A Big Ten Guy’s Defense of Notre Dame (Except for the Ed Hardy Uniforms)

Posted: August 22, 2012 in Big East, Big Ten, College Basketball, College Football, Illinois Fighting Illini, Sports
Tags: ,

“Notre Dame is no longer relevant.” That’s a fashionable phrase among sportswriters and the bloggerati as we head into a new college football season next week. Rick Reilly kicked up the dust like many others before this past week with his “Demoting Notre Dame” column. His argument is that Notre Dame hasn’t won anything for a long time, therefore:

(1) Notre Dame doesn’t deserve “special treatment” from the BCS.

(2) Notre Dame doesn’t deserve its NBC TV contract.

(3) Notre Dame doesn’t deserve all of the preseason hype.

(4) Notre Dame doesn’t deserve to be independent and needs to join a conference.

These statements have been made by many people many times before, with the only difference for Reilly is that he gets to trumpet his view on the front page of ESPN.com.

Of course, the mere fact that so many people feel the need to proclaim that Notre Dame is “irrelevant” is de facto proof that they are very relevant. Sportswriters might take some time to review the latest hookers-and-blow scandal at Miami, but no one has written that the Hurricanes are “irrelevant”. When a whole host of power schools went through down periods over the past decade, including Alabama and Michigan programs that will be playing a massive opening weekend game at Jerry World next week, I don’t recall anyone complaining that they were still on TV too much or living off of their respective histories.

Look – I’m an Illinois alum that lives and works in the Chicago area. Unlike the vast majority of college football fans, I actually have to deal with Domers (actual Notre Dame alums as opposed to subway fans) on a daily basis. To say that they have an inflated sense of self-worth about their school is an understatement – the football elitism that comes out that school makes Texas, Michigan and USC look like humblebots.

However, it has always bothered me when sportswriters and college football fans claim that Notre Dame doesn’t “deserve” all of its bowl perks and TV money. Whether Notre Dame deserves anything has little to do with whether it has performed on-the-field since the Lou Holtz era. The free market says that Notre Dame is valuable and it is rewarded accordingly. It’s as simple as that. NBC offered Notre Dame a TV contract as opposed to the other way around, so for Reilly to suggest that the school should “do the right thing and not renew” it is asinine. All of the Nielsen metrics suggest that the Pac-12 should not be receiving anywhere near the money that it will be taking in under its new TV deals that being this week, yet would Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott be hailed if he “did the right thing” and took less money for the conference? Of course not! He would have been proclaimed an idiot and fired on the spot. Even the critiques that Notre Dame’s TV ratings have been dropping (which is true) don’t account for the fact that NBC televises all Irish home games, whether they’re playing Michigan or Tulsa. If any national network had to average in Florida vs. a Sun Belt school or Ohio State vs. a MAC school, it’s doubtful that those power schools would draw the audiences that Irish are able to draw when playing cupcake games (with the caveat that Notre Dame has been losing a large number of those cupcake games lately).

At the same time, Notre Dame’s “special treatment” from the BCS has long been overblown. Reilly rails against the Irish receiving a “bonus” of $1.3 million when it doesn’t go to a BCS bowl game, yet ignores the fact that schools such as Indiana, Washington State and Vanderbilt receive the same type of “bonus” from their respective conferences whether they are 12-0 or 0-12. For practical purposes, Notre Dame is receiving about the same amount from the BCS each year as any random member of a power conference, which is hardly “special treatment”. As for access, all that the current BCS rules state is that Notre Dame receives an automatic bid to a BCS bowl if it ranks in the top 8 of the final BCS standings. This really doesn’t mean anything since a top 8 Notre Dame team would almost certainly be snapped up as an at-large bid immediately by a BCS bowl regardless of any auto-qualifier rule. Most importantly, the Irish aren’t getting forced upon anyone. The top bowls want Notre Dame because what matters to them are ticket sales and TV ratings, which the Irish provide in spades. (In contrast, the Big East and non-AQ schools were definitely forced upon the BCS bowls.) That’s why the Orange Bowl appears to rather have a tie-in with Notre Dame in the new postseason system that is replacing the BCS as opposed entire non-power conferences. Even the other power conferences, such as the supposed rival Big Ten, get a financial benefit from including Notre Dame in the power structure that they don’t get from, say, Boise State. As a result, Notre Dame is still with the “in” crowd. (I guarantee you that Jim Delany would rather have a Big Ten school facing Notre Dame in a playoff or top bowl as opposed to Boise State 1000 times out of 1000.) Once again, this is simply the free market at work.

As for Notre Dame’s preseason hype, it’s Reilly’s employers at ESPN along with other TV networks that know that they get an immediate influx of viewers every time that they mention the Irish that are to blame there. Heck, Reilly is guilty of it himself since he knows full well that he wouldn’t have received even close to the same reaction if he wrote a column called “Demoting Miami” or “Demoting Tennessee”. I’d be more than happy if SportsCenter would stop talking about Notre Dame (and for that matter, a sub-.500 Red Sox team and our Lord and Savior backup Jets QB Tim Tebow*), but it’s ridiculous to see a media member shill blaming the school for hype that is entirely generated by the media itself.

(* I’ll admit that I love NBA trade and free agent rumors, which is another prominent source of complaints from many fans about SportsCenter. If the Lakers hadn’t fleeced the rest of the league yet again, I’d still be eating up every Dwight Howard trade scenario. This is sports crack to me on par with conference realignment.)

Finally, Notre Dame is free to be independent. They shouldn’t be forced to do anything that they don’t want to do, including but not limited to joining a conference. As long as they have a TV contract and what they deem to be a suitable home for their non-football sports, then more power to them. There are plenty of other schools that would do the exact same thing if they had the ability to do so, but they simply don’t have that ability. One of these days, market forces might persuade Notre Dame to join a conference (although note that BYU was able to get its own TV contract with ESPN, so any thought that NBC is going to drop the Irish at any point is soon is misguided). However, it should simply be left to that free market to decide Notre Dame’s fate as opposed to some shakedown from the NCAA or other conferences.

Now, before all of you start thinking that I’m some sort of Notre Dame apologist, let’s get to what should truly be causing a crisis of confidence in South Bend: these historically awful uniforms where I had to look away for fear of turning into stone. This is what happens when Ed Hardy and a leprechaun have a love child. These uniforms might only be used for one night, but that one night can cause a lifetime of nightmares a la Bjork. There has been an Ebola-like spread of color-blind fashion in college football uniforms lately, but never in my life did I think that Notre Dame (of all schools) would stoop to such cheap gimmickry. It’s as if though Jack Swarbrick said, “Maryland’s uniforms are waaaay too understated.”

Let’s face it: shoe and apparel companies such as adidas, Under Armour and Nike (whose Oregon uniforms now look like Brooks Brothers suits by comparison) love to design ugly ass shit because young people are fashion idiots that will buy it all up. I’m not hating on just today’s generation: my junior high school years featured vintage Zubaz pants and a superintendent-ordered ban on kids wearing massively baggy jeans backwards because of so many Kriss Kross imitators. (We did have great taste with our Starter jackets and gear back then, though. This Blackhawks Starter jacket was the best piece of outerwear that I’ve ever owned.) Meanwhile, my parents’ clothing from the ’60s and ’70s can be used unironically as Halloween costumes. ’nuff said. It’s simply the circle of life* and the shoe titans know it.

(* My kids have watched The Lion King and listened to its soundtrack so much in the past year that I’ve caught myself inserting phrases from the movie into adult conversations without even knowing it. I’d be horrified to look at a scan of my brain activity right now.)

Therefore, it is the duty of schools such as Notre Dame, Michigan, Alabama and USC that actually have great classic traditional uniforms to resist the unwavering urges from their shoe partners to mess them up. adidas will always argue that a football uniform designed by a drunk Lady Gaga is a “good idea”. It’s up to people with a working pair of eyes with actual standards to put a stop to it. Sadly, Notre Dame has fallen into the trap of believing that being “relevant” today means using horrible helmets when such a large reason of why they continue to be relevant despite some putrid years on the field is their history and tradition. I’m happy that Illinois appears to be working with Nike in going the other direction.

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

(Image from ESPN.com)

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Comments
  1. tomdauwwg says:

    Go Lucky #13 Green!

    Like

  2. Ted says:

    Yay, a coherent response to an incoherent Reilly column.

    Like

  3. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    GEAUX LSU Relevant Fightin’ Tigers!

    Like

  4. frug says:

    any thought that NBC is going to drop the Irish at any point is soon is misguided

    Depends how you are defining “drop” and “soon”. They have a contract that runs through 2015 so obviously nothing will happen before then, but after that ND could be in trouble. Their TV rating have taken a complete dive in each of the last two seasons (last year they were down 20%), and the new Comcast brass has made perfectly clear they are not going to let loyalty stand in the way of maximizing profits (check out the bloodbath at The Tonight Show)

    In fact, Comcast has already started making the steps towards an eventual break. They fired Dick Eberesol mostly because of ND’s underperformance and have started shifting their games from NBC to a cable channel most people either don’t get or know they have.

    Now, I’m not saying that ND won’t be able to get some deal, but if Kelly doesn’t get things turned around I seriously doubt they are going to be able to get a deal they keeps them competitive with the other Big Boys.

    Like

    • That doesn’t really make sense, though. Notre Dame’s ratings may be declining, but they’re still better than the average AQ team. So why would their TV games be worth less than the average AQ team’s game (and remember, thanks to league revenue sharing rules, Ohio St gets basically average Big Ten TV revenue, USC gets average Pac-12 TV revenue, etc.)?

      While being just one team instead of a league with larger bargaining power MIGHT hurt them to some degree, the flip side is that their TV $$$ isn’t going to be siphoned off to subsidize Indiana, Wazzu, Wake, etc. MAYBE the net of those two things is a negative, but I’d be inclined to see it as a positive.

      That said, I could conceivably see networks playing some level of hardball with them, some combination of:

      Not giving Notre Dame more than, say, your average ACC to Big Ten team (I’d think that’s about the range, though that’s certainly a guess);
      Retaining rights to dump ND’s crap games (Tulsa, Air Force, Army etc.) to an affiliate channel and/or pay them less for those games;
      Working into the TV deal certain requirements for quality home game scheduling (not really sure how that’d work though)

      Then again, plenty of people think that NBC is going to open up the checkbook for the Big East, a league that basically no one watches or cares about. Why would they overpay for the Big East and play hardball Notre Dame? If anything, I would expect the exact opposite.

      Notre Dame is a proven, valuable commodity. Yes, they may be in decline (though who knows whether that’s a long-term trend or something that’s going to flatten out soon), but even in decline they’re still a big deal. Notre Dame home games against any top 25 program (much less their every other year game vs USC, or on and off games against Michigan) can headline a network’s weekend in a way that, say, Auburn vs Tennessee, or Florida St vs Virginia Tech, much less a Big East game (even relative highlights like Boise against whoever else will be good), probably can’t.

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      • frug says:

        That may be true now, but what about 2015? If the ratings continue to slide then suddenly they will suddenly be in big trouble, especially since recent moves by the major conferences suggest that in terms of TV negotiations there is strength in numbers (or at least they seem to think that)

        Few other things;

        1. The numbers on what NBC would be pay for the Big East all over the board so I wouldn’t bank on that as a basis for comparison.

        2. As long as ND refuses to play anytime except Saturdays their only potential suitors are NBC and possibly Fox. ESPN/ABC and CBS just don’t have the space for them.

        3. You have understand exactly how brutal Comcast is. They just forced the Tonight Show to fire 20% of its staff despite Jay Leno taking a very heavy pay cut to try and preserve as many jobs as possible… and that show is first place.

        Seriously, if they are willing to do that to a “proven, valuable commodity” what are they going to think about giving Notre Dame a $30+ million contract when they (based on their recent moves) seem to be unhappy with the value they are getting for $15 million.

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        • Richard says:

          Luckily for ND, they aren’t dependent on Comcast being the only bidder for their games.

          2015 also isn’t exactly a generation away. I don’t really see any likely scenarios that would drop ND from where they are now (one of the top brands with probably the largest national following) in college football to something lower in 3 years time. They’d have to go something like 1-11 for 3 straight years and have a Sandusky-type scandal for that to happen. As much as you don’t want to acknowledge it, I’m quite certain that ND will make at least as much per game as the Pac10 average per game from their tier1 deal (so something like $30M-$40M, or more, annually).

          Finally, where do you get information that NBC “seem to be unhappy with the value they are getting for $15 million”? For that matter, where’s your source that they fired Ebersol mostly because of ND’s performance? That would be rather peculiar, as ND football just doesn’t make up a big part of NBC Sports (in money or TV time).

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          • frug says:

            Luckily for ND, they aren’t dependent on Comcast being the only bidder for their games.

            They might be. Unless the Irish are willing start playing on Thursdays and Fridays there only option besides Comcast is maybe Fox, and it’s not even clear that Fox would be interested (they haven’t been mentioned as bidders for the Big East and said they didn’t have the space to carry all the PAC inventory themselves).

            And I based the fact that Comcast was unhappy with the value of their deal because A) if they were happy they wouldn’t be jettisoning part of it to cable and B) Steve Burke, who is NBC Universal’s CEO, is notoriously leery about sports programming in general.

            Now, I’ll admit that I am just making an educated guess that it was the ND package that got Ebersol fired (though I admit that there were likely other issues as well). And even if the ND deal wasn’t the issue, it doesn’t change the fact that Notre Dame just lost far and away its biggest champion at NBC (the Notre Dame package was his baby even more than the Olympics).

            Like

          • Richard says:

            “They might be.”

            We’ll have to agree to disagree, as we won’t know who’s right until maybe 2015. However, I really don’t think ND’s desire to play on Saturdays will keep them from making $30M-$40M a year. As another example, I don’t think that the B10’s insistence on playing almost every game on Saturdays will keep it from getting a gigantic Tier I TV package payout in mid-decade (also $30M-$40M per school per year). Same goes for the SEC (which has rare mid-week games) when they go to market.

            “And I based the fact that Comcast was unhappy with the value of their deal because A) if they were happy they wouldn’t be jettisoning part of it to cable”

            Except that putting properties on channels that they want to build up is now Disney got ESPN2 and then ESPNU in to virtually all cable packages.

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          • frug says:

            Except that putting properties on channels that they want to build up is now Disney got ESPN2 and then ESPNU in to virtually all cable packages.

            And yet for some strange reason CBS isn’t moving SEC games to the CBS Sports Network…

            Yes, I’m sure that part of the motivation for the move is to drive traffic to NBCSN, but I have a hard time imagining Comcast would be moving ND games off the ratings starved mothership if the Irish were pulling the sort of numbers they were 10 years ago (or even 5 years ago).

            Like

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            I’m pretty certain Fox could find somewhere for ND’s 3:30 games on Saturdays. Very few, if any, Pac-12 games would be on at 12:30 PT (3:30 ET), so the only conference competing for that time slot would be the Big 12. And if I remember correctly, those B12 games have been targeted for FX or the FSN’s. Fox owns a lot of channels. Even if ND couldn’t fit on the mother network, it could fit on a cable network for sure.

            All this to say that ND will have at least two bidders. Heck, what’s to stop Turner from bidding? ND is still one of the cheapest properties because bidding doesn’t include the selection of any home game among a large conference (as CBS has with the SEC). As others have said, $30M/year would be a great value for very popular, AQ-level content.

            ND will make its money, and it will in all likelihood stay with NBC because other than the Olympics, the NHL, and Sunday Night Football, all NBC has going for it are much less valuable properties like golf, tennis, and horse racing.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Notre Dame is already in negotiations with NBC to renew early and the AD seems happy about it. They are in no short term peril.

            Like

          • frug says:

            @Bullet

            That seems like the smart thing to do if NBC is game.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            frug:

            “And yet for some strange reason CBS isn’t moving SEC games to the CBS Sports Network”

            Well, for one, they don’t own the SEC’s 2nd and 3rd tier rights. I have a feeling that NBC won’t be moving USC-ND or Michigan-ND in to cable either.

            Like

    • Phatom says:

      NBC is in the final stages of finalize their contract renewal rumor to be 32 million a year plus turning the VS network into the Notre Dame sports network.

      Like

      • frug says:

        Link?

        I have a really tough time seeing them turning Versus into the Notre Dame Sports Network since they just rebranded it NBSports Network.

        Like

      • zeek says:

        Why would they need to do that when they have the rights to ND football and hockey… and the basketball and the rest is part of the Big East?

        What exactly does ND own that it could make a network from?

        Like

        • @zeek – The rumor that I had heard a few months ago was that NBC was looking to turn Universal Sports into a Notre Dame channel, which is plausible. I also wouldn’t be shocked at all if ND received in excess of $30 million considering what other properties have been paid. Fox is paying over $14 million per year for just the Pac-12 championship game and its ratings last year were lower than what a typical ND vs. Michigan or USC game would be. Heck, there’s a whole list of ND games that rated higher than recent Orange Bowls. So, just having the ND-Michigan or ND-USC game each year alone makes the ND package worth it (not to mention that they also have Miami, Oklahoma and Texas coming up on the schedule).

          I think many people are making the same mistake with ND as others are doing with the ACC, which is setting forth a judgment about their long-term value when they are currently at their lowest point. In 2005 and 2006, when ND was competitive and highly ranked, that NBC deal was literally the best bargain in sports because they were getting higher ratings than the SEC and Big Ten games of the week for a fraction of the price. ND doesn’t even need to perform like thy every year – if they do that once every 5 years or so, it’s a boon to NBC. Paying a lot to the Big East or even the Pac-12 is a very large financial risk. Heck, paying $15 million per year for bottom of the barrel Texas sports is a huge risk. So,
          paying $30 million or even $40 million per year to ND when you know at least 1 or 2 of 7 games is going to be in the top 15 highest rated college football games of the year is a no-brainier low-risk deal by comparison.

          Like

          • zeek says:

            Oh definitely, I’ve thought ND was underpaid since it signed its last contract. They should be getting more than the average team from any conference for that 7-8 game contract.

            I just thought it’d be more worth it to NBC to keep the hockey and other things on NBC Sports. That channel needs more content as opposed to creating a separate ND channel to try to stuff.

            ND may not really be suited for its own channel anyways; after watching the launch of the LHN, I’m really not sure there’s any ability to pull off a single school network to a larger degree…

            Like

  5. bamatab says:

    RTR!

    Like

  6. Christian in Wylie says:

    Hook ’em

    Like

  7. bullet says:

    Notre Dame does get special treatment on revenue. IU may be the same share from not going, but IU doesn’t get a full share when they do go. When Notre Dame goes, they used to get a full share. They still get the “2nd conference team” share. And they don’t have to share any with 12 other teams.

    They shouldn’t get any different deal than BYU, Army or Navy, especially if they really wear that ridiculous helmet. They’d be better off actually wearing something designed by Lady Gaga.

    Like

  8. joe4psu says:

    add

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  9. […] Frank the Tank is always sharing something useful.  Today’s blog was about Notre Dame, everyone’s favorite punching bag.  Frank the Tank does a good job providing an objective […]

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  10. Denogginizer says:

    GBR

    Like

  11. Brian says:

    Frank,

    As bullet points out, ND does get special treatment from the BCS in 2 ways.

    1. Money
    http://espn.go.com/i/ncf/bcs/2012BCSGuide.pdf

    BCS payouts for this season:
    a. AQ from a non-AQ league – $28.2M (the non-AQs then split it amongst themselves)
    b. Non-AQs if none make the BCS – $14.1M
    c. AQ champs – $23.6M each
    d. At large – $6.2M
    e. ND if in – $6.2M
    f. ND if out – $1.9M
    g. Other independents if in – $6.2M
    h. Other independents if out – $0.1M
    i. FCS conferences – $0.25M each

    ND is treated better than Army, Navy or BYU financially. They also can do much better than any AQ school.

    ND in – $6.2M
    BE – $3.73M (2 teams, split 8 ways)
    B12 – $2.98M (2 teams, split 10 ways)
    BE – $2.95M (1 team)

    ND historically – $2.82M

    B10, P12 – $2.48M (2 teams, split 12 ways)
    B12 – $2.36M (1 team)
    SEC, ACC – $2.13M (2 teams, split 14 ways)
    B10, P12 – $1.97M (1 team)
    ND out – $1.9M
    SEC, ACC – $1.69M (1 team)

    If we take the B12 getting 2 of 10 teams in as the realistic upper limit for AQ paydays, ND can top that by making the BCS once every 4 years. ND can top the B10’s max payday by making the BCS twice in 15 years. In actuality, ND has been 3 times in 14 years so far. That means only the BE and B12 schools would have made more if this pay scheme was always in place. The most successful conferences earn less than ND, and ND has never won a BCS game.

    That is special treatment no matter how you look at it.

    2. Eligibility

    The selection process goes in this order:
    1. Top 2 teams
    2. AQ champs
    3.1 non-AQ champ in top 12 (or top 16 and above an AQ champ)
    4. ND in top 8
    5. #3 AQ team
    6. #4 AQ team if #3 didn’t get in via rule 5
    7. At larges (9 wins and top 14)

    ND gets precedence over #3 and #4 to get in. There is also no special access rule for the other independents, they have to be at-larges. Other top 8 teams have been left out despite being eligible for the BCS (BSU and KSU last year, for example), so clearly ND is getting special treatment.

    Conclusions
    Neither of these special treatments needs to be given to ND. They could be paid less and have to earn an at large spot just like anyone else. They could be treated just like the other independents, but they aren’t.

    Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      Reilly’s points don’t work when it comes to the NBC contract. ND absolutely should be free to be an independent and to get the biggest TV contract it can get as long as the free market allows for it.

      I do agree, however, that it shouldn’t get disproportionate shares of BCS revenue when it is in the bowl games. Why LSU, USC, Ohio State, and other powers would agree to this is beyond me. I also do not like that they get disproportionate representation at BCS meetings. At the very least, ND should have to elect a representative for these meetings alongside BYU, Army, Navy, and, soon, Idaho and New Mexico State.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        I think that special ND in if #8 is inexplicable. It gives Notre Dame a special status but adds no real value to them otherwise. Why should the other conferences convey a special status when Notre Dame and everyone else knows they WILL get in if they are #8. With the new deal, they need to get rid of Notre Dame’s unjutifiable revenue advantage over the other indies. I don’t have a big issue with them getting disproportional representation. They are in the “club” and BYU is not. And we all know that at least 6 members with representation have votes that don’t really count.

        Like

  12. jj says:

    Haters gotta hate

    Like

  13. Rich says:

    1) “Deserve’s got nothin’ to do with it.” – William Munny

    2) Rick Reilly hasn’t been relevant since 2001 and should retire to write more incoherent novels.

    3) Screw the Domers.

    Like

  14. Brian says:

    http://www.tiqiq.com/tiqiqtop25/

    A new preseason Top 25. It’s based on the secondary market price for tickets to home games.

    1 Nebraska $262
    2 Ohio St. $227
    3 Oklahoma $207
    4 Notre Dame $206
    5 Alabama $205
    6 Iowa $202
    7 Texas A&M $189
    8 Michigan $185
    9 West Virginia $172
    10 LSU $158

    Also:
    12 Penn St. $149

    Like

    • Andy says:

      Interesting to see Missouri at #15, one spot below USC and ahead of schools like Texas, Georgia, Wisconsin, Auburn, Florida, Oregon, etc.

      I guess Mizzou is a football school after all.

      Like

    • Richard says:

      What happened to ‘Bama and LSU? I was under the impression that they were at or near the top by this metric last year. Could be wrong.

      Like

      • frug says:

        Not certain, but I part of it could be that last year LSU only had 6 home games last year but has 7 this year, and Alabama’s home schedule isn’t quite as appealing as last seasons (LSU, UT and Arkansas are all on the road this year and Michigan is being played in Dallas).

        Like

  15. OrderRestored83 says:

    add

    Like

  16. Michael in Raleigh says:

    Frank on NBA trade rumors and their incessant coverage on Sportscenter: “This is sports crack to me on par with conference realignment.”

    If that didn’t make you laugh really hard, it’s time to loosen up.

    Like

  17. I was going to post something serious in response….but I can’t! Those unis are just awful!!

    Like

  18. zeek says:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/longhorn-network-carrying-2-texas-203403803–ncaaf.html

    Texas’ first two games will be on LHN: Wyoming in the season opener Sept. 1 and New Mexico on Sept. 8. Both games will start at 7 p.m. Central time.

    Like

  19. bullet says:

    A little info on the Big 12 TV schedule. Fox is getting more and there is less on ABC early in the season. Wonder if ABC/ESPN is doing away with some of the split broadcasts and just putting Big 10 on ABC? Typical pattern in the early afternoon is regional coverage on ABC with the Big 10, Big 12 and ACC splitting coverage. Big 10 gets on ESPN in the areas they are not on ABC. ACC and Big 12 split the remaining areas, so some parts of the country don’t get one or the other.

    http://blog.newsok.com/berrytramel/2012/08/22/big-12-football-fewer-games-on-abc/

    Like

    • zeek says:

      If that’s the plan, I’m not sure I really get it…; I get that Fox clearly wants broadcast games because they’re committed to a weekly Saturday broadcast game now.

      I’m not really sure what ABC’s play though is, they’re trying to basically make the games more national and less split?

      It’s going to be interesting to see what happens to the Big Ten’s contract out in 2015-2016 given this arrangement between Fox and ABC/ESPN.

      I think a lot of us though the Big Ten would go for a Fox/ESPN kind of split, but the split that the Big 12 is getting may end up being the kind of split that the Big Ten does actually go for…

      Like

      • zeek says:

        What you’re wondering is probably correct though, after letting the Big 12 mostly walk away from ABC, it’s hard to see them letting the Big Ten do the same thing in a couple years…

        Like

        • bullet says:

          Actually Disney is getting more of the Big 12. They had Tier I while Fox had Tier II. Now they are sharing Tier I and II. But it seems like ESPN is getting more of Disney’s share while ABC is getting less.

          Like

      • Gregory Lynch says:

        It looks like the Big XII new deal may require that all games on ABC / Tier I cable be broadcast nationally; hence no more ABC regional games. As mentioned earlier, ESPN also appears to have primary rights also, rather than sublicensing from Fox.

        The B1G also eliminated ABC regional broadcasts in their last two negotiations: first in 2006, they required that all ABC afternoon games by carried on ESPN/2 in outer markets. In 2011 with the renegotiation for Nebraska, they eliminated ABC regional prime time games, which happened approximately once a year.

        The Pac 12 did something similar with their new deal when they left FSN for FX. The ABC afternoon window may end up showing only two games a week: a combination of only the B1G and one of the other major conference with a reverse mirror in outer markets. That is certainly the setup for the first three weeks.

        Like

  20. bullet says:

    Saw a 2009 list of cable fees (source SNL Kagan) on a Texas board. Its 3 years old, but quite interesting. Top 20:

    1 ESPN $4.08
    2 Fox Sports $2.37
    3 TNT $.99
    4 Disney Channel $.88
    5 NFL Network $.75
    6 Fox News $.58
    7 HDnet $.55
    8 USA $.55
    9 ESPN2 $.54
    10 MGM HD $.54
    11 CNN Espanol $.51
    12 CNN/HLN $.51
    13 TBS $.49
    14 HDnet movies $.44
    15 Nickelodeon $.44
    16 FX Network $.42
    17 Big 10 Network $.36
    18 NHL Network $.35
    19 Fox College Sports $.34
    20 MTV $.33

    7 of the top 20 are exclusively sports networks and 3 others show some sports. Versus is down at #26 at $.26.

    Like

  21. frug says:

    C’est la vie?

    http://espn.go.com/olympics/cycling/story/_/id/8298135/usada-ban-lance-armstrong-life-strip-seven-tour-de-france-titles-charges-used-performance-enhancing-drugs-cycling-career

    U.S. Anti-Doping Agency chief executive Travis Tygart says the agency will ban Lance Armstrong from cycling for life and strip him of his seven Tour de France titles for doping.

    Armstrong on Thursday night dropped any further challenges to USADA’s allegations that he took performance-enhancing drugs to win cycling’s premier event from 1999-2005.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      1. USADA can’t strip him of his titles because they don’t award them. They can declare him dirty while he won but UCI would have to actually strip the titles, I believe.

      2. They still have never produced a failed drug test. They claim they have suspicious results from going back and testing old blood samples, but no definitive failed test. That’s odd for someone who was supposedly cheating for a decade and was tested all the time. How come they catch so many other cheats but can’t bust him despite years of trying?

      3. They claim to have a bunch of witnesses, but all the named ones have been busted for doping themselves and given plea bargains to testify against Lance.

      4. Fuck USADA, he beat cancer and a bunch of doping riders 7 times in a row. Have they gone back and tested samples from all the other multiple winners?

      5. The guy raises millions for cancer research. I don’t care what he did or didn’t take while competing. Quit messing with his reputation when he’s using it for good.

      Like

  22. danimation707 says:

    I still think that the “special” Wisconsin heresies this year are way worse. But yeah these are hilarious too.

    Like

  23. Guido says:

    Like your comment on ESPN shoving Tim Tebow and a mediocre Red Sox team down our throat along with the ND article, I’ve been thinking Tim Tebow and ND are very similar. Tebow is not, and probably never will be a very good NFL QB. ND has not been a particularly good football team for a long time, and it remains to be seen if they will be any time soon. But regardless, a large segment of the population will continue to buy jersey’s (even horrendously ugly ones), tickets, and watch them on tv. It’s probably a whole other topic of conversation as to why that is in each case, but it is what it is. A second fairly large population watches both wanting to see them fail, but it’s still eyeballs and ticket sales.

    It’s interestingly similar to the conversations around tape delay packaging for the Olympics that frustrated many hardcore sports fans, yet was widely popular to a large audience and netted solid ratings. I think hardcore sport fans look at a backup QB with clear limitations on the ability to master the forward pass, a football team unable to compete for conference titles and irrelevant in the National title conversation in recent history, and Olympic events where the outcome has already been determined and widely reported and scratch their heads as to why so many people care and will spend time watching these things on TV.

    Like

  24. Mike says:

    On the Big East Commish Hire

    http://espn.go.com/college-sports/story/_/id/8299241/big-east-commissioner-mike-aresco-came-job-late-process

    On Aug. 6, ESPN submitted public record requests to the universities of Cincinnati and South Florida — their respective presidents, Greg Williams and Judy Genshaft, were on the search committee — seeking information regarding the Big East’s search. Russell Reynolds Associates legal representation threatened to file a lawsuit against USF to keep the university from providing the documents to ESPN. The firm’s lawyers also contacted Cincinnati questioning which documents the school would release to ESPN.

    “We are willing to take the necessary steps to obtain judicial intervention and declaration,” attorney William E. Grob wrote on behalf of Russell Reynolds Associates to USF on Aug. 10. Russell Reynolds Associates’ legal team also argued the candidates’ names should not be available through ESPN’s public records request because “all communication … included the express notification that the information was highly confidential” and the “subject line of each electronic communication … is marked confidential.”

    Covington & Burling, a law firm that represents the Big East, also implied the league would pursue legal action against — oddly enough — one of its league members if it fulfilled the records request.

    Like

  25. Mike says:

    SBJ’s Most Influential

    1. Mike Slive
    2. Jim Delany
    3. John Skipper and Burke Mangus (ESPN)
    4. Mark Emmert
    5. Larry Scott

    http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2012/08/20/In-Depth/Most-Influential-Intro-1.aspx

    Like

    • Mike says:

      Others of note:

      6. [Presidents] Virginia Tech’s Charles Steger, Florida’s Bernie Machen, Nebraska’s Harvey Perlman and Texas’ Bill Powers
      11. Jack Swarbrick [Don’t tell Rick Reilly]
      15. Nick Saban
      16. DeLoss Dodds
      21. Chuck Neinas [Way too low]
      22. Jeremy Foley

      Like

      • zeek says:

        It has Bowlsby in there at 9.

        The list is probably based on relative effectiveness at this moment, and clearly Neinas would have been there in the top 10 if the list was made a couple months ago.

        Right now, 21 is fair for Neinas, he still has the ability to be effective, but he has no current powers, he’s like the equivalent of a former president right after he leaves office. Plenty of potential but not longer the biggest mover/shaker of them all…

        Like

        • Mike says:

          I was thinking more about his search firm. For a long time (I assume he is still in the business) he has had the ability to direct and recommend a lot of hires around the country. That alone will give him outsized influence.

          Like

      • acaffrey says:

        and rounding out the list…

        999. John Marinatto.

        1000. Jay Paterno.

        Like

    • zeek says:

      That’s a pretty fair list. Far more objective than the silly nonsense that Forde put out last week.

      Like

  26. Brian says:

    http://www.freep.com/article/20120824/SPORTS06/308240150/Dave-Brandon-Finances-had-to-work-for-U-M-to-play-Alabama?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|Michigan%20Wolverines

    Some details on the finances of the MI/AL game and how MI made it work for their budget.

    MI expects to make $6.5M in admissions per game in 2012 (it was $4.8M before expansion/renovation), and well over $7M total (maybe over $8M). They get $4.7M for the AL game. However, Brandon says they can’t afford to play a home and home series

    Like

    • Richard says:

      Erm, what? So why is Michigan purportedly agreeing to a home-and-home with _Utah_?
      http://www.fbschedules.com/2012/06/michigan-utah-scheduling-home-and-home-football-series/

      Is that series off the table, then?

      Like

      • frug says:

        That series has already been finalized.

        http://utahutes.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/062712aaa.html

        But yeah, there is no rhyme or reason to anything Brandon says about scheduling. Last year he said Michigan would no longer be playing any OOC road games besides ND, and then scheduled a series with Utah before the PAC-B1G alliance collapsed.

        Like

        • cutter says:

          Here’s part of the problem that David Brandon has and it might help explain why he opted to have the home-and-home series with Utah.

          Right now, Michigan has something of an uneven home and away schedule. In odd numbered years, Notre Dame, Nebraska and Ohio State are all home games in Ann Arbor. In the even numbered years, those three teams are all road games.

          What he’s trying to do is make the home schedules attractive to the fans who not only buy tickets in the bowl section, buy also purchase PSLs and rent out the luxury boxes.

          In 2013, Michigan has a road game with Connecticut, but that was negotiated by his predecessor in order to get an opponent for the 2010 stadium dedication season opener. Bill Martin agreed to the home-and-home because he couldn’t get anyone else. Brandon has been trying to move the game from Rentschler Field (40,000 capacity) to the new stadium in the Meadowlands (82,000). The problem is that the CT state assembly won’t allow it because the state government owns Rentschler Field, not the University of Connecticut. Because taxpayer money went into building it, they’re obliged to play in it (and to support the local businesses around it), regardless of the opponent or the prospect of a larger payday to UConn if that game was in the Meadowlands.

          In 2014, Utah plays in Ann Arbor, but the season opener is with Appalachian State. Brandon has said that he asked to play ApSU again because he knew it’d generate a buzz given the huge upset in 2007. I don’t know if he’s smart or if it’s a terrible idea, but you want to generate interest, I supposed that’d do. In order to get Utah in order to bolster the home schedule, I suspect he had to agree to the home-and-home with them.

          Michigan opens the 2015 season at Utah on a Thursday night. The next three games are Notre Dame, Oregon State and UNLV. Wisconsin, Nebraska and Ohio State are also home games that year. There is no home-and-home agreement with Oregon State–it’s a one time deal. The people buying tickets that year are going to get their money’s worth.

          The 2016 schedule isn’t completed (two OOC games are TBD) yet, but there are non-conference games with Colorado (also a one-time deal with a Pac 12 team in anticipation of the B10-P12 scheduling agreement that was to formally start in 2017) and on the road with Notre Dame. Michigan has conference games on the road with Wisconsin, Nebraska and Ohio State that year as well (MSU, NW, IL and IA are the conference home games).

          No Michigan schedules have been published for 2017 and beyond, but UM should have a home game with Notre Dame. The UM-ND series takes a two-year hiatus in 2018/19 and I understand Oklahoma was approached to replace ND those two seasons. OU couldn’t do it because they had a previous home-and-home agreement with LSU those two years and didn’t want to add Michigan to their non-conference schedule.

          Michigan had eight home games last season, but they’ll have seven maximum from 2012 through 2016. UM could possibly jump up to eight home games in 2017, but that’s TBD. The Big Ten also hasn’t released its conference schedules for 2017/18, so we don’t know if the scheduling “imbalance” I described above is going to be rectified. One school of thought was that UM would drop the Notre Dame series and try to replace them with programs like Oklahoma in 2019 and beyond, but on a rotation that makes the overall schedule–non-conference and conference games–somewhat more balanced in terms of quality opponents played at home and on the road. ND doesn’t want to change its schedule because it wants UM and USC to be one at home and one on the road. Is that going to hold seven years down the line? I have no idea.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            OK, but why couldn’t Michigan get the quality of HaH’s that OSU has for it’s future (Cal, VTech, OU, and, before they cancelled, Georgia)?

            Barring that, why not even what PSU has (Syracuse, UVa, & Pitt)? I’m pretty certain Michigan has more alums on the East Coast and recruits there more heavily than Utah. Are there no better schools than Utah they could do a HaH with?

            Like

          • frug says:

            While I’m not sure why Utah specifically was chosen about month before the series was announced Brandon had said publicly he wanted to play a series with a PAC team prior to the beginning of the B1G-PAC alliance. Given the relatively short time frame, the PAC’s 9 game schedule and Michigan’s need for 7 annual home games Utah was probably the best he could do.

            Brandon didn’t explain why he wanted to play a PAC team, but I get the feeling he was trying build brand awareness out West in anticipation of the scheduling alliance (Michigan also bought a game against Colorado for 2016 which would have meant Michigan was playing a PAC team in all three years preceding the B1G-PAC alliance). If Brandon had known then that the conference alliance would fall through I’m not sure he would have scheduled the Utah series.

            Like

          • cutter says:

            For Richard:

            I suspect Brandon is probably pretty content to have Notre Dame being its primary non-conference game on an annual basis for many of the reasons Frank alluded to in his post above. While ND hasn’t been nationally relevant on the football field for upwards of twenty years, it’s a product that’s very marketable and still sells. The early season television ratings show that and last year’s Under the Lights game had the highest attendance figure ever at Michigan Stadium (114,804). As long as UM can play Notre Dame early in the season when the ESPN hype is at its peak, then it really doesn’t matter to him in terms of marketing Michigan if they fade as the season progresses or aren’t eligible for a major bowl.

            Will that change? Possibly. If ND’s relative value to Michigan begins to radically lessen, then UM might look elsewhere to schedule that one major non-conference opponent. We know that Brandon reached out to Oklahoma for the 2018/9 games, but wasn’t able to pull it off. Hopefully, he’ll continue to look at teams at that level for the games in those two seasons (Georgia, for example, has a hole in its published future schedules for those two years). What he does beyond that is anyone’s guess. The scheduling agreement between Michigan and Notre Dame allows them to terminate or alter the series with advanced notice (I think it’s four years). I suspect he can wait a few years before making any sorts of decisions on that front. This is also a two way street. Notre Dame may feel its in their best interest to terminate the Michigan series in order to play someone else as well in the early part of the season. ND opens the 2015 and 2016 seasons with back-to-back games against Texas and Michigan. UT is on their schedule again in 2019 and on 12 September 2020. Will Notre Dame want to play both teams in 2020 after their experience in 2015/6? I don’t know.

            I personally thought that Michigan might drop Notre Dame because of the scheduling imbalance because of comments from David Brandon last year. What he did instead was try to make the home schedule more interesting in the “off” years by having teams like Utah, Oregon State and Colorado play in Ann Arbor over having a second team from the MAC. While UM was able to get Oregon State and Colorado to Ann Arbor in “pay for play” games, I suspect Brandon wasn’t able to pull off the same thing with Utah.

            I’m a little curious about the Big Ten’s thinking in all this. The B10 had to know there were going to be alternating seasons where Michigan played Notre Dame, Nebraska and Ohio State at home or on the road. It was interesting that they put Wisconsin on that same “rotation” in 2015 and 2016 instead of just having UW replace Penn State (which is a Michigan road game in 2013 and a home game in 2014). If they’d done that, Wisconsin would have been a road game in 2015 and a home game in 2016 and that would have worked to “balance” the schedule.

            I guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens for 2017. By then, we’ll be three years into the new post-season set up, so we’ll know how much strength-of-schedule and conference championships matter in the new format. The Big Ten will also have its new television deals in place, so that might effect scheduling as well (although it seemingly didn’t push the B10 to having nine conference games).

            We’ll also know a lot more about Notre Dame. If they maintain the status quo as an independent who is linked to another conference for bowl games and as a home for the non-football teams, then perhaps we’ll see UM continue to play them in 2020 and beyond. If not, then perhaps Michigan will go to the type of schedule Ohio State has and we’ll see a rotation of major teams on UM’s schedule. I would personally prefer to see Michigan take that route and perhaps play ND twice every six to eight years. But it’s hard to argue with television ratings and game attendance records and all the money that the networks are throwing around these days. As long as ESPN and the general fan base likes Notre Dame and watches their games, I suspect Michigan will continue to play them.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            cutter,

            “I suspect Brandon is probably pretty content to have Notre Dame being its primary non-conference game on an annual basis for many of the reasons Frank alluded to in his post above.”

            MI has the best of both worlds. They get to play an average team to get an easy win but they get all the hype of playing an elite team. It’s the ideal OOC game.

            Maybe MI can get FSU to fill the slot in 2018-9 since FSU is always about to be back but never quite seems to get there.

            “I’m a little curious about the Big Ten’s thinking in all this. The B10 had to know there were going to be alternating seasons where Michigan played Notre Dame, Nebraska and Ohio State at home or on the road.”

            I think the B10 was thinking this:
            1. OOC games aren’t our problem. We can’t possibly adjust the conference schedule to suit everybody’s OOC whims.

            2. All B10 teams should be treated the same as far as rotating on and off the schedule. We can’t consider tiers when scheduling without offending schools.

            “I guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens for 2017. By then, we’ll be three years into the new post-season set up, so we’ll know how much strength-of-schedule and conference championships matter in the new format. The Big Ten will also have its new television deals in place, so that might effect scheduling as well (although it seemingly didn’t push the B10 to having nine conference games).”

            It’s possible the B10 is holding the chance for 9 games in reserve to have it as a card in the TV negotiations. It might give them leverage to get some things they want (money or other considerations).

            Like

          • cutter60 says:

            For Brian:

            Michigan isn’t the only beneficiary of having Notre Dame as a regular on the schedule. USC, Michigan State, Purdue and Navy are all regulars on ND’s schedule, although the latter two teams don’t get the same benefits as UM, USC and MSU.

            Since Holtz left Notre Dame in 1996, ND is 14-29 against Michigan (5-8), USC (4-11) and Michigan State (5-10) and have a 81-72 record against BCS teams. If anything, USC and MSU have gotten a better “bump” from playing Notre Dame than Michigan has in the same time period.

            IRT the Big Ten, I disagree with your assessment that non-conference games and their scheduling isn’t the B10’s problem. The conference needs to have enough good games on its schedule in order to promote the product on ABC/ESPN as well as the BTN. It makes no sense to put a disincentive in there that would nudge Michigan into considering dropping Notre Dame, given ND’s relative popularity to the sport.

            Secondly, as I pointed out earlier, the conference could have put Wisconsin in the same rotation as Penn State and that would have helped even out the schedule in 2015/6. Instead, they opted not to do it. I can’t imagine that Delany & Co. are oblivious to the situation and I suspect we’ll see things evened out a bit for the 2017 season. It wouldn’t have been hard because PSU and Indiana were rotating off UM’s schedule and Wisconsin and Illinois were coming on it. Flip flop the locations for the UW and UI game in 2016/7 and you’d be set. Happily for Wisconsin, they’re playing at Virginia Tech in 2016 and are on the road against Nebraska/PSU with home games against Ohio State and Michigan, so their schedule is balanced up.

            That said, I don’t know if the main driver here is more with the upcoming television deals and less with ensuring that teams’ schedules are balanced out. As you point out with the premise of a nine-game conference season, a lot may be done with an eye to making the B10 interesting to the networks.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            cutter60,

            “Michigan isn’t the only beneficiary of having Notre Dame as a regular on the schedule.”

            No, of course they aren’t. They were just the school we were discussing.

            “IRT the Big Ten, I disagree with your assessment that non-conference games and their scheduling isn’t the B10′s problem.”

            In terms of home/away, I don’t believe the B10 considers OOC games to be their problem because they know things change and they have no control over OOC games. Similarly, I don’t think they consider the supposed quality of B10 teams when making schedules, either. They treat all schools as the same to avoid conflicts. Combine those two things and you get MI’s current scheduling issues.

            That’s different from my personal opinion of scheduling. I wholeheartedly believe the B10 should consider everything when making schedules. They already divided the teams into tiers when making the divisions, so they should at least use that level of analysis to try to provide some balance to schedules.

            My scheduling methodology would be this (using OSU as my example):
            1. Locked opponents
            A – MI, IL, PU
            B – PSU, WI, IN

            In even years, OSU gets group A at home. In odd years, OSU gets group B at home.

            2. Rotating opponents
            Teams rotate on and off in this order: NE, NW, MSU, IA, MN
            I’d actually rotate both teams every year so all players get to play all teams. The next time through the cycle, the location switches. So:
            2012 – NE, @NW
            2013 – MSU, @IA
            2014 – MN, @NE
            2015 – NW, @MSU
            2016 – IA, @MN
            and repeat

            I’d much rather give players a chance to play against everybody than worry about playing home and homes in back to back years.

            “The conference needs to have enough good games on its schedule in order to promote the product on ABC/ESPN as well as the BTN.”

            Delany has been leaning on ADs to get them to schedule better for years to achieve this.

            “It makes no sense to put a disincentive in there that would nudge Michigan into considering dropping Notre Dame, given ND’s relative popularity to the sport.”

            I never said it made sense. They probably could have worked out a better schedule for 2011 with OSU and NE not on the same cycle without causing too many problems.

            “Secondly, as I pointed out earlier, the conference could have put Wisconsin in the same rotation as Penn State and that would have helped even out the schedule in 2015/6. Instead, they opted not to do it.”

            That requires them to treat the schools differently when scheduling and I think they prefer not to do that. I don’t agree, but I think that’s where that decision stems from.

            “I can’t imagine that Delany & Co. are oblivious to the situation”

            If they are, that’d be MI’s fault for not saying anything to them.

            “and I suspect we’ll see things evened out a bit for the 2017 season.”

            I wouldn’t hold your breath. The balance will always change as East teams rotate on and off, but i don’t think the B10 is worried about the underlying problems much.

            “That said, I don’t know if the main driver here is more with the upcoming television deals and less with ensuring that teams’ schedules are balanced out.”

            I don’t think that has anything to do with MI’s issue. Obviously the B10 tried to get maximum value out of adding NE by having them play OSU and WI in the first 2 years, but other than that I think they just whipped together schedules. I generally think fans put much more thought into and weight on scheduling than the conference people do.

            Like

  27. Mike says:

    It appears Boise’s move to the Big West is offical

    http://www.bigwest.org

    Like

    • @Mike – It was a fantastic extortion job by the California schools. They got the Big East to pay more to the Big West to let Boise State in than the Big East collected from Boise State itself.

      Like

  28. bullet says:

    Its 5 guys going for the Champions Bowl (NO, SA, ATL, Houston, Dallas). Bowlsby doesn’t expect it to take too long to go through the proposals. 1st up is finalizing the Champions’ Bowl TV deal over the next couple of weeks. Also, Big 12 TV deal is getting close. He makes a few expansion comments. Wants stability. Some moves were very bad.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/colleges/new-commissioner-bowlsby-says-big-12-nearing-new-tv-deal-making-progress-on-champions-bowl/2012/08/23/dcac73a2-ed67-11e1-866f-60a00f604425_story.html

    Like

    • Andy says:

      From the article it sounds like the “very bad move” he’s talking about is Kansas’s refusal to play Missouri (and likely by extension, Texas’s refusal to play Texas A&M.)

      Like

      • bullet says:

        There are a number of things that may have been good decisions at the time that work out poorly long term.

        I would put Boise St. and SDSU to the Big East at the top of that list. They will make more money, but basketball will suffer and they will have no rivalries.

        Sportswriters commenting thought Bowlsby was talking about the moves to 14 teams (which CUSA, Big East, ACC and SEC have all done). As I’ve said in response to all the “16 is inevitable” comments, I believe anything over 12 is inherently unstable and detrimental in the long term.

        Like

        • Michael in Raleigh says:

          One move that has long been debated here in ACC country was the addition of Boston College as the league’s #12 member.

          (Well, a lot of the people who were against adding BC were also against VT & Miami, but I’ve long felt those were indisputably great additions. Miami was the top program in the country when in the country at the time it was invited in the summer of 2003, having gone 36-2 from 2000-2002. Virginia Tech, meanwhile, has been the standard bearer for football and has fit culturally and geographically into the league like a glove.)

          Anyway, Boston College was supposed to add the Boston TV market, but it’s really hard to see how they capture their local market, at all. They’ve been relatively successful on the field, save for the past season or two, but they’re dreadful material to the bowl games because they have so few fans willing to travel. I can’t help but wonder if league presidents wondered if Syracuse or Pitt would have made more sense for the league as a #12 from the get-go.

          Likewise, a reasonable argument could be made that the additions of Colorado and Utah did not necessarily give the league the increase in value it was seeking from the expansion process.

          To me, Bowlsby wasn’t necessarily taking jabs at Missouri or A&M. Rather, he was just criticizing conferences in general who have added schools while focusing exclusively on short-term financial gain. At least that was my interpretation. But even if my interpretation is wrong, Bob Bowlsby strikes me as a smart enough man to say things that require interpretation. That way, he can always make the argument that the headlines took his quote out of context.

          Like

  29. […] like what the shoe companies are doing to college football uniforms.  From Oregon to Maryland to Notre Dame’s recent abomination, there is apparently some sort of competition to see who can design the […]

    Like

  30. metatron says:

    I could care less if Notre Dame remains independent. However, I take issue with their undue influence and compensation with the BCS. They are no better than the rest of us.

    Like

    • Eric says:

      I don’t really see it as a Notre Dame advantage though. They pay conferences several times more money for appearing in a game (usually with teams that are less appealing). Originally, Notre Dame simply acted as its own conference, when it was in the BCS it got a full share, when it missed the BCS, it got nothing. The new set-up is better all around. If I remember it right, Notre Dame makes less if they make at least one in four years. While they haven’t been there lately, they are going to rise again and there could easily be a ten year stretch where they are in it 5 or 6 times. They are still better with this set-up though since the revenue is consistent and plans can be made.

      The same applies for the BCS too though. It would rather be consistently paying Notre Dame a flat sum (with a smaller bonus when they make the BCS) than paying them nothing or a full share (harder to plan).

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Eric,

        I posted the numbers earlier, but here they are again:

        http://espn.go.com/i/ncf/bcs/2012BCSGuide.pdf

        BCS payouts for this season:
        a. AQ from a non-AQ league – $28.2M (the non-AQs then split it amongst themselves)
        b. Non-AQs if none make the BCS – $14.1M
        c. AQ champs – $23.6M each
        d. At large – $6.2M
        e. ND if in – $6.2M
        f. ND if out – $1.9M
        g. Other independents if in – $6.2M
        h. Other independents if out – $0.1M
        i. FCS conferences – $0.25M each

        ND is treated better than Army, Navy or BYU financially. They also can do much better than any AQ school.

        ND in – $6.2M
        BE – $3.73M (2 teams, split 8 ways)
        B12 – $2.98M (2 teams, split 10 ways)
        BE – $2.95M (1 team)

        ND historically – $2.82M

        B10, P12 – $2.48M (2 teams, split 12 ways)
        B12 – $2.36M (1 team)
        SEC, ACC – $2.13M (2 teams, split 14 ways)
        B10, P12 – $1.97M (1 team)
        ND out – $1.9M
        SEC, ACC – $1.69M (1 team)

        If we take the B12 getting 2 of 10 teams in as the realistic upper limit for AQ paydays, ND can top that by making the BCS once every 4 years. ND can top the B10′s max payday by making the BCS twice in 15 years. In actuality, ND has been 3 times in 14 years so far. That means only the BE and B12 schools would have made more if this pay scheme was always in place. The most successful conferences earn less than ND, and ND has never won a BCS game.

        That is special treatment no matter how you look at it.

        Like

  31. Eric says:

    Anyone think that given ESPN’s troubles with the Longhorn Network, a slightly different approach is warranted? I think ESPN could probably keep everything else in the contract with UT, but change the name of the channel to ESPN Texas and portray it as a state sport channel and things would be a lot smoother. The set-up seems to me then to be no different from Florida’s with Sun Sports (neither school owns the network, both just sell content to it), which would allow the channel a lot easier time getting high school football, which would be big for them in Texas.

    Only possible obstacle is UT wants to highlight the university here (this is about more than football), but I think as long as most the programing remains the same, that’s not even a huge deal.

    Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      Put lipstick on, er, a rose by any other name?

      Like

    • bullet says:

      There was supposed to be an update to the regents yesterday, but it got cancelled because of ongoing negotiations. I guess we’ll know in a week or so if there are more than two carriers.

      The belief is that ESPN is asking $.40 a subscriber with a long term deal and noone is budging.

      It actually is more than a Longhorn network. They have UTSA and Texas State football games this year.

      Like

      • @bullet – If there aren’t any deals made prior to the first game of the season, then ESPN loses a lot of leverage (of which it already has little).

        From what I’ve seen, that $.40 price point from ESPN is basically what they need to have any sort of profit. If they agree to anything much less than that, then they’d be locking in long-term losses (which Disney won’t accept). At that point, the only way that it can be salvaged is if ESPN renegotiates its rights fees with Texas to get it down to a level where they can lower the subscriber fee price. I’m fairly certain that’s what’s going to end up happening if carriage deals aren’t in place by after next week.

        Like

        • frug says:

          What would ESPN give Texas in return? Or do you think UT would believe the positive PR from getting LHN on TV be enough to justify a paycut?

          Like

          • zeek says:

            Texas wants people to be able to see the games too; Texas doesn’t want to have two of its games available to extremely few people.

            Texas is already running the biggest athletics operation by far (we’re talking $20-30M ahead of the rest of the front pack), and they can probably afford to take a haircut on the portion of the LHN money that goes to their athletic department, since I don’t think they want to change the amount of money that they’re funneling towards academics from the LHN.

            Like

    • Brian says:

      Non-mobile:
      http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2012/08/espns_burke_magnus_talks_sec_n.html

      About the LHN:
      ESPN’s network with the University of Texas still has not secured distribution deals with the biggest cable and satellite operators in Texas. Magnus expressed confidence that the Longhorn Network will benefit once new Big 12 contracts with ESPN and Fox are soon executed.

      “That will secure our future with the conference for the next decade,” Magnus said. “I think a lot of the issues around the Longhorn Network are based on the instability that’s existed in the last two or three years, both in that league and in the college landscape in general. This sort of puts that to bed.”

      Fox could acquire some Big 12 football games for its broadcast channel, and ESPN could get cable rights for its channels. That could provide the Longhorn Network with some more attractive Big 12 games to increase viewer demand for the channel.

      “We’re working on a pretty complicated deal,” Magnus said.

      It sounds like ESPN wants to get B12 cable rights and then be able to slide UT games over to the LHN. I’m guessing many teams in the B12 don’t like that idea very much. ESPN gets them much more exposure than LHN, especially if they aren’t TX schools.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        Unfortunately, the article is quite unclear about whether sliding B12 games (as opposed to OOC games) over to the LHN is an idea from the ESPN guy or the al.com writer’s own conjecture.

        Like

    • bamatab says:

      It appears that if ESPN and the SEC partner up on “Project SEC” (which it looks like both parties are interested in, and will most likely do), they will have 40-50 games a year to show during the season. That’s a little over 3 games a week, which is plenty of live game content during the season.

      Like

      • Kevin says:

        It will be interesting to see what a SEC Network would do for all the SEC programming on ESPNU. Seems like they might cannibalize their own content.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          ESPNU could become the defacto ACC (& BE) network.

          Like

        • bullet says:

          Basically SEC expansion adds 14 games, SEC games held back already add another 14 and the remainder comes from ESPN’s current content.

          So it would be 1/3 ESPN, 1/3 SEC and 1/3 expansion (depends on contract who owns that-ESPN or SEC-but with a look-in, the SEC will get some value for it even if ESPN owns the rights).

          As ESPN already has more content than it can use, it might be quite pleased to have a network for SEC games with the ability to use newly open ESPNU & ESPN2 slots for other rights it owns.

          Like

        • @Kevin – There may not actually be too much cannibalization. I’d anticipate that the majority of games on the SEC Network would be from the currently syndicated ESPN Regional games (similar to how the BTN was built on taking the Big Ten’s old ESPN Regional package). ESPNU probably won’t be affected too much (and I’m sure ESPN wants to limit the number of SEC games taken off of there because they’re very important for that channel’s carriage).

          Like

          • Kevin says:

            @Frank – That’s true to a point but ESPNU broadcasts a lot of SEC women’s events, the SEC Storied series etc.. that likely would be better suited for the SEC network.

            Like

        • Brian #2 says:

          Any way ESPNU could actually become the SEC Network?

          Like

  32. Brian says:

    http://cfn.scout.com/2/1214396.html

    CFN ranks all the defenses. Good news for the B10:
    6. MSU
    9. OSU
    11t. IL
    15t. WI
    18t. MI
    18t. PSU
    28t. NE
    35t. PU

    They also rated the offenses (not as good for the B10):
    6. MI
    8. WI
    16t. MSU
    26t. OSU
    37t. NE

    Like

  33. bullet says:

    Little OT, but Ohio native and Purdue grad, Neil Armstrong just passed away at age 82. He landed on the moon in the year of the 100th anniversary of college football (1969 for you young folks who don’t learn important historic facts anymore). Its been 40 years since man was on the moon. No indication we will be back anytime soon. And in a sign of how little some things have changed, the year we last walked on the moon:
    1972 final AP Poll
    1. USC
    2. Oklahoma
    3. Texas
    4. Nebraska
    5. Auburn
    6. Michigan
    7. Alabama
    8. Tennessee
    9. Ohio St.
    10. Penn St.
    11. LSU
    Also:
    14. Notre Dame
    15. UCLA

    8 of the top 10 were the current kings while ND was 14. None of the 3 Florida schools (the newer kings) were ranked. The top 11 included 8 kings and 3 of the 4 SEC princes (UGA had an off year after going 11-1 and ranked #7 in 1971).

    Like

  34. Brian says:

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/football/ncaa/08/21/wac-football-demise/index.html?sct=cf_t11_a5

    An interesting piece about realignment killing the WAC after 50 years of CFB. While the WAC has always had a lot of membership changes, and the former commissioner likes to blame others, I think the WAC is reaping the results of their over-expansion in the 1996. If they didn’t grow to 16, the MWC never would have been created. The MWC is what killed the WAC.

    WAC timeline:
    1962 – 6 – WAC founded by AZ, ASU, BYU, NM, Utah, WY
    1967 – 8 – added CSU, UTEP
    1978 – 7 – lost AZ, ASU to P10; added SDSU
    1979 – 8 – added HI
    1980 – 9 – added AF
    1992 – 10 – added Fresno
    1996 – 16 – added Rice, SJSU, SMU, TCU, Tulsa, UNLV
    1999 – 8 – lost BYU, NM, Utah, WY, CSU, SDSU, AF, UNLV to MWC

    That meant all the founding members were now gone, and UTEP (1967) and HI (1979) were the only members that had belonged for more than 5 years. Meanwhile, the MWC was very close to the early WAC so it had more built in rivalries and tradition. This is similar to the position of the BE with RU the only founding member continuously in the BE for FB (Temple is returning from exile, UConn didn’t join in FB until later). The splitting of the WAC was the beginning of the end as the WAC lost most of its history and rivalries. They tried to recover, but never really could.

    2000 – 9 – added NV
    2001 – 10 – lost TCU to CUSA; added BSU, LT
    2005 – 9 – lost UTEP, Rice, SMU, Tulsa to CUSA; added ID, NMSU, USU

    This left HI (1979) as the oldest member and FSU as the only other school with more than 10 years in the conference.

    2011 – 8 – lost Boise to MWC

    This was the end of the end. Boise was the WAC’s last chance. They had taken over the role that BYU filled as the team that people nation wide had heard of and respected and wanted to watch on TV. The WAC needed an anchor program again and looked to have one, but Boise got too good to stay.

    2012 – 7 – lost HI, FSU, NV to MWC; added TSU, UTSA

    This leaves SJSU (1996) as the oldest member for this last season of WAC football

    2013 – WAC folds as a FB conference

    Everyone has a landing spot except NMSU, with Idaho going independent.

    Like

    • Richard says:

      Pretty certain NMSU will go independent. Over the short-term, they actually are more viable as an independent than Idaho as one, as they can likely get 4 HaH’s with UNM, UTEP, UTSA, and Texas St. Idaho would have trouble getting anything like that. Longer term, NMSU is angling for a spot in the Sun Belt, which may or may not happen.

      Idaho is virtually assured of dropping down to the Big Sky long-term.

      Like

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        Longer term, I still don’t think NMSU has a shot with the Sun Belt. For one thing, the Sun Belt already is set for 12 members overall (Tex. St., UT-Arl., La.-Mon., La.-Laf., Ark. St., Ark.-LR, MTSU, W. Ky., Troy, S. Ala., Ga. St., & FAU), all of whom will play football except UT-Arl. and Ark.-LR. They have closed the door on expansion as it is. I tgink it’s safe to assume that Karl Benson & co. have calculated that any increase in regular season TV revenue and a CCG wouldn’t offset the costs of adding two more teams.

        Even if adding more teams could make financial sense for the SB, it is hard to see what NMSU offers that makes them stand out ahead of other expansion candidates. Lamar, Jacksonville State, App State, and James Madison all are inside or more directly adjacent to the footprint and while they do not all offer new markets, they are within bussing distance for members of a league where bussing is probably common. NMSU, meanwhile, is far west of the westernmost members. Moreover, NMSU is hardly what the SB seems to be looking for in terms of an optimistic future. The league’s recent additions all have had tons of recent positive momentum (Ga. St. adding football played in the Georgia Dome, N. Tex. opening a new stadium, Tex. St. upgrading to FBS along with a huge renovation and expansion of its stadium). NMSU, by contrast, struggles to average the supposed FBS minimum announced attendance of 15,000/game (never mind actual attendance), due in no small part to its isolation or especially to its 52 years of futility. NMSU hasn’t been to a bowl game since 1960 and has had just 4 winning seasons over that span. Other than literally adding NMSU just because it needs a warm body, I don’t see how they’d be appealing.

        What makes way more sense, to me, would be researching whether to join the Southland or the Big Sky. Maybe dropping down and playing programs at their actual level would do some good. Marshall was able to recover not only from a horrible tragedy but also decades of losing when it became a 1-AA program. By the time Marshall returned to the 1-A ranks, it had momentum to dominate the MAC and upgrade to C-USA. I realize that isn’t a strategy that NMSU or any struggling FBS would actively seek out, but maybe it could work well…

        Like

        • bullet says:

          NMSU has been to the NCAA championship game and has a far better basketball program than anyone in the Sun Belt. Football, they are a warm body, but at least one that is recognizable. Only ULL has never been in I-AA and Arkansas St. and ULM are the only others with more than around a dozen years in I-A (FBS). 2 of their schools (USA, Ga St.) didn’t even have football 5 years ago and 1 didn’t have it 20 years ago (FAU). Some were division II not that long ago (Troy-around 20 years, Texas St. 30 years). WKU was talking about dropping football not that long ago either. NMSU doesn’t have very good football attendance, but its equivalent to everyone in the Sun Belt.

          Like

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            Is NMSU basketball really all that much better than Western Kentucky? Didn’t they go to the Sweet Sixteen back in ’07 or ’08?

            Anyway, yes, NMSU hoops is an attractive asset to second- and third-tier conferences, but it hasn’t proven attractive enough to the Sun Belt, at least. Those other programs you listed are indeed fairly new. They also are programs in one way or another, on the upswing. Texas State has put huge investments in facilities and has a well-known coach in Dennis Franchione. FAU has a pretty new stadium. Troy has had a good track record of sending players to the NFL. Georgia State offers games in the Georgia Dome. What does NMSU offer that is comparable to that? The fact that they’ve merely been around at the 1-A level doesn’t help them when there’s nothing in their recent or long-term past that points toward a bright future.

            If indeed expansion does occur, I expect the Sun Belt to continue looking to programs which may lack experience in 1-A but do offer reason for optimism.

            This is all just a bad situation for NMSU. I agree with you that their basketball and other sports deserve better than a desperately patched together WAC (adding Utah Valley, Texas Pan-American, etc.) or the Big Sky or Southland, but their location and football is just so bad that they may have no other options.

            To me, what wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world would be for more leagues to reconsider football-basketball hybrids. C-USA, for example, used to have Marquette and DePaul in their league alongside Memphis, Cincinnati, and Louisville. Being open to non football members helped that league to be a better on without harming the football product at that time. If, say, the Mountain West was open to non football members, it could be a much better basketball league. San Diego State, BYU, and NMSU added to UNM, UNLV, Nevada, and Utah State would make that a league six teams deep in a 12-team hoops league instead of 3 teams deep in a 9-team league. (Hawaii is a football only member.)

            Like

          • bullet says:

            I think Texas St. , Georgia St. and FAU are the next Eastern Michigans. They’re near kings and 2 are in pro sports markets. On the field hasn’t been any better lately, even if facilities are improving. Texas St. has hardly done anything since they moved up from Division II. I think they’ve only made the playoffs once or twice.

            WKU has been in a bit of a basketball slump since they moved up.

            NMSU is in a small state and hasn’t won much, but they are a state flagship and really the stronger academic school (must be the aliens coming in from Roswell). The Sun Belt is regional and commuter schools which limits their potential.

            Like

          • Mike says:

            @Michael

            If, say, the Mountain West was open to non football members, it could be a much better basketball league

            There is an NCAA rule that basically says, if your conference sponsors football your members can’t play football in another conference*. That means that any team that joins as a non-football member will have to be independent or not sponsor FBS football. That rule complicates non-football membership in a hurry for schools.

            *If your conference sponsors FCS football and you sponsor an FBS team (or vise-versa) you are allowed to play football in another conference.

            Like

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            Mike,

            I thought that rule was real, but then Boise State proved me wrong last year. Boise announced they were rejoining the WAC for non football sports on the same day they announced they were joining the Big East for football. The date for joining each league was July 1, 2013. At the time of Boise’s announcement, the WAC had full intentions of having a football conference for 2013 and years thereafter. It wasn’t until several months later, when the WAC was raided of La. Tech, Texas State, UTSA, San Jose State, and Utah State was the WAC forced to announce it was stopping the sponsorship of football.

            So there is no NCAA rule that requires members of an FBS conference to play football in that league or to be independent if it plays FBS football. Rather, it is simply a rule that most conferences enforce. (Most, in fact, don’t even allow for independence.)

            In essence, if the MWC had been willing to let BYU be independent and to let Boise and SDSU stay in the league for non football, then they could still be in the league next year.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Michael in Raleigh:

            I believe they were looking for a western conference, not the Western Athletic Conference.
            http://m.spokesman.com/stories/2011/nov/03/boise-state-given-ok-change-conferences/

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            BSU is in the Big West for most non FB sports. If your conference doesn’t sponsor a sport then you are free to join any other in that sport. Boise has wrestled in the PAC for a long time. Others will find new homes now: http://content.usatoday.com/communities/campusrivalry/post/2012/08/boise-state-to-join-big-west-in-most-sports-for-2013-14/1#.UD0PLSd5nTo

            Like

          • Mike says:

            @Michael

            I was wondering how Boise was going to pull that off as well. Since it didn’t look like the WAC would sponsor football I didn’t worry about it. I took a quick look at the rule book (I didn’t read all 430 pages) and this is as close as I could come to the rule. Bylaw 31.3.4.1

            http://www.ncaapublications.com/productdownloads/D113.pdf

            (g) All institutions may hold membership in only that conference in the sport in which automatic qualification
            is sought and may participate in only that conference’s process to determine the automatic qualifier.
            (Adopted: 12/5/94)

            In this rule’s case Division Chapmionship is Divsion I. AQ would imply non-football but there is no mention of exempting football (bylaw 18.3.2 specifically includes football without an FCS/FBS qualifer into these rules). I don’t know for sure, I’ve been taking journalists word for it. Is the bylaw blog still around? Anyone care to ask that guy?

            Like

      • Brian says:

        Richard,

        From that article:

        The end of WAC football means that NMSU and Idaho, unless they receive an unlikely invite to another conference, must try to make it as football independents.

        “Not an option I’m thrilled about,” said NMSU athletic director McKinley Boston. “There’s no way over the long term that we could sustain ourselves as an independent. How many Notre Dames are there where their tradition alone can provide a 12-game schedule?”

        Short term NMSU will have to go independent, but they know they can’t survive that way. Due to location and football futility, I don’t think they’ll find a home in I-A.

        Like

  35. bullet says:

    Sandusky case is creating new law. In Georgia, volunteers in schools and churches are now required to report suspected child abuse or face legal penalties. These people are, of course, largely untrained in recognizing it, which is Ms. Downey’s concern in the blog (she is the education reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution). Note this goes beyond actually seeing actions as McQueary did, but includes reporting things that make you suspicious, which could include bruises or behavior.
    http://blogs.ajc.com/get-schooled-blog/2012/08/26/georgia-makes-parent-volunteers-mandatory-child-abuse-reporters-is-that-a-mistake/

    The interesting point is that the Penn St. failures are driving laws that significantly expand reporting responsibilities far from Pennsylvania.

    Like

    • metatron says:

      Aside from the vagueness of the law, are we really pushing to turn this society into East Germany?

      Like

      • Brian says:

        They already require teachers and principals and doctors and nurses and probably several other groups to report any suspicions. i wouldn’t be surprised to see things go towards anyone regularly working with kids to be required to report.

        Like

  36. frug says:

    ND has no bowl ties in for the next two years, meaning they either make the BCS or cross their fingers and hope some else can’t fill their bowl slots.

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/blog/dennis-dodd/19924817/unless-its-bcs-notre-dame-suddenly-a-bowl-outlier-the-next-two-seasons

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Loki,

      That article also explains some of the ACC’s problem. 4 of the bottom 5 are ACC teams (UVA, NCSU, GT, Clemson). They also have 2 of the top 5 (Miami and FSU), so it’s not all bad news, but when the top 2 haven’t been playing up to par lately that hurts.

      Like

  37. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    The wind and water, thanks to Isaac, aren’t the only things swirling down in South Louisiana. LSU and TCU have a home and home series scheduled for 2013 (BTR) and 2014 (FTW). The hot rumor right now is that LSU & TCU will play the Cowboys Classic to open next season in lieu of the h&h series. The follow-up rumor is that LSU needed to clear out its OOC road game in 2014. 2014 is also the projected start date for the 24hr SEC Network. If LSU is being told to dump a road game in 2014, does that mean that Slive is dragging the SEC coaches toward a 9 game conference schedule?

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Alan from Baton Rouge,

      “If LSU is being told to dump a road game in 2014, does that mean that Slive is dragging the SEC coaches toward a 9 game conference schedule?”

      It’d be nice if he does. Then the B10 would have to follow suit, although probably not until 2017 when the new TV deal kicks in. Besides, it’s hard to call it a conference when you don’t see other teams for 12 years. I think 14 teams almost requires 9 games to feel like a conference.

      Like

      • IMO the stronger indication that the SEC is headed towards a 9-game slate is that A&M and Arkansas are reportedly doing an 11-year deal at JerryWorld. That’s a stupid deal in an 8-game slate, since one team gives up 6 home games and the other 5, which means one extra year of disadvantages schedules for one of them. In a 9-game slate, though, both teams would presumably have 4 home / 4 away outside of this game, and it wouldn’t cause lopsided schedules at all.

        Like

    • Andy says:

      do you have a link to any reports on this? thanks in advance.

      Like

      • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

        Andy – no links as the status of the TCU/LSU series and Cowboys Classic substitute are just rumors and there’s been no official announcement. I found it on the LSU Rivals site behind a pay wall, but the guys that are making the posts are usually right. The part about the 9 game schedule is pure speculation, but the 2014 timing with the SEC-ESPN network makes sense.

        Like

        • Andy says:

          Very interesting. I wonder what will happen.

          I’m for 8 conference games if and only if athletic departments are willing to be brave and schedule 2 decent non-conference games per season. Typically, they aren’t. So in practice I think 9 conference games will be better. My only fear is that schools will cancel most decent non-conference games altogether. I think the schools who have natural rivals (UF/FSU, UK/UL, USCe/CU, USC/ND, UGA/GT, etc) will be fine. I’m more worried about schools without high profile non-conference rivals, or schools like Missouri who have 2 non-conference rivals, Kansas and Illinois, both of whom don’t want to play them in football. I would hope that those teams would still get to schedule a decent non-conference game every year even with 9 league games, but I’m not ovelry confident that it will happen.

          Like

          • Kevin says:

            I agree. My preference is 8 conf games with 2 OOC BCS opponents. Hopefully the new playoff structure will somehow provide implied guidance that says 2 BCS OOC games is strongly suggested.

            Now, the Indiana’s of the world may choose to play only 1 BCS OOC game. That’s their prerogative but each school will have their own standards and goals.

            Like

    • jj says:

      That would be cool

      Like

  38. Bo says:

    http://ohiostate.247sports.com/Board/121/BiG-10-13th-team-11753673/1

    I didn’t catch the show, but on this thread it is mentioned that Gerry DiNardo said that the B1G has its 13th member but is not ready to go public. Did anyone else catch or hear anything about this?

    Like

    • frug says:

      Check the second post in the thread:

      They were joking about how long they have been on the road covering all 12 teams. Dave Resine made a comment about finally getting back to Chicago when DiNardo piped in with the B1G has just added a 13th team.

      Like

  39. Brian says:

    http://espnmediazone.com/us/press-releases/2012/08/college-footballs-top-25-highest-rated-markets-birmingham-oklahoma-city-columbus-top-three-in-2011/

    Info on top CFB TV markets for ESPN games from 2000-2011.

    Top markets:
    1. Birmingham, AL – #1 in 2000 and 2002-2011, #2 in 2001
    2. Columbus, OH – #1 in 2001, #2 in 2000, 2003, 2005, 2010 and 2011, only other market to be in the top 5 all 12 years besides B’ham
    3. Knoxville, TN – #2 in 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2009, top 5 in 2003, 2007 and 2010
    4. New Orleans, LA – #2 in 2007, top 5 in 2000-2001, 2004 and 2009-2011
    5. Jacksonville, FL – top 5 in 2001-2002, 2004-2005, 2008, 2010
    6. Atlanta, GA – top 5 5 times
    6. Greenville, SC – top 5 5 times
    8. Oklahoma City, OK – #2 in 2011, top 5 4 times
    9. Nashville, TN – #2 in 2000, top 5 in 2006
    10. Memphis, TN – top 5 twice

    Only 2 markets finished #1
    Only 6 markets finished #2
    Only 13 markets finished in the top 5 (Orlando, Norfolk and Louisville each did once)
    Only 2 markets were in the top 5 all 12 years
    Only 3 markets were in the top 10 all 12 years (Jacksonville), but Knoxville has ever since 2002 when it first got metered

    Last year, the only northern markets in the top 25 (of 56) were #2 Columbus, #11 Dayton, #16 Pittsburgh, #20 Cleveland, #22 Detroit and #25 Cincinnati. KC tied for #25, too. Most of the other markets were in SEC land, with some in B12 country and a few out west.

    Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      To clarify, Greenville, SC should be classified as an ACC market more so than an SEC market. It isn’t a huge margin, but it still is Clemson-first. I grew up there, and my parents have lived there since 1986. Trust me: being only 45 minutes from Clemson vs. 1 hr. 40 mins. from USCe, there’s more deep, fugly orange in that city than any other color.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        I wasn’t trying to differentiate between ACC and SEC, just between north and south and west and plains.

        Like

        • Michael in Raleigh says:

          Oh, I didn’t mean that as a direct comment at you, Brian. Honestly, I was just kind of excited to see my hometown ranked highly in something positive, especially in something that greatly interests me.

          Anyway, a common perception is that the ACC schools that share states with SEC schools are a distant second to the SEC schools in those markets. That is only partially true, and it sometimes depends on which part of which state. I simply wanted to clear any misconceptions people may have about the popularity of ACC vs. SEC teams in the state of SC, specifically in Greenville.

          By the way, I’m a little surprised Detroit isn’t higher on the list. With not just Michigan, which every single game draws 110,000 people, but also Michigan State, which sells out its 75,000+ stadium each year, both right down the road, I would have thought Detroit would be in or very close to the top ten. Heck, I didn’t expect Indianapolis to be so far down the list, even though it is more of a college basketball and NFL city.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Michael,

            Large cities tend not to do as well as smaller ones. There are too many people from other places. Also, Detroit has all those hockey fans that tolerate CFB at best.

            Like

    • Mike says:

      Odd that Boise, Little Rock, and Omaha are not “metered” markets.

      Like

  40. Brian says:

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/pete_thamel/08/28/playoff-selection-committee/index.html?sct=cf_t2_a3

    Pete Thamel writes about the playoff selection committee and its importance. He also discusses how hard it will be to fill correctly.

    Like

  41. Brian says:

    Related to Frank’s original post, remember that Nike has yet to unveil their godawful “rivalry” uniforms (the single game Pro Combat unis) for this year. Those should be announced in September. I know OSU is being subjected to another one, presumably against MI yet again because Nike is trying to ruin all that is good about CFB.

    Like

  42. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/ncfnation/post/_/id/64344/allen-pinketts-comments-off-base

    Allen Pinkett is a jackass and decided to prove it on radio.

    Like

  43. Bob says:

    Fraank, you make a great argument. But unless ALL independents get that $1.3 million bowl handout, then ND IS receiving at least some preferential treatment they do not deserve. You make the argument that ND deserves this payment because other “unsuccessful” teams in conferences receive similar payments from their conference bowl pool. You should not get the benefit of being in a conference, unless you are IN a conference.

    Like

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