Fear the Turtle: The Big Ten Invites Maryland with Rutgers on Deck

Posted: November 19, 2012 in Big East, Big Ten, College Football, Sports
Tags: , , , ,

From the moment that the Big Ten announced its intentions to expand three years ago, my attention immediately focused upon “What would be best for the Big Ten Network?” as what would be most critical.  When I kept seeing the media speak about rivalries, geography and on-the-field competitiveness as opposed to the BTN, I wrote the “Big Ten Expansion Index” post as a business-focused response that brought a lot of new readers to this blog (including many that are still commenting here today) since it came to the then-provocative conclusion that it was Texas (not Notre Dame) that would be the conference’s top target.

One of those readers ended up determining the Big Ten’s way of thinking better than anyone.  Back in April 2010, when massive conference realignment was still in the speculative stage and nothing had actually occurred, a reader named Patrick, who is long-time television industry veteran, sent in an analysis of how much various Big Ten expansion candidates would be worth to the Big Ten Network.  He went beyond simply looking at market sizes and cable subscriber fees and took into account fan intensity (which translates into the ability to charge higher cable subscriber fees in specific markets), national TV value and advertising rates.  In no surprise, Texas finished at #1.  However, look at who were the next three highest ranked schools after the Longhorns:

CANDIDATES TOTAL ADDED REVENUE ESTIMATE
 
Texas $101,369,004
Rutgers    WITH NYC $67,798,609
Nebraska $54,487,990
Maryland $50,818,889

Well, on the heels of the Big Ten inviting Nebraska a couple of years ago, Maryland has agreed to join the conference and Rutgers will likely be announced as a new member on Tuesday.  As a result, it turns out that we can proclaim Patrick as the Nate Silver* of Big Ten expansion.  As you can see from that post, most of my takeaways from Patrick’s analysis at the time were more Armageddon-like (particularly with respect to Notre Dame) and completely wrong (as I had assumed that the ACC wasn’t poachable), but his calculations did convince me that Nebraska, in spite of its small market, was going to be a lock for a Big Ten invite over anyone else (and that turned out to be correct several months later) since that Rutgers number was (and still is) much more speculative and it was crystal clear that the Cornhuskers would be more valuable than the other standard candidates mentioned at the time such as Missouri and Pitt.

(*Speaking of Nate Silver, it’s interesting to look back upon this piece that he wrote about conference realignment last year in the New York Times.  The data inputs that he used might be a bit flawed compared to the polls that he leveraged for the 2012 Presidential election, but it shows at least the argument as to why the Big Ten would look to add Rutgers.)

Essentially, the Big Ten executed a two-pronged strategy with its expansion: get a marquee football program at the national level (Nebraska) as a headliner and add top academic flagships at the regional level (Maryland and likely Rutgers) for depth.  As much as fans want every expansion move to be as sexy as adding Nebraska, the reality is that pretty much all of the conference realignment moves in the power conferences were about depth as opposed to headlining.  Texas A&M being added by the SEC was probably the best pure football move from a fan perspective in the last three years outside of the Big Ten expanding with Nebraska, but even then, the draw of the Aggies was predominantly about the SEC getting into the state of Texas for TV purposes (as they will likely have their own conference network coming together sooner rather than later).

The notion of a “Midwestern conference” is over for the Big Ten just as the notion of a tight Southern-based conference has long been over for the ACC ever since it decided to add Boston College (along with Miami and Virginia Tech) in 2003.  As Teddy Greenstein noted in the Chicago Tribune, the addition of Rutgers and Maryland is a long-term play for Jim Delany and the Big Ten driven by demographics.  Arguably, the Big Ten has been in the worst position of any of the power conferences when looking at long-term population trends, as the SEC, Pac-12, Big 12 and ACC all have large presences in fast growing Southern and/or Western states.  The additions of the states of Maryland and New Jersey mitigate that a bit while still not going completely expanding with geographic outliers.  It also doesn’t hurt that these are both recruiting rich states (at least by Northern standards) for football and basketball.  For the Big Ten fans that bemoan the loss of “Midwesterness”, the demographic makeup of the league was legitimately something that had to change regardless of the presence of the Big Ten Network or TV dollars.  Maryland and Rutgers may not be very exciting additions in 2014, but they’ll be extremely important for the long-term health of the Big Ten in 2024 and beyond.

With respect to those TV dollars, as I stated in my post on Saturday, I unequivocally believe that Maryland can deliver the Washington, DC/Baltimore region for the Big Ten Network (and when I say “deliver”, I mean basic carriage at a high “Big Ten footprint” subscriber rate as opposed to the sports tier and/or lower out-of-footprint rate).  That’s why this expansion hinged upon Maryland accepting since they are considered to be a sure thing business-wise.  The real all-in bet for Jim Delany and the Big Ten, though, is with the addition of Rutgers.  Judging by the media commentary and Twitter reactions, there is a healthy skepticism out there about whether Rutgers has the ability to deliver the New York City market, which I agree with at a certain level and have pointed out on this blog numerous times.  This is definitely not a slam dunk by any means.

However, I also don’t believe the Big Ten is naive enough to think that it is just about Rutgers alone delivering that market.  Instead, the conference is likely banking on the immediate geographic presence of Rutgers combined with the large number of other Big Ten alums living in the New York City metro region (particularly from Penn State, Michigan and newly-added Maryland) to gain just enough traction to make it viable.  If you have read Malcolm Gladwell’s “The Tipping Point”, the Big Ten is betting that the network effect of Rutgers being added to all of the existing Big Ten alums in the Tri-State area will have a greater impact than Rutgers alone (or Rutgers combined with the various past and present members of the Big East).  I’m not saying that this will definitely work – this is big-time risk for a conference that isn’t known for big-time risks.  The main point is that this move is not just about what Rutgers alone can deliver in the New York City market, but rather what Rutgers plus all of the other Big Ten fans in that region can deliver just enough there.  No one in the Big Ten is expecting New York sports fans to follow college football like people in Birmingham – the percentage of fans that need to be interested in college sports in that market for the conference to garner the value it needs there is much lower than anywhere else.

Some other thoughts:

  • As much as a lot of people have pointed out the “cultural differences” and geographic distances between Maryland and the rest of the Big Ten, this is a fairly mild change on those fronts by conference realignment standards.  In terms of being a large research institution with excellent academics, Maryland fits in very well with the Big Ten as a school.  At the same time, Maryland won’t exactly be sticking out like a sore thumb in the league, especially with Rutgers being added at the same time and Penn State being in a contiguous state.  This is nowhere near the cultural and geographic differences between West Virginia and the rest of the Big 12 or the current-football-setup-that’s-about-to-change in the Big East.
  • Despite my belief that Maryland would have been foolish to turn down an invite from the Big Ten, I still continue to think that the ACC is stronger than people give it credit for.  The fact that Maryland is leaving doesn’t mean that it’s going to spark an exodus from the ACC overall, particularly with respect to never ending speculation that Florida State and Clemson would consider jumping to the Big 12.  There are two key differences between the Maryland situation and the Florida State/Clemson scenario: (1) outside of money, Maryland is moving to conference that it still fits into as an overall institution without insane geography issues, whereas FSU and Clemson have no real connections at all to the Big 12 and (2) when looking at the money, Maryland is going to receive a LOT LOT LOT more of an increase in TV rights fees by moving to the Big Ten than FSU and Clemson would receive in the Big 12.  Pete Thamel from Sports Illustrated pointed out that the Big Ten is anticipating $30 million to $35 million per school per year in just TV money when it enters into a new deal in 2017… and this appears to be a low end estimate that assumes that there won’t be full BTN carriage in markets covered by Maryland and Rutgers.  (If the Big Ten Network can get a full in-market rate in the NYC and DC markets, then those numbers are going to go up even further.)  The current ACC contract with ESPN that runs through 2027 will pay out an average of $17.1 million per school per year, which means that Maryland is looking at a 100% increase in TV rights money as a conservative estimate.  Contrast this with Florida State and Clemson, where they’d be looking at a bump up to $20 million per school per year in the Big 12’s national TV deals plus whatever they’d be able to garner for third tier TV rights locally.  That’s not an insignificant amount of money, but likely not enough considering that there would be much worse cultural and geographic headaches compared to the Maryland move that will yield far more revenue for the Terps.  Therefore, my semi-educated guess is that the ACC doesn’t lose anyone else in the near-term.
  • Assuming that what I just said about the ACC only losing Maryland holds true, I continue to firmly believe that UConn is going to end up as the Terrapins’ replacement.  From a pure football and even overall athletic department perspective, Louisville is probably the better choice for the ACC, but the league is still one that considers institutional fit and academic profile as being extremely important factors in expansion.  Connecticut is in alignment with the ACC on such factors in a way that Louisville isn’t and, when looking at the ACC’s long-term vision, the Huskies match what the league is looking for in terms of getting into the Northeast as much as possible.  The network effects that apply to Maryland/Rutgers/Penn State for the Big Ten can also apply to UConn/Syracuse/Pitt/Boston College (albeit that’s effectively going back to the old Big East).
  • That leaves Louisville likely praying for the Big 12 to get antsy.  Chip Brown of Orangebloods has stated that the Big 12 isn’t looking to move off of 10 teams for now and I tend to believe him in the short-term.  However, as much as we parse objective TV revenue and demographic data in conference realignment, there’s also a subjective psychological element of “bigger means better” that has been permeating throughout the land.  So, let’s say that it’s about a 60% chance that the Big 12 doesn’t expand within the next few years and a 40% chance that it goes up to 12 (with Louisville being the top target, BYU likely getting consideration, and schools like Cincinnati and USF begging to get in).  That’s up from a 90/10 split prior to the latest Big Ten expansion news, so we’ll have to keep an eye on the Big 12.  (As I’ve noted earlier, I still don’t buy any ACC schools moving to the Big 12.  If anything, it wouldn’t shock me if Texas goes independent and strikes a Notre Dame-type deal with the ACC by the end of this decade.)

The crazy thing is that we’ve only touched the surface here, as the likely defections of Rutgers and Connecticut will leave the Big East searching for new members once again (or maybe preventing Boise State and San Diego State from heading back to the Mountain West or the Catholic non-football members from splitting).  Assuming that Rutgers announces that it’s accepting an invitation to the Big Ten tomorrow, I’ll have more on what the Big East can and/or should do at this point along with the trickle down effect on all of the other conferences.

Until then, welcome to the Big Ten, Maryland!

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

(Image from Testudo Times)

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Comments
  1. Nick in South Bend says:

    Thanks Frank!

    Like

  2. Nick in South Bend says:

    Also, I assume you mean the University of Texas going independent…not the State of Texas…could go either way these days.

    Like

  3. bullet says:

    You overestimate continuity. Living in Texas, you realize that there is more than just being in the same state. El Paso is closer to San Diego than Brownsville, Texas. And Tallahassee is closer to many Big 12 schools than it is to many of the ACC schools. The geography difference is minimal. The closest school to FSU is Georgia Tech and that’s a 5 hour drive. Clemson is about 7. In state rival Miami is about 9. Everything else is much further. Houston, Texas is about 10 hours with stops (I’ve driven it many times) and Austin is just 2-2.5 hours further.

    As for culture, there’s a big gap from North Carolina to west Florida. There’s a huge gap from Boston to Tallahassee. And geography is irrelevant. Only the SEC really fits FSU well. Big 12/ACC-not much difference. ACC has an academic prestige factor (but with GT, UNC and Miami on probation-how much value is that?). That, minor travel increases and natural inertia has to trump the $ advantage.

    Like

    • zeek says:

      Yeah, I just don’t see Texas interested in moving at all.

      Texas wants to be in a local show where it’s athletes don’t fly across timezones much and it gets to rule the roost.

      Would they love it if the state was 800 miles North and they’d fit into the Big Ten or if the state was 500 miles west and they’d fit the Pac-12 much more easily? Sure.

      But the independence thing just doesn’t seem to be Texas’ deal. We could see Texas stay as it is for the next 30 years. It really would be the most likely outcome.

      Like

  4. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    GEAUX LSU Fightin’ Tigers!

    Like

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      Does Rutgers Really Bring In NYC Market?

      http://espn.go.com/blog/playbook/dollars/post/_/id/2380/does-rutgers-really-bring-in-nyc-market#comment

      “The true money for the Big Ten Network is for the Rutgers fan base to drive carriers to put the Big Ten Network on its basic tier so it can automatically generate subscriber fees for every customer even if they have no interest in the channel. But New York is not an easy market. Cablevision battled in a price war for two years with the Yankees and didn’t show the entire 2002 season. Time Warner didn’t air a month and a half of Knicks, Rangers and Islanders games to its 2 million customers in the New York area last season after negotiating with the MSG Network.

      Frank, who likely has negotiated more sports television deals than anyone, says he doesn’t buy the data that speaks of Rutgers popularity in New York City.

      “Call a bookie in New York City and ask them how many bets they took on Rutgers,” Frank said. “That will give you an idea of how popular they are.””

      Like

      • ShockFX says:

        What was Rutgers withOUT NYC? $11M?

        Like

      • maguro says:

        I’ve never bought the idea that Rutgers delivered the NYC market, even partially. It’s a pro sports market, and a crowded one at that. If I was New York cable operator and Jim Delaney told me he wanted BTN on the basic tier at $1 per subscriber, I’d tell him fuck off, you’ll take twenty cents and like it. I’m not afraid of being beseiged by angry Rutgers fans.

        That said, Delaney has advisers wearing Italian suits who know a million times more than I do about making money from televised sports, so maybe it’ll all work out.

        Anyway, I’m still very skeptical about BTN making big bucks in the NYC cable market. Time will tell, I guess.

        Like

      • zeek says:

        There’s like 9 million people in New Jersey.

        Even if you only get carriage for 2-3 million worth of subs, it pays off. That’s how it is.

        Like

  5. Arch Stanton says:

    Okay, so let’s look at the potential fallout to the Big East.
    Football schools could soon just be:
    Cincinnati
    South Florida
    Central Florida
    Houston
    SMU
    Memphis
    These six schools are fairly stable (unless the Big XII gets really desperate or the ACC get significantly poached further) because like Zack Mayo, “They got nowhere else to go!”

    Louisville seems more likely be gone in 3 years even without a major upheaval to the status quo. I think it is likely that the Big 12 will get back to 12 at least and Louisville seems a likely target.
    Boise State and San Diego State were considering tucking tails between legs and going back to the Mountain West BEFORE they knew Rutgers (and likely UConn) were gone. So, I have to imagine they will not be joining the Big East after all. And that might be the best for everyone involved.
    UConn, probable ACC invite.
    Navy, I wouldn’t be surprised if they decide the Big East is no longer worth it and remain independent.

    So, what do those six schools do in that case? Pick up East Carolina, Tulane, Tulsa, Rice? Merge with Conference USA and split northeast-south into two basically separate conferences? And what of the Big East basketball schools?

    I’ve also heard rumors that of Georgetown to the ACC.

    Like

    • Peter says:

      Louisville is probably the odd one out here. They have a football program which means they can’t join a BBall-only conference. Their academic profile is unacceptable to the ACC. The B1G obviously doesn’t want them. The SEC would view them as dilution of revenue. The Big 12 would want them only as a complimentary school to a FSU and only if they can’t get something better (Clemson). The Big East is dead at the rate things are going (Rutgers leaving, UCONN to the ACC, MWC schools going back to the MWC now that there is no football worth playing.

      Louisville is in a load of trouble relative to the strength of its athletic programs, in a way that probably no other school is. Non-existent academic profile and no real TV market = SOL.

      Like

    • Penn State Danny says:

      You forgot THE Temple Owls.

      Like

    • morganwick says:

      Looking at that list, if the Catholic schools split those seven schools are screwed basketball-wise, and I could see them instead taking Cincy, Memphis, and Temple with them, and dumping the remainder on Conference USA. The other four schools don’t contribute much on the basketball side, and the strongest basketball school left in Conference USA might be UAB, followed by one of the Tul* schools, which don’t improve things much more.

      That means those seven schools will either form a football-only or all-sports conference with one additional member, or try to find another solution for football. Considering that Temple would be the last remotely “northern” or “eastern” team left, I could see them going back to their football-only MAC membership, followed by the rest either adopting one of your suggested solutions, or, if Cincy and Memphis join the Catholic schools, perhaps a bid for football-only Big 12 membership.

      Like

  6. ShockFX says:

    What was Rutgers without NYC? $11M?

    Like

    • Phil says:

      The state of New Jersey is divided between the NYC and Philadelphia markets. If you created a new “NJ” TV market and Rutgers only brought that, it is 3 million+ cable households.

      That means, at $1.00 a month Rutgers can bring $40mm a year without one NYC or Philly subscriber. Even half that brings almost as much as the current B10 annual payout.

      Like

  7. bamatab says:

    @Frank – While I agree to you that FSU & Clemson jumping to the Big 12 still doesn’t make a whole lot of financial sense for several reasons, I still gotta believe that the widening revenue gap between the ACC and the SEC/B1G will eventually force some of the VA/NC schools into jumping to those lconferences. The Sugar & Rose Bowl payouts are already more than the Orange, not to mention that the SEC & B1G will have more overall bowl tie-ins than the ACC. Plus the tv revenues from both the B1G & SEC will continue to out grow the ACC’s. At some point the schools that the SEC & B1G are interested in will have to give in to the financial pressures, won’t they?

    Like

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      bamatab – I have to disagree. I don’t see UNC, UVA and the rest of the Carolina schools blinking just yet. Those Southern Aristocrats probably aren’t crazy about associating with Northerners (B1G) or “less sophisticated” Southerners (SEC). I think those guys hang in there and try to cobble together a B12-type deal with ESPN where there don’t take a pay cut in spite of losing schools.

      The first move is Florida State’s. Jimbo was whining about the ‘noles not getting any respect before Maryland bailed out. FSU contacts the SEC first. I have never bought into the “gentlemen’s agreement” to black-ball FSU, especially since UF sponsored their application in the 60s, 70s & 80s. I know Bama and Auburn aren’t crazy about FSU getting in to the SEC, but the SEC would have to take a hard look at FSU if they are looking to jump conferences. FSU stuck in an underperforming ACC is one thing, but jumping across the SEC footprint to the B12 is a completely different animal. Does the SEC really want to share Florida with Oklahoma and Texas? I know that FSU doesn’t add to the SEC footprint, but they are a national brand and add more value to the CBS games and the primetime ESPN games than A&M or Mizzou.

      I also don’t see VA Tech and UVA tied at the hip either. VA Tech is a football school, but they will soon have a smaller stadium than every school in the SEC, except Vandy. The Hokies’ rise to prominence has come on the back of Frank Beamer and the football team. I doubt they want to be stuck in a basketball conference, especially with Beamer nearing retirement.

      VA Tech and FSU would certainly be giving up the academic prestige of the ACC, but they are both cultural fits in the SEC. They have a hard time filling up there stadiums with ACC competition, and just about all public schools are hurting for cash.

      Maybe Clemson and Louisville go the the B12.

      Maybe UVA, UNC, Duke, NC State, Wake, Pitt, ‘Cuse, Miami, BC & GA Tech make a go of it with ten teams. Maybe Notre Dame saves the ACC as a big-time football conference by accepting full membership. Maybe Notre Dame doesn’t, but gets G-Town to join in all sports but football. Looking at their fan support, this 10 team ACC makes a lot of sense. The 12 team basketball conference would probably still be the best, and ESPN loves them some ACC basketball.

      Like

      • zeek says:

        At some point in the future though, if FSU and Clemson leave, the differences between the Big Ten/SEC and ACC payouts will become so wide that UVa/Va Tech/UNC/NC State may have no choice but to address it if they want to compete at the highest level.

        Like

      • bamatab says:

        Alan – I very seriously doubt that FSU ever gets an invite from the SEC. I hope I’m wrong on that because I’d love to have them in the conference. But barring some crazy scenario like Mizzou jumping to the B1G and leaving the SEC with no other good choice, I just don’t see FSU getting the votes.

        Back during the SEC/aTm’s first flirtation (back when Texas was trying to lead the Big 12 south exodus out west), I heard from a very good source that Slive’s initial play was to try and FSU in as the partner with aTm. He viewed it as getting to really good teams while also getting the new Texas markets. Plus it would cause much upheavel to the division with aTm going to the west and FSU going to the east. But when he ran it by the schools, much to his suprise he ran into some pretty big resistance from UF, UGA, and Bama (for recruiting purposes). Now those three didn’t technically have the numbers to veto FSU, but he didn’t want to ruffle any feathers so he invited OU instead (and he stated this before the OU/aTm invite was made public). Then the following summer when aTm finally decided to come to the SEC, Slive figured he would try FSU one more time since technically UGA, Bama & UF wasn’t enough to veto the vote, and they were the best option since VT was saying they weren’t ready to leave the ACC. But he was once again suprised by the new “gentlemen’s agreement” that now consisted of UF, UGA, USCe & UK (plus Bama was still against it) which did have the numbers to veto FSU. This all came from someone who has ties to the Bama athletic department (albeit from a 3rd hand source, but he’s been very accurate on other info).

        Recruiting is just a totally different ballgame in the SEC these day than what it was even in the 80s. If those schools were ok with FSU, I’m sure they’d already be in the conference instead of Mizzou (regardless of the tv market). And even if Slive preferred Mizzou over FSU (which I doubt), this past summers FSU dust up would’ve been with us and not the Big 12.

        Those two stories on the aTm deal could be false, I guess, since it was 3rd hand info, but to this day I personally believe it 100%.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          FSU and VT were publically very vocal at the time they weren’t interested in the SEC. I think that’s a much more likely scenario than the SEC vetoing them.

          Like

          • bamatab says:

            If the SEC wanted FSU, they’d already be in. The PTB at FSU aren’t stupid. They can foresee the financial disadvantage they are facing in the long term against the surrounding SEC schools (especially UF). Why else do you think they were so willing to jump to the Big 12 this past summer, a conference that makes absolutely no sense for them to join? They are a football school, and as such, has to be able to compete over the long haul with surrounding schools in an ever growing financial gap. Just go read their boards right now. They are once again beating the drums to jump to the Big 12, a move that in no way guarantees that they’ll still be able to keep up financially with the SEC schools.

            Again, I hope I’m wrong because I’d love to have FSU in the SEC. But I truely believe that they’d already be in if the SEC wanted them.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            That number is still undetermined. At the moment they are making about the same except they don’t have control over their Tier 3. When and if the SEC network deal gets done, they will have a better idea of what that gap will be. They do have a better idea of the playoff and bowl $ gap.

            FSU made it clear they didn’t want any part of the SEC and the related recruiting excesses. That doesn’t mean they still hold that position. $ can talk. Texas and OU have also told the SEC no. Not everyone wants in the SEC.

            Like

          • Ross says:

            I still think this gentleman’s agreement is completely overstated. As a UK fan, we have no real worries over UofL being in the same conference as us. For one, we are just terrible in football. Louisville is already better most years. Adding them to the SEC could either hurt them because of the schedule or help them because of the recruiting. Tough to say which way it would go, but it isn’t a major concern. In addition, joining the SEC does very little for Louisville’s basketball recruiting/prestige, in my mind. The SEC is a football-first conference, and Louisville already recruits well due to its facilities and coach. Finally, what exactly does the SEC gain by taking Louisville? I don’t buy for one second that the SEC would ever be interested in Louisville enough to make UK fear a UofL invitation (and that would require there being reasons for UK to fear UofL being in the SEC, which I struggle to find).

            I just don’t see the gentleman’s agreement being a reality. Fact of the matter is, I don’t think the SEC really wanted FSU, and I think the feeling was mutual.

            Like

          • bamatab says:

            @bullet – When did FSU make it clear that they didn’t want any part of the SEC and its recruiting excesses? Seeing as how FSU uses the same recruiting tactics as SEC teams (as does OU and UT btw), I find it very hard to believe that that would even factor into their decision to go to the SEC (you don’t just walk into Alabama’s back yard and yank the #1 QB and DE in the state lat year without playing the recruiting game). The only time they made it clear they wanted no part of the SEC was back in 1992 when Bowden wanted no part of the competition in the SEC (which he has since publically stated several times), not because of the SEC’s recruiting practices (which btw is the exact same reason OU & UT want nothing to do with the SEC).

            @Ross – I have no idea how UK feels about UL getting into the SEC. But I truely believe that if UF, UGA, & Bama didn’t care about FSU coming to the SEC, they’d be in. Heck, if the Big 12 would’ve agreed to take FSU & Clemson this past summer they’d be gone. And you can’t tell me FSU and Clemson would rather go to a conference where they would be playing the other members that are half way around the country, as opposed to playing in the SEC teams which are in the same part of the country.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            The FSU President made a comment to the effect, “I’m sure glad we’re not in that mess,” during the Cam Newton investigation after Auburn had won the championship.

            I also don’t buy the Gentlemen’s agreement. Georgia Tech and Louisville add nothing. Clemson doesn’t add much because the SEC already has South Carolina and its a small state. Georgia, South Carolina and Kentucky don’t need help keeping those schools out. The SEC already pursued FSU when they settled on South Carolina.

            Like

          • frug says:

            @bullet and ross

            I’m pretty sure the Gentleman’s Agreement is real. The UK AD is certainly under the impression he can veto Louisville’s admission (even if it were only hypothetical)

            Like

          • jtower says:

            bullet,
            I cant confirm the specifics that bamatab mentioned but I can say that a Very reliable source here in Bham has told me unequiveocally that FSU will never be in the SEC.

            Like

        • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

          bamatab – the read over here was that FSU wasn’t ready to act fast enough and the thought of playing a year or two with 13 teams was wigging out the SEC admins, so they settled on Mizzou (sorry Andy).

          Like

      • bullet says:

        I’m with you on FSU and the SEC. The only question is whether the SEC would be concerned about having too many consistently strong programs. Other than that, they would be crazy to ignore FSU if they wanted to expand.

        Like

    • ChicagoMac says:

      That is my take as well bamatab.

      Although, I think it comes down to the fact that Oklahoma and Florida State really need to figure out a way to consummate a relationship and I believe that Fox will be more than happy to supply the booze and barry white.

      Like

    • morganwick says:

      I wonder if the ACC becomes the loudest bloc in support of adopting some sort of player-paying system for football?

      Like

  8. Nemo says:

    Just as an FYI, Scott Van Pelt shown in the photo above is a Maryland alum. Another new Big Ten convert… ;-o)

    Like

  9. frug says:

    Contrast this with Florida State and Clemson, where they’d be looking at a bump up to $20 million per school per year in the Big 12′s national TV deals plus whatever they’d be able to garner for third tier TV rights locally.

    Actually, it’s more than that. By returning to 12 teams the Big XII could bring back the CCG which is likely worth at least a million dollars per school and the current numbers don’t reflect the disparity between the Sugar Bowl and Orange Bowl payouts ($40 million vs. $27.5 million) that doesn’t kick in until 2014. That’s an extra $2.5 million in addition to the extra $3 or from the national deal, plus whatever they can make from their tier III rights. And that is not even counting the possibility that with expansion the Big XII may be able to renegotiate its TV deals.

    Like

    • frug says:

      To clarify, I don’t expect FSU would double their conference distributions by moving to the Big XII as Maryland did by moving to the Big 10, 6-8 million dollars (depending on what they can sell their Tier III for and the final value of the CCG) is a pretty reasonable guess. They could be looking at up to a 50% pay bump if the Big XII doesn’t get to renegotiate their TV deal and quite a bit more if they do.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        The FSU president estimated a Big 12 + FSU contract would be worth $22 million in his board meeting (that was from a Warchant reporter who was there for the public part of the meeting). The ACC contract covers 4 more years, so that $17 million, if it has straight escalations is really the equivalent of around $16 million. Now we don’t know how much Notre Dame adds to that figure. Presumably Maryland can be adequately replaced so the contract isn’t reduced. So its $6 million on the main TV contract less any Notre Dame bump. That doesn’t include bowls, playoff $, tier 3 or, on the other side, additional travel costs or exit fees. The FSU president clearly doesn’t want to go, but its clear he was looking at the financial calculations.

        Like

        • frug says:

          Assuming travel costs increase by about $2 million (that’s what Nebraska saw), and exit penalties that don’t actually matter, I’m guessing FSU could pull in an extra $6 million (minimum) profit per year by the end of the decade by switching.

          Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            What do KSU, ISU, etc think about dilution, increased expense, loss of yearly access to Texas and Oklahoma, etc? What looks positive for FSU may be a negative for the majority. It’s not like there is a conference network that FSU would increase the value of for all.

            Like

          • frug says:

            There was a rumor during the summer that the Big XII was split on expansion with one school strongly in favor, one strongly opposed, four slightly in favor and four slightly opposed.

            WVU and Texas were obviously the strongly in favor and strongly opposed schools, and I assume that Oklahoma, OSU and TCU were slightly in favor since they had spoken positively about expansion in the past without actually endorsing the idea.

            That led me to believe that the Midwestern schools (along with probably TTU) were opposed since it would reduce their exposure in Texas. Right now everyone gets two games in Texas which is big for recruiting.

            Admittedly, this would be a really stupid reason to block expansion, especially since FSU would address by far the Big XII’s long term disadvantage (its small population footprint) in addition to adding a brand but conferences have made plenty of shortsighted decisions in realignment. (See, Stanford, Cal, Colorado, Utah, Arizona and ASU (possibily) willing to stopping PAC from adding the Oklahoma schools because it would reduce their LA exposure and the Big East turning down Penn St for reasons that make even less sense now did they did then. And they were stupid reasons then)

            Like

          • bullet says:

            The real question is how much their additional Tier 3 would be worth. They’ve supposedly contracted a study of that, but I’ve heard nothing of any completion of such a study. $2 million additional travel is what the FSU president estimated. I think that’s high since Hawaii gets by with $3 million total transportation. But that’s the best number out there.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Bullet:

            Is FSU studying just theirs, or someone studying how each conference teams tier 3 would be impacted?

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Last spring FSU was studying theirs according to a number of seemingly reliable non-media sources. And its logical they would do so.

            There was, according to the Baylor 247 guy a study of what a number of the ACC schools could earn, but, that was just reported by one guy.

            Like

  10. Penn State Danny says:

    The BE may be officially dead once and for all. If the Rutgers and UConn moves happen, I could see the conference say that they are no longer sponsoring football.

    Boise and SDSU would go to the MWC. Louisville and Cincy would beg the Big 12. Temple and Memphis may give up football. The Texas and Florida schools would probably go back to CUSA since the hoops schools don’t want any to them except maybe Houston.

    We would be down to 9 conferences. The MWC would then have the best shot at the new BCS bid.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      If that happened, the schools west of the Rockies would form a new conference or take over an existing one and buy some schools out. They wouldn’t go back.

      Like

      • Arch Stanton says:

        Boise State and San Diego State were in talks with the MWC about rejoining just based on the Big East losing its Auto-Bid status. With the losses of Rutgers and (presumably) UConn, I think it is unlikely that BSU and SDSU ever join the Big East.

        Like

        • @Arch Stanton – A rumor that I’ve heard about the ESPN regarding that:

          BYU was actually talking to the MWC about a basketball/Olympics sports membership while staying independent in football. It would be like the ND/ACC deal (only with much smaller revenue figures) where BYU would play a partial schedule. This could spur Boise State and San Diego State to “return” (it’s really not leaving). It works out in terms of members since Hawaii is a football-only member (meaning BYU balances the non-football side out).

          Now, the issue is that I don’t think the MWC could get anywhere close to what even a depleted Big East would receive in TV money, so that could be a non-starter for Boise and SDSU.

          Like

          • frug says:

            Now, the issue is that I don’t think the MWC could get anywhere close to what even a depleted Big East would receive in TV money, so that could be a non-starter for Boise and SDSU.

            If UConn or Louisville bolts, there may not be a Big East depleted or otherwise…

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Why wouldn’t the MWC say all or nothing? How much do they bring without FB that’s meaningful ($’s)?

            Like

          • Arch Stanton says:

            Yeah, the TV money is the one thing I could see keeping BSU and SDSU from going to the Big East. Gotta have a pretty solid increase to justify all the extra time and money for the travel of all their sports though.
            I’m thinking there was some provision or other that allowed Boise to back out on the Big East with little or no penalty depending on how the TV revenue came in or if there were certain member defections.

            Like

  11. Nick in South Bend says:

    The whole thing reminds me of the old game shows where they put you in a phone booth full of dollar bills and they blow around and see how many you can grab. I enjoy following it, and am glad my conference (Big Ten) is on the better end of it.

    But it is sad seeing some schools who have done nothing wrong get crapped on, in ways that they will never recover from.

    Like

  12. frug says:

    Thinking about future ACC defections, I was wondering when the last time a conference actually lost a single member. Temple left the MAC by themselves, but they were FB only.

    (Did TCU in any of their half dozen conference switches ever go solo?)

    It just seems that is rare that when a team leaves a conference no one follows.

    Like

  13. Biff says:

    Nebraska fan, Terp alum, and Rutgers neighbor — the last two years have been like one long Christmas!

    Like

  14. Dan in Minnesooooota says:

    I’ve heard a lot about the B1G adding UVa and UNC, but I just don’t see that happening. Maryland already brings a swath of Virginia, so I don’t see a lot of potential value bringing in UVa. Delany obviously has ties to UNC as an alum, but I don’t see them adding a lot of value. Their media market is not comparatively big, their football program has struggled for years, and it’s clear basketball just doesn’t matter.

    By the way, why do people keep writing “add”, what exactly does that mean?

    Like

  15. JW says:

    Rutgers’ board also voted today to absorb the “University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey,” apparently.

    http://www.northjersey.com/news/education/Rutgers_approves_merger_with_medical_schools.html?page=all

    Like

    • jj says:

      They’re going to need it when their BB & FB teams get going in the B10.

      Like

    • Nemo says:

      I believe this might signal changing the name of Rutgers to the State University of New Jersey. Since both the undergrad and professional schools are soon to be under one Adminstration (or Chancellor) it would be feasible to change. UMD also was thinking of making that change years ago and we ended up getting the University System of Maryland with something like 11 different members. However, only the UMCP campus and the professional schools are actually the original UMD.

      Like

      • michael says:

        Rutgers will not change its name. SUNJ was floated a few years back and the alumni went ape. BTW, the official name is already Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.

        UMDNJ back in the the fold has been a long time coming. Lots of state politics involved.

        Like

  16. Liam says:

    Fox plans to use the YES Network as leverage to get BTN on NYC area cable systems (Not junt Time Warner, but also Cablevision, Fios, RCN, and the like).

    “The deal would allow YES to raise the $2.99 monthly fee per subscriber it currently charges cable and satellite operators to carry the channel, said the person. News Corp could negotiate on its behalf with the operators as part of a larger package of sports channels.”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/15/us-yes-network-idUSBRE8AE0UZ20121115

    Like

    • zeek says:

      It definitely isn’t a coincidence that the Fox-Yes deal and Rutgers-Big Ten deals are being completed at the same time.

      The $ synergy is potentially monstrous.

      Like

      • Liam says:

        Agreed, especially if Fox links BTN and YES very closely in future negotiations– YES has coverage in Pennsylvania and in Florida (read: retired New Yorkers living in Tampa, Orlando, and the like). Getting BTN on Florida cable systems will be a nice bonus for the B1G.

        Like

  17. Frank can you explain how MD is getting so much higher of a payout than UNL? Will the B1G be upping UNL’s payout by reducing their buyin to try to even things out? I am a little miffed why UNL would have to take it on the chin and buyin while MD whose AD has a serious funding shortfall would get a better deal.

    Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      UNL buying in quickly, Maryland over an extended period?

      Like

      • zeek says:

        It’s different because Nebraska joined 5 years before the 2016 new contract whereas Maryland/Rutgers are only joining 2 years before that.

        The buy-in is also impacted by that. The conference will be receiving a completely full share for each school in the 2016 ABC/ESPN deals.

        That’s also why Nebraska starts getting a full share around 2017…

        As far as I know, the ABC/ESPN deals weren’t increased enough to get Nebraska a full share; it was a small increase, not pro rata for the final 5 years of 10.

        The same may end up happening with Maryland/Rutgers…

        Like

        • zeek says:

          by 2016 ABC/ESPN deals (I mean the newly contracted deals with whoever wins them; just assumed for a moment it would be ABC/ESPN again).

          Like

    • frug says:

      Pete Thamel ‏@SIPeteThamel

      To clarify for Nebraska fans. MD not full share right away. They are getting some interest free loans to pay back in later yrs.

      Like

    • Nostradamus says:

      We can’t really look at this without seeing the actual numbers for either school. Thamel’s interest free loans comments complicate things further. I will say, Nebraska was not negotiating from a position of strength when they joined the conference. It wouldn’t surprise me if Rutgers/Maryland negotiated different more favorable deals to them.

      Like

  18. mstinebrink says:

    There are holes in my expansion index – too many to plug, perhaps – which, combined with my belief that expansion was dead, is why it has remained unpublished and confined to my hard drive. But, it was fun to revisit the numbers, tonight…

    These are on the 20-to-80 scale, where 50 would represent a B1G institution of average value, 60 is one standard deviation more valuable than average, etc. The general factors are listed at the end of this list.

    61.83 – [Ohio State]
    60.40 – [Michigan]
    60.11 – Texas
    58.13 – [Penn State]
    57.84 – Southern Cal
    57.66 – Florida
    55.00 – UCLA
    54.76 – Texas A&M
    54.09 – [Wisconsin]
    52.48 – Notre Dame
    52.14 – Miami (FL)
    51.96 – Cal
    51.82 – [Nebraska]
    51.53 – Alabama
    50.69 – Georgia Tech
    49.94 – Oklahoma
    49.87 – North Carolina
    49.78 – Georgia
    49.74 – FSU
    49.48 – Tennessee
    49.45 – [Iowa]
    49.38 – VA Tech
    49.33 – [Minnesota]
    49.32 – Stanford
    49.13 – Auburn
    49.84 – [Illinois]
    48.75 – Mizzou
    48.72 – Clemson
    48.15 – LSU
    47.61 – [Purdue]
    47.34 – Washington
    47.23 – Virginia
    47.12 – ***Maryland***
    46.47 – [Michigan State]
    46.46 – ***Rutgers***

    This index is based upon 28 factors, grouped into 4 general categories:
    Football Brand = 50%
    Territorial Expansion = 24%
    Academics = 24%
    Basketball Brand = 2%

    Perhaps the latest news would justify a 40%/34%/24%/2% split??? Then, “The U,” GA Tech, UNC, FSU, VA Tech, Mizzou, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Clemson, and UVA are the schools that are above the Maryland/Rutgers line; are not Texas or Notre Dame; are east of the Rockies; and are not SEC schools from the “Deep South.”

    Like

    • zeek says:

      This expansion (Maryland/Rutgers) was 5% football brand (and by that I mean, “is their football of average Minnesota/Northwestern/Purdue/Illinois quality or better?”), 80% territorial expansion, 14% academics, 1% basketball brand.

      The previous two expansions (Nebraska/Penn State) were based more on the factors that you list (although you still have academics too high).

      Like

      • mstinebrink says:

        @Zeek – Agreed on this latest news. However, I don’t think that the previous B1G expansions should be ignored, if looking at how Maryland & Rutgers ranked, under the old paradigm, or how candidates for #15/#16 should be considered, under a new paradigm. Let’s not assume that two more like Maryland and Rutgers get the call from Uncle Jim.

        Like

        • zeek says:

          The next two are almost certain to be UVa + 1. Either UVa + UNC, or UVa + Georgia Tech, or UVa + UNC.

          It’s hard to see other possibilities left in all of this.

          Like

          • mstinebrink says:

            Why not FSU? Culture, I suppose–too Southern. Why not Miami? Too tarnished? Wouldn’t a Florida school be the holiest of plausibly attainable grails? A Florida school might dovetail nicely with YES’s retired Yankees’ fanbase.

            Like

          • mstinebrink says:

            Then, the 4th of 4, 4-team pods would consist of Maryland + Rutgers + UVA + a FL school, and the old B1G rivalries might better survive; not that that should be a supreme priority, but it matters

            Like

          • morganwick says:

            Does the addition of Rutgers make it more likely (which is not to say it makes it remotely “likely”) that Notre Dame joins the Big 10 for football if not all sports at some point? I notice that the BTN should now have carriage in two of the three markets identified by Nate Silver as having more ND fans than South Bend. Of course that now looks to be far less likely than it did even before Realignment Madness started with ND’s non-football sports in the ACC…

            Like

          • zeek says:

            The problem is network carriage; you can’t get the BTN on basic in Florida outside of the panhandle or Miami with a Florida based school. It’s also why there might be an issue in terms of Georgia Tech; you can’t get anything for the BTN with Georgia Tech.

            Also, they seem to be prioritizing AAU; Va Tech is still a possibility in my mind due to the impact of clustering the D.C. market.

            I’d maintain that it’s still just UVa + Mid-Atlantic school. You don’t want to make a random jump at the rest of the country with #16.

            Like

    • Richard says:

      I also think that you have academics too high and basketball too low.

      I think it’s more like 30% football brand, 15% basketball brand, 15% research (if AAU or prestigious enough), and 40% population.

      Like

  19. frug says:

    http://www.landgrantholyland.com/2012/11/19/3668656/michigan-ohio-state-pro-combat-uniforms-rivalry-the-game

    Ohio St. confirms they are wearing Pro-Combat uniforms for The Game. Pictures included.

    Like

  20. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    forgot to add

    Like

  21. Carl says:

    PSU 🙂

    Like

  22. Eric says:

    It’s odd. When Nebraska was announced, even though I was against going to 12, I was rooting hard for them in the Big 12 and excited. Now I’d just as soon see Rutgers and Maryland suck coming in. They don’t feel Big Ten in any way that matters to me (while I’m an alumni I couldn’t care less about academic rank) and if this is going to cost us games against teams I care about playing against, I’d just prefer them to be easy wins and rarely be a factor in the conference race.

    I really think the conference just scarified its 100 year survival for a bigger paycheck in the short term. You couldn’t drag teams away from the conference 10 years ago now, but how much connection are most the teams really going to feel to most the rest of the conference when they never play. In the coming decades there will come a point when we either a) get real super conference (more like 30 teams) or b) smaller conferences pay better. In either case, I think this will make it a lot easier for Big Ten teams to accept leaving.

    Like

    • morganwick says:

      As Frank explains, not adding Rutgers and Maryland might have jeopardized the conference’s 100-year survival. I still believe in my promotion/relegation idea for football (and I think the ACC basketball schools might take it in a heartbeat), but without that I think the Big 10 is trying to slowly reposition itself as a “northeast” conference, with the “northeast” here defined as, essentially, “the Union in the Civil War”. If we start going to one of your “real” superconferences I could easily see the Big 10 taking on Boston College and UConn.

      Like

      • Eric says:

        We’ll see. I don’t the era of super contracts will last or support this model for all that long though. My projection is for a very, very rough economy in the future and don’t think the model of getting rich on the Big Ten Network will hold up. As soon as it doesn’t, the expansion doesn’t make sense, but it can’t be gotten away from.

        Like

        • Eric says:

          To be honest though, I’m still sticking to my prediction that by the time the Big Ten contract comes up, it will end SMALLER than the PAC-12 contract that’s in existence today. Granted that’s because of things outside of football.

          Like

          • zeek says:

            That’s being negotiated within the next 4 years; it’s hard to see the economics of the main broadcast package change that much for the worse.

            The ABC/ESPN package was original signed at like $1 billion over a decade.

            Even if we get less of an increase than other schools, it should double at least based on how undervalued that is…

            Like

        • morganwick says:

          I don’t entirely disagree, but for different reasons – reasons that make the launch of a conference network a very good proposition indeed.

          Like

        • Richard says:

          The folks who have bet on a “very, very rough economy” the past few years have lost their shirts.

          I’m still optimistic about America.

          Like

    • zeek says:

      I disagree based on the fact that we know what we’re getting; another two state flagships in large population zones. We’re not adding leeches here.

      I also don’t really get the notion that we’re going to head for smaller leagues in the future. The big schools are helping to drive this bus. Demographics concern Michigan and Ohio State and whoever as much as it does the other schools in the Big Ten.

      These schools look at maps of their students and alumni all the time. They can see the writing on the increasing percentages of students that are coming into the Big Ten from the Mid-Atlantic and going to the D.C. area after graduation…

      Most importantly, there is a risk to not expanding. Delany sees the map just like anyone else and saw the ACC’s creep spread across the Northeast. In a single move, he’s basically just made the ACC into the Big East in the Northeast, while taking the two most valuable prizes in terms of future territory.

      Like

  23. mstinebrink says:

    B1G hockey speculation, with hockey “financials” for the 5 existing clubs, for those who haven’t seen these numbers:

    http://www.uscho.com/from-the-press-box/2012/11/19/big-ten-revenue-potential-could-be-tempting-but-maryland-rutgers-probably-wont-be-at-front-of-line/

    Like

    • vp19 says:

      The story above makes sense, given Maryland’s athletic financial woes, but part of me would love to see Cole Fieldhouse retrofitted, air-conditioned and converted into a hockey facility (the floor surface is roughly hockey-rink sized, though AFAIK, it was always a wooden surface and ice was never placed over it, unlike Iowa State’s Hilton Coliseum in its early years when it not only hosted ISU basketball but Cyclone club hockey, which since has moved to an off-campus facility). Cole would have great hockey sightlines (it would essentially be a large-scale version of Dartmouth’s Thompson Arena, for any college hockey fans out there), and add a new act to a historic venue.

      Like

  24. Crpodhaj says:

    I wonder if this puts Notre Dame back in play. If you look at Silver’s article linked by Frank, he lists the main cities for ND fans. With Rutgers and Maryland tapping New York and D.C., the B1G has all but two of ND’s major cities of interest (Boston and LA). LA they take care of with the USC game. The question may become why wouldn’t ND join the B1G if connecting with their national fan base is their goal? The B1G can now provide that in ways never put together before.

    Like

    • Ironically (and I say that because their deal with NBC used to be the go-to talking point when people complained about money in CFB) ND is the only school that appears to be valuing culture over money in this whole thing. They would make more in the Big Ten right now than they do currently, and we had three of their traditional-ish schools already in the league.

      Instead they passed, dumped Michigan (who, although a good rivalry recently, but they’ve actually “only” played 40 times) in order to continue to play USC, Navy, and the national variety that’s important to them.

      And, again, they value their culture. They reject the idea that they’re anything like big, huge, secular research institutions. They’re much more comfortable with the religious schools in the Big East, the liberal arts schools in the ACC, or even the business culture in LA. Talk to an alum, I was actually pretty surprised as how clearly they reject the Big Ten as a fit.

      It kills me to say this but they’re the ones actually doing this right — to them it’s not a power game or strategy session involving bank accounts, cable subscription models and demographics. Notre Dame wants to be Notre Dame, without compromising the parts about Notre Dame that are fun for them, and without putting the academic school in an affiliation they don’t belong in.

      Like

      • Wally85 says:

        I don’t know. ND’s commitment to “independence” doesn’t seem logical. What does it actually mean to be “independent”? What benefit (not just monetary) do they get out of it? If ND is allowed to essentially run the same national schedule they always have (with OOC scheduling, it would be pretty close), have national exposure for their teams on a great television platform, then what exactly are they gaining by “independence”?

        ND seems to have this irrational fear that joining a conference means they’ll be forced to give up their Catholic heritage, or incorporate as a public school or something, or become slaves to Ohio St. and Michigan. Exactly what part of ND culture would they have to give up by joining a conference?

        I’m a Northwestern alum. Northwestern is farther away in character from the rest of the Big Ten than ND. After >100 years of being in the conference, I don’t see NU being assimilated in any way. Heck, we barely ran a football team until ~15 years ago. But that was fine. No one forced us. The conference never even threatened to kick us out even though we’re certainly a drag on everyone else’s revenue. We did our own thing, and everyone else did theirs, and we served as useful cannon fodder on homecoming weeks every year 🙂 Forget about Northwestern. The truth is, the Big Ten wouldn’t even have kicked out U. Chicago: they left themselves. And they’re still a full member of the CIC research network. So I don’t see the Big Ten (at least) secretly waiting to spring a trap on ND and then shatter them to pieces if they decide to join.

        So I don’t get this fascination with independence. I’m not even sure what ND’ers mean by the term, and the benefits I’ve seen listed don’t seem like they’d be lost by joining a conference. OTOH, there is a very real risk that not having a chair when the music stops will turn their vaunted independence into a real downside. (Notice how one of the reasons they supposedly stayed independent all these years was because of their national TV contract, but now that contract nets them significantly less than most schools in the Big 5 conferences. So much for independence allowing you to negotiate your own sweetheart deals and not share money with moochers in a conference…)

        Like

        • morganwick says:

          Merely by being an original Big 10 school, that implies you’re a research-focused university.

          Like

        • bullet says:

          Its a fan thing. Notre Dame didn’t even have a “national” schedule until they signed the NBC TV deal. Most of their “independence or die” fans probably don’t even remember that. They basically had 7-9 games a year in the Chicago to Boston region. They may have been more “national” than anybody else, but it was still a regional schedule.

          Like

      • Brian says:

        Kevin,

        “It kills me to say this but they’re the ones actually doing this right — to them it’s not a power game or strategy session involving bank accounts, cable subscription models and demographics. Notre Dame wants to be Notre Dame, without compromising the parts about Notre Dame that are fun for them, and without putting the academic school in an affiliation they don’t belong in.”

        I agree in many ways, but would point out a couple of important things:

        1. ND is a private school, so they have no fiduciary responsibility to a state full of citizens. State schools need to think about how not to lose money on athletics or even better, how to help support academics via athletics.

        2. ND is insanely rich and can afford to make any decision they want. They don’t need to max out a TV contract because that money is round off error on their balance sheet and their alums/boosters will give them all the money needed to support any football decision.

        Those two things give ND a tremendous amount of freedom that very few schools have today. It’s not reasonable to expect other schools to follow ND’s path. I’d argue MD is also doing expansion right by fixing their financial woes by switching conferences. Otherwise, they’d have to cut even more sports to keep “tradition” for the revenue sports.

        Like

      • bullet says:

        I’d say Colorado was the only one. They decided to switch before they knew the Pac 12 would pay more.

        Notre Dame is avoiding the logical geographical conference. But obviously they aren’t doing things totally for TV money. Neither is Texas. They chose a logical geographical conference over one that was a better institutional fit and would have provided more money (B1G).

        Everyone else has maximized money.

        Like

    • FLP_NDRox says:

      I doubt it. Even without Maryland, the ACC is still a fine place to park our Olympic sports and provide late season filler games. With the move to 14 teams, the B1G will go to 9 games. Since ND doesn’t want their OOC games, and thus their entire schedule, locked in perpetuity I don’t think it shakes ND loose. The only things that might shake ND loose is a Conference Champions only play-off or all the other FBS conferences requiring their OOC games in the first three weeks like the B1G. I see neither of those things happening.

      Like

  25. frug says:

    I was looking over Maryland and Rutgers financial disclosures and must say that as bad as Rutgers and UMD’s budgets look now, they look even worse compared to the Big Ten. Between student fees and institutional support subsidies account for more than 25% of Maryland’s budget and 50% of Rutgers. Every Big Ten school is less than 10 (except for maybe NW who doesn’t have to report).

    Rutgers actually receives more institutional support than any I-A school and the second most total subsidies behind UNLV.

    Like

  26. Hodgepodge says:

    I’d love to see the total added revenue estimate for Georgia Tech and North Carolina to see how the match up with the other candidates for which it was calculated earlier. I’d have to imagine they’d compare favorably to Maryland and Rutgers.

    Like

    • Hodgepodge says:

      Oh, and Virginia, too.

      Like

    • zeek says:

      The big question for Georgia Tech is whether the BTN would get any if much value out of them. It’s hard to see how the Big Ten would get any basic carriage in the city at the heart of SEC-fandom.

      With Rutgers, they’re still the dominant presence by far in NJ and they have the biggest fanbase in the NYC TV market just based on their alumni numbers.

      Obviously the FOX-YES news is extremely closely tied to the Big Ten-Rutgers news if the details about FOX taking majority control and gaining the ability to package BTN with a YES sports package of channels for the cable networks in that area; that changes everything for Rutgers calculations.

      Maryland for sure brings you the earnings from higher sub rates in the Baltimore-D.C. market. Ditto North Carolina and its major markets.

      Georgia Tech has the biggest questionmarks though; their questionmarks in terms of the BTN are even bigger than Rutgers…

      Like

      • ChicagoMac says:

        Fox has regional networks in Atlanta, the Carolina’s and Florida as well The same dynamic exists in those markets as the YES/NYC metro area.

        Like

        • zeek says:

          Perhaps, but the possibility of blowback is bigger. Those are actual SEC football fans; why would they want to pay for the BTN?

          You’re right that the dynamic exists there as well; it’s just weird to imagine how that works out…

          Like

      • Brian says:

        zeek,

        “The big question for Georgia Tech is whether the BTN would get any if much value out of them. It’s hard to see how the Big Ten would get any basic carriage in the city at the heart of SEC-fandom.”

        They’re on the next tier up now as well as in the sport package. What most likely changes is the carriage rate rather than it dropping to basic. Atlanta has a lot of B10 transplants. Add a local school, and you reach critical mass for making some money.

        Large cities are always the hardest places to get BTN on basic, and splitting Atlanta with the SEC wouldn’t help. Still, I’m guessing a decent number of people have the higher tier or sports package already (this is also a pro sports town, so NFL Network and such drive getting it).

        Like

  27. […] you want to read more about realignment, Frank the Tank offers pretty good analysis about TV side of things re: Maryland and Rutgers. Dana O’Neil of […]

    Like

  28. Andy says:

    The whole idea of the Big Ten expanding into the south seems a little crazy to me.

    The Big Ten is, if anything, a northern conference. Southern schools just wouldn’t fit in.

    I suppose Georgia Tech wouldn’t mind so much for purely academic reasons. Or maybe Virginia if only because they’re the northern-most southern school. But really, I just don’t see southern schools wanting to join a northern league. Maybe if they came in a big cluster, a division of their own perhaps. But the Big Ten has only two spots left at most.

    Like

    • ChicagoMac says:

      I don’t understand the Northern vs. Southern dynamic. I mean, are we sure this is actually a factor?

      It seems to me that when it comes to conference affiliation the important dynamics at the individual school level are:
      1. Money
      2. Stability
      3. Competitive dynamics
      4. Perception on Athletics/Academics relationship
      5. Geography

      This whole Northern vs. Southern cultural dynamics stuff doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. UNC, VA and everyone else is going to make their decisions based on the above factors over anything else.

      Like

      • zeek says:

        It would be if the Big Ten was interested in a university in Tennessee or South Carolina or Arkansas.

        But I think the notion that Virginia and North Carolina aren’t a fit with the North is as outdated as the notion that Colorado isn’t a fit with the Pacific.

        Like

      • Eric says:

        I think it is a factor. The SEC gets it’s power not just from its schools, but because of southern pride. When they chant SEC, SEC, they are also cheering for the south. I used to feel the same for the Big Ten with the Midwest, but probably won’t anymore.

        As a history buff, I think of Maryland as southern, but in modern terms they fit more in the north.

        Like

        • zeek says:

          A question: could you even imagine Virginians chanting SEC? Maybe folks from North Carolina are of a more similar mindset right now, but in the future, I just don’t see it much for either state.

          What’s changed for the Midwest is that people of the Midwest are spreading up and down the coasts and moving out west as well.

          The SEC can stay in the South because that’s where its people are.

          The Big Ten has to move to where its people are going. That’s what this expansion comes down to…

          Like

        • bullet says:

          You are right about Maryland. Lincoln was very worried about traveling through Baltimore which was a very southern sympathizing city. Washington was a sleepy southern town. Don’t think there is anything Southern about Baltimore anymore. Not that much about DC either.

          But there is a lot to Virginia besides the DC suburbs.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            @Michael-what are your thoughts about North Carolina?

            Like

          • zeek says:

            bullet or Eric, have either of you read “The Big Sort”?

            http://www.amazon.com/Big-Sort-Clustering-Like-Minded-America/dp/0547237723

            I get that there’s more to Virginia than the DC suburbs, but that’s like saying there’s more to Illinois than the Chicago suburbs.

            At a certain point, you just have to acknowledge that the critical mass of D.C.’s outlandish growth cycle has started to swallow the rest of the state culturally/politically.

            It happened in Illinois, and it’s now happening in Virginia…

            Like

          • bullet says:

            No I haven’t. I wonder where he is from. Atlanta is VERY sorted. Some of us newcomers here have noted that. Houston, by contrast, is very unsorted. But we do tend to “sort” ourselves by our choice of friends and to some extent professions once we leave college.

            Like

        • ChicagoMac says:

          I used to feel the same for the Big Ten with the Midwest, but probably won’t anymore.

          Ya know, the LSU National Championship team in 2003 was QB’d by a native Hoosier. Did the Tiger fans root for him less because he wasn’t from the South? I doubt it.

          One of histories great philosophers once said, “we’re rooting for laundry” and its an undeniable truth.

          If the B1G and SEC engineered a swap, OSU and Indiana for Florida and Vanderbilt, I don’t think it would change at all the dynamic of how the fanbases of the conferences viewed these schools and/or the rest of the conference brethren.

          I think we pretty much root for laundry.

          Like

    • zeek says:

      What are we describing as Southern now though?

      Virginia as a state has practically been transformed into a Northern-esque state (think Illinois) based on population growth and demographic changes in the Northeast part of Virginia (D.C.-Fairfax versus the rest of Virginia is similar to Chicago versus the rest of Illinois).

      North Carolina has been trending in that direction as well based on population movement from the Northeast into the research triangle.

      Just look at them politically for a basic test of where the wind blows. It’s similar to how Colorado and Nevada have become much more similar minded to the West Coast than the heart of the country.

      Colorado went from being extremely similar to the Big 8 states politically/culturally to being far more like Washington and California than anywhere else.

      Eventually, these population changes tend to wind themselves down through the universities and other institutions in a state.

      This happened to Maryland long ago, and now it’s happening to Virginia and North Carolina. Thinking of Virginia and North Carolina as true Southern states like Tennessee or Arkansas or Alabama or Mississippi is just outdated. The demographics boom in Virginia and North Carolina has changed the equation entirely.

      Like

      • zeek says:

        Also, this is a primary reason why the ACC was able to move into the Northeast (and MIami) so seamlessly without feeling cultural blowback.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          I think you are overestimating the change in North Carolina. Can you say NASCAR? Atlanta has had a lot of movement from the north, but its still as southern as they come. Maybe a few more liberal bastions than rural Georgia, but still southern. DC creates a different dynamic in northern Virginia.

          If you are basing it on voting patterns, Arkansas elected a Republican majority in the state legislature for the 1st time ever this year. There are a number of moderate and conservative Democrats who never switched parties in some of those states (not very many of those left in Georgia or Texas though).

          I don’t think UVA, UNC or Georgia Tech would have any problems fitting in as institutions. Research institutions have similarities. But the fan base might not be happy.

          Like

          • zeek says:

            Well, I meant to say that Virginia has basically become a Northern-esque state, whereas North Carolina is still in transition.

            Right now, if you asked Virginians whether they take the label Mid-Atlantic or Southern, a majority would say Mid-Atlantic now.

            Within 10 or 15 years, it’s likely to be similar in North Carolina.

            The basic eye test is how states vote in presidential elections with respect to the national vote. But that’s an extremely crude measure.

            I’d just say that the Big Ten is aiming at the Obama coalition. If you look at where Obama’s voters are; that’s where the demographics in the South are becoming Northern-esque.

            Like

          • morganwick says:

            I’d say a big reason why Baltimore and Washington are identifying more with the Mid-Atlantic has to do with proximity to Philadelphia and absorption into the larger megalopolis. I think the sprawl trend is going to reverse soon, so I don’t think the megalopolis is ever going to extend further south to Richmond, let alone North Carolina.

            Like

      • @zeek – I agree that the demographics of Virginia and North Carolina are changing where they are becoming “Northernized” in the same manner as Maryland and you could probably say that the Atlanta market (if not the rest of Georgia) has been heading that way. The academic profiles of UNC, UVA and GT obviously also fit the Big Ten.

        That being said, I think the ties between UNC/UVA and the ACC are exponentially stronger than they were for Maryland – those schools are the legit heart of that conference with a lot of power. My sense is that Maryland experienced something similar to Nebraska, where it was once part of the nerve center of the conference but gradually lost control to others (UNC in the case of the ACC and Texas in the case of the Big 12) over time. That made the decision to leave make sense psychologically and philosophically on top of it being a financial move. Maryland also doesn’t think of itself as a Southern school anymore, whereas UVA and UNC definitely still do. That may change in 10 or 20 years, but they’re not there yet.

        Like

        • zeek says:

          I agree Frank on all those points.

          I’d just add that the Big Ten has basically positioned itself to be a Midwest/Mid-Atlantic hybrid conference if UVa (and a partner) should ever come knocking.

          But you’re right that Tobacco Road is a tightknit group.

          It may not happen anytime soon, but Delany’s basically brought the Big Ten to the point where I think it’s the natural landing spot for UVa if they ever change conferences. That’s a big part of why the Maryland/Rutgers move makes sense in a future-looking direction.

          Dave Brandon for what its worth talks about fit and demographics movement here along with why Maryland/Rutgers makes sense here:

          http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2012121119070

          Like

        • Eliot says:

          John McCain made that comment about winning ‘real’ Virginia during the 08 election. He was actually making a reasonable point. Northern Virginia is such a different beast from the rest of the state that many no longer consider it Virginia. There’s a sense of visceral distaste for what has happened, and a sense of mutual disregard between each side. NOVA believes that ‘real’ Virginia is full of backwater hicks while old Virginia looks at the transplants as a crew of cultural savages.

          If old Virginia is in charge of conference realignment, we’ll go south. If NOVA is in charge, we’ll go north.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Eliot,

            Every state with a large city feels that way. NYC vs upstate NY, Chicago vs IL, Atlanta vs GA, etc. The city is always more liberal and diverse, the rest more conservative.

            Like

      • Eric says:

        They don’t identify as northern though and northerners don’t think of them as north and that’s all that really counts here. The Big Ten can get away with Maryland, but if we go into Virginia and/or North Carolina we are no longer a regional conference at all and can’t expect regional pride to support the conference.

        Like

        • zeek says:

          Delany spent all of Maryland Day talking about how the Big Ten is now joining the Mid-Atlantic to the Midwest, and you’re saying that?

          They identify as Mid-Atlantic.

          Yes, the Big Ten is the Big North right now but it’s also a hybrid Midwest/Mid-Atlantic conference. In the future, the latter may be a better definition than the former.

          Like

    • Richard says:

      I also disagree that the B10 has 2 more spots at most. Granted, going past 16 may not make sense without ND, but any new additions are predicated on the ACC collapsing anyway.

      Like

  29. Michael in Raleigh says:

    I want to see a “Fake John Swofford” twitter account, ala “Fake Dan Beebe.” Someone needs to speak sarcastically on behalf of us frustrated ACC fans. Humor us in our pain. (And only those who live in denial or are clueless about conference realignment don’t understand how devastating the ramifications of this news is to the conference they’ve enjoyed for the past 60 years.)

    @johnswofford… let’s see it happen!

    Like

  30. As a DC and NOVA resident for 6-7 years, from my experience adding UMD does absolutely nothing to move the needle in terms of the “tipping point” you talk about in DC. I will be increadibly surprised if the BTN is able to get on basic in DC and NOVA. I can’t speak for MD or Baltimore, but that’s a much smaller market compared to the whole.

    No idea on NYC, but my gut feeling is the same. The only wild card there is if they pull a bs move and buy Yes! to force the cable companies to buy bundled. This all would have been easier if Delany got either ND (or even Texas), which seems to me was the whole point of being the first mover on expansion. Delany got neither, but setoff a panic that is causing people to seek strength in numbers. Now Delany is in a position where you have to have 14 teams to stay ahead of the trend and protect yourself from it. For all the compliments Delany gets as a business person, to me it looks like he gambled that destablizing college football would result in ND and/or Texas in the Big Ten, he lost that gamble, and now is being forced to take (from an objective perspective in terms of fans, seats, tallent and so on) below-average schools.

    Also, for all the talk about the future, 2024, ect — aren’t we all aware that this whole thing is built by playing parlor tricks with bundled TV, and that the BTN value prob changes significantly when they’re selling the channel individually and/or via a stream subscription? At that point your selling just actual, devoted fans that want to pay money for their team’s non-premium games, which is then divided now 14 ways. Adding UMD and RU lower the average draw per team from that perspective — the BTN is less valuable today as a standalone channel than it was on Sunday. This is a shortsighted move IMO. Not to mention you’re actually losing some of your most valuable inventory that drives the ABC/ESPN deal — by adding these teams you’re lowering the number of times over the next 12 years that you’ll see Penn State-Michigan, Nebraska-Ohio State, and so on.

    Like

    • JW says:

      I think you are right that Md may not bring enough critical mass to carry the day in the DC Metro cable market, and that ultimately they probably need at least one Virginia school to seal that deal. I don’t have any particular knowledge about whether VT or UVa are or are not tied at the hip, or whether culturally either one would ever move to the B1G from a cultural alignment perspective. But with that said, I tend to think that VT actually makes more sense for several reasons. First, VT’s DC presence seems to be growing and more passionate – it is not UVa that is playing games at Fedex, it’s VT, and there are a lot of brown jerseys in the area when that happens. Second, while UVa is obviously a great institution academically, my perception is that VT is probably the better research institution and therefore may align better with the B1G on an academic front. UVa produces plenty of fine lawyers up here, but I’m not sure what else. Third, from a sports perspective, their footprint is arguably bigger already – it is their games you pick up on the radio rather than UVa’s. Fourth, in light of #2, a B1G alignment might be satisfying to a lot of VT alums as a stick in the eye to UVa. Recall the old joke about the schools:
      How many UVa students does it take to change a light bulb? One – they just hold it up and the world revolves around them.
      How many VT students does it take to change a light bulb? Two – one to do it and the other to explain how they did it just as well as the UVa student.

      Like

      • zeek says:

        I’m of the notion that the Big Ten would look at taking both UVa/Va Tech to secure the entire D.C. market if both are available at the same time and UNC isn’t available.

        Like

    • Richard says:

      1. 6M isn’t small (and is bigger than NoVa).
      2. We’re far from the endgame. Don’t be so sure that ND will remain independent.
      3. This isn’t solely about the BTN. 50 years from now, Rutgers and UMD will still be major research universities in states with good demographics.

      Like

      • The whole DCMA is less than 6M. I agree with you completely that this probably moves to 16 teams very quickly, but I disagree on ND wholeheartedly. If they’re really forced to join a conference, they’ll go all-in with the ACC, which is a much, much better cultural and academic fit for them. The reason UMD and RU are joining the Big Ten is (also the first thing out of the president’s mouth yesterday) that they are financially desperate and need stability. ND is the only school in the country right now that seems comfortably admitting they don’t need any more money. The Big Ten loses is sex appeal very quickly when that’s the case.

        Regarding your third point, totally agree that UMD and RU do great things academically, but I find it hard to believe that the Big Ten is better off academically with 16 schools, all loosely affiliated, and including Nebraska, that was kicked out of the AAU, than they were with tighter ties between the “original” 11. Besides there is nothing that precludes two schools in different conferences from doing joint projects together or (as I heard yesterday) “sharing books.”

        Like

        • zeek says:

          He’s saying Baltimore-Washington (i.e. Maryland’s portion of the D.C. market combined with Baltimore) is 6 million people.

          Like

        • Richard says:

          Right, 6M is the population of MD.

          You’re also assuming that there will be an ACC for ND to join. A world where the B10 expands more is almost certainly one where the ACC implodes.

          Like

          • How much of that 6% of up for grabs in terms of getting the BTN on basic cable, though? The only reason this is even happening is because of the PSU & OSU population in Arlington and DC. I don’t know but doubt very much that same concept holds true in Baltimore, the shore or the fun WV part of the MD.

            And by ACC I mean aligning with the power ACC schools, whatever form that is. I think the framing of the “Is the 4th mega-conference the Big XII or ACC?” question is wrong, the obvious result is that the power schools in each of the conference join together. If the ACC wins, Texas doesn’t dispersal, ditto for UNC/VT/FSU in the alternative. And there isn’t room in the existing three for every profitable program unless we go to three 22-team leagues, which is really not having any leagues at all, which would suit ND just fine.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            ??? I don’t see your point. Are you trying to tell me that folks in Baltimore and the MD side of DC will be fine with not seeing Terps bball on TV?

            As for the ACC & B12 joining together, you do realize that Texas agreed to a GOR that ties the B12 schools to the connference for at least 12 more years, right?

            Like

          • That’s not quite the question. The Big Ten has a deal with ABC/ESPN that’s similar to the ACCs, so I’m not sure how many less games Maryland will have on those two networks (eg Basic Cable) in the Big Ten than they do currently. From what I can tell:

            http://www.umterps.com/sports/m-baskbl/sched/md-m-baskbl-sched.html

            A ton of their games aren’t on basic, but ESPN3, The ACC Network (don’t know how that’s regionally distro’d) and Raycom.

            The question is if enough people currently getting those last three on basic complain enough to their cable companies in mass to convince all the cable providers to justify paying $1 per customer.

            Like

          • zeek says:

            Kevin the Big Ten will get basic carriage across Maryland’s 2-3 million households (5-6 million total people) in the Baltimore-D.C. market and beyond.

            There’s just no way that wouldn’t happen. There’s more than enough Maryland fans who watch their football and basketball teams to guarantee that.

            Like

          • @zeek:

            Agreed. Say what you will about Maryland football, but BTN is about all sports. Maryland basketball will likely be what drives BTN to basic carriage, backed up by current B1G alumni in the area looking to watch [Current B1G School] -v- Maryland in both sports.

            Like

          • maguro says:

            Sure, BTN can get on basic cable in Bal-DC, but at what price point? Delaney can’t just go up to the cable companies and say “You’re in the Big Ten footprint now, so you need to give me $1 per subscriber”, it doesn’t work that way. Cable companies are getting squeezed for carriage fees by all their content providers and I question whether BTN will have the same “must have” appeal in Bal-DC that it has in the midwest.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            maguro:

            From what I understand, Terps basketball is pretty big in that state. I think the BTN price point you see in places like IN and MN is definitely reachable in MD.

            Like

    • GreatLakeState says:

      Yeah, right. And no doubt your ‘experience’ trumps any research Delany and Co. have put into making this decision. It’s simply a roll-of-the-dice by a bunch of drunken gamblers. If only they’d had you to warn them off this monstrosity with your grand assumptions the B1G would be in a far stronger position today. Thank you so much.

      Like

    • zeek says:

      Um, the wild card already happened.

      Fox is buying 40-49% of YES with an option to buy a supermajority.

      In the contract, they gain the ability to bundle YES with their other sports networks (51% ownership of BTN) in markets like NYC, Philly, etc.

      Like

      • Well if that’s the case NYC looks much better as long as bundling exists. The question then is why you needed Rutgers to bundle BTN with YES.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          Because Rutgers has the largest fanbase of any school in metro NYC?

          Like

          • I’d argue because it’s also about more than television. Taking Rutgers puts a permanent foothold into the state, and can only help in recruiting athletes, especially if you can also sell them on the idea that their families can always see them play (or even go to one or more games a year in person).

            Like

          • But if you’re getting 100% coverage by bundling with Yes, why do you care about that? Adding Rutgers it just adding another school to split a static amount of revenue with.

            If the Rutgers fanbase was so strong in NYC to be a critical mass they would already have a solid TV deal there. But they don’t.

            Like

          • greg says:

            Its not just adding Rutgers or just bundling with YES or just the presence of OSU/UM/PSU alums in NYC. Its a combination of the three that they hope will crack the NYC nut. “tipping point” and all that jazz.

            Like

          • zeek says:

            It’s about what greg is saying.

            Combine the power of 1) Rutgers’ 400k+ alumni and students/families in the area with 2) the Big Ten’s massive alumni base there as well with 3) FOX bundling YES and BTN.

            Like

          • maguro says:

            Sure, BTN can get on basic cable in Bal-DC, but at what price point? Delaney can’t just go up to the cable companies and say “You’re in the Big Ten footprint now, so you need to give me $1 per subscriber”, it doesn’t work that way. Cable companies are getting squeezed for carriage fees by all their content providers and I question whether BT will have the same “must have” appeal in Bal-DC that it has in the midwest.

            Like

          • maguro says:

            Oops, wrong thread. Same issues apply to Rutgers/NYC, though, only even more so.

            Like

          • morganwick says:

            Rutgers is so that, geographically, NYC qualifies as “Big Ten territory”. Just saying “it’s nowhere near any Big Ten schools but it has a lot of fans” isn’t going to get you as much money without some brazen manipulation.

            Like

  31. Arch Stanton says:

    Seen some chatter in several different places that Georgetown and St Johns are angling to get into the ACC.
    I can’t imagine this will happen. Even if the ACC loses Florida State, Clemson and George Tech you would think they would be smarter than to try the hybrid route.

    Like

    • Arch Stanton says:

      Course they did start that process with Notre Dame…

      Like

      • bullet says:

        That would be a paradigm shift. Wonder how well that would sit with FSU and Clemson.

        Like

        • Arch Stanton says:

          I think FSU would actively seek out a different home if the ACC goes further down the hybrid route. If FSU goes, I think Clemson gets very serious about it too.
          Miami probably won’t mind.

          Like

        • zeek says:

          Well, the real test of FSU/Clemson’s power is what happens in the search for the ACC’s replacement of Maryland.

          All of the reports have UConn and Louisville at the top of the list.

          I’d imagine that the football folks want Lousiville, but Tobacco Road wants UConn.

          Like

    • morganwick says:

      If ACC purists want to be a basketball conference, but the ACC accountants want to be a football conference, I think they would absolutely be willing to go the hybrid route. It didn’t even work out that badly for the Big East other than for the fans. Although if they lose Florida State, Clemson, and Georgia Tech, they might as well just become a basketball-only conference and cut their football programs loose, even with Miami (aka Debauchery U) still in the fold.

      Like

  32. zeek says:

    http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8654190/on-urban-meyer-ohio-state-wisconsin-big-ten-expanding-include-maryland-rutgers

    This is what frustrates me about the national media.

    1) They say the Big Ten has a demographics problem in terms of recruiting/talent.

    2) When the Big Ten finally takes steps to address that by becoming a Midwest/Mid-Atlantic hybrid of a conference, they lambast it as an all-out money grab.

    Yes, this is about money, but it’s also about taking the Big Ten to where its future lies. That future is in the Mid-Atlantic.

    If it means that we take UVa and a second Mid-Atlantic school in the next 10 years; then I’m all for that.

    At least it’s a sound future business strategy. Who the hell wants to sit around and twiddle their thumbs while the Big Ten becomes a money making conference that can’t compete?

    Like

    • bullet says:

      The Michigan AD echoed my Rutgers point with regard to Maryland. He said there are a ton of Michigan alumni in Maryland. He also talked about the advantage in basketball recruiting.

      The northeast really is prime ground for Big 10 school’s student recruiting. There isn’t the same mass of strong state universities as in the south and west. Private schools dominated there. That’s one of the most serious demographic problems. Do you have to lower standards to keep the same enrollment with the HS population declining in much of the midwest?

      Like

      • zeek says:

        Yeah, the one school that’s really come up against a wall already in terms of student recruiting is Michigan State.

        They’re the ones to watch because Michigan State will be and already is the first one that has to start grabbing more students from out-of-state to replace their demographically shrinking target groups in Michigan.

        Michigan has a smaller undergraduate school and is national enough that they’ll never have issues (they get a lot of interest from people all over the country like where I am in South Florida, there are a lot of people who look at Michigan as the out-of-state iconic public school to apply to).

        Watch what Michigan State does to gauge how the Big Ten schools transition. I’ve read some of their recent student body reports to get an understanding of it.

        Like

        • vp19 says:

          If reports of Illinois switching to the Legends division are true (thus enabling Maryland and Rutgers to go to the Leaders division), I could envision Michigan State drawing Maryland as its cross-division rival, in place of Indiana. The setup could go like this, with new pairings in italics:

          Michigan-Ohio State
          Nebraska-Penn State
          Minnesota-Wisconsin
          Michigan State-Maryland
          Illinois-Indiana
          Northwestern-Purdue
          Iowa-Rutgers

          Maryland and MSU have played some memorable basketball games in recent years, and in the early years of the Jim Tatum era, the Terrapins played several football games in East Lansing. Moreover, I believe Maryland would prefer playing in the Eastern time zone if possible, and MSU is the only option from Legends. State would probably like to get some exposure in the D.C. area.

          Iowa has regularly recruited in New Jersey, so the Hawkeyes would like to keep that pipeline open. And it also makes sense for the conference’s two Illinois and indiana schools to cross over.

          Like

    • I can tell you for sure that the BigTen is in *desperate* need for more fertile recruiting grounds for basketball. Ohio produces a ton of recruits every year, but it’s the main recruiting ground for basically the entire BigTen except PSU. That might work with California, Texas, and Florida, but Ohio and Pennsylvania just doesn’t produce enough top-flight players to fill the rosters of every school. Maryland and Rutgers — and maybe Virginia — open new areas to the conference so that it can keep competing. It likely secures Pennsylvania, where PSU and OSU were seemingly the only two B1G teams competing for players. We can’t expect every team to consistently win battles for blue chip recruits in Florida and Texas.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        Football, you mean?

        Chicago, IN, and MI produce plenty of bball talent.

        Like

      • B1G Jeff says:

        @manifestodeluxe: Were you talking about basketball or football? Because on the hoops side, Chicago is as good is it gets.

        Like

      • I specifically meant football, yes. Sorry I should’ve been specific.

        That said, I hear basketball in the Maryland and NYC areas aren’t bad either. 😉

        Like

        • mushroomgod says:

          HS football in Indiana is leaps and bounds where it used to be. If either IU or PUR could get 6/10 top players in the state each year they’d be very competitive.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            The Big 10 could recruit Kentucky. UK doesn’t anymore.

            Like

          • Right, but they can’t and likely are never going to. That’s similar to saying if Minnesota could just grab their top five players every year. It doesn’t happen. Even OSU doesn’t get it’s top 5-10 from Ohio every single year.

            Indiana and Purdue have to fight OSU, Michigan, and ND every single year for every good player. A program like Indiana has no ability to win that war. What they *can* do, however, is plan a long term strategy of getting *good* players in the 20-50 range from fertile recruiting grounds, while hoping to get a few blue chips here and there, because the #20 player in Ohio or Pennsylvania is likely leaps better than the #20 player in Indiana in terms of potential.

            But you can’t have 8-10 programs all counting on that strategy from one state. Adding states like Maryland, Virginia, and New York could help tremendously for all B1G programs. They aren’t top tier states for talent (ala Florida), but they are rich enough states that supply great Tier 2 prospects on top of the blue chippers. Similar to North Carolina, Georgia, and maybe Arizona.

            Like

          • zeek says:

            FWIW, Northwestern has pretty much abandoned any pretense of focusing on Illinois football (they grab a tiny group of Chicago based athletes or elsewhere); manifestodeluxe has a point. If you’re not a king, then your best bet is to just develop pipelines over time to the fertile recruiting grounds (Ohio/Pennsylvania/Texas/Florida/New Jersey/Mid-Atlantic) and try to gradually ratchet up the quality of talent that you mine from there.

            Like

        • morganwick says:

          “I specifically meant football, yes. Sorry I should’ve been specific.”

          Which is why you so vaguely said “basketball”…

          Like

      • zeek says:

        From the article:

        “The Big Ten’s only advantage over other conferences is its sheer scale, and now they’ve gotten even bigger, and the presumption, I suppose, is that we should somehow celebrate growth for growth’s sake. Even if the growth is entirely in the wrong direction.”

        —————————-

        He says that after posting this chart:

        I mean seriously?

        Where is the Big Ten supposed to expand to? Rice and Tulane?

        Like

    • rich2 says:

      Adding average academic and athletic programs to the conference does not:
      1. attract better students
      2. attract more prestigious universities to the conference in the future
      3. attract better athletes in football.
      4. change the financial health of institutions will billion dollar operating budgets, hundreds of millions generated annually in sponsored research and similar amounts in health care systems, and annual gift campaigns that generate hundreds of millions per year.

      For example, why would academically gifted and in demand student pay out-of-state tuition to go to IU because RU or MD is now part of conference? For example, why does adding RU or MD make Duke want to join the conference? Why does a five-star fb recruit now want to visit any conference program that he was not inclined to visit because RU and MD are part of the conference? The conference does not need more quantity, it needs higher quality — more students with top ACT scores, universities with prestigious rankings and more 5-star recruits.

      Like

      • “Why does a five-star fb recruit now want to visit any conference program that he was not inclined to visit because RU and MD are part of the conference?”

        If they are located in Maryland, New York, or New Jersey it does. If I’m Ohio State, I tell recruits in those areas that their family will now be able to see them in person once a year even though they go to school clear in Ohio. There there will be no debate whether their games will be televised where their friends and family can watch, because it’s on BTN if it isn’t on ESPN/ABC. Location and distance, real or perceived, is a huge issue for football — there are very few schools that have been able to overcome that. OSU and Michigan might not be the best examples for that — probably Wisconsin or Michigan State. The teams that can arguably snag a 5* but need a little more cache.

        Like

      • Santos says:

        This move is about TV markets in New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia and DC. And just off the top from expanding the BTN into those markets, this means the addition of tens of millions of dollars to the bottom line of each school. That alone makes it attractive to the BIG. It also means whatever additional benefits are realized by each school’s academics by exposing the Indiana basketball or Minnesota hockey to those eastern markets. It’s about branding, and save the small elite schools (like the Ivy League, Johns Hopkins, the U of Chicago, and so forth), it’s why every school strives to get its athletics on TV. On-field success translates into greater demand for the school, something Nebraska has already realized. And it also means a major expansion of research money and the synergy that goes with the CIC. Maryland currently does over $400 million in research each year, and with Rutgers’ main campus merging with their medical school simultaneously with joining the BIG, they’re already doing $550 million in research per year. These numbers are quite competitive with the numbers from the average Big Ten schools. It’s true Maryland and Rutgers aren’t quite Harvard or Princeton, but they’re fine institutions—certainly not average. The ARWU ranking has Maryland #29 (between Duke and UNC) and Rutgers #40 (just below Purdue and Pitt, just above Brown and Ohio State). So long as Delaney has done his homework and has a full understanding of what this means in terms of guaranteeing those TV markets, (which was the major caveat to this move two years ago), this move seems to make good sense, irrespective of what happens with #15 and #16.

        Like

    • morganwick says:

      And they say them both in the context of the same article. How would the author propose fixing the Big Ten’s demographic and on-the-field problem? He’s just using the news to gripe like an old man. “Back in my day the Big Ten didn’t even extend as far east as Penn State…”

      Like

  33. David Brown says:

    The story to keep your eye on is who goes to the ACC, Connecticut or Louisville? If it is the Huskies, watch Florida State jump. If I am FSU I would not exactly thrilled to be in The Big East Southern Version: VA Tech, Boston College, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Connecticut, and even Miami are refugees from the Big East. Now add to the rumors that Georgetown & St Johns may join (Although obviously not for football). Note: Notre Dame is a different case, but I would not exactly be guaranteed to be getting ND to Doak-Campbell every other year. If you couple those schools with Duke, North Carolina & North Carolina State, you are talking superior Hoops & Inferior Football (Particularly upsetting when I know that Doak-Campbell needs a major upgrade).I would be looking at the BIG XII (Maybe with Clemson?), and perhaps South Florida & Louisville to the ACC to replace FSU & Clemson? However, if Louisville heads to the ACC, I don’t think it is such a big deal, because the Cardinals are a much stronger football program, and the ACC would be showing that they care about football in deeds as well as words. Beyond that, if the Connecticut, Georgetown, St Johns move occurs, the Big East might as well be called the WAC Conference, because they will be out of business. Would the ACC want to do that, at the probable cost of FSU & Clemson? That question will be answered soon enough.

    Like

    • zeek says:

      If Florida State and Clemson leave the ACC, then it’s done.

      It’s a dead man walking. In the future, the money differences would be so large that the conference schools like Va Tech, UVa, even UNC/Duke/NC State, would all have to start gauging future options…

      Like

      • Phizzy says:

        I sometimes think schools like Virginia will be looking to move even now out of fear. If a school waits until the ACC implodes, it might be too late. Virginia might look to join the Big Ten before the implosion and the Big Ten choses North Carolina instead.

        Like

      • acaffrey says:

        Not necessarily. This is, again, more crap about $$$ being worth more than anything else.

        A conference with Duke, UNC, NC State, Wake Forest, Syracuse, Pitt, BC, Miami, Virginia, Va Tech, Louisville, UConn, Georgia Tech, and Temple:

        North: BC, Pitt, UConn, Temple, Syracuse, Virginia, Virginia Tech
        South: Louisville, Duke, UNC, NC State, Wake Forest, Miami, Georgia Tech

        Are you telling me that this cannot generate $15M/year in TV revenue?

        It does not take $30M to win a national championship in football. Do not expect Iowa to win one, just because the B1G can print money at a whim. Do not exclude a team just because it makes 1/2 that per year.

        Cincinnati was undefeated a few years ago with a few million. West Virginia beats Pittsburgh several years ago and they are in the national title game. If Miami was 13-0 in this type of conference, including OOC wins over Florida State and someone else, you don’t think they’d be in the playoff discussion? Virginia Tech?

        People are way too obsessed with money right now. WAY too obsessed. It’s not the end game. There is an argument that it is a means to an end, but that has never played out.

        And even if $$$ is all that matters… Ole Miss getting $50M in TV revenue for 20 straight years is not going to put them above Texas. There are schools that will always have more money to play with regardless of TV revenue.

        Like

        • zeek says:

          Yeah, but the money differences become too much at a point in the future.

          The ACC has to keep FSU and Clemson in order to survive. Otherwise, they will be poached in the future.

          Like

          • acaffrey says:

            Too much for what?

            We know that basketball is not revenue dependent.

            Football is… but the need for revenue is overstated. A team that puts together a good enough schedule and has success will do better than a team with $$$ and lack of success.

            Sorry, the B1G is first in money, but they just made it that much harder for their elite teams to qualify over the SEC and Big XII in strength of schedule, etc.

            The more this decision is analyzed, the more “meh” it is. If FSU/Clemson stick in the ACC, this loss barely matters at all. Louisville is a football/basketball upgrade. UConn has comparable football right now and better hoops by far. Even if FSU/Clemson leave, that just puts the Big XII or SEC that much farther ahead of the B1G.

            Having a hard time finding someone here in Michigan that is enthused by the move.

            Like

          • zeek says:

            SOS doesn’t matter as much as people say in the playoff era; winning and losing does.

            It’s virtually impossible for a Big Ten undefeated school to not end up in the top 4. Who cares what a group of computers says…?

            Alabama’s played how many ranked teams? All those SEC teams in the top 10; how many have actually played more than 1 or 2 games against the others?

            ————————–

            I can guarantee you that the Big Ten will be able to get UVa if the difference between the contracts is like $25 million per year in the late 2020s. UVa runs a huge and costly athletics operation (go look at their budget); it’s not going to be easy to keep running that if the pay scales to run it are set by the Big Ten/SEC and you’re earning ACC TV dollars.

            Costs in this equation are set at market rates set by the SEC/Big Ten; you best have a budget that can keep up with that (as Maryland is finding out).

            Like

          • bullet says:

            With coaches salaries, even the spring sports are getting more revenue dependent. In basketball, the football powers and football conferences are dominating in ways they didn’t 20 years ago.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Acaffrey:

            “but they just made it that much harder for their elite teams to qualify over the SEC and Big XII in strength of schedule, etc.”

            If they drop a cupcake game to add the 9th conference game you kill two birds with one stone. SOS, and not losing conference matchups.

            Like

          • acaffrey says:

            It’s a matter of running a sound athletic department. Syracuse has been able to field a competitive lacrosse and basketball team on Big East TV revenue. The women’s basketball team is greatly improved and the soccer team advanced in the playoffs. The tennis team had success. The softball team made the playoffs (somehow).

            In the future, schools may have to focus their efforts in certain directions. For a school like Syracuse, it will be just a few non-revenue sports. For Duke, it will be different ones. For Wake Forest, different ones yet. All three schools may not be able to compete with Michigan in rowing or even have a wrestling team… but it will require choices.

            As for football, all the $$$ in the world cannot make Michigan good if Greg Robinson is the D-coordinator. Ron Zook could not win at Florida. Having $100M per year is not going to save a school from making bad decisions. In contrast, extra money sometimes leads to bad decisions… such as buying out a coach early and making a knee-jerk decision to replace, at greater long-term peril.

            Money is a means, not an end.

            Like

          • zeek says:

            That’s fair.

            All I’m saying is that the area where costs are rocketing isn’t just football (which will always be massively profitable regardless of costs); the costs of non-revenue sports are why so many departments are seeing red across the country.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            But a lack of money means an end.

            Like

          • acaffrey says:

            Look, I know I run the risk of trying to contend with the overwhelming B1G fan base here… but this move does not scare the SEC in the least. The B1G may have done the SEC and Big XII a favor if this destabilizes the ACC to a point where it is cannibalized. While the B1G focuses on markets, the SEC and Big XII and Pac-12 are not that far behind in revenue and are going to be just as competitive (if not more) on the field and court.

            Frankly, other than people who prioritize money over on-field results, is there really much jubilation over this move?

            Like

          • acaffrey says:

            Lack of money is an excuse.

            Maryland could not manage its finances. It did not have an engaged donor network to help out. Apparently, the Under Armour guy is more interested in making the Terps look silly on the field than helping them field non-revenue teams.

            The B1G saved the Terps from their own incompetence.

            The next time that an incompetent organization fixes itself by having more money to spend will be the first.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Acaffrey:

            I agree for the most part. However, when you start talking “choices” you’re talking cutting and/or reducing support for existing offerings. Is that actually competing well? Or is it sinking with a higher profile? I don’t think this an attempt to scare the SEC or PAC, but is a move to put the B1G in the best position to continue being the B1G, not a future pruned version.

            Like

          • zeek says:

            This move isn’t about the SEC. I’m not sure why people act like the Big Ten and SEC are competing in expansion moves. They have completely different motivations.

            The Big Ten is trying to secure its future population base by attaching the Mid-Atlantic to the Midwest (kind of like how Obama won re-election and how the Democrats will succeed in the future against declining electoral shares in the North by focusing on the Mid-Atlantic).

            The Big Ten cannot just sit around and twiddle its thumbs like the SEC can and watch Georgia/Florida continue to gain people.

            The ACC isn’t going to be stabilized here. The money differences do matter to the people that run these athletics departments because most athletics spending money occurs on non-revenue sports.

            When the money differences on TV contracts becomes $20M or so, it’s totally destabilizing…

            Like

          • acaffrey says:

            If these are 100-year moves… shouldn’t the Big 10 kick out Purdue? When do the haves start cannibalizing each other?

            Isn’t it a better investment to borrow a billion dollars to purchase Texas and Florida? Compared to loaning money to Maryland? Please. Wait until the fire Edsall when he goes 4-8 next year and decide to spend $5M/year to hire Marty Morninweg. There goes 1/2 the extra revenue.

            I also disagree that this is not a battle between the B1G and SEC. The B1G is in bed with Fox and SEC is in bed with ESPN. Once Fox/ESPN start feuding, the B1G and SEC are necessarily feuding as well.

            Frank is the one saying that the SEC and B1G are working in concert. But Frank also considered the ACC safe from raid… until its poorest, worst-run school came up with a plan to leave.

            Like

          • zeek says:

            FOX and ESPN are working together.

            This is like a game of risk. They’ve decided to split the Big 12 and Pac-12 contracts (they’re both Fox/ESPN contracts now). ESPN took ACC for itself.

            In the East, the Big Ten and SEC now own every state to the east of Texas outside of North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia (excluding New England for the moment).

            Fox and ESPN are also likely to consider partnering in 2016 on the Big Ten’s main rights package.

            Fox owns the BTN and ESPN will own the SEC Network.

            They’re in cahoots. There’s no overlap between the Big Ten and SEC; if the Big Ten gets Fox BTN carriage in its states, it has nothing to do with ESPN getting carriage of a theoretical SEC Network in the SEC states.

            They’ve basically split up college football among themselves outside of ND with NBC…

            Like

          • mushroomgod says:

            acaffrey; We understand this moves doesn’t scare the SEC…..fact is, the BIG had very few possible moves and a lot of incentive to act. SEC has a lot more options and no present incentive to act.

            This move by the BIG was the best it could do at present, and is pretty strong. It opens up more potential options for 15-16 if necessary…ile VA, ND, or even ND.

            Like

          • FranktheAg says:

            A&M played Bama, LSU and Florida
            Florida played A&M, LSU, UGa, USC
            LSU played A&M, Bama, Florida, USC
            USC played UGa, UF, LSU

            Like

        • frug says:

          Are you telling me that this cannot generate $15M/year in TV revenue?

          Yes.

          If Miami was 13-0 in this type of conference, including OOC wins over Florida State and someone else, you don’t think they’d be in the playoff discussion?

          FSU said if they move to the Big XII the Miami rivalry game goes away.

          If FSU leaves, G-Tech, Clemson and Miami will all beg them to bring them along.

          Like

  34. Shawn says:

    Delany is all about demographics and markets. Both are AAU schools with great academic reputations, huge alumni bases, and in major TV markets. BIG would then have the 1 (NYC), 3 (Chicago), 4 (Philly), 8 (ATL), 9 (DC), 11 (Detroit), 15 (Minny), 17 (Cleveland), & 23-27 (Pitt, Charlotte, Indy, Baltimore, Ral-Durh) before going out for its next TV deal. That’s why they told UMD they think they’ll be getting up to $43 million per school in 2017.

    Sends a big FU to our pals in South Bend, kills the ACC, and sets a new BIG with an old school BIG division (West), and the new East division. This would keep the traditionalists happy because most of the old rivalries are maintained while adding significant new $ in TV money to everyone.

    16 Team BIG with UNC & GTech:

    East:
    UNC
    GTech
    UMD
    Rutgers
    Penn St
    Ohio St
    Indiana
    Purdue

    West:
    Iowa
    Illinois
    Nebraska
    Minnesota
    NW
    Wisconsin
    Michigan
    MSU

    9 game sched, with 1 permenant crossover and 1 other out of division game. Most games against our traditional Midwestern rivals each year. Or maybe they go to the pod system:

    UNC
    GTech
    UMD
    Indiana

    Penn St
    Ohio St
    Purdue
    Rutgers

    Mich
    Mich St
    Illinois
    NW

    Wisc
    Iowa
    Nebraska
    Minnesota

    Like

    • zeek says:

      It won’t be UNC/Georgia Tech.

      You really want to focus on the D.C. market; you need a cluster of schools around that which means a school on the opposite side (Virginia-based).

      Like

      • mushroomgod says:

        Maybe….but the presidents have a say, and they like GT a lot, probably more than VA. GT, with it’s tremendous engineering school, is probably more like most BT schools….also, as I recall its a little bigger.

        I hope the BIG doesn’t go to 16 unless the SEC takes the first step. It certainly is starting to have the look of inevitability though…………..

        Like

        • greg says:

          Virginia and GT have almost the same undergrad and grad enrollment numbers. Virginia is the state flagship in a contiguous state with a $5.2B endowment. GT is a second banana in a geographic outlier state with a $1.7B endowment. I agree that GT’s engineering bent is closer to the Big Ten profile, but I imagine the COP/C would prefer Virginia. Not to mention Virginia would complete the DC addition.

          Like

          • @greg – I absolutely believe that the Big Ten would love UVA. However, if the conference thought that they would be able to grab UVA (and/or UNC) now, I don’t think they would have bothered going the Rutgers route. UVA might be more of a realistic target 10 years from now when the school’s image of itself may end up looking northward instead of southward (similar to change that has occurred at Maryland)… unless the school seriously just cares about straight cash money ASAP.

            Like

  35. Andy says:

    Nate Silver weighs in, ranks the candidates by fan size:

    http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/20/expanding-eastward-could-dilute-big-ten-brand/

    Missouri #23
    Rutgers #32
    Pitt #37
    Kansas #40
    Iowa State #52
    Maryland #58

    Like

    • Richard says:

      I like Nate Silver, but is analysis only looks at football (not to mention that the data is spotty; no way that GTech has more fans than UGa). Basketball plays second fiddle, but is still worth roughly half as much (in bball schools, about as much as football). That would not help Rutger’s rankings but would help UMD’s.

      Like

    • zeek says:

      His fan size measures are interesting and somewhat useful for this analysis.

      But his talk of revenue and the like implies that he didn’t really put much time into researching that aspect of it.

      You have to combine that with something like the WSJ’s piece to get a clearer picture:

      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323353204578129430974702190.html?mod=WSJ_WSJ_US_News_5

      Like

      • metatron says:

        Nate’s point was that the business model for any sports organization should be fan interest rather than cable sets and demographics. This reminds me of MLB’s Florida expansion or the NHL’s shift to the south, moves that have since proved disastrous and damaging.

        I’m not saying Maryland or Rutgers are terrible mistakes by any measure (though I don’t necessarily agree with their inclusion), but that the logic used to justify their admission is flawed and will ultimately lead to serious problems with the fan bases. Sports are gut feeling, an emotional bond that can’t be fully appreciated by looking at spreadsheets and census figures.

        Like

        • I could be wrong, but I doubt Rutgers moving to the B1G will create animosity with their fanbase. Maryland maybe, although that seems to be split at the moment. It seems slightly similar to Nebraska in that regard, only without the Texas animosity.

          Like

          • metatron says:

            I think Rutgers is largely in favor of it; they were in Hell and we gave them a ladder. Maryland’s torn between grudging acceptance – mostly because they were also dying. But I’m talking about the traditional Big Ten fans. I liked playing Nebraska, I enjoy being in a division with them.

            There are a number of people here who get starry-eyed about the prospect of adding the Tar Heels, but I can guarantee you that it won’t play in Toledo or Duluth.

            Like

          • @metatron:

            Yeah I don’t see UNC. I can see UVa, but only if they come along with VT or (somehow) ND. There has to be something there that says, “This is also an athletics move.” Additionally, I’m not sure how it is in the western states, but I think Columbus, Ohio is fine with going east. That said, UNC just reaches too far south, as does GT.

            Like

          • morganwick says:

            The Big Ten is a victim of the nationalization of college football. They could have survived as their own little unit even if they had no chance to compete with the SEC long-term except maybe for Ohio State. Instead they have to find some way to create equity with other conferences. Yet another reason why college football should (have) adopt(ed) a promotion/relegation system.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            metatron,

            “There are a number of people here who get starry-eyed about the prospect of adding the Tar Heels, but I can guarantee you that it won’t play in Toledo or Duluth.”

            What you’ll find is that opinions vary across the B10. OSU has more alumni in DC/NoVA than in Chicago, with NYC in between them in numbers. Thus, eastward expansion doesn’t bother them as much. Clearly PSU favors going east. MI should to based on where their alumni are. People need to remember that the main choices are New England (Syracuse, UConn, BC), the mid-Atlantic (UVA, UNC) and the southeast (GT). The B10 can’t really go north, there isn’t much to the west (KU – smallish state, bad demographics), and straight south is blocked by the SEC.

            If not the mid-atlantic, then where?

            Like

    • Andy that is interesting that Missouri has that many fans yet has been unable to get good attendance year in and year out except for this one year anomoly (year 1 of the SEC). As I recall Missouri used to only sellout a couple of big games per year vs. Nebraska et al and then attendance dropped way off during all the other games unless they where winning. Engagement from that fanbase is not that intense over the long haul.

      Like

      • Andy says:

        Columbia is 120 miles away from any large cities. That has always hurt attendance.

        Even when we have “been unable to get good attendance” in the past we still ranked in the top 26 or 27 in the nation. We’ll be around 19 or 20 this year, but we haven’t been that bad overall.

        Our 10 year average is around 20k higher per game than Maryland’s.

        Like

        • Andy how large or a city is Lincoln? How large or a city is South Bend? These are excuses. The Missouri fanbase isn’t very engaged. It just isn’t. We will see that as the attendance drops over the next 5 years.

          You are comparing Missouri to Maryland? How about we compare the two in 5-10 years.

          Like

          • Andy says:

            Lincoln Nebraska has 262k people. Omaha has 416k, and it’s only 50 miles away.

            South Bend is 90 miles from Chicago (population 9.7M).

            columbia MO’s population is 110k. is 124 Miles from St. Louis, 126 miles from Kansas City, 168 miles from Springfield, 393 miles from Memphis, 346 miles from tulsa, 317 miles from Omaha, 376 miles from Little rock.

            As I said, Columbia is small and is far away from any population center. There is a high bar of entry for most Missouri fans to actually make it to a game. They need to muster up a lot of enthusiasm to actually make that 2-3 hour drive to get to the game and then the 2-3 hour drive to get home. A lot of them need hotels. It gets expensive. It certainly depresses our attendance figures.

            Feel free to dismiss me but you’re 100% wrong in doing so. But then you’re only trolling to begin with (like usual) so it’s not surprising at all.

            Missouri has averaged over 60k fans for many years now. Not sure how many but close to a decade. And it’s been trending up, not down.

            Like

          • So a 70 mile extra drive from St. Louis/K.C. is keeping Missouri from selling out? Delusional…

            The link shows that Missouri is averaging 62k for the 2011 season. That is #25 behind Washington, Michigan State, Iowa and right around Kentucky. Yes Kentucky. Again the Missouri fan base isn’t very engaged.

            Like

          • FranktheAg says:

            Mizzou had a nice uptick this year and it will only increase from here now that they are in the SEC.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            Show me a school with better attendance with most of their fanbase living more than 2 hours away. You can’t because there aren’t any. Mizzou is unusually remote. It’s a factor. Probably depresses attendance by a good 20% vs what it would be if we had a population base nearby. 70 miles difference is 140 miles round trip. Heck yeah that makes a difference.

            This year we averaged 67k per game. That’s a 5k improvement over last season.

            A lot of that is due to schedule improvements. Mizzou’s 2011 home schedule was Kansas State, Texas Tech, and Oklahoma State with the Kansas game in KC. Plus 3 cupcakes like Miami OH and Murray State. (I forget the third one).

            This year it was Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Arizona State. Makes a big difference when you’ve got good games to sell.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            @Andy
            Have you ever been to Fayettville, Tuscaloosa, Oxford, or Gainesville (let alone Tallashassee)? Remember Lubbock?

            Like

          • Andy says:

            OK, sure, Fayetteville is a good example, but their attendance is about the same as Mizzou’s.

            Texas Tech’s attendance is below Mizzou’s.

            Tuscaloosa is 50 miles from Birmingham so that’s not a good example.

            Gainesville is only about 70 miles from Jacksonville

            Talahassee is roughly 3 times bigger than Columbia.

            Like

          • spaz says:

            Andy, just staying in the Big Ten… look at Penn State. State College has a population of 45K and is surrounded by sparsely populated rural counties. Pittsburgh is 120 miles and isn’t exactly huge. Philadelphia is 150 miles away. And, PSU draws in, well, a few more fans than Mizzou.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            Pennsylvania is a more densely populated state than Missouri.

            Like

          • morganwick says:

            70 miles is over an hour through a bunch of nothing. Omaha to Lincoln is already an hour; people aren’t going to drive for two hours to catch a three-hour football game.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            spaz,

            That’s Andy. Facts are irrelevant. He has his narrative and will dismiss any and all attempts to bring facts that prove him wrong by adding yet another obscure requirement to narrow his case to only 1 possible answer – MO is great and anything bad isn’t their fault.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            morganwick,

            “70 miles is over an hour through a bunch of nothing. Omaha to Lincoln is already an hour; people aren’t going to drive for two hours to catch a three-hour football game.”

            Are you kidding? Thousands of fans regularly drive 4+ hours each way to games.

            Like

          • morganwick says:

            Brian, By that logic, Columbia is well within that threshold to all three of its state’s major population centers.

            Like

        • danimation707 says:

          Wow Andy you keep getting crushed yet come back for more.

          One last point. Missouri has so so home attendance and has a rep for being a terrible traveling fan base. This is what kept you out of a bcs bowl in the last decade. Not bc KU was better or deserved to go. Instead the Orange passed on the better qualified team (Missouri) bc they KNEW your fan base wouldn’t travel well to the game.

          Like

          • Andy says:

            Mizzou travels well to games. Sent 8k to South Carolina this year. 8k to Florida. 10k to Tennessee.

            Mizzou sent over 30k to the Cotton Bowl in ’07. Missouri not traveling well is a myth.

            Like

          • danimation707 says:

            Andy, again those better traveling numbers will decrease after Missouri continues to get pounded in the SEC. Sure it is fun in the first year but how many Missouri fans are going to want to travel to watch guaranteed losses?

            Oh goodness now I am a troll bc I am contesting your homer esq opinions? Have fun watching bowl games this year where Missouri will not be a participant. This will be a new tradition for you all in the SEC.

            Like

        • danimation707 says:

          Andy… The average attendance went up by a couple thousand during the first year in the SEC. It will drop as Missouri continues to be a .500 or worse team like this year on a consistent basis. The attendance spike will settle back into the 50k rangr within the next five years.

          Like

  36. ccrider55 says:

    A good look at who runs the B12. Is FSU willing to bend to the ‘horns whims?
    http://collegefootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/11/19/texas-trying-to-lock-down-thanksgiving-day-home-game/related/

    Like

    • David Brown says:

      I am certainly no UT fan, but if they are want to play on Thanksgiving let them. The Cowboys & Lions certainly do. Plus, UT generally plays a quality team. Besides, who is really looking forward to The Apple Cup Game of Washington @ Washinton St on Fox?

      Like

      • Arch Stanton says:

        The issue isn’t that Texas wants to play on Thanksgiving day. The issue is that they expect anyone not named Oklahoma to rotate as the visiting team in Austin every year on Thanksgiving day so that UT gets the exposure/tradition of playing on the holiday but never has to leave town to do it. When they played against A&M on Thanksgiving they alternated between campuses. All take and no give, that’s the Texas way.

        Like

        • Good grief, you all try too hard sometimes to demonize Texas. I bet you would find that TCU, Tech, and Baylor are all more than happy to be part of the rotation playing in a national game against Texas every Thanksgiving (I recall reading that TCU lobbied for that spot), no one is going to be forced to do this. Just because Texas makes a request doesn’t mean they’re being a bully.

          Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            I’m sure TT shouldn’t be on that list.

            Like

          • Arch Stanton says:

            TCU wanted to fill the A&M role in the game, meaning home-and-home. They’d probably even settle for Fort Worth/JerryWorld rotation for the TCU home game. But I promise you that TCU is not interested in joining a rotation of teams that get the honor of traveling to Austin on Thanksgiving every year. Texas Tech definitely isn’t either.
            Texas doesn’t want another rival. They want their own Washington Generals.

            Like

          • Well, if TCU and Tech really don’t want to be part of a rotation playing in Austin on T day, as you all are guaranteeing/promising is the case, then those institutions merely need to inform the Big 12 of their feelings, and Texas will be fine with that. Whenever a Big 12 member has complained about something involving Texas, UT has very graciously acquiesced. I’m not so sure that you’re correct that TCU and Tech have a problem playing in Austin on Thanksgiving (typically much better November temps than DFW and Lubbock, better venue for a national game, more likely to fill the stadium), but you may be right.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            C. in Wylie (Chip Brown? 🙂

            TT blew a gasket and reportedly turned down millions when UT wanted to put their game on the LHN!

            Like

          • Correction, when ESPN wanted to put Tech on the LHN…

            Like

          • morganwick says:

            What about Iowa State, the Kansas schools, and maybe Oklahoma State?

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            How desirable. A yearly thanksgiving day game at UT featuring ISU, KU, OkSU, Baylor rotating. Must see TV…

            Like

          • Mike says:

            Most people will watch the NFL anyway.

            Like

          • Well, it’s must-see TV for me. Can’t wait for the TCU game tomorrow. And of course more people will watch the NFL, that will always be the first choice. Long term, this will eventually go back to a home-and-home with A&M once Dodds is gone and all scars from the nasty break-up heal.

            Like

          • morganwick says:

            “Most people will watch the NFL anyway.”

            Not if the game is anything like Thursday’s…

            Like

        • Why can’t OU and Texas each have a turkey day gave vs. Texas getting one every year while all of them being at home? Seems like OU is getting the short end of the stick. But again they hitched their wagon to Texas long ago. Nice partnership OU…

          Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        But always at home? That’s my point. Others (conference “brethren”) not wanting to play at all that day get summoned to the castle?

        Like

      • bullet says:

        They’re copying the Cowboys and Lions.

        Not everyone wants to play on Thanksgiving Thursday. Its a challenge for the fans.

        Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        David Brown:

        “…who is really looking forward to The Apple Cup Game of Washington @ Washinton St on Fox?”

        Probably a few less than want to see another SEC inter-mural NCG 🙂 .

        Like

    • Arch Stanton says:

      Texas being Texas. The arrogance would be shocking if anything that Texas did could actually shock me any more.

      Like

  37. Nostradamus says:

    Darren Rovell reporting Fox now officially owns 49% of YES.

    Like

    • zeek says:

      That solves the second key to the puzzle. Now we get to see how Fox successful Fox is at getting carriage for BTN alongside it. It’s going to be an interesting few years for sure.

      Like

  38. Read The D says:

    A look at future Big East divisions, assuming UConn goes ACC and Boise State and San Diego State stay on board:

    East
    Temple
    Navy
    Cincinnati
    Louisville
    South Florida
    Central Florida

    West
    Memphis
    Houston
    SMU
    San Diego State
    Boise State
    Air Force/BYU

    When can we go back to calling this Conference USA?

    Like

    • Hodgepodge says:

      More like “Conference WTF”

      Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      What if Boise and SDSU talks with MWC result in them staying west?

      Like

    • zeek says:

      The Big East’s “Northeast anchor” would be Temple and Navy…

      Yeah, time to whip out the SAT words; let’s go with anachronism.

      Like

    • Read The D says:

      A more apocalyptic look; Louisville goes Big 12, Boise, SDSU and Air Force/BYU say no thanks, Navy reconsiders. That leaves:

      Temple
      Cincinnati
      USF
      UCF
      Memphis
      Houston
      SMU

      With 7 schools remaining for football they would probably need to back-fill with a couple. The candidates:

      East Carolina
      UMass
      Tulane
      Northern Illinois
      UTEP
      Marshall
      Buffalo
      Tulsa

      It’s not good.

      Like

  39. mouse says:

    Just out of curiosity, I see where Bosie State and SDSU would owe either five or ten million to the Big East if they decide to go instead back to the Mt West. Why is this so? They agreed to join a particular conference. They incurred significant costs in their planning. Since the time of agreement, the Big East has changed materially. If someone should be paying someone, why wouldn’t the Big East owe Boise State and SDSU? It seems the breach of the agreement is on the conference side — it’s no longer the conference that made the original promises. Any litigation lawyers out there willing to explain to me?

    Like

    • Jericho says:

      There was some talk that at least Boise’s acceptance was conditional on the Big East hitting certain monetary thresholds in their next television contract. I have no idea if that’s true, but I suspect both schools at least considered an out-clause like that. If they did not, it’s assumption of the risk.

      Like

  40. joe4psu says:

    BTN coverage of RU introduction to begin at 1:45 eastern.

    Like

    • zeek says:

      What’s the Penn State fanbase opinion on this if you don’t mind my asking? (Obviously, I’ve checked what some folks said on places like Rivals, but just wondering if you’d have a different take…)

      Like

      • joe4psu says:

        I really like the additions but I grew up when PSU was an independent. I like the idea of UMD and RU replacing a couple of midwestern games a year. You take the bad with the good in that regard since it means less games against UM and others too. It should make PSU fans that like to travel to away games happy since it adds a couple of closer trips. Heck, there may be a lot of B1G fans living in the east that will like that.

        I trust that the B1G officials know what they are doing financially so I have no worries about adding schools that aren’t home runs for schools #13 and #14. I do hope that any future additions are home runs though. The question is who could that be.

        Like

        • zeek says:

          Well, all of the #15-16 analysis is going to focus on UVa + UNC or UVa + Georgia Tech or UVa + Va Tech.

          I’m not sure whether those fit your definition of home runs, but those are the most likely route given that we’re all in on the Mid-Atlantic strategy at this point.

          Like

          • joe4psu says:

            None of those schools are home runs in fb but they all offer other things that the B1G is looking for so I’d understand their addition. The problem is that VT is the only school that would help the image of the B1G as a fb conference.

            Like

          • @joe: Agreed. #15 might be UVa, but they need someone else to move the needle on the football side. Market size is great, but you can’t lose sight of the fact the product has to be worthwhile enough to take advantage of that market size. The next two can’t just be about markets.

            Like

          • zeek says:

            FWIW, I think they’ve done this knowing that we aren’t getting another “home run”.

            Think about it like this, at 12, if we had added another home run or two (ND and/or Texas), we likely would have gone to 14 permanently.

            But now that we’re at 14 with still 4 kings, it makes sense to just round out the conference and have 4 divisions headlined by a king each.

            Like

          • @zeek: I’m pretty confident we’re out of home runs, but there still might be consideration for athletics on the field here. VT or ND (the longest of long shots imo) maybe, but who knows. I’m not a believer in UNC or GT; at some point there has to be a logistical cutoff, and I think those are just impractical for a variety of reasons. Like you, I think UVa/VT is the most solid play at the moment, unless some weird voodoo happens and ND suddenly ends up back in play.

            Like

          • mushroomgod says:

            Going to 14 w/o a big-time football program was one thing…..going to 16 with NC and VA, as great as they are as Us, is another…………really makes ND more important again….

            Like

      • spaz says:

        As a PSU fan, I’m very happy. I’ve long thought Maryland was the perfect Big Ten addition beyond any Kings. Rutgers I’m less than enthusiastic about, but I am glad to see it be two east coast teams. This makes PSU far less of an outlier and gives our fan base (which is almost entirely located on the east coast) far more options of games to attend. I think it will make it a lot easier for PSU to recruit, even in basketball.

        I’m very pleasantly surprised to see this happen.

        Like

        • zeek says:

          You’re going to be getting 2 more soon.

          I’m not sure how Penn State fans feel about that though; your division would be Penn State/Maryland + 2 new ones (UNC/UVa or whatever it is).

          Obviously, your other 6 games would be old Big Ten teams, but it’ll be a big shift for you guys.

          Like

  41. bullet says:

    One of these articles talked about Delany controlling the news cycle.

    The talk of KSU and Oregon getting upset and Notre Dame as #1 has died down. NOW! That is why Maryland and Rutgers now! Getting back at Notre Dame’s moment!

    BTW, 22 years ago Georgia 17 Notre Dame 10. UGA wins national championship in New Orleans. Same score 22 years later in Miami? USC hasn’t beaten anyone good all year. They manage to lose close to the good teams. And now no Matt Barkley. Notre Dame is living a charmed life this year.

    Like

  42. rich2 says:

    A saner analysis of the RU and MD acquisition:

    http://mgoblog.com/

    Like

    • zeek says:

      I’m very glad that there are adults in charge of this process and not fans.

      If the fans ran this conference, they’d run it as if the Big Ten could survive with its original base of ten teams like the Big 12 is going with…

      A total lack of long-term thinking going on there…

      Like

      • zeek says:

        BTW, that’s not a shot at the Big 12.

        The Big 12 can do that because if Texas is your population base anchor; you’re set for the next 50 years without fail.

        If Michigan/Ohio/Illinois is, you’ve stuck your head in the ground (are Michigan fans aware that that state is actually losing net population now?).

        Like

      • acaffrey says:

        MGoBlue has great analysis. Read the entire site, not just the top article. The second entry specifically challenges your notion that this is a good long-term move. If the television paradigm does change, does having Maryland/Rutgers help? Not sure that 15 years of averaging 5 wins will make the fan base that much stronger and more interested in paying for a la carte BTN.

        Like

        • ccrider55 says:

          Ben hearing about the impending ala carte since shortly after the birth of cable…

          Like

        • zeek says:

          They’re clueless fans for the most part. I read that email bag, and most of the analysis there is pedestrian at best.

          Only one of them in the comments section was aware that Fox is buying YES with the contractual ability to group its channels (that’s kind of important to any analysis of the NYC/NJ market implications). Fox clearly gave the go-ahead on this move and has to have indicated that the TV numbers will work out in the long-term…

          These people are thinking like fans. I get it. But that’s not Delany’s job. His job is to make sure that the conference is best positioned for the future.

          Like

          • acaffrey says:

            I think the argument is why not be prepared for present system AND a la carte.

            A 12-team B1G is never, ever going to be irrelevant. Or Poor. Ever.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Acaffrey:

            How would you prepare for ala carte? Is a 10 school BTN going to be more attractive than an 11, 12, or 14?

            Like

          • acaffrey says:

            The argument being raised, even if implicitly, is that you go based on # of team’s fans without regard for whether those fans are clustered into one “TV” footprint or not. Also, look at the seriousness of the fans as it relates to being willing to pay a la carte.

            I was not making the argument, just challenging the idea that these were idiot fans making comments. It is a respected blog and the commentators just disagreed with the Delaney is Infallible line of thinking. Not even sure anyone really cared that much. These were not haters. Just those disagreeing with the move.

            Like

          • greg says:

            acraffrey, I feel you’re attacking a straw man here. No one thinks Delany is infallible. Lots of Big Ten fans on this board, including myself, aren’t too excited with this move.

            Like

          • zeek says:

            Delany isn’t infallible. This is still the same guy who didn’t see the blinding arrogance behind Leaders/Legends division names and is still unwilling to just go to a simple naming of East/West (even if Wisconsin and Michigan/Michigan State aren’t in name appropriate divisions).

            The Big Ten fans on this blog are just trying to be realists.

            I don’t think excitement describes this move. Everyone was excited when Nebraska came on the schedule.

            This is different. This is a move that had to be made to secure the conference’s footprint. This was a business decision.

            Like

      • ChicagoB1GRed says:

        Zeek, your comments are always interesting and worth reading. And best of all, short and to the point.

        One counterpoint: yes the TV money-MBA driven-Cable Package Bundling thing seems like the smart realistic play, even though it undermines the traditions and qualities that have made CFB the “product” that it is.

        But speaking of long-term, what happens when Cable’s business model blows up? The days of squeezing an extra $1/month from somebody even if they don’t want to watch the B1G will end sometime, sooner than you might think. Google Fiber for example as a harbinger.

        When that occurs, constructing a conference’s future and choosing membership around a media-$$$ driven strategy might end up badly, or at least with many unforeseen consequences.

        The XII might serve as a cautionary tale. It was always a shotgun wedding, purely a marriage of convenience. The wholly financial aspect of the arrangement permanently poisoned and undermined whatever relationships were there to begin with. There were other factors in play unique to their membership, but the foundation was weak.

        Yes, money matters, pays the bills, and can drive growth and competitiveness. But I hope the B1G’s approach doesn’t kill the golden goose.

        Like

        • greg says:

          ChicagoB1GRed:

          If a la carte arrives, kills the BTN and therefore kills the ability of the B10 to compete in football therefore killing the B10 ability to compete for the Directors Cup…

          We’ll be stuck with 14 R1 universities competing for billions of federal and private research dollars. Rutgers and Maryland fit well in this regard.

          I would have preferred we stuck with 12, but I can understand why this is a prudent move for the future.

          Like

          • ChicagoMac says:

            If a la carte arrives, kills the BTN

            This working assumption may be entirely wrong, completely backward. B1G might be best positioned of all the conferences to deal with an a la carte future.

            Like

          • @ChicagoMac – I agree. The reason why the BTN is able to get basic carriage at a high rate in the first place is because there is a critical mass of people (as in enough people that are willing to change cable providers entirely in order to receive that channel that overrides the subscriber fee cost to the cable company) that want/need it. Now, the BTN (and every other basic cable channel) would certainly have a rougher go of it in an a la carte world, but the Big Ten’s advantage isn’t a “form over substance” advantage via the BTN. Instead, the BTN is successful because the Big Ten itself has enough fans to be successful in whatever the dominant media medium is in place at any given point in time.

            Like

          • greg says:

            ChicagoMac, I don’t believe a la carte will kill BTN. I’m running hypothetical for those who have such a belief.

            Like

        • zeek says:

          I think these changes will occur at a pace that allows the Big Ten to transition to whatever the new media future is in terms of sports rights monetization.

          It’s worth noting that the Big Ten split the egg between the Pac-12’s 100% ownership approach and the LHN’s 0% ownership approach, so the Big Ten has echewed a half of the risk of the the cable-based approach in favor of guaranteed payouts for that half.

          It’s also worth noting though that there is going to be some pushback in the other direction (like Comcast merging with NBC).

          You do have a point though. I don’t think this is as bad though of a play as others make it out to be even if the cable business blows up someday. Rutgers and Maryland are both enormous land grant institutions with large captive alumni bases. They’re also in prime locations as far as alumni and student growth for Big Ten universities are concerned.

          As far as the money, sports are where the money is going to be in general, so even if the cable-based aspect of the play ended up wearing out, that shouldn’t really affect the monetization aspect of it.

          For the most part, I think the schools are all on board with this plan; yes they want to protect the “product” but they also want to be sure that the conference is positioned for the long-term as well as the near-term.

          I think the goal is to get to 16 teams with UVa and another, and they’ll be permanently out of the expansion game.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            The Pac 12 network will probably really be getting profitable when the bottom drops out. I think they made a fundamental mistake not spreading the risk.

            Like

          • acaffrey says:

            I think the issue is that 30 years of football irrelevance has not made all of those graduates interested in spending the money to buy a la carte pricing. 1,000,000 fans, of which 90% are rabid is better than 2,000,000 fans of which 40% are rabid, etc.

            Again, not adopting these arguments, just challenging the idea that the notions are idiotic.

            Like

          • zeek says:

            Those notions are fair; you’re taking a risk that the next 30 years will look different from the past 30.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Bullet:

            Are you suggesting fox/ESPN are taking a 50% (aprox) stake in likely to fail ventures? 100% stake returns an equal $ amount/sub (assuming….) even if market falls by half compared to the B1G’s 50%. They will remain profitable longer by not having to feed ESPN or Fox corporate needs, and still be achieving its owners other priorities of exposure and promotion of conf and its schools.

            Where is evidence for the bottom falling out of live sports broadcasts? Aren’t trends the opposite?

            Like

          • I think there’s certainly a long-term risk that cable will turn to an a la carte model, but the issue is that consumers aren’t quite aware of what could happen if that comes to fruition. Consumers want a la carte access to the entire menu of channels and programs that are available today in your 500-plus channel lineup. However, the economic reality is only 30 or 40 of those channels would survive in an a la carte world, so competition decreases and prices invariably rise back up again to point that you’re paying more for less.

            Like

          • ChicagoB1GRed says:

            Well think of it this way: the whole business case for Maryland and Rutgers blows up if we rely only on their fans and B1G alumni in the new markets. Everyone’s counting on revenue from cable fees paid by people not interested in B1G football, CFB, or even sports. If that doesn’t happen or we move to a la carte, it’s easier said than done to monetize Rutgers and MD on the east coast—no one’s done it yet. They’d just be two more mouths to feed. But the traditional B1G teams would be easy to monetize in any new media setup, because they already have the programs and fans, even the or so-so programs.

            Like

          • @Chicago:

            I just like to think of Ghostbusters:

            Agent: There’s office space, sleeping quarters and showers on the next floor and a full kitchen on the top left.

            Peter: It just seems a little pricey for a unique fixer-upper opportunity, that’s all. What do you think, Egon?

            Egon: I think this building should be condemned. There’s serious metal fatigue in all the load-bearing members, the wiring is substandard, it’s completely inadequate for our power needs, and the neighborhood is like a demilitarized zone.

            Ray: (from upstairs) Hey! Does this pole still work? (slides down the fire pole) Wow! This place is great! When can we move in? You’ve got to try this pole! I’m gonna get my stuff. (he turns and runs up the stairs) Hey, we should stay here tonight. Sleep here! You know, to try it out!

            Peter: I think we’ll take it.

            Agent: Good.

            🙂

            Like

          • bullet says:

            @cc
            Just a fundamental investment philosophy. You spread the risk and don’t put all your eggs in one basket. I think the Big 10 and Texas made better decisions in sharing the risk (Texas dumped off all the risk). Texas really had to do it that way because they didn’t have the clout or expertise of ESPN. (by the way, Fox just signed Okie St., so they now have Big 12 Tier 3 for everyone but Texas, Kansas and WVU).

            ESPN isn’t putting all their money in one conference. Yet the Pac 12 is making a big investment and taking all the risk that their network doesn’t pay off. The cable market is changing. Younger people’s sports viewing appetites are changing. And the Pac 12 is a sports conference. ESPN and Fox are in the media business. Its a common business failing, thinking because you succeed in one area, you can succeed in a different one. It may pay off. If you take more risk, you can get a bigger reward. But colleges shouldn’t be taking big risks.

            Like

          • ChicagoMac says:

            @bullett – who got Kansas/WVU 3rd tier?

            Like

          • frug says:

            @bullet

            The problem for the PAC is that can’t be as conservative as the Big 10. The PTN is never going to be able charge the add or carriage rates that the BTN does (or the SEC Network will) so if the PAC wants to stay competitive financially they need to keep all the profits themselves.

            Also, Larry Scott is working beyond just cable TV. The PAC’s GOR included all media rights, not just TV, and the PAC using those to put together internet and mobile device broadcasting beyond what other conferences are doing. They are also the only conference making a major international push, specifically East Asia.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            @ChicagoMac
            I haven’t heard anything on those two. Fox may yet get them. I don’t know what Kansas is doing. They are probably pretty valuable with basketball. WV had been doing all its 3rd tier in house and has been in a process to bid it all out. They weren’t even doing the IMG bit on their licensing. They were one of 2 or 3 major colleges who was doing it in house.

            Fox has signed TT, TCU, Baylor, OU, Okie St., ISU and KSU in the last 2 or 3 months.

            Like

          • morganwick says:

            “I think there’s certainly a long-term risk that cable will turn to an a la carte model, but the issue is that consumers aren’t quite aware of what could happen if that comes to fruition. Consumers want a la carte access to the entire menu of channels and programs that are available today in your 500-plus channel lineup. However, the economic reality is only 30 or 40 of those channels would survive in an a la carte world, so competition decreases and prices invariably rise back up again to point that you’re paying more for less.”

            Let’s say you’re right, and on average people will pay the same amount for TV.

            Let’s take a look at three different networks: ESPN, Discovery, and TLC.

            TLC can’t fix its price at a point that will attract enough subscribers to make it viable and folds.

            ESPN and Discovery manage to raise their rates and survive. ESPN’s rate is still several times higher than Discovery’s.

            The difference is that ESPN is being paid for solely by the people who will actually watch their product, that is, sports fans. Non-sports fans who don’t watch ESPN don’t have to pay for it. Same goes for other sports networks, so the monthly cable bill for sports fans is infinitely higher than for non-sports fans. That means the non-sports fans either still save money compared to a non-a-la-carte system, or subscribe to a lot more channels compared to a sports fan (meaning the ratio of sports to non-sports channels will heavily favor the latter). And it’s the non-sports fans for whom a la carte is supposed to benefit.

            That, however, won’t last long. Sports teams, conferences, and leagues will quickly realize that being on a cable outlet only works if you’re only trying to target the hardcore sports fan, and being on your own network is only even viable if you have a ton of those hardcore sports fans. If you’re targeting the casual fan for whom $5-10 for ESPN is an exorbitant expense, you have to show up on a network they will watch, otherwise the number of hardcore sports fans will inexorably decrease. That will swing the pendulum back to broadcast television as a more valuable option for sports entities than cable, meaning ESPN probably won’t be able to hold on to its most valuable programming, like the new playoff. That means fewer people subscribing and lower prices.

            So ESPN would survive, but with much less valuable programming and lower profits, while sports fans find their cable bill going down again, though probably still more than cable bills are now. RSNs would probably survive, though sub-licencing some games to broadcast outlets might be a must for less national-TV-friendly teams; the NFL Network might survive, and maybe the BTN and an SEC network, but all other sport-specific networks are likely to fold, and even the BTN and an SEC network would have to make sure broadcast networks and ESPN picked up a ton of their games. The Pac-12 would be screwed in this scenario. General all-sports networks would fare better, but there still wouldn’t be very many of them. General-purpose networks like TNT that pick up sports might inadvertently become sports networks if they end up pricing out some of the people that came on board when it was a general-purpose network.

            I wonder what would happen if a la carte took an “opt-out” form, where instead of picking networks you want to subscribe to, you pick the networks you DON’T want to subscribe to. Sports networks, especially ESPN, could be hit hard by that.

            However, I suspect the actual future could rest with completely blowing up what we know of now as television, in place of a future where Netflix and Hulu set the tone for entertainment and internet streaming of sports is the norm. If that happens, the Pac-12’s decision to cut out the middleman looks downright ahead of its time and ESPN could be killed entirely. That “authentication” is so huge in streaming now is an attempt by cable providers at all levels to maintain the current structure indefinitely, but I suspect one of two things will happen: a la carte is imposed on cable operators, destroying the entire infrastructure, or teams and leagues decide they’re not stopping people from cutting the cord (or never hooking up to begin with) and sell their wares directly to consumers without having to go through a cable company.

            In essence, the Pac-12 Network is an all-in bet on streaming being the way of the future, not a la carte. And I like its chances of success, because what a la carte would really do is accelerate that streaming future.

            Like

        • ccrider55 says:

          You mean I’d be able to drop 6 or 7 ESPN’s? NBC?
          This is where I may be wrong, but I believe as long as you own the rights to an in demand product you will get paid, and have the leverage to thwart ala carte. These are the battles that have been going on for decades. If ala carte was the model that was most profitable, and could be forced on the producers of content, the distributors would above done that long ago. There isn’t anything else preventing it.

          Like

      • metatron says:

        The point people need to understand is that the ultimate survival of this conference rests on fan interest, not cable sets. You might scoff at people’s attitudes, but they’re the ones who go keep these teams flush with cash.

        Sometimes I think some people are so fixated on the “long-term” that they’re farsighted. Maryland and Rutgers are already pressing to a number of people; UNC and Virginia could very well cause a very deep rift between fans and their schools and destabilize this conference.

        Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      Did Perdue drop out?

      Like

  43. Naked Sam says:

    I have never posted here and cringe beneath the knowledge of other posters. But I haven’t seen mentioned yet that the NJ/NY and DC/MD market plays by the Big Ten also help situate them vis-a-vis Notre Dame. Before, they could only promise games in the middle of Pennsylvania while now they could promise games deep in the heart of where much of the Irish’s national fanbase resides.

    Like

    • metatron says:

      It’s a thought, though the possible exodus of Florida State and/or Clemson would do more. But the a lot of the fans irrationally hate the Big Ten more than they love independence; they’d sooner join a weakened ACC.

      Even if the leadership thought it was a good idea, they’re hostage to their alumni and fans.

      Like

      • Pretty much. There’s enough animosity between the fanbases at this point to where I don’t think it’s feasible. We question the cultural differences between the B1G and Virginia or UNC, but ND’s issues make them look positively in lock step with the B1G by comparison.

        Like

        • metatron says:

          I think the Big Ten has more of a rivalry hatred for Notre Dame, wheras Notre Dame has an outright loathing for all things Big Ten. It’s a part of their mythos that the Big Ten tried to kill them (a lie), and the subway domers think we’re all “flyover country”.

          Whatever. If they want to act like a jilted lover, so be it. I’m awfully tired of listening to a bunch of nut jobs cry and whine about outright lies and spew their bigotry.

          Like

          • I think it depends. Those who play ND regularly might have sports hatred, but those who haven’t (OSU, PSU, Wisconsin, etc.) are tired of hearing about them diss the BigTen year in and year out.

            Moreover, since every expansion cycle it’s brought up how the BigTen would just love to have ND if only ND would stop acting like the snooty cheerleader in high school, I think many fans are just tired of it being assumed the BigTen is the desperate, nerdy kid with the crush in this drama. That and perceived arrogance of public-v-private, religious-v-secular, large-v-small, wake up the echos, etc. Want to know what the average non-rivalry fan thinks of ND? Go to the message boards. Most lump them in with the SEC in terms of hatred, although they think that at least the SEC earned it on the field. Of course, I’m generalizing.

            Like

          • FLP_NDRox says:

            The fans of the #1 ranked Irish love your hate.

            Like

          • I have no doubt about that FLP. And it absolutely kills me that OSU, of all the years to go undefeated, is on a bowl ban. 😉

            Like

    • FLP_NDRox says:

      When ND played “@” Maryland, it was at the Redskins’ stadium. When ND played “@” Rutgers, it was at the Meadowlands. Why would ND join a league with teams we don’t even want to play at their campus stadiums?

      Like I said about this above, as long as ND can still get picked for the playoffs, find non-embarassing teams to play in October and November, and a decent league to park their Olympic sports ND has no reason to give up independence.

      Like

  44. Nick in South Bend says:

    BC and UVA next? I will wait and see, but this is obviously a targeted leak to further foment FSU to play their next card with the Big 12…This is the chaos that Delany is trying to create in order to achieve the result he and Slive desire.

    Like

    • zeek says:

      He’s just making that up.

      Virginia seems like the #15 target for sure at this point though. I’m not sure how the Big Ten expands without Virginia (given that we’ve gone onto the Mid-Atlantic strategy).

      Like

      • bullet says:

        UVA is definitely target for 15. I guessing 16 is open for whoever is most valuable and interested, whether they wear Green or Baby Blue or Burnt Orange.

        Like

        • zeek says:

          That’s where this is different from Missouri in a sense.

          Yes, the Big Ten only has 1/3 of St. Louis (the Illinois portion) and was okay without taking that whole market.

          But D.C. is different. There’s no way that the Big Ten expands without getting the Virginia portion of D.C.

          It’s hard to imagine any scenario without UVa at #15. Yes, it’s possible, but you just don’t leave 2/3s of D.C. on the table like the Big Ten did with St. Louis.

          Like

    • greg says:

      Delany is targeting leaks through the Cedar Rapids Gazette?

      Like

      • Nick in South Bend says:

        Through any reporter dumb enough to run with them…whoever picks it up in my opinion is just fine. This isn’t the 50’s all the news outlets are connected anyway.

        Like

    • Andy says:

      This makes sense to me. I’ll be shocked if the Big Ten attracts members south of Charlottesville other than maybe Georgia Tech. It’s too big of a cultural divide to bridge.

      If they’re taking 2nd rate academic programs in large markets then Boston College fits just fine. The’re a strong academic school too.

      Like

  45. greg says:

    Since duffman isn’t around to talk about it, I’ll do it for him.

    B10 now contains the flagship school of 11 states. Putting 22 senators in their corner for federal research funding.

    SEC 20 senators.
    P12 12
    B12 6 to 7 (3 flagships plus a school in Iowa, not the flagship but worth something)
    ACC 6 to 10, depending on how you count things with privates and secondary schools.

    Like

  46. zeek says:

    FWIW, with 4 kings, the Big Ten is actually better positioned for 16 teams than if we had brought on Notre Dame.

    Penn State/Maryland + 2
    Ohio State/Rutgers/Purdue/Indiana
    Michigan/Michigan State/Northwestern/Illinois
    Nebraska/Iowa/Wisconsin/Minnesota

    This expansion really does lend itself to a 4 division, 16 team Big Ten if we move for two more Mid-Atlantic schools. Most of the rivalries would end up preserved (you could have one or two cross-over games in a 9 game setup).

    Like

    • bullet says:

      When you look at it as PSU/MD + Nebraska/Rutgers, it looks like a pretty good addition-2 kings and 2 plebians.

      Like

      • zeek says:

        I was listening to some of the podcasts on ESPN.

        All of them were talking about why you’d add schools that aren’t going to win much.

        But by that same logic, would you really want to kick out Indiana/Minnesota/Illinois? The kings need to be fed a steady diet of 10 wins (look at the SEC where it seems like 6 teams can win 10 games every year now…).

        I think a fair way to look at this is whether you’d remove Maryland/Rutgers if they were already in a 14 team Big Ten. Would addition by subtraction work then? If the answer is no, then that question shouldn’t be asked…

        Like

        • ChicagoB1GRed says:

          The difference is Indiana/Minnesota/Illinois have been charter members of the B1G and the fabric of the conference culture and history, vs. the two new “cable guys” that are a pure financial move.

          C’mon, you know better…..right?

          Like

  47. ccrider55 says:

    No chance that, barring UVA asking aboard immediately, the mid-Atlantic strategy might serve as misdirection? It’s rare we are given so clear a blueprint in advance.

    Like

    • zeek says:

      I would say no. I think the move to 14 basically implied a future move to 16 in the same direction.

      Of course, as usual, I say that barring any change of heart on the part of ND/Texas.

      But the fact that we’re making this move basically telegraphs that we’re just waiting to cross to the other side of the D.C. market…

      Like

      • zeek says:

        If you want the logic, read what I wrote to bullet above.

        The Big Ten isn’t going to leave 2/3s of D.C. on the table like it did St. Louis (by not taking Missouri).

        North Virginia is essential.

        Like

        • mushroomgod says:

          Speaking of the St Louis market….what about VA and MO?

          I say that because I see VA Tech as more of an SEC fit. I would say their fans would vote 80-20 for the SEC……….

          Also, if BIG adds 2 more eastern teams you’re starting to piss off the western teams and building a stronger eastern voting block…….

          Now, before everyone yells out “Kansas”…..MO’s bigger, has better football, more people and media, and is closer……The schools are ranked about the same academically.

          MO not interested? Probably not now…..maybe in 3-4 years once the newness wears off….

          Like

          • Andy says:

            Right or wrong Mizzou fans are pissed off at the Big Ten right now. The belief, true or not, is that the Big Ten was in talks to take Mizzou and then flipped to Nebraska for some reason and left Missouri hanging. Reports differ as to the reason, whether it was Missouri balking at “junior membership”, or the Big Ten just suddenly changed their minds and went with the Huskers. This feeling of resentment supposedly goes all the way to the university leadership and the Governor himself. I don’t think there is a strong desire by very many Missourians to join the Big Ten at this point. In fact, that kind of talk is usually met with anger in Missouri.

            Like

          • @Andy: ” The belief, true or not, is that the Big Ten was in talks to take Mizzou and then flipped to Nebraska for some reason and left Missouri hanging.”

            No offense, but if Missouri fans really don’t know the reason the BigTen left them at the alter for Nebraska, I’m not sure what to say other than those fans just don’t want to accept the why.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            The SEC thought Missouri was plenty good enough and seems perfectly happy with the addtion.

            Compare Missouri and Maryland:

            Univeristy of Missouri
            Established 1839
            34,255 students
            $1.1B endowment
            AAU Member
            #42 ranked public school in USNews
            67k average football attendance
            29 bowl games
            15 football conference titles
            3 division titles
            2 non-standard national titles
            25 basketball NCAA tournaments
            5 elite eights
            23 basketball conference titles
            2 non-standard national titles
            State of Missouri population 6,010,688

            Univeristy of Maryland
            Established 1856
            37,631 students
            $792M endowment
            AAU Member
            #19 ranked public school in USNews
            42k average football attendance
            24 bowl games
            9 football conference titles
            0 division titles
            2 non-standard national titles
            24 basketball NCAA tournaments
            5 elite eights
            1 ncaa national title
            10 basketball conference titles
            State of Maryland population 5,828,289

            Tell me again why Maryland is so much better than Missouri?

            Also, I’m not going to look up the numbers for Rutgers but I know for a fact they are the weakest of the three by most of these measures.

            Nebraska is weakest of the 4 in all categories other than football.

            Like

          • @Andy: And in the case of Nebraska, despite their lacking in academics, population, etc, the difference was large enough to leave Missouri either at the alter or the restaurant, depending on which rumor you believe in regards to how far the negotiations got.

            Nebraska has a much more storied football tradition, averages 85k attendance per game with plans to expand their stadium I believe, is renowned for their fans’ propensity to travel well, and is without debate one of the ‘kings’ of the football world. From a media standpoint they move the needle nationally and regionally despite their population issues — they don’t need a market to justify the move.

            Now, I agree with you that I’m sure the SEC is plenty happy with Missouri. They’re a great compliment to TA&M and I think it was a good addition on their part. That said, if it was an option I’d put dollars to donuts the SEC would’ve left Missouri at the alter for Nebraska as well. This is why I said I have a hard time believing a Missouri fan is being sincere if they act like they don’t know why the BigTen did.

            Like

          • zeek says:

            Maryland isn’t so much better than Missouri. It’s just location and the fact that the Big Ten had more limited spots.

            Maryland is like the Big Ten’s South Carolina. It gets the Big Ten right up to the edge of the heart of the Mid-Atlantic.

            The only reason Missouri isn’t in the Big Ten is because the Big Ten never had an extra spot open in the West. Delany decided to save them all for ND and Eastern demographics based expansion.

            That’s it. Missouri would have been a terrific fit if the Big Ten wasn’t saving 4 spots for Eastern expansion.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            Missourians don’t have much regard for Nebraska. We see them as an inferior institution and an inferior state. Yeah they’re good at football, but they don’t really have much else going for them.

            The Big Ten missed out on Missouri’s 6M people and cable subscribers. It’s SEC territory now.

            They also now have non-AAU Nebraska sticking out like a sore thumb in their otherwise solid academic conference.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            Zeek, I don’t think there’s any reason to believe that the Big Ten wouldn’t take Missouri now if they could.

            Like

          • michael says:

            @andy
            Rutger weakest of the three? Perhaps if althetics is your only perspective. If growth and academics are the measure, the picture is dramatically different.

            re: Rutgers
            NJ >9mm population
            2nd wealthiest (per captia) state in the nation
            Big TV markets.

            Much better academically compared to UMo (UMd is best of the three by most measures)

            The problem with population is that MO itself has decent population but it is spread out — NJ and MD are smaller and densely populated. They are continguous with densely populated areas.

            But the real problem is growth in the future. I’m sure MO will do OK, but it is not in the same league as the NYC-Wash corridor.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            Yeah, Rutgers is a bit better academically than Mizzou. But they’re both big state flagship AAU schools. Mizzou’s endowment is about 40% larger and their average SAT/ACT scores are about the same. I’ll grant you that Rutgers is somewhat better academically.

            Yes, New Jersey has more people, but how many of them are college sports fans? The average Missourian is much more interested in college sports than the average New Jersian. That’s just a fact.

            As for demographics, Missouri is growing at an above average rate, but I’m sure New Jersey is growing faster.

            Point is, if you weigh sports at all into this (and considering the Big Ten took Nebraska I’d say it’ sa factor) then Mizzou blows Rutgers away.

            Like

          • zeek says:

            Andy, the Big Ten had more limited spots than the SEC. Go back to when they were at 10 members each.

            Think about it like this, the SEC was able to get Texas, Arkansas, and South Carolina while still having spot #14 open.

            The Big Ten got Pennsylvania, Nebraska, Maryland, and New Jersey but hit #14 to do so.

            Both conferences seem to have preserved #15-16 for direct spots in the Mid-Atlantic (NC/Va based schools).

            Like

          • Arch Stanton says:

            Wow Andy, bitter much about the whole Big Ten thing?
            Let it go man. I mean, you can hate on Nebraska and the Big Ten all day long, I suppose. But, I find it a bit sad that someone from Missouri is still worked up about this when neither Nebraska nor the Big Ten care one way or another about you.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            Zeek, that’s all just your opinion.

            Arch, you might not care, but plenty of people do. Enjoy Rutgers.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            @Andy
            Missouri has all the issues of Rutgers and Maryland. There are a lot more Cardinal fans than Tiger fans. And of course there are the Royals and Chiefs and Rams or whatever NFL team is in St. Louis these days (still hard to think of Rams not in LA). Missouri like New Jersey has two major metro areas with pro teams, but at least with New Jersey, they aren’t actually centered in New Jersey.

            Like

          • metatron says:

            Missouri and Michigan football might make ESPN. Kansas and Indiana basketball will make ESPN.

            Personally, I’d add both. Unfortunately, I think Missouri has a lot of bad feelings towards us.

            Like

      • B1G Jeff says:

        @ccrider55: I’d be inclined to agree with Zeek, but I think your premise shouldn’t be dismissed. Excluding pursuit of the white whale, none of Delany’s actions have been forecasted, and all have occurred in the dark of the night (i.e. in the middle of CFB season). Now, we (and the rest of the CFB world) are staring UVa in the face (among others). They likely will be made to declare something relatively soon. If they respond negatively, it would make me wonder where else TPTB are looking (Kansas, BC, VT).

        I still believe the VA/NC option is most desirable (excluding other Kings, which I no longer believe is happening – the practical pods of King + 3 makes a ton of sense), but with these guys, who knows! One’s best guess is likely to be found on that value list FTT referenced.

        Like

  48. zeek says:

    @Nostradamus:

    darren rovell ‏@darrenrovell
    News Corp’s acquisition of 49% of YES Network is now complete. Yanks games will be on YES thru 2042 season.

    BTN contract runs through 2032 (not sure but I think that’s the time frame).

    Like

  49. bamatab says:

    Here is Clay Travis’ latest article following the B1G move. He has been pretty good in regards to his conference expansion articles.

    http://outkickthecoverage.com/the-sec-and-big-ten-will-have-16-members.php

    Like

    • zeek says:

      It makes sense. For all the talk about the Big Ten and SEC competing; they’re basically just dividing everything up between them in the Eastern U.S.

      We have yet to see one actual instance of the Big Ten and SEC both going after a school.

      Like

      • The schools that I could see both the Big Ten and SEC fighting over: Texas, UNC, UVA and maybe Virginia Tech. Other than that, Zeek is correct that they haven’t gone head-to-head yet on anyone.

        Like

        • @Frank: Not sure I could see the SEC fighting over UVa, but I could be wrong. All of the others without a doubt, but I think the BigTen would be more interested in UVa than the SEC and vice versa for VT by the SEC. But, again, what do I know.

          Like

          • @manifestodeluxe – UVA is definitely a big prize for either conference: flagship school in a fast-growing state with a heavy DC presence and elite academics. Let’s put it this way – the SEC would have taken UVA any day of the week over Missouri and the Big Ten would have taken UVA any day of the week over Rutgers. VT is a bit more muddled since they are definitely more SEC-like than Big Ten-like, but they are also good enough academically where the Big Ten may not want to automatically cede such a strong football program and fan base. It would be comparable to when Texas A&M was in the Big 12 only if the state of Texas was a contiguous state with the Big Ten.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            Agreed.

            Like

          • Frank who do you feel are the most likely final two for the B1G and in what order?

            Like

        • frug says:

          I agree that the SEC would love Texas (everyone would) but I’m pretty sure the SEC has given up on them. Texas has made clear for 20 years they have no interest in the SEC, and Mike Slive will never beg anyone.

          Remember, in 2010 and 2011 they never even approached the Longhorns, while the Big Ten was working the back channels the whole time.

          Like

    • Andy says:

      I’d be surprised if the SEC takes NCSU unless and until UNC goes to the Big Ten. I also don’t think UNC goes to the Big Ten, so the only way I see NCSU in the SEC is if it’s the only way the SEC can get UNC for some reason.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        I think that which ever conference lands UNC will be the one that is willing to take at least 2 of UNC’s 3 big rivals (UVa, NCSU, & Duke). Could the SEC do it? Slive really does not want to add schools who are inside the footprint, and with the B12 GOR, the SEC would have to do so if they add UNC+UVa+NCSU+Other to get to 18. Unless they take a completely non-southern school like Pitt or or ‘Cuse.

        To the B10, UNC, Duke, and UVa all fit the profile as major research universities, and there are still other targets outside the footprint who fit as major research universities (GTech & Miami). Of course, there’s also ND.

        Like

  50. LetsGoPitt says:

    I don’t know if this has been asked, but I have been wondering. We say conference decisions are long term. If the B1G is adding MD and Rutgers for today’s media, what happens when this changes? What happens when cable and satelite companies go to a la carte offerings? What happens when games go online through Netflix, Hulu or some other outlet? There is no guarantee for the BTN if any of this happens.

    Like

    • Kevin says:

      Many experts think a la carte will never happen. The distribution companies have vertically integrated with acquisitions of various television networks.

      Like

    • @LetsGoPitt – As I’ve said elsewhere, the Big Ten isn’t financially successful *because* of the BTN. Instead, the BTN is successful because the Big Ten has the fan base and market reach that enable it to be the wealthiest conference no matter what the dominant media format might be at any given time. The Big Ten already has digital a la carte offerings for non-football third tier rights and the SEC Digital Network is pre-loaded onto a number of platforms these days (e.g. the Samsung Blu-Ray player with a SmartHub that I just bought). These guys are already ahead of the game if the market shifts away from basic cable.

      Like

      • zeek says:

        You could point out that MD and Rutgers also are giant land grants in their own right.

        I’m one of those who thinks that Rutgers could be as valuable as a school like Wisconsin in terms of fanbase metrics eventually. It’s just going to take time for them but being in a league that people in New Jersey see as the big league will help.

        As for Maryland, it’s a lot harder to tell. The obvious fact is that they weren’t getting it done in the ACC by most metrics, so they’re going to have to have more actual success to build up a bigger fanbase.

        They both have potential though given that they pump out a lot of alumni (that they need to do a better job keeping engaged in their athletics) along with being in great locations (with a lot of Big Ten alumni nearby).

        Like

        • Richard says:

          Eh. UMD is successful enough in basketball. They are like an East Coast version of Illinois.

          Like

          • zeek says:

            That’s fair; I’m just saying, these are two huge land-grant institutions.

            It’s not like we grabbed Wake Forest and Boston College…

            Like

        • bullet says:

          I’m inclined to think Rutgers and Maryland are valuable to Michigan, Ohio St., Illinois, Northwestern, etc. more so than they are valuable from what they bring. They bring exposure to the existing 12 Big 10 schools in DC and NY. For the SEC whose schools’ graduates are more in the south, they wouldn’t be as valuable. And Rutgers is much more valuable to the Big 10 than to the Big East. Its not what Rutgers and Maryland bring with them, but what the Big 10 gets from that exposure in those markets.

          Like

          • @bullet – This is a good point. NYC/NJ and DC aren’t just areas where a lot of Big Ten grads end up moving to, but also where a lot of Big Ten schools are drawing out-of-state undergrads from. New Jersey is the single largest exporter of high school graduates to colleges in other states (Illinois is #2) and many of the Big Ten schools, particularly Penn State, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana and now Maryland, draw a ton of students from that state specifically. It’s an explicit goal of Illinois and other Big Ten schools to get more out-of-state applicants from the Northeast, as well.

            (On a side note, it’s not an accident that New Jersey and Illinois are the top 2 undergrad exporters since there’s a very big drop off in the academic reputations of the public universities in those states after their respective flagships of Rutgers and the University of Illinois. An applicant that just misses getting into Illinois is likely going to find that Illinois State or the other in-state public options are much too easy to get into. In contrast, states with smaller populations such as Indiana boast multiple large universities with top academics. So, the 90th percentile along with the 50th to 75th percentiles of high school grads are served well in NJ and Illinois, but the “upper middle” tier in the 75th to 90th percentile that don’t get into the flagship are the ones that head out-of-state in droves. That’s why Indiana, Purdue and Iowa have scores of undergrads that are from the Chicago area.)

            Like

          • michael says:

            @frank

            Excellent point. Although I would say that in the east, there is more inclination to see private schools as the competition rather than considering the 2nd tier public schools in the state. That said, I think the academic reputation of the BIG schools has placed them in direct competition with the top flight schools, public and prvate, across the board. Economics will come into play, of course, but while Harvard might be the first choice, a good student will see a UM as a close second as much as Cornell, Rutgers, etc.

            This has resulted in the BIG seeding a fan base on the East Coast for many years. It is not just that the grads move to NYC/Phila — many of them grew up in the area.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            @Frank
            Texas is rapidly gaining in exporting students. That’s one of the reasons behind the Texas Tier I fund to move up UH, Texas Tech, UTD, UTA, UTSA, UTEP and North Texas (in addition to the job creation of research institutions). I have lots of friends who have no hope of getting their kids into Texas and are just hoping they can get into A&M. The Texas boards are full of people talking about their kids going to Okie St., LSU, Alabama. There’s a sorority at UGA that is referred to as the “Texas” sorority because it has so many Texas girls. Both Texas and A&M are very hard to get into now.

            Like

    • B1G Jeff says:

      I still think that the CIC angle gets less play around here than it should. The CIC provides $7 Billion a year to the B1G + U. of Chicago. Not Million. Billion. Furthermore, research institutions are allowed to take upwards of 40% of that money in indirect costs. Those funds either provide or defray costs these universities otherwise would bear. The opportunity to bring two flagship research institutions (representing two new states) into the fold provides us an ongoing stranglehold on our dominance in this arena.

      Now while looking at the schools we’ve picked up and the states they’re from, double back to the football conversation and consider that these considerations may be 1 and 1a. One’s not happening without the other. More academic/research stature, and Mo’ Money, Mo’ Money, Mo’ Money.

      Like

      • Santos says:

        Very true. And a bit lost in all of the Big Ten expansion talk is the fact that in anticipation of the move to the BIG, Rutgers main research campus just merged with the medical – dental school, which had been independent. This nearly doubles Rutgers’ research money to $550 million per year. Add in Maryland’s $400 million, and you’re nearing another billion dollars within the CIC umbrella.

        Like

      • michael says:

        True, CIC is not getting the press, but RU and UMd people are keenly aware of what it means.

        As Santos points out, RU has finally been reunited with its med school and RU+UMd is another pile of research money that comes to the table. Synergy is a much abused word, but the CIC has been effective at increasing communication, making available some resources and fostering cooperation. Network effects are real and banging together even more smart people is going to pay off. This is not a linear game.

        Like

  51. Ursusmarcus says:

    As usual, good column…

    Nate himself revisits last year’s post on conference realignment in his 538 blog:

    http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/20/expanding-eastward-could-dilute-big-ten-brand/

    Like

    • Peter says:

      Not a very good article from Nate. He’s not understanding the cable footprint issue, which is pretty much the whole point of this project.

      As an example, PItt’s number of fans is irrelevant because of 100% saturation of that entire area via PSU & OSU.

      Like

  52. Mike says:

    If we’re headed for 16 team conferences what’s more likely:

    1. The PAC16 including Texas.

    2. Big Ten, SEC, and Big 12 raids on the ACC. The Big 12 growing into the Big 16.

    3. ACC offers Texas the “Notre Dame Deal” to prevent Big 12 raid until GOR ends. Texas becomes 16th ACC school.

    4. A brokered dissolution to the Big 12. No conference, no GOR, no problem. For example, three conferences work together to send the Texas four to the PAC16, Oklahoma and West Virginia to the SEC, and Kansas to the Big Ten.

    Like

    • mushroomgod says:

      Would TX EVER go the SEC?

      Pobably not alone, but what about if NC came along?

      Like

      • mushroomgod says:

        To those who say NC would never do it……one factor is that southerns don’t want to go north due to weather, not just cultural differences….

        Like

        • Phizzy says:

          Isn’t the weather factor overblown? High temperatures in Big Ten cities and Chapel Hill this past Saturday (11/17):

          Lincoln 64
          Bloomington 57
          Columbus 57
          Iowa City 57
          Champaign 56
          College Park 55
          Minneapolis 55
          New Brunswick 55
          Madison 54
          West Lafayette 54
          East Lansing 53
          Ann Arbor 52
          University Park 50

          Average Big Ten 55

          Chapel Hill 55

          Hmm, look at that…

          Like

        • Richard says:

          Right. That’s why the ACC added those warm weather schools BC, ‘Cuse, and Pitt. Also why the remnants of the SWC joined those Big8 schools located on the African savannah to form the B12. I hear that Blacksburg is tropical as well.

          Like

        • bullet says:

          I’m referring to Texas. I wouldn’t be surprised if at some point UNC chose the SEC over the Big 10. But they aren’t leaving the ACC until they know its sinking.

          Like

          • mushroomgod says:

            I agree NC won’t leave their show as long as there’s a show to run……and honestly I see NC picking the SEC over the BIG unless VA or Duke also came along.

            Probably the same is true of TX….like ND, they don’t play nice with others….

            But I don’t see why the PAC is better for TX than the SEC, excpet for academics….and if you add NC, you have TX, NC, Florida, GA, A&M, Vandy…that’s not bad academically…..

            Like

          • mushroomgod says:

            Or….what if TX brought OK along?

            That’s probably TOO GOOD a football addition for the SEC, but I would think being with Ark, OK, A&M, and MO would be pretty good for TX.

            Like

          • frug says:

            Texas and Oklahoma have made clear they want no part of SEC recruiting and have UT has clear about that for 20 years.

            The other advantage the PAC offers is they were willing to take OSU and TTU. Texas doesn’t care about TTU, but Oklahoma doesn’t want to split with Okie St.

            All this is irrelevant anyways since the Big XII GOR runs for another 12 years.

            Like

      • Mike says:

        @mushroomgod – I should have included it, but I thought it was least likely.

        Like

    • bamatab says:

      I would think that option 2 is the most likely, followed by 1, with the least likely being 3. I think it hinges on how preemptive the Big 12 becomes. If the Big 12 is smart, their already working behind the scenes to get FSU & Clemson to jump. If they aren’t, they are risking allowing enough time to go by while the LHN doesn’t make the type of money that UT or ESPN had hoped (not saying it won’t, just saying that the Big 12 is risking it). If UT & ESPN come to the conclusion that the LHN won’t be successful enough to justify keeping it going, then I could see UT lawyering up to figure out a way to get out of the GOR they have and jumping to the Pac 12 with the OK schools and TT.

      Like

      • frug says:

        Actually, Texas’ AD said that if Texas ever did leave the Big XII they would prefer they would East.

        Anyways, GOR’s are basically unbreakable. I mean Disney can’t just force Fox and Sony to give them back control of X-Men and Spider Man just because when Marvel signed those deals they didn’t produce their own movies but do now.

        (Yes, I aware it isn’t a perfect analogy, but the concept is the same. When you license media rights, the deals don’t just go away because your circumstances change)

        Like

        • I think the key question isn’t so much administrative control of the rights as it is entitlements to the revenues. i.e. if Texas bails on Big 12, the Big 12 keeps the rights to broadcast Texas home games, but does Texas stay entitled to a 1/10 share or not? If they do, then it’s more a logistical hassle than a huge deterrent, but if they don’t, then it’s a MAJOR financial deal. I don’t know this, and I’m not sure anyone has been clear on the asnwer to this question.

          Like

          • frug says:

            The Big XII specifically included a clause in their GOR that said if a member institution left not they would surrender their share of conference.

            So if Texas left not only would they not be allowed to bring their TV rights they would also be giving up $20 million a year.

            Like

          • frug says:

            Should read;

            The Big XII specifically included a clause in their GOR that said if a member institution left they would surrender their share of conference distributions in addition to their TV rights remaining with the Big XII.

            So if Texas left not only would they not be allowed to bring their TV rights they would also be giving up $20 million a year.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            The point is that the new conference doesn’t get that value.

            Like

          • zeek says:

            Nobody’s going anywhere from a GOR conference. Haven’t heard a peep from any of the lawyers that those things are anything other than ironclad, whereas we’ve heard huge pot shots taken at the various exit fees…

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Seek:

            I’ll have to take you’re woud on how ironclad a GOR is, but pardon me if I harbor a bit of a question still. It is my faith in UT’s controlling nature that makes me believe they wouldn’t lock themselves in with no options.

            Have they ever been tested, and survived a challenge? Have they been the cause of stability in a conference that has one, or have they been instituted in conferences that are stable enough that there is a negligible probability of ever having the opportunity to test it? Shouldn’t exit fees be written in similarly binding language?

            Can you, or someone else explain who enforces (Fox, espn, the conf?), how many votes to release from, are there buy out provisions, do the media partners have a vote(s)? We keep saying GOR as if its a law of nature. The earth “was” flat, until it wasn’t.

            Like

          • zeek says:

            GOR is ironclad for the same reason bad contracts are.

            Think about the NBA. Have you heard about the mistake David Stern made when they took over the teams from the ABA? He guaranteed portions of the national TV revenue of 4 teams to one of the owners of a team that would be defunct. That’s why he writes 31 TV revenue checks for 30 teams and the owners of that defunct team every year.

            Essentially, he gave them 1/7th of the national TV broadcast revenue from each team (Denver, Spurs, Nets, Pacers) just to shut down their franchise. They’ve been trying to find ways out of it ever since, but they haven’t…; it’s the worst sports contract ever made, but it’s ironclad.

            The arguments made against high exit fees are that they’re punitive/punishment for trying to leave.

            GOR is different; if you grant your 1st tier rights to the conference; that’s not going to be seen as punitive if you plan to leave. You already granted them; it’s not being taken from you when you leave as it was already taken.

            Like

          • bamatab says:

            I’m still not convinced that a school couldn’t get it’s tv rights back from a GOR agreement. It may take some heavy negotiations, but I think in the end a school could get their rights back if it really wanted to. In the end a GOR is just another contract, and contracts are made to be broken (or negotiated), especially in the sports world.

            Like

          • zeek says:

            bamatab, perhaps.

            But trying to walk away from a GOR say 10 years before it ends is basically like trying to negotiate to buy back that full 10 years worth of rights.

            For a Big Ten school, that’s a value of $300 million at least if there were 10 years left on the GOR.

            Is the Big Ten really going to negotiate that value down much? If someone tried to leave, they’d have to shell out at least $100 million to buy back their TV, and there’s really no reason to negotiate it down much so they might have to pay closer to the $300 million. No one keeps that kind of money lying around…

            Like

          • frug says:

            @bamatab

            In the end a GOR is just another contract, and contracts are made to be broken (or negotiated), especially in the sports world.

            Tell that to the owners of the LA Express who still have to pay Steve Young $1 million a year until 2024 despite the fact the USFL went out of business a quarter of a century ago.

            The only way anyone gets out of a GOR is to buy back their rights and since the schools have no incentive sell them back at anything less than market rate + compensation for damages they incur.

            Like

          • bamatab says:

            zeek – Most schools can’t, but I bet some schools could if they were motivated enough. Heck Texas folks are always bragging about how much money their AD and boosters have. They could probably collect that much. Heck UMD appears to have one booster able/willing to pay $50 mil if necessary, and UMD isn’t known as a school with a big sports passion.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            @Zeek
            Which team was that? The Kentucky Colonels? They had been one of the strongest franchises (and my favorite pro bb team at the time). I was surprised they weren’t one of the survivors. But they were the smallest metro area.

            Like

      • zeek says:

        Yeah, I mean, Option 2 is basically going on as we speak.

        It wouldn’t shock me if the Big Ten and SEC were making calls all around ACC-land to gauge interest in moves.

        That doesn’t mean either gets to 16 soon, but it’s ongoing…

        Like

      • Mike says:

        @bamatab

        The LHN is interesting. If it ever becomes successful then it may push Texas toward the Notre Dame deal and the ACC. If Texas decides it needs to upgrade its profile by playing more nationally relevant* games, then it may make sense to put its lower profile regional games on the LHN and sign a contract with ESPN for its high profile games. Texas could easily build a schedule around the five ACC games, three former SWC schools, two guarantee, Oklahoma, and Notre Dame.

        *The Big 12 is a good, deep league, however, there is only one or two Texas game a year that is guaranteed to get national attention and that’s Oklahoma and/or their big OOC game. The only way Kansas St (Iowa St/Oklahoma St/Texas Tech/TCU) is going to generate any buzz around the country is when they are a top ten team. It will happen, but it’s hard to count on.

        Like

    • Crpodhaj says:

      One thing I’m trying to get my head around – how do you get 4 conferences with 16 teams each? The PAC is locked in right now, and the big 12 is kind of too. I’m thinking it may be 2 super conferences with 2 or 3 major conferences. That is what is materializing. These moves are not about 4 x 16, but 2 x 16 with either 2 x 12 or 3 x 12. Not saying I like it, but it is what it is. So the question becomes, do you want your team in one of the two super conferences, or are you happy with existing in one of the majors? There are different answers for different schools.

      Like

      • zeek says:

        You don’t.

        You end up with one conference basically just being a distant 5th.

        We’re basically already at the end game with the Rose/Sugar/Orange situation with the Big Ten/SEC ahead of Big 12/Pac-12 ahead of ACC.

        This is the end game.

        Like

        • Crpodhaj says:

          Yeah, Zeek, I’m starting to see that. Given the beginning of this thread, with all of the crazy scenarios, I’m not sure it has dawned on everyone. There will be / are two super conferences, two majors, and two sub-major majors (the ACC and the MW when the schools out west (Boise St., San Diego St., etc.) get their act together). Like you said, this is the end-game; it has already happened. If you are in the ACC, you have to decide now where do you want to be or can be or what is available to you. There are literally 4 spots left in the super conferences and limited ability / spots to move to the Big 12. That is it.

          Like

          • Peter says:

            Yep, this is the end of the line. When the B1G & SEC are talking about deal values with a “b” on them and everyone other than the PAC is wondering if they’ll survive or what they’ll look like – it’s over.

            The ACC is past the point where it can build into something to rival the SEC/B1G. Their endgame was killing the Big 12 & taking/accepting Texas. That time has passed thanks to the Big Texas conference and its grant-of-rights pact. The PAC had a chance to do PAC-16, but that’s also past for the same reason.

            Like

      • Mike says:

        If you take 4×16 world out to its endgame its very interesting. If you assume that between the Big 12 and the ACC only one will stay at the top tier with the PAC, SEC and B1G then:

        1. If the ACC survives then there are ten spots remaining (PAC has four, the B1G, ACC*, and SEC 2). I’m not sure there are ten schools out there that justify expansion between the Big 12, Big East, and MWC. ND, Texas, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Louisville, BYU, TCU?

        *assumes ACC replaces MD with UConn and doesn’t count ND

        2. If the Big 12 survives then there are 14 spots remaining (6 Big 12, 4 PAC, 2 B1G, and 2 SEC) and then number of schools to justify expansion is actually greater than 14: 13 ACC schools (minus Wake), ND, Louisville, BYU, but are in the wrong areas of the country.

        4×16 sounds like a nice round end game number, but is very hard to do geographically.

        Like

        • Crpodhaj says:

          Mike,

          4×16 is near impossible nor is it the goal. The B1G and SEC want monetary dominance; Texas wants a conference it can control no matter how big or small it is (thus any teams it potentially adds probably will not be major flagships in their respective states); and the PAC is land locked. It, the re-organization of college athletics to consolidate money among the biggest schools, has already happened. 4×16 is too many. 2×16 + 2×12 = 56. Maybe 2 more schools in the Big 12 for 58, but that is it.

          Like

          • Peter says:

            This. The conferences have different needs/wants.

            Like

          • zeek says:

            Agree completely.

            Only the Big Ten and SEC are on route to 16. It’s a fantasy for now for the Big 12 and Pac-12.

            The ACC may remain at something like 12 but it’ll be plenty watered down given that the Big Ten and SEC are looking squarely at it for #15-16.

            Like

          • Mike says:

            @Crpodhaj – I don’t disagree with you, I was trying to show how difficult 4×16 is to pull off.

            Like

          • frug says:

            I don’t know. Getting the Big XII to 14 really isn’t that hard; just add FSU, Miami, G-Tech and Clemson.

            It would immediately solve the Big XII’s biggest weakness (their small population footprint) and give them a football core that would be nearly as strong as the SEC.

            Then if you wanted 16 for whatever reason, they could just add 2 of Louisville, Pitt, Cincinnati or North Carolina schools.

            (You are right about the PAC though. They shot themselves in the foot rejecting OU/OSU and killing the PAC/B1G Alliance)

            Like

          • Crpodhaj says:

            Frug –

            I’ve thought about that. Say the North Carolina 4 wanted to stay together with the Virgina 2 and went as a pack of 6 to the Big 12 before Clemson and Florida State. Or the North Carolina 4 with Clemson and FSU. There are a lot of ways the Big 12 could get to 16 if it wanted. I hate to say it, but right now Texas and the Big 12 will determine the next stage by who the take or don’t take. And some scenarios could be disastrous for the SEC (more so than for the B1G).

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Pac 12 could expand the same way they did before. They waited for Arizona and Utah to grow. At some point 20 years down the road maybe UNLV or Nevada or New Mexico or Hawaii become attractive. And maybe Houston, which recently became Tier I High Research and one other Texas school.

            Like

          • bamatab says:

            frug – I actually think that the Big 12’s first move should be to grab FSU & Clemson. Their next move should be to grab GT, Miami, Pitt, and one other east coast school (whether it be UL, an available NC school, Syracuse, or BC).

            Then they could divide up the divisions like this:

            EAST – FSU, Clemson, Miami, GT, Pitt, WVU, UL, ISU (I know they’re getting a raw deal here, but they really are/would be lucky to even be in one of the top 4 conferences at this point)
            WEST – UT, OU, OSU, TT, KU, KSU, TCU, Baylor

            Or the could divide up in the following pods:

            Southeast – FSU, Miami, Clemson, GT
            North – Pitt, WVU, UL, ISU
            Texas – UT, TT, TCU, Baylor
            Plains – OU, OSU, KU, KSU

            Heck after that they could wait and see what ND ends up doing for the long haul. If ND decided they need to join a conference, the Big 12/16 could offer them their choice of school they would want to come along with them (probably BC or Syracuse), and access to the east coast stadiums. They then could move ISU back to the western division and put ND & let’s say Syracuse on the eastern division.

            Then the divisions would look like this:

            East – FSU, ND, Clemson, Miami, WVU, GT, Pitt, UL, Syracuse
            West – UT, OU, OSU, TT, KU, KSU, TCU, Baylor, ISU

            Now I don’t know what ND will do in the future, but even if they never join a conference, the Big 16 is a pretty good overall looking sports league IYAM.

            Like

          • frug says:

            @bamatab

            I actually had thought of that exact alignment and think it might actually be easier to get the votes necessary to move to 16 than to 12. Nobody outside of WVU seems willing to give up games in Texas to accommodate expansion, but if they went to 16 no one else besides ISU would have to.

            Maybe the other schools buy off ISU by offering them an extra few 100K a year and call it a “travel stipend” to offset the added travel costs they would endure. Or they just tell them that they should consider themselves lucky that they are in a power conference at all.

            Like

  53. duffaman says:

    Vincent,

    Where are you?

    You and I were on the Terps to the B1G from the very start. Now it is a reality and where are you to celebrate with?

    Like

    • @duffman – LOL! I have been thinking the exact same thing. He has been trumpeting Maryland to the Big Ten here for 3 years straight.

      Like

    • vp19 says:

      Fate played a cruel joke on me Nov. 17, when I tore a tendon in my right quadricep slipping on some frosty grass. Until today, I was either hospitalized or in rehab, unable to access the Internet. I returned home this afternoon, and am catching up with the comments, while privately celebrating that my Terps-to-Big-Ten dream has indeed become reality…which probably means Maryland would find it easier to get a successor to Randy Edsall (if he proves he can’t cut it; the array of injuries this year makes it difficult to gauge) than if the Terrapins remained saddled with the toxic ACC football brand. As for Mark Turgeon and Brenda Frese, it’s hard to say what this move means for Maryland’s basketball teams, although both are midwesterners and may find this opens new recruiting avenues for them.

      Like

  54. SH says:

    Why do we think 16 is the natural stopping point? All the arguments made for 16 could easily be made for 20. I think the 16 number comes from the NCAA tourney, and we just assume there will basically be 4 16-team superconferences. But its not inconceivable to think that in the long run – 15 years, we could have 3 20 team superconferences, with each having a stake in Texas.

    In such a move, the B10 could have 6 openings, which could be UVA, NC, Duke, GT, FSU, UT (or thow in ND or BC and throw out one of those other schools). SEC could add VT, NCSt, WV, OK, OKst, Kansas, and Clemson (or thow in Miami and take out one of those schools).

    This may be unlikely at this point, but if the point is more states and more geographic footprint, each could expand to 20.

    There is probably an assumption that 20 may be too many teams to keep a cohesive unit, and I don’t necessarily disagree, but 10 years ago, many would have said the same for 16. 20 would give you a 5-tream division over 4-team division.

    Like

    • mushroomgod says:

      NCAA should make a rule that 18 is the max. conf size…to restore a little sanity.

      IF ND had come along with the BIG, it, together with the SEC, would have had enough clout to impose some order….

      Like

    • Richard says:

      Yeah, I’ve been saying that for a while (see my “Big20” posts).

      A 20-school SEC is possible as well if OU joins.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Neither the B1G or SEC could be 20. There are too many intertwined rivalries. Would the B1G send Nebraska to the east with PSU? 18 splits up too many teams and you see the other division too infrequently. The Big 12 could do 18. It would essentially be the Big 12 + WV with 8 new teams. But its hard to see what you could get with 18 that you couldn’t do just as well with 16. And the Big 12 really doesn’t want to go beyond 12.

        Like

    • frug says:

      A lot of it is scheduling; 4×4 pods lets you play everyone more frequently than 4×5.

      It’s also the simple fact that anything beyond 12 leads to diminishing returns since you have to split the CCG fund more ways.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        In the big scheme of things, the CCG money is just a drop in the bucket. Plus, when you increase from 16 to 20, your share of the take only goes down from 6.25% to 5%. Not a huge drop.

        Like

      • duffman says:

        For this being the thinking fans board the 16 is the easy concept. 16 means playoffs to 8 to 4 to 2 to champion with no byes. We had the super conference back in the 1920’s and it was too big to work. 16 is about the max before you get to the laws of diminishing returns taking a heavy toll.

        Like

        • zeek says:

          That and you have 4 kings geographically spread to be at the top of divisions of 4 members apiece (as far as the Big Ten goes).

          There’s no way the Big Ten would add 4 more mouths to feed on top of that.

          Penn State + 3 (Maryland + 2 new members)

          Michigan + 3 (MSU, Northwestern, Illinois)

          Ohio State + 3 (Rutgers, Illinois, Indiana)

          Nebraska + 3 (Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota)

          Who knows, maybe something like that unless Penn State wants an old-line Big Ten school (Purdue or Indiana) with them instead of one of the #15/#16 schools.

          Like

    • Brian says:

      SH,

      “Why do we think 16 is the natural stopping point?”

      Current NCAA rules, budgetary requirements and a desire to play all your conference foes a reasonable amount of the time are the reasons why.

      1. The season is limited to 12 games between Labor Day weekend and the first weekend in December.
      2. To get the 13th game exemption for a CCG, you have to play a full round robin in each division.
      3. Most major schools want/need 7 home games out of 12, so 5 home and homes is the limit.
      4. Teams need some flexibility OOC to play at least 1 good team.
      5. Practical limit = 9 conference games + 1 good OOC (5 home and homes) + 2 cupcakes.

      Knowing that, look at what 9 conference games can do:
      16 teams
      8 team divisions with locked rival – 7+1+1 (8 annually, play other 7 14.3% of the time)
      8 team divisions – 7+2 (7 annually, play other 8 25% of the time)

      4 team pods with locked rival – 3+4+1+1 (4 annually, play other 11 45% of the time)
      4 team pods – 3+4+2 (3 annually, play other 12 50% of the time)

      18 teams
      9 team divisions – 8+1 (8 annually, play other 9 11% of the time)

      2 4 team pods + 2 5 teams pods
      4 team pods – 3+5+1 (3 annually, 10 50%, 4 25%)
      5 team pods – 4+4+1 (4 annually, 8 50%, 5 20%)

      20 teams
      10 team divisions – 9 (9 annually, never play other 9)
      5 team pods – 4+5 (4 annually, play other 15 33% of the time)

      9 conference games makes 20 teams the absolute limit, but you’d never play the other division teams without using pods. You also lose locked rivalries, which is tough for most conferences to accept. 18 teams could work, but you’d see some/many of the teams infrequently. 16 teams is the max sweet spot, where you can lock a rival and still play everyone else almost 50% of the time or more.

      Like

  55. mushroomgod says:

    BTW Frank, congrats on running the best college football blog around……….

    Like

  56. GreatLakeState says:

    The SEC/Big12 bowl partnership gives the Big12 a foundation of stability the ACC lacks. Even coach K thinks the ACC is on shaky ground. Why would Texas even consider going to the PAC or SEC when their current arrangement is tailor made? Once FSU makes to move, Delany will be waiting to pick up at least two of the ACC’s pieces. Alas, my dream of Oklahoma in the B1G remains but that.

    Like

    • SH says:

      Its not that difficult to imagine a B10 that has UT, FSU, UVA, NC, and GT. They would basically have the 12 most populous states covered, minus CA (too far and locked up by P10) and NY (no good fits other than Syracuse). This wouldn’t happen overnight, but in 10-15 years, who knows.

      Like

      • zeek says:

        It’s very difficult. When the Big Ten hits 16, I think they shut this whole expansion thing down permanently (or at least 20 years).

        Like

        • bullet says:

          Until everybody starts splitting up like the WAC and then it starts all over again. It has all happened before and it will all happen again. As Duffman says, they started splitting up in the teens and 20s.

          Like

    • ChicagoMac says:

      The Orange Bowl added similar stability for ACC did it not?

      Like

      • greg says:

        No, the ACC Orange Bowl agreement didn’t add similar stability. The most obvious thing being that the payout they receive is 68.75% of the SEC/B12 Bowl. While the B12 champ will play the SEC champ, the ACC champ will play the 2nd SEC or 2nd B10 or ND.

        Like

        • zeek says:

          Basically, it also made things worse for the ACC by giving even more money from the Orange Bowl to those two conferences on top of their Rose/Sugar payouts.

          You could say that it completely set the ACC way back of the Big Ten and SEC even as they’re still behind Big 12/Pac-12.

          Like

          • ChicagoMac says:

            @greg/zeek,

            I agree with the points you’re making here but you are each ignoring the ‘similar’ term. The avg per school payout from the Contract Bowls is something like $2M different between ACC and Big12. The ACC at least got a seat at the table for the next 12 seasons.

            Now, when the SEC announces something like a $35-$50MM average payout over the next 20 years then we’ll start to see the ACC legs buckle. Oklahoma and the rest of the Big12 are going to find a renewed appetite for expansion and the ‘football first’ ACC schools are going to do what they need to do to make the jump.

            Here’s the thing though, I’m not sure the NC schools and UVA make a move at this point. They seem to prioritize the Director’s Cup more than the BCS and they might just decide to lock arms and reconstitute as the new Big East instead of running to the SEC and/or B1G as many seem to assume they’ll do. They’ll have ESPN money, the Orange Bowl prestige, their partnership with Notre Dame and they will at least have access to the national championship in football.

            Like

          • zeek says:

            Those are good points.

            The problem for the ACC will come down the road when the payout differences are too vast to be denied.

            Like

  57. frug says:

    For what it’s worth, Nick Saban appears to have come around to Larry Scott’s way of thinking

    A few weeks ago, I asked Alabama coach Nick Saban what he thought about college football’s recent conference realignment, which altered the sport’s landscape like never before.

    Much to my surprise, Saban said he believed there needed to be only 60 to 70 FBS teams in four or five conferences, and they needed to play one other and no one else.

    Like

  58. rich2 says:

    “Rutgers is joining the Big Ten, leaving the Big East behind and cashing in on the school’s investment in a football program that only 10 years ago seemed incapable of competing at the highest level.

    The school announced its decision Tuesday at a campus news conference attended by Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany, Rutgers President Robert Barchi and athletic director Tim Perenetti.
    “The Big Ten is really where Rutgers belongs,” Barchi said.”

    Yes it does — an absolutely middle-of-the road university has joined a pack of increasingly average schools— Legends? Leaders? — sure.

    Like

  59. zeek says:

    “The ACC built a $50M fence and it couldn’t even keep a turtle in.”

    Saw this on a UCF board.

    Like

  60. […] already spent some time in yesterday’s post addressing what the additions of Rutgers and Maryland mean to the Big Ten along with the possible […]

    Like

  61. Nittany Lion '93 says:

    The only flaw I see in this article is that if it makes financial sense for UMd to join the BIG, that would also seem to be true for schools like UNC and UVa as well. Although healthier, UNC and UVa would still pass on multiple, multiple millions in oppotunity cost by staying in an ACC that is a Dead Man Walking.

    From the standpoint of the BIG they are simply executing an holistic, and achievable, long term profitability plan by adding like schools in new TV markets before 2017 renegotiation. This combination of cultural/academic fit and new state/TV markets (read profit) will keep the conference stable. So the BIG will put the states of VA and NC in play, and the state dominating UVa and UNC with national reputations and alumni networks will be the targets. They fit culturally and academically and their alumni will add to the newly acquired Wash DC and NYC TV markets in the way that UM and PSU and OSU alumni in combination with Rutgers in NYC will very soon. Too much is being made of the ala carte potential because the BIG is developing it’s channel, which is the valuable commodity under either scenario. As they add teams their channel schedule will fill out which will attract more advertising dollars, further increasing the profit of the BTN. This plan feeds itself and each additional smart school addition in a new market makes the whole that much more profitable than even probably their single TV value would indicate. And in the same light, too much is being made of the single brand power of each school as well. Remember, like culture and large profit will keep the conference stable and happy. And it is the BTN that is the brand power.

    And UNC and UVa will probably accept the BIG’s offers at some point in the next couple years, as an event happens that forces them to decide. Either FSU or someone else leaves and destabilizes the entire ACC structure or the State of NC realizes that an NCST in the SEC and UNC in the BIG would be infinitely more profitable for the states businesses (and therefore tax base) than the current ACC situation and pushes for that to happen simultaneously. But should the BIG get UNC they are likely to go to at least 18 teams as ND will have no choice to join a conference in full or risk loss of money, scheduling power and National Championship possibility. And so they will choose between the BIG or the BigXXII. Assuming they would choose the better fit BIG, the BIG will be free to take the now contiguous GT as the ND compliment. At that time #19 and #20 are less important.

    Like

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