 56, Arizona State 24

    There are various ways to seed the top eight teams. For example, if winning a conference championship during the regular season and that is translated into the post-season, a rule can be made that the top 4 conference champions would get the top seeds (instead of teams that didn’t even win their own divisions, such as Alabama and Stanford). That would have given us this:

    #8 Boise State (11-1) at #1 LSU (13-0)
    #5 Alabama (11-1) at #4 Wisconsin (11-2)

    #7 Arkansas (10-2) at #2 Oklahoma State (12-1)
    #6 Stanford (11-1) at #3 Oregon (11-2)

    While a Plus One is a step in the right direction, I think an eight-team playoff with the first two rounds of games at the stadiums of the higher rated teams is optimal. The major bowls would still have a strong selection of teams to choose to fill their stadiums and to satisfy television audiences. They could also operate under the same time frames the do now so that fans of the teams can buy tickets, make travel arrangements, etc.

    In regard to the playoff, having the games at the home stadiums of the higher rated teams ensures that they’ll be sold out and will be played in a collegiate setting. It would also bolster the importance of the regular season because being seeded higher gives a team a stronger chance at home field advantage in the playoffs (and if conference champions get the higher seeds over at large teams, that makes winning a conference championship even more important).

    Like

    • Eric says:

      I think would de-emphasize the idea of bowl games too much. The idea of going to a bowl game (not just specific bowls, but a bowl game at all) would be considered a disappointment and that’s not something I care for with the history of the sport.

      If you have to do 8 teams (I think it deemphasizes the regular season, especially reasons to watch other conferences besides your own, but plenty disagree with me), then I think hold the semi-finals the first two weeks after championship week, then announce the big bowl games. The winners can go to the BCS National Championship Bowl, the rest can go to BCS or non BCS bowls. At the end of the day, everyone goes to one bowl game though.

      Like

      • cutter says:

        Eric-

        What exactly is the “idea of going to a bowl game” that is potentially being de-emphasized here?

        If it’s a reward for regular season performance to the players, then I’d say that idea has been greatly lessened by the number of bowls in place (35) and the number of teams participating (70). Perhaps if you go three or four decades back when the number of bowls was markedly less you’d find some traction for that position or for the idea that being in a bowl was “special”. But when a 6-6 Illinois team (sorry, Frank) is playing a 6-7 UCLA team in a bowl, then you can’t say that being a reward for the regular season is a universal for all seventy teams in the post-season.

        Because the bowl games aren’t part of any playoff system, they have no value for establishing the national champion in the BCS era. They do, of course, effect the final polls and they provide grist for the mill when it comes to comparing conference performances, etc. But that would happen anyway with a combation of playoffs and bowls anyway–those comparisons and ratings would still take place when the season is over and a national champion was crowned.

        I’m one of those who disagree with you that a playoff system would de-emphasize the regular season. On the contrary, I think it would sharpen interest in the regular season up to and including the conference championship games. There would be plenty of inter-conference interest as well as people will be looking at where teams are ranked at the end of the season, who gets homefield advantage and who actually does get into the playoff. If LSU, for example, had lost to Georgia, it’d mean (1) UGa would receive the SEC champion autobid and (2) would have possibly pushed LSU out of the top 4 in the ratings with the possible loss of homefield advantage in a playoff. It might also mean that Oklahoma State would then get the #2 seed and homefield advantage thru the first two rounds of the playoff as the Big XII champion plus it could also have major implications for Oregon and Stanford.

        I don’t think your idea of having teams that lose in the playoffs being eligible for bowl games is really practical given the logistics required. Bowl games are about tickets, tourists and television, and while TV is pretty flexibile, the fans of the teams don’t. You’re committing them to going to a bowl game in a short span after the playoff and you’re banking on them still being interested in the result after a team’s lost a national champioship quarter- or semi-final.

        I found most of the comments from ProveIt to be amusing, but neither inciteful or having any real gravitas. It doesn’t take a bold imagination to conclude that a playoff system which includes the bowl games would make more money than the present bowl system. Several of the conference commissioners have admitted it, including Jim Delany who is on the record as saying it would generate “three to four times” what the BCS system currently does (which puts us in the $700M to $1B range). Heck, a school hosting a playoff championship game would make more money thru ticket sales than it currently receives in net revue from their conferences thru participating in bowls (Michigan gets over $5M in revenue from regular season games, for example, and about $2.4M from the Big Ten as part of its distribution of net bowl revenue in FY 2012). The larger point is this–if a playoff with bowl system makes even say $100M more, then it’s worth it financially.

        A lot of these arguments sound like the same ones used in baseball against having a wildcard system. There were folks like Bob Costas who said it’d be the ruin of baseball, but the opposite turned out to be true. Because there were more teams in contention later in the season, it kept fan interest intact in the sport. Take it from someone who remembers the day when the American and National Leagues had no divisions and the league champions were the only teams in the post-season–the current setup is much, much better.

        I think we’d see the same thing in college football. The things that make college football so fun–the stadiums, the traditions, the school/regional spirit, the varied offenses, etc.–those will all remain pretty much the same. There’ll still be major bowl games that will include a lot of top teams and hopefully would all return to New Year’s Day and will truly be in a format so that there would be the flexibility to really pair off the best teams (not likely given the tickets, tourism and television thing, but perhaps a bit more possible). But in addition, played prior to and after the major bowls, we’ll see an eight-team playoff that will allow the very best teams to decide on the field which one is the national champion.

        Like

    • ProveIt says:

      I will give 1 single argument against playoffs.

      No entity has claimed a seeded 4 or plus 1 would decrease SEASON revenue for the MAJORS.
      No entity has claimed a seeded 4 or plus 1 would increase SEASON revenue for the MAJORS.
      I have seen no comments specific to a 6 team format.

      Everyone with access to, and the ability to project from, pertinent information who has made direct comment has derived the same conclusion: An 8 team or larger format would result in a decrease in the revenue for the season for the majors.

      This has been stated by the majors, Notre Dame, networks, conferences, and independent researchers.

      The mid majors have been body slammed with this and have never denied it is true – instead they quickly change the topic.

      The majors no longer bother with the other reasons except for anti-trust hearings where the other issues have to be considered even if they aren’t part of the decision by the majors.

      This is the same 1 reason given with the 1st proposal, and remains the 1 reason majors give now.

      You could fill tables with the information needed to derive this conclusion and we wouldn’t have any idea what we were looking at. This leaves us evaluating the opinions of experts.

      You can derive 3 possibilities from the opinions stated by the experts:
      1. The truth – They are telling the truth and accurate in their evaluations of pertinent data.
      2. Arrogance – They are telling the truth but wrong – this is a supremely arrogant stance to take with no evidence to the contrary.
      3. The Conspiracy Theory – They are all lying. Given the varied groups involved, there must be collusion. Given that some of these groups would have to be working against self-interest (networks promoting a format that gets lower ratings, mid-majors remaining silent against the 1 reason given for not having a playoff, majors pursuing a less lucrative format, etc.) there must be a grande conspiracy with hidden interests involved.

      I don’t care that Cuban threw out a ridiculous number – Markie also didn’t have a specific format to justify his projections – you can’t project without a format to base the projections on – more likely he was just grabbing headlines.
      I don’t care about a myriad of other reasons you can give or disprove – I only care about the 1 reason the majors have given from the beginning.

      If you don’t believe this, I will make 1 very simple request – find me 1 statement from someone with access to, and the ability to project from, pertinent information who claim a playoff will earn more revenue for the season for the majors than the current format.

      I’ve searched the playoff sites and they don’t have this.

      Find this and you will have my praise and gratitude. Find something else and you have found the irrelevant, not a counter to the 1 and only reason given by all majors against a playoff.

      Like

      • Eric says:

        I agree you are right and that’s the biggest overlooked factor in all of this. There is a reason college football’s regular season has become as big as it is and it’s very easy to forget how fragile that can be.

        Like

        • ProveIt says:

          Thanks Eric.

          …and you can go further – I only list this reason because it is the only one the majors really care about.

          For example, if you are concerned about the likelihood the best team is crowned, larger format playoffs are actually less likely to crown the best team because while the chances the best team is not invited quickly drops off with larger formats, the chances the best team is upset quickly increases – at some point it quickly becomes accurate to say the champion is literally more lucky than good.

          Like

      • bullet says:

        @Proveit
        Actually what is not true is your statement. What the commissioners and presidents have said is that they are worried that 4 leads to 8 leads to 16…. They are concerned at some point that it diminishes the regular season. Clearly at some point it does. I can’t recall one official saying specifically that an “8 team” playoff diminishes the regular season. And even if they did, they really don’t know. There is no way to know without trying it. And yes, they do lie repeatedly about these matters.

        What they don’t say in public is this:
        1) The bigger the playoff, the harder it is to maintain control of the revenue from the have-not schools;
        2) The more the playoff money the more the players might demand a cut of the action; and
        3) The more the money the more you have the tail (athletics) wagging the dog (academics), at least as far as major donors are concerned.

        Everyone understands that a playoff, whether it be 4 or 8 or 16 or more generates lots more post-season money. What the Presidents worry about is control over that post-season money as well as your point about the impact on the regular season money they know they control.

        Like

        • ProveIt says:

          “There is no way to know without trying it.”

          Much like it can not be proved that CRAIG JAMES KILLED 5 HOOKERS WHILE AT SMU is false, this cannot be proven.

          This is typical of conspiracy theories, considering anything that can’t be absolutely proven to be supporting evidence when it is really just unknown.

          However, revenue under different formats can be projected. No playoff format has been projected to produce more revenue for the season for the majors. At best, it is about even with a small seeded 4 format. If I am wrong, I would apprecaite any link to show this.

          ———————————————-

          “Actually what is not true is your statement. What the commissioners and presidents have said is that they are worried that 4 leads to 8 leads to 16….”

          No, they’ve said more. Follow the “Inside the Shoe” link, then follow the link to the “Line in the Sand” series, and there you will find links to the above. In the original proposal, they acknowledged a seeded 4 was small enough it probably wouldn’t detract from the regular season.

          ——————————————–

          “What they don’t say in public is this:
          1) The bigger the playoff, the harder it is to maintain control of the revenue from the have-not schools;
          2) The more the playoff money the more the players might demand a cut of the action; and
          3) The more the money the more you have the tail (athletics) wagging the dog (academics), at least as far as major donors are concerned.
          …What the Presidents worry about is control over that post-season money as well as your point about the impact on the regular season money they know they control.”

          …so you are following a conspiracy theory. There is no basis in fact for these, but they sound plausible as they slip thru slivers in what is known. When they encounter opposition, a declaration is madde that everyone is lying … just like all conspiracy theories.

          ———————————————

          “Everyone understands that a playoff, whether it be 4 or 8 or 16 or more generates lots more post-season money.”

          A belief held by many does not equate to fact any more than plausible sounding statements are on equal footing with fact.

          This you can filed under “Irrelevant” without further comment needed. The reason provided is revenue for the season, not the post season.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            TV consultants and even opponents of a playoff have projected that a playoff would generate lots more postseason money than the current system. The Presidents don’t care whether the money comes from the regular season or the post-season. They care only how much comes to them. Your premise that they care only about the regular season is flawed. And its simply not possible to determine how much a playoff might impact regular season revenue. The number of assumptions are huge and greatly variable with no relevant empirical data to support them.

            As for what they don’t say in public, sportswriters have discussed what they have been told in private and you should always follow the actions not the words. Back in the early 90s when playoffs were being seriously discussed, an FSU player representing athletes in a committee called for players to get a cut. The next day the SEC voted unanimously to oppose a playoff and the effort died. That’s not a conspiracy. Its simple logic.

            Finally, have you really read those articles you reference? They support everything I’ve just said. The commissioners are concerned about bracket creep and a 16 team playoff, revenue distribution going to the non-majors and they really don’t know the impact on the regular season. They know the bowls get hurt as playoffs expand, but other than the top few bowls, schools lose money on bowls (hence the reference to how schools could spend less while attending bowls).

            Playoffs, as long as they don’t get too big, and the revenue is sufficiently tilted toward the majors, make everyone more money. There are intangibles that are lost and impacts on the players. Bracket creep reaching the point where they hurt the regular season is a legitimate concern. But if you control bracket creep, finances can be worked out to all the schools’ benefit.

            Personally I don’t think 16 is so many that it impacts the regular season, but its close. I just think 16 is too many because #s13-16 and maybe most of #9s-12 have no shot of winning that many straight games against that level of competition and really don’t deserve the shot.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            bullet:

            Bracket creep is a huge concern, though, and besides affecting the regular season, will also kill off the Rose Bowl. I’m quite confident Larry Scott wouldn’t mind a 4-team playoff and Delany might not be so against it either if they thought that a playoff would only stay at 4 teams or less for the next half-century or so. They know, however, that once a 4-team playoff is instituted, the ACC, BE, and smaller conferences (certainly the BE and smaller conferences) will clamor for an expansion, because an expanded playoff would most likely help them financially.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            The institution of the championship game was the beginning of bracket creep.

            Like

          • ProveIt says:

            bullett

            “TV consultants and even opponents of a playoff have projected that a playoff would generate lots more postseason money than the current system.”

            So? This is irrelevant. Volumes of irrelevance cannot replace 1 link to the relevant.
            The issue isn’t post season money, it is revenue for the entire season.

            —————————————————-

            “Your premise that they care only about the regular season is flawed.”

            This is false – I never made this claim. Entire Season is… entire season and all revenue sources, not just the regular season, and not just the post season.

            —————————————————–

            “And its simply not possible to determine how much a playoff might impact regular season revenue.”

            This is false. A projection can be made by people with access to, and the ability to project from, relevant data.

            I guarantee a projection was made before the B1G joined the BCS. We know from the Gee e-mails Delany wouldn’t invite Texas to the B1G without the research studies completed 1st to show Texas would be a profitable addition.

            Projections have been made and relayed – though as a conspiracy theorist you simply claim everyone is lying.

            ——————————————————

            “As for what they don’t say in public, sportswriters have discussed what they have been told in private and you should always follow the actions not the words.”

            Aside from laughing at the accuracy of sportswriters citing undisclosed sources…

            …and laughing that the conspiracy now involves the mid majors hiding evidence a playoff would earn more revenue for the season…

            I do follow the actions – since I have neither access to, nor the ability to interpret relevant information, there are 3 options.

            1. They are correct and telling the truth.
            2. “Arrogance” – declaring them wrong without evidence to the contrary.
            3. The “Conspiracy Theory” – aptly named because it involves the majors, mid majors, networks, and private research groups lying or hiding the truth in collusion to prevent a playoff.

            ——————————————————–

            “Finally, have you really read those articles you reference? They support everything I’vie just said. The commissioners are concerned about bracket creep and a 16 team playoff, revenue distribution going to the non-majors and they really don’t know the impact on the regular season. They know the bowls get hurt as playoffs expand, but other than the top few bowls, schools lose money on bowls (hence the reference to how schools could spend less while attending bowls).”

            Obviously I read them since I blogged them. I never denied any of this.

            However, you have said much more than this as you recanted your conspiracy theories… in fact, in your very next paragraph you step outside the articles…

            ———————————————————-

            “Playoffs, as long as they don’t get too big, and the revenue is sufficiently tilted toward the majors, make everyone more money.”

            Then earn my eternal gratitude – find 1 link where someone with access to, and the ability to project from, relevant data has determined a playoff of any size would make the majors more money for the season.

            This isn’t asking a lot – just 1 link that would wipe away the only reason the majors now give for opposing a playoff – just 1 link shouldn’t be hard…

            …except it doesn’t exist – I have looked for years and have yet to find this once. I have found repeated claims a small playoff would be about the same revenue, I have found claims a large playoff would result in a cut in revenue, but I have never found claim by someone with access to, and the ability to project from, relevant data who claims a playoff of any size would make more.

            ———————————————————-

            “Personally I don’t think 16 is so many that it impacts the regular season, but its close.”

            Not to be disrespectful, but the opinion of someone who has neither access to, not the ability to project from, nor even an understanding that projections can be made from, pertinent data carries weight.

            To your “Conspiracy Theory” (option #3) you can now add “Arrogance” (option #2) in the belief you know more than the experts.

            Like

  42. Michael in Raleigh says:

    Frank,

    With 2 more losses by the ACC in BCS bowls, including an absolutely embarrassing loss to a Big East team by the conference champion, the record is now 2-15 all time. Both Clemson and VT failed to sell tickets well for their respective games, even though Clemson hadn’t been to the OB in 30 years and VT hadn’t been to the Sugar in 8. Both bowls had record low TV ratings, even though the Sugar had a very close matchup between a very consistent, well-known program and a true college football bluebood.

    How concerned should I be that the ACC could lose its tie-in to the Orange Bowl? It appears that no one outside of Florida State (given that Miami will be down for the foreseeable future) is capable of ensuring strong TV ratings & attendance at a BCS bowl, and winning on the field clearly is too much to ask of anyone. I had thought that Clemson & Va. Tech were capable of winning or at least drawing fans & ratings, but I was obviously wrong.

    Do you now think, in light of this latest chapter of bad performances, attendance & ratings, that the Orange Bowl might have second thoughts about keeping the ACC tie-in? All along, I had agreed with you that the ACC’s off-field value had been underrated by fans in general because of BCS bowl losses and other factors. I had thought that all the ACC needed was one of a few things to happen to shed light on the league’s true value, and the reputation would change. I thought the ACC just needed a year in which 2-3 programs would win 10 games; or one where there was at least one national title contender late into November; or at least one year where strong-traveling fanbases’ teams were awarded with a BCS bowl trip (besides VT to the Orange Bowl). Clemson, Miami, Florida State, NC State, UNC, Va. Tech–any of these would travel well, and most should draw good ratings. But I’m not so sure anymore.

    The OB can’t have the champions from the B1G, P-12, SEC, or, I’m fairly certain, the B12. So the only conference champions it could have would be the ACC, Big East, or lesser conferences. Do you think the OB would just say, “You know what? We’ve seen enough. The ACC and BE #1 are worth less than other leagues’ second- or third-best, so we’re going to take them instead”?

    Like

    • ProveIt says:

      Michael

      I give it zero chance the ACC loses its tie in to the Orange.

      It isn’t because the ACC is so strong, it is because what is behind door #3 is bad enough – door #4 absolutely sucks.

      If you want to make the case the Orange loses its tie in to the ACC…
      …who moves to a more lucrative Sugar or Fiesta invite, I wouldn’t rule it out
      …though I think the SEC and B1G #2 would still be favorable.
      The ACC gets SEC fan base interest because of overlap, but the response from the rest of the country has been Florida State or Miami or… meh.

      I used to track inter-conference results based on conference finish. The problem with the ACC isn’t that everyone dropped in performance shortly after expansion, it is that nobody improved to fill the void left by the downfall of Miami and Florida State. In the SEC, B1G, and PAC whenever a big dog fell there was someone to adequately carry the conference flag – this hasn’t happened in the ACC or Big East.

      Like

      • vp19 says:

        Were the ACC to lose its Orange Bowl (or any automatic) BCS tie-in, Slive would probably find it very easy to pick up Virginia Tech and Florida State as #15-16. Try as it might, as long as the ACC is dominated by the Research Triangle, it will never have a genuine football culture.

        Like

        • ProveIt says:

          I think the B1G and SEC can pull just about any ACC program they want now, will definitely be able to in the very near future.

          …at least the PAC is too far away to raid.

          Like

          • Mack says:

            If that were true VT would be a future member of the SEC rather than Missouri. The way the ACC is going, VT may regret not being #14 in a few years.

            Like

        • acaffrey says:

          #1 Florida State needs to worry about winning 10 games in a season before worrying about what happens to better teams from the ACC. If they can’t beat Wake Forest and Virginia, what makes them think they are beating LSU and Alabama?

          #2 Besides, the BCS bowl tie-in is largely irrelevant if Florida State or Virginia Tech is 13-0. It would be awfully hard to keep an undefeated ACC team out of the National Championship game. The problem that the Boise States and TCUs had was that they could go undefeated and STILL not get into the championship game. Even a Big East school has to be a little concerned.

          #3 A 1-loss FSU goes to a BCS bowl… tie-in or not. A 2-loss FSU at least has a chance at going to a BCS bowl.

          The bottom line is that until FSU and Miami get back to being kings, the ACC will not have a genuine football culture. If and when they do, the ACC will.

          Like

    • zeek says:

      All the news reports/editorials in South Florida seem to indicate more that the opponents are what matters, not the ACC team as much.

      For example, Iowa’s been the best traveling team down here the past 4-5 years. A lot of the articles about the Orange Bowl reference their big presence down here.

      They’re all hoping that if Florida State (and Miami eventually) get back up, that the Orange Bowl will be rocking again.

      The key for the ACC is to get the SEC #2 or the Big Ten #2 to go up against the ACC Champion.

      Iowa-Georgia Tech wasn’t a marquee matchup, but I think they’ll take that matchup 9 times out of 10 over most of the other matchups they’ve had the past couple of years.

      Like

      • ProveIt says:

        “All the news reports/editorials in South Florida seem to indicate more that the opponents are what matters, not the ACC team as much.”
        Translation – the ACC audience is very small – anyone can attract an audience against a good opponent, the problem is the ACCs limited ability to provide an audience.

        It also hurts that the B1G fan base doesn’t have much interest in the ACC. When they were matched in bowls in the past, they didn’t get very good ratings.

        The Orange probably can’t afford the B1G#2 over the Fiesta and Sugar – their best chance is to hope the Fiesta gets the B1G#2 (a VERY good possibility) instead of the Sugar, leaving the SEC#2 with the Orange.

        Side note: the 5 lowest BCS bowl ratings
        2006-2007 Fiesta Wake Forrest-Louisville 6.98 TV Ratings
        2009-2010 Orange Iowa-Georgia Tech 6.8
        2010-2011 Orange VT-Stanford 6.75
        2010-2011 Fiesta Connecticut-Oklahoma 6.15
        2008-2009 Orange VT-Cincinnati 5.4

        Like

      • frug says:

        V-Tech’s 8000 unsold tickets and record low ratings for the Sugar Bowl against Michigan indicate it’s not just an opponent problem. The ACC is just not pulling its weight in BCS games.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          How can you say the TV ratings problem wasn’t a Michigan team many thought was the 4th or 5th best team in the conference? Personally, I was much more interested in seeing Michigan State or Nebraska than Michigan. And Virginia Tech was a conference ccg loser, just as Georgia and Michigan State were-and they played in a bowl well below capacity. I could very easily make the same argument that Michigan schools weren’t pulling their weight.

          IMO the problems in both those bowls was the ccg loss (and of course many fans made the trip to the ccg) and the general opinion that Michigan had no business being in a BCS bowl.

          The Orange Bowl had two 3 loss teams, neither of which had gotten much publicity in the last few weeks of the season. Neither had Heisman candidates to generate interest. And, of course, it was a blowout at halftime. The Orange Bowl, going back to 1998 has never had two 3 loss teams before (I haven’t looked at the other BCS bowls, but they probably haven’t either). And other than 2009 when 9-4 VT faced 11-2 Cincinnati, there were never 6 total losses. The bowl almost always has matched 0, 1 or 2 loss teams. The only other > 2 loss teams were Syracuse (8-3) in 1999 when they faced Florida (9-2) and FSU (8-4) facing 10-1 Penn St. In those cases they had kings and near kings and homestate teams. To the extent this is an ACC problem is solely that they produced a 3 loss champion.

          Like

          • ProveIt says:

            “How can you say the TV ratings problem wasn’t a Michigan team many thought was the 4th or 5th best team in the conference?”

            Historical BCS bowl ratings. The ACC is Miami or Florida State or a ratings bust. tSUN may not have helped, but ti was doomed the moment Miami and FSU were eliminated.

            Like

          • Mack says:

            Picking VT was a self inflicted wound by the Sugar Bowl since they could had pick any of three B12 teams, Boise State, or WVU rather than VT. SInce the Sugar did not have any obligation to pick an ACC team the MI:VT matchup had nothing to do with the way the ACC regular season turned out. The Orange Bowl was contractually committed to take Clemson and had to use the last pick on WVU since it was an AQ and the Sugar had taken the two at large spots available.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            At least with regards to the Orange Bowl, Stanford, Kansas, Cincinnati and Louisville are not very inspiring opponents as far as TV ratings. In fact, that’s about as bad as you could do while still getting AQ schools. I don’t consider that to demonstrate anything with regard to ACC appeal. Georgia Tech, who’s 2nd string even in Atlanta let alone their entire state, apparently did well with Iowa.

            Some of you may have data other than the Orange Bowl, but the fact that FSU did well playing Penn St. and Miami in the Orange Bowl doesn’t demonstrate the rest can’t generate TV ratings there.

            Like

          • Ross says:

            Uh, well just comparing the ticket allotments sold indicates that VTech had a bigger problem than Michigan with generating fan interest.

            Like

          • wmtiger says:

            The two Michigan schools actually won their bowl games (against teams ranked in the top 12), the only other bowls won by the B10 were a couple insignificant bowls that didn’t exist twenty-thirty years ago.

            Like

          • ProveIt says:

            Bullett

            I would never deny that Florida State and Miami are great draws.

            2004-2005 Sugar Auburn-Virginia Tech 9.5
            *with claims Auburn should be in NCG
            9th out 36 if you remove the Rose and NCG
            This is the only time an ACC team other than Miami or Florida broke out of the bottom 10

            Looking at the rest of the ACC BCS History, using the largest number I can find for 2011-2012
            *2004-2005 Fiesta Pitt-Utah 7.4
            *2007-2008 Orange VT-Kansas 7.4
            *2011-2012 Sugar VT-Michigan 7.0
            2007-2008 Sugar UGa-Hawaii 7.0
            *2006-2007 Fiesta WF-Louisville 6.98
            *2009-2010 Orange GT-Iowa 6.8
            *2010-2011 Orange VT-Stanford 6.75
            2010-2011 Fiesta Connecticut-Oklahoma 6.15
            *2008-2009 Orange VT-Cincinnati 5.4
            *2011-2012 Orange Clemson-WVU 5.3

            ACC – 8 of 10 all time lowest BCS ratings had ACC teams.
            East – 3
            Big12 – 3
            B1G – 2
            PAC – 2
            Mids – 1
            SEC – 1

            The ACC is Miami or Florida State or a ratings bust.

            —————————————————————-

            “At least with regards to the Orange Bowl, Stanford, Kansas, Cincinnati and Louisville are not very inspiring opponents”

            We haven’t found an inspiring opponent for any ACC team other than Miami or Florida State or an NCG contender.

            ——————————————————————

            “Georgia Tech, who’s 2nd string even in Atlanta let alone their entire state, apparently did well with Iowa”

            With the 5th lowest BCS ratings ever, and the lowest ratings ever for a B1G team, they did not do well.

            To the ACC Ratings 2nd string of GT you can add VT, Clemson, and WF… we are quickly running out of candidates for the 1st string.

            ——————————————————————-

            “…the fact that FSU did well playing Penn St. and Miami in the Orange Bowl doesn’t demonstrate the rest can’t generate TV ratings there.”

            Nobody said it did – the rest doing miserable demonstrates the rest can’t generate TV ratings anywhere.

            Like

      • wmtiger says:

        Iowa may travel well and have rabid fans but the quantity of fans aren’t there to get strong ratings. They are probably the #7 program in the B10 (behind Ohio, Michigan, Penn State, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Michigan State & Illinois) in terms of football fanbase. If the Illini could ever make a good coaching hire, they’d probably find themselves behind them as well.

        Like

        • greg says:

          Iowa doesn’t deliver great TV ratings, but it is beyond a doubt that they have more football fans than Illinois. Not even comparable.

          They also have more fans than MSU. I do agree that they don’t deliver the casual CFB fan.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            From the perspective of bowls, Iowa and Illinois are opposites. Strong ticket sales & weak ratings vs. weak ticket sales & strong ratings. Actually, Iowa and USC are exactly opposite. Strong ticket sales & weak ratings vs. very little ticket sales (outside SoCal) & very strong ratings.

            Like

          • greg says:

            Show me anything that shows Illinois gets good ratings.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Brian,

            Do you still have that data on bowl TV ratings by team?

            Maybe i’m wrong. Illinois has Chicagoland, though.

            Like

          • wmtiger says:

            Pre Ferentz, Illini & Iiowa were probably comparable if not in favor of the Illini. They’ve hired a ton of lousy coaches since, if they’d ever hire a very good coach, I’d expect them to be as good (on the field, in ratings) as Wisconsin, Iowa or MSU.

            Like

          • ProveIt says:

            Richard

            TV Ratings are a good measurement of the “Brand” attraction of a team – its ability to attract an audience outside its immediate fan base.

            Ticket sales are a good sign of the team’s immediate fan base – not many outside the immediate fan base will travel to watch a team in a bowl.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            Do you still have that data on bowl TV ratings by team?

            I do, but it’s not a ton of help here. The data starts the year after IL went to the Sugar Bowl and I haven’t added this year yet since the games aren’t done. That leaves 2 games. The Rose Bowl was way down and the Texas Bowl was up. I don’t think the data are representative or useful here.

            Like

          • jj says:

            There is no way Iowa has more fb fans than msu. MSU would only need about a quarter of the state of Michigan to top all of Iowa. It has way more than that and a lot of fans that have migrated out. Iowa’s great and has a good following, but no way they have more eyeballs than MSU.

            Like

          • greg says:

            Nate Silver’s imperfect fan estimator puts Iowa at 15 and MSU at 20, but in the same general range.

            http://thequad.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/19/the-geography-of-college-football-fans-and-realignment-chaos/

            Like

  43. zeek says:

    Tweets from ESPN’s Burke Magnus.

    PeteThamelNYT Pete Thamel
    One more ESPN note on Longhorn Network: “We are still very committed to it for the long haul.” Calls it a “20-year horizon.”
    59 minutes ago
    Pete Thamel
    PeteThamelNYT Pete Thamel
    Magnus stressed ESPN doesn’t impact format changes. But: “I’m encouraged that they’re going to give meaningful consideration” to change
    1 hour ago
    Pete Thamel
    PeteThamelNYT Pete Thamel
    Burke Magnus said that the WVU-Clemson game was the worst rated BCS bowl game ever.
    1 hour ago
    Pete Thamel
    PeteThamelNYT Pete Thamel
    Magnus said that Slive’s comments that change is inevitable in the BCS are how he feels.
    1 hour ago
    Pete Thamel
    PeteThamelNYT Pete Thamel
    ESPN’s Burke Magnus said that a BCS contract longer than 4 years is ‘critical’ going forward.
    1 hour ago

    Most important thing here to me is that they want a longer BCS contract. It will be interesting to see how that plays into the discussion of how to sell the BCS bowls themselves (separately outside or inside of the BCS construct).

    Like

    • vp19 says:

      The bowls are going to be blunt to ESPN — get the ACC and Big East out of the automatic equation, or else.

      Like

    • ProveIt says:

      Under the “Open Market” plan, each bowl goes completely independent.

      Hard to tell all the implications, but a longer plan blocks a change in format – ESPN does NOT want a playoff.

      One more ESPN note on Longhorn Network: “We are still very committed to it for the long haul.” Calls it a “20-year horizon.”
      Ah-hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhaha! Epic fail!

      Like

      • bullet says:

        ESPN doesn’t want everyone complaining constantly about the format. That’s what I take from the comments in the article.

        The downside of a longer agreement is that it DOES make changes more difficult. They could find whatever they choose needs improvement and you’ve got one more party necessary to agree to it.

        Like

  44. frug says:

    Craig James donor leaves a message on his on campaign website:

    https://rally.org/activities/hdoxA9HvRu3

    (Read down the left side)

    Like

  45. Brian says:

    http://www.alongtheolentangy.com/2012/1/8/2691668/oversigning-update-to-the-cheaters-belong-the-bowls

    The blog has a comparison of the number of players signed by each team in the past 5 versus the results in the bowl games. The team with the advantage is 15-4, 13-2 if you ignore differences of less than 5 players. The biggest differential was 43 (MS St vs WF).

    Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      Worth noting: Florida State signed far more players than normal largely because it was going off probation. Under probation, FSU had fewer scholarships to offer than normal. Once off probation, FSU offered a normal-sized recruiting class PLUS whatever extra amount it hadn’t been able to offer before.

      Don’t be surprised if Ohio State looks guilty of gross oversigning several years from now when it signs ginormous recruiting classes to make up for the lack of players signed in the years prior. Same will happen for USC.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        OSU only loses 3 scholarships a year for 3 years. Their numbers shouldn’t get too far out of whack.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          I should point out, the B10 won’t let OSU oversign the number of available slots each spring without written explanation to the B10 office, and even that’s capped at 3. OSU’s numbers will go up with Tressel gone (Tressel never maxed out or came close), but Meyer is limited in what he can do.

          Meyer will get OSU right up to 82 with this class if possible (22-25 players). Next year he’ll have some player losses due to the transition, and he’ll sign another big class (22-25 as a guess without looking at the roster). In 2014 he should have a moderate class to stay at 82 (17-22 maybe). Then the restrictions are gone, so 2015 should be big again (22-25) before he settles in to his typical class size.

          Like

          • ProveIt says:

            Most are saying Urban is looking for 5 more, which would be a total of 24… kind of…

            The NCAA limits 25 schollies a year, but Urban signed a Juco and Grey Shirt as 2011 recruits… so officially he only has commitments from 17 so far this year and could sign 8 more under NCAA regulations.

            Since the B1G allows 3 over the 25 limit, he could sign 11 more, but those other 3 are just a promise of a future scholarship the following year – as soon as an athlete does not receive a scholarship for the coming year, the NCAA considers his LOI null and void – the athlete is free to sign with anyone else without limitations. This makes the B1G limit moot since the LOI is voided as soon as it is signed, but it does make for good PR.

            The catch is 2 fold:
            1. You still have to be under the NCAA limit, now 82 for OSU. After 2 transfers, Urban has known room for 1 more. The rest are transfers, injuries, academics, early departures, personal issues, suspensions, grey shirts from the current class, or flat out roster cuts. You usually don’t know who was cut for space and who left on their own accord – the Vest used to just call them into his office and tell them they won’t be invited to spring practice.
            2. If roster space doesn’t open up under the current class, the honored grey shirts count towards the next class – to get a gain now, you take a hit later.

            Some speculate Urban could sign 5 more on LOI day for a total of 22/24 (depending on how you count the 2 he signed as part of the 2011 class), and could hold out for up to 3 additional athletes who do not intend to make up their mind by NLOI day.

            Like

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            Thomas is not a JUCO.
            Cardale was originally in the 11 class
            Both were committed to Ohio State long before Urban.

            Like

          • ProveIt says:

            Thomas was a grey shirt and would have been in the 2011 class if he went straight to college.
            Unlike Jones, he wasn’t recruited out of high school by Ohio State.
            I never claimed he was signed by Urban.

            http://ohiostate.scout.com/a.z?s=145&p=8&c=1&nid=4683705

            Like

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            Thomas is not a grey shirt. Cardale was offered a grey shirt coming out of high school, with the understanding being that he would wait a year and then be given a ship in ’12 (same thing happened to Todd Boekman).

            You seem confused as to what a grey shirt is.

            “I never claimed he was signed by Urban.”

            Your exact words:

            “Urban signed a Juco and Grey Shirt as 2011 recruits”

            So who were you claiming Urban signed? Were you referring some other non-existent JUCO
            than the kids we’ve already covered (who aren’t JUCOs)?

            You statement was inaccurate in almost every detail. There is no JUCO in this class. Cardale was a 2011 grey shirt which normally means he would count against the 2012 class (since he’s on campus for the upcoming quarter it remains to be seen where he ends up being counted). I was giving you the benefit of the doubt on ‘signed’ taking it as ‘earned a commitment from’ as the actual signing day is still a few weeks off.

            Regardless the only number that matters right now is 82. Ohio State’s class is probably not going to be over 25 (although with the number of offers that keep popping up you can never sure) so whether the early enrollees (Thomas, Jones, Dunn, Perry, Boren etc) get counted towards ’11 or ’12 isn’t a major concern.

            Like

    • Richard says:

      There’s got to be a better way to differentiate oversigners and non-oversigners. Looking just as raw number of scholarships granted puts those programs that rely heavily on JUCO recruits in the oversigning category even if they never ever go above 85 scholarship athletes at any time and don’t force players off the team. Thus programs like KSU & ISU are unfairly cast in a negative light even if they aren’t doing anything shady.

      OK, I got the list of JUCO signings here:
      http://espn.go.com/blog/ncfnation/post/_/id/38844/most-recent-juco-signings-no-surprises

      If you count JUCO signings as just half a signing (you have them for only half as long), then ISU only had 5 more than Rutgers and Arkansas has an 11 recruit advantage over KSU. The record then becomes 14-1 if you ignore differences of 5 players or less.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Richard,

        There’s got to be a better way to differentiate oversigners and non-oversigners.

        There is. Look at the full oversigning.com chart that tracks slots available in spring versus signees. That’s oversigning. Total scholarships indicates roster turnover.

        You’ll note that I didn’t indicate it was oversigning.

        Looking just as raw number of scholarships granted puts those programs that rely heavily on JUCO recruits in the oversigning category even if they never ever go above 85 scholarship athletes at any time and don’t force players off the team. Thus programs like KSU & ISU are unfairly cast in a negative light even if they aren’t doing anything shady.

        That’s 100% true. Although one could claim that a 4 year university shouldn’t have all that many JUCOs considering their mission, especially since so many of them miraculously turn out to be athletes.

        If you count JUCO signings as just half a signing (you have them for only half as long), then ISU only had 5 more than Rutgers and Arkansas has an 11 recruit advantage over KSU. The record then becomes 14-1 if you ignore differences of 5 players or less.

        Which still makes the point that oversigning is a big advantage. I don’t think the writer was trying to indict those specific schools and only those schools.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          “That’s 100% true. Although one could claim that a 4 year university shouldn’t have all that many JUCOs considering their mission, especially since so many of them miraculously turn out to be athletes.”

          Maybe you and I differ on what the missions of 4 year universities (specifically public ones) are. Personally, I don’t have a problem with state schools taking a lot of JUCOs, as community college for 2 years and then tranferring to an affordable state school may be the only way for many kids to afford a a bachelor’s education. Also, I don’t know where you get the idea that “so many” turn out to be athletes. All state schools take in a lot of transfers from JUCO, and I’m certain that the 39 football players that KSU took in over 4 years is a drop in the bucket compared to the number of non-athletes who transferred from JUCO to KSU.

          In fact, from http://catalog.k-state.edu/content.php?catoid=13&navoid=1406:
          “K-State has transfer articulation agreements with the 19 Kansas community colleges. Students who have received an associate of arts or an associate of science degree from a Kansas community college are guaranteed junior classification.”

          So it seems that pretty much any student who graduates from a community college in Kansas can continue to study towards a bachelors at KSU, athlete or not.

          “Which still makes the point that oversigning is a big advantage. I don’t think the writer was trying to indict those specific schools and only those schools.”

          ??? I didn’t say that it was; in fact, the evidence is even more clear that oversigning is a big advantage (how did Michigan ever win?).

          Like

          • bullet says:

            Texas is required by the legislature to take a certain number of JUCO students. In addition, they have a deal with UT Arlington and UT San Antonio to take students who have completed a year there who couldn’t get into UT as sort of a provisional admission. But then Texas rarely takes JUCO athletes in football. Its unusual to see more than 1 or 2 on the roster.

            Miami takes students from Miami U.-Middletown. I’m not familiar with Ohio State, but I know they have satellite 2 year schools like MU-M, so I presume it is the same with them.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            JUCO athletes who had to go that route because they couldn’t scrape by the minimum NCAA standards are different from regular students that went to JUCOs and you know it. What percentage of complete idiots that suddenly appear at these schools happen to be athletes?

            Like

          • Richard says:

            What percentage of complete idiots that get accepted as freshmen are athletes? IMHO, unless you have a problem with lowering standards for athletes, you have to accept that JUCOs are just as legitimate as any other student-athlete.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            I have a problem with them taking fake classes at a JUCO just to get grades high enough to be able to transfer out.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            OK, understandable.

            Like

      • ProveIt says:

        Why worry about differentiating what is and what is not over signing?

        If the fans are sincere in their goals of eliminating abuse and not just looking for a new way to dis other programs, and it is known that some abuse exists, then just worry about the solution.
        1. Full disclosure rules.
        2. Guaranteed athletic scholarship as part of the next year’s class if the athlete voluntarily grey shirts and remains in good standing.
        3. Guaranteed 4/5 year scholarship if the athlete is cut – won’t be an athletic scholarship, but will be an equivalent general university grant in aid to allow the athlete to complete his education.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          #3 is completely against current rules because it encourages bad behavior by the schools.

          Like

          • ProveIt says:

            tOSU guarantees this and has used this. The catch is, the player can’t receive any benefit not received by the typical student, otherwise he would become classified as a scholarship athlete. The athlete still consumes his eligibility, so there isn’t any gain to the program unless the athlete is injured, experiencing personal problems, etc.

            Also notice… THE TOPIC IS NCAAF RULE CHANGES… noting it isn’t part of the current rules is kind of a moot point.

            Like

        • Richard says:

          I support all this. In fact, I’m pretty sure Delany and the B10 support all this. However, the vast majority of the NCAA (and FBS) does not (the vast majority are also against the stipend proposal and 4-year scholarship proposal). Good luck seeing any of this implemented.

          Like

  46. Brian says:

    http://www.examiner.com/conservative-in-lubbock/craig-james-trying-to-outrun-google-bomb

    The Craig James campaign is trying to deal with the allegations that he killed five hookers while at SMU. Apparently it’s a problem when Google auto-fills that in for every search for Craig James.

    Like

  47. Great discussion, everyone. A couple of thoughts:

    (1) The market has already told us what each conference’s tie-in is worth (at least pre-2010 conference realignment) with their bowl payouts:

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

    It goes in this order for the 6 AQ leagues for bowl payouts over $2 million outside of the BCS:

    1. Big Ten #2 ($4.6 million – Capital One)
    1. SEC #2 ($4.6 million – Capital One)
    3. ACC #2 ($3.968 million – Chick-fil-A)
    4. Big 12 #2 (3.625 million – Cotton)
    4. SEC #3/4 ($3.625 million – Cotton)
    6. Big Ten #3 ($3.5 million – Outback)
    6. SEC #3/4 ($3.5 million – Outback)
    8. Big Ten #4/5 ($3.35 million – Insight)
    8. Big 12 #4 ($3.35 million – Insight)
    10. Big 12 #3 ($3.175 million – Alamo)
    10. Pac-12 #2 ($3.175 million – Alamo)
    12. SEC #5 ($2.938 million – Chick-fil-A)
    13. Big Ten #4/5 ($2.7 million – Gator)
    13. SEC #6 ($2.7 million – Gator)
    15. ACC #3 ($2.325 million – Champs Sports)
    15. Big East #2/Notre Dame ($2.325 million – Champs Sports)
    17. Big 12 #5 ($2.15 million – Holiday)
    17. Pac-12 #3 ($2.15 million – Holiday)
    19. ACC #4 ($2 million – Sun)
    19. Pac-12 #4 ($2 million – Sun)

    Now, these payouts were all negotiated prior to this latest round of conference realignment, so the Big Ten’s tie-ins are going to be considered more valuable in the next contract cycle with its addition of Nebraska while the Big 12 is likely going to receive a downgrade with its losses of the Huskers and great-traveling Texas A&M. So, the SEC is clearly at the top level of bowl desirability with the Big Ten right behind it. The Big 12 will still probably be next even with its defections simply because of Texas and Oklahoma. The ACC and Pac-12 are pretty much at the same level, although the ACC has a strong financial advantage for its #2 tie-in since the Chick-fil-A committee is extremely well-funded and the Georgia Dome has an iron-clad history of paying for top college football games. By the way, the Insight Bowl payout is another indicator of how much cash the Fiesta Bowl committee has since it’s actually paying more for Big 12 #4 than the Alamo is for Big 12 #3.

    My takeaway from this is that the Big Ten definitely doesn’t need Notre Dame to get its #3 tie-in a top bowl slot. The only other non-SEC conference that was close to competitive with the Big Ten for bowl payouts prior to 2010 was the Big 12 and the Big Ten ended up poaching arguably the Big 12’s most rabid bowl traveling team. Notre Dame’s presence only went so far for Big East #2 (which is a conference that has always needed a lot of help for bowl tie-ins). The Irish could make a #2 selection from the Big 12, Pac-12 or ACC a little more valuable, but as attractive as they might be, they’re not necessarily outcome determinative.

    I also still think there is some underrating of the ACC in terms of bowl desirability. The ACC’s location in the Southeast is still key since a disproportionate number of bowls are held there. Any games in that region are always going to heavily consider an ACC tie-in and they are generally better funded than their counterparts in Texas and California. At the very least, the ACC has shown that it is slightly stronger than the Pac-12 in terms of bowl payouts (and that’s likely going to be the same since neither league really added a top traveling fan base in the manner that the Big Ten and SEC did with Nebraska and A&M, respectively).

    (2) If the plus-one scenario that Andy Staples described in his latest article comes to fruition (seeded semifinals get held at on-campus sites and the semifinal losers still get to go to one of the top bowls), I think that’s a pretty good compromise that could end up appeasing the Rose Bowl and Big Ten. The concern that the Rose Bowl had was that it would be losing its tie-ins too often in a seeded plus-one. In the scenario that Staples is describing, the semifinal losers would end up going back into the bowl selection pool, which means the Rose Bowl could still end up getting its tie-ins back or even have a traditional Big Ten champ/Pac-12 champ more often (e.g. in 2010, if #2 Oregon had lost in its semifinal, it would’ve been sent to the Rose Bowl). Now, the risk is that the semifinal losers might not be as motivated to travel to a bowl game, but that’s probably still much less of a risk for the bowls than counting on fan bases to have to travel to two different games if semifinals are held at neutral sites or using the bowls.

    Like

    • frug says:

      It will be interesting to see how this changes once everyone is a “free agent”. The PAC’s #2 almost certainly increases in value thanks to the availability of the Fiesta Bowl (which could very will end up XII #1 vs. PAC #2).

      I also suspect the Cotton Bowl has the money to offer a larger payout once it has a shot at “premium” profit.

      One question. Does anyone know when these deals were worked out? If it has been more than four years I suspect the ACC could take a major hit.

      Like

      • @frug – The current bowl deals were completed in 2009.

        I would respectfully disagree regarding the Pac-12 and really think the value of their tie-ins are being overrated to the same extent that the ACC is being underrated (and I say this as someone that has a lot more personal affinity for the Pac-12 over the ACC). The BCS has only taken a second discretionary Pac-12 tie-in once in its history (Oregon State in 2000). All of the other 2nd Pac-12 teams selected by the BCS were mandatory top 4 selections. The ironclad Rose Bowl relationship for the Pac-12 tends to make a lot of people overlook that none of the other BCS bowls (including the Fiesta) have wanted much to do with them beyond USC. When we look at the measures that matter to bowls (a combo of traveling fan bases with TV value), the Pac-12 does well with TV value but not so much with the traveling fan bases, which is what will always hold them back. I’d argue that Florida State, Clemson, Virginia Tech and NC State all have better traveling fan bases than anyone in the Pac-12, while FSU and Miami have comparable TV value to USC. We just saw the Sugar Bowl take a second ACC team over a top 10 Big 12 team that has a great history of traveling well, so it’s definitely not clear to me at all that the ACC would take a hit. It’s the Big 12 that has the biggest risk of losing a top tier bowl with its membership changes. The SEC and Big Ten are in position to solidify upgrades, while the ACC and Pac-12 will probably stay about the same.

        As bad as the ACC has been on the field lately, they are absolutely on the inside and have much more power and influence that many give them credit for (evidenced once again by the Sugar Bowl selection this year). Remember personal connections, too. The two conference commissioners that are in the best position to do damage to the ACC (Jim Delany and Mike Slive) also happen to be ACC alums. Delany actually played basketball for Dean Smith at UNC. They are both personally very close to John Swofford, which is another reason why that the SEC’s Sugar Bowl with a Big Ten team this year ended up playing an ACC opponent (along with why I don’t buy theories that the ACC would be raided by either the Big Ten or SEC).

        Like

        • Mack says:

          Ths Sugar could invite VT because it forced all the LSU and Alabama fans to buy a Sugar Bowl ticket to get a ticket to the NCG. Those SEC fans took the hit. This was the first time the ACC got a at large bid in the 14 years of the BCS. The SEC has the Sugar connections, not the ACC. It could have been SEC influence to not invite a B12 team as payback for all the lawsuit threats.
          :
          Too many Texas based bowls for B12 to take much of a hit. If they lose the Holiday, they will displace the ACC from the Sun. The FIesta payout for B12#4 in the Insight keeps its hold on B12#1 in the Fiesta. The Pinstripe bowl is likely to go away.
          :
          The ACC is already in all the bowls in its footprint except for the Pinstripe and the 3 SEC:B1G bowls in Florida. Also has Music City, Sun and Independence outside of footprint. Not much upside, and big downside if the ACC loses its Orange tie.
          :
          The ACC was not raided because VT did not want to move. The fact that Missouri got a SEC invite indicates that the SEC does not believe the ACCs top teams will leave anytime soon.

          Like

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Mack – the Bama and Tiger fans that received tickets from their school’s allotment did not have to purchase Sugar Bowl tickets. I received two tickets from the LSU allotment as a season ticket holder. If tickets were purchased from the Sugar Bowl Committee, then the Sugar Bowl tickets were also included in the package. I received four tickets from the Sugar Bowl Committee. In order to receive tickets directly from the Sugar Bowl Committee, one would have to be a Sugar Bowl season ticket holder or VIP. Thus, very few Bama fans had to eat any Sugar Bowl tickets.

            I used two Sugar Bowl tickets, and sold two way below face value. The breakdown of fans at the Sugar Bowl was something like this: Unaffiliated/LSU fans – 30k, Michigan fans – 20k, empty seats – 15k, and VA Tech fans – 10k.

            There has been considerable buyers remorse about VA Tech. If the Sugar could do it all over again, they probably would have taken Baylor. Based on the Hawaii experience 4 years ago, taking a team that realizes this may be their only shot at a BCS bowl is the way to go. Hawaii probably brought 30k fans and they stayed for a week. New Orleans is a tourist town and an event town. Having the hotels, restaurants, and bars filled up is just as important as filling up the Superdome.

            This has been a great week in South Louisiana with the Sugar Bowl, a Saints playoff game, and the BCS NCG taking place within 6 days. The Mardi Gras season is about to begin. The SEC basketball tournament and the Men’s Final Four will be staged in New Orleans in March. Jazzfest takes place in May. And if that weren’t enough, the Superbowl returns to New Orleans for a record-tying 10th time in 2013.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            And rather than a reflection on VT, I think this goes back to losing the ccg. In 2000 & 2005 they apparently travelled very well and those were the best attended non-championship Sugar Bowls not involving LSU going all the way back to 1986. In 1995, which was their first big bowl, they probably sent more fans than Texas to a New Year’s Eve game (which never draws particularly well).

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Alan:

            On TV, it sure looked like maize and blue covered over (slightly) half the stadium. Were neutrals mostly in the upper deck, or were maize and blue sprinkled in amongst neutrals (or were LSU fans wearing a lot of yellow to the game)?

            Like

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Richard – I think Michigan was very strong in their sections, but there were lots of empty seats in most sections. The Superdome seats are black in the lower sections and in the clubs. The 300 level endzones and the uppers are various colors. The empties don’t really show up unless they are in blocks, as was the case with VA Tech’s upper deck seats. Most unafilliated/LSU fans weren’t wearing purple or gold, but black, brown, and blue. It was cold (by New Orleans standards) that night.

            Like

        • Michael in Raleigh says:

          “In 2000 & 2005 they apparently travelled very well and those were the best attended non-championship Sugar Bowls not involving LSU going all the way back to 1986.”

          Bullet,

          In 2000, that WAS the national championship game, between Florida State and Virginia Tech. In 2005, that featured an undefeated Auburn team. So it’s hard to know whether to give Va. Tech full credit for high attendance at those games.

          Like

          • greg says:

            I think its obvious that the bowls should try to always take teams that overachieved for the year. A team like VT is fortunate enough to have BCS fatigue and lost their CCG, of course they aren’t going to turn out in force. Baylor or KSU fans would have been giddy to be in the Sugar and would have turned out in droves. The Rose Bowl was a little down this year, but it was Wisconsin’s 2nd straight trip and Oregon went to the national title game last year, so there is some letdown there.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            @greg
            There are a lot of factors. You wouldn’t expect WI to send as many the 2nd year in a row. Oklahoma has been to Arizona 4 out of 6 years. I think Texas had a similar streak in San Diego in the 90s/early 00s and the fans got Holiday Bowl fatigue. And teams that over-achieved like KSU this year and Kansas the year they went to the Orange Bowl bring tons of fans.

            The SEC has the ability to rotate teams among Orlando, Tampa, Dallas and Atlanta in addition to the BCS games. The B1G has that ability to a lesser extent. That increases the advantage the SEC and B1G already have.

            Like

        • frug says:

          I can’t see how the Sugar Bowl invitation proves the ACC is stronger than it is given credit for. Not only was it the conference’s first ever second BCS bid, but the bid likely had more to do with the Sugar Bowl trying to get a team from the southeast than anything else.

          Moreover, if anything, the Sugar Bowl proved exactly how weak the ACC really is. The poor ticket sales and disastrous TV ratings prove that V-Tech is not a national draw and if the Sugar Bowl could do it they almost certainly would have taken K-State who sold out their Cotton Bowl allotment in less than 4 hours (though that was a Friday game).

          I also think the idea that Delaney and Slive will avoid raiding the ACC just because they are alums is ridiculous. I’m not saying they will raid the ACC, but the idea they wouldn’t do so if it was in their conference’s best interest is just naive (at least in my opinion).

          Like

        • @FTT: I tend to disagree with you about Virginia Tech being better traveling than Pac-12 fanbases
          http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/football/bowls/story/2011-12-22/ticket-sales-hit-surprising-rough-spots/52170064/1
          If I remember right, last year Stanford sold a fairly comparable # of tickets to VIrginia Tech (through school allotments anyway), in a cross-country road trip game (which tends to be tough for sales), and this year, blew them out of the water (nearly sold out Fiesta Bowl vs not even close Sugar Bowl). And Stanford is NOT the Pac-12’s best traveling fanbase, and is probably not even top half.

          Moreover, for the Fiesta Bowl specifically the Pac-10 has been pretty good for it:
          http://www.fiestabowl.org/tostitos-fiesta-bowl/tostitos-fiesta-bowl-game-history/game-results-recaps.php?view=list
          Back to back seasons the two Oregon schools went, and provided two of the highest pre-UoP attendance numbers ever (excluding BCSNCG games and Florida-Nebraska, they ranked #’s 3/4 all-time), outselling Ohio St – KSU, Nebraska – Tennessee, and dramatically outselling Penn St – Texas (all those games were within 5 years of the two Oregon schools coming to town).

          So I tend to think that the Pac-12 #2 ending up in the Fiesta is pretty plausible, though obviously it’s not the only possibility.

          Like

        • Richard says:

          Frank:

          Well, there are 8 BCS bowl slots (I don’t think the Cotton will be promoted; you can consider the CapOne promoted, but they will still be SEC vs. B10 and be after the Rose, Fiesta, Sugar, and Orange), and 5 champs (BE drops out). SEC #2 and B10 #2 take 2 of the remaining 3 (likely SEC #2 to Orange and B10 #2 to Fiesta). That leaves one more slot, the Sugar. Going by your list, it’s actually ACC #2 that gets that final slot. However, I still say that whoever aligns with ND gets that slot. If you notice, B12 #2, SEC #3, and B10 #3 are all valued very similarly to each other, so ND doesn’t have to provide much extra incremental value to push the conference they align with over the top. If the SEC wasn’t so constrained (they’re already sending a team to the Sugar, and for the Fiesta, I believe they’re clearly second to the B10, while they’re more desirable than the B10 in SEC territory), they’d be in the running, but they are constrained. That leaves B12 #2 & B10 #3. Head-to-head, with the B10 gaining a top brand and the B12 losing a top brand, B10 #3 clearly wins. However, if ND aligns with the B12, that’s 3 top notch brands for the B12 vs. 4 for the B10 (2 super-top-notch in ND & Texas for the B12 vs. 3 super-top-notch in Michigan, tOSU, and PSU for the B10), but with an extra slot taken out of the B10 pool already. The middle class may be a little deeper when it comes to TV ratings for the B10, but the B12 has the advantage of being closer to the Sugar (and thus liable for its middle class to bring more traveling fans). Ultimately, I think the B12 #2 + ND trumps the B10 #3 to add the Sugar slot.

          Like

    • Brian says:

      Frank,

      Some good points there.

      I would point out that you can’t look strictly at the payouts and make an ordered list because the payout is heavily influenced by the other tie-in among other things. As you point out, B12 #4 makes more than B12 #3. Also, the Insight out pays the Gator for the same B10 pick. Your conference order seems right, but people should remember the math isn’t linear.

      The ACC has untapped value in my opinion. If FSU and/or Miami return to elite, then the ACC is worth a lot more. Their bowl performance has been so weak lately that they have really hurt themselves, though. I think the bowls will wait for them to prove they are better before paying them more, unlike their regular season TV deal. They are conveniently located for many bowls, but they haven’t been good for business (tickets or ratings) lately.

      As for ND, I look for their lack of performance to show in their bowl choices much more than in their regular season TV deal. A mediocre ND may be OK for NBC Sports, but not for the bowls.

      I think the recent realignment will take years to show any change in value. It’s clear the B10 should gain, the SEC probably will too (but not as much). The P12 probably broke even but should get another bowl tie-in out of it. The B12 maybe lost a little, but WV has good value and TCU will as long as they stay really good. The problem is figuring out how valuable WV is for the B12’s bowls (mostly in the west) or TAMU for the SEC’s eastern bowls. I think the smaller bowls will need a while to value everyone correctly.

      As for putting semi-final losers into bowls, look at the CCG effect. Teams have a chance to win the conference, and then they drop like a rock to the #4 spot for a bowl. The team and the fans are disappointed, and it usually shows in the game, the ticket sales and the ratings. I think the result would be even worse after losing a semi-final.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        I think you are absolutely right on that last point. That may be a reason to have the losers paired. You could have a made for TV bowl, not so much a made for hotel operators. But that would limit the Rose Bowl a little in their flexibility to get top B1G/Pac teams.

        I don’t think the SEC gains much. They will get another lower rung bowl. A&M is average in bowl following by SEC standards. Missouri is well below average. I don’t think the Big 12 loses much, if any, among its top bowls for two reasons: 1) geography and 2) depth in the other leagues-a 7-5 SEC team is not going to be a perferable overall matchup (even if they bring a few more fans) than a 9-3 Big 12 school when you are matched against a 9-3 or 10-2 Pac 12 school. What they gain in travelling fans, they lose in TV or local interest.

        Like

        • frug says:

          I don’t understand how the Big XII couldn’t take a fairly large hit, at least at some of the lower bowls (#3 and below). Trading Nebraska, Colorado, Missouri and aTm for WVU and TCU is a major downgrade. OU and UT keep the high end protected, but they will lose something at the middle and bottom rungs.

          Like

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            With the likelihood of the current BCS bowls switching to a system where they individually make contracts for tie-ins to specified leagues, there are a lot of things that could happen:

            – The Big 12 could still have strong tie-ins at the top. Best case scenario, its lineup would improve: the Big 12 could have its #1 go to the Sugar (vs. SEC #1), #2 to the Fiesta (vs. Big Ten #2), and #3 to the Cotton (vs. SEC #2). More realistically, the Big 12 would maintain its top team in either the Fiesta or Sugar with the other in the Cotton.

            – A continued tie-in with the Fiesta Bowl only helps its chances with a continued tie-in with the Insight since the Insight is run by the Fiesta. I would guess that if the Fiesta does not keep the Big 12 tie-in, then both bowls could become B1G/P12 games.

            – The Holiday Bowl will almost certainly keep its tie-in to the Pac-12, but other leagues might have a chance at taking the Big 12’s spot. Maybe San Diego State, as a member of the Big East, gives that league a shot for one of its top two teams to go to the Holiday. Maybe the Big Ten would get a tie-in over the Big 12.

            – The Pinstripe is going to feature two conferences among the Big Ten, ACC and Big East. Other leagues, including the Big 12, are all but out of the question.

            – The Big 12 actually might be able to pick up a Florida bowl tie-in. Consider: West Virginia fans travel very well, and they travel at their best to relatively nearby Florida. Meanwhile, Texas, Oklahoma, and K-State fans also travel well and would probably welcome a winter trip to Florida. I wouldn’t be shocked if the Big 12 gets tied into the Gator or Champs Sports Bowl (but I wouldn’t be shocked if they don’t either).

            Prediction for Big 12 bowl games:
            (1) Fiesta
            (2) Cotton
            (3) Alamo
            (4) Insight
            (5) Meineke
            (6) Ticket City
            (7) Weaker bowl like the Independence

            With only ten teams and nine league games, it would be futile to have more than seven tie-ins. If they eighth is a must, there’s always bottom-of-the-barrell bowls like the New Orleans, the bowls in Alabama, and New Mexico. Either way, the hits are losing the Holiday to the Big Ten and losing the Pinstripe to either the ACC or the Big Ten.

            Like

          • Mack says:

            The B12 bowl lineup is:
            Fiesta Phoenix BCS tie-in
            Cotton (Dallas) w/ SEC #3W
            Alamo (San Antonio) w/ PAC#2
            Insight (Phoenix, owned by FIesta) w/B1G#4
            Holiday (San Diego) w/PAC#3 $2.15M
            Texas (Houston) w/B1G#6
            Pinstripe (NYC) w/BE#4
            :
            Other than the Holiday and Pinstripe, what bowls are at risk? The Fiesta gives the B12 two bowls and keeps the B12#1 away from the Cotton or Orange.* The Insight is also quite successful as is. All of the Texas based bowls prefer B12 teams as an anchor. Even the OK and KS schools travel well to these bowls. If the B12 loses the Holiday, it will gain the Sun (El Paso, $2M) with that slot against PAC#4, displacing the ACC. Worst case from losing the Pinstripe is gaining the Independence against the ACC, knocking out the MWC, and losing about $0.6M in payout. With A&M in the SEC another B12:SEC matchup is attractive to these bowls, but I am not sure they can afford it. The Texas based bowls will not kick out the B12 in favor of the SEC. The Texas midlevel bowls get more revenue from ticket sales than from TV, so teams that fill the venue are a big factor in the contracts made.
            * Not that much difference in driving distance between the two except for Texas Tech and WVU. All others > 1000 miles which results in a lot of flying.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Missouri and Colorado are not considered attractive teams to the bowls. WVU fans do travel well, so WVU for A&M is a tossup, maybe even an upgrade from a TV standpoint as WVU has been more successful lately. Nebraska is the loss. So the biggest loss is really the chance at a beauty contest 2nd BCS bid. KSU lost out to Michigan and Virginia Tech. A 10-2 Nebraska would have won that contest.

            Like

    • ProveIt says:

      Frank

      Nice break down, though I think looking at bowl ratings is a better indication of a conference’s value than bowl revenue. Bowl revenue can be skewed by geography and traditional tie-ins disrupted by the marketing success of the bowl.

      Still not certain Notre Dame doesn’t get a rider with the Big 12.

      This isn’t because the Big 12 needs them to get ahead of the other conferences, but because the Big 12 will be filling the last opened slot. The 3rd bowl won’t be competing with the other 2 bowls any more, so they have more leeway.

      Getting a rider in’t a big deal – if it is structured like the Champs Bowl, there is a limit on how many time the Domers can appear (once in 4 years).

      The Domers won’t be given more money than is necessary, and all that is necessary is a tad more than their next highest tie-in with the Champs Bowl ($2.4 Million). The Big 12 will keep the rest because… they can.

      Andy Staples – I keep track, and Andy is proposing NCAAF playoff proposal format #1,854 (I know – you thought there would be a LOT more, but I only count them if they are blogged and original). I give format #1,854 zero chance because, among other reasons, I don’t think finding just the right format is the limitation – if just the right format was all that was needed, they have much smarter people with a lot more information who would have found it already.

      I would be shocked if an agreement was made for a seeded 4 because I think Delany can get what he wants (“Open Market” bowl tie-ins) without a playoff. Between the 2 single game formats I think #1 vs #2 beats out the Plus 1.

      I consider this unfortunate because I would prefer a seeded 4.

      Like

  48. Brian says:

    A nice end to the college football season. The MAC continues it’s dominant performance and easily beats the SB champ. See you in September, CFB.

    UPDATE

    My predictions 24-10
    My preferences 15-19

    SEC 6-3 (6-3 vs AQ, 5-2 in big games)
    B12 6-2 (6-2 vs AQ, 1-1 in big games)
    BE 3-2 (3-1 vs AQ, 1-0 in big games)
    B10 4-6 (3-5 vs AQ, 2-4 in big games)
    P12 2-5 (2-4 vs AQ, 1-1 in big games)
    ACC 2-6 (2-6 vs AQ, 0-3 in big games)

    ND 0-1 (0-1 vs AQ)

    CUSA 4-1 (2-0 vs AQ, 1-0 in big games)
    MAC 4-1 (0-1 vs AQ)
    SB 1-1
    MWC 2-3 (1-0 vs AQ)
    WAC 0-3
    BYU 1-0

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Final conference records ooc vs. FBS:
      Big 12 27-5 84.4%
      SEC 35-8 81.4%
      (SWC 57-24 70.4%)
      B1G 30-18 62.5%
      BE 22-17 56.4%
      Pac 12 18-16 52.9%
      ACC 21-22 48.8%
      Indep. 21-22 48.8%
      MWC 17-19 47.2%
      CUSA 18-29 38.3%
      MAC 14-31 31.1%
      SB 10-25 28.6%
      WAC 10-31 24.4%

      FCS 6-91 6.1%

      The Big 12’s winning % was the 2nd highest going back to 1993 (#1SEC 88.1% 1997) and only the 4th time in that period a conference had been over 80% (SEC this year and 2007 81.4%). There have only been 14 times in 19 years a conference has even been over 75% (Big 10 ’99, Pac 10 ’97, BE ’06, Big 8 ’95, Big 12 ’05, ’10, ’11 and SEC ’96, ’97, ’06, ’07, ’09, ’10, ’11).

      For the B1G, this year was the 5th lowest in those 19 years, Pac 12 3rd lowest and ACC 3rd lowest, but worst since 1996. For CUSA it was its best since 2004 before the loss of teams to the Big East. For the WAC it was its 2nd worst and follows a 51.1% winning % last year. For the Sun Belt, it was its best ever and for the MAC its best since 2001.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        The B10 had some surprising losses this year that didn’t help (ND killed MSU, Miami whipped OSU, IN lost to N TX and Ball St, IA lost to ISU, MN lost to NMSU, NW lost to Army, PU lost to Rice). Turn half of those 8 games around and the B10 is 34-14 or 70.8%. A couple of bowl games were winnable, too, if not for scandals (OSU, PSU). That would be 36-12 or 75.0%.

        Such is life.

        Like

    • bullet says:

      @Brian
      The football games may be over, but realignment and BCS adjustment season is just beginning. The NCAA annual meeting and lots of conference meetings are this week. The BCS winter meeting is sometime this month.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Yes, there is always the silly season. It’s 3.5 weeks until signing day. The BCS committee meets starting tomorrow I believe. The NCAA will try to force through those new rules the little guys bitched about. The B10 and P12 will announce details of the scheduling plan at some point. The NCAA will punish UNC and SC and maybe tell Miami the results of the investigation. PSU and their personnel will be in legal issues for years.

        I don’t expect a lot of realignment news this year. I think it’ll mostly focus on the BE/B12/SEC/ACC fight over teams. Can WV go for 2012? If not, can the B12 make MO stay? How do the TV partners handle whichever conference gets the short end of the legal stick? How does this impact Pitt and Syracuse? Does this impact the BE additions in any way? Until those 4 conferences get everything ironed out, I don’t think the smaller conferences can do much.

        Compared to the last 2 years, I expect a relatively quiet off season as the B12 will not threaten to implode and ND won’t be going anywhere. Maybe the results of the BCS meeting will set off some re-realignment as teams go back to more geographic conferences, but I doubt it.

        Like

  49. duffman says:

    Frank,

    As bad as the ACC has been on the field lately, they are absolutely on the inside and have much more power and influence that many give them credit for (evidenced once again by the Sugar Bowl selection this year). Remember personal connections, too. The two conference commissioners that are in the best position to do damage to the ACC (Jim Delany and Mike Slive) also happen to be ACC alums. Delany actually played basketball for Dean Smith at UNC. They are both personally very close to John Swofford, which is another reason why that the SEC’s Sugar Bowl with a Big Ten team this year ended up playing an ACC opponent (along with why I don’t buy theories that the ACC would be raided by either the Big Ten or SEC).

    .

    I think you are right, but your source of power is wrong. When the SEC took Missouri (a B1G type school) it showed that this was not a chess game between Slive and Delany, but one between ESPN and FOX. ESPN would not exist without Uconn and the ACC sports contract that kept them alive early on after the CFA and cable allowed the Big 3 to be broken (some on here are old enough to remember the days of 3 channels on the TV – ABC / NBC / CBS) and this also meant the original folks that rose in the ESPN ranks had these ties. Just as the B1G and PAC are joining forces (B1G = FOX and PAC = partial FOX) I think the SEC and ACC (both ESPN) will do the same. ESPN owns the football jewel of the SEC and the basketball jewel of the ACC.

    On the flip side the other conference has support teams in reverse sports. The SEC has Kentucky basketball to supplement ACC basketball (and UNC vs UK is an ongoing home and home series already) and the ACC has Florida State / Miami / Virginia Tech for crossover games in football. Florida and Florida State already play each other, and once TAMU is in the SEC, I feel sure we will see an attempt for them to play Virginia Tech OOC as the battle of CoC schools. I can also see Miami vs Missouri as an OOC game should the MU vs KU rival game really die and not be revived. It would allow the Tigers exposure in south Florida to recruit, and would offer Miami exposure in St. Louis, Kansas City, and Chicago for new media outlets. I am not saying this will happen, but I can see an upside for parties inside the SEC, ACC, and ESPN.

    Like

    • Mack says:

      ESPN and ABC are both Disney. CBS has tier 1 for SEC with Disney tier 2. Disney has tier 1/2 for B1G with Fox partnership for BTN. PAC and B12 have tier 1 and 2 split between Disney and Fox. Except for CBS and the SEC (CBS has little else in CFB; Army Navy, Sun Bowl, etc.), it is more about the network getting the right inventory vs. promoting one conference over the others, or directing realignment. The moves out of the B12 were justified by the TV money, but TV money was not the root cause that any school left, even if it was a factor in these schools getting an invite. Nebraska tried to get into the B1G but was rejected in 1900 and 1909. Colorodo wanted to join the PAC before the B12 was created. Texas A&M wanted to go to the SEC with Texas when the SWC was breaking up (pre-B12). I think Missouri just took the opportunity to go with A&M, realizing they may have to wait as long as Nebraska did before receiving a B1G invite.
      :
      The reason that the ACC is not getting raided by the SEC or B1G is that a lot of the schools are unattractive, and the decision makers* at the attractive schools have no interest in leavingthe ACC. *Even if NCSU wanted to join the SEC to get away from big brother like TAMU, that shcool is ruled by the NC board of regents, so it will not happen. TAMU has its own board separate from Texas.

      Like

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        @Mack,

        To put it more accurately, the ACC has a lot of attractive schools but due to a number of factors, they aren’t going anywhere.

        (1) The B1G does not appear likely to expand. I find this league the least receptive to the idea of having 14+ members. It did the Pac-12 partnership, in part, to gain the benefits of expanding without having to expand. It spent 20 years at 11 members, one short of the requirement to stage a title game, before finally adding a football king. Going to 14 or 16 just doesn’t seem to fit the league’s tastes. This doesn’t mean UNC, Maryland, Virginia, Georgia Tech, etc. are unattractive to the B1G; it just means the B1G doesn’t want to expand unless, for whatever reason, the market absolutely demands it to.

        (2) The ACC does feature programs that would be extremely attractive to the SEC if they weren’t already within the league’s footprint (namely, FSU, Miami, Clemson, and, to a lesser degree, Georgia Tech), but their presence in the footprint reduces the SEC’s interest significantly. For that matter, it will also feature a program (Pitt) that is very attractive to the B1G but who would never be able to join due to its overlapping of territory.

        (3) Two of the more attractive programs (Miami and Virginia Tech) have made definitive statements that they do not want to leave the ACC.

        (4) NC State is all but tied to UNC. UNC is all but tied to Duke. The SEC would never take all three, and the B1G wouldn’t either. There’s also no evidence that any of them (other than select fans who are jealous of the attention given the SEC) want to leave. Also, the idea that NC State would clamor for the chance to escape the attention on UNC is false. State has somewhat of an inferiority complex to UNC, but comparing it to A&M vs. Texas is ridiculous. A&M looks at Texas almost like UT is evil. They genuinely hate each other. NCSU and UNC just think each other are obnoxious and a pain in the @$$, but there’s not A&M-like hate. They want to be in the same conference, just as Auburn & Alabama do, or USC and UCLA do.

        (5) Yes, there are some programs that wouldn’t be attractive to the B1G or SEC regardless of proximity to footprints or the B1G’s desire to expand. Wake Forest, Duke (even with its strong b-ball), Boston College, and perhaps one or two others are lucky to be in the ACC and would have zero shot in ever joining either league. Then again, I don’t think the Big 12, B1G, or ACC would take Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, or South Carolina, either, nor would anyone want Minnesota, Purdue, Northwestern, or even Indiana.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          Actually I think the B1G wanted to expand further, but as Delany said recently, they found that moving beyond 12 diminished them rather than enhanced. I believe they’ve reached the conclusion that expansion isn’t worth it short of Notre Dame or Texas or just maybe something even less likely in the short run, an ACC group-UNC + 1 or 3 others (out of MD, UVA, Duke, GT, Pitt or BE member Rutgers).

          Like

          • ProveIt says:

            The B1G is only interested in expansion for financial gain.
            As a blogger put it, they need a program that can fit the equation:
            12 + 1 = 14

            The 12th team had it easy – the CCG alone is almost equal to Nebraska’s shared revenue.
            The problem is that with each addition above average, the bar is raised and the number of candidates dropped.

            I don’t think there are 8 candidates who can meet the above equation… and that drops with each addition.

            Like

          • Phil says:

            Nobody really knows whether even Nebraska (on its own) enhanced or diminished Big Ten revenues, because of the championship game starting at the same time.

            That is why I have felt that the Big Ten will do another expansion timed to take effect when the next TV contract starts. If the Big Ten added, say Rutgers and Maryland right now there is that worry that they might not “pay for themselves”. If they add Rutgers and Maryland (or whoever) at a time everyone’s TV revenue is jumping from $23 million a year to $33 million, no one is going to be dissecting things to see if it would have been $33-35mm w/o the expansion (just like no one is trying to figure out if Nebraska pays for themselves without a championship game).

            Like

          • ProveIt says:

            Phil

            If the B1G wanted Rutgers, they would have Rutgers already.
            I believe the same can be said for Maryland.

            With Nebraska the B1G believes they have collected 4 of the top 10 brands in NCAAF. The value of a “Brand” is its ability to generate interest outside its own fan base, but is difficult to project. Nebraska would have been a good addition without the title game.

            I don’t know where the bar currently is, but I believe you can safely rule out all of the Big East, all of the Mid Majors, and the 4 remaining Big 12 little dogs which weren’t offered by the majors, Syracuse, and Missouri.

            …and don’t even try to mention round ball in B1G expansion – basketball is less than 15% of the revenue stream – this is too small a percentage for any program to gain notable consideration on their BB program, but more than enough to overlook a poor performing BB team.

            Like

          • Phil says:

            Nebraska brought a great brand to the Big Ten, but my point was you don’t know if on there own they were dilutive or an enhancement to the current revenue level because they were “bundled” with the addition of the championship game. Whoever the Big Ten adds next, it will be bundled with the next TV contract, because everyone will be seeing a HUGE increase in revenue and will be more willing to look at “potential” things like geography and demographics.

            Like

          • Mack says:

            I agree that no B1G expansion is likely until the next TV contract cycle. I disagree that Delany and the B1G presidents are not good business people. They will know the TV$ available with the current 12 and what it will be with various additions. I doubt the B1G will add members just to match the 14 in the SEC and ACC. They will want their future payout per shcool to increase with the additions rather than subsidize expansion with their increased rights fees from the new contract. For a 13th team that can carry the 14th the list is very short: Notre Dame, Texas, Florida.
            :
            The reason Scott had PAC support to go to 16 in 2010 and could not get to 14 in 2011 (w/o Texas) was that the PAC presidents thought the extra TV markets were required to get a good TV deal. With a great TV deal in hand in 2011, the desire for expansion greatly diminished.

            Like

          • ProveIt says:

            No, you can begin attaching numbers to show Nebraska is a solid addition.

            Their NCAAF games will be worth more to the B1G than the previous median B1G members.

            The current broadcast contract averaged $2.5 Million per game over its life, probably around $3 Million now, and looks to double to around $5 Million the next contract. I would estimate the BTN games worth around $2.5 Million each (likely more). Nebraska added 7 or 8 home games to the schedule, and these games draw a lot more interest than programs like Indiana, Syracuse, Missouri, etc.
            A low estimate puts Nebraska at around $18 Million now, $30+ Million on the next contract.

            They will be a substantial fan draw to the games. For programs that sell out like tOSU where they already have to enter a lottery for tickets, the minimum is $500 for each new booster that enters the lottery. For other programs, having Nebraska, tOSU, tSUN, PSU, and Wisconsin on the schedule more often boosts ticket sales. it isn’t a stretch to make the Nebraska’s football road games worth a collective few million a year to the conference members.

            …or you can use the quickie measurement. The top 6 revenue sources before Nebraska were tOSU, tSUN, PSU, Wisconsin, Sparty…. followed by Iowa. Safe to say Nebraska will be a substantially better revenue generator than the median Iowa (I would have them somewhere around PSU-Wisconsin).
            ———————————————-
            I don’t know that it is accurate to call the B1G expansion over.

            I do believe it accurate to consider their active pursuit over, with candidates identified but having no interest in changing conferences. Just about any of these would be accepted if they inquired (Texas, TA&M, Notre Dame) and there will be some more headlines during the next interval of investigation, but there just aren’t that many that will fit the equation:
            12 + 1 = 14

            Not certain what the fallout of the BCS changes will be, but now Delany is looking elsewhere. I wouldn’t call the agreement with the PAC revolutionary (CUSA and MWC were already looking at cooperation), but it will go further than CUSA and the MWC could dream.

            Like

          • Phil says:

            That’s what I mean though. By your estimate of $18mm that would make Nebraska slightly dilutive of revenues on the current contracts., but no one cares because they got more revenue from the CCG.

            Don’t take that as a shot at Nebraska, who to me was a no brainer add. I have a lot of respect for the Big Ten leadership, that’s why i think they will be smart enough to expand with the next contract. Think of all the comments on the board in the last year trying to figure out if the ACC or SEC had mechanisms for reopening their TV contracts to address the expansion they did.

            In the Big Ten’s case, they will time it right, everyone will make a lot more money, AND Delany will get his expansion into areas of the country that he thinks will provide future growth.

            Like

          • ProveIt says:

            Absolutely not Phil.

            Those are low ball estimates for broadcast revenue only. Throw in the rest of the additional revenue, or just simply throw in estimates that aren’t low balled, and Nebraska is a gain before the CCG.

            It is also worth noting Nebraska wasn’t given a full share of revenue initially.

            Whether detailed or roughly estimated by comparison to the conference median, you can get rough projections.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            I would say, actually, that the B10 would invite any of ND, Texas, UF, or UGa if they thought those schools would want to join. Maybe TAMU as well (A&M would be accretive financially, and the academics/research are a fit, but the culture may be a bit much).

            Like

        • Mack says:

          Thanks for the clarification. I just used NCSU as an example since not everyone outside NC realizes that most (all?) public NC universities are in the UNC system. More of “even if they wanted to (which as you stated they do not) they couldn’t.” I am sure that VT knew it could have the SEC invite that went to MO informally and stated no interest informally. That is the way colleges do things. As the BE commissioner said about Pittsburg/Syracuse, no one applies to a conference unless thay know the application is accepted. The bottom line is that the ACC is not being raided because the schools are satisfied where they are at, given any alternatives that could be achieved.
          :
          These schools are not going to step down in conference, but I expect the B12 would take SC, MN, Purdue, or IN. I doubt the others schools you mentioned could even get a B12 invite. It is why the B12 is not likely to get back to 12 anytime soon.

          Like

  50. Michael in Raleigh says:

    Got a question for you Frankadatanka college football fans:

    Who is your favorite cfb writer, and why? Someone from Yahoo? CBS Sports? SI? ESPN? A local writer from your hometown or home of your favorite team? A national writer for a major news paper (such as Pete Thamel of the New York Times)?

    Mine is Stewart Mandel. First, I agree with most of what he says, which never hurts. Second, I appreciate his lack of arrogance when expressing his opinion. I also appreciate that his opinions about the sport aren’t clouded because his company isn’t tied by a multi-million dollar/year contract with any particular conference.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      I can’t say I have a favorite, but it’s certainly nobody at Yahoo or CBS. I rarely, if ever, even bother to read anything their hacks write. That’s largely true for ESPN as well, although Maisel and Wojo… are OK sometimes. SI’s people are OK, but nobody is a home run for me there. I’d probably say one of the CFN guys (Fiutak, Zemek, etc) because they seem to put more thought and depth into their work than the others. Part of that is the nature of their work, though, as the other places often focus on shorter pieces.

      Like

    • ProveIt says:

      I avoid all of them.
      There’s a reason they call them “Sports Writers” and “Sports Casters” rather than “Sports Journalists”

      …even Steward Mandell. He was a popular writer at a forum I hung out at for a while. Do you have any idea how many times he has swapped his position on playoffs? If you peruse his current “Series” you will find a ton of chopped up comments formed to create supporting evidence when it really doesn’t support his claims at all.

      Like

  51. Richard says:

    Just a thought:

    We know that WVU wants to drop their vitist to FSU, because they plan on moving to the B12 and taking TAMU’s spot (which means 4 home and 5 away conference games in 2012), and they probably don’t want 6 home and 6 away games. Why doesn’t FSU replace the WVU home game with a neutral site game against Boise in one of the NFL stadiums in FL? We know that both schools will have openings the second week of the season. FSU would be left with 6 home games (and 5 away games), but the payout from the neutral site game should be enough to equal (or almost equal) revenues from a home game. Boise already has 6 home and 6 away games scheduled, but they’re slated to visit Hawaii, allowing them to schedule a 13th game. Does Boise plan to leave for the BE in 2012?

    Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      Boise plans on leaving in 2013. Leaving in 2012 would require a huge exit fee from the MWC. Leaving next requires… no exit fee at all.

      FSU vs. Boise? Bring it on. Jimbo better have ’em ready if it happens because you know Petersen will.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      Boise loses almost all their starters and they already have MSU on the schedule. I don’t think they are looking for that sort of game next year.

      Like

    • Richard says:

      Hey, FSU can play OU again! Not sure the Sooners want to play 2 high-profile opponents (ND is visiting) in a year, though. Then again, while ND is high-profile, they won’t be a challenge to OU’s national title hopes.

      Like

  52. vp19 says:

    What might be the fallout if the bowls, led by the Orange, withdrew automatic BCS bids for the ACC (fearing it would wind up with a non-Florida team) and Big East? If I’m Slive, I want that to happen, because it would make it substantially easier for the SEC to absorb FSU and Virginia Tech and make an already-weak ACC far weaker. I realize that would be essentially giving the finger to the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, but since so many of them (especially in metro NYC) are more interested in Notre Dame than their home-state teams, it’s simply a matter of the chickens coming home to roost.

    Like

    • frug says:

      The one big risk that comes from locking out the ACC (which I believe is more plausible than most people think) is that it would turn both the ACC and the Big East into have-nots, which would result in the “big boys” no longer maintaining the numerical majority in D1-A and losing the ability to control the post season.

      Like

      • vp19 says:

        But both the ACC and Big East are predominantly in markets where college football isn’t uber alles; if I run a bowl, why would I risk being forced to take a Big East or non-Florida ACC team by the ESPN machine? Jettison their automatic bids, shame them into changing their culture. College football TV ratings east of the Appalachians and north of SEC country are pretty mediocre, anyway.

        History says they will return. If you start after the SEC’s 3 streak 78-80, current ACC teams have 8 of 31 national titles. B1G teams have 6, Pac 12 3, Big 12 3, Independents 2 and the SEC, despite its current streak, only 9.

        A majority of those titles (from Miami) came outside of ACC auspices — I would argue that being associated with the virtually non-existent ACC brand now works against Miami. I think the other BCS conferences have thrown up their hands and would like to put both the ACC and Big East on the outs.

        Like

      • ProveIt says:

        Frug

        This is a faulty view of the BCS.

        The majors don’t carry weight thru numerical advantage. Anyone can drop out of the BCS at the next 4 year renewal. No agreement can be changed without everyone in agreement. It isn’t a case of “We outvoted them.”

        The majors don’t control the post season bowls thru voting, they control thru the audience they can bring as tie-ins to the bowls.

        Eliminating the need for AQ status results in favorable conditions for the B1G, SEC, and Big 12.
        It isn’t an issue for the PAC and Notre Dame.
        The ACC an Big East were dependent on maintaining AQ privileges to keep pace.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          The NCAA does work through voting, however, and a majority of I-A teams could cause problems there. I don’t think they would since it might drive the big boys to leave the NCAA, but they could. Thus, having a majority is a good thing.

          Like

          • ProveIt says:

            The FBS isn’t even a majority of division 1 (about 350 programs total).
            If all of the FBS joined to try to push issues thru the NCAA, they would only have 1/3 the vote.

            Having a majority in votes elsewhere is…. irrelevant. You might as well talk about how many representatives their states have in the senate and house of representatives.

            Like

          • frug says:

            College football federated its voting procedures in the early ’90s. The FCS teams no longer have say (voting power) on FBS matters.

            Like

          • ProveIt says:

            So if this is true, and all they need is a simple majority, what do you think they would vote for?

            More separation from the majors to institute a side playoff, because they are upset of being cut out because their fan interest is too small?
            It is the lack of interest that got them in this situation – putting all the disinterest in 1 pile won’t help.

            Split their post season completely so they are cut off from all the title game revenue?
            Their problem is a diminishing piece of the pie – a further cut would be worse.

            Hey, I know – they can give up the Orange Bowl for their title game – that will work out real well.
            As we have already covered in this thread, the ACC 2nd and the Big East 1st isn’t worth a lot.

            …good luck with these pushing thru a rule change…

            Like

        • frug says:

          The whole bowl system exist because it is what the majority of NCAA D1-A schools support. If the majority decide to change the system it will change.

          If the haves lose their numerical majority they lose control of college football’s postseason.

          Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            The Bowls, and tv, pay for the postseason. If the minority, but the majority of the name schools and power conferences, prefer the bowls how can the majority prevent them from choosing to continue?

            Like

          • frug says:

            Simple, they ban teams from playing in bowl games.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Be sure to wave goodby to the B1G, Big12, SEC, and the PAC immediately following that vote.

            Like

          • frug says:

            That’s the rub. Would the Big 4 really be willing to either boycott the playoffs or leave the NCAA. Boycotting the playoffs would cost the big boys money, but that might decide it is worth it.

            As for leaving the NCAA… that’s a tough one. Realistically, we are likely at least a decade from the power conferences being where need to be in order to break away without the blessing of the mid-majors (which actually could happen if the have nots decide they can no longer afford to keep up (see the $2000 cost of attendance boost).) Plus, they would likely want to bring the ACC with them anyways, so I don’t really buy a breakaway as a serious source of leverage.

            Like

          • Purduemoe says:

            Frug, If those four left they would have almost all of the power football schools, and some great basketball schools as well (at least three basketball kings in Indiana, Kentucky, and UCLA, and maybe MSU). If they added the ACC they wouldn’t need anyone else. Even without the ACC it is viable. This is kind of what I have been hoping would happen. These conferences all have great TV deals(two of them have or will soon have their own networks, and the SEC is ESPN’s precious),and if they left en masse I think their fanbases would all support it, as they wouldn’t be losing anything really. They set up their own tournaments, and they are set. I don’t think it will happen, but I sure think it could. If the mid majors push to hard the Big 4 will take their ball and go home.

            Like

          • vp19 says:

            If those four [Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC] left they would have almost all of the power football schools, and some great basketball schools as well (at least three basketball kings in Indiana, Kentucky, and UCLA, and maybe MSU). If they added the ACC they wouldn’t need anyone else. Even without the ACC it is viable. This is kind of what I have been hoping would happen. These conferences all have great TV deals(two of them have or will soon have their own networks, and the SEC is ESPN’s precious),and if they left en masse I think their fanbases would all support it, as they wouldn’t be losing anything really. They set up their own tournaments, and they are set. I don’t think it will happen, but I sure think it could. If the mid majors push to hard the Big 4 will take their ball and go home.

            All heck would break loose, too. Suppose the NCAA ruled that its member schools could not schedule any of those 48 defecting teams? Members of those four conferences would have to play each other in non-league, meaning traditional games from Georgia vs. Georgia Tech to Notre Dame vs. Southern Cal would be off the boards. (Would Notre Dame also leave, if this new organization promised it continued football independence?) Many of these schools compete in sports that are regional in nature (ice hockey, water polo, etc.), and it would be tough to find competition in a limited competitive base. This reminds me a little bit of when the NCAA took over women’s sports from AIAW some 30 years ago, but obviously on a far bigger scale.

            Like

  53. frug says:

    I know have asked this before, but with all the recent discussion I want to ask again:

    Why would the ACC support any significant change to the current system?

    After all the debates we have been having the one thing everyone seems to agree on is that the absolute best case scenario for the ACC is the status (an Orange Bowl) and the worst case is getting completely locked out of the big bowls.

    No matter how I look at the issue I see nothing but downside for the ACC if the current system is scrapped.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      There is downside in the current system. This was the first time they got chosen for a 2nd slot.

      So a +1 gives them more money and a better shot at the MNC which they are unlikely to get now. I don’t think they expect to stay well below the other major conferences or to lose a major bowl tie-in. Prior to the BE raid they were up with the top conferences. History says they will return. If you start after the SEC’s 3 streak 78-80, current ACC teams have 8 of 31 national titles. B1G teams have 6, Pac 12 3, Big 12 3, Independents 2 and the SEC, despite its current streak, only 9.

      Like

      • frug says:

        I still don’t see how a plus one makes them any better. Best case scenario they get an Orange Bowl bid (which will pay less than the other big bowls) and a second bid if they make the championship. That is still the same as they have now.

        Like

        • ProveIt says:

          Frug sees thru the veil again.

          In a real plus 1 after the bowls, they would have to hope to win their bowl if ranked in the top 2, or hope they win while those ranked ahead of them lose if ranked outside the top 2.

          In a 1 title game format, they have to be ranked in the top 2.

          …not a measurable difference.

          The other possibility is that a plus 1 would elevate the context in which the bowls are played making them part of the path to the title game, increasing viewership and revenue. The catch is the context is dropped if the participants aren’t normally near the top 2, or the top 2 play and win before the Orange.

          Like

    • ProveIt says:

      The question isn’t “Why would the ACC support the change?”
      They take a hit with any change.

      The question is “Do they have the power to stop it?”
      Some majors can benefit financially without any BCS compared to the current system.
      It looks like a continuation of the BCS in its current format isn’t an option on the table.

      Like

      • frug says:

        The ACC could threaten to band together with the BEast and mid-majors and completely end the bowl system as we know it if they things are changed.

        Like

        • ccrider55 says:

          Band together and do what? Have a playoff and pretend it crowns the best football team?

          Like

          • frug says:

            If it makes them more money than the alternative…

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            More money for a potential U Conn vs Nevada and Cincy vs NC semi? Following a drastically diminished regular season?

            Like

          • frug says:

            Given that they may end up with those same matchups under the “new” system we are talking about, yeah they would make more money.

            Like

          • ProveIt says:

            The ACC, Big East, and Mid Majors can’t start a separate playoff without NCAA approval, and the NCAA is unlikely to approve a partial post season playoff.

            They can start a separate multi conference bowl tie-in system (which I encourage even with the BCS) but the East and ACC would do better with conference tie-ins.

            Those opposed or apathetic to a playoff (and the SEC) can come out the same or ahead with the BCS and any title game format eliminated. They can afford to see the system go the way of the dinosaur.

            The ACC, East, and Mid Majors would come out ahead in a 1 title game BCS than no title game format – they can’t afford to walk away as those opposed to a playoff can. The mid majors will gain from a single game format over the current system, so not much chance they oppose.

            ACC and Big East threat to withdrawal would be met with… laughter and Phaaaaaat!

            Like

          • frug says:

            The ACC, Big East, and Mid Majors can’t start a separate playoff without NCAA approval, and the NCAA is unlikely to approve a partial post season playoff.

            They are the NCAA. The NCAA works for them.

            Like

          • ProveIt says:

            No, a simple majority isn’t sufficient.

            If claimed support is true, there has been a simple majority of programs in favor of a playoff for a long time… yet no rule change.

            …and this ignores the fact they would still be better off pursuing other options that are on the table.

            I hate to burst your little bubble, but these grograms draw little interest when mixed with the others – they would draw no interest separately. They are desperately clamoring for a closer relationship to the others, not looking to separate.

            Like

          • vp19 says:

            ACC and Big East threat to withdraw would be met with… laughter and Phaaaaaat!

            Without those conferences, you’ll further regionalize college football as something outside of the northeast and mid-Atlantic regions (not good for national ratings), and further inflate the importance of Notre Dame (in a post-PSU scandal world, it’s the only college football team that can get viewers along the eastern seaboard).

            Like

          • ProveIt says:

            vp19

            The ACC’s and Big East’s problems with these possible changes is that they would lose a connection to the other majors.

            They are being pushed out of getting a 2nd major bowl tie-in because they attract a smaller audience than the others. The other conferences could care less about the ACCs and East’s audience.

            Most of their region overlaps other regions.

            Getting a piece of a 1 game title format would be better than nothing for them, and would be better than no title game. Those opposed to a playoff can gain or break even if the entire BCS and title game disappears. This is a substantial difference in negotiating strength.

            Any threat to voluntarily leave would be laughable – they’re shooting blanks. Unlike those opposed to a playoff, they don’t gain if it is blown up.

            It would be coincidence if you reached the truth by stringing together plausible sounding statements to support a desired conclusion. You will find it works much better if you form conclusions from the evidence.

            Like

          • frug says:

            If claimed support is true, there has been a simple majority of programs in favor of a playoff for a long time… yet no rule change.

            Just because they all want a playoff does not mean they all agree on what type. In addition, it is not known that there was majority support for a playoff. All we know is that the ACC and SEC backed a 4 team playoff, and that the PAC, B1G, BEast and XII opposed it. (No word on the non AQ’s)

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Indeed, ProveIt, having support amongst a vast majority of FBS schools does matter. The B10 wants to pay student-athletes stipends. The vast majority of FBS oppose. The B10 wants 4-year scholarships. The vast majority of FBS oppose. What will happen to those proposals now?

            Oh, and the B10 evidently believes that having a hard scholarship cap is the right thing to do, but they don’t even bother proposing it for the rest of FBS because we all know whether that will be accepted by the rest of FBS or not. Politics does matter.

            Like

          • ProveIt says:

            Frug

            We may not know that much…

            Silve and Swafford presented a proposal cloaked is sophistry – before that proposal, a seeded 4 was distinctive from a Plus 1.
            When asked, they never claimed to have the support of the SEC and ACC for a proposal that was known to fail long before it was presented. When asked, they simply stated they would have liked to have taken it back to their conferences for consideration.
            The 2 had been putting together a proposal draped in sophistry they had worked on with their conference membership, they knew it would fail, but don’t know if they have conference support?
            The question isn’t “If” they were lying, but what what version was the lie?

            Silve has never claimed conference support.
            Swafford is finding a seeded 4 his best plan B – as far as I am concerned, the woes of the ACC is justice for lying (and yes, I do consider sophistry a form of lying).
            ——————————————–
            We also know much more…

            *Scott reports being scolded by the PAC membership just for stating he would consider a seeded 4. I don’t see any signs the PAC membership would support a seeded 4, or would even consider it, but I see evidence it wouldn’t be considered.
            *The B1G membership has never hidden their opposition – perhaps NCAAF fans can’t handle the truth – they seem more willing to believe blatant sophistry and lies than the 1 person who has always told them the truth.
            *Neither Beebe or his successor have ever stated their conference supports a seeded 4, but they have stated opposition in the past. There have been no changes that address the reason for their opposition, but the opportunity to gain tie-ins to 2 majors would stiffen their opposition.
            *Notre Dame is opposed without reservation.
            ———————————————
            You are extremely observant with the reference to the AQs…

            The only mid-majors to finish the season in the top 4 were 2009 and 2010 TCU… and they’ve moved on to the majors. The gutted mid majors have little chance of a seeded 4 invite.
            They don’t care about the format – the NCG has little to do with – like the majors, they are concerned with which format delivers the most revenue. Presumably this would be a seeded 4, but not necessarily if an uneven revenue distribution is attached.
            ———————————————-
            The more you look, the more apparent it becomes a chance for a seeded 4 in this round of changes lies only in the manufactured support of sports writers telling the public what they want to hear.

            In my opinion, if the public will only hear what they want to hear, they deserve to be mislead.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            “Silve and Swafford presented a proposal cloaked is sophistry”

            So what’s their gameplan? I personally am against a playoff (at most, support a 4-team playoff, but I fear, am certain, in fact, that a 4-team playoff would become an 8-team playoff in 16 years or less and thus kill off the Rose Bowl).

            This has nothing to do with what I want to hear and everything to do with where I see interests lie, and the interests of every conference besides the B10 (and Pac) are aligned with an expanded playoff (or neutral against it). The B10 and Pac have networks reliant on regular season revenues that would be hurt by a playoff and want to protect the Rose. The B12 and SEC would see their regular season hurt as well, but they’re probably confident that they can gain enough of the increased playoff revenue to offset that. The B10 can not have that confidence; they want a system that rewards brands more than on-the-fiend performance.

            I also don’t assume that the actors are idiots (you can’t assume, for instance, that Delany isn’t, and Slive and Swofford are), so what’s their gameplan?

            Like

          • ProveIt says:

            Richard

            Good question.

            The existence of sophistry in the 2008 proposal is evident.
            When you redefine common terms to gain support, that’s sophistry.
            When you promote a concept of having a chance when you know it will fail, that’s sophistry.
            When you propose a major change claiming you have discussed with your conference, then claim you don’t have any idea if they would support it… that’s sophistry or a flat out lie.

            When you start in sophistry and continue in sophistry, you lose the benefit of the doubt you are being straight forward an truthful.

            My belief is they seek press and donations. In 2008 UGa heralded the idea of a plus 1 as helping his BCS 5th ranked team and fed it to all of the UGa boosters. He even claimed to help develop the proposal – in reality it was a seeded 4 which wouldn’t have helped UGa.

            Except for the PAC and B1G, any time a conference program just misses the title game, their commissioners talk about the merits of a seeded 4 without claiming the conference favors it… just like UGa (reference 2011 Big 12)… in years it won’t help, they revert back to opposition (reference Swafford alternating support for the BCS and support for a seeded 4).

            Scott wasn’t quite familiar with this and went for the good headlines… and was promptly scolded by his conference’s membership for letting others even consider the PAC would be open to the idea of a seeded 4.

            This isn’t the best support, which is why I look for more, and repeatedly ask for any statement the B1G, PAC, SEC, or Big12 have conference support for a 4 tram format.

            It’s been 4 years look9ing for support, and so far… I am still looking for the 1st. The only change is the ACC and Big East are pushing it as the primary alternative to the bowls removed with a 1 game BCS.

            Like

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            ProveIt,

            Honest question: Do you have quotes where university presidents say they do not support a 4-team playoff? Generally, the presidents themselves don’t speak very often about sports, and very rarely about the cfb postseason. They deal more with being the spokesperson for the university as a whole–fundraising, long-range planning, hiring administrators, etc.

            Like

  54. Brian says:

    http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_19706688

    Tate Forcier has failed out again. He’s leaving SJSU after sitting out last year and being the expected starter for next year.

    Like

  55. Brian says:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/10/sports/ncaafootball/change-is-coming-to-college-football-postseason.html?_r=1&ref=sports

    Pete Thamel (NYT) looks at the changes that are coming for the BCS. Some important points:

    1. The extremists on both sides won’t be happy, and that’s always a good thing.

    “An N.F.L.-style playoff of 8 or 16 teams is not coming. Nor is a complete reversion to the bowl system before the creation of an annual title game.”

    2. Everybody has to agree on the outcome.

    “Coming to a consensus among the power conferences is not easy, considering the differences in geography, finances and tradition. The commissioners will be dedicating much of their time to this issue in the next six months because their decision must essentially be unanimous.”

    3. ESPN wants an 8 year deal.

    “Magnus said that a critical part of the next bid for the B.C.S. rights would be an extension of the length of the contract to eight years from four.”

    4. The P12 presidents are against a playoff.

    “Scott joked that when he was hired, he got in a little hot water from the Pac-12 university presidents for saying he was “open-minded” to discussing a playoff.”

    5. We should know how the B10 presidents feel in a couple of weeks.

    “Delany said he would have a better feel for what his league’s stance would be in mid-January, after he consulted with the conference’s university presidents.

    Delany said that so much time was dedicated to the sexual abuse scandal at Penn State in the last meeting of Big Ten presidents that he did not have a clear idea of what they thought about changing the postseason. He did, however, echo previous concerns.”

    6. The B10/P12 relationship is very important.

    ‘ “The relationship between the Pac-12 and Big Ten transcends a playoff system unless they can buy into the playoff and the Rose Bowl is protected,” said Neal Pilson, a television consultant and a former president of CBS Sports.’

    Like

    • bullet says:

      That article said Pac 12 presidents WERE against a playoff. Scott didn’t know where they were now. He was going to sit down and talk with them prior to these meetings.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Yes, because it’s been so long since Scott was hired.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          Several articles said a lot of minds have changed recently. LSU/Alabama has changed some just recently. ESPN’s man said the college people weren’t “tone deaf.”

          Scott has some credibility with the TV contract he got for those presidents.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            The presidents shot him down on further expansion. They shot him down a playoff before.

            I hear all about minds changing, but I don’t see a lot of presidents quoted. Until they are, I won’t buy it.

            To me, that was ESPN’s guy saying they’ll have backdoor influence after saying they have no seat at the table. I think a lot of presidents would be perfectly happy to tell ESPN to eff off. The presidents have been “tone deaf” for a long time. That isn’t going to magically change now. They have different concerns from the fans, so they’ll favor a different postseason.

            Like

          • ProveIt says:

            Another approach is to ask “What has changed?” and “What hasn’t changed?” in light of “What was preventing change?” and the time line.
            —————————————————
            Time line?

            The changes were being discussed before the poor BCS ratings. I think they were mentioned before this year’s BCS match ups were set, but I am too lazy to look back over 20 pages of google search results to find when originally discussed.

            Attempting to make 1 year’s bizarre events relevant in changing the format forever is a stretch, particularly if the changes were being given serious consideration before these events.
            —————————————————-
            What was preventing change?

            The original and 1 remaining reason against isn’t changed by 1 bad BCS ratings year or a 1 conference NCG rematch of a regular season game.

            Projections of a loss in season revenue for the majors for larger playoffs, projections a seeded 4 would not produce measurable differences, and concern over bracket creep remain.
            —————————————————-
            What hasn’t changed?

            B1G, PAC, Big 12, and Notre Dame still oppose – sorry, but a straw poll among ADs (who are usually left at the fringe on these types of decisions) doesn’t come close to equating to needed conference support.

            Mid majors still support a playoff, the bigger the better.

            Silve continues to support seeded 4 without claiming to have sufficient support from the SEC.

            The NCAA would prefer a playoff but won’t get involved. NCAA continues to be concerned with the health of the mid majors. The NCAA would like to eliminate distinctions like AQ status.
            —————————————————–
            What has changed?

            The Big East AQ status was existing on an exemption until they gutted the mid majors, almost guaranteeing continuation as a 3/4 major.

            The MWC gutted the WAC, the east gutted the MWC, and the East gutted CUSA in search of AQ status.

            The gutted mid majors aren’t likely to be receiving BCS at large bids on a common basis, decreasing revenue (9% vs. 18% of BCS revenue, plus $4.5 Million per participant) making giving up access less an issue.

            The NCAA finds the gutting of the mid majors troubling.

            AS A RESULT
            …the mid majors are willing to give up access to the top bowls (which they will appear in less frequently) in exchange for the removal of AQ status as long as a revenue source isn’t cut.
            —————————————————–
            Expected Results:

            1. No seeded 4
            3 majors and Notre Dame are opposed. 4 majors and Notre Dame can see the BCS and title game go the way of the dinosaur and still come out the same or ahead financially. Despite press claims, this will be the least debated option on the table as 4 groups say “No” and a 5th group says “Time to move on.”

            2. Decrease of BCS to 1 title game likely.
            Depending on the ability of the ACC and Big East to build opposition to everyone else, including the NCAA (I doubt they swing the PAC and Notre Dame from apathy to opposition). Unlike those opposed to playoffs, the ACC and Big East can’t afford to see the BCS and title game go away completely – this is a HUGE drop in negotiating power.

            3. No notable changes in the BCS ranking formula
            It was the pollsters that gave us a 1 conference rematch, the computers wanted different results – but it is the agreement with the voting polls that crowns the champion, and they aren’t going to accept diminished weight.

            4. If decreasing BCS to 1 title game fails.
            Most majors won’t join in a straight rankings invite, or a hybrid with tie-ins and rankings. Th East will keep AQ status, the MWC will fail to achieve it. No opening for 3rd representative from the same conference. No change in revenue distribution.

            5. If BCS changed to single game, 1 vs. 2 wins out over Plus 1 after bowls
            As many here have already stumbled into, the Plus 1 has a lot of logistic problems, and they are just at the tip of the ice flow.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            “B1G, PAC, Big 12, and Notre Dame still oppose – sorry, but a straw poll among ADs (who are usually left at the fringe on these types of decisions) doesn’t come close to equating to needed conference support.”

            Right, as opposed to zero evidence that the B12 presidents still have the same stance they did in 2010. Look, you can ignore anything you’d like (and I do believe that ADs are virtually powerless), but emanations out of the BCS talks are that everyone has a different position (check Frank’s tweets), and I’d wager that the B10 won’t get the ideal scenario that it wants (free market + 2 team playoff), and I say that as B10 fan.

            “4. If decreasing BCS to 1 title game fails.
            Most majors won’t join in a straight rankings invite, or a hybrid with tie-ins and rankings. Th East will keep AQ status, the MWC will fail to achieve it. No opening for 3rd representative from the same conference. No change in revenue distribution.”

            I believe 3 teams from a conference will still be allowed (they may promote up the Cotton, despite virtually no presence of a Cotton Bowl local committee). The BE’s AQ status would be in danger, though they may keep it just for political purposes (to get them to buy in to the system).

            Like

          • ProveIt says:

            Richard

            You are looking for evidence that they haven’t changed their mind when nothing has changed to alter their reason for opposition? Do you think having a different front man changes the opinions of those above him? Do they have to reiterate every decision every 3 months for you to believe it is still valid?

            You really aren’t a fan of critical thinking, are you?

            I am not ignoring anything – but I do refuse to fit the evidence to my preference – you should try it some time.

            I will reiterate – I would be VERY appreciative of any link someone can provide to show the SEC, B1G, PAC, or Big 12 conferences support a playoff where it counts (not coaches, player, AD, etc. straw polls).
            ————————————————————-
            “(check Frank’s tweets)”

            Which ones – the one where he notes Plus 1 doesn’t equal seeded 4?
            Delany hasn’t come out against any 1 game format.

            The one where Frank ignores Delany’s repeated opposition to larger formats?
            The tweet where Frank claims Delany is leveraging his opposition based on… pure speculation?
            This is just shy of the conspiracy theory that everyone is lying. and completely ignores that Delany has NEVER done business this way – the problem people have with him isn’t that he plays political games, but that he is straight and blunt – they don’t want to hear straight and blunt when it opposes their desires.
            ————————————————————
            “I’d wager that the B10 won’t get the ideal scenario that it wants (free market + 2 team playoff)”

            This is possible and previously noted… but don’t look for Delany to put a seeded 4 on the table either.
            ————————————————————-
            “they may promote up the Cotton, despite virtually no presence of a Cotton Bowl local committee”

            Why would they add another bowl? They didn’t want the 5th bowl game added (it didn’t increase the revenue proportionally), but it was forced by the NCAA to make it easier for the mid majors.

            Why eliminate a well developed existing bowl? It takes a long time to build up a bowl stature. If the SEC and Big 12 want to give up 1 of their primary bowl tie ins, good for them.
            ————————————————————-
            “I believe 3 teams from a conference will still be allowed…”

            Based on what? I am assuming your personal preference…
            …because the B1G isn’t putting anything of value on the table to get this. it isn’t worth eliminating AQ status to get unless the bowls are removed. It isn’t even Worth it for the majors to do a hybrid tie-in plus straight selection to get this (the B1G benefits from allowing the bowls to select outside the order). The SEC is the only other conference who favors it. Both Delany and Silve acknowledged the others were opposed and it had no chance.

            Like

  56. zeek says:

    LSU brought their 1st half SEC CCG offense to this game.

    What a trainwreck. Their offense didn’t get past the 50 yard line, and it’s already the 4th quarter.

    Their redzone D has been outstanding, but the tale of this tape is between the 20s. Alabama has been moving the ball at will between the 20s, and 7 FGAs with 5 makes is the difference here.

    All told, this is what the first game should have looked like. Alabama looked like the better team the first time around but they missed 3 FGAs in regulation and let it go to OT where they missed another.

    The LSU offense has looked pretty bad, and Alabama’s defense is due some credit for that, but LSU put together the worst SEC first half offense in the SECCCG of this past decade, and that’s the offense they seem to have brought for this whole game.

    Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      OMG! A touchdown (followed by a missed PAT…)

      Like

      • zeek says:

        What were LSU’s offensive coaches doing the past 6 weeks?

        That was some of the worst offensive coaching I’ve seen in a national championship. The whole world knew what they were going to do on every play.

        Alabama came prepared for Jefferson and the option and showed that it would be useless in the first quarter… so Les kept letting them run it again and again?

        Like

        • Ross says:

          God, I hope the ratings were terrible. I didn’t watch a single second, and it doesn’t seem like I missed much.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            I skipped it as well. As I expected it was a boring replay of the the first game, just a little more one-sided. Stats show 2 LSU turnovers and a 2 big punt returns leading to FG attempts. It took 115 minutes for one of these teams to score a TD.

            It was a great argument for having one of these teams tested by a team with a good QB and offense and a decent defense (If Ok. St. didn’t score so quick, their defense would have better stats).

            It really wasn’t fair to LSU for them to have to beat the same really good team twice. I had mixed feelings. I like having a deserving MNC which LSU certainly would have been had they won. But I also like BCS messes to assist in getting rid of the system. It was a big enough win (and Arkansas beat KSU), so there’s no doubt Alabama wins the AP Poll in addition to the BCS poll.

            Like

          • zeek says:

            My guess is the ratings won’t be as strong as some of the past NCs because the game was extremely boring.

            LSU kept losing yardage on their option plays and throwing to receivers behind the line of scrimmage that were fairly promptly tackled.

            It was an extremely boring game to watch unless you were a fan of one of the teams.

            By halftime, I was ready to give up on the game. By the end of the third quarter, it was really that bad.

            And no one could understand why Les kept Jefferson in; the LSU fans were booing hard, and it was just sad to watch them keep running the same plays that were being stuffed every single time.

            Like

    • Richard says:

      I agree totally. I felt bad for the LSU defense, left to hung out to dry by their coaches. To me, there were two easily apparent differences between the 2 teams:
      1. ‘Bama’s O-line is top notch; better than LSU’s O-line.
      2. The playcalling of the Tide looked NFL-quality. The playcalling of the Tigers looked high-school-quality.

      Like

  57. duffman says:

    Bamatab,

    Congrats to your Tide

    Alan,

    When I picked the Tigers preseason, I never envisioned they would have to play Bama twice

    I still say this was a season where we had a clear MNC after the regular season and CCG’s, and LSU paid the price for the extra game.

    .

    For the Oklahoma State and Stanford folks, it would not have been pretty if you were in this game. LSU still has a better defense than your offense. Both these teams D’s swarmed all night like angry bees and would have sacked or hurried the QB’s at Oklahoma State and Stanford. Like them or not, they hit hard, and hit often. I wish it had been a B1G vs SEC because I still think they have the better defensive teams. Thankfully we only have to wait for the Michigan vs Alabama game. Anybody on here going?

    Like

    • Brian says:

      AL will crush MI unless they have major personnel losses.

      Like

      • Ross says:

        They have substantial losses on defense. I really think the biggest questions are how Michigan’s youth on both lines will do in such a big, early game.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          MI’s big problem will be that I don’t think AL loses a ton. Thanks to oversigning, any player that leaves will be replaced by another 5 star. I don’t think MI’s DL will be ready to stop AL, and MI’s offense has a log ways to go against good defenses.

          Like

          • zeek says:

            Hopefully Michigan’s coaches will totally dissect this game and realize that they have to be able to go vertical to beat Alabama.

            Like you said, even with personnel losses, Alabama will be almost as strong as they are right now.

            Otherwise, Michigan’s offense will look like it did against Va Tech, but Alabama’s offense will roll unlike Va Tech’s…

            Like

        • cutter says:

          Michigan will return four of its five offensive linemen who played regular minutes this year and/or started–Rickey Barnum, Michael Schofeld, Patrick Omameh and Taylor Lewan. They’ll need one player to step up and become a starter among the fairly thin reserves at o-line (probably Rocko Khoury, who is also an upperclassman) and/or use one of the true freshmen coming into the class. Since Alabama is the first game of the season, there should be an attrition problem that might arise later in the season.

          The defensive ends positions should be okay with Craig Roh, Frank Clark and Jibreel Black all having playing time. The defensive tackle and nose guard positions could be problematic though. Will Campbell is an upper classmen (and former five-star recruit) who hasn’t produced well. Other NG/DT types are Richard Ash, Quinton Washington and Kenny Wilkins, but they’re pretty untested. Don’t be surprised to see true freshman Ondre Pipkins play NG rather than red-shirting.

          Michigan’s offensive and defensive lines won’t be young, but the talent and experience that is there will be pretty uneven. The offensive line and defense end positions should be okay, but the interior of the defensive line may be problematic.

          Like

          • Ross says:

            Pretty sure we’re expecting to have some significant youth contributing, especially on the 2nd string. Depth is pretty important on the lines.

            Like

          • cutter says:

            To Ross:

            I would agree with you concerning a long-term season contribution, but not in the first game against Alabama. MGoBlog looks at the returning starters on offense and pretty much confirms what I said. The starting offensive linemen will all likely be upperclassmen with many years’ experience, but the immediate backups are going to be on the opposite end of the spectrum.

            http://mgoblog.com/content/2012-first-look-offense

            Like

    • bullet says:

      Someone was pointing out that WVU (533 yards vs 366) and Oregon (335 vs. 273) both shredded the LSU defense, but turned the ball over too many times (WVU 4 vs 0, Oregon 4 vs 1). Now getting turnovers is part of being a good defense, but you can’t count on such a margin and such a team can get burned as well. The first LSU-Albama game was ugly. This one apparently was as well. Oklahoma St. vs. LSU would have been interesting.

      Like

      • frug says:

        Yeah, I remember KC Joyner (I think it was him) pointed out that OSU was probably LSU’s toughest matchup because they are so good at winning the turnover battle (they were the best in the nation), which has been the defining characteristic of the Les Miles era Tigers.

        Like

    • cutter says:

      I disagree with your assessement on Stanford because the Cardinal had a quality offensive line. I don’t think Luck would have been harried as much as you claim, but I could see where he’d have problems because Stanford’s WRs weren’t exactly game breakers. As far as Alabama’s offense is concerned, I saw a steady teams with no game breakers at the WR position either, but a quarterback who played well within the system.

      Oklahoma State would have been an interesting opponent for Alabama to play–and the same goes for Oregon, Boise State, and Wisconsin. All those teams may have been seeded to play the Tide in an eight-team playoff and depending on how it was set up, the Crimson Tide may have had to play in Madison, WI or Boise, ID in late December. Now that would have been interesting to see.

      Like

    • Bamatab says:

      Thanks duffman. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a defensive performance like that in all my years of watching college football (and I thought the 92 Bama defensive performance against Miami was about as good as it could get). They were unreal.

      I do feel for the Alan and the other LSU folks. They had an unreal season. I know I’d be sick to my stomach if the tables were turned.

      Like

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      Duff – thanks. Bamatab – congrats.

      Since Matt Flynn completed his eligibility four years ago, LSU has won 41 games with inconsistent-to-horrible quarterback play out of Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee. Both of these fairly highly recruited players were pressed into action way too early in their careers, due to the dismissal of Fynn’s would-be successor Ryan Perrilloux, prior to the 2008 season. IIRC, Perrilloux was the consensus #1 prep player in America in the class of 2005. With a four-year QB controversy, neither ever really grew into the position. Four and five star recruits at offensive skill positions were left grasping at air for much of the last four years. The fact that Miles has won 41 games and an SEC championship with JJ and JL at the helm, while suffering no blow-outs (until last night) is a minor miracle.

      Until last night, Miles has been able to hide the QB weaknesses with a very good running game, playmaking ball-hawks on defense, and superior special teams. Given an extra week to prepare, a huge chip on their shoulder, less tread on their tires, and some damn-good game planners, the Alabama staff was able to expose Jordan Jefferson to the world as an athletic player who is not very accurate, not very confident, and not very consistent. Adding insult to injury, the LSU offensive line played their worst game of the year. I’m sure Bama’s defensive line had something to do with that though.

      From my perspective from Section 303, the defense played valiantly and well enough to win under normal LSU circumstances, which would have included a couple of interceptions or forced fumbles, and a couple of great special teams plays to put the offense in very good field position. That has happened all year long. The LSU offense has played on short fields for the entire season due to stellar defense, special teams, and turnovers.

      Being the eternal optimist, even down 15-0 in the 4th, I believed that LSU would take a punt return for a TD, or make an inception to light a fire under the offense. LSU never adjusted to what Bama was doing defensively, Bama played mistake-free football and deserved to win.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        I wonder if Miles watched too much of that Georgia Southern tape. They scored 21 on Alabama with an option game. Noone else scored as many. From what I’m reading, LSU kept playing the option and kept getting stopped.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          I felt that it was like watching NFL-level schemers vs. high-school-coach-level schemers. The difference in the coaching staff playcalling was that big.

          Like

  58. Brian says:

    Alan, I feel your pain. That said …

    Gee, I’m so sorry I missed such a “thrilling” game. 5 more field goals, with 1 late TD this time. How exciting. 92 whole yards from LSU (almost as bad as OSU against UF). The first BCS shut out ever (even FSU got a safety). This was the team the media said might be the best ever? Isn’t offense supposed to be part of the team?

    LSU has finally squandered home field advantage in the NCG. Now let’s see how many AP voters follow through on their statements about voting LSU #1 no matter what. I bet OkSU gets some votes, too. Just for fun I’d love to see a split title and watch Tide fans’ heads explode.

    Like

  59. zeek says:

    The general apathy towards the bowl season this year (just seems like that from most of the TV ratings trending down outside of a few anomalies like the Fiesta Bowl) makes me feel that seeding the +1 should happen after the bowls.

    I don’t know how you do it, but maybe you push all the bowls to before Jan 1 (or 2 if on a Sunday) and run them under the old system.

    Then run the +1 with the top 4 teams after the old bowl system goes through.

    The bowl games are mostly worthless as it is now. If the top 8-10 teams were all still in play for a +1, I’d care about the big bowls a lot more than I do now.

    I feel like having the semi-finals before the bowl season will just kill off the big bowls more. Are these teams really going to care about going to the Rose, Sugar, Fiesta, or Orange after losing in a semifinals game?

    Like

    • frug says:

      Rose Bowl will never move off Jan 1 (except on Sundays)

      Like

      • zeek says:

        Oops, I meant push them all “on or before” Jan 1st.

        Make Jan 1st the final bowl games day. Then do a semi-finals the next monday and a championship the following monday.

        I really don’t see how you have a semi-finals before the bowl season without further harming the big bowls.

        Like

    • Eric says:

      I agree completely on moving up games (I’ve suggested all on January 1st and 2nd to still let all the BCS bowls not compete with each other), which is why I hope the double hosting format is removed (or I guess you could just put one BCS bowl in late December, but I’d don’t care for that idea either).

      It’s a difficult subject (and why I won’t be disappointed with no change) about what would hurt the bowls more; all have their pluses and minuses.

      1. Semi-final home games at higher seed, then teams go to bowls (2 to national championship, rest might or might not be in BCS): Here everyone only has to travel once and the bowls still can take the biggest names possible. The semi-final losers might not be anxious to travel though, especially if they were a higher seed (lower seeded losers if expected to lose might be more willing).

      2. Use the bowls as semi-finals or quasi-semi-finals, add Cotton or something for 6 BCS bowls. Two bowls semi-finals with the potential for 3 feeder bowls into the national championship in a quasi semi-final. Here the importance of BCS games are maintained fine, but travel concerns are large. If your team is going to any of the BCS bowls and has the potential of going to the national championship, do you travel to the first BCS bowl? My guess is that one trip is the maximum for most people and therefore you see smaller crowds for the first BCS bowl even with potentially more at stake.

      If we go with #1, then putting all the games around January 1st becomes easy if we eliminate the double hosting format. If we go with #2, we are probably stuck with a late national championship game and I doubt they leave the week between devoid of BCS games.

      I think #1 is better for the system, but I think #2 is more likely.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        I’ve seen a couple of articles commenting on the stretched out bowl season hurting fan interest. One of those was quoting an ESPN official. I think we’ll see all except a championship game finished by the 2nd or 3rd of January in the next cycle. There may be contracts limiting flexibility over the next two years.

        Like

        • It’s an interesting quandary because there are two completely countervailing interests here: the need to continue to incorporate the bowls into any plus-one system (which I think is very real) and the desire to keep the championship game closer to New Year’s Day. Most people in the travel industry will tell you that the week leading up to Christmas is the slowest travel period of the year and then turns into one of the busiest periods of the year for the week after Christmas. That’s why all of the top bowls want to have dates as close to New Year’s Day as possible and avoid dates bracketing Christmas like the plague.

          TV interests are also very different than traveling fan interests. The former actually prefers prime time weeknight games since the audience sizes are much larger, while the latter wants games to be played on holiday weekends.

          My semi-educated opinion is that when push comes to shove, a plus-one championship would be pushed out to a mid-January date (possibly on Martin Luther King Jr. Day to make it coincide with a holiday weekend) as opposed to moving either semifinals or the major bowls into December. The “bowl fatigue” that TV executives are witnessing is partially a function of the perception that those games don’t mean much. A plus-one, depending upon the format, can make 2 or more of those games very meaningful and you wouldn’t see that same fatigue (just as there isn’t any “basketball fatigue” for a 3-week long NCAA Tournament).

          Are the presidents sincere about not having football be a 2-semester sport? Possibly, although I question the reasoning when basketball practice starts in October and the NCAA Tournament ends in April. A plus-one championship game would mean that 2 teams out of 120 FBS schools would play one game in mid-January. In exchange for that, every single power conference school is going to receive $1 million to $2 million (as estimates show that the BCS TV contract could double or more from the current $125 million per year with a plus-one, and that doesn’t even include the Rose Bowl TV contract). The economy is a whole lot different than 2008 with a lot of state cuts at public schools, so university presidents are looking for revenue anywhere. A plus-one is really low-hanging fruit, which is why the support for it has increased greatly.

          Like

          • zeek says:

            Personally, I think I would have preferred something like this if it had to be +1 this year:

            Dec. 29 Cotton: Arkansas-Kansas State
            Dec. 30 Orange: Clemson-Stanford
            Dec. 31 Sugar: LSU-Michigan
            Jan. 2: Rose: Oregon-Wisconsin
            Jan. 2: Fiesta: Oklahoma State-Alabama

            Cotton would have probably been relevant with Kansas State-Arkansas this year if there was a +1 after the bowls, since an Oregon loss combined with the loser of Oklahoma State-Arkansas dropping out of the top 4 would make space for the winner of Kansas State-Arkansas. Or Wisconsin could try to argue in the media that a win over Oregon is enough to send them to the top 4 (highly unlikely that would work though).

            The above is with no AQs. If there was AQ, then just replace WVU into Michigan’s slot.

            In any case, after the bowl games are all done, then run the +1. Assuming the winners of those 5 games to be Arkansas, Stanford, LSU, Oregon, and Alabama; Oklahoma State probably drops out of the top 4 and Oregon probably rises into it. Arkansas probably needed Oregon to lose, but their Cotton Bowl game would be a lot more relevant since they would have had a chance to sneak into the top 4 past Oregon if they had lost…

            You’d have the following after the bowls:
            1 LSU
            2 Alabama
            3 Stanford
            4 Oregon
            5 Arkansas

            So Jan. 9, you run the semi-finals with Oregon@LSU and Stanford@Alabama. Maybe you add the stipulation that only conference champions can host unless both teams in a semifinal game aren’t conference champions (i.e. both Alabama and Stanford didn’t win their conferences, so Alabama gets to host that game).

            Jan. 9: Stanford@Alabama followed by Oregon@LSU

            Jan. 16: Final game between winners of Stanford@Alabama and Oregon@LSU.

            This strategy would preserve the value of the bowl games since those 5 especially would typically feature matchups with top 10 teams (with one team in the top 5 or close at the very least). Everyone would want to watch and go to those games.

            Then the semifinals games would be easy lifts because they would be home games. Both would easily be sellouts every time, and you’d have higher TV interest.

            If you want to maximize the bowl system and the +1 from a fan interest/travel perspective, I think this is the way to go.

            Like

          • Eric says:

            Zeek, from a TV perspective that works, and I’ll admit I’m kind of partial to that idea too because it allows the bowls to just be bowls.

            I don’t think playing the bowls and then a playoff in January though will be something the presidents agree too. It’s asking fans to travel before the playoff when they know there is the potential for more travel (possibly 2 games if they go to the road game). Bigger than that, I don’t know that it’s possible for the colleges to have home games in the north in January. A big deal was made of Minnesota’s stadium being used by the NFL for a Vikings game and how it wasn’t “safe” due to not being made for January games (something with drainage or warming the field or something similar). Colleges can’t put big money into stadium changes for games that they’ll host very seldom. Granted, I don’t think many would be as big a deal as Minnesota (and think that was overblown), but the standards for safety in college need to be stronger in the NFL given these are “amateurs” playing and the media will emphasize that.

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          • gobux says:

            After reading zeek’s comments I’m a little confused. I thought a +1 would only mean 1 more game after the bowl’s. But in zeek’s example there would be 3 more games after the bowl games. So which will it be? I’m guessing only 1 more game after bowl’s.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            I don’t understand the 2 semester idea. Most schools don’t start until mid-January. And you are keeping the dorms open later than usual for a January 1 bowl.

            But using the bowls and ending sooner are directly conflicting. The mid-December semi-final ends the season quicker. If you use the bowls for semis, it generates lots of money for two bowls, but makes two less relevant each year and stretches out the season until around the 14th of January some years.

            Given that the Rose Bowl stays on January 1, that none of the semi-final bowls are prior to January 1 (putting one on December 30 only moves things up a day or two), that players need at least a week after a semi-final and that the final is on a Saturday or Monday (essential for fan attendance), the finals will be from January 9th to 14th depending on which day January 1 falls on. If there are 5 BCS bowls, the non-semis may stretch to January 5th.

            January 1-Monday-semis 1/1, 1/2, other BCS games 1/1, 1/3, 1/4-final Saturday 13th
            January 1-Tuesday-same schedule with finals on Saturday 12th
            January 1-Wednesday-same schedule with finals on Saturday 11th
            January 1-Thursday-semis 1/1, 1/2, other BCS games 1/1, 1/3, 1/5-final Saturday 10th
            January 1-Friday-semis 1/1, 1/2, other BCS games 1/1, 1/4, 1/5-final Saturday 9th
            January 1-Saturday-semis 1/1, 1/3, other BCS games 1/1, 1/4, 1/5-final Monday 10th
            January 1-Sunday-semis 1/2, 1/3, other BCS games 1/2, 1/4, 1/5-final Saturday 14th

            If the networks insist on a Monday final, that stretches it from the 10th to 16th of January.

            Like

          • zeek says:

            @gobux

            Most examples of the +1 system have the semifinals held right after the conference CCGs in mid-December, or they place the semifinals in the Orange, Sugar, Fiesta, and Cotton Bowls rotating.

            Those are the ways in which there’s only 1 game after the bowls, the NC game.

            My example is what I think the Big Ten should aim for in order to maximize the value of the bowl games (better TV viewership, etc.).

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Scheduling changes could be pretty dramatic. Bowls are apparently blaming weak attendance in part on the mid-week games after January 1. VT-Michigan was the 2nd lowest attended Sugar Bowl since it actually was in the Sugar Bowl instead of the SuperDome (2nd lowest in 43 years).

            The mid-week games were setup to maximize TV exposure. But fans don’t want to use the next year’s vacation in the first week of the New Year. Maybe they try to cram the 4 big bowls into January 1 and 2 (or 2 and 3 when Holiday is Monday). For many years, the Rose, Cotton, Sugar and Orange were all on New Year’s Day. The Sugar experimented some with New Year’s Eve and it didn’t work very well. Supposedly there are 50 to 60 different proposals out there.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            zeek,

            They aren’t adding a 4 team playoff after the bowls. They just won’t. A true +1 is one game after the bowls. A 4 team playoff might use the bowls for the semis or hold the semis earlier. Regardless, it will only be one game after the bowls.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            I don’t understand the 2 semester idea. Most schools don’t start until mid-January.

            Two things to remember – not everyone uses semesters, and plenty of schools started up on 1/4 this year.

            And Frank, the presidents are very serious about not adding more 2 semester sports. They hate what hoops does to academics and won’t endorse it for more sports.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            @Brian
            I don’t understand your “what hoops does to academics” comment. What do you mean by that?

            Like

          • cutter says:

            Frank-

            Why do you think the bowls have to be incorporated into the playoffs? Is this something that’s driven by the conference commissioners/university presidents or the networks or both?

            For all the reasons you point out (logistics, travel, etc.), it seems to make sense to me to have the playoff games at the home stadiums of the higher ranked teams rather than bowl sites. Those games could be played during the “low travel” period around Christmas, then the bowls can be scheduled around NYD (with the teams not in the playoffs) and finally, the championship game takes place in early January (around the same time as the current game).

            Michigan started classes the day after the Sugar Bowl and students had to make arrangements with their professors and inform them if they were missing that first class. If not, they were likely to be dropped from their courses. So in answer to someone’s question, the answer is yes, there are some schools that start the term in the first week of January.

            The bowl fatigue that’s led to decreased attendance and ratings may in part be due to the economy. People can’t afford to travel as much as in the past and tickets purchased thru the universities are much more expensive than Stubhub, for example. IRT ratings, this is a case of where you reap what you sow. The BCS has been operating the bowls in a tier system with no real meaning to the national championship game for years now. Either incorporate the bowls into the playoff and keep them afloat or set them aside as exhibitions and have a four- or eight-team playoff with the higher rated teams playing at their home stadiums.

            You seem to indicate the former will happen, but I have to question the logistics of having playoff games at bowl sites. While that may work for some teams in some regions (Rose Bowl for Pac 12 teams in California and Arizona, for example), you’re going to have problems across the board if this were to take place for the handful of bowls that are in the playoff system. When it comes to the tickets and tourism part of the bowl equation, I could see where a major bowl might want to opt out of a Plus One situation with the expectation that they’ll have greater out-of-town attendance than if they were part of a playoff.

            Outside of the Rose Bowl with the Big Ten and Pac 12 and the Sugar Bowl with the SEC, I wonder how loyal these bowls will be to the conferences they’ve long been affiliated with. For example, will the Fiesta Bowl still want to keep its association with the newly reconfigured 10-team Big XII or will they look more favorable to the 14-team SEC? The same goes for the Orange Bowl with the Big East and ACC–do the bowl organizers there want to keep that affiliation or do they want greater flexibility to schedule teams from more than one conference plus Notre Dame and Brigham Young?

            I’d rather have the quarter- and semi-final games for the college football playoffs be located at the stadiums of the higher rated team. They’d be played in a collegiate setting (rather than a pro stadium in most cases) in front of full crowds who didn’t have to spend thousands of dollars for plane tickets, hotel runs and overpriced tickets. Plus the schools would actually save money by using their own facilities, minimizing travel, etc. Finally, of course, this would tie in the relative success from the regular season into the playoff seeding, thus keeping the games between September and early December even more relevant than in the past.

            Like

        • gobux says:

          @zeek

          Oh ok. I like your idea better. More like 4 team playoff. Although in this context, the word “playoff” is a four-letter word. 🙂

          Like

  60. Bamatab says:

    Alan, I just wanted to tell you that I feel for you guys. I know that this lose will probably hurt for awhile, but keep in mind that you guys had one of the best regular seasons in college football history and are poised to be right back in the hunt next year.

    Like

  61. Mack says:

    Lowest BCS NCG rating in 14 year BCS history. 13.8 overnight; this compares to 11.9 for the regular season AL-LSU matchup which was one of the highest rated regular season games in BCS era.

    Like

    • zeek says:

      No surprise there. The fact that it was probably among the most uncompetitive games of the year didn’t help.

      http://espn.go.com/blog/sec/post/_/id/37004/lsu-slowed-by-sputtering-offense

      That to me said it all.

      Alabama’s defense was outstanding this year, but LSU’s offense was probably historically bad in the title game as well.

      I don’t know how anyone not rooting for Alabama or LSU could stomach the general levels of ineptitude that plagued LSU’s offense all night. And the fact that they didn’t even try to change it up later just made it worse.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        LSU didn’t have a single 1st down in the 1st half vs. Georgia. UGA has an excellent defense, but such ineptitude is a reflection on the offense. Georgia Southern scored 3 TDS on Alabama and none were in garbage time. It was Alabama that was scoring late to try to increase the margin.

        Like

    • vp19 says:

      No real surprise, given that it was both a rematch and had teams from the same conference, thus limiting its national appeal. (Think of the Yankees-Mets World Series of 2000.)

      Like

    • Eric says:

      Thanks. I was really wondering how it compared to the regular season and that doesn’t suprise me at all. The game seemed to have as much at stake then as it did last night. Then the winner was the national championship front-runner possibly even being able to lose a game and with the SEC in their control. The loser meanwhile was assumed to be eliminated from the race unless a lot happened. The stakes were truly high and potential national title fanbases across the nation had a reason to watch.

      Last night, the national championship was on the line, but the SEC had already been decided and n