After Iowa State lost within the opening hours of the first round (sic) of the NCAA Tournament, I didn’t even bother checking my bracket (IlliNIT Blues) until yesterday since I had figured my horrible Final Four prognostication skills (having had first weekend losers Iowa State and Villanova in addition to Kentucky and Wisconsin) would leave me in smoldering ashes. So, I was quite surprised to see that I’m second place in my work pool and nearly in the top 5% of the ESPN brackets nationwide. Granted, my entry is guaranteed to have a Harrison Ford-piloted crash like the 1969 Cubs (or 1984 Cubs or 2003 Cubs or 2008 Cubs) since my points possible remaining are extremely low (as in Illinois basketball scoring in crunch time low), but it goes to show you how there’s still life even when half of your Final Four is gone within a 72 hour period.

As noted in last week’s post, the conference realignment front is fairly quiet these days for the power leagues with the exception of the prospect of Arizona State joining Big Ten hockey. However, there are some rumblings in the non-FBS Division I conferences that are basketball-focused, so let’s get the lay of the land:

(1) Big East Expansion (or lack thereof) – The Big East has the ability to poach any non-FBS Division I school that it wants (which is something that not even the Big Ten or SEC can say at the FBS level). Every school from the Atlantic 10, West Coast Conference, Missouri Valley Conference and any other non-FBS league would take a Big East invite immediately. From there, any Big East expansion would have a massive trickle-down effect on the conferences below them. However, the Big East is sort of in the same position as the Big 12: it really does want to expand (regardless of what their respective commissioners and other PR people might say publicly), but the issue is that there aren’t 2 glaringly obvious candidates. As I’ve stated previously, St. Louis University seems to be the main lock for a future Big East invite regardless of how they might be performing on-the-court at any given time. SLU has the TV market, academic institutional fit as a private Catholic university, geographic location as a bridge between Creighton and the rest of the league, and facilities that the Big East is looking for as a total package. So, the primary issue is finding a partner for SLU, which isn’t as clear. Dayton has played very well on-the-court with a great fan base along with being a private Catholic school, but its TV market isn’t as attractive, Xavier is close in proximity, and there’s going to be consternation within the league about adding two Midwestern schools (as opposed to finding at least one Eastern expansion candidate). VCU has also been great on-the-court and has a desirable location, but it’s a large public school that isn’t an institutional fit with the rest of the Big East. Wichita State (which we’ll examine even further in just a moment) has the same institutional fit problems as VCU with a much less desirable location and TV market. Richmond is a great academic school with a solid basketball program, but it competes in the same market as VCU with fewer fans and a lower national profile. Davidson is similar to Richmond and has the advantage of the Charlotte market, but has a very small enrollment and alumni base (albeit wealthy and academically elite).

If I were a betting person, SLU and Dayton are still the odds-on favorites to eventually get into the Big East once it decides to expand. I feel that the fact that VCU is a public school ultimately tanks their candidacy even though they are attractive on virtually all other factors that the Big East desires in terms of location, TV market, fan base and location. Wichita State has never been a realistic Big East candidate since their issues are much broader beyond being just a public university (as you’ll see below). Richmond might be able to wedge into the mix if they can get some more high profile NCAA Tournament runs – as of now, their on-the-court attributes are going to matter more than their off-the-court attributes (which already fit well with the Big East).

For now, the biggest emerging challenger to Dayton for spot #12 in the Big East is Davidson. The small number of students at Davidson isn’t optimal, but the Big East has always been more of a TV league dependent upon casual large market fans as opposed to an alumni-based league (unlike the Big Ten and SEC). Davidson is within the Charlotte TV market, has legitimately elite level academics, performs well on-the-court, and would address the wariness of Georgetown, Villanova and St. John’s of adding two Midwestern schools. So, keep an eye out on Davidson on the Big East expansion front.

(2) Wichita State: Nowhere to Run – The non-FBS school that I get asked about the most lately regarding switching conferences is Wichita State (and that has accelerated this past week with their current Sweet Sixteen run). I certainly understand the fan love – as you can see from my bracket, I have the Shockers going to the Elite Eight (and as far off as I was on Iowa State, I was equally convinced that Wichita State would come out blazing against Kansas). However, as much as Wichita State was wrongly underrated by the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee this year, the school is overrated by most sports fans as a conference realignment candidate. When I started writing about conference realignment with the Big Ten expansion index, my credo was always: “Think like a university president, not like a sports fan.” Wichita State is a perfect example of the disconnect between the thought processes of sports fans and university presidents. Sports fans see Wichita State as a school with great fans and astounding on-the-court success with a recent Final Four appearance and a memorable takedown of Kansas to get to the Sweet Sixteen this year. However, university presidents see Wichita State as a non-flagship public school that’s ranked in the 200s in the U.S. News rankings that’s located in a small TV market with little recruiting value (whether for athletes or “regular” college students). Remember that university presidents care just as much about what a school brings to the table when it’s awful on-the-field/court compared to how well it’s performing at its peak. Wichita State is a classic case of looking great for fans when they’re playing well, but it’s extremely tough for university presidents to see their value when they’re not playing well (as they’re not bringing academic prestige, an institutional fit, a major TV market, etc.).

Just look at the conferences that would be a step up from the MVC for Wichita State. The Big East, as noted above, is one of the most institutionally-aligned conferences outside of the Big Ten and Ivy League, where all members are private urban schools with a basketball focus. As a result, Wichita State simply isn’t a viable Big East candidate. The Atlantic-10 has some public universities, but it’s still more similar to the Big East as being private school-centric and the league may very well retrench from the Midwest if/when the Big East takes SLU. The American Athletic Conference (AAC) and Mountain West Conference (MWC) don’t seem interested at all in adding non-football members, so Wichita State won’t be considered. Even the West Coast Conference (which is a geographic stretch for Wichita State) has the same type of private school lineup as the Big East.

Unfortunately for Wichita State, it doesn’t matter how well the Shockers might perform on-the-court. Much like the power conference invite prospects for UConn (who has been an elite men’s and women’s basketball power), the off-the-court issues prevail in conference realignment and, as the old adage goes, “It takes two to tango.” Wichita State can want to leave the MVC all that it wants, but the conferences hold the power here. It’s not Wichita State’s choice to make to leave, so its only realistic option is to strengthen the MVC.

 (3) MVC Expansion and UAB (and the Chain Reaction for the Horizon League and Others) – Fortunately for Wichita State, the debacle of UAB getting its football program stripped by the University of Alabama power brokers in Tuscaloosa (with new allegations that it was a predetermined decision that was railroaded through the UAB leadership) might end up having a solid UAB basketball program that just scored a huge upset of my Final Four pick Iowa State fall right into the laps of the MVC. Conference USA appears to want to have all members to have football, so the league may kick out UAB for having had the misfortune of being governed by self-interested political appointees from a more powerful campus. As a result, UAB’s future conference membership for basketball and other sports is in flux, with Al.com reporting that there is mutual interest between UAB and the MVC. As horrible as the UAB football situation has been, the MVC would be about as good of a landing spot for the UAB basketball program as it could reasonably expect and, in turn, UAB is about as good of an expansion candidate that the MVC could realistically invite.

If the MVC adds UAB, the league would be unlikely to stay at just 11 members. This means that it will have to find a 12th school somewhere, which could then cause a chain reaction throughout many of the non-FBS conferences below them. When the MVC was exploring expansion a couple of years ago and ultimately decided upon inviting Loyola, the league had explored UIC and Valparaiso of the Horizon League heavily. This makes sense from a university president perspective – all 3 of Loyola, UIC and Valpo are located in the Chicago market, which is where a disproportionate number of MVC students and alums live. (A notable exception to this is Wichita State, which doesn’t have much of an alumni presence in the Chicago area.) The basketball fans within the MVC would probably prefer a pure on-the-court-focused addition like Murray State (although Valpo does have some on-the-court bona fides), but I’d expect MVC school #12 to be another Chicago market school. The demographics of the MVC generally look like the old Big 8, which isn’t sustainable for a league for the long-term. The irony is that Wichita State, the most important school in the MVC, would likely be unhappy about another Chicago area school, yet the rest of the MVC membership knows that Wichita State can’t go anywhere else for the reasons set forth above (which means that the most valuable school in the conference might have the least say in expansion matters).

This prospect of MVC expansion might be why the Horizon League commissioner has already said that it’s in the “active phase” of expansion and the league would likely expand in the near future. The Horizon League has already been interested in schools like Northern Kentucky (currently in the Atlantic Sun) and Belmont (an Ohio Valley Conference member) and the conference may need to also backfill in the event that it gets raided by the MVC (which could put Summit League schools such as Nebraska-Omaha into play).

As you can see, even one move by a smaller conference like the MVC could end up triggering large repercussions throughout Division I conferences. If the Big East were to expand, it could cause mass-scale change for non-FBS conferences on the level that we saw in 2010-2013. Of course, if the Big 12 were to expand, then all bets are truly off throughout college sports.

(Image from Fox Sports)

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Comments
  1. greg says:

    Hawkeyes #1!!

    Like

  2. Carl says:

    Corman–

    Like

  3. vp19 says:

    Go Terps — channel the spirit of ’06 (“The Shot,” “Overtime Is Our Time,” phrases familiar to any Maryland fan) and beat Duke!

    Like

  4. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    GEAUX #1 LSU Baseball Tigers!

    Frank – not that it really matters for realignment purposes, but Wichita State has a proud baseball tradition. The Shockers have a CWS championship under their belt and two CWS runner-up titles (each losses to my Tigers).

    Strangely enough, two of my most fond college sports memories involve Wichita State. My Tigers beat the now defunct Wichita State football team 47-0 in the very first football game I attended as a college student. Also, I witnessed my Tigers beat the Shockers to win their first of six CWS titles.

    Like

  5. Michael in Raleigh says:

    I think it’s foolish for the AAC and Mtn. West not to expand with non-football additions. For these leagues, it just isn’t true that all the money is in football; with football, they are making less TV money than the Big East does without it. Plus, they have to pay for the expenses of football without extra TV money to help fund it.

    Meanwhile, there are really good basketball schools out there that could help them with basketball TVs money and with NCAA tournament money, which can actually add up to something significant with a lot of bids, especially if they advance.

    The MWC has Gonzaga just hanging out there, all but guaranteeing an NCAA unit or two every year, yet it insists that it only cares about football. The Zags, would be a low risk, high reward addition, since the Zags wouldn’t be getting money for the football portion of the contract.

    The AAC is a decreasingly bad home compared to the old Big East for Cincinnati and UConn. Just two of 11 schools made the Dance. Adding a Wichita State or a VCU or a Dayton would help salvage the basketball product without watering down (any further) the football product. They would help create more AAC games worth watching and putting on ESPN, rather than ESPNEWS. They would not only help ensure more NCAA bids. They would help improve RPI for bubble teams like Tulsa and Temple, helping to increase the bids for the whole league.

    Like

    • urbanleftbehind says:

      Since they added Navy as a football-only, one could argue the AAC has room for 1 non-football school, in which case either WSU or VCU could work. The MWC has Hawaii as a similar football outlier (Gonzaga, although I think the WCC is a good home so long as BYU is there also – except for the travel, Rice might look into the WCC also, particularly if Grand Canyon matures as a program, for #11 and #12).

      In my nightmare scenario of the the BE getting too big for its own good (16 teams) – I have SLU, Dayton and Belmont (Nashville) as a west flank expansion, and Davidson, Richmond and a 2nd New England team (Holy Cross, BU, Northeastern) as the east flank expansion.

      Like

      • loki_the_bubba says:

        Rice can’t go to the WCC as long as the Owls play football. CUSA wants to be an all-sports league and would not allow them to stay. MWC wouldn’t take them either. And I pray we never see the Sun Belt.

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    • Marc Shepherd says:

      The AAC is a decreasingly bad home compared to the old Big East for Cincinnati and UConn.

      Cincinnati and UConn were the biggest losers of the last round of re-alignment, since they’re the schools who were plausible P5 candidates, but didn’t get offered. There is no better home for them right now. They simply have to wait and hope.

      If the BIg XII invites BYU, Cincy has a decent shot at being #12, although I suspect the two Florida schools might have a thing or two to say about that. I don’t see any realistic shot for UConn anytime soon.

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      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        It should have said “depressingly,” not decreasingly, bad.

        I understand that UConn and Cincy, for now, are stuck where they are until some more dominoes fall with the Big 12/ACC/B1G, but the AAC ought to accommodate for those schools’ thirst for good basketball competition. UConn is tied for fifth all time in national championships. It should matter to the league to give them the best basketball league they can. And the rest of the membership would benefit, too.

        As for he concern about the past experience with the hybrid, they are already doing that with Navy being football only. And if there are non football members added, it wouldn’t be the 50% football, 50% non football situation all over again. There would be 11 full time members, 1 football only, and 1 non football. That shouldn’t divide the league the same way.

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    • Brian says:

      Michael in Raleigh,

      “I think it’s foolish for the AAC and Mtn. West not to expand with non-football additions.”

      On the other hand, they saw what a split membership did to the BE.

      Like

      • BruceMcF says:

        They saw what massively unbalanced all-sports / olympic-sports did for the old Big East, so the simple solution would be to not do that. Learning the lessons of the old Big East that adding an olympic-sport school to match a FB-only school is a bad idea is learning more lesson than the old Big East has available to teach.

        Like

    • bullet says:

      Houston, Memphis, Cincinnati, UConn, Temple, Tulsa.

      A lot of them are down, but they have lots of history. There’s no reason to add a WSU or VCU or Dayton.

      MWC is doing fine.

      Like

  6. George says:

    For Big East expansion – St. Louis fits the profile, but are they any better placed going forward then Northeastern or Boston U? Either (or both) of those schools increases the Big East blueprint in the Northeast- exactly where the Big East want to double down (alumni/geography), are urban, private, large endowments, great academics, nice stadiums, natural rivalries with existing members (PC).

    Attendance is a problem. The students are smart enough to know when they are rooting for a minor league product in a lower league- in Boston people have better things to do. But get them in on the Fox contract and have them hire a $2 million/year coach and a top staff, and the winning will follow (unless you are Depaul). Give it a couple of seasons with a couple of wins on televised games against Nova, Gtown, Marquette, and the students will rally. These schools get students nationally – theres nothing intrinsic to the student populations that drives them off of college basketball.

    Heck, Davidson’s arena seats 5K, and Frank has them down as a serious competitor.

    Like

    • @George – Oh, the Big East would love it if Northeastern or BU became even merely consistently mediocre in basketball. Either of those schools with base level competent basketball programs would be extremely attractive for the Big East. We could put Duquesne in the same category. The problem is that they still aren’t at those minimum levels yet. If they can get there (i.e. Northeastern building upon its NCAA Tournament appearance this year and getting there consistently), then there would be quite a bit of interest.

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      • Mike R says:

        You are correct about the Boston schools (the BE would love to have a presence in that market) but BU, while having strong academics, seems ambivalent about sports other than hockey, having left America East to go to the Patriot League rather than, say, the A-10.

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        • George says:

          Think all three schools know they would be on the proverbial shortlist if they could improve their situation? If so, you’d think the advantages to increasing their investment in men’s bball would be obvious- join the Big East and get more publicity, greater alumni interaction etc. etc….

          Like

    • Penn State Danny says:

      Any thoughts on Duqesne being added? It’s a decent sized Catholic school in Pittsburgh which is both Northeast and Midwest.

      Like

  7. Brent says:

    The AAC should absolutely snatch up Wichita St. The Shockers basketball profile is huge right now and would totally help the image of the AAC. Multiple bids for sure.

    Like

  8. Mike R says:

    It is not well-understood just how much the Big East presidents do not want their conference to be hemmed in as a “Catholic league.” Rather, their brand should be thought of primarily as major metropolitan basketball schools. They were quite keen on inviting Butler for that and many other reasons. The private-school focus is there, but may not be seen as essential if the right candidate comes along. For that reason it is thinkable that a VCU or UMass could be considered.

    The main goal of the next Big East expansion should be to expand the footprint and maintain the brand that exists (and diversify the membership a bit by adding a running mate for Butler). That seems to point to Richmond or Davidson along with St. Louis.

    I still wonder if Fox woild want the league to look west and examine BYU with its established national fanbase and Gonzaga (which has acquired some national fans as well) as possibilities. Neither are major metro but each has appeal on the TV screen. Not ideal for the Olympic sports but this is all about basketball.

    Like

    • urbanleftbehind says:

      The West Coast Conference is already an imperfect mirror of the Big East on the West Coast – mostly Catholic institutions (save Pepperdine and BYU) in major metro areas. For Fox, adding Gonzaga and BYU to the BE might be enticing, but for either BYU or Gonzaga, their is no sense in them leaving – a “lateral move” to the MWC does nothing (and for Gonzaga would require a football program) and a move to the BE might have more prestige but nightmarish program costs (travel). I might try instead to start a BE-WCC event or series of games and cross fingers that LMU or Pepperdine emerge as a sort of high-midmajor foil for Gonzaga. A larger WCC is also where UDenver and the oft-ridiculed Incarnate Word (San Antonio, TX) should be thinking about landing.

      Like

  9. hankcarf says:

    Might the MVC be interested in Belmont itself if it takes UAB? They’re in the same direction, in major metro areas.

    Like

  10. Randy Jacobs says:

    Today’s Sun Times referred to Frank Kaminsky of UWisconsin as “Frank the Tank.” Will this require a cease and desist for nickname infringement.

    Like

  11. Keith says:

    Frank,

    I’ve followed and appreciated your blog for a long time. However, if I hear “Think like a university president” one more time…

    As a university president, a conference based network would allow all sorts of innovative opportunities to showcase the conference schools. Newscasts and programming run by, and training the next generation, of broadcasters, a showcase for the arts, children’s programming ala The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse but with mascots, maybe revive “The College Bowl”, extension programming, etc. in addition to athletics.

    It’s not about education. It’s entirely about sports and money. These people–the Presidents and Chancellors–have completely forfeited any pretense of academic integrity. They are in it for the money, period, and by the criteria they’ve chosen and the path they’ve laid out, they are network programmers. Network executives. Period. And their obligation is precisely to the sports fan–the audience.

    They’ve left the ivory tower and now they can d–n well give us the best possible sports television product available.

    UConn basketball should have been in the B1G yesterday. If there’s an audience for Wichita State buckets, serve it.

    For that matter, forget the whole “student-athlete” thing and just sponsor pro or semi-pro teams.

    These Presidents and Chancellors want to endorse the checks but don’t want any ink smudges on their hands. They don’t care how many years of tradition die, how many rivalries pass into oblivion, or how many schools are passed up to shrivel and die because of some perceived inferiority in “metrics” or brand.

    “Think like a college president…” That’s the entire problem–too much thinking like a college president which yields the exact same result as not thinking at all.

    Like

    • arkstfan says:

      Counter-point. The Sun Belt has at least twice had the motion presented to add Liberty. The Flames are compatible in budget, reasonably compatible in attendance, fill the need for a 12th member, fit fairly reasonably geographically in the west, can be added without disrupting the natural western division of two each in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas. They have been a non-starter in Sun Belt expansion discussions because they don’t fit the academic profile of the Sun Belt.

      Like

    • BruceMcF says:

      “Think like a University President” is not saying its a good thing, just saying its the best way to understand the moves that get made. And also note that “Think like a University President” most definitely does NOT mean “oh, its about the Education” … a University President is not an “educator”, he or she is an ACADEMIC POLITICIAN. So, yes, its about the money, but its not JUST about the money in the athletic department, its also about the money across the University as a whole. Its about the research grants and chowing down on the slops at the corporate trough and all the other money flowing through a University, in addition to the sports money.

      Like

      • Mike says:

        Just to expand on your thought… Since almost every Athletic Department requires some institutional support, every president knows that every dollar they get out of Athletics (TV, tickets, etc) is one dollar that can be used for academics.

        Like

        • BruceMcF says:

          Definitely … in the MAC, for example, if the subsidies to the AD departments of fielding athletic programs in the second tier of the FBS were not viewed in large part as a marketing expenditure, its hard to see why the MAC schools fought so hard against being relegated from the I-A to the I-AA when the first division was first split in the late 70’s.

          Like

      • Mike R says:

        Yes, that’s a good summation of how to think like a university president. When it comes to sport, they all want the money, and in most cases, they all want the “front door” that sports provide (Villanova for instance becomes more of a national school every time it makes a deep run in the NCAAs -sigh-). Third in importance, they want to associate with the kind of schools they aspire to be. That keeps the faculty onside (the Penn State faculty has an ongoing love affair with the B1G for that reason) and enhances each conference member’s brand (it’s nice for Syracuse to be mentioned in the same breath with Duke, and for BC to be housed with ND).

        The caveat is that each university president is scared to death of one thing, and that’s scandal. It brings down presidents. But scandal is an occupational hazard of running a big-time (or even mid-major) athletic department these days.

        Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      @BruceMcF nailed it: “Think like a university president” doesn’t mean “education comes first”. It just means that “what fans want” doesn’t come first.

      UConn basketball should have been in the B1G yesterday. If there’s an audience for Wichita State buckets, serve it.

      You are thinking like a fan, not like a university president.

      Like

      • Yes, I agree. I’ve never posited that thinking like a university president was a wholesome academic exercise. Quite to the contrary, I’ve written many times here before that I find much of what university presidents and their NCAA minions say and do to be blatantly hypocritical. All I’m saying is that university presidents don’t look solely to on-the-field/on-the-court results. There is a mix of financial, demographic and branding issues that they find to be more important that may or may not have any correlation with athletic competitiveness.

        Like

    • Brian says:

      Keith,

      Bitter much?

      “I’ve followed and appreciated your blog for a long time. However, if I hear “Think like a university president” one more time…”

      If you want to understand expansion moves, you need to think like a university president because they are the ones making the final decisions. You don’t have to agree with them, but you need to think like them. Think of it like profiling a serial killer if that helps.

      “As a university president, a conference based network would allow all sorts of innovative opportunities to showcase the conference schools. Newscasts and programming run by, and training the next generation, of broadcasters, a showcase for the arts, children’s programming ala The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse but with mascots, maybe revive “The College Bowl”, extension programming, etc. in addition to athletics.

      It’s not about education. It’s entirely about sports and money.”

      There was talk of doing some of that with BTN and the LHN actually did have a lot of non-athletic programming at the start (I don’t know if they still do). But you’re thinking like a professor here. A president understands that the biggest advantage to having a network is the marketing of the school to potential donors and future students. Sports serve the same purpose. Schools need a way to make themselves known to potential students. That’s especially true in the B10 where the demographics in the footprint are trending down for colleges. Thus the drive to expand to the east and the large and rapidly growing states there. That was as much about getting future out-of-state students for B10 schools as anything. So yes, it’s all about sports and money. What you fail to understand is that sports and money are means to an end – helping a university thrive long term.

      “These people–the Presidents and Chancellors–have completely forfeited any pretense of academic integrity.”

      That’s obviously untrue. The P5 conferences were careful not to dilute their academic standards much if at all. Multiple potential expansion candidates were rejected for academic reasons. You only look at the moves that were made and not at all the ones that weren’t.

      “They are in it for the money, period, and by the criteria they’ve chosen and the path they’ve laid out, they are network programmers. Network executives. Period.”

      What a crock. If they were only in it for the money, they would make very different decisions. The P12 rejecting OU because of OkSU? UT having a TT problem in terms of the B10? Boise unable to find a better home for one of the top football programs of the past 10-20 years? BYU can’t find a P5 home?

      And the presidents have little to nothing to do with programming of networks. They set some standards and then let professionals run them while cashing the checks.

      “And their obligation is precisely to the sports fan–the audience.”

      Only a fan would think that. The presidents have obligations to their school, their students, their alumni (and their state if they’re public), but they don’t owe sports fans anything.

      “UConn basketball should have been in the B1G yesterday.”

      No, it shouldn’t. They are a terrible institutional fit for the B10 in many ways. They aren’t in a contiguous state. They aren’t a top research school (not even sniffing AAU status). They aren’t extremely large. They have a smaller number of varsity sports. They haven’t even been I-A for 20 years. The football stadium is tiny and 20 miles from campus.

      That explains why UConn isn’t a full B10 member, and also why they aren’t an affiliate member. The B10 has only ever had one affiliate member, JHU for men’s lacrosse. JHU is an academic fit and provided something the B10 needed – a sixth team. UConn hoops would be a nice addition to any league, but they aren’t needed by the B10 to form a conference.

      “If there’s an audience for Wichita State buckets, serve it.”

      The audience isn’t that big or they’d be in a better league.

      “For that matter, forget the whole “student-athlete” thing and just sponsor pro or semi-pro teams.”

      Or actually run a university and tell the NFL and NBA to go sponsor some minor leagues instead. It’s not the fault of the presidents that athletes can’t go pro in the US straight out of high school.

      “These Presidents and Chancellors want to endorse the checks but don’t want any ink smudges on their hands.”

      Heaven forbid they have standards and lines they won’t cross.

      “They don’t care how many years of tradition die, how many rivalries pass into oblivion,”

      Not true. They care, they just care more about other things like the future of their university.

      “or how many schools are passed up to shrivel and die because of some perceived inferiority in “metrics” or brand.”

      Like the president of a company, a university president has to look out for his schools. The other schools have presidents that are supposed to look out for them. It’s not a charity where they get together and decide how to help everyone else out. UConn got passed up because others brought more to the table. No B10 or ACC president owes UConn anything.

      Like

      • bob sykes says:

        You might be interested in a paper by Lifschitz, Saunder and Stevens (2014), “Football as a Status System in U. S. Higher Education,” Sociology of Education, vol. 87, p. 204:

        http://soe.sagepub.com/content/87/3/204

        They essentially demonstrate that universities sort themselves out in conferences according to academic rank, which supports your contentions.

        I infer from their work that the B1G is unlikely to add anyone else unless Texas became available. Their work suggests Texas is in the wrong conference.

        Like

    • frug says:

      It’s not about education. It’s entirely about sports and money.

      The PAC’s decision to pass on the Oklahoma schools and the Big Ten’s refusal to add FSU would beg to differ.

      Like

  12. arkstfan says:

    Couple thoughts.

    1. One former member will be outside MVC meetings with flower and chocolates. The Sun Belt is expected to debate New Mexico State again the third week of May and most likely NMSU will once more gain a majority of votes but not the required 3/4ths vote.

    2. Absent the MWC suddenly concluding it needs a 12th hoops member and that member not be from the west, Wichita State has three routes to realignment (not counting doing nothing which would be four).

    Route A. Assume the so-so talk of FBS aspirations from Missouri State, Illinois State, and Indiana State is every bit as tepid as it appears on its face, conclude the Valley is stable and advocate growing the Valley into new places of significance by adding schools like Valpo, UAB, Denver, Belmont (or less plausibly far weaker Nashville neighbor Lipscomb or more plausible than Lipscomb but not significantly attractive Texas-Arlington or Arkansas-Little Rock)

    Route B. Conclude even a tiny amount of smoke from the FCS playing schools is a concern and advocate exploring expansion to 18 by adding enough FBS to give FCS schools a place to be FBS without leaving though unlikely any potential candidate does much for hoops.

    Route C. Try to form a new league though that seems pointless unless you can create a mixed league that includes enough FBS to be an FBS league and get the brand name out there in football season, otherwise there just aren’t enough value targets to warrant the hassle of starting over.

    Like

    • Mike says:

      Wichita State is great and all, but I don’t think they are a school other schools will follow. In addition, any league they put together will be similar (from Wichita’s perspective) to the league they are already in why put in the work?

      Like

      • bullet says:

        What could they put together better? MVC is always high on the RPI. Its always high on attendance. It was 9th last year, behind only the P5, AAC, MWC and BE. Only the 10th place A10 was anywhere close.

        Like

        • BruceMcF says:

          That’s the crux. With both representatives winning in the first round, the MVC is getting 5 units out of the 2015 tournament. That’s a good year for the MVC, but there is no guarantee that a conference that Wichita could “put together” would be a two-bid conference “in a good year”.

          Like

  13. Stuart says:

    What will C-USA do if they boot UAB? And I’m not convinced they will, at least not yet – give them a couple years to see what they do on Football. But who if anyone would replace them in C-USA?

    I do disagree with you on Omaha drawing any interest from the Horizon. Denver is the only school of any value in the Summit, and that isn’t much. I think adding Belmont or NKU or both is more than enough insurance to stay at 9 or go to 10 schools depending on what happens with UAB.

    Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      I think C-USA likes being in the state of Alabama, so they’ll give UAB time to re-evaluate their decision to drop football. But if that decision sticks, I don’t see UAB remaining in C-USA indefinitely.

      Like

  14. Penn State Danny says:

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/eye-on-college-football/25122321/umass-ad-asks-for-acc-invite-on-twitter-hes-joking-probably

    Obviously no ACC for UMass.

    But I do think that the American might add them and Army. The chances go up obviously if Cincy and/or others get bumped up to a Power 5 conference.

    Like

  15. urbanleftbehind says:

    That plan is a no-brainer I suggested about a year ago to get to 14. Army would probably be football only, and be int he East division in order to have primacy for Florida and Carolina area cadets, much as Navy really wanted Texas exposure in the West division. Cincy (if not picked off for the Big 12) would be moved into the West. This would also add some wrinkles into how the A-N-G should it remain on the 2nd December Saturday would be treated should either team win its respective division and be eligible for a hypothetical CCG. Perhaps no divisions at all, as long as there is a single true champion.

    Like

    • Mike says:

      That plan is a no-brainer I suggested about a year ago to get to 14. Army would probably be football only,

      Didn’t Army leave CUSA because they couldn’t compete? What has changed their thinking?

      Like

      • wolverines says:

        Army was in C-USA when TCU, Louisville, Cincy, USF, Houston, East Carolina, etc were in C-USA… Since all those schools moved up, 2 of them to Power Five Schools, the others mostly to the American conference…

        Instead of competing with the above they’d be competing with Southern Miss, Charlotte, Marshall, Rice, UTEP, North Texas, Western Kentucky, Louisiana Tech, Old Dominion, Western Kentucky, etc. Teams they should be competitive with if they belong in Div I.

        Like

        • BruceMcF says:

          If Army wanted to join a conference … and there is no indication that they do … Conference USA v3.0 would seem to make more sense than The American, since joining the American would be joining an upgraded version of the Conference USA that they were forced to leave because the competition was too stiff.

          Like

    • One True Champion without a full round robin and/or CCG is even dumber than the Big 12’s failed One True Champion. I think for obvious reasons.

      Like

    • BruceMcF says:

      “That plan is a no-brainer I suggested about a year ago to get to 14.”

      But “getting to 14” is no benefit on its own … more like the opposite. So the specific schools added have to be worth both the average contribution of two schools to a conference of 12, plus a bit more on top to compensate for the disadvantages of 14 over 12.

      Like

  16. loki_the_bubba says:

    Back to the UAB situation, the Alabama BoT is indistinguishable from the Bryant Bank, The in-breeding runs deep in Tuscaloosa.

    http://www.al.com/opinion/index.ssf/2015/03/paul_bryant_jrs_bank_is_the_ti.html#incart_river

    Like

  17. fimsod@aol.com says:

    I have a question. Will Western Illinois University ever join the Missouri Valley outside of the football conference or any other conference that has an Illinois school in it. I graduated there and think it sucks to be in the summit. We don’t have a real team that we consider a rival. It used to be Eastern, but they left for the OVC. Then one started with Valpo in the 90s because for 3 straight years we played for the old mid con title, which sucked because Dad went To Valpo and they went to the sweet 16. Of course I never heard the end of that. So I just wish they would join the MVC full time or join the OVC with EIU so that we have an in state rival. I know Western doesn’t bring a lot at this point with having the same facilities as most high schools, but are going to build an on campus arena in the near future as they are going through a big up grade to the campus as a whole. So please give me some hope that we will leave the Summit and join a conference that has other Illinois schools in it. Even the Horizon would be ok, plus the schools would be closer.

    Thanks Frank Jeff Bartlett High School, we talked about all the high changes that were happening in the past.

    Sent from AOL Mobile Mail

    Like

  18. fimsod@aol.com says:

    Frank

    So I know we have emailed in the past about conference realignment, so I thought I would send you something that I heard may happen. You already know about the 3 valleys joining the DVC. Now there is talk about adding more and splitting into two. One part would include Lake Park. Glenbard North, Wheaton North, Wheaton Warrenville South, St. Charles North, St Charles East, Geneva and Batavia. Then the other half would be Waubonsie Valley, Nequa Valley, Metea Valley, Naperville North, Naperville Central, Bolingbrook and 2 schools yet to be determined. This is just rumor, but I know that the DVC and Upstate 8 have talked about some changes. That would leave Elgin, Bartlett, Streamwood, Larkin, South Elgin, East Aurora, West Aurora, West Chicago and Glenbard East in the Upstate 8. However I know there are teams like Dundee Crown, Hoffman Estates and Huntley that have expressed interest in joining. I just wish they would figure out what teams are going where, but all of it won’t matter because in about 5 – 10 years schools like Burlington Central – which has students that come from Elgin that live west of Randall, Kaneland and other schools just west of Elgin are growing and will be as big as the u-46 schools and will need a conference with schools that are the same size. So I figured I let you know on some of the high school rumblings. Just wish Bartlett could separate from other U-46 schools and join a conference that is at the same level of competition. By that I mean all schools have a freshman A and B squad as well as all levels we compete at. My idea for a conference would be Bartlett, South Elgin, Streamwood, Lake Park, Glenbard North, Hoffman Estates, Conant and Schaumburg. Why these schools, funny fact that everyone pulls from Hanover Park, where I grew up and went to Lake Park. Plus South Elgin is Bartletts rival which also has Barlett residents that attend it and Schauburg because they would be Conants and HEs rival. A perfect 8 team conference that schools would all be close and have the same levels for their programs. Of course it would be nice if they would just build a Hanover Park High School so that all the kids that grow up playing together can go to school together.

    Thanks Jeff

    Sent from AOL Mobile Mail

    Like

    • bob sykes says:

      Quesque se?

      Like

    • frug says:

      Hey, another reader from the western suburbs!

      Like

    • urbanleftbehind says:

      Yeah im trying to figure which shoes drop in the further north suburbs with the formation of a new conference of former small NSC teams plus the 2 Grayslakes. Waukegan will be leaving the CSL joining the remaining NSCs, (Stevenson, Warren, LF, Libertyville, LZ, Mundelein, ZionBenton and Vernon Hills) bumping it to 9, with the CSL (new trier, maines, glenbrooks) at 11 and looking for a 12th. So far Vernon H isvthe only applicant for the CSL slot – honestly its far too small enrollment (1,300) to even be in the North division. I think they’re better off in the MSL with Hoffman shifted to the east and Elk Grove shifted and Lake Park added to the MSL West. The Valleys plus Bolingbrook in the DVC is going to add a lot ofv speed and raw athleticism.

      Like

    • Stephen says:

      Hoffman Estates, Conant, and Schaumburg will never leave the Mid-Suburban League. The only school I could ever see leaving that league would be Barrington, since they are their own district and the farthest geographic outlier.

      Like

  19. Keith says:

    I’m actually surprised anyone takes my semi-anonymous ranting seriously–my wife has the good sense not to–and, yes, I am a little bitter at the level of insanity in the process.

    What, for example, defines a Big Ten institution and at what point does television override other considerations? Since Nebraska and Michigan State already have collegiate rodeo, perhaps some combination of Penn State, Minnesota, Rutgers, et al could be encouraged to add the “sport” so there could be a B1G conference to provide programming. If necessary, they could always add Dickinson State as an associate.

    There’s apparently always going to be some “special” circumstance that takes precedence when the COP/C want to justify something.

    (In my opinion, the B1G could show some true leadership and tell them to hang up their spurs or find a new conference home.)

    Keith

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Keith,

      “I’m actually surprised anyone takes my semi-anonymous ranting seriously”

      We tend to give people the benefit of the doubt here and assume they’re serious.

      “and, yes, I am a little bitter at the level of insanity in the process.”

      I wouldn’t say it’s been insanity for the most part. There is a logic behind the moves, but not everyone needs to agree with their motivations.

      “What, for example, defines a Big Ten institution … ?”

      General characteristics of a B10 school:
      large
      state flagship
      land grant school
      AAU member
      elite level research school
      large and diverse athletic program
      midwestern or (now) eastern

      Characteristics of a B10 expansion candidate:
      See above
      In a state contiguous to the footprint
      Adds enough athletic value to not reduce the per school payouts

      There are clearly exceptions to all or most of these (NW is small and private, etc). But if you don’t come close on the academics, nothing else matters.

      “… and at what point does television override other considerations?”

      It doesn’t override the other considerations, it adds one. Not only do you need to check the institutional fit boxes, you also have to add to the financial pie. The B10 isn’t expanding to end up with the same payout per school it already has.

      “Since Nebraska and Michigan State already have collegiate rodeo, perhaps some combination of Penn State, Minnesota, Rutgers, et al could be encouraged to add the “sport” so there could be a B1G conference to provide programming. If necessary, they could always add Dickinson State as an associate.”

      There’s no value in having a B10 rodeo conference.

      “There’s apparently always going to be some “special” circumstance that takes precedence when the COP/C want to justify something.”

      You mean the one time they added an affiliate? The justification for the other expansion decisions seem blindingly obvious.

      “(In my opinion, the B1G could show some true leadership and tell them to hang up their spurs or find a new conference home.)”

      Why? The B10 schools have plenty of teams that don’t compete in the B10 – men’s volleyball, men’s rowing, lightweight rowing, rifle, pistol, fencing, bowling, water polo, women’s ice hockey and synchronized swimming. The B10 only sponsors 28 sports. OSU has 37 varsity teams.

      Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      What, for example, defines a Big Ten institution and at what point does television override other considerations?

      Brian gave a great answer, but I’d add a few things:

      Various presidents and ADs have said that any addition would have to be an AAU member and contiguous with the current footprint. It’s likely that any exception to those requirements would need to be truly extraordinary (e.g., Notre Dame or Texas). According to Barry Alvarez, at least one school was turned away for academic reasons.

      But the conditions for entry to the Big Ten are changeable, because so are the people deciding.

      It’s well known that the vote to admit Penn State was 7-3 in favor, just barely over the required 2/3rds threshold. Decades later, the B1G added Rutgers and Maryland, as far as we know unanimously, to ensure Penn State wouldn’t leave. Changed circumstances (and maybe changed personalities) bring a different outlook.

      Obviously, Hopkins was added as an associate member only because of men’s lacrosse, something that the league never cared about until very recently. But Hopkins does satisfy the two conditions mentioned above: it’s an AAU member contiguous with the current footprint.

      The criteria for associate members are probably a little looser than for full members, hence Arizona State for men’s hockey seems like a distinct possibility, even though they’d never be a candidate for full membership (non-AAU, non-contiguous). But the Sun Devils at least resemble a Big Ten institution. You’re not going to see the University of Denver or Bemidji State in Big Ten hockey.

      The league has said that if it adds any new full members, it wants to grow south. Of course, by the time it has the opportunity to do so (if it ever does), there might be new people deciding, who could have new priorities. But if the decision were today, it would seem that Kansas is an unlikely addition, unless it comes as part of a package deal that involves one or more schools south of the current footprint.

      It ought to go without saying that ALL conference re-alignment decisions are about money. No school or league makes a voluntary move to lose money. For most leagues, and certainly the Big Ten, re-alignment is mostly about football, because football earns so much more money.

      So I think you could forget about UConn, which meets zero of the Big Ten’s known criteria: it’s non-AAU, it’s not contiguous to the current footprint, it does not have a valuable football program (nor does it have the potential to do so), and it’s not in the south.

      Like

    • BruceMcF says:

      “(In my opinion, the B1G could show some true leadership and tell them to hang up their spurs or find a new conference home.)”

      That flips the Big Ten system on its head. In the current system, having the Big Ten sponsor a sport is treated as a privilege, so everyone can play any sport they want, but at least six schools are required for the Big Ten to host a championship in the sport. That is, indeed, part of the balancing of tensions between the smaller budget and larger budget schools, with part of the budget difference spent by the big budget schools in sponsoring a wider range of sports than the small budget schools do.

      Heck, it seems that is embedded deeper into Big Ten culture than the reluctance to have associate members, since in the tension between the two with the addition of two Lacrosse playing schools, it was the affiliate membership norm that bent. And if ASU joined the Big Ten as an affiliate, they would be taking advantage of that first bending, since JHU was not a member of any other Division 1 conference, while ASU is a member of the other Division 1 conference with which the Big Ten has the deepest relationship.

      Like

  20. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Archie Manning quits the CFP selection committee and is replaced with former Vandy HC and Steve Martin lookalike Bobby Johnson.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/ncfnation/post/_/id/109443/bobby-johnson-is-the-right-man-to-replace-archie-manning

    Like

  21. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    OOC scheduling news.

    Texas A&M and Colorado.

    Vandy and Stanford.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/ncfnation/post/_/id/109431/texas-am-colorado-set-up-series

    Like

  22. Keith says:

    Thanks for all the thoughtful and insightful information. I’d like to add a couple of points.

    First, I really like the B1G Network. As an alumni of a “lesser” B1G program living in a distant state, it allows me for the first time to reliably view and follow my school on tv. (Lesser defined as lower-to-middling football–we can’t all be Ohio State or Michigan alums.)

    I actually loved the Johns Hopkins add for lacrosse–it made sense on every level in my opinion.

    (I enjoyed watching the Hopkins/Rutgers match yesterday. I don’t know much about lacrosse, but it was easy enough to pick up the basics. Those guys have to be in shape–that game would’ve killed your average college football lineman.)

    However, exceptions should be just that–exceptions, not the rule. Arizona State is not Johns Hopkins and any school isn’t AAU and sponsors rodeo (as I believe AZ State does) should, almost by definition, not be considered B1G material. Unlike the situation with Hopkins, the B1G doesn’t need an additional hockey member.

    Iowa (definitely), Nebraska (probably), and Illinois (if Frank wins the lottery) will be adding hockey soon enough.

    But, if the B1G is just going into ad hoc network programming, then Boise State and Wichita State start looking like Big Ten material.

    If you want to serve large alumni pockets, well–perhaps Portland State is available.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Keith,

      I largely agree that adding ASU seems an odd step for the B10. The main reason people mention it is the close tie between the B10 and P12. I’m not sure that’s enough to justify flying to Tempe.

      Several other things could be behind this, though:
      1. The B10 has more alumni in Phoenix than the P12. A decent number of them are from schools playing B10 hockey, so this might be a good way to connect with them.

      2. Having the NCAA minimum of 6 teams in the conference is a little risky.

      3. Having only 6 teams makes for a very limited conference schedule. More teams means more games for BTN, too.

      4. Hockey is a small sport and many worry that it may actually shrink. If adding ASU encourages other B10 or P12 schools to add hockey, then it may help the entire sport.

      Both the WCHA and CCHA used to have Alaska schools, so the hockey teams are used to long trips once a year. Playing ASU wouldn’t be the end of the world. And it is an NHL city.

      Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      …any school isn’t AAU and sponsors rodeo (as I believe AZ State does) should, almost by definition, not be considered B1G material.

      Say what?

      Like

    • bob sykes says:

      Before the recent round of conference expansion, the B1G and the PAC 10 had reached a tentative agreement to have a very muched expanded and regular cross-conference scheduling. If that agreement had held, ASU would routinely be playing B1G teams in many sports, including hockey and football.

      You can hardly say that ASU is unworthy; the tentative agreement shows they were pre-approved. Boise State and Wichita are, because:

      http://soe.sagepub.com/content/87/3/204

      Like

  23. Brian says:

    A great year, and especially March, for OSU athletics continued this weekend with 2 more titles.

    2015 OSU National Titles:
    Football
    Wrestling (2 individual champs, including the 4th ever 4x individual champ)
    Synchronized swimming (OSU’s 29th title in it)
    Pistol (repeat title from last year)

    Like

    • Brian says:

      http://www.intermatwrestle.com/articles/14373

      And not surprisingly, Logan Stieber won the Hodge Trophy (wrestling’s Heisman).

      Four-time Ohio high school state champion. Junior Dan Hodge Trophy winner. Four-time Big Ten conference titlist. Four-time NCAA Division I wrestling champion, only the fourth wrestler to earn this distinction in 85 years of national mat championships. Dan Hodge Trophy winner. Now Ohio State’s Logan Stieber can add one additional honor to his impressive wrestling resume: 2015 InterMat Wrestler of the Year.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      Meanwhile, 2015 has been pretty good for MSU, too. A top 5 finish in football with a NYD6 win over Baylor and yet another Final Four for Izzo.

      Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        It’s good enough to ignore, again, the dumpster fire that is their wrestling program. Dead last with negative .5 at the championships. They’d have been better off with no qualifiers – no opportunity to get a penalty. But the coach remains…

        Like

        • Brian says:

          I was surprised to see 2 wrestlers (1 MSU, 1 MO) get punished at the championships. I’d expect better self-control at that level.

          Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Around 650 individual combat matches with the season on the line. It’s not acceptable, but understandable to an extent. But the coaches should never lose it.

            Like

  24. Brian says:

    Another revenue sport, another season of hearing that the B10 isn’t any good, another season of the B10 showing up in the postseason.

    Congratulations to WI and MSU on making the Final Four.

    Like

    • urbanleftbehind says:

      And as if on cue, some jackhole Domer (Cornett, sp.) was on 670 saying that a WI – MSU championship game would not help the sport as much as a “matchup with 2 blue blood programs”. I thought the B1G hate was the sole enterprise of the 4 letter network.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        How is that “hate?” That would have been like someone in the 90s saying the Lakers/Celtics would be better for the NBA than the Rockets/Magic. People are so sensitive these days.

        Like

  25. Mike says:

    More from Matt Sarz on potential Fox, NBC, CBS, and Turner bids.

    http://mattsarzsports.blogspot.com/2015/03/some-cutting-room-floor-items-re-big.html

    Like

  26. bullet says:

    Kentucky/Notre Dame drew an 8.4/16 rating. Highest rating ever for a single network college basketball game.

    Like

  27. Michael in Raleigh says:

    Frank,

    What are your thoughts on DePaul’s back-to-the-future hire of Dave Leitao? Should they have hired Bobby Hurley or Bryce Drew, or were they even realistic options?

    Like

    • urbanleftbehind says:

      i’m thinking Hurley really wanted the St. John’s job (now being taken by Chris Mullin) and dithered on a DePaul offer. It actually would be a larger leap from the MAC to the BE than from the Horizon to the BE (Drew-Valpo, Wardle-UWGB). That said, Hurley would be a killer get for the Rutgers program if that becomes available soon.

      Like

  28. Stuart says:

    The MVC schools, with Wichita way high at 10,732 attending per game, and LUC way low with 1,928 per game, get between 4,000 and 6,500 per game at each school. A survey of a dozen schools indicates everybody charges about the same price, so its pretty much apples to apples. That sort of sets a standard of what schools would fit the MVC as far as fan base goes, so I looked at the greater region, simply to see which schools could be considered. And here is the initial list (2013-14 attendance from NCAA, and 2014-15 RPI)

    School Home Total per game 2014-15
    Games Attend Attend RPI
    UAB 17 73,161 4,304 117 (0.524)
    ORU 13 55,069 4,236 157 (0.505)
    UWGB 17 67,646 3,979 60 (0.563)
    Murray 18 61,695 3,428 46 (0.575)
    NDSU 13 43,008 3,308 88 (0.539)
    Denver 13 40,543 3,119 236 (0.461)
    UIC 14 42,140 3,010 296 (0.427)
    UWM 13 37,014 2,847 209 (0.478)
    Valpo 18 51,002 2,833 56 (0.566)
    Belmont 14 38,067 2,719 99 (0.534)
    SDSU 14 37,254 2,661 84 (0.543)
    Detroit 15 37,082 2,472 206 (0.479)
    NKU 14 25,829 1,845 262 (0.449)
    Omaha 15 19,154 1,277 298 (0.424)

    I threw Omaha and NKU in there because you mentioned it as possible for Horizon. But the numbers reveal they are not well supported programs.

    For the MVC Alabama-Birmingham is a no brianer. But if the MVC goes for a 12th the metrics show Oral Roberts should be considered as well as Valpo and UIC. Their RPI is middling, but the high level of fan support and the Tulsa market would be a nice add, which would make Wichita less isolated. ORU is out of place in the SLC.

    To my surprise Green Bay, Murray, and North Dakota State stand out for attendance and RPI. But they are all in the middle of nowhere. Green Bay is interesting in that it would add Wisconsin, and alumni are likely concentrated around Chicago. Denver, Detroit, and Milwaukee don’t quit measure up.

    For the Horizon, Belmont looks way better than anyone else. They could absorb the loss of Valpo or UIC much better with them than either NKU or Omaha, neither of whom looks ready in terms of performance or support for the Horizon.

    So I see it as UAB and one of UIC, Valpo, or perhaps ORU (I’d like your analysis of them) for the MVC. And Belmont for the Horizon. No additional trickle down seems likely.

    Like

    • Stuart says:

      ugh, awful format. It just wont take spreadsheet input. Well the values are supposed to be tab delimited, with these columns
      1. School
      2. Home Games
      3. Total Attendance (2013-14)
      4. Per Game Attendance (2013-14)
      5. RPI (2015-16)

      Sorry about the formatiing

      Like

  29. Brian says:

    http://www.intermatwrestle.com/articles/14372

    Bad news for wrestling. Cleveland State is dropping the sport after next year and adding men’s lacrosse instead. Supposedly CSU will consider keeping wrestling if outside funding is found. Dropping wrestling seems an odd choice since northern OH is a hotbed for HS wrestling, but it begins to make sense when you read about their AD. He is a former college lacrosse player and his wife coaches college lacrosse. Also, it seems to fit the school’s strategic goals:

    http://laxmagazine.com/college_men/DI/2014-15/news/091914_lacrosse_being_considered_at_cleveland_state_university

    Cleveland State athletic director John Parry told Lacrosse Magazine on Friday that adding Division I men’s and women’s lacrosse for the spring 2016 season is under consideration as part of an enrollment strategy to attract more students to the school.

    Cleveland State sits an on urban, downtown campus in Cleveland, and is a public university with an enrollment of more than 17,000 students. In August 2012, CSU welcomed its largest freshman class in history, with 1,550 students and applications reached a 30-year high that same year.

    Parry said lacrosse would be part of a plan to attract “particularly more students from suburban, private schools that CSU doesn’t normally have access to,” he said. It’s a theme consistent with a trend of Midwest colleges looking to do just that.

    “I personally love the sport,” he said. “I’ve been associated with it everywhere I was, until I got here. That’s the way we started it at Butler. It was more of an enrollment strategy. It’s in my blood, but it’s not a personal agenda. It’s not about ego. It’s got to make sense to the university. That’s what I’m trying to present, but I’m not trying to sugarcoat it.”

    “It’s one of the options,” he said. “I can’t speak for the Enrollment Task Force and I can’t speak for the Board. I’m doing what I can to put it in front of them.”

    http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2015/03/cleveland_state_university_will_no_longer_fund_wrestling_but_will_add_lacrosse.html

    CSU did not want to drop a sport but cannot afford the additional cost of about $900,000 a year to add two sports, because if it added lacrosse it would have to add a women’s sport to meet federal Title IX requirements, officials said Monday.

    CSU would become only the second public university in Ohio to offer lacrosse. Ohio State University has men’s and women’s teams.

    The university began discussing adding lacrosse in fall 2014 and had hoped its first team would be on campus this fall and compete in the spring of 2016.

    At that time it had planned to add a women’s sport, either lacrosse or indoor/outdoor track and field, said Parry and President Ronald Berkman.

    Public colleges are following the lead of their private counterparts in adding lacrosse, which in recent years has become the latest recruitment tool.

    Relatively inexpensive to start, the sport has grown in popularity at high schools, especially those with middle-class students.

    By offering the chance to play at the next level, colleges hope to attract students who otherwise wouldn’t have considered those campuses.

    CSU added men’s lacrosse as a club sport in 2013.

    A Division I men’s team has about 45 members.

    They can afford to add 20 more male athletes, and it will not violate Title IX?

    Like

    • Brian says:

      http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2015/03/wrestling_supporters_need_to_s.html

      This sounds a lot like blackmail to me. The AD knows wrestling is more popular in OH, especially around Cleveland.

      As for external funding:
      To survive, the wrestling program needs to raise $800,000 by March 31, 2016, which would fund the program for 2016 and 2017, Stehura said.

      “All of this would give us time to reach a $5 million endowment to then secure the program,” he said.

      He is turning to the legions of wrestling supporters in Northeast Ohio.

      “There has always been strong wrestling support and honestly this is up to the community,” he said. “If they value everything that comes along with having a wrestling program at Cleveland State, it would be a validation of several people’s life’s work.”

      I don’t blame the coach for trying to save his program, but I really hope the fans don’t give in to this blackmail and give CSU $5M. That would send entirely the wrong message in my opinion. I’d rather see them steer students away from CSU as a form of protest.

      The reach of CSU’s 52-year-old wrestling program extends well beyond the university, he said. It has offered free wrestling camps for 30 years, which led to many youths continuing the sport in school, he said.

      CSU had talked about adding men’s lacrosse as a varsity sport in the fall of 2014 but to do so it would have to add a women’s sport to meet federal guidelines.

      But officials said Monday they decided the university could not afford the additional cost of about $900,000 a year to add two new sports. So it opted to use the funding from the wrestling program for lacrosse.

      “So why add something if you don’t have the funding for it?” said Stehura, who has coached at CSU for six years.

      Like

    • Mike says:

      Both LAX (12.6 scholarships) and wrestling (9.9) are equivalency sports. IIRC, for Title IX purposes they only count the scholarships so they only added 2.3 men.

      Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        It’s becoming a protection racket. Why can’t lacross self fund? It’s a more affluent demographic.

        At least Fresno St got rid of their AD that cut wrestling and is in the process of restoring it.

        Like

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          Why can’t lacross self fund? It’s a more affluent demographic.

          Because it’s probably easier to attract money to keep an existing sport going, than to attract money to create a program from scratch. Not that the latter can’t be done…but it’s harder. And I’ll bet lacrosse is a more expensive sport than wrestling.

          Like

        • Mike says:

          Why can’t lacross self fund

          My guess, just based off the article, is that the people who would fund lacrosse don’t have a connection to the school.

          Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            So it is blackmail.

            Butler’s LAX dropped to club status shortly after the AD’s departure…

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            Mike: “My guess, just based off the article, is that the people who would fund lacrosse don’t have a connection to the school.”

            I think that’s it exactly … lacrosse basically self-funds at a number of established blue blood programs, between program revenues and alumni donations, but the kind of school that would start up lacrosse to get the attention of private school graduates it does not receive at the moment, well, they are not in the old boys network (pretty much by definition).

            Like

  30. Mike says:

    Big 12 Expansion!

    Oklahoma State wrestling coach John Smith said in an interview with the O’Colly that the Big 12, which has had only four teams compete in wrestling the past four seasons, will be adding the six members of the Western Wrestling Conference as members of Big 12 wrestling.

    Smith said to expect an official announcement some time within the next month.

    Smith spoke with the O’Colly about how the addition of Air Force, North Dakota State, Northern Colorado, South Dakota State, Utah Valley and Wyoming will affect the conference.

    http://www.ocolly.com/sports/article_91f937c0-d976-11e4-9029-b38259aa2c03.html

    Like

    • urbanleftbehind says:

      Say what you will about the NDSU athletic department now, but we will be looking back upon them as the originators of “studio football” (Fargodome).

      Like

    • Brian says:

      It’ll be interesting to see how that impacts their scheduling. Smith says he’ll still schedule IA, MN and PSU, so I assume they’ll trade these new guys for some of their lesser OOC foes. WV has to be a little upset at all the extra travel that this adds to a non-revenue sport.

      Like

  31. Brian says:

    http://www.si.com/college-football/2015/04/02/bowl-game-host-cities

    4 more bowl games? All slots are for the AAC, SB, MWC and CUSA.

    Like

    • Ross says:

      I understand the money argument, but are we really about to give 2/3 college football teams bowl games? Many of these games are already costing universities money when they cannot fulfill their portion of the tickets. At what point does that outweigh the TV numbers?

      How many sub-.500 teams are we going to see in the postseason this year, and who is really watching them play for that matter?

      Like

      • Brian says:

        If all 4 get approved, we’d be up to 43 bowls and thus need 86 teams.

        http://www.collegefootballpoll.com/bowl_eligibility_2014.html

        81 teams were eligible last year, and this article lists the rules that would be used to fill the other 5 spots.

        Insufficient Number of Deserving Teams
        For a period of four years beginning August 2, 2012, if an insufficient number of institutions meet the definition of a “deserving team” to participate in postseason bowl games in a particular year, an institution that meets a condition set forth below shall be eligible to be selected to participate in such a bowl game. A particular bowl game may benefit from this provision only one time within the four-year period. All institutions that meet the first condition must be selected before an institution that meets the second condition may be selected and so forth in descending order:

        1. An institution that would have met the FCS Opponent exception but for the fact that one victory was against a FCS opponent that had not averaged 90 percent of the permissible maximum number of grants-in-aid per year in football during a rolling two-year period and the institution’s waiver request was denied.

        2. An institution that has won a number of games against FBS opponents and two FCS opponents that together is equal to or greater than the number of its overall losses.

        3. An institution that participated in 13 regular season contests and finished the season with a record of six wins and seven losses.

        4. An institution that is in its final year of reclassification from the Football Championship Subdivision to the Football Bowl Subdivision and meets the definition of a “deserving team”.

        5. An institution that finished its season with a minimum of five wins and a maximum of seven losses but achieved a top-five Academic Progress Rate in the Football Bowl Subdivision for the most recent reporting year.

        There were 3 teams that were ineligible due to it being their first year in I-A, so they’d get in (ODU, GA Southern, App. State), I assume. I’m not sure who the final 2 would be. Does a bowl get cancelled if there aren’t enough teams and/or the bowl has already used it’s one waiver?

        Like

      • BruceMcF says:

        Whether or not we are ready to do that is yet to be decided.

        AFAIR, the MWC had more bowl teams than primary affiliations last year, and CUSA had one bowl eligible school stay at home, with another team at 6-6 who will be bowl eligible this coming year, so it seems likely the Arizona Bowl will get the thumbs up.

        I see the logic of the two Sunbelt / the America bowls, one in Orlando, one in Austin, since both conferences sprawl from the southeast coast to Texas. But AFAIU, the American currently has from four to five primary bowl tie-ins. Last season they had six bowl eligible schools, and are adding one more that was bowl eligible last year … so it could be they will not get three primary tie-ins, and one or more of these applications are the American covering their bets (for instance, suppose they were only in on two applications, and one of those were knocked back for some other reason).

        Like

    • BruceMcF says:

      So, for those keeping score at home:

      Cure Bowl in Orlando, American v Sunbelt, approved
      Tuscon, MWC v CUSA … approved
      Little Rock, American v Sunbelt … not approved
      Austin, American v CUSA … approved except it’s American v Sunbelt

      Like

  32. freeze says:

    Cincinnati fan here. Most AAC fans I have seen weigh in on the subject want at least one non-football member added. Now that Marshall appears to be safe at Wichita, I say bring ’em on. We need to be getting 4-5 tournament bids annually.

    Like

  33. Mike says:

    I’m not a daily fantasy player, but this seems a little excessive.

    Industry sources said ESPN has agreed to invest hundreds of millions of dollars for up to a 20 percent stake in DraftKings. The major investment will be part of the daily fantasy sports operator’s next round of venture capital financing in May

    http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/SB-Blogs/On-The-Ground/2015/04/0403-ESPN-DraftKings.aspx

    Like

  34. largeR says:

    MSU-Duke Is this the most annoying announcing team ever? They never shut up with boring analysis and trivia! I’ve watched most of the first half with the sound off. And TNT; we don’t need constant video coverage of coach K! !@#$%^&*

    Like

    • largeR says:

      Dear largeR,

      The game is a simulcast on TBS where the great Jim Nance and Bill Raftery provide an enjoyable viewing and listening experience!!!

      With 5 minutes left I figure that out! Anyone care to explain the CBS/TBS/TNT coverage of the Final Four? I assumed it would be on CBS only.

      Thankyou,

      Me

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Their coverage really made no sense this year. They’ve pushed a lot of top games off of CBS.

        Like

        • @Brian – Turner (TBS/TNT/truTV) is actually paying significantly more for the NCAA Tournament than CBS. Without the Turner money, CBS would have lost all of the rights to the NCAA Tournament completely to ESPN or Comcast. As a result, part of the deal is that the Turner networks would start showing higher profile games (including the Final Four and National Championship Game) much more frequently.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            And CBS still pulls significantly higher ratings. Plenty of people still can’t find truTV, and I’ve seen many people confused by the simulcast on TBS and TNT with different announcers.

            At least people know how to find ESPN on their TV.

            Like

          • Yes, that’s true in general for over-the-air versus cable, although the ratings were very high for Saturday’s games. For better or worse, more and more sporting events are migrating to cable because those networks are paying much higher rates fees. That’s only going to accelerate further – the Holy Grail of NFL Playoff games have just started heading that way this year.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            I think there were 2 fundamental problems this year:

            1. Turner did a bad job explaining what will be on which channel, especially with their version of the megacast of the Final Four. Many people got the UK announcers for the game accidentally because they weren’t aware a neutral broadcast was available elsewhere.

            2. Turner channels are harder to find on most systems. At least when ESPN does this most of their networks are grouped together (at least in pairs). That makes it easier to skip from one to another. The Turner channels tend to be spread out and many are unaware of truTV until a sports event is on it. ESPN is better branded.

            I happened to disagree with some of their choices about which game to put on which network, but that’s my selfish preference as a fan versus their aim to maximize revenue.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            How hard would it be to create a universal remote that allowed you to program – associating the stations you want to a set of numbers you choose? I’m not an engineer but it seems it shouldn’t be too hard. Perhaps a phone app for those with Internet control of their TV.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Some systems let you set up a list of “favorite” channels and you can just surf between them. That can work for a case like this (or NYD bowls back in the day), but you have to know how to do it and you have to reset the list to the normal stations afterwards so nobody gets mad at you.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            I watched the Wisconsin-Kentucky game on the channel with the Kentucky homer announcers, and actually found it very entertaining. Obviously they were openly rooting for the Wildcats, as they should, but they were reasonably fair (as homers go) and more knowledgeable than Jim Nantz.

            Like

  35. ccrider55 says:

    Ncaa basketball refs trying out for the NBA?

    Like

  36. Brian says:

    Congratulations to WI for beating UK, and thank you!

    Duke won at WI in December 80-70. Can WI turn it around this time? It may come down to which team does better from 3.

    Like

  37. Mike says:

    http://sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2015/04/06/Colleges/Pac12-rights.aspx

    PAC12 considering conference controlled radio, signage, etc deal instead of each school signing their own deal with IMG, Learfield, etc.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott had been floating the idea with athletic directors and presidents for about six months, but the proposal entered a more formal stage on March 14 at the conference’s basketball tournament in Las Vegas. During a Pac-12 board meeting, presidents voted to initiate a six-month moratorium on any new multimedia rights deals or extensions through mid-September.

      That gives the conference office time to study the feasibility of an in-house model for managing and selling multimedia rights across all 12 campuses. The conference will look at traditional multimedia rights in athletics, as well as campuswide marketing assets.

      Skeptics of Scott’s plan wonder if the schools will turn over their multimedia rights to the conference when the conference-owned channels haven’t performed that well financially and the rights holders are more experienced at monetizing the schools’ rights.

      Scott has maintained that the conference is more focused on control of its own property over the long haul versus short-term revenue boosts.

      “We’ve been big believers in our members ultimately controlling as much of their rights as possible that will benefit them for the long term,” Scott said. “We’ve seen a significant uplift by continuing to bring more rights to the center and, in the long term, our schools want to control their rights and intellectual property as much as possible.”

      “We’ve been big believers in our members ultimately controlling as much of their rights as possible that will benefit them for the long term,” Scott said. “We’ve seen a significant uplift by continuing to bring more rights to the center and, in the long term, our schools want to control their rights and intellectual property as much as possible.”

      Like

  38. loki_the_bubba says:

    The Bama plan to shut down UAB goes back several years, ex-coach admits.

    http://www.underdogdynasty.com/uab-blazers/2015/4/3/8338985/uab-football-shutdown-garrick-mcgee-twitter-dms-2013

    Like

  39. Brian says:

    Congrats to Duke and Coach K on title #5.

    WI made a valiant effort but I think they were just a touch worn down from the UK game. They join the long list of B10 title game losers. They’ll always have that win over UK, though.

    On the other hand, Coach K’s fifth title moves him past Adolph Rupp for second place all time. That must make this tournament doubly painful for UK fans.

    Like

    • anthony london says:

      Brian,
      Six, I mean six, BIG teams have lost the title game since 2000…

      IU to Maryland
      UofI to UNC in one of the worst officiated games in the history of basketball
      OSU to Florida
      MSU to UNC in a route
      MI to Louisville in the second worst officiated game in the history of basketball
      Wiscy to Duke last night…

      This is a bit of a disturbing trend, but you gotta be there to win, so there is a silver lining to that…

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Did you not watch last night? I don’t think the officiating was biased, but it was awful last night. It was awful in Kentucky-Wisconsin as well.

        Like

        • greg says:

          One thing that struck me about the officiating is something I’ve noticed in other games. Wisky was the beneficiary in the first half, Duke was the beneficiary in the second half.

          Does the officiating crew work the same spots on the floor throughout the game? So the Wisky defense is at one end in the first half against a stingy ref, and in the second half, the Duke defense benefits?

          Like

        • anthony london says:

          Bullet,

          I did watch the game last night. The officiating was bad, but not biased. In theory, that should affect both teams in an even manner, again, in theory. I thought the UofI game demonstrated biased officiating, which is different.

          Duke was not the better team last night, Wiscy was. Having said that, I think Coach K won the mental battle against Bo Ryan. When Wiscy went up 9, they needed to step on Duke’s neck and go for the kill. Instead a freshman, with limited time, came in and saved Duke with his energy and offense. It was on hell of a game.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            anthony london,

            “Duke was not the better team last night, Wiscy was.”

            I disagree. I think Duke was the better team that night. That doesn’t mean Duke was a better team overall, just that night.

            “Having said that, I think Coach K won the mental battle against Bo Ryan.”

            I consider coaching part of the team, and this is largely why Duke was the better team.

            Like

      • Tom says:

        I think there are a couple factors affecting the B1G and its lack of success in the title game:

        First, the above teams haven’t gotten any favors in terms of the opponent. In all 6 games, the B1G has faced a number 1 seed. Granted, 3 of those B1G teams were also 1 seeds, but I think the record is different if the B1G faces off against a 3 or 4 seed. Even this year Wisconsin didn’t get any breaks. It faced an 8 seed in the second round, a 4 seed in the sweet sixteen, a 2 seed in the elite 8, and two number 1 seeds in the final four. That is a gauntlet.

        Second, the B1G doesn’t really have a blue blood basketball program that can carry the league on its shoulders like Kansas does in the Big 12 or Kentucky does in the SEC. The closest to blue blood status would be Indiana, but I would consider the Hoosiers to be in a tier beneath Duke, UNC, Kansas, Kentucky, and UCLA. Even if you consider the Hoosiers to be in the same tier, they certainly haven’t performed like it with only one final four appearance since 1993. Imagine if Duke and UNC combined for two final four appearances in that same span.

        Third, every other school with the exception of Indiana, Illinois, Purdue (debatable), and now Maryland (also debatable), is a football school. I think this affects recruiting throughout the league, particularly within the Midwest. In recent years, Kentucky, Kansas, and Duke have all been able to raid Chicago and Indiana for high level talent. The chance to be the so called man at these schools is a big draw to kids who would be second fiddle behind the football program at most B1G schools.

        Finally, there is a lack of high level recruiting within the league. Ohio State seems to be the only program able to pull in consistent top 10-15 recruiting classes. It is a testament to the strength of coaches in the league that the B1G has been as strong as it has been the past several years but in basketball more so than any other sport, talent usually wins out. Coaching can only do so much, and I think we’ve seen that in the title games.

        Like

        • Michael in Raleigh says:

          “In recent years, Kentucky, Kansas, and Duke have all been able to raid Chicago and Indiana for high level talent. The chance to be the so called man at these schools is a big draw to kids who would be second fiddle behind the football program at most B1G schools.”

          How much do you think other schools’ presence and proximity to the Midwest have affected recruiting, too? Half of the Big East is now in the Midwest: Xavier in Cincy, Butler in Indy, DePaul in Chicago, Marquette in Milwaukee, and Creighton in Omaha. Then there’s two now-ACC schools bascially at the north and south ends of Indiana: Notre Dame, and then Louisville just south of the border. Cincinnati is in B1G territory. So is Pitt. WVU just south of the PA border and a short drive from Ohio. It just seems like there is a lot more competition within the Midwest from traditionally strong programs.

          Contrast that to the Big 12. In Texas, as in the Midwest, there are schools from well outside the region who recruit there successfully. Duke had two or three starters from Texas, IIRC. But there aren’t many other programs to deal with. Texas has A&M, and as of late, there’s Brown-led SMU and Sampson-led Houston (who knows how that’ll pan out). In Oklahoma there’s Tulsa, in Kansas there’s Wichita State, and in Iowa there’s Northern Iowa. That’s a lot less to deal with than the major programs in and surrounding the Big Ten’s territory. And the Pac-12, well, all they have out west are Gonzaga, BYU, San Diego State, New Mexico, and the occassional St. Mary’s and other surging MWC program.

          On the other hand, the Pac-12 and Big 12 are in similar national title droughts, although they have even fewer title game appearances. Big 12 members have won only two national championships since 1959 (KU in ’88 and ’08). The Pac-12 has won two national titles in the past 40 years (UCLA ’95, Arizona ’97). Truth is that the national championship has been dominated in the past 25 years by Duke (5), UConn (4), UNC (3), Kentucky (3), and Florida (2).

          Like

          • @Michael in Raleigh – At a macro-level, basketball recruiting is much more nationalized compared to football, with Kentucky, Kansas, Duke and UNC in particular completely dominating getting the elite recruits. Here’s an article from the Chicago Tribune last week about McDonald’s All-Americans from Chicago and virtually everywhere else in the country choosing to leave home:

            http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/highschool/ct-spt-0331-prep-basketball-mcdonalds-leaving-home-20150330-story.html

            Some stats from that article: 29.4% of all McDonald’s All-Americans since 1990, 31.9% since 2000 and 32.3% since 2006 (the start of the current one-and-done era) have gone to either Kentucky, Kansas, Duke or UNC. Those 4 schools specifically are on a completely different recruiting playing field compared to the rest of the country.

            In the case of Chicago recruiting at a micro level, Kentucky, Kansas and Duke all have extremely strong direct ties to the city even beyond their national reputations. Worldwide Wes (John Calipari’s biggest feeder of talent for years) is Chicago-based, Bill Self built up strong Chicago ties when he was the coach at Illinois, and Coach K is a Chicago native. So, those 3 schools aren’t even just relying upon their national cache to get Chicago area recruits – to top basketball recruits, they are as “local” in terms of their connections and presence as any in-state or Big Ten coach. It’s a problem that I know all too well as an Illini guy.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Wow. Those are amazing numbers. Sounds like Kansas is underperforming and UConn is doing quite a job.

            Recruiting in basketball has become more national. Kentucky would always get some players from around the country, but nearly half the team would be Kentucky players. Now usually the only Kentucky players are the walk-ons.

            Looked up the 78 national champs-Kentucky’s top 6 included 2 Lexington players, 2 from Ohio, 1 from Indiana and 1 from Louisiana. The rest of the team included 3 KY players, 1 CT, 1 TN, 1 IL, 2 CO. 5 out of 14 from KY and 10/14 from KY and surrounding states.

            2015 had 2 from California, 2 from Texas, 2 from NJ, 1 MI, 1 OH, 1 MA, 1 KS, 1 TN, 1 IN, 1NY, 3 KY. None of the 3 Kentucky players was in the 10 man rotation. So that’s 3 of 16 from KY and 6/16 from KY and surrounding states.

            I would guess North Carolina and Kansas are following the same pattern.

            Like

      • Brian says:

        anthony london,

        “Six, I mean six, BIG teams have lost the title game since 2000…”

        I think the better team won in most of those games if not all of them. It’s a bit disheartening, but you have to be in it to win it. Eventually one of our teams will get over the hump. I think it’s sort of like where football was for a while. What we really need is one more elite coach to help push teams to improve.

        Like

  40. Mike says:

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/writer/dennis-dodd/25139160/b12-acc-get-their-way-championship-game-restrictions-to-be-relaxed-by-2016

    Legislation allowing for the deregulation of conference championship games is now expected to be passed by 2016, CBSSports.com has learned.

    The move would directly impact the Big 12 and ACC, which developed the legislation. The Big 12, which is the only Power Five league without a championship game, is merely seeking the option of staging such a contest with 10 teams. The ACC’s ultimate intentions with a 14-team league in football, one which already holds a championship game, are not clear.

    Like

    • Mike says:

      Much easier now for the ACC to add UConn for an even 16. Notre Dame could play one of the three five team divisions each year. The addition of UConn’s market might boost ESPN’s confidence in an ACCN just enough to actually launch it.

      Like

      • Mike says:

        Notre Dame could play one of the three five team divisions each year

        Just to be clear, I’m talking about ND football which is still independent.

        Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      Not a done deal yet, but it certainly seems to be trending in that direction. (Long-time FTT readers will recall that I have long argued that the NCAA both would and should do this.)

      The article mentions a “belief that the ACC would [split into] three divisions, have the two highest ranked play in the postseason.” That’s Bob Bowlsby speaking. I don’t recall anyone in the ACC floating that idea publicly, so it must be back-room chatter at athletic executive meetings.

      Like

      • Mike says:

        Long-time FTT readers will recall that I have long argued that the NCAA both would and should do this

        The round robin rule has been one of the few limits to expansion. I’m surprised this is going through with out a fight from opponents of P5 expansion.

        Like

        • Michael in Raleigh says:

          Is it an autonomy issue, such that non-P5 schools wouldn’t have a say in the matter?

          Like

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          The round robin rule has been one of the few limits to expansion.

          I certainly think the current rule is an annoyance, but as far as I can tell, it hasn’t stood in the way of anyone doing what they really wanted to do, if there was enough money to be made.

          I’m surprised this is going through with out a fight from opponents of P5 expansion.

          All of the P5 conferences know they might want to expand again, at some point. None of the mid-majors dare stand in their way.

          Indeed, even without expanding, some leagues might choose to abandon their divisions, once they are allowed to select their CCG participants any way they want. I don’t expect the Big Ten to leap into anything precipitously, but it does solve certain problems, and allow traditional rivalries to be played more often.

          Like

          • Mike says:

            I certainly think the current rule is an annoyance, but as far as I can tell, it hasn’t stood in the way of anyone doing what they really wanted to do, if there was enough money to be made.

            The multiple concerns raised with round robin play problems are an indicator that its a limiting factor. I would argue it caused the Big Ten to go to nine conference games. Expand too far and the cross division teams end up feeling like OOC games.

            All of the P5 conferences know they might want to expand again, at some point. None of the mid-majors dare stand in their way.

            Any mid majors that aren’t first in line for a promotion should be working to block P5 expansion until they are confident they are first line. Additional P5 expansion will only make it more difficult to be promoted.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            I certainly think the current rule is an annoyance, but as far as I can tell, it hasn’t stood in the way of anyone doing what they really wanted to do, if there was enough money to be made.

            The multiple concerns raised with round robin play problems are an indicator that its a limiting factor. I would argue it caused the Big Ten to go to nine conference games. Expand too far and the cross division teams end up feeling like OOC games.

            Try to find even one case, where an expansion that a conference was otherwise willing to do, was derailed for that reason. Find even a rumor of one. I am pretty sure you can’t.

            The Big Ten was seriously considering a move to nine conference games even before it added Maryland and Rutgers. It was gonna happen anyway.

            Any mid majors that aren’t first in line for a promotion should be working to block P5 expansion until they are confident they are first line. Additional P5 expansion will only make it more difficult to be promoted.

            The mid-majors are powerless to stop it. And even if they could come up with a way, all they’d do is push the P5 towards further autonomy. Remember, the mid-majors blocked full cost-of-attendance scholarships a few years ago, but their victory was short-lived. I think they now realize that they can’t stop the P5 from doing anything they really want, and to try is counter-productive.

            Like

          • Arkstfan says:

            Let’s be clear. It wasn’t the G5 that blocked full cost. It was FCS and non-football who blocked it.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            “Any mid majors that aren’t first in line for a promotion should be working to block P5 expansion until they are confident they are first line. Additional P5 expansion will only make it more difficult to be promoted.”

            That would be among those G5 schools angling for “promotion”. If schools in a conference are confident that their conference is unlikely to be raided, it might not be an issue either way, in which case going along to get along likely makes a lot of sense in the long term.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Marc Shepherd,

            >>I certainly think the current rule is an annoyance, but as far as I can tell, it hasn’t stood in the >>way of anyone doing what they really wanted to do, if there was enough money to be made.

            >The multiple concerns raised with round robin play problems are an indicator that its a limiting >factor. I would argue it caused the Big Ten to go to nine conference games. Expand too far and >the cross division teams end up feeling like OOC games.

            Try to find even one case, where an expansion that a conference was otherwise willing to do, was derailed for that reason. Find even a rumor of one. I am pretty sure you can’t.

            It’s really hard to show why people didn’t do something.

            Would one or more of the P5 be at 16 teams if round robin play wasn’t required? Especially with the resistance to a 9th conference game in some leagues, RR play may well be a limiting factor.

            If we take the larger rule into consideration, would the B12 be at 11+ teams by now if you didn’t need 12 for a CCG? What if they just didn’t need to lose games in TX by playing RR? Would expansion have gone differently if conferences didn’t have to add pairs of teams? Would the B10 have added NE and MO if that didn’t create a scheduling dilemma? Might the SEC have 13 teams? Might the ACC have 15?

            >The Big Ten was seriously considering a move to nine conference games even before it added >Maryland and Rutgers. It was gonna happen anyway.

            Since we almost had the B10/P12 agreement, I’ve got to side with Marc here.

            Like

          • Mike says:

            Try to find even one case, where an expansion that a conference was otherwise willing to do, was derailed for that reason. Find even a rumor of one. I am pretty sure you can’t.

            In addition to what Brian said, I’ll point out that I said it was *one* of the limiting factors not *the* limiting factor. I think you would agree that:

            * Big 12 teams not in Texas, don’t want to play in Texas any less than they do now.
            * PAC12 teams not in California, don’t want to play in California any less than they do now.
            * Big Ten teams have tons of very important trophy games
            * The SEC has lots of important rivalries that must be preserved.

            Any expansion discussions by those conferences have to address those problems with their membership. Without the round robin those problems just got much easier to address.

            The Big Ten was seriously considering a move to nine conference games even before it added Maryland and Rutgers. It was gonna happen anyway.

            Quite possible. However, when they justified the change by saying it was (1) for the playoff and (2) for members to see each other more often.

            Like

          • Mike says:

            That would be among those G5 schools angling for “promotion”. If schools in a conference are confident that their conference is unlikely to be raided, it might not be an issue either way, in which case going along to get along likely makes a lot of sense in the long term.

            Any further P5 expansion with G5 teams is only going to hurt the remaining G5 members. MAC teams may not have any desire to be promoted, but a widened divide between the P5 and G5 would still cause a loss of prestige and very likely rights fees. The G5 needs to be very wary of letting the gap between the P5 and G5 become as big as the perceived gap between FCS and FBS is today.

            Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        Marc:

        If this happens it would seem you were right and I was wrong. It would apear I have underestimated the seductive power of selection by subjective criteria. Let’s just cancel the televising the season and have weekly polls and dramatic espn selection shows weekly, and end with all knowing eye testers and future seerers justifying why a team that couldn’t win it’s division gets a do over. That is where the power would be, not in on field season results.

        My faith in college athletics is dropping fast, and approaching WWE levels.

        Like

    • Brian says:

      Mike,

      “I think there’s some belief that ACC would play three divisions, have two highest ranked play in postseason,” said Bob Bowlsby, chairman of the new NCAA Football Oversight Committee.

      Really? Divisions of 5, 5 and 4 with ND games rotating around or 5, 5, and 5? 4 division games versus 4 crossover games?

      “This isn’t really changing the rule, it’s deregulating,” Bowlsby said.

      That may the most nonsensical thing I’ve ever seen. Deregulating is the very definition of changing the rule.

      If it does pass in 2016, I’ll be curious to see if anyone drops divisions right away.

      Like

      • Mike says:

        I think there will be a lot of pressure to drop divisions. Lock a few important opponents for each team and then everyone gets to see the rest of the conference more frequently. It should improve the quality of the CCG’s in years the divisions aren’t balanced.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          I’d certainly prefer to see the B10 drop divisions (and the CCG, but that ain’t happening). Nobody but PSU should be forced to play RU and UMD every year.

          14 teams and 9 games means playing all but 4 teams each year.
          There are several choices of how to do it.

          A. Lock the same number of game for everyone.

          This is the simplest approach and easiest for fans to understand, but you’ll either end up locking games that aren’t rivalries or you’ll miss locking some rivalries. I still think this is the approach the B10 would use.

          A1. lock 2, play 7 of 11 – 2 is not enough to keep the necessary rivalries
          A2. lock 3, play 6 of 10 – 3 is about the ideal number
          A3. lock 4, play 5 of 9 – 4 is starting to lock too many
          A4. lock 5, play 4 of 8 – 5 locks unneeded games but makes for easy math (simple for fans)

          I’d guess the B10 locks either 3 or 5 if they do this.

          B. Lock the actual rivalries and let the chips fall where they may

          This is a pain for schedulers and fans, but would minimize locking faux rivalries. At least 1 person supports this plan vigorously.

          What 3 locked opponents might look like:

          RU – UMD, PSU, IN
          UMD – RU, PSU, PU
          PSU – RU, UMD, OSU
          OSU – MI, IL, PSU
          MI – OSU, MSU, NW
          MSU – MI, NW, IN
          IN – PU, MSU, RU
          PU – IN, IL, UMD
          IL – NW, PU, OSU
          NW – IL, MSU, MI
          WI – IA, NE, MN
          MN – IA, WI, NE
          IA – WI, MN, NE
          NE – WI, IA, MN

          Lose – MI/MN
          Faux rivals – RU/IN, UMD/PU, MI/NW

          What 5 locked opponents might look like:

          RU – UMD, PSU, MI, NW, IA
          UMD – RU, PSU, OSU, UMD, WI
          PSU – RU, UMD, OSU, NE, PU
          OSU – MI, IL, PSU, UMD, IN
          MI – OSU, MSU, MN, RU, NE
          MSU – MI, NW, IN, WI, MN
          IN – PU, MSU, NW, IL, OSU
          PU – IN, IL, NW, UMD, PSU
          IL – NW, PU, OSU, IN, IA
          NW – IL, MSU, RU, IN, PU
          WI – IA, NE, MN, MSU, UMD
          MN – IA, WI, NE, MI, MSU
          IA – WI, MN, NE, IL, RU
          NE – WI, IA, MN, PSU, MI

          Faux rivals – several

          But it does part of what the B10 wanted divisions to do, which is bringing major brands in to NYC and DC regularly.

          Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            B. Lock the actual rivalries and let the chips fall where they may

            This is a pain for schedulers and fans, but would minimize locking faux rivalries. At least 1 person supports this plan vigorously.

            Brian is probably referring to me. I think that schedulers who are paid good money to do this as a full-time job, would have no trouble dealing with a different number of locked games per team.

            There are enough fans, that it’s hard to attribute a particular view to anything but a sliver of them. In the current division system, each team gets three cross-divisional games per year, and most people have no idea how those games are picked. I don’t think the league has ever actually explained it. Most fans just get a schedule, and say, “So, that’s who we’re playing this year.” They don’t actually want or need to know where those games come from.

            Erstwhile FTT poster Richard wrote several long posts describing something like a 36-year rotation of cross-divisional games. After the Big Ten published several years’ worth of future schedules, Richard claimed with satisfaction that he’d been proved right—supposedly. But there aren’t many Richards. To most fans, the schedule simply is what it is. Except, of course, for the minority of nutcases who think it’s a conspiracy by Jim Delany and Mark Rudner to hand the title to Ohio State.

            So, I think it’s a small minority of fans, who:
            1) Would care that deeply about the schedule (as long as the main rivals are on it); and,
            2) Are too dim-witted to understand that the alternative to unequal locking is to create a bunch of faux rivalries no one really wants; and,
            3) Can’t find anyone smart enough to explain it to them.

            Like

          • Arkstfan says:

            I tend to think the schedule solution is to allow TV to crate X matchups happen in partnership with the league and let the ADs sort out the rest.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            On the locked five or three question, it would be perfectly possible to draw up a locked five four year rotation … home and away, then swap the “4 of 8” teams … and then rotate the ‘faux-rivals’ around for the next four year block. Since a pair of schools are involved in any “long run locked” rivals, there should always be the right number of schools to play ring around the rosie with the faux-locked schools.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Marc Shepherd,

            >>B. Lock the actual rivalries and let the chips fall where they may
            >>
            >>This is a pain for schedulers and fans, but would minimize locking faux rivalries. At least 1 >>person supports this plan vigorously.

            >Brian is probably referring to me. I think that schedulers who are paid good money to do this as >a full-time job, would have no trouble dealing with a different number of locked games per team.

            I think you underestimate the PITA factor of scheduling. First, I’m not sure how many conferences have a full-time scheduler as opposed to someone who includes scheduling as part of their duties. You have to work around already-scheduled OOC games, avoid any other proscribed dates for certain stadiums, maintain traditional rivalry dates, balance home and away, rotate teams, not give any 1 school advantageous treatment, and then follow other conference rules. Based on the end results we see every year, it’s harder than it looks. This is a problem that professors specialize in and write books about.

            >There are enough fans, that it’s hard to attribute a particular view to anything but a sliver of >them.

            I disagree. I think you can talk about large chunks of them.

            >In the current division system, each team gets three cross-divisional games per year, and most >people have no idea how those games are picked. I don’t think the league has ever actually >explained it. Most fans just get a schedule, and say, “So, that’s who we’re playing this year.” >They don’t actually want or need to know where those games come from.

            Fans know they rotate equally and don’t much care beyond that. But they do care about when they play certain teams, and a regular schedule helps with that. You know you’ll see your rival at home every even-numbered year (or odd). You can make plans around that. Being able to tell fans you’ll see a team at home either every other year or every 4 years is simple. The B10 doesn’t explain things now for two reasons:

            1. They don’t have to.
            2. It’s complicated.

            Note that the B10 still refuses to explain parity-based scheduling despite it being the guiding principle for the next 36 seasons (if nothing changes). We had to figure it out on our own as fans, and very few people have the time and energy to do that.

            >To most fans, the schedule simply is what it is.

            Yes and no. They don’t get upset about what it is, but most fans like to be able to plan in advance for things. They aren’t going to expend much mental energy on it, though.

            >Except, of course, for the minority of nutcases who think it’s a conspiracy by Jim Delany and >Mark Rudner to hand the title to Ohio State.

            Many do get upset that their rival got an easier schedule than they did, though. Or that they never seem to play school X. Or how convenient that Y skips both OSU and MI while someone else gets both.

            >2) Are too dim-witted to understand that the alternative to unequal locking is to create a bunch of faux rivalries no one really wants; and,

            That’s a huge assumption. You just said most people don’t really care, but now “no one really wants” these games locked. If they don’t care, then what’s the problem? Because many people do care about locking most of those games. And for some of the other games, the B10 cares about locking them. Telling everyone they have 5 (or 3, or whatever) locked games with the rest rotating is much simpler and it sounds fair to everyone.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Arkstfan,

            “I tend to think the schedule solution is to allow TV to crate X matchups happen in partnership with the league and let the ADs sort out the rest.”

            1. TV would have to pay a ton of money to get that power. Why else would the conferences be willing to sacrifice that much control?

            2. TV control would be a disaster. They’d pair all the top brands and all the bottom brands. The best schools would have killer schedules that almost guarantee multiple losses each season and the lesser brands would never face a big brand. All the schools would hate it.

            3. The ADs want nothing to do with having to schedule their conference games. Everyone wants the conference office to handle that. That at least makes sure schools can’t collude.

            Like

          • sgudal says:

            The value of that control is why it is worth pursuing. You go into this trying to maximize income. The SEC had AD’s making conference schedules until Arkansas and South Carolina entered, that loss of control is what led to the creation of the designated crossover games (later game). The idea that top and bottom schools would never meet ignores that AD’s would control half the schedule which is more than they control now.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            BruceMcF,

            “On the locked five or three question, it would be perfectly possible to draw up a locked five four year rotation … home and away, then swap the “4 of 8″ teams … and then rotate the ‘faux-rivals’ around for the next four year block.”

            Sure. I just gave a quick example of what it might be. You wouldn’t have to keep the same 5 locked forever.

            “Since a pair of schools are involved in any “long run locked” rivals, there should always be the right number of schools to play ring around the rosie with the faux-locked schools.”

            Usually, yes. Sometimes it comes back to 2 teams each looking for 2 games if you aren’t careful, though.

            What 5 locked opponents might look like:

            RU – UMD, PSU, MI, NW, IA
            UMD – RU, PSU, OSU, WI, PU
            PSU – RU, UMD, OSU, NE, PU
            OSU – MI, IL, PSU, UMD, IN
            MI – OSU, MSU, MN, RU, NE
            MSU – MI, NW, IN, WI, MN
            IN – PU, MSU, NW, IL, OSU
            PU – IN, IL, NW, UMD, PSU
            IL – NW, PU, OSU, IN, IA
            NW – IL, MSU, RU, IN, PU
            WI – IA, NE, MN, MSU, UMD
            MN – IA, WI, NE, MI, MSU
            IA – WI, MN, NE, IL, RU
            NE – WI, IA, MN, PSU, MI

            Faux rivals – several

            But it does part of what the B10 wanted divisions to do, which is bringing major brands in to NYC and DC regularly.

            Rivalries (true rivals, geographic rivals, one-sided rivals, trophy games, wanted by fans, etc):
            RU – UMD, PSU
            UMD – RU, PSU
            PSU – RU, UMD, OSU, NE
            OSU – MI, IL, PSU
            MI – OSU, MSU, MN
            MSU – MI, NW, IN, WI
            IN – PU, MSU, IL
            PU – IN, IL
            IL – NW, PU, OSU, IN, IA
            NW – IL, MSU
            WI – IA, NE, MN, MSU
            MN – IA, WI, NE, MI
            IA – WI, MN, NE
            NE – WI, IA, MN, PSU

            I’m not claiming all those games are vital, but they are real rivalries of one sort or another. In addition, there are some other compelling reasons for certain other games I locked.

            Games to make all the kings lock 2 others (good for TV and balance):
            MI – NE

            Games to bring big brands into NYC and DC:
            RU – MI, IA
            UMD – OSU, WI

            Games to get almost everyone 1 locked king (I accidentally didn’t get one for NW):
            IN – OSU
            PU – PSU

            Games just to fill out the locked 5:
            RU – NW (NYC vs Chicago, plus NW has lots of alumni in NYC and wants the exposure there)
            IN – NW (proximity)
            PU – NW (proximity)
            UMD – PU (2 good engineering schools)
            MSU – MN (all that was left)

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            ““Since a pair of schools are involved in any “long run locked” rivals, there should always be the right number of schools to play ring around the rosie with the faux-locked schools.”

            Usually, yes. Sometimes it comes back to 2 teams each looking for 2 games if you aren’t careful, though.”

            Yes … the fact that there are the right number of schools to set up the various ring around the rosies just assures that it can be done if you are careful, not that it will always work out if you set out to do it willy-nilly. But it would be professionals doing it, I reckon they can do it carefully.

            But if the Buckeyes see everyone twice in four years, and plays TSUN every year, I wouldn’t be stressed very much how they sort out the rest.

            Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      It ought to be something like this for the ACC:

      Everyone in the league has three teams that they play every year. Each school would play five of the remaining ten opponents for two years. Those five would then rotate off, and the remaining five opponents would be played for the next two years. As a result, every team plays every other team in the conference at least twice every four years.

      The teams with the two best in-league records would play each other at the end of the season. Obviously there would have to be some sort of tiebreaker when two teams tie for second at 7-1 or 6-2 or whatever.

      I think these are the most likely teams each school would play annually:

      Miami: FSU, Virginia Tech, Boston College
      FSU: Miami, Georgia Tech, Clemson
      Georgia Tech: FSU, Clemson, Louisville
      Clemson: FSU, Georgia Tech, NC State
      Wake Forest: Duke, NC State, Syracuse
      Duke: Wake Forest, UNC, Virginia
      UNC: Duke, NC State, Virginia
      NC State: Clemson, Wake Forest, UNC
      Virginia Tech: Miami, Virginia, Louisville
      Virginia: Duke, UNC, Virginia Tech
      Louisville: Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Pitt
      Pitt: Louisville, Syracuse, Boston College
      Syracuse: Wake Forest, Pitt, Boston College
      Boston College: Miami, Pitt, Syracuse
      ________________

      If I’m UConn or Cincinnati, I’m desperately hoping that the ACC goes with the three divisions of five teams idea that Bowlsby referred to instead of my idea. And I’m really hopeful, especially, for that fifteenth team to be my school and not the other.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        http://hamptonroads.com/2013/06/admittedly-impractical-suggestion-solving-accs-football-scheduling-problem

        A VT beat writer came up with this 2 years ago:


        Boston College — Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Virginia
        Clemson — Florida State, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest
        Duke — Miami, North Carolina, Wake Forest
        Florida State — Clemson, Miami, N.C. State
        Georgia Tech — Clemson, Miami, N.C. State
        Louisville — Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Virginia Tech
        Miami — Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech
        North Carolina — Duke, N.C. State, Virginia
        N.C. State — Florida State, Georgia Tech, North Carolina
        Pittsburgh — Boston College, Louisville, Syracuse
        Syracuse — Boston College, Louisville, Pittsburgh
        Virginia — Boston College, North Carolina, Virginia Tech
        Virginia Tech — Louisville, Virginia, Wake Forest
        Wake Forest — Clemson, Duke, Virginia Tech

        Like

        • bullet says:

          Georgia Tech will tell you its UNC, Duke and UVA they want to play.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Actually, Clemson and VT tend to be the 2 biggest ACC rivalries for GT. UVA was one for a while, and FSU always gets people excited.

            Like

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            @Brian,

            I can’t cite you a source, but I do remember reading something where the president of Georgia Tech said something about how GT desires affiliation with UNC, Duke, and UVA. This was news at the time because there was speculation that the Big Ten could expand with ACC schools beyond Maryland. People translated his quote as an implication that GT would go where those three go (if they could help it). Anyway, that is where bullet’s point comes from.

            For on the field rivalries, I agree that Clemson and Virginia Tech are probably the hottest tickets in the conference. I think Florida State could be added to that list due to Tallahassee’s relative proximity to Atlanta and their shared identity as “football schools” in a league with “basketball league” reputation.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Michael in Raleigh,

            “I can’t cite you a source, but I do remember reading something where the president of Georgia Tech said something about how GT desires affiliation with UNC, Duke, and UVA.”

            As schools, yes. I was just talking football rivalries. GT will be affiliated with them whether they are locked football rivals or not.

            “For on the field rivalries, I agree that Clemson and Virginia Tech are probably the hottest tickets in the conference.”

            Clemson and GT have a long history pre-dating the ACC (in the Southern Conference together). In addition, they are quite close together (124 miles). VT was also in the SoCon for a while, and then GT and VT have won all the Coastal Division titles except 1 for Duke.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            I do remember reading something where the president of Georgia Tech said something about how GT desires affiliation with UNC, Duke, and UVA.

            This was a reference to academic affiliation: it’s no coincidence that those are the ACC’s four AAU schools. That doesn’t mean GT particularly desires an annual football game with those teams.

            Like

    • Eric says:

      Random thoughts:

      1. I’ve been guessing this would pass since autonomy came into being. Getting this through the wider NCAA was troublesome as there are so many difference circumstances they have to deal with, but the Power 5 conferences themselves will generally support each other as long it’s not something directly effecting them in a negative way.

      2. The Big 12 will talk about seriously examining whether they really want a CCG and I hope they don’t add one (love the traditional set-up). That said, it will be mostly talk. They’ll add one the first year they are allowed.

      3. The ACC will examine 3 divisions, but my guess is they decide against it. They will instead end complete round robin play in division by having each school miss one in division game and adding an extra crossover.

      4. No one will drop divisions completely. I wish they would, but they do not want extra controversy with who goes to the CCG and they’ll worry about that.

      Like

      • Eric says:

        5. Notre Dame fans and powerful alumni actively do not want to competing for any conference title. They do not want the possibility of playing in the ACC Championship regardless of whether that means extra ACC games or not. Nothing in this will push Notre Dame toward conference membership.

        6. If the ACC goes to 3 divisions, it will still be 14 teams. The math works fine to have 2 divisions of 5 and 1 of 4. You’ll play your division mates and 2 each from the other divisions (3 and 2 if your in the 4 team division). One division being smaller makes zero difference in competitive balance as there will still be 8 conference games and one division winner will be left out every year.

        Like

      • Dropping a full round robin from a division structure is just as controversy-prone as dumping divisions altogether. IMO the ACC’s primary resistance to killing off divisions is that they don’t want to admit that they screwed up alignment in the first place. The B1G overcame this resistance; it remains to be seen whether the ACC can do so as well.

        Like

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          IMO the ACC’s primary resistance to killing off divisions is that they don’t want to admit that they screwed up alignment in the first place.

          I don’t think they’ll have any trouble admitting that. A number ACC athletics executives have stated publicly that the current system forces them into scheduling compromises they strongly dislike. They and the Big XII have been the strongest proponents for this rule change, and the most vocal that they’ll take advantage once they’re allowed to.

          Anyhow, no such admission is really required. Under the current rule, I am not sure they could have done better: breaking a 14-team league into static divisions entails compromises, no matter how you go about it. And with the ACC facing other existential threats, staying at 12 wouldn’t have been a good idea either.

          Like

    • Brian says:

      On a side note, what does this news mean to BYU? The B12 won’t need to expand to get a CCG, so is BYU’s P5 dream over? Do they ever tire of independence and go back to the MWC?

      Like

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        Actually, this rule change could make it easier for BYU to get into the Big XII.

        Today, if the Big XII wants to expand, it has two problems. First, it needs a partner for BYU, and there is no financially compelling 12th school that would accept an invite. With CCG de-regulation, adding just BYU becomes a possibility.

        The second problem is scheduling. When the Big XII had 12 schools, the Texas and Oklahoma schools were in the same division. This made the divisions extremely unbalanced. The South division won the game in 11 out of 15 years that it was played. The four years the North won it, the champion was either Nebraska or Colorado, neither of which is in the league anymore. In 12 of 15 years, the North representative was Nebraska, Colorado, or Missouri, and they’re all gone.

        So clearly a north-south split wouldn’t work with the current membership and any likely 11th & 12th members. But any other split would break up annual rivalries that no one wants to lose, unless the benefits (that is, the dollars) are extremely compelling. Beyond that, every current Big XII member gets two games in Texas every year, which is helpful for recruiting. No matter how you do it, someone gets less access to Texas, and you have to make it worth their while.

        For the Big XII, with their peculiar Texas/Okalahoma geography, the scheduling problem is a lot easier if they can have a CCG without having to split into divisions.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          Marc Shepherd,

          “Today, if the Big XII wants to expand, it has two problems. First, it needs a partner for BYU, and there is no financially compelling 12th school that would accept an invite. With CCG de-regulation, adding just BYU becomes a possibility.”

          But with deregulation, the B12 doesn’t need to expand to get a CCG. Does BYU bring enough to the table to justify expansion for expansion’s sake?

          “The second problem is scheduling. When the Big XII had 12 schools, the Texas and Oklahoma schools were in the same division. This made the divisions extremely unbalanced. The South division won the game in 11 out of 15 years that it was played. The four years the North won it, the champion was either Nebraska or Colorado, neither of which is in the league anymore. In 12 of 15 years, the North representative was Nebraska, Colorado, or Missouri, and they’re all gone.

          So clearly a north-south split wouldn’t work with the current membership and any likely 11th & 12th members. But any other split would break up annual rivalries that no one wants to lose, unless the benefits (that is, the dollars) are extremely compelling. Beyond that, every current Big XII member gets two games in Texas every year, which is helpful for recruiting. No matter how you do it, someone gets less access to Texas, and you have to make it worth their while.

          For the Big XII, with their peculiar Texas/Okalahoma geography, the scheduling problem is a lot easier if they can have a CCG without having to split into divisions.”

          But any games against BYU will be fewer games in TX. Where’s the incentive to add BYU? Do they really add significantly more than $20M to the TV deal?

          Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            But any games against BYU will be fewer games in TX. Where’s the incentive to add BYU? Do they really add significantly more than $20M to the TV deal?

            Oh, I’m not saying BYU is headed to the Big XII. I’m just saying that as long as expansion has to occur in pairs, any school that comes with BYU is going to drag the average down, and bring fairly acute scheduling issues. This rule give BYU more of a shot, although it might still not be enough.

            Like

      • @Brian – I’m not sure if it means that the Big 12 dream is over for BYU, but I’m fairly certain that they’re not ever willingly heading back to the MWC or any other G5 conference. Independence at least allows BYU to argue that it’s special or a quasi-power school, whereas joining a G5 league cements lower tier status. The SEC and ACC have both cited BYU as meeting those leagues’ non-conference power school scheduling requirements, which is great for the school’s perception and something that wouldn’t occur in a G5 conference.

        Like

        • ccrider55 says:

          BYU couldn’t extract acceptable terms (from their point of view) from the B12 even as the B12 faced possible collapse. Why would the B12 relent now, and why would the LDS leadership change their position on those previously objected to requirements?

          Like

        • Brian says:

          Frank the Tank,

          “Brian – I’m not sure if it means that the Big 12 dream is over for BYU, but I’m fairly certain that they’re not ever willingly heading back to the MWC or any other G5 conference. Independence at least allows BYU to argue that it’s special or a quasi-power school, whereas joining a G5 league cements lower tier status. The SEC and ACC have both cited BYU as meeting those leagues’ non-conference power school scheduling requirements, which is great for the school’s perception and something that wouldn’t occur in a G5 conference.”

          That’s all true, and I know the LDS leadership is making this decision and not the AD. I just wonder if at some point scheduling 12 games becomes hard enough for them to give in. Or if their lack of NY6 access even in really good years drives them to join a G5 just for the shot at a major bowl again.

          Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            Their relative lack of NY6 bowl access outside the G5 versus inside depends on how often they would be the best G5 champion. It might take a couple of years where BYU convinces itself that it would have been the best G5 champion before that issue gains traction.

            Where the difficulty of scheduling 12 games kicks in the hardest is toward the end of the season. So if the difficulty increases, or the LDS is disapointed with the profile of the games it is able to land, its possible that a 4 game late season scheduling agreement with a G5 conference could be enough reduction in difficulty to allow them to remain independent.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            BruceMcF,

            “Their relative lack of NY6 bowl access outside the G5 versus inside depends on how often they would be the best G5 champion. It might take a couple of years where BYU convinces itself that it would have been the best G5 champion before that issue gains traction.”

            Probably, but it seems pretty clear on paper. Which is easier:

            1. Make the top 10 (probably top 8 to be sure)
            2. Be better than the champs of the MAC, SB, CUSA and AAC

            “Where the difficulty of scheduling 12 games kicks in the hardest is toward the end of the season. So if the difficulty increases, or the LDS is disapointed with the profile of the games it is able to land, its possible that a 4 game late season scheduling agreement with a G5 conference could be enough reduction in difficulty to allow them to remain independent.”

            The most likely G5 to agree to that based on geography would be the MWC, but why would they settle for that to help BYU out? Would other G5s agree to travel to BYU in November to also get BYU at home in November? I don’t know. That disrupts conference schedules, but BYU is a big name for them and might bring enough money to justify it.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            “Probably, but it seems pretty clear on paper. Which is easier:

            1. Make the top 10 (probably top 8 to be sure)
            2. Be better than the champs of the MAC, SB, CUSA and AAC”

            If both are expected to be close to zero chance, which one is closer to zero could be a moot point. If the LDS is convinced that the BYU team of that year could have been at a NY6 as a G5 member, but was locked out as an independent, then that could shift opinions. Talking up the possibility of getting into the P5 would be one way to put that kind of thinking on the back burner.

            “The most likely G5 to agree to that based on geography would be the MWC, but why would they settle for that to help BYU out?”
            I don’t reckon they would. It could well be the hardest exactly because it would make so much sense.

            “Would other G5s agree to travel to BYU in November to also get BYU at home in November? I don’t know. That disrupts conference schedules, but BYU is a big name for them and might bring enough money to justify it.”

            The Sunbelt has an odd number of FB teams, so they have at least one hole in their round-robin. And I guess CUSA will have an odd number of teams in FB as well, with UAB dropping FB. Either hole could well be temporary (Sunbelt telling Idaho to toddle along when the term of the affiliation agreement expires, or CUSA finding a school they want to replace UAB), but if CCG deregulation makes scheduling for an odd number of schools easier, then maybe one or both won’t be in such a hurry. And there are CUSA schools that would be swayed if there were a few BBall games on offer as a sweetener.

            Like

  41. Michael in Raleigh says:

    Frank the Tank Readers,

    Take a moment with me to look back at 2010, when the series of conference realignment first got really going. For all we knew, the Big 12 was about to be completely picked apart. Six teams (the south division, minus Baylor, plus Colorado) were thought to be headed to a vastly expanded Pac-16. Meanwhile, the Big Ten was expected to pick up Missouri and/or Nebraska.

    In college basketball circles, the most mind-boggling result could have been that Kansas, who is truly one of the sport’s true blue bloods, would be left without a conference home. The back-up plan was supposedly the Big East, but that conference, too, was sure to be threatened by a raid from the ACC and/or Big Ten.

    Today, of course, the Big 12 looks very different, but KU’s conference home is secure, at least until the Big 12’s GOR expires in ten years or so.

    Five years later, has anyone noticed that while Kansas is safe, a different blue blood has instead been left without a truly secure conference home: UConn. Sure, I know UConn is thought of as a “new blood.” They still don’t get mentioned alongside those six always listed at the top (in alphabetical order): Duke, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, UCLA. But they’re sixth all-time in national championships with 4, ahead of Kansas (3). It is just bizarre that instead of being in a league with Syracuse, Georgetown, Louisville, Villanova, and Notre Dame, they’re instead in a league with Tulsa, Houston, Tulane, ECU, and UCF. Temple is their closest geographic “rival.” They’re truly in the a position even worse than the one people worried KU would end up in.

    Right now, UConn is choosing to ride it out with the American because it feels it has invested too much in football to do otherwise. But is there a breaking point for UConn?

    Unlike any other school in their conference, I believe they have an open invitation to the Big East, which would give them a truly strong conference schedule with opponents familiar and meaningful to their fans. In those years when UConn loses 10, 11, or 12 games, they’re likely to get into the tournament in the Big East than the American. Most importantly, they’d have a safe conference home for their premier sport.

    What would it take for UConn to take the bait and go to the Big East? Would they go if, say, the Big 12 takes Cincinnati and either Memphis or UCF? What’s UConn’s incentive for staying in the AAC at that point? Independence would be very difficult, but is it that crazy to think Fox Sports would be willing to pay $2M/year (AAC money) for UConn home games in order to bolster its Big East viewership? If the MAC was willing to accept UConn for football only (considering UConn brings more branding than UMass does), would that be so much worse than an AAC without Cincinnati and Memphis/UCF? If the Mountain West wanted to get east coast exposure with a football-only UConn, would UConn consider?

    I just can’t help but wonder whether UConn is quietly exploring all its options. The ACC, Big Ten, or even the Big 12 would be most preferable, but short of that, I just cannot imagine UConn sitting on its hands and assuming the American conference is its best and only option.

    Like

    • Mike says:

      What would it take for UConn to take the bait and go to the Big East?

      IMO – UConn would have to know it is shut out of the P5 permanently. According to Louisville’s AD, UConn’s name was originally printed in ink on the ACC invite that UL ended up getting. UConn knows they are next up if there is any additional eastern P5 movement, so they must keep their football team at the highest level possible so there is no reason to pass over the Huskies again.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      Michael in Raleigh,

      “Five years later, has anyone noticed that while Kansas is safe, a different blue blood has instead been left without a truly secure conference home: UConn.”

      Some people have mentioned UConn ad nauseum.

      “Sure, I know UConn is thought of as a “new blood.” They still don’t get mentioned alongside those six always listed at the top (in alphabetical order): Duke, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, UCLA. But they’re sixth all-time in national championships with 4, ahead of Kansas (3).”

      I’d lump schools this way:
      Tier 1a (the purest of blue bloods) – Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina
      Tier 1b (other blue bloods) – Indiana, UCLA, UConn

      IN and UCLA are falling and UConn is all recent success. The other 4 are on their own level.

      “Right now, UConn is choosing to ride it out with the American because it feels it has invested too much in football to do otherwise. But is there a breaking point for UConn?”

      I’m sure there is, but we’re not there yet. Maybe if they still don’t get moved up after the GORs expire in the 2020s.

      “What would it take for UConn to take the bait and go to the Big East?”

      Probably knowing they would never get a P5 invitation.

      “Independence would be very difficult, but is it that crazy to think Fox Sports would be willing to pay $2M/year (AAC money) for UConn home games in order to bolster its Big East viewership?”

      Independence would kill UConn football. Nobody wants to play them. And yes, I think Fox would be crazy to pay them $2M/year. Nobody cares about UConn football.

      “If the MAC was willing to accept UConn for football only (considering UConn brings more branding than UMass does), would that be so much worse than an AAC without Cincinnati and Memphis/UCF?”

      I don’t think UConn makes sense for the MAC. The MAC doesn’t want to bring in a partial member that might dominate them in football. Besides, UMass was a pain in the butt with travel and the odd number of teams. Maybe if UConn offered a bunch of OOC games in hoops?

      “I just can’t help but wonder whether UConn is quietly exploring all its options.”

      All non-P5 schools are doing that all the time.

      Like

      • BruceMcF says:

        ““If the MAC was willing to accept UConn for football only (considering UConn brings more branding than UMass does), would that be so much worse than an AAC without Cincinnati and Memphis/UCF?”

        I don’t think UConn makes sense for the MAC. The MAC doesn’t want to bring in a partial member that might dominate them in football. Besides, UMass was a pain in the butt with travel and the odd number of teams. Maybe if UConn offered a bunch of OOC games in hoops?”

        Remember that UMass was a pain in the butt precisely because Temple fled … Temple was the #13 and UMass the #14 to even it out and put Toledo/BGU in the same (Western) division. So if the MAC wanted to add UConn FB-only (having good reason to think UConn might stay for a while), a new affiliation with UMass could easily be worked out (and presumably on the same terms … if UConn skipped out, UMass would be on a 2 years clock to decide whether to go all-in or all-out).

        As far as hoops, Temple and UMass were supposed to have 3 OOC MAC BBall games on their schedule, balanced home and away. I’d presume it would be the same deal for Temple.

        Fans and Athletic Directors might think of the travel as a pain, but I’d expect that the Presidents of Buffalo, Kent, Akron and OU would value the Eastern Exposure, and the President of more Chicago-centric MiamiU would likely go along with the interests of OU, and they would be the schools playing on the east coast every year … BGU, Toledo, the Michigan Directionals, Ball State and NIU would only be traveling to the east coast every second or third year.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          BruceMcF,

          “Remember that UMass was a pain in the butt precisely because Temple fled … Temple was the #13 and UMass the #14 to even it out and put Toledo/BGU in the same (Western) division.”

          They never overlapped. UMass was supposed to be #14 but replaced Temple instead. UMass refused to become a full MAC member so the MAC is kicking them out after this season.

          The MAC has had terrible luck with football-only members, so why go through it again? It’s obvious UConn has no intention of joining permanently. At least Temple and UMass might have stayed for a while.

          “So if the MAC wanted to add UConn FB-only (having good reason to think UConn might stay for a while),”

          Why would they think that? UConn would leave at the drop of a hat. The MAC needs willing members, not grudging ones.

          “a new affiliation with UMass could easily be worked out (and presumably on the same terms … if UConn skipped out, UMass would be on a 2 years clock to decide whether to go all-in or all-out).”

          The MAC would be better off chasing schools like JMU, Liberty, Towson, Delaware, etc.

          “As far as hoops, Temple and UMass were supposed to have 3 OOC MAC BBall games on their schedule, balanced home and away. I’d presume it would be the same deal for Temple.”

          I believe it was 4 games.

          http://collegesportsinfo.com/2014/03/26/umass-to-leave-mac-in-2015/

          As part of their football-only MAC membership, UMass has also been forced to schedule 4 MAC schools per season in basketball. That agreement will end immediately with the school’s 2015 departure set.

          “Fans and Athletic Directors might think of the travel as a pain,”

          It’s a financial burden for them. P5 schools can go wherever they want, but MAC schools lose big money on trips like that. On their budgets, that’s important.

          “but I’d expect that the Presidents of Buffalo, Kent, Akron and OU would value the Eastern Exposure, and the President of more Chicago-centric MiamiU would likely go along with the interests of OU, and they would be the schools playing on the east coast every year … BGU, Toledo, the Michigan Directionals, Ball State and NIU would only be traveling to the east coast every second or third year.”

          So 4 schools would want it and a 5th might go along? That’s not very compelling.

          Like

          • urbanleftbehind says:

            “The MAC would be better off chasing schools like JMU, Liberty, Towson, Delaware, etc” . Adding too many of these east-laying schools might lead the MAC to splitting into 2 conferences. A future conference of former west division MAC schools might see North Dakota State, Iowa State (if they end up homeless after a B12 implosion) and 1 or more current MVC-F teams. Would a UW campus currently in DIII consider a move to a western MAC?

            Like

          • Brian says:

            urbanleftbehind,

            “The MAC would be better off chasing schools like JMU, Liberty, Towson, Delaware, etc” .

            Adding too many of these east-laying schools might lead the MAC to splitting into 2 conferences.

            The MAC has several problems right now that adding 2 eastern schools could help:

            1. The same demographic issues as the B10. Adding 2 schools in MD, VA or DE would help.

            2. Despite being 25 miles apart and bitter rivals, Toledo and BGSU are in separate divisions. With 6 OH schools plus Buffalo, 1 OH school has to be in the west and that’s Toledo right now. Adding 2 eastern teams would let both of them be in the west. I’d prefer to have all 6 OH teams together, but I can’t think of any 2 western schools that would address demographics for the MAC and be realistic candidates.

            3. More markets hopefully mean more money.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            ““Remember that UMass was a pain in the butt precisely because Temple fled … Temple was the #13 and UMass the #14 to even it out and put Toledo/BGU in the same (Western) division.”

            They never overlapped. UMass was supposed to be #14 …”

            And since I was referring to why UMass was CHOSEN, that is precisely what I was referring to. They were CHOSEN TO BE #14 as a FB-only member to be an east coast partner to Temple. They affiliation agreement had terms that if the other FB-only member left, two year later the MAC could start a two-year clock on all-in or all-out.

            If UConn wanted to join the MAC FB-only, they’d not be at the UMass level, they’d be at the Temple level … if the MAC thought that UConn was going to be in the MAC for a decade or more, they would not be looking at whether to add them, but rather how to add them.

            “So 4 schools would want it and a 5th might go along? That’s not very compelling.”

            That’s with reference to addressing the presumption that travel cost is a deal killer. It wasn’t a deal killer for Temple: instead the MAC went out to look for a second east coast member so that they could have a trip to the east coast every year for every incumbent East Division member. Four out of five of those exposed to annual in-conference trips to the east coast would be the strongest supporters of the expansion, and the fifth wouldn’t dig in their heels.

            Even with a pair of FB-only east coast schools added, the MAC would still be the lowest travel cost G5 conference. And the deal that they made regarding both UMass and Temple was that if the OTHER left, the one remaining would have to decide between going all-in or all-out … so they were taking the increase in travel costs of travel to UMass for all Olympic sports as part of their PREFERRED option over UMass FB-only on its own.

            I think UConn is eventually ending up in the ACC, so I think these are moot points.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            BruceMcF,

            “And since I was referring to why UMass was CHOSEN, that is precisely what I was referring to.”

            I was just pointing it out since not everyone that reads FTT may be fully up to date on MAC history. I wasn’t saying you weren’t.

            “If UConn wanted to join the MAC FB-only, they’d not be at the UMass level, they’d be at the Temple level … if the MAC thought that UConn was going to be in the MAC for a decade or more, they would not be looking at whether to add them, but rather how to add them.”

            Probably so. I’d buy it if you said 20 years rather than a decade. 10 years is barely long enough to get any gain for the hassles of adding and then losing a member.

            “That’s with reference to addressing the presumption that travel cost is a deal killer. It wasn’t a deal killer for Temple: instead the MAC went out to look for a second east coast member so that they could have a trip to the east coast every year for every incumbent East Division member. Four out of five of those exposed to annual in-conference trips to the east coast would be the strongest supporters of the expansion, and the fifth wouldn’t dig in their heels.”

            I agree the MAC was dumb enough to vastly increase their travel costs before. It netted them endless scheduling hassles and 2 former members. Do they really want to continue with 13 members? Would they want UMass back (a better partner for UConn than Temple)? Would UMass want to come back? I wonder if the MAC has potentially decided to get out of the football-only affiliate game.

            “I think UConn is eventually ending up in the ACC, so I think these are moot points.”

            Always possible. The rule change should make that easier since they wouldn’t need a partner.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            “I agree the MAC was dumb enough to vastly increase their travel costs before.”
            But it wasn’t a “vast increase” in travel costs … on the standards of G5 football program travel costs, and in terms of the dollars relative to FB program budgets, it was a moderate increase. If the plan had gone through as hoped, they would have transitioned from the lowest travel cost G5 conference to the lowest travel cost G5 conference, just by not quite so large a margin. The American is spread from Connecticut to Central Texas, CUSA from Virginia to West Texas, the Sunbelt from North Carolina to Central Texas, the MWC from Albuquerque to Boise to North/South and Albuquerque to Hawaii East/West. The Great Lakes plus New England is quite compact compared to all of the other G5 conferences.

            If UMass had taken the other side of the “all in / all out” option, it appeared that the MAC was prepared to invite JMU as the 14th all-sports member. That would have had more substantial travel cost implications, but the appeal of having UMass in MAC BBall (or Temple, as AFAIU, that term of the affiliation meant was also in the Temple agreement) in the BBall conference was considered to be strong enough to justify it.

            “Do they really want to continue with 13 members?”
            No, they would not want to add UConn first and then look for a 13th after, as they did with Temple.

            “Would they want UMass back (a better partner for UConn than Temple)?”
            Definitely. They did not want a 13 school configuration at all (hence the new version of the Temple affiliation agreement that matched the deal made with UMass).

            “Would UMass want to come back?”
            Unless membership in the American was on offer, it seems like UMass would want to come back in ~ football independence won’t be an easy lift for them.

            “I wonder if the MAC has potentially decided to get out of the football-only affiliate game.”
            I would be very surprised if they go looking for any FB-only affiliates, but the premise here is that UConn comes knocking on their door, and I think UConn would be too tempting an expansion to turn down.

            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
            ““As far as hoops, Temple and UMass were supposed to have 3 OOC MAC BBall games on their schedule, balanced home and away. I’d presume it would be the same deal for Temple.”

            I believe it was 4 games.”

            That’s right … I was going to double check that, but the WiFi I was on at the time was too slow. Four home BBall games annually against Temple/UMass, eight games total would have been a key element in the total deal. UConn/Umass would be even more attractive.

            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
            “”If the MAC thought that UConn was going to be in the MAC for a decade or more, they would not be looking at whether to add them, but rather how to add them.”

            Probably so. I’d buy it if you said 20 years rather than a decade. 10 years is barely long enough to get any gain for the hassles of adding and then losing a member.”

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            “I’d prefer to have all 6 OH teams together, but I can’t think of any 2 western schools that would address demographics for the MAC and be realistic candidates.”
            I think the MAC would prefer the opposite on balance … having the two NW OH schools in the same division as the Michigan directionals is part of why the Michigan directionals would all tend to favor Eastern expansion.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            BruceMcF,

            “But it wasn’t a “vast increase” in travel costs … on the standards of G5 football program travel costs, and in terms of the dollars relative to FB program budgets, it was a moderate increase.”

            I’m comparing it to their previous travel costs, which were by far the lowest in the nation as you noted. Any increase is a relatively big increase for them because of where their costs were. The fact that other G5 schools spend more on travel is irrelevant to how much of an increase it is for MAC schools.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            BruceMcF,

            “I think the MAC would prefer the opposite on balance … having the two NW OH schools in the same division as the Michigan directionals is part of why the Michigan directionals would all tend to favor Eastern expansion.”

            Perhaps. Everyone wants some OH access for recruiting, but the MAC is so compact I’m not sure that’s a major issue. Saving on travel is the other reason the MI schools might want the two OH schools in their division, but you’ve been busily arguing that travel is a non-factor.

            I was clearly speaking for me. BGSU has a rivalry with Kent State that I’d like to preserve.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            “Any increase is a relatively big increase for them because of where their costs were.”

            Its not a big increase relative to the size of their athletic department budgets ~ which are, when it comes down to it, marketing budgets, and if the Presidents think that a couple of East coast schools make the conference a better marketing tool.

            Whether or not they believed that UConn was ready to settle into the arrangement for a period of time substantially longer than Temple, or UCF, seems to me to be much more critical than the travel cost of a trip to Amherst every second year. I’d think that UConn would have to be willing to sign up for quite a hefty exit fee if they wanted the MAC to think they were serious.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            “seems to me to be much more critical than the travel cost of a trip to Amherst every second year”

            … that is, Amherst or New Hartford every second (or third) year. Its the incremental difference between an East Coast trip and an average of their cost for a trip to Buffalo, Akronx2, Athens and Oxford that is the “travel cost” that the six current Western Division schools, and Bowling Green, would have to weigh.

            I don’t think its an accident that all MAC adds since the turn of the century have east of the eastern boundary of the MAC … and even in 1997 when NIU rejoined the MAC, Marshall also rejoined. The demographics of the Great Lakes states and of neighboring areas mean that MAC schools have to look either East or South for out of state enrollment growth, and for many of them, their established relationships were to the East Coast.

            Like

      • loki_the_bubba says:

        “I’d lump schools this way:
        Tier 1a (the purest of blue bloods) – Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina
        Tier 1b (other blue bloods) – Indiana, UCLA, UConn”

        I would have to add Louisville to that Tier 1b.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          Yes, there are other schools that might belong in Tier 1b. I stuck to the schools he named in his list, though, because it becomes a different argument then.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            I don’t think UConn is in that group with men’s basketball. Their success is too recent and too dependent on one coach. Call back in 15 years.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            You don’t think Auriemma might still be coaching then? 😀

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            “I don’t think UConn is in that group with men’s basketball. Their success is too recent and too dependent on one coach. Call back in 15 years.”

            You say that about almost everyone. You say it about Duke, too.

            UConn has already won titles under 2 different coaches. They had 13 NCAA appearances before Calhoun.

            Only 5 schools have more NCAA titles. Only 8 schools have more title game appearances (UConn is 4-0). Only 13 schools have more Final Four appearances. Yes, UConn’s history as an elite program is shorter than others. But tiers do have a time component to them.

            It’s the same in football when people put FSU as a king. Or PSU for that matter. At some point, enough results has to be sufficient.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            You could say it about Duke, but you would be wrong. They were a very good program before coach K. UCLA and Kentucky both won championships by beating Duke before coach K.

            North Carolina, UCLA, Kentucky, Kansas and Indiana have not only made it to the final 4, but have won under multiple coaches.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            “North Carolina, UCLA, Kentucky, Kansas and Indiana have not only made it to the final 4, but have won under multiple coaches.”

            So has UConn.

            Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      Right now, UConn is choosing to ride it out with the American because it feels it has invested too much in football to do otherwise. But is there a breaking point for UConn?

      Unlike any other school in their conference, I believe they have an open invitation to the Big East, which would give them a truly strong conference schedule with opponents familiar and meaningful to their fans.

      I do NOT believe that UConn has an open invitation to the Big East. I think the current Big East members have had it with upwardly-mobile football schools. There is nothing UConn could say, that would make the Big East believe that they’ve truly given up their P5 ambitions, and are happy to be a basketball school permanently.

      As you noted, it is very difficult to be independent in Football. Last season, there were four independents in football: Notre Dame, BYU, Army, and Navy. These schools share one thing in common: they have broad, national constituencies, and aren’t dependent solely on local fans for their popularity. UConn doesn’t have that.

      Navy will no longer be independent in 2015, and BYU has already stated that they are looking for a P5 invite. That leaves only Notre Dame and Army that are seemingly content to remain independent indefinitely. (But Army has been in a football conference before, and for the right offer, might very well do so again.) No one would think that an independent UConn team was anything other than a temporary arrangement.

      And I agree with the others who’ve noted that the MAC probably wants nothing to do with a football-only school.

      Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        “…and BYU has already stated that they are looking for a P5 invite.”

        When? With what conditions?

        Like

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          …and BYU has already stated that they are looking for a P5 invite.

          When? With what conditions?

          See this article:

          “It’s our intention that we would be playing in what they commonly call a ‘Power Five’ conference sometime in the near future,” [BYU A.D. Tom] Holmoe said, per the Desert News. “We’re trying to put together games … that would give us a position to better ourselves, and play in the biggest games that we can, meaning that would be conference championships and, the New Year’s Day games and [the College Football Playoff].”

          Obviously, this is not a decision that Holmoe could make on his own, but it’s unlikely he would’ve said this if his higher-ups were not of a similar mind. This, of course, does not mean it’ll ever happen. Holmoe did not state any conditions, nor would it be appropriate to do so in such a forum.

          Like

  42. loki_the_bubba says:

    I know none of you care, but the Bayou Bucket it back! Rice v Houston in 2017/18

    http://blog.chron.com/sportsupdate/2015/04/uh-rice-to-renew-bayou-bucket-rivalry/

    Like

  43. Brian says:

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/writer/dennis-dodd/25142280/tcus-patterson-criticizes-cfp-selection-committee-about-being-left-out

    TCU’s HC finally criticized the CFP selection committee. Unfortunately, I think he’s wrong about his complaint (not whether or not TCU should get in, but about the process).

    “I was told the reason we had a [selection] committee is we were going to take all that stuff out of it. [Conference] championship games shouldn’t have mattered,” Patterson said.

    “Their job was to watch all this film and pick the four best teams no matter who you played, what you did. All the sudden it came down to, ‘Well, they played a championship game but they didn’t.’ That’s not what we were told. We were told they were going to pick the four best teams.”

    Nobody ever said CCGs wouldn’t matter. That would be ludicrous. Likewise, the committee didn’t say OSU got in because they played a CCG and Baylor and TCU didn’t (or because OSU played 13 games to their 12). What they did say was that OSU’s total body of work, including winning an outright championship, was slightly better than Baylor’s and TCU’s bodies of work. Before OSU was an outright champion, they said TCU’s body of work was better.

    He seems to have ignored the previous weeks when the committee said 3-6 were very close. OSU winning 59-0 over #13 WI at a neutral site is much more impressive than TCU beating ISU 55-3. In addition, OSU became an outright P5 conference champion while TCU was a co-champ that would lose the normal tiebreaker. That can be enough to switch the order of teams that were very close to begin with.

    He also is conveniently ignoring that the committee rules explicitly say that they should factor in conference championships when separating equivalent teams. AL, OR, FSU and OSU didn’t become champ until that weekend, so that wasn’t factored in to the previous rankings. Being a co-champ of the B12 but losing the head-to-head match-up to the other co-champ probably didn’t help their cause when compared to a clear champion in the B10. That’s probably why Baylor passed them in the final rankings, and OSU was already ahead of Baylor.

    http://www.collegefootballplayoff.com/selection-committee-faqs

    The committee selects the teams using a process that distinguishes among otherwise comparable teams by considering conference championships won, strength of schedule, head-to-head competition, comparative outcomes of common opponents (without incenting margin of victory) and other relevant factors that may have affected a team’s performance during the season or likely will affect its postseason performance.

    This is why I think Delany’s idea of using tiers makes some sense. Similarly, they could produce rankings with point totals like the polls have. That way, you get an idea of the separation they see between teams. The gap between 2 and 3 last year was probably larger than the gap from 3 to 6 in the eyes of the committee.

    I’d suggest they produce their rankings with points normalized at 100 for #1.

    1. AL – 100
    2. OR – 95
    3. FSU – 87
    4. OSU – 86
    5. Baylor – 85
    6. TCU – 84
    etc

    If the previous week had been:
    1. AL – 100
    2. OR – 95
    3. TCU – 87
    4. FSU – 86
    5. OSU – 85
    6. Baylor – 84

    It would be much easier to see how winning outright titles moved FSU and OSU up and how Baylor’s H2H win bumped them over TCU.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      TCU beat Iowa St. as bad as you could a weak opponent and fell from 3rd to 6th. In beating Iowa St., they became a “conference champion.” He’s got a legitimate complaint.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        I’ve criticized the coaches on the committee, but clearly they saw something in Ohio St. (other than 1 game) that the scores really didn’t indicate. When you look at scoreboard prior to the playoff, Ohio St. doesn’t compare to Alabama or Oregon or, IMO TCU. Baylor looks a little better as well and FSU was unbeaten.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          bullet,

          “TCU beat Iowa St. as bad as you could a weak opponent and fell from 3rd to 6th. In beating Iowa St., they became a “conference champion.” He’s got a legitimate complaint.”

          Please note what I said. I don’t have a problem with him complaining about not getting chosen. I have a problem with the specific complaint that he voiced. Nobody ever said CCGs didn’t matter or that who you played didn’t matter.

          http://www.collegefootballplayoff.com/frequently-asked-questions
          How are the teams that go to the playoff determined?

          The four teams that go to the College Football Playoff are determined by the College Football Playoff Selection Committee. The selection committee will choose the four teams for the playoff based on strength of schedule, head-to-head results against common opponents, championships won and other factors.

          http://www.collegefootballplayoff.com/frequently-asked-questions

          What criteria does the selection committee use to rank the teams?

          The committee selects the teams using a process that distinguishes among otherwise comparable teams by considering conference championships won, strength of schedule, head-to-head competition, comparative outcomes of common opponents (without incenting margin of victory) and other relevant factors that may have affected a team’s performance during the season or likely will affect its postseason performance.

          Selection committee members have flexibility to examine whatever data they believe is relevant to inform their decisions. They also review a significant amount of game video. Among the many factors the committee members consider are win-loss record, strength of schedule, head-to-head results, comparison of results against common opponents and conference championships won. The playoff group has retained SportSource Analytics to provide the data platform for the committee’s use. This platforms allow the committee members to compare and contrast teams on every level possible. Each member evaluates the data at hand, and then the individuals will vote to produce a group decision.

          Of course a CCG matters, as it’s part of the body of work. It’s an important part, too, as it’s generally one of the toughest games on the schedule.

          As to the specifics of this case:
          * TCU beat 2-9 ISU – this shouldn’t help TCU
          * FSU beat #12 GT – this should help FSU
          * OSU beat #13 WI – this should help OSU
          * Baylor beat #9 KSU – this should help Baylor

          Advantage – everyone except TCU. The other teams all beat a top 15 opponent. FSU and OSU won at neutral sites, too, so that should help them even more than home wins for the B12 pair. MOV isn’t supposed to be incented, but OSU crushed WI and that had to have an impact on the committee.

          * TCU became a P5 co-champion (that lost H2H versus the other co-champion) – this should help TCU (how much is unclear)
          * FSU became an outright P5 champion – this should help OSU
          * OSU became an outright P5 champion – this should help OSU
          * Baylor became a P5 co-champion (that won H2H versus the other co-champion) – this should help Baylor

          Advantage – everyone except TCU. Two became outright champions while Baylor was a co-champion with a head to head win over the other co-champion in TCU. I don’t think the committee viewed TCU’s claim to a P5 title as equivalent to what FSU, OSU and Baylor earned.

          The B12 can say what they want about co-champions, but I don’t think the people in the room agrees. Baylor’s win over KSU plus their owning the HSH over TCU moved Baylor past TCU. FSU and OSU were already ahead of Baylor and maintained their positions by also beating top 15 teams and also being P5 champions.

          In other words, TCU didn’t fall to 6th. The other 3 climbed due to what they accomplished that final weekend. The committee had been saying how close the teams were for several weeks.

          “I’ve criticized the coaches on the committee, but clearly they saw something in Ohio St. (other than 1 game) that the scores really didn’t indicate. When you look at scoreboard prior to the playoff, Ohio St. doesn’t compare to Alabama or Oregon or, IMO TCU. Baylor looks a little better as well and FSU was unbeaten.”

          All of the teams had elite offenses except Alabama and FSU, and those two were very good on offense as well. Alabama and TCU had elite defenses, but OSU’s was very good and ahead of OR’s plus well ahead of Baylor’s and FSU’s. The advanced stats said the same things basically.

          I think it was fairly simple:
          1. Which teams are “clearly” the best? AL and OR – they’re in
          2. Who makes up that next tier? FSU, TCU, OSU and Baylor – 2 get in
          3. Who really won their conference? FSU, OSU and Baylor – 2 of those 3 get in
          4. Who is the least excellent of that group? Baylor due to defense – FSU and OSU get in

          TCU’s only real chance to get in that last week was to be seen as clearly superior to FSU, OSU and Baylor, but the committee had been saying for weeks those teams were lumped together in their minds. Nothing they did versus ISU could create that separation without losses from the others.

          If OSU had a close win over WI, Baylor might have gotten in instead. But their H2H win over TCU would have kept TCU out (undefeated FSU was a gimme).

          Like

      • Eric says:

        I don’t think any of TCU, Baylor, or Ohio State had a legitimate complaint if they were left out. They all lost a game and they were all very close together in total body of work. The committee could have justifiably taken any and left any out and none of them would have had room to complain .

        I think the CCGs are being over-emphasized somewhat. They mattered, but only as another game.

        What really hurt TCU might well have been Baylor. Forget the conference championship implications that everyone bring up. Baylor had a head to head victory and if the rest of the body of resumes were similar (which they were after Kansas State lost to Baylor in the final week), then they almost had to put Baylor higher. Once Baylor was higher, it came down to Ohio State or Baylor and Ohio State was already ahead of Baylor before the 59-0 victory over Wisconsin.

        Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      The decision to drop TCU from 3rd to 6th is certainly explainable in hindsight, and Brian has explained it well.

      But it wasn’t exactly obvious at the time: practically no one saw it coming, including plenty of people who were well aware of the selection rules, and had heard the committee chairman’s weekly Delphic pronouncements.

      I gather the committee has decided not to change their system for 2015, and I think this is wise. In the early days of the BCS era, the system changed repeatedly, and lost a lot of credibility in the process. I would prefer to build up a multi-year data set, rather than tweaking the system every time someone disagrees with the result.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        I think people just really ignored the fact that conference championships would be rewarded but that they weren’t considered at all until after the last week. Fans were already factoring them into their thoughts since anyone who lost the last week (CCG or not) was going to drop out of the running. I think that distinction just didn’t sink in for most people.

        People are also misled by ordinal lists to think that teams are equally spaced. That’s why I suggested a point system to more accurately reflect the thoughts of the committee.

        Like

  44. Brian says:

    http://www.si.com/college-football/2015/04/08/all-american-illinois-wr-mike-dudek-tears-acl-pratice

    Frank, sorry to hear that your stud WR blew out his ACL. Dudek was really good as a freshman.

    Like

  45. Brian says:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2015/04/08/u-md-students-demand-byrd-stadium-be-renamed-citing-racist-legacy/

    UMD’s student government is supporting a push to rename the football stadium. It’s named after H.C. Byrd, a former football coach who eventually became school president (1936-1954). Unfortunately, he was also a racist and segregationist.

    A U-Md. spokesman said Wednesday before the vote that existing names on all buildings on the College Park campus represent the university’s long history and culture. Ultimate authority for the naming of buildings rests with the University System of Maryland Board of Regents.

    “We are not inclined to ignore or try to erase the past of our University, or the past of our state for that matter,” the spokesman said. “However, in accordance with our shared governance practice, this matter has been sent to the University’s Facilities Naming Committee for further review.”

    Mike Lurie, a spokesman for the Board of Regents, said in an e-mail that the regents aren’t yet considering such a proposal.

    “Currently, the Byrd Stadium renaming question is one that, at this time, is being discussed on the UM College Park campus,” Lurie said. “Proposals to name or rename facilities are to be submitted by the institutional president to the chancellor and the board.”

    Like

    • bullet says:

      And Lincoln wanted to send the slaves back to Africa. He supported the Liberia concept. There comes a point where you really need to quit judging the distant past on present day standards. Its one thing if something got named after Nathan Bedford Forrest in 1960 (Confederate Cavalry “terrorist” and later KKK leader). But this isn’t one of those situations.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        I was mostly surprised they didn’t have someone better to name the stadium after or else didn’t fall back on a traditional name like Memorial Stadium.

        Maybe name it after Jim Tatum (73-15-4 with 2 perfect seasons and a national title) if they choose to rename it.

        Like

      • anthony london says:

        Bullet,
        I’m going to cut you some slack on your really inappropriate comment and way out of context example. The distant past you reference rears its ugly head every time an unarmed man of color is killed by a police officer over something trivial, which happened six days.

        You are a great poster of most things, but on this topic you should have stayed quiet.

        Like

        • Eric says:

          Byrd was president better than 60 years ago. I think Bullets point is valid. If he was a racist today things would be different, but he lived in a time where that was common and I suspect his position on that wasn’t radically different than a great many of the time (if it was the rest here is invalid). As I put below, I think we have to judge historical figures by how they compared to those of their time, not how they compare to those of around us today. The stadium didn’t get named after him because he was racist, it got named after him because of what he meant to the university.

          In 100 years there are a great many things our generations probably won’t be well remembered for (for better and for worse). I hope they don’t decide that anyone holding these common beliefs of this day are unworthy of being honored for the positives we did achieve.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Conversely, you could use that same explanation for why it was OK to name the stadium after him back then but now that name wouldn’t be appropriate. Lincoln did a lot of things for the slaves that counterbalance his opinion on Liberia. Did Byrd do anything similar?

            I’m not outraged, but I don’t have a problem if UMD students and alumni want to make this change.

            Like

          • Kevin says:

            I am sure we could go back in time and study a person who has a building named in their honor who was anti-gay or who was contra to other current social injustices. Times change and general opinion or beliefs also change.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            And, fortunately, we have no particular reason to believe that dead people care if we change the name of buildings that were originally named in their honor. The only reason not to have a “building name jubilee” every fifty years is if the dream of having their name on a building permanently is convincing some wealthy donors to toss some more money the way of the University. So, as long as its only done “reluctantly” when it becomes some kind of issue, changing the name of a few buildings one or two times in a century doesn’t seem like a big deal.

            Like

      • Eric says:

        Agreed Bullet,

        There’s all kinds of things that our generations believe that future generations will look back on us for as being stupid, immoral, and just plain wrong. When looking at historical figures, you have to look at how they stood out from their time both good and bad, not how they stand out from the average person of our time. Otherwise we will be judged just as harshly on a lot of things that our culture today says is OK to believe in.

        I hate political correctness with a passion.

        Eric

        Like

      • Kyle says:

        I’m really struggling to see how bullet’s comment can qualify as “really inappropriate” & the example being “way out of context”.

        Like

  46. Brian says:

    http://thebiglead.com/2015/04/10/15-for-2015-college-football-teams-that-could-be-hurt-by-hard-schedules/

    15 teams that might by hurt by their difficult schedules.

    Includes:
    MN
    MSU
    RU

    Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      The 11-year-old in me liked this line about Georgia:

      “Last three games: at Auburn, triple-option Georgia Southern, at Georgia Tech. Not the year to fart away a game against South Carolina.

      Like

  47. Brian says:

    http://www.bigten.org/genrel/041215aaa.html

    NE won the bowling national title. That brings the B10 up to 8 titles for the academic year so far.

    In addition a gymnast from IL own the high bar and another from MI won the men’s floor exercise.

    Like

  48. Brian says:

    http://btn.com/2015/04/13/btn-announces-2015-primetime-football-schedule/

    BTN announced their primetime schedule for 2015.

    Twelve of the 14 Big Ten schools will play in primetime on BTN, and four of the games are conference contests, including Minnesota at Iowa in the first-ever primetime battle for the Floyd of Rosedale Trophy at Kinnick Stadium.

    In all, BTN will televise at least 40 football games this fall. Start times and television arrangements for other early season games will be announced at a later date.

    BTN’s Primetime Schedule

    Saturday, Sept. 12
    South Alabama at Nebraska

    Saturday, Sept. 19
    Rutgers at Penn State

    Saturday, September 26
    Hawaii at Wisconsin

    Saturday, October 3
    Michigan at Maryland

    Saturday, October 10
    Michigan State at Rutgers

    Saturday, November 14
    Minnesota at Iowa

    *Kent State at Illinois on Friday, Sept. 4 previously announced

    *Florida International at Indiana on Sept. 12, Pittsburgh at Iowa on Sept. 19 and Ball State at Northwestern on Sept. 26 will also appear in primetime in the Big Ten team’s home market and on Extra Football Game Channels and BTN2Go elsewhere.

    The battle for Floyd should be the biggest game yet for BTN.

    Like

  49. Brian says:

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/eye-on-college-football/25147666/ohio-state-extends-urban-meyers-contract-through-2020-season

    Not surprisingly, OSU has given Urban Meyer a contract extension and substantial pay raise. He’s still not getting Saban money, but he’s getting closer.

    Ohio State announced on Monday that it had extended Urban Meyer’s contract through the 2020 season. Meyer will see a bump in pay from $4.9 million to $5.8 million in 2015, and will average $6.5 million annually through the six years remaining on his contract.

    http://sports.usatoday.com/ncaa/salaries/

    Based on USA Today’s coaching salary database, I think this makes Meyer #2 in the country.

    Like

  50. Brian says:

    http://www.si.com/more-sports/2015/04/12/charles-barkley-sxsw-masters-espn-lou-holtz

    Lou Holtz is leaving ESPN. Both sides are calling it mutual.

    With Davis moving to GameDay and Holtz no longer in an analyst chair, I’d expect ESPN to significantly retool its college football afternoon studio setup. There are plenty in Bristol who knew the Holtz-Mark May shtick was long past its shelf life and this is a good time to change things up. No doubt part of the thinking on Holtz’s part was to move on without Davis in the host chair.

    Like

  51. Brian says:

    http://collegefootball.ap.org/article/big-score-college-bowl-game-payouts-surpass-500-million

    Last year’s bowl games paid out over $500M dollars, almost $200M more than the previous year.

    According to an NCAA report to be released Tuesday, the 39 postseason FBS games distributed $505.9 million to the participating conferences and schools. The schools spent $100.2 million to take part in bowl games.

    Total payouts from 35 postseason games from the 2013-14 season were $309.9 million while schools spent $97.8 million to participate. For the 2012-13 season, payouts were $300.8 million and expenses were $90.3 million.

    Like

  52. Brian says:

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/college/2015/04/15/liberty-university-ncaa-full-cost-of-attendance-fcs-fbs/25825491/

    As part of their plan to move up to I-A ASAP, Liberty has announced it’ll pay FCOA for all 20 of it’s sports.

    Expect to see them in the SB or CUSA momentarily, especially if UAB stays without football.

    Like

    • Arkstfan says:

      Sun Belt considered Liberty at spring meetings 2013 and 2014. Not sure that offering full cost changes the voting dynamic.

      As for CUSA, there are comments from ODU and MTSU endorsing Liberty or JMU but if they aren’t going to 16 I can’t imagine a Virginia school replacing UAB

      Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      Liberty couldn’t afford a wrestling team. Started one and folded it a couple years later, not very long ago.

      Like

    • Mike says:

      IMO – I don’t see Liberty on anyone’s short list.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        If they’re looking to raise up a I-AA, then one that already is paying FCOA is a strong choice. Being in VA is a decent location, too.

        Like

        • Mike says:

          I get the sense that there are huge academic issues with Liberty. It’s a predominately online school (100K vs 14K on campus according to wikipedia) that isn’t well regarded (#80 Southern Regional U, #79 on line program according to US News). Throw in their controversial side (teaching young earth creationism, banning their College Democrats) and I see a whole lot of reasons for the Sun Belt to pass. If the Sun Belt wants an entry in Virginia, James Madison (18K, #6 Regional) is probably a better choice.

          Like

        • Mike says:

          USA Today on Liberty

          http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/college/2015/04/15/liberty-university-ncaa-full-cost-of-attendance-fcs-fbs/25825491/?siteID=je6NUbpObpQ-ihz9BIpViIHYhA6r3U2mzg

          For all of Liberty’s ambition, in reality there has been resistance to add the Flames to a league at the presidential level. There are plenty of theories for that. Part of it could be the school’s Evangelical bent and some politically-charged controversies in its past. Another element is the school’s massive online enrollment, which could be off-putting to presidents of more traditional universities. There’s also a financial element: Some schools, particularly in a league like the Sun Belt, don’t want a competitor coming in with a budget that blows everybody out of the water. In that respect, Liberty may be too financially sound.

          Like

          • urbanleftbehind says:

            Why not go FBS independent? I’m sure the SEC and ACC would acknowledge Liberty as P5-equivalent for scheduling purposes for some of the same reasons as Army, and in turn the remaining P5 leagues would find it hard to hem and haw on it (also if the ACC insists on survival post 2025 and a raid of UVA, UNC, Duke or others, could be an acceptable replacement). No way a southern public school risks the ire of evangelicals to say “uh no you dont count as an acceptable OOC opponent”.

            Like

          • Mike says:

            Why not go FBS independent?

            I believe the NCAA says you have to have a conference invite before you move up.

            I’m sure the SEC and ACC would acknowledge Liberty as P5-equivalent for some of the same reasons as Army

            IMO – highly unlikely. Army/Navy/BYU are special cases. If you are going to count Liberty, why not Appalachian St?

            No way a southern public school risks the ire of evangelicals to say “uh no you don’t count as an acceptable OOC opponent”.

            Evangelicals are so decentralized, I would be shocked to see evangelicals that don’t have any relationship with Liberty to really care.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            “Why not go FBS independent?”

            Mike’s first reason is really sufficient all by itself: you can’t. You need an invite from an FBS conference to transition from FCS to FBS.

            Like

  53. Mike says:

    No three division ACC.

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/12702767/acc-commissioner-john-swofford-says-no-plans-go-three-divisions

    “Our purpose behind initiating that discussion was really not about anything specific we would necessarily do, but based on the whole deregulation of a number of NCAA issues in recent years,” Swofford told ESPN.com. “We said over and over again that doesn’t mean we would necessarily change anything within our own league.

    “We just feel conferences should have the opportunity to do that both in terms of the number of teams in a league and whether you can have a championship as well as how you determine which teams play in that championship game. During these conversations, we haven’t had any real discussion about a three-division ACC. That has never had any legs in our discussions, and so far, any change to what we’re doing now has not had any real legs.”

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Dropping the round robin always seemed like their first choice (6+2 vs 7+1). Maybe going divisionless will gain some traction.

      Like

  54. Brian says:

    http://collegespun.com/college-spun-2/heres-where-the-uconn-to-the-big-east-rumor-originated

    Some clarification on something Frank tweeted.

    There’s been a rumor on Twitter about UConn talking to the Big East about membership. It seems to be about men’s lacrosse joining in 2018 when they move up to be a D-I team.

    Like

    • BruceMcF says:

      UConn in Big East Lacrosse makes a hell of a lot of sense … right now Big East Lacrosse is Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John’s, Nova and associate Denver to make up the numbers and get to six.

      Like

  55. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/12698084/condoleezza-rice-pac-12-commissioner-larry-scott-say-four-right-number-college-football-playoff

    Condoleezza Rice and Larry Scott talk CFP among other things. The gist is that they see 4 teams as ideal and unlikely to change any time soon.

    “I feel pretty strongly about four now because I thought that the rivalry weekend — that Saturday after Thanksgiving — almost felt like a play-in game,” said Rice, a professor and former provost at Stanford. “Now the Iron Bowl, Alabama has to beat Auburn. You could imagine the circumstances in another year where the Civil War, Oregon really has to beat Oregon State. There are questions whether they will. …

    “I agree that if it got much larger, I don’t think you would have that momentum coming out of the regular season, so it’s the best possible scenario.”

    Scott said he didn’t see “any movement to expand beyond four,” citing the extended academic calendar, the toll it would take on the athletes and the importance of the regular season as some of the main reasons.

    He said the only way the Power 5 conferences would even consider expanding the playoff is if they were guaranteed spots in it, which would detract from the drama and anticipation of the season.

    Like

  56. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/bigten/post/_/id/117925/b1g-stacks-up-well-in-future-nonconference-sos

    B10 future OOC schedules stack up pretty well.

    Though not every game in the next five years has been set, Stats & Info filled the holes with either an average Power 5 opponent, an average Group of 5 opponent or an FCS opponent, based on each team’s scheduling trends. The number of nonconference teams each team plays did not matter; only the strength of the competition mattered. Remember, Big Ten teams will go down to three nonconference games per season in 2016 with the advent of the nine-game league schedule.

    With all that in mind, here’s how Big Ten teams rank nationally in terms of future nonconference schedule strength:

    6. Ohio State Buckeyes

    9. Michigan Wolverines

    12. Michigan State Spartans

    16. Purdue Boilermakers

    17. Maryland Terrapins

    20. Northwestern Wildcats

    24. Nebraska Cornhuskers

    32. Wisconsin Badgers

    39. Minnesota Golden Gophers

    42. Penn State Nittany Lions

    50. Indiana Hoosiers

    54. Rutgers Scarlet Knights

    55. Iowa Hawkeyes

    61. Illinois Fighting Illini

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Side note:

      The Big Ten did not place a team in the top five, but the league has six teams in the top 20. That ties the ACC for the most teams in the top 20 and shows that the Big Ten has done a good job of scheduling up but not handcuffing itself. (There’s no real benefit, for example, in having the No. 1 hardest schedule, especially if you lose). By contrast, the SEC has only one team in the top 20 — and South Carolina checks in at No. 18. Way to keep challenging yourselves out of conference, Southern friends.

      Like

    • cutter says:

      Michigan has gone away from playing MAC teams in its non-conference schedule and is shifting more towards the Mountain West and American Athletic Conferences to fill in the one-and-done games.

      2015 – at Utah, Oregon State, UNLV, BYU
      2016 – Hawaii, UCF, Colorado
      2017 – Florida (in Dallas, TX), Cincinnati, Air Force
      2018 – Arkansas, Open Date, SMU
      2019 – at Arkansas, Two Open Dates

      It’ll be interesting to see what new UM AD Jim Hackett and HC Jim Harbaugh do with the open dates for 2018 and 2019. Former UM AD David Brandon scheduled both VIrginia Tech and Washington for home-and-home dates in 2020/1. Will UM do the same thing in 2018/9, i.e., a second Power Five conference team on the non-conference schedule or will the Wolverines go with a couple of one and done type opponents? We’ll see. If they do the former, I assume Michigan would move up in the rankings IRT future non-conference schedules.

      Other teams on Michigan’s future schedules are UCLA (2022/3), Texas (2024/7) and Oklahoma (2025/6). This year’s game with BYU, the contest with Florida and all the other games on the slate from 2020 onward were scheduled after Notre Dame opted to pull out of its annual game with Michigan. The home-and-home with Arkansas was set up before the ending of the UM-ND series and was supposed to mark a two-year hiatus in the series.

      Like

      • urbanleftbehind says:

        If this is the “wave of the future” scheduling-wise for the B1G, MAC schools are in for a downgrade of fortune, financially (no state big brother payout games) and competition-wise (may have to backfill more from FCS and have OOCs solely from G5 and below).Just another defacto manifestation of a third league in D-1.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          I think most B10 teams will keep playing the MAC. They’re cheaper than other G5s usually and being local makes it easier to draw fans.

          Like

        • Richard says:

          And most SEC teams won’t play 2-3 Sun Belt schools in a season, so they bring in MAC schools as well.

          Like

        • BruceMcF says:

          No, the demand among P5 schools for G5 buy games is not going away, and so games against P5 schools at their home stadiums are not going away for the MAC schools. There might even be about the same number of those against the Big Ten, as the Big Ten is pushing for an end to FCS buy games. And that is a healthy number of games that are likely to be replaced with G5 buy games … for instance, coming up in weeks one and two of 2015: Southern Illinois at Indiana, Illinois State at Iowa, Richmond at Maryland, Norfolk State at Rutgers, Western Illinois at Illinois, Eastern Illinois at Northwestern, and Indiana State at Purdue.

          I think{+} that the MAC “sell” games in the first two weeks are: Kent State at Illinois, Bowling Green at Tennessee, Akron at Oklahoma, Toledo at Arkansas, Ball State at Texas A&M, Bowling Green at Maryland, Buffalo at Penn State, and MiamiU at Wisconsin.

          I think{+} the P5 H/H games (at least some are unbalanced contracts) are OkSU at CMU, MSU at WMU, Pitt at Akron, and UMass at Colorado.

          The G5 H/H games are OhioU at Idaho, UNLV at NIU, Old Dominion at EMU, Marshall at OhioU, EMU at Wyoming, and WMU at GA Southern.

          And the FCS buy games are VMI at Ball State, Stony Brook at Toledo, Albany at Buffalo, Presbyterian at MiamiU, Delaware State at Kent State, Monmouth at CMU, and Murray State at NIU.

          The “wave of the future” is no more Big Ten schools playing at MAC stadiums … Indiana has played H/H with MAC schools to reduce costs, MSU had a package of 3-1’s with all 3 Michigan directionals, etc. Dropping to 3 OOC games and pushing to all Big Ten schools playing a P5 school OOC, which generally requires a H/H agreement, seems likely to close out most of the openings for that.

          But while the MAC schools very much like the occasional home game with a Big Ten school, they are infrequent enough that losing them does not spell a big change to MAC scheduling.

          Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            {+} “I think” since this is just looking at the schedule at ESPN, going by what are usually buy games, and recognizing a few as a series already in progress. I did not look up contract announcements, so the status of one or more of these might be off.

            Like

    • bullet says:

      I realize you are just copying the headline, but when you average it out, the Big 10 comes to 31.3. They are looking at 64 schools, so that puts the Big 10 just barely above average.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        As you noted, I was copying the headline. And I’m not sure the conference average is all that important. Ideally all 5 P5 conferences would have about the same average (32) with similar distributions throughout the list. Not surprisingly, the P12 is toughest (3 of the top 4). The rankings are in an insider post, but the ones I can get from the conference blogs tell me this:

        B10 = 31.3
        SEC = 43.4

        I’ll guess the P12 is in the low 20s, with the ACC and B12 near the B10.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          What that doesn’t factor in is that the Pac 12 and Big 12 have 9 conference games and the Big 10 does for most, if not all of that time.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Correct. Also remember that they filled any vacancies with a fake team of appropriate difficulty based on each school’s history of OOC scheduling (I-AA, G5 or P5). And of course, using past history to predict how strong a team will be in any given year is iffy at best.

            It seems to me that there’s no reason they couldn’t apply their method to the whole schedules as well and see how everyone looked over 12 games per year.

            Like

  57. wolverines says:

    Which Tuesday is this announcement?

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Good to hear.

      CSU is to raise student fees $1 per credit hour, or about $15 a semester, to assure wrestling’s future.

      CSU chief marketing officer Rob Spademan said the decision to restore wrestling was reached at a senior staff meeting Wednesday afternoon. He said university took note of reaction to the March 30 announcement the team was to be defunded following the 2015-16 season to make room for men’s lacrosse.

      That announcement was met with swift reaction at the school and across Northeast Ohio, a wrestling hotbed for decades, as well as within the national wrestling community.

      Last week, CSU students voted, 975-650, in favor of a non-binding referendum to raise student fees $4-6 per credit hour to pay for wrestling and a women’s sport.

      Spademan said CSU will look at adding or expanding a women’s sport once men’s lacrosse is up and running.

      Initially, CSU planned to add men’s lacrosse and an undetermined women’s sport. When funding wasn’t available, Athletic Director John Parry said he chose to defund wrestling. Parry is a former lacrosse coach who pushed the fast-growing sport at the school to help attract students from out-ring suburbs.

      “I think they weren’t as in touch with the community in Northeast Ohio and especially at Cleveland State as they should be,” Shaw said. “I think the analysis John Parry did was biased and I think it was a mistake.”

      Initially, CSU planned to add men’s lacrosse and an undetermined women’s sport. When funding wasn’t available, Athletic Director John Parry said he chose to defund wrestling. Parry is a former lacrosse coach who pushed the fast-growing sport at the school to help attract students from out-ring suburbs.

      “I think they weren’t as in touch with the community in Northeast Ohio and especially at Cleveland State as they should be,” Shaw said. “I think the analysis John Parry did was biased and I think it was a mistake.”

      Like

      • BruceMcF says:

        ” ‘I think they weren’t as in touch with the community in Northeast Ohio and especially at Cleveland State as they should be,’ Shaw said. ‘I think the analysis John Parry did was biased and I think it was a mistake.’ ”
        Sounds like a “New Coke” mistake … in pushing a strategy to reach out beyond the normal profile of Cleveland State (whether by pushing Lacrosse or whatever), its only BUILDING enrollment if its done without a loss of standing within its normal profile.

        Like

  58. bullet says:

    The first shot has been fired. Verizon FIOS gives customers lots more options:
    http://money.cnn.com/2015/04/17/media/verizon-fios/

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Starting Sunday, Verizon (VZ, Tech30) will begin to offer customers what it calls “Custom TV.” It will have a base package of 35 networks, including CNN, AMC, HGTV and the Food Network. Then, seven different bundles of networks will be grouped by types of programming. Customers can chose any two packages of networks as part of the basic fee, and can get additional bundles for $10 a month each.

      The bundles include a sports package that includes ESPN and Fox Sports 1, and a second sports package that includes the NFL Network, the MLB Network and 18 regional sports channels that carry the games of local teams. An entertainment package will carry some of the most popular cable networks such as TBS, TNT and USA.

      A news package will carry Fox News, MSNBC and CNBC, while a kids’ package will include the Disney Network, Nick and the Cartoon Network.

      Finally, a pop culture package includes Comedy Central, E! and MTV, and a “lifestyle” package that includes Animal Planet, Bravo and Lifetime.

      Like

  59. Brian says:

    http://www.detroitnews.com/story/sports/college/university-michigan/2015/04/16/free-tickets-um-crowd-streak/25913157/

    MI inflated their attendance last year with 63,000 free tickets (8.6% of total attendance). It’s not news that schools inflate their attendance numbers, but MI likes to tout their 258 game streak with over 100k in attendance.

    While comp tickets aren’t a new thing at Michigan, the practice ballooned during the 2014 season, particularly in the final home game against Maryland, when nearly 17,000 free tickets were distributed. That counted toward the final attendance of 101,717, the sparsest crowd at the Big House since 100,862 saw Michigan play Memphis in 1995.

    There were 62,879 free tickets distributed during the 2014 season that accounted for roughly 8.6 percent of attendance, a sharp increase from the previous season, when 2.8 percent of the attendance came from comp tickets.

    Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      MI inflated their attendance last year with 63,000 free tickets (8.6% of total attendance). It’s not news that schools inflate their attendance numbers, but MI likes to tout their 258 game streak with over 100k in attendance.

      All schools, including Michigan since forever, count all humans in attendance, whether they paid or not. I wouldn’t call that inflating attendance.

      But what’s more significant (stated later in the article) is that Michigan does not scan every entrance, so they have no way of knowing that the claimed number actually attended. It’s fairly likely that the 100,000 streak was snapped last season. There were a few games where the nominal attendance was only barely above that figure, and there seemed to be large numbers of vacant seats.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        I call it inflating because of the last sentence I quoted:

        There were 62,879 free tickets distributed during the 2014 season that accounted for roughly 8.6 percent of attendance, a sharp increase from the previous season, when 2.8 percent of the attendance came from comp tickets.

        Increasing your comp tickets by 300% is an attempt to inflate attendance. If MI had stuck to their “standard” ticket sales policies, the streak would have ended.

        Like

  60. Brian says:

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/writer/jon-solomon/25152596/big-ten-ncaa-sports-is-house-of-cards-if-education-cant-be-defended

    The B10 steps up to defend the importance of education in college sports. It started by presenting a report on freshman ineligibility.

    The Big Ten on Friday released a 12-page report presenting the idea for freshman ineligibility, arguing that college sports “stands as a house of cards” if the industry can’t demonstrate that educating athletes is paramount.

    In acknowledging that freshman ineligibiliity may not be the answer, the conference created a forum for a “national discussion” that addresses the criticism that too few athletes in major college football and basketball are being properly educated. The paper states college sports is at a “critical moment” due to media scrutiny, Congressional scrutiny, litigation and unionization efforts that portray the NCAA’s stated educational mission is a facade. The NCAA recently got sued over the North Carolina academic scandal.

    The Big Ten says college sports faces a “systemic challenge” and must think “in terms of systematic solutions” and any idea should be on the table. Examples of ideas cited by the Big Ten include higher initial eligibility standards; financial incentives/disincentives tied to academic performance; changing playing and practice schedules; or commissioning “a standardized academic competency test that mitigates cultural biases to a greater degree than current standardized tests.”

    Under the Big Ten freshman ineligibility idea nationally — the Big Ten wouldn’t go alone — football and men’s basketball players would have a choice of whether to turn pro. “It is not the responsibility of intercollegiate athletics to serve as professional minor leagues in any sport,” the report says.

    The discussion about the return of freshman ineligibility — or a “year of readiness,” as the Big Ten describes — first surfaced in February. In all likelihood, it may never happen. Still, the Big Ten makes some attempts to address criticism of the idea.

    Criticism: Academic redshirt years are already coming for college athletes who enroll in 2016, when initial eligibility standards increase.

    The Big Ten suggests it’s even possible initial eligibility standards could be eliminated in football and men’s basketball by making freshmen ineligible. “Current continuing eligibility rules could remain the same, in which case second-year eligibility would be achieved by meeting current standards (e.g., 6, 18 and 24-hour rules with a 1.8 GPA.)”

    Criticism: Sitting all football and men’s basketball players as freshmen would hurt those who are prepared academically.

    The Big Ten says even if an athlete with “sterling academic credentials” doesn’t need academic remediation, “he can still benefit from a year of assimilation to college life, as even good students can struggle with the transition from high school to college.”

    Why only football and men’s basketball? The Big Ten cites lower graduation and Academic Progress Rate scores in those sports. The Big Ten also says 32 of 37 academic fraud cases in the past 20 years involved football and/or men’s basketball, and 14 of the 20 current NCAA academic fraud cases involved one or both. Football and men’s basketball account for less than 19 percent of Division I participants, but those sports represent 80 percent of past or pending academic infractions cases, the Big Ten says.

    Criticism: Sitting freshmen will cost too much money by adding scholarships for athletes who aren’t playing.

    Financial costs were the main reason why freshman ineligibility disappeared in the 1970s. The Big Ten estimated the following aggregate costs for all of the Football Bowl Subdivision if freshman ineligibility occurred again:

    * $21 million in football

    * $26.25 million in men’s basketball

    * $47.25 million in women’s sports (the Big Ten says it would take 5.4 additional women’s scholarships across 350 universities to offset $47.25 million in men’s scholarships)

    That would leave a total of $94.5 million in new scholarship funding for 3,780 new full-scholarship opportunities. The estimated dollar amount represents less than 10 percent of postseason football and men’s basketball revenue distribution.

    “As a possible source of funding for these increased scholarship costs, money could be provided by off-the-top allocations from television revenue from both the NCAA men’s basketball tournament and College Football Playoff,” the Big Ten says. “This approach would allow money generated by institutions of high market value and competitive success to be distributed across all of Division I for investment in new scholarship opportunities.”

    For people interested in discussing reform ideas, the Big Ten created an online message board at http://office.bigten.org/respond. The conference also created an email address (educationfirst@bigten.org) for interested parties to directly email the Big Ten office with thoughts.

    Like

  61. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/bigten/post/_/id/118063/b1gfridayfive-top-draft-factories

    A look at the top 5 NFL draft factories in the B10 since 2000:

    1. OSU 101 picks (19 1st round)
    2. WI 65 (12)
    3. PSU 55 (10)
    4. MI 59 (10)
    5. NE 60 (4)

    The list is obviously subjective with 3-5 all pretty close.

    FYI:
    IA 55 (6)
    MSU 45 (5)

    Like

  62. Brian says:

    http://ohiostate.247sports.com/Bolt/OSU-Breaks-National-Spring-Game-Attendance-Record-36849275

    In completely unimportant news, OSU reset the national record for spring game attendance today.

    Top 10 Spring Game Crowds

    99,391 — Ohio State (2015)
    95,722 — Ohio State (2009)
    92,310 — Alabama (2011)
    92,138 — Alabama (2007)
    91,312 — Alabama (2010)
    84,050 — Alabama (2009)
    83,401 — Auburn (2013)
    81,112 — Ohio State (2012)
    80,149 — Nebraska (2008)
    78,526 — Alabama (2012)

    http://ohiostate.247sports.com/Bolt/The-largest-crowds-ever-for-spring-football-games-36730712

    Since only 4 schools are on that list, here’s the best some others have done:

    Large spring game crowds of schools outside the top 10

    76,500 – Penn State (2009)
    73,801 – Tennessee (1986)
    65,000 – Florida (2009)
    60,000 – Michigan (2015)
    53,818 – Florida State (2011)
    51,088 – Arkansas (2013)
    50,831 – Kentucky (2013)
    46,073 – Georgia (2014)
    46,000 – Texas (2012,2013)
    45,212 – Texas A&M (2013)

    Like

  63. In terms of ACC alignment, I took some time to model out how a division-less structure might work out (and I think it comes together pretty well):

    http://compu-picks.com/2015Offseason/20150418_ACC_Scheduling.html

    Like

    • Brian says:

      A few quibbles:

      1. CCG deregulation hasn’t been passed yet. People just said it seemed likely to pass by 2016.

      2. The ACC won’t move to 9 games any time soon. Between locked rivalries OOC plus the ND games, they just don’t feel the need to add that extra game. I know you mentioned it, but you still planned for 9 games. Do you have an alternative if they stick with 8?

      I’d keep your basic plan and just drop 1 game:
      Temporary Division A = Red + 1/2 of Green
      Temporary Division B = Blue + 1/2 of Green

      Play a full round robin in each temporary division, which leaves 2 rotating games:
      * Green plays Green (their rotation comes from switching divisions regularly).
      * Red and Blue play each other, with UVA/VT locked (I’d unlock Clemson/NCSU). That means UVA and VT see the other Red or Blue teams 25% of the time. The others see each other 44% of the time.
      * You could keep Clemson/NCSU locked, it just further complicates things. I don’t think they’d really mind dropping to 44% of the time.

      3. Typo in the structure section: and for Miami, the “rotation” locks into playing Clemson when they would not otherwise play. That should be FSU, not Clemson.

      4. As you mentioned, the 3 pods can’t be perfect. I’d consider swapping Miami and UL so the Green is a true southern pod and thus split equally for everyone to have recruiting access. I know Miami has those BE ties, but it’s been more than a decade for them while UL just came from the BE.

      Like

      • *warning: lengthy reply coming*
        I agree that the ACC doesn’t really want to go to 9 games. The primary problem with not going to 9 games in a league with a bunch of protected rivalry games is what they’re dealing with now, namely that you’re going to have some teams not play each other for quite a long time.

        In this particular model, you can push it back to 8 games, but that gets some awkward fits. Most notably, the green group already has eight games locked each year (three against each other, plus five against red or blue). This doesn’t seem like a problem, except that you still need to make Miami-FSU into an annual game (unless you think they’d be ok making it OOC when they rotate off, which I doubt).

        The only way to make THAT fit is to then relax the requirement that green is a full intra-group round robin. The only real way you can make that work is to say that every year, every green team plays 2/3 other green teams and one extra red/blue team (FSU-Miami locks, of course). Whether you make this that green is two sub-pairs of permanent “rivals”, or some weird rotation is kind of arbitrary; Clemson fits well against both FSU and GT as annual matchups, so you can make a case either. For simplicity, let’s say you set it up so that Clemson-FSU are in the same sub-group and play each other annually, ditto Lville-GT, and then they switch off which of the other greens they play (two years Clemson plays Lville and FSU GT, then they flip-flop).

        So you have:
        FSU/Clemson: two green games, five red/blue games, one flex game that locks into Miami/NC St alternatively (more below on why this makes it easier/simpler)
        Lville/GT: two green games, five red/blue games, one flex game vs blue/red
        UVA: four red games, one VT game, two green games, and one flex vs blue (it probably makes it simpler to foreclose on the possibility of rotating in a green game)
        VT: flip side of UVA
        NC St: four red games, two green games, one flex vs blue, and a second game vs either Clemson or an additional blue team
        Miami: flip side of NC St
        UNC/Duke/Wake: four red games, two green games, one flex vs blue, and a second game vs
        either a green or blue team
        Pitt/Syr/BC: four blue games, two green games, one flex vs red, and a second game vs either a green or red team

        You then (I think) have a situation where:
        Lville/GT have a three-set rotation against UNC/Duke/Wake and Pitt/Syr/BC;
        Clemson plays NC St when they’re up and otherwise (I think) flexes a four-set rotationagainst Pitt/Syr/BC/Miami;
        FSU plays Miami when they’re up and otherwise (I think) flexes a four-set rotation against UNC/Duke/NC St/Wake
        UNC/Duke/NC St/Wake have some kind of weird four-set rotation against Pitt/Syr/BC/Miami, where NC St / Miami (I think) have fewer aviailable blue-red slots than all the others

        and then down the rabbit hole you go

        If you’re going to dump the 9-game trait, I think you actually have to go with an entirely different structure to make this all work. I THINK (but am not 100%) that you can make an 8-game schedule work (awkwardly) with a four-group setup of:
        Red: UNC/Duke/NCSt/Wake
        Blue: Pitt/Syr/BC/Miami
        Yellow: UVA/VT/Lville
        Green: Clem/FSU/GT
        where for 2 years all reds play all yellows and all blues play all greens, then the next two years all reds play all greens and all blues play all yellows, then they go back and forth. Not 100% but I THINK that structure can work in a reasonable way, though a lot probably depends on just which inter-group games are actually mandatory (UNC-UVA? NC St – Clem? VT-anyone from blue? etc) and which are “well we’ll do it if it makes it all easier”

        PS Somewhat surprisingly, Clemson-NC St actually makes the fits EASIER, mainly because it balances the (presumably) absolutely mandatory Miami-FSU game). In the 9 game setup, if Miami-FSU AND Clemson-NC St are each annual games, then every 2 home-away cycles (or 4 years total), then you have one extra set each between Duke/UNC/Wake and Lville/FSU/GT, and one game each between Pitt/Syr/BC and Lville/Clem/GT, and then you rotate the whole thing around for 12 years (thus it’s a large 12 year rotation).

        If you take away Clemson-NC St, then in each group of 2 home-away cycles you get an extra set between Pitt/Syr/BC and Lville/Clem/GT (because Miami/FSU is locked into getting the extra matchup), but you also get an extra set between Duke/UNC/Wake/NCSt and Lville/FSU/Clem/GT (because Clem/NCSt is NOT locked in). Which then means that to balance the whole thing you need to go to a 24-year cycle. Which is doable but messier than the above example.

        Like

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          I agree that the ACC doesn’t really want to go to 9 games. The primary problem with not going to 9 games in a league with a bunch of protected rivalry games is what they’re dealing with now, namely that you’re going to have some teams not play each other for quite a long time.

          In this particular model, you can push it back to 8 games, but that gets some awkward fits. Most notably, the green group already has eight games locked each year (three against each other, plus five against red or blue).

          It seems to me that this is a problem largely of your own invention. You’ve created a structure in which 8 games is an awkward fit, having decided a priori that you were going to have 9 games.

          I agree with Brian: due to the ACC’s locked non-conference rivalries and the Notre Dame deal, they will not go to 9 games. If you begin with that assumption, there are plenty of alternatives besides the one you chose.

          Like

      • You also noted that you can grossly simplify it by swapping Miami and Lville as you suggested. Given that Miami was in the Big East for a lot longer than Lville was, AND that two of the old Big East teams (BC/VT) went to the ACC along with Miami, I’m not sure that it’d work out very well politically. But mechanically, yes that does simplify it a lot. Miami in the green group, Lville in the blue, dump ALL inter-group rivalries except UVA/VT, and you have a lot fewer things to juggle.

        UVA/VT still does complicate it a bit, and you still probably get FSU/Clemson as two years on, two years off (which I doubt that people want to see), but it can work in an 8-game structure. It’s just that you’ll have to make a bunch of compromises to make it all hash out.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          Matthew Smith,

          “You also noted that you can grossly simplify it by swapping Miami and Lville as you suggested.”

          Yep. And simpler is almost always better (to me, at least).

          “Given that Miami was in the Big East for a lot longer than Lville was, AND that two of the old Big East teams (BC/VT) went to the ACC along with Miami, I’m not sure that it’d work out very well politically.”

          On the other hand, Miami was only in the BE for 14 years and has been out for 10 years. Miami has alumni ties to the northeast, but the Big East ties aren’t very strong.

          “But mechanically, yes that does simplify it a lot. Miami in the green group, Lville in the blue, dump ALL inter-group rivalries except UVA/VT, and you have a lot fewer things to juggle.”

          Exactly my point.

          “UVA/VT still does complicate it a bit, and you still probably get FSU/Clemson as two years on, two years off (which I doubt that people want to see), but it can work in an 8-game structure. It’s just that you’ll have to make a bunch of compromises to make it all hash out.”

          In my version, the Green teams all play each other so Clemson/FSU is locked.

          Like

  64. Andy says:

    This guy seems to think he’s stumbled about some legit insider Big Ten expansion news yesterday:

    https://twitter.com/flugempire

    Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      It’s entertaining to read, but hard to believe.

      Like

    • Gobux says:

      Has the tweet been removed? I don’t see anything about Big Ten expansion.

      Like

      • urbanleftbehind says:

        Its in the tweets circa April 17 – however there are no links to other reports or blogs discussing it. If there is mutual interest on the part of MU (and to a degree KU and OU wrt West Virginia) it could reflect the realities of travel hardships for non-revenue teams. More likely is the fact the ACC through its sponsor ESPN has become more resolute toward maintaining its presence and broadcast inventory. Maybe the ACC (or SEC now with 13 i/o 14) also makes a play for Texas and in turn the scraps fall into the SEC, B1G, and Pac.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          If ESPN is so committed to the ACC, when does the standalone ACCN appear and how much does ESPN pay for it?

          And if ESPN is going to chase all/most of the B10’s rights in 2017 anyway, how would protecting the ACC to hurt the B10 make sense to them financially? The B10 would be a bigger investment for them.

          And how does MO and the musical chairs it would set up fit into this? I highly doubt they want to leave the SEC so soon, especially since they’ve had success there. Would the SEC replace them with WV? Since when are B12 teams free to escape their GOR? If not WV, then whom?

          And that still ignores the B10 needing a 16th (unless they plan to drop divisions). And whether these new additions can pay for themselves.

          Like

          • jog267 says:

            At 15 schools either an 8 or 10 game conference schedule would be necessary for every team to play an equal number of conference games.

            Like

    • Andy says:

      The gist seems to be that the Big Ten has finally accepted that they can’t raid the ACC anymore, so their next priority is to woo Mizzou away from the SEC. No idea who this guy is or if he has any credibility. If it were true though it would be interesting to see what the Big Ten could offer that would be able to lure Mizzou away from the SEC. The SEC has been very generous to Mizzou and Mizzou is prospering there. That said, the Big Ten is a more natural fit institutionally and culturally.

      Like

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        The gist seems to be that the Big Ten has finally accepted that they can’t raid the ACC anymore, so their next priority is to woo Mizzou away from the SEC.

        But those tweets make it fairly clear that Missouri would be part of a two-fer that would include either Kansas or Oklahoma. Even if you assume that strategy and Missouri’s willingness to play along, how do you get Kansas or Oklahoma out of the Big XII before the GORs expire (or are near expiration), on terms that make financial sense?

        Furthermore, there is no reason for the Big Ten to “finally accept that they can’t raid the ACC anymore,” particularly if the alleged reason is that ESPN won’t let the ACC fail. Until ESPN actually follows through, there’s no reason to make assumptions, one way or the other. A lot can change in the next 7–10 years.

        Like

        • Gobux says:

          I thought I read in the tweets that these three schools (Mizz, Ok, and Kansas) would be pursued in 7 to 8 years. Wouldn’t that be toward the end of B12 GOR?

          Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Did OU get secretly admitted to AAU?

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            I thought I read in the tweets that these three schools (Mizz, Ok, and Kansas) would be pursued in 7 to 8 years. Wouldn’t that be toward the end of B12 GOR?

            It said they’re targeting 2017, which coincides with the timing of the new TV contract.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            “Did OU get secretly admitted to AAU?”

            Highly unlikely that AAU would have secret admissions. Also highly unlikely that they would admit Oklahoma.

            Now, you might argue that if there was a way to admit Oklahoma secretly, without the news getting out, that might improve Oklahoma’s chances slightly, but then it wouldn’t be any good for getting into the Big Ten.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            BruceMcF:

            That was an oblique way of saying OU isn’t getting invited anytime soon, if ever.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            “That was an oblique way of saying OU isn’t getting invited anytime soon, if ever.”
            Rinse and repeat.

            Like

  65. Brian says:

    http://www.dailytargum.com/article/2015/04/rutgers-athletics-loses-more-than-36-million-last-fiscal-year

    What’s the value of joining a better conference?

    The University’s 40 percent increase in admissions applications from international students can be attributed to greater name recognition from Rutgers’ presence in the Big Ten, Barchi said.

    Admissions applications increased by about 14 percent during the last application cycle, Barchi said. About 15 or 16 percent of applications were from students living outside of the Garden State, and much of that figure represents a Midwest demographic.

    “Rutgers is getting a huge collateral value out of the advertising and the buzz of being in the Big Ten,” he said. “If we were to not remain in the Big Ten, we would have a monumental financial disaster on our hands. So we’re very conscious of that.”

    Rutgers’ increased global presence from Big Ten membership increases revenue to do what is necessary to prevent tuition hikes, Barchi said. Administrators also feel the need to satisfy the University’s alumni base, composed of many who are interested in intercollegiate sports.

    Like

    • greg says:

      Nice Iowa State logo on their graphic.

      Like

    • bullet says:

      I guess he is right about athletic spending harming Rutgers academics. They have a first year journalism student thinking Midwest students are “international.”

      Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        What’s Iowa’s national anthem?

        Like

        • Brian says:

          http://digital.lib.uiowa.edu/cdm/ref/collection/sheetmusic/id/51

          Pretty sure it’s this. “Iowa Corn Song”

          http://www.netstate.com/states/symb/song/ia_corn_song.htm

          Lyrics:

          Let’s sing of Grand old I-O-Way,
          Yo-Ho, yo-ho, yo-ho
          Our love is strong-er ev-‘ry day,
          Yo-Ho, yo-ho, yo-ho
          So come a-long and join the throng,
          Sev-‘ral hun-dred thou-sand strong
          As you come just sing this song,
          Yo-Ho, yo-ho, yo-ho

          We’re from I-O-way, I-O-way.
          State of all the land,
          Joy on ev-‘ry hand.
          We’re from I-O-way, I-O-way.
          That’s where the tall corn grows

          Our land is full of ripe-ning corn,
          Yo-Ho, yo-ho, yo-ho
          We’ve watched it grow both night and morn,
          Yo-Ho, yo-ho, yo-ho
          But now we rest, we’ve stood the test.
          All that’s good we have the best
          I-O-way has reached the crest,
          Yo-Ho, yo-ho, yo-ho

          We’re from I-O-way, I-O-way.
          State of all the land,
          Joy on ev-‘ry hand.
          We’re from I-O-way, I-O-way.
          That’s where the tall corn grows

          We’re from I-O-way, I-O-way.
          State of all the land,
          Joy on ev-‘ry hand.
          We’re from I-O-way, I-O-way.
          That’s where the tall corn grows

          A music video of it.

          Like

        • Mike says:

          I kid, I kid

          Like

      • BruceMcF says:

        Though does it actually say that?

        “The University’s 40 percent increase in admissions applications from international students can be attributed to greater name recognition from Rutgers’ presence in the Big Ten, Barchi said.

        Admissions applications increased by about 14 percent during the last application cycle, Barchi said. About 15 or 16 percent of applications were from students living outside of the Garden State, and much of that figure represents a Midwest demographic.”

        “Much of that figure represents a Midwest demographic” and “International applications were up to 40%” can both be true at the same time.

        Like

  66. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    College baseball update (4/20).

    LSU took its rightful place in the top spot of every poll/ranking today setting up a #1 versus #2 matchup this weekend against the Aggies in Baton Rouge. I’ll only be able to make two of the games because on Saturday I’ll be in Birmingham for the Southern Conference Track Championships watching my son as he throws javelin for The Citadel. (Proud dad mode off and now back to baseball).

    Like most weeks, the polls/rankings are fairly consistent at the top and then go crazy. The consensus top four are LSU, A&M, UCLA and Louisville.

    Franks’s Illinois Fighting Illini lead the rankings for the B1G and are as high as #8 in the USAT coaches poll. The only poll that doesn’t have Illinois in the top 10 is Collegiate Baseball (#13). Iowa and Maryland are ranked by all six polls/rankings. Iowa is as high as #17 (CB) and as low as #29 (NCBWA). Maryland is as high as #18 (USAT) and as low as #21 (CB, BA & NCBWA). Nebraska is ranked #25 by Perfect Game and #26 by NCBWA.

    Regarding attendance, LSU remains #1 with an average of 10,613. The SEC owns the top 5 spots for attendance, with #2 Ole Miss (7,837), #3 Arkansas (7,656), #4 Miss State (7,389), and #5 South Carolina (7,310).

    Texas tops the B-XII and is #6 overall with an average attendance of 5,431.
    Florida State tops the ACC and is #8 overall with an average attendance of 4,388.
    Nebraska tops the B1G and is #10 overall with an average attendance of 4,086.
    Arizona State tops the Pac-12 and is #16 overall with an average attendance of 3,281.

    Indiana may not be ranked but fans are still going to see the Hoosiers are a clip 2,276 per game, to rank #30 nationally.

    Like

  67. Carl says:

    Penn State trustees sue to get Freeh report documents
    http://www.philly.com/philly/education/20150421_Penn_State_trustees_sue_to_get_Freeh_report_documents.html

    There are good reasons(*) why the actual results of Freeh’s investigation are being hidden from some trustees.

    (*) “The fiduciary duty is an obligation of loyalty and good faith to someone or some entity that is the highest duty known to the law. It requires a degree of loyalty and care that does not allow any violation without exposing the violator to personal liability.” (http://www.stimmel-law.com/retainer/The_Fiduciary_Duty.html)

    Like

  68. Mike says:

    The Future of Binge TV Belongs to America’s Oldest Sport

    HBO Now is the network’s response to the rage induced by HBO Go constantly dropping streams last year during Thrones and new episodes of True Detective.

    [snip]

    [HBO NOW’s] infrastructure didn’t belong to Netflix or Time Warner or some other expected broadcast conglomerate. It was Major League Baseball’s.

    MLB Advanced Media, which has arguably the country’s most extensive and experienced broadband network for streaming live video, has been around since 2000 and is equally owned by the 30 MLB clubs. In addition to streaming most baseball games (more on that later), it handles the back-end duties for myriad other major sports. BAM, as it’s known in industry parlance, powers ESPN’s watch-anywhere app. It runs Turner Sports’ March Madness streaming. The World Wrestling Entertainment Network contracts out its $10-a-month service into BAM’s capable hands. Sony depends on BAM for PlayStation Vue streaming service.

    http://www.newrepublic.com/article/121596/major-league-baseballs-mlb-advanced-media-quiet-digital-giant

    Like

  69. Brian says:

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/writer/dennis-dodd/25157011/pac-12-study-reveals-athletes-too-exhausted-to-study-effectively

    P12 study shows their athletes spend 50 hours per week on their sport on average. That’s with an official cap of 20 mandatory hours (it averaged 21 in the P12, though). The biggest complaint was not getting enough sleep.

    Like

  70. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/12735307/big-12-coaches-discuss-pros-cons-potential-conference-title-game

    Multiple B12 coaches about a CCG on the spring B12 teleconference.

    For – Snyder, Holgerson, Kingsbury
    For only if it helps to get teams into the playoff – Stoops, Patterson
    Against – Rhoads, Strong, Gundy, Briles

    It sounds like if the CFP committee makes it clear that a CCG matters, then the B12 will add one. Otherwise, they won’t.

    According to the reporter’s twitter stream, Briles also believes that Baylor’s OOC schedule had nothing to do with OSU being ahead of them.

    As a fan noted on twitter, the VT team OSU played in 2014 would’ve been the best team Baylor faced OOC since UConn in 2009 (according to Sagarin rankings, I believe).

    Like

    • Also, money. A CCG is clearly worth a pretty penny to TV. And coaches don’t make ALL the decisions (even if sometimes it seems like they do).

      Like

      • Nostradamus says:

        I’m not sure how much that one is worth with the caveat that you have a guaranteed rematch every year. Even if they got Big Ten money in the range of $20-25 million they’ve got to decide whether the risks are worth the ~$2 million reward there. Last year’s situation is likely an outlier in that you had two teams both right on the cusp of the playoff that may have benefited from a game.

        Like

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          If a CCG would pay a cool $20–25 million, then I suspect the Big XII will not be able to resist. University presidents prefer steady income streams over the vagaries of revenue that can go up or down from year to year, depending on which post-season games you qualified for.

          We’ll need a few more years of data, before we know whether a CCG would help the Big XII competitively. In borderline cases, a CCG can propel a marginal candidate into the playoff, as it clearly did for Ohio State last year. But it also gives a team that’s safely in the top four another opportunity to lose.

          Last year, there were six compelling playoff candidates, including at least one from every P5 conference. In many seasons, at least one of the P5 has a weak (multi-loss) champion. In years like that, if the Big XII had a 12-0 or 11-1 round-robin champion, they’d have nothing to gain by playing a CCG.

          Even last year, the question is murky. TCU was ahead of Ohio State going into the final week of the season. Therefore, you’d have to think that if they’d beaten Baylor in a CCG, they would’ve stayed ahead, and gone to the playoff ahead of the Buckeyes.

          But Ohio State was ahead of Baylor going into the final week. If they both win — OSU over Wisconsin, Baylor over TCU — there’s a pretty good chance that OSU remains ahead, so the extra game does Baylor no good.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Marc Shepherd,

            “If a CCG would pay a cool $20–25 million, then I suspect the Big XII will not be able to resist. University presidents prefer steady income streams over the vagaries of revenue that can go up or down from year to year, depending on which post-season games you qualified for.”

            This may very well come down to the presidents overruling the coaches.

            “We’ll need a few more years of data, before we know whether a CCG would help the Big XII competitively. In borderline cases, a CCG can propel a marginal candidate into the playoff, as it clearly did for Ohio State last year. But it also gives a team that’s safely in the top four another opportunity to lose.”

            I don’t think we really need more data. There have been a lot of P5 CCGs and plenty of seasons of CFB to see how conference races go. The only new data that would really help would be if the committee clarified the importance of CCGs to them. Do they care about 13 vs 12? Do they value a CCG more than a regular season game that same day? Do they consider co-champs as equal to CCG winners? If yes, for both or just the head to head winner?

            There are too many scenarios to easily decide whether a CCG is more helpful than hurtful overall, but here’s some data. I’ll define top 6 teams as CFP candidates:

            SEC CCG record of #1-6: 18-9, 12-3 vs non-top 6 teams (23 years)
            B12 CCG record of #1-6: 7-5, all vs non-top 6 teams (15 years)
            ACC CCG record of #1-6: 3-2, all vs non-top 6 teams (10 years)
            B10 CCG record of #1-6: 1-1, all vs non-top 6 teams (4 years)
            P12 CCG record of #1-6: 1-0, all vs non-top 6 teams (4 years)

            Overall: 30-17, 24-11 vs non-top 6 (0.686)
            SEC: 12-3 vs non-top 6 (0.800)
            All but SEC: 12-8 vs non-top 6 (0.600)

            Fact 1: P5 conferences with a CCG had at least 1 top 6 team 41 out of 56 seasons (0.732)

            So a CCG would be a non-issue 0.268 of the time since the CFP isn’t a consideration.

            Fact 2: Those teams won the CCG 0.638 of the time (0.686 vs non-top 6, 0.600 for non-SEC)

            A top 6 team would win the CCG in 0.439 of seasons.

            0.439 + 0.268 = 0.707

            So a CCG wouldn’t hurt in at least 71% of seasons based on history. A team could win the CCG and still get jumped or not move into the top 4, but it could also lose the CCG and not get jumped.

            Since it’s well over a 50/50 split in terms of being better than not playing that 13th game, it’d seem like the B12 should do it given the chance.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            I don’t think we really need more data. There have been a lot of P5 CCGs and plenty of seasons of CFB to see how conference races go. The only new data that would really help would be if the committee clarified the importance of CCGs to them. Do they care about 13 vs 12? Do they value a CCG more than a regular season game that same day? Do they consider co-champs as equal to CCG winners? If yes, for both or just the head to head winner?

            That’s the data I meant: we don’t have much information about how the committee will react to a wider variety of selection scenarios.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Marc Shepherd,

            “That’s the data I meant: we don’t have much information about how the committee will react to a wider variety of selection scenarios.”

            The results will never really tell us more than we know now. Every year will be idiosyncratic enough to make drawing broad conclusions useless. Especially since the committee members change regularly. It would take an explicit statement from the committee on the this topic to provide useful data and they don’t seem inclined to make such announcements. I think they prefer the flexibility to do what they want.

            Like

        • Also remember, if a CCG is worth even just $15 million, a playoff access berth is worth just $6 million (and a “other BCS game” is worth $4 million) – see http://www.collegefootballplayoff.com/revenue-distribution . So in terms of $ value to a league, a CCG is worth way more than a playoff berth, which is mainly because the bulk majority of each league’s post-season-related revenue is contractually fixed and does NOT vary based on how often teams actually make the playoffs.

          Like

  71. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/12736663/georgetown-hoyas-maryland-terrapins-play-gavitt-tipoff-games-new-big-ten-big-east-series

    The Gavitt Tipoff Games are out:

    Georgetown at Maryland
    Xavier at Michigan
    Creighton at Indiana
    Rutgers at St. John’s
    Illinois at Providence
    Nebraska at Villanova
    Penn State at DePaul
    Iowa at Marquette

    All games are Nov. 17-20.

    The only matchup that is confirmed for 2016 as a return is Maryland at Georgetown.

    Important note:

    There are already matchups between these conferences that are played on a regular basis — not part of this challenge — like DePaul-Northwestern, Creighton-Nebraska, Wisconsin-Marquette, Seton Hall-Rutgers and, on a rotational basis, Indiana-Butler every other year in Indianapolis. Purdue-Butler, like Indiana-Butler, is played on an every other year basis as well.

    There are 10 BE teams, so each will play 6+ times over the 8 years if they stick with 8 games. The 14 B10 teams all play at least 4 times.

    Given that so many of the regional games are already played and that not all team are involved, this lineup is OK. GU @ UMD will be heated.

    I’d mostly work in geographic pods, personally. IN, OSU, MI, MSU, PSU, UMD and RU vs Providence, Seton Hall, St. John’s, Villanova and Georgetown, NE, WI, IA, MN, NW, IL and PU vs Creighton, Marquette, DePaul, Butler and Xavier. Mix in a few crossovers, especially of the bigger brands (Georgetown vs MSU, etc) and/or teams closer to the middle of the footprint (OSU vs Xavier/Butler, etc).

    Like

  72. bullet says:

    Federal government strikes out. I always felt like the government’s pursuit of Barry Bond was personal and a waste of resources. 9th court of appeals rules 10-1 that there was insufficient evidence to charge him with obstruction of justice. If the justice department wants to continue to pursue him it must go to the Supreme Court. Bonds has already served his sentence.

    http://www.mmercurynews.com/crime-court/ci_27967951/barry-bonds-conviction-overturned

    Like

    • Brian says:

      He did it. He knows he did it. We all know he did it. I couldn’t possibly care less what the CoA has to say about it. And without the Bonds case, the rest of the Balco investigation never really happens and multiple felons get no punishment.

      If all that resulted was that fans realized all these “heroes” were cheating like crazy, then it was worth the resources. People like Bonds are why junior high school kids are using steroids.

      Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      Reversal does not mean he is innocent. It means that there was insufficient evidence to find him guilty under the technical rules of the statute.

      Among the many dubious things Barry Bonds did, he was ultimately found guilty only on a fairly minor point: giving a rambling answer to a simple question. The Court of Appeals had to decide whether it is obstruction of justice to give a rambling answer, when in the end he ultimately DID answer the question?

      Their answer of “no” is probably correct, legally speaking. The court did not find Bonds innocent of using steroids. That question was not before them. The court also did not (and could not) review all of the perjury charges, on which the jury acquitted him, for whatever reason.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        You don’t seem to understand the constitution. There’s no double jeopardy. If you are not guilty, its done. The government can’t appeal or try you again. That’s one of the basic foundations of our justice system.

        And it does mean he is not guilty. Its a very strong not guilty. Not only is he not guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, but there was not sufficient evidence to possibly reach that conclusion. And the appeals court basically said what he did wasn’t even a crime.

        As to Brian’s point, he wasn’t tried on using illegal drugs. That is what was so offensive about this case. It was an abuse of government power and a misuse of resources. They couldn’t (or didn’t want to) get him on something he actually did, so they made something up when he was really a minor figure in the actual crime being committed.

        Like

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          You don’t seem to understand the constitution. There’s no double jeopardy. If you are not guilty, its done. The government can’t appeal or try you again.

          What did I say, that leads you to believe I don’t understand these very basic elementary things?

          And it does mean he is not guilty. Its a very strong not guilty. Not only is he not guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, but there was not sufficient evidence to possibly reach that conclusion. And the appeals court basically said what he did wasn’t even a crime.

          Here, the misunderstanding is yours. “Not guilty” doesn’t mean “innocent”.

          In our system of justice, we prefer to acquit guilty people, over the worse option of convicting innocent ones. This means the burden of proof is on the government. All “not guilty” means is that the government’s heavy burden wasn’t met.

          I’m not saying Bonds couldn’t be innocent of all the original charges. Of course he could. But you can’t draw that inference from the fact that the Court of Appeals tossed out his conviction.

          Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      Sorry, I misspoke: the jury did not acquit him on the perjury charges. They failed to reach a verdict, and the government elected not to re-try him.

      Like

  73. bullet says:

    On a similar note, Pete Rose has been hired as a pre-game analyst for Fox.

    Like

    • urbanleftbehind says:

      Fine that he didnt bet the Reds to lose, but I wonder if over-use of Mario Soto and Tom Browning (whose careers ended with multiple injuries) could be attributed to the need to assure Reds victory or spreads on bets.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        That could be said about nearly every pitcher in the majors. Pete had a couple of teammates in the early 70s-Wayne Simpson and Don Gullet-who may have become among the best pitchers in the game, but had very short careers.

        Pete always wanted to win.

        Like

        • Mike says:

          Pete new the rules. Gamble and you are banned from baseball. He then lied about it publicly for years despite the mountain of evidence. I’m perfectly fine with keeping him banned from baseball.

          Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Agreed, except the HOF is not baseball. I wouldn’t feel conflicted for him to remain banned from any direct MLB controled activity, AND be admitted to the baseball writers HOF.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            A Hall of Fame without Pete Rose is pretty ridiculous.
            He broke an important rule, but no one who knows anything about him thinks he did anything to impact the integrity of the game.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            He broke an important rule, but no one who knows anything about him thinks he did anything to impact the integrity of the game.

            You don’t think betting on your own team to win impacts the integrity of the game?

            As others have noted, when you have money riding on the game, you make strategic decisions differently than a manager who is following the rules.

            This is without considering the fact that, to most of us, “integrity” means following the rules, even rules you don’t agree with, and even rules that you’ve convinced yourself have nothing to do with the game. Another meaning of “integrity” is to man up, once caught, instead of continuing to lie about it.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Marc Shepherd,

            “You don’t think betting on your own team to win impacts the integrity of the game?”

            No, I don’t. He’s supposed to try to win every game.

            “As others have noted, when you have money riding on the game, you make strategic decisions differently than a manager who is following the rules.”

            Correction – one might make different decisions if one wasn’t betting. You assume that he wasn’t so competitive that he’d do anything to win every game anyway.

            “This is without considering the fact that, to most of us, “integrity” means following the rules, even rules you don’t agree with, and even rules that you’ve convinced yourself have nothing to do with the game. Another meaning of “integrity” is to man up, once caught, instead of continuing to lie about it.”

            I’ll give you the second part, but plenty of people believe disobeying the rules can be done with integrity. UCLA/USC agreeing to each lose a timeout so they can both wear home uniforms. A player helping an injured opponent to finish a race, play, whatever. And outside of sports, it’s what protest groups do.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            “As others have noted, when you have money riding on the game, you make strategic decisions differently than a manager who is following the rules.”

            Correction – one might make different decisions if one wasn’t betting. You assume that he wasn’t so competitive that he’d do anything to win every game anyway.

            He might be the unusual person whose behavior is utterly unaffected by having an extra, undisclosed, financial incentive riding on the game. But: because it is undisclosed, everyone else is deprived of the opportunity to assess whether his managerial strategy is affected. This would include the players whose careers are riding on his decisions.

            And of course, even if you knew he was betting on the games and could detect no difference in the way he manages, it doesn’t mean there WAS no difference; it only means you couldn’t find any, which is a very different thing.

            …plenty of people believe disobeying the rules can be done with integrity. UCLA/USC agreeing to each lose a timeout so they can both wear home uniforms. A player helping an injured opponent to finish a race, play, whatever. And outside of sports, it’s what protest groups do.

            Sure, but in each of those cases, the flaunting of rules is done in broad daylight, so that all of us can decide for ourselves whether their actions make them more or less honorable. We can’t do that when the violator works in secret, and in fact, goes out of his way to try to evade discovery.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Which is why I agreed with your second point. It’s not breaking the rules that costs you your integrity, it’s why you do it and whether you try to hide it.

            Like

  74. Marc Shepherd says:

    BYU head football coach Bronco Mendenhall, echoing his boss a couple of months ago, says that the school really wants to be in a P5 conference.

    As in, please, pretty please, with sugar on top. As in, here’s a gift-wrapped big wet kiss for the pretty girl down the block named “Big XII”. (BYU keeps saying P5, knowing full well that the Big XII is the only one that is even remotely likely.)

    It can be reckless to give a deadline, when you are practically powerless to make it happen, but Mendenhall does just that:

    “When I speak in absolutes,” said Mendenhall, “I know that doesn’t work very well for expectations, because then that just means they’re going to be met or not. But at some point, inclusion has to happen.

    “I hate to be pinned down, but if someone were to force me, I’d say three years—it has to happen within three. Could it go longer than that? Yes, it could. Is it desirable, to me, to go longer than that? That answer is no.”

    As I noted in another post, CCG de-regulation could both hurt and help BYU. It hurts, because the Big XII would be able to stage the extra game without expanding. But it helps, because the Big XII could consider stopping at 11 teams. Under current rules, expansion only makes sense in pairs, and there is certainly no available 12th school as valuable as BYU.

    The question is whether BYU is valuable enough on its own to be #11, and to overcome the scheduling problems inherent in adding members (i.e., less access to Texas for all of the non-Texas schools).

    Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      Are Bronco and Holmoe trying to influence internal decisions/direction? I can’t see public statements having any possible effect on the B12 leadership’s potential receptivity.

      Like

      • Mike says:

        Are Bronco and Holmoe trying to influence internal decisions/direction

        My guess is a lot of this is for recruiting. It is to BYU’s advantage to make people think that BYU will be in a power conference shortly. It allows them to compete with the western P5 schools and differentiate themselves from MWC schools. I expect to see something like this every summer.

        Like

        • The downside, of course, is that when you say it needs to happen within 3 years, what happens in 3 years when it hasn’t happened yet?

          Like

          • Mike says:

            How many of today’s 14 year olds will remember that three year comment when they start to get recruited the summer before their senior year? What they’ll hear is a BYU official telling them BYU is *this* close to joining.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Louisville recruits reported coaches claiming they were going to the Big 12.
            Temple recruits reported coaches were telling them they were joining a P5 conference.
            There was even a Texas recruit (according to a message board poster who knew his coach and wasn’t prone to making things up) told by an FSU coach that they were coming to the Big 12.

            Like

          • Arkstfan says:

            And FAU in the Howard era said they were going Big East.

            Like

    • Brian says:

      Marc Shepherd,

      “As I noted in another post, CCG de-regulation could both hurt and help BYU. It hurts, because the Big XII would be able to stage the extra game without expanding. But it helps, because the Big XII could consider stopping at 11 teams. Under current rules, expansion only makes sense in pairs, and there is certainly no available 12th school as valuable as BYU.

      The question is whether BYU is valuable enough on its own to be #11, and to overcome the scheduling problems inherent in adding members (i.e., less access to Texas for all of the non-Texas schools).”

      Another key consideration is whether the B12 wants to move past a round robin schedule. With 11 teams, they aren’t going to play all 10 other teams. Would they use the old B10 model and play 8 games and miss 2 teams or stick with 9? The big issue will be games in TX for recruiting purposes, as usual. The B10 locked 2 teams and rotated 6 of the other 8, but everyone will want at least 1 TX team locked.

      UT – OU, WV
      TT – OkSU, KSU
      TCU – BYU, ISU
      Baylor – KU

      Then you need to lock rivalries:
      UT – OU, WV, Baylor, TT, TCU
      TT – OkSU, KSU, UT, TCU, Baylor
      TCU – BYU, ISU, Baylor, UT, TT
      Baylor – KU, UT, TCU, TT

      also KU/KSU, OU/OkSU, ISU/KSU

      UT – OU, WV, Baylor, TT, TCU
      TT – OkSU, KSU, UT, TCU, Baylor
      TCU – BYU, ISU, Baylor, UT, TT
      Baylor – KU, UT, TCU, TT
      ISU – TCU, KSU
      KU – Baylor, KSU
      KSU – TT, ISU, KU
      OU – UT, OkSU
      OkSU – TT, OU
      WV – UT
      BYU – TCU

      That’s 3 schools with 5 locked games, 1 with 4 locked, 1 with 3 locked, 4 with 2 locked and 2 with 1 locked.

      I’d probably add some more, like WV/BYU (2 good brands, both newbies and outsiders, gets everyone to at least 2 locked games). Then the B12 would have to decide if they want to work the rotation from there or equalize the numbers of locked games more.

      Like

      • I’m not sure you’d really need to lock any specific games other than the obvious ones. If you play 8 then you just drop two (assuming BYU add), and there are four teams in Texas. So you’d probably just make sure that the rotation rules say you can’t drop more than one Texas team in a year, and then make sure you that you don’t happen to have all three home or all three away.

        For someone like KSU you might do (in odd years):
        Annual – vs KU, @ ISU (then flip in even years)
        2 home, 1 away (then flip in even years) – against WVU, BYU, OK, OK St
        1 home, 2 away (then flip in even years) – against UT, TT, BU, TCU

        The actual mechanics would be messier for various reasons, but that strikes me as at a high level a pretty clear and reasonable rotation structure. Logistically, the bigger thing that gets messy is just juggling how far away WVU and BYU are, and how you deal withe their travel issues.

        Personally, I REALLY doubt that BYU will ever be valuable enough on its own for #11, especially now that you don’t need 12 for a CCG. Certainly I don’t expect it to happen anytime soon. Texas and Oklahoma are already pretty obviously financially carrying the rest of the league; I can’t imagine they’d be happy with adding more mouths to feed, almost no matter who those other teams are.

        BYU probably compares reasonably well to the bottom end of the Big 12, but I really don’t think that’s the comparison point for any league other than when they’re desperate to expand (Pac-12 needing a 12th, ACC and Big 12 worried about collapse, etc.).

        Like

        • BruceMcF says:

          “BYU probably compares reasonably well to the bottom end of the Big 12, but I really don’t think that’s the comparison point for any league other than when they’re desperate to expand (Pac-12 needing a 12th, ACC and Big 12 worried about collapse, etc.).”
          Yes … that is a rationale for a 12th when a compelling 11th presents itself and a conference is looking at whether it can “even up” … not a rationale for an 11th.

          Like

      • Eric says:

        Nine conference games aren’t possible in 11 team conferences. Someone needs to be playing 8 or 10 in that case.

        Like

    • frug says:

      In addition to the money, their is still the fact that adding BYU as anything but a FB only member would be a scheduling nightmare.

      They have a hard enough time with WVU, which is both geographically isolated and far away from major airports. Adding a school in Provo that refuses to play Sundays would be even worse.

      Like

      • Mike says:

        To further frug’s point, adding BYU is basically adding another WV in the other direction.

        – BYU is ~150 miles closer to Austin than WVU
        – BYU is ~20 miles closer to Norman than WVU
        – BYU is ~250 farther from Ames, IA than WVU

        FWIW – BYU is ~50 miles from Salt Lake’s airport. Morgantown, WV is about ~75 miles from Pittsburgh’s.

        Like

  75. wxyz says:

    If the AAC continues to suck then UConn in 2 to 3 years will reconsider its commitment to having a losing FBS football program and approach the Big East about membership.

    Like

  76. Arkstfan says:

    Rolling three years 🙂

    Like

  77. Brian says:

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/writer/jon-solomon/25160428/study-uab-was-ill-advised-to-cut-football-bowling-rifle

    The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s decision to end football, bowling and rifle was “ill advised from a net cash-flow perspective,” according to a study released Thursday by a consulting firm fired by UAB last month to perform this task.

    In another twist to the saga surrounding the first major college football program cut in two decades, anonymous UAB football boosters paid $20,000 to help California-based consultant OSKR complete its study. UAB, which has another consultant currently working on a study, now has a 156-page report from OSKR’s Daniel Rascher and Andy Schwarz in the public domain that may serve as another voice in the contentious debate.

    Last month, a UAB athletics task force unanimously selected OSKR to reevaluate the decision to eliminate football, bowling and rifle. UAB administrators quickly canceled the work by OSKR, claiming the firm’s study would be biased because of articles written by Schwarz critical of UAB’s decision last December to end football.

    OSKR views standard athletic department accounting differently than some other consultants, calling the practice “poor insight” into how sports programs financially impact universities. Some conclusions by OSKR:

    • Football, bowling and rifle at UAB were “effectively break-even to slightly positive” financially. OSKR’s reasoning: Athletic scholarships cost UAB far less than their listed prices, and Conference USA membership is far superior financially to any other possible non-FBS conference.

    • Anticipated improvements in football ticket sales and new College Football Playoff revenue would outpace UAB’s new expenses from Cost of Attendance stipends and unlimited food allowances. OSKR estimated the annual surplus from football, bowling and rifle would exceed $500,000.

    • OSKR recommended UAB supporters should commit to providing $1.2 million annually to cover the new cost of attendance stipends and anticipated debt service for desired facilities improvements.

    • Travel expenses for UAB’s men’s and women’s basketball teams in a new conference could increase by about $320,000, and the total for all sports could exceed $1 million.

    Like

  78. Brian says:

    http://www.si.com/college-football/2015/04/22/jameis-winston-crab-legs-nfl-combine

    Now Jameis Winston claims a Publix employee gave him the crab legs for free.

    There are so many problems with this story:
    1. It’s an NCAA violation and so could cost his team wins.
    2. It means he lied to the police during the investigation.
    3. No grocery store employee can give you free food. You still have to walk past the register and he did.
    4. He’s implicating that employee as a thief.

    Like

  79. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/bigten/post/_/id/118290/seven-abcespn-night-games-added-to-15-b1g-slate

    ABC/ESPN released their early night game schedule (channel TBA except TCU/MN is on ESPN). BTN released theirs earlier. Here’s the combined schedule:

    Sept. 3
    TCU at Minnesota, 9 p.m. – ESPN

    Sept. 4
    Kent State at Illinois* – BTN

    Sept. 12
    South Alabama at Nebraska – BTN
    Oregon at Michigan State, 8 p.m. – ABC/ESPN

    Sept. 19
    Rutgers at Penn State – BTN

    Sept. 26
    Hawaii at Wisconsin – BTN

    Oct. 3
    Michigan at Maryland – BTN

    Oct. 10
    Michigan State at Rutgers – BTN

    Oct. 17
    Penn State at Ohio State, 8 p.m. – ABC/ESPN

    Oct. 24
    Ohio State at Rutgers, 8 p.m. – ABC/ESPN

    Oct. 31
    Michigan at Minnesota, 8 p.m. – ABC/ESPN

    Nov. 7
    Michigan State at Nebraska, 7 or 8 p.m. – ABC/ESPN
    Minnesota at Ohio State, 7 or 8 p.m. – ABC/ESPN

    Nov. 14
    Minnesota at Iowa – BTN

    Thoughts:

    The Nov. 21 game between Michigan State and Ohio State is conspicuously absent. But the Buckeyes are playing under the lights four times this year, including their opener on Labor Day at Virginia Tech. Ohio State also will be playing at night in three straight games from Oct. 17 through Nov. 7 (the Buckeyes are off on Oct. 31). So it’s understandable why the school might have had its fill of prime time for the year.

    This schedule shows Minnesota’s raised profile nationally. The Thursday night opener against TCU, which is likely to start the year ranked No. 2, should be quite an event. Michigan also will be a night game at TCF Bank Stadium, while the Gophers go the ‘Shoe a week later in prime time. And Minnesota-Iowa is at night this year. A couple of upsets on these stages would do wonders for the program.

    Speaking of Minnesota-Ohio State, the night of Nov. 7 could be outstanding with Michigan State also visiting Nebraska in the prime-time window. The Spartans’ Week 2 showdown against Oregon was a no-brainer for a night kickoff and it should be epic.

    No night games at Michigan this year, which isn’t a surprise. Wisconsin is absent, other than a BTN game against Hawaii early in the year. No ESPN/ABC night games at Beaver Stadium, either, though Rutgers is playing at Penn State in prime time on BTN on Sept. 19.

    All in all, there will be three November night games in the Big Ten this season. It’s a welcome change and the league could probably stand to do even more.

    Like

  80. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/12747890/rose-bowl-not-bid-cfp-title-game-host

    The Rose Bowl won’t bid for the NCG any time soon.

    “The Tournament of Roses met with multiple civic, sports, tourism groups and leaders in the Los Angeles area to explore the possibility of bidding on the College Football Playoff National Championship Game,” the organization said in a statement. “After carefully reviewing the request for proposal, we have determined our structure is incompatible with the bid requirements.”

    The statement also indicated that the Rose Bowl would assess whether to bid on any future title games.

    Like

  81. Brian says:

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/2015/04/23/trying-to-make-army-navy-fit-in-playoff-selection-schedule/26226947/

    What to do about the Army-Navy game will be one of the major topics of discussion at the CFP meeting next week.

    Heading into next week’s College Football Playoff meetings in North Texas, what to do about the Army-Navy game seems to be the most vexing issue facing those in charge of the postseason system.

    With Navy joining the American Athletic Conference this season, the Midshipmen are now eligible to earn a bid to a New Year’s Six bowl as the best-ranked champion from among the AAC, Mountain West, Sun Belt, Conference USA and Mid-American Conference.

    The playoff selection committee sets the bowl lineup on Dec. 6, but Navy’s regular season doesn’t end until it plays Army on Dec. 12. If nothing changes, the Army-Navy game wouldn’t count toward the final rankings — which is a problem, especially with a $4 million bowl bid on the line.

    “It’s a challenging issue and it’s a system-wide issue and it has me concerned,” MAC Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher said.

    American Athletic Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco has been working to find a solution that allows Army-Navy to keep its late date while also giving the academies a chance to be in the mix for a marquee bowl bid.

    “It is on the agenda and the commissioners know they have some scenarios from me, from our group, that we think work,” said Aresco, who declined to share details of his proposals.

    Like

  82. bullet says:

    Comcast announced today they are giving up on the Time-Warner merger.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Instead, Charter will try to buy TWC. Combined, those two are still smaller than Comcast.

      Meanwhile, DirectTV and AT&T are still likely to merge.

      It’s all about the broadband access. Comcast + TWC would have been about 55% of all broadband subscribers in the US under 1 roof.

      Like

      • BruceMcF says:

        Indeed, the DirectTV / AT&T merger could have been the most immediate beneficiary of the proposed Comcast / TWC merger …
        … since having one obvious oppose decision on a big merger on their plate could well have make the Justice department a bit reluctant to oppose another one at the same time where the degree of concentration does not make the decision as cut and dried.

        Like

  83. Brian says:

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/eye-on-college-football/25161786/todd-graham-scheduling-four-easy-wins-is-un-american

    Todd Graham wants tougher schedules in CFB.

    “We need to consider what the fans want,” Graham said, according to AZFamily.com. “Fans don’t want to see you schedule four easy wins, then get two conference wins to get into a bowl game. That’s un-American.”

    You’ll notice that even before calling 6-6 (2-6) bowl teams de facto enemies of the state, Graham specifically mentions scheduling four certain victories … when the Sun Devils’ Pac-12 only allows for a maximum of three, of course. Graham had plenty to say about that, too.

    “Everybody should play nine conference games,” he said. “Why nine games instead of eight? Because you play one more conference game that your fans want to see instead of scheduling a team that no one wants to see because you’re scheduling wins and don’t want to be out of the four-team playoff.”

    Like

    • BruceMcF says:

      And, of course, the loyal American Pac12 and Big12 in the nine game club will shortly be rejoined by the Big Ten, after the Big Ten spent something around three decades in the un-American wilderness of only playing eight conference games.

      Making for a Pac12/BigTen coalition on one side of the issue with the SEC on the other side of the issue. Hmmm … how surprising that an issue in college FB would shake out that way.

      Like

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        In all fairness, the SEC is now requiring at least one P5 non-conference game, and four SEC programs play one of these annually with an in-state ACC rival. The B1G, Pac-12, and Big XII all play nine conference games, but they don’t require any additional P5 games.

        Like

        • BruceMcF says:

          In ALL fairness … the “requirement” to play at least one P5 schools OOC doesn’t seem to kick in until the same season that the Big Ten moves to 9 conference games, with schools being pressed to play a 10th game OOC against a P5 peer … since this coming season its three to four SEC schools skipping out on playing a P5 school (One Mississippi, Two Mississippi, Vandy and [censored]), and only one Big Ten school (Penn State).

          And 1 out of 14 SEC schools pass on taking advantage of the FCS exemption (Florida), while half of the Big Ten do (Penn State, Nebraska, Wisconsin, OSU, TSUN, Minnesota and MSU).

          Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      Full marks to Arizona State for scheduling Texas A&M and Texas Tech the next two seasons. But their remaining non-conference foes are Cal Poly (FCS), New Mexico (a perennially awful mid-major), Northern Arizona (FCS), and UT San Antonio (didn’t even have a team till 5 years ago).

      Like

  84. Brian says:

    http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/las-vegas-is-a-terrible-place-for-an-nhl-team/

    Nat e Silver says the NHL shouldn’t expand to Las Vegas, but the NBA would make sense.

    Like

  85. Brian says:

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/writer/jon-heyman/25163988/in-wainwright-wake-scherzer-adivocates-for-the-dh-for-both-leagues

    Max Scherzer says the NL needs to add the DH, pointing to his injury plus Adam Wainwright tearing his achilles.

    Though he enjoys batting, he suggested it’s more important what the fans want to see.

    “If you look at it from the macro side, who’d people rather see hit — Big Papi or me?” Scherzer said. “Who would people rather see, a real hitter hitting home runs or a pitcher swinging a wet newspaper? Both leagues need to be on the same set of rules.”

    And, with Wainwright’s injury likely to greatly impact the Cardinals’ season and the NL playofff race, Scherzer is pretty sure which set of rules both leagues need.

    Beyond the obvious injury concern for pitchers, Scherzer sees other reasons the DH is preferable. While Scherzer says he likes “swinging the bat, working at it and competing, and trying to be better at hitting than the other pitcher,” he sees too many plusses to removing pitchers from the batters box.

    “It also helps position players, as it enable teams to have a rotation at DH,” Scherzer said.

    Beyond that, it would aid scoring, he pointed out.

    “We keep searching for offense,” Scherzer said. “This would be the easiest way to add offense.”

    Like

    • Eric says:

      I definitely do not want to see the dh in the National League. Baseball is neat for the fact the seperation of the two leagues is still somewhat there (although they subtract from it by the year). Leave this one alone.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        I’m not a MLB fan and adding the DH to the NL wouldn’t change that for me, but I think Scherzer has a solid point. Players are becoming more and more specialized in MLB (starters, long relievers, guys to get lefties out, setup men, closers, players to bat against lefties, defensive substitutes, etc). The strategy may be more interesting without the DH, but how many $20M pitchers need to get hurt batting/running before owners say enough is enough? It’s easier to replace a positional player/DH than a starting pitcher, too.

        In addition, MLB gets the bonuses of more offense (which fans like) and having the same rules in both leagues (avoids confusing new fans). The MLBPA gets an extra way to keep an old guy that can’t play defense anymore on the roster of those NL teams. The only downsides are for the traditionalists, especially amongst NL fans. In a sport desperate to get more young fans, this is an obvious move.

        Like

        • BruceMcF says:

          “The only downsides are for the traditionalists, especially amongst NL fans. In a sport desperate to get more young fans, this is an obvious move.”
          Its arguments like this which is the reason that traditionalists like me will always have something new to gripe about.

          Like

        • urbanleftbehind says:

          If there going to normalize the DH through both leagues, I think they should also liberalize the existing rules on double-switching to spots in the lineup to retain that element of strategy fromt he NL. Examples of current DH rules (Official Rule 6.10) are: the DH is locked into spot x in t elineup and can only be replaced by a player who becomes the DH. and also, if a DH is moved to a on-field position during the game, the team forfeits the DH and must place the pitcher in that spot.

          6.10 (http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/official_info/official_rules/batter_6.jsp)
          Any League may elect to use the Designated Hitter Rule.
          (a) In the event of inter-league competition between clubs of Leagues using the Designated Hitter Rule and clubs of Leagues not using the Designated Hitter Rule, the rule will be used as follows:
          1. In World Series or exhibition games, the rule will be used or not used as is the practice of the home team.
          2. In All-Star games, the rule will only be used if both teams and both Leagues so agree.
          (b) The Rule provides as follows:
          A hitter may be designated to bat for the starting pitcher and allsubsequent pitchers in any game without otherwise affecting the status of the pitcher(s) in the game. A Designated Hitter for the pitcher must be selected prior to the game and must be includedin the lineup cards presented to the Umpire in Chief.
          The designated hitter named in the starting lineup must come to bat at least one time, unless the opposing club changes pitchers.
          It is not mandatory that a club designate a hitter for the pitcher, but failure to do so prior to the game precludes the use of a Designated Hitter for that game.
          Pinch hitters for a Designated Hitter may be used. Any substitute hitter for a Designated Hitter becomes the Designated Hitter. A replaced Designated Hitter shall not re-enter the game in any capacity.
          The Designated Hitter may be used defensively, continuing to bat in the same position in the batting order, but the pitcher must then bat in the place of the substituted defensive player, unless more than one substitution is made, and the manager then must designate their spots in the batting order.
          A runner may be substituted for the Designated Hitter and the runner assumes the role of Designated Hitter. A Designated Hitter may not pinch run.
          A Designated Hitter is “locked” into the batting order. No multiple substitutions may be made that will alter the batting rotation of the Designated Hitter.
          Once the game pitcher is switched from the mound to a defensive position this move shall terminate the Designated Hitter role for the remainder of the game.
          Once a pinch hitter bats for any player in the batting order and then enters the game to pitch, this move shall terminate the Designated Hitter role for the remainder of the game.
          Once the game pitcher bats for the Designated Hitter this move shall terminate the Designated Hitter role for the remainder of the game. (The game pitcher may only pinch-hit for the Designated Hitter.)
          Once a Designated Hitter assumes a defensive position this move shall terminate the Designated Hitter role for the remainder of the game. A substitute for the Designated Hitter need not be announced until it is the Designated Hitter’s turn to bat.

          Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            If there going to normalize the DH through both leagues, I think they should also liberalize the existing rules on double-switching to spots in the lineup to retain that element of strategy fromt he NL. Examples of current DH rules (Official Rule 6.10) are: the DH is locked into spot x in t elineup and can only be replaced by a player who becomes the DH. and also, if a DH is moved to a on-field position during the game, the team forfeits the DH and must place the pitcher in that spot.

            I haven’t seen much appetite to alter the DH rule: those who favor it, would probably say it has worked as intended.

            The double switch is a comparatively common maneuver in the NL. It probably happens somewhere every day. Putting the DH on the field defensively is a fairly uncommon occurence. I doubt that they’re going to put in a new flavor of double-switch rule to account for that possibility.

            Like

    • bob sykes says:

      The DH is a distraction.

      The real issue is the conditioning of the players. Many years ago, about the time the four man rotation disappeared, an older pitching coach (AL?) opined that players were not as well conditioned as their were in earlier years. Pitchers in particular. They jogged around the ball field rather than sprinting. They didn’t pitch or throw nearly enough, and they were weak. The five man rotation produced layoffs that were too long. I wish I could remember the coaches name or where the interview appeared, but I’m too lazy to spend the morning looking for him and it.

      I suppose night games also debilitated players. Your arm doesn’t go cold on an August afternoon.

      I suspect the need to throw 100 mph fast balls and hard curves has something to do with it, too.

      Like

      • Mike says:

        The real issue is the conditioning of the players. Many years ago, about the time the four man rotation disappeared, an older pitching coach (AL?) opined that players were not as well conditioned as their were in earlier years.

        I would be willing to bet that players today are much better conditioned than they ever have. If they aren’t, why bother using steroids?

        I suspect the need to throw 100 mph fast balls and hard curves has something to do with it, too

        Much more likely here. Performance has got to the point where we’re reaching the limits of the human body.

        The DH is a distraction.

        The Cardinals are paying Adam Wainwright ~20 million this year to get outs, not hit. Every pitcher injured on the base paths increases the likelihood that the owners will add the DH in the NL for some concession from MLBPA.

        Like

      • Brian says:

        bob sykes,

        “The real issue is the conditioning of the players. Many years ago, about the time the four man rotation disappeared, an older pitching coach (AL?) opined that players were not as well conditioned as their were in earlier years. Pitchers in particular. They jogged around the ball field rather than sprinting. They didn’t pitch or throw nearly enough, and they were weak. The five man rotation produced layoffs that were too long. I wish I could remember the coaches name or where the interview appeared, but I’m too lazy to spend the morning looking for him and it.”

        They became more specialized, yes. They also became perhaps over-conditioned, to the point where they became brittle. The heavy use of weights and supplements has something to do with it, too. The old pitchers threw a lot more, but not as extreme in terms of speed and break on the ball. Maybe the change in the mound height had an impact, too. A big part of it may be the demand put on their arms as kids, too.

        Now, I’ve heard some guys like Leo Mazzone advocate for pitchers throwing more often. But his run with the Braves included finesse pitchers like Maddox and Glavine. The power pitchers like Smoltz still got hurt.

        Like

        • bob sykes says:

          I’m just quoting an old time coach. Have no idea. I suspect the use of multiple relievers and longer layovers between appearances is done so that starters can throw all-out like closers rather than pace themselves.

          Like

  86. Brian says:

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/eye-on-college-football/25165996/week-1-betting-lines-bama-osu-as-favorites-harbaugh-an-underdog

    The early lines are out for week1.

    Thursday, Sept. 3
    Duke at Tulane (+20.5)
    TCU at Minnesota (+19.5)
    North Carolina vs. South Carolina (-7.5) — Charlotte, N.C.
    Michigan at Utah (-3.5)

    Friday, Sept. 4
    Baylor at SMU (+35.5)
    Kent State at Illinois (-17)

    Saturday, Sept. 5
    Arizona State at Texas A&M (-5.5) — Houston
    Alabama vs. Wisconsin (+12.5) — Arlington, Texas
    Virginia at UCLA (-16)
    Texas at Notre Dame (-12.5)
    Auburn vs. Louisville (+12.5) — Atlanta, Ga.

    Sunday, Sept. 6
    Purdue at Marshall (-13.5)

    Monday, Sept. 7
    Ohio State at Virginia Tech (+20.5)

    Like

  87. Brian says:

    http://collegefootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2015/04/25/jeff-long-says-13th-games-were-factor-for-cfb-playoff-committee/

    Jeff Long talks about how the committee valued CCGs.

    Long, who chairs the selection committee for the College Football Playoff, was a guest in the broadcast booth for a short Q&A on the SEC Network during the Arkansas spring game Saturday afternoon. During his interview Long was asked about the College Football Playoff and the value of playing a conference championship game in the eyes of the selection committee. In his response, Long said the 13th game played by those in conference championship games was a factor for the selection committee. Baylor and TCU only played 12 games, with the Big 12 not holding a conference championship game.

    Like

  88. Brian says:

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/writer/jon-solomon/25167509/sources-c-usa-wont-change-bylaws-to-keep-uab-without-football

    CUSA won’t change their bylaws to allow UAB to stay without football.

    Assuming UAB doesn’t reinstate football for 2016, the school will most likely be a C-USA member for one more academic year in 2015-16, given the short timeframe for the Blazers to find a new home. C-USA is reluctant to kick out UAB and leave its sports without playing schedules.

    UAB would not receive a full revenue share next year in C-USA if it stays. UAB is expected to receive about $2.2 to $2.4 million this fiscal year from C-USA. The College Football Playoff is expected to be worth about $800,000 for UAB. C-USA’s postseason football revenue increased by about 500 percent this year due to the CFP compared to past revenue from the Bowl Championship Series.

    When UAB eliminated football, bowling and rifle in December, the report the university used did not include a financial model accounting for no C-USA revenue. The Missouri Valley Conference has been discussed as a possible home.

    Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      I think C-USA is going to wait longer than 2016 before it expels UAB. Football may come back, and I think C-USA is going to want UAB in the league if they re-institute the sport. If UAB can promise the return of football by, say, 2018, I think C-USA winds up holding on to them.

      It’s just a hunch, but I think the league will be reluctant to boot an original member as long as it’s possible football could return within a few years.

      Like

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        Wow, I have a knack for saying the same sentences two or three times in a row with only slight variations. Maybe I should work the Department of Redundancy Department. (Cue the drums: Ba-dum-ba-chih)

        Like

      • Brian says:

        I think they’ll wait to see how all these reports turn out. If UAB commits to regaining football, then CUSA will probably let them stay. If UAB doesn’t immediately make that commitment, I think they get the axe. I don’t think the new members care that UAB is a founding member. They want that CCG money.

        Like

        • BruceMcF says:

          “They want that CCG money.”

          What does UAB have to do with CCG money for CUSA? Isn’t CUSA at 13 in FB without UAB, same as the MAC has been for all of this decade between Temple and UMass? And the CCG will be deregulated before they could lose TWO more teams.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            I miscounted with all the changes they have going on in membership.

            CUSA would be at 13 without UAB since Charlotte joins in football next year. And I doubt they’d choose to stay at 13.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            “… with all the changes they have going on in membership.”

            Why I posed it as a question rather than as a statement … I’d thought that was the number, but I doubt I could name all 13.

            The Sunbelt is probably bracing for CUSA leveling up, but its an open question whether there’s a compelling add for the CUSA West that enough CUSA schools want to have in the conference.

            Ah, hell, let me look at Wikipedia … OK, the East is slated to be ODU, UNC-Charlotte, Middle Tennesse, Western Kentucky and Marshall, with the South Florida island of the F_U’s.

            UAB is presently in the East, but they were slated to go to the West, to join USM, LA Tech, Rice, UNT, UTSA and UTEP. Looking at that map and its easy to reckon the Rajin Cajuns, but then some suggest that LA Tech, Rice and USM are none too keen on having “THE University of Louisiana (Lafayette)” in the conference.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            BruceMcF,

            “Why I posed it as a question rather than as a statement … I’d thought that was the number, but I doubt I could name all 13.”

            It’s ridiculous.

            2012 – 12 FB members
            2013 – 8 new members (2 non-FB), 4 leave = 14 FB members
            2014 – 1 new member, 1 adds FB, 3 leave = 13 FB members
            2015 – 1 adds FB, 1 drops FB = 13 FB members

            “The Sunbelt is probably bracing for CUSA leveling up, but its an open question whether there’s a compelling add for the CUSA West that enough CUSA schools want to have in the conference.

            Ah, hell, let me look at Wikipedia … OK, the East is slated to be ODU, UNC-Charlotte, Middle Tennesse, Western Kentucky and Marshall, with the South Florida island of the F_U’s.

            UAB is presently in the East, but they were slated to go to the West, to join USM, LA Tech, Rice, UNT, UTSA and UTEP. Looking at that map and its easy to reckon the Rajin Cajuns, but then some suggest that LA Tech, Rice and USM are none too keen on having “THE University of Louisiana (Lafayette)” in the conference.”

            ULL is an obvious choice. Other options are ULM, TX State, AK State, Troy and South AL.

            Or maybe CUSA adds another eastern school and moves MTSU west. GA State would get them into Atlanta while GA State would at least add GA to the footprint.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            All of that instability and all of those schools moved up from the Sunbelt would be part of the reason to not hurry up to replace UAB.

            “ULL is an obvious choice. Other options are ULM, TX State, AK State, Troy and South AL.”
            I think that many people discount ULM and Troy (and if LA Tech does not want another downstate Louisiana school, they definitely wouldn’t want one as close as ULM), I’d probably discount them myself.

            None of ULL, TX State, AR State and USA would surprise me, but its also possible that there is some opposition to each of them. After all, CUSA’s already made a lot of invitations from the Sunbelt, and any reasons that any of the existing Sunbelt schools were not in that big wave of former Sunbelt schools might still be in force.

            People thinking that the same factors that pushed UAB into the west rather than one of the new invites might be inclined to guess USA, but USA is much closer to USM than Birmingham is.

            “Or maybe CUSA adds another eastern school and moves MTSU west. GA State would get them into Atlanta while GA State would at least add GA to the footprint.”
            Or Western KY, but either would be over the objections of those schools.

            Like

        • BruceMcF says:

          On the main issue of the thread, Brian said: “I think they’ll wait to see how all these reports turn out. If UAB commits to regaining football, then CUSA will probably let them stay. If UAB doesn’t immediately make that commitment, I think they get the axe.”

          I do think that UAB gets the axe if the decision is not reversed … allowing them to get these reports and work through a process where they might reverse the decision suggests they will be allowed to play out 2015/16, but if they cannot make a commitment to restart FB, it will be a farewell tour.

          After all, independent of the CCG, CUSA as a conference enforcing that rule helps ensure that any later evaluations on other CUSA schools dropping FB include the loss of CUSA membership among the negatives of dropping FB. That threat loses its credibility if they abandon it when it comes to a test.

          Like

  89. Brian says:

    http://collegefootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2015/04/29/jim-delany-takes-subtle-jab-at-sec-in-satellite-camp-discussion/

    Jim Delany got asked about the satellite camp issue.

    Not surprisingly, Delany is not bothered by the practice…

    … although, if if some conferences — he’s looking at you, SEC; you too, ACC — want to discuss eliminating them, he wants it to be a part of a broader discussion of practices he considers objectionable…

    Now, the first two practices, oversigning and grayshirting, are, right or wrong, generally associated with the SEC. That third one, flipping recruits? That’s a national phenomenon that knows no conference boundaries.

    Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      That third one, flipping recruits? That’s a national phenomenon that knows no conference boundaries.

      It’s not only national; I am not sure why he thinks that’s a problem.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        I’m not sure either, but my guess would be that he doesn’t like to see a kid pressured to change his mind rather than keep his word. I’d also guess he doesn’t like kids being pressured to decide so early, and if they decide later there’d be less pressure to “flip.”

        Like

        • Arkstfan says:

          How do you prevent 16, 17, and 18 year olds from changing their mind?

          Like

          • Logan says:

            They could add an early signing period in football as they have in basketball. Maybe allow high school students to take official visits over the summer and sign LOI’s in mid-August? That would prevent some flipping.

            Although any high level recruit really has no need to sign an LOI and lock himself into a particular school, when that school could see a coaching change or be punished for rules violations. The best players should sign scholarship agreements, which are less binding. As long as coaches can flip schools with ease, athletes should have the same freedom.

            Like

          • Arkstfan says:

            I have long said eliminate signing day. It gets bat shit crazy with last minute flips.

            Let kids sign on the earliest of 17th birthday or 30 days after last game as a junior.

            Both sides bound by the letter. Kid ends up being a dud as a senior? Too bad. Can’t get admitted? Too bad. New coach doesn’t want him? Tough.

            I’d also liberalize transfers. Coach leaves get a free transfer except you have to sit if a member of current school’s staff is there. No hiring to raid teams.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Arkstfan,

            “How do you prevent 16, 17, and 18 year olds from changing their mind?”

            By not letting them commit so early so they can change their minds several times before making their decision public. The problem isn’t that the kids change their minds so much as the amount of pressure coaches put on them to change their minds. I’d prefer a system where once a kid verbally commits, no other school can contact him. If he decides to re-open his recruitment, then everyone can get back in touch. But he can basically turn off the noise by saying he’s committed.

            Like

          • Arkstfan says:

            You can’t prevent them from saying where they want to go. You can stop schools from offering early but it’s still going to be wink wink nod nod

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            I have long said eliminate signing day. It gets bat shit crazy with last minute flips.

            Let kids sign on the earliest of 17th birthday or 30 days after last game as a junior.

            I’m not fond of early signing. There’s a reason 17-year-olds cannot enter into binding legal commitments: the law views them as too immature to appreciate the potential consequences of their decision.

            The LOI process gets around this by making the parents sign. But still, it’s the athlete who is making the decision and who has to live with it. Anything that forces the decision earlier, means more athletes making consequential life choices they may not yet fully understand.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            “How do you prevent 16, 17, and 18 year olds from changing their mind?”

            By not letting them commit so early so they can change their minds several times before making their decision public. The problem isn’t that the kids change their minds so much as the amount of pressure coaches put on them to change their minds. I’d prefer a system where once a kid verbally commits, no other school can contact him. If he decides to re-open his recruitment, then everyone can get back in touch. But he can basically turn off the noise by saying he’s committed.

            That is also my favored solution. I think there is one obstacle: to my knowledge, the actual concept of a “commitment” is found nowhere in the current rules. Officially, it doesn’t exist. A kid says he is “committed,” and the recruiting press covers it feverishly, but schools don’t (and can’t) acknowledge it. There’s no record of its existence, other than what a kid says and what journalists and fansites report.

            If they make it an NCAA violation to contact a committed athlete, then the concept of a “commitment” needs to officially exist. Both the commitment and the de-commitment need to be recorded somewhere, probably on an NCAA website where both the athlete and the school formally acknowledge it.

            Of course, this would probably mean an end to the rule that coaches can’t talk about recruited athletes before they sign an LOI. If the schools have to formally log commitments, it would be strange to continue to insist that they can’t talk about them.

            Like

          • Arkstfan says:

            If we are recording the commitment and erecting a no fly zone we are basically creating soft NLI’s

            Like

          • Brian says:

            The difference is that this rule would be designed to help the player by making unwanted distractions go away without being a binding decision.

            Like

          • Logan says:

            Brian, I think your system is already in place, if that’s what the kid wants. If a kid commits to school A, and school B calls, he is free to tell school B to stop calling him or he will eliminate them forever and that if they are still interested, they should wait until he decommits.

            But most kids do like the attention. They like to have fall back options, or to continue to explore equal/better options.

            I don’t know if all schools do it, but I know the team I follow says they don’t recruit kids that are committed and don’t want to be recruited. They will only keep in contact if the kid says he is open to it. That seems reasonable and a good idea, to not piss off a kid that may decommit at some point in the future.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Logan,

            “Brian, I think your system is already in place, if that’s what the kid wants. If a kid commits to school A, and school B calls, he is free to tell school B to stop calling him or he will eliminate them forever and that if they are still interested, they should wait until he decommits.

            But most kids do like the attention. They like to have fall back options, or to continue to explore equal/better options.

            I don’t know if all schools do it, but I know the team I follow says they don’t recruit kids that are committed and don’t want to be recruited. They will only keep in contact if the kid says he is open to it. That seems reasonable and a good idea, to not piss off a kid that may decommit at some point in the future.”

            What I hear is that schools continue to call and text and mail things “just to check in on how they’re doing,” just not as often. The reporters keep nagging them, too. Having an official version of verbally committing would stop that.

            Like

  90. Brian says:

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/2015/04/28/big-12-working-on-tiebreakers-to-crown-true-football-champ/26536075/

    The B12 is working on tie breakers for football. They’ve agreed to use head-to-head to decide a tie between two teams. Next week they’ll discuss what to do with ties between three or more teams.

    Commissioner Bob Bowlsby reiterated Tuesday at the College Football Playoff meetings that his conference is prepared to use head-to-head results to break a two-way tie for first. He added that athletic directors will discuss at league meetings next week in Phoenix different procedures for breaking ties between more than two teams. Bowlsby told reporters the goal with three or more teams will be to whittle the group down to two and then use head-to-head to crown a champion.

    Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      Bob Bowlsby said yesterday that he thinks the Big XII should re-instate their championship game as soon as the rules allow them to do so: link.

      That would be in 2016, at the earliest.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Bowlsby said he made a point in Wednesday’s talks to seek clarification from Long about the significance of the extra game in committee deliberations. He cited it as a factor that conference commissioners “did not hear about … until the last day of the season” when Long cited it as a tiebreaking tool that separated Ohio State, Baylor and TCU.

        Bowlsby said Long told him in Wednesday’s meeting that “13 data points are better than 12” when separating closely matched teams for playoff purposes. That, in Bowlsby’s mind, answered a burning question about how league officials should proceed in deciding future football championships.

        http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/12789694/big-12-likely-add-championship-game-commissioner-bob-bowlsby-says

        ESPN also talked about it:

        “There was talk about whether the Big 12 needs to decide a champion, and the group felt like that’s up to the Big 12; it’s not our decision,” Hancock said. “From the reports I’m hearing and reading, they are heading in that direction. I don’t know that it would’ve helped them last year, I really don’t. I don’t think anybody can say. Because the committee put Baylor ahead of TCU in large part because they won the game.”

        I think the key is that the 13th game only helps if it’s against a good opponent. OSU and Baylor both played good teams that day and won handily while winning conference titles (the committee viewed Baylor as the B12 champ because of their H2H win). TCU blew out a cupcake and finished as a co-champ viewed as the runner up. Based on how Baylor and OSU played, the committee had no reason to move Baylor up. Since FSU, OSU and Baylor all won titles, they jumped TCU.

        I only see 2 scenarios where a CCG helps the B12 last year:
        1. Baylor blows out TCU so impressively that they pass OSU despite OSU’s 59-0 win over WI.
        2. TCU beats Baylor so impressively that they stay ahead of OSU despite OSU’s 59-0 win over WI and TCU’s earlier loss to Baylor.

        Neither seems very likely as I’d expect them to play fairly close games most of the time.

        Like

  91. Brian says:

    http://www.macon.com/2015/04/28/3718645_georgia-eyeing-more-high-profile.html?rh=1

    UGA is looking for some tough OOC games, but is dodging one school.

    Athletics director Greg McGarity said Georgia was eyeing “memorable” games next decade against teams that play in “iconic stadiums.” He estimated that such a series could be announced within four-to-five months.

    “I ask staff, I ask friends, I ask donors, if you had two or three places where would you like to go? And they’ve aligned with what I think,” McGarity said Tuesday before a UGA Day in Albany. “So that’s what we’re trying to do, is do some experiences not only for our fans but our students.”

    You can scratch one possibility off the list: Ohio State.

    Georgia and Ohio State had a memorandum of understanding to play in 2020 and 2021. But that was canceled by Ohio State, and McGarity said it will not be revived.

    “Once Urban came in that was off the table,” McGarity said of Urban Meyer, hired as Ohio State coach in 2012.

    Another unlikely choice is MI due to their full schedule.

    Some possibilities mentioned: PSU, USC, UCLA

    Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      Another unlikely choice is MI due to their full schedule.

      Michigan’s schedule is not full for most of those years. They do have at least one OOC P5 opponent scheduled every season through 2027, but seem now to be willing to schedule two of these, at least some of the time, e.g. both Washington and Virginia Tech in 2020-21.

      That is a major change from recent Michigan custom, where the OOC schedule was usually Notre Dame plus three tomato cans. (Of course, as Appalachian State proved, scheduling a tomato can is no assurance of beating them.)

      When Michigan’s AD mentioned a few years ago that he they were trying to toughen-up the OOC schedule, Georgia was one of the most oft-requested schools on the Wolverine fan boards. At the time, that seemed like a pipe dream, as Georgia hasn’t played a road game in the midwest in decades.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Marc Shepherd,

        “Michigan’s schedule is not full for most of those years. They do have at least one OOC P5 opponent scheduled every season through 2027, but seem now to be willing to schedule two of these, at least some of the time, e.g. both Washington and Virginia Tech in 2020-21.”

        I was just paraphrasing the article.

        Michigan is another unlikely opponent, McGarity said, pointing out the Wolverines were “tied up” with other schools, including Florida.

        Like

  92. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    D-1 Baseball’s Kendall Rogers has put together his weekly bracketology for college baseball.

    http://www.d1baseball.com/analysis/field-of-64-projections-week-12/

    Top 8 National Seeds
    #1 UCLA
    #2 LSU
    #3 Louisville
    #4 Texas A&M
    #5 TCU
    #6 Vandy
    #7 Florida State
    #8 FTT’s Fighting Illini

    Other No. 1 seeds: USC, Arizona State, Florida, Miami, OK State, UC Santa Barbara, FAU & Dallas Baptist.

    The SEC gets nine bids, followed by the ACC with seven, with the Pac-12 and B1G with five each.
    The B1G gets more bids than the Big XII and the Big West – WOW!

    Like

  93. Brian says:

    A decent first round for the B10.

    Good news:
    * 3 players in the top 15
    * A top 10 pick, so that streak is over

    Bad news:
    * No QB again, so the streak grows to 21 years before next year it finally ends (Cook, Hackenberg, Jones maybe)
    * Randy Gregory’s weed problem dropped him to round 2

    The top of the 2nd round should see Gregory and Devin Smith go with several others possibilities to go during the round.

    Like

  94. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/12788774/college-football-playoff-meetings-no-decision-made-navy-new-year-six-bowl-eligibility

    The CFP committee couldn’t decide what to do about Navy and the NYD6 bowls.

    Sources said some of the commissioners believe any teams that play after the final rankings are released should be ineligible from playing in one of College Football Playoff’s six bowl games.

    Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      You’ve gotta respect Neinas. I think BYU’s best shot is a disruptive event where multiple moves happen like dominoes falling, as they did during the last round of re-alignment. A straight-up Big XII expansion, with no other P5 moves, does not seem to be especially compelling.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Actually what he said was that BYU was one of the most respected institutions in the country and was plenty good enough for a P5 slot. TCU, WVU and Louisville just fit better.

        The only comment he makes that comes anywhere to approaching Brian’s comment was when he said there was no chance the Big 12 would expand if the ccg exemption passed.

        Like

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          The only comment he makes that comes anywhere to approaching Brian’s comment was when he said there was no chance the Big 12 would expand if the ccg exemption passed.

          Passage of the CCG exemption is now widely viewed as a foregone conclusion. On that assumption, Neinas is saying, for all intents and purposes, that BYU has “no shot,” even though he doesn’t utter those exact words.

          Neinas also said if the Big XII gets an exemption to play a Championship Game at 10 they will never expand past 10 because of finances

          Neinas: “The membership is aware they have a good financial model, going to 12 or 14 means a smaller piece of the pie for everyone”

          Big XII also likes being at 10 for round robin conference play, single round robin in football, double round robin in basketball.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Exactly. And I was basically just paraphrasing the blog post I linked, and that’s from a BYU blog.

            The P12 won’t take them and the B12 won’t need to expand so they won’t. It would take a seismic change like the P16 forming and the B12 being torn apart to give BYU a shot.

            Like

  95. Brian says:

    Indy won’t bid on the next round on NCGs.

    Little surprised by this: Indy won't bid on next round of CFP title games pic.twitter.com/bWXyC2WYdo— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) May 1, 2015

    Like

    • Brian says:

      http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/2015/05/01/college-football-playoff-championship-indianapolis-lucas-oil-stadium-ohio-state-urban-meyer/26695427/

      More detail on the story. They want to wait and see how the event develops over a few years before bidding.

      “With a new event, you want to see it grow,” Vaughn said. “You want to see what it looks like year after year after year. What happens in Dallas isn’t necessarily the way we would do things. … We’d like to see it in a couple different settings to understand the event a little bit better. We do think it was a great event, by the way, and we’re certainly interested in being part of the discussion in future years.”

      Officials of the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., announced last week that they would not bid on the game. The Los Angeles Times noted that the stadium has fewer luxury suites than larger, newer stadiums in other cities.

      The cities that will bid are Minneapolis; Atlanta; Jacksonville, Fla.; Miami; San Antonio; and Santa Clara, Calif. Next year’s game is in Glendale, Ariz., outside Phoenix and the 2017 game is in Tampa, Fla.

      Atlanta and Minneapolis would appear to be strong contenders to land the game, with both cities opening new billion-dollar stadiums.

      Vaughn said bidding for the game in 2018-20 might conflict with conventions and events for which Indy has contracts.

      Apparently a bid costs about $18-20M.

      Like

  96. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/12799685/projections-show-2015-college-football-season-divisions

    ESPN calculates how much the divisions in conferences help or hurt the various P5 teams.

    B10:
    Biggest losers:
    RU -0.7 W per season
    UMD -0.4
    IL, MSU -0.3

    Biggest winners:
    WI +0.8 W per season
    IA +0.6
    NE +0.3

    Neutral:
    OSU and MI

    Like

    • Brian says:

      As a note, WI was the team that gained the most benefit from divisions out of all the P5 schools. And the B10 had the biggest range of gain/loss.

      B10: -0.7 to +0.8
      SEC: -0.6 to +0.6 (AL to MO)
      ACC: -0.5 to +0.3 (Miami to UL)
      P12: -0.3 to +0.2 (Cal to Stanford)

      A big part of that is the current imbalance between the B10 divisions, and that will change over time. Going to 9 games should also reduce the difference.

      http://espn.go.com/blog/bigten/post/_/id/118589/eliminating-divisions-how-would-the-big-ten-fare

      Looking at past results show similar results for the B10.

      Teams that gained the most: WI, IA, NE
      Teams that lost the most: MSU, PSU, RU/UMD

      Like

      • Richard says:

        ESPN is projecting the SEC West to be a dogfight.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          Very much so. Theses sorts of predictions always compress the standings, though.

          Expected SEC wins (without divisions / with divisions):
          AL – 5.4 / 4.8
          LSU – 5.3 / 5.1
          MS – 5.0 / 4.7
          TAMU – 4.9 / 4.7
          AR – 4.8 / 4.3
          AU – 4.2 / 3.7
          MsSU – 3.4 / 3.1

          Like