Is There a Sports TV Rights Bubble? – Part 1: Why It’s Not as Simple as A La Carte Pricing

Posted: July 15, 2013 in Big Ten, College Basketball, College Football, Major League Baseball, NBA Basketball, NFL Football, NHL Hockey, Sports
Tags: , , , , ,

(Note: In case you’ve missed it, I had Q&A with Burnt Orange Nation on conference realignment with a Big 12 and Texas focus last week. Here are parts 1, 2 and 3.)

One of the major topics that has been on my list to address this summer is whether there is a sports TV rights bubble, which has turned out to be prescient with a recent blog post from Patrick Hruby at Sports on Earth and a front page article in today’s Wall Street Journal (subscription required) addressing the subject. Both pieces are well-written and informative and generally come to the conclusion that sports TV rights are heading upward in a bubble-like manner. Hruby provides a lot of background on the cable subscription model that is funneling massive amounts of revenue towards sports while pointing out the risk of that collapsing with more people “cutting the chord” to reduce costs and the rise of Internet streaming options, such as Netflix, Amazon and Hulu. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal looks at the sports rights fees situation from the perspective of the cable operators themselves that are dealing with the rapidly rising costs of sports networks (particularly new regional sports networks). These stories play into the broader increasing calls for a la carte pricing for cable (meaning that a subscriber would purchase only the channels that he or she wants as opposed to paying for large packages). I’ve written previously about why sports have been increasingly and disproportionately valuable compared to other types of programming since they are watched live and, as a result, viewers will watch commercials in a way that they no longer do with other types of shows that they watch on their DVRs or online streaming sites. That’s generally common knowledge at this point. However, here are a few thoughts on some items that I believe a lot of “sports rights skeptics” are glossing over:

(1) The values of sports TV rights overall have never, EVER dropped – While past returns are not a guarantee of future success, as any financial adviser in CYA mode will tell you, we’ve seen the “We’re in the middle of a sports TV rights bubble!” story on a consistent basis ever since the 1980s, yet they have never dropped overall. Deadspin had a great comparison of quotes from “bubble” articles from 1989 and 2013 and you could hardly tell when either one was written. Now, certain properties might not have enjoyed the same increase in rights as others (see the Oympics, where NBC actually is paying about the same or even less on an inflation-adjusted basis for the 2016, 2018 and 2020 games as it did for the other Games that it has broadcast during this century), but the marquee sports properties (NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball and power conference college football) have been rising in an unfettered manner for nearly four decades straight. Once again, that doesn’t mean that this will continue on in perpetuity, but on the flip side, it’s simple-minded of observers to argue that the rapidly rising sports rights fees being paid out today must indicate a bubble.

(2) Bundling is the real culprit of rising cable prices – I appreciate Hruby spending a quite a bit of time on the bundling aspect of the cable subscription model, which I believe is a larger cause of increased cable prices more than anything. A lot of sports TV rights critics love to point out that ESPN is receiving $5.00 per subscriber per month from every cable household in America, whether they watch it or not, but that isn’t necessarily an unfair deal considering how much high value sports programming that it provides. There’s a fairly substantial segment of the population that wouldn’t bother subscribing to cable at all without access to ESPN, so it behooves any cable operator to pay whatever price it takes to keep the Worldwide Leader on the air. However, when ESPN’s parent Disney uses that leverage to force cable operators to buy 10 or 20 other commonly-owned channels to have any access to ESPN at all, that’s where you truly see large scale increases on your cable bill. Turner, Fox, Viacom, Comcast (which is both a cable network owner and a cable operator) and other cable network companies take the same tact, where they will only allow operators to carry their most popular channels, such as TBS, TNT, FX, MTV and USA, if they pay for larger bundles of channels that might not otherwise survive in the marketplace on their own. To me, bundling is the real market inefficiency right now when it comes to cable pricing: cable operators are being forced to give money and channel space to a whole host of channels simply to have access to the most popular ones that have common parents. This is distinct from the individual consumer-based complaint of not being able to pick and choose individual channels on an a la carte basis, which is something that I don’t believe would ever legitimately fly. Americans definitely like the idea of a la carte pricing (after all, it’s “un-American” to have to pay for channels that you’re not watching), but their actions show that they would still rather have all-you-can-eat buffet pricing.

(3) Netflix and other streaming websites are all-you-can-eat buffets just like cable (as opposed to being a la carte) – Further to the last point, we’re seeing a rapid rise in the popularity of Netflix-style on-demand streaming. While a lot of cable detractors point to the popularity of streaming as an indicator that support for a la carte is gaining traction, it’s really the opposite. Think of what Netflix (or Amazon or Hulu) actually does for the consumer: it aggregates content from a whole slew of providers and provides an all-you-can-eat (as opposed to pay-per-view or a la carte) price to access such content. I can’t only ask and pay for the Disney shows being streamed on Netflix any more than I can try to get only the Disney-owned cable channels from DirecTV. The entire value proposition of these streaming sites is you can get an entire universe of shows from a whole variety of sources (including Netflix itself with its in-house productions like House of Cards and the resurrection of Arrested Development), which is much different than a la carte pricing (where you receive a limited set of programs from a single source). In fact, the main reason why Hulu was formed in the first place was that the major TV networks were failing to gain traction with streaming their shows on their own respective websites. Consumers ultimately wanted to go to one place online to watch all of their favorite TV shows, which is an Internet mirror of the experience of turning on the TV and flipping through the channels with a remote.

By the same token, the business model of The Asylum, which is the B-movie studio that produced last week’s Twitter-fueled SyFy sensation Sharknado!, is actually based upon producing as much inexpensive filler content as Netflix desires. Seriously – Netflix explicitly asks the studio to produce cheap and terrible movies in order to create the perception that the website has a vast library of content. From the linked Pacific Standard article (which I highly recommend reading in its entirety):

At surviving brick-and-mortar stores like H. Perry Horton’s, renters gravitate toward the big-studio releases shelved at eye level. But on Netflix, “You click through and see all the titles—new Hollywood releases mixed in with direct-to-video,” Davis says, all crammed into a grid of thumbnail posters. Filtering in low-budget films with the high-budget versions “fuels this perception that there’s a wealth of new content.” And in the endlessly filterable world of Netflix, where your preferences are sorted into hyper-specific genres, a full page of results for horror films with nightmare-vacation plotlines makes you feel like Netflix is tailoring its product just for you. “The bottom line is that it’s there, and you saw it,” [DePaul University assistant professor Blair] Davis says—even if you didn’t actually watch it.

Much like the vast number of cable channels that people are paying for but never watch, Netflix is providing a ton of movie titles that subscribers are also paying for and never watching. Sounds like basic cable, no? Netflix is simply a horse of a different color when compared to cable – the underlying buffet approach of providing lots of content that you’ll never end up watching is the same with only the delivery system (Internet instead of cable or satellite) being different. Of course, $9.99 per month for Netflix streaming is a helluva less daunting than paying $100 or more per month for cable service, so it’s easy to see why it has gotten so much traction so quickly.*

(* If you have young children like I do, Netflix streaming is right next to food, water and shelter on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs at this point. There are still a lot of limitations on the movie and TV show offerings on Netflix streaming right now, but the suite of children’s programming makes it indispensable to parents.)

So, Netflix and the like might very well encroach upon the territory of cable operators, but the point is that no one should mistake the rise of streaming with a desire for a la carte pricing. The likelihood of most Americans having the desire or tolerance to try to choose a customized lineup of channels on an a la carte basis is fairly small. Besides, the economic underpinnings of the cable industry mean that a la carte pricing would likely kill all but a handful of the most popular cable channels (i.e. only the basic cable lineup from circa 1990 would survive), which destroys the overall desirability of a la carte in the long-term. Instead, what people really want is the same type of buffet access to content at a lower price point, whether it’s via cable or the Internet.

(4) Sports streaming is inherently different than movie and TV show streaming – The rise of streaming websites is undeniable and flattening the content distribution universe. However, what I think a lot of observers miss is that the desire to stream movies and TV shows is inherently different than streaming sports. Specifically, the single biggest attraction for streaming movies and TV shows is that it’s on-demand: a viewer can watch the content whenever and wherever he or she wants.

Now, the “wherever” component still applies to streaming sports, as you can use the Internet to watch games on your tablet or smartphone. That’s huge for convenience for any sports fan that’s away from home. Yet, a key distinction is that the “whenever” advantage of streaming doesn’t apply to sports. While many people have made the connection that fans generally watch sports live, which in turn makes them attractive to TV networks since that means that such fans are much more likely to watch advertising (thereby increasing revenue all around), they seem to have a blind spot that this is a large deterrent to a mass movement to watching sports online. The typical sports fan doesn’t have a preternatural need to watch a replay of an NFL game on Tuesday where the outcome has already been determined – the entire value of sports is that there are a lot of people that want to watch the exact same event at the exact same time. That happens to be exactly what television has done (and probably will always do) better than the Internet.

In essence, the convenience of streaming sports is primarily based on mobility, whereas the value from streaming movies and TV shows is based on both mobility and time-shifting ability. While a broad sports streaming platform like ESPN3 could turn into a “Netflix of Sports” (if it hasn’t already), it isn’t clear that it could ever really be a more desirable option for the standard run-of-the-mill sitting-at-home-on-the-couch viewer compared to live television in the way that Netflix/Amazon/Hulu can very much be the preferred vehicle for such viewer simply because on-demand viewing is such a game changer for movies and TV shows compared to sports.

Of course, that’s not to say that sports entities are going to be in the clear and enjoy massive media rights profits forever. In my next piece, I’ll take a look at some factors that are dangerous to sports leagues and teams that not even the “sports rights skeptics” are paying much attention to right now and could kill the proverbial golden goose.

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

(Image from Apple Insider)

Comments
  1. wmwolverine says:

    Go Blue!

    Like

  2. greg says:

    Hawks.

    Like

  3. Carl says:

    Let’s go Lions!

    Like

  4. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    GEAUX Tigers!

    Like

  5. vp19 says:

    Go Terps.

    Now let me think of something to say…

    Like

  6. ccrider55 says:

    “In my next piece, I’ll take a look at some factors that are dangerous to sports leagues and teams that not even the “sports rights skeptics” are paying much attention to right now and could kill the proverbial golden goose.”

    Tease…

    Like

  7. Transic says:

    Another thing that people haven’t looked at when discussing cable vs streaming is the heavy regulations governments imposed on cable that Hulu, Netflix and the like haven’t yet faced.

    For example: my parents had Time Warner Cable in 1990. When I was a youngster I spent some time flipping through the channels. Right away, I noticed some channels that I thought were screwy and couldn’t figure out why they were there. There were at least four spots that were reserved for public access. This is the “community television” aspect of the cable that the companies were forced to accept by the local governments in exchange for the licenses to operate. In the big city where I am, there is a channel called Leased Access. This is a channel that, on late nights, had a bunch of adult fare, including escort service ads. Because of the screwy judges on the federal and/or state bench, the adult operators forced the cable operator to accept this channel as part of basic service, in the name of “free speech”. Yes, this is part of basic service, not segregated into the adult tier. This how it all starts. Sooner or later, you add on the shopping channels and the religious channels (because, you know, you can’t offend the old ladies who wanted to be preached to or watch people hawking wares on television, which the cable companies then can charge them for the other channels). And since in this area there are a lot of people who are from different countries who don’t plan to integrate any time soon, you have all these foreign language channels from everywhere, laid out on different tiers depending how much demand there is for them.

    This year, my father switched to FiOS because it was getting too expensive for him (he had to drop Showtime when still with TWC but can’t go without HBO because of Bill Maher). I’ve had FiOS for some time, so I’ve long enjoyed the Big Ten Network. So imagine how happy I am that Rutgers is finally joining a real conference, as opposed to a “scheduling agreement” where each school was looking to backstab the other and then brag about how poor the other schools did in sports. I have a wait-and-see attitude on whether people in Maryland will embrace the Big Ten culture over time. Then again, one couldn’t happen without the other.

    Looking forward to reading Parts 2 and 3 but I am bothered by the sports teams thinking that they’re entitled to get big increases from the public each year. The Los Angeles Lakers deal really baffles me. How can Time Warner Cable complain about sports rights fees when they turn around and make things much, much worse for everyone else? As if the sports haters really needed any new ammo for their arguments. Where I’m concerned is whether the backlash against sports channels end up hurting the Big Ten’s plan to use RU/UMd to increase distribution for the BTN in the two states they’re moving in. That would be a major kick in the nuts. However, Delany is depending on the best possible outcome to convince the other presidents that their votes weren’t wasted.

    Anyway, I wish I knew how all of this would shake out. Is there a real limit to what fans are willing to pay for their sports teams? How much control do fans really have? Will we see a future where fans are forced to not watch their teams because the cost is just too high? (That is already happening with some fans)

    Like

  8. vp19 says:

    I have a wait-and-see attitude on whether people in Maryland will embrace the Big Ten culture over time.

    They are– it simply doesn’t seem so obvious because Maryland’s football product hasn’t been that good lately and because the fan base has a tradition of being basketball-oriented. Check the various Terrapin message boards, and it’s vastly pro-Big Ten now. (Remember, it sort of came out of the blue for Maryland fans, unlike the Rutgers community, which had been aiming for Big Ten membership for some years.)

    Like

    • Transic says:

      Thanks. Just to let you know that I have great respect for what UMd has done while in the ACC and think they have great potential for success in the Big Ten. In a way, we’re like refugees who are riding on a boat together and heading towards the promised land.😀

      Like

  9. bullet says:

    You aren’t quite right on #1. College football rights fees DECREASED after the collapse of the NCAA monopoly in 1984. Everyone got less money. Now that wasn’t a “bubble” issue, but rights fees have gone down.

    And of course hockey has lost coverage and $.

    There are a whole host of related issues here.
    A1) A la carte;
    A2) Streaming/alternative distribution

    B1) Bubbles for sports
    B2) Bubbles for specific sports (fb has gone through the roof)
    B3) Popularity of specific sports

    C1) Younger people’s preferences for entertainment

    I think A2) is what hurts rights fees, or at least significantly slows the increase. Cable prices have gotten ridiculous. People are looking for cheaper alternatives. Someone, whether alternative providers or someone like DISH Network cutting down the size of their buffet, will provide it.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      I would also add the saturation issue. You can get 20-25 football games on Saturdays in major markets just on standard cable. If your team is always on, there is less incentive to watch other games. IMO that has hurt basketball ratings. It is on all the time, all season long. There’s no “must see” basketball until the NCAA tourney.

      Like

    • frug says:

      Yeah, it is rare for rights fees to go down but it does happen.

      http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/andy_staples/08/05/tv-college-football/index.html

      In 1984, The Associated Press estimated that all the college football rights agreements in the newly deregulated landscape would generate $43.6 million. That was down from the $69.7 million paid for the entire NCAA package for the 1983 season.

      Like

      • frug says:

        Although, I guess Frank did technically say “sports TV rights overall” had never dropped, so it’s theoretically possible that there was enough boost from other sports (NFL, MLB, NBA, etc.) to cover the NCAA loses, but I don’t know for certain.

        Like

  10. Arch Stanton says:

    If Congress forces cable providers to go a la carte… might they then force the NCAA to allow conferences more leeway in how they crown their champion, i.e. eliminate static divisions and let the two best teams play in the conference title game!?
    Food for thought…

    Like

    • BuckeyeBeau says:

      it’s an interesting article, but there is a chicken/egg problem. does success lead to money or does money lead to success? As I think Bennett (over at ESpin) mentioned: if you are going to present an explanatory model of how money and success are related, the model must explain Texas and Boise State. If money is the determinant, then Texas should never lose and BSU should never win.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        BuckeyeBeau,

        “it’s an interesting article, but there is a chicken/egg problem. does success lead to money or does money lead to success?”

        That’s always the question, but I think it’s a feedback loop. You can get some success without money, but you generally need to use that success to make money and spend it on gaining more success. There are outliers like Boise and things can go wrong like at UT, but there’s a reason the Sun Belt doesn’t compete with the SEC for titles.

        But Alvarez admits, Wisconsin’s sustained winning two decades later and turnaround as an athletic department is almost entirely due to a football program that began putting butts in seats and filling the coffers.

        Dantonio — as with Alvarez and Hollis and so many others in the profession — wants winning to be about people.

        But it can’t be about people until appearances elsewhere are close to equal. Alvarez eventually had to do more than pick up a paint brush.

        “If you don’t have bright, clean impressive new facilities, I think sometimes you send a message, whether it’s important or not to a kid,” Alvarez said. “They’re going to spend four or five years at your place and you’re trying to recruit them. And I know a couple years ago we lost some kids because of facilities or lack of.”

        That doesn’t seem to be a problem in Madison or East Lansing any longer.

        “You’ve got to compare apples to apples,” said Dantonio, adding bluntly that MSU’s facilities were subpar when he arrived.

        “And then, after that, I think it becomes people. We did not lose five games last year because someone had another weight room or meeting room or locker room than we did. We lost them at the end of the game because we didn’t find the inches. And that was execution, play-calling, coaching, whatever you want to call it. It had nothing to do with facilities.”

        That, of course, is flawed logic. If facilities help acquire talent, it’s possible talent that chose better facilities could’ve found those inches.

        “As I think Bennett (over at ESpin) mentioned: if you are going to present an explanatory model of how money and success are related, the model must explain Texas and Boise State. If money is the determinant, then Texas should never lose and BSU should never win.”

        It’s not THE determinant, but it’s one of them. And all real life data has noise. The number of have-nots that can compete for titles is really small, and much of their success is based on a weak schedule inflating their win counts and making them relatively rich.

        As for explanations:

        Over the last 20 years, UT has the 7th best W% nationally. The real outlier is Boise, and they have a perfect storm of location (close enough to CA to recruit and isolated enough to be the only show in town), weak opponents (WAC and then MWC) and a great coach who chooses to stay at a small school.

        Like

  11. Pat says:

    Go Blue!

    Like

  12. jae1837 says:

    Great article and Go Hokies!

    I have to admit that I myself believed that a financial bubble was forming in college sports media rights until I learned that Netflix pays approximately $100 – $120 million per season for House of Cards, which is only 26 episodes per season. I’ve further read that this price is consistent with other prime-time tv shows. Now ESPN is paying roughly $280 million per year for the entire ACC which includes not only Football and Basketball, but the olympic sports as well throughout the year for all 14 schools. Add in the bonus of viewers willing to watch sports live instead of time shifting as they already do for entertainment shows and it would seem to me that the conferences still have room to grow in terms of media rights pricing.

    Like

    • exswoo says:

      I mostly agree with this but you have to remember that non-sports hold up their value better over time vs live sports, which after the first viewing (and perhaps a handful of times after that) draw very few people.

      Like

      • BuckeyeBeau says:

        and, just as importantly, for non-sports programming, there is a diminishing, but still continual demand, to see the program over time. Think “I Love Lucy” “South Park” “The Simpsons” and other syndication shows. There is value long after the first airing.

        conversely, once I know the score/who won, I am unlikely to EVER watch a sporting event even for the first time. maybe for “my team,” but I honestly cannot imagine watching UCLA play Oregon a week — a month, a year, whatever — after the game (and that assumes I might have watched it live).

        on yet the third hand, the BTN airs a lot of “classic games.” I have personally never watched one, but I wonder what the ratings are.

        Like

  13. BuckeyeBeau says:

    @FtT. You say: “…the entire value of sports is that there are a lot of people that want to watch the exact same event at the exact same time. That happens to be exactly what television has done (and probably will always do) better than the Internet.”

    I will quibble with this by pointing out that, as streaming gets better and as more people use their TV sets as computer “monitors,” the difference between “watching tv” and “streaming the internet” will vanish.

    I, for example, have a larg-ish TV in my living room in the traditional place where the TV would be. However, it is hooked up to my computer (with a wireless mouse and KB) and I use the “TV” both as a television as as my computer monitor. So, for me, what “television does” is nearly the same was what the “internet does.” If I played video games, this would also be my game console.

    FWIW, I have been watching live sports via streaming for about a year and a half. There IS one notable difference. I often will watch a game with my sister who lives in California with us being on the phone. She is watching via traditional cable (in CA) and I am streaming (in Indiana). For whatever reason, what she sees is about 3-5 seconds in time ahead of what I see. I don’t know if that is the time zone or a difference in our respective technologies.

    This is actually fun since she is terrible at “color commentary.” She goes “ooohh OHHH OOOOOO” but I can’t tell if that is good or bad (could be a fumble or a touchdown … LOL). Then 3-4 seconds later I find out.

    My assumption is that sort of time lag will diminish as the streaming technology gets better.

    Like

  14. MIKEUM says:

    Simply outstanding analysis. It takes a lot more time to lay out and explain these media issues even though they may be more “basic” than setting forth, explaining and analyzing 100 different factors among 1000 different stakeholders in realignment. Realignment had and has multiple drivers but big money focuses a lot on these media “basics” for guidance for the actual moves. Great read and great BON articles now that everyone from everywhere has had a chance to think clearly about pros and cons without the emotion as fans or regional constituents. Remember when basic cable was only like $30/mo for a dozen stations and as long as ESPN was in that package, it was fine?

    Like

  15. BuckeyeBeau says:

    of note, Fox Sports 1 (FS1) still seeking coverage deals a month before launching.

    http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2013/07/15/Media/FS1.aspx

    HT: Mr. SEC

    Like

  16. Alex says:

    Frank,

    Good post. Do you plan on addressing the cost of infrastructure use or deployment? It seems to be a frequent excuse of telecom companies for rising prices that could still be valid for cellular companies, but less likely so for cable.

    “(4) Sports streaming is inherently different than movie and TV show streaming”
    Yes, except streaming of any kind frees users from subscribing to cable TV. Which is what this all boils down to, and I’m guessing why, for instance, why ESPN pulled the best games off ESPN3.

    You can try denying it, but a la carte streaming over the Net is inevitable. It is destiny.

    Like

    • @Alex – Infrastructure does matter in the sense that the broadband in all but a few households will need to be upgraded if Internet streaming completely replaces cable/satellite. For a complete shift to streaming sports on the Internet, everyone will need to have connections as fast as Google Fiber. Currently, about 1/3 of all Internet traffic in North America is from Netflix streaming, with another 17% from YouTube streaming. So, half of the Internet bandwidth in North America is dedicated to just those two sites, and those streams are dispersed among lots of different programs/clips at lots of different times of the day. For further context, Netflix streaming has about 28 million households that average 87 minutes of usage per day, which is about the equivalent of half of the length of an NFL game (and once again, those 87 minutes are spread throughout the entire day among lots of different programs) – that’s what constitutes eating up 1/3 of all of the bandwidth on our continent.

      The final Sunday Night Football game last year (Cowboys vs. Redskins) was watched in over 30 million TV households. So, that’s the equivalent of every single person that has Netflix streaming (plus 2 million more) watching the exact same program at the exact same time for twice as long as they would normally do in a day. The current broadband infrastructure physically can’t handle that single game if *everyone* was watching it on a stream. Just imagine that repeating every single NFL Sunday (and even worse for the playoffs), much less adding on all of the other sporting events that people watch. Now, higher speed connections like Google Fiber can get rid of that technological limitation, but that will take time to adopt across the country. So, I see the infrastructure issue as something that can significantly slow down progress, but may not halt it in the long-term if Google Fiber (and any other competing high-speed connection) is as good as it appears to be.

      Like

    • BruceMcF says:

      Simultaneously, buffet priced subscription streaming over the Net is inevitable ~ it is destiny.

      The EXTREME of a la carte, where you pay by game, most certainly IS NOT inevitable. However, it seems plausible that things will evolve to be less bundled as cable loses its local monopoly in the face of subscription TV over IP and streaming video from subscription streaming services via the Internet.

      Like

  17. GreatLakeState says:

    The opulent indulgences of empires past had nothing on Alabama.
    Check out their new locker room.
    http://ftw.usatoday.com/2013/07/a-look-inside-alabamas-lavish-new-locker-room/

    Like

  18. Craig Z says:

    Go Bucks.

    Like

  19. Steve says:

    Go.

    Like

  20. I have no idea as to what their survey methods were (and I suspect they were probably faulty) but if this link gives an idea of where high school players would most want to play college football.

    http://www.studentsports.com/blog/2013/07/10/footballers-favorite-college/

    I admit, I was pretty surprised to see my school on top. I thought for sure it would be Texas. I was even more shocked to see only a single Big 10 school on the list (Ohio State), because I figured Michigan would be very high and Nebraska would at least be somewhere.

    My biggest takeaway is that being “cool” matters almost as much as winning to high school kids (no surprise there). For all the flack that Oregon gets from its hideous uniforms and video game offense, it obviously makes kids want to play there. Miami, whose bad boy reputation is considered “cool” to many places much higher than its recent one the field success would indicate. Vanderbilt, which has a “cool” head coach also showed quite well. If you want to lure in recruits, it’s almost as important to make yourself “cool” as to win.

    Also, cold is apparently not appealing to high school players. My geography could be off, but I only counted six schools north of Cal-Berkeley, Oregon, BYU, Boise State, West Virginia, Ohio State, and Notre Dame. Of those schools, only Oregon made it into the top 15.

    Unsurprisingly, not many schools outside of the power five conferences to made the list. Just the Independents/virtual power five members Notre Dame and BYU and Mountain West members Boise State and San Diego State.

    Like

  21. arkstfan says:

    Frank, NHL rights fell when they had to accept a deal that gave them a portion of revenue after expenses. As noted by others when the college environment was disrupted there was a decrease in rights fees as well. Currently there appear to be signs that college games with smaller audiences are coming off peak pricing as well. Pricing for MLB.TV has fallen (presumably offset by growing viewership). Major League Baseball rights fees also dropped after CBS lost an estimated half a billion dollars on its four year deal. Adjusted for inflation Major League Baseball has had more than one boom and bust period.

    The NBA has had boom/bust periods as well.

    A mere six years ago people confidently proclaimed the stability of home prices that at worst kept pace with inflation and often out-performed inflation. With a sudden reduction in household spending power (the twin demons of rising unemployment and rising energy prices), home prices did the unthinkable and fell.

    Cord-cutting and ala carte are red herrings. The fundamental weakness that is likely to cause a bust whether across the board or for all but the most highly prized brands is disposable income. The bottom four quintiles of households by income continue to lose spending power in the category of disposable income. Roughly 80% of Americans had less disposable income in 2010 than in 2007 and have less disposable income in 2013 than in 2010.

    That trend is all but assured to escalate as more boomers leave the workforce and rely on savings, pensions, and social security.

    Less disposable income might lead to an increase in disposable income but more likely it means greater pressure for cable/satellite to offer lower cost options and that will either occur by reducing carriage fees (probably not likely initially) or offering stripped down packages that omit many bundles. Do retired boomers opt for a package that doesn’t include ESPN, Disney, A&E, ABC Family? That’s quite possible. Does a young family with little to no sports interest opt for a package without those channels if their kid programming needs are met by Netflix?

    The bottom line is most consumers are likely to continue seeing their ability to pay for luxuries erode and if they aren’t passionate about what ESPN or Fox Sports 1 offers, a limited TV package with the four OTA networks may well more than meet the their sports needs.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      You’re pessimistic. We are just coming out of a recession. I think its simple economics and cost/benefit. At some price, people will choose other entertainment options, media or not. The WSJ article said that RSN’s increased their average carriage price from $1.12 to $2.47 from 2002 to 2012. The ESPN/ESPN2 group increased from $1.84 to $5.71. Cable is pushing that cost/benefit envelope.

      And even over the air, if you live in a major metro area, you get a lot of choices (unless the current administration takes a lot of channels off the air for wireless). In Atlanta I get 63 different stations from 19 different channels OTA without an outside antenna. It would be 76 from 24 with a good enough outside antenna. Now a good number are music or home shopping, but you get a high % of that with your 300 channels on cable.

      There are a lot of people who simply won’t pay $100 + a month for sports.

      Like

  22. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    LSU released their 2014 baseball schedule yesterday. Purdue plays in Baton Rouge on March 7-9.

    Like

    • Wainscott says:

      Pur-don’t!

      Like

    • loki_the_bubba says:

      Lemme guess, they never leave south Louisiana except for conference games…

      Like

      • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

        loki – you guessed wrong. One OOC game is in north Louisiana (Northwestern St.). LSU has a $40 million baseball stadium to pay off, and as long as they sell 11,000 tickets per game the Tigers are rarely going to give up $600k of revenue and burn a weekend OOC series. That said, LSU will be playing in the Minute Maid Classic in 2014.

        Like

  23. Transic says:

    Since we’re talking about a la carte and unbundling, interesting article I’ve just came across:

    http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20130716_Analyst_says_unbundling_would_lead_to_lost_cable_revenue.html

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Had to laugh. Ads on that article included “UNC World Class MBA-Delivered On-line.” So you pay and they send you a diploma on-line the next day? Their scandal does degrade their degree. Fortunately for them, its mainly sports fans who know about it. The ads at the bottom were DirectTV and “Cheap cable TV.”

      Some seem to believe the money is the same either way. This article debunks that. All these sports networks wouldn’t be trying to get on the primary tier if the extra pay sports tier was more profitable. They wouldn’t be switching from pay for view to networks. The forced carriage is driving these big increases in rights fees as free TV is losing sports properties.

      Its a dysfunctional model for consumers. It will fail, whether through a la carte, a major carrier choosing to be a low price competitor like a Southwest Airlines or some form of streaming. The only question is how long it takes. Frank raises good points about capacity. But capacity probably isn’t an issue for any but the biggest events. BTN, SECN, Pac 12 Network, LHN don’t have big events.

      Like

      • Psuhockey says:

        If the current cable system fails, the entity that it will be hurt most is ESPN. As you say, the BTN doesn’t have big events. It currently sells its big events to ESPN to broadcast. In an a la carte world, why would they sell games to the middle man when they would be competing for the same dollar. Same goes with the NFL network, NBA network, and so on. There will be powerful forced like ESPN with Disney and Fox to keep the current system because they don’t create their best content; they just resell someone elses. With the rise of the Internet, everything is becoming more and more direct to consumer. Sports won’t be any different.

        Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        “But capacity probably isn’t an issue for any but the biggest events. BTN, SECN, Pac 12 Network, LHN don’t have big events.”

        P12N is capable of selecting several regular season big events currently.

        “All these sports networks wouldn’t be trying to get on the primary tier if the extra pay sports tier was more profitable. They wouldn’t be switching from pay for view to networks.”

        True, in the current model. I see no possible way legislation would ever legally ban bundling practices. I can’t require GM or Toyota to sell me a vehicle of my choosing, at my price, removing any development research costs that didn’t directly wind up creating my car. These are market forces choices. If that model produces a better, more successful product it will arise.
        A la carte hasn’t happened yet, in spite of decades of hearing how it’s imminent. If it does come it will evolve, not be legislated. The value of live sports programming will migrate, not disolve.

        Like

    • BuckeyeBeau says:

      Here’s the link to the underlying Laura Martin report. http://www.capknowledge.com/research_reports/media_theme_research_reports/2012_06_23_FutureOfTV_final.pdf

      it’s a 24 page PDF. the stuff concerning cable and bundling and a la carte starts at about page 7.

      Some interesting quotes:

      “Data shows that consumer demand for TV is shifting in the digital age. For example, in a June 2012 comScore study:

      􀂾 72% of the 10,000 viewers surveyed stated that they watched TV only on a TV set (“TV-only” viewers).

      􀂾 Another 11% were “digital-only” viewers, meaning they watched TV content on computers and laptops and smartphones but never on a TV set.

      􀂾 The final 17% of viewers reported that they were “multi-screen” viewers who use TV, online video and mobile devices to watch TV shows.

      This data continues a trend that has been gaining traction over the past three years. A key new insight from this study was that 61% of viewers say they use the Internet while watching TV and of these, 10-25% go to the Web site of the show they are currently watching.

      According to comScore, “For one of the networks studied, 25% of consumers who used the Internet concurrently while watching the network on TV were visiting the network website. For the other network, more than 10% were using the network’s own websites and online video while watching the channel.” This ability to access more information in real time builds consumer loyalty to the show and enables a lean-forward experience to be coupled with a lean-back experience, if desired.

      The study also noted that 29% of viewers that use a computer while watching TV are on Facebook simultaneously. This suggests that TV shows are anchors of shared experience and create conversations and interactions. Social media adds relevance to TV shows. Social media also drives discovery of new shows. …”

      There is an interesting graphic on page 10 where poll results are listed 4 the question: what channel must be available online for you to turn off your tv. CBS, ABC, FOX, NBC and ESPN were the channels that achieved a 30%+ mark. Note (grin) that the BTN was not listed at all.

      Of real important (that supports much of what FtT set forth in the OP):

      “We then took some of the most popular channels above and asked viewers how much they would pay for each of these channels. Even though these were the most popular channels, 51% of viewers said they would pay zero for them in an a la carte world.

      The highest “payer” category was the four broadcast networks. Of the 50% of people that say they would be willing to pay something, 50% of those (implying 25% of total viewers) said they would only pay less than $2/month.

      In an unbundled world, each channel that survived must have monthly revenue of 5-10/month payable by consumers in order to maintain current revenue levels, depending on each channel’s ultimate penetration levels.

      We note that there are super-fans for every one of these channels, as evidenced by the fact that a consistent 5-10% would be willing to pay $10 or more for each of these channels.”

      Page 12 has a nice graphic on how we spend our time. Live TV is the 800 pound gorilla at 44,000 million hours of monthly consumption (so, 44,000,000,000 hours). Whereas, Netflix is a tiny tiny amoeba at a mere 68,000,000 hours of monthly consumption.

      Other interesting tidbits: when we say people pay $100 “for cable,” that is not quite accurate since so many subscribers get an internet and phone “bundle” with their cable. And THAT is what people value. “Double and triple-play bundles [getting internet and phone services along with the cable] represent a discount for the TV product because research shows that consumers value the high-speed modem portion of the bundle at $80/month, leaving only $20/month of the payment attributable to TV in their minds.”

      all in all, an interesting and persuasive read.

      Like

  24. Transic says:

    Not all that surprising but now getting media reports about a bowl game in Detroit’s Ford Field:

    http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130716/SPORTS0203/307160094/1019/sports0203/Details-Big-Ten-bowl-game-Ford-Field-revealed-Wednesday

    Like

    • The Big Ten can thank DEATH TO THE BCS for the impetus and cover to create a new way of making buckets of money for itself. Taking over bowls (something that the Big Ten did a long time ago with the ROSE) and creating a playoff…thanks Dan Wetzel. I wonder if he’s making a 6-figure salary yet for all the money he’s helped others make…🙂

      Like

    • Brian says:

      http://espn.go.com/blog/bigten/post/_/id/79815/new-detroit-bowl-joins-b1g-lineup

      More info here.

      Probably the biggest news from the announcement is that the game is scheduled for Dec. 30, 2014, pending TV arrangements.

      The new bowl got off to an inauspicious start today, as the teleconference to announce the game was marred by echoes and weird music before Lions president Tom Lewand cut off his opening remarks. A few minutes of nothing but various people saying, “Hello? Hello?” followed before the call was eventually postponed. We can only hope the bowl itself will be run much better than that.

      Like

  25. […] the situation, while the Wall Street Journal adds their insight ($). Finally, Conference Expansion Guru Frank The Tank takes a different perspective and says that the issue isn’t as simple as folks might like to make it […]

    Like

  26. […] it is not ACC-centric, at least directly, Frank the Tank’s latest blog entry is as good as ever.   In it he discusses, among other things, why televised sporting events are […]

    Like

  27. bullet says:

    @Frank
    Saw Sir Paul in Atlanta 2 or 3 years ago. Still had his voice and put on a great show. Interesting mix of people going to the show, all ages. New generations keep discovering his and the Beatles music.

    Saw the Eagles in same venue a year later and it was a bunch of 50 something white people. Enjoyed the show, but I guess they’re a generational thing.

    Like

    • Richard says:

      The thing about McCartney and the Beatles is that they changed styles several times (and tended to be good in them all; guess the 10,000 hours of practice paid off), so there’s something for everyone. The Eagles–not so much.

      Like

  28. Brian says:

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/2013/07/16/penn-state-ncaa-joe-paterno-jerry-sandusky-freeh-report/2522359/

    PSU’s BoT would like the sanctions reduced. That’s hardly a shock. Here are some points of note:

    Penn State will likely ask the NCAA to reduce some of the sanctions levied against its football program one year ago, key members of its board of trustees said Tuesday.

    Trustees said they didn’t know when or even if the request would be made

    The NCAA sanctions that came in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal included a four-year bowl ban, $60 million fine, vacating 112 wins and four years of reduced scholarships. Board chair Keith Masser took particular aim at the last item.

    “Those scholarships fell off the face of the earth,” he said. “They didn’t get redistributed. To me, there are students with athletic ability who could have gotten a college education, who are not. Why is the NCAA punishing potential students? … It’s just not the right way to provide punishment” of an institution.

    The lost scholarships are the issue? I hate to break it to him, but the NCAA has been punishing schools by cutting scholarships for a long time. Did PSU ever object to any other school losing scholarships? Did they support USC not losing them when they got punished recently? Trying to spin it as “Won’t someone please think of the children?” seems like an odd tactic. As for redistributing scholarships, which schools is he proposing should get to exceed 85?

    Trustees noted such a request would come from Penn State President Rodney Erickson, as it will not be up to a board vote.

    Interesting that the BoT wouldn’t have a say. Don’t they run the school?

    Masser was asked how he felt about Joe Paterno, the coaching legend who died in the months after the board removed him.

    “I’m here as chair of the board of trustees, I’m not here to offer” personal opinions, Masser said, though he did then offer some muted thoughts. “He was a great coach. I admired him. … His name is on our library and we admire his prioritization of academics. … We believe that there will be a time to consider further recognition of Joe Paterno.”

    Further recognition? As he said, JoePa’s name is already on the library. His statue was taken down. Are they going to put it back? Name the stadium after him? Will they ever learn to just let it go?

    Masser did not name Paterno directly but suggested that some prominent football coaches around the country exert too much influence over their universities. “I would say this: I firmly believe in institutional control,” he said, adding that coaches should report to athletics directors and athletics directors to presidents — “and not vice versa.”

    A lesson PSU needed to learn more than most.

    Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      The lost scholarships are the issue? I hate to break it to him, but the NCAA has been punishing schools by cutting scholarships for a long time.

      It’s true that scholarship reductions are a common NCAA punishment strategy. But those are cases that cannot be punished any other way — or at least, not any way that anyone yet has been able to come up with.

      But in this case there ARE other ways (e.g., the $60 million fine, the criminal sanctions) that avoid the drawback of punishing innocent people. It is also significant that Emmert pulled this punishment out of his rear end. There was no rule that Penn State violated, and therefore no precedent that dictated a particular set of consequences.

      As I said on the prior FTT thread, I will be surprised if Penn State gets a break. But if the NCAA is willing to do that, there are easy ways to distinguish this case, without setting a precedent for garden-variety enforcement cases, because everything about Penn State is unprecedented.

      As for redistributing scholarships, which schools is he proposing should get to exceed 85?

      I don’t think he’s proposing that. His whole point is that the scholarships just disappear.

      Interesting that the BoT wouldn’t have a say. Don’t they run the school?

      Executives at every level have decisions they are allowed to make for themselves, and decisions they have to refer to a higher authority. I think he’s just saying that this is in the former category.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        The $60 million fine punishes the taxpayers of Pennsylvania. I would say those people are innocent. I found that the most offensive of the NCAA penalties (if the Feds end up doing something similar for the violation of the Cleary Act-that is a totally different issue).

        Scholarship penalties make the football team weaker, but don’t really “penalize” anyone except maybe a marginal player who wanted to go to Penn St., but had to take a Pitt scholarship instead. Maybe 20 Division II players lose scholarships, but anyone who would have gotten a PSU scholarship will still get one.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          bullet,

          “The $60 million fine punishes the taxpayers of Pennsylvania.”

          Does it? Were they not going to pay those taxes otherwise? Most of PSU’s funding doesn’t come from taxes anyway (only 5-10%, IIRC). At least some of the money is going to be spent in PA to work on the issue of child abuse. As long as that amount is at least $6M, the taxpayers aren’t losing anything, it’s just being reallocated. Besides, do we even know where PSU is pulling the money from?

          “I would say those people are innocent.”

          The NCAA would probably say many of them contributed to the culture issue at PSU.

          Like

      • Brian says:

        Marc Shepherd,

        “It’s true that scholarship reductions are a common NCAA punishment strategy. But those are cases that cannot be punished any other way — or at least, not any way that anyone yet has been able to come up with.”

        There are always other ways. They could fine more, extend probation, issue more show causes and longer ones, implement TV bans, fine the conference, strip the scholarship from the offender, etc. Losing scholarships often fits the crime, but there are lots of choices. Generally, innocent people suffer.

        “It is also significant that Emmert pulled this punishment out of his rear end. There was no rule that Penn State violated, and therefore no precedent that dictated a particular set of consequences.”

        1. The NCAA determined that PSU did violate the rules. You may disagree, but that was the NCAA’s finding and PSU consented.

        2. The NCAA explicitly says that they aren’t bound by precedent. The new system will be more like the criminal system in terms of punishment being more bound by the offense, but PSU was punished under the old system.

        3. The number of scholarships lost is basically the maximum penalty allowed under the new system (the actual cap is 50%, or 12 per year lost). The number is also exactly what USC lost per year. The 65 cap is lower than USC’s (75), but I think it jives better with what happens when you can only sign 15 players per year anyway. USC got 3 years and PSU 4, so basically Emmert took USC’s penalties and increased them a little. In other words, he didn’t really pull them out of his butt.

        “But if the NCAA is willing to do that, there are easy ways to distinguish this case, without setting a precedent for garden-variety enforcement cases, because everything about Penn State is unprecedented.”

        I wouldn’t say “willing” but rather if the NCAA wants to do that. If they weren’t willing to at least consider it they wouldn’t have included the language in the consent decree that allows for changing it.

        As for redistributing scholarships, which schools is he proposing should get to exceed 85?

        “I don’t think he’s proposing that. His whole point is that the scholarships just disappear.”

        He mentioned redistributing them. Where exactly are they supposed to go?

        How about this: any time a school loses scholarships, make the athletic department pay that amount to the academic side of the school to be added to the general scholarship fund. That way the school doesn’t lose anything, just the team and the athletic department.

        “Executives at every level have decisions they are allowed to make for themselves, and decisions they have to refer to a higher authority. I think he’s just saying that this is in the former category.”

        That seems like a fairly major decision to delegate, especially since the last president was fired over his handling of the issue and for not keeping the BoT fully informed. Now the BoT wants to be hands off and say do what you want? It sounds to me like the elected BoT is passing the buck to the president so if he makes the unpopular choice they can shift the blame.

        Like

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          “It’s true that scholarship reductions are a common NCAA punishment strategy. But those are cases that cannot be punished any other way — or at least, not any way that anyone yet has been able to come up with.”

          There are always other ways. They could fine more, extend probation, issue more show causes and longer ones, implement TV bans, fine the conference, strip the scholarship from the offender, etc. Losing scholarships often fits the crime, but there are lots of choices. Generally, innocent people suffer.

          If there actually ARE other ways, then they ought to use them. The recurring punishment of innocent people seems to me the worst part of a system that is pretty badly broken.

          “It is also significant that Emmert pulled this punishment out of his rear end. There was no rule that Penn State violated, and therefore no precedent that dictated a particular set of consequences.”

          1. The NCAA determined that PSU did violate the rules. You may disagree, but that was the NCAA’s finding and PSU consented.

          The regular discussion on this blog is a critique of schools, leagues, and college athletics in general. In the context of such discussion, the fact that THEY think they did the right thing is irrelevant. Otherwise, the only response to any criticism of anything would be, “Well, they’re in charge, and that’s what they thought, so that’s that.”

          You strike me as about the last person on earth, who would say that the authorities are always right, merely because THEY happen to think so. It’s especially salient in this situation, because the NCAA consent decree was presented to PSU in a posture that made debate realistically impossible.

          To say that PSU “consented” is an intellectual dodge, even if literally true. It is just as relevant as the fact that the NCAA thinks they’re right. Don’t they always think they’re right?

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Marc Shepherd,

            “If there actually ARE other ways, then they ought to use them. The recurring punishment of innocent people seems to me the worst part of a system that is pretty badly broken.”

            I think they find the other methods to be equally unfair. As I said, shifting the money to academics scholarships would mean there is no net suffering except for the team being punished. The same amount of scholarship money would still be spent. It’s an improvement over just cancelling the scholarships.

            “It is also significant that Emmert pulled this punishment out of his rear end. There was no rule that Penn State violated, and therefore no precedent that dictated a particular set of consequences.”

            1. The NCAA determined that PSU did violate the rules. You may disagree, but that was the NCAA’s finding and PSU consented.

            “The regular discussion on this blog is a critique of schools, leagues, and college athletics in general. In the context of such discussion, the fact that THEY think they did the right thing is irrelevant. Otherwise, the only response to any criticism of anything would be, “Well, they’re in charge, and that’s what they thought, so that’s that.”

            You strike me as about the last person on earth, who would say that the authorities are always right, merely because THEY happen to think so.”

            My point is, your language read as if PSU definitively didn’t break a rule and some/many people (not you) actually believe that the NCAA punished PSU without accusing them of breaking a rule. I think it’s important to clarify that the NCAA did in fact accuse PSU of breaking a rule first and then punished them for it. I’m fine with people questioning the NCAA’s judgment on that issue, but not with saying it’s a fact that PSU didn’t break a rule. PSU pleaded guilty to it.

            “It’s especially salient in this situation, because the NCAA consent decree was presented to PSU in a posture that made debate realistically impossible.”

            This is a point I’ll never agree with you about. PSU could easily have fought this, but they didn’t want any more bad publicity. That isn’t the NCAA’s problem. There is no way the NCAA could have presented the consent decree that you couldn’t make this same argument. It sounds like you’re saying the NCAA should have forced PSU to go through a multi-year NCAA investigation, accusation, prosecution and judgment process that would prolong PSU’s misery to potentially reach the same or even worse punishment because PSU couldn’t risk going through a multi-year NCAA appeal, investigation, accusation, prosecution and judgment process that would prolong PSU’s misery to potentially reach the same or even worse punishment.

            How would forcing PSU to go through the “normal” NCAA process have automatically helped PSU? The Freeh report and the underlying sources still would have been most of the evidence. A group of people at the NCAA still would have weighed the facts and made a decision. They may have reached a different decision, but they also might not have reached a different conclusion about whether or not PSU broke the rules. Then they’d have the prolonged appeal process, keeping the story alive even longer. Frankly, the PSU case probably wouldn’t be over yet if it went through normal channels. How is that good for PSU?

            I guess what bothers me most is that everyone seems to assume PSU would have gotten off with lighter penalties that way. I don’t think that’s clear at all. They certainly might have, but USC got hammered for much lesser violations. The COI could easily have decided that the death penalty was a more appropriate response than losing scholarships and paying a huge fine. On top of that, the story would have dragged on much longer. Look how long the Miami case is taking, and that’s much cleaner than looking into child molestation and a possible cover up.

            “To say that PSU “consented” is an intellectual dodge, even if literally true. It is just as relevant as the fact that the NCAA thinks they’re right. Don’t they always think they’re right?”

            I disagree wholeheartedly. Stating the truth is never a dodge. PSU consented. They didn’t have to but they did. All such consents come with the pressure of the unknown hanging over your head. Innocent people charged of serious crimes usually fight the charges. PSU did a risk/reward calculation and consented.

            Of course the NCAA always thinks they’re right. But schools that get punished often appeal when they disagree, and sometimes they win. UCF got their bowl ban removed just recently by appealing. If you aren’t willing to stand up for yourself, then don’t complain about the punishment.

            Like

  29. Brian says:

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/blog/jeremy-fowler/22786157/sec-working-on-bowl-lineup-of-10-or-more

    News on the SEC’s bowl lineup.

    The SEC is working on a bowl lineup for 2014-19 that could give the league more than 10 bowls in certain years, depending on how the College Football Playoff shakes out.

    According to a league source, the lineup could very well look like this: Sugar (New Orleans), Orange (rotational), Capital One (Orlando), Outback (Tampa), Belk (Charlotte), Meineke Car Care (Houston), Music City (Nashville), Liberty (Memphis) and BBVA Compass (Birmingham).

    That’s 9 bowls, plus they’ll have at least 1 team in the CFP every year.

    Many of the bowls will be part of a pool from which the SEC can select teams to diversify matchups. It’s possible the Capital One will not be part of that rotation.

    The AdvoCare V100 (Shreveport) is part of the current SEC lineup but will be tough to keep because of the mushrooming lineup, according to a source. For example, a year with four or more SEC teams in the 12-team, six-game playoff structure (two semifinals and four host bowls) could create 11 or more bowl spots for the league. At that point, having enough eligible teams (at least a 6-6 record) might be a challenge.

    Who is likely to take the Shreveport slot? CUSA? SB? AAC?

    Like

    • Richard says:

      The B12 if they want it (but they may be happy with 7). I think the ACC still needs bowl slots.

      The Independence likely will get the choice of CUSA’s #1 or AAC #1/#2. I think those gloryhounds will choose the slightly more prestigious AAC, which will have 5 schools close by, to put butts in the seats against an ACC team.

      Like

    • C.toda says:

      Notice only 1 bowl is anywhere near outside the South and SEC country! How many points is home field?

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Normally they say about 3 points, but that’s based on the regular season. It’s probably more in the bowls if it’s a cold weather team playing a warm weather team but less if they’re both from the same weather (bowl crowds are more evenly split than normal home games).

        Like

  30. BuckeyeBeau says:

    I posted/discussed this above. But it is worth a stand-alone post (imho).

    http://assets.fiercemarkets.com/public/sites/cable/futuretv.pdf

    This links Laura Martin’s 2013 “Future of TV” Report.

    In my view, far inferior product compared to her 2012 Report (also linked above).

    Her discussion related to sports channel starts at page 24 (of 36). Her discussions DO offer me some insights into why the LHN is having trouble and suggests to me that the SECtvN may not strike it rich quickly. This discussion also suggests to me that the ACCtvN will never actually get off the ground.

    Like

  31. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    As someone who grew up in the Shreveport area, I hope they can land the Big XII, if the SEC is unavailable. Until recently, the bowl matched up the Big XII and the SEC. I can definitely see CUSA (LA Tech and So. Miss) and the AAC (Tulane, SMU, Houston, Memphis, Rice, Tulsa) in the mix, with the Sunbelt as a last resort.

    It’s a shame that the Independence (now AdvoCare V100 Bowl) has dropped in its slotting over the years. I know people have made fun of the bowl because its located in Shreveport and it used to be sponsored by Weedeater, but its a very nice bowl game that is better supported by the community than several bowls located in much bigger areas. For several years, the I-Bowl had larger payouts than the Nashville and Birmingham bowls, but was forced by the SEC to pick later. Also, the I-Bowl has averaged over 40,000 fans over the life of its 38 year existence. As far as facilities go, Independence Stadium is nicer than the Citrus Bowl.

    The I-Bowl has hosted schools from all the AQ conferences: SEC – 10 different schools; ACC – 8; Big XII – 6; B1G – 6, Pac-12 – 3; and Notre Dame.

    My first college football game was the 1981 Independence Bowl matching up the Texas A&M Aggies against the Jimmy Johnson-led Oklahoma State Cowboys.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      I was just guessing all the conferences that are local to the bowl since more people seem to factoring that in now. The B12 is having to drop some bowls since they’ve shrunk since the old deals were struck. Maybe they’ll swap an old one for the Independence, but they probably can’t just add it.

      Like

    • loki_the_bubba says:

      Alan, Rice did not make the AAC selection. We’re still in the CUSunbelt.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      bullet,

      Some details about the committee:

      It now appears as the though the selection committee will consist of one athletic director from each of the five power conferences, former coaches and players and possibly former media members.

      The CFP still hasn’t worked out metrics the committee will use, or the total number of members. There likely will be an equal number of current athletic directors, former coaches and a third group of voters.

      If an athletic director’s school is part of the playoff process, he or she will leave the room during voting for that team. The athletic director would stay in the room if a member from his or her conference is being debated.

      And about the poll:

      Hancock said in May that the initial thinking was “two or three” polls or rankings through the regular season before the final ranking. But that leaves the process open for criticism –- and more important, prevents the CFP from taking complete ownership of the poll process.

      While current polls won’t be used in the process, there is concern among some in the working CFP group that failing to release a weekly ranking will allow the Associated Press and coaches polls – two polls that had defined the game for decades – to direct the narrative and therefore minimize the CFP poll.

      I just sense this is going to be a colossal clusterf*ck. There are way too many chefs in the kitchen.

      Like

      • frug says:

        While current polls won’t be used in the process, there is concern among some in the working CFP group that failing to release a weekly ranking will allow the Associated Press and coaches polls – two polls that had defined the game for decades – to direct the narrative and therefore minimize the CFP poll.

        Ignoring the fact they could just ban the coaches’ poll.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          frug,

          “Ignoring the fact they could just ban the coaches’ poll.”

          They could, but USA Today would just replace them with the Legends poll voters or something.

          Like

        • John O says:

          The CFP should establish a selection formula for evaluating teams, enabling the media to report the ‘unofficial’ rankings such a formula will produce from week to week during the season. This would go a long way in shaping public opinion and expectations regarding the playoff. After the conference championships, the committee would then be tasked with over-riding the results produced by the formula on a case by case basis while explaining its reasoning.

          (My personal preference would be to completely eliminate all human judgement from the selection process. Use a formula that ranks teams by fewest losses, with some consideration given to number of wins and bonus points awarded for conference champions. Ties should be broken by strength of schedule.)

          Like

          • frug says:

            I say just let the computers consider MOV and let them decide.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            John O,

            “The CFP should establish a selection formula for evaluating teams, enabling the media to report the ‘unofficial’ rankings such a formula will produce from week to week during the season. This would go a long way in shaping public opinion and expectations regarding the playoff. After the conference championships, the committee would then be tasked with over-riding the results produced by the formula on a case by case basis while explaining its reasoning.”

            Yeah, maybe they could use a compilation of computer polls and human polls and call it the CFP Rankings.

            “(My personal preference would be to completely eliminate all human judgement from the selection process. Use a formula that ranks teams by fewest losses, with some consideration given to number of wins and bonus points awarded for conference champions. Ties should be broken by strength of schedule.)”

            You’d use the number of losses as the top criterion? That clearly favors teams in a weak league like Boise, doesn’t it? Is 13-0 Boise really automatically better than 12-1 AL?

            I’d start with all 10+ win teams (if you didn’t win at least 10 games, you don’t deserve a chance). Next I would weight teams based on where they finished in their conference race. Then I’d weight wins based on location (Away > Neutral > Home) and opponent (top 10 > top 25 > top 50 > below 50 > FCS) to evaluate the resumes. That should result in a decent ordered list for a committee to work with. I want people involved because there are lots of intangible factors that matter (injuries, suspensions, coaching searches, schedule issues, the eye test, etc) and are just way too hard to include in a formula. I just don’t want those people biased by previous polls like the AP writers are. Ideally, they’d watch the games with raw footage and not the actual broadcasts with all the rankings and talking heads (maybe use the all 22 coaches film).

            Like

          • bullet says:

            “I want people involved because there are lots of intangible factors that matter (injuries, suspensions, coaching searches, schedule issues, the eye test, etc) and are just way too hard to include in a formula. I just don’t want those people biased by previous polls like the AP writers are. Ideally, they’d watch the games with raw footage and not the actual broadcasts with all the rankings and talking heads (maybe use the all 22 coaches film).”

            I am very much in agreement with you on the above.

            Like

          • John O says:

            The reason I would use fewest losses as the first criterion is that it provides a no-limit hold ’em feel to every game of the regular season – one mistake ( a loss) will likely sink you. In college football, every game matters in a way it doesn’t in every other sport. This should be preserved as much as is possible.

            I would prefer a playoff featuring the four most accomplished teams at the end of the season rather than the 4 ‘best.’ Perhaps a SOS qualifier could be established to prevent a very weak undefeated team from trumping a more deserving one loss team, though as I said accomplishment should count for something.

            Bias is inherent in everyone and in any committee – its what makes the CFP a colossal clusterf*ck in the making. In most years the difference between teams 3/4/5/6 is negligible/highly subjective and thus will prove controversial. Without a formula or some objective criteria to guide the committee, a four team playoff is simply untenable in the long run.

            Like

          • boscatar says:

            The main (and catastrophic) problem with relying on number of wins or losses as the main criteria is that it encourages teams to schedule down, rather than schedule up. Likewise, it has the potential to reward teams from weaker conferences. I would suggest that it is much better for college football’s regular season to have more marquee matchups (especially out of conference), rather than fewer.

            I like the idea of setting 10 wins as a threshold for consideration. Most teams with 10 wins will have 2 losses or fewer or will have won a conference championship. This has the potential to enhance the regular season, making more games meaningful for more teams. And, obviously, conference championships would be huge.

            Conference championships should not be the ultimate factor, but I hope the selection committee gives a conference champion preference in instances where it is a close comparison, especially in the selection of #1 overall (gets to play #4 instead of #3), selection of #3 (gets to play #2 instead of #1) and #4 over #5 (obviously, #4 makes the Playoff, whereas #5 does not).

            I would also like to see a rule where no team that does not make their conference’s championship game can make the playoff unless the team that did from their division is also in the playoff. For instance, Florida and Oregon do not make the playoff unless Georgia and Stanford are in as well. To do otherwise can have a huge impact on the value of the regular season. In 2012, it would have essentially negated the on-field results of the SEC East and PAC 12 North. And Florida is benefited greatly by NOT playing Alabama. That should not be supported.
            *Even if Oregon is perceived to be the better team than Stanford or Kansas St or Notre Dame, the importance of the PAC 12 regular season and the PAC 12 championship is completely marginalized.

            Rankings have been an enormous part of the college football system for decades and provide plenty of in-season excitement. That hard thing about using evaluation metrics like opponent ranking to evaluate the teams is deciding on which ranking system to use. Is it the AP poll? Coaches poll? Revised BC-eSque rankings formula? Some kind of RPI formula? I would hope the selection committee looks at all polls and rankings and that a SOS or RPI formula is publicized and used in the evaluation analysis.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            There is a tendency to use idiosyncratic measures. With a committee forced to support their choices it will limit some of the stuff that goes on in the mostly anonymous polls.

            I think accomplishment should matter. I didn’t believe Notre Dame and Ohio State were in the top two last year, but had OSU not been on probation, I think those two should have met for the championship. They beat everyone they played and played decent opposition.

            But some look not at what they accomplished, but who they lost to. That is part of what hurt Oklahoma St. two years ago. Alabama lost at home in OT to the #1 team who had recent MNCs while OSU lost on the road in OT to a .500 team with little football history. The fact that Oklahoma St. had 4 wins over ranked teams while Alabama had 1 was glossed over. Other people will vote on defense. Other people will vote on success over the last 20 years. A committee with something like an RPI (or multiple computer polls) will limit some of the extremes you get with polls as people will have to justify their votes instead of just writing something down on a sheet of paper.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            frug,

            “I say just let the computers consider MOV and let them decide.”

            While I believe humans need to be part of the process, your idea would certainly be a good first step. While I understand not wanting to encourage running up the score, any decent computer poll is going to provide diminishing returns for MOV anyway (or ignore MOV totally). If they were really concerned, they could have forced the computers to cap the MOV they would consider while still getting better results.

            Like

          • boscatar says:

            I find it helpful to analyze different rules and factors for the selection committee by looking at past seasons. It would be a lot more complex than this, but it is a good illustration. For 2012, here is the list of the 21 teams with 10+ wins that would have been eligible for the 4-team CFP:

            Notre Dame (12-0)
            Alabama (12-1)*
            N. Illinois (12-1)*
            Kansas St. (11-1)*
            Florida (11-1)
            Oregon (11-1)
            Stanford (11-2)*
            Florida St. (11-2)*
            Georgia (11-2)
            Ken St. (11-2)
            Utah St. (10-2)*
            Louisville (10-2)*
            Boise St. (10-2)*
            LSU (10-2)
            Texas A&M (10-2)
            South Carolina (10-2)
            Oklahoma (10-2)
            Clemson (10-2)
            SJSU (10-2)
            Tulsa (10-3)*
            Nebraska (10-3)

            First, step: you easily remove Tulsa and Nebraska, the teams with 3 losses. That cuts it (slightly) to 19 teams.

            Second step, remove the teams with 2 losses that did not play in a conference championship or win an outright conference championship. The list whittles down to 13 teams, as follows:

            Notre Dame (12-0)
            Alabama (12-1)*
            N. Illinois (12-1)*
            Kansas St. (11-1)*
            Florida (11-1)
            Oregon (11-1)
            Stanford (11-2)*
            Florida St. (11-2)*
            Georgia (11-2)
            Ken St. (11-2)
            Utah St. (10-2)*
            Louisville (10-2)*
            Boise St. (10-2)*

            Now it gets fun. Without going into details of comparing all the relative strength of wins, losses, home field advantage, etc. the third stage would likely get the final eight down to the following:

            Notre Dame (12-0)
            Alabama (12-1)*
            Kansas St. (11-1)*
            Florida (11-1)
            Oregon (11-1)
            Stanford (11-2)*
            Florida St. (11-2)*
            Georgia (11-2)

            Ultimately, I think the selection committee would have easily voted Notre Dame (the only undefeated) and Alabama (SEC champ) as #1 and #2 respectively. The battle for #3 and #4 would have been immense. Florida and Oregon have strong arguments for inclusion, but to prevent the devaluation of the regular season and conference championships, neither should be allowed unless Georgia and Stanford, respectively also makes the CFP. Kansas St., as the Big 12 champ, also has a good case.

            Personally, I don’t think the selection committee would have been wrong with a #3-4 combo of either Georgia-Florida or Stanford-Oregon. However, with a close comparison, preference should be given to conference champions. Therefore, Kansas St. and Stanford should get the nod.

            The CFP Final Four:

            Rose Bowl: #1 Notre Dame v. #4 Stanford
            Sugar Bowl: #2 Alabama v. #3 Kansas St.

            Alright, hammer away with the criticism! But, it’s going to be a mess!

            The selection difficulty and close comparison of seeds #3 through 6/7 argues strongly in favor of an eight-team CFP, with first round games at the higher seeds. It would look much better with the following set up:

            Round 1
            #8 LSU/TAMU/S.Carolina/FSU at #1 Notre Dame
            #7 Oregon at #2 Alabama
            #6 Florida at #3 Kansas St.
            #5 Georgia at #4 Stanford

            Like

          • BuckeyeBeau says:

            @ Boscatar:

            As others have mentioned, I also think there is a problem for a team that doesn’t win it’s division. So, for me, that knocks out Oregon and Florida. Then, simply go with wins which knocks out the 2-loss FSU and Georgia.

            So, for me, 2012 would have been relatively easy.

            I also want to argue with anyone/everyone suggesting 10 wins is sufficient to be included in the pool. I think 11 wins. That automatically narrows the list. In the case of 2012, that cutoff leaves ten teams.

            ‘Bama
            ND
            FL
            FSU
            GA
            Kent State
            N. Ill.
            KState
            OR
            Stanford

            If you drop out the 2-loss teams (GA, Standord, KentSt and FSU), then you are down to six. Drop out N. Ill. and you argue about OR vs. FL. Neither won their respective division and each had a “good loss.” Now you argue about who they played, SOS and whether the SEC should get two or whether the CFP should be as expansive as possible. I would have picked OR.

            For 2011, this is the data:
            LSU (13-0)
            Houston (12-1)
            ‘Bama, OKState, Stanford, Boise (11-1)
            OR, Wiscy, VaTech, S. Miss (11-2)
            Lots of 10-win teams (USC, GA, Arky, S.Car, Mich, MichSt, KState, Clemson, TCU)

            For 2011, I don’t really see the need to discuss the 10-win teams.

            Here is the data for 2010
            12+ wins/zero-loss teams: Auburn, OR and TCU
            12-1 teams: Nevada
            11-1 teams: OhioSt, Wiscy, Stanford, MichSt, Boise
            11-2 teams: VaTech, OK
            Seven 10-win teams: Utah, LSU, Hawaii, Arky, Neb, OkState, Mizzu

            Again, I see no need to discuss the 10-win teams. 2010 would have been tough. I think 1-3 are easy (‘tho many might argue about TCU being included). #4 is tough given a 12-1 Nevada and five 11-1 teams (three of which were B1G co-champs).

            In the end, I agree. This is going to be a mess.

            Like

          • BuckeyeBeau says:

            one more thought. In the end, I think the Committee will end up going with win-loss. That is the least controversial measurement. So, barring a year like 2007, my guess is that zero-losses will get you in (regardless of conference) and two-losses will get you excluded.

            The debate then will focus on the one-loss teams to fill out how-many-ever slots are not taken by the zero-loss teams. In that regard, my guess is that conference champs and Power Five schools will get priority.

            2009 would have been interesting. Five zero-loss teams. ‘Bama, TX and Cincy would have gotten slots. The a debate over TCU vs. Boise. I would have gone with Boise with the better win (over Oregon vs. TCU’s win over Virginia).

            Like

          • BuckeyeBeau says:

            yet another thought.

            2008 would have been interesting.

            12-0 teams: Boise & Utah
            12-1 teams: OK, FL and ‘Bama
            11-1 teams: USC, PennSt, TxTech

            I think the bias in favor of zero-loss teams will carry over to the Committee. It’s the least controversial choice and minimizes the number of arguments. So here, Boise, Utah, OK and FL.

            Only one argument: SOS for the zero-loss teams.

            If you throw out the two zero-loss teams, you have about seven arguments: whether it’s right to throw out the zero-loss teams, whether two SEC teams should be included, an argument for and against each of the one-loss teams, etc.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            “I think accomplishment should matter. I didn’t believe Notre Dame and Ohio State were in the top two last year, but had OSU not been on probation, I think those two should have met for the championship. They beat everyone they played and played decent opposition.”

            The rub is how to define accomplishment. How do you balance W/L versus SOS? I think most people agree that an undefeated AQ should trump all 1 loss teams, but what about that next tier (AAC/MWC)? Does 13-0 Boise trump all/some/none of 1 loss AQs? What if it’s AF (no track record of being elite) instead of Boise? This is where having a formula could be helpful.

            I’d suggest a non-linear valuation curve for wins based on the opponent’s national “rank” as well as location, but the devil’s in the details.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            BuckeyeBeau,

            “I also want to argue with anyone/everyone suggesting 10 wins is sufficient to be included in the pool. I think 11 wins. That automatically narrows the list.”

            The reasons I said 10 are:
            1. LSU won the BCS title as a 10 win team going in.
            2. Why assume an 11 win team from a weak conference is better than a 10 win team from a tough conference? Even an SEC fan wouldn’t complain if their 9 win team got left out.
            3. We’re talking about a minimum win threshold, not what would get you into the top 4.
            4. Not everyone has a CCG to help get that 11th win.
            5. There may not be 4 major conference champions with 11+ wins.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            BuckeyeBeau,

            “one more thought. In the end, I think the Committee will end up going with win-loss. That is the least controversial measurement. So, barring a year like 2007, my guess is that zero-losses will get you in (regardless of conference) and two-losses will get you excluded.”

            I don’t think they’ll be a slave to it. I’d assume undefeateds will always get the nod over 1 loss teams, but I think they’ll look at 2 loss teams versus 1 loss teams after that. An 11-2 SEC champ would get in over an 11-1 SB champ, let alone an 11-1 SB runner up.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Your analysis demonstrates the absurdity of tying it to specific rules. You leave in Kent St. 11-2 with your first cut who lost in the MAC championship but drop OU 10-2 who lost the tiebreak for the Big 12 championship and whose only losses were to teams you include (Kansas St. and ND) while winning over 7 bowl teams.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            @Brian
            That’s why I said both played decent schedules. 12-0 in the Sun Belt, unless your ooc was Alabama, LSU, Florida and Georgia, doesn’t rate as decent. The Big 10 was down, but not that down.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            @BB
            You left out 11-1 Texas. The first 3 in 2008 would have been Oklahoma, Florida and Texas. The only question is whether Alabama, #1 prior to losing SEC championship game, would have gotten in over USC and Utah. Utah really didn’t have much respect, so it would have come down to USC and Alabama most likely. USC probably would get more consideration in a committee than the afterthought they were in the polls.

            As for last year, they would have looked at the schedule. I think almost certainly Florida gets in for the 3rd slot. They lost the tiebreak to UGA, but beat South Carolina, LSU, Texas A&M and Florida St. while losing closely to UGA. Noone had more quality wins. UGA’s loss prior to Alabama in the SEC championship game was a one sided loss to South Carolina. If Ohio St. was eligible and got in, maybe UGA beats out Florida head-to-head for #4. But Florida probably gets the #3 slot and UGA’s “tiebreak” victory doesn’t help them.

            In most years, they will probably get the top 3 pretty easily. #4 and #5 will be tough.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            “That’s why I said both played decent schedules. 12-0 in the Sun Belt, unless your ooc was Alabama, LSU, Florida and Georgia, doesn’t rate as decent. The Big 10 was down, but not that down.”

            I know. I wasn’t arguing with you, just pointing out that the problem is when you have to define decent. How does the champ of a down ACC compare to the champ of a strong MWC (if that happened in a season)? If Boise beats UGA OOC while Clemson loses to SC (again), then does MWC champ Boise trump ACC champ Clemson despite the ACC being tougher than the MWC?

            Like

      • bullet says:

        When SN did their sample poll, they required conference ADs to leave when their conference’s team was discussed. I believe this is also true in the basketball tournament. It would kind of defeat the purpose of having current ADs if they couldn’t discuss their conference’s teams. But it does lead to a conflict of interest. Their school will benefit if a team from their conference makes the playoff.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          bullet,

          “When SN did their sample poll, they required conference ADs to leave when their conference’s team was discussed. I believe this is also true in the basketball tournament. It would kind of defeat the purpose of having current ADs if they couldn’t discuss their conference’s teams. But it does lead to a conflict of interest. Their school will benefit if a team from their conference makes the playoff.”

          I think the CFP is sufficiently different from the hoops tourney to justify the difference. The conference biases in football are much stronger, so removing the home AD is too big a price. Also, we’re talking about the top few teams in each conference, not the midpack mediocre teams that don’t really deserve a chance anyway. You want as many voices as possible in the room.

          Hoops might keep the ADs in if they were seeding the Elite Eight instead of the 68.

          Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      I just sense this is going to be a colossal clusterf*ck. There are way too many chefs in the kitchen.

      I have the same sense. I thought the Committee was a bad idea, from the beginning.

      The BCS standings weren’t the greatest, but at least you always knew where you stood. A crude metric like “number of losses” clearly doesn’t cut it, but there ARE more objective ways of doing this than a bunch of Committee members, all of whom are going to have a real or perceived conflict of interest.

      I realize that basketball works by committee, but that works because they take 68 teams, far more than have any shot at winning it. If Gene Smith is on the Committee, and Ohio State gets a tourney bid, no one is going to say, “They only got in because Gene Smith was there.” OSU is just so obviously a tourney team, any sane process would choose them. All Gene Smith has to recuse from, is the discussion of precisely where they’re seeded. He can still discuss the other 67 teams, plus the bubble teams.

      But in football, only four teams get a shot at it. I’m not sure what Gene Smith could contribute, if there is any valid argument that OSU deserves to be one of those four. I mean, he can’t really speak to the merits of other teams either, because it’s a zero-sum game. And what if another Big Ten team is on the bubble? Whether that team makes the field, or does not, people will wonder about Gene Smith’s influence — what he either said, or failed to say.

      Of course, I just use Gene Smith because I know he has been on the basketball committee in the past. The same, of course, would be true no matter who it was.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Won’t people have the same questions if that B10 team doesn’t get in and Smith was out of the room? Won’t the SEC/B10 rivalry, the anti-B10 sentiment in the south, the anti-B10 media, etc all be mentioned?

        Frankly, I don’t see how most ADs can speak intelligently about any team but their own and their opponents anyway. Smith is the most likely to have actually seen the B10 team in question play in person.

        Like

    • Brian says:

      I’m shocked.

      Like

    • Wainscott says:

      When EA released Bill Walsh College Football in 1993, it wasn’t licensed by the NCAA. Of the 24 schools in the game, some were referenced directly by name (like Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Texas), and some were identified by cities (Notre Dame was “South Bend”, BYU was “Provo”, Washington State was “Pullman”).

      No reason why EA can’t do this again. Plus, EA can strike deals with individual bowls and/or create their own playoff within the game. More creativity and flexibility.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Walsh_College_Football

      Still among the best football games ever.

      Like

      • greg says:

        I have a copy of Bill Walsh College Football in my basement. My sega genesis probably doesn’t work, although I have it. I’ve bought every EA CFB iteration since.

        Like

        • Wainscott says:

          @Greg: I would totally buy BWCF if EA would release it as an App in iTunes or Google Play. Why old games aren’t given a legitimate new life on smartphones is beyond me. I still recall fondly running HB Counter Trap with Bo Jackson/Auburn ’83, Texas ’81’s dominant defense, and flinging the ball all over the field with Provo ’84. Good times. Better than any Madden game from that time period.

          @FtT: Maybe a post on the rights issues involving re-releasing old video games on new & different platforms? Are there rights issues preventing Tecmo from re-releasing the original Tecmo Super Bowl as a smartphone app? I assume there are, as a re-release for the Wii had fake teams and names, but it seems like both Tecmo and the NFLPA are missing an opportunity to capture more revenue there.

          Like

      • metatron says:

        No, there isn’t. Just as there wasn’t any reason for the competition to not do the same.

        The thing to remember is that Electronic Arts has relied on their monopoly to churn out mediocre football titles for over a decade. Competition is a wonderful thing.

        Like

  32. Transic says:

    Big Ten Network Unveils On-Air Talent for 2013 Football Season

    http://fangsbites.com/2013/07/big-ten-network-unveils-on-air-talent-for-2013-football-season/

    Like

  33. Pennstate Danny says:

    http://www.bigten.org/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/071813aaa.html

    This is the first that I have seen that the Gator Bowl will remain on 1/1.

    I guess the early “access” bowls will have competition. I wonder about the later ones. I am pretty sure that no one will be dumb enough to go against the 2 designated semifinals.

    Like

  34. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/9488355/penn-state-settle-some-jerry-sandusky-abuse-claims-60-million-report

    Penn State’s board of trustees have authorized roughly $60 million in payments to about two dozen men who say they were sexually abused by former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

    The report says the university has reached agreements in principle to settle with about 25 out of some 30 claims, according to people familiar with the matter.

    An average of over $2M per person? That’s pretty high. That means the suits will basically double PSU’s fine from the NCAA, plus the DOE hasn’t levied a Clery act fine yet (and the B10 fined them, too). Add in the legal and Freeh report costs, and this will approach $200M total.

    Like

    • Psuhockey says:

      I think PSU wants to put this behind them as fast as possible no matter the cost. I have never seen the courts move so fast on every aspect of this situation. When have you ever seen an arrest, trial, and conviction happen so fast in this country for such a well publicized case? The George Zimmerman case took longer.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Psuhockey,

        “I think PSU wants to put this behind them as fast as possible no matter the cost.”

        I can’t blame them for potentially overpaying. The bad PR of fighting over every penny would be much more costly.

        “I have never seen the courts move so fast on every aspect of this situation. When have you ever seen an arrest, trial, and conviction happen so fast in this country for such a well publicized case? The George Zimmerman case took longer.”

        Well, Sandusky had a lot of evidence against him and not much defense. I’m not totally shocked his case moved fairly quickly. As for the others, it’s been almost 2 years and they aren’t on trial yet. Murder cases often take longer to come to trial than other crimes I think.

        Like

        • Psuhockey says:

          Sandusky did have a lot of evidence against him but it still moved very fast. Criminal sexual crimes are still in essence a he said/she said as there are usually not any other witnesses to the act. He really didn’t even attempt to mount a strong defense yet he didn’t plead guilty either. It almost seemed like he just rolled over. I don’t know if it was because of the shear magnitude of the evidence or for any other reason (let the conspiracy theories flow!)

          Like

          • Brian says:

            I can’t speak to the normal pace for a case like that, especially in another state.

            I think the fact that there were multiple complaining witnesses rather than 1 as in a rape case made it tougher to fight. A he said/he said battle may go to reasonable doubt, but when 8 or more people tell the same basic story, it’s much harder to not believe all of them. I think the defense knew they didn’t have much they could do other than present character witnesses. They tried to prevent some people from testifying, but once they lost those battles they were cooked. Their only hope was that the prosecution screwed up horribly.

            Like

  35. duffman says:

    @ Frank,

    Loved this part of your OB links :

    A national brand with a massive fan base (Nebraska), the second most popular school in the state of Texas (A&M), and two AAU flagship institutions with what were the conference’s largest non-Texas population bases (Missouri and Colorado) all left. It doesn’t matter how many wins TCU and West Virginia can garner on-the-field: there’s no college administrator in the country that would ever trade the four institutions that left the Big 12 for the two that came in to replace them. (That’s not a knock on either TCU and West Virginia, who have incredibly well-run athletic departments, but rather speaks to the quality that the Big 12 lost.)

    With the B12 staying at 10 it is just a matter of time before the last 3 franchises leave the other 7 behind. That conversation with Gee that blew up for all the negative comments was laced with multiple point blank statements by Gee saying he wanted Kansas in the B1G. With TAMU now in the SEC the PAC could cherry pick just UT and OU to get to 14. After that Larry Scott could swing for KU and ND to get to 16 but would still have oSu and Texas Tech as backups to 16. I keep harping about the B12 being over rated post realignment but I really believe they are on life support. It may take a decade but eventually the Longhorns will pull the plug and move on.

    .

    .

    In essence, Texas very literally passed up on the best expansion package that it would probably ever receive in favor of starting the Longhorn Network. Sure, Texas could bolt to another conference in a decade in theory, but it will be tough to be able to bring the same number of friends in a way that would match what Larry Scott had offered in 2010 (especially since A&M has made a clean break since that time).

    Excellent observation!

    Like

    • frug says:

      Out of order replies

      I keep harping about the B12 being over rated post realignment but I really believe they are on life support.

      I think you are confusing strength off the field with the performance on it. There isn’t anyone Earth who thinks that the Big XII is a “better” conference overall now that it was 3 years ago, but that doesn’t necessarily effect its strength on the field especially short term.

      That conversation with Gee that blew up for all the negative comments was laced with multiple point blank statements by Gee saying he wanted Kansas in the B1G

      Gee wants a lot things. It doesn’t mean the rest of the Big Ten does. Plus, even if they did that is not a guarantee they could get KU. After all, the Big Ten hasn’t wanted to add Notre Dame for a long time.

      With TAMU now in the SEC the PAC could cherry pick just UT and OU to get to 14.

      Even if they could (and that is a massive assumption) dump OSU I don’t think OU would, at least as long as the current administration is in charge. David Boren is a former Senator and based on his public statements and actions he doesn’t have any interest in dealing with the political fallout of ditching the Cowboys.

      After that Larry Scott could swing for KU and ND to get to 16 but would still have oSu and Texas Tech as backups to 16.

      I really hope you are kidding about ND. Not only would travel make full membership a logistical impossibility, but the PAC is even more hardline on its “no religious schools” policy than the Big Ten is on its AAU requirement of the SEC’s Southern school policy.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        frug,

        “I think you are confusing strength off the field with the performance on it. There isn’t anyone Earth who thinks that the Big XII is a “better” conference overall now that it was 3 years ago, but that doesn’t necessarily effect its strength on the field especially short term.”

        Exactly. Nobody is trying to predict how strong they’ll be in 2050. But trashing where they were in 2011 and 2012 isn’t logical.

        “Gee wants a lot things. It doesn’t mean the rest of the Big Ten does. Plus, even if they did that is not a guarantee they could get KU. After all, the Big Ten hasn’t wanted to add Notre Dame for a long time.”

        Gee is a non-factor now. He doesn’t even represent 1 school, let alone 14. There’s no guarantee the next OSU president will agree with Gee about KU, and clearly Gee couldn’t persuade the rest.

        Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        I think the PAC’s concern is with schools non academic arm more than influencing research. USC was the Fighting Methodists before they adopted Trojans, but their religious foundation didn’t interfere with the academic/research side. ND may have a problem with what may be used for research (fetal stem cells) but they don’t dictate what outcomes that will be acceptable. Very religious people can do great research. However, some “research” that is begun strictly to validate a partivular POV is not research. It is trying to imperially justify a belief. ND doesn’t fit that discription. It’ll never happen, but if ND asked to join the PAC there would be no hesitation in their acceptance.

        Like

        • frug says:

          I get what you are saying, but PAC (particularly the California schools) have been pretty clear. Sure, USC used to be religiously affiliated, but that was 60 years ago; MSU wasn’t in the AAU when they joined the Big Ten, but now the Big Ten won’t even let in FSU because of a lack of AAU membership.

          Anyways, Larry Scott is on record as saying that the conference is only interested in secular universities.

          Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            How long has ND allowed dancing? Do they suspend/expell for extra marital sex, or have problems with interracial dating? ND could be considered more secular and inclusive in attitude than many non religious schools. Anyway, it ain’t happening. But if asked, is their any other single refusal that would be a bigger mistake for the PAC to make? Turning down an OU/UT combination might equal, but I’m not sure.

            Like

          • Yeah, there definitely isn’t any conference that would turn down Notre Dame (assuming that they’re signing up to be a full and equal member). There are going to be some post-hoc arguments that try to show why research-oriented leagues like the Big Ten and Pac-12 supposedly wouldn’t want ND (i.e. stem cell research), but that would all go out the window if ND told either of them that they wanted to join. This isn’t a situation like BYU where there’s an enormous gulf on cultural issues such as gay rights that automatically kills their membership chances with the Berkeley-types. ND might be a bit more conservative than most universities, but it’s a “normal” school overall.

            Religious schools aren’t necessarily all the same, either. I speak from experience having attended DePaul (the nation’s largest Catholic university) for law school: that place is every bit as liberal as Berkeley or UW-Madison across the spectrum.

            Like

          • frug says:

            Turning down an OU/UT combination might equal, but I’m not sure.

            Turning down OU/UT would be much, much worse. They gives you two power schools instead of one a, massive new subscriber base for the PAC Network, and Texas recruiting.

            Plus, OU/UT wouldn’t be the logistical nightmare that ND would.

            That and Texas is flat out more valuable than ND is literally every way, but we have already had that debate.

            How long has ND allowed dancing? Do they suspend/expell for extra marital sex, or have problems with interracial dating?

            I have no idea. Nor do I think it matters. What matters is that it is affiliated with the Catholic Church which the PAC has made clear is a no-no.

            ND could be considered more secular and inclusive in attitude than many non religious schools.

            I’m not sure ND is shining example of inclusiveness seeing as they didn’t allow female undergraduates until 1972.

            Like

          • frug says:

            @Frank

            With all do respect Frank, I think you are severely underestimating how hardline the PAC is on the religious school issue.

            The issue has nothing to do with politics. Remember, the PAC was willing take Oklahoma, Oklahoma St. and Texas A&M (which is annually ranked as the most conservative school in the entire country by Princeton Review). They just don’t want affiliated schools, period.

            I just feel that on this issue you may have fan of the game blinders on similar to when you wrote that people shouldn’t automatically assume the Big Ten wouldn’t add FSU because it isn’t in the AAU even though based on all evidence that was the best (and ultimately correct) assumption.

            (Also, for the record, the PAC isn’t the only conference that would turn down ND. There is no way that the SEC would add the ultimate Yankee school. And all those T-shirts before the NCG wouldn’t help).

            Like

          • frug says:

            This isn’t a situation like BYU where there’s an enormous gulf on cultural issues such as gay rights that automatically kills their membership chances with the Berkeley-types.

            Also, ND is generally ranked as one of the least gay friendly schools in the country.

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/07/12-least-lgbt-friendly-colleges-2011-list_n_1578792.html

            They are #6 on the Princeton Review survey, and #2 amongst Division I schools behind BYU.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Frug:

            That’s my point. ND is worth two kings, has a fan base larger than Texas, and is the definition of NCAA football history. UT is included in the history among the top. But, even as much as I love to hate ND, if I needed a single picture of NCAA FB history they are it.

            Affiliated with religion is not the same as owned, controlled, and used as a proselytizing tool.

            I’m not saying they are a shining example of inclusiveness. I am saying they are not disqualifyingly bad, as several others are.

            Like

          • frug says:

            That’s my point. ND is worth two kings, has a fan base larger than Texas, and is the definition of NCAA football history

            That would be a convincing argument if there was absolutely any evidence whatsoever that it was true. Except there isn’t. In fact, there is actually considerable to the contrary.

            But, even as much as I love to hate ND, if I needed a single picture of NCAA FB history they are it.

            Oh, well as long it is your “picture” of history then I guess I stand corrected…

            I am saying they are not disqualifyingly bad, as several others are.

            Well I’m just saying all evidence points to you being wrong on this issue. The issue isn’t how “religious” are they; it is are they religiously affiliated period. That is the disqualifying condition.

            In short, I take the same position I have with the taken in regards to the Big Ten adding schools not in the AAU or located in South Bend; I’ll believe it when it happens.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            “That would be a convincing argument if there was absolutely any evidence whatsoever that it was true. Except there isn’t. In fact, there is actually considerable to the contrary.”

            UT has its own channel that has rights to one tier 3 FB game, and that very few can get. ND has NBC broadcast all home games nationally.

            “Well I’m just saying all evidence points to you being wrong on this issue. The issue isn’t how “religious” are they; it is are they religiously affiliated period. That is the disqualifying condition.”

            Having lived in the west for quite a while, and having worked with a retired vice chancellor and former PAC VP, I can assure you he doesn’t share your opinion (and indicated most other schools are of a similar mind). It’s the social/cultural issues involved with promoting the religious agenda of certain schools that is objectionable. Religious affiliation is easily assumed to be the litmus test as no religious school has the bonafides to prove to be the exception but ND, sort of the PAC’s variation on the B1G AAU exception for the same school. This all doesn’t mean anything…they aren’t inquiring, are as powerful as a power conference, and will never give up independence.

            Like

          • It’s hard to say how strong the Pac’s stance against taking religious schools really is. It’s one thing when you’re talking about Baylor (a poor candidate even if you’re fine with religious schools) or BYU (the epitome of a cultural clash), but something like Notre Dame seems a much more functional fit, if ND actually wanted in (which of course would make zero sense for the Irish anyway).

            Like

          • duffman says:

            I fall with Frank and ccrider55 on this in that if Notre Dame agrees to the PAC they are in. While others have made good points pro and con I think it comes down to Stanford and Southern Cal saying they want the Irish in and it happens. As for the Irish themselves we can all agree the SEC is the last place they will wind up but I still feel they want outside the confines of Indiana (and by default the B1G) so I feel the B1G is not where they will wind up in the end.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            I doubt the Pac would accept Notre Dame. But not for religious reasons. It would be the travel. They were trying to minimize travel in the Pac 16 proposal. There’s nothing they could do with Notre Dame. College presidents will do a lot for money, but they don’t want to look ridiculous. SEC wouldn’t take them either. Of course, ND wouldn’t want to go to either of those conferences. Notre Dame will eventually end up in the ACC or B1G.

            Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      With the B12 staying at 10 it is just a matter of time before the last 3 franchises leave the other 7 behind. That conversation with Gee that blew up for all the negative comments was laced with multiple point blank statements by Gee saying he wanted Kansas in the B1G.

      Well, as @Brian pointed out, Gee doesn’t speak for Ohio State any more; and when he did, there’s no evidence that any other schools agreed with him.

      With TAMU now in the SEC the PAC could cherry pick just UT and OU to get to 14.

      The more likely scenario is reviving the Pac-16, with four schools moving. I don’t see the Texas and Oklahoma policians allowing Tech and OSU to get kicked to the curb.

      After that Larry Scott could swing for KU and ND to get to 16…

      I assume you mean “swing” and miss? If ND joins a conference full-time, it’ll join the ACC or the Big Ten. The question whether the Pac would want ND is beside the point, as there’s just no way it’d happen.

      Like

      • duffman says:

        Marc,

        Swing as in swing for the big hit but fall back on Texas Tech and Oklahoma State if they did not get the other 2. While I do not see the Irish in the PAC I do see them there before the SEC and possibly before the B1G. ACC makes the most sense but as stated by many on here before they are not as impervious as the B1G or SEC. While I agree the pressure to add Texas Tech and Oklahoma State is great, it is probably not absolute. Like the move in banking from local and regional to super regional and national some will move up and some will stay behind. While bringing along the lesser children is fine, TAMU and Iowa State are very real opposites of the same coin.

        As for Gee, you missed the broader point. It was not that it was Gee specifically acting as a B1G guy but that it was an actual B1G university president “on the record” as opposed to reporters and bloggers speculating. If that was not clearer then the apology is mine for not communicating it better. This was not “the dude” blowing smoke but an actual person at the top giving actual insight to decision making at the top. Gee may have been alone in his thinking or he could have been echoing other B1G leaders. The primary point was that it was actually being discussed at the top and folks down the rung got confirmation of this. Concentrate on what was said and give less weight to a person saying it.

        Like

    • Andy says:

      Let’s not forget Gee said he wanted Missouri AND Kansas. Not just Kansas.

      Like

  36. Transic says:

    Does this mean that ESPN might have to open up their wallets to the tune of $2 million extra to each member school if the rumored-ACC Network for TV does not happen?

    LSL Podcast: ESPN Sports Business Reporter Kristi Dosh – 7.18.13

    Like

    • Psuhockey says:

      This means the ACC as currently constructed will cease to exist once the GOR is up. There are too many forces pushing towards more consolidation in the future. Cable companies are starting to push back against sports networks. The push for stipends for athletes with drastically increase the cost to compete in top tier college athletics. The future college football playoffs, IMO, will actually make the interest more regional and less national as the value of traditional programs will increase, much like in college basketball only not as extreme. When the BIG’s 1st tier rights go to market, the SECN will have had a few years to get established. If by then both the BIG and the SEC are make 40-45 million a year and the ACC, and Big 12 also, are only in the 20’s, you can start the doomsday clock on both those conferences.

      Like

      • vp19 says:

        And once the GOR ends, the ACC will be reduced to the North Carolina four, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Boston College, Louisville and anyone else who either values basketball more than football or simply doesn’t want to try to play serious big-time football (this is where Cincinnati and Connecticut could ultimately end up). Virginia Tech and members from Clemson on south will high-tail it for the Big 12 where, aligned with Texas and Oklahoma, their football prowess and culture would have genuine value.

        The unknown factor is Virginia; UVa has a southern tradition and close ties to UNC and Duke, but it’s genuinely trying to be a big-time football player and its southern influence is lessening as northern Virginia takes more economic and political control of the state.

        Like

        • Psuhockey says:

          It’s not just football schools that are going to be concerned. UNC (25 varsity sports), Duke (26) and UVA(25) would be hurt the most, along with BC (29) if stipends are allowed. If you think that the schools will only be giving money to men’s football and basketball players, think again. The forces behind Title 9 are very powerful. If ADs are going to spin paying players as “the full cost of tuition” or whatever school related jargon, they will be paying every athlete. Extra money to help pay for that from television will be too hard to pass up whether it is from he SEC or the BIG.

          Like

      • bullet says:

        “The Big 12 is projecting revenues of up to $40 million per school by the time the league’s existing television contract expires in 2024-25.”
        http://www.tulsaworld.com/article.aspx/Big_12_bond_pays_off_for_schools_that_stayed/20130714_203_B1_ THERER999737

        You’re under a mistaken assumption about Big 12 revenues. These $40 million figures include playoff and bowls where the Big 12 has an advantage splitting only 10 ways. In addition, each school has its Tier 3 media revenues. Texas is getting an average of $15 million a year, Oklahoma $7 million and Texas Tech over $3 million a year on a 3 year deal (they’re betting on it going higher). KU and WVU make more than Tech on their Tier 3.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          The ACC will be over $30 million. They will average over $18 million a year on the TV contract which will be higher at the end. They will get about $7 million average (again escalating) from the playoffs and Orange Bowl. And they will have additional conference revenues from the basketball tourney and other items which were about 40% of their revenues last year, so about $7 million/school in distributions ($223 revenue, $202 distributed to schools-$130.5 of $223 was TV revenue). They may also get that odd $2 million bump if ESPN doesn’t do a network. It was reported by SBJ who is reliable, but it sounds odd.

          On average, that gets them over $30 million, so in the late 2020s it will be higher.

          http://www.news-record.com/sports/article_9e10c4ae-c809-11e2-8935-001a4bcf6878.html

          Like

        • Psuhockey says:

          BIG teams also can sell a portion of their tier 3 rights on top of the BTN plus I am not sure adding playoff and bowl revunue in is an apple to apples comparison. Here is some projected differences between the ACC payout and the BIG when Maryland joined.
          http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/pete_thamel/11/19/maryland-big-ten-money/index.html
          $43 mil versus $24 mil in 2017 for a difference of $19 million.

          The Big 12 problem isn’t money but footprint and being very top heavy. The conference is alive as long as Texas wants it to be alive. If the LHN fails, how long will Texas be content. I personally think Texas will keep it going as long as it can, but I could see a school like Kansas and maybe even Oklahoma being interested in a move if possible for reasons other tha money. The ACC on the other hand, will definitely be a money issue. If the difference between the ACC and BIG or SEC stretches past 10 million a year, I can’t see schools not looking to move once the GOR is up.

          Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            While that seems logical. However, they can read the tea leaves as well as anyone and chose too sign the GOR this year. I think you have UNC with a UT like power addiction plus a significant number of schools sharing their vision. I’m just not convinced the ACC is as vulnerable to financial disparity as the B12, but that’s not to say the B12 isn’t going to remain strong enough financially. It will be other issues that create cracks that then allow money to become a reason/excuse for either conferences instability.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            I’m just talking about media Tier 3, separate from the miscellaneous items. That’s what the Big 12 teams can sell separately that the BTN sells en masse for the Big 10 schools.

            There’s a gap between the Big 10 and ACC, but that analysis didn’t include the Notre Dame bump and so exaggerates the difference. And the B1G numbers are based on a lot of assumptions.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Maryland moving was also before the Orange Bowl deal. So that puts that ACC projection of $24 million up to $27-$30 million depending on the “no network” ESPN raise and exactly how much the Notre Dame bump was. Definitely less than the Big 10, but not $19 million a year. And $9 million of the $43 is a projection and likely optimistic (as all projections tend to be).

            Like

          • bullet says:

            “If the difference between the ACC and BIG or SEC stretches past 10 million a year, I can’t see schools not looking to move once the GOR is up.”

            Different schools have different tolerances. I can see UNC passing up $10 million a year (probably not $20 million). And I think its likely the Big 10 passes on Virginia Tech and FSU. So it would be dependent on mutual interest with the SEC or a very large $ difference. Those 3 schools, IMO are the key. Without VT and FSU, the ACC is a mid-major (Miami isn’t enough on their own). And if UNC leaves, everyone else heads to the exits.

            Like

          • Psuhockey says:

            No doubt that is based on a lot of assumptions but that it why I said if. We will find out soon enough. Right now you have to speculate on what the market will look like in 10 to 12 years. I personal think there will be more consolidation between the conferences. The reasons are:
            1. The rising cost of athletics departments which will only exponentially increase with stipends
            2. Television is close to being at critical mass in regards to sports channels. Individual school channels like the LHN due to lack of cntent or late coming conference networks like the AACN will not be successful. Cable companies won’t raise their prices, which are close to being at the max the market is willing to pay, to accommodate or lose their profit margin by buying them.
            3. College Football, which is driving the bus, is going to be more regionalized instead of a national product once the expanded playoffs start like basketball. Only the blue blood programs will drive ratings. There won’t be any huge rating bump for non traditional teams like Oklahoma State or South Carolina who are playing in “winner take all” games since those games will lose meaning once there are more teams in the playoffs. People in the North won’t care who wins the SEC if the BIG winner is going to the playoffs too regardless. Same with the PAC. I am not saying it will be huge decline, but there will be one. That makes the value of Texas and OU go up and ISU, K-State, TCU and so on go down.

            If all this happens, the question I have is will the national brand schools continue to subsidize weaker schools in the ACC and Big 12 with more money on the table in the SEC, BIG, and perhaps PAC? I don’t think so.

            Also ccrider55, don’t put too much faith in the ability of schools and conferences to read the tea leaves. The Big East declined PSU membership because among other things they thought the future of college athletics was basketball and not football. At the time, who would have guessed that that decision would end up destroying their conference 15 years later.

            Like

          • Psuhockey says:

            That’s ACC network instead of AACN. Also, the BIG will get a cut of the Orange bowel deal as well some years, which was calculated before.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            BEast is the barometer of conference foresight?

            I don’t think regionalized is how I’d characterize what the CFP (especially if it is someday expanded) will cause. A marginalizing of the regular season for everyone equally is what I’d anticipate. It’s not like 80% of the teams now have national aspirations, but even lacking that they have the ability to influence the post season makeup.

            Like

          • frug says:

            College Football, which is driving the bus, is going to be more regionalized instead of a national product once the expanded playoffs start like basketball.

            I don’t see why. It was the BCS that actually nationalized the CFB to begin with so I am not sure why adding 2 extra games is going to change that.

            Like

          • Psuhockey says:

            Frug,
            Here is an example. Last year everyone tuned int the SEC title game because only one of those teams was getting in. Would as many people watch if both were already guaranteed a playoff spot? Would as many people watch if at he same time, the BIG title game was going on and its winner was going to the playoffs?

            Like

          • frug says:

            @Psuhockey

            The SEC CCG game never had any ratings problems in the years it didn’t have title implications before (like 2005) so I doubt it will matter all that much.

            Plus, the playoffs can actually increase the number of teams in contention meaning games that normally would have been meaningless from an NCG perspective before, will have meaning now.

            I mean the BCS itself was a playoff, all they have done now is add two teams to it.

            Like

          • Psuhockey says:

            Frug,
            I should clarify. The SEC championship game drew 16 + million people lst year as well as Notre Dames game against USC. These ratings are almost double anything these teams did during the regular, although Alabama had great ratings against Texas A&M and LSU and ND did against OU, all games with serious national title implications. The BIG championship only drew 5 million because it had no barring on the BCS. I don’t think there are 11 million more SEC fans than BIG fans so its no hard to figure out that the huge bump in ratings came from the winner take all format from fans of other leagues. Those leagues will now have playoff implicating games so it won’t be the SEC and ND last year sucking them all up. Those fans will be dispersed between championship games and all the other national title implications. By opening up more spots, more games have meaning, so viewership will be spread around. Thus why I think it will be more regionalized as west coast will watch the possible PAC playoff team, the North will watch the possible BIG playoffs team, and so on.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            Last year everyone tuned int the SEC title game because only one of those teams was getting in. Would as many people watch if both were already guaranteed a playoff spot?

            The playoff is merely an expansion from two teams to four. It is still very selective. As good as the SEC is, it would be the rare year when the two SEC CCG participants were both guaranteed playoff spots, regardless of the outcome.

            Would as many people watch if at he same time, the BIG title game was going on and its winner was going to the playoffs?

            Those two games aren’t televised at the same time.

            We don’t have a lot of data yet on the Big Ten championship game, but in the two years it has been played, neither team would have made the playoff, regardless of the outcome. The game’s highest-ranked participant to date was #12 Nebraska last year. The Cornhuskers lost, but even with a win I don’t think they would have leapfrogged enough teams to make it to #4.

            I think the more common case, over the years, will be that one participant in the B1G CCG makes the playoff if they win, but the other participant is only in a position to play the spoiler. For both to have chances, both would need to be in roughly the top eight, which doesn’t happen very often, and the lower-ranked of the two would need to hope for some upsets in the final weekend.

            This year’s Michigan-Ohio State game could be an interesting test of your theory. Many people think that if Michigan wins, the two will face off again in Indy. Will that game attract lower ratings if it’s merely the first of a two-week series?

            Like

          • bullet says:

            You are comparing ratings between the #2 and #3 teams in the country and a mid teens team with a rematch against an unranked team who finished 3rd in their division. A #2 vs #3 matchup is always going to do well regardless of whether you have a playoff. The BCS implications helped, but Alabama/Georgia was probably the highest ranked matchup all season and would have done very well anyway.

            Like

        • Brian says:

          bullet,

          He is talking in the 2016 time frame, not 2025. I’m not saying his numbers are correct, just pointing out that he’s talking much more near term than you seem to be.

          In addition, all teams have extra revenues not included here. The B10 schools certainly make similar money from radio/advertising/whatever, and I assume the SEC schools as well. Even the ACC schools must have some of that revenue stream left. UT is an outlier because of the LHN, but I think we generally just ignore this extra money since everyone has it. It doesn’t change the difference in TV money.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            I understand that but its hard to get handles on year-to-year numbers (we do have them for the Pac 12 now). The solid estimates are $34 million for the B1G before contract renewal. The ACC will go from $17 million average last year to at least $27 million in the same time frame. They will split around $100 million playoff/Orange Bowl money 14 ways. Their contract went from $12.9 million average in that distribution to $18 million +. Probably $2 million is merely the 4 year contract extension. But that still bumps it up $3 million+. That gets them to $27 million + without considering whether that $2 million payment for not doing what ESPN already has the right to do is real.

            There’s a gap. It will grow with the Big 10’s contract extension. But the ACC is not going to be $20 million when the Big 10 is over $40 million. Its not going to be a $19 million gap. Swofford squeezed some blood out of a turnip before they all signed the GOR.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            As a separate issue, the $9 million bump in 2017 seems unrealistic. The basketball and ccg contracts are relatively recent. The BTN is already under contract and will grow incrementally. So they are saying the $100 million ESPN contract, which is near the end will increase by around $150 million ($9 million X14 + 3 extra schools getting a ratable share where the 11 schools were getting $11 million/school ) in the FIRST year.

            Like

          • frug says:

            @bullet

            But the ACC is not going to be $20 million when the Big 10 is over $40 million.

            I don’t know. The Maryland documents said they expect to be making $40 million by 2017, and since they are getting phased in the rest of the conference will hit $40 million before then. I wouldn’t expect the ACC to be making much more than $25 million by that point.

            I don’t think it will be a $19 million gap, but $15 wouldn’t surprise me.

            More significantly, since the ACC was forced to tack on 4 additional years to that terrible TV deal they signed the gap will only widen in the later years.

            Like

          • frug says:

            http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/pete_thamel/11/19/maryland-big-ten-money/index.html

            These are the Big Ten projections for Maryland

            The school will make $32 million in 2014, $33 million in 2015, $34.5 million in 2016 and then $43 million in 2017.

            Those numbers continue to steadily climb, as the Big Ten payout projects to jump to $44 million in 2018 and $45 million in 2019.

            And remember Maryland isn’t getting a full share.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            “And remember Maryland isn’t getting a full share.”

            A full share of what? I assume they will still be buying equity in the BTN. Why wouldn’t they be getting a full share of the new contract for the conference that they will have been a member of for several years?

            Like

          • frug says:

            @ccrider55

            If they follow the Nebraska schedule they won’t get a full share for 5 years.

            Even if they get a full cut off the national deal, they won’t be getting a full BTN payout.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            “I understand that but its hard to get handles on year-to-year numbers (we do have them for the Pac 12 now).”

            That’s an understatement. Even when we get the actual numbers for the previous year, it still a bit of apples and oranges.

            My preference is to look at both the total from all sources as well as a breakdown of each individual source (TV 1, TV 2, TV 3, radio/ads/etc, NCAA tourney, subsidy, other). For different discussions, different numbers matter.

            “The solid estimates are $34 million for the B1G before contract renewal.”

            The $34M total in 2016 includes which sources exactly? Obviously ABC/ESPN + CBS + BTN, but what else? CFP? Other bowls? NCAA tourney? We’re ignoring the radio/ads/whatever for each school, right? How much of a bump in BTN money from UMD and RU are we assuming by then?

            ” The ACC will go from $17 million average last year to at least $27 million in the same time frame.”

            Again, for exactly which sources are we talking? I’m not disputing any of your numbers, just seeking maximum clarity and as close to apple to apples as possible. Sources would be nice too (make that a separate comment full of links so it can be moderated without slowing this conversation down).

            I’d also point out that in the comment you first responded to, he did say “in the 20s” which would fit what you’re saying.

            “There’s a gap. It will grow with the Big 10′s contract extension. But the ACC is not going to be $20 million when the Big 10 is over $40 million. Its not going to be a $19 million gap.”

            I agree with you that the ACC will be above $20M by 2017. Only time will tell if the B10 is over $40M by 2017. I don’t think a $19M gap is at all likely, either. But even at $10M, that’s a huge annual difference. That’s much larger than the gap between the ACC and BE right now (UL is looking to gain $7M annually with their move), to put it into perspective.

            “Swofford squeezed some blood out of a turnip before they all signed the GOR.”

            According to Kristi Dosh in that interview, the ACCN is “years and years away” according to an insider, not 1-3 years off. In fact, there’s still a decent chance it never happens. The difference in exposure and perception is also a big minus for them.

            “As a separate issue, the $9 million bump in 2017 seems unrealistic.”

            It does seem high, but what you really have to do is look at the underlying changes. The B10 has added NE, UMD and RU since negotiating the old deal.

            New fans (according to Nate Silver):
            NE = 1.2M (#6 between IA and MSU)
            RU = 0.9M (#10 behind IL and MN)
            UMD = 0.5M (#14 just below NW)
            Total = 2.6M

            B10 (11 teams) = 16.3M
            B10 (14 teams) = 18.9M = +16%

            I’m not saying he’s right, but 16% seems like a conservative number. He only looked at CFB, too, so there should be more fans when you add in hoops and hockey and lax.

            New footprint population:
            NE = 1.9M
            NJ = 8.9M
            MD + DC = 6.5M
            Total = 17.3M

            B10 (11 teams) = 67.8M
            B10 (14 teams) = 85.1M = +26%

            That’s a gain of over 25% in footprint population, not counting any of NY or any of the other states that may get lumped in by TV (ND, SD, parts of NY, DE, etc).

            Based on those two numbers, an instant 20% growth in TV revenue seems plausible.

            By expanding, the B10 also added inventory. 11 teams meant 84 games, but 14 will mean 105 annually. That a jump of 25%. That definitely means more games for BTN, increasing its value, but we have to assume that’s factored into your $34M estimate I suppose. Will tier 1 get more games than now? If so, how many? It certainly means better choices for tier 1, increasing the value of those rights. What’s that worth? I’ll say 5% (trying to be conservative), getting us to 25%.

            The B10 will also be going to 9 conference games. That should increase (almost double) their ratings in the footprint for 1 more game per team per year. That’s worth something. In addition, the B10 is dropping I-AA games and adding better OOC games. The networks have to love that idea, adding more value again. What are these factors worth combined? I’ll call it 5% again, making the total 30%.

            Now factor in the growth in value of CFB rights in general. The B10 signed their ABC deal a long time ago. How undervalued will the rights be by 2016? Add that adjustment to the 30% I justified above. Where are we at now? 35%? 40%? More? Less?

            Also, the current CCG deal runs out at the same time. With the new B10 divisions (OSU, MI or PSU should be in it 75-90% of the time, NE 30-50%, WI 30-50%) and the two new additions adding markets and fans, how much does that game gain in value? It’s not much when split over 14 teams, but it adds to the gains.

            Do the math and tell me how much of a bump you think all of that creates.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Frug:

            That sounds reasonable. UNL joined an existing contract, as RU and UMd will for a shorter period. In one respect they might considered to be getting a full share, but are required to reinvest a portion of their BTN income back into that endeavor, gaining equity in return.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            @Brian
            The figures I am referring to are linked in the 9:29 am and 9:31 am posts above. Its total conference distributions. The ACC distributed an average of $16.9 million last year. The link identifies the major components. The Big 12 averaged $19.8 million ($22 million for continuing members, less for WVU and TCU) and SEC $20.7 million. The Big 10 was projecting $25.7 million for members other than Nebraska.

            The ACC’s old contract was $155 million average per year for 2011 to 2022-23 or about $12.9 million/school/year. They bumped it up with Pitt and SU in May 2012 to $240 million for 2012 to 2026-7 or about $17.1 million. Half that increase was simply dropping the initial year and tacking 4 on the end if you assume 4-5% escalation. With Notre Dame it is $260 million a year split 14 + ways. ND gets less than a full share. It is around $18 million for the other 14. There is a reference in the article to a $2 million bump if ESPN doesn’t do a network. Kind of like-1st prize 2 Houston Astros tickets. 2nd prize 4 Houston Astros tickets. 3rd prize Houston Astros season tickets.
            http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2013/05/06/Media/ACC-network.aspx

            So I’m starting with the $16.9 distributions. Playoffs s/b around $75 million for each conference not including extra slots. ACC gets $27.5 million for the Orange. Split 14 ways that’s roughly $7.3 million. The $16.9 distribution related to the old contract at $12.9 million average. So they are increasing $2 million for the extra length and $3 million beyond that to get to $18 million. So $16.9 + $7.3 + $3.0 gets them to around $27 million without any extra money from ESPN paying them so ESPN doesn’t HAVE to do an ACC network (again, I’m kind of skeptical about that provision even if it is quoted in Sports Business Daily).

            Like

          • bullet says:

            @Brian
            For the Big 10, the thing to remember is that if you increase the population base 27%, that’s breakeven as they have added 27% more schools. That’s not adding anything to the average per school, only to the total.

            Like

    • Transic says:

      “The composition of the long-term membership of the ACC has never been stronger,” Commissioner John Swofford said.

      That’s thanks to the new grant-of-rights agreement that pumped the brakes on realignment, basically locks in the current members and Louisville until 2027, and “publicly secured our position as one of the nation’s premier conferences,” Swofford said.

      The commissioner said that if Notre Dame ever chooses to place its fiercely independent football program in a league before 2026-27, “that conference by contractual agreement would be the (ACC).”

      http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/07/21/4179542/acc-swofford-settle-into-period.html

      My response: ND didn’t mind that provision since they knew they would need some insurance policy in case the College Football Playoff starts downgrading their position relative to the P5 conference after the first contract is finished. Still, I don’t count of them to do anything else other than maintaining their position of football being (quasi) independent.

      Like

  37. frug says:

    http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/9491249/six-current-football-players-join-ed-obannon-ncaa-lawsuit

    Current players suing the NCAA

    Arizona linebacker Jake Fischer and kicker Jake Smith, Vanderbilt linebacker Chase Garnham, Clemson cornerback Darius Robinson, and Minnesota tight end Moses Alipate and wide receiver Victor Keise.

    Like

    • metatron says:

      This will help the class action lawsuit.

      For profit schools have no business in the NCAA regardless, much less existing.

      Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        Exactly. Schools and athletic departments generating revenue is a fundamentally different enterprise than being a for profit entity.

        Like

  38. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/nhl/story/_/id/9492759/nhl-releases-2013-14-schedule-new-division-names

    Welcome to the new NHL.

    Western Conference = Pacific + Central Divisions (7 teams each)
    Eastern Conference = Atlantic + Metropolitan Divisions (8 teams each)

    The best part:
    No teams in what was the previous Atlantic Division are in the new group of that name.

    For those that care:
    The Metropolitan Division consists of the Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, New York Islanders, Carolina Hurricanes and Columbus Blue Jackets, who have moved from the West to the East.

    The Atlantic is made up of the Maple Leafs, Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings, Boston Bruins, Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning. Detroit also has shifted from the West to the East.

    The Central includes the Jets, Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, Nashville Predators and St. Louis Blues.

    The Pacific is composed of the Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames, Oilers, San Jose Sharks, Los Angeles Kings, Phoenix Coyotes and Anaheim Ducks.

    Like

    • John O says:

      I much preferred the 4 conference realignment rejected by the NHLPA. Still, if the new 4 division format were instead a 4 conference alignment, I’d be good with it. Are seven PST/PDT regular season starts and a maximum of one playoff series against a PST/PDT based team for the Hawks too much to ask for?

      Like

    • David Brown says:

      I actually think this alignment makes sense. Detroit really got the short end of the stick, when it came to the schedule (both when it comes to travel and fans being able to see games., so they deserve a break. The same applies with Columbus, but as ‘Hockey Town” not to mention being an “Original Six” team, Detroit is one of the most important teams in the League (perhaps right at the top, along with my team (The Pittsburgh Penguins), and the Toronto Maple Leafs). I also happen to think that Expansion (and of course, extra $$$$) becomes a possibility (Seattle and Quebec City come to mind (with Columbus being shifted back out West)).

      Like

    • David Brown says:

      With the addition of Silver and Olbermann, it seems like the “P” in the “Entertainment Sports Programming Network” (ESPN) will now stand for Politics (liberal of course). Disney should keep in mind that when they last tried to merge politics with something else (in that case, a movie), they got the “Lone Ranger.” Will I watch this program? Of course not. The politics of Olbermann are 180 degrees polar opposite of mine (and he (like Bill Maher and MSNBC) would cause me to flunk Anger Management). But it also seems like ESPN does only one thing well, which is College Sports, and based on their track record (like their awful Sunday Night Baseball Telecasts), I expect it to fail.

      Like

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        With the addition of Silver and Olbermann, it seems like the “P” in the “Entertainment Sports Programming Network” (ESPN) will now stand for Politics (liberal of course).

        I don’t think so. In fact, I read somewhere that Olberman’s contract specifically states that he won’t talk politics. What the article said, was that Silver’s political content would be on ABC. I suspect the move signals, though, that Silver wants to do less politics, and more sports, than he was doing at The Times.

        Like

        • David Brown says:

          If you are from New York, you know the Times has essentially phased out sports coverage, so Silver finding an outlet to do more sports was not difficult. In fact, the Times has cut down on a lot of things that matter to New Yorkers such as Real Estate and outer borough (Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens & Staten Island) coverage. The only thing they do well anymore is the Arts (and I am not an “Arts” guy anyway). In fact, the New York Post is the most essential daily paper to read when it comes to not only sports, but Commercial and Residential Real Estate. Note: The Times has good Real Estate coverage on Sundays (although I can read the same stuff online for free).

          Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            I am from New York, and The Times is doing just fine. Like every newspaper, they’re adapting to a changing world, and figuring out where they can make money. They are one of the few papers that has put their website behind a paywall, and attracted paying customers in substantial numbers.

            I think they correctly assessed that sports coverage wasn’t going to be a competitive edge for them, so they downsized it. They have not phased it out by any means, as a look at today’s (or any day’s) sports section will readily confirm.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Sports is pretty much a weak link for papers. Their deadlines make them uncompetitive. On some things their space limitations make them uncompetitive. Even TV news doesn’t bother with scores anymore. Its more timely on the internet. There was a time I looked forward to the college football scores on the 10:00 news, but everyone gets that elsewhere now.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            I remember having to wait for the Monday paper to get results of the later Saturday games…

            Like

      • frug says:

        Olbermann is (supposedly) banned from talking about politics on his new show.

        Like

    • frug says:

      How ESPN lured Nate Silver away from NYT

      http://www.politico.com/playbook/0713/playbook11201.html

      The whole thing is interesting but it comes seems to come down to the idea that ESPN is willing to let him turn 538 (which will return to being a standalone site) into a Grantland style project where Silver can write about whatever issues he is interested in (in addition to sports and politics the article also mentions education and weather).

      Like

      • @frug – Interesting stuff there. It looks like the Five Thirty-Eight blog for Nate Silver is going to be another version of what Grantland is to Bill Simmons with generally separate branding and editorial control.

        FWIW, it’s a great move. Whatever people’s politics might be, Silver nailed all of the election analysis last year and he has long been a prominent SABRmetrics guy. I’ve always appreciated his general ability to keep his analysis separate from any personal political views that he had, which is something that I’ve tried to apply here when it comes to the sports business.

        Granted, Keith Olberman is probably the exact opposite in terms of temperament.

        Like

  39. Brian says:

    http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/blog/mike-freeman/22827877/documents-in-lawsuit-vs-ncaa-reveal-high-number-of-concussions

    A look at the number of concussions in CFB and college sports in general. I reach a very different conclusion from the author based on the numbers he quotes.

    According to him, a FB team playing 60 players each game should expect 1 concussion every 5 games. He finds that to be a disturbingly high number, but I’m neither surprised nor disturbed by it. A player’s career is less than 60 games, meaning a player has less than a 20% chance of ever sustaining a concussion in a game (some players will get multiples, too, further reducing the odds). Only 7% of all FB injuries are concussions. From the media accounts, you’d think the numbers were worse than this.

    I’m not saying they shouldn’t work to reduce the number. One head injury is too many. But the author goes on to say:

    What this means is that many college players likely enter the NFL with an already large number of concussions.

    That’s just not mathematically true based on the numbers he presented.

    Someone is suing the NCAA over concussions and the lawyers want it to become a class-action. I’d like to know how they plan to show that concussions in high school aren’t the bigger problem for players. They are less likely to be detected or properly treated and the players are at a more vulnerable age. In addition, a lot more players play in HS.

    Like

    • Aaron Morrow says:

      “That’s just not mathematically true based on the numbers he presented.”

      I think you’re looking just at the mathematical averages of the data. If you think of the mathematical distribution around the median, 50% of the football teams experience less and 50% experience more than the median. It depends on how wide the standard distribution is. (For example, if the data were based on individuals, rather than teams, I would expect a wider distribution based on the fact that some positions are more prone to concussions rather than others.)

      Other than the fact it is mathematically possible, I am not saying it is true or likely. There’s a lot of supporting information to review, and even that would be based on the outcomes of a single study.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Unless he’s using idiosyncratic definitions of “many” and “large,” then it isn’t possible based on the numbers he quoted.

        Like

  40. Transic says:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/terrapins-insider/wp/2013/07/21/entering-marylands-last-year-in-acc-commissioner-john-swofford-says-terps-wont-be-treated-differently/

    Article mentions the fact that only Wake Forest will be the only charter member who will visit Maryland this coming football season (Virginia joined months later).

    Also, the Huskers cancelled their 2016 Soldier Field game with NIU because of the 9-game schedule.

    http://www.huskers.com/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=1&SPID=22&DB_LANG=C&ATCLID=208734367&DB_OEM_ID=100

    Like

    • vp19 says:

      It’s Clemson, not Wake, that will come to Byrd this fall, along with UVa, SU and BC. The Terps visit Wake, FSU and NCSU, as they have in every odd-numbered season since divisions began, as well as Virginia Tech.

      This winter, Wake will come to Comcast for both men’s and women’s basketball, whereas both Terp hoop teams will make three visits to the Research Triangle with no return visits from State, UNC or Duke.

      Like

  41. loki_the_bubba says:

    An interesting tidbit I had not noticed before. If Notre Dame joins a conference in the next fifteen years it must be the ACC.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/acc-swofford-settle-period-stability-172429018–ncaaf.html

    ‘The commissioner said that if Notre Dame ever chooses to place its fiercely independent football program in a league before 2026-27, ”that conference by contractual agreement would be the (ACC).”’

    Like

  42. Adding some more tangible fuel to fire: John Swofford is openly talking about the power conference splitting off into a “super division” within the NCAA with a vote possibly coming as soon as January.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/acc/2013/07/22/commissioner-john-swofford-super-division/2574369/

    I’ll be working on a new post on this shortly. These statements along with what Mike Slive and Bob Bowlsby have been stating this week is moving this “NCAA split” issue from a theoretical exercise to real movement procedurally.

    Like

    • Psuhockey says:

      Frank,
      Will you also be doing a post on the impact of stipends? I think that will be a huge issue going forward even in the 5 power conferences between schools. I don’t see how they can get away with paying just Men’s football and basketball players, so I think that will have a disproportional impact on schools based on size, number of sports sponsored, and between conferences.

      Like

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        I don’t see how they can get away with paying just Men’s football and basketball players, so I think that will have a disproportional impact on schools based on size, number of sports sponsored, and between conferences.

        Title IX will clearly require the same stipends to be paid to all athletes, whether it’s the football team or the women’s gymnastics team. As I recall, schools in the “Big Five” leagues were signed up to do it. The lower-tier leagues scuttled the proposal, and that’s what Slive, Swofford, and Bowlsby are complaining about.

        Like

        • Psuhockey says:

          I get the the big 5 conferences are pushing for it and since that is the case, one would assume they can pay of it. I just think the stipends would hurt some schools more than others even in the big 5 and between conferences. Some schools only sponor 20+ sports versus others in the teens. Very few athletic departments break even now.

          Like

          • Another talking point for the P5 conferences is minimum number of varsity sports. 16, I think?

            So, for example, Boise State (I’m just hypothesizing…I have no idea) can’t be Super League for football because it only has a total of 9 varsity sports. Their paying 9 varsity sports’ athletes 2,000 per year would be far less than PSU with, let’s say, 26 varsity sports.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            A different angle on the full cost proposal is what would it do for non head count sports? Would it enlarge the amount that is currently able to be distributed as partials (perhaps allowing for several more to receive limited partials) or would it be an add on to what those currently receiving get (with no ability to divide further)? It might allow for a small increase for baseball or other sports that have had schollie limits reduced to odd, fractional numbers. For example wrestling is allowed 9.9, reduced from 11 by mandated 10% reduction years ago.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            A different angle on the full cost proposal is what would it do for non head count sports?

            Well, the beautiful thing (or the scary thing, depending on your viewpoint) is that all of those rules would now be open to re-examination. They could say that if you receive a half-scholarship, then you get a half-stipend. Or that anyone receving any percentage of scholarship gets a full stipend. Or they could just round those fractional scholarships back up to full ones. There are probably a dozen more ways of handling it that I’m not thinking of.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            It could be a way of returning to a level of scholarships they were already supporting in the past. It will take a bit of reshuffling the finances, but I doubt any P5 member will be unable to handle the change.

            Like

    • bullet says:

      That is a first going from theoretical to a possible date.

      Like

    • bullet says:

      Here’s a Bowlsby article:
      http://www2.kusports.com/news/2013/jul/22/big-12-commish-bob-bowlsby-ncaa-needs-changes/

      “I have not heard a single administrator say they believe an organization other than the NCAA is the right approach for us.

      “I really do think we need to reconfigure the leadership of the organization.”

      Bowlsby said that there are 70 schools that win 90 percent of the championships in the NCAA and, “We have a bunch of others that don’t look like the others yet are trying to compete.” He added that he believed it was time to think about federation by size and scope and perhaps by sport.

      Like

      • vp19 says:

        “I have not heard a single administrator say they believe an organization other than the NCAA is the right approach for us.”

        “That is, unless we can’t browbeat them into giving us what we want.”

        “I really do think we need to reconfigure the leadership of the organization.”

        “Or else.”

        I still maintain a sort of complete split could take place if the five power conferences (plus Notre Dame and Brigham Young) take in the AAC, C-USA, MAC, MWC and Sunbelt as well. After all, the big boys will need warmup football games in September and warmup basketball games before the holidays.

        Like

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          “I have not heard a single administrator say they believe an organization other than the NCAA is the right approach for us.”

          “That is, unless we can’t browbeat them into giving us what we want.”

          You’re being too cynical. The desire to stay in the NCAA is genuine, mainly because it would be expensive, time-consuming, and in the end pointless, to recreate the NCAA for all the non-revenue sports.

          I still maintain a sort of complete split could take place if the five power conferences (plus Notre Dame and Brigham Young) take in the AAC, C-USA, MAC, MWC and Sunbelt as well. After all, the big boys will need warmup football games in September and warmup basketball games before the holidays.

          It’s a lot more complicated than that. A lot of the mid-level and lower-level schools in those leagues play against schools farther down the totem pole. On top of that, once you get past football, the traditional powers in the other sports can be very different schools than you’re used to hearing about. In Ice Hockey, for instance, two of the last three Division I champions did not come from the leagues you mentioned.

          Like

        • Richard says:

          They can allow 2 games against a lower division, just like they allow 1 game now against a lower division school to count towards bowl elgibility.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Yeah, I don’t think any of the PTB want to eliminate games against the non-AQs. Look how hard dropping I-AAs is for the B10. Look for every schedule to become 9 conference games, at least 1 AQ OOC, and 1-2 non-AQs after the split.

            Like

    • BuckeyeBeau says:

      @FtT: Look forward to your thoughts on a “super division.”

      My own view is that this is a power play (d’uh!) by the Power5 conferences and that the non-P5 will now do an about-turn and let the “cost of attendance” provision go through. A Switch In Time Saves Nine (or in this case, ten).

      Are there other issues dividing the P5 and the non-P5 at the NCAA level? Obviously, there are bowl access issues, etc., but those are not NCAA issues.

      My sense is that the friction between the P5 and non-P5 is solely football related. Everyone seems happy with Bball and the non-revenue sports. Beyond the stipend, what is the need for a new division?

      My point is this: if only a small set of issues is driving this push toward a “super division,” then only a small set of solutions are needed to avoid the split.

      Do the non-P5 want the split? Do the P5 want the split (other than the stipend issue)?

      If I were a member of the MAC, for example, I am not sure what I would think of this idea. Obviously, it permanently and symbolically marks my second-class status. But I know that already and so does everyone else. What are the disadvantages of being left behind? Are there any advantages?

      As for the stipend, I think the compromise will be a rule that allows adoption on a conference by conference basis. I think that would be possible, yes? no? Then the P5 would all adopt and then some of the non-P5 would and some wouldn’t. The AACK, probably yes, the others no.

      Like

      • I don’t think the p5 just want to pay more money to athletes…and I think they currently have an unfair slice of just about every pie. That’s not the issue really

        But the biggest issue–and the one that is somewhat nebulous to quantify–is the “quality control” in football issue (and to a less extent basketball). The NFL, NBA, MLB all are finite quantities. They have X number of teams…and fans know they are either getting “pro” sports or not. You are in and out.

        Joe Sports Fan, however, turns on the tube on a Saturday and he might be watching any one of 150 schools playing (including FCS schools in September). He could be getting a lousy Iowa team against a terrible MAC team…or he could get an elite SEC team vs. an elite PAC-12 team (thinking LSU vs. Oregon in September a few years ago). It’s impossible to “know” what kind of quality he’s about to get. Because of that uncertainty, TV networks pay less to all p5 conferences because the product–while great overall and growing in popularity–isn’t stellar. It’s not can’t-miss programming.

        TV networks want to be able to slot elite games (even if it’s a scrub ACC team vs. an average SEC team) in all their best TV spots. So, when Joe Sports Fan turns on the TV, he’s getting an intriguing match-up of 65 finite teams (like the NFL’s 32). I might know that Cincinnati vs. USF is a decent college football game…but the typical viewer will go outside and do chores or pick up groceries.

        That’s the appeal of a new division.

        Like

        • BuckeyeBeau says:

          all excellent points. however, I don’t see how a P5 Division IV (or whatever they end up calling it) solves the “quality” problem. The schools do their own scheduling. Unless the new rule is Division IV plays only Division IV. But they don’t need DivIV to do that; just do it now, conference by conference.

          Btw, I’m not against DivIV, just not sure what’s the point of it.

          Like

          • Simply by its branding. Joe Viewer turns on the TV and immediately asks, “Is this a Division 4 game?” He looks and sees that mighty Iowa is playing…”Oh, yeah, it’s a Division 4 game. I should check it out.” Similar to Joe Viewer when he sees an NFL game on TV…he pays attention b/c it’s the NFL. It could be Jacksonville vs. Arizona (two random teams that I don’t think are very good…but I don’t follow NFL…), but Joe doesn’t care.

            Plus, you’ll see more “distance” put between Division 4 schools and Division 3 or 2 or whatever they’re called. The TV moguls are already pushing commissioners to push their leagues to play fewer chumps. Re-branding elite football will work alongside stronger scheduling to make the product of elite football better.

            Like

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          TV networks want to be able to slot elite games (even if it’s a scrub ACC team vs. an average SEC team) in all their best TV spots. . . . That’s the appeal of a new division.

          Sorry, but I don’t understand you (agreeing with @BuckeyeBeau). No new division or rule changes are needed for the schools to schedule more elite games. They can schedule those games in the existing system.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            However, you have the problem of individual incentives vs. group incentives.

            As a group, the power schools want to increase the number of high-profiles matchups as that benefits all of them. As individual schools, they want some guarantee games for attendance as that benefits them individually.

            How to solve that problem of unaligned incentives? Form a new division and limit the member schools to 1-2 games vs. lower division opponents.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            As a group, the power schools want to increase the number of high-profiles matchups as that benefits all of them. As individual schools, they want some guarantee games for attendance as that benefits them individually.

            How to solve that problem of unaligned incentives? Form a new division and limit the member schools to 1-2 games vs. lower division opponents.

            But they’re not going to impose such a limit unless the members agree to it; and if they could agree to it in a new system, they could agree to it in the existing one.

            Like

          • In the eyes of executives and the average sports fan it DOES make a difference.

            Discerning baseball fans know the difference between AAA, AA, A, and rookie league or whatever. They might turn off a single-A game because they know its mediocre baseball. An average fan sees that it’s not a Major League team on TV…and they turn it off immediately. Minor league baseball is minor league baseball. Zero interest.

            Same concept. The best college football wants to stand out as the best college football. A new division helps them do that.

            Cincinnati vs. USF…Boise State vs. New Mexico…Iowa vs. Wisconsin…Ball State vs. Eastern Michigan…the typical fan right now simply sees this as college football and all four games are just white noise. If TV stations can advertise “Division 4 Football game…Iowa vs. Wisconsin” and that means “elite football” to the typical sports fan…they’ll tune in for that game before the other three I mentioned.

            Like

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        My sense is that the friction between the P5 and non-P5 is solely football related. Everyone seems happy with Bball and the non-revenue sports. Beyond the stipend, what is the need for a new division?

        If the stipend is approved, they would almost certainly pay it in all sports, not just football. I do think there is general frustration with both the legislation and governance processes overall. The stipend issue is emblematic of a larger problem.

        Like

    • cutter says:

      If a Super Division does come about, there are a number of questions that have to be answered regarding its size, composition, etc. I imagine the commissioners of the five major conferences have already given these issues a lot of thought and have spoken with their respective university presidents on where they want to take major college football.

      1. How many programs will be in the Super Division? The five major conferences comprise 64 teams with Notre Dame and Brigham Young as major independents. Will additional teams be brought into this division? Conversely, will there be some consideration about dropping programs or even further swapping teams between conferences (also see Question #3)? Will there be some sort of special consideration for the service academies?

      2. If additional teams are brought into the Super Division beyond the 66 mentioned in Question #1, what are the most likely candidates? Conference realignment has set up a hierarchy of programs with a list of winners (such as Louisville, Rutgers, TCU, Utah) and losers (Cincinnati, Connecticut) to date. If you’re the Athletic Director of a program like Houston or SMU or Memphis or San Diego State or Boise State, what are you going to do to be in the football Super Division? If the Super Division is topped out at 72 programs, for example, then that means there will only be six more additions.

      3. How will the Super Division be organized? For purposes of history, branding, etc., I imagine the five large conferences will be the backbone of its organization. But if six to 14 teams are added to the Super Division (bringing the total number of programs from 72 to 80), how will they be organized within it? Do they become part of a sixth conference? Do act as independents or quasi-independents? Will these additional schools be folded into the five conferences?

      4. What sort of relationships will the conferences have with one another? By and large, they’ve acted like a bunch of quarreling medieval Italian city states vying for power and prestige. However, we’ve also seen them act in concert with regard to the BCS and the new playoff format. So will they cooperate with one another and act more as a single entity (like the NFL) when it comes to external relations (such as media contracts)? Or will they still be organized and operate as five (or more or even less) different organizations underneath the same umbrella?

      5. What happens to the programs currently in Division 1-A that don’t make the Super Division? Does that division now contract to 40- to 50- team entity? Will programs from the Super Division be allowed to put them on their schedule and under what terms will that effect their status when it comes to the post-season in terms of SOS?

      6. If Super Division teams are only allowed to play one another, does that mean every program within it plays an even number of home and road games? How does this effect those teams which are going to nine-game conference schedules (currently programs in the Pac 12 and Big XII with Big Ten starting in 2016)?

      7. What format does the playoff take if a Super Division is organized? Does major college football stick with a four-team playoff selected by a committee? Or do they expand it and give auto berths to the conference champions?

      The move to a Super Division is the first step that can potentially ignite a whole chain of events both anticipated and otherwise. At the minimum, it’ll further reinforce the haves and have nots when it comes to major college athletics. The process of deciding which additional teams (if any) are included in the Super Division has the great potential of being downright messy and will almost certainly entail a lot of lobbying (including as far up the food chain as Congress). If a smaller number of additional members are brought in (which I think will happen), then the Big XII and Pac 12 are likely to be their landing places. If it’s a larger number of new additions (say 14), then all five major conferences will see new and/or additional membership or a new and rather ad hoc conference may be added. The status of Notre Dame and Brigham Young would also have to be decided–do they remain “independent” or will they be folded into a more rational structure within the Super Division?

      Like

      • BuckeyeBeau says:

        @ Cutter: A lot of good questions and thoughts.

        I’ll throw a few out.

        ~~ Cutter’s post shows the potential pandora’s box that gets opened if a new Div4 is created. Thus, I go with my original idea that the non-P5 schools will relent on some key questions. I don’t think the non-P5 schools want to be cut adrift.

        ~~ From Dodd’s article, there seems to be some fussing about how “easy” it is to move from DivIAA to DivIA. So, maybe a moratorium on new DivIA teams?

        ~~ 80 teams seems high; that splits the current 122 into 80 and 42. 42 seems sort of pointless. So, I’d guess that Div4 would remain in the 66 range.

        ~~ I am curious what other differences are being suggested beyond the stipend. Honestly, I am not all that clear on the differences between 1A and 1AA other than a lower number of scholarships. Div. II and III have no scholarships at all, right?

        ~~ right now, moving up to Div1A is allowed if criteria are met. will that be the case for the new Div4? or will the number of teams be static (like the professional leagues)?

        ~~ what impact, if any, on Bball and the non-revenue sports?

        Like

      • Brian says:

        cutter,

        “If a Super Division does come about, there are a number of questions that have to be answered regarding its size, composition, etc. I imagine the commissioners of the five major conferences have already given these issues a lot of thought and have spoken with their respective university presidents on where they want to take major college football.”

        The devil is always in the details. That’s why I think it’ll take a while to implement once they decide to do it.

        “1. How many programs will be in the Super Division? The five major conferences comprise 64 teams with Notre Dame and Brigham Young as major independents. Will additional teams be brought into this division? Conversely, will there be some consideration about dropping programs or even further swapping teams between conferences (also see Question #3)? Will there be some sort of special consideration for the service academies?”

        The NCAA never sets a number of schools, they always set eligibility criteria. I’d expect a much higher bar based on what Bowlsby said, but I think they’ll also use conference-averaged metrics so nobody has to drop a member. I’d expect it to be those 66 only at first, unless schools like UC and Boise want to be independents. I’m sure there will be a loophole for the academies if they want one, but I don’t think the academies actually want to be at that level.

        “2. If additional teams are brought into the Super Division beyond the 66 mentioned in Question #1, what are the most likely candidates? Conference realignment has set up a hierarchy of programs with a list of winners (such as Louisville, Rutgers, TCU, Utah) and losers (Cincinnati, Connecticut) to date. If you’re the Athletic Director of a program like Houston or SMU or Memphis or San Diego State or Boise State, what are you going to do to be in the football Super Division? If the Super Division is topped out at 72 programs, for example, then that means there will only be six more additions.”

        They’ll have to get an invitation from a current conference or go independent, and being indie will mean they have to meet the criteria by themselves. I think the attendance number could stop some schools from moving up.

        “3. How will the Super Division be organized? For purposes of history, branding, etc., I imagine the five large conferences will be the backbone of its organization. But if six to 14 teams are added to the Super Division (bringing the total number of programs from 72 to 80), how will they be organized within it? Do they become part of a sixth conference? Do act as independents or quasi-independents? Will these additional schools be folded into the five conferences?”

        It won’t be any different than how other divisions are organized.

        “4. What sort of relationships will the conferences have with one another? By and large, they’ve acted like a bunch of quarreling medieval Italian city states vying for power and prestige. However, we’ve also seen them act in concert with regard to the BCS and the new playoff format. So will they cooperate with one another and act more as a single entity (like the NFL) when it comes to external relations (such as media contracts)? Or will they still be organized and operate as five (or more or even less) different organizations underneath the same umbrella?”

        They’ll stick with the Italian model I’m sure.

        “5. What happens to the programs currently in Division 1-A that don’t make the Super Division? Does that division now contract to 40- to 50- team entity? Will programs from the Super Division be allowed to put them on their schedule and under what terms will that effect their status when it comes to the post-season in terms of SOS?”

        I-A is 124 team now I think. If half move up, the other half will be their own division and I-AAs will continue to want to move up. I’d guess everyone can play 2 non-AQs annually, and look for the non-AQs to replace bowls with a playoff of their own so they can compete for national titles (and publicity).

        “6. If Super Division teams are only allowed to play one another, does that mean every program within it plays an even number of home and road games? How does this effect those teams which are going to nine-game conference schedules (currently programs in the Pac 12 and Big XII with Big Ten starting in 2016)?”

        It wouldn’t have to mean that. AQ schools have sold games before (CO at OSU, IN vs PSU going neutral, etc). I really don’t think you’ll see that scheduling restriction, though.

        “7. What format does the playoff take if a Super Division is organized? Does major college football stick with a four-team playoff selected by a committee? Or do they expand it and give auto berths to the conference champions?”

        It’s locked in for 12 years, so no changes in the near future. How well those years go will influence what happens next.

        “The process of deciding which additional teams (if any) are included in the Super Division has the great potential of being downright messy and will almost certainly entail a lot of lobbying (including as far up the food chain as Congress).”

        It wasn’t that bad when I-AA was created. I don’t see huge problems now, either.

        “If a smaller number of additional members are brought in (which I think will happen), then the Big XII and Pac 12 are likely to be their landing places. If it’s a larger number of new additions (say 14), then all five major conferences will see new and/or additional membership or a new and rather ad hoc conference may be added. The status of Notre Dame and Brigham Young would also have to be decided–do they remain “independent” or will they be folded into a more rational structure within the Super Division?”

        Nobody will forced upon a conference, nor will they be forced to join a conference. These are individual schools, not NFL franchises.

        Like

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        My take on @cutter’s excellent questions (I agree with @Brian for the most part):

        1. It’s not like the Harvard freshman class, where there’s a limited number of slots. They’ll announce criteria, and the schools will self-select. For political reasons, nobody wants to force out the service academies. Of course, the academies themselves may decide not to be in Division 4. But no one will try to force them out.

        2-3. The tough cases will be the borderline leagues, where some schools want to move up and others don’t. Boise State thinks they’re one of the Big Boys; based on their track record, it’s hard to disagree with them. But there’s also a lot of dreck in the MWC. I really don’t know how that would work out.

        4. The relationships between the conferences probably won’t change. They remain competitors, in many ways, and don’t want a central bureaucracy that limits what they’re allowed to do. If anything, the new structure will probably give them even more leeway than they have now, not less.

        5. I am positive that the new members of Division 4 will continue to play the lower divisions. Both sides still eagerly want those games. There is no good reason for them to stop playing.

        6. You sort of answered your own question. Most of the schools want 7 home games, which means they have to schedule opponents who don’t demand home & home.

        7. The desire to form a new division is independent of the playoff structure. The playoff deal is 12 years long, and I doubt it’ll be revisited before the mid-2020s. The presidents had to be dragged kicking and screaming to a 4-team playoff. I suspect that any proposal to go to 8 teams will meet fierce resistance. I don’t think it’s a given that conference champs would get autobids in that scenario.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          I agree that the playoff decision is independent. They aren’t going to 8 w/o giving 4 a few years to play out. But if they do go to 8, the Big 5 will get autobids. Leaving their champs out is why they will eventually go to 8. But the Rose, Sugar and Orange Bowl deals make expansion to 8 complicated, so there’s a good chance it takes 12 years.

          Like

        • cutter says:

          @Marc Shepherd:

          What criteria do you envision being used and how do schools “self-select”? Are you suggesting, for instance, that any school currently in the FBS Division can opt to say it wants to go into Division 4 and they’ll be accepted if they meet certain criteria?

          If the answer to my second query is yes, then where do you put such a program? Let’s say, for example, that Cincinnati met your criteria and wanted to go into Division 4. What happens next? Do they opt to go in as some sort of independent? Do they only go in if a conference wants to accept them? Will they join a pool of other teams within a de facto sixth conference within the division?

          Why and in what manner would a “central bureaucracy” limit what the conferences can do within Division 4? The conferences already cooperate on what the post-season will look like, so why not the regular season, i.e., a decision on eight- or nine-game conferences schedule? Do you think it makes sense for them to make separate media deals with ABC/ESPN, Fox, etc. or would they have more leverage if they acted as one entity? For example, would it make sense for the NFL’s different conferences or divisions to negotiate their own media deals or is it a better approach to come at this as one league for the pros?

          Why would teams eagerly want to play programs from lower divisions? College football attendance is slowly going down and the live experience is competing with flat screen televisions and markedly lower cost for the stay at home fan. Unless CFB starts to discount tickets, then doesn’t it make sense to improve the product and play more interesting and competitive games? The Big Ten is going away from playing FCS teams for that reason (and also because the conference has a new media deal coming up soon). Would it make sense for Division 4 to extend that practice.

          For example, Michigan has four non-conference games this year. The first three are in Ann Arbor against Central Michigan, Notre Dame and Akron. The fourth is on the road with Connecticut. The eight conference games are four at home (Indiana, Minnesota, Nebraska and Ohio State) and four on the road (at Northwestern, at Iowa, at Penn State, at Michigan State).

          What would that non conference schedule look like if Michigan played only Division 4 teams? Notre Dame would still be on it, but Akron, Central Michigan and possibly UConn would have to be replaced by teams from the major conferences.

          Let’s assume that the new Division 4 has an equal number of home and road games for each team per a larger agreement. Michigan in 2013 would replace those three games (two home/on road) with one home game and two road games with D4 opponents. The line up of games (all home-and-home series) could be something like at Virginia, Notre Dame, Arizona State, at Tennessee. Does that make the overall schedule more exciting from a fan perspective–both the ones coming to the games and the ones watching at home? What would be the net revenue effect for programs losing one home game if they could get a higher ticket price and/or a better television deal and/or higher attendance figures if the overall schedule is better?

          As far as the post-season goes, I largely agree with you that there won’t be major movement to change what is a new agreement and yes, college football does move slowly. But this D4 concept is a Pandora’s Box and goodness knows what the reaction will be in the near term to a four-game playoff with the teams selected by a committee anyway. We saw the BCS criteria change over its lifetime and if past is precedent, the four-team playoff could also see changes in how programs are selected.

          But now we get back to the earlier questions about how many teams will be in D4 and how they’ll be organized. If the Big XII gets to 12 or more, then they’re in a position to have a conference championship game like the other conferences. Will there be pressure to have conference champions only now that the Big XII has a stake in seeing that happen? What happens to the conference champion that is left out in such a scenario if there are five major conferences?

          What I’m trying to convey is that there’s an opportunity to really recast and reorganize how college football operates if a Division 4 is adapted. While there might be a multi-year plan that needs to be phased in to do it, there may be other factors (ex. O’Bannon case) that accelerate that timeline as well. The major conferences are clearly signalling they want changes to take place (I understand the five commissioners met about six weeks ago on this). Now the questions have to be asked on how they’re going to do this, who will be included and what it will do to how the regular and post-season are structured.

          Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            What criteria do you envision being used and how do schools “self-select”? Are you suggesting, for instance, that any school currently in the FBS Division can opt to say it wants to go into Division 4 and they’ll be accepted if they meet certain criteria?

            I don’t know precisely what the criteria will be, but that’s how every other NCAA division works. There are standards, and if you meet them, you’re in.

            If the answer to my second query is yes, then where do you put such a program? Let’s say, for example, that Cincinnati met your criteria and wanted to go into Division 4. What happens next?

            I think a league would need to be wholly in or out of Division 4. If some of the AACK teams can’t, don’t, or won’t meet the criteria, I could very well imagine another realignment, with teams deciding (or being forced) to get on one bus or the other.

            Why and in what manner would a “central bureaucracy” limit what the conferences can do within Division 4? The conferences already cooperate on what the post-season will look like, so why not the regular season, i.e., a decision on eight- or nine-game conferences schedule?

            The conferences cooperate on the post-season because, by definition, it requires meetings between teams not in the same conference. If you’re a league commissioner, why would you want someone outside your league telling you how many intra-conference games you need to play?

            Do you think it makes sense for them to make separate media deals with ABC/ESPN, Fox, etc. or would they have more leverage if they acted as one entity? For example, would it make sense for the NFL’s different conferences or divisions to negotiate their own media deals or is it a better approach to come at this as one league for the pros?

            The NFL is one league. The Big Ten and the Big XII are separate leagues. I think Jim Delany figures that he has been one of the winners in media negotiations, and that he’d rather not tether his clients’ futures to another league that might not be as smart.

            Why would teams eagerly want to play programs from lower divisions?

            Look at their behavior. No one is forcing them to schedule those games.

            The Big Ten is going away from playing FCS teams for that reason (and also because the conference has a new media deal coming up soon). Would it make sense for Division 4 to extend that practice.

            You’ll note that: A) They are NOT talking about discontinuing the mid-majors (e.g., MAC schools); and B) No other league, to my knowledge, has established a moratorium on playing FCS teams.

            For example, Michigan has four non-conference games this year. The first three are in Ann Arbor against Central Michigan, Notre Dame and Akron. The fourth is on the road with Connecticut… The line up of games (all home-and-home series) could be something like at Virginia, Notre Dame, Arizona State, at Tennessee. Does that make the overall schedule more exciting from a fan perspective–both the ones coming to the games and the ones watching at home?

            Yes, personally I’d rather see the second schedule you mentioned, but Michigan chose the first. I haven’t heard many FBS ADs suggesting they’d be eager to give up the seventh home game, in exchange for a harder schedule. Whatever the merits, it doesn’t seem to be on their radar.

            But now we get back to the earlier questions about how many teams will be in D4 and how they’ll be organized. If the Big XII gets to 12 or more, then they’re in a position to have a conference championship game like the other conferences. Will there be pressure to have conference champions only now that the Big XII has a stake in seeing that happen? What happens to the conference champion that is left out in such a scenario if there are five major conferences?

            A couple of years ago, UCLA made it to the Pac-12 championship game with a 6-6 record, against a vastly superior Oregon team. Fortunately, the right team won. But let’s say Oregon’s starting QB gets arrested the night before the game, the second string breaks his tibia, and UCLA pulls off the upset. You’ve got an obviously mediocre UCLA team in the playoff, with an obviously far superior Alabama team at 11-1 left out. That’s wrong on competitive grounds, but TV and Bowl Chairmen don’t like it either.

            Of course, another problem with autobids is that every time a new conference is formed, they demand one too. That is one of the reasons that has caused the NCAA basketball tournament to keep expanding. Beyond that, no one is going to force Notre Dame into a conference, and no one is going to put together a system where they can’t make the playoff if they have another year like last year.

            Instead, they went with a simple system: the best four teams play. Of course, those four teams will often be conference winners, because you have to be pretty good to win your league. But by not tying it to that, you avoid pratfalls where an obviously unqualified team gets one of the precious few berths available. You can afford do do that in basketball, where 68 teams get in, but not in football, with its 4, or in the future, at most 8.

            I do agree with you that if Division 4 is formed, there will probably be collateral consequences that no one yet has predicted.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            cutter,

            “What criteria do you envision being used and how do schools “self-select”? Are you suggesting, for instance, that any school currently in the FBS Division can opt to say it wants to go into Division 4 and they’ll be accepted if they meet certain criteria?”

            Currently, the NCAA uses the number of sports you sponsor and football attendance. I see no reason they couldn’t do the same for a new division with both requirements going up. Maybe the number of teams goes up to 18 and the attendance to 30,000 or more.

            “If the answer to my second query is yes, then where do you put such a program?”

            Where do new members of I-A go now? They have to have an invitation to move up or else they become independent.

            “Why and in what manner would a “central bureaucracy” limit what the conferences can do within Division 4? The conferences already cooperate on what the post-season will look like, so why not the regular season, i.e., a decision on eight- or nine-game conferences schedule? Do you think it makes sense for them to make separate media deals with ABC/ESPN, Fox, etc. or would they have more leverage if they acted as one entity? For example, would it make sense for the NFL’s different conferences or divisions to negotiate their own media deals or is it a better approach to come at this as one league for the pros?”

            Why do you ask questions that make it seem like forming a new division is anything new? I-A could already have done those things you mentioned but didn’t. Maybe that changes, but probably not. Why would the SEC or B10 risk getting the same payouts as everyone else if they have an advantage under the current system? More money but no advantage is worse than making less but having an edge.

            “Why would teams eagerly want to play programs from lower divisions?”

            For the exact same reasons they want to play I-AAs now. Easy wins and home games.

            “The Big Ten is going away from playing FCS teams for that reason (and also because the conference has a new media deal coming up soon). Would it make sense for Division 4 to extend that practice.”

            Not all B10 teams are on board with that, and clearly the ACC, SEC and B12 like their I-AA games.

            As for 6/6 schedules, why would the big boys want that? They make a lot more money off of home games, plus it makes it easier to win. MI, OSU, PSU, TN, etc don’t want to lose their advantages of having huge stadiums. Their communities don’t want them to sacrifice those extra home games either.

            “What I’m trying to convey is that there’s an opportunity to really recast and reorganize how college football operates if a Division 4 is adapted.”

            They’ve always had that option and never chose to do it. This split won’t suddenly turn the top level into the NFL v2.0.

            Like

          • cutter says:

            @ Marc Shepherd

            Thanks for your replies. IRT football, FBS programs need to be able to have 85 scholarships and and their athletic programs have to have 16 sports. There is also a scheduling requirement (60% of games against FBS schools), attendance requirement (15,000 average) and your program has to provide financial aid, i.e., scholarships.

            See http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/2006/09/20/15856/

            I would assume there needs to be other standards than these to get into Division 4 because that means all the programs currently in FBS would also be able to get into D4 right now.

            So what other criteria are we looking at? Does current conference affiliation count? Does a program need to spend a certain amount of money on its football programs and/or its overall athletic department to get in? Does a program have to be able to produce certain additional revenues to D4 in order to get into the division?

            I do agree with you that if additional teams are added to the 66 I originally mentioned, then further realignment has to follow in some form or the other. The mechanism for that taking place would be very interesting seeing that in the recent past, moves were made based on the individual conference’s perceived benefits. For example, if Cincinnati were to get into Division 4, would they then be “assigned” a conference? Or would an identified conference destination have be one of the criteria required for admittance into D4? In that case, not only would UC have to be admitted, but a conference (let’s say the Big XII) would have to agree in advance to take them.

            This goes to my larger point, which is to what level the conferences are now going to cooperate with one another in a Division 4 structure. They’re going to have to at least agree on the membership (including the status of Notre Dame and Brigham Young plus if they’re going to have a “waiver” for the military academies). I’d be hard pressed to imagine the NCAA explaining to a congressional committee why Army, Navy and Air Force can’t compete on the highest levels of collegiate football (if they wanted to do it, that is).

            The membership question then relates to D4’s structure. If no one else were added, we would have 64 teams in two conferences and two independents for a total of 66 and work around that setup. But if additional programs come onboard, than that leads to a cascade of decisions which have to be made.

            One scenario that might occur is that six more teams are added for a total of 72. 70 are organized into five 14-team conferences with ND and BYU operating outside the conference structure, but within D4. That would mean the Pac 12 adds two and the Big XII gets four more programs. In order to do that, all the parties would have to sign off on it–the incoming teams, the individual conferences, etc. In sum, it means they’d have to all agree to do this alignment and the process for putting it together.

            I wouldn’t be surprised if the conferences did look at the NFL model and decide they they weren’t all different “leagues”, but actually one league. Is this a change in mindset? Absolutely. But if they’re going to create a separate division for football with its own set of rules and player compensation, then they’re going to be forced into a bunch of meetings together and they’re going to have to figure out if their “product” is best served by acting in cooperation with one another or not. The Big Ten is looking at $43M per school in conference distributions in a few years, but what if they acted collectively with the other schools and found out that number would be $50M–do they turn that down?

            I think we both know that the reason why teams schedule down is for the post-season and depends on if they have aspirations running from the national championship to a lower-tier bowl. If the playoff is expanded with some combination of conference champions and at large teams getting into an eight-team bracket, for example, then the scheduling philosophy might well change.

            That scheduling philosophy might also be changed by consumer desires as well. As you point out, a schedule of at Virginia, Notre Dame, Arizona State, at Tennessee as part of the non-conference is a heck of a lot more interesting than Central Michigan, Notre Dame, Akron, at Connecticut. If having a tougher non-conference schedule doesn’t penalize programs in terms of the post-season, then what’s the downside to doing something like this?

            I gladly admit that there might be occasions where a conference champion emerging from a conference champion game might not be “worthy” as you point out in your 6-6 UCLA example. But if that’s one team out of eight in a playoff (and we’re talking about a scenario where there are three at large selections), then I’d be willing to take the risk because it’d further elevate the CCG games.

            But as an insurance policy, you could make add a rating system such that a team must be in the top 14 or higher (in an eight-team playoff) in order to get into that playoff. So if UCLA won in your scenario and ended 7-6, they still wouldn’t be in the playoff. The stake would largely be on Oregon to win, OTOH, because a loss might eliminate them or make them lower seeded when that playoff bracket is put together.

            There’s lot of ways for this to work, but I think Step #1 for the commissioners is to figure out how many programs are in D4 and how they’re going to be organized because at the minimum, some sort of decision will have to be made about Notre Dame and Brigham Young. They could just opt to stay at 66 AND let ND/BYU be independent, but is that really a likely scenario?

            Like

          • Brian says:

            cutter,

            “I would assume there needs to be other standards than these to get into Division 4 because that means all the programs currently in FBS would also be able to get into D4 right now.

            So what other criteria are we looking at?”

            I don’t think they’ll add criteria, I think they’ll raise the bar on the current ones. Take the 15,000 attendance and raise it to 30,000 or more. Maybe raise the 16 sport limit to 18 or 20.

            “For example, if Cincinnati were to get into Division 4, would they then be “assigned” a conference?”

            No school will ever be assigned to a conference. The NCAA doesn’t have that right and the schools will never give that power to the NCAA. The conferences will always control their own membership.

            “Or would an identified conference destination have be one of the criteria required for admittance into D4?”

            It was a requirement for moving up to I-A, at least for a while.

            “This goes to my larger point, which is to what level the conferences are now going to cooperate with one another in a Division 4 structure.”

            They won’t cooperate any more than they do now.

            “They’re going to have to at least agree on the membership (including the status of Notre Dame and Brigham Young plus if they’re going to have a “waiver” for the military academies). I’d be hard pressed to imagine the NCAA explaining to a congressional committee why Army, Navy and Air Force can’t compete on the highest levels of collegiate football (if they wanted to do it, that is).”

            They already do this.

            “The membership question then relates to D4′s structure. If no one else were added, we would have 64 teams in two conferences and two independents for a total of 66 and work around that setup. But if additional programs come onboard, than that leads to a cascade of decisions which have to be made.”

            I assume you meant 64 teams in 5 conferences.

            “One scenario that might occur is that six more teams are added for a total of 72. 70 are organized into five 14-team conferences with ND and BYU operating outside the conference structure, but within D4. That would mean the Pac 12 adds two and the Big XII gets four more programs. In order to do that, all the parties would have to sign off on it–the incoming teams, the individual conferences, etc. In sum, it means they’d have to all agree to do this alignment and the process for putting it together.”

            I don’t understand why people expect such a neat solution to real life issues. The P12 and B12 aren’t going to acquiesce to the ACC, B10 and SEC telling them who must be in their conferences. If they want to expand they will, but it won’t be forced on them. Those extra 6 would be independents unless someone wanted them. Their problem will be trying to survive as an independent. If they can convince a few more schools to move up, they could form a sixth conference.

            “I wouldn’t be surprised if the conferences did look at the NFL model and decide they they weren’t all different “leagues”, but actually one league.”

            I would be flabbergasted to see that. The B10 and SEC agreeing on the importance of academics versus athletics? They can’t even agree on oversigning rules. No, I think each conference will definitely want to keep its own identity and market itself separately.

            “The Big Ten is looking at $43M per school in conference distributions in a few years, but what if they acted collectively with the other schools and found out that number would be $50M–do they turn that down?”

            Yes, because it also means the ACC will get that same $50M instead of the B10 having a huge edge that might help them steal UVA and UNC in the future.

            “I think we both know that the reason why teams schedule down is for the post-season and depends on if they have aspirations running from the national championship to a lower-tier bowl.”

            I disagree. Their primary motivation is financial. A seventh home game is worth millions. It’s also easier to win at home.

            “There’s lot of ways for this to work, but I think Step #1 for the commissioners is to figure out how many programs are in D4”

            That will never be something the commissioners get to decide directly.

            “and how they’re going to be organized because at the minimum, some sort of decision will have to be made about Notre Dame and Brigham Young.”

            They won’t decide anything here either. Teams either join conferences or are independent. What’s left to decide?

            “They could just opt to stay at 66 AND let ND/BYU be independent, but is that really a likely scenario?”

            Yes. Perhaps not as likely as a few more schools also moving up, but it’s definitely plausible. Only fans are insistent on some sort of neat arrangement like 4 or 5 conferences of equal size. You don’t see the other commissioners pressuring the B12 or P12 to expand, and you never will.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            I-AA implementation in 1982 did eventually split up the MVC and the Southland Conference.

            Like

          • frug says:

            I don’t think they’ll add criteria, I think they’ll raise the bar on the current ones. Take the 15,000 attendance and raise it to 30,000 or more. Maybe raise the 16 sport limit to 18 or 20.

            Minor correction. The sport minimum for D-1 teams is 14 not 16.

            Also, raising the limit to 30,000 would leave some major conference schools like WSU, Duke and Wake behind.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            I’ll weigh in:

            I don’t think the commissioners will decide who goes in to a DivIV and who doesn’t, but I think that the Big5 conferences will decide that a pretty high membership of the current DivIV membership (say 80%) would have to vote in any new members (so that this new division doesn’t get diluted again).

            What I think will happen is that the Big5 schools will vote to let in
            1. ND & BYU, naturally.
            2. The 3 service academies.
            4. 2 more schools each in CA, TX, and FL for recruiting purposes (Fresno, SDSU, UCF, USF, Houston, and SMU, with SMU barely squeaking in).
            5. Good basketball schools that are good enough in football: UConn, Cincy, Memphis, Temple, USU, UNLV, and UNM.
            6. Boise
            7. Wichita St. (non-football)

            That would include all the schools with an average home football attendance over 30K (except Hawaii; sorry, you’re too far away) or an average home basketball attendance over 8K.

            The new BE would join in non-football sports as well.

            With the 19 football and 19 basketball schools (ND in the ACC in basketball), 2 conferences could be formed (though the schools could remain independent in football and just play each other):

            At least for non-football sports:
            Western Conference:
            Boise, BYU, SDSU, Fresno, USU, UNLV, UNM, Wichita, AFA

            Eastern Conference:
            UConn, Cincy, Memphis, Temple, Navy, Army, UCF, USF, Houston, SMU(?)

            The Western Conference basketball ould be pretty darn good. The Eastern Conference basketball would be OK.

            Potentially more non-football schools could be admitted as well.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Oh, wait, I forgot ECU.

            Yeah, well, you’re screwed (for not being a basketball power and not being located anywhere near a metropolitan area).

            Like

          • Brian says:

            frug,

            “Minor correction. The sport minimum for D-1 teams is 14 not 16.”

            Thanks. I thought it was, but someone said 16 earlier so I went with that. Some conferences have higher requirements I believe, not that it matters.

            “Also, raising the limit to 30,000 would leave some major conference schools like WSU, Duke and Wake behind.”

            It would, which is why I suggested using a conference average earlier. A conference average of 40,000 would let the smaller schools stay but keep the smaller conferences out.

            My main point was that I don’t think they’ll really add new criteria so much as change the levels of the current criteria.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            “I don’t think the commissioners will decide who goes in to a DivIV and who doesn’t, but I think that the Big5 conferences will decide that a pretty high membership of the current DivIV membership (say 80%) would have to vote in any new members (so that this new division doesn’t get diluted again).”

            I just don’t see them going that route. It seems like it would be begging to be sued by someone who didn’t get in. Setting criteria that you have to meet is more fair.

            “What I think will happen is that the Big5 schools will vote to let in
            1. ND & BYU, naturally.
            2. The 3 service academies.”

            Yes, those 5 are a given if they want in. I’m just not sure the academies do, especially after Army’s conference experience in football. They might prefer to play for a national title on the second level instead. Imagine the ratings if Army or Navy are playing for the national title, even if it is the second level.

            By the way, what happened to #3? Did you drop a point or just skip a number?

            “4. 2 more schools each in CA, TX, and FL for recruiting purposes (Fresno, SDSU, UCF, USF, Houston, and SMU, with SMU barely squeaking in).”

            I don’t see that sort of special treatment happening.

            “5. Good basketball schools that are good enough in football: UConn, Cincy, Memphis, Temple, USU, UNLV, and UNM.
            6. Boise
            7. Wichita St. (non-football)”

            Why would a non-FB school get in? Do you think this new division will be for all sports, not just FB? I’m thinking it will be a football-only division just like the I-A vs I-AA split, because that will let the D-I and I-AA still get a cut of the NCAA tourney money. Besides, it’s not worth it to restructure in the non-revenue sports I don’t think. I think they’ll just make the COL adjustment optional and leave the other sports alone.

            “That would include all the schools with an average home football attendance over 30K (except Hawaii; sorry, you’re too far away) or an average home basketball attendance over 8K.”

            Those could be decent criteria, except for these things:
            1. Not all AQ schools meet those standards, so they’d need to use a conference average.
            2. I don’t think hoops will matter for this.
            3. I don’t see HI being denied based on location.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            @frug
            I believe 16 sports are required for FBS schools, while 14 is ok for other Division I schools.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            OK, if it’s football only then throw a bunch of that out (though they may try to limit the basketball to the top 100 teams or so so that the tournament money isn’t diluted). And yes, I skipped in the numbering while moving stuff around.

            Like

          • frug says:

            @bullet

            Unless they just changed the rule like in the past few months (and I don’t think they have) I’m pretty sure it is 14 for all D-I. K-State, for one, only sponsors 14. A lot of mid-majors only sponsor 14 or 15.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            For example, if Cincinnati were to get into Division 4, would they then be “assigned” a conference?

            It’s no one else’s problem to help Cincinnati find a place to play. If the Bearcats want into Division 4, then they have to be independent or find a qualifying league that wants them, assuming the AACK as a whole doesn’t qualify.

            I could very well imagine that a band of upwardly mobile teams in non-qualifying leagues will get together and form a new league. There are many precedents for this. But no one outside of the schools concerned is going to do it for them. They are on their own.

            The Big Ten is looking at $43M per school in conference distributions in a few years, but what if they acted collectively with the other schools and found out that number would be $50M–do they turn that down?

            I don’t see a credible argument that there’s $16M per school that they’re leaving on the table by not pooling their interests. Where it made sense to pool their interests (e.g., the post-season), they did. It would be pretty staggering if there is such a large sum of money remaining untapped, which no one who does this for a living has noticed.

            Like

        • boscatar says:

          “1. It’s not like the Harvard freshman class, where there’s a limited number of slots. They’ll announce criteria, and the schools will self-select. For political reasons, nobody wants to force out the service academies. Of course, the academies themselves may decide not to be in Division 4. But no one will try to force them out.”

          2-3. The tough cases will be the borderline leagues, where some schools want to move up and others don’t. Boise State thinks they’re one of the Big Boys; based on their track record, it’s hard to disagree with them. But there’s also a lot of dreck in the MWC. I really don’t know how that would work out.”

          I think you will see most of the AAC pursue inclusion at the new level. The AAC 2015 schools (ie, including Navy, Tulsa, etc.), as a whole, averaged 32.2K and 29.9K home game attendance in 2011 and 2012, respectively.

          In the MWC, however, the top 5 schools averaged over 30K home attendance (SDSU, Boise, Hawaii, Fresno, and AFA), but the rest of the MWC schools were more in the 15-22K level. The MWC’s average was 25.5K and 24K in 2011 and 2012, respectively.

          My hunch is that the AAC might be willing to accommodate SDSU, Boise St., and Fresno, if they qualify and want into the AAC (Division 4 level) – if independence is a sold choice for these schools.

          There is a tier of teams, like UNLV, Colorado St., New Mexico, Louisiana Tech, Southern Miss, and few others, that probably won’t meet the qualifications immediately, but definitely have potential to move up. Rumor is that CSU is increasing its enrollment to 38K and looking to build a big stadium. With tons of alumni in the attractive Denver market, an improved CSU could legitimately compete a the Division 4 level. There’s just some work to do before they qualify.

          “5. I am positive that the new members of Division 4 will continue to play the lower divisions. Both sides still eagerly want those games. There is no good reason for them to stop playing.”

          Why wouldn’t they? Most Division 4 teams will look to schedule 7 home games. They will not easily get 7 home games if they just schedule other Division 4 teams.

          “7. The desire to form a new division is independent of the playoff structure. The playoff deal is 12 years long, and I doubt it’ll be revisited before the mid-2020s. The presidents had to be dragged kicking and screaming to a 4-team playoff. I suspect that any proposal to go to 8 teams will meet fierce resistance. I don’t think it’s a given that conference champs would get autobids in that scenario.”

          This is very true. As mentioned in above posts, the FBS leftovers will likely form their own subdivisional playoff. This would likely include at least 8 teams.

          Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            The AAC just jettisoned any pretense of FB co controlling the conference. BSU and SDSU (and TCU) just declined invitations to the BE. Wouldn’t Cincinnati, Houston, etc be inclined to join a more FB oriented conference?

            The NCAA loses a bunch administrating the current lower level FB playoffs. Are they likely to add another money drain? I think the non D4’s remain FBS, not FCS.

            Like

  43. danimation707 says:

    I have seen a lot of comments from UNL fans discussing their buy-in towards the BTN vs MD and Rutgers and the idea that UNL is getting a more harsh buy-in. Can someone break this down for me?

    Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      I don’t know the exact figures, and I am not sure the fans do either. I think Maryland got a sweetheart deal, because their fiscal situation is so dire, and the Big Ten really wanted them. I would be surprised (and annoyed) if it turned out Rutgers got a better deal than Nebraska, given that Rutgers was in a rotting hulk of a conference, and without a Big Ten offer they were going to land in the AAC.

      Like

      • Psuhockey says:

        I am not so sure anyone got a “deal”. Maryland got some up front loans which I assume they will have to pay back because their financial situation was so dire. I don’t think, however, they get to skirt the buyin while Nebraska and Rutgers have to pay it. It’s just that Maryland has to pay it later.

        Like

    • BuckeyeBeau says:

      Nebraska fans should remember that Nebraska’s Chancellor has a seat at the table and a vote. I have heard nothing to suggest that the PtB at Nebraska were unhappy, annoyed or upset at the “deal” that successfully brought Maryland (and the Balt/DC markets) into the B1G.

      These are business deals.

      Even if Maryland and Rutgers got better deals, so what? That’s life and that’s timing. I buy something and a month later it goes on sale. Momentary annoyance. But, move on. Life’s too short.

      Do Nebraska fans want to “return” their purchase because they didn’t get a alleged “sweetheart deal?” Okay, but that leaves Nebraska in the Big TeXIIas Conference with its spiffy new logo.

      Like

      • danimation707 says:

        The only thing that causes a bit of pause for UNL fans is that they where in an ok position and appear to have potentially gotten a much worse deal compared to two athletic departments that are relatively uncompetitive and one basically ready to file chapter 11. But no one wants to go back, it is just difficult to understand. Part of that is that there is a lack of info too.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          I think RU and UMD got apparent deals because they literally couldn’t afford to do what NE did. NE said just withhold our BTN buy-in upfront, so in 5 years we can get a full share. All NE wanted was to avoid losing money versus their old B12 deal. The newbies don’t have those kinds of resources, so they get loans up front and/or have their buy-ins delayed. I doubt they got great deals in terms of NPV, I just think they got helpful payment terms.

          Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        “Big TeXIIas Conference” 🙂

        I may borrow that.

        Like

    • Nostradamus says:

      No we can’t break it down for you danimation707, because no one really knows exactly what is going on.

      -The only hard facts here are Nebraska isn’t a full equity member of the Big Ten until 2017.
      -Rutgers reportedly has a deal similar to Nebraska
      -Maryland is getting a bunch of money early, but it reportedly is an upfront loan that will be paid back over-time.

      Like

  44. danimation707 says:

    I have seen UNL fans mentioning that their buy-in towards the BTN being harsher than what MD & Rutgers buy-in is. Can someone break this down for me?

    Like

    • Phil says:

      I can see one area where it is possible that the NE buy-in was different than RU/MD, but it is with the ESPN deal not the BTN. Without looking at what each school is bringing to the conference…

      Nebraska joined when there was 6-7 years left on the old TV deal so they “diluted” it by one team for that long. RU and MD will each only dilute the existing TV deal for 3(?) years, before the new deal (which will be negotiated with the knowledge that NE,RU and MD are in the conference).

      Like

      • Nostradamus says:

        Well the whole purpose of the buy-in is to establish equity in the Big Ten Network. In that sense alone, the ESPN deal really shouldn’t matter. What does matter, is that all things equal (i.e. the buy-in is the same for all 3 schools) Rutgers and Maryland would technically buy full equity members sooner as 2017 onward the Big Ten is going to be making significantly more annually with the new television contract.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          Nebraska did get a “theoretical” reduction on the ESPN part of the contract. They were to get a smaller share (I think starting at 50%) at first, but no less than they were getting in the Big 12. However the $ for the Big 10 championship game more than paid for Nebraska, so they got a full share on that piece.

          Like

  45. vp19 says:

    A new Big 12 logo. Nice to see Austin persuaded the vassals to approve this one…

    Like

    • Brian says:

      I’m surprised they didn’t pinch in the bottom to make it look more like a longhorn and maybe shift the color scheme to burnt orange.

      Like

    • Eric says:

      Looks OK. Liked the old one better, but maybe this one will grow on me. Never really saw Texas treating the other members as vassals, but they do have that much power in realignment.

      Like

      • BuckeyeBeau says:

        bleeeck…. but really, whatever. It’s a logo. At least it’s not “Leaders” and “Legends” (as an aside, I like the B1G logo with the blue and black.)

        Like

    • metatron says:

      I like it.

      Like

  46. frug says:

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/9496533/florida-gators-lb-antonio-morrison-arrested-barking-police-dog

    This was just way to funny not to post

    Florida Gators linebacker Antonio Morrison has been arrested for the second time in five weeks, this time for allegedly barking at a police dog and resisting arrest

    Morrison’s defense was the dog barked first, according to a police report.

    Like

  47. bullet says:

    Well if you are an Auburn player, you really shouldn’t taunt UGA.
    (let’s see if this link works)

    Like

    • Makes sense for Maryland. They need to keep their “east coast” flavor as much as possible. Not sure I really see Syracuse’s angle as much, other than staying visible in the MD/DC market.

      Like

      • vp19 says:

        Syracuse and Maryland are semi-traditional football rivals, facing each other more often than not from the mid-’50s to the early ’80s. Also, SU has plenty of alums in the Washington/Baltimore area. Wonder if this might also extend to scheduling in other sports, such as men’s and women’s basketball and men’s and women’s lacrosse? Perhaps the Orange didn’t get the memo from Greensboro that as of July 1, 2014, Maryland is a non-team in The Great ACC Encyclopedia. I doubt UVa, VT or the North Carolina four will follow suit.

        Like

        • Wainscott says:

          Very smart idea.

          A Syracuse-UMD neutral site football game played in the NYC area would be a hot ticket, simply based on the number of combined alumni in the area.. The game itself would probably suck, If the Wilpons were smart (which they obviously are not), they would try to get that game at CitiField.

          Same goes for MBB. A neutral site game at MSG/Barclays in December? Guaranteed sellout.

          @vp19 The amount of times UMD will be playing UNC/Duke/NCST outside of (a) a bowl game, (b) NCAA tourney, or (c) ACC-B1G Challenge is equivalent to the number of potential buyers of The Dude’s forthcoming opus on realignment.

          Like

        • acaffrey says:

          Access to the Maryland area for Syracuse too. It’s a decent move for both programs.

          Like

        • Thanks. Interesting. Makes sense.

          Like

      • Richard says:

        ‘Cuse’s angle is that they want to schedule Big5 opponents willing to give them a HaH.

        Not always an easy task when your stadium is a small aging hulk of concrete with no AC & you’re situated in the frozen tundra far away from any sort of decent recruiting grounds.

        Like

  48. frug says:

    I’m sure it will go down alongside All the President’s Men on the list of greatest pieces of investigative journalism…

    Like

  49. frug says:

    Player abuse in WBB this time.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaw/2013/07/21/oakland-university-fired-coach-beckie-francis-special-report/2573613/

    Gave players eating disorders, forced her religious views on them, order them to remain virgins and tell anyone that asked that they had never sex and made them pose in their underwear and let her feel their stomachs.

    Oh, and she was married to the university president.

    Like

    • Phil says:

      The report basically says:

      1.The athletic department (in the person of Tim Pernetti) wanted to do do the right thing and fire Coach Rice

      2. He went to some nameless, faceless (and in some cases politically appointed) people that govern Rutgers and was somehow convinced to NOT fire Rice (and the report is peculiarly uncurious about who those people were and how exactly they changed Pernetti’s mind).

      3.The answer is to give the nameless, faceless hacks MORE power over Rutger’s sports.

      How does that make sense??

      Like

  50. BuckeyeBeau says:

    http://tracking.si.com/2013/07/23/report-espn-turner-to-cut-nascar-coverage/

    not sure how this fits, but NBC outbid ESpin for a package of races. NBC’s bid is reported to be a 50% increase over the previous deal.

    a few thoughts:

    ~~ more data that live sporting events are very valuable.
    ~~ if there is a sports bubble, it has not burst yet
    ~~ Disney may be reigning in ESpin’s spending
    ~~ NBC is doing something, but I am not sure what it is

    Like

    • Brian says:

      NBC needs programming for NBCSN while ESPN doesn’t have trouble filling its schedule, so ESPN is becoming more selective and price sensitive while NBC (and FOX) are throwing money at the development of their new sports channels.

      Like

      • David Brown says:

        The Bubble is not bursting, “Content Is King.” What is happening is there a lot of Channels to program for, and there are very few properties available for the Networks to bid on, so naturally they become quite expensive (contrary to popular opinion, The Laws of Supply & Demand are still operating). What is not realized, is it is not just about sports either: For Example: Universal signed a 10 year Contract with HBO, and 20th Century Fox signed thru 2022. As long as there is a company who wants to enter the market, and will pay for content, prices can only go up. Call it NBC, Netflix, Time-Warner Sports (the Dodgers), anyone. The only two National Sports Contracts left are The NBA & B10 TV Contract, and they will be huge (as will the payouts for teams like the Cubs & Phillies with their New Regional Contracts).

        Like

  51. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/9503323/big-10-schools-split-penn-state-nittany-lions-bowl-revenue

    This is how PSU’s split of the B10’s bowl money will be spent. PSU’s share this year is about $2.3M, which shows what lies the anti-bowl people spread when they talk about every school losing money. That money will be split 12 ways (about $188k each), for each school to spend on causes focused on child protection or advocacy.

    Like

    • Eric says:

      I always figured the “loosing money on bowls” was generally because the numbers were looked at badly, at least with any of the big ones.

      Let’s say a bowl pays the conference $2 million for appearing. The conference gives the school half a million for expensives and then puts the rest in the conference pot for dividing among the whole conference. What happens if the schools happens to pay $1 million in expenses? Did the bowl not pay the enough for the team?

      The answers to those questions depend on how you look at it. Sure the school itself made less because it was in the bowl than it would have if someone else was in it. However, that’s not because the bowl wasn’t paying for expenses. It paid for that amount and more, but the conference set-up took more than that. The school will be receiving a portion of that (and a portion from all the other bowl games) too though so it’s still probably making decent money on post-season play. Maybe the conference isn’t giving a big enough share to the school or maybe the school isn’t running these well, but this isn’t a matter of the bowls taking more money than they give overall.

      The biggest example that comes to be was UConn in the Fiesta Bowl and I know they said they lost money there. When the conference gets something like $17 million for the BCS appearance though, I seriously doubt UConn’s expenses ended up anywhere close to that even with a lot of unsold tickets. Now I don’t doubt they ended up with less money because of the appearance, but they were still getting a portion back from the conference beyond travel expenses (as every school was) and in most years, the get that share even for not going to the game.

      Like

      • Mack says:

        Bowl losses are typically caused by not being able to sell the ticket allocation placed with the school and the conference not picking up the shortfall. FSU appearance in the Orange Bowl against N. Illinois last year resulted in FSU netting the least from the bowl split of all the ACC schools. Financially FSU would have been better off if they had stayed home.

        Like

    • cutter says:

      The Big Ten’s policy on how it pools bowl revenues and then allocates the money to individual schools in the form of a budget based on their bowl appearance is pretty well known. Michigan’s annual athletic department fiscal year budgets reports on their share every year and it’s been documented in the press a number of times.

      I worked as a volunteer at the Fiesta/Insight Bowls in Phoenix when I lived there during the last decade. Former bowl executive John Junker called the teams “commodities” and outlined his basic responsibilities as primarily to the local metropolitan area and its economy over the teams and fans themselves.

      Of course, Junker also wasn’t shy about lining his own pockets and that’s why he not longer has that job. So do schools make money on bowls after the conferences distribute the funds? Yes. But the larger message that the anti bowl people have to do with the expenses incurred in terms of salaries, required stays at the bowl site (both location and time), ticket sale allotments. Beyond that, there’s the role these bowl committees have as non-profit organizations and how much money they really do give to charity.

      It’ll be interesting to see how the relationship between the schools and the bowls evolve over time. The bowl committees have had to deal with a lot of negative publicity (much of their own making) and the schools/conferences are beginning to realize they have leverage in the relationship as well. There’s absolutely nothing preventing these conferences from organizing their own bowls or as we’re seeing in the state of Michigan, having another entity (the Detroit Lions, in this case) enter the bowl business.

      Like

  52. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/9500191/mark-emmert-penn-state-ncaa

    A Q&A with Mark Emmert about PSU and the NCAA in general.

    Q: Could you talk about the Penn State decision? Why you made it? What the thought process was?

    A: First of all, it wasn’t my decision. That is one of the big points of confusion. This was a decision of the [NCAA] executive committee and the board of directors. I certainly participated in it, but as president of the association the president doesn’t have the authority to make a decision like that.

    Q: Did you make a recommendation? What was your role?

    A: Well, we talked about all the available options. So sitting with my senior management team and looking at other circumstances that might have been relevant, recognizing there had been nothing like this, of course. And then discussing what the options were and putting them in front of the executive committee and talking those through. So it was a conversation.

    Q: As you know, some people are upset, saying what transpired here with Penn State has never been done before. Or that it wasn’t following due process. Do you understand and what is your response?

    A: Of course, I understand. There’s nothing about this case that anyone should be happy about. This was an awful circumstance. It had an extraordinarily bad impact on a lot of people’s lives. No one at Penn State was happy about it, obviously. I can’t imagine anybody feeling good about this … And so the collective decision of the board, of the executive committee and of the university was to not go through another 18 months or however long it would take, two years, of inquiry when all the data were laying there and people were agreeing to what the facts were. So the move to go to a consent decree was something that all parties agreed to and recognized that that wouldn’t make everyone happy. That wasn’t anyone’s expectation.

    Q: As you look back a year later, would you have handled this in any way differently?

    A: No, I think the way it was addressed by the board, the way it was discussed and explored by the university — I think was the best that could be done under very, very difficult and trying circumstances. Again, this is a case that leaves no one feeling good here.

    Like

  53. Transic says:

    The Big Ten adds the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, as well as renewing with the Heart of Dallas Bowl.

    http://www.bigten.org/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/072313aaa.html

    Like

    • Richard says:

      Wow. CUSA landing the Dallas bowl is a pretty big get for them (beating out the AAC). They may well send their champion there. The AAC may be rotating with the B10. Then the FtW bowl will feature the MWC?

      So the lineup is now:
      1. Rose
      2. Orange/CapOne
      3. Outback
      4. Holiday
      5-7:
      Gator/MusicCity
      Pinstripe
      SF
      8-9:
      Detroit
      Dallas/FtWorth

      CapOne upgraded to Orange/CapOne.
      AZ bowl replaced by Holiday.
      Gator (slight) downgrade to Gator/MusicCity.
      Houston upgraded(?) to Pinstripe & SF (one added).
      Detroit upgraded.
      Dallas becomes Dallas/FtWorth.

      Like

  54. Brian says:

    “In this episode of Research Matters our panel discusses the University of Maryland joining the Big Ten and how the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) will provide lots of benefits to our faculty and students.”

    It’s almost 24 minutes long, but it’s a panel discussion explaining the value of the CIC.

    Like

  55. Andy says:

    I don’t know if this has been talked about here, ranking fan engagement:

    http://www.ticketcity.com/helpful-links/news-articles/college-footballs-most-engaged-fans.html

    Average total attendance, all games (5)
    Average home attendance (10)
    Average ticket price, all games (5)
    Average home game ticket price (10)
    Percentage of stadium capacity filled at home games (10)
    Facebook likes & Facebook “talking about” (6)
    Twitter following (3)

    1. Michigan
    2. LSU
    3. Alabama
    4. Ohio State
    5. Texas A&M
    6. Nebraska
    7. Oklahoma
    8. Texas
    9. Georgia
    10. Florida
    11. Penn State
    12. South Carolina
    13. Iowa
    14. USC
    15. Oregon
    16. Michigan State
    17. Tennessee
    18. Wisconsin
    19. Auburn
    20. Clemson
    21. West Virginia
    22. Florida State
    23. Missouri
    24. Arkansas
    25. Virginia Tech

    Like

    • Richard says:

      Pretty ridiculous. B10 and SEC split the top 6 between them, 5 & 6 respectively of the top 13, and 7 & 8 respectively of the top 19. Only 4 non-B10/SEC schools in the top 19.

      Like

      • vp19 says:

        Only three ACC members, none higher than 20, compared to seven in the top 18 from the Big Ten. Yes, Maryland will undergo a mighty sea change.

        Like

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      Post-realignment by conference.

      SEC 10 of 14
      B1G 7 of 14
      B12 3 of 10
      ACC 3 of 14 or 15
      P12 2 of 12

      Like

      • vp19 says:

        I note Notre Dame didn’t crack the top 25. Unless its Facebook and Twitter rankings are far lower than suspected, that doesn’t make sense — or all those Catholic ethnics who follow ND religiously (pun intended) don’t use social media.

        Like

  56. Transic says:

    The University at Buffalo making a serious attempt to “brand” themselves as “New York”

    http://www.ubbullrun.com/2013/7/23/4548982/buffalo-bulls-continue-to-push-a-new-york-state-of-mind

    Like

  57. Transic says:

    Penn State to the ACC could have happened, said former ACC commissioner.

    http://www.pennlive.com/sports/index.ssf/2013/07/penn_state_in_acc_not_big_ten.html

    Like

  58. bullet says:

    Saw this on another board. Not that I agree with it, but it is an interesting point of view. Talks about on-line learnings impact. Also has a side bar on the TV bubble issue.
    http://www.cornnation.com/2013/7/18/4532264/why-college-football-will-be-dead-within-20-years

    Like

    • Richard says:

      Have to say that it’s a poorly done analysis.

      MOOC do threaten traditional universities, but also provide opportunity as well.

      Specifically, they threaten no-name 4-year colleges a lot while those universities with good academic brands will benefit (seriously, if the University of Michigan, Governors State and some for-profit no-name offers the same classes and degree at the same cost, which one would you choose?) Most of the Big5 schools would be considered elite, academically. Also, while athletic departments who consistently lose money would be forced to cut out their money-losing glory-hunting enterprises, UNL (as one example) would actually lose money overall if they cut Huskers football.

      Like

  59. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Kentucky just signed contracts for $110 million renovation of Commonwealth Stadium.

    http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20130723/SPORTS03/307230124/1029/rsslink?nclick_check=1

    Like

  60. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/college-sports/story/_/id/9506460/big-ten-commisioner-jim-delany-pitches-ncaa-reform-plan

    Jim Delany gave his 4-point plan for reforming the NCAA. He didn’t mention the split, but it may be implied by his points.

    1. Any athlete can come back whenever to finish their degree for free.
    2. Adjusting the 20-hour rule.
    3. At-risk student-athletes would get a year without playing to adjust to college and maintain their 4 years of eligibility.
    4. Full cost of attendance.

    Like

    • I think these sound great.
      #1 could be a way to appease the O’Bannon suit.
      #3 umm…isn’t this called redshirting? I do see it as a way for strong academic schools to be a possibility for weak students and a way to get the SEC football factories to stop ignoring academics and abusing ineligible players.

      Like

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        #3 umm…isn’t this called redshirting?

        Since Delany knows about the concept of redshirting, what he must mean is that you’d get six years to play four, rather than five years to play four.

        Like

  61. Transic says:

    Rutgers and IMG College agree on an 11-year deal on multimedia rights and sponsorship.

    http://snyrutgers.com/rutgers/football/rutgers-athletics-partners-with-img-college/#more-9360

    Also, the article is a month old but a poll was done with sports executives about the possibility of a breakaway from the NCAA. A plurality of 40% said that a breakaway will happen within the next 5 years.

    http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Daily/Issues/2013/06/25/Research-and-Ratings/Turnkey.aspx

    Like

  62. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    In looking around at stadium capacities for the discussion about raising requirements for the possible D-4, I thought it was interesting to look at the stadiums over the recent conference movers.

    Texas A&M: 83K (expansion plans to increase capacity to over 100K)
    Nebraska: 81K
    Notre Dame 81K (Ind/B-East to Ind/ACC)
    Mizzou: 71K (expansion plans to increase capacity to 80K, I believe)
    Pitt: 65K (NFL stadium)
    West Virginia: 60K
    Louisville: 56K
    Colorado: 54K
    Maryland: 54K
    Rutgers: 52K
    Syracuse: 49K
    TCU: 45K
    Utah: 45K

    Given that TCU is the only private to move up, they have a 45K seat stadium, and in the last 20 years the Frogs have been a member of the SWC, WAC, CUSA, MWC, Big East (almost), and now the Big XII, they have to be the hands-down winner of the expansion/realignment sweepstakes.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      SWC RIP

      WAC split while TCU was there and recently died as a fb conference

      CUSA lost half its members while TCU was there. It recently lost half of the new members and is now mostly WAC/Sun Belt and FCS refugees. Only So. Miss and UAB are still there that were in the conference when TCU joined.

      MWC lost BYU, Utah, TCU and for a brief interval, Boise and SDSU.

      Big East died as a football conference. Only UConn, Cincinnati and USF remain of the schools who invited them in the AAC.

      TIAA RIP-that was TCU’s conference before SWC.

      I find TCU’s history a better indication of Big 12 vulnerability than any of the nonsense on the internet. Killer frogs are deadly to conferences!

      Like

      • Transic says:

        One internet rumor I read that I found intriguing was that Texas would offer itself, along with TT, OU, Okie State, Baylor and TCU to the PAC in a 6-school package. The thinking is that Texahoma-6 could be its own pod and they only have to travel west two times a season. Of course, the issue would be whether the PAC can agree to BU/TCU as part of the deal.

        This assumes that Kansas and West Virginia, then, would be free to pursue their own conference change if the above happens.

        I’m sure I’d hear why this can’t happen but, since you brought up the “TCU Theory”, I decided to post it. Crazier rumors have been posted elsewhere. This one does not seem that crazy considering that we’re still talking about a state with a high-growing population and football-mad to boot.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          So they’d form the P18 with 4 from TX and 2 from OK, and then make 3 pods of 6?

          Something like this?

          A – UW, WSU, OR, OrSU, SU, Cal
          B – USC, UCLA, AZ, ASU, CO, Utah
          C – UT, TT, BU, TCU, OU, OkSU

          They’d have to split the B pod for divisions, maybe like this:
          B1 – USC, ASU, Utah
          B2 – UCLA, AZ, CO

          Obviously these three games would have to be locked (USC/UCLA, AZ/ASU, CO/Utah).

          9 games:
          A & C – 5 x 100% (in pod), 6 x 50% (in division), 6 x 17% (crossover)
          B – 1 x 100% (locked rival), 2 x 100% (in pod), 12 x 50% (in division), 2 x 0% (reason for rotating the teams in B1 and B2 so they all play 50% of the time)

          In order for the B teams to all play each other, those teams would have to mix and match into halves (swap ASU for AZ and Utah for CO).

          That way everyone plays in LA regularly and the north and east teams don’t have to travel much, but It also requires the CA schools to drop their demands to all play each other annually.

          As for the B12, that would leave ISU, KU, KSU and WV. I guess they would all join the AAC unless the ACC wanted WV or the B10 wanted KU and could get them.

          Like

          • Transic says:

            I’d like to know if your idea for splitting the B pod could work with putting the PNW schools with UU/CU. Then locking the Oregon and Washington in-school rivalries and UU/CU. I’m trying to see if, that way, the PNW schools can then play SoCal schools with more frequency than keeping the current PAC divisions as pods.

            Like

          • jbcwv says:

            The conventional wisdom (which may not be worth much), is that it would take 8 votes to dissolve the B12 and its GOR. So presumably two more of those four would have to have a sure landing spot for this to happen. However, in the event that ISU, KU, KSU and WV were abandoned by the OK/TX schools, and found no takers, I’m guessing you’d see them pick off a few select schools from the AAC or elsewhere rather than join the AAC. After all the AAC’s GOR (does that even exist?) can’t be that expensive to break since they make so little TV money. I think the most likely line up would be:

            ISU
            KU
            KSU
            WVU
            Cincy
            UConn
            USF
            UCF
            Houston
            Temple

            While a significant downgrade from the B12, this is a considerably better football and basketball conference than the AAC and would probably make something in the neighborhood of what the old Big East turned down before all the defections.

            The AAC would be left with

            Tulane
            ECU
            Memphis
            SMU
            Navy
            Tulsa

            and could backfill appropriately, re-destabilizing every other conference below. Perhaps this would be the harbinger of a C-USA rescue at long last for southern miss.

            Like

          • Robber Baron says:

            Don’t forget that the Pac has thus far accommodated the Cal/Stanford/USC/UCLA yearly round robin. I don’t see that surviving a jump to a Pac-18 unless those four can find their way into the same pod/division. Otherwise I would hope those four reject the Texas offer.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            “That way everyone plays in LA regularly and the north and east teams don’t have to travel much, but It also requires the CA schools to drop their demands to all play each other annually.”

            The current members couldn’t persuade them. Could two desirable, two tolerable (maybe), and two unacceptable impose as a requirement of joining what co-members for near a century couldn’t?

            Baylor and TCU? An absolute no go, along with the champion conference killer? UNC and UVA to the PAC is more likely (which is to say it’s above 0%).

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Transic,

            “I’d like to know if your idea for splitting the B pod could work with putting the PNW schools with UU/CU. Then locking the Oregon and Washington in-school rivalries and UU/CU. I’m trying to see if, that way, the PNW schools can then play SoCal schools with more frequency than keeping the current PAC divisions as pods.”

            There’s nothing magical about those pods. I just took pure geography to minimize travel and split LA equally.

            A – SU, Cal, USC, UCLA, AZ, ASU
            B – UW, WSU, OR, OrSU, CO, Utah
            C – UT, TT, BU, TCU, OU, OkSU

            B1 – UW, OrSU, Utah
            B2 – WSU, OR, CO

            The PNW schools still play the LA schools 50% of the time. This way, it’s every other year. Either way, they play in LA every other year. I think this version is worse for them because they also play the NoCal schools less often.

            The problem is that everyone wants to play the LA schools – the PNW 4, the NoCal 2, the AZ 2, CO and Utah. All of them will complain if they aren’t in a division with the LA schools.

            Personally, I think they’d split into divisions rather than pods:
            Pacific – UW, WSU, OR, OrSU, SU, Cal, USC, UCLA, CO
            Southwest – UT, TT, BU, TCU, OU, OkSU, Utah, AZ, ASU

            AZ and ASU would throw a fit with Utah not far behind. I split them this way to keep parity between ASU and AZ and eliminate locked games. I’d prefer to swap Utah and CO but I think the Pac-8 schools would prefer the more liberal CO than largely Mormon Utah. Besides, CO really wanted to get back into CA as part of their move to the B12 while Utah is just happy to be in a major conference.

            These divisions would allow for an 8/1 schedule with limited travel and no locked games.

            9 – 8 x 100% (in division) + 9 x 11% (crossover)

            I could see them making groups for the crossover games, at least for a while. Salve AZ and ASU’s feelings by giving them games against the CA schools for the first 8 years, for example.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            jbcwv,

            “The conventional wisdom (which may not be worth much), is that it would take 8 votes to dissolve the B12 and its GOR. So presumably two more of those four would have to have a sure landing spot for this to happen.”

            And that makes all this really unlikely.

            Option 1:

            The B10 might take KU, although that leaves them looking for #16 with the ACC off the table. Unless MO jumped ship to the B10 (they wouldn’t), there’s no #16 out there for the B10. WV would replace MO in the SEC in that wildly unlikely scenario.

            Option 2:

            The SEC decides KU is worthwhile to them for the SECN and another AAU school. The SEC could look at WV as #16 in that case. KSU would be useless and so would ISU. This scenario is also unlikely since the SEC turned down WV already.

            Option 3:

            The ACC takes KU for hoops and WV to appease the football schools. Also unlikely due to travel.

            Would KU and WV vote to break up the B12 based on any of those scenarios? I doubt it.

            “However, in the event that ISU, KU, KSU and WV were abandoned by the OK/TX schools, and found no takers, I’m guessing you’d see them pick off a few select schools from the AAC or elsewhere rather than join the AAC. After all the AAC’s GOR (does that even exist?) can’t be that expensive to break since they make so little TV money. I think the most likely line up would be:

            ISU
            KU
            KSU
            WVU
            Cincy
            UConn
            USF
            UCF
            Houston
            Temple”

            I don’t see how those 4 have the power to break up any conference. Maybe they join another and then agitate for a breakup like the Wac16 becoming the MWC and WAC. Outside of wrestling, ISU isn’t an improvement over any current school. KSU doesn’t add much either.

            “While a significant downgrade from the B12, this is a considerably better football and basketball conference than the AAC and would probably make something in the neighborhood of what the old Big East turned down before all the defections.”

            It’s a lot more travel and not a lot of new markets. It’s 2 terrible FB teams and 1 dependent on an about-to-retire coach. It’s 1 hoops king and 2 solid programs. I don’t see the huge gain here.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Robber Baron,

            “Don’t forget that the Pac has thus far accommodated the Cal/Stanford/USC/UCLA yearly round robin. I don’t see that surviving a jump to a Pac-18 unless those four can find their way into the same pod/division. Otherwise I would hope those four reject the Texas offer.”

            It’s the biggest problem from the P12’s side of this rumor. If they do divisions, the 4 can be together. With pods, it’s unlikely the 4 would stay together.

            For them, it would be a question of money versus rivalries. Getting the P12N into TX would be highly valuable. The other question is whether 4 teams are enough to block it from happening. 8-4 would be a 2/3 vote. I don’t know the P12’s rule on this.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            ccrider55,

            “The current members couldn’t persuade them. Could two desirable, two tolerable (maybe), and two unacceptable impose as a requirement of joining what co-members for near a century couldn’t?”

            I doubt it. Not all of the P12 was behind the CA schools getting special treatment last time. If Larry Scott told them they’d gain another $10M per year by saying yes, some of the schools might listen. Besides, as I showed elsewhere they could do divisions and keep the 4 CA schools together.

            “Baylor and TCU? An absolute no go, along with the champion conference killer?”

            Nothing is a no go if it pays enough. People like to be adamant about who the P12 will or won’t accept but we don’t really know. Times change and presidents get replaced.

            I never said any of this was likely, I was just trying to understand the rumor Transic heard.

            Like

          • frug says:

            @Brian

            The PAC requires 9 votes to add new members.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Brian

            “Not all of the P12 was behind the CA schools getting special treatment last time.”

            Pretty much the PAC outside CA was against it. It was a requirement of the CA schools, a pseudo UT “request” that had to be honored.

            “Nothing is a no go if it pays enough.”

            The amount UT and OU would have brought in the 2010 package (considerably more than an estimated 10M+/school boost over current contracts, plus P12N increased value) wasn’t near enough for the PAC to consider Baylor as an aTm replacement.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            ccrider55,

            “Pretty much the PAC outside CA was against it. It was a requirement of the CA schools, a pseudo UT “request” that had to be honored.”

            CO and Utah were already in. The other schools caved because they all got a piece of CA annually and 9 games allowed for it to happen. If 6 more schools join, a 14-4 vote to eliminate the locked games might ensue. The CA schools don’t rule the P12.

            “The amount UT and OU would have brought in the 2010 package (considerably more than an estimated 10M+/school boost over current contracts, plus P12N increased value) wasn’t near enough for the PAC to consider Baylor as an aTm replacement.”

            1. They considered it, they just didn’t say yes.
            2. I wouldn’t take BU over TAMU either. That wouldn’t be an issue this time.
            3. They may have a better idea of what adding TX would be worth now that the P12N is up and running.
            4. UT would have to be willing to kill the LHN (or fold it in as a regional network), which I don’t think they are.
            5. The CFP exists now. That’s another huge source of money, including the P18 taking over a spot in the Sugar (worth $4-5M per school per year).

            I never said this rumor had legs. I’m just probing it to see the details. There are lots of major impediments (pods/divisions, P12 accepting BU, UT dropping the LHN, etc).

            Like

          • Transic says:

            FWIW, I’ve made a map of what it would look like if it happened. You’d notice how compact one area is relatively compared to the rest, since western cities are mostly spread out from each other.

            https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msa=0&msid=209348159344988559105.0004e22b2c311ffb82562

            Like

          • Richard says:

            I don’t know the Pac rules, but I’m pretty confident that 2/3rds isn’t enough (and that assumes that the other 8 really want give p CA for TX; 7 of the 8–I don’t know about Utah–send far more grads to CA and draw many more students from CA than to or from TX).

            If all the CA, OR, and WA schools can stay in one division, though, they & the 1 mountain school staying with them may be able to vote to take in the B12 rump (with 75% of the vote).

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Brian:

            “1. They considered it, they just didn’t say yes.
            2. I wouldn’t take BU over TAMU either. That wouldn’t be an issue this time.
            3. They may have a better idea of what adding TX would be worth now that the P12N is up and running.
            4. UT would have to be willing to kill the LHN (or fold it in as a regional network), which I don’t think they are.
            5. The CFP exists now. That’s another huge source of money, including the P18 taking over a spot in the Sugar (worth $4-5M per school per year).”

            1: ok, they considered and didn’t say no. They said Hell no.
            2: it wasn’t BU over aTm, it was as a substitute. BU still is BU.
            3: true, but estimates in 2010 had just the primary contract potentially at 450-500M/yr. (28-32M/school avg aprox). Looks like about 10M/school bump wasn’t enough.
            4: totally agree
            5: I hadn’t considered that. Would the champions bowl half ownership transfer to the PAC? How would the SEC feel about that?

            I understand this is parsing a fictional scenario, but the PAC supposedly already passed on OU/OkSU. That seems like a far more likely add than anything including Baylor. But as you said, things change…

            Like

          • boscatar says:

            The Northwest Schools need to play in California on an annual basis for them to accept any future expansion. So, Stanford and Cal would need to be grouped with the Oregon and Washington schools.

            Also, as mentioned, along with rivals/travel partners, Stanford-USC and UCLA-Cal would have to be protected.

            I’m not sure you can get there unless its the PAC 20, where Utah and Colorado basically join with the Big 8 (sorry Baylor and WVU) and only play the original PAC 10 schools a couple games each year.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            ccrider55,

            3. They may have a better idea of what adding TX would be worth now that the P12N is up and running.

            5. The CFP exists now. That’s another huge source of money, including the P18 taking over a spot in the Sugar (worth $4-5M per school per year).

            “3: true, but estimates in 2010 had just the primary contract potentially at 450-500M/yr. (28-32M/school avg aprox). Looks like about 10M/school bump wasn’t enough.”

            But what if now they found out it might be $40M+? I’m not saying that’s likely, but it would need to be a scenario like that for this to happen.

            “5: I hadn’t considered that. Would the champions bowl half ownership transfer to the PAC? How would the SEC feel about that?”

            Who else would fill it? All the top B12 teams would now be in the P18. That would put the P18 with 2 spots, ahead of the B10 and SEC with 1.5.

            Wasn’t the whole point for the SEC to get to play UT and OU, essentially? That wouldn’t change, they just might also play USC and OR.

            “I understand this is parsing a fictional scenario,”

            Very much so, and I’m trying to see if there are any conditions under which this might make sense.

            “but the PAC supposedly already passed on OU/OkSU. That seems like a far more likely add than anything including Baylor. But as you said, things change…”

            Oh, I agree this is in the Dumb and Dumber realm of having a chance.

            Like

          • frug says:

            Who else would fill it? All the top B12 teams would now be in the P18. That would put the P18 with 2 spots, ahead of the B10 and SEC with 1.5.

            Wasn’t the whole point for the SEC to get to play UT and OU, essentially? That wouldn’t change, they just might also play USC and OR.

            Unless the PAC is willing to move the Rose Bowl to their second selection I can’t imagine the SEC ever agreeing to let their championship tie in be against another conference’s #2. More likely they would (begrudgingly) accept the ACC champ as the other tie in.

            Like

          • frug says:

            Alternately, they might just let the second spot return to being an at large selection.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            frug,

            “Unless the PAC is willing to move the Rose Bowl to their second selection”

            Never in a million years, and I know you know that, too.

            “I can’t imagine the SEC ever agreeing to let their championship tie in be against another conference’s #2. More likely they would (begrudgingly) accept the ACC champ as the other tie in.”

            Why would the ACC drop the Orange Bowl spot to play the SEC in New Orleans? Why not demand the SEC come to them? At least Miami could be viewed as potentially neutral territory.

            “Alternately, they might just let the second spot return to being an at large selection.”

            They could, but in reality it’d probably get a deal like the Orange has to take the best available from the P18, ACC or ND anyway. Given that, why not lock in the P18 with UT and OU so near by? Fans from the SEC and P12 have wanted to play more in bowls anyway, so getting USC or OR wouldn’t be bad either.

            Like

          • frug says:

            Why would the ACC drop the Orange Bowl spot to play the SEC in New Orleans? Why not demand the SEC come to them? At least Miami could be viewed as potentially neutral territory.

            Same reason the Big XII agreed to drop their spot in the Fiesta Bowl; the Sugar Bowl pays better and the SEC has more leverage.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            frug,

            “Same reason the Big XII agreed to drop their spot in the Fiesta Bowl; the Sugar Bowl pays better and the SEC has more leverage.”

            The B12 didn’t have a choice once they agreed to the Champs Bowl. The Fiesta wasn’t one of the contract bowls. Only the Rose, Champs (Sugar or Cotton) and Orange were. The SEC had the leverage to get the Sugar to trump the Cotton for the Champs bowl.

            The Orange and Sugar would basically pay the same for ACC/SEC. The Sugar pays more now because it’s B12/SEC and not ACC/(ND/SEC #2/B10 #2).

            With the B12 gone, I’d fully expect the SEC and ACC to team up for a bowl to counterbalance the Rose. The argument would be the site – Miami, Atlanta or New Orleans. There’s little chance the ACC says yes to New Orleans when they can get theoretically neutral territory at the other 2 sites. I’d look for Miami to be the choice because it’s a good city to visit and nobody gets a huge advantage, plus the SEC CG is already in Atlanta. Then the SEC would try to get a secondary tie-in with the Sugar, perhaps against the best of the other big 3/ND.

            Like

          • frug says:

            Only the Rose, Champs (Sugar or Cotton) and Orange were. The SEC had the leverage to get the Sugar to trump the Cotton for the Champs bowl.

            I don’t see why you think the SEC would have the leverage to get the Big XII to agree to pass on the Cotton Bowl but they wouldn’t be able to get the ACC to drop the Orange Bowl.

            The Orange and Sugar would basically pay the same for ACC/SEC. The Sugar pays more now because it’s B12/SEC and not ACC/(ND/SEC #2/B10 #2).

            The Orange Bowl has lost a lot of luster and profitability thanks to years of terrible matchups. Plus the city of New Orleans supports college football much better than Miami (the city actually stepped in to help sell the Sugar Bowl when it was competing with the Cotton for the Champs bowl).

            There’s little chance the ACC says yes to New Orleans when they can get theoretically neutral territory at the other 2 sites.

            I don’t understand why you would say this when the SEC has already proven they could get a power conference to give them permanent home field advantage. Plus, with the ACC desperate for cash and the fact that the ACC’s champ is a significantly less valuable property on the open market than the Big XII #1 the SEC would have even more leverage over the ACC than they did over the Big XII.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            frug,

            “I don’t see why you think the SEC would have the leverage to get the Big XII to agree to pass on the Cotton Bowl but they wouldn’t be able to get the ACC to drop the Orange Bowl.”

            Because the SEC had the option of switching to play the ACC champ instead if an agreement couldn’t be reached with the B12. In this case, the SEC either takes a pay cut or has to reach a deal with the ACC. That gives the ACC more leverage than the B12 had. Besides, I think both sides agreed New Orleans is a better host city. On top of that, Jerry wanted the NCG more than he did the Champs game.

            “The Orange Bowl has lost a lot of luster and profitability thanks to years of terrible matchups.”

            Which is irrelevant the minute the SEC champ is playing in it annually.

            “I don’t understand why you would say this when the SEC has already proven they could get a power conference to give them permanent home field advantage.”

            Because I don’t believe the two situations are the same. Nor do I think the SEC is an all-powerful organization that can run roughshod over everyone else whenever they want.

            “Plus, with the ACC desperate for cash and the fact that the ACC’s champ is a significantly less valuable property on the open market than the Big XII #1 the SEC would have even more leverage over the ACC than they did over the Big XII.”

            No, they wouldn’t. The SEC is the one with the most to lose in this case.

            Like

          • frug says:

            Because the SEC had the option of switching to play the ACC champ instead if an agreement couldn’t be reached with the B12. In this case, the SEC either takes a pay cut or has to reach a deal with the ACC.

            Alternately, the SEC could just threaten to steal the ACC’s Orange Bowl tie ins. SEC vs. Best Available Big 10/PAC-18/ND would both pay better and be more prestigious ACC vs. Any of those.

            (Also, the SEC would probably be in line for a paycut either way. ACC #1 is simply a less valuable tie in than Big XII #1.)

            “The Orange Bowl has lost a lot of luster and profitability thanks to years of terrible matchups.”

            Which is irrelevant the minute the SEC champ is playing in it annually.

            You are assuming that the Orange Bowl could still come up with the cash to outbid the Sugar Bowl. Plus, the city of New Orleans said it was prepared to step in and financially assist the Sugar Bowl if necessary to beat Jerry. It is a longshot that the the city of Miami would help the Orange Bowl given that A. it isn’t a college sports town and B. the city is smarting from the Marlins stadium debacle.

            On top of that, Jerry wanted the NCG more than he did the Champs game.

            And he couldn’t compete for both because?

            Like

          • Brian says:

            frug,

            “Alternately, the SEC could just threaten to steal the ACC’s Orange Bowl tie ins. SEC vs. Best Available Big 10/PAC-18/ND would both pay better and be more prestigious ACC vs. Any of those.”

            The Orange would rather have a champ than two runners-up, and the SEC isn’t moving their champ out of the Sugar to the Orange.

            “(Also, the SEC would probably be in line for a paycut either way. ACC #1 is simply a less valuable tie in than Big XII #1.)”

            I doubt it’d change much, frankly. ACC #1 vs a runner-up or ND pays about 80% as much as SEC #1 vs B12 #1. I think SEC #1 vs ACC #1 would yield a very similar payout, especially since B12 #1 would no longer exist.

            “And he couldn’t compete for both because?”

            Ask him. He’s the one that didn’t outbid the Sugar.

            Like

        • BuckeyeBeau says:

          well, i’ve expressed my views on rotating divisions (commonly known as “pods”). But, … what the hey!! Here is another thought:

          how about 4 uneven rotating divisions? Split the old Pac-8 north and south; split the remaining 10. If I recall correctly, Baylor is the furthest west, so the SW Division is TX, TxTech, the two Oklahomas and TCU. The the mountain division is Baylor, CO, UT, AZ and AZstate.

          You basically get this with Brian’s two-divisions, but rotating divisions allow teams to see each other more often (as we have oft discussed in reference to the B1G).

          Of course, the original premise is that the TX schools don’t really want to visit Washington and Oregon all that much. So, under that premise (and the premise that the original PAC-8 only care about playing themselves), then go with Brian’s two divisions.

          By the way, does the NCAA required EQUAL divisions? If not, how about the PAC-8 and the Other-10?

          Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Yes, equal divisions unless conference contains an odd number. But that screws up scheduling.

            Like

          • boscatar says:

            Makes sense, except Texas Tech (Lubbock, is much closer to Arizona, Colorado, and Utah than Baylor (Waco – which is between Dallas and Austin).

            Like

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          One internet rumor I read that I found intriguing was that Texas would offer itself, along with TT, OU, Okie State, Baylor and TCU to the PAC in a 6-school package.

          That sounds like a “Dude of WV” type of rumor; not that it came from him, but from someone like him. It seems to me, that if those six schools approach the PAC, the PAC is going to say to themselves, “They seem to be desperate; therefore, we have the upper hand.”

          Bearing that in mind, the PAC would probably say they’ll take the four schools they were willing to take previously (assuming UT relents on LHN), and not all six. The PAC doesn’t want religious schools, and as religious schools go, those two aren’t even the most valuable ones on the board, as long as BYU is out there.

          Like

    • frug says:

      Given that TCU is the only private to move up, they have a 45K seat stadium, and in the last 20 years the Frogs have been a member of the SWC, WAC, CUSA, MWC, Big East (almost), and now the Big XII, they have to be the hands-down winner of the expansion/realignment sweepstakes.

      I’d put TCU as a close second to Utah on account of the fact that

      A. The PAC is a better conference for a have-not thanks to equal revenue sharing for all their TV Tiers and long term stability. (The PAC isn’t going to go away ever, the Big XII still could)

      B. Utah got to move up a year earlier

      C. Utah didn’t have to pay a $5 million exit fee to a conference it never actually played in

      That said, it is very, very close

      Like

    • Andy says:

      Mizzou is spending well over $100M to expand to 77k and then to 83k over the next 3-4 years.

      Like

    • danimation707 says:

      Alan FYI UNL’s football stadium expansion is complete adding another 6k seats. The capacity before the expansion shows 81k however attendance numbers are always in excess of 86k. Total attendance per game this season is expected to be in the 91k-92k range.

      Like

  63. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Smallest stadiums of the Power 5 conferences.

    Wake Forest 32K
    Wash State 32K
    Duke 34K
    Vandy 40K
    Utah 45K
    TCU 45K
    BC 45K
    Oregon State 46K
    Northwestern 47K
    Syracuse 49K
    Baylor 50K
    Stanford 50K
    K-State 50K
    Kansas 50K
    Minnesota 51K
    Rutgers 52K
    Arizona 52K
    Indiana 53K
    Maryland 54K
    Colorado 54K
    Oregon 54K

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Smallest attendance average over last 4 years P5:
      Duke 26,907
      Washington St. 27,799
      Wake Forest 30,786
      Northwestern 32,445
      Vanderbilt 34,754
      Boston College 36,704
      Baylor 39,728

      Everyone else is over 40k. Only BYU, ECU and USF are over 40 among the rest. UConn at 36,954 is the only other one ahead of BC.

      Like

    • duffman says:

      @ Alan

      Any truth to LSU’s seating numbers?

      I have read it will be around 100K which would make it #3 in the SEC but rumor is floating that LSU is low balling the number prior to completion. Some folks said it will actually be 103,500 just to be #1 in the SEC and passing Tennessee and Alabama. Any truth to this rumor?

      Like

      • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

        duff – I haven’t heard that. The last official word was 99,500, but then I’d expect it to be slightly over 100k. All the suites and club seats are already sold, which will add about 6,000 seats. The plan also calls for moving many of the visitors seats currently located in the lower bowl to the new south upper upper deck and sell the existing seats to Tiger fans. LSU currently provides more good seats to visitors than any other SEC school. After this expansion, LSU will provide the minimum lower bowl seats required by SEC, and spread the visitors out – just like Alabama and everybody else.

        I doubt that LSU has any interest in having the biggest stadium in the SEC. This expansion, like the last two, is all about premium seats. Getting more Tiger fans in the lower bowl is a bonus.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          That’s what UK is doing in your earlier link. They are taking out several thousand “cheap” seats (and charging a premium for a roof, seatback and the same spot at the top of the stadium).

          Like

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            bullet – that’s not what LSU is doing. LSU is adding another structure to the south end zone that will include 6000 suite and club seats. On top of the premium seats, additional bleacher seats will be added. The majority of those bleacher seats will be reserved for visitors. Those visitor seats were previously located in south end zone in the lower bowl. Those good seats previously used by visitors will be sold as season tickets to Tiger fans.

            Like

    • boscatar says:

      Interesting note – BYU, at 64K stadium capacity would be #3 in the Big 12, #5 in the PAC 12, and #6 in the ACC.

      With 60K+ average attendance, BYU would be #3 in Big 12 (behind only Texas and Oklahoma), #3 in the PAC 12 (behind only USC and UCLA), and #4 in the ACC (behind Clemson, Florida St., and Virginia Tech). Twice the attendance of most MWC and American teams and three or four times most MAC and Sun Belt schools.

      They would be middle of the herd in the Big Ten and at the low end of the SEC.

      Like

      • duffman says:

        With Mississippi (currently 61K) and Mississippi State (61K next fall) heading for 70,000 seats BYU would only be ahead of Vanderbilt (40K) in the current 14 member SEC. Probably safe to say BYU is not joining the SEC.

        Like

  64. BuckeyeBeau says:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/ncfnation/post/_/id/80297/delany-takes-ncaa-reform-to-next-level

    I think Delany’s comments were linked above. But, to revisit them ~~ the first one in particular ~~ I found this fascinating in the context of the O’Bannon lawsuit.

    “Here’s a look at Delany’s reform ideas:

    1. Lifetime educational coverage for college players

    Under Delany’s plan, an educational trust would be set up by institutions, conferences or at a national level that would ensure education coverage for athletes even if they drop out or leave school early to turn pro. “We’ll stand behind you, so when you’re ready to get serious, or when you have the time, we’ll support your college education degree for your lifetime,” he said. ”

    How I read this: Delany is already maneuvering for the settlement or loss in the O’Bannon case. If the Plaintiff’s win, their $$ goes into a trust fund for EDUCATION.

    Aside from reinforcing the “student” in student-athlete, it signals that the plaintiffs are not going to get rich even if they win the lawsuit You could even allow players’ family members to have access to such a trust fund. You could imagine the Judge being convinced this is a good compromise that meshes with the educational mission of the NCAA, etc. This is also a path that will satisfy the various Presidents and Chancellors. Plus, a generalized “Trust Fund” for education ~~ instead of cash-direct-to-players ~~ significantly decreases the argument over differential player-value in the market place. Finally, this is in line with how the NFL settled a lawsuit concerning use of retired players’ likenesses. (I’ll add another link in a “Reply”.)

    Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      On the topic of enforcement, Delany says, “I would like to see the people who make the mistakes pay the price and see the institution pay a lesser price.”

      I heartily agree.

      Like

      • BuckeyeBeau says:

        yeah, agree in theory. but how do you do that in practice? particularly given rampant homerism. “I love School X so much I’ll gladly take the fall so we can get Recruit Z so we win a NC.” Don’t know. When I saw that particular sentiment from Delany I wondered if it was a veiled reference to Penn State, maybe a signal that he is open to revisiting the sanctions?

        Like

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          It could indeed be a veiled reference to Penn State. These guys weigh what they say very carefully, and he surely knows that the notion of re-visiting the sanctions is in the air.

          I am not exactly sure whether there’s a well-thought out rationale for the current system of punishment. Given that these kinds of infractions continue to recur (and persistent rumors of worse infractions that the NCAA isn’t able to detect), you couldn’t exactly call the system a rip-roaring success.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            But some institutions continue to have problems over the decades. They let their boosters do what they want while they look the other way. They hire coaches with questionable pasts.

            Like

        • If the NCAA enforcement could move more expeditiously, this might be a reality. They had Terrelle Pryor and Tressel in their crosshairs a few years back…and delayed the punishment until the next year. (With Pryor’s famous “promise” to return for his punishment…oh my.)

          They certainly moved quickly on PSU–but that was a case which they should have stayed out of and let the courts handle PSU’s criminals’ punishments. And they didn’t even investigate themselves, but simply took Freeh’s opinions as grounds for punishment.

          Bush’s case dragged on forever and he got off the hook. USC though had so many red flags throughout that IF the NCAA had power to actually get to the bottom of it, they would have found more dirt on USC. Those sanctions were somewhat justified.

          Delany would probably agree with the Oregon penalty.

          Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            If we consider these cases…

            The Oregon penalties strike me as pretty minor. They can still win the Pac-12 and go to a bowl. They can still offer 84 out of 85 scholarships. They aren’t the kind of penalties that reduce a program to rubble for years.

            What you’re arguing with USC, is that they probably broke many more rules than the NCAA was able to find. Nevertheless, the case for the infractions actually found was rather weak. It’s always going to be true that some infractions go un-detected, because the NCAA doesn’t have the power to discover and prove them. I mean, what about Cam Newton…?

            At Ohio State, you could make the same argument as at USC: more was probably going on there than the NCAA was able to prove. I mean, does any Buckeye fan really believe that Terrelle Pryor acquired all of those fancy cars legitimately? The same way any other ordinary citizen who didn’t happen to be an OSU star QB could have acquired them?

            But I didn’t agree with the Ohio State bowl ban, because it punished mostly innocent people, and it screwed up the whole league. What they really should have done was to show-cause Gene Smith (or penalize him some other way), because the lax compliance was his responsibility.

            I’ve stated on prior FTT threads that I don’t think the PSU case was any business of the NCAA’s at all. And even if you assume it’s their business, the sanctions were a very poor response to the problem, in that practically all of the burden falls on entirely innocent people, for no good reason that I can see.

            But if you believe the NCAA had jurisdiction and that penalties such as these were justified, I don’t mind that the NCAA acted as quickly as it did with Penn State, since none of the facts were in dispute. The only way the NCAA could have fouled up that case worse than they did, would have been to go through their usual laborious enforcement process, with the only effect that the sanctions would have stretched many more years into the future.

            Like

  65. Wainscott says:

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/college-football/news/20130725/college-sports-braces-for-more-change/

    Very interesting article from Pete Thamel (who is vastly underrated as a reporter).

    Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      Interesting: Thamel believes (and therefore I assume a number of his sources believe) that Division IV will be more like 150 schools, not the ~72 that some people here have suggested. It would nevertheless be a considerably cut-down subset of the 340 schools now in Division I.

      This makes sense to me, because the major schools’ complaints definitely involve basketball too, and the basketball powers are a significantly different set of schools than the football ones. A non-football school with an elite basketball program, like Butler, is probably going to want to be in Division IV.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Marc Shepherd,

        “Interesting: Thamel believes (and therefore I assume a number of his sources believe) that Division IV will be more like 150 schools, not the ~72 that some people here have suggested. It would nevertheless be a considerably cut-down subset of the 340 schools now in Division I.

        This makes sense to me, because the major schools’ complaints definitely involve basketball too, and the basketball powers are a significantly different set of schools than the football ones. A non-football school with an elite basketball program, like Butler, is probably going to want to be in Division IV.”

        I don’t think it will split that way because you need to keep the non-football schools a little separate from the FB schools. I think you need one split on the FB side and a different one on the MBB side. The power conferences will be on top in both, but it doesn’t make sense to say that the BE is in the same division as the SEC since the BE doesn’t play big boy FB. Maybe it’s just semantics.

        What they need is a structure that let’s the rich schools pass rules that allow them to spend more on certain things but make that optional for D-I schools. I’m not sure his 150 school split works for that. Maybe what happens is they do 2 splits, one in football and another in hoops. That way schools could choose their level in both sports.

        D-I+ = top level in both

        D-IA = middle level FB but top level in MBB (AAC, MWC, etc)
        D-IB = top MBB schools, no FB (BE, etc)
        D-IAA = bottom level in FB and MBB
        D-IBB = bottom level in MBB, no FB

        Like

        • Richard says:

          “The power conferences will be on top in both, but it doesn’t make sense to say that the BE is in the same division as the SEC since the BE doesn’t play big boy FB. Maybe it’s just semantics.”

          ??? Right now, both the SEC and BE are in the same division already (in all sports but football), so I don’t see the difficulty.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            The SEC is DI-A (aka FBS) while the BE is D-I (aka NFS or D-IAAA). I know they are football-only subdivisions, but those aren’t the same divisions to me. Too much revenue from football can bleed over to supporting hoops to really be the same. That’s why I said it may just be semantics.

            It’ll only get more confusing if you have D-4 competing against D-I in most sports, with only some of D-4 playing football and they don’t compete against D-I in football.

            To me, everyone competing for the same title should be labelled as being in the same division, but you also need to label which groups play by which rules. That’s easier in football where each group has their own title.

            Things like the COL may make this easier because a school will have to apply it to all sports, so they can’t be I-AA or non-AQ in football while giving the extra to the hoops players. The only difference would be that you have to pay it to play for the top level title in FB but not in hoops.

            Like

      • cutter says:

        When I read that article, I got the feeling that the Big 5 were creating a “UN Security Council” within the NCAA’s current structure that would have the ultimate say and veto power over rules, etc.

        It also seems like the easiest way for those conferences to maintain the organizational status quo, post-season, etc. while putting a firmer grip on the NCAA. As Thamel points out, they have the ultimate leverage to do this.

        It’s also in line with how college athletics works, i.e., evolutionary change rather than radical restructuring. Not really surprising, but it also avoids a lot of potential problems if the membership numbers were limited to just the Big 5 plus BYU and ND.

        It’ll be interesting to see how they implement it. It certainly sounds like the Big 5 conference commissioners are behind it, and I assume they’ve been in discussions with their presidents and ADs regarding how this is going to work out.

        Of course, the ultimate judgement of the O’Bannon case is still out there . . . .

        Like

    • cutter says:

      Pac 12 Commissioner Larry Scott has also weighed in on the possibility of a Division 4 setup. See http://sports.yahoo.com/news/scott-ncaa-changes-come-without-192756662–ncaaf.html

      Per the article, expect a Division I summit to be called in January to discuss revamping how it’s run. There are 349 schools in the division with 125 in the Football Bowl Subdivision or FBS.

      Scott said university presidents that make up the NCAA board of directors will talk about reform when they meet next month. Proposals could come later this year.
      Scott said he still wants FBS to have a ”so-called big tent,” with more than just the top five conferences being included.

      ”That’s why the reports of a possible breakaway and things like that are overcooked,” he said. ”That’s not anyone’s agenda.”

      He said the move toward more nine-game conference schedules and an emphasis on strength of schedule in the upcoming College Football Playoff will naturally lead to fewer games between the big five conferences and the other five FBS leagues (Mountain West Conference, American Athletic Conference, Sun Belt, Mid-American Conference and Conference USA). But there will still be competition between the two groups.

      What is likely to decrease are games between FBS and FCS teams and so-called guarantee games, when a school from a power conference pays hundreds of thousands of dollars to a school from a lesser conference to play a road game.

      Like

  66. StevenD says:

    Mark Rudner, the Big Ten’s senior associate commissioner for television administration, told the Cedar Rapids Gazette it’s possible the Iowa-Nebraska game could move from Thanksgiving weekend in future schedules.

    With Wisconsin moving to the west division, it would be possible for Nebraska to play Wisconsin at Thanksgiving, starting in 2018.

    Rudner also told the newspaper the 2018 schedule could be completed and released within a month.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      If the NE/WI rivalry takes off and/or IA continues to stumble they may have to make the switch to IA/MN and NE/WI for competitive reasons. You want the final week to be dramatic, not anti-climatic. That said, I think they’d really prefer to have neighbors play to minimize travel on a holiday weekend.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        Well, NE & WI aren’t exactly far. As close as NE & OK, and UNL & OU staged a bunch of season-ending battles.

        Plus, it would elevate the Pig back to a season-ending consolation prize.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          Madison is almost 500 miles from Lincoln. Iowa City is 300 miles from Lincoln, plus IA and NE share a border.

          As for Floyd, he doesn’t have a super-long history of being a final week trophy. WI/MN has been a final game more often, and is a bigger rivalry.

          Like I said, if IA continues to stink while WI stays strong, it may make sense to switch eventually. NE/WI and IA/MN wouldn’t be bad final games. But I strongly suspect the B10 will give NE/IA every chance to blossom first.

          Like

          • Eric says:

            When the 2017 east division season ending match-ups were switched to Penn State/Maryland and Michigan State/Rutgers, I was kind of surprised there was no switching in the west too.

            I doubt they are going to permanently make up their minds now. If they are going to schedule the 2018/2019 football seasons though (hope they do; would like to see how the schedule goes), I think it would make sense to put Wisconsin/Nebraska for at least a 2 year period. 2019 is 6 years off and that would probably be the limit to how far ahead they’ll schedule for at least a year or two. That gives us some 4 more season ending Iowa/Nebraska and Minnesota/Wisconsin games, 2 Nebraska/Wisconsin and Iowa/Minnesota season ending games, and another year or two of data to determine the set-up.

            After that, they can decide on a rotation or base it on results (I think a rotation is more likely right now). If based on results though, then if Wisconsin keeps up toward the top in the next year or two while Iowa remains middle tier, then the next 2 years you put Wisconsin/Nebraska again. If Wisconsin and Iowa seem about the same over the next 2 years, you go back to Iowa/Nebraska.

            Personally, I think Wisconsin vs. Nebraska feels more like a rivalry so far than Iowa vs. Nebraska. From Nebraska’s Big Ten opening blowout loss to the Nebraska win last year only be darkened by another blow out in the Big Ten title. I also think Wisconsin has a lot more going for it to remain toward the top of the conference than Iowa and think the value of the Ax as a rivalry game is probably greater for the Big Ten on another weekend. On the flip side, Wisconsin/Nebraska only works better if Wisconsin keeps up toward the top for an extended time and Wisconsin/Minnesota probably never should have been moved from season ending to start with (and Minnesota will improve). All in all, I guess my vote would be for a wait and see attitude for the time being. Schedule some of both and, if it’s clear Wisconsin or Iowa is going to be a much bigger rival vs. Nebraska (they are already both big against Minnesota), then go with that one down the road.

            Like

          • Eric says:

            Edit: I’m thinking under the old set-up. While the schedules released so far have been 2 years at a time, the post above only says 2018 and given we are no longer doing home/home with non-locked teams, you could post just the 2018 and not 2019 schedule. That would kind of make sense too given that would give them up to 5 years out which might be the target.

            Like

  67. GreatLakeState says:

    Not surprisingly, it doesn’t sound like Texas is going anywhere. Why would they? They’re in a perfect situation.
    http://www.tulsaworld.com/article.aspx/John_Klein_Big_12_in_good_position_as_long_as_Texas/20130721_203_B1_CUTLIN918273?subj=2

    Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      “”I really haven’t thought about league realignment in quite a while,” Dodds said. “I look around our league and realize we have more stability than at any time since we formed the league (1994).”

      Who knew less than two decades is a definition of stability.
      Really? Haven’t thought about realignment in quite a while?

      Like

  68. bullet says:

    Expected SEC bowl lineup in case it hasn’t already been posted:
    http://mrsec.com/2013/07/sec-bowl-lineup-coming-into-focus-be-ready-for-griping/?i=1

    After the Sugar vs. Big 12 and possibly Orange vs. ACC

    “Capital One Bowl (Orlando): Will get the first selection from the remaining SEC teams. A Big Ten team will be the foe in most years with an ACC squad serving as a potential fallback.

    The SEC office will determine which league teams fill the remaining six bowls.

    AutoZone Liberty Bowl (Memphis): Will feature SEC against Big XII

    Belk Bowl (Charlotte): Will feature SEC against ACC

    Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl (Nashville): Will feature SEC against ACC or Big Ten

    Outback Bowl (Tampa): Will feature SEC against Big Ten

    Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl (Jacksonville): Will feature SEC against ACC or Big Ten

    Texas Bowl (Houston): Will feature SEC against Big XII”

    So the SEC will face 3 B1G teams, 3 Big 12 teams, 2 ACC teams and 1 additional ACC team several years in the Orange Bowl and Capital One. No Pac. No non-AQ. And as Mr SEC points out, only a Charlotte Bowl outside of SEC territory (now that they have Texas A&M).

    Like

    • Richard says:

      Well, that’s one more than they had before.

      8-9 guaranteed bowl spots for 14 SEC schools (vs. 9 guaranteed spots for 14 B10 schools and 7 guaranteed spots for 10 B12 schools).

      I guess the SEC expects to send at least 1 team to the playoffs every year.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        One more bowl outside the SEC footprint, that is. They actually go down from 10 tie-ins now to 8-9 (dropping the Independence and Birmingham bowls).

        Like

        • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

          Richard – the SEC will add at least one more bowl.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            Inside source?

            I’d expect it to be Birmingham or the Independence. Very possibly Birmingham vs. the ACC.

            Am I wrong?

            Like

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Richard – no inside info, but several of the articles state that the SEC may not be done. The SEC would rather have too many bowl slots than not enough. That’s why I think the SEC will add two more bowls in Birmingham, and hopefully Shreveport.

            Like

    • vp19 says:

      Is SEC vs. Pac the only potential bowl meeting of the top five conferences that won’t be scheduled, or am I overlooking another matchup? Given the SEC’s reluctance to leave its own territory (and Charlotte is only a few miles from the South Carolina border), I’m frankly not surprised.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        The B10 & B12 may not meet (depending on whether the B12, AAC, or maybe MWC is the permanent host in the Fort Worth bowl).

        Like

        • Mack says:

          B1G will meet XII in the years it plays the Dallas Bowl (B1G split with Ft. Worth bowl) if both have teams eligible that far down. B1G likely to meet MWC / Army/Navy in Ft. Worth Armed Forces Bowl.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            OK, that may be. FtW bowl may well feature AAC/Army/BYU, though the MWC is a possibility as well.

            Like

      • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

        Vincent – why should the SEC leave its own territory? The SEC has the luxury of having a surplus of bowls within its footprint. Other conferences don’t. Those bowls want SEC schools. Its just good business to send schools to second tier bowls that are within driving distance, rather than make fans get on a plane. Ole Miss at 6-6 brought 30,000 fans to Birmingham last season. Only a fraction would have gone the Potato Bowl.

        Like

    • Richard says:

      Yep. That’s why I agree with Alan and disagree with Mr. SEC. Mr. SEC may want to see some SEC teams play in the snow in NYC, but how many SEC fans would make it up there?

      However, a Pac vs. SEC bowl game in TX could have made sense, but it didn’t happen.

      Like

      • Mack says:

        The bowls in Texas prefer XII teams, The only decent paying bowl in Texas that the XII does not want (or have) is the Sun Bowl in El Paso (ACC vs. PAC). The SEC could have replaced the ACC in the Sun Bowl. The SEC chose the Texas Bowl in Houston against the XII. It made perfect business sense: much closer to the SEC-W schools and in a prime recruiting area.

        Like

  69. Transic says:

    For all the talk about the possibility of moving either the Big Ten or ACC basketball tournament to MSG, the bigger issue is whether MSG may have to move in the near term.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/city-council-votes-overwhelmingly-move-madison-square-garden-midtown-site-10-years-article-1.1408251

    Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      The Daily News botched the headline pretty badly. The facts are these:

      MSG has not been told they have to move. Rather, their permit to remain at the existing site has been extended for 10 years. That’s certainly significant, in that the Garden had sought a permit in perpetuity, and even the mayor had recommended 15.

      But right now the Garden has nowhere to go. If they had a site identified today, it could take 10 years to get the new Garden designed and built. Right now, they have no site. Moreover, the Garden is right now in the midst of a nearly $1B refurbishment, which was undertaken on the assumption that they’d be there permanently. You can be sure the Garden isn’t going to walk away from that investment, and then build a new arena on their own dime.

      On top of that, the Garden undoubtedly has significant leverage, because when push comes to shove, no one is going to force the Knicks and Rangers out of Manhattan. So the city is going to have to pony up big bucks to get them to move, and where exactly does that money come from?

      And of course, ten years from now, politicians with completely different agendas could very well be in office. Even assuming no political change, the 10-year deadline will probably wind up getting extended. It would be hard to get this done in 10 years, even if the parties were in agreement, and right now they certainly are not.

      Like

      • Wainscott says:

        @Marc Shepard: I largely agree with you, save for the part about leverage.

        I don’t necessarily agree that MSG has much leverage over the city. NYC is in a far better place than, say, the early 1980’s, when MSG was able to leverage a potential move of the Knicks and Rangers to the suburbs to get a perennial property tax exemption. Now, it would be suicidal for the Knicks and Rangers to move out of Manhattan. Also, they city does not have to pony up any bucks to get them to move–all it needs to do is not renew the operating permit in 10 years. Furthermore, if the Knicks and Rangers did, for some odd reason, leave Manhattan, I’d bet you’d have several franchises in the NHL and NBA try to move to Manhattan (and would go to court to make it happen). Leaving Manhattan would be bad business.

        Now, obviously, NYC will likely end up giving incentives to MSG to move, including continuing the property tax exemption (the refusal of which was a key reason MSG refused to relocate to the Farley Post Office). But they don’t have to. Also, the money to pay for these incentives would likely come from Vornado, Related, or another large commercial real estate developer purchasing rights to develop a portion of the MSG space. A rebuilt Penn Station would not have a large foot print above ground, so that would allow for an office tower to be built. The motivation for moving MSG is to fix Penn Station underground–lengthen and expand platforms, atriums, waiting rooms, and possibly even add tracks–things that cannot necessarily be done with MSG sitting on top, supported by steel beams that would be moved around to allow for Penn’s expansion.

        Like

        • Eric says:

          Practically though, the plans would have to start soon if they are going to be moving in 10 years and staying in Manhattan. My guess is you don’t see any of that soon, especially with the expensive renovation going on. If they actually do have to leave in 2023, I wouldn’t be surprised if its off Manhattan at all. That said, I’d be shocked if it wasn’t expanded at least another 5-10 years, especially with all the money in the renovation.

          Like

    • Wainscott says:

      As much as I would like to think that karma is seeking revenge on the Dolans for opposing the West Side Stadium (which would have been 3 blocks from MSG), in practice, MSG will not be forced to move in 10 years. Unless a concrete plan is in place to renovate and rebuild Penn Station (including financing), the Dolans will seek, and get, another operating permit in 10 years.

      But only Jimmy Dolan would spend $1 billion renovating an arena as its 50-year operating permit was set to expire.

      Like

      • Transic says:

        http://www.shoparc.com/node/2660/project-page

        It’s just an idea but SHoP – the same who designed the Barclays Center – proposes MSG to move to between 28th and 30th streets (btw 9th and 10th aves). That’s currently occupied by the US Postal Service. The proposal was in response to a design competition hosted by the Municipal Art Society to come up with the best design for a rebuilt Penn Station.

        http://mas.org/urbanplanning/new-penn-station-2/

        Like

        • Wainscott says:

          That location is less than ideal from a mass transit perspective. The closest subway other than walking to Penn Station would be the 1 train at 28th and Broadway or the 7 train at 34th and 11th. The current MSG and the previous one on 50th and 8th both had transit right below, and I would imagine that a relocated MSG would have to be similarly convenient.

          Like

    • Transic says:

      I know the numbers are a bit skewed because of the situation of MSG being under a 3-year renovation project but the Barclays Center has surpassed it as the #1 grossing arena in the city and #2 worldwide.

      http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/barclays-center-sells-46-9m-show-tix-article-1.1407182

      Like

      • vp19 says:

        The Isles made a smart decision moving to Brooklyn.

        Like

        • Wainscott says:

          Yes, but Charles Wang made a dumb decision to wait as long as he did to pull the trigger on the move. The arena was downsized in 2009 and will only now seats around 15k for hockey, whereas the original Gehry design had a seating for 18k for hockey.

          Yes, the Isles suck, but if nothing else, there are enough Russians in Brooklyn who will pay to see hockey regardless of quality.

          Like

  70. duffman says:

    Solving the “paid” athletes issue

    With all this talk about the breakaway NCAA maybe we are all looking at it from the wrong view

    Here is some simple math
    8 = months kids are actually in school
    4 = approximate weeks in a month
    50 = “walking around money” min
    100 = “walking around money” min

    1,600 = min yearly “extra” for NCAA athletes
    3,200 = max yearly “extra” for NCAA athletes

    Now look at the other side of the equation
    10 = hourly wage (NCAA subsidized over minimum wage)
    40 = work week
    1 = min month
    3 = max month (4th month is christmas holidays, bowl season, and basketball)

    1,600 = min income for 1 month
    4,800 = max income for 3 months

    .

    .

    Now here is the plan which combines the NCAA, their corporate sponsors, NCAA member schools, and NCAA Student Athletes.

    Instead of battling about the schools having control use the NCAA to create a student athlete version of the Peace Corps / Ameri Corps / Military / Corporate jobs programs. In essence it would be a paid internship controlled and operated by the NCAA over the summer months and subsidized by the military, corporate, local government to cover values in excess of minimum wage and promotes values the NCAA has espoused for years.

    It would be a 2 part program
    a) paid summer jobs sponsored and controlled by the NCAA
    b) mandatory class in money management as part of athlete’s course load

    Some thoughts :
    + NCAA has responsibility instead of schools to limit cheating
    + Optional for students, but allows them to make money in the summer
    + Good PR for corporate folks (kids working inner city areas constructing change)
    + Recruiting point for military and corporate folks for kids after college
    + Summer cash means less need for student debt (partial scholarship kids)
    + Similar to CoOp programs already in place at places like UC and GT

    What are the thought by FtT folks on such a concept?

    Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      There really is no summer or breaks for D1 athletes anymore. “Voluntary” off season workouts overseen by trainers, student assistants, captains, etc. leaves time for jobs like being in charge of irrigating lawns…that are automated.

      Like

    • Big Ten Fan says:

      Meanwhile: ESPN continues to retrench its overseas operations.

      Earlier this year ESPN retrenched in Asia, see the following (January 29, 3013):

      Fox International Channels (FIC) Asia, the pay-TV network of News Corporation, said it launched Fox Sports in Thailand and various countries across Asia from yesterday. This followed News Corporation’s successful acquisition of ESPN’s partnership interest in ESPN Star Sports (ESS) in November last year. Thereafter all ESPN networks were renamed as Fox Sports networks on True Visions, such as: ESPN to Fox Sports, available on True Visions 108; etc.

      Now ESPN is retrenching in Africa, see the following (July 13, 2013):

      The American sports channels ESPN and ESPN Classic will no longer be offered in Africa by DStv. The pay-TV operator announced on Monday that it received notification from the channel that it is pulling its channels from Africa, effective 31 July. ESPN, which is owned by Disney, made the decision to cease broadcasting ESPN (DStv channel 230) and ESPN Classic (channel 231) in Africa as a result of a business decision to yank the channel in all non-US territories where their operations are no longer financially viable. This potentially opens up the market for Supersport or the SABC to acquire the rights to broadcast major US sports events such as NASCAR, basketball and NFL in South Africa and the rest of Africa.

      Canaries in the coal mine?

      Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        Perhaps ESPN’s focus on all things Tebow, SEC amerikan tackle football, all things Laker or LeBraun, etc. just doesn’t translate in Africa or Asia? Or at least not at the price Mickey Mouse has become accustomed to.

        Like

        • Big Ten Fan says:

          On DSTV it’s now mainly X-Games, Strong Man Competitions and Poker World Series. But ten years ago ESPN was showing Champions League games in Asia and probably made a small fortune doing so.

          Like

      • Big Ten Fan says:

        Some Big Ten humor at this link:

        http://mgoblog.com/category/user-tags/big-lebowski-0

        This dude abides!

        Like

      • This stinks.
        I enjoyed watching an occasional CFB game at 2am over here in Kenya. And March Madness was a community event for us in the middle of the nights. Oh well. I sure hope someone else can pick up some of these major events…but it doesn’t look good.

        On the critical side, ESPN South Africa had no CLUE what was good viewing. They showed the first 20 minutes of a Sweet Sixteen game and then switched to a regular season Nuggets vs. Nets game. Really? And strognman competitions and poker dominated their air time. ???

        Like

  71. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Cities bidding for 2016 and 2017 CFP NCG.

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/9511533/at-least-7-cities-bid-2016-2017-title-games-sources

    “Cities that definitely will bid for the Jan. 11, 2016, game: Glendale, Ariz.; Jacksonville, Fla.; New Orleans; San Antonio; and Tampa.

    Cities that will bid for the Jan. 9, 2017, game: Arlington; Jacksonville; Miami; New Orleans; San Antonio; and Tampa.”

    Like

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      My money is on New Orleans for 2016, Miami for 2017, and Atlanta (new stadium) for 2018.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        I’d bet on an Indianapolis or non-traditional site in 2018.

        Like

        • vp19 says:

          I’d bet on an Indianapolis or non-traditional site in 2018.

          Over the SEC’s dead body.

          Like

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            “I’d bet on an Indianapolis or non-traditional site in 2018.”

            Over the SEC’s dead body.

            If Indy is the highest bidder and/or presents the strongest & best plan to host, why would it matter the SEC thought?

            Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      There do seem to be a number of significant niches that are not receiving what would apear to be an appropriate level of coverage. Any bets as to whether FS1 takes advantage of these or do they basically emulate the WWL, play follow the leader?

      Like

      • Transic says:

        Then there’s the interesting thing about NBCSN and NBC taking much of the motorsports properties that used to be on ESPN and Speed, including NASCAR and Formula 1. Not sure if they’d have any space for more (and B1Gger) college sports but NBC does have a bunch of other cable channels should they need them.

        Like

  72. Brian says:

    http://www.elevenwarriors.com/polls/2013/07/do-you-want-to-see-ohio-state-and-michigan-play-twice-this-season#comments

    I thought some people might find this interesting. It’s a poll on an OSU blog about whether you want to see OSU play MI twice this year.

    The two choices:
    “Yes. The chance to beat them twice in a season is too delicious to pass up.”

    and

    “No. The Game is too sacred for such shenanigans.”

    The poll is split 50/50 right now.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      http://www.cleveland.com/osu/index.ssf/2013/07/no_9_michigan_twice_a_wonderfu.html

      Also relevant to the topic (and a prior discussion) is this quote:

      “The fire will always be there,” [U of M QB Devin] Gardner said. “It’s The Game, no matter if we play them at Lucas Oil Stadium or we play them in the backyard at Inkster High School. If we play Ohio State, it’s going to be The Game no matter how many times we play them.”

      Some other interesting bits:

      But realistically, could you dislike a team as much in game two as you did in game one?

      “Absolutely,” [OSU LT Jack] Mewhort said. “I think there’s no question about it.”

      So yes. Game two could provide as much rivalry rage as game one.

      “Maybe even more,” [OSU safety Christian] Bryant said. “Maybe even more. Maybe even more, man.”

      Like

  73. Brian says:

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/blog/dennis-dodd/22901637/pac12-limits-full-contact-practices-to-two-per-week

    Details on the P12’s plan to reduce hitting in practice. They are limited to 2 full contact practices per week, just like the Ivy League.

    Like

  74. loki_the_bubba says:

    The 2014 Notre Dame at Temple game is being postposed. This is good news for us at Rice. We haven’t been dropped, yet. Still looking forward to that roard trip.

    http://www.uhnd.com/articles/football/notre-dame-temple-2015-14799/

    Like

    • Richard says:

      Well, ND still has to move or cancel one more game for 2014, and it looks to be either the Rice or Northwestern game (it could be the PU game, but that would be shocking considering the continuous length of that series).

      Like

    • Richard says:

      Do you see Michigan, OSU, PSU, UNL, ‘Bama, LSU, UGa, UF, Tenn., A&M, & Wisconsin giving up 7 home games each year?

      I don’t.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        No, I think the speculation of the big 5 only playing each other is wrong. It may eventually happen, but that’s a long way off.

        But I do agree that the number of paycheck games is going to drop and that their will be a shift in who gets to play in them. The shift to 9 game schedules will reduce the number of paycheck games. The importance of SOS to CFP access will shift the games to better teams. Clearly the I-AAs are going to lose some games with the new B10 policy and some other schools also likely to drop them.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          Depending on how SOS is calculated, schools like NIU that rack up 10+ wins a season but pose only a very slight risk of upsetting a true championship contender could see their value (and paychecks) go up.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            The SOS calculation is one of the huge issues here. I think the CFP people are making a bad decision by taking so long to decide on the “rules” for the committee. The schools should know in advance how they’ll be judged so they can adjust their scheduling to it.

            How will they factor in SOS? Will they look at the overall, or break it down by OOC versus conference? If so, how will they weight the different components? What about playing in a CCG? Does that get more weight than a regular conference game? Will the committee just use SOS as a factor with no specific weight, just as something to keep in mind?

            Those sorts of decisions may impact whether playing an NIU or an ISU is better for SOS. Either way, most teams won’t really be scheduling with the CFP in mind. Will the same SOS concerns be extended into the regular bowls? It doesn’t look like it, with all these pooled bowls.

            The G5 schools will do fine and may even see their checks increase in value, but they’ll probably see slightly fewer total games. The I-AAs will suffer more, as 14+ games are going away. Less demand means lower prices for them. On the other hand, maybe some smaller schools will start buying some home games as the price drops.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            I don’t think SOS will have any impact on the regular bowls at all. Those are up to the conferences, and they will do whatever they think will maximize fan interest/revenue the best.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Also, whether FCS schools would do worse is also speculative. The B10 wants its schools to cut out those games, but not all conferences feel the same way. If the NCAA decides that the .500 rule may go away (and some power conferences lean that way), then you may see schools in conferences like the ACC (and lower down) regularly schedule 2 or more FCS opponents a year.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            “I don’t think SOS will have any impact on the regular bowls at all. Those are up to the conferences, and they will do whatever they think will maximize fan interest/revenue the best.”

            Neither do I. That’s why I don’t see most schools worrying as much about SOS. They only need a good enough product to sell tickets and not tick off the TV people. Maybe TV will drive more conferences to schedule harder as a way to justify those ever increasing deals. If not, then I doubt much will change.

            “Also, whether FCS schools would do worse is also speculative. The B10 wants its schools to cut out those games, but not all conferences feel the same way.”

            Most conferences don’t, in fact. But I think a few teams will join the B10 in dropping them due to SOS concerns for the CFP.

            “If the NCAA decides that the .500 rule may go away (and some power conferences lean that way), then you may see schools in conferences like the ACC (and lower down) regularly schedule 2 or more FCS opponents a year.”

            I think we’re stuck with the 0.500 rule for a while because too many schools struggle to win 7 games. It’s really hard to put the genie back in the bottle when there are jobs and money at stake. I also think the 1 I-AA rule will stay. There’s just no way a school can justify needing to play two of them, and I think TV will take a stand against teams doing it.

            Perhaps some non-AQs will get paid enough for paycheck games that they can actually afford to buy a I-AA game on occasion, though.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            I’ve seen ADs from several conferences comment on TV wanting them to schedule better. The number of I-AA games has gone up since they dropped the rule only allowing those games to count for bowl eligibility once every 4 years. I think TV and fans will drive it back to where it was before.
            Year number of games number of FBS schools
            2012 108 124
            2011 97 120
            2010 90 120
            2009 94 120
            2008 94 120
            2007 89 119
            2006 78 119
            2005 54 119
            2004 56 117

            Like

        • Look at it this way. If the P5 all go to 9 conference games (we’ll see…), that’s 64 fewer “paycheck” games for the little guys. That’s almost the other half of Division 1 teams right now. That’s about 1 million dollars less revenue per year for the “other half”…and when you are talking about athletic departments that already make about 30 million total for all sports (rough average)…that’s going to really add up quickly.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            Except that it doesn’t follow that going to 9 games automatically means cutting out guaranteed games. It could mean cutting out HaH OOC games instead.

            Like

          • David Brown says:

            One thing to keep in mind, is the TV money will be so vast, that Schools can afford to play one less Home Game (if necessary). From a Penn State perspective, we will have Pitt back, and we will be getting West Virginia as well, so we can live with it. Those games have more meaning for Networks (ESPN or Fox), and fans such as myself, than say Akron or Kent State, and the BIG 10 can charge more for their future contracts, if the Akron’s of the World disappear from the Schedule. Speaking of West Virginia, I would not be shocked if the Mountaineers will be a permanent fixture on our schedule (beyond the upcoming Home & Home Series), because their place in the BIG XII is worse than ours was at the beginning of when we joined the Big 10 (at least the Conference upgraded us Academically speaking).

            Like

          • Richard says:

            David:

            I very much doubt the marginal gain in TV revenue will offset the marginal loss in attendance revenue any time soon.

            People have run the numbers on this thread, if you care to look.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            David Brown,

            “One thing to keep in mind, is the TV money will be so vast, that Schools can afford to play one less Home Game (if necessary).”

            I’m with Richard. Most of the predicted jump in 2017 from $34M to $43M in B10 TV money would be needed to cover the value of a lost home game for OSU (~ $7M). Maybe a smaller school can blow off a home game, but not the big boys.

            Like

        • Michael in Raleigh says:

          “No, I think the speculation of the big 5 only playing each other is wrong. It may eventually happen, but that’s a long way off.”

          Agreed. There’s still plenty of reason for Big Ten schools to play 1-2 games/year against teams who aren’t from Big 5 leagues. If, for instance, Ohio State schedules Virginia Tech on top of 9 B10 games including Michigan, Penn State, Michigan State, possibly Nebraska, and possibly Wisconsin, they should be expected to play a top-60ish program, at best, for game #11. What difference does it make if that program is Air Force or Colorado? For game #12, they should definitely play a school with inferior resources. What would Ohio State have to gain by playing a Duke instead of a Memphis or an Akron?

          Furthermore, I really don’t think all those schools who just want to get themselves bowl eligible are going to be interested in limiting themselves to Big Five schools for non-conference games. Indiana, Northwestern, Wake Forest, Vanderbilt, etc., may be a “team player” by scheduling one Big Five non-conference game, but for their other 2 or 3 games, they have a lot more to gain by playing Ball State & South Alabama than they do by playing each other.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            Uh, Mike, Northwestern has scheduled 2 Big5 schools every year except one between 2012-2019 (and the one, 2018, only has 2 games, vs. Duke & Rice, on it right now, so it could have 2 Big5 schools on it as well). 2020-2022 only has Stanford right now, so they probably will feature Big5 schools as well. Northwestern had also scheduled Vandy more times, but they were chicken and backed out of the rest of their previously-agreed-upon series with us after we beat them a couple of times.

            Northwestern is not worried about bowl elgibility, Mike, (if you’ve noticed, NU has g