Frank the Tank Mailbag: Part I – I’m Not in the Realignment Business. I’m in the Empire Business.

Posted: September 11, 2013 in Big East, Big Ten, College Basketball, College Football, Illinois Fighting Illini, Sports
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

A message from a reader:

Well, I deserve that. I know it’s been a long hiatus here with the new college football and NFL seasons starting, over half of the Breaking Bad final season passing by and lots of twerking since my last post, so let’s get to answering some questions in part 1 of an overflowing mailbag Q&A:

There were a ton of “Division 4” questions, so here’s a sample:

My overarching thought on the impact of the proposed Division 4* is (going along with the Breaking Bad theme) that there won’t be any “half-measures”. On the conservative end, this could be a straight-forward exercise for the football schools to get more leverage in rule-making (which is what Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany has intimated). Contrary to popular belief, the vast majority of FBS schools (from the SEC down to the Sun Belt) have been in favor of instituting full cost of attendance payments to athletes, whereas the main opposition has come from non-FBS Division I schools. If the impetus behind creating a Division 4 is to simply get more control over the NCAA governance process, then that suggests that all FBS conferences will end up in that top division. Jeremy Fowler of CBSSports.com has reported that that this is what NCAA faculty representatives are essentially recommending.

(* Is it just me, or does everyone associated with the NCAA have the naming ineptitude of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West? They changed the perfectly logical Division I-A and Division I-AA to FBS and FCS. They messed with the even more logical NCAA Tournament regional names of East, South, Midwest and West for several years before reverting back. Now, we’re talking about a “Division 4” that’s supposed to be referring to the top level of college sports even though one would think that this would be below Divisions II and III. Nothing about the name “Division 4” makes sense, which means that the NCAA will probably end up choosing it in the end.)

On the other end of the spectrum, Division 4 could truly be the formal separation of the 5 power conferences plus Notre Dame (no matter what you think of the Irish, you have to always include Notre Dame) so that there could be more radical changes down the road. Maybe there could be payments to players beyond the full cost of attendance. Maybe athletes will be allowed to auction off their autographs on ebay. Probably most intriguing (and what I think is the long-range goal) is that this is all about setting up an 8-team playoff with the 5 power conference champs with auto-bids and 3 at-large bids without having to deal with the “riff raff” of the Group of Five leagues (and protecting the power leagues from any legal challenges to that playoff system on top of that). Imagine a playoff with a traditional Rose Bowl (Big Ten champ vs. Pac-12 champ) plus the Sugar Bowl (SEC champ vs. at-large), Orange Bowl (ACC champ vs. at-large) and Cotton or Fiesta Bowl (Big 12 champ vs. at-large) as quarterfinals. The ratings and money would be through the roof along with supercharging the interest in the regular seasons of all of those power conferences (meaning even more ratings and money) and they get to control all of it without having to share with the revenue takers. That can be done with a totally separate Division 4 in a way that probably can’t occur in the current NCAA structure.

What I don’t see is something in between, where a Division 4 is formed with the 5 power conferences plus, say, the American Athletic Conference and Mountain West Conference. There is very little point in the power conferences going through the exercise of creating a Division 4 when the end result is only relegating the MAC, Conference USA and Sun Belt. The power players aren’t going to deal with a litany of acrimonious lawsuits unless the end game is complete and 100% control with only the conferences that they deem worthy (and judging by the fact that the 5 power conference commissioners keep speaking with each other as a group without the involvement of anyone else, it should be pretty clear who they want to deal with). Either it’s going to be a massive change to the system (separation of the 5 power conferences plus Notre Dame into a new division) or little change outside of NCAA procedural matters (giving all FBS schools more latitude in setting their own rules). The “half-measure” of the AAC and MWC coming along for the ride with the power conferences doesn’t seem very likely to me, which is why individual Group of Five schools need to hope for more conference realignment for guaranteed protection. Speaking of which…

I don’t believe that further conference realignment is necessary for a Division 4 split. As we’ve gone over before on this blog, for all of the moves in conference realignment over the past few years, where we stand today really isn’t that much different than where we stood in 1998 when the BCS system first started (only we’ve consolidated from 6 power conferences into 5). Every school that was in one of the 6 BCS conferences in 1998 is still in one of the 5 current power conferences today with the exception of Temple (who was a football-only member of the Big East that was relegated for reasons completely outside of conference realignment), while a grand total of 3 schools (TCU, Utah and Louisville) have been elevated. This indicates that the power conferences are pretty firm in who they want to associate with and changing perceptions is a glacial process. Now, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t hope for some schools…

I can now answer this question nicely since we had a successful “Hate Cincinnati” weekend in the Frank the Tank household (Illini over Bearcats on Saturday, which frankly shocked the hell out of me, and Bears over Bengals on Sunday). Cincinnati and its AAC/old Big East zombie counterpart UConn are definitely power conference material on paper. The issue is more about whether any of the power conferences will see a need to expand proactively while everyone other than the SEC is at the start of long-term grant of rights agreements that make it difficult (if not impossible) for power schools to move amongst themselves. Overall, the Big 12 is more likely to want to expand at some point because of their small size, poor demographics outside of the state of Texas and the fact that IF a grant of rights agreement were to be broken (a massively large IF), it would be in the context of the Big Ten raiding the Big 12 again (more on that in a moment), which would bode well for Cincinnati. The Bearcats have a solid football program in a good TV market with access to a great recruiting area for athletes of all types (whether football or basketball) while also providing a geographic bridge to West Virginia for the Big 12. As a result, Cincinnati is likely next in line for the Big 12 (alongside BYU) if that league wants to expand. The problem for Cincy fans, of course, is no one knows if or when that expansion would happen in the near future.

The ACC would probably favor UConn over Cincinnati if it had to choose, although that conference did deviate from its traditional criteria in choosing Louisville last year. The main issue for any school with hopes of joining the ACC is that it doesn’t seem plausible that it would expand outside of either (a) backfilling in the event of a raid by the Big Ten and/or SEC or (b) pairing a school with Notre Dame joining as a full member, neither of which seems to be on the horizon in the short-term. There’s at least some argument that the Big 12 would proactively expand regardless of what the other conferences do, so that at least gives Cincinnati some hope.

Some Big Ten conference realignment questions:

Let’s start with my previous post, where I point out how difficult and unlikely it is to break a grant of rights arrangement over the next decade or so. As a result, the likelihood of Big Ten expansion in the near future is extremely low, as I don’t believe that the conference is interested in anyone that isn’t already in one of the 5 power conferences (meaning no one in the AAC or any other Group of 5 conference is compelling enough).

Now, whenever the Big Ten expansion does kick up again, Kansas is certainly high up there on the list. The Jayhawks are to future Big Ten expansion in the way that Pharrell Williams ended up singing on the two largest Billboard hits of the summer (“Blurred Lines” and “Get Lucky”) despite not headlining either of them: it’s hard to see KU not involved as a contiguous AAU school with an elite basketball program, but they also can’t be the biggest athletic name in that expansion, either. One thing that I’ve loved about writing this blog is that I hope that I’ve helped to elevate the discussion of conference realignment to take into account factors that many fans didn’t consider previously (i.e. academics, TV markets, branding, etc.), yet we sometimes do need to take a step back and realize that the product on the field (or court) is still what makes all of the off-the-field money possible, so expansion has to serve those needs. Thus, a hypothetical Kansas/Virginia or Kansas/Missouri (not that I think the Big Ten is ever going to poach the SEC and vice versa) expansion combo for the Big Ten might serve some TV market and AAU status purposes, but that doesn’t have the requisite athletic (and more specifically, football) impact that is required for what could conceivably be the last two spots in the Big Ten. (For all of those that would counter, “Rutgers and Maryland weren’t added for sports!”, I would say that (a) there was a football goal achieved since New Jersey and Maryland were the two top non-Sun Belt states for football recruits that weren’t already in the Big Ten footprint and (b) pure TV market additions were acceptable when looking that them in conjunction with the elite football addition of Nebraska.)

Putting aside the obvious no-brainer additions like Texas, I’m firmly in camp of supporting the addition Oklahoma to the Big Ten and I don’t believe that it’s a purely fan-focused football move. The main detraction for Oklahoma that I often see is that it isn’t an AAU member, but its academic metrics aren’t really far off at all from now-non-AAU member Nebraska and its neighboring old Big 8 AAU schools (Missouri, Kansas and Iowa State). There isn’t the wide academic gap between OU and Nebraska that there was in the case of Louisville compared to the rest of the ACC. Some Big Ten observers believe that the non-AAU status of Oklahoma is a non-starter, but I doubt that the conference would have engaged performing due diligence on the Sooners unless there was some legit interest involved. More importantly, the lack of AAU status for other expansion candidates was simply another reason on top of a number of other factors that made the target school undesirable (i.e. geography, lack of a fan base, lack of a football brand name, not a new TV market, etc.). It’s easy for the Big Ten to ignore a merely “good” football program based on academics (i.e. West Virginia or Louisville), but Oklahoma is a top level king school that would bring a ton of national TV dollars. Even Oklahoma’s smaller home state population on paper is mitigated by the fact that its fan base crosses over into North Texas and the Dallas-Fort Worth area (and Kansas, by the same token, can’t just be looked at by its home state population alone since it’s the top college team in the Kansas City market that takes a large chunk of Missouri).

The upshot is that if the Big Ten goes to 16 schools, then the last 2 additions actually need to make markets irrelevant. What are the 2 additions that can truly transform the BTN from a regional network to a legit national network? Sure, if the Big Ten has the choice, they’d want Texas and Notre Dame (or some other unattainable major market prize like North Carolina or Florida). However, if we’re talking about the top brand names that are willing to reciprocate the Big Ten’s overtures, Oklahoma and Kansas are sitting right there to supercharge the conferences’ football and basketball lineups, respectively. Penetrating a diverse market like New York City has as much to do with the national interest in various teams as it does with local interest, which aids the cases of OU and KU.

Frankly, the biggest factor working the Big Ten going after either OU and KU (much more than academic concerns) is the political pressure of those schools’ respective in-state brothers (Oklahoma State and Kansas State). I believe the Big Ten would expand with an OU/KU combo, but the conference won’t be willing to take either Oklahoma State and Kansas State in the process. Those “little brother” schools might be non-negotiable from a political perspective even if Jayhawk and Sooner fans don’t want to believe that to be the case, so that could stop Big Ten expansion regardless of any Big 12 grant of rights concerns. So, that brings me back to my initial point that Big Ten expansion isn’t likely, albeit it’s still fun to talk about after all of this time.

I’ll be back with Part II of the mailbag going over issues such as EA Sports NCAA ’14, Big East expansion and pro sports realignment shortly. Talk to you again soon!

(Image from Zap2It)

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Comments
  1. Pat says:

    Go Blue!

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  2. Carl says:

    Hackenberg!

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  3. greg says:

    Go Hawks!

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  4. Steve says:

    I’ve never considered the GOR “ironclad”, every agreement is made to be broken which is why we have lawyers. I believe the Big 12 signed a 13 year GOR, we are already 2 years into it, by the time the Big 10 will be signing their new contract 2016-17 there will be 7 years left making the buy out more palatable. And since the money is coming from the same source or sources (Fox, ESPN) do they care if a school leaves one of “their” conferences to go to another?
    As for political pressure from KS lawmakers for wanting to keep the schools together, Gov. Brownback was asked about that during part 2 of the realignment game and he stated while it is preferable for the schools to stay together, there is nothing written in “blood” stating they have to stay together. The KS Board of Regents for the first time recently allowed KU to increase their admission requirements, separating them from the other BOR schools, previously the BOR schools had to have the same entrance requirements but that is no longer the case, while it was never stated this was done to strengthen KU’s desirability in case another round of realignment occurs, you have to wonder if it didn’t play a role. I also wonder if the political pressure to keep them together will be less if the Big 12 remains a power conference which I think it will, as stated above, if KU leaves they will be replaced by Cincy and maybe BYU.
    As for OU or Texas moving to the Big 10 I don’t see it happening (especially for Texas) I think if either one of the schools headed north it would kill their football program, those schools get their recruits from Texas and the southeast, I don’t see how they could compete with the SEC schools for recruits if they will be playing a lot of their games in the upper midwest.

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    • Brian says:

      Steve,

      “I’ve never considered the GOR “ironclad”, every agreement is made to be broken which is why we have lawyers.”

      And also why everyone hates lawyers. On it’s face a GOR is easy to break, it’s just very expensive. Until someone proves otherwise, that’s what makes them rock solid.

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  5. Transic says:

    Big Ten cities, ranked by average earnings for college grads:

    http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/blog/2013/09/big-ten-cities-ranked-by-average.html

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    • wmtiger says:

      That really only tells us that it’s more expensive to live in New Jersey, Maryland, Chicago than it is in Bloomington, East Lansing, Columbus, etc.

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  6. duffman says:

    In under 10

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  7. JohnCassillo says:

    Serious question: If the AAC turns itself into an absolute tire fire (seems likely), could UConn elect to move down to the FCS level at some point and join up with their old pals in the Big East? They’d end up making more money from TV with just a basketball team and wouldn’t fall off a cliff in that sport as they very well could given the top-heavy nature of their current league (once Louisville’s gone, it’s them, Temple, Cincy and Memphis… and that’s it).

    As for the other AAC schools, Cincy seems to have a better angle on being “called up,” as do USF and UCF. The rest aren’t gong anywhere, as they were survival adds anyway. But curious if there’s another perspective I’m not seeing.

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    • vp19 says:

      Can’t see Connecticut abandoning FBS play, given how much money the state spent on that East Hartford stadium. Also, I don’t see the Big East interested in any large public colleges with big-time football programs; it’s been down that route before.

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      • vp19 says:

        Oh, and Frank: If you’re going to add Notre Dame to the “big five” conferences in “Division 4,” you have to add Brigham Young, too.

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        • JohnCassillo says:

          And you can’t add BYU the same way you can add Notre Dame. The Irish have been part of the BCS cartel since day one, while the Cougars have not. Regardless of on-field results, Notre Dame’s money pull still outweighs BYU’s (and virtually any other school’s but Texas’s) by a large factor. Would need more time playing and succeeding as an independent. And even then, money still won’t add up to what Notre Dame takes in and the value it adds to a Power 5/Division 4 contingent.

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        • boscatar says:

          It might depend on how many games the Division 4 teams are allowed to play each season against Group of 5 (or lower). If it’s restrictive, the PAC 12 and Big 12 would probably like to have BYU available to count as a Division 4 matchup.

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          • BruceMcF says:

            But D4 will be converting the present FBS into its own Division, so why wouldn’t it include BYU? If its done inside the NCAA structure, how else will they get the numbers to get it passed? Its a move that focuses on changing the voting balance of power for division-level rules, with the P5 holding a majority if all five can reach a consensus, rather than needing the Go5 to offset non-FB and FCS votes on issues where the non-FB and FCS oppose the rule change.

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      • JohnCassillo says:

        Well that’s why I added the FCS caveat too. No way they’d add any school with a FBS program. After five or so years though, are we really going to be able to call UConn “big time” football anymore? Money gap with BC, Rutgers and Syracuse in the region will be too large to overcome. With no local recruits, that doesn’t look like an encouraging future.

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        • @JohnCasillo – I think that no one at the FBS level is going to willingly move down to FCS at this point with the new playoff money coming in. That alone makes staying in FBS worth any perceived headaches.

          This is especially the case for UConn since they are sooooooo close to getting a power conference invite if one or two moves break their way. They’d probably be the *least* likely school that would ever consider dropping down to FCS since they’re pot committed in poker terms. This isn’t a situation like UMass or Buffalo that truly have little hope of moving up in the ranks for the next 30 or 40 years.

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        • Marc Shepherd says:

          After five or so years though, are we really going to be able to call UConn “big time” football anymore? Money gap with BC, Rutgers and Syracuse in the region will be too large to overcome. With no local recruits, that doesn’t look like an encouraging future.

          There are dozens of FBS programs that hardly ever sniff the top 25, but have never even remotely considered dropping down to FCS.

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    • frug says:

      The state, not the school, owns the stadium (and spent a pretty penny on it) so I doubt they would let UConn drop to FCS. (The state recently blocked UConn from moving its home game with Michigan to a neutral even though it could have made more money by doing so)

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    • bullet says:

      I think they will simply do something to make rule making easier and include all of FBS. Then they will try to spend some of the conferences out of the new division rather than, as Frank says would be difficult, directly forcing some out.

      However, there is some precedent. They kicked out most of the MAC for a year in 1982. They left the MAC and Big West out of CFA. The latest attendance rule changes, which haven’t really been enforced, were clearly aimed at the MAC and Big West/Sun Belt. Much as the AAC is basically the old CUSA, CUSA has essentially become the Sun Belt while the Sun Belt is new schools. When you look at the old CFA, they may prefer to keep the MWC and AAC with them while dumping the other 3 conferences.

      And they may be willing to keep the MAC which serves the Midwest and MWC which serves the west and AAC which serves the east and south while trying to get rid of CUSA and Sun Belt which overlap with AAC in the south. Using USNWR categories, I believe every P5 school except TCU fits into the categories of a national university with lots of doctoral programs (whatever that terminology is-high doctoral?). TCU is a national university with the 2nd tier of doctoral programs (i.e. they don’t issue as many Phds). Almost all the schools in the AAC fit in the national university high doctoral category. I believe all the MAC schools except Eastern Michigan are national schools and most are high doctoral. MWC has a few regional schools-SJSU, Fresno and Boise, but most are national universities with heavy doctoral activity. However the CUSA and Sun Belt have become heavily populated by regional universities and are 2nd or 3rd level in the doctoral category. So the CUSA and Sun Belt are mostly made up of schools without the prestige or endowments and other resources of the P5 schools. They aren’t “one of us.”

      So while I agree with Frank its not likely now, I could see them preferring the middle road as their long run goal. They work with the Colorado St.’s and UConn’s in academia. Troy St. and FIU, not so much.

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      • David Brown says:

        That was my point a few months ago. The MWC (Air Force, Boise, Colorado State, UNLV & probably BYU) will likely come with the Big 5, and so will the AAC (Navy, Houston, USF, UCF, Cincinnati & UConn). Note: I mentioned the Service Academies and Schools that could one day move into a Power Conference. They cannot be classified the same as Arkansas State, UTEP, New Mexico State, Idaho, Troy, Rice, or Western Kentucky. I am not as high on the MAC Schools. Northern Illinois who went undefeated in the MAC, did not have a home game with 20k or more people. By comparison, UTEP who I singled out as a school whose program is not on the level of the MWC or AAC (and who generally sucks every year), had constant attendance figures in the 20k-30k range. If the MAC goes to a lower Division I would shed no tears.

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  8. David Brown says:

    I have said it before, and I will say it again. I simply cannot imagine Congress doing nothing and letting Navy & Air Force get screwed, while inferior Universities such as Wake Forest & Washington State reap the benefits. I would like to know what separates BYU from Utah (except the PAC Conference)? Boston College from Connecticut? Basically the Huskies invest in their program in financial ways that the Eagles simply do not do (check out BC Interruption sometime and read about how cheap they are). What about Colorado State University who wants to invest in a new facility while the University of Colorado does not? Speaking of Washington State, why should they be in the PAC Conference, and not Boise State? What happens with Johns Hopkins?

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    • frug says:

      I simply cannot imagine Congress doing nothing and letting Navy & Air Force get screwed, while inferior Universities such as Wake Forest & Washington State reap the benefits.

      The Ivy League has the wealthiest, most powerful and best connected alumni, students and administrators in the country and the power conferences managed to send them to I-AA.

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      • Marc Shepherd says:

        I have said it before, and I will say it again. I simply cannot imagine Congress doing nothing and letting Navy & Air Force get screwed, while inferior Universities such as Wake Forest & Washington State reap the benefits.

        I entirely agree. Beyond that, the top-tier programs love to schedule the service academies. The P5 will never force them out. If they leave on their own, then so be it.

        Now, as @Brian pointed out, the service academies may choose the lower level, but I see no signs of that. The academies have no illusions that they’re ever again going to play elite football, but they continue to play in FBS.

        The Ivy League has the wealthiest, most powerful and best connected alumni, students and administrators in the country and the power conferences managed to send them to I-AA.

        The Ivy League didn’t argue. Even in I-AA, they don’t play a full schedule and they don’t participate in the post-season. It’s as if they’re “I-AAA”. If the Ivy had been serious about staying in I-A, they probably could have done it.

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        • Wainscott says:

          @Marc Shepherd: Actually, the Ivy League protested vehemently when they were relegated to I-AA status in the late 70’s/early 80s. If you go back and read articles from that era, they spend several years plotting to join I-A (one of which was mentioned in the NYT article I posted in the last thread about the conference pondering an invite to Army, Northwestern, and others).

          Over time, they merely came to accept it, some schools more than others (Columbia, for example, couldn’t care less about football, whereas UPenn, Yale, and Harvard still celebrate their football past and play in larger than necessary stadiums).

          Also, I completely agree re: service academies. No chance they get screwed over in any potential “Division 4.” But remember, I think it was Pete Thamel who reported that Division 4 would more than likely be about 100-150 schools, not just the power football conferences plus some other schools.

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          • Marc Shepherd says:

            @Wainscott: Perhaps you can refresh my memory, because I don’t recall seeing any such articles. Of course, even today there are diverging views in the Ivy, but as I recall, there wasn’t a league consensus to be competitive in I-A. As I noted, they don’t even try to be competitive in I-AA.

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          • bullet says:

            While I have seen the articles about them fighting it in the 70s, I think they accepted it in 1982. They still had 4 schools who met the criteria-Yale, Harvard, Penn and Princeton. Cornell may have as well.

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          • BruceMcF says:

            Though when the decision has been forced between remaining in the Ivy League and remaining in the top football subdivision, deciding that the Ivy League was the higher priority is far from the same at being sanguine about being kicked out of the top football subdivision.

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          • Wainscott says:

            @Marc_Shepard: In the last thread, I posted the article about Northwestern being considered by the Ivy League. That article references the Ivy’s dissatisfaction at being demoted.

            Here’s another NYTimes article, presented in full, which also notes it:

            http://www.nytimes.com/1982/01/10/sports/ivy-league-considers-adding-2-schools.html?pagewanted=print

            January 10, 1982

            Ivy League Considers Adding 2 Schools

            By GORDON S. WHITE Jr., Special to the New York Times

            HOUSTON, Jan. 9— The Ivy League is considering an expansion from its traditional eight schools to a 10-team league, with Army, Northwestern and Navy the most likely candidates for membership. However, none of these institutions has been formally approached on the subject, according to league officials.

            The idea of expansion appears to have come about shortly after the Ivy League was demoted from the major college group, Division I-A, to Division I-AA by a vote of the National Collegiate Athletic Association on Dec. 4. During a special convention of the N.C.A.A., the majority of Division IA institutions approved attendance and stadium-size requirements for membership in Division I-A that the majority of the Ivy League teams could not meet.

            Thus the entire league was forced into Division I-AA at the same time that I-A was cut from 137 teams to fewer than 100. David McLaughlin, president of Dartmouth College, an Ivy member, said today: ”I’m sure it’s prompted somewhat by the N.C.A.A. action. It’s time to really sit back and take several months to think together on what the league should be and how it fits within the N.C.A.A. rules and whether the league should be expanded.”

            The N.C.A.A. reduced its Division I-A football membership when it required that each team in this major category have an average home attendance of 17,000 for the last four years or a home arena that seats at least 30,000 people. Only Yale among the Ivy teams met both of those reguirements.

            Army, Navy and Northwestern are still members of Division I-A in football and they each meet the new requirements for major football status. If any two of these three were to join the Ivy League, they probably would help get the Ivy League back into I-A.

            The possibility that Army or Navy would voluntarily drop down to I-AA in football if they joined the Ivy League is considered unlikely. If Northwestern were to drop out of the Big Ten, Pittsburgh undoubtedly would seek to replace the Wildcats. Pitt athletic officials have voiced such a wish in the past. 6 Appeals to Be Heard

            The N.C.A.A. allowed teams to appeal their demotion to Division I-AA, but the eight Ivy presidents decided two weeks ago not to make an appeal for reinstatement into Division I-A. Six demoted schools will appeal Monday, when the N.C.A.A. opens it annual convention here: Arkansas State, Louisiana Tech, Northeast Louisiana, Richmond, Virginia Military Institute and William and Mary.

            Mr. McLaughlin said, ”There are several aspects to Division I-AA that are of concern, but not to the point that we felt we should appeal at this time.”

            Army and Navy wanted to join the Ivy League in basketball two years ago but were turned down by the league members – Yale, Cornell, Princeton, Columbia, Brown, Pennsylvania, Harvard and Dartmouth.

            Northwestern is a charte r member of the Big Ten Conference, although cons idered way out of its league in that powerful football and basketbal l conference. Northwestern is the only private institution i n the Big Ten, constantly struggling against some of thestrongest ath letic state universities in the c ountry.

            Northwestern, which won one football game in 1979, did not win in 1980 or 1981 in establishing an N.C.A.A. record of 31 straight defeats over three seasons.

            Army, Navy and the eight Ivy members make up the 10-team Eastern Intercollegiate Baseball League. Army and Navy, which regularly played Ivy teams in football years ago, returned to playing Ivy football opponents in recent seasons. Army defeated three Ivy teams in 1981 for its only victories of the year. Yale beat Navy in football last season. Holy Cross Cited

            An Ivy official who did not wish to be identified also raised the possibility that three other colleges – Holy Cross, Colgate and William and Mary -might be considered in Ivy expansion.

            By mentioning Army, Navy and Northwestern as potential Ivy members, the eight charter Ivy members appear to have put their stamp of approval on the academic standards Ivy institutions consider necessary.

            Attempts to reach officials of Army, Navy and Northwestern failed today. Many of the people involved were en route to the convention here. Mr. McLaughlin and Brown’s president, Howard Swearer, will arrive Sunday and meet with the eight Ivy athletic directors to begin serious talks about expansion.

            Speaking by telephone today from his home in Hanover, N.H., Mr. Mc-Laughlin said: ”We are meeting with the athleic directors Sunday night, and that will be the beginning of that review process. But there hasn’t been anything that has been determined at this stage.”

            He emphasized, however, that such membership in the Ivy League would be an across-the-board move. ”The options are for one sport,” he said, ”but I think that the effort would be to look across the full range of our athletic programs for expansion.”

            All Ivy sports other than football are ranked major or Division I, such as track, cross country, basketball, baseball, wrestling, hockey, soccer, lacrosse and swimming.

            The Ivy League, seven of whose members were among the first colleges to play football more than 100 years ago, was a loosely knit group until 1954, when it became a formal intercollegiate athletic league under the terms of the Ivy League Presidents’ Agreement.

            The presidents limit the number of varsity football games to 10 in most seasons and nine in some others, but never can a team play 11 games as do most other I-A and I-AA teams.

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        • frug says:

          The Ivy League has the wealthiest, most powerful and best connected alumni, students and administrators in the country and the power conferences managed to send them to I-AA.

          The Ivy League didn’t argue. Even in I-AA, they don’t play a full schedule and they don’t participate in the post-season. It’s as if they’re “I-AAA”. If the Ivy had been serious about staying in I-A, they probably could have done it.

          Actually, the Ivies fought vehemently and even forced through an amendment (the Ivy Amendment) in ’79 that would let them stay at I-A. However, the major schools managed to overturn it in ’82 and sent them to I-AA even though some schools (like Harvard) still met the I-A requirements.

          Eventually, the Ivies did give up the fight, but was as much about accepting the inevitable as it was anything else.

          http://www.thecrimson.com/article/1982/1/18/presidents-question-ivy-drop-in-ncaa/

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          • bullet says:

            They added an amendment later that if more than half the schools in your conference met the requirements they could all stay. A number of the MAC schools (Kent, Akron, EMU) stayed in I-A by virtue of that rule. 4 of the Ivies met the requirement at that time. Harvard, Yale, Penn and Princeton still had pretty good attendance and Princeton still had their old 45k seat stadium (now replaced by a 20k new one). Brown, Columbia and Dartmouth would never meet it. Cornell was probably below the attendance and slightly below on the 30k stadium. So the Ivy was only at 50%.

            Like

    • Brian says:

      David Brown,

      “I have said it before, and I will say it again. I simply cannot imagine Congress doing nothing and letting Navy & Air Force get screwed, while inferior Universities such as Wake Forest & Washington State reap the benefits.”

      And you keep assuming the academies want to be in the very top level. The NCAA already has a bunch of special rules for them. They may rather stay on a level where they can compete for titles rather than join the top level. If they want to stay up, the NCAA will write a loophole that let’s them stay up.

      Like

      • metatron says:

        No, there’s a bit of prestige for everyone keeping them around.

        Like

      • David Brown says:

        I did not say all the Academies (Army does not). But Air Force certainly wants to have a Big Time Program, and Navy giving up their Independence to join the AAC (instead of going the West Point Route) is telling as well. No one expects Air Force and Navy to become Alabama or LSU, but they can win games against Major Conference Schools (ask Indiana about Navy). There is a role for Universities like the Air Force & Naval Academy in the 21th Century Collegiate Sporting World, like there is for Stanford, Cal Berkeley, Northwestern, Vanderbilt & Duke. One of the trends we are seeing is potential recruits realizing the value of an Education from those kind of Schools, and for someone with the Grades (and coming with it is the discipline necessary to remember they are “STUDENT”-Athletes) to get into Stanford or Northwestern. Personally speaking, I am a major Penn State fan, but if I had a kid, and he was offered a Scholarship, and he asked my opinion, about going to Navy, Northwestern, or for playing for my Nittany Lions I would suggest in this order: 1: Navy. 2: NW. 3: Penn State.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          I don’t think they should be in the top level. They’ve got a small school with an increasing number of females and a higher mission to fill than producing a competitive football team. They are the 3 smallest universities in FBS. And only Tulsa, Rice and Wake Forest have fewer undergraduates.

          Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            I don’t think they should be in the top level. They’ve got a small school with an increasing number of females and a higher mission to fill than producing a competitive football team. They are the 3 smallest universities in FBS. And only Tulsa, Rice and Wake Forest have fewer undergraduates.

            The only thing the P5 care about, is being able to make their own rules. The service academies have never stood in the way of that. Every student at the academies gets a free ride anyway, whether they’re an athlete or not. Another $3,000 per athlete, or whatever the stipend turns out to be, is just a rounding error in their budgets.

            Will Army and Navy ever again compete for national championships? Of course not. But the P5 aren’t going to worry about three tiny government-run schools. It’s just not worth the effort and the political cost to force them out, when they’re not standing in the way.

            Like

  9. Mike says:

    I don’t see the Big 12 existing much longer than their grant of rights allows. As I see it, by the time the GOR expires:

    -The Big 12’s current challenges (demographics, etc) are not going away.

    -The ACC’s GOR is longer than the Big 12’s GOR and will make an ACC raid even more unlikely.

    – TV money wise the Big Ten, PAC 12, and SEC will be head and shoulders above everyone thanks to their network royalties creating a money gap between the “network” conferences and the ACC/Big 12.

    -Texas, thanks to the LHN, will receive competitive media compensation with the three “network” conferences. Texas will be happy and I doubt will be looking to move.

    -The rest of the Big 12 will resent the money gap and will be looking for options. Politics could still make it messy, but if big brother school is falling behind because of little brother schools then divorces can happen. FSU fans and boosters didn’t exactly react rationally to perceived differences between the ACC payouts and Big 12 payouts. I don’t expect Kansas and Oklahoma fans and boosters to be any different.

    -The Big Ten will probably be looking at Kansas and Oklahoma again.

    – The SEC should be interested in Oklahoma. If there is even a chance that OU may be available the SEC should be sniffing around.

    -The PAC12 will still desire exposure in the Central and Eastern Time zones. It is a very safe bet that they will try to raid the Big 12 again. If the PAC PTB get concerned that a Big Ten or SEC raid might cut off that avenue permanently, they might just blink and compromise on KSU and/or OSU.

    As far as the playoff goes, I don’t see the eight team set up if the Big 12 gets raided. I could see a set up where the conference championship games are the de facto round of eight with a provision where a #1 or #2 ranked team (for ND/G5/other) could replace the lowest ranked champion from the ACC/B1G/SEC/PAC in the four team play off. That way the CCGs become more valuable and the conferences don’t have to share anything with anyone else.

    Like

    • GreatLakeState says:

      I agree. I don’t thing the Big12 is sustainable in the long run. That is precisely is why I believe Oklahoma would consider a move.
      I agree with FTT’s post, but believe with the D4 looming and FS1 launching that a 16 member B1G happens before contract time. Oklahoma/Kansas or Oklahoma/Missouri (with BYU/UC taking their place) being most likely. Oklahoma/Texas is also not out of the question.
      It all comes down to money and if TX (along with OK) envision a nationwide BTN as being more advantageous than their current situation I think they’d consider it.

      Like

      • Tom says:

        As other leagues have expanded their reach into new areas, the Big 12 has gotten smaller. Bigger isn’t necessarily better, but it definitely helps in terms of TV exposure. The Pac 12 stretches from the Pacific Northwest to southern California, Arizona, and now the Mountain time zone. The Big Ten stretches from the Midwest to the Northeast/mid-Atlantic. The SEC is in Florida, the deep south, and now Texas. The ACC is in the northeast, Midwest, mid Atlantic, deep south, and Florida. Compare that to the Big 12. Over time, the revnue gap between the Pac 12, SEC, Big Ten, and even ACC will only grow. Competitively, the Big 12 should be fine (at least in football) in the short term because of the state of Texas and its’ recruits, but will the recruits be happy to play in a league that has hardly any national reach?

        That’s why I see Texas and Oklahoma jumping eventually.

        Like

      • vp19 says:

        You still have to convince the Big Ten presidents that Oklahoma would be worth it to the CIC — and after what happened with Nebraska, they may be cool to Norman. To my mind, the most likely scenario remains Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Okie State heading to the Pac, with the Big Ten waiting for the ACC’s revenue gap to widen to such a point that Virginia and North Carolina have no alternative but to join when the GOR expires — especially if their only alternative is the SEC, whose culture is as distasteful to Charlottesville and Chapel Hill as it is to Texas and OU.

        Like

        • Andy says:

          You’re talking a 15 year timeline here. Who knows what Chapel Hill will think of the SEC in 2028? Right now their fans are largely in favor of the SEC if ever they had to leave the ACC, which they don’t want to do.

          Like

        • bullet says:

          I think one thing we have learned from realignment is that markets don’t really matter, penetration and reach does. The Big 10 first took Nebraska. The Big 12 took TCU and WVU. The SEC took A&M which had markets, but also good penetration in their state. The ACC chose Syracuse, Pitt and Louisville, the latter 2 distant #2s in their state and didn’t take UConn which is alone in their own state. The Big 12 presidents were rather surprised when the TV people told them Colorado was a drag on the conference financially. The Big 12 will probably be making more than any other conference in 2014 when the playoffs start.

          The Big 12’s TV ratings last year with both Texas and OU slightly down were almost the same as the Big 10 and ahead of the Pac 12 and ACC. The SEC was way above everyone else because they had more good teams. Their bad matchups had miniscule ratings (look at defending champ Alabama vs. a bad Auburn team), but they were offset by their good matchups which had great ratings. Most Tier I and II games are national now so you need to draw outside your own markets.

          So the Big 12 is well set with TV, playoff and bowl money. And most revenues are NOT from TV. The Big 12 schools don’t generate what the SEC and Big 10 schools do on average from ticket sales and donations, but are comfortably ahead of the norm in the Pac 12 and ACC. So there is no real reason the Big 12 isn’t sustainable.

          Like

          • Andy says:

            If markets don’t matter then why in the hell did the B1G take Rutgers and Maryland? They suck otherwise. I guess academics?

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            “I think one thing we have learned from realignment is that markets don’t really matter,”

            I’d like some of whatever you’re drinking…

            Like

          • Brian says:

            ccrider55,

            “I think one thing we have learned from realignment is that markets don’t really matter,”

            I’d like some of whatever you’re drinking…

            Context is key:
            “one thing we have learned from realignment is that markets don’t really matter, penetration and reach does.

            A lot of schools were added despite their local market size. A lack of market penetration has been raised as an issue for several schools, too.

            Now, I’m not saying he didn’t go too far by saying markets don’t matter, but I do think the rest of that sentence was key to what he was saying.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Rutgers and Maryland weren’t added so much for their penetration of their markets, but for the rest of the Big 10 who already had alumni there. And I think a very big portion was non-sports related-connections with influential people and non-athlete student recruiting. Its hard for the Big 10 schools to maintain quality with in-state students when that population is shrinking. Ohio has 25% fewer HS seniors than 1980. Maryland, New Jersey and NYC are markets for students, especially considering the large number who go to private schools. And as Frank says, with Nebraska, the Big 10 could afford Maryland and Rutgers.

            Like

          • @bullet – I think that the non-athlete student recruiting is an important point. New Jersey, in particular, happens to be the #1 state for exporting students to out-of-state colleges. (Illinois is #2.) In very real world college admissions terms, New Jersey is to non-athlete student recruiting as Texas is to football recruiting. The influx of New Jersey and NYC area students had already been strong at Penn State, Michigan, Wisconsin and Northwestern, and now Indiana is depending upon that group as much as it has depended upon Chicagoland students. New Jersey and Illinois have similar issues where there’s a huge gap between the academic quality of the flagship university and the next level of public universities while simultaneously being home to a massive number of high school students covering multiple large markets (NYC and Philly in the case of New Jersey and Chicago and St. Louis in the case of Illinois), so they send higher numbers of students to out-of-state schools than larger states like California and Texas (who have solid “upper middle” public universities beyond their respective flagships). Almost all of the Big Ten schools have depended upon large numbers of Chicagoland students paying out-of-state tuition (Iowa has about as many students from Illinois as it does from the state of Iowa at this point) and they want to penetrate New Jersey in the same manner.

            Like

          • zeek says:

            I agree with bullet here on the whole Rutgers/Maryland issue.

            The Big Ten’s needs are a bit different from everyone else’s since the Big Ten was the only major conference that wasn’t in one of the fast growing regions before it took Rutgers/Maryland.

            There are a lot of side-factors that went into the Rutgers/Maryland additions beyond just the fact that they were considered a complementary addition to Nebraska; the Big Ten needed to be on the East Coast for recruits/students/alumni/etc. with NYC/DC providing two of the largest markets in the country in proximity to the conference.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Thinking like a president it may have been the reverse, Rutgers and Maryland providing after the fact justification/cover for Nebraska. 🙂

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            My point is that Kansas and OU provide none of the non athletic benefits the pres’ seem to desire, and the B1G has plenty of athletic kings and princes as is.

            Like

    • frug says:

      -The ACC’s GOR is longer than the Big 12′s GOR and will make an ACC raid even more unlikely.

      Not that much longer. Plus since the ACC has a substantial lower payout than the Big 12 the cost of the buyout per year is lower.

      -The rest of the Big 12 will resent the money gap and will be looking for options.

      Kansas’ and Oklahoma’s tier III deals + Big 12 payouts are likely to be at least equal to what they would be making as a PAC member (especially after you account for the extra $4 million or so in travel expenses that a PAC move would entail)

      – The SEC should be interested in Oklahoma. If there is even a chance that OU may be available the SEC should be sniffing around.

      The SEC has already sniffed around Oklahoma. In fact, the SEC invited Oklahoma to join the conference in 2010 and OU turned them down. Much like Texas, OU has made it abundantly clear they have absolutely no interest in the SEC.

      Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        “Big 12 payouts are likely to be at least equal to what they would be making as a PAC member (especially after you account for the extra $4 million or so in travel expenses that a PAC move would entail)”

        Can’t compare to current contract numbers. How does their payouts compare to the PAC payouts with OU and UT included as PAC members? Remember, 2010 estimate was that their 3B contract would have been 4.5 – 5B for the (almost) P16 at that time.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          Texas looked at it and made it clear they aren’t going to the Pac. There’s conflicting stories on whether OU really wanted to go to the Pac in 2011, but it is clear that either OU or the Pac or both decided on not doing it. If Texas wanted out of the Big 12 they would have already done it. If OU and the Pac both wanted it, it would have already happened.

          Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Choosing not to join the P16 at the absolute last second (Chipster was reporting it as having happened) is making what clear? That they wouldn’t consider it in the manner they won’t consider the SEC? I beg to differ. UT + LHN + conference ownership is a good deal as long as all three parts remain strong, viable, and valuable. The last two may, or may not remain adaquate.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            They went through a long detailed process and decided it wasn’t worth it. Basically they were just having two conferences with a ccg because they wanted to minimize travel and they could do just fine financially staying in the Big 12. If Texas wanted to schedule USC, UCLA and Cal, they could do it ooc and probably play them as much as if they were in the same conference. And they have done just that with one of those 3 on the schedule the next 5 years. Dodds has also been on record as saying if Texas left the Big 12 it would look east. Its a long way from Austin to El Paso, let alone Los Angeles.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            No. They were going until aTm gave Scott the heads up that UT was going to try to force the PAC to accept the longhorns retaining T3 media rights and Scott made it clear that was not happening. I don’t really pay attention to the Chip, but usually announcing a deal as having happened means something. Even from him.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            Texas looked at it and made it clear they aren’t going to the Pac. . . . If Texas wanted out of the Big 12 they would have already done it. If OU and the Pac both wanted it, it would have already happened.

            Not saying it’s happening, or not happening, but we’re probably talking a decade from now. What they rejected in the early 2010s is not the same decision they’ll necessarily make in the mid-2020s.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            @cc
            That’s the Aggies take. I watched the 30-60 minute news conference with an exhausted Powers, Dodds and Plonsky at the time. I’m inclined to believe Powers over Texags. I was paraphrasing Powers. It was basically, “We could do the same thing without changing conferences, so why are we doing this?”

            Like

          • bullet says:

            @Marc
            A lot can change in a decade. But I see no reason to believe the Big 12 will not be viable. The ratings and competitive strength is there. And if the Big 12 is viable, Texas is extremely unlikely to leave.

            How media will change over the next 10-15 years is really unpredictable and that could impact any conference. I grew up in an era with the Big 3 networks where you might have 1 independent channel and PBS as well. It was inconceivable that there would be a 4th. But Fox moved into the group very quickly. Univision outdoes some of the Big 4 in some time slots. And counting secondary channels, I can get nearly 70 channels over the air with an indoor antenna from the 14 or 15 stations in the area. And now there’s cable making the networks less important. And the internet is putting pressure on the cable companies.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Bullet:

            I agree, but the thing Powers (who was on the pro P16 side) was talking about was the potential of their school specific network. To this point, although they are being paid handsomely, it looks to have been a miscalculation, an overestimation of what a single school (not an independent) could provide and what the demand would be.

            Like

          • Part of the Big 12’s problem is that two of their programs (TCU and KSU) are blatantly dependent on their current coaches for their current success, and Patterson may eventually look for a promotion and Snyder is close to final retirement. Perhaps Baylor starts picking up slack under Briles, but it seems iffy and even if they do, I’d guess someone waves a bunch of money at him.

            IMO the Big 12 has been on a great run of strength lately, but it’s going to fade. Stoops is aging (and seems to have lost his touch), West Virginia seems to have gone in the tank, etc. Texas should be better than they’ve been lately, and that goes 10x for Kansas, but overall I’d say most of their programs are currently over-achieving rather than under-achieving, and that does seem likely to revert sooner or later (and 2013 so far has certainly shown signs of this).

            Like

          • bullet says:

            You’re right about Snyder, but Patterson was preceded by Franchionne.

            Like

          • and 2/3 Franchione years at TCU were nothing special.

            Like

        • frug says:

          I was simply responding to Mike who said the PAC (along with the Big Ten and SEC) “will be head and shoulders above everyone thanks to their network royalties creating a money gap between the “network” conferences and the ACC/Big 12.”

          Like

      • Mike says:

        @frug –

        Not that much longer. Plus since the ACC has a substantial lower payout than the Big 12 the cost of the buyout per year is lower.

        When you want to make a move you want to do it now. Who knows what will spring up in the mean time. Also, the buy may be lower, but it is still a prohibitive amount.


        Kansas’ and Oklahoma’s tier III deals + Big 12 payouts are likely to be at least equal to what they would be making as a PAC member (especially after you account for the extra $4 million or so in travel expenses that a PAC move would entail)

        The tier three deals make it similar now, but it is only a matter of time before PTN payouts will dwarf them.

        The SEC has already sniffed around Oklahoma. In fact, the SEC invited Oklahoma to join the conference in 2010 and OU turned them down. Much like Texas, OU has made it abundantly clear they have absolutely no interest in the SEC.

        I don’t disagree. However, if OU thinks they need to close (my projected) resource gap at all costs, the SEC might be their best option. If the SECN is still a flat rights fee payment then there would be no buy in time like there presumably would for the Big Ten and PAC.

        Like

        • frug says:

          Not that much longer. Plus since the ACC has a substantial lower payout than the Big 12 the cost of the buyout per year is lower.

          When you want to make a move you want to do it now. Who knows what will spring up in the mean time. Also, the buy may be lower, but it is still a prohibitive amount.

          Since the cost per year of a buyout would be lower you can afford to buyout more years without increasing the total cost by much.

          Kansas’ and Oklahoma’s tier III deals + Big 12 payouts are likely to be at least equal to what they would be making as a PAC member (especially after you account for the extra $4 million or so in travel expenses that a PAC move would entail)

          The tier three deals make it similar now, but it is only a matter of time before PTN payouts will dwarf them.

          Actually, they aren’t that similar; Oklahoma is making quite a bit more now than the PAC schools. (The Big XII payout this year was higher than the PAC payout even before incorporating the the millions OU made by selling its tier III content).

          In fact, if you look at the PAC’s own projections it is not clear that they will ever make more than OU. Oklahoma’s Tier III pays them $7 million a year and there is no guarantee that the PTN is ever going to payout that much (the network still doesn’t have a deal with Direct TV).

          Add in the facts that the Big XII schools are going to get an extra $1.4 million each from the football playoff (since they are only going to be splitting their Sugar Bowl payout 10 ways instead 12 like the PAC) and the Big XII’s geography keeps OU’s travel costs low, I just can’t envision a scenario where the PAC 12 makes substantially more than OU will on its own.

          The SEC has already sniffed around Oklahoma. In fact, the SEC invited Oklahoma to join the conference in 2010 and OU turned them down. Much like Texas, OU has made it abundantly clear they have absolutely no interest in the SEC.

          I don’t disagree. However, if OU thinks they need to close (my projected) resource gap at all costs, the SEC might be their best option. If the SECN is still a flat rights fee payment then there would be no buy in time like there presumably would for the Big Ten and PAC.

          There was an even bigger revenue gap back in 2010 and Oklahoma still told them no.

          Like

      • FranktheAg says:

        OU passed on the SEC offer in 2010 for two reasons. Okie State didn’t have an invite and the B12 didn’t collapse. If OU is faced with the B1G or the SEC, and both options exclude OSU, then I expect they would pick the SEC.

        Like

        • frug says:

          OU passed on the SEC offer in 2010 for two reasons. Okie State didn’t have an invite and the B12 didn’t collapse.

          Those were two of the reasons, but not the only ones. OU just plain doesn’t want to go to the SEC. Remember, unlike OU, A&M didn’t turn down the SEC invitation in 2010 (they left it open) even though, at the time, they were tied to Tech politically and the Big XII was still around.

          Like

  10. I agree with Frank that if there is a split, it will almost certainly be all of FBS, or at least anyone who is willing/able to pay a stipend. For the most part, those schools are in favor of a stipend anyway, and could probably find a way to provide one. In any case, I don’t really think the P5 schools want to separate from those schools. For one thing, it would be extremely hard, and probably impossible to schedule 7 games without them. Additionally, I don’t think that the P5 schools feel that the other FBS schools are whose holding them back. For the most part, they’re schools with at least 20,000+ students and have annual athletic budgets in the millions. I think the real desire is to separate from the hundreds of tiny private schools with comparatively miniscule athletic budgets and no foreseeable way to increase them a meaningful amount.

    Like

    • BruceMcF says:

      Given the much easier path, if the Go5 conferences are willing to give the P5 conferences greater weight in the division board in return for being included, it seems likely that the P5 will at least give the separate Collegiate Championship Division a try. And, of course, if under the rules that are reached in system in which when the P5 reach consensus, that is the rule, and if the P5 are split, the Go5 have a chance to break the tie, a few of the recently FCS Sunbelt Schools find that they cannot make the cut … well, none of the P5 will shed a tear.

      Like

  11. frug says:

    As a native Oklahoman I have to take issue with some of your Big XII analysis.

    IF a grant of rights agreement were to be broken (a massively large IF), it would be in the context of the Big Ten raiding the Big 12 again (more on that in a moment), which would bode well for Cincinnati.

    You say this, but don’t give any reasons why the Big 12 is more likely to be attacked than the ACC. If anything, it seems way more likely the ACC will be targeted. It has more schools that would be attractive to other conferences and is at a substantial financial disparity compared to even the Big XII.

    it’s hard to see KU not involved as a contiguous AAU school with an elite basketball program

    I wouldn’t go that far. KU would a decent choice, but the Big 10’s interest in KU dropped substantially after the Rutgers and Maryland additions. It seems pretty clear that the Big Ten has at least some Eastern plan (as evidenced by the fact that they are opening an East coast office) so grabbing KU would be something of a step backwards.

    Some Big Ten observers believe that the non-AAU status of Oklahoma is a non-starter, but I doubt that the conference would have engaged performing due diligence on the Sooners unless there was some legit interest involved.

    Alternately, it could have been Delany who ordered the review of OU in the hopes of convincing the presidents.

    There isn’t the wide academic gap between OU and Nebraska that there was in the case of Louisville compared to the rest of the ACC.

    Why in the world does that matter? After all the ACC just added ND as a non-FB member, and I don’t think that makes it any more likely the Big Ten would do the same.

    Sure, if the Big Ten has the choice, they’d want Texas and Notre Dame (or some other unattainable major market prize like North Carolina or Florida).

    Obviously Florida is out of the question, but what makes you think UNC is “unattainable”. This is particularly silly argument since you use it in the context as to why the Big Ten would add Oklahoma. I can’t imagine why UNC is anymore attainable than OU.

    Like

    • Andy says:

      UNC is less attainable because of a couple of things:

      1) The ACC is a lot stronger than the Big 12. They have 15 members at this point and pretty much all of them are really good schools. They’re also very good at basketball, which is UNC’s sport.

      2) Even if UNC did leave the ACC, which they probably won’t, their fans largely want to join the SEC. Then again, I guess the same could be said of Oklahoma fans. Not too many Oklahoma fans are eager to join the B1G from what I’ve seen. It’s kind of a stretch geographically/culturally for both schools.

      Like

      • vp19 says:

        UNC administrators and alumni would probably prefer the Big Ten to the SEC in an either/or situation. It’s the T-shirt Tar Heel fans (aka the sky-blue version of the Walmart Wolverines) who are enamored with the SEC.

        And as the gap between football and basketball revenue continues to widen, UNC will gradually find its overall athletic program (normally in the top 10 of the Directors Cup) weakening. Eventually, it will either have to move to a power football conference to get the big money, or stay a basketball-first school and devolve into a public version of Wake Forest.

        Like

        • Andy says:

          I think you’re way overestimating the fragility of the ACC. Look at what they have now:

          Academically they’ve got a whole bunch of AAU schools:

          North Carolina
          Duke
          Georgia Tech
          Virginia
          Pitt

          then some very solid nearly AAU private schools:

          Notre Dame
          Boston College
          Miami
          Wake Forest
          Syracuse

          And some near AAU public schools:

          NC State
          Virginia Tech

          Also, some schools that aren’t AAU material but are very solid athletically

          Florida State
          Clemson
          Louisville

          I mean, there are a lot of good pieces there. Basketball is already solid, but football could very well take off again. UNC is a sleeping giant in football. Georgia Tech has a lot of potential. So does Virginia. Notre Dame will strengthen them football wise. Miami could recover. Syracuse has a lot of potential. Virignia Tech has already averaged something like 11 wins per year for years now. NC State could be good. Louisville is very hot right now. FSU and Clemson can be SEC-level powers.

          This league could very well solidify into something very good.

          And as for being “repulsed” by the SEC or whatever, if UNC were allowed to bring Duke with them then the SEC could be a pretty solid academic league.

          Research rankings of a hypothetical SEC:

          12. Duke
          13. North Carolina
          21. Vanderbilt
          35. Texas A&M
          42. Florida
          59. Kentucky
          69. Missouri
          75. South Carolina
          77. Georgia
          79. Mississippi State
          87. Tennessee
          91. LSU
          111. Arkansas
          113. Ole Miss
          156. Auburn
          184. Alabama

          Yeah those bottom few schools aren’t too good but there’s still a lot of quality in there. It could work if they wanted it to.

          Like

          • gfunk says:

            Andy, I rarely agree with you, but the ACC is going nowhere. In fact they will get stronger in due time.

            The BIG needs to pick the best options of the Big12 at this point and stand down.

            Like

          • gfunk says:

            And why not, in terms of football prestige OU and Tx, hypothetically speaking, are better than any 1-2 combo in the current ACC and the cultural bond would be stronger, though differences are noticeable.

            The Nebraska add may have been a blessing in disguise for BIG expansionists less concerned about AAU status, more interested in football prestige and money. OU, Tx and KU, would complete a formidable western BIG characeterized by the following: two more AAU schools, three flagships & a reconnection with Neb, who would serve as cultural broker for the rest of the BIG – yes I know Neb has its issues with Tx, but they need those Tx recruits and a Longhorn rivalry again.

            Like

    • Frank has repeatedly asserted that the ACC is stabler than the Big 12. Now that the ACC has a Grant of Rights, I’m sure his opinion is even stronger than it used to be.

      Like

      • frug says:

        He’s asserted it, but he’s never given any clear reasons why it is more stable.

        Indeed, Frank himself noted that conferences are like NBA teams, you are better off having a few huge stars and a bunch of scrubs (the Big XII model) than having a lot of depth but not much strength at the top.

        Like

        • ccrider55 says:

          The B12 model is a result of UNL, CO, aTm, and MO leaving. I’m not sure Frank was promoting it as anything desirable except to a king who wishes to control his kingdom, no matter its makeup. Independence with surfs…

          Like

          • frug says:

            I’m not sure Frank was promoting it as anything desirable except to a king who wishes to control his kingdom, no matter its makeup. Independence with surfs…

            No, it was on his Twitter feed that stars and scrubs was a better way to achieve stability than building a strong middle class at the expense of strength at the top. I specifically recall the NBA reference.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Which current B5 conferences lack a top, middle, and bottom in either FB or BB. Or both?

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Frug:

            I think we basically agree, but differ as to the level of potential vulnerability of the ACC and the B12.
            I see the ACC with enough disbursed top value FB and BB that it isn’t as vulnerable to the loss of a couple. The loss of even one FB power (even if it didn’t mean both would go at the same time) would be crippling to the B12. They couldn’t hang together through BB in the manner the ACC could attempt. The balancing factor is the UT’s desire to be in control may offset the ACC’s disbursed strengths.

            Like

          • Gailikk says:

            Frug,

            I think you need to take a step back and think about the ACC instability a bit more. I don’t know about everyone else but I know you have been watching this thing for over a year at least since I have read your posts here a lot. So you should remember the uncertainty and confusion that went on as predicted expansion had the ACC carved up like a turkey between the Big 12/Big 10/SEC because Maryland had left. 0
            Well the ACC was so unstable that they passed on potential Big 10/SEC Expansion and instead signed a GOR to stick together for 15 years. That doesn’t sound unstable. That sounds like a conference of like minded schools that decided it was better to remain together.
            As for Frank the tank’s offer of an explanation, I can’t remember if he said anything specific but I will. One word…………ESPN………. and the fact that ESPN’s relationship with the ACC is very much a parasitic necessity.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            I think you need to take a step back and think about the ACC instability a bit more… Well the ACC was so unstable that they passed on potential Big 10/SEC Expansion and instead signed a GOR to stick together for 15 years. That doesn’t sound unstable. That sounds like a conference of like minded schools that decided it was better to remain together.

            I don’t interpret it that way, any more than I consider the Big XII’s members necessarily “like minded”.

            Every school in every league is of two minds: 1) They want to be in the best league available; 2) If there is no better place to be, they want to ensure their current league doesn’t fall apart.

            All the GOR means is that, for the time being, they had nowhere better to go. Some will never have anywhere better to go (Wake Forest, BC). Others just hit the pause button (Florida State, Clemson). It’s not as if the structural weaknesses of the ACC (or the Big XII) were suddenly erased by this decision.

            Except for a few radicals who think the GOR is breakable, the whole discussion is about what might happen in a decade or so. Once the GORs get to within 3-4 years of their expiration dates, every institution will be a free agent once again. We’ll find out then just how “like minded” they are.

            Like

          • frug says:

            So you should remember the uncertainty and confusion that went on as predicted expansion had the ACC carved up like a turkey between the Big 12/Big 10/SEC because Maryland had left. 0
            Well the ACC was so unstable that they passed on potential Big 10/SEC Expansion and instead signed a GOR to stick together for 15 years. That doesn’t sound unstable. That sounds like a conference of like minded schools that decided it was better to remain together.

            Swap PAC for Big XII and Nebraska for Maryland and you have described the Big XII in 2010.

            My point isn’t that the ACC is necessarily unstable; it’s that I don’t see why it is anymore stable than the Big XII.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            “All the GOR means is that, for the time being, they had nowhere better to go.”
            Huh?

            It was a decision by UVA, UNC, FSU, Clemson, etc to remain together inspite of overtures (and add ND, sorta). Are they being held hostage? They did have alternatives. OU and UT have alternatives also, but have also chosen to stay put. Four B12 and one ACC schools have left and I’d characterize all for better situations.

            Like

          • frug says:

            “All the GOR means is that, for the time being, they had nowhere better to go.”
            Huh?

            It was a decision by UVA, UNC, FSU, Clemson, etc to remain together inspite of overtures (and add ND, sorta). Are they being held hostage? They did have alternatives. OU and UT have alternatives also, but have also chosen to stay put. Four B12 and one ACC schools have left and I’d characterize all for better situations.

            Marc didn’t say they didn’t have alternatives; he said they didn’t have better alternatives. Basically, you just proved his point.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            @cc
            Wrong about the ACC’s dispersal of fb power (which is all that really matters here). Take out 2 of FSU, Miami and VT and ACC is a mid-major. If you took out the top 3 schools that would be true of anyone other than the SEC.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Some numbers:
            Average year end AP poll points per school during the BCS era (1998-2012) based on 2015 membership and without the top 3 schools:

            SEC 86—59—FL, LSU, UGA
            B12 82—41—UT, OU, KSU
            B10 67—40—OSU, UM, WI
            P12 60—33—USC, OR, ST
            ACC 52—25—VT, Miami, FSU
            for reference:
            MWC 17
            ND 72
            BYU 38

            So pretty much everyone is down at BYU level without their top 3. Every conference other than the SEC has been pretty much dominated (as far as national rankings) by 2 or 3 schools in the BCS era. Alabama is 4th in the SEC. Without those top 3, the ACC is pretty close to the MWC.

            The Big 12 is not any more vulnerable after a loss of its top schools than anyone else (SEC excepted). As in Frank’s tweet, pretty much all the conferences are built that way.

            For the ACC, the poll points are:
            VT 164
            Miami 142
            FSU 130
            Louisville 56
            GT 51
            BC 40
            Clemson 30
            Pitt 19
            NCSU 15
            UVA 15
            SU 13
            WF 8
            UNC & Duke have never finished ranked in the BCS era.

            For the Big 12
            UT 213
            OU 211
            KSU 109
            TCU 103
            WVU 71
            OSU 46
            TT 37
            KU 19
            BU 13
            ISU 1

            Like

          • Brian says:

            ccrider55,

            “It was a decision by UVA, UNC, FSU, Clemson, etc to remain together inspite of overtures (and add ND, sorta). Are they being held hostage? They did have alternatives. OU and UT have alternatives also, but have also chosen to stay put. Four B12 and one ACC schools have left and I’d characterize all for better situations.”

            Just because those 5 schools thought the grass was greener doesn’t mean the remaining schools agreed. The ACC schools may feel staying together is better than chasing the maximum dollars but joining a distant conference with few friends.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            I see the ACC with enough disbursed top value FB and BB that it isn’t as vulnerable to the loss of a couple. The loss of even one FB power (even if it didn’t mean both would go at the same time) would be crippling to the B12. They couldn’t hang together through BB in the manner the ACC could attempt. The balancing factor is the UT’s desire to be in control may offset the ACC’s disbursed strengths.

            Bullet’s data show that every league but the SEC is practically a mid-major if it loses its top three schools. (Amazing that Alabama is merely the #4 SEC team across the whole BCS era.)

            What Bullet’s data don’t show are the combination of football power and market power. In the Big XII, the football power and the market power coincide. Historically, the strongest two schools competitively are Texas and Oklahoma, and they also command the most market value. KSU is a very weak #3. If the Big XII loses even one of Texas or Oklahoma, it’s cooked. It might persist in name only, much as the Big East did, but it wouldn’t be a power league. Of course, conference re-alignment moves never occur in isolation. If the Big XII loses one of UT or OU, it’s probably going to lose both.

            In the ACC, the football powers are VT, FSU, and Miami. But the market powers are UVA and UNC; those are the two schools the Big Ten and the SEC covet, despite their unimpressive results in football. The ACC could lose UVA and UNC, and it would still have a pretty good football league, as long as VT, FSU, and Miami stayed.

            Conversely, the ACC could lose FSU and Miami, and it would still be a better league than the old Big East was, i.e., good enough to keep its seat at the adults’ table. It would be a more distant fifth in the pecking order. but still a P5 league, given its market reach and the historical coherence of the remaining core schools. And what is the plausibility of that? What league exists that would take FSU and Miami, and where the two of them would actually want to go? FSU already considered the Big XII, and found it unpalatable.

            So I think there’s some merit to the statement that the ACC is intrinsically stronger. The Big XII has to retain UT and OU, or it becomes an instant mid-major. As a practical matter, if it loses one, it loses both, and it’s game over. The Big XII has no room for error at all. Power in the ACC is more dispersed, so there are more scenarios where it could survive as a P5 league.

            Like

  12. Andy says:

    At this point my theory is that Kansas is the reason Missouri is not in the Big Ten right now. Everything I’ve heard is that in 2010 when Nebraska joined the Big Ten, Missouri could have joined too but they couldn’t find an acceptable partner. Kansas would have killed to have joined the Big Ten at that point, so clearly they were deemed to be not a worthy partner, which is really a shame. Obviously Kansas is good at basketball, but their football program at the time was a bit of a dumpster fire (and still is, btw).

    In 2007 the final BCS standings were as follows:

    1. LSU
    2. Georgia
    3. USC
    4. Missouri
    5. Ohio State
    6. West Virginia
    7. Kansas
    8. Oklahoma
    9. Virginia Tech
    10 Texas

    Both Kansas and Missouri were up there in elite company at the same time. Their season ending game in KC had some of the highest ratings for a college football game in years.

    As of 2010 Missouri was still maintaining it somewhat, having averaged 10 wins per year over the previous 4 years, and ranking #12 in the final BCS standings that year. Kansas, on the other hand, went in the opposite direction, going from 12 wins to 8 to 5 to 3. Their attendance dropped like a rock too.

    So despite their excellent basketball program, they just weren’t expansion material.

    If Kansas and Missouri were both still averaging 10 wins per year at that point and playing highly rated national tv games to close each season, would the Big Ten have been eager to snatch up a trio of Nebraska, Missouri, and Kansas? We’ll never know but I think so.

    The fact that Kansas is being talked about now as one of the Big Ten’s top options just shows how far down their wish list the Big Ten now is.

    They could have had Kansas no sweat from day 1.

    The divisions would have worked out nicely:

    West:

    Nebraska/Kansas/Missouri/Illinois/Iowa/Minnesota/Wisconsin

    East:

    Penn State/Ohio State/Michigan/Michigan State/Indiana/Purdue/Northwestern

    Then move to 16 in a year or two, add Maryland plus one more (Notre Dame? Virginia? Rutgers?) and move Northwestern over to the West.

    Why didn’t this happen? Because Kansas sucked so badly at football that it killed the deal.

    That’s my theory anyway.

    Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      I don’t buy Kansas either, but not for the reasons you like. They aren’t in the mid Atlantic, a large state, or a growing desired demographic. They are a BB king that would be a good 16th (or 18th) to a school who provided the population/power the COP/C desire. It has nothing to do with FB success (see: Rutgers).

      Like

      • Andy says:

        Well, if Rutgers is the model school for the B1G then Kansas is definitely out. The only thing those two schools have in common is that they don’t draw well for football.

        Like

        • Phil says:

          Rutgers averaged 49M a game last year for an unattractive Big East schedule with opponents that brought a few hundred fans to the game. Kansas averaged 41M while playing a B12 schedule which included hosting Texas.

          Arguing they have poor attendance in common is a weak attempt even by the usual low, “trolling my ex-girlfriend’s Facebook” standards you exhibit on this board.

          Like

          • Andy says:

            Kansas has won something like 2 or 3 games total in the last 3 years. The fact that they averaged 41k fans is somewhat remarkable. Their attendance used to be above 50k not too long ago. I’d say Kansas and Rutgers are pretty comparable, fanbase-wise, in football. What would Rutgers average if they went 1-11?

            Like

          • Phil says:

            That’s a hypothetical because they haven’t gone 1-11 since Schiano basically built their program. However, they did still draw 46M+ in 2010 when they went 4-8 with an unattractive (no WVU) home Big East schedule and the Legrand injury cast a pall over the season.

            Like

      • Wainscott says:

        Considering ESPN and Time Warner Cable both struck deal with Kansas for the schools third-tier rights in all sports, perhaps we are undervaluing KU a wee-bit?

        Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      In 2007 the final BCS standings were as follows:

      1. LSU
      2. Georgia
      3. USC
      4. Missouri
      5. Ohio State
      6. West Virginia
      7. Kansas

      The Big Ten makes 50-year decisions, not 1-year decisions. The fact that, in one particularly fluky season, Missouri and Kansas were both in the final top 7, would not affect their priorities at all.

      Like

      • Andy says:

        You obviously didn’t read my post. I was saying if Missouri and Kansas could have maintained that for a while, the story could have been different.

        Missouri did their part: 12 wins, 10 wins, 8 wins, 10 wins.

        Kansas did not: 12 wins, 8 wins, 5 wins, 3 wins.

        I’m just saying if KU and MU were both averaging 10 wins per year and looking strong it may have gone differently.

        Like

    • mushroomgod says:

      I think your theory is flawed.

      No way the Big 10 would have added 3 schools at one time which would have been rated 12, 13, and 14 academically.

      You need to come up with another theory.

      Like

  13. Andy says:

    Just sanity checking that OU being comparable to Nebraska claim. Research rankings of Big 8 and Big Ten schools:

    2. Michigan
    6. Wisconsin
    15. Minnesota
    16. Penn State
    20. Ohio State
    27. Northwestern
    32. Illinois
    38. Iowa
    39. Maryland
    40. Colorado
    52. Purdue
    55. Michigan State
    57. Rutgers
    69. Missouri
    83. Iowa State
    93. Nebraska
    96. Indiana
    100. Kansas
    111. Kansas State
    130. Oklahoma
    134. Oklahoma State

    So yeah… OU is pretty far down there.

    Like

    • big willy says:

      where is texas?

      Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      You’ve cherry-picked your ratings there. In that list, Kansas is worse than Nebraska, but Nebraska’s the school that got kicked out of the AAU. Unless the AAU presidents can’t count, it’s safe to say they are looking at other criteria. Looking at it holistically, I agree with Frank that Oklahoma isn’t that far off of Nebraska, a school the Big Ten accepted with open arms.

      I’m guessing you chose that list because you hate Kansas, so you wanted the ranking that made them look as bad as possible.

      Like

      • Andy says:

        I didn’t cherry pick anything or cheat in any way. Here’s the data, look for yourself. Jeez, you guys are so paranoid.

        http://mup.asu.edu/research2011.pdf

        Like

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          I didn’t cherry pick anything or cheat in any way. Here’s the data, look for yourself. Jeez, you guys are so paranoid.

          I am not denying that such lists exist. I’m just saying that you chose the list in which Kansas is ranked below Nebraska, and yet Nebraska was the school kicked out of the AAU. Ergo, the list you chose must not be measuring the criteria that AAU presidents care about.

          Like

          • Andy says:

            Hm. Don’t know. Feel free to post your own lists. This is one of the few I know of. I don’t know of any where Kansas ranks ahead of Nebraska.

            I think Nebraska’s main issue is that they don’t have a medical school. Kansas does, and so does Missouri.

            Like

        • According to your link, KU is listed in the Top 25 Public Universities category (Page 24). MU, NU and OU are listed in the 26-50 category (Page 26). You are basing your ranking on research figures that don’t include the medical centers at KU, NU and OU.

          Like

          • Andy says:

            It also doesn’t include MU’s programs in KC, StL, or Rolla. Just main campus stuff. Which, as I understand, is how the AAU tends to count things, which is why Nebraska lost membership.

            As for being in the top 25 category, that seems to be based completely on the strength of the way the KU endowment is counted. The UM system’s endowment is basically the same as KU’s endowment, but it gets split up among the different campuses, while KU’s seems to be counted in one pot. Thus by the numbers used in that ranking KU’s endowment is counted as more than twice the size of MU’s, even though MU ranks higher than KU in every other category, so KU ends up higher on that ranking. Kind of silly, really.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            If you look on pages 24 and 26:

            Missouri Total Research #52, Federal Research #52, Endowment #47, Support #45, Faculty #48, Advanced Training #35, Average Undergrad SAT #62

            Kansas Total Research #80, Federal Research #80, Endowment #24, Support #34, Facult #54, Advanced Training #43, Undergrad SAT #89

            Now, considering MU and KU seem to be counting their endowments in completely different ways and the UM System Endowment is actually $1.1B (vs the $400M shown on this list) I’m not sure you can say that it makes any sense for KU to be higher than MU on that list.

            Like

          • MU gets a huge bump in this listing because your med school is located on campus. For some reason, this survey chose to list medical schools located off campus, yet still part of the same university, as separate entities.

            The reason that UMKC, Rolla and UMSL are not included in UMC’s figures is because they are separate, degree-granting universities. My master’s is from UMKC and there is nothing on my diploma that mentions Columbia. UMKC even has its own medical and law school. Comparing these institutions to KU Med is apples to oranges.

            Do you think Cal includes UCLA’s research and endowment figures in their data? The fact that you are trying to include data from the other universities in your state system to bolster your image, speaks volumes. We have seven BOR schools, can I include their numbers, as well?

            Like

          • Andy says:

            I’m not trying to include any of them. Just pointing out that other schools also have programs at other campuses. Nebraska doesn’t get to count their medical center in Omaha. I’m not sure why KU should count their medical center in Kansas City.

            Like

    • BuckeyeBeau says:

      Interesting.

      They give us both the raw numbers and the per capita numbers.

      with the raw numbers, I thought it was interesting where the significant drop offs are.

      Texas @ #1 with 15% or so with FL coming in next at 14% or so.
      then a drop down to Calif at 10% or so
      then a drop down to 6% for Georgia and Ohio.
      then another big drop down to 3.8% for Alabama & LA, then 3% for PA, MI, IL, NC, VA, NJ
      and then everyone else is 2% or less.

      so, not being precise, but about 40% of the recruits come from 3 states and 52% of the recruits come from five states.

      The per capita ## are interesting too. LA and AL top the list with FL, GA and Mississippi also in the top 7. TX is at 8, Ohio comes in at #9 and OKLA @ #10.

      Surprisingly, NE is way down the list.

      Interesting article. Check it out.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        To some extent states like Texas, Ohio, Louisiana, Alabama and North Carolina have inflated figures because of the number of FBS schools in those states. Schools recruit locally first. California only has 7 FBS and 3 scholarship FCS with the largest population.

        Still its amazing how significant the 3 states are.

        Like

        • lovedtheusfl says:

          I feel like California actually would produce a lot more players if they had more programs. I think there are a lot of guys who could hold a roster spot on an FBS program who go unrecruited in California specifically. Maybe not a ton of elite guys, but a lot of solid college talents.

          I know in Texas there are a number of good players who get passed by because they are poor students. Texas State and UTSA (lower standards) should do pretty well on the field for that reason.

          Can’t speak for Florida.

          Like

      • mnfanstc says:

        I don’t want to get carried away with excuses… But… where the top athletes are, is largely outside of the B1G footprint. This plays a HUGE role in disparity across the country, partly due to how some of the recruiting rules are “interpreted” or followed, and the ability (or lack thereof) for a kid from Florida, Louisiana, Texas… to show up on Minnesota’s (or insert other B1G school besides hated tOSU or Meat-chicken) campus on their own dollar (non-official) visits. These visits are very important for ability to sign these athletes, particularly for schools that are not typically considered “power” schools (at least in modern terms). This affects bb recruiting as well (to a much lesser degree).

        These so-called experts wonder why the B1G is down… Some obviously is due to less than spectacular leadership at individual universities (talking ADs/coaching choices/decisions). Some due to recruiting challenges due to relatively low local talent–meaning, relying on much out of state talent–particularly at the important skill positions. Without the $$$$$, and educational choices that are available in the B1G–we’d be no more than the MAC.

        Like

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      We Are Number 1! (per capita)

      Like

  14. Andy says:

    Also, Frank, sanity checking your comment that Kansas holds the majority of the KC metro area market, yes, that’s true, but by alumni count Kansas ranks below Mizzou and UMKC in alumni on the Missouri side of the border. They still have a solid share, maybe a third or so. But quite a bit of the KC metro area is on the Kansas side of the border (Johnson County, KS) and they absolutely dominate over there. On that side it’s like 75% Kansas, 15% K-State, and maybe 10% Mizzou, so on the strength of that they have a clear majority of the KC market. Of course, that’s their only market where as Mizzou also has a 2/3rds share of the St. Louis market, which is why there are more Mizzou fans than Kansas fans overall even though Mizzou hasn’t won very many conference titles in the last 20 years or so. It’s just largish population + above average level success rather than Kansas with a tiny population but elite level success (in one sport).

    Like

    • Andy says:

      Approximately 62k KU alums on the Kansas side of KC, 15k on the Missouri side.

      21k Missouri alums on the MO side of KC, 9k on the Kansas side, and 52k in St. Louis.

      Like

      • big willy says:

        cite sources please

        Like

        • Andy says:

          I did the math. KU officials said 80% of their KC metro alums are on the Kansas side. Missouri officials said 70% of their alums are on the MO side. Official stats are something like 78k KU alums and 30k MU alums in KC metro area. Google around you can find this stuff. Hard numbers are official, percentages are word of mouth.

          Like

  15. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    GEAUX Tigers!

    Like

  16. I just don’t buy Kansas to the Big 10, or Oklahoma for that matter, unless Texas is involved. I just don’t think that the Big 10 has shown any inclination to move West unless it was for Nebraska, which is arguably one of the 10 biggest names in college athletics, or Texas, which is arguably the biggest. Unless you believe that Kansas could not leave Kansas State, I think pretty much everyone can agree that if Kansas had been invited at the same time as Nebraska, they would have taken the offer. For that matter, I don’t think there’s any question that Missouri would have jumped too. I think that the Big 10 is really only interested in either increased Eastern/Southeastern exposure, unless they can land Nebraska/Texas/Notre Dame.

    As for Oklahoma, I think that the Big 10 would unquestionably take Oklahoma in a package deal with Texas.The possible value to the conference in the long term would be so extreme that any academic issues with Oklahoma would be outweighed. An Oklahoma/Kansas package I just don’t think would be enough. While I don’t think that AAU status is the ironclad rule for the Big 10 that many seem to, I do think it is extremely important. It seemed to me like FSU was angling hard for a Big 10 invite, and they didn’t get one. In terms of Big 10 network, expansion, a hugely successful and well-followed football progam, athletic support across a wide number of other sports, a state with a gargantuan big 10 alumni base, and overall television value to the Big 10, I think FSU would probably have been in the top 5 or 6 possible adds to the Big 10 (much more so even than Oklahoma), but they didn’t have AAU status. I can’t imagine the Big 10 would waive an AAU requirement for Oklahoma but not FSU, unless Texas was involved.

    Based on what the Big 10 and other schools have done so far, I actually think that the most likely scenario for Big 10 expansion is Buffalo and UConn. This is predicated on UConn being able to attain AAU status (or come sufficiently close that it is a near certainty that they will) by whenever the Big 10 decides it wants to expand.

    My reasoning (mostly based on speculation):

    The Big 10 wants to claim eastern markets over any others – Get a foothold in New York State and New England

    The Big 10 specifically wants the NYC market – with the major State Universities of NY, Conn, and Jersey, not to mention Penn State, Michigan, and Ohio State, they would essentially corner it

    The population of New York and Connecticut (esp if you include all of New England) dwarfs that of Kansas combined with Missouri, Virginia, or Oklahoma

    UConn is one of the biggest names in college basketball, and based on it’s location is probably a more desirable basketball king for the Big 10’s purposes than Kansas

    The Big 10 weighs market and AAU status more than athletic success – Buffalo and Uconn don’t bring any football clout, but in recent years UConn has been more successful than either Rutgers or Maryland (seriously) and UConn’s achievements in mens and womens basketball alone dwarf the overall athletic achievements of Maryland and Rutgers combined (unless you count Maryland lacrosse)

    Texas, UNC, Virginia, and Notre Dame are uninterested in or not politically able to joining the Big 10, and won’t be for the forseeable future

    And since Delaney seems to care about the geographic area of conference expansion, Buffalo and UConn would expand the conference to a much lesser extent than Kansas and Oklahoma

    Like

    • Richard says:

      UConn is about as far away from AAU status as OU and farther away than FSU. Also in a small state with little to offer in football, so no. Buffalo is laughable.

      I also don’t believe that the small states of KS and OK are Delany’s next targets (not least because I don’t see OU and KU (but especially OU from the Booneites) breaking free from their little brothers any time soon, but he’s not targeting non-P5 schools with little to offer.

      No, the next targets will be ACC schools. Even without UNC.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        Nobody in NYC cares about Buffalo athletics. It’s as if you would add UTEP in order to try to capture eyeballs in TX. That’s how ridiculous that suggestion is.

        Like

      • GreatLakeState says:

        Dalany’s dream, of course, would be TX/OK in the west UVA/UNC/ND and either Duke/GT or FSU as twenty in the East. VANDY and KANSAS are the only other prospects.

        Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      Based on what the Big 10 and other schools have done so far, I actually think that the most likely scenario for Big 10 expansion is Buffalo and UConn.

      Buffalo isn’t even a great MAC team. Just go to New York, visit 100 sports bars on a Saturday, and ask how many people even know whether Buffalo is playing that day.

      Like

    • Wainscott says:

      Anyone who mentions Buffalo as a contender for admission into the B1G has ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHAT THEY ARE BLATHERING ABOUT.

      Buffalo is to NY and the B1G as UTEP is to Texas and the B1G (as has been mentioned) or UC Davis is to California and the Pac12. Buffalo has no athletic relevance anywhere in New York State–even in Buffalo. And Buffalo, market wise, well the city has lost almost 60% of its population in the last half century–not exactly the type of market Delany & Co are begging to penetrate.

      Just stop. Stop. STOP mentioning SUNY-Buffalo.

      Like

      • duffman says:

        Anyone who mentions Buffalo as a contender for admission into the B1G has ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHAT THEY ARE BLATHERING ABOUT.

        Buffalo is already in the B1G and has been around for ages. Granted it has been ages since I was a college student but Harry Buffalo was served all over Indiana and Ohio back when dinosaurs roamed the earth [the period of time when your parents / grandparents were young] and I can tell you it could reduce the strongest man to a blathering idiot. Next day you awoke with little idea of the night before but the food coloring stains were the clue / evidence of the night before.

        Like

    • duffman says:

      I can see Texas and Kansas as the pair that gets the B1G to 16 just not sure Texas will ever become a team player especially when they would be the lone school in the B1G vs the pack school [UT + OU + TT + OSU] in the PAC.

      Like

    • Wes Haggard says:

      I agree with your statement on the acceptable dynamics of FSU as a B10 member. Much, much better than OU on all levels. And FSU gave the impression they were eager for membership. But??? No traveling partner? No AAU status? Don’t know nor have a clue. But TV sets, population, recruiting grounds, geography, and intangibles IMHO would make FSU by far the better choice.

      Like

  17. ZSchroeder says:

    I have to think Buffalo coming up is either people thinking AAU status as the only requirement or is mocking the fact AAU is the most important criteria. The only two AAU schools that have top division football, are AAU, and not part of the Big 5 conference are Buffalo and Rice. Both carry zero relevance or would have been snatched up long ago if they had any.

    Like

    • Wainscott says:

      @ZSchroeder: I agree, but at least Rice is located in a large and growing city/tv market (Houston) and has Northwestern/Stanford/Duke/Vandy academics.

      Like

      • Nathan says:

        Hell, I’d love to see Rice in the Big 10 just to see what the MOB does during Big 10 game halftime shows. IMO that alone should get them an invite.

        Like

    • frug says:

      The only two AAU schools that have top division football, are AAU, and not part of the Big 5 conference are Buffalo and Rice.

      The Green Wave says hi.

      Like

  18. zeek says:

    The Big Ten already added Rutgers as its NYC addition; it’s not going for a second unless that second school is Notre Dame itself. The Big Ten can now send Michigan/Ohio State/Penn State/Nebraska to within 50 miles of NYC, why would it need another school there?

    Like

    • drwillini says:

      Also, I think it is a risk to assume that a team with the (lack of) long term history as UConn will continue to be at its current level w/o Calhoun. Real Elite programs such as Kansas and Kentucky have shown they can go from coach to coach and sustain success. For that matter I would even question if Duke will continue at its current level absent Coach K. If you are betting on a basketball program long term, I would definitely take Kansas before UConn.

      Like

    • Based on every move that the Big 10 and other schools have made, I think Buffalo is really the logical next chess move for the Big 10. The Big 10’s last four additions have all been

      1. AAU member at the time of admission
      2. The Most prominent or only major football playing public school in that state
      3. In a contiguous state

      Buffalo is all three of those things. The Big 10 presidents are clearly willing to take a school that meets those criteria even if it has virtually zero athletic reputation. If you didn’t hear the name Buffalo, and you heard that there was a Public AAU school in a contiguous state with a population of 19 million people, that also happened to be the only public FBS team in that state, you would say that school would be a top Big 10 target. In this particular instance, I think Buffalo’s location in Upstate New York helps it because the Big 10 could stake a claim there. Depending on your definition of where Upstate New York starts, there are 6 to 10 million people, more than Kansas and Oklahoma combined. The Big 10 recruits so many students from New York State that the added presence would help them there too. With Buffalo, the Big 10 could claim that it has the AAU flagship universities of every state from New York and New Jersey all the way to Iowa.

      Do I think that Buffalo and UConn would be the Big 10’s first choices? No. I think that in order the Big 10’s top choices would be 1.Notre Dame and Texas, 2. Notre Dame and any FBS AAU in a contiguous state, 3. Virginia and North Carolina 4. North Carolina and Duke, 5. Texas and Oklahoma 6. Texas and Virginia 7. Texas and UNC and 8. Buffalo and Virginia 9. Buffalo and UConn

      I think it’s pretty clear at this point that Notre Dame is just not interested in joining the Big 10, or any conference for that matter. Texas sure doesn’t seem to have any desire to leave its own personal fiefdom in the Big 12. North Carolina cares as much if not more about the ACC than Michigan cares about the Big 10. Virginia’s feelings about the ACC are about as strong as UNC’s, and in any case they won’t move until UNC does. And that doesn’t even begin to discuss issues like grant of rights and whether or not UNC could leave NCState, Texas could leave Texas Tech, etc.

      UConn isn’t AAU, but they have an aggressive plan to become so and a supportive state legislature helping them. They’re also at least in the Ballpark. If the Big 10 waits 6 to 10 years to expand (and no one knows what they’re planning), they could be a lot closer. I just think that UConn and Buffalo are the only pair of schools that are completely unencumbered with anything that would stop them from joining, match very, very closely with what the Big 10 wants location and population wise (which are more important to them than athletic success), are very close to what the Big 10 is looking for institutionally and academically (which is most important to Big 10 presidents).

      Like

      • Wainscott says:

        You mistakenly assume that Buffalo is a prominent football playing school. Buffalo is entirely irrelevant in New York State when talking about college football. Not partially irrelevant, not mostly irrelevant, but ENTIRELY irrelevant.

        Also, the Buffalo media market has no use to the B1G, as the city is shrinking. The Bills are likely moving once Ralph Wilson passes away, and even then, no body will care about The MACtion in their backyard.

        Your advocacy for UB, noble as it is, belies an extreme ignorance as to New York, New York State, and college football in NY. As Marc perfectly summed up above: “visit 100 sports bars on a Saturday, and ask how many people even know whether Buffalo is playing that day.”

        Like

        • tim says:

          Oh for the love of Pete Buffalo is not shrinking any more and the media market has not lost 60% of its population.

          Im not saying Buffalo is right, or in line, or anything but if you’re going to call others out for “not having a clue” maybe you should buy one yourselves.

          Buffalo the city lost population because its geographically small and was surrounded by cow towns 50 years ago. Yes some left the area but far more people just moved to Amherst or any of the dozens of growing burbs around Buffalo. Sprawl made the Exodus from Buffalo look way worse than it was.

          People in Amherst, or West Seneca, or Tondawanda. The population of Erie County has been gorwing for more then 15 years and everyone in Erie County is basically in Buffalo.

          Like

          • Wainscott says:

            “Buffalo is not shrinking more and the media market has not lost 60% of its population”

            Buffalo is still shrinking, though not as much as before. And “Since 1950, the city’s population has plummeted 54.9 percent from 580,132.” http://buffalorising.com/2011/03/ouch-citys-population-down-107-percent-in-last-decade/

            As a media market, its #51. hardly the stuff of expansion dreams when combined with a generally irrelevant football program.

            “Buffalo the city lost population because its geographically small and was surrounded by cow towns 50 years ago. Yes some left the area but far more people just moved to Amherst or any of the dozens of growing burbs around Buffalo. Sprawl made the Exodus from Buffalo look way worse than it was.

            People in Amherst, or West Seneca, or Tondawanda. The population of Erie County has been gorwing for more then 15 years and everyone in Erie County is basically in Buffalo.”

            Not quite: http://www.google.com/publicdata/explore?ds=kf7tgg1uo9ude_&ctype=l&strail=false&bcs=d&nselm=h&met_y=population&scale_y=lin&ind_y=false&rdim=country&idim=place:3674166:3602000:3680918:3611000&idim=county:36029&ifdim=country&tstart=16603200000&tend=1310443200000&hl=en&dl=en&ind=false

            Bizarro Delany’s thought bubble: “That looks like a BOOMTOWN! Get me UB’s president! Get me the SUNY Chancellor! GET ME CUOMO!!!”

            Listen, in all seriousness, I think it would be wonderful for UB to be in the B1G. But I also think it would be wonderful if more SUNY’s had been playing major football for 100 years, like the California public schools. For college football purposes, NY State is largely an afterthought as it pertains to NY schools (Army the exception, because its a service academy).

            As for Buffalo, its the victim more of circumstance (and insane amounts of lake effect snow.) Its existence is owed largely to its location on the western mouth of the Erie Canal. That in turn made it a manufacturing and railroad hub. With the St. Lawrence Seaway and the rise of air travel (and even more lake effect snow), people left. Bad governance didn’t help.

            The numbers don’t lie: Buffalo isn’t what it was as a city, and the region as a whole is, at best, stagnating. See: http://recenter.tamu.edu/data/pop/popm/cbsa15380.asp

            Like

          • tim says:

            READ WHAT I SAID…. Buffalo *AND ITS SUBURBS* have been about the same. People moved out of the city into what were cow towns until the 1960’s. Its been level and started to climb a few years ago.

            No it’s not a boom town, no it’s not a hidden gem, but its not the hell hole that people portray it as…

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            Also, Buffalo was the #24 tv market in 1970 according to Arbitron. It is now anywhere from 51-54 according to Nielsen. Not exactly a target market for expansion, especially for a school without any sort of following or presence outside its home region (and a minimal presence in its home region, to boot).

            If UB were a national program, none of this would matter. But it isn’t, so it does.

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            I read what you said, and I linked to Google data that shows at best, the cities/suburbs and county you named is not actually growing. It is at best stagnant.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            US Census Buffalo Urban Area (“urban area” is a less politicized unit than Metro Area), 2010 935,906. 2000, 976,703. So the population of the Buffalo Urban Area shrank by 4.6%. Even if the non-urbanized populations of surrounding areas increased by 40,000, that is just shuffling around a static population.

            Like

        • BruceMcF says:

          Wainscott, when you say that Buffalo is shrinking, you should be more precise and say that the Buffalo media market is a shrinking share of the national media market.

          The Big Ten has a number of slow growth and stagnant me

          Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            Damn computer.

            … stagnant markets, and the threat of a declining total share of the national media market is right in the mix for the top long term threats we face. And adding Buffalo is not anything resembling addressing that threat.

            Like

      • Wainscott says:

        From NYC to Buffalo, it is about 400 miles. Keep that in mind.

        Give UB UMichigan’s football history, and you might be right. Might.

        Like

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        On the off-chance you’re serious, there are several errors in your analysis.

        You don’t consider the option of doing nothing. The Big Ten doesn’t have to expand at all; therefore, it doesn’t need to expand with its 8th- or 9th-best option.

        The Big Ten is playing a long game. They stayed at 11 members for almost twenty years. After another twenty, the underlying fundamentals of the potential expansion targets could be totally different. (I don’t trust anyone’s five-year forecast, much less twenty.) They’re not going to rush into an expansion that, even by your own admission, is sub-optimal.

        You seem to assume that as the Big Ten took Rutgers, a school with “virtually zero athletic reputation,” they’d do it again. This is not necessarily so, any more than they’re assured of taking additional non-AAU schools, just because they took Nebraska, which was about to be non-AAU at the time of their admission.

        Rutgers only got in because Maryland was available, and they had to stay at even numbers. Your option #8 is UVA + Buffalo. If UVA leaves the ACC, it will almost certainly trigger other moves. (No conference switch ever occurs in isolation.) You assume that if UVA is available, Buffalo would be the best they could do as #16. That’s probably not the case.

        That’s even before Buffalo’s demographics and fan support are considered, both of which are quite poor. For instance, their football stadium seats 30,000, as opposed to Rutgers’ 52,454. Buffalo’s student body is about half the size. As others have noted, the population in Upstate New York has been shrinking, not growing.

        Like

      • @JepHJuergens – There’s a semi-plausible case to be made for UConn going to the Big Ten (elite basketball, very good undergrad academic rankings, large NYC market fan base), although I find that to be very unlikely. There’s zero argument for Buffalo. The Big Ten will simply not expand if they’re down to Buffalo as an option. The league would be better off just adding Rice and Tulane on academic grounds if that’s all that they cared about (which isn’t the case). Rutgers might not have the best market penetration in NYC, but that’s New York City (the most powerful and valuable market in the US). Buffalo doesn’t even have that type of penetration in its slow/no-growth Rust Belt market that is a completely different world than the part of New York that the conference cares about. Plus, if the Big Ten wanted an Upstate New York presence, it should have gone after Syracuse (which at least has good-sized NYC market fan base and solid athletic tradition). AAU status is an important factor to the Big Ten, but it is not THE most important factor. I also VERY much beg to differ that additions that the Big Ten made had no relation to athletics – Nebraska is a football king, Maryland has plenty of basketball and football tradition (albeit they’re like Syracuse where they’re in the middle of a prolonged football downcycle), and Rutgers has at least had a pulse for football in a BCS conference for the past decade (along with access to a lot of recruits in New Jersey that Upstate new York doesn’t have). At the end of the day, any expansion needs to make a lot of money for the conference. School numbers 15 and 16 need to bring much more than any of the additions prior to that, so the bar is actually raised much higher for these last spots. Only brand names are going to work from here on out, which means I don’t think the Big Ten is considering anyone other than other Power 5 schools for expansion.

        Like

        • BuckeyeBeau says:

          For the record, I agree that Buffalo is not going to be invited to join the B1G. I once wrote a post to proffer the idea. But upon further review, Buffalo is a non-starter. The only thing they have is AAU membership and, as FtT suggested, if AAU is all that matters, then Rice and/or Tulane are better options.

          Like

        • I think that institutional fit matters more to the Big 10 than anything else even money. Rice and Tulane are AAU, but they’re not public, not the rough equivalent of a state flagship, and not in a geographically contiguous state to the Big 10. If you look at the last four adds, they met all of those criteria. The only schools that match that criteria currently are Buffalo, Virginia, Colorado, Missouri, and Kansas. I think that the Big 10 wants an Eastern presence so badly that if it came down to a choice between Buffalo and either Kansas or Missouri, the Big would choose Buffalo. Also, the Big 10 doesn’t heavily mine Texas or Louisiana for students, but they certainly do New York.

          Like

          • Wainscott says:

            Again, you assume incorrectly that adding Buffalo adds any eastern presence. Rutgers, Maryland, and Penn State are all to the east of Buffalo/WNY, and all three have more relevance in NYC than UB.

            UB gives the B1G nothing that it already has. And presented with the option of Mizzou, Kansas, or UB, history shows the conference would take none of the above.

            Like

          • frug says:

            I think that institutional fit matters more to the Big 10 than anything else even money.

            Then why is the Big Ten so enamored with Notre Dame?

            Like

          • frug says:

            Also, being contiguous is desirable but certainly not required.

            The Big Ten would gladly add Texas, Florida or UNC.

            Like

          • lovedtheusfl says:

            A lot of the factors that in retrospect people are understanding were factors with rutgers and maryland’s additons, would be factors to consider UB. It is a good point. They also do a fair amount of research.

            The criticisms about UB athletics not offering “any eastern presence”, seems to be a lack of understanding of why UB would ever be considered in the first place. Athletics would be an afterthought, with the assumption that a B1G check every year would raise at least the program to B1G standards fairly quickly.

            I don’t think UB will get in as long as they are “UB”, but I think they do have a number of attributes that the Big 10 would desperately like to have in the conference — not the least of which are carriage fees in NY a state of 20M, AAU status that would be maintainable, and 27 repesentatives — so I can’t write them off.

            If the class is OU, UT, and KU, why could the B1G not afford an athletic stinker like UB?

            Like

          • @lovedtheusfl – If the Big Ten actually nabs *Texas*, the conference doesn’t need to afford an “athletic stinker” like Buffalo. You’ll be seeing a school that the Big Ten actually wants (like UVA) pry loose because the money would be truly too much to ignore at that point.

            We’re getting to “Toronto to the B1G” lunacy levels here with Buffalo, with the only difference being that I think the Big Ten would actually be more interested in Toronto than Buffalo in the long-term.

            Like

          • lovedtheusfl says:

            should read ” at least the basketball program”

            Like

          • lovedtheusfl says:

            Frank

            If you want to talk pie in the sky long shots and their long term potential, you might be right!

            My gripe is that people are looking at UB as just another MAC school. As a B1G candidate N Ill or Toledo aren’t a peer of UB. UMASS isn’t a peer. West Virginia and Kentucky would likely never be considered on academic terms, so they aren’t a peer even though they are much better athletic programs!

            Now obviously UT, Virginia, UNC, Duke, FSU, GT, and others are way better candidates, but the guy who started all this UB talk said as much.

            UB is a fringe B10 candidate due to their poor athletic support and provincial brand, but they are likely on the list somewhere due to the assets they do possess.

            UB getting probably won’t happen because too many people with power in B1G circles would consider them an athletic veto, but just mentioning their attributes shouldn’t be shouted down when names that would likewise earn similar vetoes on athletic or academic issues get discussed.

            Like

          • frug says:

            Athletics would be an afterthought, with the assumption that a B1G check every year would raise at least the program to B1G standards fairly quickly.

            Northwestern has been receiving a Big Ten check for over a century and they’ve still never made the NCAA tournament…

            Like

          • Brian says:

            lovedtheusfl,

            “A lot of the factors that in retrospect people are understanding were factors with rutgers and maryland’s additons, would be factors to consider UB.”

            Not quite. RU and UMD are flagships. Nobody thinks of UB that way. Nobody outside of Buffalo cares about UB, either. Syracuse is a much bigger brand in NY. PSU is a much bigger brand in western NY than UB.

            “The criticisms about UB athletics not offering “any eastern presence”, seems to be a lack of understanding of why UB would ever be considered in the first place.”

            I disagree. That would be their only real purpose.

            “I don’t think UB will get in as long as they are “UB”, but I think they do have a number of attributes that the Big 10 would desperately like to have in the conference — not the least of which are carriage fees in NY a state of 20M,”

            UB wouldn’t bring in any carriage fees. No cable provider would cave to the B10 because UB fans are upset. Any attempt to raise the fee to the footprint price would be defeated.

            “AAU status that would be maintainable, and 27 repesentatives”

            Those are nice, but not sufficient.

            “so I can’t write them off.”

            I can.

            “If the class is OU, UT, and KU, why could the B1G not afford an athletic stinker like UB?”

            Just because you can afford it is not a reason to do it. Why not choose a better option instead?

            Like

        • frug says:

          AAU status is an important factor to the Big Ten, but it is not THE most important factor

          I think you are missing the point (much like you did with Oklahoma). No one is saying that AAU membership is the most important factor; they saying it is a necessary condition.

          Obviously simply being an AAU member is not enough in and of itself to get a school an invite (that would a sufficient condition), but not being a member is enough to prevent a school from receiving an invite.

          (All that said, if the Big Ten’s best option is Buffalo I assume they will just stand pat.)

          Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            All that said, if the Big Ten’s best option is Buffalo I assume they will just stand pat.

            ^^^This.^^^

            What’s lacking in @JepHJuergens’s analysis, is why adding Buffalo is better than doing nothing. In fact, he conceded it was something like the 8th or 9th best option.

            Like

          • @frug – I understand, as I was answering in the context of believing that the only way Buffalo could conceivably be on the Big Ten’s radar is if AAU status truly was the single most important factor. Now, I do disagree that not having AAU status alone precludes an invite (see Notre Dame as the obvious exception). Every time that the non-AAU status factor has been brought up with respect to other candidates, we were dealing with schools with other heavy warts or non-kings. It was easy to dismiss a number of other schools for not having AAU status (i.e. West Virginia, UConn, Cincinnati, etc.) since they generally wouldn’t have been money-makers for the Big Ten, anyway. I just think that it’s a lot different calculation when dealing with a legit football king like Oklahoma (or Notre Dame in the past). Maybe the academics factor would ultimately nix OU’s candidacy, but I don’t think the Big Ten would have wasted their time and money studying them if the lack of AAU status in and of itself was a non-starter.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            FtT:

            Do you recall the time frame that the B1G did some looking into OU? My recollection was it was referred to somewhat after UNL was admitted, around the same time as the UT tech problem was referenced.

            Like

          • @ccrider55 – The study was actually relatively recent – it was done after the Big 12 had already signed their grant of rights agreement, so it would have been within the past year.

            Like

          • frug says:

            @Frank

            Now, I do disagree that not having AAU status alone precludes an invite (see Notre Dame as the obvious exception).

            ND is an exception because the Big Ten and ND have shown varying levels of mutual interest predating the AAU “requirement” (remember MSU wasn’t AAU when they were admitted). Essentially ND gets a grandfather exception.

            Every time that the non-AAU status factor has been brought up with respect to other candidates, we were dealing with schools with other heavy warts or non-kings.

            What about FSU? Their academics are stronger than OU’s and they sit in a (far) more desirable state.

            I don’t think the Big Ten would have wasted their time and money studying them if the lack of AAU status in and of itself was a non-starter.

            Maybe, but as a I said above, it seems just possible (and maybe even likely) that Delany ordered the study in hopes of persuading the presidents to overlook Oklahoma’s lack of AAU membership.

            Like

          • @frug – Oh, I agree completely about FSU. I’m all for adding the Noles for the reasons that you’ve stated. My guess is that the geography issue could rear its head with respect to FSU in a way that it wouldn’t with OU unless several other ACC schools could be added to bridge the gap at the same time like UVA, UNC, Georgia Tech, etc. That would go both ways – I don’t think either FSU or the Big Ten would want the school to be a geographic outlier. In contrast, OU could be conceivably added alone and it wouldn’t be a large geographic stretch on the western end of the conference (and would be even less of an outlier if KU is also included).

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            ND is an exception because the Big Ten and ND have shown varying levels of mutual interest predating the AAU “requirement” (remember MSU wasn’t AAU when they were admitted). Essentially ND gets a grandfather exception.

            MSU joined in 1950, under vastly different conditions. Invitations aren’t ever-green. If ND would be accepted today (assuming they wanted and could join), it’s because ND meets the criteria today not because they have an old invite that’s still good.

            What about FSU? Their academics are stronger than OU’s and they sit in a (far) more desirable state.

            We don’t really know how much mutual interest there is between the Big Ten and FSU, but there is a geographic issue. FSU would be on an island, unless a bunch of other schools come along for the ride. The league needs just one more school (Kansas) to make Oklahoma contiguous. Even without Kansas, Oklahoma is closer to Nebraska and Iowa than FSU is to any Big Ten program.

            . . . it seems just possible (and maybe even likely) that Delany ordered the study in hopes of persuading the presidents to overlook Oklahoma’s lack of AAU membership.

            Even so, it’s difficult to imagine Delany wasting his time on Oklahoma, unless he knew from experience that there was at least a chance of the presidents saying yes. We don’t actually know if any decision has been reached on Oklahoma, since the Sooners aren’t available to switch leagues right now.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            FtT: thanks.

            I am surprised, though. It would have made sense to have been undertaken during the original (’09?) period when Delany announced they were going to explore expansion. (Along side the UT exploration)

            Like

          • frug says:

            My guess is that the geography issue could rear its head with respect to FSU in a way that it wouldn’t with OU unless several other ACC schools could be added to bridge the gap at the same time like UVA, UNC, Georgia Tech, etc.

            I don’t understand why geography would be any different for Oklahoma than it would FSU. Sure it maybe slightly closer on a map, but outside of maybe Nebraska all Big Ten schools would still have to fly to Norman (and vice-versa) anyways.

            That would go both ways – I don’t think either FSU or the Big Ten would want the school to be a geographic outlier.

            Let’s be honest, if UT or UF called up the Big Ten and said “we want in” the Big Ten would jump for joy geography be damned. The fact they didn’t make any real effort to grab FSU when it was pretty obvious the Seminoles were available should be telling. (In the meantime, it abundantly clear there were at least some discussions between the Big XII and FSU even though that wouldn’t have been any better geographically).

            Ultimately, I just don’t see what would make FSU any different than Oklahoma from the Big Ten’s perspective and if the Big Ten couldn’t stomach FSU’s academics I can’t envision why they would be willing to swallow OU’s.

            Like

          • frug says:

            Even so, it’s difficult to imagine Delany wasting his time on Oklahoma, unless he knew from experience that there was at least a chance of the presidents saying yes.

            Unless Delany believed the upside was so high it worth trying a Hail Mary. I mean OU could bring the league tens of millions of dollars. A review designed to persuade the presidents would only cost them what? Maybe $50,000 if the Big Ten hired the absolute best, most expensive analysts they could find.

            Like

          • If Geography wouldn’t be problem for Texas or Oklahoma, I can’t imagine it would be an issue for FSU. Tallahasee is a lot easier to get to than Norman, especially from the big city Big 10 schools with readily available air travel, and it’s no definitely not further away than Austin. FSU is also far, far more valuable from a television perspective than even a combination of Kansas or Oklahoma. I truly think that AAU status is so important to the Big 10 that they wouldn’t waive it unless they had to in order to get a prize where the money would be so high they couldn’t possibly say no. That would mean the prize would have to be bigger than Florida State, and there really aren’t many schools that would be more potentially valuable to the Big 10 and it’s Network from a purely financial perspective than FSU. I think those options would be

            1. Notre Dame in any circumstance
            2. Oklahoma if Texas demanded it alone to join
            3. Georgia if Florida demanded it to join
            4. UConn if it was obviously very close to attaining AAU status in Combination with Buffalo
            5. Maybe, Maybe, Virginia Tech if Virginia demanded it and the Big 10 wanted Virginia more than I think they do
            6. Maybe, Maybe FSU if Florida demanded it to join and the Big 10 wanted Florida more than I think they do

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Frank,

            It may be a good time to do a revised version of your Expansion Index post
            (https://frankthetank.me/2009/12/27/the-big-ten-expansion-index-a-different-shade-of-orange/).

            Adjust the values to your current understanding of how things work, and maybe look at pairs or groups of 4 rather than individual schools since the B10 is now at an even number. You could even add a factor for conference size if you feel adding 2 is better than 4 (16 is better than 18), or anything else new that you think is relevant.

            UT and ND are still the top choices, we added 2 of your contenders (NE and RU), and I’m guessing you’d alter the scores for several schools (SU down, etc) plus you could add the ACC schools and some of the other B12 schools.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            @Jeffrey
            First UB and now Tallahassee is easier to get to than Norman? Have you ever been to Tallahassee????? Its not easy to get to Tallahassee from Florida. In case you don’t know, Norman is a suburb of Oklahoma City. The NBA doesn’t have any trouble getting there. Tallahassee has few commercial flights and is hours away from a major airport (JAX, ATL, ORL).

            Now I don’t think there really is mutual interest, but the ADs would be very unhappy about Tallahassee even more than they were about Happy Valley.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Marc Shepherd,

            “MSU joined in 1950, under vastly different conditions.”

            The CIC didn’t exist when MSU was added. Neither did BTN or major TV deals. Would MSU get invited in today’s world?

            Like

          • BuckeyeBeau says:

            I think way way way way way too much is being made about this “study” or “report” done by the B1G on OKLA. FWIW, I think Delany’s term was “due diligence.” Has anybody seen this “study?” How long is this “study”? How much did it cost?

            For all we know, Delany had some intern spend his/her summer doing internet research and all of that got stuck into a file labeled “Oklahoma.”

            The point is we don’t know what level of organizational resources were expended on this “due diligence” and, consequently, using the existence of said “study” as some gauge of B1G “interest” in Oklahoma is way overblown.

            Further, I am willing to bet $100 that there is a “study” like this on every possible target school including Buffalo, Cincy, Louisville, Pitt, Iowa State and UConn. The existence of a report doesn’t indicate interest by the B1G. Sometimes you do research to find out what you DON’T want.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            I think way way way way way too much is being made about this “study” or “report” done by the B1G on OKLA. FWIW, I think Delany’s term was “due diligence.” Has anybody seen this “study?” How long is this “study”? How much did it cost?

            You’ve never seen the studies on Nebraska, Rutgers, or Maryland either, and you never will.

            For all we know, Delany had some intern spend his/her summer doing internet research and all of that got stuck into a file labeled “Oklahoma.”

            Well, that’s obviously the very low-end possibility, but not a very likely one.

            Further, I am willing to bet $100 that there is a “study” like this on every possible target school including Buffalo, Cincy, Louisville, Pitt, Iowa State and UConn. The existence of a report doesn’t indicate interest by the B1G. Sometimes you do research to find out what you DON’T want.

            I am willing to bet(*) that Okahoma was studied a lot more seriously than Buffalo, Cincy, Louisville, or Iowa State. Quite a few smart people think Oklahoma is a plausible Big Ten addition, under some set of circumstances. Only one crazy guy thinks Buffalo is.

            (*) Of course, it’s easy to make that bet, because it can never be settled. They’ll never show us what they studied, or how seriously.

            Like

          • BuckeyeBeau says:

            @MS.

            to be clear, I have no thought that Buffalo will get or should get an invite. No thanks.

            i was quibbling about relying over-much on the existence of “reports” and “studies’ as some sort of indication of “interest.”

            And I fully agree that Oklahoma’s report is ~~~ or certainly should be ~~~ much more thorough than the one for Buffalo. Personally, I think OKLA would be a great addition and I personally don’t really care about their academic standing. But then again, I am just a CFB fan, I get no vote and I am not a University President.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            Yes, there are real “this is a school on the short list, we need to sort out their position on the list” reports, and there are CYA reports, “what if someone asks, ‘have you looked at everyone in [criteria]?’, what will we say?” For example, any report that the Big Ten may do on Buffalo would be to provide objective information in the same terms as the real candidates to confirm what we already know, that Buffalo aint ever going to join the Big Ten.

            Definitely in a conference that likes to aim for collegiality, if a school asks about the suitability of School A (or in this case School O), they’ll study it. So while they’ll study every school that has any credible prospect of being accepted in a conference vote, that doesn’t mean every school that they study has a credible prospect.

            Like

          • gfunk says:

            At Jeffrey Jurgens,

            Norman is more difficult to get to then Tallahassee? What? Norman is along the I35 corridor and is a suburb of OkCity. That damn area has grown. OKC is not some isolated mid-sized city with a hole in the wall airport – Will Rogers aint that bad. If BIG expansion is to address the western division than OU sits nearly in the middle of Tx, Neb, Iowa, & KU & Tx (potential adds also on the I35 corridor). Iowa City and Lincoln aren’t on I35, but it’s still a vital connector to I80.

            I think the BIG should go for a Tx-OU-KU package, if 16 is the non-negotiable then get OU-Tx. I could live with a Kansas gap, just see no reason to skip them, a damn fine basketball school. BIG should go 18, and I’m no longer fully against a BIG at 20. If 20, I echo my previous fantasy: OU, Tx, Rice, KU and UConn. The BIG would become arguably the best damn football-basketball punch & it would maintain its academic integrity by putting Rice at a high profile, something that school deserves. Never downplay the need for UT to have an in-state rivalry in such a BIG as well. OU cannot simply be the closest conference road trip, because the other schools become very long drives. Case closed!

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            And just cede the specifically identified target mid-Atlantic corridor?

            When did dominating the cornfields become the demographic stratagem?

            Like

        • lovedtheusfl says:

          To be fair, you did also say that expansion to 14 would have to be with home run schools. I don’t think Maryland and Rutgers (who couldn’t even make the ACC) were what most had in mind when you said that. I suspect they weren’t what you had in mind either. Both schools do make financial sense though. And for the Big Ten specifically, UB could make a lot of financial sense — if something can be done to make B1G boosters not lose it when they catch wind.

          I am not optimistic there. That seems to me the most likely reason they would not be seriously considered.

          Like

          • @lovedtheusfl – I don’t know if Maryland was a “home run”, but people are underestimating that was a big-time poach. If I was wrong about anything, it was that I didn’t think that the Big Ten would be able to get anyone at all from the ACC. We had analysis done here in early-2010 (before there was any actual expansion by anyone and the Pac-16 proposal wasn’t even in people’s fantasies) that showed that after Texas, the 3 most valuable potential additions to the Big Ten were Nebraska, Maryland and Rutgers. Those schools being chosen were hardly a surprise (although the timing came out of the blue). Buffalo has never been on the radar. Being an AAU public school with an FBS program isn’t enough.

            Like

      • Aaron Morrow says:

        Syracuse and Boston College have already been weighed, measured, and found wanting by the Big Ten. Why would the conference want worse versions of each, just because they are public?

        Also, I fail to see how Virginia Tech is a worse choice than UConn by these metrics, and most others.

        Like

        • lovedtheusfl says:

          if you look at the research link, Syracuse did 83M in research in 2011. BC did 53M. Neither are in the AAU and neither seem likely to ever get in. Both are private schools meaning their ability to pull support from representatives may be limited to their local markets.

          UB did 353M. They are a large state school which should mean they would have better luck getting representatives to support CIC research dollar pursuits. The AAU is all about securing research dollars.

          From the Big 10’s perspective I would suspect that Syracuse and BC are seen in much the same light as Louisville or West Virginia in AAU terms.

          Virginia tech though, I don’t disagree.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            lovedtheusfl,

            “From the Big 10′s perspective I would suspect that Syracuse and BC are seen in much the same light as Louisville or West Virginia in AAU terms.”

            No. UL and WV are tier 3 schools. SU and BC are good schools.

            Like

          • lovedtheusfl says:

            Brian

            “good”? I’m not talking about anything as arbitratry as “good”. They either can either help bring the research funds or they can’t. IMO, they are looked at as schools that cannot, so lump them in with the ULs and WVs of the world.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            @lovedtheusfl: If you are only capable of thinking in binary terms, then Syracuse and Louisville are both in the same category: no. If you are able to weigh and measure, then the two are not remotely comparable, even though they are still both no.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            lovedtheusfl,

            “I’m not talking about anything as arbitratry as “good”.”

            No, you’re talking about something as arbitrary as your opinion.

            “They either can either help bring the research funds or they can’t.”

            That’s not really how it works. The other members don’t magically gain large amounts of research when someone is added.

            “IMO, they are looked at as schools that cannot, so lump them in with the ULs and WVs of the world.”

            Your opinion is wrong. Nobody in academia looks at BC and SU like they do UL and WV. The presidents don’t want to be in the same room as the presidents of UL and WV. They’re perfectly willing to hang out with the heads of BC and SU.

            Like

          • lovedtheusfl says:

            Brian,

            I did say in “…AAU terms”.

            None of anything I have written has anything to do with whether a Big Ten president would “hanging out” with BC and SU’s leaders. It is strictly an observation that both schools do not appear likely to ever be voted into the AAU in the future.

            Like

          • lovedtheusfl says:

            Marc- the “…in AAU terms” line is clearly looking at things in binary terms. Either they are AAU caliber or they aren’t.

            Just because I can look at something in binary terms doesn’t mean that I look at everything in binary terms. Let’s not do any silly baiting.

            They ARE both still no… which is exactly what I said.

            Like

          • lovedtheusfl says:

            oh yeah and brian regarding the research line. Lets not be stupidly insulting each other. We can disagree without distorting each other’s positon.

            Some schools have better attributes to assist the Big 10 in securing federal research dollars than others. That is my point. Nothing more to it. It isn’t that you add a school and suddenly the govt writes the Big 10 a check.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            There’s a huge difference between not getting into the AAU because you’re a top school but with a different focus than the AAU has, and not getting into the AAU because you’re a mediocre school. SU and BC are in the first category, WV and UL in the latter.

            The B10 is clearly willing to add ND, also a member of the first category. That shows the B10 presidents don’t split their worldview the way you indicated. They see good schools vs not-good schools, not AAU and not-AAU. They know how numbers can be gamed for all sorts of ranking systems, including the AAU.

            Like

        • lovedtheusfl says:

          I should have worded that better. For syracuse I should have acknowledged they were in, but they are probably not ever getting back in.

          Like

      • lovedtheusfl says:

        I think this was a pretty good “out of the box” post.

        The case for UCONN having an aggressive plan for AAU may be overstated. Maybe a lot of schools “in the Ballpark” have similar plans or even better ones that aren’t being marched out to juice their fans.

        That said, I think a non-AAU UCONN brings a lot of the major elements an AAU UCONN would offer. They have representatives who will push research dollars for UCONN and potentially the CIC. The culture is there.

        I think people who are dismissive of UCONN due to non-AAU status are probably treating their candidacy a lot harsher in that regard than the Big 10 likely is.

        It will be interesting to see how many schools the B1G feels it needs to “have” NYC.

        Like

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          I think people who are dismissive of UCONN due to non-AAU status are probably treating their candidacy a lot harsher in that regard than the Big 10 likely is.

          People sometimes forget that the Big Ten is an athletics conference. The only two non-AAU schools the Big Ten is known to have seriously entertained are Notre Dame and Nebraska. (I treat UNL as non-AAU because they were half out the door at the time the league invited them.) ND and UNL are football kings. UConn isn’t even close.

          There was a media report that the Big Ten had evaluated Oklahoma. There were reports they had at least spoken to FSU. Oklahoma and FSU are football kings. We don’t even know how serious those reports were, but at least they exist.

          There’s no reliable report that the Big Ten is willing to so much as sniff at a non-AAU school unless it’s an athletics home run, like Nebraska or Notre Dame. UConn is not a home run.

          There’s also no reliable report that the Big Ten is willing to consider AAU schools entirely independent of athletics. Rutgers is at least a BCS-level school, albeit barely. Buffalo isn’t close.

          It will be interesting to see how many schools the B1G feels it needs to “have” NYC.

          If you stop 100 sports fans on the street in NYC, and ask them which college team they root for, you could easily get 100 answers. NYC draws people from such diverse backgrounds that it’s hard to find many individual teams that move the needle. UConn was in FCS until fairly recently, and Buffalo is a mid-major.

          Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            I understand your point, but UNL was one vote from remaining AAU. They don’t fit the description of a non AAU being considered or admitted. I’m not saying OU or FSU weren’t/aren’t necessarily being considered but the argument is not supported by the UNL admission. The argument needs to stand on its own, with only ND as supporting evidence.

            Like

          • vp19 says:

            The Big Ten also is an “old money” league. Maryland’s had a legitimate big-time athletic program since the Jim Tatum era that began in the late ’40s, and Rutgers began making its move in the mid-’70s — Delany and the Big Ten presidents apparently believe the school has paid its dues. Connecticut has been FBS for only about a decade; it can scream about its basketball titles till the cows come home, but most of the power conference college sports establishment still views Storrs as nouveau riche.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            I understand your point, but UNL was one vote from remaining AAU. They don’t fit the description of a non AAU being considered or admitted.

            I believe they do, because by that time it was so well known that their AAU status was under serious attack. Any Big Ten president who voted for their admission, had to know they were voting for a school that would potentially be non-AAU in the very near future.

            Obviously, it’s not quite the same thing as OU and FSU, which can’t even sniff the AAU right now. But by the same token, it’s not the same as Rutgers or Maryland, which are comfortably AAU and in no remote danger of losing that status.

            Like

  19. BuckeyeBeau says:

    @ FtT. Thanks for the new post. Good thoughts.

    On realignment:

    My own view is that B1G, SEC, P12 and ACC realignment is done for the next decade or so. The BXII might add.

    There is zero pressure for the B1G to try and add anyone before the 2016/17 re-negotiations. Extra $$ may or may not be there unless you get TX, ND, etc.

    Further, integrating 3 (4) new schools is not an easy process. Neb is well on its way to full integration, but still another 3-4 years to go. This is not just about football. Many a corporate raider has learned that expanding too quick can cause big problems. Rutgers and MD are going to take 6-7 years to integrate even if their sports teams start playing sooner than that. (And don’t forget about Johns Hopkins.) The B1G went from 11 to 15; that is a sizable jump and digesting that chunk takes time.

    Further, there are 5 giant issues out there still to be resolved: the playoff, NCAA toothlessness, Division 4, concussion/health issues and the O’Bannon lawsuit. Who knows how any of those work out. Will the CFP expand to 8 or 16 teams? That will change the metrics for realignment. Is there a Div4 and what does it look like? Will the NCAA implode or just continuing to limp along with toothless enforcement of the amateurism rules? That certainly will impact realignment decisions. Same with possible results from the concussion and O’Bannon lawsuits. Add in the new SECN and the still-birthing P12N and the will-it-or-won’t-it be created ACCN.

    My point: a lot is going on which will impact realignment and there is no hurry for any of the P5 conferences. I think everyone is taking a breather to see how some of this works out.

    As for Division 4:

    For me, it is tough to predict how it might work, because I am still unclear why there is a push for a new division. I have read only two concrete examples of what the P5 schools are complaining about: the failure to allow “cost-of-attendance” and it’s too easy for schools to make the jump to Div1A. Resolve those, and there is no need for Div4.

    I read some headline about changing the NCAA governance to a “UN model.” I read something about the NCAA enforcing the attendance requirement for being in Div1A. So, the two “problems” can be resolved with something much less than a new division.

    If I had to predict based on the “problems” that I have read about, I would say there will be no Div4.

    But, as FtT suggested, if Div4 is somehow related to an expanded CFP and keeping all the $$ for the P5 conferences, then, yes, Div4 will happen quickly and ruthlessly.

    Like

    • BruceMcF says:

      “Resolve those, and there is no need for Div4.”

      There you go. They are the ones with experience in trying to resolve those within the Division 1 structure with the P5 on one side, the FCS and non-FB schools on the other and the Go5 holding the balance of power in the voting, and they are the ones who seem to think that splitting out the FBS as a separate division would make it easier to address their problems.

      And while it may not allow for as dramatic or sweeping changes as some conference realignment junkies may want, it seems likely that the AD’s are more interested in achieving those concrete things where there seems to be a chance for a P5 consensus than in the more controversial grand sweeping changes, where there is likely to be a much broader range of opinions within the P5 in terms of what the correct model is and what is the best strategy for achieving it.

      So lower benefit, but more likely to be consensus on what to push for, massively lower cost than any breakaway from the NCAA, and substantially lower cost than any effort to try to split up the FBS.

      Rather than being unlikely, I think its rather likely that the FBS is split off as a separate top NCAA division sometime in the next five years. Everyone who would be in favor of more dramatic change would be in favor of that change, and many who would be reluctant to pursue more dramatic change would be OK with that change.

      Like

  20. Psuhockey says:

    Frank,
    One of your theories is that if the Big 12 dies, Texas would try for a partial member deal like Notre Dame in the ACC instead of becoming an equal member of another conference. I had agreed with that theory up until Texas A&M exploded onto the national scene at the end of last year and has remained there ever since. Texas is going to make its money anywhere but playing 2nd fiddle to its state rival has to be a blow to the powers that be at UT. I don’t think playing a half ACC schedule mixed with a couple of 2nd tier Texas schools is going to offer enough pub to compete with A&M and the SEC especially with the coming difficultly of scheduling with conferences going to 9 games. Does Texas A&M success, and more importantly attention, change your thoughts on the future of UT?

    Like

    • Wainscott says:

      Ohh, I like this question. Nice job, Psuhockey.

      I’d have to agree with you that aTm’s success in the SEC makes the situation more difficult for UT, especially if UT doesn’t right the football ship ASAP. Recruits are young, fickle things, and care more about the hot school of the moment (aTm) than the traditional big dog (UT). Also, I think UT’s hubris stems from the success it had in the mid-aughts. Win 11 games a year, and maybe it could pull partial affiliation off. After all, that hubristic thinking led to the LHN.

      However, that hubris came at a cost (Colorado, aTm, and yes, MizzAndy fleeing the conference). Moreover, the LHN is by all accounts struggling.

      To sum up, I think UTexas always thought more of itself than everyone else did, as its actions suggest. The school is getting a rude awakening right now that maybe its not as exceptional as it thought. Texas isn’t Notre Dame, after all, and it will always need a full conference affiliation.

      Like

      • Psuhockey says:

        Nobody can be Notre Dame. As much as it pains me to say since I am a big hater, Notre Dame sucks the air out of entire college football room when they are good. Only a sustained decade of failure and a mass extinction event of baby boomers is going to change that. Sadly last years championship run re-ignited the fan base. Texas isnt in the same league.

        Like

        • Wainscott says:

          I know, but for some reason, people across the country have difficulty with the fact that Notre Dame is a unique, special program. I’m not a fan of ND, but I very much appreciate its history.

          Notre Dame will only join a conference when it wants to, and it will join whichever conference it wants. Every power conference would love to have ND as a full member, geography and religion aside. (I only say religion because I suspect pointy-hat academics would be leery of adding a conservative, Catholic school, much like the Pac12 and Big XII’s opposition to BYU.)

          No other school has such power.

          Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      “Does Texas A&M success, and more importantly attention…”

      Did they win the SEC? Or their division?

      Are they going to be able to replace an over hyped, self centered, attention grabber? (Do they really want another like him?)
      As you said, its only been since late last year. Lets see how five or ten years look before thinking the crown has changed hands in the state.

      Like

      • Psuhockey says:

        No doubt it has only been a year and after Manziel it could all fall apart. But it won’t take as long as you might think. ESPN is all in on the SEC much more so than the rest of their properties. ESPN turned the state of South Carolina over to USC away from Clemson. Florida State and Miami are 2nd fiddle to UF now even though UF was the 3rd wheel when Spurrier coached there. Do not underestimate the ESPN backed SEC brand.

        Like

      • bullet says:

        Noone in power at UT is concerned. A&M won 10 of 11 in the 80s/early 90s against Texas. It didn’t change the long term dynamics. Texas still has long term advantages. And last year Texas had significantly higher average rated recruits than A&M despite Johnny Autograph and the SEC. Its just that A&M signed twice as many people so they were higher ranked. In this year’s early recruiting commitments A&M is getting a little higher average, but Texas is still near top (and rated higher than A&M since UT is signing more this year).

        Texas isn’t going to go independent or quasi-independent in the ACC because it will hurt sports other than football.

        Like

        • Psuhockey says:

          You might be right but the dynamic in college football has changed since the 80s/90s. There was a single media entity with as much power and influence as ESPN back then. ESPN sets the agenda and phrases the argument now.

          Like

        • FranktheAg says:

          A&M won 80% of recruiting battles last year and so far in this class. You must not follow it closely. Nobody in the recruiting business would dispute that A&M and Sumlin are out recruiting Texas.

          A&M has the number one ranked QB committed in this class and an excellent freshman in Kenny Hill. Replacements for Manziel are already in place.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            I don’t follow it closely, especially prior to signing day. But I do know Texas had higher rated players last year than A&M. They just had 15 instead of 34, so A&M had a higher rated class. This year A&M has slightly higher rated players, but fewer, so Texas is ranked higher in the preliminary 2014 rankings. Texas is around 6th in the country, so its not hurting Texas that A&M is doing well.

            Like

    • BuckeyeBeau says:

      agree. this is a good question. nicely put.

      the unexpected rise of A&M is a real problem for UT Austin. it’s a pride, recruiting and resources problem.

      on the one hand, this could change minds and thoughts. Maybe it becomes clear that staying with the BXII will not be enough to match A&M ascendency. So, maybe going to the P12 or B1G is the answer.

      but on the other hand, A&M’s “rise” is now only a year old. We’ll see what happens this weekend. Another victory and a NC win? or a loss and “merely” a BCS bowl? or something entirely different. Who knows. Plus Manziel is gone after this year and A&M may fall back to the pack. Plus, is this the SEC-factor or the Sumlin-factor or just some confluence of many factors?

      on yet the third hand, Mack may be gone at the end of the season. If UT gets the next NC-winning coach, that fixes the problem. Then staying in the BXII is just fine.

      in short, it is way too soon.

      Like

    • @Psuhockey – Very interesting question. I think that A&M’s success can definitely impact UT’s long-term prospects, but I think that it’s a separate issue from the particular conference that UT is in (or if it’s an independent, *not* in). I’ll channel my inner Duffman here, but a lot of people may be looking at the Big 12 through the prism of its relatively good on-the-field football success over the past few years while the ACC has had arguably its weakest stretch over the exact same period. However, I’d argue that Florida State, Miami, Virginia Tech and Clemson at the very least are more valuable football opponents than any Big 12 school outside of Oklahoma. Personally, I’d put UNC, NC State and Georgia Tech ahead of anyone non-OU Big 12 school purely for football, as well. So, if UT keeps the Red River Rivalry as an independent, plays 1 or 2 of its fellow in-state Texas schools not named Texas A&M, has a similar 5-game partial ACC schedule like ND (with at least one of those games being against one of those “Big 3” annually) and then fills out the rest of its schedule in a manner that’s similar to now, I think that’s very attractive compared to the normal Big 12 schedule for the *long-term*. We’re not even getting to basketball and baseball, where the ACC is extremely powerful.

      So, A&M could certainly put a serious dent in UT’s power (and if it’s not A&M specifically, it could be simply the increased presence of the SEC in the state of Texas), but that doesn’t necessarily correlate in UT preferring the Big 12 over partial membership in the ACC. If anything, UT might end up with acting in a way similar to how BYU responded to Utah’s invite to the Pac-12, where independence became mechanism to show how it was “special” compared to its in-state rival.

      Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        A second “special” membership in the ACC? That would be to the B1G’s liking. It would do more to get UVA/UNC and several others to revisit alternatives than most other scenarios.

        Like

      • bullet says:

        It seems to me the ACC is returning to its historical insignificance in football. Clemson’s MNC in the 80s was every bit as much considered a fluke as BYU’s. The ACC was viewed as being on par with the WAC in the 70s and 80s and below the power conferences. Losing to an ACC school was considered embarrassing. Even in the 90s, it was viewed (probably unfairly) as FSU and the 8 dwarves. The ACC’s winning % since 2005 ooc vs. FBS is closer to the MWC than the Big East. And they are 6th as well going back to 1996.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          bullet,

          “Clemson’s MNC in the 80s was every bit as much considered a fluke as BYU’s.”

          I felt it was more that everyone figured they were cheating, since that was usually what happened when Clemson won big.

          “Even in the 90s, it was viewed (probably unfairly) as FSU and the 8 dwarves.”

          FSU went 62-2 in the ACC from 1990-1999. The next best ACC school was UVA at 51-26-1. I think the characterization is fair.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            But then no one other than Miami or Florida was beating FSU in those days.

            Clemson was cheating, but it was still a surprise for an ACC school to be that good. Now they weren’t a fluke in that a lot of people didn’t think BYU was that good, but the conferences were equivalent.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            “But then no one other than Miami or Florida was beating FSU in those days.”

            Yes, but that doesn’t make it any less FSU and the 8 dwarves. As I pointed out, the second best ACC team was far behind FSU.

            Total AP points in the 90’s rankings:
            1. FSU
            16. UNC
            18. UVA
            28. GT
            32. Clemson

            Miami dominated the BE about the same way. No other conference had 1 team so far on top.

            For comparison, here’s the B10 for the 70’s:
            2. MI
            4. OSU
            24. PU
            28. MSU

            “Now they weren’t a fluke in that a lot of people didn’t think BYU was that good, but the conferences were equivalent.”

            I wasn’t disputing that point.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            I wanted to add a couple of things to my response:

            1. Of course nobody else was beating FSU. If they were, it wouldn’t have been FSU and the 8 dwarves.

            2. Conference W% comparison over a decade:
            OSU and MI in the 70s: 69-9-1 = 0.880 (next was 46-30-3 = 0.601) -> diff = 0.279
            FSU in the 90s: 62-2 = 0.969 (next was 51-26-1 = 0.660) -> diff = 0.309

            I think FSU and the 8 dwarves applies at least as well as the Big 2 and Little 8 did.

            Like

      • Psuhockey says:

        Thanks for the response. It is interesting to me though that you mentioned BYU and Utah. Both programs have fallen out of the national spotlight, at least it seems to me they have here on the east coast, since they left the MWC. Utah has had mediocre results since joining the PAC. I am not so sure why about BYU though. Two of the three years were pretty bad but they were a very quiet 10-3 two years ago.

        I agree about the ACC versus Big 12 brands being a little bigger but I can’t help but look at what has happened to the big programs after the ACC hit 12. FSU, Miami, Virginia Tech, and Clemson all seem to have been hurt nationally. I think a big part of that is perception. If an SEC top team loses to a middle tier team like Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, or Kentucky it is considered a sign of the depth of the SEC. If an ACC giant loses to NC State, UVA, or UNC it is a sign of their weakness. Or they hit them with the argument well FSU lost to Virginia Tech who got beat bad by Alabama so the ACC is well below the SEC. Would that perception change with ND and UT as partial members? I don’t know. It will be interesting to watch FSU, Miami, and Clemson the rest year to see if they return to the national spotlight.

        Like

        • boscatar says:

          BYU had a weak schedule to finish the 2011 season to get its 10 wins. November schedule was awful: Idaho and New Mexico State at home, Hawaii on the road.

          The Cougars were 6-3 prior to its last 4 games, with an embarrassing loss at home to Utah and loss to TCU. Ole Miss and Oregon St. were down in 2011, so BYU’s wins seemed lackluster. Best 2011 win? Utah St. (7-6)? Tulsa (8-5) in the Armed Forces Bowl?

          In 2012, BYU had some great, close games, but lost all the important ones: Boise St. by a point, Notre Dame and Utah by a field goal. Again, biggest win was probably Utah St.

          2013 is already better for BYU, even though they’re only 1-1, because they actually beat a team that anyone cares about (40-21 thumping of Texas). And, they have a chance to make some real noise with Boise St., Wisconsin, and Notre Dame later in the season.

          Like

      • GreatLakeState says:

        If you’re a King without a Kingdom are you still a king?

        BTW: AMC just announced the green light for the Breaking Bad spin off “Better Call Saul”
        The creator and entire BB writing staff are on board, so I’m sure it’ll be interesting even if the concept seems a stretch. It’s going to take place before BB with Saul’s rise to schlockdom the focus.

        Like

        • @GreatLakeState – Maybe Notre Dame and Texas are the Kings of Sealand?

          I’m excited about Better Call Saul. What makes Breaking Bad so watchable is that despite being so dark, it still has some unbelievably funny moments. (The Wire excelled at this, too.) I can imagine Badger and Skinny Pete coming in as Saul’s clients after getting arrested for possession of illegal substances in the spinoff.

          Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      I had agreed with that theory up until Texas A&M exploded onto the national scene at the end of last year and has remained there ever since. Texas is going to make its money anywhere but playing 2nd fiddle to its state rival has to be a blow to the powers that be at UT.

      Kings and princes are made over a period of decades, not in a year. I’m sure there’s some annoyance in Austin right now, not merely because A&M is good, but because Texas is really, really bad. It would take about 15 years like that to make A&M truly the #1 program in the state.

      King/prince status is not permanent, but it takes a very long time for it to change. A&M’s dominance right now is mainly due to one freak athlete who’ll probably be gone after next season. We’ll see how they do after that.

      Like

      • BuckeyeBeau says:

        I am already on board with saying/agreeing that it is too early to tell about A&M’s rise. It may be short-lived; maybe not.

        But, if you check out Texas message boards, there is a distinct and pungent odor of panic and part of that is related to the meteoric rise of the Aggies. UT seems to be going down; A&M seems to be rocketing fast and high.

        And I am confident that, despite the bluster, Texas administrators and fans are now quite worried about the SEC/ESPN affect. S. Carolina and Florida are your cases in point. Clemson used to be the power; FSU and Miami used to be the powers; in both cases, the SEC school now rules. It may take 10-20 years, but make no mistake: the whole state could become the land of the 12th Man. Texas will have to work to make sure it doesn’t happen.

        Like

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          I am already on board with saying/agreeing that it is too early to tell about A&M’s rise. It may be short-lived; maybe not.

          But, if you check out Texas message boards, there is a distinct and pungent odor of panic and part of that is related to the meteoric rise of the Aggies.

          I attach zero significance to fan message boards. The homers overreact laughably to every development, bad or good, and seldom with any deep knowledge or insight. Not only are the fans on message boards irrational; they aren’t even the most important fans (from the school’s perspective), because almost none of them donate any money.

          Like

          • BuckeyeBeau says:

            @ MS: we will have to disagree on this.

            the “important” fans now frequent message boards and interact with all of the “walmart” fans.

            all “those kids” on the message boards 10-15 years ago are all now 30-35 years old and are beginning to donate and pay the premiums for good stadium seats, etc., and they still enjoy the internet while watching the games. and a lot of 20-somethings joined the kids 10-15 years ago so that makes them 30-45 years old now, etc. etc.

            and even the “grey-hairs” can be found on the message boards if only as off-shoots of their children and grandchildren.

            and every board I’ve encountered has some so-called “insiders” who have some connection to this or that booster, this or that coach, this or that player.

            so, I simply disagree that fan message boards are only occupied by homers, those of shallow knowledge and those with empty pockets.

            even if you are right about that, I still say that visiting a LEADING fan message board for a team allows for a sampling of what that fanbase is feeling at that moment or on that topic, etc. It’s like taking a poll of likely voters. Message board sentiment is indicative of larger trends within a fan community. It’s not scientific and the margin of error is +/-10%, but it still gives you some sense of which way the wind is blowing.

            Visit BON or ShaggyBevo and the sense of panic is there and what’s going on with the Aggies is a big part of it.

            Of course, it is ephemeral. A big ‘Bama win and a big Ole Miss loss this weekend and I bet, on Sunday, BON suddenly reverts to feeling happy.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            …every board I’ve encountered has some so-called “insiders” who have some connection to this or that booster, this or that coach, this or that player.

            I agree with that. But the majority of the comments on homer boards tend to be laughably uninformed, made by people who have no important contacts and even less influence. I mean, you’ve got to read 100 meaningless comments before you reach the important one.

            Like

          • BuckeyeBeau says:

            @ MS

            you said: “I mean, you’ve got to read 100 meaningless comments before you reach the important one.”

            I gave a good hearty laugh at that. Then my next thought was: “… and 95 of those comments were comedic gold !!”

            So, I suppose that shows my hand vis a vis message boards. I find them a source of comedy. But as said, I also find them a source of information. I think you can take a “quick pulse” of a fanbase from a visit to their message boards.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            @BuckeyeBeau: Yes, I do find them humorous, and I agree, they give a good sense of the “temperature” of the fan base. I just don’t think most of those posters are channeling what the administration thinks; or that the administration much cares what they think.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            I agree with Buckeye here. Message boards are a mix of legit stuff and nonsense. It’s not all nonsense.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            ShaggyBevo is anxious to get rid of Mack Brown. Few are concerned about the Aggies (although there are some). They’re concerned about Texas taking care of itself. I think they have that quote at the top, “We are the Joneses.” And complaining is part of the culture of that board. It was formed in response to the old primary Texas board (Hornfans) having strict moderation and trying to be a fan club as opposed to a message board. So you have to read it with that in mind.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            @Andy: I didn’t say it’s all nonsense, only that there are very few message board posters that combine: A) Being sensible; and B) The administration cares what they say.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Marc:

            “and B) The administration cares what they say.”

            Unless its T Boone, Phil Knight, etc taking to message boards I doubt the admin cares, even if sensible. I’d rephrase: “and B) the poster is able to reflect what the administration cares about.”

            Like

        • FranktheAg says:

          It is Kevin Sumlin more than Manziel. Time will bear that out.

          Like

  21. […] is interesting speculation Frank the Tank Mailbag: Part I ? I?m Not in the Realignment Business. I?m in the Empire Business. | … Let’s start with my previous post, where I point out how difficult and unlikely it is to […]

    Like

  22. loki_the_bubba says:

    Nine mentions of Rice already in these comments. Looks like I’ve done my work well here. lol

    Like

    • duffman says:

      This was the discussion early on I raised if the AAU moves from being slow to add schools to actually kicking them out. All the schools that got in during the first decade or so of the AAU have been grandfathered in for ages much like bridge life masters just need to get in then rack up points. Nebraska is gone, along with Syracuse, so if Kansas goes the AAU would be appearing to head to a chess master method where entry alone does not continue membership but academic issues every year are the new method used to keep membership standing.

      Like

    • Andy says:

      Yeah, I’ve been posting on here for year that Kansas is more at risk than pretty much anyone to lose AAU status.

      Oregon, Iowa State, and Indiana are somewhat at risk too. Also maybe Tulane.

      Missouri and Buffalo would be next after those.

      I guess it all depends on how far they want to take it.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        You can probably thank Nebraska for making it unlikely. I don’t think they want it that nasty. Syracuse quietly withdrew rather than getting kicked out.

        Like

      • The report that matters to the AAU, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.

        http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/nsf13325/pdf/tab13.pdf

        Our chancellor wisely took advantage of Nebraska’s misfortune to gather support for higher admission standards, increased funding for NCI designation and our Far Above capital campaign. The admission standards are now set, NCI designation was awarded last year and Far Above has raised $923 million, with three years remaining in the campaign.

        We still have much work to do to achieve our goals, but the truth is we are in much better shape than our detractors want to believe.

        Like

        • Andy says:

          KU basically had no admissions standards. Higher than nothing is at least something I guess. Your ACT average is still below Missouri, Nebraska, or any other Big Ten school. $923M is good and all but lots of schools are doing the same. I know Nebraska just raised a ton and Mizzou finished a $1B campaign a few years ago and is about to start another one.

          The list you posted there seems to include the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, KS. If KU is allowed to do that then it definitely helps, bumps up their numbers by a good 30-40 spots. For some reason Nebraska was not allowed to do this.

          Like

          • Andy says:

            BTW if Mizzou was allowed to count their medical and dentistry schools at UMKC or their engineering school at UMR or all of the programs over at UMSL then they’d see a 30-40 spot jump in the standings as well.

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            I believe Nebraska’s medical school is an entirely separate entity within the University system, like how the former UMDMJ was separate from Rutgers (before the state merged the former into the latter this past summer). That’s why UNL couldn’t count it.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            Hm. Well nice for KU that they found a way around that. Other lists I’ve seen have KU and KUMC-KC separated out, just like UMC, UMKC, UMSL, and UMR are separated out. The numbers come out a lot differently depending on whether schools are allowed to count things from other campuses.

            Like

    • Brian says:

      Wainscott,

      “Kansas and the AAU”

      Based on those stats, KU is #87 on the AAU list from NE’s report.

      For context, here are the non-members above KU plus those below them (anbd the bottom AAU school):

      31. Yeshiva
      37. Dartmouth
      40. UAB
      43. Tufts
      43. UMD-BC
      49. Utah
      52. UC-Santa Cruz
      55. RPI
      57. WF
      59. Miami
      61. UIC
      62. UC
      64. CSU
      67. OrSU
      68. GW
      69. NM
      72. Wayne St.
      72. UC-Riverside
      76. AK-Fairbanks
      78. VCU
      79. VT
      79. HI
      81. UConn
      83. Georgetown
      83. DE
      86. SUNY-Albany
      87. KU
      87. ASU
      87. USF
      90. UMass
      91. VT
      91. NCSU
      91. OU
      94. Unknown AAU
      94. FSU
      96. UK
      96. UL
      98. NMSU
      99. ND
      100. MS
      101. Dayton
      102. NH
      103. SC
      104. UH
      105. AAU member – most likely Syracuse which subsequently dropped out
      106. USU
      107. NV
      108. Howard
      109. former AAU member NE

      The newest members to join are #31 GT and #37 Boston. So when people tell you a school has a plan to become AAU, remember how many schools they have to climb over to get in position to be invited. Schools like VT, OU and FSU are decades away from having a shot at AAU membership. Everyone above them is still jockeying to improve, too.

      Like

      • zeek says:

        Exactly, the problem with “planning” to become AAU is that these schools have to outperform 30-40 schools ahead of them in the metrics. It’s possible yes, but it’s highly unlikely at the same time. These schools are all trying to improve their numbers and federal research dollars growth is likely to be more constrained in the future than they have been in the past 20-30 years.

        Like

      • Andy says:

        I’m guessing 94 is Oregon.

        Like

  23. Craig Z says:

    Go Bucks.

    Like

  24. Steve says:

    Go blue!

    Like

  25. duffman says:

    The issue with TAMU in the SEC is not if they maintain football status at the expense of Texas but how much the SEC can make a dent in Texas overall. Ten years from now kids being recruited in TX will no longer be under the monopoly of the Big 12. TAMU may not sustain success but they will not be leaving the SEC anytime soon with a new 100K stadium and teams in the SEC West who will drive to College Station in numbers. 20 years from now the SWC memories will be just about gone and memories of the Big 12 will become lost in a new generation. No matter what the Longhorns think of themselves they will no longer have the state of TX to themselves.

    Imagine if Indiana joined the SEC and Purdue stayed in the B1G or if Illinois joined the SEC and Northwestern stayed in the B1G. Not saying this will ever actually happen but if it did the states of IN and IL would no longer have monopoly power held by the B1G. It would be shared in some percentage by the invading SEC. Instead of extracting 1.00 in a B1G monopoly state the carriage rates would drop with competition from another source and therefore the BTN carriage rates may drop to .75 cents or .50 cents quickly. This is so obvious to see yet nobody seems to acknowledge it much less the powers in charge in Austin. This is where the LHN will become the real albatross around the neck of Texas. With competition in TX for TX eyeballs the SECTV can greatly damage the ability of the LHN to ever approach say the 1.00 carriage rate it might have gotten if TAMU never left the Big 12.

    The only way to stop this is for TAMU to rejoin the Big 12 and sew the monopoly power back up in TX but that cow is already out of the barn and not coming back.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      I don’t think its the least bit obvious. Is the SEC going to get significantly less in Florida because FSU is in the ACC or in South Carolina because Clemson is in the ACC or in Georgia because GT is in the ACC?

      As for recruiting it remains to be seen what happens 10 years from now. In the first two years there has been no change. The top athletes go to Big 12 schools and Texas A&M, just as they did when A&M was in the Big 12. Some SEC schools seem to be doing worse in Texas (Missouri and Arkansas).

      Like

      • bullet says:

        The Big 12 still dominates Texas with 4 schools vs. 1 in the SEC.

        Like

        • duffman says:

          You look at it as Florida / SEC vs FSU + Miami / ACC
          I view it as FL + border states (AL and GA)

          You look at it as Texas 4 / Big 12 vs TAMU / SEC
          I view it as TX + OK = Big 12 vs TX + AR + LA = SEC

          The issue is in any state where you have to share you no longer have a monopoly. In FL and now TX you have fragmented markets and it means bleed off into adjoining states. Most of the population in TX is on the eastern half and the western half is sparsely populated. Since the SEC states border the eastern side of TX you will have more crossover into Houston and Dallas than if the SEC did not have a member school inside the TX border.

          Atlanta is full of both ACC and SEC from all the different schools inside those conferences and not just the fans of Georgia Tech and Georgia.

          Like

    • zeek says:

      You’re missing one crucial factor.

      Recruiting has always had a strong “kids like to stay local” factor.

      The SEC schools outside of A&M can only promise 1 visit every other year to Texas now (the ones in the SEC West), whereas the Big 12 schools (outside of Texas) can promise 2 visits every single year to Texas.

      That’s why it’s always going to be easier for Oklahoma State than it will be for even LSU or Arkansas even though the latter two have far more successful traditions.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Arkansas used to get a lot of top Texas players in the SWC. They were right behind Texas, OU and A&M. They have fallen off the map in Texas recruiting.

        Like

        • duffman says:

          Arkansas in the SWC got media coverage in TX

          Arkansas in the SEC did not get the same media coverage in TX

          Arkansas + TAMU will get media coverage in TX now because a TX team is in the SEC

          Like

          • bullet says:

            Not the same as when you played 8 Texas schools a year.

            Like

          • duffman says:

            Not the same as when you played 8 Texas schools a year.

            You are still thinking in the old model when conferences were just a few states. Playing 8 TX schools a year was a big deal because coverage was more local. Now we are in the national and super regional model where playing all the schools in the same state does not have the appeal of playing 8 schools in 8 different states.

            Arkansas in SWC played 8 conference games :
            Baylor
            Rice – now in CUSA : not in Big 5
            Texas
            TAMU
            SMU – now in AAC : not in Big 5
            TCU
            Texas Tech
            Houston – now in AAC : not in Big 5

            Arkansas in SEC plays 8 conference games :
            Alabama
            Auburn
            Mississippi
            Mississippi State
            LSU
            TAMU
            SEC East #1
            SEC East #2

            Which schedule has more appeal in the current model?

            Like

      • Psuhockey says:

        You are correct that majority of kids want to stay local. No debate. However the super elite prospect have shown to be more mobile. USC built there dynasty by grabbing the top kids from all over the country. Alabama now has that type of standing.

        Texas A&M is the big threat in recruiting since it is local. Local recruiting is also a big reason I believe that UT will do all it can to keep Oklahoma out of the SEC too. Right now UT is fine but what happens if the SEC wins the next couple of national championships and continues to put a disproportional amount of players into the NFL compared to other conferences?

        I don’t know if you follow junior hockey but the NCAA has been getting killed recently by the Canadian juniors for top players in the US. Many US players go against their commitments to colleges because Canadian juniors sells that they prepare them better for the pros since it is the top league with top competition. So many American now travel far to play on shit juniors teams just to get “better prepared” for the pros. In reality the preparation difference between the NCAA and Canadian juniors isn’t that great as there are many excellent players coming out of college hockey. However the perception is there and perception once ingrained is hard to defeat. If the SEC continues its unprecedented run of NFL picks and national championships, it will be the defacto league for top notch prospects since most of the top prospects want to make the NFL above all else. All other conferences will be getting the left overs.

        Like

        • BuckeyeBeau says:

          meaning the Aggies end up as THE university of Texas.

          UT Austin is going to have to work hard to prevent this.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            The name itself is an advantage. After coaching at Mississippi St., Darrell Royal said he would never coach at a “State U.” again. Other than states where there really is one flagship like Louisiana and Ohio, the “U. of” is always the more prominent university. That’s not going to change because A&M is in the SEC. In football KSU and Virginia Tech may be better than their counterparts, but they are still less prominent in the state and lesser schools in sports overall other than football. And both have had one great coach, so it isn’t clear if what they built will continue. NCSU is bigger than UNC and probably has had a little more football success, but UNC is still much more prominent. If you go through the whole US, the Dakotas may be the only states where “State U” is as prominent as the “U of.” Even in Georgia where Georgia Tech is a very highly regarded school academically and had a great football history until the 60s, the state is totally dominated by UGA. A few good football seasons doesn’t change a century of dynamics.

            Like

          • Psuhockey says:

            Bullet,
            You make very good points but how much does that still apply today. With recruiting services and social media making these kids into quasi superstars before they hit campus, how much do they really care about flagship versus state u. If you think that you are heading to the NFL at some point as I would wager a lot of these top guys do, do they even really care the tradtional of university they go to? Was it USC and Alabama’s prestige that created two of the last dynasties or was it the fact that Carroll and Saban were two ex-NFL coaches? Granted resources do matter as I doubt Saban could build a champion Miss State but he did built a championship program at LSU, a program that was pretty mediocre when he took over.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            LSU had a long dry streak, but they have a good history. Before Saban they were a near king like Auburn, Tennessee, UGA and perhaps 2 or 3 other non-SEC schools. Notre Dame had a nearly 20 year dry streak since Holtz, but they were still a king.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            And LSU is effectively “the University of Louisiana,” just as Penn St. has that role in Pennsylvania and Ohio St. in Ohio. There was no U of L until the U of Southwest Louisiana and Northeastern Louisiana St. University changed their names 5-10 years ago.

            Like

          • BuckeyeBeau says:

            @ Bullet.

            um…. i am not really wanting to start arguing the value of names. so i’ll just offer two thoughts, for what they are worth:

            1. Ohio University was founded in 1804, a year after Ohio was admitted to the Union. tOSU was founded in 1870 as a land-grant university. Why did one become so well-known and one not? why did one become a football King and the other a team in the MAC? who knows. probably many reasons.

            2. there is not even a whiff in the State of Ohio that the word “State” in tOSU’s name is objectionable, substandard, inferior or anything negative. If anything there is pride in being Ohio’s State University.

            Like

          • duffman says:

            Some problems with your realities bullet.

            Clemson vs South Carolina – Carolina was the name school but the doormat till they entered the SEC and only now have they risen to the top of the state

            Georgia Tech vs Georgia – Georgia Tech was the top dog in Georgia for half a century and had the better football program until they fell out with Alabama and left the SEC. Yellow Jackets had 3 MNC’s in the SEC and played the big time programs of the era like Notre Dame. Georgia only pulled ahead after Tech left the SEC and by now they are a mere shadow of their former stature.

            Pittsburgh vs Penn State – One school joins the B1G in the 1990’s and the other does not. Even tho Pittsburgh was the early dominant football team in the state of PA they were still passed by when Penn State moved in to dominate the state.

            Southern Cal is the private school but it has still held dominance over both UCLA and Cal in the PAC and state of CA.

            Arizona State has the dominant football program in Arizona. Arizona has the basketball school, but we are talking football here.

            Auburn and Alabama – If Heisman stays at Auburn and Wade never coaches at Alabama the roles today could easily be reversed.

            Florida was behind Florida State and Miami but has moved ahead only after the other 2 have fallen in the ACC.

            Ohio has lots of state universities but Ohio State is the big one.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            USC and UCLA are about the same size. Size matters.

            Like

          • vp19 says:

            Southern Cal is the private school but it has still held dominance over both UCLA and Cal in the PAC and state of CA.

            It was founded in 1880, just before the Los Angeles population boom and nearly half a century before UCLA; Southern Cal has been LA’s “old money” school for roughly a century. Moreover, the rapid growth of the southern part of the state weakened the statewide influence of Berkeley.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            South Carolina was not a doormat. They were the bigger program in the ACC and thought they were big enough to go indie. Clemson/South Carolina is one of the closer ones.

            You may remember back further than me, but Penn St. has been top dog in football in my memory even if Pitt had some good years. And I’m not sure how long both have been semi-state universities or if they have always been that way. Before I remember, Pennsylvania University was probably the premier program in Pennsylvania.

            Georgia led the Georgia Tech series long before GT left the SEC and always had more fans around the state.

            Southern Cal is not a state school so it is not any more relevant than comparing Notre Dame to IU.

            Neither Arizona or Arizona St. has done that much in football in the Pac 12. Arizona has done a little better since Frank Kush retired. Arizona leads the series 47-38-1 according to Wiki. They totally dominated until the Kush era. Then ASU dominated. The last 31 years have been 18-12-1 Arizona. And Arizona does dominate in basketball. Arizona St. dominates in NCAA probations, tied for tops in the nation, which seems to be common among the “state” schools.

            Alabama/Auburn speaks for itself.

            Florida has always been dominant in Florida even if FSU had the better football program for about 15 years.

            As I said, Ohio St. is the one premier research university in Ohio. Miami and Ohio U. are older and are good schools, but aren’t designed as the Enormous State research University.

            Like

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Bullet – I’m assuming the long dry streak for LSU in which you are referring was ’89 to ’99 when the Tigers experienced losing seasons during eight of those 11 years and six straight. But during the 20 years between the Dietzel/McClendon years (’55 to ’79, only three losing seasons, one NC, three SEC Champs, while dealing with the Bear most of that time) and the Saban/ Miles years (2000 to present, no losing seasons, two NCs, four SEC Champs), my Tigers had 10 winning seasons and 10 losing seasons, winning two SEC championships, and nine bowl appearances including two Sugars and an Orange. Those six years were miserable, but Nebraska had six straight losing season before they hire Bob Devaney. I’m sure some other great programs may have had similar “dry streaks” as well.

            Like

        • David Brown says:

          PSU Hockey, I do follow US Junior Hockey (and I do not see a bunch of Americans playing for the Calgary Hitmen), and beyond that there is a real fear in Canada about losing their Game (which is why they are cutting back on the number of Europeans playing in the QMJHL, OHL & WHL). In addition, they are afraid that other US Universities will follow the lead of Penn State and add Division I Hockey (Oklahoma & Arizona State are two just two of them that have been cited), which will hurt even more. There is evidence to understand that fear. If you look at Competitions like World Juniors, Team USA is winning Titles against Canada, and they also know, that if given the choice, most players will choose Team USA over Team Canada (such as Stefan Matteau who was born in Chicago, grew up in Quebec, and chose Team USA). As far as College Football National Championships are concerned, it is not a perception but a reality that Southern-Based Schools ARE MORE LIKELY to win Championships, then those in the North (the last team a team based in the North to have won was Ohio State in 2002 (Oklahoma (North or South?) in 2003 can be debated)).

          Like

          • Bo Darville says:

            Tulane was known as the University of Louisiana up until the Civil War.

            Like

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Bo, Tulane was a public school named the University of Louisiana from its founding in 1834 as the second oldest medical school in the South, until it went private in 1884 after a generous donation from Paul Tulane. LSU began as a military school in 1860 under the direction of its superintendent William Tecumseh Sherman.

            http://tulane.edu/about/history.cfm

            Like

  26. bullet says:

    Its possible the SEC schools start poaching Texas. But its just as likely A&M becomes a .500 program as they were in the Big 12 or below .500 and become irrelevant in Texas recruiting.

    Like

    • Psuhockey says:

      I agree with duffman that the real threat is not necessarily Texas A&M success but SEC continued success. ESPN has the most to gain financially with the SEC compaired to other conferences now with the SECN. They directly profit by keeping the SEC the number 1 football conference in the country. If SEC teams continue to dominate in national championship games, it will be harder for all schools in other conferences to convince top recruits not to go play there.

      Like

    • duffman says:

      Even if TAMU goes back to .500 it will still mean the SEC gets exposure in TX and schools like LSU and Alabama will be getting more exposure in TX than they ever did when TX had no SEC team.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Not as far as TV. Even 5 years ago, you got as many SEC (and Big 10) games in Houston as you did Big 12. And the SEC East schools will hardly ever be in College Station.

        The very top recruits have historically gone to Texas, Texas A&M and OU with a few to national powers (Notre Dame, Miami, etc.). LSU and Alabama can occasionally pick off one of those now (and AL does real well now with 3 MNCs in 4 years), but they aren’t going to heavily recruit Texas. They will only cherry pick. They have a lot better chance in their own state or their historical recruiting grounds. They aren’t going to go after 3 stars in Texas. They can get comparable players much easier locally.

        The only risk to Texas is if the top 10-15 players start going mostly out of state. And if Texas wins, that’s not going to happen. From the Big 12’s standpoint, the risk would be perceived as a lesser conference and having out of state schools beat out schools not named Texas and OU. But over the last 2 years, Baylor, TCU and Oklahoma St. are recruiting better than ever. WVU doesn’t recruit Texas much. The rest are doing about the same.

        Like

        • Psuhockey says:

          Winning will help Texas but they are in a mostly lose situation in the Big 12. Besides OU, any lose to a Big 12 team looks really bad for Texas since they are suppose to beat those lesser teams due to the huge difference in brand. Conversely, they really don’t get any great credit for beating the other Big 12 teams. An example of this is 2008. Florida lost to an Ole Miss team at home while USC lost on the road to Oregon State. Both Ole Miss and Oregon State finished at 9-4 yet there was barely a discussion of putting USC in ahead of Florida despite a roster full of NFL talent. Florida had more “impressive win” and losing to Oregon State was inexcusable. At the time the only way USC could get into the National Championship game was going undefeated. Texas is faced with the same situation.

          College football is all about two things: coaching, with recruiting playing a huge part in that, and brand. SEC, thanks to ESPN, has the brands so Texas will have to hire a great coach.

          Like

          • duffman says:

            Not as far as TV. Even 5 years ago, you got as many SEC (and Big 10) games in Houston as you did Big 12. And the SEC East schools will hardly ever be in College Station.

            You are not getting it :

            Pre realignment if you lived in TX the Big 12 or SWC had the media monopoly. The primary stories were covered by TX media with interest to the Big 12 and SWC.

            Post alignment means TX is now split between Big 12 and SEC. With a SEC team in TX the TX media now has reporters covering the SEC because the SEC has a team in TX.

            As comparison, in Louisville the Courier Journal gives coverage to Louisville in the AAC (and ALL the other AAC teams) + Kentucky in the SEC (and ALL the other SEC teams) + Indiana (and ALL the other B1G teams) and the same happens with the TV and radio media in the area. It is not a question of when SEC teams are in College Station, it is a question of filling media space with news year round and now the SEC will fill a part of that space because they have a team in the state. Where in the past a media desk just covered the Big 12 now the desk will have a Big 12 reporter and a SEC reporter.

            Look at FtT coverage since the beginning and why realignment had put the B1G in MD and NJ. Sure it is about adding footprints but it is also about getting top dollar and coverage for the other 12 B1G schools in these added states. With Maryland in the B1G it means the media inside MD will now have bigger and better coverage when B1G teams play each other even if neither play Maryland or play inside the borders of the state of MD. College football is only about 3 months out of the year but college sports coverage is year round and now the SEC will get sports news coverage in TX they would not have gotten in the past without a TX school in the SEC.

            Like

          • BuckeyeBeau says:

            @ Duffman:

            good example with the Courier Journal.

            now add the example of the Washington Post. With MD set to join the B1G, the Washington Post now runs much larger and more intense coverage of the B1G in general. i never saw that kind of coverage in the WP until Maryland was slated to join. In theory, something like that should start to happen with the NYC papers, but I have not seen that too much yet.

            I want to add another thought.

            The influence of ESpin (and seCBS) cannot be overstated here. We have all discussed and linked to NYTimes articles about how ESPN influences CFB. Remember, ESPN basically put Boise State on the map. ESPN is in the process of turning A&M into a King. Once that process is finished and once the SECN gets carriage all over the State of Texas, ESPN won’t need UT Austin and certainly wont need to pay $15M a year for the LHN.

            Like

          • duffman says:

            The influence of ESpin (and seCBS) cannot be overstated here.

            Agree 100%

            Before ESPN started promoting Uconn and the ACC college basketball had Indiana vs Kentucky. After ESPN it was all Tobacco Road and Big East. Take away the support ESPN has given Louisville the past decade and they would not be heading to the ACC next year.

            Like

          • BuckeyeBeau says:

            @ duffman.

            good point about Louisville. I had thought about that set of events and ESpin manipulations.

            Like

    • FranktheAg says:

      Why is it just as likely? Since the late seventies A&M has played Texas straight up, something like 18-17. The 2000s (the decade of Fran) was pathetic but A&M now is similar to A&M in the twenty years from 80-00. Add the SEC factor and it is likely the 2000s will prove to be the anomaly.

      Like

  27. John O says:

    A few questions…

    Regarding Division 4, will its formation allow for conferences to dispense with divisions and still stage a championship game?

    What would Texas do if OU and KU were admitted to B1G? Would politicians in Oklahoma and Kansas demand OSU and KSU be spared relegation (from FBS/Div 4) to allow OU/KU to join B1G?

    Would the B1G possibly admit all 3? And stand pat at 17 for football? Or 4 including TT?

    If KU loses AAU status, are they still a B1G expansion candidate?

    If Texas chose independence for its football team, what would their conference affiliation options be for their other sports?

    Would BYU accept invitation to OU-and-KU-less Big XII?

    How likely is it FSU will be AAU member/candidate in next 20 years?

    Is it at all possible that the PAC12 would offer Texas a deal similar to that offered ND by the ACC?

    How likely is it that VT retains prince status 10 years from now? It it does, 15+ years from now, would the B1G have any interest in VT? Does VT (still?) have any interest in SEC?

    Would the Big East consider expanding beyond 12?

    Which is more likely for the NHL – expansion or contraction?

    Which NFL franchise(s) are most likely to land in LA? If none do in next 5-10 years, would NFL expand again?

    Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      Can anyone make a longer list of silly questions? 🙂

      (I hope you weren’t being serious)

      Like

      • largeR says:

        LOL
        Perhaps there should be an ‘awaiting moderation’ for more than one question mark per reply.

        Like

      • Brian says:

        ccrider55,

        “Can anyone make a longer list of silly questions?”

        That seems pretty harsh since Frank sought questions from anyone and everyone on any topic. Not everyone is as versed on expansion issues as us regulars here. There’s nothing wrong with being uninformed and asking questions so you can learn. It’s certainly better than the alternative.

        Like

    • Brian says:

      John O,

      I’m clearly not Frank, but:

      “Regarding Division 4, will its formation allow for conferences to dispense with divisions and still stage a championship game?”

      Not necessarily. The schools don’t seem anxious to change that rule. Remember, the schools are the NCAA and they made that rule. It’s the fans that want to change it, and we all know nobody listens to the fans.

      I don’t think that rule will be changed, in part because of expansion. As divisions get larger, the desire to let two teams from the same division play a rematch diminishes.

      “What would Texas do if OU and KU were admitted to B1G?”

      I don’t think OU would leave UT, nor do I think the B10 would accept OU and KU. If UT wnated to come along, all they’d have to do is say so and they’d be in (in place of KU, probably).

      “Would politicians in Oklahoma and Kansas demand OSU and KSU be spared relegation (from FBS/Div 4) to allow OU/KU to join B1G?”

      The B10 couldn’t guarantee that without adding those 2, and that would never happen. However, OkSU and KSU are big enough deals that someone would add them. There is zero chance they would miss the cut for D-4.

      “Would the B1G possibly admit all 3?”

      Sure. UT is a given, OU is a FB king but with shaky academic credentials and KU is solid academically and a BB king. I happen to think OU is the least likely to get in, but all 3 have a chance.

      “And stand pat at 17 for football?”

      No. You can’t do that. With divisions, you need an even number of teams to keep a balanced schedule.

      EX. Split W = 9 and E = 8
      W – 8 division games + 1 crossover = 9
      E – 7 division games + 1 crossover = 8*

      * There are only 8 E teams, so one of them has to play 2 crossovers while the rest play 1.

      So do 10 teams play 9 games and the other 7 only 8 games? How does the E decide a champ when 1 plays an extra game?

      If they get those 3, then they definitely would line up a #18. They’d ask ND, MO, UVA, UNC, Duke, GT and anyone else they can think of before standing at 17.

      “Or 4 including TT?”

      No, I don’t think so. TT, OkSU and KSU are all dealbreakers for the B10.

      “If KU loses AAU status, are they still a B1G expansion candidate?”

      No, they barely bring enough to the table as it is. Take away that AAU status and they’re off the list.

      “If Texas chose independence for its football team, what would their conference affiliation options be for their other sports?”

      B12 and ACC?

      “Would BYU accept invitation to OU-and-KU-less Big XII?”

      No. They wouldn’t cave to the B12 with them there, so why would they say yes without them? BYU has special conditions (no Sunday games, video rights) that they and the B12 can’t agree on (so far).

      “How likely is it FSU will be AAU member/candidate in next 20 years?”

      Member – 0.1%
      Candidate – 1%

      They need to pass at least 50 schools in the AAU rankings to be a realistic candidate. Doing that in 20 years would take a minor miracle.

      “Is it at all possible that the PAC12 would offer Texas a deal similar to that offered ND by the ACC?”

      No. The P12 requires the tier 3 rights of all members, and UT can’t do that while keeping the LHN. Also, UT brings them very little value without being a full member in FB. Plus, the P12 plays 9 conference games so locking in UT games would really handcuff their members. USC and Stanford already have 10 locked games, for example.

      “How likely is it that VT retains prince status 10 years from now?”

      It really depends on their coaching hire when Beamer retires. He’s made it an enticing job, but lots of ADs make bad choices. I’ll give it 70% odds because most top schools stay on about the same level coach after coach, plus VT has some great recruiting grounds.

      “It it does, 15+ years from now, would the B1G have any interest in VT?”

      It comes back to academics. They are about where FSU is, so they need to climb the rankings. VA is a desirable state, certainly. It depends what else happens, obviously. If UVA gets in, VT has slim chances. If UVA keeps saying no, VT becomes more interesting. I still think the B10 would prefer UVA and UNC, though.

      “Does VT (still?) have any interest in SEC?”

      I don’t think they ever did have much interest in the SEC. They might in the future, but I think they really just want to be with UVA.

      “Would the Big East consider expanding beyond 12?”

      Maybe, but it doesn’t matter.

      “Which is more likely for the NHL – expansion or contraction?”

      Unfortunately, expansion. Leagues and unions really dislike the concept of contraction.

      “Which NFL franchise(s) are most likely to land in LA? If none do in next 5-10 years, would NFL expand again?”

      Impossible to predict. As owners change, the odds of moving changes. I’d say a new franchise is the most likely, but plenty of bad teams might move (Jacksonville, Buffalo, etc). On the other hand, I don’t follow the NFL so somebody else can probably give you a more educated guess.

      Like

      • BuckeyeBeau says:

        @Brian. quite excellent. Not that I am an NFL junkie, but I’ll throw an extra thought out about Los Angeles. LA’s problem is basically the lack of a pro-stadium and there is no end of political infighting over where any new stadium would be built (basically, it’s a downtown vs. The Valley debate with both sides deeply entrenched).

        The college stadiums will not work. UCLA is not giving up the Rose Bowl. The Coliseum is a crumbling wreck in need of massive improvements. USC just gained exclusive control over the Coliseum and I dont see them agreeing to allow a pro-team to use it.

        Just as importantly, no pro-team would WANT to play in either stadium given lack of luxury suites, outdated systems, etc.

        My guess is that LA proper will never have a NFL team again.

        That leaves you with LA-adjacent. But, where? If you go south of LA, say, the Long Beach Surfer Dudes, then you begin to overlap with the San Diego Charger’s sphere of influence. And there is not much to the north or east. I suppose you could do the Oxnard Matadors.

        Traffic is the other problem with an NFL franchise in LA. Trust me, traffic in LA is several levels worse than traffic in a normal American city. So, placement of the stadium is crucial. If you go south, then you lose pretty much everyone from the Valley. They will not drive. Conversely, if you place the stadium to the north, no one from the rich areas in the south and downtown and around LAX will suffer through the traffic to get to the games.

        Honestly, LA might do better to try and get two NFL franchises and build two stadiums.

        Like

        • I may actually include this question in my next mailbag post, but as a brief response, pro teams and leagues care about whether a “proper” stadium deal is in place (which means having the requisite luxury suites and ancillary revenue) first and foremost. That is the backdrop for any type of realignment or expansion for the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL. It doesn’t matter how incredible a TV market might be (see the NFL and LA) – pro leagues will NOT move or expand to a market that doesn’t meet the stadium requirement.

          Now, I would think that LA could build a stadium in its downtown core near the LA Live/Staples Center complex. I know that’s one of the proposals on the table and, if I had a magic wand, that would be the only option considered compared to putting it in one of the outlying areas. (Granted, I’m personally much more biased toward an urban-centric walkable environment and I believe there’s better prospects for spurring economic development in the surrounding area that make using public financing *somewhat* justifiable.) Note that the traffic issues are also much less of a concern when dealing with weekend football games compared to the average Lakers or Dodgers weeknight game. One would think that it’s only a matter of time before one or more NFL teams end up moving to LA, but I would have said the same thing 10 years ago. The stadium situation is non-negotiable – no NFL team is moving to the Rose Bowl or Coliseum, so there has to be a firm stadium deal in place for it to happen. The size of the LA market almost works against it here, where the issue is that there are too many communities and investors that want a piece of the action, so they continuously fail to get behind a single solid proposal. Oxnard and Orange County see downtown LA as a competitor as opposed to a partner. In contrast, smaller markets have a greater ability to get behind one stadium plan and put all of their resources in that.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            Downtown LA is walkable?

            Like

          • @Richard – Well, no, not really as of now, but the advantage (at least hopefully) is that a new stadium would aid in progressing that. The LA Live complex has really changed that area compared to even only 5 years ago, so a new stadium can build on that progress. It’s certainly not NYC, Chicago or San Francisco, but it’s better than before.

            Like

          • BuckeyeBeau says:

            @ FtF agree with what you say. A centralized stadium is the solution. It “solves” the traffic issue if only because everyone “comes in” about the same distance (as opposed to having to cross the whole span to get to one side or the other).

            But I don’t see it ever happening.

            As you say, the fragmented power centers of LA county see each other as competitors. It’s about taxes and where the money is spent. The Valley pays more money to downtown than they get back in spending on roads, etc. The break-away movement is still simmering, even tho’ everyone knows the votes aren’t there.

            And we know there is no solution coming from the State level. California is cash poor and no way the northern members of the legislature vote to approve State $$ to help LA get a NFL team.

            And to add yet another point about the Rose Bowl and the Coliseum: both are now registered as Historic Landmarks. So adding all the necessary amenities will be nearly impossible. Think how tough it was to re-do Soldier Field in Chicago (and look at the monstrocity (sp?) that resulted).

            So, again, I just see no solution other than going with two teams/stadiums options. FWIW, the demographics are there to support two teams.

            Like

          • gfunk says:

            Frank is right. Downtown LA has improved its walkability, esp around LA Live. The Little Tokyo/ Civic Center District – Historic Core & Financial District have been walkable for years & housing options continue to sprout in those areas. These areas don’t require much as much of a gait to say LA Live as outsiders think. Dodger Stadium, China Town, and transitional geography marked by Bunker Hill makes LA seem un-walkable, as well as the fact that dt LA (outside Bunker Hill) has a lot of hills once you leave the DT area. I’m not sure Dodger Stadium will ever be a desirable walk to downtown LA – but some of these issues are getting addressed by the public transit options and explosion of people moving DT, though it slowed some during the housing crash.

            Like

        • Wainscott says:

          Jax apparently has an ironclad lease with the city until 2027, so they aren’t an option. Keep an eye on the Chargers, Rams, and Raiders.

          Chargers: Are year-to-year in their current stadium. Want to remain in SD but also want SD to build a new stadium for them. SD’s politics are in flux thanks to a special election to replace sleazy Mayor Bob “Feel her” Filner.
          Rams: Last I read, the arbitration failed, and will be year-to-year starting in 2015. Kroenke is a WalMart heir-in-law with interests in STL, Denver, and LA.
          Raiders: I think it was PFT that reported an open NFL secret that Mark Davis is trying hard to lure minority partners for a cash infusion, but wants to retain control. But no investor will buy in without some say/prospect for say in the future. Likely solution there is a sale or a Modell/Biscotti deal where ownership transfers if Davis cant raise funds in a set time frame. A new owner would probably move to LA or try to get a stadium in San Fran proper.

          Bills will be in Buffalo until Ralph Wilson dies or at least ten more years, per the teams recent deal with NYState. After then, probably will be the first international team in the NFL, moving to Toronto.

          Jax: Once lease ends, will move. Some swear it’ll be the first franchise in Europe. Others speculate a move south to Orlando. The new owner is a St. Louis native, so watch STL if the Rams vacate before 2027 (though if the Rams leave, its a fairly damning indictment of the NFL popularity in the city, as two teams will have bolted. Unlikely any owner will want to be the third, personal ties aside.

          Like

          • vp19 says:

            There’s one other site for an NFL stadium undergoing serious consideration in Los Angeles — the outer area of Chavez Ravine, next to Dodger Stadium. IIRC, Kroenke was one of the candidates to buy the Dodgers from McCourt (ostensibly with the idea of returning the Rams to LA), and he could conceivably join forces with the Kasten regime to actually make that happen, perhaps in conjunction with the Jaguars later moving there. Chavez Ravine has enough acreage to add a football stadium and more spaces for parking.

            As for the downtown site, don’t be surprised to see Arte Moreno move the Angels back to their ancestral home city in a few years. Downtown has become the cultural and economic hub of southern California, and moving the Angels to Los Angeles would significantly enhance the value of that franchise over outlying Anaheim — and give it mass transit access from all over town (the stadium site is close to Metrorail, which is growing substantially).

            Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      I’ll play.

      Regarding Division 4, will its formation allow for conferences to dispense with divisions and still stage a championship game?

      I think this is a lot more likely than @Brian and @ccrider55 do, because one of the drivers behind the Division 4 movement is to shorten the rule book, and at least one league (the Big XII) has suggested that they might like to go this route. Whether you like the idea or not, it harms no other league if the Big XII decides to operate that way.

      (Some non-Big XII people have grumbled that the Big XII champion, unlike the division champs in the other leagues, can reach the playoff without having to face a difficult 13th game that it might lose; this would be a way of addressing that imbalance without forcing the Big XII to admit two additional members that it clearly doesn’t want.)

      I don’t think this is the driver behind Division 4, by any stretch of the imagination, but I don’t see it as entirely impossible.

      What would Texas do if OU and KU were admitted to B1G?

      Join the Pac-12 or go independent in football. But in the latter case, who wants them? I don’t think the ACC wants another partial member, and I doubt any other league would accept them without football. Besides, even if the ACC would do it, would Texas really want to send all of its non-revenue sports to the east coast for every road game? It seems unlikely.

      A more likely scenario is that if Texas sniffed that this was happening, it would get on the Big Ten boat itself, possibly shoving KU to the side.

      Would politicians in Oklahoma and Kansas demand OSU and KSU be spared relegation (from FBS/Div 4) to allow OU/KU to join B1G?

      OSU and KSU aren’t in danger of losing Div 4 status. The real issue is what league they’d wind up in. Obviously, without OU/KU/TX, the Big XII is no longer what it used to be. The politicians would have to decide whether it’s better to maximize the prospects of their flagship school, or to hold the flagship back to prop up its little sister.

      Would the B1G possibly admit all 3? And stand pat at 17 for football? Or 4 including TT?

      The B1G won’t go to odd numbers, and it won’t take Texas Tech. The only way OU, TX, and KU all get in, is if there’s a viable fourth school that meets the league’s criteria.

      If KU loses AAU status, are they still a B1G expansion candidate?

      Brian covered it: no. They’re a marginal candidate even with AAU status.

      If Texas chose independence for its football team, what would their conference affiliation options be for their other sports?

      It is not clear that there is any league with mutual interest.

      Would BYU accept invitation to OU-and-KU-less Big XII?

      BYU doesn’t even want to be in the Big XII as currently configured, so no, it wouldn’t want a lesser Big XII. Without OU and KU (and presumably TX too), the Big XII is another Mountain West, a league BYU already left.

      How likely is it FSU will be AAU member/candidate in next 20 years?

      I’d say they have a very steep hill to climb.

      Is it at all possible that the PAC12 would offer Texas a deal similar to that offered ND by the ACC?

      I don’t see why they would. The ACC felt endangered; the Pac-12 does not.

      How likely is it that VT retains prince status 10 years from now? It it does, 15+ years from now, would the B1G have any interest in VT? Does VT (still?) have any interest in SEC?

      I think VT will probably remain a prince, because competitive strength tends to survive a coaching change, at least in the long term. Bad coaching hires do happen, but usually the program rights the ship before the brand is permanently impaired.

      I think the only way the B1G would be interested in VT is if: 1) UVA goes to the SEC; and 2) VT elevates itself to AAU, or at least near-AAU status. I don’t see the B1G taking VT while UVA remains a possibility (however remote).

      Would the Big East consider expanding beyond 12?

      I’d bet they’re considering it right now.

      I’ll skip the NFL and NHL questions.

      Like

    • djbuck says:

      This is about MONEY. Gor means nothing. AAU the same.
      Ties with other state universities mean nothing now.
      It was said. Texas, A&M, TT, and Baylor were joined at the hip. That went out the window.
      FOX has the money. They control B12. They know what money the BIG will generate.
      As BTN has shown.
      So a combo of Texas, Oklahoma, KU, UConn, Missou, or a Virginia will be in play
      The BIG will grow to either 16 or 20 before the new contract.
      FOX will have BIG on its networks with additional tiers with BTN.
      Maryland and Rutgers were brought in for demographics.
      FOX 1 and 2 were launched for the purpose of kicking ESPN’s teeth in. ESPN and SEC know it.
      FOX will have Pac12, the new BIG, and whatever B12 will shape to be.

      Like

    • Andy says:

      I think it’s funny that so many of you are still clinging to the idea that core ACC schools like UVA, UNC, and Duke actually want to join the B1G. It seems pretty clear by now that they don’t.

      Like

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        I think it’s funny that so many of you are still clinging to the idea that core ACC schools like UVA, UNC, and Duke actually want to join the B1G. It seems pretty clear by now that they don’t.

        There’s a huge “what if” to everything we say here. The only certainty is that realignment has hit the pause button until the mid-2020s. If you’d suggested 10 years ago that A&M and Missouri would be in the SEC, Nebraska, Maryland and Rutgers in the Big Ten, and Colorado in the Pac-12, people would’ve said you’re crazy. And yet, here we are.

        The only thing that’s “pretty clear” is that the ACC and Big XII schools are content to stay where they are, for now.

        Like

        • Wainscott says:

          “If you’d suggested 10 years ago that A&M and Missouri would be in the SEC, Nebraska, Maryland and Rutgers in the Big Ten, and Colorado in the Pac-12, people would’ve said you’re crazy.”

          Actually, most of those moves had been speculated about in the 1990’s (aTm, Colo., Rutgers), and some of them repeatedly for the last hundred plus years (Neb. to the B1G–they tried numerous times in the first decades of the 20th century).

          The only real stunners from the perspective of 10 years ago are Mizzou to the SEC and UMD to the B1G. The others were definitely foreseeable, and unlikely to have the mentioner labeled as “crazy”

          Like

          • Andy says:

            Yes, the only real stunners are that MU went to the SEC instead of the B1G, and that a core ACC member left tobacco row.

            While it’s true that you never know what’s going to happen in 20 years, by that measure it’s still useless to talk about it with any kind of intelligence other than what appears to be the case at the moment.

            At the moment the ACC looks pretty damn good. A lot of good schools there. My guess is that it’ll survive.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            I meant that if someone had suggested 10 years ago that all of that would happen, it would have seemed crazy. I realize that many of the individual moves had been talked about, with varying degrees of recentness and seriousness.

            Like

    • boscatar says:

      Division-less conference championship games? All the conferences would need to approve of this. Does it make sense to have a conference championship game without divisions? The championship participants could be determined almost entirely by scheduling.

      BYU to Big 12 minus OU/KU? May be. If the Big 12 also adds Boise St., UNLV, and Cincinnati – more likely.

      Like

  28. ccrider55 says:

    Did the B12 borrow some B1G and PAC FB officials?

    Like

  29. Bjork says:

    Winners and Losers of Conference Realignment:

    1) ACC

    SYRACUSE (NY markets added to footprint, solid sports). PITT (AAU member, PA markets added to footprint, solid sports) . NOTRE DAME (Academically highly regarded, solid sports, Indiana/Chicago markets added to footprint. LOUISVILLE (Excellent sports, KY added to footprint). *LOST MARYLAND*

    2) SEC

    MISSOURI (AAU member, KC and STL markets added to footprint, solid sports). TEXAS A&M (AAU member, TX markets added to footprint, solid sports).

    3, 4) Pac-12, Big Ten (tie)

    Pac-12

    COLORADO (AAU member, Denver market added to footprint, fair sports). UTAH (expanded footprint?)

    Big Ten

    NEBRASKA (great football). RUTGERS (AAU member, added NJ markets to footprint, unstable athletics department). MARYLAND (AAU member, added MD markets to footprint, unstable athletics department)

    5) Big Twelve

    TEXAS CHRISTIAN (great football). WEST VIRGINIA (great football, added WV markets). *LOST COLORADO* *LOST MISSOURI* *LOST NEBRASKA* *LOST TEXAS A &M*

    6) Big East

    RIP

    Like

    • @Bjork – I’d rank it (1) SEC (by virtue of getting a major brand in the state of Texas), (2) Big Ten (football king and 2 major markets), (3) Pac-12 (solidified itself as only power conference in 2 time zones), (4) ACC (added a great athletic department but lost a founding member with great academics in a critical market) and (5) Big 12 (might have improved in on-the-field football in the short-term, but lost major brands and markets in the long-term).

      Your pick of the ACC at the top is completely a fan-focused one. There is no university president that would ever trade Maryland for Louisville given the choice with the academic profile, location and the fact that Maryland has shown to be good-to-great athletically in the past (they just happen to be in a down period now). The ACC was just fortunate that its backfill option is on the upswing athletically with a good fan base. That doesn’t mean that they’d ever would’ve wanted to lose Maryland. Any conference that lost any schools has some underlying issues to deal with, so they inherently can’t be ranked above conferences that were solely hunters in this round of realignment.

      Like

      • BuckeyeBeau says:

        FtT said: “Any conference that lost any schools has some underlying issues to deal with, so they inherently can’t be ranked above conferences that were solely hunters in this round of realignment.”

        ^^^^^^ this ^^^^^^ well put !

        Like

      • bullet says:

        You’re assuming the additions improved the conference. While the ACC falls in the category of a conference that lost schools, I’m not sure the ACC additions weren’t subtraction by addition.

        One interesting thing. EVERY single conference has a lower average football attendance than before they expanded. The schools added had lower average attendance than the existing schools. To that extent, everyone has been a loser. And every expanding conference is losing rivalries. When everyone is concerned about falling attendance (even the Big 12 who has bucked the trend and is increasing attendance), that should be a concern.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          If you look at it from a football only standpoint, the question is who lost the least. There are no conferences that are winners.

          From a monetary standpoint, the leagues that most weakened themselves competitively, the Pac and ACC, are probably the biggest winners. The Pac had a huge jump and the ACC bumped an existing contract (which was good at the time but now outdated) $5 million. The SEC got the least short term as they were under existing contracts and are betting on a network to payoff in the future.

          The B1G probably got the most intangibles. I suspect their Maryland and Rutgers additions will help them non-athletically even if it adds more bottom feeders to a league with too many bottom feeders already.

          You’ve got to decide what you are looking at in determining winners and losers. In 10 years I suspect the Big 10 will be the most happy with its additions but it will be because of the intangibles. I suspect the ACC will be the least happy. Notre Dame’s separate deal will be a divisive force and the league has gotten too big at 15. I suspect the SEC will be the most disappointed. They got schools with lots of potential in two good sized states, but they will find they’ve given up a lot in expanding to 14 for the benefits they receive. The Big 12 will just be happy that they are still together. And the Pac 12 still won’t have fans caring enough. They’ll make road trips to UW and CU for the legalized pot, not the football.

          Like

          • Andy says:

            You’re delusional. The SEC doubled their number of AAU schools, increased their population footprint by anywhere from 25-40% depending on how you count it, and added two pretty solid athletic departments. They lost nothing except one less cross divisional game per year, something they could easily remedy by going to 9 conference games per year.

            Despite how much you try and try to deny it, the Big 12’s loss is the SEC’s gain. You guys got robbed.

            Like

          • duffman says:

            bullet says:
            September 13, 2013 at 9:31 am
            If you look at it from a football only standpoint, the question is who lost the least. There are no conferences that are winners.

            I beg to differ.

            Nebraska in the Big 12 = 81,000
            Nebraska in the B1G = 90K + for first 2 games this season after expansion

            TAMU in Big 12 capacity 83K
            TAMU in SEC capacity 102K after curent expansion (2014 or 2015)

            These are schools who look to be gaining not losing as your post implies.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            Mizzou Big 12 capacity 71k, SEC capacity 83k in 3 years or so.

            Like

          • duffman says:

            Andy,

            No offense but Nebraska and TAMU are much bigger numbers and are able to fill them.
            Missouri is building bigger they have yet to show they can sell it.

            TAMU current capacity = 83 K
            2013 vs Rice = 87K or 4K over current capacity
            2013 vs SHSU = 87K or 4K over current capacity

            UNL current capacity = 87 K
            2013 vs Wyoming = 91K or 4K over current capacity
            2013 vs S Miss = 90K or 3K over current capacity

            MU current capacity = 67 K (71K by your number)
            2013 vs Murray = 58K or 9K under current capacity (13K at 71K)
            2013 vs Toledo = 57K or 10K under current capacity (14K at 71K)

            Like

          • greg says:

            As far as I can tell from this page:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faurot_Field

            Missouri has 13 sellouts since 1995. Their two 2013 home games have posted 9k and 10k below capacity. And they’re expanding?

            Like

          • greg says:

            Woops, I was incorrect. Should have put 13k and 14k below capacity.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            @Duffman
            Every conference added schools whose, net, average attendance is below the average for the conference. The Big 10 was ahead with NU, but loses because of Maryland and Rutgers who are way below average. CU and Utah were below the Pac average. A&M and Missouri were below the SEC average. Pitt, SU and UL were all below the ACC average. Everyone the MWC and almost everyone the BE added were below their average.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            Mizzou’s first two games this year had 100+ degree temperatures with high humidity and were against Murray State and Toledo. The weather was so bad in the Toledo game that the stadium was mostly empty by half time. Weather happens. That kind of weather is worse than rain.

            Last year Mizzou averaged 67k per game and 71k per game for conference games.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            Also, Mizzou’s capacity is only 67k this year due to construction on the stadium.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            Alright, sure. Yes, Kentucky and Vandy aren’t great draws, and Mizzou gets them at home every other year. So if Mizzou had 83,000 seats then they probably get

            Georgia 83k
            Alabama 83k
            Kentucky 68k
            Vanderbilt 66k

            for an average of 75k. And don’t tell me Georgia and Alabama wouldn’t have sold out. Tickets for those games were going for $400+. Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas A&M are all sold out or nearly sold out this year.

            Games at Mizzou in the future will probably swing between low 60s for bad draws and low 80s for good draws.

            Like

          • duffman says:

            Andy says:
            Mizzou’s first two games this year had 100+ degree temperatures with high humidity and were against Murray State and Toledo. The weather was so bad in the Toledo game that the stadium was mostly empty by half time. Weather happens. That kind of weather is worse than rain.

            Sounds more like excuses than answers. My guess is College Station, TX gets much hotter than Columbia, MO.

            Last year Mizzou averaged 67k per game and 71k per game for conference games.

            Congrats you just pulled in close to what Kentucky did before the last year of Joker and UK only seats 67K. In the FtT discussions on UK and UT on here back in 2010 the UK football numbers were pretty robust and put them usually in the Top 25 for attendance for the NCAA.

            Alright, sure. Yes, Kentucky and Vandy aren’t great draws, and Mizzou gets them at home every other year. So if Mizzou had 83,000 seats then they probably get

            Georgia 83k
            Alabama 83k
            Kentucky 68k
            Vanderbilt 66k

            for an average of 75k. And don’t tell me Georgia and Alabama wouldn’t have sold out. Tickets for those games were going for $400+. Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas A&M are all sold out or nearly sold out this year.

            You missed the point of the post. Both Nebraska and TAMU were well outdrawing capacity for the crummy games. Missouri was drawing terrible for similar games. Viewed another way looking at Missouri playing 7 home games per season :

            OOC #1 = 57K
            OOC #2 = 57K
            OOC #3 = 57K

            UK / VU = 67K
            UF / SC = 67K
            GA / UT = 71K
            SEC West school = 57K to 71K

            Florida is not going to travel like Alabama especially if they are down. Your numbers are more like 1 good sell / 2 decent sells / 1 bad sell sell in your 4 SEC games. The bigger issue is the low draws for the 3 non conference games and that is not fixable unless the MU locals turn out in big numbers. Since baseball is still going in the early football months I do not see the Tigers getting big numbers. using Alabama as the measuring stick when they may only go to Columbia every 12 years seems a bit far fetched.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            A lot of funny math there, duff man. First of all, Texas may be hotter on average, but they weren’t hotter that weekend, and they certainly weren’t that humid. 100+ degrees in the shade plus 80% humidity = major health hazard. They measured the temperature on the field and it was 140+ throughout the game. So you can “guess” whatever you want, but the facts don’t support you. 58k is not a typical number for Mizzou football without major weather problems. It just so happened that Mizzou got major weather problems two weeks in a row. Those games actually sold in the mid 60ks, there were just a lot of no shows due to the weather.

            The rest of your numbers in your post are total guesses as well, and IMO not very good ones. Mizzou averaged 67k last year during a losing season. Mizzou has only had 2 losing seasons out of the last 10. And if you don’t think Missouri can draw well for teams like Florida, South Carolina, Texas A&M, and Tennessee you’re crazy. They’re also going to have Arkansas on the schedule every year starting next year.

            Mizzou won’t average 83k fans per game. That’s not happening. KC and St. Louis are both over 100 miles away and mid Missouri is pretty sparsely populated. People will make the long drive for the good draws but not as much for the bad ones. So there will probably continue to be a binary dynamic to Mizzou game attendance.

            Here’s how I think it would go:

            Assuming good weather and a winning season

            Murray State type team 62k
            Toledo type team 63k
            Purdue type team 70k
            Kentucky/Vandy/Mississippi State 68k
            South Carolina/Florida/Ole Miss/Auburn 77k
            Georgia/Tennessee/Arkansas/Alabama/LSU 83k

            I’m basing all of this on where I’ve seen Mizzou sell out games and what the demand is like on the secondary market.

            So during a winning season assuming weather is decent, Mizzou can average mid to high 70s, which would rank in the top 15 in the country.

            Assuming a losing season you can subtract 4-5k from those games.

            Bad weather can also subtract 4-5k from any given game.

            Like

          • duffman says:

            Andy,

            I am still not buying your math.

            Attendance is based on tickets sold and 90% – 100% of ticket sales are made before the actual game day. it may have been hot and it may have been rainy but the tickets would already have been sold well before the game. Both Nebraska and TAMU were well above capacity for crummy teams so your excuse of bad weather on that specific day does not hold water. I still think you are puffing Missouri for numbers that do not reflect demand for Missouri football.

            Bad teams can still sell seats as was discussed on here many times. South Carolina and Kentucky have historically bad teams but they still sell out their stadiums. Before Spurrier got to SC they were still selling seats. Aside from last year Kentucky has been a Top 25 attendance school and they are no football power. I appreciate your passion for Missouri but making excuses for fans not showing up just does not work.

            Assuming good weather and a winning season

            Murray State type team 62k
            Toledo type team 63k
            Purdue type team 70k
            Kentucky/Vandy/Mississippi State 68k
            South Carolina/Florida/Ole Miss/Auburn 77k
            Georgia/Tennessee/Arkansas/Alabama/LSU 83k

            Anybody can get fans in good weather and winning ways. My question is how they do in bad situations. Nebraska and TAMU were playing crappy games the first two and still were over capacity. Missouri played 2 crappy games and the fans stayed away. If you are expanding to 80K and only sell near that for 1 game then you are building too much capacity for too little demand. I think you are optimistic with Ole Miss and Florida. Florida fans are not big about traveling and while Ole Mis may travel 10 – 15 K for a historic rival like Vanderbilt just not sure they will send that many to Missouri.

            Using the first year numbers may also not be sustainable after the novelty wears off. First time games and last time games can massage numbers. Notre Dame vs Michigan set a record this year but being the last game for some time helped drive those numbers. Missouri is still a MLB state and their fans are just too fickle to sustain the numbers you are putting out here. If Missouri has a bunch of 6-6 teams for the next 3 – 5 years it means they will be well below what they are used to and the fan base is just to fickle to support the rosy numbers you are projecting.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            What are you talking about? Attendance is not tickets sold, it’s people actually attending.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            Also, duffman, you a) find the one strong example of a fanbase that had fans that showed up in droves for losing seasons: South Carolina. Please give me 10 examples like that. I doubt you can come up with more than 2 or 3. It just doesn’t happen. and b) you’re someone trying to use it as a given that Mizzou will have mostly losing seasons despite the fact that they’ve averaged 8.5 wins per year over the last decade and only had 2 losing seasons during that period: 2004 and 2012.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            Also, it’s not about traveling fans filling seats at Mizzou. I mean, that can help, but it’s not necessary. It’s about getting fans from Kansas City and St. Louis to get away from the Chiefs and Rams and make that 2 to 2.5 hr drive to Columbia for gameday. They’re reluctant to do that for a Murray State, a Toledo, an Iowa State, or a Baylor, but they do show up for Nebraska, Oklahoma, Georgia, Alabama, etc.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            Just checked with some people at Mizzou. Some programs count tickets sold, some count turnstyles. Mizzou counts turnstyles. They sold a lot more than 58k tickets to the first two games.

            Like

      • Andy says:

        Are you kidding me? No way did the Big 12 improve in any way on or off the field. They lost Nebraska, Texas A&M, Missouri, and Colorado and gained TCU and WVU.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          We lost A&M, Missouri and Colorado. Addition by subtraction!

          Seriously, the Big 12 did improve for the present in football. I have doubts TCU will maintain it, but for the BCS era, TCU and WVU have been far better than A&M, Missouri and Colorado. It lost a lot of unrealized potential. So far, Missouri and Colorado haven’t shown any signs of achieving it.

          WVU has won as many BCS bowls as the entire ACC. Between TCU and WVU, they have BCS wins over the Big 10, Big 12, SEC and ACC champs.

          AP Poll points and # times ranked in the BCS era:
          TCU 103 (9)
          Nebraska 96 (10)
          WVU 71 (7)
          A&M 45 (4)
          MU 43 (4)
          CU 23 (2)
          Prior to last year TCU was ranked as many times and had more points than MU, A&M and CU combined in the BCS era. Those 3 were 4 games over .500 in the Big 12 and 6 under from 2001 on.
          Obviously, Nebraska was definitely a loss in football, but they are down from where they were in the Big 8. Even with Nebraska, in the short run, the Big 12 is better than it was.

          And the Big 12 improved in basketball. It lost its 3 bottom programs (and 3 of the worst bb programs among the P5) and one that always seems to underperform in the NCAA tourney.

          Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            They added BE refugees because they were at risk of not being able to fulfill their B12 primary media contract commitment, leading to conference collapse.

            Like

          • FranktheAg says:

            Yeah, let’s not use common sense and ignore the fact that TCU played in an inferior conference. Texas A&M is clearly better than TCU and only a blatant longhorn homer would dispute it. You want a stat to post go look at A&M vs TCU head to head. You sure post a lot about A&M, bullet for somebody who claims no concerns about A&M.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            During the BCS era, TCU has clearly been better than A&M. Not even close. Wins, rankings, BCS bowls, conference titles or any other stat about competitiveness. When was the last time A&M finished #2 in the nation like TCU did a couple years ago?

            I decided to answer my own question. 1939. In fact the Bear’s 1956 squad at #5 was the only other A&M team to finish in the top 5.

            People make incorrect statements or IMO inaccurate conclusions about the Big 12. There is a huge amount of bad info around. Sometimes that involves talking about A&M. Its NOT about A&M. Carly Simon was so singing about A&M fans.

            Like

        • bullet says:

          The TV people said CU was a drag on the Big 12. A&M has far more financial value to the SEC than they did to the Big 12 which already had Texas, Baylor and Texas Tech. The main negative from A&M leaving was that they were good in a broad range of sports. Those losses just didn’t hurt the conference. Nebraska was a big loss. There are no more than a dozen football kings so it hurts to lose one.

          Like

      • Eric says:

        Along those same lines, I can’t help but feel Louisville gets very overrated recently. I know it’s a short period of time we are looking at, but TCU and West Virginia have not been their former selves in the Big 12 and Colorado and Utah haven’t taken off in the PAC-10. While they will have their success here and there, I don’t think there is a lot of reason to assume Louisville is anything besides a middle of the pack team on average in the ACC.

        Like

        • duffman says:

          Eric, the Cards were in the Top 20 in sports revenue in college sports and that was before the 10 million – 15 million bump they will be getting in the ACC. This bump should move them to Top 15 in the entire country which puts them ahead of the Ducks and in the Iowa, Arkansas, Florida State, Tennessee, and Wisconsin neighborhood. This is just below Auburn, Oklahoma, and Penn State so I would hardly say the Cards are middle of the pack as you imply.

          While they may not have a brand in football they should be in the Top 3-5 in the ACC and that may be good enough when you add in a 22K basketball arena that is state of the art. In the ACC they should be Top 1-3 in basketball and they become one of the few schools in the country with both competitive football and basketball. All that money buys them a place at the table even if the ACC had to hold their nose to let them in. We are in the age of money and the Cards are 2 steps ahead of many of the old money set.

          Like

    • Phil says:

      Your Syracuse (added NY markets to footprint) and Rutgers (added NJ markets to footprint) is a nice way to gloss over the fact the ACC added a school in the 81st biggest TV market while the B1G added a team located in the #1 largest market (and even if RU gets the B1G zero NY viewers New Jersey is big enough that they would be the 8th largest market if broken out).

      Like

    • drwillini says:

      The only real winners in my opinion are the SEC and B1G, probably in that order. I think you need to look at it as what conferences improved themselves the most, not in what schools are the best. For example, I think Mizzou is a great add for the SEC, would be sort of a ho-hum add for the B1G.

      The SEC added big contiguous markets and doubled their AAU membership. Pretty funny how before all the realignment those SEC fans that could spell AAU thought it was Amateur Athletic Union, and now it is something that has instant recognition for every college football fan. I think the SEC came out on top because their potential expansion candidates were more limited, and they improved markets and academic rep. The SEC did not need to add football powerhouses.

      B1G got a national brand in Nebraska, but did so my diluting the academic reputation a bit, one of the core distinguishing characteristics of the conference, so that is not all good. Rutgers was a complete balance for Nebraska in every sense of the word. Average those two out and you get two solid adds across all dimensions, and Maryland is a solid B1G add on their own. If over time UNL can improve its sometimes embarassing academic performance (check out their payscale.com ranking!) over time the B1G additions could look as good as the SEC adds.

      I’d say the PAC treaded water. Two unexciting adds in contiguous sparsely populated states, but they don’t have many better options.

      Everybody else went backward. That’s the way this is going to go. The rich will get richer, and the poor are playing a high stakes game of musical chairs.

      Like

      • Wainscott says:

        I agree that SEC should be #1, B1G #2, and Pac12 #3 in post-realignment rankings. But I think the long-term benefits for the PAC12 are great. Especially Utah. I saw a stat yesterday that Utah is the youngest state in the country, with an average age of under 30. Salt Lake City is growing at a phenomenal pace, without the same level of foreclosure issues plaguing other fast-growing cities. Larry Scott did very well.

        And Colorado I think speaks for itself, recent football issues aside. Good school, good athletic history, good fan support. Growing city and state.

        Like

        • drwillini says:

          Agree that they are good schools, but not sure they raise the average much in the PAC. I’d say they are two average or slighly below average schools in that conference, and pretty sparsely populated states. If they were average schools in the conference but bringing a nice market ( like UMd for B1G) they would be better adds. But as you have said, nice long term demographics.

          Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Other than UT/OU are there any adds that would not fit your description?

            Of the top 100 US media markets Denver and Salt Lake are numbers 17 and 32, or were when Dosh wrote about P12N and why Boise not considered at #120 (aside from all its other warts).

            Like

      • greg says:

        Missouri improving the academic rep of the SEC says all you need to know about that conference.

        Like

        • Andy says:

          Mizzou would improve the academic rep of pretty much any conference other than the B1G and ACC.

          Like

          • Andy says:

            If by improve you mean “be above average in”.

            Like

          • ShockFX says:

            PAC-12?

            Stanford
            Cal
            UCLA
            USC
            Washington
            Colorado
            Utah (Are they top 75?)

            Mizzou academics are exactly average in the Pac-12, and given the massive gap between the top 6 and Mizzou, no one would consider Mizzou to be “adding academically” to that conference.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            Pretty sure Mizzou ranks ahead of Utah. Higher enrollment, bigger endowment, significantly better SAT/ACT average, similar research dollars. Mizzou is AAU, Utah is not.

            Mizzou would rank 7th out of 13 in the Pac 12 if added. Then depending on who else they add they’d be top half.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            Also if it matters Utah ranks about 25 spots below Mizzou in the USNews rankings.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            ARWU national rankings for PAC not on that list:

            UA – 45
            ASU – 46
            Utah – 47
            OrSU – 53-67 group
            UO – 86-108 group
            WSU – 86-108 group

            University of Missouri ? 200-300 group for the last eleven years.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            I do apologize. That is Mizzu’s world rank. They are in the 86-108 group nationally.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            Yes, there are different rankings. That one Mizzou doesn’t do as well in for some reason.

            Like

          • drwillini says:

            Andy, why is it that Missouri @ Columbia is Missouri’s land grant school, but Rolla has the more recognized engineering program? I’m not sure I can think of another state where there is another state school that has better engineering than its Land Grant University.

            Like

          • drwillini says:

            Sorry, just thought of a couple… Michigan is higher ranked in engineering than MSU, and GaTech than UGa. Still, it is unusual, and I think that hurts Mizzou in some people’s eyes. I know it does many in the B1G. Engineering drives so much research funding. Land grant engineering schools tend to be both big and good, grad and ug. That means they have lots of changes for good students to cycle through at some level, go out in the world and bring notice to their alma mater, and sign up for BTN and buy lots of Barbisol and Rotel.

            I have said it before, but I don’t think it is complete coincidence that the only additions to the B1G in the modern era are land grants – MSU, PSU, UNL, UMd and Rutgers – all with good engineering.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            Yes, what partly hurts Missouri in the rank lower is that it spreads its programs among the 4 campuses, including engineering in Rolla.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            also umkc has schools of law, medicine, and dentistry and umsl has over a dozen phd programs.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            drwillini,

            “Sorry, just thought of a couple… Michigan is higher ranked in engineering than MSU, and GaTech than UGa.”

            Well, UGA didn’t have engineering until very recently (UGA/GT were split like IN/PU). It will certainly never catch up to GT (a top 5 engineering school).

            Like

  30. BuckeyeBeau says:

    http://college-football.si.com/2013/09/12/opening-weekend-nfl-rosters/

    More evidence (like we need any) of why the B1G has been in decline. The top 12 CFB schools based on former players now on NFL rosters.

    SEC = 5
    P12 = 3
    ACC = 2
    B1G = 1
    BXII = 1

    The teams are the usual suspects with Cal and Tenn being the surprises.

    Like

  31. drwillini says:

    Off topic a bit, but thought some of you might get a kick out of a developing story down in Florida. Florida Tech is a relatively young school (est 1958) and is starting football this year. A couple years ago they hired the coach from Indiana St. to start the program, and they are playing this year with redshirt freshmen and freshmen. They are DII and play in a very good conference with the directional Alabama and Georgia schools.

    In their first game this past weekend, Florida Tech beat FCS Stetson 20-13. They play at Newberry (SC) this weekend, and then a week from Thursday they play West Alabama (currently #12 DII) on a national CBS cable sports channel.

    We have seen UCF and USF start big time programs from scratch. More recently FIU and FAU have done the same. Florida just has an unbelievable reservoir of high school talent to support these programs.

    Like

    • BuckeyeBeau says:

      yeah, it really is amazing how much talent there is in Florida. 14% of all CFB recruits come from FL. 15% from TX; so between the two, that is almost 1/3rd of the annual CFB talent.

      Like

      • Wainscott says:

        Forget Florida Tech–look what Schnellenberger did with FIU. From scratch to FBS bowl win in, what, 11 years? Also got a new on-campus stadium built, something UMiami can’t do (but wants to, from what I’ve read)

        Same in Texas, with UTSA.

        Like

        • drwillini says:

          Wan’t Schenllenberger at FAU? FAU was originally in the same DII conference as Florida Tech – the Sunshine State Conference along with Tampa, Rollins, Florida Southern, St. Leo and some others. Really good DII basketball conference but no football. FAU was a mediocre SSC school and they decided to go DI. Could not believe it, but before long they were playing in bowls and the NCAA basketball tourney. You might be interested to find out that the FAU presdident that led this tranformation was Anthony Cantenese who is now President at … you guessed it… Florida Tech.

          (Illini icon Ron Turner is now coaching FIU)

          Like

        • Wainscott says:

          My bad–he was at FAU, not FIU.

          Incidentally, Schnellenberger does not get nearly enough credit/recognition for building 3 nontraditional programs from irrelevance/nothing into either champions or respectability: Miami, Louisville, and FAU.

          Louisville actually renamed its entire athletic complex for him in recognition of his efforts.

          Like

  32. morganwick says:

    I still say if you’re not going to do anything to reclaim the original ideals of college sports (starting with strong NFL and NBA developmental leagues), the best thing you could do is institute a football-only promotion and relegation system. It theoretically provides hope to the little guy while pretty much making sure the little guy only actually joins the club if they reach the level where you’d want to associate with them anyway, as with TCU, Utah, and Louisville (as well as BYU and Boise State). The downside is that you’d have to actually compete on the field to stay on the elite level, which may admittedly be a bridge too far for lesser power schools like Vanderbilt and basketball-first schools like the North Carolina schools.

    Two twelve-team leagues at the top level would mean the entire top two levels and half the third level get taken by in-crowd schools, mostly insulating the top level from interlopers, with the added bonus of actually restoring some luster to the bowl system; most of the in-crowd schools might not be able to share in the massive TV contracts of the top level, but they still should be able to get something from the gazillion sports networks out there now, and the top level could institute Premier League-style “parachute payments” to further insulate in-crowd teams from falling out of the in-crowd entirely.

    Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      I still say if you’re not going to do anything to reclaim the original ideals of college sports (starting with strong NFL and NBA developmental leagues), the best thing you could do is institute a football-only promotion and relegation system.

      What you’re describing are not the original ideals, but turning college football into the Premier League. Whatever the merits of this system, it’s hardly the “original ideal.” In fact, it couldn’t be farther away.

      Of course, there is no chance of them doing this. The Big Ten is not going to accept a system where someone tells Wisconsin, “You can’t play Minnesota any more; they’re not good enough. You have to play Louisville instead.”

      Like

      • Wainscott says:

        @Marc Shepard: I don’t know if you saw, but I responded above regarding the Ivy League. Curious for your thoughts on the article I linked to (and posted).

        Like

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          Thanks. I believe I’ve seen that article before, but I interpret it a bit differently. It mentions that: 1) Six institutions appealed their demotion to I-AA, but the Ivy did not; 2) The Ivy considered adding Northwestern, Army, and/or Navy, as a bridge to get back to I-A.

          It also quotes an Ivy executive as saying, “It’s time to really sit back and take several months to think together on what the league should be and how it fits within the N.C.A.A. rules and whether the league should be expanded.”

          After that evaluation, the Ivy League decided to stand pat. To me, this suggests that league did not particularly care about getting back to I-A. Some individual members may have cared, but not enough of them to make a difference. That was really all I was trying to say up above.

          As I noted, they don’t even fully compete at the I-AA level, in that they remain at a 10-game schedule, don’t play in the post-season, and don’t give athletic scholarships. These are things they could easily have done, if remaining in I-A (or getting back to it) seriously mattered to them.

          Like

          • Wainscott says:

            I think the Ivies cared more in the 1980’s out of pride–places like Yale, Harvard, and Princeton basically birthing college football, and schools like UPenn and Princeton having major success well into the 1950’s. Obviously, I agree they did not by the 1980’s seriously care about competing in I-A/FBS, and they definitely don’t care now. Why would they; even in FCS, the conference is able to get tv deals with the sports cable channels in NY and elsewhere within its footprint. No need for them anymore to try to compete with the Texas and the Michigans of the college football world.

            Like

  33. wren.hoek says:

    frank – are you sure the ACC would prefer UConn over Cinci? I would think Cinci is MUCH more desirable by a long shot. The ACC already has a good foothold in the NE and UConn has zero chance of ever having a respectable football program. Basketball is good, but Cinci brings good programs in both football and basketball and a foothold in Ohio (although tOSU will always be first in that state). I would think Cinci gets the call if the B12 hasn’t already taken them.

    Like

    • Wainscott says:

      The other thing in Cincy’s favor is that Boston College HATES UConn and will do whatever it can to prevent UConn from entering the ACC, as it did in the past.

      See: http://articles.courant.com/2011-10-11/news/hc-ed-boston-college-uconn-20111011_1_uconn-president-susan-herbst-bc-athletic-director-acc AND http://www.theuconnblog.com/2011/10/9/2479032/acc-uconn-big-east-boston-college

      Like

      • wren.hoek says:

        Also, the “football schools” Clemson, FSU, and others would likely prefer Cinci over UConn. They have much more power and influence than in years past, as evidenced by the Louisville invite. I personally believe that UConn only gets in if Cinci is already gone to the B12.

        Other consideration is that ND going all-in will make the ACC a very attractive destination. That still is not likely to lure Vanderbilt away from the SEC or PSU away from the B1G (assuming it came near the end of their GOR). And there is always the WVU islandeers in the B12. Would the B12 release them from the GOR if the ACC came calling. Everyone knows they don’t belong there and it would free the B12 up to add BYU to the west. That also assumes that WVU hasn’t burned, bombed and nuked EVERY bridge to the ACC through this realignment mess.

        Like

        • Wainscott says:

          Um, any chance that Penn State would leave the B1G died when it added Rutgers and UMD, which is something Paterno and PSU wanted (conference foes close by). Barry Alvarez hinted that one reason for going east was to forestall any chance of PSU leaving. That, plus the BTN, kills it.

          Also, why exactly would Vandy leave the SEC for the ACC? Presumably Vandy could have done such a move any time from 1953 to the present, yet has remained in the SEC. Now, just as the SEC is poised to print its own money, the school is going to leave?

          And why would UND suddenly go “all in” to the ACC when it currently has its desired football independence and a good home for its other sports?

          I’m sure at one point WVU would have done pretty much anything to join the ACC, and I’m sure the ACC views WVU as a useless cesspool of inbreeding and poor dental hygiene masquerading as a Tier III school. I doubt WVU wants in as much right now, travel issues aside. Maybe in 13 years the bad blood will subside and WVU will grow tired of flying to Lubbock and Ames to play non-revenue sports to seek admission.

          Like

          • wren.hoek says:

            Those were merely hypothetical scenarios. Never said PSU or Vandy would jump. My only reason to bring it up is that somebody would get a call if ND went all in and that situation would make the ACC an appealing destination (i.e. maybe Swofford sets his sights high for the first few phone calls). In all likelihood, ND going all in wouldn’t convince PSU or Vandy to jump just because their current situations are so good that it would be foolish to make a change (i.e. leave very well off alone!). And yes, ND doesn’t seem likely to go all-in any time soon if ever.

            I think you’re exactly right on the ACC’s opinion of WVU. VT probably has less of a problem with them given their recent schedule agreement, but I would be shocked if the bad blood subsided in our lifetime.

            Like

          • cutter says:

            Notre Dame is not a football independent. With the annual five game commitment to play ACC teams, ND is best described as a “semi-independent”. That definition is compounded by the long-term relationships with Navy and USC, the desire to play once a year on the West Coast and long term agreements with Purdue and Michigan State.

            If you want to talk about a major football independent, then Brigham Young more fully fits that definition. They have agreements with any conference to play a minimum number of games, although they obviously have contracts with individual teams.

            Like

          • greg says:

            Notre Dame is totally unlike teams in conferences. Conference teams have three to four games under their scheduling control. ND has two to three.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            Notre Dame is totally unlike teams in conferences. Conference teams have three to four games under their scheduling control. ND has two to three.

            They have seven games under their control. The fact that they tied up most of them in long-term deals is totally voluntary. Notre Dame’s deals for those seven games are like any other school’s non-conference slate: independent contracts, agreed to one at a time.

            It’s nonsense to suggest those deals aren’t under Notre Dame’s control. If they wanted to, Notre Dame could let those deals expire when the time comes, and not renew them. It’s not at all like a conference slate, where eight or nine games are dictated all at once, by a league office.

            (Their ACC deal wasn’t that much of a sacrifice either: they were playing an average of around 3 ACC teams a year anyway.)

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            If you want to talk about a major football independent, then Brigham Young more fully fits that definition. They have agreements with any conference to play a minimum number of games, although they obviously have contracts with individual teams.

            BYU’s schedule is a lot like Notre Dame’s used to be. They are settling into a set of core ‘regulars’ who’ll be on their schedule every year, or frequently, leaving them with a smaller number have to be negotiated as one-offs. I think the change to Notre Dame is a lot less dramatic than you make it out to be, because so many of the ACC teams were already in ND’s regular rotation.

            Like

  34. Wainscott says:

    @Frank The Tank:

    Fun Hypo for you (and everyone else):

    If you swap Tulane and Stanford’s current football success/rankings, and history, does Tulane get an invite to the Big XII?

    Same question, but with Rice and the SEC (assume Rice would not have academic issues with joining the SEC).

    I say yes to Tulane and no as to Rice.

    To clarify, when I say swap, I mean all history, players, coaches, success, records, but not location. So in this hypo, Harbaugh coached a Tulane team led by Andrew Luck before going to San Fran, and David Shaw now leads the Green Wave.

    Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      Absolutely yes to Tulane. If they had Stanford’s history, they’d be a much better add for the Big XII than the last two schools they took, WVU and TCU.

      For Rice, even if you give them Stanford’s history, I think the SEC would still prefer A&M, with its 53,000 students, to Rice’s 6,000. They’re both AAU, but A&M fits the mold of a typical SEC school a lot more than Rice does.

      Like

    • @Wainscott – I completely believe Tulane would get into the Big 12 with Stanford-like credentials. Academics are great, fun city to travel to, top notch recruiting grounds, contiguous state, and a new stadium is being built. In fact, Tulane doesn’t even need to do as well as Stanford – if they have some legit success over the next few years, I think they’re a real threat to push themselves into the Big 12 expansion conversation. A lot of Old Big East/AAC fans complained about the Tulane addition, but they probably have the most upside of any school in that conference and might end up being the first one moving on up out of there when all is said and done.

      Rice to the SEC is a tougher one. If Rice were performing that well, I think that they’d end up being more of a target for the Big 12 just like Tulane. The Big 12 showed that they were willing to take a school that’s already in their footprint due to on-the-field excellence (TCU) and Houston is actually more of a risk to become more SEC-centric than DFW.

      Heck, if Rice is ever that good, they may end up being a Big Ten target. The conference seems to openly have eyes for Vanderbilt (which won’t likely ever be reciprocated, yet Rice is the academic equivalent while also being in a larger market and much more important recruiting ground.

      How about this for a 4-team Big Ten expansion: Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Rice. The academically-oriented people can’t hammer the inclusion of OU when you have that type of expansion, right?

      There’s hope for Loki the Bubba!

      Like

      • frug says:

        How about this for a 4-team Big Ten expansion: Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Rice. The academically-oriented people can’t hammer the inclusion of OU when you have that type of expansion, right?

        They couldn’t swallow FSU even though it could have opened up UVA, UNC and GIT…

        Like

      • Richard says:

        The B10 would take Texas and Rice if the Horns are OK with only TX 1 school coming. Probably Texas and Rice and TCU and Baylor.

        BTW, this is why I think all these “Texas+OU only to B10” conjectures are far-fetched. First, I don’t see OU wanting or able to escape OKSt. Secondly, the Horns have shown that they like to surround themselves with TX schools.

        Like

        • ccrider55 says:

          While it’d be nice, I just don’t see UT caring about Rice. They are a neighbor you can probably get along with, but they are private. UT has a family member (public) they are aligned with. For better or worse family is family.

          Like

          • Texas is more fond of Rice than you think. I actually think that if given the choice between Texas Tech and Rice, and there was no state legislature to consider, UT would probably rather be with Rice. With all respect to SMU and A&M, Rice is UT’s biggest competitor as “Best Academic School” in Texas. Not to mention playing in Houston (UT’s largest alumni base, source of students, and source of recruits) is much more desirable than playing in Lubbock. Most importantly, Texas has a real soft spot for Rice. Even after the Southwest Conference dissolved, Texas has continued to play Rice on a nearly annual basis, which is not the case with SMU, Houston, Arkansas, or TCU (until they were invited to the Big 12), despite the fact that all of those schools would jump at a chance to play UT regularly. While I certainly don’t think that the Longhorns would choose a conference because of Rice, a package of Kansas, OU, UT, and Rice would probably be about as appealing as any package that the Big 10 could offer UT would be.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            But they aren’t “family”.

            Like

          • Being “family” didn’t stop Texas from leaving Houston behind in favor of Baylor, or A&M from leaving. Rice is someone Texas considers a peer institution. FYI, I don’t think Texas is going anywhere. They have a pretty sweet deal in the Big 12.

            Like

      • Phil says:

        Frank-

        “A lot of Old Big East/AAC fans complained about the Tulane addition, but they probably have the most upside of any school in that conference and might end up being the first one moving on up out of there when all is said and done.”

        That was why we complained. Why add a team that was really bad, who would be likely to have an opportunity to leave (and take it) if they ever got good? The only thing that will save the AAC is for some teams getting good that will not have other options to leave for because of academics, location, etc.

        Like

      • Psuhockey says:

        That’s a nice four team expansion. I always thought Vanderbilt was a more tactical add against the SEC then any real value. If the BIG took Vanderbilt, it would essentially kill the the little academic reputation that the SEC has. Florida, A&M, and Georgia are all fine schools but are more known for their athletics. Without Vanderbilt, there is zero chance that UNC, Duke, or UVA would consider the SEC IMO. So the BIG would essentially make itself the only option for any school west of the Rockies with any semblance of an academic reputation.

        Like

        • Psuhockey says:

          Pardon me, east of the Rockies.

          Like

        • vp19 says:

          Without Vanderbilt, there is zero chance that UNC, Duke, or UVA would consider the SEC IMO. So the BIG would essentially make itself the only option for any school west of the Rockies with any semblance of an academic reputation.

          Nothing against Vanderbilt, but why would you add it when you can get roughly the same level academics — plus a better athletic program — by taking Georgia Tech? (If the Big Ten was going to go to 18 in a southerly direction, I’d prefer to add UVa, UNC, GaTech and Vandy, but UNC would probably insist on Duke. Although if UNC and Duke separated, might the SEC then turn to Duke as its Vandy “elite private school” substitute?)

          Like

          • Psuhockey says:

            Duke is a more northern school than UNC as a good deal of their student body come form the north east. I agree about the Georgia Tech versus Vanderbilt but if UNC was considering the SEC, taking Vanderbilt out would make that a tough sell to the administration of North Carolina.

            Like

    • Mack says:

      If Tulane was like Stanford they would still be in the SEC. But Tulane dropped out of the SEC and I doubt any B5 conference will ever have any interest in them since LSU owns the state, including New Orleans.

      Like

  35. Wainscott says:

    Texas AD DeLoss Dodds retiring at the end of the year: http://texas.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1549065

    Like

    • frug says:

      Sources said Dodds has recommended Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby to Texas president Bill Powers as a possible replacement. Bowlsby’s current annual salary of roughly $2 million, including perks and bonuses, could be an issue for Texas regents, sources said.

      This would really surprise me.

      Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        Moving up the food chain surprises you? 🙂

        Like

      • bullet says:

        Chip Brown says this. The school has denied it. But it wouldn’t surprise me. Dodds is 74.

        I don’t believe the Bowlsby rumours.

        Like

      • frug says:

        Also, Inside Texas and Orangebloods are both reporting that if Bowlsby took the job he would try and hire David Shaw to replace Mack Brown.

        How either site would know who Bowslby would bring in to coach before he has even been approached for the job is beyond me.

        Like

        • gfunk says:

          Bowlsby is also a BIG guy, more so than a Pac12 type, considering his Stanford ties. Born and raised in Iowa, with AD time and service at Iowa and N. Iowa. Got his undergrad degree at Moorhead State in Minnesota.

          I’m reading into this too much : ).

          Like

    • frug says:

      http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/eye-on-college-football/23630857/texas-report-that-deloss-dodds-stepping-down-absolutely-not-true

      A Texas spokesperson has denied a report that Longhorn athletic director DeLoss Dodds would step down at the end of the year.

      Chip Brown of Orangebloods.com reported Friday that Dodds would move from the athletic director’s chair to a “consulting role” for the Longhorns by the end of 2013. But Longhorn spokesperson Nick Voinis told CBSSports.com’s Dennis Dodd that the report was “absolutely not true.”

      I do find this bit interesting though

      “I love my job, I love the people I work with, and I love The University of Texas,” said Dodds. “I have no immediate plans to retire, but when I do, we will let everyone know well in advance so that people do not have to speculate. Now let’s go out and beat Ole Miss.”

      [Emphasis mine]

      Like

      • bullet says:

        He’s 74. His contract goes to August 2015. I don’t think anyone expects him to stay longer than that and probably not that long.

        Like

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          No one works in the final year of that type of contract. If it hasn’t been extended by then, everyone just assumes you’re a lame duck, and your decisions have no credibility. Either it’ll be extended or his retirement will be announced before the end of this academic year. Given his age and UT’s recent performance, an extension seems awfully unlikely.

          Like

      • BuckeyeBeau says:

        yeah, i’ll throw in two cents. Dodds did not deny Chip Brown’s report. There is a lot weasel room around the word “immediate” and, one could argue that moving from the AD position to a consulting position (as Chip Brown says) is not “retirement.”

        Like

  36. Transic says:

    Jim Delany says beefing up schedule is ‘long-term view’ for Big Ten

    http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130913/SPORTS0203/309130042

    Like

  37. GreatLakeState says:

    Greenstein seems to think Pat Fitzgerald is destined for USC or TEXAS. You’d have to think he’d be high on their list. The question is, being such a NW homer and having such incredible job security, would he risk it for the ihigh expectations (and low patience) of those two places?

    Like

    • BuckeyeBeau says:

      my view is that Fitz stays pretty much forever in Evanston. USC and Texas may make a phone call; Fitz will take the call; but I think he says no. he has reportedly already turned down ND and MI.

      IMO, Fitz is not right for either job.

      Fitz is not glitzy and flashy and self-aware/absorbed and media savvy like they want/expect at So. Cal. They are Hollywood and Fitz is about hard work. I think Fitz would tire quickly of the entitlement and egos. I think USC, the school, naturally recruits a certain type of player and I don’t think Fitz is the best type of coach for those types of recruits. This means Fitz will be recruiting sort of against the grain of what USC naturally effortlessly gets. That’s not good. Fitz would be a better fit for UCLA if he’s going to uproot his family and move to southern California.

      Likewise, Fitz is not enough of a politician for the Austin job. maybe I am wrong, but there seems to be a lot of ego stroking needed at UT, a lot of face-time with the Big Cigars wanting to offer their opinions, involvement by the Governor. Fitz is not used to doing it and if Dodds is truly gone, there is no old pro around to run interference. Right now, booster face-time for Fitz has a purpose which is building up the team, the brand, etc. “Ra, ra, Go Cats!” In Austin (and LA and many other places like C-bus), booster face-time is about ego stroking and my sense is that Fitz would consider that purposeless. Further, it will be tough going from laisse-faire (sp?) Northwestern-we-have-no-real-rivals-dont-care-all-that-much-and-need-to-do-our-homework-at-the-stadium-during-games to UT where the fan base is rabidly passionate. The rivalry piece should not be underestimated. Learning to hate Aggies and Sooners is not the same as being born to it. And, as far as I know, Fitz was not born to any heated long-standing rivalry.

      anyway, i don’t think Fitz is a good fit for either job.

      Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      The Texas coach needs to be someone who has recruited the south, and preferably the state of Texas specifically, which Fitzgerald hasn’t done. Besides that, I agree with @BuckeyeBeau that Fitzgerald doesn’t have the temperament to deal with the UT prima donnas.

      The USC job is slightly more plausible, in that USC is (like Northwestern) an academically strong urban private school. I still think he stays at Northwestern. He bleeds purple and could be coach for life there.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        Huh? Northwestern has recruited TX (Houston in particular) for years now. Where did you think Venric Mark, Christian Jones, (and Treyvon Green and David Nwabuisi and Demetrius Fields) came from? We’ve gotten a bunch of starters (and some stars) from TX.

        Like

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          He has recruited Texas like everyone recruits Texas, getting the stragglers that the Big XII doesn’t want. I meant recruit with a capital R.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            Beat out Baylor, TTech, KU, & ISU for Christian Jones.
            Beat out ISU and CU (when they were in the B12) for Mark.
            Beat out UNL, CU, & KU (when they were all in the B12) for Robert Goodlow.

            Recently beat out Texas, Baylor, TCU, and TTech for Auston Anderson & beat out OU & OKSt. for Jordan Thomas,

            Like

  38. Transic says:

    An update on the Kerwin Okoro situation. The NCAA granted him the hardship waiver on appeal.

    http://college-basketball.si.com/2013/09/14/ncaa-hardship-waiver-kerwin-okoro-rutgers/

    Like

  39. bullet says:

    http://www.indystar.com/article/20130913/SPORTSS0602/309130051/Longstanding-Purdue-Notre-Dame-football-rivalry-might-approaching-an-end?nclick_check=1

    If the Big 10 were 1/10 as “collegial” as all of you talk about, Purdue wouldn’t have this home-away issue. The other schools would work with them. Purdue isn’t the first Big 10 school to have this sort of issue. I remember schools complaining about getting all the top draws at home in the same year instead of split.

    Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      Fans always think the Big Ten schedulers are conspiring against particular teams. Michigan fans, for instance, called foul because future schedules have them visiting East Lansing two years in a row.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      bullet,

      I don’t think it’s possible for the B10 to make everyone happy. The whole division gets 5 road games in the same year. IA and PU will be in the same division. IA plays @ ISU this year while ND plays @ PU. ND needs to change their schedule, not the B10.

      ND has PU and MSU at home in alternating years. If ND switches those 2, that would help both schools deal with that issue.

      Like

  40. gfunk says:

    My God! Michigan is hungover and Gardner, nothing to positive to say – just a terrible performance today – win or lose. His play is so bad that I’m wondering if he’ll stay the course. Michigan also has no pass rush.

    Neb looks solved at this point – I’ve just not bought into Martinez, seams mentally weak, but his bigger issue is not his fault. Neb has incompetent leadership and coaching. I truly thought the near misses Pellini had on the way out of the Big12 proved this guy was on his way up. At this point, I just have my doubts. He’s a great coordinator or assistant, but seems incapable of overall leadership. Wisconsin exposed them last year, they’ve not recovered.

    OSU & Wisky may just be the top teams of the BIG again & I don’t think either is capable of winning it all.

    BIG football has just been so disappointing over the past several years.

    I would love to see Illinois and Wisconsin pull out wins later today.

    Like

    • gfunk says:

      Ouch! Michigan is on the ropes. I’m beyond stunned.

      Like

      • gfunk says:

        Neb fumbles on the goal line, a TD they desperately needed. This could be a long day for the BIG in premier match ups – though Mi vs Akron was not one of the marquee games.

        At least Minnesota battled awful misfortunes: Kill had another seizure and they lost their starting QB (Nelson) early. His replacement (Leidner) looked impressive. IU bounced back from an unexpected loss to Navy and soundly beat a decent Bowling Green team.

        Like

  41. vp19 says:

    Fresno State and Colorado was postponed because of the floods around Boulder. Will it be rescheduled? Do the teams have a mutual open date?

    Like

    • Brian says:

      No, they don’t share an open date. I’d guess they reschedule it for CCG weekend, and cancel it if either one makes their CCG.

      Like

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        That’s probably what will happen, Brian. I think that’s what happened last year with Oregon State vs. Nicholls State (or was it McNeese?). And the game is likely to be cancelled, too. Fresno State looks like the best team in the Mountain West, and definitely in their division judging by early results. Nevada, San Diego State, Hawaii, and UNLV have looked bad so far. SJSU may be their only challenger.

        Like

  42. loki_the_bubba says:

    Can we now put a stop to the Kansas to B1G conversation?

    Kansas 14
    Rice 23

    Like

    • gfunk says:

      No. Not if KU somehow brings Tx and OU. Granted, Tx is in a temporary funk.

      We need better football in the conference – yesterday. KU is pretty awful much of the time, but not Tx and OU. A Tx pipeline is essential considering most BIG states have mediocre to below average hs football on a per capita basis.

      I just can’t imagine the BIG having a gaping hole in its footprint in order to get OU and Tx. WVa is getting hammered by travel in the Big12.

      Let’s not forget, hoops does make money. KU is different story on the hardwood. Btw, the BIG could use a powerful hoops program to keep pace with the ACC who now has Syracuse then Lville in 2014. How many NCs has the BIG won in the modern era? 3, which is Less than the old Big East, SEC and ACC. The BIG has flamed in NCGs as well – 7 runners up since 85. Unacceptable!

      The BIG needs to start winning more NCs, big two.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        Rice has a better chance of bringing Texas than KU.

        Given the local realities, KU+OU+Texas to the B10 isn’t happening.

        Like

        • vp19 says:

          With Oklahoma far away from AAU membership (plus the Okie State problem, something Kansas has with K-State), it could well be that if the Big Ten wants to take in Texas, Rice may be its best potential partner. Not strong in football, but with a big-time tradition (and stadium) that could be rehabilitated, Rice has enough on the table to be a “desperation” partner.

          Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            “With Oklahoma far away from AAU membership (plus the Okie State problem, something Kansas has with K-State),”

            TT evaporated?

            Like

          • vp19 says:

            This is under the assumption UT can divorce itself from Texas Tech — and as stated earlier by others, Austin has more of a tie to Rice than to that school in Lubbock, a relative latecomer to the SWC. And the Big Ten would at least consider Rice (as a partner to UT); you probably couldn’t say that about Tech, unless it gained AAU entry (which it won’t for at least a while).

            Like

        • gfunk says:

          I’ve argued for Rice to be the 4th team to get the BIG to 18 in previous posts, though I like UConn better than Rice, but that’s my basketball bias kicking in. I’d be fine with Tx-OU-KU-Rice. That’s 3 AAU schools, though KU is evidently hanging onto its membership. WIth those 4, we have no border gaps and Tx-Rice-OU are close to each other. OU would have an advantage in travel with other BIG teams of course, but at least Tx has two schools within 2-4 hours drive. Rice would need time to catch up in all Olympic sports but football and baseball.

          I’m not entirely against TCU over Rice or UConn to get the BIG to 18. TCU is not some bible thumping school like Baylor – it’s far more secular, has a health endowment, big metro, nice campus, above average football tradition & its academics continue to climb.

          Like

        • Andy says:

          Good to see some sanity in this whole KU and OU to the B1G conversation.

          Like

    • bullet says:

      Go Owls! Pleased for the Owls.

      Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      Texas and Oklahoma are the only two Big XII schools that can be a first mover. If either of them moves, the Big XII becomes a “one king league,” and which is unsustainable. Hence, if one moves, then both eventually move (not necessarily to the Big Ten).

      I mean, you don’t take Kansas in isolation; you take them with another. If it happens at all, it would be that other school, not Kansas itself, that prompts the move. So it wouldn’t be Kansas bringing in TX or OU; it would be the opposite.

      In the odd case where Kansas is the first to move, TX and OU would still have the option of keeping the Big XII whole by inviting a replacement school. As long as TX and OU want to stay together, the Big XII is a viable power league. The instant one of them leaves, it no longer is.

      Like

      • vp19 says:

        In that scenario, it’s Texas taking (an AAU) Kansas with it to the Big Ten (since its presidents probably wouldn’t accept a non-AAU Oklahoma), which means OU, Okie State, Texas Tech and Kansas State go hat in hand to the Pac and Baylor, Iowa State, Texas Christian and West Virginia replenish the Big 12 with Cincinnati, Houston, Tulane, Tulsa and a few others.

        Like

        • Andy says:

          The odds of the Pac 12 taking OU, Okie State, Texas Tech, and KSU are negative infinity plus one.

          Like

          • lovedtheusfl says:

            I think KSU is a step too far —no reason for the other three to bring them. I think in this four team scenario without UT, the fourth might very well be TCU as OU and Tech would want to “own” the DFW recruiting ground (and possibly to hurt UT). I think the PAC would probably prefer Rice to make the academic package more tolerable. Plus for baseball.

            The scenario you are describing hits me as very unlikely as UT athletics pull a big chunk of their money from the red river rivalry and a big chunk of their recruits from DFW. This scenario screws them on both counts.

            This is why I think it is unlikely the Big 10 will land UT without OU and why I think it is far, far more likely UT,OU, OSU, and Tech (possibly with TCU) end up in the PAC.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            No to TCU. Not because of the PAC (although ithat would be true, but with less prejudice than toward BYU or Baylor) but because UT would not chose them over another Texas public school.

            Like

    • FranktheAg says:

      I was very impressed with Rice ( at the A&M game). Might be the third best team in Texas this year.

      Like

  43. Michael in Raleigh says:

    More likely after the ACC and Big 12’s GOR’s expire: The ACC picks off WVU (and others?) from the Big 12, or the Big 12 picks off anyone from the ACC?

    Like

    • gfunk says:

      The ACC is going nowhere. I just think this prediction has been so overstated at this point, especially on here.

      On the other hand, if the BIG doesn’t start playing better football soon, PSU could leave for the ACC. Enough nutcases in PA have been disgusted with the BIG since joining. If nothing goes their way, it’s either OSU, Michigan, Jim Delany, BIG officiating, or the BIG entity to blame.

      Like

      • vp19 says:

        I’ve always deemed South Carolina’s decision to leave the ACC 42 years ago, without having any all-sports conference as a landing spot (it wouldn’t join the SEC until the early ’90s) as the dumbest realignment move ever…but Penn State leaving the Big Ten for the ACC would multiply that tenfold on the “dumb” scale. All those research parks around State College are a result of Big Ten/CIC membership; who’s stupid enough to withdraw and give up that?

        Like

        • frug says:

          I’ve always deemed South Carolina’s decision to leave the ACC 42 years ago, without having any all-sports conference as a landing spot (it wouldn’t join the SEC until the early ’90s) as the dumbest realignment move ever

          Tulane leaving the SEC is still the worst, but USCe is definitely a strong contender for #2.

          Like

        • gfunk says:

          VP, I think you overstate the influence of CIC and BIG membership, albeit both have relevance and impact. Ultimately, the taxpayers, students, and politicians did more to boost PSU’s academic prestige than say athletic-academic membership. We really don’t know how high they climbed, pre- BIG, because something like US News didn’t factor back then like it does now. But if AAU status is an indicator, they got there in 1958, nearly 40 years before BIG membership, also before schools like yours (Md), fellow state school Pitt, and many UC schools. In other words, PSU valued academics long before the BIG. Also, higher ed has been a strength of Pa, in general, for well over a century – a lot of great colleges-universities in that state.

          Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Cart before the horse. Obviously PSU was a great academic school or they wouldn’t have been invited. Their research dollar numbers have climed dramatically since joining. I doubt you could find a single administrator who would say B1G/CIC membership was not beneficial.

            Like

          • gfunk says:

            CC,

            Sure it helps & I suggested as much above, but their research dollars climbed, foremost, because of Pa politics and citizens in the name of academics. Big state schools, esp like PSU, know how to take care of themselves much more than you think. Do you truly know how the CIC works? It’s not as collaborative as you think. I’ve had this debate enough at this point. I went to grad school and put enough time into research and paid work at two BIG schools. It’s overstatement on these boards, yet the academic benefits are clearly understated and such “benefits” are the business of folks who mostly don’t care about BIG athletics – separation of Jocks and Geeks : ).

            Like

          • Brian says:

            gfunk,

            “Sure it helps & I suggested as much above, but their research dollars climbed, foremost, because of Pa politics and citizens in the name of academics.”

            What is your evidence?

            Like

      • frug says:

        The ACC is going nowhere. I just think this prediction has been so overstated at this point, especially on here.

        As opposed to PSU going to the ACC?

        Like

        • gfunk says:

          Saying what I see, not believe. There have been countless threads by PSU fans wishing to leave the BIG for the ACC. I don’t like them. But they exist. No other BIG school has such a fervor of fans doing similar, granted it’s the Internet. But then wtf are you doing on here? Me as well? You’re in a glass house if you haven’t seen them. These threads have been in play for years on PSU boards at Rivals and Scout.

          Like

          • gfunk says:

            I mean what other BIG team would even be put into such a perspective (see link)? This story didn’t surprise me when it came out because I’ve seen such sentiments for years on PSU boards – use to be PSU football fan. This is not saying I think PSU will leave for the ACC. But money reasons aren’t a guarantee for membership. You also can’t deny the the potential of the ACC when it comes to academic influence in the years to come. Such threads and stories are why I never believed ND would join the BIG (though you never know if a playoff comes, but I doubt they give up warm venues and southern pipelines for BIG schedule and footprint). ND fans have typically been against the BIG by 2-1 odds in my opinion. http://espn.go.com/blog/bigten/post/_/id/33658/poll-should-psu-stay-in-b1g-or-go-to-acc

            Like

          • frug says:

            Big deal.

            If posters on internet message boards had their way FSU would be in the Big XII and Maryland wouldn’t be leaving the ACC.

            Also

            On the other hand, if the BIG doesn’t start playing better football soon, PSU could leave for the ACC.

            If quality of football has anything to do with it why would PSU ever leave for the ACC? I mean as mediocre as the Big 10 has been recently it is still much stronger than the ACC.

            Like

      • ShockFX says:

        Better football? Shouldn’t PSU be happy to be cashing that giant check given they’ve won on B1G championship in 15 years, add nothing in basketball, just started hockey, and aren’t a lacrosse power?

        I think PSU needs to go 13-0 in conference for 10 years before they can bitch about other schools not carrying their weight, given their own lack of performance and gigantic child rape scandal.

        Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      More likely after the ACC and Big 12′s GOR’s expire: The ACC picks off WVU (and others?) from the Big 12, or the Big 12 picks off anyone from the ACC?

      The ACC won’t be adding any more teams, unless they lose some first, or unless a plum drops into their laps. WV isn’t a plum. Even if the ACC lost a couple of teams, I am not persuaded that they’d consider WV a net plus.

      I don’t think the Big XII wants any ACC schools unless FSU is one of them. A while back, the FSU president wrote an unusual public letter explaining in meticulous detail why the Big XII is not a good fit. I wouldn’t rule it out, but the ACC would need to be severely undermined before they’d consider it.

      On the other hand, if the BIG doesn’t start playing better football soon, PSU could leave for the ACC. Enough nutcases in PA have been disgusted with the BIG since joining.

      Every fanbase has nutcases, but they aren’t the ones making the decisions.

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    • frug says: