The ACC Has the Luck of the Irish: How Notre Dame’s Move Affects the College Sports World

Posted: September 12, 2012 in Big East, Big Ten, College Basketball, College Football, Sports
Tags: , ,

There has been one phrase that I’ve repeated many times on this blog over the past two years because so many college football fans continuously refuse to believe it: the ACC is much stronger than what people give them credit for.  I don’t say that as someone that is even a fan of the ACC at all (as it would bring me great personal joy to see Duke get relegated to the Southern Conference), but rather as an observer that when the academic leaders that ultimately make conference realignment decisions have a legitimate choice, they would vastly prefer being in an academically prestigious conference.  That is something that the ACC has always had in its favor (notwithstanding the hypocrisy of fake grades) and is a powerful counter to the lure a even a few million more dollars per year that could theoretically be obtained in other conferences.  This has culminated in the ACC grabbing the most powerful brand name in college sports (albeit on a partial basis): Notre Dame.

It doesn’t surprise me one bit that Notre Dame would bolt the Big East for the ACC as a non-football member.  From the Irish perspective, the ACC looks more like the Big East that the Domers originally joined in the 1990s (which had Miami, Boston College, Virginia Tech, Pitt and Syracuse at the time) than the Big East does itself today.  With the Big East getting shut out of the top level of conferences in the new college football postseason structure, the ACC provides “power conference” membership for Notre Dame’s basketball program and non-football sports without actually having to join a power conference for football.  Notre Dame is an institutional fit with many of the ACC schools as an elite private university, as well (which always played into the Domer bias against the Big Ten as a league that is made up of massive public schools with the exception of Northwestern).  The stipulation that Notre Dame play 5 ACC football games per year might not be optimal for the Irish, but it’s certainly doable since the ACC provides such a large slate that the Domers have chosen to play on their own, anyway.  Boston College and Pitt have long been almost annual Notre Dame opponents, while Miami, Syracuse, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Wake Forest and Florida State are all schools that the Irish have scheduled recently.  The ACC also allows Notre Dame to continue playing schools on the East Coast where much of its alumni base is located (which was a major detraction from the Big 12’s own non-football membership offer to the school).  On virtually every level (institutional fit, maintaining football independence, a football scheduling arrangement that they could live with, East Coast exposure, competitive basketball and Olympic sports), this was the best situation that Notre Dame could have received.

(From a purely personal standpoint, I want to see Illinois and Notre Dame play a Big Ten/ACC Challenge game annually at the United Center.  The Illini have been looking for better opponents for its annual Chicago game while the Irish are now going to need a presence in that market since it won’t be playing DePaul anymore.)

What surprises me is that the ACC offered this deal to Notre Dame in the first place.  ACC commissioner John Swofford has long taken the position that the league should only be made up of all-sports members along with members such as UNC that believe that they are every bit as powerful on the college sports landscape as Texas, Michigan and USC, so it can’t be emphasized enough that this is a dramatic change.  Unlike the perception in much of the media that this move was “Notre Dame choosing the ACC”, the reality is that this was the ACC choosing to move off of a previously intractable position.  The ACC might have been spooked by the constant rumors that the Big 12 would poach schools such as Florida State or Clemson (along with adding Notre Dame as a non-football member itself) as a result of the Big 12’s new TV deal.  On that front, the ACC schools agreed to what will likely be an impenetrable wall of a $50 million exit fee for each school.  That is honestly an even bigger deal in the long-term than the Notre Dame move since it effectively the ACC from its football cash cows bolting to other conferences.

What effect does this have on conference realignment?  At least when it comes to the “Big Five” power conferences, I believe that it stops it in its tracks.  Notre Dame and Texas are the two schools that have the ability to create dramatic shifts toward 16-team superconferences on their own, but both of them look to be settled for the foreseeable future.  The ACC itself has no need to expand further either on the football front or in a non-football manner.  15 members for basketball and Olympic sports don’t cause any material issue for scheduling and Notre Dame has always been the only school that the ACC would have ever offered partial membership to.  Therefore, Big East Catholic schools such as Georgetown and Villanova aren’t going to find a lifeline in the ACC.  Notre Dame also doesn’t impact the football side at all, so there is no need to expand beyond 14 there, which means that Big East schools such as Rutgers and UConn aren’t going to find a lifeline in the ACC, either.

The SEC and Pac-12 have always been the two leagues where Notre Dame’s potential movement would have the least amount of impact, so the ACC move doesn’t really require a reaction from either of them.  In the case of the Big Ten, it likely doesn’t change their thinking, either.  If the Big Ten wanted to expand to 14 or 16 without Notre Dame (and I never believed that they did unless Texas was coming along instead), then it would have occurred two years ago concurrently with the move to add Nebraska.  A school such as Rutgers is going to have to build a substantial resume both on-the-field (in terms of competing for top tier bowls) and off-the-field (in terms of actually delivering its home market for TV purposes) in order for the Big Ten to take any interest.  At this point, the Big Ten isn’t taking any “project” schools – it only wants elite programs with top-level financial underpinnings from the get-go and there aren’t any out there outside of the Big Five.

The Big 12 has an interesting dilemma as to whether they stay at 10 or expand to 12.  Now that it’s clear that the Big 12 isn’t going to be taking any ACC schools (which should have been obvious to the rationally-minded among us a long time ago), many conference realignment observers (including me) believe that Louisville is next on the list for the Big 12.  The problem for Louisville, though, is that there continues to be a lack of consensus around who would be school #12 and the Cardinals simply aren’t enough of a brand name to justify a league going to and stopping at 11 schools in the way that the Big Ten did with Penn State.  I’m sure that all of the Big East schools that the Big 12 could conceivably add (Louisville, Rutgers, Cincinnati, UConn, USF) are burning up the phone lines to Bob Bowlsby’s office, but I don’t see the Big 12 biting.  My personal view has long been that BYU paired with Louisville would be the best viable Big 12 expansion opportunity out there, but (1) that may not add enough revenue to justify expansion and (2) even if it would be revenue beneficial, BYU’s independence and demand for certain TV rights for BYUtv can get in the way.  As a result, I think the Big 12 is going to stay put for awhile.

The upshot is that despite the general storyline that the Big East is reeling once again, the actual impact of Notre Dame leaving the conference isn’t necessarily going to be that great.  Any major impact to the Big East would come in form of collateral damage of all-sports members such as Louisville and Rutgers leaving, which appears to be unlikely at this point.  Now, that’s not the say that the Big East should be happy about anything that has gone down today.  From a perception standpoint, Notre Dame was the last link that the Big East had to the college sports power table, which is now gone.  Notre Dame was also the main back channel that the Big East had to communicate with NBC/Comcast, who is widely speculated to be interested in the league’s new TV contract.  The Big East isn’t going to receive as reliable information on that front, which comes at an inopportune time with the conference’s exclusive negotiation period with ESPN now in effect.

Meanwhile, new Big East commissioner Mike Aresco faces the question of whether the league should replace Notre Dame with another non-football member, a full all-sports member, or no one at all.  Regardless of the Notre Dame situation, the Big East needs to find a 14th member for football.  However, that 14th member likely needs to come from the West, which precludes an all-sports invite to that school.  (My money is on Air Force eventually coming around as a football-only member with rival Navy already in the fold.  The leadership at the BYU, AKA the leaders of the LDS, is too infatuated with independence right now.)  If the Big East adds a non-football replacement, I’d put St. Louis University high on the list as a large market urban Catholic school that already has a long history with several of the Big East’s legacy Conference USA members.  Butler is also a great option on paper (although not quite the institutional fit that SLU presents).  That could result in some further shifting around in the Atlantic 10 and the midmajor conferences below it.  As a result, Notre Dame’s move to the ACC is more likely to trigger conference realignment aftershocks in the non-power conferences that don’t even play FBS football than any movement within the Big Five.

Speaking of which, one question that I have seen from a lot of people today is whether the Big East Catholic schools will split off and form their own league as a result of the Notre Dame defection.  I don’t see that happening with the irony being that with each defection from the Big East that is in part because it is an unstable hybrid conference, the remaining members end up needing the hybrid more than ever.  The Big East Catholic schools might end up finally leaving if Louisville and UConn find other homes, but until that happens, the Big East is still a superior basketball league compared to a split Catholic-only conference.  Now, maybe the Big East Catholic members believe that they can control their own destinies better by forming their own league, which is certainly a consideration.  That would certainly cause complete chaos among the midmajor conferences as much of the Atlantic 10 would definitely position themselves to get into the new Catholic league, which would then result in a massive chain realignment reaction.  As a pure financial decision, though, a hybrid Big East is still worth more to all of its current members than what they would have in a split situation.

The ultimate bottom line is that the ACC raided the Big East and Notre Dame got exactly what it wanted.  Something tells me that we have already heard that story several times before.

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

(Image from Rankontur)

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Comments
  1. BRS says:

    Go Green!

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  2. Denogginizer says:

    GBR

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  3. JohnCassillo says:

    Even bigger point on the exit fee: It doesn’t just stop at $50M. The deal calls for that amount to be equal to three times the operating budget for the conference. With Notre Dame in its inventory, that number also increases exponentially over time.

    There’s also an interesting bit of info obtained by WarChant and other blogs, that two of the 12 league schools (Pitt and SU can’t vote yet) voted against — with Maryland and FSU being the detractors, just as they were during the last increase. Of course, those fans keep pining to exit the conference, but as you point out, how can they with that price tag attached?

    Like

  4. M says:

    Go only-team-in-B1G-with-a-with-over-an-AQ-team-and-they-have-two

    While you’re bringing up Frank the Tank mantras, I remember “No one ever stayed in a conference because of an exit fee.” I agree that the ACC is very stable, but I don’t think the exit fee increase and adding ND help very much.

    Also, to the “This means that ND would only ever join the ACC for realzes” crowd: go talk with the Big East circa 2005.

    Like

    • acaffrey says:

      No conference ever had a $50M exit fee. Not to mention tying it into the TV deal means that it will grow over time and, IMHO, have a better chance of surviving a court challenge than some other round number.

      Like

      • frug says:

        No conference ever the “historic” exit penalties that the Big XII instituted after Nebraska and Colorado left and those succeeded in holding the remaining members together for all of 6 months or so.

        I never bought the FSU to the Big XII rumors, but raising the exit penalties isn’t going to dissuade the ‘Noles if that is what they want to do.

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        • Michael in Raleigh says:

          God help us if there’s such a ridiculously overwhelming amount of revenue in college athletics that an FSU, Maryland, or Clemson would look at a $50,000,000 exit fee as though it’s a mere toll both charge on the way to some “better” destination. $50,000,000 is 10% of the endowment for a lot of good research universities. It’s no small chunk of change. No, it’s not a grant of rights, but it

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          • frug says:

            $50 million is probably what the Big 10 will aim for when they start contract negotiations in 2016 (not saying they will get it, but it may be the number they shoot for).

            Anyways, it’s not likely anyone would pay the full amount. The Big XII schools all payed about half what they owed.

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          • cfn_ms says:

            Keep in mind that teams don’t typically pay the “agreed upon” exit fees when they walk. In this case, if FSU walks anytime soon, they’d be able to reasonably argue that the new fee shouldn’t apply to them since it was sprung on them AND they voted against it. So I’d say the FSU to Big 12 window is still open for a little while longer IF there was mutual interest… but I’m guessing that there isn’t.

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        • Michael in Raleigh says:

          oops, I didn’t finish…

          It’s not a grant of rights, but it’s an overwhelming deterrent. It certainly does the job of protecting members who would be defected.

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      • bamatab says:

        If an ACC team really wanted out, based on past history when a school has left one of the big 5 conferences for another, they would probably get it negotiated down to half the number (I’m guessing around $20-$30 mil). If exit fees were so easily enforced, then why have most of the schools that have left conferences not been forced to pay the full amount?

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    • Brian says:

      M,

      Also, to the “This means that ND would only ever join the ACC for realzes” crowd: go talk with the Big East circa 2005.

      ND just walked into a $50M exit penalty, something even they wouldn’t want to pay. I’ve never even seen anything official showing ND promised to play 3 BE game per year. Clearly they have agreed to 5 games now, though.

      What incentive would ND ever have to leave the ACC? They keep their own TV deal and have their other sports in a major conference. They have bowl access and playoff access. They’re set.

      Like

      • Jericho says:

        True, not to mention the ACC and the Big 10 were the two realistic final destinations for Notre Dame. This only enhances that idea. Does not enhance the idea Notre Dame will ever join a conference full on. But on the speculation that they did, the ACC seems like the choice. The Big East was never a choice and people who believed that were dreaming.

        Like

    • B1G Jeff says:

      Would that be… NU!!!!

      Like

    • Gitanole says:

      To be accurate, the ACC exit fee is not $50M. The amount equals three slices of the ACC annual revenue pie. That amount will go up as conference revenues go up. $50M, the exit amount this year, is the cheapest it will ever be.

      The only way the exit fee becomes affordable for most schools is if ACC revenues fail to keep pace with other conferences. In that case, the revenue a school stands to gain from a jump to another league could justify paying the fee. But if ACC revenues to keep pace, the amount is prohibitive. No one’s going to jump just because some other league managed $2M more a year on a media contract.

      In effect, this exit fee rewards the ACC for its ability to bring home the bacon. The reward is greater solidity. The ACC becomes less solid if it permits a gap in revenues to open between it and other leagues.

      Like

  5. […] A new entry from Frank the Tank: What surprises me is that the ACC offered this deal to Notre Dame in the first place.  ACC […]

    Like

  6. Craig Z says:

    Buckeyes.

    Like

  7. Eric says:

    The ACC has really made out over the last few years. It’s gone from being one of 3 powers in the northeast (and the weakest one) to the dominant one. With Pitt, Syracuse, Notre Dame, and Boston College, they are arguably the biggest league in the northeast even against the Big East which still has more teams in the area. In football, the Big Ten is weakened with Penn State greatly weakened for the next half decade or more, with the Big East down to Temple, UConn, and Rutgers, and with the ACC now with 3 northeastern powers and many games against Notre Dame.

    I’m not a proponent of expansion for the Big Ten at all (very against actually), but this isn’t going to be something the conference likes over the long haul.

    Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      “Northeastern power”

      If you’re talking about football, is that not an oxymoron?

      Like

    • Ted says:

      None of those teams save Penn State were ever in the Big Ten. The ACC holding former BE teams doesn’t really harm the Big Ten when they never had New England anyway. Definitely good for ACC, bad for BE, but I think the actual recent realignment is neutral for the Big Ten.

      Penn State may not grow as many new fans but it’s not like the ones they have will automatically stop rooting for them in that region. The PSU troubles are independent of realignment and its effects would’ve happened anyway.

      Like

  8. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    GEAUX LSU Fightin’ Tigers!

    Like

  9. Michael in Raleigh says:

    I’m not too crazy about this. ACC teams are able to get Notre Dame to play them regularly without becoming Big East 2.0 (and an ugly hybrid conference). Pitt and BC play ND very frequently. GT, Miami, and Syracuse are certainly no strangers to ND. Even FSU, Wake Forest, UNC, and Maryland have played or will play ND in recent or upcoming years. So why the need to let ND out of being a full-time member when they’re not going to increase the number of ND-ACC games by that much anyway? Why are Florida State, Clemson, UNC, Miami, and Virginia Tech okay with Notre Dame turning their league into a lesser league, Big East-ish hybrid league? Why are they okay with the Irish getting special treatment while they, the football powers of the league (or, in the case of UNC, not a football power, but just a “power” in general), go on as regular members? It’s easy to see why Louisville, Georgetown, DePaul, etc. would allow the Irish such an arrangement. They desperately needed the Irish. But the ACC?

    It’s a great deal for Notre Dame, without question. I’m not too sold how it’s great for the ACC.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Michael in Raleigh,

      Why did the BF schools agree to this? Simple. Adding ND gets them more money, better bowls, more exposure and some premier OOC games.

      Like

  10. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Big East takes another blow. ESPN is now reporting that UConn’s Jim Calhoun will retire tomorrow.

    Like

  11. frug says:

    This has culminated in the ACC grabbing the most powerful brand name in college sports (albeit on a partial basis): Notre Dame.

    By what measure is Notre Dame a more “powerful” brand than Texas?

    Like

    • Tom says:

      I agree @Frug. While Notre Dame remains very relevant in today’s college football world in terms of money and TV appeal, and I love the rivalry as a Michigan fan, the on field product paints a different picture. In my opinion, continuing to play ND is an opportunity cost for Michigan and maybe Michigan State.

      If I’m Michigan, playing two games in Indiana (not exactly hot bed for football talent) over 4 years not counting potential games in Indiana against Purdue and IU, is not the way to showcase your program to rest of the country and recruits that reside in California, Texas, and Florida. It’s huge exposure in the Midwest, but Michigan has games against Ohio State, Penn State, and Nebraska that accomplish the same thing: big regional games for local recruits. Yes, Michigan gets a big bump in national exposure through TV when it plays ND, but you’re telling me that Michigan versus Texas home and home wouldn’t draw big ratings?

      Playing two games over four years in California, Florida, or Texas has more advantages in today’s college football world. My stance would be different if ND was the ND of old, a consistent top 10 team, but TV ratings and TV contracts can’t mask that ND football (the football team, not not the alumni/fan base) is a shadow of its former self. With the upcoming playoff, out of conference strength of schedule will be paramount. Playing ND will only hurt in that regard considering the current perception of the Big Ten nationally (4th at best among the Big Five.)

      If you’re MSU, you may not be able to attract as big of a home and home every year, but the Spartans do have upcoming home and homes with Alabama, Oregon, West Virginia, Miami (YTM), and Boise State. That’s an attractive slate that will take them to various parts of the country outside the Big Ten footprint with games that will generate some buzz. If D’Antonio keeps things cooking, I’m sure they would be an attractive opponent for more home and homes with 90% of college football.

      Now, Purdue is the school that could never replace ND or even come close, and shouldn’t give that game up as it truly benefits the Boilermakers. But for MSU and Michigan, playing ND seems to do more for ND (maintaining a presence in the Midwest) than it does for the Spartans and Wolverines.

      Like

    • Eric says:

      Texas is big because it its a big name that carries the largest football crazy state. Notre Dame is big because it can attract a good sized audience around the nation. While Texas if far bigger in its homestate that Notre Dame is anywhere, I’d still say Notre Dame is a bigger brand still.

      Like

      • frug says:

        It doesn’t matter where the viewers are dispersed, just how many there are.

        And it’s not just TV. Texas has been ranked as the most financially valuable FB program in the country (the closest objective measure of power) by Forbes for quite some time (ND is number 2).

        Like

    • @frug – I would still grant Notre Dame the edge because its national appeal is unmatched and it has leveraged that into unparalleled TV exposure (and it’s not just NBC since ABC/ESPN grabs every single ND road game possible and the only non-SEC/Army-Navy game that CBS ever shows is when ND plays at Navy) and a vote in the postseason system that is literally the same as an entire power conference. In contrast, there isn’t a fundamental difference between the nature of the Texas fan base and, say, the fan bases at Michigan or Florida. It’s just that Texas is able to deliver the largest TV market and recruiting territory (the entire state of Texas in both cases) that any school can do all on its own.

      Now, Texas might be more valuable to a conference in certain circumstances (e.g. the Big Ten and Pac-12 would both benefit more from adding Texas households to their respective networks than they would from adding Notre Dame), but Notre Dame is literally the only school that can garner an over-the-air TV contract (where the network has to even show games against MAC/C-USA schools), get partial membership invites from multiple power conferences and have the same vote on the new playoff system as the entire Big Ten does. If that’s not power, then I don’t know what else it could be.

      Like

      • jj says:

        Every single adult in the US knows “ND Fighting Irish”, not so with “Texas Longhorns.”. ND is the coke of college athletics.

        Like

      • frug says:

        Notre Dame is literally the only school that can garner an over-the-air TV contract

        True, but Texas is the literally the only school whose garbage sports can get the same amount of money as ND’s entire over the air TV contract

        have the same vote on the new playoff system as the entire Big Ten does.

        I’d be shocked if an independent Texas wouldn’t get the same deal. Anyways, that’s overrated since the individual university presidents still have to approve the deal.

        And consider this, in 2010 Texas controlled the future of all college sports. A move to the PAC-10 would have set off a chain reaction never seen before. Notre Dame has never demonstrated that sort of power and never will.

        Like

    • bullet says:

      I wouldn’t disagree that ND is a more “powerful” brand than Texas in football. Its just that the ACC is getting a “mid-major” in power in sports other than football (they are very competitive, just noone cares about ND sports other than fb).

      Like

      • jj says:

        Their bb and hockey teams are respectable.

        Like

        • frug says:

          And they both lose money…

          Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Frug:

            That has been restated multiple times, but i have a hard time believing basketball loses money unless it is a conscious decision to over spend and they aren’t concerned about the money. No one spends more money than UT. Largest athletic budget in the nation supports how many (few) sports? Is the measure of college athletics purely monitory, or is it opportunities afforded to students?

            Like

          • frug says:

            @ccrider55

            According to ND’s own disclosure forms submitted to the DOE, their basketball program has lost $5 million over the past two years. Only four other power conference teams lost any money at all on MBB.

            Now, I will admit that in ND’s case the loss is by choice not circumstance, but it demonstrates that now matter how much money they spend to keep the team competitive they just can’t spark any interest.

            (For comparison, Texas’ MBB program is a Top 15 revenue generator).

            Like

        • Notre Dame’s overall athletic department is actually very strong. It has won the most Big East championships across all sports by a massive margin (which is pretty legitimate for non-football sports).

          Like

    • 8-team Playoffs Now says:

      ND is still the strongest nat’l brand. It just is. UTx would have to win multiple (more than 2) football national beauty contests, err, BCS championships in the next few years to even have a chance to surpass the Irish.

      Like

    • Wes Haggard says:

      Texas is powerful in Texas and a lot of people live in Texas, but Notre Dame is still the only truly national brand going. Sould ND win 10 games this year, see what bowls want them and watch them get into national championship game talk. No comparison of perceived appeal.

      Like

      • zeek says:

        It’s hard to compare ND and Texas. They’re polar opposites.

        Texas is the biggest brand in the biggest state. ND is a brand that is national because its games are all watched on national television and its fanbase is spread out throughout the Northeast along with fans dispersed through the rest of the country.

        In terms of money making power, Texas means more to a conference in terms of its additive power, but Notre Dame isn’t that far behind. As far as making money for themselves, Texas is in a league of its own and no one else is close.

        Like

        • zeek says:

          Should clarify that part about biggest state; for college football territory purposes California is like two states: North California and South California… (USC is considerably less important in North California, whereas Texas’ brand resonates throughout Texas).

          Like

  12. 8-team Playoffs Now says:

    Only a fool would think an exit fee unwillingly forced on a school immediately would hold up in court. Huge difference between a Grant of Rights that every school willingly signs and a blackmail type exit fee immediately applied that a school didn’t vote for.

    Now whether FSU and MD will fight or just give in is something different. They may decide the pro’s of staying outweigh the pro’s of leaving, but at the moment they do have a window to act if they choose to do so.

    BTW, I would not at all be shocked if Delany has already put out back channel feelers to FSU and perhaps MD.

    This deal appears to be a good move for both ND and the ACC as a whole, given that it was the most natural fit for the Irish. The ACC was wise to compromise on their previous all-or-nothing stance. Should still work out for them even if they were to lose a school or two.

    Should also probably be good news for the B1G and P12, in that it may kill SEC expansion, and thus any need for those conferences to attempt to expand. OTOH, that $50 mil fee could also trigger relatively quick movement (within a year) for some school as their last chance to get out. I don’t think any wise person would be certain right now of what will or won’t happen in the next year (though many a fool will make definitive declarations.)

    And while I don’t expect it, the B12’s GOR can also be revoked if enough schools want to dissolve it. So if OU, UTx, and others negotiated a grand bargain to place most of the B12 schools in the 11 remaining slots of other Power 5 conferences (assuming 4×16 is a natural end game, something I wouldn’t assume) then the B12 could disappear. Wouldn’t expect UTx to create such a move, but if OU and friends got the itch again it might result. For a variety or reasons, the remaining realistic expansion candidates outside the B12 are probably BYU, Louisville, Rutgers, and UConn, so placing 8-10 of the B12 schools in the remaining 11 slots seems achievable. (Unfortunately for USF or UCF, geography or academics probably keeps them off the lists of the SEC, ACC, B1G, and P12.)

    No real need to, though, 5 power conferences of 10-14 members seems pretty stable. And from recent talk of some of the presidents involved, we might see the playoff deal expanded well before its expiration. 5 conference champs auto qualifiers + 3 wildcards would work well, and allow schools more flexibility in OOC scheduling (don’t have to have the marquee SOS if can win conf title, plus a loss to an OOC heavyweight doesn’t pretty much eliminate you, either.)

    Like

    • Eric says:

      Agree if someone left now they’d probably be able to get out with the old agreement on exit fees rather than the new. Any move is very doubtful though. Going to the Big 12 is out as that would have already happened. Only very small possibility of a move would be if the Big Ten panicked after feeling the ACC needs to be countered. If that happened, they could try offering 2 teams in the ACC/Big East.

      Like

    • cfn_ms says:

      Frank might chime in on this, but I struggle to see FSU as a fit with the B1G. Distance is really long, and academics seem like a reach (though I’m not an FSU expert, and I could certainly be wrong). It’s interesting and probably telling that Maryland and not Clemson voted against it, though. Probably says a lot about where the two schools think things are going and/or what other leagues’ interest in them might be.

      Like

      • frug says:

        FSU isn’t an AAU school which makes them a no-go for the Big 10.

        Like

      • Sportsman says:

        @cfn_ms,
        I too think it’s telling that MD voted against the increase in exit fees (again). Are they looking west (and a little bit north)? If so, who would be #16 for the B1G?

        Like

        • Brian says:

          Sportsman,

          1. The B10 isn’t looking to expand unless they’ll make a lot more money. That means adding a major program (see the last two additions – PSU and NE). There are no available programs left that would interest the B10.

          2. The B10 would have to find #14 and #15 before worrying about #16.

          Like

          • Sportsman says:

            Brian,

            All apologies… I meant #14, not #16. I’m thinking like a university president here… What would the CoP/C think about adding a member that has/is the following:
            * AAU membership
            * high academics
            * high research
            * is in close proximity to the organization that offers the most research
            * the only DI-A school in it’s state
            * a well populated state
            * has a healthy athletic department
            Note: I believe Edsall will turn around their FB, much like he built at UConn
            * would give the B1G an East Coast presence & a showcase for the rest of the league

            While my list isn’t exhaustive, you get my point that UMd has a lot to offer the B1G (& the CIC). At this point, it’s no longer about the Grand Slams. All things considered, I think UMd is a solid Homerun. I’m not saying that we should or shouldn’t expand, but we could do much worse than UMd. If they have interest, why not now (other than who #14 would be)?

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Sportsman,

            First, I’ll say two things:
            1. I am anti-expansion, in case you didn’t know that already.
            2. MD has a lot going for it as a candidate.

            That said, the B10 already has east coast access with PSU. PSU would love to have an eastern companion, but the numbers have to work out. On the conservative side, MD would have to be worth $20M a year to be near breakeven. While MD would certainly add a bunch of TV households for the BTN and add inventory as well as some more hoops punch, I don’t think they can approach breakeven. Would the COP/C add a school they know will dilute the money their schools make in the hopes of gaining more research money? I doubt it.

            While you say it isn’t about grand slams, I think it has always been about grand slams to Delany and the COP/C. The B10 doesn’t need to expand, and MD isn’t incentive enough to expand.

            As you point out, the second issue is #14. The only reasonable candidates are RU and some ACC schools. I don’t see UNC, Duke or UVA leaving now, so that eliminates the ACC. So what you are really proposing is that the B10 expand to 14 to get MD and RU. That’s a money loser for the current 12 schools, so why should they agree?

            Like

          • acaffrey says:

            How is Maryland a home run? They are, at best, a double. We’ve seen doubles work out for expansion before. But a home run would have to–at the very least–lead to more revenue for the conference somehow.

            I think that it would be wise for all conferences to hold off on further expansion. Until the paradigm changes, there is no reason to make moves. All 5 top conferences should be very happy right now.

            I know fans cannot handle the fact that conferences have 10, 12, 12, 14, and 15ish schools… rather than some round number or perfect symmetry. But it is what it is. I tend to think 9 and 10 are great numbers for a conference–true round-robins in all sports.

            Like

          • ChicagoMac says:

            Fox is the entity that will decide what schools will be accretive to B1G TV revenue and by how much.

            Like

          • Sportsman says:

            Brian,

            While I understand your points, I was merely wondering what is motivating MD to vote against higher exit fees. Do they have their eye on the B1G? And, if so, what, if anything, should the B1G do in response? It isn’t about what any of us want, it’s more speculation about what TPTB want. Also, research money does matter, as it helps finance the operation of the university itself.

            acaffery,

            UMd is a homerun in many ways, as noted above… it’s ironic that their biggest shortcoming is in the area that seems to be most important (FB). I’d hoped that the Major 5 conferences would have stayed at 12, but that ship has sailed.

            ChicagoMac,

            I agree that the BTN will have a large say…

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Sportsman,

            MD may just believe that $50M is too much. They don’t need to have an ulterior motive.

            Like

          • ChicagoMac says:

            @Sportsman,

            Just to be clear, I am not talking about the BTN alone. Fox is launching their ESPN competitor here in about 16 months.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Maryland just cut some sports. They are really hurting financially. Speculation is that they would love an invite to a more lucrative conference. B1G their 1st choice.

            Like

  13. Bob Marley says:

    I believe there is an additional unwritten clause that within several years ND will join the ACC in football as well. It will take ND alum awhile to get used to the move. And when they do, ND will apply to join. Perhaps the NBC contract will force the issue whereby the administration can show that an ACC media deal is better than a standalone NBC TV deal.
    Swofford is a very good negotiator. This is the second expansion which caught everyone by surprise. The blogosphere was not chattering and the Commissioner and ADs were silent. Surprise!

    Like

    • 8-team Playoffs Now says:

      Swofford is a very good negotiator. This is the second expansion which caught everyone by surprise. The blogosphere was not chattering and the Commissioner and ADs were silent. Surprise!

      Um, no. The much-maligned WV-board bloggers have been talking for a couple of months now that the ACC was having discussions about adding ND, and how many games would be required if it were partial, etc.

      Like

      • Brian #2 says:

        WVa bloggers also claimed FSU and Clemson would announce their intention to join the Big 12 by August. They are just throwing crap at the wall to see what sticks.

        Like

    • FLP_NDRox says:

      The money would not be an issue to the Alumni, it’s still very much “Independence or Death” for us. I think five is about the max we’d be willing to take from any one conference, and I’m a bit upset we are being forced to take 5 ACC scheduled games; its truly a lesser of evils from our point of view. However, barring an overhaul of the Playoffs (boy does that feel weird to write) making it so an undefeated ND can’t play for a title there’s no need for ND to join a conference. ND should be OK for the foreseeable.

      Like

  14. bamatab says:

    RTR!

    Like

  15. Nostradamus says:

    Pretty big news announced by Swarbrick today that hasn’t gotten a lot of coverage.
    “We are on track to participate in other side of Orange Bowl with SEC & Big Ten.”

    Like

  16. Lost in the shuffle of today’s news: Jack Swarbrick let it slip out that it looks like the ACC’s Orange Bowl opponent will come from a pool of Notre Dame, the SEC and Big Ten:

    Like

    • Back when the SEC/Big12 announced their Champs Bowl (can they freakin’ choose a bowl already!?!?), I wondered if the power 2 (SEC/BigTen) would lock down more automatic bids from the major bowls. This would semi-answer that question.

      While a pure “Big Ten #2” arrangement might not be appealing to an elite bowl (think about this year especially!), a Big Ten#2 OR SEC #2 or ND arrangement might certainly be. It’s another way the power brokers can say, the money is ours and you all can take a hike.

      Could the Fiesta do something similar? One of their slots is open…the other is Big 12 #2 OR Pac-12 #2 OR ND…?

      Like

      • @allthatyoucantleavebehind – It’s actually even a better tie-in than that. What I’m hearing is that the playoff is going to rotate evenly among all of the bowls over the course of 12 years. So, the Rose is going to host a semifinal every 3 years as opposed to less frequently as once rumored. The TV people always want a semifinal on New Years Day, which means that the Orange, Rose and Champions would rotate and never host semifinals in the same year. That means that whenever the Orange isn’t hosting a semifinal, either Big Ten #1 or SEC #1 (along with ND) is going to be available to them depending upon the year. This is a fantastic tie-in for a bowl.

        Like

      • Brian says:

        allthatyoucantleavebehind,

        Last I heard, only the three contract bowls (Rose, Champs, Orange) can have tie-ins. The other three, presumably including the Fiesta, have to be open to take at-larges.

        Like

        • Eric says:

          Correct, Fiesta and other 2 aren’t getting tie-ins. The committee will choose and unless something changes, they’ll be on New Years Eve. This bring up a new question though. If the Rose Bowl is a semi-final and the Orange Bowl takes a Big Ten team, do the access bowls still have to provide a spot for the Big Ten in replacement of the Rose. I’d say the odds are very much against.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Eric,

            The rules just say that the B10 champ is promised a spot. When the Rose is a semi, the other spot can be in any of the other bowls. If available, one assumes the Orange would take the champ. If the Orange doesn’t take them, then an access bowl has to.

            Like

  17. frug says:

    Best line I have read about this move so far;

    “The ACC, where football powers of the ’80s and ’90s go to die”

    Like

  18. Brian says:

    So, I wonder what they’ll talk about during the MSU/ND game this Saturday night.

    But seriously, I’m curious to see how this impacts the ACC in several ways. One thing I’m wondering about is this:

    GT, FSU and Clemson already have a locked in-state SEC rival they play to end the year. On top of that, the ACC is going to 9 games. That’s 10 games locked in, so 5 road games every year. And once every 3 years they’ll also play ND? At least once every 6 years they’ll have 6 home games, and they’ll also play no good OOC opponents besides ND anymore. How will that sit with fans?

    Six home game is less of an issue for GT since their stadium is so small and they have a lot of history with ND, but Clemson and FSU can’t be thrilled. Will they get exemptions to play ND less often?

    Like

  19. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/8371735/nebraska-chase-rome-quits-disagreement-role

    Bad news for NE. Pelini kicked a starting DT off the team it looks like.

    Pelini told reporters after practice Wednesday that Rome’s “personal goals and personal perception of where he should be on this football team doesn’t match the team goals.”

    Combined with PSU losing a WR earlier today, it’s a bad day for B10 teams.

    Speaking of which, did any team lose more than PSU with this ND announcement? The odds of PSU getting an eastern partner/rival just dropped to approximately 0 for the foreseeable future.

    Like

  20. […] “The ACC Has the Luck of the Irish: How Notre Dame’s Move Affects the College Sports Wor…(Frank the Tank’s Slant) […]

    Like

  21. OrderRestored83 says:

    add

    Like

  22. […] this ND move does mean is that at the top-five conferences, expansiopocolypse may finally be at a significant pause. I don’t want to say end, because it never ends. But for the ACC, Big 12, Big 10, Pac-12 and […]

    Like

  23. Brian #2 says:

    If the ACC is considering using Notre Dame to go back to the table with ESPN on its TV contract, which has been speculated, why would they have Notre Dame rotate equally through the ACC?

    If the goal is to appease the football brands like FSU and Clemson with higher revenue, it would be much more beneficial to give ND more games against the elite programs than the lower level schools. For instance, how much more would the ESPN contract increase if ND played FSU or Miami every single season, instead of every 2-3 years? Hasn’t it been argued that the Big 12’s contract increase was driven by a couple of high-profile games each season?

    A set-up to consider would be something like 1 game against FSU/Miami, 1 game against a traditional rival in Pitt/BC, 2 games from the Clemson/VTech/GTech/UNC group, and then only 1 game per year against the lower tier ACC teams (Duke/Wake/NCST/Maryland/UVa/Syracuse).

    I bet that would be worth a lot more to TV executives than an even rotation, and money is directly or indirectly driving all of this.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      The football powers aren’t driving this. Tobacco Road is.
      ACC is taking the Big East path. Partial members for a power conference is just a bad idea. For that matter, not sure Boise and SDSU add anything to the Big West. On the other hand, Hawaii is always worthwhile. I highly recommend it.

      Like

      • zeek says:

        Agreed, FSU voting against the increased exit fee is the biggest hint by far that this isn’t a move by the football powers.

        This is a Tobacco Road power move to stabilize the conference.

        Like

        • Jericho says:

          FSU allegedly vote against Notre Dame (along with Clemson, NC State, and VT), although the official announcement said it was unanimous. But the rumors that started leaking Monday stated those 4 schools were against it.

          That said, both Maryland and FSU voted against raising the exit fee last time around. So not much has changed.

          Like

          • Mike says:

            I’m no expert, but those four voting “no” should have been enough to block expansion.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Read somewhere that it requires 75%. It could be that schools voted no on the straw vote, but changed their vote with the majority. But it could also be that the people saying this don’t really know what happened. I’ve seen the same thing repeated several places, but noone gives a basis for their info. Clearly FSU and one other voted no on the exit fee increase as that is from the FSU Board Chairman (who said Maryland also voted no).

            Like

          • Jericho says:

            I think bullet hit on the head. I’ve also read Pitt and Syracuse got votes, meaning they only need one to swing. NC State probably would have been easiest.

            And to clarify my earlier statement, both Maryland and FSU voted no to a $30 million exit fee, which is why it was only raised to $20 million not that long ago. That fact that both voted no is telling, but the fact they did this years before is also telling.

            Like

    • Brian says:

      Brian #2,

      “If the ACC is considering using Notre Dame to go back to the table with ESPN on its TV contract, which has been speculated, why would they have Notre Dame rotate equally through the ACC?”

      ESPN has said they’ll look into the contract based on this new addition.

      “If the goal is to appease the football brands like FSU and Clemson with higher revenue, it would be much more beneficial to give ND more games against the elite programs than the lower level schools.”

      There’s one slight problem with that plan. FSU and Clemson (and GT) have an SEC rival they play annually. With the 9 game schedule coming, that’s 10 locked games which means 5 road games. I don’t think either of them want to play ND more than the other ACC schools, because every other year they play them they’ll have 6 road games. It’ll happen once every 6 years already. Besides, ND wants to play a wide variety of teams for the geographic access.

      Like

  24. jbcwv says:

    Regarding the increased amount of the exit fee, I thought it was interesting that the FSU officials came out and called it “punitive” in the media. A liquidated damages clause, which is what an exit fee is, is supposed to represent an amount that parties to a contract stipulate will fairly compensate the non-breaching party for the other party’s breach. However, punitive liquidated damages policies are considered unenforceable; the purpose of a liquidated damages clause is NOT to be a deterrent to a breach. (This is why a grant-of-rights is a different animal than a traditional exit fee).

    So, perhaps FSU is complaining about the punitive nature of the new exit fee because they are simply more legally fastidious than their conference brethren and feel like it’s sloppy to include unenforceable language in a contract. Or, if “The Dude” is right, perhaps they are planning to withdraw and have no intention of paying the new surprise exit fee.

    If it’s merely the former, why is FSU airing its concerns in the media?

    Like

  25. duffman says:

    On Notre Dame as a member / non member

    Maybe this is just me because I picked Notre Dame to the ACC in the first place but people are looking at this deal today and not long term. The desires of the alumni and fans may not have been equal to the success of the team over the past decade or two. Look at the issues between Noter Dame and each conference.

    Big East : While the only football conference in the northeast to midwest corridor it is dead as a national brand even tho it now covers a national footprint. As members go, the replacement schools are a level down so the perception over time will drop. Notre Dame was smart to get out and nobody would fault this decision.

    SEC : In terms of distance this was no worse than the ACC but to paraphrase the the old rural observation “It is a few miles driving from the country to the city, but it is a lifetime drive from the city to the country”. Of the major conferences this one had the biggest cultural clashes with the folks in South Bend. Nobody expected this and the administration would have faced a riot if this direction.

    PAC : The Irish here made sense from a cultural view but the distance was the problem. While the Mississippi River becomes a “border” for western schools going east, it also limits eastern schools going west. Since Notre Dame can not physically uproot their buildings the PAC was not a realistic option. The fact the Irish schedules the 2 private schools shows a desire to play schools like their own. In short a school with an east coast moat could not play in a west coast moat with the continental divide between them.

    Big 12 : People flee from a fire, not jump into one. Spin it all they like but the B12 is never going to return to where they were in 2009. The model moving to bigger footprints and more middle teams was the opposite of where the B12 is heading. I still say the measure of a conference is stadiums with 75,000 seats or more and the B12 has fewer than they did. While the Irish may have used the B12 for leverage with the ACC I do not think the alumni would have settled for this option. Road trips to the research triangle have to be more appealing than Waco or Stillwater.

    B1G : On the surface this seems to be the no brainer but you still have issues that could not be overcome. In a sense they were the reverse PAC in that your opponents are too close for comfort. 2 schools in IN, MI, and IL means less national exposure for a school used to a national footprint. I can not confirm it but moving to a smaller space probably gave the Irish claustrophobia. Add in a smaller private school in a sea of big state schools and it just magnifies the issue. It always seemed as likely as Canada giving up independence to join the USA.

    ACC : Not as far away as the PAC and not as close as the B1G is probably more comfortable for the folks in South Bend. The ACC is also a conference populated with schools that feel closer the the private world and culture of the Irish. The bigger issue tho may be that the ACC is the only conference that can offer the Irish the time and space to transform from where they were 20 years ago to where they will be 20 years from now. A 40 year span will mean many who grew up with the Irish in a prewar america will be dead or nearly dead 20 years from now. In short the Irish are changing from within and only the ACC allows that transformation to happen.

    .

    The days or independent football are gone and will not in all probability return. While folks say this is yet another Big East like move I think the terms reveal a much different picture. I think the non football sports will make sense in the ACC and all will flourish over time. While that may not matter to the football folks on here I can already see the basketball issues. The ACC gets a MCBB in the heart of basketball of Indiana / Kentucky / Cincinnati / Louisville. in WCBB look for ESPN to push Duke vs Notre Dame the same way they push Uconn Notre Dame right now. The Irish will recruit baseball in places Indiana and Purdue can not. They can become a city / state at the edge of the roman, er ACC empire. It is a long term strategic move and it is probably the correct one.

    The ACC extracting 5 games a year is the most telling tale of all on why this happened and what it may mean long term. The Irish were playing roughly 4 games a year already so why not just agree to 4? My feeling is 4 games in an 8 game schedule stills allows the Irish to straddle the fence. That extra game is one in the ACC favor long term and is the bridge to the Irish being in the ACC for the long haul. 5 crosses the bridge where 4 or 3 shows a caution to cross. If the ACC remains at 8 games in conference – which seems probable to not lose their SEC marquee games – then long term it will be easier to sell those final 3 hurdles.

    Like it or not this allows time for the Irish to become a team player while operating with the appearance of an independent. Maybe 8 years from now it gets moves from 5 to 6. Eight years from then it gets moved from 6 to 7. Eight years from then you go from 7 to 8. Overnight (well roughly a quarter of a century) the Irish are no longer independent but it happened so slowly it gave the administration time for their alumni and supporters to embrace it. I could be a fool for thinking all this but it is the smart long term solution to an immediate problem. Time will tell if I am right.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Interesting point about attendance. With the conference changes (prior to the MWC/CUSA latest moves), EVERY conference expansion but the B1G’s has lowered its average attendance (median as well is lower). SEC’s 4 year average dropped from 75,940 to 75,502. Big 12 from 62,882 to 56,701. Pac 12 from 54,124 to 53,063. ACC from 51,510 to 50,474. Big East from 44,015 to 33,343. CUSA from 27,211 to 27,069. MWC from 29,709 to 26,681. CUSA and MWC will drop even more when the San Joses and FIUs are factored in. Big 10 increased from 68,683 to 71,391.

      Like

      • duffman says:

        SEC : 75,940 – 75,502 = 438 drop
        Interesting if includes Alabama expansion, could be a bigger drop than indicated.

        B1G : 68,683 – 71,391 = 2,708 rise
        How much is Nebraska and expansion in Michigan? Narrows SEC gap.

        .

        big drop to #3 and 15K to 20K drop from the first 2

        B12 : 62,882 – 56,701 = 6,181 drop
        Massive drop probably reflects Nebraska but not TAMU? 2012 will tell the tale.

        PAC : 54,124 – 53,063 = 1,061 drop
        Utah and Colorado did not have big stadiums to begin with.

        ACC : 51,510 – 50,474 = 1,036 drop
        Pittsburgh (65K) and Syracuse (49K) will probably not help.

        .

        big drop to #6 and 15K to 25K drop from the 3 above

        BE : 44,015 – 33,343 = 10,672 drop
        By far the biggest drop out there putting them far from the 5 above

        CUSA : 27,211 – 27,069 = 142 drop

        MWC : 29,709 – 26,681 = 3,028 drop

        .
        .
        .

        What is most startling is how far the B12 has fallen and will continue to fall! TAMU and Missouri had bigger stadiums so that will bring down the averages probably below the PAC and ACC. On a positive spin, they will still have a comfort zone well above the next tier down.

        Like

        • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

          duff – I would imagine that SEC drop has more to do with Kentucky and Ole Miss sucking than anything else. When UK & OM are good, they sell out. They were both decent 4 years ago.

          Keep in mind that LSU, Ole Miss, Miss State, and Mizzou all have planned expansions within the next few years. The Ags are even talking about a whole new stadium.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            Sorry, I wasn’t very clear. This is comparing the 4 year average attendance with the 2012 lineups to the same years with the 2010 lineups. SEC is down because Missouri and A&M combined are below the SEC average. Big 12 drop includes replacing CU, Nebraska, Missouri & A&M with TCU and WVU.

            Like

          • duffman says:

            bullet,

            Now I am confused? Are they projecting 2012 numbers from 2010 numbers? So far TAMU and Missouri only played 1 game in 2012 and both were at capacity?

            Can you link the data source?

            Like

          • Brian says:

            duffman,

            He used the latest 4 year running average for each school, then compared them for the old alignment and the new alignment.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Its a spreadsheet.

            I averaged the attendance of every conference for the last 4 years based on 2010 membership. Then I compared those same 4 years using the 2012 membership.

            For the Big 12:
            2012 membership-average attendance 2008-2011
            Texas 99,915
            OU 85,007
            WVU 57,065
            Tech 54,082
            OSU 52,505
            Kansas 48,022
            IA St. 47,986
            KSU 47,700
            Baylor 37,960
            TCU 36,768

            Average 56,701

            If you drop WVU and TCU and add:
            Nebraska 85,473
            A&M 82,163
            Missouri 63,585
            CU 50,184
            you get a 12 team average of 62,882

            Similarly, the SEC 12 team average was 75,940. When you add A&M (82k) and Missouri (64k) it lowers the 14 team average to 75,502. For the B1G, Nebraska’s 85k exceeded the 11 team B1G average of 70,111, so they raised the average.

            Every conference but the Big 10 diluted themselves by expansion (in terms of average attendance).

            Like

          • m (Ag) says:

            Whenever A&M gets around to upgrading (maybe replacing) the old stadium, there will be more seating. I believe a company is currently researching options and construction wouldn’t start until after the next football season.

            Missouri, I think, already has plans for what may be the first of several upgrades to their stadium.

            Like

      • danimation707 says:

        Nebraska’s current expansion project will increase attendance to ~92k for the start of the 2013 season too.

        Like

  26. ChicagoMac says:

    Frank,

    I assume your initial paragraph is tongue-in-cheek? Capitulating to NDs demands on partial membership and raising exit fees are not indications of a strong, healthy conference. In fact, raising the exit fees directly refutes your central argument.

    Furthermore, people here are missing a huge point. Fox has a big investment in college football but no presence in the football mad Southeast. The only way for Fox to break into the Southeast markets in a meaningful way over the next 5 years is to acquire rights via B1G expansion. I think this leads to the B1G making a big move in the Southeast in the not too distant future.

    Like

    • vp19 says:

      Whomever is invited to the Big Ten will have to pass muster with conference presidents, and Florida State lacks the AAU calling card.

      Right now, the only logical ACC candidate for the Big Ten is Maryland (assuming it could afford the exit fee or have it knocked down), and it still would need a partner (Rutgers?) to do it. They might help the Big Ten compensate for a weakened Penn State in the Northeast Corridor, but wouldn’t do much in the Southeast.

      Like

      • ChicagoMac says:

        @vp19

        That is shortsighted and these guys are anything but shortsighted. The B1G will balance TV issues/football with the academic stuff, no doubt.

        Here is why it makes sense.

        I recently heard a student recruitment advertisement for UNL on Chicago radio promoting their new B1G association. I’ll paraphrase but the message was something like your friends are going to B1G schools, check out the new kid on the block, Its B1G, but new, different.

        Universities in the B1G all face a similar problem, a shrinking pool of students to recruit from. One way to address that is to expand the footprint into larger population centers and to that end, I believe that the University Presidents will see value in using Football to enhance their school’s profile in the targeted markets.

        UNL already popped the B1G’s AAU cherry which I think makes it even less likely that AAU membership is a hard requirement going forward. I expect the B1G to add at least 2 but I expect that if it expands it will add 4 schools and in doing I think you’ll see the conference strike a balance b/w football, population, broadcast TV, BTN and of course education.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          I agree. MSU wasn’t admitted when they were an AAU member either.

          If I was running the B10, I’d admit schools who could be AAU in a decade (maybe 2). Miami is well on its way there. FSU may be. The bigger concern with FSU is its culture. The B10 definitely doesn’t want a school who’s board president prioritizes football over everything else (especially after PSU). If you add FSU and Miami, UMD and GTech could be added as well.

          The ACC then would be even more like the BE that ND originally joined.

          Like

  27. bullet says:

    Interesting twist on the Longhorn Network-simulcast with ESPN using the radio play by play.
    http://www.texassports.com/genrel/091312aaa.html

    Like

    • bullet says:

      http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=16&f=2947&t=9347707

      Interesting opinion on 3rd tier rights and the direction they are going by someone who claims to be a media consultant. Says most in his industry think ESPN will be laughing all the way to the bank with LHN by the end of the contract.

      Like

      • Jericho says:

        Reading the post, is still does not really provide any real insight that Tier 3 rights are worth a ton of money. The basic gist of his point is that in 10 years they’ll be worth something as the ability to distribute content increases. However, I feel It ignores two major factors: (1) in 10 years most of the existing deals will be nearing the end of their term. So if Tier 3 become worthwhile in 10 years as claimed, then those conferences can negotiate new deals to factor them in. Even the ACC is not locked in forever to their contracts; and (2) Who is paying to see these games/rights?

        I think point 2 is more important. ESPN is struggling with the LongHorn Network financially because no one is carrying it. Providers are not carrying it because there is not a huge demand for its content. They have to charge large rates just to break even. And for the content providers, its not worth it. Sure, I’ll concede that avenues of distribution will increase in time. But to make money off these rights, it requires someone willing to pay $$ either for the rights or for the right to advertise. The question is who’s going to do that? There’s a finite amount advertising dollars and a finite audience. Maybe I’m underestimating the demand for Florida State women’s cross country coverage, but I don’t see who’s going to make all these sports financially worthwhile. People don’t care about most of these sports unless there’s an Olympics. And even then they still don’t care about most of them.

        Like

  28. mhentz says:

    Frank,

    There’s been a rumor, started about 2 months ago and reiterated yesterday, on one of the Penn State message boards that Notre Dame will eventually move to full football membership in the ACC and that at about the time the NCAA sanctions were handed down against PSU, Notre Dame reached out to Penn State and began working behind the scenes with the ACC to help get Penn State into the ACC by about the time the sanctions expire. The post also stated that Notre Dame began working on this whooel idea about the time Syracuse and Pitt announced they were moving to the ACC and has been working with the ACC to form a north/south division split with the north division closely resembling the eastern all-sports conference that Joe Paterno once envisioned along with UVA and Va Tech and that would provide a natural place for PSU to slide into. What’s your opinion of PSU bolting the Big Ten inteh coming years to join the ACC alongside Notre Dame for all sports? Just imagine the TV markets that would wrap up solid to the ACC at the direct expense of the Big Ten. As a PSU fan I love it.

    Like

    • Kevin says:

      I don’t buy into that rumor. Especially with the Grant of Rights hurdle through 2027.

      Like

      • BoilerTex says:

        So the highest profile Catholic university in the country reached out to a school with one of the most notorious pedophilia cases in recent memory and says, “Hey, let’s collaborate publicly!”. Umm, OK. Sounds plausible. I live in PA now. I still don’t see the east coast thing. My town feels more Midwest than the Indiana city I grew up in.

        Like

    • greg says:

      PSU boards love any rumor that includes them leaving the B1G.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        greg,

        I really don’t understand PSU people. None of them seem to want to be in the B10 and they constantly talk about wanting to be in another conference. Then they bitch about how they don’t feel like they belong and the other B10 schools have always made them feel like outsiders. Does it ever occur to them that constantly saying you want to be elsewhere creates that helps create that feeling of separation? Why should anybody welcome you in if you constantly say you don’t want to be here?

        Like

        • acaffrey says:

          Penn State to the B1G is a no brainer decision. But, from the heart, I think most Penn State fans probably still think of their real rivals as Pitt, Syracuse, West Virginia, Maryland, etc. The B1G games are good. The schools are similar. The money is great. It is a great fit on paper. Nobody could ever vote to leave the conference, but deep down PSU is an eastern school perhaps.

          Like

          • joe4psu says:

            You have fans that followed PSU before joining the B1G and those that have come since. I don’t know any of the latter that think PSU would or should leave the B1G and there’s only a vocal minority of the others that would like to see PSU leave the B1G. I’m in that minority but am not too vocal about it. 🙂

            Like

        • vp19 says:

          You can thank the Big Ten for all those research parks around State College that make a heckuva lot more money for PSU than athletics does. No way is Penn State leaving.

          Like

    • As a fan I like it. From an administrator and “total university” standpoint, it’s not going to happen.

      Like

    • FLP_NDRox says:

      My question is what a weakened at best PSU does to help ND in any way shape or form? Paterno hated us, PSU fans by and large hate us, and association with the Penn State program is still toxic at this point. This is one of the dumber rumors I’ve heard in a while. Link?

      Like

    • Penn State at #46? Can’t Mark Emmert strip them of that ranking?

      Like

    • bullet says:

      Seems even more weighted to private schools than before. Only 16 public schools in top 50 with 6 of them UC schools.

      So South Carolina ST. is #147 tied with ST. John’s, UI-Chicago and Rhode Island. And ahead of Ole Miss, UT-Dallas, Hawaii, Maine, Wyoming and among others Texas Tech, Houston, West Virginia, USF, Mississippi St. and North Dakota St.

      Sounds like South Carolina St. and #20 Emory (fudged numbers for a decade to USN&W) should be FBS football. They know how to cheat. Speaking of which, Clemson, who has been caught sending fake info to USNW before was #68, Alabama #77 and Auburn #89. Note that Clemson is ahead of Rutgers, Minnesota, Michigan St. and Iowa. Alabama is ahead of IU with Auburn just behind them. Both are ahead of AAU schools Colorado, Missouri, Iowa St. and SUNY-Buffalo (probably many more-just took a quick glance).

      Like

      • Andy says:

        The fiddle with the formulas every year so that the rankings will change and they can sell more magazines. Missouri, for instance, jumps around by aboug 10-15 spots year-to-year, up and down. I doubt there’s much going on to cause those kind of changes.

        Also, this ranking only measures undergrad, so some AAU schools like you mentioned that have some strong grad programs aren’t going to get recognized for that in this ranking.

        Like

  29. Marc Shepherd says:

    The Notre Dame announcement suggested that the Irish may phase out some of their “midwest rivalries,” which clearly refers to Michigan, Michigan State, and Purdue. Is the sense that ND will drop one, two, or all three of these?

    My guess is that the Irish would consider Michigan State the most dispensable, because from a recruiting standpoint they don’t need to play two teams in the same state, and the Michigan rivalry is a far bigger TV draw. The Purdue rivalry is probably the least valuable from a recruiting and TV standpoint, yet they’ve been playing it every year since 1947. Also, they usually beat Purdue, and the Irish need the win.

    Hence I suspect that if they keep two, it would be Michigan and Purdue; and if they keep one, it would be Purdue.

    Incidentally, there is no doubt in my mind that Michigan State and Purdue would prefer to keep Notre Dame on their schedules, and probably Michigan would too. So the decision is really in the Irish court as to who they want to play.

    Like

    • Richard says:

      Which announcement?

      Something from ND itself? If it’s a journalist, it’s mere speculation.

      I really doubt that ND would go below 4 games in 6 years with Michigan and MSU or drop the annual game with PU.

      Like

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        See this article in SI: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/football/ncaa/09/12/notre-dame-acc/index.html

        Notre Dame said that maintaining its Califorina rivalries (USC, Stanford) is its top priority. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out which ones are NOT top.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          There’s a big distance between “not top rivalries” and dropping series completely.

          Again, I’ve seen no indication that ND would go below 4 games in 6 years with any of its B10 rivalries. The BYU series would be sacrificed first, and I don’t see even that one going anywhere. Why would ND drop any of its B10 series? So they can play UConn more often?

          Like

          • cutter says:

            I suspect Notre Dame would reduce the number of Big Ten teams it plays in order to get on the schedule with an SEC or ACC team, for example.

            Notre Dame is now committed to playing five ACC teams per year in the near future along with their annual game with Navy. USC and Stanford will also be regulars on the schedule in order to ensure at least one game in California per year. That’s eight of the 12 games per year which are locked in.

            NBC will want to play at least seven home games per year (or six with one neutral site game they can televise), which means the four open scheduling slots have to include three annual home games. Logically, that means ND will have two home-and-home series and two buy-in games per year with no return date required. The exception to that might be a situation where they have a 1-1-1 series with three games played against one opponent in South Bend, on the road and at a neutral site.

            So who does Notre Dame play in those two home-and-home series? It it’s always two B10 teams (and they’re played in September), then the remaining two games are likely to be buy-in games with no return dates.

            Michigan and Notre Dame have a sliding agreement that requires them to give the other a four-year notice if the series is changed or altered, so the earliest UM would drop from the ND schedule is 2017 (per that agreement). ND has two ACC teams on their schedule that year (Syracuse, Miami) plus three open slots that could go to ACC teams, so there may be no more major changes there either.

            UM and ND have a scheduled break for 2018/9. But keep in mind that this is a two-way street. Michigan has a scheduling in balance through 2016 because the ND, Nebraska and Ohio State games are all on the road or at home. In 2015/6, Wisconsin is also part of that rotation. This means UM does have a motivation to drop ND and get another opponent that will be willing to host UM in 2017 and then play in Ann Arbor in 2018.

            Michigan’s opening season game this year with Alabama had a 4.8 rating with 7.9M viewers on ABC–see http://www.sportsmediawatch.com/2012/09/ncaa-week-1-abc-hits-six-year-high-for-bama-blowout/.

            In last year’s “Under the Lights” game with Notre Dame (the second game of the season for each team), the numbers were 4.5 and 7.5M respectively. See http://www.sportsmediawatch.com/2011/09/ncaa-catch-up-notre-dame-a-bigger-hit-for-espn-than-nbc/

            Admittedly, this year’s game was between two top 10 ranked teams, although it was an early blow out. It also had an SEC team in it that was the former national champion, so it’s not exactly comparing apples to apples here. ND had a loss coming into last year’s game, so that might have been a factor as well. That said, one conclusion you can take from this is that vis-a-vis Michigan, Notre Dame and Alabama are “roughly comparable” in terms of television ratings given the timing of the two games (both played on a Saturday night). In summary, that means Michigan could be in the position ND with some other major program (Texas, Oklahoma, LSU, etc.) and get the same sort of brand name buzz.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            cutter:

            Which SEC programs are willing to play ND? ND has played 1 SEC school in the regular season in the last 14 seasons (Tennessee) and haven’t scheduled another one for the foreseeable future. With their ACC-focused future schedules, they’ll regularly hit the populated parts of the southeast anyway, so geography isn’t a reason to play the SEC either.

            You mention OU and Texas, but those are the _only_ other 2 schools outside the SEC (and B10) that would be on par with Michigan that ND would play anyway (not counting the schools that ND are already scheduled to play; namely, USC and the ACC powers).

            You mention 7 games a year that ND needs broadcast rights to; I’ll detail below how ND would likely set up their schedules given their constraints.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            I think LSU would be willing to play ND. LSU has played a lot of good teams lately. AL would be willing to play ND in a neutral site game I bet, they just don’t like home and homes. UGA tried to schedule OSU, so they might be willing to play ND, but the new AD is from UF so it’s less likely.

            Others that might be willing and are reasonable options: Vandy, TAMU, MO (in St. Louis perhaps)

            Like

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Brian – you are correct regarding LSU’s willingness to play Notre Dame. Since 1970, my Tigers and the Irish have played 8 times in the regular season and twice in bowl games, with the series tied at five wins apiece. Historically, LSU has even been willing to schedule ND in October and November. In fact, 3 of the 4 games in South Bend took place in late November. Given that Louisiana has the most college talent per capita, and that South Louisiana is overwhelmingly Catholic, future LSU/ND series make sense, if the Irish would only return LSU’s phone calls.

            Like

  30. Mike says:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/big12/post/_/id/55395/longhorns-crowd-not-loud

    “I like without a doubt playing on the road better than playing at home,” Vaccaro told the Daily Texan. “It’s way louder and gets me way [more excited]. No offense to our fans, but [DKR] is not loud.”

    I’ve been to one game at DKR and was surprised how quiet it was. It wasn’t the fans fault, I think its a design issue with the stadium. Anyone else have an opinion?

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Its a combination of the stadium design with a laid back fan base and town. Until they rebuilt them recently, the North end zone stands were way back from the field (still at the distance when they had a track). The huge upper deck west side is a long way from the field and faces the sky as much as the field. Some people like it because you can see the whole field, but I always try to avoid it.

      Also, in September, its usually HOT! Doesn’t lead to a lot of energy in the stands. But the crowd can be loud at times, especially at night games. Easily the loudest game I was at there was a night game vs. Tech in 95 (known among Horn fans for Tony Brackens hit on the Tech punter during a fake punt). Other people say the night game (it was loud even on TV) vs. unbeaten Houston in 90 was the loudest. The only day game in contention for the loudest crowd was the 98 game vs. A&M when Ricky Williams broke the all-time rushing record and that one was late afternoon.

      Of course, the biggest rivalry, OU, is never played in DKR. Texas fans can get pretty loud in half the stadium there.

      Like

  31. Mike says:

    According to Chuck Carlton (@ChuckCarltonDMN)

    Looks like Fox is becoming the unofficial home for Big 12 third-tier rights. TCU just announces, joining Texas Tech from this morning.

    Like

  32. Andy says:

    Question for Big Ten fans:

    Hindsight is 20/20 of course, but if you could go back and go after schools who actually wanted to join the Big Ten who maybe weren’t home runs like Texas or Notre Dame, but who you’d actually get instead failing to get, would you do it?

    Imagine a Big Ten like this:

    East: Maryland, Penn State, Ohio State, Indiana, Purdue, Michigan, Michigan State

    West: Nebraska, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, Illinois, Northwestern, Minnesota, Wisconsin

    It could be argued that the Big Ten would be in a much stronger position had they done this. And I would argue that they likely could have pulled it off if they had decided to go ahead and do it.

    Like

    • Andy says:

      I noticed I left out Iowa. They’d likely go in the west so you’d probalby need to move Northwestern or Wisconsin to the East.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      Andy,

      “Hindsight is 20/20 of course, but if you could go back and go after schools who actually wanted to join the Big Ten who maybe weren’t home runs like Texas or Notre Dame, but who you’d actually get instead failing to get, would you do it?”

      No. 12 is more than enough teams as it is. I preferred 10.

      “Imagine a Big Ten like this:

      East: Maryland, Penn State, Ohio State, Indiana, Purdue, Michigan, Michigan State, Illinois

      West: Nebraska, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Northwestern, Minnesota, Wisconsin”

      Adding back in Iowa adds the problem of which team to move to the east. It has to be NW or IL to maintain the geography you’re attempting, so I’d say IL to allow the western teams Chicago access. I made the switch in your divisions above.

      Issues with your proposed B10:
      1. Pods trump divisions for playing 16 teams in my opinion. This would feel like two separate conferences with a scheduling agreement.
      2. You lose continuity having that many new members.
      3. You lose money adding that many teams.
      4. Why so many western teams and not another eastern team? Trade KU for Rutgers and the IN/IL border becomes the split again.
      5. That many new teams in one division mean the other side will feel like the true B10.
      6. OU definitely doesn’t meet the presidents standards for academics.
      7. What’s the upside to having 16 teams? You get less money and play rivals less often.

      “It could be argued that the Big Ten would be in a much stronger position had they done this. And I would argue that they likely could have pulled it off if they had decided to go ahead and do it.”

      I suppose you could argue the B10 would be much stronger, but I don’t really see it. It would be bigger and have another king program, but it also wouldn’t really be a conference anymore.

      What the B10 needs to do is win more. They are plenty powerful already.

      Like

      • Andy says:

        I definitely see the case for the Big Ten staying at 12 and maintaining traditions. I don’t have a problem with that.

        That said, I think by adding Nebraska/Missouri/Oklahoma, and then maybe Maryland and either Syracuse or Rutgers, they’d make tons of tv money and at the same time would dramatically improve their odds of winning national titles in football. I don’t think adding those schools would mean less money at all.

        But yes, there are issues with going to 16. It wouldn’t seem like as much of a conference.

        Pods could be interesting.

        Maybe

        Nebraska/Wisconsin/Minnesota/Northwestern

        Oklahoma/Missouri/Iowa/Illinois

        Michigan/Michigan State/Indiana/Purdue

        Ohio State/Penn State/Maryland/Rutgers

        I think a league like that would be at least on par with anything the SEC could throw together, in the event of a race to form 16 school super-conferences.

        In the end maybe we dodged a bullet by avoiding the super-conferences. But the Big Ten I think had a path to victory in that war, had they chosen to initiate it. I guess we’ll never know what it would have been like.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          Andy,

          “That said, I think by adding Nebraska/Missouri/Oklahoma, and then maybe Maryland and either Syracuse or Rutgers, they’d make tons of tv money and at the same time would dramatically improve their odds of winning national titles in football.”

          Based on recent history, none of NE, MO, MD and RU/SU would win a national title anytime soon. That means you’re essentially saying that adding OU would “dramatically” improve the odds of winning a title. That’s plausible, as OU is one of few schools to produce elite teams lately.

          As for money, adding NE barely made a profit and that was with the CCG addition. OU would probably pay for itself as #13. I don’t think MO, MD, RU or SU could pay for themselves as #14.
          This year the B10 will pay out about $24.6M IIRC. I don’t see how any of those schools can add that much value.

          “Pods could be interesting.

          Maybe

          Nebraska/Wisconsin/Minnesota/Northwestern

          Oklahoma/Missouri/Iowa/Illinois

          Michigan/Michigan State/Indiana/Purdue

          Ohio State/Penn State/Maryland/Rutgers”

          Those wouldn’t work well. You have to try to maintain balance while grouping rivals. Certain groups also have to stay together (IA/WI/MN for one).

          Maybe this
          Big 8 = OU, MO, IL, NW
          West = NE, IA, WI, MN
          North = MI, MSU, IN, PU
          East = OSU, PSU, MD, RU

          Play your pod (3) and the paired pod (4) for that year plus your locked rival (1).

          Locked rivals when E & W or E & 8 are paired:
          OSU/MI, PSU/MSU, MD/PU, RU/IN, NE/OU, WI/NW, IA/MO, MN/IL

          Locked rivals when E & N are paired:
          OSU/OU, MI/NE, PSU/IA, MSU/MO, MD/WI, IN/MN, RU/NW, PU/IL

          Like

          • Tom says:

            As I’ve said before, I really think the Big Ten made a mistake by not adding Missouri. Yes, you always take Nebraska over Missouri, but the Tigers should have been 13, and then Maryland / Rutgers should have been 14 to round things out. Or the league could have simply stayed at 13. The B1G stayed at 11 for 20 years, it couldn’t have dealt with 13?

            On the one hand, I understand the B1G’s logic. The only good additions are Nebraska / Penn State / home run type additions. I would say Penn State was a home run, and while I liked the Nebraska addition, I consider it a triple only because I have a hard time seeing Nebraska return to the top of college football in today’s landscape. The problem with the B1G’s logic is that there are only two realistic home runs out there: Notre Dame and Texas. Notre Dame was not interested. Texas was not interested. If you can’t hit a home run, why not go for doubles that may accomplish some of the same goals?

            Missouri is a solid double and would have fit right in that second tier with Wisconsin, Iowa, and Michigan State, further bolstering the league’s depth. The BTN and in turn B1G would have benefited since Missouri’s population would rank 6th among states in the B1G footprint, while adding two solid media markets in St. Louis and Kansas City and also making Missouri a B1G state that features underrated high school football talent. According to Scout.com, Missouri has five 4 star recruits in the class of 2013, four of which are committed to the Tigers. (The other is headed to Ohio State.) For comparison purposes, Wisconsin has one 4 star (committed to Nebraska,) Iowa has one 4 star (committed to Missouri) and Nebraska has two 4 stars (committed to Nebraska.) While Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, and Wisconsin must all recruit nationally, Missouri has better talent within its borders than the other three combined. Sure, B1G teams currently recruit Missouri, but I suspect over time more recruits from Missouri will want to play in the SEC.

            Oklahoma would have been at least a walk in the park home run and at worst case, a triple. I would have loved the Oklahoma addition but it probably was never going to happen. If the Sooners not been shackled to Oklahoma State, Delaney could have made the argument to the presidents that adding a current top 5-10 program outweighs the school’s lack of academic prestige. It seems that OU was interested, but either way, it probably was an unrealistic addition.

            However, assuming this scenario came to fruition, with Nebraska, Missouri, and Oklahoma on board, the league could have stopped at 14, but if it wanted to go to 16 so it could form pods, I would have passed on Kansas and gone east with both Maryland and Rutgers. By adding Oklahoma, Missouri, Maryland, and Rutgers to the league, an additional 24,000,000 million people would reside within the Big Ten footprint. Obviously, Texas was / is the holy grail, but those four schools would have almost matched Texas’ population (about 25,000,0000).

            In this scenario, even though Oklahoma is the only “national brand” addition that is a year in and year out national title contender, you absolutely increase the league’s strength and depth by pure numbers. I liken it to the Big East basketball conference the past several years which has generally been considered the best league in the country largely because it is so damn big. It’s a collection of maybe two or three “kings” (Syracuse, UConn, and Georgetown,) but features several solid second tier programs that are competitive. I think that’s what the Big Ten would have looked like under this scenario.

            Look, there is no catching the SEC in football superiority. There is better talent within the SEC footprint, more tradition rich programs, and the schools themselves emphasize and spend more money on football. Adding Notre Dame, Texas, and Oklahoma would not make the B1G better than the SEC. However, I think the above scenario would have made the B1G the number 2 conference.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            Tom, I agree with pretty much everything you said, and I would have liked to have seen it happen.

            Luckily for Missouri fans, the SEC realized what the Big Ten did not and took Mizzou as a member. Mizzou was ready to move up from the Big 12 into one of the top two leagues. They sold out their season tickets this year and we’re adding 12,000 seats to our stadium over the next 3 years. Mizzou as a program should be every bit as strong as Iowa, Wisconsin, and Michigan State going forward. The Big Ten would have been wise to grab that when they had the chance. Now they will likely never have another chance at it.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Tom,

            “As I’ve said before, I really think the Big Ten made a mistake by not adding Missouri.”

            I think that’s because you have different priorities than the COP/C.

            “Yes, you always take Nebraska over Missouri, but the Tigers should have been 13, and then Maryland / Rutgers should have been 14 to round things out. Or the league could have simply stayed at 13. The B1G stayed at 11 for 20 years, it couldn’t have dealt with 13?”

            You agree the B10 made the correct choice in taking NE over MO, so it comes down to expanding beyond 12.

            1. What is the advantage of going beyond 12?

            The ACC and SEC did it largely to re-open their TV deals. For the B10, it would lead to less money per team (unless adding 2 kings) and playing rivals less often most likely. Look at all the scheduling issues the SEC had and those schools are used to playing each other rarely.

            2. 13 is a terrible choice.

            11 was a pain in the butt, but adding PSU was worth it. More importantly, the B10 was willing to deal with it for 18 years before expanding to 12 despite the financial lure of a CCG because only a king program like NE (or ND or UT) was worth it. You think a league that delayed going to 12 for that long is going to lose money to go to 13 with a prince program?

            13 is worse than 11 because of the divisions. You can’t get everybody 8 games:
            A – 7 teams (6 division games)
            B – 6 teams (5 division games)

            2 crossover games for each A team makes 14 crossover games. That leaves 4 teams in B with only 2 crossover games and 7 total games (2 get 3 crossovers for 8 total). Do they play each other again? Do you rank teams by winning percentage rather than wins?

            At least with 11 teams everyone could play 8 games.

            3. 14 is, thus, a minimum.

            Do you honestly believe that MO and MD/RU could pay for themselves (roughly $25M per year right now)? Or are you suggesting the B10 schools should voluntarily lose money now for some nebulous future advantages of expansion?

            “On the one hand, I understand the B1G’s logic. The only good additions are Nebraska / Penn State / home run type additions. I would say Penn State was a home run, and while I liked the Nebraska addition, I consider it a triple only because I have a hard time seeing Nebraska return to the top of college football in today’s landscape.”

            If NE improves their academics and can continue to win 9 games a year on average, they’ll pay off just fine for the B10. They have a large fan base. With the right coach they could easily become elite again because they have the brand power to attract recruits. Imagine a Chris Petersen at NE. I think PSU will have the harder time being elite for the next 8-10 years or more.

            “The problem with the B1G’s logic is that there are only two realistic home runs out there: Notre Dame and Texas. Notre Dame was not interested. Texas was not interested. If you can’t hit a home run, why not go for doubles that may accomplish some of the same goals?”

            You are assuming doubles can achieve their goals. What if their goal is to hit home runs? Every added school is an extra mouth to feed. Doubles require twice as many mouths to feed for the same result. That’s the problem. Doubles don’t generally pay for themselves.

            If getting access to the south or the east was their top priority, then maybe you’d be right. What people seem to forget is that the B10 has been content with their membership since they were at 10. They’re willing to add an elite program, but aren’t going to go out of their way to add anything less than that. They tried to get ND twice (not this most recent round), and came close once. They at least talked with UT a couple of times. They did add PSU when PSU asked to join. They also added NE when they asked to join. Nobody else was considered a viable addition by the COP/C.

            “Missouri is a solid double and would have fit right in that second tier with Wisconsin, Iowa, and Michigan State, further bolstering the league’s depth.”

            Agreed. And trust me, we’ve been through the financial case for MO here many times. They’d add potentially $16M in BTN subscriptions annually plus add some inventory. Does that add up to $25M?

            “Oklahoma would have been at least a walk in the park home run and at worst case, a triple. I would have loved the Oklahoma addition but it probably was never going to happen. If the Sooners not been shackled to Oklahoma State, Delaney could have made the argument to the presidents that adding a current top 5-10 program outweighs the school’s lack of academic prestige. It seems that OU was interested, but either way, it probably was an unrealistic addition.”

            OU was a no go from the start. The COP/C told Delany to never bring them a candidate as weak academically as NE again. OU being tied to OkSU was an absolute killer anyway, and there was no way to pry OU away from OkSU. MO and KU were about equal to NE before NE lost AAU membership but weren’t prominent football programs like NE. What people seem to forget is that NE was by far the weakest academic member of the B10 even before losing AAU status.

            Latest USNWR rankings (all but NE are AAU):
            12. NW
            29. MI
            41. WI
            46. PSU, IL
            56. OSU
            65. PU
            68. MN
            72. MSU, IA
            83. IN
            101. NE

            97. MO
            101. OU
            106. KU

            Academics are very important to the presidents no matter what football fans think. MO and KU are AAU, which helps them, but OU isn’t. When NE published their AAU report after being kicked out, it ranked all the eligible schools based on the main indicators the AAU uses. Remember, the AAU has just over 60 members. NE ranked #109, below the last remaining AAU schools at 87, 94 and 105 (and one of those was probably Syracuse which quit). OU was tied for #91 and no higher than #77 in any category. There is a long list of eligible schools higher on the list for those claiming OU is on a quick path to AAU membership.

            I don’t think the COP/C was or is willing to add OU based on academics, but maybe if they were balanced by a more prestigious school or two (like USNWR #58 MD, #68 RU – both AAU) and Delany could make a strong athletic case. I don’t think that case can be made now that the B10 is at 12 teams, though. If there was a need to reach 16, perhaps OU, MO, MD and RU would have been approved as a package, or OU and MD/RU to hit 14.

            Regardless, OU, MO and MD are now off the table so it’s a moot point.

            “However, assuming this scenario came to fruition, with Nebraska, Missouri, and Oklahoma on board, the league could have stopped at 14, but if it wanted to go to 16 so it could form pods,”

            You can form pods at 14 (or even at 12). For 14:
            A and B have 4 teams
            C and D have 3 teams

            Years 1-2:
            A & C vs B & D
            A1 and A2 play B1 and B2
            A3 and A4 play B3 and B4
            C1 plays D1 and D2
            C2 plays D1 and D3
            C3 plays D2 and D3

            Years 3-4:
            A & D vs B & C
            A1 and A2 play B3 and B4
            etc

            You play everyone else at least twice in 4 years while potentially preserving rivalries.

            “I would have passed on Kansas and gone east with both Maryland and Rutgers. By adding Oklahoma, Missouri, Maryland, and Rutgers to the league, an additional 24,000,000 million people would reside within the Big Ten footprint. Obviously, Texas was / is the holy grail, but those four schools would have almost matched Texas’ population (about 25,000,0000).”

            UT is only one mouth to feed while you propose adding 4 to get an equivalent return. That only works if you believe UT was worth $100M per year to the B10.

            “Look, there is no catching the SEC in football superiority.”

            Says who? They weren’t always on top, and they won’t always be on top. A lot of people forget that much of the SEC wasn’t great last year. UF, UK, UT, VU, AU, MSU and MS were all average or worse (won 8 or fewer games). This year, it looks more like 3-4 top teams (AL, LSU, UGA, SC). Their reputation is driven by their top teams. Perhaps the new oversigning rules will take an edge off of their depth advantage (note that the SEC West is the dominant side and it also has the schools that oversign the most – UF and UGA didn’t and now they can’t keep up). Or perhaps the SEC will actually have another upset or two. For all their supposed depth, why is it a lower tier team hasn’t upset a top team since MS over UF in 2008? Three whole seasons with no major upsets?

            # of SEC ranked teams at the end of each season:
            2007 – 5, 2/3
            2008 – 4, 2/2
            2009 – 4, 3/1
            2010 – 6, 5/1
            2011 – 5, 3/2

            “Adding Notre Dame, Texas, and Oklahoma would not make the B1G better than the SEC.”

            That’s crap. The B10 would crush the SEC financially and the B10 would have many more elite programs including all but 1 member of the 800 win club including the top 6 teams (top 7 if you include PSU’s vacated wins). The B10 would be the media focus. The new B10 would have 10 NCG appearances to the SEC’s 9 (3 wins to the SEC’s 8) and 39 BCS games to the SEC’s 23 (18 Ws to the SEC’s 16). You’d have 3 of the best programs of the BCS era with OSU, OU and UT plus MI, NE and WI not far behind. That’s 6 of the top 17 teams by W% in the BCS era whilt the SEC only has 3.

            Like

          • joe4psu says:

            As for money, adding NE barely made a profit and that was with the CCG addition. OU would probably pay for itself as #13. I don’t think MO, MD, RU or SU could pay for themselves as #14.
            This year the B10 will pay out about $24.6M IIRC. I don’t see how any of those schools can add that much value.

            You keep comparing apples to oranges. If the B1G is smart and adds the new schools when the next contract is negotiated everyone will see a large increase in non-BTN revenue regardless who is added. Heck, you could add two MAC schools and the B1G would still pass the PAC-12’s revenue per school. Add to that the boost in BTN revenue from adding states like NJ and MD.

            Wasn’t it reported early in the expansion process that RU and UMD were among a list of schools studied and it was found that all would increase revenue for the B1G? Does anyone else remember this? I think it was a Chicago Tribune article, most likely by Teddy Greenstein.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            Brian, you ignore the fact that Mizzou is paying for itself and then some in the SEC, and the SEC’s earnings aren’t any different from the Big Ten’s, or at least only marginally so.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            joe4psu,

            Certainly the B10 could get a raise while adding people in 2017. But each team might have made more without the additions. I still haven’t seen any explanation of what net benefits the B10 would get from expanding beyond 12. How do the pros outweigh the cons?

            If you’re just talking an intellectual exercise where bigger is by default better, then sure the B10 should have added OU, MO, RU and MD if that was possible. Those were the top 4 realistic options after UT and ND passed. I happen to think adding those 4 would have just made the B10 bigger, not better.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            Pros: Adding Oklahoma, Missouri, Maryland and Rutgers almost certainly adds significant value to the Big Ten network and the Big Ten’s tier 1 and 2 contracts. If adding Mizzou and A&M adds significant value to the SEC, then adding those 4 schools would almost certainly add dollar value to the Big Ten. It also would have increased the recruiting ground of the Big Ten by moving it’s boarders to the fringes of the southwest and southeast. Adding Oklahoma, and to a lesser extent Missouri, would have been a significant boost to the quality of football in the Big Ten. All four schools are relativley good fits. 3 out of four are large flagship state schools in the AAU. The fourth (OU) isn’t great academically but its not much worse than Nebraska, and they have a huge upside in football and would quickly rival or suprass all of the top teams in the league.

            Cons: It would have triggered 16 team super-conferences nationwide. Traditions would have been scrapped. Conferences would have been so large that they would have lacked cohesion. Rivals would play less often. It would have been a big change.

            I can really see both sides of it. Either choice had its pluses and minuses.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            If the Big Ten had made that move, other conferences would have rushed to keep up.

            The SEC might have rushed to grab up Texas A&M, West Virginia, Florida State, North Carolina State

            The Pac 12 may have grabbed Texas, Texas Tech, Colorado, Utah, Kansas, Kansas State

            The ACC could have taken Pitt, Syracuse, UConn, Louisville, Cincinatti, Temple, Navy

            A new CUSA of sorts could have formed with (east) Oklahoma State, TCU, Baylor, SMU, Houston, Memphis, UCF, USF, (west) BYU, Boise State, Colorado State, Air Force, New Mexico, UNLV, SDSU, and Fresno State.

            You know, all the crazy talk that’s been on here for the past 3 years.

            It would have been a huge mess and it would have all been caused by the Big Ten. Many would have been angry. The Big Ten would have come away as the winners, having added the strongest schools. But it would have been a wild departure from tradition.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Andy,

            That’s my point. Either way had pluses and minuses, and going big wasn’t a clear winner. So why engender so much hatred, destroy tradition and lose rivalries? The cost never seemed worth the money to me, and apparently not to the COP/C. It was never about whether the other candidate schools were decent additions. There was a race to be #12, and that was the end of it unless outside circumstances forced the B10 to get even larger.

            Like

    • frug says:

      All of Oklahoma’s statements and actions indicate they are either unwilling or unable (or both) to ditch Oklahoma St. and that would be a non-starter (and that assumes the Big 10 was willing to look past OU’s lack of AAU membership)

      Like

    • mushroomgod says:

      I think academic rep means a lot to the Big 10……

      Yes, NEB was added……………but they were an obvious #12 for mass appeal purposes….and NW and MICH were against adding NEB as it was…….although publicly they bent to make it “unanimous”
      Had the BIG also added MO, Kansas, and OK, they would have added 3 more schools rated academically below the original 10 + PSU………that wasn’t going to happen. Also, NEB, MO, KAN. and O K would have all been smaller in enrollment than the other 11.

      Like

      • mushroomgod says:

        The above having been said………it’s obvious that the original goals of BIG exp. have not been met.

        You’ll recall all the talk about demographics and TV markets………NEB didn’t do much for new TV markets, and the alum base of BIG schools (which is what Delaney was talking about) has shrunk relative to the ACC and ACC schools.

        Even worse, the best exp. options….MD, MO, ND are effectively off the table.

        I still think the BIG will eventually expand, but it’s hard to seehow or who it will involve. Syracuse was never a good choice. Rutgers and U CONN have some appeal but weaken the football brand, and don’t add much as overall sports programs.

        Like

      • Richard says:

        Excuse me, it was WISCONSIN and Michigan who opposed adding UNL.

        NU supported Nebraska joining (you’d understand if you saw our ticket sales).

        Like

      • Andy says:

        Mizzou is an AAU school with an enrollment of 34,700+. They’re a pretty solid fit academically for the Big Ten. Or at least they’re much less of a stretch than NU, OU, or KU.

        Like

        • Andy says:

          Ohio State 56,867
          Minnesota 52,557
          Michigan State 47,954
          Penn State 44,817
          Indiana 42,731
          Michigan 42,716
          Illinois 42,606
          Wisconsin 42,595
          Purdue 39,726
          Missouri 34,255
          Iowa 30,328
          Kansas 29,462
          Nebraska 24,593
          Northwestern 19,184

          Like

          • Brian #2 says:

            And Nebraska’s enrollment has been declining while Missouri’s enrollment is the fastest-growing in the AAU.

            I don’t have any qualms about the B1G’s decision to add NE at the time, but it may look more questionable 10-20 years from now if the football program never gets back on track and the state’s population growth remains muted.

            Like

    • ChicagoMac says:

      Disemboweling the Big12 as you describe would have left OkieState, Kstate, TTech, Baylor, and Iowa State out in the cold and I really don’t think the B1G was interested in being *that* conference.

      I think the SEC hit a homerun by adding aTm and Mizzou, I would be thrilled if the B1G had done the same, but I also don’t think the major moves are complete.

      I believe that the SEC is about to strike gold on its TV deal and further believe the SEC and B1G are going to outpace the other majors in bowl receipts and I believe this combination will further unsettle the landscape. In my opinion, this will lead to several schools seeking a partnership with the B1G to better compete against their SEC rivals.

      Like

      • Brian #2 says:

        “I think the SEC hit a homerun by adding aTm and Mizzou, I would be thrilled if the B1G had done the same, but I also don’t think the major moves are complete.”

        So are you assuming the ACC’s new $50MM exit penalty will not hold up if challenged in court? That must be it, because I don’t see how quality schools from the SEC, Big 12, or Pac-12 being poachable at this point due to no desire and/or a GOR (Big 12).

        Like

        • ChicagoMac says:

          I’m working off the theory that Fox desperately wants to get access to the football mad Southeast to round out its geographic footprint of college football assets.

          I think it will acquire these assets through B1G expansion and then it will become the largest buyer of B1G inventory when the 2016 contract is done. Fox will then use B1G football and basketball as key inventory to launch its ESPN competitor.

          Fox is making a huge investment here and whatever the per-school exit fee it ends up needing to fund isn’t even a blip on the radar in the grand scheme of things.

          Like

          • Andy says:

            Good luck with that one.

            Like

          • ChicagoMac says:

            @Andy…Good luck with what? Have you seen all the inventory Fox owns? Its missing big anchor tenant type inventory, particularly in the winter months.

            Watch and learn.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            I think getting schools to leave the ACC at this point will be a very heavy lift. Not saying it’s impossible but seems highly unlikely. But I guess things change. Who knows what the landscape will look like in 10-20 years.

            Like

  33. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/8373666/penn-state-nittany-lions-matt-marcincin-leaves-program

    PSU’s backup kicker has quit the team. I don’t blame him. If he still wasn’t going to play after the other guy missed so many, nothing but an injury would ever get him on the field. He’s still in school but could transfer and play immediately since he hasn’t been in a game yet.

    Like

    • joe4psu says:

      Eh, a non-scholarship player (or as O’Brien calls them, run-ons) that was never going to see the field. As you said, if he couldn’t beat out Ficken after last week there’s little chance he would ever play. This wouldn’t have been news if it weren’t for the situation at PSU. More interesting was Kersey finally leaving, voluntarily or otherwise, the team for good. He left the team once or twice in the past and was convinced to come back. No one is trying to get him back this time. Then there are the guys like Royer who left the team but stayed in school and continues to have his way paid by the athletic department without having to uphold his end of the scholarship agreement. That may be the strangest situation created by the sanctions.

      Like

      • acaffrey says:

        Agreed. A walk-on leaving the program has ZERO to do with the scandal, except for the fact that he would have been third string if the primary kicker had not left. At this point, players are not leaving because of the scandal. I don’t even like the word scandal.

        Like

      • Brian says:

        joe4psu,

        I wasn’t claiming it was a big loss. I just find it interesting that a 3rd string walk-on kicker who became 2nd string when the starter left would quit. Did he really expect to play much as the 3rd stringer? If he was happy to ride the pine then, why not now?

        Like

        • joe4psu says:

          I didn’t think you were Brian. And I have no idea what the kid is thinking. It is frustrating seeing another kid go at this time and is odd since he’s one hammy, or maybe another 1-5 game, away from starting even if he still hasn’t beaten Ficken for the starting spot.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            On the bright side, he’s a walk-on and can be replaced by another walk-on. I think I saw a story about a local kid that kicked well in high school and was going to the tryouts so you may have a a happier guy of equivalent skill soon.

            I hate to see someone quit on their team during the season unless it’s for injuries or higher priorities (academics, providing for the family, etc). Being a back-up kicker is a pretty cool way to go through college. Sure he has to practice, but he doesn’t get hit and he doesn’t get pushed as hard. In exchange, he gets to go out and pick up football groupies. Seems fair.

            Like

  34. loki_the_bubba says:

    Sad news at Notre Dame. Manti Te’o lost his girlfriend and grandmother in the last 24 hours. But he is still expected to play tomorrow.

    Like

  35. Richard Cain (@Rich_Cain) says:

    I think it is possible for the Catholic schools to form their own non-football league if they decide stability is paramount. Like minded institutions with like missions, markets and alumni.

    Like

    • Richard says:

      Well, if the instability is so bad that the BE breaks up, the Catholic schools would form their own non-football league. That’s their worst case scenario. Hard to understand why they would want to preemptively give up money.

      What you’re saying is that the water in the pot is getting hot, but so hot as to be boiling, so they should preemptively jump out of the pot in to the fire. I don’t see how that makes sense.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Notre Dame moving, interestingly, could be just about the least significant conference move. The Catholic schools seem likely to stay in the Big East, so it has no impact on the Big East. FSU may have stayed in the ACC w/o Notre Dame moving. Or they may still move. Same for Virginia Tech, although I never thought they were particularly likely to leave. Every indication is that only Maryland, Clemson and FSU were unhappy while the rest were delighted to be in the ACC.

        Notre Dame was heading towards 3 or 4 ACC games anyway, so 5 is not significant. 5 ACC + Stanford, USC, Navy still leaves room for Purdue, Michigan St. and 2 other games. Maybe MSU gets rotated with Michigan to give them more flexibility, but they will be playing ACC schools only every 3rd year so they get a lot of flexibility there.

        Like

  36. Brian says:

    ESPN makes odd choices. I guess PSU must be like a car wreck for them.

    Week 3 – Navy @ PSU, 3:30, ABC/ESPN2
    Week 4 – Temple at PSU, 3:30, ABC/ESPN2

    Meanwhile, OSU is starting the year with 4 straight 12:00 games for the first time I can remember. I like noon games personally, but 3:30 is considered a more prestigious time slot usually.

    Week 5 times aren’t set yet, but OSU should get the 3:30 slot playing @ MSU while PSU is @ IL. WI @ NE is the 8:00 game on ABC.

    Like

    • joe4psu says:

      I think that PSU is now among the schools that some fans love to hate because of the Sandusky scandal. There’s also those that think the players got shafted by the NCAA and are rooting for them. Either way it increases interest. If PSU continues losing the shine will rub off and the ratings will decrease. If O’Brien can keep PSU playing at a .500 level during sanctions he’ll be a hero in PSU circles and they may maintain much of the current interest.

      Like

      • Andy says:

        Kind of a perverse way to spend your time, if you ask me. I try to spend as little time as possible paying attention to Penn State at this point.

        Like

  37. bullet says:

    Missouri is just not ready for the SEC. They don’t fit culturally. An Atlanta article explains why. Hint to Missouri fans-think Colorado, not Nebraska:

    http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-georgia-sports/2012/09/14/heres-proof-missouris-not-ready-for-sec/

    Like

    • OrderRestored83 says:

      It’s sad that these midwest schools were forced out of their best fit conference by the effect TV market size has had on college football. The Missouri’s, Nebraska’s, and Kansas’s of the world belong in the Big 8. That was a fun conference to watch.

      Like

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      Bullet – its an opinion piece. I usually don’t read the comments section underneath an article/column, but the writer is overwhelmingly bashed for his opinion.

      I knew the Aggies would be a fit in the SEC, since my Tigers regularly played them during my college days and I made two road trips to College Station. A couple of years ago, I visited Columbia, MO during my annual summer tour of MLB parks, and before all the realignment rumors. While I would have preferred Florida State or Virginia Tech, I think Mizzou is doing a great job trying to fit in with the SEC. I believe Mizzou has committed $200mm to upgrade its athletic facilities. It will take both the Aggies and Mizzou time to adjust, but in time, they’ll both be fine members. Right now, they are both just happy to be in the SEC. After last weekend, they should learn soon that SEC football is played for 60 minutes, not 45.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        The article was tongue in cheek. A thank you letter????? In the SEC????? UGA hates about everyone they play-Auburn, Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina, Clemson, Georgia Tech. They have an intensity Texas shares only with OU.

        The B12 fans probably understand my CU/NU reference. Colorado was known for throwing batteries and beer bottles at opposing fans. Nebraska fans gave Texas a standing ovation when they ended their multi-year home winning streak. They’re the type who would write a thank-you letter.

        Like

      • bullet says:

        I went back and read some of the comments. Kind of amusing knowing Georgia. You have the prim and proper types condemning him (kind of like the Chamber of Commerce trying to help cover up the recent massive cheating scandal in the Atlanta Public Schools involving most of the schools helping students cheat on standardized tests) and then the people who don’t understand at all (likely products of the Atlanta Public schools).

        Like

    • greg says:

      So what they’re saying is that Missouri moving from the B12 to the SEC lowered the redneck quotient of both conferences.

      Like

    • Brian #2 says:

      Meh. While it is admittedly a tongue in cheek article, Mizzou seems to have received overwhelmingly positive reviews from UGA and general SEC fans that attended last weekend’s festivities.

      Clay Travis was over-the-top in his praise about his experience in Columbia last weekend, calling Mizzou “a fabulous addition to the conference that fits the SEC in all facets”.

      http://outkickthecoverage.com/dixieland-delight-missouri.php

      Like

    • Andy says:

      Missouri’s just trying to class up the league a bit.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        That’s it. Missouri just doesn’t get Southern football. Class involves the Greeks dressing up for the football game, not writing thank you letters to the opponent.

        Like

        • Andy says:

          You do realize that the thank you letter was written from Missouri visitors to traveling Georgia fans, thanking them for their business. Georgia brought about 20k+ fans to Columbia, which is about 3 times as many as Texas ever brought.

          Like

          • Andy says:

            meant to say the letter was from Missouri businesses, not Missouri visitors. I really need to start reading over my posts before posting them.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            Point is, this has nothing to do with Missouri fans thanking Georgia for beating them. This is Missouri businesses basically paying for an advertisement in the form of a thank you letter trying to promote goodwill in Georgia so they can make more money off of them in 2014 when they come back.

            Like

        • danimation707 says:

          The SEC is going to love Missouri for the first couple of trips until they show their true colors.

          Missouri will welcome you to Columbia & then write thank you letters for beating their team.

          Like

  38. bullet says:

    Article on the finances of buy games. UGA will pay FAU $1 million and net about $1.7 million. UGA averages about 92k a game. New AD from Florida is doing more buy games and reducing the number of sellouts. FAU coach Pellini explains the other part of the reason they are playing UGA AND Alabama this year.

    http://blogs.ajc.com/uga-sports-blog/2012/09/13/money-game-uga-florida-atlantic-game-pays-off-for-both-sides/

    Like

    • greg says:

      Georgia averages 92k a game but only brings in $2.7M in ticket revenue? Just under $30 a ticket? That doesn’t sound right.

      I believe Iowa has broken $1M for a money game payout a couple times, I’m surprised that this is Georgia’s first $1M payout.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        UGA has been playing some FCS schools.

        UGA face price is $45 for the general public (not student or faculty). That doesn’t include the donations necessary to buy season tickets, which I believe start around $1,000.

        Like

        • greg says:

          bullet, I still don’t see how the ticket revenue only comes to $2.7M. Is $45 face price for the FCS games, or for all games? Either seem low. Iowa’s lowest ticket price this year is $55 for Central Michigan. Also doesn’t include required donations.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            I’m pretty sure that’s all home games, although I don’t remember what it has been in the past. FAU and Buffalo were that price.

            I don’t have how the paper got their numbers. $45 * 92k gets you to around $4.1 million. Student and faculty tickets would be less. Then there is the band and free tickets. Not sure how the suites work. I know some of the departments have suites reserved, so there may be no revenue for those seats.

            Like

    • acaffrey says:

      The article says “budgeted.” That does not mean that the actual revenue could end up being more. The budgeted figure probably assumes a strong level of fan disinterest, just in case. Plus, I have to think that keeping expectations in check probably goes a long way towards reducing the payout to the other school

      Like

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