In the Navy: Midshipmen to Join the Big East in 2015

Posted: January 23, 2012 in Big East, College Football, Sports
Tags: , , ,

In the latest (albeit expected) move in conference realignment, numerous reports state that Navy will announce on Tuesday that it is joining the Big East as a football-only member in 2015.  This is a fairly historic move considering that Navy has had the longest run of uninterrupted independence of any Division I-A football program (123 years starting in 1879 according to the non-blacked out Wikipedia).  It’s also quite a coup for the Big East as Navy arguably has more TV contract value than any non-AQ school outside of BYU.

Of course, 2015 might as well be 2115 in terms of conference realignment timing.  The question is whether the landscape is truly settling or there’s one more large move (such as the Big 12 expanding with 2 more schools) that will cause more aftershocks.  The Mountain West Conference and Conference USA have continued discussions about a merger where the ultimate benefit might be protecting themselves if/when the Big East takes any more of their members.

Indeed, my feeling is that the Big East will look to add another western football-only member to round out its football membership at 12 schools (assuming no other defections for now).  That means that the Mountain West is vulnerable again to another defection.  It’s hard to say who would be most valuable from those that are left in the MWC (or who will be joining the MWC from the WAC starting next season): UNLV, Fresno State, Nevada, Colorado State and… dare I say it… Hawaii all have some attractive points in a creating a Big East western division.

I doubt that the Big East will add any further all-sports members unless it’s to backfill any further defections of current all-sports schools.  (The greatest flight risks, in my semi-educated opinion, are Louisville and Rutgers to the Big 12.  I don’t buy further ACC expansion without Notre Dame for one second, and I don’t buy Notre Dame joining any conference for one second.) Therefore, schools like Memphis, Temple or my personal favorite of Tulane that make more sense as all-sports members as opposed to football-only members would likely get passed over in favor of further western expansion.

A key issue will be when the Big 12 and ABC/ESPN start renegotiating their TV contract.  Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds indicated last month that ABC/ESPN were ready “to talk early”.  Chuck Neinas has been in this game before, so he knows that if the Big 12 truly wants to expand back to 12, it needs to do so prior to that time so that it can offer ABC/ESPN a conference championship game as part of the TV package.  The moment that those parties actually start talking, though, the chances of a purposeful near-term Big 12 expansion* drop down precipitously.

(* Purposeful means expansion by proactive choice as opposed to a reaction to defections.)

If the Big East gets through that process unscathed, then 2015 won’t look so far away.

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

(Image from NBC Sports)

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Comments
  1. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    GEAUX 2012 Pre-season #1 LSU Fightin’ Tigers!

    Frank – thanks for the Tulane Green Wave love. The Greenies would make a great addition to any conference. Great academics, great place to visit, and leave New Orleans with a win.

    Like

    • I think they should make a “Party Town Conference” of small schools in great places to visit. Tulane, UNLV, Florida International/Atlantic, schools like that. The product may not be all that great, but who wouldn’t want to travel to those places for conference championships???

      And yes, this is meant to be sarcastic. (Sort of.)

      Like

  2. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Frank – Now that Navy looks to be in, why wouldn’t Air Force be the most logical western add to the Big East?

    Like

    • @Alan – Air Force would definitely make the most sense, but they officially rejected the Big East’s overtures a couple of months ago. It looked like the athletic department really wanted to join the Big East, but it ended up getting killed by the higher-ups in Washington. I’m honestly not sure why that happened as it was a complete turn of events – Air Force looked much more enthusiastic about joining the Big East in the fall compared to Navy.

      Like

      • zeek says:

        The time frame seems to help though. I assume if they prove the $$$ works, they should be able to bring Air Force around by 2015? Especially with the go ahead from Navy.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          Maybe the higher ups didn’t want Air Force to look absurd being in the “East.” It could be a problem with the backup conference. WAC is getting pretty full with basketball schools and MVC told them they weren’t interested. WCC is religious schools.

          I think the logical place for the 3 service academies is Conference USA. The name’s right and they could be in a division with Rice, Tulane and Tulsa.

          Like

          • FLP_NDRox says:

            Except Army isn’t going back to CUSA after that last stretch which was an unmitigated disaster.

            I’m surprised that Navy is going to the Big East. We’ve all noticed how the new B-East is in football very similar to the old skool CUSA. Granted Navy is in a better position than Army was when they joined, but I think Navy joining a conference will really hurt them in the long-term because I don’t see them getting the bowl-eligible records they’ve been racking up since Fisher DeBerry left AFA. In the end, I can see them back independent by 2020.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            CUSA might work with Army, Navy, Air Force in one division (giving them more ooc flexibility) along with more academically comparable schools like Rice, Tulane and Tulsa.

            Like

  3. The Big East needs to still be in survival mode, and that means getting to 12 with defections; no defections, great, you end up with a hell of a balanced conference.

    For 2013 or ’14:
    A Western School (Fresno or UNLV) and Temple (Football only, remain in A-10)

    ’15:
    Navy and pop out Air Force

    If you lose two teams, you’re still left with a viable 12 team conference, if you don’t lose anyone, you have a really balanced 14 team conference in lots of markets.

    To the western schools:
    Fresno: Positives are that the Central Valley has over 6 million people, is vastly culturally different than the Bay Area (which is to say: like San Diego, it holds sway over it’s population and is not San Fran or LA) has lots of recruits (pays good HS ball) and there are 2 mil people half an hour to 45 minutes from Fresno.
    Negatives: poor academics (does this matter with football only, at all?) equal with Boise, seem to be in decline

    UNLV: Positives: it’s vegas, it was the biggest growth area the last boon, the Vegas valley is multi million now. Vegas is starting to put out D1a recruits (It looks like ASU and UofA must have looked in the mid 70s in terms of population growth) Facility growth: bball practice facility, strong push for new on-campus fball stadium (sam boyd is around 10 miles off the strip) The academics are pushing forward in a big way, in my opinion they will Surpass UNR in the next 15 years as he University in that State.
    Negatives: they will never care about football there, ever

    Philly and the Central Valley or Vegas adds a ton of tv sets and balances the Big East, particularly if you put Navy in the West

    West:
    Boise
    SDSU
    Fresno/UNLV
    AFA
    Navy
    Houston
    SMU

    —That’s as good as anyone has every been able to do in the West that’s not the Pac10

    Like

  4. Richard says:

    I think Navy and the BE willl try to get AFA to join. Failing that, Navy would like either Fresno (lots of Navy folks in CA + more recruiting presence in CA is better than more presence in CO or NV), in which case Navy goes to the Western division, or ECU (in which case Louisville and Cincy head west).

    Like

  5. Playoffs Now says:

    OK, so there’s a new rumor floating around that the B12 is shooting for the moon and will try to raid some of the ACC’s best football teams and convince ND to join, becoming the first 16 team super conference. The WV blogger who originated it doesn’t come across as very credible, and contradicts himself a few times in the article. So it is probably bogus, or he’s weaving too much out of the B12 expansion committee just doing basic due diligence in contacting big name schools that may not be very interested and may not have had much, if any conversation with the B12. Or just trolling for subscribers/hits/attention whoring.

    That said, it isn’t totally implausible. I could see some of the ACC schools not being completely sold on the ACC long term. FSU did form that exploratory committee, even if they also voted to raise exit fees. (OBTW, did anyone ever figure out who was the surprise school outside of the B1G’s traditional geography that contacted the conference years ago about joining?) If the B12 is looking seriously at expansion, it would make sense to pursue the best case scenario and then walk back if the biggest fish don’t take the bait. Most importantly, if enough ACC fb schools become interested and do make the move, it kills off the ACC as a major fb conference equal and likely leads to other conferences raiding the ACC. This would likely facilitate the shrinking to 4 fb super conferences (though not how most envisioned) and the resulting increased negotiating power and accompanying big pay raises for super conference schools. Of course that’s a lot of moving parts to juggle which makes it unlikely, but not impossible.

    Here’s one way they might could pull it off. Say some of the ACC fb schools are unhappy and can see how a super B12 could bring a big pay increase. FSU, Mia, GTech, Clem, Pitt, and ND would be a huge block. No way the ACC recovers from that defection, so NC, Duke, VA, and friends probably reach out to the B1G. Surely the SEC expresses interest in VTech, and perhaps NC State. Boom, we’re down to 4 major fb conferences.

    But if ND joins a conference, it won’t be in the formation of the first super conference, but rather one of the last schools to commit. So maybe the B12 starts with just FSU, Mia, GT, and Clem. Is that enough to kill off the ACC and entice the SEC and B1G to raid? Will those schools be substantially better off financially in a B12+2? Or do they perhaps reach a quiet agreement where ND and 1 friend become 15 and 16 in stage 2?

    What’s perhaps key is that if we do shrink down to 4 super conferences of 12, 16, or 20 members, or if the power conferences threaten to pull away from the NCAA, the quad format may be adopted. If conferences go with a quad setup, then a conference could choose to go with just playing your quad and then a mini-conference playoff between the pods to determine their conference champion, freeing the rest of the schedule to be as flexible as needed. ND then only has to play 3 conference games per year, while other schools can have 1,2, or even 3 or more annual rivalries and play as many games between conference members as they want, including more marquee and OOC matchups.

    But quads also could solve the P12 expansion dilemma. If the B12 stays together, where does the P12 get its 13th-16th schools? And while the ACC’s biggest football names might flee to the B12 and SEC, there still would be more than 4 ACC schools that would be good and attractive additions to the B1G, such NC, Duke, VA, MD, Rutg, and Syr. What might happen is the B1G decides to go to 20 schools, but for fb only one quad winner would compete on the P12 side of the conf. champion bracket. Maybe a NE, IA, MN, WI quad, or perhaps more likely rotating through some or all the B1G pods. So once per 5 years you’d compete through the P12 side, it still is competing for the Rose Bowl and the P12 and B1G have continued to increase their ties. With 4 super conferences they’d be 1/2 of major college football, and perhaps share in the research consortium (CIC?) Plus, with the flexibility of quads those 4 schools whose champ goes through the P12 side might play just one or even no P12 schools in the regular season, so they’d be able to maintain their B1G matchups and scheduling.

    Thus maybe we see Duke, NC, VTech and VA in one B1G quad, and MD, Syr, Rutg, and UConn in another. But if the B12 is able to finally crack the ACC and their targeted schools are looking for the best fit (both in $ and academic reputation) could not the B1G and SEC counter offer? At the end of the day the B1G, if smart, should hold the most advantage, so perhaps we’d see it shake out into the B1G adding a quad of Duke, NC, GTech, and FSU and another of MD, VA, Rutg, and Syr. That would still see the B12 adding ND, Mia, Clem, Pitt, BC, and either BYU or Louisville. An ND quad with Mia, Pitt, and BC or a Texas school plus 9 slots for indy scheduling ought to make them happy, while still giving a big boost to the B12 (if for no other reason as being the surviving 4th super conference.) Or various other reactions and counter actions until it shakes out.

    Or, more likely, the idea goes nowhere, if it was ever discussed.

    But I do wonder if there was any talk at all, formal or informal, about quads at the last BCS meeting or if there will be at this next one coming up. The meeting has been described as a brainstorming session, and I wouldn’t be shocked if some new ideas have hatched, seasoned, or morphed in the interim.

    Like

    • vp19 says:

      I could see a few football-oriented ACC schools (Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech), upset over being connected to the increasingly weakened ACC football brand, consider the Big 12; now that West Virginia is to be in that conference, members from the eastern time zone don’t seem so absurd. Louisville would make it 14. Do you stay there, or go to 16, assuming Notre Dame is a pipe dream (at least where football is concerned)? Maryland and Pittsburgh would complement WVU, but I can’t see Pitt pulling a Texas Christian for a conference it has no natural ties to.

      What that Clemson/FSU/GT defection would mean to the ACC is probably another Big East raid, this time taking in Rutgers, Connecticut and South Florida. Some of the ACC schools might offer themselves to the Big Ten, but that doesn’t mean the Big Ten’s buying.

      Like

      • indydoug says:

        Is UC really last in BE expansion attraction ?

        Like

        • Brian says:

          Tier 1 – already gone
          Pitt, Syracuse, WV

          Remainders:
          UL, UConn, Rutgers, USF, UC

          UL – B12 maybe, MBB power
          RU – B10 or ACC, near NYC, great academics
          UConn – ACC (if BC doesn’t block it), near ESPN and NYC, BB power
          USF – in FL but dominated by other schools
          UC – in OH but dominated by another school, tiny stadium

          Depending on who is looking to grow, I could see UC as possibly last. They aren’t clearly above anybody.

          Like

          • Mack says:

            But UC will not be last for long. SMU (or UCF, Houston, SDSU) should claim that spot next year.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            It would probably depend on the conference looking to grow at that point. SMU and UH offer big cities in TX but small fan bases. UCF and SDSU are in FL and CA with small fan bases. UC is in OH with a small fan base and the smallest stadium of the group (Nippert < 40k).

            Whether a conference wants a team from CA, TX, FL or OH would be more important than anything else I would think.

            Like

        • Richard says:

          You could argue that Cincy is more attractive than USF because UC at least has a bball program that could be good. That’s the only other current BE school you could make a case for Cincy being more attractive than, though.

          Like

  6. Playoffs Now says:

    Some followup points. a P12 and B20 actually can reduce travel, at least compared to the presumed 16-school super conferences. P12 could function primarily as a 12 school western conference, B20 as a 12 school midwestern conference and an 8 school eastern conference. The only play outside regions absolutely necessary would be in the pre-Rose Bowl playoffs of quad champs. Probably an improvement for most B1G schools compared to the current setup.

    Quads would add 1 more week of football via the conf playoffs, but they are already talking about adding extra games pre-bowls so as to reduce the number of games beyond New Years. So you could do first round on the current conf champ weekend, the conf championship games the next weekend (I know, finals, but several proposals for the Plus One would have games that weekend, so it is being considered.) Rose Bowl and Sugar become the Final Four between conf champs, title game a week or two afterwards, or maybe even during the off weekend before the Super Bowl. Freeing up current BCS bowls for the free market that Delany and the SEC prefer.

    Remember how Delany hinted that the B1G and P12 play for the Rose Bowl, and hinted that he’d like to see that be a part of any Plus One Final Four. This would do that, while giving him 20 of the 64 power conference teams, where the other conferences have 16, 16, and 12.

    Another thing to consider is that during the P12 talks with Texas and certain B12 schools, it leaked out that not only was P12 Prez Larry Scott considering quads, but he had a unique way to implement them. I don’t think we ever got clarification on what exactly that was, but it certainly sounded like he was proposing a conference Final Four using quads. So if he can sell Delany and the B12 on quads, you’d probably see the SEC open to it, making it hard for the NCAA to fight it if they pursue it as a block. And if quads has been bantered about at least informally, then the B12 (and potentially other conferences) have a new angle to approach target schools with.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      I can’t see the NCAA approving a 2 game conference championship. That encourages the destruction of conferences. There will be a lot of people strongly opposed to that. It also further weakens their already weak argument against a playoff.

      Like

  7. Brian says:

    Let’s remind ourselves where things stand, assuming no more defections:

    2011 BE for FB – 8
    Cincinnati
    Connecticut
    Louisville
    Rutgers
    South Florida
    Pitt
    Syracuse
    West Virginia

    2012 BE for FB – 7 or 8?
    Cincinnati
    Connecticut
    Louisville
    Rutgers
    South Florida
    Pitt
    Syracuse
    West Virginia?

    2013 BE for FB – 12 or 13?
    Cincinnati
    Connecticut
    Louisville
    Rutgers
    South Florida
    Pitt
    Syracuse
    West Virginia?
    Central Florida – all sports
    Houston – all sports
    SMU – all sports
    Boise State – FB only
    San Diego State – FB only

    2014 BE for FB – 10
    Cincinnati
    Connecticut
    Louisville
    Rutgers
    South Florida
    Central Florida
    Houston
    SMU
    Boise State
    San Diego State

    2015 BE for FB – 11+
    Cincinnati
    Connecticut
    Louisville
    Rutgers
    South Florida
    Central Florida
    Houston
    SMU
    Boise State
    San Diego State
    Navy – FB only
    ???

    Questions
    1. Does the BE make divisions and have a CCG in 2013 or wait to see if they will have 12 or more in 2015?

    I think they will aim to try divisions and a CCG out for a year to get a better sense of value for TV.

    East – Cincinnati, Connecticut, Louisville, Rutgers, South Florida, Central Florida
    West – Pitt, Syracuse, Houston, SMU, Boise State, San Diego State

    The divisions punish the deserters and get the “old” five a guaranteed trip to Florida. It also gives the western teams a good shot at the CCG.

    2. In 2015 Navy would be added to the “old” five and the “new” five. Who will be #12?

    Clearly Navy would want AF as a conference mate. AF is also the best TV property left in the MWC at that point. On the other hand, AF said no just recently.

    3. Assuming it is AF and nothing else changes, how will the BE set itself up?

    There are 5 natural geographic pairs (SDSU/BSU, SMU/UH, UCF/USF, UC/UL, UConn/RU) plus the academies. There are 5 western schools, but no natural #6 by geography.

    a. Zipper – I doubt they’ll consider it
    b. Navy in the west – a lot of travel for 1 school, but they are national (maybe they get extra $)
    c. AF east and UC and UL west
    d. UCF west (lock UCF/USF and Navy/AF)

    I’m guessing they’d choose b with some compensation for Navy. Navy should certainly draw fans out west better than any other eastern team. I don’t know if Navy would be thrilled, but they might be OK with it.

    4. What if AF says no again?

    I think not getting AF would be a big problem. That was the selling point for Navy to move west.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      I don’t see PItt and Syracuse hanging around for 2013. Once WVU leaves, I think they’ll announce they are joining the ACC in 2013. It makes no sense for anyone.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        That would make sense, but they’ve made no move to speed up their exit and neither has the ACC. That’s why I left them with their stated exit date. As for WV, I’m still waiting on the courts to see what happens. I could see a court saying it’s the BE or nothing. In the end, I think the BE gets paid by the B12 and/or SEC to let WV go.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          Everything I’ve read is that it would be extraordinary for a court to order WVU to perform. And the Rhode Island court can’t force the state of W. Virginia to do anything. A W. Virginia court isn’t going to order them to stay. The only question is the amount of damages, which should be minimal. Rumours are that the deal has already been struck with numbers from $10-$22 million. I think WVU gets stuck paying it, but they will quickly make it up with B12 TV money.

          Damages are minimal since the TV contract is only $3 million per year for fb schools (fb + bb money) and will probably be higher in the new contract. WVU leaving won’t hurt the basketball contract. So there really are no TV contract damages. The only issue is games that they don’t play. And they are supposed to have 4 of 7 BE games as home games next year. The BE doesn’t need 13 schools in 2013. So basically, its the cost of replacing 3 home games. WVU has already paid $2.5 million of the $5.0 million exit fee, so they pay the other $2.5 million + some amount of damages.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            Everything I’ve read is that it would be extraordinary for a court to order WVU to perform. And the Rhode Island court can’t force the state of W. Virginia to do anything. A W. Virginia court isn’t going to order them to stay.

            I don’t see it as ordering them to perform. They have the choice of not playing. But if they do play, why should the conference they have a contractual obligation to suffer so another conference can benefit?

            The only question is the amount of damages, which should be minimal. Rumours are that the deal has already been struck with numbers from $10-$22 million. I think WVU gets stuck paying it, but they will quickly make it up with B12 TV money.

            There have been lots of rumors. I’ll believe it when I see an official announcement from both sides. I’m not saying it isn’t true, just that I give it no weight.

            Damages are minimal since the TV contract is only $3 million per year for fb schools (fb + bb money) and will probably be higher in the new contract. WVU leaving won’t hurt the basketball contract. So there really are no TV contract damages. The only issue is games that they don’t play. And they are supposed to have 4 of 7 BE games as home games next year. The BE doesn’t need 13 schools in 2013. So basically, its the cost of replacing 3 home games. WVU has already paid $2.5 million of the $5.0 million exit fee, so they pay the other $2.5 million + some amount of damages.

            As for minimal damages, I’m not sure that’s true. They are shorting the TV deal of 7 games, and costing 3 schools a home game against WV which has value. There’s also the simple matter of trying to break a legal contract. The exit fee is a separate cost, and comes with staying for 27 months. They agreed to those terms and have no reason why they can’t fulfill the terms, they just don’t want to do it.

            Like

          • Mack says:

            WVU is as they claim a department of the state of WV. Therefore, the only state court that can order WVU not to play is a WV court and that will not happen. I do not see any federal court getting involved. The BE wants to drag out the WV settlement until Syracuse and Pittsburg cannot bolt in 2012. The simple math for the settlement is $15M B12 money – $3M BE money = $12M what WVU can pay and still get what they would have if they had stay in the BE for 2012. Five teams for 2012 will not work. After the WVU settlement, then the BE will discuss 2013 departure with Syracuse and Pittsburg. With the new teams arriving from CUSA/MWC they are not requried for 2013, and the BE can split the extra 2013 ACC cash with these schools for the early exit.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Mack,

            The ACC doesn’t even want SU and Pitt for 2012. If that was the hold up, it would be done by now.

            Like

    • OT says:

      Hawaii will be available to the BIG EAST after its affiliation agreement with the Mountain West expires in December 2013.

      Of the available “western” candidates, Hawaii makes more sense compared to UNLV, Fresno State, New Mexico, Colorado State, or San Jose State (which is 100% irrelevant in the SFO/SJC/OAK TV market.)

      Texas-San Antonio is the wildcard. There is no secret that UTSA is using the WAC as a stepping stone on its way to the big time.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        I don’t see why San Antonio is more valuable than Fresno/Central Valley. The Central Valley has a good number of people and unlike the Hill Country, there isn’t another local football power pulling away fans. Hawaii offers an extra game, but I don’t see the BE wanting to take them on as a full member; maybe ally as an affiliate, playing 6 games vs. Hawaii every year.

        Like

  8. HuskerBri says:

    What are the chances of the SEC and ACC forming an “alliance,” similar to that of the Big 10 and Pac 12 – having each school play one other team from the other conference each season, and having their conference champs meet in a bowl game (i.e., Sugar)? The scenario for a championship game (Rose and Sugar bowl champs playing) in such a scenario looks like a pretty simple and logical next step. The only traditional powers remaining outside such an arrangement are Texas, Oklahoma, and Notre Dame – easily accommodated into the new 4 conference system.

    Like

    • zeek says:

      It doesn’t seem likely given that there’s already 3 interconference rivalries (FSU-UF, Ga Tech-UGA, Clemson-SC), and those are going to be 3 of the 6 most valuable opponents for the SEC.

      That’s one of the things to think about from the SEC’s perspective. Their TV contract already gets FSU, Ga Tech, and Clemson every other year for those series.

      So who’s left? Just Miami, Va Tech, and UNC. Are those 3 really worth setting up an additional 11 non-conference games, especially given the complications in that the 3 existing rivalries are already set in place and probably wouldn’t rotate?

      Other thing is that the Orange Bowl is a nice tie in for the ACC from a fanbase/travel perspective; the ACC region doesn’t really have ties to New Orleans, although money does talk. But in that case, I’d expect the Sugar Bowl to push hard for the Big 12 since Texas/Oklahoma and the other schools like Oklahoma State are so closeby and the rivlaries would be tighter between the Deep South and Southwest than the East Coast.

      Now from the perspective of basketball, it might make sense for the SEC to set something up with the ACC, although the ACC already has the Big Ten/ACC Challenge and the SEC already has its SEC/Big East Challenge.

      Other thing is, neither has a TV network to take advantage of the more valuable interconference content, and most of the ACC/SEC schools don’t have as many secondary/olympic sports as the Big Ten/Pac-12 schools, so there’s less synergy to having a broad interconference setup.

      Like

      • duffman says:

        HuskerBri,

        I think it has already happened. I stated such on here months ago. When the SEC added MU and not VT it seemed to indicate that the networks and not conference folks like Slive, Delany, or Wofford were calling the shots. Then the ACC leaked that ESPN had contacted them about adding Pitt and SU. Paring the B1G/FOX with the PAC/FOX/ESPN seems like a no brainer. If that is easy to see, then how hard is SEC/ESPN and SEC/ACC?

        In the incubation period of FtT realignment I offered a souther raid by the B1G on Kentucky, and many thought it was implausible. Via the different metrics (football/basketball/brand/size/academics) we kept debating what would college presidents do? Maybe the better question was what would TV executives do? No matter what voice we give to folks like Delany, Slive, or college presidents, they all seem to be trumped by the voice of the networks. While I was trying to think like a college president and adding Kentucky south for the B1G, the networks used the SEC to go north and lock the state of Missouri off from the B1G. Missouri was not the best candidate, but maybe the SEC took them because ESPN did not want the state of Missouri in the FOX camp.

        If FSU + Clemson + Miami + ???? went to the B12, that means ESPN just lost teams, and Fox gained them. It also means the B1G could pick off MD + UNC + UVA + Duke and that would shift college basketball from ESPN to FOX. If I was an executive at ESPN and saw such a possibility, I know it is in my best interest to protect my most valuable assets – SEC for football and ACC for basketball – from going to my competitor. I really think that is why Missouri is in the SEC now, and Virginia Tech is not.

        .

        zeek,

        Other thing is, neither has a TV network to take advantage of the more valuable interconference content, and most of the ACC/SEC schools don’t have as many secondary/olympic sports as the Big Ten/Pac-12 schools, so there’s less synergy to having a broad interconference setup.

        This may be true, but the ACC and SEC share two of the growing sports in the valuable Tier 3 category, and share one already established. Baseball is south, and hockey is north. While the northern schools feed fans to hockey, the southern schools continue to feed fans to baseball. I will defer to Alan, Bamatab, and M(ag) but it looks like the SEC is locking down baseball and the ACC is not far behind. Mississippi State has ~15 K capacity, and Arkansas + LSU + Mississippi + South Carolina are all close to ~ 10 K capacity. Olsen Field seating could double once they are in the SEC west, and Alabama + Florida should get bigger as well. In the ACC Florida State and Clemson have baseball capacity, but if you started crossing basketball and baseball rivals you could sell a Duke vs Kentucky annual baseball series. I could see a Wake Forest vs Vanderbilt in baseball developing as an yearly series between the ACC and SEC, and that is where the Tier 3 growth money will come from.

        The same can be said for women’s basketball. The Duke women played Kentucky @ UK and drew almost 15,000 fans last month. If UNC started an inter conference rival with UTn you could see similar monetary synergy between the Tier 3 values and the development of new income streams in the off season of college football. Last season UT was #1 in women’s basketball attendance numbers at close to 13,000 a game average and almost double #9 Purdue at around 8,000. Look at the Top 20 in attendance last year (ACC / B1G / SEC schools only) :

        #1 Tennessee
        #8 Purdue
        #9 Michigan State
        #11 Kentucky
        #12 TAMU
        #13 Iowa
        #15 Duke
        #16 Maryland
        #19 Wisconsin
        #20 Vanderbilt

        Then look at footprints for the 16 regionals :
        4 of 16 = 25% in ACC footprint
        4 of 16 = 25% in SEC footprint

        The same way you see FSU vs UF / GT vs UGA / Clemson vs USC in football, you could see in ACC vs SEC match ups in sports with room to grow. I am not suggesting that baseball or basketball will overtake college football, but it would be foolish to think those revenue streams will fail to grow at all.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          duffman,

          When the SEC added MU and not VT it seemed to indicate that the networks and not conference folks like Slive, Delany, or Wofford were calling the shots.

          I don’t get that at all. VT said no. TV had nothing to do with it. If TV was involved, both CBS and ESPN would benefit more from VT in the SEC than MO.

          Then the ACC leaked that ESPN had contacted them about adding Pitt and SU. Paring the B1G/FOX with the PAC/FOX/ESPN seems like a no brainer. If that is easy to see, then how hard is SEC/ESPN and SEC/ACC?

          So the B10/P12 deal is all because of Fox? Despite Delany explaining exactly how the idea came about and it not having anything to do with Fox?

          In the incubation period of FtT realignment I offered a souther raid by the B1G on Kentucky, and many thought it was implausible. Via the different metrics (football/basketball/brand/size/academics) we kept debating what would college presidents do? Maybe the better question was what would TV executives do? No matter what voice we give to folks like Delany, Slive, or college presidents, they all seem to be trumped by the voice of the networks.

          The B10 adding UK was less than implausible then and it still is. Neither side wants the other. The COP/C wouldn’t accept UK, and UK is southern to the core in terms of their allegiance. They would never leave the SEC.

          I don’t understand this inflated value you give the TV guys at all. The presidents and commissioners considered money as a factor in realignment, sure. They consulted the TV guys to find out what various combos might be worth. The TV guys had no control, just input. If TV was in control, ND would be in the B10, FSU in the SEC and TAMU in the B12.

          While I was trying to think like a college president and adding Kentucky south for the B1G, the networks used the SEC to go north and lock the state of Missouri off from the B1G. Missouri was not the best candidate, but maybe the SEC took them because ESPN did not want the state of Missouri in the FOX camp.

          You weren’t thinking like a president in wanting to add UK (in our opinions). Only a MBB fan could try to justify that move. Despite your conspiracy theory, the SEC took MO because they were the best of a weak set of choices. The “networks” don’t care where MO is that much. The SEC may have been told that MO was more valuable than WV, or close to the same value and with better academics. It’s not like better candidates were knocking down the SEC’s door.

          If FSU + Clemson + Miami + ???? went to the B12, that means ESPN just lost teams, and Fox gained them. It also means the B1G could pick off MD + UNC + UVA + Duke and that would shift college basketball from ESPN to FOX. If I was an executive at ESPN and saw such a possibility, I know it is in my best interest to protect my most valuable assets – SEC for football and ACC for basketball – from going to my competitor. I really think that is why Missouri is in the SEC now, and Virginia Tech is not.

          What has the B10 said or done to make you think they want to expand to 16 now and not get ND? We’ve all had fun speculating about it, but the ACC 4 probably can’t match the current money and the B10 likes to play each other.

          This may be true, but the ACC and SEC share two of the growing sports in the valuable Tier 3 category, and share one already established. Baseball is south, and hockey is north. While the northern schools feed fans to hockey, the southern schools continue to feed fans to baseball.

          BC and UConn are D-I hockey schools. That’s it for the ACC, and they are in different conferences.

          I will defer to Alan, Bamatab, and M(ag) but it looks like the SEC is locking down baseball and the ACC is not far behind. Mississippi State has ~15 K capacity, and Arkansas + LSU + Mississippi + South Carolina are all close to ~ 10 K capacity. Olsen Field seating could double once they are in the SEC west, and Alabama + Florida should get bigger as well. In the ACC Florida State and Clemson have baseball capacity, but if you started crossing basketball and baseball rivals you could sell a Duke vs Kentucky annual baseball series. I could see a Wake Forest vs Vanderbilt in baseball developing as an yearly series between the ACC and SEC, and that is where the Tier 3 growth money will come from.

          The west takes baseball seriously. I doubt they pull the attendance numbers, but western teams are perennial powers, too.

          The same can be said for women’s basketball. The Duke women played Kentucky @ UK and drew almost 15,000 fans last month. If UNC started an inter conference rival with UTn you could see similar monetary synergy between the Tier 3 values and the development of new income streams in the off season of college football. Last season UT was #1 in women’s basketball attendance numbers at close to 13,000 a game average and almost double #9 Purdue at around 8,000. Look at the Top 20 in attendance last year (ACC / B1G / SEC schools only) :

          #1 Tennessee
          #8 Purdue
          #9 Michigan State
          #11 Kentucky
          #12 TAMU
          #13 Iowa
          #15 Duke
          #16 Maryland
          #19 Wisconsin
          #20 Vanderbilt

          B10 – 4
          SEC – 3 + 1
          ACC – 2 (2 of the lowest 3, too)

          As you note, even by #8 the number is cut in half. It’s not like the ACC is showing particularly strong numbers there.

          Like

        • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

          Duff – SEC Baseball at many schools is a revenue-producing sport, or at least revenue-neutral. LSU Baseball, far and away the leader in baseball revenue, brought in $9 million last year and sold more than 400,000 tickets. That’s more money produced than most men’s basketball teams and more total tickets sold than most basketball and football teams.

          For the 2011 season, every SEC school was in the NCAA top 40 in attendance, including five of the top six. See link below for 2011’s top 44 average attendance for baseball.

          http://www.collegebaseballdaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/National-Attendance-Report-FINAL.pdf

          If you look closer at that list, you’ll see that 33 of the 44 teams on the list are in the South (including Texas and Oklahoma). Eight are from the West, and three are from the Midwest.

          Brian, from a competitive standpoint, the West is always good, the the trend favors the South. Since Georgia won the SEC’s first CWS title in 1990, SEC teams have won a total on 9 NCs, and all Southern teams have won 15, while all Western teams have won 7. The last team not from the West or the South to win a CWS crown was Wichita State in 1989.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Yep. My point was just that you can’t dismiss the west in baseball. The SE has more top teams, but the west will stay strong. The north is a lost cause, I think.

            Like

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Brian – here’s the breakdown of CWS titles since 1990:

            LSU (6) 91, 93, 96, 97, 00, 09
            South Carolina (2) 10, 11
            Oregon State (2) 06, 07
            Texas (2) 02, 05
            Cal State Fullerton (2) 95, 04
            Miami (2) 99, 01
            Georgia – 90
            Pepperdine – 92
            Oklahoma – 94
            USC – 98
            Rice – 03
            Fresno State – 08

            Regarding northern baseball, the B1G did win 6 CWS titles from 53 to 66. Its certainly different times now from the 60s, but northern teams like Nebraska, Notre Dame and UConn have recently fielded competitive teams.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            #8 Creighton
            #16 Wichita St.
            #28 Nebraska (in a rough year)

            These aren’t exactly SunBelt schools. Northern schools could have some success with a committment.

            Like

          • PSUGuy says:

            Over-signing…are you really surprised?

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Somewhat interestingly, they’re all pretty close to Omaha.

            However, what ranking is that?

            Like

          • bullet says:

            That ranking is attendance. All 3 have traditionally had pretty good teams.

            Like

  9. Carl says:

    RIP JVP

    Like

  10. herbiehusker says:

    GBR!

    Like

  11. Mike says:

    Good article on recruiting.

    http://www.mrsec.com/2012/01/recruiting-rankings-do-matter-if-you-know-how-to-look-at-them/


    So recruiting rankings don’t work. Right? Not exactly.

    For kicks we broke the league into fourths. The idea was to see if recruiting rankings worked on a general basis. Boy, did they:

    The top three teams in recruiting rankings from ’02-’06 (Georgia, LSU and Florida) combined for a 17-7 SEC record. That’s a winning percentage of .708

    The next three teams in the recruiting rankings (Tennessee, Auburn and South Carolina) combined for a 14-10 SEC record. That’s a winning percentage of .583.

    The next three teams down the list (Alabama, Arkansas, and Ole Miss) notched an 11-13 SEC record. That’s a winning percentage of .458.

    And the three worst teams in Rivals’ ’02 to “06 recruiting rankings (MSU, Kentucky and Vandy) combined for an 8-24 SEC record. That’s a .250 winning percentage.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      It seems like a lot of people are fighting a false argument. What knowledgeable CFB fans don’t believe recruiting rankings matter? In general, they are a predictor of success. They are not gospel, and the the level of precision recruitniks claim is silly, but every study shows they generally work.

      That doesn’t mean that 5 stars can’t flop and 2 stars can’t become all-pros, or that #1 classes guarantee NCs.

      Like

    • Richard says:

      I posted this in the other thread but will put this in the new one:

      Great post showing that there is very little correlation between offensive recruiting success and offensive success (besides QB) but a significant correlation between defensive recruiting success and defensive success (with all position groups being more correlated than QB):

      http://mgoblog.com/diaries/what's-5-star-really-worth-predicting-future-team-success-recruiting-rankings

      Like

  12. OT says:

    Hawaii is now on the clock.

    Hawaii went from a good deal with the WAC (with the ability to put together a PPV package of games on Oceanic Time Warner Cable for $5 million/year) to an awful deal with the Mountain West (only $1 million in rights fee guaranteed, with the possibility that NONE of Hawaii’s home games will be available on TV in Honolulu because Oceanic Time Warner Cable is not obligated to add the mtn.)

    Hawaii’s deal with the Mountain West runs through 2013.

    Hawaii needs to move, FAST, if it wants to join the BIG EAST.

    Like

  13. Mack says:

    It is the conclusion of negitiations, rather than the start which may stop B12 expansion. At the start the B12 will be getting hard figures for what a CCG is worth and the value of potential members. Depending on those $$$ that may increase the number of members in favor of expansion.

    Like

  14. Eric says:

    Navy alone to the Big East still doesn’t make sense to me from a Navy perspective. They have a long history of being an independent and have 4 games they have to play every year which will be non-conference. This means they are going to play 8 Big East teams, Army, Air Force, and Notre Dame and that’s it. They will have zero flexibility unless they want to play a game at Hawaii (and unless Hawaii is in conference, they couldn’t even ask for a return game).

    Like

    • Eric says:

      OK. Correction, 1 game free. I can add 🙂

      Like

      • zeek says:

        Big East indicated earlier that they were going to consider possibly 9 games.

        That view is lent credibility by the fact that they are much more similar to the Pac-12 in not needing extra home games and the issue of expensiveness of “buy games”.

        Also, they’re probably going to spend a number of years at 9 games until Navy + 1 join (given that they’ll be a 10 team conference for what seems to be 3 seasons).

        For scheduling purposes, they may just choose to stay at 9 games. All of that exacerbates your points.

        I think it has to be Air Force in the other division (with a guaranteed cross-over with Navy) in order to make sense overall.

        Like

        • Eric says:

          Thanks Zeek. I knew there was some reason I had been thinking Navy would have zero flexibility (literally) and that’s why it was. I’ll admit I’ll still be kind of surprised if they go up to 9, but I could see it.

          Like

          • frug says:

            I know about a year ago Oliver Luck at West Virginia had talked about the possibility of a 10 or even 11 game conference schedule.

            Like

          • zeek says:

            It makes more sense for the Big East than any other conference to be honest.

            They’re the ones hit hardest by the buy games (relative to the other conferences having the smallest TV contract per member), and so I could easily see them go to 9 games. Other thing is that there’s no one that really has to have home games to fund the ADs as much as the biggest schools in the Big Ten need it per se.

            Attendance figures in the new Big East are around 30-50k per game, so if I had to guess, I think they stay at 9 games after using that for 2 or so years.

            They might not if they grab a #11 team before 2015 and go down to 8 (i.e. old Big Ten-11 schedule), since you can’t have 9 games with 11 teams.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Zeek:

            No one really needs 7 home games besides the biggest schools in the B10 and SEC, you mean.

            Like

        • Richard says:

          BE could play 9 conference game, or they could form alliances with the independents Army, BYU, ND, and (in the future) Hawaii (or, if AFA joins, have 9 conference games and play their allies).

          For instance, once they get to 12 schools (let’s assume they add AFA), Hawaii plays 6 BE teams a year, alternating between divisions, BYU plays 6 BE schools: (Boise and SDSU annually + 1 each of the TX, FL, greater NYC, and Ohio Valley schools), and Army plays 6 BE schools (Navy & AFA annually + 1 each of the TX, FL, greater NYC, and Ohio Valley schools). ND plays Navy (maybe AFA) + whoever agrees to home-and-neutral-site series.

          If it’s Fresno instead of AFA, then BYU plays Boise, SDSU, & Fresno annually, Army plays Navy, Rutgers, and UConn annually, and they both play one each of the TX, FL, and Ohio Valley schools. Hawaii still alternates between divisions.

          You could even set up a schedule. In a 13 week season, Thanksgiving week would be 6 conference games, of course, but weeks 7-12 could be for the other 4 intradivisional games + 2 open weeks to fit in all the Hawaii, BYU, and Army games (this allows these schools to fill in the latter half of the schedule, which is always the toughest thing for an independent); 18 games for 24 slots; maybe ND games during this period as well. If they play 9 conference games, weeks 2-6 are for the 4 interdivisional games (and a open slot for an OOC game). Week 1 is for an OOC game.

          Each BE team would effectively have 2 open OOC slots for everyone else (and ND). The only game they’d have to buy is the annual FCS game, but as Zeek noted, guarantee games really don’t make sense for BE schools.

          Like

          • I’m fairly certain that part of the understanding with Navy joining is that the Big East would stay at an 8-game conference schedule. I could see them backing off on that if Air Force ends up joining (in which case there’s a net neutral impact to Navy’s scheduling).

            Like

          • frug says:

            One thing to keep in mind is that by 2015 we may well see the addition of a 13th game. Actually, if the $2,000 stipend and 9 game conference schedules become the “new normal” then I would be surprised if they didn’t add a game.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            I think 2015 would be too soon. School presidents aren’t ready for it yet. Also, unless the season gets extended to after the first week in Dec (doubtful because of finals) or before Labor Day weekend, there won’t be enough spots to fill in all the games (with the hodgepodge of conferences with different numbers of conference games and OOC games & weekday games, at least 1 bye week is necessary in CFB).

            So first you’ll see them allow neutral site games to be played the last week of August again.
            Then, you’ll see them do a trial of a 13-game regular season in those years where there are 14 weeks from Labor Day to Thanksgiving weekend (inclusive).
            Only after that would they try a permanent 13-game regular season.

            It took 36 years for the NCAA to permanently move from an 11-game schedule to a 12-game schedule (and note that during most of that time, 3 OOC games for the B10, Pac, & SWC were the norm, so most administrators wouldn’t see that as too few), so don’t expect a permanent 13-game regular season for at least a decade or 2.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            frug,

            One thing to keep in mind is that by 2015 we may well see the addition of a 13th game.

            How do you see that happening? Will they start the season the weekend before Labor Day? Will they move the CCGs to the second weekend in December on top of Army/Navy? Will they eliminate a bye week (right now they play 12 in 13 or 14 weeks)?

            The presidents will fight any of those options. Starting earlier runs into the summer term. Ending later encroaches on finals and hurts Army/Navy. Even coaches don’t want 12 straight games, and losing a bye week makes the HI exemption impossible in many years. With the exploding TV money coming in, the financial argument for a 13th game loses a lot of steam. If they want the money that badly, they’d push for a playoff first.

            Like

  15. […] In the Navy: Midshipmen to Join the Big East in 2015 (FRANK THE TANK’S SLANT)The greatest flight risks, in my semi-educated opinion, are Louisville and Rutgers to the Big 12. I don’t buy further ACC expansion without Notre Dame for one second, and I don’t buy Notre Dame joining any conference for one second. […]

    Like

  16. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    It looke like the Big XII-2-1+1-1+1? is the kicking the tires on some more realistic choices – Louisville and BYU.

    http://chronicle.com/article/Further-Big-12-Expansion-Is/130446/

    Like

    • charlie says:

      if the Big XII-2-1+1-1+1 takes Louisville and the Big East managed to already add AFA, what are the odds that the Big East tries to make a play at Army to replace Louisville so that they can have all the service academies? that’d be better than having all of the railroads in monopoly!

      Like

      • zeek says:

        Hard to see Army going anywhere right now. Given their history in C-USA, it seems unlikely that they’d be given the go-ahead to join any conference…

        Like

      • Richard says:

        Much more likely that the BE order of preference (if AFA refuses to join) is Fresno, ECU (if Louisville leaves), and then UNLV (if all else fails).

        Army may be an affiliated ally, playing 6 games against BE teams a year, but I don’t see either side wanting Army in the BE as a full football member.

        Like

    • cutter says:

      Not much of a shock there. While we don’t know how the post-season is going to look and if a Plus One format of some shape or format is going to be adopted, I suspect the Big XII looked at how 11-1 Oklahoma State was excluded from the BCS Championship game and took note. They also realized that among the major conferences, they were the only one that didn’t have a conference championship game. I realize that Texas–I mean, the Big XII–was happy with a nine-game conference schedule, a round robin and no CCG, I suspect they’re seriously rethinking the matter–especially with a new television contract on the horizon.

      We’ll see what happens. Nebraska, Texas A&M, Missouri and Colorado leave while TCU, West Virginia and now perhaps BYU and Louisville join up. Part of me wonders whether or not they felt compelled to investigate this in order to make their overall schedule more attractive. Outside of Texas and Oklahoma, there are no traditional powers, but there are a number of really good programs in TCU, OkState and WVU (I have no idea what K-State will be like post-Bill Snyder). Texas Tech, Baylor and Kansas have seen some glimpses of success, but not in a really well sustained manner. BYU and Louisville could help that portfolio of teams. If they stay with nine conference games, you then have to wonder what the impact will be on non-conference scheduling–especially if the prerequisite for getting a bowl is now seven wins. With the Big Ten/Pac 12 scheduling agreement in place, the number of sources for games against quality opponents took a hit.

      If BYU does join, it represents a real change in their thinking. They weren’t able to swing it last time it was discussed, but it makes sense to give it another go and see how a television rights deal could be worked out.

      Speaking of television, the last I read about the Longhorn Network is that it was having trouble getting statewide distribution on all the cable networks in Texas. I don’t think anyone is surprised by that, but it will be interesting to see how the LHN works out over time. I also understand SoonerVision is also up, but that works in concert with existing Fox Sports Networks in Oklahoma.

      Wither the Big East? If Louisville leaves and Navy joins, then they’re back down to ten teams. Do they look at Air Force again? How about the other usual suspects–Temple, East Carolina, Memphis, Southern Mississippi, Rice or even Hawaii? For football, they essentially become another version of C-USA or the Mountain West, but with a greater geographic reach and I do have to wonder if the conference will have BCS status–if such a thing exists down the road anyway.

      One other thing of note. If the Big XII were to get to 12 teams, that means the five major conferences would have 64 total programs. For lack of a better way to describe it, that means there’s “critical mass” available to form four 16-team super conferences if circumstances dictate it in some future scenario for college athletics. If the major conferences ever wanted to break away from the NCAA and form their own association for whatever reason, then they’d have the schools to do it.

      Like

  17. Richard says:

    Frank, if bowl elgibility is raised to 7 wins (which would look better), I think you’ll see 2 wins against FCS teams being allowed to count towards bowl elgibility. Need to keep those guarantee game payouts at $1M or below, after all, and nearly all schools outside of the MAC, WAC, and Sun Belt are demanding home-and-homes now.

    Like

  18. Redhawk says:

    Another Big 12 to look at ACC schools rumor. Again from a West Virginia blog.

    http://www.eerinsider.com/2012-articles/january/big-12-to-target-acc.html

    Like

    • Mike says:

      I don’t have a lot of confidence in articles written by someone who’s nick name is “the dude.”

      Like

      • Redhawk says:

        But a guy named “Frank the Tank” you are ok with? “the Dude” may or may not know crap, it’s the interwebs.

        Like

        • greg says:

          I don’t think FTT tries to scoop news via sources. He just uses publicly available information to write interesting interpretations.

          “the dude” said he wanted to scoop the news via sources.

          Big difference.

          Like

        • zeek says:

          The guy offers no real sources, and the rationales are extremely weak.

          Right now the Big 12’s best bet is Big East schools. It’s hard to see any ACC schools leaving for the Big 12 when many aren’t even considering the SEC or Big Ten.

          Like

          • vp19 says:

            For schools like Clemson, Florida State and Georgia Tech, I could see where they would perceive the Big 12 as their last best hope to escape the mediocre football brand called the ACC. The SEC bars the door, the Big Ten isn’t interested (and of the three, only Tech has the academic chops) and there are no other even remotely sensible alternatives. Yes, it’s a Texas and Oklahoma fiefdom, but sometimes serf status can be tolerated when you’re making lots more money. Is it a lead-pipe cinch? Hardly, but put those three in alongside Louisville, and you’ve got an intriguing conference:

            East — Baylor, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Texas Christian, West Virginia
            West — Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas Tech

            Play a nine-game schedule with two automatic crossover games (so the four Texas schools face each other annually.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            You mean the mediocre football brand those 3 schools built by not winning as much lately? I don’t think they can escape their own mediocrity.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            In fairness, those 3 all have 2 division and 1 conference title in 7 years and compete nearly every year. They may not have been top 5 material, but they’ve been better than mediocre. Other than those 3 only VT (5), BC (2) and Wake Forest (1) have division titles.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            In fairness, those 3 all have 2 division and 1 conference title in 7 years and compete nearly every year. They may not have been top 5 material, but they’ve been better than mediocre. Other than those 3 only VT (5), BC (2) and Wake Forest (1) have division titles.

            I’m not sure how much an ACC division title means.

            In the past 7 seasons
            Overall W%:
            7. VT 0.779
            26. BC 0.637
            31. Clemson 0.620
            31. GT 0.620
            43. Miami 0.568
            45. FSU 0.563

            Conference W%
            5. VT 0.803
            24. GT 0.655
            35. Clemson 0.603
            41. BC 0.569
            41. FSU 0.569

            ACC CG:
            VT 3-2
            WF 1-0
            Clemson 1-1
            FSU 1-1
            GT 1-1
            BC 0-2

            BCS:
            ACC 1-7
            VT 1-3
            Clemson 0-1
            FSU 0-1
            GT 0-1
            WF 0-1

            The ACC has not been great lately. VT has been the class of the ACC by far, and VT hasn’t been great either. I don’t think teams that average about 8-5 or worse (4.5-5 ACC wins) have room to complain about mediocrity from others.

            Like

        • Mike says:

          I can’t add much more to what @Greg said. If Frank the Tank was reporting news, I would be just as skeptical. A lot in that article didn’t make sense to me. Pitt to the Big 12? BC to the Big 12? I don’t see it.

          I didn’t intend to disparage you from posting it. I enjoy reading these things just as much as I do Purple Book Cat. Fun scenarios, but not a lot of truth.

          Like

        • Actual SAT question:

          Please choose one of the following. If my life depended upon conference realignment news being correct, I would trust someone named:

          (A) The Dude

          (B) The Wolf

          (C) Frank the Tank

          (D) Randolph Duke

          (E) Mortimer Duke

          (F) Craig James

          Like

    • frug says:

      Exhibit 1 why this article is full of it:

      Several of the schools, who value football more than basketball, are simply tired of North Carolina and the rest of Tobacco Road running the conference without thought to what’s best for the entire league

      Because no conference screams egalitarianism quite like the Big XII…

      Like

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        are simply tired of North Carolina and the rest of Tobacco Road running the conference without thought to what’s best for the entire league

        Actually, that sounds about right.

        Don’t you remember? Florida State, Miami, and Virginia Tech were added because UNC and Duke wanted to enhance the college basketball profile.

        Oh wait…

        Like

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        Tobacco Road schools wield considerable influence over the league, but consider:

        In the mid- to late-70’s, they were a majority: 4 out of 7 schools.

        In the 80’s and early 90’s, with Georgia Tech in the fold, they were 50%.

        With Florida State joining in the mid-90’s, they were a large minority (4 of 9).

        With Miami, Virginia Tech, and Boston College, they were 33% of the league.

        With Syracuse and Pitt joining, the league is now only 4 out of 14 schools in Tobacco Road. That means there are just as many schools located in the Northeast (including Maryland) as there are in North Carolina.

        Give me a break.

        Florida State, Clemson, Miami, Va. Tech, and any other so-called “football schools” (as though UNC doesn’t care about football even though it was willing to spend millions and millions on a coaching staff with questionable characters all in the pursuit of elite recruits and W’s on the field) were all a part of the vote to invite Syracuse and Pitt… because who the H else were they going to invite? Nobody’s leaving the B1G or SEC. Getting one of the elite B12 schools like Texas was just a pipe dream. ‘Cuse and Pitt bring the “football schools” a good history, at the very least, in the sport of football, and a lot of something (basketball) that brings more TV money to the ACC than it does to most conferences.

        Anyway, at this point, with the ACC being an egalitarian league, and with fourteen schools scattered fairly evenly in states up and down the east coast, there’s no one who “dominates” conference politics. There may be some people who carry greater influence based on longevity and credibility built up over the course of their careers (i.e., Coach K, athletic directors with long tenures, chairs of committees, etc.), but not really individual schools.

        Like

    • metatron5369 says:

      If it’s true, I can’t see it being anything more than leverage in politics inside the ACC. Telling Tobacco Road that they have options brings a lot of power to the table when they discuss things.

      Like

  19. Phil says:

    To me the Big East adding Navy now adds credence to expansion rumors surrounding the Big 12.

    The Big East said the Navy announcement happened now to solidify their lineup before TV negotiations happen. First, Navy is the 11th team and you aren’t stopping there so they didn’t solidify anything, and ESPN has an exclusive negotiating window that has to pass this summer before the Big East can even talk contract with anyone else.

    So, those are not valid reasons you announce Navy now instead of 6 months from now. What IS a reason is that the act of announcing Navy as an addition doubled the BE exit fee to $10mm.

    The Big East rushing to add Navy now means they are very worried about losing one or two more teams to the Big 12, and soon.

    Like

  20. frug says:

    Big XII expansion committee meeting today. Will decide whether to stick with 10 or go to 11 or 12

    Like

    • frug says:

      Also, the Big XII has said it will meet its Feb. 1 deadline to release its 2012 schedule, so we should know by then what will happen in the WVU-BEast showdown.

      Like

      • zeek says:

        Louisville/BYU is a perfect combo as we’ve discussed many times.

        If they can’t get that done, maybe 11 with 8 games like the old Big Ten-11 was until they figure out a legitimate #12.

        Otherwise, it’s Cincinnati or Rutgers or someone else to be the 12th.

        Like

        • The challenge truly is who to pair up with Louisville to get to 12. Now, I think the reason why the Big Ten stayed at 11 for so long was a very unique situation. First, school #11 was one of the most valuable schools in the country that would clearly be a financial boon by itself (Penn State). Second, there was a fairly lengthy period of time after that where the Big Ten legitimately believed it was around the corner from adding Notre Dame, so a spot was being held for the Irish. It took almost two decades for the Big Ten to truly move on, in which event they added a different king in Nebraska.

          The overarching point is that a conference really wouldn’t want to stay at 11 on purpose, especially if #11 is more of a solid add (like Louisville) as opposed to a grand slam. The Big 12 is just throwing 11 out there as a hypothetical option to keep people like BYU on their toes. In reality, the Big 12 really needs a conference championship game to make any further expansion worth it.

          Like

    • frug says:

      Question;

      At what point do the Big East’s basketball schools start discuss breaking away from the football schools? If Louisville leaves, then the only real basketball draws left amongst the football schools are UCONN and maybe Cincinnati. Even worse, they will looking at replacing 4 of the strongest basketball programs in the country, with Houston, SMU and UCF. At a certain point don’t the Catholic schools get tired of watering down the basketball conference in order to try and rescue the football conference?

      Like

      • frug says:

        I should add that if they do split, they could grab Butler and Xavier to replace Cincinnati and UConn, if they wanted to.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          In bball revenues and attendance, Xavier & Dayton would be amongst the upper half of the BE Catholic schools (Creighton would be there in attendance). Butler wouldn’t.

          Like

          • I don’t think the Big East Catholic schools would ever willingly split (they are still better off negotiating their TV deals in conjunction with the football side), but in any “CYO League” scenario, St. Louis University would probably be at the top of the list of invitees.

            Like

        • zeek says:

          Well, the thing is, they’ve more or less established themselves as the little brother to the rest of the BCS/AQ conferences.

          Since the conference is going to land on its feet, I think the Catholic schools will look the other way.

          Plus, ND still wants the conference to be a hybrid, so that’s a considerable help to the forces of status quo.

          Like

      • @frug – As long as Notre Dame is a member, the other Catholic schools will make due. The lure of being in the same league as ND for a Catholic school can’t be underestimated. At the same time, the new all-sports members really look a lot like public versions of the Catholic members: urban schools in major markets. That was deliberate since the Catholic members could live with those types of schools even if the Big East has further defections.

        The type of school that the Catholics do NOT want is a completely football-focused school that’s in a small market, such as East Carolina. In the minds of the Catholic schools, that type of school doesn’t bring anything to the table for them. At least schools in major markets, even if they aren’t that great in basketball, can help in recruiting and TV contract values.

        That’s why I think a school like Tulane would be very much on the Big East’s radar if the league needs to replace an all-sports member.

        Like

        • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

          Frank – New Orleans has to be the most Catholic city in the South. Heck Loyola University of New Orleans is located right across a sidewalk from Tulane on St. Charles Avenue.

          Like

        • Richard says:

          I think UNLV would be more attractive than Tulane, though if Louisville leaves, the BE could also replace with a football-only school (Fresno or ECU) and 16 is likely more appealing to them than 17.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            Memphis would more attractive as well. Still, football drives the bus, so I still maintain the order of preference (if not AFA) is Fresno followed by ECU (both football only), then Memphis or UNLV.

            Like

        • frug says:

          As long as Notre Dame is a member, the other Catholic schools will make due. The lure of being in the same league as ND for a Catholic school can’t be underestimated

          Couldn’t they just bring Notre Dame along with them?

          Like

          • zeek says:

            As a group they’re too weak in other sports outside of basketball. That’s why they need the more comprehensive programs.

            Like

    • Redhawk says:

      Big 12 Chuch Neines says NO REALIGNMENT FOR YOU!

      actually he says the committee phone call was just routine, not adding anymore in 2012 (DUH) and they like 10 teams for now. Not sure

      http://collegesportsblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2012/01/neinas-sees-no-further-big-12-expansion.html

      Like

  21. acaffrey says:

    ESPN and others suggesting Schiano to the Bucs. Who knows?

    But I wonder if this puts Tom Bradley into the Rutgers discussion, if true.

    Also, I wonder how much of this is premised on Rutgers not being likely to escape the Big East for a while now.

    Like

    • bobestes says:

      I think it’s premised on “You don’t turn down an NFL job if you are the HC at a school like Rutgers”

      Like

      • acaffrey says:

        How do you turn down Michigan, Penn State, and Miami?

        The money is not going to be that much different. And there will be more longevity.

        Something changed, IMHO.

        Like

        • Phil says:

          Yes, Rutgers is in the new Big East, and Boise and SDSU can leave with minimal exit fees if BCS autobids go away, then the new Big East becomes CUSA.

          Like

          • zeek says:

            Big East’s TV money will keep it together. They should be getting $7-8M for football in their next contract. Maybe more or less depending on bidders like NBC Sports, etc.

            They’ll be the middle ground between the conferences pulling in $14M per team.

            Can’t see any of the teams leaving that kind of situation given the exposure and money that they’d get in the Big East over the C-USA/MWC, MAC, Sun Belt, WAC, etc.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            @zeek
            I’ve heard estimates of $7-$10 million, but I thought that was all sports.

            I don’t see this group getting more than the previous Big East which was offered $11 million with Pitt, SU and WVU.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            bullet:

            That’d still be several times what the MWC and CUSA schools gets. Also don’t see any of this collection of schools being able to get the $5M that Hawaii gets from its previous PPV deal or the $8-12M(?) that BYU gets from ESPN as an independent.

            Like

        • zeek says:

          According to ESPN, it’s a combo:

          “Schiano was intrigued by the challenge of coaching in the NFL and also was concerned about the perceived uncertainty of the future direction of the Big East Conference, a source told ESPN’s Joe Schad.”

          Like

        • Brian says:

          acaffrey,

          The money will be very different. The NFL pays a lot more than the top colleges, let alone Rutgers.

          Like

        • Richard says:

          Brian already talked about the money. In any case, Miami doesn’t pay like the top dogs do, and I didn’t hear of Schiano getting an offer from PSU; in any case, I can see why he’d prefer the NFL over dealing with the mess there (O’Brien’s doing it to get a head coaching job). That leaves only Michigan, and Schiano will almost certainly get more coaching the Dolphins than UM was willing to shell out.

          Like

    • Brian says:

      acaffrey,

      Also, I wonder how much of this is premised on Rutgers not being likely to escape the Big East for a while now.

      That’s part of it. Not getting the PSU job is probably part of it. Having plateaued at RU and wanting out while he was still somewhat desirable was a factor. Doubling his salary (a rough guess since we don’t know his new deal’s #s yet) is also part of it.

      Like

  22. Mike says:

    Neinas on Mizzou

    http://www.columbiatribune.com/weblogs/behind-the-stripes/2012/jan/26/big-12-commish-tees-off-on-missouri/


    “We had a teleconference call with those in the SEC, Big East, ACC, Mountain West and Conference USA. We all agreed we could save money and avoid litigation if all held serve for 2012-13. All agreed. But Missouri made a very selfish decision. It’s been very disruptive. Missouri gave us notice in November” 2011, “and it’s pretty difficult to move forward then.”

    Like

    • Mike says:

      More:

      http://m.kansascity.com/kcstar/db_/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=yNt2Zk1d&full=true#display


      He was asked why he was saying those things now when Missouri’s move to the SEC in 2012-13 was already announced, just as Neinas had already assured West Virginia’s move from the Big East to the Big 12 would happen in 2012.

      “Because it’s true,” Neinas said.

      Neinas went on to say that the Big 12 offered Missouri concessions to stay in the Big 12 and not move to the SEC until 2013-14.

      But Neinas would not reveal any specifics of that offer and supposed concessions, but did contend that SEC commissioner Mike Slive had told Neinas that Slive would be willing to delay MU’s inclusion in the SEC until 2013-14.

      “Mike Slive,” Neinas said, “said that he could live with 13 teams (for 2012). He advised Missouri not once, but twice. Mike also advanced our proposal to Missouri as did our (Big 12) chairman, Burns Hargis.

      [snip]

      In much the same manner as he spoke of Missouri, Neinas also criticized the Big East in the Gazette story.

      “The Big East gets on planes and flies all over the country inviting other schools,” Neinas said. “But they raise hell when West Virginia wants to come to the Big 12?”

      Like

      • bullet says:

        A&M is having great difficulty getting their last 2 slots filled on their schedule. Byrne was commenting he was getting turned down by scores of schools. And this mess is in part because the SEC didn’t tell Missouri to wait (and the Big East’s stubborness). OU is having trouble filling their last slot. And the Big East school’s aren’t sure how many they have to fill.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          OU, FSU (WVU wants to drop them), and TAMU could play each other. Or, if WVU joins the B12, plenty of BE schools will need to fill slots. These schools should just contact the BE.

          Like

  23. Read The D says:

    Divisions seem really weird if Louisville and BYU are both admitted into the Big XII. I wouldn’t think BYU would be in a division with Louisville and West Virginia. Texas and Oklahoma have said they don’t want to be in a division with TCU. I believe BYU does not want to be in a division with Texas and OU. It would be an interesting arrangement however it works out.

    Like

    • zeek says:

      I think it’d have to be East-West.

      Either a zipper model with protected cross-over rivalries like

      East: Texas, Baylor, Oklahoma, Kansas, Louisville, West Virginia
      West: Texas Tech, TCU, OSU, KSU, Iowa State, BYU

      Protected crossover rivalries: Texas-Texas Tech, Baylor-TCU, Oklahoma-OSU, Kansas-KSU, Louisville-Iowa State, BYU-WVU.

      Or if they don’t want protected rivalries as the old Big 12 didn’t have them:

      East: Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahooma, Oklahoma State, Louisville, West Virginia
      West: TCU, Baylor, Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, BYU

      But I don’t think you can really do that since one division is too weak. I think you need OSU, TCU, Texas Tech, Kansas State to balance out Texas + Oklahoma and to stick Baylor + Kansas (and/or Iowa State) to balance it out.

      You don’t want to have a division that too few care about…, so that’s probably why I’d separate OSU and Texas Tech from Texas and Oklahoma.

      Like

      • acaffrey says:

        I am thinking this:

        Texas Oklahoma
        Texas Tech Oklahoma State
        BYU TCU
        Kansas State Baylor
        Kansas Iowa State
        West Virginia Louisville

        With protected rivalry.

        RRR protected.

        All schools outside of Texas get at least one game in Texas.

        BYU-TCU seems like a nice, natural, rivalry. Baylor-TCU preserved. WVU-Louisville preserved.

        Right now, the Oklahoma side is unduly strong. But that could switch back. Who knows?

        The loss of the Baylor-Texas game would suck. Probably 900,000 other reasons why this thing fails anyway.

        Like

        • zeek says:

          Well if you’re the Big 12, I definitely think you want Texas and Oklahoma on one side.

          That way your CCG is likely to have one of the two every year. The ACC’s Florida State/Miami example is far more instructive to the Big 12 which is really relying on those two to carry the brand.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            Texas and Oklahoma prefer to be in the same division so they don’t have to beat the other twice to get to a national championship game. Big 12 has had enough history with teams getting upset in the championship game. 98-KSU lost to A&M and missed a spot in BCS game (and any BCS bowl), 01-Texas lost by 2 to CU who they beat 41-7 earlier in the year and missed a spot in the BCS game & any BCS bowl (and Nebraska who lost by 40 to CU went), 04- OU lost to KSU but still made it in the championship game, 07- Missouri lost to OU and missed a spot in the BCS game & any BCS bowl, 09- If UT had mismanaged the clock by an additional second they would have missed the BCS game. So in 15 years, 3 teams got knocked out of the title game & any BCS bowl at all and 2 others nearly did. And the Big 12 still managed to send 8 teams to the title game.

            Like

          • frug says:

            To be fair, if Texas had lost in ’09 then the Big XII would have got 2 BCS bids instead of 1 so it would have been better for the conference as a whole, and while Mizzou missed out in ’07 another Big XII (Kansas) took their spot (though I think Missouri was more deserving than the Kansas even with another loss).

            Like

          • frug says:

            On other thing, putting Oklahoma and Texas in the same division would really hurt the other division financially. Right now everyone is guaranteed a home game against either OU or UT every year, if they were put in the same division they might not even be able to guarantee them any game against one of the big boys every season.

            (And this is to say nothing about competitive balance issues…)

            Like

          • bullet says:

            @frug
            The Big 12 benefitted in total BCS bids from their championship games. BUT the conference was hurt in getting into the title game. And individual schools got hurt in BCS bids (but usually in favor of a different member of the Big 12).

            Like

          • acaffrey says:

            The problem is not so much that Texas and Oklahoma being in the division makes it weak… it’s that the carry ons for those schools are so much better than the alternative.

            How about this ten:

            A:
            Texas
            Oklahoma
            Baylor
            Louisville
            Kansas State
            Iowa State

            B:
            Texas Tech
            Oklahoma State
            TCU
            West Virginia
            Kansas
            BYU

            Locked in rivalries by #, i.e. Texas v TT, Oklahoma v OSU, etc. BYU gets stuck with Iowa State. Oh well.

            Texas keeps games against Oklahoma, Baylor, Texas Tech every year.

            OSU, Kansas, etc, all remain guaranteed to have at least one game in Texas every year. Possibly more, depending on the cross-division games.

            Although (A) should be top heavy most years…. the team that finishes 3rd will have a really good chance at being a top 15 team if they win out in the rest of their games. See Arkansas this year. You can be 3rd in a division of heavyweights and be top 5.

            (B) is not top heavy, but it is also very balanced. And OSU, WVU, and TCU have been top 10 teams in the past 10 years. Not like they cannot anchor a division if need be.

            Like

      • curious2 says:

        Re Big 12 divisions and why they didn’t expand (Zeek)

        I believe your possible divisions makes clear why the Big 12 is better off at 10 teams that play each other in an interesting competition.

        Aside from UT and OK, no one is a great anchor for a division:

        WVU is very isolated from the other conference teams, and of the others:

        UK, KSU, ISU, OSU, TCU, Baylor, TT, possibly UL, even BYU:

        as you put it: “You don’t want to have a division that too few care about”.

        Like

    • TX_Andy says:

      I have trouble believing Texas and Oklahoma don’t want to be in the same division with TCU. Texas needs meaningful games against other Texas schools, so the game with TCU will be the second most important game on their schedule next year. With the huge alumni fan bases of the Oklahoma schools in Dallas, they will want as much exposure there as they can get. And TCU will also want to be in a Big XII South division for the guaranteed sellouts against those schools and the additional revenue from being able to double their ticket prices for those games.

      If the Big XII were to expand to 12 teams, I can’t see it being split any differently than before. Expanding to 16 teams would be easier to split as it would basically be two separate conferences.

      Like

      • frug says:

        Oklahoma already plays in Dallas every year so I don’t really see how playing TCU helps them in that regard. UT will also do just fine if the only Texas schools they play every year are Baylor and Texas Tech, and I’d bet dollars to dimes that Oklahoma St. will be Texas’ second biggest game next year. Plus, its not like Oklahoma and Texas have trouble selling out their stadiums anyways (they aren’t USC or Miami).

        On the other hand, as you mentioned, annual games against Oklahoma and Texas would be a boon for TCU which is precisely why Oklahoma and Texas would want to avoid that if at all possible.

        Like

        • bw says:

          If they split up OU and UT as a protected rivalry to balance out the power it could look like this:

          North
          OU
          OSU
          KU
          KSU
          ISU
          BYU

          South
          UT
          TT
          TCU
          Baylor
          WV
          Louisville

          This would restore some old Big 8 and SWC traditional rivalries, have the storylines every year of the smaller schools trying to knock of the big dogs as well as maximizing the TV dollars for the new TV deal as you would always have the possibility of an OU/UT rematch. In a sense this is the same priniciples the B1G used by splitting up Ohio St. and Michigan.

          Of course OU and UT would have to buy in, but I dont think its completely out of the realm of possibility.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            Pretty certain OU and Texas don’t want to have to meet each other in the title game again in order to win the conference.

            Like

      • bullet says:

        Texas regularly has played Houston and Rice. They have not played SMU or TCU since the breakup of the Big 12. They have their OU game in Dallas every year.

        Like

  24. Wes Haggard says:

    This is a very interesting hypotheseus. And if the SEC, maybe when the SEC Network comes into being, the money would be too much not to turn down. I could sure see this as the future of the college football world. And I could see Maryland and Virginia becoming members of the B1G, maybe even Maryland, Virginia, Duke and ?????

    http://outkickthecoverage.com/secs-future-will-include-16-teams-four-divisions-of-four.php

    SEC’s Future Will Include 16 Teams, Four Divisions of FourPublished on: January 26, 2012 | Written by: Clay Travis

    16

    For a couple of years now I’ve been writing that the ultimate future of the SEC is a 16 team conference with four divisions of four teams each. As you’ve seen from OTKC’s articles so far this week, the addition of Texas A&M and Missouri added over $100 million in revenue to the coming SEC Network, a network that we showed you would likely be worth in excess of a billion dollars a year in a decade or less. Now the question that immediately arises is this, which two teams will the SEC add to the conference to get to 16 teams?

    I think the answer is simple, the SEC will expand to add teams in the states of North Carolina and Virginia. Why North Carolina and Virginia and which teams in those conferences? Read on to find out.

    But first, let’s discuss the primary obstacle to the SEC expanding to 16 teams — an existing NCAA rule that allows the conference title game to take place.

    That NCAA rule states as follows:

    17.9.1.2 (c) Twelve-Member Conference Championship Game. [FBS/FCS] A conference championship game between division champions of a member conference of 12 or more institutions that is divided into two divisions (of six or more institutions each), each of which conducts round-robin, regular-season competition among the members of that division;

    Right now you have to play a round-robin divisional schedule.

    With SEC athletic directors and coaches adamantly opposed to nine conference games, this makes an eight game SEC schedule a complete mess. Why? Because you can’t follow the 5-2-1 format of SEC divisional play. In this present format you played the five teams in your division, two rotating opponents, and a traditional rival from the opposing division. That meant that every five years you completed a cycle through the entire SEC.

    With seven team divisions, a required six division games means if you keep the traditional rivals it would take 12 years to complete the cycle. That means big regular season games between traditional powers like Alabama and Florida or Georgia and LSU wouldn’t even occur every decade. If you don’t keep the traditional rivals then you make millions of SEC fans steaming mad by replacing them with divisional games lacking any historical context.

    Even if the NCAA rule was changed to eliminate the requirement for round-robin play you’d still face a mess, what if two teams from the same division both finished undefeated without playing one another? How do you decide who goes to Atlanta? And how angry would the undefeated team left behind be? (Or in the existing BCS would the undefeated team left behind have the advantage since it might advance to the title game without playing).

    Put simply, it isn’t enough to change this rule, you need to modify it for conferences that are larger than 12 teams.

    The SEC, the first major conference to 14 teams, is already hinting that it will seek a change to this existing rule.

    What’s the smartest possible move the conference can make?

    Get a new rule that allows conferences with 16 or more teams to set up divisional play with at least four teams each. Then permit those four divisional winners to play in the SEC’s own Final Four. Play the SEC West game annually in the Cowboys stadium in Dallas and play the SEC East’s game annually at Nashville’s LP Field. Then the two winners would play in Atlanta.

    Barring an immediate eight or 16 team playoff — which won’t happen — this is the future of the SEC, a football final four within the own conference.

    So who will be teams 15 and 16?

    Here’s a hint, it won’t be teams from the existing 11 state SEC footprint.

    Back in August OKTC was the first place to tell you that the SEC wasn’t going to add additional teams from states where it already had teams. Remember when everyone was clamoring about Clemson and Florida State to the SEC — in fact, remember when ESPN even reported this? — and OKTC told you that was dead wrong?

    We were right.

    And we’re right about this, the SEC’s 15th and 16th teams will come from the states of North Carolina and Virginia.

    Why?

    It’s all about the additional money those states bring to the SEC Network.

    North Carolina has 3.4 million cable and satellite homes. Virginia has 2.8 million cable and satellite homes.

    Combined that’s 6.2 million additional cable sets for the SEC Network, or about $75 million in additional revenue at the $1 a month network cost.

    Expanding in to North Carolina and Virginia would put the SEC’s cable and satellite footprint at nearly 37 million subscribers.

    At just $1 a month, that puts the SEC’s annual revenue at $444 million.

    Double that to $2 — as we’ve shown you that’s not the least bit expensive given what other regional sports networks receive — and we’re talking about $888 million a year.

    And when the SEC Network hits $3 a month which it would do within a decade you’d be talking about $1.3 billion a year.

    That’s $83 million a year per team just for TV money. (This money will have to be divided up with ESPN, but I think the SEC will get the vast majority).

    An amount that no other conference will be able to remotely approach. That kind of money would make just about any school think about leaving its conference.

    So, which teams will be the lucky duo?

    (By the way, if you’re wondering why the ACC suddenly leapt at the opportunity to snag Pittsburgh and Syracuse it’s because the ACC suspects it will lose two teams to the SEC eventually. The ACC wanted to ensure it had 12 teams when that happened).

    I’ve written before that North Carolina and Duke are a package deal. It seems unlikely that both teams, particularly Duke, would be willing to join the SEC. If the SEC could make a play for both, it might be willing to forego Virginia based on the national pop that would come from adding two programs of such stature in the state of North Carolina.

    Lacking that, North Carolina State, the perpetual step-child of the Tarheel State, work its way into contention. Unless North Carolina could be pried away without Duke, which seems unlikely, I think N.C. State’s future will be in the SEC.

    Which leaves us with Virginia, which of the two programs, the Cavaliers or the Hokies will join the SEC?

    Based on cultural fit and football prominence I believe it will be the Hokies. (I think Virginia — as well as Maryland’s — ultimate future may well lie in an expanded Big Ten).

    At 16 teams the SEC will reformat to four divisions of four teams each.

    Here’s what that could look like:

    Three notes:

    a. I tried to keep in-state rivals in the same divisions.

    b. The primary goal of the divisions has to be mixing up the would-be powers of the conference. That is, they can’t be too top-heavy.

    c, The two parenthetical teams are an attempt at yearly rivals. You’d follow a 3-2-3 model under this idea. Three teams from your own division, two yearly rivals, and three rotating opponents which would allow you to complete the entire circuit every six years. As you can see, the top teams have the toughest out of division rivals. The goal is to keep any one team from having too easy of a path. As is presently the case in a 12-team SEC, the toughest teams in conference have the toughest SEC matchups from other divisions.

    SEC South

    Florida (Tennessee and Georgia)
    Virginia Tech ( Missouri and Texas A&M)
    South Carolina (Vanderbilt and Arkansas)
    N.C. State (Missouri and Miss. State)
    These are two teams from the original SEC east melded with two new additions. I’m trying to keep the relative strength of the divisions somewhat equal, but this one is definitely a bit top-heavy. It could make sense to switch out Vanderbilt/Kentucky with N.C. State, but I’ve also tried to balance the top-heavy nature of the divisions by setting up South Carolina with Vanderbilt as one of its consistent rivals. That way the Gamecocks get a relatively easy yearly opponent which helps to balance out the toughness of the division.

    SEC East

    Georgia (Florida and Auburn)
    Tennessee (Florida and Alabama)
    Kentucky (Miss. State and Texas A&M)
    Vanderbilt (Ole Miss and South Carolina)

    Four of the six teams of the original SEC East remain minus the two teams that went to the SEC South. Georgia and Tennessee are the traditional powers in this division. As you can see, the top teams in this division, Tennessee and Georgia, have absolutely brutal rivalry games every year against top teams from outside their own divisions while Kentucky and Vanderbilt have easier rivalry games.

    SEC Central

    Alabama (Tennessee and LSU)
    Auburn (Georgia and LSU)
    Ole Miss (Vanderbilt and Arkansas)
    Miss. State (Kentucky and N.C. State)

    The name is also flexible here, I’ve abandoned the SEC North (since these teams aren’t north) in favor of the SEC Central, but as you can see, four of the original teams from the SEC West are actually included in this division.

    All season long the Iron Bowl would still loom as the ultimate challenge, although now it would likely determine who wins the division and advances to the Final Four of the SEC.

    SEC West

    Missouri (Virginia Tech and N.C. State)
    Texas A&M ( Kentucky and Virginia Tech)
    Arkansas (South Carolina and Ole Miss)
    LSU (Alabama and Auburn)

    A bit of the old Southwest Conference brought to the SEC.

    Meet the SEC’s own Football Final Four, the future of college athletics.

    With the success the SEC would have putting on its own Final Four eventually every major conference would move to 16 teams and adopt the same format.

    But if you want to know the future of the SEC, you’ve just seen it.

    OKTC’s future of the SEC series — read on if you want more details about the SEC Network.

    Why Texas A&M and Missouri are worth over 100 million to the SEC

    Why the SEC Network will be worth over a billion a year

    Like

    • Mike says:

      Exuberance, thy name is Clay Travis.

      I’m surprised he didn’t do the math on what a $4-a-month SEC network would make or just type Mo’ Money, Mo’ Money, Mo’ Money instead of numbers.

      He is, however, missing some important things:

      1) Has a school ever left a (perceived) superior academic conference for a (perceived) inferior one? How are you going to get a President to make a move that is purely for sports without at least the cover of academic benefits?

      2) How will the North Carolina BOR (which controls NCSU) let NCST go? I sense no hate between NCST and UNC which would make the divorce seem inevitable (see A&M – UT).

      3) If UVA got VA Tech into the ACC, I image they could keep them there.

      Like

      • Mike says:

        Emphasis added

        http://www.mrsec.com/2012/01/virginia-tech-and-nc-state-to-the-sec-prepare-for-some-political-battles/


        State has a 13-person board of trustees. One member is the president of the student government. Four trustees are appointed by the governor. The remaining eight NCSU trustees are elected by the UNC board of governors.

        If State’s administration decided that their school would be better off in the SEC, it appears from afar that at least two of the eight trustees put in place by UNC’s board would have to okay the move. And that’s if all the other non-UNC-elected trustees favored the move. And that’s if a vote to switch conferences only requires a 7-6 majority.

        [snip]

        The talk of 16 schools is fun and it’s always good for pageviews. Trust us, we know. But for now, there’s nothing to suggest that the league will be expanding again in the short-term.

        Like

    • Brian says:

      Wes,

      It’s bad form (and probably a copyright violation) to copy and paste an entire article into a blog post. You could have just stopped after the link.

      As for the article, Clay always is very one-sided when looking at SEC issues. It’s possible what he predicts will happen, but unlikely in my view.

      Like

    • Eric says:

      A few thoughts:

      1. I stand by my prediction that the money is going to come crashing down and we are at the peak right now (based mainly on external factors in the economy that I won’t get into here).

      2. If you are going to have pods, a 3-2-3 model is not a good answer. It means you have very unbalanced schedules in pods. One game difference is one thing, but assuming 2 every year is not ideal. Even assuming for a second the SEC gets around the CCG rule and is allowed to have 4 teams make a playoff (which demeans the regular season in my opinion), I think something like this makes more sense (note: I am sticking to 8 conference games even though 9 would work better simply because I think it’s more likely).

      A. 4 Pods with 1 crossover (and maybe none in most cases if that could work).

      B. Pods could be:
      1. Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, Vanderbilt
      2. Florida, Georgia, Mississippi State, Ole Miss.
      3. LSU, Arkansas, Missouri, Texas A&M
      4. Virginia Tech, South Carolina, North Carolina State, Kentucky

      C. Pods would play against each other, with pod 1 playing the 4 teams in pod 2 in addition to their permanent crossover (or one other team). This would allow for most rivalries in pods, and for similar schedules.

      If the SEC couldn’t get an exemption, then simply combine 2 pods every year for a division and play your permanent crossover on the other side (if they are there).

      Like

    • vp19 says:

      Those hypothetical divisions (and I too have my doubts this will ever take place, unless some major NCSU donors make an ultimatum to the UNC system board of trustees) would make better sense if Virginia Tech and Georgia are swapped. Remember, southwest Virginia (where Tech is located) isn’t far from Kentucky and Tennessee; one promoter has for years tried to get VT and UT to play a football game at the Bristol Motor Speedway. The other division would extend, unbroken, from North Carolina down to Florida.

      Like

  25. Andy says:

    I don’t know if NC State would be worth adding for the SEC. Can they really carry the state of North Carolina? Aren’t they the third most popular school in the state after UNC and Duke? I’m just not sure they’d be worth the trouble. The same is true to a lesser extent with VA Tech. I don’t think VA Tech delivers the DC market very well. Also, the SEC desires to upgrade their academic profile. They now have 4 AAU schools, Vanderbilt, Florida, Missouri, and Texas A&M. Georgia is not far from qualifying for AAU membership and should get in some day. If they were to pick up a couple more AAU schools they could have as many as 7, which is what the ACC has now.

    If the SEC network takes off and is paying SEC members a ton of money (Clay Travis is projecting $44M per school, but let’s say it’s only $15M, plus the existing $19M in tier 1 and 2 dollars). That would be more than double what ACC schools make now. That kind of money could potentially draw out bigger fish than NC State and VA Tech. Any two of UNC, Duke, Virginia, and Maryland would be exactly what the SEC wants.

    That said, with the new Big Ten/Pac 12 partnership I just don’t see any more major moves for a while. I guess we’ll see.

    Like

    • zeek says:

      Well we’re talking about football if we’re talking SEC expansion, and NC State is second to UNC in that respect. As for whether it carries the state, it probably does as much for the SEC in North Carolina as Texas A&M does in Texas. That would be enough.

      Now is NC State going anywhere? No, they’re tied to the hip to UNC so this debate isn’t ever leaving the hypothetical phase.

      Like

      • vp19 says:

        If the SEC was desperate, really desperate, for a North Carolina presence, it might consider Wake Forest. It’s held its own in football in the Jim Grobe era, and were Wake to outclass State, UNC and Duke (as East Carolina has periodically done) despite smaller resources, it would prove once and for all the power of the SEC brand.

        Like

    • PSUGuy says:

      The thing I’ve never gotten a decent answer from a “SEC channel” proponent is, where exactly is the content coming from?

      ESPN, with the exception of a few games in every sport due to expansion, literally already owns anything of worth. I mean you can see SEC volleyball games being advertised on ESPN (main) being aired on ESPN8 (The Ocho). Has anyone looked over the athletic departments of most SEC schools? There’s not many sports offered (in comparison to the Big Ten, which has a conference channel) and they tend to rely heavily on cheap sports to even up on Title IX (think track). I don’t care what anyone says, you aren’t going to get $44 million per school on track and reruns and ESPN isn’t going to give up content they already have under wraps.

      Which leads me into the only thing I think could happen…ESPN stops being the unofficial SEC channel and turns some of its lower tier channels (ESPN3 for example) into a regional channel openly focusing on the SEC….much like it did with Texas and the LHN.

      Two problems with that though…1, would they want to regionalize a channel when its been their business model to create more national channels? 2, even if they do choose to do so, why, other than out of philanthropy, would they increase payments on content they already own?

      Like

  26. metatron5369 says:

    And here I thought realignment was dead…

    A few points:

    – The Big XII isn’t as coherent as people think.
    – The ACC isn’t as fractured as people think.
    – Without Notre Dame, the Big Ten doesn’t care.
    – The Pac-12 really, REALLY wants Texas.
    – The SEC panicked and feels really insecure about itself.

    – No one remembers the fights just a few months ago about what the tenth (or more) member(s) of the Big XII would be? The power players of this conference still have wildly different interests and have no cohesion, no real identity. Texas considers themselves a true king, and the Big XII its kingdom. Oklahoma has nowhere to go, except the SEC, and everyone else is just happy they get mentioned on ESPN once in a while.

    – Old money is priceless. Donald Trump is one of the wealthiest men in America, yet the blue bloods of America’s elites turn him away. He’s new money – he’s crass. The Old South, the heart of Dixie, the land of cotton and gentlemen are not so swayed by the tempest that is the Big XII.

    – The Big Ten are the same. Missouri, Oklahoma… Almost every school east of the Rockies wanted in, but even Oklahoma’s pedigree wasn’t good enough (I disagree personally) for the Big Ten. This is a conference that if nothing else, ritually enshrines stability. Midwestern culture is pragmatic and focused on consensus-building; they won’t invite just anyone. Notice the emphasis and reactions regarding Nebraska and how they fit in.

    – Although their situations are completely different, the Pac-12’s mindset has a lot in common with their transcontinental counterparts in the Midwest. Texas is their white whale, albeit, for a different reason. There are no other schools in the region who can provide the financial incentive or the prestige that Texas can.

    – I still can’t figure out why Texas A&M joined the Southeastern Conference. A&M had no alternatives; they hate UT, but they had no other suitors. They bring nothing to the table (nor Missouri), and any major programs they covet (Oklahoma, Texas, Florida State?) now have enormous leverage over them, as the SEC is compelled to “fill out” to sixteen teams. It reeks of desperation for a conference that considers itself the premier league of college football.

    Predictions: Nothing happens. Maybe the Big East exodus continues, but I can’t see Notre Dame or Texas doing anything to cause any more dominoes to fall. The earthquakes happened two years ago, and the aftershocks last year. If anything happens, it’ll be of minor importance.

    Like

    • @metatron5369 – I agree with pretty much everything that you’ve stated (especially about the ACC’s strength compared to the Big 12) except for the last bit regarding Texas A&M.

      It’s strange that I feel like I’m constantly defending the ACC since I’d personally love to see Duke get sent to the SoCon, but I’ll repeat what I’ve said many times before: the ACC is MUCH stronger than what a lot of fans give them credit for. Thinking like a university president, the thought of ACC schools defecting to the Big 12 doesn’t fly at all. Even Big 12 homer Barry Tramel of the Oklahoman, when asked in a chat yesterday about whether he had heard about the rumors discussed here, dismissed the notion completely and said that anyone that thinks that bad performances in the Orange Bowls means anything doesn’t understand how much university presidents love the ACC’s combination of academics and athletics. He said that he was sure that the Big 12 tried calling FSU and Clemson and that those schools would have hanged up immediately. Remember that this is someone deep within the Big 12 talking. Even if the Big 12 could offer more football dollars, these schools don’t have amnesia that the league was on its deathbed TWICE in the last 18 months. It will take a LONG time before the Big 12 will be looked at by anyone in the 4 other power conferences as stable. Every school that was able to leave by itself from the Big 12, with the exception of Texas, has left the league. I can’t believe that anyone gives serious credence to the thought that Florida State would actually join that situation.

      Now, Texas A&M makes sense in the SEC for sure. It might be spun as a move borne out of envy of UT, but if A&M had its druthers, it would have been in the SEC back in the 1990s after the SWC collapsed. Texas state politics always got in the way. A&M is the only school besides UT that can legitimately deliver the state of Texas, which meant that when it approached the SEC last year, the league couldn’t turn it down (even if all options for school #14 were “meh”). I’m still surprised this happened so quickly after what looked to be a more settled landscape in 2010, although the political climate did finally change to the point where A&M splitting from UT and the other Texas-based schools became acceptable to the public in a way that it never had before.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        I also don’t see any ACC schools having an interest in joining the Big 12, but the stability issue wouldn’t significantly concern FSU because they have options. Despite all the gentlemen’s agreement talk, the SEC has tried to get FSU before and would take them in a minute if they were interested. The same would apply to the ACC taking them back (if the ACC still existed).

        Now Clemson, Pitt, et.al. have to take stability seriously. VT, UNC and Miami are all desirable schools, but the SEC only has 2 slots and one of them could get caught in a numbers game and there’s no guarantee the B1G goes beyond 12. So unless FSU was going along, none of those other schools would join the Big 12 solely because of the stability issue. They like where they are a lot better than a Big 12 w/o Texas and OU.

        Like

      • bullet says:

        This ACC to Big 12 rumour seems to just have one source-a WVU board. Everything out of the Big 12 points back to the logical candidates-Louisville and BYU.

        WVU fans were convinced they were going to be invited to the SEC this fall. Reading, it seems some people got info about attorneys working on getting out of the Big East, the WVU admin contacting the SEC (which everyone knew) and either the SEC commenting on deficiencies in the program or an internal study commenting on deficiencies and a program to remedy them. And from that some people extrapolated that WVU had been invited and an announcement was imminent. Most of the fans seemed convinced and whenever anyone asked why everyone else in the country believed the opposite, it they were ridiculed. Then when the Big 12 invite was imminent and got delayed someone found out Kentucky’s Senator had been advocating for Louisville (exactly as WVU’s senators had been doing for them) they blew that out of proportion into some conspiracy. Once again, I think someone over there is taking a small piece of info and extrapolating into something much more than it is.

        Like

      • footballnut says:

        Didn’t hurt that aTm and Mizzou are AAU schools also. SEC needed some more AAU schools to go along with Florida and Vandysnobs. aTm move was a no brainer. Mizzou was a much better fit for B10 than SEC, but going SEC still tops staying in BIG12 mess any day.

        Like

      • metatron5369 says:

        Right. I’m not saying A&M doesn’t make sense for the SEC – it clearly does. What I am saying is that the SEC acted with haste and urgency when the situation didn’t call for it. Maybe they believed this was their only window of opportunity, what with Texas politics being what they are. Perhaps they believed that their net would catch more than Missouri and West Virginia.

        Either way, they’ve ended up with an unwieldy fourteen-team league. But hey, now the ACC has fourteen teams too. The Pac-12/Big Ten aren’t the only leagues that can partner up…

        Like

      • duffman says:

        @ Frank

        I still think the ACC is protected because ESPN. That is why they can turn from prey to predator. I do not think it is the ACC schools, as much as the conference tie to the inception and growth of ESPN. A generation later those early folks have moved up the ESPN corporate ladder both in front of the camera and behind it.

        Like

    • wrt Trump, his unpopularity in certain circles may also have to do with his multiple bankruptcies and his (probably well-earned) reputation for being a sleazebag who screws over business partners and creditors. I’m not sure that really is much of a relevant comparison in this case.

      Like

  27. […] is, of course, just a rumor.  And the intelligent commentariat at the best expansion-focused blog, Frank the Tank, provide numerous reasons why this particular rumor is illogical and unlikely.   In addition, the […]

    Like

  28. Andy says:

    FWIW, I have solid information on how Big Ten expansion went down last year:

    1) Missouri and the Big Ten agreed in principle to Missouri joining the Big Ten. It had the approval of the University of Missouri Board of Curators and Missouri coaches were told to start preparing for the move. Missouri was then blindsided by what turned out to be an offer of junior membership. For 5 years, they were expected to take around a 50% share of TV revenue. That, and they were expected to pay all of the estimated $20-30M exit fee themselves. Missouri officials balked, saying it would be financial suicide for them to do this. They tried to play hardball in negotiations, so the Big Ten turned to Nebraska. Nebraska came in and accepted the deal as is, without any further negotiations. For their first 5 years of membership, Nebraska is making significantly less than full share. (Later, when the SEC came to Missouri, Missouri insisted that they would not join unless they were given full share of revenue from day one. The SEC agreed to this.)

    2) Another factor in Big Ten expansion was how many schools would they take. They were going to match what the Pac 10 was doing. If the Pac 10 went to 12, the Big Ten would go to 12. If the Pac 10 went to 16, then the Big 10 would look into going to 16. If the Big Ten went to 16 then Missouri would have had more leverage in negotiations, but as they only ended up going to 12 the Big Ten had little interest in negotiating, and went with Nebraska, a name program (albeit one from a small population state) that was willing to go along with junior membership. The thinking was 5 years of junior membership by the new member would be enough for the Big Ten network to grow sufficiently so that no current Big Ten members would have to reduce their annual TV earnings.

    3) As for the Pac 12 going to 16, this was very, very close to happening. A threat of a Baylor lawsuit was a large reason it was stopped/put on hold, much like it slowed down SEC expansion this year. And again, the longhorn network was another major hurdle. Everyone was pretty sure it was going to happen, and then at the last minute Texas called the whole thing off when ESPN came in and offered more money to keep the Big 12 together. The Longhorn Network deal itself was also meant to keep Texas happy and keep them where they are (and it has worked so far). Of course this had the effect of destabilizing the Big 12 as you had one school making double what every other school in the conference was making in TV money.

    4) The SEC was active last year as well. They made overtures to Texas A&M, Missouri, and Oklahoma. Missouri wasn’t interested (they were still looking at the Big Ten at the time), and eventually all four signed on with the new 10 team Big 12.

    5) As the Big 12 destabilized again this year after A&M chose to leave for the SEC, Missouri put out feelers to see if the Big Ten would be expanding again and were told that they were done expanding. They then talked to the SEC and were told that the SEC was very interested, and would be willing to pay full share from day 1. The SEC was interested in Missouri for the same reasons the Big Ten was: Missouri is a high population state with the potential to significantly increase the subscriber base for a conference network, Mizzou is solid academically and is an AAU member, and Missouri is solid athletically with strong (though not elite) programs in both football and basketball. The other candidates considered were Virginia Tech and West Virginia. Word is Missouri was chosen over those two because even though Missouri wasn’t quite as strong athletically, unlike the other two Missouri is an AAU school (which Florida and Vanderbilt felt were important, and Florida was the main proponent of Missouri’s membership), and their studies found that Missouri would deliver the most TV sets among those three options.

    Feel free to dismiss what I’ve just written, but I can assure you that this is how the story is being told to insiders by the high level decision makers at the University of Missouri. It’s likely very close to the truth.

    My prediction for the future: The Pac 12 and B1G settle into their partnership. The Big 12 adds a couple of schools, probably BYU and Louisville, and stabilizes. The SEC wouldn’t mind expanding but will hold out for a school that actually moves the needle: UNC, Duke, Virginia, Maryland, OU, Florida State, or maybe Virginia Tech or NC State. They may end up waiting a very long time as I’m not sure that any of those are an option with as stable as the ACC is right now. Maybe if the Pac 12 and B1G expand again someday it will destabilize the ACC and then the SEC can swoop in and take what they want. I think the SEC stands pat and waits for that day, and if that day never comes they’re strong enough as is.

    Like

    • greg says:

      “Feel free to dismiss what I’ve just written, but I can assure you that this is how the story is being told to insiders by the high level decision makers at the University of Missouri.”

      Just because this is being told to insiders at the U of Missouri doesn’t make it true. From everything I’ve seen over the past two years by insiders and high level decision makers at UM, I’m going to assume its false.

      Like

      • Andy says:

        All I know is the people who told this to me believe it’s 100% true, and they heard it from the highest level at Mizzou. Do I know if it’s actually true? No I don’t. But I believe it’s pretty close to the truth.

        Like

        • greg says:

          Even if some of it is true, calling the offer “financial suicide” is incorrect. Someone like nostradamus can correct me, but the numbers worked for Nebraska so I don’t see how they didn’t work for Missouri.

          Nebraska paid $9M(?) to leave the conference, not 20-30M. I do understand that the contractual fee was nearly $20M. Nebraska’s first year payout was supposed to be no less than what they received from B12, and started escalating throughout the 5 years until it became a full amount. The difference between the B10 and B12 payouts during those 5 years most likely covers the $9M.

          At worst, it seems the school over those 5 years would see the move as revenue neutral.

          Like

          • Andy says:

            What you have to understand to make sense of this is that the Mizzou leadership is and always has been ridiculously risk averse. I don’t agree with it. I think Nebraska made the smart move. But when you view it through that lens it starts to make sense. At the time, they didn’t know what the exit fee would be. In the contract, it’s supposed to be over twenty million dollars. Also, Mizzou doesn’t have the revenue stream of a Nebraska. Nebraska draws 85k fans per game and charges a lot more per ticket than Missouri does with their 64k fans per game. Also the donation levels are a lot higher than Nebraska’s. Also, Mizzou has one of the very few athletic departments in the country that is financially independent and doesn’t draw any revenue from the university. The risk averse thinking was that Mizzou would not be able to compete for those five years and would fall behind.

            Do I agree with that? No. I think it was short sighted of them. For whatever reason they believed staying in the Big 12 was less risky then being a junior member of the Big Ten. I think that was a mistake.

            Luckily they secured a full membership with the SEC, so it pretty much worked out. Personally I would have rather Missouri had joined the Big Ten, but the SEC is a very strong conference so I’m not too upset about it.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            meant to say Missouri’s donation levels are a lot lower than Nebraskas. Point is Nebraska was in a lot better fiscal shape to accept junior membership than Missouri was.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            Also, I think there were a couple more things at play here. I think Missouri had their pride hurt. They thought of it as disrespectful to Missouri to have them be junior members. They didn’t find that very welcoming. The other is that Missouri probably thought they were in a better position with the Big Ten than they were. Perhaps they thought the Big Ten wanted Missouri more than they actually did. Whatever it was, it seems negotiations fell through and Nebraska took the 12th spot.

            Like

    • bullet says:

      If #1 is true, Missouri’s leadership is pretty short-sighted.

      Like

      • acaffrey says:

        Doesn’t that add credibility to the story? Why would Missouri fabricate a history that makes it look short-sighted?

        Like

        • greg says:

          #1 was created to show that Missouri really really (really!) was desirable and got the Big Ten invite they wanted, but the Big Ten is a bunch of greedy jerks which is why Missouri didn’t go there.

          The SEC (UM’s new home) is a bunch of sunshine and lollipops and did whatever Missouri told them to do because they’re a bunch of swell guys.

          Like

          • Andy says:

            Greg, I don’t agree. This doesn’t show that Missouri was “really really (really!)” desirable. If they were, then the Big Ten wouldn’t have tried to get us on the cheap, and they wouldn’t have walked away from the negotiation table the minute we balked. That actually would point to Missouri not being as desirable as we thought we were.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            #1 could also be a face saving item, saying they weren’t total idiots for refusing to commit in that Big 12 meeting summer before last. Texas said they would commit if 2 out of UNL, MU, CU committed. CU said no, but everyone knew they were going. UNL said no as UNL knew the Big 10 invite was close and intended to accept it. Noone quite knows why MU said no. Their no gave Nebraska cover while they finalized the Big 10 deal and Missouri nearly got left begging the Big East for membership. There wasn’t a bit of talk about Missouri joining A&M in the SEC that summer.

            The rest makes sense, but I’m skeptical that #1 is true, at least the part about Missouri getting an offer in principle. You read lots of stuff about how Louisville or BYU turned down the Big 12. BTW Nebraska’s junior deal is paying them about the same as everyone else. They were guaranteed the same money as they were making in the Big 12, but would get more depending on the value of the conference championship game and increased revenues from the other parts of the TV deals.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            So #1 can make them bad as acaffrey says, but it can also make them look less bad for refusing to back the Big 12 at that time.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            Bullet, I don’t know all the details, but I personally know for a fact that the athletic department and coaches at Mizzou were told that we had agreed in principle to join the Big Ten, and this was at the same time we refused to commit to the Big 12. I know this is true. The only thing I don’t know for sure is how the deal fell apart. I recently heard the official story by Mizzou’s leadership and I’m sharing that with you now. I don’t know if it’s true but I suspect that it’s at least mostly true.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            Also, from what I’ve heard Mizzou wouldn’t have been left begging for Big East membership. The SEC had an interest in Mizzou back then as well. Many were talking about this at Missouri just as Nebraska was leaving the Big 12. The SEC was Mizzou’s back up plan all along and that’s where we ended up when the Big Ten didn’t work out.

            Personally I would have preferred the Big Ten but I’m cautiously optimistic that the SEC will work out just fine for us.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            I don’t doubt that many at Missouri believed they would be invited. I just am very skeptical that the story you are getting is how things actually happened.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            What specifically do you find not to be credible? Obviously the SEC decided Missouri was worthy of an invite. And if Missouri was worthy of an invite to the SEC, then it’s not too far of a stretch to think that Missouri was worthy of an invite for the Big Ten. Especially considering Missouri is a better fit for the Big Ten than it is for the SEC. It’s a Midwest AAU school with a high enrollment and a decent basketball program and a pretty good football program and boarders a couple of major Big Ten states. It is also the flagship university for a state that has a largish population. There’s really no reason not to believe Missouri would be a target for the Big Ten. Of all of the options the Big Ten had, Missouri was probably the most obvious. At the same time, Missouri isn’t really elite in any category, therefore it also makes sense that the Big Ten would play hardball and walk away if they didn’t like the way negotiations were going.

            The facts are that none of what Missouri did would make any sense unless Missouri’s leadership truly believed they were on the brink of joining the Big Ten. And I also know for a fact that the athletic department was told that it was already agreed to and was in the late stages of negotiations. Were they lied to? I doubt it. What would be the motive.

            So the mystery is how did the negotiations fall apart. I think this story is as likely as any.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            The part that makes me skeptical is that Missouri actually turned down any sort of Big 10 offer. And that the Big 10 offered and then withdrew. Academically and in terms of population, Missouri is well above average in the SEC. Its well below average in the Big 10. Also the Big 10 is strong in the middle range in football (where Missouri fits) while the SEC is stronger at the top. So they give the Big 10 more of what they already have-Illinois, Purdue, Michigan St.

            You’re right that their behavior makes little sense unless they thought they had an invite, but thinking you do doesn’t mean its true. There’s such a thing as wishful thinking that haunts the higher ups as well as the mass fans. And one rumour can feed another. You would be amazed how convinced many of the WVU fans were that they were going to get the 14th SEC slot right up to the day Missouri was officially announced.

            It will be interesting when someone finally writes a book about it, “12 days in May, the end and rebirth of the Big 12 conference.”

            Like

          • Andy says:

            The Big Ten didn’t offer and then withdraw. They offered junior membership. Our risk averse, slow moving leadership (and if you followed the Missouri to SEC move at all you would have seen this to be the case) didn’t jump at the offer. They deliberated and balked and hemmed and hawed. They likely thought they could negotiate a better deal. Meanwhile the Big Ten made the same offer to Nebraska, who took it.

            Was it a bad move for Mizzou to do that? Yes.

            But I don’t see any reason not to believe the story. And plenty of reason to believe it.

            To say that Missouri would have acted the way they acted based on hope alone is absurd.

            Like

          • greg says:

            So a Mizzou offer was on the table, then the Big Ten stabbed them in the back and accepted Nebraska while Mizzou was considering it.

            I don’t believe a word of this. Other than that the Big Ten talked to Missouri.

            “talked to” does not equal “offer”.

            Like

          • Mack says:

            Mizzou may have agreed in principal to join the B1G, but the B1G never agreed to accept them (although some Mizzou officials may have believe that was the case). Mizzou openly wanted membership and the B1G could not be sure about getting Nebraska so some discussions were likely. If the B1G had really wanted Mizzou over Nebraska the B1G would have informed Mizzou when it opened talks with Nebraska and Mizzou would have accepted anythiong the B1G offered (caved). It is not like the offer was for less money than they were getting in the B12, or that it would last a long time compared to the benefits of membership.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            What I was told is that Missouri was very far along in the process of joining the Big Ten, with both sides agreeing in principle that they wanted it to happen, but when the negotiations got down to dollars and cents, they broke down. Rather than continue to negotiate with Missouri, the Big Ten chose to go to Nebraska.

            To you I’m just some guy on a message board so I can see how you might not believe me, but as for the story itself I don’t see anything about this story that doesn’t sound credible, and it fits in with what happened, so I tend to believe it.

            Like

      • Andy says:

        I would tend to agree with that statement.

        Like

    • Mack says:

      Why the above is not true:
      1) If it was Mizzou would be in the B1G. No way Mizzou turned down any offer from B1G. The reduced revenues are related to BTN and SEC has no network now. And this story has Mizzou turning down lower B1G money before the big increase in $$$ occurred for the B12. So Mizzou would have actually got a bigger bump from the B1G than it is getting from the SEC (discounting all the Mizzou projections of SEC Network payouts).
      2) No way the SEC chose Mizzzou over VT. VT was not interested. Mizzou was chosen over WVU.
      3) The B12 was never stable. A&M decided to leave for the SEC in 2010 when the PAC16 was being discussed. A&M just needed to get the fan base and politicians aligned for the split with Texas. A&M wanted to join the SEC when the SWC disbanded but did not have the political clout to separate from Texas at that time (or TT and Baylor for that matter).
      4) The reason the B8 became the B12 was it believed that the B8 would be the next conference to die (after SWC) unless they expanded. Just not enough TVs in OK, KS, NE, CO, MO, and IA. It was a shotgun wedding from the beginning.

      Like

      • Andy says:

        Mack
        1) What you’re missing is that Mizzou didn’t “turn down” the offer. They just didn’t accept it as is and tried to negotiate. That’s much different. Nebraska then came in and took the spot. Missouri definitely wanted in the Big Ten and it didn’t go the way they planned. Mizzou screwed up.
        2) I’m only telling you what I heard, and it’s what Mizzou leadership is telling VIPs. The reason it might be credible is that the word is Florida and Vandy wanted AAU members. VT is not an AAU member. Also, the claim is the SEC’s research showed that VT wouldn’t bring as many TV sets and Missouri. That’s what I was told.
        3) I don’t disagree with this, but I do think Missouri allowed for the possibility that the Big 12 might stabilize and hoped for the best until it was clear that it wasn’t going to work out.
        4) I agree with this.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          Andy,

          1) What you’re missing is that Mizzou didn’t “turn down” the offer. They just didn’t accept it as is and tried to negotiate.

          Not accepting an offer is turning it down. Whether MO made a counter offer or not is beside the point.

          Like

      • Eric says:

        I generally agree with everything except for A&M needing to get the fans onboard. I actually think it was the other way around. The president was fine in 2010 with sticking to the state of Texas based Big 12. The fans weren’t. By 2011, they had him convinced, but the politicians would have actually been easier in 2010 since it looked like the conference was dying anyway.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          Loftin said he had already decided to join the SEC the summer before last. He told how he told the other Big 12 presidents he was committed to the Big 12 “as it is” so he “wouldn’t be accused of lying.” Loftin was just getting everything in order and looking for the right time.

          Like

          • FranktheAg says:

            Wait – I thought he didn’t have an SEC offer? Or, that the jail was firmly locked down and no exit was possible?

            Like

    • Mike says:

      Why would the Big Ten follow the lead of the PAC and expand to the size of the PAC? Didn’t the Big Ten explore expansion before Larry Scott was hired?

      If Mizzou did balk over exit fees why didn’t they say so at the time? They ended up looking like idiots when they had to crawl back to the Big 12. They might have saved some face if they said the Big Ten was cost prohibitive. Plus Mizzou had to know that boosters would come out of the woodwork to help if Mizzou financially if they could secure a Big Ten invite. As bad as Mizzou wanted a Big Ten invite, they had no need to play hardball.

      If we learned one thing about Missouri these last couple of years its that no one there can keep a secret. If Missouri had agreed to join the Big Ten in principle we would know because a booster/governor/coach/insider would have told the world (just like it did with the SEC). Anything we can’t verify in that post would have been front page news.

      This is a nice story with just enough verifiable facts, but IMHO, it was crafted by someone who wants people to think that they have inside info. Anyone on this board could have crafted a story like this.

      Like

      • Andy says:

        Mike, you are free to believe what you want. You don’t know me and I don’t know you. I do know that the guy who told me this definitely heard it directly from one of the high ups at Mizzou. I have zero doubt of this. But I have no way of confirming whether it’s true. I tend to think it is but I really have no way of knowing for sure.

        As for Big Ten following Pac Ten, I don’t know if it’s so much that as a question of are they going to the superconferences or not. If not then there wouldn’t be support by the University Presidents for further Big Ten expansion.

        Why didn’t Mizzou say something at the time? No idea. There were plenty of leaks about all of this at the time. The fact that you didn’t hear or read them doesn’t mean they didn’t come out. I sure read them. But no official came out and told the whole story. I think the official line at the time was “We are proud members of the Big 12”. That’s how they would answer every question. It became a bit of a joke. Then they never came out and said any more than that. The most any of them have ever said on the record about the Big Ten is that yes they had talks with them. But no one will say any more than that on record. Why? I don’t know. I’m telling you what they’re saying off the record. Is that true? I don’t know. But it does make sense in the context of what went on.

        Like

    • wmtiger says:

      Sounds like revisionist history from a University of Missouri fan who still isn’t over not getting a B10 invite.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      Andy,

      FWIW, I have solid information on how Big Ten expansion went down last year:

      Like anything in life, the “truth” of realignment has many sides. Let’s say this is one side of the story, and perhaps it is presented in a way to put certain people/groups/entities in the best possible light. I’m not saying it is untrue, but it’s hard to avoid some spin in a situation like this. With that said, let’s look at your points.

      1) Missouri and the Big Ten agreed in principle to Missouri joining the Big Ten. It had the approval of the University of Missouri Board of Curators and Missouri coaches were told to start preparing for the move. Missouri was then blindsided by what turned out to be an offer of junior membership. For 5 years, they were expected to take around a 50% share of TV revenue. That, and they were expected to pay all of the estimated $20-30M exit fee themselves. Missouri officials balked, saying it would be financial suicide for them to do this. They tried to play hardball in negotiations, so the Big Ten turned to Nebraska. Nebraska came in and accepted the deal as is, without any further negotiations. For their first 5 years of membership, Nebraska is making significantly less than full share. (Later, when the SEC came to Missouri, Missouri insisted that they would not join unless they were given full share of revenue from day one. The SEC agreed to this.)

      First, this sounds like a misunderstanding. You can’t really have an AiP if the two parties are talking very different terms of membership. Perhaps MO assumed the offer involved full money from day 1, but I’m confident the B10 never offered that to anybody. The current 11 weren’t going to lose a penny for expanding.

      Second, that’s not junior membership. That’s full membership. Part of the reason for less money to start is that all B10 schools have equity in the BTN. MO was buying into the BTN by getting paid less to start. Also, the 5 years would conveniently last until the new TV deal when everyone would get a raise.

      As for the exit fee, why would the B10 pay it? MO wanted to join the B10. I’m sure the B10 would have “loaned” MO the money for little or no interest.

      If MO tried hardball, that was a guaranteed failure. NE understanding the offer was a sign they were a better fit. It’s not clear to me that the B10 ever would have favored MO over NE, but if they did it couldn’t have been by much. NE also probably brought more to the CCG pot than MO would, while MO brought more households for the BTN.

      2) Another factor in Big Ten expansion was how many schools would they take. They were going to match what the Pac 10 was doing. If the Pac 10 went to 12, the Big Ten would go to 12. If the Pac 10 went to 16, then the Big 10 would look into going to 16. If the Big Ten went to 16 then Missouri would have had more leverage in negotiations, but as they only ended up going to 12 the Big Ten had little interest in negotiating, and went with Nebraska, a name program (albeit one from a small population state) that was willing to go along with junior membership. The thinking was 5 years of junior membership by the new member would be enough for the Big Ten network to grow sufficiently so that no current Big Ten members would have to reduce their annual TV earnings.

      I have a hard time believing the COP/C would go from 11 to 16 at once. Slowly growing maybe, but not all at once. Anyway, I’m not sure 16 would give MO leverage so much as it would change the scenario. 16 might have allowed the B10 to adjust the TV deal a lot while 12 didn’t. Would 16 have included ND and/or UT and/or OU? The point of the deal was to keep the money at least the same for the current 11. Since the newbies would all need to gain BTN equity, there was no way they would get paid equally from day one unless they bought back into the BTN after getting paid (end result is less money, regardless). Maybe ND would get a different deal thanks to their TV deal, but OSU wasn’t ever going to lose money so MO could join.

      3) As for the Pac 12 going to 16, this was very, very close to happening. A threat of a Baylor lawsuit was a large reason it was stopped/put on hold, much like it slowed down SEC expansion this year. And again, the longhorn network was another major hurdle. Everyone was pretty sure it was going to happen, and then at the last minute Texas called the whole thing off when ESPN came in and offered more money to keep the Big 12 together. The Longhorn Network deal itself was also meant to keep Texas happy and keep them where they are (and it has worked so far). Of course this had the effect of destabilizing the Big 12 as you had one school making double what every other school in the conference was making in TV money.

      A lot of people thought it was close to happening, but only the UT people really know how close they were to heading west. All the talk could have been for bargaining purposes with ESPN.

      5) As the Big 12 destabilized again this year after A&M chose to leave for the SEC, Missouri put out feelers to see if the Big Ten would be expanding again and were told that they were done expanding. They then talked to the SEC and were told that the SEC was very interested, and would be willing to pay full share from day 1. The SEC was interested in Missouri for the same reasons the Big Ten was: Missouri is a high population state with the potential to significantly increase the subscriber base for a conference network, Mizzou is solid academically and is an AAU member, and Missouri is solid athletically with strong (though not elite) programs in both football and basketball. The other candidates considered were Virginia Tech and West Virginia. Word is Missouri was chosen over those two because even though Missouri wasn’t quite as strong athletically, unlike the other two Missouri is an AAU school (which Florida and Vanderbilt felt were important, and Florida was the main proponent of Missouri’s membership), and their studies found that Missouri would deliver the most TV sets among those three options.

      The SEC doesn’t own their own network. MO didn’t have to buy into it. MO would have giotten paid a lot to join the B10, they just had to accept half of it as equity in the BTN rather than cash. I’m not sure why that’s offensive.

      Feel free to dismiss what I’ve just written, but I can assure you that this is how the story is being told to insiders by the high level decision makers at the University of Missouri. It’s likely very close to the truth.

      What insiders are told and what is true don’t have to be close to the same thing, much like in politics.

      Like

      • Andy says:

        Brian I agree with pretty much everything you said. You’re basically telling the same story from the Big Ten perspective. Both are true, just told from different points of view.

        No, it’s not “junior membership”, but Mizzou saw it as such, and that was probably a mistake. And it seems that led them to balk at the deal, which led the Big Ten to Nebraska, and the rest is history.

        The SEC situation was different. They felt comfortable offering full revenue share from day one. There are probably reasons for that. I don’t know what they are, but I’m sure they exist.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          The reason the SEC could offer full revenue from day 1 is that they don’t own their own network and they will get a boost from CBS and ESPN to make the move revenue neutral. Any new B10 member would have to buy equity in the BTN somehow. NE is a king and they had to buy in. Even ND would have to buy in somehow (maybe they could trade some classic game rights and such to cover part of it, as well as get credit for new subscribers).

          Like

      • acaffrey says:

        On Point 2. With the scheduling arrangement, it would certainly make sense for the Big 10 and Pac 10 to grow at the same pace. But that couldn’t have been the priority. The Big 10 wouldn’t go to 16 just to keep up with the Pac. I could see it being a long-term goal. And then when both conferences were settled in at 12, they decided to go forward with the scheduling arrangement.

        Like

    • curious2 says:

      Re the inside story about Missouri and the Big 10: (Andy)

      Thanks for sharing this interesting story that raises a lot of questions as others have pointed out. Personally, I totally doubt this is the full complete story.

      The Missouri Governor I recall went out of his way to voice his strong support for Missouri joining the Big 10 citing the academic advantages of such an association and cultural ties.

      The idea that Missouri had an invite yet decided not to join because of a short term financial payout issue (presumably related to a buy-in for their share of the BTN) really indicates that Missouri leadership on an academic and state-wide level made an historically poor/disasterous “100 year” decision.

      They could have secured their athletic conference future and their financial future, in association with top tier research universities that work together to promote their research mission: schools that share a common culture and geography.

      If I was a Missouri insider, I would by far prefer to believe that the Big 10 just preferred Nebraska, as opposed to the view that Missouri had an offer and decided to pass or wait for a better offer. It’s not even close.

      Like

  29. Andy says:

    For those looking for confirmation of Nebraska’s junior membership in the Big Ten:

    http://huskerextra.com/sports/football/article_1ba16b11-7b08-5e67-8fd6-c9b9ff167366.html

    “The Big Ten Conference will pay each of its members a record $22.6 million this year. The increase is due in part to increased revenue from the Big Ten Network.

    These payouts do not include Nebraska, which did not join the league until July 1. Nebraska will not receive a full share until 2017, according to an NU official.”

    Like

    • Eric says:

      Maybe I’m remembering wrong, but isn’t the difference in payment considered Nebraska buying its share of the Big Ten Network (since while they joined the conference, they didn’t get the ownership stake in the network the other 11 schools had)?

      Like

      • greg says:

        You’re correct, Eric. Andy keeps repeating ‘junior member’ over and over, but that is not the case. I don’t see why Nebraska or Missouri should have been handed a 7 or 8 percent stake in a billion dollar corporation upfront.

        Like

      • Mike says:

        You remember it the same way I do. Nebraska is a full member of the Big Ten. The reduced payments are for buying ownership of BTN.

        Like

      • frug says:

        Yeah, UNL receives an equal share of all conference distributions (including the ABC/ESPN tv deal, bowl payouts, tournament payouts, revenue sharing and the CCG) with the exception of the BTN which they are building up equity in over the next five years (remember they didn’t put up any money to help get the thing off the ground).

        Like

        • Andy says:

          Junior membership is a term thrown around at Mizzou, not an official term. An accurate way to put it would be to say that Nebraska started out in year 1 making about 50% of what the others make in terms of TV dollars. In 2017 they will get a full share.

          The story I heard was that this was a sticking point for Mizzou, and they delayed in signing up for the Big Ten. They didn’t say no, but they wanted to negotiate further. The Big Ten didn’t want to negotiate and promptly went and found another candidate (Nebraska). Was this dumb and a risky move by Mizzou? Hell yeah it was. Maybe that’s why they don’t talk about it publicly. Maybe they (correctly) think that it was a major screw up.

          If they hadn’t gotten that SEC invite and if Mizzou was stuck in the Big 12 they’d want to hold on to that secret to their graves.

          Like

          • Mike says:

            I just don’t understand how that could be a sticking point. If they were offered the same deal Nebraska did, then they would have received the same amount money they would have got from the Big 12 and they would be getting equity in a network. That would be getting (in assets and cash) at least an equal share of what everyone got. How could this have been a sticking point?

            Like

          • Andy says:

            If you followed Missouri’s move to the SEC at all you would have seen that Missouri’s leadership is incredibly slow, deliberative, and risk averse. Every step took weeks and weeks. There were debates among the curators with multiple unauthorized leaks to the media. I could see that sort of thing being a problem in this past situation as well. The curators/chancellor understood joining the Big Ten to work one way, and then when they were told they would be getting $5-10M less per year than anticipated for 5 years, plus as much as a $30M exit fee, that could have been enough to gum up the works. They didn’t say no, but they refused to say yes.

            Part of the problem is that the Missouri state government is broke, and there have been continual budget cuts at the university. For political reasons, Mizzou’s athletic department is required to be financially independent. And Missouri’s athletic revenue stream (donations, football ticket sales) aren’t nearly as healthy as Nebraska’s. So there was likely some anxiety. The said thing is had Mizzou’s leadership been braver they might be in the Big Ten right now.

            That said, I’m not going to get too upset about it. The SEC is a solid conference. But if we were stuck in the unstable Big 12 right now I’d be pissed.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            meant to say “the sad thing is” not “said thing is”.

            Too bad there’s no edit function in this comments section.

            Like

          • Eric says:

            I do get why Missouri would have held out. Lets remember that in 2010, the Big 12 was not seen as a damaged conference. While it’s ability to be picked off was there, most people saw it as stronger than the PAC-10 or ACC.

            Beyond that, the Missouri leadership could view the buying into the BTN differently than the Big Ten. To the Big Ten, it would be Missouri buying a piece of an entity owned by the other 11 schools. To Missouri it was saying that you won’t be getting full member payouts for years, which they viewed as “junior membership.” If the option was staying in what still seemed a relatively stable Big 12 (and really its still more stable than people give it credit for) or taking enormous criticism for hurting a conference and needing a long time to make up even the initial cost, I understand them negotiating for something better.

            That said, I suspect the idea that the Big Ten and PAC-10 were going to be the same size was incorrect. The PAC-10 could have easily divided into two 8 team divisions. The Big Ten couldn’t and probably couldn’t have financially justified it either. That said, it was a common enough assumption and I could see Missouri officials believing it.

            Like

          • metatron5369 says:

            Well, if any of this is true, let’s just hope they have some sense the next time the Big Ten expands. You know, since the SEC has no real exit penalties.

            Like

  30. Eric says:

    If the thoughts on Missouri above are semi-correct (certain things I don’t think mesh completely with other things we’ve learned, but I can buy most of it as close), that makes me wonder who else 2010 could have ended up.

    Think about how close the Big 12 was to death. If you have an SEC who is not just a responder to other conference expansion (as most of us thought then), but a much more active player, then all it probably would have taken was one of Texas A&M or Missouri deciding to join the SEC to make 2010 total conference chaos.

    So for fun, here is a scenario:

    1. Colorado invited to PAC-10. PAC-10 trying to invite 5 members from Big 12 South still.
    2. Nebraska invited to Big Ten.

    At that point we know Missouri wanted in the Big Ten and may have had an SEC offer. Texas A&M had an SEC and PAC-10 offer. Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Texas Tech all had PAC-10 offers (as a group with A&M too). ESPN and Fox came in and saved the day and no one was willing to be next so the conference lived. If we had one more defection, there’s a good chance the whole conference could have collapsed though. Let’s pretend Texas A&M gave in to its fans desires last year.

    3. Texas A&M seeing 2 members gone and 5 others thinking about it, accepts an SEC offer.

    At this point with 3 important members gone, with knowledge that the SEC is going for school #14, that the PAC-10 is trying to get to 16, and that the Big Ten might well feel a need to follow suit to at least 14, hope in saving the conference probably would be very low (although not gone, there is still a strong core).

    All eyes would still be turned to Texas in the end. They are still the big fish, still like the idea of having their own network, and can’t be completely ignored. At the same time though, they’d be in more of a bind. My guess is that the back and forth between Larry Scott and Dodds would have gotten more intense and that in the end they’d have worked out a compromise. Some of the rights like websites would have remained with the schools and Texas would have option of buying air time on the PAC-16 Network in Texas for additional coverage.

    4. Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State all join the PAC-10. PAC-10 starts exploring options for its 16th member.

    5. Worried about expansion hitting it, the ACC adds Pitt and Syracuse.

    6. SEC leaning towards Missouri. The Big Ten somewhat reluctant to expand again, but landscape is quickly turning to 4 major conferences and the Big Ten doesn’t want to be only one at 12. Missouri is invited to Big Ten.

    7. Kansas invited to PAC-10 as 16th member. Kansas State put pressure to keep two together, but given Big 12 issues, Kansas able to leave. East-West split in divisions.

    8. SEC finds it ACC members surprisingly stuck together and ends up inviting West Virginia.

    9. Big Ten pushes for Notre Dame. Irish reject offer and the conference looks to both ACC and Big East teams. It ends up inviting Rutgers, hoping it will give Big Ten teams more exposure in New York.

    10. Big East votes to dissolve football as a sport. Four remaining Big East football members (Louisville, Cincinnati, South Florida, and UConn) join the Big 12 for football only (remaining members: Kansas State, Iowa State and Baylor).

    11. Big 12 becomes a hybrid. TCU, Utah, Houston, Central Florida and Memphis join for all sports. Boise State and Temple join for football only. BYU decides to become independent.

    Like

    • Andy says:

      This is pretty close to what I thought would happen about a year ago. It didn’t end up working out this way.

      Like

    • Eric says:

      Possible divisions for this scenario:

      PAC-10 changes name to something new (Larry Scott said they likely wouldn’t have been PAC-16). Simple divisions with the old PAC-8 in a Pacific division and the Arizonia schools with Kansas, Colorado and the Texas and Oklahoma schools in a Country division.

      SEC: Same divisions, but Texas A&M in west and West Virginia in the east

      ACC: They probably would (and probably will now) just put Syracuse in the Atlantic and Pitt to the Coastal. A better way though would be:

      Atlantic—————-Coastal
      Boston College——Clemson
      Syracuse————-Wake Forest
      Pitt———————North Carolina State
      Maryland————-Duke
      Miami (Fl)————Florida State
      Virginia—————North Carolina
      Virginia Tech——–Georgia Tech

      Big Ten:

      No crossover games. I think the conference would have been concerned enough about teams playing enough of each other to do a KISS here so they could avoid permanent crossovers. The top in the east is definitely stronger, but the middle of the west helps makes up for that.

      East—————–West
      Ohio State Nebraska
      Michigan Iowa
      Penn State Wisconsin
      Michigan State Missouri
      Indiana Illinois
      Purdue Northwestern
      Rutgers Minnesota

      Like

      • Andy says:

        And the Big 12 would have been something like:

        West/East
        Baylor/Kansas State
        TCU/Iowa State
        SMU/Louisville
        Houston/Cincinnati
        Boise State/UConn
        BYU/South Florida

        Like

        • Eric says:

          Those are probably better Big 12 teams than I had. The rest I could follow through with some logic (not that it would have been right, but it made sense), but who the Big 12 would have picked up, I wasn’t sure of at all. I figured some Texas schools, but that they’d want to be a national conference and thus maybe not have 4, but really they probably make more sense, especially for all sports teams.

          Like

      • Brian says:

        Eric,

        Big Ten:

        No crossover games. I think the conference would have been concerned enough about teams playing enough of each other to do a KISS here so they could avoid permanent crossovers. The top in the east is definitely stronger, but the middle of the west helps makes up for that.

        East—————–West
        Ohio State Nebraska
        Michigan Iowa
        Penn State Wisconsin
        Michigan State Missouri
        Indiana Illinois
        Purdue Northwestern
        Rutgers Minnesota

        I don’t think that would be the end result. TPTB really seemed set on splitting the kings and OSU/MI, and I think that would have remained. Besides, based on the criteria they were using the east looks much tougher.

        Order by conference W% since 1993:
        OSU – 0.788
        NE – 0.707
        MI – 0.674
        PSU – 0.625
        WI – 0.608
        IA – 0.524
        MSU – 0.490
        PU – 0.462
        MO – 0.441
        NW – 0.431
        IL – 0.344
        MN – 0.319
        RU – 0.268
        IN – 0.236

        East = 1, 3, 4, 7, 8, 13, 14
        West = 2, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12

        A/B (locked rival pairs)
        MI/OSU
        NE/PSU
        MN/WI
        MO/IL
        IN/PU
        MSU/NW
        IA/RU

        A = 2, 3, 6, 7, 9, 12, 14
        B = 1, 4, 5, 8, 10, 11, 13

        That’s better balance than E/W, and has some advantages over the current set up.

        IN and PU get split instead of IL and NW. MSU keeps its games with NW. WI gains NW as a division mate and gets NJ access for recruiting. MO gets regional rivals (IL, IA, NE). PSU gets an eastern neighbor. IA/RU is the only forced rivalry, and someone had to be paired with them. IA gets NJ access out of the deal.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          I’d switch IU & PU because amongst the top 3 teams, the OSU/PSU/UW average winning pct is .674 while the UM/UNL/Iowa average winning pct is .635 and I think the difference in strength at the top should matter more. Plus, PA, OH, and NJ would be the 3 states with the most fertile recruiting grounds. so the more competitive IN schools should go to the other division.

          Otherwise, from a competitive standpoint, it’s an even split.

          Pretty certain the presidents wouldn’t want to put the entire Chicagoland, NYC, 2 PA, and 3 OH markets all in the same division, though.

          Like

    • bullet says:

      Baylor was bringing in all their guns. A&M would have had a hard time leaving last year unless Texas was leaving also and they shared the heat.

      Like

  31. metatron5369 says:

    I’m curious, what do people think are the three (four if you don’t include Notre Dame) best candidates for joining the Big Ten? Not just monetarily, but culturally and realistically.

    Like

    • wmtiger says:

      The obvious; Texas, ND & I’d take Oklahoma along with Texas if Texas demanded it..

      After those I’d target realistic options like Maryland, Rutgers, Missouri & Virginia or VT… None of those four are ‘worthy’ imo without adding ND too.

      Like

    • Eric says:

      It’s hard to answer without saying monetarily because that’s a big part of the equation. If we absolutely had to go to 16 and I had my choices, I’d take Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Kansas State. They’d keep the conference Midwestern and only add one more team at the top (we have plenty).

      Like

      • Richard says:

        Wow. Definitely _not_ my choices (and I currently live in MO). If we’re constrained by gegraphy, I’d want the B10 to be a northern conference (with Yankee/Midlands values), not just a Midwestern conference. If not the ACC core four, then some combination of Rutgers, Syracuse, Maryland, Mizzou, UConn, & BC. Most of those don’t make sense monetarily, however.

        If we’re not constrained by geography, then UF, UGa, Texas, and ND. I mean, why the heck not, as the B10 expanding to 16 isn’t likely to happen anyway.

        I suppose culture would be a consideration, with an expansion south, though. There really aren’t 4 schools that would fit the B10 culturally & academically yet make sense monetarily and is at least B10-average athletically. ND is really the only school that meets all 4 criteria. Pitt meets 3 of the criteria (academics, culture, & athletics) but doesn’t bring new territory. Rutgers & Maryland meet the cultural and academic criteria and may contribute enough monetarily to at least not be a drawback, but wouldn’t be even B10 average in football. Mizzou is a fit culturally & would be good enough (to at least not be a drawback) athletically and monetarily, but would be pretty much at the bottom academically. Syracuse would be a fit culturally & may barely meet the criteria monetarily and athletics-wise but doesn’t do much research and just left the AAU. OU would be great except that their academics are even weaker than Mizzou’s (and they’re not leaving without OKSt. anyway). UConn & BC have weaker cases than the above. KU and KSU make almost no sense & have only culture/geography (and KU bball) going for them.

        Like

        • Eric says:

          I guess I kind of ended up ignoring the realistic part of the question entirely. I agree my list is absolutely not going to happen in a million years. With that said, I like conferences being regional and I like the Big Ten as a Midwestern conference true to its roots (originally the Western Conference).

          In spite of being a grad, I couldn’t care less about the academic components (except in liking how they make expansion more difficult) as I don’t think any new school in the Big Ten is going to make my diploma anymore valuable. I get why the schools themselves do (prestige factor for higher-ups), but honestly the only thing that would matter to me if we had to expand would be staying Midwestern and preserving rivalries.

          Like

          • Eric says:

            I should add, I like rooting for the conference as a whole, but it’s kind of a regional pride thing. If we end up in Texas or Florida or further into the northeast though (Pennsylvania is Midwestern enough in character even if an outlier) then I’ll care a little less (although still have reason to care some given the current BCS set-up which we rewards strong conferences).

            Like

    • bullet says:

      I was thinking about all 3 parts of your question separately and the one name that came up every time was Rutgers.
      Monetarily it would be Texas, OU, Notre Dame and Rutgers (very valuable in B1G, especially paired with ND)
      Culturally at a university level Texas, Rutgers, Maryland and Missouri (all big state flagship universities with a lot of research)
      Realistically Rutgers, Pitt, Missouri, Notre Dame (eventually they will join B1G or ACC, just not anytime soon)

      So overall it would be Rutgers & Notre Dame and you would likely stop there. If they felt compelled to go to 16, PItt (for its research) and Missouri (for its population).

      You still have a north/south split since ND would want to be with the south schools-PSU, OSU, IU, PU, ND, RU, Pitt, Ill with Wisconsin moving into the north along with Missouri. I don’t think the rest of the ACC schools (i.e. UVA/UNC/Duke) fit culturally as they are all smaller institutions and there really isn’t anyone else out there who might be realistic monetarily.

      Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        Not sure the word “culturally” fits in a description of large state research schools. Sharing a similar mandate from sponsoring state politicians doesn’t equate to a cultural fit, at least not to me.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          The schools have a similar mission and somewhat similar admission standards. Contrast that with the Big East where you’ve got Georgetown, Providence, Villanova, Louisville & Rutgers.

          And the universities have similarities even if the surrounding states are different. At Texas you see an overwhelming number of Big 10 (and Ivy League) Phds on the faculty.

          Like

      • Pat says:

        @Bullet – Yes, this is pretty much what I was thinking. Missouri, Pitt, ND and Rutgers only with pod scheduling to insure teams don’t go 6-8 years without playing each other. Unfortunately, it won’t happen with Pitt and Mizzou going to the ACC and SEC.

        Shortly after Nebraska was admitted to the B1G, I read an article in an Ann Arbor paper that said the presidents of three schools, I think it was Michigan, Northwestern and Illinois, told Jim Delany not to ask to admit and more schools with low academic ratings like Nebraska. I took that to mean no Missouri, Kansas or Oklahoma. Rutgers and ND look to be the only remaining realistic options.

        Like

    • Richard says:

      Realistically, B10 expansion won’t and shouldn’t happen without ND joining. ND joins, and Rutgers can come on board. Heck, ND joins and any 3 of Rutgers, Maryland, BC, Pitt, Syracuse, or even UConn can come on board.

      Like

  32. frug says:

    Insight Bowl (formally Copper Bowl) has lost its sponsor of the last 15 years

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/football/ncaa/01/27/insight.bowl.ap/index.html

    If TPTB are serious about raising bowl eligibility to 7 wins, this might be bowl that could be cut.

    Like

    • frug says:

      I should add that the Insight Bowl is run by the same people that run the Fiesta Bowl

      Like

      • greg says:

        frug, since its run by the same committee as the Fiesta, I doubt it’d get dropped.

        Like

        • @greg – Yes, that’s correct and it has a very large payout considering the matchup (Big Ten #4/5 vs. Big 12 #4). It’s on a higher tier than the Holiday Bowl now, so I can’t see this one being eliminated. The bowls with very low payouts featuring non-AQ schools are much more at risk.

          Like

          • Pat says:

            Could the Pac-12 and B1G Alliance take over the Insight Bowl and televise it on their respective conference networks? I believe Jim Delany said the conferences would look into starting their own bowl game when the alliance was announced last month. Just a wild thought.

            Like

          • Eric says:

            Pat, that is definitely a bowl I think could be a real possibility. The PAC-12 will need more bowls with teams (or at least no fewer if they go to 7 wins), while the Big 12 with only 10 will need fewer (and 4/5 will be less desirable). The Big 12 isn’t losing the Cotton Bowl for #2 though, and the Alamo Bowl is going to want to keep a Big 12 presence for the anchor given its based in Texas (also #3 Big 12 is still pretty good). The Insight (Copper) would make a lot sense given its in Arizona and a little further down the Big 12 list.

            The other big possibility is probably the Holiday Bowl (if it can up its payments). It’s slid down the pecking order and really won’t be in an ideal spor for a 10 team Big 12 with 9 conference games (fewer eligible teams) at all.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            The biggest probability (IMHO) is a new LA Christmas Bowl featuring the Pac vs. B10. We could also see some combination of the Pac, B10, BYU (and maybe B12) sharing slots amongst the Insight, Holiday, and new Christmas bowl. Possibly the SF (Fight Hunger) and Poinsettia bowls as well.

            Like

  33. bullet says:

    Switching gears a little, I saw this article discussing declining TV ratings and attendance for bowls:

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/story/16975644/slipping-bowl-attendance-has-bcs-scrambling-for-reasons-fixes

    It noted the ChampSports and Insight were two of the bowls bucking the trend.

    Like

    • metatron5369 says:

      Good. Let them die.

      I used to scoff at the people who only tune in for the Rose Bowl, but between the various “Meineke All-State Pizza” Bowls and the ESPN hype-machine’s monster child, the “national championship”, I can’t bring myself to actually give a damn.

      The system rewards mediocre teams and corrupt executives. These games are meaningless, and it’s hypocritical that bowls are “rewards”, but actual regular season/playoff games are undue burdens on student athletes.

      Like

  34. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/college-sports/recruiting/football/story/_/id/7516563/texas-prospects-just-everyone-else-believe-not

    This article focuses on TX recruits, but compares them to players from CA, FL and the rest of the country. The end result is TX, CA and FL produce a lot more recruits, but they aren’t any better than those from elsewhere.

    Like

  35. Brian says:

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/football/ncaa/01/30/rutgers-cristobal.ap/index.html?sct=cf_t2_a3

    Mario Cristobal says no to Rutgers, preferring to stay at FIU. RU may hire internally.

    Like

  36. Brian says:

    Illini fans,

    Any comments on the new helmets I’ve seen for IL? I think I like the blue with the orange block I. I’m not sure whether a dark facemask is best. I’d like to see it with a white one and with an orange one to compare.

    Like

  37. Richard says:

    Frank,

    I’ve read the Dr. Saturday piece before, and it’s a yawner. Yes, higher-starred recruits gets you more wins, but that’s not very interesting (as anyone who follows college football knows that). What’s an interesting question is _how_ much more (and how high’s the correlation between doing well in recruiting and doing well on the field), and what types of top recruits matter more, which is why I think the analysis done by “mathlete” on the MGo blog is more worthy of a tweet:

    http://mgoblog.com/diaries/what's-5-star-really-worth-predicting-future-team-success-recruiting-rankings

    Like

  38. Pat says:

    Clemson athletics forms Advisory Committee to provide “strategic planning advice”. Hmmm.
    http://www.clemsontigers.com/genrel/012812aab.html

    Like

    • Steve says:

      “We have only one agenda – how to help Clemson Athletics go to the next level.”

      This is the key sentence in the Clemson announcement. The committee is going to assess all areas of athletics, but conference realignment is the big issue. Not saying the Tigers are leaving for the SEC or Big-12, but they’re going to take a close look, but at the same time camouflaging it within a broader review. Probably not a bad idea, especially if the Big-12 is really throwing around numbers as big as $35M per team. School needs to do is “due diligence”.

      Like

      • Seth says:

        Sports Talk radio in Atlanta says Clemson was very upset that West Virginia, a football school, was not admitted to the ACC. But,Syracuse and Pitt, basketball schools, were both admitted. FSU and Georgia Tech were also supporters of West Virginia. All three are demanding that two football schools be added to the ACC. Rumor is WV fell one vote short of being admitted with Pitt after one school reversed their vote at the last minute.

        Like

        • metatron5369 says:

          West Virginia and who else? Rutgers?

          Like

        • gobux says:

          Which school reversed it’s vote?

          Like

          • Seth says:

            Not sure, but rumor is either UNC or BC.

            Like

          • Seth says:

            Copy of Twitter post below from Today:
            The Dude of WV @theDudeofWV Close @jdixter @CoryFravel
            – ACC rejected #WVU simply because UNC didn’t want #WVU. FSU, Clemson, Maryland, Wake,
            Miami, BC & others wanted #WVU.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            I highly doubt the bluebloods at UNC ever supported adding WVU, and even BC, unless they still held a grudge against the Orange, I can’t see rather adding a school that they have less of a rivalry with.

            Any of NCSU, Wake, VTech, or Miami would have been more believably on the fence. It does support the view that this is just a rumor hyped up by WVU fans.

            Like

    • jj says:

      If SEC is really thinking 16, they couldn’t do much better than Clemson & FSU. Gentlemen’s agreements aside.

      Like

    • Redhawk says:

      FSU also has a Conference Realignment committee.

      It’s looking like the ACC isn’t as solid as many around here think they might be.

      Like

      • metatron5369 says:

        I think it’s plenty solid.

        That’s not to say that schools might not bolt, but they won’t do so out of desperation. Like I said earlier, this all reeks of trying to gain leverage. The Big XII is a stalking horse, but these things can rapidly spiral out of control if egos aren’t left at the door.

        Hell, the Big XII is living proof of that.

        Like

      • Eric says:

        Yeah it’s definitely beginning to feel like it did when the first big A&M rumors started. An assumption is being challenged and the rumors could easily be off, but the smoke is enough to justify at least relooking at the premise.

        While I don’t think Florida State or Clemson will ultimately be jumping anywhere, I do think the Big 12 has been severely under-rated because of recent losses. 20% of its membership is still Texas and Oklahoma. Add to that Kansas basketball, decent football names in West Virginia and TCU, and you have a good base to expand from. You combine Florida State and Texas in the same conference and you all of a sudden have a lot of serious attention in big football states and a lot of the recruits that come with it. That can’t look completely unattractive to Florida State and Clemson, especially if they think their needs are being ignored.

        I know some will argue Texas has more control in the Big 12, but I don’t really think that’s true. They had power when the Big 12 looked like it was falling apart because they were looking at options and everyone wanted them. They got what they wanted (the Longhorn Network) and compromised on almost everything else (rights fees, etc, half of which the exiting members didn’t really mind anyway).

        If the Big 12 were, to seriously be trying this though and if it was to work (again I don’t think it will, but going for fun), I think it would have to be more like the Big 8 and Southwestern Conference. The Big 12 would officially dissolve, but all teams would join the new conference and be joined by new members. The exit fees from the ACC would be spread across the board a little. I also think if you were going to get Florida State and Clemson, you’d need others so the conference would be a little more local for them.

        Like

      • Mike says:

        FSU’s realignment committe was awful noisy during the SEC saga, but hasn’t been heard of since. Are they still meeting?

        Like

  39. acaffrey says:

    My hope is that Clemson and FSU are just doing this to give the ACC credibility in approaching ESPN for a renegotiated contract. If the ACC is not competitive with the Big XII and SEC financially, then it, too, cannot survive.

    While the SEC getting stronger does not hurt ESPN, I am not sure that ESPN wants to put its faith in the Big XII. With the Big XII’s contract coming up next, someone else could swoop in and pay even bigger money.

    Not saying it would work, but if ESPN cannot keep the ACC up to par with the Big XII, it will become a secondary conference and disappear.

    http://atlanticcoastconfidential.com/2012/01/31/clemson-forms-athletic-advisory-committee/#respond

    Like

    • acaffrey says:

      I don’t mean disappear, disappear. I mean any semblance of the ACC as a top 4 conference will end.

      Although a true full-on raid on the ACC would likely lead to a Big East-ACC merger of some sorts.

      Like

    • Steve says:

      Yeah, I’m beginning to wonder if the ACC and Big-12 are headed for a steel cage match and fight to the finish.

      Like

      • Redhawk says:

        I’ve come to the conclusion that neither can go forward long term as they currently stand today. Both would be 2nd class conferences with too many programs that are first class level.

        Like

  40. bullet says:

    NCAA president once again mentions his support for a 4 team playoff. Says he is opposed to a 16 or 24 team playoff (like FCS) with the current 12 game schedule. Decries the realignment spawning lawsuits, bad publicity and ill will.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/collegesports/2017380041_grid31.html

    Like

    • bullet says:

      The Big East doesn’t seem to be taking the UConn lesson to heart. UConn would probably be in the ACC instead of Pitt if UConn hadn’t taken the lead in the lawsuit against BC and the ACC last time. Right now they are holding everyone hostage. I suspect we will get some movement shortly. BE knows B12 has a 2/1 deadline and are probably playing hardball with WVU trying to get B12 pressure on WVU. When B12 announces its schedule either the BE lets up a little and settles quickly with WVU or BE sues B12, which would be to the long run detriment of any remaining BE teams and drag out all of this realignment.

      PItt/SU are in limbo as the BE doesn’t really need them past 2012. MWC/CUSA merger is in limbo as well as they need the BE to get to its final structure (are they taking anyone else from their group?). And the BE isn’t moving probably in order to keep pressure on WVU/Pitt/SU to stay as long as possible or at least pay as much as possible. The SEC has gotten settled despite being the one who started the mess by taking A&M and later Missouri during the football season instead of spring or summer as is typical with expansion. Although A&M is sitting with 2 open schedule spots, so they are in a little bit of limbo. A lot of other schools are in scheduling limbo until the WVU/BE deal is settled.

      Like

      • frug says:

        Well if WVU does go to the Big XII next year there is still going to be a bunch of scheduling limbo since the remaining Big East schools will all have another game to fill (and this is after they had to scramble to schedule replacement games for TCU).

        Like

      • Richard says:

        I don’t know why you’d think UConn would be more attractive to the ACC than Pitt. Pitt has better football, more of a football tradition, better football recruiting grounds, much better research, and is close in bball.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          How many basketball championships does Pitt have? They are good right now (and the last 5-10 years), but its like comparing TCU to USC. TCU may have been better the last couple of years, but….

          The reason I mention it is that the BC President or AD implied that they blackballed UConn and Pitt got in even though ESPN liked UConn better.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            However, bball just isn’t that important compared to football (or even, I would argue, academics), and in those 2 areas, Pitt blows away UConn.

            As for the BC guy, maybe ESPN likes UConn better (if so, in large part because UConn is their hometown school, being an hour’s drive away from ESPN headquarters), and it certainly sounds like he held a grudge against UConn, but the legitimate reasons for choosing Pitt over UConn were good enough, so my thinking is that the guy hated UConn and just wanted to rub salt in the wound, even though Pitt would have been selected, blackball or no.

            Like

          • I agree that the quotes about UConn being preferred are overblown. Personally, I think the world of what UConn’s athletic department has been able to build over a relatively short period of time, but Pitt is definitely higher on the pecking order for the reasons that Richard pointed out. The ACC wasn’t the only league going after Pitt last fall.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Plus, unlike Duff, I don’t think the presidents take their marching orders from ESPN or any other TV network (well, the smart ones, anyway).

            Like

          • bullet says:

            They don’t take marching orders from networks, but they do care about $.

            He may have wanted to rub it in with UConn, but if they are able to get a piece of a 20 million person market, it could be more valuable than Pitt getting a bigger chunk of a 2 million person market. Pitt has the football pedigree, but they are still 2nd string to Penn St. in Pennsylvania and haven’t been consistently good over the last 20 years.

            Pitt strikes me as more valuable, but with the bb and potential in the NY market, I could see there being a different valuation.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            bullet:

            They care about UConn in CT, but as you know, CT doesn’t have a lot of people. I’ve worked in NYC (commuting in from CT and NJ), and UConn has about as much of a claim on NYC loyalties as any other eastern BE school. In fact, I believe there was a study showing that Pitt had as much or more fan support in NYC as UConn. In NYC, judging by sports radio, amongst BE bball schools, the pecking order is Syracuse, St. John’s, (maybe ND) and everyone else. Rutgers at least has the advantage of being close and sending a lot of alums to NYC. Plus, NYC is rather apathetic about college sports, having the second-to-lowest ratings for the BCS championship game in 2009 (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703467004575463843751580442.html)

            Storrs, BTW, is not an NYC suburb.

            Like

    • Mike says:

      Nice to see “the dude” figured out NCST isn’t going anywhere….

      Like

      • The only realistic way that NC St goes to the SEC is if UNC is happy with the arrangement. The only realistic way that would happen would be either some sort of ACC breakup / B12 merger (as discussed above, something like a 14-team league with Texas, Oklahoma, UNC, Duke, Kansas, FSU, Clemson, and fill in the rest with whoever) or the BIG poaching UNC. In such a case, where UNC ends up in a better place, I’d think they’d be fine with NC St going elsewhere. Barring such a scenario (which I’d consider quite unlikely), I have a pretty hard time seeing NC St in the SEC.

        Like

  41. bullet says:

    Article of Big 12’s expansion decisions. I suspect nothing will happen until after WVU is resolved, if at all. My guess is that they do go to 12 if TV $ are close to the same per school.

    I haven’t seen any source except one blogger talking about ACC schools. Given how a few bloggers got attention at WV boards selling them that they were already invited to the SEC, I wonder if this guy is just trying to see if he can sell some story with virtually no basis.

    This writer says Louisville is #11 and another eastern school would be #12.

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegesports/story/17065839/big-12-has-big-longterm-decision-looming-regarding-expansion

    Like

  42. bullet says:

    Speculation on a split in Division I:

    http://collegefootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/01/30/mark-emmert-ncaa-will-examine-the-way-in-which-division-i-is-organized/

    President Emmert is having a committee look at Division I governance this summer and there is speculation that some split, beyond just governance, will be studied.

    Like

    • Richard says:

      Yeah, this was something I thought of earlier (about when 7 wins to be bowl eligible was proposed). I think you’ll see Div I split in to Div I-A, Div I-AA, and Div I-AAA, with the Big 5 conferences, BE, and probably MWC-CUSA going in to Div I-A and the rest of FBS (MAC, SunBelt, & WAC) going in to Div I-AA with the stronger FCS conferences (some combination of Big Sky, Colonial, & Southern, maybe plus or minus a few schools/conferences) + the Ivy League.

      Div I-AAA will still have an 11 game schedule & cut their playoff back to 8, 12, or 16 teams. Div I-AA will have a 12-game schedule and an 4-8 team playoff, maybe with some bowl games as well. Div I-A will have a 12-game schedule, a 4-team playoff, and be allowed to count 2 victories over Div I-AA teams to qualify for bowl eligibility (7 wins needed). It’s possible that, in order to assuage the MAC, SunBelt, & WAC schools shunted down to Div I-AA, a 13th game would be allowed to be played by schools the weekend before Labor Day (the old Kickoff Classic weekend) but only if it matches up a Div I-A vs. Div I-AA school and the revenues are divided evenly. That game would not count towards bowl eligibility.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        BTW, 20K in attendance seems to be the dividing line between my hypothetical Div I-A and Div I-AA. No current MAC, Sun Belt, or WAC school drew more than 20K on average in 2010 except Central Michigan (@ 20,448) & Temple (@ 20,515). No FBS school outside those conferences drew less than 20K on average except UAB (18,360) & Nevada (19,576). In FCS, Appy St., Montana, and Jackson St. each averaged about 25K.

        Like

      • Richard says:

        Also, the 13th game probably would be limited, say to 10-12. So the 12 best Div I-AA teams get to play the 12 of the 14 highest ranked Div I-A teams that didn’t play in the title game the previous year (if they want to play a 13th game, going down the line until you find 12 Div I-A teams willing to play a 13th game).

        Like

    • duffman says:

      @ Frank,

      This is what I suggested in the email I sent you that you never responded to!

      Did you not get it?

      Like

  43. zeek says:

    Navy orders their impt non-Big East games: 1) Army, 2) Notre Dame, 3) Air Force.

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/7525728/navy-midshipmen-look-ahead-future-traditional-rivalries-big-east

    To me, if I’m running Air Force Academy, I’d have to take the 12 slot and get the fixed matchup with Navy protected. That’s really the best way to guarantee that relationship going forwards for Air Force, imo.

    Like

  44. Brian says:

    http://www.cleveland.com/osu/index.ssf/2012/01/big_ten_offering_recruits_secu.html

    I’d heard about this, but this is the first official confirmation I’ve seen.

    Many, if not all, B10 schools are offering 4 years scholarships to FB players this year. Delany encouraged all 12 schools to do it. The MAC and SEC offices have taken no official position on it, although Mike Slive has said he favors 4 years.

    At least one of the NCAA changes actually happened this year.

    Like

    • PSUGuy says:

      I’m very happy about this, but resigned to the knowledge that once the SEC west starts to perceive some recruiting losses due to the competetive disadvantage they’ll just shift their scholarship offers to four years, still over-sign, and “deal with the problem” via an increase in medicals/players “dismissed from the team due to violation of team rules”.

      Like

    • Richard says:

      I wonder if this policy has had an effect on B10 recruiting yet. Michigan and OSU have top 5 classes, but they’re composed of almost all Midwestern kids. Going forward, we should check to see whether B10 teams start winning recruiting battles in VA, MD, DC, NJ, & the rest of the Northeast as well as in TX & FL vs. the non-kings.

      Like

      • wmtiger says:

        Most all of us believed the ACC to be pretty secure (as did I) from other conferences but their new TV deal could look really small after the Big XII and B10 negotiate their next television contract(s)…

        It might be a long ways (3+ years) off but some programs leaving the ACC for better television payouts from the SEC, Big XII, B10 might be the next major round of conference expansion.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          It will be interesting to see how much ESPN gives the ACC for Pitt and SU. The ACC is the only wholly owned ESPN property (Big East is up for bid). B1G has tier 3 on BTN/Fox. SEC has tier 1 on CBS and tier 3 owned by the schools. Pac 12 has an ESPN/Fox split and a tier 3 network. Big 12 has tier 2 on Fox with tier 3 owned by the schools. They have nothing but the CUSA championship game on CUSA and MWC. Will they be inclined to catch the ACC up some in order to avoid possibly losing part of that broadcast property? The ACC has also been the most flexible on Thursday night games.

          The ACC schools may also feel the difference between $12.9 million a year and $17.1 million a year (SEC) is not enough to make a permanent change. The ACC has the markets to do as well as the other conferences and had a better TV deal than the SEC until the last contract. Its simply a matter of improving the football product.

          Like

          • Mike says:

            The differences in tier three are interesting to me. The SEC tier three is one game a school, the Big 12 (IIRC) is one game a school (didn’t ESPN buy KU/UT last year from FOX), yet in the Big Ten and PAC12 tier three is more than one game a school. These differences make it hard to compare and contrast tier three value.

            Like

          • vp19 says:

            The ACC has the markets to do as well as the other conferences and had a better TV deal than the SEC until the last contract. It’s simply a matter of improving the football product.

            Aye, there’s the rub — and it’s a big one. The stigma of ACC football, which the conference thought would be lessened by expansion, has amplified instead…next to no success in BCS games, the “wrong teams” often reaching the CCG or even winning it (e.g. Wake Forest, 2006), the mindset of many ACC fans that football is merely a prelude for what’s really important (hoops), and as a result, the vibe recruits get is, why go to an ACC school? Yes, Florida State more than holds its own, but Florida in-state talent is so deep it’s almost impossible not to get blue-chippers. With the SEC winning title after title, it’s putting the pressure on the likes of Clemson and schools south, and I can see where a few ACC members might throw the hands up and decide to move on. Today’s announcement about the 14-team setup doesn’t help matters — Maryland fans are furious that Duke won’t be visiting Comcast once every three years, and N.C. State can’t be pleased the same thing will happen against UNC.

            If Clemson, Georgia Tech and Florida State believe the ACC brand is counterproductive in football, in a few years they might well examine what the Big 12 could do for them. Tack them on with Louisville, and you have a fairly intriguing 14-team conference.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            I wouldn’t lump GTech with Clemson and FSU just because of some WV rumormonger. GTech is a school that, even though it’s public, thinks like a small elite private school (the MIT of the south). It requires all students (including the athletes) to pass calculus in order to graduate. IMHO, it values it’s academic association with Duke, UNC, and UVa more than whatever small gain in football joining the B12 would give it.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            While some of the newer schools might leave, the ACC core has strong ties. I think people forget it is the presidents making this decision, not fans. The regional and academic ties in the ACC are much more important than a little extra money to most ACC presidents. With the B12 playing 9 games too, that isn’t appealing either for FSU, Clemson or GT. If those schools ever went anywhere, it would be the SEC. If anybody from the ACC joins the B12, Pitt seems most likely. They have no ACC ties and their rival is in the B12.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Pitt, Syracuse, BC, or Clemson, depending on how big the B12 wants to get.

            I don’t see the 4 NC schools, UVa, VTech, or GTech leaving for the B12 ever. Even the SEC is highly unlikely to pry any of those 7 schools away.

            Like

    • cutter says:

      http://espn.go.com/blog/bigten/post?id=44807

      Michigan, Penn State, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois and Northwestern have confirmed to ESPN.com that they have also awarded four-year grants to recruits. Purdue, Minnesota and Indiana are still offering the one-year, renewable scholarship.

      That’s eight of the Big Ten’s twelve schools who are offering four year-scholarships. No mention about what Nebraska is planning on doing.

      Like

      • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

        ESPN just being ESPN.

        Most reputable news sources have reported that Ohio State officially offered the multi-year scholarships as well.

        Like

        • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

          Disregard that….I just read the actual article. They specifically quote the Doug Lesmerises article that is primarily about Ohio State making the switch.

          Like

    • Brian says:

      Apparently UF also offered 4 year scholarships, so that’s at least 10 schools that did so (9 B10 + 1 SEC).

      Like

      • Kevin says:

        Not surprising. UF is a quality school with very good academics. Alvarez mentioned one time that the Big Ten received inquiry by Florida about joining the conference. This was about 5 to 7 years ago. While everyone thought the school was a good fit academically etc.. it was too much of reach being on an island distance wise.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          Seriously? Source please. I think the B10 would (and should) take UF in a heartbeat. Rumor was that the B10 asked UF and UGa to join but those 2 schools declined last expansion phase. I find that rumor more believable than UF wanting to join. Maybe if the SEC kills off UGa-Auburn, those 2 schools might reconsider.

          Like

          • aps says:

            Richard, I remember reading the same thing Kevin is saying. It was about 5-7 years ago. It was on-line and it was in one of the Milwaukee papers I believe.

            Barry never said who it was BUT he did say it was out of the box. Barry said that the school had approached the Big 10. Speculation by many on the various Big 10 boards at that time was that it was Florida (is an AAU school).

            Like

          • Richard says:

            OK, I remember Alvarez saying they were approached by a completely unexpected school. However, it’s a massive leap to go from that to “UF asked to join the B10”.

            The rumor (heard on Frank’s site many moons ago) was that the mystery school was Tennessee. That is at least a bit more believable. The source of that rumor said, with their poor in-state talent, Tennessee doesn’t think it has a chance of getting to the national title game ever again going against the more-stacked SEC schools. The source also said the B10 was willing to take Tennessee if UK came, but UK didn’t want to. Not sure about that, Also that the B10 approached UF and UGa about joining as a pair but they refused. I have no idea how factual that all is, but Tennessee wanting to join certainly seems more believable than UF wanting to join (by itself), as is the B10 turning down Tennessee compared to the B10 turning down UF. Turning down UF would be about as silly as turning down Texas. If any of ND, Texas, or UF (or UGa with UF; or even FSU with UF or some combination of FSU/UGa/Miami/GTech with UF) wanted to join the B10, I think the B10 would/should take them.

            Like

      • bullet says:

        The Atlanta player who had committed to Alabama and was asked to sit out a year and greyshirt signed with Kentucky yesterday. His coach’s comment was that it was just as well, he would have just been a number at Alabama.

        Georgia Tech fired one of their football coaches for texting. Apparently NCAA rules prohibit that and he was doing it for the 2nd time. After their last penalties, they have been making sure everyone understands the rules.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          And the player who had committed to them who said they pulled their offer because he was late getting his SAT scores, was one of the players he had texted, so that was an additional complication with their offer. It might have become a recruting violation.

          Like

      • Brian says:

        Yeah, I was going to mention AU today since every school doing that deserves recognition, especially in the SEC.

        The comments on that article from AL fans are interesting:

        “Philon didn’t have his scholarship “jerked.”. He was just asked to wait one semester for his injury to heel. Actually sounds to me Saban has his best interest at heart.”

        “Players can change minds why not coaches?”

        Like

  45. Mike says:

    Good article on the MLB draft in Latin America.

    http://www.economist.com/node/21546064

    Like

  46. Mike says:

    Jon Wilner @wilnerhotline

    Source: Boise St under pressure from Big East to join in ’12 to offset WVU. AF likely to join Nave in BE question is when

    Like

    • zeek says:

      Yep, the Air Force thing makes sense in light of the Navy comments that they would look to preserve Army and Notre Dame ahead of the Air Force game.

      For Air Force, that might put some pressure on them to join the Big East and alleviate scheduling by having the game as a conference game; especially if the Big East goes to 9 conference games…

      Like

    • Eric says:

      The Big 12 could afford to make West Virginia’s offer conditional on them joining next year since they could have just moved onto someone else. The Big East is in a more difficult spot. Boise State is coming already and if they are going to come a year early, the Big East better be prepared to pick up the entire tab for any extra penalties and legal costs.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        I expect that the money WVU will be required to cough up to leave early will be more than enough to pay for Boise joining early.

        I’d do it if I was Boise. 1 more year at a shot at an AQ BCS berth.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          Seems like the penalty for leaving the MWC early was $5 million, although I’m not 100% certain that was the figure. WVU is paying $5 million just in normal exit fees without any extra for leaving early.

          Like

  47. frug says:

    Bret Bielema calls out Urban Meyer for breaking (at least) one of the Big 10’s unwritten recruiting rules by pursuing players already committed to other conference teams.

    http://collegefootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/02/02/bielema-confronted-urban-over-recruiting-tactics/

    Like

    • frug says:

      I mean other teams in the Big 10.

      Like

    • greg says:

      MSU and Dantonio have no room to complain. There have been numerous Iowa commits the last few years that they have pursued and outright lied to in an attempt to get them to switch.

      Recruiting is recruiting. SEC is at another level of ethics, but B1G ain’t rainbows and unicorns.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      frug,

      I don’t know where coaches get the idea that said agreement ever existed. Teams have poached players for years. Tressel didn’t do it much, if at all, and never to Dantonio because they were friends, but the supposed rule is bull. IL did it to OSU a few years ago. MI did it to PU as I recall. MI did it to OSU this year.

      Bielema is upset because a player from Cleveland that grew up as an OSU fan verballed to WI after Tressel was fired, but Meyer asked him if he was interested in OSU after getting hired. The kid said yes, so OSU recruited him. The same was true for MSU. An OH player who wanted to go to OSU but was scared off by the scandal changed his mind after the dust settled and Meyer was hired.

      Like

    • frug says:

      The initial post has since been updated, with this nugget:

      Bielema again complained about the recruiting practices utilized by Meyer and his OSU, hinting that whatever it was they were doing — Bielema would not delve into specifics as he seems more secure with blanket accusations made publicly — was illegal.

      Bielema really seems to think that whatever Meyer did wasn’t just a violation of written rules as well as unwritten ones.

      He went on to add that:

      Like

      • frug says:

        I can tell you this, we at the Big Ten don’t want to be like the SEC—in any way, shape or form.

        So Bilema is REALLY taking this personally. (An SEC comparison is about the ugliest insult Big 10 programs hurl at each other)

        Like

        • Kevin says:

          Rumor is that Meyer was contacting Wisconsin recruits during the “dead” period. Bielema is not after the unwritten rule of not touching committed recruits. Wisconsin is guilty of flipping kids as well so it has nothing to do with that. They have flipped plenty of Iowa’s verbals in the past few years.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            That may be the rumor, but Bielema, Alvarez and Delany would all be required to report it to the NCAA if they knew about it. There is no way Delany sits on a known NCAA violation by OSU after this past year.

            Like

          • Kevin says:

            I would agree with you Brian. Bielema shouldn’t be making accusations like this to the media. Very poor form. If something happened let the AD’s deal with it.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            And here comes the backtracking.

            http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/7537382/urban-meyer-ohio-state-buckeyes-recruiting-staff-full-compliance

            “We had an opportunity to discuss a number of issues with each other and conference staff, including those that have arisen this week,” Meyer said of the meeting in his statement. “It should be noted that my coaching staff is in full compliance with our recruiting efforts, and no one on this staff did anything illegal or unethical. We will continue to comply with NCAA rules and recruit with relentless effort, especially the great state of Ohio.

            “I want to thank (Big Ten commissioner Jim) Delany for his insight and leadership, and at this point we all look forward to moving past this week and getting ready for the start of spring football.”

            In other words, Delany said Meyer was right and Bielema was wrong.

            The coaches met with Delany and by themselves in executive session for about an hour, during which the recruiting spat was discussed, a league source told ESPN.com’s Adam Rittenberg. During the meeting, the coaches acknowledged that the so-called “gentleman’s agreement” about flipping recruits doesn’t really exist.

            There it is, in writing. There is no gentleman’s agreement. Don’t believe Joe Schad? How about this:

            Some coaches had suggested there is an unwritten rule within the Big Ten that prevents such activity. But Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez — the Badgers’ former coach — said Friday that there’s no such pact.

            “Recruiting is recruiting until they sign,” Alvarez said. “If we had somebody who changed their mind and came to us, that’s OK. (Ohio State coach) Urban (Meyer) was very aggressive, but there is no pact within the conference not to continue to recruit. It’s open season until they sign.”

            Even Bielema’s boss says what Meyer did was OK.

            Bielema did not address specifics, but on Friday said he was not alleging NCAA rules violations were committed within the Big Ten.

            So he must have meant that Meyer broke local, state or federal laws in recruiting when he claimed there was “illegal” recruiting going on. Shouldn’t he call the police? It sounds to me like Bielema was muzzled by his AD and told to stop being such a crybaby.

            Like

  48. Redhawk says:

    Nice Radio Interview from WVU Andrew Luck on the Big 12, and other subjects. He would like to see the league expand eventually to 12 teams and “even possibly beyond 12” and he believes in “strength in numbers”.

    http://www.wvmetronews.com/wvu.cfm?func=displayfullstory&storyid=50667

    Like

  49. Redhawk says:

    @ChuckCarltonDMN
    Chuck Carlton
    Big 12 board of directors took initial steps today toward finding a new commissioner, acting commish Chuck Neinas said.

    @ChuckCarltonDMN
    Chuck Carlton
    Big 12 board heard expansion committee report but took no action. Did get briefed on how schedules would change in a move beyond 10 teams.

    @ChuckCarltonDMN
    Chuck Carlton
    Asked if the board had targeted any schools or even discussed possible expansion candidates, Chuck Neinas responded: “No, sir.

    @ChuckCarltonDMN
    Chuck Carlton
    Regarding expansion, Neinas said: “The membership likes the idea you play everybody in football and a double-round robin in basketball.”

    My take: They can’t be sold on 10…if they are getting briefed on more than 10. And I think we all can figure out how the schedule works with 12 school split in 2 6-team divisions, as they did that for a long time……so they were talking 11 or more then 12. But they can’t very well say it publicly now.

    And it’s also no secret that the Big 12 isn’t going to keep up money wise with the PAC, B1G, and SEC with their current 10 teams. They have to expand into new TV markets.

    Like

    • Eric says:

      I’m not entirely sure I agree they can’t keep up money wise or even if that’s right, that expansion helps. Think about the programs they have now (\especially with Texas and Oklahoma bringing in a huge part of the money). Assuming they can’t add schools from the ACC, who is going to bring in more than the Big 12 average team? Even with a CCG, it wouldn’t surprise me if from a monetary standpoint, anyone besides another AQ team, would be a net draw and that the reasons expansion is being considered are more to do with perceived stability and security. Beyond that, there is the issue of divisions which would be a tricky subject.

      Like

    • bullet says:

      But what markets? I think the past two years have shown that brands matter more than markets (brands with markets are best, but USC, Ohio St., Michigan, Penn St. and Florida aren’t going anywhere). And the Big 12 chose teams ESPN liked who added very few markets-TCU and WVU.

      With a ccg, they could probably find two teams that somewhat increase their take per school. But there is noone who adds significant shares of any significant market. Tulane doesn’t, Northern Illinois doesn’t, Colorado State doesn’t (Colorado barely did-Denver’s a pro market).

      I think they should add 2 schools as there is some strength in numbers. BYU is best if they can work out all the issues. Louisville is clearly 2nd. Cincinnati probably fills in if BYU doesn’t work. But I don’t see even BYU and UL significantly increasing $.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        Well, BYU & Louisville barely have brands (the ‘ville’s mostly in bball), and Cincy doesn’t, so adding those schools doesn’t make much sense either.

        It’s really ACC schools or 10 teams for the B12.

        Like

      • Redhawk says:

        BYU would add to the TV markets. They have a brand for Mormans, and out west, and in Salt Lake City which is a growing market. However, there are and were issues there, and I think BYU is preferring to be a Notre Dame of the west.

        After that…..I think it’s ACC schools or bust for the Big 12. Oklahoma and Texas isn’t enough. It wasn’t enough for the South West Conference nor the old Big 8. The Big 12 is right back at that point again.

        Florida State and Clemson are the main two. Add in Pitt, Ga. Tech, Louisville and you get a few more choices that move a TV needle.

        And before anyone says, “won’t ever happen, everyone is happy in the ACC” we are talking about $5 million dollars or more per year per school between the ACC and the potential Big 12 payout after they sign their deal in a few years. And from what I’ve seen in expansion, University presidents would shiv their own mothers for a million dollars.

        Like

        • frug says:

          Except after you factor in increased travel expenses and exit penalties it is likely a relative wash in terms of money (particularly if it’s only two ACC schools or an ACC + BYU)

          Like

          • Redhawk says:

            Well exit penalties are a one time thing. The revenue is for life. Missouri, A&M, Nebraska, and CU found paying the exit fee for the Big 12 worth it to them. and the spread in income vs penalties are similar from the ACC to the “potential Big 12)

            Like

          • greg says:

            The revenue is limited to the current contract and the current conference configuration. Revenues can dilute with more teams added, or the next contract coming in low.

            I don’t think the B12 is nearly as attractive as you seem to think. A school like FSU would be just friggin crazy to leave the ACC for the B12. They’d be better off in the SEC if they want to shop themselves.

            Like

          • FSUgrad99 says:

            Florida State has zero interest in the Big 12.

            It’s a mess from a stability standpoint, we would have to make massive changes to how we do business, it would be a significant downgrade academically and the soon to be increased ESPN contract (we’re essentially going to take the Big East’s broadcast windows and some $$$) minimizes any perceived advantage to moving.

            Like

          • frug says:

            @Redhawk

            The longer term monetary upside in the Big 10, PAC and SEC is much higher than the Big XII while the Big XII is only marginally more valuable than the ACC (at best). More significantly, by jumping ship those schools obtained stability and security.

            Like

  50. Richard says:

    BTW, I don’t think this has really any chance of happening, but what if Texas is willing to join a conference of equals after seeing the Longhorn network flop, FSU wants to be paid more, and UF and UGa get tired enough about the oversigning of the SEC West schools to do something?

    UF + UGa + FSU + GTech to the B10. Texas, OU, TTech, and OKState to the Pac. Probably the best the Rose Bowl conferences could hope for. The SEC at that point likely would try to pry away the quartet of UNC, NCSU, UVa, & VTech, but not sure if the core of the ACC would go. Failing that, the SEC adds Miami and another school (WVU?). ACC may add UConn & Rutgers.
    BE picks up the dregs, keeping Louisville, Cincy, USF, UCF, SMU, Houston, Boise, SDSU, Navy, AFA & adding Baylor, TCU, KU, & KSU (sorry, ISU, it’s the CUSA-MWC for you).

    Like

    • Redhawk says:

      The Big 12 side certainly to me is in a similar situation as the Big 8/SWC was at. However, the difference is I don’t think ALL the schools on both sides are wanting a change. The “football schools” of the ACC maybe wanting newer pastures, and the Big 12 does need expanded markets.

      UT however likes the Big 12 gov’t set up which they control and the TV set up where they own their own tier 3 network and revenue.

      To me, that’s not a full out merger/new conference, but just a few schools moving conference.

      Like

  51. Logan says:

    http://msn.foxsports.com/collegefootball/story/Dorial-Green-Beckham-inside-the-chase-for-nations-top-recruit-020112

    Interesting “behind the scenes” look at the recruitment of Dorial Green-Beckham, the #1 recruit in the country according to rivals. Auburn’s over the top presentation, Oklahoma coaches ratting out Arkansas coaches, Lane Kiffin being compared to a high school girlfriend…good stuff.

    Mack Brown seems like a genuinely great guy, but I guess he can afford to be when he hand picks the best of the best in Texas every year.

    Like

  52. Brian says:

    Now that signing day has passed, I’ll post a few links that are of interest.

    First, a look at head to head recruiting results in the B10 (plus ND) and nationally to see how desirable each school is.

    http://www.offtackleempire.com/2012/2/2/2767565/head-to-head-recruiting-records-and-rankings-look-quick-before-urban#comments

    OSU was 11-6 versus MI and 76-10 against the rest. IL had a losing record to everybody. MI had the most match-ups, PSU the fewest.

    National rankings:
    3 – OSU
    17, 19 – MI, ND
    31-33 – PSU, NW, NE
    36 – WI
    40 – IA
    44 – MSU
    57 – PU
    78, 80, 83 – IN, MN, IL

    The article also has a national ranking based on 2008-2012 (log scale, base 2, so a 1 point difference means the higher school wins twice as often):

    1. Texas 9.16
    2. Ohio State 7.22
    3. Alabama 6.96
    8. ND
    11. PSU
    21. MI
    33. NW
    34. MSU
    39. IA
    40. NE
    44. WI
    59. IL
    60. PU
    63. MN
    80. IN

    Like

    • Brian says:

      http://www.offtackleempire.com/2012/2/1/2763615/nloi-2012-the-b1g-recap-open-thread

      National and B10 rankings of the classes by Rivals, Scout and 24/7 as well as a composite ranking. Here are the composite rankings:

      Ohio State – 4
      Michigan – 5.7
      Nebraska – 33.3
      Michigan State – 37.7
      Iowa – 40
      Penn State – 45.3
      Purdue – 46.3
      Northwestern – 52.5
      Indiana – 55.5
      Minnesota – 61.5
      Wisconsin – 63
      Illinois – 68

      These rankings consider quantity and quality, so teams like WI are hurt by low numbers.

      That said, this bodes well for the future of The Game but not so much for the B10 producing more elite teams. I’m not claiming recruiting rankings are an exact science, but the teams that do well generally play well in future years. Until more B10 teams get elite players, the B10 will struggle to compete at the top level.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        “Until more B10 teams get elite players, the B10 will struggle to compete at the top level.”

        Struggle in bowl games, you mean, as the depth in teams isn’t there. Realistically, only OSU, PSU (whenever they come back), and maybe (though not really) Michigan has a shot at the national title (because of recruiting grounds). Even if a school like Wisconsin (or Nebraska) somehow makes it to the title game by creating an offensive juggernaut from coaching up 3-star recruits & and putting them in schemes that use their strengths without exposing their weaknesses, their defensive talent would be too mediocre against an SEC team that does have a stellar defense.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          Richard,

          “Until more B10 teams get elite players, the B10 will struggle to compete at the top level.”

          Struggle in bowl games, you mean, as the depth in teams isn’t there.

          No, I meant at the top level. Be it the NCG, BCS bowls or OOC, the B10 will struggle if only 2 teams are pulling elite recruits. As soon as OSU and MI have down years, nobody else can step up. No other major conference has that problem to the same extent as the B10. It would also help the B10 in the entire slate of bowl games, but that wasn’t my main consideration.

          Realistically, only OSU, PSU (whenever they come back), and maybe (though not really) Michigan has a shot at the national title (because of recruiting grounds).

          Really? I don’t buy that at all. MI has a great shot. NE has a shot. WI, MSU and IA do too, but everything has to go just right. Auburn won a title while splitting a state with AL and surrounded by other recruiting giants. OR made a NCG from a medium sized state that isn’t football crazy.

          State rank by population:
          5. IL
          6. PA
          7. OH
          8. MI
          15. IN
          20. WI
          21. MN
          30. IA
          38. NE

          Some comparisons:
          23. AL – perennial NCG contender
          25. LA – perennial NCG contender
          27. OR – perennial NCG contender
          28. OK – perennial NCG contender
          32. AR – perennial NCG contender

          I’m not claiming this means IN and PU should out recruit AL, but it says all the good B10 programs can compete for a NCG. They need to recruit better athletes at some spots, and it would help if there was a level playing field (no oversigning), but the midwest doesn’t completely lack for people. Combine that with some talent from a TX or FL or CA and they are fine.

          Even if a school like Wisconsin (or Nebraska) somehow makes it to the title game by creating an offensive juggernaut from coaching up 3-star recruits & and putting them in schemes that use their strengths without exposing their weaknesses, their defensive talent would be too mediocre against an SEC team that does have a stellar defense.

          If more B10 teams put in the effort to recruit elite defensive talent, they would have better defenses. For far too long, many teams have been content to recruit locally and just try to compete for the B10 title. Those schools have to change their mindset if they want to compete nationally. OSU started to transform under Tressel and you see it even more under Meyer.

          As the new SEC rule reduces their oversigning advantage, and 4 years scholarships become more common, I don’t think the SEC will remain as distant in talent from the rest of the nation anyway. The difference is that while OSU, MI, PSU and NE think NC, the rest of the B10 doesn’t seem to recruit for that. In the SEC, AL, AU, LSU, AR, FL, GA and SC all recruit for a NC.

          MSU has just started to up their defensive recruiting, but we’ll see if that can continue with Hoke recruiting MI and OH again unlike RichRod. WI has had a few elite defenders, but they haven’t taken the next step to emphasize spped enough. Like IA, they seem to rely on coaching up lesser athletes instead. With the amount of winning MSU and WI have done lately, it’s a choice not to recruit better.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            Brian,

            You might be right.that they haven’t tried, but I’m skeptical that Wisconson & Iowa can ever get themselves an elite defense because they’re far from good defense recruiting grounds and they don’t have a national brand. Nebraska has a national brand and has been able to get Suh (and coach up that 3-star recruit) & other gems, but it’s tough for them as well. They’re in the same position as ND in having to pull top defensive recruits from far away with their brand, which is very tough sledding when going against a local school with a top brand (which most of the fertile recruiting grounds have; there are areas like NJ & the central valley in CA with talent and no dominant local brand-name school, but those places are few). I’d say the odds of a Nebraska or ND winning a national title these days is, if not zero, pretty close to it, as many things would have to break right for them.

            I still think that realistically, the ceiling for Wisconsin & Iowa is being like Oregon (another team that is weak on defense because they’re far from most defensive recruits); an offensive juggernaut that can go undefeated if everything breaks right and make it to the title game, but they’d have to be lucky enough to face another all-offense/no-defense team like Oregon that year win the title.

            You’re right that I should have added MSU as a school that could have a good enough defense to win a national title, though they’d really need Michigan as well as one of OSU/PSU to be in the pits (preferably all 3) to be able to recruit well enough to do so, as MSU simply isn’t going to win recruiting battles in FL against the 3 FL powerhouses (or even in NJ & the rest of the Northeast against kings). Michigan, IMHO, also needs 2 of OSU, ND, and PSU (or at least OSU) to be mediocre (or, if that doesn’t happen, one of those 3 to be mediocre and achieving the type of pull in the Midwest and East Coast that they and ND once had), as they don’t have enough in-state talent to build a dominant defense.

            I still think only OSU & PSU have enough local resources (it’s easy for OSU to own OH and PSU really should own eastern PA & NJ while pulling at least half the top recruits from NY on east and MD) to contend for a national title without having to rely on neighboring powers being in the dumps.

            Note that OSU and Michigan have really been helped by PSU’s scandal (forcing them to, for instance, offer a QB who’s previous best offer was from Rice) and Kelly being a rather blah recruiter for ND. Luckily for the Big 2, that state of affairs looks to continue for at least the next few years (and Michigan has a great defensive schemer in Mattison).

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            You might be right.that they haven’t tried, but I’m skeptical that Wisconson & Iowa can ever get themselves an elite defense because they’re far from good defense recruiting grounds and they don’t have a national brand. Nebraska has a national brand and has been able to get Suh (and coach up that 3-star recruit) & other gems, but it’s tough for them as well.

            It is tough, but NE had elite defenses for years. WI and IA probably can’t do it every year, but getting a few more 4* and 5* players to go with their usual diamonds in the rough and they could be elite every so often. OSU’s top defenses were based on developing underrated recruits like AJ Hawk to go with the elite recruits.

            They’re in the same position as ND in having to pull top defensive recruits from far away with their brand, which is very tough sledding when going against a local school with a top brand (which most of the fertile recruiting grounds have; there are areas like NJ & the central valley in CA with talent and no dominant local brand-name school, but those places are few). I’d say the odds of a Nebraska or ND winning a national title these days is, if not zero, pretty close to it, as many things would have to break right for them.

            Let’s agree to disagree on that. I think they have plenty of brand power to pull the players they need, they just have to have it all come together in one year.

            I still think that realistically, the ceiling for Wisconsin & Iowa is being like Oregon (another team that is weak on defense because they’re far from most defensive recruits); an offensive juggernaut that can go undefeated if everything breaks right and make it to the title game, but they’d have to be lucky enough to face another all-offense/no-defense team like Oregon that year win the title.

            OR has had some elite defenders. Mostly DBs, but also DL like Haloti Ngata. If players see that the coaches value defense, then they’ll come to a team that can score like that. I think the up tempo offense makes it harder for them to recruit defensive players because it is clear the HC favors the offense. WI and IA have also had some elite defenders lately. The key is to have a few more, especially in the back 7, and have them at all levels at the same time (not just DL or just LB). I think WI’s D will improve if they keep winning because they’ll be able to get into some living rooms they could never get in before.

            You’re right that I should have added MSU as a school that could have a good enough defense to win a national title, though they’d really need Michigan as well as one of OSU/PSU to be in the pits (preferably all 3) to be able to recruit well enough to do so, as MSU simply isn’t going to win recruiting battles in FL against the 3 FL powerhouses (or even in NJ & the rest of the Northeast against kings).

            It helped MSU a lot that MI was down, certainly. Hoke has changed the equation by recruiting MI again. But MSU has a better track record of success now than ever before to sell to recruits, so they need to capitalize on that. MSU needs to go after national players with MI ties, and get some assistants with strong contacts in some national recruiting hotbeds. There are always some studs that want to go away from home.

            Michigan, IMHO, also needs 2 of OSU, ND, and PSU (or at least OSU) to be mediocre (or, if that doesn’t happen, one of those 3 to be mediocre and achieving the type of pull in the Midwest and East Coast that they and ND once had), as they don’t have enough in-state talent to build a dominant defense.

            MI has always been able to recruit well in OH, even when OSU is great. That’s how they won their NC in 1997, and OSU, PSU and ND were all reasonably strong then.

            I still think only OSU & PSU have enough local resources (it’s easy for OSU to own OH and PSU really should own eastern PA & NJ while pulling at least half the top recruits from NY on east and MD) to contend for a national title without having to rely on neighboring powers being in the dumps.

            They have a lot of advantages, but even then they have to fill in some holes with non-local players. OSU always has a few stars from IL, MD, NJ, GA, TX, FL, etc. The locals don’t always produce studs in the right positions in the right years.

            Note that OSU and Michigan have really been helped by PSU’s scandal (forcing them to, for instance, offer a QB who’s previous best offer was from Rice) and Kelly being a rather blah recruiter for ND. Luckily for the Big 2, that state of affairs looks to continue for at least the next few years (and Michigan has a great defensive schemer in Mattison).

            It helped OSU a lot more than MI, but things would have been different if OSU wasn’t in transition before that, too. Tressel or Meyer would have had a better class coming in than an interim Fickell could get. OSU wouldn’t have lost some of the OH players that they did to other schools, and might have had some of those PSU players anyway.

            I wouldn’t criticize Kelly too much, either. According to Scouts, his class averaged 3.69 stars, between OSU’s 3.76 and MI’s 3.64. ND’s class was low ranked (18) due to numbers, not quality. Last year he pulled a top 10 class, equal to LSU in size and quality.

            Like

          • joe4psu says:

            @Richard,

            Just wanted to add that PSU’s standards are above the NCAA’s.

            Like

    • Brian says:

      A common complaint about recruiting rankings is that they favor quantity, and that’s true. So here are the average star ratings from Scout for B10 teams the past few years (with national rankings):

      2012

      3. Ohio State – 3.76
      4. Michigan – 3.64
      t36. Michigan State – 3.17
      62. Wisconsin – 3.17
      50. Nebraska – 3.00
      49. Penn State – 2.95
      48. Northwestern – 2.76
      39. Iowa – 2.69
      52. Indiana – 2.67
      69. Illinois – 2.67
      51. Purdue – 2.60
      67. Minnesota – 2.37

      2011

      6. Ohio State – 3.70
      19. Nebraska – 3.35
      34. Penn State – 3.31
      29. Michigan – 3.21
      27. Michigan State – 3.19
      25. Iowa – 3.00
      38. Wisconsin – 2.90
      59. Northwestern – 2.88
      41. Illinois – 2.70
      58. Indiana – 2.61
      77. Purdue – 2.56
      67. Minnesota – 2.46

      2010

      10. Penn State – 3.75
      20. Ohio State – 3.47
      12. Michigan – 3.33
      32. Michigan State – 3.10
      45. Iowa – 2.76
      33. Wisconsin – 2.73
      58. Northwestern – 2.65
      49. Purdue – 2.54
      57. Illinois – 2.45
      59. Indiana – 2.40
      72. Minnesota – 2.28

      2009

      1. Ohio State – 3.80
      14. Michigan – 3.41
      11. Penn State – 3.19
      46. Minnesota – 2.85
      35. Illinois – 2.77
      37. Michigan State – 2.74
      51. Wisconsin – 2.71
      65. Indiana – 2.42
      63. Purdue – 2.40
      69. Northwestern – 2.39
      75. Iowa – 2.33

      2008

      4. Ohio State – 3.90
      6. Michigan – 3.56
      41. Penn State – 3.43
      19. Illinois – 2.93
      28. Minnesota – 2.84
      26. Wisconsin – 2.83
      44. Iowa – 2.54
      56. Michigan State – 2.48
      47. Purdue – 2.44
      69. Northwestern – 2.40
      63. Indiana – 2.37

      Cumulative

      6.8 Ohio State – 3.74
      13.0 Michigan – 3.44
      29.0 Penn State – 3.32
      30.4 Nebraska – 3.05
      37.6 Michigan State – 2.93
      42.0 Wisconsin – 2.84
      44.2 Illinois – 2.72
      45.6 Iowa – 2.68
      60.6 Northwestern – 2.61
      56.0 Minnesota – 2.56
      57.4 Purdue – 2.51
      59.4 Indiana – 2.51

      Note that in the cumulative rankings, only NW moves up when you look at the average stars.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Some more notes on the cumulative results from 2008-2012:

        Average Stars
        Ohio State – 3.74
        Michigan – 3.44
        Penn State – 3.32
        Nebraska – 3.05
        Michigan State – 2.93
        Wisconsin – 2.84
        Illinois – 2.72
        Iowa – 2.68
        Northwestern – 2.61
        Minnesota – 2.56
        Purdue – 2.51
        Indiana – 2.51

        OSU has a big lead over MI and PSU, and they have a big lead over NE. MSU isn’t too far behind NE, and WI is equally close to MSU. While good coaching can make up some of the talent gap, in the long run it’s hard to consistently beat teams with more talent. This really shows when playing OOC against teams that recruit even more players, so they have depth of talent too.

        Total Recruits
        Northwestern 93
        Penn State 96
        Michigan State 104
        Wisconsin 104
        Nebraska 108
        Indiana 110
        Ohio State 112
        Purdue 112
        Iowa 114
        Illinois 117
        Michigan 118
        Minnesota 127

        As a note, 110 equals 22 players per year (well below the 25 limit) and that’s about the median and the average for the B10 teams. Maybe PSU improves a little in performance if BOB gets them up closer to that number.

        Stats
        5* players – 31
        OSU – 17 (55% of total)
        MI – 5
        PSU – 4
        NE, MSU – 2
        MN – 1

        Top 100 players – 81
        OSU – 35 (43%)
        MI – 17
        PSU – 12
        NE – 5

        4* players – 222
        OSU – 52 (23%)
        MI – 47
        PSU – 35
        NE – 21
        MSU – 15

        3* players – 655
        WI – 67
        NE – 65
        MI, MSU – 61

        PSU – 45
        OSU – 40

        This shows the difference between the schools. OSU got more 5* recruits than the rest of the B10 combined over these 5 years, and thus more than twice as many top 100 players as the next best team (MI).

        OSU held a slim lead in 4* players over MI, but then the numbers dropped rapidly to PSU, then NE and then MSU. I think these are the players that the non-kings really need to start getting more of to become fixtures at the top of the conference standings.

        I found the 3* numbers interesting. OSU was the lowest in large part because they got so many 4* and 5* players. PSU was second lowest because of their lower total numbers. If they had 112 players like OSU, PSU would have had 53 3* players (and 5 5* like MI, and 14 top 100, and 41 4*).

        Balance

        You would expect the recruits to be equally split between offense and defense, but that wasn’t generally the case.

        +/- of 0
        MN

        +/-
        More D – OSU 3, MI 3, WI 14
        More O – NE 3, PU 4, PSU 8, IN 10, IA 10, IL 11, MSU 12, NW 19

        5 teams were really balanced. Note that the most successful teams were mostly balanced, with one favoring D and another favoring O. The odd thing is that MSU and WI are better on the sides of the ball where they took a lot fewer players. NW’s struggles on D might be explained by their skewed recruiting.

        When looking at these balance numbers, you must allow for some players to be converted from one side to the other once they arrive. Still, that shouldn’t be a huge number.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          One more thing of note from the cumulative numbers:

          JUCO players
          Total – 62
          MN – 22 (35%)
          NE – 12
          IN, PU – 9
          IA – 4
          IL – 3
          MSU – 2
          WI – 1
          OSU, MI, PSU, NW – 0

          Other than NE, the best teams don’t use JUCOs much if at all. All 3 other kings avoid them entirely.

          Like

          • wmtiger says:

            Its really tough for JUCO students to be able to get accepted into NW, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin; finding JUCO’s who can get accepted and play football at a B10 level is pretty difficult.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            wmtiger,

            Every school has a different philosophy in regards to JUCO players. I showed the numbers just because I found the disparity interesting. It wasn’t meant as a criticism of anybody. Some states have a strong JUCO system and others don’t. A private school is going to take fewer than a large state school. It’s not surprising to see some of the worst teams take more JUCOs as coaches try to fill holes, especially with coaching changes. I’ll be curious to see if NE’s approach changes after being in the B10 for a while.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            I think Nebraska kind of has to recruit JUCO’s heavily, as they’re nowhere near any fertile HS recruiting areas (and they have the money to scout the country & brand to pull in JUCO recruits). Tennessee & Oklahoma, while far closer to rich recruiting areas, also are in the similar situation of having very little in-state talent (at least close to school; most of TN’s HS talent is around Memphis, farther from Knoxville than Cincy is). It’s no surprise that nebraska pulled in 2 of the top 13 JUCO’s while OU and Tennessee each pulled in 3 of the top 22:

            http://rivals.yahoo.com/footballrecruiting/football/recruiting/rankings/rank-2995

            Don’t know why Nebraska will change their approach. In fact, I’m curious as to why Iowa and Wisconsin don’t use JUCO’s more. They definitely need to upgrade their defenses somehow if they want to contend for national titles, and they aren’t going to do that relying on local talent (or even TX and FL recruits that TAMU & Miami, much less the kings, don’t want). Granted, most JUCOs head to warm weather locales, but if Utah can get 2 of the top 10 JUCOs and KSU 2 of the top 23, Iowa and Wisconsin should be able to do at least as well.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Alabama took a total of 5 JUCO’s ranked in the top 15 over the last 3 years as well (1/9th of total). Yeah, I’m perplexed why Iowa and Wisconsin don’t go that route more often.

            Like

          • frug says:

            @Richard

            I think a lot of it is what wmtiger said, it is harder for JUCO’s to be academically accepted to Iowa and Wisconsin than Tennessee and Oklahoma.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Frug:

            I kind of doubt the public schools in the B10 set academic standards for football players that are higher than the NCAA-mandated minimum. Plus, it’s not as if any public school in the B10 requires all their students to pass calculus in order to graduate (which GTech does, which is why the Yellowjackets have one of the highest average SAT scores for athletes in the entire country, despite being a public school).

            Like

          • frug says:

            @Richard

            This article compares the average SAT scores for (almost) all AQ teams based on the 4 year review process completed in 2008. Iowa’s FB players had an average SAT score of 980 and Wisconsin’s has an average of 961. While that is certainly lower than the average student, it is still beyond what a lot of JUCO’s can produce, certainly well above NCAA minimum.

            (For comparison:
            California – 967
            Washington – 949
            Texas – 948
            UCLA – 935
            Tennessee- 927
            Alabama – 926
            Oklahoma – 920
            Florida – 890)

            Like

          • Richard says:

            OK, but a JUCO doesn’t have to meet the team average. . . .

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            I kind of doubt the public schools in the B10 set academic standards for football players that are higher than the NCAA-mandated minimum.

            Perhaps you should pay attention, then. Most B10 schools reject players academically that go on to sign at other I-A schools. NW isn’t the only school with standards.

            Like

          • frug says:

            One other thing to keep in mind is the Big 10’s policy against oversigning. In the SEC, coaches (particularly Les Miles) are notorious for signing guys they know won’t qualify academically and stashing them away in a local JUCO and then calling them up once they get their grades up to the snuff.

            Big 10 coaches can’t do this unless they are willing to waste a scholarship offer.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            “Perhaps you should pay attention, then. Most B10 schools reject players academically that go on to sign at other I-A schools. NW isn’t the only school with standards.”

            Can you give examples? I’ve just never heard of one.

            Like

          • greg says:

            Iowa admissions has turned players cleared by the NCAA clearinghouse.

            Like

          • greg says:

            I think the reason that Iowa doesn’t sign many jucos is that Kirk wants them in his program longer.

            Iowa signed two juco players this year. A QB for badly needed depth and a o-lineman for moderately needed depth.

            Like

          • frug says:

            Quick correction, Iowa’s players had a 994 average.

            Here is the whole Big 10 (excluding NW and PSU):

            Indiana – 973
            Iowa – 994
            Illinois – 952
            Michigan – 1077
            Michigan St. – 917
            Minnesota – 936
            (Nebraska – 962)
            Ohio St. – 955
            Purdue – 974
            Wiscy – 961

            Mean – 970.1
            Median – 961.5

            Couple notes

            1. Michigan had the highest average of any school in the study by a decent margin (G-Tech was second at 1028)

            2. Minnesota used the most JUCO transfers and had the second lowest SAT scores of the group. On the flip side, UNL’s admission standards were right in line with the rest of the Big 10 (i.e. they are very high) and still used a decent amount of JUCO’s.

            3. The average Big 10 school has the same admission standards for its athletes that Cal does.

            4. OSU’s average was 955, Florida’s was 890. Urban Meyer will have to adjust his recruiting standards.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            OSU has a long list. Latwan Anderson in 2011 is one that comes to mind.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            B10 coaches don’t have to oversign to recruit JUCOs. An SEC coach may stash a recruit in a juco, but once there, the recruit can go anywhere he pleases; the only thing that binds the recruit to the coaching staff is any emotional bond that he’s forged with the coaching staff that he originally signed with, so it’s no more substantial than a verbal commitment (if that).

            Like

          • Richard says:

            “OSU’s average was 955, Florida’s was 890. Urban Meyer will have to adjust his recruiting standards.”

            Maybe, maybe not. That depends on whether it was just happenstance that OSU’s average football SAT score was as high as it was (and Tressel could recruit any kid he wanted), or whether OSU admin demanded such a high average. It could just be that HS football recruits in the Midwest do better on average on the SATs than HS football recruits in the south (FL, specfically). That’s not that hard to believe considering that high schoolers in generally do much better in the Midwest than in the South (probably because education is valued more).
            Here’s percentage of high ACT/SAT scores by state:
            http://www.higheredinfo.org/dbrowser/index.php?measure=22

            though if you click around, you can see that HS graduation rates are higher in the Midwest than South as well.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Reading up on Latwan Anderson, it seems
            1. He didn’t accept OSU’s offer.
            2. OSU was lukewarm about him for reasons other than academics as well.
            3. He’s had a rocky college career up to now.

            Like

          • frug says:

            True, per capita Ohio does better, but if you adjust for the fact that Florida has 65% larger population than Ohio the total quantity is about the same in both states.

            One thing to consider, looking at the data the time periods used for Florida (2002-2004) and Illinois (2004-2006) matchup (almost) perfectly with Ron Zook’s time at both schools. At Florida Zook’s recruits averaged an 890 SAT score (vs. 1236 for all students), at Illinois they averaged a 952 (vs. 1241 for all students). Now, football expectations are not as high at Illinois than they are at Florida, but that is a huge difference. In fact, Florida’s 346 point difference was the largest in the country. (The difference at OSU was 208).

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            Reading up on Latwan Anderson, it seems
            1. He didn’t accept OSU’s offer.

            He couldn’t accept it, because it was conditional on him getting his academics in order first.

            2. OSU was lukewarm about him for reasons other than academics as well.
            3. He’s had a rocky college career up to now.

            Neither of those is pertinent to whether B10 public schools have higher academic standards than the NCAA minimum.

            There is a long history of players not meeting the academic grade for a B10 school and then signing with a BE, SEC or MAC school.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Frug:

            The total amount of kids who score in the top percentiles of the SAT/ACT is more relevant than the per capita rate when discussing the academic profiles of football recruits if football recruits were universally concentrated amongst the very top academic acheivers in high school. They’re not, and the per capita rate (assuming a normal distribution) suggests that your average football recruit in OH scores higher than your average football recruit in FL, meaning Meyer may not have to pass on any recruit that he wants anyway.

            Like

          • frug says:

            Richard:

            I’m not sure I follow your math. Assuming that SATs scores for football recruits in both states fall on identical bell curves, with the only difference between them being that Ohio’s mean is located to the right of Florida, and then the Ohio mean would need to be 65% higher than in Florida in order for the total number of recruits capable of achieving a score of X on the SAT to be higher in Ohio than in the Florida.

            Again, it is entirely possible that the scores are not normally distributed (I admit it is possible that it is skewed to the right), but I find it extremely difficult to believe that the total number of recruits capable of scoring a 955 in Ohio is all that different than the number who could do so in Florida.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Frug,

            Yes, the total number of football recruits who can score a 955 in FL may be the same as the total number of football recruits who can score a 955 in OH. But no one is recruiting for test scores! The population of football talent in FL who score below 955 is much bigger than the population of football talent in OH who score below 955, and assuming that there’s no correlation between football ability and test scores, the top 20 (or 40 or 60) football players in FL will feature a much bigger percentage of kids who score below 955 than the top 20 (or 40 or 60) football players in OH. Even if the same cutoff is used in both states (say 700), the top 20 football players in FL will likely feature a bigger percentage of kids who score below 955 than the top 20 football players in OH. That would make FL’s average test score lower than OH’s, even if Meyer could recruit whoever could meet NCAA minimum requirements at either UF or OSU.

            Like

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            frug – it’s a shame that Les Miles is notorious for something he doesn’t do. In his 8 recruiting classes at LSU, the Mad Hatter has signed a total of 7 JC players. Looking through the Rivals database, not one of those JC players was originally signed by LSU out of high school. Furthermore, there is not a single JUCO in Louisiana that even fields a football team.

            However, Les Miles is notorious for wearing small hat very high on his head, speaking in incomplete sentences, and winning a lot of football games.

            Like

          • frug says:

            @Alan

            My mistake, meant Nic Saban.

            Like

          • frug says:

            I get what you are saying, but it doesn’t change the fact that he is going to have to adjust his strategies. The fact is, Florida’s average SAT score for all students was 73 points higher than Ohio St’s (so Florida has similar brain power), but UF’s average for football players 65 points lower. In other words, Florida bends it recruiting standards much more than OSU.

            My overall point is that it is harder to find 85 players who can average a 955 SAT in Ohio than it is to find 85 players who can average an 890 SAT in Florida.

            Like

          • frug says:

            To put it another way, if Ohio St allowed Meyer to use the same standards for recruits that he had at Florida he would not have needed to make the same levels of adjustments he would have had otherwise.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Frug:

            Erm, no, he would not have to alter his strategy at all if, say, the average NCAA qualifying football player in OH scores a 950 and the average NCAA qualifying football player in FL scores a 890.

            Like

          • frug says:

            No change would have been if Florida required a 950 average as well since in that case the total quantity of available local talent would have been the (roughly) the same, assuming that Florida’s population advantage offset Ohio’s higher average test scores in general (And vice versa).

            Of course what we have not even addressed the implications of national recruiting, where Meyer unquestionably have to adjust his recruiting. The number of recruits nationwide who can meet OSU’s academic requirements is flatly lower than Florida’s. Admittedly, this is not a huge issue since the schools primarily recruit locally, but it is a factor and gets back to overall point that Meyer will have to adapt his recruiting strategies with regards to academics.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Uh, no, no change would be required if both schools have the same minimum standard and Meyer’s recruiting policy is just to recruit local areas. He doesn’t have control over the population of the local area, but that doesn’t mean his recruiting policy has to change.

            Like

        • Richard says:

          “While good coaching can make up some of the talent gap, in the long run it’s hard to consistently beat teams with more talent.”

          As the MGo article pointed out, that’s true with defense but much less true with offense. On offense, you could, with the right scheme & recruiting of talent that fits your scheme, take mediocrely-ranked recruits and turn them in to an offensive juggernaut on a consistent basis, as Wisconsin, Oregon, & OKSt. have shown. Plus, Boise does an even better job of turning lowly-ranked recruits in to top-ranked teams and NFL prospects. Granted, some of that is due to the creampuffs they play on their schedule, but they still turn out an impressive number of NFL draft picks given their recruiting ranking.

          BTW, some great articles on which programs are best (and worst) on turning recruits in to NFL prospects (and, presumably, top college players):

          http://www.blackheartgoldpants.com/2011/4/30/2143688/the-best-and-worst-college-programs-and-conferences-at-developing

          This one is actually extremely terrific in how it shows how good the B10 is at turning recruits (especially O-linemen & defenders) in to NFL prospects & how bad the B12 is at the same (especially bad with O-linemen & defenders).

          Like

          • Richard says:

            In fact, the research in that post is so good, I wonder if the Iowa, OSU, and Wisconsin coaching staffs will take it and use it to convince the more mature defensive (and especially d-line) recruits with NFL-aspirations in Texas (those that are rejected by Texas and OU) to choose them over a B12 school. They really should.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Hard to judge since he only shows how 6 of the Big 10 schools rated and 8 of the Big 12. Did that mean 5 of the Big 10 had no draftees? Can’t really tell. TX, OU and UNL were all top 20. Big 10 only had 1 more in top 20. He’s probably taking Big 12 schools and putting them in their future conferences.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Bullet:

            That post was from earlier in the year (presumably before TAMU and Mizzou moved).

            The stats I was referring to were from this chart:

            Conference Offense Defense Skill (Offense) Line
            ACC 104% 101% 94% 110%
            Big East 108% 97% 108% 87%
            Big 12 89% 76% 96% 76%
            Big Ten 104% 123% 99% 125%
            Pac 12 99% 114% 103% 93%
            SEC 94% 97% 99% 101%

            OK, you’ll have to go back to the webpage to see it. The B12 could be dragged down by KU, KSU, and ISU; it would be really interesting to see how TTech & OKSt. fair. He had the data broken down by school, but I couldn’t access that link.

            Like

          • wmtiger says:

            Imo the issue is the recruiting services overrate the talent in Texas and the southeast while they underrate the talent in the midwest.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            However, the SEC doesn’t underperform in turning recruits in to draft picks, so the draft services would have to overrate only defenders and linemen in Texas while underrating defenders and linemen in the Midwest.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            “While good coaching can make up some of the talent gap, in the long run it’s hard to consistently beat teams with more talent.”

            As the MGo article pointed out, that’s true with defense but much less true with offense. On offense, you could, with the right scheme & recruiting of talent that fits your scheme, take mediocrely-ranked recruits and turn them in to an offensive juggernaut on a consistent basis, as Wisconsin, Oregon, & OKSt. have shown. Plus, Boise does an even better job of turning lowly-ranked recruits in to top-ranked teams and NFL prospects. Granted, some of that is due to the creampuffs they play on their schedule, but they still turn out an impressive number of NFL draft picks given their recruiting ranking.

            First, you are taking his results at face value. How valid is his personal PAN system? How accurate are his recruiting points values? We don’t really know. Like any system, it has flaws. He gives each player a value that includes the number of stars squared. That makes the #1 5* worth 25 while a 50th percentile 3* is worth 4.5. That also means the lowest ranked players are worthless. Is that a correct way to measure this? Is that 5 star really worth 5 times as much? He also gives a lot of extra value for experience (SO = 2 * FR, JR = 3 * SO = 6 * FR, SR = 3 * JR = 18 * FR). Is that correct? The best players are generally JRs that leave early, but a senior is worth much more in his system.

            In addition, his system doesn’t really account for different coaching styles. It assumes every coach tries to maximize PAN and that just isn’t true. A conservative coach may win more but score lower on the PAN scale, especially on offense. I think comparing talent to wins would be more fitting, especially if you ignore the non-AQs.

            That said, these are his results:

            What – slope
            Total – 0.0042

            Off – 0.0027
            OL – 0.0065
            QB – 0.0332
            RB – 0.0079
            WR/TE – 0.0067

            Def – 0.0048
            DL – 0.0114
            LB – 0.014
            DB – 0.0123

            His system says defensive talent is almost twice as important, and that every position group is much more important than the total side of the ball. In other words, the larger the group he considers, the less correlated it is to success. QBs is by far the smallest group on a team and it has by far the strongest correlation. That bothers me.

            Part of the difference is that offensive talent is much more dependent on the scheme to be successful. Great players in a bad system (for them, or overall) can’t produce. I agree that scheme on offense can more easily make up for a talent deficiency, but I’m not convinced his system values the right kind of success.

            BTW, some great articles on which programs are best (and worst) on turning recruits in to NFL prospects (and, presumably, top college players):

            http://www.blackheartgoldpants.com/2011/4/30/2143688/the-best-and-worst-college-programs-and-conferences-at-developing

            This one is actually extremely terrific in how it shows how good the B10 is at turning recruits (especially O-linemen & defenders) in to NFL prospects & how bad the B12 is at the same (especially bad with O-linemen & defenders).

            One thing I noticed is that several of the top teams brought in a lot of talent and developed it into a lot of draft picks while also winning a ton of games. However, they don’t all have great offenses, meaning their offensive PAN may well be low.

            I think the most important thing in the BHGP article is the Win Ratio, since that’s what really matters. I’m curious how the Win Ratio correlates to the talent recruited on O and D.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            However, the SEC doesn’t underperform in turning recruits in to draft picks, so the draft services would have to overrate only defenders and linemen in Texas while underrating defenders and linemen in the Midwest.

            The prevalence of 7 on 7 football in TX could be factor. The skill players develop a lot, and the OL can ride their coattails to a certain extent in recruiting rankings. When actual defenses stop these offensive juggernauts, they get high rankings. Perhaps the scouts should quit going to 7 on 7 games and summer combine type events and focus on actual games.

            The midwest plays much less spring football and 7 on 7s, so the players tend to not get such high rankings. It doesn’t mean the midwestern players don’t have the same potential as the other players.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Brian:

            He doesn’t have a lot of data points, but WVU, Wisconsin, TTech, & Iowa don’t bring in top recruiting classes and have high win ratios, so based on that limited data, I would wager the correlation is weak.

            As for the MGo article, the correlation is measured by R-squared; the slope tells you how much more extra PAN talents gets you.

            As for the different slopes, that’s because while the scale of PAN (the vertical axis) stays the same in all charts, he doesn’t normalize the recruiting values (to determine which positions a higher star level is worth more compared to a lower-rated recruit, he should do that).

            As for the validity of PAN, I think it’s pretty valid; yes, coaches tried to maximize wins, but unless you rely a ton on special teams, it’s hard to maximize wins without maximizing PAN. The recruiting points is more questionable. Still, I don’t think the R-squares would change much.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            He doesn’t have a lot of data points, but WVU, Wisconsin, TTech, & Iowa don’t bring in top recruiting classes and have high win ratios, so based on that limited data, I would wager the correlation is weak.

            Yes, but that ratio is wins compared to expected wins based on the talent brought in. It wouldn’t be important, I’m just curious how that relates to talent level. The top teams have a tough time outperforming their talent, so a seeing a bump for the second tier of schools would be my expectation. I wouldn’t expect a strong correlation.

            As for the MGo article, the correlation is measured by R-squared; the slope tells you how much more extra PAN talents gets you.

            I know that, but clearly there wasn’t a great correlation for any of his charts (max was about 0.25, IIRC). That’s why I looked at the slopes to see what trend it was correlating to instead, because sometimes that tells you something.

            As for the different slopes, that’s because while the scale of PAN (the vertical axis) stays the same in all charts, he doesn’t normalize the recruiting values (to determine which positions a higher star level is worth more compared to a lower-rated recruit, he should do that).

            It also can be viewed as because he assigns all PAN to every position, which is clearly nonsensical. My point was that it shows a flawed methodology. Not invalid, but flawed.

            As for the validity of PAN, I think it’s pretty valid; yes, coaches tried to maximize wins, but unless you rely a ton on special teams, it’s hard to maximize wins without maximizing PAN.

            I disagree, because you can play strong defense and sit on the ball and win (Tresselball). Tressel never tried to maximize the offensive production, preferring to protect his defense instead. That impacts PAN. On the other hand, a prolific offense can live with a weak D by outscoring the opponent. That’s not maxing out PAN either. All that matters is winning.

            The recruiting points is more questionable. Still, I don’t think the R-squares would change much.

            An explanation for how he came up with the system would help. Why squared rather than linear? Why so much more value for experience? I can’t put a lot of stock in a completely arbitrary system. How much that impacts his correlations is unknown. It would compress the X axis in a nonlinear way. The real problem for his correlations is so many teams having low talent points yet giving a range of PAN performances (for 1000 pts, it goes from +20 to -15).

            All his charts really say is that talents helps some, but isn’t strongly correlated to PAN. My guess is this is largely due to bad recruit rankings and bad luck, with better coaching at certain schools also a factor. I’d much rather correlate it to winning anyway, as that’s the only stat that matters.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            R-squared of .25 is a correlation of .5, which seems pretty big to me.

            Like

          • wmtiger says:

            Recruiting services ‘only’ underrating midwest defenders and lineman is nearly 2/3 of your roster. That’s huge..

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Well, that’s conjecture. It could also be that B10 teams develop linemen & defenders better (or a combination of both). Who knows.

            Like

          • greg says:

            IMO, the biggest reason for the B10/B12 NFL prospect difference is style of play. B12 spread attacks don’t create the NFL-ready players that the B10 does, even though a lot of the B10 runs some sort of spread attack. B12 doesn’t produce any FB or TE at all, and a lot of positions are a different style than what the NFL looks for (WR, LB, RB).

            Iowa is a perfect storm of an NFL-style system, a good development program, and recruiting a lot of guys who don’t fit on most teams’ prospect lists.

            Like

      • Richard says:

        Yep, NU has moved up through the years. Given the talent, it doesn’t look like Fitz & company do an above average job scheming and motivating to get the most out of their talent, which jibes with my observations; not bad, but not on the level of, say, Wisconsin, which takes 30th-50th placed talent and consistently turns them in to a top 20 team.

        Like

    • bullet says:

      That’s a shock. Splitting the pie 2 more ways, messing up 32 which is a very good number in scheduling and division balance. They’ve got pressure now on the existing cities to improve stadiums with LA sitting out there. Jacksonville & Nashville, Bud Adam’s two cities are both problems. Oakland and San Diego have stadium issues. New Orleans and Buffalo are potentially problematic long term because of declining metro areas.

      And if not 2 in LA, where do they add the other team? Portland and Las Vegas don’t have stadiums. San Antonio’s stadium is no longer NFL caliber. Sacramento has been held out as a threat for Oakland to help the Raiders and they don’t have anything built. Toronto? At that point you’re getting down to cities the size of Columbus, Austin and Norfolk and only New Orleans, Buffalo, Nashville and Jacksonville, the problematic franchises, have smaller metro areas.

      Like

      • Mack says:

        What better way to avoid the next question of “Who is moving to LA?” than to mention expansion. What he does not answer is why two 5 team divisions is better than 1; where the 34th team would go; etc. In the end I expect one of the current teams to move. You have mentioned a number of top move candidates.
        :
        And on the discussion of college playoffs: The NY Giants are exhibit One in the proof that with a large playoff field the regular season does not matter. They got hot in the 4th quarter of their game at Dallas (where they were almost eliminated) and carried that to the Super Bowl.

        Like

        • metatron5369 says:

          Sure, but the NFL is a 32-team field, not 120.

          Like

          • metatron5369 says:

            As I think about it, the Giants have more to do with small divisions receiving automatic bids. The best college playoff proposals take the top ranked teams, regardless of conference.

            Like

  53. Mike says:


    writers for the website BleacherReport.com entered Lucas Oil Stadium to acquire material for their trademark style of reportage. “I asked Tom Bardy [sic] where he thought he should be on my list of the top 10 guys to ever play in the Super Bowl, and he said it didn’t sound like I had anyone who played before 2005,” said Bleacher Report writer Darron Nasty, 16

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/1000-bleacher-report-writers-descend-on-super-bowl,27259/

    Like

  54. bullet says:

    Houston students approved a fee for a new stadium and bb arena renovation with 74% of the vote. That’s a surprise for a commuter school. They have raised $60 million of a $160 million project and this guarantees it starts next December. Houston has a 1940s vintage stadium that is basically a large high school stadium. Their basketball arena was state of the art in the 80s, but it dated now.

    http://www.chron.com/sports/article/UH-students-OK-fee-to-help-fund-athletic-2973860.php

    Like

  55. Mike says:

    @McMurphyCBS

    Syracuse will join ACC’s Atlantic Division, Pitt joining the Costal

    Like

  56. Michael in Raleigh says:

    http://www.theacc.com/genrel/020312aaa.htm

    Big, big news from the ACC regarding scheduling once Syracuse and Pitt join. SU in the Atlantic, Pitt in the Coastal. 9 game conference schedule for football. 18 games in b-ball. Biggest controversy: only 1 permanent double round robin in b-ball, meaning one year out of every three, UNC and NC State play won’t play twice. That hasn’t happened since 1918.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      They had a chance to fix the mess they made. Now Pitt is the only northern team in their division.

      BC,SU,MD,Pitt, UVA, VT and Miami was very logical. You bring the 5 former BE schools with neighbors MD and UVA. If they wanted purely geographical Wake could have been moved north instead of Miami.

      Like

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        Divisions should be:

        Atlantic. Coastal
        FSU- Miami
        Georgia Tech – Pitt
        Clemson – VT
        Wake – Syracuse
        UNC – UVa
        Duke – BC
        NC State – Maryland

        Like

        • acaffrey says:

          Been saying that for months.

          Easy to remember. Competitive balance. Logical.

          However, this works too. The 9 games makes it work better.

          Syracuse gets to play Pitt, BC, Maryland…. two NC schools… FSU and Clemson… and two of Miami, VT, Va, Ga Tech, Duke, and UNC

          Pitt gets to play Syracuse, Va Tech, Virginia… old foe Miami… Ga Tech.. Duke and UNC… and two of BC, Maryland, Wake, NC State, FSU, and Clemson.

          Like

        • Eric says:

          I agree those divisions would have been much better. The only difference I had in my divisions was in the crossovers (looking at a list Georgia Tech-Virginia Tech and Maryland-Duke were listed as rivals, so I had them as crossovers, not sure the games actually mattered in football or not though).

          Atlantic—————Coastal
          Miami (FL)————-Florida State
          Maryland————–Duke
          Virginia—————North Carolina
          Virginia Tech———-Georgia Tech
          Syracuse————-North Carolina State
          Boston College——–Clemson
          Pitt——————-Wake Forest

          The loss of rivalry games (and games that should be rivalries) with this set-up is far less than it is in the current set-up.

          Like

          • acaffrey says:

            For rivals…

            I would have done:

            Miami-FSU

            VA-UNC

            BC-Duke (private)

            Syracuse-Wake (private)

            Va Tech- Clemson

            Maryland- NC State

            Pitt-Ga Tech

            Those just seem a bit more evenly balanced. Va Tech and Clemson need the SOS as they can be top 15 teams.

            Like

          • duffman says:

            Drop Atlantic and Costal for something better!

            North :
            Boston College
            Syracuse
            Pittsburgh
            Maryland
            Virginia
            Virginia Tech
            Wake Forest

            South :
            Duke
            North Carolina
            North Carolina State
            Clemson
            Georgia Tech
            Florida State
            Miami

            Like

          • Richard says:

            I rather doubt Wake would take kindly to being separated from the rest of the NC schools.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Wake probably wouldn’t, but how much clout does Wake have? They’re one of the smallest schools in FCS and easily the smallest AQ. It doesn’t seem that UNC cares much about Wake.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Hard to say, Bullet. If this division comes about, they you’d be right. However,
            1. Do the other NC schools want to play in NC as much as possible?
            2. Even if you don’t mind Wake, would the other schools north of NC be happy with visiting FL much less often than their southern counterparts?
            3. Does the ACC really want to have the type of imbalances between divisions that the B12 had?

            I doubt all this.

            Like

      • bullet says:

        The N/S w/ Miami north had 7 division and 3 conference champs in N and 7 division and 4 conference champs in south. W/WF in north its 8 division and 4 conference champs in north and 6 division and 3 conference champs in south (which also has an underperforming Miami). Either way would be pretty balanced. Miami in the north does better at splitting the critical Florida recruiting grounds.

        Like

  57. bullet says:

    Big 12 change has impacted recruiting in Texas. Texas and Texas A&M are doing about the same, but the other B12 south schools (except OU) are doing better. Didn’t see the total list, but according to Rivals, UT had 16 of the top 37 and A&M 7 of the top 37 (4 and 5 stars). Texas Tech had 9 of the top 100, Baylor and Ok. St. 7 and TCU 6. That was an exceptional year for all 4 of them. OU had an off year in Texas with only 4 of top 100. Typically the Big 12 takes 65-70 of the top 100 and it appears recruits that may have gone to CU, MU and UNL are staying in the Big 12.

    Like

    • Mike says:

      UNL taking a small class may have factored in that. They only took two players from Texas this year.

      Like

    • zeek says:

      SEC numbers haven’t changed (outside of A&M) from previous years.

      We’ll see if they change in the future, but in my opinion, I think TCU, Houston, and SMU will be the ones who get the mid-upper level recruits being left on the table due to their promotions.

      I don’t see much of a benefit recruiting-wise to the rest of the SEC (Arkansas always did decently in Texas and that won’t change).

      Like

  58. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/bigten/post/_/id/45058/b1g-division-names-to-stay-after-survey

    Just like we all knew would happen, the B10 has decided to keep the most ridiculous division names in the history of sports.

    Long live the B10 East and West.

    Like

    • greg says:

      Complaining about the division names jumped the shark a while ago. It is what it is.

      Like

    • bullet says:

      I have no clue which is which. I just think of it as North/South or Michigan/OSU.

      I have no clue which is which with the ACC and, while I have figured out which schools are together, I have to think about it.

      And I follow college football pretty closely. That’s a sign they need to make things more logical and simple.

      If they keep the names, one way to oppose it is to simply not use them. Maybe if everyone started calling it the Michigan division and Ohio State division they would change them to North/South or Northwest/Southeast.

      Like

    • PSUGuy says:

      As much as I don’t like the names “in a vacuum” I have to admit they work well for the conference.

      What I mean is they have that “Building leaders. Creating legends.” slogan they like to put on commercials. What’s more, its absolutely hilarious forcing the ESPN talking heads, after they just got done talking up the SEC, to refer to Big Ten teams as “Leaders and Legends”. I mean there’s some serious subliminal messaging going on there and the Big Ten is getting even their competitors to do it!

      Like

  59. zeek says:

    So now that the ACC’s at 9 conference games, what’s the SEC’s excuse for not going to 9?

    At least the Big Ten is putting in a Pac-12 game as a 9th fixed game.

    I expect the Big East to join the rest at 9 as well (with Air Force joining the Big East).

    Like

    • Brian says:

      zeek,

      So now that the ACC’s at 9 conference games, what’s the SEC’s excuse for not going to 9?

      6 straight NC? Every one in the league is so great they need an extra cupcake, right?

      At least the Big Ten is putting in a Pac-12 game as a 9th fixed game.

      I’d still prefer 9 B10 games, both for national symmetry and for seeing other B10 teams more often.

      I expect the Big East to join the rest at 9 as well (with Air Force joining the Big East).

      Even if all the other conferences get there, the SEC won’t feel any peer pressure to go to 9.

      Like

      • zeek says:

        It’s just lame that the excuse is that the “SEC is too tough” but now with A&M and Missouri, the schedules make the bigger cross-over games much more rare compared to before.

        Is the point to now have 7+ teams go 10+ wins with at least 4 at 11+? I mean the fact of the matter is that the schedules have in fact been diluted. Just look at Georgia and Alabama dropping one another for Missouri and A&M in this year’s schedule.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          Alabama had one of the weakest schedules of any mythical national champ in recent memory. LSU (twice) and Arkansas were the only teams ranked in the final polls they played. They did play Kent, North Texas and Georgia Southern (who scored more points and 3 more TDs in 1 game vs. Alabama than LSU did in 2-and more points than any of the punchless SEC schools they played).

          Like

  60. Richard says:

    Brian’s post earlier about recruiting rankings got me thinking about where I’d expect the schools to be based on recruiting grounds, resources, and brand:

    School expected to be in top 5:
    1. Texas

    Schools expected to be in top 10:
    2. USC
    3. UF
    4. FSU
    5. PSU
    6. OSU
    7. Alabama

    Schools expected to be in top 15:
    8. OU
    9. LSU
    10. Georgia

    Schools expected to be in top 20:
    11. Miami
    12. TAMU
    13. UCLA
    14. VTech
    15. ND
    16. Michigan
    17. Auburn
    18. Clemson
    19. SCarolina
    20. Pac-12-flavor-of-the-year

    Note that slightly over half the top recruits and recent NFL players hail from the south (Texas + SEC country – MO + ACC from MD on south; basically, all the slave states besides MO): http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/7512012/top-college-football-talent-comes-south-shift-more-even-distribution-decades-ago

    In my top 10, I have 6 southern schools (not counting OU as southern) and 12 southern schools in the top 20.

    How does that compare to actual recruiting? Using M’s head-to-head rankings:

    1 Texas
    2 Ohio State
    3 Alabama
    4 LSU
    5 Georgia
    6 Southern Cal
    7 Oklahoma
    8 Notre Dame
    9 Florida State
    10 Virginia Tech
    11 Penn State
    12 Texas A&M
    13 Florida
    15 Miami (FL)
    16 Auburn
    17 Clemson
    18 Oregon
    19 California
    20 UCLA

    6 southern schools in the top 10, 11 in the top 20.

    Who over or underperforms in reality compared to my perception? (+ is overperform, – is underperform):

    1. Texas (0)
    2. USC (-4)
    3. UF (-10)
    4. FSU(-5)
    5. PSU(-6)
    6. OSU(+4)
    7. Alabama(+4)
    8. OU(+1)
    9. LSU(+5)
    10. Georgia(+5)
    11. Miami(-4)
    12. TAMU(0)
    13. UCLA(-7)
    14. VTech(+4)
    15. ND(+7)
    16. Michigan(-5)
    17. Auburn(+1)
    18. Clemson(+1)
    19. SCarolina(-6)
    20. Oregon & Cal slightly overperform.

    I’ve long felt that PSU & UCLA should do better than they have. UF (& FSU & Miami) could be due to FL being heavily recruited by everyone east of the Mississippi; this is where comparing my perceptions of potential vs. average star levels is more helpful. ND actually has recruited better than I expect (though Weis famously did a bad job of turning all that talent in to wins), while Michigan (who I consider very similar to ND in having a national brand but weak local recruiting grounds) has done worse (thanks to RichRod).

    BTW, if someone has, say, Rival’s rankings over the past 4 years, we could compare how head-to-head looks vs. average stars vs. my perception of where they should be.

    Like

    • Richard says:

      OK, here’s Rivals rankings over the past 10 years (2002-2011):
      http://collegefootball.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1238729

      1. USC
      2. GEORGIA
      3. FLORIDA
      4. LSU
      5. TEXAS
      6. FLORIDA STATE
      7. OKLAHOMA
      8. AUBURN
      T9. MICHIGAN
      T9. TENNESSEE
      11. MIAMI
      12. OHIO STATE
      13. ALABAMA
      14. NOTRE DAME
      15. SOUTH CAROLINA
      16. TEXAS A&M
      T17. NEBRASKA
      T17. UCLA
      19. OREGON
      20. CALIFORNIA

      You’ll note that Tennessee & Nebraska have had major drop-offs in recent years, and while Tennessee could come back (like OU, they’re in a talent poor state close to rich recruiting beds and have a national brand; well, had; they better start winning soon), it’s harder to see UNL getting back to the top 20 in recruiting due to having no local recruiting ground to speak of; their best bet is adopting a Wisconsin strategy that can at least turn recruiting classes in the 30’s in to rankings in the teens.

      How did my ranking of potential perform compared to actual results?

      1. Texas (-4)
      2. USC (+1)
      3. UF (0)
      4. FSU(-2)
      5. PSU(godawful; they’re in the 30’s despite being the closest major power to the rich I-95 corridor from NJ to DC)
      6. OSU(-6)
      7. Alabama(-6)
      8. OU(+1)
      9. LSU(+5)
      10. Georgia(+8)
      11. Miami(0)
      12. TAMU(-4)
      13. UCLA(-4)
      14. VTech(-11)
      15. ND(+1)
      16. Michigan(+7)
      17. Auburn(+9)
      18. Clemson(-4)
      19. SCarolina(+4)
      20. Oregon & Cal perform as expected.

      LSU and Georgia are friggin’ impressive, outperforming by both criteria, yet UGa hasn’t been able to translate top 5 recruiting in to top 5 finishes. Looks like Old Man Beamer also doesn’t recruit so well, though he seems to get the kids he wants and do a good job coaching them up; still recruiting is a young man’s game.

      (I’m wondering if I should slip UNL in at 17 in my expectations list & Tennessee at 21)

      Like

  61. Richard says:

    Thinking about it more, I should have Tennessee close to OU and UNL close to Michigan (& ND), so revised list based on recruiting potential:

    1. Texas
    2. USC
    3. UF
    4. FSU
    5. PSU
    6. OSU
    7. Alabama
    8. LSU
    9. Georgia
    10. OU
    11. Tennessee
    12. Miami
    13. TAMU
    14. UCLA
    15. VTech
    16. ND
    17. Michigan
    18. Nebraska
    20. Auburn
    21. Clemson
    22. SCarolina
    23. Cal

    3 massive underacheivers in PSU, Tennessee, & Nebraska. Nebraska at least has the excuse of no local recruiting grounds. Tennessee has fertile ones close, but still out of state. PSU is in a top 10 recruiting state and has 3 other top 10 recruiting states near by (OH, NJ, and VA). I expect them to reach their potential once the scandal is behind them.

    http://footballrecruiting.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1239398

    Like

    • wmtiger says:

      Michigan has pretty good in-state talent, better than the recruiting services give it credit for. In terms of NFL draft picks, the state isn’t far behind Pennsylvania.

      Like

      • zeek says:

        That and Michigan can draw much more easily from Ohio than Nebraska.

        Michigan’s recruiting profile is extremely similar to Penn State in terms of quality (comparing Michigan’s recruiting in their backyard + Ohio versus Penn State’s in Pennsylvania + Maryland/NJ/East Coast).

        Ohio State’s is clearly the best in the Big Ten because of how prolific Ohio still is (Pennsylvania seems to have dropped off a bit more in terms of quality high school talent), but I’d only put Michigan a tiny step back because they can get classes virtually as good as Ohio State’s by just mining Michigan and Ohio…

        Like

      • metatron5369 says:

        The problem is that the kids who play there are traditionally divided between Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, and Notre Dame.

        Like

    • Bamatab says:

      Richard,

      When trying to value Bama’s “recruiting grounds”, keep in mind that Bama is uniquely positioned in the south. It is located within driving distance of the fertile recruiting grounds of FL, GA, & LA. When Bama is being run by a competent coach, they pull top level talent from all of those states. Saban just pulled the top 2 players out of LA in this past class, pulled Trent Richardson out of FL a couple year back, and already has the top LB from GA for this next class, and is leading for the #1 player in the country who is in GA. Bama has also cherry picked MS and TN throughout the years.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        Yes, but they’re also in a small state (fertile recruiting grounds as well on a per capita basis, but still small) which they share with another not-insignificant recruiting force. That means that they’re a stronger version of OU (who are a stronger version of Tennessee, who are a slightly stronger version of Michigan & ND, who I should put higher on the list). All those schools have brand names but still have to go out of state and get kids who did not grow up dreaming of playing for them, even if they do not have to go far. This means that how good (or bad) a recruiter/winner the coach is matters more for those schools than a Texas or USC or even OSU & the FL schools, who can get local kids good times or bad (just look at Mack Brown’s recent recruiting classes). Get a great coach, and pull in a top 5 recruiting class; have a stinker at coach, and pull in a recruiting class in the 20’s, 30’s, or worse. I don’t think I have to remind you of Alabama’s 2002-2004 recruiting classes.

        BTW, UGa & LSU are in just as good a position as ‘Bama when it comes to recruiting territory and the states that surround them; they just don’t have the brand. Same goes for Auburn, but with a worse brand.

        Like

        • Bamatab says:

          When looking at Bama’s 2002-2004 recruiting class, keep in mind that we were just hit with major violations and probation. This meant a sharp increase in negative recruiting against them and the loss of scholarship numbers. You can look at the 1997-1999 classes under Dubois and we were top 5 those years (although the sanctions that I just mentioned came as a result of one of those years).

          But I think my point still stands that Bama’s central location in the southeastern recruiting grounds + the fact that AL does produce its fair share of talent + the fact that they are in reality the only true “king” school in the southeast, offers them a lot of options when it comes to recruiting that a coach can take advantage of. I would contend that even just a compotent (not great) coach can reel in a top 10 class most years.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            UF & the other FL schools would beg to differ with you about who is a “king” (as would UGa, LSU, & Tennessee, I’m sure). I did list ‘Bama as being in the most advantageous position amongst kings who have to recruit out of state, but they’re still not in as good a position as Texas or USC (granted, no one else is either). I also expect ‘Bama to pull in a top 10 class with an average coach (which is why I had them in my top 10; I’d probably move PSU below OSU & ‘Bama, thinking about it more). However, I’d expect Texas & USC to be top 5 with an average coach. ‘Bama certain easily can be top 5 with a good coach as well, but they could also drop to the ’20’s or below with a bad coach or violations. Compare with USC or tOSU, who were also hit by violations & had scholarships reduced but didn’t skip a beat, as they could easily sway their (giant, for USC, good-sized, for tOSU) local talent base.

            Like

  62. Seth says:

    @Twitter: The Dude of WV @theDudeofWV
    I was able to confirm the unofficial vote to add #WVU to the ACC. WVU fell one vote short.

    5 schools voting against West Virginia entry to ACC were 4 Carolina schools and Ga Tech. All the against votes were for “academic” reasons.

    7 schools voting in favor of admitting West Virginia were Clemson, FSU, Maryland, BC, Miami, VPI and Virginia.

    Like

    • Seth says:

      @Twitter: The Dude of WV @theDudeofWV
      NC St. was the “yes” vote that flipped to “NO” after UNC put the pressure on them. 8 votes needed for admission.

      Like

      • Pat says:

        Not surprised that Maryland voted Yes because West Virginia is a rivalry game for them. They still plan on playing WV after they join the B12. But, Virginia and BC voting Yes! Yikes!

        Like

    • Richard says:

      OK, that is a little believable (though 2/3rd vote is enough to gain entry?)

      It also puts to the lie the belief that GTech would have any interest in joining the B12 because they’re miffed WVU wasn’t added to the ACC.

      Like

  63. Seth says:

    The Dude of WV @theDudeofWV Reply Retweet
    – Oliver Luck went down to visit UNC/Duke the day before #WVU accepted B12 bid. The meeting
    didn’t go very well.

    The Dude of WV @theDudeofWV
    – So VPI is talking to the BigXII?
    – No. Only Clemson, Maryland, BC, and FSU. I listed them in order of interest in the Big 12 as per
    the update I received today.

    Like

    • Richard says:

      That jibes with reality. I can see Clemson desperate to join a better, richer football conference, but the SEC doesn’t want them. I’m sure Maryland and BC would much prefer a B10 invite (but not sure one is coming). FSU would go to the SEC if they go anywhere; I don’t see them leaving the ACC for the B12. VTech is tied to UVa (or rather, wants to tie themselves to UVa, UNC, and Duke).

      Like

      • Seth says:

        Big-12 expansion with Louisville and BYU on hold until Clemson and FSU can analyze by late summer whether they should jump from ACC to Big-12.

        The Dude of WV @theDudeofWV
        – Reportedly Big 12 members receive just over $17 million per team in annual TV rights while
        the ACC projects TV revenues will increase to $16 per team after Pittsburgh and Syracuse
        join the conference.
        – New Big-12 contracts might bring $35M per school if ND, FSU and Clemson join.

        Like

    • Brian says:

      Why would anyone expect anything else from Duke and UNC? They have always voted against any expansion. That’s what got VT into the ACC, since it gave UVA leverage.

      Like

  64. Steve says:

    Now that NBC Sports lost out on the NFL Thursday Night Football package, will they go hard after the Big-12? And, it will be interesting to see how much money ESPN gives the ACC for the addition of Pitt and Syracuse including the increased inventory of 9 conference football games and 18 conference basketball games. They might give the ACC more than we expect in order to keep Clemson and others from jumping to the Big-12.

    I wonder if the Big-12 strategy might be to go to 14 teams in order to reopen the tier-1 contract early with ESPN? The original contract was for 12 teams so adding West Virginia, Louisville and BYU only gets the conference back to where they started. Adding a few ACC teams could get them to 14 or even 16 and allow for an early renegotiation with ESPN. I’m skeptical of any ACC teams actually leaving for the Big-12, but who knows; Money talks:-)

    Like

    • Richard says:

      Both the B12 and B10 first tier are up for bid at the same time. I expect everyone to go hard after the B10 first tier first.

      Like

      • vp19 says:

        I don’t see anything happening with Big 12 expansion past possibly adding Louisville and Brigham Young until the Big Ten decides what it will do regarding its first tier rights and whether any further expansion will come along with it. Such may be moot without Notre Dame, but the conference may also feel that with a weakened Penn State, adding Rutgers and Maryland is necessary to bolster its presence along the eastern seaboard.

        If the Big Ten (more likely) decides to stay with the status quo, then the Big 12 might be more aggressive in further expanding. I don’t see Boston College as a serious candidate, especially now that longtime rival Syracuse is in the ACC fold (as was planned back in 2003), but Maryland is athletically cash-strapped and would have a next-door conference neighbor in West Virginia. As for Clemson, it has a football-oriented mentality and would probably feel more comfortable in a conference where Texas and Oklahoma would periodically visit.

        Were Louisville, BYU, Maryland and Clemson to join, the football divisional setup could look like this (schools in italics could be placed in the other division in an alternate arrangement):

        East: Clemson, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Louisville, Maryland, West Virginia
        West: Baylor, Brigham Young, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas Christian, Texas Tech

        Like

        • metatron5369 says:

          Why would anyone join the game of Jenga that is the Big XII?

          Louisville? Cincinnati? Their home is on fire, but Maryland and Clemson would be marrying down and they know it.

          Like

    • bullet says:

      I think its interesting the NFL is violating the long standing truce-Su/M NFL, F-HS, TH/Sat-College.

      Like

  65. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/7538742/ken-okeefe-iowa-hawkeyes-leaving-offensive-coordinator-position

    Now IA is missing both coordinators. At their current hiring pace, they’ll still be looking for an OC when fall practice starts.

    Like

    • greg says:

      Iowa has had the same two coordinators in Ferentz’s 13 seasons, and now is replacing both. Since 1979, Iowa has had two head coaches and three DCs.

      Kirk took forever to put together his staff when he was hired, and didn’t sign a contract until almost two years after he started. He takes his time and gets it right.

      Despite the coordinator question, they put together a really solid class this year.

      Like

  66. Brian says:

    http://www.fbschedules.com/2012/02/west-virginia-cancels-2012-football-game-at-florida-state/

    And it’s official. WV cancels the FSU game in 2012 for $250k. Maybe FSU can add Pitt or Rutgers since they have that weekend free and need to add a game if WV is gone.

    Like

  67. Brian says:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/fp/flashPollResultsState?sportIndex=ncf&pollId=132545

    This says a lot about CFB. The ESPN poll asks, “How interested are you in National Signing Day?”

    The choices are Very Interested, Somewhat Interested and Not Interested.

    National results (90,193 votes)
    Very – 37%
    CA, OH, MO, TX, AR, LA, MS, AL, TN, GA, SC, FL

    OR is equally split between Very and Somewhat.

    Somewhat – 35%
    HI, WA, ID, MT, WY, UT, CO, AZ, NM, SD, NE, KS, OK, IA, MI, IN, KY, WV, VA, NC

    Not – 29%
    AK, NV, ND, MN, WI, IL, PA, MD, DC, NY, NJ, DE, CT, RI, MA, VT, NH, ME

    As long as the south is that much more interested in NSD, those teams will recruit better. The low interest in MN, WI, IL and PA doesn’t bode well for B10 recruiting. Caring is one reason OSU does so well, since the fans pressure the coach to do well.

    Like

    • PSUGuy says:

      Most people might say they have zero interest in how some micro-organisms consume maltose and the by-products their actions create, but almost all would say they are very interested in beer (the said by-products).

      Point being, some people get very (overly) into something and others don’t. I find no causality in those numbers.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        PA, NJ and IL are the only “not” states that produce significant number of players. They all also have basically one state university that is dominant (Does Pitt really get any recruits that Penn St. wants anymore? I’m sure Temple doesn’t). CA, OH, TX and FL have a lot of state schools, out of state schools recruiting and a lot of recruits and all are in the “very” category.

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        • Richard says:

          Pretty certain Pitt does well & has beaten out PSU a decent amount of time for recruits in western PA. That may change, but you have to remember that PSU operated far under potential in recruiting in the late JoePa years, pulling in classes that on average ranked 30th according to Rivals from 2002-2011, which is by far the lowest for any king over that period & unconscionable considering that they’re the closest brand name to the rich I-95 corridor that stretches from NJ to MD.

          Also, both NJ and Chicagoland are heavily recruited from out of state; the state schools there definitely do not dominate in-state recruiting. Though Rutgers is getting better, the Illini’s top ranked player from IL this year was at #16 (10 other schools took higher rated IL recruits before the Illini got one), and Illinois only got 2 of the top 30 players from IL total.

          Finally, OH has a lot of state schools, but for top level recruiting, it’s really only tOSU & a bunch of out-of-state (mostly B10) schools. Are you suggesting that fans of all those MAC schools salivating over 2-star recruits are driving recruiting interest in OH?

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          • PSUGuy says:

            Pitt did well when Wandstadt was the coach because he could sell the program on making NFL quality players (and he certainly did). That program has been a mess since he was ousted though so I expect PSU to start getting better access to recuits.

            As for PSU recruiting woes toward the end of Paterno’s life…I always felt they were made too much of. No we didn’t get classes like Alabama or tOSU, but then again we weren’t oversigning or paying players either. We had a lot of legacy guys whose dads wanted them to be coached by the man that coached them before he died and a coach that, right or wrong, believed that sort of thing was important.

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          • Richard says:

            Yes, PSU tended to get the guys they wanted, but the guys they wanted weren’t necessarily the best football players PSU could get, and that ultimately translated in to more losses/fewer wins. Even if PSU toed the straight-and-narrow, there’s still no excuse for PSU underperforming Michigan under Carr & Hoke (RichRod was a big self-inflicted wound).

            Like

      • Brian says:

        If the fans don’t care, then the coaches feel less pressure. That has an impact. PA is a large state, and the eastern side is very much a pro sports area which is a factor for them. Still, when B10 fans care more about recruiting, the coaches will probably do better at it. I don’t think aiming for Somewhat is asking too much.

        Like

  68. Read The D says:

    What’s the possibility of a 2014 ACC-Big 12 Merger a la 1996 SWC-Big 8 Merger?

    Like

    • Andy says:

      24 is too many schools. 16 is as big as any league can handle and even that is pushing it. The only way it works is if the Pac 12, Big Ten, and SEC take away some of those schools and get the numbers down. Even then some would have to head to the Big East along with some of the old SWC castaways.

      Like

  69. Pat says:

    SBJ reports that ACC schools will only get an extra $1M -2M each for adding Pitt/Syracuse and going to 9 conference football games and 18 basketball games. Also, contract will be extended 3-years till 2026. Very disappointing. I expected $3 – 5M. If Big-12 can offer $30M or more, Clemson and FSU need to at least listen. I hope ACC stays together but, that’s a big difference in money. Probably requires that Notre Dame joins the Big-12 to reach $30M.
    http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2012/02/06/Colleges/ACC-TV.aspx

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    • frug says:

      If FSU and Clemson are basing their decisions based on the possibility of Notre Dame joining, then they are going to be sorely disappointed.

      Like

      • acaffrey says:

        I think FSU and Clemson should worry about their own performance. Money didn’t cause Clemson to get embarrassed by West Virginia. Money didn’t cause FSU to lose to Virginia and Wake Forest to end up with another “good” season. FSU has had great recruiting classes.

        Virginia Tech has carried the ACC since the expansion. Florida State and Miami can be great anchors for the ACC. They just need to perform like it. Once that happens, the $$$ will follow.

        Like

    • Andy says:

      Notre Dame won’t join the Big 12. Louisville and BYU might.

      Like

  70. bullet says:

    Nebraska is on probation for at least 492 violations of NCAA rules.

    Its in the New York Times online for 2/01/2012. Its a long link so I’m not going to try to type it right.

    It was a multi year, mutli-sport violation of giving disallowed benefits. Nebraska, GASP!, gave recommended textbooks to athletes. Apparently it is an NCAA violation to give your athletes “recommended,” but not “required” texts to athletes. Another argument for simplifying NCAA rules.

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    • Mike says:

      http://nocera.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/03/the-latest-n-c-a-a-impermissible-benefit-textbooks/


      The two documents the N.C.A.A. issued about the University of Nebraska case are priceless. The first is a press release, which includes an amazing little sidebar. After outlining the violations and the punishment (including “public reprimand and censure!”), it adds a side note that reads, in part, “N.C.A.A. President Mark Emmert and members have recognized that numerous rules, such as those stating athletic scholarships can be used to purchase mandatory but not ‘recommended’ textbooks, are overly prescriptive and do not support our values.” In other words, the rule is so idiotic that even the N.C.A.A. can’t defend it. In that same side note, the N.C.A.A. says that it is in the process of rewriting its rule book. Can’t wait to see the results.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      If they don’t have that rule, AL would “recommend” 87 texts for every class FB players usually take, allowing the players to sell them all for cold hard cash.

      Like

    • Andy says:

      The more important question than where the games are played is how the teams are chosen, IMO.

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      • bullet says:

        What I’ve been reading is that most people in power like the idea of a committee instead of a formula. I’d be surprised if it was selected any other way.

        Don’t know what Michigan AD’s problem is. Sounds like he should be complaining about the BCS 2 team game if he’s getting so upset about a 4 team.

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        • Brian says:

          Who says he’s happy with the BCS? He’s right about a playoff, though. I hope he and others are smart enough to torpedo a playoff.

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      • bw says:

        Yeah it will be interesting to see how they chose the teams. I’d assume you would see a committee like the NCAA tourney does.

        Also will be interesting to see if they have any qualifiers involved to get into the tourney, like you have to be the champion of your conference, or at least your division.

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        • bullet says:

          I’m pretty sure that won’t be a requirement. They always had the opportunity to do that with the BCS and chose not to. I would like to see some limit. Perhaps no more than two non-champs. A committee would reduce some of the bias inherent in our poll system, but it still would exist. The SEC was consistently under-seeded in the basketball tourney for many years. The Big East is consistently over-seeded now. The same could happen with a football champ getting passed over in favor of a runnerup because their conference (say the ACC) wasn’t viewed as strong.

          Like

    • bullet says:

      As described this sounds much like OSU’s Gundy’s proposal: A semi-final in December with finals in early January. Later in the article it quotes Delaney as saying January 9th was too late. I think that makes it difficult to use the January 1 bowl games as semi-finals. I like this idea better than using the bowls for 3 reasons:
      1) cuts out the middle-man;
      2) makes the travel easier on the fans and players (you don’t have 4 teams traveling); and
      3) most important, it makes for a better playoff as it cuts down on the gap between the last regular season game and the semi-final. Teams will be crisper with a 1-3 week lag than with 4-7 weeks.

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    • frug says: