One-and-Done: Mark Cuban, the NBA, D-League and College Basketball

Posted: March 4, 2014 in Big Ten, College Basketball, NBA Basketball, Sports
Tags: , , , , ,

As many of my regular readers know, I’m a huge fan of both the NBA and college basketball. While this blog has generally focused on college football over the past few years since that has been the driving force behind conference realignment, I’m still a hoops guy at heart. As a result, I’m constantly thinking about how to balance all of the interests of the NBA, colleges and individual players while maintaining a high quality on-the-court product at all levels of the game.

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban recently touched off another debate about “one-and-done” players in college basketball and whether they would be better off going straight to the NBA Developmental League:

“I think what will end up happening — and this is my opinion, not that of the league — is if the colleges don’t change from the one-and-done, we’ll go after the one,” Cuban said. “The NCAA rules are so hypocritical, there’s absolutely no reason for a kid to go [to college], because he’s not going to class [and] he’s actually not even able to take advantage of all the fun because the first semester he starts playing basketball. So if the goal is just to graduate to the NBA or be an NBA player, go to the D-League.”

Notwithstanding the fact that Cuban erroneously assigns blame to the NCAA for not allowing players to enter into the NBA Draft immediately out of high school (that’s completely an NBA collective bargaining rule), what’s interesting over the past couple of days is that I’ve seen a lot of both NBA and college basketball fans agree with this sentiment. To the extent that they are in separate camps, NBA fans generally just want to see the best players in the pros ASAP, while college fans hypothetically don’t want to spend time worrying about players that are only going to spend a year on campus.*

(* Granted, I believe most college basketball fans are being disingenuous about this issue. If a bunch of freshmen can lead your favorite team to the national title like Kentucky in 2012, you generally get comfortable with the one-and-done concept pretty quickly. Most college basketball fans complaining about the practice are grousing about teams or rivals other than their own.)

However, while I generally sympathize with Mark Cuban and the basketball fan masses on a lot of issues, this is one area where I believe a lot of people are having collective amnesia of what both the NBA and college basketball looked like in the early-2000s before the NBA age limit was put into place. Simply put, basketball at both the pro and college levels sucked back then. The NBA was drafting high schoolers such as Kwame Brown in the lottery based on raw athleticism that were thrown into the league prior to being ready, which created a sloppier and less polished on-the-court product. Meanwhile, the college ranks were depleted of a critical mass of top-level players in a way that ended up pushing down the quality of the play across-the-board. Even if the one-and-done year gets transferred to the D-League as Cuban proposes, this can have a disastrous effect on both the pros and college levels.

This issue is a tough one for me because I’m someone that normally believes that if you’re good enough to perform a job or task, you should be allowed to do so regardless of your age. Yet, basketball seems to be the one area the laissez faire approach has proven to not work because of the nature of the sport. The main problem is that virtually everyone involved in the NBA Draft process needs to be protected from themselves (as the system provides incentives for everyone to take actions that are detrimental to the quality of the game overall). If I had faith that the only high schoolers that NBA general managers would draft were like LeBron James that were ready immediately at age 18 and, at the same time, only high schoolers that were of a LeBron-quality entered the draft into the first place, then it would be easy to say that anyone should be able to go to the pros immediately. However, we have empirical proof from the early-2000s that this simply doesn’t happen. Basketball, unlike football and baseball, is a game where obtaining an individual star matters more than anything. In contrast, stars in football and baseball might be important, but depth generally trumps stardom.

As a result, NBA GMs were (and still are) significantly more mortified about missing out on the next Kobe Bryant or Kevin Garnett compared to their football and baseball counterparts (and it makes sense considering the type of superstar that you need in order to viably compete for the NBA championship) and they overvalued raw athleticism in high schoolers back in the early-2000s. Meanwhile, top high school players saw all of their AAU buddies getting massive paydays at age 18, so anyone with a prayer of getting into the draft jumped in (whether it was by their own volition or pressure from family members and/or street agents looking for a financial meal ticket). This created a vicious cycle where NBA GMs were taking unproven high school players based on raw athleticism with lottery picks that were previously used on seasoned college players (many of which were already household names by the time they entered the draft), such lottery picks were getting stuck on the bench with high bust rates as opposed to contributing right away, and college programs were left with the scraps. Blowing a top 5 pick in the NFL or Major League Baseball is not a good thing for a GM, but it’s at least recoverable or mitigated if the team has the right depth. In the NBA, though, blowing a top 5 pick can mean that your franchise is set back for a decade… and we saw a whole lot of NBA franchises blow their top 5 picks in the early-2000s.

The current one-and-done system, while imperfect, at least provides a checkpoint for all parties involved: NBA GMs can watch players compete against people other than 5′ 11″ power forwards in high school (like I was back in the day) in pressure situations, while the players themselves get a reality check of where their skills really stand. Unfortunately, shifting the one-and-done year to the D-League in the manner that Cuban suggests would likely bring up the same problems as the old open NBA Draft without an age limit. NBA franchises would go back to drafting raw prospects (now for the D-League) as opposed to obtaining the best players that are ready for the NBA immediately, while top high school players will get delusions of grandeur and/or chase after the easy paycheck.

Note that Mark Cuban isn’t really proposing anything new: 18-year olds already have the option of giving up their NCAA eligibility and spending a year in the D-League (such as P.J. Hairston, who left UNC in the middle of the season this year and is now playing with the Texas Legends) or Europe (a la Brandon Jennings). So, why aren’t top players choosing that option en masse? Part of it is that the special branding in college sports matters quite a bit, as outlined by Dave Warner of “What You Pay for Sports” (who happens to be an outspoken critic of the cable subscriber fees that people pay for sports networks). As Warner stated about why minor leagues in basketball and football haven’t been successful financially:

Minor league basketball has had a bit more traction — the Continental Basketball Association survived for decades as an NBA minor league before finally folding in 2009 — but it doesn’t come close to outdrawing big-time college basketball. Go to any NBA D-League game, and you’ll be lucky to find a few thousand fans in the stands. More importantly, you won’t find the top high school prospects at those games. Jabari Parker gets more attention playing for Duke than he would playing for, say, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants.

This is where we begin to understand the status quo. What we have here is an issue of branding. Minor league football and basketball have no traction in America, because fans have declared their loyalty to the brands of college football and basketball teams. College football, in particular, has a century’s worth of rich history in America. College students attach themselves to their schools’ teams, remain attached through adulthood, and spread those attachments to children and other family members. You can’t sell the Omaha Nighthawks to an army of die-hard Cornhuskers fans. They’ve spent decades engrossed in the University of Nebraska’s football team and all of its traditions. Supporting a group of guys trying to play their way into the NFL is not enough. These people demand Nebraska football.

The point about Jabari Parker getting more attention playing for Duke than the Fort Wayne Mad Ants is particularly exacerbated in the NBA context even compared to the NFL because it relates back to the star system that’s inherent in pro basketball specifically. While Jabari Parker might get more specific basketball-focused training, avoids having to go to class, and even would earn a paycheck in the D-League, the exposure that he gets with nationally-televised games of Duke and constant SportsCenter highlights aids his own personal brand off-the-court and the long-term financial effects of that could vastly outweigh a year’s worth of earnings in the D-League. In turn, the NBA itself benefits from this as it gets to leverage the pre-made stardom of players like Jabari by the time they enter the draft, which creates further interest in the league. That aspect was completely lacking in the early-2000s (with the exception of LeBron, who legitimately was a household name by the time he graduated from high school) and we’d go back to that malaise if top players enter the D-League and Europe instead of going to college. The NBA has a golden goose here that it ought to be extremely wary of messing with again.

To that end, the best approach going forward is the simple one that new NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has already suggested: raise the NBA age limit to 20. That effectively means that top high school players would need to play 2 years of college basketball prior to entering the draft. While that might delay the LeBron-types from entering into the league even further than now, the early-2000s should have shown everyone that the LeBron-types are so rare that the NBA needs to care more about its year-to-year product as a whole. That requires another year of vetting in college in order to separate the proverbial wheat from the chaff along with building the anticipation of stars like Jabari Parker even further. At the same time, college basketball programs get the benefit of having top players for at least 2 years, which is a good balance between having such players on campus for a long enough time that programs feel confident in investing time and money into them while being short enough to prevent holding back the true superstars from going to the next level for too long.*

(* I’ve seen a number of people suggest that the NBA approach the draft in the same manner as MLB, which is that high school players can either choose the enter the draft immediately or go to college for at least 3 years. While it’s not a bad suggestion, I disagree with it as applied to basketball because of the nature of the sport that I’ve noted above. All that would happen is the same thing that occurred in the early-2000s, where every high school player convinced that he’ll get drafted will enter the draft and NBA GMs will be de facto forced to pick them out of fear. That would lead the exact same on-the-court quality problems that we saw in that era. Plus, the MLB draft goes for 50 rounds and GMs are generally rewarded for building depth as opposed to getting a single superstar. In contrast, the NBA draft is the reverse where there are only 2 rounds, GMs are rewarded for finding a single superstar instead of building depth, and the practical reality is that only 15 or so players in any given NBA Draft ever becomes a regular rotation player (much less a superstar or even a starter). The simple numbers show that the opportunity cost of foregoing college eligibility is several magnitudes greater for basketball player compared to a baseball player. As much as I hate paternalistic rules, this is exactly why people in the basketball world need to be protected from their own worst instincts.)

So, that’s why I support raising the NBA age limit to 20-years old. It’s long enough for the NBA to get a solid evaluation of players and colleges to obtain the benefit of having top players on campus, yet short enough for the legitimately elite players to get into in the NBA relatively early. The next step is to get both the NBA and NCAA on the same page on this matter, which is probably the most difficult piece of all in this entire discussion.

(Image from Sports Illustrated)

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Comments
  1. greg says:

    Hawkeyes.

    Like

  2. Carl says:

    Dominate the State!

    Like

  3. Wainscott says:

    Fightin’ Fifth!

    Like

  4. bullet says:

    Rumors are starting that Calipari is looking at the NBA.
    Its hard to follow a team full of one and dones. It completely changes over every year. And they are freshman. UK’s 2011 team was more talented than 2012, but they were inexperienced, bad at FT shooting and relied a little too much on 3s (how can you be good at 3s, but lousy at FTs?) and lost before the final 4 as I expected. 2013’s talent was pretty good, but inexperienced and lost a lot of games and didn’t even make the tourney. 2014 is looking like 2011 but without the same extraordinary level of talent. These teams lose a lot to significantly less talented teams due to inexperience.

    So one and dones is not that great for fans when it gets carried to extremes like Calipari does.

    Like

  5. Wainscott says:

    Copying my post from the last comment thread which is on point here:

    It may be a good idea from a player development standpoint, but I do not think the NBA would actually profit from such leagues/academies.

    For starters, the NBA benefits tremendously from the promotional power of college basketball, helping future NBA-ers gain a name and a following before the draft. Such would not be the case (at least nowhere to the same degree) in the NBA D League or some such soccer-style academy.

    Second, its not exactly as baseball’s minor leagues roll in dough. There would be little market for any meaningful TV/media rights deal for such NBA leagues, even among lesser sports cable channels, because of the lack of star players and the lack of fan identification relative to long held allegiances to collegiate teams.

    I think the goal of removing from the college game players who have little desire to actually be in college is one shared by many, but I think the costs and time it would take to establish a viable minor league system from virtual scratch is prohibitive. Baseball’s minor league system exists because of baseball’s antitrust exception and is primarily an accident of history that has survived through time (hockey’s minor leagues is less robust, but has a similar, if not stronger, system in Canada for the junior hockey).

    Bottom Line: The NBA benefits more from the college game than it would stand to gain from the costs it would incur creating an alternative league/academy to develop players, at least in the short and medium term.

    Like

  6. bullet says:

    You are right about the branding. And that’s why basketball players shouldn’t be paid in college. They could do D League or Europe or one of the other leagues. They don’t because there is significant intangible compensation in playing for a major college program, in addition to the coaching and tuition.

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  7. cj says:

    loyal strong and true – go cougars

    Like

  8. Wainscott says:

    @Frank:

    Good post, but I have some comments:

    1) No sport can replicate Baseball’s draft and minor leagues, as baseball (majors and minors) have an ironclad anti-trust exemption as it relates to assigning players within the minor league system. No other sport (not even hockey) can truly replicate it (Minor league hockey players have a union and are able to bargain for benefits; also, rights are owned for less time and there is more mobility for players within the minors).

    2) Baseball has more than 2x the number of rosters on the pro level, not to mention stocking a 4 or 5 or 6 team farm system. Its one of the reasons it has a longer draft.

    3) Baseball has a deep minor league tradition formed by almost a century of practice. It would be unthinkable to try to create this system in the modern day to the same breadth and degree.

    4) NBA players would probably vote to raise the age cap to 20 or 21 without much difficulty. Much like the NFLPA did in 2010, players care more about those in the league now–especially the veterans holding on for one more year–than some hot shot rookie looking to replace them. Raising the minimum age protects veterans by reducing the available talent pool for a particular draft and helping present players.

    5) More and more top baseball draft picks are coming from college, as it has been shown over time that college draftees are more likely to make it to the pros. Also, with MLB’s new draft slot caps, more players are going to college instead fo straight to the minors (See: http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2013/04/11/more-baseball-players-likely-choosing-college-game-over-pros-with-signing/).

    6) Lastly, there is no declaring for the MLB draft–you are eligible to be taken without doing anything, as long as you meet eligibility requirements. Contrast to the NBA and NFL where underclassman affirmatively choose to enter the draft pool, and with the NFL’s “no-backsies” rule (which is designed primarily to give college coaches an idea of what positions they need to fill with recruits and with signing day in early February, they require certainty). (see: http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/draftday/rules.jsp)

    Like

  9. Michael in Raleigh says:

    Top prospects coming out of high school go to college programs instead of the NBDL for the exact reasons Frank outlined. Teams that get these one and dones, whether it’s Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, Texas (Kevin Durant), or anyone else are all able to provide infinitely more exposure and other benefits to them than the NBDL. That isn’t going to change.

    What I want to know is what Cuban thinks should be done to convince these prospects to go the NBDL route instead. The first, most obvious thing the NBDL could, in theory, offer is good pay. Would Jabari Parker have chosen to go to Duke if he could have made $100,000 for a year with that Texas Legends team? Would NBA owners be willing to sink millions more into a minor league system? Or, more likely, would they rather those players get their developmental training paid for by the college system?

    Like

    • @Michael in Raleigh – I’ve read that it took over $1.5 million to lure Brandon Jennings over to Europe, so you may figure that the D-League would need to offer a whole lot more than $100,000. Of course, that defeats a lot of the value proposition of having the D-League in the first place. The entire point of that league is to have a low-cost development system. Sure, if Mark Cuban can get away with paying Jabari Parker a salary of $25,500, $19,000 or $13,000 (which are the 3 salary levels for D-League players), then that would be great for the D-League. If you’re an NBA owner, who wouldn’t want mega-superstar players getting paid literally a minimum wage salary for a year? However, it’s obvious that players have voted with their feet that it’s not enough. Heck, they’ve voted with their feet that a potential million dollar payday overseas isn’t even enough. There’s a certain point where the NBA is much better off letting colleges develop players for free *and* they get the benefit of the increased publicity for the top stars heading into the draft. The NBA should want the best players to spend time in college to develop their games (which is possible in the D-League) and brands (which likely won’t ever be possible in the D-League) and, in turn, colleges should want those best players even for limited amounts of time (as, whether we agree with it or not, conferences have made it clear that it’s a big business).

      Like

      • Wainscott says:

        Then again, from what I recall reading, Jennings had a miserable time in Europe, thousands of miles from his family in a different culture playing a totally different style of basketball. He was eventually benched in Europe, playing only a handful of minutes. A cautionary tale if there ever was one.

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  10. Brian says:

    Frank the Tank,

    “To the extent that they are in separate camps, NBA fans generally just want to see the best players in the pros ASAP, while college fans hypothetically don’t want to spend time worrying about players that are only going to spend a year on campus.*

    (* Granted, I believe most college basketball fans are being disingenuous about this issue. If a bunch of freshmen can lead your favorite team to the national title like Kentucky in 2012, you generally get comfortable with the one-and-done concept pretty quickly. Most college basketball fans complaining about the practice are grousing about teams or rivals other than their own.)”

    OSU has had plenty of one and dones (and made a title game with them), and I’m still not a fan of it. One and done violates the spirit of college athletics.

    “However, while I generally sympathize with Mark Cuban and the basketball fan masses on a lot of issues, this is one area where I believe a lot of people are having collective amnesia of what both the NBA and college basketball looked like in the early-2000s before the NBA age limit was put into place. Simply put, basketball at both the pro and college levels sucked back then.”

    They don’t have to revert to those days to implement Cuban’s suggestion.

    “The main problem is that virtually everyone involved in the NBA Draft process needs to be protected from themselves (as the system provides incentives for everyone to take actions that are detrimental to the quality of the game overall).”

    Maybe they needed more GMs to get fired for making stupid draft choices. Eventually teams would wise up. Teams like the Spurs always draft developmental players and leave them overseas for a while and they haven’t fallen apart.

    “while the players themselves get a reality check of where their skills really stand.”

    And yet many players still make baffling decisions to come out for the draft.

    “Unfortunately, shifting the one-and-done year to the D-League in the manner that Cuban suggests would likely bring up the same problems as the old open NBA Draft without an age limit. NBA franchises would go back to drafting raw prospects (now for the D-League) as opposed to obtaining the best players that are ready for the NBA immediately, while top high school players will get delusions of grandeur and/or chase after the easy paycheck.”

    The NBA can’t draft 18 year olds. I don’t see how this change impacts the NBA draft at all.

    “Note that Mark Cuban isn’t really proposing anything new:”

    Actually he was. He mentioned providing the players with an education at local colleges or at least mandatory life skills classes. And he was there for the prior screw-ups, so he must see a way to avoid them.

    “18-year olds already have the option of giving up their NCAA eligibility and spending a year in the D-League (such as P.J. Hairston, who left UNC in the middle of the season this year and is now playing with the Texas Legends) or Europe (a la Brandon Jennings). So, why aren’t top players choosing that option en masse? Part of it is that the special branding in college sports matters quite a bit,”

    If more elite players made that choice, the DL would get more attention. Remember, ESPN hypes HS basketball now so they’d provide the starter publicity. Networks would offer a little TV money.

    Like

    • morganwick says:

      Right, like Minor League Baseball gets so much attention. Oh wait, they only get any national attention whatsoever when a truly LeBron-level talent is there (like Stephen Strasburg) or when an already superstar player heads there to rehab either from an injury or a waning career (see: Clemens, Jeter, A-Rod).

      Like

      • Brian says:

        ESPN doesn’t show HS baseball. ESPN shows HS hoops games, generating hype for the star players. Big difference. Basketball also draws a much younger audience than baseball, one more likely to identify with 18 year old stars.

        Like

  11. Wainscott says:

    Some details on the potential governance changes coming to college sports:

    http://www.ncaa.org/about/resources/media-center/steering-committee-working-toward-new-governance-model

    Like

  12. Pat says:

    Go Blue!

    Like

  13. Andy says:

    Good article, Frank. I hadn’t really thought of it that way but I think you’re probably right.

    Like

  14. Wainscott says:

    Reading the article with Cuban, and reading between the lines, it sounds like he wants the NBADL to, for lack of a better term, recruit 18 year olds into the D-League, to be randomly assigned to a team (which I think they do now for non-delegated players) and be paid a salary/given classes at a local college, to then be eligible after they turn 21 for the NBA Draft.

    Cuban, going back to his proposal for a CFB playoff, hates the NCAA, and this article also notes his hatred of the NCAA. I think his passion is blinding him from some realities.

    1) Why should he and other NBA owners bear the cost of paying 18 year old players, some of whom turn out to be great, but most who flop, when someone else is already doing it for the league for free?

    2) Why should other NBA owners care about the NCAA being “hypocritical” and the ideas of one-and-dones at all? All it does is give whatever team gets Wiggins and Parker in the draft a higher-profile player.

    3) Why would ESPN/Fox/CBS/TNT want to televise this when its success would reduce the value of its MBB properties and conference television networks?

    4) Why would players playing in the D League care about getting an education at all?

    5) How much of a salary would it take for players to pass up college–the types of players who would go one and done?

    6) One and done players tend to play at elite universities for elite coaches. Would NBADL coaches have similar teaching and coaching abilities, or will it be a place for retread NBA coaches to hang on?

    Like

    • @Wainscott – That’s very true about Cuban – I actually like his style quite a bit, but he has some blind spots with respect to college sports. It also reminds me of how he wanted to pull NBA players out of the Olympics and instead form a separate world tournament that the NBA would control. That’s nice in theory, but that belies the fact that the whole reason why top tier NBA players are willing to train during what would otherwise be their vacation times without pay is a shot at the Olympic medal specifically. They aren’t giving up their summers for an NBA-run event. You can see the type of talent that the MLB-controlled World Baseball Classic draws, and it ain’t pretty. Granted, the IOC deserves even more scorn than the NCAA in terms of being a backwards and corrupt organization, but what makes Cuban a driven and successful businessman also occasionally blinds him to the non-financial incentives that people might have in their actions. People get attached to colleges and the Olympics as entities (and cheer for people in jerseys, whether they say Ohio State or USA) in a way that defies rationality.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        Probably true with the NBA, but when the NHL holds the World Cup of Hockey again, you can be sure that pretty much every hockey star will be playing in it.

        One key difference is that hockey (unlike basketball and baseball) is dominated by non-Americans, who take representing country more seriously. With the WBC, there are other factors as well (in spring training; pitchers are a depreciating asset; most Americans use to MLB’s looong championship season don’t take a single-elimination baseball tournament as a good way to determine a true champion).

        Like

        • Richard says:

          Granted, another key difference is that international hockey (unlike baseball and basketball) has a lot more rivalries that mean something to the star players: US vs. Canada, Sweden vs. Finland, Czechs vs. Slovaks, Russia vs. everybody.

          Like

        • morganwick says:

          Also, being dominated by non-Americans means the outcome is less of a foregone conclusion (not that that helps the WBC).

          Like

  15. Michael in Raleigh says:

    I’ve mentioned this on here before, but I’m curious whether opinions may have changed.

    Next year, the American conference is losing Louisville and Rutgers. East Carolina, Tulane, and Tulsa will join the league. Navy will join for football only in a year and a half.

    For basketball, the league has been a weaker league than the one UConn, USF, Cincinnati, and L’ville had been accustomed to, but it still has been pretty good in the top half. SMU, UConn, L’ville, Memphis, and Cincy are headed to the NCAA tournament. Houston is likely going to the NIT. The rest of the league isn’t very good.

    It seems to me that it may be worth adding a twelfth team for hoops to add a little more pop in that sport. It still ought to be a pretty decent basketball conference. SMU shouod stillbe good next year. So should Cincy, Memphis, and UConn. Temple ought to return to its historical average of an NCAA-caliber program. But losing Louisville hurts a lot.

    How about this league expanding with VCU or Wichita State? It’s doubtful that either would garner interest from the Big East since they’re public schools. I could envision UConn and Cincinnati being concerned about their RPI suffering without Louisville on top of having lost all its other former Big East conference mates. And, yes, I know some may say they would want to avoid a hybrid league because that hybrid led to the Big East’s breakup, but this would be just ONE non-football program, not eight.

    I imagine fans of UConn and Cincinnati, in particular, are craving more compelling home matches that compare to the ones they once had against Syracuse, Pitt, Georgetown, Villanova, and Louisville. VCU or Wichita could help with that.

    Like

    • urbanleftbehind says:

      I always thought that VCU would be a natural in the “northeastern MAC” that several AAC schools seem destined to become (so long as they added football). Delaware, Maine, UNH, Stony Brook would also be possible adds. There are two other cluster areas of the present AAC that would emerge – the southeastern public schools that are better than SunBelt (usf, ucf, ecu, mem, hou, usm), and perhaps SMU/Rice/Tulane/Tulsa in combination with Oral Roberts, Air Force, and the SOL big 12 texas orphans (e.g. TCU) as a SW version of the Big East. Wichita State is a good fit in its present MVC – it may not be in a financial, market share or access-to-talent position to move up to a more competitive or geographically sparse conference.

      Like

    • Wainscott says:

      Any schools available that add enough money to the conference to pay for itself and not dilute each school’s share of the pie, either for basketball or for all sports?

      Like

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        Any addition would not cut into the preumably much larger football portion of the TV contract. Also, either Wichita State or VCU ought to add to the conference another bid to the NCAA tournament, which adds units that should help pay for itself. Obviously, I don’t know whether additions pay for themselves, otherwise I would be in television marketing.

        Like

        • Wainscott says:

          The AAC will have 13 members (11 full, 2 partial) when all the moves are said and done in 2015. I’d assume a 14th members would be for all sports (for conference championship game reasons. Only God knows what available school makes it worth it for them. Maybe beg Army–best available name I can think of, even if Army is putrid in football. Can’t think off-hand of any other decent school for them to look at.

          Like

          • Eric says:

            I think you have the numbers off. The American should have 12 members (11 full, 1 football only) in 2015. They had 10 this year and lose Louisville and Rutgers. Next year East Carolina, Tulane, and Tulsa join as full members. The year after that Navy joins as a football only members. That gives them 12 for football and 11 for basketball.

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            @Eric:

            You are correct. I relied on the top of the AAC’s Wikipedia page, which includes Villanova as an associate member for Women’s Rowing.

            A perk of having 11 MBB teams is they can, if they desire, squeeze in a full round-robin schedule of 20 games.

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  16. Wainscott says:

    Mike Slive re-ups with the SEC for the 2014-2015 academic year.

    http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2014/03/mike_slive_will_return_as_sec.html#incart_river

    Didn’t realize he’s 73. Wonder who is on the short list to replace him once he retires. Big shoes to fill, that’s for sure.

    Like

  17. whodoes says:

    It is fair to wonder about the NBA drafting kids too early, but I don’t think you give the NBA enough credit for being able to adjust. The more that NBA gets burnt drafting high school kids, the more they’ll change their ways. There really wasn’t any time for the NBA to adjust from their high school drafting craze before the rules changed. There ultimately were enough busts, however, that eventually the pendulum would have swung differently – some freaks would still get drafted, but most high school prospects would get dinged as high risk prospects. In other words, the NBA draft market would correct itself.

    With one-and-done’s, the NBA mitigates a lot of that risk because they get to see the prospects up against much better and more physically developed competition for that year in college. It only takes a year for them to get the prime scouting benefit they want. For colleges, however, that leaves them stuck with one-and-dones, which I believe hurts the quality of the game. The players that stick around for four years develop quality skill but aren’t the most talented and the talented players good enough to leave early don’t stick around long enough to hone and maximize their skill level. I like the MLB 0-or-3 rule. I’d tweak it by guaranteeing scholarships for those 3 years for players that go to college and then also perhaps after the three year expiration they are free to transfer without restriction so long as they are truly on track to graduate (if things get too out of control with transfers, just place a cap on how many transfers each school is allowed to take).

    Like

    • bullet says:

      There really wasn’t a rush to sign HS stars prior to the 90s. They saw for every Moses Malone there was a Bill Willoughby (both together on the Rockets-I always thought Willoughby would have been a star if he had college to develop). I think they would adjust and figure out who would work and who wouldn’t.

      Like

    • Wainscott says:

      The NBA did adjust by raising the minimum age for draft eligibility.

      Colleges could respond by not recruiting kids it thinks will be one and dones, but tell that to Duke (Jabari Parker) or Kansas (Wiggins). Kentucky is a cautionary tale that few coaches will internalize.

      Like

  18. dj1972D says:

    I’m still completely opposed to colleges being the NBA’s free minor leagues, purely on idealogical grounds. Universities do not exist for athletics; they exist for education and research. Big time college basketball as it exists today does nothing to further the real mission of a university, and encourages fraudulent behaviors solely for the purposes of winning (exhibit A: North Carolina’s embarrassing academic scandal…which is not an aberration; it is the norm).

    In the case of football, student-athletes are forced to attend classes and get some form of education, since they have to be there for 3 years, and most 18-19 year old bodies aren’t NFL ready. That said, the requirements for their time commitments must change as well.

    If O’Bannon wins and colleges are forced to pay S-As beyond cost-of-attendance, it’s entirely possible that university administrators/faculty conduct a full-scale revolt and attempt to take schools back from athletics, especially with the business model completely destroyed by O’Bannon and/or unionization. Call me an education snob, I’m fine with that; but many of those kids don’t belong in college for one day, let alone 2-3 years.

    Like

    • morganwick says:

      What would you do instead, and what do you think would happen if a revolt on the scale you describe would happen? As it stands the teams that make up the NBA’s de-facto developmental system have sold their naming rights for a fanbase, and it’s hard to see how whatever developmental system rises in its place would get that sort of fanbase that could sustain reasonable salaries, large TV contracts, and brand-boosting effects without the at-least-nominal connection to a school’s alma mater.

      Like

      • dj1972 says:

        That’s on the NBA, not the NCAA or the individual schools. The NBA has put the schools in this situation by unilaterally imposing their age limit, and the universities came back and essentially eliminated big time college basketball as we currently know it, the NBA then has to decide how it wants to develop its future talent. Does it expand and further invest in the D-League? Does it partner with international leagues, such as the European domestics (many of whom do pretty well financially)? Could it be a combination of the two? That’s for people much smarter than I to figure out. But they better plan for a fundamental change or elimination of the current college model, because it could happen. I may be in a very small minority, but I hope it does.

        Like

        • morganwick says:

          I don’t think college basketball will ever be destroyed entirely, certainly not at places like Duke, North Carolina, Kansas, or Kentucky, but I do think there might be more of an effort to put the “college” back in “college basketball”. The question then becomes how anything else can compete with it so that college basketball doesn’t go through the whole thing over again.

          Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      I’m still completely opposed to colleges being the NBA’s free minor leagues, purely on ideological grounds.

      Even assuming you’re right, how do you prevent it? And I am not convinced you’re right. For the few who actually make it big as professional athletes, they earn a lot more money than I do. It’s not bad work, if you can get it. If I had had the talent, I might have done the same thing.

      Universities do not exist for athletics; they exist for education and research. Big time college basketball as it exists today does nothing to further the real mission of a university…

      The universities themselves seem to disagree with you.

      and encourages fraudulent behaviors solely for the purposes of winning (exhibit A: North Carolina’s embarrassing academic scandal…which is not an aberration; it is the norm).

      Where is the evidence that North Carolina’s academic scandal “is the norm”?

      In the case of football, student-athletes are forced to attend classes and get some form of education, since they have to be there for 3 years, and most 18-19 year old bodies aren’t NFL ready.

      This is true, but it’s not because of anything the universities did. If the NFL wanted to draft 18- and 19-year-olds, they would, and the colleges would be powerless to stop it.

      If O’Bannon wins and colleges are forced to pay S-As beyond cost-of-attendance, it’s entirely possible that university administrators/faculty conduct a full-scale revolt and attempt to take schools back from athletics, especially with the business model completely destroyed by O’Bannon and/or unionization.

      Even if O’Bannon wins, it wouldn’t “completely destroy” the business model. Colleges clearly want to have athletic departments; I should think this was obvious. O’Bannon wants S-A’s to receive better pay, but not to the extent that it makes athletics unsustainable, because in that case they’d get nothing. The athletes want to reform the system, not to destroy it. There clearly are middle grounds that allow athletics to continue to exist, while the S-A’s would get more than they are now getting.

      Call me an education snob, I’m fine with that; but many of those kids don’t belong in college for one day, let alone 2-3 years.

      I would not mind tightening the academic eligibility requirements. But I have no issues if a kid who legitimately qualifies at Michigan or Stanford decides to turn pro before his college education is completed. If that’s what the kid wants, then good for him.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      dj1972D,

      “Big time college basketball as it exists today does nothing to further the real mission of a university,”

      Many presidents disagree. They consider it great publicity for the school, helping them recruit students from out of state especially.

      “and encourages fraudulent behaviors solely for the purposes of winning (exhibit A: North Carolina’s embarrassing academic scandal…which is not an aberration; it is the norm).”

      And your proof that UNC is the norm?

      “That said, the requirements for their time commitments must change as well.”

      Why? People with families and jobs attend college full time. Why can’t an athlete manage it, especially with all the help they have access to? Athletes in general have better grades than non-athletes.

      Like

  19. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    GEAUX Tigers!

    Like

  20. cutter says:

    Congrats to the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Champion Michigan Wolverine!

    Go Blue!

    Like

  21. Wainscott says:

    As an aside, the best I can come up with for Baseball’s eligibility rules is congressional hearings and threatened investigations/anti-trust exemption revocation in the 1960’s of football and baseball for signing amateur players before eligibility expired, angering senators from states where amateur/collegiate athletics was the main attraction or very popular.

    (Football’s rule didn’t change until the late 80’s)

    See: http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive/pdf?res=FA0B14FB3F5812738DDDA80B94D9405B858AF1D3

    Article: “Pro Sports Face Senators Wrath” January 31, 1965.

    Like

  22. Wainscott says:

    Continued from the last thread, the Bills will not be playing in Toronto in 2014.

    http://www.buffalorumblings.com/buffalo-bills-news/2014/3/5/5473068/bills-toronto-series-no-game-2014-rumors

    Like

  23. Rick says:

    Go B1G Red

    Like

  24. bullet says:

    I don’t know if you can blame the 90s on the one and dones. In the early 80s, the colleges had made mugging (i.e. the John Thompson Georgetown defenses) no longer a foul. The coaches hadn’t caught up with how to manage a game with no fouls called. Outside shooting in the NBA was awful. Zones were illegal, but always played, leading to a lot of one man games to expose the zones and a lot of ugly play. And even with the zones, they couldn’t stop Hakeem or Michael and the Bulls and Rockets dominated the decade. Even the centers were trying to be athletic superstars, meaning fundamentals were terrible.

    The improvements on defense have forced more emphasis on outside shooting. And that has opened up the game in the middle.

    A 20 year old rule is interesting. It would create a little more consistency in college, but wouldn’t be fair to the ones ready to go and would result in more players paying lip service to school. Some of these guys have no business in college. Others have no interest.

    Colleges can’t force the NBA to do anything. But they can control the schools. They should adjust the APR formula to limit the one and dones. If they want to force them to JC or pros, they can count them against the APR. If they simply want to control overuse (Calipari), allow one exception against the APR a year for Freshman and Sophomores. At present, if they leave in good standing, they don’t hurt you on the APR. The rule could be changed to consider it a dropout unless they go to another school or they are at least a junior.

    Like

    • urbanleftbehind says:

      I think a temporary compromise for whichever players get denied draft eligiblilty in the exact year a 20-year old age/2 years of college minimum is implemented would be a 1-draft relaxation of the Larry Bird rule for those that just completed the freshman season (he was selected by the Celtics in 1978, not 1979, but did not inform the team that he intended to play another season in college). In other words, let them be drafted based on their freshman year body-of-work, but with a sub-rookie minimum salary held in trust for one calendar year.

      Like

  25. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Carryover from the last thread. More SECN/Dish news.

    http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2014/03/sec_network_moves_launch_date.html

    “The SEC Network has moved up its launch date by one week to Aug. 14 in part due to the Dish Network, which this week became the channel’s largest distributor, ESPN senior vice president of programming Justin Connolly said today.

    “I think we looked at it as an opportunity both in consultation with Dish and then generally speaking to provide a little bit longer window of time for consumers and fans who may be making a decision in terms of provider,” said Connolly, who oversees the SEC Network.”

    “When the Big Ten Network launched in 2007, it did not add Dish until the first week of September after Appalachian State’s famous upset of Michigan, which was aired on the channel. The Big Ten Network was the first of its kind among major college conferences and opened some doors in the industry for distribution.

    After adding Dish, the Big Ten Network — jointly owned between Fox and the Big Ten — had 16 million subscribers in September 2007. The SEC Network, which is reportedly owned entirely by ESPN, is now in about 20 million homes between Dish and AT&T U-verse. ESPN has set a goal of 75 million households for the SEC Network.”

    Like

    • Richard says:

      Hmm. The BTN number sounded wrong as the BTN was carried by DirecTV from the get-go and had AT&T U-Verse and Verizon FIOS signed up either right from the start or very soon after, and sure enough, from http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Daily/Issues/2007/09/Issue-239/Sports-Media/Big-Ten-Network-Inks-Carriage-Agreement-With-Dish-Network.aspx:

      After Dish signed the deal with the BTN on Sept 7th, 2007, “EchoStar’s deal gives the network full satellite distribution, as DirecTV already carries the net. The BTN will now be in about 28 million homes.”

      Interesting tidbit from that article:
      “Vinciquerra also dismissed fears that the BTN’s success would cause all the other college conferences to launch their own channels. “There are only two others that could potentially do their own channel-the SEC and the Big 12″”

      Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        “There are only two others that could potentially do their own channel-the SEC and the Big 12″”

        Huh. And neither are. ESPN is doing a channel featuring combined SEC content, and the B12 is doing the divided…we…stand thing? Each school doing their own tier 3 contract with/on someone else’s channel.

        Like

  26. Wainscott says:

    8 man referee crews approved for use by the NCAA Rules Committee, up to individual conferences whether to add to the existing 7 man crew.

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/writer/jeremy-fowler/24466393/ncaa-to-allow-widespread-usage-of-eight-man-officiating-crews

    Like

  27. Wainscott says:

    Bob Knight is, predictably, not a big fan of Cuban’s idea.

    http://1045theteam.com/knight-voices-displeasure-with-nba/

    Like

  28. Craig Z says:

    Go Bucks

    Like

  29. Wainscott says:

    Lloyd Carr still peeved at sharing the 1997 national title with UNL.

    http://www.mlive.com/wolverines/index.ssf/2014/03/ex-michigan_coach_lloyd_carr_s.html

    Like

  30. Wainscott says:

    @Frank:

    You see this, a lawsuit by a former WVU player against the NCAA and conferences claiming they artificially depress the value of scholarships below market value?

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304732804579421612946817716?mod=WSJ_hpp_sections_sports&mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702304732804579421612946817716.html%3Fmod%3DWSJ_hpp_sections_sports

    (If you don’t subscribe to the WSJ, copy the headline and paste it into Google, then click on the link to read it in full)

    Article:

    NCAA, Conferences Sued by Ex-Player Alleges That Scholarship Value Is Illegally Capped

    By RACHEL BACHMAN

    Updated March 5, 2014 6:50 p.m. ET

    A former West Virginia football player is suing the NCAA and five leading conferences, alleging that college sports’ governing body and member schools cap the value of football players’ athletic scholarships in violation of federal antitrust law.

    The suit, brought by ex-Mountaineers running back Shawne Alston, seeks class-action status, which would include major-college football players who played on teams in the power conferences and received a full scholarship in the last four years. The court filing, dated Wednesday, defines the power conferences as the Atlantic Coast, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and Southeastern.

    The suit alleges that the NCAA and those conferences have agreed to cap the value of a scholarship, which is “often several thousand dollars below the actual cost of attending a school.” The value also is less than what a player would receive in a competitive market, the filing says.

    The suit seeks an injunction enjoining the NCAA and the power-conference defendants from continuing to follow the NCAA bylaw that limits financial aid to the NCAA-defined scholarship, or “grant-in-aid.” It also seeks damages for the difference between the grants-in-aid awarded and the actual cost of attending school.

    The cost of attendance is a figure that the NCAA defines as “an amount calculated by an institutional financial-aid office, using federal regulations, that includes the total cost of tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, transportation and other expenses related to attendance at the institution.”

    The ACC, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC declined to comment. Alston was unavailable, according to Steve Berman, the lead attorney on the case.

    Donald Remy, the NCAA’s chief legal officer, said association officials “just received a copy of the complaint and are evaluating it as it relates to similar cases filed by the very same plaintiffs’ counsel.” The law firm on the case, Hagens Berman, is involved in six other NCAA-related lawsuits, according to its website.

    The scholarship case is separate from the four-year-old class-action suit against the NCAA originated by former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon. That case seeks a portion of licensing and television-rights revenue for major-college football and men’s basketball players, and is scheduled for a June trial, although the judge in the case has ordered settlement talks.

    Public criticism of college sports has increased as the NCAA and associated conferences have negotiated billion-dollar, multiyear deals for TV rights and head football coaches are paid millions while NCAA rules limit player compensation primarily to an athletic scholarship.

    The cost of attendance for Alston’s senior year of 2012-13 for a full-time, nonresident, off-campus student was approximately $34,561, according to the filing, which cites information from West Virginia. The filing says that scholarship money Alston received “was substantially less than the full cost of attendance,” and that he took out $5,500 in federal loans to “help bridge this gap.”

    The filing said Alston graduated from West Virginia and signed a free-agent contract with the New Orleans Saints. Alston was released in June 2013, retired from football and is in graduate school pursuing a Master’s of business administration, according to the filing.

    NCAA member schools have tried for several years to pass legislation that would allow schools to provide each athlete with a $2,000 stipend to help plug the cost-of-attendance gap. The power-conference schools generally support a stipend, but it so far has been rejected by lower-earning schools concerned that it would burden them financially.

    Berman said that even if the stipends were enacted, “I think that it may be unsatisfactory to have a broad rule that applies to everyone. There should be competition between the power conferences. They compete for television rights; they compete among each other. There should be a competition for players.”

    Like

  31. mushroomgod says:

    Thought it might be fun to look at everyone’s “ideal” conference set-up, if we could start all over. Here is mine, with the following caveats…..TV skews everything, so my ideal conferences would not be dictated by TV. I realize that makes them completely unrealistic. All other factors are in play–ie..regions, rivalries, history, academics, enrollments…….

    One other rule-must be an even # between 10 and 14 in each conference.

    Big East 12-U Conn; WVU; Rutgers; Temple; PSU; Pitt; E.Carolina; Maryland; Syracuse; BC; U Mass; Buffalo. Comments: OK, Buffalo and U Mass are reaches…..but both have substantial enrollments and are pretty decent academically….

    ACC 10-Duke: NC; NC State; Wake; Virginia; Virginia Tech; Miami; UCF; USF; G. Tech. Gotta have a southern alternative to SEC football, plus the NC schools want to play together….crappy league but I feel that MD belongs with PSU and in the East, and FSU, Clemson, and SC are SEC schools.

    Midwest 14-OSU; Cincy; IU; Purdue; UM; MSU; Illinois; NW; Iowa; Wisconsin; Missouri; Nebraska; Kansas; Notre Dame. Comments: Cincy is added because its kind of silly that there is only 1 Big 10 school in a state the size of Ohio…large enrollment, decent academics

    Southwestern 14-Houston: Memphis; Baylor; KSU; ISU; Oklahoma; Okie St; Arkansas; Texas; Texas T.; Texas A&M; BYU; Utah St.; New Mexico. ISU, KSU may not like it but someone has to be Texas’ bitch.

    PAC 14-AZ; ASU; USC;UCLA:Washington; WSU;Utah; Colorado; Col. St.; Stanford; Cal; Oregon; OSU; San Diego St.. Comments: Col. State is relatively large and definately has a PAC 12 “vibe”…plus another pot smoking school. SD State is a little bit of a reach to get to 14, but not completely unreasonable.

    SEC 14-Florida;FSU;Clemson;S.Carolina; BAMA; Auborn; Miss; Miss St.; Vandy; Tenn; LSU; UK; UoL; Georgia. Comments: SC, Clemson, and FSU look like SEC schools.

    Left out: SMU, TCU, and Rice are too small; UTEP; FIU (tough because of 51000 enrollment); NM State

    Like

    • mushroomgod says:

      Opps, left out Minnesota.

      Add them to MW 14, and ship ND to the ACC….ND really is a pretty good istitutional fit with Duke, Wake, Miami, GT, Virginia

      Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      “Thought it might be fun to look at everyone’s “ideal” conference set-up, if we could start all over.”

      No thanks. It’s difficult enough to work out a few addition to existing conferences. And we know at least something of their history and what makes a school (not just its FB team) attractive or not – a sort of base line. If we erase history any arrangement is viable and personal opinion is all the justification necessary. If we don’t ignore history then we probably will arrive close to what exists now, assuming we use the logic that has driven current/recent realignment, and would be engaged in what this blog already is doing.

      Like

    • vp19 says:

      Your “Big East” would make the ACC look like the SEC in comparison. From College Park, no thanks.

      Like

      • mushroomgod says:

        OK…….we’ll give you guys ND……and you can drop wither U Mass or Buffalo.

        ACC wouyldn’t care anyway if it wasn’t for TV $,…. as long as UNC, Duke, Wake and NC Sta\te got to play each other in bball all the time……

        Like

    • Andy says:

      OK, mushroom, I’ll play, just for fun:

      To start out with, I’d put an 8 school minimum and 12 school maximum limit on conferences.

      I’d go with:

      Pac 10: UCLA, USC, Stanford, Cal, Oregon, Oregon State, Washington, Washington State, Arizona, Arizona State (no divisions, round robin schedule)

      Southwest 12: Cowboys Division: Arkansas, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Baylor, Kansas State / Indians Division: BYU, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Iowa State

      Southeastern 12: East Division: Florida, Florida State, Miami, Georgia, Georgia Tech, South Carolina / West Division: LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Alabama, Auburn, Clemson

      Atlantic Coast 12: North Division: Maryland, Rutgers, Boston College, UConn, West Virginia, Louisville / South Division: North Carolina, North Carolina State, Duke, Wake Forest, Virginia, Virginia Tech

      Great Lakes 10: Syracuse, Penn State, Pitt, Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue, Northwestern, Minnesota, Wisconsin (no divisions, round robin schedule)

      Mid-America 10: Notre Dame, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas (no divisions, round robin schedule)

      Like

      • mushroomgod says:

        From IU’s perspective, there’s a real divide that would make it difficult for us to have anything to do with UoL or UK………I really hate both of those schools. As an IU fan, if I could only have 10, I’d go with IU, Purdue, ND, OSU,,UM, MSU ILL, NW, Wisky and MO. 11th would be Cincy……That “sporting “space” takes in the Reds, Indians, Tigers, Cubs,Sox, and Cardinals…or to put it another way, the Bengals, Browns,Lions, Bears, and Packers. Thats’ kinda the center of out sproting universe.

        Like

        • Andy says:

          I was just trying to split up those 20 schools into some sort of logical divide, so I put 10 into the Lakes Conference, and the other 10 that were farther away from the lakes.

          I suppose if I could ignore everything else and just pick 10 from a Missouri perspective, to maximize Missouri fan interest, athletic competitiveness, and academic prestige I’d go with

          Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Notre Dame, Northwestern, Vanderbilt

          Like

      • bullet says:

        I thought things were set up pretty well 3 years ago.
        I’d have the SEC like it was. The ACC like they were except replace BC with Temple. Big 12 like it was but replace Colorado with Louisville. Pac 12 like it is today. Big 10 like it was with Notre Dame as #12. Big East-BC, SU, Pitt, UCF, USF, Cincinnati, ECU, WVU, UConn, UMass, ODU, Rutgers. MAC-their current 12 full time members. MWC-Hawaii, SDSU, Fresno, UNLV, Nevada, Boise, BYU, WY, CSU, Air Force, UNM, SJSU. SWC-Tulsa, SMU, Rice, UH, Tulane, UNT, Memphis, UTSA, TCU, UTEP, Army, Navy. That would leave:
        Marshall, UNCC, FAU, FIU, MTSU, WKU, So. Miss, La Tech, UAB (current CUSA) + Ark St., ULL, ULM for a CUSA. And the orphans would be Idaho, NMSU, Troy, S. Alabama, Texas St., ULM, Ga. St., Ga. Southern, Appalachian St. in the Sun Belt.

        Like

    • Wainscott says:

      I’d revert to the conferences as they were in the early 1960’s, making changes based upon the rise of modern teams, creating Paterno’s long-sought Eastern Sports Conference. & demise of Big 8 (not room for both SWC and Big 8). Emphasis on historical rivalries & geography but also some present-day preferences (ie, UND wanting more eastern exposure). Max conference size: 14 teams, with 13 game NCAA season, 10 conference games.

      By early 1960’s, this keeps GT and Tulane in the SEC, USC in the ACC. Add Miami & FSU to the ACC,

      ACC:
      Duke, UNC, NCSU, WF, USC, Clem, FSU, UM, UVa, Va Tech, L’Ville, Cincy

      SEC:
      UF, Ala, AU, LSU, Tulane, Miss St, Ole Miss, UK, Tenn, GT, UGA, Vandy

      SWC:
      Texas, A&M, Baylor, Rice, TCU, UH, Tech, SMU, Ark, New Mexico, Okla, Ok State, Colo, Kansas St.

      Big Ten:
      UM, OSU, MSU, Ill, IU, PU, NWU, Wisc, Minn, Iowa, UNL, ISU, KU, Mizzou

      Pac:
      WSU, UW, OSU, OU, Stan, Cal, UCLA, USC, Ariz, Az State, UNLV, Nevada, Montana, Idaho (the last 2 as former members of the PCC).

      Mountain Conf::
      BYU, Utah, Wyoming, NMSU, Boise St., Air Force, Colo St, SDSU, Fresno, San Jose St, Hawaii, Utah St.

      Eastern Conf:
      PSU, RU, Pitt, Temple, WVU, Syracuse, BC, UConn, UMass, UMD, Notre Dame, Delaware, Army, Navy.

      C-USA:
      Memphis, UCF, USF, East Carolina, Marshall, Tulsa, FIU, FAU, UTEP, UTSA, La Tech, Southern Miss.

      MAC:
      Akron, BGSU, Miami, Ohio, Buffalo, Kent, Ball, CMU, EMU, NIU, Toledo, WMU, Southern Ill, Northern Iowa.

      Sun Belt:
      The rest (UAB, Troy, MTSU, WKU, ULL, ULM, Ark St, Texas St, South Ala, Georgia Southern, North Texas, UNC Charlotte)

      Probably left a few out.

      Like

      • urbanleftbehind says:

        Idaho in the PAC ahead of Boise State proves that BSU would have a difficult time upgrading conferences. At least at this time Idaho and Idaho State as 1st and 2nd flagships have not distinguished themselves on the field/court nor the lab/lecture hall. Given that Idaho is always full-on white or natural disaster flight (from California) from having a sudden large population infusion, there is still time for the state higher educational organs to re-orient themselves toward making the Boise campus the flagship institution worthy of inculsion in a P5 conference.

        The Boise situation is similar to a upcoming Wichita State dilemna, a third rank public school in a sparsely populated “speed-starved” state, except WSU has it worse as the third rank school behind two current BigXII members. Outside of the MVC, WSU may have to wait on a critical mass of Heartland or Mid-South great basketball/shieyety football schools to drop football entirely.

        Like

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        I’d revert to the conferences as they were in the early 1960′s, making changes based upon the rise of modern teams…

        If you’re going to account for teams that have risen, you have to account for those that have fallen. Army and Navy don’t belong (any more) in a conference with the likes of Notre Dame, Pitt, Syracuse, and West Virginia.

        Like

        • ccrider55 says:

          What’s Navy’s record head to head vs ND in FB the last 5 or 6 years?

          Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            Between 2007-2010, Navy won 3 out of 4 vs. the Irish, but that’s against 37 losses in the last 40 years.

            Except for Notre Dame, Navy’s schedule generally includes no more than 1-2 teams from the P5 leagues. With a steady diet of those opponents, they’d get slaughtered.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            That should have been 47 losses in the last 50 years.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            So now is the time they should be “relegated”?

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            Remember, these are imaginary conferences.

            Like

        • Wainscott says:

          They’ve certainly fallen from their glory days, but Navy has put together a decent program that has some good P5 wins. In an Eastern Conf as formulated in my post, it could still be a consistent .500 conference team. Navy could hang with the Umass, Delaware, Rutgers, UConn and temple crowd very easily.

          Army is a dreadful program now, but has the potential to be what Navy has now become. Certainly, neither will ever regain anything close to their past glory days, but even Army could be .500 in that fake Eastern Conf.

          Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            The best measure of where these schools see themselves is in their behavior.

            ND, RU, Pitt, WVU, Syracuse, and BC, were all in a conference somewhat similar to the conference you’re suggesting, and they all left. The only reason UConn didn’t leave, is that they couldn’t. Army had the chance to join, and declined.

            I’ve no idea where you get Delaware from, since they’re not even FBS.

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            I think having PSU and Maryland would have made the conference more stable and Delaware is a program I think could pull off a move to FBS if it wanted to. Very successful FCS program in the regional Philly market.

            Army and Navy are only in because the exercise allows me to dream. Army would never again join a conference and nobody wants Navy in anything other than football.

            Like

    • Brian says:

      mushroomgod,

      “Thought it might be fun to look at everyone’s “ideal” conference set-up, if we could start all over. Here is mine, with the following caveats…..TV skews everything, so my ideal conferences would not be dictated by TV. I realize that makes them completely unrealistic. All other factors are in play–ie..regions, rivalries, history, academics, enrollments…….”

      Shouldn’t those basically be the conferences as of the mid-80s when the SC decision began the major growth of TV money?

      “One other rule-must be an even # between 10 and 14 in each conference.”

      Why add this arbitrary constraint? I liked the old Big 8. Besides, 9 members means a full round robin is easy.

      The hard part of this exercise for me is always the starting point. But ignoring reality:

      Independents = ND, PSU, FSU, Miami, Army, Navy
      Big Ten = OSU, MI, MSU, IN, PU, NW, IL, WI, MN, IA
      Big 8 = NE, ISU, MO, KU, KSU, OU, OkSU, CO
      Pac-10 = UW, WSU, OR, OrSU, Stanford, Cal, USC, UCLA, AZ, ASU
      SWC = UT, TT, TAMU, Baylor, TCU, SMU, UH, Rice, AR
      SEC = LSU, MS, MsSU, AL, AU, TN, UK, UGA, UF, Vandy
      ACC = GT, Clemson, SC, UNC, Duke, NCSU, WF, UMD, UVA, VT
      BE = Pitt, UL, WV, RU, UConn, BC, SU, UC

      The lesser leagues work by region, too (WAC, CUSA, MAC, SB)

      Like

  32. Wainscott says:

    Emory follows up on its stupid study on the best fans in college football with an even dumber study on which NFL market would be most receptive to having Michael Sam on the home team.

    http://tracking.si.com/2014/03/06/michael-sam-study-new-york-receptive/?eref=sihp

    The methodology is truly insane (analyzing tweets!), and Emory should quit while its behind and just shut down this sports marketing analytics program.

    Like

  33. vp19 says:

    Mark Emmert had a brief Q&A with the University of Maryland student newspaper, the Diamondback (where I once was sports editor): http://www.diamondbackonline.com/sports/article_8454ee04-a49b-11e3-bd37-0017a43b2370.html

    Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      “We’re trying to find a model that would allow the five big-budget conferences [ACC, Big Ten, SEC, Pac-12, Big 12] to make some of those decisions on their own without having to have the 27 other conferences involved.”

      Sounds like the possible new subdivision would be only the big five, not all FBS?

      Like

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        We’re trying to find a model that would allow the five big-budget conferences [ACC, Big Ten, SEC, Pac-12, Big 12] to make some of those decisions on their own without having to have the 27 other conferences involved.

        “We’re trying to find a model that gives the five big-budget conferences enough of what they want so that they won’t form a new division or leave the NCAA altogether.”

        There. Fixed it for him.

        Like

        • ccrider55 says:

          Ok, subdivision. It will be a set of ruler for just them. Is that not differentiating from the rest? Or is black actually white, up actually down, etc?

          Like

      • BruceMcF says:

        Indeed, the “trying to find a model” wouldn’t fit splitting off as a new division, since that model already exists. And note that the focus is not on the FBS but on Division1 as a whole … there is nothing there that rules out the “model” that they are working on involving greater autonomy to the three subdivisions in Division 1 on the matters of most interest to the P5 … though along with greater FBS autonomy, they would also want weighted voting on FBS level matters.

        Like

  34. ccrider55 says:

    Just watched a women’s game on P12N where both teams reached the century mark. Quite a change in the last half century.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Actually the opposite has been the trend. In the 70s and 80s, the women didn’t know how to play defense. That’s been the biggest change.

      Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        So those nearly scoreless quarters and 25-30 ppg averages I recall were imaginary? Girls who couldn’t hit the ocean from the end of the pier as starters? Granted, Westhead was the reason for this high score, but usually decades ago a team capable of high scoring was very unlikely to be matched in athletic ability very often. Now it’s fairly common. That’s what I meant by change – the dramatically more developed athleticism, and especially the depth of same across the country. Remember when 11 of 12 (or whatever the roster was) USA women’s Olympians were from Iowa high schools? And that wasn’t a tremendous long time ago (I believe in ’84 or ’88). What are the odds that would happen today?

        Like

        • urbanleftbehind says:

          WBB has been moving in the opposite direction of MBB in that there are less mid-major powerhouses e.g Louisiana Tech, Western Kentucky and Cheyney State now than in the 1980s and 1990s.

          Like

        • bullet says:

          When did college women have quarters?

          There are better shooters. Maybe that’s why they play defense now. In those days a good shooter was unopposed.

          Like

          • vp19 says:

            Women began playing 20-minute halves in the mid-’70s.

            The major problem with women’s hoops — and this is coming from someone who’s liked the sport for some time — remains the relative competitive imbalance. If Connecticut or Notre Dame doesn’t win the NCAA title (and goes undefeated in the process), it will be a huge surprise. Upsets, alas, are minimal in women’s b’ball; whether it’s because most of the top recruits prefer the comfort of playing for the handful of usual suspects or that many schools pay mere lip service to fielding a nationally prominent program is hard to say.

            Like

          • Arch Stanton says:

            Another reason that a handful of teams dominate NCAA WBB is that women mature sooner so that makes recruiting easier for power programs with the name recognition and resources. Also, all the very best players are going to be there for four years, further enhancing the advantage that recruiting gives them.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            vp19:

            Upsets may be less common, but they do happen. Stanford bit it in the PAC semi’s last night.

            Arch’s point has merit. The women’s game may resemble what the men’s was like before the early exodus to the pros became large enough to destroy continuity. I think it’s the better coach’s ability to work longer with their recruits that contributes to dynasties, which then aids recruiting.

            I don’t buy that there is a fundamental difference in identifying female talent (ie. at an earlier age) In fact, with the less coverage, fewer clubs, regional allstar teams, etc. I’d say there is a higher likelihood womens talent isn’t as widely known and there is a higher percentage that can be developed after reaching college, compared to men. It’s just a matter of how many schools will invest in it.

            Like

          • Arch Stanton says:

            You’re right that it is easier to find the male talent, but there are more likely to be unheralded guys who don’t get recruited by the big schools and blossom into all-americans after signing with a mid-pack school. Not saying it happens regularly in the men’s game, just that it is more likely than on the women’s side and that contributes to the greater parity on the male side. It is not unheard of for guys to grow another 3 inches after graduating high school. That would be really unusual for the females though. Scottie Pippen is one of the more high profile examples.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            “…but there are more likely to be unheralded guys who don’t get recruited by the big schools and blossom into all-americans after signing with a mid-pack school.”

            True today, but not true if all the one and done kids stayed four years. A high percent of probable AA men aren’t there to receive that accolade leaving it to those less heralded. We kinda agree but comparing apples and oranges here. Girls less likely to start playing as early or to focus to the same extent or in the same numbers. There has to be more underdeveloped (as opposed to undiscovered) women.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            I think there’s just less depth of talent. So the top programs dominate. Plus, not everyone is putting the resources into the program, much as men’s basketball didn’t get much attention from a lot of schools in the 60s and 70s.

            Like

  35. tigertails says:

    Here’s what I would do if we could restart the current system:

    8 BCS conferences: Pacific 9, Midwest, Southwest, Big Nine, Southeastern, Atlantic Coast, Big East, American Athletic
    9 teams in each conference. 72 teams total. every team plays every team in their conference. 8 conference games.
    10 BCS games total. Play your out of conference in-state rival & someone else. If your team doesn’t have a rival or 2 rivals, make them. Host 1 FBS team & 1 FCS team for 7 home games, 5 road games. Beat those 2 cupcakes.
    Put like schools together. Geography; Private or public; Huge land grand or smaller enrollment; AAU research university or highly ranked undergrad school or glorified community college?
    Copy the NFL’s playoffs. 12 teams. 4 byes. Every conference champion hosts a playoff game. Next 4 best teams get seeds 9-12. Play Final Four & Championship Game at neutral sites.
    Put teams 13-20 in the BCS bowls. 1 from each conference. Make smart regional bowl match ups between conferences.
    Broadcast all 360 BCS vs BCS regular season games on national TV. ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX & their sports channels – ESPN, NBC/CBS Sports, FOX Sports, etc.
    Separate the 72 BCS schools from the other FBS schools. Let schools with $20 million football budgets & 20,000 fans compete for their own national championship. They work as hard as the BCS teams, they should be eligible for their own championship.
    Group them in 4 conferences of 16 teams. Have them play 9 conference games, 1 out of conference game, @ 1 BCS school & host 1 FCS school.
    Top 2 teams in each FBS conference play in conference championship game. 4 conference champions play in Final Four Playoff. Winners play for Championship Game. 15 games total.
    3rd & 4th ranked teams in each conference can play in regional low tiered bowl games vs BCS schools – Liberty, Houston, Queen, Las Vegas, Hawaii, Detroit, Military, Sun.
    5th-8th ranked teams play each other in even lower tiered bowl games. Creating a 12 team BCS playoff & a 8 team FBS playoff does get rid of a lot of the worst bowls – like the Beautiful Birmingham Bowl.

    I used Athlon’s average of last 5 recruiting classes according to 247’s composite for my recruiting rankings & I used winning percentage over the last 20 season 1994-2013 for win ranking. Both rank teams from 1-72. If a team is below 72, a FBS team is winning more or recruiting better than that team. Whoops.

    http://athlonsports.com/college-football/ranking-college-footballs-rosters-2014

    http://football.stassen.com/records/

    http://fs.ncaa.org/Docs/stats/football_records/Attendance/2013.pdf

    http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges

    http://www.aau.edu/about/article.aspx?id=5476

    I counted Cuse & Nebraska as AAU since it’s such an exclusive list.

    Alright, let’s get started!

    SEC. Southeastern. HQ Birmingham, AL.

    #6. US News rank #103 (average)
    #6. Undergrads 23,200 students (average)
    #7. AAU. 1 school (Florida)
    #1. 2013 attendance. 83,500 per home game (average)
    #1. Past 5 years 247 composite recruiting. Average class #14
    #2. Rank wins past 20 years. Average team #26. 7.8 wins per team per year
    #2. Oldest conference. Average join year 1940 (1933 for everyone except USC in 1992)
    #3. Most compact. 1790 miles to drive to all schools (199 miles between schools)

    School – #rank wins past 20 years / #247 composite rank past 5 years ….. (out of conference game 9, & 10)

    Florida – #2 wins / #2 recruiting ….. (Florida State, Miami)
    Georgia – #11 wins / #8 recruiting ….. (Georgia Tech, Clemson)
    South Carolina – #40 wins / #18 recruiting ….. (Clemson, Virginia)
    Tennessee – #20 wins / #13 recruiting ….. (Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech)
    Alabama – #23 wins / #1 recruiting ….. (Texas A&M, Virginia Tech)
    Auburn – #15 wins / #8 recruiting ….. (Arkansas, Virginia)
    Mississippi – #51 wins / #22 recruiting ….. (Memphis, Central Florida)
    Mississippi State – #58 wins / #29 recruiting ….. (Memphis, South Florida)
    Louisiana State – #10 wins / #4 recruiting ….. (Texas A&M, Arkansas)

    Ridiculously good football conference. Mississippi schools are top 30 in recruiting & only top 60 in wins because of their schedule. I could see them not making bowl games despite a top 25 roster if they go 1-7 in conference play. This would be a lot of fun to watch without the real life, non southeastern schools watering down the product. Would love to watch SEC East teams have to play Auburn, Bama & LSU every year. Up to 5 Kings in the SEC.

    ACC. Atlantic Coast. HQ Greensboro, NC.

    #2. US News rank #57
    #5. Undergrads 23,600 students
    #4. AAU. 5 schools (Ga Tech, UNC, UVA, Maryland, Penn St)
    #3. 2013 attendance. 62,200 per home game
    #3. Past 5 years 247 composite recruiting. Average class #32
    #2. Rank wins past 20 years. Average team #31. 7.4 wins per team per year
    #6. Oldest conference. Average join year 1973
    #1. Most compact. 1390 miles to drive to all schools (155 miles between schools)

    School – #rank wins past 20 years / #247 composite rank past 5 years ….. (out of conference game 9, & 10)

    Florida State – #7 wins / #2 recruiting ….. (Florida, Miami)
    Georgia Tech – #30 wins / #52 recruiting ….. (Georgia, Vanderbilt)
    Clemson – #27 wins / #17 recruiting ….. (South Carolina, Georgia)
    North Carolina – #57 wins / #26 recruiting ….. (Duke, Wake Forest)
    NC State – #45 wins / #50 recruiting ….. (Duke, Wake Forest)
    Virginia Tech – #4 wins / #24 recruiting ….. (Tennessee, Alabama)
    Virginia – #41 wins / #35 recruiting ….. (South Carolina, Auburn)
    Maryland – #55 wins / #44 recruiting ….. (West Virginia, Michigan State)
    Penn State – #17 wins / #27 recruiting ….. (Pittsburgh, Ohio State)

    Dumping the deadweight private schools is a boon to the ACC (Duke, Wake, Cuse, BC). By adding Penn State & cutting the fat, ACC jumps up to 3rd best football conference (although I like PAC maybe more). ACC is also elite academicallly – top 4 in every category except conference age & undergrad size. Does Penn State identify more with ACC, BIG or BE? Tough choice. Maryland & Virginia are close & they can play Pitt, Ohio State & Temple out of conference. ACC would replace Penn State w/ Rutgers & Kentucky would go to AAC if Penn State wants to be a midwest school.

    SWC. Southwest. HQ Dallas, TX.

    #7. US News rank #110
    #2. Undergrads 30,300 students
    #6. AAU. 3 schools (Texas, A&M, Arizona)
    #3. 2013 attendance. 67,300 per home game
    #2. Past 5 years 247 composite recruiting. Average class #27
    #3. Rank wins past 20 years. Average team #33. 7.2 wins per team per year
    #4. Oldest conference. Average join year 1956 (original SWC would be 100 years old in 2014)
    #6. Most compact. 1855 miles to drive to all schools (206 miles between schools)

    School – #rank wins past 20 years / #247 composite rank past 5 years ….. (out of conference game 9, & 10)

    Arkansas – #37 wins / #25 recruiting ….. (LSU, Auburn)
    Oklahoma – #8 wins / #10 recruiting ….. (Nebraska, Kansas)
    Oklahoma State – #33 wins / #27 recruiting ….. (Nebraska, Kansas State)
    Texas – #6 wins / #7 recruiting ….. (USC, Stanford)
    Texas A&M – #28 wins / #15 recruiting ….. (LSU, Alabama)
    Baylor – #65 wins / #32 recruiting ….. (Texas Christian, Kansas)
    Texas Tech – #25 wins / #33 recruiting ….. (Texas Christian, Colorado)
    Arizona – #54 wins / #42 recruiting ….. (UCLA, California)
    Arizona State – #38 wins / #38 recruiting ….. (UCLA, California)

    2nd best football conference in the country. Texas & Oklahoma are Kings with 4 more teams around the top 25. The Arizona schools are a drive from east Texas but probably have a similar culture & Arizona schools get to play both public California schools out of conference.

    MWC. Midwest. HQ Kansas City, MO.

    #5. US News rank #97
    #4. Undergrads 23,800 students
    #2. AAU. 6 schools (everyone but K-State, Utah, BYU)
    #5. 2013 attendance. 57,000 per home game
    #7. Past 5 years 247 composite recruiting. Average class #50
    #4. Rank wins past 20 years. Average team #35. 7.1 wins per team per year
    #3. Oldest conference. Average join year 1948 (there are 6 of the old Big 8))
    #5. Most compact. 1840 miles to drive to all schools (205 miles between schools)

    School – #rank wins past 20 years / #247 composite rank past 5 years ….. (out of conference game 9, & 10)

    Iowa – #31 wins / #44 recruiting ….. (Wisconsin, Minnesota)
    Iowa State – #68 wins / #63 recruiting ….. (Wisconsin, Minnesota)
    Missouri – #38 wins / #37 recruiting ….. (Illinois, Purdue)
    Kansas – #63 wins / #57 recruiting ….. (Oklahoma, Baylor)
    Kansas State – #15 wins / #61 recruiting ….. (Oklahoma State, Oregon State)
    Nebraska – #3 wins / #23 recruiting ….. (Oklahoma, Oklahoma State)
    Colorado – #53 wins / #65 recruiting ….. (Texas Tech, Oregon)
    Utah – #22 wins / #48 recruiting ….. (Boise State, Washington)
    BYU – #18 wins / #60 recruiting ….. (Boise State, Washington State)

    A hybrid conference. 6 old Big 8 teams plus Iowa was in it a really long time ago for a couple years plus the 2 Utah schools. The northern half of the SWC. Nebraska is only king. 3 other teams are top 25 in wins but struggle big time with recruiting.

    BIG. Big Nine. HQ Chicago, IL.

    #3. US News rank #63
    #1. Undergrads 32,200 students
    #1. AAU. 8 schools (everyone but Kentucky)
    #2. 2013 attendance. 68,000 per home game
    #5. Past 5 years 247 composite recruiting. Average class #39
    #7. Rank wins past 20 years. Average team #42. 6.5 wins per team per year
    #1. Oldest conference. Average join year 1920 (all original members except for Kentucky)
    #2. Most compact. 1490 miles to drive to all schools (166 miles between schools)

    School – #rank wins past 20 years / #247 composite rank past 5 years ….. (out of conference game 9, & 10)

    Ohio State – #5 wins / #4 recruiting ….. (Penn State, Oregon)
    Michigan – #14 wins / #12 recruiting ….. (Northwestern, Washington)
    Michigan State – #35 wins / #30 recruiting ….. (Maryland, Oregon State)
    Purdue – #51 wins / #64 recruiting ….. (Missouri, Washington State)
    Indiana – #71 wins / #53 recruiting ….. (Louisville, Cincinnati)
    Kentucky – #66 wins / #36 recruiting ….. (Louisville, Cincinnati)
    Illinois – #67 wins / #56 recruiting ….. (Northwestern, Missouri)
    Wisconsin – #12 wins / #46 recruiting ….. (Iowa, Iowa State)
    Minnesota – #60 wins / #58 recruiting ….. (Iowa, Iowa State)

    Huge land grand universities across the midwest. Mostly over 30k undergrads. Huge AAU research universities. Kentucky is an outlier with 21k students, only non-AAU school & 119 is US News. I felt they fit in well geographically but Penn State is a better fit as a university with 40k undergrads, AAU & #37 US News. Also 97k fans but Kentucky is actually 4th in recruiting among Big Nine teams at 36 so wins could follow. If Penn State is in BIG, I think ACC replaces them with Rutgers & Kentucky goes to AAC with Lville & Cincy. Ohio State & Michigan are the 2 kings.

    PAC. Pacific 9. HQ Bay Area, CA.

    #4. US News rank #84 (Boise St @ Regional 65 drops conference 21 points)
    #7. Undergrads 21,500 students
    #2. AAU. 6 schools (everyone but Boise St, Oregon St, Wash St)
    #6. 2013 attendance. 53,000 per home game
    #4. Past 5 years 247 composite recruiting. Average class #33
    #5. Rank wins past 20 years. Average team #36. 7.1 wins per team per year
    #5. Oldest conference. Average join year 1966
    #4. Most compact. 1490 miles to drive to all schools (202 miles between schools)

    School – #rank wins past 20 years / #247 composite rank past 5 years ….. (out of conference game 9, & 10)

    UCLA – #35 wins / #19 recruiting ….. (Arizona, Arizona State)
    USC – #19 wins / #6 recruiting ….. (Notre Dame, Texas)
    Stanford – #44 wins / #20 recruiting ….. (Notre Dame, Texas)
    California – #59 wins / #31 recruiting ….. (Arizona, Arizona State)
    Oregon – #9 wins / #14 recruiting ….. (Ohio State, Colorado)
    Oregon State – #45 wins / #49 recruiting ….. (Michigan State, Kansas State)
    Boise State – #1 wins / #70 recruiting ….. (Utah, BYU)
    Washington – #47 wins / #21 recruiting ….. (Utah, Michigan)
    Washington State – #61 wins / #62 recruiting ….. (BYU, Purdue)

    The old PAC 8 with Boise State instead of the Arizona schools. Boise is #1 in win rating past 20 years so they played their way in & are in the PAC NW with 4 other teams. But they’re only a regional college (& still ranked 65th among West regional colleges!) so they kill the PAC’s academic prestige. I’d make them play on a green field or at least not go blue on blue! Recruiting out west is getting a ton better. 5 schools in top 21. USC is a King & Oregon maybe too?

    AAC. American Athletic. HQ Orlando, FL.

    #8. US News rank #140
    #3. Undergrads 24,100 students
    #7. AAU. 1 school (Rutgers)
    #8. 2013 attendance. 40,400 per home game
    #8. Past 5 years 247 composite recruiting. Average class #55
    #6. Rank wins past 20 years. Average team #42. 6.6 wins per team per year
    #7. Oldest conference. Average join year 2005 (Big East didn’t play full schedule until 1993)
    #2. Most compact. 1490 miles to drive to all schools (334 miles between schools)

    School – #rank wins past 20 years / #247 composite rank past 5 years ….. (out of conference game 9, & 10)

    Connecticut – #56 wins / #75 recruiting ….. (Boston College, Syracuse)
    Rutgers – #62 wins / #41 recruiting ….. (Boston College, Syracuse)
    West Virginia – #24 wins / #34 recruiting ….. (Pittsburgh, Maryland)
    Cincinnati – #33 wins / #55 recruiting ….. (Kentucky, Indiana)
    Louisville – #26 wins / #40 recruiting ….. (Kentucky, Indiana)
    Memphis – #69 wins / #77 recruiting ….. (Mississippi, Mississippi State)
    Texas Christian – #21 wins / #39 recruiting ….. (Baylor, Texas Tech)
    Central Florida – #42 wins / #71 recruiting ….. (Mississippi)
    South Florida – #43 wins / #51 recruiting ….. (Mississippi State)

    Last in attendance, recruiting & US News ranking. I would have named this the Metro Conference until AAC was invited last year. Only West Va is not in a big market. Only TCU is private. Everyone else is a huge commuter school in an urban setting. Definitely new money. No elite teams. West Va, TCU & Lville can say they’re hovering around the top 25.

    BE. Big East. HQ New York, NY.

    #1. US News rank #31
    #8. Undergrads 9,800 students
    #4. AAU. 5 schools (Cuse, Pitt, NWern, Vandy, Duke)
    #7. 2013 attendance. 42,800 per home game
    #6. Past 5 years 247 composite recruiting. Average class #47
    #8. Rank wins past 20 years. Average team #47. 6.0 wins per team per year
    #8. Oldest conference. Average join year 1999 (used year joined ACC since 7/9 are in ACC)
    #7 Most compact. 2975 miles to drive to all schools (331 miles between schools)

    School – #rank wins past 20 years / #247 composite rank past 5 years ….. (out of conference game 9, & 10)

    Boston College – #32 wins / #59 recruiting ….. (Connecticut, Rutgers)
    Syracuse – #47 wins / #67 recruiting ….. (Connecticut, Rutgers)
    Pittsburgh – #47 wins / #42 recruiting ….. (Penn State, West Virginia)
    Notre Dame – #29 wins / #10 recruiting ….. (USC, Stanford, Navy)
    Northwestern – #47 wins / #54 recruiting ….. (Illinois, Michigan)
    Vanderbilt – #70 wins / #47 recruiting ….. (Tennessee, Georgia Tech)
    Wake Forest – #63 wins / #69 recruiting ….. (North Carolina, NC State)
    Duke – #72 wins / #68 recruiting ….. (North Carolina, NC State)
    Miami – #13 wins / #16 recruiting ….. (Florida, Florida State)

    All private schools. Pitt is semi-private. Historically private but now accepts some money from the state. This conference is much better at academics than football but Miami & Notre Dame can be elite. I could have put TCU here instead of Pitt but think Pitt is more at home in this eastern conference.

    Playoffs

    12 teams. 8 conference champions are automatically in the playoff & host their first playoff game. Seeds 1-8. I think every conference hosting 1 playoff game will foster a sense of conference pride to route for your conference team to win that game they host on their campus.

    The top 4 teams get Byes for the first round – like how the NFL playoffs work for the top teams from each conference. The NFL actually has 12 playoff teams with 4 teams getting Byes for 1st round so this is copying their model.

    The next best 4 teams from the Power 8 Conferences or BCS or Division 1 are added as at-large teams. Seeds 9-12. Teams from WAC, CUSA, SUN & MAC are not eligible. They will play for their own national championship at the FBS or Division 2 level.

    I made a playoff projection for the 12 best teams based on their 2014 roster rank based on recruiting & their 10 game schedule vs other BCS teams:

    http://athlonsports.com/college-football/ranking-college-footballs-rosters-2014

    First Round. Week 15. Saturday, December 7. Game 13

    #9 (6) USC 11-1 (7-1 PAC2) @ #8 AAC champ (34) West Virginia 10-2 (7-1) @ Morgantown, WV

    #10 (10) Oklahoma (11-1 (7-1 SWC2) @ #7 BE champ (10) Notre Dame 10-2 (8-0) @ South Bend, IN

    #11 (2) Florida 10-2 (7-1 SEC2) @ #6 MWC champ (23) Nebraska 11-1 (8-0) @ Lincoln, NE

    #12 (4) LSU 10-2 (6-2 SEC3) @ #5 SWC champ (7) Texas 11-1 (8-0) @ Austin, TX

    Second Round. Week 16. Saturday, December 14. Game 13-14

    #5 (7) Texas 12-1 (SWC1) @ #4 PAC champ (14) Oregon 11-1 (7-1) @ Eugene, OR
    #11(2) Florida 11-2 (SEC2) @ #3 BIG champ (4) Ohio State 12-0 (8-0) @ Columbus, OH
    #7 (10) Notre Dame 11-2 (BE1) @ #2 ACC champ (2) Florida State 12-0 (8-0) @ Tallahassee, FL
    #9 (6) USC 12-1 (PAC2) @ #1 SEC champ (1) Alabama 12-0 (8-0) @ Tuscaloosa, AL

    Third Round. Final Four. Week 18. Saturday, December 28. Game 14-15. Neutral Site.

    #3 (4) Ohio State 13-0 (BIG1) vs #2 (2) Florida State 13-0 (ACC1). Orange Bowl, Miami?
    #5 (7) Texas 13-1 (SWC1 vs #1 (1) Alabama 13-0 (SEC1). Sugar Bowl, New Orleans?

    Fourth Round. Championship Game. Week 19. Monday, January 6. Game 15-16.

    #2 Florida State 14-0 (ACC) vs #1 Alabama 14-0 (SEC). highest bidder like Superbowl

    BCS Bowl Games. Tier 1. Teams 13-20.

    Sugar (New Orleans). 8 Auburn (SEC4) vs 17 Clemson (ACC2)
    Rose (Los Angeles). 12 Michigan (BIG2) vs 19 UCLA (PAC3)
    Fiesta (Phoenix). 15 Texas A&M (SWC3) vs 37 Missouri (MWC2)
    Orange (Miami). 16 Miami (BE2) vs 40 Louisville (AAC2)

    Tier 2 Bowl Games. Teams 21-28.

    Citrus (Orlando). 8 Georgia (SEC5) vs 30 Michigan State (BIG3)
    Cotton (Dallas). 20 Stanford (PAC 4) vs 25 Arkansas (SWC4)
    Peach (Atlanta). 24 Virginia Tech (ACC3) vs 42 Pittsburgh (BE3)
    Hall of Fame (Tampa). 39 Texas Christian (AAC3) vs 44 Iowa (MWC3)

    Tier 3 Bowl Games. Teams 29-36. Rounds out top 50% of the 72 BCS teams.

    Alamo (San Antonio). 13 Tennessee (SEC6) vs 27 Oklahoma State (SWC5)
    Tangerine (Orlando). 27 Penn State (ACC4) vs 41 Rutgers (AAC4)
    Copper (Phoenix). 21 Washington (PAC5) vs 48 Utah (MWC4)
    Gator (Jacksonville). 36 Kentucky (BIG4) vs 47 Vanderbilt (BE4)

    Tier 4 Bowl Games. Teams 37-45.

    Music (Nashville). 18 South Carolina (SEC7) vs 26 North Carolina (ACC5)
    Holiday (San Diego). 31 California (PAC6) vs 33 Texas Tech (SWC6)
    Grand Prix (Indianapolis). 46 Wisconsin (BIG5) vs 61 Kansas State (MWC5)
    Pinstripe (New York City). 54 Northwestern (BE5) vs 55 Cincinnati (AAC5)

    Tier 5 Bowl Games. Teams 46-54 vs FBS conferences teams that finished 3rd & 4th in their conference. I’d like for teams to have 7 wins to be bowl eligible but might not be possible to have a 12 team playoff & 24 bowl games (60 teams total). There are 72 BCS teams in 9 conferences of 8 teams & 64 FBS teams in 4 conferences of 16. 136 total.

    Liberty (Memphis). 22 Mississippi (SEC 8) vs Mid-American 3 (Toledo?)
    Texas (Houston). 32 Baylor (SWC7) vs Sun Belt 3 (SMU?)
    Queen (Charlotte). 35 Virginia (ACC6) vs Conference USA 3 (Navy?)
    Silver (Las Vegas). 49 Oregon State (PAC7) vs Western Athletic 3 (Nevada?)
    Hawaii (Honolulu). 51 South Florida (AAC6) vs Sun Belt 4 (Tulane?)
    Motor (Detroit). 53 Indiana (BIG6) vs Mid-American 4 (Central Michigan?)
    Military (Annapolis). 59 Boston College (BE6) vs Conference USA 4 (Middle Tennessee?)
    Sun (El Paso). 60 Brigham Young (MWC6) vs Western Athletic 4 (Utah State?)

    There’s still a lot of bowl games left to fill up. So the 5th & 6th best teams from each FBS conference could play each other in Tier 6 bowl games:

    Armed Forces Bowl. Fort Worth TX. SUN 5 vs CUSA 5
    Bahamas Bowl. Nassua. CUSA 6 vs MAC 5
    Emerald Bowl. Santa Clara CA . WAC 5 vs MAC 6
    Poinsettia Bowl. San Diego CA. WAC 6 vs SUN 6

    Tier 7 Bowl Games:

    Miami Beach Bowl. Marlins Park FL. CUSA 7 vs SUN 7
    Independence Bowl. Shreveport LA. MAC 7 vs SUN 8
    New Mexico Bowl. Albuquerque NM. WAC 7 vs CUSA 8
    Potato Bowl. Boise ID. WAC 7 vs MAC 8

    FBS is divided into 4 conferences of 16 teams. There are 9 conference games. 3 annual games vs rivals (like the 4 private schools in the Sun Belt – Tulane, Rice, SMU, Tulsa all play each other or the 4 public Texas schools in the Sun Belt all play each other). Then 6 games vs the other 12 teams in conference. So schools play every other school home & away every 4 year period. Game 10 is out of conference against a team from another FBS conference (Missouri State vs Arkansas State or Temple vs Delaware). Game 11 is against a FCS school (Temple vs Villanova or Western Kentucky vs Eastern Kentucky). Game 12 is on the road against a BCS school. So each FBS school has 6 home games (5 FBS + FCS) & 6 road games (5 FBS + BCS).

    Above I mentioned the 3rd & 4th best teams would play BCS teams in low tiered bowl games. That’s because #1 & #2 will play each other in a conference championship game. This will serve as the 1st round of a 8 team playoff for a FBS National Champion. Each conference champion will play in the Final Four. Here’s an example using 2013’s record:

    Conference Championships. First Round. Week 15. Saturday, December 7. Game 13 (may need to adjust date for TV so as not to compete with FBS playoffs, play next Wednesday & Thursday?).

    WAC. 11-1 Fresno State vs 10-2 Montana

    MAC. 12-0 Northern Illinois vs 10-2 Ball State.

    CUSA. 9-3 Marshall vs 9-3 East Carolina.

    SUN. 9-3 Rice vs 8-4 Houston.

    Final Four. Second Round. Week 17. Saturday, December 21. Game 14

    12-1 Fresno State (WAC) vs 10-3 Rice (SUN)

    13-0 Northern Illinois (MAC) vs 10-3 East Carolina (CUSA)

    Championship Game. New Year’s Day @ noon? Game 15

    14-0 Northern Illinois (MAC) vs 13-1 Fresno State (WAC)

    Here are the 4 FBS conferences & an example of a BCS opponent in parenthesis. I won’t list out each team’s 3 rivals here.

    WAC – Western Athletic (west). averaged 23,800 attendance in 2013. 17,300 undergrads. Average US News Rank is 197.

    UTEP (Texas Tech)
    New Mexico State (Arizona)
    New Mexico (Arizona State)
    Air Force (Wake Forest)

    Colorado State (Colorado)
    Wyoming (Oregon State)
    Montana (Washington)
    Montana State (Washington State)

    Idaho (Boise State)
    Utah State (Utah)
    Nevada (BYU)
    UNLV (Oregon)

    San Diego State (UCLA)
    Fresno State (California)
    San Jose State (Stanford)
    Hawaii (USC)

    I promoted Montana & Montana State from FCS Big Sky because they average 20-24k fans & are both ranked 201 in US News. Idaho & NMST are in Sun Belt in real life & UTEP is in CUSA.

    MAC – Mid-American (north). averaged 17,500 attendance in 2013. 18,600 undergrads. Average US News Rank is 181.

    Massachusetts (Boston College)
    Buffalo (Syracuse)
    Army (Duke)
    Temple (Penn State)

    Kent State (Minnesota)
    Akron (Indiana)
    Bowling Green (Iowa)
    Toledo (Iowa State)

    Ohio (Ohio State)
    Eastern Michigan (Wisconsin)
    Central Michigan (Michigan State)
    Western Michigan (Michigan)

    Miami (Cincinnati)
    Ball State (Purdue)
    Northern Illinois (Illinois)
    Missouri State (Missouri)

    I upgraded Missouri State from FCS because they’re building a new football stadium. Temple returns to MAC after leaving for AAC. Army joins the conference for 1st time since they failed out of CUSA. EMU really needs to be demoted, they averaged 4.1k fans last season. North Dakota State averaged 18.6k as a FCS school but it’s a lot harder to get to!

    SUN. Sun Belt (south). averaged 20,300 attendance in 2013. 14,700 undergrads. Average US News Rank is 187.

    Alabama Birmingham (Alabama)
    Troy (Auburn)
    South Alabama (Mississippi State)
    Southern Mississippi (Mississippi)

    Arkansas State (Arkansas)
    Louisiana Lafayette (South Carolina)
    Louisiana Monroe (Kansas)
    Louisiana Tech (Kansas State)

    Tulane (Louisiana State)
    Rice (Baylor)
    Southern Methodist (Texas Christian)
    Tulsa (Oklahoma State)

    Houston (Texas A&M)
    North Texas (Oklahoma)
    UTSA (Texas)
    Texas State (Nebraska)

    This is a combination of CUSA & Sun Belt. I split them both geographically. Giving SUN Alabama to Texas & CUSA Florida up the coast to Delaware. The schools are so similar I figured proximately was the most important factor.

    CUSA – Conference USA (east). averaged 20,300 attendance in 2013. 20,500 undergrads. Average US News Rank is 232.

    Florida International (Miami)
    Florida Atlantic (Florida)
    Georgia Southern (Georgia)
    Georgia State (Georgia Tech)

    Middle Tennessee (Tennessee)
    Western Kentucky (Kentucky)
    Marshall (West Virginia)
    Appalachian State (Florida State)

    Coastal Carolina (Clemson)
    Charlotte (NC State)
    East Carolina (North Carolina)
    Old Dominion (Virginia Tech)

    Liberty (Virginia)
    James Madison (Maryland)
    Navy (Notre Dame)
    Delaware (Pittsburgh)

    I promoted James Madison (21k) & Liberty (15k) from FCS. They’re rumored to be joining FBS soon. I chose Coastal Carolina (8k) over Chattanooga (10k). UTC is probably more ready but Coastal would only be the 3rd FBS team in SC. Undeserved market in Myrtle Beach. Delaware should be in FBS as an elite academic school (#75) & averages 18.6k fans.

    Like

    • Transic says:

      Just for the heck of it:

      “Northeastern League”

      BC
      SU
      UConn
      RU
      PSU
      Pitt
      UMD
      WVU
      Cincinnati
      Louisville
      UCF
      USF

      “Atlantic Coast Conference”

      UVA
      VT
      NCSU
      Wake
      Duke
      UNC
      Clemson
      GT
      FSU
      Miami

      Big Ten + Big 8/SWC remnants

      UM
      MSU
      OSU
      IU

      PU
      NW
      IL
      Mizz

      UW
      UMinn
      UNL
      IA

      KU
      ISU
      OU
      UT

      Pac-12 would still happen and A&M still goes to SEC. Oklahoma State would be the second school to go to the SEC.

      USCe
      UGA
      UF
      UT
      UK
      Vandy
      Auburn
      Alabama
      Miss St
      Ole Miss
      Arkansas
      LSU
      A&M
      Oklahoma State

      “The Western League”

      Texas Tech
      Baylor
      TCU
      Houston
      Memphis
      Kansas State
      Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns
      SMU
      UTEP
      New Mexico
      Colorado State
      BYU

      Mountain West Conference would replace New Mexico and Colorado State with New Mexico State and Texas-San Antonio or North Texas.

      Like

    • Andy says:

      Looks real messy. It would have it’s benefits, but it’s probably too complicated to be enacted.

      Like

    • bullet says:

      LSU AD is pretty hypocritical, saying schools are voting for their own interests in keeping the fixed cross-division game. He wants it changed because he is stuck with Florida. Its in his interest to change it. Its not in the interest of the conference to lose LSU/FL, AL/TN or AU/UGA.

      Like

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        Of course, if you eliminate LSU/FL, you create an opening for many great match-ups that, in the current system, almost never happen, such as LSU/TN and FL/AL.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          Yes, but ‘Bama/Tenn, AU/UGa, and even UF/LSU have way more tradition than any of those.

          Like

        • Richard says:

          Also, you’d still have more matchups between kings/princes with those fixed matchups (as well as A&M-SC) than with a pure rotation. That’s why the B10 is front-loading the start of the rotation in the 9-conference-game era with fixed king/prince matchups.

          Like

  36. Wainscott says:

    This was a debate on a past thread, but apparently a poll notes that MLS and baseball are equally popular among those aged 12-17.

    http://thebiglead.com/2014/03/07/mls-just-as-popular-as-baseball-with-american-kids-according-to-a-new-poll/

    Like

    • urbanleftbehind says:

      I really looked forward to reading the article, but the site has such a high NSFW factor that makes SportGrid and RantSports look like Victorian-era prudes.

      Like

    • Richard says:

      From the same article:

      “Something to consider: the 2013 MLS Final on ESPN drew only 505,000 viewers – the lowest in the game’s history. Comparatively the 2013 World Series averaged around 15 million viewers – an increase of 17 percent from the previous year.”

      “But an opinion poll isn’t going change much. Baseball will continue to print money – likely improving on 2013′s record $8 billion in revenue – although its national popularity will never recapture what it was 30 years ago. MLS might continue to build more young fans, but unless those fans begin watch the league’s national telecasts, it will continue to struggle for relevance.”

      One key question is what sports gain or lose fans with age. The college sports gain from kids going to college. MLB as well, once kids are of drinking age and go out ot the ballpark to drink. Then again, MLS clubs who can create a raucous atmosphere also gain young adults who want to be part of a European-style supporters group.

      If you look at the ESPN article: http://espnfc.com/news/story/_/id/1740529/mls-catches-mlb-espn-sports-poll?cc=5901

      In the mid-90’s, the NBA was as popular with the kiddies as the NFL with MLB, CFB, & MBB all bunched together. The NBA trended down to the second tier before bouncing up again and CFB went up.

      Like

      • BruceMcF says:

        Given the numerous predictions when the MLS was founded that it would fold within five years, I’m guessing it would rather be “struggling for relevance” rather than struggling for survival. And, yes, its not going to have a record setting audience for the championship when KC plays Real Salt Lake … its still common for supporters of particular MLS clubs to check out of the playoffs when their team does, and switch to the Premier League or La Liga or the final race for the Liiga MX Apertura.

        Like

        • Wainscott says:

          That’s a really good point, and its the main issue that MLS will have to overcome, the perception in the USA that the MLS is a nice filler, but that the real soccer is played in the European leagues. Its going to take decades for MLS to chip away at this perception.

          Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            “…and its the main issue that MLS will have to overcome, the perception in the USA that the MLS is a nice filler, but that the real soccer is played in the European leagues.”

            Or perhaps a few more prominent international wins by the national team, and/or an improved World Cup result. The AFL was MLS like filler until Namath’s Jets beat Baltimore, then they were enough of a threat to the NFL they needed to be assimilated. One game changed the country’s perception.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            Note that France winning the World Cup did not suddenly change the perception of the French league as basically a AAA Minor league in Europe to the Premier League, La Liga and Serie A, though it did confirm France’s standing as a second tier and not lower league in Europe … and the US MNT is presently ranked 13th in the FIFA rankings, which is not too shabby, but part of that is on the back of Americans playing for bigger clubs overseas.

            However, if MLS clubs dominated continental competition and on occasion upset the big South American and European clubs, it might rise from its current perceived status up TO the kind of AAA Minor League status of the second tier national competitions in Europe.

            Like

  37. Wainscott says:

    Is there now a game to go along with the report that Mike McQueary bet on Penn State while its backup QB?

    http://www.bettingtalk.com/controversial-ending-penn-state-football-game-revisited-mcqueary-gambling-report/

    Like

  38. Michael in Raleigh says:

    This is a wonderfully written, heartbreaking but very real story of Dean Smith’s battle with dementia. You won’t regret reading it.

    http://espn.go.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/10545949/precious-memories-dean-smith-story

    Like

  39. Transic says:

    Article on the tickets sales of the more prominent basketball conference tournaments:

    http://collegespun.com/features/data-big-east-tournament-ticket-demand-plummets-from-2013-to-2014

    Not surprising that the Big East is taking a major tumble from last year. Even then, 13% is still decent considering the current profile of schools. It shows the location of MSG still holds some cache and why the ACC will want to grab it for themselves. I think those numbers may make it easier for some presidents to push harder for expansion, preferably with private schools with large student bodies.

    The ACC diehards must be feeling a little frustrated that they only went up to third even after grabbing Syracuse. Let’s see how they do once Louisville comes in. The Big 12 is doing quite well, which must be reflecting on their numbers. But will that continue next year?

    Like

    • Richard says:

      “I think those numbers may make it easier for some presidents to push harder for expansion, preferably with private schools with large student bodies.”

      How many of those are there?

      NYU is DivIII. USC isn’t going anywhere, and neither is BYU, most likely.

      No other private has more than 20K undergrads.

      Like

      • Wainscott says:

        I’m not sure which would happen first: NYU moving up to Div 1 or Greenwich Village becoming a Republican bastion.

        Though, apparently Rutgers fight song references NYU as a football rival, even if NYU dropped football in 1946.

        Like

      • BruceMcF says:

        Large student bodies there may be used in a relative sense, but it does seem that sticking to an all-private requirement limits their options in a way that sticking to BBall-first schools does not.

        Like

      • BruceMcF says:

        In the relative sense, that advantages Dayton over Richmond, at about 11,000 vs about 3,400.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          To pair with SLU, I assume. Though BU is bigger than either (and has puny hoops attendance despite likely going to the Big Dance this year), which shows just how much having a large student body matters.

          Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            Yes, which shows that having a large student body and alumni base is only a potential, and a small enough share of that student body and alumni base interested in following the team leaves it untapped potential. (And, yes, that’s on the choice of #12 to pair with SLU as #11).

            One issue, as Arch Stanton raises below, is that with expansion there would be more games to sell tickets for … with ten teams, its a 9-game tournament, while the Big Ten is an 11-game tournament, and the ACC is a 14-game tournament. So only the Big East to Big 12 is comparing the same number of games.

            Like

          • urbanleftbehind says:

            The BU example (Boston U Terriers?) also points to an additional criteira: neglible competition from other winter sports. Any potential BE add-on from New England would have to be double checked for mens hockey popularity. Might this have been a factor at Michigan in the Johnny Orr era?

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            Big East Commissioner making “we are adopting a wait and see position” regarding expansion, similar to Big 12 (last two paragraphs):

            http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/03/12/sports/ncaabasketball/seeking-an-identity-the-new-big-east-takes-a-familiar-stage.html

            I translate that into “FS1 isn’t making enough money to want.more BigEast BBall inventory at this time.”

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            @BruceMcF

            That’s a fair translation. Also, of the mentioned expansion targets, only St. Louis University is in a bigger TV market. Dayton, Richmond, and VCU probably don’t move the needle much for TV.

            Like

    • Wainscott says:

      It doesn’t help the Big East that there are less NYC area schools in the conference, replaced with schools in the Midwest.

      Like

      • Arch Stanton says:

        It also doesn’t help (for the purpose of this study) that there are less teams in the Big East this year and thus also less conference tournament games. That is probably an even bigger factor than the proximity of the teams.

        Like

  40. Brian says:

    Congrats to UMD on winning their final ACC game, a home upset of rival #5 UVA. It might not be quite as fun as upsetting Duke, but still a nice way to go out.

    Like

    • Nemo says:

      @Brian

      Atmosphere in Comcast Center before the OT game against UVA. Place was rocking!

      Maryland Pre-Game Introductions for UVA for the Final Home Game

      Nemo

      Like

      • Wainscott says:

        UMD and UVa will one day meet again, in a B1G contest.

        Like

        • urbanleftbehind says:

          This I buy, under the assumption that it its the Big12 that bites the dust and everyone goes to 16 teams. The ACC just needs 1 Va. Team (VT).

          B16 adds Virginia and Kansas. SEC adds NC State and West Virginia. ACC adds uconn, cincy, one of usf/ucf and notre dame full-time. The PAC gets UT/TT/OU/OK St. Baylor is a real wild card here – they could be a western compliment to vanderbilt in the SEC, elbow out TT in the PAC, or link up with BYU and TCU to push an expanded Mountain West into the power conference s. West Va., the other mid Florida school, KSU and ISU, and a stubborn notre dame could be SOL.

          Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            This I buy, under the assumption that it its the Big12 that bites the dust and everyone goes to 16 teams.

            The power conferences have never all had the same number of teams. They act independently, according to their own needs. It is unlikely that they would simultaneously and coincidentally, agree on 16 as the right number.

            Some of your predictions assume that the players will behave highly sub-optimally. The SEC, for instance, would probably prefer to do nothing, before it would choose to add West Virginia. The SEC never needs to expand again. If it does, it will have to be compelling.

            The ACC just needs 1 Va. Team (VT).

            The ACC doesn’t seem to agree with you.

            …a stubborn notre dame could be SOL.

            I could retire now, if I had a dollar every time someone predicts that Notre Dame is going to get screwed. You’d think people would catch on that it never seems to happen, but they keep predicting it, over and over again, and they have always been wrong.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            The SEC has zero incentive to add West Virginia. They wouldn’t be able to increase the overall revenue of the SEC to pay for themselves.

            it’s questionable that NC State would be able to either.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            Yes, though the SEC makes not secret of their desire to be in North Carolina and Virginia, I wouldn’t be confident about NC State paying its way on its own. And there is a lot less urgency in adding new recruiting grounds when you are already in three of the top four states from 2014, and five of the top ten.

            Though if there is a compelling #15, I could well see NC State as #16.

            Like

          • vp19 says:

            Though if there is a compelling #15 [for the SEC], I could well see NC State as #16.

            Would Virginia Tech be sufficiently compelling?

            And remember that NCSU, while average in football, has two NCAA men’s basketball titles to its credit and a fine hoops tradition. It’s fallen a bit in recent years as Duke has replaced State as the primary rival to UNC, but the Wolfpack still has a better basketball brand than every SEC school than Kentucky and Florida.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            The SEC will never tell you their strategy, but yeah, I think they’d seriously consider the two-fer of VT+NCSU, but this is on the presumption that UNC+UVA go to the Big Ten. They’re unlikely to take NCSU while UNC is still available, and anyhow it’s unlikely that NCSU would be on the block unless Big Brother had already left the ACC, and likewise for VT.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            The only way the SEC would consider NCSU + VT is if the doomsday scenario actually happened and the B1G expanded to 18 or 20, taking UNC, Duke, Georgia Tech, Virginia, etc.

            Personally I think the chances of that are nill, so I think the chances of NCSU or VT ending up in the SEC are nill.

            If anything happens at all, and I don’t think anything would happen for 20 years or more, it’ll be Virginia to the B1G and UNC to the SEC. Then each conference would have to pick one more to get to 16. In that scenario I’d see the SEC taking Duke. The B1G would have several options.

            But for all purposes I don’t think any of that will happen.

            I think both will stay at 14.

            Like

          • vp19 says:

            If Duke slides a bit in hoops post-K, State might seem a better partner for UNC by the SEC and let Duke slide to the Big Ten. Without elite basketball, Duke essentially is Vanderbilt or Northwestern, and 30 years ago, NCSU and Duke were roughly on the same level in basketball (in fact, with NCAA titles in ’74 and ’83, the Wolfpack was slightly ahead).

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            @vp19 ~ that I don’t know. I don’t know if Andy is correct about the “doomsday” scenario ~ it might be sufficient for the Big Ten to be able to pry away UVA & UNC. The strategic problem there is the first-mover problem … something has to happen that makes UNC interested in leaving for that to happen, and there is nothing on the horizon that makes that look likely. If all that UNC has to do to keep the ACC together is to stay in the ACC, at this point that’s its first-best move.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            I don’t know if Andy is correct about the “doomsday” scenario ~ it might be sufficient for the Big Ten to be able to pry away UVA & UNC. The strategic problem there is the first-mover problem … something has to happen that makes UNC interested in leaving for that to happen, and there is nothing on the horizon that makes that look likely. If all that UNC has to do to keep the ACC together is to stay in the ACC, at this point that’s its first-best move.

            Andy tends to over-estimate the solidity of the ACC, while many others tend to under-estimate it. The reality is probably somewhere in between, although there is no way of knowing.

            If the long-term income inequality proves to be as large as some sources have forecast, I have to think that the ACC’s more upwardly mobile members will start looking for other options. Where there is money to be made, you can’t expect people to leave it on the table indefinitely.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            Since much of the increase in earning power comes from an increasing share of ad revenue for live content, I’d avoid projecting the current rate of growth into the indefinite future: share increases cannot continue at a rapid clip indefinitely, since as the new increment becomes a larger fraction of the share outstanding, it becomes progressively harder to be sustained. So even if we are not in a bubble, we are looking at a logistic (stretched “s-curve”) growth rather than exponential (“j-curve”) growth.

            So even if we aren’t in a bubble, its an open question whether the breaking point income inequality where strategic members of the ACC have to look for a move is above or below the ceiling of the current growth cycle.

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            On the flip side, the SEC could also determine that geographic expansions for tv purposes might not generate as much as expansions designed to increase the overall quality of games in order to demand a higher rate per subscriber. An expansion adding, say, Oklahoma and FSU might not pay off in markets, but with a higher quality slate of games overall, could potentially allow the SECN to demand a much higher rate from all existing and future subscribers/carriers.

            I wonder if there has been analysis done on this point.

            Like

      • mushroomgod says:

        Maryland bball seems to be coming into the Big 10 on an upswing. Adding a nice program with a new 18000 seat arena is a big deal.

        One thing about the BT this year……with the exception of PSU, capacity and near-capacity crowds for nearly every venue…even NW and Nebraka. PSU’s attendance is embarrassing for such a great overall athletic program.

        I hope Rytgers will up it’s basketball game. Apparently they were pretty good back in the late 1970s. Going on the Rutgers bball board, there seems to be adequate latent interest.

        Like

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          PSU’s attendance is embarrassing for such a great overall athletic program.

          It’s not a unique phenomenon at PSU. For many years, Michigan seldom sold out a basketball game. Of course, it’s been a very different story lately, but if the program went into a funk again, they would probably have the same problem.

          Like

          • vp19 says:

            If Michigan had shown genuine interest in basketball in the late ’70s, Johnny Orr wouldn’t have left Ann Arbor for Ames.

            Like

          • Nemo says:

            @mushroomgod

            After Maryland beat Indiana to win the Natty in 2002, the Maryland program began to decline a bit because the recruiting was sub-par. Maryland won the ACC Championship in 2004, and still maintained a great rivalry with Duke, but we were missing the tourney and finally relegated to the NIT. Mark Turgeon has been here for 3 years and our incoming class next year is ranked pretty high.

            As an aside, when the B1G announced its basketball schedule several weeks ago, the Maryland boards were in total shock. The ACC takes forever to announce things like that! The Rivals board was really pleased at how tight a ship the B1G is in terms of scheduling and I predict sell outs at College Park next year for sure…

            Like

          • vp19 says:

            Nemo, I’m guessing the reason the men’s and women’s basketball schedules were released so early was to help Maryland and Rutgers with marketing, just as the football schedules were issued through 2019 to bolster recruiting.

            Like

  41. ccrider55 says:

    Bye the way, PSU just won their 4th consecutive B1G wrestling tournament title.

    Like

    • mushroomgod says:

      Saw that on BTN. Wisconsin did a good job of hosting that tourney, which was #100 in BT history.

      Looks like PSU is another shoo-in for the NC.

      Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        Me and over 10,000 of my closest friends who attended the final session agree. It was a better experience than many NCAA’s. Arena is great and traffic, housing, restaurants, etc. were good to great.

        Like

    • Wainscott says:

      I’m no expert, but I believe that Chicago has more people than Indianapolis and more Big Ten alumni than Indianapolis.

      No offense to Indianapolis, but the Big Ten MBB tourney should be in Chicago every year. Both cities are convenient for undergrads/grad students, but Chicago has significantly more alumni who could buy tickets without having to travel out of town for a long weekend.

      Like

      • Tom says:

        @Wainscott There are almost 10 million people living in Chicagoland, there is about 2.3 million living in the greater Indianapolis area. Moving forward, I would like to see the B1G tournament held in Chicago every other year. When it’s not in Chicago, it should be rotated between D.C. or New York. Think about it, where would you rather go for a long weekend? Chicago/D.C./New York or Indianapolis?

        Like

        • Eric says:

          People I’ve talked (admittedly a small sample size) have actually preferred Indianapolis. Personally I’d probably end up in Indianapolis before Chicago, but that’s just because it’s closer and probably a bit cheaper to stay at.

          All that said, whether it’s Indianapolis, Chicago, or a mix, I think every other year on the east coast would be way too much. Most the big groups of alumni are further away (which will effect ticket sales or price of tickets). I think the east coast might work on occasion, but it should be rare enough to be notable (once every 4-5 years max).

          Like

        • Wainscott says:

          @Tom:

          I know the population amounts of Chicago and Indy. My sarcasm did not come across well.

          Like

    • Brian says:

      I fail to see how they corrected for obvious variables like the different performance of teams during the seasons.

      2013 rankings:
      #4 IU
      #7 OSU
      #9 MSU
      #10 UM
      #18 WI

      IN was back for the first time in forever and multiple teams were national title contenders potentially. Now look at 2014:

      #8 MI
      #12 WI
      #22 MSU
      #24 OSU

      The league has a lot more parity but no elite team and IU fell off the table. Of course ticket demand is down. Correct for that, then let’s talk about secondary market prices.

      Like

      • Transic says:

        I would think the desire to see a team knock off a rival they dislike would overcome the concern about that team’s performance during the regular season, but that’s me.

        Like

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          You can watch it on TV. For many fans, to travel to the games usually requires something more at stake than merely a revenge contest against a team they already played once or twice in the regular season.

          And of course, unless your team is one of the bottom four seeds, you don’t actually know whom they’ll be playing until less than 24 hours in advance.

          Like

  42. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Former Penn State starting QB Rob Bolden, who transferred to LSU, has moved to wide receiver for his senior year. Spring practice begins today.

    Like

    • largeR says:

      Since I’m an LSU and Les Miles fan; please, please, don’t have any trick plays where Bolden actually has to think and throw on the same play.

      Like

    • bullet says:

      The first prerequisite is having a high preseason ranking so that people pay attention to you. TCU was highly regarded in 2010.

      Like

    • Wainscott says:

      In a random office park in Rosemont. Not the best possible location.

      Like

    • Wainscott says:

      In all seriousness, its a good concept but it should be in downtown Chicago, maybe in the same building where BTN has its studios.

      Right now, its more like National Lampoons Big Ten Museum Vacation.

      Like

      • @Wainscott – Yeah, I’m not that enthused about the location, albeit I’m biased as someone that works in the Chicago Loop. Granted, the new Big Ten headquarters are probably in as visitor-friendly of a location that you’d find in the suburbs – it’s in a complex with a fair amount of foot traffic with bars and restaurants like Fogo de Chao and next door to the new high-end Fashion Outlets mall (i.e. outlets for the likes of Barney’s, Neiman Marcus, Gucci, etc.) that attracts a lot of tourists. So, it’s not a typical nondescript suburban office park. Still, there aren’t many places outside of Manhattan that get the constant flow of foot traffic like the Loop or the area around Michigan Avenue and I can think of a half-dozen available locations where a Big Ten hall of fame would have been fantastic for everyone involved. Block 37 across from the State Street Macy’s (the original Marshall Field’s) has been looking for a large tenant for quite awhile and that would have been a perfect place for both the Big Ten offices and a museum (and some revenue-generating entities like a Big Ten store). I’m not sure why the Big Ten didn’t seem to seriously consider moving its HQ to downtown Chicago (considering that there’s a very strong trend of suburban offices moving back to the city). It’s water under the bridge now.

        Like

        • Wainscott says:

          Well I fully understand not moving the HQ downtown, as the conference routinely hosts one day-fly-ins for AD’s and other staff. Being near the major airport makes a ton of sense.

          As for the museum, B1G store, and BTN, that should all be in the same prime downtown location, maybe even with BTN studios on part of the first floor. Maybe even a BTN sports bar. Right now, only BTN has a downtown location.

          Like

  43. bullet says:

    Interesting read on SEC network and what they expect on distribution (they don’t have a clue).
    http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2014/03/sec_networks_great_unknown_how.html

    Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      Sounds like they’re spending on infrastructure for a network they don’t own. Wonder when financial details of the ESecPN Network payout to the conference will begin leaking out.

      Like

  44. Transic says:

    Delany on Mike & Mike, where he discussed several topics, including student-athlete travel and the NBA’s “One and Done Rule”
    http://espn.go.com/espnradio/play?id=10588118

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Interesting comments on athlete’s time. Talked about locking facilities.

      “Optional” summer workouts have become mandatory. I imagine a lot of “optional” stuff during the week is also. Don’t know how you stop the “mandatory-optional” summer workouts. Lockout coaches and staff?

      Like

  45. loki_the_bubba says:

    The falling attendance in college baseball is starting to worry me.

    If we take the top 25 attendance teams and look at where they are in 2014 we see that the majority are down. Here are 2014/2012 attendance ratios for the Top 25 teams, ordered by 2012 attendance*:

    1.01 — LSU
    0.95 — Arkansas
    0.97 — South Carolina
    0.94 — Ole Miss
    0.85 — Texas
    1.22 — Mississippi State
    1.16 — Florida State
    1.12 — Clemson
    0.96 — Texas A&M
    N/A — Creighton**
    0.76 — TCU
    0.83 — Florida
    0.603 — Nebraska
    1.01 — Alabama
    0.601 — Rice
    0.86 — Southern Miss
    0.95 — Hawaii
    0.72 — Baylor
    0.97 — Virginia
    0.84 — Wichita State
    0.82 — Texas Tech
    0.93 — Arizona State
    1.13 — Auburn
    0.65 — Tulane
    0.94 — East Carolina

    *Data shamelessly copied from a discussion on the Rice Owls board.
    **Creighton was a special case with the opening of the new CWS stadium.

    Of particular note, to me, is that Rice attendance has fallen off a cliff, down by 40%. If we become irrelevant in baseball we have nothing left.

    Like

    • greg says:

      loki, are you comparing full season 2012 numbers with abbreviated 2014 numbers? I wouldn’t draw any conclusions until the season is complete.

      Like

      • Arch Stanton says:

        True, especially considering the attendence earlier in the year is hurt more due to weather. And this has been a bad weather year so far.

        Like

        • loki_the_bubba says:

          I’ve been at the games on beautiful days here. The stadium is more empty than I’ve ever seen it. SEC teams going up in attendance while most others go down. We’re seeing the split that occurred in football and basketball start to manifest itself in baseball.

          Like

      • loki_the_bubba says:

        Let’s do 2010’s T25 going to 2013

        2010 2013
        1 LSU 10,673 11006 103.12%
        2 Ark 7,704 8335 108.19%
        3 Ole Miss 6,759 7996 118.30%
        4 SoCar 6,758 7445 110.17%
        5 Texas 6,571 5793 88.16%
        6 Miss St 6,065 7617 125.59%
        7 Clemson 4,694 4751 101.21%
        8 FSU 4,642 4594 98.97%
        9 Alabama 4,156 3262 78.49%
        10 Wichita St 3,643 2698 74.06%
        11 aTm 3,641 4523 124.22%
        12 Arizona St 3,506 2809 80.12%
        13 Florida 3,505 3511 100.17%
        14 Rice 3,374 3252 96.38%
        15 So Miss 3,292 3147 95.60%
        16 ECU 3,249 2466 75.90%
        17 Hawaii 3,190 3357 105.24%
        18 TCU 3,127 3570 114.17%
        19 Virginia 3,125 3189 102.05%
        20 Miami 3,097 2635 85.08%
        21 Tulane 2,832 2080 73.45%
        22 Nebraska 2,821 2864 101.52%
        23 Auburn 2,671 2657 99.48%
        24 Baylor 2,641 2873 108.78%
        25 Georgia 2,633 1940 73.68%

        SEC 104.14%
        All others 92.76%

        The rich are getting richer.

        Like

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      loki – the NCBWA publishes a weekly attendance report. Here’s the most recent report. I do think its a little early in the season to be pushing the panic button on attendance. In the SEC, conference play begins this weekend, along with many other conferences.

      http://www.sportswriters.net/ncbwa/news/2014/attendance140310.pdf

      I’m looking forward to this weekend, as I’ll be attending the Saturday and Sunday games of the LSU/Vandy series in Nashville. It should be a great series.

      Like

    • mnfanstc says:

      These college baseball figures are always going to be skewed, favoring southern teams. The northern-most teams on this list are both in Nebraska (UNL and Creighton)–for local reference, Minnesota’s first home game is March 26th at Siebert Field–which incidentally has a seating capacity of 1420. (There’s still about 1-1/2 feet of snow in my yard–I live just NW of Mpls).

      Also of note—NOT a single school on the first list referenced directly competes with a major league team—when spring opener comes around–it’s about the Twins around Mpls-St Paul–even with the Gopher’s relatively strong baseball tradition/history…

      Unless the season scheduling and some of the recruiting issues are ironed out–the northern (read: B1G schools) are going to struggle to compete nationally.

      Like

      • vp19 says:

        It will be fascinating to see how Maryland does in Big Ten baseball. The Terps have built a competitive program in recent years — and this week rank #18 in RPI — but haven’t qualified for the ACC tournament (which before this year took eight out of 12 and now will take 10 of 14) in a long time.

        Like

  46. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Brent Musburger and Jesse Palmer will be the lead announcing team for the SECN.

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/10594632/brent-musburger-jesse-palmer-lead-announcing-team-sec-network

    Does Chris Fowler take Musburger’s spot? Does Rece Davis take Fowler’s spot on Game Day? Who takes Davis’ spot on College Football Final?

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Great! No more of Musburger ruining a perfectly good national telecast for me. Palmer is no loss either.

      Like

    • Mike says:

      Wow. That makes me so happy!

      Like

    • Wainscott says:

      I for one will miss Musburger. Thought he was and is a great announcer.

      Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      Whatever Musberger’s merits, he’s been the lead announcer for two networks for a combined period of almost 40 years. That doesn’t just happen by accident.

      Like

      • GB says:

        Who cares who is announcing the games? Most do a good to great job. Burnt Cheeseburger is certainly one of the better announcers, but it is such a ladies thought process on who is actually announcing the games. Over the last five years people talk about this – who cares really? I just want to watch my team or a good game and could give a rats hat who is actually announcing. I guess I am just old and old school.

        Like

        • Wainscott says:

          Good announcers can help creat the right atmosphere for the viewer or listener. Bad announcers (coughPamWardcough) can ruin the best of games.

          Like

      • Brian says:

        He’s nowhere near the peak of his game anymore. The same thing happened to Keith Jackson.

        Like

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          He’s nowhere near the peak of his game anymore.

          I suspect ESPN knows this. Musburger turns 75 this year. It’s a double win for them. They get a high-profile announcing name to kick off the SECN, and get a younger guy (likely Chris Fowler) for the higher-profile Saturday Night games.

          The same thing happened to Keith Jackson.

          True, but he left (twice) on his own terms, with the network, both times, practically begging him to stay.

          Like

          • Wainscott says:

            At the very end, Keith Jackson was the broadcasting equivalent to Willie Mays on the Mets falling down in Shea.

            Like

        • bullet says:

          Actually 10 years ago he was worse. He was never ever prepared. Didn’t know the rules. Didn’t know the players. He was very annoying.

          Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            And current announcers know the rules? The one thing that seems to have become far too prevelant is the announcers self important pronouncements about what should be, has to be, needs to be reviewed (and usually “should” be reversed). That, along with rehashing national stories that even casual fans are aware of. Up close and personal stories belong in pregame background and/or postgame follow up.

            There are a couple that simply announce and leave the ref and coach responsibilities to the actual participants, and focus on discription of what occurs (not what they think should have). But not enough of them.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            It’s pretty uncommon that the announcers don’t know the rules. When that occurs, it’s liable to be a pretty obscure point on which, I would bet, most fans don’t know either.

            The one thing that seems to have become far too prevelant is the announcers self important pronouncements about what should be, has to be, needs to be reviewed (and usually “should” be reversed).

            Video reviews take up a lot of time. What else could they talk about?

            That, along with rehashing national stories that even casual fans are aware of. Up close and personal stories belong in pregame background and/or postgame follow up.

            I suspect you are greatly over-estimating what the casual fan is aware of. Anyhow, there can be a lot of dead space in a broadcast, and they need material to talk about. The “up close and personal stories” test very well in focus groups, which is why you will keep hearing them.

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            “Up close and personal stories belong in pregame background and/or postgame follow up.”

            That’s a Roone Arledge invention that has proven to be very popular.

            Like

      • bullet says:

        CBS finally got the sense to fire him and I was delighted he was gone from the NFL. But then it was worse. ABC hired him for college football.

        Its not an accident. There are idiots hiring announcers at ABC and ESPN.

        Like

        • Wainscott says:

          I think Marc’s point is not that he was fired or demoted twice, but that he lasted almost 20 years at CBS and almost 25 at ABC/ESPN. That longevity is the point. You don’t last that long without having obvious talent/skill.

          Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            That’s right, and on top of that, they don’t just assign broadcasters at random. They’ve got focus groups and reams of data that show certain guys are popular. You don’t have to agree with their popularity, but you have to at least acknowledge its existence.

            Anyhow, from what I am able to gather a quarter-century after the fact, CBS didn’t fire Musburger for being incompetent or detested by the viewers. He and the network came to loggerheads over the size of his role and the size of his contract, and at some point CBS just decided to call the whole thing off. He was not fired in the sense @bullet means (i.e., for being bad at his job).

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Popularity does not equal skill. The fly diet argument is never valid.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            I agree that popularity does not necessarily equate to skill, but there is no credible argument that Musburger lacked the skill to be a sports broadcaster.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Other than getting wrong multiple details per game. Like which team recovered a fumble.

            Maybe your standards are low, but I expect a PBP man to see at least what the viewer sees 99% of the time.

            In fact, I can’t recall another PBP man who got stuff wrong as frequently as Musberger in any sport (non-Pam-Ward category).

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Marc Shepherd,

            “I agree that popularity does not necessarily equate to skill, but there is no credible argument that Musburger lacked the skill to be a sports broadcaster.”

            There are literally hundreds of sports broadcasters. There’s a big difference between getting a local HS broadcast and the NCAA game of the week. There’s a very credible argument that BM’s skills were not up to the job he held the last few years, and maybe for years/decades before that.

            Like

    • loki_the_bubba says:

      I liked Musberger in the NFL studio shows. Hated him in the booth.

      Like

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      Chris Fowler keeps Game Day and replaces Musburger on Saturday nights.

      http://espnmediazone.com/us/press-releases/2014/03/chris-fowler-signs-extension-with-espn-through-2023/

      Like

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        That man is going to have one very busy day on CFB Saturdays. I can’t think of a comparable precedent for hosting a studio show that lasts many hours, and then going into the booth and calling a game, week after week after week.

        Like

      • Kevin says:

        You’d think they would have found someone else to do Game Day. That might be too much on his plate to do a good job calling the SNF game.

        Like

  47. Transic says:

    OT – Ackerman Pleased With Year One As New-Look Big East Tourney Gets Under Way

    http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Daily/Issues/2014/03/12/Events-and-Attractions/Big-East.aspx

    Like

  48. Marc Shepherd says:

    Speaking of Brent Musburger, USA Today had an article recently about aging announcers.

    This year’s Bowl Championship Series title game was called by Brent Musburger, who turns 75 in May, and the soundtrack for the NBA All-Star Game on TV was provided by Marv Albert, 72. Verne Lundquist, 73, works the big Southeastern Conference football games for CBS and on Feb. 23 called Michigan’s basketball victory against Michigan State with Bill Raftery, 70.

    That’s not counting Dick Vitale (75) or legends still doing local games, like Vin Scully and Dick Enberg. Even the forever-young Bob Costas is in his 60s now.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Wonder if many of these people got their start in radio.

      Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        I’d guess yes. There weren’t very many TV announcing gigs, or networks, or TV’s for that matter, when they would have been breaking into the business.

        Like

      • Richard says:

        Costas started in radio. Scully obviously is a radio guy. Marv Albert started as a Knicks ballboy (who got promoted to the Knicks radio booth later). Musberger was a sportswriter. Vitale and Raftery were coaches. Lundquist and Enberg both started as TV sports anchors who also did radio PBP.

        Like

      • Wainscott says:

        Yes, because radio teaches the announcer how to narrate a game and create a visual image for the listener.Those skills translate much better to calling a game than an anchorperson shifting to TV. Even today, a fair number of the up-and-coming broadcasters started out in radio (ABC’s Mike Breen, for example, called Knicks games on radio for many years).

        On the flip side, its harder to be a commentator on radio because of the lack of visual aids to assist in the explanation to the listener.

        Like

  49. loki_the_bubba says:

    Another pointless article ranking all D1A coaching jobs. Hey, it’s off-season, what else can a football writer do…

    107. Rice
    It’s one of the toughest jobs in an elite state for talent.

    http://athlonsports.com/college-football/ranking-all-128-college-football-coaching-jobs-2014#sthash.Yt9SBfkk.dpuf

    Like

  50. Wainscott says:

    SEC Basketball- Catch the fever!

    Like

    • Arch Stanton says:

      One of each of the players’ mothers.

      Like

    • Arch Stanton says:

      All dozen of the A&M fans have an exciting game to watch at least. Now in double OT vs the Mizzou Andies.
      Missouri is really trying hard to choke this first round game away to a bad team. Are they confused and think this is the NCAA tournament?

      Like

      • Logan says:

        Consider yourself lucky, I get to see Andy’s rants on the Mizzou rivals board. We recently had a 5 page thread with him explaining his superior IQ. Seriously.

        And while Andy is an avowed Haith supporter, there are plenty of Missouri fans that wouldn’t mind seeing him go. It won’t happen this year, but he could be gone if next year goes bad, especially if Jabari Brown and Jordan Clarkson go pro.

        Like

        • Wainscott says:

          Link or it didn’t happen

          Like

          • Logan says:

            http://missouri.rivals.com/showmsg.asp?fid=2749&tid=199043896&mid=199043896&sid=898&style=2

            I guess you could sign up for a free 7-day trial to powermizzou, but otherwise you are out of luck.

            Like

          • Logan says:

            I take it back, this is not a premium board. Enjoy.

            Like

          • loki_the_bubba says:

            “Mizzou isn’t an elite college”

            That can’t be our Andy.

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            Actually seems honest/self deprecatory. Maybe doesn’t need to brag about the high IQ, but its tempered by the honest revelations about a his many issues. Now, the sheer referencing/revealing of those issues and the IQ does seem to indicate a high level of self-importance/narcissism, but also comes across as unfiltered honesty.

            However, Andy MUST provide the context for this wild statement:

            “Frank Haith is one of, if not, the best coach in America. Once again, you’re wrong and I’m right” -AndyTigerMizzou

            Like

          • Andy says:

            I didn’t say that. That’s a guy mocking me because I don’t think Haith should be fired in spite of his .738 winning percentage at Mizzou.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            unfiltered honesty is correct. I didn’t start the thread, and everything I wrote in it was answering the questions of others. I wouldn’t have said it if people didn’t ask. So in a sense it’s not “self” importance, but me just living up to the importance they’re giving me with the questions.

            Basically I’m just entertaining some bored people for an afternoon. No big woop.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            loki, Mizzou is a solid tier 2 school. I also went to Michian, which is a solid tier 1 school, and I work for a top 5 school. I know the difference.

            Like

    • vp19 says:

      Certainly explains why Turgeon left.

      Like

  51. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    LSU is negotiating with Syracuse for a home and home. Syracuse would play at Tiger Stadium in 2015, and speculation is that the return game a few years down the line would be played at MetLife. The 2015 hole in the schedule was left by a delay of the LSU/Arizona State home and home that was necessary to make way for the LSU/Wisconsin game at Lambeau in ’16.

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/writer/jeremy-fowler/24481434/lsu-syracuse-working-on-home-and-home-starting-in-2015

    Like

  52. Wainscott says:

    Did Rutgers actually lose to Louisville 92-31?!?

    On the bright side, the program can only get better…

    Like

  53. loki_the_bubba says:

    Rice has fired basketball coach Ben Braun. Getting an early start in the coaching change season.

    http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/10601907/rice-fires-hoops-coach-ben-braun

    Like

  54. Arch Stanton says:

    Indiana and Purdue both eliminated in the first session of the first day. Big Ten Conference tournament tickets just got a whole lot cheaper on the secondary market!

    Like

  55. Transic says:

    Rutgers has added a home-and-home series with Pac-12 member Washington beginning in 2016 along with moving the UCLA series to 2020-21, Rutgers Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Julie Hermann announced today.

    Rutgers and UCLA were originally scheduled to play in 2016-17, but the series was moved back to allow the Scarlet Knights to have seven home games in each of those respective seasons.

    Rutgers travels to Seattle to face Washington on September 3, 2016 to begin the season. The Huskies travel to High Point Solutions Stadium on September 2 to open the 2017 season in Piscataway. The two schools have never met on the gridiron.

    With the Washington series set, Rutgers and UCLA have pushed back their original two-game series from 2016-17 to 2020-21. Rutgers visits the Rose Bowl on September 5 to open the 2020 campaign, while the Bruins make the return trip east to High Point Solutions Stadium on September 11, 2021.

    http://www.scarletknights.com/football/news/release.asp?prID=14522#.UyHdSvldVg1

    Like

  56. Richard says:

    Sometimes painful, but this is why I like being a Northwestern fan:
    http://www.sippinonpurple.com/2014/3/13/5503780/northwestern-wildcats-big-ten-tournament:

    “what morgan freeman has taught us
    is that NU was held back in the Carmody era by playing defense against its own championship athletes. I’m with Rodger – B1G champs for sure.

    i’ve got my tickets booked to Dayton, and I suggest you all do the same.”

    Like

    • Mack says:

      The regular season does not count for much in college basketball. At least for a few more hours most teams can still make the dance by winning their conference tournament. Even Northwestern has better odds of getting an invite than I do of winning the $500 million for picking a perfect bracket.

      Like

  57. Transic says:

    The Atlantic Coast Conference is finalizing details for a multi-year agreement to play its postseason tournament at the Barclays Center. The details are expected to be completed by the end of the month, according to multiple sources.

    The ACC desires a two-year agreement that could start as early as 2017, the next uncommitted year for the ACC Tournament. (The ACC plays in Greensboro in 2015 and in Washington DC in 2016).

    The looming issue with playing at the Barclays Center in 2017 is the Atlantic 10 Tournament, as 2017 is the final installment of the A-10’s five-year agreement with the Barclays Center. The details of how the ACC and A-10 will navigate that have not been finalized and are expected to be discussed in the Atlantic 10’s presidents and athletic directors meetings on Friday morning.

    The ACC’s move to New York has been viewed within the conference as inevitable, as it’s expected that the league will rotate through New York and North Carolina locations after 2017. (Maryland’s departure to the Big Ten makes Washington DC a less natural place to hold the tournament.)

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/college-basketball/news/20140314/acc-tournament-barclays-center-2017/#ixzz2vv513vrl

    Interesting that he would say that D.C. would be less likely to be used in the future (and also that he thinks there won’t be any possibility of using MSG).

    Questions off the top of my head:

    1) Where would this ultimately lead the A10 to, if they can’t use the Brooklyn facility for much longer?

    2) Would this make it more likely or less likely that they’d invite UConn?

    Like

    • Pablo says:

      The move to NYC is a no brainer. In college sports, I believe refs are more influenced by fans. Having the ACC tournament in North Carolina allowed more passionate followers to attend games (I have great memories attending live games), but it also needlessly helped UNC, Duke, Wake or NC State.

      After Syracuse & Pitt joined, and before Maryland left, where to host the tournament was debate able. DC v NYC was a real toss-up.

      Like

    • Wainscott says:

      No impact on UConn. No invite is forthcoming for them any time soon, if ever.

      Like

    • Wainscott says:

      Another key point from the article:

      “(The Barclays Center has also been in conversations with the Big Ten)”

      The ACC is also only seeking a two year agreement, and intends to rotate the championship between NYC and North Carolina. Leave some air for the B1G to occasionally rotate its championship at Barclays in years when the ACC will be in NC.

      I’d expect the B1G to try out a MBB tourney in NYC once or twice to see how it goes and is received.

      Like

    • Wainscott says:

      From ESPN:

      “A Big Ten official told ESPN earlier in the season that the Big Ten would have an East Coast rotation for its tournament in later years, with the additions of Rutgers and Maryland, with the possible destinations being New York or Washington, D.C.”

      http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/10606349/a-10-change-barclays-dates-2017-acc

      Like

      • urbanleftbehind says:

        Does the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ host a tourney (e.g. the MAAC, Northeast) or for that matter the IZOD Center or the Nassau Coliseum? Maybe there should be one year where as many conferences jam their tourneys into the greater NYC area.

        Like

        • Wainscott says:

          Dunno, but NY and its media are very provincial. An event in Newark is not going to make any dent in the NYC media market. Might as well be Buffalo.

          There’s a reason the ACC opted for Brooklyn over Newark, and why the A10 is considering DC and Philly, but not Newark..

          Like

    • urbanleftbehind says:

      A-10 should do Philly or DC.

      Like

    • Transic says:

      David Teel saying a deal has been struck between A-10 and ACC. He’s saying that the A-10 wants to move its tourney to Washington, DC, in 2017.

      http://www.wralsportsfan.com/colleges/audio/13479452/

      Like

    • vp19 says:

      The Verizon Center was named site of the 2016 ACC tourney after Maryland announced its intention to leave for the Big Ten. I wouldn’t be surprised to see D.C. host a Big Ten tourney in 2018, then go to Brooklyn by 2021.

      Like

      • Pablo says:

        Doubtful that the ACC and Verizon Center negotiated a deal overnight. The world doesn’t revolve around any one school, including Maryland.

        Like

  58. Pablo says:

    http://georgiatech.blog.ajc.com/2014/03/12/johnson-hopeful-about-admissions-changes/

    Great article and reader comments on recruiting at Georgia Tech. Paul Johnson always seems to be on thin ice with GT fans…mainly because of his putrid record against UGA and in bowls. But it appears that Johnson is gaining credibility with GT administrators…nice to see flexibility in normally rigid admissions criteria.

    Like

    • Richard says:

      We have a GTech grad where I work, so I am a bit familiar with the academic rigor there. The main constraint is that every student has to pass calculus in order to graduate from Tech, and unlike at UNC, the profs there are not going to give passing grades for failing scores, athlete or not.

      Like

  59. Brian says:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/college/ct-northwestern-football-spt-0314-20140314,0,5530198.story

    A timeline for NW’s new facility. Construction should start in 2015 and take 2 years.

    Like

  60. Marc Shepherd says:

    Has the Big Ten announced the format of the basketball tournament with 14 teams? They could exclude the bottom two, give byes to two fewer teams, or extend the tournament to a fifth day as the ACC has done.

    Like

    • @March Shepherd – Haven’t seen any confirmation, but I’d bet dollars to doughnuts that they’ll include all 14 teams and extend the tournament to a fifth day. Conference tournaments are all about ticket sales and TV programming as opposed to merit – being able to stick an extra day of games on ESPN and/or the BTN is more than enough reason to bring all 14 schools to the dance.

      Like

      • Eric says:

        I bet you are right, but I hope they actually keep it at 12 though as I think it would actually be more interesting. If the bottom 2 don’t go, that all of a sudden makes those games among the bottom teams at the end of the season very meaningful.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          Um, in what way?

          Unless a tournament game meant the difference between being above .500 and below .500 (and thus an NIT bid), I don’t see how those games become “very meaningful”. I hope you realize that the 13th and 14th best teams in the B10 don’t have any sort of realistic chance of actually winning the conference tourney and gaining a bid to the Big Dance.

          Like

          • The “old” Big East of 16 teams used to invite just 12 teams to the conference tourney under the same theory (it would supposedly make the last games between lower-level teams more exciting for teams trying to get in, a la promotion/relegation day in the Premier League), but they quickly figured out that it was damaging those lower-level programs even further with fan bases dwindling and ADs and coaches getting axed. Plus, the guaranteed trip to Madison Square Garden in and of itself was part of the selling point to recruits and fans, so the league quickly relented and added a 5th day to the tournament.

            I don’t really mind it. I look at conference tourneys as the last shot for everyone to make it into the NCAA Tournament – cutting 2 Big Ten teams out of that hope won’t really improve anything competitively or financially.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Those games would be a lot more meaningful for the coaches. Missing the B10 tourney could be a firing offense for many programs.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Brian;

            Sure, but it’s unlikely to help with revenues. People don’t go to watch a game to see if a coach will keep his job or not.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            I don’t disagree, I was just answering your question about in what way they’d be meaningful.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            It could be a preliminary final round:

            Wed. PF1 12/13, PF2 11/14;
            Thu. SR1 8/9, SR2 7/10 SR3 6/PF1 SR4 5/PF2
            Fri. QF1 1/SR1, QF2 2/SR2, QF3 3/SR3, QF4 4/SR4
            Sat. SF1 QF2/QF3, SF2 QF1/QF4
            Sun. Final SF1/SF2

            Given the lure of filthy lucre, that would seem to be the version that least interferes with the serious contenders.

            Like

          • Logan says:

            BruceMcF, that is the format the SEC uses for 14 teams.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            So something soaked in during six years living in Knoxville, one of ESPN’s top 10 metered marlets for college BBall by ratings. Of course, preliminary play in at the bottom makes a lot of sense for the SEC with their excess of cannon fodder programs.

            Like

      • vp19 says:

        I think the Big East excluded a few teams from its tournament for a few years once it expanded past 12, then reverted to letting every member which wasn’t on NCAA probation. I personally prefer the latter format and hope all 14 Big Ten members can play when eligible. Then again, I’m a Terrapin fan who still has an ACC mindset, where the conference champion, not the NCAA entrant, is determined by the conference tourney. (That policy also applies to the Big East and perhaps a few other conferences, probably including the Southern, whose conference tourney dates back to the ’20s and spawned the SEC and ACC — Maryland beat Kentucky in the 1931 SC tournament finals.)

        Like

    • Brian says:

      Marc Shepherd,

      “Has the Big Ten announced the format of the basketball tournament with 14 teams? They could exclude the bottom two, give byes to two fewer teams, or extend the tournament to a fifth day as the ACC has done.”

      I haven’t seen anything official, but I doubt they will exclude anybody. Frank’s probably right that they’ll add a day, but I wish they would give 2 fewer byes.

      Day 1 = 3/14, 4/13, 5/12, 6/11, 7/10, 8/9
      Day 2 = 1/8, 2/7, 3/6, 4/5
      Day 3 = 1/4, 2/3
      Day 4 = 1/2

      Like

      • Richard says:

        Only problem there is that 6 games in one day at one arena is very difficult to fit in. You want them to start playing at 8AM or finish at 2 in the morning?

        Like

        • Yes, it would be impossible logistically. It’s already a pretty tight schedule with just 4 games. The extra day is worth it just for TV purposes (i.e. there can be a prime time doubleheader on Wednesday featuring the bottom 4 seeds and then the same schedule would be kept from Thursday through Sunday as now).

          Like

        • Brian says:

          1. Nothing limits them to just one venue. There isn’t a second arena in Chicago/Indy/etc they could use for a day, or a venue with 2 courts?

          2. I’d start in the morning. Attendance will be crappy for a 3/14 game anyway.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            Re: #1

            In theory. In practice, many fans who shell out the money (travel and tickets) want to see most/all the games, which you won’t be able to do by holding games in 2 stadiums.

            Plus, you also consign some games to crappy time slots. Fans from schools with a hoops culture (like IU & MSU and UofI) want to see their team even when beating up on a 14th seed, and they wouldn’t be happy with an 8AM start.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            If they have 6 games on Day 1, fans can see a triple header at each place/court. All the later rounds would be as usual. And frankly, some games already have crappy time slots (noon ET on a weekday, midafternoon on a weekday) so there’s no big change there either.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            They can always stretch it out even more to try to get more money. Give 1 and 2 byes to the semis, give 3 and 4 byes to the “quarters,” etc.

            1 – 11/14, 12/13
            2 – 9/?, 10/?
            3 – 7/?, 8/?
            4 – 5/?, 6/?
            5 – 3/?, 4/?
            6 – 1/?, 2/?
            7 – ?/?

            Becomes:
            1 – 11/14, 12/13
            2 – 9/12, 10/11
            3 – 7/10, 8/9
            4 – 5/8, 6/7
            5 – 3/6, 4/5
            6 – 1/4, 2/3
            7 – 1/2

            It favors the top teams more than the current plan of byes to the quarters for the top 4 and makes it really hard on the bad teams. It gives a doubleheader for 5 straight nights (M-F) before a Saturday afternoon doubleheader and Sunday afternoon final.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Brian:

            Again, in theory. In practice, since I haven’t see a single conference hold more than 4 games in one day or spread a tournament over 2 sites in the same city (not counting preliminary games at homecourts), I’m going to wager that the folks who run these things consider your plans be logistically undesirable.

            Also, since the B10 isn’t a 1-bid conference, there’s little impetus to giving higher seeds more byes. The conference bball tournament is mostly just a revenue-generating enterprise, so why not have the top teams play often?

            Like

          • vp19 says:

            Also, since the B10 isn’t a 1-bid conference, there’s little impetus to giving higher seeds more byes. The conference bball tournament is mostly just a revenue-generating enterprise, so why not have the top teams play often?

            In this year’s ACC basketball tournaments, the top four seeds had double byes. I’m not necessarily endorsing that format, merely pointing it out.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            “In practice, since I haven’t see a single conference hold more than 4 games in one day or spread a tournament over 2 sites in the same city (not counting preliminary games at homecourts),”

            Nobody had done a conference-owned network before the B10 did and many reflexively thought that was a bad idea, too.

            “I’m going to wager that the folks who run these things consider your plans be logistically undesirable.”

            Or they never even really considered it because nobody else has done it.

            “Also, since the B10 isn’t a 1-bid conference, there’s little impetus to giving higher seeds more byes.”

            It keeps them fresher for the NCAA tourney while giving lesser teams more chances to win some games and improve their post-season stock.

            “The conference bball tournament is mostly just a revenue-generating enterprise, so why not have the top teams play often?”

            Because you can stretch it out to even more days and make even more money, as well as potentially earn more NCAA units by getting bubble teams some needed wins to get over the top and resting the top teams.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Look, Brian, I don’t really have a dog in this fight. You go convince the B10 administrators to do it your way and then get back to me once you succeed, OK?

            Like

          • Richard says:

            “Also, since the B10 isn’t a 1-bid conference, there’s little impetus to giving higher seeds more byes. The conference bball tournament is mostly just a revenue-generating enterprise, so why not have the top teams play often?

            In this year’s ACC basketball tournaments, the top four seeds had double byes. I’m not necessarily endorsing that format, merely pointing it out.”

            That’s what would happen in a “conventional” format where you invite all teams and play a max of 4 games a day (with 14 teams).

            Brian’s second plan would give the top 2 teams quintuple byes.

            It’s also unrealistic because a conference tournament isn’t going to be stretched over 7 frickin’ days. Schools will want to have home games the weekend before the tournament, so 5 days is really the max. Then again, Brian seems to be king of the unrealistic (for some unknown reason; I’m not sure what his first and second formats have in common that a “conventional” format doesn’t have).

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            “Look, Brian, I don’t really have a dog in this fight.”

            And yet you felt a need to argue against it.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            “Then again, Brian seems to be king of the unrealistic”

            Shockingly, an unwarranted personal attack. Stay classy, Richard.

            “I’m not sure what his first and second formats have in common”

            They have nothing in common. The first condenses the tournament as much as possible while including all 14 teams. The second expands it as much as possible (you claimed extra days make them more money, so I took that to it’s conclusion).

            Like

      • mnfanstc says:

        IMHO, these conference tournaments are what helped contribute significantly to the demise of the importance of the regular season. Now the regular season title takes on less meaning, as it is the tournament champion that gets the NCAA auto-bid (of course, in the major conferences, more than 1 team goes). What the conference tourneys have done is give “bubble” teams one more chance to “win” or “lose” their spot in the dance, raise or spoil a potential higher seed’s opportunity in the dance, a few more chances to injure key players before the dance.

        Of course, basketball is not the only sport with the silly conference tournaments—but, they all have one thing in common for the conferences/schools–let’s try and get more dough…

        Like

        • Brian says:

          It’d be interesting to see someone try a double elimination tournament. It would give them more games and end up with fewer fluke results.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            If the NCAA allows them to, which I’m pretty certain they don’t. At least without cutting off more regular season games.

            Like

  61. tiger says:

    Hypothetically the B10 is adding another school in the Northeast and it’s options are UConn, Syracuse, Pitt & Boston College. Which do you prefer? Which do you think the B10 prefers?

    Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      Johns Hopkins.

      Like

    • Wainscott says:

      None, but of the 4, Syracuse. Pitt is redundant in TV and strongly opposed by PSU. BC is a nonentity in its home market. UConn is a lesser overall program without Syracuse’s academics or overall athletics.

      Like

      • largeR says:

        @ Wainscott: Please enlighten us on when and how PSU was opposed to Pitt. I have never seen anything on that issue. I agree Pitt doesn’t make economic sense.

        Like

        • Wainscott says:

          For enlightenment, See: http://college-football.si.com/2013/05/31/ohio-state-gordon-gee-controversial-comments/

          It jives with what I have read in the past that PSU publicly fine with Pitt but privately is opposed to having to share PA and giving equal footing to a rival school when it could instead remain the big dog in the state .

          Like

          • largeR says:

            Gordon Gee for enlightenment! Who’d a thunk it?

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            Why not? Gee was very candid in that talk, candid to the point of losing his job.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            Yep, he let slip that the B1G was looking at Kansas and Missouri and that he thought the B1G should have taken them when they had the chance, and lamented that they did not. Very honest of him.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Had that happened when Nebraska left, that might have been enough to tip the southern schools into the Pac 16. A&M probably would have still gone SEC. Texas, Tech, OU, OSU to Pac 16 and KSU or Baylor joins them. The interesting thing would be who would be #14 in the SEC. KSU/Baylor? TCU? WVU?

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Bullet, please…

            Baylor has no chance, not low, no chance of PAC membership. K St would wave a better chance than Boise St, but only slightly, and then only as a requirement of UT. But their chips would have been used up to bring TT, and the by themselves unacceptable (supposedly) Ok pair. In 2010 the PAC was looking for five, not six. Colorado was a done deal and when aTm balked the only choice for the fifth was Kansas…or Utah.

            Like

          • Mack says:

            If the B1G had gone to 14 by taking 3 from the B12 at least 9 B12 teams would have joined other conferences. Baylor and ISU would be left out in the cold. The PAC might have taken Kansas State, or passed on them for Utah. The SEC would go after the ACC for 14 and maybe 15-16. NC, VA, VT, and FSU would be potential adds for with all of the schools at the head of the list knowing that if they did not jump FSU would get the invite and turn the ACC into a much weaker and poorer football conference. In this scenario the B1G might get calls from some ACC schools looking for a better offer.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Why would the B12 disintegrating make the SEC interested in FSU when they weren’t interested in the real timeline?

            Like

          • Mack says:

            If the B1G had taken Mizzou off the board (the Gee premise) who would the SEC have to pair with TX A&M? Do you think WV has more value than FSU? Of course the SEC would try to get NC, VA, or VT before FSU, but FSU beats the non-ACC alternatives available (WV, Pitt, Syracuse, Rutgers, ISU, Baylor, KSU)

            Like

      • Richard says:

        Pitt fits in all ways besides the TV/footprint aspect. All of the others have major flaws (including TV).

        In any case, hypothetically, the B10 would look southward (or towards ND), so hypothetically, it’s a moot point.

        Like

    • frug says:

      I don’t think they want any.

      That said, gun to their heads, my bet is the Big Ten would take Pitt since it’s the only AAU school of the bunch, but UConn probably makes the most economic sense.

      Like

      • frug says:

        I meant Syracuse probably makes the most economic sense.

        Like

        • frug says:

          Actually, now that I think about it, UConn would make the most economic sense because it is the only school that wouldn’t require a $200 million or so buyout of a GOR.

          Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            UConn would make the most economic sense because it is the only school that wouldn’t require a $200 million or so buyout of a GOR.

            That’s short-term thinking. Expansion is a multi-decade decision. A GOR isn’t going to stand in the way of a move the parties would otherwise want to make. They’ll just wait until the 2020s, when all of the relevant schools will be (briefly) available after their GORs expire, and before they have to sign up for another one.

            Like

          • frug says:

            I interpreted the question as referring to the near future.

            Like

    • Brian says:

      tiger,

      “Hypothetically the B10 is adding another school in the Northeast and it’s options are UConn, Syracuse, Pitt & Boston College. Which do you prefer? Which do you think the B10 prefers?”

      Me:
      1-799. None
      800. Other
      801. Pitt – in the footprint, rival for PSU, keeps ACC out of the footprint
      802. SU – most like a B10 school of the remaining choices
      803. BC – strong academics, big market
      804. UConn – offers almost nothing but hoops

      B10:
      1-799. None
      800. Other
      801. SU – most like a B10 school of the remaining choices, helps with NYC/NJ
      802. BC – strong academics, big market
      803. UConn – offers almost nothing but hoops, might help in NYC a little
      804. Pitt – no TV gain

      Like

    • Wolverine says:

      Delaney and the B10 did a study and found Connecticut would add the most [potential] value of the Northeast universities. I still think all of the above come up short to B10 standards and the B10 would prefer an expansion of Kansas & Virginia over any of universities listed.

      If the very unlikely event one of Syracuse, Connecticut, Pittsburgh, Boston College takes off and is really successful in football before the B10 decides to expand to 16, I could see the B10 favoring one of them. AAU status is also a factor that could help Syracuse, Connecticut; both are trying to earn or earn back AAU status.

      Like

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        Delaney and the B10 did a study and found Connecticut would add the most [potential] value of the Northeast universities. I still think all of the above come up short to B10 standards and the B10 would prefer an expansion of Kansas & Virginia over any of universities listed.

        They can always choose to do nothing until the right schools are available. Jim Delany always reminds people how long the Big Ten stayed at 11 schools. Expansion is a waiting game.

        AAU status is also a factor that could help Syracuse, Connecticut; both are trying to earn or earn back AAU status.

        You can’t earn back what you never had. UConn has never been in the AAU.

        Syracuse is only three years removed from its decision to voluntarily leave the AAU because it knew it was about to face a membership vote that it could lose. The facilities and recognition required to gain admission take decades to put together, and there are a lot of schools knocking on the door.

        Syracuse was clearly at or near the bottom by AAU standards; anyone they admit has to be well above the bottom, because they don’t want to let schools in only to kick them out again. It’s safe to say that Syracuse has a long way to go before it would be invited back.

        I’m not saying that either Syracuse or UConn couldn’t eventually be in the AAU, but you’re probably talking decades down the road, unless the association has a change of heart about membership qualifications.

        Like

        • Wolverine says:

          I assumed it was a hypothetical where we were suppose to choose the best option of those available. None of them are particularly attractive to the B10 and agree the B10 is more than likely to just stay at 14 for awhile unless a Virginia, ND or Texas becomes available…

          That said, I found it odd that Delaney’s and the B10’s study found that UConn would add the most revenue of the schools in the Northeast and the fact that the B10 announced that. To me it implied that the Huskies are a lot more serious candidate for B10 expansion than most give them credit for and probably above the others on tiger’s given list of four Northeast Universities: Pittsburgh, Connecticut, Syracuse & Boston College…

          In our just for fun expansion exercises we practice here, every time the B10 lands a big fish (Maryland), they also need a tag along (Rutgers) to make the league an even 16. If the B10 landed say Virginia or Notre Dame, they’d need to complement it with another school; e.g. Kansas, UConn, Pittsburgh, BC, Syracuse, etc.

          Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            I assumed it was a hypothetical where we were suppose to choose the best option of those available.

            It clearly was a distant hypothetical, but perhaps so distant that it’s about as relevant as me debating where to take Kate Upton on our first date.

            That said, I found it odd that Delaney’s and the B10′s study found that UConn would add the most revenue of the schools in the Northeast and the fact that the B10 announced that. To me it implied that the Huskies are a lot more serious candidate for B10 expansion than most give them credit for…

            They didn’t exactly “announce” it; it’s a fact they allowed to leak. That doesn’t make it truly serious, although I agree it makes UConn the most likely among four highly unlikely candidates. I think UConn would need to improve academically and substantially upgrade their football program before they’d be considered.

            Like

        • Andy says:

          Syracuse isn’t “at or near the bottom” or AAU standards, they’re well below. Which is why they voluntarily dropped out.

          Kansas is “at or near” and may be voted out before too long.

          Like

      • Brian says:

        Wolverine,

        “I still think all of the above come up short to B10 standards and the B10 would prefer an expansion of Kansas & Virginia over any of universities listed.”

        And they’d put a lot of schools above KU. The B10 has almost no interest in expanding in the plains. They chose to go east and won’t undo that except for a big fish like UT. UVA, UNC, Duke and GT are near the top of the B10’s list.

        Like

        • Andy says:

          They may well get Virginia and GT if they wait long enough, but UNC is almost certainly never going to join the B1G. That’s not what their alumni or big donors want at all.

          Like

    • Wainscott says:

      To me, the only certainty is that the #15 would be Virginia. I think the more interesting debate is the #16.

      Reading the tea leaves (several AD’s after UMD and RU were added seemed to step back from the long-held assumption that only schools in states contiguous to the B1G footprint would be considered, combined with the evident eastern focus of the B1G leaders and the repeated assertions that academic quality (Read: AAU) is a requirement, that leaves UND (obviously), UNC, and GT as only real targets for the B1G, with the likely preference for UNC.

      I think schools like UConn, Syracuse, Oklahoma, Kansas, BC, Pitt, and others were all closely vetted, considered, and ultimately passed on for various reasons, and I don’t foresee B1G leaders seriously re-considering those rejections.

      With the exception of Oklahoma (and maybe KU because of KSU), the B1G could have had at any point in the last 20 years any of those schools and yet decided not to invite them. I think the B1G always viewed Rutgers as a prime target simply because of its NYC proximity, academics, and similarities with other B1G schools (large, research-oriented, public universities)–basically, for all reasons except athletics. I think the focus on the mid-Atlantic is more recent, but is also where the better school targets are, and where the growth closest to the B1G’s historic footprint is.

      Like

      • Brad Smith says:

        How would the ACC and SEC respond to further Big Ten expansion into the South?

        Would the SEC go after UNC? Would UNC prefer Big Ten or SEC? ACC?

        How would the ACC respond to losing Virginia? Further defections?

        Would the SEC or ACC look West to the Big 12 (Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma) or closer to the American, to stay closer to its footprint (Cincinnati, UConn, Memphis)?

        Like

        • urbanleftbehind says:

          UNC is the ACC. So I think the ACC being done is part and parcel of any UNC movement. With the emergence of Florida as a perennial hoops “king” and Tennessee as a close-by “prince”, I feel UNC is comfortable with a move to the SEC. The SEC and ACC probably dont mind B16 expansion so long as it is nerdy public ACC schools (VA, GT, UNC?) and/or Duke getting taken.

          I dont know how the ACC survives the hollowing of its core with the old Big East Schools (SYR, BC, PIT, +Wake/Duke) on one end and the large southern 2nd rank public schools (VT, FSU,CLM,NCSU +Miami) on the other. Maybe a simultaneous split of the AAC allows for both a Big East v2 (UConn, Cincy, Temple reunited) and a slightly more Florida-centric alternative to the SEC (+UCF, +USF, +ECU) to emerge. Duke and Wake may just decide to glom onto the 3rd group of SW private schools (Tulane, SMU, Rice, TCU, Baylor) if they decide not to support football at the same magnitude. If ND receives assurances of the BEv2’s remaining in the automatic bid group, they will just stay with them. Again Baylor would not go quietly – theyve invested two much money and could elbow their way into the SEC or PAC also.

          Like

        • Wainscott says:

          If we find out the answers to these questions at all, they will come in about 10-12 years (as these moves typically occur in advance of expiration of present contracts, to take effect upon expiration).

          My take: SEC won’t care much, if at all, since it wouldn’t be losing a member to the B1G. ACC would likely respond with UConn/Cincy (maybe Memphis if it gets its act together in football/Fred Smith writes a big check to the ACC in the form of an overly-generous FedEx sponsorship of various ACC events).

          UNC prefers ACC 1st, 2nd, & 3rd. Fans likely prefer SEC, leadership might prefer academics of B1G. The tell would be if the influx of northerners into NC keeps its present pace, and their offspring go to UNC, changing the climate and fan base to one more amenable to playing in a northern/midwestern conference.

          I could see the SEC looking at Oklahoma, provided OU is not handcuffed to Okla State.

          Like

          • Wainscott says:

            I could also easily foresee in 10-12 years that UVa decides that it does not want to leave the ACC and the B1G decides to stand pat at 14. Even though Delany likely won’t be helming the conference by then, I doubt the next leader/school presidents will expand without a compelling reason to. Furthermore, 14 might turn out to be a better number than 16, providing access to more markets while still allowing for some semblance of a close-knit conference feel (especially with 9 or even 10 conference games and the prospect of the elimination of the 2 division requirement). Even with 10 conference games, 16 already starts to feel more like a loose association of schools than a distinct conference.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            There’s an assumption that newcomers don’t adapt. George W. Bush didn’t get that West Texas accent from his Connecticut-raised Dad.

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            No, but its not exactly like he’s resumed clearing brush since he left office. Living in tony Dallas suburbs is not that far off from living in tony Houston suburbs or tony NYC suburbs, except for the size of the hats.

            Like

          • Psuhockey says:

            The BIG might want the ACC to survive. Fact is the ACC is more a thorn in the SEC’s side than it is in the BIG’s. If the BIG takes UVA, than Virginia tech could go to the SEC putting a local SEC school right in close proximity to the fertile recruiting grounds of Virginia and Maryland. Is the gain of UVA that much greater than the potential problems with the SEC so close? If anything it would be smarter for the BIG to take Virginia Tech because there is zero chance UVA would go to the SEC.

            I think the BIG likes its buffer from SEC territory. I also think the BIG doesn’t want any academic heavy weights heading to the SEC, which could happen if the ACC collapses. As long as there are questions about the academic standing of the SEC, no high brow snooty administration in Austin, Chapel Hill, Durham, or Charlottesville is going to sign off on a move to that conference unless forced or with other snooty schools in tow.

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            @Psuhockey,

            I understand what your saying, but CFB recruiting is sufficiently national these days that the buffer idea doesn’t (to me) mean much of anything. Most B1G programs try to (or have) pipelines to either TX or FL (or both), as well as recruiting in home and neighboring states.

            Moreover, the B1G has bordered on an SEC state since 1933 (Ohio & Indiana with Kentucky), and now has another large state (Missouri) with an SEC program on its borders. I doubt having another border, or even sharing a state with the SEC, would affect the B1G’s thinking on this issue.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            I think the BIG likes its buffer from SEC territory.

            I’m not seeing any evidence for this. I mean, if UNC/UVA decided to throw their weight to the Big Ten, do you really think the conference would say no? Really??

            Like

          • Wolverine says:

            North Carolina is very southern in culture while the Tar heel fans and more importantly their major donors are very pro SEC. B10 might love to add North Carolina but joining they’d do the very thing their fan base doesn’t want them to do.

            Regardless, the B10 stealing Virginia does little to kill the ACC to force North Carolina to leave the ACC. The real value in the ACC is in North Carolina and the football schools: Florida State, Clemson, Miami; for the most part universities the B10 and SEC aren’t very interested in.

            Like

        • Brian says:

          Brad Smith,

          “How would the ACC and SEC respond to further Big Ten expansion into the South?”

          The ACC would look to stabilize again, perhaps by filling the hole(s) and perhaps by staying at 12.5.

          “Would the SEC go after UNC?”

          Sure, assuming UNC didn’t go to the B10 as part of the initial expansion.

          “Would UNC prefer Big Ten or SEC? ACC?”

          UNC will always prefer the ACC, but there may come a time where the finances dictate making a move. If UVA is in the B10 at that point, UNC might join them. I don’t see UNC joining the B10 without UVA.

          “How would the ACC respond to losing Virginia? Further defections?”

          If UVA leaves, that likely means at least one other school is also leaving. If UNC goes, the ACC will disappear. If UNC stays, the ACC will try to stabilize.

          “Would the SEC or ACC look West to the Big 12 (Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma) or closer to the American, to stay closer to its footprint (Cincinnati, UConn, Memphis)?”

          I don’t see the ACC looking that far west nor do I see interest in the ACC from anyone in the B12 other than WV and the scrubs. They’d probably have to look locally.

          I think TAMU would try to keep UT out of the SEC.

          Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            “I think TAMU would try to keep UT out of the SEC.”

            Can it be called “keeping out” someone who doesn’t want in?

            Like

    • Tom says:

      In this scenario, the choice would come down to Syracuse vs. UConn. I would prefer UConn. Larger enrollment, similar basketball program. Better location from the B1G’s point of view (2.5 hours from New York vs. 4 hours in the case of Syracuse). It would also give the league 5 of New York’s 6 biggest college football fan bases (Notre Dame is #2). Football wise, they both are pretty poor, but Syracuse has a tradition of success, albeit one that is fading into the past. Still, if you put UConn football into the B1G and compare them against Syracuse football in the ACC, I wouldn’t see a big difference between the two.

      Like

  62. Mack says:

    The worst buzzer beater shot I ever saw was at the end of the OSU-MI game.

    Like

  63. Transic says:

    The Pac-12 Conference announced Saturday that it has formalized plans to stage a nonconference men’s basketball game in China on Nov. 14, 2015. The league claims it’s the first time any U.S.-based sports league, collegiate or professional, has staged a regular-season game in that country.

    Washington will play Texas in the 2015-16 season opener in Shanghai, and the specific site will be announced later.

    http://www.statesman.com/news/sports/college-basketball/ut-to-play-basketball-game-in-china-in-2015/nfDg9/

    Hey, let’s play one game in Kazakhstan while we’re at it.

    Like

  64. Brian says:

    After a quick look at the brackets:

    2. WI – perennial tournament chokers, but their draw isn’t bad (1. AZ, 3. Creighton, 4. SDSU)
    2. MI – might be a little high (1. Wichita, 3. Duke, 4. UL)
    4. MSU – they are hot now and could make a FF run (1. UVA, 2. Nova, 3. ISU)
    6. OSU – won’t make the second week (3. Cuse)
    11. NE – one and done (6. Baylor)

    FF guesses:
    East – MSU
    Midwest – UL
    South – UF
    West – AZ

    UL over MSU
    UF over AZ

    UL over UF

    Like

    • Arch Stanton says:

      Look out for Iowa in the play-in game – the Hawks are on fire!

      Like

      • Brian says:

        TN can be dangerous. They blew out UVA in December and played UF closely twice. They’ve blown out a lot of teams lately (yes, I know the SEC stinks in hoops).

        Like

        • BruceMcF says:

          Dangerous is exactly the term for them … they have not been consistently good, but in the minority of games where they have really clicked, they have been very good indeed.

          Like

  65. ChicagoB1GRed says:

    Weird factoid…strange days……. 0 teams from Illinois or Indiana, 2 teams from Nebraska…….wouldn’t have ever predicted that!!

    Like

    • bullet says:

      I think last year there were no teams from Texas. This year two conferences they don’t normally represent (SLC-dominated by LA in bb- and SWAC) had two Texas teams in the finals and the Big 12 had 2 Texas teams meeting each other in the semi-finals. And SMU was the first one out thanks to Providence winning the BE.

      IU refused to play in the CBI which usually gets about every team w/I 1 game of .500 from the P5. Maryland is viewed as likely to refuse as well. Both missed the NIT.

      Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      Interesting viewpoint: he’s basically saying that these kids don’t want to be in college anyway, so a two-year minimum is two years to commit NCAA violations that bring down the program.

      Of course, if the kids don’t want to be in college, Donovan doesn’t have to recruit them.

      Like

      • Wolverine says:

        That’s about the worst reason possible a coach could give about being against the 2-and-done. Makes me seriously question the type of players he recruits.

        Like

    • Pablo says:

      Donovan seems to assume that the only alternative to the NBA is the NCAA. I thought that Silver mentioned the NBDL and Europe as viable options. Although many NCAA programs create better branding opportunities for kids, there are options for those who don’t want -or don’t qualify- to go to college.

      This is a case where NBA and NCAA interests may align.

      Like

      • Wainscott says:

        Marc is right though, if Donovan is concerned, recruit other players. Unless he is ok with rubbings the risks in order to potentially win a title or two.

        Like

        • BruceMcF says:

          The funny thing is that the “save us from ourselves” implied by “please let these talented athletes I am forced to recruit leave school before they get me in trouble” has an analogous “save us from ourselves” argument for raising the NBA age to 20.

          Like

          • Wainscott says:

            Completely true.

            I’m also perplexed why the union does not support a higher minimum age. For every rookie coming in to the league, its a presently-existing dues paying union member losing a job. The veterans have a self interest in raising the minimum age in order to keep their roster spots an extra season or two.

            Like

          • Pablo says:

            Wainscott,

            The union reluctance may be that they want some sort of chit for their acquiescence. Raising the minimum age favors current union members. The only legitimate beef will come from truly superstar players, like Lebron James, who will have to wait for NBA stardom.

            Like

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        Donovan seems to assume that the only alternative to the NBA is the NCAA. I thought that Silver mentioned the NBDL and Europe as viable options.

        As long as they can academically qualify, most of these kids would far prefer the NCAA’s big stage to a developmental league that gets no national TV coverage or a pro league on another continent where none of their family or friends can see them.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          But if more of them chose the D league, then it would get more attention and coverage.

          Like

          • Wainscott says:

            Why? The vast, vast number of high school players are virtual unknowns until they enter college. Why would unknown 18 year olds going to a minor league generate more attention and coverage?

            Like

          • Brian says:

            ESPN covers the top HS players already, and the McDonald’s AA game gets national coverage. A network can build on that to make the hype. What they won’t do is hype borderline NBA backups in their mid-20s.

            If ESPN gets the D league rights and more top HS players joined, look for ESPN to expand their AAU coverage to build the hype and then continue to hype the top guys in the DL. Hoops coverage is all about stars and not teams anyway (it’s LeBron vs Kobe, not Heat vs Lakers). The problem now is that the DL doesn’t have any stars.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Sorta by defination?

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Not really. They could easily have stars if they were taking the top HS talent. But since they aren’t, they can’t have stars.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            I have no interest in HS star wannabes (other than a slight interest in someone very local that I already have an interest in seeing how his college career turns out, good or bad). They may be good enough to attract college offers, and some will prove to be good (and some not as much). They will gain from a built in following at that school. Those viewers and their interest is what provides most of their value pre NBA. Who gives a rats @$$ what top flight AAU or HS select team does, unless it’s representing the USA in some international competition. How much is ESPN or Fox spending to promote and broadcast the Toledo Mudhens?

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            But if more of them chose the D league, then it would get more attention and coverage.

            The problem is circular. The D-league would get more attention and coverage if it had better players. But the better payers don’t want to go there because it has less attention and coverage.

            Interest in a sport (or a league) is difficult to manufacture. It gets built over a period of many decades. What would it take for the Mid-American Conference to attract the same quality of players as the Big Ten? I think we can agree that’s a tough proposition, practically impossible.

            So, what would it take for the NBA D league to start taking great players away from college? It’s probably not going to happen, unless the colleges themselves change the rules to make fewer of those players eligible.

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            And that’s not even considering the salaries for D-League players would have to be high enough to get 18 year olds to forego college, that a vast majority of MBB players do not intend or even want to go pro, the quality of coaching in the D-League (playing for Coach K/Self/Calipari/Roy Williams/Boeheim or some former NBA head coach/assistant hanging on.

            So many obstacles that would take decades to surpass, if ever. The gamble is also very big for ESPN, hyping kids and spending good money on folks who do not pan out at the next level. At least with college it can sell the collegiate atmosphere to alumni and local fans with established emotional ties. Much harder to do with Erie BayHawks.

            Also, ESPN devotes very little time to HS basketball–a handful of games every year, and even the ESPN hype machine won’t make enough people care about 18 year olds without some basis for achievement. Even Tim Tebow needed some success on the field at UF before ESPN was able to make him a legend. Same with Manziel. And more people follow football than basketball.

            The Lebrons of the world, where Time Warner was able to sell his high school games for 10 bucks a pop PPV in Ohio are very few and far between, once in a generation talents. And part of his hype was that he was an Akron kid who had a real chance of rescuing his home state Cavs after some period of extreme futility. A real made for TV story.

            Like

          • @Wainscott – Agreed. Plus, we already see how little coverage minor league baseball garners despite having top prospects right out of high school, and a fair number of those minor league teams have legitimate multi-generational fan bases that would take decades for the D-League to build up. Separately, the European pro leagues play at a higher level than Division I basketball while paying much higher salaries than the D-League ever could (as many of them are owned by cash-rich soccer clubs in places like Spain), yet there’s no media interest here in those games (even though plenty of NBA fans are following prospects overseas, as I am doing with Nikola Mirotic that the Bulls have contract rights to and would be considered to be a high lottery pick if he was coming out in this year’s draft) and American players have continued to shun them.

            Once again, I think people seem to forgotten that the quality of basketball 10 years ago for both the NBA and college levels was significantly poorer than what we see today. The NBA and college levels will be better off working together to get the 20-year old age limit passed (as, despite the musings of Mark Cuban and Billy Donovan, there’s momentum from both sides to push that through). Neither the NBA nor college levels can make the limit too draconian because, whatever university presidents might say in public about academic integrity, those billions of dollars being paid by CBS, Turner and ESPN for college basketball games not-so-implicitly demand that top programs continue to get top stars going to school instead of Europe or the D-League. The team name on the front of the jersey certainly has a ton of value (which is why college basketball is successful in a way that minor league basketball hasn’t been), but such value is maximized when they’re still getting the best players. It seems that it’s mutually beneficial for everyone involved with the exception of the once-in-a-generation LeBron-type talent… which of course means that someone will still mess it all up.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            ccrider55,

            “I have no interest in HS star wannabes”

            Then you aren’t their target market.

            “Who gives a rats @$$ what top flight AAU or HS select team does, unless it’s representing the USA in some international competition.”

            Hoops junkies, apparently. ESPNU even aired the announcing of the latest McD’s AA squads, while ESPN aired the McD’s AA game.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Marc Shepherd,

            “The problem is circular.”

            Yes, it is. That doesn’t make it impossible to change it, though.

            “But the better payers don’t want to go there because it has less attention and coverage.”

            I would guess that 99% of players and their families don’t even know it’s an option available to them.

            “Interest in a sport (or a league) is difficult to manufacture. It gets built over a period of many decades.”

            But ESPN is already laying the groundwork by hyping HS hoops players. That provides potential name recognition that the DL has never had before.

            “So, what would it take for the NBA D league to start taking great players away from college?”

            Money. That’s the X factor here. They can inject a resource that the NCAA won’t, giving them a chance to break the current cycle. Once they get some better talent, they’ll have a better product for TV.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            When the talent gets good enough to be recognizable/marketable it’ll be headed to the NBA. Until then it’s arbitrary select teams with no historical reason to be attract support vs college teams that have ardent supporters even when mediocre and devoid of obvious NBA potential.

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            “Yes, it is. That doesn’t make it impossible to change it, though.”

            Who do you propose make the first move. The NBA, offering an 18 year old enough money to bypass college? ESPN to televise NBADL games?

            “I would guess that 99% of players and their families don’t even know it’s an option available to them.”

            Goes to show how highly thought of the NBADL is on the AAU circuit.

            “But ESPN is already laying the groundwork by hyping HS hoops players. That provides potential name recognition that the DL has never had before.”

            ESPN seldomly hypes HS hoops. Even the McDonalds All America game is weekday afternoon filler on ESPNU. Maybe SportsCenter will devote a segment to it that day. Maybe.

            “Money. That’s the X factor here. They can inject a resource that the NCAA won’t, giving them a chance to break the current cycle. Once they get some better talent, they’ll have a better product for TV.”

            Money is always the X factor. You haven’t brought forth a compelling reason why NBA owners should actually spend millions when the payoff is far from certain.

            Also, how much, and for how long, to make a minor league where players would be for 1 or 2 years a viable, lucrative option? Decades, at least.

            Heck, the NFL even realized the folly of maintaining a minor league by doing away with the NFL Europe and not so much as lifting a finger to save Arena Football, when several NFL teams actually owned Arena League teams. Now you want the NBA, while successful, not as successful as the NFL, so spend millions to build up a minor league on the mere hope that ESPN will decide its a lucrative TV property, all the while cannibalizing the colleges and collegiate conferences just as ESPN is funding conference networks and millions for MBB TV rights?

            And this is just as more baseball players are going to college, finding the singing slots in the draft too restrictive and not as lucrative to pass up going to college, and just as college hockey is increasing in popularity and awareness. The trend is actually toward college sports, not away from it.

            The bottom line is Cuban threw an idea out there not because it would be good for the NBA, but because he hates the NCAA. That Silver and other owners are focused on the age limit instead of Cuban’s proposal should demonstrate what most other NBA leaders actually think of the proposal.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            ccrider55,

            “When the talent gets good enough to be recognizable/marketable it’ll be headed to the NBA.”

            The elite players (Lebron, Kobe, etc) are famous for multiple years in HS thanks to ESPN and other media outlets. Since they can’t go straight to the NBA anymore, they’d be very marketable in the DL. Especially since the DL probably wouldn’t put minimum appearance restrictions for each team in their TV deal. Having 2 or 3 elite players that are shown in almost every game would draw some hoops fans.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Wainscott,

            “Who do you propose make the first move. The NBA, offering an 18 year old enough money to bypass college? ESPN to televise NBADL games?”

            If I was the NBADL, I’d go give money and free stuff to the top players in every class from 7th grade up (except where it’s illegal, of course). They’ll end up ineligible for NCAA play and then have to take the low salaries the DL can afford. They should also recruit every elite kid that has bad grades/test scores and try to keep them out of the JUCOs. As the talent increases, the TV deal will gain value. Then they can pay better salaries, attracting more of the players. It’ll never be huge, but it could certainly be better.

            Many of the dumb but talented players should also jump at the chance to get paid to play hoops. They won’t ever earn a real degree anyway.

            “Goes to show how highly thought of the NBADL is on the AAU circuit.”

            Most recruits are incredibly uninformed about things at the next level. Even the mainstream options (LOI for FB, etc) are often poorly understood at best by the players and their families.

            “ESPN seldomly hypes HS hoops.”

            The family showed 12 games in December and January, featuring 8 of the top 10 recruits in the nation. WatchESPN has even more HS games (12 games in the past week).

            “Even the McDonalds All America game is weekday afternoon filler on ESPNU.”

            The AA game is on at 8:30pm CT this year (hosted in Chicago) on ESPN.

            “Money is always the X factor. You haven’t brought forth a compelling reason why NBA owners should actually spend millions when the payoff is far from certain.”

            Nor have I claimed they need to spend millions. They already pay the current players. Replacing them with other players doesn’t automatically cost a lot more.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            If I was the NBADL, I’d go give money and free stuff to the top players in every class from 7th grade up (except where it’s illegal, of course). They’ll end up ineligible for NCAA play and then have to take the low salaries the DL can afford.

            But the NCAA is already giving them a de facto developmental league for free? Why spend their own money, when they can sit back and let the colleges do it for them?

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Because the NCAA’s profit could become their profit instead. Eliminating the middle man is a common business approach.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            “Because the NCAA’s profit could become their profit instead.”

            Except that it can’t. The NCAA’s profit comes in good part from the brand equity that schools like UK, IU, UNC, KU, etc. built up through generations.

            The tons of IU fans who pack Assembly Hall aren’t going to suddenly become Fort Wayne Mad Ants fans even if top high schoolers start heading to the D-League (and getting that to happen is frankly too cost-prohibitive for the NBA).

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Some of it can, by stealing some unaligned fans and NBA-first fans that only watch NCAA hoops to see who’s in the pipeline. They don’t need to replace the NCAA, just get a share of the market.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            That’s a minuscule number, Brian. Not enough to cover the increased costs.

            Also, I assume that you’d have no problem with the NFL starting a developmental league and taking top HS football talent as well, I suppose.

            It’s all moot anyway; just an exercise in intellectual masturbation, as there’s no way to make the finances work.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            “That’s a minuscule number, Brian. Not enough to cover the increased costs.”

            Prove it.

            “Also, I assume that you’d have no problem with the NFL starting a developmental league and taking top HS football talent as well, I suppose.”

            No, I wouldn’t.

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            “If I was the NBADL, I’d go give money and free stuff to the top players in every class from 7th grade up (except where it’s illegal, of course). They’ll end up ineligible for NCAA play and then have to take the low salaries the DL can afford.”

            If the NBA tried that, senators and representatives from basketball mad states without pro teams would haul the NBA’s butt in for congressional hearings and call for investigations in about a week. They would very likely threaten the NBA’s anti-trust exemption for pooling media rights, and maybe investigate whether the NBA’s ownership of the NBADL itself would be some sort of anti-trust violation (baseball’s minor leagues has a full anti-trust exemption). The NBA would have much to lose relative to the modest monetary gains (if any) that it would enjoy running the NBADL.

            It would be entirely another thing if the NBA tried recruiting against college teams and creating baseball-like options for the players (go NBADL or go to college) without resorting to tricks. But to actively spoil the pool to create ineligibility would be something Senators from, say, Kentucky (Mitch McConnell, Senate GOP leader), Kansas, and numerous other states would simply not abide.

            Plus, its not just the money, its the overall experience. NBADL arenas pale in comparison to major college facilities. NBADL team facilities, if they even exist, are nowhere near as elaborate and well-stocked as those at the elite schools the types of players in play here would consider.

            The PJ Hairston situation illustrates all sides of the issue, the problems with NCAA rules and limits on money for collegians vs the harsh realities of playing in the minor leagues. See: http://www.expressnews.com/sports/columnists/buck_harvey/article/Future-of-madness-Pull-of-a-Legend-5326150.php.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            “But to actively spoil the pool to create ineligibility would be something…”

            The Phillies are going to be suffering the backlash from someone in their organization trying to do just that this year. Why would any school allow scouts/reps from the Phillies on campus now?

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            “That’s a minuscule number, Brian. Not enough to cover the increased costs.”

            Prove it.

            I think you have the burden of proof backwards. You’re the one proposing something that doesn’t currently exist.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Wainscott,

            “If the NBA tried that, senators and representatives from basketball mad states without pro teams would haul the NBA’s butt in for congressional hearings and call for investigations in about a week.”

            Not if they did it in the right way. Offer the money to the parents (legal adults who can be expected to understand the consequences of their actions) openly, and point out that their child doesn’t need good grades to play in the DL. Rather than trying to survive college as a virtual illiterate, going to the DL would be the correct choice for plenty of players.

            “Plus, its not just the money,”

            Unless you don’t have any.

            “its the overall experience. NBADL arenas pale in comparison to major college facilities. NBADL team facilities, if they even exist, are nowhere near as elaborate and well-stocked as those at the elite schools the types of players in play here would consider.”

            No classes or homework. A paycheck. No limitation on training hours. The ability to take any gift offered to you. For some, it’s the better option.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Marc Shepherd,

            “I think you have the burden of proof backwards. You’re the one proposing something that doesn’t currently exist.”

            I haven’t made any factual claims, and thus I don’t need to prove anything. He asserted the claim, so the burden of proof is his.

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            “Not if they did it in the right way. Offer the money to the parents (legal adults who can be expected to understand the consequences of their actions) openly, and point out that their child doesn’t need good grades to play in the DL. Rather than trying to survive college as a virtual illiterate, going to the DL would be the correct choice for plenty of players.”

            1) That is quite the revision of your prior statement, “If I was the NBADL, I’d go give money and free stuff to the top players in every class from 7th grade up (except where it’s illegal, of course). They’ll end up ineligible for NCAA play and then have to take the low salaries the DL can afford.”

            2) Its worse to try to survive life as a virtual illiterate than to survive college as a virtual illiterate. At least in college, you have access to those who can help you get an education for free.

            3) You’ll need to back up the claim that the NBADL would be the correct choice for plenty of players, considering the length of the average NBA career, the small number of rookies who actually make a roster in a given year (450ish total NBA roster spots if my math is accurate, most teams only have 1 or 2 rookies in a season), the number of roster spots that would be available in the NBADL,potential for lack of playing time in the NBADL if a player is not as good as anticipated (happens frequently) and other of life’s variables that could render a kid out of basketball and without a college degree by 20 (injuries, for example).

            “Unless you don’t have any.”

            Even then, it might be. Many a college athlete has gotten an education even when dirt poor. Certainly, for some, then need the cash up front, without question. For others, they might actually value the education for the long term payoff.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Wainscott,

            “1) That is quite the revision of your prior statement”

            No, it isn’t. I didn’t explain how they should do it the first time, this time I did. Expansion isn’t revision.

            “2) Its worse to try to survive life as a virtual illiterate than to survive college as a virtual illiterate.”

            Not if you get paid for it.

            “At least in college, you have access to those who can help you get an education for free.”

            No, they help you get a degree for free. A degree does not equal an education for all athletes.

            “3) You’ll need to back up the claim that the NBADL would be the correct choice for plenty of players,”

            Plenty of players can’t qualify academically for college and/or become ineligible for taking money (Chris Webber, etc). Getting paid to play is the correct choice for them. The DL only has a handful of teams and each team will return most of its players each year. They don’t need many new players each year.

            “… and other of life’s variables that could render a kid out of basketball and without a college degree by 20 (injuries, for example).”

            Having money in the bank at that point would be a significant step up for many people.

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            “No, it isn’t. I didn’t explain how they should do it the first time, this time I did. Expansion isn’t revision.”

            Nope. The first time around, you talk about making kids ineligible so they’ll have no choice but to go to the NBADL. Second time, you talk about standard recruiting, pitching the benefits of the NBADL vs college (standard but for the part about paying parents).

            “Not if you get paid for it.”

            They’ll only get paid for it if they are good. If they aren’t, they won’t get paid for very long, and won’t have an education/degree to fall back on, and won’t have the same opportunities to get one (ie, not paying for a school they could have gone to for free). More jobs today require a college degree than ever before.

            “Plenty of players can’t qualify academically for college and/or become ineligible for taking money (Chris Webber, etc). Getting paid to play is the correct choice for them. The DL only has a handful of teams and each team will return most of its players each year. They don’t need many new players each year.”

            Taking money from a booster does not mean that they should have gone to the NBADL. All it means it the player wanted to have the college experience and also get paid for it.

            “Having money in the bank at that point would be a significant step up for many people.”

            Until it runs out. Its not like we’re talking millions here. Money comes, money goes, especially for teenagers. $100k might seem like a lot to them, but it’ll quickly go bye-bye for most.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Wainscott,

            “Nope. The first time around, you talk about making kids ineligible so they’ll have no choice but to go to the NBADL.”

            I said they’d become ineligible (if they took the money/stuff). I didn’t say go make them ineligible like it was a secret mission.

            “They’ll only get paid for it if they are good.”

            Obviously. I never said every HS player should do it.

            “If they aren’t, they won’t get paid for very long, and won’t have an education/degree to fall back on, and won’t have the same opportunities to get one (ie, not paying for a school they could have gone to for free).”

            Lots of them never graduate now. Many don’t even make it to college.

            “More jobs today require a college degree than ever before.”

            Not the jobs most of these guys would be going after.

            “Taking money from a booster does not mean that they should have gone to the NBADL.”

            It does after they get caught. How was Webber going to pay back hundreds of thousands of dollars? It also indicates the DL is a better choice because they refuse to follow the NCAA rules. Schools don’t want to get punished for this crap.

            “Until it runs out. Its not like we’re talking millions here. Money comes, money goes, especially for teenagers. $100k might seem like a lot to them, but it’ll quickly go bye-bye for most.”

            And it’s a hell of a lot more than most 20 year olds have. They can get a job like anybody else, but they start with a nest egg.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            “That’s a minuscule number, Brian. Not enough to cover the increased costs.”

            “Prove it.”

            If this was such a great money-making opportunity, the NBA (and NFL) would already be doing this. The fact that they’re not throwing money left and right to attract top HS talent to a developmental league (heck, the NFL folded their’s) show that there isn’t this massive number of fans who don’t care for college basketball but would pay real money to see future NBA stars out there, Brian. Heck, MLB has a minor league system where fans can see tomorrow’s potential stars if they want to, and they barely draw enough to survive (in fact, couldn’t without subsidies from the parent club).

            You’ll have to show that the people who run the NBA and NFL are idiots and that the great business genius Brian somehow found a lucrative money-making opportunity for them that was staring them right in the face which they were blind to.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            Yes, Brian, you are correct … having made no factual claim, your argument was sufficiently weak that it was indeed overkill to present an opposing claim to contradict it. “Some of it can, by stealing some unaligned fans and NBA-first fans that only watch NCAA hoops to see who’s in the pipeline. They don’t need to replace the NCAA, just get a share of the market.”

            No particular reason has been presented to believe that they can get a sufficient share of that market to survive as a going concern.

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            “I said they’d become ineligible (if they took the money/stuff). I didn’t say go make them ineligible like it was a secret mission.”

            You did not say it was a secret mission- you said what you would do straight up–poison the well of athletes so they would be ineligible and have nowhere to go.

            “Lots of them never graduate now. Many don’t even make it to college.”

            True, but they have the opportunity. They can choose to capitalize on it or not.

            “Not the jobs most of these guys would be going after.”

            Certainly not without any collegiate education.

            “It does after they get caught. How was Webber going to pay back hundreds of thousands of dollars? It also indicates the DL is a better choice because they refuse to follow the NCAA rules. Schools don’t want to get punished for this crap.”

            That’s the schools problem. Not the players problem. Players often want the fun and glamour of college and also want to get money on the side. Doesn’t mean they value one more than the other, just that they want both.

            “And it’s a hell of a lot more than most 20 year olds have. They can get a job like anybody else, but they start with a nest egg.”

            I LOL’d at the idea of an illiterate 20 year old with a $100k nest egg. Because they’ll know how to manage that nest egg instead on spend it on booze and girls. And with no education, that nest egg would not be replenished with some minimum wage job.

            Bottom line, if the NBA actually thought this scheme would work out well for them (ie make money) they would do it. But there is simply no reason for them to assume the costs and responsibilities of something college already does for them for literally no money whatsoever. The NBA gains hyped players and names made in the NCAA Tourney, names it can then hype for the draft and sell tickets. Has more of a cache than some player called up from the minors. The NFL’s experience is instructive here, as it killed NFL Europe because of the costs, even when personnel folks liked having a minor leagues that produced players for them. And the NFL could afford to lose that money because it actually prints its own money anyways.

            Also, you never provided a compelling reason for ESPN, which spends millions annually on MBB, why they will start broadcasting high school games in any critical mass, and whether there is even a market for more than a handful of such games annually. ESPN has rights for the LHN, SEC Network, is rumored to be interested in an ACC network, and on top of that, will broadcast high school games and bid on NBADL games that would cannibalize those massive investments? Yeah, sure.

            Also, when ESPN broadcasts HS games, they emphasize what college such and such player is committed to, in order to begin building awareness for those recruits. But the average college fan won’t know them until they suit up for their school, because they wont be watching a HS game.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            “If this was such a great money-making opportunity,”

            I never claimed it was. You’ve created a giant strawman of a concept and keep attacking it, but it’s not anything I ever proposed.

            I never said they should spend tons of money nor did I say they could make tons of money.

            “You’ll have to show that the people who run the NBA and NFL are idiots”

            Some of them do a pretty good job of demonstrating it.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Wainscott,

            “You did not say it was a secret mission- you said what you would do straight up–poison the well of athletes so they would be ineligible and have nowhere to go.”

            No, you decided that’s what I meant. They have to choose to take the money (unlike poising a well), I specifically said I wouldn’t do it where it’s illegal (which it is in some states), and you decided that I couldn’t mean to make the offer to the family.

            “True, but they have the opportunity. They can choose to capitalize on it or not.”

            That’s true with literally anything, and thus a meaningless sentiment.

            “Doesn’t mean they value one more than the other, just that they want both.”

            They can’t have both (theoretically). They know they are risking one to get the other. Thus the value the other one more.

            “I LOL’d at the idea of an illiterate 20 year old with a $100k nest egg.”

            It’s better than illiterate without the nest egg. They can get a good job still (learn a trade, join the army, etc).

            “Bottom line, if the NBA actually thought this scheme would work out well for them (ie make money) they would do it.”

            They’re lazy. As long as college will do most of the work for them, they don’t want to expend the effort. That doesn’t mean it wouldn’t make some money for them, just not enough immediately projected income to overcome their inertia.

            “But there is simply no reason for them to assume the costs and responsibilities of something college already does for them for literally no money whatsoever.”

            There is if they believe the DL would produce better players, which Cuban is claiming.

            “The NFL’s experience is instructive here, as it killed NFL Europe because of the costs, even when personnel folks liked having a minor leagues that produced players for them.”

            The NFL was playing American football in Europe. This would be basketball in America. Huge difference.

            “Also, you never provided a compelling reason for ESPN, which spends millions annually on MBB, why they will start broadcasting high school games in any critical mass,”

            They’re doing it on their own already. As with every sport they cover, the attention they give it will only increase.

            “and whether there is even a market for more than a handful of such games annually.”

            They show more than a handful already, so apparently there is.

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            “No, you decided that’s what I meant. They have to choose to take the money (unlike poising a well), I specifically said I wouldn’t do it where it’s illegal (which it is in some states), and you decided that I couldn’t mean to make the offer to the family.”

            No. You decided what you meant, then changed it when asked to explain it. You explicitly stated you wanted to give gifts to kids from the 7th grade onward so they would be ineligible for the NCAA and thus have to accept a lesser salary. “If I was the NBADL, I’d go give money and free stuff to the top players in every class from 7th grade up (except where it’s illegal, of course). They’ll end up ineligible for NCAA play and then have to take the low salaries the DL can afford.”

            You then revised it to offering the money to the parents, which is also against NCAA rules (Cam Newton case lacked proof). But still would have the same effect of fomenting ineligibility.

            The except where illegal bit has no real meaning unless its somehow a violation of state or federal law to give free stuff to junior high and high school kids.

            “They can’t have both (theoretically). They know they are risking one to get the other. Thus the value the other one more.”

            Oh, but they can, because only a handful actually get caught. And the NCAA’s enforcement staff nowadays has lost numerous investigators and supervisors, and the ones there are botching investigations (See: Miami).

            “They’re lazy. As long as college will do most of the work for them, they don’t want to expend the effort. That doesn’t mean it wouldn’t make some money for them, just not enough immediately projected income to overcome their inertia.”

            Except where previously you said “Because the NCAA’s profit could become their profit instead. Eliminating the middle man is a common business approach.” Considering something like 85% of the NCAA’s operating budget comes from the NCAA MBB tourney, that’s a lot of money to be made, yet they actually arent doing anything to try to make it.

            “It’s better than illiterate without the nest egg. They can get a good job still (learn a trade, join the army, etc).”

            History shows this does not actually happen. They can do whatever they want. What history actually shows is bankruptcy, minimum wage, drugs, and jail.

            “There is if they believe the DL would produce better players, which Cuban is claiming.”

            Cuban’s claims are wholly the product of his imagination. He offers no support that NBADL life classes for one year would make players more prepared than college for a year. Cuban’s broader agenda is death to the NCAA and its hypocrisy, but he hasn’t thought his plan out that well.

            “The NFL was playing American football in Europe. This would be basketball in America. Huge difference.”

            Not really, since its a minor league basketball, something there’s little market for right now, whereas NFL Europe was a minor leagues designed to create an international audience for american football. Plus, NBA teams make more money from TV than anything else. NBADL wouldnt have nearly as rich a TV deal.

            “They’re doing it on their own already. As with every sport they cover, the attention they give it will only increase…They show more than a handful already, so apparently there is.”

            http://espnmediazone.com/us/press-releases/2013/11/2013hsbb/ Plus the McDonalds game is hardly much more than a handful. Its peanuts for them. Its a vehicle to intruduce hardcore fans to players playing for elite colleges next year to get them excited. Getting folks to become diehard NBADL fans would take decades.

            As Jim Calhoun once said, the pros are about the names on the back, and college is about the name on the front of the jersey. That allegiance just will not be broken by the minor leagues (See: the rise in interest and profitability of College Baseball and Hockey, and the ongoing struggles of minor league teams in those sports).

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Wainscott,

            “You explicitly stated you wanted to give gifts to kids from the 7th grade onward”

            And I consider giving stuff to their parents giving them gifts.

            “so they would be ineligible for the NCAA and thus have to accept a lesser salary.”

            I didn’t say that. I said they’d end up ineligible. You assumed that was the sole intent of the gifts, but I never said it was.

            “You then revised it to offering the money to the parents, which is also against NCAA rules (Cam Newton case lacked proof).”

            The DL doesn’t need to abide by NCAA rules. Only people that want to play in the NCAA do.

            “The except where illegal bit has no real meaning unless its somehow a violation of state or federal law to give free stuff to junior high and high school kids.”

            There are laws in some states that do just that, at least for agents, and I don’t know their details enough to say whether they’d apply to this situation. Thus it very much does have meaning, since I’m not advocating committing crimes.

            “Except where previously you said “Because the NCAA’s profit could become their profit instead. Eliminating the middle man is a common business approach.””

            Yes, and some of it could become theirs. It’s a very large pie. The DL could get a slice.

            “History shows this does not actually happen. They can do whatever they want. What history actually shows is bankruptcy, minimum wage, drugs, and jail.”

            Only because those are the sensational stories. Lots of people live successful adult lives but never gets covered because it’s boring. Even the ones that bottom out sometimes turn around to become public speakers, drug counselors, etc.

            “Cuban’s claims are wholly the product of his imagination.”

            He knows more about the NBA and business than I do, so I defer to his opinion on this.

            “He offers no support that NBADL life classes for one year would make players more prepared than college for a year.”

            That doesn’t make him wrong.

            “Not really,”

            Yes really.

            “Plus, NBA teams make more money from TV than anything else. NBADL wouldnt have nearly as rich a TV deal.”

            Nor would they have nearly the expenses.

            “http://espnmediazone.com/us/press-releases/2013/11/2013hsbb/ Plus the McDonalds game is hardly much more than a handful.”

            So you agree, it’s more than handful (which was all I said it was).

            “Its peanuts for them.”

            Lots of things are. So what?

            “Its a vehicle to intruduce hardcore fans to players playing for elite colleges next year to get them excited.”

            Partially. There are HS basketball fans out there. There are NBA fans that want to know who’s coming in the future.

            “Getting folks to become diehard NBADL fans would take decades.”

            Possibly. But they don’t have to be diehard fans to be of some value.

            “As Jim Calhoun once said, the pros are about the names on the back, and college is about the name on the front of the jersey.”

            It didn’t used to be that way for the pros, and college is getting more and more bandwagon fans based on the players and not the schools.

            “That allegiance just will not be broken by the minor leagues”

            It doesn’t have to be. Some fans only watch it because there isn’t a better alternative. All the time people have claimed there isn’t a market for X, and then when someone finally makes X available it does well.

            “(See: the rise in interest and profitability of College Baseball and Hockey,”

            Good examples of things we’ve always been told had no market and couldn’t make money.

            “and the ongoing struggles of minor league teams in those sports).”

            The WHL and AHL pull the same attendance as the major hockey conferences. Only MN, WI and ND do better (all are 10k+, everyone else below 7k average).

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Brian:

            “It didn’t used to be that way for the pros, and college is getting more and more bandwagon fans based on the players and not the schools.”

            Is there evidence college fandom is/has changed? We’ve always had bandwagon joiners during exceptional times. But we also have hardcore fans even in down times. Has that changed?

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            “I didn’t say that. I said they’d end up ineligible. You assumed that was the sole intent of the gifts, but I never said it was.”

            HAHA. Oh, you were being serious, I see. Well:

            First, you said “If I was the NBADL, I’d go give money and free stuff to the top players in every class from 7th grade up (except where it’s illegal, of course). They’ll end up ineligible for NCAA play and then have to take the low salaries the DL can afford.”

            A plain reading is that the money and free stuff will cause ineligibility. So is you subsequent defense of this statement: “Not if they did it in the right way. Offer the money to the parents (legal adults who can be expected to understand the consequences of their actions) openly, and point out that their child doesn’t need good grades to play in the DL. Rather than trying to survive college as a virtual illiterate, going to the DL would be the correct choice for plenty of players.”

            This tried modifying the first statement by shading the direct money and gifts leading to ineligibility. However, you went even further: “I said they’d become ineligible (if they took the money/stuff). I didn’t say go make them ineligible like it was a secret mission.”

            That’s a direct statement from you that, yes, they would end up ineligible for taking money and free gifts from NBADL recruiters and would then have no other option.

            “The DL doesn’t need to abide by NCAA rules. Only people that want to play in the NCAA do.”

            No one ever said it did. Of course the NBADL wouldn’t have to abide by NCAA rules. But if parents or kids take NBADL money, they would be ineligible.

            “There are laws in some states that do just that, at least for agents, and I don’t know their details enough to say whether they’d apply to this situation. Thus it very much does have meaning, since I’m not advocating committing crimes.”

            Applies only to certified agents recruiting college players, not the NBADL.

            “Yes, and some of it could become theirs. It’s a very large pie. The DL could get a slice.”

            Ooooh, a slice. FULL SPEED AHEAD.

            “That doesn’t make him wrong.”

            Doesn’t make him right, either. Just makes him a wealthy NBA owner with an opinion. James Dolan is also a wealthy owner with opinions. Doesn’t mean they are good ones worth listening to, just has more access to microphones to broadcast them.

            “Nor would they have nearly the expenses.”

            Except players, staid, coaches, practice facilities nice enough to tempt players not to go to college, travel, arena rental, insurance, recruiting, etc… Other than that, not nearly the expenses.

            “Lots of things are. So what?”

            So its not necessary worth doing without a big enough payoff.

            “Partially. There are HS basketball fans out there. There are NBA fans that want to know who’s coming in the future.”

            ESPN markets the players as elite recruits for college hoops fans.

            “t didn’t used to be that way for the pros, and college is getting more and more bandwagon fans based on the players and not the schools.”

            Proof?

            “It doesn’t have to be. Some fans only watch it because there isn’t a better alternative. All the time people have claimed there isn’t a market for X, and then when someone finally makes X available it does well.”

            If ever, it takes time to create a markets in sports. See: Soccer in the USA.

            “Good examples of things we’ve always been told had no market and couldn’t make money.”

            Or things that have been around for almost a century but now are being monetized better. Both have been profitable locally in passionate areas. And who said there was no market and they couldn’t make money?

            “The WHL and AHL pull the same attendance as the major hockey conferences. Only MN, WI and ND do better (all are 10k+, everyone else below 7k average).”

            And TV ratings? And attendance for Minor League Baseball? And tv ratings for minor league baseball? Also, the NHL does not own the minor leagues. The NBADL is owned by the NBA. Big difference.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Brian:

            You said: “I never claimed it was. You’ve created a giant strawman of a concept and keep attacking it, but it’s not anything I ever proposed.”

            You also said: “Because the NCAA’s profit could become their profit instead. Eliminating the middle man is a common business approach.”

            So you sure as hell proposed it.

            I fully expect you to try to weasel out of your words, so Brian, you are either a weasel or you are an idiot. At this point, I think you’re both.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            ccrider55,

            “Is there evidence college fandom is/has changed?”

            Probably. The TV coverage has shifted (look at the stress on individuals ESPN gives now versus what it was like a generation ago).

            “We’ve always had bandwagon joiners during exceptional times.”

            Yes, but they used to follow teams more than players. You see some of this in football too thanks to fantasy football. Maybe the mindset is leaking over from that.

            Like

  66. Brian says:

    ESPN’s 30 for 30 about the Big East aired tonight. It’s worth watching, but I hated the way they glorified the legalized assault they called defense in the 80s in the BE. It was a nice trip down memory lane of the glory years of the BE hoops in the 80s, though.

    Some good info about the formation of the BE, including how an NCAA rule change was key. Also a solid discussion of the football issue. They framed it as the BE chasing money and football was the only source left to tap, but also mentioned missing out on PSU in the 80s and how PSU joining the B10 knocked over some dominos. As the independents went away, Pitt, SU and BC needed football opponents. They also lost Dave Gavitt at the same time, and then many of their top coaches. Too many changes and too little leadership combined with the underlying structural issues of the BE to destroy it.

    Like

    • frug says:

      I enjoyed the doc, but I think it spent too much time discussing the league’s heyday in the 80’s and not enough time about its transition to a football league and eventual downfall.

      Also, UConn got shafted. They won 3 national titles (for the record all other Big East teams combined to win 4) and they were barely mentioned.

      Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      I didn’t get to see the doc, but I really look forward to seeing it sometime soon. I’m sure it’s very interesting.

      On a general note regarding the Big East and the network which broadcast its games for 34 years, I would like to see more public scrutiny placed upon the network’s comments and reporting of the reconstituted Big East…

      On FTT’s pages, when people have complained about ESPN announcers and commenters’ fawning over SEC football and their dismissiveness of Big Ten football, Frank has basically responded that ESPN does so because (a) discussing B1G, in a positive or in a negative way, is good for viewership because it generates interest and reactions from the B1G’s legions of fans, and (b) celebrating the SEC, or any other highly successful conference or individual program, is also good for business because everyone loves a winner. Although the extent to which ESPN’s crew exaggerates the SEC’s strengths and the Big Ten’s (and ACC’s) weaknesses can get nauseating, I do understand his point.

      The way that seemingly everyone from ESPN enthusiastically dismisses the “new” Big East, though, seems to be on a whole other level. I turned on the radio Sunday morning, and the host is talking for five minutes about how the MSG tournament isn’t the same, that it’s not really the Big East, that the basketball quality isn’t very good, and so on. During one of the games he called for ESPN on Friday night, Dan Dakich gestured with air-quotes when talking about the new “Big East.” Jay Bilas talked about how weak the league is, particularly dismissing Villanova for having beaten “only” Kansas out of conference, as though wins over quality Big East teams didn’t matter. Meanwhile, Andy Katz, Bilas, and others talk about how great the American conference is and how it was going to get five teams in the tournament, while saying nothing of how weak SMU’s schedule was or of how terrible the bottom five AAC teams were. Bilas, in particular, failed to mention that Louisville failed to beat a single other team in the NCAA field outside its weak conference while saying it should have been a #1 seed.

      The collective negative talk about the Big East, coupled with the praising of the American conference, ought to raise suspicion that this is more than just ESPN celebrating winners, as it does with SEC football. I mean, it’s one thing to just not talk about the Big East; after all, ESPN is a for-profit business with a product to sell, and American conference basketball happens to be one of them while the Big East isn’t. But the announcers haven’t just ignored; they’ve outright dismissed the league as some type of mid-major. That ought to raise questions that ESPN is using announcers, reporters, and analysts to actively try to smear this new Big East because its schools left the network that helped make them what they are today.

      Furthermore, when you consider that the Big East actually produced the same number of NCAA tournament participants, collectively played a tougher non-conference schedule, was fourth according to the RPI compared to the AAC’s eighth, the ESPN comments lead to further questions about whether announcers are merely helping the company grind an axe against a group of schools that left them, rather than giving their genuine opinions.

      This is the RPI ranking of the AAC schools and Big East schools: 1. Villanova (5 overall), 2. Creighton (10), 3. Louisville (19), 4. Cincinnati (21), 5. UConn (22), 6. Memphis (37), 7. Providence (40), 8. Xavier (51), 9. SMU (53), 10. St. John’s (65), 11. Georgetown (66), 12. Marquette (90), 13. Seton Hall (127), 14. Houston (142), 15. Butler (149), 16. DePaul (153), 17. Temple (177), 18. Rutgers (196), 19. UCF (219), 20. USF (231).

      Look, I’m not trying to say anyone is wrong for saying that the Big East isn’t what it used to be or that the tournament won’t be the same. It isn’t, and it won’t. But someone besides message board geeks, perhaps an ESPN or Yahoo! writer, needs to scrutinize ESPN’s over-the-top, sometimes juvenile criticism of the Big East.

      Like

      • Arch Stanton says:

        I agree with all of that. There is definitely a culture at ESPN and their employees know which way the winds blows out of Bristol.

        On a related note, it seems like the new Big East is held to a ridiculous standard just because they have the name “Big East Conference”. Yet they were still rated the 4th overall conference.
        If the AAC teams had kept the Big East name, I imagine there would be a lot of negative press about them relative to the old league (outside of ESPN anyway). Imagine how everyone would bemoan that it’s “not really the Big East conference without Syracuse, Villanova and Georgetown, etc”.
        One other thing that a lot of the TV guys also fail to note is that the new league has 10 teams. The old league had 16 in the past few years. Of course there are going to be a greater number of ranked or tournament teams if you have a pool of 16 to draw from. The new Big East got 40% of their teams in the tournament despite uncharacteristically bad years from Marquette and Georgetown.

        Like

        • Michael in Raleigh says:

          Yes, exactly, Arch.

          Everyone knows that the Big East of today isn’t what it once was. It’s not news.

          Before the Catholic 7 decided to split off and re-create their own, new Big East, they knew that by the start of the 2014-15 season, there would be no more Syracuse, Pitt, Notre Dame, Louisville, or West Virginia. Boston College was long gone. UConn would have been the only pre-2003 member. Cincinnati would have been the only other basketball power to be held over since before the 2011-12 season. Otherwise, it was a very good newbie in Memphis, a good newbie in Temple (though not liked by Villanova), and whole bunch of projects in long-struggling member USF and newbies UCF, Tulane, Houston, SMU, and possibly ECU and Tulsa, depending on how far the league would have expanded.

          In other words, once all those schools left for the ACC, Big 12, and Big Ten (not to mention Boise and SDSU staying in the MWC), Big East basketball was never going to be the same no matter what.

          On the other hand, considering all the announced departures between Syracuse & Pitt in September 2011 and Rutgers & Louisville in November 2012, I think this is the best “Big East” that could have been assembled. I suppose that if the C7 somehow been able to lure UConn, Cincy, Memphis, and perhaps to Temple to join them, that would have been a better league than the one with Creighton, Butler, and Xavier, but that was never, ever going to happen. Those schools had to have a place for their football programs.

          The realistic alternatives for a “Big East” today weren’t better than the one that exists today. A 16- to 18-team league with the C7, UConn, Cincy, USF, and all the new football schools would have been a continuation of the turmoil, only with a now watered-down basketball product and still without almost all of the traditional members that media types long for. (Just ask Louisville and SMU what that watered down product can do to a good team.) And, as you say, if the AAC had somehow managed to keep the MSG tournament and the Big East name, it would have been really temporary. UConn, Temple, Cincinnati, and Memphis, plus a bunch of schools which rarely make the NCAA tournament, wouldn’t have been enough to hold off the ACC and Big Ten. But having five schools within driving distance of Manhattan, and 6 schools (Villanova, Georgetown, Marquette, Creighton, Butler, Xavier) which have made the vast majority of 21st century tournaments, was enough to seal in this league with MSG.

          Like

          • Wainscott says:

            The Big East still needs to find a suitable member school in the Boston area in any future expansion. Holy Cross, make it happen!

            Like

          • vp19 says:

            Holy Cross reportedly was offered a spot in the original Big East in ’79, but turned it down.

            Like

          • Transic says:

            Not that it matters but Holy Cross also offer FCS football. If they’re added and, let’s say, Dayton and Richmond or Duquesne also join, then they’d have the numbers necessary if they want to start up a football league. I doubt that would happen but it’s an interesting thought.

            Like

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            Nah. Georgetown and Butler are completely non-scholarship teams. I think Holy Cross might be, too, and I know Dayton is. Meanwhile, Villanova is a scholarship program. That alone shows the difference in funding levels (roughly $40,000/player/year X 63 players). Villanova has a strong history too. They won the FCS national title about five years back, and have had a handful of eventual NFL Pro Bowlers. Richmond also is a scholarship program that has won an FCS title. Neither of those programs belong in the same league with non-scholarship programs. It would be as bad or worse than Ohio State being in the same league with Akron.

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            Holy Cross was the first school Gavitt spoke with, and they turned him down. Happened just as the school began de-emphasizing athletics. They used to have a heated football rivalry with BC before the mid 80’s.

            I think HC would be a great cultural fit with the Big East, but I also think BU would work, even if its non-sectarian (like Butler). But its hard to be a primarily Catholic conference and not have any Boston area school in it. I also think it would be good for Holy Cross, since HC plays most other Big East sports. Would also be important for TV purposes to have a real presence in Boston.

            As for football, the new Big East will not become a football conference for the reasons others stated. The member schools, if they even offer football, do it at such different levels, all of which are on the money-losing FCS level.

            Like

          • urbanleftbehind says:

            If HC or BU are not wanting in, look into getting St. Thomas University of St. Paul MN to upgrade.

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            What would St Thomas do for the Big East when St Louis, Dayton, Richmond, VCU, and countless other programs are potentially available? I threw out BU or HC simply because Boston is, in my view, a critical market for a Catholic athletic conference, important enough to tolerate the growing pains of a school near that city simply because the school is based near that city.

            I know its been reported that Georgetown pushed for Richmond, and I’m sure the east coast schools would want a 6th school in any expansion. Expansion to Minnesota wouldn’t do any of that, especially for a non-factor athletically.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Actually, if they want viewers and attendance at MSG, they’d add VCU.
            I don’t think that the key is adding private schools or Catholic schools, who are almost by definition small. The key is not adding football schools who will let football wag the dog.

            And no, the BE will not be adding a DivIII school in the Twin Cities.

            If they want in in Boston, they’d add BU (even with their miniscule bball attendance), not tiny Holy Cross in Worchester.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            Yes, I’d advise them to add SLU and VCU and call.it a day, but I think there are some schools in the BigEast that draw the line at private/public rather than at BBall-first / FBS..

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            Are VCU fans more likely to travel than other fans? Are VCU ratings higher than other candidates?

            HC has a devoted alumni base that I think would compensate for the school’s location. BU would be a solid fit, too, though, unless the conference prefers Catholic schools (with the exception of Butler). But most almost all of the rumored candidates are Catholic schools (Richmond and VCU are not), and based on that and the composition and prior expansion, a school’s cultural fit seems to be a big deal.

            My hunch is that Saint Louis is a lock if and when the conference expands, but that the lack of a identifiable 12th team in the east, combined with lackluster TV ratings and overall growing pains, will delay expansion a few years.

            Like

          • Arch Stanton says:

            Heard somewhere during the initial Big East expansion (Creighton-Xavier-Butler) that public schools were not considered specifically so that none of the conference business would be subject to FOIA requests. Not sure if that is true or not, but it could be something that is just as important to the PTB as the cultural fit.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Arch that might be true. However, there’s no reason to think that they care about Catholic vs. non-Catholic; they took Butler over SLU and Dayton, after all, even though SLU and Dayton are both much bigger than Butler and Catholic.

            Here are the privates currently not in the power 6/7 with the highest average bball attendance (in 2013), BTW:
            BYU: 16K
            Dayton: 12.4K
            SLU: 7.7K
            Siena: 6.4K
            Gonzaga: 6K
            Richmond: 6K

            Everyone else is outside the top 100.

            If BYU and Gonzaga are logistically too difficult, that leaves 2 slots for SLU, Dayton, Siena, and Richmond.

            SLU has the biggest media market (by far) of the 4 (though the other 3 get come coverage in Cincy, DC, and upstate NY) & I believe are the most successful recently of the 4 as well. I think they get in instead of Dayton.

            Then it comes down to Siena vs. Richmond. Both are small schools of roughly the same size, but Richmond has a ton more money (definitely a hoity-toity conservative old-money school).

            As for Boston, Northeastern is another possibility (that is actually in Boston). Holy Cross is a non-starter; the BE already has a school that is located 1 hour away from Boston (in Providence). They have little reason to add another smaller school that’s also an hour away and draws less than 2K in bball attendance.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            @Wainscott The likelihood of the individual fan to travel doesn’t have to be as high when you are talking about a school with an enrollment of 30,000, located where they can take the Northeast Regional to NYC, vs a school with an enrollment of 11,000 (Dayton) or 14,000 (SLU).

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            Siena was actually mentioned as a candidate by John Feinstein, but he was the only one to cite them, and they would have to ramp up spending more than most other candidates in regards to facilities and the like. As for VCU, I’m sure part of the issue with them is the relatively recency of its success and impact on MBB, and concern for what would happen to the program should Smart leave for a bigger name program. Also, size is important, but also the number of passionate fans. I believe Creighton had 4k at the Garden for the Big East title this past weekend, which to me is impressive.

            I think Dayton, SLU, and Richmond are all contenders, but I don’t think both Dayton and SLU would get invited, in order to ensure there are equal number of east coast and midwest teams. I think SLU’s tv market would give it a leg up over Dayton. But Richmond, VCU, and others will definitely be in consideration for expansion to benefit the east coast teams.

            Like

          • urbanleftbehind says:

            HC might have turned out more than BU’s 1,000 (800 of which were Illini fans) attending the NIT game last night. I think a key question is does the BE really want to go to 14 – I think there are 3 clear contenders for expansion (in order of preference) – SLU, Richmond, and Dayton – they might just hold tight at 10 if its not worth the weeding out/selection process for #14th. At that point you have the Big East + the old Great Midwest.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Uh, there’s no middle ground between 10 and 14?

            They can’t go to 12?

            Like

          • urbanleftbehind says:

            To Richard,

            They can go to 12, heck even stay at 11 (St. Louis only) like the B16 for so many years. The odd number actually compels some good TV/Bracket buster OOC games during the part of the schedule where team #11 doesnt have a conference game.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            @Richard ~ even if FS1 reaches the point where it makes sense to buy the extra Big East inventory, it doesn’t make any sense to go to 14. So I’d reckon they can ONLY go to 12. There’s no point in going to 12 just for the sake of the watering down the media money, so why expand until FS1 signals that a look-in at 12 would generate some more money?

            Which suggests that if schools are looking to punch their ticket into the Big East, its going to be like one of those multi-punch premium cards. Dayton just punched their card today, but I think its short odds that there’ll be more punches required when it comes time for the Big East to actually make the decision on how to invite for #11 & #12.

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            I remember reading that the Big East would actually get more money for going to 12.

            “Fox won them over with a 12-year deal worth about $500 million, according to reports. But the contract could spike to $600 million if the conference grows to a dozen teams, according to two people briefed on the contract but not authorized to speak publicly about its terms” (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/12/sports/ncaabasketball/fox-sports-and-new-big-east-are-teaming-up.html?_r=0)

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            “Could” is a wonderful weasel word … that can describe a contract including a look-in clause without actually having any guarantee of an increase. And promises while negotiating the launch of the conference to make good the impact if the Big East decided to launch with 12 are quite distinct from the terms that apply once the contract is signed. If a look-in includes any telecast revenue criteria, the Big East could well be better off avoiding a look-in until after FS1 viewership builds, which is typically a multi-year process for a new cable channel.

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            @BruceMcF:

            Yes, Could is a weasel word; we’re not privy to the actual language of the contract, and we don’t know what would actually trigger the extra money (expanding to certain markets, expanding only when certain ratings thresholds are met, etc…).

            But the mere presence of that clause to me shows that its a reasonable hurdle for them to get the extra money. They wouldn’t have spend time negotiating that provision purely as a vanity play.

            I think the Big East would be best served reviewing the attendance data that Richard supplied when determining who to invite, and I think it should be an east and midwest team in big market. But the NYT article earlier this week (or last week) also talked about how the Big East is still staffing up, so they have other, more pressing concerns than expanding.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            There is also likely to be some schools that prefer to wait and see right now. If there is a “wait and see” bloc, then they could be down to a choice between two different candidates to join SLU, and still have a three-way split in the vote with no majority for either candidate. And if the contract calls for a look-in on expansion, the current ratings would strengthen the case of the “wait and see” group.

            Like

      • Wainscott says:

        Fox Sports 1 has Big East tv rights. AAC has a deal with ESPN.

        Being in ESPN is like buying protection in 1930s Chicago.

        Like

  67. frug says:

    Random factoid, by sending 7 teams to the Big Dance this year, the Big XII became the first conference to have 70% of its members make the NCAA tournament since ’90-’91 when the Big East and ACC both did it.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Interesting comment on how the college football playoff might work was how Tennessee, Iowa, Xavier and NC St. made the last 4 in, while SMU and Wisc-Green Bay got left out (FSU, Georgetown, Minnesota were others suggested as being in first 5 out). GB was 24-6, beat UVA, lost close to Wisconsin, but was 56 RPI, 155 SOS and only 1-2 vs. top 50. They were 5-3 vs. top 100. SMU was first miss-23-9, 55 RPI, 137 SOS, 4-5 top 50 and 5-6 top 100 and beat Cincinnati and Memphis.

      Last 4 in:
      TN 41 RPI, 11 SOS, 3-7 top 50, 7-9 top 100 (beat UVA)
      Iowa 54 RPI, 44 SOS, 5-9 top 50, 7-11 top 100 (beat OSU, UM)
      Xavier 49 RPI, 40 SOS, 4-6 top 50, 9-9 top 100 (beat Creighton, Cincy, TN)
      NCSU 53 RPI, 21 SOS 3-9 top 50, 6-10 top 100 (beat TN, Pitt, SU)

      When you compare common opponents of NCSU (last in) and SMU (first out), NCSU lost to UVA by 31, SMU lost by 3. NCSU lost by 9 to Cincy, SMU lost by 8 on the road and won by 21 at home.

      The Wake Forest rep said the weakest SOS in the tourney (of at large I’m presuming) was 91 compared to SMU’s 137.

      Of course, you had a Wake Forest rep and probably had no AAC rep (UL was a 4 seed when everyone had them 2 or 3). So its who’s on the committee and SOS. Looking at the schedule and record vs top 50 and top 100, its hard to see NCSU ahead of SMU. The Syracuse win was good, but it was while SU was losing 5 of 7.

      Like

      • Brad Smith says:

        YAY! The last four in/first four out bball comparison gives tremendous hope for the CFP expanding to 8 teams in the near future. Choosing the #3 and #4 teams for the CFP will be so controversial that the conferences will demand that the CFP pool expand.

        Like

      • Andy says:

        FWIW Missouri, on paper at least, was better than 3 out of 4 of the last 4 in, as well as a couple others.

        22-11 (now 23-11), RPI 47, beat #13 UCLA, #41 Tennessee, won at #53 NC State, swept bubble team Arkansas, beat MAC champs WMU, and NIT team West Virginia.

        I think there were 8 or 10 teams that basically didn’t deserve to be in the tournament, but there were 4 or 5 spots open. You could have thrown the names of those 8 or 10 teams into a hat and picked them out at random and done about as well as the committee did.

        Now, I’m not saying Missouri deserved to be in the tournament. They didn’t. They had a down year. But if Missouri didn’t deserve to be in then neither did BYU or Nebraska or Iowa or Xavier or NCSU, and SMU and Green Bay and Minnesota and Florida State didn’t have any better or worse claims to those spots as Mizzou did.

        It was just a down year in general for a lot of teams. A lot of parity. Indiana and Marquette and Notre Dame among others didn’t even get into the NIT and turned down CBI bids.

        Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      I have to tip my cap to the Big 12. On paper, it should probably be the weakest of the Power Five conferences. Kansas, obviously, is a true basketball giant, but everyone else is historically hit-or-miss. To its credit, Oklahoma State does have two national championships, albeit both having occurred almost 70 years ago, but I don’t recall any league member besides KU in my 31 years even having made the NCG. Big 12 territory does include the state of Texas, which does have a fairly decent share of decent high school basketball prospects, but it’s not like Big Ten territory (Chicago, states of Indiana and Ohio, Detroit, and soon-to-be DC and Greater New York) or ACC territory (North Carolina, Atlanta, to some extent still DC, and access to New York via Syracuse). Rather, it is made up of schools which are mostly very far from, and very unlike, urban areas from which players are recruited. Given their relative lack of history to programs in other Power Five leagues, and their locations, Iowa State, K-State, OU, Oklahoma State, and Baylor shouldn’t combine for a better basketball league than any other P5 league. Yet here is the Big 12 with 7 teams in the tournament.

      Credit the coaches and the AD’s who hired them for the league’s success. Lon Kruger, Tubby Smith, Rick Barnes, Bill Self, Bruce Weber, and Bob Huggins have all coached teams to Final Fours. Fred Hoiberg, Scott Drew, and Travis Ford are doing a great job with their programs themselves.

      Like

      • urbanleftbehind says:

        The plains states have always had a rural basketball culture similar to Indiana. In addition, there are the mini-hoods of Kansas City,Wichita and several Oklahoma cities (even a place like Lawton/ Fort Sill has a noticeable AA contingent), so I’m not surprised about the Big 12 having gotten 7 bids. “Urban” players tend to be overated and one-and-doners. The Big Ten hasnt really been a player in the inner-city for many years now; developing/recruiting from places like Flint and Peoria had brought in more dividends. Additionally, legacies who have grown up in comfortable suburbs are cutting in to slots usually reserved for the west side ,inner Detroit , or the east side of Cleveland. Nebraska’s bid was attributable to in-state and Texas talent, so it is unclear if they can retain those links going forward in the B16 or have to transition to places like Quad Cities or the Chicago west suburbs to grab talent.

        Like

        • Mike says:

          Nebraska’s bid was attributable to in-state and Texas talent, so it is unclear if they can retain those links going forward in the B16 or have to transition to places like Quad Cities or the Chicago west suburbs to grab talent

          Here are the players that played significant minutes for Nebrasketball this year. I don’t know how you can attribute Nebraska’s bid to in-state and Texas talent. Petteway was a transfer from Texas Tech long after Nebraska left the Big 12. Most of Nebraska’s playing time went to the transfers and IMHO location doesn’t matter as much to a transfer. They’re looking for playing time.

          Webster, Tai Auckland, New Zealand (Westlake Boys )
          Rivers, David Little Rock, Ark. (Hall)
          Parker, Benny Kansas City, Kan. (Sumner Academy)
          Petteway, Terran Galveston, Texas (Texas Tech) (Ball)
          Gallegos, Ray. Salt Lake City, Utah (West Jordan)
          Smith, Leslee Longlook, British V.I. (Seward County CC/SMU)
          Shields, Shavon Olathe, Kan. (Northwest)
          Pitchford, Walter Grand Rapids, Mich. (Florida) (East Lansing Summit Christian)
          *Biggs, Deverell Omaha, NE (Seward County CC) (Central)

          *Kicked off Team in Janurary

          Like

      • bullet says:

        Iowa St., Kansas St., Oklahoma St. and Oklahoma have always had solid programs. The Big 12 was one of the top conferences and lost its 3 worst basketball members in Colorado, Nebraska and Texas A&M who rarely made the tourney and even more rarely won in the tourney (ironically, CU and UNL are in from their new leagues). Oklahoma was the favorite the year Danny Manning and Kansas won the national title. KU upset OU in the title game. KSU has made 4 final 4s and one title game, although its been more than 31 years. Texas has been in the final 4 twice since the most recent turn of the century.

        There’s nothing new about the Big 12’s success.

        Like

  68. vp19 says:

    No real surprise, but Virginia Tech fired James Johnson today. When the Gobblers installed a new AD, one from Cincinnati who was more basketball-oriented than his predecessor, Johnson was toast. Given that arch-rival UVa is riding high with an ACC regular-season/tourney double and a #1 seed, Tech will face much the same problems in finding a successor that the Cavs do when they seek a football coach to beat Beamer.

    Like

    • @Wainscott – Jon Wilner mentioned Arizona State doing the same thing and their development is even more massive. State Farm is building their new regional headquarters next door to the stadium in conjunction with the school, with the aim that it will spur other ancillary development (restaurants, retail, hotels, etc.) in conjunction with it. (Note that people in Bloomington, IL are quite skittish with State Farm’s openings of very large offices in the Phoenix, Dallas and Atlanta areas, so people are keeping an eye on those developments in Downstate Illinois. State Farm leaving Bloomington would be the white collar equivalent of manufacturers leaving places like Decatur or Youngstown in the past – it would be devastating to the local economy.)

      Like

      • Wainscott says:

        Would love to be in that traffic getting to a Thursday night game. Also, a good way to ensure that no employees work weekends in the fall time.

        Like

    • mnfanstc says:

      I believe TCF Bank Stadium on the Minnesota campus “leases” various spaces on-site for weddings/banquets/other business functions as well… The “Bank” is a beautiful facility…Any extra way(s) to provide revenue from these facilities makes sense to me.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      There was talk about weekday and primetime games.

      Weekdays:

      Probably only on the holiday weekends (Labor Day and Thanksgiving), but doing more of it. Maisel kept touting Thursday night games, but they don’t sound likely for now. Apparently Delany mentioned injury risk (only 4-5 days between games) as a potential problem with weeknight games.

      Saturday nights:

      Probably more.

      Like

      • Wainscott says:

        I’d expect a prime time game on Black Friday, probably with Penn State or Michigan State. I’d be surprised if the Big Ten went to Thursday night for the states reasons and lack of desire to go head to head with the NFL on CBS.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          I don’t expect primetime on Black Friday.

          More like a morning/afternoon doubleheader.

          Like

          • Wainscott says:

            Prime time will lead to better TV ratings, especially with a big name program such as Penn State or even Michigan State playing. TV drives many things, including this.

            I think Penn State vs. Rutgers at MetLife would do well for all parties, including the networks.

            http://www.tvtango.com/listings/2013/11/29 A sampling of what was on last Black Friday at night.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Wainscott:
            You say that without data to back it up. It’s not at all certain that primetime on Black Friday (which is a special day unlike other Fridays) is a better slot than the afternoon that day. Last year, 3 afternoon telecasts had better ratings than the best primetime telecast.

            ABC could have shown Miami-Pitt in primetime, but they chose to show that game in the afternoon instead.

            In 2012, 3 afternoon games also outdrew the best primetime game on Black Friday.
            Again, ABC showed on noon and 3:30 instead of primetime.

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            Prime time sporting events usually generate better ratings. That much is self-evident. If they did not, TV networks would air less of them.

            The bigger question is if Black Friday night would be an exception to the rule. It very well may be, as I am not privy to network audience analysis and reports. I think a prime time game on, Fox or ABC, with a major name brand team would do well in the ratings. It could very well be the case that that night is not a good night for events. Then again, Oregon vs OSU in prime time on FS1 had slightly more viewers than the 330pm Pitt vs Miami game on ABC, so the matchup does matter.

            I also don’t think its a coincidence that the two primetime games (UCF vs USF and Oregon vs OSU) were both from conferences with new or new-ish TV deals, and other conference TV deals might not have made provisions for such games.

            With the right match up, I think it could work. I can’t provide data for something that does not exist, though. I can only offer my opinion.

            Like

      • Wolverine says:

        I’d like to see the B10 do it only if both teams receive byes the previous week and as importantly, both schools are willing.

        Like

  69. bullet says:

    Cable companies losing ground to satellites and phone cos, subscriptions down overall, but not much.
    http://arstechnica.com/business/2014/03/comcast-and-time-warner-cable-lost-1-1-million-video-customers-in-2013/

    Like

  70. Wainscott says:

    No beer sales at The Big House, not even in the luxury boxes:

    http://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2014/03/michigan_stadium_beer.html

    Like

    • Wainscott says:

      The NYT had an article on that, too. Big East ratings on FS1 averaged about 95k viewers; AAC games on ESPN averaged about 250k viewers. That’s a lot of money spend by FS! per average viewer.

      Fox needs to start leveraging the Fox Network and all of its media outlets and properties to build awareness for FS1.

      Like

    • Kevin says:

      I think it will catch on but it really needs more inventory. Right now ESPN is the one-stop shop for almost all sports.

      Like

  71. Brian says:

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/writer/dennis-dodd/24489339/k-state-president-open-up-governance-dialogue-to-media

    KSU’s president wants the media in the room for future NCAA meetings about governance restructuring so they’ll know how the end point was reached and not just get a press release about the final decision.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Committee is interesting-Pac 12, Big 12, SEC, ACC, CUSA, MVC and Big West. Noone from conferences like the Atlantic Sun. And only a large FBS program (Southern Illinois). Two UC schools.

      Like

  72. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/10626778/bruce-pearl-accepts-auburn-tigers-head-basketball-coaching-job

    Bruce Pearl is back, taking over at Auburn. Interesting choice since BC just fired their coach and that’s his alma mater. He’s also still under his show-cause penalty, so he can’t have any contact with recruits until August.

    Like

  73. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/10626391/4-georgia-bulldogs-players-arrested-theft-charges

    Deja vu. UGA has multiple FB players arrested in the offseason yet again. At some point Richt needs to stop this trend. He can’t babysit the players 24/7 but he’s the one choosing them. And this time these are real arrests, not silly boys will be boys stuff.

    Like

    • Mike says:

      Mr SEC stands up for UGA

      http://mrsec.com/2014/03/georgias-richt-catches-heat-recent-arrests-perception-issues-remain/

      Georgia — as we’ve pointed out a few hundred times on this site — has the toughest drugs and behavior policies in the Southeastern Conference. A footballer busted for an alcohol-related crime elsewhere might be forced to run stadium steps and sit for a quarter. At Georgia, that’s typically an automatic suspension for two full games. South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier has poked fun at the Bulldogs by saying he likes playing them early because they’re always missing a few guys. That kind of comment gets kicked around until outsiders who don’t know any better — and apparently a supposed insider like Butler who should — start believing that UGA has more disciplinary problems than other schools when in fact, Georgia simply disciplines more than other schools.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        I agree about drug tests. Most of the SEC will allow players to play when UGA suspends them. But arrests for theft are a different animal.

        Like

  74. Brian says:

    http://recruiting.blog.ajc.com/2014/03/18/the-one-recruiting-rule-change-nearly-all-coaches-support/

    A recruiting rule change almost everyone supports – drop the number of official visits from 5 to 3 (maybe 4) but allow the schools to pay for the parents’ travel expenses. Right now, they can only pay for room and board once they get there. Schools can already do that in hoops, so the NCAA shouldn’t mind. Few players use more than 3 official visits, so it doesn’t hurt them. The schools can afford to pay for it, especially if they host fewer players. Win-win.

    Like

    • Kevin says:

      I’d probably keep the 5 visits. If they are not using them there is no reason to cut them down. Plus if there is an earlier signing date and perhaps they begin to allow official visits in the spring or summer will that increase the number of visits the kids take? I would think so. A lot of the reason many don’t use the full 5 is that they have conflicts with football season and by the time season ends a good majority have committed.

      Schools closest in proximity to the talent really benefit from the current setup as the kids in the southeast can take unofficial visits in relatively short drives to a number of schools. A school like Nebraska as well as some other B1G schools would really benefit from earlier official visits.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Kevin,

        “I’d probably keep the 5 visits. If they are not using them there is no reason to cut them down.”

        You cut them down to make sure the costs can’t escalate. It also makes it an easier sell to the NCAA because it shows reallocating money rather than spending more. I wouldn’t mind them keeping the limit of 5, but the evidence says that 3 is plenty. As the article noted, of the over 200 GA kids that signed this year, only 1 used all 5 visits and 2 used 4.

        “Plus if there is an earlier signing date and perhaps they begin to allow official visits in the spring or summer will that increase the number of visits the kids take? I would think so. A lot of the reason many don’t use the full 5 is that they have conflicts with football season and by the time season ends a good majority have committed.”

        Visits can happen before and after the season, too, but few players have more than 3 schools willing to pay for them to visit.

        Like

        • ccrider55 says:

          I wonder how the proposals are viewed by region. In the east and south east there may be a dramatically greater level of familiarity with a larger number of attractive/acceptable schools enabeling a kid to “need” fewer visits. That is far less likely in the Midwest and west.

          It’s a small, unscientific sample but of the dozen or so kids I’ve known that went D1 in various sports probably over half went on five visits. One that actually was impressed enough to change commitment after a late visit, and a couple almost did also. Two took no official visits – they knew where they were going for academic reasons.

          Would the rule change actually be favored by the power schools? If you’re on ND, PSU, USC, etc list, what kid is going to skip one of those trips to check out Indiana, WSU, or any non power conference school? It would limit their exposure to losing a kid to an unexpected offer that the kid/family found attractive.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            ccrider55,

            “I wonder how the proposals are viewed by region. In the east and south east there may be a dramatically greater level of familiarity with a larger number of attractive/acceptable schools enabeling a kid to “need” fewer visits. That is far less likely in the Midwest and west.”

            Is it? Maybe in the west, although I’d think having fewer major schools makes it easier to be aware of them. The midwest is chock full of schools. Why would the east and south have an edge on familiarity?

            “It’s a small, unscientific sample but of the dozen or so kids I’ve known that went D1 in various sports probably over half went on five visits.”

            Were they all official visits, though? I’d say the AJC’s sample of over 200 is more scientific.

            “Would the rule change actually be favored by the power schools? If you’re on ND, PSU, USC, etc list, what kid is going to skip one of those trips to check out Indiana, WSU, or any non power conference school? It would limit their exposure to losing a kid to an unexpected offer that the kid/family found attractive.”

            The kids they recruit are just as likely to visit more power schools. A list like USC, UT, AL, UF and ND isn’t uncommon for a top recruit. I’d say the power schools probably suffer more from this rule than anyone, but I doubt any school suffers much at all.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            “I think TAMU would try to keep UT out of the SEC.”

            Proximity. More likely to have seen or visited the schools near by during their youth for games, camps, visiting siblings/friends, etc. than those further away. There are fewer power conference campuses so yes, they may be known. But that doesn’t equate to visited, and visits are what we are talking about limiting.

            “Were they all official visits, though? I’d say the AJC’s sample of over 200 is more scientific.”

            Those I was referencing were official, and I’m sure three were more in sports I wasn’t involved with. There were scores, if not more, unofficial visits that I was aware of. And yes. My personal experience is not a scientific survey. I said so, but it diverges so far from the premise that it made me think that region/geography may play a part.

            “The kids they recruit are just as likely to visit more power schools. A list like USC, UT, AL, UF and ND isn’t uncommon for a top recruit.”

            True, for the super elite. But a successful program is built through depth as well. Many recruits will chose to visit their local favorite (perhaps who they rooted for as a youngster), and/or make family peace by visiting a parents alma mater, and/or even an unusual visit just to be unusual (truly exploring other options). Surprise signings do happen, but with fewer visits I’d expect fewer surprises. Name brands will have a head start in a shorter race.

            I don’t know. I’m just playing devils advocate and wondering if the same stats are available for regions outside the SE. It would seem important to know before setting nation wide rules.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            I don’t know why that first quote happened. My response was to this: “The midwest is chock full of schools. Why would the east and south have an edge on familiarity?”

            I’d add I was talking power conf schools. Thinking basically about western B1G and the PAC (and perhaps the northern B12).

            Like

          • Brian says:

            ccrider55,

            “I don’t know why that first quote happened. My response was to this: “The midwest is chock full of schools. Why would the east and south have an edge on familiarity?””

            I assumed as much. And I understand you’re playing D.A. I’m sure the data are out there if someone wants to make the stats.

            “I’d add I was talking power conf schools. Thinking basically about western B1G and the PAC (and perhaps the northern B12).”

            I can see where the distance makes things harder in one way, but the smaller number of local choices may also make things easier in another way.

            Like

        • Kevin says:

          Currently official visits can’t start until the beginning of the kids Senior school year. That is likely after the start of their football season. So I think the OV calendar really impacts the number of visits kids elect to use. If they allow earlier use of OV’s I think more kids would want to use all 5. If I am a coach I don’t move lower than 4.

          In the grand scheme of things providing travel expenses for parents is a relatively low cost item for schools since they typically share hotel rooms etc. with their kids currently. You are probably talking about less than $50k per school. Just dump some Athletic Dept bureaucrat

          A school like Nebraska would likely be willing to pay for a boat load of official visits in the spring and summer etc.. since it is very difficult for kids to take unofficial visits to that school given its geographic location.

          I would expect there is likely some 300 plus recruits that have multiple offers from more than 5 schools that could potentially use all the visits. I hear the point that the number of visits primarily benefits the top schools who are chasing the higher ranked prospects.

          I guess I am looking at it form a point of leveling the playing field for schools like a Nebraska.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Don’t forget that schools are capped at 56 visits. Players can’t suddenly use more visits just because they want to do so. It would mean the smaller schools getting and paying for more visits, because the top schools generally use their allotment.

            Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      A recruiting rule change almost everyone supports – drop the number of official visits from 5 to 3 (maybe 4) but allow the schools to pay for the parents’ travel expenses. Right now, they can only pay for room and board once they get there.

      Practically all the support is for half of the proposal: allowing the parents’ travel to be paid for, as it is in basketball(*). As I gather, reducing the number of visits is the “vegetable” the coaches have to eat, in order to get the “dessert” they really want.

      The more powerful schools would probably be fine with allowing five visits as well as paid travel for the parents. The current rule works to their benefit: if Ohio State or USC wants to make a late push with a kid, there’s a very high likelihood that he still has an official or two “in his pocket” that he can still use. If this rule passes, they will less often be in a position to do that.

      So I’m guessing that the less powerful schools are pushing to reduce the number of officials from five to three, and the more powerful schools have decided the trade-off is worth it.

      (* How football and basketball wound up with different parent-travel rules is utterly baffling; the principle would seem to be the same, regardless of the sport. But this is the NCAA, so of course it’s not logical.)

      I’d probably keep the 5 visits. If they are not using them there is no reason to cut them down. Plus if there is an earlier signing date and perhaps they begin to allow official visits in the spring or summer will that increase the number of visits the kids take? I would think so. A lot of the reason many don’t use the full 5 is that they have conflicts with football season and by the time season ends a good majority have committed.

      I would guess that the 4th and 5th officials are used overwhelmingly by the most prized recruits, the ones that have a national profile. Those recruits are small in number, but they take up a disproportionate share of the attention. A lot of the NCAA rules revolve around these high-end recruits, because they’re the ones most likely to misuse the system (or to be the victims of misuse, depending on your perspective). The kids who go to Akron and Eastern Michigan count in the statistics, but I’ll bet they’re not the ones taking multiple long-distance recruiting trips.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        The AJC story says only 1 player in the state of Georgia took all 5 official visits last year and only a handful took 4. Most of the coaches supported reducing the number. I’m guessing the players who take 5 are just going for the trip.

        How many schools did you seriously consider going to? My wife and I each only applied to one school. And there is nothing to keep players from taking unofficial visits.

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        • Marc Shepherd says:

          Most of the coaches supported reducing the number.

          Read it again. Most of them are talking mainly about being able to pay for parents’ travel, and saying very little (or nothing) about reducing the maximum number of visits.

          How many schools did you seriously consider going to? My wife and I each only applied to one school. And there is nothing to keep players from taking unofficial visits.

          I’m like you: I applied to only one school. But my son and I visited seven schools in five states, and they were all serious candidates. I was paying for it, so I can assure you it wasn’t sightseeing.

          So I wouldn’t be so quick to say that the kids who take five officials are just sightseeing, although I agree that when it’s all-expenses-paid, it could lead to abuses.

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      • Brian says:

        Marc Shepherd,

        “Practically all the support is for half of the proposal: allowing the parents’ travel to be paid for, as it is in basketball(*). As I gather, reducing the number of visits is the “vegetable” the coaches have to eat, in order to get the “dessert” they really want.”

        Based on what? In the article, 1 of 2 HS coaches expressly mentioned not needing all 5 visits while the other didn’t broach the topic. 4 of the 8 college coaches supported reducing the number, 1 didn’t (but agreed almost nobody used or needed 5), and the others didn’t mention it.

        I didn’t see the negative reaction from the coaches that you are claiming.

        “(* How football and basketball wound up with different parent-travel rules is utterly baffling; the principle would seem to be the same, regardless of the sport. But this is the NCAA, so of course it’s not logical.)”

        Basketball also has an early signing period while FB doesn’t. That isn’t any more logical.

        “I would guess that the 4th and 5th officials are used overwhelmingly by the most prized recruits, the ones that have a national profile. Those recruits are small in number, but they take up a disproportionate share of the attention. A lot of the NCAA rules revolve around these high-end recruits, because they’re the ones most likely to misuse the system (or to be the victims of misuse, depending on your perspective).”

        In addition, some/many of them have been known to take 1 or 2 visits more as a vacation rather than having any real interest in the school. I don’t mind that, since the schools choose who to invite and they are limited in number, but I’d guess that comes across poorly to the coaches.

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        • Marc Shepherd says:

          I didn’t see the negative reaction from the coaches that you are claiming.

          I didn’t claim any negative reaction. What I said, is that most of the comments are about the benefit of covering parents’ travel. Most of the coaches said nothing (or not much) about reducing the permitted number of visits.

          I therefore inferred that the first part of it is what they really want, and the agitation to reduce the number of visits is coming from other quarters (probably lower-profile programs), and not these coaches. This is a guess on my part, but I think a plausible one.

          Basketball also has an early signing period while FB doesn’t. That isn’t any more logical.

          I agree, it’s not the only illogical NCAA rule.

          In addition, some/many of them have been known to take 1 or 2 visits more as a vacation rather than having any real interest in the school. I don’t mind that, since the schools choose who to invite and they are limited in number, but I’d guess that comes across poorly to the coaches.

          A lot of those visits are the recruiting equivalent of the “Hail, Mary” pass. The coaches know that they’re unlikely to sway the kid, but if you’re Michigan or Ohio State, you can easily afford to pay for these low-percentage visits, knowing that you’re going to whiff on many of them. It’s the bottom-tier programs that can’t afford it.

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          • Brian says:

            Marc Shepherd,

            “I didn’t claim any negative reaction.”

            You compared it to having to eat their vegetables.

            “A lot of those visits are the recruiting equivalent of the “Hail, Mary” pass. The coaches know that they’re unlikely to sway the kid, but if you’re Michigan or Ohio State, you can easily afford to pay for these low-percentage visits, knowing that you’re going to whiff on many of them. It’s the bottom-tier programs that can’t afford it.”

            And that changes what I said how? Some kids are using their extra visits as vacations.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            You compared it to having to eat their vegetables.

            It was just a metaphor. I am inferring that what paid travel for parents is what the major programs really want, and that the reduction in the number of officials is the offset that they’ve decided is acceptable, although the push for it is coming from elsewhere.

            And that changes what I said how?

            That the 4th and 5th visits do serve a useful purpose sometimes.

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          • Brian says:

            Marc Shepherd,

            “It was just a metaphor.”

            One with a strongly negative connotation.

            “I am inferring that what paid travel for parents is what the major programs really want, and that the reduction in the number of officials is the offset that they’ve decided is acceptable, although the push for it is coming from elsewhere.”

            Only one of them said anything to indicate they’d really like more visits but would settle for 3. The rest said 3 was plenty since the 4th and 5th ones aren’t used. How is that deciding it’s an acceptable sacrifice? They don’t see a sacrifice.

            “That the 4th and 5th visits do serve a useful purpose sometimes.”

            And that disagrees with what I said how?

            Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      It’s truly a bizarre streak given the strength of Big Ten basketball. When was the last time it was any worse than the fourth-best conference, along with the Big East, ACC, and Big 12?

      On the other hand, it’s good to keep in mind how luck is involved with winning the single-elimination NCAA championship. Anyone who knows anything about college basketball knows it’s a top-notch league. Its teams have just fallen a hair short a number of times.

      This column does illustrate how writers write about the Big Ten because so many people are interested in that conference. Granted, it has had a 14-year drought without a national title, but that drought isn’t nearly as confounding as what other power leagues have experienced. The 14 current and former Big 12 schools have combined to win only one of the past 25 national championships and only two since 1952. The Pac-12 hasn’t won a national title since Arizona in 1997, and it had a 20 year drought between Wooden’s last one and UCLA’s title in 1995. Yet there are few articles about those leagues’ lack of titles because they don’t have the same following as the Big Ten.

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      • Kevin says:

        A lot of really good B1G teams over that stretch but not a lot of great teams. Thought OSU was going to win it when they had Oden. Also thought Michigan should have won last year but had some terrible calls go against them late in the game. Other than those 2 I don’t think the other 3 NCG teams should have won.

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        • Brian says:

          UF was the better team, with all 5 starters back from the reigning national champs. Maybe if Oden had been healthy all season, but UF had too much chemistry.

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    • vp19 says:

      Still, Big Ten men’s basketball is nowhere as stymied as ACC baseball. Despite having several national powers (including two in Florida), reasonably good weather to play in (2014 being an exception and plenty of talent, the ACC hasn’t won the College World Series in my lifetime. No big deal, you say? I’m 58. And that champion was, of all schools, Wake Forest, which in many recent years hasn’t even qualified for the conference tournament (eight out of 12 go; this year, it will be 10 out of 14, as Syracuse doesn’t field baseball).

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  75. bullet says:

    Saw this posted elsewhere-SEC Network kills off CSS Sports Channel:
    http://fansided.com/2014/03/15/sec-network-claims-first-victim-css-sports-shut-june-1/#!Axshg

    Not good for the FBS conferences as well as CUSA and SB. It covered a lot of them.

    Like

  76. Brian says: